Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
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Vintages Release April 2, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Niepoort Ruby Port, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Opaque ruby. The nose here is loaded with muscular fruit and spice, blackberry, dried cranberries, mincemeat and chocolate. The palate is sweet with a juicy wallop of fruit flavours. Full bodied with great texture, balance and structure leading to a sweet, fruity, spice-edged medium-long finish. My note: Beautiful! Love this style of port: more cherry liqueur than darker notes. Try it. Port food pairings: flavourful cheeses, berry-rich desserts. Drink: 2011 - 2018 196626 20% S 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Malivoire Wine Company Pinot Noir 2008, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: The team at Malivoire has proven its mettle with both Gamay and Pinot Noir, and not surprisingly, a hint of Burgundian influence is evident in this wine. Medium ruby in the glass, it shows lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry, wet earth, new leather, rosehip and cinnamon. Dry, medium bodied, elegant and self-assured, with brambly fruit wrapped in a ribbon of acidity and silky tannins. Medium-long finish. Shows the structure to evolve for 5+ years. My note: Cherry pie and cranberry notes with a silky smooth, medium-bodied texture. Pinot Noir food pairings: herb-crusted salmon steaks, beef bourguignon. Drink: 2011 - 2015 239814 12.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pillitteri Estates Winery Cabernet Franc 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Wonderfully rich! Mocha-dark chocolate nose with fleshy blackberries. Full-bodied and smooth. Perfect for meat lovers’ pizza or sloppy joes. Cabernet Franc food pairings: pizza, sloppy joes. Drink: 2011 - 2015 13763 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Paul Hobbs’ reputation as a wine consultant is unparalleled with nearly three dozen wineries in California, Chile and Argentina under his guiding hand. Indeed, Hobbs is the winemaker that many iconic producers turn to for advice. Hobbs also owns two wineries: Viña Cobos in Argentina, and Paul Hobbs in California. Rich, complex fruit notes with cedar, pepper and cassis on the nose. Dry, ripe and round with wonderful depth. An elegant and flavourful wine that will drink beautifully with a choice cut of steak. It will also reward 4+ years in a cellar. My note: A solid, well-crafted red with classic aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and cassis. Full-bodied with terrific structure and length. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak. Drink: 2011 - 2016 118695 14.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The 2009 Ancient Vines Zinfandel is awash in raspberry, blackberry, white pepper and spice notes, along with complexity-building coffee and chocolate characteristics. Aged in new and seasoned American oak, imbuing this wine with a subtle vanilla quality that nicely complements the focused fruit notes. My note: Zinmasters! These folks know how to make zinfandel blind-folded. Classic aromas of blackberry and blueberry. Full-bodied and smooth. Zinfandel food pairings: lamb, pork tenderloin. Drink: 2011 - 2016 719211 15% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blackstone Winery Winemarker's Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a crowd-pleasing, robust and easygoing wine supplies oodles of black-fruit aromas and flavours. There is sufficient tannic grip. My note: Such a consistent producer: this wine is often on restaurant lists. Black fruit and lots of toasty oak. Rich and flavourful yet not over-the-top. Great for potluck get-togethers. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rich meat-based pasta sauces, roast beef, gourmet burgers. 714816 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fog Head Highlands Series Reserve Pinot Noir 2008, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This exceptionally well-made Pinot delivers far above its price point. Engaging notes of cherry, rhubarb, spice and oak on the nose. The palate is equally charming, with quite elegant offerings of tangy raspberry and dark cherry alongside well- balanced oak and acidity. My note: A pleasant fleshy ripe cherry wine with some nice tartness. Silky-smooth and medium-bodied. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled salmon steaks and creamy brie cheese. Drink: 2011 - 2016 212944 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Toasted Head Merlot 2008, North Coast, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Toasted Head takes its name from the practice of toasting the tops and bottoms of barrels as well as the staves. The extra toasting gives these wines extra vanilla and smoky character. This big, round, mouth-filling Merlot features black cherry and raspberry aromas with spice and licorice tones. The palate is dry and superbly balanced. My note: Smooth, juicy and tasty, with ripe dark field berries and plums. Perfect for pizza night. Merlot food pairings: lamb, beef, chicken kebabs, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 969816 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Susana Balbo Signature Dominio Del Plata Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Susana