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Vintages Release February 20, 2010

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Red Wine

Estate Series Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, V.Q.A., St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: From the fine 2007 vintage comes this well-made Shiraz/Cabernet blend from The Great One’s winery. The Shiraz plays forward on the nose with aromas of blackberry, pepper and underbrush. The Cabernet is nicely represented by cassis. Dry, crisp and fruity with soft tannins for balance. Medium-full bodied with a crisp, medium-long, fruit-filled finish. A great wine to enjoy while tuning into Saturday-night hockey. My note: A juicy, lip-smacking wonder! He shoots, he scores with this wine. (Oh, ha ha.) Terrific juicy, mouth-watering plums and blackberries with a mocha-infused finished. Full-bodied with a velvet texture. Rich and fulfilling. Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rich pasta sauce. 162180 12.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Ravenswood may be one of the three Rs of Zinfandel (Ridge and Rosenblum round out the trifecta), but they have also proven to have a very deft hand with Cabernet Sauvignon. Filled with cassis and vanilla aromas and flavours, this juicy and fruity wine is balanced out by just the right touch of tannin. My note: I adore the savory meaty notes in this wine: they give it depth and the lip-smacking desire for a top up. Pass the bottle, will you? Lovely, expressive notes of blackberry, cassis and fleshy plum. Superb. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued steak, grilled lamb chops. 606632 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2007, Lodi, California, United States: Lovely purple goodness! Wrap yourself inside this luscious wine and feel no pain. Gorgeous notes of plums, brambleberry, blueberry and raspberry. Zinfandel food pairings: gourmet BLTs. 58685 14% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McManis Family Vineyards Syrah 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This full-bodied, fruit-forward wine is actually a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah. Aged for four months in a mixture of new and seasoned French oak barrels, this smooth and well-balanced red features bright black cherry and blueberry fruit flavours as well as spicy notes. It’s delectable. My note: dark chocolate nose with fleshy blackberries and black raspberries. Lovely long finish. A warm embrace of a wine. Perfect for date night. Syrah food pairings: pork roast, grilled duck breast. 658104 14.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blackstone Winery Pinot Noir 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Interestingly, this warm-climate Pinot Noir displays a classic cool-climate aroma profile: cherry, earth, beetroot, and raspberry. Dry, fruity, ripe and round, this well-made wine delivers just the right amount of acid for balance. Soft and pleasing on the finish. A Pinot for the fish course. My note: A staggeringly great value, especially for Pinot! Wow! Vibrant, bright notes of ripe cherries and field strawberries. Just slides so easily across your tongue and slips down slippery quick. You’ll definitely need more than one bottle of this lovely red. Medium-bodied and silky. Pinot Noir food pairings: fish. 358937 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dominus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: This is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It’s got the savage black fruit of Cabernet (blackberry, cassis) with some cedary, tobacco leaves lingering the background. Classically structure. Not as fruit forward as most Napa wines. Drink: 2010 - 2020 105890 14.5% XD 750 mL $124.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Here’s a quintessential Napa Valley Cab. The region’s characteristic warm days and cool evenings ensure even-ripening of the grapes, which, in this case, results in a wine with intense cassis, vanilla and plum tones. Supple tannins come in on the mid-palate to bring balance to the wine. A touch of Merlot and a smidge of Petit Verdot are used to fill out this fine, beef-friendly wine. It will also reward 2-4 years in a cellar. My note: A dependable producer of classic and well-balanced Napa Cabernet. Mocha and dark chocolate on the nose followed by blackberry and cassis. 39388 13.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dominus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: This is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It’s got the savage black fruit of Cabernet (blackberry, cassis) with some cedary, tobacco leaves lingering the background. Classically structure. Not as fruit forward as most Napa wines. Drink: 2010 - 2020 63487 14.5% XD 1500 mL $259.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Julia Reserva Familia Zuccardi Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: A rollicking good Malbec with tasty notes of blackberries and plums. Round, supple and generous. Perfect for movie night. 665026 14% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Julia Reserva Familia Zuccardi Syrah 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Familia Zuccardi is on quite a roll right now, producing wines adored by consumers and critics alike. This 2008 Syrah, from their Santa Julia tier, is rich and fruit-forward with aromas of blackberry, ripe black cherries and cracked pepper. Well-balanced and supported by soft tannins. My note: tasty and robust with a good grip on the palate. Dark berries, cedar and some dark spices. Syrah food pairings: lamb stew, shepherd’s pie. 127613 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Visión Syrah 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Made from hand-picked grapes grown on rocky slopes in the Colchagua Valley, this Syrah is truly a labour of love. Deep ruby in colour with aromas suggesting smoky blackberry, red plum, cassis and a hint of olive. Dry, full bodied, with a smooth round texture and well-balanced acidity leading to a medium-length dry finish. Savour this beauty. My note: A juicy, rich, full-bodied red with mouth-watering notes of purple plum and blackberries. Full-bodied but smooth. Syrah food pairings: pepper-crusted steak, grilled beef-and-vegetable kebabs. 