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Thursday, May 23, 2024

MAY-JUNE 2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS at the LCBO from May 27 through June 23...

MAY-JUNE  2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better" value wines...on sale  May 27 through Sunday June 23:

Fortified+32503 Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino, now $30.50, save $3.00
Fizz+991562 Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, now $21.95, save $3
W+373373 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer, now $17.95, save $2
W+32567 Cave de Buxy Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise 'Buissonnier' Chardonnay, now $20.15, save $3
W+215525  La Chablisienne Les Vénérables Vieilles Vignes Chablis, now $29.95, save $3
W+465146  Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc Pays D'Oc, now $14.95, save $2
R+22199 Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz Australia, now $17, save $3
R+149237 The Conspiracy Ripasso Style (Foreign Affairs VQA), now 18.95, save $3
R+155051 Masi Campofiorin IGT Veneto, now $21.90, save $3
R+251876 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, now $14.95, save    $3
R+426718 Cesari Amarone Classico DOC Veneto, now $38.95, save $6
R+506519 Cesari Mara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC Veneto, now $16.95, save $4

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the MAY 25, 2024 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the MAY 25, 2024 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor since 1994. These notes for  better or best wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor No winery can buy their way into – or out of – my 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for my scores in the early 1980s. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced by overuse and "inflated numbers"; thus I have quit any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing the GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and the BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with GOOD being BRONZE.  This also fits into my scheme for trade tastings.

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


MAJOR THEME:  Online and Flagship Exclusives, available only on LCBO.com and in 16 Flagship stores. No print version, but see pages 25 - 30 in the May 11 Vintages release issue for total listings.

Recommended May 25 Wines Under $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)] for online and flagship exclusives:
======================
W+485334 Kew Vineyards Marsanne 2019 VQA Beamsville Bench   $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+37154 Mas Paillet Monts du Roi Chardonnay/Viognier 2021 IGP Coteaux d'Enserune Languedoc $17.95.

Recommended  May 25 Wines Over $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)] for online and flagship exclusives:
======================
Fizz+37269 Cave du Roi Dagobert Prestige Brut Cremant d'Alsace $28.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+241182 Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2021 VQA Vinemount Ridge $44.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+38056 Albert Bichot Pouilly-Fuisse 2020 Burgundy  $42.95
W+33295 Land of Hope Reserve Chenin Blanc 2022 $27.95
R+37741 Dagaz Granito Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Colchagua Chile $29.95
R+38362 Bachelder Bator 20% whole Cluster Vieille Vignes Gamay Noir Cru 2021 VQA Four Mile Creek $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+714501 Jardin The Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Stellenbosch South Africa $27.95
R+38362 Taltarni Pyrenees Victoria Shiraz $32.95
R+12198 Chateau Fonreaud 2014 Listrac-Medoc $37.95
R+37914 Chateau Fonreaud 2019 Listrac-Medoc $32.95
R+36428 Marchesi di Barolo d'Alba Michet Nebbiolo 2020 Piedmont $31.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+


MAY 2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better" value...on sale  through Sunday May 26...Time is running out for this series: [but SEE BELOW for May-June period]

W+43281 Flat Rock Riesling VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3.
W+958975 Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay Monterey County, now $26.95, save $3.
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling, now $19.95, save $3.
R+980482 Cambria Julia's Pinot Noir Santa Barbara, now $39.95 , save $5
R+59311 The Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, now $21.95, save $3
R+27516 J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot Paso Robles, now $22.95, save $3.
R+590414 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir South Island New Zealand, now $21.95, save $3.
R+177295 Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte, now $23.95, save $3.

MAY-JUNE  2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better" value...on sale  May 26 through Sunday June 23:

W+373373 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer, now $17.95, save $2
Fizz+991562 Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, now $21.95, save $3
W+32567 Cave de Buxy Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise 'Buissonnier' Chardonnay, now $20.15, save $3
W+215525  La Chablisienne Les Vénérables Vieilles Vignes Chablis, now $29.95, save $3
W+465146   Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc Pays D'Oc, now $14.95, save $2

 
 



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


REPORT ON DRINK CHILE,  LATE 2023
The Date and Time: Monday November 20, 2023  1PM - 4:30PM
The Event: a trade walk around tasting of Wines of Chile and Prochile wines.
The Venue: Windsor Arms Hotel
The Target Audience: wine trade, wine media, sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: the booklet gave a good series of highlights. There were 120 wines from 17 wineries to taste, plus audio tours and tastings every 15 minutes for an overview of Chilean wine styles. There was material on the various wine regions and 18 wine valleys.
The Quote/Background: Chile has come a long way towards more diversity and higher quality over the years. Sustainability and innovation have led the way
The Wines: I did not taste every wine.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Arboleda Brisa Aconcagua, 2021 $49.95 [5 grape varieties]
-Las Ninas Traditional Method Brut Chardonnay, 2022 $19.95 (April 2024)
-Las Ninas Traditional Method Rose Pinot Noir, 2022 $19.95 (April 2024)
-Luis Felipe Edwards LFE900 Red Blend, 2018 [5 varieties]
-Santa Rita Floresta Chardonnay, 2021 $27.95
-Sutil Acrux Red 2020 [6 varieties] $48
-Casa del Toqui Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021 $24.95
-Errazuriz Don Maximiniano, 2018
-Vina Santa Carolina El Pacto Agreement No.2, Carmenere, 2021
-Emiliana Organic Vineyards Novas Stellar Selection, 2021 Red Blend $19.95
-Emiliana Organic Vineyards Coyam, 2020 $34.95
-Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvingon, 2021 $22.95
-Santa Ema Sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay,  $80.95
-Santa Ema Catalina Red, 2019 $111.95

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Arboleda Chardonnay, 2022 $18.95
-Marea Grand Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, 2023 $ 17.95
-Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserve, 2023 $17.95
-Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Carmenere, 2022 $45
-Undurraga Sauvignon Terroir Hunter, 2021 $30
-Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Piedra Secca, 2021
-Santa Rita Pewen Carmenere, 2021 $60
-Montes Alpha Chardonnay, 2021 $22.95
-Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay, 2022 $14.45
-Terraustral Gold Grand Reserve Chardonnay, 2021 $18
-VSPT Wine Group Leyda Reserva 2022, $16.95
-Concha y Toro Diablo Crystal Sauvignon Blanc, $17.95
-Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay, 2021 $14.95
The Food: for the trade, there were food platters of meats, cheeses, breads, biscuits.
The Downside: it got really crowded really fast.
The Upside: a chance to catch up with the latest from Chile.
The Contact Person: lisa@androscom.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 80



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Report on Rhone Valley wines, from late 2023...

REPORT FROM RHONE VALLEY WINES..
The Event: The Rhone Valley Vineyards Winemaker Tour
The Venue: 2d Event
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, wine agents.
The Availability/Catalogue: an xlsx file with full details
The Quote/Background: The Rhone Valley (North and South) is a region and not an appellation. The "Vignobles de la Vallee du Rhone" wine tour had six principals speak to us: Michelle Bouffard from Chateau du Trignon (Gigondas), Denis Guthmuller who is President of the Syndicat Of Cotes du Rhone, Philippe Pellaton from Maison Sinnae, Celine Verdier Rieu from Chateau d'Orsan, and Samuel Montgermont. There are 31 appellations in the region, using 34 grape varieties for 17 crus, 22 Cotes du Rhone Villages, and 171 communes. Exporting to Canada: 9% of the total production (which is itself 76% red, 11% white, 13% rose). Of all the wines, 18% are organic.
The Wines: I tasted most of the wines. The tasting was divided into three parts: one was a seminar of 11 wines, another was a stand up walk around of about 10 wines, and another was a sitdown lunch with about a dozen wines. Only 7 or so agents rep these wineries, while half of the wineries here were looking for agents. No prices were offered on my spreadsheet. About half of the wines were organic...see below...The tasting featured 23 wines followed by an extensive meal with more wines. Each course was matched with an appropriate wine to underline their ability to enhance food.


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau de Trignon Gigondas 2017
-Xavier Vins Red Cotes du Rhone 2020  (Noble)
-J. Denuziere Cotes du Rhone, 2020 (Rogers)
-Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel Rose, 2022 (Noble)
-Cave Heritiere Gabert Cave de Tain Hermitage, 2018  (Noble) [my fave red]
-Paul Jaboulet Cornas Les Grandes Terasses, 2020
-Les Vignes de l'Arque Cuvee Les Chemins de Rome White Duche d'Uzes 2022
-Cave de Bonnieux Luberon Cuvee Revelation 2020
-J. Denuziere Saint Joseph Cotes du Rhone 2020
-Cave de Cairanne Cuvee Insouciante Red 2021
-Cave Saint Desirat Condrieu 2020  [my fave white]
-Alain Jaune Grande Garrigue 2021
-Domaine de Vacqueyras Seguret L'Amandine Cotes du Rhone Villages 2021

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (87 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Beaubois Cuvee Confidence Costieres de Nimes 2022 (white)
-LAVAU White Cotes du Rhone 2022 (Noble)
-Domain Rozel Cuvee Alayx, 2021, Grignon-LesAdhemar
-Halos de Jupiter Red Cotes du Rhone 2020
-Chateau des Coccinelles Cotes du Rhone 2022
-Domaine Gassier Nostre Pais 2020
-Les Petits Duc Cotes du Rhone 2021
-Domaine de la Citadelle Le Chataigner Rose Luberon 2022
-Domain Autrand Cotes du Rhone Village, 2022  (N Pearce)
-Villa Voltinia Maison Sinnae Cotes du Rhone Villages Chusclan, 2021
-Chateau d'Orsan Chusclan, 2020
-Mas Carlot Generations Costieres de Nimes 2020  (N Pearce)
-Gabriel Meffre Cotes du Rhone Saint Vincent 2022
-La Font Louisiane Cotes du Rhone 2020
-Collines de Bourdic Duche d'Uzes Les Figuieres 2022
-Chateau de Montfaucon Comtesse Madeleine 2021 (not sweet)  (N Pearce)

The Food: our sitdown lunch had a wide variety of protein to show off the wines. Service was on small plates, naturally. We began with dungeness crab old bay cakes with the Coccinelles. This was followed by the pork belly bao hoisin, cashews, chili mayo and the Chataigner rose (best combination of the afternoon: what a delight!). Next was a braised beef short rib with the Autrand and the Mas Carlot, followed by some slow cooked lamb with the Chateau D'Orsan Cotes du Rhone Villages Chausclan 2022. The parade ended with a small individual cheese course with the Montfaucon.
The Downside: apart from the seminar there was no overall listing of wines, they all had to be hand-selected in writing.
The Upside: the set-up was nicely done, with a seminar, walk around, and a lunch.
The Contact Person: diane.santerne@sopexa.com; agathe.arollinat@sopexa.com.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86.

