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Wine Picks July 30, 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

Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Gorgeous toffee-caramel goodness with toasted almonds on the finish. Full-bodied rich and deliciously sweet. Drink: 2012 - 2020 620641 20% S 500 mL $36.95 Score: 91/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vice Vineland Estates Winery Vodka Icewine, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Although this is fortified with vodka, it's not a spirit but rather a fortified wine as reflected in the level of alcohol. It's a fascinating blend that has appealing notes of icewine but not the same perceived sweetness. Try it. Drink: 2012 - 2020 158212 21% S 500 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

The Little Grape That Could Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Argentina, Argentina: A juicy, full-bodied smooth wine with purple and black plum flavours. Simple, but a great price. Here's the iinovative tie-in: 100% of profits for this wine go to the charity that select. Interesting and worthy concept. Drink: 2012 - 2013 277020 13% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush Merlot 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Smooth and medium-bodied with dark fruit fruit flavours. Pleasant. Merlot food pairings: red sauce pasta tossed with meatballs and parmesan cheese; cold beef wraps; fully dressed burgers; mild Canadian cheddars; mushroom lasagna; eggplant parmesan; chicken cacciatore. Drink: 2012 - 2013 1090012 12.5% D 750 mL Score: 85/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush Midnight Cab 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A smooth medium- to full-bodied red with dark red fruit and mocha from the oak aging. Straight-forward and tasty. Food pairings: beef brisket; saucy barbecued ribs; pulled pork on a bun; gourmet burgers with aged cheddar; mushroom lasagna; grilled steak with your favourite barbecue sauce; vegetable stews. Drink: 2012 - 2013 1089996 12.95% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 85/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Cuvee County Pinot Noir 2010, Prince Edward County, Canada: I'm a huge fan of this wine and recommend it year after year. Love the tart cherry aromas and flavours. It's satin-textured, medium-bodied and ultimately pleasurable. Pinot Noir food pairings: herbed Ontario lamb chops, simple pork dish like, cherry wood-smoked pork loin, baked or smoked salmon. Drink: 2012 - 2017 834328002510 12.2% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir 2011, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Terrific vibrancy in this mouth-watering pinot! Aromas and flavour of tart cherry and cranberry. Medium-bodied, smooth and food-friendly. Drink: 2012 - 2015 307769 12.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bertani Collezione Valpolicella 2011, Doc, Italy: A medium- to full-bodied wine with pleasant dark fruit aromas and some oak. Valpolicella food pairings: meat or courses with rich sauces. Drink: 2012 - 2014 277319 12% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2007, Veneto, Italy: A full-bodied and richly flavoured red with aromas of black cherry liqueur, cigar box and dark spices. Hedonistic and satisfying. Amarone Classico food pairings: dark chocolate, hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2015 - 2020 317057 15.1% XD 750 mL $38.95 Score: 92/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Merlot 2010, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A full-bodied, black-fruited wine with a smoky finish. A good grip on the palate so decant 1-2 hours. Great price. Merlot food pairings: rack of lamb, grilled steak with mushroom sauce, veal in a red wine reduction sauce, Beef Wellington or medium aged cheddar. Drink: 2012 - 2015 618421 13.1% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Rich & Robust Red 2010, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: This savoury, peppery red is a blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes. It's full-bodied and delicious. You can't beat this price for this quality. Yum! Food pairings: grilled red meats, hard chesses such as aged cheddar, or pasta bolognese. Drink: 2012 - 2016 80002862 14.2% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaspereau Vineyards 2009, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: This wine has great potential for both this vintages and future ones: good structure and depth of flavour. Full-bodied with a judicious use of oak. Dark fruit and some smoke on the finish. Only 70 cases of this wine were produced. Food pairings: beef or lamb dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2015 624448094096 12.5% D 750 mL $24.99 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The People's Wine Pinot Noir 2010, Central Otago, New Zealand: Cherry-berry aromas with great mouth-watering acidity for food. Medium-bodied. Very nice. Drink: 2012 - 2014 234526 13% XD 750 mL $17.99 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thelema Mountain Red 2009, South Africa, South Africa: Extraordinary for the price! Savoury, smoky, juicy, rich and full-bodied. Lovely aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak, but not too much. A blend of cabernet sauvignon 42%, shiraz 30%, petit verdot 14% and Grenache 14%. Great party wine. Drink: 2012 - 2014 222570 14.