Five wines join Steve’s Top 50 at LCBO – Aug 28

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

There really should be more wines from Spain and Portugal on LCBO’s shelves, since most of the few that are there offer such great value. I have just tasted the latest vintages of three of them which have now joined my Top 50 Values list.

Also this month, two refreshing white wines from Chile join the list. One is the new vintage of an old favorite and the other is $2 off for the next few weeks.

Finally I reprise a feature from my last report which came out before you could buy the wine. This superb new cabernet from Chile is now widely available.

Most of the rest of the wines on the Top 50 Value List come from the usual regions that offer good value which readers of this report are familiar with, namely South Africa, South of France, Argentina and southern Italy.

So please also check out all the rest of the wines on my Top 50 Value Wines list, since all offer great value. Read beyond the featured wines to find more values, and to discover how the Top 50 is systematically selected.

Less than $10

Three yummy reds

Beso De Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2010
Carinena, Spain $9.95

Excellent value for a fresh vibrant red from Spain. Expect aromas of red cherry and strawberry fruit with some earthy tones and a hint of spice. It is full-bodied with ripe fruit and nice balancing acidity. Very good length. Try with BBQ meats. Best 2013 to 2015.

Beso De Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2010

Quartetto 2009
Alentejano, Portugal $9.20

This is a blend of four Portuguese grapes, hence the name. It is a lively fruity wine at a great price. The nose shows blackberry jam with tobacco, smoke and spice notes. It is midweight, round, juicy and well-balanced with very good length. Chill slightly and enjoy with pizza, burgers and meaty pasta sauces. Best 2013 to 2015.

Quartetto 2009

Berco Do Infante Red Reserva 2012
Lisboa Region, Portugal $9.20

A dry fruity vibrant Portuguese red with lots of flavour and structure for a wine at this price. The nose shows mild aromas of black cherry fruit with some spice and earthy tones. It is midweight, ripe and well-balanced with the soft tannin nicely supporting the fruit on the finish. Very good length. Try with pizza, burgers or meaty pasta sauces. Best 2013 to 2015.

Berco do Infante Red Reserva

Less than $10

Two fresh whites

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2011
Leyda Valley, Chile $9.95 until Sep 15 was $11.95

A creamy smooth sauvignon with aromas of white peach, lemongrass and passion fruit and a hint of white pepper. It is lively on the palate with good depth of flavour. Very good length. Try with sautéed chicken.

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2011

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2012
Colchagua Valley, Chile $9.95

A beautiful lightweight viognier with tropical fruit aromas with orange blossom, baked apple, ginger and nutty tones. It is light to midweight with the fruit well-balanced by vibrant acidity. Very good length. Its terrific value. Enjoy on its own lightly chilled with party nibbles or at the table with poultry dishes or sautéed seafood.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2012

Less than $17

Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Los Quillayes Vineyard, Maipo Alto, Chile $16.95

This is a superb single vineyard cabernet sauvignon, elegant, fruity and well structured with an ability to age well. It is an opaque purple-red with aromas of cassis and black cherry fruit with herbal tones and nicely integrated oak spice. The palate is dry with the fruit finely balanced by soft acidity and solid yet ripe tannin. Excellent length. Try with a steak. Best 2013 to 2020.

Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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

I 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.

Steve's Top Value WinesTo 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 for immediate access to Steve Thurlow’s reviews of the Top 50 Value Wines. Paid membership to WineAlign has its privileges – this is one of them. Enjoy!

Top 50 LCBO and Vintages Essentials Wines

Louis Jadot Macon Villages 2011