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Vintages Release October 29, 2011

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Dessert Wine

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes, 1Er Cru Meritage 2007, A.C., Bordeaux, France: Stunning concentration of apricot preserves and honeyed richness. Perfect after-dinner drink. Drink: 2011 - 2020 99804 13% S 375 mL $37.00 Score: 95/100. October 2011. Best Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Zinfandel 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Ravenswood was one of a handful of wineries that recognized early on that Zinfandel was an exceptional grape variety for fine wine production. Their Vintners Blend Zin is ready for any occasion with seductive aromas of spice, black raspberry, and mocha. Soft and round with lots of fruit and cocoa flavour. My note: Bright notes of brambleberry, blueberry and raspberry with lovely liveliness and layers of textured flavor. Smooth with polished tannins and a warm finish. Perfect for pizza and movie night. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Zinfandel food pairings: baked beef ribs basted with homemade barbecue sauce, jerk pork. 359257 13.6% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Livermore Valley, California, United States: Lovely balance in this vibrant, fully-alive, juicy red. It's full-bodied but not heavy: nicely balanced. Aromas of fleshy blackberry and black cherry aromas, with a pleasing, mouth-watering finish that makes you want more. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hamburgers, steak, stew. 301507 13.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joffré E Hijas Grand Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Proving yet again that Argentina can do more than Malbec is this fine Cabernet Sauvignon from Joffré e Hijas. Aromas suggest plum, cassis, anise, blackberry, vanilla and spices. Dry, very fruity and ripe with a nice velvety tannin overlay. Drink now, or age for 2-3 years. My note: A satisfying and pleasant red with good structure and black fruit. Full-bodied but not overly heavy. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2016 243212 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luca Pinot Noir 2009, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: Cherry-berry goodness with luscious layers of hedonistic happiness. Medium- to full-bodied with a terrific lip-smacking finish. Drink: 2011 - 2016 175570 14% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 93/100. October 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Deeply coloured with aromas of blackberry, spice cupboard, woodsmoke and dried lavender. Dry, rich and round with a long, fruity finish. Enjoy it tonight. My note: Absolutely phenomenal for the price! Here’s your holiday party wine by the case. Juicy blackberry liqueur rich aromas and flavours. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. Malbec food pairings: grilled gourmet sausages, steaks. Drink: 2011 - 2014 677559 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hungerford Hill Fishcage Shiraz 2009, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia: Love the savoury note that balances the fruit plushness here! Black fruit with a mouth-watering core juiciness. Amazing for the price. Drink: 2011 - 2014 77958 14.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mitolo Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: A characterful, but never jammy McLaren Vale Cab with a plush texture and ripe, gentle tannins for balance. Look for aromas of blackberry, plum, underbrush, black licorice and spring flowers. A flavourful, rich wine. My note: Surprising acidity that makes it great with food. Full-bodied and smooth with lusciously ripe dark fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak with mushrooms fried in butter. Drink: 2011 - 2015 43224 14.9% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: So beautifully made: classic structure, endless flavor, ultimate pleasure. Minty cool wraps around lush blackberries and cassis to ticket your senses. Perfect for dinner parties and other gatherings. Drink: 2011 - 2016 422782 14% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 94/100. October 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kilikanoon Wines Blocks Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Dependably delicious year after year: a go-to wine for those who love robust, juicy Australian shiraz. Mouth-watering layers of lush blackberry and dark plum aromas. Drink: 2011 - 2015 926790 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maipo Valley, Chile: A pleasant cab with blackberry and dark plum flavours. Full-bodied but not overly so. Drink: 2011 - 2014 18721 14.5% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Haras de Pirque Character Cabernet Sauvignon Carménère 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile: A blend of 40% cabernet sauvignon, 37% carmenere, 13% cabernet franc and 10% syrah that offers terrific deep black fruit flavours and smoke. Purple and dark plums emerge at the forefront with a rich juiciness that follows. Drink: 2011 - 2014 54502 14.