WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR OCTOBER 17, 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
San Jose de Aguaron Monasterio de Las Vinas Reserva 2006 Carinena, +166579, $14.95: while the components of this wine have moved on since the Wine Advocate's 2011 description, this wine is still a great bargain for a co-op under $15. After a year in barrel, time has made it a bit more woodsy and spicy with the black fruit drying out nicely. Perfect for drinking now through New Year's. QPR: 92+
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Trimbach Riesling 2012 Alsace, +734517, $21.95. QPR: 90.
2.Dirty Laundry Madam's Vines Gewurztraminer 2013 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +423228, $19.95: excellent Al;saian style right down to the mild bitterness on the finish. More off-dry in style and feel than the (M) in the LCBO listing. Food or sip, 13.7% ABV. QPR: 90.
3.Zolo Torrontes 2014 Mendoza, +355552, $14.95: the wine of Toronto keeps coming and coming. This version is unctuous, bright, zesty, floral, off-dry, peaches and sweet herbs. Twist top, 13.8% ABV. QPR: 89.
4.Salomon Undhof Groovey Gruner Veltliner 2014 Austria, +669606, $14.95: fine value for a GV with basic MVC, twist top, 11.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +557165, $17.95: absolutely delicious MVC riesling Rhine style, 11.5% ABV, with an off-dry palate but dry (higher acid) finish. QPR: 89.
6.Tresors de Loire Vouvray 2014, +427427, $17.95: it has been awhile since we've had a straightforward Vouvray at the (M) level. Off-dry, good chenin blanc intensity, serve with cheese or as a sipper, 11.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +275958, $21.95. QPR: 89.
2.Bod. Palacios Remondo La Montessa Crianza 2012 Rioja, +674572, $21.95. QPR: 90.
3.Rioja Vega Reserva 2008 Rioja, +423517, $21.95. QPR: 91.
4.Catena Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +322800, $16.95: fleshy malbec wine, slight bitterness, great for food rather than just sipping. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
5.3 Rings Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley, +15495, $18.95: a sweet herb fruity wine, screw-capped, emphasis on the front palate, 15.2% ABV but not a hot finish. QPR: 88.
6.Georges Duboeuf Morgon Cote de Py 2011, +424887, $17.95: great price for an ageable (and well-aged) Morgon, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Chateau Lamartine 2011 Cahors, +973271, $18.95: off-dry nose and palate, but finishes food friendly. 90% malbec, 10% merlot, 13.5% ABV. A good deal at this price. QPR: 89.
8.Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes Grenache Noir 2013, +354191, $18.95: juicy North American appeal, with some barrel aging and unfiltered bottling. 15% ABV but not really detectable. QPR: 89.
9.Fontanafredda Ebbio Nebbiolo 2013 Langhe, +397448, $19.55: a soft basic nebbiolo with all of the character, sort of a poor man's Barolo. So well-priced. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
10.Sassoregale Sangiovese 2013 Maremma Toscana, +251785, $15.95: a good value Tuscan wine in the chianti style, all sangiovese, 13.5% ABV, ready now, cork finish. QPR: 88.
11.Pilheiros Red 2011 Douro, +427856, $19.95: Euro-styled wine, has aged nicely, made from the three major port grapes (franca, roriz, touriga nacional). 14.5% ABV, Ready soon, maybe next spring. QPR: 88.
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.Creekside Reserve Viognier 2013 Queenston Road Vineyard VQA St.David's Bench Niagara, +264168, $26.95 retail.
2.Domaine Jaeger-Defaix Rabource Rully 1er Cru 2012, +200139, $35.95.
3.Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +657874, $34.95.
4.Couvent des Jacobins 2002 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe, +429423, $45.95
5.Domaines Perrin Coudoulet de Beaucastel Cotes du Rhone 2013, +48884, $29.95.
6.Fontanafredda Serralunga d'Alba Barolo 2010, +943290, $44.95.
7.Adanti Sagrantino di Montefalco 2007, +424762, $35.95
8.CVNE Imperial Reserva 2009 Rioja, +424390, $38.95.
9.Piccini Villa al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino 2009, +164855, $36.95.