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Vintages Release December 10, 2011

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Red Wine

Viña Cobos Felino Malbec 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: Subdued and subtle Malbec rather than upfront fruit. Elegant with smoky mocha notes and black fruit underneath. Full-bodied and smooth. Drink: 2011 - 2015 118067 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cicchitti Edicion Limitada Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: First, you have to love oak and full-on treatment. If we can agree on that, then you’ll love this vanilla-spice wine. Black fleshy fruit and a supple texture. Drink: 2011 - 2015 260893 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Susana Balbo Signature Dominio Del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Known as the “Evita of Wine,” Susana Balbo worked for 25 years as a consultant winemaker in Argentina and throughout the world before opening Dominio del Plata in 1999. The Signature wines represent her super-premium range. The 2010 Cabernet offers aromas of coffee, red fruit and oak. The palate is quite delicious, complex and layered with lots of fruit and very attractive sweet oak. Fleshy and balanced, this is a great wine from beginning to end. My note: Love it! Savoury, juicy and ultimately satisfying. Layered and textured just like you want the conversation to be when you drink it. Drink: 2011 - 2016 260919 14% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maipe Reserve Malbec 2009, Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina: Bacon fat and savoury smoky delicious aromas. You pour the coffee and I’ll pour the wine… let’s just have the wine okay? Full-bodied, luscious and smooth. Fleshy blackberries. Coffee-klatch will never be the same again. Drink: 2011 - 2015 247320 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bishop By Ben Glaetzer Shiraz 2009, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Juicy and great with layers of fleshy black plums and berries. So generous I want to plunge head first into the glass. Drink: 2011 - 2016 627869 15.1% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Grippy and tannic but delicious. Decant 2 hours. Blackberry and plums. Full-bodied. Needs a big steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak. Drink: 2011 - 2015 943456 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dutschke God's Hill Road Neigbours Shiraz 2008, South Australia, Australia: Tasting and attractive with lusciously rich black fruit flavours. Drink: 2011 - 2015 247296 14.7% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ingoldby Shiraz 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Juicy and purple-black plum flavours. Very mouth-watering with smooth texture and full-bodied weight. Perfect for hamburgers and meat lovers’ pizza. Shiraz food pairings: hamburgers, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2014 247148 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2008, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Pale to medium ruby with aromas of red cherry, smoke, wet earth, plum and cinnamon. Quite dry and fruity with fresh acid all around. Good texture here with nice fruit replays. Decant and enjoy, or cellar it 2-4+ years. My note: Sweetly ripe red and black cherry with some raspberry background notes. Lusciously rich and smooth. Full-bodied and concentrated. One of Canada’s best pinots. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal medallions with a red wine sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2016 556613 13% XD 750 mL $38.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Subtle and reserved with lovely cherry aromas and a terrific balance. Medium-bodied and smooth. Very versatile food wine. Drink: 2011 - 2015 545012 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winemaker's Series Montague Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, V.Q.A., Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This well-made Pinot offers exceptional value. Pretty aromas of red cherry, strawberry, woodsmoke, red licorice and floral. Medium bodied with sweet-and-tangy red fruit comingling on the palate. Bright acidity, and fine, velvety tannins. Cellar this wine for 2-3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Luscious, round cherry-berry aromas. A happy, jubilant wine with medium body and satin texture. So versatile with food. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal medallions in a red-wine sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2015 997353 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Talon Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Vinemount Ridge, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: An exceptionally strong showing from Le Clos Jordanne in a banner Pinot vintage. Opens with a complex nose of wet stone, wild raspberry, sour cherry, earth, woodsmoke and a hint of new leather. Dry, with a savoury fruit core, vibrant acidity, and a backing of nicely structured tannins. Long, layered finish. This will evolve in fine form over 3-5 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Tastes mature already with dried herbs and black cherry. Mouth-watering and most full-bodied but super smooth. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb, rosemary-herbed roast beef cooked rare. Drink: 2011 - 2016 143545 13.5% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montes Alpha Carmenère 2009, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The colour is black as a starless night with a hint of purple on the rim. Aromas suggest cherry drops, smoked meat, cigar box, leather, cinnamon toast and cassis. Dry, very impactful wine with a full measure of fruit balanced by generous leather/smoked meat tones. On the mid-palate is where you will find silky tannins for balance. Spicy and generous with a solid finish. Very impressive Carmenère that will reward 2-5 years in a cellar, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Yes, yes, yes! I am referring to the wine: this is simply amazing for the price. The total package. Packed with gorgeously layered fruit yet there’s acidity and elegance. Carmenère food pairings: Korean ribs, herbed steak. Drink: 2011 - 2015 143230 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. December 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Deep ruby colour with a youthful purple rim. Aromas of chocolate raspberry, açaí, blackcurrant, mocha, woodsmoke and vanilla. This dry wine has plentiful fruit at its centre. It will reward 1-3 years in a cellar before enjoyment, and then should drink well for the next 5+. My note: Very dry and savoury with dried herbs and cassis. Lovely elegance with a long finish. Very well-structured. Decant 2 hours. A dinner party wine. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: veal tenderloin with a red-wine and coffee (or chocolate) sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2015 947929 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Curicó Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium-deep ruby colour with aromas of cassis, smoked meat, tilled earth, vanilla and dark chocolate. Dry with a generous fruit core and firm, wiry tannins. Medium-full bodied with a medium-long, poised finish. Give it 2-4 years in a cellar, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Unfairly great for the price! Luscious, full-bodied, juicy and textured. Fleshy blackberries and black plums. Perfect for first dates if you want them to go well and for anniversaries when you want to remember only the good times. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: slow-cooked roast beef and root vegetables, herbed beef stew, crown rib roast with stuffing and all the trimmings. Drink: 2011 - 2015 322586 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Mondot Meritage 2008, A.C., Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A fine example of the highly anticipated 2008 Bordeaux vintage. Complex aromas of currants, cherry, blueberry, cocoa, anise and tobacco. Medium-full bodied, ripe and robust with fleshy tannins giving structure. Cellar this wine for 3-5 years, or decant and enjoy it tonight. My note: Smoky, black and brooding with big black fruit and a full-bodied weight. Perfect for hearty meat dishes. This is the second wine of Château Troplong-Mondot. Meritage food pairings: herbed beef, venison. Drink: 2012 - 2018 137463 13% XD 750 mL $45.00 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Haura Meritage 2008, A.C., Graves, Bordeaux, France: Love the classic Bordeaux nose. Vibrant and robust with black fruit, smoke and that elusive band-aid I love. Full-bodied. Decant 2 hours. Drink: 2012 - 2016 243246 13.4% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château La Dauphine Meritage 2008, A.C., Fronsac, Bordeaux, France: Bright and juicy with fleshy black cherries. Savoury meatiness with a spice-lick finish. Really like it! Drink: 2011 - 2015 173500 13% XD 750 mL $29.00 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Chanson Teurons 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Beaune, Burgundy, France: A gorgeous rose of a wine: delicate yet concentrated with flavour. Seductive fleshy red cherries, satin texture and a finish that goes on forever. One of the best pinot noirs that I’ve tasted in quite some time. Why do I always fall in love with the expensive ones? Drink: 2011 - 2020 84426 13.5% XD 750 mL $43.95 Score: 95/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Deffends Cuvée Première Rouge 2010, A.C., Côte De Provence, Midi, France: Bandol Cuvee Grand Tradition 2010, France: A lovely, robust rose with raspberry aromas. Dry and mouth-watering. Perfect for seared tuna and grilled salmon. Food pairings: beef stew, venison, seared tuna, grilled salmon. Drink: 2011 - 2013 251553 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Les Hauts De Castellas Vacqueyras Vignerons De Caractere 2009, Rhône, France: Full-bodied, rustic and juicy with black fruit. Ideal for homemade gourmet hamburgers or rich meat-based pastas. Food pairings: gourmet hamburgers, rich meat-based pastas. Drink: 2011 - 2015 177634 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Du Calvaire Vignobles Mayard 2009, A.C., Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Rhône, France: Love it! “Dances with Senses” would be the name of the movie made in its honour. Black cherry, spice, woodsmoke, luscious texture and weight. Juicy, bring you to your knees concentration of flavour. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2011 - 2020 728139 14.