Top Values at the LCBO (April 2021)

Values for yet another month at home

by Steve Thurlow

It’s April, and sadly most us in Ontario will continue to spend lots of time at home. You’ll need to buy wine for the house, so economy will still be called for this month.

I have found eleven lovely wines, all less than $14, to help you save. I have thrown in one more that is great (90+) and is less than $17 due to a big LCBO discount this month.

Seven of these wines joined the Top50 Best Values List this month which also includes a favourite that has been delisted.

I have been tasting wines since I last wrote and found some great values so they have joined the list.

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So mask up and venture out to visit an LCBO store and pick up some of the wines below.

Though I have only chosen 12 wines (3 whites and 9 reds), I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) for the next few weeks at LCBO stores and online.

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

  • Eleven wines that are less than $14
  • Seven discounted wines; most by $2 or more
  • A delisted wine $2.55 off
  • A Vintages Essentials
  • All wines scored 87 or more

The current promotional period runs until April 25th 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 self-isolated for just a little while longer.


Robertson Winery Chapel Red 2019, Robertson, South Africa ($8.95 was $9.95)
This is a lovely inexpensive red blend from the Cape comprised of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinotage. It is finely-balanced and very pure with vibrant acidity, good focus and very good length. Quite complex for such an inexpensive wine with aromas and flavours of red cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit with mild spice and soft sweet herbal tones. Enjoy on its own or with a wide variety of meat and cheese dishes.

Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Sicily, Italy ($9.50)
New to Top50
This blend of the indigenous nero d’avola with cabernet sauvignon works well with a youthful, fragrant nose of black and red cherry fruit with plum, floral and sweet herbal notes and a hint of dark chocolate. It’s dry, mid-weight, smooth, firm and juicy with a little tartness on the finish. Decent length and good depth of flavour considering the price. Try with burgers, pizza or sausages.

Fleur Du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Western Cape, South Africa ($10.45 was $13.00)
Top50April, Delist
2017 is the best vintage I can recall of this juicy cabernet from the Cape. So grab some before they are all gone. It has none of the greenness that somewhat marred it in the past. It is a deep ruby red with dusty red cherry and black currant fruit aromas, toned by cranberry jelly and wood smoke. The palate is full-bodied and finely balanced with vibrant acidity and mild tannin. Good varietal character, good focus and very good length. Try with a steak.  Around 800 bottles remain.

Montes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($11.30 was $13.30)
This is a well balanced, fruity cabernet with a lifted nose that 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.

Lacour Tourny Bordeaux Red 2018, Bordeaux, France ($11.80)
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. Bottle age will improve it but who is going to cellar a $12 wine.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2019, Central Valley, Chile ($11.95)
New to Top50
After a couple of less than outstanding vintages the 2019 puts this back on track as one of the great pinot values again! Pinot authenticity, dare I suggest Burgundian style, as good as this is rare for $12! The nose shows fragrant cranberry and cherry fruit with nutmeg, smoke and mild oak spice with a fine earthy tone. There is some elegance and so much less confection than others that are this inexpensive, although there is a hint of sweetness on the palate. It’s mid-weight and very smooth with a soft yet balanced finish. Enjoy on its own or with a wide variety of meat, cheese and fish dishes. It is excellent with baked salmon.

Vina Tarapaca Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Maipo Valley ($13.95)
New to Top50
You get a lot for the money here from this fairly typical Maipo Valley cabernet which shows some elegance. It has a perfumed nose of cassis fruit with blackberry, mint, menthol and mild oak spice. It is mid-weight to full-bodied and is very smooth and finely balanced with very good length. It is plush and is drinking well now. Enjoy with BBQ or roast meats, cheese or maybe a steak.

Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Syrah 2019, Chile ($13.95)
New to Top50
Cono Sur has been gradually converting its vineyards in Chile to be organic for the last decade, so more of its wines are now organic like this elegant and complex blend of cabernet sauvignon (43%) with carmenere (35%) and syrah (22%). The nose shows cassis and black cherry fruit with mint, cedar meaty syrah notes with mild oak spice. More European than New World. It is medium to full-bodied with fine tannin and soft acidity for balance. Very good length. Classy and so inexpensive. Will benefit form medium term cellaring. Best 2021 to 2026. Enjoy with a steak

Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz 2018, Clare Valley, South Australia ($16.95 was $19.95)
New to Top50
This is a delicious, well structured and complex shiraz has most of the classic Aussie shiraz aromas and flavours that have made them so popular. Moreover, it has some elegance from soft lemony acidity and a velvety smooth palate. It is full-bodied but seems lighter. Expect ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit, nicely integrated with mint, coffee, oak spice, licorice, smoke and pepper aromas and flavours. Good focus and very good length.


Zaphy Organic Chardonnay 2019, Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina ($10.95 was $11.95)
New to Top50
This is a lovely rich creamy unoaked chardonnay with an appealing nose of white peach and mango fruit with lemon notes and mild warm spice. The smooth palate is well balanced with lots of flavour and very good length. Enjoy on its own lightly chilled or with a wide variety of seafood, veal or chicken dishes. Good focus.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand ($13.95 was $16.95)
New to Top50
This is a well balanced, mid-weight, elegantly styled Marlborough sauvignon with a juicy mouthwatering palate. The nose is bright with guava, lemon, fresh herbs and grapefruit with a subtle minty tone. The palate is vibrant and firm with a creamy texture and just enough acidity to balance the fruit sweetness. It is even and nicely focused with very good length and it finishes dry.

Chapoutier Belleruche White 2019, Cotes Du Rhone, Rhone Valley, France ($13.95 was $16.95)
This flavourful, unoaked white has an appealing nose of ripe pear and yellow plum fruit with lemon and honey and a chalky mineral tone. It is made from a blend of Rhone white grapes and has a firm, rich dry palate and is a pale onion skin colour, maybe indicating extended skin contact. It is mid-weight and very flavourful with the fruit well balanced. Elegant with a long and focused finish. Lovely, soft acidity and very good length. Try with sautéed pork or veal or a rich chicken dish.

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 two 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.
  • 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

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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