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Wine Picks July 15, 2008

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outisde the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Dessert Wine

Dan Akroyd Vidal Icewine Signature Reserve 2005, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: The frozen vidal grapes were harvested early in December 2005 after temperatures fell. After settling of the juice, cool fermentation was completed in mid-February when the wine was placed outdoors to stop fermentation. The wine was then transfered into small French oak barrels where it aged for a period of 12 months. Loaded with layers of apricots and honey, with a rounded oak finish. Vidal Icewine Signature Reserve food pairings: foie gras, soft creamy cheese like blue and stilton, desserts, chocolates. 58842 12% S 375 mL $79.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Favorite Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Cono Sur Visión Merlot 2007, Chile: About 70% of the blend was aged in barrels and 30% aged in stainless steel for 10 months. A purply plum wine with a smooth, full-bodied texture. Merlot food pairings: roasted meats, cheese, pastas and dry fruit. 928291 D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Serego Alighieri Sangiovese 2005, Poderi Del Bello Ovile, Italy: With the acquisition of Poderi del Bello Ovile, the poet Danté's descendants, the Counts Serego Alighieri, return to their homeland of Tuscany after an uninterrupted stay in Valpolicella since 1353, where engaged in viticulture and winemaking. Now using sangiovese, canaiolo and ciliegiolo grape varieties from the hillside vineyards if Cinigiano they have begun to make a Tuscan wine with a ruby red color full of aromas of cherries and plums. Full-bodied, complex and long on the finish. Sangiovese food pairings: lasagna, pizza, sausage, pasta in tomato sauce. 73106 13.3% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cousiño Macul Antiguas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2005, Maipo Valley, Chile: Harvested at physiological maturity when the tannins are ripe and soft, the fruit is given a gentle cold-soak to extract flavor. Cousino's vineyards are located in the Alto-Maipo, the area of the Maipo Valley closest to the Andes where certain sites benefit from the "Andes Effect." This refers to the cooling mountain air that descends during the evenings to create a wide range in daily temperature. The Andes effect encourages slow, incremental sugar development which contributes to color intensity, aroma profiles, excellent retention of natural fruit acidity and ripe tannin. Aged 12 months in small French oak barrels. This red is 100% cabernet sauvignon. A terrific, full-bodied wine with layers of dark red fruit. 212933 14% D 750 mL $15.35 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

I Baci Cabernet Merlot 2005, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon (Chile), 35% merlot (Italy) and 10% cabernet/merlot (Niagara.) A delicious and aromatic red, bursting with ripe berry fruit. Full-bodied, smooth and round. Great value. Available at the winery or online at www.ibaciwines.com. LCBO release date is Friday May 9th. Cabernet Merlot food pairings: burgers, pastas, pizzas, tomatoe sauces, mild cheeses. 78576 13.2% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dog House Maxies Merlot 2006, California, United States: A simple, smooth, medium-bodied wine with plum notes. Closed with a screwcap. Merlot food pairings: spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, sharp cheeses. 614156 13.5% D 750 mL $11.75 Score: 85/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Matchbook Blockhouse Syrah Tempranillo Malbec Petit Verdot 2004, California, United States: Aged in French and American oak for 7 months. Syrah adds rich flavor and aromas of black cherry and blueberry; the Spanish varietal tempranillo adds spicy red berry fruit flavors; the bordeaux varietals malbec and petit verdot add depth and structure. This wine won the silver medal 2007 at the California State Fair. A balanced and elegant red with notes of black cherry, plum, toast and a hint of oak. 66670 13.9% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Folonari Regata Rosso Merlot Blend 2006, Veneto, Italy: A blend of 60% merlot, 20% corvina and 20% cabernet. A simple, smooth wine with red berry fruit notes. Closed with a screwcap. Merlot Blend food pairings: cured pork meats, savory first courses, poultry, red meats. 31963 13.1% MD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 85/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Merlot 2006, V.Q.A. Okanagon Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Aged 15 months in American oak barrels. Won the silver medal at the 2007 Canadian Wine Awards. Aromas of cherry, blueberry and blackberry with a hint of cedar. A medium-bodied merlot with soft tannins. Balanced with a long finish. Merlot food pairings: duck breast, red wine cherry reduction, mushroom lasagna, grilled steak and sauteed mushrooms, prime rib and mild cheddar, crusty bread. 576751 XD 750 mL $19.