WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MARCH 15, 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.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Charles & Charles Chardonnay 2012 Columbia Valley Washington State, +367888, $15.95: a good basic and affordable all-round chardonnay for all occasions (sipping, partying, drinking, with food)- balanced, buttery, vanilla, long finish, 13.3% ABV, twist top. QPR: 90.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Finca La Emperatriz Reserva 2007 Old Vines Rioja, +359927, $29.95
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musque 2012 CSV VQA Beamsville, +246579, $15.95: a delightful, well-balanced muscat inflected chardonnay, great sipper, 14% ABV, good for first course or salads. QPR: 89.
2.Joffre Pasion 4 Torrontes 2013, +361063, $14.95: the wine of Toronto!, twist top, 13.5%, to remind us of sunnier times during summer – intense fragrance, citric finish, good body, nice with Asiatic food. QPT: 89.
3.Moulin Camus Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2012, +358630, $16.95: lovely full flavours, one of the best concentrated Muscadets I've tasted in years. Crisp, mineral flavours, 12% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Yalumba Shiraz 2012 South Australia, +280883, $19.95: Euro style in leanness, bone dry, organic, black fruit in the syrah mode. QPR: 89.
2.Chateau Le Vieux Serestin 2009 Medoc, +138719, $17.95: typical MVC for Bordeaux, with four grape varieties, and value for the dollar. QPT: 89.
3.Les Grandes Serres Patrick Lesec Cuvee Suzon Beaumes-de-Venise Cotes du Rhone Villages 2011, +357053, $19.95: syrah dominates the long, long finish, quite an accomplishment. 15% ABV. QPR: 89.
4.Alpha Estate Axia Syrah/Xinomavro 2009 PGI Florina Greece, +239897, $17.95: a ballbuster, tasty heavily dominated syrah, 14% ABV. Wow – syrah style made three wines on my list this month! QPR: 89.
5.Tenuta Stefano Farina Le Brume Langhe 2009, +360073, $17.95: a good combo of barbera, nebbiolo, and merlot. The nebbiolo complexity shines through this North American appeal wine (toasty oak, black fruit, off-dry tones). 14.5% ABV, long finish. QPR: 89.
6.Giordano Collection Primitivo di Manduria 2011, +51797, $17.95: CalItal in style, off-dry finish, 14.5% ABV, toasty, fair price. QPR: 89.
7.Rodriguez Sanzo Lacrimus Crianza 2009 Rioja, +359968, $18.95: plush and lush rioja, farm-based tastes, great with food. Gold Medalist. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.R. Reverte Odipus Old Vines Grenache 2008 Unfiltered Navarra, +366401, $15.95: the LCBO garnacha of the month, rich, motherly. Old vines and well-aged too. QPR: 89.
9.Garcia de Aranda Senorio de los Baldos 2009 Ribera del Duero, +366393, $19.95: delicious, well-aged, plummy, vanilla tones, tempranillo at crianza level, 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
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.Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2012 VQA Okanagan, +377770, $21.95 retail.
2.Elephant Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Hawkes Bay, +361238, $23.95.
3.Domaine Bernard Millot Les Petits Charrons Meursault 2011, +130922, $53.95.
4.Bourillon-Dorleans La Bourdonnerie Demi-Sec Vouvray 2012, +357244, $21.95.
5.Domaine Masson-Blondelet Pouilly Fume 2012, +367029, $26.95.
6.Burning Kiln Strip Room Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA Ontario, +327700, $24.95.
7.Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir 2011 Marlborough, +361279, $23.95.
8.Chateau L'Avocat 2010 Graves, +365650, $26.95.
9.Bachelder La Petite Charmotte Nuits-Saint-Georges 2011, +357228, $49.95.
10.Paitin Serra Barbaresco 2009, +360057, $32.95.
11.Rocca Delle Macie Tenuta Sant'Alfonso Chianti Classico 2011, +942094, $22.95.