The LCBO’s best bargain wines
Standout bottles for under $16
Crudo 2017 Catarratto Zibibbo
$14.95 | Sicily, Italy | 90 Points
This organic beauty blends two Sicilian varieties—catarratto and zibibbo—and there is no mistaking the soaring floral, orange-lime and ginger scents, plus subtle spice. It is just off-dry, pristine and refreshing with impressive flavour depth. LCBO 528497.
Goats Do Roam 2017 White
$11.95 | Paarl, South Africa | 89 Points
Great value in a dry, almost exotic white based on viognier and other Rhône varieties. It’s full-bodied and has fragrant starfruit, lemon blossom, mint and licorice flavours, with balancing acidity and alcohol. LCBO 237313.
The Wolftrap 2017 White
$14.95 | Western Cape, South Africa | 89 Points
This blend of exotic Rhône varieties has been on a roll for years, with tropical aromas of melon, elderflower, lime blossom and a vague waxy note. It is full-bodied with plush texture, fresh acidity, subtle oak spice and warmth on the finish. LCBO 292532.
Yalumba 2017 The Y Series Viognier
$13.95 | South Australia | 89 Points
This leaner, unoaked wine, with an alluring viognier nose of star fruit, lemon, lavender, anise and white pepper, is medium weight, warm and fleshy, with considerable spice, lemon and evergreen on the finish. LCBO 470062.
Caliterra 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
$10.95 | Casablanca Valley, Chile | 88 Points
This restrained, well-balanced sauvignon has a cool cucumber nose with flecks of lime, fresh herbs and white pepper. It is medium-full-bodied, dry and refreshing with a solid herbal, almost mineral finish. LCBO 275909.
Cono Sur 2017 Organic Chardonnay
$13.95 | Maipo Valley, Chile | 88 Points
This is an organic, complex chardonnay with butteriness and gentle spice amid the melon, mango and yellow flower notes. It is medium weight, well rounded yet fresh and lively. LCBO 230565.
Domain La Hitaire 2017 La Petite Hitaire
$9.95 | Côtes de Gascogne, Southwest France | 88 Points
This complex, light, dry white blends ugni-blanc, colombard and gros manseng grapes to produce a wine with intriguing aromas, including peppery spice, pineapple, dried flowers and mint, and a hint of effervescence. LCBO 553925.
Mezzacorona 2017 Pinot Grigio
$12.95 | Trentino, Italy | 88 Points
From a higher altitude subalpine region, this stands out in the crowded field of pinot grigios. It is polished, fresh and balanced with good weight, richness and grapefruity bitterness on the finish. LCBO 302380.
Naso Contadino 2016 Fiano
$10.90 | Puglia, Italy | 88 Points
Fiano is an increasingly popular white grape native to southern Italy, where heat expresses tropical pineapple fruit among lemon and fresh herbal, almost evergreen scents. It is fairly rich, but dries out with a slightly bitter lemon-lime finish. LCBO 524694.
Rymill 2017 The Yearling Sauvignon Blanc
$14.25 | Coonawarra, South Australia | 88 Points
This frisky sauvignon is somewhat thin, but the aromas and flavours are intense and very appealing, with lime-orange citrus and some caper-like greenness, with a hint of spritz on the palate. LCBO 544098.
Bacalhoa 2017 JP Azeitao
$8.95 | Setúbal Peninsula, Portugal | 87 Points
This light, unoaked wine combines two fragrant native Portuguese varieties—moscatel graúdo and fernão pires—to create lifted lavender, tangerine and lime scents. It is light- to mid-weight, with just a hint of sweetness. LCBO 377101.
Canyon Road 2016 Chardonnay
$9.95 | Alexander Valley, California | 87 Points
Good flavour depth, complexity and authenticity for a California chardonnay at this price point, with typical tropical banana and melon fruit, clove and vanilla. It is medium weight and cushy. Chill well. LCBO 552513.
La Vielle Ferme Cotes Du Luberon 2017 Blanc
$12.45 | Luberon, France | 87 Points
This light-to-medium-bodied wine has a pretty, very clean nose of apricot-melon, yellow flowers and a touch of anise. It’s lively and well balanced, with good-to-very-good length, and some grapefruit-pith bitterness on the finish. LCBO 298505.
Bons Ventos 2016 Tinto
$10.75 | Lisbon, Portugal | 89 Points
This is a fine, sturdy red with complex cedar, mulberry, woodsy and floral notes. It is medium-full-bodied with firm acidity, juicy fruit and firm drying tannin, with very good length. Age for up to two years. LCBO 462051.
