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LCBO Vintages Corner


jayt90
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Just picked up 4 bottles of the 2002 Dominus. I suspect this one will be a hard one to get in the release. I was offered the 6L but figured I did not know enough people to share with and could not drink it all myself. :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

A Vintages Rep. (east of Yonge St. ) has told me about a recent widow with a wine cooler to sell. It is 750 bottles max., cherrywood, for $2000.

I surmise that some wine might be available, but that would have to go through the LCBO.

PM me if interested.

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March 4 Vintages Release

There have been several excellent Vintages releases (every two weeks now) and I thought I'd sit this one out. But I glanced at Beppi's comments in the Globe today and realised I'd have to go. I came home with a case of everyday wines, averaging $13-$14.

Are the prices of good, well made wines coming down?

Is there a global wine glut?

Will there be downward pressure on the big boys?

Only one of Crosariol's recommendation is pricey, three are $23-25, and the rest (8) $13-20.

I loaded up on 2003 Crios de Susana Balbo Cab Suv., at $13 (Argentine) as it may go fast.

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Jay, thanks. Will check it out this afternoon. I picked up a portuguese red for about $13-$14 a couple weeks ago, Prancas (I think, sorry) that was absolutely fabulous, one of the best everyday wines I've had in awhile. It seems to me that there have been a fair number of good, well made wines at reasonable prices available lately. As for downward pressure on the big boys...I somehow doubt it, but what do I know!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Also, the number of good Vintages wines at reasonable prices can be be a factor in 'bring your own wine' outings. We can substantially reduce a restaurant bill, enjoy the meal as well, and still pay a decent corkage fee and tip.

But it is worthwhile to look at the the bimonthly catalogues, and get the wines on arrival, since many are sold out quickly.

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I might suggest:

Domaine la Martine Roaix 2003

AOC Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Roaix $16.95 (962214)

This has been at Vintages since roughly September, but it's drinking so well now that I can only imagine it is being snapped off shelves.

Pick it up for your next lasagna night.

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I might suggest:

Domaine la Martine Roaix 2003

AOC Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Roaix $16.95 (962214)

This has been at Vintages since roughly September, but it's drinking so well now that I can only imagine it is being snapped off shelves.

Pick it up for your next lasagna night.

I'll put this on my list. Thanks, Aldous.

In a similar mode, I'm going to look for the Gigondas and one of the Portuguese reds in the current release (I think it was $23 but I don't have the catalogue in front of me).

For the first time in years I'm going to return a wine: the 2003 Crios Cab Saug. ($13) from Mendoza.

I found the rave review in Saturday's Globe, by Crosariol, to be completely misleading. It was not true to the varietal, there was no hint of cherry or blackberry, in fact, there was a hint of acetic.

This was no "Pick of the Week", and has me wondering if the critic was in a hurry, or in cahoots with the trade.

I know it was only $13 a pop, but there are better everyday values out there.

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I was going to pass on this release but ended up picking up 6 of the Meandro. I had to try 3 different stores before I found any. I have yet Ito try it but am looking forward to it. I also grabbed a bottle of the Crios Cab to try and found it got better with some time in the decanter, it was ok at $13.

Edited by Manolo (log)
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  • 7 months later...

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2005 has hit the shelves at $15. There is a good review in the Globe today, but the supply seems to be quite good, for a few days at least.

Use the Vintages.com search engine to see if it is still available.

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After a few weeks of delay the 2004 St. Innocent "Seven Springs Vineyard" Pinot Noir from Oregon final came into the LCBO (still a tiny bit left along with the other vineyard they brought in). Hard to find but worth the hunt. In Nov., the 2004 Beaucastel CDP is in if that is your shtick. :wink:

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  • 1 month later...

I hope you all managed to score some of the Sea Smoke Pinot that came in the Classics. Scored big on this one some of the 01 Grange and also picked up a 6 pack of some Littorai Savoy Pinot from an agent in the city. Score! Not sure if there is any more out there but the best I have seen in a while. I hear that one should be at the tasting tower at QQ on the 27th as there is going to be some high end champagne's to taste....nummmy.

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  • 2 months later...

