Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

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Wakefield Estate Shiraz 2010, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Blackberry liqueur richness with a hint of mint. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth with excellent replays of dark fruit flavours across the palate. This is an incredible wine for the price. The grapes for this wine come from vines that were planted in 1969, and that concentration shows in the wine. Some spice and vanilla oak on a long finish. Drink: 2012-2015. 943787 14.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 92/100. January 4, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Enchanting Feta Cheese Wine Full Review
Zonte's Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Single Site Shiraz 2010, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Fantastic for the price! Full-bodied and juicy with layers of mouth-watering flavours: blackberry pie and black plums. this single site wine is produced by Baron Von Nemesis in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Smooth and terrific. Loaded with toasty oak. Great party wine. Decant 2 hours. Drink: 2013-2017. 212936 14.50% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2011, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: This full-bodied red wine wonder is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44% Shiraz grapes. It packs a lot of black fruit flavour along with attractive dark spices, pepper and anise. It's concentrated, rich and deep with a long, satisfying finish. Bring it on with a prime rib dish. Drink: 2013-2018. 296582 14.70% D 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 93/100. August 16, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Langmeil Hangin' Snakes Shiraz Viognier 2012, The Long Mile, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Minty blackberry nose with plush plum flavours on the palate. Generous, full-bodied and lovely. Dark, concentrated and complex with the dark fruit intensity from the Shiraz and the lifted flavours and brightness through the mid-palate from a splash of Viognier. Classic Barossa in all its glory. Some eucalyptus and black pepperoni the finish. Try it with grilled or blackened chicken. Drink: 2014-2018. 77685 14.50% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 91/100. August 16, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Stella Bella Skuttlebutt Shiraz Cabernet 2009, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: A real palate-grabber! Fleshy black plum, minty aromas in this red wine wonder! Walk down this tunnel of sensory pleasure ... brush your taste buds against the walls of caressing black fruit flavour. Smooth, deep, rich. Madly, truly, deeply. Drink: 2014-2018. 58131 14% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 92/100. April 12, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Magnificent Meat Pizza Wine Full Review
Tawse Winery Inc. Rosé 2012, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Great juicy strawberry aromas in this Cabernet Franc rose. Vibrant and medium-bodied. Mouth-watering and food versatile or drink as an aperitif. Clean finish. Drink: 2013-2015. 172643 12.50% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 90/100. March 29, 2014 Best Value Rosé Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2012, V.Q.A., Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Soooooo lovely! Apricot and honeysuckle aromas give this wine a lovely, natural fruit fleshiness and sweetness, but this wine is never cloying as it's beautifully balanced with mouth-watering acidity for a wide range of dishes. Luscious and seductive with a medium body and long finish. Highly recommended. Drink: 2012-2017. 43281 11% MD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 91/100. January 4, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Ninquén Antu Chilean Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Great concentration and depth of flavour. Exotic black plums and dark spices on the finish. Amazing quality for the price. Full-bodied, rich, endless. Plush, fleshy black plums wrap themselves around your tongue and dance with your senses. Pair with a crackling fire on a chilly evening, and a great book. This full-bodied red wine pairs well with grilled meats. OTHER: This wine was awarded 91 points in the 2013 Descorchados guide. (VINTAGES panel, undated.) Drink: 2013-2017. 675371 14.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 92/100. September 13, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Don Maximiano Single Vineyard, Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: A towering, well-structured Chilean Cabernet with classic aromas of cassis and blackberry. This winery consistently delivers wines that taste twice as expensive as they cost. Pair this full-bodied beauty with prime rib or a rare steak. Drink: 2013-2017. 203364 14% XD 750 mL  $23.95 Score: 91/100. September 2, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Château De Treviac Arnaud Sié 2011, Corbières, Midi A.P., France: A luscious, smoky, full-bodied blend of syrah and grenache grapes, at a terrific price. Black pepper and fleshy black plum aromas. Velvet texture. Awesome! The southern French region of Corbières is often underestimated, and yet it's capable of producing blockbuster reds like this one. Usually carignan is part of the blend, but not in this case. Intense and satisfying. Drink: 2013-2017. 670505 14.50% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. August 16, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Luscious Lamb Wine Full Review
Château Moncontour Tête De Cuvée Brut Vouvray, Loire A.C., France: What a bargain for such a crisp, toasty bubbly! Lovely bright green fruit. The French writer Honoré de Balzac featured this winery in his novel, La Femme de Trente Ans. Lovely lemon lift on the finish. Perfect as an aperitif or companion to seafood and great novels. Drink: 2014-2016. 207936 12% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. August 16, 2014 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Fantastic Fried Chicken Wine Full Review
