Top Values at the LCBO (February 2017)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I am in New Zealand attending the Pinot Noir 2017 conference as I write this, so it seems especially fitting that three wines from New Zealand joined the Top50 this month.

February is the time to really focus on value at the LCBO. So, I have updated my Top50 list and have selected twelve wines to highlight for you – ten of which are joining the list due to deep discounts.

Among the wines in today’s report are:

  • Ten wines heavily discounted; some by as much as $4.
  • One 91 point and two 90 point wines.
  • Six wines for less than $11.
  • Three wines from New Zealand that are new to Top50.

The current promotional period runs until February 26th, 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

Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Mendoza Argentina ($10.95 was  $12.95) – A ripe, but not overripe, cabernet  with a delicate and harmonious nose. It is medium to full bodied with soft fruit, mild tannin and fine balance. It is almost dry with a lingering finish. Quite classy for the money.

Trapiche Pure Malbec 2015 Mendoza Argentina ($15.95) – This is a pristine unoaked malbec that is a pure unstructured complex red that is dry and did not need oak to be complete. It is very juicy, exuberantly youthful and fresh. Try with roast meats; would be great with a sautéed duck breast.

Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Trapiche Pure Malbec 2015Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2015Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage 2011

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2015, Swartland, South Africa ($12.95 was $14.95) – VINTAGES Essential – A consistent favourite with its fragrant aromas and smooth palate plus lively acidity and peppery, spicy, ripe fruit, that is well balanced. Try with a steak.

Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage 2011, Douro Superior, Portugal ($16.10 was $18.10) – A rich powerful port with complex aromas and flavours. It is full bodied with sweet blackberry fruit balanced by soft acidity. The considerable alcohol (20%) is balanced on the finish. Very good length. Try with hard mature cheese and dark chocolate.


Pasqua Soave 2015 (1500ml) Veneto Italy ($13.95 was $15.95) – This Soave is well made with delicate aromas and soft clean palate. It is dry with just enough fruit sweetness to give it some body. Very good length with a clean fresh finish. Serve with creamy pasta sauces, seafood or chicken dishes.

Fuzion Chenin Blanc Chardonnay 2016 Mendoza Argentina ($8.45) – This is an easy drinking white that’s unoaked with fresh aromas. It has lots of flavour and is mid-weight, dry, yet creamy with lots of ripe fruit. A lot going on for the money with good length. Buy an armful, so you always have some on hand.

Pasqua Soave 2015Fuzion Chenin Blanc Chardonnay 2016Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2016Mionetto Il Prosecco Frizzante

Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2016 Mendoza Argentina ($8.95 was $9.95) – There is a lot going on here for a wine at this price with big lifted aromas and a good depth of flavour. The palate is very full with the fruit flavours well balanced by vibrant acidity. There is some sweetness which persists on to the finish. Decent length. Try well chilled as an aperitif with cheese nibbles.

Mionetto Il Prosecco Frizzante, Veneto Italy ($10.95 was $13.95) – I like the crown cap closure which makes it easy to open. The palate is slightly sweet with an explosive mousse and apple melon fruit lingering on the finish. Try as an aperitif with seafood nibbles.

La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon Blanc 2015 Rhone Valley France ($10.95 was $12.45) – This is a rich intensely flavoured white blend that’s mid-weight, almost full bodied. A robust white like this is often good with roast veal or pork. Very good length and balance. Don’t overchill.

Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand ($13.95 was $15.95) – This crisp very juicy kiwi sauvignon with its classic Marlborough nose of passion-fruit and lime, hay and minty oregano. It is midweight and well balanced with very good length. Try with grilled calamari or creamy goats cheese.

La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon 2015Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc 2015Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc 2015Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough New Zealand ($17.15 + 10BAMs) – This is delicious with a complex very appealing nose and juicy palate. It is midweight and creamy with very good length, maybe just a little sweet. Try with creamy pasta sauces.

Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough New Zealand ($19.95 was $22.95) – VINTAGES Essential – This is a lively pure wine with lovely complex aromas and a juicy, intensely fruity, creamy rich palate. Good focus and very good length. Try with roast pork with apple sauce.

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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