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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for SEPTEMBER 24,  2022 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at since 1994.

These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at  or at No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on for some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past Weeks  ---

--Bas-Armagnac de Montal Les Hauts de Montrouge 2003 700 mL. +11426 Vintages October 29,  2022 $109.60: comes in a red wood gift box for the Christmas holidays. There are about 181 producers of Armagnac in Gascony, and many make single vintage bottlings unlike in Cognac. Hence, there are many bottles of older Armagnac brandies (10, 15, 20, 30 year olds) that sell everywhere in the world -- but in small lots. Montal's 2003 was aged a minimum of 19.5 years in oak. Armagnac sells well in Quebec – they recognize a bargain. Extremely aromatic with overtones of roasted nuts, caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, and oak character. Exceptionally smooth on the mid-palate and great soft length on the finish. 40% ABV. Apparently, this 20-year old will be making its 23rd anniversary in the LCBO's Holiday release. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Redtail Vineyards Gamay Rose 2021 VQA Niagara Peninsula
Although Redtail is in Prince Edward County, their Gamay Rose comes from Niagara grapes. Pretty pink fruit suggestive of watermelons and cut strawberries, both visually and gustatory.  Redtail Rose exhibits the typical Gamay character of red berries on the palate, with  aromatics of  violets, tea and some rhubarb minerality. It is a light and balanced easy drinking wine for the patio/deck. Indeed, it can be an all-purpose free-standing social drink or aperitif or first-course wine. The Gamay grape is very, very food friendly. Screw cap, drink now. 10.3% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Byland Estate Winery Rose 2020 VQA Niagara
This wine is pale but bright pink from the Pinot Noir grape, which had been harvested in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Lots of red fruit, such as cherry and sweet pomegranate. Fresh tones, a  citric finish. While useful as an outdoors sipper, it could also double as a very interesting first course wine with finger food or white meats. That's the Pinot Noir talking.  Gold Medalist at the All Canadian Wine Championships.  9g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

--Nomad at Hinterbrook Winery Sparkling Firefly Rose 2021 VQA Ontario
Produced using the Charmat Method (secondary fermentation in a tank), this sparkler is loaded with strawberry tones from the Cabernet Franc grapes used. The pale colour comes from the 2021 vintage (and it is rare that Charmat wines are vintage dated). Expect some intense cherry-berry fresh fruits as a summer or fall patio/terrace/deck social party wine. Or an in-house aperitif before the main event.
13% ABV. It's a good Ontario sparkler for under $20. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

The Date and Time: Wednesday June 15, 2022  2:30P to 5:30P
The Event: Rendez-Vous Beaujolais Walk-Around Trade Tasting
The Venue: St Andrew's Hall & Lounge, 150 King Street Wes
The Target Audience: wine trade and wine media, sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: There were four agents with presentations, while four other wineries were looking for representation. The catalogue was an interactive PDF file which allowed for more consistency. There was a description of each wine.
The Quote/Background: It has been a decade or so since the last major Beaujolais tasting in Toronto. In that time, sales of Nouveau have flattened and the availability of wines from the number of villages (communes) had fallen off. It was a chance to re-discover the 12 appellations and 10 crus of Beaujolais.
The Wines: Some wines did not arrive. I counted 42 wines at the show, and I tried to taste most of them in the limited time I had available.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-VINESCIENCE Beaujolais Blanc Signature 2021  Rogers & Co
-VINESCIENCE Morgon Climats Grand Cras 2021  Rogers & Co
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Villages White 2020  [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Morgon 2019   [seeking]
-DOMAINE LATHUILIÈRE-GRAVALLON Beaujolais Morgon Corcelette 2020 [seeking]
-LES VINS J.M. AUJOUX Collection Aujoux en Beaujolais-Villages Blanc 2021 [seeking]
-LES VINS J.M. AUJOUX Collection Aujoux en Morgon 2021 – HVE 3 [seeking]
-LES VINS J.M. AUJOUX Côte de Brouilly Douze Perles 2020
-LES VINS GEORGES DUBOEUF Domaine du Riaz Côte de Brouilly 2020  PDandurand
-LES VINS GEORGES DUBOEUF Domaine des 4 vents Fleurie 2019  PDandurand
-LES VINS GEORGES DUBOEUF Brouilly 2020  PDandurand
-LES VINS GEORGES DUBOEUF Morgon 2018   PDandurand
-DOMAINE THIVOLLE Morgon Charmeur 2020 [seeking]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-VINESCIENCE Beaujolais Rosé Signature 2021 Rogers  & Co
-VINESCIENCE Chiroubles Les Clochers du Beaujolais 2021  Rogers & Co
-VINESCIENCE St-Amour Les Clochers 2021  Rogers & Co
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Chénas 2019  [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Fleurie Charbonnière 2019 [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Juliénas 4 Cerisiers 2019 [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Juliénas Beauvernay 2019  [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais Juliénas Vayolette 2019 [seeking]
-DOMAINE DE BOISCHAMPT Beaujolais St-Amour 2019 [seeking]
-DOMAINE LATHUILIÈRE-GRAVALLON Beaujolais Blanc Roche Noire 2021 [seeking]
-DOMAINES CHERMETTE Brouilly Pierreux 2021  [selection du maitre de chai PQ]
-DOMAINES CHERMETTE Fleurie Poncié 2021   [selection du maitre de chai PQ]
-DOMAINES CHERMETTE Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches 2021[selection du maitre de chai PQ]
-ALLIANCE DE VIGNERONS BOURGOGNE BEAUJOLAIS Beaujolais Villages 3 Madones 2021 Noble

The Food: There were two components – one was a combined fromage and charcuterie board, about two feet wide and six feet in length. Spectacular, to say the least. There were two of these. The boards also had crisps, breads, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and mustards. The only thing missing were the typical sausages. The other component were the individual platters of gamay smoked roasted salmon, beaujolais pork rillettes, rose smoked duck with stone fruit, and chardonnay crab and citrus salad.
The Downside: I had to leave early.
The Upside: the great fromage/charcuterie board!
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 91.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday October 9...
[red] 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, +59311, now $18.95, regularly $21.95, save $3
[red] Umberto Cesari Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone Emilia-Romagna, +225086, now $23.95, regularly $28.95, save $5 (buy a case, save $60)
[white] Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, +84988, now $25.95, regularly $28.95, save $3
[splurge] Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany, +378257,  now $52.95, regularly $57.95, save $5

MAJOR THEME:  Score!  20  90+ wines;   Local Talent Thanksgiving Wines

Wines Under $20
Rose+117861    FEATHERSTONE ROSÉ    2021  VQA    $15.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+356873    FLAT ROCK GOOD KHARMA CHARDONNAY    2021 VQA $16.95  MVC/QPR: 89.
W+485334    KEW MARSANNE/VIOGNIER    2018    VQA $19.97 MVC/QPR: 89.

Wines Over $20
R+191700    RUTHERFORD RANCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    2017    NAPA $26.95 375ml MVC/QPR: 90

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

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