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Vintages Release April 11, 2009

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Dessert Wine

Morretes Cachaça Port, Brazil: Vintages Wine Panel: Brazil’s great sugar cane spirit, Cachaça, is rapidly gaining popularity, especially in the legendary cocktail, Caipirinha. This one is organic. Here’s the recipe to make the cocktail: 1 1/2 ounces (45 mL) Cachaça, 1/2 or whole lime, quartered 2 teaspoons (10+ g), heaping, superfine fruit sugar, Four ice cubes. Depending on size, use either half or a whole lime. Quarter it and put it in a cocktail shaker. Add sugar. Using a muddler (a wooden pestle or you can use a wooden spoon), mash the sugar and lime quarters together. Add Cachaça. Add ice cubes. Shake until well blended (alternatively, you can stir, but we find it doesn’t blend the sugar with the other ingredients as well). Without straining, pour all contents into a lowball glass. Enjoy. My note: I thought I’d include this lively cocktail, which makes a refreshing change from a glass wine (occasionally!). Port food pairings: almond based desserts, spiced cake, baked pears, baked apples. 101741 39% 700 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Salice Salentino Riserva 2004, D.O.C., Puglia, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Filled with aromas of cherry, chestnut and raspberry, this red is beautifully balanced by acid and fine tannins. A pretty, sweet core is followed by a long and luxurious finish. Guaranteed to get your tastebuds, and the party, jumping. My note: A delicious red that delivers exceptional quality and taste for the money. Notes of ripe fleshy cherries, raspberries and plums. Good mouth-watering acidity. An excellent blue-jeans weekend wine. Food pairings: pate, fried chicken, shrimp, spring rolls. 121632 13.1% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Zinfandel 2007, Mendocino County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This organic wine contains just 16 mg/L of free sulfur. A wine that has great pizzazz with a trio of berry-ripe flavors: brambleberry, blackberry and blueberry. A delicious quaffer that delivers instant gratification. Full-bodied with a satin texture and a cedar-tinged finish. Zinfandel food pairings: prime rib, pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese, gourmet hamburgers. 530139 14.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Heartland Stickleback Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Dolcetto Grenache 2007, South Australia, Australia: This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Dolcetto and Grenache grapes. An expressive sipper with corpulent aromas of cranberry, black currant, plum and cassis. Full-bodied goodness in rich layers and texture. A great wine to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Dolcetto Grenache food pairings: beef tenderloin with a madeira sauce, grilled mushrooms, asparagus. Drink: 2009 - 2012 116574 14.5% D 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils Château Hauchat Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C., Fronsac, Bordeaux, France: Excellent value for this delicious, lip-smackingly good red. Vibrant notes of blackberries and plums with a hint of toasty oak. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: beef daube, grilled steak, beef stew, grilled eggplant. 123489 13.2% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Malivoire Mottiar Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A remarkable from one of Canada’s best producers. This wine gives me faith in Ontario’s future for Pinot Noir. You’ll reveal in it’s plush, ripe aromas of strawberries and raspberries resting on a bed of field daisies. There’s some cinnamon dust and a sprinkle of rose petals and fresh-turned spring earth. This satiny, medium-bodied wine plays across your palate all the way to a long, berry-infused finish. Pinot Noir food pairings: beef tenderloin with a mushroom sauce, goulash, grilled vegetables. 125252 12.5% XD 750 mL $34.00 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: An opulent Pinot Noir with revelatory aromas of pleasantly tart cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, cinnamon, clove and mid-summer forest richness. Medium-bodied with round, polished tannins give this wine a velvet texture. A grad finale on the finish leaves you wanting more. Pinot Noir food pairings: chicken stir-fry, fried chicken, beef stew, mushroom risotto. 54809 13% XD 750 mL $32.20 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Mendocino County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This Cabernet uses only organically grown grapes. The extra effort rewards with pure and polished aromas and flavors of cassis, cherry, roasted herbs, licorice and ripe blackberry, all wrapped in silky tannins with a medium-long finish. This organic wine contains just 15 mg/L of free sulfur. Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. My note: Saturated with lavish aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum, cassis, dark spices and cigar box. A core of coffee and some savory meat notes. Full-bodied with firm tannins and a mocha-infused finished. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rosemary-and-thyme-rubbed veal chops, hearty lasagna of beef, zucchini and eggplant. 342428 12.09% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Lomas De Cauquenes Las Lomas Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Maule Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Las Lomas is both organic and Fair Trade certified. The winery is actually a co-op of 240 members who control 2,400 hectares of vineyards. In 1995, a select group of members began growing their grapes organically, and it is their fruit that is used to make this wine. This Cabernet is fruit-forward, round, ripe and ready to drink. This organic wine contains just 12 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: A seriously good wine for those who love ripe dark fruit framed in a solid structure. Excellent balance and style here with full-bodied flavor and length. Aromas of black plums, cassis and graphite with a hint of smoke and dried herbs. Satisfying! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: gourmet hamburgers, pizza, pasta with a rich tomato sauce. 917922 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Quebrada De Macul Pargua Ii Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère Syrah Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Pargua is a word from the native Huilliche language that means ‘Full Moon’. The people behind Pargua work intimately with the land, treating it with the utmost respect; the connection to the land goes beyond just rules and certifications issued by independent panels. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenère, 15% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this is a vibrant, fruity, delicious wine. This organic wine contains just 31 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: This wine needs no coaxing: its aromas leap out of the glass, with rich notes of blackberry, cassis, mulberry, licorice and a lick of hickory smoke. Full-bodied with a mocha-infused finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère Syrah Merlot Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot food pairings: beef wellington, gourmet cheeseburgers, sausages, dark chocolate. 83279 14.8% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coates Shiraz 2005, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: This organic wine contains 14 mg/L of free sulfur and was matured in French and Russian barrels. A muscular, satisfyingly chunky wine with exuberant notes of blueberry, plum, prune, ground black pepper, tar and a whiff of mint on the top. Full-bodied with an unctuously deep texture. Shiraz food pairings: prime rib steak, beef tartare, spicy sausage, grilled portobello mushrooms. 95273 14.5% D 750 mL $35.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Temple Bruer Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2001, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This organic wine is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%) and Petit Verdot (19%) and contains just 6 mg/L of free sulfur. A towering wine with bring-it-on aromas of black cherry and raspberry, anise, pepper, dark spices and espresso. A judicious amount of vanillin oak underneath gives it a firm support structure. Lots to enjoy here. Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot food pairings: lasagna, barbecued ribs, bison steak, roast beef, mature cheeses. 90316 14% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sonop Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: An excellent value, this certified-organic Cab is also one of a growing number of wines that are certified as Fair Trade. Such a certification guarantees that producers and workers are paid a living wage and that grapes are grown using environmentally conscientious practices. This medium-bodied Cab delivers cassis and typical cigar box aromas, ripe fruit flavors and fairly soft tannins. This organic wine contains just 22 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: A lovely mellow wine that’s perfect for casual get-togethers and Friday night flops in front of the TV. Aromas of fleshy dark berries and plums sidle up beside any meal or take-out. There’s also a mouth-filling core of dark spices and mocha notes. A rock solid effort from this producer. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pasta in a meat sauce, ravioli, steak, brussel sprouts. 606160 12.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Falfas Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2004, A.C., Côtes De Bourg, Bordeaux, France: This organic/biodynamic wine contains just 6 mg/L of free sulfur. A beguiling wine with superb structure, balance and finesse. Uptown aromas of cassis, blackberry and black plum are wrapped in a smoky cigar box. Full-bodied with a tightly woven grain that will open up with aging or decanting. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: hard cheeses, blue cheese encrusted beef tenderloin, gourmet cheeseburger. 