24661 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña La Rosa La Capitana Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Cachapoal Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a big, crowd-pleasing Cab that offers terrific value for money. The nose has sweet caramel, brown sugar and coffee bean aromas with black fruit notes taking a back seat to the oak. On the palate it’s dry, full bodied with concentrated fruit flavours coming to the fore, particularly cassis and blueberry as well as some chocolate notes. It’s soft textured with mild acidity. My note: Absolutely terrific! Double wow! Juicy, generous, fleshy plums and blackberries are followed by lovely smoke and dark spices on the finish. Sit back, close your eyes and take another sip. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: saucy grilled meats. 68429 14.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hugh Hamilton The Rascal Shiraz 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Big bold black fruit and lots of oak. Full-bodied and smooth, this is a palate-whacker. 595405 16% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jim Barry Wines The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, South Australia, Australia: Lots of mint and eucalyptus on the nose surrounded and cushioned by blackberry and black plum. Plunge head first into this wine and never come back. Full-bodied, luscious and smooth. 677476 14.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wyndham Estate Founder's Reserve Shiraz Cabernet 2006, Limestone Coast, South Australia, Australia: A juicy red that just keeps on giving! Lovely rich aromas of blackberry and plum. The Wyndham winery was the first producer of Australian Shiraz. 107912 14.4% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2007, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: Full-bodied with generous notes of black fruit and smoke. 511600 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maxwell Silver Hammer Shiraz 2008, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This family-owned winery celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, an impressive milestone. Aged for 18 months in seasoned American oak, this Shiraz showcases juicy black fruit, mocha and spice flavours. Generous, silky smooth and with good depth of flavour, this red is ready to drink. And yes, the name is a tribute to The Beatles’ song. My note: A smoky, coffeed nose with black fruit and a lick of oak on the finish. Full-bodied and dense. Very tasty! Shiraz food pairings: saucy ribs, smoked leg of lamb. 89599 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Evans & Tate Cabernet Merlot 2004, Margaret River, Australia: A juicy, generous red with lovely, heart-stopping aromas of blackberry and fleshy plum. Great finish. 721548 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Monte Antico Empson & Co. Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: A fascinating red that features lovely, bright aromas of cherries, raspberries and subtle oak. Full-bodied and supple yet it tastes mature already. Love that old leather and cigar box nuance. Phenomenal value! 69377 13% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Vignerons du Castelas Vieilles Vignes Signargues Grenache 2007, A.C., Votes Du Rhones-Villages, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A Gold Medal winner at the 2008 Vinsobres. Grenache-dominated, this wine displays aromas of strawberry, sweet cranberry and garrigue. Dry, with excellent aroma replays on the palate. Tannins are evident, contributing structure. Ageable 3-6+ years. Decant for several hours if you’re planning to enjoy it tonight. My note: A rustic, cedary red that offers mouth-filling flavours of black cherry and dark spices. Oh so tasty! Grenache food pairings: rare roast beef and root vegetables. 34116 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fielding Estate Winery Jack Rabbit Flats Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A lovely pinot with bright, expressive notes of tart cherries, raspberries and after-spring-rain earth. Silky texture; extremely sexy. Medium-bodied. The grapes were grown in a vineyard that is situated between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario. The 2007 vintage was spectacular for Niagara: enjoy! 36186 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Grapillon D'or 1806 Syrah Blend 2007, A.C., Gigondas, Rhône, France: Turn up the heat baby! This robust red clocks in at 15.5%, close to fortified. Yet, it’s delicious if you like the big style. Gorgeous notes of black cherry and black raspberry jam. A long, warm, spicy finish. Drink: 2012 - 2020 981787 14.5% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ortas Cave De Rasteau Syrah Blend 2007, A.C., Gigondas, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Winner of a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole Paris 2009. This award-winning wine is another exquisite example of the 2007 vintage. It features aromas of spring flowers, blackberry, pepper and mocha. Dry, structured and well-balanced with excellent integration between the fruits, acids and tannins. Medium bodied with a long finish. Enjoy this wine tonight or cellar it 3-5+ years. My note: Stunning! Beautiful concentration of flavours: black cherry liqueur, black raspberries, blackberry jam, dark spices and some oak. Full-bodied with a velvet texture. Syrah Blend food pairings: lamb chops. 155440 15.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 92/100. February 2010. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mas Des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Syrah Grenache 2008, A.C., Costières De Nîmes, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A blend of 55% Syrah and 45% Grenache, this Nîmes wine is filled with blackberry, soft spice, vanilla bean and underbrush aromas and flavours. Dry and appealing with fine fruit surrounded by gentle tannins and a hint of refreshing acidity. A great value from an up-and-coming region. My note: A tasty, full-bodied red with generous notes of black raspberries and blackberries. Supple with a satisfyingly long finish. Immeniently gulpable. 143099 14.1% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vignobles David Le Mourre De L'isle Grenache Mourvèdre 2007, A.C., Cotes Du Rhones, France: A rustic, robust red with grippy tannins. (Decant for at least 2 hours.) Attractive notes of blackberry, black cherry and smoky oak. The 2007 vintage was a great one for this region. This wine won a Gold Medal at the Concours des Vins à Orange 2009. This wine is kosher. 128124 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Five Stones Beckett's Flat Shiraz Cabernet Rosé 2009, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Beckett’s Flat is a family-run boutique winery that has been producing excellent kosher wines since 1998. Their Five Stones line receives the same kind of attention to detail and quality as the rest of the estate’s wines. This vibrant, slightly off-dry rosé is bursting with lovely strawberry and mixed red berry flavours balanced by taut acidity. A great wine to usher in an early spring. My note: Pure bottled sunshine! Field strawberries and raspberries with a lovely mouth-watering acidity. Light-bodied and ultra-refreshing. Great aperitif or companion to many dishes. Shiraz Cabernet Rosé food pairings: light appetizers. 