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Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (June)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Many summer whites and BBQ reds joined the Top list this month. With this many new selections there is surely a value shopping choice for everyone.

There are eleven new wines on the list for you to try with two coming from the recently delisted section. For the next four weeks another four wines already on the list are on promotion i.e.  have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or have a Limited Time Offer (LTO), making these wines even more attractive; all this will surely make your June drinking more affordable.

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1,600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials collection. This month I selected thirteen wines from Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through LTOs.

To make up the Top 20 under $20 I added another five wines, all with BAMs, that make them good choices and though none of them quite made it on to the Top50, they were all close.

The discount period runs until July 19th. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I was able to ensure that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Villa Ponciago Beaujolais Villages 2012, Burgundy, France ($6.80 was $12.20 Discontinued. Limited quantities) – A charming fruity light red. Try lightly chilled with poultry. About 1000 bottles remain.

Eclipse Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo 2013 Abruzzo Italy ($7.55) New to Top 50 – The 2013 is the latest vintage of this well priced Italian red. Try with pizza and meaty or tomato pasta sauces.

Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2013, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75 + 4 BAMs) – A midweight dry vibrant red that is great with tomato sauces.

Villa Ponciago Beaujolais Villages 2012 Eclipse Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 Citra Sangiovese Terre di Chieti 2013 Jean Philippe Janoueix l'Evidence 2011 Vila Regia 2013

Jean Philippe Janoueix L’Evidence 2011 Bordeaux, France ($7.95 was $14.00 Discontinued. Limited quantities) – A supple easy drinking Bordeaux red with charm and structure for enjoying with food. Try with roast beef. About 1700 bottles remain.

Vila Regia 2013, Douro Valley, Portugal ($7.95) New to Top 50 – A dependable versatile table red for a wide variety of dishes at a great price.

Spadafora Terrano Rosso 2012, Calabria. Italy ($8.15 + 3 BAMs) Top 50 June – A juicy well balanced southern Italian red for burgers or grilled sausages.

Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013 Mendoza, Argentina ($8.95 was $9.95) New to Top 50 – A soft fruity malbec that’s well balanced. Chill a little and try with pizza.

Fonseca Periquita 2012, Peninsula De Setubal, Portugal ($8.95 + 5BAMs) Top 50 June – A perennial favourite that keeps on delivering. It’s a midweight dry red that works well with lamb cutlets.

Spadafora Terrano Rosso 2012 Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013 Fonseca Periquita 2012 Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2013

Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2013, Salento, Puglia, Italy ($8.95) New to Top 50 – The 2013 now comes with a convenient screwtop. Same great value for a balanced fruity dry red for many food choices.

Bodegas Volcanes de Chile Summit Reserva Cabernet Syrah 2013 Rapel Valley, Chile ($9.95 + 7BAMs) – A midweight to full bodied juicy red at a great price. Grown on volcanic soils which adds to great its purity of flavour.

Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Mendoza, Argentina ($10.95 was $12.95) New to Top 50 – A structured ripe fragrant cabernet that is cellar worthy, but you can also enjoy now with a steak after an hour in a decanter.

Guardian Reserva Red 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($11.60 was $13.60) New to Top 50 – A complex red cabernet blend finely balanced with a fruity long lingering finish with some fine tannin. Try with a steak.

Bodegas Volcanes de Chile Summit Reserva Cabernet Syrah 2013 Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Guardian Reserva Red 2013The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2013 Quinta Do Valdoeiro Baga Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2011

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2013, Western Cape, South Africa ($12.95 was 13.95) Top 50 June – A red blend from the Cape that captures the essence of a Rhone red. Try with BBQ meats.

Quinta Do Valdoeiro Baga, Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah 2011 Bairrada Portugal ($12.95) New to Top 50 – A fresh lively blend of the indigenous grape baga with two other grapes. Try with roast meats.

Whites

Citra Trebbiano D’Abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75 + 4BAMs) – A ripe fruity white with a good depth of flavour and good palate length for such an inexpensive white.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2014, Colchagua Valley Chile ($9.95 + 5BAMs) Top 50 June – An inexpensive fragrant white. Enjoy as an aperitif or with mildly flavoured seafood or white meat dishes.

Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014 Casablanca Valley, Chile ($9.95 + 4BAMs) – A well priced fresh sauvignon with a fragrant nose. Try with grilled chicken or sautéed seafood.

Citra Trebbiano D'abruzzo 2013Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2014 Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014 Folonari Soave 2013 Errazuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marqués De Riscal 2014, Rueda

Folonari Soave 2013, Veneto, Italy ($9.95 + 5BAMs) – A classic Italian white with delicate aromas and a juicy midweight palate. Try as an alternative to pinot grigio.

Errazuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Aconcagua Valley, Chile ($10.95 was $12.95) New to Top 50 – A cool coastal sauvignon with good varietal character. Try with sautéed scallops with a lemongrass dressing or creamy goats cheese salad.

Marqués De Riscal 2014, Rueda, Spain ($11.60 + 4BAMs) New to Top 50 – A delicious bright crisp fresh white with a very inviting fruity nose. Try with seafood.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

Top 20 Under 20There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either in the LCBO Wines section or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines. I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

In addition to the wines mentioned above, there are another 37 wines on the Top 50 list this month. So if you did not find all you need in this report, dip into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Catena Malbec High Mountain Vines 2013

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What’s New at the LCBO – June 2015

Between our VINTAGES Buyers’ Guide and Steve Thurlow’s top picks from the LCBO Wines, we have the whole store covered each and every month.

Niagara, Macedonia and More
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The wines on the shelves at the LCBO are constantly changing and I am tasting the new ones all the time. Many favourites are always there but the range and variety is gradually being updated. I have selected 11 new wines that have refreshed the system out of the 50 or so that I have tried since I last reported. Most are on the shelf already with the rest arriving over the next few weeks.

Among the many new wines added are some well priced selections from Ontario and Greece. I have selected two inexpensive VQA wines and three finely priced Greek wines for you to consider. The Greek selection at the LCBO has seen some excellent new additions over the last few months. If you’re curious to discover more about wines from Greece, you may want to read John Szabo’s recent article on Reasons to Drink Greek.

For now I suggest you read on, pick a few of these that appeal and then check the inventory at your local LCBO which should be set up as your Favourite Store. You can find my complete review by clicking on any of the wine names or bottle images highlighted below. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to reviews of great value wines!

Reds

Fielding Estate Winery Fireside Red Cabernet

Kir Yianni Paranga 2012

Tsantali RapsaniTsantali Rapsani 2011 2011, Macedonia, Greece ($12.80) – Made from vineyards on the slopes of Mount Olympus from three indigenous grapes, it is a midweight well structured red with the fruit supported by firm tannin and vibrant acidity with a long very dry finish. Needs some protein, try with creamy cheese or juicy roast meats.

Kir Yianni Paranga 2012, Macedonia, Greece ($14.30) – This is a modern styled red blend with little evidence of its Greek origin. It is fullbodied and quite vibrant with very good length. Try with lamb cutlets.

