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Vintages Release February 5, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Quinta Da Romaneira Tawny Port, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Renowned winemaker Christian Seeley now oversees as his personal project this Quinta, which is quickly becoming a flagship in the Douro region. This comes from the driest part of the region, which translates to exceptionally robust and sun-kissed flavours. An excellent-value Port, with nutty aromas of dried berries, and sweet flavours of strawberry jam, woodspice, cranberry, anise and dark chocolate. A medium-full-bodied Tawny that shouldn’t be passed up. My note: Lovely red fruit with generous layers of pleasure. Think twice if you think wine only goes with the entree ... save a little something, like this, for dessert. Port food pairings: chocolate truffles, pecan pie. 197020 19.5% S 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Delaforce Reserve Quinta & Vineyard Bottlers Port, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: A terrific port with great depth and richness of flavour. Perfect as an after-dinner drink. Port food pairings: blue cheese, baked apples. 197012 20% S 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pfeffingen Scheurebe Spätlese 2008, Q.M.P., Ungsteiner Herrenberg, Pfalz, Germany: Absolutely stunning! Doesn’t taste as sweet as a spatlese given the concentration of fruit, minerality and mouth-watering acidity. I adore this style of wine. Bring me my glass and I’ll be happy. Drink: 2011 - 2019 14837 11% MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 93/100. February 2011. Favourite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Columbia Winery Crest H3 Merlot 2007, Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States: Generous and smooth with lots of purple and black plum and berry flavour. Not tannic. Smooth and satisfying. 209874 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Sughere Di Frassinello Rocca Di Frassinello Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, I.G.T., Maremma, Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Terrific blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot serves up plenty of black fruit and spice character. My note: Love it! Mocha-rich with fleshy black fruit and smoke. Full-bodied and smooth with a long finish. Toast your new gouse, partnership, marriage, baby with this one! Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot food pairings: steak-and-mozzarella pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2017 25700 14% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 91/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mastrojanni San Pio Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese Grosso 2007, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Sangiovese Grosso. An attractive garnet-ruby colour in the glass, it offers somewhat subtle notions of blueberry, black cherry, tilled earth, dried fruit, and leather. The palate is dry and medium-full bodied, with a core of robust fruit balanced by ample acidity. Lots of texture here. A very appealing wine. Cellar for 2-3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Tuscany plus! This is a bruiser but it’s also savoury and pleasantly bitter. Rich dark berries backed up savoury spices and herbs. Dark as the night that you’ll slip into easily with this wine. Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese Grosso food pairings: roast leg of lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2016 944603 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Abbadia Ardenga Rosso Di Montalcino Sangiovese 2007, D.O.C., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Rosso di Montalcinos are designed to be enjoyed in their relative youth, and this one is a prime example. Filled with aromas of blackberry, cherry and a hint of smoke, this wine is dry, quite fruit-forward and balanced. A very well-made wine for current enjoyment, or put it away for 2-4 years. My note: I really like the mouth-watering acidity here: makes you want to eat anything! Juicy and generous with dark berries and smoke. Full-bodied and smooth. It’s a great litmus wine on a first date: what do you have in common aside from the wine? Sangiovese food pairings: lamb chops, osso buco. Drink: 2011 - 2016 184945 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aia Vecchia Lagone Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2007, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Mouth-watering and delicious! Bursting with lovely aromas of blueberries, blackberries, violets and forest floor. I could lose myself in this wine. Please pass the bottle. Drink: 2011 - 2015 208157 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta Di Castelgiocondo Lamaione Marchesi De' Frescobaldi Merlot 2007, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The 2007 vintage of the 100% Merlot Lamaione was released worldwide just last month. All vintages reviewed by Wine Spectator