WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 24, 2015
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.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Strewn Terroir American Oak Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, +405530, $24.95. QPR: 91.
2.Domaine Chatelaine Les Vignes de Saint-Laurent-L'Abbaye Poully Fume 2013, +958801, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara, +80234, $16.95: juicy orchard fruit, an annual winner, off-dry, 9.5% ABV, twist top, sip or food. QPR: 89.
4.Middle-Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Nelson, +391987, $17.95: the name alone for this Kiwi Savvy should be enough for it to sell out in Ontario. Zesty, mouth-lingering flavours on the end palate. Don't serve too cold. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Henri Ehrhart Reserve Particuliere Pinot Gris 2013 Alsace, +392092, $18.95: golden tones of honey and orchards, long finish, very off-dry. The acid level conceals a lot of the LCBO-tested sweetness (M), which is still there if you are concerned about sugar. It is not (M) in taste. 13% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
6.JeanJean Ormarine Carte Noire Picpoul de Pinet 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc, +525287, $12.95: affordable tastiness from the piquepoul grape, 12.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
7.Riondo Castelforte Garganega 2013 IGT Veronese, +230656, $13.95: another interesting white with some wood aging, and a long finish that is good enough for food as well as soft tones for the patio/deck/balcony. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Casa del Bosque Gran Reserva Syrah 2012 Casablanca Valley, +995092, $22.95. QPR: 92.
2.Nugan Estate Alcira Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Coonawarra, +393686, $24.95. QPR: 90.
3.Chateau Blaignan 2010 Medoc, +400606, $23.95. QPR: 90
4.Tenuta Rocca Ornati Langhe 2009, +309369, $21.95. QPR: 91.
5.Abelis Carthago William Selection Crianza 2011 Toro, +399105, $23.95. QPR: 90.
6.Buro de Penalosa Crianza 2009 Ribera del Duero, +398685, $23.95. QPR: 90.
7.Lecco Cianza 2007 Ribera del Duero, +397174, $23.95. QPR: 90.
8.Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2011 WO Paarl, +383547, $14.95: dusty with mushrooms, nicely aged, twist top, organic, 14% ABV. Good deal. QPR: 89.
9.Alceno 12 Meses Monastrell 2011 Jumilla, +398925, $14.95: loaded with fruit tempered by both French and US oak, 14.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 89.
10.Alceno Premium 50 Barricas Syrah 2012 Jumilla, +398933, $13.95: good syrah hit, 14.5% ABV, cork closure. Value priced. QPR: 89.
11.Vina Mambrilla Alidis Tinto 6 Meses en Barrica 2012 Rivera del Duero, +398487, $17.95: biodynamic wine, 14% ABV, cork closure, with lots of mocha tones and some red fruit augmented by spices. QPR: 90.
12.Finca Los Alijares Graciano 2009 Vino de la Terra de Castilla, +392522, $17.95: nicely aged (now six years) with rounded black fruit, some jamminess, 14.5% 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 2011 Alsace Grand Cru, +627950, $33.95 retail.
2.Bachelder Bourgogne Chardonnay 2012, +272005, $35.95.
3.Chateau Fortia Cuvee du Baron Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012, +959999, $39.95.
4.Gemma Barolo 2010, +285502, $29.95.
5.Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino 2008, +390807, $49.95.
6.Bikandi Vendimia Seleccionada Reserva 2001 Rioja, +391599, $26.95.