ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY 2018, Margaret River, Australia


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Australia
Region: Margaret River
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Robert Oakley
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

As 2017 was a great vintage, 2018 is very bad. Over ripened fruits across the board. 75/100

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & an average length on the finish. This wine features: marzipan, over ripened orange, over ripened papaya & over ripened banana.   

Negatives: Over ripened fruits

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: March 2, 2021

LCBO: 350900

BOLLATO DI GUARINI NEGROAMARO PRIMITIVO 2018, IGP Puglia, Italy


Cost: $17.00
Grape: Negroamaro & Primitivo
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Puglia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Losito e Guarini
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A complex wine but the correct glassware will make a huge difference between pleasant drinking or overtly sweet. Smaller glassware for Sangiovese will be the best choice. 88/100

Tasting Note: Dark ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, soft tannin & a good length on the finish. This wine features: Plum, Bing cherries, ripe tamarind, blueberry, blueberry, aged balsamic, leather, thyme, tobacco, pepper, figs & violets on the nose.   

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 1. I got this wine as I love the rum style bottle, but it pours poorly do to the large lip. 2. Besides the correct stemware, serve this wine between 16-18C.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Wild Boar Ribs with Fig BBQ Sauce.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: March 1, 2021

LCBO: 17884

VICTOIRE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE NV, Eperney, Champagne, France


Cost: $45.95 (Sale price until Feb28, 2021: $39.95
Grape: 20% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, 15% Meunier, 15% Red Wine
Category: Champagne
Location: LCBO General List
Country: France
Region: Epernay, Champagne
Format: 750 mL
Producer: G.H. Martel & Co.
Alcohol:  12.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Very easy drinking but with substance & a great price for a Champagne Rosé: 92/100

Tasting Note: Bright deep salmon in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: cherry, Strawberry, Fuji apples, raspberry, pomegranate, cured meat, toasted almonds, yeast & cassis.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Blinis with Smoked Salmon & Caviar.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: February 28, 2021

LCBO: 16396

DANDELION VINEYARDS TWILIGHT OF ADELAIDE HILLS CHARDONNAY 2018, Adelaide Hills, New Zealand


Cost: $20.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Australia
Region: Adelaide Hills
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Dandelion Vineyards
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Chablis in style, this wine has some oak influence & it’s bone dry, crisp & clean. Score: 88/100

Tasting Note: Light bright gold with a green tinge in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon, green apples, pear, peach & ginger.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The grapes were picked during twilight time, ergo the name, & speaking of the name, how could I not get it?!

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with herb & lemon scallops on a bed of Angel Hair.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: February 27, 2021

LCBO: 368274

SAND POINT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017, Lodi, California, United States of America


Cost: $16.95 (Sale price until Feb 28, 2021: $14.95)
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: United States of America
Region: Lodi, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Lange Twiins Family Vineyards
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

This is a fruit gusher. An easy drinking Cali Cab Sauv without the high alcohol now common with red wines from California. Score:  86/100

Tasting Note: Opaque ruby in colour with good acidity, an intense nose & an average length on the finish. This wine features: plum, cherry, blueberry pie, ripe tamarind, cloves & cassis.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Certified Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with Sticky Tamarind Beef.

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: February 23, 2021

LCBO: 11193

CHÂTEAU DES LANDES CUVÉE PRESTIGE 2016, AOC Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France


Cost: $26.95
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Château Des Landes
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A beautiful wine that is smooth, balanced with complexity. This wine is a bargain at this price. Score: 95/100

Tasting Note: Dark ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, smooth tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: cherry, Crème de cassis, plum, blackberry, mulberry, tamarind, cherry tobacco, Allspice & violets on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 100% Merlot aged 16 months in new French oak,

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 7-10 of years on its own or pair it with slow roasted prime rib.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: February 23, 2021

LCBO: 363101

TERRES SECRÈTES LES PRÉLUDES 2018, AC Saint-Véran, France


Cost: $21.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Saint-Véran,
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Terres Secrètes
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Delicious, balanced, complex & you get a Pouilly-Fuissé style wine at a better price point. Score: 92 /100

Tasting Note: Bright gold with a light green tinge in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon, Fuji apple, pear, peach, honeydew melon, tangerine, ginger, dill, toasted almonds, honey, limestone & white flowers on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Saint-Véran AC is adjacent to Pouilly-Fuissé

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Crawfish Boil.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: February 21, 2021

LCBO: 16725

MCMANIS CHARDONNAY 2019, River Junction, California, United States of America


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

Just slightly better than your typical mass-produced Cali Chard, but at a higher price point. Score: 86 /100

Tasting Note: Light bright gold in colour with moderate acidity, medium+ intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon, yellow apples, banana, peach, pineapple, buttered popcorn & vanilla.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with Pineapple Pork Stir Fry

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: February 21, 2021

LCBO: 265983

BRICKLAYER’S REWARD 20 BARRELS CHARDONNAY 2019, VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $18.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Lakeshore
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Colio Estate Wines
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

This nicely balanced cool climate style Chard should please those that like oak & those that don’t all at a good price point. Score: 90 /100

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon, green apples, pear, peach, pineapple, oak spice, dill, honey & limestone.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The wine has been blended from 20 different oak barrels, mostly new, for 10 months

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with lobster sautéed in ginger & scallions (especially from Ma Chinese Restaurant in St. Catharines).

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: February 20, 2021

LCBO: 644609

ALVI’S DRIFT VIOGNIER 2019, Western Cape, South Africa


Cost: $13.95
Grape: Viognier
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Alvi’s Drift
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Crisp & very dry not typical of what you would expect or want from a Viognier. Score: 85 /100

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, an intense nose, & a fairly long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon-lime, grapefruit & orange pith.

Negatives: Too much bitterness & very dry

Interesting Point: The bottle has a gold label on it “2019 Gold Wine Award in Excellent Wine at the Price”. All tasting is very subjective, but this one doesn’t even touch taste just price.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next couple of years & pair it with Southeast Asian Grapefruit & Shrimp Salad.

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: February 19, 2021

LCBO: 18687