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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JUNE 10, 2023 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for JUNE 10, 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 Over the Past Month ---

DATE: Monday April 17th from 1pm-4pm
The Event: Boldly New York – Toronto Trade Tasting
The Venue: Peter Pan Bistro
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: the paperless catalogue was available via a downloadable cloud file.
The Quote/Background: There are 144 wineries in New York state, which embraces the Finger Lakes regions, Long Island, and Hudson Valley. New York is the third largest wine-producing area in the US after California and Washington state. Ten producers and their principals attended to pour 80+ wines: Boundary Breaks - Paul Mozeley;
Dr. Konstantin Frank - Eric Baist; Element Winery - Christopher Bates; Forge Cellars - Richard Rainy; Hermann J. Wiemer - Oskar Bynke; Heron Hill - Jordan Harris; Living Roots - Colleen Hardy; Mazza Chautauqua - Kevin Faehndrich; Ravines Wine Cellars - Lisa and Morten Hallgren; and Wagner Vineyards - Alex Jankowski.

The Wines: I only tasted white wines (except for an expensive red) – there were 8 chardonnays and 24 rieslings plus an assortment of sauvignon blancs and gruners. Where possible I added the name of the agent. Prices varied from the initial catalogue, so many of them may be inaccurate but within that range.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Channing Daughters Scuttlehole Chardonnay 2020 Long Island CA$20
-Element Winery Syrah 2016 Finger Lakes CA$195
-Forge Cellars Riesling Caywood Vineyard 2020 Finger Lakes CA$38
-Forge Cellars Riesling Willow Vineyard 2020 Finger Lakes CA$38
-Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Riesling Dry 2021 Finger Lakes CA$30.12 Living Vine agency
-Heron Hill Winery Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling 2020 Finger Lakes $42 Le Savoir-Boire agency
-Heron Hill Winery Reserve Riesling 2020 Finger Lakes $34
-Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Chardonnay 2020 Finger Lakes CA$25.00
-Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Unoaked Chardonnay 2021 Finger Lakes CA$24.95 July 22 Vintages Release
-Wölffer Estate Summer In A Bottle Rosé 2022 Lake Ontario [Merlot, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc]
-Wölffer Estate Vineyard Summer In A Bottle White 2021 New York [Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc]
-Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery Caywood East Dry Riesling 2021 Finger Lakes CA$38.95
-Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery Riesling Select 2021 Finger Lakes CA$32.95 [35 year old vines]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Boundary Breaks #239 Dry Riesling 2021 Finger Lakes CA$30.62
-Brotherhood Chardonnay 2019 Finger Lakes CA$23 Epic Wine agency
-Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery Dry Riesling 2021 Finger Lakes
-Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery Grüner Veltliner 2019 Finger Lakes
-Forge Cell-ars Dry Riesling Classique 2020 Finger Lakes CA$32
-Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Riesling HJW Vineyard 2020 Finger Lakes CA$61.61 Living Vine agency
-Heron Hill Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2021 Finger Lakes Le Savoir-Boire agency
-Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Dry Riesling 2020 Finger Lakes CA$25
-Lieb Cellars Estate Chardonnay 2021 North Fork of Long Island CA$37.95
-Mazza Chautauqua Cellars Riesling Nutt Road 2017 Finger Lakes CA$16.00
-Ravines Wine Cellars Ravines Dry Riesling 2020 Finger Lakes
-Ravines Wine Cellars Dry Riesling Argetsinger Vineyard 2019 Finger Lakes
-Ravines Wine Cellars Dry Riesling White Springs Vineyard 2020 Finger Lakes
-Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery Chardonnay Unoaked 2021 Finger Lakes CA$27.95
-Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery Dry Riesling 2021 Finger Lakes CA$32.95
-Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery Riesling Semi Dry 2021 Finger Lakes CA$32.95
-Wölffer Estate Vineyard Wolffer Sauvignon Blanc 2021 New York
-Wölffer Estate Vineyard Wölffer Estate Chardonnay 2021 Long Island

The Food: a grazing assortment of flatbreads and root veggie crisps, dips, hummus, raw veggies, puff pastry twists, cheeses (blue, smoked), olives. Good comfort foods.
The Downside: very noisy crowd (hard surfaces), my concern about prices.
The Upside: a rare opportunity to taste New York state wines.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these are good value...on sale through Sunday June 18...

[red] Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja +976662, now $28.95, save $3.
[red] Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Riserva Chianti Classico, +943613, now $20.95, save $4.
[red] Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel de Monte Puglia, +177295, $23.95, save $3.
[red] The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA +149237, now $16.95, save $3.
[white] Banfi Principessa Gavia Gavi Piedmont +250696, now $16.95, save $3.
[white] Tawse Quarry Road Organic Riesling VWQA +198853, now $21.95, save $3.
[fizz] Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Brut Rose Cremant de Bourgogne, +48793, now $25.95, save $2.
[splurge] Tommasi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico +356220, now $44.95, save $5.
[splurge] Chamisal Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay Santa Barbara 2016 +16025, now $35.95, save $4.

MAJOR THEME: Online Purchases and In Store Discoveries at the Ten Flagship Stores (40+ wines). Sorry, no printed catalogues....

Wines Under $20
W+33169 Tawse Skin Fermented White 2021 VQA $16.95 MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
W+30933 Salomon Undhof Gelber Wildrosen Traminer 2019 Kremstal Austria $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+417774 Domaine Queylus Tradition Chardonnay 2019 VQA $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+31185 Tres Bagos Reserva White 2021 Douro Portugal $22.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+127712 Ferraton Pere et Fils La Matiniere Crozes-Hermitage 2020 Rhone $33.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+14985 Famille Perrin L'Argnee Vieilles Vignes Gigondas 2020 Rhone $66.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+30117 Librandi Megonio 2020 IGT Calabria $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+30753 Spring Roads Shiraz Kangaroo Island South Australia 2017 $32.95 MVC/QPR: 92.
Fizz+32030 Ken Forrester Sparklehorse Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2019 Traditional Method WO Stellenbosch $32.95 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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