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Joy to the World

“Okay, early November is a bit too soon for Christmas carols. In fact, Dec. 21 (which is just about when I start to think about Christmas shopping) would be okay by me as the official start of the Christmas season.  But Vintages is already rolling out the Holidays with an “affordable party wines” theme for its Nov. 7 release.  For the most part, the selection is well chosen, with wines that combine approachability, quality (with a number in the 87–90 point range), and value. All are under $20. I may have issues with the LCBO – including its right to exist –  but when buyers do their jobs well on our behalf they deserve recognition.  In traditional LCBO fashion, it is also a worldly selection (another thing our favourite monopoly does well), so that you can explore new regions and styles with some degree of comfort.  Underlying all this is the fact that winemaking is becoming so good, on a global scale, that the quality and value of wine just can’t help but go up. So it is truly the season of joy to the world for all who simply want a good glass of wine among family and friends. There are a few expensive, notable, and excellent wines in this release – like Italy’s legendary Sassicaia 2006, but it just doesn’t cut it at $180. Not because we are in a recession, but because what’s in the bottle doesn’t measure up. I have rated it 91 points, but at this price it should be a swooning 99. Elsewhere at the upper end, Cliff Lede 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa gets close to justifying its price ($68, 93 pts), as does Le Clos Jordanne 2007 Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir from Niagara ($40, 91 pts). But this time out, all selections in David’s Half Dozen are focused on value and affordability. The party is up to you.”

–  David Lawrason, VP of Wine at WineAlign
Click here to see ranked lists and reviews of over 100 wines in this release.


David’s Half Dozen

Yalumba Viognier 2008
Yalumba Viognier 2008,
Eden Valley, South Australia
$22.95  92 pts

Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Leyda Valley, Chile
$15.95  90pts

Zenato Lugana 2008
Zenato Lugana 2008, Doc San Benedetto Lombardy, Italy  $14.95  89pts


Les Vignerons Du Castelas Côtes Du Rhône 2007
Les Vignerons Du Castelas Côtes Du Rhône 2007
Rhone Valley, France
$13.95  90pts

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cuvée 2007
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cuvée 2007,
Barossa, Australia
$14.95  89pts

Château De Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde 2006
Château De Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde 2006
Minervois, France
$14.95  89pts

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