Top Values at the LCBO (August 2020)

by Steve Thurlow

I have been tasting new vintages of my favourites; some of which are better than the last vintage and so have joined the Top50 Best Values List . There are very few interesting big discounts this month at the LCBO but two delists are well worth picking up soon since they will not be on the shelves too much longer. There are 10 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.

I have chosen 4 whites plus 8 reds, so below there are 12 to read about. Of those, 10 joined the list. Two delists were also on last month’s list.

However, I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) and BAMs for the next 4 weeks.


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

  • Ten wines that joined the Top50 this month.
  • Two delists
  • Some big discounts; one almost $3 off
  • All wines below, scored 87 or more

The current promotional period runs until September 13th, 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.

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 60 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


Cono Sur Bicicleta Shiraz 2018 Colchagua Valley, Chile ($9.40 was $11.70) Top50 August Delisted
This is an opaque purple red with perfumed blackberry fruit aromas with hints of black pepper, plus some herbal and floral complexity and a hint of red grapefruit. It is full bodied and well balanced by lively acidity with some soft tannin that emerges on the finish to give a little grip. Very good length. Try with a steak. Around 800 bottles remain.

Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Sicily, Italy ($9.50)+ 3 BAMs New to Top50
This is a juicy mid-weight to full bodied red blend of cabernet sauvignon with the indigenous Sicilian grape nero d’Avola Expect aromas of black and red berry fruit with dry herbal and spicy notes. It is fruity and well structured with soft tannins and vibrant acidity. Very good length. Try with pizza and meaty pasta sauces.

Bodega Toro Centenario Malbec 2019 Mendoza, Argentina ($9.60) New to Top50 New to LCBO
This is lovely, soft, fruity dry malbec that is great value. The fragrant nose shows red cherry and plum fruit with some mild spice notes plus some floral hints. It is mid-weight and well balanced with soft acidity and mild tannin. Good length with a dry fruity finish. Try with burgers or pizza.

Fantini Casale Vecchio Lot Twenty Three Montepulciano Organic 2019, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy ($10.95) New to Top50
This is a fine, inexpensive, quite complex red from the south of Italy with delicate aromas of blackberry and cassis fruit with lemon and sweet herbal tones. It is mid-weight and juicy with a soft tannic and acidic structure. The length is very good but it is a little tart on the finish. Try with tomato sauces or bbq meats doused with lemon juice.

Villa Annaberta Jairo Rosso 2017, Trevenezie, Italy ($11.10 was $13.95) Top50 August 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 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. Over 1600 bottles remain.

Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Mendoza Argentina ($12.95) New to Top50
This is an elegant cabernet with ripe but not overripe fruit, that is finely balanced with complex aromas of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit with lemon, thyme and dark chocolate and a hint of black olive. The juicy midweight palate is vibrant with finely divided tannin and soft lemony acidity. Very good to excellent length. Try with roast or BBQ meats or mature cheese. There is a lot going on here. Very classy. Best 2020 to 2025.


Root: 1 Carmenère 2018 Colchagua Valley, Chile ($13.95) New to Top50
This is a ripe, clean carmenere with aromas of red cherry and raspberry fruit with dill, thyme, pine cone and oak spice notes. It is smooth with fine chalky tannin on the finish. Well balanced and nicely vibrant. Very good length.

Chateau De Gourgazaud 2017, Minervois, France ($14.10) + 6 BAMs New to Top50
This is a blend of mourvedre and syrah from the south of France. Expect complex aromas of black and red cherry and blackberry fruit with thyme, dark chocolate and tobacco plus some meaty tones with mild oak spice. The mid-weight palate is very smooth and fruity with fine balancing tannin. There is some elegance, and very good to excellent length. The finish is black pepper spicy and fruity. Try with a steak. Best 2020 to 2026.


Honoro Vera 2018 Rueda Spain ($10.55) New to Top50
Rueda is now a staple, and very popular selection for white wine from Spain. Here the verdejo grape is used to make fresh yet rich wines with tropical fruit tones to pineapple and lemon fruit with sweet herbal notes. This is a good example with some banana notes added to the aroma profile. The palate is very smooth, with a lovely creamy texture and flavourful with good focus and very good length. Chill and enjoy with rich seafood, veal or pork dishes.

La Vieille Ferme Côtes Du Luberon 2018 Rhone Valley, France ($11.00 was $12.50) New to Top50
This is a rich, super smooth wine with ripe tropical fruit aromas and flavours. The nose shows white peach and baked grapefruit with floral and mild spice hints. It is mid-weight with fine balancing acidity and good length. Try with mild pork and veal dishes or rich creamy pasta sauces.


The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Waihopai River, Marlborough, New Zealand ($16.95) New to Top50
This is a typical, juicy Marlborough sauvignon. I especially like the fragrant nose with its fine aromas of passion fruit with thyme, lemon, nettles and dry hay with a peppermint tone. The palate is delicate, and the mouthwatering acidity is well balanced by just enough sweetness. Very good length. Some elegance and good focus. Try with seafood or mild creamy goat cheese with smoked salmon.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand ($17.95) New to Top50
The powerful aromas of guava fruit with lemon, dry hay and mint with mineral tones are very appealing. The juicy palate is firm, with lively mouthwatering grapefruit acidity and mid-weight richness. Good focus, fresh and clean with very good length. It finishes with a peppermint toned, pear fruit flavour. Try with seafood, roasted poultry and goat cheese 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 1600 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.


Steve Thurlow

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!