The best new bottles at the LCBO in March

The best new bottles at the LCBO in March

Toronto Life Wine Club

The LCBO is constantly adding new products to its shelves. 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 throughout March.


2009 Le Mesnil Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne

$66.95 | Champagne
This all-chardonnay bottle has excellent ripe aromas of orchard fruit, with nice weight, texture and complexity that will have you thinking you paid twice as much. Vintages 514208

2012 13th Street Premier Cuvée

$34.95 | Ontario
This was the top white wine at the 2018 Ontario Wine Awards. The aromas offer a nice toasty note layered over orchard fruit—exactly what one might expect from the warm summer of 2012. Vintages 142679

White wine

2017 Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay

$21.95 | Ontario
It’s hard to get more Canadian than this wine, aged in Canadian oak barrels and fermented with wild yeasts. But don’t let the word oak scare you: it’s well balanced, and the wood isn’t overpowering. Vintages 149302

2017 Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc

$12.95 | South Africa
Chenin is one of South Africa’s signature grapes, and this extremely well-priced bottle offers nice honeyed notes despite being bone dry. Vintages 480764

2017 Lakeview Cellars Viognier

$18.95 | Ontario
This viognier picks up some richness from spending several months on its lees, but there’s a freshness, too, with notes of melon rind, honeydew, lemon peel and tropical fruit, plus just the right amount of acidity to keep everything in check. Vintages 646307

Red wine

2015 Henry of Pelham Estate Cabernet/Merlot

$24.95 | Ontario
Henry of Pelham is perhaps best known for its baco noir, but the winery is just as adept with Bordeaux varietals, and this wine delivers impressive fruit with balanced spice and acidity. Vintages 395855

2015 Scattered Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon

$59.95 | California
This wine is a near-perfect example of all that is great about Napa. The tannins are soft and well integrated, which means it’s ready to drink now, even though it could just as easily sit in a wine cellar for a decade. Vintages 639500

2014 Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz

$89.95 | Australia
Anybody with a cellar probably has a few bottles of this wine, and they just let it sit because this wine can last for years. But if you do open it now, it’s smooth and gorgeous, with mocha, white pepper, blackberry, plum and other sweet black fruit. Vintages 731620

2016 Don’t Tell Gary Shiraz

$21.95 | Australia
This is one of the better value-priced shirazes to hit the shelves in some time. It’s big and juicy with cedar, meaty, pepper and smoky notes, all backed by great acidity—something that can be lacking in its mass-market kin. Vintages 632620

2015 Bastide Miraflors Syrah/Vieilles Vignes Grenache

$19.95 | France
One of the best values in the release, with lots of dark fruit plus smoked meat, floral, smoke, vanilla and toasty notes, and a juicy finish that lingers. Worth a multiple purchase and some cellar time. Vintages 320499

2016 Pieropan Soave Classico

$19.95 | Italy
Crisp and clean, with good balancing acidity and mineral notes, plus peach pit and citrus. It’s a pretty wine for a summer afternoon, and a nice change of pace for fans of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Vintages 946848

2014 Masi Serego Alighieri Monte Piazzo Valpolicella Classico Superiore

$21.95 | Italy
The Serego line of wines from Masi continues to over-deliver. This one is layered and lovely, with earthy mocha, black cherry, blackberry and even some blue fruit notes. Vintages 661306

2015 Roux Pere & Fils Les Valozieres Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru, Burgundy

$87 | Burgundy
If you’re a Burgundy hound, this one definitely should be in your wheelhouse: red cherries meet black cherries along with blackberry, smoke and that telltale earthy note that pinot often gives. Vintages 443564

2014 Contino Reserva

$42.95 | Spain
New meets old in this Rioja: spice, up-front fruit and white pepper show the new style side, while balsamic and herbal notes represent the old-school side. It makes for quite a marriage. Vintages 672923

2016 Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Cabernet Sauvignon

$19.95 | Australia
Kilikanoon always makes deep, dark and delicious wines, but this one is even better and more complex than usual, with smoky dark berries, generous fruit and tannins, and even a savoury element for some real depth of flavour. Vintages 675223 (March 30)

2016 Perdeberg 2016 The Dry Land Collection Courageous Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc

$24.95 | South Africa
This chenin is done in oak and shows a chardonnay-like character, with hints of vanilla cream, citrus zest and baking spices, pulled together by a long finish. Vintages 631531 (March 30)

2017 La Ferme du Mont Le Ponnant Cotes du Rhone-Villages

$22.95 | France
La Ferme du Mont makes great wines at all levels, and this one would be a steal at double the price. There’s red and black fruit and subtle smoke, with a cherry-fruit-leather finish. Get it before it’s gone—these wines go fast. Vintages 171371 (March 30)

2015 Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva

$16.95 | Portugal
This wine promises to be a company favourite come barbecue season, with black cherry, plum and herbal notes, and some savoury and spicy character. At this price, it’s worth considering a case. Vintages 548867 (March 30)

Chateau St. Jean 2015 45th Anniversary Special Edition Cabernet Sauvignon, California

$65 | California
Everything a California cab should be, with dark berry fruit, rich plum, smoke and earth, with a cassis and dark-chocolate finish. The tannins are big, and so is the spice. Can be held for a decade or more. Vintages 977173 (March 30)