Top Values at the LCBO (September 2018)

Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO Many new wines join the Top 50 List by Steve Thurlow
Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I am in Agrigento, Sicily leading a group of wine lovers, exploring this isle of wine and fine food. I was hoping that a Sicilian wine might join the list this month, since I have tasted so many great value wines over the last week. However, when I ran the program that creates the new Top 50 list, the new wines were all from elsewhere in the world. Twelve wines joined the Top 50 list this month. Some are new vintages of current LCBO listings, others are on discount or the next month and two are new listings at LCBO that jumped straight onto the list. 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 Top 50 this month.
  • One lovely, very inexpensive white blend from the south of France that is brand new to the LCBO.
  • An organic juicy red blend from Chile that is brand new to the LCBO.
  • All 12 wines score 87 or more points.
  • A VINTAGES Essential
  • One VQA white
The current promotional period runs until October 14th 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 2016, Bairrada, Portugal $8.95 New to Top 50 – This is a ruby red wine that’s a bit like a GSM. It is from the Bairrada region in Portugal and 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.Fonseca Periquita 2016, Peninsula De Setubal, Portugal $9.00 New to Top 50 – This wine has been great value for decades. I well remember my first encounter in 1988 and it has seldom disappointed me since.  Expect a nose of red cherry and plum fruit with some spicy tones and floral notes. It is mid-weight, dry and well balanced with the fruit toned by dry tannin and leathery flavours. Cono Sur Bicicleta Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Central Valley, Chile $9.55 New to Top 50 – This is a midweight herbal toned cabernet that is finely balanced with a pure nicely focused finish. Expect aromas of blackberry and black plum fruit with some smokey bacon notes. The palate shows pure berry fruit with fine balancing acidity and gentle tannin. Good to very good length. Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2016 Fonseca Periquita 2016 Cono Sur Bicicleta Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Solaz Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Castilla León, Spain $9.95 was $11.95 New to Top 50 – This is a juicy lively clean red with fresh raspberry and red cherry aromas with cherry jam and no evidence of oak and hints of chocolate and spice. The palate is vibrant with the fruit well balanced by acidity without being tart and just enough tannin for structure. Good focus and very good length with a soft fruity finish. Chill lightly and enjoy with BBQ meats. Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2016, Salento, Puglia, Italy $9.95 New to Top 50 – This is consistently one of the best value reds at LCBO. It is a flavourful, fragrant red from Puglia made from the indigenous negroamaro grape. It is midweight with the fruit well supported by some ripe finely divide tannin. It finished dry with very good length. Try with BBQ meats or pizza. Piqueras Black Label Old Vines Garnacha 2014, Almansa, Spain $12.20 New to LCBO – A stately full-bodied youthful Spanish red with lifted aromas of ripe blackberry fruit with white pepper, sweet basil and hints of oak spice. It is very juicy and seems light due to the vibrant acidity. It finishes dry with very good length. Try with a steak. Solaz Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2016 Piqueras Black Label Old Vines Garnacha 2014 Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2016 Chile $13.95 New to LCBO – This is a lovely juicy red blend with an appealing nose of blackberry fruit with jam and pepperminty notes plus some hints of black pepper and meaty notes from the syrah I guess in the blend. The midweight palate is smooth and well balanced with very good length. It finishes dry with soft tannin. Some elegance and lovely pureness. Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2013, Douro Superior, Portugal $18.45 New to Top 50 – A wonderful perfumed nose of blueberry and blackberry fruit with vanilla and black cherry jam greets you. You are enticed to taste and the smooth palate soon beguiles. It’s not super complex but it is so well made with very good length. Finely balanced with no heat from the 20% alcohol. Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2016 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2013 Top Value Whites La Petite Hitaire Blanc 2017, Cotes Du Gascogne, France $9.95 New to LCBO – This is a white grape blend of ugni blanc, colombard and gros manseng. These are very common in southwest France and are well combined her to make a lively fresh pure wine. It is mid-weight and vibrant and lemony on the palate with nice mouthwatering acidity. I suggest creamy goats cheese or oysters on the half shell. Trapiche Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016 Mendoza, Argentina $12.30 New to Top 50 – This is a lovely very drinkable pure white wine with delicate aromas of white peach and pear fruit with a mineral tone and floral hints. The palate has a good depth of flavour and is quite creamy with some fruit sweetness and richness though it finishes dry with very good length. La Petite Hitaire Blanc 2017 Trapiche Reserve Pinot Grigio 2016 Spier Signature Chardonnay 2017 Western Cape, South Africa $12.30 New to Top 50 – This is a rich lightly oaked pure chardonnay with a creamy smooth palate. It is well balanced with very good length. Expect delicate aromas of ripe pear and mango fruit with some spice and herbal notes. Focus is well maintained onto the lingering finish. Enjoy with roast poultry or rich seafood dishes. Tawse Riesling Quarry Road Vineyard 2016, VQA Vinemount Ridge, Ontario $22.95 New to Top 50 – The 2016 vintage is the best I can remember of this elegant nervy riesling. There is just enough sweetness to balance the racy acidity while leaving the finish almost dry. This is a complex classy riesling that will be versatile with a wide variety of mildly flavoured seafood, cheese and white meat dishes. Spier Signature Chardonnay 2017 Tawse Riesling Quarry Road Vineyard 2016
How does a wine get selected for the Top Value Report:
Steve's Top 50 Value Wines
Today’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. Cheers! 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!