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Ventisquero Queulat Carménère 2008, Maipo Valley, Chile: Blackberry and purple plum depth, juicy, full-bodied and smooth. Straight-up pleasure. Drink: 2011 - 2013 243386 14.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aromo Private Reserve Carménère 2009, D.O., Maule Valley, Chile: Astounding for the money! Purple and black plums roll across your tongue with pleasure. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. Here’s your party wine. Great for a late season barbecue featuring gourmet sausages and lamb burgers. Carménère food pairings: gourmet sausages, lamb burgers. Drink: 2011 - 2014 243535 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 54 Syrah 2008, Los Brujos Vineyard, San Javier Valley, Maule Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Dark purple, almost black. Very ripe blackberry, pepper, tilled earth, bacon fat, woodsmoke and mocha aromas. Dry, richly concentrated, mouth-filling wine with plenty of ripe fruit, and fleshy tannins. This medium-long finishing wine could cellar 2-3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Cassis and blackberry liqueur with an attractive savoury, almost bitter bite that makes it meaty. Syrah food pairings: peppercorn-garlic steak. Drink: 2011 - 2015 227496 14.8% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Vieux Sarpe Joseph Janoueix Prop. Meritage 2006, A.C., Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A pretty 2006 Right Bank wonder with aromas of mulberry, sour cherry, cassis and tobacco. Dry and elegant with a ripe fruit centre supported by moderate tannins. A terrific Merlot-based Bordeaux to be enjoyed tonight. Will also reward a couple of years in the cellar too. My note: A robust, full-bodied red that needs cellar time. Black cherries and smoky cedar with terrific balance and structure. Decant 1-2 hours. Meritage food pairings: slow-roasted beef, rich lamb stew. Drink: 13 - 2018 943662 12.7% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine René Couly Chinon 2009, A.C., Loire, France: If you like the herbal, bell pepper, stalky taste of Loire Cab Franc, this is your wine. It’s rustic and robust with black-red fruit juiciness. Drink: 2011 - 2014 7286 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Beaucastel Coudoulet De Beaucastel 2009, Ac Côtes Du Rhône, France: A full-bodied, juicy red with a good grip: needs decanting 2 hours. Black raspberries and cherries. Calls for a grilled-rare roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic. Food pairings: grilled-rare roast leg of lamb. Drink: 2012 - 2017 48884 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Di Querceto Alessandro François Chianti Classico 2008, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: A well-made Chianti (92% Sangiovese, 8% Canaiolo) from the highly regarded 2008 vintage. Look for pretty blackberry, fresh herbs, wet earth, spice and dark chocolate notes. This dry, medium-bodied wine is fruity and fresh with a remarkably long finish. My note: Baked earth, sun-dried tomatoes and dried cherries. Smoky, smooth and full-bodied. Needs food. Chianti Classico food pairings: roast beef with root vegetables. Drink: 2011 - 2015 680496 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Riserva Chianti Classico 2007, D.O.C., Tuscany, Italy: Generous, even and balanced with classic dark fruit, sun-dried tomato and mouth-watering acidity. Medium- to full-bodied with smooth texture. Perfect for pasta night. Chianti Classico food pairings: pasta, duck ragù with pappardelle. Drink: 2011 - 2016 943613 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Classico Amarone Della Valpolicella 2007, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Smoky, dark and stately like Mr. Rochester… just as brooding too. Underneath a sensual layer of black fleshy ripe fruit and dark spices. Oh yes! Drink: 2011 - 2019 356220 15% D 750 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. October 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Do Vale Meao Meandro 2008, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Juicy and savoury with a gorgeous black fruit depth. Meaty and substantial but not heavy. A terrific change from the usual. Meandro do Vale Meão is Quinta do Vale Meão's second wine. It is made in quality conscious, miniscule quantities. Drink: 2011 - 2016 244731 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 91/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Porcupine Ridge Collection Limited Release Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Viognier 2008, W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: Deep ruby-purple colour with aromas of raspberry, blueberry pie, hot tar, woodsmoke, cinnamon spice and tomato paste. Dry, ripely fruity with fresh acids and light, youthful tannins. Very approachable wine that finishes very well. Cellar it 1-3 years or enjoy it tonight. My note: The white grape Viognier is just what’s needed in this blend to lift and brighten such a full-bodied red. Gorgeously fleshy rip blackberry and black raspberry. So delicious. Top me up! Syrah Viognier food pairings: gourmet