Barolo at LCBO - under $40
Let me make this easier for you. Here are the choices I have under $40 at LCBO:
Fontanafredda (5 bonus air miles!)
These are all found in Vintages section under $40:
Elio Filippino La Morra 2001
Silvio Grasso pi vigne 1999
Giacomo Fenocchio bussia 2001
Tenuta Rocca 2001
Andrea Oberto 2001
Fontanafredda Serralunga D'Alba 2001 (I also saw this recommended in Toronto Life I think)
Now what's the verdict?
The LCBO website has reviews on all of the above. The Silvio Grasso one got a 92 from Wine Spectator. Tenuta Rocca got Best in Class and Silver Medal at some competition. Andrea Oberto got a 91 from someone else. It's actually nice that LCBO tries to include this info in their short blurbs.
re: Food Tourist
Vintages only uses ratings that suit their purpose, and they pull them out of context.
That said, the Silvio Grasso may be the one, with a good rating and some age. There is only one bottle available, which is also the case for the Andrea Oberto. You would have to call the stores to have one set aside. The Tenuta Rocca is sold out. The others are available and can be sent to your local outlet two weeks after release date. Google each for more information. I note that the Fontanafredda is in my local store (Brock Rd.) and you could call the Vintages consultant, Peter, for a really good opinion.
A decent Barolo is hard to come by at that price range. Nebbiolo is very hard and expensive to grow, and really only a handful of areas do justice to the grape. For cheaper options, you could look for a Veltellina, which is a Nebbiolo based wine from Lombardy. They're usually not as massive as a Barolo or Barbaresco, but would fit into your price range. You can also look to southern italy for wines based on the Aglianico grape which is both acidic and massively tannic like Nebbiolo. Aglianico del Vulture or Taurasi (called the Barolo of the south) are wine categories that might fit your price range as well.
you can definitely find some producers for under 40 bones, the thing is most of them will need some cellaring. i find barolo the most intimidating of all the varietals, i never know how to approach them so generally i stay away unless i know the producer quite well or someone is guiding me. ive tried some exceptional ones Poderi Luigi and Paolo Scavino being the standouts and both were 2001 and in the $50-60 range but barolo's definitely get much better with age so if you find some steals i suggest sitting on a few for a while.
The least expensive Barolo by FontaFredda at the LCBO for years was not worth the effort to call it a Barolo. You should really talk to some wine consultants and be on top of Vintage releases. Insideman is correct in acquiring Barolo in the price range he suggests, at least $ 50 to $60 ( or even more ) --- problem is the Barolo will taste tremendous but be full of wonderful bitter tannins as he mentions! Unfortunately the best situation is to buy a case, enjoy 1, enjoy another in 6 months or so, another in a year later etc., and watch the wine develop to it's incredible potential, heavenly in all cases!!!