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Vintages Release January 8, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Quinta Do Portal Fine Ruby Port, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Ruby port is a special treat, full with cherry liqueur flavours and blackberry jam. Makes a great after-dinner drink. Port food pairings: blue cheeses, cheddar, coq au vin. 87254 20% S 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pfeffingen Gewurztraminer Spätlese 2008, Pfalz, Germany: Exotic, enticing and absolutely delicious! Classic gewurz in all its glory: lychee, rose petal and baking spices converge happily. 211417 11.5% S 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. January 2011. Favourite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Château De Fontenelles Cuvée Notre Dame Thierry Tastu Syrah 2008, A.C., Corbières, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: It’s not surprising this wine won a Gold Medal at the 2009 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. It’s that good. Brimming with a wide range of aromas, including lifted blackberry, cured meat, pipe tobacco and anise. Dry, lush, rich, spicy and fruity with balancing acids and velvety tannins. Medium-full bodied with a long, lingering finish. A top-notch wine made mostly with Syrah. Enjoy it tonight with an array of meats. My note: 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. Syrah food pairings: grilled steaks, osso buco. 106518 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château des Charmes Old Vines Estate Bottled Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Pure Pinot nose featuring aromas of sour cherry, raspberry, beetroot and smoked/dried meat. Dry and balanced wine with dusty tannins for some potentially mid- to long-term ageing (3-5+ years). The fruit is hiding intriguingly under the tannins, waiting to come forth. This wine will shine with time. If you want to crack it open tonight, decant it for two hours. My note: Pinot Noir is becoming Ontario’s benchmark red wine but it’s very difficult to grow and make. Lots of dark cherry and wild forest notes here. This pinot is lovely and rustic with the soul of the earth in its heart. Pinot Noir food pairings: roast beef, roasted parsnips, charcuterie plate, roast fowl with jus. 256834 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Merlot 2007, Mendocino County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Bonterra was among the first wave of California’s major wine producers to embrace organic grape-growing and sustainable farming practices. This Merlot was crafted from certified organically grown grapes and offers aromas of cherry, cranberry, chocolate and spice. The palate is dry and well balanced, with luxuriously round tannins that are wonderfully integrated into the fruit. The medium-long finish leaves you with a lovely spiciness. My note: You don't have to be tie-dyed t-shirt wearing hippie to love organic wines these days. Bonterra has fashioned a lovely rich Merlot that will please just about anyone. Aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherries and plums are gently wrapped in a wisp of smoky oak. A wonderful 5 p.m. wine, one I'd call "Mommy's little helper." This wine, made from organic grapes, contains just 11 mg/L of free sulfur Merlot food pairings: pizza featuring mushrooms and basil pesto, grilled steak, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, ostrich, veal stuffed sausages. 984724 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Folie À Deux Ménage À Trois Zinfandel Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: It’s back! This threesome of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is fruit-driven, featuring pretty aromas of plum, blackberry and blueberry with hints of spice box and oak. Soft and supple with ample body and poise, this is a great wine to serve at a dinner for two, or more. My note: Juicy purple plums and blueberries with supple, smooth texture and full-bodied weight. Notes of chocolate and dark plums and blueberry jam. Rich and decadent. Knock it back! 665158 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Altocedro La Consulta Reserva Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina: A full-bodied red with rich, dark layers of black fruit. Good balancing acidity and length. For enjoyment now. 187880 15.2% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2008, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: Pure minty-blackberry goodness with a terrific mouth-watering style. Blueberry preserves and a mulberry mix make this an very tasty wine that delivers well beyond its price point. 142018 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A rich and robust Cabernet with classic aromas of cassis, blackcurrant, cedar and blackberry. Fantastic price. 203158 14.