WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JULY 5, 2014
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Santa Ema Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Casablanca Valley, +369462, $15.95: if this price holds, then this is great value in a wooded chardonnay – toasty and warm, rich and ripe butter tones, tropicality too. But it may overwhelm subtle food. Long length lingers. 13.5% ABV. Snap it up, the deal of the summer, only 369 cases for the whole province...but leave some for me. QPR: 93.
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20
Vina Olabarri Gran Reserva 2005 Rioja, +329102, $24.95
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
1.Cave Spring Estate Chardonnay 2012 Cave Spring Vineyard VQA Beamsville Bench, +256552, $18.95: loaded with charm, 13% ABV, smoky and Ontario apple, some citrus, fruit on the mid-palate. QPR: 89.
2.Tawse Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2013 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +89029, $17.95: orchard fruit shines here (apples, pears, peaches) with off-dryness supported by a modest 10.5% ABV. Excellent sipper or with food, maybe a spritzer. QPR: 89.
3.Jean Bousquet Cameleon Torrontes/Chardonnay 2013 Tupungato Valley Mendoza, +375469, $13.95: a nifty torrontes, coupled with chardonnay (I suspect new vines, for more intense acid), to produce a dryish but highly fruity sipper or food wine. 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
4.San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Leyda Valley, +375212, $18.95: an excellent savvy hit, 13.5% ABV, twist top, very fresh, very food oriented on the finish. QPR: 89.
5.Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2011 Marlborough, +60129, $19.95: good gewurz with typical refreshing bitterness on the finish, twist top, 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Chateau Salmoniere Vieilles Vignes Muscat Sevre & Maine 2012 Sur Lie, +142380, $13.95: good depth from the vieilles vignes. The LCBO should be expanding this VV category of Loire wines. Twist top, 12% ABV, gold medalist. QPR: 89.
7.Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 PGI Florina Greece, +368464, $19.95: another excellent savvy, this time from Greece. Gold medalist, 13.5% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
1.Vizcarra Senda del Oro Roble 2011 DO Ribera del Duero, +331249, $19.95: rare to find value from Ribera under twenty bucks. Here it is dense and chunky with North American jammy appeal, 14.5% ABV, organic tempranillo grapes. QPR: 89.
2.Muruve Roble 2011 DO Toro, +280404, $13.95: a fruity and juicy joy with nine months of oak, and a blast at 16% ABV. BBQ definitely. QPR: 89.
3.Peique Tinto Mencia 2012 DO Bierzo, +219204, $15.95: with no oak, the delicious fruit stands out with some licorice tones. 14% ABV, affordable. QPR: 89.
4.Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mendoza, +143206, $16.95: a delicious Euro-style fruity wine, with "gran reserva" on the label but not spelled out in the catalogue. 14.5% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Syrah 2011 Single Vineyard Cachapoal Andes Chile: good Rhonish syrah hit from the older vines, 14.5% ABV, lovely finish for BBQ. QPR: 89.
6.De Martino Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2011 Maipo, +371096, $14.95: an excellent blend for the BBQ with the cab sauv being filled out by the malbec. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Barossa, +203158, $16.95: tops out at 15%, good cabby from Australia, twist top. MVC all the way. QPR: 89.
8.D'Alfonso del Sordo Guado San Leo Uva di Troia 2006 IGT Daunia Puglia: tasty, off-dry with dissolving tannins, one year in barrel, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Coltibuono Cancelli Rosso 2011 IGT Toscana, +920173, $15.95: a good value quaffer to stock up with, 14% ABV. Sangiovese and syrah tones shine through. QPR: 89.
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $20
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
1.Faustino V Reserva 2008 Rioja, +22798, $22.95 retail.
2.Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Short Hills Bench, +268391, $24.95
3.Red Rooster Reserve Meritage 2011 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +366187, $24.95
4.Hidden Bench Terroir Cache Meritage 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, +505610, $38.20
5.Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Shiraz 2007 Barossa Valley, +971705, $39.95
6.Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2012 WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, +931006, $34.95
7.Cave des Vignerons de Buxy Montagny Les Chaniots 1er cru 2010, +159020, $24.95
8.Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo 2006 IGT Toscana, +270256, $27.95
9.Masi Grandarella 2010 Appassimento IGT Refosco dell Venezie, +606921, $25.95