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Wine Picks March 2, 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

Reif Estate Winery Riesling Icewine 2008, V.Q.A., Niagara River, Ontario, Canada: Lovely lemon drops and apricot jelly with some orange zest running down the middle in a seam of brightening acidity. I love this wine. What a treat it would be after dinner. Riesling Icewine food pairings: brie or camembert cheeses, dark chocolate or citrus-infused cakes.. Drink: 2010 - 2025 779320000297 10.5% S 200 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Beringer Stone Cellars Merlot 2007, California, United States: Smooth and plummy with a lovely balance. Medium- to full-bodied, the delicious rip red concludes with a vanilla smoke finish. Merlot food pairings: roast chicken, lasagna or pizza and pasta.. 462473 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Osoyoos Larose Petales D’Osoyoos Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc 2006, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Roses and violets crushed among dark field berries and vanilla spice. Supple and velvet-textured. A blend of merlot (75%), malbec (14%), cabernet sauvignon (5%), petit Verdot (5%) and cabernet franc (1%). It was aged 16 months in French oak barrels. A total of 8,000 cases were made. This is the second label of Osoyoos Larose so it’s ready to drink earlier than the flagship wine. Decant 1-2 hours. Needs time to age. Drink: 2011 - 2016 13.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 90/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc 2004, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Chalky-dry with a towering Bordeaux-like structure. Classic aromas of cassis, blackcurrant and blackberry. Ready to drink to now but it will last. Drink: 2010 - 2018 626325 13.5% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc 2005, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: It’s thrilling how much potential is locked up in this bottle. Give it time and it will reward you richly in a river of hedonistic delight. Drink: 2014 - 2022 626325 13.5% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc 2007, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Year after year, this winery delivers: what we are talking about is differences in excellence. This vintage was hot but the wine is still nicely balanced and structured. The signature notes of tasty mocha, dark plums and berries. Give it time: don’t rob the cradle. You’ll be thankful. A magnificent wine. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2014 - 2022 626325 13.5% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 91/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Edge Wines Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa, United States: A full-bodied, tasty wine with black cherry and dark spice aromas. A clove-vanilla infused finish. Drink: 2010 - 2014 289685 14.4% D 750 mL $33.95 Score: 90/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Huff Estates Winery Merlot 2008, Prince Edward County, Canada: Attractive, mouth-watering black cherries, blackberries and earthy notes. Gives a pleasant bite with supple, full-bodied layers of flavour. Good balance. This winery has made big strides quickly in terms of its quality and development from just starting out. Merlot food pairings: spiced lamb tourtiere, pan-seared scallops with pumpkin risotto. Drink: 2010 - 2012 134239 12.8% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Huff Estates Winery South Bay Vineyards Merlot-Cabernet 2007, Prince Edward County, Canada: Redolent of sweet chocolate notes on the nose with fleshy ripe plums on the palate. Medium- to full-bodied and supple. Very pleasant sipping wine. Merlot-Cabernet food pairings: garlic & rosemary stuffed mushroom, pepper steak. Drink: 2010 - 2013 010101 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Sangre De Toro 2008, Catalonia, Spain: Fantastic value! Loaded with juicy black cherries, berries, dark spices and licorice. Velvety smooth, full-bodied and tasty. Terrific party wine. Food pairings: roasts, casseroles, game and traditional Spanish meat dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2015 6585 13.5% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2007, Burgundy, France: Gorgeously tart cherries with redcurrant and cranberry notes. Silky smooth and seductively long. Amazing value for the price. In fact, I often pick up a case of this pinot so as never to be out of a mouth-watering, food-friendly wine for dinner. Love it! 69914 12.7% XD 750 mL $18.45 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Central Valley, Chile: Aromas of dark plums and berries fill this supple, full-bodied wine to the brim. Some lovely vanilla smoke on the finish. Incredible price. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: red meats, pork, spicy sauces. 