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Petales D'osoyoos 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, Bc, Canada: Towering wine with massive and complex structure: needs cellar time. Big black fruit, toasty oak and tannic grip. Decant 2 hours. Drink: 2014 - 2018 276241 13.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Los Nevados Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Argentina, Argentina: Simple, smooth, full-bodied, great price. Dark fruit. Drink: 2012 - 2013 224436 14% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 83/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

D'arry's Original D'arenberg Shiraz Grenache 2009, Mclaren Vale, Australia: Savoury dark and delicious with charry, toasty oak and black fruit. Full-bodied and smooth with loads of satisfaction. Lip-smacking delicious! Drink: 2012 - 2015 942904 13.9% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beau! Loron Gamay 2009, Beaujolais, France: Cheap and cheerful: light, happy with tart cherries. Some green, herbal, stemmy notes on the finish. Quaff it, don't think about it. Drink: 2012 - 2013 231811 12.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 84/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perrin Reserve 2010, Cotes Du Rhone, France: A savoury, cedary, full-bodied wine with dark red and black fruit aromas. Balanced and delicious. Great price. Drink: 2012 - 2015 363457 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sacred Hill Pinot Noir 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand: Loaded with toasty oak, black cherry and mouth-watering acidity. Silky smooth with layers of gorgeous dark fruit flavours. Full-bodied for pinot. Drink: 2012 - 2015 277665 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Ladybug Malivoire 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Very pretty aromas of fresh field strawberries and rose petals. A lovely and refreshing blend of pinot noir, gamay and cabernet franc. Bone-dry. Drink: 2011 - 2013 559088 12% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Gaspereau Vineyards Brut Chardonnay, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: A crisp, toasty bubbly with bright notes of green apple. Very well-made and shows great potential for future years. Chardonnay food pairings: shellfish, mixed nuts and cheeses. Drink: 2012 - 2014 624448094355 12.4% D 750 mL $32.32 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc Sparkling 2011, Western Cape, South Africa: Great price for bubbly! Crisp and clean with grassy, herbal freshness. Drink: 2012 - 2013 216705 12% XD 750 mL $11.96 Score: 83/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bosc Batasiolo Moscato D'asti 2011, Piedmont, Italy: So pretty! Honeysuckle, apple blossom and the fresh promise of a spring morning. The sweetness makes it a wonderful companion to glazed ham, sweet corn, sweet potatoes. The slight effervescence makes it refreshing. Drink: 2011 - 2013 277194 5.5% M 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Angels Gate Winery Archangel Blanc De Blanc Chardonnay Sparkling 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A terrific price for this toasty, satisfying bubbly! Fresh bread, green apples and white peaches. Lovely. Drink: 2010 - 2014 227709 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benjamin Bridge Rosé 2008, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: Seductive aromas of fresh field strawberries on the nose. Lovely pale pink tint with a celebratory toastiness. Vibrant and alive! Rosé food pairings: pork tenderloin, duck, and lobster, Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2015 695555000232 11% MD 750 mL $44.79 Score: 91/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2004, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: Very toasty and crisp with a gorgeous baked bread finish. Vibrant white pear fruit on the mid-palate. Superb craftsmanship. Drink: 2012 - 2018 695555000195 11% D 750 mL $89.79 Score: 92/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Benjamin Bridge Benjamin Bridge Estate Vero 2010, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: Very crisp and mouth-watering with come-alive lime aromas and flavours. Sun-dappled lemons dance on the finish. Vero food pairings: Nova Scotia seafood, Malagash Oysters, Digby scallops, Fundy lobster and line-fresh haddock. Also, an ideal accompaniment to light summer fare.. Drink: 2012 - 2014 695555000188 11% D 750 mL $21.99 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Road 13 Vineyards Viognier 2011, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, Bc, Canada: Lovely floral nose: daisies and white lilies. Good texture and mouth-feel. Balanced and medium-bodied. Great food partner. Drink: 2012 - 2013 739888 13% XD 750 mL $24.00 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Road 13 