Balbo is one of Argentina’s best winemakers. She is talented and has great taste. Full-bodied, savory, rich and deep: this wine has it all. Fleshy dark fruit but something more exotic. Love it! Drink: 2011 - 2015 79798 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Montes’ Kaiken takes its name from the wild geese that criss-cross the Andes – a particularly appropriate name considering that Kaiken is the product of both Chilean and Argentine talents. Lovely notes of blackberry, spice box, and cocoa on the nose. The well-structured palate is dry and medium-full bodied with great fruit concentration, spice and chocolate tones. Enjoy this tonight or cellar for 3-4 years. My note: A toasty, black-fruited wonderful with smooth, full-bodied layers of pleasure. Blackberries with a nice smoky finish. Divine for movie night. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak. Drink: 2011 - 2014 143248 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Decero Remolinos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina: Blackberry liqueur with a pleasant bitterness mid-palate. Luscious and full-bodied with ripe black raspberries. Very smooth, like suede. Drink: 2011 - 2015 195677 14.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Errazuriz Single Vineyard Syrah 2008, Panquehue, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Juicy and savoury with fleshy black plums, blackberries and dried herbs. Full-bodied and smooth. So very ready to drink right now. Drink: 2011 - 2014 211938 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nugan Estate Mclaren Parish Vineyard Shiraz 2008, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Intense concentration of black fruit flavours with blackberry liqueur. Some menthol on the nose. Full-bodied and smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2015 72603 15% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Big, black fruit with blackberry jam and baked fruit notes. Smooth and full-bodied. Drink: 2011 - 2015 986752 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Greg Norman Shiraz 2007, Limestone Coast, Australia: Generous oak and mocha on the nose with smoky black fruit and full-bodied weight. Tasty and big. Drink: 2011 - 2014 575092 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Southbank Estate Pinot Noir 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Youthful ruby in the glass with complex notes of cherry, raspberry, plum and earth. Dry and medium bodied, the palate has expressive red-fruit notes, nice structure and balance. The finish leans to the long side and is a real beauty. My note: Tart cherry pie with summer-fresh field strawberries. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering and beautiful. Bring it on a picnic, even if you are alone. Pinot Noir food pairings: lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2016 203109 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Oak Valley Blend A. G. Rawbone-Viljoen Merlot Cabernet Franc 2005, W.O., Elgin, South Africa: Lovely meaty quality to this wine with intriguing notes of fleshy black ripe fruit and smoke. Dried herbs and dark spices. Full-bodied weight. Merlot Cabernet Franc food pairings: bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Drink: 2011 - 2015 214361 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vilafonté Series M Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, W.O., Paarl, South Africa: The wine is a classic Bordeaux blend, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Lovely dark blackberry and blackcurrant richness. Full-bodied and smooth with dark spices on the finish. Perfect for steak dinner. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak. Drink: 2011 - 2017 7757 14.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 91/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Gille Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Côtes De Nuits-Villages, Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Translucent ruby in the glass. The nose offers immediate notes of dark cherry followed by beetroot, earth and floral. The palate is dry, with a lively acidity, great fruit intensity throughout, and a balancing oak character that keeps the whole package deliciously in sync. My note: Alluring aromas of black cherry, violet and truffle on the nose, tart red fruit on the palate. Medium-bodied and smooth. A lovely wine for the money. Perfect for a romantic dinner. Pinot Noir food pairings: smoked duck, coq au vin. Drink: 2011 - 2016 210864 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Marchand-Grillot Morey-Saint-Denis Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Delicious and exciting, this wine hits you with immediate and impressive notes of cherry, oak and mushroom, plus a delicate touch of violets in the background. The palate is impeccably structured, with tremendous fruit, oak and earth tones that work in perfect harmony with the tannins and acidity, as found in the best Morey. Great length. This is a superbly made wine. It will work well with a variety of chicken and fish dishes, and also has the structure to stand up to a beef tenderloin. My note: My kind of pinot! Jubilant and filtered with sunshine. Ripe cherries dance across your senses. A field of wild ripe raspberries. Medium-bodied and just enough acidity with some warming oak underlay. Yum! Pinot Noir food pairings: chicken, fish, beef tenderloin. Drink: 2011 - 2017 210906 12.3% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maison Roche De Bellene Beaune-Bressandes 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Burgundy, France: A full-bodied pinot with judiciously woven in oak. Ripe back cherries and mouth-watering acidity with a satin mouth-feel. Lovely structure and balance. This wine will also do well in the cellar. Drink: 2011 - 2018 208504 13% D 750 mL $47.