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Wine Picks July 26, 2013

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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 outside 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

Egon Muller Riesling Auslese 2006, Mosel, Germany: Pure ginger, clove and cinnamon on the nose: uncanny and delightful! Apricot, clementine richness on the palate with a perfect balance between the sweetness and acidity. Lovely dessert wine. This is part of the Classics Catalogue collection. Drink: 2014 - 2020 720359 13% S 750 mL $199.90 Score: 93/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Cent'are Nero D'avola Merlot 2010, I.G.P., Sicily, Italy: Fleshy black plums and berries, no apparent acid. Full-bodied and smooth with smoke from toasty oak. Good price. Try it with veal chops. Drink: 2012 - 2015 546192 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 84/100. July 2013. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

G. Marquis Vineyards The Silver Line Pinot Noir 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Tart cherries with some medicinal notes on the nose. Mouth-watering acidity on the palate, medium-bodied and smooth. Pair with planked salmon. The Silver Line is the flagship lineup for the G. Marquis label. It finishes with attractive strawberry and raspberry notes. Perfect for planked salmon or seared tuna. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled tuna steak, chicken cacciatore, pasta. Drink: 2011 - 2016 258673 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2009, Carneros, California, United States: Lovely layers of liquid satin, black cherries and some dark spice. Medium- to almost full-bodied. Packed with flavour yet not heavy. Aromas of mocha and smoke. Medium- to full-bodied and very supple. Pair with pork chops. Good price. Pinot Noir food pairings: roast chicken, planked salmon. Drink: 2013 - 2016 304105 14.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Firestone Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Santa Ynez Valley, California, United States: Moderately priced for California cabernet: this smooth red delivers attractive aromas of dark red fruit and smoke. Classic Californian cabernet with smoke and toasty oak. Full-bodied with a good grip. Decant 1 hour and pair with hearty meat dishes. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hamburgers, prime rib. Drink: 2013 - 2016 292128 14.2% XD 750 mL $17.90 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

G. Marquis Vineyards The Silver Line Pinot Noir 2012, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Candied cherry nose with juicy ripe cherry flavours on the palate. Smooth and supple with good acidity. Medium-bodied. Pair with holiday turkey. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled tuna steak, chicken cacciatore, pasta. Drink: 2013 - 2016 258673 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Du Chateau, Premier Cru Pinot Noir 2009, Beaune, Burgundy, France: Cherry-berry aromas and flavours with toasty almond from the oak aging. More fruity than earthy. Smooth, supple and more than medium-bodied. Pair with planked salmon. Drink: 2013 - 2017 325142 13.5% XD 750 mL $36.90 Score: 91/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gilles Louvet O Organic Pinot Noir 2011, I.G.T., Pays D'oc, France: A tart, mouth-watering organic wine with lots of acidity and sour charry flavours. Medium-bodied. Needs food: seafood works. Drink: 2013 - 2014 292995 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 85/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Guigal Chateau D'ampuis 2010, Cotes Du Rhone, France: A robust, rustic, cedary red with attractive black cherry and wild raspberry notes. Just the right amount of toasty oak, very balanced and superb for the price. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Decant for 1 hour. Drink: 2013 - 2016 259721 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Cabernet Merlot 2010, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: Loaded with mocha and dark chocolate on the nose from oak aging. Attractive black and smoky fruit on the palate. Full-bodied and supple. Decant for 1 hour and pair with hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2016 424606 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate East West Series Merlot Cabernet 2010, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Tart dark red fruit on the nose and palate. Medium- to full-bodied and mouth-watering. Supple. Pair with grilled pork chops. Drink: 2013 - 2015 276758 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Du Calvaire Regional Blended Red 2011, Châteauneuf Du Pape, Rhone, France: Full-bodied with big black fruit and smoke from toasty oak. Pair with hearty meat dishes and decant for 1-2 hours. Drink: 2013 - 2017 296855 15.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

De Loach Pinot Noir 2011, California, United States: Attractive aromas of dark plums and berries, some toast. Medium-bodied and supple. Straight-forward pleasure. Pair with pork chops. Drink: 2013 - 2014 220434 13.5% D 750 mL $15.45 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Mascota Santa Ana Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Incredibly great price for this tasty, full-bodied red. Black fruit, smoke and oak with supple texture. Decant 1 hour and pair with hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2015 292110 14% XD 750 mL $13.90 Score: 88/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Los Arboles Malbec 2010, Mendoza, Argentina: Full-bodied with black fruit. Good party quaffer for the price. Drink: 2013 - 2014 66696 13.2% XD 750 mL $11.10 Score: 84/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, North Coast California, United States: Full-bodied with attractive black fruit and smoke from generous oak aging. Pair with a grilled steak. Drink: 2013 - 2015 308304 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz 2010, Mclaren Vale, Australia: Stunning! Concentrated, deep flavours of fleshy black fruit, toasty oak, anise. Plush and supple, superbly crafted. Incredible quality for the price. Pair with filet mignon. Drink: 2013 - 2017 390872 14.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 93/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Janeil Francois Lurton Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Pays D'oc, France: Full-bodied with notes of purple plums. Straight-forward and quaffable. Drink: 2013 - 2014 293076 14% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 83/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