908301 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Celler Piñol Cariñena Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Tempranillo 2007, D.O., Terra Alta, Spain: This winery owns 100 acres in Terra Alta, near but warmer than the winemaking districts of Montsant and Priorat. It’s a blend of Cariñena, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo and is aged for six months in a combination of French, American and Hungarian oak. This organic wine contains just 6 mg/L of free sulfur. Cariñena Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Tempranillo food pairings: grilled cheddar cheese sandwich, porcini mushrooms, grilled vegetables, dark chocolate. 30171 14.3% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Paso Robles, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A Gold Medal winner at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from five Paso Robles vineyards, with the majority coming from the winery’s estate vineyard. It’s already drinking wonderfully with lovely blackcurrant, cassis and wild-berry flavors as well as well-balanced sweet oak notes and refined tannins. An eye-catching (and palate-pleasing) addition to the dinner table. My note: Get in the groove with this delicious Cabernet. It’s packed with aromas of black plum, blackberry, currants, dark spices and dried tobacco leaves. A firm structure and full-bodied texture take you right through to a finish that rolls on for several minutes. Enjoy! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rack of lamb, rosemary covered pork tenderloin, beef stew. Drink: 2008 - 2014 105866 14.3% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montana Wines Reserve Pinot Noir 2006, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Sourced from Central Otago, one of the mostly southerly wine-growing regions on the planet, this Pinot Noir is medium ruby in color: actually quite deeply hued for the variety. A bouquet of sweet raspberry, ripe cherry, and freshly tilled earth floods the senses, leading to aroma replays on the smooth, silky-textured palate. Great length and balance add to the wine’s considerable charms. My note: Opens with cherry, red currant and smoky raspberry, followed my mouth-filling, velvet layers of ripe red berries on the palate. Medium-bodied and extremely seductive. The vibrant, zesty acidity makes for a wonderful food companion. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled steak, roast beef sandwich, turkey with traditional trimmings. 93708 13% D 750 mL $30.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Haut La Grenière Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2005, A.C., Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A Silver Medal winner at the Concours des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants 2007, this wine is comprised of 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. This stylish red from Bordeaux’s legendary 2005 vintage will pique dinner guests’ interest, and then hold it with its food-friendly black fruit and herbal/spice character. My note: You can’t beat the wines from the 2005 for value and terrific quality: it’s a vintage to stock up on for your cellar. This uptown wine is ideal for dinner parties involving a meat entrée: it’s stylish, complex and well-balanced. Aromas of cassis, blackberry and currant waft up from the glass. Full-bodied with excellent structure and length. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc food pairings: gourmet sausages, barbecued back ribs, roast lamb, mature cheeses. Drink: 2009 - 2014 117614 13.5% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Georges Duboeuf Domaine Des Sablons Saint-Amour Gamay 2007, A.C., Beaujolais, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Domaine des Sablons is one of the Saint-Amour appellation’s finest single cru properties. This Gamay is reminiscent of well-made Bourgogne Pinot Noir: elegantly balanced, graceful and refined. It has delicate yet bright flavors and a light body. My note: A fresh, lively red with aromas that ripple with new strawberries and raspberries. Silky texture and zippy acidity. A wonderful aperitif. Gamay food pairings: salmon and cream cheese dip, grilled salmon, pate, grilled lamb. 2923 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Fils De Joseph Sabon Clos Du Mont-Olivet Font De Blanche Côtes-Du-Rhone Grenache 2006, A.C., Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: From a fourth-generation family estate comes this soft and elegant Grenache-based blend. It shows generous strawberry, cherry, raspberry aromas and flavors along with notes of smoke and spice. This lovely red will be right at home on your dinner table. My note: A beautiful expression of Rhone Valley terroir. Offers notes of dried herbs, garrigue, black cherry and raspberry wrapped in a cigar box. Medium- to full-bodied with warm layers of flavor and a satisfying finish. Grenache food pairings: roast beef au jus, steaks, grilled mushrooms, chili, venison. 