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Cabernet Franc 2006, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: The 2006 season began with light but steady rain, creating vigorous growing conditions that produced more bunches than desirable. To stay the yield targets, the growers cut almost 40% of the fruit produced on all red varieties. Aged 15 months in American and French oak. Deep garnet color with aromas of black cherry, black currant, violet, cedar, cigar box and mocha. This dry, medium-bodied wine is rich in the mouth, with texture. Very balanced. Cabernet Franc food pairings: rack of lamb, wild mushroom risotto, game meats, beef stews, grilled steak with sauteed mushrooms. 556035 XD 750 mL $19.99 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Private Reserve 2006, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: The cabernet franc grapes were hand-picked from a single vineyard in Oliver. This wine underwent traditional red winemaking with 14 days of skin contact. It was then aged in two-year-old French and older American oak barrels (50% French, 50% American oak) for 14 months with full malolactic fermentation. Won the double gold award at the 2007 All Canadian Wine Championships. Aromas of mocha, plum, sweet cherry and cedar. This medium-bodied wine has soft, silky tannins. Cabernet Franc Private Reserve food pairings: grilled steaks, vegetarian stews, 1- to 2-year-old cheddar, lentil dishes, lamb chops, tuna steaks with peppercorns, gourmet burgers, prime rib on focaccia. 128850 14% MD 750 mL $19.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tapestry Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: A very good year in McLaren Vale for their cabernet sauvignon. A concentrated wine with aromas of fleshy blackberries, black raspberries, vanilla and faint mint. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: char grilled steak with fresh crushed garlic, hamburgers. Drink: 2008 - 2012 59980 D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandhill Winery Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Part of the small lots program. Won the silver medal for the 2005 LA County Fair. A gentle crush and four day cold soak. Stainless steel with some open top fermentation. Aged in two-year-old American and French oak barrels for 20 months. I love this style of wine; it reminds me of Bordeaux in its balance and finesse. Mature aromas of oak, plum, black cherry and leather. A long finish. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: mushroom lasagna, vegetable stews, parmigiano reggiano, fresh crusty bread. Drink: 2008 - 2012 55571 14% XD 750 mL $34.99 Score: 90/100. July 2008. Favorite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Roy's Hill Merlot 2006, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: The winery owns and manages almost 100 hectares of established vineyards at Gimblett Road. The majority of this vineyard is located within the unique Hawke's Bay sub-region that has become known as Gimblett Gravels. These vineyards are the result of gravelly soils laid down by the Ngaruroro river, exposed after a huge flood in the 1870s. Lovely layers of ripe plums and smoke. A supple and medium- to full-bodied merlot. Closed with a screwcap. Merlot food pairings: pork, veal. 223602 12% D 750 mL $18.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2006, Lodi, California, United States: These vineyards some with 80+ year old vines, also make a bold impression on first sight. Unlike modern rows of trellised vines, these old Zinfandel vines were grown as free standing "head trained" vines. Today, they resemble wild bushes with twisted old trunks and branches that spread out in all directions sprouting leaves like unruly umbrellas - gnarly heads. The grapes from these brash old vines create zinfandel with rich, concentrated fruit flavor that is easy to drink and pair. The 2006 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is crafted from grapes from 35- to 80-year-old vines. A juicy, generous blackberry and plummy wine. Full-bodied. Zinfandel food pairings: barbeque, pizza, hearty pasta, chili. 10007 XD 750 mL $19.76 Score: 90/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gnarly Head Gnarlier Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2005, Dry Creek Valley, California, United States: Dry Creek Valley is nestled between the Pacific Ocean-exposed Sonoma Coast and Alexander Valley. It is one of the northern-most AVAs in Sonoma and benefits from both inland and coastal influences. Like Alexander Valley, it has hotter daytime temperatures. Like Russian River Valley to the southwest, it has cooling coastal fog in the morning and the evenings. The grapes for Gnarlier Head Zin were hand-harvested over three days from a single vineyard. After two weeks fermentation, the wine was pressed off into French and American oak barrels and malolactic fermentation, which balances acidity and adds richness to the wine. The wine spent a total of 14 months in small oak barrels before being carefully racked and blended into the finished Gnarlier Head Old Vine Zin. A full-bodied red with concentrated aromas of black plums, cloves and blackberries. Zinfandel food pairings: blackened snapper, pizza, grilled portobello, mushrooms, pepper steak. 