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Vintages Release January 31, 2009

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Dessert Wine

Quinta de la Rosa Vintage Port 2004, Estate Btld.In 2006, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Conceivably, this Port is a good choice if you are looking to lay down something from your child’s birth year. In 2024, this one will just be hitting its stride. Right now, the wine exhibits aromas of plum, 70% cacao dark chocolate, anise, raisins and old leather. Sweet, very intense with good fruit surrounding forceful tannins. Medium full-bodied with a very long fruity/tannic finish. My note: Wonderful notes of blackberry jam, blackcurrant, anise and hickory smoke. A warm, satisfying finish. Vintage Port food pairings: coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies, pears in red wine, cheddar cheese. 52605 20% S 750 mL $66.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, Btld. 2008, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: The impeccable balance and structure shows that this wonderful Tawny Port comes from a single vineyard. The consistency in the flavors suggest this is from only one source. Aged in Oak Casks. Look for dried fruit, plum, chocolate and vanilla aromas. It is sweet, but in no way cloying. Full-bodied with a very long and elegant finish. My note: Gorgeous notes of toffee, almond, caramel, hazelnut and fig paste. Lovely after-dinner drink. 10-Year-Old Tawny Port food pairings: blue cheese, hard cheeses, baked apples, almond-based desserts, coffee cake. 88005 20% S 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Hartford Court Land's Edge Vineyards Pinot Noir 2006, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Opens with black cherries, raspberries and smoky berries. There are hints of violets and cigar box that make this full-bodied wine ultra-seductive with its polished tannins and soft texture. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled tuna with a pepper crust, grilled porkchops, lamb kabobs, venison burgers, roast veal. 919712 14.4% D 750 mL $40.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chalone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006, Chalone Appellation, Monterey County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Chalone Vineyard is the only winery located within the aptly named Chalone AVA and the estate vineyard is the oldest in Monterey County. The high-altitude is unique for Monterey. Located in the Gavilan Mountain range, it boasts limestone-based soils which are great for growing finicky Pinot Noir. This silky Pinot has complex layers of red cherry, raspberry, earthy minerals, spice and toasty oak. My note: Exuberantly ripe cherries and fresh earth on the nose with supple, seductive layers of violets, red plums and berries. The vines for this wine were grown in limestone soil. Elegant, balanced and medium- to full-bodied. Gorgeously long finish. Pinot Noir food pairings: rare roast beef, goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin, mushroom risotto, brussel sprouts, breaded veal cutlets. 710145 14.4% D 750 mL $36.95 Score: 93/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir 2006, California, United States: A core of fleshy ripe red cherries runs through this wine and it’s gently wrapped in a smoky blanket that makes the wine both vibrant and savory. There’s a small amount of Syrah in this wine to lift and round the mid-palate flavors. Grapes came from the cool climate regions of Monterey, Santa Barbara, Mendocino Sonoma and Napa counties. Randy Ullom, the winemaker, has given us lots to enjoy with this wine. Pinot Noir food pairings: salmon carpaccio, ratatouille, frankfurters, prime rib steak, fried chicken. 657940 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A California Zinfandel that features impeccable balance between the fruit, acids and tannin. The aromas and flavors suggest plum, blackberry, spearmint, fire-roasted tomato and vanilla. This precisely made and dynamic Zin. My note: Opens with fleshy blackberries, brambleberries, black plum and some dark spices, followed by a rich berry concentration in the mid-palate. Smooth textured and full-bodied with a warm, coffee-noted finish. Zinfandel food pairings: steak with blue cheese sauce, pepper steak, stuffed pork tenderloin, pepperoni pizza, barbecued ribs. 719211 15% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

