Value for money is what counts. You won't find
any wines here that aren't worth buying. Feel free to scroll through
this list and see everything we’ve been sampling but, if you’re in a
hurry (or very thirsty), you can just click on any of the following
words to be whisked electronically to the category of your choice:
Dry White Wines
Dry Red Wines
WINE EXPRESS recommends is in the regular LCBO stores, unless marked
(v) for Vintages stores, Boutiques, and Corners, or (c) Consignment,
available by the case through the importing agent.
Call the LCBO's Infoline (416) 365-5900 or go to www.lcbo.com
for the store near you that has the wine. If your store doesn't have
it, the manager will order in the wine at no cost and notify you.
Oh, and by the way, if you need a refresher on
our rating system (the ratings are in red), just flip back to the main Wine Picks main page for a quick refresher
– in helping you choose a refresher quickly!
Silver Leaf Chardonnay 89
64873 LCBO $14.95 for 1 litre
Gulpable Chard from Oz, made by the old Hardy Wine Co., now Constellation
Australia, shipped in bulk and bottled in Niagara Falls by Vincor (soon to
become Constellation Canada, probably). Named for Australia's silvery-leafed
eucalyptus tree, it's a cheerful and perfectly well made, lightly oaked, citrus-melon
driven Chardonnay for everyday pleasure. Terrific value, in eco-friendly shatter-proof
PET screw top bottles one twelfth the weight of glass. $14.95 for the 1L size.
Check out the sibling reds: Shiraz, LCBO 64840, and Cab Merlot, LCBO 64865.
The cartons are unbleached Kraft paper and labels are recycled bamboo. Relax
and enjoy guilt-free! Chardonnay represents 75% of all Oz whites sold in Canada.
Antech Cuvée Xpression Crémant de Limoux Brut '05 90
68239 (v) $17.95
Quite delicious dry little sparkler from southern France, made
like Champagne but with Chenin Blanc and local Mauzac grape as well as Chardonnay.
Serve at 7-9C with seafood, shellfish or solo and enjoy toasty hazelnut, brioche
and vanilla aromas and lemon-melon and apple on the tongue. Good value.
Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling '07 90
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
67587 (v) $17.95
Wonderfully aromatic Riesling exhales lime and peach ripeness
and backs it up with a racy citrus and white pepper core, reminiscent of a
good Viognier. Fun to drink and reflect on the clever mirror-friendly label,
a sly joke from master entrepreneur John Howard.
Mike Weir Sauvignon Blanc '06 87
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
686972 (v) $15.95
Joining the well received Weir Chardonnay and Cab Merlot,
this juicy new Sauv is zesty, grassy and stylish with apple-pineapple and mineral
notes, perfect for the 19th hole. Proceeds from these wines go to the foundation
started by Weir and wife Bricia to help assist children in financial and emotional
Peninsula Ridge Dubois Vineyard Inox Chardonnay '06 87
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
56606 (v) $19.95
Former Chablis winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas has crafted a flinty,
mineral-driven unoaked Chard that possesses seamless elegance fusing melon,
pear and lemon notes with a creamy mouth feel. Shellfish, oysters and cream
La Crema Chardonnay '05 86
962886 (v) $29.95
This is a big softy! Restrained, buttery and showing a vanilla-lemon
zest with dried herb and grilled toast riffs. Risotto, paella or pan fried
Dover sole would make its day.
Mer Soleil Chardonnay '05 90
Coast, California, Barrel Fermented
958975 (v) $40.95
Broad-shouldered and husky and crafted for toasty oak fans,
this hefty Monterey County Chard exudes honeyed pear and apple notes, creamy
butterscotch layers and a hint of hazelnut, with the requisite oaky finish.
Food match as you would with light reds.
D'Arenberg The Last Ditch Viognier '06 92
Vale, S Australia
25064 (v) $19.95
Light, bright and zesty, concentrated with a
combo of lime zest, white peaches, apricots and nectarines to pair nicely with
poultry, pork and veal roasts.
