By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
These notes for good wines available through LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis) can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca or at http://www.deantudor.com 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 While ---
NEW RELEASES FROM CHATEAU DES CHARMES, NOTL VQA:
1.Chateau des Charmes Rose Sparkling Traditional Method 2017 VQA NOTL winery and online $34.95: [I last sampled the 2016 vintage at same price] here half chardonnay and half pinot noir (blanc des noirs) from vines planted as early as 1991, very pretty colour from the pinot dosage, reminiscent of strawberry blush, 2 years lees contact and then re-fermented in the bottle. Full, rich, ripe yeasty biscuit complexity. Citric finish, best with food such as appetizers. Strawb fruit dominates. Recently disgorged. 10 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Stunning. 250 cases available. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2.Chateau des Charmes Brut Sparkling Methode Traditionelle NV Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA, +224766, $25.95: this Brut is a mix of about half each of chardonnay and pinot noir from vines planted as early as 1991 (and from at least four vineyards), exhibiting apple and orchard tones with citrus and toast. Some creamy texture. All wine mostly from the same vintage, and "Recently Hand Disgorged" after a year on lees, 12% ABV. Base wine for bubblies from both grapes is the same: just the skin contact varies. 9g/L residual sugar. 2877 cases. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
3.Chateau des Charmes Riesling "Old Vines" 2016 Estate Bottled VQA Niagara-On-The-Lake, $18.95: made from vines largely planted in 1978, so it is now a very mature vineyard. 12.5% ABV. Succulent, but off-dry Alsatian character (citric tones, spices), with now almost six years of aging. A beaut with spicy or higher acidic foods – lush and plush. Lots of orchard fruit character and some minerality. Best with Asiatic food. Twist top. 8.1 gm/L. 928 cases. Quality/price rating 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
4.Chateau des Charmes Gewurztraminer 2021 St.David's Bench VQA, $21.95 winery and online: from older vines (26 years) in the St. David's Bench vineyards, done up in stainless steel. Alsatian in style, with concentrated fruit, off-dry on the mid-palate, spicy with a tad of bitter on the finish, great with Asiatic foods or any spicy foods. Or wonderful as a sipper/aperitif by the deck/patio/pool/terrace/balcony. Cork finish, and it should improve over the next five years. 4.6 gm/L residual sugar. 13.1% ABV. 318 cases produced. Quality/price rating 91 points by Dean Tudor.
5.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir 2017 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard, VQA St.David's Bench,
$44.95 at winery and online: Quite a powerful wine from the 60-acre vineyard, lots of stylish Burgundian forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red berry fruit. It was last produced in 2016. Currently, this vintage is 16 months in new French oak barrels. Still needs some time, maybe two more years. 13.5% ABV. It will also show better with food such as Asian salmon preps or veal or lamb. Cork closure. Residual sugar is 1.3g/L. 13.5% ABV. 1234 cases produced. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
6.Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir "Droit" 2020 St. David's Bench Vineyard, VQA St. David's Bench, $21.95 [winery and online]: medium-full-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais grand cru wines such as Morgon or Moulin a Vent in the Droit's capacity for aging. Dark cherry-berry flavours dominate, but there is added spicing and even some nuances of earthiness and eucalyptus, although the wine is unoaked. "Gamey gamay" is probably the phrase! Cork finish. Good with BBQ, cheese, or something substantial, but some tannic structure is present to carry through a whole meal. Chateau des Charmes is the only winery in the world using this particular gamay clone. 1g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Earlier vintages were gold medal winners in Canada. 492 cases produced. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
The Date and Time: Tuesday October 11, 2022 10:30AM - 4PM
The Event: Milano Wine Week International Masterclass Program
The Venue: Aria Ristorante, 25 York Street
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine agents, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: There were two wineries involved, each with Ontario agents –- VALDO (Wine Online) and FIAMBERTI (Cottonwood Agency).
