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Vintages Release June 7, 2008

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Dessert Wine

François Voyer Terres De Grande Champagne Cognac, Verrieres, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Fit for a king, this Grande Champagne Cognac makes a highly refined after-dinner sipper. Regal in stature and character, this exquisite spirit is dry and smooth with lovely aromas of dried fruits, violets and other floral notes and generous flavors of dried fruit, marzipan, vanilla and hints of cedar. Perfect for those occasions when only the best will do. My note: A terrific gift for dad on Father’s Day. This cognac is a magnificent way to finish a dinner or a day. 66761 S 700 mL $49.95 Score: 92/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Smith Woodhouse Madalena Vintage Port 1996, Btld. 1998 Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: Port lovers will adore Madalena’s fabulous aromas and flavors of super-ripe raspberries, preserved cherries and dark chocolate. No need to wait, this single-vineyard vintage Port is drinking superbly now. My note: Delicious aromas of blackberries and dark fruit. Vintage Port food pairings: mature artisanal cheeses. 520106 S 750 mL $47.95 Score: 93/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pillitteri Estates Winery I Baci Vidal Icewine 2006, V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: The 'i baci' series (Italian for ’the kisses’) features original paintings by Montreal-based artist, Niko. This luscious Vidal Icewine displays aromas and flavors of peach preserves, honey and sun-dried mango. Serve it chilled as a digestif. My note: Honeyed apricot goodness: pure after-dinner elixir. Vidal Icewine food pairings: fresh fruits. 71779 S 375 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Kilikanoon Blocks Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Road Cabernet Sauvignon from Clare Valley is just the ticket. It shows classic aromas of blackcurrant, earth and graphite along with typical Aussie notes of mint. The elegant structure, refined fruitiness anddusty tannins make this a pleasing wine that suggests both modern and classic styles. My note: A classic Australian cabernet with enticing black fruit aromas. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled leg of lamb. Drink: 2008 - 2012 926790 14.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craneford Basket Pressed Quartet Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The Barossa Valley is Australia’s most famous source of iconic red wines. This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc and 8% Shiraz. My note: A deep, rich and full-bodied red with lovely cassis and blackberry notes. 59964 D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vign. Kjellberg, Prop. Château Les Cabannes Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Toronto-born Peter Kjellberg is the owner/winemaker of Château les Cabannes, an exciting, up-and-coming St-Émilion property. This is an exceptional value from the already-legendary 2005 Bordeaux vintage. With plenty of luscious fruit, coffee bean notes and ripe tannins. My note: A smooth, full-bodied, balanced red with good length on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: griled or smoked meats. Drink: 2008 - 2011 973727 XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Bournac Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, A.C. Fronsac, Bordeaux, France: Loaded with cassis, blackberries and currants, this full-bodied number will cellar well. Drink: 2010 - 2020 947127 XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 91/100. June 2008. Favorite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fess Parker Syrah 2004, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Before turning to winemaking, Fess Parker was a popular actor best known as TV’s Daniel Boone and as the father in Disney’s Old Yeller. My note: Lovely black fruit and toasty oak notes. Drink: 2008 - 2010 942136 XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

L.A. Cetto Zinfandel 2005, Valle De Guadalupe, Baja, Mexico: Vintages Wine Panel: This Zinfandel is a value version of the California interpretation. Aged for half a year in new oak and an additional six months in bottle prior to release, this delicious red showcases aromas and flavors of plum, raspberry and vanilla. My note: A simple, lip-smacking delicious red that’s perfect for summer parties and BBQs. Zinfandel food pairings: barbequed steaks, gourmet hamburgers, grilled portobello mushrooms. 405605 14.5% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. June 2008. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

