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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the AUGUST 19, 2023 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for AUGUST 19, 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).

MAJOR THEME:  SMART SUMMER BUYS (the August version of the first January release)

Wines Under $20
Rose+172643  Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rose 2022 VQA Niagara $18.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
W+519025  Featherstone Phoenix 2022 VQA Niagara $18.95  MVC/QPR: 90.
W+370098  Paul Mas Single Vineyard Reserve Viognier 2021 Languedoc $16.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+499509  Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2022 $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+10020  HaHa Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2021 New  Zealand $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+958736  Muga Barrel Fermented White 2021 Rioja $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
W+31664  Tilia Chardonnay 2022 Argentina $15.95 MVC/QPR: 88.
R+403345  Tapiz Alta San Pablo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Argentina $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+11851  Creekside Red Tractor Cabernet/Merlot 2020 VQA Niagara $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+648477  Cave du Chateau de Chenas Coeur de Granit Moulin-a-Vent 2020 $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89.

Wines Over $20
Fizz+401018  Laboure-Gontard Brut Cremant de Bourgogne NV $21.95 MVC/QPR: 91.
W+523845  Charles Baker B-Side Riesling 2020 VQA Niagara $24.95  MVC/QPR: 91.
W+33226  Santo Wines 1911 Santorini Nykteri 2021 Greece $39.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
W+544312 Foris Pinot Gris 2021 Oregon $22.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
W+29829  Terres Secretes Les Sentinelles Macon-Villages 2020 $21.95   MVC/QPR: 89.
W+667212  Nederburg The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2021 South Africa $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89.
R+261784  Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2019 Puglia $25.95 MVC/QPR: 91.
R+28837  Clarence Dillon Clarendelle Red 2016 Bordeaux $23.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
R+239277  Montecillo Gran Reserva 2011 Rioja $29.95 MVC/QPR: 90.
R+566844  Famille Perrin Les Cornudes Vinsobres 2020 Rhone $21.95 MVC/QPR: 89.

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday September 10...
Rose+325076    Whispering Angel Rose (Caves D'Esclans) Provence save $2.00, now $27.95
Fizz+991562    Cremant De Bourgogne Brut Reserve (Bailly Lapierre) save $3.50, $21.45
W+324228    Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc NZ save $3.00, now $19.95
W+326090    Oyster Bay Pinot Grigio Hawke's Bay NZ save $3.00, now $18.95
W+367698    Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay South Africa, save $2.00, now $16.95  [A FAVE]
W+958975    Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay Monterey, save $3.00, now $26.95 [A BEST FAVE]
W+43281    Flat Rock Cellars Estate Riesling VQA, save $3.00, now $16.95
R+50203    Beronia Reserva (Gonzales Byass) Rioja save $3.00, now $19.95.
R+145920    Tenuta Frescobaldi Di Castiglioni Toscana save $3.00, now $21.95.
R+425488    Cannonau Riserva Sardinia (Sella& Mosca)  save $2.50, now $17.45
R+337238    Marques De Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, save $3.00, now $21.95
R+595280    Porcupine Ridge Syrah South Africa $18.95,  save $3.00, now $15.95
Splurge+314575 Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, save $5.00, $46.95
Splurge+996405 Stags' Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, save $5.00, now $66.95

** Some New Wines I Tasted Over the Past While ---

The Venue: Constantine Toronto
The Target Audience: sommeliers, wine media, wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: a good looking catalogue laid out by country and then producer, with details on pricing for licensees.
The Quote/Background: there were 64 wine producers showing anywhere from one wine to a dozen wines each.
The Wines: I could not taste every wine, most notably many of the reds. Prices are licensee net in most cases.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Versado Reserva Malbec 2010 Mendoza (+316984 Vintages, $78 retail)
-Charles Baker Wines Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $25.49
-Charles Baker Wines Riesling Picone Vineyard 2013 VQA Vinemount Ridge, $39.03
-Charles Baker Wines Riesling Blanc de Blanc Cuvee du Boulanger 2020 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $31.67 [my fave fizz of the day]
-Stratus White 2021 VQA NOTL $25.49
-Stratus Skin Contact Viognier 2021 VQA NOTL $27.88
-Stratus Red 2017 VQA NOTL $39.03
-Wiston Estate Sparkling Rose Brut NV Sussex $69.95
-Champagne Monmarthe Secret de Famille Brut NV $49.95
-Jeaunaux-Robin Fil de Brume Brut NV $69.95
-Domaine Albert Mann Gewurztraminer 2020 Alsace $38.95
-Domaine Albert Mann Cremant Extra Brut 2018  $47.95
-Domaine Oudin Vaugirault 1er cru Chablis 2021 $59.95
-Domaine Francois Gay et Fils Beaune 1er cru Les Teurons Blanc 2018 $89.95
-Barth Charta Riesling 2019 Rheingau $30.95
-Sorelle Bronca Difetto Perfetto Sur Lie Prosecco 2021 Conegliano Valdobbiadene $28.95
-Agricola Molino Moscato d'Asti Mistral 2022 Trersio $24.95
-Vina Costeira Lua Jazz Brut Treixadura Sparkling NV Rias Baixas [not yet priced]
-Raventos Blanc de Blanc Brut 2020 $27 Penedes
-Can Sumoi Ancestral Sparkling 2018 $31.95 Penedes
-Bethel Heights Estate Chardonnay 2019 Oregon $54.95
-Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2019 Napa $230
-San Felo Tuscany Le Stoppie Vermentino [not yet priced]

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Versado Malbec 2018 Mendoza (+317008 Vintages, $21.25 retail)
-Stratus Chardonnay 2020 VQA NOTL $39.03
-Stratus Field Blend Ancestral 2022 $27.88
-Jeaunaux-Robin Le Dessous de la Cabane Rose NV $74.95
-Domaine Oudin Chablis 2021 $37.95
-Domaine Oudin Les Serres Chablis 2021 $47.95
-Sorelle Bronca Modi Brut Prosecco NV $21.95
-Vini Bossanova Pet Nat Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2021 $41.95
-Rippon Sauvignon Blanc Lake Wanaka 2021 $39.95
-Kleinood Tamboerskloof Viognier Stellenbosch 2022 $33.95
-Favia-Erickson Carbone Chardonnay 2020 Combsville $79.95
-Hudson Chardonnay 2021 Napa $124.95
-Precision Wine Co. Introvert White 2020 California AVA $21.95
-Brokenwood Hunter Valley Australia Semillon 2022 [not yet priced]

The Food: from Constantine's menu – a variety of flatbreads, including a pomodoro pizza and a mushroom pizza, along with bites of cheese and pate mousse on breads. The charcuterie platter included more cheese, pate, sausages, and salami as well as sundried tomatoes.
The Downside: many wines were physically collated together but split apart by the catalogue listing; this meant a lot of to-ing and fro-ing through the booklet.
The Upside: a great opportunity to taste great wines.
The Contact Person:; Charles Baker<>
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92

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

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