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Wine Picks December 4, 2008

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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

Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2007, Niagara V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: A gorgeous and luxuriously concentrated elixir. Ripe apricots, honey, and brioche. Heavenly wine: Riesling with wings. Riesling Icewine food pairings: ribollita, crab salad, fruit flan, biscotti, glazed ham. 430561 9% S 375 mL $54.95 Score: 93/100. December 2008. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Graham's 10 Years Old Tawny Port 1998, Port, Portugal: Graham's wines come primarily from its own Quinta do Malvedos near Tua and Quita das Lages in Rio Torto. Graham's 10 Years Old is made from wines matured in seasoned oak casks of 534 litres until their peak of maturity is reached. Gorgeous notes of caramel, toffee, almonds and honey. Lovely tawny color. Great depth and complexity. 10 Years Old Tawny Port food pairings: nuts, hard cheeses, creme caramel, fudge. 206508 20% S 750 mL $27.95 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fielding Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2004, Ontario, Canada: A lovely smooth dessert wine with appetizing aromas of ripe pear, peach, orange peel and honey. Vidal Icewine food pairings: fruit cake, christmas pudding, sauteed foie gras and apples, pecan pie, rice krispie squares. 86850 10% 200 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Riesling Reserve Icewine 2006, V.Q.A. Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada: This hedonistic elixir captures the essence of ripe pears and peaches in a glass. A well-made, elegant icewine with classic notes of honeysuckle, lychee and orange marmalade. It's luscious yet lively, perfect for starting a new romance, or I guess, ending an old one. Life's bittersweet, isn't it? Riesling Reserve Icewine food pairings: peach, cobbler, apple pie, almonds, bread pudding. 24898 9% 375 mL $55.00 Score: 94/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

E. & J. Gallo Winery Family Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, California, United States: A delicious, straight-forward, full-bodied red with a smooth texture and ripe dark plum notes. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hard cheeses, roast meats, steak, boar, game. 326447 13% 750 mL $15.35 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stellenbosch Dornier Donatus Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2003, South Africa, South Africa: A Bordeaux blend that's cellar worthy. Smooth tannins and fresh acidity. Terrific vibrant and full-bodied red with cassis, black plum and blackberries. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: goulash, Asian dishes, spicy meat crepes, steak. Drink: 2008 - 2015 606020 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gaya Nebbiolo 2004: In 1856 the Gaja's opened a small tavern in the town of Barbaresco. Here they started to serve their own wines to complement the food. The success of the winery came through the four generations of Gaja's, with each generation improving the quality of wines. It changed drastically when Angelo joined the family business in 1961. He did this by stopping buying grapes from other local farmers, reducing the yields, identifying the best Barbaresco vineyards and vinifying and bottling them separately. A perfectly delicious, robust red redolent of violets, black cherry, mushroom, earth and cigar box. Nebbiolo food pairings: rare steak, roast beef, stew, hamburgers, shepherd's pie, venison, bison. 226568 750 mL $88.00 Score: 95/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2006, V.Q. A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A superb pinot of elegance, finesse and balance, Aromas of ripe cherries, fresh earth, vanilla, pomegranate and violets. Pinot Noir food pairings: prime rib, lasagna, cheddar cheese, blue cheeses, dark chocolate. 33894 13.5% 750 mL $70.00 Score: 94/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wolf Blass Gold Label Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2007, Adelaide Hills, Australia: A vibrant, medium-bodied red with ripe cherries and plums. Silky tannins. Closed with a screwcap. Pinot Noir food pairings: Chinese five-spice duck with wild mushrooms and steam greens. 