102947 14% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tangley Oaks Merlot 2005, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: A Merlot from Napa that bountifully displays the virtues of this misunderstood grape. Filled with cherry, espresso, spice and toast aromas and flavors, this wonderfully balanced wine will cellar 2-4 years. My note: A mellow wine of deep comfort and oodles of pleasure. Aromas of ripe plums, mixed berries, dark spices, and an even-handed use of toasty oak. Full-bodied with a luxurious texture. Merlot food pairings: grilled lamb, gourmet sausages, goose, bison steak. 68155 14.2% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodega Catena Zapata Bodega Catena Zapata Merlot 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Argentina’s greatest visionary, Nicolás Catena, was just named Decanter’s 2009 Man of the Year. Over the years, his wines have continued to receive widespread acclaim. This Merlot is a perfect example of his achievements. Dry and fruity (cherry/raspberry), this wine is a real crowd-pleaser. My note: You’ll be the hero of the evening if you bring this bottle to dinner at a friend’s house. It’s rich and inviting with peppy aromas of blackberry, plum, espresso, violets and savory game. Full-bodied with mesquite smoke, plush texture and a lingering finish. Tango! Merlot food pairings: roast lamb, beef stew, turkey with traditional trimmings, fried chicken. 57976 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tabalí Reserva Merlot 2006, Limarí Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: A beautifully balanced Merlot from Chile’s geographical mid-point. Blackberry, cherry, mocha, blueberry, vanilla and menthol all come to the fore. Dry, rich and appealing with mid-palate acidity giving the wine a nice liveliness. A ready-to-drink style. My note: Minty note mingle with coffee, anise, blackberry, and black plum on the nose. The wine opens with great fruit extraction and concentration on the palate. The perfect wine for nights on your own or when your date is running late. Merlot food pairings: barbecued back ribs, steaks, sausages, steak fajitas. 93740 14% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vicar S.A. G7 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Loncomilla Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Pascal Marty, former director of winemaking at the illustrious Baron Philippe de Rothschild in Bordeaux, joined the long-established Pedregal family winery in 2004, and is responsible for optimizing all aspects of quality here. His G7 red wines – a celebration of 7 generations of winemaking expertise – are warm, rich, and fruit-filled blockbusters. My note: This wine could be your new best friend. Accessible aromas of rich dark plums and berries laced with savory bacon fat, underbrush and cedar notes. Full-bodied with a great spine and layers of luscious flavor. Warm finish. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak, roast beef au jus, barbecue chicken sandwich, fajitas. 94136 14% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reilly's Old Bushvine Grenache 2005, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Blueberry paste and strawberry preserves on the nose invite you into the glass. A core of black plum beckons further. You’re done in by the time the finish follows up with its tingling notes of coffee and warm spices. Beautifully rounded and full-bodied. Surrender and enjoy! Grenache food pairings: meat-based pastas, barbecued steak, rack of lamb, herb-crusted cheeses. 103986 12.5% D 750 mL $31.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eppalock Ridge Susan's Selection Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2004, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This small family winery is located in the heart of central Victoria and specializes in crafting a small portfolio of red wines. The founders, Sue (aka Susan) and Rod Hourigan, left their careers at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in the 1970s to pursue their passion for fine wine. Rod is the winemaker but clearly Susan calls the shots on this blend. My note: A medium- to full-bodied wonder with knock-your-socks-off aromas of ripe blackberries, red currant, mocha, anise, and a hint of mint. Expressive with a good thread of acidity and a nice balance and length. Shiraz Cabernet Merlot food pairings: steamed mussels, barbecued ribs, chili, hard cheeses, cheesy dips. 90308 13.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandalford Estate Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Margaret River, Western Australian, Australia: Won the Gold Medal at the Western Australia Wine Show in 2008. Another superb effort from this producer! Displays lively notes of cranberry, black plum, cherry and fig against a deeper backdrop of violets, cedar underbrush, smoky oak and dried herbs. Full-bodied with fine tannins and length. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: herb-crusted pork tenderloin, beef tendeloin with a mushroom sauce, portobello mushrooms. Drink: 2009 - 2015 22293 14.