Brand     Appellation    Color    Cuvée name     Vintage    Organic label     Workshop    Agent
Xavier Vins    AOC Côtes du Rhône    Red        2020        Panel    Noble Estates
Château Beaubois    AOC Costières de Nîmes    White    Confidence    2022    Organic, Biodynamic Demeter, HVE     Panel    n.a
Château d'Aqueria    AOC Tavel    Rosé    Château d'Aqueria    2022    HVE    Panel    Noble Estates
Cave de Cairanne    AOC Côtes du Rhône     Red    Insouciante    2021    Organic, Biodynamic Demeter, HVE     Panel    Louis Charles Agency
Château du Trignon     AOC Gigondas     Red        2017    Organic     Panel    n.a
Domaine Rozel    AOC Grignan-les-Adhémar    Red    Alayx    2021    HVE     Panel    n.a
Halos de Jupiter    AOC Côtes du Rhône    Red    Côtes du Rhône    2020        Panel    Halpern Enterprise
Lavau    AOC Côtes du Rhône    White        2022        Panel    Noble Estates
Les Vignes de l'Arque    AOC Duche d'Uzes    White    Les Chemins de Rome    2022    Organic    Panel    n.a
J Denuzière     AOC Côtes du Rhône    Red        2020        Panel    Rogers Company
Cave de Bonnieux    AOC Luberon    Red    Révélation    2020        Panel    n.a
                            
Paul Jaboulet Ainé    AOC Cornas    Red    Les Grandes terrasses    2020        Discovery    Halpern Enterprise
Alain Jaume    AOC Vacqueyras    Red    Grande Garrigue    2021    Organic    Discovery    Vinoluna / Groupe Soleil
Château Boucarut    AOC Côtes du Rhône    Red    Les Petits Ducs    2021    Organic    Discovery    n.a
Domaine de l'Amandine    AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret    Red        2021    Organic, HVE    Discovery    n.a
Domaine Gassier    AOC Costières de Nîmes    Red    Nostre Païs    2020    Organic    Discovery    Halpern Enterprise
CECILE MESTRALLET - Les Collines du Bourdic    AOC Duche d'Uzes    White    Duché d'Uzès blanc    2021    HVE    Discovery    n.a
Gigondas Lacave    AOC Côtes du Rhône    White    La Font Louisiane    2020        Discovery    n.a
Maison Gabriel Meffre    AOC Côtes du Rhône    White    Gabriel Meffre "Saint Vincent"    2022        Discovery    Trajectory Beverage
                            
Caves Carod    AOC Clairette de Die    Sparkling    Jasmée Muscat    2023        Lunch    Hektars Agenc
Château de Montfaucon    AOC Lirac    White    Comtesse Madeleine    2021    Organic    Lunch    Nicholas Pearce Wines
Chateau des Coccinelles    AOC Côtes du Rhône    White    Château des Coccinelles     2022    Organic    Lunch    n.a
Château d'Orsan     AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages CHUSCLAN     Red    Château d'Orsan     2022        Lunch    n.a
Domaine Autrand    AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages    Red        2020        Lunch    Nicholas Pearce Wines
Domaine de La Citadelle    AOC Luberon    Red    Le Châtaignier    2021    Organic, HVE    Lunch    n.a
Domaine des Garances     AOC Beaumes de Venise    Red    Alazard     2022    Organic    Lunch    n.a
Héritiers Gambert Cave de Tain    AOC Hermitage    Red        2018        Lunch    Noble Estates
Mas Carlot    AOC Costières de Nîmes    Red    Générations    2020        Lunch    Nicholas Pearce Wines
Maison Sinnae     AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages  Chusclan    Red    Villa Voltinia    2021    HVE    Lunch    n.a


Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the MAY 11, 2024 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the MAY 11, 2024 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor since 1994. These notes for  better or best wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor No winery can buy their way into – or out of – my 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for my scores in the early 1980s. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced by overuse and "inflated numbers"; thus I have quit any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing the GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and the BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with GOOD being BRONZE.  This also fits into my scheme for trade tastings.

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


MAJOR THEME:  The Wine Pantheon -- Classic European Regions

Recommended Wines Under $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
=======================
Rose+117861 FEATHERSTONE ROSÉ 2023 $16.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+89011 FEATHERSTONE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2023 VQA NIAGARA $17.95
W+80234 FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING VQA NIAGARA $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+389262 ZUCCARDI SERIE A TORRONTÉS 2023 ARGENTINA $17.95
W+36034 BROCHET RÉSERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 LOIRE $18.95
W+573683 FERZO ABRUZZO PECORINO SUPERIORE 2022  $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+488015 QUINTA DO ESPÍRITO SANTO 2020 PORTUGAL $14.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+37725 CASTELLO D'ALBA WHITE 2022  PORTUGAL $14.95
R+261891 FABRE MONTMAYOU RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2021 ARGENTINA $18.95
R+396481 ZONTE'S FOOTSTEP CHOCOLATE FACTORY SHIRAZ 2020  $19.95
R+994616 TERRA D'ALIGI TATONE MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2021 $17.95
R+37767 MAGUS 6 MESES CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO 2020 $13.95

Recommended Wines Over $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
======================
W+57430 MISSION HILL RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 OKANAGAN $24.95
W+424507 WESTCOTT ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2021 VQA NIAGARA $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+466144 J. MOREAU & FILS GLORIE DE CHABLIS 2022 $31.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+455147 LA CHABLISIENNE EMOTIONS MINERALES BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY $22.95
R+38301 FEATHERSTONE RESERVE CABERNET FRANC 2021 $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+86363 STRATUS WILDASS RED 2019 $21.95
R+35374 CHÂTEAU GRAND HAUT-MÉDOC 2018 $21.95
R+359810 SÉGLA 2015 $77.95
Rose+319368 CHÂTEAU D'AQUÉRIA TAVEL ROSÉ 2023 $24.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


MAY 2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better" value...on sale  April 29 through Sunday May 26...

W+43281 Flat Rock Riesling VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3.
W+958975 Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay Monterey County, now $26.95, save $3.
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling, now $19.95, save $3.
R+980482 Cambria Julia's Pinot Noir Santa Barbara, now $39.95 , save $5
R+59311 The Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, now $21.95, save $3
R+27516 J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot Paso Robles, now $22.95, save $3.
R+590414 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir South Island New Zealand, now $21.95, save $3.
R+177295 Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte, now $23.95, save $3.
 

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

REPORT ON A TASTING OF WINES FROM ITALY LATE 2023

The Date and Time: Monday, October 30, 2023  10:30A - 5PM
The Event: Annual ICE Italian Wine Tasting [its 28th year]
The Venue: Roy Thomson Hall
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, wine agents.
The Availability/Catalogue: online QR code needed
The Quote/Background: 86 estates were showing three wines wines or more. John Szabo MS gave a Masterclass in the new-ish geographic precisions of appellations. There is the Menzioni Geographiche Aggiuntive (MGA for Barolo, Barbaresco, Prosecco, Verdicchio, et al)), the Unita Geographiche Aggiuntive (UGA for Chianti Classico, Soave, Nobile di Montepulciano, Etna, et al). There are also CONTRADAS and PIEVES [parishes]. These are all sub-units of no classification or hierarchy. But also: under UGA/MGA, etc., no grapes can be purchased. For example, Soave has 33 UGAs, Etna has 142 Contradas covering 11 communes, Barolo has 181 MGAs covering 11 communes, while Barbaresco haS 66 MGAs covering just 4 communes. Very difficult to memorize it all....Many wineries are looking to "premiumizing" their production via name branding and protecting. Stay tuned...
The Wines: I did not taste all the table wines or all the fizzes, and I did not taste any dessert wines nor grappas or amari or even olive oils!

