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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release May 26, 2018: Makers + Fizz + Sake

LCBO Wine Picks: May 26, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The next LCBO VINTAGES Release on comes to us with the major theme titled "Makers" and focuses on women in wine, while the two mini-themes focus on sparkling wines and sake. New wines will be on shelves across Ontario by .

We'll begin with the main theme that features 16 women in wine that have made indelible marks in the wine world. There are 21 wines featured, and 8 are included among my top wine picks. From the Lungarotti family, Theresa was one of Italy's first female winemakers, while Chiara is the CEO of Lungarotti - their wines from Umbria are the entry-level Rubesco that is primarily Sangiovese, with Colorino completing the blend, while the single vineyard Monticchio Rubesco is 100% Sangiovese. Virginia Willcock was instrumental in the evolution of Margaret River's reputation as a fine wine region, and has been the chief winemaker at Vasse Felix since 2006, creating her lovely Chardonnay year after year.

Geneviève Janssens is the director of winemaking at Robert Mondavi, and their Fumé Blanc (barrel-fermented and barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc) is a quality wine. Winemaker Andrea Mullineux saw the potential for making fine wine in Swartland and helped revolutionize and revitalize the region, and both of her wines are included among my top wine picks; the Kloof Street is a blend of 94% Syrah, 4% Cinsault, and 2% Carignan, while the Mullineux Old Vines White is a blend of 62% Chenin Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc, 11% Viognier, 8% Clairette Blanche, and 4% Semillon Gris.

On the local front, Dr. Belinda Kemp is senior oenologist at the CCOVI at Brock University and is at the forefront of research on aroma and flavour in sparkling and appassimento wines, as well as leading studies on clones, soil type and canopy management; associated to this woman in wine is the Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs that is made with 60% Chardonnay and 40% Chardonnay Musqué. I've had the pleasure of meeting Louise Engel, co-owner at Featherstone in Niagara, and along with her commitment to eco-farming, she was the first in Canada to employ falconry to patrol the vineyards and keep the starlings at bay; Featherstone's Cabernet Franc is featured in this Release.

The mini-theme on sparkling wines is more fizzle than fizz, with none of the ten wines included my top wine recommendations. If you're in the market for some sake, this might be a good time to pick up a bottle as there are four listed, three of which are new to VINTAGES.

From the rest of the release, among my top red wine picks, there are a pair Rhône reds from the excellent 2015 vintage - the Luberon is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, while from neighbouring Ventoux is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah. From the excellent 2010 Bordeaux vintage, the Ch. Brown is a Flagship Exclusive (FE) that is a nicely mature blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. And lastly, from Tuscany the Chianti Classico is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Villa Antinori Riserva Chianti Classico 2013 (90 pts)

Among my top white wine picks, the Rhône white is a blend of 60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8 % Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, and 2% Grenache Blanc. Sweet wine lovers should seek out the Niagara Riesling or the Riesling Kabinett from Mosel.

From my rosé wine picks, the Berne is a blend of Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache Noir, while the Saint Roch is a 50/50 blend of Grenache Gris and Mourvèdre. Lastly, the Doctors' Rosé is a unique blend of Pinot Noir and Arneis.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • MARRENON VERSANT NORD LUBERON 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#537969) (XD) - $15.95
  • SISTER’S RUN BETHLEHEM BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Gomersal, Barossa, South Australia (#360636) (XD) - $18.95
  • LUNGAROTTI RUBESCO SANGIOVESE/COLORINO 2014 - DOC Rosso di Torgiano, Umbria, Italy (#368548) (XD) - $18.95
  • FEATHERSTONE CABERNET FRANC 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#064618) (D) - $19.95
  • KLOOF STREET 2016 - WO Swartland, South Africa (#460964) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU JUVÉNAL LA TERRE DU PETIT HOMME 2015 - AC Ventoux, Rhône, France (#490672) (XD) - $27.95  FE
  • VILLA ANTINORI RISERVA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#540971) (XD) - $29.95  90 pts  wine review
  • SOKOL BLOSSER PINOT NOIR 2014 - Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#748434) (XD) - $35.95  91 pts  wine review
  • PHELPS CREEK PINOT NOIR 2014 - Columbia Gorge, Oregon, USA (#557538) (XD) - $48.95  FE
  • CHÂTEAU BROWN 2010 - AC Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France (#496646) (XD) - $66.95  FE
Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir 2014 (91 pts)

White Wine:

  • NURAGICO JUSTU VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA 2016 - DOC, Sardinia, Italy (#541516) (XD) - $14.95
  • LOMA LARGA LOMAS DEL VALLE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#283630) (XD) - $15.95
  • FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#068015) (XD) - $17.95
  • DIM EDGEWATER RIESLING 2015 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#547364) (M) - $19.95
  • E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#290296) (XD) - $19.95
  • ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC 2015 - 50th Anniversary, Napa Valley, California, USA (#221887) (XD) - $22.95
  • STUDERT-PRÜM MAXIOMINHOF WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING KABINETT 2016 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#970129) (S) - $25.95
  • RODNEY STRONG CHALK HILL CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#275552) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • VASSE FELIX FILIUS CHARDONNAY 2017 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#416511) (XD) - $26.95
  • MULLINEUX OLD VINES WHITE 2016 - Unfiltered & unfined, WO Swartland, South Africa (#556597) (XD) - $36.95
Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2015 (90 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DE BERNE TERRES DE BERNE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#278861) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHÂTEAU SAINT ROCH LE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, Midi, France (#557900) (XD) - $17.95
  • THE DOCTORS’ ROSÉ 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#498428) (D) - $19.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#213983) (XD) - $29.95


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