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 94/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Rochecolombe 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône, France: Tremendous quality and taste for the money. Black raspberries and cherries with smoky cedar notes. Full-bodied and smooth. Gold Medal at the 2010 Concours Général Agricole in Paris. Decant for 1-2 hours. Drink: 2011 - 2015 255034 14.7% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre Amadieu Domaine Grand Romane Cuvée Prestige Gigondas 2009, Ac, Vieilles Vignes, Rhône, France: A blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah grapes from 50- year-old vines. This is almost as big as an Amarone. I’m not sure it’ll keep longer than five more years given the fruit seems to be receding to the background. My motto: why wait? Drink: 2011 - 2016 968693 12% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bava Barolo Nebbiolo (Barolo, Barbaresio) 2005, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Approachable, finely tuned Barolo featuring aromas of cherry, rose petals, tar and freshly turned earth. Dry and quite round for Nebbiolo, with ripe tannins and crisp acidity bringing balance and ageability. Enjoyable now, but will also age gracefully for 5-10+ years. My note: Tarry, black and brooding with those elusive violets sitting there in the middle. You’ll love it or hate it: Barolo polarizes. Nebbiolo (Barolo, Barbaresio) food pairings: grilled lamb. Drink: 2012 - 2020 232462 13.7% XD 750 mL $44.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Leonardo Riserva Chianti 2007, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Leonardo Chianti Riserva is made in the hills surrounding the ancient town of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci. This fruit-forward, ripe and round Chianti is elegant and well-made. My note: Tannic and dry and full-bodied. Savory and chewy. Great with hearty meat dishes. Chianti food pairings: pasta with tomato sauce and fresh herbs. Drink: 2011 - 2015 164707 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terre Nere Rosso Di Montalcino Campigli Vallone Pierina 2007, D.O.C., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium-deep ruby with aromas of chocolate-covered raisins, smoke, saddle leather, ripe strawberry and dried herbs. Dry, round and fairly ripe with velvety mid-palate tannins giving it structure. Medium bodied with a medium-long, crisply fruity finish. My note: Satin smooth and enticing. Juicy with black cherry. Food pairings: beef stew, lamb stew, dishes featuring grilled portobello mushrooms. Drink: 2011 - 2014 249524 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Remo Farino Classico Amarone Della Valpolicella 2007, D.O.C.G., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Enticing aromas of spiced plum, cherry, dried herbs, smoked meat, coffee and tar. Sweet, spicy and savoury notes intermingle on the medium-full-bodied palate, along with bright acidity and some tannin presence for balance. Tasty red-cherry character emerges on the mid-palate. Poised, lingering finish. Will evolve over 1-2 more years, but drinking very well now. My note: Full-bodied and rich and dark and savoury with dried herbs and pleasantly bitter black cherry. Amarone Della Valpolicella food pairings: rare roast beef, grilled lamb. Drink: 2012 - 2020 995910 14.5% XD 750 mL $35.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hawkshead Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Attractive sweet cherry, dried flowers, bacon fat, tarragon and dried cranberry aromas and flavours. Dry and quite flavourful with good support from silky tannins and fresh acidity. Medium-full bodied with a lengthy, generously fruity/tangy finish. Another fine Pinot from Central Otago. My note: Humongous acidity that will dance with food. Big tart, saucy cherries. Medium-bodied and smooth. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb chops and wild mushroom risotto. Drink: 2011 - 2016 140632 13.5% D 750 mL $30.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Da Veiga Casa Das Mouras Reserva 2005, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Quite a delectable and complex nose of black fruit, sweet vanilla and mineral. The palate is dry, full and round with expressive notes of ripe blackberry, black cherry, plum and vanilla. Savoury and plush, and modern in style, it closes with a lovely medium-long finish. Lip-smackingly good. My note: Savoury old leather and smoke with a chewy black dried cherry core. Full-bodied and juicy. Food pairings: grilled sirloin, roasted duck. Drink: 2011 - 2014 244756 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kanonkop Pinotage 2008, W.O., Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, South Africa: Benchmark Pinotage: want to discover the best of what this grape has to offer, go with this wine. Smoky and almost-Bordeaux-like in its styling and elegance. Richly layered and a long finish. Drink: 2012 - 2017 259648 14% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alejandro Fernandez Crianza Tinto Pesquera, Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Savoury and meaty and juicy… love this wine every year! They need a new graphic designer for their label but what’s inside the bottle really delivers so what the heck. Classic, almost Bordeaux nose and structure with a dusty, leathery, dried herb vein that’s simply sensational. Drink: 2011 - 2020 341461 14% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2004, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Loving that mature, leather-dried fruit aroma that reminds me of a book-lined study. Pass the pipe, will you? Oh right that’s not healthy, never mind. Elegant, classy and complex. Drink soon. Tempranillo food pairings: roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic. Drink: 2008 - 2014 244715 14.