WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MARCH 1, 2014
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" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, 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.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Bodegas Alitus Balbas Ardal Crianza 2005 Ribera del Duero, +167601, $17.95: and here we are 8.5 years later, with a Ribera drinking well, augmented by forest floor tones, fresh wood tones of vanilla and cream, and terrific black fruit. 14% ABV. Buy it all...QPR: 92.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 VQA NOTL, +1935723, $22.95.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Maison Roche de Bellene Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Chardonnay 2011, +299867, $18.95: remarkable value if the label is correct: 65-year old vines, handpicked, 10% new oak. Astounding. QPR: 90.
2.Berthet-Rayne Tradition Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages 2011, +354100, $17.95: 14% ABV, bright, juicy, fruity, good depth and length but still best with food. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Featherstone Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA Niagara, +64618, $17.95: dark fruit and loaded with food-friendly tannins, twist top, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Cabernet Merlot 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench Niagara, +370346, $15.95: value packed, 13% ABV, twist top, engaging with a slight tartish finish, best with food.
3.Finca Sophrenia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mendoza Tupongato, +350090, $17: 14.5% ABV, needs time, but otherwise a smart purchase for its bright fruit and crafty designed toasty finish. QPR: 89.
4.Flagstone Treaty Tree Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2012 WO Western Cape: twist top, 14% ABV, California style of fruitiness, soft, approachable. Mocha, cherries, cream. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau La Gravette Lacombe 2010 Medoc, +295808, $19.95: good tasting Bordeaux for the price, 13.5% ABV, ready any day now.
6.Roux Pere & Fils La Moutonniere Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2012, +365064, $19.95: a classy Burgundy, 12.5% ABV, priced for Ontario. All-purpose pinot. QPR: 89.
7.Chateau Fontenelles Cuvee Renaissance 2010 Corbieres, +148692, $18.95: juicy in the North American appeal style, 14% ABV, largely syrah. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
8.Santa Duc Les Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2009, +101543, $15.95: pretty good depth (old vines) and smokey toast. One to keep for awhile. QPR: 89.
9.Apollonio Squinzano 2008 Puglia, +362475, $17.95: Gold Medalist, 14% ABV, heavy-heavy density of ripe plums, mocha and darker fruit. "CalItal" comes to mind. QPR: 89.
10.Morgante Nero d'Avola 2011 IGT Sicilia, +40816, $16.95: deep and delicious, off-dry fruit feel, but best with food. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
11.Bodegas Olarra Anares Reserva 2006 Rioja, +244723, $19.95: hard to beat this price point for a Rioja Reserva that is now 7.5 years old, and remains MVC delicious (mocha, smoke, plums) at 14% ABV. QPR: 90.
12.Lan Crianza 2010 Rioja, +166538, $15.95: the procession of valued Spanish reds continue with this notable traditional Rioja, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
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.Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +33936, $30 retail.
2.Domaine du Chardonnay Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2010, +365106, $29.95.
3.Pascal Marchand Tawse Meursault 2011, +285866, $66.95.
4.Domaine Franck Millet Sancerre 2012, +297879, $26.95.
5.Farina Gran Colegiata Roble Frances Crianza 2008, +358796, $24.95.
6.Mitchell McNicol Shiraz 2004 Clare Valley So Australia, +278572, $44.95.
7.Domaine Vincent Prunier Volnay Les Mitans 1er Cru 2010, +356949, $57.95.
8.G.D.Vajra Albe Barolo 2008, +179879, $39.95.