André et Bernard Cazes Syrah Blend 2003, A.C. Languedoc, Côtes Du Roussillon Villages, France: Top notes of red and black plum, blackberries, black raspberries, cedar, cigar and garrigue. An underlay of smoke and vanilla spice delivers it to a long, warm finish. Full-bodied and generous in the mouth. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled vegetables, lamb kabobs, venison burgers, roast veal, cheddar cheese. Drink: 2008 - 2013 97576 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Edmeades Zinfandel 2006, Mendocino County, California, United States: Along with Zinfandel, this wine has some Petite Sirah, Merlot, Syrah, and Grenache in the blend. Rich notes of mocha, coffee and smoke on the nose with dollops of blackberry and anise on the palate. Full-bodied and generous: an excellent effort from this producer. Zinfandel food pairings: anitpasti, shepherd's pie, strong blue cheese, chili, prime rib. 105924 15.4% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magpie Estate The Sack Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley, Australia: A corpulent wine with ripe, fleshy blackberries, black plum and kirsch, rounded off with dark spices and pepper. This full-bodied Shiraz also has 5% of the Grenache grape, which adds roundness and suppleness. Shiraz food pairings: ratatouille, beef daube, cassoulet, creamed onions, garlic casseroles. Drink: 2008 - 2016 94078 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Turkey Flat Butcher's Block Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2006, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: This is a blend of 55% Shiraz, 28% Grenache and 17% Mourvedre grapes. A super smooth texture yields layers of black cherry, cranberry, black raspberry and plum. Some enticing notes of hickory smoke and cedar box in the background. Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre food pairings: spicy chicken sausage, Ethiopian stewed chicken, pot roast, game casseroles, grilled vegetables. Drink: 2008 - 2012 90241 14% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 93/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chris Ringland 3 RINGS Shiraz 2006, Barossa Valley, Australia: A supple, generous wine that delivers copious amounts of black raspberries, plums and blackberries. Generous and full-bodied, it has a long, satisfying finish. Shiraz food pairings: herb-crusted cheese, perail de brebis cheese, steal fajitas, bison steak, bittersweet chocolate. 15495 13.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Couly - Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine Chinon 2005, A.C. Loire, France: Full-bodied goodness and warmth with exuberant layers of ripe black cherries, red currants and anise. Vibrant acidity lifts the fruit and makes this wine a zingy pleasure from first sip to satisfying finish. Decant for 1-2 hours. Chinon food pairings: cornish hen, stew, grilled mushrooms, pot roast, tacos. 57059 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Vieux Télégraphe Syrah Blend 2006, Ac La Crau, Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: This inky brooding red is redolent of kirsch, black cherry liqueur and black raspberry with a concentrated core of minerality. Full-bodied with a long, warm finish. Syrah Blend food pairings: lamb vindaloo, pheasent, vegetarian lasagna, rosemary pork, cashews. 951475 14.5% XD 750 mL $72.95 Score: 95/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Delas Freres Domaine Des Grands Chemins Syrah Blend 2006, Ac, Rhône, France: This wine from the heart of the northern Rhone is laced with ripe blueberries, blackberries, anise and dark spices. There’s cigar box, cedar and leather in the follow-up then a finish that rolls on to the end of the evening. Incredibly balanced and structured. Syrah Blend food pairings: turkey with traditional trimmings, chicken sausage, peppercorn steak, brisket, goose. 101105 13% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 93/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Il Molino Di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2004, D.O.C.G. Tuscany, Italy: Heady aromas of black cherries, fresh earth, violets, black raspberries and cedar. This full-bodied wine has a smooth texture with terrific balance and weight. Chianti Classico Riserva food pairings: veal stuffed with sausage, turkey scaloppini, Mexican dishes, salami toscana, pasta with bolognese sauce. 86306 14% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Lucas Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: The deep ruby/purple color pulls you into the wine. The nose of red currants, raspberry, vanilla and mint keeps you there. The dry, fruity and very well-balanced palate sends you away happy. My note: Loaded with blackcurrants, blackberries and plums. Full-bodied, balanced and tasty. A terrific wine for a large gathering. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: herb-crusted roast leg of lamb, prime rib, lamb, beef wellington, meat fondue. 587147 13% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Canepa Reserva Privada Reserva Privada Carmenère 2006, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: This is Chilean Carmenère in all its glory. Ripe cherry, plum, black pepper, licorice and menthol notes are wrapped in smooth tannins, culminating in a long finish. A medium- to full-bodied beauty. My note: Delivers smoky dark notes of mocha, coffee, black fruit and earth on the nose. It’s quite robust and rustic but delicious, so decant for two hours before drinking. Carmenère food pairings: blackened herb-roasted chicken, venison, boar, prime rib with a port-reduction sauce, hard cheeses. 