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pinot Grigio, Maculan
-Etna Bianco, 2021, Cusumano
-Chardonnay, Castello Gabbiano
-Oro, 2021, Il Drago e La Fornace
-Rosso Piceno Superiore, 2018 Sella e Mosca
-Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, 2020 Rocca delle Macie
-Fiordiligi Grillo Sicilia 2022, Mazara Del Vallo, $22
-Barolo, 2018, Rocche dell Annunziata
-Rosso Piceno Superiore, 2020, Velenosi
-Etna Rosso Feudo di Mezzo, 2020, Graci
-Mane Vino Rosso IGT Toscana, Podere Casanova $14.50
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, 2019, Boscarelli
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOC, Podere Casanova $24
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOCG, Podere Casanova $42
-Settecento Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOCG, Podere Casanova $75
-Baciami Vino Spumante Rose Da Uve Mammolo, Piandaccoli
-Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo, 2020, Fontodi
-Barolo Cannubi, 2018 Borgogno
-Barolo Sarmassa, 2017, Marchese di Barolo $81.25 licensee
-Barolo Cannubi, 2017, Marchese di Barolo $81.5 licensee
-Corte Vino Rosso de Montepulciano DOC Podere Casanova, $15.50
-La Cantina del Colli Ripani Fasserina IGT Marche 2022, $20
-Gavi di Gavi, 2021, Marchese di Barolo $25.15 licensee
-Donna Angelica Lucido 2021, Assul $29
-Carinda Insolia, Mazara del Vallo 2022, $22
-Barbaresco Gallina, 2019, Oddero
-Chardonnay DOC Friuli, Modeana
-Chardonnay 2021, Albino Armani $17.95 licensee
-Primitivo Since 1913, 2019, $32.35 licensee
-Fiano E'Arte, 2022, $14.35 licensee
-Primitivo Organic IGP, Agricola Amastuola, 2021, $18.85 licensee
-Primitivo Centosassi Organic, Agricola Amastuola, 2018, $28.75 licensee

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pecorino, 2022, Cantina Tollo
-Pecorino Falerio 2022, La Cantina $21
-Anima Lavica Janare Campania Spumante
-Ca del Magro, 2021, Bianco Monte del Fra
-Podere Casanova Vini Montepulciano Bianco Toscano Canto 2022
-Falanghina, 2021, la Guardinense
-Soave Classico Calvarino, 2021, Pieropan
-Ribolitto, 2021, Il Drago e La Fornace
-Rubesco Vigna Monticchio, Lungarotti
-Syrah Ruggiero, Assuli $22
-Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia, Modeano
-Pinot Grigio, 2022, Albino Armani, $19.30 licensee
-Primitivo Rosato Infintinum 2022, Torrevento SRI, $15.75 licensee
-Primitivo E'Arte 2022, Torrevento SRI $14.35 licensee

The Food: This year it was catered by Stelvio, a Northern Italian Eatery on Dundas Street. They gave us a Buffet Rustico: polenta Bolognese Sauce, polenta with vegetable sauce caponata, Mortadella sausage, sopresatta prosciutto, chickpea salad, pasta salad, quiche di zucchini, pinzimonio con hummus, pickled green and black olives, a range of cheeses, grisini, flatbread cipolle, giardiniera, four kinds of salumi and five kinds of formaggi, and espresso coffee to finish.

The Downside: I had no smartphone, so I could not access all the details of each wine.
The Upside: over the afternoon about 1600 people attended.
The Contact Person: toronto@ice.it  or  b.marassi@ice.it or info@stelviotoronto.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90







Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Sunday, May 5, 2024

CHATEAU DES CHARMES NEW VQA WINE REVIEWS http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com/

Chateau des Charmes Aligote 2021 Cuvee Michele VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $15.95, +296848 LCBO: made from the rarely grown French vinifera grape seldom seen outside Burgundy -- one that Paul Bosc had cultivated since 1978, loaded with lean orchard fruit (green apples and unripe pears) and ending with a finishing crisp acidity suggesting food rather more than sips. It was often used in Burgundy as the white wine base for Kir; in North America now almost any dry white is used for a Kir. Aligote is refreshing for summer, and has no oak. Named for the late Michele Bosc. I last reviewed this wine  (2019 vintage) in 2020. 2g/L residual sugar. 12.5% ABV. Twist top.  A nifty and neat bone-dry white wine, fairly priced, and quite useful as a mixer. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.

Chateau des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc 2022 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, +391300 $15.95 LCBO: last tasted by me with the 2017 vintage. Here, good balanced fruit, herbaceousness, citric tones (mainly lime), zest, MVC typicity for sauvignon blanc. Light to medium bodied, from grapes harvested a month later than usual. Fresh but so far maybe a bit too fresh at this point. Try later in the summer. 12.5% ABV. Well-priced. 4g/L residual sugar. Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.

Chateau des Charmes Fume Blanc 2022 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard VQA St David's Bench, +739133 $34.95 Winery: vines planted in 1983, very aromatic with nuances of toastiness both in the nose and on the palate, somewhat in the fume style as started by Robert Mondavi over fifty years ago. Typical savvy citric and unripe pear zestiness is tamed by oaking and unctuous tropical fruit tones developed through small batch lots. Medium finish accents lemon and vanillin character, melon, honeysuckle. Best as a classy sipper on its own, but also with a lightly aromatic first course. Barrel fermentation in barriques, aged in French oak on lees for a year or so which adds some heft with smoke and toast. 12.5% ABV. Can be cellared  through six years (but watch out for changing wine tastes).  Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.

Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir 2021 Cuvee Michele Estate Grown &  Bottled VQA NOTL, +454967, $16.95 LCBO: A lovely young wine, with some forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red fruit (strawberries are hinted at by the winemaker). I hadn't tasted this wine since the 2018 vintage. Just under subtle oaking, with a moderate intensity of medium flavours of spices mid-palate. Ready to drink now. Cork closure, 12.5% ABV, 3g/L residual sugar. Ready now. Try with slider burgers. Dedicated to the late Michele Bosc. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.

Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir 2021 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $15.95, +57349 LCBO: medium-bodied, suggestive of Beaujolais [same grape variety]. Easy drinking of (sour) cherry-berry flavours with occasional nuances of spices. Fermented in normal classic unoaked style. I had not tasted this wine since the 2016 vintage. Best for patios or mulled wine, parties, BBQ. Could be served slightly chilled. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. A very popular wine at this consistent price level. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.





Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Friday, May 3, 2024

REPORT ON DRINK CHILE WINES, LATE 2023

REPORT ON DRINK CHILE, LATE  2023
The Date and Time: Monday November 20, 2023  1PM - 4:30PM
The Event: a trade walk around tasting of Wines of Chile and Prochile wines.
The Venue: Windsor Arms Hotel
The Target Audience: wine trade, wine media, sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: the booklet gave a good series of highlights. There were 120 wines from 17 wineries to taste, plus audio tours and tastings every 15 minutes for an overview of Chilean wine styles. There was material on the various wine regions and 18 wine valleys.
The Quote/Background: Chile has come a long way towards more diversity and higher quality over the years. Sustainability and innovation have led the way
The Wines: I did not taste every wine.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Arboleda Brisa Aconcagua, 2021 $49.95 [5 grape varieties]
-Las Ninas Traditional Method Brut Chardonnay, 2022 $19.95 (April 2024)
-Las Ninas Traditional Method Rose Pinot Noir, 2022 $19.95 (April 2024)
-Luis Felipe Edwards LFE900 Red Blend, 2018 [5 varieties]
-Santa Rita Floresta Chardonnay, 2021 $27.95
-Sutil Acrux Red 2020 [6 varieties] $48
-Casa del Toqui Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021 $24.95
-Errazuriz Don Maximiniano, 2018
-Vina Santa Carolina El Pacto Agreement No.2, Carmenere, 2021
-Emiliana Organic Vineyards Novas Stellar Selection, 2021 Red Blend $19.95
-Emiliana Organic Vineyards Coyam, 2020 $34.95
-Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvingon, 2021 $22.95
-Santa Ema Sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay,  $80.95
-Santa Ema Catalina Red, 2019 $111.95

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Arboleda Chardonnay, 2022 $18.95
-Marea Grand Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, 2023 $ 17.95
-Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserve, 2023 $17.95
-Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Carmenere, 2022 $45
-Undurraga Sauvignon Terroir Hunter, 2021 $30
-Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Piedra Secca, 2021
-Santa Rita Pewen Carmenere, 2021 $60
-Montes Alpha Chardonnay, 2021 $22.95
-Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay, 2022 $14.45
-Terraustral Gold Grand Reserve Chardonnay, 2021 $18
-VSPT Wine Group Leyda Reserva 2022, $16.95
-Concha y Toro Diablo Crystal Sauvignon Blanc, $17.95
-Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay, 2021 $14.95

The Food: for the trade, there were food platters of meats, cheeses, breads, biscuits.
The Downside: it got really crowded really fast.
The Upside: a chance to catch up with the latest wines from Chile.
The Contact Person: lisa@androscom.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 80



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

BEST MAY 2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS at the LCBO...

MAY 2024 LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better" value...on sale  April 29 through Sunday May 26...

W+43281 Flat Rock Riesling VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3.
W+958975 Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay Monterey County, now $26.95, save $3.
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling, now $19.95, save $3.
R+980482 Cambria Julia's Pinot Noir Santa Barbara, now $39.95 , save $5
R+59311 The Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, now $21.95, save $3
R+27516 J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot Paso Robles, now $22.95, save $3.
R+590414 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir South Island New Zealand, now $21.95, save $3.
R+177295 Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte, now $23.95, save $3.
 



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the APRIL 27, 2024 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the APRIL 27, 2024 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor since 1994. These notes for  better or best wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor No winery can buy their way into – or out of – my 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for my scores in the early 1980s. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced by overuse and "inflated numbers"; thus I have quit any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing the GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and the BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with GOOD being BRONZE.  This also fits into my scheme for trade tastings.

