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Wine Picks January 6, 2010

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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.

Dessert Wine

Château des Charmes Estate Bottled Vidal Icewine 2006, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A gorgeous elixir of apricots, honeysuckle and peach perserves. Lovely balance and extraordinary length and persistence of flavours. Treat yourself to this wine soon. Vidal Icewine food pairings: creme brulee or mix with vodka for a decadent martini. Drink: 2009 - 2012 565861 9.5% S 200 mL $25.95 Score: 91/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Caliterra Caliterra Vineyard, Estate Grown Caliterra Reserva Cabernet 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile: A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Shiraz. Terrific dark notes of blackberry, cassis, blackcurrant and dark spices all wrapped in a warm and comforting smoky blanket. Perfect for movie night! 257329 13.5% D 750 mL $8.95 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Prospect Winery Haynes Barn Merlot Cabernet 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: An espresso-mocha invitation on the nose draws you in for more hedonistic pleasure on the palate. Rich aromas of blackberry and plums. Full-bodied with pleasing mouth-watering acidity for food. Great value. Merlot Cabernet food pairings: roasted meats, Asian dishes, hamburgers. 145144 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vigne dei Mastri Arturo 2007, Barbera D'asti Doc, Italy: A supple, full-bodied red with attractive aromas of black cherries and a strong element of earthiness. Balanced and tasty, this red is definitely Old World style, meaning that earthy components, rather than fruitness lead. Arturo food pairings: meat-lovers pizza, sausage, tomato sauce dishes. Drink: 2010 - 2012 301191 14.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: A tasty red from a very dependable producer. This Cab features notes of juicy plums, blueberries and a lovely smoky finish. Full-bodied, but supple. Goes down very quickly. Nice for the price, too! 48611 13.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

L.A. Cetto Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Baja California, Mexico: Mouth-filling ripe blackberry, cassis and black plums infused with toasty oak. Full-bodied and smooth with terrific concentration and depth. A great price for this wine. Buy a case! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled red meats, tomato-based pasta dishes, roasted game or spicy vegetarian dishes with black beans. 114066 13.5% D 750 mL $10.45 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château des Charmes Estate Bottled Cabernet Merlot 2006, V.Q.A, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A juicy wine with fleshy red and black berries and plums.Medium- to full-bodied with a judicious use of oak. terrific balance. Mouth-wateringly tasty! Cabernet Merlot food pairings: sizzling beef fajita smothered in caramelized peppers and onions. Drink: 2009 - 2014 454991 13% XD 750 mL $14.45 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caliterra Caliterra Vineyard, Estate Grown Caliterra Bio Sur Carmenere Reserva Especial 2008, Chile, Chile: An incredible value for the price! This tasty red bursts with juicy ripe berries and plums. Some dark spices on the finish. It's rich, smooth and full-bodied. This would be a "wow" party wine and you won't break the bank. Caliterra Bio Sur Carmenere Reserva Especial food pairings: hamburger, steak, brisket. 142711 14% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Cassis and blackberry richness on the nose followed by terrific depth and richness of flavour on the palate. This wine was aged in French and Hungarian oak for 21 months, which adds more depth and dimension to the wine. Full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roasted leg of lamb, filet mignon with wild mushrooms and strong cheeses. Drink: 2010 - 2017 336149 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Merlot 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Juicy, plummy and tasty! Medium- to full-bodied with a velvet smooth texture. Fleshy plums and dark berries are lovely. This wine was aged in French and American oak for 21 months. Soft, smoky notes on the finish. Merlot food pairings: lamb and vegetable ratatouille. Drink: 2010 - 2015 779320001201 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Creekside Estate Winery Life Is Good Cabernet Merlot 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Bursting with black cherry-plum goodness, this smooth, full-bodied is a pleasant quaff. It's terrific for the price. Life Is Good Cabernet Merlot food pairings: grilled burgers from your local diner, meatloaf, tomato pasta, Nana’s Beef Stew, 100% Wisconsin Cheddar or a roast beef hoagie. Drink: 2009 - 2012 146860 12.5% MD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Château des Charmes Estate Bottled, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Toasty and vibrant, this bubbly will add sparkle to any evening. Bursting with fresh lime and grapefruit notes. This is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. You can't beat the price. Food pairings: popcorn, smoked slamon, oysters. Drink: 2009 - 2015 224766 12% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Prospect Winery Larch Tree Hill Riesling 2008, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A pech and apricot delight! Works as a lively aperitif to get conversation going or as a versatile food companion. Light-bodied with tantalizing floral and pear aromas on the finish. Great price! Riesling food pairings: spicy dishes, shellfish, seafood, vegetarian fare. 145136 12.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caliterra Caliterra Vineyard, Estate Grown Caliterra Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Curicó Valley, Chile: Loaded with fresh mango and tropical fruit notes. This is exceptional value and quality for the price. Some pink grapefruit and green melon on the finish. Mouth-watering a dn delicious as an aperitif or versatile food companion. Drink: 2009 275909 13% D 750 mL $8.95 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Black Prince Winery Terroir Elite Black Prince/Wicked Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2008, V.Q.A. Prince Edward County, Canada: Creamy and full-bodied with gorgeous layers of honeysuckle, green apple, Asian pear and peaches. Luscious with a toasty, buttery finish. It's great to know how lovely an Ontario Chardonnay can be! Chardonnay food pairings: corn dishes, lobster in butter, roast chicken. Drink: 2009 - 2015 661825000127 12% D 750 mL $29.75 Score: 89/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Willm Riesling 2008, Alsace Aoc, France: Mouth-watering notes of lime and green melon. A soft, fragrant Riesling that's lovely as an aperitif or varsatile food companion. Some light floral notes on the finish. Terrific balance. Riesling food pairings: rich Alsace cuisine, sushi, sashimi, fresh water fish, shellfish and seafood. Can handle dishes with a bit of heat and works well with pan-Asian flavours.. Drink: 2010 - 2015 11452 12% D 750 mL $16.75 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tantalus Vineyards Estate Grown Tantalus Riesling 2008, V.Q.A. Okanagan Valley, Canada: Superb and enticing aromas of lime, hazelnut, cornmeal and green apples. Fantastic balance and persistence of flavours. Quivering delight in its lovely suspension between mouth-watering acidity and ripe fruit flavours. Tantalus Riesling food pairings: charcuterie, seafood, shellfish, soft cheeses, roast turkey, ham. Drink: 2009 - 2014 802280 13% MD 750 mL $22.90 Score: 88/100. January 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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