67785 15% D 750 mL $27.75 Score: 91/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Little Penguin Merlot 2007, South Eastern Australia, Australia: This wine was matured with French and American oak. A juicy, plummy merlot. Smooth and supple. Closed with a screwcap. PET bottle (plastic.) Merlot food pairings: chicken, duck, game. 598912 13.5% D 750 mL $12.65 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Little Penguin Cabernet Merlot 2005, Australia: A simple but satisfying red quaffer. Medium- to full-bodied with ripe plum notes. Closed with a screwcap. PET bottle (plastic) so you can bounce this off the deck or poolside. 100071 MD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Red Twisted 2006, V.Q.A. Niagara, Ontario, Canada: The components of this wine were vinified and aged seperately in 10% new French oak barrels and the rest older, then blended. The wine then underwent further bottle maturation for 9 months prior to its release in May 2008. A delightfully flavorful, juicy red with notes of ripe cherries and beetroot. A smooth, medium-bodied red. Red Twisted food pairings: salmon, pork, chicken, pate. 100072 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Twin Fin Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, California, United States: After fermentation, the juice was transferred into a mixture of new and old French and American barrels for approximately 12 months. A simple, tasty cabernet with a smooth texture and pleasant notes of blackberries and cassis. Closed with a screwcap. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbequed rib eye, beef wellington, cheddar cheeses, lamb ragout with roasted sweet peppers, peking duck. 613273 13.9% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sonoma Vineyards Merlot 2004, Sonoma County, California, United States: A balanced and delicious wine with notes of mocha and black plums. 60632 13.6% D 750 mL $14.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Tempranillo Blend Reserva 2001, Navarra, Spain: A blend of 80% tempranillo, 20% cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Aged 18 months in French and American oak barrels. A balanced, delicious, elegant wine. Terrific notes of ripe blackberries and smoke. Tempranillo Blend Reserva food pairings: grilled and roasted meats. 479017 D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pillitteri Estates Winery Gamay 2006, V.Q.A. Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada: A pretty light- to medium-bodied red bursting with ripe raspberries and a hint of pepper. A beaujolais-style wine that's been aged in oak for six months. Gamay food pairings: salmon, chicken, pork, paté. 100073 12% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. David's Bench Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, V.Q.A. Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A delicious and robust red with excellent structure and finish. Aromas of blackberries and cassis. Aged on year in French oak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak, stew, venison, hamburgers. Drink: 2008 - 2014 935957 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alianca Bairrada Reserva 2006, D.O.C. Bairrada, Portugal: Simple, lip-smacking red with delicious notes of purple plums, oak and mocha. Bairrada Reserva food pairings: roast beef, lamb, stews, grilled meats. 158741 12% XD 750 mL $8.45 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Rapel Valley, Chile: A ripe, full-bodied red with sweet plum flavors. Oaky, velvety texture. 535344 12.5% XD 750 mL $9.85 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, South Australia, Australia: A smooth, full-bodied red with aromas of blackberries, currents and oak. 100074 14% XD 750 mL Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cesari Merlot 2007, I.G.T. Veneto, Italy: An amazingly great wine for the price. A full-bodied, smooth red with aromas of ripe plums and blackberries. Merlot food pairings: lasgna, pasta, hard cheeses. 572453 12% XD 750 mL $7.45 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodegas Piqueras Castillo De Almansa Tempranillo Monastrell Garnacha Reserva 2004, D.O. Almansa, Spain: Blend of tempranillo, monastrell and garnacha. Aged 12 months in oak barrels. Rich aromas of black plums, berries, smoke and a touch of pepper. Full-bodied and smooth. Tempranillo Monastrell Garnacha Reserva food pairings: roasted meats, baked pasta, grilled foods. 270363 13.5% XD 750 mL $11.85 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trius Winery at Hillebrand Trius Red Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2006, V.Q.A. Ontario, Niagara, Canada: A concentrated and delicious red with classic notes of black plum, blackberries and a kiss of oak. This wine gets better every year. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc food pairings: hearty meat dishes, hard cheeses. 303800 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mont Gras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Terrific, full-bodied wine with aromas of mocha, blackberries and plums. Closed with a screwcap. Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva food pairings: BBQ. 619205 14% D 750 mL $11.90 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Reserva 2005, Tuscany, Italy: A classic, balanced chianti with deep red fruit notes and good length. Aged two years in oak. Chianti Classico Reserva food pairings: pasta in tomato sauce. 45195 13% D 750 mL $25.75 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robertson Winery Shiraz 2007, South Africa, South Africa: A simple, flavorful shiraz loaded with black fruit and oak. Full-bodied. Shiraz food pairings: steak, stew. 610949 13.4% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Cellars Syrah 2006, Sonoma, California, United States: A gorgeous, rich red with layers of black cherries, spice and smoke. Syrah food pairings: grilled meats, game meats. 733758 14.3% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Carmen Wines Carmenére Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2005, Maipo Valley, Chile: Fantastically luxurious wine with depths of mocha and black plums. Aged 10 months in French and American oak. Carmenére Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva food pairings: roast and grilled meats, lamb, hard cheeses. 439166 14% D 750 mL $16.85 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Malbec 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: A simple, rustic, full-bodied red with notes of black plums. Decant 1-2 hours. 614651 14% D 750 mL $12.05 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tarapaca Merlot 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile: A full-bodied number with notes of mocha and black plums. Smooth texture. Closed with a screwcap. Merlot food pairings: grilled meats. 558668 13.2% XD 750 mL $9.90 Score: 86/100. July 2008. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Rapel Valley, Chile: Terrific quality and taste for the money. Loaded with blackberries, vanilla and smoke. 218644 13.5% XD 750 mL $10.44 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beaujolais 2006, Beaujolais-Villages, France: A lovely, smooth, medium-bodied red bursting with ripe strawberries. There are 39 villages entitled to name their wine Beaujolais. Serve slightly chilled. Beaujolais food pairings: light foods. 100076 12% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gabbiano Chianti 2006, Tuscany, Italy: The vineyards for this vintage are a altitudes of 325-650 feet. Vinified on skins for 15 days at 28-30 degrees celcius with pump-overs four times daily to extract color and flavor. A 100% malolactic fermentation was completed after 30 days and small amounts of canaiolo, colorino and ciliegiolo grapes were added to enhance complexity and texture. Before bottling, the wine was aged for five months in stainless steel tanks. Excellent value for this full-bodied, delicious red loaded with ripe red fruit notes. Chianti food pairings: pasta in tomato sauce, sausages, lasagna, pizza. 78006 12.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Cave Spring Cellars Rosé 2006, V.Q.A. Niagara, Ontario, Canada: Used the Aaigneé method of unification on cabernet grapes. Lovely notes of strawberries. A bone-dry, medium-bodied wine. Rosé food pairings: salmon. 295006 XD 750 mL $13.05 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Folonan Pink Pinot Grigio Rosé 2007, Venezie, Italy: A light-bodied rosé with delicate strawberry notes and a beautiful pale salmon color. Great aperitif. Pinot Grigio Rosé food pairings: trout, sole. 43588 D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terra Ventoux French Folies Grenache Syrah Rosé 2007, Cote-Du Ventroux, France: Gorgeous, full-bodied rosé with deep aromas of ripe raspberries. Closed with a screwcap. Grenache Syrah Rosé food pairings: grilled salmon, shellfish, pork, chicken. 40410 13% XD 750 mL $10.95 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Segura Viudas Parellada Macabeo Xarel-Lo Brut Reserva, Penedes, Spain: A blend of 35% parellada, 50% macabeo and 15% xarel-lo grapes. Serve between 6-8 degrees celcius. A deep, full-bodied bubbly with notes of pear, toast and oak. Fantastic value. Drink: 2008 - 2012 158493 11.8% MD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Favorite Bubbly Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Flat Rock Cellars Twisted 2007, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A blend of 60% riesling, 20% chardonnay and 20% gewurztraminer. An exotic and aromatic white with aromas of lychees and rose petals. Closed with a screwcap. Food pairings: light curries, pork, seafood. 1578 12% MD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2007, V.Q.A. Ontario, Niagara, Canada: Grapes from this single vineyard were hand-picked on the 16th of October 2007 at 18.3 Brix, after which they were sorted on shaking sorting table to remove any unwanted material and less than perfect clusters. A juicy, mouth-watering white with lovely floral and melon notes. Closed with a screwcap. Riesling food pairings: Asian dishes, light curries, seafood. 