El Retiro Bonarda 2004, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: True Bonarda is only grown in northern Italy. Argentinian Bonarda, the provenance of which is still a matter of debate, is now one of the two most widely planted grapes in the country. Internationally, Bonarda wines are quickly growing in popularity. Finca el Retiro’s version is rich on the palate and as juicy as summer fruit. My note: A dark red with full-bodied punch. 640896 D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Visión Pinot Noir 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Made from grapes grown in the renowned Colchagua Valley, this elegant Pinot Noir displays lovely cherry, strawberry and raspberry notes. Silky with fine, soft tannins, this is rounder than some Pinots and will nicely complement smoked salmon or avocado salad. My note: A full-bodied pinot with slurpy red and purple fruit notes. Pinot Noir food pairings: rare steak, spicy beef fajitas. 419010 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Rosa Don Reca Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2006, Cachapoal Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The Don Reca range produces the rarest and most celebrated wines of Viña La Rosa. Blended with 15% Merlot, the 2006 Cab Sauv offers aromas of cherry and mint leaf, with blueberry, cassis and chocolate in velvety combination on the palate. My note: A full-bodied red with rich aromas of black fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release food pairings: rare steak, spicy beef fajitas. Drink: 2008 - 2012 63792 XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Visión Carmenere 2007, Rapel Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Each wine in Cono Sur’s Visión series is sourced from a plot of land personally chosen by the winemaker, with the aim of producing a wine with individual character. The 2007 Carmenere is an intense purple color in the glass, offering aromas of black cherry, mocha and hazelnuts. Richly textured with dark berry fruit flavors and ripe tannins. My note: This winery uses Chile’s classic grape to make a wine in an accessible and delicious style. Dark red fruit notes. Carmenere food pairings: blackened Cajun steak. 59360 XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Hallett Shiraz Grenache 2006, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Known in Australia as 'Gamekeeper’s Reserve’, this Shiraz/Grenache blend also contains a small amount of Touriga Nacional which adds a touch of floral spice. Earthy with red-berry fruit on the nose, the palate is big, rich and peppery with raspberry and strawberry flavors and the tell-tale spicy finish. My note: One of my favorite Barossa producers, St.Hallet’s has mercifully given us a terrific wine at an amazing price. Delicious and full-bodied. Order a case. Shiraz Grenache food pairings: chorizo sausages. Drink: 2008 - 2011 24117 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Poole's Rock Wines Cockfighter's Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: A deep red-purple color in the glass, this Cab offers up aromas of blackberry, currant, earth and cedar. More flavors emerge on the palate, including ripe raspberry, chocolate, and mint notes. The smooth but hearty tannins make this an ideal partner for pepper steak or bison burgers. My note: Fills your senses with beautifully ripe dark red fruit and warmth. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steak, bison burgers. 672550 14.7% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Upland Organic Estate Pheasant Haven Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, W.O. Wellington, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: A warm and jammy fruit Cabernet that is ripe, round, full-bodied and long-finishing. Made with certified organically grown grapes, this wine contains 6 mg/L of free sulphur. My note: A delicious and balanced red. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued back ribs, bison burgers. 65540 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Lancyre Pic Saint-Loup Vieilles Vignes Syrah Grenache 2005, A.C. Coteaux Du Languedoc, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Pic Saint-Loup is one of the Languedoc’s most exciting areas without its own appellation. Still part of the larger Côteaux du Languedoc AC, Pic Saint-Loup is filled with dynamic producers doing wondrous things with old vines Syrah and Grenache. This wine is a prime example. Loaded with black cherry, garrigue and perfectly configured wood tones, this full-bodied, long-finishing wine will reward 2-4 years in a cellar. My note: A brooding, dark wine with black fruit and smoky oak notes. Syrah Grenache food pairings: braised beef, roast pork dishes. 74765 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Des Fees Walden Carignan Grenache 2006, A.C. Côtes Du Roussillon Villages, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Named in homage to Thoreau, the Walden 2006 is a blend of Carignan and Grenache. Displaying an attractive bouquet of blackberry, raspberry and black pepper, it is fresh and inviting on the palate with berry flavors and spicy herbal notes, and a long finish. This is the perfect wine to serve at your summer evening wine and cheese party. My note: A simple and tasty red for alfresco dining. Carignan Grenache food pairings: French cheeses. 70334 D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château De Chambert Le Causse Cahors Malbec Blend 2004, A.C. Southwest, France: Vintages Wine Panel: La Causse is a blend of 71% Malbec, 19% Merlot and 10% Tannat. A wine such as this proves that Argentina does not have a stranglehold on Malbec. Château de Chambert finds ways to bring forth its vibrant earthy fruitiness while still maintaining Cahors’ structure. They add Merlot to fill in the fruit and the Tannat for structure and color. My note: A terrific summer sipper that won’t break the bank for informal gatherings and parties. Malbec Blend food pairings: lamb chopsgame meats, bison steak. Drink: 2008 - 2013 70011 XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ramos-Pinto Duas Quintas Touriga Franca Tinta Roriz Touriga Nacional 2006, D.O.C. Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: The vineyards for this wine, Quinta de Ervamoira and Quinta dos Bon Ares, are located in the heart of Douro’s port-producing area. Ramos Pinto uses the traditional port grapes Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional in this dry red wine. It has an intense nose of blackberries with a wisp of vanilla, and a long, silky finish. My note: A rustic and delicious red with ripe black fruit notes. Touriga Franca Tinta Roriz Touriga Nacional food pairings: meat dishes, garlic. 359893 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tomàs Cuisiné Vilosell Tempranillo Blend 2005, D.O. Costers Del Segre, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: A blend of 50% Tempranillo, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Garnacha, and 5% Syrah. Aged in new French oak for nine months. Rich and generous notes of ripe black and dark red fruit. Full-bodied. 66928 XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz Non-Vintage, South Eastern Australia, Australia: If you haven't tried sparkling shiraz, you should as it's a wonderful combination of effervescence and berry-ripe flavors. This one has great depth. 971507 14.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Tavel Rosé 2007, A.C. Rhone, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Tavel produces some of the richest, yet driest, rosés on the market. They work beautifully as sippers. The Perrin 2007 vintage is a lovely blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. My note: A gorgeous rosé with notes of ripe raspberries. It’ll make you want more. Tavel Rosé food pairings: grilled chicken, seafood salads, bouillabaisse, pork tenderloin. 680801 XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 93/100. June 2008. Favorite Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muga Rosé 2007, D.O.C.A. Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: Made with Garnacha, Tempranillo and Viura, this 2007 vintage is dry and flavourful with a bright raspberry and strawberry nose. My note: An aromatic sipper with a basketful full of ripe berries on the nose. The ultimate picnic, deck and dockside wine. 603795 XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Champagne Brut Cuvée Rosé, Non-Vintage, Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Rare amongst rosé Champagnes, which are generally created by blending white and red juices, Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé is made in the more difficult Saignée method of extracting the color from first-run Pinot Noir juice. With its pale rose-pink color, fine mousse and classy texture, it’s little wonder that this is the #1 selling rosé bubbly in the world. It has raspberry, redcurrant, red pepper jelly and citrus flavors with a hint of spice on its long finish. Vibrant and refreshing. My note: A gorgeous bubbly with layers of depth and flavor. This is the wine to toast your new marriage or merger. Champagne Brut Cuvée Rosé, Non-Vintage food pairings: herb-roasted chicken, roast leg of lamb. 158550 D 750 mL $99.95 Score: 94/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Champagne Brut Non-Vintage, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Blanc de Blancs simply means that it is made exclusively with Chardonnay. My note: Lovely notes of lemon and green apples. 658500 XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Vintage Réserve Brut 2000, Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: In 1805, at the tender age of 27, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin successfully took over the operation of this famous house after the death of her husband. The Vintage Réserve is a fine tribute to this brilliant woman, featuring lovely aromas of white blossom, lemon and apricot, a creamy mouthfeel with complex flavors of fruit, citrus and minerals culminating in a fittingly long, luxurious finish. My note: A consistently great producer vintage after vintage. For those who like more full-bodied champagnes. Champagne Vintage Réserve Brut food pairings: shellfish. Drink: 2008 - 2015 508614 XD 750 mL $92.95 Score: 91/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marguet Cuvée Tradition Champagne Blanc De Noirs Non-Vintage, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Blanc de Noirs means white wines from red grapes. The wine receives no skin contact, so the juice is white. The blend here is 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier. This effervescent Champagne features a sweet fruit core of apple and pear, with a hint of lemony tartness rounding out the finish. My note: The red wine content in this bubbly give it deeper flavors and length. Great price. Champagne Blanc De Noirs Non-Vintage food pairings: grilled lobster tail, seafood pasta with cream-based sauce. 68783 XD 750 mL $42.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gabbiano Cuvée Foudres Champagne Selected Réserve Non-Vintage, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The producer matures the still wines in large oak casks for one to two years prior to commencing secondary bottle fermentation and then three years of lees contact before disgorgement. They believe this creates a richer, fuller style of Champagne. This blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier demonstrates how right they are. My note: A full-bodied sparkler with notes of ripe apples and pears. Champagne Selected Réserve Non-Vintage food pairings: boiled lobster. 68320 D 750 mL $44.