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Vintages Release November 7, 2009

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Dessert Wine

Offley Late Bottled Vintage, Btld. In 2008 Port 2004, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a complex and intricate LBV Port that features plenty of rich cherry, mixed berry, licorice and chocolate flavours. It pairs nicely with fine cheeses or chocolate desserts, and also makes a lovely dessert on its own. Ready to drink now, it should be served lightly chilled. My note: Deep plumy-purple goodness with rich brambleberry notes. Terrific! 70086 20% S 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Le Clos Jordanne winemaker Thomas Bachelder has helped take Ontario wines to the next level with his terroir-driven Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. He was honoured as 2009’s Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. Now in just their third vintage, his single-vineyard wines are a revelation. The deeply coloured Claystone Terrace Pinot is typically the most muscular in style, a trait Bachelder attributes to the rich clay soil. The 2007 vintage is being hailed as the best ever in Ontario, so this intense Pinot from the master himself should hit the quality stratosphere and be eminently age-worthy. My note: One of my favourite Pinot Noir producers in Canada, and this particular Pinot is my favourite of those that this winery produces: stylish, full-flavoured without being heavy, judiciously woven oak. Gorgeous notes of black cherry, beetroot and fresh-turned earth. One for now or for the cellar Drink: 2009 - 2018 33951 13.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Maipo Reserva Merlot 2008, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Aromatic Merlot with tons of red fruit, spice box and blackberry aromas. Dry with lots of fruit and oak but in perfect balance as both elements are strong enough to completely complement each other. Medium-bodied with a substantial fruit/oak finish. My note: Loaded with blackberry goodness, blackcurrant and peppered plums. Absolutely terrific! Merlot food pairings: grilled steaks, gourmet sausages. 135236 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Quebrada De Agua Vineyard, Winemaker's Lot 115 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, D.O., Maule Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: A vibrant Cabernet that shows what Chile can do with this classic variety. Loads of cassis, ground coffee, spice and toasty oak aromas are front and centre. However, this is in no way a jam fest. The fruit is upfront, but there’s also a remarkable elegance here, thanks to the balance between the fruit and tannins. Try this full-bodied, long-finishing wine. My note: Mocha-rich red with blackberry, cassis and dark spices. Full-bodied and delicious! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak marinated with olive oil, high-grade sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 30965 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pirramimma Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: A robust and luscious red with blackberry with savoury bacon fat notes. 730374 14.5% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grant Burge Old Vine Shiraz 2007, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The Filsell vineyard is considered one of the best in the Barossa Valley, with vines that are nearly a century old. This powerful Shiraz is the not-so-little brother to Burge’s flagship Meshach, which is also sourced from Filsell. Dark, deep, layered and intense, this is premium Barossa Shiraz. It will benefit from 5-10 years in a good cellar, but if you can’t wait, serve it with an equally impressive dish. My note: Rich and redolent with lovely notes of mocha-plums, blackberry and cherry liqueur. Bring it on! Shiraz food pairings: braised lamb shanks with caramelized onions and shallots. 987453 15% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Graham Beck Gamekeeper's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, W.O., Robertson, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: The Gamekeeper’s Reserve supports Graham Beck’s commitment to conservation and bio-diversity. The winery uses proceeds from this wine’s sales to fund a wildlife conservancy, which helps protect several endangered species on the estate. This delicious Cab is brimming with aromas of blueberries and blackberries, cedar, spices and leather. It’s dry with ripe black-fruit flavours, toasty oak and supple tannins. My note: Love it! Big ole hulking Cab with gorgeous flavours of blackberry, black plum and haunting dark spices. Juicy and full-bodied with flavors that roll on and on. Yum. 2519 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Les Roches De Ferrand Rémy Rousselot Merlot Blend 2005, A.C., Fronsac, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Winner of a Gold Medal at the Concours de Bordeaux 2008. This Merlot-based cuvée is deep ruby in colour, with aromas of cherries, sweet herbs, black plum, tobacco and pencil lead. Plump and juicy, it’s dry, medium-bodied with good fruit replays and sweet oak on the palate supported by firm tannins and culminating in an extraordinarily long, spicy finish. My note: A robust and deep red with rich lovely layers of black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant. All wrapped in a smoky blanket and placed lovingly in a cigar box. Sit back and make your world domination plans. Drink: 2009 - 2016 138669 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dame