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Wine Picks November 21, 2009

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outisde the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Red Wine

Mission Hill Family Estate Select Lot Collection Syrah 2006, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: BC’s Nichol Vineyards took a gamble in 1990 by planting the first Syrah vines in Canada. Since then, wineries such as Mission Hill have taken the ball and run with it, producing terrific wines, such as this SLC. The terroir in BC means the wines are closer in style to the Rhône than Australia, which explains the use of Syrah and not Shiraz on labels. This example features classic blackberry, pepper and vanilla aromas and flavours. Age it 3-5 years, or enjoy it with many of the rich meals over Christmas. My note: Plummy, round, full-bodied and tasty! A mocha-espresso nose followed by lovely layers of black fleshy berries. Serve it to friends for a dinner party. 68379 13% XD 750 mL $36.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Irony Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: We are not being ironic when we tell you that this may be Napa Valley’s best bargain. Winner of a Silver Medal at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, this delightful Cabernet is designed for everyday enjoyment. Look for blackberry and red berry fruits as well as hints of floral and mint characteristics in this charming, well-balanced red. Serve it alongside homemade beef stew or rare roast beef. My note: A delicious, full-bodied red with mocha and blackberry notes. Lovely! 25106 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chakana Yaguareté Collection Malbec 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: A new vintage and a new label, but the same high-quality, value-priced Malbec from Chakana that we released on June 20, 2009. Made in what is quickly becoming the popular Argentine style, it is filled with berry and stone fruits (raspberry, blackberry and plum) and shows remarkable balance. There is a lot of pleasure to be had here. My note: Simple and tasty, but you can’t beat the price. Full-bodied with straight-forward notes of black plums and berries. Knock it back! Malbec food pairings: back ribs, grilled steak. 3509 14% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. November 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Valle Las Acequias Correas Las Acequias Malbec 2005, Mendoza, Argentina: Robust, rustic and full-bodied with big, hulking aromas of blackberries and black plums. Dark chocolate on the finish with some blackberry preserves. Vanilla spice gives it a kick. 138412 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alamos Selección, The Wines Of Catena Pinot Noir 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: This lovely Pinot from Mendoza shows his pre-diction is truly bearing fruit. Aged for nine months in 100% French oak, it displays aromas of ripe red fruits interlaced with touches of spice and toast all of which are fluently articulated on the palate and pleasing finish. Food’s best friend. My note: A gorgeous Pinot with lovely aromas of ripe cherries and strawberries. Silky, seductive and so enticing. Love it! Pinot Noir food pairings: roast chicken, beef bourguignon. 143172 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Carolina Reserva De Familia Carmenère 2007, Rapel Valley, Chile: Somewhat herbaceous on the nose with lovely dark plums and blackberries to follow. Dense and concentrated with a warm finish. 34942 15% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, South Australia, Australia: Classic Cab flavors: cassis, blackcurrant and blackberry with a lovely smoky blanket. Terrific balance, depth, length and mouth-watering wonder. 414987 14% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penley Estate Condor Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: Juicy, round and tasty with rich aromas of fleshy black plums and blackberries. The blend is 77% Shiraz and 23% cabernet sauvignon. 731893 15% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Blackberry liqueur with black raspberry and spices. Mouth-watering, juicy and luscious. Supple and silky and full-bodied. 927533 15.2% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: It’s back! This well-made and well-priced Pinot won a Gold Medal at the 2009 San Francisco Inter-national Wine Competition. Dry, medium bodied with bright red fruit flavours balanced by zesty acidity, this is a ready-to-drink. My note: A dependably delicious Pinot with notes of pleasingly tart cherries, plums and mocha. Supple, and smooth with lots of flavour. Pinot Noir food pairings: stuffed veal tenderloin, roast turkey. 590414 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torlesse Pinot Noir 2008, Waipara, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand: A lovely juicy pinot with fleshy cherries and a lively acidity. Terrific! 