WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR OCTOBER 25, 2014
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
NOTE: It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them into the Vintages program, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2012 Single Vineyard Casablanca Chile, +389213, $15.95: exceptionally well-developed in age (could be cork?), 13.5% ABV, nice funky tones which I like, good solid MVC for pinot, and the price is unbeatable. No second bottle to try. QPR for this bottle: 92.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett 2013 Rheinhessen, +480517, $21.95. QPR: 89.
2.Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Zapallar Vineyard Aconcagua Valley, +389643, $19.95: very zesty, very much like kiwi or Loire Valley with some higher class minerality. Long, long finish. QPR: 89.
3.Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2013 South Australia, +624502, $16.95: spices and tree orchard fruit dominate, good notes on the mid-palate, medium finish, off-dry texture. Not as fruity as in previous years, but still viognier. 14.1% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.Glenelly Cellars Grand Vin Chardonnay 2012 WO Coastal Region, +382200, $19.95: light smoke, balanced fruit, strong on mid-palate through to finish, but there also seems to be a price creep here. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
5.Trenel Bourgogne Blanc 2012, +391094, $16.95: in the cheap and cheerful category, memories of chardonnay, 12.5% ABV, juicy enough to develop some value. QPR: 88.
6.Domaine La Haute Fevre Sevre & Maine Sue Lie Muscadet 2013, +390625, $13.95: refreshing wine, crisp citric and green apple tones, seafood all the way, from old vines (LCBO says in excess of 35 years), 12% ABV. A bargain. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Mendoza Vineyards Gran Reserva Malbec 2010, +379123, $23.95. QPR: 89
2.Famille Perrin Les Christins Vacqueyras 2012, +973453, $24.95. QPR: 89.
3.Arrocal Passion 2010 Ribera del Duero, +383968, $23.95. QPR: 90.
4.Vega Escal 2008 Priorat Reserva de la Tierra, +210997, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.False Bay Vineyards Peacock Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 WO Western Cape, +382226, $15.95: another bargain with good depth at 14.5% ABV, off-dry on mid-palate, but with a concentrated finish. QPR: 89.
6.Chateau La Fleur Grands Landes 2009 Montagne Saint-Emilion, +387522, $18.95: a value wine for Bordeaux under $20. Merlot based fruitiness, MVC Bordeaux of black currants, spices, cedar, and of course plums. 13.5% ABV from climate change. All components in place. QPR: 89.
7.Chateau de Ciffre Terroirs d'Altitude Saint-Chinian 2011: a Gold Medalist from the Midi, 14.5% ABV, dense texture but tastes soft and fruity, many syrah tones, plush finish. QPR: 89+.
8.Chateau Rigaud AP Faugeres, +393561, $17.95: anise does not dominate the emerging black fruit. A French GSM. 14% ABV. Needs decanting and/or breathing. QPR: 89.
9.Chateau Peyros Tannat/Cabernet 2009, +208249, $14.95: a big wine for this price level, nicely aged, needs one more year, tannic now but developing more fruit attributes. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Roggiano Morellino di Scansano 2012, +946954, $16.95: brimming with ripe dark fruit and barrel complexity, 13.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
11.Alente Premium Trincadeira/Aragonez 2011 Alentejo, +21527, $16.95: another wine from a newly emerging region in Portugal – a dynamic red blend of indigenous grapes (three or more). 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
12.Raminez de la Piscina Crianza 2009 Rioja, +383018, $15.95: the supply of modestly priced older Rioja, even at Crianza level, never seems to run out. A hidden treasure at this price level. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
1.Domaines Schlumberger Saering Riesling 2010 Alsace Grand Cru, +627950, $30.95 retail.
2.Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis 1er Cru, +391805, $29.95.
3.Emiliana Coyam 2011 Colchagua Valley, +63891, $29.95.
4.Chateau Magnol 2010 Haut-Medoc, +384271, $25.95.
5.Giacosa Bussia Barolo 2009, +344721, $39.95.