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Daniel Rion Les Lavières Nuits-Saint-Georges Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The scion of a respected Burgundian family with old roots, the family- owned Daniel Rion estate was founded in 1995 with only two hectares; it now encompasses 18 hectares in 18 different appellations. This wine has a complex nose featuring dark cherry, beetroot, nuts and toasty vanilla. The berry-laden palate is dry and beautifully structured, with excellent supporting oak. There is a nice focused acidity here that completes the package wonderfully. My note : Gorgeous nose that’s rich with ripe cherry and violet aromas, and a little rose petal. Satin smooth on the tongue with a medium-bodied weight. Mouth-watering acidity makes this an ideal food companion. A wine for seduction. Pinot Noir food pairings: seared duck breast, pork chops, veal cutlets. Drink: 2011 - 2017 208454 13% D 750 mL $47.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Mouton Clos Charlé Givry 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2009, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A fantastic wine displaying a plethora of delights. Opens with the great depth and complexity of the nose, with aromas of cherry, raspberry, toasty oak and violets. The palate is dry and invigorating, with concentrated layered fruit, medium acidity and tannins, and a medium-long finish. My note: So very pretty! Joyous aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries. A delightful satin smooth texture and medium-bodied weight with just the right touch of some acidity for food. Fantastic quality for the price. Pinot Noir food pairings: glazed ham. Drink: 2011 - 2016 210823 12.9% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vincent Morin Lacombe Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Here’s a superb Bourgogne that delivers a lot of wine for a very approachable price. Deep ruby in the glass, it sports ripe cherry, plum, and earthy notes with hints of fresh beet and hickory smoke. Dry, medium bodied and nicely balanced, with fine youthful tannins surrounding a core of cherry fruit. Quite elegant and refined. Hold for 3+ years, or enjoy tonight. My note: A very tart, mouth-watering wine with tart cherries and cranberry notes. Smooth and medium-bodied. Your mouth will water! Pinot Noir food pairings: beef, game. Drink: 2011 - 2015 208496 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dufouleur Père & Fils Chambolle-Musigny Pinot Noir 2007, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Dufouleur Père & Fils have been winemakers and merchants in Burgundy for over 400 years. This 2007 Chambolle-Musigny more than lives up to the reputation they have earned over their 13 generations of operation. Notes of vanilla, cherry, earth and a nutty oak character emerge on the nose of this wine. The palate is elegant with rich and lively fruit, great acidity and well integrated tannins, finishing medium-long and fruity. My note: beautifully produced with seductive aromas of black cherries, earth and violets. Smooth and medium- to full-bodied on the palate. Mouth-watering acidity makes it very food friendly. Pinot Noir food pairings: simply seasoned lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2018 208553 13% D 750 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. April 2011. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Roux Père & Fils Pinot Noir 2009, A.C., Côte De Beaune-Villages, Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Delectable notes of strawberry, red cherry, spice, bay leaf, earth and lightly perfumed violet tones. The palate is dry, medium bodied and smoothly textured, with beautifully harmonized tannins and a crisp acidity. There is great length and fruit concentration to the finish. My note: Seductive nose of cherries and earth. Tart berries on the palate, with searing acidity that is nonetheless enjoyable with food. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled tuna, herbed steaks, roast duck. Drink: 2011 - 2014 208520 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Au Pont De Guitres Rémy Rousselot, Vitic. Merlot Cab Franc 2008, A.C., Lalande-De-Pomerol, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cab Franc, this wine opens with wild raspberry, cocoa, tobacco, and black cherry on the nose. The palate is plush and fruity, dry, and medium bodied, with ripe fruit and substantial tannins. Hold this for 2-4 years or enjoy it tonight. My note : A pleasant, well-structured Bordeaux for short-term drinking. Black fruit and smoke with some mocha-espresso notes. Full-bodied. Decant for 1-2 hours first for maximum pleasure. Merlot Cab Franc food pairings: beef stew, slow-cooked braised beef. Drink: 2011 - 2014 206763 