Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
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Vintages Release March 19, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Quinta Da Romaneira Unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage Btld. 2010 Port 2004, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Unlike regular LBVs, unfiltered versions, such as this, can age – this beauty is just beginning to hit its stride – and should be decanted before enjoyment. My note: A lovely after-dinner sipper for a great price. All you need is a few ounces so a little goes a long way and it’ll keep for several weeks. Treat yourself. Drink: 2011 - 2018 196758 19.5% S 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Favourite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Lealtanza Reserva Selección Bodegas Altanza 2004, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Awesome! Savoury with leather, violets and hedonistic happiness. Lovely vibrancy yet it also has a wonderful maturity to it. Perfect to celebrate great moments in life, like opening this bottle. How can it be priced so low? Food pairings: filet mignon. Drink: 2011 - 2016 208223 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cistus Reserva Quinta Do Vale Da Perdiz Tinta Roriz Touriga Franca 2007, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Made with the classic Port grapes: 40% Tinta Roriz, 40% Touriga Franca, and 20% Touriga Nacional. There are lovely sweet notes in the midst of this dry red, with lots of black-berry, cocoa, raspberry, spicy oak and blackcurrant jam on the palate. Medium-full bodied and supple, with nice balance and length. My note: Blackberry jam and meaty flavours. Full-bodied and smooth. A very chewy wine in the best sense. Perfect for people who like to make long-winded arguments… this wine will make them pause for you to get a word in edge-wise. Tinta Roriz Touriga Franca food pairings: robust beef stew, aged cheese. Drink: 2011 - 2015 145052 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Encostas De Estremoz Soc. Agricola De Lagarteira Touriga Franca 2004, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal: Lovely richness and depth with dark, savoury black fruit, spices and smoke. I love this style as it offers so much more than just ripe fruit. Lovely length and a satin smooth texture. Yum! Made from the red grape Alentejano. Touriga Franca food pairings: steak, lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2015 190561 14.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Serradayres Reserva Caves Velhas 2008, D.O.C., Ribatejo, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: A slow-roasted beef dish with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled parsnips or carrots would complement this wine. My note: Love the dark-fruit, beguiling nose… then pow! Mouth-watering acidity demands a hearty meat meal. It’s a wonderful combination… but this isn’t a wine to drink as an aperitif. Rich, fleshy black fruit and some mocha. Absolute yum! Food pairings: roast beef. Drink: 2011 - 2018 214023 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Nova Pomares Quinta Nova De Nossa Senhora Do Carmo Touriga Nacional Touriga Franca Tinta Roriz 2008, D.O.C. Douro, Portugal: Cedar-spice with robust fleshy black cherries. Bring it on, especially at this price! This is a terrific example of the superb dry red wines coming out of Portugal now. The “new” Portugal. Try it. Drink: 2011 - 2016 214007 13.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Watcher Fetish Wines Syrah Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: I dare you not to drink after you smell this wine. Rich and dark with black cherry liqueur. This is so seductive… I felt a little helpless and had to resist something powerful not to swallow since I had another 87 wines to taste. I’d serve this one at a dinner party and sit back and listen to the conversation become a lot more voluble. Drink: 2011 - 2018 219196 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Albert's Honour Old Vines Foch Maréchal Foch 2009, V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: In a cool-climate wine region, such as Ontario, Foch (or Maréchal Foch, to use its full name) produces fully ripe, well-structured reds. This hybrid grape (along with Baco Noir) helped prove Ontario’s mettle as a place for serious red wines. This version delivers plenty of solid dark fruit character, good concentration, and a touch of rustic charm. “Albert’s Honour” is a tribute to Martin Malivoire’s great uncle, who was awarded the French Legion of Honour medal for heroism in World War I. My note: A strapping big wine with surprisingly vibrant acidity and mouth-watering juiciness. Purple and black plums dance across your mouth. Robust, rustic and delicious. Drink: 2011 - 2014 551036 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 87/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kacaba Vineyards Proprietors Blend Silver Bridge Cabernet 2005, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: In 1997, Michael Kacaba saved prime vineyard property from vanishing under a developer’s bulldozer. In the 14 years since, his environmentally sustainable winery has produced a broad range of award-winning wines. Lovely black fruit, cedar and pepper notes on the nose and the palate. Dry and medium-full bodied with great structure and beautifully integrated tannins and a long fruit laden finish. Enjoy this with an early jump on BBQ season. My note: A robust, tannic red with tasty dark red fruit aromas. Perfect for big meat dishes… maybe a brontosaurus burger. Cabernet food pairings: gourmet burgers, grilled juicy steak. Drink: 2011 - 2014 223974 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calamus Estate Winery Reserve Red Cabernet Franc Merlot 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A smooth, juicy red with fleshy dark berries and mocha. A lovely wine with great drinking pleasure. Almost merlot-like but with more richness. This wine is a blend of 53% cabernet franc, 30% merlot, 14% cabernet sauvignon and 3% syrah. Nicely done! Drink: 2011 - 2015 223990 12.7% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Quatrain Syrah Merlot 2006, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Big black fruit with mocha and dark chocolate notes. Savoury and meaty with years of life ahead of it. This wine is a blend of 41% Syrah, 32% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented and matured in French oak for 15 months. One of Canada’s finest robust reds. Drink: 2011 - 2018 218636 14% XD 750 mL $44.95 Score: 94/100. March 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gnarly Head Gnarlier Head Sommers Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2006, Dry Creek Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Sommer Vineyard, the source of Gnarlier Head grapes, is located in the western end of the Dry Creek Valley. The sunny south-facing vineyard and the old vines combine to produce tremendously ripe fruit flavours. This 2006 version is loaded with sweet fruit notes. Cherry and blueberry aromas are complemented perfectly by clove, toasty oak, and wild rose accents. The palate is dry and complex, with great depth to the fruit flavour and a good tannic grip, closing with a medium-long, spiced finish. My note: Some kind of wonderful! Big and juicy with fleshy ripe black and purple fruit. Some toasty oak but it’s so well woven into the fabric of the fruit. Zinfandel food pairings: ribs, portobello mushroom burgers, chocolate-based dessert. Drink: 2011 - 2015 212795 15.3% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Barbara Winery Pinot Noir 2009, Santa Barbara, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Sourced exclusively from the winery’s North Canyon vineyard, which is located along the Santa Maria Bench and open to the cooling effects of the Pacific wines. This is prime Pinot Noir territory. The nose is layered and expressive with strawberry, cherry, vanilla and earth. Dry, fruity balanced and with a zesty acidity on the palate. The finish is long and succulent. My note: Lovely, seductive plush fruit: fleshy berries with a satin texture. Medium- to full-bodied with lots of layers of pleasure. Balanced and satisfying with a long finish. Pinot Noir food pairings: duck breast. Drink: 2011 - 2015 194332 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ojai Bien Nacido Syrah 2005, Santa Barbara, California, United States: Blackberry and purple plum liqueur dives down into depth of flavour and pleasure. Full-bodied and rich, it almost overwhelms your senses. Smooth and endless with blueberries and dark spices on the finish. Drink: 2011 - 2016 104315 14.5% XD 750 mL $47.95 Score: 94/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley, California, United States: Savoury, dark and delicious: love it! This is a big wine but it also has elegance and balance. Such a concentrated core of black fruit and dried herbs. The price is actually reasonable for one of California’s benchmark cabernets. Celebrate something! Drink: 2011 - 2022 711663 14.5% XD 750 mL $119.95 Score: 95/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: Wow! Absolutely delicious. Classic aromas of blackberry and cassis with smoke. Something is alive and vibrant in this wine. This was the wine Demi Moore used to tempt Michael Douglas in the movie Disclosure in 1991-ish… great scene in a skyscraper at night. Crazy heavy bottle: what’s with that? Drink: 2011 - 2018 967992 15% XD 750 mL $119.95 Score: 96/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: What an extraordinary wine! Incredible depths of fleshy black fruit wrapped in judicious toasty oak. Structure, depth and length: this wine has it all. New World concentration and intensity with Old World elegance. Angling for a promotion? Give this wine to your boss. Drink: 2012 - 2022 670463 14% XD 750 mL $134.95 Score: 97/100. March 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dominus Christian Moueix Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, California, United States: Blockbuster red that needs cellar time! Classic cassis, blackcurrant and smoke. Huge body and structure. Tannins that could support the Golden Gate Bridge. Love the blend of Old World finesse and New World energy. Invest in a case for your children. Drink: 2014 - 2027 225714 14% XD 1500 mL $259.95 Score: 97/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: Excellent balance and structure with dark fruit, smoke and mocha. Full-bodied and smooth though this will age well in the cellar. Drink: 2011 - 2017 119065 14.8% XD 750 mL $79.