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ramon Ramos Monte Toro Roble 2008, D.O., Toro, Spain: Purple juicy, blueberry-rich red with full-bodied weight and a supple texture. Perfect for hamburgers and meat lovers’ pizza and movie night. Food pairings: hamburgers, pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2013 247783 15.4% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Napa Valley has developed a reputation for being one of, if not the best, wine-growing regions in California because of the superlative work of wineries like Duckhorn Vineyards. One of the best-kept secrets of Napa Valley is the ageability of top wines from producers such as this. To completely come into its own, this ripe and tannic wine needs 3-5+ years in a cellar. My note: Richly layered and full-bodied. Delicious but over-priced. Drink: 2011 - 2018 24190 14.5% XD 750 mL $74.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joseph Phelps Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley, California, United States: Classic California Cabernet from the Grand-daddy of Napa. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and the rest is Petit Verdot and Malbec. Cedary with cassis and blackcurrant. Perfect for dinner parties. Drink: 2012 - 2020 189795 14% XD 750 mL $74.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: Fantastic! Wow, an explosion of cherry and violets with a lick of spices. Love it. If I see this on a restaurant list, I’m ordering it … a go-to wine for hedonists. Drink: 2011 - 2017 652883 14.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 94/100. December 2011. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Proving that the best Napa Cabs can be built to age, this firmly tannic number is impressive now yet will really shine after 3-6 years in a cellar. Aromas of cassis, cedar boughs, woodsmoke, rum-raisin syrup and roasted tomato. Dry, robustly juicy, and brought into perfect balance by powerful tannin structure. Full bodied with a very long, elegant finish. If you’re looking to try it sooner rather than later, decant and savour. My note: Classic California Cabernet. Cassis and blackberry with a good tannic grip. Decant 2 hours +. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: porterhouse steak grilled rare. Drink: 2012 - 2018 718452 14.5% D 750 mL $54.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Macrostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006, Sonoma Coast, California, United States: Yes please! Love the pinot richness and concentration here. Cherry-berry and alive. Great mouth-watering action. Pinot Noir food pairings: wild mushroom risotto. Drink: 2011 - 2016 12740 14.2% D 750 mL $38.95 Score: 93/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sterling Vineyards Vintner's Collection Merlot 2009, California, United States: A supple, smooth, medium- to full-bodied red with lusciously rich aromas and flavours of black plum and dark berry. Merlot food pairings: lamb, steak, stew. 622837 13.5% 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir 2009, Niagara, Twenty Mile Bench, Canada: This is my favourite wine from this winery, year after year. Its exuberant energy and power come from a complex weave of nuances: truffles, black cherry, violets, cedar box and dark spices. Brooding and temperamental: love it! Drink: 2011 - 2019 33951 13.5% D 750 mL $35.00 Score: 94/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Bernard Syrah Blend 2009, Cotes Du Rhone, France: A solid performer, year after year. This robust red offers tasty notes of dark red fruit, cedar and some smoke. Great party wine. 581645 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.15 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alamos The Wines of Catena Malbec 2009, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Catena’s Alamos Malbec is always a fine ambassador for Argentina’s signature grape. Be prepared for a rich, full-bodied wine with concentrated fruit flavours of raspberry and cassis blessed with heavenly doses of chocolate and sweet spice from the light oak ageing. My note: A pleasant sipper with lovely blackberry aromas. Medium- to full-bodied and smooth. A solidly made wine with terrific balance. Ripe blackberries and pepper. Perfect for barbecue and movie night. Malbec food pairings: lasagna. Drink: 2010 - 2014 467951 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Errazuriz Single Vineyard, Don Maximiano Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Chile’s climate varies widely, with the Aconcagua Valley being one of the hottest of its growing regions. Cabernet Sauvignon is the variety of choice for this region, where the warm, dry weather coaxes the best out of the grapes. This single-vineyard Cab is a rich and charming creation, packed with red fruit, blackcurrant, blackberry and a hint of cedar. A big, ripe red with lovely balance and length. My note: A terrific, full-bodied Cabernet with classic aromas of blackberries, cassis and blackcurrant. Beautifully structured with a satisfyingly long finish. Great wine for dinner parties and steak dinners. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hearty beef stew, veal cutlets , steak. 