Top Values at the LCBO (January 2019)

Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
Delistings, Discounts & Updates to Top 50

by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

There are many wines for drinking and dining discounted this month on the Top 50 Best Values List with seven reds under $10 for an economical start to the New Year.

For the first time ever, I believe, there are several wines that are both discounted and have Bonus Airmiles (BAMs) at the same time! So once again this month I had little trouble selecting 12 wines to write about. Check out the entire list here.

Some wines selected have big discounts; several of these are delisted items so they will soon all be gone.

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

Among the wines in today’s report about the Top 50 :

  • Seven Reds under $10 for an economical January
  • Ten wines discounted for next 4 weeks at the LCBO
  • Some big discounts, the greatest is $3.80.
  • Three delisted wines
  • All 12 wines score 87 or more points.
  • Four wines both discounted and with BAMs
  • A Vintages Essential

The current promotional period runs until February 3rd 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.

WineAlign Exchange

Top Value Reds

Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Sicily, Italy ($8.55 was $9.55 + 5 BAMs) Top 50 January – A juicy vibrant midweight red that is fruity and well-structured with soft tannins and lively acidity. Very good length. Well balanced with some fine dry tannin giving firmness to the finish. Try with pizza and meaty pasta sauces. 

Grão Vasco 2017, Dao, Portugal ($8.75) New to Top 50 – This is a lovely soft pure clean lightweight red with a fragrant nose. It is well balanced with lovely mouthwatering acidity and just enough tannin for some grip on the finish. Not that complex but clean and fruity and very drinkable. Very good length. Try with mushroom soup.

KWV The Vinecrafter Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Western Cape, South Africa ($8.95 was $9.95) Top 50 January – This is an opaque purple red with a fragrant nose. It is full bodied and 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.

Bacalhoa Tinto Da Ânfora 2016, Alentejo, Portugal ($9.60 was $11.95) Top 50 January, Delisted – This is a midweight juicy red with aromas of red berry and plum fruit with mineral and herbal notes plus a hint of smokey bacon. It is medium to full bodied with a nice structure from tannin and soft balancing acidity and ripe but not overripe fruit. Very good length. Try with a rich beef casserole or juicy burgers. Over 1600 bottles remain.

Barone Montalto Nero D'avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Grão Vasco 2017  KWV The Vinecrafter Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Bacalhoa Tinto Da Ânfora 2016

Piqueras Black Label Old Vines Garnacha 2014, Almansa, Spain ($9.65 was $12.20) Top 50 January, Delisted – 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. Over 600 bottles remain.

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Chile ($9.75 was $11.75 + 6 BAMs) New to Top 50 – There is quite a lot going on here for such an inexpensive, well structured juicy cabernet. It is fairly simple but it does display basic cabernet characteristics with its cassis and black cherry fruit and smoky oak aromas and flavours. The finish is dry with fine tannin and there is a good depth of flavour. Decent length. Try with bbq meats or meaty pasta sauces.

Big Bill Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Western Cape, South Africa ($9.95 was $12.95) New to Top 50 – This is a very classy well balanced cabernet which is not a big as the label implies with delicate aromas and a midweight palate that is vibrant with lemony acidity for freshness and fine tannin adding to the structure. Very good length. Try with roast meets or meaty pasta sauces.

Pessoa Terroir Reserva Touriga Nacional 2015, Douro Valley, Portugal ($11.80 was $15.60) New to Top 50, Delisted – This is opaque purple wine with delicate blackberry and blueberry fruit aromas with a hint of tar and cassis jam. It is midweight and well balanced with a nice structure that is very typical of the Douro Valley. Very good focus and very good length. Try with a steak. Over 600 bottles remain.

Piqueras Black Label Old Vines Garnacha 2014  Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Big Bill Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Pessoa Terroir Reserva Touriga Nacional 2015

Santa Carolina Merlot Reserva 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($11.95 was $13.95 + 4 BAMs) Top 50 January – Expect a lively clean nose and palate with aromas and flavours of blackberry and blueberry fruit with some spice and floral tones. It is wonderfully vibrant with the juicy fruit balanced by soft tannin. Very good length. Enjoy on its own or with bbq meats and hard mature cheese.

Peller Estates Family Series Cabernet Merlot 2017, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($11.95 was $12.95 + 3 BAMs) New to Top 50 – This Bordeaux style red blend is well balanced with aromas of red and black cherry fruit with sweet herbal and floral tones. It is mid-weight with bright berry flavours, firm tannin and soft acidity. Very good length. Try with grilled meats or meaty pasta sauces or hard mature cheese.

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($17.95 was $19.95) New to Top 50, Vintages Essential – A full bodied cabernet from the Colchagua Valley that is aromatic, pure, vibrant and fresh with good focus plus some fine tongue tickling tannins. It is well balanced and juicy with very good length. Some bottle age will help with integration. Decant for an hour. Best 2020 to 2025.

Santa Carolina Merlot Reserva 2016   Peller Estates Family Series Cabernet Merlot 2017  Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Top Value Whites

Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand ($18.10) New to Top 50 – This is a lovely, very typical Marlborough sauvignon with a complex appealing nose. It is dry, midweight and juicy with the fruit nicely balanced with fresh mouthwatering acidity. Quite elegant with very good to excellent length.

Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017

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 1,600 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!