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Vintages Release May 2, 2009

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Red Wine

Zenato Merlot Corvina 2006, I.G.T., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The always dependable Zenato winery deftly combines the international variety Merlot with Veneto’s own Corvina to craft a smooth and supple red that’s perfect for spring barbecues. Deeply colored, with aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, coffee and black cherry, this stylish blend is dry and invigorating with a ripe and round texture and a lengthy finish. My note: A lovely, juicy, succulently ripe red with aromas of fleshy plums, blackberries, black raspberries, mocha and smoke. Full-bodied and a velvet texture. A soul-soothing wine to sip and relax. Merlot Corvina food pairings: grilled steaks, gourmet hamburgers, portobello mushrooms. 108282 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2006, Sonoma County, California, United States: Juicy-ripe red berries and fruits with a great lashing of mouth-watering acidity. Terrific for those who love big flavor without tons of oak. The hedonistic pleasure of this wine ripples through from start to finish. Zinfandel food pairings: chili, spice-rubbed or grilled chicken, spareribs, pasta in tomato sauce. 363358 15% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Merlot 2006, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Medium ruby in color, this wine is filled with aromas of black cherry, raspberry and a hint of cinnamon. Dry, textured and quite elegant, it is impressively ripe and round with just enough acid and tannin to bring structure to the pretty wine. Medium to full-bodied with a fairly lengthy finish. Will drink well for up to three years. My note: Enticing mocha-infused nose with notes of ripe, fleshy blackberries and black raspberries. Round, robust and velvet-smooth. Lovely! Cabernet Merlot food pairings: coq au vin, grilled game meats, lamb ragout, leg of lamb. 117580 12.5% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kiara Private Reserve Sylvester Vineyards Zinfandel 2006, Paso Robles, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This property, originally a cattle ranch, was planted with vineyards in the early 1980s. After several years of supplying quality grapes to local wineries, Sylvester Vineyards took the plunge into winemaking in 1990 and the rest, as they say, is history. Kiara is its premium tier: This well-structured Zin is bursting with ripe boysenberry, raspberry and pomegranate as well as notes of earth and new oak. Perfect for barbecued ribs or kebabs. My note: Perfect blue jeans, weekend wine: supple, comfy and delicious. Notes of ripe blueberries and blackberries. Lovely velvet texture and full-bodied richness. Zinfandel food pairings: ratatouille, roast turkey, barbecue sauces, venison stew, marinated chicken. 94250 14% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Artezin Zinfandel 2006, Mendocino County, California, United States: Made by Hess Winery, this full-on Zinfandel is a great partner for flame-broiled anything. Big aromas of blackberry, blueberry and brambleberry with some underbrush as a backdrop. Start a romance with this wine. Zinfandel food pairings: pepperoni or Hawaiian pizza, lamb kabobs, nachos, turkey and cranberry sauce. 4887 14.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sanctuary Usibelli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Napa Valley, California, United States: An elegant and balanced Cabernet with notes of cassis, brambleberry, dried herbs, cigar box and dark spices. Full-bodied with great elegance and balance. Dollops of flavor envelop your senses. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: osso buco, roasted eggplant, wild boar, dark chocolate, cheddar cheese. 95372 14% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: Heavily extracted: If you love your wine to give your palate a good whipping with bruising black fruit flavors and oak, this one is for you. Gutsy and muscular. Bring it on! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: beef cooked in red wine, hamburgers, meaty casseroles, pheasant, leg of lamb. 222877 14.5% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Line Shack Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Central Coast, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Launched in 2004 by winemaker Bob Balentine and his wife Daphne, Line Shack is named after a run-down cabin on their property that was once used by cowboys as shelter on the open range. The renovated shack is now their tasting room. Using fruit sourced mainly from the new San Antonio Valley AVA, this ripe and balanced Cab is made for near-term enjoyment. My note: Loaded with mocha, coffee and blackberry goodness. Full-bodied, and aromatic with a cassis-infused finish. A warm-hearted wine for the weekend. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued pork spareribs, sauages, port or wine reduction sauces, sizzling New York strip steaks, veal chops. 105965 14.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Guicciardini Strozzi Strozzi Ocra 2006, D.O.C., Bolgheri, Il Sangue Della Terra, Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The Guicciardini and Storzzi families have been linked to famous names for centuries. You could play six degrees of separation with these fascinating dynasties. The Strozzis were contemporaries and rivals of the legendary Medici clan; the Guicciardinis are related by blood to the woman we know as ‘Mona Lisa’ and by marriage to Winston Churchill. They continue to make wine at one of the finest estates in Tuscany. My note: A mocha-coffee-infused nose with gorgeous layers of black fruit and smoke. Full-bodied with polished tannins. Decant 1-2 hours. Terrific finish. Lots to enjoy here! Food pairings: rack of lamb, lasagna, turkey (dark meat), roast veal. 123570 12.8% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fattoria La Lecciaia Brunello Di Montalcino 2003, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Beautiful intensity of fruit flavor! Full-bodied aromas of black cherry, licorice, dark spices and blackberries. Polished tannins with a long finish. You’ll be the hero of the dinner party if you give this bottle to your host. Brunello Di Montalcino food pairings: shepherd’s pie, brisket, bison steak, lamb shank. Drink: 2009 - 2015 121905 14% XD 750 mL $48.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fattoria Le Pupille Saffredi Elisabetta Geppetti Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Alicante 2004, I.G.T., Maremma, Tuscany, Italy: Doesn’t get much better than this! Who needs food? Who even needs a dining companion when you’ve got this bottle? Rich, luxurious aromas of succulently ripe dark fruit, chewy tannins, vanilla smoke, exotic dark spices and cigar box. Wrapped in a voluptuous, satin texture. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. A finish that goes on and on. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Alicante food pairings: ostrich, beef or chicken fajitas, sages, cold cuts. Drink: 2012 - 2027 74435 14% XD 750 mL $114.95 Score: 98/100. May 2009. Favorite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Col D'orcia Nearco 2003, D.O.C., Sant'antimo, Tuscany, Italy: A beautifully extracted red with rich notes of blackberry, violets, blueberry and cigar box. Full-bodied with complex layers and concentration. Great thrust and parry on the palate. Decant 1-2 hours. Food pairings: breaded veal cutlets, grilled game meats, venison stew, spicy chicken. Drink: 2009 - 2018 121251 13.6% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Castellaccia Colli Senesi Sangiovese Canaiolo Ciliegiolo 2007, Docg, Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: This organic wine contains just 25 mg/L of free sulfur. Generous and finely made using traditional Chianti grapes of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo, from the Siena hills, this Chianti breaks with tradition by using no oak aging. There are intense aromas of blackberry, blueberry and spice. Dry, excellent fruit core with an equally impressive freshness for balance. Full-bodied with a long fruit-forward finish. Almost New World in style. My note: Tastes more like Cabernet to me but I like it. Aromas of cassis, blackberry mocha and wood smoke. Full-bodied. Decant 1-2 hours. Perfect for watching the Godfather series. Sangiovese Canaiolo Ciliegiolo food pairings: chateaubriand, corned beef, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, pepperoni pizza, herbed chicken. 124784 13.7% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Leonardo Di Vinci Brunello Di Montalcino 2004, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: An elegant, almost feminine wine with a highly refined aroma profile, including black plum, licorice, leather and hints of earth. Dry, with pretty fruit at the start which is nicely supported by ripe tannins on the mid-palate. A Brunello that may be enjoyed in its youth with rare cuts of meat, or cellar it short-term. My note: A stunning wine of marvelous aromatic intensity, yet balanced and refined, very elegant. A superb wine on many dimensions. Aromas of ripe cherries, raspberries, mocha, smoke, violets and earth. Full-bodied with silky, polished tannins. Buy this wine for your anniversary. Brunello Di Montalcino food pairings: steak with mustard sauce, prime rib, casserole, stew. Drink: 2009 - 2015 97592 13% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 95/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Finca La Chamiza Martin Alsina Malbec 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Don Martin Alsina founded La Chamiza estate in 1918 to fulfill his dream of raising Polo horses. Polo, incidentally, is immensely popular in Argentina. Today, La Chamiza is raising vines rather than horses, and this flagship Malbec, sourced from century-old vines, is a true thoroughbred. Aged for 12 months in French oak and another year in bottle, it is bursting with ripe red and black fruits as well as notes of mocha, supported by firm but elegant tannins. A Silver Medal winner at the 2008 International Wine & Spirits Competition in London. My note: A top-notch Malbec with that magic combination of Old World structure, balance and elegance and New World fruit, power and depth. Full-bodied with incredible length. Get in the groove for dinner with this wine. Malbec food pairings: rack of lamb, stew, hamburgers, pizza, pork cooked in prunes. 