203364 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Finca El Origen Gran Reserva (Viña Santa Carolina) Malbec 2009, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: Satisfying and robust with black fruit flavours. Smooth and ready to drink when you are. Drink: 2011 - 2014 65425 14.9% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Chile: This robust red is proof that you can give like Santa and save like Scrooge this holiday.  Gorgeously rich aromas of blackberry and plum are just what you need to get you through the seventh rerun of Miracle on 34th Street as well as tone-deaf carolling. This deeply delicious red will also pair well with grilled steak and back ribs. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak, back ribs, brisket, roast beef. Drink: 2009 - 2012 275925 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rocca Delle Macìe Riserva Chianti 2006, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: A lovely, classic chianti that celebrates all that’s best about Tuscan living and the joys of pasta and fresh tomato sauce. Dark berries and smoke with mouth-watering acidity and full-bodied weight. I love it! Drink: 2011 - 2015 111641 13.9% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Domaine De Rimauresq 2010, A.C., Côtes De Provence, Midi, France: A blend of 45% grenache, 40% cinsault and 15% tibouren grapes. A light- to medium-bodied wine with vibrant field raspberry and strawberry aromas. Dry and refreshing. Perfect! Drink: 2011 - 2013 226647 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Segura Viudas Cava, Penedes, Spain: Yum, smells like fresh baked bread just out from the oven! Wonderfully toasty, this bubbly will warm you after a day of sledding or skiing. Love the notes of hazelnuts too. 158493 11.8% XD 750 mL $14.65 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Tribute Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada: Made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes in honour of Canadian athletes who will compete at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, this wine dances with zingy citrus notes and has a lovely toasty finish. Chardonnay food pairings: oysters, fresh shellfish, buttered popcorn. 169508 13% XD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Favourite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13th Street Winery Cuvée 13 Sparkling Brut Rosé Méthode Traditionnelle Rose Wines, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A lovely bubbly with fresh field raspberry aromas. Bone-dry and refreshing ... Makes for a festive wine to toast the new year! 147504 12.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé Champagne 2002, A.C., Champagne, France: A classic Champagne with lovely lime-fresh aromas. Beautifully made and elegant. 983874 13% XD 750 mL $74.95 Score: 94/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne, A.C., Champagne, France: One of my favourite bubblies year after year. This one sports clean, fresh aromas of green apple and lemon zest. There's a toastiness on the finish that's quite lovely. 36962 13% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 93/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Sparkling White, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California, United States: One of my favourite California sparkling wines. It's price incredibly low, especially for the quality. Terrific toasty aromas with full-bodied weight and refreshment. 294181 12% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Trius Winery at Hillebrand Trius Sauvignon Blanc 2009, V.Q.A, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Terrific mouth-watering flavours of ripe green melon and grapefruit. Ultra-refreshing and perfect for salads, seafood and sparkling conversation. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: summer salads, goat cheese souffle. Drink: 2010 - 2012 1070681 13% D 750 mL $14.05 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Viognier 2009, Chile, Chile: Everything’s coming up daisies with the 2009 Cono Sur Viognier, a lovely wine with notes of field flowers, peach and dried apricot. There’s a fresh breeze running through this wine that will leave you longing for more of it and the cheese. Drink: 2010 - 2013 64287 13.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Carmen Wines Reserva Chardonnay 2010, Chile, Chile: The 2010 Carmen Reserva Chardonnay wins the Best Brie Wine award! It’s caramel, toffee depths are a perfect backdrop for such a rich cheese. The green apple and citrus notes give the wine a mouth-watering vibrancy. Top me up! Chardonnay food pairings: lobster in butter, rich pasta dishes, lemon chicken. Drink: 2010 - 2013 235663 12% D 750 mL $10.00 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2009, California, United States: A creamy, buttery, generous Chardonnay, but not too heavy. Delivers all the green apple, toasty pleasure Chardonnay lovers crave. Perfect for parties and movie night. Pass the bottle back here, will you please? Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, corn dishes. 