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


MAJOR THEME:  CALIFORNIA WATCHLIST: Paso Robles

Recommended Wines UNDER $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
=========================
FIZZ+19031 CELENE AMÉTHYSTE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+34245 WALDSCHÜTZ RIED HASEL GRÜNER VELTLINER AUSTRIA 2021 $18.95
CHILE
W+303628 SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY CHILE 2021 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+747600 PIERRE SPARR GRANDE RÉSERVE GEWURZTRAMINER ALSACE 2021 $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+35860 CHÂTEAU ROQUEFORT LES ROCHES BLANCHES SAUVIGNON BLANC BORDEAUX 2022 $15.95
W+557207 FLEURON DE LA REBOURGÈRE SUR LIE MUSCADET-SÈVRE ET MAINE LOIRE $16.95
W+37520 LANDLUST ORGANIC RIESLING MOSEL-SAAR-RUWER 2022 $15.95
W+36000 MEZZACORONA RISERVA CHARDONNAY ITALY 2020 $18.95
W+35951 UMBERTO CESARI LIANO PINOT GRIGIO ABRUZZO 2022 $17.95
W+919514 WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC NEW ZEALAND 2023 $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+452029 PIATTELLI LUJÁN DE CUYO RESERVE MALBEC ARGENTINA 2021 $17.95
R+494039 DOMAINE LAFAGE CAYROL VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN 2021 $19.95
R+35375 CHÂTEAU LE CONTE MARQUEY BORDEAUX 2018 $18.95
R+224592 CHÂTEAU LE GRAND RETOUR PLAN DE DIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES $16.95
R+642421 VALPANTENA TORRE DEL FALASCO VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO VENETO 2022 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
ROSE+177840 PENINSULA RIDGE BEAL VINEYARD CABERNET ROSÉ VQA 2023 $16.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
ROSE+498535 MALIVOIRE VIVANT ROSÉ VQA 2023 $19.95

Recommended Wines OVER $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
========================
W+566026 CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2022 VQA $34.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+16059 BACHELDER LES VILLAGES-BENCH CHARDONNAY 2021 VQA $34.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+11108 UMANI RONCHI CENTOVIE PECORINO ABBRUZO 2020 $26.95
W+232439 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE CHARDONNAY 2022 WASH STATE $21.95
R+33894 LE CLOS JORDANNE JORDAN VILLAGE PINOT NOIR 2021 VQA $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+36927 CHÂTEAU CAROLINE MOULIS-EN-MÉDOC 2019 $30.95
R+35973 PENTACLE LES TROIS ROUTES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2019  $63.95
R+713354 TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA PIEDMONT 2019 $37.95
R+747030 LA VITE LUCENTE 2021 $33.95
R+10704 WESTMOUNT PINOT NOIR OREGON 2021 $33.95


APRIL LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale Monday April 1 through Sunday April 28...only a few more days to go until the sale ends.

W+84988 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, now $29.95, save $3
W+68817 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Chardonnay VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, now $29.95, save $2
W+13311 Lone Birch Chardonnay Yakima Washington, now $19.95, save $3
W+89037 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay VQA, now $19.95, save $2
W+18631 Sebastiani California Chardonnay, now $16.90, save $2
W+350900 Robert Oatley Chardonnay Margaret River, now $19.95, save $2
W+268342 Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay VQA, now $17.95, save $2
R+30957 Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere La Pataguas Vineyard Rapel Chile, now $16.95, save $3
R+274753 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir VQA Beamsville Bench, now $34.94, save $3
R+626390 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir New Zealand, now $19.95, save $3
R+727636 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2020 IGT Toscana, now $31.95, save $3

MAY LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some recommendations on sale April 29 through May 26, 2024....

W+43281 Flat Rock Riesling VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3
W+958975 Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay Monterey, now $26.95, save $3
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling VQA Beamsville Niagara, now $19.95, save $3
R+980482 Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Barbara, now $39.95, save $5
R+590414 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir South Island New Zealand, now $18.95, save $3
R+177295 Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte Puglia, now $23.95, save $3
R+59311 The Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, now $21.95, save $3
 

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


REPORT ON THE WINES OF GREECE TRADE TASTING  TORONTO 2023

The Event: a tasting of the wines of Greece.
The Venue: Arcadian Loft
The Target Audience: licensees, sommeliers and wine media, wine agents.
The Availability/Catalogue: a spiral bound catalogue with many maps and wine/grape descriptions. There were 29 tables with 116 wines, and the wineries were placed mostly by agent to cover a few tables each. There were about four wines per winery, and there were full details about winery contacts (email addrersses) plus agents, the latter with phone numbers. A good resource guide.
The Quote/Background: Most of the wineries were repped by a small handful of agents, such as Kolonaki (11 wineries at 11 tables), Dionysus (3 tables), Selections Le Maitre de Chai (3), Asteria Imports (3), and then the others with one or two tables each.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Malamatina Winery Filioma Dry Rose 2022 [merlot]
-Malamatima Filioma Agiorgitiko 2022 PGI Peloponnese
-Alpha Estate Xinomavro Red Single Vineyard Hedgehog 2020 PDO Amyndeon
-Alpha Estates Assyrtiko 2021
-Cavino Atelier Mavro Kalavritino-Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 PGI Achaia
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Amethystos Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Drama
-Domaine Hatzimichalis Alfega White 2022 [sauvignon blanc, malagousia, robola]
-Domaine Hatzimichalis Assyrtiko Alepotrype Vineyard 2022 PGI Atalanti Valley
-Ktima Biblia Areti White 2020 PGI Pangeon [assyrtiko]
-Ktima Biblia Ovilos White 2022 PGI Pangeon
-Ktima Tselepos Amalia Brut NV [moschofilero]
-Zoinos Winery Sparkling White Extra Brut 2021 PDO Zitsa  [debina]
-Kitma Pavlidis Emphasis Assyrtiko 2022 PGI Drama
-Kitma Spiropoulos Ode Panos Rose 2020 Brut
-Oenops Wines Apla Dry White 2022
-Papagiannakos Winery Salvatiano Old Vines 2022 PGI Markopoulo
-Papagiannakos Winery Salvatiano "Vientzi" 2020 PGI Markopoulo
-Papagiannakos Winery Kalogeri Malagousia 2022 PGI Attiki  
-Santo Wines Grand Reserve Santorini Assyrtiko 2020 PDO Santorini [oaked]  [fave today]
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Malamatima Four Angels Red 2022 PGI Peloponnese [syrah/merlot]
-Malamatima Four Angels White PGI Peloponnese [chardonnay/malagousia]
-Malamatina Winery Filioma Moschofilero 2022  PGI Peloponnese
-Boutari Moschofilero 2022 PDO Mantinia
-Domaine Skouras Cuvee Prestige White 2022 PGI Peloponnese
-Domaine Skouras Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2022 PGI Peloponnese
-Cavino Mega Spileo Cuvee III White 2022 PGI Achaia
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Malagousia 2022 PGI Drama
-Domaine Costa Lazaridi Chateau Julia Assyrtiko 2022 PGI Drama
-Domaine Hatzimichalis Kapnias Red 2020 [cabernet sauvignon] PGI Atalanti Valley
-Ktima Biblia Chora White 2022 PGI Pangeon
-Papagiannakos Winery Assyrtiko 2022 PGI Attiki
-Santo Wines Santorini Assyrtiko 2022 PDO Santorini
-Santo Wines Santorini Nykteri 2022 PDO Santorini

The Food: cheese platters with biscuits and breads and fresh fruit; grilled baby octopus with chili crisp; hot apps on platters of chicken, fish, lamb meatballs, fried veggie balls. The highlight for me was the oregano and lemon lamb kleftiko and charred eggplant.
The Downside: I had just come from an earlier wine portfolio tasting.
The Upside: good exposure to wines that dance in the catalogue.
The Contact Person: lisa@androscom.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.









Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Friday, April 19, 2024

REPORT ON A TASTING OF WINES FROM ITALY

REPORT ON A TASTING OF WINES FROM ITALY, end of 2023

The Date and Time: Monday, October 30, 2023  10:30A - 5PM
The Event: Annual ICE Italian Wine Tasting [28th year]
The Venue: Roy Thomson Hall
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, wine agents.
The Availability/Catalogue: online QR code needed
The Quote/Background: 86 estates were showing three wines wines or more. John Szabo MS gave a Masterclass in the new-ish geographic precisions of appellations. There is the Menzioni Geographiche Aggiuntive (MGA for Barolo, Barbaresco, Prosecco, Verdicchio, et al)), the Unita Geographiche Aggiuntive (UGA for Chianti Classico, Soave, Nobile di Montepulciano, Etna, et al). There are also CONTRADAS and PIEVES [parishes]. These are all sub-units of no classification or hierarchy. But also: under UGA/MGA, etc., no grapes can be purchased. For example, Soave has 33 UGAs, Etna has 142 Contradas covering 11 communes, Barolo has 181 MGAs covering 11 communes, while Barbaresco haS 66 MGAs covering just 4 communes. Very difficult to memorize it all....Many wineries are looking to "premiumizing" their production via name branding and protecting. Stay tuned...
The Wines: I did not taste all the table wines or all the fizzes, and I did not taste any dessert wines nor grappas or amari or even olive oils!

