Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
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Vintages Release June 25, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Canadian Oak Aged Riesling Icewine 2006, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A gorgeous apriciot and honeyed elixir with a lovely essence of sensual peach perserves. Perfect with dessert or on its own. Drink: 2010 - 2018 230359 S 375 mL $79.95 Score: 94/100. June 2011. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Haut Peyraguey 1Er Cru Meritage 2007, A.C., Sauternes, Bordeaux, France: Gorgeous elixir! Honeyed apricots and golden peaches and pear preserves. Drink: 2011 - 2020 100909 13% S 375 mL $38.00 Score: 92/100. June 2011. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Quails' Gate Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2008, Okanagan Valley, B.C., V.Q.A., Canada: Bright cherry and raspberry aromas with a pleasingly mouth-watering juiciness. Some vanilla smoke with lovely elegance and balance. Pinot Noir food pairings: roasted lamb sirloin and braised shoulder, saffron pearl couscous, black olive sauce and pomegranate reduction. Drink: 2011 - 2015 585760 14% D 750 mL $24.99 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Howling Moon Old Vine Zinfandel 2008, Lodi, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Few things capture the imagination as intensely as does the moon. Sourced from vines averaging 50 years old, the juicy and full-bodied Howling Moon Old Vine Zin certainly taps into something elemental. With a sweet blackberry core and plenty of intriguing spices, this delicious wine will trigger howls of delight. My note: Purple plums and blueberry pie with a smooth, full-bodied texture. Luscious and satisfying. Yum! Zinfandel food pairings: heartier foods including zesty pasta, grilled lamb chops, barbecue smoky meats or hamburger. Drink: 2011 - 2014 57356 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alamos The Wines Of Catena Chardonnay 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: For over 100 years, the Catena family has been making wine in Argentina. Their Alamos line is characterized by outstanding fruit concentration and moderate oak ageing. Expect layers of crisp green apple and pear aromas and flavours interwoven with some toasty notes in the background. Enjoy it as a sipper. My note: You can’t beat this price for a solid Chardonnay with classic green apple, smoke and butterscotch aromas. Medium- to full-bodied with great balance. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled seafood, chicken. Drink: 2011 - 2014 801571 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. June 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benmarco Dominio Del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: An incredible wine of richness and depth. Loaded with dark fruit and woodsmoke. Perfectly calibrated for pleasure. This wine is mostly cabernet sauvignon with 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. It could also reward 2-4 years in a cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steaks. Drink: 2011 - 2015 232637 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Antucura Calvulcura Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, matured 10-14 months in French oak. Gloriously dark, rich fruit with smoke and spice. Ultra-smooth with a long finish. Drink: 2011 - 2015 233973 14.4% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Altocedro Año Cero Tempranillo 2009, La Consulta, Mendoza, Año Cero, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Argentina has a strong Spanish culture, so it’s not that surprising that Tempranillo has been grown here for decades. For example, the vines used to make this wine are 47 years old. My note: Want big oak? Here you go. Plus there’s big, black fruit and a smooth texture. Drink: 2011 - 2014 232678 13.9% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terrazas De Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Love it! Meaty and mouth-watering with gorgeous ripe dark berries. Smooth and full-bodied. Perfect for art gallery openings Drink: 2011 - 2015 29280 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

