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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for NOVMBER 5, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for NOVMBER 5,  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 Few Weeks ---

The Date and Time: Thursday September 8, 2022  11AM - 5PM
The Event: Grandi Marchi, Italy's Top Wineries Guided & Walk Around Tasting
The Venue: Windsor Arms Hotel
The Target Audience: wine trade (sommeliers, agents, LCBO, media)
The Availability/Catalogue: it was an online catalogue, and some of the wines were not available in Ontario.
The Quote/Background: There was a master class at 11AM for 80 attendees with 14 principals such as Helena Lageder, Alberto Chiarlo, Niccolo Antinori, Alberto Tasca, Piero Mastroberardino. Each spoke about their company and one of their wines, moderated by Michael Fagan. The slide show was also very informative.
The Wines: We had one prosecco, three white wines, nine red wines, plus one sweetie. There were some 60+ walk around wines in the main show; I did not try them all.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Umani Ronchi Centovie Pecorino Colli Aprutini IGT Abruzzo 2020 organic 13% ABV
-Jermann Vintage Tunina Venezia Giulia IGT 2020 13.5% "great finish" from 5 varietals
-Alois Lageder Cason Bianco Viognier-Petit Manseng Delle Dolomiti IGT 2019 Alto Adige biodynamic 13% ABV
-Michele Chiarlo Tortoniano Barolo DOCG 2018 14% ABV
-Marchese Antinori Guado al Tasso Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2019 Toscano 14.5% ABV
-Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute Cabreo il Borgo Toscana IGT 2018 15% ABV
-Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva 2013 organic 14.5% ABV
-Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi DOCG Riserva 2015 Campania 13.5% ABV
-Masi Riserva di Costasera Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016 Veneto 15.5%
-Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC 2020 Sicily 14.27% ABV
-Carpene Malvolti 1868 Prosecco Superiore NV Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Veneto 11%
-Lungarotti Torre di Giano Vermentino/Grechetto/Trebbiano 2021 Umbria
-Jermann Bianco Where Dreams Have No End Chardonnay IGT 2020

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Carpene Malvolti 1924 Prosecco Superiore NV Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Veneto 11%
-Carpene Malvolti Prosecco Rose Brut 2020 DOCG Veneto 11% ABV
-Lungarotti Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2018 Umbria  organic 15.5% ABV
-Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva DOCG 2016 Apulia 13.5% ABV
-Tasca d'Almerita Rosso del Conte Rosso Contea di Sclafani DOC 2016 Sicily 14% ABV
-Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superior 2020
-Alois Lageder Porer Pinot Grigio 2020 Alto Adige
-Antinori Bramito della Sala Chardonnay 2021 Umbria
-Jermann Vinnae Ribolla Giulia Venezia Giulia 2021

The Food: we had tomato & bocconcini skewers; rice paper vegetable salad rolls and dip; roast beef tortilla pinwheel with peppers, creamy horseradish, arugula, goat cheese mini quiche; mushroom risotto (my fave); vegan sliders; salumi platter; cheeses; breads.
The Downside: there were the inevitable sound problems that needed to be straightened out, and then later during the walk around it was announced that Elizabeth II had passed.
The Upside: a chance to taste some rare and expensive wines, plus speak with winemakers and producers.
The Contact Persons:;
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday November 6 – ACT SOON!!

[red] Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Valley Washington State Vintages +210047 normally $19.95, now $17.95, save $2.
[red] Trius Red VQA Niagara Peninsula Vintages +303800, normally $24.95, now $21.95, save $3
[red] Porcupine Ridge Syrah WO Swartland South Africa Vintages +595280 normally $16.95, now $13.95, save $3.
[white] La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay California Vintages +963886, normally $30, now $28, save $2.
[splurge] Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County California Vintages +352583, normally $46.95, now $41.95, save $5

** And the next batch of Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale from Monday November 7  through Sunday November 27:  

+149047 20 Year Old Tawny Port (Taylor Fladgate)  750ml normally $69.95, now $62.95, save $7.    
+43281  Flat Rock Riesling VQA normally  $19.95, now $16.95, save $3.
+976662  Faustino I Gran Reserve Rioja normally $32.95, now $28.95, save $4
+64618  Featherstone Cabernet Franc VQA normally $21.95, now $19.95, save $2.
+177345  Muga Reserva Rioja (Bodegas Muga) normally    $27.95, now    $23.95, save $4    
+71943  La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir normally $35, now $32, save $3.
+324228  Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon  Blanc normally $21.95, now  $18.95, save $3
+104299  The Prisoner Red Blend normally $54.95, now  $49.95, save $5

MAJOR THEME:  Gifts to Celebrate

Wines Under $20
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    2021    VQA Ontario    $14.95  MVC/QPR:90
W+389726    BOYA SAUVIGNON BLANC    2022    Sustainable, Coast Zone, DO Valle de Leyda    $15.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+131540    FEATHERSTONE RED TAIL MERLOT    2020    Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula    $19.95    MVC/QPR: 90
R+63537    CHÂTEAU HYOT    2019    AC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux $16.95    MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
W+241182    CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING    2018    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula    $39.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+469023    CUDDY BY TAWSE CHARDONNAY 2016 VQA Niagara Peninsula $27.95 MVC/QPR: 90
R+418830    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE MERLOT    2018    Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula    $24.95 MVC/QPR:  89
R+30145    SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE PINOT NOIR    2019     $29.95  MVC/QPR: 89
Fizz+15687    GRUET SAUVAGE BLANC DE BLANCS SPARKLING        Zero dosage, traditional method, USA    $29.95     MVC/QPR: 89
Fizz+593483    GRAHAM BECK BRUT SPARKLING    Traditional method, WO Western Cape, South Africa    $22.95     MVC/QPR: 89

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

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