Top Values at the LCBO (December 2017)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

There are eight new wines on my Top 50 Best Values List this month, most of which are heavily discounted until the end of the year.

All the wines on the Top50 are great buys; so it is always tough to select only a few to highlight. Many of you tell me that you aren’t motivated by Bonus Air Miles (BAMs). However many people must be, otherwise why do wineries spend thousands of dollars on them each month? So I have picked four great values for this report that also reward you with loads of BAMs. Read about those four, plus another eight wines which joined the Top 50 list this month.

Among the wines in today’s report are:

  • Seven wines heavily discounted; one by $2.50
  • Two VINTAGES Essentials
  • Two VQA Ontario wines
  • Nine wines for less than $12.
  • Many wines with Bonus Air Miles

The current promotional period runs until December 31st, 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

Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2015, Bairrada, Portugal ($8.95 + 5 BAMs) Top50December – 2015 is a good vintage for this red wine from the Bairrada region in Portugal made from the grape baga. A fragrant nose leads to a lively, juicy palate with a fine balance and very good length. It finishes dry with firm tannin. Try with roast meats or creamy cheese like brie.…

Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2015 Mendoza, Argentina ($11.45 was $12.45) NewtoTop50 – A fruity, yet structured malbec with aromas of blackberry, mild oak spice and plum with some herbal notes for freshness. Medium bodied with a smooth dry mature palate with mild tannin. Very good length. Try with roast beef or a meaty casserole.

Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2015Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2015Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016Jacob's Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2015

Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Maipo Valley, Chile ($12.95 was $14.95) NewtoTop50 – A typical Maipo cabernet with aromas of pure blackcurrant fruit with menthol, dark chocolate and mild oak spice plus a hint of lavender. The full bodied palate is rich and juicy and vibrant with a long fine tannin finish. Good focus and very good length. Decant for an hour and try with grilled meats.

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2015, Barossa Valley, Australia ($17.25 + 10 BAMs) Top50December – An elegant classy shiraz with the structure for improvement with further bottle age. Expect a fragrant nose to this full bodied wine with the ripe fruit nicely supported by well integrated oak, juicy acidity and firm tannin. The finish is dry with the fruit persisting well. Very good length.

Top Value Whites

Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2017, Robertson, South Africa ($8.25) NewtoTop50 – There is a lot going on for the money here. It is juicy, fruity and quite fat with a fine balance and good to very good length. Having a dozen on hand for parties, casual dining with seafood and poultry would a great idea and it can be so easily delivered to your front door. This is an online exclusive offer. The wine is only available by the case of 12 for $99.00 at, which shows over 1100 cases available. This wine is not available in stores.

Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2016, Mendoza Argentina ($9.45 was $10.95) NewtoTop50 – 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 strong fruit flavours that are well balanced by vibrant acidity. Try well chilled as an aperitif with cheese nibbles.

Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2017Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2016Graffigna Centenario Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016Pelee Island Winery Lighthouse Riesling 2015

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016, San Juan, Argentina ($11.45 was $12.95)  NewtoTop50 – Expect a fragrant nose and a dry, quite rich palate with lots of flavour. Focus is well maintained onto the long lingering finish. Very good length. Chill a little and enjoy on its own or with mildly spicy Asian cuisine or rich seafood dishes.

Pelee Island Winery Lighthouse Riesling 2015, VQA Ontario $11.45 was ($12.45) NewtoTop50 – This is well priced for a riesling of this quality. It is almost dry with a fragrant nose and a smooth palate that is rich with fruit and 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.

Spier Signature Chardonnay 2017 Western Cape, South Africa ($11.95+ 5 BAMs) Top50December – This is lovely lightly oaked fresh pure chardonnay with a creamy rich palate. It is finely balanced with very good length. Enjoy with roast poultry or rich seafood dishes.

Strewn Two Vines Riesling Gewurztraminer 2016, Niagara On The Lake, VQA Ontario ($11.95 was $12.95) NewtoTop50 – This is a rich almost full bodied white that works so well with slightly spicy Asian style cuisine. Expect a fragrant nose and a creamy palate that is a little sweet but well focused with very good length and balance. Chill well.

Spier Signature Chardonnay 2017Strewn Two Vines Riesling Gewurztraminer 2016Alvear Medium DryRiverlore Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Alvear Medium Dry, Montilla Morilles, Spain ($12.95 + 6 BAMs) Top50December – This wine is a beautiful golden brown with orange highlights. It is off-dry with the sweetness well counter-balanced by the acidity. The nose shows fruit cake aromas with baked orange and nutty tones which are reflected on the palate. Try with strongly flavoured cheese.

Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand ($13.45 was $15.95) NewtoTop50 – I love the fragrant nose of passion-fruit and lemon, with grapefruit and fresh basil with a hint of dry hay. It is a crisp very juicy kiwi sauvignon that is midweight and well balanced with a pure rich palate and crisp dry herbal lemon finish. Try with sauteed seafood or goats cheese.

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!

Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015