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Wine Picks September 2, 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.

Red Wine

Gray Fox Merlot 2007, California, United States: A simple, supple red with notes of dark plums and a pleasant bitter finish. 527507 12% 750 mL $7.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Southbrook Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz 2006, V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada: Robust layers of dark, brooding blackberries and black plums. Toasty wrapped in a blanket of smoky oak. Full-bodied and looking to pick a fight with anyone who disagrees that this is a tasty red. 45609 12.1% 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2008, Australia, Australia: Purple plum goodness and sunshine in a glass! A terrific, knock-it-back wine for casual potlucks and barbecues. A consistent producer of tasty wines. 145367 13.5% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Malbec 2008, Chile, Chile: Tasty depths of black-purple plums, blackberries and black raspberries. Toasty hickory smoke wafts through the basket of fruit. Full-bodied, supple and warm. Invites to sidle up next to the bottle like an old friend at the bar. Malbec food pairings: grilled meats, roasted vegetables. 94060 13.5% 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zinfandel 2006, California, United States: Bright blueberries, brambleberries and black raspberries. Wonderfully vibrant and full-bodied with a smooth texture and layers of tasty flavors. A pleasant spicy finish. 66118 13.9% 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2007, California, United States: One of the best values on the liquor store shelf! Deep, mouth-watering layers of dark berries and plums with a smoky note underneath. Rich layers of flavor that will keep you returning to your glass again and again and … Drink: 2007 - 2012 669499 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Prospect Winery Fats Johnson Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Okanagan, B.C., Canada: A vibrant, zippy Pinot Noir that will wake up your mouth with a flavor call. Bright, ripe cherries and strawberries that have a nervy tart edge. Perfectly versatile for so many dishes. Make friends with this wine today. 92304 13% 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Napa Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, California, United States: You won't find Napa Valley Cabernet much lower priced than this, especially for the quality and taste. A mocha-infused, rich, round Cab, this one has lip-smacking delicious layers of dark fruit and smoky oak. Full-bodied and satisfying. 29975 13.5% 750 mL $18.15 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Shiraz 2008, Chile, Chile: Layers of dark chocolate, black cherries and hickory smoke. Full-bodied, supple and rich. Perfect for movie night. 568055 13.5% 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Puerta Shiraz 2008, Argentina, Argentina: A simple, plummy wine with purple berry notes and a supple, full-bodied texture. Mouth-watering and tasty. Great for laundry night. 614636 13% 750 mL $9.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vina Carmen Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Chile, Chile: An incredible value on the liquor store shelf: rich, round, full-bodied. Intriguing aromas of dark fruit, pine needles, mint and smoke. Lovely! 78980 13.5% 750 mL $10.85 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006, Australia, Australia: Classicly structured and balanced with terrific fruit. Not your average Australian Cab and not as fruit-forward. This wine has distinction and is terrific for the price. New World concentration and Old World tailoring and lines. Superb effort. 613240 13.5% 750 mL $16.45 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cypress Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Mocha-dark chocolate notes with blackberries, cassis and blackcurrant. Full-bodied, supple and delicious. Here's a wine for that steak dinner you've been planning. 620799 12.8% 750 mL $14.00 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Spanish Quarter Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo 2007, Coster Del Segre, Spain: A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Tempranillo, this red has full-bodied layers of dark fruit and mocha. Dark cherries and raspberries and a smooth texture. 72546 13.4% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castillo De Monseran Viura Garnacha 2008, Carinena, Spain: Tasty and straight-forward with mouth-watering tart cherries and some smoke. Full-bodied and supple. 73387 13.6% 750 mL $8.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Masi Campofiorin Corvino Blend 2006, Verona, Italy: Love the black cherries with the mouth-watering streak of tar through them! Full-bodied and deep, bring you to you knees kind of wine. Masi knows how to make fabulous wines at every price point. 