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  • Date publishedWednesday, April 28, 2021

May 1, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Popular Demand + New Zealand



LCBO Wine Picks: May 1, 2021 VINTAGES Release
The main theme of the May 1, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines that are "Back by Popular Demand", while the mini-theme looks at new wines from New Zealand. All of the wines from the themes, plus those from the main release will be on shelves across Ontario by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme that looks at wines that are "Back by Popular Demand". Of the twenty-two wines featured, six are included among my top wine picks. The lone white is a Premier Cru Chablis that is, of course, made with Chardonnay, while the Côtes du Rhône Rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. Red wine blends include the wine from British Columbia that consists of 57% Syrah and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the South African red is a blend of 37% Shiraz, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot. From Italy, the Chianti Classico is a blend of roughly 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino, and 10% Pugnitello, while the wine from Puglia is made with 100% Primitivo (a.k.a. Zinfandel).

Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2016 (90 pts)Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2016 (89 pts)

From the mini-theme on new wines from New Zealand, of the ten wines featured, five are included among my top wine recommendations. Although the feature is small, it does touch upon some of the trends in New Zealand winemaking that I discovered during my visit to NZ last year. Originally from Spain and Portugal, Albariño is finding a home in New Zealand, most notably in the northeastern part of North Island in Gisborne. A perennial favourite is the low alcohol (9%) off-dry Riesling, as well as a pair of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines. And lastly, from the region of Martinborough - where the climate and soil profile is similar to that of Burgundy - comes a fine Pinot Noir from a producer that is primarily focused on this varietal.

Luna Estate Pinot Noir 2016 (91 pts)Leftfield Gisborne Albariño 2019 (88+ pts)

Interestingly, the majority of my red wine picks from the rest of the release are blends from southern France - the only wines that are not are a lovely Malbec from Paraje Altamira in Argentina and a Crozes-Hermitage from Northern Rhône that is 100% Syrah. From Languedoc, the Corbières is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, and 15% Syrah, while the Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun consists of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre. From Rhône, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, and 5% Cinsault, while the Gigondas consists of 74% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre, and 2% Cinsault.

Finca La Escuela La Grava Malbec 2017 (90+ pts)J. Denuzière Crozes-Hermitage 2018 (91 pts)

Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun 2018 (90 pts)Château Camplong Grande Réserve Corbières 2018 (89 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the only blend is from Portugal and it's made with the indigenous varieties Côdega de Larinho, Rabigato, and Viosinho. The rest of the white wines are all Chardonnays - two from Niagara and one from California, as well as a Grüner Veltliner from Austria, and a dry Riesling from Germany.

Lastly, the lovely Tavel is a bigger, dry rosé that consists of 45% Grenache Noir, 20% Clairette, 15% Cinsault, 8% Mourvèdre, 6% Syrah, 4% Bourboulenc, and 2% Picpoul.

Château d'Aquéria Tavel 2020 (91 pts)

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU CAMPLONG GRANDE RÉSERVE CORBIÈRES 2018 - AP, Languedoc, France (#12990) (XD) - $14.95  89 pts  wine review
  • AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN RED 2016 - Vegan, WO Paarl, South Africa (#383547) (XD) - $16.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SAN FELICE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2018 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#282996) (XD) - $19.95
  • CAVE DE ROQUEBRUN LA GRANGE DES COMBES SAINT-CHINIAN-ROQUEBRUN 2018 - AC, Languedoc, France (#155804) (XD) - $20.95  90 pts  wine review
  • PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA 2016 - DOP, Puglia, Italy (#261784) (D) - $23.95  90 pts  wine review
  • FINCA LA ESCUELA LA GRAVA MALBEC 2017 - Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#547851) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts  wine review
  • LUNA ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Sustainable, Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand (#17544) (XD) - $26.95  91 pts  wine review
  • J. DENUZIÈRE CROZES-HERMITAGE 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#667485) (XD) - $29.95  91 pts  wine review
  • DOMAINE DE FONT-SANE TRADITION GIGONDAS 2017 - AP, Rhône, France (#18557) (XD) - $31.95
  • BURROWING OWL ATHENE 2017 - Estate bottled, BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#371336) (XD) - $44.95
  • LE VIEUX DONJON CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2018 - AC, Rhône, France (#700922) (XD) - $68.95

White Wine:

  • LEFTFIELD GISBORNE ALBARIÑO 2019 - Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand (#17551) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • THE HUNTING LODGE EXPRESSIONS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#17667) (XD) - $19.95
  • THE DOCTORS' RIESLING 2019 - Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#12321) (MS) - $19.95
  • QUADRUS WHITE 2019 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#667162) (XD) - $19.95
  • AWATERE RIVER BY LOUIS VAVASOUR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020 - Vegan, Sustainable, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#492272) (XD) - $21.95
  • CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID'S BENCH VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2016 - VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#430991) (XD) - $24.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2019 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#616466) (XD) - $29.95
  • LA CHABLISIENNE GRANDE CUVÉE CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2018 - AC, Burgundy, France (#685222) (XD) - $34.95
  • TESCH KARTHÄUSER RIESLING TROCKEN 2018 - Qualitätswein, Nahe, Germany (#18238) (XD) - $34.95
  • TÜRK RIED OBERE KREMSER SANDGRUBE RESERVE GRÜNER VELTLINER 2017 - DAC Kremstal, Austria (#12465) (XD) - $34.95  FE
  • GRGICH HILLS ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY 2017 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#346304) (XD) - $65.95

Rosé Wine:

  • FAMILLE PERRIN RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2020 - AC Côtes du Rhône, France (#719062) (XD) - $15.95
  • CHÂTEAU D'AQUÉRIA TAVEL 2020 - AC, Rhône, France (#319368) (XD) - $24.95  91 pts  wine review


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