Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
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Wine Picks December 1, 2009

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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

Reif Estate Winery Niagara River Vidal Icewine 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A gorgeous elixir of honeyed apricots, peach preserves and tropical fruit. A finish infused with figs and toffee. Delightful! Vidal Icewine food pairings: fresh fruit fondues, bold blue cheeses or on its own as a dessert. Drink: 2009 - 2019 779320000846 10.5% S 375 mL $46.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Tinhorn Creek Kerner Late Harvest 2007, South Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: Such a pretty wine! Lovely aromas of ripe apricot, peach and pear preserves. The tropical fruit flavours make a tasty companion to any fruit-based dessert. Kerner Late Harvest food pairings: This wine is a perfect partner for fruit and nut desserts such as tarte tatin, pears poached in wine, or hazelnut tart. It is also an excellent choice for cheese, perhaps served with dried apricots and roasted nuts.. Drink: 2009 - 2014 632216 13.4% S 200 mL $12.99 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A spectacular wine in all aspects! Honeyed apricot richness with get-down-on-your-knees balance, finesse and elegance. Peach preserves and a clean finish. What more do you want in a dessert wine? Riesling Icewine food pairings: As an aperitif with strong blue cheeses or seared foie gras, for dessert with fresh fruit.. Drink: 2007 - 2017 430561 9.2% S 750 mL $49.95 Score: 95/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto White Port, Douro, Portugal: I was surprised at this port mostly because I haven't tried many of the white variety. (I love tawny!) Makes a lovely after-dinner drink to sip on its own or with biscotti or fruit-based desserts. White Port food pairings: Serve as an aperitif, over ice with Tonic and mint, or on its own. 276816 20% S 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Quinta dos Carvailhas Late Bottled Vintage Port 2000, Douro, Portugal: An outstanding value for this lovely after-dinner drink!Rich plummy notes of prune and cassis preserves. Late Bottled Vintage Port food pairings: chocolate desserts, red fruit tarts, creamy cheeses. 113878 20.5% 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A gorgeous elixir of honeyed apricot goodness and rich peach preserves. Makes a wonderful dessert wine on its own or with fruit-based desserts. Riesling Icewine food pairings: paté, foie gras, salty appetizers. Drink: 2009 - 2012 1038823 11% S 375 mL $70.00 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Favourite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Dark Horse Vineyard Discovery Series Tempranillo Icewine 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: I was delightfully surprised by this lovely after-dinner wine! I usually find red-grape icewines strange creatures, but this one is utterly delicious. It offers a river of red berry flavour that isn't cloying: strawberries, cherries and raspberries all roll across your tongue. Lovely! Discovery Series Tempranillo Icewine food pairings: fruit-based desserts, biscotti. 3 9.5% S 750 mL $99.99 Score: 91/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Other Wines/Drinks

Choya 23 Liqueur, Japan: Pure marizan, chocolate-covered cherries but heavenly! What an after-drinner drink. Also would serve well post other activities. 125385 23.6% S 750 mL $31.50 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Croix Du Mayne Francois Pelissie Regional Blended Red 2007, Cahors, France: Rustic with cedar-earth notes (not fruit forward, more Old World style). Tasty, full-bodied and straight-forward. 28548 12.7% XD 750 mL $17.55 Score: 86/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montresor Amarone Della Valpolicella 2005, D.O.C., Italy: A rich, full-bodied red with blackberry liqueur and black raspberry jam notes. Dark and brooding and wrapped in a smoky pacakge. 240416 14.5% XD 750 mL $33.00 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tedeschi Amarone Della Valpolicella 2005, D.O.C., Italy: A lovely full-bodied red with a deep river of black cherry liqueur, black raspberry perserves and a lick of smoky licorice on the finish. Nice acidity makes it mouth-watering s agood companion for many dishes. Amarone Della Valpolicella food pairings: spicy Italian sausages, cheddar cheese, parmesan dishes. 433417 15.4% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cesari Amarone Della Valpolicella 2005, D.O.C., Italy: Lovely and balanced with spicy black cherries and peppered black rasberries. A smoky finish. 