Borsao 2016 Garnacha
$11.95 | Campo di Borja, Spain | 89 Points
This delicious, soft garnacha-based blend includes cabernet and tempranillo to inject some structure. The nose recalls blueberry-raspberry compote, with notes of cedar, pepper and mint. LCBO 386961.
Cusumano 2017 Syrah
$13.95 | Sicily, Italy | 89 Points
This easygoing red showcases Sicily’s softer side, with classic dark cherry, smoked meat and vague pepper syrah character. The acid is low and the tannins and alcohol are in check, creating a pleasant ambiance, with plenty of depth. LCBO 145490.
Rymill 2015 The Yearling Cabernet Sauvignon
$14.25 | Coonawarra, South Australia | 89 Points
A delicious, fresh red with classic Coonawarra cabernet blackcurrant, mint, white chocolate and slight oak spice. It is mid-weight and fresh, not too tart or tannic. Accurate, clean and pleasing. LCBO 544080.
Bacalhoa 2017 JP Azeitao
$8.95 | Setúbal Peninsula, Portugal | 88 Points
A smooth blend of syrah and local castelão and aragonez from a coastal region south of Lisbon. Ripe blackberry-cherry jam fruit mixes with florals and subtle pepper and cedary wood. It is medium-full-bodied and smooth, with a hint of sweetness and warmth. LCBO 286195.
Bianchi Los Primos 2017 Malbec
$12.35 | San Rafael, Argentina | 88 Points
Bianchi is a leading winery in the large region south of Mendoza, and this wine offers ample evenness and depth. Expect red plum, mulberry, green tea and earthy aromas and flavours, with juicy acidity and fine tannins. LCBO 572123.
Chapoutier 2017 Marius
$12 | Languedoc-Roussillon, France | 88 Points
From a respected producer of the Rhône Valley, this blend of grenache and syrah is nicely smooth. It flirts with some sweetness but the finish is dry and a bit earthy, with aromas of blackberry and cherry jam, violets, vanilla and pepper. LCBO 470096.
Chateau La Barrade 2016 Cahors
$13.95 | Southwest France | 88 Points
Malbec’s success in Argentina is circling back to its homeland in France. This is more ripe, supple and fragrant than Cahors of old, with blueberry pie, herbal, earthy and vaguely woody notes. It is dark, full-bodied and creamy, with a tannic finish. LCBO 553933.
Cono Sur Bicicleta 2017 Pinot Noir
$11.95 | Chile | 88 Points
It’s hard to find a pinot this good for this price: fulsome, rounded and ripe with generous aromas of cranberry and raspberry jam, plus a touch of Chilean evergreen. It is medium weight, generous and energetic. LCBO 341602.
Emiliana Adobe 2016 Merlot
$13.15 | Rapel Valley, Chile | 88 Points
This organic red has a nicely lifted nose of currants, berries and evergreen, with a hint of pepper. It is medium-bodied and smooth yet lively, with soft tannins. LCBO 322024.
Louis Bernard 2017 Côtes Du Rhône
$13.95 | Rhône, France | 88 Points
This is a stylish, well-balanced young Rhône with good focus and complexity. Pleasant, classic black cherry and plum fruit is etched with pepper and shrubby notes. It is smooth and almost sweet, but it dries nicely on the finish. LCBO 581645.
Melini 2016 Chianti
$13.95 | Tuscany, Italy | 88 Points
This cohesive chianti is ready and appealing with raspberry and currant fruit, spice and some oak resin, with typical sangiovese acidity. Tannins are moderate, and the length is very good. LCBO 487728.
Nederburg 2016 Winemasters Shiraz
$13.95 | Western Cape, South Africa | 88 Points
South Africa does shiraz well, and this one has classic, complex licorice, smoked meat, vanilla, ripe black cherry and black pepper notes. It is full-bodied, dense and sinewy with drying tannin. Earthy and herbal on the finish. LCBO 527457.
Trapiche 2016 Pure Malbec
$15.95 | Mendoza, Argentina | 88 Points
Pure means no oak, so here’s an opportunity to hone in on natural malbec character. The fruit is wild red plum and mulberry, with dried herb and tea. It is medium-full-bodied, vibrant and balanced, with a hint of sweetness followed by green tannin and earthiness. LCBO 370924.
Cesari Adesso 2017 Merlot
$8.75 | Veneto, Italy | 87 Points
This bottle packs surprising flavour depth, complexity and richness for the price, with slightly meaty, nutty and sour cherry flavours that are distinctly Italian. It is medium-bodied, smooth and sour-edged with mellow tannin. LCBO 572453.