Buy the Case – March 2021 #2

*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

Tin Barn Vineyards Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Sonoma Vally, Sonoma County, California

Great Value California Cabernet!

Tin Barn was founded in 2000 by Toronto native Mike Lancaster. Tin Barn’s first vintages were made in a shared space. In 2005, Mike found his own home, located on the outskirts of the town of Sonoma, bordering the Carneros appellation. Located in a hidden warehouse district adjacent to Sonoma Skypark, he equipped an efficient, custom-designed winery, providing an ideal facility for small-lot winemaking.

Single-vineyard wines — including the classically-styled Cabernet from the prestigious Pickberry Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain – follow the winemaker’s philosophy for expressing the local character of Sonoma and Carneros sites.

Mike is also in-demand as a consulting winemaker. The design of the winery allows him to ‘custom crush’ for a handful of premium brands — you’d be surprised to learn some of the ‘cult wines’ made here under Mike’s respected mentorship.

About Pickberry Vineyard: Pickberry Vineyard is nestled in the northeast slope of Sonoma Mountain, above the town of Glen Ellen. Planted in the 1980s on volcanic soil that can change dramatically from one location to another, the vines are subject to balmy days and cool nights. The result is late ripening fruit which benefits from a long growing season with the development of intense flavours and rich, deep colours.

Review – Great value in California cabernet. From the volcanic soils of the Pickberry Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, this is a full bodied, firm and dense cabernet. Love the classy and classic nose of blackcurrant/cassis, mineral, gentle eucalyptus and very fine oak trimming. Sturdy stuff, still youthfully tannic yet well balanced. The focus and length are excellent to outstanding, and there is a sense of minerality to boot. Stick it in the cellar. – 94 points – David Lawrason (See more WineAlign reviews here.)

This wine is also included in our Black Exchange March case.

Food Pairings: pair with a hearty filet mignon and roasted vegetables, port wine braised beef short ribs, or for vegetarians, try a red wine mushroom risotto.

Drink: 2022 – 2030

Agency: The Vine Agency

Quantity: 20 cases

Mosole Pinot Grigio 2019, D.O.C. Venezia, ItalyMosole Pinot Grigio 2019

Back by Popular Demand!

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)

This wine will also be included in our Everyday Exchange April case.

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

Sponsored Toronto Wine Storage - Fine Wine Reserve

The Fine Wine Reserve provides discerning collectors with the highest standards of fine wine storage in Toronto. Their facilities are purpose-built and specifically engineered to protect your fine wines. With two locations in the GTA, The Fine Wine Reserve offers the widest range of storage options and styles in Canada - allowing them to serve the unique and evolving needs of novice and expert collectors alike.