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pinot Grigio, Maculan
-Etna Bianco, 2021, Cusumano
-Chardonnay, Castello Gabbiano
-Oro, 2021, Il Drago e La Fornace
-Rosso Piceno Superiore, 2018 Sella e Mosca
-Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, 2020 Rocca delle Macie
-Fiordiligi Grillo Sicilia 2022, Mazara Del Vallo, $22
-Barolo, 2018, Rocche dell Annunziata
-Rosso Piceno Superiore, 2020, Velenosi
-Etna Rosso Feudo di Mezzo, 2020, Graci
-Mane Vino Rosso IGT Toscana, Podere Casanova $14.50
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, 2019, Boscarelli
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOC, Podere Casanova $24
-Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOCG, Podere Casanova $42
-Settecento Vino Nobile de Montepulciano DOCG, Podere Casanova $75
-Baciami Vino Spumante Rose Da Uve Mammolo, Piandaccoli
-Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo, 2020, Fontodi
-Barolo Cannubi, 2018 Borgogno
-Barolo Sarmassa, 2017, Marchese di Barolo $81.25 licensee
-Barolo Cannubi, 2017, Marchese di Barolo $81.5 licensee
-Corte Vino Rosso de Montepulciano DOC Podere Casanova, $15.50
-La Cantina del Colli Ripani Fasserina IGT Marche 2022, $20
-Gavi di Gavi, 2021, Marchese di Barolo $25.15 licensee
-Donna Angelica Lucido 2021, Assul $29
-Carinda Insolia, Mazara del Vallo 2022, $22
-Barbaresco Gallina, 2019, Oddero
-Chardonnay DOC Friuli, Modeana
-Chardonnay 2021, Albino Armani $17.95 licensee
-Primitivo Since 1913, 2019, $32.35 licensee
-Fiano E'Arte, 2022, $14.35 licensee
-Primitivo Organic IGP, Agricola Amastuola, 2021, $18.85 licensee
-Primitivo Centosassi Organic, Agricola Amastuola, 2018, $28.75 licensee

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pecorino, 2022, Cantina Tollo
-Pecorino Falerio 2022, La Cantina $21
-Anima Lavica Janare Campania Spumante
-Ca del Magro, 2021, Bianco Monte del Fra
-Podere Casanova Vini Montepulciano Bianco Toscano Canto 2022
-Falanghina, 2021, la Guardinense
-Soave Classico Calvarino, 2021, Pieropan
-Ribolitto, 2021, Il Drago e La Fornace
-Rubesco Vigna Monticchio, Lungarotti
-Syrah Ruggiero, Assuli $22
-Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia, Modeano
-Pinot Grigio, 2022, Albino Armani, $19.30 licensee
-Primitivo Rosato Infintinum 2022, Torrevento SRI, $15.75 licensee
-Primitivo E'Arte 2022, Torrevento SRI $14.35 licensee

The Food: This year it was catered by Stelvio, a Northern Italian Eatery on Dundas Street. They gave us a Buffet Rustico: polenta Bolognese Sauce, polenta with vegetable sauce caponata, Mortadella sausage, sopresatta prosciutto, chickpea salad, pasta salad, quiche di zucchini, pinzimonio con hummus, pickled green and black olives, a range of cheeses, grisini, flatbread cipolle, giardiniera, four kinds of salumi and five kinds of formaggi, and espresso coffee to finish.

The Downside: I had no cell phone, so I could not access all the details of each wine.
The Upside: over the afternoon about 1600 people attended.
The Contact Person: toronto@ice.it  or  b.marassi@ice.it or info@stelviotoronto.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Sunday, April 14, 2024

APRIL LIMITED TIME OFFERS

APRIL LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale through Sunday April 28...

W+84988 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, now $29.95, save $3
W+68817 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Chardonnay VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, now $29.95, save $2
W+13311 Lone Birch Chardonnay Yakima Washington, now $19.95, save $3
W+89037 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay VQA, now $19.95, save $2
W+18631 Sebastiani California Chardonnay, now $16.90, save $2
W+350900 Robert Oatley Chardonnay Margaret River, now $19.95, save $2
W+268342 Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay VQA, now $17.95, save $2
R+30957 Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere La Pataguas Vineyard Rapel Chile, now $16.95, save $3
R+274753 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir VQA Beamsville Bench, now $34.94, save $3
R+626390 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir New Zealand, now $19.95, save $3
R+727636 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2020 IGT Toscana, now $31.95, save $3



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the APRIL 13, 2024 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the APRIL 13, 2024 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor since 1994. These notes for  better or best wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor No winery can buy their way into – or out of – my 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for my scores in the early 1980s. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced by overuse and "inflated numbers"; thus I have quit any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing the GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and the BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with GOOD being BRONZE.  This also fits into my scheme for trade tastings.

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


MAJOR THEME:  PERFECT FOOD-WINE PAIRINGS -- [really?]

BUT FIRST -- There are 12 chardonnays being released  April 13...here are my recks:

*NEW* CHARDONNAYS AT VINTAGES APRIL 13, 2024 RELEASE --

ARGENTINA +918805 CATENA HIGH MOUNTAIN VINES CHARDONNAY 2022 $20.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
AUSTRALIA +33566 JIM JIM CHARDONNAY 2021 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
ONTARIO +68817 HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE ORGANIC CHARDONNAY 2021 $31.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
ONTARIO +256552 CAVE SPRING ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY 2020 $21.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
ONTARIO +20455 LE CLOS JORDANNE JORDAN VILLAGE CHARDONNAY 2020 $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
CHILE +17617 ESCUDO ROJO RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2022 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
CALIFORNIA +226936 RODNEY STRONG CHARDONNAY 2021  $21.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
CALIFORNIA +441089 ROMBAUER CARNEROS CHARDONNAY 2022 $69.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
CALIFORNIA +395699 BERINGER LUMINUS CHARDONNAY 2022 $55.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
BURGUNDY +42374 DOMAINE LOUIS MOREAU CHABLIS 2022 $31.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
BURGUNDY +23988 TERRES SECRÈTES LES PRÉLUDES MÂCON-VILLAGES 2021 $20.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
UMBRIA +176792 ANTINORI BRAMÌTO DELLA SALA CHARDONNAY 2022 $32.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)


Recommended Wines UNDER $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
==========================
Fizz+536607 EMILIANA AMALUNA ORGANIC BRUT SPARKLING CHILE $18.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
AUSTRIA W+37419 ECKER-ECKHOF GRÜNER VON ECKHOF 2022 $19.95
PFALZ W+37824 RUDI RÜTTGER LE TENDRE RIESLING 2022 $16.95
TUSCANY W+36345 VILLA DA VINCI STREDA VERMENTINO 2022 $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
NEW ZEALAND W+14199 INVIVO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2023 $18.95
PORTUGAL W+37848 FREIRE LOBO VIGNO BRANCO 2021 $17.95
R+36389 AMASTUOLA NEGROAMARO 2020 PUGLIA $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+983742 L.A. CETTO PETITE SIRAH 2021 MEXICO $14.95
ARGENTINA R+114983 H J. FABRE BARREL SELECTION MALBEC 2021 $18.95
LANGUEDOC +35995 CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN SOLEIL DE SCHISTE 2022 $18.95
ABRUZZO +36340 FERROVIERI MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2022 $16.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
+36358 CARPINETO CHIANTI CASTALDO 2020 $18.95


Recommended Wines OVER $20 [my basic standard is MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)]
========================

Fizz+388603 PIERRE SPARR BRUT RÉSERVE CRÉMANT D'ALSACE $20.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
ROSE+279117 SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ VQA 2022  $23.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+183491 HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE ORGANIC RIESLING 2019 VQA $24.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+431593 TAWSE LIMESTONE RIDGE-NORTH RIESLING 2021 VQA $21.95
W+36546 DOMAINE GÉRARD MILLET SANCERRE 2022 $34.95
OREGON W+36496 CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL PINOT GRIS 2022 $21.95
R+279059 LAURENT GAUTHIER GRAND CRAS VIEILLES VIGNES MORGON 2021 $22.95
R+20422 HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE ORGANIC GAMAY 2021 VQA $29.95
R+274753 HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE ORGANIC PINOT NOIR 2021 VQA $37.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+117960 CREEKSIDE LAURA'S RED 2018 VQA $25 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
BORDEAUX R+550244 CHÂTEAU LA CARDONNE 2015 $25.95
BURGUNDY R+34247 PASCAL BOUCHARD IRANCY 2018 $32.95
RHONE R+35974 BROTTE LES HAUTS DE BARVILLE 2019 $51.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
SPAIN +37272 MARQUÉS DE LA CONCORDIA RESERVA 2018 $16.95


APRIL LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale Monday April 1 through Sunday April 28...

W+84988 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, now $29.95, save $3
W+68817 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Chardonnay VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, now $29.95, save $2
W+13311 Lone Birch Chardonnay Yakima Washington, now $19.95, save $3
W+89037 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay VQA, now $19.95, save $2
W+18631 Sebastiani California Chardonnay, now $16.90, save $2
W+350900 Robert Oatley Chardonnay Margaret River, now $19.95, save $2
W+268342 Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay VQA, now $17.95, save $2
R+30957 Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere La Pataguas Vineyard Rapel Chile, now $16.95, save $3
R+274753 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir VQA Beamsville Bench, now $34.94, save $3
R+626390 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir New Zealand, now $19.95, save $3
R+727636 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2020 IGT Toscana, now $31.95, save $3

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

REPORT ON THE CGU FINE WINES WINTER PORTFOLIO TRADE TASTING 2023

The Event: CGU Portfolio Tasting
The Venue: Terrace Room, Park Hyatt
The Target Audience: licensees and wine media, with private collectors later.
The Availability/Catalogue: a one-page sheet listed the wines at five tables, with label names, regions, vintage dates, prices, case sizes, and order information.
The Wines: I had the opportunity to try most of the wines. Prices are licensee only.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Michel Voarick Pernard-Vergelesses 2021 Aloxe-Corton Rouge $65.76
-Domaine des Ardoissieres Silice Blanc 2022 [biodynamic] $34.12
-Niew Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2021 Willamette $111.11 [my second fave]
-Chantereves Marsannay Rose 2021 Savigny-les-Beaune $59.35
-Domaine Derey Fixin Les Echalais Marsannay 2021 Rouge $60.86
-Domaine Patrice Rion Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Terre Blanches 2020 $101.76
-Domaine Pierrick Bouley Volnay 1er Champans 2020 Rouge $187.10
-Domaine Boyer-Martenot Boyer de Bar Chardonnay 2021 $30.70 [my fave of the day]
-Domaine Boyer-Martenot Puligny-Montrachet Les Reuchaux 2020 $140.89
-Domaine Garcia Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Grandes Vignes 2021 Rouge $160.14
-Thiriet Cote de Nuits Villages aux Montagnes 2021 $136.54
-Domaine Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Quintaine 2021 [biodynamic] $65.87
-Domaine des Terres de Velle Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Vergelesse [white] $64.71
-Domaine Francois Mikulski Cremant de Bourgogne NV Meursault $38.78
-Laurent Ponsot Meursault 1er Cru Blagny Cuvee du Myosc 2019 $226.84
-Le Chai Duchet Vire-Clesse 2021 $33.86

