WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR DECEMBER 6, 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
Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah 2012 Pays d'Oc, +177584, $15.95: it's back, but
another vintage, just as good as ever – even better. Value priced, great syrah hit of pepper, smoked meat, black fruit, garrigue, blackberries. Perfect accompaniment to horse meat. I've said virtually the same things about the last five times this wine has turned up in Vintages (the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and now 2012). 13.5% ABV. Up a dollar, but then so is everything else in life. Twist top. Buy all of it! QPR: 94.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara, +149302, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA NOTL, +172338, $22.95. QPR: 90.
3.Ashbrook Chardonnay 2011 Margaret River, +684076, $24.95. QPR: 91.
4.Mountadam Estate Chardonnay 2009 High Eden South Australia, +333211, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Domaine Chauveau Pouilly-Fume 2013, +390641, $23.95. QPR: 90.
6.Kew Vineyards Old Vine Riesling 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, +392126, $18.95: old vines are from 30 years back, in 1975. Good aged riesling character, 11.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Vineland Estates Elevation St.Urban Vineyard Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara, +38117, $19.95: if there were VV standards, this one, planted in 1979, could qualify. Nicely off-dry rather than "medium", 9% ABV. Intense and fresh. QPT: 90.
8.Thierry Delauney Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2013, +391847, $14.95: another price-buster savvy from the Loire, tangy kiwi style zest, 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Monasterio de las Vinas Gran Reserva 2005 Carinena, +82024, $16.95: once away from Rioja, the prices tumble. This nine year old wine, barreled for two years, is a great tempranillo/garancha mix of chunky fruit and vanilla with alight aging. Remarkable. 13% ABV. QPR: 91.
10.Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Colchagua, +169847, $17.95: another valued wine, tasty with long length, 14% ABV. Gold medalist. Ready now. QPR: 89.
11.Vina Chocalan Reserva Syrah 2012 Maipo, +38513, $15.95: dark mocha tones, exceptionally focused, 14.5% ABV, excellent price. Ready soon. QPR: 89.
12.Volcanes de Chile Tectonia Pinot Noir 2012 Bio Bio, +389676, $17.95: fruity but with lean finishing acid, great food wine. MVC pinot tones are nailed. 14% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 89.
13.Sao Miguel Dos Descobridores Seleccionada Colheita 2012 Vinho Regional Alentejano, +146092, $17.95: a fair price for a good blend of fruit and vanilla, somewhat North American in style and in appeal. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
14.Bodegas Balbas Ardal Crianza 2005 Ribera del Duero, +167601, $16.95: it is difficult to find any Ribera under $20, and this one is even from 2005, showing us how well it can age even at the Crianza (minimum 6 months in barrel) level. Berry fruit has been resolved, 90% tempranillo, balance cabernet sauv, all juicy. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa, +73817, $22.95. QPR: 90.
2.Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz/Viognier 2012, +18887, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Pepperjack Red 2012 Barossa Valley, +393801, $24.95. QPR: 90.
4.Red Hill Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Mornington Peninsula Victoria, +58073, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Clare Valley/Coonawarra, +142398, $24.95. QPR: 91.
6.Il Molino di Grace Riserva Chianti Classico 2006, +382945, $23.95. QPR: 90.
7.Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem 2012 Cotes de Roussillon-Villages, +643239, $24.95. QPR: 90.
8.Monastir S.XII Cluny 2006, +391557, $19.95: loaded with a collection of animal qualities of leather, meat, smoke, softened by normal oak barreling and vanilla. Blend of tempranillo, cab sauv, and merlot. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Ondarre Reserva 2008 Rioja, +732452, $18.95: fairly typical of a six year old reserve Rioja, but its price promotes its value. 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 Spegel Grand Cru Pinot Gris 2010, +723379, $34.95 retail.
2.Chateau Le Thil Comte Clary Blanc 2010 Pessac-Leognan, +258038, $31.85.
3.Pierre Andre Meursault 2011, +732792, $49.95.
4.Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 2012, +336396, $29.95.
5.Juan Gil 18 Meses 2011 Jumilla, +392571, $40.95.
6.Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino 2008, +237263, $49.94.
7.Pombal do Vesuvio 2009 Douro, +392365, $30.95.