WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR FEBRUARY 21, 2015
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing email@example.com.
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
Chateau des Charmes Old Vines Riesling 2012 Estate Bottled, +277228, $16.95: Made from vines largely planted in 1978, now a mature vineyard. 12.5% ABV. Succulence like you would not believe at this price level, but off-dry Alsatian character (citric tones, spices), with now two years plus of aging. A beaut. Twist top. Gold Medalist in Ontario Wine Awards and National Wine Awards in 2014. QPR: 92.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Ridge Road Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara, +346858, $15.95: an interesting and intense Mosel style Riesling wine at 10% ABV, off-dry, refreshing, twist top. QPR: 89.
2.Wither Hills Rarangi Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +288134, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Tabali reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Limari, +662999, $14.95: Limari is turning into my fave source for savvy wines. This one is nifty and zesty, 13.5% ABV. Best with food. QPR: 89.
4.Jean Biecher & Fils Reserve Riesling 2012 Alsace, +403105, $14.95: hard to find a reserve level Alsatian riesling at this price point, 12% ABV, and twist top too. It's an affordable "classic" style pre-climate change wine. QPR: 90.
5.Gayda Viognier 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +395129, $13.95: youthful and useful with nuances of orchard fruit and spicy nuts. Could go either way with or without food. Versatile. 12.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Vistalba Corte C Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza, +398818, $14.95: Very useful red fruit and chocolate inspired wine at this price point, 14% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 88.
2.Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Langhorne Creek, +661892, $17.95: very much a cabby, MVC all the way, twist top, 13.5% ABV. Well-developed and fruity. QPR: 88.
3.Gerard Bertrand Saint Chinian Syrah/Mourvedre 2011, +370247, $18.95: good fruity flavours, with oak, anise, smoke tones. 13.5% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
4.Remo Farina Montecorna Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2012, +56267, $19.95: the LCBO Ripasso of the the Month. QPR: 89.
5.Quinta de Porrais Parcelas 2010 Douro, +397422, $14.95: quite a bargain, well-priced overwhelming easy-to-drink, 13% ABV. It's got just about everything, and can be enhanced by aging. Give it a longevity shot. QPR: 89.
6.Quinta do Mondego 2009 Dao, +399766, $19.95: powerhouse delivery, nicely aged but still needs time. Based on four grapes: the TN/TR/Jaen and Afro. 13.5% ABV. Impressive for its fruity depth and lingering character. QPR: 89.
**** HALF-BOTTLE ALERT: Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa, +191700, $13.95 for 375mL.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25 RETAIL
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.Thirty Bench Small Lot Chardonnay 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench Niagara, +203703, $30.
2.Cave des Grands Crus Blancs Pouilly-Fuisse 2013, +404582, $26.95.
3.Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Alexander Valley Sonoma County, +285098, $52.95.
4.Leasingham Winemakers Selection Bin 61 Shiraz 2012 Clare Valley, +448241, $25.95.
5.Yangarra Shiraz 2012 McLaren Vale, +911974, $32.95.
6.Chateau Peyrabon 2010 Haut-Medoc, +336925, $29.95.
7.Aurelio Settimo Barolo 2010, +291559, $49.95.
8.Giribaldi Barbaresco 2006, +101147, $32.95.