Top Values at the LCBO (November 2018)

Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
So many discounts at the LCBO; Updates to Top 50

by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

November will be remembered as one the best months in a long time for value shopping at the LCBO! There are many wines discounted this month on the Top 50 Best Values List, most by $3 to $4, with one over $7 off, so I had little trouble finding 12 wines to write about. In all, 17 wines have joined the list since I last wrote to you. So check them all out here.

I have selected 11 wines that joined the list because of discounts; several of these are delisted items so they will soon all be gone. Curiously two celebrity VQA labels, from Kevin O’Leary and Debbie Travis, have massive price drops but are not shown as being delisted. Maybe that’s coming soon?

I have chosen twelve wines to highlight from the list for you.

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

  • Six wines discounted for next 4 weeks at the LCBO
  • Some major discounts, the biggest is $7.25
  • Three delisted wines
  • Some new vintages recently tasted
  • All 12 wines scored 87 points or more
  • Two VQA wines

The current promotional period runs until Decmber 2nd  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 (and a sparkling rosé)

Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose, Bio Bio Valley, Chile ($10.95 was $13.95) New to Top 50 – This is a rose gold sparkling rosé made from pinot noir with aromas of red berries and apple with a delicate creamy dry palate of bruised apple and a sweet core and delicate berry flavours. Very good length with everlasting fine bubbles. Chill well and try with roast chicken or enjoy on its own as an aperitif.

Vila Regia Red 2017 Douro Valley, Portugal ($8.95) New to Top 50 – You get a lot for your money with this clean, well-structured, midweight red with lively berry fruit and fresh acidity. The palate is smooth and juicy and the finish shows some firm tannin for structure, though the fruit persists well. Very good length. Try with grilled meats or creamy cheese such as brie.

Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose Vila Regia 2017

Domaine De Sérame Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Pays d’Oc, France ($11.95 was $13.95) New to LCBO, New to Top 50  – This is quite classy for a tasty, dry, well-balanced cabernet with a lot going on for the money.  It is midweight and very juicy with the fruit well balanced by soft acidity and fine tannin. Very good length with some dry dark chocolate flavours mixed with the blackberry fruit on the finish. Nicely done. Try with grilled meats or a rich cheese like brie.

Dona Paula Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95 was $16.95) New to Top 50, Delisted -This is a lovely, midweight, well-balanced, dry, ripe cabernet; quite Bordeaux-like, with delicate aromas. The fruit on the palate is toned by tannin and the finish is quite firm. Very good length. One will need some protein to enjoy. Try with juicy bbq meats or creamy brie cheese. Over 1400 bottles remain.

Domaine De Sérame Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Dona Paula Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Top Value Whites

Nugan Estate Third Generation Chardonnay 2016, Southeastern Australia ($7.95 was 12.95) New to Top 50, Delisted -There is a good depth of flavour to this well-balanced chardonnay. There is little oak showing and the flavours and aromas are quite fresh. It finishes dry with a long intense fruity finale. Very good length. Try with strongly flavoured white meat dishes like roast pork or veal. Over 1700 bottles remain.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier Reserva 2018, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($9.95 was $11.45) New to Top 50 – The new 2018 vintage is step up from last year making this of the best value whites at LCBO. The tropical fruit aromas with fragrant floral notes are very enticing. It is midweight with the fruit well balanced by lively acidity. Very good length.

Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand ($10.95 was $18.15) New to Top 50, Delisted – This is a charming well-made bubbly that is fresh and pure. The palate is creamy smooth with a hint of sweetness and is very refreshing. Not a lot of complexity but it is very easy to drink and should be liked by prosecco lovers. Very good length. Over 1800 bottles remain.

Nugan Estate Third Generation Chardonnay 2016 Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier Reserva 2018 Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2016

O’Leary Unoaked Chardonnay 2016, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($10.95 was $13.95) New to Top 50, Big Price Drop/Delisted? – It is tough to make good unoaked chardonnay. Expect aromas of ripe apple fruit with some peach, floral and baked lemon tones. The palate is pure, clean and creamy smooth, probably due to considerable lees stirring with good length. Over 1200 bottles remain.

Debbie Travis Pinot Grigio 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula ($11.75 was $15.95) New to Top 50, Big Price Drop/Delisted? – The wine is very appealing with a delicate fragrant nose of melon and pear fruit with a hint of lemon sherbet and floral rose. It is very juicy and well-balanced with a good depth of flavour. Very good length. Enjoy on its own as an aperitif or with roast chicken. Over 1000 bottles remain.

Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Reserve 2016, Adelaide Hills, South Australia ($11.95 was $14.95) New to Top 50 – This is a very classy, modern-style Aussie chardonnay; fresher, crisper and with less oak. There is some oak on the nose but it is the lime, melon and green peach fruit that is most evident. The palate is bright and lively, midweight with good focus on to the finish. Very good length.

O'leary Unoaked Chardonnay 2016 Debbie Travis Pinot Grigio 2015 Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Reserve 2016

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand ($13.95 was $16.95) New to Top 50 – This is fragrant and flavourful with aromas of guava and pear fruit with mint, thyme and lemon citrus notes. The midweight palate is soft with a mineral tone and it’s very creamy with very good length. Try with seafood dishes.

Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand ($13.95 was $16.45) New to Top 50 – 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 sautéed seafood or goat cheese. Very good length.

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc 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.


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!