Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

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Russell McDowell

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La Linda Old Vines Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy, full-bodied Argentine red wine made from the Malbec grape. Aromas of fleshy black plums, cracked black pepper and smoke. The vines are planted at 960 metres above sea level in the Andes Ridge of the Mendoza region. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2014-2019. 507442 13.40% D 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 88/100. October 30, 2017 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Vineland Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2015, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario Vqa, Canada: Another terrific off-dry Vineland Riesling from the solid 2014 vintage. Aromas of lime and lemon zest with a deep core of minerality. Pair with fresh halibut in a beurre blanc sauce. Drink: 2016-2020. 38117 8.40% M 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 18, 2017 Best Value White Wine. Calm Curry Wine Full Review
Château Vincens Origine Malbec 2014, Cahors, Southewest A.C., France: Smooth and juicy with campfire aromas on the nose. Very black in colour with high-toned acidity. A full-bodied southern French red wine from the region of Cahors and made from the Malbec grape, with mocha-dark chocolate aromas from oak aging and fleshy black fruit. Great for pizza. Finishes with dark spices. Pair with meat lovers' pizza tonight. This robust Cahors red wine almost has some leanings toward Californian Zinfandel, but still is dark and smoky in a Cahors sort of way. Densely tannic and brooding: decant for 2 hours. Concentrated, powerful and highly extracted in flavour and colour. Drink: 2017-2020. 343400 13.50% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. January 20, 2018 Best Value Red Wine. Complete Cheese Pizza Wine Full Review
André Blanck & Fils Altenbourg Gewurztraminer 2016, Alsace A.C., France: Mouth-filling and viscous. Here's a terrific example of a medium-sweet Gewurztraminer that would be divine with a spice-inflected fruit-based dessert. Come-alive notes of peach jam and baking spices. Gorgeously rich and concentrated with cinnamon-spiced peach preserves and spicy apple pie aromas. Drink: 2017-2021. 168906 13.50% M 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 92/100. January 20, 2018 Best Value White Wine. Divine Dessert Wine Full Review
San Felice Il Grigio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2013, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: Layered, complex, rich and deep with terrific balance and length. Superb craftsmanship in this Italian red wine blend. Complex, richly layered and full-bodied. Needs decanting 2 hours or better yet, give it cellar time. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2017-2020. 403477 14.50% D 750 mL  $48.95 Score: 94/100. January 20, 2018 Top Rated Red Wine. Perfect Pasta and Tomato Sauce Wine Full Review
Oyster Bay Merlot 2015, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Savoury and juicy with lip-smacking delicious fleshy black plum aromas on the nose and palate. Round, smooth, supple Merlot with a saucy, spicy finish. Medium- to almost full-bodied. This would be a great match for grilled lamb. Drink: 2017-2020. 692343 13.50% D 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 90/100. September 30, 2017 Best Value Red Wine. Remarkable Roast Chicken Wine Full Review
Oyster Bay Cuvée Rosé, Marlborough, New Zealand: A lovely persistence of tiny bubbles beading along the sides of the glass in this toasty New Zealand sparkling wine. Aromas of citrus spice and strawberry flan. The chardonnay grapes in this blend come from Hawkes Bay region, while pinot noir grapes hail from Marlborough. Lovely persistence of flavours and bubbles. Crisp, clean finish. A solid value for a sparkling wine: crisp, clean and fresh. Try with fried fish, potato chips, roast turkey and New Year's resolutions. Stock up now for the holidays! Drink: 2017-2020. 280172 12% D 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 91/100. November 25, 2017 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Quinta do Crasto 2015, Douro Valley DOC, Portugal: Terrific price for this juicy unoaked robust Portuguese red with good balance and concentration of flavour. This blend of four indigenous grapes offers aromas of cedar, black cherry and cranberry. Plushly textured. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2016-2019. 81588 13.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. October 30, 2017 Best Value Red 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
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Penedes, Spain: Superb value! Toasty, earthy, dry and refreshing sparkling wine that's a fraction of the cost of Champagne. Lovely yeasty notes on the nose with some toasted apple and almond on the finish. Stock up for your parties and weddings now. Drink: 2017-2020. 216960 12% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 90/100. September 4, 2017 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Freixenet Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut Cava, Penedès D.O., Spain: A delightful, flavourful Spanish sparkling wine from one of the country's best producers. This is a fraction of the price of Champagne, and yet performs at that level. Crisp with lime lift and a long fresh finish. Drink: 2016-2021. 392548 12% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 94/100. August 5, 2017 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review

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