Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
www.nataliemaclean.com

Vintages Release April 26, 2014

Login to see Natalie's scores and notes

Reviewed Wines | All Wines | Group by Wine Type | Group by Country/Region

Increase Font Size | Decrease Font Size


Dessert Wine

Poderi Elia Moscato D'asti 2012, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: A delightful sipper that's low in alcohol but high on taste. I adore this wine and style almost no matter who makes it. Slightly fizzy and orange blossom slightly sweet, it is a wonder. Try it! Peach and apricot on the finish gives an extra bounce to this wine as an aperitif or after-dinner sipper. Moscato D'asti food pairings: fruit salads, light fruit desserts. Drink: 2013 - 2015 211664 5.5% S 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Musqué Spritz Chardonnay 2013, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Liquid happiness! Zesty, spritzy with apple blossom and honeysuckle. The ultimate chutney wine. Peach blossom, melon finish. Love it. Chardonnay food pairings: spicy foods, soft blue cheese, fresh fruit. Drink: 2013 - 2016 189670 9% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kopke 20 Years Old Tawny Port, Douro D.O.C., Portugal: Want, need, must have this! Gorgeous dessert wine with a river of toffeed, toasted almonds. Nice bite. Brought to us by Sogevinus Fine Wines. Drink: 2014 - 2020 368340 19% S 750 mL $56.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Keint-he Winery and Vineyards Voyageur Pinot Noir 2012, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A lovely, silky medium-bodied red wine with attractive aromas of fleshy berry and dark cherry with some spice on the finish. Nice aperitif or companion to seafood or roast turkey. Drink: 2013 - 2016 373407 12.5% D 750 mL $18.00 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alamos Syrah 2012, Mendoza, Argentina: Full-bodied with dark fruit and some dark spice. Smooth. This producer often creates very robust and spicy malbecs: this is the entry level wine for a range of wines from Catena that offers good value at different price points. This red wine finishes with dark fruit and some spice. Try it with a pepper steak tonight. Syrah food pairings: pepper steaks, grilled burgers, game, BBQ sauced spareribs. Drink: 2014 - 2017 183848 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pepin Condé Stark-Condé Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Stellenbosch, Coastal Region W.O., South Africa: Full-bodied with a tannic grip. Pleasantly bitter back fruit including blackcurrant and cassis, the signature aromas of cabernet sauvignon. Some smoke and toasty oak on the finish. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2015 - 2019 365981 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Lamartine Meritage 2010, Castillon Côtes De Bordeaux A.C., France: Full-bodied and tannic red wine from Gourraud et Fils with tarry black fruit and toasty oak. This honkin' big red wine is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Try it with a hearty meat dish. Meritage food pairings: grilled meats. Drink: 2015 - 2017 368159 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Le Grand Moulin Grande Réserve Meritage 2010, Blaye-Côtes-De-Bordeaux A.C., France: A rustic, full-bodied and straight-up red wine with tart black fruit, smoke, cedar brush and some herbal notes. Great price for this AC appellation wine. Previous vintages of this wine have won the Gold Medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Good balance and finish. Meritage food pairings: slow-cooked roast beef. Drink: 2014 - 2018 307363 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Donissan Meritage 2010, Listrac-Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France: Very good Bordeaux for the price. Big, black and tarry with black fruit, cassis and savagely tasty blackcurrant. Toasty smoke. Full-bodied with a tannic grip. Decant 2 hours and drink with a rare brontosaurus burger. Drink: 2015 - 2018 365874 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Lestruelle 2010, Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France: Mocha, toasty oak on the nose that reveal black tarry fruit with some herbal notes brought to us by Famille Bouey. Loaded with seductive black fruit and smoke on the palate and finish. Full-bodied with dried tobacco leaves on the finish. Decant 2 hours. Try it with a rare steak. Drink: 2016 - 2020 295840 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cennatoio Emiliano Alessi Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: Black cherry liqueur on the nose and palate of this full-bodied, supple Italian red wine. Pleasantly bitter bite at the back of the throat as you swallow to deliver a satisfying dry finish. Chianti Classico food pairings: cured or grilled meats, veal parmigiana. Drink: 2014 - 2018 232561 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

L. Tramier & Fils Pommard 1Er Cru Pinot Noir 2011, Burgundy A.C., France: Tart cherry notes with some smoke, tannic on the palate with some herbal notes. Medium-bodied. Dry finish. Drink: 2015 - 2020 365098 13% XD 750 mL $63.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Le Bourdillot Meritage 2009, Graves, Bordeaux A.C., France: Absolute wow for the money! Here's Bordeaux at a fraction of the price. This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes has the signature plumpness of Merlot in the lead, more accessible than savage Cabernet and easier to drink sooner. Decant 2 hours and enjoy with meat sauces. Drink: 2015 - 2019 365908 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Maurac Meritage 2010, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France: Tannic with a firm grip on the palate and a pleasantly bitter finish. This wine needs cellar time. Black fruit, smoke and tar. Full-bodied and dried herbs and leather. Decant for 2 hours and hope for the best ;) Drink: 2015 - 2019 365817 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Monbadon Meritage 2010, Castillon, Côtes De Bordeaux A.C., France: An excellent value Bordeaux brought to us by Baron de Montfort. Great structure, balance, depth and finish. Firm grip with the tannins on the palate and big black fruit and toasty oak. Decant 2 hours. Full-bodied yes, and unusually high alcohol for Bordeaux at 14.5%, but it doesn't taste hot. Superb value. Drink: 2015 - 2019 365882 14.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Atrea Old Soul Red 2009, Mendocino County, California, United States: Raspberry, blackberry jam on the nose and palate of this full-bodied, supple red wine from Saracina Winery. Concentrated and deep. This is a blend of 59% Zinfandel, 20% Petit Sirah, 14% Syrah and 7% Malbec. Drink: 2013 - 2016 214825 14.8% XD 750 mL $33.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Sonoma County, California, United States: Mocha and dark chocolate on the nose from generous oak aging. Black fleshy plums and dark fruit aromas and flavours on the palate of this full-bodied, supple red wine with a tannic grip. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2013 - 2017 331603 13.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

J. Lohr Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2011, Monterey County, California, United States: Sweet chocolate on the nose and palate with fleshy blackberries and lots of toasty oak. Full-bodied and supple. Very tasty. Try it with a coffee-rubbed steak or duck. Drink: 2013 - 2016 361717 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Sonoma County, California, United States: The half bottle size of this wine (the full 750 ml is also in this release). Mocha and dark chocolate on the nose from generous oak aging. Black fleshy plums and dark fruit aromas and flavours on the palate of this full-bodied, supple red wine with a tannic grip. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2013 - 2017 706077 13.5% XD 375 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château La Croix Chantecaille Grand Cru Meritage 2009, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux A.C., France: Black bruiser with tarry, tannic grip. Toasty oak with black fruit and pencil led. Needs cellar time and decanting (1-2 hours). This Bordeaux cabernet blend wine is brought to us by Madame Angle, Proprietor. Drink: 2015 - 2019 349936 13.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Batasiolo Sabri Barbera D'asti 2011, D.O.C.G., Italy: New World power fruit, Old World trimming along the edges. Black and purple plums lead out of the gate, galloping up behind and quickly overtaking them is tarry toasty oak, pencil led and smoke. Whoosh. That's the sound of your senses wondering what hit them. Great price. Drink: 2014 - 2017 366989 14.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Remhoogte Estate Wine Named Varietal Blends-Red 2007, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch W.O., South Africa: Cabernet nose and character here: cassis and blackcurrant aromas. This robust red wine is a blend of cabernet, merlot, shiraz and pinotage. Tannic so decant for 2 hours or cellar. Full-bodied and concentrated. Great taste for the money, especially for a WO designated wine. Previous vintages of this wine won the Gold Medal winner at Concours Mondial Bruxelles. Great dry finish. Named Varietal Blends-Red food pairings: beef. Drink: 2013 - 2017 694539 15% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château L'argenteyre Meritage 2010, Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France: Coffee, smoke, pencil led and toasty oak swirl around black fruit and a pleasant bitter, tannic grip in this robust red wine. Decant 1-2 hours and serve with filet for optimum pleasure.  This AC wine finishes with vanilla smoke and cassis. Perfect with steak. A strong vintage for even Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux wines. Meritage food pairings: grilled beef, lamb, meat-based pasta dishes. Drink: 2011 - 2014 226217 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Haut Selve Meritage 2010, Graves, Bordeaux, France: Fleshy, black fruit aromas on this red wine from a great vintage. This is classic, with full-bodied weight and smooth texture. Some smoke on the finish. Lots of toasty oak and smoke and a big tannic grip on the palate, but it weaves beautify through the fruit and structure. Most excellent price for Bordeaux. Filet mignon please! Meritage food pairings: hamburger, beef. Drink: 2014 - 2019 738120 12.8% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ironstone Petite Sirah 2012, Lodi, California, United States: An attractive full-bodied red wine with smoky toasty oak and black fruit on the nose. Good price for the quality. Black raspberry and smokiness on the palate and finish inflected with black tea. Petite Sirah food pairings: braised beef, veal dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2016 361915 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chakana Reserve Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina: Dark and savoury with meaty red wine, with black fruit aromas and flavours in this full-bodied red wine. Intense mocha, toasty oak-smoke nose. Great balance and length. Amazing price point for such quality. Try it with beef stew. Malbec food pairings: pepperoni pizza, turkey, veal cutlets, beef fajitas, beef. Drink: 2013 - 2017 18671 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maetierra Dominum Qp 2006, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain: Tannic and black with a full-bodied turbo-booster weight. It is a red wine blend of 93% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano and 3% Garnacha grapes grown on 50- to 105-year-old vines and then aged in French oak for 16 months. Requires a hearty meat dish. Drink: 2015 - 2019 246660 14.6% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sister's Run Epiphany Shiraz 2011, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Concentrated pleasure with dark depths of fleshy black plums and blackberry fruit. What a package, especially for this price. Winemaker Elena Brooks apparently wears steel cap work boots every day but carries a pair of high heels in case of "emergencies" (you go girl!). Drink: 2014 - 2018 269464 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Manoir Du Carra Fleurie Gamay (Beaujolais) 2010, Beaujolais A.C., France: Easy, juicy, fleshy ripe aromas and flavours of purple plums, squishy blackberries and some smoke. Medium-bodied, smooth and plush, almost zinfandel-like. Try with veal or pork chops. Drink: 2014 - 2018 364992 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elias Mora Crianza 2009, Toro, Piedmont D.O., Spain: Full-bodied with a good tannic grip. Pleasantly bitter black fruit with toasty oak. Yet supple and full-bodied too. Decant 2 hours and pair it with a juicy steak: you'll be fine. Drink: 2015 - 2019 366815 14.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Vieille Dynastie Meritage 2011, Lalande-De-Pomerol, Bordeaux A.C., France: Big, black and brooding with generous toasty oak and smoke on the nose. Pitch black tarry notes on the palate with a firm grip. This baby needs time so don't rob the cradle. Thundering structure and deep resonant concentration. Decant 2 hours. Great out of the gate! Drink: 2016 - 2021 374264 13% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Callabriga 2010, Douro D.O.C., Portugal: A lovely, mind-awakening red wine with aromas of ripe plums and blackcurrant. Full-bodied. This D.O.C. wine is made from mostly Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) grapes with Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional in smaller amounts. Fleshy, juicy black and purple plums. Try it with meat lovers' pizza. OTHER: Gold Medal winner at the 2013 Vinalies Internationales in Paris. Comprised of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. (VINTAGES panel, undated.) OTHER: Expressive nose of ripe cherries, vanilla and light confection. Positive green notes, refreshing tannins on the palate. Score - 3 Stars (out of 5 (Recommended)) (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2013) Food pairings: grilled back ribs, pizza. Drink: 2014 - 2018 682591 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Lamothe-Cissac Blend - Meritage 2009, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France: Domaines Fabre Terrific wine and a great value for A.C. Bordeaux. Aromas of mocha and dark chocolate on the nose from oak aging following by a superb balance on the palate between dark fruit, smoke, acidity and structure. Gorgeously rich fleshy black plums and dark fruit. Classic. Decant 1 hour. Try it with rosemary lamb. Drink: 2014 - 2018 206755 13% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Maison Neuve Meritage 2010, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux A.C., France: Spectacular for the price! Dark and rich with a concentration that's as deep as fleshy black plum liqueur, though this is an ultra dry wine from Michel Coudroy. Balanced and stately. Decant 2 hours and enjoy with a rare hunk of meat, whether on your plate or sitting across from you. Drink: 2015 - 2020 365791 14.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Napa Cellars Merlot 2011, Napa Valley, California, United States: Mocha, dark chocolate on the nose with luscious black fruit unfolding the palate and mouth-fiilling juiciness. This wine was aged in 100% French, 46% of which was new. There were 988 barrels produced of this wine. Merlot food pairings: prime rib, grilled leg of lamb. Drink: 2013 - 2017 161299 14.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Folie À Deux Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: Mocha, toasty oak on the nose yields to fleshy blackberries and plums on the palate of this full-bodied, supple red wine. Good value, especially from the premium region of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Folie a Deux means a passion shared by two, ahem. Decant hours while you muse yourself on the kitchen counter ;) Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roast lamb. Drink: 2013 - 2018 186163 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dierberg Pinot Noir 2009, Santa Rita Hills, California, United States: Intense and full-bodied, surprisingly so for this region. The vines are planted in the chilly western reaches of the Sta. Rita Hills in the winery's new Drum Canyon vineyard. Low rigour rootstocks and steep hillsides add extra concentration and intensity of flavour. Unfiltered and frankly, unfettered. Drink: 2013 - 2018 363903 14.5% XD 750 mL $47.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Napa Valley, California, United States: Sweet dark chocolate on the nose from generous oak aging. Fleshy sweet black plums and blackberries. Full-bodied and supple. Who has a trust fund? This round's on you. Drink: 2014 - 2019 711663 14.5% XD 750 mL $138.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alta Vista Atemporal Assemblage 2011, Mendoza, Argentina: This rich red wine offers pleasant notes of black fruit, dark chocolate and smoke. Atemporal translates to timeless in Spanish - time will fly when you're enjoying this wine. This is a blend of several red grapes. No time like the present. Food pairings: meat lovers pizza, gourmet hamburgers. Drink: 2014 - 2018 144352 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rocca Delle Macìe Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2008, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: Very pleasant and full-bodied with generous dark fleshy fruit, dark spices and smoke. Superb craftsmanship in this DOCG wine. It finishes with smoke and dried herbs. Try it with prime rib tonight. Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano food pairings: veal scaloppini, grilled lamb, prime rib. Drink: 2013 - 2019 232488 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benmarco Dominio Del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Mendoza, Argentina: Classic cassis and blackcurrant aromas in this robust red wine from one of Argentina's best winemakers. Savoury, juicy and full-bodied. Great price! Try it with a hearty meat dish. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steak, beef empanadas, chicken cacciatore, venison burgers, hard cheese. Drink: 2014 - 2019 232637 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Puech-Haut Prestige Saint-Drézéry 2011, Languedoc, Midi A.P., France: Gerard Bru brings us a terrific red wine, with incredibly depth and black flavour, smoky replays across the palate, especially at this price point for an A.C.-designation. I love the black raspberry, anise and cedar smoke aromas. It’s so vibrant and alive in the glass, yet delivers full-bodied depth and length. There are more dark fruit and smoky notes on the finish. This wine is a blend of grenache (60%), syrah (30%), mourvèdre (5%) and carignan (5%). Decant 1 hour. I'm thinking of barbecued spare ribs for this wine. Food pairings: beef, duck a l'orange, apple-walnut stuffed mushroom caps, turkey breasts. Drink: 2015 - 2020 237289 14.8% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Giacomo Fenocchio Cannubi Barolo 2009, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: Tannic monster that needs taming: cellar time please then decant 2 hours. Aromas of black fruit, tar, violets and herbs. It's still a baby. Pair with spicy Pterodactyl wings. Drink: 2016 - 2023 373399 14% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Camelback Shiraz 2008, Sunbury, Victoria, Australia: The front label reads: "Man is not a camel." Okay good, so far we agree. More agreement on this wine: A delicious, full-bodied red wine bursting with notes of ripe blackberries and plums. Great layering and concentration through the core. The finish wraps up this package nicely with some dark fruit and smoke. Try it with gourmet hamburgers. Shiraz food pairings: gourmet hamburgers, beef, lamb cutlets, veal, pizza, grilled or spice-rubbed chicken. Drink: 2013 - 2018 665125 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ascheri Pisapola Barolo 2010, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: Some cellar time and decanting will help this full-bodied DOCG red wine. Black as night with tarry, dark fruit, smoke aromas. The grapes for this wine come from two of Ascheri's best vineyards: Pisapola and Verduno. Some leather and violets on the finish. Barolo food pairings: anchovy pizza, porcini mushrooms, prime rib beef. Drink: 2015 - 2020 739920 14.5% XD 750 mL $44.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ardal Reserva Bodegas Alitus 2006, Ribera Del Duero D.O., Spain: Mature and lovely like a well-educated European man with a trust fund. The 2006 vintage was matured for 2 years in French and American oak. It's a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Gorgeous aromas of cassis, tanned leather, spice and dried herbs. Pair with a flight in executive class as you laughingly toss back another glass and toast your good fortune. Drink: 2013 - 2017 167700 14% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Momo Seresin Estate Pinot Noir 2011, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Big and juicy, with pleasingly tart and vibrant cherry aromas and flavours in this kiwi pinot noir. Mouth-watering acidity is fantastic for a range of dishes, from planked salmon to roast chicken. Smooth and medium- to full-bodied. Very tasty. Made by the film director of many famous movies, including several of the Harry Potter series. This red wine is bio-gro certified and the grapes came from three vineyard sites. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged 11 months in old French barrels. Pinot Noir food pairings: salad, mushroom risotto, planked salmon, frittata, coq au vin. Drink: 2013 - 2018 163972 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Delaforce Real Companhia Velha Touriga Nacional 2011, Douro D.O.C., Portugal: A full-bodied, generous red wine with mocha and toasty oak on the nose. Black plum and raspberry with dark spices. Good finish on this D.O.C. wine. There's been a revolution in dry red wines from Portugal: try this one and you'll know what I'm talking about. This particular wine hails from a well-known producer of port, the fortified dessert wine. The Touriga Nacional grape offers signature black fruit aromas and richness. Loaded with toasty oak and tarry black fruit with a bitter bite. Decant 1 hour. Touriga Nacional food pairings: pizza. Drink: 2014 - 2018 324517 14% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 92/100. April 2014. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mocali Brunello Di Montalcino 2008, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: A juicy and delicious red wine with generous ripe cherry fruit, smoke and spice aromas. A full-bodied and wonderful D.O.C.G. wine! Intensely concentrated and focused (on your pleasure). Decant 1-2 hours. Try it with prime rib tonight. Brunello Di Montalcino food pairings: grilled meats, game. Drink: 2014 - 2021 64956 13.9% XD 750 mL $47.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casarena Ramanegra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Mendoza, Argentina: Wowzers! Cigar smoke and mocha wrap soooo sensually around fleshy black fruit. Oh man, this is good juice! The grapes are grown on 82-year-old vines, and that age results in a min-blowing depth of concentration. The Platonic idea of blackberry glory. Try it with a pepper steak or roast beef. Drink: 2014 - 2018 366138 14.9% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: The Platonic ideal of cassis fleshed out by blackberry and dark spices and loads of toasty oak on this nose of this robust red wine. Full-bodied, smooth and balanced. Lots of layers and complexity yet also hedonistically rich and easy to drink. Try it with a juicy steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steak, beef empanadas, chicken cacciatore, venison burgers, hard cheese. Drink: 2013 - 2019 659599 14.5% D 750 mL $52.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alvaro Palacios Velles Vinyes Les Terrasses 2011, Priorat D.O.C.A., Spain: An exuberant red wine with excellent balance and wild raspberry aromas on the nose. This full-bodied D.O.C.A. wine is a blend of 60% carignan, 30% grenache, and 10% cabernet sauvignon grapes. This wine is well worth twice the price or more: winemaker Alvaro Palacios offers staggeringly great value at every price point, even the highest ones. A flagship wine for the Priorat region. Long finish with some smoke and dark fruit. Food pairings: beef. Drink: 2015 - 2022 977843 14.5% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