A To Z Wineworks Pinot Noir 2008, Oregon, United States: Bright cherry fruit with a satin smooth texture and medium-body. Mouth-watering liquid happiness. Drink: 2011 - 2015 229781 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tandem Porter Sangiacomo Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Dark chocolate and black cherry aromas with mouth-watering juiciness and medium body. Satin smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2015 219733 14.3% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Anakena Single Vineyard C , A.F. Arco Iris Armenère 2008, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: To further emphasize that their wines are distinctively Chilean, Anakena uses specific ancestral petroglyphs and engravings to cement the wines’ connection with history and the land. This single-vineyard Carmenère carries the image of the Condor, called the king of the skies; very appropriate for Chile’s flagship variety. Dry, medium-full bodied with red berry fruit, mint and earth notes and a lingering finish. Smooth and versatile. My note: A terrific, full-bodied sipper with simple, straight-up tasty pleasure. Loaded with dark fruit and smooth. Perfect party wine. Armenère food pairings: lamb, gourmet pizza, grilled Italian sausages. Drink: 2011 - 2013 59519 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. June 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casa Silva Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Big and fleshy with plush plums and berries that elbow each other for your attention. Loaded with flavour and pleasure. Very smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2015 640870 14.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Carolina Selection Gran Reserva Carmenère 2009, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Rich, dense Carmenère with aromas of cedar, blackberry, sweet blueberry and plum. Dry, bright and fruity with subtle tannins bringing balance. A robust wine. My note: A stunning wine for the money! Rich and deep with fleshy dark fruit. The layers in this wine lap over one another with incredible voluptuousness. This wine is perfect for potluck gatherings or dinner parties. Carmenère food pairings: barbecued steaks, ribs. Drink: 2011 - 2014 640888 14.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2008, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: Lovely length, depth and savoury goodness. Beautiful extraction of dark fleshy plum flavour yet there’s incredible balance. Made by a confident, deft hand. Drink: 2011 - 2015 433060 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 94/100. June 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pikes Eastside Shiraz 2008, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: This wine delivers on the promise: full-bodied and delicious with aromas of black plums. Smooth and layered with a terrific long finish. Make movie night special with this wine. Drink: 2011 - 2015 77891 14.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines The Futures Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Concentrated with a core of plush, black plums and berries. Beautifully made and polished. Ready for a dinner party or anniversary gift, or hide it away in your cellar for future celebrations. Drink: 2011 - 2016 606780 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kurtz Family Boundary Row Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2006, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Savoury and juicy, with blackberries and black cherries. This is a blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Shiraz, and 25% Mataro, which was matured in French and American oak barrels. Drink: 2011 - 2016 223263 15% XD 750 mL $23.96 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2008, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: So elegant with great finesse and length. France comes to South Africa and picks up some muscle yet keeps its balletic grace. I’d serve this over and over again at a dinner party. Drink: 2011 - 2014 717991 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Amani Pendana Shiraz 2007, W.O., Stellenbosch, South Africa: Incredible texture in this voluptuous wine. Full-bodied and rich with rolls and rolls of fleshy blackberries. But it’s the texture I’m drawn to most. Liquid velvet. This wine is mostly shiraz, and then there’s a little merlot, cabernet franc and viognier. Drink: 2011 - 2015 220079 14.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos L'église Meritage 2007, A.C., Côtes De Castillon, Bordeaux, France: Classic Bordeaux that needs some cellar time. Notes of woodsmoke, tart blackberry and cedar. Full-bodied with quite a grip that will smooth out over time. Drink: 2012 - 2016 98806 13% XD 750 mL $36.00 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Kirwan 3E Cru Meritage 2007, A.C., Margaux, Bordeaux, France: Generous oak treatment but it’s supported by a superbly structured and full-bodied red with aromas of black fruit, smoke and dark spices. This is a classic wine for the cellar and terrific kiss-up wine for your boss. Drink: 2012 - 2020 98566 13% XD 750 mL $65.00 Score: 92/100. June 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Croix St­. Georges Meritage 2007, A.C., Pomerol, Bordeaux, France: Love this wine, though it does have a good dollop of oak on it! Big, black, brooding fruit will caress your tastebuds and light up your senses. Let it age in the