599787 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Rooster Winery Meritage 2006, Okanagan Valley V.Q.A. British Columbia, Canada: Red Rooster Winery is located above Okanagan Lake on the Naramata Bench, just north of Penticton. This area is known for its southwestern exposure and unique microclimate. And why a rooster? Because the winery's founders kept Rodiseland Reds in Switzerland; because roosters are good luck symbols in many cultures; and because roosters have a long association with wine (for example, the rooster is the symbol of the Chianti region of Italy). The grapes for the Meritage come from a variety of vineyards through the south Okanagan, including Malbec from the home vineyard. After primary fermentation was done in open top stainless steel tanks the wine was aged in a combination of American and French oak for 12 months. A rich, robust red with notes of ripe blackberries, cinnamon, vanilla and mocha. Smooth with a good finish and silky tannins. Meritage food pairings: 2-4 year old cheddar, mild blue cheese, prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and gravy, beef tenderloin tip stew, prosciutto wrapped caribou tenderloin, wild game,. 533208 13.5% D 750 mL $24.99 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Baco Noir Reserve 2005, Niagara Peninisula V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: Aged in a combination of new and one/two year old American Oak for 15 months. A gorgeous, full-bodied red with deep notes of black plums and blackberries. Cedar and spice notes. Baco Noir Reserve food pairings: venison, lamb, steak, spicy pasta with rich tomato sauce. 461699 13.5% 750 mL $22.50 Score: 89/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McWilliams Wines Hanwood Estate Merlot 2006, Australia, Australia: A supple, smooth, full-bodied red with notes of black plums, blackberries and smoke. Merlot food pairings: partridge, cheddar cheese, duck, bean-based dishes, roast lamb. 621599 13.5% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: A simple, supple, delicious Cabernet with juicy black fruit notes and a kiss of oak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: prime rib, lasagna, hamburgers, blue cheeses, dark chocolate. 97113 13% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2006, California, United States: Delicious notes of purple plums, blueberries and vanilla oak. Full-bodied with a touch of pepper. Zinfandel food pairings: beef stew, cheeseburgers, hard cheeses, grilled vegetables, bison. 434605 14.9% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alianca Tempranillo Blend 2005, Barirrada, Portugal: Vista TR, from the Beiras region of Portugal, is produced from two local grape varieties; predominantly Tinta Roriz (also known as Tempranillo in its native Spain) with 10% French oak barrel-aged Touriga Nacional. Terrific value for this robust red. Aromas of black raspberries, blackberries and toasty oak. Tempranillo Blend food pairings: meat with cheese dishes, roasts, grilled lamb, hard cheeses, prime rib. 89672 13% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2006, British Columbia, Canada: Rich notes of mocha, coffee, black plums, vanilla, and smoke. Smooth tannins and a lovely finish. Closed with a screwcap. Cabernet Franc food pairings: goat cheese stuffed lamb, bison with dried cherry sauce, rich and soft cheeses. Drink: 2008 - 2012 222222 14% XD 750 mL $17.99 Score: 89/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dalton Safsufa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Galilee, Israel: From vineyards in upper Galilee, a lush, smooth, full-bodied red with notes of blackberries and plums. Some faint vanilla and smoky notes. Kosher for passover. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak, stew, hamburgers, pepperoni pizza, sausage. 28266 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.35 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Golan Heights Winery Yarden Mount Hermon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2005, Galilee, Israel: A robust, rich blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. Classic notes of cassis and blackcurrant. Balanced, with a long satisfying finish. Grown from vineyards in the Golan Heights in a cool climate with rocky volcanic soil and a high altitude. Kosher Lamehadrin and kosher for passover. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc food pairings: hard cheeses, boar, game, lamb, steak. 611293 14% XD 750 mL $17.45 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Efrat Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006, Ella Valley, Israel: A rich, full-bodied wine with warm notes of mocha and black plums. Wrapped in smoke from French oak aging. Kosher for passover. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot food pairings: sausage, lamb, hamburgers, meat fondue. 613091 13% XD 750 mL $14.70 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Don Mendoza Merlot Reserve 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: A lip-smacking, delicious and full-bodied red. Notes of mocha, luscious plums, black cherries and vanilla. Smooth and round. Vineyards are in the Uco Valley, which has hot days and cold nights. Merlot Reserve food pairings: grilled lamb, steak with mushroom sauce, pasta in a spicy tomato sauce, dark chocolate. 