from 2003 through 2006 received scores of 90 or above (with the ’06 garnering 96 points). Reviews of Frescobaldi’s other Tuscan ’07s are spectacular, so expect similar acclaim when the reviews for this blockbuster wine are published. Lamaione is a natural for the cellar (3-5+ years), though it may also be enjoyed this evening, decanted, with slow-cooked dishes. My note: A very serious wine, and not just because it’s pricey. It’s worth it! Back-like deep chords of black plums and ponderous, heart-stopping black fruit. Superb structure, balance and length. A wine to open when you know you’ve won! Merlot food pairings: marinated roast beef, mushroom-enriched stews, beef fillet. Drink: 2012 - 2020 978411 12% XD 750 mL $63.95 Score: 92/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Brancaia Tre Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Savoury and juicy with sundried tomato and pleasantly bitter cherries. Full-bodied and smooth. Great wine for many Italian dishes. Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: Italian dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2016 164715 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Madonnina Riserva Fratelli Triacca Chianti Classico 2007, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Savoury and mouth-watering with dark chocolate, blackberry, cassis, leather and happiness. Good acidity: terrific in wine if you actually want to drink it with food. Terrific craftsmanship here. This would make a memorable dinner party wine or hostess gift. Tastes twice the price. Chianti Classico food pairings: grilled meats. Drink: 2011 - 2018 191361 13.4% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Hands Wines Angels' Share Shiraz 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Juicy-wonderful! Mint and blackberry pie aromas. Luscious, fully ripe blueberries and mulberries on the palate. Long on pleasure. Drink: 2011 - 2016 9480 15.6% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 92/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Lively medium-purple colour leading to a nose featuring fresh-picked raspberry, blueberry and cherry, plus a touch of spice. Dry to slightly off-dry; round and fruity, easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing style with just a smidge of tannin and crispness to give it structure. Enjoy it now. My note: Juicy and purple with zingy acidity. Mocha rich with blueberry-blackberry pie aromas. Full-bodied and smooth. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: gourmet burgers, pasta in tomato sauce, grilled ribs. 212126 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Cinciole Chianti Classico 2007, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: A juicy, generous wine with pleasantly tar black cherries and black field raspberries. Vibrant and lively. Perfect for pizza night. Chianti Classico food pairings: pizza. 207795 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pillitteri Estates Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, V.Q.A.,, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Cabernet Sauvignon can do extremely well in Ontario when the climate cooperates, and it co-operated brilliantly in 2007. The fruit was harvested when it was both phenolically and sugar ripe (exactly what a winery is looking for in any grapes at harvest). The result was a wine with fine balance. This 100% Cab Sauv is filled with cassis, raspberry, eucalyptus and hints of black pepper. Dry with very good fruit tones supported by fine tannins, it’s cellarable 3-4+ years. It can also be enjoyed tonight. My note: A supple, full-bodied, mocha-rich red with dark berry and plum aromas. Smooth and nicely balanced. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rare steak frites. Drink: 2011 - 2015 349233 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dirty Laundry Vineyard Bordello Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008, V.Q.A., Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: The origins of Dirty Laundry Vineyards’ name are delightfully unseemly. In the early 20th century, the town of Summerland was a centre for fur-traders and gold-miners. A laundry was opened to clean the clothes of the men who came through town. The owner quickly realized his back rooms could have another use, as a bawdy-house and gambling den. The winery’s name is a tribute to this unsavoury history. Their Bordello red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The 2008 is a big, flavourful, age-worthy wonder that is bound to attract awards and acclaim, as the 2007 vintage did. My note: Big and bruising, this saucy wine delivers a punch. Dark fruit, smoke and full-bodied weight. Smooth texture. Pricey, but you gotta pay for love. Drink: 2011 - 2016 219717 14.9% D 750 mL $53.