Buy the Case – March 2021

*NEW SERVICE* Great wines to buy by the case

These are not 97 point wines.

With the recent proliferation of online wine sales, our inboxes, like yours, are overflowing with offers that look too good to be true. It’s tempting to click and purchase. But if you’ve lost all confidence in hyper-inflated scores and florid descriptions, we can’t blame you. In fact, we agree with you. A few wines are worth it. Many are not.

But we have a solution to buying wines by the case with confidence.

WineAlign was established a dozen years ago to help consumers make better, more informed wine purchases at the LCBO. Then we introduced the WineAlign Exchange, our curated wine subscription service of mixed private imports. Now, we’re going one logical step further: making the best of the best private import wines available to you to buy by the full case. The WineAlign crü tastes hundreds of wines each month to find a small handful on which they all align; they’re a demanding bunch. That’s why you trust them. And these ‘aligned wines’ are what we can now offer to you by the case. 

We’re delighted to introduce this service to help you drink better wine with the convenience of home delivery, while eliminating the hazards of the unknown. From the hundreds (thousands) of wines imported into Ontario each month, the WineAlign crü tastes and cherry-picks the best. To make the cut, we require unanimous consensus (rather rare!). Many of these wines already make it into the WineAlign Exchange subscription service. But some we find some good enough to buy by the full case. These are the wines we’d like to offer you from time to time.

Wines are sold in 12 bottle cases unless otherwise indicated. Click on the [Buy A Case Now] button to purchase a case and have it delivered directly to your door.

Disclaimers: Don’t expect 97 point scores, or daily offers. We don’t import wines and have no inventory to move. We have no exclusive allegiances. We are the most dreaded cherry-pickers. We apply the same rigour to this selection process that we do for everything else published on WineAlign. When we find the wines that are worth it, we’ll let you know. Otherwise, we’ll be one less sensational headline in your inbox.

Featured Wines

Mosole Pinot Grigio 2019, D.O.C. Venezia, ItalyMosole Pinot Grigio 2019
($21.15/bottle, The Vine Agency)

Tenuta Mosole was purchased in 1986 and is located in Veneto, Italy, about 40 minutes northeast of Venice, in the Venezia DOC, a large and unique region in that it comprises a significant proportion of eastern Veneto, but also a bit of Friuli, too.  Mosole’s 30 hectares of vines grow on calcium-rich clay, where, over the years, the changing courses of the rivers Livenza and Tagliamento have left behind old calcareous beds that contribute aromatic compounds and minerality to the wines. Wine has been made in this area since before Roman times, and to honour the history of this region, each Mosole wine features a local landmark from Venice and the surrounding area.

Lucio Mosole has transformed the wine-making process on the estate to achieve ever-higher standards using modern methods and a fresh approach to viticulture. He sees an opportunity for improvement in every aspect of the estate’s wine-making, from re-trellising old vines to acquiring the best barriques possible for aging his premium wines. To maintain purity, fermentation of aromatic varietals takes place in traditional glazed concrete tanks, while reserve wines are aged in a new cellar with space for 500 French oak barriques. Lucio works with acclaimed consulting enologist, Gianni Menotti, famous for his work at Villa Russiz.

Mosole wines are estate grown and bottled, representing outstanding value, and their striking pinot grigio, aged for 6 months on the lees in stainless steel tanks, is one of their best-selling wines.

Review – This is a lovely ripe yet fresh and genteel style of pinot grigio, with quite complex if subtle aromas of pear/peach fruit, acacia/wildflower notes, and fresh meadow. It is medium bodied, rounded yet fresh and spry. Some bitterness, the length is excellent. – 92 points – David Lawrason (See all reviews)

Food Pairings: pair with cold cuts, fish (such as baked sea bass, traditional salt cod in a creamy sauce, or sardines), or white meat (such as guinea fowl or chicken.)

Drink: 2021 – 2023

Agency: The Vine Agency

Quantity: 20 cases

Le Piane Maggiorina 2019, Boca, Piedmont, Italy
($33.95/bottle, The Living Vine)

Swiss wine merchant Christoph Kuenzli came to Boca, in northern Piedmont, in 1998 because he recognized the quality of wines in this historically important wine region. Although Boca was nearly forgotten when he relaunched it in the market, his wines received Tre Bicchieri (three wine glasses – the highest ranking in the Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading publication for wine and food) and the region was brought back to life. Since the beginning, Christoph has sought to push the quality envelop and now his wines are some of the best, not only in Boca, but in all of Piedmont.

Boca was once a thriving and celebrated wine community. In fact, the northern Piedmont was considered to be one of the principal wine producing regions in Italy. Before the 1950s, there were almost 40,000 ha of vineyards – in 1998, there were less than ten. The Boca DOC was all but abandoned. In the 1990s there was only one winemaker of note left in Boca – Antonio Cerri and he was 80 years old. Cerri made elegant, long-lasting Nebbiolo wines that would rival anything from the south. When Cerri passed away in 1998, Christoph Kuenzli, with the help of a group of investors, purchased the estate. Over the years he has acquired more plots of land and now has 6.5 ha.

This wine is a blend of 40% Nebbiolo and 40% Croatina with 10 other indigenous grapes from 80-100 year old vines making up the difference of the blend. Vines are trained in the “Maggiorina” system (a vine is planted and surrounded by 4 stakes which new growth is then tied to to form a sort of crown at the top), hence the name of the wine. The grapes are from high altitude vineyards between 400m and 450m, on south facing slopes, and volcanic soil. Nothing is added but minimal amounts of sulphur.

Review – A lighter high acid red that has an immediately endearing impact on first sip. Crunchy, mineral, juicy, and peppery. Could be chilled but not necessary. Effortlessly drinkable, dynamic and refreshing. A highly recommended find for the summertime. – 93 points – Sara d’Amato (See all reviews)

Food Pairings: pair with cold cuts, spaghetti Bolognese, or osso bucco

Drink: 2021 – 2026

Agency: The Living Vine

Quantity: 15 cases

See more wines available to purchase by the case.

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