WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR APRIL 18, 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
M.Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013, +168716, $15.95: great value for a blend of Grencahe and Syrah, done up in the southern Rhone style, good syrah hits of blackberries and some saddles. Extremely nice price. QPR: 91.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +388421, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Roland Lavantureux Chablis 2013, +328807, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Featherstone Gewurztraminer 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +64592, $19.95: good intense Alsatian-style gewurz flavours are nailed here. Food or sip, 13% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2012 VQA Short Hills Bench, +557165, $17.95: a delicious hit of Riesling intensity, good acid levels on the finish, broad fruity strokes on mid-palate. 11.5% ABV, not as sweet as (M) indicates. QPR; 89
5.Hugel Gentil 2013 Alsace, +367284, $15.95: at one time on the LCBO general list, this wine is a reasonably costed patio/deck/first course sipper/food wine. A good zwicker field blend. QPR: 89.
6.Cheateau de la Bretesche Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, +412163, $12.95: the LCBO Muscadet of the month. QPR: 88.
7.Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling 2013 Mosel, +599274, $13.95: a beginner's Mosel riesling, affordable summer sipper, sure to fly off the shelves at this price. 8.5% ABV. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Airfield Estates Runway Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Yakima Valley, +408351, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Condado de Haza Crianza 2010 Ribera del Duero, +963348, $24.95. QPR: 91.
3.Torres Celeste Crianza 2011 Ribera del Duero, +210872, $20.95. QPR: 90.
4.Falernia Reserva Syrah 2010 Elqui Valley Chile, +208371, $18.95: done up in French magic style, but still juicy syrah. Great value, 14% ABV. QPR: 90.
5.Alto Casablanca Primus The Blend 2012 Colchagua Valley, +712463, $19.95: s decent blend of cab sauv(25%), carmenere (25), syrah (25), and balance of merlot, cab franc, and petit verdot, coming in at 14.5% ABV. Lots of dense black fruit and some fennel. QPR: 89.
6.Sister's Run Epiphany Shiraz 2012 McLaren Vale, +269464, $15.95: a lovely hit of the syrah style of making wine from this grape, disclosing its Euro roots. 14.5% ABV, twist top. Nice price. QPR: 89.
7.Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough, +590414, $19.95: a serious contender in the pinot noir "love 'em and leave 'em" sweepstakes, delicious French style, 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
8.Domaine Le Grand Retour Pla de Dieu Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2012, +224592, $14.95: more traditional in style with less flair but more game. 14.5% ABV. 75% grenache, 15 syrah, and 10 mourvedre. QPR: 89.
9.Abad Dom Bueno Crianza 2006 Bierzo, +244699, $15.95: the latest affordable wine from the trending Bierzo region in Spain, value in the blackness of the grapes, but still some unresolved tannins in the finish (needs food). 13.6% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2007 Rioja, +947309, $19.95: another well-aged but undervalued Rioja wine, needs your attention for its aged components and will not disappoint. 13.5% 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.Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2012 VQA Beamsville Bench, +566026, $29.95 retail.
2.Norman Hardie Niagara Unfiltered Chardonnay 2013 VQA Niagara, +184432, $39
3.Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey, +958975, $34.95
4.Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2011 Alsace, +995316, $29.95
5.Domaine Latour-Giraud-Cuvee Charles Maxime Meursault 2013, +299784, $55.95
6.Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2013 VQA Okanagan Valley, +585760, $26.95
7.Chateau Dassault 2011 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe, +299149, $49.85
8.Umberto Cesari Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 IGT Rubicone Emilia-Romagna, +225086, $27.95.
9.Antinori Badia a Passignano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2009, +384552, $44.95
10.Montemercurio Messaggero Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2008, +385393, $29.95