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009, Sonoma County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The Seghesio name has been a part of Sonoma’s Zinfandel story since 1895. Today, sourcing grapes from vines averaging 25-30 years in age, they produce some of the best Zins going. Their 2009 shows notes of raspberry, blackberry and subtle spice. Demonstrating great structure, this is an elegant Zin. My note: A rich and balanced zinfandel with opulent blackberry, brambleberry and raisin pie aromas. Full-bodied and smooth. Zinfandel food pairings: ribs in a zesty barbecue sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2015 942151 14.8% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stonehedge Diamond Ridge Reserve Zinfandel 2007, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A very enticing deep ruby in the glass, followed by notes of sweet fruit and mocha. Dry and well-structured with superbly well-integrated tannins, sweet fruit, and oaky flavours. This delivers a layered, medium-long finish. Very tasty. Enjoy this wine. My note: A peppery, spicy number with blackberry and dried raisins. Full-bodied, smooth and luscious. Zinfandel food pairings: grilled portobello mushrooms. Drink: 2011 - 2015 205781 14.3% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Oakville District, Napa Valley, California, United States: Spectacular: finesse, elegance and all those other vague superlatives that truly apply to this wine. Old World styling, balance, structure and length with New World concentration, energy and optimism. Yes, we’re still talking about wine here. This is the Napa classic. You deserve to try it at least once… you’ll be back. Drink: 2012 - 2020 29207 14.5% D 750 mL $54.95 Score: 93/100. February 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: Nicely balanced and elegant, with classic aromas of cassis and blackcurrant. Long and supple. 226944 13.8% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel 2008, Sonoma County, California, United States: Dark and consistently good, this red blend offers loads of blackberry and brambleberry fruit. Smooth with lots of mouth-watering juiciness. Serve it at your next barbecue. Drink: 2011 - 2015 652875 14.2% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mark West Pinot Noir 2008, California, United States: A juicy wine with lovely sour cherry aromas and some baking spices. Supple texture. Medium body. Drink while watching that classic movie Sideways again. Drink: 2009 - 2013 83329 13.8% D 750 mL $17.99 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah 2008, Guadalupe Valley, Baja California, Mexico: Vintages Wine Panel: Widely produced in California and usually blended with Zinfandel to add structure, Petite Sirah does very well as a stand-alone variety in Mexico; L.A. Cetto, in particular, has been extremely successful with the variety. Dense purple in colour, it offers black pepper and tea notes leading to an impressive, well-rounded finish. My note: Blackberry liqueur-like concentration of wonderful flavour. This is a staggeringly good wine for the money. Got parties or weddings coming up? Here’s your wine. Petite Sirah food pairings: spicy black bean dishes, steak-and-cheese enchiladas. 983742 14% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Broquel Bonarda 2007, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy-ripe red with rich black fruit, licorice, blueberry, coconut, dark spices and vanilla smoke. The vines for this wine were 20 years old, and the wine was aged in oak barrels for 12 months. Good firm tannins. Decant for 1-2 hours. Bonarda food pairings: tomato-sauce dishes, pasta, steak, ribs, meat casserole. 55558 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Best Value Red Wine (Tied) Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Psyche Bend Chateau Mildura Shiraz 2009, Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Established over 120 years ago by the Canadian-born irrigation pioneers, George and William Chaffey, Chateau Mildura is one of the most historic wineries in Australia. Opaque violet in the glass, with notes of candied black fruit, this wine is soft, fruity and delicious. Wrap your mind around this beauty. My note: Extremely purple plums: juicy and vibrant. Full-bodied whack. Blueberry pie but dry. Shiraz food pairings: bison steaks, bacon-topped pizza. 209338 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pirramimma Shiraz 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Honkin’ big! Packs a punch of black fruit flavour, smoke and oak. Very tasty! Spicy black plums, dried fruit and vanilla smoke on the finish. Well done Mr. Pirramimma Winemaker. Drink: 2011 - 2015 987784 14% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 92/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Heartland Stickleback Red Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, South Australia, Australia: This blend of 61% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a little Dolcetto and Lagrein (a grape native to Alto Adige) was matured for 12 months in French and American oak. Minty good with purple plums, blueberries and mulberries. Juicy and inviting, with full-bodied weight. Great price. Drink: 2011 - 2014 116574 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