Vineyards Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2011, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, Bc, Canada: Made from grapes grown on 43-year-old vines which gives this wine a lovely concentration and depth of flavour without being heavy. Gorgeous apple and dry honey notes. Good acidity for food. Drink: 2012 - 2015 450890 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.00 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jost Vineyards Jost Vineyards L'acadie Pinot Grigio 2011, V.Q.A., Malagash Peninsula, Ns, Canada: Fresh, pretty and floral. Wonderful peach and pear aromas with a crisp, refreshing finish. Lovely. L'acadie Pinot Grigio food pairings: seafood, raw, lightly sauteed, grilled or lightly sauced with cream or butter. Drink: 2012 - 2014 624448034580 12% MD 750 mL $12.99 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaspereau Vineyards Seyval Blanc 2010, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: Lemon and lanolin reminds me a bit of semillion but this is richer with some pretty floral and orange zest aromas on the finish. Seyval Blanc food pairings: hot and spicy dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2013 624448094188 11.3% MD 750 mL $16.99 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Chardonnay 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: A medium- to full-bodied chardonnay with toasty oak and a campfire smoky finish. Nice bright tree fruit in the middle. Chardonnay food pairings: steamed mussels and saffron, broiled lobster, smoked fish, poultry in cream sauces, grilled scallops, cedar planked salmon, quail, Camembert, Emmenthaler and Gruyere cheeses. 526251 13.5% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Lovely melon freshness here without grassy notes. Crisp and refreshing, mouth-watering for food. Lemon zest finish. Awesome price. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: steamed crab, grilled fish, shrimp or chicken, light pasta dishes or risotto. Drink: 2012 - 2014 618413 12.3% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jost Vineyards Tidal Bay 2011, Malagash, Nova Scotia, Canada: Fresh, clean and floral like small white flowers in spring on a mountainside. So pretty and refreshing. Tidal Bay food pairings: succulent lobster dishes, fresh oysters, fish and chips, Nova Scotia cheeses (including heavy blues), poultry, lemon-pepper seared tuna, calamari and fish cakes. Drink: 2012 - 2014 624448034740 10.6% D 750 mL $19.99 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jost Vineyards Jost Vineyards Eagle Tree Muscat 2010, Malagash, Ns, Canada: Grapey and pink grapefruit notes on this highly aromatic wine. A pleasant, bitter tangerine finish. Good acidity for food. Eagle Tree Muscat food pairings: spicy oriental dishes, lobster. Drink: 2012 - 2013 624448034023 12% D 750 mL $14.99 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jost Vineyards Jost Vineyards Ortega 2010, Malagash Peninsula, Ns, Canada: Clean and crisp with lime and white grapefruit notes. Great aperitif. Ortega food pairings: spicy dishes and seafood. Drink: 2012 - 2013 624448034764 11% MD 750 mL $17.99 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Crisp & Lively 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: A vibrant, floral, lovely blend of riesling and gewurztraminer grapes. Lychee, rose petal and lime blossom. Fantastic for this price! Food pairings: spicy Asian cuisine, creamy pasta dishes or risotto. It can also be perfectly delicious on it's own.. Drink: 2012 - 2013 80002862 12.4% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benjamin Bridge Benjamin Bridge Estate Nova 7 2011, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: Lovely orange blossom and lime notes in this zesty, off-dry wine. Perfect as an aperitif or a wonderful companion to seafood or spicy dishes. This has become Nova Scotia's benchmark wine. Nova 7 food pairings: cheeses, charcuteries, chowders and most summer fare. Drink: 2012 - 2015 695555000171 8% M 750 mL $24.95 Score: 93/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Petit Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa: Fresh and refreshing with lime, chive and grapefruit notes. Terrific aperitif. Drink: 2012 - 2013 266106 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Conundrum Conundrum California 2010, Rutherford, California, United States: An exotic, floral wine with notes of lychee, rose petal and light spices. A blend of many grapes. Drink: 2012 - 2016 694653 13.5% M 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Sketches Chardonnay 2010, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Perfectly balanced: green apple vibrancy and mouth-watering juiciness with rich layers of butter and vanilla smoke. Drink: 2012 - 2018 89037 13% 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mia Freixenet Blended Table White 2011, Spain, Spain: Lovely light and floral with sweet peach and apple blossom notes. So pretty. Nice aperitif. Drink: 2011 - 2013 269605 11.5% MD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Megalomaniac Wines Narcissist Riesling 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Lovely Riesling with