WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR AUGUST 2, 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.
NOTE: It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them (in the Vintages program) that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions from my BYOB section, along with point values.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Tanunda Creek Vineyards Loan Wines Special Reserve Semillon 2005 Unoaked Barossa, +301127, $16.95: delicious over-the-top waxy "Hunter Valley" style MVC semillon, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Even better as a mid-course BBQ wine. QPR: 92.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Angels Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, +116350, $23.95. QPR: 93
2.Nyarai Cellars Viognier 2012 VQA Niagara, +378414, $21.95. QPR: 90
3.Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +164228, $24.95. QPR: 90
4.Chateau Thieuley Cuvee Francis Courselle Blanc 2010 Bordeaux, +2170, $22.95. QPR: 90
5.Domaine du Chardonnay Chablis 2012, +183574, $21.95. QPR: 90
6.Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2010 VQA Niagara, +251116, $17.95: meant to accompany the highly rated Red reviewed a few issues ago. This one is quality through mostly chardonnay (including musque), with gewurztraminer (29%) and viognier (14%). Try alone as a sipper. QPR: 89.
7.Fincas Patagonicas Zolo Torrontes 2013 Mendoza, +183913, $13.95: this is a dryish version, sip or food, with the lingering aromatic floral tones. Long finish promotes this wine to first-course food. QPR: 90.
8.Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Casablanca Valley, +211904, $13.95: terrific MVC savvy from Chile, 12.5% ABV, affordable. QPR: 89.
9.Chateau de la Bigotiere Sevre & Maine Sur Lie Muscadet 2012, +377739, $15.95: definite accompaniment to the catch of the day, straight down the middle MVC muscadet, 12% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Domaine de Millet Colombard/Ugni Blanc 2012 IGP Cotes de Gascogne, +380733, $14.95: a good value summer food wine, lemons and herbs (garrigue) abound, nicely light at 11.5% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 89.
11.Camp Romain Laudun Cotes du Rhone-Villages Blanc 2013, +380725, $17.95: loaded with floral notes but better with seafood with its grenache blanc, clairette, viognier, and roussanne blend. 13% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 89.
12.Darting Durkheimer Michelsberg Riesling Kabinett 2012 Pfalz, +950212, $18.95: delicious exotic fruit tones, with citric backbite that also makes it useful with a first course, in addition to just sipping as an off-dry wine. 9.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
13.Boutari Santorini 2013 Greece, +47985, $18.95: extremely fresh and youthful Santorini, the current darling white from Greece. Good acid and green fruit balance, lemon-fresh finish. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Evans & Tate Metricup Road Cabernet/Merlot 2011 Margaret River, +376848, $22.95. QPR: 90.
2.Teusner The Riebke Shiraz 2012 Barossa, +48470, $24.95. QPR: 90.
3.Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 WO Western Cape, +68767, $16.95: classic cabby, cork closure, 14.5% ABV. Will please everyone. QPR: 89.
4.Collefrisio Zero Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011, +379040, $16.95: made in a modern North American appeal style with some finishing acid. Organic. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Piccini Sasso Al Poggio 2008 IGT Toscana, +134809, $19.95: affordable supertuscan blend, 14% ABV, red and black fruit, some raisins, drying out nicely after six years. QPR: 89.
6.Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 IGT Toscana, +203927, $17.95: soft and fruity in North American style, 1 year in oak and should improve. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Arrocal 2012 Ribera del Duero, +67868, $17.95: All tempranillo, with depth, flavours, and oaking – all are here. 14% 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.Angels Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, +116350, $23.95 retail.
2.Nyarai Cellars Viognier 2012 VQA Niagara, +378414, $21.95.
3.Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +164228, $24.95.
4.Chateau Thieuley Cuvee Francis Courselle Blanc 2010 Bordeaux, +2170, $22.95.
5.Domaine du Chardonnay Chablis 2012, +183574, $21.95.
6.Jean-Max Roger Cuvee C.M. Sancerre Blanc 2012, +196667, $27.95.
7.Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 VQA Niagara, +33894, $30.
8.St. Helena Road Winery Maier Family Meritage 2007 Sonoma County, +377135, $27.95.
9.Evans & Tate Metricup Road Cabernet/Merlot 2011 Margaret River, +376848, $22.95.
10.Teusner The Riebke Shiraz 2012 Barossa, +48470, $24.95.
11.Clos Marsalette 2010 Pessac-Leognan, +257691, $43.85.
12.Alpha Estate Red 2008 Unfiltered PGI Florina Greece, +92361, $31.95.
13.Molino del Piano Brunello di Montalcino 2008, +378422, $37.95.
14.Feudi San Pio Nero di Lupo Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, +375527, $36.95.