CON SUR RESERVA ESPECIAL CARMENÈRE 2017, DO Valle del Cachapoal, Chile


Cost: $16.95
Grape: Carmenère
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Chile
Region: Cachapoal Valley
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cono Sur
Alcohol: 14% Alcohol/Vol.

Juicy, low tannin wine that’s a great alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, and it’s under the usual 14.5% alcohol that is normally associated with Carms

Positives: Black currants, blackberry, plums, blueberry, dark chocolate, cinnamon and cigar box.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: August 20, 2018

LCBO: 569657

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RUSTENBERG PETIT VERDOT ROSÉ 2017, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa


Cost: $13.95
Grape: Petit Verdot
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Stellenbosch
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Rustenberg Wines
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

This is interesting, in a good way with it being smooth, juicy & full of flavour

Positives: Beautiful rosé colour featuring cherry, strawberry, watermelon and cranberry.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next couple of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: November 9, 2018

LCBO: 451773

CHÂTEAU DE VAUGELAS CORBIÈRES LE PRIEURÉ 2016, AOC, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon, France


Cost: $14.05
Grape: Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon, Corbières
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Vignobles Bonfils
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

My new favourite inexpensive, well made, great quality red.

Positives: Smooth with fine tannis that is full body having lush flavour and balanced. Features dark cherry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, sage and vanilla.

Negatives: None

Challenge: Put this wine in a blind tasting with high end red blends, and see where it finishes in regards to peoples favourites. I would be surprised if it doesn’t finish at one of the top favourites. And this is only $14.05!

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Amazing Buy, Top Picks

Tasted: November 8, 2018

LCBO: 361691

SOUTHBROOK WILD FERMENT CHARDONNAY 2016, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $40.00
Grape: Chardonnay with some Semillon
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Southbrook
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

On the expensive side, but it’s a quality Chard that comes from Southbrook, which is an organic & biodynamic winery. I highly support their effort to live in harmony with the land, and therefore willing to pay more for that.

Positives: Medium body featuring lemon, green apples, Anjou pear, white peach, and limestone.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Southbrook is Canada’s first biodynamic winery in Canada, and I highly recommend visiting the winery.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: November 1, 2018

XAVIER VIGNON CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROSÉ 2017, Ac Côtes du Rhône, France


Cost: $16.95
Grape: Mouvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Côte du Rhône
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Xavier Vignon
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Delicious, smooth, elegant and with complexity. One of the best rosé for under $20

Positives: Light copper in colour featuring watermelon, strawberries, sage and rhubarb.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 2-3 years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: October 26, 2018

LCBO: 450908

BARÓN DE LAY ROSÉ 2017, DOC Rioja, Spain


Cost: $14.95
Grape: Tempranillo & Garnacha
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Baron De Ley
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A bold rosé that pairs nicely with grilled pork, grilled stuffed peppers or sharp cheeses

Positives: Red snapper in colour featuring notes of strawberry, blood orange, Thyme and sage.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next couple of years.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: August 25, 2018

LCBO: 117283

HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2015, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Region, Canada


Cost: $29.95 (Clearance price: $21.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Short Hills Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Speck Family
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Canadian Chards that rise to the $30 or more price range need to be world class, and the Speck Family Reserve does just that.

Positives: Full body, oak driven but balanced with acidity. Yellow in colour with notes of lemon meringue, green and golden apple, pear, crème brûlée, butter popcorn

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Normally, these full body, buttery Chards are usually high in alcohol (14% to 14.5&), but this one is does all the beautiful things and stays at 13.5%.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: August 25, 2018

LCBO: 616466

VILLA PUCCINI CHIANTI RISERVA 2014, DOCG Chianti, Tuscany, Italy


Cost: $15.95
Grape: Sangiovese
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Chianti, Tuscany
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Michele Puccini
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Great value Chianti Riserva that is smooth and juicy.

Positives: Sour cherry, raspberry, nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano and violets on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Serve at 16 – 18 C

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-4 of years.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Sept 17, 2018

LCBO: 573519

COLUMBIA VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2014, Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States


Cost: $18.95 (Clearance price: $13.30)
Grape: 91% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Gris, 2% Viognier, 2% other white
Category: Chardonnay Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Columbia Winery
Alcohol: 13.8% Alcohol/Vol.

A nice commercial Chard that will please many

Description: Gold in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features light oak, buttered toast, lemon, peach, pineapple, mango & vanilla. Medium+ body with good acidity and a fairly long length.

Negatives: None

Drink now or in the next 3-4 of years on its own or pair it with Creole Shrimp and Buttered Creamed Corn.

Tasted: 23 September 2017

Best Buy at Clearance Price

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5+/10 (Clearance price: 9/10) Total: 17.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

LCBO: 462804

CELLER EL MASROIG LES SORTS SYCAR 2013, DO Montsant


Cost: $21.95 (Clearance price: $15.40)
Grape: Carignan, Syrah
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Montsant
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Celler Masboig
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Fruity with spice & easy drinking

Description: Dark ruby in colour with a medium+ intense nose. This wine features cedar, black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, all spice, leather, black & white pepper and violets on the nose. Medium+ body with good acidity and a long length.

Negatives: A touch hot from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Note: I like the minimalist black label.

Drink now or in the next 7-10 of years on its own or pair it with Braised Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce.

Tasted: 28 September 2017

Best Buy at Clearance Price

Score: 8.5+/10, Value: 8.5+/10 (Clearance price: 9.5/10) Total: 17.5/20

Out of 5 stars, I rated this wine: 3.5+

LCBO: 481390