13.8% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château La Verrière Supérieur, André Bessette, Vitic. Cabernet Blend 2008, A.C., Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Concours Général Agricole in Paris. Rich plum, cherry, lilac and woodsmoke on the nose. The palate is dry with a great depth of fruit and tannic structure. A lovely and lingering fruitiness on the lengthy finish. Hold this for 1-2 years or enjoy it tonight. My note: Love it! Rich and full-bodied with mocha-warm blackberry aromas on the nose. Lovely richness and unfolding of layers of pleasure on the tongue. Incredible for the money. Cabernet Blend food pairings: braised meats. Drink: 2011 - 2015 199000 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Christian Moueix Saint-Émilion, Jean-Pierre Moueix, Négoc. Merlot Blend 2006, A.C., St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: This wine leads with merlot, and the ripe plum notes show it. There’s lots of acidity but a good balance. Medium- to full-bodied. Very nice for hearty meat dishes. Merlot Blend food pairings: meat. Drink: 2011 - 2014 979955 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Lacombe-Noaillac Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2006, A.C., Médoc, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: To even be included in the Guide Hachette a wine must be impressive. On top of this, wines of special note are awarded up to three stars. My note: Savory, generous and delicious! Rich, round and warm with full-bodied goodness. Aromas of blackberries, black and purple plums. Phenomenal quality for the price. Drink: 2011 - 2014 199091 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ortas Tradition Syrah Blend 2009, A.C., Rasteau, Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: Savoury and juicy with rip black and red cherry aromas. Some cedar and pepper. Vibrant and full-bodied. Great for big meaty dishes. Syrah Blend food pairings: meat. Drink: 2011 - 2016 998716 14% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Königschaffhausen Steingrüble Pinot Noir 2009, Q.B.A., Baden, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: For years, Königschaffhausen has been Baden’s leading cooperative. Low yields, an ultra-modern winery and the desire to produce quality wines have resulted in fantastic reliability, even with difficult grapes like Pinot Noir. This wine has a deep garnet colour, with dried berry characters and a hint of barnyard on the nose. On the palate, silky tannins, good fruit replays and balanced acids come to the fore. Serve it with sauerbraten – wunderbar! My note: A summer field of ripe strawberries and raspberries to tickle your senses and bare feet. Lovely! Medium-bodied and sweetly perfumed. Incredible price. I’m buying two cases. Pinot Noir food pairings: sweet-sour pot roast, spaetzle, red cabbage. Drink: 2011 - 2016 460410 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barba Vignafranca Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2006, D.O.C., Abruzzo, Italy: Some kind of wonderful! Savory and juicy with mocha and dark red fruit. Smooth and full-bodied and ready for any Italian dish or many others. Love this style: gets you out of your red wine rut, and you know, you should. Montepulciano D'abruzzo food pairings: Italian dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2015 203984 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Umani Ronchi San Lorenzo Rosso Conero Montepulciano 2007, D.O.C., Marche, Italy: Savoury and black with full-bodied, lip-smacking tasty dark fruit. Perfect for pizza night, especially meat lovers’ pizza. Montepulciano food pairings: pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 981191 13.2% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rivera Cappellaccio Riserva Aglianico Aglianico 2005, D.O.C., Castel Del Monte, Puglia, Italy: Mocha-espresso nose with fleshy blackberries and black plums. Full-bodied and ultra-juicy with big mouth-watering acidity. Perfect with food, especially meat or spicy-tomato dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2020 984120 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Carlo Botter Doppio Passo Primitivo 2009, I.G.T., Salento, Puglia, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) is rich with aromas and flavours of dried fruit, blackcurrant and cherry. It is concentrated, complex and nicely balanced by very soft tannins. The added intensity is achieved by the process called Doppio Passo, or double step. After the wine has been made, the winemakers add bunches of grapes that were left to dry to a raisin-like state on the vine, causing a second fermentation and creating a wine with increased richness and intensity. My note: Purple plum liqueur that tastes somewhat sweet because the fruit is so ripe even though this is a dry wine. Full-bodied and smooth: a river of pleasure for barbecued hamburgers with all the fixins. Primitivo food pairings: barbeque hamburgers. Drink: 2011 - 2014 134627 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mastrojanni Brunello Di Montalcino 2005, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Dark, ponderous and brooding like Bach or Heathcliffe. Aromas of dried black fruit, smoke, tar (that’s good), violets and oak. Mouth-watering acidity provides a wonderful balance. Drink: 2011 - 2018 942508 14.5% XD 750 mL $45.