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Reinhard & Beate Knebel Rottgen GG 2021 Mosel [white] $88.75
-Weingut A. Christmann Aus den Lagen Riesling 2021 Pfalz $38.81
-Weingut A.J.Adam Hofberg GG 2022 Mosel $72.81
-Weingut Schloss Lieser Juffer Sonnenuhr Spatlese 2020 Mosel $42.10
-Domaine Michel Voarick Corton-Charlemagne 2021 Grand Cru Aloxe-Corton $328.68
-Clement Lavallee Bourgogne Cotes d'Auxerre Rouge 2020 Ma Pierre $56
-Clement Lavallee Saint-Bris Les Copains d'Abord 2021 $47.07
-Domaine Derey Bourgogne Montre Cul Marsannay 2021 Rouge $40.64
-Armand Heitz Pommard 1er Cru Pezerolles 2020 $150.03
-Domaine Garcia Marsannay Clos du Roy 2021 Rouge $96.09
-Thiriet Bourgogne Aligote au Jardin Comblanchien 2021 $82.61
-Domaine Francois Mikulski Bourgogne Aligote 2021 Meursault $47.91
-Domaine Georges Glantenay Volnay 2020 $77.81
-Laurent Ponsot Bourgogne Blanc Cuvee du Perce-Neige 2019 $61.67
-Le Chai Duchet Macon Blanc 2022 $24.96

The Downside: there was a Greek wine trade show immediately afterwards.
The Upside: there were only 35 wines to taste.
The Contact Person: info@cgufinewines.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85






Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Culinary Book Reviews for Spring 2024....



MARCH BOOK REVIEWS 2024    

RECIPES FROM MY INDIAN KITCHEN; traditional & modern recipes for delicious home-cooked food (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 2024, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-516-6 $34 CAD hardbound) is by Nitisha Patel, a professional chef doing recipe development and food consulting in the UK. It was originally published in 2017 as "My Modern Indian Kitchen" but these are also her family recipes from India, for over 60 preps of home-cooked Indian food. She has some cultural notes in her primer on spices and then moves on to street food, curries, vegetarian dishes, sides, rice, chutney, raita, and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois measurements (except for the desserts which are scaled, for the most part), but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Indian food lovers looking for modern interpretations.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: amritsari fish pakoras; keralan king prawn curry; malabari mussels; tandoori spatchcock poussin; veg manchurian; goan sausage and king prawn pilaf.
The downside to this book: a little thin on the number of recipes
The upside to this book: colourful, good memoir material in each recipe. Quality/Price Rating: 88, by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.


THE SCANDIKITCHEN COOKBOOK; recipes for good food with love from Scandinavia (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015, 2024, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-599-9 $35 CAD hardbound) is by Bronte Aurell, Danish restaurateur and TV food celebrity, who runs the ScandiKitchen Cafe and shop in central London along with her Swedish husband. It was originally published in 2015 as "The Scandi Kitchen". She has also been published widely. Here she has an introduction to Scandinavian food through 75 dishes for all occasions. The contents begin with a pantry/larder, and move on to breakfast, open sandwiches, smorgasbord with soups and salads and light dishes, followed by dinner and desserts. There is even a chapter on fika (get-together with coffee with cakes). Try the breakfast open sandwich, shrimp and asparagus open sandwich, a Nordic Christmas, or traditional Danish apple trifle as individual servings. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87,  by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.



BEST OF BRIDGE DONE IN ONE; perfect recipes in one pot, pan or skillet (Robert Rose, 2023, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0712-4 $34.95 CAD hardbound) is by Emily Richards (cookbook author and recipe developer)) and Sylvia Kong (cookbook author and food stylist). Both are home economists, and both have been busy revising the Best of Bridge series of cookbooks over the years. After almost half a century and 4 million books they have created a collection of one-pot recipes. This all-new book of 105 recipes uses just one cooking equipment, whether it be an electrical one-pot, a pan, a cast iron pan, a skillet, a bowl or a sheet pan. As always, the new Best of Bridge team look to family-friendly preps, easy-to-prepare meals, after-work dinners, entertaining crowd pleasers, flavour variations, ingredient substitutions, make-aheads, freezer options, easy clean-up, budget conscious foods, and the like. Virtually goof-proof. Here, even kids can make some foods. The range of contents include breakfasts, apps, salads, soups, sandwiches, red meats, poultry, fish and seafood, veggies, sides and desserts. You could try creamy mushroom and lentil orzo, vegetable beef curry, cinnamon-glazed pumpkin sheet-pan pancakes or skillet lasagne. The index includes lists of dishes for each specific pot; there are also recipe icons to guide you through the equipment and the food. It's a good looking book with excellent colour photos and large bold print. And, of course, the publisher is well-known for using BOTH metric and imperial measurements in all the preps. Quality/price rating: 92, by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.



FRENCH FROM THE MARKET (Gibbs Smith, 2024, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-6488-8 $53 CAD hardbound) is by Hillary Davis, cookbook author and lecturer, with about a half dozen or so cookbooks about French cuisine on her resume. Currently, she lives in the Hamptons with several months spent annually in France. Her latest book here has gobs of recipe photos and photos of French markets. Her contents range from starters through to desserts, and emphasizes Parisian foods and South of France foods. This is traditional French cooking, fresh from the market daily. She's simplified a few recipes such as quenelles and tarte Tatin. She's got some innovative recipes such as alpine parsnip hummus with hazelnuts. But mainly it is a French provincial cookbook, with bistro oeufs, a chicken in every pot, Alsatian onion crispbread, Provencal vegetable pistou soup, chilled summer tomato soup with soft garlic breadcrumbs, frisee salad, camargue rice salad, and red wine-poached cherries and grapes with cardamom chantilly among the 100 plus engaging preps. My fave dessert was the Pont Neuf baked figs with brie, walnuts and honey. Yum yum. All the preps have imperial measurements, but there is a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 94, by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.


BOOK OF REAL GUUUD BARBECUE; grilling, slow roasting and smoking, beer-can burgers, fireball whiskey meatballs, venison stew, stuffed alligator, rubs, marinades, and more (Firefly Books, 2024, 256 pages, ISBN 13-978-0-2281-0511-4 $29.95 CAD softbound) is from the BBQ Pit Boys, founded in 2007 as a YouTube cooking channel; they host the largest BBQ community in the world. It is now world-wide with over 2.2 million subscribers and about 1.5 billion views - the most watched BBQ cooks on both YouTube and Facebook. The record shows that they have five million plus followers on all social media platforms. And now, for those without an Internet connection comes a BOOK!! It's all backyard grilling, with material on charcoal, a knife, and rubs/marinades. They thrive on being low-key, much like Bob and Ray were in their prime. There are many basic preps and methods here, for what are basically "grilling" and "slow-bbq" - steaks, fish, pork shoulder, lamb, and many sides. It's just about goof-proof. The book is very colourful with chapters devoted to burgers and sausages, meatballs and pies, beef, pork, lamb, game, poultry, seafood, fish, sides, sauces, et al. Lots of photos of the boys and the meats. As the jacket says: "this isn't just a cookbook, its a way of life." A good book for beginners. Just a couple of quibbles -- no index (look to the chapter contents) and no metric measurements (and no conversion tables). Quality/price rating: 89, by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing.



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Virus-free.www.avg.com

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the MARCH 30 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the MARCH 30 release.
           
                     !!!!THIS IS THE BLUE MOON RELEASE!!!

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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 https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for scores. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced, so I am quitting any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will probably relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with BRONZE being "GOOD".  Significantly, this also fits into my scheme for trade tastings (as noted below).

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )

MAJOR THEME:  Cabs Around the World

Recommended Wines Under $20
========================

W+662775 D'ARENBERG THE HERMIT CRAB VIOGNIER/MARSANNE AUSTRALIA 2022  $17.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+37971 VIENI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 VQA $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+391847 THIERRY DELAUNAY TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BLANC LOIRE 2022 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+465880 RAPAURA SPRINGS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022  NEW ZEALAND $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+25366 TRIUS DISTINCTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON VQA 2021 $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+27204 VISTAMAR GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON  CHILE 2020 $17.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+12281 CHÂTEAU DE RIBEBON 2019 BORDEAUX  $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+328567 CATHEDRAL CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON  SOUTH AFRICA $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
Rose+172643 TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA ROSÉ VQA 2022  $18.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )

Recommended Wines Over $20
======================

Sherry+542746 SÁNCHEZ ROMATE FINO PERDIDO SHERRY $21.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
Fizz+646968 PONGRÁCZ CAP CLASSIQUE ROSÉ  SOUTH AFRICA  $22.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+149302 FEATHERSTONE CANADIAN OAK CHARDONNAY 2022 VQA $24.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+22138 ENRICO SERAFINO GRIFO DEL QUARTARO GAVI DEL COMMUNE DI GAVI  ITALY $24.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+536201 VILLA MARIA WAIRAU VALLEY RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC NEW ZEALAND 2022  $20.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+36232 LUI ÚMILE MALBEC ARGENTINA 2021 $20.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+522235 PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ AUSTRALIA $21.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+323741 ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2019 AUSTRALIA  $21.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+427500 WESTCOTT ESTATE PINOT NOIR VQA 2020 $31.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+175604 CEDARCREEK ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT BC-VQA 2020 $29.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+203364 ERRÁZURIZ ACONCAGUA ALTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON CHILE 2021 $22.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+172692 VINOSIA SANTANDREA TAURASI CAMPANIA 2017 $30.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+16448 CASTELLO DI RADDA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2020 490C 12 $22.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale  through Sunday March 31...only a few days remain as this newsletter goes out on March 27....

