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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for MARCH 18, 2023 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for MARCH 18,  2023 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 --

    The Event: Mediterranean Aperitivo
    The Venue: EATALY Bloor and Bay
    The Target Audience: wine and food writers
    The Availability/Catalogue: in this context, only the specific Vermouth di Torino was available in Ontario. Dan Rabinovitch of Azureau Wines spoke on behalf of the vermouths.
    The Quote/Background: MAP (Mediterranean Aperitivo) is an information campaign on PGI and PDO, EU terms for protecting names and geographic origins. Here the seminar was on Vermouth di Torino (PGI), Pecorino Toscano (PDO), Amalfi Lemons (PGI), and Greek olives. The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is a higher standard than PGI(Protected Geographic Indication).
    The Wines:

    **** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
    -Cocchi Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry Ricetta Piemontese 500mL 17%ABV $40 consignment Azureau

    ***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
    -Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino Ricetta Originale 16%ABV $30 consignment Azureau
    [moscato & botanicals] off-dry
    -Bordiga Storica Ricetta 15%ABV +14771076 [nebbiolo]
    -Berto Antico Opificio Rosso Vermouth di Torino 17%ABV [traditional style with white wine, spices, sugar and added alcohol]

    The Food: pecorino toscano, amalfi lemon peel, olives
    The Downside: there was a zoom connection of simultaneous tasting with NYC, but it eventually degraded and we cut out.
    The Upside: Dan filled in with tasting notes on the vermouths.
    The Contact Person: <>
    The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 80

 *** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday March 26th......
R+660241    Bonanza California Cabernet Sauvignon, normally $27.95, save $3.00, LTO  sale $24.95
R+595280    Porcupine Ridge Syrah, normally $16.95, save $3.00, LTO sale  $13.95
R+954834    Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Russian River, normally $29.95, save $3.00, LTO sale $26.95
W+608653      Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Russian River Ranches, normally $29.95, save $5.00, LTO sale $24.95
W+38117      Vineland Riesling Elevation St Urban VQA, normally $22.95, save $3, LTO sale     $19.95
Fizz+215814  Codorniu Brut Clasico Cava, normally $15.45, save $2.50, LTO sale $12.95

MARCH 18 MAJOR THEME:   Pinot Noir from Around the World

Wines Under $20
W+446088    NOMAD SAUVIGNON BLANC    2021    VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula    Hinterbrook Estate Winery    $17.95  MVC/QPR: 89
W+190454    MUD HOUSE SAUVIGNON BLANC    2022    New Zealand    Marlborough    Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island $19.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+983742    L.A. CETTO PETITE SIRAH    2020    Mexico Baja California    Guadalupe Valley, Baja California $14.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+28086    ALTA-YARÍ RESERVA MALBEC    2020    Argentina     Mendoza    Gualtallary, Valle de Uco, Mendoza $18.95  MVC/QPR: 89
R+12281    CHÂTEAU DE RIBEBON    2019    AC Bordeaux Supérieur    Alain Aubert, prop.    $16.95     MVC/QPR: 91
R+548560    ALICE VIEIRA DE SOUSA RESERVE RED    2020    Douro    DOC     $18.95     MVC/QPR: 90
Fortified+515965    BODEGAS BARBADILLO PASTORA MANZANILLA PASADA Sanlucar de Barrameda Unfiltered, DO Manzanilla  $16.95    MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
W+16059    BACHELDER LES VILLAGES-BENCH CHARDONNAY 2020    VQA Niagara Escarpment    $34.95     MVC/QPR:  89.
W+82255    ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE    2021 Loire $34.95 MVC/QPR:  90
W+149302    FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY    2021 VQA Ontario        $24.95     MVC/QPR:  90
R+427500    WESTCOTT ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2019 VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula $31.95 MVC/QPR:  90
R+4564    LE CLOS JORDANNE LE GRAND CLOS PINOT NOIR    2020 QA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    $49.95   MVC/QPR:  89.    
R+22977    DOMAINE QUEYLUS RÉSERVE DU DOMAINE PINOT NOIR 2018    VQA Niagara Peninsula  $49.95  MVC/QPR:  89.
Fizz+206326    BLUE MOUNTAIN GOLD LABEL BRUT SPARKLING Traditional method, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia    BCVQA $34.95  MVC/QPR:  90
Fizz+31538    GRUET SAUVAGE SPARKLING ROSÉ New Mexico    Traditional method $29.95
MVC/QPR:  89.
Fizz+369066    BAILLY-LAPIERRE CHARDONNAY BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE Traditional method, AC, Burgundy, France     $24.95  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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