699330 13.5% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cathedral Cellar Kwv Merlot 2006, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: My note: KWV’s Cathedral Cellar wines have proven immensely popular, and this 2006 Merlot provides yet another reason why. There are loads of spicy red berry, cherry and vanilla aromas. Dry, fruity, and ably balanced by moderate tannins. Age it 2-4 years, or try it tonight. My note: Cool minty nose rides atop fleshy black plums. The depth of flavour continues on your palate: let it roll! Full-bodied and lip-smacking delicious. Merlot food pairings: grilled gourmet sausages. 522219 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Tour De Castres Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C., Graves, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A Bordeaux from the universally acclaimed 2005 vintage at a terrific price. A supple, lively wine with aromas of plum, floral, tobacco, blackcurrant and spice. Dry and quite fruity with moderate tannins to give it balance. Perfect for those who enjoy New World wines, but want to explore Bordeaux. Medium bodied with a very lengthy finish. Enjoy it tonight. My note: Delicious, with a rich dark chocolate nose followed by fleshy dark berries and cassis. Full-bodied and supple. Terrific balance. Great price for good Bordeaux from a terrific vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: grilled lamb chops, gourmet sausages. 138842 12.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perrin L'andéol Rasteau Grenache Syrah 2007, A.C., Cote Du Rhône-Villages, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Racy black cherry and blackberry notes, with mouth-watering cedar, smoke, and pepper. This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah. 976845 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Galévan Paroles De Femme Grenache Mourvèdre Cinsault Carignan 2007, A.C., Cote Du Rhône, France: This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Carignan grapes. Ooh-la-la! A river of black cherry liqueur punctuated with hickory smoke, dried herbs, bacon fat and black raspberry jam. Drink: 2009 - 2014 125930 14.5% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rocca Maura Lirac Les Vignerons De Roquemaure Grenache Mourvèdre Syrah Cinsaut 2007, A.C., Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Lirac wines must contain at least 40% Grenache with Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsaut in support. This example features aromas of sour cherry, raspberry, and garrigue (i.e., the smell of rosemary, thyme, sage and lemon verbena that pervades the air of the Rhône and Midi). Dry, juicy fruity, with a long, spicy, finely balanced finish. My note: Rustic and tasty! Notes of black cherry and cedar cuddle up with some smoky blackberries. Grenache Mourvèdre Syrah Cinsaut food pairings: Asian beef stir-fries. 142737 14.4% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta San Mauro Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2004, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: A Barbaresco that proves not all Nebbiolos need serious cellaring time. Aromas are rife with raspberry, cocoa and coconut. Dry with fine aroma replays, plus moderate tannins bringing balance and structure. Yet the tannins do not overwhelm this pretty wine; they partner the fruit beautifully. Cellar it 3-5 years or enjoy it tonight. My note: Tannic and robust with edgy aromas of red and blackcurrant, black cherry, truffle. Some spice box on the finish. Needs time. Barbaresco Nebbiolo food pairings: roast beef with root vegetables and mashed potatoes. Drink: 2011 - 2016 135616 14.1% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Valpantena Torre Del Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso 2006, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: A simple, rustic, delicious, wine with mouth-watering red plums, cherries and berries. Full-bodied and smooth. Valpolicella Ripasso food pairings: chipotle chili, spicy chicken, rib roast, fried chicken. 642421 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta Sant'antonio Monti Garbi Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2007, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Another fine wine made using the Ripasso method. Plum, fig, raisin and dark chocolate aromas dominate this well-made wine. There’s even a touch of smoked meat too. Dry, flavourful and with good balance. Full bodied with a lingering fruity, smoky finish. Try it with a rich meat-based pasta dish. My note: extremely tasting and mouth-awakening with vibrant flavours of cherry and mocha. Full-bodied and lip-smacking delicious. 