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, California, United States: A towering wine with a massive structure. Big black fruit aromas that are perfectly balanced with dried tobacco and herbs. Wonderful, but you're paying for its icon status. Drink: 2012 - 2023 158063 14.5% XD 750 mL $339.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, California, United States: A towering wine with a massive structure. Big black fruit aromas that are perfectly balanced with dried tobacco and herbs. Wonderful, but you're paying for its icon status. Drink: 2012 - 2023 158071 14.5% D 375 mL $179.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dominus Christian Moueix Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, California, United States: Blockbuster red that needs cellar time! Classic cassis, blackcurrant and smoke. Huge body and structure. Tannins that could support the Golden Gate Bridge. Love the blend of Old World finesse and New World energy. Invest in a case for your children. Drink: 2014 - 2027 212381 14.5% XD 750 mL $119.95 Score: 97/100. March 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

R. Stuart & Co. Big Fire Pinot Noir 2008, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Rob Stuart’s Big Fire wines are unpretentious, inexpensive and friendly. This Pinot offers aromas of sweet raspberry and black cherry, with cinnamon spice and accents of smoke. On the palate, bright, ripe red fruit harmonizes with smooth tannins. Light spice flavours complete this crisp, round, nicely textured red. Perfect for an informal gathering with friends. My note: Juicy and generous with ripe and slightly tart cherries and field berries. Medium to full-bodied with a smooth texture. This wine is ready to drink now. Let’s go! Drink: 2011 - 2014 54841 13.1% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Paring Red Meritage 2006, Santa Ynez Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Opaque ruby colour, but still displaying youthful purple glints. Lush and seductive with aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black licorice, spice cupboard and smoked meat. Dry, with gobs of spicy fruit surrounded by fairly firm tannins. Medium-full bodied with a long finish. Cellar 3-5+ years, or decant it. My note: Big, hulking wine with blackberry liqueur and tarry notes. Absolutely huge and concentrated. Meritage food pairings: rare roast beef with grilled root vegetables. Drink: 2011 - 2015 218909 15.2% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jonata El Corazón De Jonata Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Santa Ynez Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A new venture by the makers of California’s much sought-after Screaming Eagle. My note: This wine is a blend of 41% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Sauvignon Blanc. Huge! Big and black with tar and pleasantly bitter black fruit. Smoke wraps around the whole package. Pair it with watching The Godfather. Drink: 2011 - 2015 218917 14.9% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jonata Todos Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Santa Ynez Valley, California, United States: This wine is a blend of 39% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Sangiovese, and the balance, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier. Gorgeous black fruit between violets. Plush and luxurious with full-bodied goodness. Although it’s big, it’s still in balance. Wow. Drink: 2011 - 2018 218941 14.7% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 96/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Paring Pinot Noir 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Fine example of quintessential Cali Pinot Noir, with aromas of raspberry, vanilla and cherry, plus hints of underbrush and dark chocolate. Dry, fruity, ripe and round, with gentle tannins and acidity for structure. Medium-full bodied with a fairly long finish. It will also last 3-4+ years in a cellar. My note: Big fleshy ripe raspberries and cherries with a zingy acidity. Full-bodied and rich, especially for a pinot. Extremely tasty. I’d love to have this wine with turkey dinner. