Top Values at the LCBO (November 2019)

New Wines at the LCBO Join the Top 50 List 
Your Guide to Best Values, Limited Time Offers & Bonus Air Miles selections at the LCBO
by Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

Steve Thurlow

There are many wines discounted this month at the LCBO with 11 on the Top 50 discounted plus another five with Bonus Air Miles (BAMs). I have chosen 12 to tell you about.

I write below about those joining the list and some that were on last months list but are discounted this month. So even better value now. However I do encourage you to consult my entire Top 50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) and BAMs for the next 4 weeks.

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

  • Eight joined the Top 50 this month.
  • Some big discounts; as much as $5.
  • Two delisted wines with thousands of bottles in inventory.
  • All wines score 87 or more points.
  • Two Vintages Essentials

The current promotional period runs until December 1st 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

Alario Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile ($7.95 was $8.95) New to Top 50
Alario is an entry level label from Vina Carmen. This is a fragrant 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 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.

Bodegas Bianchi Finca Los Primos Malbec 2018, Mendoza, Argentina ($10.40 was $12.40) New to Top 50
This is a lovely rich finely balanced dry malbec with a fragrant nose of blueberry and blackberry fruit with floral and sweet herbal tones. The midweight palate is quite refined with just enough tannin for structure and soft lemony acidity. Very good length. There is a degree of elegance for such an inexpensive wine. Try with grilled meats.

Vin Vale Shiraz 2016, Mclaren Vale, South Australia ($11.95 was $17.00) Top 50 November, Delisted
This is a typical McLaren Vale shiraz with lovely lemony acidity to give vibrancy and freshness to the palate and nose. Expect aromas of blackberry and blueberry fruit with well integrated subtle oak spice plus some fresh herbal tones. The full bodied palate shows some elegance with the fruit persisting well on the finish. Good to very good length. Over 800 bottles remain.

Alario Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Bodegas Bianchi Finca Los Primos Malbec 2018  Vin Vale Shiraz 2016, Mclaren Vale

Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017, Trevenezie, Veneto, Italy ($12.00 was $14.00) New to Top 50
This is a refined fresh structured red from the Veneto with a fine sweet herbal tone to the red berry and fruit on the nose with just a hint of oak spice. The palate is light to midweight 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.

Passo Del Sud Appassimento 2017, Puglia, Italy ($12.10) New to Top 50
This is a pure clean and rather lively appassimento red that is not overripe nor too heavy nor is it too sweet. Expect aromas of ripe red cherry fruit almost maraschino with stewed plum plus vanilla and mild oak spice, quite complex and very pure. The full bodied palate is almost dry with vibrant acidity plus some dry tannin for balance. Decent length. Try with a rich duck ragu.

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2017, Swartland, South Africa ($14.00 was $16.00)
Top 50 November, Vintages Essential
The 2017 shows more elegance and relies less on ripe fruit and oak toned aromas and flavours than in the past and certainly does not disappoint. The palate has some juicy acidity to balance the ripe fruit with a good depth of flavour. Quite European in styling. Midweight with some firm tannin for balance and very good length.

Santa Julia Magna 2017, Mendoza, Argentina ($15.00) New to Top 50, Delisted
This blend of 70% malbec and 30% cabernet franc is great value. I am seeing cabernet franc from Argentina more and more. Here it nicely fills some of the holes in the malbec palate making it more even and focused. Expect aromas of black and red cherry fruit with tobacco and hints of juniper and tea. There is some elegance with a velvety smooth vibrant palate. It is medium to full bodied with very good length with a nice firm lingering finish. Over 700 bottles remain.

Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017   Passo Del Sud Appassimento 2017   Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2017   Santa Julia Magna 2017


Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier Reserva 2018, Colchagua Valley Chile ($9.50 was $11.50) Top 50 November
An aromatic white with tropical fruit aromas of tangerine, plus hints of ginger spice and fragrant floral notes. It is midweight with the fruit well balanced by lively acidity. Very good length. Enjoy on its own lightly chilled with party nibbles or at the table with poultry dishes or rich cheese like gruyere.

Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Reserve 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia ($12.00 was $15.00) New to Top 50
This is new 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. Try with seafood or mildly flavoured poultry. Very classy.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier Reserva 2018    Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Reserve 2018

Chapoutier Belleruche White 2017, Cotes Du Rhone, Rhone Valley, France ($14.00 was $17.00) New to Top 50
This is a rich flavourful unoaked white that is made from a blend of Rhone white grapes. Expect a fresh nose that shows apple and yellow plum fruit with grapefruit and floral notes. It is midweight with a good depth of flavour and is well balanced by firm acidity. The finish is long and focused. Very good length. Try with sauteed pork or veal.

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand ($15.00 was $17.00) New to Top 50
The 2018 vintage 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.

Casas Del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Casablanca Valley, Chile ($15.00) New to Top 50, Vintages Essential
This is a typical Casablanca sauvignon with a fine nose of lemon, passion fruit, green apple and grapefruit with some dry hay tones. It is fresh and lively with a creamy palate with lots of mouth watering acidity and soft ripe fruit. Very good length. Try with creamy goats cheese or mildly flavoured seafood. Very good length.

Chapoutier Belleruche White 2017  Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Casas Del Bosque Reserva 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!