Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

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Pascual Toso Alta Reserve Malbec 2011, Mendoza, Argentina: The grapes for this towering Argentine red wine were sourced from the Barrancas Vineyard. Deepest, darkest concentration of blackberry, blackcurrant and black plum that I've tasted in a while. Full-bodied and smooth; this delivers lots of hedonistic satisfaction. This wine will benefit from 2 hours decanting. A long, satisfying finish. Pair with filet mignon or a pepper steak. Drink: 2013-2019. 261958 13.50% XD 750 mL  $33.95 Score: 93/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Heartland Shiraz 2012, Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast, South Australia, Australia: Love the nose of black cherry liqueur and mysterious dark spices that draw you head first into the glass of this robust Australian Shiraz. The palate opens up with fleshy ripe black fruit and smoke. This is such a lively, full-bodied red that's smooth and ready to drink now. Try it with pepperoni pizza. Drink: 2013-2017. 661934 14.50% D 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Pirramimma Katunga Gts 2012, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Juicy and vibrant with black and purple liqueur aromas and flavours. Full-bodied and ultra-smooth. Deeply concentrated and rich with layered complexity through the palate. Lots of toasty, smoky oak that's in balance with the luscious fruit. This wine cries out for hearty meat dishes, and for you to top up your glass. Stunning complexity, depth and finish in this towering Australian red wine. Drink: 2013-2018. 203174 14.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 93/100. November 15, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2013, South Australia, Australia: Liquid gorgeous! Lovely honeysuckle, lemon-lime, nettle and lychee and baking spice. Perfect for curries and medium-spicy dishes. Drink: 2013-2018. 624502 14.10% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Spectacular Spicy Wine Full Review
Henry Of Pelham Cabernet Merlot 2012, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A balanced, full-bodied Niagara red wine, with attractive notes of cedar forest, wild blackberries and some herbal notes. This wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes grown on the winery's own estate. Yields are kept low to 2 to 3 tonnes per acre so that the grapes are concentrated with flavour, which translates directly into the wine's complexity. Drink: 2012-2017. 395855 13.60% D 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Plush Pork 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
Tawse Winery Inc. Sketches Of Niagara Riesling 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, V.Q.A., Canada: This vibrant, well-priced Ontario Riesling offers seductive aromas of peach blossom, lemon zest and wet stone. A complex core of minerality runs through the heart of this wine. Tawse is a family-owned Niagara winery that farms sustainably. Drink: 2013-2017. 89029 10.50% M 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Great Goat Cheese 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
Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Grassy great!! Want lawnmower satisfaction ... cut the lawn without cutting the lawn. Love it! OTHER: The 2013 Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Aconcagua Valley from the coastal and northern zone of Zapallar, seven kilometers from the sea, which provides freshness. It's a powerful wine, with pungent aromas extracted from the skin for some seven months contact, with a mineral feeling, akin to a Sancerre, serious and austere, with gooseberries, tomato leaves, ending again mineral and saline. This is a superb Sauvignon Blanc. The vines were planted in 2006 and the first harvest bottled was 2011. Experiment with iodine-rich seafood, like sea urchin. Uhhhmmm! Drink now-2017. Score - 91 (Luis Gutierrez,, June 2014) Drink: 2013-2016. 389643 12.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Santa Ema Amplus Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Chile: Minty and savoury blackberry and cassis on the nose and palate of this vibrant, meaty Chilean red wine. Loaded with fleshy black plums, blueberries and nutmeg. Some smoke on the finish. Juicy, mouth-watering and smooth. Drink: 2013-2028. 76307 13.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 91/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Luscious Lamb 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
Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett 2013, Rheinhessen Q.M.P., Germany: This lovely Pradikätswein wine is a vibrant mouth-watering white wine produced by Jean-Baptiste and estate bottled. Zesty notes of ripe citrus fruit and rose petals on the nose, and continue through the palate and finish. Gorgeous intensity of flavour here. Try it with glazed ham, or holiday side dishes, like sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and creamed corn. Yum! Drink: 2014-2020. 480517 11% M 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Modus Ruffino 2011, Tuscany I.G.T., Italy: A seductive nose of violets and wild blackberries gives way to a much more robust palate of fleshy black fruit, smoke, tar, graphite and oak. This truly is a Super Tuscan blend that delivers year after year. Layered, complex and offering a long, satisfying finish. Decant 1-2 hours. Pair with prime rib. Drink: 2015-2021. 912956 14% XD 750 mL  $28.95 Score: 93/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Plush Pork Wine Full Review
