Top Values at the LCBO (July 2017)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

This is a great time for value shopping at LCBO since there are 12 wines on my TOP50 that are discounted and many more have Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) for the next four weeks or so. Since I last wrote, an unprecedented 17 wines joined my Top 50 Best Values List with two of those brand new to the LCBO shelves.

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

Among the wines in today’s report are:

  • Twelve wines with a major discount.
  • Eleven wines score 87 or more points
  • Two great new chardonnays jump straight on to the Top 50
  • Eight wines for less than $12
  • Two Ontario VQA wines

The current promotional period runs until August 13th, 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

Lavau Cotes du Rhone Villages 2015, Rhone Valley, France ($11.00 was $13.55) – This is an excellent example of a fruity balanced and juicy Côtés du Rhône for a very low price. It is midweight and very flavourful with vibrant acidity and mild balancing tannin. Very good length. Still youthfully exuberant. Try with red meats or hard mature cheese.

Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2015 Rapel Valley, Chile ($13.10) – This is a flavourful, organically grown merlot that shows lovely fragrant aromas with a soft velvety smooth palate. It is medium to full bodied with good focus and very good length. The fruit persists well on the finish with fine solid tannin. Try with BBQ meats.

Lavau Cotes du Rhone Villages 2015Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot 2015Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Western Cape, South Africa ($14.45 was $16.95) VINATEGS Essential – This cabernet shows classic Cape minerality which lightens the palate and nose giving the impression of freshness. It is full bodied with the juicy fruit nicely balanced by vibrant acidity. The finish is very firm with tannin. Excellent length. Try with a steak.

Top Value Whites

Pasqua Soave 2016 Veneto Italy (1500ml) ($13.95 was $15.95) – This inexpensive well made Soave has delicate clean aromas of pear fruit with some nutty and floral tones. The palate is clean, fresh and lively with some zippy acidity for balance. It is dry with a clean fresh finish. Very good length. Serve with creamy pasta sauces, seafood or chicken dishes.

K W V The Vinecrafter Chenin Blanc 2016 Western Cape South Africa ($8.45 was $9.95) This is pure, fresh and clean on the palate with the fruit nicely balanced by soft lemony acidity. Good to very good length. An inexpensive versatile food white with seafood and white meats or mildly flavoured cheese.

Pasqua Soave 2016 (1500ml)K W V The Vinecrafter Chenin Blanc 2016Nederburg 56 Hundred Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Nederburg 56 Hundred Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Western Cape, South Africa ($9.45 was $10.95) – This is a zippy lively fresh sauvignon with a rich palate that is creamy smooth with ripe fruit well balanced by firm acidity. Long lingering dry finish. Very good length. Try with roast chicken, creamy pasta sauces and sautéed veal.

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016, San Juan, Argentina ($11.45 was 12.95) – The nose is very fragrant with peach and ripe melon fruit plus some ginger spice and floral orange. The palate is dry and quite rich with lots of flavour. Chill a little and enjoy on its own or with mildly spicy Asian cuisine or rich seafood dishes.

Pelee Island Winery Lighthouse Riesling 2015 Ontario, Canada ($11.45 was $12.45) – This riesling has a fragrant nose and very smooth palate that is rich with fruit and is balanced by soft lemony acidity. Very good length with the fruit persisting well. Enjoy lightly chilled as an aperitif or match with seafood or cheesy sauces.

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016Pelee Island Winery Lighthouse Riesling 2015Strewn Two Vines Riesling Gewurztraminer 2015

Strewn Two Vines Riesling Gewurztraminer 2015, Niagara On The Lake, Ontario ($11.95 was $12.95) – A well extracted rich full bodied white ideal with slightly spicy Asian style cuisine. Expect aromas of baked apple and lychee fruit with some orange notes. It is full bodied and a little sweet but well focused with very good length and is finely balanced. It finishes dry.

Vina Chocalan Reserva Chardonnay 2016 Maipo Valley Chile ($13.80) New to the LCBO – Depth of flavour, balance and complexity are all more than you would expect at this price point.  It is midweight, rich and creamy with lovely balancing acidity. Quite powerful with very good length. I suggest you pickup an armful to enjoy at the cottage, on the balcony or the back patio.

Santo Assyrtiko 2015, Santorini, Greece ($14.10 was $15.10) – Assyrtiko is native to the volcanic Greek island of Santorini where it thrives in the mineral rich soils. It is grown on its own roots and many of the vines are over 100 years old. This is delightful example ideal for all kinds of seafood. The palate has just a hint of sweetness to balance the firm acidity. Very good length.

Viña Chocalan Reserva Chardonnay 2016Santo Assyrtiko 2015Gnarly Head Chardonnay 2015

Gnarly Head Chardonnay 2015, California USA ($15.95) New to the LCBO – Enjoy the lovely fragrant nose that entices you to the midweight, vibrant and juicy palate with fine balancing acidity and a firm creamy palate. Very good to excellent length. Don’t overchill and enjoy with rich poultry dishes or baked ham maybe.

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

Steve's Top 50 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!


Arboleda Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015