George Wyndham Founder's Reserve Shiraz 2007, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Perth Royal Wine Show, and just gazing into the depths of this opaque purple Shiraz gives you a sense of the quality within. Lively black fruit, coffee and minty notes on the nose are all enthusiastically revisited on the palate. The firm tannins and delicious spiciness add complexity to an already wonderful wine. Try this gold medalist. My note: Menthol cool with blackberry richness. Black cherry and mulberry notes with some mocha and dark spices. Pair it with great conversation. Shiraz food pairings: grilled veggies, beef-and-mushroom pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 107904 14.9% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elderton Ashmead Family Shiraz 2007, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Black as pitch, with searing oak, smoke and tarry notes. But a lovely vein of blackberry liqueur supports this concentrated wonder. Perfect for film noir. Drink: 2011 - 2018 713024 14.5% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 91/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Crossings Pinot Noir 2009, Atatere, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: New Zealand has made huge strides in its Pinot Noir production in the past 15 years. This Pinot abounds with earthy red fruit, ripe cherry, rhubarb, currant, mocha, oak and spice. An excellent value! Pour yourself a glass. My note: Love it! Black cherries, silk river of pleasure. Medium- to full-body. Incredible price. Pinot Noir food pairings: smoked salmon, chana masala. 694471 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fairview Pinotage 2009, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: A cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, Pinotage was created in the Welgevallen experimental farm in Stellenbosch in 1925. This Fairview offering has rich notes of chocolate, blackberries and licorice on the nose. Dry with a beautifully balanced and complex palate featuring deliciously ripe fruit, this wine offers great versatility. My note: A terrific wine for the money! Savoury and juicy with notes of blackberries, dark spices and anise. A wine to sip while you plan your next vacation and mentally escape wherever you are. Pinotage food pairings: pan-fried fresh fish, grilled pork. 205203 14% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Graham Beck Game The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, W.O., Robertson, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: The Graham Beck Game Reserve Cabernet is the new name of the perennial Vintages customer favourite, The Gamekeeper’s Reserve. The name may have changed, but the wine is as delicious as ever. Look for notes of blueberries and blackberries, cedar, spices and leather. The palate is dry with black-fruit flavours, toasty oak and wonderfully integrated tannins. My note: Lovely cedar-rich, mint, blackberry-deep wine. Full-bodied and smooth with a kick that keeps you coming back to the glass. Perfect with just about any book after dinner. 2519 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Des Moines Henri Darnajou Et Frères, Prop. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2008, A.C., Lalande-De-Pomerol, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The Darnajou family has been operating their vineyard since the 1940s, making Bordeaux reds of very fine quality. Leading with a floral nose with a hint of mocha, this Merlot-based Right Bank beauty exudes plenty of fresh fruit. Plum, cassis, bell pepper and creamy vanilla revisit the palate in waves. A medium-bodied wine with good acidity and length. My note : Superbly made for this price! The oak on the nose is beautifully integrated with classic Bordeaux aromas of cassis, blackcurrant and blackberries. Terrific structure and balance with a long finish. Definitely needs cellar time. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: escargots, coq au vin. Drink: 2013 - 2018 206789 12.9% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Le Grand Moulin Premiëres-Côtes-De-Blaye Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, A.C., Premières Côtes De Blaye, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Concours Général Agricole in Paris. This winery was founded by Gabriel Bruneteau in 1904, and is now run by his great-grandson. 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, this red boasts an attractive coffee nose, and creamy flavours of raspberry, blackberry, smoky caramel, toffee and earth. A toasty, complex, medium-full-bodied wine with good length. My note: An extraordinary wine for the price! Nicely balanced with classic Bordeaux styling. Aromas of smoke, blackberries and cassis. This wine is ready to drink but will keep for a while. Great dinner party wine. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak, rack of lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2015 198994 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Peyanne Cave De Saumur Cabernet Franc 2009, A.C., Saumur, Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole in Paris in 2010. The Saumur region is particularly noted for their terrific Cabernet Francs. A bright purple colour and a floral, cherry-infused nose make way for peppery flavours of plum, black raspberry, black cherry and cassis. There’s good balance here, and serious length. My note: Juicy purple plums and blackberries. Savoury, full-bodied and delicious. This is a great wine for book club gatherings. Cabernet Franc food pairings: savoury vegetable stew, ham in a rosemary-mustard sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2015 197038 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Secret Des Capitelles Saint-Chinian Cave Des Vignerons De Saint-Chinian 2009, A.C., Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Saint-Chinian is considered to be the oldest winemaking area in the Midi region, going back to Roman times. This wine sports a fresh raspberry nose, with flavours of black plum, berry, dried herbs, cola and tar spinning on the palate with a bit of spritz – all leading to a spicy finish. A medium-bodied red with nice harmony and length. Très bon. My note: A full-bodied with a soft velvet texture. Love the enticing cherry notes and dark fruits. Supple and slippery good. Terrific price! Food pairings: grilled calamari, roasted chicken in a mushroom sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2014 156299 14.4% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Gardies Mas Las Cabes Rouge Syrah Grenache Carignan 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Roussillon, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Carignan. There’s fresh plum and soft florals on the nose, followed by a generous helping of ripe black fruit, strawberry and raspberry – very rich and juicy on the palate. A medium- to full-bodied red with nice, balanced acidity, a supple finish, and great length. My note: Love the nose: draws you right into the glass! Lovely plush aromas of ripe black plums and berries. On the palate, it’s a bit tannic so decant for 1-2 hours. This would be amazing with barbecue fare. Syrah Grenache Carignan food pairings: lamb chops, saucy pork spare ribs. 194894 14.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Grandes Serres Syrah Blend 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône Villages, Rasteau, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at the Concours des Vins in Orange, in 2010. Recently, Rasteau received a long-awaited approval to begin selling dry red wines under its own appellation name, separate from Côtes du Rhône-Villages. This red has a plum-and-spice nose, and flavours of black plum, blackberry, mince tart, honey and white pepper that all recur nicely on the palate to a warm, spicy finish. A well-made wine, with a medium body and good length. An excellent choice for grilled red snapper or ratatouille. My note: A savoury and delicious wine with aromas of black cherries and black raspberries, cedar and smoke. This wine would be amazing with a peppercorn steak or meat lovers’ pizza. Syrah Blend food pairings: grilled red snapper, ratatouille, peppercorn steak, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2016 194944 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Best Value Red Wine (Tied) Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montirius Garrigues Saurel Et Seignour Grenache Syrah 2009, A.C., Vacqueyras, Rhône, France: Pleasant bitter herbs and tobacco leaves. Full-bodied and smooth, not fruity. Earthy and smoky. Terrific with rare meat dishes. Grenache Syrah food pairings: rare meat. Drink: 2011 - 2015 108779 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Le Grand Retour Plan De Dieu Grenache Blend 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: In 2010, this wine won Gold Medals at both the Concours Général Agricole in Paris and the Concours des Vins in Orange. Winemaking has been going on in the Côtes du Rhone region since pre-Roman times. This Grenache blend is a beguiling, inky red that brims with aromas and flavours of blueberry, blackberry, chocolate, licorice, cedar spice, and herbs de Provence. A medium- to full-bodied Rhône red that’s ready to enjoy. My note: terrific cedar-rich red with spicy black cherries that dance across your palate. This wine has a tannic grip, so decant for 1-2 hours. It’s savoury delicious with a smoky finish. Full-bodied weight. Grenache Blend food pairings: ginger chicken, shepherd’s pie. Drink: 2011 - 2014 127167 14.