Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
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Vintages Release November 26, 2011

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Red Wine

Benmarco Dominio Del Plata Malbec 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: Savoury and delicious with fleshy black plums and a meaty note through the middle that makes me want to chew on the wine. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2015 657601 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Catena Nicasia Vineyard Altamira Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina: Amarone-like concentration of black fruit. Exotic fruitcake and black fleshy plum aromas. Yet there’s also lifted notes in the middle and an elegance and length that makes it’s hard to pigeonhole this wine … which is exactly what the winery intended, most likely. A wine for hedonists. 132357 14.7% D 750 mL $79.95 Score: 96/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Las Moras Black Label Bonarda 2009, San Juan, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Gold Medal for Best Producer at the 2010 Sélections Mondiales de Vins in Canada. Medium ruby-purple colour with aromas of sour cherry, blueberry, new leather, plum, milk chocolate, smoke and grated beets. Dry and fruity, but with a lot of bright acidity and gentle tannins for balance. Fresh and savoury. It could cellar 2-3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Juicy and tasty with purple and black plum notes. Full-bodied and smooth. Food pairings: slow-cooked beef dishes, grilled steak, game. Drink: 2011 - 2015 260901 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A blend of 62% Shiraz, 28% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. This wine was fermented mostly in stainless steel; no new oak. Gorgeously rich and layered with juicy flavours of ripe plush blackberries and plums. Oh yum! Drink: 2011 - 2016 6551 16% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bird in Hand Two In The Bush Shiraz 2009, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia: Purple plum with a hint of mint. Full-bodied, luscious with mouth-watering activity. Great price. Drink: 2011 - 2015 243634 14.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Plunkett Fowles Shiraz 2008, Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia: Rich, deep and dark. This is a don’t mess with me wine. Black fruit, mouth-watering and full, smooth layers. Pepper and dark spices. Drink: 2011 - 2015 243592 14% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barossa Valley Estate E & E Black Pepper Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Terrific, savoury and juicy with dried herbs and fleshy black plum. Full-bodied, supple and smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2017 731620 15% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 93/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henschke Mount Edelstone Vineyard Shiraz 2005, Keyneton, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia: I closed my eyes when I breathed in this wine’s aromas. I love that. Gorgeous lifted aromas of blackberries and some spritely voice singing in the middle of a dark forest… a shaft of sunlight cuts through the trees. Rise up on the notes, turn your face to the sun. Full-bodied and richly layered. Perfect for forgiveness. Drink: 2011 - 2020 718601 14% XD 750 mL $99.95 Score: 97/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blasted Church Merlot 2007, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Juicy and mouth-watering with a savoury, meaty note through the middle. Blackberry and black plums. Merlot food pairings: grilled steak. Drink: 2011 - 2016 255745 13.9% XD 750 mL $38.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Meritage 2008, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Elegant and aristocratic with terrific structure and lovely fleshy ripe black fruit. Smoke and cedar with a lick of spice on the finish. Full bodied and fairly smooth, so decant only 1 hour. Benchmark Canadian Meritage. Drink: 2012 - 2016 695148 14.9% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 93/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways and sips. Gorgeously textured with a seductive satin mouth-feel. Fleshy black cherry flavours dissolve in your mouth and release that sigh you’ve been holding in. The acidity is there but so woven into the luscious layers that you barely notice it except to appreciate that you don’t tire of this wine easily … or ever. Pinot Noir food pairings: beef bourguignon. Drink: 2011 - 2018 34553 13.5% XD 750 mL $75.00 Score: 95/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2010, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Some winemakers believe that the use of wild airborne yeasts (that occur naturally in the vineyard) during fermentation creates wines with a more dramatic flavour profile than those produced with conventional cultivated yeasts. This wine offers aromas of cherry, earth, dried flowers and spice. Dry and well balanced with cherry, raspberry, beet root and floral notes leading to a delicious spicy finish. Lovely. My note: Sweetly ripe cherry-berry bold flavours and mouth-watering action. Medium to full-bodied. Terrific and vibrant! Pinot Noir food pairings: roast duck. Drink: 2011 - 2015 510396 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

