Chateau Suncor will arrive on shelves in April (Vintages Release 18 March 2017)


What are the latest news stories that are being followed at MuddleCentral?

Wilbur Ross, Excited States Secretary of Commerce, announced on behalf of the Trump administration the scrapping of the tax on inhaling. In his exclusive interview with  TheMuddleNewsNetwork, Ross recognized that the inhaling tax faced several legal challenges and acknowledged that the approach of taxing exhaling (as developed by the People’s Republic of Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau) is a better approach but “does not go far enough to curb the effects of human activity and provide a broad and stable tax base.” Instead, the Ross tax proposal, dubbed the “ventilation tax”, will tax all forms of “human generated exhaust.” “The idea came to me a short time after eating three triple-bean-cheese burritos at Taco Bell” stated a beaming and surprisingly comfortable looking Ross. In related business news, the share price of YUM Brands, parent company of the Taco Bell chain, plunged 33% on the NYSE.

Meanwhile, the Trudeau government announced further steps to help the People’s Republic of Canada’s meet the country’s CO2 emission goals. New laws will target the “importation of carbon” by taxing Champagne an additional 800%. “We can no longer tolerate the Government of France’s approach to capturing and exporting their CO2 emissions”  stated a stern but sleeve-less Justin Trudeau. “Further, my government will immediately implement a 100% subsidy on exported Canadian Sparkling Wine providing the wine is made from CO2 captured from the Alberta Oil Sands.” Oil-sands companies   immediately announced plans for their sparkling wine. Chateau Suncor will arrive on shelves in April with an initial price of $2.95. James Suckling’s gave this wine 97 points and commented that the wine “has elements of petrol on the nose and a wonderful oily mouth feel that everybody should experience.” In related business news, the share price of Suncor soared in early trading on the TSE but closed lower when news broke that the 100 point Chateau Aramco will soon hit wine shelves.


The KGBO March 18 release did contain four sparkling wines and two of them are worthy of your hard-earned money. Unfortunately, the ones worth buying are both wines from Champagne (therefore you will pay more for your pleasure) and neither of the sparkling wines (one from New Zealand and the other from Germany) made the cut.

The muddle team tasted only one white this time and it didn’t make the cut. Sorry, but at this time the Muddler does not have a white from this release that I think is worth your money.

The news is better on the red wine front as Sunday’s tastings identified 3 wines for your consideration for immediate enjoyment and a couple to consider for your cellar.

Starting with the Champagne…

If you are looking for a lovely Champagne that is drinking well presently consider the $79 Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Champagne (384529)  I enjoyed this bottle with a friend (who is known in the Toronto Wine Community as “The Dom”) at dinner and the thing that I enjoyed the most was the lovely-long-flavorful finish. Serve this wine to your guests and you will overhear the word “delicious” being spoken frequently.


An even better value is the $73 Pierre Gimonnet Cuvée Fleuron 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne 2009 (340133). I’m a huge fan of Gimonnet and the Fleuron hits all the right spots. It’s drinking well now but if you will be rewarded if you placed the wine in your cellar for a few years.


This wine retails from $50-65US in the Excited States so you could expect to pay up to $125CAD with exchange and the ridiculous taxes we pay to the KGBO and the People’s Republic of Ontario. If your budget has room then go buy a bottle or two.

Want a couple of red wines that I think is worth your hard-earned money?

Let’s start with the top of the value chain, the $21 Convento San Francisco 2010 (206409). Buy the wine and decant it for at least an hour before serving and you’ll discover a wine with nice, fruit, tannins, and some tertiary elements (leather and mushrooms?). The wines of Spain are kicking ass.


The $22 Laurent Gauthier Grand Cras Vieilles Vignes Morgon 2014 (279059) is well put together, good black and red fruit, nice tannins, and a pleasant finish. I continue to believe that the Cru Beaujolais are like baby Burgundies. Give this wine a few years in the cellar and,  at a fraction of the price, you’ll have an integrated wine that will fool many red Burgundy lovers . If you buy this wine you’ll be paying the same price as our friends in the U.S.A. so, considering our tax situation, there’s good value in this wine.


Finally, one red wine from the good-old U.S.A . It’s not quite a traditional Bordeaux blend but the $24 Ryan Patrick Redhead Red 2014 (478149) is worth the money. For me, it started out clumsy and out-of-balance but with some air the wine came together in a way that would please Bordeaux blend fans.


Interesting in collecting? This weekend we had the opportunity to taste a 2001 Muga Selección Especial Reserva. The last WineMuddler blog posting recommended the 2011 version of this wine (712067). The 2001 Muga was wonderful. So, if you can find suppy of the 2011 and can wait several years then your patience will be rewarded. Don’t want to spend $42? Then, go get a couple of bottles of the $30 Barón de Ley Gran Reserva 2010 (642496) as we had the opportunity to taste the 2001 release of this wine too. Not as great as the Muga but great just the same. Have I mentioned that the wines of Spain kick ass?

If you are interested, we’ll move onto the airing of the grievances, starting with the sparkling wines.

The $15 Loosen Bros. Dr. L. Sparkling Riesling  (296095) is a sugary mess. I expected more from this producer. I can’t think of a reason to buy this wine.

The $30 Kim Crawford Small Parcels Fizz 2012 (381236) starts out pleasant enough but soon comes at you with aggressive acidity and fizz. It would be great for mimosas if you don’t mind the $30 price tag to mix with OJ. You’d be just as happy with a cheap Cava for your mimosas I think.

The $20 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2015 (290296) disappointed me. I like Guigal wines normally and I like a bit of floral in wine but when the flower garden takes over the senses I need to bail. The interesting feature of this wine was the oily (unctuous) mouth feel but that was not enough to save me from not wanting to drink this wine. The local wine critics love this wine but the people at the MuddleBunker tasting went home with this bottle nearly full. It’s too bad the critics couldn’t locate the MuddleBunker (I know they are out there looking for it). They could have had the Guigal all to themselves.

The $24 Hewitson Miss Harry 2013 (107870) would appeal to fans of fruit forward Aussie reds. No flaws in this wine but this style is not for me. Please don’t believe any score on Australian wine given by James Halliday. He ranked this wine as a 95. His scores are as ridiculous those handed out by James Suckling’s. Shameful really.

The $17 Château des Gimarets Moulin à Vent 2013 (442632) has an unpleasant finish to me and lacks character. The tasting notes posted by the KGBO in their catalog baffle me.

The $23 Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (353086) would be the wine of choice if you were a Koala Bear. Serve this wine with steamed eucalyptus leaves and make sure that your guests eat with wooden forks made from untreated oak. No need to decant as no amount of air time will help the predominance of eucalyptus and oak. This wine is “eucalyptus up the ass” (I wish that line was an original thought but I stole it).


Once again, James Suckling steals the show with the glowing recommendation “This is like a top Napa cabernet with full body, dusty tannins plus chocolate, bark, and black currant. Very long and rich. Racy and beautiful. Will age beautifully. Believe the wine at this price. Drink or hold. Score – 94. (James Suckling,, May 12, 2016).” Good grief James. Hang down your head James. You know no shame James.

Use the find store feature on the LCBO website ( to determine where you can buy wines that interest you. The locator on works better than the locator on Copy the product number, perform a search with that number and use the “find a store” feature.

Product Consultants can request a transfer from another store to the one that is better for you. The KGBO may be the controlling monopoly but you are the customer.







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The Wine Muddler

The Wine Muddler blog is a reflection, criticism, and research of The LCBO Vintages Release. It is composed by Rick Wood from Toronto Ontario. The Wine Muddler is the satirical musings of a man muddling through life in search of good wine

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