Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

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Jacqueline Cochrane

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Mercer Canyon Red Blend 2012, Columbia Valley    $24.95. March 1, 2012 Full Review
Altocedro La Consulta Reserva Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina: A full-bodied red with rich, dark layers of black fruit. Good balancing acidity and length. For enjoyment now. 187880 15.20% XD 750 mL  $23.95 Score: 90/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review
Luigi Bosca Reserva Pinot Noir 2008, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy and soft pinot with lovely cherry fruit and bright, ripe field berries. Very reasonably priced, especially for pinot. Drink: 2009-2013. 143420 13.70% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. May 28, 2011 Full Review
Layer Cake Shiraz 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia  186197 14.90% D 750 mL  $22.95. October 16, 2008 Full Review
Tapestry Bg & V Shiraz 2009, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Big, black and beautiful with fleshy dark berries and plums. Supple and juicy. Love it! Drink: 2012-2015. 247155 14% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. February 4, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
St. Hallett Shiraz Grenache 2009, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: St. Hallett has been producing fine wines in the Barossa region since 1944. A very pretty nose leads the fun for this lively red blend. Highlights of blueberry, violets and ripe fruit dance on the palate. A tangy, juicy red blend that’s medium bodied and well-structured. Known in Australia as Gamekeeper’s Reserve, this Shiraz/Grenache blend also contains a small amount of the revered Portuguese variety Touriga Nacional which adds a lovely touch of floral spice to the wine. Earthy with red-berry fruit on the nose, the palate is big, rich and peppery with raspberry and strawberry flavours and the telltale spicy finish. My note: Baked cherries and kirsch on the nose with a warm, peppery finish. Full-bodied and tasty. Great value. 24117 13.50% D 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review
Kilikanoon The Lackey Shiraz 2012, Australia    $20.99. March 1, 2012 Full Review
Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Blend - Cabernet Shiraz 2009, South Eastern Australia, Australia: Plush and full-bodied with seductive aromas of fleshy black plums and berries. Drink: 2012-2015. 731638 13% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 89/100. March 17, 2012 Full Review
St. Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2009, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Smoky, toasty oak wraps around black, brooding fruit. Full-bodied and smooth. Honkin' big! Drink: 2012-2016. 535104 14.50% D 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 91/100. March 17, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Jim Jim (The Down-Underdog) Hugh Hamilton Shiraz 2009, South Eastern Australia; South Australia, Australia: Classic Aussie shiraz with black, almost cooked plums, generous oak and full-bodied heft. Some mint. Tasty! Drink: 2012-2015. 682005 14.50% D 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 88/100. February 18, 2012 Full Review
Carmen Wines Gran Reserva Carmenère 2009, Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Another remarkable wine from this winery that tastes twice as expensive as it costs. Smooth, full-bodied and well-rounded with generous layers of black plush plum. Drink: 2012-2016. 439166 14% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. March 17, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Vineayard Selection Block 27 Carmenère 2008, Peumo Vineyard, Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile: Superb! Full-bodied with layers of black fruit, toasty oak, violets and a lick of dark spices. Very complex and satisfying. Drink: 2012-2018. 562892 14.50% XD 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 93/100. March 3, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Errazuriz Single Vineyard, Max Reserva Estates Carmenère 2009, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: An incredible wine for the price! Gorgeous layers of plush black plums with a smoky weave that takes you right along to the finish. Lovely! Drink: 2012-2016. 273300 14.50% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 91/100. March 3, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Montes Limited Selection Carménere 2009, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Rich, black cherry liqueur aromas and flavours. Ultra-plush and voluptuous. Smooth and satisfying sensual pleasure. Drink: 2012-2015. 256685 14.50% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 90/100. February 4, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 54 Syrah 2008, Los Brujos Vineyard, San Javier Valley, Maule Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Dark purple, almost black. Very ripe blackberry, pepper, tilled earth, bacon fat, woodsmoke and mocha aromas. Dry, richly concentrated, mouth-filling wine with plenty of ripe fruit, and fleshy tannins. This medium-long finishing wine could cellar 2-3 years, or enjoy it tonight. My note: Cassis and blackberry liqueur with an attractive savoury, almost bitter bite that makes it meaty. Drink: 2011-2015. 227496 14.80% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. October 29, 2011 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Les Vignerons du Castelas Vieilles Vignes Signargues 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: A chewy, meaty, savoury wine with rich layers of dark red berries and cedar. Juicy and mouth-watering with a terrific balance. Drink: 2012-2014. 34116 13.50% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 89/100. February 18, 2012 Full Review
Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Brut Champagne, A.C., Champagne, France: Terrific toast and crispness. Baked bread and green apple vibrancy. Drink: 2012-2015. 68288 12% XD 750 mL  $49.95 Score: 90/100. March 17, 2012 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Full Review
Coppi Peucetico Primitivo 2006, D.O.C., Gioia Del Colle, Puglia, Italy: A terrific, knock it back red with juicy dark berries and some smoke. Perfect for barbecues and pizza night. Drink: 2012-2014. 724674 13.50% XD 750 mL  $13.95 Score: 87/100. February 18, 2012 Full Review
Zonin Montepulciano D'Abbuzzo 2012, Italy    $16.95. March 1, 2012 Full Review
Ogio Tuscan Red 2012, Italy    $16.95. March 1, 2012 Full Review
The Ned Marisco Vineyards Ltd. Pinot Gris 2011, Waihopal River, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Love it! I find many pinot gris boring, but this is spectacularly interesting. Glorious notes of white peach and Asian pear, with a lovely salmon hue. Perfect aperitif or companion to seafood, salads and roast chicken. Drink: 2012-2015. 267138 13.50% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 91/100. March 17, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand: Zippy, zesty and herbal with the refreshment that only a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can offer. This is one of the country white wine masters. Lime fresh on the finish. Drink: 2011-2013. 35386 13.50% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 90/100. January 3, 2012 Splendid Salad Wine Full Review
Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand: So dependably fresh and crisp every year: this is a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! Lovely zesty notes of limes, chives, and gooseberry. Perfect for vegetarian pizza or quiche. Drink: 2011-2014. 316570 11% D 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 88/100. January 14, 2011 Full Review
Warre's Otima 20-Year-Old Port, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: I love this tawny port. Year after year, it’s a go-to dessert wine with its almond goodness and toffee layers of satisfaction. 682716 20% S 500 mL  $39.95 Score: 90/100. May 28, 2011 Top-Rated Dessert Wine. Divine Dessert Wine Full Review
Sogrape Grao Vasco Tinto 2010, Dao, Portugal    $12.65. March 1, 2012 Full Review
Hacienda Lopez De Haro Reserva 2005, Rioja, Spain: Full-bodied and very mature with leather and dust, not a lot of fruit but still enjoyable now. This is a DOCA wine. Complex and long on the finish. Drink: 2012-2017. 357335 13.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. September 27, 2014 Luscious Lamb Wine Full Review
Blackstone Winery Winemaker's Select Zinfandel 2009, California, United States: Oh yum! Tasty layers of fleshy blackberries roll across your mouth... This wine makes me smile. Smooth, full-bodied, generous - like a terrific boyfriend. Drink: 2012-2015. 26427 13.80% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. February 18, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Painter Bridge Los Osos Merlot 2009, Paso Robles, California, United States: Smoky, full-bodied and robust. Layers of black fruit and toasty oak. Drink: 2012-2015. 27516 13.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 17, 2012 Full Review
Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay 2010, Livermore, California, United States: A luscious, full-bodied Chardonnay with generous aromas of white peach, toasty oak and almonds. A lovely long finish makes you long for more. Perfect for dinner parties and more casual get-togethers. Drink: 2012-2015. 175430 13.50% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 88/100. February 18, 2012 Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin Zinfandel 2010, Lodi, California, United States: Purple and black plum liqueur richness with smooth, full-bodied layers of pleasure. The ultimate barbecue and hamburger wine. I challenge you to find a better one. Drink: 2012-2016. 678698 14.50% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. March 3, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Cloudline Pinot Gris 2009, Oregon, United States: White peach and Asian pear with a lovely soft body. Great aperitif and food companion. Drink: 2012-2015. 159988 13.30% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 88/100. March 3, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Hitching Post Hometown Pinot Noir 2008, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: Incredible freshness and vibrancy for a pinot with such high alcohol. Lovely cherries and spices and a long, satisfying finish. This was the winery featured in the movie Sideways ... No wonder Miles was a pinot fan! Drink: 2012-2015. 256644 14.10% XD 750 mL  $26.95 Score: 90/100. February 18, 2012 Full Review
Blackstone Winery Winesmaker’S Select Merlot 2008, California, United States: A full-bodied, generous red with fleshy plums, ripe blackberries, mocha, cigar box and some toasty oak. Layers of richess. A treat to drink. Consistently great year after year. Drink: 2010-2015. 606327 13.50% D 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 89/100. January 22, 2011 Full Review

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