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Wine Picks May 27, 2020

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outside the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Dessert Wine

Cave Spring Cellars Riesling Icewine 2014, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Cave Spring is Niagara's master producer of Riesling, whether it's the dry table style or the dessert version like this icewine. Aromas of fresh apricot, honey and peach preserves. Pair with apple cobbler and visions of sugar plums in your head this holiday Riesling Icewine food pairings: pear saffron tarte, fruit salad, apple cobbler. Drink: 2016 - 2025 447441 11.5% S 375 mL $49.95 Score: 96/100. May 2020. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Symington Family Estates Altano 2017, Douro D.O.C., Portugal: From Symington Family Estates Altano is just great value for the dollar. Full-bodied and concentrated with ripe dark red fruit, sweet spice and slight florals. Crafted from low-yielding indigenous vines. Pair with winter meat casseroles and hard cheeses. Tasted Feb. 2019. Food pairings: pork tenderloin, prime rib, roast chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2025 579862 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Farina Le Pezze Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016, Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy: A big, full-bodied Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico from the Veneto Wine Region made in the traditional Appassimento method of drying the wine grapes for four months in making Amarone. This ruby red wine blend is 50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, Oseleta and Turchetta. Lush with earthy violets, dark ripe berry, cedar spice and savoury herb flavours on the palate. Still very youthful. Pair with meaty lasagne or grilled, herbed ribs Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico food pairings: pasta with a tomato sauce, roasted venison, beef daube, leg of lamb. Drink: 2020 - 2028 171587 15.5% D 750 mL $36.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Carpineto Chianti Classico 2017, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: A medium-bodied, modern style Chianti Classico from the Tuscany wine region produced from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo red wine grapes. Vibrant with red cherry, sweet dried tobacco leaf, sweet spice, leather and dusty herb flavours on the palate. Carpineto was founded in 1967 by Giovanni Carlo Sacchet and Antonio Mario Zaccheo, two Italian winemakers from outside of the Tuscany wine region. Enjoy now with veal Scallopini. Chianti Classico food pairings: linguini marinara, slow-braised lamb shanks with tomato and garlic, tomato garlic and clam sauce over penne. Drink: 2020 - 2025 356048 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja Finca Ygay 2015, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain: A full-bodied red wine blend of 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha from the Rioja wine region. Aged in American oak barrels for 19 months. Dried cherry, fig, dried rose, tobacco, cedar, sweet spice and smoky on the palate. So much going on here. Absolutely lovely. Reserva Rioja Finca Ygay food pairings: black bean soup, short ribs, sharp cheddar, pork. Drink: 2020 - 2028 209148 14% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina: A fresh and crisp Malbec with blackberry, mulberry and savoury herb flavours on the palate finishing spicy and with fresh acidity for food. Tannins are fine and silky. Pair with grilled game sausages. Malbec food pairings: chicken herb-rubbed roast, hamburger, roasted veal, sausages. Drink: 2019 - 2024 29280 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rivera Il Falcone Riserva Castel del Monte 2013, Puglia D.O.C.G., Italy: A great value plushy and robust 85% Nero di Troia and 15% Montepulciano red wine blend from Puglia wine region with red berry, blueberry, leather and baking spice flavours on the plate. Solid structure and good cellaring candidate (three to five years). Pair with aged cheeses or dark chocolate. Food pairings: lamb cutlets, beef stew, grilled chicken, hard cheeses. Drink: 2019 - 2028 177295 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2016, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: A juicy, silky Chianti Classico with ripe dark cherry, plum, savoury spice, earthy, leather and dried herb flavours on the palate. Produced from 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah wine grapes from the Insole e Olean estate, located in the heart of the Chianti region between the historic cities of Florence and Siena in Tuscany. Great acidity for food. Good now, better in a year or two. Pair with venison roasts. Chianti Classico food pairings: ravioli, beef stew, pizza, pork chops. Drink: 2021 - 2034 704346 14.5% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Abbotts & Delaunay A Tire d'Aile Vieilles Vignes Carignan 2017, Languedoc A.C., France: A full-bodied southern French red wine made