June Release Recommendations
By Natalie MacLean
June 1: Highly Recommended White & Sweet Wines
373928 Rossignol Estate Winery Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, PEI $15 -- yes it's made from strawberries and rhubarb rather than grapes and it's a delicious pie-in-a-glass! If you have any residual concern about being less evolved if you drink sweet wine, get over it -- this has nothing to do with the sickly sweet wines of the 1970s... what a wonderful dessert on its own.
958264 CJ Pask Winery Chardonnay 1999, New Zealand $17.25: good, all-round solid chard, crisp acidity, good fruit, not too much oak
991745 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Kabinett 2000, Germany $16.75: excellent acidity, floral and tree fruit notes, terrific for food
980789 Oremus Tokaji Furmint 1996, Hungary $15.60: another undiscovered sweet wine -- interesting to compare this to other types of sweet wine, it's gorgeous and would pair well with a creamy dessert
433615 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy (what kind of mother names her child this?) Moscato d'Asti 2001, Italy $17.70: a lightly effervescent, lightly sweet wine that is divine with fruit or cream-based desserts -- its effervescence is refreshing so you can drink it on its own
395897 Henry of Pelham Dry Rose 2001, Niagara $10.95: you can't get much of a better deal than this -- and oh yes, real men and women drink pink... this is refreshing like a crisp white yet more flavourful like a light red (page 24)
June 1: Highly Recommended Red Wines
553321 Mission Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1999, BC $21.35: very good, solid cab -- at a recent tasting I was even more impressed with their lower-priced general list wines (especially the sauvignon blanc and the cab -- about $12) -- won the top Canadian winery award recently from some authoritative committee and deserves it!
977371 Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 1999, California $44.85: magnificent and over-priced
971705 Barossa Valley Ebenezer Shiraz 1998, Australia $37.65: this used to be in the low $20 range just a year or two ago -- oh my. Still good, but this vintage doesn't blow me away like past vintages have
976423 Elderton CSM Cab/Shiraz/Merlot 1997, Australia $34.90: dark fruit, rich and deep
558635 Lindemans Shiraz Bin 9203 1996, Australia $18.95: If I could write blank verse, the description for this one would read: mint, plum, rich, deep, yum. But I can't, so I won't.
950105 Vina Tarapaca Cab/Syrah 1999, Chile $13.55: excellent value, full of flavour but not too heavy, cassis, blackberry
973719 Domaine Courbis Saint-Joseph 1999, Rhone $33.90: lovely Old World, cedary, balanced wine with finesse
948976 Giribaldi Barolo 1997, Italy $39.95: a powerhouse of a barolo! big and beautiful without being too tannic or oaky
411892 Cosimo Taurino Salice Salentino Reserva 1998, Italy $15.95: rustic, savory, cedary, wonderful
508531 Tenuto di Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2000, Italy $16.70: another walk in a pine forest -- fresh, fragrant, rustic, alive
461897 Dogajolo, Carpineto 2000, Tuscany $17.55: full-bodied and interesting enough to get you out of your shiraz rut.
June 15: Highly Recommended White Wines
727297 Laborie Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001, South Africa $12.40: you can't get much cheaper SB than this -- although it's not quite as complex as those from NZ, it's mouth-watering and delicious, herbal and refreshing
972364 Schloss Schonborn Riesling Kabinett 1999, Germany $18.85: lovely floral, fruit and acidity, great food wine
June 15: Highly Recommended Red Wines
533281 Southbrook Pinot Noir Triomphe 2000, Niagara $19.95: luscious pinot -- now among my three favourites from Niagara along with Inniskillin and Malivore
263418 Columbia Crest Merlot 1999, Washington $19.95: round, supple, fruitful with dark plums
448241 Leasingham Shiraz Bin 61 1999, Australia $21.95: warm and oaky, chocolately shiraz that almost veers to a cabernet in style
722579 Cotes de Castillon Chateau Perrin 1998, Bordeaux $12.95: affordable Bordeaux, what a shock -- you'll need a drink to recover... pleasant, light pepper, dark cherry
741868 Brouilly 2000, Beaujolais $17.50: when you want a beautiful, fruity, light wine -- think cold chicken and pate in a picnic basket beside a gurgling brook (water fountain will do)
703009 Badischer Winzerkeller Spatburgunder Rotwein 2000, Germany$16.60: don't be afraid of the name, it's what keeps the price low -- full-bodied pinot noir (which is like saying a talkative shy person -- interesting combo)
977355 Fazio Wines Mont Elimo 2000, $13.50: terrific value, gobs of cherry and berry
938258 Pontassieve Prunatelli 1998, Italy $15.75: mouth watering, dried roses and sour cherries
If you're still with me at this point, you're hard core -- and I respect that.