Eight wines join Steve’s Top 50 at LCBO for May 2013

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Frequent readers of my reports on the Top 50 wines by value know already that wines from the south of Italy, Chile, South Africa and Argentina make up the bulk of the list. However it is rare for an inexpensive wine of quality from Greece to appear, but the 2012 vintage of Boutari Moschofilero deserves to be there.

The Top 50 list changes all the time. Prices go up and down, new vintages of current listings arrive, over 200 new products are launched each year and as a consequence around the same number of wines are discontinued. All these cause changes to the list.

This month there are eight wines that are new to the list. So let’s look at the arrivals in detail, but please also check out all the rest of the wines on my Top 50 Value Wines list, since all offer great value. So read beyond the new entrants to find more values, and to discover how the Top 50 is systematically selected.

New to the Top 50

Eight wines arrived on the Top 50 this month.

Less than $17

Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Aconcagua Valley, Chile $16.45 (on sale until May 26 was $18.95)

A classic Chilean cabernet with a degree of elegance not often seen for less than $20. The complex lifted nose shows cassis fruit with cocoa, menthol, pine and mineral notes plus some black cherry jam hints. The palate is juicy with the dense fruit elegantly balanced by fine tannin and lemony acidity. Very good to excellent length. Try with a rare steak or lamb cutlets. Best 2013 to 2017.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Aconcagua Valley, Chile $15.95

This is the best vintage yet for this excellent sauvignon from cool coastal part of the Aconcagua Valley in Chile. The nose shows complex aromas of pea pod, gooseberry and lime with floral and mineral tones and fresh cut grass. The palate is very smooth with just enough fruit sweetness to cover over the lime acidity. It is very fresh and juicy with very good length. Try with pasta or risotto with a pesto base or herbed lemon chicken.

Less than $12

Boutari Moschofilero 2012Fuzion Alta Malbec Reserva 2010Obikwa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Boutari Moschofilero 2012
Mantinia, Greece $11.95

Moschofilero is an aromatic white grape from Greece used here to make a great value wine with apricot, peach and pear fruit aromas plus baked lemon, ginger and orange blossom. The palate is midweight and very fruity and it is well balanced with vibrant lemony acidity plus a nice touch of bitterness on the finish. Very good length. Try with mildly spicy Asian cuisine or intense hard cheese like Gruyere.

Less than $10

Fuzion Alta Malbec Reserva 2010
Mendoza, Argentina $9.95

The 2010 vintage of this 100% malbec delivers a lot of structure and depth off flavour for a wine under $10. Expect lifted currant fruit with tea and herbal notes, mild oak spice and a hint of prune. It is elegant and quite rich, medium-full bodied with good to very good length.

Obikwa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
South Africa $8.45 (on sale until May 26 was $9.45)

A youthful bright cherry red with delicate berry aromas and lots of flavour. Expect mild aromas of earthy black cherry with jam and leathery tones. The palate is juicy with soft red fruit and fine tannin and there is good length. It finishes dry and needs a juicy hamburger or maybe some sausages. Best 2013 to 2014.

Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2011Fuzion Chenin Chardonnay 2012Fuzion Chenin Chardonnay 2012
Mendoza, Argentina $7.95

A very tasty white with baked fruit aromatics of orange and peach with some honeysuckle notes. The palate is rich with a good depth of flavour and very good length. Great for drinking on its own or as an aperitif with pastry nibbles.

Citra Sangiovese Terre Di Chieti 2011
Abruzzo, Italy $7.25

Excellent value red with a savoury herbal nose. It’s midweight with juicy fruit balanced by firm tannin and soft acidity. The finish is firm and dry and very long. Its delicate and savoury so try with mildly flavoured red meat dishes or mild cheddar. Best 2013 to 2015.

Citra Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011
Abruzzo, Italy $7.25

Great value for a well balanced food red that will work with a wide variety of dishes. Expect aromas of red cherry and pomegranate fruit with dried herbs, mushroom and tobacco tones. It is midweight and well balanced with just enough acidity and soft tannin to give it the structure for food. Try with meaty pasta sauces or mildly spicy sausages. Very good length. Best 2013 to 2015.

Top 50 Value Wines at LCBO

There are about 1,500 wines listed at the LCBO that are always available, plus another 100 or so VINTAGES Essentials. At WineAlign I maintain a list of the Top 50 LCBO and VINTAGES Essentials wines selected by price and value – in other words, the best least expensive wines. The selection process is explained in more detail below, but I review the list every month to include newly listed wines and monitor the value of those put on sale for a limited time.

How I Choose the Top 50

Steve's Top Value WinesI constantly taste the wines at the LCBO to keep the Top 50 list up to date. You can easily find all of my all Top 50 Value Wines from the WineAlign main menu. Click on Wine =>Top 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. I 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.

Once you have tried a wine, you can use the ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ to agree or disagree with our reviews. Or better yet, you can add your own review and join our growing community of user reviewers. If you find that there is a new wine on the shelf, or a new vintage that we have not reviewed, let us know. It is very easy to do this. Click on Suggestions & Feedback or send an email to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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

We invite our Premium Subscription members to use this link to find all of Steve Thurlow’s reviews of the Top 50 Value Wines. Paid membership to WineAlign has its privileges – this is one of them. Enjoy!

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