The Buying Guide: Stellar Values (Buy by the Case)

By / Wine + Drinks / September 7th, 2022 / Like

Excerpt from The Buying Guide originally appearing in the Winter 2021/2022 print issue of Quench Magazine. Our tasters are Tony Aspler (TA), Gurvinder Bhatia (GB), Michelle Bouffard (MB), Michaela Morris (MM), Tim Pawsey (TP), Christopher Sealy (CS) and Donatella Dicca (DD).

All wines listed are recommended by our experienced panel of tasters. Each wine is rated based on its varietal character, representation of style and/or region, balance and price-quality ratio. Readers should assess these, and all wines, using the same criteria. Browse our experts’ tasting notes to find the wines that may appeal to your taste or pique your interest to try something new. After all, one of the best parts about wine is the discovery. The prices listed are approximate retail prices and will likely vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A large number of these wines can be purchased across Canada and the USA, so check with your local private wine store or liquor board for availability.

Stellar Values
(Buy by the Case):

Incredible values that overdeliver with respect to their quality/price ratios. Ideal for everyday drinking and entertaining.  Wines in this category retail for less than $25


Quinta de Curvos Loureiro Vinho Verde DOC, 2020, Vinho Verde Portugal ($14)

Minerally, lemongrass nose with a light floral note. This offers spicy, lemon and white peach flavours in the mouth, carried on zesty acidity. (TA)


Quinta da Pellada Outeiro Dão DOC, 2017, Dão Portugal ($17)

Portugal is home to well-priced hidden gems, and this is a great example. The wine is made by the talented Alvaro Castro and his daughter Maria. The vines are located at 500 metres at the foot of the Serra da Estrela mountains which allows the grapes to retain freshness and acidity. Made from a blend of Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional, Jaen and Tinta Roriz, it has a medium body with expressive notes of cassis, violet, dark plum, dark cherry and spice. Firm tannins and fresh acidity give good structure. Delicious with rack of lamb. (MB)


Château Mont-Redon Réserve Blanc Côtes-du-Rhône AOC, 2019, Rhône Valley France ($18)

A lightly floral nose with lime, peach and mineral notes that echo on the palate. A beautifully balanced wine with a lovely mouthfeel. (TA)

Navarro Lopez Para Celsus VdlT, 2019, Castilla-La Mancha Spain ($19)

Made with organically grown Tempranillo grapes, the wine shows lovely plum, cherry and spice flavours, smooth, well integrated tannins and a bright finish. The ideal Tuesday night pizza wine, but also perfect for Sunday roast chicken and burger Friday. (GB)


Fort Berens Rosé Lillooet VQA, 2020, British Columbia Canada ($20)

Made from 100 percent Lillooet estate fruit, yielding yet more proof of Lillooet’s emergence as a new wine region – almost unthinkable a decade or so ago. The Pinot character is apparent, but the blend also includes Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the winery’s new Red Rock vineyard, planted in 2018. Up front red berries with vibrant, juicy cherry, raspberry and melon notes with just a hint of sweetness. Fruit-driven but overall kept almost dry and gently tart. (TP)

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz, 2019, Barossa Australia ($20)

Dense, ripe and generous notes of cassis, dark plum and black pepper with a pleasant touch of eucalyptus. Ripe yet firm tannins with fresh acidity balancing the richness of the wine. Well-made. While it is enjoyable to drink now, it will reward those who age it for 5-7 years. Suited for barbecue ribs or tagine. (MB)

Family Tree The Padré Cabernet-Merlot Niagara Peninsula VQA, 2019, Ontario Canada ($22)

The cedary, blueberry bouquet with oak spice opens on the firmly structured palate to flavours of red plum and blueberry with a fine mouthfeel. (TA)


Waterkloof Circle of Life Chenin Blanc/Sauvignon Stellenbosch WO, 2017, Western Cape South Africa ($22)

Very pale straw in colour with a grassy, green plum nose that seems to favour the Sauvignon in the blend. Medium-bodied and crisply dry, flavours of green plum, grapefruit and gooseberry fill the mouth to a very long finish. (TA)


Quinta da Rosa La Rosa Douro DOC, 2019, Douro Valley Portugal ($23)

The combination of scorching hot days and cool nights in the Douro Valley region gives wines that have intense dark fruit balanced with fresh acidity. The best producers manage to make full-bodied yet elegant wines, and it is always the case with Quinta da Rosa. Made from a blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, this full-bodied wine has fresh acidity, fine and firm tannins and lush notes of dark cherries, cassis, dark plum and licorice. A good pairing with grilled steak. (MB)


Zarate Albariño Rías Baixas DO, 2020, Galicia Spain ($24)

Located in the Val do Salnés sub-region
of Rías Baixas, Domaine Zarate never disappoints. The wine is crisp and dry with expressive notes of peach and white nectarine and a pleasant salty tang on the finish. A natural for steamed clams but equally delicious with spicy Thai food. (MB)


Madonna delle Grazie Aglianico del Vulture DOC ‘Messer Oto’, 2017, Basilicata Italy ($24)

Mt. Vulture, the ancient extinct volcano in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, generated two scenic lakes and its surroundings are the perfect environment for grape growing. At the bottom of Mt. Vulture, sits the Roman city of Venosa, home to the poet Horace (who famously wrote the phrase “Carpe diem”) and the Madonna delle Grazie Winery. Along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, Aglianico is one of Italy’s most important red grapes, but because it is grown predominantly in the south, it seems to have taken longer than the other two grape varieties to receive the international recognition it deserves. The area around Mt. Vulture is one of the best growing sites for Aglianico. This wine is rich, elegant and refined, with red and black fruit, silky tannins, fresh and minerally with a long, lifted finish. (GB)


Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais AOC
‘L’Ancien’, 2018, Beaujolais France ($25)

Juicy red and black fruit flavours with
a savoury spiciness, mineral notes and lightly dusty, earthy elegant tannins with a bright finish. A versatile wine for just about anything on the dinner table, but also very pleasant to drink on its own. (DD)

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