December Recommendations

By Natalie MacLean Print this page   Send this page to a friend

Dec 6: Recommended Fortified and White Wines

963587 Delaforce Vintage Port 1985, Portugal $69.95: Amazingly smooth with ripe dark red fruit and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your... slap. Score: 92/100

591347 Lailey Vineyard Chardonnay 2001, Niagara $19.95: Lovely chard with great balance, spice, smoke, kiss of oak. 86

440321 Milburn Park Chardonnay 2002, Southeastern Australia $12.95: Here's your party sipper, it's a very simple wine that will appeal to many palates. 81

954354 Heathfield Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2000, South Australia $15.95: Terrific value, a lovely zesty SB that's not too grassy, great food wine. 86

324780 Rosemount Estate Roxburgh Chardonnay 2001, Hunter Valley, Australia $44.95: If you're a chard freak, this will be one the year's best. I'm not yet, but I'm still picking it as my favourite white wine of this release. It's a big but balanced wine with lanolin, lemon and butter. 93 Favourite White Wine

906818 Chamonix Winery Chardonnay 2001, South Africa $14.95: Lovely chard with nuts and ripe pears. 85

989525 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Kabinett 2001, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $21.95: Very vibrant acidity, some sweetness (which is exactly what you need for all those spicy canapés and cream sauces). Mouth-watering ripe tree fruit. 89

912741 Weingut Syudert-Prum Riesling Kabinett 1999, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $14.95: It may not be the cheapest wine I'm recommending but it's certainly the best value in terms of flavour for the buck. Loads of fruit, a slight petrol aroma that's alluring. 87 Best Value White Wine

905463 Weingut Selbach-Oster Riesling Spatlese 2001, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $29.95: Lip-smackingly great. It's balanced, it's ripe, and its finish lasts until Tuesday. 90

918771 Weingut Wegeler Riesling Spatlese 2000, Rheingau, Germany $28.95: A touch sweet which is just right for the acidity, and like all of these rielsings above, a terrific food wine. 89

Dec 6: Recommended Red Wines

997361 Jackson-Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Okanagan, BC $14.95: rich and round with ripe dark fruit. 86

904532 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Napa Valley $44.95: When you can buy a cab this wonderful from California, why shell out for those at $80 and higher? This one has black plums, a touch of mint, full bodied without being overly extracted. 90

438697 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1999, Napa Valley $35.95: Mondavi is producing some of the most elegant, balanced wines in the sunshine state. Take this pinot that's ripe but not stewed. Lovely cherries and spice. 91 Favourite Red Wine

730374 AC Johnston Cabernet Sauvignon Pirramimma 2000, South Australia $24.95: Loads of cassis concentration and weirdly but wonderfully enough, bacon. 87

960435 Brokenwood Shiraz 2000, South Australia $19.95: Big inky honkin' shiraz that will wallop your palate. 89

931022 Miguel Torres Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Chile $7.95 for 375 ml (half bottle): Awesome for the money and there seems to be so few great half bottles in store. 85 Best Value Red Wine

947127 Chateau la Vieille Cure 2000, Bordeaux $39.95: Even the smaller estates produced wonderful wines in 2000. This has Old World charm (rustic, a bit rough from tannin... needs aging 2-5 years), huge and rich. 89

722546 Chateau du Pavillon 2000, Bordeaux $26.95: Another Old World gem that isn't fruit forward but rather rich and balanced. 87

909291 Marchesi Incisa della Rochetta Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2000, Italy $29.95: Mamma mia, what a mouthful (both the name and the wine)! Inky, raisiny, big wine that's almost like amarone. 89

954081 Tenute Sella & Mosca Marchese de Villamarina, Sardinia, Italy $49.95: Rich and deep but unique. Touch tannic, could age 2-5 years, loooooong finish. 90

909135 Villa di Ventrice Chianti Rufina Riserva 1995, Tuscany, Italy $25.95: Classic chianti, sour cherries, great acidity for tomato sauce dishes. 85

396689 Fonseca Jose de Sousa 1999, Portugal $13.95: Juicy, touch bitter in a nice way. 83