155051 13% 750 mL $17.45 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Serame Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Languedoc, Roussilon, France: Black fruit, smoky oak and full-bodied foreboding. Layers of lip-smacking delicious flavor. 35006 13.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Farnese Montepulciano Dabruzzo 2007, Abruzzo, Italy: An incredible wine for the money! Holy smokes Batman. Lovely bitter cherries and tarry notes give this full-bodied delicious red a mouth-watering savory taste. 621912 13% 750 mL $7.55 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mineo Cavallina Syrah Nero D'avola 2007, Sicily, Italy: Plummy, round, rich and full-bodied with gorgeous notes with black cherries and blackberries. 74096 12.5% 750 mL $10.05 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bertani Valpantena Ripasso 2007, Verona, Italy: Medium- to full-bodied richness with black cherries and bitter tarry (lovely) finish. Supple and long-lasting. 12443 13% 750 mL $17.70 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ogio Primitivo 2008, Puglia, Italy: Fantastic value! Rich, war, ripe notes of blackberries and black cherries. Mocha and light smoke with full-bodied goodness. 86421 13% 750 mL $8.85 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Romaine Venus Syrah 2007, Cotes Du Rhone Villages, France: Rustic, simple and delicious. Black cherries and cedar spice with full-bodied layers. 28779 13.7% 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Vieille Ferme Syrah 2007, Cotes Du Ventoux, Rhone, France: Rustic, robust and tasty! Black cherries, wild garrigue and cedar spice. Full-bodied and wonderfully Old World. 263640 13.5% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Sangre De Toro Regional Blended Red 2007, Penedes, Spain: A delicious and fantastic value! Full-bodied with blackberries and raspberries. Lovely weave of oak. 6585 13.5% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montecillo Crianza Tempranillo 2005, Rioja, Spain: Old World finesse with mature aromas of leather and cigar box. Some dried herbs and pleasantly bitter cherries. 144493 13.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

French Tom Merlot 2006, Languedoc, Roussilon, France: A plummy, chocolate-rich red with full-bodied supple layers of flavors. Completely dry (not sweet). 114082 13% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Espiritu De Chile Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Chile, Chile: Dark chocolate, black raspberry and plums. Full-bodied and supple. Knock it back! 60657 13.7% 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Pinot Noir Reserve 2008, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: Bursting with ripe cherries girded by a lovely seam of mouth-watering acidity. Balance, finesse, silky texture and length: it's got it all. A terrific wine for the money, especially for Pinot Noir. Very versatile with many dishes. Pinot Noir Reserve food pairings: roasted and smoked light meats-chicken, turkey, lamb, pork; summer mushroom dishes and mushroom sauces.. Drink: 2009 - 2016 623793 12.5% D 750 mL $18.25 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Burrowing Owl Vineyard Meritage 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: Destined to become a cult classic. This wine offers enticing aromas of cassis, black plum, blackberries and coffeed oak. A monumental structure gives shape and definition to these plush layers of dark fruit. An otherwise ordinary weeknight becomes a celebration when you uncork this big red. Beautifully structured with a finish that’s as long as the yacht you’re planning to buy. Get yourself on the winery’s bottle allocation list now. Meritage food pairings: herb-rubbed duck, beef tenderloin with red pepper-goat cheese sauce, filet mignon, prime rib, lamb shank. Drink: 2009 - 2016 20073 13.5% D 750 mL $45.00 Score: 93/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Osoyoos and Oliver Vineyards Oculus 2006, Okanagan Valley, Canada: This Bordeaux-inspired red from one of B.C.’s top producers blends Old World finesse with New World power. The winery hand-picks and sorts grapes from the best blocks in its Oliver and Osoyoos estate vineyards. The wine is aged in French barrels for 14.5 months before bottling. All of this coddling results in a wine that delivers hedonistic ripples of pleasure on the palate. A core of blackcurrant and cassis is enclosed in a cigar box. Perfect for when you cash in your Google stock. Oculus food pairings: beef wellington, rib roast with coffee rub, venison, pork tenderloin. Drink: 2009 - 2018 220037 14% 750 mL $70.00 Score: 96/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Del-Gatto Estates Del-Gatto Estates Two Shades Of Red 2008, Prince Edward County, Canada: A juicy, berry-ripe red with full-bodied layers of dark berry fruit. A clean taste with no discernible oaky flavors. Easy-drinking and pleasant. Available only from the winery. Two Shades Of Red food pairings: hearty sauce pasta dishes, steak dinners. 