Three Essentials

I recently got a taste of the Vintages Essentials catalogue… these are wines that are “always available” at Vintages outlets. I scratch my head on occasion when I see this list, wondering how certain wines make it while others, much more deserving of a spot on the list, do not. I have stopped trying to explain LCBO rationale, because I don’t think there really is any. It’s on-par with the Caramilk secret.

Anyway, here are three under-$20 reds that you’ll always be able to find… just take note of the vintage date, as these can change without notice.


Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($19.95 – #738823) – it’s the kind of Cab you think about when you think California: strawberries, blackberries and chocolate… a real crowd-pleaser (****).


Catena Malbec 2010 ($19.95 – #478727) – I don’t want to say that Catena has the market cornered on Malbec, but when it comes to value for money, I don’t know of a more consistent producer with this grape. Complexity of dark berries along with mocha, cinnamon, clove and vanilla, all put together with a nice balancing seam of acidity (***+)


Kilikanoon 2011 Killerman’s Run Shiraz ($19.95 – #925453) – a wine with great Aussie intensity: spiced chocolate, black raspberry jam and a great long finish that hangs out with cinnamon, vanilla and spice (****).


This week we also feature a video for a Sauvignon Blanc from Creekside winery: