Top Values at the LCBO (August 2018)

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

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Eighteen wines joined the Top 50 list this month and that is probably a record number since I first reported in September 2010. Some are new vintages of current LCBO listings, others are on discount for the next month and one is new listing at LCBO that jumped straight onto the list. Five wines on the list are being discounted; one by $3.10. So there is much for me to write about this month.

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

Among the wines in today’s report are:

  • All 12 wines joined the Top50 this month.
  • One lovely, very inexpensive, Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa that is brand new to the LCBO.
  • 11 wines score 87 or more points.
  • Some big discounts, the biggest is $3.10
  • One VQA white

The current promotional period runs until September 16th 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.


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Top Value Reds

Pasqua Merlot 2017, Veneto, Italy (1500ml – $14.45) – This is a pure lively light to midweight merlot for a great price. It is dry and well balanced with a lingering dry finish. A versatile food wine for a large group. Try with pizza, BBQ meats or cheesy pasta dishes. Good length.

Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2016, Bairrada, Portugal ($8.95) – This is a ruby red wine that’s a bit like a gsm It is from the Bairrada region in Portugal made from the grape baga. The nose is quite fragrant with a fruity, vibrant midweight palate with soft lemony acidity and fine tannin giving some grip to the finish. Try with BBQ meats. Very good length.

Pasqua Merlot 2017Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2016Botter Primitivo 2017

Botter Primitivo 2017 Puglia, Italy ($9.25) – The 2017 is better than recent vintages and comes in a new paper wrapped bottle with a name change. It’s medium to full bodied with a lots of aroma and a good depth of flavour for such an inexpensive wine. The palate is juicy with the fruit well balanced by acidity. Good to very good length. Try lightly chilled with pizza or meaty pasta sauces.

Beso de Vino Seleccion Red 2014 Carinena, Spain ($9.50 was $11.00) – This is a ripe structured mature red with a nice lemony tone to nose and palate. It is midweight with some tannin and lemony acidity for balance. It is spicy and warm on the palate with good to very good length. Try with sweet ribs.

Beso de Vino Seleccion Red 2014Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Chile, ($9.75 was $11.75) – There is quite a lot going on here for such an inexpensive, well structured juicy cabernet that shows good cabernet characteristics. It is midweight with a dry finish with fine tannin and there is a good depth of flavour. Try with bbq meats or meaty pasta sauces.

KWV The Vinecrafter Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Western Cape, South Africa ($9.95) New to LCBO – This is a full bodied red with a fragrant nose that is very juicy with lovely mouthwatering acidity, typical Cape minerality to keep it light and soft velvety tannins. It is well balanced with a good depth of flavour and very good to excellent length. There is some elegance and good focus. Enjoy with a steak or a sauteed duck breast.

KWV The Vinecrafter Cabernet Sauvignon 2017Argento Reserva Malbec 2015Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2017

Argento Reserva Malbec 2015 Mendoza, Argentina ($11.75 was $14.25) – This is an almost opaque aromatic malbec that’s midweight with a lingering dry finish. It is very smooth, well balanced with a smoky dry finish with some firm tannin. Very good length. Another year of bottle age will help the tannin to soften, but its fine now with a steak.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2017 Central Valley, Chile ($11.95) – There is little to compete in pinot at this price at LCBO for this quality and varietal authenticity. Expect mild aromas of red cherry and raspberry fruit with hints of oak and some spice tones. It is midweight and fruity with nice balancing acidity and soft tannin. Good to very good length.

Top Value Whites

Patio 9 White 2016, Ontario VQA ($7.25 was $10.35) Delisted – I like the slight spritz to this lemon zesty wine from Rockway. The nose shows delicate aromas of lemony apple and melon fruit. The sweetish palate is quite lively and it finishes dry with a lingering green apple mineral flavour. Good to very good length. Try with cheesy nibbles. Over 800 bottles remain.

Patio 9 White 2016La Vieille Ferme Côtes Du Luberon 2017

La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon 2017 Rhone Valley, France ($11.25)

This is a rich lively white with a nose that shows pineapple and ripe apple fruit with some tropical complexity and a touch of anise. Mid-weight, well balanced and very smooth with grapefruit pith bitterness on the finish to close it nicely. A good all-round white for poultry, veal or pork. Very good length.

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2016, Leyda Valley, Chile ($12.70)

Leyda has become one of the best places in Chile for fresh and lively sauvignons and this is a great inexpensive example. Look for lifted aromas of white peach, grapefruit and passion fruit and a hint of white pepper. It is rich and creamy on the palate with good depth of flavour and just enough sweetness to balance the acidity. Very good length. Try with sautéed chicken.

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2016The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2016

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand ($15.00 was $17.00)

This is a lovely juicy typical Marlborough sauvignon with fine aromas of passion fruit with lemon, sweet herbs and dry hay. The palate is quite delicate and the mouthwatering acidity is well balanced by just enough sweetness. Good to very good length. I love the finesse and focus. Try with sautéed seafood.

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!