cellar a bit before you pull it out for dinner party. Drink: 2011 - 2018 98681 13% XD 750 mL $77.00 Score: 91/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Rahoul Merlot Cabernet 2005, A.C., Graves, Bordeaux, France: An elegant and subtle red, though it was full-bodied weight and depth. Aromas of dark fruit and woodsmoke. This wine has 70% Merlot in the blend, the balance being Cabernet and it was matured for 18 months in oak. Perfect for dinner parties. Drink: 2011 - 2014 226043 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Faizeau Meritage 2007, A.C., Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: I’ve recommended this wine several years now. Solidly made with a rustic, woodsy aroma plus black cherries and dark spices mingle with smoke. Drink: 2011 - 2015 102616 13% XD 750 mL $23.00 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sublime Vieilles Vignes Juliénas Cave Des Producteurs/Château Du Bois De La Salle Gamay (Beaujolais) 2009, A.C., Beaujolais, France: VC : Gold Medal at Concours Général Agricole de Paris 2010. Sourced from vines with an average age of 45 years, the Sublime is a particularly attractive violet colour and offers aromas of blackberry, spice, cherry and vanilla. Dry and medium bodied with youthful tannins and a crisp acidity adding structure and balance. This is ideal for game, and cheeses. My note: A light, happy wine with tart field berries and cherries. Very pleasant sipper with a wide variety of dishes. Gamay (Beaujolais) food pairings: game, Gouda cheese, roast turkey, chicken, salmon. Drink: 2011 - 2013 208009 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Bernard 2008, A.C., Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium ruby in colour with aromas of red plum, blackberry, peppercorn and lavender. Dry and fruity with impressive structure supplied by acids and tannins. Medium bodied with a nice long finish. Cellar it 2-4 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Terrific savoury, juicy element to this full-bodied red. Dark fleshy cherries, spices and smoke. You come up from the glass wanting … needing more. Top me up! Food pairings: butterflied rack of lamb, grilled ribs. Drink: 2011 - 2016 222596 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Garde Des Lions Visan Les Coteaux Visan 2007, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, Rhône, France: VC : Gold Medal winner at the 2008 Vinsobres Concours Interprofessionnel des Vins AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages. Aromas of berry, vanilla and spice abound here. The palate shows good fruit replays, with ripe plum, blackberry and raspberry prominent. Nice vanilla notes and a spicy mid palate leading to a concentrated finish. My note: Buy a case of this wine: it’s staggeringly great for the money! A river of dark cherry liqueur concentration runs through its heart wrapped in some woodsmoke and dark spices. This is liquid sensuality. Full-bodied and smooth with lovely long finish. Bring it on! Food pairings: rare roast beef. Drink: 2011 - 2016 222588 14% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Lafleur De Haute-Serre Georges Vigouroux, Prop.-Récolt. Malbec Merlot 2008, A.C., Cahors, Southwest, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This Malbec/Merlot blend offers notes of sweet tobacco, dark plum, ripe dark berries and spice. Dry, medium bodied with fresh acidity and velvety tannins, it has a fruity and sweet mid-palate that shows some raspberry and spice tones leading to a superb long, dry finish. My note: raspberries and strawberries with a lovely lightness and flavour. Malbec Merlot food pairings: barbecued baby back ribs in a spicy sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2013 219329 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva 2007, D.O.C.G., Vigneto Di Campolungo, Italy: Luxurious dark fruit wrap around a pleasingly juicy, mouth-watering core. Full-bodied and smooth. The wine walks a lovely red line between nervy energy and voluptuous richness. You can skip that trip to Tuscany this year: just close your eyes and sip this wine. Drink: 2011 - 2016 231241 14% XD 750 mL $36.45 Score: 94/100. June 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Suoi Barolo Nebbiolo 2006, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: 100% Nebbiolo, this characteristically powerful Barolo offers complex notes of earth, leather, coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruit. Dry and medium-full bodied with moderate tannins and suggestions of plum, anise, earth and cherry, with a nice length. My note: Mature leather and dried fruit flavours. Very smooth and complex. A terrific wine to sip on throughout the evening. Nebbiolo food pairings: grilled portobello mushrooms, barbecued pork medallions with a creamy mushroom sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2015 212522 13.4% XD 750 mL $33.