Fielding Estate Fireside Red Cabernet 2012, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95) – An appealing blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon that’s built for a few years of maturation in the cellar. Decant for an hour and enjoy with a steak.

Whites

Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014, South Eastern Australia ($10.95 also 1500ml $19.70) – This wine has been around for a few years, I know, but the 1.5L version is new, so it’s even better value for a well-balanced fruity sweetish white. Try well chilled with cheesy pasta dishes.

Mauro Chardonnnay 2014, Puglia, Italy ($11.50) – A fresh lively chardonnay with good focus and palate length and a nice floral tone to the pear and melon fruit. Try with cheesy pasta sauces.

Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013, Zitsa, Greece ($12.60) – Made from the indigenous grape, debina, this is a food friendly easy drinking white. It’s lightly floral and herbal with a zesty fresh palate. Try with seafood pastry nibbles.

Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2014 Mauro Chardonnnay 2014 Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013 Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95) – A barrel matured sauvignon with nicely integrated oak and a rich creamy palate. Try with creamy pasta sauces.

Lagaria Chardonnay 2013, Trentino, Italy ($13.55) – A pure, fresh, apparently unoaked chardonnay with aromas of white peach with lemon sherbet, white flowers and clover honey. Try with roast chicken.

Cheval Quancard Réserve Blanc 2013, Bordeaux, France ($13.90) – A typical Bordeaux white with oak aromas nicely woven into the lemon, apple pear fruit. It’s vibrant and juicy with a solid structure from oak and brisk acidity. Very good length.  Try with roast veal or pork.

Lagaria Chardonnay 2013 Cheval Quancard Réserve Blanc 2013 Rockway Vineyards Block Blend Riesling 2013 Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2013

Rockway Vineyards Block Blend Riesling 2013, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario ($13.95) – A delicious well priced Ontario riesling, minerally soft with just enough sweetness for balance. Try with oysters or creamy goats cheese.

Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett 2013 Rheingau, Germany ($17.95) – This classic Rheingau riesling is a soft, off-dry, very fresh riesling with just enough sweetness to counteract the acidity with a generous palate and a long, dry and crisp finish. Try with lemon chicken stir fry.

*****

We would love to get your feedback on this report. Meanwhile check our my list of Top 50 wine values by dipping into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste. In two week’s time I will be back with a look at the updated list in our WineAlign’s Top 20 Under $20 report.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Tavernello Collezione Friuli Grave Sauvignon 2013

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Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (May)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. This month I selected 13 wines from Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through Limited Time Offers (LTOs).

With all of the wines on promotion, now is a great time for value wine shopping. There are six new wines on the Top 50 for you to try and for the next four weeks there’s another seven wines already on the list that are on promotion i.e. have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or are on sale (LTO), making these wines even more attractive; all this will surely make your May/June drinking more affordable.

To make up the balance of this report’s Top 20 I added another seven wines, all with BAMs, that make them good choices. Though none of them quite made it on to my standard Top 50, they were all close.

The discount period runs until June 21st. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I was able to ensure that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Casal Thaulero Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Terre Di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75) New to Top 50 – A balanced dry red with a lot going on for the money.

Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2013, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75) New to Top 50 – A midweight dry vibrant red that is great with tomato sauces.

Casal Thaulero Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2013 Yellow Tail Reserve Shiraz 2012 Tini Sangiovese Di Romagna 2012

Yellow Tail Reserve Shiraz 2012, Southeastern Australia ($8.95 was $15.95) New to Top 50 – A charming wine with perfumed aromas, that’s full bodied with ripe sweet blackberry fruit. Grab an armful at this price before it is all gone. There were over 1300 bottles left when we published.

Tini Sangiovese Di Romagna 2012, Sangiovese Di Romagna, Italy ($8.95 was $10.95) Top 50 May – A very drinkable lightweight Italian red for pizza and meaty pasta sauces. Best to chill a little.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile ($10.95 was $12.95) Top 50 May – A lot of depth and complexity for such an inexpensive wine. Its clean and lively with pure aromas and flavours and very good length.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2013 Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko 2012 Borsao Garnacha Selección 2012 Thelema Mountain Red 2012 Faustino V Tempranillo Rosado 2014

Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko 2012, Peloponnese, Greece ($11.10 was $13.10) Top 50 May – Agiorgitiko is one of Greece’s best indigenous red grapes; grown widely in the Peloponnese region. This is a deep purple red with lots of fruit and food friendly acidity. Try with lamb cutlets.

Borsao Garnacha Selección 2012, Campo De Borja, Spain ($11.95 + 4BAMs) – A lightly oaked fresh young Spanish red that’s quite full bodied with a soft warm finish. Chill lightly and enjoy with pizza.

Thelema Mountain Red 2012, Western Cape, South Africa ($12.90 + 6BAMs) – This delightful blend of shiraz and five other grapes comes from high mountain vineyards above Stellenbosch. It is very smooth and quite dense. Try with pizza or burgers .

Faustino V Tempranillo Rosado 2014, Rioja, Spain ($12.90) New to Top 50 – This deep fuchsia pink rose is almost a light red. Match with mildly flavoured meat dishes.

La Posta Cocina Tinto Blend 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $12.95 plus 8BAMs Top 50 May – An easy drinking well balanced red with juicy berry fruit lively acidity with just enough tannin and a mild spicy tone.

La Posta Cocina Tinto Blend 2013 Guardian Reserva Red 2013 Errazuriz Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Guardian Reserva Red 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($13.60 + 6BAMs) – A complex red cabernet blend finely balanced and fruity long lingering finish with some fine tannin. Try with a steak.

Errazuriz Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($13.95 + 9BAMs) – A midweight juicy cabernet with aromas of plum and raspberry fruit, with pencil shavings and herbal tones. Not as powerful as some, but has some charm.  Very good length.

Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile ($13.95 plus 8BAMs) Top 50 May – This is a delicious Chilean pinot with a good depth of colour, a fragrant nose and a well balanced complex palate.  Try with seared tuna.

Whites

Citra Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75) New to Top 50 – A ripe fruity white with a good depth of flavour and good palate length for such an inexpensive white.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Chardonnay 2013 Chile ($10.45 + 5BAMs) – A bright fresh chardonnay with peach and apple fruit and soft complementary oak aromas and flavours.

Citra Trebbiano D'abruzzo 2013 Cono Sur Bicicleta Chardonnay 2013 Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay 2013

Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay 2013, Western Cape, South Africa ($10.80 was $12.80) Top 50 May – A rich smooth intense old style chardonnay with well integrated oak spice. Try with fish and chips.

Mascota Vineyards O P I Chardonnay 2014 Argentina ($10.95 was $12.95) Top 50 May – A rich flavourful chardonnay with just a touch of oak and a firm dry finish.

Villa Wolf Riesling 2013 Pfalz, Germany ($14.80 + 8BAMs) – A juicy flavourful well balance riesling thats almost dry with lovely racy acidity and very good length. A very versatile food wine with seafood, pastry and white meat dishes.