W+35386 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NZ, now $17.95, save $3
W+33298 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay WO Elgin South Africa, now $20.95, save $3
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling VQA Beamsville Bench, now $19.95, save $3
R+650432 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany, now $49.95, save $5
R+337238 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, now $21.95, save $3
R+63891 Emiliana Coyam Organic Red Blend Chile, now $29.95, save $5
R+394718 Erath Pinot Noir Oregon, now $23.95, save $3
R+168716 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Midi France, now $14.95, save $3
R+425488 Sella & Mosca Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna Sardinia, now $16.95, save $3
R+149237 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3
R+303800 Trius Red VQA Niagara, now $24.95, save $3

APRIL LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale Monday April 1 through Sunday April 28...

W+84988 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, now $29.95, save $3
W+68817 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Chardonnay VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, now $29.95, save $2
W+13311 Lone Birch Chardonnay Yakima Washington, now $19.95, save $3
R+30957 Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenere La Pataguas Vineyard Rapel Chile, now $16.95, save $3
R+274753 Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir VQA Beamsville Bench, now $34.94, save $3
R+626390 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir New Zealand, now $19.95, save $3
R+727636 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2020 IGT Toscana, now $31.95, save $3


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

REPORT FROM ROGERS & COMPANY PORTFOLIO TRADE TASTING OCTOBER 2023

The Event: Rogers & Company Portfolio Trade Tasting
The Venue: George, Queen Street
The Target Audience: wine trade, sommeliers, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: a good paper catalogue with prices, regional descriptions, and space for notes.
The Quote/Background: many principals attended the tasting and did most of the pouring.
New this year was Arthur de Lencquesaing from Marques de Murrieta, this year's guest of honour.
The Wines: There were more than 135 wines to sample; I did not taste all of them. Prices are licensee only.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Blue Mountain Brut NV VQA Okanagan $32.99
-Tenuta Cocci Grifoni Tara Falerio Pecorino 2022 Le Marche $18.49
-Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa $105.99
-Marques de Murrieta Capellania 2018 [white, viura] $125.99
-Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Rioja 2019 $249.99
-Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011 $299.99
-Lis Neris Jusosa Chardonnay 2019 Friuli  $52.99
-Lis Neris Confini 2018 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer Friuli $64.99
-Domaine "Luquet Le Pavillon" Macon-Villages 2021 $27.99
-Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec 2022 Loire $50.99
-Olivier Leflaive Freres Les Setilles 2020 Burgundy $47.99
-Chanson Pere et Fils Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 2020 $139.99
-Champagne Bollinger PNC AY18 NV $141.99
-Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee NV $85.99
-Champagne Bollinger RD Extra Brut 2008 $389.99
-Peay Vineyards Estate Chardonnay West Sonoma Coast 2021 $96.99
-Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2022 $80.99 [my fave of the day]
-Shafer "One Point Five" Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Napa $159.99
-Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Napa $489.99
-WINC Porter & Plot Chardonnay 2020 Central Coast California $22.99
-Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2020 Napa $98.99
-Faust "The Pact" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 $122.99
-Duckhorn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Napa $134.99
-Duckhorn "Three Palms" Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot 2020 $137.99


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-The Organized Crime Winery Limestone Block Chardonnay 2021 Beamsville Bench $19.71
-Pazo Senorans Albarino Rias Baixas Spain $32.99
-Domaine Henry Pelle Sancere "La Croix au Garde" 2022 Loire $33.99
-Domaine La Meuliere Chablis 2022  $33.99
-Olivier Leflaive Freres Montagny 1er cru Bonneveaux 2019 $76.99
-Champagne Bollinger Rose Brut NV $119.99
-Paul Hobbs CrossBarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020 $39.99
-Flowers Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2022 $54.99
-Vins Denuziere Cornas 2021 $63.99
-Share a Splash Wine Company Cannonball Chardonnay 2021 California $18.99
-Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre Saint-Julien 2018 $81.99


The Food: there was a cheese platter with appropriate fromages ranging from runny through to hard, plus some blue cheese. I was there only for the first hour and a half, and sampled some of the four hot platters. There was a platter of George burger with a brioche bun slider, a shrimp tempura with white sauce, a mozzarella orancini/arancini, and a chicken satay skewer.
The Downside: as always, it got crowded really fast.
The Upside: a major opportunity to taste some really fine expensive wines.
The Contact Person: s.stoddart@rogcowines.com or j.clarke@rogcowines.com
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 http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO’s March Limited Time Offer selections

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale  through Sunday March 31:

W+35386 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NZ, now $17.95, save $3
W+33298 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay WO Elgin South Africa, now $20.95, save $3
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling VQA Beamsville Bench, now $19.95, save $3
R+650432 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany, now $49.95, save $5
R+337238 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, now $21.95, save $3
R+63891 Emiliana Coyam Organic Red Blend Chile, now $29.95, save $5
R+394718 Erath Pinot Noir Oregon, now $23.95, save $3
R+168716 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Midi France, now $14.95, save $3
R+425488 Sella & Mosca Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna Sardinia, now $16.95, save $3
R+149237 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3
R+303800 Trius Red VQA Niagara, now $24.95, save $3



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the MARCH 16 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the MARCH 16 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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 https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for scores. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced, so I am quitting any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will probably relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with BRONZE being "GOOD".  Significantly, this also fits into my scheme for trade tastings (as noted below).

MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )

MAJOR THEME:  Food and Wine Pairing

Recommended Wines Under $20
======================
W+19379 TRIUS DISTINCTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021 VQA $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+347740 MATETIC CORRALILLO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 CHILE $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+24610 BOUGRIER MUSCADET-SÈVRE ET MAINE 2022 LOIRE $15.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+350124 LE JADE PICPOUL DE PINET 2022 MIDI $16.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+698324 DEMORGENZON DMZ SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 SOUTH AFRICA $18.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+640854 SALENTEIN RESERVE MALBEC 2021 ARGENTINA  $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+166298 LA POSTA PIZZELLA FAMILY MALBEC 2022 ARGENTINA  $16.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+77824 13TH STREET GAMAY 2017 VQA $19.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+131540 FEATHERSTONE RED TAIL MERLOT 2021 VQA NIAGARA  $19.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+35966 MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC MOULIN DE GASSAC GUILHEM 2022 LANGUEDOC  $15.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+421024 LAVAU CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2019 $16.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+278150 NIRO DI CITRA MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2019  $17.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+396382 ZACCAGNINI TRALCETTO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO 2021 $18.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+35933 12 E MEZZO PRIMITIVO DEL SALENTO 2020 PUGLIA  $17.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )

Recommended Wines Over $20
======================
FIZZ+401018 LABOURÉ-GONTARD BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE  $22.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+47621 SKUTTLEBUTT SAUVIGNON BLANC/SEMILLON 2022 AUSTRALIA  $21.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+15054 ELDERTON EDEN VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2022 AUSTRALIA $24.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+573147 MALIVOIRE ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY 2022 VQA $21.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+983395 PIERRE SPARR GRANDE RÉSERVE PINOT GRIS 2021 $20.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
W+946848 PIEROPAN SOAVE CLASSICO 2022 VENETO $20.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
W+483933 LOLO ALBARIÑO 2022 SPAIN $21.95  MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+12331 PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2022 AUSTRALIA $22.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+523001 CAVE SPRING ESTATE GROWN CABERNET FRANC 2021 VQA $20.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+17239 BACHELDER LES VILLAGES GAMAY NOIR 2021 VQA $26.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+516765 JEAN-PIERRE MOUEIX BORDEAUX 2019 $18.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+637835 CHÂTEAU DES TOURS BROUILLY 2021 BEAUJOLAIS $20.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+573493 CLEMENTE VII GRAN SELEZIONE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2019  TUSCANY $36.95 MVC/QPR=BETTER (86-89)
R+171587 FARINA LE PEZZE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2020 $41.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+446484 DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS 2021 SPAIN $28.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )
R+209148 MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA 2018 RIOJA $37.95 MVC/QPR=BEST (90+ )


LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale  through Sunday March 31:

W+35386 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NZ, now $17.95, save $3
W+33298 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay WO Elgin South Africa, now $20.95, save $3
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling VQA Beamsville Bench, now $19.95, save $3
R+650432 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany, now $49.95, save $5
R+337238 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, now $21.95, save $3
R+63891 Emiliana Coyam Organic Red Blend Chile, now $29.95, save $5
R+394718 Erath Pinot Noir Oregon, now $23.95, save $3
R+168716 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Midi France, now $14.95, save $3
R+425488 Sella & Mosca Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna Sardinia, now $16.95, save $3
R+149237 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3
R+303800 Trius Red VQA Niagara, now $24.95, save $3

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

REPORT ON PROFILE WINE GROUP PORTFOLIO TASTING...Fall 2023

The Event: Profile Wine Group Portfolio Trade Tasting 2023
The Venue: Liberty Grand  (Exhibition Place)
The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers.
The Availability/Catalogue: Everything was available via QR code
The Quote/Background: Having the food samples from Don Alfonso was a nice touch.
The Wines: All prices are retail.

