March Release Recommendations

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

Highly Recommended White Wines

142893 Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer 1999, BC $14.25 -- lovely floral and lychee nut nose, balanced acidity and fruit on the palate

961516 Margan Family Semillon 2000, Australia $12.95: fantastic value, gorgeous fruit, crisp without being tart

727057 Fairhall Downs Chardonnay 2000, New Zealand $15.45 -- full-bodied and oaky without too much of either, when you want to roll around with a big buttery chard, take this one for a tumble

985994 West Brook Sauvignon Blanc 2001, New Zealand $13.95 -- you can't go wrong with the three NZ SBs in this release, especially if you like that herbal, grassy, zingy acidity -- but this is the best one, balanced without going over the top on the fresh-cut grass element -- hey it's the cheapest too, nice when life works out that way, eh?

746479 Cristina Ascheri Mocato d'Asti 2000, Italy $14.95 -- if you haven't tried a moscato d'asti and would like to increase the amount of pleasure in your life, try it -- especially with spring around the corner (OK around the block) -- this slightly sweet, slightly effervescent wine goes famously well with fruit desserts or as a light dessert on it's own

744805 Chateau Ksara Baln de Blancs 2000, Lebanon $13.70 -- terrific value, even though it's a blend of white grapes, it comes off as a buttery, round chard

328559 Cathedral Cellars Chardonnay 2000, South Africa $12.80 (at the back of the book) -- oaky, round, buttery, beautiful

720250 Bellingham Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001, South Africa $10.70 -- just as grassy as a NZ SB but without the expensive lawnmower -- South Africa is a hot rising wine region

Highly Recommended Red Wines

990440 Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, California $32.85 -- balanced, smooth, chocolate, worth $23.78 according to my secret wine value super-computer

594408 RH Philips Merlot 1999, California $17.45 -- one of the most humungous merlots I've tasted: huge fruit, alcohol and taste if you like it big and bold, this is a great one

704387 Cline Ancient Vines Mourvedre 1998, California $27.50 -- at 15.6% alcohol it's stronger than many fortified wines, but it's a beauty; you must, however, love mint chocolate -- holy Peppermint Patty!

718114 Peachy Canyon Zinfandel 1999, California $23.60 -- a full-bodied, but not over the top zin, dark berries and spice

983742 LA Cetto Petite Sirah 1999, Mexico $9.75 -- back for the third time, this hugely popular wine has become the standard party and large function wine for many people (everyone thinks you're serving a $25 bottle) -- it's also a terrific wine to hoard for yourself, peppery, spicy and blackberry, medium to full-body

468629 Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz, etc 1999, Australia $17.90 -- Penfolds delivers consistently even though this isn't my favourite shiraz of this release, it's very good (I didn't get to try the others from Penfolds)

702688 Peter Lehmann Clancy's Red 1999, Australia $23.95 -- not too big, not too small said the vinous Goldilocks, and she drank the whole bottle (which was why she was out cold when the three bears came home), lots of berries

958447 Haselgrove Shiraz 1999, Australia $17.85 -- my favourite shiraz of the release, it's magnificent with "gobs of berry fruit" as one well-known critic would say, spice and depth

723544 PB Burgoyne Shiraz 1999, Australia $17.55 -- a liqueur-style shiraz with marinaded cherries, deep and powerful

744961 Vina Tarapaca Carmenere Reserva 2000, Chile $13.75 -- huge, beautiful wine for the money, dark berry, oak

743955 Vina Luis Felipe Edwards Merlot 1999, Chile $11.25 -- here's another large party wine, it's terrific and full-bodied for the price

708750 Cyril Mares Mas des Bressades Cuvee Excellence 1999, Rhone $14.75 -- excellent Old World sytle wine with cedar and blackberry

979971 Calido Nero d'Avola Cabernet 2000, Sicily $10.50 -- guess I'm in a party mood, but here's another, chocolate, full-bodied, deep (say, whose house are we going to?)

723643 Bodegas Beronia Tempranillo 1998, Spain $16.60 -- for those who want out of their shiraz rut, try this -- Old World, but full and rich in its own way, earthy, jammy

743476 Clos Malverne Pinotage 2000, South Africa $19.95 (back of the book) -- balanced, dark fruit, again something to try when you want to branch out, I don't like many pinotages, but this one is great!