First image of this post
  • Date publishedSaturday, February 21, 2015

Feb. 21 LCBO Wine Picks: Australia 2012 + Award-Winning Ontario Wines

Wine Picks from February 21, 2015 LCBO VINTAGES Release
Here are my wine picks from today's release. Apologies for the delay in posting my picks from the LCBO VINTAGES release as I am currently on vacation and had to deal with jet lag, a minor bout with a stomache virus, and a death in the family. Therefore, this will be a short write-up.

This release focuses on Australia's magnificent 2012 vintage, while the mini-theme highlights four award-winning local Ontario wines, three of which are included among my wine recommendations below. The wines from Château des Charmes, Peller Estates and Inniskillin are all award winners.

From the 16 wines featured in the Australia theme, four of the wines made my wine picks. Included in my list below is a dry (not sweet) Riesling, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a pair of Australian Shirazes. Down the road, I will be anxiously awaiting an aged Semillon from this fine vintage.


Red Wine:
  • ROTLLÁN TORRA 2010 - DOCa Priorat, Spain (#267989) (XD) - $18.95
  • BLEASDALE MULBERRY TREE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 - Langhorne Creek, South Australia (#661892) (XD) - $17.95
  • FOWLES STONE DWELLERS SHIRAZ 2012 - Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia (#265967) (XD) - $19.95
  • LENTO LAMEZIA RISERVA 2010 - DOC Lamezia Rosso, Calabria, Italy (#972208) (XD) - $19.95
  • QUINTA DO MONDEGO 2009 - DOC Dão, Portugal (#399766) (XD) - $19.95
  • VIÑA CASABLANCA NIMBUS SINGLE VINEYARD SYRAH 2011 - Casablanca Valley, Chile (#399386) (XD) - $19.95
  • CHÂTEAU MOULINS-LISTRAC 2010 - AC Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France (#403048) (XD) - $21.95
  • DOMAINE DU GRAPILLON D’OR GIGONDAS 2012 - AC, Rhône, France (#981787) (XD) - $32.95
  • YANGARRA SHIRAZ 2012 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#911974) (XD) - $32.95
  • FONTODI CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#933317) (XD) - $34.95

White Wine:
  • JEAN BIECHER & FILS RESERVE RIESLING 2012 - AP Alsace, France (#403105) (D) - $14.95
  • RIDGE ROAD RIESLING 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#346858) (M) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES OLD VINES RIESLING 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#277228) (D) - $16.95  reviewed here
  • LAWSON’S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#214460) (XD) - $18.95
  • ESSER CHARDONNAY 2012 - Monterey County, California, USA (#675017) (XD) - $18.95
  • WITHER HILLS RARANGI SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#288134) (XD) - $21.95
  • BURNING KILN STICK SHAKER SAVAGNIN 2013 - VQA Ontario, Canada (#367144) (D) - $24.95
  • JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL DRY RIESLING 2012 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#262469) (XD) - $25.95
  • ANDREW PELLER SIGNATURE SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#405043) (XD) - $30.20  reviewed here
  • HARTFORD COURT CHARDONNAY 2012 - Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#404277) (XD) - $39.95  reviewed here

  • LUSTAU PENÍNSULA SOLERA RESERVA PALO CORTADO - DO Jerez, Spain (#677856) (D) (375 mL) - $18.95  Flagship Store Exclusive
  • DALVA 20-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT - DOP, Portugal (#400689) (S) - $46.95

Dessert Wine:
  • INNISKILLIN DISCOVERY SERIES BOTRYTIS AFFECTED VIOGNIER 2013 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#405027) (S) (375 mL) - $39.95

The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.


  1. I must say, for all the mouth-frothing about the 2012 vintage in Australia, the main feature of this release just left me... uninterested. I was thinking at first about the Dandelion GSM, given the high scores of the Shirazes we've seen recently in Ontario, but then I remembered I don't think those Shirazes are all that great -- overblown, like so much from Down Under. The ones you've included here all seem promising, and I especially like anything from Jim Barry, but they're all a bit more than I want to pay for them.

    Otherwise, in an otherwise meager release overall, I ended up putting the Chateau Moulins-Listrac at the top of my list. Just seems like a 2010 worth investing in. There's great value from those satellite appellations, and the reviews all seem very positive. Again, our lists overlap a great deal. My next picks -- simply by virtue of interest on my part, as I haven't tried them yet -- are the Rotllan Torra, the Vina Casablanca, and the Lento Lamezia. I initially nixed the first of those, partly because of Michael Godel's point that you should be wary of cheaper offerings from famous, expensive regions. But then I remembered that I don't usually agree with him, that his reviews are as overblown as a cheap Australian Shiraz, and that, contrary to his point, an affordable offering from a famous, expensive region might just offer great value and a good sense of what that region has to offer at higher price ranges.

    Oh, I guess I should add, for Ontario content, that I do intend on getting hold of the Stick Shaker. I really like Burning Kiln as an unheralded producer from an even more unheralded part of the province, and I was greatly impressed with the 2012 version -- one of the most fascinating whites I've ever had. I think I gave it an 89 when I had it last year, but it appears that the 2013 might just be even better.

    Finally, a question: What are your thoughts on the Hedges Red 2011? I tend to like Washington State blends, and this one seems really interesting, with great across-the-board scores at WineAlign, but the price ($34.95) seems prohibitive. Is it worth it? Is the price a result of small-quantity artisanal winemaking, which I can get behind, or overhyped West Coast marketing?

  2. Apologies for the delayed reply, Michael! It's been a pretty hectic couple of weeks.

    Agreed - the 2012 Australian did seem a bit overblown, with only a few worthy wines considering. However, some of this may be due to the LCBO's case requirement. I would imagine a much better selection is available if we went to Australia ourselves.

    A friend of mine purchased the Château Moulins-Listrac, based on my recommendation, and did not enjoy it at first. However, after she let it breathe, it was drinking beautifully. It is a 2010, after all, and will reward with time and/or decanting.

    The reason I included the Stick Shaker is because we don't often see Savagnin on shelves - and this one is a great introduction to the grape.

    The 2011 Hedges Red was close to making my list. However, since it was the same wine (and vintage) that was released on March 1, 2014, I opted to omit it. But yes, it is a quality red. Generally speaking, I also tend to enjoy Washington State wines, but often find them to be overpriced. Personally, I believe many of the expensive wines on the market throughout the world are the product of marketing. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blog Archive

Posts by Tag

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget



BOTW Blogs - Vintages Wine Picks and Reviews
My Zimbio
Blogarama - Drinks & Beverages Blogs
Top Wine Sites
Wine blog
RSSChomp Blog Directory