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal medallions in a red wine sauce, roast turkey. Drink: 2011 - 2015 218958 14.2% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodega Atamisque Catalpa Malbec 2008, Tupungato, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: The Atamisque is an emblematic flower of the Uco Valley, where this great-value Malbec is crafted. With a ripe raspberry and blackberry nose, this wine is packed with red berries and black fruit, along with cedar spice and notes of smoked meat. Medium-full bodied, with a rich texture and a long, juicy finish. My note: Savoury, rich with blueberry and blackberry aromas. Full-bodied and smooth with some violets and coffee on the finish. The grapes come from 70-year-old vines at an altitude of 4,430 feet. Malbec food pairings: Tandoori chicken, beef chimichangas. Drink: 2011 - 2115 194126 14.2% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Anoro Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Humongous and hulking with rich black plums and blueberries. Smooth and deep. Incredible concentration of fruit extract at the core. Keeps going and going and going … Drink: 2011 - 2015 191767 14% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña San Esteban In Situ Winemaker's Selection Carmenère 2008, Aconcagua, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Named for the river that bisects it, Aconcagua is one of Chile’s hottest and driest regions and is making its name as a place for great red wines. This is a delightful example of what the region has to offer. Intensely ruby in the glass with concentrated red fruit, spice and earthy undertones. Soft and sensual on the palate with voluptuous texture typical of fully ripened Carmenère. My note: Outstanding wine for the money! Cassis and cedar with full-bodied richness. Knock it back! Carmenère food pairings: pork tenderloin. Drink: 2011 - 2014 37952 14.5% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2007, South Australia, Australia: Mint and blackberry mingle on the nose to draw you closer to the glass. Then the wine unfolds slowly but surely in your mouth, spreading its layers of black fruit flavour and toasty oak to every crevice. Terrific balance with so much power and intensity. 422782 14% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 93/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grant Burge Barossa Vines S Shiraz 2009, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Fifth-generation winemaker Grant Burge is a master of Shiraz. The 2009 is classic Burge Barossa with layers of blackberry, plum and black cherry with smoky cloves and dark chocolate. Dry and delectably mouth-filling, with impressive tannins and a ripe fruit core. Enjoy tonight. My note: Flashy blackberries that have been rolled in mocha … savoury and dark with rich, full-bodied layers of pleasure. What intensity, concentration and power on the palate… very hedonistic. Long finish. Shiraz food pairings: spaghetti and meatballs in a spicy-BBQ sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2016 738567 13.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, South Africa, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: One of the greatest aspects of Cabernet Sauvignon is that no matter where it is grown it remains distinctly Cabernet. Rather than becoming overwhelmed by the aromas and flavours provided by its location, it incorporates them to create wonderfully nuanced expressions. This South African example delivers notes of blueberry and blackberry, cedar, spice and currants with licorice and chocolate undertones. There is great structure and depth on the palate here with tremendously concentrated fruits, well integrated and balanced tannins. This will reward 3-5 years in the cellar or will work tonight. My note: Leanings toward Bordeaux here but supported by South African fruit, restrained, balanced, full-bodied and savoury. A lovely combination that doesn’t overwhelm yet delivers an evening of pleasure. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: gourmet burgers, grilled ribs. Drink: 2011 - 2015 205799 15% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Foundry Syrah 2005, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: Warm, toasty and savoury with rich, full-bodied flavours of blackberries and cassis. This is such a welcoming wine. It’s easy to love. It would be a lovely gift wine… give it to yourself. Drink: 2011 - 2016 613331 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Preuillac Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, A.C., Médoc, Bordeaux, France: Juicy and generous with bright red vibrant fleshy berry aromas. Smooth and mouth-watering with medium- to full-bodied weight. Delivers so much satisfaction. This wine is a blend of 60% merlot, 37% cabernet sauvignon and 3% cabernet franc, and was aged 14 months in French oak. Superb effort! Drink: 2011 - 2015 713925 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Père Pape La Crau De Ma Mère 2007, A.C., Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: A gorgeous aroma to draw you head-first into the glass! Black raspberry liqueur that’s rich and thick but not syrupy or cloying, just fulfilling. Massive structure that will keep for years, yet you can enjoy this wine now. When you want power and pleasure, this is your wine. Drink: 2011 - 2018 941740 14.5% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 