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 95/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hewitson Ned & Henry's Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Hewitson Ned & Henry’s Shiraz is a consistent critical favorite. The 2007 is a full-flavored, traditional Barossa Valley red, designed for early enjoyment. My note: A warm-hearted wine that needs no coaxing out of the bottle. Floods the senses with accented notes of black plum, cherries, currants, figs and prunes. All nicely bundled in a judicious use of toasty oak and full-bodied texture. Shiraz food pairings: grilled back ribs, meat-based pastas, barbecued steaks. 54221 14.5% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Plunkett Fowles Plunkett Blackwood Ridge Shiraz 2005, Central Victoria, Australia: Lavish aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, blackberry, plum and fig greet you up front. Then the aroma cloud broadens and encompasses espresso, anise, dried herbs and smoke. Full-bodied richness makes this a great wine beside your first spring barbecue. Shiraz food pairings: philly steak sandwich, grilled asparagus, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. 507277 15% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bremerton Bremerton Matilda Plains Cabernet Shiraz 2007, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Bremerton carefully regulates its water use and constantly monitors their impact on the environment. Aromas of blackberry, smoke, plum/prune, tar and chocolate dates are primary in this super-rich, round, almost-voluptuous wine. Just off-dry, smooth, full and intense. My note: A big hug of a wine with black pepper, fig, plum, blackberry, kirsch and dried tobacco leaves. Full-bodied with viscous texture that offers luxurious layers. A good thrust of flavor and depth. Cabernet Shiraz food pairings: meat-based stews, slow-cooked lamb dishes, lasagna, pate. 25015 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Evans & Tate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The moderate climate and gravelly soils of the Margaret River region are often compared to the famous communes of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. So the refined and elegant quality of Cabernet Sauvignon from this region should come as no surprise. With aromas of cassis, plum, vanilla, leather and mint; and flavors of black fruit, spice and minerals; this dry, medium-bodied wine is a fine ambassador for the area. My note: A sleeper of a wine that surprises and delights with every glass. Classically balanced and structured, this is a terrific wine for when you’re serving steak or lamb but want more fruit power than perhaps Bordeaux can deliver. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: herb-rubbed roast leg of lamb, beef daube, beef fajitas, game. 995639 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandalford Estate Vineyards Reserve Shiraz 2005, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: My vote for Mr. Personality in the Shiraz category! Superb instant gratification with a fair kick of blackberry, plum, kirsch, briary, marzipan and ginger spice. No hard edges in this full-bodied number. This wine hides its stride in the mid-palate and rolls on with lots to enjoy. Shiraz food pairings: prime rib steak, olive tapenade, brushetta, roast beef with heavy gravy. 90209 14% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Saint-Roch Syrah Blend 2006, A.C., Côtes Du Roussillon-Villages, Midi, France: A superb effort from this producer: it has all the elements of greatness… balance, finesse, fruit extraction, length. Rock your world with this rich red. Lifted aromas of brambleberry, garrigue, black cherry, dark spices and hickory smoke. Full-bodied and gorgeously textured. Syrah Blend food pairings: barbecued back ribs, pasta with a tomato and sausage sauce. 119354 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 93/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Gravillas Cave Des Vignerons À Sablet Syrah Blend 2006, A.C., Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Arguably, after Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas produces the best wines in the southern Rhône – this wine makes a strong case for that notion. Featuring aromas of cocoa, plum, blackberry, garrigue and strawberry, this dry, rich, full, and complex wine is expertly balanced and displays a long finish. Cellar it 3-5+ years. This wine won Gold at the 2007 Foire aux vins d’Orange, one of the Rhône’s oldest wine competitions. My note: One for the cellar, for sure! This wine has a towering structure, balance and length. It will age beautifully. Rich depths of black fruit, smoke and dark spices. Bring it on! Syrah Blend food pairings: roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, grilled salmon, roast chicken with gravy. 78808 14% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Saint Jean Syrah Blend 2006, A.C., Rhône, France: Ground pepper, anise, purple plum, back raspberry and cherry on the nose, followed by graphite, violets and a hint of tar on the palate. Full-bodied with a long finish. Syrah Blend food pairings: lamb kabobs, gourmet hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, goose. 