95539 15.1% XD 750 mL $43.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vinedos Y Bodegas Córpora Porta Boldo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The beautiful Aconcagua Valley possesses the optimal climatic conditions for organic viticulture. Cabernet is the star variety in this warm and dry region, and this delicious organic version features abundant black fruit along with notes of chocolate and mint. This wine contains just 16 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: Juicy, vibrant and alive! Bright notes of purple plums and berries. Full-bodied and mouth-watering. A wonderful wine for a potluck gathering with friends. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: tacos, spicy saUnited Statesges, pepper steak. 86587 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loan Shiraz 2004, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: This was the second winery planted in the Barossa Valley and today is the only certified organic vineyard in the region. The fruit for this Shiraz is hand-picked and basket pressed, and then aged for 30 months in new American oak. Typically made in very small lots, this full-bodied, opulent, and well-structured Shiraz possesses good ageing potential (3-5+ years), but would be delicious now. This organic wine contains only 7 mg/L of free sulfur. My note: A wine packed with personality! Loaded with ripe berry goodness, rich layers of mouth-coating textures and a lovely smoky finish. Full-bodied and long-lasting. Gets my vote for best lip-smacking delicious Shiraz! Shiraz food pairings: meatloaf, saUnited Statesges, shepherd’s pie, grilled organic meats. 104661 17% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reilly's Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: A plush, lovely red with cushiony aromas of plums and berries against a backdrop of smoke, coffee and cigar box. Full-bodied. This wine is really hitting its stride. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: chateaubriand, tongue, beef stew, spicy chicken. 106047 15.2% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Richard Hamilton Lot 148 Merlot 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Love the river of flavor on this wine: starts at the front of your mouth and continues on through the finish. Black cherries, damson plum, briary and tobacco leaves. Full-bodied, oh yes. Merlot food pairings: rich patés, barbecued beef ribs, spicy pork. Drink: 2009 - 2012 39461 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mitolo G.A.M. Shiraz 2007, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Founder and owner Frank Mitolo named the G.A.M. Shiraz after his three children: Gemma, Alex and Marco. My note: A rich, super-ripe red with terrific acidity. Aromas of black cherry, plum and blackberry. Full-bodied with a smooth texture. Closed with a screw cap. A great gulpable wine. Shiraz food pairings: steak with soy sauce, prime rib, herbed chicken. 596031 14.5% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Colonial Estate Envoy Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2006, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Shiraz and 20% Mouvedre yields a sumptuous wine with amazing layers of black fruit, toasty oak and dark spices. Full-bodied and smooth. A cult wine in the making. Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre food pairings: beef cooked in red wine, romano cheese, coq au vin. 47563 14% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alkoomi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Frankland River, Western Australia, Australia: Gorgeous aromas of blackcurrant, tart black cherry, smoky raspberry and vanilla spice. Full-bodied with a long, satisfying finish. Let this wine have its way with you. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: veal marsala, grilled vegetables, bison steak. 