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jayt90

LCBO Vintages Corner

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...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.

Great stuff!... How did you manage to get a hold of the '05 Kosta Browne? It's pretty well mailing list only as aftermarket bottles for any of the KB wines are going for over triple the release price.

If you're into California Pinot Noirs, the Sep 1 release includes the 2005 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clarke & Telephone from Santa Maria Valley. This winery is owned by the founders of Caymus and at $45 is a very rare instance of a California wine being quite reasonably priced at the LCBO (US price generally hovers around $35-$40).

Reviews have been positive (RP91) with some stating it has a "burgundian style" pinot. This wine is easily spotted on the shelves with the Maker's Mark style dipped red wax capsule.

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...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.

Great stuff!... How did you manage to get a hold of the '05 Kosta Browne? It's pretty well mailing list only as aftermarket bottles for any of the KB wines are going for over triple the release price.

If you're into California Pinot Noirs, the Sep 1 release includes the 2005 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clarke & Telephone from Santa Maria Valley. This winery is owned by the founders of Caymus and at $45 is a very rare instance of a California wine being quite reasonably priced at the LCBO (US price generally hovers around $35-$40).

Reviews have been positive (RP91) with some stating it has a "burgundian style" pinot. This wine is easily spotted on the shelves with the Maker's Mark style dipped red wax capsule.

The other wine worth getting in the release is the Hartford Court SVD pinot although it is listed as Hartford Lane's Edge in the computer....which was a little strange and I thought it was a new producer but it was the Hartford Court SVD made by Hartford Family Winery. Outstanding stuff and given the US$45 dollars at the winery the price is great...for once. http://www.hartfordwines.com/wines/pinotnoir/landsedge.html Bought three of each of the Hartford and Belle Glos. I had the Belle Glos line up at Pinot Days in NYC along with many other great bottles. The pull tab is a nice change and softer wax has made it much easier to remove and get the cork out.

I have been on Kosta Browne's mailing list for over 3 years now. Wife was put on...pre any reviews and been getting it since then - Parker ripped into a few of them in his most recent issue and in the informal HG review - more for me if people pass. Still not made our way on to the 4B list though. Also on a few others mailers although it is hard to buy everything since it is hard to bring things back 2 at a time.


officially left egullet....

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I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.

Did you mean IN the US or FROM the US? I agree on the ridiculous price difference for a lot of wines in the states and they have quite a few things there that's really hard (read impossible) to find here (eg. Sea Smoke).

I just came back from a NYC trip, made quite a few wine stops and brought back 8 bottles (we were 4 ppl), but would love to find out if there's a way to buy online or something from the states. Especially for those harder to find, trophy wines.

Among other things, was able to grab 2 Sea Smoke Botellas, an 03 Opus One, an 03 Dominus and some 04 first growth 2nd house bottles. Even if I could find all of those here, I'd be paying a kidney for them.

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I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.

Did you mean IN the US or FROM the US? I agree on the ridiculous price difference for a lot of wines in the states and they have quite a few things there that's really hard (read impossible) to find here (eg. Sea Smoke).

I just came back from a NYC trip, made quite a few wine stops and brought back 8 bottles (we were 4 ppl), but would love to find out if there's a way to buy online or something from the states. Especially for those harder to find, trophy wines.

Among other things, was able to grab 2 Sea Smoke Botellas, an 03 Opus One, an 03 Dominus and some 04 first growth 2nd house bottles. Even if I could find all of those here, I'd be paying a kidney for them.

Yes in the US and hold at my storage places in WA, NY and NJ. Sea Smoke does come into the province although not that often. The SS was a pretty good price when I picked up the same. There are a great many wines that do not see the LCBO shelf but are through agents only....by the case of course and for some of the California stuff it is painful.


officially left egullet....

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....Sea Smoke does come into the province although not that often...

I now recall it was the 2004 Southing that the LCBO brought in. Think is was the classics last year at this time?


officially left egullet....

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I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.

Did you mean IN the US or FROM the US? I agree on the ridiculous price difference for a lot of wines in the states and they have quite a few things there that's really hard (read impossible) to find here (eg. Sea Smoke).

The exchange rate is at over 0.97 now, pretty well at par with the US$!!!

We go down quite frequently for business trips and vacations and a few days before leaving, check into your favorite US retailer online (for me, it's usually PJ Wines in New York or K&L wines in California), pick out the wines you want, order (by phone in my case), and have them delivered by FedEx to the hotel you plan to stay. You can even track your order on the Net. During the summer months, due to the heat, overnight delivery is best.

I usually buy Bordeaux and California appellations as these are wines that are usually way overpriced or can't get at the LCBO. We also buy wines when we're vacationing in Europe or Australia. I'd say about 25% of my wine cellar are wines that are purchased out of country.