29306 14.5% XD 750 mL $10.50 Score: 89/100. December 2008. Best Value Red Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Spanish Quarter Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo 2006, Coster Del Segre, Spain: A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Tempranillo with notes of sweet, ripe cherries, raspberries and plums. Smooth and full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo food pairings: chicken, pork, hamburgers, lasagna, seared tuna. 72546 13.4% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ubuntu Shiraz 2006, South Africa, South Africa: A simple and delicious red with ripe plums and blackberries. Smooth and full-bodied. Shiraz food pairings: prime rib with a port reduction, heart stew, shepherd's pie, pot roast, old cheese. 665281 13.7% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 85/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Durbanville Hills Shiraz 2005, South Africa, South Africa: The vineyard looks over the Atlantic Ocean, which helps extend their ripening through a maritime climate. Matured in small French oak barrels. Notes of blackberries, purple plums, vanilla and smoke. Full-bodied, simple and delicious. Shiraz food pairings: roast meats, spicy stews, smoked meats, hard cheeses. 22269 14% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2005, South Eastern Australia, Australia: A rich, berry-ripe Shiraz with black cherries, vanilla and a little spice. Full-bodied and smooth. Closed with a screwcap. Shiraz food pairings: hamburgers, roast meats, pizza, cheddar cheese, hamburgers. 189415 14.2% D 750 mL $9.50 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penmara Five Families Shiraz 2006, New South Wales, Australia: Robust red with black fruit and oak. Simple and tasty. Shiraz food pairings: Tandoori flavored dishes, cheeseburgers, steak, stew, asparagus. 568929 14% D 750 mL $14.45 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Shiraz Reserve 2006, South Australia, Australia: A hulking, brooding, oaky number that's perfect for full-on wine lovers. Notes of black plums and berries. Closed with a screwcap. Shiraz Reserve food pairings: steak, stew, hamburgers, grilled vegetables, rich chocolate. 482299 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2006, British Columbia, Canada: A lovely, rich and deeply textured Cabernet Merlot. Notes of black raspberries with vanilla and smoky oak. Closed with a screwcap. Cabernet Merlot food pairings: red meats, pasta with tomato sauce, strong cheeses, dark chocolate. Drink: 2008 - 2012 530725 14% XD 750 mL $17.99 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Favorite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Angels Gate Winery Gamay Noir 2006, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario,, Canada: After fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the Gamay Noir was aged in new and seasoned French oak barrels. Hand-harvested, hand-sorted in the vineyard and hand-sorted at the winery. A remarkable wine for the money. Bright, zippy cherries with ripe strawberries. Mouth-watering acidity. Medium-bodied. Gamay Noir food pairings: escargot, pate, lightly grilled dishes, pasta with red sauce, pork, poulty, brie, camembert, feta, havarti cheese. 107714 13% MD 750 mL $12.75 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wild Horse Canyon Shiraz 2007, British Columbia, Canada: Lip-smacking sweet plums and a smooth texture on this juicy little number. Shiraz food pairings: grilled vegetables, prime rib with a port reduction, goat cheesem, Ethiopian stewed chicken. 54429 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2007, Chile, Chile: Terrific for the money! Smooth, juicy and delicious. Medium-bodied. Great aperitif and party wine. Notes of ripe cherries and strawberries. Closed with a screwcap. Pinot Noir food pairings: savory biscuits, pepperoni pizza, sausages, lamb. 341602 13.5% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Beringer Vineyards White Zinfandel Rosé 2007, California, United States: Step back form your prejudices! Drinking white Zinfandel doesn't mean you're less evolved. We've got sweetness here but not syrup. Ripe, sweet strawberries fill the glass. Sunshine on a summer day. White Zinfandel Rosé food pairings: pate, salmon, chicken, cold meats, light curries. 60715 10% D 1500 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Best Value Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Henry of Pelham Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut 2006, Ontario, Canada: A lovely bubbly with notes of ripe strawberries and white lilies. Medium- to full-bodied. Non-vintage, keep chilled. Chill up to four hours in its thermal tube packaging. Rose Brut food pairings: caviar, potato chips, salmon, shellfish. 83139 12% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Favorite Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut, Australia, Australia: A fruity and delicious bubbly that's a great value. Notes of lime and green apple. Sparkling Brut food pairings: caviar, potato chips, salmon, shellfish, guacamole. 649996 11% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Banrock Station Sparkling Chardonnay, Australia, Australia: A generous, fruity, tasty bubbly with notes of green apples and white peach. Great value. Sparkling Chardonnay food pairings: almonds, brioche, brie cheese, chocolate mousse, sushi. 534974 12% XD 750 mL $12.80 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