De Briante Domaine De Saint Ennemond, Christian Et Marie Bereziat Gamay 2007, A.C., Brouilly, Beaujolais, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Hot on the heels of the success of the 2006 vintage, the 2007 version of Dame de Briante is another stunning Gamay. Showing seductive aromas of sweet black cherries, black plum and baking spices, it’s dry with a medium-plus body, soft and supple texture, and a fairly long, crisp finish. The aromas replay nicely on the palate with an added touch of creamy vanilla. A solid value for Cru Beaujolais. My note: A happy, simple, country wine with bright ripe field strawberry notes and mouth-watering acidity. Medium-bodied and a splashy chick of cherry on the finish. What fun! Gamay food pairings: roasted veal with a Dijon mustard rub. 87429 13.4% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau de Fontenelles Cuvée Notre Dame 2007, A.C., Corbières, Midi, France: This wine won a Gold Medal at the Concours des Grands Vins de France 2008. Packed with flavour! Raspberry-blackberry jam cradled in a cedar forest. Drink it in, close your eyes and let your mind drift. Full-bodied and stunningly tasty. Great party wine. Fancy label makes it a deceptively expensive-looking gift (!) Decant for 1-2 hours. Drink: 2009 - 2012 106518 13% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre Amadieu La Grangelière Syrah 2007, A.C., Vacqueyras, Rhône, France: Lovely red and black berry fruit with some violets and dark spices tucked I between. Full-bodied, deep and rich. Drink: 2009 - 2016 76398 14.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jorio Umani Ronchi Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2007, D.O.C., Abruzzo, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Made with 100% Montepulciano grapes, this supple medium-bodied red is aged in Slovenian oak for 11 months. An exceptionally food-friendly wine and a terrific value to boot, it typically features bright plum, cherry and raspberry fruit as well as notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and earth. Bright acidity and fine tannins hold it all together. My note: Simple and delicious with full-bodied flavors of mocha and black plum. Supple and mouth-watering. Terrific. Montepulciano D'abruzzo food pairings: roast pork tenderloin. 134577 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fontanafredda Coste Rubín Nebbiolo 2005, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Tannic and powerful with blackberry and black plum with chewy density and fruit concentration. 500827 14% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Antinori Pèppoli Riserva Chianti Classico 2005, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Bordeaux-like in stature, grace and finesse, Italian in power, passion and depth. Outstanding for the money. Great depths of pure blackberry extraction with a core of black cherry kirsch, violets, leather and dark spices. Drink: 2009 - 2020 512384 13.5% XD 750 mL $35.95 Score: 94/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Poggio Al Tufo Tommasi Alicante 2007, I.G.T., Maremma, Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Alicante is an extremely rare sort of grape, in that not only is its skin red, but so is the pulp; in fact, it is the only Vitis vinifera grape that is red-fleshed. It typically produces wines that are deeply coloured. My note: Strong cedar forest notes with some medicinal bandaid. Black plums and tart blackberries. Different but interesting. Full-bodied. 70797 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 87/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sassicaia Bolgheri-Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido Cabernet blend 2006, D.O.C., Tuscany, Italy: Spectacular that is deceptively subtle but leaves you thinking for days (or at least it did for me). Resplendent aromas of violets, aged leather, fresh turned earth and black cherry. Drink: 2010 - 2025 480533 13.5% XD 750 mL $184.95 Score: 98/100. November 2009. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Sughere Di Frassinello Rocca Di Frassinello Sangiovese 2006, I.G.T., Maremma, Tuscany, Italy: Mouth-watering with great wallops of black cherry and spice, followed by hedonistic bundles of espresso, dark spice and blackberry. Classic cassis-infused finish. Superb. Drink: 2010 - 2016 25700 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Classico Valpolicella Amarone Della 2005, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Black cherry liqueur runs through this powerfully concentrated red, with some blackberry jam notes and cedar spice. Silky and full-bodied. Drink: 2009 - 2016 356220 15% D 750 mL $49.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castell Del Remei Gotim Bru Tempranillo Cabernet Merlot Grenache 2006, D.O., Costers Del Segre, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Tempranillo, Cabernet, Merlot and Grenache blend that has resulted in a pretty, fruity wine with aromas of red currants, raspberry, strawberry and a hint of earth. Dry and flavourful, this wine is brought nicely into line by a good seam of acidity. My note: Plummy, rich and delicious with full-bodied roundness and flavor. Blackcurrant and blackberry roll to the finish. Tempranillo Cabernet Merlot Grenache food pairings: roast beef and mashed potatoes, top-grade smoked meat sandwiches. 982736 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Escondido Bodega La Milagrosa Tempranillo 2006, D.O., Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This is another great value from Spain. 