Top Values at the LCBO (June 2018)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Ten wines joined the Top 50 list this month with four wines on the list being discounted ; some by $2.00. So there is much for me to write about in June.

I have selected twelve wines to highlight from my Top50 Best Values List .

Among the wines in today’s report are:

  • 10 wines that joined the Top50 this month.
  • One lovely Malbec, from Cahors in France, that is brand new to the LCBO.
  • All 12 wines score 88 or more points.
  • Some big discounts, the biggest is $2.00
  • Four Ontario VQA wines
  • One wine with 7 BAMs (Bonus Air Miles)

The current promotional period runs until June 24th 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.


George Brown College - Weekend of Wine

Top Value Reds

Spier Signature Merlot 2016 Western Cape, South Africa ($10.90 was $12.90) New to Top50 – This is a lightly oaked merlot with aromas of bright red cherry and raspberry fruit with some herbal notes. It is very smooth on the palate with lively lemony red berry fruit and fine structural tannin. It is midweight,dry and well structured with very good length. Try, a little chilled, with bbq meats.

Spier Signature Merlot 2016Las Mulas Reserva Merlot 2016

Las Mulas Reserva Merlot 2016, Central Valley, Chile ($11.95 was $13.95) New to Top50 – This is a deeply coloured fresh merlot with aromas of black cherry fruit with nutty, tobacco and smoke tones. It is midweight to full bodied and juicy with fine lemony acidity and nice grippy tannin on the finish. Good to very good length. Good focus with some elegance.

Chateau La Barrade Malbec 2016, Cahors, France ($13.95) New to Top50New to LCBO – Malbec, once planted widely in France, is now only found in quantity in the Cahors wine region to the south of Bordeaux. This an inky opaque purple black wine with an appealing nose and elegant palate. This full bodied wine is very classy for fine dining with roast meats. A juicy duck breast would work well. The finish is dry and lingering with just enough fruit. Excellent length.

Chateau La Barrade Malbec 2016Santa Carolina Carmenère Reserva 2015Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Santa Carolina Carmenère Reserva 2015, Cachapoal Valley, Chile ($13.95 + 7BAMs) No sign of carmenere greenness here. Aromas are of blackberry fruit with dark chocolate and soft spice with a nice basil herbal touch. The palate is juicy midweight and lively and the finish shows modest tannin and lots of juicy fruit. Very good length. Try with bbq and roast red meats, casseroles or mature hard cheese.

Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Maipo Valley, Chile ($14.95) New to Top50 – This is well made cabernet with good varietal character. Expect aromas of fresh 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 bbq meats.

Malivoire Gamay 2016, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($17.15 was $18.15) Ontario makes some very good well priced gamay and this is a good example. It is a balanced flavourful light to midweight red with a palate that has ripe juicy fruit well balanced by soft tannin and lemony acidity. Great focus. Try with cold cuts and cheese and a warm baguette. Very good length.

Malivoire Gamay 2016Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2013

Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2013, Douro Superior, Portugal ($18.45) New to Top50 – A wonderful perfumed nose entices one to taste and the smooth palate soon beguiles with the sweet blackberry fruit finely balanced by soft creamy acidity. Finely balanced with no heat from the 20% alcohol. Enjoy on its own or with dried fruits and nuts.

Top Value Whites

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2017, South Australia ($12.25 was $14.25) New to Top50 – This aromatic white shows aromas of apricot and white peach fruit with ginger and tangerine citrus notes. The palate is midweight to full, rich and creamy with the richness nicely balanced by firm acidity. Excellent length. Try with mildly spicy Asian cuisine.

Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2016, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95) New to Top50 – This is a fresh lively sauvignon with lifted herbal aromas of mint and pine needles with apple, lemon and dry hay. It is smooth and refreshing with a vibrant seam of acidity and a lingering finish. Very good length. Enjoy it as an aperitif or serve it up with sauteed seafood or roast chicken.

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2017Henry Of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc 2016Trius Dry Riesling 2016

Trius Dry Riesling 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95) New to Top50 – This is a delicate fine wine with good extraction and balance. Expect aromas of pear and melon with beeswax, mineral and floral complexity. The palate is dry with a good depth of flavour and very good to excellent length. It is elegant and stately with a zesty finish. Try with cheesy sauces, sauteed seafood or white meats.

Wayne Gretzky Riesling 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95) New to Top50 – This is a lovely almost off-dry riesling with dried apple and lemon fruit, plus mild spice and petrol notes with a mineral tone. It is very smooth and strongly flavoured with a good acid backbone. Very good length. Try with roast chicken or veal.

Wayne Gretzky Riesling 2015Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2015

Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2015 France ($15.00) New to Top50 – A juicy mildly oaked chardonnay with aromas of ripe apple and apricot fruit with floral and toffee notes. It is midweight with a good depth of flavour, quite rich with a smooth palate and very good length. It is dry on the finish. Chill lightly and try with roast chicken or pork.

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!