29850 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sexy Fitapreta Vinho Tinto Touriga Nacional Syrah Aragónes Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Blending local and indigenous grapes to create a new style of wine is becoming a Portuguese specialty, and this Gold Medal- winning wine is a fine example. This combo of Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Aragónes and Cabernet Sauvignon is appropriately named. Attractive raspberry, blackcurrant, plum and a hint of black olive aromas are front and centre. Juicy and balanced with an appealingly dry finish. My note: I didn’t want to recommend this wine since it seemed so heavy-handed on the marketing. But alas there are attractive black plums and berry aromas. Round and full-bodied, it’s darn tasty. Of course, it makes a fun joke label gift to the appropriate person (be careful). Touriga Nacional Syrah Aragónes Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steaks, roast beef, lamb shanks. 144485 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Do Vale Da Perdiz Reserva Cistus 2005, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Chewy with tasty flavors of blackberry jam, fleshy black plums and some dark spice. A cedar fresh finish. 145052 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caves São João Frei João Baga 2006, D.O.C., Bairrada, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: The deeply coloured, fragrant and tannic Baga grape accounts for 90% of all red wines in the Bairrada district. This version successfully tames the tannins without sacrificing the fruit. Cherry, new leather, black plum and raspberry are the prime aromas here. Dry with plump fruit that is balanced ably by moderate tannins and soft acids. Cellar it short term (1-3 years). My note: rustic and tannic with tasty notes of blackberry and cedar. Full-bodied. Knock it back! Baga food pairings: rich meat-based pasta dishes, slow-cooked roast beef. 144469 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Reserva 2003, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: A pretty, light and aromatic wine with aromas and flavours that recall spring flowers, blueberry and mineral. This dry and fruity wine is excellent. My note: Love the spicy, juicy vibrancy of this red with mouth-awakening notes of tart piquant and raspberry, and a lovely violet-infused finish. Food pairings: fish, veal medallions in wine sauce. 335208 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cuatro Pasos 2007, D.O., Bierzo, Spain: A dense and brooding wine with blueberry jam, smoke, dried herbs and kirsch. 39313 13.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Vendimia Palacios Remondo Tempranillo Garnacha 2008, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine is simultaneously modern and old school. Modern, because this fresh, bright, flavourful red is the product of a cutting-edge winery; old school, because it’s made with a higher percentage of Garnacha — a practice more common in Rioja Baja where superstar winemaker, Alvaro Palacios, is from. The blend here is 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha. Look for aromas of blackberry jam, fresh raspberry and a hint of Mediterranean country herbs (a.k.a. garrigue). Enjoy this wine. It will also age gracefully for 4+ years. My note: A juicy, generous and voluptuous red with rich, round notes of black plums and berries. Full-bodied and smooth. Tempranillo Garnacha food pairings: beef ragout, grilled liver and onions. 674564 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castillo Labastida Reserva Tempranillo 2004, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Spanish wines may just offer the best value-for-money in all of Europe. This Reserva from Rioja, the heart of Spain’s winemaking culture, is mellowed enough by its extended ageing to enjoy now, but it will also reward cellaring for another decade. My note: This wine is made from the Tempranillo grape and was matured for 16 months in French and American oak. Lovely notes of black cherry, leather, violets and cigar box. More than flavor, this wine excels in texture: supple, soft and caressing: it’s spectacular. Long finish. Drink: 2009 - 2012 95125 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: The winery’s flagship Le Grand Clos has been key to its meteoric success. Extremely limited, this regal wine is made with only the very best fruit from the estate’s principal vineyard. With Thomas Bachelder recently named ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2009 Ontario Wine Awards and the 2007 vintage universally declared the best ever in Ontario, this super-premium Pinot is destined to be one of the finest and purest expressions of Niagara terroir. My note: Ultra-complex and luxurious: sit back and let it wash over you (though don’t spill a precious drip of this wine). Fleshy black cherry, redcurrant, vanilla-spice and cigar box. Stunning! 