St. David's Bench Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007, V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: A medium-bodied, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with lovely notes of gooseberry and citrus. Excellent value. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: chicken in cream sauce, shellfish, brie cheese, chocolate mousse, sushi. 453423 12% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 92/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosemount Estate Traminer Riesling 2008, Australia, Australia: Fruit for this wine was sourced form selected vineyards in South Eastern Australia. The 2008 vintage was warm to hot, with a pro-longed heatwave in mid-March. This wine was matured in stainless steel to maintain varietal purity. A pretty, simple, light-bodied white with apricot and peach notes. A touch of sweetness softens the wine to make a perfect match for dishes with some sweetness. Traminer Riesling food pairings: glazed ham, corn, sweet potato, chutney. Drink: 2008 - 2010 244301 10.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 89/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McWilliams Hanwood Estate Chardonnay 2006, Australia: A lusciously rich, full-bodied Chardonnay with notes of ripe pear, peach and apple. Lovely layers of butter, vanilla and smoke. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled salmon, lobster in butter, cream sauces, roast chicken. 13% XD 750 mL $11.99 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Reserve 2006, V.Q. A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Lovely seam of acidity provides a refreshing backbone for the luscious notes of sweet fruit. Such as pears, apricot and peaches. Riesling Reserve food pairings: chees fondue, foie gras, shrimp, chocolate mousse, apple pie. 898528 10% 375 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Chardonnay 2007, California, United States: A pleasant oaky, balanced white with a pleasant texture and rich layers. Medium- to full-bodied. Notes of pear, peach and green apples, with a touch of oak. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster, roasted chicken, smoked salmon quiche, grilled halibut. 99408 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.45 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gabbiano Pinot Grigio 2007, Venezie, Italy: A crisp white with mild white grapefruit and melon notes. Good acidity. Pinot Grigio food pairings: shellfish, salads, vegetables, quiche, goat cheese and pear salad. 77990 12.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Deakin Estate Chardonnay 2006, Victoria, Australia: A buttery, oaky Chardonnay with generous ripe pears and green apples. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster in butter, corn dishes, roast chicken, grilled salmon, goose. 588418 14% MD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: A herbal, grassy, refreshing white with great acidity. Medium-bodied. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: shellfish, seafood, quiche, chicken, pork. 18689 12% D 750 mL $16.00 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Deakin Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Victoria, Australia: Herbal, grassy, lime, gooseberry goodness. Zesty, oh yes! Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: seafood, vegetarian dishes, seafood risotto, sushi. 560839 12.5% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 85/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Viognier 2008, Chile, Chile: Freakin' amazing wine for the price. Gorgeously aromatic with notes of rose petals, lychee, apricot and Asian pears. Viognier food pairings: curries, Asian dishes, shellfish, suishi, salads. 64287 13.5% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 89/100. December 2008. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casillero Del Diablo Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Chile, Chile: Loaded with melons, pineapple and pears with a backbone of vanilla and smoke. Reserve Chardonnay food pairings: cream sauces, pasta, chicken, pork, risotto. 58420 13.7% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Village Chardonnay Reserve 2006, Ontario, Canada: A haunting Chardonnay with notes of green apple, vanilla, spice, fig, almond, hazelnut and white peach. An incredible finish. Great value. Chardonnay Reserve food pairings: bison steak, gouda, asparagus quiche, pierogies, lobster thermidore. 