Top Values at the LCBO (January 2017)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

After a few weeks of heavy spending over the holidays, January is the time to really focus on value at the LCBO. Ten wines joined my Top50 Best Values List. Some of those, there because the LCBO has delisted them, are now almost half price. At these prices, these wines will soon all be gone; so don’t hesitate.

I have updated my Top50 list and have selected twelve wines to highlight for you off the new list, ten of which joined the list this month.

Among the wines in today’s report there are:

• Nine wines heavily discounted; some by more than 40%.
• Four 89 point wines that are new to Top50.
• Eight wines for less than $10.
• One Ontario VQA wine new to Top50.

The current promotional period runs until January 29th, 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.

Top Value Reds

Canonico Negroamaro 2013, Salento, Italy ($16.45 was $18.15 for 2000mL [$6.17 per 750mL] New to Top50 – The 2013 is a good vintage for this spicy fruity sweetish red with aromas of black cherry fruit with white pepper and plum jam. It is midweight and juicy with a decent finish. Best served a little chilled with pizza or sweet tomato sauce based Italian cuisine. Great value provided you can find enough friends to help you consume 2 litres.

Deakin Estate Shiraz 2015, Victoria, Australia ($8.95 was $9.95) New to Top50 – A youthful exuberant fresh shiraz that is quite zippy and if you close your eyes it could be a white wine; such is the freshness and vibrancy. Ripe fruit well balanced with negligible tannin and good length characterize the palate. Chill a little and enjoy with pizza and meaty pasta sauces.

Canonico Negroamaro 2013Deakin Estate Shiraz 2015Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2015Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2015

Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2015 Mendoza, Argentina ($8.95 was $9.95) New to Top50 – This malbec delivers quite a lot of elegance, structure and depth of flavour for a wine at this price. Expect aromas of red and black cherry fruit with tea and herbal notes, mild oak spice and a hint of prune. It is smooth and quite rich, medium-full bodied with good to very good length.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2015, Central Valley, Chile ($9.95 was $11.95) Top50 January – This is an excellent unpretentious pinot with a harmonious nose and a pure well structured palate which is mid-weight with the fruit well balanced by acidity and mild tannin. It is fresh, pure, fruity and very drinkable.

Spier Signature Merlot 2014 Western Cape, South Africa ($10.95 was $12.95) New to Top50 – This seems to be an unoaked merlot. In fact it spent some time in old barrels which has made it very smooth on the palate with lively lemony red berry fruit and fine grippy tannin. It is midweight dry and well structured with very good length. Try a little chilled with grilled meats.

Santa Julia Reserva Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina ($10.95 was $12.95) New to Top50 – This is a midweight ruby red malbec with a creamy texture and a harmonious perfumed nose. It is well balanced and quite juicy with good length with a long lingering dry finish. Try with a rack of juicy ribs.

Spier Signature Merlot 2014Santa Julia Reserva Malbec 2014Chapoutier Marius 2015Château Des Charmes Gamay Noir 2014

Chapoutier Marius 2015, Languedoc-Roussillon, France ($12.95) New to Top50 – This is blend of grenache and syrah from Rhone masters Chapoutier. It feels southern French but is quite modern in style with pure ripe fruit. Very good length.

Château des Charmes Gamay Noir 2014, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario ($13.95 was $14.95) New to Top50 – This is a lovely fresh pure gamay with fragrant aromas that is light to midweight with a lovely long lingering fruity finish. Classy and well priced. Try with delicately flavoured poultry.

Top Value Whites

Domaine Glinavos Primus 2013, Zitsa, Greece ($6.40 was $10.25) New to Top50 – Delisted – This wine is made from an indigenous Greek grape debina. It is a creamy fresh flavourful white with lifted aromas of melon and pear fruit with mineral and floral tones and a hint of lemon zest. It is midweight and finely balanced with good to very good length. It would make a nice aperitif with seafood pastry nibbles or with a mildly flavoured quiche. Around 650 bottles remain.

Trapiche Extravaganza White Blend 2015 Mendoza, Argentina ($8.95 was $14.95) Top50January – Delisted – This blend of the native torrontes grape with chardonnay is very appealing with lifted tropical fruit aromas and a rich creamy palate. Chill just a little and try with roast pork or veal with a fruity sauce. Over 1400 bottles remain.

Domaine Glinavos Primus Zitsa 2013Trapiche Extravaganza White Blend 2015Chateau d'Eternes Saumur BrutSegura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava

Chateau d’ Eternes Saumur Brut Loire Valley, France ($11.75 was $15.15) New to Top50 – Delisted – This is a very classy sparkling wine that is made using the traditional method from chenin blanc and chardonnay. The nose is quite enticing and the tiny bubbles persist for a long time giving lightness to the creamy mousse. It is dry and finely balanced with very good to excellent length. A great aperitif but also a wine for delicate seafood dishes. Around 900 bottles remain.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava Spain ($13.45 was $14.95) New to Top50 – My favourite LCBO bubbly under $15 is even better value this month. It is great for receptions as an aperitif; essentially anywhere you would consider Champagne. Expect a fresh nose, an elegant delicate soft mousse and a long lingering finish. Lots of flavour and super creamy texture. Very good length.


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 30 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!

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