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gladiator Primitivo Di Manduria Primitivo 2008, D.O.C., Puglia, Italy: This is a wine that will battle its way onto your list of favourites. Aromas of ripe berry fruit, with touches of chocolate and vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, robust and round with a long finish. An exceptional value, this wine will pair delightfully with hearty meat-based pasta dishes. My note: So Zinfandel-ish! Dark purple plums and blackberries and blueberries. So tasty and smooth and full-bodied. Perfect for pizza and barbecue. Primitivo food pairings: meat-based pasta dishes, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 23119 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viticcio Riserva Chianti Classico 2007, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Truly classic Chianti with signature black cherry and fresh-turned earth aromas. Full-bodied, smooth and mouth-watering. This wine goes on and on. Drink: 2011 - 2015 599308 12.5% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 91/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Micheletti Bolgheri Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, D.O.C., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This complex and delicious blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon offers layered notes of mocha, black fruits, anise and cedar. Dry and medium bodied with fine ripe tannins and tantalizingly complex notes of coffee bean, spicy oak, cedar and a great depth of black fruit. Cellar for 2-3 years. My note: A luxurious and mouth-watering red with full-bodied goodness with lovely plush plum aromas. Perfect for pizza or movie night. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb, barbecued meats, pizzz. Drink: 2011 - 2014 211789 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Sangiovese 2007, I.G.T., Alta Valle Della Greve, Tuscany, Italy: Chewy and savoury: get yourself a fork to drink this one! This has it all: depth, length, breadth, envy generating potential among friends to whom you serve it. Full-bodied and rich. Carry me away on a river of pleasure. Drink: 2011 - 2015 719872 13.5% XD 750 mL $67.95 Score: 95/100. June 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Piccini Riserva Chianti 2006, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2009 International Wine & Spirit Competition. Aromas of red licorice, cherry, dried herbs and spice. This wonderfully balanced and well-structured Sangiovese offers nicely integrated and supple tannins, sour cherry, vanilla, spice and dark fruit. Food-friendly and versatile. My note: Spicy cherries and licorice with a kick of ripe-tart red field berries. Terrific food wine for a wide range of dishes. Chianti food pairings: barbecued meats, pastas featuring spiced sausage, tomato sauces, lasagna. Drink: 2011 - 2015 212498 13.1% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chianti Classico 2007, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Terrific richness and mouth-watering juiciness! Fleshy, plush plums roll across your senses followed by a tumble of ripe dark field berries wrapped in a hint of mocha. Close your eyes and take another sip of this full-bodied wonder. Chianti Classico food pairings: Swiss steak, spicy meat and tomato pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2014 91694 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Arche Ripasso Valpolicella 2008, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Ripasso continues to be a supremely popular style with fans of both New World and European wines. It seems that everyone can identify with its rich fruit and elegant structure. With an interplay of ripe and tangy berry flavours and hints of toasty oak, this fine version will match beautifully with roast pork and much more. My note: Vibrant acidity for spicy and acidic dishes. Tasty with dark red fruit notes and sun-dried tomatoes. Valpolicella food pairings: roast pork veal chops, barbecued ribs. Drink: 2011 - 2015 95828 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Gran Sangre De Toro Reserva Garnacha Cariñena 2007, D.O., Catalunya, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Throughout the wine world Miguel Torres is known as the “King of Spain,” and his name is synonymous with quality. Intense, ripe and delicious, this velvety and full-bodied Reserva is a blend of Garnacha (aka Grenache), Cariñena and Syrah and offers aromas and flavours of blackberry and spice, with a long finish. Quite versatile, this wine will pair well with stuffed peppers. My note: An absolutely terrific red, especially at this price point! Rich and savoury and juicy with dark plums, berries, smoke and dark spice. This wine would be amazing with a variety of hearty meat dishes. Garnacha Cariñena