Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmen Carmenere, Domaine Chanson, The Ned Pinot Gris Best Wines in the LCBO Vintages Release March 17

You don’t need the luck of the Irish to find some terrific wines this week! Here are my top picks from the March 17 Vintages Release. You can also get all 59 of my Best Value Wines and Top Rated Wines for red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines that encompass many price points, styles and regions.

It always helps to have some back-up choices in case those below are already sold out.

You can also add my Top Wine Picks to your custom shopping list by clicking on the little shopping cart icon. Stock up for the weekend, then enjoy!



Las Perdices Torrontés, Argentina

A profusion of white flowers, white peach and sunshine. This is simply glorious and will dance with Asian dishes, seafood and roast chicken. Drink: 2012-2015.  267823  $12.95  Score: 89/100. Best Value White Wine


Alkoomi Riesling, Australia

Lovely petrol and white peach on the nose. Terrific intensity on the palate with a satisfying long finish. Great acidity for food. Drink: 2012-2015.  269290  $16.95  Score: 90/100. Best Value White Wine



Domaine Chanson Burgundy, France

Lovely hazelnut and toasty richness on this oaked chardonnay. Buttery and round with terrific balancing acidity. Drink: 2011-2015.  265033  $32.95  Score: 91/100. Top Rated White Wine




Domaine Christophe Camu, Chablis, France

Clean and crisp: a glorious unoaked chardonnay from northern Burgundy. This is perfect as an aperitif or pair it with a variety of dishes from lobster in butter to roast chicken. Pair with: steamed mussels with fennel, oysters on the half shell. Drink: 2012-2016.  268532  $18.95  Score: 90/100. Best Value White Wine



Lawson’s Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Herbal but too grassy with crisp, mouth-watering acidity. Clean and refreshing. Drink: 2012-2014.  214460  $17.95  Score: 89/100. Best Value White Wine




The Ned Pinot Gris Marlborough, New Zealand

Love it! I find many pinot gris boring, but this is spectacularly interesting. Glorious notes of white peach and Asian pear, with a lovely salmon hue. Perfect aperitif or companion to seafood, salads and roast chicken. Pair with: seafood dishes. Drink: 2012-2015.  267138  $14.95  Score: 91/100. Best Value White Wine



 Simi Chardonnay, California

Full-bodied, generous chardonnay with the right amount of oak and lovely green apple and peach aromas. Pair with: pork loin dishes, grilled tuna. Drink: 2012-2015.  673806  $19.95  Score: 90/100. Top Rated White Wine




Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon,Coonawarra, South Australia

Gorgeous richness with a juicy underlay of fleshy dark berries. Layers of pleasure with a terrific long finish. Serve it to your boss at dinner and get a raise, guaranteed. Drink: 2012-2016.  473645  $53.95  Score: 93/100. Top Rated Red Wine


St. Hallett Shiraz Blackwell, Australia

Smoky, toasty oak wraps around black, brooding fruit. Full-bodied and smooth. Honkin’ big! Drink: 2012-2016.  535104  $29.95  Score: 91/100. Top Rated Red Wine



Wakefield Shiraz, Australia

Blackberry liqueur richness with a hint of mint. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. This is an incredible wine for the price. Drink: 2012-2015.  943787  $17.95  Score: 91/100. Best Value Red Wine




Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir, Ontario

Full-bodied pinot with lots of toasty oak. It’s supported by velvet cushions of fleshy ripe cherries. Drink: 2012-2015.  274753  $38.20  Score: 91/100. Top Rated Red Wine



Carmen Carmenère, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Another remarkable wine from this winery that tastes twice as expensive as it costs. Smooth, full-bodied and well-rounded with generous layers of black plush plum. Drink: 2012-2016.  439166  $17.95  Score: 91/100. Best Value Red Wine


Foncalieu La Réserve Du Crouzau, France

An incredible wine for this price point! Rich, full-bodied, offering generous layers of fleshy blackberries and dark fruit. Buy a case while it lasts. Pair with: herb-encrusted lamb. Drink: 2012-2016.  142943  $14.95  Score: 90/100. 2012 Best Value Red Wine



Jean-Marie Arnoux Vieux Clocher, France

Full-bodied, rich and layered with black cherries and blackberries running through its dark heart. Decant for 2 hours. Pair with: herb-encrusted lamb. Drink: 2012-2016.  172668  $21.95  Score: 91/100. Top Rated Red Wine



Château Ségla, France

A gorgeous, full-bodied, perfectly balanced bordeaux. Classic aromas of cassis and wild blackberry. Pleasantly bitter, complex and deep with a long finish. One of the better wines from the 2008 vintage I’ve tasted. This is the second wine of Chateau Rauzan-Ségla … Think of it as Max Mara weekend wear versus the main Max Mara brand. Pair with: rack of lamb with a blackberry-jelly sauce. Drink: 2012-2018.  265512  $47.95  Score: 91/100. Top Rated Red Wine



