WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR MAY 16, 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
Coppi Peucetico Primitivo 2008 Gioa del Colle Puglia, +724674, $13.95: best value of the release at this price, great aged wine (seven years or so). Dried fruit, sun-dried veggies, plummy. QPR: 91.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Cave Spring Pinot Gris 2013 VQA Niagara, +621086, $17.95: nifty off-dry on plate, juicy entry with lush concentration, reminiscent of Alsace. Sip, quaff or first course wine. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
2.Finca El Origen Reserva Torrontes 2014 Salta Argentina, +262089, $15.95: deep fruit and high alcohol, 14.3% – the wine of Toronto! Twist top, fresh taste of exotic fruits. QPR: 89.
3.Howard Park Flint Rock Chardonnay 2012 Western Australia, +410027, $22.95. QPR: 90.
4.Tahbilk Marsanne 2013 Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, +117945, $17.95: I've consumed many vintages over the years, and this is one of the best, albeit very juicy. Twist top. 12.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
5.Yalumba Viognier 2013 Eden Valley South Australia, +954644, $24.95. QPR: 90.
6.Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Awatere Valley Marlborough, +225557, $18.95: yes, it's time for the Eradus annual swing through Ontario, with its zesty over-the-top green notes, 13.5% ABV, twist top. No price change since last year. QPR: 89.
7.Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, +324228, $21.95. QPR: 90.
8.Rustenberg Chardonnay 2013 WO Stellenbosch, +598631, $19.95: tastes we;; aged, good forest floor complexity in a Euro toasty mode. QPR: 89.
9.William Fevre Saint-Bris 2013 Burgundy, +626523, $20.95. QPR: 90.
10.La Cave du Coudray Reserve du Chron Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2013 Sur Lie, +413757, $13.95: the Muscadet release of the month, 12% ABV, green and lean food wine. Perfect for summer dining. QPR: 89.
11.Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles de Colombo Cotes du Rhone 2013, +413187, $17.95: mouthfeel of sunshine, 13% ABV, summer beckons. Patio or first course wine for succulence. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.De Bortoli Gulf Station Shiraz/Viognier 2010, +408328, $19.95: good Rhone quality and nicely aged for five years, 13% ABV, twist top. Euro all the way. QPR: 89.
2.De Morgenzon DMZ Syrah 2012 QO Western Cape: another Rhone-like beauty, although I thought the label referred to DeMilitarized Zone. 14%. QPR: 88.
3.Chateau Haut Peyraud 2010 Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux, +413948, $16.95: very decent Bordeaux at a rock bottom price, hard to avoid. 14% ABV. MVC all the way, mostly Merlot grapes. QPR: 89.
4.Chateau de Gourgazaud Cuvee Mathilde Minervois 2013, +958629, $14.95: gutsy syrah dominates, very good value, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2013 IGT Terra degli Osci Molise, +591974, $13.95: good basic sangiovese hits, MVC for the grape, 13% ABV. Needs food. QPR: 88.
6.Tommais Graticcio Appassionato 2013 "Product of Italy", +338939, $15.95: normally I see this designation on olive oil bottles, but here who knows? Aged in oak, 13% ABV, twist top, very dense with appassionato texture, and bargain priced. QP: 88.
7.Ondarre Reserva 2009 Rioja, +723452, $18.95: another affordable Rioja at the reserve level with six years of aging. Oaked consistency, 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Convento San Francisco 2005 Ribera del Duero, +206409, $23.95. 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.Bergstrom Old Stones Chardonnay 2011 Willamette Oregon, +419753, $41.95 retail.
2.Domaine Berthenet Montagny 1er Cru 2013, +405993, $27.95.
3.D'Arenberg The Love Grass Shiraz 2011 McLaren Vale, +48785, $25.95.
4.Viticcio Beatrice Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011, +404244, $47.95.
5.E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, +727503, $58.95.
6.Faustino I Gran Reserva 2001 Rioja, +976662, $36.95.
Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com