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  • Date publishedTuesday, January 5, 2021

January 9, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Smart Buys + Organic Wines

LCBO Wine Picks: January 9, 2021 VINTAGES Release
Happy New Year! The January 9, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release is the first Release of the year. As per the usual, it is the annual Smart Buys Release, but new for 2021 is the addition of a feature on Organic wines. Overall, this is a noticeably smaller Release than past years, and is perhaps a sign of things to come for future VINTAGES Release - time will tell. Nevertheless, there are some fantastic wines in this Release and all should be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme on Smart Buys. It's a large feature with 20 wines listed, of which five that are all under $20 and included among my top wine picks. At the top of this list is a lovely Malbec from Argentina (2018 vintage tasted here). Also from the Southern Hemisphere, there is a nice Carmenère from Chile, as well as a lovely Australian Shiraz that returns to my list of recommended wines, and a fine Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The only "Smart Buy" from the Northern Hemisphere is a Cairanne from Rhône that consists of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre.

Apaltagua Envero Gran Reserva Carmenère 2015 (88+ pts)

From the mini-theme on organic wines, there are only five wines listed, but a couple are included among my top organic wine recommendations. First up is a Viognier from Australia, while the second wine is the always lovely Emiliana Coyam from Chile that is a blend of 43% Syrah, 29% Carmenère, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Mourvedre, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Carignan, 2% Malbec, 2% Garnacha, and 1% Tempranillo.

Emiliana Coyam 2017 (91 pts)

Among my red wine picks, from France, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre, while the Bordeaux red consists of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a splash of Petit Verdot. The only other blend is from Tuscany, a Super Tuscan that consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese. Single varietal wines include the Barolo that is made with Nebbiolo and an Aglianico from Campania. There are also a pair of lovely Cabernet Sauvignon wines - one from Argentina and one from Chile.

Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (90 pts)Trapiche Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (89 pts)

It was a very small Release of white wines, thus, my list of white wine recommendations is also smaller than usual. There are a pair of fine Chardonnays - one from Burgundy and one from Argentina, as well as a lovely Albariño from Spain. Last, but definitely not the least, there is a fine, higher-end Pinot Grigio from Südtirol – Alto Adige in Northern Italy.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers and stay safe!

Red Wine:

  • TRAPICHE MEDALLA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Mendoza, Argentina (#568865) (XD) - $17.00  89 pts  wine review
  • VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - DO Maipo Valley, Chile (#18721) (XD) - $17.95  90 pts  wine review
  • APALTAGUA ENVERO GRAN RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2015 - Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#481010) (XD) $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • COLAB AND BLOOM SHIRAZ 2018 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#16043) (XD) - $19.95
  • ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC 2019 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#723478) (XD) - $19.95
  • ENTRE RESTANQUES ET GARRIGUES 2016 - AP Cairanne, Rhône, France (#15449) (XD) - $19.95
  • MASTROBERARDINO IRPINIA AGLIANICO 2018 - DOC Irpinia, Campania, Italy (#93112) (XD) - $23.95
  • CHÂTEAU PIERRE DE MONTIGNAC 2015 - Cru Bourgeois, AP Médoc, Bordeaux, France (#437954) (XD) - $25.95
  • EMILIANA COYAM 2017 - Los Robles Estate, Colchagua Valley, Chile (#63891) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • TENUTA SAN GUIDO LE DIFESE 2018 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#147876) (XD) - $37.95
  • CHÂTEAU BEAUCHENE VIGNOBLES DE LA SERRIÈRE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2017 - Haute Valeur Environnementale, AC, Rhône, France (#13518) (XD) - $48.95
  • RENATO RATTI MARCENASCO BAROLO 2016 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#713479) (XD) - $71.95

White Wine:

  • YALUMBA ORGANIC VIOGNIER 2019 - Vegan, South Australia (#288217) (XD) - $16.95
  • VIGNERONS DE BUXY BUISSONNIER BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#10349) (XD) - $17.95
  • FOLLAS NOVAS ALBARIÑO 2019 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#488981) (XD) - $18.95
  • CATENA CHARDONNAY 2019 - Mendoza, Argentina (#918805) (XD) - $19.95
  • MOUNT RILEY LIMITED RELEASE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#447425) (XD) - $19.95
  • NALS MARGREID PUNGGL PINOT GRIGIO 2018 - DOC Südtirol – Alto Adige, Italy (#395756) (XD) - $31.95


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