WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 23, 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.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2014 Mendoza, +119099, $19.95: very good balanced and lightly wooded (creamy side) chardonnay. Worth pursuing. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Flat Rock Twisted White 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +1578, $16.95: a fresher vintage in the VE collection, 11.5% ABV, twist top (of course), with riesling dominating the blend of riesling/gewurztraminer/chardonnay. QPR: 88.
2.Donatien Bahuaud Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray 2014 Loire, +140889, $17.95: delicious chenin blanc character, more dry than the (M) would suggest, due to higher acid levels. Perfect chicken wine. QPR: 88.
3.Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2015 WO Western Cape, +126797, $13.95: very zesty savvy in the Kiwi mode but at a great price. Twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Gewurztraminer 2013 Alsace, +928390, $18.95: soft MVC flavours for the gewurz, some marmalade. Less bitter than other gewurzs. QPR: 88.
5.Mallory & Benjamin Talmard Macon-Uchizy 2014, +733956, $16.95: one of the least expensive white burgundies at the LCBO, well-balanced entry level chardonnay but useful for showing off. Well-priced. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2012 Haut-Medoc, +297945, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.H. Pecina Senorio De P.Pecina Crianza 2011 Rioja, +313726, $22.95. QPR: 90.
3.Ste. Chapelle Gem State Red 2012 Snake River Valley Iowa, +441931, $17.95: with a merlot/syrah blend of 60/40, the wine is loaded with black fruit (plums, berries, cherries) and wood tones. 13.9% ABV. QPR: 88.
4.Cono Sur Single Vineyard El Recurso Block 18 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Maipo, +439364, $18.95: delicious with its extractive qualities, approachable now with its juiciness. QPR: 88.
5.Fowles Stone Dwellers Shiraz 2013 Strathbogie Ranges Victoria, +265967, $19.95: a powerhouse of syrah style flavours (dark fruits, some fennel, oak tones and wood) rather than shiraz. 14% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
6.Basciano Chianti Rufina 2012, +68163, $15.95: another bargain chianti for the price, very Italianate and fulfilling, from pre-prandial through dinner. QPR: 88.
7.Sogevinus Burmester Vinho Tinto 2012 Douro, +114413, $16.95: another high quality Portuguese wine at a modest price, featuring the Oporto grapes and depth behind the spicy wood flavours. 13.5% ABV. 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.Nautilus Chardonnay 2013 Marlborough, +331662, $26.95 retail.
2.Marchand-Tawse Saint Romain 2011, +440206, $31.95.
3.Atamisque Malbec 2011 La Consulta Uco Valley Mendoza, +415208, $29.95.
4.Huntaway Reserve Pinot Noir 2013, +438424, $29.95.
5.Marchand-Tawse Cotes de Nuits Villages 2011, +440263, $31.95.
6.Vincent Girardin Vieilles Vignes Santenay 2013, +435552, $37.95.
7.Tenuta Carretta Cascina Ferrero Barolo 2009, +429779, $45.95.