426718 14% XD 750 mL $35.00 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kangaroo Springs Shiraz 2008, Australia, Australia: What an incredibly tasty wine for the money! Minty blackberries on the nose followed by lip-smacking delicious aromas of black cherries and plums on the palate. Knock it back: drink, don't think! 456194 13% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2008, Chile, Chile: This is such a tasty, juicy, mouth-watering wine for the money! Ripe, zingy cherries with a lovely medium body and silky texture. Mercifully closed with a screwcap. 341602 13.5% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Black Tower Pinot Noir Dornfelder 2007, Rhine Rheinhessen, Germany: Simple but tasty with some bright cherry notes and good acidity. Soft texture and light- to medium body. This wine has come a long way in quality since the 1980s. 580118 12% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 83/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pasqua Sagramoso Ripasso Valpolicella 2007, D.O.C., Italy: Savory character with leather, black cherry and bacon fat notes. Love the Old World styling: this is not fruit forward. Terrific and balanced acidity and length. 602342 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.90 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Masi Costasera Classico Amarone 2006, D.O.C., Italy: Black cherry liqueur and blackberry jam with a lovely weave of dried herbs and tobacco leaves on the finish. Very full-bodied and rich. 317057 15.1% XD 750 mL $37.35 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

J. P. Vinhos Da Anfora Tinto 2006, Alentejo, Portugal: A savory red with aromas of black cherry, leather and cigar box. Old World balance and style: more earthy than fruity. Full-bodied and smooth. 227256 13% XD 750 mL $13.05 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina 2006, D.O.C., Italy: Mocha-rich nose with dark berries and plums. A dark chocolate finish with full-bodied, supple layers of flavor. 107276 13% XD 750 mL $21.75 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cent'are Nero D'avola 2007, I.G.T., Sicilia, Italy: A full-bodied, ructic red with fleshy blackberry and cedar notes. 546192 13% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alandra 2008, Alentejo, Portugal: An astounding value for the quality: I'm floored! Savory, cedary with mouth-watering blackberries and black raspberries. Hey, what more do you want? Buy a case! 89961 13% XD 750 mL $7.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tapena Tempranillo 2008, Spain, Spain: Rustic but delicious with cedar-spiked blackberries. Brooding and dark. 72942 12.8% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 85/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kaiken Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: Mind-blowingly great for the money! Bring it on: maybe a case please? Deep, rich, full-bodied, supple, blackberry ripe, fleshy, rolls on forever. Drop me off at home and good night. 58339 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Mocha nose with blackberries and plums and an espresso finish. Smooth and full-bodied. 55517 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lamberti Pinot Noir 2007, Delle Venezie, Italy: I love mouth-watering acidity like this: come alive kind of wine! Vibrant and tart cherries that dance across your palate. My style but not to everyone's taste. Great value for the money. 74070 12.8% XD 750 mL $11.90 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cousiño Macul Antiguas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Chile, Chile: Dark and brooding, like the kind of men who intrigue me: conflicted yet complex. Dark blackberry, smoke-wrapped layers. Let this one wash over you with its flavor. You've got nothing to lose with that price. 212993 14% XD 750 mL $15.45 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Classico Superiore Valpolicella 2008, Veneto, Italy: It's all Band-Aids but I like it! Maybe it's the oak and earthiness but that's what I get. Lovely dark berries and plums. Full-bodied and smooth. 669150 12% XD 750 mL $14.00 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marques De Casa Concha Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Chile, Spain: Rich, round, full-bodied and enticingly fleshy. Gorgeous notes of ripe blackberries and plums. Dripping with flavour and come hither aromas. Bring it on! 337238 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Burrowing Owl Vineyards Merlot 2007, Bc V.Q.A. Okanagan Valley, Canada: Great finesse, balance and length. Truly one of Canada's best, if not the best, Merlots. Rich and plummy with judiciously applied oak that gives a lovely vanilla spice finish. A great dinner party wine. Drink: 2009 - 2015 509885 14% D 750 mL $30.00 Score: 91/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir, Speck Family Reserve 2007, Short Hills Bench, Canada: Deep, rich and concentrated. Reminds of the power of Pommard, Burgundy, with all its elegance gathered at the center. Black cherry and bright field berries. Velvet smooth texture with a medium-body and a smoky-earth finish. Oh-la-la! Pinot Noir, Speck Family Reserve food pairings: mushrooms, pork liver pates, tuna, grilled salmon, roasted chicken, duck and other game birds. 