LCBO Opens Spanish Specialty Location
by David Lawrason
Long-time readers know my enduring criticism of the LCBO has been lack of selection depth compared to any other major wine consuming market in the world, where private retailing rules. Well I am not about to change my tune and say the LCBO actually should exist, but I will give credit where due and happily say they are doing something about deepening their selection by creating regional specialty selections.
A Greek specialty location opened in Toronto’s Greektown at 200 Danforth Ave in June, followed by a Portuguese specialty store at 2151 St. Clair west (Stockyards) in July. Last week a Spanish location opened at the newly expanded location at 2946 Bloor St West at Royal York (Kingsway) in Etobicoke.
All three “Products of the World” locations are stocking all ‘General List’ and VINTAGES selections, as well as products purchased from agents who have wines in the Consignment program. The huge pool of consignment wines until now has been earmarked for direct sales by the case to restaurants and consumers. But at the new LCBO specialty locations you can buy single bottles off the shelf.
The Spanish “boutique” on Bloor West boasts over 150 selections, although the start-up, opening day inventory was not quite up there. I counted about 120. The new “Kingsway exclusive” selection is not some rarefied portfolio of expensive wines. They range from $11 to over $50. And some are available for sampling in-store at the recently installed tasting bar. I managed to taste most of the “Kingsway exclusives”. Links to some of the best buys and featured wines are below. They may not all show up in the LCBOs on-line inventory, so you may have to visit the store now and then and have a look.
Tandem Ars In Vitro 2011, Navarra ($11.45)
Bodegas Costers Del Sio Celistia Tierra 2013, Costers Del Segre ($13.80)
Legón Reserva 2010, Ribera Del Duero ($22.85)
From the VINTAGES Oct 3rd Spanish Release
(Read more on Spain in John’s Oct 3rd VINTAGES Article)
Terras Gauda 2013 O Rosal Blanco, Rías Baixas, Spain ($24.95)
Viña Real 2008 Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain ($36.95)
Bodegas Bhilar 2011 Phinca Encanto Rufete, Sierra de Francia, Spain ($32.95)
LCBO General Lists Values
La Casona De Castano Old Vines Monastrell 2013, Yelca ($9.70)
Bordón Gran Reserva 2005, Rioja ($22.95)
Faustino V I I Blanco 2014, Rioja ($12.95)
Editors Note: You can find complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names, bottle images or links. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 60 days to see new reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!
Store photo courtesy of LCBO