CECCHI STORIA DI FAMIGLIA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2019, DOCG Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy


Cost: $17.95
Grape: Sangiovese
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Chianti Classico, Tuscany
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cecchi
Alcohol: 13.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Not complex but delicious & smooth all at a great price. Score: 93/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Sour cherry, mulberry, pomegranate, thyme, arugula, cocoa powder & leather.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with wood oven pizza with Speck, arugula & a melody of baby tomatoes.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick & Best Buy

Tasted: April 6, 2022

LCBO: 540922

SAWTOOH RED BLEND 2018, Idaho, United States of America


Cost: $24.95
Grape: Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Petite Syrah, Tempranillo & Malbec
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages Online Exclusive
Country: United States of America
Region: Idaho
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Sawtooth Winery
Alcohol: 13.6 % Alcohol/Vol.

With 7 red blends, this could have gone very easily to the sweet side, but the winemaker; Meredith Smith, succeeds in having an easy drinking, smooth wine that’s balanced. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, light tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Ripe cherry, plum, Crème de Cassis, raspberry, blackberry, chocolate, tamarind, Allspice, tobacco leaves, truffles, cinnamon, vanilla & leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Nice to have an Idaho wine at the LCBO

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with homemade Beef soup with twice cooked Caribbean golden potatoes and garlic, scotch bonnet and fresh basil.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: April 5, 2022

LCBO: 21174

MALIVOIRE ESTATE GROWN CHARDONNAY 2019, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.95 (Sale price until Apr 24, 2022: $17.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Beamsville Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Malivoire Wine
Alcohol: 12.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Cool climate styled Chard showing lots of crispness. Score: 87/100.

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, green apples, pear, pineapple, ginger, oak spice & limestone.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with fish & chips.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: April 3, 2022

LCBO: 573147

GRUET BRUT NV, Méthode Champenoise, New Mexico, United States of America


Cost: $26.95
Grape: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: New Mexico
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Gruet Winery
Alcohol: 12.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Finesse & elegance sparkling wine at half the price of more well-known Napa sparkling wines. Score: 92/100.

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Brioche, sourdough bread, light yeast, lemon zest, green apples, pear, ginger & limestones.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: This is Gruet’s 2nd entry to LCBO. I reviewed their rosé earlier, & that was very good as well.

Pairings: Drink this now or in 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Homemade Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: April 3, 2022

LCBO: 21172

CHÂTEAU MAUCOIL 2019, AOP Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages, France


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Grenache (50%) Syrah (25%) Carignan (25%)
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Rhône
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Château Maucoil
Alcohol: 14.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Intense & powerful yet shows finesse. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, fine grain tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Cherry, raspberry, plum, blackberry, blueberry, cassis, anise, vanilla & cherrywood

Negatives: The heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Point: Organic wine

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with Stewed Beef Tips with gravy

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: March 30, 2022

LCBO: 638502

DRAMA DARK BLEND 2018, DO La Mancha, Spain


Cost: $15.95
Grape: 50% Garnacha, 50% Tempranillo
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: La Mancha
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Familia Bastida
Alcohol: 14.0 % Alcohol/Vol.

Designed for those that like the sweeter Cali red style wines, but a little less alcohol. 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: Black cherry, stewed strawberry, orange peel, chocolate, Allspice & sandalwood.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with Gazpachos Manchegos

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: March 29, 2022

LCBO: 22445

LUNDY MANOR LUNDY RED 2016, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $21.95
Grape: 67% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 13.5% Syrah, 3.5% Petit Verdot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Lundy Manor Wine Cellars
Alcohol: 13.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Best value Canadian red wine I’ve tasted to date. Beautifully made that has elegance, smooth, complexed & all at an amazing price. Score: 96/100.

Tasting Note: Light to medium garnet in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Black cherry, plum, blackberry, tamarind, raspberry, blueberry, Crème de cassis, baking spice, black & white peppers, cassis, Star Anise, dry figs, cocoa, vanilla & lavender on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: “Vinification Notes: the grapes were all 100% handpicked, then hard sorted, and fermented on their skins. A portion of the wine was placed on appassimento skins in a Ripasso style, then aged in a combination or French and American oak for a minimum of 18 months each.” LM Also I love the classic elegant wine label.

Pairings: Drink this now or in 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Marinated Leg of Lamb

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick & Best Buy

Tasted: March 21, 2022

LCBO: 21656

CHÂTEAU DE MANISSY LE MOULIN LE MOULIN DE NOTRE DAME TAVEL 2020, AOP Tavel, France


Cost: $19.95 (Clearance Price: $14.00)
Grape: Grenache, Syrah, Clairette, Cinsault
Category: Rosé Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Tavel
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Château de Manissy
Alcohol: 13.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Beautifully made, balanced with juicy notes. Score: 92/100.

Tasting Note: Bright deep salmon in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, peach, pink grapefruit, persimmon & cinnamon.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Certified organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter respectively

Pairings: Drink this now or in 2-3 years on its own or pair it with BBQ sweet chili wings

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Amazing Buy at clearance price

Tasted: March 3, 2022

LCBO: 19573

PIERRE PAILLARD LA GRAND RÉOLTE BOUZY GRAND CRU EXTRA-BRUT CHAMPAGNE 2018, AOC Bouzy, Champagne, France


Cost: $130.00
Grape: 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay
Category: Champagne Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Bouzy, Champagne
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Pierre Paillard
Alcohol: 12.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Beautiful, elegant, delicious & complexed. Score: 98/100.

Tasting Note: Old gold in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, an intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Brioche, sour dough, buttered toast, Anjou Pear, lemon, kumquat, Golden Delicious apples, yellow pitaya, honeycomb, chalk, limestone, vanilla, a hint of salt & plumeria on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: La Grande Récolte 2008 benefits from extended aging “sur lie”: 10 years in our 19th century cellars at a depth of 53 feet/16 meters and
at a constant 50°F/10°C temperature

Pairings: Drink this now or in 7-10 years on its own or pair it with Caviar served on fresh baked Blinis.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: March 12, 2022

LCBO: 22922

ILLUMINATI RIPAROSSO MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2019, DOC Controguerra, Abruzzo, Italy


Cost: $13.95 (Sale Price until March 27, 2022: $11.95)
Grape: Montepulciano
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Controguerra, Abruzzo
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Azienda Agricola Dino Illuminati
Alcohol: 13.5 % Alcohol/Vol.

Good table wine. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Sour cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, licorice, arugula, thyme & leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Use the smaller Sangiovese or Tempranillo glassware

Pairings: Drink this now or in 3-5 years on its own or pair it with pizza.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: March 11, 2022

LCBO: 269985