657874 13.5% D 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Road 13 Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Rich, dark and loaded with luscious black plum and mocha aromas. Judicioulsy applied oak wraps the package nicely. Full-bodied with a smoky finish. Terrific! 897629 14.4% 750 mL $27.99 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Road 13 Vineyards Honest John's Red Merlot Syrah Pinot Noir 2008, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Terrific texture on this full-bodied blend. Bursting with warm aromas of plums and blackberries. An impressive debut. 290684 14.1% XD 750 mL $18.99 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Featherstone Winery Featherstone Cabernet Franc 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Loaded with rich dark berries and mocha aromas. A full-bodied, balanced palate gives way to dried tobacco leaves and blackberries on the finish. Gorgeous! Drink: 2009 - 2014 014 13% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Featherstone Winery Featherstone Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Cherries galore! Bright, vibrant, wake-up-your-mouth cherries dance across your palate. Bring them on! A lovely balance and nice mouth-watering acidity. Terrific finish. Top me up please. Drink: 2011 - 2015 015 12.5% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stratus Stratus Vineyards Gamay 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A plush, silky red with gorgeous medium-bodied flavours of ripe cherry and strawberry. Very versatile wine with many dishes. Gamay food pairings: Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Braised Pork Belly, Rosemary Fingerlings and Tomato Chili Jam. Drink: 2009 - 2016 628116000051 14% XD 750 mL $29.00 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stratus Stratus Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A robust Cabernet Franc with enticing notes of blackberries, black plum and mocha. Balanced and very tasty. Terrific wine for a potluck gathering. Drink: 2009 - 2019 628116000020 13.5% 750 mL $38.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tabalí Reserva Syrah Shiraz 2007, Limari Valley, Chile: Plummy and rich with layers of dark berry flavour. Velvet smooth with a satisfying grip on the finish. This full-bodied wine would be ideal for movie night (especially film noir) or a casual potluck dinner. This wine will be released in Vintages March 6. Drink: 2009 - 2012 662692 14.5% 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. hamburgers, steak, meat lovers pizza Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Niagara River Meritage 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Opens with ripe cassis, fleshy blackberries and black plums. Followed nicely by some dried tobacco and herbs on the palate with a spicy finish. Full-bodied and delicious. Meritage food pairings: grilled red meats, rack of lamb, robust winter vegetable stews and stuffed grilled portabello mushrooms. Drink: 2009 - 2014 779320001126 13.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Merlot 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Savory, dark and lovely. Vibrant black plums, field berries and mouth-wateringly rich and deep layers of dark spices and violets. Decant for 1-2 hours. Drink: 2009 - 2020 608059 14.3% D 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Syrah 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Dark spices and pepper give way to a black plummy heart and dark berries. Very intriguing core to this wine. A peppered finish. Drink: 2009 - 2030 673285 14.5% D 750 mL Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Distell Uitkyk Merlot 2008, Stellenbosch, South Africa: An earthy, robust wine that's not too fruity. Lovely balance with a subtle, full-bodied character. Merlot food pairings: savour on its own or with red meat, pasta or pizza. 129874 14% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Bear Cub Vineyard Discovery Series Sangiovese 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A juicy, vibrant wine that awakens your palate. Bursting with bright cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Mouth-watering acidity makes it very food-friendly. It's medium-bodied and smooth without too muck oak. Nice effort! 