Buy the Case – June 2021

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:

Raventós I Blanc De Nit Rose 2017, Conca Del Riu Anoia, Penedes, Spain
($38.95/bottle, $468/case, CRU Wine Merchants)

About Raventós i Blanc: Raventós i Blanc is a winery with one of the longest documented winegrowing traditions inRaventos I Blanc De Nit Rose 2017 the world. The family farm where our wines are now produced has belonged to the Raventós family since 1497. Five centuries working 90 hectares of vines and forest, a dynasty closely associated with the land from one generation to the next. Today, Pepe Raventós, who represents the twenty-first generation of the family, farms 44 plots using biodynamic winegrowing methods and is committed to maintaining the estate of vines, wood and lake as a complete entity. Raventós i Blanc is faithful to tradition and upholds the relationship between man and nature at the very core of its production philosophy.

Review: Pale pink-orange colour. Having tasted this now a few times, I can say the nose has really gathered steam in terms of complexity and intensity. The palate also delivers a fine dose of fresh red berry fruit, red currant and citrus-grapefruit, turning to pastry cream and milles feuilles, with fine complexity. The palate is dry and crisp, medium-bodied, with very good length. A well made wine to be sure, deep, complex, inviting. 92 points, John Szabo, MS (See more reviews here.)

Food Pairings: a great match with prawns, seafood pastas, citrusy salads, turkey dinner, or with a special brunch.

Drink: 2021 – 2025

Quantity: 15 cases

Maison Roche de Bellene Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir 2018, Bourgogne, France
($30.65/bottle, $368/case, Nicholas Pearce Wines)

About Maison Roche de Bellene: Groupe Bellene is composed of the négociant “Maison Roche de Bellene” and theMaison Roche De Bellene Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir 2018 winery “Domaine de Bellene” both located in Beaune. Nicolas Potel grew up at the Volnay Domaine Pousse d’Or, where his father, Gérard, had worked since 1964. Nicolas trained abroad and returned home in 1996, hoping to build a négociant business and that was the start of Maison Nicolas Potel.

Today he runs Maison Roche de Bellene, a micro-négoce that offers a complete range of wines, with an emphasis on individual terroirs from vieilles vignes (old vines – 40 years or older) that are farmed responsibly. All of the growers that Nicolas works with are either organic certified or farming according to the principles of lutte raisonée (sustainable viticulture). This enables Nicolas to consistently produce the expressive, terroir-driven style that is his vision. In addition he owns his own vineyards and bottles these wines under the label Domaine de Bellene.

Review: This is an utterly charming, easy drinking and refined pinot. The hot 2018 vintage has layered in some ripeness with fine aromas of red cherry/raspberry compote, fine shrubby, foresty notes, and subtle oak spice. It is light to medium bodied, very smooth with fine tannin. The length is very good to excellent. Such poise and balance. – 91 points, David Lawrason (See more reviews here.)

Food Pairings: light enough to pair with salmon but complex enough to accompany duck confit. Try it with earthy-fatty meals like mushroom risotto, grilled trout or gnocchi with ricotta.

Drink: 2021 – 2024

Quantity: 15 cases

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