94/100. March 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perrin & Fils Vinsobres Les Cornuds Syrah Blend 2008, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Vinsobres was elevated from one of the 16 named villages in the AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages, to cru status in 2006. Look for cherry, raspberry and violet notes here. Dry and beautifully structured with great depth of fruit that carries right through to the end of the medium-long finish. Delicious. My note: Thick, dark and delicious! A hulking, big wine with black fruit, and chewy meaty flavours. You almost need a fork for this wine. Nice, long finish. Terrific price. Syrah Blend food pairings: duck breast. Drink: 2011 - 2016 566844 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gabriel Meffre Laurus Gigondas 2007, A.C., Rhône, France: Tall, dark and handsome… just the kind of wine I’d like to meet at a party. Full-bodied, rich and loaded with big, black fruit and smoke. Savoury enough for any hearty meat dish, yet ready to dance with meat lovers’ pizza too. Great date wine. Food pairings: meat dish, meaty pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2018 163113 14.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cellier De Monterail 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages Séguret, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Aromas of raspberry, blueberry, licorice, plum, and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied and dry, with beautifully layered, complex fruit and finely incorporated and textured tannins. The finish is full, rich and scrumptiously long. My note: A rustic, country wine that reminds me of a strapping young farm hand in soiled overhauls. Robust with dark fruit. Don’t sip it, knock it back and enjoy the sunshine on your shoulders. Food pairings: herb-crusted pork, grilled lamb chops. Drink: 2011 - 2014 195065 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Segal Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Galilee Heights, Israel: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium ruby in the glass, with complex and invigorating notes of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, cassis, and anise. Dry, with incredible fruit concentration, structure and balance, this delicious wine earned unanimous praise from our panel. The finish is long, layered, and satisfying. Enjoy tonight. My note: Classic, balanced with aromas of blackberry, cassis and toasty oak. This is a superb wine, and it’s kosher for Passover. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb stew, juicy steak. Drink: 2011 - 2015 223677 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Talamonti Tre Saggi Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2006, D.O.C., Abruzzo, Italy: Rich, dark and savoury with black cherries and smoke. Full-bodied and luxuriously thick like a comforting blanket you wrap closer to you on a chilly night. Great structure and balance. An elegant dinner party wine that won’t cost a fortune. Plus the label looks like you imported it. Drink: 2011 - 2016 204016 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaja Sito Moresco Nebbiolo 2008, D.O.C., Langhe, Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Of all the Piedmontese DOCs, Langhe is the most liberal in terms of permitted grape varieties and allowable winemaking techniques. It is the place where superstars such as Angelo Gaja go to push the boundaries. This Nebbiolo, Cabernet and Merlot blend produces an elegant, balanced wine that can be enjoyed now. It will also easily reward another 5-7 years in the cellar. My note: Superbly made, even if it’s over-priced. Elegant, balanced with exotic layers of flavour. Everything comes together without any one element dominating. Long finish. Nebbiolo food pairings: mature cheeses, rare cuts of meat. Drink: 2011 - 2018 976043 14% XD 750 mL $53.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vinosia Primitivo 2008, I.G.T., Salento, Puglia, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Deep purple in the glass. Aromas of candied cherry, blackberry, spice and vanilla on the nose. Bright and nicely concentrated fruit flavours on the palate, with a touch of spice. Medium bodied and dry, with a long fruity finish. My note: Fleshy-sweet/ripe purple plums and dark berries. Juicy and full-bodied and smooth with a glorious capacity to dance with just about any type of pizza. Primitivo food pairings: fusilli with tomato-and-basil sauce, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2014 203950 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terre Nere Brunello Di Montalcino 2005, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Band-aid and dark fruit, love it! Mouth-watering and exotic with a carpet violets. Long finish. Drink: 2011 - 2016 208462 14% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pasqua Ripasso Black Label Superiore Valpolicella 2008, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Ruby coloured in the glass. Notes of