Wither Hills Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand: The grapes are also sourced from New Zealand's South Island. Grassy and herbal kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, with quivering lime vibrancy. Pure, fresh, with no oak. Bring me a mega big salad or a spinach quiche ... quickly! A racy finish with a lick of citrus zest. Highly recommended. Drink: 2013-2015. 919514 13% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 91/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Kim Crawford Merlot 2013, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: A robust, smooth New Zealand red wine, with fleshy black plums and some dark spice on the finish. Kim Crawford has that rare combination of being both popular with a wide swath of wine drinkers, and respected by even the pickiest connoisseurs. Finishes with black plum and a lick of spiced oak. Wonderful! Try it with grilled lamb or pork chops. Drink: 2014-2019. 680967 13.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Thatched Hut Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: Juicy and soft Pinot Noir, but not wimpy. Cherry-berry aromas and flavours with very pleasing mouth-watering action. Vibrant and clean on the palate, with bright raspberry notes on a long finish. Polish and supple and exceptionally easy-drinking on its own or with roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2014-2019. 242933 13.50% XD 750 mL  $23.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Graham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine Méthode Cap Classique, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: This South African sparkling wine is one of the best in the country and is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Graham Beck is known for superb technique and finesse when it comes to sparkling wines. Great value. 593483 12% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Segura Viudas Heredad Brut Reserva Traditional Method Cava, D.O., Spain: Here's your sparkling wine for the holidays (and year round)! Terrific value in this well-made, toasty and refreshing bubbly from Spain that's a third of the price of Champagne. Segura is one of the most respected producers of Cava, the Spanish name for sparkling wine. Terrific earthy aromas mingle with toasted almond and some green apple. Great aperitif or try it with roast turkey, friend chicken, or yes, even potato chips. Drink: 2014-2018. 558825 12% D 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Terrific Turkey Wine Full Review
Luis Cañas Reserva 2009, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain: This Spanish red wine is made mostly (95%) from the classic Rioja grape Tempranillo and well as a splash (5%) of Graciano. The vines are an average age of 40 years old. The wine spent 18 months in French and American oak. This is an elegant wine with a long life ahead of this. Gorgeous aromas of dark red fruit and leather on the palate. There's still a firm tannic grip here mid-palate so be sure to decant for an hour, or better yet, give this baby some cellar time. Drink: 2015-2021. 334094 14% XD 750 mL  $22.95 Score: 92/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2012, Sonoma County, California, United States: Juicy and full-bodied Californian Chardonnay, with a great balance between toasty oak and fleshy pear fruit aromas. Finishes with apple, baking spices and guava. Try it with roast turkey. Drink: 2013-2018. 275552 14.50% D 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 91/100. October 25, 2014 Delightful Duck Wine Full Review
Napa Cellars Merlot 2012, Napa Valley, California, United States: Mocha and dark chocolate on the nose with luscious black fruit unfolding the palate and mouth-filling juiciness. This wine was aged in 100% French oak, 46% of which was new. There were 988 barrels produced of this wine. A intense, deep Merlot offering dark fruit and toasty oak. Finishes long and smooth with blackberry and cedar smoke. Perfect for a rare, juicy steak tonight. Drink: 2013-2018. 161299 14.10% XD 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 90/100. December 6, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Cannonball Chardonnay 2012, Sonoma County, California, United States: Lovely Californian Chardonnay! White floral notes, some baking spice and a lightness that's ethereal given the mouth-filling juiciness of this wine. Drink: 2013-2017. 311563 13.70% XD 750 mL  $20.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Plush Pork Wine Full Review

© 2014 Natalie MacLean