De Martino Legado Reserva Carmenère 2008, Maipo Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: A truly inviting nose that offers herbal, brambleberry and spice notes wonderfully intermingled with suggestions of rich fruit and cocoa. The palate is dry, crisp, medium bodied, and yet complex and layered too. There is also a sweet fruit centre and an impressive finish. My note: Come dance with me nose! Lusciously ripe blueberries and blackberries leap out of the glass. Full-bodied and smooth with an incredible price point. Carmenère food pairings: rosemary-encrusted roast chicken, grilled gourmet sausages. Drink: 2011 - 2015 236059 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Monturon Grand Cru Vign. Saby Meritage 2009, A.C., Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Gold Medal winner at the Challenge International du Vin 2011. Enticing aromas of toast, roasted coffee bean, vanilla and plum. The palate is dry, medium-full bodied and quite complex. The flavours closely follow the nose’s lead, adding touches of raspberry to the layered smoky coffee and vanilla notes. Very nicely structured and balanced, with harmonized tannins and crisp acidity. This will reward 5+ years in the cellar, but can be enjoyed tonight. My note: Tarry and pleasantly bitter, this one could also use cellar time. Blackberry and cassis with a smoky oak weave. Meritage food pairings: grilled marinated flank steak. Drink: 2014 - 2018 171017 12.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Canteloup Raoul Fabre & Fils, Prop. Meritage 2004, A.C., Médoc, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Aromas of leather, earth, smoke, plum and raspberry are prominent. The palate is dry and fruity with very good raspberry and smoky replays. It’s all held together with well-balanced tannins and fresh acidity. Expertly crafted, this wine is ageing well and is an excellent choice for experiencing maturing Bordeaux at a very approachable price. My note: Simple, rustic and ready to drink when you are. You can’t beat the price for Bordeaux. Not complex but very pleasant and full-bodied. Meritage food pairings: roast leg of lamb, Ontario hard sheep cheese. Drink: 2011 - 2014 243923 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Faizeau Vieilles Vignes Meritage 2009, A.C., Montagne St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Big, black and hulking and in special need of cellar time then decanting. Smoky, tarry with an underlay of black fruit, this Bordeaux is beautifully structured. Serve at an elegant dinner party, especially one involving your boss and the side agenda of a raise or promotion. Drink: 2013 - 2020 221523 13% XD 1500 mL $57.00 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Faizeau Vieilles Vignes Meritage 2009, Ac Montagne St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Big, black and hulking and in special need of cellar time then decanting. Smoky, tarry with an underlay of black fruit, this Bordeaux is beautifully structured. Serve at an elegant dinner party, especially one involving your boss and the side agenda of a raise or promotion. Drink: 2013 - 2020 191494 13% XD 750 mL $27.00 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Louis Jadot Beaune Theurons 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Absolutely splendid: The aromas of violets and wild fleshy cherry tumble out of the bottle in a profusion for the senses. Medium- to almost-full-bodied with a luxurious velvet texture. Please get me a case for my birthday. (Did you know my birthday’s tomorrow?) Drink: 2011 - 2018 42838 13.5% XD 750 mL $45.95 Score: 94/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel 2009, A.C., Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: Huge concentration in this black-hearted wine that’s a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and other permitted grapes. Full-bodied and fairly smooth; it will benefit from cellar time. Drink: 2013 - 2022 711317 14.5% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 95/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel 2009, A.C., Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: Huge concentration in this black-hearted wine that’s a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and other permitted grapes. Full-bodied and fairly smooth; it will benefit from cellar time. Drink: 2013 - 2022 968750 14.5% XD 375 mL $46.95 Score: 95/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Ferme Du Mont Le Ponnant Stéphane Vedeau 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: Super-duper (pulling out all the technical tasting terms now)! Juicy come-alive black fleshy cherry, some smoke and a gorgeous, give-me-more full-bodied smooth texture. Fantastic price. Drink: 2011 - 2016 171371 14.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reichsrat von Buhl Pinot Noir 2008, Q.B.A., Pfalz, Germany: Amazing! Smoky with juicy black cherry aromas. Better acidity than most New World pinots yet more fruity than Old World. You perfect Trans-Atlantic pinot to bridge many palates this holiday. This elegant, fantastically well-priced Pinot is sure to impress with holiday-season dinners. Enjoy it tonight. Pinot Noir food pairings: turkey dinner, goose, duck, lighter beef-and-mushroom dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2015 249649 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ascheri Vigna Dei Pola Barolo Nebbiolo (Barolo, Barbaresio) 2006, D.O.C.G., Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The fruit for this wine was sourced from two of Ascheri's finest vineyards: Pisapola and Verduno. These vineyards have reputations for yielding Barolos with finesse and fruitiness. Look for aromas of strawberry, blueberry, rose petals and new leather. Fashioned in the “new school” style, this wine will mature much sooner than is typical of some Barolos. Give it a year or two further in the bottle, and then enjoy it over the next ten years. My note: Holy furry tannins Bat Man! Some cellar time and decanting will help this palate whacker. Black as night with tarry, dark fruit, smoke aromas. Drink: 2013 - 2020 739920 14.5% XD 750 mL $43.