218644 13.5% XD 750 mL $10.45 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nederburg Shiraz 2007, South Africa, South Africa: Juicy and lip-smacking delicious with a full-bodied character. Lovely earthy balance to the ripe plums and blackberries with some a spicy, racy finish. Aged for 12 months in oak but not too oaky at all. Just lovely! 527457 14.5% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, South Africa, South Africa: Terrific robust red with ripe black fruit and an attractive dusty, earthy note. Supple and balanced without being too sweet or heavily oaked. An amazing wine for the money. Perfect for potluck dinner. 111526 14.5% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Goats do Roam Shiraz Blend 2007, South Africa, South Africa: A supple, medium- to full-bodied red with attractive notes of black plums and berries. Judicious and well-integrated use of oak. This wine would please many palates at a party. Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. 718940 14% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Mendocino County, California, United States: Lovely balance in this mocha-rich red with layers of fleshy plums and blackberries and cassis. This wine is made from organically grown grapes. 342428 12.09% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bankside Shiraz 2007, South Eastern Australia, Australia: A juicy, ripe, robust red with fleshy plums. A tasty weave of oak runs through this slap-happy wine. Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Knock it back! Terrific party wine. 436022 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir 2008, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Love it! Absolutely seductively ripe cherries run out to meet you, grab you by the hand and pull you into the glass. Just go with it. Medium-bodied and velvet smooth. Strong but good use of oak. Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. 1545 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Cellars Syrah 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: A robust red with peppery black fruit and smoke. A terrific wine for movie or pizza night. 733758 14.3% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Knights Valley, California, United States: Gorgeous layers of mocha and black plum. Velvet smooth with a long, satisfying finish. Mouth-watering acidity and juiciness. This is a fireside or sunset wine: sip, think, sip again, savor. 352583 13% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2007, Mclaren Vale, Australia: Big, honkin', beautiful red with leap-out-of-the-glass aromas of black plums, blackberries, smoke and pepper. A great wine for game night. Yum! 659607 15% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Washington, United States: A sturdy, savory red with robust layers of blackberry, cassis and blackcurrant. Balanced and flavorful. Will please even grumpy people. 144022 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cousiño Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile: Lovely for the money! Gorgeous balance with classis aromas of cassis, blackberry and blackcurrant. A weave of smoke runs through it. Perfect for dinner parties, especially if you're serving steak or a meaty dish. 212993 14% XD 750 mL $15.45 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Little Yering Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2005, Australia Victoria, Australia: Blackberry liqueur and jam. If you want a palate-whacker and love jammy-ripe fruit, you've found your friend in this bottle. Lip-smacking tasty. 145326 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beaulieu Vineyards Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: I looked twice at the price because I thought it was typo it was so low. This is an incredible wine for the money. Stock up for your next party or for next year. Wonderful aromas of mocha, black plums and smoke. Full-bodied and supple. Yay! 569871 13.5% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile: Love it! I will not be snobby and resist a 90 score just because this is a $14 wine. It's tasty, robust and packed with flavour. Fleshy rip plums, blackberries and a mocha infused finish. Roll on! 253872 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 90/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Pey La Tour Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2007, Bordeaux, France: Mocha and oak come first with some blackberry and casis to follow. Full-bodied and brooding with a cedary-infused finish. Has Old World structure with New World black fruit and oak. 925859 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chanson Pere & Fils Pinot Noir 2007, Burgundy, France: Juicy, mouth-watering cherries with a sexy, supple texture. I bought a case of this because I loved it. It's not cheap but it's a steal for Burgundy. 50575 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Periquita Periquita(Castelao Fr) 2006, Setubal, Portugal: Supple, medium- to full-bodied with fleshy black plums and blackberries. Not too much oak. Just lovely. Great price! 