Top Values at the LCBO (July 2020)

by Steve Thurlow

I have been tasting some new listings and new vintages of some of my favourites;  some of which are better than the last vintage and so joined the list. Also there are many big discounts this month at the LCBO for me to tell you about. As a result, there are 14 new wines on the Top50 list since I last wrote to you.

So venture out to visit an LCBO store and pick up some of the twelve wines below that are on my current Top50 Best Value List  and most are on offer for the next few weeks.

I have chosen 4 whites plus 8 reds, so below there are 12 to read about. Of those, 10 joined the list. One delist was also on last month’s list plus another favourite at $2 off.

However I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) and BAMs for the next few weeks.


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

  • Ten wines that joined the Top50 this month.
  • All for less than $12.
  • Some big discounts; one almost $3 off
  • All wines below scored 87 or more

The current promotional period runs until July 19th 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.


Casa Todelano Tempranillo 2018, Spain ($8.15) New to Top50, New to LCBO This is a soft fruity almost dry Spanish red that is youthful and quite exuberant. The fragrant nose shows red and black cherry fruit with floral and spice notes and hints of raspberry jam. The midweight palate is smooth and well balanced with soft acidity and mild tannin. Decent length. Enjoy on its own or with pizza or burgers.

Cantina Di Negrar Garetta 2018, Corvina Verona, Italy ($8.15) New to Top50

This bright cherry red shows fragrant raspberry and red cherry aromas with the fruit lively on the palate with vibrant acidity. It is made from corvina, which is the principal grape in the blend used to produce Amarone and Valpolicella wines. There is a nice hint of white pepper spice on nose and palate, which is light to midweight and fruity with a lemony tang to the finish. Try with pizza or BBQ meats. Good length and great value.

Passion Of Portugal 2017, Lisboa, Portugal ($9.05) New to Top50

2017 is another good vintage of this inexpensive midweight Portuguese red blend of tinta roriz (tempranillo), tinta barroca and syrah. The nose shows fragrant red berry fruit with some raspberry jam plus floral and mild spice notes. The palate is well balanced with juicy acidity and soft tannins. Fairly simple but there is a good depth of flavour and good length. Great value. Try with BBQ meats or hard mature cheese.


Borsao Garnacha Seleccion 2018, Campo De Borja, Spain ($10.15 was $12.15) New to Top50

This lively young Spanish red has little, if any, oak treatment. The fresh clean nose shows red cherry and pomegranate aromas with mild spice and sweet dried herbs. The palate is midweight and lively with a good depth of flavour and soft tannin. It is nicely structured and very drinkable try with burgers, meaty pasta sauces or with pizza.

Humante 2018, Navarra, Spain ($10.55 was $12.55) New to Top50

Distinctive label with little information. Expect a fragrant nose of red cherry and raspberry fruit with floral and mild spice notes. It is midweight and soft with lemony acidity and fine structural tannin. The finish is dry and lingering with very good length. Best with food. Very versatile for meats and cheese.

Bons Ventos Red 2017, Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal ($10.80) New to Top50

This Portuguese red blend is made from several indigenous grapes on the coast near Lisbon. The 2017 vintage is the best yet of this great value charming wine. I love the new label. Expect perfumed ripe fruit aromas of blackberry and blueberry fruit with lemon and floral notes. The fruit on the midweight palate is ripe but it is well balanced by lemony acidity and soft mature tannin. Nicely structured, pure, bright and fresh. Very good length. Enjoy on its own or with BBQ meats.


Chapoutier Marius 2018, Languedoc, France ($10.95 was $12.95) New to Top50

This is a blend of grenache and syrah that feels traditionally southern French but is stylistically modern with pure ripe fruit. Expect aromas of red and black cherry with some plum jam, vanilla and sweet herbal notes. It is medium to full bodied with some fine tannin and soft acidity. Very good length.

Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017, Trevenezie, Italy ($11.10 was $13.95) Top50 July, Delisted

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. Over 2,200 bottles remain.


Cantina Di Negrar Garetta 2019, Garganega Verona, Italy ($8.15) New to Top50

This is a lovely rich graceful white with a lot of complexity for such an inexpensive wine. Most whites in the region that are made from garganega are labelled Soave, but this an IGT. It is better than many Soave and is fantastic value. Expect delicate aromas of melon and nectarine with some sweet herbal notes. The acidity is soft but just right for this midweight and well balanced wine that has good to very good length. Enjoy on its own or with a creamy creamy chicken dish.

Toro Bravo Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2019, La Mancha, Spain ($8.15) New to Top50

This is an easy drinking well balanced dry Spanish white with delicate pure aromas of pear and melon fruit with lime and white pepper 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 green apple crunch to close the finish.


Casal Garcia Vinho Verde NV, Portugal ($8.95 was $9.95) New to Top50

This is very lively and has lots of spritz, more than usual for vino verde. It is dry and clean with mild mineral toned aromas of lemon and pear. It is quite rich and creamy and is authentically dry. Good length. Try with seafood.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier Reserva 2019, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($9.70 was $11.70) Top50 July

This is an inexpensive fragrant and rich white. Expect perfumed aromas of apricot, honeysuckle, tangerine, vanilla and anise with a hint of ginger spice. It has an appealing freshness and vitality with well integrated flavours and a round firm baked lemon and licorice finish. Finely balanced and pure with very good length. Enjoy as an aperitif or with mildly flavoured Asian cuisine or white meat dishes.


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.

Stay safe and healthy.


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!