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Duca Di Salaparuta Passo Delle Mule Nero D'avola Nero D'avola 2008, I.G.T., Sicily, Italy: An incredibly luscious red with generous layers of ripely sweet blackberries and black plums. Highly aromatic. Full-bodied and velvet smooth. If you’re looking to get out of your merlot or shiraz rut, try this one. Drink: 2011 - 2014 250928 13.2% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Vite Lucente Luce Della Vite 2009, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This, the second wine to Frescobaldi’s iconic Luce, is a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, matured for 12 months in French barriques. Always a huge hit with Vintages customers, this wine offers intense strawberry, blueberry, and currant fruit accented by mocha and spice. Built to last, it will show best after 2012; if you can’t wait, decant it and enjoy. My note: Smoky espresso nose with black fruit and dark spices. Good tannic grip. Decant 2 hours. Food pairings: rare red meat dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2020 747030 13.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Vite Lucente 2009, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This, the second wine to Frescobaldi’s iconic Luce, is a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, matured for 12 months in French barriques. Always a huge hit with Vintages customers, this wine offers intense strawberry, blueberry, and currant fruit accented by mocha and spice. Built to last, it will show best after 2012; if you can’t wait, decant it and enjoy. My note: Smoky espresso nose with black fruit and dark spices. Good tannic grip. Decant 2 hours. Food pairings: rare red meat dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2020 979062 13.5% XD 1500 mL $89.95 Score: 93/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villa Girardi Classico Amarone Della Valpolicella 2007, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Made using Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara, this wine utilizes grapes that are first fully dried on mats for several months before being pressed and then aged for 3 years in 35-litre Slovanian oak barrels. The resulting wine is filled with aromas and flavours of black plum, sweet cherry, vanilla, dried meat and dark chocolate. This dry, intense wine is an excellent match for rich meat dishes, or enjoy it after a hearty meal with dark chocolate (70% cacao and above). My note: Juicy sweet black cherry liqueur runs through the core with some smoke and dark spice on the finish. Full-bodied to the max. Amarone Della Valpolicella food pairings: rich meat dishes, dark chocolate (70% cacao and above). Drink: 2011 - 2020 159913 13.5% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quintarelli Rosso Ca' Del Merlo 2002, I.G.T., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Giuseppe Quintarelli, known as the Master of Veneto, is legendary for good reason. The epitome of the artisan, from within the humble surroundings of his farmhouse-winery he devotes himself wholeheartedly – with painstaking attention to detail – to crafting wines that can only be called works of art. Quintarelli’s single-vineyard wonder is layered and very expressive. The aromas suggest dried plum, cherry and cranberry, plus fig and milk chocolate. Impactful and complex on the palate. Core of fruit and spice is beautifully integrated with a nice wave of mid-palate acidity. A remarkable wine that inspires contemplation. Enjoy it over the next decade with a variety of foods. My note: Always spectacular, year after year. Rich, full-bodied and luxuriously layered. Yes, it is worth the splurge if you feel so inclined. Merlo food pairings: lamb stew, slow-roasted beef. Drink: 2011 - 2020 958595 13.5% D 750 mL $84.95 Score: 95/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Small Parcel Corner 50 Merlot 2008, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Lovely balance and delectability: makes your mouth water and your senses tingle. Fleshy black and purple plums dance with blackberries across your palate. Double yum. Drink: 2011 - 2017 252320 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Palliser Pinot Noir 2009, Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Toast, blackcurrant, strawberry, violet and bacon notes rise from the glass. The palate is dry and very well balanced and structured. Raspberry, toast, strawberry and smoked meat mingle wonderfully on the tongue before closing with a milk-chocolaty finish. My note: Big Love pinot with juicy cherry aromas that leap out of the glass to hug your senses. Ultra-mouth-watering with a medium- to full-body. Top me up! Pinot Noir food pairings: pulled pork, honey-glazed smoked ham. Drink: 2011 - 2016 120766 14.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viljoensdrift Serenity Named Varietal Blends-Red 2005, W.O., Robertson, South Africa: Juicy and vibrant with almost full-bodied weight. This is a bright, happy wine with some lovely ripe black fruit. Drink: 2011 - 2015 37523 14.