WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR APRIL 4, 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", 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
Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268342, $19.95: voluptuous ripeness, pleasant balance of oaking and fruit, integrated style in place. Lovely wood on the finish. 13.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, +677450, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Domaine Bonnard Sancerre 2013, +140525, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Cousino-Macul Antiguas Reserva Chardonnay 2013 Maipo, +730044, $15.95: at 13.5% ABV, this powerhouse chardonnay shows some mild oaking, with everything in moderation. QPR: 89.
4.Terre de Vignerons Famille Excellor Sauvignon 2012 Bordeaux, +403915, $14.95: a very useful savvy at this price. QPR: 88.
5.Domaine Vincent Sauvestre Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013, +365056, $19.95: the parade of decent white burgundies for under $20 continues – some nuttiness here, but mainly stainless steel for crispness. Well-rounded. QPR: 89.
6.Zenato San Benedetto Lugana 2013 Veneto, +707158, $16.95: good value, with some dry orange-peach muscat tones. 13%, cork closure. QPR: 89.
7.Eidosela Albarino 2013 DO Rias Baixas, +336271, $14.95: fleshy, longer finish, aromatic with orange-peach nuances. Value driven wine. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2011 IGT Veronese, +672931, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Columbia Valley Washington, +240093, $17.95: delicious fruitiness plus mocha tones, ready now. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Feudi San Pio Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2012, +181446, $17.95: the LCBO "ripasso of the month"? QPR: 89.
4.Quinta Do Portal Frontaria 2009 Douro, +324533, $13.95. black fruit berries, mocha, and extract from using Port grape varieties. One-quarter aged in French oak. QPR: 90.
5.Muriel Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada 2008 Rioja, +276030, $18.95: still lively and fruity, 13.5% ABV, MVC Rioja, good price. QPR: 90.
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.Clos Pegase Hommage Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 Carneros Napa Valley, +408385, $49.95 retail.
2.Domaine Jean Collet & Fils Montmains Chablis 1er Cru 2011, +405704, $31.95.
3.Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, +39537, $39.95.
4.Tscharke Marananga Gnadenfrei Shiraz 2011 Barossa Valley, +303370, $26.95.
5.Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2008, +245225, $49.95.
6.Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2011, +704346, $31.95.