34553 13.5% D 750 mL $70.00 Score: 95/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2007, V.Q.A., Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Tawse’s state-of-the-art, gravity-fed facility is one of the most sophisticated wineries in all of Niagara and their wines are equally jaw-dropping. The very definition of artisanal winemaking, there’s no cutting corners at Tawse. This expressive Cab Franc shows that true greatness starts in the vineyard. My note: Spectacular Cab Franc! Let go of your dated notions that Niagara Cab Franc tastes vegetal and like bell peppers: this one (and others I’ve tried lately) is wonderful. Deep, rich inviting layers of fleshy blackberry fruit, supple, full-bodied texture and a mocha-infused finish. Gorgeous! Drink: 2009 - 2016 130997 13% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elderton Command Single Vineyard Shiraz 2005, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Often ranked among the best wines in the world, this blockbuster Shiraz is sourced from vines planted circa 1904. This latest vintage, like many of its predecessors, flirts with a 100-point score. My note: Gorgeous with rich layers of dark fruit. The texture and length are stunning. This wine was aged in French and American oak barrels. 716142 14.5% D 750 mL $89.95 Score: 96/100. November 2009. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines The Futures Shiraz 2006, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: A classic and balanced Australian Shiraz; a benchmark of its kind. Lovely aromas of Blackberry, smoky oak, plums. This wine won a Gold Medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2008 in London. 606780 14.5% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 94/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel Pierre Perrin Mourvèdre Grenache 2007, A.C., Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The Southern Rhône is known for many outstanding wines, but the undisputed king of the castle is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The legendary Château Beaucastel is the jewel in the crown of the Perrin family. Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes are 65% of the blend. Towering and massively complex and flavourful. This is the wine to crack open for anniversaries and big deal signings. Loaded with aromas of black cherry liqueur, cedar smoke, dried herbs, tobacco, black raspberry jam. Stunning. Drink: 2009 - 2025 968750 14.5% XD 375 mL $46.95 Score: 95/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel Pierre Perrin Mourvèdre Grenache 2007, A.C., Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The Southern Rhône is known for many outstanding wines, but the undisputed king of the castle is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The legendary Château Beaucastel is the jewel in the crown of the Perrin family. Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes are 65% of the blend. Towering and massively complex and flavourful. This is the wine to crack open for anniversaries and big deal signings. Loaded with aromas of black cherry liqueur, cedar smoke, dried herbs, tobacco, black raspberry jam. Stunning. Drink: 2009 - 2025 711317 14.5% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 95/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luce Della Merlot Sangiovese 2006, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: What began as a collaboration between two winemaking families — Tuscany’s Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi and Napa Valley’s Robert Mondavi — has evolved into one of Italy’s most sought-after and recognizable wines. Now solely the responsibility of the Frescobaldi’s, this unique blend of Merlot and Sangiovese continues to build on its stellar reputation. My note: This wine makes me break into “That’s amore!” Oh my stars this is a fantastic wine: balance, depth, length; it’s got it all. Loaded with black cherry, blackberry preserves and dark spices with a smoky finish. Drink: 2009 - 2025 685263 12.5% XD 750 mL $99.95 Score: 96/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lena Di Mezzo Amarone Della Valpolicella 2006, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Amarone is the great red wine of Veneto. These rich, mouth-filling wines are delicious and seductive in their youth, but are even more delectable as they mature. Table or cellar, it’s up to you. Whenever you do decide to unleash this beauty’s power and charm, it will make for a dazzling finale to a grand meal. This is classic Amarone with plum, coffee, dark chocolate and black cherry aromas and a palate that is dry, full, rich, flavourful, impeccably balanced and deeply delicious. The finish rounds out the whole package: big fruit, velvety and a rich, long finish. My note: Powerful and deeply extracted with a black river of cherry liqueur followed by blackberry jam and dark spices. Full-bodied doesn’t begin to describe it. Amarone Della Valpolicella food pairings: aged Parmigiano-Reggiano. 134528 15.5% D 750 mL $44.