230821 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gray Monk Estate Winery Gewürztraminer 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Lovely and complex with that wonderful weave of lychee, spice, rose petal and Asisan pear. Perfect for many dishes, especially curries and spices. Drink: 2011 - 2016 321588 12.6% MD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Musqué Spritz Chardonnay 2010, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Yes, love it! Spritz and zesty with soft ripely fleshy sweet peach and pear notes. If you try this, you’ll need it again. Guaranteed. Chardonnay food pairings: sautéed scallops in a lime-and-chili aioli, bowl of fresh fruit. Drink: 2011 - 2014 189670 9% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Musqué Chardonnay 2009, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula. Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This makes for a refreshing alternative to traditional Chardonnay. Unoaked to retain the pure and lively aromas and flavours of the aromatic Chardonnay Musqué grape, it delivers notes of field flowers, sweet apples, lime and pears. Medium bodied and richly flavoured, this balanced and crisp wine boasts quite a considerable finish. My note: Superb and fascinatingly different. Rich notes of ripe peach and pear with a zesty lift in the middle. Insanely great price. Chardonnay food pairings: pan-fried freshwater fish, grilled halibut, sweet-and-sour pork. Drink: 2011 - 2015 246579 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. December 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Vaugondy Dry Vouvray Perdriaux Chenin Blanc 2010, A.C., Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Domaine de Vaugondy boasts vines averaging 20 to 55 years of age, and is planted exclusively to Chenin Blanc. With his 2010, Philippe Perdriaux has created a classic example of dry Vouvray. Notes of ripe apple, peach, mushroom and lanolin rise from the glass. Well-balanced and superbly consistent with the nose, the palate presents more peach, apple and earthy notes along with plentiful and refreshing acidity. A great value. My note: Pear and puckeringly tart peach. Sour Granny Smith Apple that makes this Chenin Blanc consummately refreshing. (Lip-smacking noises) Chenin Blanc food pairings: oysters, seafood salad. Drink: 2011 - 2015 189142 12.3% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2010, D.O.C., Alto Adige, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Peter Zemmer is one of the Italian producers from the cool North who is sparing no detail in producing exceptional Pinot Grigio. He grows his vines on prime sites, reduces yields during the year and again on the sorting table, and then slowly ferments his wines in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats to achieve fine balance and optimum freshness. My note: Fresh and alive like spring white linens blowing in the breeze. Lime and lemon zest. Mouth-watering and medium-bodied. Pinot Grigio food pairings: seafood chowder. Drink: 2011 - 2015 95802 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. December 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mt Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Cheviot Hills, North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand: Loving this! How did Sauvignon Blanc end up so luscious and round? It’s still got the vibrant acidity but wow, love the layers. Lime, green apple and white peach. Yum. Drink: 2011 - 2014 250514 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Konrad Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: A very generous nose offering up rich notes of lime, pea pods, grass, citrus, green pepper and seemingly limitless tropical fruit notes. The palate is lively and flavourful, with gooseberry, kiwi, lemon zest, and grassy notes, along with some sweet citrus on the finish. A very fine example of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from a solid producer, for an excellent price. My note: One of my favourite Sauvignon Blancs, and it’s incredibly well priced. Herbal and zippy but not too grassy. Terrific acidity for food. Love it! Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: sea bass in a citrus sauce, pan seared chicken with a creamy tarragon sauce. Drink: 2011 - 2013 616243 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Astrolabe Wines Voyage Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Lovely lime herbal liveliness without being grassy. Zesty, mouth-watering and refreshing… terrific for many dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2013 10421 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hess Collection Select Chardonnay 2009, Monterey, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The Hess wines are wonderfully artful. This ready-to-drink wine is made extra lipsmacking by six months’ ageing on the lees. My note: Lovely roundness and lusciousness yet not heavy. This is exactly how beautifully balanced, affordable Chardonnay should taste. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled herbed chicken, pan-seared scallop dishes, lobster. Drink: 2011 - 2015 986778 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2008, Napa Valley, California, United States: Beautifully structured and rich with layers of green apple and pear and peach. Drink: 2011 - 2015 258186 14% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 91/100. December 2011. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Young Chardonnay 2007, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: Classic, rich and round California Chardonnay with hazelnut and fleshy ripe peach aromas. Drink: 2011 - 2016 670430 14.7% XD 750 mL $49.95 Score: 90/100. December 2011. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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