Looks like the 2002 Willows Shiraz is the wine to get in the March 17th release. Just picked up 4 bottles of the same. Outstanding price! For point chasers....not that I am one :wink: parker gave it 93 points.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For those looking for great California values I suggest you try to pick up some of the Mount Eden Cab and Chardonnay that were in today's release. Very little out there (40 cases total of the Chard and 18 of the Cab). Both around $47 bucks. These ISD's will not have write ups by the locals (for those who care) which make them a little easier to get since many prefer to follow. Also, there are a few bottles of the 2004 Torbreck Struie Shiraz to be found. Also around the same price.

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Yes! There are literally dozens of 'soft releases' in the Vintages stores. And they're NOT leftovers (although they are 'Classics like').

For example: The de Vogue Chambolle Musigny 2004 (although a query on the LCBO website says it's the 2002 and was released a couple of years back!!!!!!).

Many of the Italians can easily be found by doing a search on 'Marc De Grazia', then sorting the list by LCBO item # (just click on the heading).

If you ignore the last digit of the item # (which is a check digit), you'll see that many on this list have consecutive item #'s - and they all have "n/a" as their release date. Not surprising as they were NEVER formally released. Not sure if I should be pleased that the LCBO has genuine 'in-store discoveries' or disgusted that this is potentially a method of putting wines on the shelves that will only be known to a 'select few'. Of course these 'select few' wouldn't be friends of officials at the LCBO would they!!!!!!!

So far I can't find anything on their website that explains these unofficial releases. And I asked a product consultant for a list - he/she (protecting identity) said there wasn't one (!) - if so, how do these get into the stores??????

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....So far I can't find anything on their website that explains these unofficial releases. And I asked a product consultant for a list - he/she (protecting identity) said there wasn't one (!) - if so, how do these get into the stores??????

I think that what happens is there is product that agents bring in and then end up not being able to sell them to their clients and then arrange to sell them through the LCBO after the fact OR people buy from agents and I think that since all wines are technically purchased through the LCBO, the must accept returns. I have seen this happen many times, usually wines with the orange stickers. I think this is why it is so hit and miss. Case in point, many many bottles of the 2002 Spottswoode showed up 6 months before it came out in the classics. I think classics got it at the same time but held back on the release and then the agent was overloaded and need to unload.

I read in a newspaper a rant about not being able to taste the ISD's. My view is that (i) I would prefer the LCBO not waste a few bottles on the trade with the small amount they have (I personally could care less what any writer in Canada has to say about wines other than Canadian wines) just so people can have a local review, since there are many writers out there other than local writers, case in point Robert Parker rated the Mount Eden 2001 Chardonnay with 93 points and that is good enough for me and should be for many out there so why do I need a local writers view, and (ii) local reviews appeal to those who do nothing more than open up the local rags that review wine each week and ..... surprise surprise the reviews seem very close, if not identical, to the other major reviews - I mean really, does a local writer need to tell me the Bollinger RD is outstanding...PLEEASE!).

I think it is impossible to understand the LCBO.

Edited by mkjr (log)

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I think that what happens is there is product that agents bring in and then end up not being able to sell them to their clients and then arrange to sell them through the LCBO after the fact OR people buy from agents and I think that since all wines are technically purchased through the LCBO, the must accept returns.  I have seen this happen many times, usually wines with the orange stickers. 

This is definitely not the situation with these wines.

In the instance you mention, they use a "fake" product code (always the same code - actually I've seen two codes). All of these new ones have legitimate codes on the shelf (even if some descriptions are wrong!) and are 'nominally' searchable on the LCBO database. However the results are not reliable (the searches on the Struie and Chambolle Musigny mentioned above give the correct price but wrong vintage, tasting notes and release dates).

And I can't see a limited stock of a 96 Point parker rating, which was also in the latest Wine Spectator top 100, not being able to sell out at around $50.

Neither are they listed in the 'In-Store Discoveries' - which does include the Mount Eden wines (regardless of whether they are available for a press tasting). Incidentally the 91 and 96 Chardonnays from Mount Eden that I had last night were both in great shape - the 96 is still tight and has years ahead of it, so lay down the 2001 if you buy it.

I tried asking a consultant at a different store about the source. I was told two stories.

One was that, in eliminating the Classics catalogue and switching to the promised 'better service' through more frequent smaller on-line releases, there was too much for the recent on-line catalogue - they didn't want to raise expectations.