cherry, vanilla, anise, woodspice and licorice on the nose. Dry with great depth to the fruit, spicy oak, and vanilla on the palate. Try this one. My note: I like it! Vibrant and mouth-watering dark cherries. Medium-bodied and smooth and ready for lasagna and pizza. Valpolicella food pairings: rich meat dish, premium dark chocolate, lasagna, pizza. Drink: 20111 - 2014 203968 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosso Del Pigaro Pigaro Frapse 2007, I.G.T., Rosso Veronese, Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The nose is awash in dark fruit, earth, smoke, underbrush, and herbal notes. Dry with licorice spice and complex dark-berry notes on the palate. The medium-long finish is layered and characterful. My note: Straight-forward and dark with mouth-watering flavours of blackberries and dark plums. Nicely integrated oak. Nicely integrated wine into your life. Food pairings: meat lasagna, beef casserole. Drink: 2011 - 2014 203992 14% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Prieuré De Montezargues Grenache Cinsault 2009, A.C., Tavel, Rhône, France: I want it! I love these bone-dry deep and rich roses from Tavel. Dark raspberries and savoury dried herbs. There’s absolutely nothing like them and they’ll pair with just about any dish. This wine is a blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and the rest Clairette grapes. Drink: 2011 - 2013 216390 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. March 2011. Favourite Rose Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Pierre Sparr Dynastie Brut Crémant D'alsace Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Pierre Sparr uses Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the blend for this elegant wine. Expect classic bread dough, apple, pear and melon aromas and flavours on this fizz. It is a fine aperitif at your late-winter dinner party. My note: terrific, toasty and robust with wow flavours that taste twice the price. Terrific bread and green apple notes. Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris food pairings: fish, seafood courses. Drink: 2011 - 2015 952796 12.6% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant De Bourgogne Blanc De Blancs, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Although Crémant de Bourgogne can use all allowable white varieties of Burgundy (such as Aligote and Gamay), Roger Luquet’s non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is produced from solely Chardonnay grown in the St. Véran appellation. This is a wonderfully complex offering featuring aromas of bread dough, citrus, apple, and ripe pear. Dry, with a lively fizz and pretty aroma replays. An ideal choice for those looking for a crémant made from very good grapes. My note: Supremely toasty with lovely notes of green apple. This is a steal that you should buy by the case if you’ve got a wedding, reunion or some other big party coming up. Blanc De Blancs food pairings: lobster, crab legs. Drink: 2011 - 2014 957894 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Hills Chardonnay 2008, Santa Barbara, California, United States: Lovely and rich with butter-oak richness. White peach, lime and green apple. Full-bodied. Drink: 2011 - 2016 210146 14.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. March 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Du Bois Chardonnay 2009, North Coast, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A well structured and very approachable Chardonnay, this offers notes of peach, apple and pear with hints of toasty oak and caramel. Dry, medium bodied with a crisp finish. This is an all-purpose kind of Chard and really over-delivers at this price point. My note: Isn’t this nice? Lovely balance between the apple/peach notes and the smoky/buttery oak. Full-bodied but not over-the-top. I like it! Chardonnay food pairings: pasta primavera, grilled salmon in a lime marinade. Drink: 2011 - 2015 400549 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Morgan Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Monterey, California, United States: Vibrant lime-fresh, what a lovely surprise when I expected something heavier from this region. Wonderful aperitif. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: seafood, salad, shellfish. Drink: 2011 - 2014 411488 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay 2008, Carneros, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Deep gold in colour, with aromas of apple butter, vanilla, Granny Smith apples and toast. The palate is medium-full bodied and round, with apple, vanilla and toast notes. There is great structure and balance here, with a lovely refreshing acidity. My note: rich, full-bodied, buttery and oaky with notes of green apples. Lovely length and drinking pleasure. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled calamari. Drink: 2011 - 2015 34777 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ironstone Obsession Symphony 2009, California, United States: So, so lovely! Floral with dry apricot. No wonder people get obsessed with this wine. And the price is incredible. Imagine drinking this lovely little number with a spicy dish. Heaven. Symphony food pairings: curry, spicy finger food. Drink: 2011 - 2014 355784 12.