West Cape Howe Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc '06 90
57646 (v) $19.95
Like a white Bordeaux of a good year: ripe tropical fruit of
papaya, pineapple and persimmon with a dash of green grass and white pepper.
Steely acidity for freshness and ageability. Very good value, too.
Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc '06 91
S Island, New Zealand
734798 (v) $18.95
Lemon grass, tangerines and gooseberries to the fore here
in the classic herbaceous New Zealand Savvy vein. Some lychee, flint, lemon-lime
and floral notes, too. Well priced to enjoy immediately.
Torlesse Chardonnay '06 91
Valley, S Island, New Zealand
57661 (v) $19.95
Lightly oaked for a spicy-toasty nuance, this fresh, lively
white has Spy apple-grapefruit complexity and good flavor depth - and a screw
cap to keep it fresh!
Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc '06/07 87,
WO Western Cape, S Africa
662718 (v) $9.95
A mixed shipment of two vintages from the giant South African
winery KWV: the crisp, racy elderberry-cored '07 and grassy, nettle-gooseberry '06.
At this price, grab whatever you can. They'll never be this price again.
Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Chardonnay '04 87
Stellenbosch, S Africa
58008 (v) $19.95
Lots of oaky char and a big oak aftertaste frame the fruity
citrus-grapefruit and spicy melon middle and this is a versatile sipper and
match for robust grilled fish dishes.
Blason de Bourgogne Saint-Véran Chardonnay '06 88
16725 (v) $18.95
Ripe citrus, melon and lemon zest aromas reflect and echo precisely
on the palate in a clean, lean non-oaked style Chard that's food friendly,
elegant and understated.
Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis '06 90
72363 (v) $19.95
Steely, stony, austere and refreshing with razor sharp acidity,
grapefruit and lemon nuances and crisp, crystalline grace notes. Just what
you'd expect in a good Chablis. Serve with shellfish, seafood, white meats.
Darting Riesling Spätlese '06 90
Ungsteiner Herrenberg, estate bottled, Pfalz, Germany
963207 (v) $19.95
Medium sweet, with notes of honeyed pear, white peach, apricot
and ripe melon, this impeccably made Riesling will reward keeping for a couple
of years or match up well tonight with Asian fare.
Bava Cocconato Moscato d'Asti '07 90
712547 (v) $15.95
Orange blossom scented, slightly spritzy, slightly sweet
and low in alcohol - great!
The first wine you should take out on the patio this spring. A close sibling
of Asti Spumante, which is made in the same region of northern Italy but sparkling,
Moscato is a good aperitif, dessert wine or match with mildly spicy cuisine.
Don't bother to cellar!
Elio Filippino Langhe Arneis '06 89
60848 (v) $18.95
The ABC crowd (anything but Chardonnay) love this: Arneis is
one of Italy's many ancient indigenous grape varieties and makes delicious
aromatic dry whites with pear-peach-vanilla nuances, fresh acidity and a tang
of lemon curd. Food versatile to enjoy now.
Comenda Grande White '06 89
de Lourdes de Noronha Lopes, Alentejo, Portugal
69980 (v) $16.95
Medium dry, spicy and herbaceous with grassy pear, mineral
and faint asparagus-apple notes from a blend of indigenous grape varieties
in the prolific wine region of Alentejo. Very good value. Crisp and refreshing.
Dry Red Wines:
Megalomaniac Big Mouth Merlot '06 90
Niagara Peninsula, John Howard Cellars of Distinction
67645 (v) $24.95
Très élégant and with big mouth
feel! Lovely black fruit, especially blueberry and black plum and spicy
fruitcake aromas, raspberry and vanilla in the mouth and a smokey finish
from the barrel aging. The Bravado Cabernet Sauvignon '06, $24.95 merits
an 87 with its cherry/berry and kirsch persona while the Vainglorious
$24.95, all sour cherry, blackberry, cassis and cedar, is a good buy,
too, at 88/100.