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castellani Classico Riserva Chianti 2006, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: A very fine Chianti Classico Riserva with superb aromas of cherry and leather, coupled with hints of oregano and spice. Dry with good fruit intensity, fine structure and a medium-full body, culminating in a medium-long, cherry-infused finish. Have it tonight. My note: Terrific! Mocha-rich and embracing. Ripe black cherries and plums. Bring it on, and on! Perfect for dinner parties. Chianti food pairings: pasta in a tomato sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2016 86298 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Arele Appassimento Corvina 2008, .I.G.T., Veronese, Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This intriguing new wine from the renowned Tommasi family is built around the classic Valpolicella grape, Corvina, with the lesser-seen indigenous Oseleta variety. The partial drying of the grapes intensifies the flavour and aromas. The wine offers handsomely focused red berry, cherry and cinnamon spice aromas. Fruity, spicy, crisp and round on the palate with gentle tannins and a medium-long, berry-rich finish. My note: Lots of mouth-watering acidity for food here with rich, dark red fruit aromas and some toasty oak. Very savoury and delicious. Different and fascinating. Great for the barbecue. Corvina food pairings: barbecued ribs, braised lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2015 224188 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

San Cassiano Amarone Della Valpolicella 2006, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a delicious, super-concentrated Amarone with layered notes of black cherry, chocolate and spice on the nose. The palate reinforces the promise of the nose, with echoes of ripe dark fruit, chocolate and spice coming to the fore of this delectably textured and round wine. My note: Purple plum liqueur with spice and cedar notes. Incredible concentration and full-bodied weight. Amarone Della Valpolicella food pairings: roast pork, veal, meat-sauce pasta. Drink: 2011 - 2016 210799 16.2% XD 750 mL $38.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Cuillier Père & Fils Grand Réserve Champagne, A.C., Champagne, France: Toasty and creamy with classic aromas of green apple. Robust side of champagne. Drink: 2011 - 2015 210971 12% D 750 mL $49.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Favourite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Cattail Creek Estate Winery Chardonnay Musqué 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium lemon-yellow in the glass. Expressive orchard blossom, ripe grapefruit, apple, peach and cinnamon. Off-dry and medium bodied, with a soft, round texture, and a ripe fruit core surrounded by bright acidity. Nice interplay of sweetness and tangy refreshment on the finish. My note: Vibrant and refreshing with perky white peach and green apple notes. A little orange blossom natural sweetness throughout makes this a divine wine for Asian dishes and medium curries. Chardonnay Musqué food pairings: seared white fish, turkey dinner, grilled shrimp with pesto sauce and pasta, Asian dishes, curries. Drink: 2011 - 2014 222257 12.5% MD 750 mL $17.20 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winemaker's Series Two Vineyards Riesling 2009, Vq.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Bring-you-to-your-knees mouth-watering aromas and flavours of lime, white peach, and green apple. Juicy and vibrant: this wine cries out for food. Although it’s medium dry, it tastes bone-dry to me. Winner of a Silver Medal at the Wine Access 2010 Canadian Wine Awards. Drink: 2011 - 2016 105387 11.5% MD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ovation Chardonnay 2007, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Love the buttery richness. Green apples and peach pie: yum! Drink: 2011 - 2016 210302 14% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2008, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Lots of apple, tropical fruit, pear, coconut and vanilla aromas on display here. Dry, fruity, round and ripe. Crowd-pleasing Cali Chard with a core of ripe fruit and bright acidity for refreshment. Smooth-textured. My note: Superb! Buttery, along-rich chardonnay with layers of full-bodied goodness. Generous but not heavy. Perfect for lobster in butter and corn on the cob. My mouth is watering. Chardonnay food pairings: pan-seared scallops, blackened chicken, lobster, corn-on-the-cob. Drink: 2011 - 2015 979344 13.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Arboleda Chardonnay 2008, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Lovely buttery richness and fullness, with green apple and a hazel-infused finish. Love it! Incredibly great price. Drink: 2011 - 2014 606772 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cloudy Bay Vineyards Ltd Chardonnay 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: The folks at Cloudy Bay are known as gurus with Sauvignon Blanc, yet their skill with Chardonnay cannot be denied. Nice intensity here, with a wide variety of concentrated citrus, peach and mango aromas and flavours to enjoy. Beautifully structured, with a mouth-wateringly refreshing acidity, lush texture, and impressive finish. Perfect with buttery lobster. My note: Supremely crafted Chardonnay! Amazing balance between fresh green apple fruit and creamy richness from oak. Buttery with a long finish. Try this wine at least once in your life. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster. Drink: 2011 - 2016 359513 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 94/100. April 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coopers Creek Vineyard Select Vineyards Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Juicy with lime and chive and green apple. Fresh and medium-bodied. Great intensity and laser focus with its mouth-watering acidity. Drink: 2011 - 2013 66092 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Gueugnon-Remond Grande Réserve Mâcon-Charnay Chardonnay 2008, A.C., Mâcon-Charnay-Lès-Mâcon, Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Apple, hazelnut and citrus on the nose. Dry, with creamy texture, and mouthwatering echoes of apple, citrus and oak. Zesty acidity rounds out a thoroughly satisfying experience. My note : A stunning chardonnay for the money! Lovely aromas of green apple, peach, oak and butter. Rich but balanced. Glorious change of pace for anyone who’d like to try the French style of chardonnay. Chardonnay food pairings: shrimp in a citrus-based sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2016 220889 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 91/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Vincent Girardin Les Grands Charrons Chardonnay 2008, A.C., Meursault, Burgundy, France: Superb! Mouth-watering and bursting with white peach and green apple. Some butter but it doesn’t dominate. Classic chardonnay. Drink: 2011 - 2018 208488 13.5% XD 750 mL $42.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Saint-Saturnin De Vergy Bourgogne Hautes Chardonnay 2009, A.C., Côtes De Nuits Blanc, Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Straw-coloured and offering layered citrus notes supported by apple, pear, vanilla, hazelnut and dried flowers. Pleasingly dry, crisp and medium bodied, the palate is juicy and fruity, with a crisp acidity and hefty notes of apple and hazelnut working alongside beautifully balanced oak nuances. Try this tonight. My note: Good acidity with lovely green apple and white peach fruit. Not a lot of oak, no buttery notes. Medium-bodied and very companionable to many dishes. Chardonnay food pairings: poached trout. Drink: 2011 - 2015 128686 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux Puligny-Montrachet 1Er Cru Chardonnay 2007, A.C., Burgundy, France: Superb balance and length with alluring notes of white peach and a deep vein of minerality. Classic Montrachet! Drink: 2011 - 2016 21758 12.8% XD 750 mL $84.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Roux Père & Fils Les Chaumes Chassagne-Montrachet 1Er Cru Chardonnay 2009, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This is a simply gorgeous wine. The complex nose carries tones of vanilla, apple, citrus, toasted almond, butterscotch and ripe fruit. The palate is equally rich and rewarding, with great structure and balance throughout. Lively acidity carries through to the end of the lip-smacking finish. Delicious now or it will evolve over 5 years into an even more intriguing experience. My note: Stunning wine! Loaded with green apple and white peach with some butter and smoke and a long almond-infused finish. Chardonnay food pairings: lightly seasoned chicken dishes, fuller-flavoured fish. Drink: 2011 - 2017 208512 13.5% D 750 mL $38.95 Score: 93/100. April 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Saint Rémy Réserve Pinot Gris 2008, A.C., Alsace, France: This off-dry white is perfect for Asian and spicy curries. Some ripe fleshy peach and pear notes. Pinot Gris food pairings: Asian, curries. Drink: 2011 - 2014 16410 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. April 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Darting Riesling Kabinett 2008, Q.M.P., Dürkheimer Michelsberg, Pfalz, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: Offering notes of pear, stone fruit, and wet stones on the nose. The palate is moderately sweet, with a nice seam of acidity that provides great balance and ageability (easily 3-6 years or more). This appealing wine closes with a long, balanced finish and makes a great sipper. My note: Ripely sweet pear and peach notes: sublime! Great acidity… so amazing with so many dishes. Incredibly great price. Riesling Kabinett food pairings: gourmet spicy pork sausages. Drink: 2011 - 2015 950212 10% M 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bellingham Fair Maiden Roussanne Chenin Blanc 2008, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: Intriguing hazelnut richness, with baking spices and white peach notes. This is absolutely lovely. Rich but not heavy. Some white flowers and fond goodbyes on the finish. This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2009 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Enjoy this wine. A blend of Roussanne, chenin blanc, verdelho, grenache blanc, chardonnay and viognier grapes. Roussanne Chenin Blanc food pairings: mildly spiced shrimp, calamari dish. Drink: 2011 - 2016 220020 14.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 92/100. April 2011. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2015 Natalie MacLean