The best bottles of Ontario wine at the LCBO

The best bottles of Ontario wine at the LCBO

A selective roundup of local all-stars


Peninsula Ridge 2014 Inox Chardonnay

$14.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 87 Points
Peninsula Ridge’s unoaked chardonnay displays ripe, peachy fruit (the result of the hot 2015 vintage) along with fennel notes. The easy-drinking wine is mid-weight, nicely balanced and fresh with a hint of enlivening carbon dioxide, and some tail-end bitterness. LCBO 594200

Creekside 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

$14.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 87 Points
From Creekside, a sauvignon pioneer in Niagara, comes a wine with generous green apple, lime and nettle notes. Nicely clean, it’s typical of sauvignon yet not very intense. It’s mid-weight, dry, crisp and tart, with lime and grapefruit on the finish. LCBO 620724

Jackson-Triggs 2015 Chardonnay Reserve

$13.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 87 Points
The warmer vintage has created a gentle creaminess that chardonnay fans will love. This wine has soft, well-harmonized butterscotch, spiced apple and vanilla aromas. It’s not heavy or thick but instead smooth, with a nicely dry finish. Very good value. LCBO 526251

Trius 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

$14.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 88 Points
If you’re a fan of New Zealand–style sauvignon, this one has great value. It’s pale in colour but delivers intense aromas of grass, celery leaf, grapefruit and passion fruit. It’s mid-weight, ultra fresh and mouth-watering with grapefruit bitterness and heat on the finish. A great sipping wine. Chill well. LCBO 221804

Henry of Pelham 2015 Chardonnay Estate

$19.95 | Short Hills Bench, Niagara | 88 Points
Henry of Pelham’s Chardonnay Estate is a touch lighter than previous vintages. Expect notes of poached pear, peat smoke and a hint of marzipan on the nose and palate. This wine is quite smooth with vital acidity and alcohol heat. Very good length. LCBO 268342

Cave Spring 2014 Chardonnay Musqué

$16.95 | Beamsville Bench, Niagars | 89 Points
Musqué (a specialty at Cave Spring) is a chardonnay mutation with floral aromas. Expect the weight and richness of a typical chardonnay along with aromatic dazzle from pear fruit, pepper and lime. It’s medium weight, firm and dry with a spicy finish. Vintages 246579

Cave Spring 2014 Riesling Estate

$18.95 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 90 Points
Originating from maturing estate vines, this delicate yet richly flavoured riesling offers mild peach and pear fruit, a touch of petrol, vague evergreen spice and a waxy character. The wine has an elegance that many Niagara rieslings don’t. Best from now to 2019. Vintages Essentials 286377

Malivoire 2014 Chardonnay

$19.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 90 Points
This is a very elegant, supple and flavourful chardonnay with classic butterscotch, baked yellow apple, lemon butter and hazelnut notes. It’s mid-weight, nicely polished and soft but has a fine beam of acidity characteristics similar to many Ontario wines. A very stylish white. Vintages Essentials 573147

Tawse 2013 Sketches Chardonnay

$21.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 90 Points
This light, tidy chardonnay shows poised apple and pear fruit, a touch of peat, plus vanilla and spice from short aging in French oak. It’s mid-weight, with a firm acidity that gives it a fine sense of elegance. Best to drink right away. Vintages Essentials 89037

Tawse 2014 Sketches Riesling

$18.20 | Niagara Peninsula | 90 Points
This gold medalist at the National Wine Awards is wonderfully fresh, brisk and generous, with floral, honey and peach aromas. It’s off-dry but brings scintillating acidity. It’s also green and grapefruity on the finish. Very good to excellent length. Vintages 89029

Thirty Bench 2014 Riesling

$19.95 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 90 Points
Thirty Bench has produced a riveting riesling with lifted, pure aromas of petrol, green pear, lime and fine balsam notes. This vintage is light bodied (containing 10.8% alcohol), taut and juicy with chalky notes on the finish. This very intense wine has excellent length. Vintages Essentials 24133

Tawse 2014 Quarry Road Riesling

$24.25 | Vinemount Ridge, Niagara | 91 Points
This gold medalist at the National Wine Awards is an intense, juicy riesling with mouth-watering acidity. Expect lime, fresh herbs, pine and green apples (the fruit follows through on the finish). There’s a little sweetness that’s nicely balanced by acidity. Vintages Essentials 198853

Peninsula Ridge 2014 Shiraz

$14.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 87 Points
Peninsula Ridge has produced a light, fresh and nicely supple shiraz with sweet notes of cherry and berry fruit, pepper and a floral hint (a mix of violet and red rose). The 2014 vintage has real charm. It’s a bit soft, with good length and admirable focus. Chill for a bit before serving. LCBO 70052

The Foreign Affair 2013 The Conspiracy

$19.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 87 Points
This winery pioneered the appassimento technique of using dried grapes from Italy’s Veneto region. The trend is catching on in Niagara, and the suppleness of this wine explains why. Expect earth, leather, clove and herbal character, with ripe raisiny fruit. Vintages Essentials 149237

Henry of Pelham 2015 Old Vines Baco Noir

$19.95 | Ontario | 88 Points
Old Vines baco is new to Henry of Pelham—a juicy, fruity and fairly dense red with elevated acidity. It’s also a bit sweet. The aromas and flavours consist of classic baco blackberry, beets, oak spice and resin. Tannin is fine. The length is very good to excellent. Vintages 459966

Southbrook 2014 Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon

$22.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 88 Points
A cooler climate cabernet sauvignon, it’s mid-weight, dense, tense and green with intriguing aromatics and lifted notes of blackcurrant, fresh herbs, vanilla and fine oak. This is a sinewy cabernet, typical of Niagara’s take on the varietal. Vintages Essentials 193573

Trius 2014 Red

$22.95 | Niagara Peninsula | 89 Points
Even in the cooler 2014 vintage, Trius Red remains a fine and elegant bordeaux-like blend of cabernet and merlot. Currant and raspberry notes are garnished with subtle oak and tobacco flavours. It’s a medium-weight, fairly dense wine with fine tannins. Best from 2018 to 2021. Vintages Essentials 303800

Chateau Des Charmes 2014 Gamay Noir

$14.95 | Niagara-on-the-Lake | 89 Points
This gold medalist at the 2016 National Wine Awards is a pleasant, juicy and well-balanced young gamay with lifted aromas of lilac, twigs, red plum, beetroot and berry. It’s light- to medium-bodied, brisk and tart-edged. Chill lightly before serving. LCBO 57349

Konzelmann 2015 Shiraz

$14.10 | Niagara Peninsula | 89 Points
Konzelmann has produced an extremely well-priced wine for syrah lovers. Expect classic flavours of lifted smoked meat, pepper, cherry jam and mocha. It’s medium weight, silky smooth and refined in texture. The only slight drawback is that the wine lacks a little structure. LCBO 144857

Hidden Bench 2013 Pinot Noir

$29.95 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 90 Points
Hailing from one of Niagara’s top houses, this pinot has verve and elegance, with flavours of lifted cran-cherry fruit, fresh herbs, toast and vanilla. It is mid-weight with fine tension, some sourness and fine tannins. Best to drink from 2017 to 2020. Vintages Essentials 274753