from the Carignan grape. Aromas of black fruit and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Carignan food pairings: duck confit and roasted potatoes, turkey, crown roast of pork. Drink: 2020 - 2023 13013 13.3% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Edetària Via Edetana 2017, Terra Alta D.O., Spain: Lovely anise spice and blueberry aromas n this full-bodied red blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Samsó. Lovely with grilled chicken. Food pairings: roast leg of lamb, filet mignon, grilled meats. Drink: 2020 - 2021 132613 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley, California, United States: A delicious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon layered with ripe and juicy dark berries, mint, bell pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cedar spice and dark chocolate flavours on the palate. Tannins are structured, finishing long and juicy. Enjoy now and for the next 15 years. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roast rack of lamb, meaty stews, grilled prime rib steak. Drink: 2020 - 2029 118695 14.5% XD 750 mL $69.95 Score: 93/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Budureasca Premium Feteasca Neagra 2016, Dealu Mare D.O.C.-C.M.D., Romania: A juicy and full-bodied Feteasca Neagra, fragrant with bright cherry, spice, vanilla aromas on the nose. Dry, vibrant with ripe red berry, dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice and vanilla flavours on the palate. Pair this food-friendly wine with grilled sausages and ribs. Feteasca Neagra food pairings: grilled meats, meat-lover's pizza, charcuterie. Drink: 2020 - 2023 263913 13.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 86/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Tuscany I.G.T., Italy: From Tommasi, a smooth and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the winery estate's Poggio al Tufo vineyard in Pitigliano in the heart of the Maremma Tuscany region. The wine is matured for 1 year in Slovenian oak barrels. Earthy with dark plum, dark cherry and savoury and pepper spice flavours on the palate. Pair with a meaty lasagne. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled New York strip loin, hamburger, hard cheese, barbecued pork spareribs, grilled lamb chops. Drink: 2020 - 2023 203927 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: From the Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Merlot added, concentrated with fleshy ripe blackberry, plum, savoury herb flavours on the palate. Tannins are grippy. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: prime rib, grilled pork, roast chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2025 943472 13.9% XD 750 mL $120.95 Score: 92/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Red Cedar Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, United States: A full-bodied and juicy Cabernet Sauvignon from the Clayhouse's Vineyard Series. Lots of toasty oak spice and ripe black fruit, blackberry and coffee flavours on this Cali Cab. Clayhouse is certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. Enjoy with barbeque beef long ribs. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: veal chops, rosemary lamb, barbecued ribs in sauce, strong cheese. Drink: 2020 - 2025 57869 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elephant Hill Le Phant 2016, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Luscious on the palate, Le Phant is a juicy red blend of Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Look for bright cassis, black plum, blue florals and cedar spice flavours silky and plushy on the palate. Well-balanced. Pair with sautéed pork tenderloin. Drink now and for the next three years. Food pairings: veal scaloppini with paprika mushrooms and green pepper, veal piccata, veal chops in red wine sauce. Drink: 2020 - 2023 447367 13.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, California, United States: Produced by winemaker John Killebrew. A medium-plus-bodied California Cabernet Sauvignon, silky smooth on the palate with black cherry, dark plum, blackberry and savoury herb flavors on the palate. Tannins are fine-grained. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: tourtière, beef sliders, grilled sausages. Drink: 2020 - 2025 478628 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. May 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Xanadu DJL Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia: A blockbuster Australian Cabernet with a splash of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc added to it just because. Dry, full-bodied, lush with layers of blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate and oak spice flavours on the palate. Wine grapes were crushed and de-stemmed, then fermented for about a week. The wine was aged for 14 months in French oak barriques, 20% new. Xanadu winery was founded in 1977 by Dr John Lagan. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: Hungarian beef goulash, chicken paprika, duck a la king. Drink: 2020 - 2026 444802 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

