ROSEMOUNT DIAMON SHIRAZ 2019, South Australia, Australia


Cost: $15.95 (Sale price until June 21: $13.95)
Grape: Shiraz
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: Australia
Region: South Australia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rosemount Estates
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

An excellent value Shiraz that although has some fruit sweetness to it, it’s balanced with a pleasant taste

Tasting Note: Medium purple to ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, soft tannin & an average length on the finish. Wine features blackberry, plum, dark cherry, ripe tamarind, sweet steak spice & cinnamon.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The sale price at Sobeys is $12.37 vs LCBO’s $13.95

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 3-4 of years on its own or pair it with roast beef with red wine & banana shallots.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: June 1, 2020

LCBO: 302349

DOMAINE GASTON & PIERRE RAVAUT LADOIX 2015, AOC, Ladoix, Côtes de Beaune, France


Cost: $40.95 (Clearance price: $32.80)
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Ladoix, Côtes de Beaune
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Classic Burgundian Pinot; earthy & tart with a barnyard on the nose

Tasting Note: Light ruby to garnet in colour with high acidity, a medium intense nose, low but firm tannin & an average length on the finish. Wine features cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, mushroom, clove, sumac, crushed leaves & barnyard on the nose.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 3-4 of years on its own or pair it with roasted sherry duck.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: May 28, 2020

LCBO: 557777

FINCA LOS MAZA RESERVA MALBEC 2016, Valle De Uco, Mendoza, Argentina


Cost: $17.00 (Clearance price: $13.65)
Grape: Malbec
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Argentina
Region: Valle De Uco, Mendoza
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Finca Los Maza
Alcohol:  13.7% Alcohol/Vol.

A pleasant drinking Malbec full of fruit, structure & spice

Tasting Note: Deep ruby in colour with good acidity, a light to medium intense nose, firm tannin & an average length on the finish. Wine features blackberry, plum, loganberry, anise, cocoa & tobacco leaves.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 3-4 of years on its own or pair it with lamb shank.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 27, 2020

LCBO: 10772

LONGSHOT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017, California, United States of America


Cost: $16.00 (Sale price until May 24, 2020: $14.00)
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, Petit Verdot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: United States of America
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: E & J Gallo
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

This ain’t half bad for a commercially produced California Cab Sauvignon

Tasting Note: Deep ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, smooth tannin & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features sweet plums, blueberry jam, black cherries, blackberries, espresso, vanilla and cloves.

Negatives: Has just enough jammy sweetness that makes it on the fence for me.

Pairings: Drink now or over the next couple of years on its own or pair it with mushroom, sautéed onions, cheese burger.

My Opinion: On the Fence

Tasted: May 26, 2020

LCBO: 633347

NAPA CELLARS CHARDONNAY 2017, Napa Valley, California, United States of America


Cost: $29.95 (Clearance price: $24.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Napa Valley, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Napa Cellars
Alcohol:  14.1% Alcohol/Vol.

So a Napa winery can make a delicious balanced Chard that’s creamy, nice but not overly oak, tropical fruit & acidity all under 14.5% alcohol

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green apples, pear, peach, mango, pineapple, clove, light oak spice, apple pie & Easter Lily on the nose.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with lobster & drawn butter.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: May 23, 2020

LCBO: 225342

BERNARD-MASSARD CUVÉE DE L’ECUSSON ROSÉ BRUT SPARKLING WINE NV, Méthode Traditionnelle, Luxembourg


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Luxembourg
Region:
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bernard-Massard
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

I love trying wine from non-tradition wine regions that are rare to get in Ontario, & I am happy to say this is a delight to drink; dry, light & fruity

Tasting Note: Light cooper in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, a light to medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lots of strawberry, cherry, green & red apples & thyme.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The winery was founded in 1921

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with charcuterie.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: May 17, 2020

LCBO: 369074

DECOY MERLOT 2107, Sonoma County, California, United States of America


Cost: $34.95 (Clearance Price: $28.00)
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: USA
Region: Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Duckhorn Wine Company
Alcohol:  14.1% Alcohol/Vol.

Decoy Merlot is still one of my favourite Merlots & a great value for being under $35 for the quality you’re getting

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, medium tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features dark cherry, plum, mulberry, ripe tamarind, blackberry, tobacco leaves, cloves, Star Anise, and cinnamon.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with charbroil ribeye steak.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: May 16, 2020

LCBO: 460642


Cost: $18.95 (Clearance Price: $15.20)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: USA
Region: Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kenwood Winery
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

An easy drinking Chard that balances the oak with the fruit, acidity & minerality without the high alcohol level usually associated with California Chards

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, peach, Golden apples, yellow plums, honeydew melon, light oak spic, vanilla & limestone.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair it with  rotisserie chicken.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 14, 2020

LCBO: 158790

JOSH CELLARS MERLOT 2018, California, United States of America


Cost: $18.95 (Sale price until May 24, 2020: $16.95)
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: USA
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Josh Cellars
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Here’s a nice surprise: a California red that is below 14% alcohol, not sweet or flabby, has some complexity, it’s priced under $20 & oh yes, it’s nice to drink

Tasting Note: Light to medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, mild tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features cherry, blackberry, blueberry, black & red currants, raspberries, arugula, mocha & vanilla

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: You won’t find this wine on Josh Cellars winery website, strange but true. I expect it is made for export only.

Pairings: Drink now or over the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair it with Mongolian Beef.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 13, 2020

LCBO: 638221

BODACIOUS BOLD & BUTTERY CHARDONNAY NV, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $11.95 (Sale price: $10.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Arterra Wines
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Oh dear Lord no! This wine is like eating bark from an oak tree with an overripe banana & rubbing alcohol

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: May 13, 2020

LCBO: 10427