The LCBO’s best bottles of wine for $15 or less

The LCBO’s best bottles of wine for $15 or less

'Tis the season for sipping and sharing (and saving)

Yalumba 2016 the Y Series Viognier

$13.95 | South Australia | 89 Points

Great value from a viognier specialist, with a pure bloom that includes star anise, ginger, pineapple and lemon zest. It’s smooth and quite rich with a dry, warming finish. Chill well. LCBO 470062
 
 

The Wolftrap 2016 White

$13.95 | Western Cape, South Africa | 89 Points

A hefty, unoaked blend of viognier, chenin blanc and grenache blanc delivers tropical melon, mango, honeyed and floral notes. It’s full-bodied, viscous and rich, yet nicely dry and firm. Chill well. LCBO 292532
 
 

Cono Sur 2016 Bicicleta Viognier

$11 | Colchagua Valley, Chile | 88 Points

Viognier from the south of France has found a home in Chile. This is a fragrant example with exotic starfruit, lemon blossom and licorice. It’s vaguely sweet yet balanced by tart lemony acidity. Chill well. LCBO 64287
 
 

Marqués de Riscal 2016 Rueda

$12.80 | Rueda, Spain | 88 Points

Rueda has long been the home of verdejo, a hot varietal in north-central Spain. This light-bodied, dry and quite zesty white has lifted aromas of lemongrass, pineapple and vague spice. LCBO 36822
 
 

Santa Carolina 2016 Chardonnay Reserva

$12.05 | Leyda Valley, Chile | 88 Points

This ripe chardonnay punches above its weight with ripe pineapple, melon and hints of butter, spice and fresh herbs. It’s quite rich and balanced by fine acidity, delivered by the cooled Leyda region near the Pacific. Chill lightly. LCBO 304022
 
 

Torres 2016 Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc

$13.95 | Chile | 88 Points

The Torres family of Spain makes fine organic Chilean wines. This sauvignon blanc delivers intense, complex flavours of fresh dill, mild jalapeño, mint, anise and Japanese pear. It’s full-bodied with firm acidity. Chill well. LCBO 272609
 
 

Periquita 2016 White

$7.95 | Setúbal, Portugal | 87 Points

Huge value for the price. This fresh, exotic, subtropical three-grape blend has star anise, lemon, mint and floral notes. It’s a touch sweet but finishes dry, with some bitterness. Chill well. LCBO 377127
 
 

Quinta da Aveleda 2016 Vinho Verde

$11.95 | Portugal | 87 Points

From the green hills of northern Portugal comes a light-bodied, dry and squeaky-clean vinho verde. It’s like biting into a granny smith apple—crisp, tart, juicy. This wine is lightly spritzed, with a salty tang. Chill very well. LCBO 89995
 
 

Chapoutier 2016 Marius

$12.95 | Pays d’Oc, France | 89 Points

There’s huge value in a deep, southern French blend of grenache and syrah by this leading producer. It has great complexity, with cherry and plum jam, florals, cured meat, licorice and pepper. Still youthfully tannic. Now to 2021. LCBO 470096
 
 

Cusumano 2016 Syrah

$13.55 | Sicily, Italy | 89 Points

A bright purple, young syrah that oozes classic blackberry, floral notes, white pepper and licorice. It’s smooth, juicy style is delicious to drink now. Chill a little. Push the nifty glass cork up with your thumbs. LCBO 145490
 
 

Santa Carolina 2016 Merlot Reserva

$13.10 | Colchagua Valley, Chile | 89 Points

This is a ripe, smooth and almost plump merlot with classic black raspberry fruit nicely balanced by roasted herb and meaty notes. It’s quite full-bodied, fleshy and smooth with fine tannin. Impressive value. LCBO 324590
 
 

The Wolftrap 2015 Syrah Mourvedre Viognier

$13.95 | Western Cape, South Africa | 89 Points

One of the great values of modern South African winemaking, it rings with syrah authenticity—steeped in smoky oak, cured meat, olive brine, dark cherry and soy sauce–like notes. It’s full-bodied and fairly dense, with some alcohol heat, firm tannin and good length. LCBO 292557    
 
 

Borsao 2015 Garnacha

$11.95 | Campo de Borja, Spain | 88 Points

A tremendous value, this soft, creamy garnacha from northeast Spain has been blended with tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon to bring structure. It has cherry jam fruitiness, with pepper, herbal and cedar accents. Chill it a bit. LCBO 386961
 
 

Caparzo 2014 Sangiovese

$13.95 | Tuscany, Italy | 88 Points

This elegant, lighter chianti-like red captures typical sangiovese red currant fruit, florals and subtle meatiness. It flows nicely, with firm acidity and light tannin. Chill a little. Drink now through 2019. LCBO 361022
 