sausages, homemade pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2014 79442 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva Bodegas Franco-Españolas Tempranillo 2001, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: There it is again: that unmistakable, exotic aroma of old tanned leather and cigar smoke. Love it! Try a mature wine like this if you haven’t and discover the many pleasures of “tertiary” aromas that only develop with bottle age. This is simply some kind of wonderful. Full-bodied, smooth and elegant. Tempranillo food pairings: braised lamb. Drink: 2011 - 2015 428060 13% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 93/100. October 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sebastiani Pinot Noir 2008, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium ruby in the glass with evocative notes of cherry, smoke, bacon and chocolate. The palate is dry, fruity and juicy. More soft smoke and oak notes emerge before it closes with an awesome milk-chocolate note on the lengthy finish. My note: A luscious, cherry-berry pinot with satin smooth texture and vibrancy. Layers unfold across your mouth and all you can say is ahhhhh… and top me up. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled chicken. Drink: 2011 - 2015 14233 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gallo Family Frei Ranch Vineyard Zinfandel 2009, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: Very juicy and purple plum rich with succulent blueberries and full-bodied smooth roundness. Perfect for hamburgers and BBQ. Pure Californian fruit and sunshine. Zinfandel food pairings: hamburgers. Drink: 2011 - 2015 555599 15% D 750 mL $37.95 Score: 92/100. October 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Louis Bouillot Perle Rare Brut Crémant De Bourgogne 2007, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Gold Medal at the 2011 Vinalies Internationales wine competition in Paris. Medium straw colour with aromas of lemon rind, freshly baked biscuits, pear, melon, mineral and apple. Quite dry and freshly zippy with good fruit and biscuit replays on the palate. Good balance and very fine mousse too. My note: Another great bargain bubbly! Toasty and refreshing with incredible vibrant flavour. Great for parties. Drink: 2011 - 2014 178137 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elyssia Brut Cava Pinot Noir, Penedes, Spain: Fresh field raspberries and zesty acidity. Medium-bodied and refreshing. 204834 11.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Mission Hill Family Estate S.L.C. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Oh yum! Much more richly textured and layered than your average SB/Sem… I’m lovin it! Lemongrass and lanolin with a mouth-filling richness. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon food pairings: fish, roast chicken, vegetarian cuisine. Drink: 2011 - 2014 68361 13% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trius Winery at Hillebrand Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Barrel fermented and then aged for 12 months on its lees in French barrels (30% new), this Chardonnay was not put through acid-softening malolactic fermentation, thereby retaining the fresh and lively nature of this wine. The aromas suggest toast, apple peel, pineapple, lemon and spices (especially clove). Enjoy this fresh, toasty, fruity wine. My note: Love the smoky hazelnut goodness here with toasted almonds. Some pretty, mouth-watering green apple flavours through the middle. Well-made. Chardonnay food pairings: pan seared scallops, pasta with a vodka cream sauce, grilled tiger shrimp, chicken skewers. Drink: 2011 - 2014 251470 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Chenin Blanc 2008, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Clean and crisp without any heavy oak, alcohol or fruit flavours. Light melon and white peach. Dry: terrific aperitif. Chenin Blanc food pairings: chilled prawns, chèvre. Drink: 2011 - 2014 627315 11.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Natura Emiliana Chardonnay 2011, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: This organic wine contains only 14 mg/L of free sulphur. This unoaked Chardonnay, from the cool-climate Casablanca Valley, is refreshing and zippy with apple, citrus and pear tones. The fact its unadorned with oak allows the bright fruit flavours to really shine. My note: A pleasant white with tree fruit and some oak. Chardonnay food pairings: stuffed roast chicken, seafood salad. Drink: 2011 - 2014 61895 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 86/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marc Brédif Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2009, A.C., Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Aromas of peach, apple, mineral, lanolin and citrus fruit lead to a palate that is off-dry, with very good depth of flavour and a fine core of acid. The whole package is wrapped up with a nice long finish. A great wine for a vast array of Asian fusion cuisine. My note: Lemongrass and lime zest with terrific mouth-watering acidity. Clean and crisp: ideal for many dishes from seafood to vegetarian dishes. Chenin Blanc food pairings: crab cakes, lobster, grilled prawns, Asian dishes, Brie, Camembert cheese, seafood, vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2014 685362 13% MD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée G.C. Sancerre 2010, A.C., Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Tremendous Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of orchard fruits, freshly cut grass, mineral and citrus. Dry with zippy acid and orchard fruits playing off each other brilliantly. A fine wine. My note : Lemon brilliant sunshine in a glass. Cool and refreshing with a crisp herbal snap on the finish. