WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR FEBRUARY 6, 2016
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants, and "corked" wines are not normally available for a re-tasting. It is more difficult to endorse wines under $20 because the LCBO does not release many of them into Vintages, 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 but no notes.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +904185, $18.85: very good off-dry feel, rich gewurz MVC tones, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Slightly bitter finish, great price for Alsatian style in Canada. QPR: 89.
2.Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin White 2014 WO Paarl, +439554, $14.95: off-dry on palate due to its floral nature, biodynamic wine with chenin blanc, roussanne, viognier, muscat. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
3.Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015 WO Stellenbosch, +231282, $17.95: rich, deep tones of CB, off-dry in mouthfeel despite (XD) rating, lovely finish from the old vine character. QPR: 89.
4.Les Costieres de Pomerols Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet 2014 Coteaux du Languedoc, +350124, $14.95: a great price for dynamic florals and herbs, gold medalist. 12.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
5.Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc, +141975, $14.95: aromatic but on the dry side, perfect as a social wine or for first course, peachy and orange character, but of course no oak. Youthful and useful with nuances of orchard fruit and spicy nuts. Could go either way with or without food. Versatile. 13% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2013 Maule Valley, +939827, $19.95: 14% ABV, a bit herby amongst the florals and soft fruit. Strong whiff of mocha. QPR: 88.
2.Sister's Run Calvary Hill Shiraz 2013 Lyndoch Barossa, +222018, $15.95: good syrah hits, MVC generosity, twist top, 14.5% ABV packs a wallop. Nice buy. QPR: 88.
3.Graham Beck The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 WO Robertson, +2519, $18.95: 14% ABV, starts off soft but ends with strong muscular feel. Typical Cabernet in a Euro style. QPR: 88.
4.Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint0-Chinian-Roquebrun 2013, +155804: very dense and toasty, much concentration on mid-palate, great with food (stews). 14% ABV. QPR: 88.
5.Chateau Pech Redon L'Epervier La Clape 2012 Coteaux du Languedoc, +129965, $24.95. QPR: 90.
6.Pasion de Bibal 2012 Utiel-Requena, +439679, $16.95: hard to beat this fruity value for Valentine's Day, 13.5% ABV. Some sweetness on mid-palate, sure to please. QPR: 88.
7.Castelli del Grevepesa Clemente VII Chiant Classico Riserva 2010, +643205, $20.95. QPR: 89.
8.Pipoli Aglianico del Vulture 2013, +320507, $15.95: very approachable new style Aglianico del Vulture, with chocolate and cherries. Cork closure, 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
9.Domaine de la Colline St.Jean Vqcqueyras 2012, +38661, $24.95. QPR: 89.
10.Gayda Syrah 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +392977, $14.95: great syrah hit makes this wine a winner, twist top, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
11.Domaine Puig-Parahy Cuvee Georges 2011 Cotes de Roussillon, +171025, $17.95: one third each of syrah, carignan, and grenache, no oak, but loaded with nuts and berries and herbs. Good food wine. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
Chateau Fortia Cuvee du Baron Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012, +640482, $24.95. QPR: 90.
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.Taittinger Brut Champagne 2008, +989905, $97.95 retail.
2.Giesen The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +438382, $35.95
3.Domaine Laroche Vieilles Vignes Les Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2012, +991893, $36.95.
4.Segla 2006 Margaux, +359810, $55.95.
5.Planeta Chardonnay 2013 Sicilia, +109652, $44.95.
6.Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco 2012, +155408, $29.95.
7.Bod. Gormaz Doce Linajes Reserva 2007 Ribera del Duero, +437681, $34.95.
8.Rocca Delle Macie Riserva di Fizzano Single Vineyard Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011, +699454, $32.95.
9.Chateau de l"ou Secret de Schistes 2011 IGP Cotes Catalanes, +440669, $41.95.