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Wine Picks April 12, 2012

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outisde the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Dessert Wine

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Bay of Fundy Blue Blueberry Frontenac 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: A semi-sweet red dessert wine with round, luscious blueberry flavours. Sweet but not cloying. Available from the winery or at local farmers' markets. Blueberry Frontenac food pairings: blueberry-sauced pork tenderloin, smokey grilled ham, maple-glazed salmon, smoked medium goudas, assorted nut mix. Drink: 2012 - 2013 814178 12.5% M 750 mL $13.99 Score: 86/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Chocolate River Strawberry 2010, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: I abandoned my diet long before writing this tasting note. Wow, what a lovely dessert wine. Lip-smacking flavours of strawberry jam and preserves. Will someone preserve my waistline? Available from the winery or at local farmers' markets. Strawberry food pairings: dark chocolate desserts, chocolate marble cheese cake. Drink: 2012 - 2012 814206 15.5% S 375 mL $14.99 Score: 87/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Chocolate River Spice Fruit Apple Pear 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: One of my favourite wines from this winery! Gorgeous aromas and flavours of apple and pear pie sprinkled with cinnamon and baking spices. Who needs pie when you have this? Pour me another slice please. Available from the winery or at local farmers' markets. Apple Pear food pairings: a sharp white cheddar or pour over creamy vanilla ice cream to replace your apple pie. Drink: 2012 - 2013 000237 14.5% S 375 mL $14.99 Score: 88/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Chocolate River Raspberry 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: Holy concentrated raspberries Batman! Surely, this is the Platonic ideal of raspberry essence in a glass? Very sweet but very, very delicious. It's like lying down on a bed of fresh and softly crushed field raspberries as the juice seeps in and around your senses. Available from the winery or at local farmers' markets. Raspberry food pairings: raspberry and creamed cheese topping on moist chocolate brownies, dark chocolate marble cheesecake, cocoa-covered chocolate truffles. Drink: 2012 - 2013 814175 14.5% S 375 mL $14.99 Score: 88/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Chocolate River Blueberry 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: Soft and plush, a lovely dessert wine with blueberry pie and jam flavours. Available from the winery or at local farmers' markets. Blueberry food pairings: dark chocolate cake, blueberry-sauced cheesecake, rich flavoured cheese. Drink: 2012 - 2013 814316 14.5% S 375 mL $14.99 Score: 88/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Other Wines/Drinks

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Mystique Cranberry 2011, New Brunswick, Canada: For the diehard cranberry lover! This is liquid cranberry sauce to make your turkey happy. Aromas of medicinal cherries and tart cranberries. Lots of acidity, not a lot of apparent sweetness. Cranberry food pairings: turkey dinner, chicken or pork. Drink: 2012 - 2013 816456 13% MD 750 mL $13.99 Score: 83/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Reflections Strawberry Blueberry Rhubarb 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: A rose-style wine that's very pleasant with just enough strawberry jam aromas to make it delicious but not overly sweet. Strawberry Blueberry Rhubarb food pairings: medium goudas or as an aperitif. Drink: 2012 - 2013 400000002385 12.5% MD 750 mL $13.99 Score: 86/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B Evangeline Blanc Strawberry Rhubarb 2011, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: An off-dry and lovely berry wine that doesn't have a lot of sweetness. There are honeyed aromas and faint field strawberries with a pleasantly bitter, dry finish that's refreshing. Strawberry Rhubarb food pairings: creamy alfredo sauce pastas, spicyThai, grilled corn and veggie skewers, slow-roast chicken, spiced gouda cheeses. Drink: 2012 - 2013 814012 12% M 750 mL $13.99 Score: 86/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Reif Estate Winery Meritage 2010, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A meaty, robust red with dark fruit and earthy aromas. Just the right amount of oak. Decant for 1-2 hours for maximum pleasure. Meritage food pairings: grilled red meats with roasted vegetables or Portobello mushrooms. Drink: 2012 - 2022 779320001126 13.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 88/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvginon 2010, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A lovely nose of violets and backberries. This seductive, savoury red is perfectly balanced with dark ripe fruit flavours. It's dry and elegant with a long finish. Cabernet Sauvginon food pairings: leg of lamb, filet mignon, wild mushrooms and strong cheeses. Drink: 2012 - 2022 336149 12.6% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Merlot 2010, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Lovely savoury and cedar notes in this full-bodied red. Black fruit and an attractive smoky character with earthy aromas. Decant 1-2 hours before serving. Merlot food pairings: lamb and vegetable ratatouille. Drink: 2012 - 2022 935676 13% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 89/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hawkes Wine & Winery Merlot 2006, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, United States: A robust and dark-fruited merlot with luscious layers of flavour. Smoky and richly concentrated. At wine that's at ease beside the BBQ or on the dinner party table. Merlot food pairings: bourbon smoked ribs, hanger steak, brisket, pork chops. Drink: 2012 - 2015 11111888888888888 13.8% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Core Wine Company Grenache 2008, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: A robust red, with fleshy black cherry liqueur aromas. Smooth and layered with a full-on palate that's supported by ripe fruit and oak. Grenache food pairings: smoked cheddar with herbed crostini. Drink: 2012 - 2018 Core_Gren_2008 14.9% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 90/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Paso Robles, California, United States: This terrific Cabernet, so well-structured and tasty, and an excellent value. Aromas of black cherries and blackberries waft from the glass with an undertone of dark spices. A robust, concentrated and richly layered wine selected in honour of all those university and college graduates who will soon be at liberty from their schools. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled steak, hamburgers, meat lovers' pizza. Drink: 2011 - 2015 738823 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stoneleigh Marlorough Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand: Love it! Vibrant, ripe cherries dance across your palate. Lovely silky texture with medium body, yet juicy and mouth-watering for food. Doesn't get much better than this, especially at this price point. Pinot Noir food pairings: planked salmon, fresh seafood, roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2012 - 2015 54353 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Hungaria Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Etyek, Hungary: A crisp white with refreshing notes of green melon, lime and gooseberry. Thirst-quenching with a zippy finish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: creamy pasta, Asian dishes, salads, seafood. Drink: 2012 - 2014 269688 12% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grant Burge Summers Chardonnay 2010, Barossa Valley, Australia: Love the hazelnut richness and green apple vibrancy that mingle on the nose of this wine! The palate is a rush of white peach, nectarine and nutmeg with refreshing lime acidity on the finish. I love the back story on this wine: it was named in honour of the winery's accountant of 30 years, Miles Summers. His sun will never set with this wine. Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, lobster in butter, corn dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2014 269829 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. April 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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