Top Values at the LCBO (February 2021)

Values for Another Month at Home

by Steve Thurlow

February will see most of us in Ontario spending lots of time at home due to the polar vortex plus the continuing pandemic restrictions. So, economy will still be called for this month. I have found 10 lovely wines, all less than $14, to help you save. I have thrown in another two below that are superb (91). Both are $3 off at the LCBO, and less than $20.

Eight of these wines joined the  Top50 Best Values List  this month which includes two favourites that have been delisted. There are ten wines below that are discounted, which will all go to help relieve the monthly budget.

So, wrap up well and venture out to visit an LCBO or grocery store and pick up some of the twelve wines below that are on my current Top50 Best Value List  .

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Though I have only chosen below 12 wines, 4 whites and 8 reds, I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) and Bonus Air Miles (BAMs) for the next few weeks at LCBO stores and online.

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

  • Ten wines are less than $14.
  • Ten discounted wines; most by $2 or more.
  • Two delisted wines.
  • Two VINTAGES Essentials.
  • All wines below scored 87 or more.

The current promotional period runs until February 28th, 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.

Stay safe and healthy and all the best for the New Year.


Bons Ventos 2017 Red, Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal ($9.10 was $10.85)
This Portuguese red blend is made from several indigenous grapes on the coast near Lisbon. 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 grilled meats.

Humante 2018, Navarra, Spain ($9.70)
New to Top50
This recent arrival at LCBO has 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.

Lacour Tourny 2018 Red, Bordeaux, France ($10.35 was $11.85)
New to Top50
This is a typical fruity well-balanced Bordeaux that is claret red in colour. It has a nose of red cherry and raspberry fruit with beets and mild spice. The palate is round and dry with the berry fruit flavours balanced by soft acidity and mild tannin. The finish has some grip and it lingers with the fruit holding well. Good to very good length. Correct and clean for a great price. Try with roast meats or strongly flavoured cheese.

Vinologist 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa ($10.40 was $12.95)
This is a well-balanced midweight fruity red with an appealing nose of red cherry and raspberry fruit with some spice and floral notes. The palate shows some fruit sweetness such that it can be enjoyed on its own but will be better with food. The palate is almost full bodied with vibrant acidity and mild tannin. Very good length. Versatile red with good varietal character and good for meats, cheese and rich vegetable dishes.  Over 700 bottles remain.

Doña Paula Estate 2018 Malbec, Valle De Uco, Mendoza, Argentina ($12.95 was $15.95)
New to Top50
The 2018 vintage has delivered a full-bodied malbec with some elegance. It is graceful on the palate with soft acidity and gentle tannin for balance and feels lighter as a consequence. Expect harmonious aromas of black cherry fruit with blackberry nicely toned by fragrant oak spice plus some herbal tones. Nicely done. The palate has a lemony citrus tone to the berry fruit and some firm tannin for balance. It finishes dry. Very good length. For fine dining with roast meats.

Montes Reserva 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($12.95)
New to Top50
This is a well-balanced fruity cabernet. The lifted nose shows cassis and black berry fruit with prune, menthol and leathery complexity. The rich palate is plush with ripe fruit and lovely balancing acidity and soft tannin. It is full bodied but somehow seems lighter than that. Very good length. Easy drinking but it is by no means simple. Try with grilled or roast meats.

Montes Alpha 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley Chile ($16.95 was $19.95)
The 2018 vintage is a remarkably smooth, soft and fruity cassis fragrant cabernet that has a lot of charm. Expect aromas of black currant and blackberry fruit with pencil shavings plus some smoke, jam and herbal tones. Though full bodied with velvety tannins it seems lighter due to the fine balancing acidity. There is some elegance with a dry soft tannic finish. Very good to excellent length. For fine dining with roast meats or strongly flavoured cheese.

Tenuta Frescobaldi 2018 Castiglioni, Toscana, Italy ($18.95 was $21.95)
New to Top50
This is an impressive stylish modern Tuscan red with bright red and black currant fruit, warm spice, lemon and vanilla, all nicely integrated. It is finely balanced and dense with firm ripe tannin that makes it a good cellar candidate. Very good length, with a hint on minerality on the finish. Another 2-3 years of bottle age will help complexity develop and improve integration and give it an even smoother texture. Decant for an hour or so and try with a steak. Best 2022 to 2026.


Cono Sur Bicicleta 2020 Viognier Reserva, Central Valley, Chile ($9.95 was $11.95)
The 2020 vintage is excellent and stylistically somewhat changed, that I am guessing is due to a more skin contact. The nose is perfumed with floral peach and apricot fruit with lemon and warm sweet herbal notes. The palate is initially juicy fruity with rich ripe green plum flavour but soon some lovely firm herbal flavours kick in. The finish is dry and firm with a grapey flavour. Very good to excellent length. Enjoy on its own or with gruyère cheese or maybe with rich roast chicken.

Rapitala 2018 Grillo Organic, Sicily, Italy ($11.00 was $13.95)
New to Top50
Grillo is one of Sicily’s best indigenous white grapes since it often delivers rich wines with lots of vibrant acidity like this one. The nose shows delicate ripe pear and melon fruit with a resinous tone plus some marmalade hints. It is midweight and creamy with fine balancing acidity and very good length. Try with mildly flavored seafood or chicken dishes. Over 900 bottles remain.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain ($13.95 was $15.95)
New to Top50
This is a lovely bubbly that is great for receptions or as an aperitif. Expect a fresh nose of grapefruit, mineral and pear with an elegant delicate soft mousse and a long lingering finish of apple pear fruit. Lots of flavour and super creamy texture. Very good length.

Novas Gran Reserva 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Organic, San Antonio Valley ($13.95 was $15.95)
New to Top50
This wine is grown organically in the cool coastal San Antonio Valley. Expect aromas of green plum, lavender, lemon, asparagus and nettles with some herbal tones. The palate is dry and firm with soft acidity and there is a green herbal tone. Good focus and very good length. Best with food. Try with mahi mahi with a lemon garlic sauce or BBQ pork cutlets.

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
Top 20 Under $20
Wines on Limited Time Offer
Wines with Bonus Air Miles

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

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