Buyers Guide to Vintages April 27th Release Part Two

By David Lawrason

Last week we delivered a large batch of reviews from the VINTAGES April 27 release, including those in the Pacific Northwest feature. As the LCBO is no longer making all the wines available for preview – which gives them more control in pushing their own retailing agendas – our task of filling in the blanks involves coordinating samples from agents ahead of the release and also spills over into the days after the wines hit the shelves, when samples can more easily be obtained.

We also scour trade events for opportunities to taste the releases, which is how I spent my time at Monday’s California Wine Fair in Toronto. The task was made easier by the existence of a private media room that was thoughtfully stocked with recent and upcoming VINTAGES releases. Thanks to the California Wine Institute and the participating agents and wineries for making this possible. Some of them made it into my picks below, but several others from both April releases have been posted as well.

Before diving into the latest batch of picks, I want to also direct you to a report published this week wherein John, Sara and Michael highlight their favourite wines from the recent Cuvée Ontario event in Niagara. Each winemaker was asked to handpick wines they were most anxious to present, and our crew has not only picked their favourites, they have asked the winemakers to explain why they selected the wines they showed. It’s an interesting deep dive into what’s new and interesting in Ontario wine country.

Here are more recommended wines from the April 27th release.  Value at any price is the backbone of our selections, although sometimes we want to expose wines that are interesting for other reasons. Click on the link for full reviews and ratings.

Argentina Masterclass-in-a-box 


Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2016, Napa Valley, California ($39.95)
David Lawrason – This fulsome, elegant, reasonably priced Napa chardonnay walks right down main street of St. Helena with complex banana custard and spicy flavours set within creamy texture and some alcohol warmth.…

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Tune in next week as we have a look at the best bets from VINTAGES May 11 Release.  I will be travelling most of May but look forward to picking up the pace again in June.

Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.

Lawrason’s Take
John’s Top Picks
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview