January Release Recommendations

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

Highly Recommended White Wines

558049 Inniskillin Seger Vineyard Chardonnay 1999, Niagara $16.95 -- lovely and elegant, one of four chards from Inniskillin -- all are solid but this was my favourite, though I didn't get to taste the Montague Estate this round (it's been a favourite in the past)

165886 Angove's Chardonnay 2000, Australia $12.95 -- terrific value, stock up for your next dinner party

984070 Goedverwacht Wine Estate Colombar 2001, South Africa $8.45 -- they'll never guess how little you paid for this little number

Highly Recommended Red Wines

461699 Henry of Pelham Reserve Baco Noir 1999, Niagara $21.95 -- my favourite red in this release, and no, I'm not just being patriotic, this is an unusual and beautiful wine -- if you've never tried baco, start here

423723 Fetzer Merlot 1997, California $19.95 -- smooth, elegant, medium-bodied organic wine

449579 Ironstone Shiraz 1999, California $16.95 -- nifty, a Caifornia shiraz and it's good, but different from the Aussie versions

990713 Robert Mondavi Zinfandel 1998, California $33.75 -- beautifully made, elegantly balanced zin even if it is overpriced by $10

361782 Firesteed Pinot Noir 1998, Oregon $19.95 -- a real deal for one of the most expensive grapes going, full of cherries and earthiness

960468 Wolf Blass Black Label 1997, Australia $67.55 -- WB's top of the line (interestng to compare it his yellow label $16) -- huge and chewy with a heart of darkness

718098 Haselgrove Grenache 1999, Australia $14.65 -- terrific value and an an interesting taste that gets you out of the cab/shiraz rut

738567 Grant Burge Shiraz 1999, Australia $14.95 -- another great value and if you like shiraz but not a huge, whopping one (ie high alcohol, heavy taste), then this one is for you: shiraz-lite, but yummy

935890 Blue Pyrenees Shiraz 1999, Australia $15.95 -- on the other hand, if you judge value as the most taste/alcohol, etc per dollar, this one packs it all in heaviest for you

938431 Normans Wines Old Vine Shiraz 1998, Australia $18.65 -- my favourite shiraz -- stunning depth, touch of beautiful mint... a blessing on the house of this vintner

965095 Brown's of Padthaway Shiraz 1998, Australia $16.60 -- another huge one, a little less subtle than the one above but wonderful dark chocolate (yes that's good in a wine, not just cheesecake)

542100 Rufus Stone Shiraz 1998, Australia $23.50 -- solid performer, though I liked last year's a little better, still great

720672 Vina Cono Sur Merlot 2000, Chile $22.50 -- excellent value from Chile, medium bodied and smooth as Diana Krall (whoops)

495572 Vina Undurraga Pinot Noir 2000, Chile $11.70 -- you usually can't buy decently made PN this cheap, and though it doesn't have near the complexity of PNs in the $20-$30 range, it's darn good

715573 George Duboeuf Regnie 1999, Beajolais $13.95 -- light sipper for those making the transition from whites to reds (Alauna, this one is for you or the next one or both)

726984 Pierre Ferraud Saint-Amour 2000, Beaujolais $9.30 -- light, wonderful and easy-drinking

748814 Pierre Clavel Les Garrigues 1999, France $13.00 - terrific value, very peppery

718932 Chateau Le Raz 1998, France $14.85 -- terrific value, cedar forest

932889 Lanciola Chianti Classico Riserva 1997, Itay $26.75 -- gorgeous chianti, makes you forget the macramaed bottles

930164 Bodegas Palacio Glorioso Reserva 1997, Spain (Rioja) $23.65 -- beautiful medium bodied wine -- Spain is revitalized and producing some terrific wines now.