Navarro Correas Gran Reserva Cabernet
Sauvignon '04 90
28936 (v) $18.95
From a noble family dynasty and skilled winemakers, this
Cab is highly concentrated with elderberry, cassis, smoked meat, plum
and spicy vanilla notes. Top choice for carnivores to pair with BBQ delights.
Los Vascos Grande R é serve '06 87
Valley, Chile, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)
32078 (v) $15.95
More wine royalty here: the Lafite Rothschilds scoped
out Chile 20 years ago and are doing good work here. It's quite a trick
to do a good 100% Cab Sauv (astringent, tight, lean, austere, somewhat
unyielding in youth) but the local terroir and dogged hard work have
yielded nice berry fruits, tobacco leaf, soft tannins and some BBQ-friendly
St Hallett Cabernet Sauvignon '06 90
15164 (v) $19.95
Broad-shouldered smooth Cab from the heart of Barossa
Shiraz Country: Tons of ripe fruit, tobacco, eucalyptus and bitter chocolate
flavor, decent value and food friendly with game and spicy stews.
Château Le Carillon '04 92
Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
61796 (v) $30.95
Second wine of the 17th C Ch. Rouget, guided by consultant
Michel Rolland, this classic Bordeaux vintage is an excellent buy: balanced,
elegant, full of finesse and the fragrant mulberry, cigar box, pencil
lead and subtle oak profile of Pomerol.
Château Pipeau '03 90
St-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
591461 (v) $39.95
Peep-o. Don't hide. Go seek this lovely red Bordeaux
from that New World warm vintage of '03, chockful of concentrated ripe
berry flavors and smoky, toasty oak with berry-vanilla and mocha aftertaste.
Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta '05 93
723676 (v) $99.95
Not a typo! That's $100 but it's a collector's wine.
Perhaps the best of Chile's fine reds: Deliciously complex and full
of grace notes from Carmenère, Cab Sauv, Merlot and Petit Verdot - all
of the Bordeaux persuasion. From the Grand-Marnier family of France.
Casa Silva Quinta Generación '04 88
59451 (v) $19.95
From the fifth generation of the Silvas, and they're
getting to be pretty good at winemaking: for 20% of the cost of Clos
Apalta you get the same grape blend, delivering a fine dark chocolate
note and red Bordeaux nuances of capsicum and black fruit. Buy five!
D'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz '05 89
Vale, S Australia
984021 (v) $21.95
Nice vintage for the 'Bolt: concentrated, clean,
fresh and lively. Napped by good oak aging and based on perfectly ripe
fruit, here's a blueberry, smoky, tarry red with subtle licorice/cranberry
insets and ripe tannins. Now to 2012.
Penmara Reserve Shiraz '04 89
New South Wales, Australia
912782 (v) $17.95
Light, fleshy, easy to drink now and food friendly:
clean berry, black fruit and sweet oak notes with gentle tannins. Very
good value. Marry with roast lamb and beef, casseroles, semi hard and
Viniterra Syrah '05 88
de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
57927 (v) $13.95
Great value and delicious flavors: wild raspberry,
blackberry, vanilla and subtle mocha notes set the stage for
a dark chocolate finale. Very good value for BBQ season.
Cardinal Zin Beastly Old Vines Zinfandel '05 85
903245 (v) $26.95
Lean, mean and ready to rock with its cutting-edge Ralph
Steadman package and plum-cassis-cherry attack, smokey oak and mild tannins,
nicely concentrated and elegant rather than many jammy California rivals.
Château de Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde '06 89
958629 (v) $13.95
One of the best values and most reliable wines in
the LCBO, Gourgazaud is a steal: from the Deep South of France, this
blend of Syrah/Mourvèdre
packs a meaty, plum, raspberry, saddle leather and pomegranate punch
with a streak of smoky oak, delicious with BBQ and grilled dishes. Great
value to enjoy now.