 

Emiliana 2015 Adobe Merlot

$12.95 | Rapel Valley, Chile | 88 Points

This is a ripe, smooth, generous and organically grown merlot with plum and raspberry notes nicely balanced by roasted herb, meat and background oak. Tannins are fine so enjoy now through 2020. LCBO 322024
 
 

Le Clairon des Anges 2015 Costieres de Nimes

$13.70 | Rhône Valley, France | 88 Points

This is a modern blend of grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, with lifted aromas of black pepper, currants, meaty notes and some fresh herbs. It’s medium-bodied and smooth with softening tannins. LCBO 441741
 
 

Luccarelli 2016 Primitivo

$10.95 | Puglia, Italy | 88 Points

Primitivo is the same grape as California’s zinfandel, and this example nicely shows its brambleberry, floral and subtle wood notes. It’s medium-full bodied, fairly warm, intense and sour edged with soft tannin. Now to 2020. LCBO 253856
 
 

Trapiche 2015 Broquel Malbec

$15 | Mendoza, Argentina | 88 Points

Traditional malbec styling gives full rein to savoury, cedary and black licorice notes—a result of aging 15 months in barrels. Fruit is very ripe, almost prune-like. It’s full, thick and smooth with an earthy, leathery finish. Now to 2020. LCBO 234385
 
 

Boschendal 2016 The Pavllion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

$11.95 | Western Cape, South Africa | 87 Points

This hearty red delivers impressive structure and complexity for the money. Solid, dense and balanced, it has notes of dried currant, cherry, smoked meat and pepper. Tannins are firm and drying. Now to 2020. LCBO 222299
 
 

Cantina de Negrar 2015 Corvina

$9.95 | Veneto, Italy | 87 Points

Corvina is the principle grape of Valpolicella. This is a fuity, ripe edition—enhanced by a very good vintage. Expect cherry fruit, spice and herbal flavours set in a smooth, rounder style, with light tannin. Chill a little. LCBO 519199
 
 

Farnese 2015 Fantini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

$8.45 | Abruzzo, Italy | 87 Points

This rustic but complex red from Italy’s Adriatic coast packs a lot of flavour for under $10. Cranberry and currant meld with notes of Italian sausage, pepper, cocoa, clove and forest floor. It’s medium-weight, a touch sweet and warm with easy, dusty tannin. LCBO 621912
 
 

La Belle Angele 2015 Merlot

$10.95 | France | 87 Points

A new generation of well-priced, modern, new world–style wines is appearing under the Vin de France designation. This simple, pleasant, plum- and berry-scented merlot is soft and easy to drink, with a touch of earthiness that defines it as French. LCBO 470039
 
 

La Vielle Ferme 2016 Ventoux

$12.45 | Rhône Valley, France | 87 Points

This is an easygoing yet complex young red with notes that are typical of the southern Rhône Valley, including pepper, anise and meat. It’s initially smooth, with heat and tannin building on the finish. Best 2018 to 2020. LCBO 263640
 
 

Lindeman’s 2015 Bin 99 Pinot Noir

$11.95 | Southeastern Australia | 87 Points

Good, inexpensive pinot is rare. This dandy example has good balance and complexity for $12. It has floral, confected cranberry and cherry jam notes flecked with cinnamon, mint and smoke. It’s light-bodied, smooth, a touch sweet yet balanced. Chill lightly. LCBO 458661
 
 

Santos Lima 2015 Bons Ventos

$12 | Lisboa, Portugal | 87 Points

The fragrant, spicy castelão grape anchors this blend. It has pretty, complex cedary, blackberry fruit and leather aromas. It’s fairly dense, sour-edged yet smooth with fine dusty tannin. Best now to 2020. LCBO 462051
 
 

Cavallina 2014 Nero d’Avola Shiraz

$8.95 | Sicily, Italy | 86 Points

Based on Sicily’s native nero d’avola, this mid-weight red offers fairly generous cherry-raspberry fruit, light mocha and vague peppery spice. A trace of sweetness is balanced by acidity and fine, dusty tannin. Chill a little. LCBO 74096
 
 

Cesari 2015 Adesso Merlot

$7.95 | Veneto, Italy | 86 Points

Simple, plummy and floral, this merlot has a smooth, soft centre and a dry finish. There’s not much complexity (no oak) or depth at $8, but the excellent 2015 vintage has padded fruit ripeness. Chill a little. LCBO 572453
 
 

Passion of Portugal 2015 Reserva

$8.45 | Lisboa, Portugal | 86 Points

This hearty red blends two Portuguese varieties with syrah, thus the deep colour. Aromas of plum, black cherry, pepper and clove are appealing. It’s fairly smooth, sour-edged and dense with fine-grained tannin. Now to 2019. LCBO 146449