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering. Terrific! Sancerre food pairings: grilled tilapia with mango, lemonchicken dish. 189126 12.5% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel Coudoulet De Beaucastel Blanc 2010, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine blends classic white Rhône varieties Marsanne and Viognier, along with lesser-known grapes Bourboulenc and Clairette. The Coudoulet de Beaucastel vineyard (30 ha) lies just outside the edges of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and shares a similar soil composition as its neighbour. Brimming with nectarine, orange and tropical fruit and balanced by a refreshing seam of acidity, this is an elegant, medium-full-bodied wine. My note: Full-bodied layers of orange zest and Asian pear with a lovely weave of oak warmth. Tangy and different. Try it! Food pairings: roast turkey, game bird. Drink: 2011 - 2016 48892 14% XD 750 mL $33.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling 2010, Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: Dr. L is the exceptional entry-level Mosel Riesling made by the dynamic Ernst Loosen. If you are a Riesling newbie, this is an excellent place to begin. It shows all the bright fruitiness and refreshing acidity one should expect from the grape. Wrapped up in a very easy-drinking style, it can be enjoyed as a sipper or as a very versatile food partner. My note: This is a favourite of so many people I know and for good reason: packed with flavour, floral notes and melon essence. Light- to medium-bodied and low in alcohol. Riesling food pairings: mildly spiced seafood pasta dish. Drink: 2011 - 2014 599274 8.5% MD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling 2009, Q.B.A., Pfalz, Germany: A slightly more full-bodied Riesling than the Dr. L Riesling and drier with more white melon than peach. Terrific at an amazing price. Perfect party wine. A wonderful aperitif Riesling sourced from fine vineyards throughout Germany. Drink: 2011 - 2014 568634 10.5% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zenato Pinot Grigio 2010, I.G.T., Delle Venezie, Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Pinot Grigio is enjoying unprecedented popularity, and Alberto and Silvano Zenato's modernist approach to winemaking has helped take the grape in exciting new directions, creating wines of considerable intensity. This refreshing version is rife with citrus, floral, pear and mineral flavours leading to a lengthy, crisp finish. My note: Crisp, dry and refreshing without any heavy oak. While melon and lime zest. Terrific aperitif or food companion. Pinot Grigio food pairings: poached sole, steamed mussels. Drink: 2011 - 2014 37648 12.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. October 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Matua Valley Estate Series Paretai Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Paretai Sauvignon Blanc is Matua Valley's flagship wine, and is usually sourced from their Northbank Vineyard on the bank of Wairau River. To retain the fruit's bright flavours, it is not barrel-aged, but the juice is allowed to rest the lees for an extended period of time to add complexity and fleshiness. Look for rich gooseberry, asparagus, grapefruit and mineral aromas and flavours. My note: Powerful and mouth-watering in the absolutely best tradition of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Grassy, lime-zest refreshment with layers of complexity and satisfaction. Terrific! Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: lightly spiced seafood platters, grilled vegetarian spread. Drink: 2011 - 2014 144634 14% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. October 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hoopenburg Integer Chardonnay 2007, W.O., Stellenbosch, South Africa: Lovely round richness and buttery, lip-smacking flavours. Toasted almond and green apple. Bring it on! Drink: 2011 - 2014 174672 14.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. October 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Freestone Chardonnay 2008, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Toasty almonds and hazelnuts plus green apple vibrancy and some white peach. Full-bodied, layered and luscious. Just what you want from Cal Chard. Drink: 2011 - 2015 249425 13% XD 750 mL $69.95 Score: 92/100. October 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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