WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MARCH 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", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been 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. 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 Haut du Puy 2010 Haut-Medoc, +404988, $15.95: this month's bargoon red at Vintages, already well-aged for 4 years with MVC Bordeaux tones. Hard to beat. QPR: 91.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musque 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, +246579, $15.95: delightful peachy tones in that orange-muscat mode, good off-dry character but finishes dry. Best with food, such as a first course, but could be a pre-prandial sipper. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Fielding Estate Riesling 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, +251439, $18.85: off-dry 10.5% ABV but finishes with higher acid. Good for sipping, loaded with riesling character. QPR: 89.
3.Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +578625, $19.95: a dramatic uptick with one dollar more than the Fielding, but still 10.5% ABV. Twist top, less acidic taste but still refreshing with riesling MVC. QPR: 89.
4.Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2013 WO Cape Point, +285221, $15.95: classy presentation in bottle and on label, 13.5% ABV, good savvy value at this price (especially with the 5% added semillon). QPR: 89.
5.Trimbach Riesling 2012 Alsace, +734517, $21.95. QPR: 89.
6.Domaine Le Verger Chablis 2013, +181289, $22.95. QPR: 90.
7.Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2013, +363150, $14.95: the LCBO's Muscadet of the month. QPR: 89.
8.Marques de Caceres Antea 2013 Barrel Fermented Rioja, +518985, $15.95: lightly elegant with nuances of French wood seasoning plus a tang on the finish. 12.5% ABV, from viura and malvasia grapes. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Schild Estate Shiraz 2012 Barossa, +66555, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Yalumba The Guardian Shiraz/Viognier 2010 Eden Valley, +396499, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Chateau Lanbersac 2010 Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, +177006, $22.95. QPR: 90.
4.Chateau Bellevue La Foret 2011 Fronton, +354134, $13.95: once on the LCBO General List about five agents back, this wine has been a fave for the past 40 years in Ontario. The main grape is the Negrette, with cab franc and cab sauv and some syrah in the blend. This unusual blend works, great price, and 14.5% ABV of kick. QPR: 90.
5.Chateau Peyros Vieilles Vignes Madiran 2009, +234997, $18.95: nicely aged, now over 5 years old. 80% tannat/20% cab franc. 13.5% ABV. Here is some value in an older tasting wine. QPR: 89.
6.Chateau Vincens Origine Cahors 2011, +343400, $17.95: voluptuous in a North American palate sense, gold medal winner. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Domaine Sergent Oak Aged Madiran 2011, +251561, $21.95. QPR: 90.
8.Boutari Grand Reserve 2008 Naoussa Greece, +140111, $17.95: always a well-aged wine with those ripe mature tones, from the xinomavro grape. QPR: 89.
9.Bodegas Volver Tarima Hill Monastrell 2011 Old Vines Alicante, +310169, $19.95: aged almost two years in French oak, augmenting the black fruit with nuances of floral sweetness. Whopping 15% ABV. QPR: 89.
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.Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red 2012 Napa Valley, +329375, $162.95 retail.
2.Chateau Pineraie L'Authentique Cahors 2011, +408294, $39.95.
3.Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2009, +651141, $59.95.
4.Villa Cerna Riserva Chianti Classico 2010, +349407, $28.95.
5.Remo Farina Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2011, $36.95.
6.Tinto Pesquera Reserva 2010 Ribera del Duero, +323345, $44.95.