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Wine Picks April 21, 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

Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port Taylor Fladgate tawny 10 ans, Port, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: A refined and subtle Port. Outstanding. Lovely aromas of flan, caramel and egg custard with a hint of toffee. Medium-bodied, with a light sweetness and a refined, clean finish. Tastes older than 10 years. Drink now. My notes: Generous caramel goodness with rich layers of toffee, almonds and brown spices. This is a superb after-dinner drink, one of my favorites. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Taylor Fladgate Tawny 10 Ans food pairings: ginger or spice cake, biscotti, almonds. 121749 20% S 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port Taylor Fladgate tawny 20 ans, Port, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: After 300 years of continual Port production, Taylor Fladgate can rightly claim to be masters at their craft. This ready-to-serve aged Tawny is close to perfection. Taylor’s trademark is rich apricot and dried fruit flavours and lengthy, nutty, honeyed finish. Just as with the 10-year-old version, once opened this will last for several weeks. My note: The 20-year tawny has even more richness, depth and complexity than the 10-year tawny and all of its caramel, toffee, almond goodness. This port floods the senses with its aromatic depth and voluptuous texture. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Taylor Fladgate Tawny 20 Ans food pairings: crème brûlée, hazelnut torte. 149047 20% S 750 mL $68.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2007, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Mitolo continues to garner international accolades under the talented hands of winemaker Ben Glaetzer and owner Frank Mitolo. This full-bodied, juicy Shiraz delivers upfront and approachable aromas of chocolate-covered dark cherries, anise, allspice, coffee and hints of oak. My note: Rip-snorting good wine with blackberries, black cherry liqueur and vanilla smoke. A warm-hearted with a solid and pleasurable core of pure fruit. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Shiraz food pairings: steak, stew, shepherd's pie, prime rib. 659607 15% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kilikanoon Wines Killermans Run Shiraz 2006, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Look no further for your favourite Aussie red! By sourcing grapes from prime South Australian vineyards and ageing the wine for up to two years in small French and American oak barrels, Kilikanoon crafts a fruit-driven Shiraz red that is densely flavored with smoky black fruit, spices and toasted oak. My note: A robust, honkin' big Shiraz with black cherry liqueur and cassis aromas. Undernotes of brambleberry, cedar and smoke. Perfect for weekend get-togethers. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Shiraz food pairings: roasted or grilled red meat. 925453 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chanson P & Fils Pinot Noir 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This sleek and classically built wine shows that Burgundy produces stunning Pinot Noir for all budgets. This elegant, medium-bodied, beautifully structured red treats the palate to flavors of sour cherry, spices, underbrush and a hint of minerality as well as a finish that lasts and lasts. My note: Lovely earthiness, beetroot and tart cherries. I love this style. Medium-bodied with a silky, seductive texture. The flavor ripples through this wine from start to finish. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Pinot Noir food pairings: roasted duck breasts, rotisserie chicken. 50575 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jadot Combe Aux Jacques Beauj-Vill Gamay 2007, Combe Aux Jacques’, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Drinking this wine will transport you right into the Parisian bistro scene. Made from Gamay, this popular red entices with its bouquet of fresh strawberry, cranberry and spiced blueberry. Vivacious and fruity, this is an approachable light- to medium-bodied Beaujolais. My note: A simple, rustic, happy red with a lovely medium body and smooth texture. Redolent of a basket of ripe field strawberries under the summer sun. Can you see yourself there? This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Gamay food pairings: baked ham, grilled salmon, tuna steaks. 365924 12.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Christian Moueix Merlot 2005, A.C., Bordeaux, France: A black inky wine with aromas of dark plum, blackberries, cassis, mocha and oak. Full-bodied with satisfying long flavors and finish. Decant for 1-2 hours. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Merlot food pairings: veal medallions and sautéed mushrooms. 961227 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sella & Mosca Di Riserva Sardinia Grenache 2005, D.O.C., Sardinia, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Cannonau (a.k.a. Grenache) di Sardegna is the Italian answer to France’s Côte du Rhône. This pale-coloured red, typical to the variety, displays complex aromas of ripe plum, wild berries, spices, tobacco, dried flowers and smoke. The palate is filled with dense, plump and attractive fruit flavours. My note: A vibrant chianti-style red with zesty notes of ripe red berries, zingy dried tomatoes and a smoky back note. Full-bodied with rich, mouth-watering layers. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Grenache food pairings: roasted red meats, spicy Italian sausages with herb-roasted tomatoes, strong cheese. 425488 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fratelli Tedeschi Az Agr Amarone 2004, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Amarone is a labour of love. The ancient method imparts to the finished wine sweet Port-like aromas of chocolate and plum that are very inviting. Tedeschi’s Amarone offers this and much more. Loaded with cherry, dried fruit, figs and floral aromas and flavours, this wine is ready to drink now. My note: Black spices and cherry liqueur on the nose followed by a luscious sweetness of ripe fruit on the palate. Increadily full-bodied and voluptuous. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Amarone food pairings: Parmigiano Reggiano, rich game, beef dishes, dark chocolate. 433417 15.4% D 750 mL $41.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

