Vintages Wine Picks April 12, 2008White Wine
Simonsig Frans Malan 2003, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa: A blend of 45% pinotage, 45% cabernet sauvignon and 10% merlot. Full-bodied with notes of smoke, vanilla and black fruit. 57521 14% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
La Crema Chardonnay 2006, Sonoma Coast, California, USA: Vintages Wine Panel: La Crema emulates the great domaines of Burgundy by dedicating themselves solely to the production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay such as this one. With lovely citrus and floral aromas along with notes of butterscotch and a hint of spice, this rich Chardonnay shows deft balance and has a long, lingering finish. My note: A rich, full-bodied chard with all the buttery, oaky goodness that this wine can deliver. Loaded with tree fruit. Terrific balance. 962886 13% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay 2006, Santa Barbara County, California, USA: Vintages Wine Panel: Winemaker Bruce McGuire travelled throughout Santa Barbara County carefully selecting worthy vineyard sites to provide the fruit for this rich and supple Chardonnay. The style here is Southern California, and this full-bodied, approachable wine shines with bright-fruit intensity and terrific balance. My note: A gorgeous round chard with ripe apples and tree fruit. 989152 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
K.W.V. Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2006, WO Western Cape, South Africa: A refreshing and zippy sauvignon blanc. The best type of white wine South Africa makes in my opinion, though some would differ with chenin blanc. 662718 15% XD 750 mL $9.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Terrific, mouth-awakening citrus and herbal notes. 734798 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Darting Riesling Spätlese 2006, QmP, Ungsteiner Herrenberg, Estate Btld., Pfalz, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: Over the past few years, current owner Helmut Darting has introduced a drier style to all levels of his wines. For example, his Spätlese tastes more like a Kabinett, while his Auslese comes across like a Spätlese. This Spätlese is filled with aromas and flavours of peach, pear, citrus and apricot. It is medium dry with a beautiful seam of acidity bringing the wine into excellent balance. My note: A lovely, elegant Riesling with enticing aromas of ripe tree fruit and white flowers. Drink: 2008-2013. 963207 10% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Torlesse Chardonnay 2006, Waipara Valley, South Island, New Zealand: Vintages Wine Panel: Using grapes sourced from two different vineyard sites in the Waipara Valley, this fruit-driven, lightly oaked Chardonnay is fresh and elegant with bright citrus and apple fruit flavors, good complexity, depth and length. My note: A rich and creamy chard with notes of ripe pears and apples. 57661 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
D’arenberg The Last Ditch Viognier 2006, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: A aromatic and flavorful wine with floral and citrus aromas. 25064 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Casa Santos Lima Touriga Nacional 2005, Vinho Regional Estremadura, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: This stylish take on Portugal’s indigenous Touriga Nacional variety won a Silver Medal at the Concours Mondiale de Bruxelles 2007. Intensely colored and richly flavored, look for loads of ripe berry fruit, floral and chocolate flavors balanced by subtle tannins and medium acidity. My note: Good value for this full-bodied red with black raspberries and cherries. 67074 13% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
West Cape Howe Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Western Australia, Australia: A zesty white with notes of lime and citrus.