Mascota Vineyards O P I Chardonnay 2014 Villa Wolf Riesling 2013 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2014 Pocketwatch Chardonnay 2013

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2014, Padthaway Adelaide Hills, South Australia ($14.95) New to Top 50 – An elegant fresh lightly oaked chardonnay with very good length.

Pocketwatch Chardonnay 2013, Central Ranges, New South Wales, Australia ($15.00 + 10BAMs) – Expect an enticing nose of lemongrass, peach and ripe pear aromas with well integrated oak spice and lovely patisserie vanilla, like a baker’s shop. The palate is juicy, midweight and very creamy with elegant fruit.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

Top 20 Under 20There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either in the LCBO Wines section or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines. I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

In addition to the wines mentioned above, there are another 37 wines on the Top 50 list this month. So if you did not find all you need in this report, dip into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

What’s New at the LCBO – May 2015

Between our VINTAGES Buyers’ Guide and Steve Thurlow’s top picks from the LCBO’s general list, we have the whole store covered each and every month.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosés
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

It is spring at last in my part of Canada, and summer will not be far behind. So that means one thing at the LCBO – it’s time for rosé wines. Most places in the world enjoy rosé wines all year round but we are programmed by the LCBO only to seek them out for the few months of the year that comprise our summer. As a consequence the vast majority of rosés now arriving in the stores are seasonal listings and will disappear from the shelves come fall.

Rosés are light red wines. Usually they are made from red or black grapes with minimal skin contact between juice and skins after pressing. Hence you get the flavour of the wine grape, with only a splash of red colour and a hint of the vegetal flavours and tannin that comes from the skins. They can be sweet or dry, just like red wines. The dry ones, for me, are perfect for alfresco dining, slightly chilled, with mildly flavoured meat dishes.

Rosé wines are increasingly popular and there is a record number of new ones this year. WineAlign colleague, Sara d’Amato has already highlighted several pinks from recent VINTAGES releases and I have tasted and reviewed about 40 from the LCBO’s general list in the last few weeks alone. Sadly many failed to impress despite some beautiful packaging which will help some no doubt sell well. However those of you who care about quality and value will zero in on the six that I have selected below.

The wines on the shelves at the LCBO are constantly changing and I am tasting the new ones all the time. Many favourites are always there but the range and variety is gradually being updated. In addition to my six rosé picks I have chosen to highlight another seven new wines that have refreshed the system out of the more than 70 that I have tried since I last reported. Most are on shelf already; the rest will arrive over next few weeks.

I suggest that you read on, pick a few that appeal and then check on inventory at your local LCBO which should be set up as your Favourite Store in Find Wine at WineAlign. You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names or bottle images highlighted below. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to reviews of great value wines!

Rosés

Citra Cerasuolo Rosé d’Abruzzo 2014, Abruzzo, Italy ($8.45) – A great price for a nice fresh rosé. Try with baked salmon or seared tuna. Best 2015 to 2016.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé 2014, Bio Bio Valley, Chile ($9.95) – Delicate rhubarb and cherry fruit aromas lead to finely balanced palate with very good length. Try with roast chicken. Best 2015 to 2016.

Bodega Volcanes Summit Reserva Rosé 2014, Central Valley, Chile ($9.95) – A very fruity rosé with a lot of flavour and creamy smooth rich palate. Enjoy with baked ham. Best 2015 to 2017.

Citra Cerasuolo Rose d'Abruzzo 2014 Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rose 2014 Bodega Volcanes Summit Reserva Rose 2014 La Vieille Ferme Cotes Du Ventoux Rosé Faustino V Tempranillo Rosado 2014 Henry Of Pelham Rose 2014

La Vieille Ferme Cotes Du Ventoux Rosé 2014, Rhone Valley, France ($10.95) – This is a typical Rhone rosé with lots of flavour and a long dry fruity finish. Try with roast chicken or veal. Best 2015 to 2016.

Faustino V Tempranillo Rosado 2014, Rioja, Spain ($12.90) – This shocking pink rosé is hard to miss on the shelf in its distinctive tall bottle, so grab a few and enjoy with mildly flavoured meat dishes. Don’t overchill or you might miss the good stuff! Best 2015 to 2016.

Henry Of Pelham Rosé 2014, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($12.95 until May 24th was $13.95) – Consistently this is a good rosé every year with a dried herbal tone to red fruit flavours. It is vibrant in colour and mouthfeel. Lots going on for the money, so pick up a few while on offer. Best 2015 to 2017.

Reds

Mcguigan Black Label Shiraz 2013, South East Australia ($10.90 and 1500mL $19.85) – I know this well-balanced fruity shiraz has been on the shelves for years but the 1500mL format is new and makes for even better value if you can find enough friends to help you enjoy all that wine. Best 2015 to 2016.

Luccarelli Primitivo 2013, Puglia, Italy ($10.95 and 1500ml $19.95) – The 750mL bottle is joined on the shelf by a 1500mL version making this full-bodied ripe lively opaque wine even better value. Best 2015 to 2016.

Mcguigan Black Label Shiraz 2013 Luccarelli Primitivo 2013 Cliff 79 Cabernet Shiraz Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2013 Dominio Del Plata Crios Limited Edition Red Blend 2013

Cliff 79 Cabernet Shiraz, South East Australia ($10.95) – This non-vintage red blend is quite drinkable when lightly chilled despite being a little sweet, since there is enough mild tannin and acidity for balance. Very good length. Try with mildly spicy meaty sauces. Best 2015 to 2016.

Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95) – Lots here for the money. Deeply flavoured with fine tannin and soft acidity, though sweetish it is balanced. Chill a little and enjoy on its own or with mildly flavoured cheese. Best 2015 to 2017.

Dominio Del Plata Crios Limited Edition Red Blend 2013, Mendoza, Argentina ($14.95) – A cellar worthy red that needs an hour or two in a decanter if consumed now to fully open up. It is an opaque purple-red with loads of flavour with a sweetish fruity appeal, though the tannins kick in big time on the finish. Best 2016 to 2020.

Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Nugan Estate Third Generation Chardonnay 2013Whites

Nugan Third Generation Chardonnay 2013, New South Wales, Australia ($11.95) – A rich powerful fully oaked chardonnay with very good length and a long intense fruity finale. Try with strongly flavoured white meats like roast pork or veal.

Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand ($16.95) – A very harmonious fairly typical Kiwi sauvignon with a zesty lemony fruit palate and very good length. Try with rich creamy cheese sauces.

*****

We would love to get your feedback on this report. Meanwhile check our my list of Top 50 wine values by dipping into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste. In two week’s time I will be back with a look at the updated Top 50 list in our WineAlign’s Top 20 Under $20 report.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Bottega Prosecco

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO, part 2

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The LCBO has started a second promotional period this month  this one running until May 24th. So here’s Part 2 of my April report that includes these new offers. The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection.