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Atalaya Almansa Monastrell Garnacha Tintorera 2007, D.O., Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: The relatively recent modernization of Spain’s wine industry has resulted in an explosion of thrilling and stylish wines from established regions as well as previously undiscovered ones such as Almansa. My note: A wine that makes you stop talking and look down at your glass and say, oh. Gorgeous layers of blackberry, violets galore, truffles (not the chocolate kind), and smoke. This wine is a blend of Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera, and other red grapes, and was matured for eight months in French and American oak. Drink: 2009 - 2014 132605 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Cristal Brut, Louis Roederer Champagne 2002, A.C., Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Louis Roederer’s Cristal is one of the world’s most famous Champagnes, adored by celebrities and civilians alike. It demands fine foods like caviar or steamed shellfish. My note A fabulous sparkling wine with lovely notes of fresh brioche, hazelnut and green apples. A long, satisfying finish. Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. 268755 12.5% XD 750 mL $286.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Favourite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Le Clos Jordanne’s top cru Chardonnay is sourced from the best lots in the western portion of the Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard. This gorgeous wine always dazzles with its intensely pure and rich fruit flavours layered with creamy vanilla, hazelnut, smoke and minerality. The 2007 vintage is highly anticipated and could set a new benchmark for Niagara Chardonnay. A welcome prize for any cellar. My note: Hazelnut-apple heaven! Luscious layers of green apple, smoke, toasted almond. Drink: 2009 - 2018 34561 14% D 750 mL $65.00 Score: 95/100. November 2009. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Toasted Barrel Head Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: This Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley achieves an impressive balance of refreshing liveliness and depth. Look for aromas of apple, citrus blossom, cinnamon and clove spice. It has a rich mouth-feel with good aroma replays. The oak is gently handled, adding a layer of complexity. My note: A pleasant, full-bodied Chardonnay with notes of butter, oak and green apples. Chardonnay food pairings: herb-roasted chicken. 686840 14.5% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loredona Pinot Grigio 2008, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Fresh and elegant, the Loredona Pinot Grigio is an exceptional sipping wine that’s perfect for Sunday brunches. Bursting with tangerine, lemon and other citrus fruit flavours. My note: Clean and refreshing with white grapefruit and lime notes. Terrific aperitif. Pinot Grigio food pairings: grilled white fish with lemon and fresh herbs. 59188 13.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro El Triangulo Vineyard, Winemaker's Lot 14 Chardonnay 2008, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: This vibrant Chardonnay is a terrific value. Complex and elegant, it is bursting with citrus and tropical fruit flavours balanced by racy acidity. It’s full bodied and round with a lengthy finish. My note: Nicely done! Good mouth-watering acidity with some rich butternut flavors. Full-bodied but not heavy. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled seafood, stuffed roast chicken. 30940 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elderton Friends Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Elderton’s first vintage of a classic white blend. This Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon emulates the great white wines of Bordeaux, but with Down Under flair. Given short barrel ageing in French oak, this wine features pretty grass, passion fruit and apple aromas. Dry, clean and crisp, this is an excellent palate refresher. My note: Very pleasing with lovely notes of lemon zest, chives, green apple. Mouth-watering and refreshing. Clean finish. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon food pairings: grilled king fish with a garam masala, black pepper and kosher salt rub. 141283 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mount Riley Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Herbal and grassy good, with lovely mouth-watering juiciness. Terrific price for this quality and taste. 981670 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terres Blanches Cave Des Vignerons De Frontignan Muscat Sec 2008, Vin De Pays D'oc, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Don’t know much about Muscat? Well, here’s a perfect place to start. This dry wine is an exceptional value, and it also shows many of the aromatic qualities that make Muscat so attractive: orange blossom, table grapes, red grapefruit and peach. My note: orange blossom and zest all the way! Lovely and exotically enticing with white peach and spices. Muscat Sec food pairings: barbecued chicken, pork chops, spicy Asian dishes. 653188 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kurt Darting Riesling Kabinett 2007, Q.M.P., Dürkheimer Michelsberg, Pfalz, Germany: Oh joy! Ripe peaches and pears and apricot jam and marmalade. Terrifically tasty with some sweetness but not cloying. 950212 10% MD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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