57646 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Bava Cocconato Moscato D’asti 2007, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Vintages Wine Panel: The light spritz, gentle sweetness and low alcohol of Moscato d’Asti make it a must-have for anyone hosting a party. Fruity and fragrant, this easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing, and versatile frizzante works equally well as an aperitif or dessert wine. My note: I can’t think of a better wine for a summer cocktail party outdoors. It’s low in alcohol and high in refreshment and taste. Don’t cellar it though, drink this year. 712547 5% M 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Mer Soleil Chardonnay 2005, Central Coast, Barrel Fermented, California, USA: Winemaker Charlie Wagner has created a voluptuous chard with aromas of ripe pears, peaches and honey. Warm notes of oak. Full-bodied. 958975 14% XD 750 mL $40.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Favorite White Wine. Full Review
Cave Spring Riesling Icewine 2006, V.Q.A. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Cave Spring cellars their Icewines for a full year in bottle prior to release. The 2006 vintage shows a superb balance of fruit and acids, suggesting excellent potential for mid-term ageing (6-8 years+). My note: This is one of Canada’s best Riesling producers, whether in the dry table wine style or a sweet dessert wine like this one. Gorgeous layers of honey and apricots. 447441 9% S 375 mL $59.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Vign. Roger Domaine Des Aspes Viognier 2006, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The latest vintage from one of the most consistent Viognier from the Languedoc. There is an evocation of Midi-in-a-glass here, including pit fruits, garrigue, melon and pear. My note: A terrific sipper for Asian dishes and grilled veggies. 712638 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
De Martino Single Vineyard Syrah 2005, Colchagua Valley, Chile: A gorgeous warm red with balance and length. 60269 14% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Viniterra Syrah 2005, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: A superb value, this deep-purple-hued Syrah has layered raspberry, blackberry and sweet vanilla aromas and flavors along with notes of coffee, chocolate and spice. It’s dry, rich and smooth and very attractive. This is one to stock up on for the summer barbecue season. My note: Tremendous value for this simple but delicious red. 57927 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Château Du Trignon Gigondas 2004, AC, Southern Rhone, France: A deep, rich, full-bodied red with classic aromas of black cherries, cedar and spice. 681817 15% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. April 12, 2008 Favorite Red Wine. Full Review
Barons de Rothschild Lafite Los Vascos Grande Reserve 2006, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: The legendary family behind Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux is wine royalty. Twenty years ago, its members recognized Chile’s potential for greatness and began investing in this venerable estate in the Colchagua Valley. The Grande Réserve is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the estate’s finest plots. Packed with cherry, wild berry, and plum flavors with notes of mint, tobacco and spice. My note: Great value in this red bursting with cassis and blackcurrant. Nice oak underlay. 32078 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz 2006, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: The grapes for this wine come from six sub-regions in the Barossa Valley. The
wine spent one year in French oak barrels and was neither fined nor filtered. Big honkin’ aromas of purple-black plums and blackberries.
Drink: 2008-2012. 927533 14% D 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Perrin & Fils Vinsobres Les Cornuds 2005, AC Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rhone, France: Vintages Wine Panel: The Perrins have 100 acres of vineyards in Vinsobres, a village which takes its name from a 17th century bishop from the area. My note: A full-bodied blend of syrah and grenache grapes with blackberries and cassis. Drink: 2008-2010. 566844 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Georges Rossignol, Vign. Récolt. Domaine Des Orme Cuvée Azur 2005, AC Côtes du Roussillon, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: It’s not surprising that Roussillon, bordered by Spain to the south and west and the Mediterranean sea to the east, enjoys an average of 325 days of sunshine a year. There is much excitement today about its dry wines, particularly modern, flavorful reds like this blend of Carignan (60%), Mourvèdre (30%) and Syrah (10%). The ripe red fruit and cassis flavors are counter-balanced by brooding notes of leather and toasty oak. It’s dry, full-bodied with good depth and supple tannins. My note: Southern France is producing some delicious wines of amazing value. This one is not exception. Full-bodied and packed with black fruit aromas. 65912 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007, DO Penedès, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This Latin lover has rich, alluring aromas of blackberry, currants, coffee, vanilla and bell pepper. It is medium-bodied with gentle fruit flavors and silky tannins. My note: A balanced, robust red with cassis and smoky notes. 36483 13% D 750 mL $18.80 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Navarro Correas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: The Correas family’s history in Mendoza dates back to 1798. From the mid 1800s to 1974, they cultivated grapes for other wine producers, but all that changed in 1975 when Don Edmundo Navarro Correas established the family’s own winery. Today, winemaker Juan Marco crafts premium quality wines like this intense Cabernet with its concentrated blackberry, plum, smoke and vanilla oak flavors. My note: A delicious red with robust notes of black fruit and toasty oak. 28936 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Casa Silva Quinta Generación 2004, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Quinta Generación celebrates the Silva family’s five generations of winemaking in Chile. Here’s a pretty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Syrah and Petit Verdot that offers a Chilean twist on the classic Bordeaux blend by using Syrah instead of Cabernet Franc. The result is a round and nicely textured wine with aromas of plum, blackberry, pipe tobacco and bell pepper. My note: A round and delicious red with some lifted spice notes in the blend.