In this report, nine of the wines selected are wines that are also on Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. (You can read in detail how the Top 50 works below).

To make up the balance of the Top 20 I added another eleven wines, all will Bonus Air Miles (BAMs), that make them good choices. Though none of these quite made it on to the Top 50, they were all close.

This promotional period runs until the May 24th, so don’t miss your chance to make these wines even more affordable. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I was able to ensure that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Casal Thaulero 2013 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Terre Di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75 + 3BAMs). A balanced dry red with a lot going on for ther money.

Citra 2013 Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75 + 4BAMs). A midweight dry vibrant red that is great with tomato sauces.

Latin Lover Passionately Red 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile ($8.95 was $14.95). New to Top 50: This red from Concha y Toro was listed for Valentine’s Day and is now discounted to clear inventory. It’s a powerful opaque red blend that’s soft and fairly rich.

Casal Thaulero 2013 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2013 Latin Lover Passionately Red 2013 Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013

Fuzion Alta 2013 Reserva Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($9.95 + 5BAMs). A soft light to midweight red that should be great with pizza or meaty pasta sauces.

Beso De Vino 2011 Old Vine Garnacha, Carinena, Spain ($9.95 + 6BAMs). A fresh vibrant soft juicy red ideal for grilled meats made from grenache (aka garnacha).

Luccarelli 2013 Primitivo, Puglia, Italy ($10.95 also new 1500ml for $19.95). Top 50 April: Known as zinfandel in California, this is a full-bodied succulent red great with a rack of lamb.

Beso De Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2011 Luccarelli Primitivo 2013 Santa Carolina Merlot Reserva 2012 K W V Roodeberg 2012 Ogier Cotes Du Ventoux Red 2013

Santa Carolina 2012 Merlot Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($10.95 was $12.95). New to Top 50: A bright fresh merlot with pure aromas and flavours. It is deliciously vibrant with the juicy fruit balanced by soft tannin. Try with bbq meats.

K W V 2012 Roodeberg, Western Cape, South Africa ($11.15 was $12.65). New to Top 50: A medium bodied Cape classic that’s been great value for years. Try with rack of lamb.

Ogier 2013 Cotes Du Ventoux Red, Rhone Valley, France ($11.95 + 7BAMs). A peppery red with bright cherry fruit that’s midweight with soft tannin and zesty fresh dry finish. Try with cheesy pizza.

Santa Carolina 2013 Carmenère Reserva, Cachapoal Valley, Chile ($12.95 + 4BAMs). A complex balanced carmenere from the Peumo region of the Cachapoal Valley. Fragrant, full bodied and elegant with lots of ripe fruit flavour.

Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Port, Douro Valley, Portugal ($16.50 + 5BAMs). A very good reserve port made from fruit from several recent vintages with the thick fruit well supported by soft acidity and mild tannin.Try with dark chocolate desserts, nuts or blue cheese.

Santa Carolina Carmenère Reserva 2013 Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Port Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere Gran Reserva 2011 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir 2013

Santa Rita 2011 Medalla Real Carmenere Gran Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($16.90 was $17.90). New to Top 50: A complex powerful red that it also elegant with youthful aromas. Very cellar worthy.

Stoneleigh 2013 Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand ($19.95 + 10BAMs). A ripe modern pinot with juicy fruit and aromas of ripe red cherry, raspberry and plum fruit with mild oak spice with some earthy tones. Lots of charm and very drinkable.

Whites

J J McWilliams 2013 Pinot Grigio, South Eastern Australia ($6.95 was $9.95). New to Top 50: A clean fresh fruity grigio with lots of flavour and delicate aromas of melon and lemon fruit.

Cono Sur 2014 Bicicleta Viognier, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($8.95 was $9.95). Top 50 April: Was already the best value white in Ontario; now a $1 off. It’s time to stock up on this fragrant juicy white.

J J Mcwilliams Pinot Grigio 2013 Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2014 Periquita White 2013 Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2014

Periquita White 2013, Portugal ($8.95 plus 5BAMs). Top 50 April: This blend of three white grapes is a delicious delicate wine for seafood and mildly flavoured chicken dishes.

Monkey Bay 2014 Pinot Grigio, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand ($13.95 + 4BAMs). Top 50 April: A good basic pinot grigio with a fragrant, floral, peachy nose with some minerality. It is clean, fresh with a crisp almost dry finish.

Caliterra 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Central Valley, Chile ($9.95 + 4BAMs). A juicy very ripe sauvignon blanc with lots of balancing acidity.

Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014 Santa Julia+ Chardonnay 2013 Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Santa Julia+ 2013 Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina ($10.90 + 10BAMs). This is a big chardonnay with a good depth of flavour, elegantly oaked so as to add complexity and structure without overdoing it.

Brancott Estate 2013 Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc, Southern Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand ($19.95 + 10BAMs). A classic Marlborough sauvignon that is elegant fresh pure and mouthwateringly delicious.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

Top 20 Under 20There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines. I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

In addition to the wines mentioned above, there are another 41 wines on the Top 50 list this month. So if you did not find all you need in this report, dip into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Yellow Tail Sangria

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (April)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. This month, most of the wines selected are wines that are also on Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. (You can read in detail how the Top 50 works below).

There are many wines on promotion in April, such that eight on today’s Top 20 list have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or are on sale (Limited Time Offer), making these wines even more attractive for the next four weeks or so. You may notice that two wines come from the VINTAGES section of the store. I normally don’t include wines from here, except for VINTAGES Essentials, since they rarely offer as much value as those in the LCBO’s general list section and they tend to sell through very quickly. However, I made an exception here since there are large stocks and they both offer great value. I was in Chile and Argentina for the last three weeks leading a wine tour and had the chance to re-taste both of them.

April’s promotional period runs until the 26th, so don’t miss your chance to make these wines even more affordable. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I was able to ensure that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Apelia Agiorgitiko 2012 (1000ml), Greece ($10.15 + 4 BAMs). New to Top 50: Agiorgitiko is one of Greece’s best red grapes. This is a clean fresh red wine that is fruity, midweight and well balanced making it a good everyday red.

Spadafora Terrano Rosso 2012, Calabria, Italy ($8.50 + 3 BAMs). Top 50 April: A recent listing that shows plummy fresh aromas with no oak and a midweight juicy palate. Try with burgers.

Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2013, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal ($9.30). New to Top 50: This is a ripe, fleshy, clean, easy-drinking wine with soft tannins and fresh red berry fruit flavours with some complexity and good depth of flavour.

Apelia Agiorgitiko 2012 Spadafora Terrano Rosso 2012 J. Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2013 Hardys Stamp Of Australia Shiraz Cabernet 2013

Hardys Stamp Of Australia Shiraz Cabernet 2013, South Eastern Australia ($9.85 + 5 BAMs). A  fresh pure syrah/cabernet blend, very linear with great focus. Good depth of flavour with lots of fruit and very good length.

Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Mendoza, Argentina ($9.95 + 5 BAMs). Top 50 April: A soft flavourful and well structured cabernet for a good price.

