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Sister's Run Shiraz 2009, Calvary Hill, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Winemaker Elena Brooks’ ready for anything approach to her work inspired the Sister’s Run label. On at least one occasion, while changing from high heels to work boots and while wearing one of each, ran into the winery to deal with a crisis. This wine is full bodied with concentrated dark fruits and spice, fun, but serious enough for either a formal or informal barbecue. A perky, full-bodied red that delivers lots of pleasure and no offense. Black plums berries roll across your mouth: no stops or starts, all liquid pleasure. Perfect for the barbecue. 222018 14.50% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 88/100. January 21, 2012 Full Review
Small Gully The Formula Robert's Shiraz 2006, South Australia, Australia: Lovely the juiciness that doesn’t stop giving. Fleshy fruit roll across your mouth and there’s a gorgeous liveliness to the black berries and plums. Long finish. Superb, especially at this price. 142935 15.90% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. January 7, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Blackberry liqueur with black raspberry and spices. Mouth-watering, juicy and luscious. Supple and silky and full-bodied. 927533 14.50% XD 750 mL  $27.95 Score: 92/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review
Penfolds Bin 138 Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2009, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Structured and balanced blend of dark fruit, smoke and a touch of spice on the finish. Elegant, full-bodied but not heavy. 468637 13% XD 750 mL  $34.95 Score: 90/100. January 21, 2012 Full Review
Grant Burge The Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2008, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: An incredibly rich and concentrated with intense aromas and layers of blackberry liqueur flavour. Demands hearty meat dishes and won't be satisfied until you are. Bring it on! Drink: 2012-2016. 236257 14.50% XD 750 mL  $33.95 Score: 94/100. April 14, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Wakefield Chardonnay 2009, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: This ripe, luscious, peach, nectarine and citrus-scented wine with well-integrated creamy oak tones resulting in a clean, balanced, and fruity drink. Robust Chardonnay with big aromas of butterscotch, vanilla smoke and fleshy peach. Full oak treatment in this full-bodied white. 711556 14% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 87/100. January 21, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Turkey Flat Butcher's Block Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre 2009, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: This is a blend of 55% Shiraz, 28% Grenache and 17% Mourvedre grapes. A super smooth texture yields layers of black cherry, cranberry, black raspberry and plum. Some enticing notes of hickory smoke and cedar box in the background. 90241 14% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 93/100. January 21, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2008, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: From a historic single vineyard at the southern end of the Barossa, this deep purple Shiraz is bursting with ripe berry, lifted floral and coconut aromas. This is a rich and opulent wine with a chewy texture and ripe, juicy, mixed-berry and vanilla flavours balanced by firm, grainy tannins leading to a lengthy finish. It’s a “wow” wine that always impresses. Decant and serve, or cellar this big boy for up to 6 years. My note: Lovely rich and round with dark plums that cushion new heights and depths of pleasure. 725127 14.50% XD 750 mL  $20.95 Score: 90/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review
Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz Viognier 2009, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia: Dense with a towering concentration of black fruit flavours, kirsch, tar, smoky oak and violets. Supple with layer after layer of lip-smacking flavour. 606301 15% XD 750 mL  $27.95 Score: 91/100. January 7, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2009, Vqa Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench,Ontario, Canada: Le Clos Jordanne strikes again! A gorgeous chardonnay with rich layers f buttery, hazelnut goodness. Yet it's also balanced, elegant and complex. Canada's Chardonnay Master! Drink: 2011-2018. 34561 13% XD 750 mL  $65.00 Score: 94/100. November 26, 2011 Top Rated White Wine. Full Review
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Syrah 2007, BC VQA Okanagan Valley, Canada: Plummy black cherry liqueur richness with a dark, brooding core of full-bodied flavour. Some terrific touches of smoke an dark spices on the finish. Supple and wonderful. Drink: 2009-2015. 608828 14% D 750 mL  $38.00 Score: 89/100. December 1, 2009 Full Review
Inniskillin Okanagan Reserve Chardonnay 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Enticing smoky buttered notes on the nose with ripe Asian pear, vanilla and almond on the palate. Full-bodied and richly layered. 127696 14% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 88/100. January 7, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Gray Monk Gewürztraminer 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Lovely and complex with that wonderful weave of lychee, spice, rose petal and Asisan pear. Perfect for many dishes, especially curries and spices. Drink: 2011-2016. 321588 12.80% MD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 90/100. December 10, 2011 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Cave Spring Cellars Estate Bottled Cave Spring Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2010, V.Q.A., Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Perfect gewurz, especially at this price! Gorgeous aromas of lychee, rose petal and a hint of spices. Great for Asiana and spicy dishes. Exotic and fantastic. 302059 13% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. March 31, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay 2009, V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Plentiful aromas here, such as cantaloupe, toast, tropical fruit (banana, pineapple and coconut), spice and lemon meringue pie. Dry with lots of everything going on, but it all works extremely well. Full bodied, with ripe fruit, toasty oak and bright acidity in almost perfect harmony. Long finish. Cellar 3-5 years or enjoy tonight with rich seafood dishes. My note: Love it! Rich and layered with hazelnuts, smoke and almonds. Green apple notes shine through then there’s a lime zest finish. Drink: 2011-2017. 208694 13.70% XD 750 mL  $32.95 Score: 93/100. November 10, 2012 Top Rated White Wine. Full Review
Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay 2009, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: A lively, expertly crafted Chardonnay. Notes of coconut, butterscotch, toast, pear preserves, grapefruit and yellow plum. Dry, medium bodied, crisp and elegant with racy acidity. The oak adds lovely accents to the tangy fruit. Layered, lingering finish. It will also reward 2-4 years in a cellar. My note: Something inside me melts every time I taste this wine, a slow dissolving to sensory bliss. Full-bodied, opulent, buttery and peach-apricot aromas. Drink: 2011-2016. 33936 13% XD 750 mL  $30.00 Score: 92/100. November 12, 2011 Top Rated White Wine. Full Review
Errázuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2010, Casablanca Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Some winemakers believe that the use of wild airborne yeasts (that occur naturally in the vineyard) during fermentation creates wines with a more dramatic flavour profile than those produced with conventional cultivated yeasts. This wine offers aromas of cherry, earth, dried flowers and spice. Dry and well balanced with cherry, raspberry, beet root and floral notes leading to a delicious spicy finish. Lovely. My note: Sweetly ripe cherry-berry bold flavours and mouth-watering action. Medium to full-bodied. Terrific and vibrant! Drink: 2011-2015. 510396 13.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. November 26, 2011 Best Value Red Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Tamaya Reserva Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2009, Limari Valley, Chile: Pine forest with a mocha snowfall dusting. Full-bodied, smooth and savoury. Bring on the meat! Drink: 2012-2015. 62497 13.50% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 14, 2012 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Michel Picard Bourgogne Chardonnay 2009, A.C., Burgundy, France: This has got to be a typo on the price! Hazelnut richness wraps itself gorgeously around green apple and peach notes. Full-bodied and generous and round and you won't get another Burgundian chardonnay at this price for a very long tim my friend. Drink: 2012-2016. 264440 13% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. April 14, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Pfeffingen Gewurztraminer Spätlese 2008, Pfalz, Germany: Exotic, enticing and absolutely delicious! Classic gewurz in all its glory: lychee, rose petal and baking spices converge happily. 211417 13% S 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 91/100. January 8, 2011 Favourite Dessert Wine. Full Review
Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Leave it to Kim Crawford to make unoaked Chardonnay interesting. Pure fruit flavour without the toast, oak and vanilla. White peach and green apple. Refreshing. 991950 13.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. January 7, 2012 Best Value White Wine. Enchanting Feta Cheese Wine Full Review
Fairview Shiraz 2008, W.O., Paarl, South Africa: Vintages Wine Panel: This Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles presents a lovely deep, dark ruby colour in the glass. The nose is awash with blackberry, black pepper, plum, and chocolate. There are some earth tones here as well, and also lovely floral notes that sit delectably atop the other aromas. Great replays on the palate. This is a dry and well-structured wine with firm but integrated tannins. The finish is medium-long and spicy. Enjoy this tonight. My note: Smoky with dark berries and a lovely mouth-watering texture. Violets and dried herbs greet anyone who wants to think about the wine a little more than knocking it back which it is imminently suited to. Luscious and good-natured, like the goats that roam the estate. Closed with a screwcap. 626358 13% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review
RavensWood Single Vineyard Belloni Zinfandel 2008, Russian River Valley, California, United States: Black cherry liqueur with decadent richness and berry juiciness in this full-bodied red. Classically made Zinfandel. 672741 14.20% XD 750 mL  $44.95 Score: 92/100. January 21, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Bonterra Merlot 2007, Mendocino County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Bonterra was among the first wave of California’s major wine producers to embrace organic grape-growing and sustainable farming practices. This Merlot was crafted from certified organically grown grapes and offers aromas of cherry, cranberry, chocolate and spice. The palate is dry and well balanced, with luxuriously round tannins that are wonderfully integrated into the fruit. The medium-long finish leaves you with a lovely spiciness. My note: You don't have to be tie-dyed t-shirt wearing hippie to love organic wines these days. Bonterra has fashioned a lovely rich Merlot that will please just about anyone. Aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherries and plums are gently wrapped in a wisp of smoky oak. A wonderful 5 p.m. wine, one I'd call "Mommy's little helper." This wine, made from organic grapes, contains just 11 mg/L of free sulfur 984724 13% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 8, 2011 Full Review

© 2014 Natalie MacLean