Top Values at the LCBO (July 2021)

Amazing Wine Values From Chile

by Steve Thurlow

Thirteen of the wines on this month’s Top50 values at the LCBO list come from Chile. Moreover of those 13, ten scored 89+.

Wines from Chile have always been cheap ever since they first arrived at the LCBO in quantity in the late 80s. They have largely remained inexpensive but the quality has been steadily improving as they developed the most suitable vineyard sites for each variety throughout the country.

The Maipo Valley, close to Santiago, is still the source for many of the best cabernet sauvignons as it has been for a century or so. However, the cool-loving grape varieties now come from coastal regions and other varieties are grown on the most favourable soils in the most suitable climates.

Most of Chile’s vineyards are farmed sustainably and many are certified organic. Rigorous bio-security and its geographical isolation have kept out the dreaded phylloxera pest that destroyed Europe’s vineyards in the late 19th century, so that many vines are ungrafted, growing on their own roots.

Some of the world’s most space-age wineries can be found here and Chile’s winemakers are well trained and have managed to work out how to make fantastic wines from difficult varieties like carmenere, which was abandoned by French winemakers.

All this has contributed to its enviable position, for wine lovers at least, as a wine producer of choice for value.

I have chosen 12 wines from the Top50 Best Values at LCBO list to highlight this month. All 12 joined the list this month which has been updated to include new wines that I have tasted and to account for the LCBO discounts applicable for the upcoming period.


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So I assure you that you will drink great wine and will save money by reading on and by paying special attention to the four wines that are from Chile.

Though I have only chosen below 12 wines, 2 whites plus 10 reds, four of which come from Chile, I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List which includes 10 more wines from there.

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

  • 11 wines for less than $14.
  • Four discounted wines.
  • All wines below except one, scored 87 or more.

The current promotional period runs until July 18th, 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.


Reds

Pasqua Merlot 2019

Pasqua Merlot 2019 (1500 ml), Veneto, Italy ($15.10)
New to Top50
You get a lot for your money with this easy going midweight merlot provided you can handle the large bottle. It is a clean, lively light to midweight red with aromas of plum and cherry fruit with some herbal notes. It is dry and well balanced with a lingering dry finish. A versatile food wine. Try with pizza or meaty/cheesy pasta dishes. Good length.


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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 wines under the Wine tab on WineAlign.)

  • On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 130 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 an on-going WineAlign selection that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines. 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 and self-isolated for just a little while longer.

Steve Thurlow

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.

Top 50 Value Wines
Top 20 Under $20
Wines on Limited Time Offer


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