Jane’s Gems: 90 Point Wines in LCBO Vintages August 22

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By Jane Staples

The August 22 Vintages Release is all about wines that have achieved a score of 90 points or more out of 100 from various wine critics. There’s a certain magic in that score of 90 or above, as we all remember test grades from childhood so we can relate easily to them.medals for wine

There’s even a great difference, perceptually, between 89 and 90 for many consumers, even though there may not be for the critic giving the score.

The 100-point wine scoring system wasn’t invented by the US critic Robert Parker Jr., but he certainly brought it to prominence in using consistently starting in the 1970s. He gained a large following as a result.

Many wine critics, including myself, now use that system, not only because it’s easy to understand, but also because many consumers want it.

Tasting notes are helpful, and give you a richer sense of the wine, but many readers want you to also quantify what you mean by a “great wine.”

Admittedly, it’s impossible to capture a wine’s essence in a number, and that number remains a subjective opinion no matter how mathematical or precise it appears to be. However, it is a service to wine buyers, and so its popularity continues.

Here are my 90+ point wines from the August 22 LCBO Vintages Release:

Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2012

Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2012
Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

A Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont VQA Riesling with an inviting nose of peach, lemon and wet stone. The palate gives bright peach, lemon, minerality and touch of honey. Crisp, mouth-watering acidity and a long lemony finish. Taste this and see what Ontario Riesling is all about!

Alcohol:  11%
Sweetness: Medium
750 ml
Drink: 2013-2020
Price:  $35.20
Score: 91/100



Delaforce Touriga Nacional 2013  
Douro D.O.C., Portugal
Delaforce Touriga Nacional 2013From the spectacular Douro Valley,Portugal, an opaque purple-red wine made made from indigenousTouriga Nacional grapes. Dark fruit on the nose with hints of licorice, herbs and violets. Palate gives delicious black currant, floral hints, oak and earthy notes. Aged 12 mos in oak. Very dry, blackcurrant finish. Excellent with game and hearty red meats.

Alcohol: 14%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2018
Price: $20.95
Score: 92/100


Lornano Le Bandite Riserva Chianti Classico 2009   Lornano Le Bandite Riserva Chianti Classico 2009
Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy

Le Bandite Riserva Chianti Classico from Siena, Italy is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. Ripe cherry nose, with a touch of mocha, then the palate gives lots of ripe cherry, subtle spices, mocha and oak, from 21 mos. oak aging. Dry with a spicy cherry finish.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2018
Price: $19.95
Score: 90/100


Robert Young Chardonnay 2012Robert Young Chardonnay 2012
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States

From Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, California, a delicious rich Chard with a nose of tropical pineapple and vanilla, followed by a palate showing more tropical fruit with lots of creamy butterscotch and slight lemon twist. Full-bodied, well-balanced with a long tropical/lemon finish.

Alcohol:  14.7%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2018
Price: $29.95
Score: 91/100


De Wetshof Limestone Hill Unwooded Chardonnay 2014   De Wetshof Limestone Hill Unwooded Chardonnay 2014
Robertson W.O., South Africa

This Unwooded Chardonnay from Robertson, S Africa has a fruity tropical nose and a palate showing tasty pineapple, passionfruit and lemon/lime. Dry and medium-bodied with a long fruity finish.

Alcohol:  14%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2014-2017
Price:  $15.95
Score: 90/100


Jane Staples 1Jane Staples
Wine Columnist

Jane graduated from Algonquin College’s Sommelier Program with the Gold Medal in Food and Wine Pairing and a score of 94.5% in the final exam.

She completed courses in Winetasting, Grape Varieties, Food and Wine Pairing, Old World Wines, New World Wines, Vinification and Advanced Sommelier Techniques. She also has a BA from the University of Toronto.

Jane is a principal wine columnist for nataliemaclean.com, with this regular column, as well as for her own site, bellovino.ca. Jane is also the regular wine columnist for Ottawa Wedding Magazine and also writes for Alive Magazine.

Jane provides sommelier services and tastings for private functions, and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian.







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