59451 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Château Calissanne 2005, AC Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France: Château Calissanne is a vast 1000 ha estate near the Mediterranean. It boasts 100 ha of sun-drenched, south-facing vineyards planted with 11 different grape varieties. This award-winning red is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon that’s packed with cherry fruit flavours with hints of chocolate, mint and smoke. My note: A rich and flavorful red with notes of black plums and cherries.
61283 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Saxenburg Guinea Fowl 2004, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa: Lovely mocha and coffee notes in this full-bodied red. Terrific value. 694364 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Summerfield Syah Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Pyrenees, Victoria, Australia: Deep, rich layers of black fruit and full-bodied warmth.
62430 14% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Cardinal Zin Beastly Old Vines Zinfandel 2005, California, California, USA: The Ralph Steadman-illustrated label and tongue-in-cheek name are just part of the reason this popular Zinfandel has such ardent admirers. Medium-bodied with loads of berry, pie crust and smoky cedar aromas and flavors, this crowd-pleasing Zin is sure to win more fans around the barbecue this spring. My note: A tasty and balanced zinfandel with blackberry notes.
903245 13% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 89/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Fusione A-Mano Primitivo 2006, IGT Puglia, Puglia, Italy: Puglia in Southern Italy is a great source of rich, easy-to-drink reds like this consistently delicious Primitivo (aka Zinfandel). There is a striking resemblance to its American brother with its delicious notes of raspberry, red licorice, bumbleberry pie and spices. Bright fruit flavors come forth on the medium- to full-bodied palate with medium tannins providing balance on the finish. My note: A delicious, lip-smacking palate-whacker with aromas of ripe plums and pepper.
972588 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Arnaud Sié Château De Treviac Corbières 2006, AC, Midi, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache has classic Midi aromas of blackberry, pepper and particularly garrigue, that unique-to-Midi scent of thyme, rosemary, basil, sage and lemon verbena. There’s a very good balance here of fruit, acids and tannins. My note: A great value for this full-bodied red with blackberries and pepper. 670505 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
St.Hallett Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: While the Barossa Valley is often noted for its Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon vines have also thrived there for over a century. St Hallett’s winemakers Stuart Blackwell and Toby Barlow employ a combination of traditional techniques with the latest technologies to craft this quintessentially Barossan Cab. Stuffed with cassis and berry fruit flavours as well as notes of mint and chocolate. My note: A balanced and full-bodied red with black fruit notes.
15164 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2005, Colchagua Valley, Estate Btld., Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Casa Lapostolle’s flagship red is comprised of 42% Carmenère, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot hand-picked from the estate’s Apalta vineyard. This world-class wine is consistently ranked, year in and year out, among the top wines of Chile. Expect this wine to display exuberant and complex aromas and flavors, a well-balanced and elegant palate and a rich, lingering finish. My note: A terrific full-bodied and elegant wine with complex layers of black fruit, smoke and vanilla. 723676 15% XD 750 mL $99.95 Score: 91/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Viña William Fèvre Chile La Mision Reserva Carmenère 2006, Central Valley, Chile: Chablis’ own William Fèvre is another wine icon who recognized Chile’s potential to become a world player. In 1992, he established Viña William Fèvre with both French and Chilean partners. The Carmenère grape, originally from Bordeaux, is thriving in Chile. The country’s warm, sunny valleys allow the grape to realize its full potential, making generous and complex wines like this one. My note: Terrific value for this full-bodied wine with aromas of ripe plums.
59337 13% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. April 12, 2008 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Quinta Do Noval Tawny Reserve Port 2006, 0, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: This Tawny Port is a blend of wines aged for five to six years. The time in barrel gives the wine a smooth, nutty, creamy character. The ageing and blending adds elegance and finesse. Due to the lengthy stay in oak, this tawny does not require decanting and will keep for several weeks after opening. My note: Tawny is my favorite style of port, even though vintage ports may be more complex. I find it a delicious blanket of toffee goodness in the mouth. 687608 21% S 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
Quinta De Ventozelo Lbv Port 1998, Portugal: A richly layered port that’s perfect for after dinner conversation. Aromas of spice, black cherries and licorice. 660159 21% S 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. April 12, 2008 Full Review
© 2013 Natalie MacLean