904227 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cockfighter's Ghost Premium Reserve Pinot Noir 2006, Tasmania, Limited Edition, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Pinot Noir appears to love the cooler climate of Tasmania. Made with fruit grown in the Tamar Valley (nearest to the island’s north coast), this Pinot saw the inside of French oak barriques for 12 months. Intriguing wild berry aromas pique the senses, while concentrated flavors of cherry, mulberry and spice combine with a velvety mouth-feel to give the palate a great deal to ponder and enjoy. Cellar for 2-4 years, or try it tonight. My note: A vibrant and deeply ripe Pinot with rich aromas of cherries and raspberries. Zesty acidity, silky texture. Full-bodied goodness without the heavy oak. Closed with a screw cap. Pinot Noir food pairings: planked salmon, roast turkey, grilled game, mushroom risotto, Camembert. 60947 14% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Le Bourdieu G. Bailly, Prop. Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2003, A.C., Médoc, Bordeaux, France: Rich, hulking dark aromas of black fruit, wood smoke, licorice and dark spices. Full-bodied, balanced and incredibly structured for the money. Ready to drink now but you could also hold on to it for 4-5 years. Decant for 1-2 hours Cabernet Sauvignon Blend food pairings: lamb chops, lasagna, blue cheese dressing. Drink: 2009 - 2014 85084 13% XD 750 mL $17.65 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Penlois Juliénas Maxence Besson, Vign. Gamay 2006, A.C., Beaujolais, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This Beaujolais estate has been in current owner Maxence Besson’s family since 1922, and the importance of craftsmanship is evident in their classically styled wines. Springing from the AC of Juliénas (some say named for Julius Caesar), this vibrant, Gamay-based beauty is fresh, juicy and ripe with just a subtle suggestion of sweetness. It’s finely balanced, very approachable and easy to love. My note: Ripe cherry soft texture, raspberry and peonies in a field. A pretty wine that’s medium-bodied and generously good-natured. Makes a lovely aperitif. Gamay food pairings: tuna with rosemary, roast chicken, cold cuts. 112532 13% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Latour Marsannay Pinot Noir 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: Marsannay, the most northerly of all the Côte de Nuits appellations, produces red, white and rosé wines. This Pinot Noir is filled with light cherry, vanilla and earth aromas. Dry, soft, and fresh, yet still with a nice tinge of tannin to bring it into balance. Try this medium-bodied wine. It will also reward 2-4 years in a cellar. My note: This wine sings from the glass; its aromas rush out to meet you. Vivacious notes of ripe cherries, strawberries and raspberries. Medium-bodied with polished tannins. A long, satisfying finish. Pinot Noir food pairings: paté, grilled salmon, cold chicken. 110379 13% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Debray Bourgogne Hautes Côtes-De-Beaune Pinot Noir 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: A beautifully approachable Pinot Noir featuring aromas of cranberry, rose petal, strawberry and a hint of toasty oak. Nicely balanced between the ripe fruit and soft tannins. A crowd-pleasing red Burgundy from a respected vintage. Enjoy it tonight with stuffed pork tenderloin. My note: Lovely and vibrant, exuberantly ripe cherries and strawberries. Light- to medium-bodied with a silky texture. Let this wine take you away to your dreamed of seaside resort. Pinot Noir food pairings: swordfish, beef Bourguignonne, creamy cheeses. 112219 11.7% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Monte Del Frá Corvina 2006, D.O.C., Garda, Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The Garda DOC is located near the gorgeous Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. A very versatile wine from the Corvina grape (principal variety in Valpolicella and Amarone) that would even show nicely if lightly chilled. Aromas and flavors are dominated by sour cherry, citrus and green plum. Fresh and enticing. My note: Redolent of tart cherries, smoke and fresh earth. Full-bodied with zingy acidity. Smooth texture. A great mellow-out Sunday evening wine. Corvina food pairings: hamburgers, grilled steaks, roast beef. 116996 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marchesi Fumanelli Classico Amarone 2004, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: A spectacularly long finish completes this finely made Amarone. Aromas suggest red berry, cedar, plum and spice. Full-bodied and quite complex. A real winner that will reward 2-5 years in a cellar, or have it tonight. My note: Deep fruit extraction with notes of fig paste, kirsch, black raspberry and prunes. Full-bodied richness and a long finish. Revel in its plush depths. Amarone food pairings: casseroles, meat stew, rich beef dishes, hard cheeses, dark chocolate. Drink: 2009 - 2025 105155 16% D 750 mL $59.