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mooiplaas The Bean Pinotage 2010, W.O., Stellenbosch, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: Invigorating coffee bean, vanilla and mocha aromas are front and centre. Dry, medium bodied with a creamy texture, and notes of roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla and plenty of dark fruit as well. A long, crisp, chocolaty finish. My note: Holy espresso Bat Man! No coffee added but there’s a rich, warm mocha aroma here that works nicely with the wine. Could this be the perfect breakfast wine? Pinotage food pairings: grilled meats, premium dark chocolate. Drink: 2011 - 2014 251165 14% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2009, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: Umm ... ah ... well ... maybe we could say ... no that doesn’t work ... umm ... oh here we go: the 2009 Writer’s Block was one of only 36 wines out of 1,400 to win Double Gold at the 2011 Michelangelo International Wine Awards, a South African competition adjudicated by tasters from around the world. This offers dense black fruit, cassis and oak aromas. The palate is dry, chewy and fresh with lively acidity and follows nicely on the nose with some lovely black fruit notes. Very tasty. My note: The name of this wine made me nervous about trying it… but it turns out that this wine is actually the solution to writer’s block: yay! Deliciously smoky and different with fleshy ripe black fruit. Some enticing warm mocha notes on the nose. We like it. Pinotage food pairings: smoked duck, pulled pork. Drink: 2011 - 2015 243337 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Palacio De Sada Crianza 2006, D.O., Navarra, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Lofty aromas of hickory, spice, ripe black fruit and vanilla. The palate is delicious, dry, medium bodied and very well structured with juicy fruit, spicy oak, and appropriate tannins. This is an exceptional value wine, and ideal for big holiday dinners. My note: A simple, rustic, rugged wine with black and red cherries and wild berries. Brambly and straight-up tasty. Full-bodied. Food pairings: roasted meats, turkey. Drink: 2011 - 2013 246736 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Miguel Torres Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, D.O., Penedès, Spain: Lovely interpretation of Cabernet Sauvignon: much more aromatic than most cabs. Juicy generousness on the palate with rich layers of black fruit and a hint of smoke. A finish as long as a Spanish sunset. Perfect for dinner parties and hostess gifts. Drink: 2011 - 2020 129676 14% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 94/100. November 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Prado Rey Crianza Real Sitio De Ventosilla Tempranillo 2006, D.O., Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: The 2006 Prado Rey Crianza is a blend of 92% Tempranillo with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that spent 12 months in barrel followed by 3 months in oak vats. Opaque purple in color, it proffers an inviting nose of incense, violets, cedar, black cherry, and blueberry. My note: Intensely dry and tannic, decant 2 hours and drink with meat. Rustic and ready for you. Drink: 2011 - 2014 725820 13.5% 750 mL $20.95 Score: 88/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pesquera Reserva Alejandro Fernández Tinto Pesquera Tinto 2007, D.O., Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Old, long and savoury not fruity at all in a beautiful way. Leather, smoke and nostalgia waft out of the bottle. Drink: 2011 - 2018 323345 14% XD 750 mL $41.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luis Gurpegui Muga Gonzalo De Berceo Reserva 2005, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Love that old leather taste! This tastes very mature in the most excellent way. Dried herbs and black cherries. Full-bodied and smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2014 246744 13.5% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2001, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Traditional, classic and savoury with leather, dried herbs and red earth dust. Smoky not fruity. Full-bodied, smooth and mouth-watering. Great food wine. Drink: 2011 - 2013 976670 13.6% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painter Bridge Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Opaque ruby colour with hints of brick at the edge. Deep, rich nose of cassis, smoked meat, spice cupboard, woodsmoke and a hint of tar. Dry with very good ripe tannins and lots of warm fruit in the middle. Full bodied with a long, structured finish. Can age 2-3 years with grace, but it is drinking well right now. My note: Very balanced with good structure. Full-bodied but not heavy. Attractive aromas of dark chocolate, black plum and blackberry. Good mouth-watering action for food. Terrific for dinner parties and gifts! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roast leg of lamb and root vegetables. Drink: 2011 - 2016 246918 13.5% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, United States: Tasty and mouth-watering with generous layers of black fruit. Full-bodied and supple. Drink: 2011 - 2017 731810 14.2% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Acacia Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United States: Lovely, lovely! Juicy cherry and mouth-watering layers of sensuality. Love pinot from the cooler regions of California. Drink: 2011 - 2016 235960 14.4% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jonata El Alma De Jonata Cabernet Franc 2007, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: Lovely and generous with gorgeous layers of black fruit and lifted mid-palate notes. Still think it’s over-priced but if you’re cashing out your Google or Apple stock, who cares. Drink: 2011 - 2018 218925 14.5% XD 750 mL $143.