Top Values at the LCBO (February 2019)

Eight wines under $12 are on the list this month; updated Top 50
Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
– by Steve Thurlow

There are many wines for drinking and dining discounted this month, including a lovely red from the Veneto in Italy, which is new to the LCBO, and has jumped straight on to the Top 50 Best Values List

Two other reds, that are also new to the LCBO, jumped immediately onto the Top 50 Best Values List – one from Spain and the other from Portugal.

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Bravo to the LCBO buyers for these great value wines!

I have chosen twelve wines to highlight from the list for you. Check out the entire list here.

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

  • Three reds new to LCBO jump straight on to my list
  • Eight wines under $12 for an economical February 2019
  • All 12 wines score 87 or more points.
  • Four wines discounted for next 4 weeks at the LCBO
  • A lovely VQA shiraz
  • A Vintages Essential

The current promotional period runs until March 3rd so don’t hesitate.

Editor’s Note: You can find our complete critic reviews and inventory by clicking on any of the bottle images or links. 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!

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Top Value Reds

Toro Bravo Tempranillo Merlot 2017, Do Valencia, Spain ($7.95) New to Top 50, New to LCBO
This is a deep ruby red blend of tempranillo and merlot. The nose shows black and red cherry fruit with some singed wood and earthy herbal notes. The mid-weight palate is juicy and fruity with a fine balance and decent length. Try with grilled meats. [It is temporarily out of stock but I am told it will be back on the shelves soon.] 

Alario Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile ($8.95) New to Top 50, New to LCBO  
This is an opaque ruby red with a soft fruity palate that is finely balanced by acidity and mild tannin. Expect ripe but not overripe red berry fruit aromas with some mushroom, earthy and mild spice notes. The palate is clean and pure with a soft velvety texture. Very good length. Try with grilled meats or rich ripe cheese.

Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2017, Colchagua Valley Chile ($9.45 was $10.95) Top 50 February  
Many inexpensive cabernets are sweet, but this is dry and is well balanced for food. A juicy and mid-weight palate with ripe fruit flavour is toned by lemon and just enough acid and soft tannin for balance. Very good length. Try with a mature hard cheese or grilled meats.

Toro Bravo Tempranillo Merlot 2017   Alario Cabernet Sauvignon 2018   Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2017

Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017, Trevenezie, Veneto, Italy ($11.95 was $13.95) New to Top 50, New to LCBO
This refined fresh structured red has a lovely sweet herbal tone to the red berry and fruit on the nose with just a hint of oak spice. The palate is light to mid-weight with a fine balance of acidity and mild tannin and just a little fruit sweetness. Very good length. It has classic lines and some elegance.

Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2016, Chile ($11.95 was $13.95) Top 50 February 
This is a juicy red blend with an appealing nose. The mid-weight palate is smooth and well balanced with very good length. It finishes dry with soft tannin. Some elegance and lovely pureness.

Pérez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile ($14.95) Vintages Essential, New to Top 50
Expect a fragrant nose and a very smooth and juicy palate with enough acid and tannin to give it some structure. Well balanced with very good length. Try with grilled meats.
Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017   Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2016   Pérez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2016

Santa Julia Magna 2017, Mendoza, Argentina ($14.95) New to Top 50
A malbec/cabernet franc blend with a fairly complex nose shows some elegance with a velvety smooth, vibrant palate. It is medium to full bodied with very good length and a nice firm lingering finish.

Konzelmann Shiraz 2017, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario ($14.95)  New to Top 50
This is a ripe juicy shiraz with a fairly complex nose of blackberry and blueberry fruit, black pepper and red grapefruit. Nicely fragrant with a soft juicy palate. There is good depth of flavour and a fine balance. Very good length with good focus.

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2012, Douro Valley, Portugal ($17.95) New to Top 50
This LBV displays beautiful fragrant aromas. It’s full-bodied and very smooth, with a soft, creamy texture and is light on the palate despite the 20% alcohol, and has little heat on the finish. Very graceful with very good to excellent length.

Santa Julia Magna 2017  Konzelmann Shiraz 2017 Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2012

Top Value Whites

Folonari Soave 2016, Veneto, Italy ($9.45 was $10.95) New to Top 50
Expect delicate aromas of ripe apple and melon fruit with floral lemon and nutty tones. The palate is mid-weight, with lots of flavour, and good balance. Good to very good length.

Santa Carolina Chardonnay 2018, Rapel Valley, Chile ($9.80 + 4 BAMs) Top 50 February
This simple fruity chardonnay is a lightly oaked with mild aromas of pineapple and pear fruit with some spicy tones. It is mid-weight and quite rich with a lot of flavour for the money. Good length and well balanced. Try with cheesy pasta sauces, white meats or fish and chips.

Goats Do Roam White 2017, Coastal Region, South Africa ($11.95 + 8 BAMs) Top 50 February
This is a fresh, fruity, lively white with exotic flavours of tangerine, apricot and ripe pear. The nose is delicate but complex with some ginger spice on top of the fruit cocktail. It is light to mid-weight and well balanced with good to very good length.

Folonari Soave 2016   Santa Carolina Chardonnay 2018   Goats Do Roam White 2017

How does a wine get selected for the Top Value Report:

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

Editor’s Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine 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!