CR Gold 5 Monastrell Syrah 2017, Jumilla D.O.P., Spain: A muscular 50% Monastrell and 50% Syrah red wine blend intense with ripe blackberry, plum, leather, cedar and vanilla spice flavours on the palate. Tannins are firm. Pair with grilled game sausages. Monastrell Syrah food pairings: hamburgers, vegetarian pizza, hard cheeses. Drink: 2020 - 2022 482505 14% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 86/100. May 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Cenac Cuvée Prestige Malbec 2015, Cahors, Southwest A.C., France: A deep and smoky full-bodied red wine from the Cahors where Malbec lives. Smoky, toasty and concentrated with ripe black fruits, savoury spice and mineral flavours on the palate. Vibrant acidity to handle rich grilled meats, game stews and sausages. Really delicious for the price and just beginning to show its potential full character. Malbec food pairings: chicken herb-rubbed roast, duck breast with celeriac purée, breaded veal cutlets, tagliatelle alla Bolognese, lamb burgers, spicy sausage. Drink: 2020 - 2022 414532 13% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2016, Rhône A.C., France: A real stunner from Beaucastel with layers of ripe red berry, blueberry, spiced plum, cedar spice, savoury dried herbs and flinty mineral flavours on the palate. Just excellent. Highly recommended. Châteauneuf-Du-Pape food pairings: prime rib roast, grilled bavette steak, grilled veal Porterhouse. Drink: 2020 - 2026 968750 14.5% XD 375 mL $47.95 Score: 96/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz Mataro Grenache 2016, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A smoky, robust Australian red wine blend of Shiraz, Mataro (aka Mourvèdre) and Grenache. Old vines lend concentration and depth of flavour to the fruit. Ripe jammy dark fruit, vanilla, pepper, anise, smoky vanilla and toasty oak spice. Can handle smoky BBQ ribs on the grill or a well-marbled rib eye done rare. Tannins are seriously grippy. Shiraz Mataro Grenache food pairings: lamb Bolognese, beef enchiladas, barbecued ribs in sauce, hamburger, hard cheese. Drink: 2020 - 2023 90258 14% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Henri Gaillard Rosé 2019, Côtes De Provence, Provence A.P., France: A fragrant and vibrant southern French rosé blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre with with strawberry, rose petal and spicy aromas on the nose. Dry, medium-bodied and easy-to-enjoy with bright cherry, rhubarb, dried wild herbs and pepper spice flavours on the palate. Pair with grilled lamb chops. Rosé food pairings: barbequed chicken wings, dry pork spare ribs, salads topped with grilled chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2021 450825 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vino Sangiovese Rosé 2019, Washington, United States: Produced by Charles Smith, this is an elegant Sangiovese rosé vibrant with tart cherry, strawberry and dusty herb flavours on the palate. Great acidity to pair with grilled chicken or vegetarian pizza. Sangiovese Rosé food pairings: grilled pork sausages, grilled chicken breast, ham and pineapple pizza. Drink: 2020 - 2021 468652 12% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Schloss Johannisberg Grünlack Riesling Spätlese 2018, Grosse Lage, Rheingau Prädikatswein V.D.P., Germany: A stunning German Riesling with luscious sweet ripe apricot and peach aromas and flavours. The acidity provides a beautiful balance. Pair with glazed ham and apricot chutney or preserves. Riesling Spätlese food pairings: sweet chilli chicken, spicy crab cakes, mild vegetable curries, curry bratwurst. Drink: 2020 - 2023 523332 8.8% S 750 mL $61.95 Score: 96/100. May 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling 2015, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Superb! Wet stone, lime and come-alive grapefruit aromas. Light-bodied but not wimpy. Packed with flavour for shellfish and seafood. Riesling food pairings: roast chicken, spicy pasta dishes, shrimp tempura, grilled salmon with lemon sauce, duck liver pate. Drink: 2015 - 2022 24133 11% MD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre-Luc Bouchaud Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine 2018, Sèvre Et Maine, Loire A.C., France: A medium-plus-bodied and dry 100% Melon de Bourgogne from the Loire wine region vibrant white wine made for steamed shellfish like mussels Portuguese. Vibrant lime-lemon zest flavours with ripe apple and leesy mineral flavours on the palate. Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine food pairings: steamed mussels in their own juice and frites, crab cakes, pan-fried panfish. Drink: 2020 - 2023 82461 12% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2017, California, United States: A smoky, toasty California Chardonnay with bright green apple and white-fleshed stone fruit aromas on the nose. Full-bodied with bright tropical fruit, butterscotch, lemon curd and toasty oak spice flavours on the palate. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: three-cheese pizza, onion quiche, roast chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2022 703710 13.5% D 375 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Cappuccina Soave 2018, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: A refreshing and juicy 100% Garganega and so fragrant with honeysuckle, white floral and soft lemon aromas on the nose. Zesty with white floral, citrus and bright apple flavours on the palate and a perfect pairing to grilled calamari with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The Tessari family has been growing grapes at La Cappuccina (the site of an ancient chapel of Franscan friars) for more than a century, since 1890. Soave food pairings: prosciutto and melon, seafood stuffed ravioli, lobster scampi with garlic and butter. Drink: 2020 - 2022 81489 12% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Baron de Hoen Réserve Riesling 2018, Alsace Aoc, France: An extraordinary, juicy Alsatian white wine made from the classic Riesling grape. Dry and refreshing with notes of lime zest and lemon citrus. Pair with shellfish. Riesling food pairings: poached salmon with sautéed snap peas and snow peas, Thai seafood noodle salad, butternut squash risotto,. Drink: 2020 - 2024 446427 12% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Borthwick Vineyard Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand: Love this Sauvignon Blanc from Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and bright on the nose with nettle, lemongrass, melon and stone fruit aromas. Dry, juicy with mouth-watering acidity, this is a light-bodied Sauv Blanc with chive, grapefruit and lemongrass flavours on the palate. Pretty yummy. Pair with a goat cheese and smoke salmon pizza. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: steamed fresh shrimp, sautéed scallops with a squeeze of lemon juice, crab cakes, fish tacos. Drink: 2020 - 2021 361220 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bründlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Grüner Veltliner 2017, Kamptal D.A.C., Austria: A zesty, medium-bodied Grüner Veltliner with lime zest, green Gage plum, Mirabelle and briny mineral flavours on the palate. So juicy. Perfect for seafood like a seafood ceviche topped with a squeeze of lime juice. Produced from organically-grown wine grapes. Grüner Veltliner food pairings: salads, grilled chicken, herbed quiches, goat cheese. Drink: 2020 - 2024 979708 12% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. May 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2016, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Green apple and white pear. Love it. Building an inuksuk is now a ritual at the end of harvest for this winery: lifting the heavy stones requires a team effort. Pair with roast turkey and fun. The winery does whole cluster pressing to extract pure flavour, and only of the first 600 litres per tonne of fruit. Ed allows the juice to settle during a long, slow fermentation. The vintage is a blend of two distinct blocks of 21B clone vines now in their early teens as the winery describes them. Finishes with fresh pink grapefruit notes. The wine grapes for Flat Rock Cellars Riesling were sourced from the Twenty Mile Bench on the Niagara Escarpment. This a well-balanced fruit to racy acidity Riesling that could easily hold in cellar for five years or more. Riesling food pairings: herb rubbed chicken, seafood, shellfish. Drink: 2017 - 2021 43281 11% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay 2016, Columbia Valley, Washington, United States: A voluptuously rich and layered Washington State Chardonnay from one of the most respected producers. Aromas of pineapple, guava and golden apple with freshly baked bread. Pair with roast turkey or chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled chicken, pork Wellington, roast quail stuffed with wild mushrooms. Drink: 2018 - 2021 524397 13% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Babich Wines Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Savoury with dried herbs on nose and palate. Medium-bodied with racy acidity for shellfish. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: Asian chicken salad, pork tenderloin, linguine carbonara, pizza, grilled salmon. Drink: 2020 - 2022 9142 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. May 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine de la Baume Elisabeth Viognier 2018, Pays D'oc, South Of France I.G.P., France: An elegant and complex 100% Viognier aromatic with orange blossom florals and soft baking spicy aromas on the nose. Dry, full-bodied with ripe stone-fruit, lemon meringue flavours finishing zesty on the palate. Pair with butternut squash risotto. Viognier food pairings: oriental chicken salad with yoghurt and citrus dressing. Drink: 2019 - 2022 438796 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 91/100. May 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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