Pessoa Da Vinha Reserva 2010 Douro Valley, Portugal ($11.20 was $12.20). Top 50 April: An opaque full-bodied purple wine with a fragrant pure nose of blackberry fruit with well integrated oak spice plus vanilla and herbal tones. Decant for an hour and enjoy with a steak.

Carmen Reserva Carmenère 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($11.45). New to Top 50: An aromatic carmenère with just the right amount of ripeness. Very good length.

Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($11.45). New to Top 50: A well priced fragrant caberent that’s full-bodied and deeply flavoured. Try with lamb cutlets.

Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Pessoa Da Vinha Reserva Douro 2010 Carmen Reserva Carmenère 2013 Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013 Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95 was $14.95). Top 50 April: A fruity malbec with herbal and floral tones and, though full-bodied, seems lighter due to vibrant lemony acidity. It finishes firm and dry with very good length.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile ($13.05 + 8 BAMs). New to Top 50 EARTH DAY SPECIAL DURING APRIL: A lot of depth and complexity for such an inexpensive wine. Its clean lively with pure aromas and flavours and very good  length.

Santa Carolina Specialties Dry Farming Carignan 2010, Cauquenes Valley, Chile ($17.95). VINTAGES EXCEPTIONAL VALUE: A beautiful full-bodied vibrant red that’s elegant with a wild character. Try with lamb cutlets.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2013 Santa Carolina Specialties Dry Farming Carignan 2010 Firestone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Firestone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Santa Ynez Valley, California, USA ($19.90). New to Top 50: An elegant refined cabernet that’s ripe without being overripe with just enough oak, finely balanced with excellent length.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Coonawarra, South Australia ($27.95). New to Top 50 from VINTAGES Essentials: First a disclaimer. This is more than $20. But it is so awesome and such great value that it got into my Top 50 list this month and I wanted to tell you all about it. So if you want to splurge a little and enjoy, this is a superb, very drinkable, very classy cabernet with layers of flavour and a refined very appealing pureness. Finely balanced with excellent length.

Whites

Apelia Moschofilero 2013 (1000ml), Greece ($9.95 + 4 BAMs). New to Top 50: Moschofilero is one of Greece’s best indigenous grapes. This is a fresh dry white that pinot grigio adherents should try.

K W V Contemporary Collection Chenin Blanc 2014, Western Cape, South Africa ($9.45 + 4 BAMs). Top 50 April: Clean well made white at a great price. Good depth of flavour and palate length. Try with seafood or mildly flavoured chicken dishes.

Apelia Moschofilero 2013 K W V Contemporary Collection Chenin Blanc 2014 Frisky Beaver White 2013 The Wolftrap White 2013

Frisky Beaver White 2013, VQA Ontario ($13.95). New to Top 50: An aromatic off-dry white which is smooth and juicy. A nice aperitif or try with seafood. Don’t be misled by the wacky packaging; there is some quite serious wine inside.

The Wolftrap White 2013, Western Cape, South Africa ($13.95). New to Top 50: A very aromatic intensely flavoured pure white, that is rich and very creamy. Try with pork chops.

Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand ($13.95). New to Top 50: A good basic pinot grigio with a fragrant, floral, peachy nose with some minerality. It is clean, fresh with a crisp almost dry finish.

Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2014 Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2012

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain ($14.45). New to Top 50: Best value bubbly under $15 at LCBO. Fresh nose with pure apple pear flavour, a soft creamy texture and very good length.

Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2012, Casablanca Valley, Chile ($15.95). VINTAGES EXCEPTIONAL VALUE: Fantastic value for a serious very bold chardonnay for rich white meat dishes.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

Top 20 Under 20There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines. I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

I am pleased to tell you that we have now worked through the massive recent delist at the LCBO, such that none of the wines currently on the Top 50 list rely on a delist price to be there. In addition to the wines mentioned above, there are another 33 wines on the Top 50 list this month. So if you did not find all you need in this report, dip into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Montresor Soave Classico 2013

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (March)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

You may recall that my February report noted a large number of discontinued wines. Well, house cleaning has continued at the LCBO with many more wines being discontinued and selling at big discounts to clear inventory. Among these again were sadly some of my favourites. For whatever reason they did not sell in sufficient quantities to keep their place on the shelf, so they will soon make an exit. Some of these discontinued wines have already sold out, but I have listed below a few that will be around for the next couple of weeks or so. There are ten new wines on the Top 50 for you to try.

In March there are many wines on promotion such that five wines, already on the list, have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or are on sale (LTO), making these wines even more attractive for the next four weeks or so; all this will surely make your March drinking more affordable.

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. This month I selected most from wines on Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through Limited Time Offers (LTOs).

The month’s discount period runs until March 28th. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I was able to ensure that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Volcanes Summit Reserva 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Chile ($6.45 was $10.95) Top 50 March – Discontinued at LCBO: There is an Italian feel to this Chilean red blend with notable acidity and minerality giving it freshness. Try with pepperoni pizza. Around 4500 bottles remain.

Montes Limited Selection 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($6.95 was $13.95) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: A full-bodied fragrant red that would be good with a juicy steak. About 1000 bottles remain.

Callia Alta 2013 Malbec, San Juan, Argentina ($6.95 was $11.85) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: The San Juan wine region is about 2 hours drive north of Mendoza, which is source for most Argentine reds. A midweight vibrant slightly spicy malbec. About 1200 bottles remain.

Volcanes Summit Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Montes Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenère 2012 Callia Alta Malbec 2013 Obikwa Cabernet Sauvignon Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2013

Obikwa 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa ($6.95 was $9.45) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: A well-balanced fruity cabernet that’s midweight. Try with grilled meats or hard mature cheese. About 2500 bottles remain.

Citra 2013 Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy ($7.75 + 4BAMs): A midweight dry vibrant red great with tomato sauces.

Casa Lapostolle 2012 Gran Seleccion Carmenere, Rapel Valley, Chile ($7.95 was $15.20) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: An elegant structured Chilean red that’s great with a steak. About 900 bottles remain.

Spadafora 2012 Terrano Rosso, Calabria, Italy $8.40 New to Top 50: A new listing that shows plummy fresh aromas with no oak and a midweight juicy palate. Try with burgers.

Fuzion Alta 2013 Reserva Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $8.95 was $9.95 New to Top 50- March LTO: A soft light to midweight red that should be great with pizza or meaty pasta sauces.

Casa Lapostolle Gran Seleccion Carmenere 2012 Spadafora Terrano Rosso 2012 Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013 Tic Tok Pocketwatch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Mas De Montagnes 2010 Farnese Casale Vecchio Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2013

Tic Tok Pocketwatch 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Ranges, New South Wales, Australia ($8.95 was $13.00) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: A modern quite lean cabernet from 2 cooler areas of New South Wales. Try with lamb cutlets. About 6000 bottles remain.

Mas De Montagnes 2010 Cotes Du Roussillon Villages, France ($10.90 was $13.15) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: This only lasted a year on the LCBO shelves. Pity since it is a soft midweight red with lots of flavour and a lot of rustic charm. About 1400 bottles remain.

