WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR FEBRUARY 7, 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.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Domaine de Rochebin Chardonnay Macon-Aze 2013, +156943, $16.95: very well-priced for a basic French chardonnay from 40 year old vines. Typical orchard fruit and citric tones, with enough finishing acid for first course foods rather than as a sipper. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Susana Balbo Signature Barrel Fermented Torrontes 2014 Uco Valley Mendoza, +384339, $17.95: this is an interesting spin on torrontes. Not only is there 3 months in medium toast French oak for BF, but the sweetness level has been dropped. There are many baking and meringue notes here for complexity. QPR: 89.
2.Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Awatere Valley Marlborough, +225557, $18.95: yes, it's time for the Eradus annual swing through Ontario, with its zesty over-the-top green notes, 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Stephane Berg Gewurztraminer 2012 Alsace, +390674, $16.95: delicious typicity for gewurz, 13% ABV, cork closure, Gold Medalist, and useful price. QPR: 89.
4.Wolfberger Signature Riesling 2013 Alsace, +398164, $16.95: solid riesling complexity that is bone dry (almost a rarity in Alsace these days), 12.5% ABV, cork closure. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
5.Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Riesling 2008 Mosel, +733295, $15.95: another well-priced wine with typical Mosel softness, acidity, orchard fruit and some Euro complexity. Drier than expected from the LCBO's rating of (M), which to me indicates a higher acid level, great for a first course or as a sipper. Twist top, 9.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Porcupine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 WO Coastal Region, +146894, $16.95: good cabby flavours of black fruit, twist top, 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Chateau des Antonins 2010 Bordeaux Superieur, +404269, $14.95: hard to believe the price on this wine, so that promotes it as great value for its toast and roast tones, black fruit, and more. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Resta Salice Salentino 2011 Puglia, +324731, $15.95: another good value winner from the negroamaro grape, 13.5% ABV. Pruney and black fruit notes, mushroom and forest floor. Best with food, long length and enjoyable. QPR: 89.
4.Lacrimus Crianza 2009 Rioja, +359968, $17.95: appears to have had dynamite ratings from Decanter magazine. Indeed, a rustic-rural style with fennel tones and red fruit, smoke from 14 months in new oak barrels. From high vineyards, 85% tempranillo. QPR: 89.
5.Vinas Elias Mora Tinta de Toro 2011 Toro, +209650, $17.95: comes in at a whopping 15% ABV and unfiltered. Serve at the end of the mains/cheeses as a palate cleanser. Both red and dark fruit in evidence. 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.Simonsig Chenin Avec Chene Chenin Blanc 2012 WO Stellenbosch, +282772, $25.95 retail.
2.Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru 2011, +205955, $85.95.
3.Concha y Toro Terrunyo Peumo Vineyard Block 27 Carmenere 2011 Cachapoal Valley, +562892, $29.95.
4.Chateau La Bienfaisance 2008 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, +403451, $31.95.
5.Les Grandes Serres La Cour des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011, $651661, $44.95.
6.Beni di Batasiolo Riserva Barolo 2006, +330704, $39.95
7.Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco 2011, +155408, $29.95.
8.Pinyolet Seleccion 2010 DO Montsant Spain, +338897, $26.95.