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sietefincas Chardonnay 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Sietefincas (“Seven Lands”) refers to the seven vineyards this Bodega uses to craft its line of unique wines. This Chard sports a fresh peaches-and-cream nose with vanilla accents, making way for creamy pear, baked apple, melon and almond butter on the palate. My note: A simple, full-bodied butter-oaky chardonnay. Chardonnay food pairings: trout almandine, hazelnut-crusted chicken in cream sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2014 222752 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. March 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lone Kauri Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Lone Kauri’s Savvy is brilliant straw in colour and sports aromas of lime and tropical fruit with hints of green apple and vegetal notes. This open and direct Sauvignon Blanc is food-friendly and has a pleasing medium acidity to balance the fruit. My note: remarkably good for the money. Lime and chive notes with some grapefruit. Good acidity but not a gusher. Drink: 2011 - 2014 138974 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Auntsfield Long Cow Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Herbal and grassy with mouth-watering acidity. Grapefruit and lime on the finish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: salads, seafood. Drink: 2011 - 2014 663286 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hamilton Russell Hemel-En-Aarde Valley Chardonnay 2009, D.O., Walker Bay, South Africa: Classic chardonnay with lovely, generous layers of flavour. Toasty oak and butter wrap around a core of mouth-watering green apple and lime. Almond-infused finish. Lovely! Drink: 2011 - 2016 931006 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 93/100. March 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave De Hoen Riesling 2009, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Winner of a Gold Medal at the 2010 Concours Général Agricole in Paris. This dry Riesling features aromas of pear, white flowers and lemon zest. Elegant and racy, it is a natural. It will also reward cellaring for 2-4 years. My note: Dry and savoury with dried herbs, lime and some grapefruit. Refreshing times ten. Riesling food pairings: grilled herb-encrusted chicken breast, goat cheese dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2015 196782 12.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. March 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Studert-Prüm Riesling 2009, Q.M.P., Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: The 2009 vintage is another in an impressive 10-year string of fine wines from Germany. Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard’s steep slopes of blue slate and thin topsoil produce some of the world’s best Rieslings, and this Kabinett is typical in its beautifully balanced fruit and minerality. On the nose, a tantalizing, light array of peach, apricot, dates, citrus, floral, and wisps of candied fruit and lime, are finely interwoven with slate. Lightly spritzy, with great focus, acidity, and ripe fruit on the palate, this off-dry charmer is an excellent value. My note: Such a pretty wine form such a consistently good producer. Peach, apricot and pear aromas dance and are kept in balance with a silver seam of mouth-watering acidity. Love it! Drink: 2011 - 2017 970129 7.5% MD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Colmello Di Grotta Pinot Grigio 2009, D.O.C., Isonzo Del Friuli, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Pinot Grigio from the tiny region of Friuli has rightly become renowned, and Colmello di Grotta’s version features many of this variety’s great strengths. Light straw in colour, this is crisp and light with melon and apple tones. Traces of candied fruit, accented by mushroom and nut, add complexity and depth. There is a seam of refreshing acidity here, and a nice medium-long finish. This is a wine to enjoy as you salute the approaching spring. My note: A darker, robust version of pinot Grigio with notes peach and honeysuckle. Pinot Grigio food pairings: poached sole. Drink: 2011 - 2014 206797 13.7% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. March 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bollini Empson & Co. Pinot Grigio 2009, D.O.C., Trentino, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Bollini lowers substantially their grape yields in order to intensify the aromas and flavours of their Pinot Grigio. My note: Floral, vibrant and exquisitely personable. Terrific come-alive aromas of melon and white peach. Wow! Pinot Grigio food pairings: baby bay scallops. Drink: 2011 - 2015 951319 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. March 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2016 Natalie MacLean