lime blossom, lemon zest and green apple goodness. Mouth-watering and juicy with laser focus. Medium-bodied. Great aperitif and food companion. Drink: 2011 - 2015 67587 10.9% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaspereau Vineyards Tidal Bay 2011, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: So pretty! Lovely, light and floral with a crisp, mouth-watering refreshment. Open a bottle and feel happy. Tidal Bay food pairings: seafood and shellfish, salads. Drink: 2012 - 2014 624448094041 10.7% D 750 mL $21.99 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaspereau Vineyards Warner's Vineyard Riesling 2011, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: Very pleasant Riesling with lifted, vibrant notes of come-alive lime and green apple. Mouth-watering and refreshing. Riesling food pairings: rich shellfish and cream sauce pasta dishes.. Drink: 2012 - 2015 624448094126 11% D 750 mL $17.99 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jost Vineyards Cayuga 2011, Malagash, Ns, Canada: Light and pretty with lovely floral notes. Great aperitif. Cayuga food pairings: spicy dishes. Drink: 2012 - 2013 624448034801 11.8% MD 750 mL $14.99 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Liberated Chardonnay 2011, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Very fresh and clean, with no oak. Green apple vibrancy with a lime fresh finish. Lovely. Chardonnay food pairings: tuna or salmon sashimi and wasabi mayo or with shrimp pancakes with watercress, snow pea and poached pear salad. Drink: 2012 - 2015 303776 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush First White 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: A very pretty and floral blend of pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, riesling, muscat, gewurztraminer and chardonnay grapes. Crisp and refreshing. Terrific aperitif. Food pairings: sushi, pan-fried fresh-water fish, chicken wraps, turkey on crusty rolls, simply prepared shell fish, and smoked salmon pinwheels. Drink: 2012 - 2014 1085834 11.8% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Little Grape That Could Torrontes 2010, Argentina, Argentina: Floral and pretty with lovely notes of white peach and sun-dappled apricot. All the profits from this wine go to the charity of your choice. Drink: 2011 - 2013 274738 12.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Cuvee County Pinot Gris 2011, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Clean and crisp with white melon and grapefruit notes. Nice aperitif. Pinot Gris food pairings: oysters, shellfish, white fish and garden salads. Drink: 2012 - 2015 834328002473 11.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaspereau Vineyards Black Dogs Riesling 2011, Gaspereau Valley, Ns, Canada: A superbly well-made riesling with lime, lemon zest and green melon notes. Mouth-watering with a long, satisfying finish and persistence of flavours, yet delightfully low in alcohol. Riesling food pairings: light to medium bodied white fish, cream pasta dishes, roast pork. Drink: 2012 - 2016 624448094119 10.7% D 750 mL $21.99 Score: 89/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Cuvee County Chardonnay 2010, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Full-bodied, richly textured and creamy with aromas of green apple, toasty oak and vanilla smoke. Superb! Drink: 2012 - 2016 834328002503 13% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joseph Drouhin Chablis de Vaudon Chablis 2010, Burgundy, France: Clean, crisp and balanced with green apple and and white peach notes. Steely and mouth-watering. Very versatile with food. Drink: 2012 - 2015 284026 12.5% 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush Pinot Grigio 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Clean and crisp with lovely white melon and peach notes. Great aperitif at a great price. Pinot Grigio food pairings: sushi; pan-fried fillets of fish; chicken wraps; turkey on crusty rolls; poached salmon with a light dill cream sauce. Drink: 2012 - 2013 1085822 12.4% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush Gewurztraminer 2011, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Lovely complexity and layers of flavours: rose petal, lychee and baking spices. Perfect for spicy dishes and Asian. Nicely balanced. Amazing price. Gewurztraminer food pairings: Chinese food; shrimp stir fry; California rolls; Chicken Panini with Munster cheese; turkey wraps; apricot and pine nut rice pilaf; grilled salmon with hoisin glaze. Drink: 2012 - 2014 1090024 12.95% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crush Riesling Gewurztraminer 2011, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A light, floral white that's a great aperitif. Subtle notes of spring blossom and lime. Riesling Gewurztraminer food pairings: sushi; pan-fried fresh-water fish; chicken wraps; turkey on crusty rolls; lightly spiced shrimp skewers; poached salmon; roast chicken. Drink: 2012 - 2013 1090000 11.6% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. July 2012. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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