1 13.5% XD 750 mL $29.99 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Discovery Series Dark Horse Vineyard Tempranillo 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A thoroughly delicious quaffer! Juicy red and blackberries on the nose. Smooth and balanced on the palate. Don't analyze, just drink: what fun! 988110 13.7% 750 mL $29.99 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Flat Rock Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Mocha rich nose with vibrant, fleshy black cherries. A silky, medium-bodied texture with a long, espresso-infused finish. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months. Drink: 2009 - 2014 881860400120 12.8% XD 750 mL $45.00 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A fabulous, full-bodied red with classic lines and structure. Blends Old World finesse and New World power and flavour beautifully. This is a cellar keeper, but if you insist on drinking it now (it is hard to resist), then decant for 1-2 hours. Le Grand Vin food pairings: creamy cheeses, slow-cooked braised beef stew, roasted harvest vegetables. Drink: 2009 - 2020 989194 13.8% 750 mL $39.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ironstone Vineyards Leaping Horse Merlot 2007, California, United States: Plummy great! Imminently quaffable with purple plum goodness and a smooth, full-bodied texture. Terrific party wine. 613265 13.5% 750 mL $12.05 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Shingleback Wine Red Knot Shiraz 2007, Mclaren Vale, Australia: Stunning flavour and depth! Mouth-watering aromas of ripe blackberries, plums and dark chocolate. Toasty oak on the finish. Great persistence of flavour. Full-bodied yet supple. 619395 14% 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Don Sebastiani & Sons Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Mocha-lovely goodness with dark plums and dark berries. An espresso-infused finish. Full-bodied and smooth. Drink: 2009 - 2010 55517 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ogier Grenache Syrah 2008, Rhone, France: A rustic, cedary red with black cherry notes. Full-bodied and robust. Terrific value. Full-bodied with enticing dark spices and pepper notes on the finish. Grenache Syrah food pairings: See at the bottom of tasting notes. Drink: 2009 - 2010 569095 14% D 750 mL $11.75 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Puento Alto Marques De Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile: Cedar-wrapped plums invite you inside this wine for your hedonistic pleasure. Smooth but full-bodied with many layers of flavour. A smokey finish is ultimately satisfying. Marques De Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steaks, roasts, flavourful pasta dishes and faged cheeses. Drink: 2009 - 2015 337238 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California, United States: Exceptional value for the money! Rich, full-bodied and smooth with terrific aromas of cassis and blackberry. Velvet smooth. Yum! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: thick cuts of prime rib or juicy oven-roasted lamb, meaty red pasta sauces, hearty Asian dishes generously spiced. 223552 13.1% 750 mL $7.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage 2006, Okanagan Valley BC V.Q.A., Canada: A mocha-rich red with dark depths of black plums, fleshy blackberries and other brooding dark fruit. Round, full-bodied and balanced with a lovely finish. This wine is a blend of 78% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignn. It was aged 12 months in French and American oak. Meritage food pairings: steak, hamburgers, lamb. Drink: 2009 - 2013 597039 14% D 750 mL $24.99 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Private Reserve Merlot 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Juicy, round and plummy plush with a lovely river of black cherry running through the core. Terrific balance with a pleasing blackberry-infused finish. Merlot food pairings: grilled red meats; mushroom based dishes; rich vegetable stews; 1 year old cheddar; duck breast; pheasant; quail; venison burgers; Portobello burgers.. Drink: 2009 - 2012 1039546 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Private Reserve Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Juicy and balanced with just the right touch of oak. Very berry-ripe with dancing, vibrant cherries. Plush and medium-bodied. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal chops; duck breast with a red wine cherry reduction; pork tenderloin with dried cranberry wild rice; mushroom lasagna; turkey leg with dried cranberry couscous.. Drink: 2009 - 2011 355008 12.2% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Private Reserve Cabernet Franc 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Deep, dark, lovely and rich! This full-bodied beauty is redolent with dark chocolate, espresso and blackberry aromas. Round and deep and ultimately satisfying. Private Reserve Cabernet Franc food pairings: prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes; herb-crusted rack of lamb; 2-year-old Canadian cheddar with walnuts and fresh bread; grilled beef tenderloin with Cabernet jus and stir-fry of wild mushrooms. Drink: 2009 - 2012 1039510 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Quinta dos Carvailhas Duque De Viseu, Dao, Portugal: Dark, brooding and full-bodied: loaded with ripe blackberry and blackcurrant notes. Smooth and balanced. A wisp of smoke on the finish. Decant for 1-2 hours. 546309 12.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Syrah 2007, Bc V.Q.A. Okanagan Valley, Canada: Plummy black cherry liqueur richness with a dark, brooding core of full-bodied flavour. Some terrific touches of smoke an dark spices on the finish. Supple and wonderful. Drink: 2009 - 2015 608828 14% D 750 mL $38.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Red Icon Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A blend of 33% Cabernet Franc,20% Petit Verdot,16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec. This wine needs at least 5 more years before you drink it: it's massive and loaded with potential! A black river of cassis flows over your palate, but wait: it's really unfair to open this one early. Canada's next cult wine? Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec food pairings: gamey meats, stew, roast or BBQ pork. Drink: 2009 - 2020 512657 14.5% D 750 mL $55.00 Score: 93/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Extraordinary depth and length of flavour! Good weight and balance with deep, rich layers of dark fruit and smoke. Needs time to age. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2009 - 2020 669499 14% D 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coyote's Run Estate Winery Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Fragrant with lovely notes of black cherry, beetroot and fresh earth. Lovely dose of mouth-watering acidity. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb. Drink: 2012 - 2017 872086000188 13% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coyote's Run Estate Winery Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Powerful with notes of black cherry, dark spices, violets and truffles. Terrific balance and length. Very impressive. Pinot Noir food pairings: duck or mushroom risotto. Drink: 2012 - 2019 872086000195 13% D 750 mL $50.00 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Vineyards Red Blend - Meritage 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: A supple, full-bodied wine with rich aromas of ripe cherries. Gorgeous texture and lovely finish. Blend - Meritage food pairings: rare to medium-rare red meats; beef stews; rich lentil dishes and 2 year old Canadian cheddar.. Drink: 2009 - 2014 1053774 13.6% XD 750 mL $24.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Oliver and Osoyoos Compendium 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A gorgeously rich, full-bodied red loaded with aromas of black raspberries, dried herbs and dark spices. Lovely fine tannins thread their way through this wine, giving it excellent structure and textural richness. Needs at least 10 years aging. Decant 1-2 hours. Smooth and elegant. Fabulous! Drink: 2010 - 2018 104231 13.5% 750 mL $40.00 Score: 93/100. December 2009. Favourite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Oliver and Osoyoos Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A river of blackberry liqueur runs through it! Lovely aromas of cassis and fleshy dark berries. Full-bodied and supple with a smoky finish. Yum! 553321 13% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Oliver and Osoyoos Five Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Very pleasant pinot with fleshy ripe cherries and field berries. Smooth, balanced and medium-bodied. A lick of cinnamon spice on the finish. 118844 13% 750 mL $16.45 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Ogier Grenache Syrah Cinsault 2008, Rhone, France: Absolutely terrific for the money! Bright, ripe raspberries and strawberries with terrific heft of flavour yet not heavy. Lovely salmon colour. Very versatile with food. Grenache Syrah Cinsault food pairings: Grilled meat/fish, BBQ, Mediterrnean & Asian cuisine. Drink: 2009 - 2010 134916 13% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Favourite Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Cave Spring Cellars Cave Spring Vineyard Chenin Blanc Extra Dry 2006, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Lovely notes of green apple, lime with a fine mousse. Light-flavored and lovely like a blanc de blancs. Chenin Blanc Extra Dry food pairings: raw oysters, fried or lightly battered shellfish, sushi, sashimi, mixed antipasti, eggs benedict, as an aperitif. Drink: 2009 - 2012 049981 12% D 750 mL $29.