The second was that (theoretically) catalogue wines (on-line or not) were not available to the stores, which were running out of high-end product, so they took "half" of the wine 'intended' for the on-line catalogue and did a 'soft-release' - no emails or paper list.

In particular, the Chambolle Musigny from de Vogue was only spotted by the store in a list of 'available' wines that could be shipped to the store (which included leftovers from various on-line offerings that didn't sell out) so they grabbed it. Indeed it only appeared in the 'complete' ordering list - never highlighted (my concern here is that I'm building a vertical so buy EVERY release of this specific wine).

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Very interesting post. I did notice the year was off on the Struie in the system.

I do have some 96 left and some 00 of the Mount Eden. Did by 4 of the 01 and plan to hold off. I find this stuff ages up there with Peter Michael and Marcassin.

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  • 3 months later...

LCBO Classics catalogue is being re-introduced. It is modest, and small compared to the oversized coffee table version they formerly offered, and ultimately rejected. Items are still very expensive, up to and including the $30,000 bottle of Scotch :shock:

There is still a bingo draw for hard to get, reasonably priced bottles.

I'll be in the running for Buller Fine old Tokay, and Fine Old Muscat. at $27 each, a steal.

Just by mentioning it here, or to my friends, my chances diminish.

Good Luck :biggrin:

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LCBO Classics catalogue is being re-introduced. It is modest, and small compared to the oversized coffee table version they formerly offered, and ultimately rejected. Items are still very expensive, up to and including the $30,000 bottle of Scotch :shock:

There is still a bingo draw for hard to get, reasonably priced bottles.

I'll be in the running for Buller Fine old Tokay, and Fine Old Muscat. at $27 each, a steal.

Just by mentioning it here, or to my friends, my chances diminish.

Good Luck :biggrin:

Wow...where did you hear that. Are they going to send paper? Or are you just referring to the online August 2007 classics.

I suspect sales may have been way down on the on line format. I think most big buyers just do not have the time to check things out on the web and liked the paper. Saw the Buller but heard it was a re-release. Have a few bottles of the Rare Mustcat and it is great stuff. Do not worry, the people who want it know about it and check the vintages site ever day on the look out. Good discussion on ebob on what is out there in the upcoming release.

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Wow...where did you hear that. Are they going to send paper? Or are you just referring to the online August 2007 classics.

I suspect sales may have been way down on the on line format. I think most big buyers just do not have the time to check things out on the web and liked the paper. Saw the Buller but heard it was a re-release. Have a few bottles of the Rare Mustcat and it is great stuff. Do not worry, the people who want it know about it and check the vintages site ever day on the look out. Good discussion on ebob on what is out there in the upcoming release.

My 28 page catalogue came in Friday's mail. It is simple, like a Vintages release without the fanfare. You can probably get one by calling 416 365-5767.

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And at first glance many of the items in the print version have already been offered online!

If there's anything you want, first check the 'Special Offers' section of the Vintages website (especially the email offer). Presumably you can order as many as you want from the original offer!

There's actually nothing new that I want in this paper version (and a few I already have).

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I think this is the 2nd Classics release under the new format, the first was in May when I picked up a couple of '04 Clos des Papes CdP.

This August Classics is probably the worst ever. There are many re-releases and some have been overpriced on the shelves for a while. For example, the $96 2004 Clos Apalta has been on the shelves forever. A very good cab from Chile, but not at almost $100 a bottle. You can get this Chilean in many places in the US for less than $60 (US).

And why the Two Hands Brave Faces is a Classics release is beyond me. Good wine, but should be a Vintage release, not Classics.

The high CDN$ don't seem to be lowering California wine prices any for Ontarians. For example, the $149 FAR NIENTE CABERNET can be found in the US for about $90 (US). Monopoly pricing at its best. I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.

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.....The high CDN$ don't seem to be lowering California wine prices any for Ontarians. For example, the $149 FAR NIENTE CABERNET can be found in the US for about $90 (US).  Monopoly pricing at its best.  I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.

Agree on all points. The funny thing is that vendors who do not pass on US$ savings in exchange of a quick buck are the ones we can dump on when inflation starts to rise and causes the Canadian real estate market to tank when the BoC has no choice but to raise interest rates. Getting the wine back is a huge pain though. Have a case of Kosta Browne in Vancouver that came back via WA with the help of my uncle. Just waiting for the visit from the relatives to crack some of the 05.

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