WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JUNE 27, 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
Michel Gassier Les Piliers Syrah 2012 Costiere de Nimes, +678086, $18.95: a traditionally-made wine, with cork closure and 13.5% ABV. Great hit of syrah black and blue berries, plus a hint of brett and a nuance of leather. Buy lots. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Sperling Gewurztraminer 2013 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +242958, $21.95. QPR: 89.
2.Colome Torrontes 2013 Calchaqui Valley Argentina, +357913, $13.95: another version of the "wine of Toronto" comes here in time for the Pan-Am games. This one is exceedingly aromatic, a beauty for summer, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Long finish. QPR: 89.
3.Casa del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014, +974717, $13.95: for savvy lovers with added zest components. 13.5% ABV, twist top, typical character. QPR: 89.
4.Swings & Roundabouts Chardonnay 2013 Margaret River, +408732, $21.95. QPR: 90.
5.Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2014 WO Stellenbosch, +231282, $17.95: this is a very good price for an "old vines" offering (some 37 years old) for chenin blanc. BF and BA as well, nicely structured. QPR: 89.
6.Bestheim Classic Gewurztraminer 2013 Alsace, +656801, $18.95: MVC but not off-dry as recent gewurzs have been. Also not as bitter a finish. Gold Medalist, and a candidate for "label of the year" (large black/blue print on white label). QPR: 89.
7.Monte del Fra Ca' del Magro 2012 Veneto, +165670, $17.95:a lovely entrance to summer, with Garganega floral aromas and orchard fruit tastes. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 VQA Niagara, +275958, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Zonte's Footstep Baron von Nemesis Single Site Shiraz 2012 Barossa Valley, +212936, $17.95: rich, ripe tones, double Gold winner, should be aged more. Buy a case. 14.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Sileni The Triangle Merlot 2013 Hawke's Bay, +586081, $19.95: very good New World merlot, MVC, off-dry in the finish taste, 14% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Chateau La Verriere 2012 Bordeaux Superieur, +349274, $15.95: MVC all the way for Bordeaux, good price for a Gold Medal. Youthful tones. QPR: 89.
5.Brumont Tour Bouscasse 2009 Madiran, +414615, $17.95: good aging for about 6 years. Dense smoke and dried fruit. Real character. QPR: 89.
6.Bricco Rosso Suagna 2009 Langhe Piedmont, +417022, $14.95: nifty price for a baby barolo, mostly nebbiolo with some dolcetto to freshen it up (it is almost 6 years old). Good for a modest priced BBQ wine. QPR: 89.
7.Varvaglione Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2012 Puglia, +261784, $20.95. QPR: 89.
8.Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2012, +295964, $23.95. QPR: 90.
9.Bod. Balbas Ardal Crianza 2005 Ribera del Duero, +167601, $16.95: a real find and a bargain to boot, ready now, 14% ABV. QPR: 90.
10.Borsao Berola 2011 Campo de Borja, +371518, $17: it has been awhile since the last Spanish garnacha went through the system. This one, at 15% ABV, is a powerhouse of North American appeal through its zinfandel-like fleshiness and flashiness. 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.Culmina Hypothesis 2012 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +414243, $39.95 retail.
2.Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux La Tour Sarrasine Gigondas 2012, +279562, $28.95.
3.Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Riserva Chianti Classico 2007, +122895, $34.95.
4.Bodegas Vizcarra JC Vizcarra 2011, +214650, $29.95.