D'arenberg D'arry's Orig Shiraz Grenache 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Equal parts Shiraz and Grenache, this bold blend displays aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, roasted herbs and licorice with background notes of coffee and caramel. This mouth-filling wine lands softly on the palate, and is followed by a long, spicy and smooth finish. My note: A full-on, honkin' big red from this terrific producer! Bring on the black cherries, raspberry liqueur and smoky oak. Perfect for potlucks. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Shiraz Grenache food pairings: gourmet burgers, lamb couscous, matured cheeses. 942904 13.9% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cathedral Cellar Kwv Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, W.O., Paarl, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: This classy Cab from the Cape is loaded with aromas of cassis, cherry, violets, smoky oak and savory herbs. It’s dry and well-crafted with juicy rich flavors and firm tannins. My note: A gorgeous nose of cassis, briary, blackberry and smoke. What an incredible wine for the money. Full-bodied and smooth-textured. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: spicy beef dishes featuring coriander, cumin or allspice. 328567 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Miguel Torres Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, D.O., Penedès, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Over the last 130 years, the Miguel Torres winery has almost single-handedly built and maintained the reputation of Penedès, and this wine shows why. Structured with intense fruit flavours and silky tannins, this Reserva displays alluring aromas and flavours of blackberry, currants, coffee, vanilla and a classic touch of roasted bell pepper. My note: A stunningly delicious and balanced red with full-bodied notes of black fruit, vanilla smoke, dark spices and rich mocha goodness. Crack it open beside the barbecue. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: braised veal blade and root vegetables, roast pork tenderloin. 36483 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muga Muga Reserva Tempranillo Garnacha Mazuelo Graciano 2005, D.O.C., Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Rioja is the most famous of all Spanish regions. Its wines, made principally with the indigenous Tempranillo grape, are extensively aged in oak barrels (often American) which impart a characteristically smooth spicy-oak quality to the wines. Muga’s Reserva is a seductive wine with supple and dense fruit flavors as well as notes of cedar, spice, vanilla and coconut. My note: A rich, luxurious red with layers of black fruit flavor. Full-bodied with notes of mocha, black plums, smoke, vanilla, dark spices and tobacco. A long, satisfying finish. This one will get you out of the Cabernet rut. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Tempranillo Garnacha Mazuelo Graciano food pairings: meat paella, hearty and spicy beef, game stews. 177345 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Miguel Torres Curico S. Digna Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Chile, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The Torres family has revolutionized the production of fine wine not just in Spain, but in Chile too. This Cab has plum purée, roasted bell pepper, smoke, blackcurrant and toasty oak aromas. Fruit dominates on the well-balanced palate, with ripe tannins showing on the medium-long finish. My note: An incredible value for this full-bodied red with notes of cedar, black fruit and smoke. Good balance and rewarding flavors. Perfect as a nightcap at the end of a busy day. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak sandwich, parillada (an assortment of grilled meats). 177451 14% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Reserva Pinot Noir 2003, D.O., Navarra, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Bodegas Julian Chivite is the oldest continuously family-owned winery in Spain. Over 11 generations, they have developed into one of the finest producers in Navarra and Spain. This dry, full-bodied wine is bursting with ripe cherry, sandalwood, incense, cocoa and floral aromas and flavours, and delivers a lengthy, structured finish. This Reserva’s easygoing, soft tannins make it very approachable now. My note: A delicious, lip-smacking red with full-bodied notes of black plums and berries. Smoky oak and dark spices. The kind of wine that could become your new best friend. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Pinot Noir food pairings: roasted chicken stuffed with olives, almonds and paprika. 479014 12.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Finagra Esporao Red Reserve Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon Trincadeira 2006, D.O.C., Alentejo, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Since 1973 Herdade do Esporão has made several major investments in its winery and vineyards to become one of the the most infuential estates in the region. Made from a blend of Aragonês (a.k.a. Tempranillo), Cabernet Sauvignon and Trincadeira, this dense, fruity, and charmingly rustic red. My note: A dark, brooding wine with notes of dark chocolate, blackberry and cassis. Rich and layered. Rock your world with this one. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon Trincadeira food pairings: stewed, braised or roasted red meat dishes. 606590 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Reserve Baco Noir 2005, V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: It is still rare in Ontario for a winery to be closely identified with one grape variety; Henry of Pelham and Baco Noir is one such hugely successful association. Years ago, the Speck brothers and winemaker Ron Giesbrecht recognized the potential of this hybrid grape and made it their signature wine. Bursting with wild black fruit, ripe plum, gamey and spicy aromas and flavors that are well complemented by fresh acidity and moderate tannins. Enjoyable now, it will also reward 3-5 years in a cellar. My note: This style of this wine has really evolved over the past few years. No longer a wild, brambly red, it now displays enticing notes of concentrated black cherries, blackberries and purple plums. Full-bodied richness with a warm finish. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Baco Noir food pairings: venison stew, rustic pasta with spicy heirloom tomato sauce. Drink: 2009 - 2013 461699 13.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henri Bourgeois Baronnes Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2007, A.C., Loire, France: Vintages Wine Panel: One of the top domaines in the Loire, Henri Bourgeois has been perfecting Sauvignon Blanc for ten generations. Fresh thyme and sage, kiwi, green apple, gooseberry and grapefruit aromas are quite evident. Suggesting the New Zealand style yet with European refinement, it is dry, fruit-driven and well-structured with an excellent finish. My note: A refreshing white with mild flavors of white peach and green melon. Zippy acidity makes this mouth-watering number a great aperitif or a partner to many dishes. Light- to medium-bodied. Breezy and carefree. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: goat cheese and crackers, cucumber salad, ceviche. 542548 12.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 87/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Knights Valley, Sonoma County, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Grown in Sonoma County’s Knights Valley appellation, the concentrated grapes have produced sensual aromas of black plum purée, cocoa, blackcurrant, sweet cherry and cedar. Silky textured, the palate is loaded with sweet fruit and toasted oak flavors that are nicely offset by a lively acidity. It is full-bodied with a long, fruity and firm finish. My note: Elegant and balanced with a lot of finesse. Combines the best of Old World structure and New World fruit purity. Aromas of fleshy blackberries, plums and a wisp of smoky oak. Love it! This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roasted leg of lamb with roasted figs, beef carpaccio. 352583 13% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painter Bridge Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Paso Robles, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Made from wines aged in a mixture of Hungarian and American oak barrels for 14 to 16 months, this densely colored red is packed with intense aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant, cedar, vanilla and spices. Full-bodied and sweet-centered. My note: A supple and balanced Cabernet with rich notes of blackberry, black plum and cassis. Full-bodied with a satisfying finish. A terrific wine to give as a gift as it will appeal to many palates. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roasted or grilled red meats. 656561 13.5% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Cellars Syrah 2007, Sonoma County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Made with grapes sourced primarily from Cline’s Sonoma County vineyards, this well-priced, fleshy and full-bodied Syrah will have you singing its praises! Look for aromas and flavors of blackberry, cracked pepper, plum and leather with a hint of oak, and a medium-long, peppery finish. My note: One of the best values in the liquor store for when when you want a full-on, robust red with juicy berry flavors but not heavy oak. This is a superb wine: This producer is always consistently great at every price point in its range. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Syrah food pairings: pepper steak, gourmet hamburgers. 733758 14.3% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Pinot Noir 2007, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This silky smooth wine shows why the Russian River Valley is the ‘go to’ region for quality Pinot Noir in California. Seductive aromas of cherry, plum, cinnamon, and oak spice replay on the full-bodied palate. Dry and well-balanced, it’s soft and smooth with a peppery finish. If you’re not already a Pinot lover, you’re about to become one. My note: A rich, deep, full-bodied Pinot with ultra-ripe cherries and raspberries. Silky, seductive texture with a long, warm finish. Love in a glass. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled salmon, veal tenderloin. 954834 13.9% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caliterra Tributo Carmenere 2007, Chile: A lovely, richly plummy wine that aged 14 months in French and American oak. Smoky vanilla notes enwrap a wonderfully persistent core of black fruit on the palate. Notes of black cherry and tobacco leaves. Silky, seductive texture in this full-bodied red. Carmenere food pairings: roast beef, leg of lamb, stew. 14% D 750 mL $19.00 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caliterra Reserva Shiraz 2007, Chile, Chile: Peppery black raspberries on the nose that open up into a lovely, plush red with dark spices and plums. Warm and inviting. What are you waiting for? Shiraz food pairings: grilled steak or chicken, shepherd's pie. 74153 14.