WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR OCTOBER 31, 2015 (Hallowe'en)
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", 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
Muriel Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada 2008 Rioja, +276030, $18.95: first rate quality from a Rioja at this level, 13.5% ABV, one to snap up at this price. Classic. QPR: 90.
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
1.Dauny Les Caillottes Sancerre 2014, +429340, $21.95. QPR: 89.
2.Inniskillin Reserve Series Chardonnay 2013 VQA Niagara, +383562, $18.95: very well put together, balanced. 13% ABV, MVC for Ontario chardonnay. Aged in oak, QPR: 89.
3.Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2014 Mendoza, +162636, $15.95: lean on the palate and on the finish, but good tropicality on the mid-palate, ripe acids, balanced. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
4.Demorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc 2015 WO Western Cape, +429522, $14.95: softly floral, more Euro style, 14% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
5.Domaine Bellevue Touraine Sauvignon 2014, +82305, $14.95: this is the go-to region for modestly priced savvy in the zesty kiwi style. 13%. cork closure. QPR: 88.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
1.Cicchitti Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Mendoza, +301465, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.Chateau de Panigon 2011 Medoc, +348250, $22.95. QPR: 89.
3.Borgo Scopeto Borgonero 2011 IGT Toscana, +421396, $19.95: an easy to assimilate North American appeal superTuscan for under $20. Off-dry as a Cal-Ital, dark fruit tones, 13.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
4.Cafaggio Cortaccio 2008 IGT Toscana, +20966, $24.95. QPR: 89.
5.Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Campo al Sassi Rosso di Montalcino 2013, +429415, $21.95. QPR: 89.
6.Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block No. 21 Viento Mar Pinot Noir 2013 San Antonio Valley, +419010, $18.95: Burgundian berries revealed, delicious, toasty and nicely aged. QPR: 88.
7.Montes Alpha Syrah 2012 Colchagua Valley, +612, $19.95: rich and ripe, plush even. 14.5% ABV, cork closure. Mid-Atlantic tones. QPR: 89.
8.San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo, +37911, $19.95: tremendously juicy and ripe but with French oak, 14.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
9.Slowine Shiraz 2013 WO Western Cape, +96503, $13.95: good hit of syrah despite the label designation (same grape, different winemaking). Affordable for the Euro style, 14.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
10.Arnaud Aucoeur Cuvee Le Chagny Vieilles Vignes Morgon 2013, +430652, $18.95: a great deal from the old vines of Morgon, stuffing despite only 12.5% ABV. Great gamay tones. QPR: 88.
11.Umani Ronchi Vigor Sangiovese/Merlot 2013 IGT Marche, +428078, +428078, $16.95: very good blend of grapes at this price level, red and black fruit excel. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
12.Piazzano Chianti 2013, +393199, $14.95: simple but rustic. It is definitely chianti, very easy to identify. QPR: 88.
13.Quinta do Quetzal Guadalupe Red 2012 VR Alentejano, +336313, $13.95: juicy, North American appeal, 13.5% ABV, affordable quality. 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.Domaine Les Vieux Murs Pouilly-Fuisse 2013, +241117, $27.95 retail.
2.Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench, +268391, $24.95.
3.Morande Edicion Limitada Carignan 2011 Maule, +427971, $27.95.
4.Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2012 South Australia, +422782, $34.95.
5.J.L.Chave Selection Offerus Saint-Joseph 2012, +359109, $33.95.
6.Domaine de Meix-Foulot Les Veleys Mercurey 1er Cru 2011, +148874, $35.95.
7.Socre Barbaresco 2011, +305284, $29.95.
8.Il Grigio da Dan Felice Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2010, +403477, $46.95.
9.Allegrini La Grola 2011 IGT Veronese, +476598, $29.95.
10.I Castei Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, +739979, $41.95.