The best new bottles at the LCBO in December

The best new bottles at the LCBO in December

Toronto Life Wine Club

The LCBO is constantly adding new products to its shelves, and when the weather gets cooler, that usually means lots of spirits and red wine. We tasted our way through the new releases and put together a guide to the best new booze of the month. Here’s what to look for on store shelves in December.

Spirits

Lot No. 40 Cask Strength 11 Year Old Canadian Whisky

$99.95 | Canada
This goes straight into the bottle at 58.4 per cent alcohol, so you may want to include a splash of water or a single ice cube. Expect something wonderfully concentrated, complex and spicy. LCBO 624981

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #4 Fire and Cane

$79.75 | Scotland
There is nothing subtle about this bottling, part of Glenfiddich’s foray into nontraditional single-malt whiskies. The aroma is of heavy peat, but the finish is long and sweet thanks to aging in American-oak rum casks. LCBO 629352

 

The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey

$49.95 | Ireland
This double-distilled five-year-old Irish whiskey is finished for a few weeks in new American oak barrels. It’s amazingly smooth with a vanilla finish, subtle butterscotch notes and no heat or burn to speak of. The best part: no rabbits were harmed in the making of this whiskey. LCBO 631887

 

Sparkling

2009 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Extra Brut Champagne

$91.95 | France
Extra-aged vintage champagne is an acquired taste. This nine-year-old bottling still tastes totally fresh and vibrant, with good acidity plus biscuity notes and an apple core. Vintages 69773

 

Ruinart de Ruinart Brut Champagne

$85.95 | France
Inside this distinctive bottle is a fresh, lively, clean and approachable champagne, with lots of fruit (apple and pear) flavours and some quintessential breadiness. Vintages 189878

 

Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne

$19.95 | France
For those looking to have on hand some secondary bubbles that will fool others into believing you’re pouring the more expensive stuff, this is your bottle. It offers great value and a fresh and fruity nature, with the right amount of croissant and apple. Vintages 991562

 

2013 Featherstone Joy Premium Cuvée Sparkling

$34.95 | Niagara
This Ontario sparkler easily competes with champagne at twice the price. Vintages 310334

 

Ca’Del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Brut Franciacorta

$42.95 | Italy
Franciacorta is a region of Italy that focuses on traditional-method sparkling wines. While the method and grapes used to make this bottle are similar to champagne, the flavour profile is a little riper than its French counterpart. Vintages 105353

White

2017 Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay

$19.95 | Argentina
This is fantastically balanced and offers a little of everything that makes chardonnay great: spice, tropical fruit, texture and balanced acidity on the finish. Vintages 918805

 

2015 Chateau Filhot Sauternes

$24.95 | France
Made with botrytis-affected sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes in the Bordeaux region of France, Canadians will recognize the sweet pear and honeyed-apricot notes as being similar to icewine. Vintages 514679

Red

Sandeman 20-Year-Old Tawny Port

$64.95 | Portugal
Tawny ports offer plenty of intrigue for the palate, and this one is thick and sweet with cherry, fig, dates and spice. Vintages 116178

 

2016 Organized Crime Pipe Down

$21.95 | Niagara
This bottle captures the essence of the very hot 2016 Niagara summer. The fruit is very ripe without being jammy, and it’s ready to drink now, even though it could age in a cellar for four-to-six years. Vintages 356865

 

2015 Girard Cabernet Sauvignon

$39.95 | California

One of the best Californian releases in recent memory, it’s rich and concentrated with flavours of cassis and cherry, with hints of cocoa and smoke on the finish.  Vintages 231712

 

2014 Primus Cabernet Sauvignon

$19.95 | Chile
Chile is a goldmine for affordable collection-worthy wines. The firm tannins in this bottle will take a year or two to relax, so be sure to decant before drinking it any sooner. Vintages 486043

 

2015 Solaia

$316.95 | Italy
This beauty made by Antinori, one of the best producers of Super Tuscans in Italy—is rich and flavourful, with lots of concentrated dark fruit and spice. Vintages 987586

 

2014 Confidencial Reserva

$13.95 | Portugal
Wines from the Lisboa region of Portugal have a fruity richness—cherry kirsch, plum and other red and black fruits—that really hits the palate hard. One of the best value-driven guilty pleasures of the year. Vintages 452789

 

2015 Domaine de Verquiere Plan de Dieu

$21.95 | France
This sub-region of the Rhone Valley borders the more famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and has all the character and flavour of its more well-known neighbour: mocha, cherry, herbal and plum, with other rich red and dark fruit flavours. Vintages 537936