The best new bottles at the LCBO in September

The best new bottles at the LCBO in September

More good stuff in your glass

The province’s purveyor of all things booze is constantly adding new product to its shelves. And honestly, it can be a lot to sift through. So we’ve (responsibly!) tasted our way through all of 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 beginning September 15:

 

Scotch

Springbank Distillery Hazelburn 10-Year-Old Campbeltown Single Malt

$104.95 | Scotland 

Once home to more than 28 distilleries, wee Campbelltown is now down to just three. Springbank is one of them, and this whiskey offers plenty of caramel and vanilla, and lots of telltale peatiness on the long finish. LCBO 554329

 

The Arran Malt Lochranza Reserve Single Malt

$57.95 | Scotland

A nice bit of citrus and vanilla on the nose and on the palate, with a smooth and clean finish. It’s slightly sweeter than other single malts, which should appeal to bourbon lovers. LCBO 478693

 

Sparkling wine

2012 13th Street Premier Cuvée

$34.95 | Ontario

This wine was honoured as the top white wine of the year at the 2018 Ontario Wine Awards, and for good reason. This bottle easily goes toe-to-toe with champagnes at double the price, so there really is no excuse to not pick up two. LCBO 142679

2016 Gérard Bertrand Cuvée Thomas Jefferson Brut Crémant de Limoux

$19.95 | France

Some historians will argue that Limoux, in the south of France, is where sparkling wine originated. This bottle is made in the same style as champagne, making the sub-$20 price tag very attractive. What makes this wine different is that, along with chardonnay and pinot noir, it contains chenin blanc, which adds a floral note over intense citrus and pear flavours. LCBO 438838

 

White wine

2016 Flat Rock Good Kharma Chardonnay

$16.95 | Ontario

This wine is a textbook example of what makes chardonnay great in Ontario, with nice flavours of peach and vanilla. But you can feel good drinking this knowing that a portion of the sales go to the Ontario Association of Food Banks. Vintages 356873

 

2016 Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling

$19.95 | Ontario

While the Vineland Estates portfolio is pretty bulletproof, winemaker Brian Schmidt is a real riesling specialist. This bottle offers nice balance between sweetness and sharp acidity, and it’s a great way to stock a wine cellar without breaking the bank: you could easily hold a few bottles for three to five years. Vintages 38117

 

2017 Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc

$21.95 | New Zealand

Sauvignon Blanc comes in two formats: ripe and unripe. New Zealand makes the unripe version, which has become incredibly popular with its grassy and citrus notes. This one hits all the marks of the style, with its lemon zest and definite herbaceousness. LCBO 414789

 

Red wine

 

2016 CREW Merlot

$17.95 | Ontario

Wines from the Lake Erie North Shore are making a comeback after a few very cold winters heavily damaged the region’s vineyards. These wines are generally more ripe and jammy than what you will find from Niagara or Prince Edward County, but this merlot is exceptionally smooth and fruity, a perfect match to late summer barbecue. Vintages 310532

 

2016 Château des Jean-Loron Les Gandelins Chenas

$19.95 | France

Beaujolais often gets a bad rap because of super-young Beaujolais Nouveau. But when you get a good-quality cru (one of only 10 in the region), you know you have something special in your glass. The cru in question here is Chenas, and it delivers on some beautiful fruit, spice and minerality, and if you want to cellar it for five-plus years, you can do that too—don’t try that with Nouveau. Vintages 561530

 

2015 Wild Thing Old Vines Zinfandel

$26.95 | California

Winemaker Carol Shelton is the queen of zinfandel, and this is her entry-level bottle. But there is nothing basic about this well-structured wine, with great dark fruit and vanilla notes, and the acidity to match. Zinfandel was practically made to pair with foods from the barbecue, and this one is no exception. Vintages 282517

 

2017 Two Hands Angels’ Share Shiraz

$24.95 | Australia

With an alcohol concentration north of 15 per cent, this shiraz is not for the faint of heart. But with such good balance, you might not feel it until the third glass. It’s silky smooth with a hint of vanilla, smoke and plum-blackberry, with a meaty finish. Vintages 9480

 

2016 Viñademoya Centenaria Mencia

$18.95 | Spain

Once upon a time, the little-known Spanish mencia grape was thought to be a relative of cabernet franc due to the similarites in the wines they produce, so you can expect this to taste a bit like a Bordeaux. Smoked blackberry and mocha-raspberry show up here, and it makes it a fun little wine to pour for friends.