Farnese Casale Vecchio 2013 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy ($11.00 + 4BAMs) Top 50 March: A classy Italian fullbodied red whose price and style should appeal to Ripasso lovers.

Cusumano 2013 Syrah, Sicily, Italy ($11.95 + 4BAMs): Top 50 March: A midweight cool climate syrah that’s well-balanced flavourful and very fruity.

Cusumano 2013 Nero d’Avola, Sicily, Italy ($11.95 + 4BAMs) A delicious Sicilian red with soft zesty lemony tone to the ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit aromas and flavours.

Cusumano Syrah 2013 Cusumano Nero D'avola 2013 K W V Roodeberg 2012 Guardian Reserva Red 2012 Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

K W V 2012 Roodeberg, Western Cape, South Africa ($12.45 + 7 BAMs): Medium bodied Cape classic that’s been great value for years. Try with rack of lamb.

Guardian 2012 Reserva Red, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($13.65) Top 50 March: A complex red cabernet blend finely balanced and fruity long lingering finish with some fine tannin. Try with a steak.

Errazuriz Max Reserva 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua Valley, Chile ($18.95 + 12 BAMs): One of the best vintages ever of  this classic very authentic Chilean cabernet. Try with a thick beef stew.

Whites

Two Oceans 2012 Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa ($6.95 was $10.25) Top 50 March – Discontinued at LCBO: Lots of flavour, structure and good length for such an inexpensive wine. About 2200 bottles remain.

Grant Burge 2012 Summers Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills/Eden Valley, South Australia ($10.95 was $18.20) New to Top 50 – Discontinued at LCBO: A delicious midweight lightly oaked chardonnay from cool high altitude vineyards. About 1000 bottles remain.

Two Oceans Chardonnay 2012 Grant Burge Summers Chardonnay 2012 Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay 2013 Mascota Vineyards O P I Chardonnay 2013

Fleur Du Cap 2013 Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa ($12.80 + 8 BAMs) A rich smooth intense old style chardonnay with well-integrated oak spice. Try with fish and chips.

Mascota Vineyards O P I 2013 Chardonnay, Argentina ($12.95 + 4BAMs) Top 50 March: A rich flavourful chardonnay with just a touch of oak and a firm dry finish.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

Top 20 Under 20There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines. I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

There are another 35 wines on the Top 50 list so if you did not find all you need above for your current needs dip into the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (February)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

The LCBO started 2015 with a big house cleaning with dozens of wines being discontinued and selling at big discounts to clear inventory during January. Among these were sadly some of my favourites. I am especially saddened to see some great value Portuguese and Spanish reds go. For whatever reason they did not sell in sufficient quantities to keep their place on the shelf, so it’s hasta la vista baby. Many of these discontinued wines have already sold out, but I have listed below a few that will be around for the next couple of weeks or so. There are seven new wines on the Top 50 for you to try.

The LCBO has kicked off February with a slew of wines on promotion such that thirteen wines, already on the list, have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or are on sale (LTO), making these wines even more attractive for the next four weeks or so; all this will surely make your February drinking more affordable.

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the Vintages Essentials Collection. This month all of the wines I selected are from Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through Limited Time Offers (LTOs).

The discount period runs until February 28th. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I can assure you that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Sella & Mosca Rosato 2013, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy $7.95 was $9.80 – This summer rose has gone on sale to clear inventory. It is a deep salmon pink almost light red, very fruity yet dry with very good length. Try with baked ham. Over 1200 bottles remain.

Sileni Cellar Selection Merlot 2013 Hawkes Bay New Zealand $8.45 was $15.95 – New to Top50 – Discontinued at LCBO – Around 900 bottles of this ripe classy merlot remain. Great with meaty past sauces.

Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Sicily, Italy $8.95 + 5BAMs – A finely balanced red for red meat dishes or pizza from sunny Sicily.

Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $8.95 was $9.95 – A soft flavourful cabernet from high altitude vineyards. It’s juicy and fruity with some savoury tones..

Sella & Mosca Rosato 2013 Sileni Cellar Selection Merlot 2013 Montalto Nero D'avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Volcanes Summit Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

Volcanes Summit Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Chile $9.10 was $10.95 – New to Top50 – Discontinued at LCBO -There is an Italian feel to this Chilean red blend with notable acidity and minerality giving it freshness. Try with pepperoni pizza. Around 1000 bottles remain.

Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Mendoza $9.95 + 4BAMs – A pure fragrant ripe cabernet that’s finely balanced with very good length. Try with mature cheddar or a juicy hamburger.

Quinta Do Encontro Q do E 2011, Bairrada, Portugal $9.95 was $14.25 – New to Top50 – Discontinued at LCBO – An elegant structured red. Very classy try with roast beef. Around 600 bottles remain.

Trapiche Reserve Syrah 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $10.95 was $11.95 – Beautiful lifted aromas of blueberry and blackberry fruit with herbal and well integrated oak spice notes that lead to a velvety smooth palate. Complex and elegant. Try with grilled meats or mature cheddar.

Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Quinta Do Encontro Q Do E 2011 Trapiche Reserve Syrah 2013 Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2013

Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $10.95 was $11.95 – A full bodied malbec with a fragrant nose that’s rounded, fairly dense and juicy with fine tannin. Try with a steak.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013, Central Valley, Chile $11.00 + 5BAMs – An excellent value for pinot noir. There is little to compete for around $11 for this quality and varietal authenticity. So pick a few up and collect some BAMs.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile $11.05 was $13.05 – New to Top50 – This is a polished, organically grown merlot with a soft velvety palate and very good length.

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina $12.95 was $14.95 – Was great value at $14.95 now outstanding at $2 off. Time to stock up again on this delicious elegant malbec.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2013 Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2012 The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2013 Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko 2012

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2013, Western Cape $12.95 was $13.95 – A delicious fruity red with savoury tones and modest oak that avoids the confected jammy style so often seen in reds from the Cape. Try with grilled meats.

Mountain Fish Red 2012 Peloponnese , Greece $13.10 – New to Top50 – A juicy, zesty midweight red with savoury tones made from agioritiko, one of Greece’s best indigenous red grapes grown widely in the Peloponnese region. Try with juicy lamb cutlets.

Whites

Dunavar Muscat Ottonel 2012, Hungary $6.45 was $9.05 – Discontinued at LCBO – Over a 1000 bottles remain of this aromatic juicy very inexpensive white. Try with mildly spicy Asian cuisine such at Pad Thai.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile $8.95 was $9.95 – Was already the best value white in Ontario; now a $1 off. It’s time to stock up on this fragrant juicy white.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio 2014, Central Valley, Chile $9.90 + 5BAMs – This delicious grigio has deservedly been so popular since it launched in the summer that the LCBO kept running out of it last year. There are large stocks at present so pick up a few and enjoy with seafood and cheese dishes.

