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Feb 12, 2008 06:38 AM

LCBO New Releases


The LCBO has recently released some new wines for sale in Ontario. Has anyone sampled any?

Last night I tried the Bubbles by Yellow Tail from Australia, somewhere around $13.85. It was delicious, for an inexpensive light sipping sparkling wine. Fruity and a little sweet in the mouth with a slightly dry aftertaste (Please note I am not a wine expert, just my thoughts!)

Has anyone tried any of the other new Ontario releases?

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  1. ..thanks for the tip! I like the Wolf Blass one that sounds like that, but it is hard to find...I'll try that one...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Recyclor

      I'm not sure what pricepoints you're looking at, but I've had a few fantastic wines from the February 2nd release:

      2003 Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante Alouette ($75, #140541) - huge tropical fruit on the nose and palate, with fantastic texture and length. Expensive, but excellent.

      2005 Perrin & Fils Vacqueyras Les Christins ($24, #973453) - loved this. Very elegant, with layers of complexity. If you're into big Aussie fruit bombs, this may not be your cup of tea, as it's more along the medium-full bodied tip with good fruit, structure, and garrigue. Would be a fantastic pairing with duck confit or something along those lines.

      NV Yves Lambert Cremant de Loire Rose ($17, #656488) - if you like bubbles, this is really fantastic stuff. Not Champagne by any stretch, but great texture that shows berries (strawberry and currant) as well as a touch of cocoa. Buy it! It doesn't hurt that on release, the LCBO messed up the CSPC pricing for a while and this wine was scanning in at about $9.50 instead of $17. I think they fixed that issue though.

      One wine I haven't tasted from the release that is pretty consistent from vintage to vintage is the 2005 Fairview Goats do Roam in Villages from South Africa ($16, 566851). I'd give that a crack as well.

      I could put some recommendations on wines from the Feb. 16th release in a separate post if anyone is interested.

      1. re: futronic

        Hey futronic, I also picked up some of the Cremant de Loire Rose and the pricing has been corrected. I was charged the full $17. I also bought one of the last bottles of Sieur d'Argues Cremant de Limoux (#52985) Billy Munnelly gave it very high praises. Act now, not many left in the GTA. Apparently it is a close to champagne as they come. Look forward to trying both.

        1. re: futronic

          I have tried the Fairview Goats do Roam and I found it quite nice. I can't remember what we ate it with (I think a rack of lamb) and it was very complimentary. I'd have to get out my notebook to tell you more!

      2. You might want to be a little more specific - the Yellow Tail sparkling concoction has been around for a few months at least. There have probably been hundreds of other new products (at least) in that time frame.

        The LCBO does regular bi-weekly Vintages releases of (mostly) new products, as well as frequent additions (not on a fixed schedule) to the General List and to Vintages Essentials. There are also a bunch of other programs, like the seasonal beer releases, and some spirits things.


        1. If you mean Vintages, not yet. As for sparkling, I did try a new one at a store that had samples, but I can't remember the name. It was really good, I think had strawberries in it or something.

          1. I understood that there had been a larger than usual release this month - if not, then my mistake! Anything recently available to Ontario and interesting is fair game.

            Futronic - great tips, thanks. I'll definitely be trying some of those.

            6 Replies
            1. re: FrenchSoda

              No problem. For those interested in the Feb. 16th release, there are plenty of well-priced, well made items available based on producer track record. Here's a good selection:

              2005 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile ($22, #322586)
              2005 Famiglia Bianchi Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina ($14, #677567)
              2005 Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina, Italy ($14, 68163)
              2005 Volpaia Chianti Classico, Italy ($23, 953828)
              2005 Tedeschi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Capitel dei Nicalo, Italy ($17, #984997)

              There are other interesting bottles at a higher pricepoint as well, such as the 2002 Rosemount Traditional, 2005 Ridge Geyserville, 2004 Napanook, and 2004 Dominus.

              1. re: futronic

                I've tasted all the wines at the LCBO lab -- these are my picks:

                WHITE WINES
                1.13th Street Funk Vineyard Riesling 2005 Niagara: racy and MVC, some
                off-dry on the end palate. +56564, $18, QPR: 90.
                2. Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay 2005 Sonoma: very MVC for the region,
                balanced with acid, fruit, toasted wood, butter. +421644, $19.95, QPR:
                2. St.Hallett Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Barossa: off-dry finish,
                twist top, useful drink. +57687, $14.90, QPR: 90.
                3. Pierre Spann Pinot Gris Reserve 2005 Alsace: off-dry feel, lots of
                body and fruit. +983395, $18.85, QPR: 90.
                4. Caves des Perrieres Pouilly-Fume 2006: MVC for the region,
                affordable, twist top. +61358, $19.95, QPR: 90.