33936 13.5% XD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 92/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2006, Ontario, Canada: Full-bodied Chardonnay with layers of depth, complexity and minerality. Notes of apple, peach, vanilla, nutmeg and almond. Extraordinarily long finish. Chardonnay food pairings: lobster in butter, corn dishes, roast chicken, veal blanquette, pasta with artichoke and pancetta. 36806 14% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 93/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fume Sauvignon Blanc 2000, Loire, France: A smooth, refreshing Sauvignon that leads with gooseberry and wild white field flowers. Light touch of whispy smoke from the flinty notes (not oak). The finish is vibrant with citrus notes. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: goat cheese, salad, seafood, pasta in cream sauce, chicken, pork. 947663 12% D 750 mL $41.65 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Shafer Red Should Ranch Chardonnay 2005, Napa Valley, California, United States: Carneros is Napa's most southerly American Vintercultural area close to San Pablo Bay. This region has more of a cool climate due to the proximity of the Pacific Ocean. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir do extremely well here. Barrel fermentation, aging and the use of Malo-lactic fermentation. A gorgeously rich Chardonnay with layers of vanilla, butter, ripe pears and apples. Wrapped in a smokey blanket. A long, satisfying finish. Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, squash, scallops, lobster in butter, corn dishes, crab, avocado, fried food. 45583 13.5% D 750 mL $58.95 Score: 93/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Chardonnay 2006, Niagara Peninisula V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: Rich and buttery with some top notes of green apples wrapped in oak. Full-bodied. Chardonnay food pairings: pork, corn, chicken, Indian dishes, sweet potatos. 317768 12.5% 750 mL $15.50 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Riesling Reserve 2007, Niagara Peninisula V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: Terrific notes of white field flowers and a faint whiff of honey, with some orange peel. Good crisp refreshment with mouth-watering acidity. Medium-bodied. Riesling Reserve food pairings: shellfish, salads, salmon, pate, chicken, pork, quiche. 34025 11.4% 750 mL $14.25 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

E. & J. Gallo Winery Laguna Vineyard Chardonnay 2005, Russian River Valley, United States: Rich and full-bodied, with creamy notes of ripe apples and pears. Smoky oak fills the glass. Chardonnay food pairings: garlic shrimp, chicken, pork, veal, lobster in butter. 261099 12.2% 750 mL $28.00 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gewurztraminer Reserve 2007, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Red Rooster Winery is located above Okanagan Lake on the Naramata Bench, just north of Penticton. This area is known for its southwestern exposure and unique microclimate. And why a rooster? Because the winery's founders kept Rodiseland Reds in Switzerland; because roosters are good luck symbols in many cultures; and because roosters have a long association with wine (for example, the rooster is the symbol of the Chianti region of Italy). Picked in early October, this Gewurztraminer Reserve was whole cluster pressed to extract aroma and flavor components and cool fermented in stainless steel. Highly aromatic wine with notes of lychee, banana and pink grapefruit. Medium-bodied, off-dry wine. Closed with a screwcap. Gewurztraminer Reserve food pairings: Tandoori chicken, curried mango rice, grilled salmon, Thai-steamed mussels. 399799 13% 750 mL $19.99 Score: 90/100. December 2008. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calona Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay 2007, Okanagan Valley V.Q.A. British Columbia, Canada: Crisp and refreshing with notes of melon and green apples. Lovely lack of oak. Unoaked Chardonnay food pairings: pork, chicken, veal, cornish hen, crab cakes. 364323 13% 750 mL $13.99 Score: 86/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Pinot Blanc 2006, Okanagan Valley, V.Q.A. British Columbia, Canada: This Pinot Blanc was whole cluster pressed and cool barrel-fermented for 5 months in 50% new American oak and 50% stainless steel. Hand-stirred on the lees weekly to add to overall mouthfeel and complexity. An aromatic, refreshing, zesty white with notes of melon and bosc pear. Medium-bodied with great minerality. Closed with a screwcap. Pinot Blanc food pairings: smoked salmon, creamy pasta, turkey dinner, wild rice stuffing. 541185 14% 750 mL $17.99 Score: 88/100. December 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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