82586 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2007, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The name of this wine doesn’t imply Errazuriz has taken to making their Pinot in moss-covered oak barrels deep in the heart of remote Chilean forests. Rather it refers to the wild airborne yeasts that are naturally present on grapes in the vineyard, and result in dramatic flavor complexity. This wine shows attractive cherry and strawberry fruit accented by floral and smoke notes, with a lengthy finish. My note: This vibrant, full-bodied wine spent 9 months in French oak and has a creamy, smoky character as a result. Zingy, ripe cherries, purple plums and pomegranates make this wine a delicious party on the dinner table. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled salmon, duck a l'orange, Korean dishes, meatloaf, chambertin cheese. 510396 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Marques De Casa Concha Syrah 2006, Peumo, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Expect a luxurious, mouth-filling Syrah with rich flavors of black plum, blueberry, black cherry, smoke, coffee and spice. My note: This wine was aged 16 months in French oak. It has incredible concentration, power and fruit extraction but smooth tannins and texture. Notes of black fruit, pepper, dark spices and hickory smoke. Syrah food pairings: braised short ribs, beef filet, wild boar, lasagna, bean-based dishes. Drink: 2008 - 2012 19042 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dromana Estate Mornington Estate Pinot Noir 2006, Mornington Peninsula, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Dromana Estate helped cement Mornington Peninsula’s reputation as a quality wine region by specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their Mornington Estate version is made in a fresh, vibrant, drink-now style. Look for fragrant cherry and strawberry aromas as well as notes of spice and earth on the nose. This dry, brightly fruity, medium-bodied wine has a silky texture and a long finish. My note: A juicy, mouth-watering red with fleshy ripe cherries, cranberries and pomegranates. Silky, supple and seductive with layers and layers of flavor and a finish that goes on and on. Screwcap. Pinot Noir food pairings: cold cuts, pecan stuffing, veal marsala, peking duck, dark chocolate. Drink: 2008 - 2012 975938 14% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 91/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kaiken Kilikanoon Prodigal Grenache 2006, Clare Valley, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This ruby-colored Grenache displays wild raspberry and blackberry, with notes of scorched earth and licorice spice. A consistently high quality wine. My note: A bold fruit-forward wine laced with notes of black plum, kirsch, cranberry and anise. This voluptuous, full-bodied red was made from vines that were dry grown (not irrigated) and the resulting flavor concentration shows. It actually doesn’t taste as alcoholic as it is because of its fine balance. Screwcap. Grenache food pairings: roast beef, shepherds pie, stew, herb-rubbed chicken, mincemeat, petit provencal cheese. 927582 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 93/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

DOMAINE BEAU Mistral Rasteau Syrah Blend 2006, Ac Côtes Du Rhône Villages, Sélections Vieilles Vignes, Rhône, France: A full-on, bring-it-on wine for those who love big flavor and weight. Aromas of black plum, licorice, smoky black cherry, cigar box, mocha and coffee. The oak is strong but integrated and balanced with the rest of this powerfully extracted wine. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled steak, bison burgers, grilled asparagus, stew, dark chocolate. 104992 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Gaudou Cahors Merlot Malbec Tannat 2005, A.C., France: Vintages Wine Panel: Opaque, almost black in color. This wine is filled with sour cherry, anise, cocoa powder, raspberry and cinnamon. Dry and very tannic, the fruit is laying patiently underneath waiting to come to the fore. This one will reward serious cellar time. Give it four years and then keep looking at it for another six after that. My note: This wine is a blend of 15% Merlot, 80% Malbec and 5% Tannat. Lip-smacking delicious with aromas of black cherry, fig, red currant, coffee and cigar box. Terrific acidity for food. It’s full-bodied but not heavy. Merlot Malbec Tannat food pairings: hard cheeses, roast meats, chili dog, cheeseburgers, meatballs. 