                RED WINES
                1. Eral Bravo Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Mendoza: off-dry, ready, North
                American appeal. +58081, $18.55, QPR: 90.
                2. Famiglia Bianchi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Mendoza: sustainable
                winery, 14.5% ABV kick, heavy Bordeaux nose. +677567, $13.95, QPR: 93.
                3. Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Colchagua: another thick and
                juicy mocha and tobacco toned wine. +322586, $21.80, QPR: 94
                4. D’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 McLaren:
                delicious but some tart flavours, full profile for climbing. +943456,
                $20.95, QPR: 90.
                5.Zilzie Shiraz 2006 South Eastern Australia: cloves and fruit, rich,
                thick, lovely, heavy-heavy, buy it all! +58016, $16.75, QPR: 94.
                6. Chateau Lenormand 2005 Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux: depth, but needs
                time to resolve finishing tannins, balanced already. +60913, $18.45,
                QPR: 90.
                7. Domaine Laurent Mabileau St.Nicholas-de-Bourgueil 2005 Loire: MVC
                cab franc for the region, leafy, berryish. +61192, $14.55, QPR: 90.
                8. Beronia Reserva 2001 Rioja: another must-by from Spain, a great
                Rioja at this price. +50203, $17.55, QPR: 93.
                9. Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2005: North American in style and
                appeal, wood and fruity jam tones, thick. +606541, $19.95, QPR: 90.
                10. Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina 2005: very intense and nervy,
                but getting better with airing. Value. +68163, $13.45, QPR: 91.

                At a higher price, there are some useful wines to take into a resto as a Bring Your Own:

                RESTAURANT READY WINES: to markup about $15, or for consumers to BYOW!
                1. Chateau de Rully Blanc 2004 (+46714, $27.45 retail, on your wine
                card for $42?) is ageing very well, some butter and light oak.
                2. Dominus 2004 Napa (+63057, $90.95 retail, but on your wine card for
                $99.99?) and its second wine, Dominus Estate Napanook 2004 Napa
                (+63065, $39.95 retail but on your wine card for $55?) form an
                interesting comparison. Both wines are ready to go now, but the
                Napanook is slightly more accessible and does not need food.
                3. Ridge Geyserville 2005 Sonoma (+723072, $47.75 retail, but on your
                wine card for $62?) is largely zinfandel. Read Josh Raynolds notes in
                the Vintages catalogue, and you won’t even have to drink the wine.
                4. Rosemount Traditional Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot 2002
                South Australia (+484097, $35.20 retail, but on your wine card for
                $49?) is 82-10-8 in percentages, very mellow and ready now.

                1. re: Dean Tudor

                  I had the St. Hallett Semillion-Sauv Blanc at Cowbell. The server recommended it to go along with their beef pot pie. I was skeptical at someone still rather new to intentional food and wine pairings, I didn't think white wine would go with beef. I'm so glad I decided to trust him because it was seriously the most gorgeous food-wine pairing I've ever had. Every combined mouthful was so delcious...I can't fully remember the exact flavours now, but it was a revelation! Now I know what a good match can do...:)

                2. re: futronic

                  gotta agree with jay on the perrin et fils, they have been releasing great vintages this past year and although i think they need some good cellaring it's well worth the $$$.

                  i gotta bigup the 2004 zolo cab-sauv reserve, argentina. i think it comes in somewhere in or around $17 and is well worth it. approach it right now without hesitation, well structured and full of big blackberry and huge big boy tannins.

                  1. re: insideman

                    Sounds like someone knows me from another board. :p

                  2. re: futronic

                    I need to retract my recommendations of the 2005 Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina and 2005 Volpaia Chianti Classico. I had them (as well as the Vale do Bomfim from Portugal) last night and they were awful. Thin and overly acidic. Quite disappointing.

                3. I bought into to Feb. 2 release, many of them sold out or hard to get now.
                  I've only tried one: Pillar Box Red, Padthaway 2005. $17.40
                  It is deep purple, tannic and unyielding. Needs at least 2-3 years as Parker suggests. It's a Feb. wine of the month but not much is still left.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jayt90

                    If anyone is after the 2004 Dominus, they still have a couple of Magnums at the Manulife centre and a bunch of bottles at Dupont/Davenport (just ask a consultant - they're in the back). Summerhill sold out immediately this morning.