Steve’s Top 50 Value Wines from the LCBO – June 2011

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

There are eleven new wines on the Top 50 this month as a result of recently tasted wines, new additions to the LCBO’s selection and new vintages of existing listings. The Top 50 list features the wines commonly referred to as General List and Vintages Essentials.  I constantly taste the wines at the LCBO to keep this report up to date. You can easily find my Top 50 Value Wines from the WineAlign main menu. Click on Wine => Top 50 Drop Down MenuTop 50 Value Wines to be taken directly to the list.

To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality. We use a mathematical model to make the Top 50 selections from the wines in our database.

Every wine is linked to WineAlign where you can read more, discover pricing discounts, check out inventory and compile lists for shopping at your favourite store. Never again should you be faced with a store full of wine with little idea of what to pick for best value.

New Reds
K W V Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
K W V Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon (V) 2008KWV is a large South African wine producer that has two cabernet sauvignon from the Western Cape now on the Top 50.

KWV Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is an improvement over the last vintage. It is an excellent young cabernet with good varietal character at an great price. The nose shows aromas of cassis with black olive and some spicy earthy tones underneath. It is midweight, vibrant with good length and has clean lines and modest ripe tannin. Just enough grip. Try with grilled red meats or meaty pasta sauces.

KWV Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Western Cape  is a Vintages Essential and is a very classy cabernet for the money. The nose shows cassis and black cherry fruit with a minty freshness plus some mild oak spice and tea and herbal influences. The palate is fresh and lively with the fruit laying over some nice grippy tannin which shows up on the finish. Excellent length. Try with a steak or roast game.

Two new reds for Argentina are also new arrivals on my list.

Trapiche Malbec 2010, Mendoza in Argentina is a finely balanced midweight red. There is a lot going on here for the money, good depth of flavour and very good length. Expect aromas of blackberry fruit with minty freshness and a hint of prune. It is medium bodied and juicy with the fruit persisting well on the finish with some finely divided mature tannin to add a little grip. Try with roast duck or bbq ribs.

La Puerta Syrah 2010, Famatina Valley in Argentina is a fresh lively and juicy wine with the fruit well balanced by soft tannin and good acidity. The nose shows aromas of black cherry fruit with smoke and black pepper spice. It is full bodied but not heavy with the ripe fruit toned by some earthy character. Try with bbq meats.

Trapiche Malbec 2010 La Puerta Syrah 2010

New Whites

Cesari Chardonnay Delle Venezie 2010  from Italy is only $7.35 and you get a lot for the money. It is a juicy fruity clean unoaked chardonnay with modest depth of flavour and complexity but it is balanced with decent length. Expect aromas and flavours of ripe peach pear fruit with some herbal notes. Try chilled with grilled seafood or pasty based nibbles.

Trapiche Astica Sauvignon/Semillon 2010 from Argentina is another very inexpensive white which delivers more than you would expect at the price, with its depth of flavour, palate length and complexity. The two grapes that form the blend are the basis for white Bordeaux wine. Expect aromas of green apple, grapefruit and melon with celery and some hay notes. The palate is rich and creamy well balanced with good length. Perfect for cheesy pasta sauces, sautéed seafood or chicken pie. Don’t overchill; it is very rich and you might miss the good stuff.

Montes Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Curico Valley in Chile is an excellent sauvignon blanc for a cooler region. The nose shows gooseberry, lemon, white peach and hay aromas with some mineral, dill and celery notes. The palate is racy, rich, thick with fruit yet well balanced and finishes firmly with a nice touch of celery. Very good length. Try with creamy pasta sauces or herbed chicken.

Cesari Chardonnay Delle Venezie 2010  Trapiche Astica Sauvignon/Semillon 2010 Montes Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Limited Time Offers (LTO)

Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc 2010Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserva 2010Every month 100 or so products at the LCBO go on sale for four weeks. As a consequence of the current LTO, two wines  joined the list.

Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Coastal Region from South Africa is an excellent sauvignon blanc with intense aroma and flavour, maybe a little too much greeness for some but will be great with a crisp summer salad. It is medium weight, with some rounding sweetness and lemony acidity driving through to the finish. Good to very good length. Try with roast herbed poultry.

Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserva 2010 from Chile is great value at $11.95. So on offer at $9.95 it is a great buy with its lifted nose of  intense complex aromas of peach, melon, grapefruit with honey and toffee notes and a hint of oak spice. It is rich and creamy on the palate yet there is some lovely lemony acidity which keeps it feeling light and, unlike many chardonnays these days, it is only a little sweet and finishes dry with very good length. Try with white meats, creamy cheeses and seafood.
You have until June 19, 2011 to take advantage of these price offers.

Discontinued Wines

One excellent wine has unfortunately been discontinued by the LCBO and has gone on sale to clear inventory. Domaine Bassac Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Vins De Pays Des Cotes De Thongue is a well made clean easy drinking cabernet from the Midi. The nose shows blackcurrant, herbs and earthy notes in an approachable style. It’s juicy, fresh and quite quaffable with drying tannin on the finish. Good to very good length. It is now discounted to $6.95. There are around 500 bottles left so don’t wait too long before jumping on this one.Domaine Bassac Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

New wines

Farnese 2010 Montepulciano Cerasulolo d’Abruzzo is an excellent new rose listing at LCBO which should appeal to red wine drinkers this summer. Think of it as a light red with aromas of plum, red cherry and white peach with floral and spice hints. It is medium bodied rich and creamy with lots of flavour and very good length. Try with a ham sandwich or sauteed shrimp. Don’t overchill.
Farnese Montepulciano 2010

Please click here for a complete list of the Top 50 Value Wines at WineAlign. This list will show you all of the Top 50 Value Wines currently available at your local LCBO. The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping. I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.

Steve Thurlow