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Hallett Shiraz Grenache 2009, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: St. Hallett has been producing fine wines in the Barossa region since 1944. A very pretty nose leads the fun for this lively red blend. Highlights of blueberry, violets and ripe fruit dance on the palate. A tangy, juicy red blend that’s medium bodied and well-structured. Known in Australia as Gamekeeper’s Reserve, this Shiraz/Grenache blend also contains a small amount of the revered Portuguese variety Touriga Nacional which adds a lovely touch of floral spice to the wine. Earthy with red-berry fruit on the nose, the palate is big, rich and peppery with raspberry and strawberry flavours and the telltale spicy finish. My note: Baked cherries and kirsch on the nose with a warm, peppery finish. Full-bodied and tasty. Great value. Shiraz Grenache food pairings: fettuccine carbonara, meaty lasagna, grilled pepper steak. 24117 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Blackberry liqueur with black raspberry and spices. Mouth-watering, juicy and luscious. Supple and silky and full-bodied. 927533 15.2% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 92/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2008, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: From a historic single vineyard at the southern end of the Barossa, this deep purple Shiraz is bursting with ripe berry, lifted floral and coconut aromas. This is a rich and opulent wine with a chewy texture and ripe, juicy, mixed-berry and vanilla flavours balanced by firm, grainy tannins leading to a lengthy finish. It’s a “wow” wine that always impresses. Decant and serve, or cellar this big boy for up to 6 years. My note: Lovely rich and round with dark plums that cushion new heights and depths of pleasure. Shiraz food pairings: rare roast beef au jus, rack of lamb. 725127 13.5% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wakefield Merlot 2008, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The Taylor family has been crafting wines in the Clare Valley for decades. This rich, Gold Medal-winning (2009 Royal Hobart International Wine Show) Merlot offers aromas of red berry fruit and cassis with appealing whiffs of chocolate, spice and sweet tobacco. The aromas replay beautifully and the juicy-fruity flavours are ably balanced by subtle oak characters of nutmeg, spice and vanilla. My note: A red that possesses rich plum fruit notes with some hints of smoke. Round, supple and full-bodied. Terrific price. Merlot food pairings: aged cheddar, pan-roasted beef filet, rösti potatoes. 683201 14.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fairview Shiraz 2008, W.O., Paarl, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: This Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles presents a lovely deep, dark ruby colour in the glass. The nose is awash with blackberry, black pepper, plum, and chocolate. There are some earth tones here as well, and also lovely floral notes that sit delectably atop the other aromas. Great replays on the palate. This is a dry and well-structured wine with firm but integrated tannins. The finish is medium-long and spicy. Enjoy this tonight. My note: Smoky with dark berries and a lovely mouth-watering texture. Violets and dried herbs greet anyone who wants to think about the wine a little more than knocking it back which it is imminently suited to. Luscious and good-natured, like the goats that roam the estate. Closed with a screwcap. Shiraz food pairings: slow-cooked roast beef. 626358 14.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jean-Marc Pavelot Savigny-Les-Beaune Gravains 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2007, A.C., Burgundy, France: A magnificent Pinot from Burgundy with Old World classic styling and structure. Terrific aromas of white peach, almond and green apple. 206136 13% D 750 mL $47.95 Score: 91/100. January 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pech Matelles Marselan Vin De Pays Cabernet Sauvignon Grenache 2008, Rhône, Midi, France: Rich, dark and simple pleasure in the glass. Full-bodied and tasty. This organic wine contains only 21 mg/L of free sulphur. Marselan is a hybrid cross of cabernet sauvignon and grenache. 148684 14% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Gourgazaud Cuvée Mathilde Syrah Blend 2008, A.C., Minervois, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: From the sun-kissed Minervois region in the South of France, this wine consistently over-delivers on quality and value. This rendition is no exception as it easily demonstrates why this blend is so popular with Vintages customers. Offering notes of chocolate, blackberry, mineral, dried herbs and fresh florals on the nose. It follows up with a dry, medium-bodied, layered and complex palate rich in cassis, spice, chocolate and lovely fruit replays. The finish is long, deliciously spicy and cedary. This wine will shine. 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 Blend food pairings: lamb stew, lamb appetizers, beef stew with dumplings. 958629 12.9% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Perrin Nature Syrah Blend 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: An elegant and approachable blend of Grenache and Syrah, with an environmental conscience. The Perrin brothers of Château de Beaucastel fame have been practising organic methods for decades, and this is one of their finest examples. This wine is made from organically grown grapes. My note: From the makers of the top-notch Château Beaucastel comes this superb red with classic aromas of black raspberry, kirsch and dried herbs. Balanced, full-bodied and supremely delicious. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled Angus beef steak. 