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Sibling Rivalry Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Deep red violet colour; aromas and flavors of strawberry jam, with hints of leather, blueberry and plum; dry, full bodied and softly textured. My note: A smooth gulpable wine loaded with lots of dark plums and berries. Full-bodied and flavorful but not heavy. Perfect for casual get-togethers. Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: venison, steak, hamburgers. 4001354 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Hauchat Vignobles Jean-Bernard Saby & Fils Merlot 2005, Fronsac, France: Vintages Wine Panel: What a lovely Fronsac for drinking now or for mid-term cellaring, and what a great price. It's rare to find a Bordeaux that's not a blend, but this 100% merlot hits all the points through the palate very effectively. The well-defined flavors are concentrated and restrained, and they're well balanced by a seam of acidity that adds a refreshing dimension to the texture. The tannins are supple and manageable. It's drinking now and it will easily hold another six years. My note: A terrific Old World red at a great price. This wine has the finesse and structure of a wine twice its price. Classic aromas of cassis, blackcurrant, blackberry, cigar box and vanilla spice. Merlot food pairings: roast beef, stew, steak, hamburgers. Drink: 2009 - 2015 123489 13.2% D 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Deloach Merlot 2007, California, United States: A luxurious wine redolent of black raspberry, plum and cherry with some vanilla spice in the background. Lightly and judiciously oaked. Merlot food pairings: grilled pork chops, lamb shank, lasagna. 89235 14.4% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Deloach Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Terrific Cabernet character here with classic aromas of cassis, wild herbs, garrigue, and blackcurrant. All tied together with a gently whiff of cigar box and cedar. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecue roast, meatloaf, sun-dried tomato risotto. 89250 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calvet Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Bordeaux, France: Lovely texture and richness to this wine. Great balance and inter-play between the flavors of blackberries, pepper, and plum. Full-bodied, rich and deep. Excellent for the price. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: red meats grilled or wine reduction sauce, game meats, hard cheeses. 44032 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Daniel Lenko Old Vines Merlot 2006, Niagara, Canada: Purple plum intensity on the nose with terrific depth and concentration. Enticing aromas of wild berry and cedar brush. Not heavy; excellent balance. Available from winerydirect.com. Merlot food pairings: steak, hamburgers, stew, spice-rubbed chicken, grilled pork. Drink: 2009 - 2012 13% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Beautifully structured with alluring aromas of black current, cassis, mocha and black cherries. Terrific balance with a lovely, long finish. One of B.C.'s best producers. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak, hamburgers, roast beef, lamb. Drink: 2009 - 2016 14% D 750 mL $38.00 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Meritage 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Destined to become a cult classic. This wine offers lovely aromas of cassis, black plum, blackberries and coffeed oak. Monumental structure with plush depths of flavor. A bottle that makes a weeknight a celebration. Meritage food pairings: filet mignon, Beef Wellington, grilled chicken or pork. Drink: 2009 - 2018 14% D 750 mL $45.00 Score: 93/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, A.C., France: Vintages Wine Panel: Crafted by the people responsible for Cristal and superior to many producers’ vintage-dated Champagnes, Louis Roederer’s non-vintage bubbly has aromas of toast, almonds and citrus fruit. Thanks to the high proportion of reserve wines, expect a fresh, creamy mouth-feel with flavors of binned apples, lemon pie, pizza dough and pear.This classic benchmark Brut makes an excellent aperitif or a delicious companion to a light entrée. Keep this Champagne on hand for impromptu celebrations. My note: One of the best non-vintage Champagnes on the liquor store shelf. A consistently delightful bubbly year after year, with lovely aromas of toasted bread, green apples and lime. Refreshing and invigorating. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Champagne food pairings: lobster, salads, quiche, seafood. 268771 12% D 750 mL $67.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Moet and Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne 2006, A.C., France: Vintages Wine Panel: Purported to be the father of all Champagne, Dom Pérignon continues to impress generation after generation. This ultimate anniversary or birthday celebration bubbly is only made in the greatest years. Loaded with stylish aromas of citrus, artisanal bread, green apple, mineral and pear, this is quite dry and vibrantly refreshing on the palate. Expect to be impressed. My note: One of the kings of the Champagne category, this bubbly is a great choice for big celebrations and milestones. Robust and deep with enticing notes of brioche, ripe pear and hazelnut. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Champagne food pairings: caviar, oysters, mussels. 280461 12% D 750 mL $219.95 Score: 94/100. April 2009. Favorite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Veuve Clicquot Vintage Reserve Brut Champagne 2006, A.C., France: Vintages Wine Panel: Veuve Clicquot is an early example of women succeeding in business. In 1805, 27-year-old Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin took over the operation of this famous house after the untimely death of her husband. This bubbly is a fine tribute to this brilliant woman with its rich aromas of white blossoms, lemon and apricot. The creamy mouth-feel, complex fruit, citrus and mineral flavours lead to a long, luxurious finish. A winner with shellfish, or cellar it 6-8 years. My note: A robust and muscular Champagne that leads with Pinot Noir in its blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. A consistently good producer with a brand that has come to symbolize celebration. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Champagne food pairings: cream sauces, oysters, potato chips. 508614 12% D 750 mL $92.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Vintage after vintage, the world-renowned Kim Crawford displays his winemaking prowess with Sauvignon Blanc. This version exhibits aromas such as gooseberry, asparagus, nettle, tomato leaf and citrus. My note: One of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc producers from New Zealand. This is a lovely white with herbal and green fuit aromas. Lively and vivacious. Closed with a screwcap, but opens with a smile. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: monkfish with tomato and fresh herbs, steamed mussels. 35386 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Res Riesling 2007, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Evocative of the limestone clay soil its 20-year-old vines are grown in, this estate Riesling commands global respect. Lovely peach, pink grapefruit, floral, and mineral aromas dominate with a hint of pretty petrol. It’s dry, medium-bodied with juicy fruit flavours and a very long, crisp finish. My note: A wine that trumpets its aromas from the glass! Limes, green apples and white flowers, wow. Light- to medium-bodied. Immeninently gulpable. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Riesling food pairings: roasted turkey, spiced shrimp dishes, sautéed white fish. 286377 12% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Toasted Head Chardonnay 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The name Toasted Head refers to the barrels used to age this wine. Usually, only the barrel walls are charred but, in this case, the heads are toasted too. The resulting wine is filled with aromas of smoky apple-cinnamon, pear, vanilla and toasty oak. Full-bodied with a medium-long finish. My note: A rich, buttery, round Chardonnay with terrific persistence of flavors on the palate. Aromas of green apples, pear and baked bread. Full-bodied and luscious. A very socialable wine. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Chardonnay food pairings: roast pork with apples, a Wellington made with smoked salmon. 594341 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caymus Conundrum Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Chardonnay Viognier Muscat Canelli. 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel:This fascinating off-dry wonder brilliantly blends together Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat Canelli. The amazing thing about this wine is that on the nose you can get a sense of every grape used. Aromas and flavors of peach, jasmine, melons, pears, vanilla, grass and more intertwine in this multi-layered and well-balanced white. My note: Lovely and wild and exotic notes of lychees, rose petal, orange zest and honeysuckle blossoms. What a wine! Drink it as a fascinating aperitif or pair it with so many dishes. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Chardonnay Viognier Muscat Canelli. food pairings: butter chicken, chana masala. 694653 13.5% M 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. April 2009. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Sibling Rivalry Riesling Chardonnay Gewurztraminer 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A lovely wine with lifted notes of ripe melon, field flowers and green apples. Zippy and refreshing with lots of pleasurable flavors. Riesling Chardonnay Gewurztraminer food pairings: roast chicken, pasta in cream sauce, lobster. 4001353 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. April 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc 2008, South Africa, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: Pale straw colour; lightly tropical aromas of green pineapple, guava and pear fruit with pleasant herbal notes; light- to medium-bodied with crisp, green apple flavors. My note: A grassy-good Sauvignon Blanc with wake-up aromas of gooseberry, asparagus, chives, limes and green apples. Zippy and refreshing. Perfect as an aperitif. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: light poultry dishes, seafood, salads. 527465 12.5% D 750 mL $8.95 Score: 87/100. April 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Daniel Lenko Riesling 2007, Niagara, Canada: Made from 25-year-old vines, this is a delicious, mouth-watering white with zippy notes of green melon, grapefruit and lime. Light and refreshing. Only 350 cases made. Available from winerydirect.com Riesling food pairings: shellfish, salads, vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2009 - 2011 11% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Daniel Lenko Viognier 2007, Niagara, Canada: Made from 15-year-old vines, this is an intensely aromatic white with notes of rose petals, lychee, papaya, flint and slate. Aged seven months on the lees added richness to this medium full-bodied wine. A lovely finish. Available from winerydirect.com. Viognier food pairings: mild to medium curries, salmon, salads, pork, chicken. Drink: 2009 - 2011 14% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 89/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Succulent with layers of flavor. Aromas of ripe peach, pear, green apples, butter and freshly baked bread. Terrific balance. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster in butter, corn dishes, roast chicken. Drink: 2009 - 2011 14% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 91/100. April 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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