Domaine des Ormes Cuvée Azur '05 88
Côtes du Roussillon, France, Georges Rossignol
65912 (v) $17.95
Baked plum, wild strawbs, old leather, grilled meat,
licorice and violets - quite
the flavor combo and it's killer with BBQ and furred game dishes! Hot
sun, limestone, schist and old vines are the secret! Along with some
savvy winemaking, this results in a generous dry red at a good price
from the "field of elms" between the Pyrenees and Mediterranean.
Perrin & Fils Vinsobres Les Cornuds '05 87
Côtes du Rhône Villages, France
56644 (v) 566844 (v) $17.95
Raspberries to the power of three! Fleshy
with chewy tannins and tastes of bitter chocolate, road tar, elderberry
and black currants - very Rhônish!
Can be held for a couple of years but great now with rare roasts and
steaks. From the owners of prestigious Château de Beaucastel.
Poggio San Polo Rosso di Montalcino '05 91
60863 (v) $23.95
Young, fresh wine, a kind of a junior Brunello (from
young vines) a good-value bright and cheery red for pizza, tomato-based
pasta, eco-friendly from a beautiful vineyard in Montalcino.
Sensi Sangiovese Gramole '04 91
50500 (V) $18.95
Sangiovese is probably the most planted grape in Italy
and runs the gamut from gunk to great. This is a fine example with floral
elderberry, blackberry, cassis and fresh black pepper and tobacco notes.
Gramole means grindstone, used for grape and especially olives.
Luigi RighettiValpolicella Classico
Superiore Ripasso '05 90
5757878 (v) $18.95
Sweetly ripe plum, berry, cherry, bacon, earthy and roasted meat
notes make this a food friendly and amiable everyday crowd pleaser, a
toss-up with the Remo Farina Amarone della Valpolicella Classico '03
(91) $19.95, slightly richer and spicier
Casa Santos Lima Touriga Nacional '05 90
Regional Estremadura, Portugal
67074 (v) $18.95
Herbal note in a black fruit and stylish dry red - based on the principal
grape variety of Port - with very concentrated berry-chocolate and floral-herbal
character. Food friendly and well priced. Now to 2012.
Encostas de Estremoz Touriga Nacional '04 91
Regional Alentejano, Portugal
684936 (v) $19.95
A spicier take on Touriga, with mucho fruit and the
same good value as Portuguese producers continue to improve their handling
of good red grape varieties. This is the future. Very food friendly.
Viña Real Crianza '04 89
657411 (v) $17.95
Smooth and subtle and cherry-raspberry-vanilla flavored
with the sweet touch of American oak that distinguishes so much of Rioja
wines, here's a graceful, hand-harvested wine for an elegant dinner of
red meat. The stunning winery resembles an enormous round vat, made of
concrete, steel and Canadian red cedar. Modern wine capable of long aging.
Muga Reserva '04 90
177345 (v) $23.95, also 375mL @13.95
Cherries, raspberries, cedar and pencil lead lead the charge in this gently
oaked subtle red aged 24 months in barriques and ready to roll. Soft, chewy
tannins and toasty, vanilla notes from the cask help the cause. Now to
Cave Spring Riesling Icewine '06 92
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
447441 (v) $59.65, 375mL
Thoroughbred tropical fruit-driven Icewine
that's elegant, with fresh, clean acidity, as well as luscious. Pair
this with foie gras, fresh figs or white chocolate or enjoy as dessert
in a glass by itself. More elegant than Vidal grape versions. Drink
now or keep for up to 5 years.
Quinta de Ventozelo LBV Port '98 91
660159 (v) $21.95
Spice cake aromas and ripe fruit and dried fruit
flavors - cherry,
plum, mulberry and fig - herald the arrival of this delicious, ready
to drink Port. Four years in oak barrel and 6 in bottle have mellowed
the tannins and polished the profile of this ethereal sweetie picked
in '98, bottled in '02. Great with chocolate desserts.
Quinta do Noval Tawny Reserve
687608 (v) $19.95
Much more nutty and creamy from six years in barrel,
this amber-colored, wood-aged Port shows forest floor, fig, Bing cherry,
roasted hazelnut and vanilla character and, like the LBV, does not
need decanting. High quality.
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