WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR AUGUST 8, 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. For instance, in this release, there are 25 or so wines priced at $19.95, about ¼ of the release. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values.
====?>>> ** BEST WHITE WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
-Domaine Jacky Marteau Sauvignon Touraine 2014, +745349, $13.95: a wonderfully grassy savvy at a rock bottom price, cork closure. First course and/or cheese. QPR: 91.
====?>>> ** BEST RED WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
-Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Columbia Valley, +240093, $17.95: excellent red verging on Napa Valley style (due to climate change?), lots of black fruit showing, spices and vanilla tones with butteriness. QPR: 91.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Herve Azo Chablis 2014, +185736, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Chateau Favray Pouilly-Fume 2014, +323642, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Rosewood Sussreserve Riesling 2014 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +258806, $14.95: a great summery wine at 9.9% ABV, a sipper for the patio or for indoor entertaining. Twist top, could be valuable with spicy/salty food. QPR: 89.
4.Chateau Martinon Blanc 2013 Entre-deux-Mers, +421230, $14.95: another good value wine based on sauvignon blanc, and hence some sharp grassiness. Best with food, light first course. QPR: 89.
5.Clos les Montys Vieilles Vignes Muscadet Sevre & Maine Sur Lie 2013, +297911, $13.95: the older vines lend some depth and concentration here, 12% ABV, first course wine. Cork closure. QPR: 89.
6.Domaine Lafage Cote Est 2013 IGP Cotes Catalanes, +179838, $14.95: a nifty unoaked blend of grenache blanc, chardonnay and marsanne, showing the expressiveness of the south of France. There's enough succulence here for sipping as well as food. Twist top. QPR: 89.
7.Santa Tresa Rina Lanca Grillo/Viognier 2013 IGT Terre Siciliane, +412650, $13.95: good value here in this 50/50 blend. It is off-dry, patio or first course, and the blend is indigenous (grillo) and international (viogner). 13% ABV, organic, twist top. Gold medal winner. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Inniskillin Reserve Shiraz/Cabernet 2012 VQA Niagara, +225482, $24.95. QPR: 89.
2.Chateau Chantelys 2010 Cru Bourgeois Medoc, +421214, $21.95. QPR: 89.
3.Chateau Maurac 2010 Haut-Medoc, +365817, $23.95. QPR: 88.
4.Domaine Bonnard Sancerre Rouge 2013, +65995, $23.95. QPR: 91.
5.Cosme Palacio Reserva 2009 Rioja, +14662, $22.95. QPR: 89.
6.Viewpointe Cabernet Franc 2008 VQA Lake Erie North Shore, +359299, $18.95: nicely aged with dried fruit tones, some herbaceousness, and some wood. 14% ABV, and excellent value for its Euro style. QPR: 89.
7.N. Potel Maison Roche de Bellene Cuvee Reserve Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2012, +299859, $19.95: another tasty and top-notch general pinot from Burgundy for under $20. Malolactic fermentation, no filtering, 13% ABV, and lots of ruby goodness in its food wine acidic character. QPR: 89.
8.Chateau de Lancyre Esprit de Garrigue 2013 Languedoc, +415695, $15.95: off-dry in tone, herbs and spices but also fruity. 14% ABV. QPR: 88.
9.Chateau de Treviac 2012 Corbieres, +670505, $16.95: another off-dry syrah/grenache blend from the Midi, and good value too at 14.5% ABV. Gold Medal winner. QPR: 88.
10.Ortas Cave de Rasteau La Domeliere Rasteau 2013, +222917, $15.95: cedary, leafy, some fennel tones, black fruit. Old vines of grenache/syrah/mourvedre, typical 14% ABV.
11.Vinhas da Ciderma Donzel 2007 Douro, +408104, $15.95: excellent fruit with wood aging, some dried raisinated qualities, tempranillo adds luster to the blend. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 90.
12.Espelt Viticultors Old Vines Garnacha 2013 Emporda Spain, +422469, $14.95: a massive 15% ABV but an exceedingly small typeface on the label for the vintage year. Still, with some barrel aging the old vines grenache show very well. Welcome back to the LCBO's Garnacha of the Month!! QPR: 90.
13.Osborne Vina Cumbrero Tempranillo Crianza 2010 Rioja, +422097, $14.95: old style Rioja, very well priced, one year in oak, 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.Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir 2011 Dundee Hills Willamette Valley, +748434, $34.95 retail.
2.Belnaves Shiraz 2009 Coonawarra, +45237, $33.95.
3.Paolo Conterno Riva del Bric Barolo 2010 Unfiltered, +172783, $39.95.
4.Villa Mangiacane Riserva Chianti Classico 2009, +413773, $48.95.