Top Values at the LCBO (August 2019)

August Deals and Discounts at the LCBO
Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

I hope you have been enjoying summer. Since I travel so much throughout the year, I try to stay at home in July and  August. This gives me a chance to catch up on tasting and also to maintain the reviews of wines at LCBO and Vintages Essentials in the WineAlign database.  As a result of recent tasting 12 wines have joined the Top 50.

So I write about these and also about some wines that were already on the Top 50 that are better than usual value due to discounts (LTO) for the next 4 weeks.

I have selected twelve wines to highlight from my Top 50 Best Values List .

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

  • Twelve wines joined the Top 50 this month.
  • Some big discounts; as much as $3.00.
  • A lovely structured cabernet blend from Tuscany for $21.95.
  • Two delicious mouthwatering NZ sauvignons for $14.95.
  • All wines score 87 or more points.
  • Two Vintages Essentials

The current promotional period runs until September 15th 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.

Best Value Wines at the LCBO – Majestic Wines 

Top Value Reds

Eclipse Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy ($8.45) – New to Top 50
This is a lovely well balanced structured midweight red that has a fairly complex nose of raspberry and cherry fruit with some mild spice notes and tobacco plus some forest floor accents. The palate is midweight with the fruit well balanced by soft acidity and modest tannin. The flavours lingers for a long time on the finish. Very good length. Versatile midweight red for sipping with cheese or with mildly flavoured meat and cheese dishes.

Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2017, Bairrada, Portugal ($8.95) – New to Top 50
This is a soft lightly structured Portuguese red from the Bairrada region in Portugal made from the grape baga. Expect fragrant aromas of black and red cherry fruit with a hint of spice plus some smoke and herbal notes. The midweight palate is lively and juicy with a fine balance and very good length. It finishes dry with soft tannin. Try with BBQ meats.

João Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2018, Alentejo, Portugal ($9.35) – New to Top 50
This is a classic Alentejo blend of aragonês (tempranillo), trincadeira and castelão that is midweight and very juicy. It is a ripe, fleshy, clean, easy-drinking wine with soft tannins and fresh red berry fruit flavours. Think pinot noir. For a wine at this price there is, surprisingly, some complexity with herbal and spicy notes. Good depth of flavour and good length. Try with BBQ meats or hard mature cheese.

Eclipse Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2016   Aliança Bairrada Reserva 2017, Bairrada  João Portugal Ramos Loios Red 2018

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina ($15.00) –  New to Top 50
This is lovely juicy lively malbec with complex aromas of cassis and mulberry fruit with well integrated oak spice plus some herbal and floral tones. It is full bodied and well balanced with a some elegance and very good length. Lemony acidity makes it vibrant. Not quite altogether yet. So decant for an hour or more and enjoy with a steak …one could also cellar for a year or so. Best 2020 to 2025

Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni 2016, Tuscany, Italy ($21.95) – New to Top 50 Vintages Essential
This is an elegant powerful fragrant red blend of cabernet sauvignon with sangiovese. Expect aromas of black cherry and blackberry fruit, with smoke, herbal tones and subtle oak spice. It is finely balanced with good focus and well structured so should age well. Very good to excellent length. Drinking well now with a gentle palate, but will gain in complexity with further aging. Best 2021 to 2027.

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2017  Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni 2016

Top Value Whites

Toro Bravo Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2018, La Mancha, Spain ($7.95) – New to Top 50
This is a well balanced pure dry Spanish white with delicate aromas of pear and melon fruit with white pepper and mineral tones. It is light to midweight with the fruit balanced by firm acidity. A neutral white for pairing with mild seafood and cheeses dishes. Good to very good length with a nice touch of bitterness to close the finish.

Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2018, Western Cape, South Africa ($8.45 was $9.45) – New to Top 50
This is a lovely fresh crisp white with a mineral tone to the aromas and flavours of apple and pear fruit. It is midweight and well balanced with very good length. A versatile white for sipping, snacking or at the dining table with seafood, creamy pasta dishes and mildly flavoured veal and pork.

Goats Do Roam White 2018, Coastal Region, South Africa ($11.95) – New to Top 50
The four white grapes in this blend all originate in the Rhone Valley in France, hence its pun-intended name. It is an pure white with a good depth of flavour and fine structure for such an inexpensive wine. The nose shows apple and ripe pear fruit with lemon notes, plus a hint of ginger spice. It is midweight with nice balancing acidity and very good length. Enjoy with seafood or as an aperitif with pastry nibbles.

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2017, Coastal Region, South Africa ($15.95) – New to Top 50 Vintages Essential
This is a very classy chardonnay from the Cape with oak that was used very astutely to add complexity and structure and is well integrated. This is a rich smooth chardonnay with a lot of appeal. Expect aromas of ripe apple and pineapple fruit with hints of toffee and lemon. It is midweight to full bodied and dry with very good length. Try with rich poultry dishes or creamy veal.

Toro Bravo Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2018    Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2017

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand $14.95 was ($17.95) – New to Top 50
This is a creamy delicious sauvignon with fine soft aromas of pear, melon and lemon with some dry hay notes. It is got a rich creamy palate with the fruit well supported by lemony acidity. There is mineral toned lingering finish with just enough fruit sweetness to balance the acidity. Very good length. Enjoy with roast herbed chicken or sautéed seafood.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand ($14.95 was $17.95) – Top 50 August
This is a lovely very typical Marlborough sauvignon with a creamy palate with lots of mouthwatering grapefruit acidity. It is light on the palate and complex in aroma. Expect fresh guava, hay and lime with herbal and celery tones and a hint of warm spice. It is very juicy with ripe fruit and fresh crisp acidity. Very well balanced with very good to excellent length. Try with seafood and lightly flavoured poultry.

Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve 2017, Alsace, France ($18.00) – New to Top 50
The 2017 vintage of this off-dry deeply flavoured spicy gewurz from Alsace is textbook for the region. Expect intense aromas of peach and tangerine with ginger and apricot. It is midweight to full with lots of fruit sweetness and is well balanced with a dry finish and good focus. Very good length. A lovely aperitif with mildly spicy nibbles or try with Thai cuisine.

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2018  

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!