Top Values at the LCBO (September 2016)

Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I write to you this month from Sicily. I am in Agrigento tonight with a group of wine lovers who came with me from Canada. Sicily has great seafood whites and yummy fresh reds. Many of the wines that we have been tasting and drinking over the last few days are available in Ontario and are on my Top 50 Best Values List.

I updated that list today and have selected a baker’s dozen to highlight in today’s report. Among them are:

• Six wines for less than $12
• Two wines that are brand new listings
• One new vintage that scored 90 points and is $3 off, and
• Two 89 point wines with big discounts (LTOs) this month

The current promotional period runs until October 9th, so don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I can assure you that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 30 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


J P Azeitao Red 2015, Penisula De Setubal, Portugal ($8.95) – The 2015 is a good vintage for this popular Portuguese red that is fresh and lively with a decent structure. The palate is fresh with mild tannin, midweight and lively and there is decent length.

Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2015, Salento, Puglia, Italy ($9.95) – This wine has consistently been one of the best red wine values at the LCBO and the 2015 continues this. It is a flavourful, fragrant midweight red from Puglia made from the indigenous negroamaro grape. A very drinkable versatile red meat red for a good price.

J P Azeitao Red 2015 Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2015 Anciano Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2007

Anciano Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2007, Valdepenas, Spain ($10.95 was $12.95) New to LCBO – This is a lovely mature well balanced red with some elegance and a fine structure for an amazingly low price. The palate is balanced with soft acidity and fine mature tannin. This is for fine dining. Try with roast lamb.

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2015, Western Cape, South Africa ($11.95 was $13.95) – The 2015 is just as good as the 2014. This is deeply coloured red blend that is medium to full bodied with firm tannin which gives a nice edge to the finish. Very good to excellent length. Try with grilled red meats.

The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2015 Ogier Cotes du Ventoux Red 2013 Castillo De Monseran Reserva Garnacha 2011

Ogier Cotes du Ventoux Red 2013 Rhone Valley France ($11.95) – It is a soft spicy southern Rhone red with raspberry, grapefruit and cherry fruit aromas and white pepper spiciness on nose and palate. It is mid-weight with soft tannin and very good length. Try with a grilled lamb cutlets.

Castillo De Monseran Reserva Garnacha 2011, Cariñena, Aragon, Spain ($11.60 was $14.10) – An old-world styled mature red with herbal tones to the fruit. Very classy and superb value. Very good length. Try with a steak.

Santa Carolina Carmenère Reserva 2015, Cachapoal Valley, Chile ($11.95) – The 2015 is the best vintage yet of this well made juicy carmenere. The palate is midweight and lively and the finish shows modest tannin and lots of juicy fruit. Very good length. Try with bbq and roast red meats, casseroles or mature hard cheese.

Santa Carolina Carmenère Reserva 2015 Pasqua Sangiovese 2015 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Pasqua Sangiovese 2015, Puglia, Italy ((1500ml – $13.95 + 6BAMs) – If you like Chianti then this is close for a lot less money since it is made from the same grape and is a red that will work well with tomato pasta sauces. It is juicy with a dry palate that is well balanced with good length. Fairly simple and a little lean, but the price is good.

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Mendoza Argentina ($16.95 was $19.95) – This is a lovely well priced cabernet with pure aromas with some minty freshness. The palate is elegant very smooth and full bodied with a long lingering well balanced finish. Very good length.


Grand Sud Chardonnay 2015, Vin de France (1000ml – $11.45 was $13.45) – This is a very rich, creamy, well balanced, apparently unoaked, chardonnay with fine delicate aromas of melon and ripe apple fruit with white flowers and lemon tones. It is quite bold so match accordingly. Would be great with fish and chips.

Pocketwatch Chardonnay 2013, Central Ranges, Australia ($11.80 was $15.20) – This chardonnay comes from a cooler part of Australia. The nose is enticing with lemongrass, peach and ripe pear aromas with well integrated oak spice an a lovely patisserie vanilla, like a baker’s shop. The palate is juicy midweight and very creamy with elegant fruit.

Grand Sud Chardonnay 2015 Pocketwatch Chardonnay 2013 Goats do Roam White 2015 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2015

Goats do Roam White 2015, Coastal Region, South Africa ($11.95) – This is an aromatic white with a good depth of flavour; quite classy considering its price. Enjoy as an aperitif with pastry nibbles or try with roast poultry.

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2015, Padthaway/Adelaide Hills, Australia ($12.60 was $15.10) – I love the vibrant juicy palate on the 2015 vintage. It is very well balanced with lots of racy acidity to freshen and lighten the palate. The palate is quite full and creamy smooth with very good to excellent length, maybe a tad sweet. Try with roast pork or sauteed veal.


How does a wine get selected for the Top Value Report:

Steve's Top Value WinesToday’s report pulls best buys from Steve’s Top 50 which is a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio of the 1600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. 

There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection. (You can access these lists under the Wine tab on WineAlign.)

• On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

• Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. 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

Top 50 Value Wines
Wines on Limited Time Offer
Wines with Bonus Air Miles

Editors Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine names, bottle images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


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