food pairings: stuffed pepper, beef, lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2015 315648 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pago San Gabriel Zubiolo Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, D.O., Navarra, Spain: A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot grapes, matured 11 months in new French and Russian oak. Rich and velvet-smooth with generous aromas of fleshy blackberries and black cherries. Absolutely delicious! Drink: 2011 - 2015 242438 14% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Château La Tour De L'évêque Rosé 2010, A.C., Côtes De Provence, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The cuisine of Provence seems to have a real affinity for the region’s best rosés. Very crisp and dry, this wine delivers flavours of strawberry, cranberry and spice. My note: Pretty, classic and aromatic of field strawberries and raspberries. Mouth-watering and light- to medium-bodied. Rosé food pairings: grilled shrimp with homemade aioli , scallops pan-seared with butter and garlic. Drink: 2011 - 2013 319392 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Best Value Rose Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Bastide Blanche Bandol Bronzo, Vign. Rosé 2009, A.C., Provence, France: Superb and it’s highway robbery in terms of the price. I love this wine. Light strawberry aromas and fleeting happiness that you will chase until the end of your days. Leave some for me please. Drink: 2010 - 2013 71084 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 93/100. June 2011. Top Rated Rose Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sexy Fita Preta Tempranillo Rosé 2010, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: This flirtatious pink wine is as playfully seductive as the name implies. Strawberry and cherry aromas mingle with earthy notes and exotic floral accents. Juicy red berry flavours emerge on the palate, coupled with a delicate touch of spice. Comprised mainly of traditional Port grapes Touriga Nacional and Aragónez (aka Tempranillo), this rosé makes a delightfully satisfying sipper. My note: Yes it’s a marketing-driven wine but it actually has a lovely raspberry fresh flavour. Full-bodied for rosé. Tempranillo Rosé food pairings: Portuguese/Brazilian pastéis de bacalhau (cod in a light pastry), honey-barbecue sausages. Drink: 2010 - 2013 117077 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Jackson-Triggs Entourage Silver Series Brut Méthode Classique 2006, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Superb: Look out world, Canada’s coming out! Toasty with green apple goodness and a lovely and persistent mousse. This is classic and elegant with the right finesse for any celebration. Drink: 2011 - 2014 234161 12% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. June 2011. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ponte Prosecco, D.O.C.G., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Expressive floral notes along with suggestions of apricot, lemon and mineral serve as a delightful introduction to this wine. The palate shows a good mousse, and offers wonderful fruit replays along with a fresh and fruity finish. Enjoy as an aperitif. My note: Pretty and floral with lovely field strawberries. Perfect for a summer day or when you’re thinking about a summer day. Prosecco food pairings: baked lemon cod. Drink: 2011 - 2013 226076 11.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kettmeir Metodo Classico Athesis Brut Non-Vintage Sparkling Rosé, D.O.C., Italy: A blend of Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes that’s chiefly Pinot Noir (about 75%), which gives it a lovely salmon colour and robust character. Pinot Meunier as a grape doesn’t do well in Italy so instead Italian sparkling wine producers tend to use Pinot Bianco, which does the same job of providing the zesty acidity to the wine. This wine spent two years aging on its lees for extra creaminess and richness. This is simply a splendid sparkling wine with vibrant raspberry and strawberry notes on the nose that lead you on through a field of sensual pleasures. It’s perfect for toasting celebrations or just for sipping while you watch a movie and snack on some gourmet potato chips. This wine will be available in the LCBO in November. Sparkling Rosé food pairings: potato chips. Drink: 2011 - 2014 231399 12.5% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 93/100. June 2011. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ca’ Del Bosco Brut Cuvée Prestige N.V., D.O.C.G., Franciacorta, Italy: This wine spent 28 months aging on its lees for extra creaminess and richness. Pinot Meunier as a grape doesn’t do well in Italy so instead Italian sparkling wine producers tend to use Pinot Bianco, which does the same job of providing the zesty acidity to the wine. This is incredibly toasty with an elegant champagne-like character, but with its own distinctive Italian zest. This bubbly is perfect for many celebrations, from weddings to cashing in your Google stock. Beautifully produced; delightfully consumed! Drink: 2011 - 2014 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. June 2011. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Balthasar Ress Riesling Spätlese 1998, Q.M.P., Hattenheim Nussbrunnen, Rheingau, Germany: Truly a benchmark, best in its class! Sweetness yes, but its so seductive with the mouth-watering acidity to balance it and the peach essence that makes you close your eyes in its sunshine brightness. Drink: 2011 - 2015 160762 8.5% MS 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perrin & Fils Syrah Grenache 2009, A.C., Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine has plenty of enjoyment to offer tonight with gourmet hamburgers and all the trimmings. My note: This price has to be a typo: buy a case before they discover the mistake! Juicy, savoury, chewy and satisfying, this full-bodied red has ripe cherries and meaty notes. Smooth and full-bodied. This 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes is the Ultimate Barbecue Wine. Drink: 2011 - 2015 241604 14% D 750 mL $15.00 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sebastiani Zinfandel 2008, Sonoma County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Quite lithe and lively for Zinfandel with very engaging notes of red cherry, raspberry pie, plum and cinnamon toast on the nose. The palate is dry and medium-full bodied with a bright acidity and well integrated, balanced ripe tannins. Impressively structured with lots of fruit without being jammy. Very nicely made. My note: Mocha, dark chocolate aromas with smooth, full-bodied and juicy goodness. Zinfandel food pairings: beef kebabs, lasagna. Drink: 2011 - 2015 672667 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wayne Gretzky Estates Estate Series Sauvignon Blanc 2008, V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Ontario Sauvignon Blanc is starting to turn heads as this adaptable variety continues to establish a firm foothold in the wine-growing regions. The 2008 Estate Series spent 15 months in oak and offers notes of green grass, lime rind, toast and yellow plum. Dry, medium bodied and fruity with a creamy texture and a nice interplay between the fruit and oak, supported by a bright and racy acidity. My note: Juicy and tasty with lovely ripe Asian pear and melon. Like a summer’s day. I really like this style because it’s not grassy. Medium-bodied and very versatile with food. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: blackened lemon-pepper-crusted chicken, applewood-smoked cheddar. Drink: 2011 - 2013 230771 11.7% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2010, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: Light lemon-yellow in the glass. Fresh and invigorating aromas of green grass, asparagus, lime blossom, fresh herbs and mineral. Dry, medium bodied, with bright and tangy acidity. Crisp finish features savoury herbaceous notes. Good length. A very nice South African Savvy with some Loire and New Zealand influence evident. My note: Hello chives! Hello lime! Wake up with your bright green essence. Love this refreshing white. Zippy aperitif or companion to salads and seafood, among many other dishes. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: garden salads, steamed clams, grilled chicken breast, seafood. Drink: 2011 - 2013 933424 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pfaffenheim Cuvée Bacchus Gewurztraminer 2009, A.C., Alsace, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A lively Gewurz that offers notes of rose petals, lychee and grapefruit. Off-dry and very fresh on the palate, with supportive acidity and grapefruit flavours. This textbook Gewurztraminer can seamlessly bookend an evening, as it can serve as a delightful aperitif. My note: To die-for Gewurztraminer with a mouth-coating texture and exotic richness and flavours. Gorgeous with dishes that have a little sweet or spice. Full-bodied. Gewurztraminer food pairings: foie gras, dessert featuring fresh fruits. Drink: 2011 - 2018 996017 13.5% MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dr. H. Thanisch Kabinett Riesling 2008, Q.M.P., Bernkastel Badstube, Mosel, Germany: Zingy and zesty with a lime-lemon lift. Vibrant and mouth-awakening. A touch of sweetness broadens the food spectrum. Drink: 2011 - 2015 214635 8.5% M 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zuccardi Q Chardonnay 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: Spectacular Chardonnay at a bargain price! Rich and endless with classic aromas of green apples wrapped in vanilla smoke. Superb craftsmanship. A great wine for sipping, or enjoy it with seafood. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster tail, prawns. Drink: 2011 - 2014 232702 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zuccardi Torrontés 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Torrontés is rapidly becoming Argentina’s most exciting white variety. This cross between Muscat of Alexandria and Criolla Chica (aka California’s Mission grape) is very aromatic and appealing. Look for orange blossom, table grape, lychee and rose petal aromas and flavours. This is an ideal summer sipper. This wine organic contains just 24 mg/L of free sulphur. My note: A lovely floral white with white peach and some breezes. A terrific aperitif or companion to seafood and salads. Torrontés food pairings: barbecued seafood, salad. Drink: 2011 - 2014 232694 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. June 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Closson Chase K.J. Watson Vineyard Chardonnay 2008, V.Q.A., Niagara River, Ontario, Canada: Stunning wine: truly Canada’s best Chardonnay! Hazelnut and toasted almonds with green apple goodness shining through. Lovely richness and perfect balance. There’s definitely a wow factor here! Drink: 2011 - 2015 230912 13.9% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 94/100. June 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

De Loach Ofs Chardonnay 2008, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: Clean and crisp yet also delivers hedonistic richness. Full-bodied with layers of pleasure. Long finish. Drink: 2011 - 2015 729343 14.5% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 91/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: An excellent value from Napa from a very strong vintage. Sterling barrel-ferments and -ages this Chardonnay. Medium-full bodied, creamy, and crowd-pleasing, the wine sports toasty and smoky notes balanced by aromas and flavours of ripe apple, peach, pear and tropical fruit. My note: A long-time favourite Chardonnay of wine with rich, generous aromas of green apple, toffee and smoke. Full-bodied and voluptuous. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled prawns, grilled chicken. Drink: 2011 - 2015 330233 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2009, Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States: So classically made at such a terrific price! Diehard Chardonnay lovers will embrace this wine, but so too will other white wine drinkers because it’s not heavy in oak or alcohol. Lovely green apple and melon aromas with a seductive weave of vanilla smoke. Chardonnay food pairings: seafood, shellfish, poultry dishes accented by herbs. Drink: 2011 - 2015 232439 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torre Rosazza Pinot Grigio 2009, D.O.C., Colli Orientali Del Friuli, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Torre Rosazza offers proof that Friuli, located in the extreme northeast corner of Italy, produces some of the finest examples of Pinot Grigio. This is a full-bodied and versatile wine with its almond, citrus and apple aromas and flavours. My note: Lively and refreshing. This wine manages to be packed flavour-wise yet so very clean and clear. White melon and lime zest. Pinot Grigio food pairings: salmon, pasta in a cream sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2014 996074 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. June 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Impronta Del Fondatore Pinot Grigio 2010, Alto Adige/Trentino, Italy: By far, the best Pinot Grigio I’ve ever tasted. Clean and glorious on the nose with fresh peach and green apple fruit. Then it expands on the palate to a richness and mouth-filling voluptuousness that is almost Pinot Gris in weight and texture. Then there’s a clean lime-zest lift on the finish. Superb! Treat yourself or someone else: this makes a lovely gift wine too. This wine will be in the LCBO just before the holidays. Drink: 2011 - 2014 231258 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 94/100. June 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau St. Jean Fumé Blanc 2009, Sonoma County, California, United States: Stunning lemon brightness pierces through the rich voluptuous texture of this wine like sunlight through a cloud. Gorgeous notes of Asian pear and green apples are wrapped in toasty oak for a long, satisfying finish. Fall-for-it smokiness gets you right into the glass, then your engulfed in lemon and lime essence that is supported by an underlying richness. Full-bodied and balanced. I terrific wine for the money. Fumé Blanc food pairings: roast chicken, lobster in butter, corn dishes. Drink: 2009 - 2015 537639 13.6% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. June 2011. Top-Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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