WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR NOVEMBER 28, 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
Stefano Farina Le Brume Langhe Rosso 2010, +360073, $16.95: good dark tones, aging well, 14.5% ABV, concentrated and smoky, excellent price. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Coyote's Run Rare Vintage Chardonnay 2013 VQA Four Mile Creek, +426437, $24.95. QPR: 89.
2.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2014 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +80234, $26.95: lovely complex wine, crisp lemon acidity with body but off-dry on the finish, twist top, overwhelming but underpriced. QPR: 89.
3.Domaine Ehrhart Rosenberg Gewurztraminer 2014 Alsace, +315705, $21.95. QPR: 89.
4.Domaine des Malandes Chablis 2014, +111658, $24.95. QPR: 89.
5.Cruzados Titular Vinho Branco Coheita 2013 Dao, +429985, $13.95: a bit of Christmas here with some pine tones, but otherwise floral character in a useful wine at this pricepoint. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
6.Secreto Patagonico Chardonnay 2012 Patagonia Argentina, +380055, $18.95: with all the US oak here expect some CalArg yumminess. 14% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
7.Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Casablanca Valley, +974717, $13.95: twist top, 13.5% ABV, citrus and grass, typical savvy herbaceousness for MVC quality. QPR: 88.
8.Delheim Family Chenin Blanc 2014 WO Stellenbosch, +429720, $17.95: off-dry orchard fruit and citric tones, good finish that's a bit off-dry at the end. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2012 Columbia Valley, +263418, $17.95: packs a merlot punch, everything you'd expect (mocha, cherry-berry, soft), but a longer and food-friendly finish. 13.5% ABV, well-priced juice. QPR: 89.
2.San Esteban In Situ Signature Wines Hillside Blend 2012 Aconcagua Valley, +431098, $19.95: lush and full with a tannic finish for food, 14.5% ABV. Concentrated Euro tones of garrigue. Syrah55/mourvedre40,viognier5 blend offers a kick. QPR: 88.
3.Robert Oatley Shiraz 2013 McLaren Vale, +327387, $19.95: 14.5% ABV kicks in with some sweet mid-palate tones of mocha and black fruit. Swings either way (sip or food). QPR: 88.
4.Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 WO Western Cape, +68767, $16.95: a straight ahead and affordable MVC cab, now almost four years old and aging well. 14.5% ABV, cork closure, tight and could use more time in the bottle. QPR: 88.
5.M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2014, +168716, $15.95: a refreshingly disarming Midi blend of grenache-syrah-carignan, berries and garrigue. QPR: 88.
6.Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas 2013 Yecla, +276162, $16.95: 70% monastrell with equal cabernet and grenache filling the rest. Nice and juicy, lots of berries and great black fruit over a layer of oak vanilla. 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.Spy Valley Envoy Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Waihopai Valley Marlborough, +429308, $29.95 retail.
2.Huchet & Mourat Gorges Muscadet Sevre & Maine 2009, +429084, $25.95.
3.Jean-Max Roger Cuvee G.C. Sancerre 2014, +189126, $28.95.
4.Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Napa, +936039, $159.95.
5.Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz 2008 Barossa Valley, +731620, $89.95.
6.Chateau Bernadotte 2005 Haut-Medoc, +431775, $32.95.
7.Chateau Clarke 2009 Listrac-Medoc, +503904, $39.95.
8.Chateau Maris Las Combes Minervois La Liviniere 2011, +341958, $25.95.
9.Masi Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008, +462812,
10.Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha 2012 Campo de Borja, +173211, $33.95.
11.Faustino I Gran Reserva 2004 Rioja, +976662, $35.95.