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Burrowing Owl Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Bc V.Q.A. Okanagan Valley, Canada: Hazelnut, buttery-rich with a lovely weight and mouth-filling texture. Good length on the finish of this full-bodied wine. Drink: 2009 - 2013 510933 13.4% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Henry of Pelham Riesling, Reserve 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: I can't believe the price of this wine! Lemon zest with limes and green apples. Terrific mouth-watering acidity. Dry, crisp, come alive wine with a clean finish. Terrific vintage for Niagara and for this winery. Riesling, Reserve food pairings: briny shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams, pasta with white sauce. 283291 12% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 91/100. December 2009. Favourite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling 2007, Short Hills Bench, Canada: An incredibly aromatic and flavourful wine! Deeper and more minerality than the other Rieslings, this one has almost a masculine edge. The grape yield is kept to just 2 tons per acre to concentrate the flavor. It's also press fractioned to use the best juice and whole cluster pressed. A long, creamy finish. Riesling food pairings: briny shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams are great with this wine, roast pork as well as pasta with white sauce. 643361 12.2% MD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 93/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry White 2008, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: A lovely easy-drinking that hits the right price-quality point for most palates and wallets. Delicious notes of blackberries and plums with a supple, full-bodied texture. Enjoy it with pizza, hamburgers and your best friends. 126144 12% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Henry of Pelham Named Varietal Blends-Red 2008, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: A lovely, refreshing blend of ripe apricots, peach and pear. Delicious, zesty and nicely balanced. Great as an aperitif or with many dishes. 126151 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ogio Pinot Grigio 2008, Abruzzo, Italy: Hard to believe this price! Terrific wine for the money: refreshing and zippy; it makes a great aperitif as well as an acoompaniment to many dishes. Aromas of zesty limes, green apples and grapefruit. Pinot Grigio food pairings: vegetarian dishes, salads, seafood. 86199 12% XD 750 mL $8.85 Score: 86/100. December 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre Sparr Riesling 2007, Alsace, France: Almost jumps out of the glass with its vibrant lime freshness! Terrific notes to wake up your mouth: grapefruit, green apples, chives. Oh double yum! 618546 12.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trumpour's Mill The Grange of Prince Edward County Reisling 2007, V.Q.A., P.E.C., Ontario, Canada: Big petrol nose but I love it! Lots of mineral depth and layers of flavor with some ripe peach underneath. Mouth-watering and savory. 28258 11.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 86/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Cave Spring Vineyard Indian Summer Riesling 2006, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: A classic wine that I have come to love more each year it comes out. This is divinely rich without being heavy or too sweet. Balancing acidity makes it perfect on its own after dinner or with fruit-based desserts. Yum! Indian Summer Riesling food pairings: rich terrines; foie gras; apple or pear desserts; nut tortes; lemon flan.. Drink: 2009 - 2019 415901 12.5% S 375 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2008, California, United States: Lime-fresh liveliness that makes a wonderful aperitif or an accompaniment to many dishes. Zesty and vibrant with green apple notes. Pinot Grigio food pairings: seasonal treats such as fresh fruit salad or grilled sea bass, or as a contrast to mildly spiced Asian recipes. 82594 12% 750 mL $7.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McWilliams Wines Chardonnay 2007, South Eastern Australia, Australia: Nice balance to this tasty, robust Chardonnay: full-bodied but not heavy. Lovely notes of green apples, butter and vanilla spice. Chardonnay food pairings: Grilled salmon steaks and baby new potatoes. 