HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2019, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $21.95 (Sale price until June 19, 2022: $18.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Short Hills Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery
Alcohol: 12.8% Alcohol/Vol.

I can’t figure this one out; either I like, or I don’t. Score: 87/100

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with high acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, green apples, pear, ginger, dill, marzipan, pear, mandarin, caramel & vanilla.

Negatives: Not crazy about marzipan

Interesting Point: Wouldn’t buy it at the regular price, but at the sale price; maybe.

Pairings: Drink this now or in 4-6 years on its own or pair it with crisp fried chicken wings

My Opinion: On the Fence

Tasted: May 27, 2022

LCBO: 268342

WILLIAM HILL NORTH COAST CHARDONNAY 2020, North Coast, California, United States of America


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: North Coast
Format: 750 mL
Producer: William Hill Estate Winery
Alcohol: 13.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Disappointed at this Cali Chard as it’s flabby & one dimensional. Typical commercial Cali Cab under $20. Score: Below 80/100

Tasting Note: Gold in colour with below average acidity, a medium+ intense nose & an average length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon curd, golden apples, pineapples, butterscotch & vanilla.

Negatives: To sweet and flabby.

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: May 25, 2022

LCBO: 288555

FREI BROTHERS RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2019, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States of America


Cost: $26.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Frei Brothers
Alcohol: 13.9% Alcohol/Vol.

Nice to see a Russian River Valley Chard that has complexity yet under 14.5% alcohol. Score: 89/100.

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, mild tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon meringue, green & yellow apples, pear, pineapple, cantaloupe, orange, ginger, buttered toast, butterscotch, vanilla & honeycomb

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: This may have gone by the commercially typical Cali Chard; flabby & one dimensional, but the cool winds in the Valley also bring out the citric notes which balances the warm climate & oak notes.

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with Moroccan Olive Oil & Orange Chicken.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: May 25, 2022

LCBO: 317891

JOSÉ MARIA DE FONSECA DOMINI 2018, DOC Douro, Portugal


Cost: $17.95
Grape: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Portugal
Region: Douro
Format: 750 mL
Producer: José Maria da Fonseca
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Juicy, spicy with earthy notes. Quality wine at a great price. 94/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Cherry, blackberry, mulberry, red currants, black & red peppers, Shitake mushrooms, basil, cassis, licorice & leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: This is the entry level Domini to José Maria’s premium wine Domini Plus, which is one of my favourite red wines.

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Chanfana

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick & Best Buy

Tasted: May 23, 2022

LCBO: 452730

CAVE DE BEBLENHEIM CRÉMANT D’ALSACE BRUT BLANC DE NOIRS NV, Traditional Method, AC Alsace, France


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Alsace
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cave de Beblenheim
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Subtle flavours with elegance. 94/100.

Tasting Note: Rose gold in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Light brioche & yeast, strawberry, cherry, Fuji apples, clementine & vanilla custard.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Strawberry, Tomato & Fennel Gazpacho.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick & Best Buy

Tasted: May 22, 2022

LCBO: 25070

QUADRUS RED 2015, DOC Douro, Portugal


Cost: $22.95
Grape: 55% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 15% Sousão
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Portugal
Region: Douro
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Quadrus
Alcohol: 14.0 % Alcohol/Vol.

Beautifully made with bramble fruit & spiciness. 91/100.

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, raspberry, loganberry, blackberry, licorice, nutmeg, black peppercorn & cedar.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with smoked brisket

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 18, 2022

LCBO: 15663

COELHO ATRAÇÃO PINOT NOIR 2019, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States of America


Cost: $25.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Coelho Winery
Alcohol: 13.3 % Alcohol/Vol.

Typical Willamette Valley Pinot, tart, barnyard, graceful all to which I enjoyed: 91/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with some cloudiness good acidity, a medium intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Sour cherry, pomegranate, redcurrants, pickle beets, rhubarb, cloves, cinnamon, mushrooms, peatmoss & smoked cedar.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with smoked brisket

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 18, 2022

LCBO: 15663

CHÂTEAU HYOT RÉSERVE 2018, AC Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux, France


Cost: $17.95
Grape: Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Chateau Hyot
Alcohol: 14.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Fruit forward Bordeaux blend that ready to drink now: 89/100.

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, blackberry, raspberry, plum, blackcurrant, nutmeg, vanilla, turmeric, pencil shavings & leather.

Negatives: Heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Point:

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Pork Loin seasoned and seared with light rub of cinnamon and pepper and sliced and served in thyme and shallot au jus.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 17, 2022

LCBO: 14667

BERNARD-MASSARD CUVÉE DE L’ÉCSSON BRUT SPARKLING NV, Méthode Traditionnelle, Luxembourg


Cost: $20.95
Grape: 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Blanc, 15% Pinot Noir.
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Luxembourg
Region:
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bernard-Massard
Alcohol: 13.8 % Alcohol/Vol.

Not complex but easy drinking & delicious: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Straw in colour with good acidity, fine mousse, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon-lime, light brioche, green apples, pear, limestone

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with salt and vinegar chips.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: May 15, 2022

LCBO: 970970

DOMAINE CARNEROS AVANT-GARDE PINOT NOIR 2019, Carneros, California, United States of America


Cost: $36.95 (Clearance Price: $30.25)
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Carneros, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Domain Carneros
Alcohol: 13.8 % Alcohol/Vol.

Consistently one of my favourite Pinots. Juicy, tart & delicious: 95/100.

Tasting Note: Light ruby with a garnet tinge in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, supple tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Bing cherries, pomegranate, strawberry, rhubarb, cinnamon, cloves, tobacco leaves & pickle beets.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Chill wine to approximately 15 C

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with roasted duck.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: May 14, 2022

LCBO: 11528