100% Tempranillo sourced from very old vines, it’s deep ruby in colour, with aromas of mixed berry fruit and roasted coffee. Dry, medium-bodied, creamy textured and well-balanced with ripe, brambly berry flavours replaying on the palate. My: Simple and delicious with dark chocolate and fleshy black plum notes. Full-bodied, supple and round. Tempranillo food pairings: roast lamb, roasted stuffed peppers, vegetable casseroles. 132597 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Argento Reserva Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Argento’s Reserva Malbec offers unbelievable value. The purple-coloured 2008 features ripe raspberry, black cherry and sandalwood aromas, leading to a medium full body featuring more ripe berry fruit flavours and hints of cocoa, supported by mild tannins. Toasty oak notes are prominent on the medium-long finish. My note: Simple and full-bodied with black fruit. Malbec food pairings: Kobe beef sliders, lamb samosas. 135160 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 85/100. November 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montes Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Deep and delicious with lovely complexity and long finish. Purple and black plums and blackberry jam. Dried tobacco leaves and cigar box. An espresso finish. 322586 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Guillou Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils Merlot Blend 2006, A.C., Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: This won a Gold Medal at the Concours Géneral Agricole 2008 in Paris. A rustic, tannic red that has tasty notes of cedar forest and black cherry. Great balance. Decant for 2 hours to smooth out. 140483 13.1% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde Syrah Mourvèdre 2006, A.C., Minervois, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The sun-kissed Minervois region in the South of France produces juicy and flavourful wines that over-deliver on quality and value. This always popular blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre is packed with black cherry, plum, and pomegranate aromas with a touch of spice. It’s dry, medium bodied with ripe cherry, strawberry and black fruit flavours balanced by cedary oak notes. My note: Terrific value, taste and quality for the money! Juicy, full-bodied and packed with blackberry, dark spices and some pepper. Fleshy black plums are ever so tasty. Supple but could benefit from 1 hour of decanting. Syrah Mourvèdre food pairings: lamb appetizers, beef stew with dumplings. 958629 12.9% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rocca Delle Macìe Riserva Chianti 2005, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Yummy! Mocha and black plum followed by brambleberry and blueberry jam. Terrifically tasty with a bacon-savory finish. 111641 13.9% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Vignerons du Castelas Cotes Du Rhone 2007, Southern Rhone, France: Fantastically tasty, with deep rich notes of black raspberry, blackberry, cedar and pepper. I love Rhone wines: they're full-bodied and packed with flavour but never heavy, usually balanced. This one has a vibrancy I adore. 142125 13.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodegas Castano La Casona Monastrell 2007, Yecla, Spain: Terrific peppered plum aromas with some cedar in the background. Full-bodied, rich and delicious with supple layers of ripe backberry fruit. Fantastic price. La Casona Monastrell food pairings: Grilled or barbecued foods, flavourful soft and semi-soft cheeses.. Drink: 2011 - 2013 143743 13.5% XD 750 mL $8.95 Score: 87/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Sauvignon Blanc 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Clean Sauvignon Blanc flavours that veer more to the citrus than to the herbal: notes of lime and lemon zest. Refreshing and crisp. 117556 12% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 87/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Gewürztraminer 2008, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Classic Gewurztraminer with concentrated notes of lychee, rose petal and spice box. Full-bodied and highly aromatic. 542522 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Gewürztraminer 2008, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Classic Gewurztraminer with concentrated notes of lychee, rose petal and spice box. Full-bodied and highly aromatic. 662478 12.5% D 375 mL $12.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jekel Vineyards Gravelstone Chardonnay 2007, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: If you’re looking for a big, crowd-pleasing, affordable Chardonnay then look no further. Packed with tropical fruit, pear, melon and sweet vanilla notes, this is a full-bodied, generous and rich effort that is sure to impress your guests. My note: A simple, full-bodied and tasty Chardonnay with classic aromas of green apple, toast and butter. Full-bodied but not heavy. Chardonnay food pairings: crab cakes with a spicy aioli dipping sauce. 421016 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This stylish Chardonnay is mostly sourced from the winery’s estate vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Aged in both French and American oak, it’s bursting with melon, citrus and vanilla aromas. It’s dry, full-bodied with a round creamy texture, rich fruit, balanced acidity and well-integrated oak leading to a lengthy finish. My note: Lovely balance: buttery goodness without being too heavy. Aromas of apple, hazelnut and freshly baked bread. Warm and inviting. Chardonnay food pairings: pan-fried scallops, grilled salmon, pork tender-loin, bouillabaisse. 