Dunavar Muscat Ottonel 2012Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2014 Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio 2014Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2013 Goats Do Roam White 2013 Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2013, Central Valley, Chile $9.95 + 3BAMs – A juicy very ripe sauvignon blanc with lots of balancing acidity.

Goats Do Roam White 2013, Western Cape, South Africa $10.95 was $11.95 – New to Top50 – An aromatic rich dry white, great as an aperitif or with Asian cuisine.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile $15.95 plus 10BAMs – Great complexity and balance, this is unmistakably sauvignon with an herbal tone to the tropical citrus fruit. Try with rich creamy cheese dishes to balance the wine’s acidity.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines  I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

Steve Top50The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

There are another 37 wines on the Top 50 list so if you did not find all you need above for your current needs dip into the Top 50 LCBO and Vintages Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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Tilia Malbec 2013

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (January)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers and Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I hope you had a good holiday. Please accept my best wishes for 2015. January is the month when value wine shopping is most important, since many of you will be cutting back on the grand crus and looking for great wines at modest prices for the next little while. So I am happy to report that there are six new wines on the Top 50 for you to try.

Additionally six wines, already on the list, have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply or are on sale (LTO), making these wines even more attractive for the next four weeks or so; all this will surely make your January drinking more affordable.

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the Vintages Essentials Collection. I select most from wines on Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through Limited Time Offers (LTOs).

The discount period runs until February 1st. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I can assure you that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Esporao Alandra Red 2013, Alentejo, Portugal $7.70
TOP50JANUARY – A ripe fruity vibrant red with a fragrant nose of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some floral and spicy notes. Try with salty fatty meats like salami or soft creamy cheese like brie.

Trapiche Astica Merlot Malbec 2014, Cuyo, Argentina $7.95
NEW TO TOP50 – A well-balanced fruity red with more complexity than one might expect for such an inexpensive wine.

Casal Thaulero Sangiovese 2012, Terre Di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy $7.75 plus 3BAMs
TOP50JANUARY – Super value red that’s midweight pure and vibrant. Try with meaty pizza.

Esporao Alandra Red 2013 Trapiche Astica Merlot Malbec 2014Casal Thaulero Sangiovese 2012Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2011Fonseca Periquita 2012

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2011 Chile $8.45 plus 4BAMs
TOP50JANUARY – An appealing easy drinking Bordeaux style blend that’s balanced for food. Try with roast beef.

Fonseca Periquita 2012, Peninsula De Setubal, Portugal $8.95 plus 4BAMs
TOP50JANUARY – A great value staple Portuguese red that’s a little spicy with the fruit persisting well on the finish. Try with grilled lamb cutlets.

BV Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, California, USA $8.95 was $10.95
NEW TO TOP50 – Great value with a soft floral peppery nose. Lightly chill this well-balanced fruity cabernet and enjoy with a rack of lamb.

Trapiche Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina $9.95 plus 4BAMs
A finely balanced pure fruity red. Try with meaty pasta sauces, grilled sausages or pizza

Ogier Cotes Du Ventoux Red 2013 $11.95 plus 6BAMs
A peppery red with bright cherry fruit that’s midweight with soft tannin and zesty fresh dry finish. Try with cheesy pizza.

BV Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Trapiche Malbec 2014Ogier Cotes Du Ventoux Red 2013Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013clone_wine_49584_web

Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $11.95
NEW TO TOP50 – An opaque elegant and ripe (but not overripe) cabernet with a good acid and tannin structure. Try with a steak.

Trapiche Reserve Syrah 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $11.95
NEW TO TOP50 – Beautiful lifted aromas of blueberry and blackberry fruit with herbal and well-integrated oak spice lead to a velvety smooth palate. Complex and elegant. Try with grilled meats or mature cheddar.

Cusumano Nero d’Avola 2013, Sicily, Italy $11.95 plus 4BAMs
A delicious Sicilian red with soft zesty lemony tone to the ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit aromas and flavours.

Montes Twins Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile $12.90 plus 5BAMs
A soft juicy ripe red blend of 50% malbec with 50% cabernet sauvignon that’s fullbodied but feels lighter due to vibrant acidity. Try with grilled meats.

Cusumano Nero D'avola 2013Montes Twins Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2012Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2013Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Port

Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile $13.95 plus 8BAMs
NEW TO TOP50 – This is a delicious Chilean pinot with a good depth of colour, fragrant nose and a well-balanced complex palate.  Try with seared tuna.

Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Port, Douro Valley, Portugal $16.50 plus 5BAMs
A very good reserve port made from fruit from several recent vintages. It is not too sweet and is thick with fruit. Try with dark chocolate desserts, nuts or blue cheese.

Whites

K W V Contemporary Collection Chenin Blanc 2014, Western Cape, South Africa $7.95 was $9.45
TOP50JANUARY – Pinot grigio lovers should try this wine with a good depth of flavour and a fresh fruity nose at an amazingly low price.

Trapiche Astica Sauvignon Semillon 2014, Cuyo, Argentina $7.95
NEW TO TOP50 – The 2014 vintage arrived recently and it’s very good as usual with a pure fresh nose and soft creamy palate. Try with cheesy pasta sauces or seafood pizza.

Periquita White 2013 Portugal $8.95 plus 4BAMs
TOP50JANUARY – This blend of three white grapes is a delicious delicate wine for seafood and mildly flavoured chicken dishes.

K W V Contemporary Collection Chenin Blanc 2014Trapiche Astica Sauvignon Semillon 2014Periquita White 2013Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserva 2013Montgras Amaral Sauvignon Blanc 2014Lustau Solera Reserva Dry Amontillado Los Arcos

Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserva 2013, Casablanca Valley, Chile $9.95 was $11.95
TOP50JANUARY – Lemony zesty fresh acidity balances the bold flavours with the oak supported by the intensity of the fruit. Quite delicious.

Montgras Amaral Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Leyda Valley, Chile $13.85 plus 8BAMs
The Leyda Valley is fast proving to be the hot spot for great sauvignon blanc. Lovely lifted aromas of passion fruit and guava with ginger, lavender, and lemon notes lead to a juicy creamy palate. Try with sauteed seafood.

Lustau Amontillado Solera Reserva Los Arcos, Jerez, Spain $14.85
A complex dry white with beautiful nutty, citrus, toasty aromas. Perfectly balanced, would be excellent with roast turkey and a rich brown gravy.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines  I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

Steve Top50The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

There are another 37 wines on the Top 50 list so if you did not find all you need above for your current needs dip into the Top 50 LCBO and Vintages Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20 for January
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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 La Posta Armando Bonarda 2013

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 under $20 at the LCBO (December)

Your Guide to the Best Values, Limited Time Offers and Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO this month

by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I was in Italy last week and found a wine from Sardinia to join the Top 50. In total there are 11 new wines on the Top 50 for you to try. Sadly four of those have joined the list because they have been discontinued, so their price has dropped by around 25% to clear inventory. There are still good stocks of all four, so take advantage while you can.

Additionally seven wines, already on the list, have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) that apply, making these wines even more attractive for the next five weeks or so; all this must make your December drinking more affordable.