25262 12% XD 750 mL $7.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zenato Valpolicella Ripasso 2007, Veneto, Italy: Mocha with blackberry, this robust red with a supple texture will be a crowd pleaser. 479766 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cannonau Di Sardegna 2006, Sardinia, Italy: Love it! Sun-dried tomato, black cherry, smoke, savory bacon fat. Intriguiing. 425488 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cesari Amarone 2006, Valpolicella, Italy: A rich, velvet robe of black cherries and plums. Like walking on rose petals: luxurious and supple, a hedonist's fantasty. Very full-bodied. 426718 14% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tyrrell's Wines Lost Block Shiraz 2007, Hunter Valley, Australia: A juicy, deeply delicious Shiraz with rich, dark plums, blackberries and menthol. Full-bodied and terrific! Drink: 2011 - 2017 426640 14% 750 mL $17.99 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008, Russian River Valley, United States: Big black fleshy cherries unfurl over your palate in a silky river of flavour and pleasure. This is a very robust pinot noir due to the high alcohol level. However, it is quite delicious for those who love a full-bodied style. Drink: 2010 - 2015 545343 14.4% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fuse Wines Fuse Cabernet 2006, Napa, United States: A towering, massive wine with incredible structure, balance, depth and length. Mocha richness, with black fruit, smoke and dark spices. Superb! Drink: 2010 - 2018 239995 14.1% D 750 mL $36.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Oppenlander Vineyard Cabernet Franc Legacy Series 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: The 2007 vintage was long and hot which resulted in succulently ripe reds, especially this Cabernet Franc. It has towering structure and flavour along with massive depth of fleshy back fruit. An incredible wine. Cabernet Franc Legacy Series food pairings: grilled striploin or braised short ribs-flavourful meats with rich berry sauces. Great at the end of a meal with aged cheddar.. Drink: 2010 - 2016 988164 14% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kir Yianni Paranga (Syrah-Merlot-Xinomavro) 2008, Regional Wine Of Macedonia, Greece: Lip-smacking delicious with juicy purple plums and blueberries. A whiff of cinnamon spice on the finish. Full-bodied and generous. Paranga (Syrah-Merlot-Xinomavro) food pairings: pork tenderloin, grilled meat and seafood. Drink: 2010 - 2015 392175 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Jean Bousquet Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Tupungato Valley, Argentina: A full-bodied, supple red with lovely aromas of dark berries and plums. Perfect with meat lovers' pizza on movie night or for early spring barbecues. This is an organic wine. Malbec food pairings: steak, pasta and ribs. Drink: 2010 - 2016 160952 14% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Huff Estates Winery Cuvee Peter F. Huff 2006, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Gorgeous mousse with a lovely balanced freshness on the palate. Frothy good aromas of green apples and white pear. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes using the traditional champagne method of the second fermentation in the bottle. Extraordinary length and satisfaction! Could this be Canada's best bubbly? Cuvee Peter F. Huff food pairings: oysters, sushi. Drink: 2010 - 2012 01010 12% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Huff Estates Winery South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Prince Edward County, Canada: Stunning buttery depths and voluptuousness. Velvet richness with a hazelnut-infused finish. Yum. Chardonnay food pairings: pan seared scallops, pumpkin risotto. Drink: 2011 - 2014 1010101 12.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 93/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tselepos Domaine Tegea Mantinia 2009, Aoc Mantinia, Greece: Pretty and floral with lovely fresh daisies tossing their heads in a spring breeze. Perfect aperitif with a clean, fresh finish and the promise of May blossoms and ripe melon. Mantinia food pairings: yellow cheeses, fish, oven roast sea bass, grilled octapus. Drink: 2010 - 2013 724583 12.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Latour Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l'Ardeche Chardonnay 2007, Coteaux De L'ardeche, France: Smooth, creamy and balanced. Terrific for the price. Notes of green apples and some hazelnut. 132498 14.1% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 86/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Signorello Estate Seta - Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Napa, United States: Lovely green apple and lime notes. Balanced, rich and full-bodied. Lanolin-infused finish. 260868 14.1% 750 mL $43.