China Shop Like A Bull Regional Blended Red, Spain, Spain: Full-bodied with notes of purple plums. Straight-forward and quaffable. Drink: 2013 - 2014 313353 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 83/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina 2009, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: Full-bodied with black, tarry fruit, smoke and toasty oak. Decant 2 hours. Pair with grilled steak. Very full-bodied. Drink: 2013 - 2016 107276 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Guigal Saint Joseph, Vignes De L'hospice Syrah Shiraz 2008, Rhone Valley, France: Full-bodied with black fruit, cedar, smoke and dark spices. Very complex and layered. Pair with grilled steak. Drink: 2013 - 2017 908889 13% XD 750 mL $79.00 Score: 90/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Remo Farino Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2000, Veneto, D.O.C., Italy: An exotic pleasure: mature amarone that has turned from blackberry liqueur flavours of its youth to dried fruit and spices in its old age wisdom. An acquired taste, but one worth acquiring. Full-bodied and complex. This is part of the Classics Catalogue collection. Drink: 2013 - 2016 276485 14.5% XD 750 mL $189.00 Score: 91/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Angels Gate Winery Brut Chardonnay Sparkling 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Crisp and clean, with an awesome price for sparkling wine. Toasty and refreshing with lovely aromas of green apple and fresh baked bread. Drink: 2013 - 2014 227009 11% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Red Rooster Winery Pinot Gris 2011, Okanagan, BC V.Q.A., Canada: Dry, crisp and refreshing with lime and lemon notes. Nice aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2011 - 2014 337196 13.9% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Rapel Valley, Chile: A medium- to almost full-bodied sauvignon blanc offering great lime citrus refreshment. Mouth-watering and mouth-filling. Try it with fresh seafood or salads. Drink: 2013 - 2014 321554 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Laroche Saint Martin Chardonnay 2011, Chablis, Burgundy, France: Crisp, clean and refreshing with lime sunshine lift. No oak on this chardonnay. Classic aromas of green apple and lemon zest with a long finish. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2013 - 2017 289124 12.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Pellehaut Blanc Regional Blended White 2012, V.D.P., Cotes De Gascogne, France: A spectacularly crisp white wine that's a blend of ugni-blanc, colombard, sauvignon and chardonnay. If you love acidic, mouth-watering New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Austrian gruner veltliner, you'll love this. Great price. Pair with shellfish, seafood and salads. Drink: 2013 - 2015 319665 11% XD 750 mL $11.70 Score: 88/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pondview Estate Winery Harmony White 2011, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Pretty, soft and floral with a medium body. A blend of aromatic grapes such as riesling, chardonnay and gewürztraminer. Great aperitif or companion to light curries and spice dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2014 308718 13.1% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Riesling 2012, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Ontario, Canada: One of the best value white wines on the liquor store shelves! Loaded with white peach and lime blossom aromas and flavours, medium-bodied, mouth-watering and superbly crafted. Pair with seafood and roast chicken. Drink: 2013 - 2017 24133 11.1% MD 750 mL $18.85 Score: 92/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Chardonnay 2011, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: Loaded with toasty oak on the nose and palate. Attractive green apple flavours. Full-bodied and generous. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2013 - 2015 157982 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alsace Willm Gewürztraminer 2011, Willm, France: A lovely classic gewürztraminer with aromas of rose petals, lychee and baking spices. Yet this one is not over-the-top in its aromatics. Medium-bodied. Perfect for curried and spicy dishes. Great price. Drink: 2013 - 2016 269852 13% MD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aveleda Vinho Verde 2012, Vinho Verde, Portugal: Crisp, clean and ultra-dry with mouth-watering acidity. Light-bodied. Notes of white grapefruit. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2013 - 2014 5322 8.5% XD 750 mL $8.95 Score: 83/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mayor De Castilla Verdejo 2012, Ribera Del Duero, Spain: Crisp, clean and ultra-dry with mouth-watering acidity. Light-bodied. Notes of white grapefruit. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2013 - 2014 318956 12.5% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 82/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Manu Pinot Grigio 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand: Crisp, clean and ultra-dry with mouth-watering acidity. Light-bodied. Notes of lime zest, lemon and white grapefruit. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2013 - 2014 266080 12% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kuku Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand: Classic New Zealand sauvignon blanc with aromas of gras, lime, chives and herbal notes. Mouth0watering acidity for food such as vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2014 277806 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Primal Roots White Blend California 2011, California, United States: Pretty and floral with a blend of riesling, Colombard, and gewürztraminer grapes. Very aromatic like Torrontes or Viognier. Pair with mild curries. Drink: 2013 - 2014 321497 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trove Riesling Moscato, Ontario, Canada: Very pretty! Floral with peach blossom and fleshy pear notes. This is a blend of Canadian and international wines. Nice aperitif or pair with seafood. Drink: 2013 - 2014 248872 11.5% MD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Meritage 2007, Bordeaux, France: Loaded with lemon, toasted among and layers of pleasure. Full-bodied and a traditional blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes. Pair with seafood in a rich cream sauce. This is part of the Classics Catalogue collection. Drink: 2013 - 2017 102574 13% XD 750 mL $85.25 Score: 91/100. July 2013. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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