70888 16% XD 750 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rocca Delle Macìe Riserva Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich, powerful and gorgeously textured, this wine delivers all the goods. It has the balance and structure to age gracefully, but I’m not sure I can wait. Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued back ribs, steaks, sausages, steak fajitas. Drink: 2009 - 2015 930966 14.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castellani 2003, I.G.T., Toscana, Tuscany, Italy: Wow, you can see why Tuscany established such a fabulous reputation with wines like this one. Rich and powerful without being heavy, it offers delicious aromas of red berries, plums, sun-dried tomato and dried herbs. Mama mia! Food pairings: meat-based stews, slow-cooked lamb dishes, lasagna, pate. Drink: 2009 - 2014 72371 12.8% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pellegrino 2007, D.O.C., Sicily, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This delicious Passito was awarded the trophy for best Italian fortified wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2008. Lavish notes of field flowers, ripe peach, apricot, May blossoms. Luxurious layers and texture. Long, smooth finish. Food pairings: steamed mussels, barbecued ribs, chili, hard cheeses, cheesy dips. 585703 15% S 500 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muga Reserva Tempranillo Garnacha (Grenache) Mazuelo Graciano 2007, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Muga’s Reserva is a seductive wine with supple and dense fruit flavors as well as notes of cedar, spice, vanilla and coconut. Regularly on the receiving end of high praise from publications like Wine Spectator, this is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (Grenache) and 10% of Mazuelo and Graciano. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. My note: I recommend this lovely wine year after year: what a terrific producer! Full-bodied goodness is wrapped in aromas of black pepper, plum, kirsch, coffeed oak and dried herbs. A wine that will take you on a mini vacation mentally and then bring you back gently. Tempranillo Garnacha (Grenache) Mazuelo Graciano food pairings: meat paella or hearty and spicy beef, game stews. 177345 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 93/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Domaine de La Sauveuse Domaine De La Sauveuse Cuvée Carolle Rosé Tempranillo Blend 2008, A.C., Côtes De Provence, Provence, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A long-term organic producer, Domaine de la Sauveuse has also been increasingly incorporating sustainable agriculture and biodynamic ideas into its production techniques. So far, this winery has only received organic certification, but their passion for the other two schools of thought is deeply entrenched. This rosé is filled with strawberry, cherry and citrus aromas and flavors. A terrific sipper. This organic wine contains 12 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: Happiness in a glass! Playful notes of ripe strawberries and raspberries with tangy acidity that makes this a terrific medium-bodied aperitif. Imagine its pale pink tone with summer sunlight piercing the glass, now close your eyes and relax. Tempranillo Blend food pairings: roast pork or grilled, herbed chicken breast.. 117341 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Maby Grenache 2008, A.C., Rhône, Estate Btld., France: Vintages Wine Panel: Tavel, in the Southern Rhône, is famous for its lively, flavorful rosés. These wines were favored by Louis XIV, and continue to impress today. This ripe, Grenache-centered blend is bursting with attractive red berry fruit, spicy garrigue, and a hint of cranberry, further enlivened by tangy acidity. My note: One of my favorite rosé producers from the Rhone. This lovely, bone-dry blush is bursting with ripe field strawberries and raspberries wrapped in rose petals. It’s a summer day in a glass. Medium-bodied with a silky texture. Don’t let this one pass you by. Grenache food pairings: stuffed turkey breast, herb-roasted chicken dishes. 701318 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Favorite Rose Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Jacquart Extra Brut Champagne, A.C., Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Jacquart takes advantage of its superb stock of vintage wines to create this elegant Champagne. Cellar-aged for at least five years, this Extra Brut is given a much smaller dosage than a standard Brut. Very dry and refined, it displays lovely floral notes as well as citrus, pear and green apple flavors balanced by crisp acidity and leading to a long, lingering finish. My note: Freshly baked bread and biscuit notes waft from the glass, followed by zingy green apples, lime, white peach and lemon zest. Refreshing and appetizing, this bubbly would be wonderful at any distinguished celebration to toast the occasion. Brut Champagne food pairings: lobster, oysters, sushi, sashimi, mussels. 