Mas D’auzierès Les Éclats, France

Terrific for this price! Full-bodied with juicy ripe purple and black plums. Layers of full-bodied pleasure. Top me up! Pair with: herb-encrusted lamb. Drink: 2012-2015.  271742  $16.95  Score: 90/100. Best Value Red Wine



Château de Beaucastel Pierre Perrin, France

Incredible concentration yet still elegant and balanced, not heavy. This is the flagship wine for Châteauneuf-du-Pape: consistently glorious year after year. Will keep in your cellar very well. Pair with: hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2013-2020.  711317  $89.95  Score: 95/100. Top Rated Red Wine


Papale Primitivo Di Manduria Varvaglione Vigne & Vini, Italy

Juicy great with generous layers of mouth-watering blackberries, blueberries and purple plums. Primitivo is the Italian version of zinfandel … Fire up the barbecue! Pair with: seafood jambalaya, Moroccan-style lamb dish with cumin, coriander and paprika. Drink: 2012-2015.  261784  $15.95  Score: 89/100. Best Value Red Wine



Quintarelli Valpolicella, Italy

Rich black cherry liqueur and dark spices with layers of full-bodied goodness. A long, lasting finish. Drink: 2013-2020.  986117  $79.95  Score: 95/100.Top Rated Red Wine

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Lovely concentration of fleshy dark cherries and raspberries. Smooth and medium- to full-bodied. Absolutely luscious! Drink: 2011-2016.  31294  $47.95  Score: 93/100. Top Rated Red Wine



Spice Route Shiraz, South Africa

Triple yum! Juicy with blackberry liqueur richness. Complex, deep and long: just like the ideal relationship. I love this winery… That’s why it’s featured in my book Unquenchable. Drink: 2012-2016.  263657 $24.95  Score: 92/100. Top Rated Red Wine


Baron De Ley, Spain

This is a remarkable wine — please save me some as I intend to get a couple of cases. Matures aromas of leather, cigar box, dried herbs and black plums. It’s rare to get a mature wine like this on a release, snap it up but not too much. Drink: 2012-2015.  642496 $29.95  Score: 94/100. Top Rated Red Wine




Opus One, California

Just a baby: give this one cellar time. Classic, robust, complex and deep with black fruit and toasty oak. Drink: 2014-2020.  158063 $364.95  Score: 95/100. Top Rated Red Wine




Villa Mt. Eden Zinfandel, California

Some kind of juicy wonderful! Full-bodied and almost cabernet-like in its complexity and depth. However, this wine also delivers pure zinfandel pleasure: smooth and tasty. Pair with: beef ribs. Drink: 2011-2015.  256719 $19.95  Score: 92/100. Best value Red Wine



Saintsbury Pinot Noir, California

Very robust pinot, yet balanced. Dark fleshy berries with some smoke on the finish. A very nice man makes this wine :) Pair with: grilled meats. Drink: 2012-2016.  359265 $31.95  Score: 92/100. Top Rated Red Wine



G. Marquis Silver Line Ice Rosé, Ontario

Toasty and full-bodied with aromas of ripe raspberries and toast. Pair with: shrimp cocktail, soft cheeses. Drink: 2012-2014.  274761 $29.95  Score: 90/100. Top Rated Sparkling Wine



Lefèvre Rémondet, France

A steal for bubbly… Got a big party, wedding or reunion? Here’s your wine. Lovely notes of field strawberries. Pair with: light seafood salads. Drink: 2012-2014.  265306 $15.95  Score: 89/100. Best Value Sparkling Wine


Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top, Champagne, France

Terrific toast and crispness. Baked bread and green apple vibrancy. Drink: 2012-2015.  68288 $49.95  Score: 90/100. Top Rated Sparkling Wine




Graham Beck Brut Sparkling, South Africa

An absolute steal for such a terrific sparkling wine! Toasty and crisp. Buy several cases for your summer parties. Drink: 2012-2014.  593483 $18.95  Score: 90/100. Best Value Sparkling Wine



Mumm Sparkling Rosé, California

Loving this! Terrific aromas of raspberries and toast. Perfect for parties and celebrations. Pair with: lobster salad, salmon steaks, pan seared scallops. Drink: 2012-2015.  205641 $29.95  Score: 90/100. Top Rated Sparkling Wine



De Bortoli Semillon, Australia

A lusciously layered dessert wine with rick aromas and flavours of honeyed apricot and peach preserves. Triple yum!. Drink: 2010-2017.  917252 $29.95  Score: 91/100. Top Rated Dessert Wine



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