WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR SEPTEMBER 5, 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
Alceno Premium 50 Barricas Syrah 2012 Jumilla, +398933, $13.95: a selection of 50 barrels from Jumilla wine stock, and tastes like a breezy herby syrah from the deep south of France, with plenty of black fruit and that MVC syrah flavour in spades. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 92.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 2014, +424820, $21.95. QPR: 89.
2.Studert-Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling 2009 Model, +409680, $21.95. QPR: 89.
3.G. Silva Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Leyda Valley, +389726, $14.95: good intense verve in the grassiness, with a nice long crisp citric finish. Food all the way. 12.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.D'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2013 McLaren Vale, +662775, $19.95: tasty, with a small percentage of the viognier BF and BA in US and French oak. 13% ABV, twist top. Fruity sipper and/or first course wine. QPR: 89.
5.Domaine La Haute Fevrie Sur Lie Muscadet Sevre & Maine 2014, +390625, $13.95: Muscadet prices are holding well with this "LCBO Muscadet Release of the Month", 12% ABV, cork closure. Apple-lemon minerality. QPR: 89.
6.Vila Real Old Vines in Young Hands White 2013 Portugal, +424374, $12.95: the winery claims that this wine is from the Douro but putting that word on the label would make the wine more expensive. Really? How so? Where more expensive? LCBO is an export market, so who cares?...Nevertheless, the wine is decent entry level at 12.5% ABV with a longer fruity finish than expected, proving its "old vine" provenance. One wit said that this was a cougar wine great for sipping at parties. There is a Tinto as well, but not in Ontario yet. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Vignamaggio Gherardino Chianti Classico 2012, +963512, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Olarra Clasico Reserva 2009 Rioja, +423541, $18.95: damn good price for a six year old MVC Rioja at this level, 14% ABV. Decanter Gold. QPR: 90.
3.Casa Cadaval Vinha Padre Pedro 2010 Tejo Portugal, +425256, $13.95: well-developed red fruit notes, use of 80% indigenous varieties plus 15% cabernet sauvignon and 5% merlot. 13.5% ABV. At this price a definite best buy. QPR: 89.
4.Abad Dom Bueno Mencia 2008 Bierzo, +291989, $15.95: from older vines, somewhat like a wine from Cahors with its still impenetrable stylings. Good value for its age, showing age complexity, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 90.
5.Terrulenta Schola Sarmenti Roccamora Nardo Negroamaro 2006, +379768, $16.95: robust rusticity, dense and spicy, developing nicely from hot Puglia. Very tasty, and mature (9 years old). 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Domaine Lafage Tessellae Cotes du Roussillon Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre 2013, +343517, $17: the label includes "grenache gris" in the listing of grapes used, I assume that would be part of the 40% grenache total content. Good tasting but dense, value priced. From old vines, 14.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
7.Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Columbia Valley, +420810, $18.95: PNW cabbies continue to best other West Coast cabbies at this price level. Exceedingly tasty, with cabernet sauvignon as it should be (or once was?). Some muted berries and chocolate give it a Euro feel, but perhaps it may come around better at Christmas. 13.3% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Montgras Antu Syrah 2012 Colchagua Valley, +425900, $17: almost there as a good syrah, needs more bottle age. 14.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 89.
9.Swartland Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2013 WO Swartland, +419648, $12.95: as a basic Euro-style bordeaux clone, this is terrific value. 14% ABV, cork closure. 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.Hidden Bench Chardonnay 2013 VQA Beamsville Bench, +68817, $28.95 retail.
2.Domaine Laroche Les Vaudevey Chablis 1er Cru 2012, +416057, $38.95.
3.Paul Prieur et Fils Sancerre 2014, +350421, $26.95.
4.Chateau Haut-Logat 2010 Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc, +424556, $27.95.
5.Le Ferme du Mont Cotes Capelan Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011, +78857, $80.
6.Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva 2011, +650754, $29.95.
7.Verbena Brunello di Montalcino 2009, +165126, $39.95.
8.Santa Sofia Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2008, +713669, $49.95.
9.Inspiracion Valdemar Graciano 2005 Rioja, +423525, $34.95.