The Wine Times
The Wine Times

A former sommelier’s opinions/rants about the LCBO’s new vintages releases

The wine world is a man’s world (much like most of the world)

May 26, 2019

Hey guys,

They actually did a really great thing! They created a feature for this week’s release called, “Meet the Makers: top talents and their wines”…and guess what? ALL OF THEM ARE WOMEN! YAY! Eventho women have a better sense of smell/taste, the wine world is a man’s world (much like most of the world). So am happy to see this. There are a couple wines from the feature that I’ve listed with an *. And there’s some other stuff too.

Here are my picks:

*SUSANA BALBO MALBEC 2015
Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95

I’ve said a lot of terrible things about Malbec in my day and I stand by each and every one of them. From “it smells like a box of bandaids next to a tire fire” to “I’d rather drink a pint of warm Pisco garnished with pubic hair”, I really don’t care for the stuff. BUT there are exceptions to everything and this is one of them. Susana Balbo makes a nice, reasonably priced Malbec that I reco almost every time it comes through Vintages (so sorry if this is a repeat for you). As a part of the women’s feature, the LCBO has also released her rosé, which is likely nice as well.

*LUNGAROTTI MONTICCHIO RUBESCO TORGIANO ROSSO RISERVA 2010
Umbria, Italy
$46.95

Umbria is one of Italy’s most underrated regions and this bottle is a great example of just how awesome these wines can be. Under the appellation Torgiano Rosso Riserva, wines are generally super elegant and very age-able. I had this one in particular a few weeks ago and it’s showing realllllly nicely. 2010 was a kick ass vintage. It’s a touch pricey, but if yer sitting on a tall stack, give er a go. As a part of the feature on women winemakers, the LCBO has also released the entry level version of this wine, which is great too…it’s called LUNGAROTTI RUBESCO SANGIOVESE/COLORINO 2014 for $18.95.

DE GRENELLE SAUMUR BLANC GRANDE CUVÉE
Loire, France
$21.95

Awwwww yea. Sparkling Saumur is a tasty treat you don’t see everyday in our painfully restrictive marketplace. Made of mostly Chenin Blanc, this is a straight up beauty with some nice minerality, a touch of delicious smokiness, and a whiff of something mushroomy (in a good way). 

ZENI MAROGNE RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE 2014
 Veneto, Italy
$19.95

Haven’t tried this but it was awarded 3 gamberi rossi (the most props you can get as an Italian wine) so am keen to check it out. Fyi…it’s gonna be on the bigger end of the spectrum.

STÉPHANE AVIRON VIEILLES VIGNES MOULIN-À-VENT 2015 
Beaujolais, France
$23.95

I had a case of this cru Beaujolais in my basement. Now it’s somewhere in my liver. Good times.

DOMAINE DE MATABRUNE BOURGUEIL 2015
Loire, France
$18.95

Cab Franc can be tricky…it comes in so many styles; sometimes it’s super big, sometimes it’s v light, and sometimes it’s somewhere in the middle. It usually depends on where it’s from. This lil guy is from Bourgeuil in the Loire region of France where CF tends to be lighter in style. This wine takes on CF’s signature green pepper/vegetal note that’s not super crowd pleasing, but those who like it, like it a lot. Chill this slightly for super tasty results.

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