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Abbona La Pieve Barolo 2005, D.O.C.G, Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The great Nebbiolo-based wines of Barolo rarely come at this fine a price, so this is the perfect opportunity to sample this Piedmontese classic. The 2005 vintage is just starting to hit the market, so this also offers an opportune sneak-peek at the character of the vintage. Look for aromas of plum, truffles, raspberry and cedar in this wine. The tannins should be firm, but there will be plenty of fruit here to bring balance. My note: A real gripper but I like it! Big, black with a tarry streaking through the middle. Black cherry resistance and some dark spices. Perfect for black magic nights. Drink: 2011 - 2018 213132 15% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodegas Lan Viña Lanciano Reserva Tempranillo Mazuelo 2004, D.O.C., Rioja, Spain: This wine is a blend of 80% tempranillo and 20% mazuelo. Savoury and juicy: I’ve been a fan of this wine for many years. Lovely aromas of leather and dried tobacco with some herbs. Terrific dark berry core. Drink: 2012 - 2015 955096 13.4% D 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muruve Crianza Bodegas Frutos Villar Tempranillo 2006, D.O., Toro, Spain: Elegant and balanced with lovely aromas of mocha, dark cherry. Terrific concentration and smooth texture, with a long finish. Superb effort. Drink: 2011 - 2015 67546 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Vilano Reserva 2004, D.O., Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Juicy and tannic with rich black cherry notes. Savoury and well-structured. Cellar it for 5 years and decant for 2 hours. Drink: 2012 - 2016 190736 13.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Meritage 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: This blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 27% Franc is incredibly dark and concentrated with a rich core of fleshy black fruit, smoke and dark chocolate notes. It's a big bruiser from one of Niagara's best vintages on record, 2007, and the richness of the fruit shows through. This wine was aged in small French oak barrels for those smoky, vanilla spice aromas: absolutely yummy! You can order this wine directly from the winery at www.tawsewinery.ca. Drink: 2011 - 2017 111963 13.5% XD 750 mL $57.95 Score: 92/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Jansz Premium Sparkling Rosé Pinot Noir Chardonnay, Tasmania, Australia: Very nice! Deep, rich raspberry aromas in the robust bubbly. Seduce your love this Valentine’s Day with this one. Drink: 2011 - 2015 37499 12.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Favourite Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre Sparr Brut Rosé Crémant D'alsace, A.C., Alsace, France: Raspberry and strawberry freshness. Lovely and refreshing. 39016 12% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Best Value Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Brochet-Hervieux Cuvée Spéciale Brut Hbh Champagne 1997, A.C., Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a beautifully mature vintage Champagne that is showing its age gracefully. Medium gold in the glass. Complex notes of baked bread, apple, cinnamon toast, pear, vanilla bean, oatmeal muffin and beeswax on the nose. Dry, medium bodied, and with a wonderful mouth-filling texture, a refined mousse, and a zippy acidity. Buttered toast, green apple and honey delightfully pave the way for the long, layered and fresh finish. Luxurious and delicious, this bubbly begs for raw oyster (au naturel or with a dash of hot sauce and lemon). Outstanding value. My note: Toasty and refreshing with toasted almond and baked bread. Champagne food pairings: raw oyster. 205914 12% D 750 mL $51.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Françoise Monay Brut Champagne, A.C., Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This sparkler exudes an elegant combination of apple, hazelnut, almonds, citrus and biscuits, with a lovely structure and length. Aside from raising a glass with your friends, you can try this scintillating Brut. My note: Toasty with green apple and peach. Nicely done and a great price. Champagne food pairings: seafood dishes, risotto with mushrooms. Drink: 2011 - 2015 191304 12.5% XD 750 mL $38.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Beringer Founders' Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009, California, United States: Smoky with white peach and pear fruit. Mouth-watering and generous. Long, smoky finish. Pair with shellfish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled prawns, spicy curry. Drink: 2011 - 2015 407643 13.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kali Hart Robert Talbott Vineyards Chardonnay 2008, Monterey County, California, United States: A balanced and tasty Chardonnay with green apple and smoke. Round and generous. Drink: 2011 - 2014 46417 14.6% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Visión, Single Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2010, Las Colmenas, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Pale straw colour leads to a very attractive, youthful, varietally classic nose: red grapefruit, sweet peach, rosewater, white pepper and a touch of lychee. Dry, plenty of acidity to go with the robust flavours and bring exceptional balance. The finish is long and relatively intense. My note: I honestly don’t know how this winery produces wines this tasty and distinctive