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Pontet-Canet 5E Cru Meritage 2008, A.C., Pauillac, Bordeaux, France: Terrific but very pricey and I think that some reviews have been over zealous. Classic nose, good juiciness, full-bodied rich texture with dark fruit. Terrific wine, but I’d buy 4 of some of the other Bordeaux reviewed here instead for the same money. Drink: 2012 - 2020 137323 13% XD 750 mL $129.00 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Pontet-Canet 5E Cru Meritage 2008, A.C., Pauillac, Bordeaux, France: Terrific but very pricey and I think that some reviews have been over zealous. Classic nose, good juiciness, full-bodied rich texture with dark fruit. Terrific wine, but I’d buy 4 of some of the other Bordeaux reviewed here instead for the same money. Drink: 2012 - 2020 137315 13% XD 750 mL $129.00 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese rounding out the blend. Filled with raspberry, vanilla, cedar, cherry and sweet spice aromas. Dry with lively acidity and lots of fruit. Moderate to firm tannins bring it all together. International in style. Will benefit from 3+ years in a cellar, or decant it and enjoy it tonight. My note: Savoury with notes of cedar, meat, leather and smoke. Not hugely fruity. Love this style. Balanced, mouth-watering, full-bodied and supple. A good gift wine. Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rare veal chops with a demi-glace. Drink: 2011 - 2014 145920 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Nicolas Maillart Brut Premier Cru Champagne 2005, A.C., France: A top-notch bubbly worth your attention this new year. Toasting, refreshing and complex. Worth every penny. Drink: 2005 - 2015 245894 12.5% D 750 mL $52.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Domaine Vincent Delaporte Chavignol Sancerre 2010, A.C., Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Delaporte have been producing wines in the village of Chavignol since the 1600s. Their 2010 Sauvignon Blanc has lovely mineral, apple, citrus, toast and gooseberry aromas emerging from the glass. The palate is dry with a crisp and refreshing acidity framing the lemon-lime, apple, toast and distinctive mineral notes. My note: Mouth-wateringly juicy and crisp with lovely, spritely notes of lemongrass and lemon zest. Pure, unfiltered sunshine. Sancerre food pairings: shellfish, sushi, grilled chicken. Drink: 2011 - 2015 251488 12.1% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kurt Darting Ungsteiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese 2008, Q.M.P., Pfalz, Germany: A terrific Riesling with natural fruit sweetness, though it's not a dessert wine. Think glazed ham and other dishes with some sweetness, or also spicy dishes. Peach and pear mingle happily on the nose. 963207 10.5% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2009, Wairarapa, North Island, Martinborough, New Zealand: Love the balance and beauty of expression here. Full-bodied and rich and round. Green apple and peach. Drink: 2011 - 2016 247270 13.5% XD 750 mL $33.95 Score: 92/100. November 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2009, Sonoma Mountain, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: One of Sonoma’s brightest stars, Kistler is still a Chard specialist of the highest order. Expect this complex, robust, finely balanced wine to deliver great pleasure over the next 5+years. My note: Definitely first-class Chardonnay, but over-priced by $30. Lovely luscious ripe peach, pear and green apple aromas. Drink: 2011 - 2016 183921 14.1% D 750 mL $72.95 Score: 91/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Istituto Agrario San Michele All'adige Pinot Grigio 2010, D.O.C., Trentino, Italy: Vibrant and zippy with vibrant lime zest and lemony notes. Incredibly mouth-watering and food versatile. Medium-bodied and satisfying. Drink: 2011 - 2014 249540 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Liberty School Chardonnay 2008, Central Coast, California, United States: Lusciously big pineapple and tropical fruit notes with a round, viscous mouth-filling texture and a toasty vanilla-caramel finish. Great price for big Chardonnay. Drink: 2011 - 2015 960120 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. November 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Chardonnay 2010, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Beringer, established in 1876, is one of Napa’s most venerable producers of fine wine. Although steeped in history, Beringer makes use of modern winemaking techniques to get the best results. This Chard, for instance, was sourced from four different vineyards, with some juice undergoing fermentation in barrel and some in steel – highlighting the best aspects of each crop. With its complex interplay of guava, nectarine and lemon drop flavours, the results are there to be seen (and tasted). This is an exceptional value for Napa Chardonnay. My note: Terrific craftsmanship and balance. Lovely ripe peach fruit and pear aromas. Full-bodied. Chardonnay food pairings: roasted whole chicken with traditional stuffing. Drink: 2011 - 2014 84988 14.1% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. November 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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