12% D 750 mL $16.00 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Merlot 2007, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada: A tasty, mouth-watering red with juicy, ripe dark plums and blackberries. Supple and full-bodied with layers of hedonistic satisfaction. Miles (in Sideways) was wrong: Merlot can be terrific! Merlot food pairings: roasted meats and rich sauces, aged, hearty cheeses. Drink: 2009 - 2014 3234444 13% D 750 mL $15.50 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Pinot Noir 2008, South Eastern Australia, Australia: A supple, medium-bodied red with pleasing notes of ripe strawberries and cherries. Very little oak. Plush and satisfying. Diamond Label Pinot Noir food pairings: roast chicken, pate. 112821 13.5% 750 mL $15.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz 2007, South Eastern Australia, Australia: A dependable, full-bodied Australian shiraz with dark red berries and plums. Some pepper and mint for an added twist. Full-bodied and smooth. Diamond Label Shiraz food pairings: hamburgers, gourmet pizza, steak. 302349 13.5% 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jaure Jaure Malbec Gran Vecco 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy and delicious red with aromas of black plums and black cherries. Supple with mouth-watering acidity that makes it a versatile partner for many hearty meat dishes. Malbec Gran Vecco food pairings: barbecued or marinated steak, pork, lamb. Drink: 2009 - 2011 870635000030 14% D 750 mL $17.10 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Vina Vistamar Vistamar Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Rose 2009, Central Valley, Chile: A deep and full-bodied rose with ripe cranberry and currant notes. Good acidity for a refreshing attack. Drink: 2009 - 2010 7804449002952 13.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Vistamar Viostamar Sauvignon Blanc Vistamar 2009, Santiago, Chile: A fresh, carefree white with zesty notes of white grapefruit and lime. Not a trace of oak. Makes a great aperitif. Sauvignon Blanc Vistamar food pairings: Blackened Salmon on rice. Drink: 2009 - 2010 7804449002464 13% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Pinot Grigio 2007, South Eastern Australia, Australia: This zippy, fresh white offers notes of white grapefruit and lime. Not a trace of oak. Light- to medium-bodied. Makes a pleasant aperitif. Closed with a screwcap. Diamond Label Pinot Grigio food pairings: salmon, shellfish, salads, vegetarian dishes, quiche. 112813 12.5% 750 mL $13.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio 2007, California, United States: A simple, immanently quaffable white with tasty notes of limes and white melon. It comes in a TetraPak (gasp): get over it. Perfect for camping and picnics. 622019 13% 1000 mL $12.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand: Herbal and grassy: yum! Liquid salad in a glass. Refreshing and mouth-watering. 129528 12% 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pfaffenheim Cuvee Chevalier Pinot Blanc 2007, Alsace, France: Refreshing white melon and grapefruit. Zesty, no oak and medium-bodied. 22855 12.5% 750 mL $13.45 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cavallina Grillo Pinot Grigio 2008, Sicily, Italy: Wonderfully aromatic with field flowers and lime. Lovely wine for the money.refreshing, clean and crisp. Wow. 123166 12.5% 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Feudo Arancio Grillo 2008, Sicily, Italy: Pleasant with white melon and green apples. Clean and fresh, no oak. 114710 13% 750 mL $11.95 Score: 85/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Binderer St. Ursula Weinkellerei Pinot Blanc 2008, Hungary, Hungary: A refreshing wine with grapefruit and lime, no oak. Medium-bodied with mouth-watering acidity. 565820 12% XD 750 mL $8.95 Score: 84/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Harbour Estates Winery Riesling 2007, V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: A lovely white peach-infused Riesling with crisp lime zest notes. Clean and refreshing. 60590 9.8% 750 mL $12.15 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flagstone Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Elim, South Africa: Herbal, grassy goodness in this lovely and refreshing South African Sauvignon Blanc. Notes of lime, green apples and lemongrass. Zesty with mouth-watering acidity and no discernible trace of oak. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: vegetarian dishes, quiche, salads, shellfish, grilled vegetables. Drink: 2009 - 2010 096537 12.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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