January Recommendations

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

920033 Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 2002, Quebec $32.95 (half bottle): Gorgeous sweet elixir. If you love cider or apple pie, you'll love the rip appley flavours in this wine. Score: 90/100

955914 Eos Chardonnay 2001, Paso Robles, California $14.95: Rich, round, oaky, buttery chard. 83

922203 d'Arenberg's The Stump Jump Riesling/Sauvignon Blanc/Marsanne 2002, South Australia $12.95: Great value (and US subscribers should recall that these are Canadian dollars). Mouth-watering sauvignon blanc character: herbal, great food wine. 84 Best Value White Wine

931097 Weingut Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken Riesling Kabinett 2001, Saarburger Rausch, Gutsabfullung, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $19.95: OK I need a drink just for saying this one. Don't let the label scare you: actually German rieslings are the last great hold-out for wine lovers because they're labels are so difficult to decipher for most of us. This wine is a touch sweet, something I adore in wine with great fruit and lively acidity. It has lovely aromas of pear fruit. 90 Favourite White Wine

Jan 10: Recommended Red Wines

573212 Lakeview Cellars Meritage 2000, Niagara $15.95: Classicly balanced wine with great structure. Whoops, I keep slipping into wine geekese. This is a great wine, with lots of ripe, dark, juicy fruit. 89

704643 Byron Pinot Noir 2000, Santa Maria Valley, California $30.05: Juicy cherry fruit, perfumed, with lots of body (14% alcohol). 88

906677 Saltram Wine Estate Mamre Brook Shiraz 2000, Barossa Valley, South Australia $19.95: Gorgeous ripe berry fruit, plush and round. Incredible value. 90 Favourite Red Wine

912766 Ballast Stone Estate Wines Shiraz 2001, Currency Creek, South Australia $19.95: A big, fruit-forward, bold shiraz. 86

906693 Uitkyk Estate Wine Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 1999, Stellenbosch, South Africa $15.95: I love finding a great wine from an obscure producer (well, obscure to me... my world is sheltered). This one has dark, smoky fruit. Very balanced. Try something new. 86

926287 Jacques & Francois Lurton Domaine des Salices Syrah 2001, Vieilles Vignes, Midi, France $13.95: Terrific value. Chocolate aromas with black plums. 85

910927 Chateau Raspail 2000 Giondas, Rhone Valley, France $28.95: Dark, brooding Heathcliffe wine. Cedary, Old World style. 88

730952 Leone de Castris Primitivo di Manduria 2001, Puglia, Italy $12.95: Primitivo is the same clone as zinfandel and this is very zinny: brambleberry, plummy, juicy, delicious. 85

922161 Cantina Valpantena Falasco Amarone della Valpolicella 1998, Veneto, Italy $48.95: A bruiser of an amarone but beautiful and worth the money if you're a fan of this style which has a dried raisiny, super dense flavour. 91

915116 Masia Bach Tempranillo 1999, Penedes, Spain $12.95: Not quite Old World or New World style, somewhere in between -- maybe Never Never Land? Blackberries and cassis. 83

Jan 24: Recommended Fortified and White Wines

913566 Carlo Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Garibaldi Dolce, Sicily, Italy $12.95: I generally think of marsala as a cooking wine, but this is a lovely fortified wine to drink: sweet with almond goodness. It would be deligtful after dinner with roasted nuts. 88

976324 Ebenezer Baroosa Valley Estate Chardonnay 2000, Australia $29.95: Spicy with pear fruit (not typical of some oaky, buttery chards from Down Under) 89

928184 Domanenweingut Schloss Schonborn Riesling Kabinett 2001, Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg, Gutsabfullung, Rheingau, Germany $19.95: Ink cartridge makers must make a killing in Germany. This is a but more petrol and minerally than the riesling I mentioned above which is more floral. Nonetheless, it's a great wine -- I can think of few wines that go better with more dishes than German riesling. 89

Jan 24: Recommended Red Wines

536383 Barossa Valley Estate Moculta Shiraz 2001, South Australia $18.95: Full-bodied but not heavy. Red plums and berries, kiss of oak. 89

722215 Chateau Vignelaure 1999, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, France $26.95: Yeah baby, this one is huge but a beauty. Good acidity too. 90

910935 Domaine de Lascamp 2000, Cotes-du-Rhone, France $12.95: Great value, cedary, easy-drinking. 83

978882 Sella & Mosca Tanca Farra 1999, Sardinia, Italy $23.95: Leathery, Old World, cherries. 87

912667 Casa Santos Lima Palha-Canas 2000, Portugal $13.95: Another obscure find. Chocolate aromas and plush, ripe fruit. 89 (That's an awesome P/E ratio... Price to Enjoyment) Best Value Red Wine

942904 D'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 2001, McLaren Vale, South Australia $18.95: A 90 from Robert Parker, need I go on? This is the hidden treasure for those of you who have read these typo-laden, midnight scribbles to the end. Amazing value, gorgeous big wine. 88