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  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release July 20, 2019: Under $20 + Italian Whites



LCBO Wine Picks: July 20, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The upcoming July 20, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release features 20 Wines Under $20 as the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at fresh Italian white wines. All of these wines, plus those as part of the Main Release will be on VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We'll begin with the main theme that lists 20 wines under $20, of which only 3 are include among my top wine picks. The first wine from this group is a dry $19 Prosecco that is made with the Glera grape varietal. The lone white is a $15 Chenin Blanc from South Africa, while the red is a lovely $17 Ventoux from the southern Rhône Valley that consists of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre.

Xavier Vignon Ventoux 2017 (89 pts)Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2018 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme on fresh Italian white wines, five of the seven wines featured are included among my top wine recommendations. The idea behind this theme to get everyone to try some of the other fine white grape varietals from Italy and look beyond Pinot Grigio. First up is a Fiano, an ancient grape from at least the 13th century. Pecorino (not the cheese) is fresh, floral and vibrant and often comes from Abruzzo. Falanghina is my favourite Italian white wine varietal and often comes from the hilly, volcanic soils of Campania. The Greco varietal is also common in Campania and offers a distinct smoky minerality. Lastly, there is a premium, barrel-fermented and aged Trebbiano di Lugana (aka Verdicchio) from Piedmont.

Sergio Zenato Riserva Lugana 2016 (91 pts)Terre Stregate Svelato Falanghina del Sannio 2016 (89 pts)

Janare Fiano 2017 (89 pts)Citra Ferzo Abruzzo Pecorino Superiore 2017 (88 pts)

Lava Greco di Tufo 2017 (88 pts)

Among my red wine picks from the rest of the Release, the red wine from New Zealand is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Malbec. From Rhône, the Rasteau is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Côtes du Rhône is equal parts Syrah and Grenache, plus some Mourvèdre. The blend from Roussillon consists of 50% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, and 10% Grenache, and 2015 Bordeaux consists of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lastly, from Spain, the Reserva is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, while the Crianza consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, and 5% Graciano.

Ka Tahi Merlot/Malbec 2015 (90 pts)Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2017 (89 pts)

Ortas Tradition Rasteau 2017 (88 pts)Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache 2016 (88+ pts)

Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2014 (88 pts)

From my white wine picks, all are single varietal wines. One of the stand outs is the always excellent Assyrtiko from Greece. If you prefer sweet wines, look for the Riesling Kabinett from Mosel.

Argyros Assyrtiko 2017 (90+ pts)Max Ferd. Richter Elisenberger Riesling Kabinett 2016 (90+ pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES CRIANZA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#638775) (D) - $16.95  88 pts  wine review
  • XAVIER VIGNON VENTOUX 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#413211) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ORTAS TRADITION RASTEAU 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#998716) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • XAVIER VIGNON CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#297317) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • BELLINGHAM HOMESTEAD SHIRAZ 2017 - WO Paarl, South Africa (#698290) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2016 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#413245) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • KA TAHI MERLOT/MALBEC 2015 - Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand (#645192) (XD) - $23.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU HAUT SELVE 2015 - AC Graves, Bordeaux, France (#738120) (XD) - $24.95
  • VIVANCO RESERVA 2012 - Selección de Familia, DOCa Rioja, Spain (#293431) (XD) - $29.95
  • YANGARRA SHIRAZ 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#911974) (XD) - $34.95  FE
Bellingham Homestead Shiraz 2017 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH CHENIN BLANC 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#698274) (XD) - $14.95  89 pts  wine review
  • WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2017 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#711556) (XD) - $16.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • JANARE FIANO 2017 - DOP Sannio, Campania, Italy (#528786) (D) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • CITRA FERZO ABRUZZO PECORINO SUPERIORE 2017 - DOP, Abruzzo, Italy (#573683) (D) $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • TERRE STREGATE SVELATO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2016 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#486076) (XD) - $18.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LAVA GRECO DI TUFO 2017 - DOCG, Campania, Italy (#631739) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PENINSULA RIDGE WISMER VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#155580) (D) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • MAX FERD. RICHTER ELISENBERGER RIESLING KABINETT 2016 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#665984) (S) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO 2017 - PDO Santorini, Greece (#387365) (XD) - $29.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • SERGIO ZENATO RISERVA LUGANA 2016 - DOC, Veneto, Italy (#928218) (D) - $39.95  91 pts  wine review
  • FLOWERS CHARDONNAY 2017 - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA (#215210) (XD) - $59.95  FE
Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Chardonnay 2017 (88+ pts)Peninsula Ridge Wismer Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Rosé Wine:

  • HACIENDA LOPEZ DE HARO ROSADO 2018 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#450775) (XD) - $13.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PLANETA ROSÉ 2018 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#111856) (XD) - $17.95  89 pts  wine review
  • LA CADIÉRENNE CUVÉE GRANDE TRADITION BANDOL ROSÉ 2018 - AC, Provence, France (#119453) (XD) - $22.95  91 pts  wine review
La Cadiérenne Cuvée Grande Tradition Bandol Rosé 2018 (91 pts)Planeta Rosé 2018 (89 pts)

Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rosado 2018 (88 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • LE MONDE BRUT PROSECCO - DOC Friuli Grave, Italy (#634121) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVINO MUSCAT - PDO Samos, Greece (#113092) (S) (500 mL) - $12.95  88 pts  wine review
Cavino Muscat (88 pts)


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