Buy the Case – November 2022

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 provide 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: 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 wines that are worth it, we’ll let you know. Otherwise, we’ll be one less sensational headline in your inbox.

Featured Wines:

Nals Margreid Gennen 2020, Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy
($31/bottle, ~$372/12 bottle case, Mondo Vino)

Nals Margreid Gennen 2020


About Nals Margreid: Developed over millennia, viticulture is deep-rooted in Italy’s northernmost winegrowing area, South Tyrol. As an important part of the South Tyrolean wine culture, Nals Margreid is keeping up tradition since 1932. Their winegrowers’ vineyards extend from Nals, a little town between Bozen and Meran (Merano), all the way to Margreid in the sunny, southern reaches of our region, allowing them to exploit a remarkable variety of terroirs and locations.

From a total of 395 acres of land, 138 winegrowers bring top quality grapes to the Nals Margreid Winery. Ecological awareness and a sense of quality influence their work and lead to the excellent harvests from which their remarkable wines arise. Together they create wines that express their territorial and varietal origin. Together they not only nurture, but continuously refine their tradition.

Review: “This is a lovely, rich, perfumed and complex sauvignon with the compactness of a fine Sancerre. Expect classic aromas of grapefruit/lemon, juniper, spruce needle and green apple. It is medium bodied, fairly rich and warm, but with excellent acidity flavour intenisty and length. Superb.” 94 points, David Lawrason

(See more reviews here.)

Food Pairings: Pair with dishes like goat cheese salad, green goddess hummus, or grilled spring vegetables.

Drink: now – 2024

Jean Loron Château de la Pierre Brouilly 2020, Brouilly, Beaujolais, France
($40/bottle, ~$240/6 bottle case, The Vine Agency)

About Maison Jean Loron:

Over 300 years (1711 to be precise) and eight generations ago, Jean Loron took a departure from the traditional farming roles of the time and dedicated himself to viticulture in the village of Chénas, in the heart of the steep hills of Beaujolais. Initially, he started vinifying some ‘lieux-dits’ (future Beaujolais ‘climats’) with the aim of obtaining the perfect vines to create superior quality wines. He was something of a revolutionary at the time.

In 1821, Jean’s grandson Jean-Marie, took over the estate and set up the business in Pontanevaux. Over the years, Jean’s descendants have continued the tradition building up great partnerships with some prestigious names in the area. Fast forward to the present, eighth generation, Xavier Barbet is the current owner of the business. Xavier grew up in the area, studied in Dijon and the United States before returning to the region in 1977 to take control of the family business. In 2009, he bought Chateau de Bellevue in Morgon, along with its eight hectares of vines in order to develop parcel-by-parcel vinification, clearly inspired by his ancestor Jean Loron. He also runs an estate in Moulin-à-Vent with his brother Nicolas. Many of the estates such as Chateau de Fleurie and Domaine des Billards (Saint Amour) have been in the family for centuries and recent acquisitions have enhanced the remarkable collection of estates.

Today, Maison Jean Loron manages 10 different estates: three in the Maconnais region of Burgundy, and seven in Beaujolais. In 2016, the management of Jean Loron was passed down from Xavier Barbet to Phillipe Bardet, originally from Beaujolais himself he is an avid connoisseur and advocate of the region. Phillipe is married to a member of the Charlet family, so with this ‘succession’, Maison Jean Loron added the prestigious Domaine Bellenand, located in the heart of Solutré in the Maconnais. This domaine has been in the Charlet family for 4 generations. Additionally, the company owns 350 hectares of estate vineyards and purchases additional fruit from top growers for the value-driven Maison Jean Loron selection of wines. Always looking for innovation, today’s portfolio includes their natural ‘Rift’ wines made without the addition of sulphites from harvest to bottling.

Review: “A lovely Brouilly here from Jean Loron, supple, fruity, well-proportioned very ripe yet still fresh, made from 50 year-old vines on average. Tannins are ripe and velvety, acids adequate, if on the lower side for the region, further lending a round and full mouthfeel. Length is excellent. This should please widely.” 92 points, John Szabo, MS

(See more reviews here.)

Food Pairings: try it with French charcuterie such as patés, terrines, and rillettes. It will also be great with Christmas turkey and the leftovers!

Drink: now – 2028