92817 12% XD 750 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. April 2009. Favorite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marques De Gelida Reserva, Macabeo Xarel-Lo Parellada Chardonnay 2004, Penedes, Spain: This bubbly is a blend of 35% Macabeo, 30% Xarel-lo, 20% Parellada and 15% Chardonnay grapes. A vivacious bubbly at a terrific price! Suggests notes of lime, green apples, white peach, Asian pear all wrapped in baked bread warmth and cinnamon spice. Knock it back! Chardonnay food pairings: mild curries, Chinese dishes, sushi, lobster, grilled salmon. 116277 11.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Frogpond Farm Organic Winery Riesling 2006, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This organic wine contains 6 mg/L of free sulfur. Made in an almost Alsatian style, this is a racy/fresh version of Riesling. Nose is of orange marmalade, green apple, mineral and lime. Dry, very clean and fresh, with good fruit/mineral replays on the mid-palate. My note: A bright and vibrant wine full of zesty lime and green apple notes. Nice minerality and mouth-watering acidity. A laser-like focus and purity of fruit with a clean finish. Riesling food pairings: cajun catfish, grilled salmon steaks, salmon sashimi, chicken burger. Drink: 2008 - 2015 590190 11.9% D 500 mL $11.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Chardonnay 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Bonterra uses only organically grown grapes in their wines. The nose shows attractive aromas of banana, melon and peach along with hints of caramel, vanilla and oak. The wine is dry, vibrant and packed with fruit, and is a ‘natural’ selection for grilled red pepper or eggplant dishes. This organic wine contains only 17 mg/L of free sulfur. My: A rich, plush Chardonnay with soothing layers of ripe pears, peaches, mango and pineapple. Full-bodied and balanced with an excellent structure. Perhaps for the picnic table or deck. Part of the Vintages Essentials. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled red pepper, eggplant dishes, Asian dishes, roast chicken. 342436 13.6% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Natura Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Casablanca Valley, Special Lot, Chile: This organic wine contains just 23 mg/L of free sulfur. Gets my vote for refreshing wine of the month. Delivers intensely ripe grapefruit, lime, green apple and white peach notes over a nervy wire of acidity that makes for a great food companion. Medium-bodied and imminently quaffable. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: oysters, sushi, lobsters in a mayonaise sauce, chicken dishes. 93914 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Konzelmann Estate Winery Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2006, V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine earned a Gold Medal at the 2008 International Wine Competition. My note: Suffused with ripe apricot, pineapple, kiwi, gooseberry and passionfruit aromas. Lovely texture and richness, but not too heavy. A perfect close to a sumptuous dinner. Late Harvest Vidal food pairings: grilled salmon steaks, Chinese dishes, fettucine alfredo, spring rolls. 409474 10.5% M 375 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2007, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: A round, generous and voluptuously textured Chardonnay with aromas of ripe fleshy peaches, Asian pear, tangerine, almond, baked bread and vanilla spice. Full-bodied with layers of flavor and a warm finish. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled vegetables, chicken burger, risotto, chicken fried rice. Drink: 2009 - 2014 903617 12.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cristina Ascheri Moscato D'asti 2007, D.O.C.G. Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Moscato d’Asti is aromatically intense and slightly sweet, making it a terrific wine to sip at the end of a fine dinner, or during the pleasant idle-chat-and-sipping moments as a meal winds slowly to a close. It has a slight ‘frizzante’ sparkle, giving it a lovely refreshing quality, and its low alcohol means that you can be a very responsible host. My note: A delightful, lightly sparkling wine with yummy aromas or mango, clementine, honeysuckle and May blossoms. Light-bodied and carefree: a terrific aperitif or accompaniment to many dishes. Moscato D'asti food pairings: sushi, lobster, Pad Thai, chicken with a lemon sauce, pasta dishes. 746479 5.1% M 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jocelyn Lonen Chardonnay 2006, Carneros, Sonoma County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: From the 2006 Chardonnay (they made about 1000 cases) you can expect a rich, minerally, pure-styled Chardonnay that delights right from the get-go with its scents of pear, brioche and citrus. Designed to be enjoyed within the first six years of its life, this Chard is now hitting its prime. My note: Creamy notes of apple, pear, peach, coconut, cedar and fresh dough. Full-bodied with an opulent texture. Recommended for hedonists. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster, king crab legs, pasta with a cream sauce. 90076 14.4% D 750 mL $45.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vinedos Y Bodegas Córpora Reserva Gracia De Chile Chardonnay 2007, Cercania, Bío Bío Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Gracia de Chile is gradually embracing Green initiatives to lessen their carbon footprint. Their biggest step to date is the use of solar panels to generate electricity at their winery. Bío Bío Valley is a cool-climate region of Chile, and this Chardonnay is a good representation of the area. Apple, tropical fruit, citrus, pineapple and grapefruit are the prime aromas here. Fairly dry and crisp with good fruit on the mid-palate. Acidity and fruit persist to the finish. My note: Soul-soothing wine with rich aromas of Asian pear, Granny Smith apple, fig, gooseberry, almond and brioche. A lovely country kitchen wine that will have you gazing absent-mindedly out the window. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled prawns, seared scallops, lemon grass chicken.. 93765 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

TerraVin Wines Ltd Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2006, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: This wine is a blend of Sauvingon Blanc (70%) and Sémillon (30%) and offers delightfully quaffable notes of pit fruit, limes, green apple, kiwi and lemongrass. The Semillon gives it some lanolin notes that balance the herbacousness of the Sauvignon Blanc beautifully. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon food pairings: brie cheese, seafood risotto, fettucine alfredo, chicken chow mein. 106021 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hugel Hugel Gentil 2006, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Hugel’s Gentil is what is known as a field blend. In the past, some vineyards were planted to a variety of different vines. To make life easier, the grower would pick all the fruit together and make it into a wine. The blend is usually a secret but, since this is Alsace, the likes of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner and Pinot Blanc would be a good guess. My note: A classic, refreshing white with lovely notes of lime, Asian pear, white peach and grapefruit. Perfect as an aperitif or an accompaniment to many dishes. Food pairings: seared scallops, sushi, eggplant dishes, vegetables. 367284 12% MD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Clairettes Bourboulenc Grenache Blanc 2007, A.C., Rhône, France: The wine is a blend of equal portions Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairettes and Bourboulenc grapes. A gorgeously viscous texture with alluring aromas of fig, almond, peach and field flowers. Full-bodied, mouth-coating goodness. Grenache Blanc food pairings: mild curries, lobster with mayonaise, salmon, chicken enchiladas. 102962 13% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Oderman-Kettern P.S. Bäumler Becker Erber Riesling Auslese 2001, Q.M.P, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Estate Btld., Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine hails from the prestigious Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard, a tiny 2.5 hectare plot that is considered one of the Mosel’s finest. Aromas are classic Mosel: slate, citrus, pear, lime and grapefruit. Hint of petrol too. Medium in sweetness, with the acids still vibrant making the wine taste more like a Spätlese than an Auslese. This great-value wine will develop for ages yet (7+ years). My note: Here’s a great reason why German reislings remain among my favorite white wines. This is zippy and lively yet incredibly packed with flavor and complexity. Limes, apricot, honeysuckle and May blossoms are a lovely entrée to this wine. Incredible mouth-watering juiciness and the sweetness to accompany so many dishes from spicy to slightly sweet. Riesling Auslese food pairings: Pad Thai with spicy, lemon grass chicken, grilled salmon steaks. 114769 8% M 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Feudo Montoni Grillo 2007, I.G.T., Sicilia, Italy: White peaches and pears are alluring up front. The mouth-watering acidity keeps you coming back for more. Get out of your Chardonnay with this wine! Grillo food pairings: chicken enchiladas, seafood casserole, mild cheeses, mussels. 116319 12.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Vintage after vintage, the world-renowned Kim Crawford displays his winemaking prowess with Sauvignon Blanc. This racy beauty exhibits aromas such as gooseberry, lime, tropical and grassy notes. Part of the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. My note: Spring sunshine and energy in a glass. Vigorous aromas of lime, green apple, chives, bell pepper, gooseberry and coriander. Medium-bodied, mouth-watering pleasure. I can’t help but smile broadly when I drink this wine. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: monkfish with tomato and fresh herbs, steamed mussels. 35386 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2015 Natalie MacLean