948059 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Perrin Nature Syrah Blend 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: An elegant and approachable blend of Grenache and Syrah, with an environmental conscience. The Perrin brothers of Château de Beaucastel fame have been practising organic methods for decades, and this is one of their finest examples. This wine is made from organically grown grapes. My note: From the makers of the top-notch Château Beaucastel comes this superb red with classic aromas of black raspberry, kirsch and dried herbs. Balanced, full-bodied and supremely delicious. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled Angus beef steak. 10363 13% XD 375 mL $9.45 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dante Rivetti Bricco Riserva Barbaresco 2004, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: A terrific red with juicy cherries and red fruit and good, mouth-watering acidity for many dishes. Full-bodied yet supple. 208264 14% D 750 mL $46.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cantele Riserva Salice Salentino 2007, D.O.C., Puglia, Italy: A vibrant red with tart cherry notes and dark spices. Full-bodied but smooth with great quaffability! Food pairings: grilled meats, light stews, fava bean puree with refried greens. 724328 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coppi Peucetico Primitivo 2006, D.O.C., Gioia Del Colle, Puglia, Italy: Italian Primitivio (aka Zinfandel) is tasty and straight-forward with dark fruit. Medium- to full-bodied. Not for analysis; pure quaffing. Primitivo food pairings: pasta in tomato-based sauce. 724674 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fattoria Di Basciano Riserva Chianti Rufina 2006, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Full-bodied and rich with dark red and black fruit aromas. A smoky finish is lovely. 209478 14% D 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Di Volpaia Citto Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Volpaia is one of Tuscany’s most recognized and respected producers. Their Citto is a blend of Sangiovese with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon to add depth to the flavours. The wine is unoaked, thus putting the fresh fruit aromas and flavours front and centre. Look for cherry, blackberry, cassis and a hint of underbrush on the nose. Even without the oak, it has exceptional structure that will even reward 2-4 years in a cellar. My note: Good grip in this wonderfully delicious full-bodied red. Aromas of tangy sun-dried tomatoes, cedar-spice, and red berries. Decant for 1 hour. Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: meat-based pasta dishes,. 134817 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Classico Superiore, Unfiltered Valpolicella Ripasso 2008, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Tommasi is unique in Ripasso and Valpolicella production. They make contemporary wines for modern palates without betraying traditions or classic approaches. This version is rich with raspberry, plum and vanilla aromas and flavors while still exhibiting the vibrant rustic tones that make it so identifiably Italian. This half-bottle size of our popular Vintages Essential is perfect for intimate dinners. My note: A savory and delicious selection among half bottles. Lovely notes of bacon fat, blackberries and dark spices. Full-bodied, supply and juicy. Wonderful accompaniment to many dishes. Valpolicella Ripasso food pairings: garlic and rosemary lamb. 69443 13% XD 375 mL $10.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Posta Pizzella Family Vineyard Malbec 2008, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: A full-bodied wine with big black plums and berries. Smooth and deep. Ready to drink now. 166298 13.5% D 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montes Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile: This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carmenère shows the best of both grapes with its blueberry, plum, blackberry and spice flavors. It’s dry and mouth-filling with plush fruit flavor and a lengthy finish. A well-structured, robust Cabernet blend with aromas of black plums and pepper. Great layers of flavor. A lovely finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère food pairings: bison steak, blue cheeses, horseradish sauces, seared tuna with a pepper crust. 16071 14.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cat Amongst The Pigeons Alley Cat Shiraz Grenache 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Fine, well-priced Shiraz/Grenache blend with aromas of raspberry, mint, plum, sweet herbs (marjoram, basil) and earth notes. Dry with very good fruit replays, plus a hint of mocha. Good balance provided by the silky tannins and gentle acidity. Medium-full bodied with a long, bright finish. My note: Rich black cherry liqueur, blueberry jam and voluptuous texture. Vanilla-spice finish. Shiraz Grenache food pairings: roast leg of lamb. 127621 14.9% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Yealands Estate Wines Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: The panel was deeply impressed by two things: the great-tasting juice, and the wonderful price. This is a fruit-forward wine with plenty of cherry, plum and earth tones. Also quite tangy, with a refreshing finish. My note: Lots of cherry zing in this tasty, tart pinot. Great value at this price. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal tenderloin, planked salmon. 199943 14% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Autrand Syrah Blend 2007, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Award-winning wine with a pretty nose, featuring aromas of blueberry, black cherry, blood orange and garrigue (fresh herb scent in the air in southern France). Dry with a sweet core of fruit followed by an intense spicy, cedary finish. Beautifully textured wine with a lingering, gently spicy finish. My note: Full-bodied with notes of blackberries and cedar forest. Love this style of wine. Nice peppery finish. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled lamb chops, rich pasta dishes. 200030 14.2% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Dominio Del Plata Crios De Susana Balbo Torrontés 2009, Cafayate, Calchaquies Valley, Argentina: A lovely floral white with enticing notes of ripe tree fruit. Perfect as an aperitif or with a variety of dishes from seafood to salads. Torrontés food pairings: seafood, salad. 1834 13.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Classic herbal Sauvignon Blanc with refreshing goodness and zip. 207159 12.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: Rich, buttery and full-bodied with delightful aromas of toasted almond, green apples and a lime-infused finish. Yum! Expertly made with terrific balance and length. Smoky like a comforting campfire and all the stories to boot. Loaded with green apples, hazelnut and some spice. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster, corn roast. 987131 14.4% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. January 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

King Estate Signature Collection Pinot Gris 2008, Oregon, United States: A zippy, refreshing white with mild flavours of white flowers and grapefruit. 983627 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Lovely aromas of tropical fruit, herbs and goose-berry on the nose. The palate is dry and medium-bodied with strong fruit replays built around a ray of bright citrus and a vibrant acidity. This is an impeccably balanced Sauvignon Blanc that delivers across the board. Enjoy as an aperitif. My note: Lime zest and herbal notes with a zingy acidity for food. Bright and refreshing. Awesome food companion. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled prawns, crab cakes. 662882 12.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: This is the half-bottle size of our popular Essentials Collection wine (35386). Kim Crawford’s Savvy is a credit to New Zealand’s well-earned reputation for Sauvignon Blanc. Layer upon layer of intense tropical fruit, melon and passion fruit excite both the nose and the palate. This dry, medium-bodied and crisp wine will work as a sipper. My note: Grassy great! Love the pure herbal refreshment in this wine with a streak of zippy lime running through it. Mouth-watering and terrific. Citrus notes lead with some herbal as a backdrop. Expertly made to deliver maximum pleasure. No heavy oak or alcohol: you’re free to enjoy pure fruit flavours of gooseberry.  Great house wine. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: seafood salad. 160085 13% XD 375 mL $9.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Costières De Pomerols Beauvignac Viognier 2009, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This a classy white that effortlessly evokes the sophistication of Southern France. There are lovely peach, honeysuckle, ripe apple and citrus notes, as well as pretty florals that give the nose a delightful and delicate complexity. The palate is dry and medium bodied, with a balanced acidity. The aroma replays on the palate are wonderful and leave you with a soft honeyed note on the medium-long finish. My note: Stunning viognier with classic aromas of rose peal, lychee and tree fruits. A pleasant bitter finish with extraordinary body and length. Incredible value. Viognier food pairings: mild curries, Asian dishes, grilled cod, seared scallops, fine cheeses. 525295 12% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2007, Mosel, Germany: A lovely floral white with ripe peaches and pear notes. A touch of sweetness is just what you need for so many dishes. Terrific! Riesling Kabinett food pairings: glazed ham, Asian curries. 189654 8.5% MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Geil Riesling Kabinett 2009, Q.M.P., Bechtheimer Rosengarten, Rheinhessen, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: There is a real elegance to this wine. Nice mineral notes, citrus, peach and floral tones on the nose. The palate is medium-sweet, ripe, and textured enough to match well with roasted turkey breast or stuffed pork tenderloin. It will also age gracefully for 3-5+ years. My note: Fleshy ripe peach and pear with other lovely tree fruit mingles in. Luscious texture. A tangerine-infused finish. Riesling Kabinett food pairings: turkey breast, stuffed pork tenderloin, Asian noodles, turkey butternut squash risotto, avocado salad. 994764 9.5% MD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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