at these prices. Here’s another they’ve batted out of the park. Classic gewurz with rose petal, spices, lychee and lovely goodness. The ultimate wine for Asian, curries and Indian take-out. I’m hungry now. Gewürztraminer food pairings: pan-fried sea scallops, herbed fish, curries, Asian dishes, Indian dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2015 912949 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calina Reserva Chardonnay 2009, Casablanca, Limarí Valleys, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Calina is owned by California’s Kendall-Jackson. Light gold in colour, this Chardonnay offers creamy tropical fruit, ripe peach, banana, caramel apple, oak and fig aromas and flavours with nice intensity. A toasty, medium-full-bodied Chard with nicely balanced acidity and a long finish. A true pleasure. My note: Lovely, juicy Chardonnay with bright peach and pear notes and some green apple. Just enough butter and vanilla smoke from the oak. Chardonnay food pairings: marinated chicken, pasta primavera. Drink: 2011 - 2015 640912 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2008, South Australia, Australia: Textbook viognier with lovely white flower notes, spices, rose petal, white peach. Amazing aperitif and food companion. Drink: 2011 - 2015 624502 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand: Zesty, herbal and vibrant: classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! Mouth-watering with notes of chives and lime. Perfect for pizza night. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 309591 13.1% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kleine Zalze Barrel Fermented Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2009, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: This dry, creamy-textured Chardonnay is a born extrovert, showing off lovely citrus and tree fruit aromas and flavours that blend nicely with the oak elements. My note: Nicely balanced and tasty Chardonnay without being heavy or too oaky. Aromas of green apples and some butter. You just can’t beat this price for this quality of wine. Get a case! Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken with parsley and garlic, smoked trout. Drink: 2011 - 2015 96495 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joseph Cattin Pinot Gris 2008, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: In 2009, this wine won Gold Medals at both the Concours Général Agricole in Paris and the Concours des Grands Vins de France in Mâcon. The Cattin family has been devoted to winemaking in the Alsace region since the 1850s. This Pinot Gris is an award winner, and deservedly so, with its beautifully balanced elements of peach, apple, poached pear, baking spice and pumpkin. Tangy, crisp and flavourful, with great intensity and length. My note : Petrol and peach in a hedonistic blend. White peach with refreshing zesty acidity. Perfect for picnics. Pinot Gris food pairings: sweet red Thai curry, chicken à l’orange. Drink: 2011 - 2017 196956 13% MD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Cave De Sigolsheim Réserve Particulière Muscat 2008, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole in Paris in 2009. Some theorists believe that all grapes are descendants of Muscat – it being the oldest variety on record. A brilliant yellow, this Muscat exhibits a lovely floral nose. Further elements of pear, apple and grapey notes intermingle on the palate with excellent balance and length. A real beauty! Lovely as a sipper. My note: Juicy and mouth-watering with lovely notes of apple blossom, orange zest and lemon-lime sunshine. Great aperitif. Muscat food pairings: cheese, blue or gorgonzola. Drink: 2011 - 2015 202408 12% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vincent Raimbault Bel Air Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2008, A.C., Loire, France: Holy mouth-watering action Batman! Juicy doesn’t begin to describe this one. Fresh, crisp, acidic with white peach and pear. Cries out for food. Drink: 2011 - 2014 205468 12.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Königschaffhauser Trocken Pinot Gris 2009, Q.B.A., Baden, Vulkanfelsen, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: When most of us think of German wines we tend to think of Riesling. However, in the southern Baden region, the Pinot grapes – Pinots Noir, Blanc and Gris – also play a starring role. The Germans have proven to be masters of these varieties, and the Kaiserstuhl sub-region (across the border from Alsace), where the grapes for this wine were sourced, is considered to be the best production area in Baden. As an added bonus, this wine’s name is a great one to keep in your back pocket for Scrabble nights. My note: Juicy with white peach and grapefruit. Extremely vibrant and refreshing. Serve well chilled then relax. Drink: 2011 - 2014 450726 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. February 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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