Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

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Russell McDowell

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Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina: Absolutely phenomenal for the price! Here’s your summer party wine by the case. Juicy blackberry liqueur rich aromas and flavours. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. Pair with barbecued meats and late-night conversations. Drink: 2016-2018. 677559 13% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 89/100. August 6, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 2015, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia: This robust Australian Chardonnay was fermented in oak barrels to add richness and depth. Drink: 2016-2020. 468728 13% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 92/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value White Wine. Cool Creamy Cheese Wine Full Review
Dirty Laundry Vineyards Not So Knotty Chardonnay 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: This fresh, crisp BC white wine made from Chardonnay grapes and is unoaked, thus the reference to "Not so knotty" (wood). Reminds me more of fresh linens on a spring day than Dirty Laundry with aromas of lime and lemon zest. Pair with crossing off the last item on your chores list and fresh seafood. Drink: 2016-2019. 353144 13.90% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Flat Rock Cellars Twisted 2012, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Juicy, smooth and medium-bodied with toasted along. Terrific value for this price. This is a first on this wine so go so generous with the smoke treatment. Still a very good wine with fleshy ripe red fruit and juicy mouth-watering goodness. Drink: 2014-2018. 86918 13.50% D 750 mL  $22.95 Score: 90/100. August 6, 2016 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Megalomaniac Wines Almost Grounded Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada: Mocha and dark chocolate on the nose and palate of this Niagara red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. "Almost grounded" is a play on words (like the winery's other labels) and refers to the ground in which the cabernet grapes grow as well as remaining grounded and sensible about life and wine. Pair with hamburgers. Drink: 2014-2017. 428458 13.30% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 87/100. August 6, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Tarapaca Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2015, Leyda Valley, Chile: Cherry-berry fleshy ripe sweetness on the nose and palate. Round, supple and almost full-bodied. Pair with grilled seafood. Drink: 2016-2019. 404210 14.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Delightful Duck Wine Full Review
San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Carmenere 2014, Maule Valley, Chile: Wow, this single vineyard Carmenere rocks! Carmenere is arguably the flagship red wine of Chile. It has it all: concentrated, rich black fruit flavours and depth, yet it's supple and smooth with a long finish. Velvet on the palate, lingering in the mind. The wines from San Pedro's 1865 line come from its own vineyard planted with a specific variety. The Carmenere comes from the winery's property in the Maule Valley, with rolling hillside vineyards averaging 20 years of age and planted in alluvial soil with angular stones to control plant vigour. This robust red wine finishes with notes of cassis and dried tobacco. Great balance and depth. Try it with a rack of lamb tonight. Highly recommended. Drink: 2016-2019. 249201 14.50% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 92/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Glorious Game Wine Full Review
Vina Montgras Amaral Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Leyda Valley, Chile: A terrific, delicious Chilean white wine for the money. Clean notes of lime and lemon, with a citrus lift on the finish. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the cool-climate Chilean region of the Leyda Valley that borders and is moderated by the Pacific Ocean. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2016-2017. 367292 13.50% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 91/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value White Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Pierre Sparr Reserve Gewurztraminer 2015, Alsace A.C., France: A terrific Alsatian white wine with classic Gewürztraminer aromas of lychee, rosewater, grapefruit and baking spice. Pair with spicy and Asian dishes. Drink: 2016-2020. 747600 13.50% D 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 91/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value White Wine. Calm Curry Wine Full Review
Domaine De Vaugandy Brut, Vouvray, Loire, France: Full-bodied, robust dry French bubbly. Good value with lots of sensory pleasure. Great price. Finishes with lime citrus, Asian pear and green apple. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2016-2019. 154567 12% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. November 26, 2016 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Ruffino Prosecco, Tuscany, Italy: Drink: 2016-2019. 467811 13.50% D 750 mL  $16.95. January 8, 2017 Full Review
Foss Maraï Prosecco, Veneto, Italy: Drink: 2016-2019. 729392 11.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95. January 8, 2017 Splendid Salad Wine Full Review
Torresella Brut Prosecco, D.O.C., Italy: Drink: 2016-2019. 400440 11% XD 750 mL  $14.95. January 8, 2017 Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Sartori Montegradella Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2012, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: An extraordinary wine for the price! Wowsers. Mocha and smoke wrap around fleshy black plums. Voluptuous and luxurious, with full-bodied weight and a rich texture. The Sartori 2012 Valpolicella Classico Superiore offers lots of pleasure in the glass. Full-bodied with attractive aromas of dark fruit, spice and smoke. Perfect for tomato and meat sauces or hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2016-2020. 473157 14% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 92/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Cathedral Cellar Kwv Triptych Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: This WO-designated wine is smooth, smoky and delicious with full-bodied layers of fleshy black plums. Amazingly great price for the quality. This wine is a blend that leads with cabernet sauvignon, but also includes shiraz and merlot grapes. Just enough toasty oak aging to bring this whole delicious package together. Good finish. Try it tonight with meat lovers pizza. Drink: 2016-2019. 53124 14% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 91/100. December 30, 2016 Best Value Red Wine. Glorious Game Wine Full Review
Graham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine Méthode Cap Classique, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: This South African sparkling wine is one of the best in the country and is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Graham Beck is known for superb technique and finesse when it comes to sparkling wines. Great value. 593483 12% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 92/100. November 26, 2016 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
KWV Sparkling Wine, Western Cape, South Africa: A crisp, fresh South African sparkling wine with toasty aromas and green apple freshness. This South African bubbly was made using the Méthode Cap Classique, which is similar the Méthode Traditionnelle or the traditional method of the second fermentation in the bottle, as they do in the Champagne region. The winery's cellar is cathedral vaulted with stained glass thus the name. Pair with fresh shellfish or fried chicken. Drink: 2016-2019. 296426 12.50% XD 750 mL  $17.45 Score: 91/100. November 26, 2016 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review

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