317131 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay 2007, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Monterey, California, United States: A rich, full-bodied Chardonnay with big buttery oak aromas, rich hazelnut underlay and lovely ripe green apples through the core. Big and blousy: not that there’s anything wrong with that! 356501 14.7% D 750 mL $32.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre, Atalayas Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Rich and round with enticing aromas of toasty oak, Asian pear, Granny Smith apple and daisies. A clean, spicy finish. 947937 14.5% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Leyda Valley, Chile: Very grassy and herbal with refreshing notes of citrus and lime zest. Clean finish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled prawns, calamari. 510339 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Yalumba Viognier 2008, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia: Very spicy-rose petal with lychee tied in. A distinctive style that takes time to appreciate but once you do, you’ll love it. 954644 13.5% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trimbach Riesling 2007, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Trimbach is one of Alsace’s benchmark producers offering a top-quality Riesling at a very good price. Dry and austere with mouth-watering goodness that draws you back for a second glass. Aromas white peach, lemon zest and lilies. 734517 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave De Ribeauvillé Prestige Martin Zahn Pinot Gris 2008, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Showing lovely fresh aromas of apples, floral, spiced pear and honey, this delicious Pinot Gris is just off-dry, richly textured on the mid-palate and balanced by supportive acidity. It’s well-structured, with more than a hint of minerality on the zesty finish. My note: Juicy and lovely with vibrant peach and pear notes and some apricot tied into the finish. Pinot Gris food pairings: baked glazed ham, roast turkey. 390633 14.1% MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbacher Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese 2003, Q.M.P., Rheingau, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: This single-vineyard late-harvest Riesling is hitting its prime. Juicy, with tropical fruit and a stony finish, it’s an inspired choice alongside charcouterie. My note: Apricot-delight! Gorgeous aromas of ripe peach and pear. Mouth-watering. What a revelation. 129858 11% M 750 mL $28.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Arboleda Viña Seña Chardonnay 2007, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Stunningly lovely for the money! Hazelnut butter goodness wrapped in toasted almonds and melon notes. Full-bodied and rich. 606772 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 93/100. November 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Stunningly delicious Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant notes of fresh grass, lime, chives and green apple. Not too herbal. Refreshing and mercifully free of oak. A zesty aperitif or a companion to a wide range of dishes. Superb effort! From the Winemaker: A crisp, cold spring followed by a long, hot summer resulted in an abundance of concentrated fruit with ripe flavours. After careful destemming and pressing, 10% of the juice was transferred to aged French Oak barriques for a wild fermentation with indigenous yeast. The remaining juice was fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures with a selected yeast strain to maintain freshness and fruit character. The wine was held on lees after fermentation for 3 months before blending and bottling. This wine has an intense bouquet of passionfruit and guava with undertones of citrus and melon. A strong mineral character shows through which is very typical of fruit from this vineyard. The palate is rich, with excellent weight – the wild ferment portion adding complexity and viscosity. The cool ferment delivers flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, with a mineral backbone, maintaining the elegance that has come to be expected from Blind River. Named in the '60 Best New Zealand Wines 2009'. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: goat's cheese melted over brioche, scallops with minted pea puree, creamy seafood chowder, caesar salad, risotto with mussels, thai prawn stir fry. 141499 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stocco Pinot Grigio 2008, D.O.C., Friuli Grave, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Pinot Grigio’s success is instantly understandable when presented with a very fine, well-made example. Such is the case with Stocco’s 2008 vintage. Pale straw in colour, the aromas feature fresh pear, apple, dried spice and stony mineral notes. It’s dry, medium-bodied with a rich texture, and fresh fruit flavours balanced by a zippy seam of acidity building to a medium-length, mineral-infused finish. My note: A rather full-bodied version of Pinot Grigio but nonetheless refreshing and mouth-watering. Notes of green melon, grapefruit and lime zest. Pinot Grigio food pairings: seafood risotto, shrimp pasta. 135558 13.2% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. November 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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