557934 13.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Flat Rock Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A. Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: Very complex, rich and subtle. Creamy texture with gorgeous aromas of green apple, white peach, almond and toast. A long, satisfying finish. Great effort from a consistently great producer! Drink: 2009 - 2014 881860300130 13% D 750 mL $35.00 Score: 91/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Canada: Lovely balance in this rich but not heavy Chardonnay. Terrific mouth-watering acidity for food. Loaded with generous aromas of green apples and hazelnuts. Drink: 2009 - 2011 681247 11.9% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stoneleigh Marlorough Chardonnay, New Zealand, New Zealand: A rich, round and full-bodied Chardonnay with terrific balance and mouth-watering acidity (which makes it great with food). Lovely notes of green apples and a lick of buttery goodness on the finish. Ideal for book clubs, knitting groups and people who just like to get together with friends and have no particular goal in mind. Chardonnay food pairings: white meat, poultry, pasta and seafood. 288795 13.5% 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Flat Rock Cellars The Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2007, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Very pleasant Chardonnay with lovely notes of green apples, melon and Asian pear. A judicious use of oak gives a pleasing vanilla-spice finish. Drink: 2009 - 2012 1552 13.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Distell Uitkyk Pinot Grigio 2007, Stellenbosch, South Africa: Refreshing and lively with terrific notes of green melon, grapefruit, lime and white peach. Pinot Grigio food pairings: enjoy on its own or with light salads or cold meats. 27128 12% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Small Lot 'Steel Post Vineyard' Riesling 2008, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Lemony fresh and dry with a laser focus and finish. Gorgeous! Needs food. Mouth-watering with a long finish. Superb effort. Riesling food pairings: creamy Camembert and fresh breads; shrimp skewers; sushi; grilled white fish; lemon chicken; lemon spring pea risotto; steamed mussels.. Drink: 2009 - 2016 319640 11.1% D 750 mL $30.00 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Vineyards Small Lot Triangle Riesling 2008, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: White field flowers (daisies) with peach and white stone fruit. A summer's day in a glass. Riesling food pairings: lightly spiced steamed mussels; pork tenderloin with light Asian spice; mild curry dishes; spiced shrimp skewers; creamy Brie with water crackers; turkey with dried fruit stuffing.. Drink: 2009 - 2016 25031 11.3% MD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Vineyards Small Lot 'Wood Post Vineyard' Riesling 2008, Niagara Escarpment, Canada: Good concentration yet it's light- to medium-bodied. A lovely melon intensity of flavour with green pear and a long finish. Riesling food pairings: lightly spiced Indian cuisine; fresh spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce; baked ham with apricot glaze; Cajun chicken skewers; chicken breast with pineapple salsa; turkey with a dried fruit and nut stuffing.. Drink: 2009 - 2016 1053887 10.3% MD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rancho Zabaco Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Sonoma, United States: Lovely refreshment! Notes of zesty lime, melon and green apples without any heavy oak. Nicely balanced and mouth-watering. Great aperitif. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: sea bass grilled with lemon butter. 36558 13.9% 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards McIntyre Vineyard Petit Verdot 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A big, bold red with black fruit and berries. Toasty oak with dark spices on the finish. decant for 1-2 hours to soften the tannic grip. Ultimately satisfying. Petit Verdot food pairings: meat casseroles, hamburgers, pepperoni pizza. 981159 14.5% 750 mL $29.99 Score: 88/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2008, Okanagan Valley, Canada: A blousy, buttery Chardonnay with gorgeous warmth and depth. Loaded with ripe pineapple and apricot aromas wrapped in a valnill-spice blanket. Aged in French and American oak. Round and full-bodied. Reserve Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, corn dishes. 423236 14% D 750 mL $13.99 Score: 89/100. December 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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