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Luigi Bosca Reserva Chardonnay 2010, Luján De Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina: Tasty and balanced with appealing green apple and lemon notes and just the right amount of toasty oak. Full-bodied and smooth. Drink: 2011-2015. 142836 14.20% XD 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 89/100. November 12, 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 14% XD 750 mL  $27.95 Score: 91/100. January 7, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Jim Barry Wines The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2009, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Hulking, savory red with classic aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and brambly blackberries. Some cedar and tobacco box on the finish. A serious wine for discussing world affairs. 998476 14% XD 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 92/100. January 21, 2012 Top Rated Red 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 13.50% XD 750 mL  $30.00 Score: 92/100. November 12, 2011 Top Rated White Wine. Full Review
CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Chardonnay 2009, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada: An opulent chardonnay made from whole berry cluster pressed grapes that were 100% barrel-fermented and aged 10 months in French oak. This results in a luxuriously rich and layered chardonnay with generous aromas of peach, apple and Asian pear. Phenomenally delicious! Drink: 2011-2013. 607218 13.90% XD 750 mL  $29.90 Score: 92/100. January 3, 2012 Full Review
Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Red Icon Cabernet Blend 2008, VQA, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada: A gorgeously rich nose of fleshy dark fruit, violets and cedar smoke. Elegant with lifted mid-palate flavours, then a clean, long finish that leaves you wanting more. Full-bodied, but not heavy. This wine was aged for 18 months in new French oak. Surely one of Canada's best producers. Drink: 2011-2021. 284190 14.30% XD 750 mL  $55.00 Score: 95/100. January 3, 2012 Full Review
Tawse Winery Inc. Quarry Road Riesling 2010, VQA Vinemount Ridge, Ontario, Canada: This organic and biodynamic wine is superb! The vines were grown on a limestone base and the wine shows an incredible mineral depth. Joyous aromas of lime and white peach leap from the glass. Mouth-watering and endlessly delicious. Drink: 2011-2020. 198853 10.50% XD 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 93/100. January 3, 2012 Full Review
Featherstone Winery Featherstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, V.Q.A. Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada: Mocha dark aromas with black cherry goodness. Smooth and medium-bodied. Delicious! Pressed in French oak barrels then aged in them for 10 months. Drink: 2011-2014. 001 12% D 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 90/100. January 3, 2012 Full Review
Château Saint Maurice Les Grès Laudun Christophe Valat, Vign. 2009, A.C., Côtes Du Rhône-Villages, France: Laudun’s best vineyards tend to be north-facing and grown on sandy clay. Interesting aromas include pomegranate and black licorice, plus the usual scents of plum, raspberry and pepper-spice. Dry, and due to zippy acidity with a very ripe core, is not at all jammy. A value-priced wine for the cellar: 3-5+ years. To enjoy now, decant for 2+ hours and serve. Juicy, delicious and full-bodied with alluring aromas of black cherry, cedar box, violets and smoke. Love it! Incredible price. 177576 14.80% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 89/100. January 21, 2012 Full Review
La Madonnina Riserva Chianti Classico 2008, D.O.C.G., Tuscany, Italy: Savoury and mouth-watering with dark chocolate, blackberry, cassis, leather and happiness. Good acidity: terrific in wine if you actually want to drink it with food. Terrific craftsmanship here. This would make a memorable dinner party wine or hostess gift. Tastes twice the price. 191361 13.40% XD 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 91/100. January 21, 2012 Full Review
Hunter's Pinot Noir 2009, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Jane Hunter, owner and viticulturalist of Hunter’s Wines has won over 100 international prizes. Her Pinot Noirs are especially treasured by those who know and love this grape. Enjoy this one now, or cellar for 2-4 years. Chocolate and dark spice on the nose then it lifts on the palate to fleshy cherries and other berries. Silky texture with a medium- to full-bodied weight. Lovely! 586115 13.50% XD 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 88/100. January 7, 2012 Voluptuous Veal Wine Full Review
Hartford Court Fog Dance Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, United States: Opens with black cherries, raspberries and smoky berries. There are hints of violets and cigar box that make this full-bodied wine ultra-seductive with its polished tannins and soft texture. Extremely cherry-berry in flavour. Food matches: grilled tuna with a pepper crust, grilled porkchops, lamb kabobs, venison burgers, roast veal Drink: 2008-2016. 0940050008857 14.50% XD 750 mL  $55.00 Score: 90/100. January 3, 2012 Full Review
Sanford Pinot Noir 2009, Santa Rita Hills, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Sanford was the first producer to plant Pinot Noir in the Santa Rita Hills area. That was 1971, and today we are truly fortunate to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Lovely and bright with cherry and strawberry eau-du-vie notes on the nose. Medium bodied and dry, this Pinot is beautifully balanced with complex smoky fruit and gentle tannins. My note: Stunning with gorgeous depth of satin cherry flavour. Not heavy but packed with flavour. Gorgeous note of ripe cherries, fresh-turned earth, cinnamon and black raspberries. Velvet texture with deep layers of flavor. A fairly robust Pinot but not heavy. Superb effort. A hedonist’s dream. Drink: 2009-2017. 206680 14.50% XD 750 mL  $44.95 Score: 93/100. January 3, 2012 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 14.80% XD 750 mL  $44.95 Score: 92/100. January 21, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Loredona Pinot Noir 2009, Monterey, California, United States: Owing to the moderating ocean breezes off the Pacific that travel up the Salinas Valley, Pinot Noir has turned out to be one of the best-performing grapes in Monterey County. The Loredona (lady flower) shows classic Pinot Noir aromas of cherry, cedar, plum and earth. A fine choice. A beguiling and silky pinot with lovely layers of ripe cherries and some cinnamon. Medium- to full-bodied. 57620 13.50% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 86/100. January 21, 2012 Full Review
RavensWood Vintner's Blend Zinfandel 2008, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Ravenswood was one of a handful of wineries that recognized early on that Zinfandel was an exceptional grape variety for fine wine production. Their Vintners Blend Zin is ready for any occasion with seductive aromas of spice, black raspberry, and mocha. Soft and round with lots of fruit and cocoa flavour. My note: Bright notes of brambleberry, blueberry and raspberry with lovely liveliness and layers of textured flavor. Smooth with polished tannins and a warm finish. Perfect for pizza and movie night. This wine is part of the Vintages Essentials Collection. 359257 13.60% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 89/100. October 29, 2011 Full Review

© 2014 Natalie MacLean