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Either you have a very small wine cellar, or you have been very lucky!

In the past year I have been 'pulled aside' 3 times for each wine I declared to be valued (I always declare). Each wine has then been checked on the internet for its retail price to be determined and then duties/markups applied on the 'internet value'. Last time I was charged around $170 PER BOTTLE (on average) - for wines from a deceased relative's cellar for which I didn't have receipts (I'm currently fighting this assessment).

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Out of curiosity, which border location are you going through? I typically come through the montreal border, I declare how many bottles I have and not once have they asked more than that. Mind you I never go over the 1.5L or 2 750ml bottles per person limit, but they never actually ask what exactly did I buy or what it's worth.

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Two separate crossings - Niagara Falls (Rainbow Bridge) and Pearson Airport.

To clarify, I've also crossed several times with only 2 bottles and been fine. But as soon as i have an importation in excess of the duty free limit, off they go to the internet.

As an aside, note that "duty-free" comment - it ISN'T "GSt-free" - I cam back with a special bottle costing over $1000 and was told I'd have to pay GST on the excess over the allowance. Not sure what that means with respect to LCBO markup. Incidentally, I talked my way through by suggesting it was an 'antique' (over 100 years old) which isn't subject to GST. They didn't agree, but said it was a good argument and let it through - a reward for excellent improvisation.

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With free trade and all that good stuff, if the wine is made in California (Or anywhere in the states for that matter), we don't pay duty on it regardless of value right? Just tax?

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With free trade and all that good stuff, if the wine is made in California (Or anywhere in the states for that matter), we don't pay duty on it regardless of value right?  Just tax?

Correct - duty on US wines was eliminated, saving us just under 3 cents per bottle. In 1990 the duty on all wines was 3.5cents per litre. After Free Trade the duty on US wines was eliminated over 7 years, starting Jan 1 1991 (when it was lowered for US only to 3.08 cents per litre) and being reduced each year until it was eliminated in early 1998.

Oh yes, I should also point out that on Jan 1 1991 the Federal Excise Tax on wine was INCREASED (for all wine importations).

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Either you have a very small wine cellar, or you have been very lucky!

In the past year I have been 'pulled aside' 3 times for each wine I declared to be valued (I always declare). Each wine has then been checked on the internet for its retail price to be determined and then duties/markups applied on the 'internet value'. Last time I was charged around $170 PER BOTTLE (on average) - for wines from a deceased relative's cellar for which I didn't have receipts (I'm currently fighting this assessment).

What internet sources are they fond of using?

Please let us know how your appeal goes...

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What internet sources are they fond of using?

Please let us know how your appeal goes...

I think they just feed in the wine name and see what comes up. they just showed me the "results".

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Either you have a very small wine cellar, or you have been very lucky!

In the past year I have been 'pulled aside' 3 times for each wine I declared to be valued (I always declare). Each wine has then been checked on the internet for its retail price to be determined and then duties/markups applied on the 'internet value'. Last time I was charged around $170 PER BOTTLE (on average) - for wines from a deceased relative's cellar for which I didn't have receipts (I'm currently fighting this assessment).

$170 per bottle on average!? Sorry, I'm not that rich and none of my relatives, living or deceased, have a wine cellar! Most of my purchases abroad are about $40-$70 which is around the average price per bottle in my cellar. We've never been pulled aside and even if they do and check the Internet, they'll find my declared amounts to be about retail and we almost never buy over 2 bottles per person. Maybe we're lucky or maybe we're just staying within the allowable limits.

We buy about 70 bottles per year of which about 15 bottles per year comes from US or France or Australia, whereever we visit for business or pleasure.

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We buy about 70 bottles per year of which about 15 bottles per year comes from US or France or Australia, whereever we visit for business or pleasure.

OK - 15 bottles per year imported - that works (hence my small cellar comment).

I had 32 bottles on the single importation mentioned above (incidentally several of the bottles RETAILED here for around $35 when they were available - but valued at $150 for customs purposes - based on the "assumed" value by the customs officer).

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We buy about 70 bottles per year of which about 15 bottles per year comes from US or France or Australia, whereever we visit for business or pleasure.

OK - 15 bottles per year imported - that works (hence my small cellar comment).

I had 32 bottles on the single importation mentioned above (incidentally several of the bottles RETAILED here for around $35 when they were available - but valued at $150 for customs purposes - based on the "assumed" value by the customs officer).

Yeah, 32 bottles in one shot will definitely get you stopped! We stay within the limits - like we're going to Manhattan next month with my parents, so that's 8 allowable bottles we can bring in... then to Australia for Christmas with my wife and her parents... another 8 bottles... Going to Dallas for business next week - that's 2 bottles... and so on. That's 18 bottles "imported" over just the next 2 months.

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