104935 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hungerford Hill Wines Fishcage Shiraz Viognier 2006, South Eastern, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The two most recent vintages of this wine have won numerous awards. And while this 2006 has yet to be reviewed, we expect it will do equally well. A blend of 93% Shiraz and 7% Viognier, it is made in a modern style for early drinking. Enjoy its peppery blackberry and slightly floral (from the Viognier) flavors and aromas. My note: This enticing red offers aromas of ripe sweet plums, blackberries, fig paste and ground pepper. It’s a plush and supple wine that will give lots of pleasure to full-bodied wine lovers. Incredible quality for the money. Shiraz Viognier food pairings: beef curry, barbecued beef ribs, cassoulet, gumbo, spicy sage and thyme stuffing. 77958 14.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tyrrell's Wines Lost Block Pinot Noir 2007, South Eastern, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: As the story goes, the Lost Block was so named following the 1993 vintage when it was mistakenly allowed to ripen for a longer period than usual. After recovering the plot, the team at Tyrrell’s was impressed by the fruit-laden, easy-drinking character of the finished wines. Today, the Lost Block wines are intentionally made to emulate this soft, friendly, fruit-forward style. This medium-bodied Pinot is a terrific value with bright cherry and strawberry flavors and a suave texture. My note: A joyful wine that opens with zingy ripe cherries and raspberries. Lovely gamey notes on the palate are interwoven with violets and minerals. Great mouth-watering, food-friendly acidity with a plush medium-bodied texture. Screwcap. Pinot Noir food pairings: pepperoni pizza, roasted chicken, gruyeres cheese, sourdough bread, prime rib steak. 77644 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château La Gorce Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C. Bordeaux Médoc, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Château La Gorce is a grand 19th-century estate in the Médoc. Founded in 1821 by Madame La Gorce, the estate’s namesake, it is now owned by the Fabre family who have worked hard to restore the vineyards and improve the quality of the wines since taking ownership in the 1980s. Their efforts have been rewarded with a number of accolades including a Gold Medal for this 2005 vintage at the Paris Concours Général Agricole in 2007. Packed with ripe blackberry fruit flavors and sweet spice notes, this medium full-bodied blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot is an exceptional value. My note: The phenomenal 2005 vintage comes through in spades in this wine: wow! I can’t believe the price for this quality. Gorgeous, intense notes of blackberry, cassis, violets, leather, tobacco and black tea. Well-constructed and balanced. A good, solid finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: beed en croule, kidneys, mature hard cheeses, roasted turkey, succotash. 91397 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Ferran Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C. Pessac-Leognan, France: The 2005 vintage was remarkable for Bordeaux and as a result we can buy terrific wines from the less-known estates at reasonable prices (for Bordeaux). The nose opens with classic notes of cassis, blackberry and blackcurrant. The palate yields cigar box, pencil led, violets and smoky leather. There’s oak here but not too much and it’s so beautifully integrated. A long, lovely finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: prime rib with a cherry sauce, hearty meat dishes, venison, blue cheeses, dark chocolate. 98400 13% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beni Di Batasiolo Barbera D'alba Sovrana Barbera 2006, D.O.C. Estate Btld. Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Beni di Batasiolo has nine estate vineyards surrounding the original winery in a circular pattern. The grapes for Sovrana – or ‘sovereign’ – are fermented with maceration on the skins for 10-15 days. The wine is then aged in oak for about 12-15 months. After bottling, the wine is aged for a further 8-10 months before release. The result is a vibrant, fruity wine that is ready to enjoy tonight. My note: A rich, concentrated and brooding wine with layers of blueberries, blackberries, licorice, cigar box, dark spices and mocha. A judicious amount of oak wraps this package nicely. Solid finish from a consistently good producer. Barbera food pairings: veal parmigiana, lamb shanks, lamb kebabs, mushroom risotta. 642686 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Banfi Terreforru Cannonau Di Sardegna Grenache 2005, D.O.C.Cannonau Di Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Meloni Vini have established a reputation as one of the leading quality producers on the island of Sardinia. Cannonau is the Sardinian word for Grenache. This organic wine contains just 11 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: Black cherries and gamey notes on the nose, with a core of black pepper, spices and vanilla toast o the palate. A savory wine to savor over an evening. Grenache food pairings: venison chops, boar burgers, strong cheddar cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, meatloaf. 