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Miner Chardonnay Napa $63
-Corezza Spumante Method Traditionale $35.99
-Argyle Vintage Brut Oregon 2018 $43
-Textbook Sonoma Chardonnay 2022 $41
-J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay 2021 $43
-Pierre Sparr Cremant Brut Reserva NV $27
-Pierre Sparr Cremant Brut Rose Reserva NV $28
-Deux Roches Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2021 $60
-Deux Roches Pouilly Fuisse Les Crays 2021 $70
-Deux Roches St Veran Rives de Longsault 2021 $45
-Palmaz Chardonnay Amalia 2019 $139
-Palmaz Cedar Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 $123
-Palmaz NAPA 2018 $277
-Chateau Mailliard Gregory NV $62
-Chateau Mailliard Prestige Blanc de Blanc 2016 $85

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Phermento Lambrusco di Sorbana 2021 $34.99
-Borgo Conventi Ribolla Gialla 2022 $30.99
-Borgo Conventi Isonzo Pinto Grigio 2021 $26.99
-Villa Sandi La Rivetta 120 Valdobbiadonme Prosecco NV $35
-Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2020 $69
-Solid Ground Chardonnay California 2022 $20
-Dough Chardonnay California 2020 $25
-Markham Chardonnay 2021 $40
-Casale del Giglio Bianco Lazio $24
-Madame Veuve Point Chablis 2022 $44
-Madame Veuve Point Beaune 1er Cru Pimants 2020 $94
-Madame Veuve Point Gevrey Chambertin Rouge 2019 $113
-Chateau Mailliard Alexia Rose NV $75
-Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2021 $25
-Wakefield Jaraman Chardonnay 2021 $25
-Morambo Creek Chardonnay 2021 Australia $35
-Satrco Bianco Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc 2022 $26

The Food: platters of sundried tomatoes, a mix of artichoke hearts, pepperettes, capicola, mortadella, ham, parmesan chunks, pickled beets, eggplant, grilled zucchini, marinated mushrooms, mixed olives, whipped gorgonzola, fig syrup, foccacia. As a special treat, Don Alfonso restaurant provided both La Rissiola (cured amberjack, chives, yogurt, fava bean) and Il Raviolo (pheasant, oyster mushrooms, parmesan cheese, black truffle).
The Downside: it got crowded really fast.
The Upside: a chance to experience some really great wines.
The Contact Person: aprodhon@profilewinegroup.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Virus-free.www.avg.com

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for the MARCH 2 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for the MARCH 2 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. 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  https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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 https://pages.pathcom.com/~dtudor 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).
I was one of the first to jump on the Robert Parker bandwagon, using numerical indications for scores. Why? Because with a database I could rate, rank and order wines in any fashion. It was just so convenient using databases. Unfortunately, the numerical system has been shown to be disgraced, so I am quitting any ranking by number. From now on, it will just be GOOD, BETTER and BEST, which will give me some wiggle room (e.g. is this wine an 87, 88, 89, or 90? Or all of them...depends on my mood and time of day). With the rigorous standards and lab testing by the LCBO, I can safely say that every single wine at the LCBO is at least GOOD, which I would numerically rank at 75-85 points. For reasons of time and space, I will NOT be listing GOOD wines. Just the BETTER (86-89) and BEST (90+ ) wines. This spread of points will probably relate to SILVER and GOLD medals, with BRONZE being "GOOD".  Significantly, this also fits into my scheme for trade tastings (as noted below).

MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )

MAJOR THEME: Women in Wine -- Italian Taste-Makers

Recommended Wines Under $20
======================

FIZZ+36395 SAN MARTINO CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE EXTRA DRY PROSECCO
$18.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+36181 WAPISA PATAGONIA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022 $19.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+31534 DOMÄNE WACHAU TERRASSEN FEDERSPIEL GRÜNER VELTLINER AUSTRIA 2022 $19.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+387787 LES HAUTS DE LAGARDE BLANC BORDEAUX 2022 $19.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+910554 ANSELMANN EDESHEIMER ROSENGARTEN SIEGERREBE SPÄTLESE PFALZ 2021 $17.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+195115 DONNAFUGATA ANTHÌLIA BIANCO SICILY 2022 $19.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+555466 D.V. CATENA HISTORIC RED BLEND 2021 ARGENTINA $19.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+478271 SISTER'S RUN OLD TESTAMENT CABERNET SAUVIGNON AUSTRALIA 2021 $18.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+36545 CHÂTEAU LAMOTHE-VINCENT RÉSERVE MERLOT/CABERNET BORDEAUX 2000 $18 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+487868 CHÂTEAU L'ESPÉRANCE 2014 $16.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+36486 TERRE DI GER MERLOT 2021 FRIULI $18.35 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+36320 VELENOSI BIO ROSSO PICENO SUPERIORE MARCHE 2021 $18.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+37790 COLIO 28 BARRELS RESERVE CABERNET FRANC VQA  2020  $19.95 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )
R+668707 MORANDÉ VITIS UNICA CABERNET SAUVIGNON CHILE 2021 $18 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )

Recommended Wines Over $20
======================

W+33565 DE BORTOLI ESTATE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY AUSTRALIA 2019 $24.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+131169 NORMAN HARDIE RIESLING VQA PEC 2017 $21.20 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+461640 WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS 2021 $36.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
W+33260 PAPAGIANNAKOS ASSYRTIKO 2022 $24.95 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )
W+40642 DEU LA DEU MONÇÃO E MELGAÇO ALVARINHO PORTUGAL 2022  $22.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+267146 ST. HUBERTUS OAK BAY PINOT NOIR BC VQA 2021 $21.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+26424 KACABA CABERNET/SYRAH 2020 VQA NIAGARA $24.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+36166 CASAS DEL BOSQUE GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE CHILE 2022 $22.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+331900 E. GUIGAL GIGONDAS RHONE 2020 $47.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+35959 DONNAFUGATA DOLCE & GABBANA TANCREDI SICILY 2020 $62.95 MVC/QPR: BETTER (86-89)
R+113357 DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2018 $73.95 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )
R+174334 GAJA CA'MARCANDA PROMIS 2021 $79.95 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )
R+155408 MARCHESI DI BAROLO BARBARESCO $42.95 MVC/QPR: BEST (90+ )

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offer selections...these  are "better"  value...on sale  through Sunday March 31:

W+35386 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NZ, now $17.95, save $3
W+33298 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay WO Elgin South Africa, now $20.95, save $3
W+24133 Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling VQA Beamsville Bench, now $19.95, save $3
R+650432 Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany, now $49.95, save $5
R+337238 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, now $21.95, save $3
R+63891 Emiliana Coyam Organic Red Blend Chile, now $29.95, save $5
R+394718 Erath Pinot Noir Oregon, now $23.95, save $3
R+168716 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Midi France, now $14.95, save $3
R+425488 Sella & Mosca Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna Sardinia, now $16.95, save $3
R+149237 The Foreign Affair The Conspiracy VQA Niagara, now $16.95, save $3
R+303800 Trius Red VQA Niagara, now $24.95, save $3

 
REPORT ON MARK ANTHONY PORTFOLIO TASTING

The Date and Time: Monday September 25, 2023   5P-9P
The Event: Mark Anthony's Port to Place Portfolio Tasting
The Venue: Second Floor Events King Street west
The Target Audience: private buyers, sommeliers, wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: There was a paper listing, with label photo, for all of the wines and spirits, and with prices. It was arranged alphabetically (for the most part) by winery or ownership, or by first name. They did a good job for all of the details of all of the products.
The Wines: I did not try wines that were available at the LCBO. Nor did I try any fortified wines or spirits or seltzers. Prices are retail, for consignment (con) and private orders (po).

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alois Lageder Chardonnay Alto Adige 2022, $20.95 private order
-Alois Lageder Porer Pinot Grigio 2022, $33.95 po
-Attems Ramato DOC Fruili Rose 2022, $24 con
-Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG 2019, $59.95 con
-Bertani Soave Original Vintage Edition DOC 2022, +36341 con Dec 2023, $27.25
-Brotte Domaine Barville Red CDP 2018, $60.95  po
-Brumont Montus Pacherenc Vich Bihl 2015, $43.95  con
-Chateau St Jean Chardonnay 2021, $19.95 po
-Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages Sonoma 2018, $132 con
-Henkell Cremant de Loire Brut AOC NV, Vintages, $21.95
-Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs NV $42.25 con
-Segura Viudas Heredad Cava NV Vintages December $39.95
-Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022, $24.95 con
-Checkmate Fool's Mate Chardonnay 2019, $95
-Lanson Black Label Champagne NV, %86.75
-Lanson Rose Champagne NV, $79.95 po
-Lanson Le Vintage 2012, $99.95
-Davis Bynum Chardonnay 2021 $34.95  po
-Tenuta Luce Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2018 $165.95  con
-Gabbiano Riserva Chianti Classico 2028  $24.65  con
-Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon  2019 Vintages $47.95

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Grigio 2022, $21.95 consignment
-Arboleda Chardonnay 2021 Chile $19.95 po
-Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2021, $14.95 po
-Brotte Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne Creation Grosset 2020, $21.95 po
-Brotte Cotes du Rhone Villages Laudun Bord Elegance 2022, $18.95 po
-Austin Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, $29.95 con
-Martin's Lane Simes Pinot Noir 2019, $99.95 con
-Louis Latour Macon Lugny Les Genievres 2020 $29.95 con
-Rodney Strong  Sonoma Chardonnay 2020 $19.25 con
-The Wine Group Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2022 $17.95  con
-The Wine Group Band of Roses 2021  $26.95  po
-The Wine Group Imagery Sauvignon Blanc 2022  Vintages  $23.95

The Food: there were cheese and charcuterie boards loaded with salami, Celtic blue cheese, Beemster cheese, rye crisps, grapes, various fruit sauces (peaches, etc.)
The Downside: the food disappeared quickly (but then, this is a wine tasting not a food tasting).
The Upside: a chance to evaluate recent vintages
The Contact Person: scaputo@markanthonywines.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89



Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com
http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

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