La Marca Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: An excellent price for this crisp and refreshing D.O.C. sparkling wine! Lime-grapefruit notes with a clean, dry finish. Crisp Meyer lemon on the finish. Terrific as an aperitif or companion to shellfish. Prosecco food pairings: salad, cheese, poultry, pasta with cheese-based sauce, seafood. Drink: 2014 - 2016 287987 11% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. April 2014. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marguet Père & Fils Grand Cru Brut Champagne 2006, Ambonnay, Champagne A.C., France: Toasty, robust and deep with baked bread and pear aromas. Vibrant and energetic with a long finish. Drink: 2013 - 2017 68791 12% D 750 mL $65.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muga Conde De Haro Brut Cava Metodo Tradicional 2010, Rioja D.O., Spain: Beautifully toasty, with fresh baked bread aromas on the nose of this sparkling wine. This is a blend of 90% viura and 10% malvasia grapes for this D.O. cava. Terrific notes of green apple and lime fresh on the palate. Pretty amazing for the price. Try with oysters or clams. Cava Metodo Tradicional food pairings: turkey, shellfish, pasta, charcuterie, vegetarian casseroles. Drink: 2013 - 2016 168559 12.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Quality Brut Champagne, Champagne A.C., France: Deep, resonant, robust champagne with pear and toasty oak aromas. Baked bread on the finish and a lick of clementine zest. Drink: 2014 - 2018 362558 12.5% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Moutard Père & Fils Cuvée Des 6 Cépages Brut Champagne 2006, Champagne A.C., France: Mature Champagne at its best: nutty, reflective, exotic. A landscape for the senses and an aroma cloud to lose yourself in. Finishes with baked bread and summer sunshine. Drink: 2014 - 2020 185595 12% D 750 mL $87.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fleury Blanc De Noirs Brut Champagne, Champagne A.C., France: Superb! A steal for Champagne. Toasty, robust and refreshing with baked bread and green apple and toasted almond. Makes me want to get married again and serve this at the reception -- almost. Drink: 2014 - 2018 368761 12% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Muralhas De Monção Adega Cooperative Regional De Monção Vinho Verde 2012, Sub-Região De Monção D.O.C., Portugal: Refreshing white wine with distinctive white grapefruit and white pepper notes. No oak. Crisp, clean and pure with a laser-like focus and intensity. Good aperitif, but better companion to seafood and salads. Vinho Verde food pairings: grilled calamari, steamed mussels. Drink: 2013 - 2015 80374 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Esser Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Monterey, California, United States: Lemongrass and lemon zest and lemon sunshine waft up from this glass. So refreshing: perfect white wine aperitif for a sunny dock. Also a great companion to seafood. Medium-bodied with just enough mouth-watering acidity for food. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: fish, sushi, crab legs, pork tenderloin. Drink: 2013 - 2016 363648 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Carte Lieu-Dit Mâcon-Lugny, Cave De Lugny Chardonnay 2011, Burgundy A.C., France: This spritely, single vineyard Old World Chardonnay brings with it a fresh spring day in a sun-dappled orchard of white peaches brushed with spring rain. Lovely. Medium-bodied and perfect for seafood dishes. Vibrant minerality that's perfect for sushi and goat cheese. Drink: 2013 - 2017 365007 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dürnberg Rabenstein Grüner Veltliner 2011, Weinviertel D.A.C., Austria: Clean, crisp green flavours of lime and chives. Great mouth-watering acidity for food. The chalky soil in the vineyards with up to 50-year-old vines lends deep minerality to the wine which is aged on its yeast (sur lie) in 1,000 litre oak barrels which doesn't give any detectable oak aromas or flavours. Drink: 2013 - 2015 366906 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cascina Del Pozzo Roero Arneis Arneis 2012, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: White flowers and lime blossom aromas on this adorable white wine. Medium-bodied with just a touch of acidity. Wow what an amazing aperitif. Seafood anyone? Arneis food pairings: roast pork and veggie risotto. Drink: 2013 - 2015 368506 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ilocki Podrumi Premium Grasevina 2011, Syrmia, Continental, Croatia: Smoked almonds yet not oaky: crisp and clean with good acidity. Medium-bodied with a lime fresh, smoky finish. Drink: 2013 - 2016 369421 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 88/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Catena Chardonnay 2012, Mendoza, Argentina: This full-bodied white wine has a smoky nose with peach and Asian pear flavours on the palate. Robust, tasty and satisfying. This wine comes from one of Argentina’s leading producers. Perfect for roast chicken or turkey. The grapes for this wine come from 3 vineyards and are whole cluster pressed and aged for 10 months in French barrels. Chardonnay food pairings: smoky roast chicken, duck a l'orange, lobster dipped in butter, beef bourguignon, cheese. Drink: 2014 - 2018 918805 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maison Roche De Bellene Montagny 1Er Cru Chardonnay 2011, Burgundy A.C., France: Smooth, slipper and delicious: subtle Old World Chardonnay without heavy oak. Green apple and white peach brightness. Medium-bodied. Drink: 2013 - 2018 233593 12.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gray Monk Unwooded Chardonnay 2012, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Good acidity and freshness: Asian pear and green apple notes, no oak. The grapes are grown on vineyards perched above Lake Okanagan, 3 minutes and 19 seconds north of the 50th latitude according to the back label. (Yes, I read those.) Drink: 2013 - 2016 303743 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Tremblay Cuvée Vin Noble Quincy Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Loire A.C., France: Lime green fresh aromas on this zippy white wine with lemongrass laser focus and crispness. Great aperitif or companion to seafood. Gooseberry finish. Brought to us by Jean Tatin. Drink: 2013 - 2016 375659 13% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 89/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Riaux Pouilly-Fumé 2012, Loire A.C., France: This refreshing and crisp white wine from Jeannot Pére & Fils offers lemon brightness. This zesty white wine is based on sauvignon blanc. Not herbal. Nice aperitif or companion to seafood, salads and vegetarian dishes. Medium-bodied. Some gooseberry and lime on the finish. Great with shellfish. Pouilly-Fumé food pairings: seafood, salads, vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2014 - 2017 200063 13% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Napa County, Sonoma County, California, United States: Laser-focused freshness on the nose that delvers a splendidly airy hallway of breezy leon and lime aromas. This winery was established in 1882 in a now historic Victorian home. Drink: 2014 - 2016 313593 13% XD 750 mL $40.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2012, Napa Valley, California, United States: Full-throttle Californian Chardonnay from the heart of Napa Valley. This is such a well-known (and respected) winery. Aromas of toasty oak, pear and smoke. Drink: 2014 - 2017 361949 14.5% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Fôret Chablis Premier Cru Chardonnay 2011, Burgundy A.C., France: Clean, fresh and crisp: classic unoaked Old World Chardonnay from Burgundy brought to us by Jean-Claude Bessin. Lemon zest, lime finish. Great mouth-watering acidity and clean flavours on the palate. Perfect for seafood. Drink: 2014 - 2017 373431 13% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pascal Bouchard Montmains Vieilles Vignes Chablis 1Er Cru 2011, Burgundy A.C., France: Fresh and crisp with zesty lime and white grapefruit aromas. Very inviting Old World unoaked Chardonnay from northern Burgundy. Drink: 2013 - 2018 374181 12.5% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 90/100. April 2014. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Riesling 2012, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Classic! Yet it is medium in sweetness but it's so balanced with all elements and packed with flavour that it doesn't come off at all as "sweet" -- just lip-smacking delicious. I need more please. Medium-bodied with apricot comfort for my glazed ham. Riesling food pairings: sushi, spicy pad Thai. Drink: 2013 - 2018 277483 11.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 91/100. April 2014. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Yalumba Viognier 2012, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia: Deep, resonant Viognier for those not afraid of flavour. Dare you! Beautiful and exotic with white floral notes in this vibrant white wine. It's smooth yet characterful in the mouth. Some apricot-peach on the finish. Perfect for mild curries and spicy dishes. Viognier food pairings: mild curries, shellfish, ham, poultry, Emmental cheese. Drink: 2014 - 2018 954644 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 93/100. April 2014. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2015 Natalie MacLean