CHÂTEAU LARROQUE 2016, AC Bordeaux Supérieur, France


Cost: $17.95
Grape: Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Ducourt
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

This left bank Bordeaux is one dimensional, but inexpensive & pleasant drinking. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Blackcurrant, plum, cherry, raspberry, blackberry, anise, nutmeg, vanilla & leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Marie-Christine, the daughter of Henri Ducourt, purchased this prestigious left-bank property in 1979, which lies on the border of the Graves appellation. The 60-hectare vineyard was rapidly replanted and the château building, which dates from 1348, was restored.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Flank Steak

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: June 15, 2021

LCBO: 92536

KACABA OAK AGED CHARDONNAY 2018, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $30.15
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kacaba Vineyards & Winery
Alcohol:  13.1% Alcohol/Vol.

A restrained oaked Chard, which is a good thing as it’s delicious. Score: 92/100.

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, green & yellow apples, peach, pear, honeydew melon, oak spice, butterscotch & vanilla.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Caper Sauce

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: June 10, 2021

CHÂTEAU TERRE BLANQUE 2018, AC Côtes de Bordeaux


Cost: $17.95
Grape: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: SCEA Terre Blanque
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

An easy drinking wine with substance all at a good price. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Black cherry, bramble fruit, turmeric, cassis, pencil shavings & violets on the nose.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Garlic Butter Steak Bites

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: June 9, 2021

LCBO: 18577

JOSH CELLARS LEGACY RED 2018, California, United States of America


Cost: $19.95 (Sale price until June 20, 20201: $17.95)
Grape: Red Blend
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: United States of America
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Josh Cellars
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A simple, easy drinking, not sweet but has a jammy feel to it. Score: 86/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Plum, cherry pie, blackberry, toasted cedar, mocha, sage, white & black peppers.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 2-4 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Flank Steak with grilled scallions, charred corn, roasted garlic fingerling potatoes and Chimichurri sauce.

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: June 7, 2021

LCBO: 507467

KACABA EFFERVESCENCE SPARKLING ROSÉ 2019, VQA Ontario, Canada


Cost: $32.15 (Sale price: $28.15)
Grape: 62.5% Pinot Noir, 37.5% Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kacaba Vineyards & Winery
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

An easy drinking, not complex, off dry sparkling wine that will please those that don’t like the toasty, yeasty, brioche Champagne style. Score: 89/100.

Tasting Note: Salmon in colour with fine mousse good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Wild strawberries, Bing Cherries, raspberries & sweet basil.

Negatives: Price point

Interesting Point: For a Charmat method sparkling wine priced at over $30 is way too much. Sale price brings it more palatable to buy, but still overpriced even at that point.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Ukrainian Beet Vinaigrette Salad – with fresh beets and pickled cucumbers

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: June 6, 2021

LA GRANGE DES COMBES 2018, AC Saint-Chinian Roquebrun, Languedoc, France


Cost: $20.95
Grape: 45% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Saint-Chinian Roquebrun, Languedoc
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cave de Roquebrun
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A delicious combination of red fruits, spiciness & earthiness. Score: 94/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Bing cherry, strawberries, raspberries, dried herbs, mocha, portobello mushrooms, & white pepper

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Reminds me of Vaqueyras

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Herb Duck Breast

My Opinion: Top Pick & Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: June 5, 2021

LCBO: 155804

LOUIS M. MARTINI CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018, Sonoma County, California, United States of America


Cost: $24.95 (Sale price until June 2021: $21.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Louis M Martini
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A quality Cali Cab wine under $25 that’s smooth with lots of nice black & red fruits. Nice to see this vintage below 14.5% alcohol. Score: 92/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Black cherry, blackcurrants, blackberries, plum, tamarind, raspberry, mocha, Crème de Cassis turmeric, vanilla, leather & purple lilacs on the nose.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Beef Wellington.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: June 1, 2021

LCBO: 292151

CONCANNON VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017, Paso Robles, California, United States of America


Cost: $21.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Paso Robles, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Concannon Vineyards
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A complex, not sweet or flabby, not in the usual high alcohol range of 14.5% that’s common from the warm region of Paso Robles, just nice, smooth & great taste. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Black cherry, blackcurrants, blackberries, plum, ripe tamarind, raspberry, cocoa, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, leather & purple lilacs on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Established in 1883 when the winery imported grapes from Bordeaux to establish their Cabernet Sauvignon

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with slow cooker Beef Cheeks in Red Wine.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 2, 2021

LCBO: 10039

IVORY & BURT CHARDONNAY 2019, Lodi, California, United States of America


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Lodi, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyards
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A simple, soft but not sweet Cali Chard. Score: 85/100.

Tasting Note: Yellow gold in colour with average acidity, a medium+ intense nose & an average length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, yellow apples, marzipan, banana, kumquat, light oak spice & vanilla.

Negatives: Flabby

Interesting Point:

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 2-4 years on its own or pair it with Spicy Garlic Asian Noodles.

My Opinion: On-the-fence

Tasted: May 26, 2021

LCBO: 17575

TRIENNES ROSÉ 2020, IGP Méditerranée, France


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Merlot
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Méditerranée
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Domaine de Triennes
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Clean & crisp wine that shows both sour & tart fruits. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Light pink in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Pink grapefruit, passion fruit, apricot & kiwi.  

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 2-4 years on its own or pair it with spicy calamari.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: May 24, 2021

LCBO: 409771