The WineAlign Guide to Fine Wines Sold Online in Ontario – March 2022

By David Lawrason, with reviews from John Szabo, MS, Sara d’Amato and Michael Godel

With Ontario venturing deeper into the online retailing of fine wine, WineAlign launches a monthly report on recommended wines available “Buy the Bottle” from VINTAGES Online Exclusives and “Buy the Case” from importers. Future editions will also feature recommended Canadian wines only available online. In this report we will only recommend wines we are excited about due to their quality, value or educational opportunity. All wines recommended have been tasted by at least one WineAlign critic, and are available at the time of publication. However, with quantities of these wines being limited by nature, we cannot assure availability beyond the publication date.

Buy the Bottle

VINTAGES Online Exclusives

VINTAGES is releasing more and more higher end, low volume wines as Online Exclusives, scheduled once a month on a set Thursday, usually occurring in the third week of the month. WineAlign is working with agents to procure samples, and/or ordering them on release. It takes three to five business days for wines to arrive at your (and our) home or office. This delays our reports at least a week after the release date. To order, click through from the WineAlign review.

VINTAGES Online Whites

Pearmund Old Vine Chardonnay 2018

Pearmund Old Vine Chardonnay 2018, Meriwether Vineyard, Fauquier County, Virginia
$29.95, DB Wine & Spirits (LCBO# 21833)
John Szabo
From vines planted in 1976, touted as Virginia’s oldest vineyard, this is an accomplished and complex chardonnay, with lovely texture and well-integrated oak.
Sara d’Amato – A dynamic wine with excellent balance and length. Also recommended by DL. Triple alignment.

achelder Les Villages Chardonnay 2018

Bachelder Les Villages Chardonnay 2018, VQA Niagara Peninsula
$35, Noble Estates (LCBO# 16093)
David Lawrason
Very fine pointed, tensile young Pouilly Fuisse with a complex tightly wound yellow fruit, light toast, florals and some flinty, oniony reduction.
John Szabo – A bold and substantial wine, drinking surprisingly well now. Also reviewed by MG, SD.

Cloudsley Twenty Mile Bench Chardonnay 2018

Cloudsley Twenty Mile Bench Chardonnay 2018, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$35, Noble Estates (LCBO# 16093)
David LawrasonReally fine, elegant, detailed chardonnay from various Twenty Mile Bench sites, that together capture a certain delicacy and minerality. The nose is very complex and well integrated. Also reviewed by JSz, SD, MG.

Vintages OnLine Reds

Printhie Topography Shiraz 2019

Printhie Topography Shiraz 2019, Orange, NSW, Australia
$31.95, Thompson Vintage Trade (LCBO# 23784)
John SzaboL- Sourced from high elevations of Orange in New South Wales, this generously aromatic,  poised and balanced with well-managed alcohol heat, juicy freshness and a salty character lift the fruit. Also recommended by DL, JSz.

Tantalus Maija Pinot Noir 2018, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$34.95, Nicholas Pearce Wines (LCBO# 133793)
David Lawrason
From younger blocks on the estate in East Kelowna this doesn’t have the depth of more expensive Tantalus pinots but it is quite complex and surprisingly elegant.

Pecchenino Sirì D’jermu Dogliani Superiore 2018, Piedmont, Italy
$28.95, The Case for Wine (LCBO# 23037)
David Lawrason
A textbook dolcetto with very lifted blueberry/plummy fruit, violet and fine herbs. No oak! A real charmer!
John Szabo – A terrific dolcetto from specialist Pecchenino in the area of Dogliani, where the variety is accorded primacy of place unlike in most of Piedmont where nebbiolo, or barbera, take precedence in top vineyard spots. This 2018 is ripe and bold to be sure, and length and depth, and ultimately complexity, are very good to excellent. Quality wine; drink or hold 3-5 years, or beyond.

Buy the Case from Importers

Wines sold by importers on consignment that are reviewed on WineAlign can be ordered from the importer by clicking on “Buy This Wine” icon in the database. Likewise with Canadian wines. If there is not a “Buy This Wine” button you can still go to the agent’s or winery’s website. Some are available in six bottle cases. (We are not reviewing mixed cases by agents unless all wines in the case have been reviewed by one of our critics.)

Federico Curtaz Il Purgatorio 2017

Federico Curtaz Il Purgatorio 2017, Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy
$59.97/bottle, 6-bottle case, Mondo Vino
John Szabo
Federico Curtaz graduated worked for 15 years with Angelo Gaja in Piemonte before striking out for Sicily. There’s more than a nod to nebbiolo in this refined and elegant, highly perfumed nerello mascalese. There’s ample evidence of its volcanic origins in the marked iron-sanguine-ferruginous character – the “rust” of Etna is on full display. Length and depth are exceptional. Also reviewed by MG, DL. Order through WineAlign.

La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
$26.98/bottle, 12-bottle case, Mondo Vino
Michael Godel
A reductive and tight montepulciano, not necessarily the norm but when made this way it is time (and or lots of air) that is required. Behind the screen lays essential and proper varietal fruit with a smoky smoulder, an edge of tension and deep inhalant of savour.  Also reviewed by JSz, DL, Order through WineAlign.

David Duband Bourgogne 2019, Burgundy, France
$48.00, CGU Fine Wines
John Szabo
David Duband’s exceptional domaine is in the Hautes Côte de Nuits in Chevannes, but he has an enviable collection of vineyard holdings throughout the Côte de Nuits, and indeed, this generic Bourgogne is made from vines in Chambolle-Musigny and Morey-St-Denis, and could be rightly labelled Bourgogne Côte d’Or. The style is classic; ripeness was assured in this warm vintage. There’s an assuredness to the extraction, silky, firm but ready to go. An exceptional Bourgogne Rouge to enjoy over the next 2-4 years.

And that’s a wrap for this debut edition. We hope you find it useful and promising. With this portal now open we hope to attract the attention of many new readers as well as OnLine purveyors of fine wine in Ontario. And we have tried to make it easy.  Your feedback is appreciated.


David Lawrason

VP of Wine

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