Hecht & Bannier St-Chinian 2011, Midi A.C., France: A dark marauding red wine. Gorgeous! Full-bodied, juicy and alive with vibrant black fruit flavours. Black cherry, anise and cassis with just the right amount of savoury oak. Dried herbs and longing on the finish. Bring more quickly please. Syrah leads in this voluptuous red wine blend, and the vines roots in schist soils shows distinctive minerality. Hecht & Bannier is actually a negociant or agent-blender who buys and combines lots of wines from various growers and wineries in the south of France. Drink: 2013-2017. 184184 13.50% XD 750 mL  $25.95 Score: 92/100. August 16, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Bollig-Lehnert Kabinett Piesporter Riesling 2011, Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany: Loaded with flavour yet not heavy - and so low in alcohol. Peach, pear and happiness. Drink: 2013-2018. 345736 8.50% M 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 92/100. December 7, 2013 Top Rated White Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Tedeschi Capitel Nicalò Appassimento Valpolicella Superiore 2011, Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy: A full-bodied juicy red wine with lots of heft and mouth-filling flavour. Dark cherry and black plum, almost prune on the nose of this D.O.C. wine. Good value. This is one of the best producers of ripasso. Wonderful dry finish for a wide range of dishes, especially hearty meat ones. Drink: 2014-2020. 984997 13% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Villa Novare Bertani Bertani Villa Novare Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: Dry, supple and full-bodied with black fruit and smoke aromas and flavours. This DOC producer has been making wine in Valpolicella since 1857. Great combination of finesse and concentration. Try it with a rare steak. Drink: 2014-2018. 95810 13.50% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2014 Best Beef Wine Full Review
Poliziano Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2011, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: Luxurious dark satin fruit with fleshy sinful goodness in this full-bodied red wine. Smoke and black plums roll off the long finish. Liquid gorgeous. Give this some cellar time before opening, then decant 2 hours when you do. Try it with rare filet mignon. Drink: 2013-2018. 988055 14.50% XD 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 93/100. September 13, 2014 Voluptuous Veal Wine Full Review
Cusumano Noà 2010, Sicily, Italy: Exceptional value and quality for the price! This full-bodied red wine is smooth with mocha richness and brooding black plums slipping in underneath. Dark spice and smoke on a long finish. Terrific structure and balance. Demands hearty meat dishes and your full commitment. This wine is a blend of Nero d’Avola, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Nero d'Avola is the flagship red wine of Sicily: try it tonight with hamburgers. Drink: 2013-2016. 109512 12.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 92/100. January 4, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Spy Valley Wine Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Grassy, lime-citrus and still great at this price. Lively and zesty with mouth-watering acidity. Wonderful! This is the convenient half bottle size of this popular wine. It goes down slippery fast with terrific refreshment. There's gooseberry and lime zest on the finish. Perfect for salads. Drink: 2013-2015. 199968 13% XD 375 mL  $8.95 Score: 90/100. December 7, 2013 Best Value White Wine. Smart Buy Wine Full Review
The Grinder Pinotage 2012, Swartland W.O., South Africa: Wine-coffee drink: I mean this kindly. It's lovely, especially if you love your espresso. So perfect with biscotti. Wait for at least 4 pm.This is my second tasting of the 2012 vintage, and it's consistent with the first one back in January. Drink: 2014-2017. 269076 14% XD 750 mL  $13.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Plush Pork Wine Full Review
Rustenberg Chardonnay 2012, Stellenbosch W.O., South Africa: Love this style of South African chardonnay. Toasty and rich but also mouth-watering and vibrant: it's got it all. This wine was aged in 40% new and 60% second-use oak barrels for a year. Toasted almond and green apple on the nose with lime-orange citrus on the palate. Balanced and lovely with a long finish. Wow! Drink: 2013-2017. 598631 13.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. March 1, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Celebrated Chicken and Cream Sauce Wine Full Review
Newton Johnson Pinot Noir 2012, Upper Hemel En Aarde Valley, Walker Bay W.O., South Africa: Lovely! Rich and layered yet not heavy. Fleshy cherries that you want to put your arm into up the shoulder then just move your fingers slowly. Black kirsch aromas on the finish, some oak and ultra supple. Drink: 2014-2018. 660878 14.50% D 750 mL  $26.95 Score: 92/100. April 12, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Complete Cheese Pizza Wine Full Review
Club Lealtanza Reserva Tempranillo 2005, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain: Chiseled structure and terrific balance, with black fruit, smoke and dried herb aromas. This wine shows restraint that I know not. Drink: 2014-2018. 293852 13.50% XD 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 92/100. April 12, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Luscious Lamb Wine Full Review
Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Sonoma County, California, United States: Balanced, complex and distinguished: this full-bodied Californian Cabernet hails from the cool climate of Sonoma. The dramatic difference in day and nighttime temperatures (diurnal) makes for ripe wines that have underlying balance. Finishes with cassis, smoke, anise and dried tobacco. Drink: 2014-2018. 977173 13.80% XD 750 mL  $34.95 Score: 92/100. September 13, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Napa Cellars Napa Cellars Zinfandel 2012, Napa Valley, California, United States: Love it! Full-bodied and loaded with flavour yet vibrant and nimble and never heavy. Black fruit and spice with such a velvet smooth palate. Very complex and balanced. Perfect for grilled meats. Drink: 2013-2018. 126607 14.90% D 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 92/100. August 16, 2014 Best Beef Wine Full Review

© 2014 Natalie MacLean