Top Values at the LCBO (February 2018)

Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
Lots of delists and big discounts at LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

As I predicted last month there have been many delists since I last wrote. Among them there are five on the Top50. Sadly these were all favourites of mine that will soon all be gone. Though there is stock of all five at present, these should be pursued without delay.

This month there are also many wines heavily discounted, one by a whopping $7.00. So this is a great time for value shopping at LCBO. I write below about a dozen wines that I highlight from my Top50 Best Values List .

Among the wines in today’s report about the Top50 :

  • Ten wines joined the Top50 this month.
  • All 12 wines score 87 or more points
  • Many with major discounts, the biggest is $7.00
  • Four VINTAGES Essentials

The current promotional period runs until February 25th 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

Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2014, Aconcagua Valley Chile ($8.45 was $13.95) Delist – Good varietal character with a nose that shows red cherry, raspberry and cranberry fruit with herbal and earthy tones with some lemon and tobacco notes. The midweight palate is dry and well structured with fine tannin on the firm finish. Very good to excellent length. Try with roast meats, creamy cheese or grilled lamb cutlets. Over 1100 bottles left.…

Errazuriz Estate Pinot Noir 2014Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017Young Brute Red Blend 2015

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017 Chile ($9.05) New to Top50 – This is a lovely midweight Bordeaux blend with good balance and decent length and even a little complexity, for a great price. It is midweight and dry with good acidity and fine ripe tannin. Very versatile should work well with a wide variety of meats and cheeses.

Young Brute Red Blend 2015, Wrattonbully South Australia ($10.15 was $14.95) New to Top50, Delist – This is a deep purple with a very fragrant nose of black cherry and black fruit. It is full bodied and dry, well balanced with very good length. Try with a steak. Over 2,000 bottles left.

Ara Pathway Single Estate Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough New Zealand ($10.45 was $17.45) New to Top50, Delist – There is a very appealing harmonious nose to this structured juicy fruit pinot with aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry fruit with a hint of smoke and tobacco. It is midweight with a fine balance from vibrant acidity. Very good length. Try with roast beef. Around 400 bottles left.

Ara Pathway Single Estate Pinot Noir 2014Pascual Toso Malbec 2015Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2015

Pascual Toso Malbec 2015 Mendoza, Argentina ($10.95 was $13.95) New to Top50 – This malbec is a little lighter in weight than many but still with lots of flavour and some elegance. Expect aromas of red cherry and plum fruit with some herbal and chocolate notes plus tobacco and subtle spice. It is mid-weight with juicy acidity and soft tannin cruising through to the finish.

Trapiche Malbec Reserve 2015 Mendoza Argentina ($10.95 was $12.45) New to Top50 – A fruity 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.

Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Western Cape South Africa ($14.45 was $16.95) New to Top50 VINTAGES Essentials – This cabernet shows classic Cape minerality which lightens the palate and nose giving vitality and freshness. It is full bodied and smooth with the juicy fruit nicely balanced by vibrant acidity. Very even palate with very good length. Try with a steak or roast game.

Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014Marques De Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Colchagua Valley, Chile ($15.95 for a 5 day LCBO special, then back to $19.95) VINTAGES Essentials – The intense nose brimming with fruit is very pure and fresh. The palate shows good focus and is very linear with fine tongue tickling tannins. It is well balanced and juicy with excellent length. There is a mineral freshness to the finish.

Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Maipo Valley, Chile ($19.95 was $22.95) VINTAGES Essentials – A well structured and very classy cabernet that is quite beguiling. It has classic aromas of cassis with black olive, basil and soft menthol tones with some well integrated oak spice. Full bodied and finely balanced by soft acidity and round well integrated tannins. Very good to excellent length and good focus.


Brotte Esprit Barville Blanc 2015, Cotes du Rhone, France ($11.65 was $14.95) New to Top50, Delist – This is a lovely lively white wine from the Rhone Valley with a fairly complex nose, a rich smooth palate and has a good depth of flavour and very good to excellent length. Try with roast pork, roast chicken or Gruyere cheese. Around 500 bottles left.

Brotte Esprit Barville Blanc 2015Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2016Domaine Chatelain Les Vignes De Saint Laurent L'abbaye Pouilly Fumé 2015

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand ($16.25 was $19.25) New to Top50 – There is a lot to like with good varietal character, a fine balance, good focus and very good length that characterize the wine. It is fresh, firm, midweight and creamy with a good depth of flavour with just enough acidity to balance the ripe fruit. Try with roast chicken.

Domaine Chatelain Les Vignes de Saint Laurent l’Abbaye Pouilly Fumé 2015 Loire Valley, France ($19.25 was $24.90) New to Top50 – VINTAGES Essentials – Delist – This is a very classy dry white that is crisp and elegant with a mineral core to nose and palate. It is the character of the acids which is outstanding since it is fresh and also ripe with lovely green apple and pear fruit with a wet stone tone. Try with sautéed seafood. Very good to excellent length. Around 500 bottles remain.

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!