Holiday Wine Guide: 13 of the LCBO’s best bottles to give as gifts

Holiday Wine Guide: 13 of the LCBO’s best bottles to give as gifts

Bottles to give or cellar for a special occasion—even if the recipient is yourself, and that occasion is right now

Bernard-Massard Cuvée de L’Écusson Brut Sparkling

$24.95 | Luxembourg
A traditional-method sparkling wine from Luxembourg, and it comes with a couple of glasses in a beautiful box that will look great under a Christmas tree. Nice hints of bread crust along with apple, bosc pear, melon and a fun little earthy finish that leans apple and pear skin. An interesting find. LCBO 21863

Unánime Gran Vino Tinto

$29.95 | Argentina
This rich, plush blend is made from hand-harvested cabernet sauvignon, malbec and cabernet franc, and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months. The tannin is soft and well integrated, making this wine easy to drink now, or left in the cellar for 10 to 15 years. LCBO 466938

Two Hands Gnarly Dudes

$24.95 | Australia
This is a beautiful, well-made Australian shiraz. The name refers to the old vines from which the fruit is sourced. It’s a full bodied bottle that delivers notes of cassis, blackberry, smoke, and spice. LCBO 660043

2017 Trapiche Gran Medalla Malbec

$28.95 | Argentina
A perfect gift for someone that is already building a wine collection, this bottle needs a few years in the cellar (or at least a proper decanting) before it’s ready to drink, but the reward seems promising. It’s full bodied, with juicy blueberry and blackberry notes. LCBO 467977

2016 Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Gran Selezione Chianti Classico

$49.95 | Italy
From the most wonderful of vintages, this Gran Selezione is a wine that you could drink right now or wait another 10 years and enjoy even more. There are complex notes of cedar and smoke, with spices and even some herbs. But it’s the dark fruit that really takes centre stage. LCBO 353201

2019 Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir

$44.95 | Ontario
This is an outstanding bottle of pinot noir from a challenging vintage. The result is an elegant and nicely concentrated wine that delivers rich cherry notes on the nose and on the palate. Vintages 184549

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2018 Artemis

$89.95 | California
Lovely flavours of spiced plum and black cherry with robust tannins and a long finish. It opens showing notes of Christmas cake aromatics and mocha, finishing with dark chocolate, dark fruit and a gentle spice, all backed by good acidity. LCBO 708982

2020 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Brouilly

$19.70 | France
Brouilly is the southernmost and largest of the Beaujolais crus. This particular wine is a medium bodied wine that offers up dense notes of cherry and plum. The silky tannin makes for an elegant finish, but the structure of this wine will evolve even further in a cellar over the next 3 years. LCBO 213934

2018 Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

$54.95 | California
This is the affordable gateway into Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. Strong aromas of cassis, blueberry, blackberry and hints of cedar and smoke. This wine needs a bit of patience: be ready to decant for several hours to tame the firm tannins. Better yet: stash it away for five years. LCBO 255513

2018 Barnard Griffin Merlot

$28.95 | Washington
This is Washington merlot at its finest, as notes of violet meet black fruit to drive the wine forward. There’s a smooth delicacy across the palate, with subtle smoky notes. But when all is said and done, this is a drinkable, almost crushable, bottle that’s both balanced and has enough complexity to please oenophiles and newbies alike. LCBO 20565

2020 Jackson-Triggs Niagara Grand Reserve White Meritage

$25.95 | Ontario
This blend of sémillon and sauvignon blanc draws inspiration from Bordeaux, but it’s all Niagara. Coming from the hot, dry 2020 vintage, the aromas are pineapple, passion fruit and orange. The fruit notes are caressed with subtle spice and a kiss of campfire smoke. Thanks to a bit of time in neutral oak, this wine has built some nice texture and would be best served in a big glass. LCBO 360297

Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2020

$21.95 | New Zealand
You don’t need to know about Manolo Blahnik to enjoy this wine, but if you know someone excited about the reboot of Sex and the City, this bottle will definitely speak to them. This is an outstanding example of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. The passion fruit and grapefruit aromas have nice intensity, and the finish is long with tropical flavours that linger. LCBO 14278

2018 Zonte’s Footstep’s Chocolate Factory Shiraz

$19.95 | Australia
As the name suggests, this wine is deeply concentrated with dark cocoa on the palate, along with deep cherry and blackberry notes. Much higher quality than the price point would suggest. LCBO 396481