101378 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese 2006, D.O.C. Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy: A generously ripe and flavorful wine with aromas of dark red fruit, smoke, and plums. Polished tannins with a layered texture. Decant for 1-2 hours. This is the half bottle size. I have also reviewed the full 750 ml size. Sangiovese food pairings: lasagna, gouda cheeses, fried chicken, beef stew, french baguette. Drink: 2008 - 2012 9423 13% XD 375 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Banfi Sangiovese 2006, D.O.C. Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy: A generously ripe and flavorful wine with aromas of dark red fruit, smoke, and plums. Polished tannins with a layered texture. Decant for 1-2 hours. This is the full bottle size. I have also reviewed the half 375 ml size. Sangiovese food pairings: lasagna, gouda cheeses, fried chicken, beef stew, french baguette. Drink: 2008 - 2012 681262 14% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bolla Della Valpolicella Classico Le Origini Amarone 2004, D.O.C. Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: ‘Le Origini’ Amarone is from almost fully dried grapes. Fermentation takes place for 15-20 days in 500- liter tonneaux (casks). Twice a day the cap is punched down into the liquid. Later, the skins are pressed to extract even more color and flavor concentration. The wine is aged for 27 months in the same cask used for fermenting, then bottled and held for at least a year before release. The resulting wine is very intense and rich with wonderful aromas of dried fruit, chocolate and vanilla bean. My note: Terrific extraction and fruit purity here. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry paste, crème de cassis, ground black pepper, mocha and cigar box. Good grip from the tannins and a terrific finish. Amarone food pairings: braised ribs, bean-based dishes, roast beef, cheddar, Chinese spareribs. 651547 16% D 750 mL $45.95 Score: 94/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Vieux Télégraphe 2006, A.C. Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, France: A wonderfully aromatic red with ripe, berry fruit, great mineral depth and a viscous mouth-filling texture. A long finish. Food pairings: rich patés, chicken pot pie, cornish hen, roast grouse with bread sauce, white truffles with pasta. 736462 13.5% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Eugenio Collavini Prosecco, Estate Btld., Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Founder Eugenio Collavini started a humble business supplying wines to local families in 1896. Today, this Friuli-based winery is known for its fine sparkling wines made from the indigenous Prosecco variety. This festive wine displays fresh notes of apple, flowers and just-baked bread, with good aroma replays on the palate and a lively finish. Have it ready and chilled for celebratory toasts. My note: A fresh, lively bubbly with just a touch of sweetness to soften it and deepen your enjoyment. Terrific aromas of ripe tree fruit and almonds. Light-bodied. Prosecco food pairings: almonds, canapes, apricot crepese, melon balls with smoked ham. 92965 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. January 2009. Favorite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Maison Champy Bourgogne Signature Chardonnay 2006, A.C. Burgundy, France: A balanced and elegant wine with alluring notes of green apples, white peach and lime. Subtle and integrated oak gives a lightly creamy texture and roundedness. A long, satisfying finish. Chardonnay food pairings: breaded camembert cheese with a blueberry sauce, turkey burgers, Asian dishes with black bean sauces, fried clams, raw oysters. 43455 13% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Coteaux Tufiers Vouvray Demi-Sec Chenin Blanc 2006, A.C. Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a delicious, gentle, medium-dry Chenin Blanc. Look for delightful honeyed aromas, a lush palate packed with apple and citrus fruit as well as nutty notes leading to a long, rich finish. A terrific value, this wine would be great now as an aperitif, but it will continue to develop over the next 5-10 years. My note: A light, simple, delicious white with pear and ripe melon notes. Just a hint of sweetness softens the wine and deepens its pleasure. It also helps it to marry with dishes that have a touch of sweetness themselves. Chenin Blanc food pairings: spicy asian dishes, glazed ham, sweet potatoes, cream corn. Drink: 2008 - 2015 57018 12% MD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vign. Pierre Cherrier & Fils Domaine De La Rossignole Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Ac, Estate Bottled, Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc that seems to be made for steamed mussels or clam chowder. Citrus, stone fruit, mineral and sweet herbs are the principal aromas here. Dry, crisp and fresh, this is a very well-balanced wine. Fruit and acid play off each others' strengths. Medium-bodied with a long crisp/fruit finish. My note: An austere, refreshing wine that has great purity of zesty limes and grapefruit. Some flinty notes and great minerality here with terrific acidity that needs food. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: turkey pot pie, chicken and feta tostades, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, spring rolls, swordfish. 82289 13% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Like the elephant, you won't forget this wine: it's spring sunshine in a glass (just after you've mowed the lawn and are now enjoying a lazy hammock). A superb effort for this vivacious, refreshing white with notes of fresh-cut grass, asparagus, straw and limes. Terrific juicy acidity. Try not to trample smaller creatures in your rush to buy this one. Vintages Wine Panel: The playful label has the texture of elephant skin. Almost platinum in color. The aromas suggest green pepper, rosemary, white asparagus and green onion. Dry and impactful on the palate with fresh acids and good vegetal tones. Medium-bodied and medium finish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: rosemary chicken, roasted stuffed red peppers, beef tartare, ham, mussels, lobster in a garlic butter sauce. 96644 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

William Cole Mirador Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: With a tip of the hat to the New Zealand model, this Chilean white features aromas of cut grass, asparagus, green pepper and green peas. Dry with palate-refreshing acidity. My note: A fresh, vigorous and lively wine with zesty notes of fresh straw, hay, grass, white melon and lime. Reminds me of a Pinot Grigio in its aroma profile as it’s far less grassy than some Sauvignon Blancs. An excellent value. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: vegetarian lasagna, spicy shrimp, smoked salmon, cheese fondue, sushi. 93948 12% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winemaker's Series Three Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This flavorful, full-blown Chardonnay is a tasty sign of things to come from Ontario’s spectacular 2007 vintage. Toasty, buttery sweet apple flavors are accented by vanilla and toffee, all artfully integrated. Creamy-textured, refined and balanced with bright fruit and a well-measured use of oak, this long-finishing wine should evolve well with 2-3 years bottle age. My note: Zesty top notes of lime and grapefruit on the nose are followed by an extra lively acidity on the palate. Terrific zesty flavors of green apples and lemon peel with some white field flowers in the background. Closed with a screwcap. Chardonnay food pairings: smoked salmon, chicken with creamy sauces, roasted turkey, matzo ball soup, crab cakes with spicy tartar sauce. Drink: 2009 - 2012 105379 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards Chardonnay 2005, Carneros, Estate Grown And Btld. California, United States: This Chardonnay was completely fermented in oak barrels giving it a creamy, rich texture and taste. Heady aromas of baked bread, vanilla, ripe tropical fruit, peaches, pears, green apples. Round, deep, complex and satisfying with enough acidity to make it food friendly. Chardonnay food pairings: baked ricotta on toast, stir-fried veggies, brie cheese, chicken tetrazzini, duck a l'orange. 83345 14.1% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Urbans-Hof Riesling 2007, Q.B.A. Mosel, Estare Btld., Germany: An absolutely delightful wine with vibrantly ripe pears, peaches, lime peel and green apples. Incredible intensity of flavor for such a light- to medium-bodied wine. Great minerality and length. A superb effort from this winery. Riesling food pairings: pork with applesauce, cheese fondue, chicken in cream sauce, salmon, Chinese spareribs. 995746 9.5% MD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 92/100. January 2009. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccia Di San Gimignano Vernaccia S. Gimignano 2007, D.O.C.G. Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: In 1974, Enrico Teruzzi and his wife Carmen Puthod knew little about wine when they purchased a one hectare vineyard in Tuscany’s only white DOCG, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. With no links to regional traditions, they were able to produce a fresh take on this trademark white wine. Teruzzi was the first to introduce the use of stainless steel, temperature-controlled vats here. Today, the company controls 180 hectares, 91 of which are under vine. Expect a racy, whistling clean and refreshing aperitif wine. My note: Pure, vigorous notes of white grapefruit, lime and green apples in a simple, refreshing sipper. Terrific acidity for food. Light- to medium-bodied. Vernaccia S. Gimignano food pairings: salads, vegetarian dishes, asparagus, sushi, brushetta. 735373 12.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. January 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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