3281 MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Rooster Winery Riesling 2007, Okanagan Lake, British Columbia, Canada: Red Rooster Winery is located above Okanagan Lake on the Naramata Bench, just north of Penticton. This area is famous for its southwestern exposure and unique microclimate. And why a rooster? Because the winery's founders kept Rodiseland Reds in Switzerland; because roosters are good luck symbols in many cultures; and because roosters have a long association with wine (for example, the rooster is the symbol of the Chianti region of Italy). Picked on October 29, the 2007 Riesling was whole-cluster pressed to extract aroma and flavor components and cool-fermented in stainless steel. A zippy, refreshing white with notes of lime, grapefruit and green apple. Closed with a screwcap. Riesling food pairings: citrus glazed salmon, spicy prawns, lemon chicken, creamy brie, fresh bread, summer salads. 498840 13% D 750 mL $15.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand: Monkey Bay is a small, pristine location tucked away on the Marlborough Coast of the South Island. It is part of the larger Cloudy Bay, located not far from where the Wairau River joins the Pacific Ocean. A grassy, simple, refreshing white with aromas of grapefruit and lemon. Closed with a screwcap. 620062 11.5% D 750 mL $14.45 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

De Bortoli Traminer Riesling 2007, New South Wales, Australia: Parcels of traminer and riesling were selected for their varietal flavor profile. With traminer we are looking for spicy musk and floral/rose petal characters to complement the floral and citrus flavors of the riesling. Each variety was fermented separately over 12-16 days. The two parcels were then blended together, clarified and stabilized prior to final filtration and bottling. A soft, off-dry white with notes of sweet peaches, roses and daisies. Closed with a screwcap. Traminer Riesling food pairings: white meats, fish, salad, spicy Asian dishes. 952580 12% D 750 mL $12.99 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loredona Riesling 2006, California, United States: San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey County, part of the San Bernabe AVA, is the most diverse single vineyard in the world, with more than 20 grape varieties planted in 21 different microclimates. This area is one of the coolest growing regions in California, perfect for developing excellent flavor concentration and balance in white wine varietals. A lovely with white with aromatic notes of roses, lychees and white peach. Refreshingly medium-bodied. Riesling food pairings: Asian dishes, rich exotic cheese and nuts, dried fruits. 59782 13% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cousiño Macul Dona Isidora Riesling 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile: The 2006 harvest in Chile's Maipo Valley was late to start but also stretched out over a long period of time before the last cluster was picked. To amplify the inherent floral character and to encourage a long, slow fermentation in small tanks, the winemaking team used two selected yeast strains. To maintain its fruitiness and balance, this wine did not undergo malo-lactic fermentation. After the wine had been lightly fined, it went through a cold stabilization procedure. Prior to being bottled, it was given a polish filtration. Cousino's vineyards are located in the Alto-Maipo, the area of the Maipo Valley closest to the Andes Mountains where certain sites benefit from the "Andes Effect." This refers to the cooling mountain air that descends during the evenings to create a wide range in daily temperature. For white wine, the difference between high and low temperatures means that grapes preserve unusually crisp acidity and the resulting wine is full-flavored and structurally-balanced. An excellent aperitif. A crisp, clean white with notes of grapefruit, lime and green apples. Riesling food pairings: Asian dishes. 57182 14.9% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2005, V.Q.A. Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada: An opulent, rich chardonnay with layers of ripe pears, apples and vanilla. Aged in French and American oak. Chardonnay Reserve food pairings: pork, chicken, lobster in butter, corn dishes. 545004 13.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vineland Estates Winery Semi-Dry Riesling 2007, V.Q.A. Ontario, Canada: One of my favorite whites on the regular list. Lovely bite of citrus makes a great aperitif or a good companion to many dishes. Semi-Dry Riesling food pairings: salmon, trout, salads, grilled veggies. 232033 9% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio 2007, Alto Adige, Trentino, Italy: A fresh and clean white with notes of melon and grapefruit. No oak. Closed with a screwcap. Pinot Grigio food pairings: seafood, salad. 302380 12.5% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. July 2008. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Riesling 2006, V.Q.A. Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario, Canada: A concentrated wine of lovely finesse and delicate flavors: white flowers, citrus. 286377 12% D 750 mL $18.00 Score: 90/100. July 2008. Favorite White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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