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fleury & Fils Carte Rouge Champagne Brut Non-Vintage, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: In 1989, Champagne Fleury became the first producer in the region to convert to not only organic production, but biodynamic as well. Since then, the results have been stunning as this fruity, full-bodied, toasty fizz attests. This wine contains 6 mg/L of free sulphur. My note: A robust and tasty bubbly with ripe pear notes. 74443 XD 750 mL $56.95 Score: 91/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ayala Rich Majeur Champagne Demi-Sec, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Demi-sec champagnes, being off-dry, are excellent when matched with fruit-based desserts and this example is no exception. Attractive pale gold in color, it offers up aromas of peach and apricot, with a fine balancing acidity on the palate. My note: A lovely, toasty bubbly with a crisp, dry finish. Champagne Demi-Sec food pairings: creamy cheeses, fresh fruits. 75960 MD 750 mL $53.95 Score: 90/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beaumont Des Crayères Champagne Brut Grand Rosé Non-Vintage, A.C. Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The majority of rosé Champagnes are made by blending red and white wines together. This one by Beaumont des Crayères is a classic example of how the art of the blend is used to make rosé champers. They mix 25% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Meunier to create this open-knit, cherry-infused sparkler. It is dry, rich, yet gentle, with an underlying fruitiness on the long finish. My note: Most people don’t realize that rosé bubbly is often more difficult to make than “regular” bubbly and often has more complex, richer, deeper flavors and is bone-dry. (Too much of a hang-over from our sweet pink fizz days.) It’s also lovely to look at in the glass. 926998 D 750 mL $48.95 Score: 92/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier Non-Vintage, Champagne, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Superior to many producers’ vintage-dated Champagnes, Louis Roederer’s non- vintage bubbly has aromas of toast, almonds and citrus fruit. Expect a fresh, creamy mouthfull with flavors of binned apples, lemon pie, pizza dough and pear. This classic benchmark Champagne makes an excellent aperitif or a delicious companion to a light entrée. Keep this Champagne handy for impromptu celebrations. My note: My absolute favorite non-vintage bubbly: this wine has it all in depth, complexity, balance and long finish. 268771 XD 750 mL $65.00 Score: 93/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Private Reserve 2005, Napa Valley, California, United States: Another rich and deliciously layered chard from Beringer. Full-bodied. Drink: 2008 - 2012 26682 14.7% D 750 mL $44.95 Score: 91/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Sbragia Chardonnay 2005, Napa Valley, California, United States: One of my favorite Californian chardonnay producers at all their price points. A rich, layered chard with notes of ripe pears and peaches, dried apricot and almonds. 79178 14.1% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 93/100. June 2008. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Penmara Semillon Reserve 2007, Hunter Valley, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Hunter Valley is one of the finest regions in Australia, if not the world, for single-variety Semillon. Never oak aged, Penmara's Reserve Semillon displays aromas and flavors of green apple, pear, and a remarkable toastiness that many mistakenly think is the result of wood contact. My note: Once you acquire a taste for Australian Semillon, you'll wonder how you ate dinner without it. Lovely lemon goodness over layers of toast. Semillon Reserve food pairings: seafood dishes. 58644 D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coopers Creek Vineyard Viognier 2007, Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand: Lovely notes of white flowers, lychee and mild spices. Viognier food pairings: Asian curries, seafood. 61416 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gustav Adolf Schmitt Riesling Spätlese 2006, Qmp, Niersteiner Auflangen, Estate Btld, Rheinhessen, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: Gustav Adolph Schmidt is a centuries-old property that produces some of the most striking Rieslings to come out of the vineyards surrounding the town of Nierstein. This Spätlese features aromas of orange marmalade, peach compote and citrus. Medium in sweetness, it is leavened by a lovely seam of youthful acidity. My note: A classic German Riesling with lots of finesse and aromatic beauty. Riesling Spätlese food pairings: spiced prawn dishes. Drink: 2008 - 2012 71225 M 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. June 2008. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villanova Pinot Grigio 2006, D.O.C. Friuli Isonzo, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: Villanova’s Pinot Grigio is known for its crisp, dry, minerally personality and lemon, peach, and herb notes. One sip of this balanced, long-finishing golden wonder and you will instantly discover why Pinot Grigio has soared in popularity. My note: A crisp, dry white with pleasant melon and lime notes. 22012 XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. June 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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