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Signorello Estate Signorello Estate Signorello Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2007, Napa, United States: A big, blousy, classic California Chardonnay with beautifully buttery layers and richness. Aromas of ripe tree fruit. Lovely proportions. Drink: 2010 - 2013 260850 14.2% 750 mL $59.95 Score: 91/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Stone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2009, New South Wales, Australia: Lime and melon fresh with a crisp, refreshing acidity. Some come-alive grassy, herbal notes in the middle. Terrific aperitif or companion to seafood and shellfish. Here comes summer! Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled salmon and other seafood. 181388 12% D 750 mL $10.85 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2009, New South Wales, Australia: Lovely notes of white and green melon with a refreshing white peach finish. Great aperitif. Pinot Grigio food pairings: shrimp in garlic butter, pasta con alio e olio and light apetizers.. 668947 12.5% D 750 mL $10.85 Score: 86/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Stone Cellars Chardonnay 2008, California, United States: Bursting with ripe blackberries, blackcurrants and cassis. Great structure with a judicious use of oak. Decant this full-bodied quaffer for an hour. Chardonnay food pairings: roast poultry, grilled vegetables or chicken caesar salad. 606806 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc 2009, South Africa, South Africa: Terrific value for the price! Grassy good and refreshing with zippy notes of limes, grapefruit and gooseberry. Wonderful aperitif or food companion. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: vegetarian dishes, salads, shellfish. 382713 13.5% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Chablisienne Vieilles Vignes, Les Vénérables Chardonnay 2008, Chablis, Burgundy, France: Green apple goodness with mouth-watering acidity and lime notes. No oak with a refreshing crispness. Not fruit forward, more minerally. 942243 12.6% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Riesling 2008, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Lovely lime purity with major mouth-watering action! Light but packed with flavour. Great aperitif or food companion. 286377 12% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2008, D.O.C., Valdadige, Italy: Lovely lemon, white melon and chives. Very refreshing and clean. The ultimate aperitif. 106450 12% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Baronnes Henri Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Sancerre, Loire Valley, France: Austere and mouth-watering with green apples and limes. Oak free with pure refreshment. Minerally not fruity. 542548 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Conundrum Blend 2008, Rutherford, California, United States: Divine! Exotic, enticing and transporting! I love it: This wine will trabsport you to the Orient then zip you back to a California beach. Alluring notes of lychee, rose petal, white melon. Medium-bodied and refreshing. You have to try it! 694653 13.5% M 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Palatine Hills Estate Winery Riesling Traminer 2008, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A very pretty white with lovely white field flowers and white peach. Terrific aperitif. Great price! 58602 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.05 Score: 87/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ironstone Symphony 2007, Obsession, United States: Lemon essence with some lovely white flower notes. Stunning and interesting every year. Great acidity and mouth-watering. Symphony is actually the name of the grape: It's a cross between Grenache Blanc and Muscat of Alexandria. 355784 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Chardonnay 2006, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: A generous and voluptuous Chardonnay with gorgeous notes of green apples, butter, hazelnut and oak. 545004 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Cooper Vineyard Riesling Legacy Series 2008, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A spritely, energetic white with refreshing notes of lime and white flowers. Great balance and finesse. Lots of body here with a beautiful medium weight and texture. Luscious! Riesling Legacy Series food pairings: Very versatile wine that goes well textured fishes and shellfish with citrus based sauces and marinades; mild Asian cuisine with its multitude of spicy flavours.. Drink: 2010 - 2013 988165 12.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Des Martinelles Frtiz Riesling 2008, Rheinhessen, Germany: A simple, refreshing white with good acidity and attack. Notes of lime and grapefruit. Needs food so pair it up with seafood, vegetarian dishes and others. Drink: 2010 - 2010 320135 13% XD 750 mL $16.99 Score: 86/100. March 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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