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LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
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1.Campo di Sasso Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +694752, $21.95, 90 points.
2.Steve Bird Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +178319, $18.95: distinctive good quality savvy, with fruit and acid balance in play, 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Domaine Bellevue Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012, +82305, $13.95: good value in savvy MVC, cork finish, 12.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
4.Code Inspiration Viognier 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +380758, $14.95: affordable tropical and plush aromatics with some savouriness on the palate, 13.5% ABV, from a co-op of 167 winemakers. QPR: 89.
5.Dr.Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling 2012 Mosel, +596601, $13.95: another treasure with intense, delicious orchard fruit, twist top, 10% ABV, finishing dry. QPR: 89.
6.Le Monde Pinot Bianco 2012 Fruili Grave, +372417, $17.95: good depth, minerals, orchard fruit, finishes dry but with a kick. Better with food. QPR: 89.
7.Miguel Torres Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay 2012 Penedes, +171660, $15.95: made since late 1960s, amazing value for a barrel fermented chardonnay coming in at 13.5% ABV. Now in twist top. QPR: 89.
8.Paco & Lola Albarino 2012 Rias Baixas, +350041, $18.95: aromatic beginnings, mid-palate check on fruit, lovely lemon and mineral finish. Twist top, 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
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1.Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +216309, $22.95, 89 points.
2.Convento San Francisco 2005 Ribera del Duero, +206409, $21.95, 90 points.
3.Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +118067, $19.95: good whiff of California sunshine here, with plummy black fruit. Unfiltered. QPR: 88.
4.Small Gully Mr. Black's Little Book Shiraz 2011 Barossa, +287979, $17.95: tight aromatics with some mint, smoky on the finish, lots of fruit on the mid-palate. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Haut-Dina 2010 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, +374389, $15.95: underpriced compelling red wine with Bordeaux character in spades. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Vallone Vereto Salice Salentino 2010 Puglia, +379255, $17.95: overwhelming BBQ wine, delicious, 13.5% ABV, Very smooth. QPR: 89.
7.Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva 2009, +969469, $15.95: excellent price for a nicely aged Chianti from anywhere in the region made to the Riserva level. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Abad dom Bueno Crianza 2006 Bierzo, +244699, $14.95: another interesting and valued wine from outside the Rioja area, North American appeal. From mencia grapes. QPR: 89.
9.CVNE Vina Real Plata Crianza 2009 Rioja, +657411, $18.95: it looks as if Spain has the last values in wines under $20. Here is another one, an MVC Rioja at a bargain price, aged 5 years already. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.

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  1. Great summary!

    I've been subscribing to winealign.com's emails and they provide regular summaries and evaluations of LCBO's new releases for free in various categories (Vintages, best value under $15, etc).

    Also, for red wine I have found that Cook's Illustrated Magazine's advice to pour the wine between two flasks 15 times (I use a flask and large glass jar) improves the wine. but remarkably more so for lower quality bottles (say $20 and under or so, not that price is always an indicator of quality) than more premium bottles. It is just a more effective way of aerating the wine and letting it breathe than just having the wine sit there opened or in a flask or using one of those gizmos you pour the wine through.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Flexitarian

      15 times? wow .. I must try that. Normally, I do it once or twice ... 15...builds muscles too!!!

      1. re: Dean Tudor

        Yet again, I'll point out that when we did a test (blind) of decanting 3 red wines over various time periods vs. pouring straight from bottle, that the longer/multiple decanted wines ALWAYS showed as the worst!
        Those poured straight from the bottle won 2 of the three and on the third, the single decant beat out the bottle by a nose - so close that they couldn't be separated statistically.
        I now only decant if there's sediment.

          1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

            A Rhone
            A Bordeaux
            A Barolo

            I'd have to go back to my notes (which could be a challenge as I recently moved) for the exact wines.
            It was a group of around 40 people that we ran as a 'seminar' to test the theories about decanting.

            1. re: estufarian

              estufarian, do you remember how old those wines were when you opened them?

              1. re: foodyDudey

                They were mixed.
                IIRC about 5 years old, give or take a couple of years.
                I recall the Barolo was the oldest.
                All were 'middle of the range' i.e. "good" wines (not 'cheap and cheerful').

                1. re: estufarian

                  If you could indulge in one more question - what price point do you define as middle range?

                  1. re: Apprentice

                    $30-50 (retail).
                    So hovering around $100 in a restaurant.

      2. re: Flexitarian

        I use the blender to aerate the wine. A few seconds is all it takes.

        I can't remember where I saw the tip, but it was a food science article. I tried the technique, and it works.

        1. re: jammy

          which attachment do you use? And do you set it to WHIP, PULSE, or LIQUIFY?

      3. Also for anyone with a taste for bourbon, the weller 12 was just released. In super high demand in the US and going through a small shortage for the last little while there. Great stuff!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

          Speaking of bourbon - have you tried Rock Hill Farms?

          1. re: Sadistick

            Yeah! It's good stuff. Very balanced and sort of what one may look for in a typical bourbon. Probably a good introductory bourbon for someone who has never tried bourbon before. (As is the weller 12)

            I don't think I would buy it though. It's pretty expensive and I already have bottles of elmer t. lee, and blantons gold, both of which have the same mash bill. I think I'd even go for the elmer over the rock hill at half the price.

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              Yes except Elmer was nowhere to be found and I didnt mind trying this one out. Makes a mighty fine old fashioned! ;)

              1. re: Sadistick

                Yeah, you definitely can't go wrong with the Rock Hill. The ABV is higher than the Elmer, or Blantons, which is always sweet. (if you're like me and like a good kick)

                I'll have to try it in an old fashioned. My go to Bourbon is usually Sazerac and when I can't get that then Alberta Dark Horse usually does the trick.

                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  Yah well my last bottle of Saz is half empty and the odds of getting more of it at this point in Ontario being fairly low......I decided to go big!

        2. What the hell is "cork finish" supposed to mean? Do you mean it's corked as in TCA????

          3 Replies
          1. re: BlackMambaSommelier

            The wine has a cork closure, not a screw cap...

            1. re: Dean Tudor

              Ah I see, that wasn't clear with the words "cork finish". Thanks for the clarification.

              1. re: BlackMambaSommelier

                I started using it when I thought the wine might/should have a twist top, given its popularity. So I've used it about four years.

                You are the first to have drawn it to my attention, despite the 8 million readers i have (JOKE), I will change it to "cork closure", thanks for noticing...