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marqués De Valcarlos Gran Reserva Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, D.O., Navarra, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This 10-year-old wine is a blend of mostly Tempranillo with Cabernet Sauvignon in the support position. The wine is at its peak right now and will likely remain there for five more years. Filled with aromas of dried fruit, stewed berries and cedar tones. The flavors echo the aromas. Integrated tannins, a full body and good overall structure make this wine a winner. My note: If you love the mature aromas that Spain can deliver, try this wine: leather, cigar box, dried tobacco leaves, black fruit and smoke. Don’t blame me if you have to run back to the liquor store to buy another case of it after you try one bottle. Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled beef, bison steaks. 687251 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere 2008, Colchagua, Chile: Loaded with black cherry liqueur, ripe raspberries and fleshy plums. Full-bodied, plush and delicious! Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere food pairings: stews, casseroles, legumes, steak, ribs. Drink: 2009 - 2009 56853 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Sileni Estates Selection Rosé Cabernet Franc 2008, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Deep berry-ripe rosé with rich flavors and full-bodied texture. This bone-dry wine delivers mouth-watering aromas of ripe raspberries and strawberries. Closed with a screw cap. Imagine it on a summer day in the middle of a field of daisies under a shady tree, a picnic blanket, a loaf of bread… Cabernet Franc food pairings: grilled salmon, cold chicken, salad. 599951 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Corne-Loup Rosé Syrah Blend 2008, A.C., Tavel, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine from Tavel, where rosé is a specialty, is an elegant, refreshing example. My note: A more full-bodied rosé with enticing raspberry notes. Bone-dry and refreshing. A shorts and sandals kind of wine. Syrah Blend food pairings: mild to medium curry dishes, seafood, shellfish, salads. 71209 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Favorite Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Val Joanis Famille Chancel, Prop.-Récolt. Tradition Rosé Syrah 2008, A.C., Luberon, Rhône, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This Syrah-dominated rosé makes an excellent palate refresher on a hot day. The fresh berry fruit and spicy aromas and flavors are well complemented by a racy acidity. This pink beauty will shine when served. My note: A very berry-ripe rosé with exuberant notes of strawberries and raspberries. Zippy with great refreshment potential. Syrah food pairings: spring salads, smoky grilled pork chops, chicken satay in a light peanut sauce. 707281 14% D 750 mL $16.00 Score: 88/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Aljibes Rosé Syrah 2008, Vino De La Tierra De Castilla, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This very modern estate produces a wonderfully stylish rosé using 100% Syrah. Featuring bright fruity aromas of strawberry and plum, the wine is soft and pleasant with lots of red berry fruit flavors balanced by lively acidity. Well-made and very food-friendly, it will make a charming aperitif or featured wine at your next tapas party. My note: An incredibly tasty wine for the money! Vibrant notes of sweet cherries and strawberries, even though the wine itself is extra dry. Smooth and imminently gulpable. Syrah food pairings: cream sauces, seafood, tuna with rosemary. 122333 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. May 2009. Best Value Rosé Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Déhu Pere & Fils Grande Réserve Brut Champagne, A.C., Alsace, France, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The Déhu family has been crafting fine Champagne since 1787. Though steeped in tradition, this house is forward-thinking, using modern winemaking equipment and environmentally sound viticulture techniques. The Grand Réserve is aged for a minimum of 5 years in bottle before release, giving it some developed notes which harmonize with the fresher citrus fruit characteristics. Rich and attractive. My note: Toasty goodness with elegance and length. Green apples, white peach and hazelnuts. This is a wonderful bubbly to celebrate a special anniversary or birthday. Brut Champagne food pairings: tuna with rosemary, clam chowder, grilled prawns, salmon, quiche. 95109 12% XD 750 mL $59.95 Score: 93/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Chardonnay 2006, V.Q.A., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: A lovely, rich Chardonnay that is also balanced and shows great refinement. Gorgeously ripe notes of pears, peaches and apples against a buttery, caramel background and infused with smoky vanilla spice. Full-bodied and rewarding. This wine reaffirms my faith in Niagara’s ability to produce great Chardonnay. Chardonnay food pairings: veal blanquette, avocado salad, roast chicken, stir-fried veggies, creamy curries. 117572 13.1% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Acacia Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Carneros, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Founded in 1979, Acacia was a pioneer in the Carneros region, which links the Napa and Sonoma valleys at their southern tips. Just two miles from San Francisco’s San Pablo Bay, Acacia’s vineyards are moderated by cool Pacific breezes which are perfect for growing elegant, benchmark Chardonnay. Experience its layers of youthful citrus, apple and nectarine fruit as well as notes of caramel and toasty hazelnut. My note: An opulently textured Chardonnay with rich, deep layers of ripe pear, apples, butter, vanilla spice and hazelnut. A tangerine-infused finish is a lovely ending to this wine, makes you want more. Chardonnay food pairings: duck a l’orange, fried chicken, grilled scallops, lobster bisque. 80556 14.4% D 750 mL $36.95 Score: 93/100. May 2009. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay 2006, Napa Valley, California, United States: A rich, creamy, butter-scotched nose gives way to ripe green apples, pear, hickory smoke and white peaches. Full-bodied and buxom. A long peach-infused finish. Imagine yourself on the deck with a glass of this wine watching the sun set Chardonnay food pairings: seafood risotto, stewed chicken, lobster thermidor, mashed potatoes. 330233 13.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Scott Family Estate Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2006, Monterey, California, United States: A lovely, round, satisfying Chardonnay with aromas of hickory smoke, green apples, candied lemon and light spices. A perfect start to a long evening of conversation. Chardonnay food pairings: Peking duck, butternut squash risotto, pirogues, pasta in cream sauce. 99051 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2008, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: This stylish Sauvignon Blanc is adored by wine lovers and critics alike, and is one of South Africa’s most sought-after wines. Elegant, with fresh sweet pea, lime, and wet stone aromas, this is a racy, mouth-watering wine. My note: I’ve loved this wine for many years: never a bad vintage yet. Zesty, vibrant notes of grass, chives, limes and green apples. Not a trace of oak. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: goat cheese, asparagus, artichokes, oysters, grilled snapper, calamari, seafood paella, chicken in white wine sauce, chicken Caesar salad, grilled lake trout. 933424 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Bernard Defaix Côte De Lechet Reserve Chablis 1Er Cru Chardonnay 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Gorgeously rich Chardonnay with amazing persistence of flavors on the palate. Aromas of peach, pear, apples, vanilla, butter and smoke. Viscous, opulent and layered for pleasure. Terrific, long finish. This wine delights from the get-go. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled cheese sandwich, goose, fried chicken, guacamole. Drink: 2009 - 2016 17541 13% XD 750 mL $36.95 Score: 94/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Delorme Et Fils Vieilles Vignes Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This family estate was founded in 1820 and is located in the small village of Vergisson, about 10 km from Mâcon. The village is famous for the imposing Vergisson Rock, a striking monolith surrounded by the sloping vineyards of this domaine. Comprised of hand-picked fruit from vines with an average age of 80 years, this supple, barrel-fermented Chardonnay shows exquisite harmony between its fresh apple and melon characteristics, and subtle oak notes. My note: A lovely, elegant, balanced Old World Chardonnay with notes of ripe peach, green apple, baked bread and vanilla. Terrific length and refinement. Not a fruit bomb but delivers lovely long flavors. Chardonnay food pairings: pasta in alfredo sauce, chicken or game bird in a cream sauce, vegetable lasagna. 110262 13.5% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 91/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Latour-Giraud Les Narvaux Meursault Chardonnay 2006, A.C., Burgundy, France: Beautifully and exotically perfumed with aromas of smoky hazelnuts, ripe Asian pear and green apple. A buttery, rich and round Chardonnay. Highly recommended for hedonists. Chardonnay food pairings: butternut squash risotto, pesto and alfredo sauces, stewed chicken. Drink: 2009 - 2016 12369 13% D 750 mL $54.95 Score: 92/100. May 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Des Aubuisières Bernard Fouquet, Vouvray Cuvée De Silex Chenin Blanc 2007, A.C., Loire, France: A lovely white for when you want out of your New World Chardonnay rut: aromas of orange zest, white flowers and musk. Mouth-watering, medium-bodied and refreshing. What more do you want? Chenin Blanc food pairings: citrus sauces, duck a l’orange, fishcakes. 57042 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. May 2009. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2016 Natalie MacLean