The Quote/Background: The first seminar was a web show presentation seminar from Italy, "From Veneto to Friuli: exploring different terroirs and wine styles" by VALDO winery (a Bolla company) with various speakers such as their chief winemaker Gianfranco Zanon and Matteo Bolla. They introduced the region's I Magredi winery's still wines. Both seminars had simultaneous translations when needed. Fiamberti's Buttafuoco range uses mainly the indigenous grapes Croatina (about 2/3), followed by Barbera, Uva Rare and Ughetta di Canneto. Giulio Flamberti spoke to us via the web show, and answered all questions.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Fiamberti Caristoro Metodo Classico DOCG Rose Brut NV 3g/L [pinot noir] $40
-Fiamberti Il Cavaliere Pinot Nero Vinificato In Bianco 2021 [frizzante white wine] $32
-Fiamberti Buttafuoco Storico Vigna Solenga DOC 2017 Oltrepo Pavese $88
-I Magredi Divinotello Trevenezie IGT 2017 [Bordeaux blended style]
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Fiamberti Buttafuoco Storico Vigna Sacca del Prete DOC 2017 Oltrepo Pavese $84
-Fiamberti Buttafuoco Storico Il Cacciatore DOC 2020 Oltrepo Pavese $44
-I Magredi Cabernet Sauvignon Friuli DOC Grave 2021
-I Magredi Pinot Grigio Friuli DOC Grave 2021 $16.99
The Food: Aria gave is a food box: inside there was a main course of roast chicken breast with excellent quinoa pilaff, followed by goat cheese cheddar from Lindsay Ontario accompanied by gluten-free crackers. Desserts included barreti al cioccolato (chocolate cake, salted caramel mousse, chocolate shell) and biscotti with orange zest and star anise.
The Downside: it was a long day of watching a big video screen.
The Upside: we tasted some unusual wines from two wineries in two different wine regions.
The Contact Person: Benedetta Marassi email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these are good value...on sale now through Sunday January 1, 2023 --
Fizz+224766 Chateau des Charmes Brut Methode Traditionelle normally $25.95 now $21.95 save $4
Fizz+48793 L.Bouillot Perle D'Aurore Rose Cremant Bourg normally $23.95 now $21.95 save $2
Fizz+370361 Tawse Riesling Sparkling Limestone Ridge VQA normally $21.95 now $19.95 save $2
Fizz+147504 13th Street Cuvee Rose Brut VQA normally $29.95 now $26.95 save $3
Fizz+687582 S. Margherita Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Brut normally $20.95 now $18.95 save $2
White+608653 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Russian River Ranches normally $29.95 now $26.95 save $3
Red+413179 Zenato Amarone Classico Valpolicella normally $54.95 now $49.95 save $5
Red+149237 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy Ripasso Style VQA normally $19.95 now $16.95 save $3
Splurge+708982 Stag's Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon normally $89.95 now $84.95 save $5
Splurge+996405 Stags' Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon normally $69.95 now $64.95 save $5
MAJOR THEME: Gifts to celebrate
Wines Under $20
W+28583 CASAS DEL BOSQUE LA CANTERA BOTANIC SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 Sustainable, Valle de Casablanca $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+523001 CAVE SPRING ESTATE GROWN CABERNET FRANC 2020 VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment $19.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Wines Over $20
W+424507 WESTCOTT ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2020 VQA Niagara Escarpment $29.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+172338 SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CHARDONNAY 2018 Vegan, VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+28362 TENUTE SILVO NARDI 43° IGT Toscana Rosso $21.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+427500 WESTCOTT ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2018 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula $31.95 MVC/QPR: 90
Fizz+310334 FEATHERSTONE JOY PREMIUM CUVÉE BRUT SPARKLING 2016 Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $34.95 MVC/QPR: 89
Fizz+51565 LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE D'OR BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE 2012 Traditional method, AC, Burgundy, France $26.95 MVC/QPR: 89