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Wine Picks January 14, 2011

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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 outside 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.

Red Wine

Mirassou Winery Pinot Noir 2008, California, United States: A simple, tasty red with sour cherry notes and a smooth, medium body. Good quaff for pizza night. Pinot Noir food pairings: chicken in tomato and olive braise. 185249 13.5% 750 mL $12.95 Score: 83/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

[yellow tail] Reserve, Casella Wines Shiraz 2009, Southeast Australia, Australia: Classic Shiraz with rich, palate-caressing flavours of mocha, blackberry and black plum. Crack one open at your next potluck or book club gathering. Drink: 2010 - 2014 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

[yellow tail] Reserve, Casella Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Southeast Australia, Australia: A savoury, balanced and full-bodied red with terrific notes of cassis and blackberry and black cherry. Perfect for movie night, especially film noir. Drink: 2010 - 2014 106104 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Little Penguin Merlot 2009, South Eastern Australia, Australia: Surprisingly tasty for this price point: delivers terrific value in the bottle! Lovely lifted notes of plush plums and some mint. Smooth, supple and full-bodied. Perfect for your next potluck gathering. Drink: 2011 - 2014 598912 13.5% 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Little Penguin Shiraz 2009, South Eastern Australia, Australia: Big juicy purple and black plums burst from the glass. Some vanilla oak and a smooth, full-bodied texture. Nice price! Drink: 2011 - 2014 621870 13.5% 750 mL $10.95 Score: 85/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, South East Australia, Australia: Juicy, plummy and full-bodied with some toasty oak. Delicious priced right. Perfect for parties. Drink: 2011 - 2013 119628 13.5% 750 mL $12.10 Score: 86/100. January 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2010, South East Australia, Australia: Mouth-watering and generous with layers of black plums and berries. Yum! Crack one open on movie night. Drink: 2011 - 2014 145367 13.5% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Core Wine Company Kuyam Thirteen Moons 2007, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: A big, full-bodied red with black fruit and smoke. Good grippy tannins and a satisfyingly long finish. Food pairings: hearty beef and root vegetable stew. Drink: 2010 - 2013 14.9% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Core Wine Company Hard Core Mouvedre Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Grenache 2007, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: This blend of 37% mouvedre, 33% cabernet sauvignon, 26% syrah and 4% grenache delivers! Rich and full-bodied with ripe flavours of blackberry and dark plums. A touch of tannin means that decanting for 1-2 hours will help. Mouvedre Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Grenache food pairings: grilled rib-eye steak with portabello mushroom red wine sauce. Drink: 2010 - 2016 14.9% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Colio Estate Wines C.E.V. Meritage 2006, V.Q.A. Lake Erie North Shore, Canada: Robust and smooth with notes of cassis, cedar and blackberry. Decant for an hour and enjoy. Meritage food pairings: veal, pork, lamb, strong cheeses, beef. Drink: 2010 - 2013 314880 12% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2009, Sonoma County, California, United States: Generous oak on the nose is supported by gorgeous, fleshy cherries on the palate. Some black raspberry plays here too with your senses. Incredible texture: satin smooth. Smokey finish. Drink: 2011 - 2015 954834 13.9% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Knotty Vines Estate Zinfandel 2008, Sonoma County, California, United States: Terrific cherry-berry aromas burst from the glass! Love the energy and pleasure here. Round, smooth and full-bodied. Slippery-great. Top me up! Drink: 2011 - 2015 363358 15% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: Love this style of cabernet! Balanced, deep, long and ultimately satisfying. Classic aromas of blackberry and cassis. Satin smooth and full-bodied. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2011 - 2017 382325 14.9% D 750 mL $59.95 Score: 91/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Symmetry Red Meritage 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: A remarkable wine that needs more cellar time. Massive and towering with deep, dark, rich black fruit aromas and smoke. Good tannic grip. Decant for 2 hours. Drink: 2013 - 2018 497933 13.8% D 750 mL $69.95 Score: 92/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Colio Estate Wines Girls' Night Out Merlot 2008, Lake Erie North Shore, Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada: Black cherry notes with a smooth texture. Medium-bodied. Tasty and gulpable. Merlot food pairings: grilled beef, veal, pasta with tomato sauce. 89847 13% 750 mL $12.95 Score: 83/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vigne dei Mastri Rodata 2007, Piedmont, Italy: Full-bodied with black fruit and smoke. Medium- to full-bodied. Tasty. Food matches: meat-lovers pizza. Great price. Drink: 2010 - 2012 416866 13.5% D 750 mL $8.75 Score: 85/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hawkes Wine & Winery Red Winery Vineyard Merlot 2008, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, United States: A lovely, medium- to full-bodied red with delicious notes of mocha and black plums. Smooth and blanced. A terrific wine that will appeal to many palates, which makes ideal as a gift or for dinner party. Merlot food pairings: Moroccan-spiced rack of lamb. Drink: 2010 - 2016 416882 13.8% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ros├ęs

Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec Shiraz Rose 2009, Argentina: Lovely! What a steal at this price! Juicy, mouth-watering raspberries and strawberries. Bone-dry so it's a wonderfully refreshing aperitif. Plush and medium-bodied. A 50/50 blend of malbec and shiraz. Perfect for book club and potluck gatherings. Drink: 2011 - 2012 170126 13% 750 mL $7.95 Score: 86/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Seaview Brut Sparkling White, South East Australia, Australia: Toasty bread aromas wrapped around some white peach and lime. Refreshing and zesty. You can't beat this price for bubbly. Sparkling White food pairings: aperitif. Drink: 2011 - 2013 216333 12% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 85/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

The Little Penguin Chardonnay 2009, South Eastern Australia, Australia: Terrific buttery and peachy Chardonnay. Round, full-bodied and absolutely delicious. Nice toasty vanilla smoke on the finish. Chardonnay food pairings: macaroni and cheese, chicken wings, hot buttered popcorn. 598904 12% 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

[yellow tail] Reserve, Casella Wines Chardonnay 2009, Southeast Australia, Australia: Wow! Welcome to the new [yellow tail]! Balanced, rich, full-bodied and lip-smackin' delicious. Mouth-filling but not heavy with lovely aromas of green apple, peach and toasty oak. Bring it on! Drink: 2010 - 2014 366203 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Colio Estate Wines Girls' Night Out Riesling 2009, V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: A simple, tasty white with a touch of sweetness. Notes of peach and pear. Makes a nice aperitif. Riesling food pairings: chicken, white-fleshed fish. 134197 11.6% MD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 83/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand: So dependably fresh and crisp every year: this is a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! Lovely zesty notes of limes, chives, and gooseberry. Perfect for vegetarian pizza or quiche. Drink: 2011 - 2014 316570 11% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Black Slate Riesling 2007, Mosel, Germany: An excellent aperitif, or companion to many dishes from seafood to mild curries. Aromas of lemon drops with a crisp lively body and mouth-watering, appetite-whetting acidity. Unbelievably great price! 176917 11.5% MD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Core Wine Company B.Core Rousanne Marsanne 2006, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: A robust, Rhone-style white that's a blend of 73% Rousanne and 27% Marsanne grapes. An unctuous, mouth-filling wine with an incredibly long finish. Lovely! Rousanne Marsanne food pairings: hazelnut-crusted chicken breast with tarragon cream sauce. Drink: 2010 - 2013 14.9% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 88/100. January 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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