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January 23, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Chile + British Columbia

LCBO Wine Picks: January 23, 2021 VINTAGES Release
The second release of the year is the January 23, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release and features wines from Chile as the main theme, while the mini-theme looks at the six top producers from British Columbia. As usual, there also many other lovely wines throughout the rest of the release, and all of these wines should be on shelves by this Saturday.

We begin with the main theme that looks at the wines of Chile and its values and virtues. In addition to first-class winemaking and well-priced wines, Chile is known for its numerous sustainable winemaking initiatives. Chile is also diverse in its climates, regions, and grape varietals. In this release as part of the theme, there are twelve wines featured and four are included among my top wine picks. First up is an organic sparkling wine that always provides pleasure and consists of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir. There are also three fine reds from Chile. From the Central Valley area, the Travesy is a blend of 38% Malbec, 33% Carignan, and 29% Syrah, while the single varietal Carignan is from old vines that were dry farmed in the Maule Valley, which is located in the southern part of the Central Valley. Last, but not least, there is a lovely Pinot Noir from the up-and-coming Malleco Valley, Chile's southernmost official viticultural region.

Emiliana Organic Brut Sparkling (88 pts)

The mini-theme features wines from 6 top producers in the Okanagan, British Columbia. There is one wine from each producer, and four of the wines are included among my top wine recommendations. The lone red is the always lovely Merlot from Burrowing Owl. In white wines, there is a dry Pinot Gris by Mt. Boucherie, as well as a dry Riesling from Quails' Gate. And lastly, the sparkling wine from British Columbia is a blend of mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a splash of Pinot Gris made by Blue Mountain.

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut Sparkling (90 pts)

Red wines from the rest of the release include the latest vintage of the Chianti Classico that consists of 82% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 3% Syrah, while the red from Costières de Nîmes is a blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre. From Almansa in Spain, this red wine is a minimally-oaked blend of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) and Monastrell (Mourvèdre). The lovely Brunello is 100% Sangiovese, while the other Italian red is a Nero d'Avola from Sicily. Other single varietal wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, a Shiraz from South Africa, and a pair of Malbec wines from Argentina.

Caparzo La Casa Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (92 pts)Château Grand Escalion Safranée 2018

Feudo Montoni Lagnusa Nero d'Avola 2018Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (90 pts)

Laya 2018La Posta Pizzella Family Malbec 2018 (87 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Roussillon is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Macabeu, while the white Bordeaux consists of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon. The rest of the white wines are all single varietal wines, including Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, and a Chardonnay from British Columbia. For Riesling wine lovers, there is a dry Riesling from Alsace, as well as a pair of sweet Riesling Kabinett wines from Mosel.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU GRAND ESCALION SAFRANÉE 2018 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#18141) (XD) - $14.95  review coming soon...
  • LA POSTA PIZZELLA FAMILY MALBEC 2018 - Mendoza, Argentina (#166298) (XD) - $16.95  87 pts  wine review
  • ALAMOS SELECCIÓN MALBEC 2017 - La Consulta, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#322800) (XD) - $16.95
  • LAYA 2018 - DOP Almansa, Spain (#132605) (D) - $17.95  review coming soon...
  • INDOMITA OLD VINES DRY FARMED GRAN RESERVA CARIGNAN 2018 - DO Maule Valley, Chile (#16627) (XD) - $17.95
  • RUSTENBERG STELLENBOSCH SHIRAZ 2018 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#399246) (XD) - $16.95
  • SAN PEDRO 1865 TAYÚ PINOT NOIR 2018 - Buchahueico, DO Malleco Valley, Chile (#16628) (XD) - $19.95

  • DOMAINE NATURALISTE DISCOVERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#489906) (XD) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • FEUDO MONTONI LAGNUSA NERO D'AVOLA 2018 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#523738) (XD) - $24.95  review coming soon...
  • ODFJELL WINEMAKER'S TRAVESY CARIGNAN / MALBEC / SYRAH 2016 - Vegan, Central Valley, Chile (#17238) (XD) - $29.95
  • ISOLE E OLENA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2017 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#704346) (XD) - $38.95
  • BURROWING OWL MERLOT 2018 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#585737) (XD) - $39.95
  • CAPARZO LA CASA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2013 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#20750) (XD) - $79.95  92 pts  wine review

White Wine:

  • LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2018 - AP, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
  • LES HAUTS DE LAGARDE BLANC 2019 - Vegan, AC Bordeaux, France (#387787) (XD) - $18.95
  • MT. BOUCHERIE PINOT GRIS 2019 - BC VQA Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#17864) (XD) - $19.95
  • QUAILS' GATE DRY RIESLING 2019 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#308312) (XD) - $19.95
  • VAN LOVEREN CHRISTINA THE HERITAGE COLLECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#13354) (XD) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE FERNAND ENGEL HERITAGE RIESLING 2017 - AC Alsace, France (#17891) (XD) - $20.95
  • QUAILS' GATE CHARDONNAY 2018 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#377770) (XD) - $24.95
  • MAX FERD. RICHTER ELISENBERGER RIESLING KABINETT 2018 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#665984) (S) - $26.95
  • ANSGAR CLÜSSERATH TRITTENHEIMER RIESLING KABINETT 2017 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#18128) (MS) - $32.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • EMILIANA ORGANIC BRUT SPARKLING - Vegan, Traditional Method, DO Casablanca Valley, Chile (#536607) (XD) - $19.95  88 pts  wine review
  • BLUE MOUNTAIN GOLD LABEL BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional Method, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#206326) (XD) - $34.95  90 pts  wine review


  • LOUKATOS MUSCAT OF PATRAS - PDO, Greece (#290718) (S) - $9.95  FE

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January 23, 2021 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Chile + British Columbia


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