The Top 20 under $20 are best buys among the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the Vintages Essentials Collection. I select most from wines on Steve’s Top 50, a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio. You can read below in detail how the Top 50 works, but it does fluctuate as new wines arrive and as discounts show up through Limited Time Offers (LTOs).

The discount period runs until January 3rd. So don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I can assure you that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

Reds

Apelia Agiorgitiko 2012 (1000ml), Greece $9.95 plus 4 BAMs
Agiorgitiko is one of Greece’s best red grapes. This is a is fruity, midweight, well balanced good everyday wine.

Esporao Alandra Red 2013, Alentejo, Portugal $7.60
NEW TO TOP 50 – A ripe fruity vibrant red with a fragrant nose of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some floral and spicy notes. Try with salty fatty meats like salami or soft creamy cheese like brie.

Casa Planeta Syrah 2012, Sicily, Italy now $7.95 was $9.95
DISCONTINUED AT LCBO – A lightweight, very drinkable versatile food wine for pizza and meaty pasta sauces. 500 bottles remain.

Apelia Agiorgitiko 2012Esporao Alandra Red 2013Casa Planeta Syrah Igt 2012K W V Contemporary Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013Sella & Mosca Rosato 2013J. Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2013
KWV Contemporary Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013, Western Cape, South Africa now $7.95 was $9.45
DISCONTINUED AT LCBO – Great value for a balanced fruity red blend with mild aromas of plum, lemon and blackcurrant jam. Simple clean and refreshing. Try with sausages. 1600 bottles remain.

Sella & Mosca Rosato 2013, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy now $8.95 was $9.80
NEW TO TOP 50 – This summer rosé has gone on sale to clear inventory. It is a deep salmon pink almost light red, very fruity yet dry with very good length. Try with baked ham. Over 5000 bottles remain.

J. Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2013, Alentejo, Portugal $9.05
NEW TO TOP 50 – A ripe, fleshy, clean, easy-drinking wine with soft tannins and fresh red berry fruit flavours with more complexity than you would expect for such an inexpensive wine.

D’Arenberg The Stump Jump Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre 2011, South Australia now $9.95 was $14.95
DISCONTINUED AT LCBO – This delicious fragrant plummy red will soon be no longer available. Around 1500 bottles remain so pick up a handful, while you can, at this great price. 1500 bottles remain.

Errazuriz Estate Series Merlot 2012, Curico Valley, Chile now $9.95 was $13.95
DISCONTINUED AT LCBO – This is a ripe, fairly soft and plummy merlot with mild oak spice. It’s midweight smooth with a long finish. Try with a rack of lamb. 1000 bottles remain.

D'arenberg The Stump Jump Grenache:Shiraz:Mourvèdre 2011Errazuriz Estate Series Merlot 2012Pessoa Da Vinha Reserva Douro 2010La Posta Cocina Tinto Blend 2013Guardian Reserva Red 2012Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

Pessoa Da Vinha Reserva Douro 2010, Douro Valley Portugal $12.30 plus 5 BAMs
TOP 50 DECEMBER – A very fruity well balanced rich red wine with a solid structure and very good length.

La Posta Cocina Tinto Blend 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $12.95 plus 8 BAMs
TOP 50 DECEMBER – An easy drinking well-balanced red with juicy berry fruit, lively acidity, just enough tannin, and a mild spicy tone.

Guardian Reserva Red 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile $13.65
NEW TO TOP 50 – A complex red cabernet blend, finely balanced and fruity, with a long, lingering finish, and some fine tannin. Try with a steak.

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal now $15.45 was $16.95
TOP 50 DECEMBER – A full-bodied, very fruity, smooth, rich and powerful port with a fragrant nose.

Whites

Apelia Moschofilero 2013 (1000ml) Greece $9.95 plus 4 BAMs
Moschofilero is one of Greece’s best indigenous grapes. This is a fresh dry white with lifted aromas of floral apple, with a green olive herbal tone, plus some mineral notes.

Mascota Vineyards O P I Chardonnay 2013, Mendoza Argentina $12.95o
NEW TO TOP 50 – A classy rich flavourful chardonnay with just a touch of oak for added complexity and structure.

Apelia Moschofilero 2013Mascota Vineyards O P I Chardonnay 2013Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2014The Wolftrap 2013

Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand $13.95 plus 5 BAMs
TOP 50 DECEMBER – This is a is fresh, pure and fragrant grigio, with pear and melon fruit, toned by minerality with hints of lemongrass with a rich lively fruity palate.

The Wolftrap White 2013, Boekenhoutskloof, Western Cape, South Africa $13.95 plus 5 BAMs
TOP 50 DECEMBER – An appealing aromatic nose of peaches, melons, spices and floral notes lead to rich creamy palate with crisp acidity and lots of fruit.

Frisky Beaver White 2013, VQA Ontario $13.95o
NEW TO TOP 50 – A gewurztraminer led white blend that’s aromatic, almost off-dry and very flavourful.

Lustau Amontillado Solera Reserva Los Arcos, Jerez, Spain $14.85
NEW TO TOP 50 – A complex dry white with beautiful nutty, citrus, toasty aromas. Perfectly balanced, would be excellent with roast turkey and a rich brown gravy.

Frisky Beaver White 2013Lustau Solera Reserva Dry Amontillado Los ArcosLustau Solera Reserva Dry Oloroso Don NunoErrazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Lustau Solera Reserva Dry Oloroso Don Nuno, Jerez, Spain $14.85
NEW TO TOP 50 – This tawny brown dry white has been aging for decades, yet still gives an impression of freshness with nutty raisin fruit. Intensely flavoured and finely balanced. Try with rich pork or veal dishes.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile $15.95 plus 10 BAMs
TOP 50 DECEMBER – Great complexity and balance, this is unmistakably sauvignon, with an herbal tone to the tropical citrus fruit. Try with rich creamy cheese dishes to balance the wine’s acidity.

How does a wine get selected for the Top 20 under $20.

There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection.

– On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines  I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

– Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

– Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection (Top 50,) that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. You can access the report any time and read more about it now.

Steve Top50The Rest of Steve’s Top 50

There are another 36 wines on the Top 50 list so if you did not find all you need above for your current needs dip into the Top 50 LCBO and Vintages Essentials wines. There will surely be something inexpensive that suits your taste.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. I use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database. I review the list every month to include newly listed and recently tasted vintages of current listings as well as monitoring the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

Before value wine shopping remember to consult the Top 50 (Click on Wine =>Top 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list), since it is always changing. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. Moreover if you disagree with our reviews, tell us please us. And if you think our reviews are accurate, send us some feedback since it’s good to hear that you agree with us.

The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Cheers!

Steve Thurlow

Top 20 Under $20 for December
Top 50 Value Wines

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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RedKnotShirazLTO_NWSLTR

Rosehill_Nwsltr (1)

Filed under: News, Wine, , , , , , , , ,

@WineAlign

WineAlign Reviews

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008