120006 12.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. February 2010. Favourite Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Elvi Wines Cava Adar Macabeo Xarel-Lo Parellada, D.O., Ribera Del Júcar, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Our panel was very impressed with this delightful sparkling wine. A blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada grapes, this crisp fizz is made in the traditional method. Showing light toast, citrus and floral aromas on the nose, it’s dry and light bodied with crisp fresh apple and citrus fruit flavours leading to a long, focused finish. Very nice and an excellent value. Great for celebrations any day of the week. My note: Simple and straight-forward with earthy, toasty notes. Good budget bubbly. This wine is kosher. Macabeo Xarel-Lo Parellada food pairings: light fish dishes. 156737 12% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Vineland Estates Winery St. Urban Riesling 2007, V.Q.A., Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Tart and lovely! It’s a wake-up call for your mouth and needs food. Gorgeous aromas of lime, white peach, grapefruit and summer days. Let this wine have its way with you. Riesling food pairings: shellfish, sushi. 38117 8.4% D 750 mL $20.00 Score: 91/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: Voluptuous, mouth-filling aromas of happiness! Full-bodied and richly textured. Hazelnut, green apple, peach, yes, of course, but think about how you feel when you drink this wine. Beyond words, isn’t it? 33910 14% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 93/100. February 2010. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grandes Serres Les Portes Du Castelas Grenache Blanc Viognier 2008, A.C., Cotes Du Rhone, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A blend of traditional Rhône white grape varieties, principally Grenache Blanc and Viognier, this wine features aromas of spring flowers, Bosc pear, light honey and a touch of mineral. Dry and fruity with a nice crisp undertone that brings the fruit into balance. A fine sipper or aperitif wine. You can also enjoy it with mildly spiced Asian seafood dishes. My note: A pleasant white for when you want something with the body and flavour of Chardonnay but not so much oak. Grenache Blanc Viognier food pairings: Asian seafood dishes. 103697 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 86/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Pinot Grigio 2008, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Clean and refreshing with zesty notes of green apple, lime, and green melon. Terrific mouth-watering acidity. Medium-bodied. Great aperitif. 118513 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Private Reserve Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: A voluptuous, buttery, oaky white with enticing aromas of apples peaches and pears. Fall into this wine and forget the rest. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled herbed chicken breast, pork chops with apple sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2014 383109 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trius Winery at Hillebrand Hillebrand Estate Gewurztraminer Riesling Pinot Gris Savagnin Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc 2008, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A pleasant and balanced white with lovely melon and white peach notes. Judicious use of oak. A blend of six white grapes that change in composition each year. 54957 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blackstone Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Monterey County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Impressive Cali Savvy with an array of aromas including melon, fresh fig, cut grass and apple. Dry and vibrant, this is a refreshing wine. My note: Very grassy and herbal. Refreshing and mouth-watering. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: seafood salads, grilled chicken breast. 586149 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 86/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Katnook Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Coonawarra may not be known for Sauvignon Blanc, but this delicious version from Katnook could single-handedly change that. Lots of grass, gooseberry, passion fruit and citrus aromas at work here. Classic Savvy in many ways. Enjoy it with an array of seafood. My note: Herbals and grassy but not too aggressive: I like it! Limes, lemongrass and chives. Terrific food companion. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: steamed, stir-fried, grilled seafood. 737122 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Spinyback Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand: Herbal refreshment, lovely. Grassy fields on a summer day: run! Limes, chives and green apples. Winner of a Blue-Gold Award at the 2008 Sydney International Wine Competition. 694737 12.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domdechant Werner Wernerriesling Kabinett 2007, Hochheimer Hölle, Rheingau, Germany: Nicely zippy acidity balances the ripe peach, off-dry flavours. Absolutely gorgeous. Treat yourself! 722413 9% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Agnusdei Albariño 2008, D.O., Rías Baixas, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Albariño (Alvarinho, in Portugal) probably finds its finest expression in the Rías Baixas region of northwest Spain. The Atlantic Ocean influence here is quite pronounced, contributing to the wine’s racy freshness. Located right beside the ocean, it is unsurprising that this citrus-, melon-, and mineral-scented wine is an excellent match for shellfish dishes. My note: Searing acidity with lime and white grapefruit. Cries out for food. Albariño food pairings: steamed mussels, clams. 146241 12.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 86/100. February 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Planalto Branco Reserva 2008, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Fresh and zesty with clean, pure notes of lime and grapefruit. Great aperitif. 586420 12.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. February 2010. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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