Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings
www.nataliemaclean.com

Wine Picks July 8, 2021

Login to see Natalie's scores and notes

Reviewed Wines | All Wines | Group by Wine Type | Group by Country/Region

Increase Font Size | Decrease Font Size


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.

Red Wine

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico 2012, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: The 2012 vintage was a strong one for Tuscany and it shows in the glass. Full-bodied and savoury with juicy, mouth-watering aromas and flavours of dark red berries and spice. Pair with tangy tomato sauce. Drink: 2016 - 2022 45195 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Salmos Priorat 2015, Priorat D.O.C.A., Spain: From producer, Miguel Torres, Torres Salmos 2015 is a lush and full-bodied red wine from the Priorat wine region. The grapes for Salmos are planted on slopes of shale called "licorella stone." The name of "Salmos" is in honour of the monks of La Cartuja who first planted the vines in the Priorat region. This is a fragrant, spicy wine with velvety tannins, ripe black cherry savoury spice finishing long and satisfying. Food pairings: endive and ham in Mornay (white) sauce, chicken a la king, tagliatelle with ham. Drink: 2019 - 2025 450734 14.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 94/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, California, United States: This canned wine is the equivalent of a half bottle of wine (375ml) and offers extraordinary value for the taste and size. Aromas of dark fruit and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2021 - 2024 11989 13.5% D 375 mL $10.00 Score: 90/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Rum Barrels Merlot 2018, Monterey County, California, United States: A rich, full-bodied Californian Merlot aged in rum barrels, which gives it an enticing toffeed finish. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2020 - 2024 13734 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stave & Steel Canadian Whisky Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, California, United States: A full-bodied Californian Cabernet that's aged in Canadian whisky barrels. Aromas of fleshy ripe black fruit and smoke. Pair with meat lovers' pizza. Drink: 2018 - 2023 13733 15.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2017, Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A complex, rich, dark and deep Niagara Cabernet with aromas of black fruit and smoke. Decant 1-2 hours and enjoy with a rare steak. Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve food pairings: grilled burgers, Margherita pizza, hamburger. Drink: 2021 - 2026 304162 13.5% XD 750 mL $35.15 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Ksara Réserve du Couvent 2017, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon: From Lebanon's largest, oldest winery at 160-plus years of age, this is a robust Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon red wine blend from the Bekaa Valley. Look for ripe blackberry, dark spices and savoury herb flavours on this BBQ red. Enjoy with barbequed pork ribs. Food pairings: meat lover's pizza, veal Parmesan, chicken Kiev. Drink: 2020 - 2024 443721 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. July 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tryst Smooth and Silky Red, Canada: A smooth, medium-bodied blend of red grapes from Canada and other countries. Aromas of sweet plums and berries. Great price at $9.95. Pair with hamburgers and all the fixings or barbecued spare ribs with sweet and sour sauce. Drink: 2021 - 2022 16806 12.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 86/100. July 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Strewn Winery LIMITED Home Farm Cabernet Franc 2017, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A robust, yet edgy Cabernet Franc that displays just how great Niagara cool-climate Can Franc can be. Aromas of smoke, dark fruit and spice. Pair with a grilled steak. This wine is available exclusively through Strewn's wine club at www.strewnwinery.com/Wine-Club Cabernet Franc food pairings: roasted eggplant, fajitas, seafood risotto, roast pork tenderloin.. Drink: 2018 - 2025 13.3% XD 750 mL $42.00 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Good Natured Merlot Gamay Noir 2020, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific Gamay-Merlot blend from Niagara that's full-bodied but not heavy. It's bursting with aromas of darks berries and plums. Perfect for grilled meats. Amazing price for the quality. Drink: 2021 - 2024 19339 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. July 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Donnafugata Sul Vulcano Etna Rosso 2017, Sicily, Italy: This robust wine is made from nerello mascalese, a red grape native to Sicily. It offers aromas of fleshy, ripe black plum, crushed raspberry, savory herbs and a lingering violet finish with racy acidity. It’ll pair beautifully with grilled steak, a meaty Sicilian pasta or a full-bodied Sicilian ;) Drink: 2020 - 2024 167485 14% D 750 mL $33.80 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Stel + Mar Premium Rosé, California, United States: A remarkable Californian Rosé, especially for the price point. This looks deceptively small in a tetra pak, but it's actually 500 ml, the equivalent of three-quarters of a regular glass bottle (750ml). It offers fresh aromas of melon and field strawberries. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood and great conversation. Rosé food pairings: chicken burgers, grilled salmon, shrimp cocktail. Drink: 2022 - 2023 17654 12.5% D 500 mL $7.05 Score: 90/100. July 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2019, Côtes Du Rhône, Rhône A.C., France: Delas Saint-Esprit 2019 is a well-priced and well-known Côtes Du Rhône Rosé. Great value on this bone-dry and refreshing zesty blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault grapes produced in the saignée method of "bleeding" or siphoning off free-run juice after a short maceration on the skins. Zesty with wild strawberries, raspberry, cranberry and rhubarb flavours on the palate. The winery was founded 160 years ago and is owned by the Lallier-Deutz family, the same owners of Champagne Deutz. Rosé food pairings: summer salads, grilled chicken breast, calamari, grilled white fish. Drink: 2021 - 2022 224964 13% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. July 2021. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Caves d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2020, Côtes De Provence, Provence A.C., France: From the Côtes De Provence wine region, Caves d'Esclans Whispering Angel 2020 Rosé is the perfect size (375ml) to sip and ponder on the patio or for one to enjoy with brunch or a Saturday salad lunch. Produced from Grenache, Cinsault and Vermentino, the rosé is zesty with melon, pink grapefruit, peaches and cream elegant and polished on the palate. Chill and enjoy on its own or pour with poached salmon. Rosé food pairings: grilled duck breasts with cherry, coulis, chicken, sautéed pork tenderloin. Drink: 2021 - 2022 19509 13% D 375 mL $17.95 Score: 94/100. July 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maison No 9. Rosé 2020, Provence Igp, France: A medium-bodied, aromatic Rosé with attractive notes of strawberry and melon. Lovely as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2023 20188 12% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. July 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wayne Gretzky Estates Okanagan Rosé 2019, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, vibrant BC rose made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Aromas of field strawberries and woodland berries. Mouth-watering and juicy. Enjoy on its own as an aperitif or with seafood. Rosé food pairings: seasoned pork tenderloin, crabcakes, creamy chicken carbonara. Drink: 2020 - 2021 12% D 750 mL $15.99 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé 2019, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This terrific Ontario Rosé is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 32% Pinot Meunier, 9% Pinot Noir and 9% Merlot grapes that uses the saignée method to gently draw the colour from the grapes into the wine to create a ballet slipper pink. A lovely Niagara Rosé with aromas of field strawberries and clementine. Medium-bodied and refreshing with racy acidity for shellfish and barbecued veggies. Rosé food pairings: lox and capers, grilled salmon steak, fresh fruit, veggies, pasta primavera. Drink: 2020 - 2022 414227 12.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château d'Aquéria Tavel Rosé 2019, Rhône A.C., France: A robust Tavel fragrant with wild herbs, lavender, dried strawberry, rhubarb and earthy flavours with a soft orange finish on the palate. Produced from Grenache, Clairette, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Bourboulenc and Picpoul rosé. Enjoy with grilled salmon. Rosé food pairings: lox and capers, grilled salmon steak, shellfish, fresh fruit, veggies, pasta primavera. Drink: 2020 - 2023 319368 14% D 750 mL $25.95 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Domaine de Lavoie Mousseux Sparkling Rosé 2020, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada: This Quebec rose is a blend of three grapes: Frontenac Gris(45%), Eona (40%) and Sainte-Croix (15%). Aromas of strawberry, raspberry and cranberry. Serve chilled as an aperitif or companion to turkey dinner. Sparkling Rosé food pairings: spring rolls, teriyaki chicken, popcorn shrimp, mango salad, cured meat and cheese board. Drink: 2021 - 2023 13.2% MD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. July 2021. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barefoot Moscato Spritzer, California, United States: This canned wine is the equivalent of a generous pour(250 ml or 8.5 ounces) and offers extraordinary value for the taste and size. Aromas of honeydew and melon with a refreshing spritz. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2022 642843 5.5% S 250 mL $3.45 Score: 88/100. July 2021. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Riverview Cellars Riesling 2019, Niagara River, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, vibrant Niagara Riesling with notes of lime citrus. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or as a companion to seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2025 10% MD 750 mL $17.15 Score: 89/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pillitteri Estates Winery Canadian Gothic White 2020, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A floral, light-bodied white wine blend from Niagara that's delightful on its own or with seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2023 12.5% MD 750 mL $8.30 Score: 87/100. July 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burnt Ship Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Crisp and fresh with juicy, mouth-watering acidity. Aromas of lemongrass and lime zest. Perfect for seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2023 517185 12% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Riesling Reserve 2020, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: From Niagara's master of Riesling, Reif has produces another exceptional vintage of its reserve line. Aromas of lime pith, lemongrass and sunshine. Medium-bodied and off-dry. Perfect for seafood, salads and grilled veggies. Riesling Reserve food pairings: lighter fare like fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes, spicier food, Chinese or Thai. Drink: 2021 - 2025 12.5% D 750 mL $22.15 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2019, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: Fontanafredda 2019 Gavi di Gavi is a dry, medium-bodied, vibrant white wine from the Piedmont wine region made from 100% Cortese. Love the fresh pear, lemon and soft grassy aromas on the nose from this vintage. Beautifully balanced and fresh with ripe pear, white-fleshed stone fruit, citrus, spice and cut hay flavours creamy on the palate. Gavi Di Gavi food pairings: grilled seafood, pasta primavera, grilled chicken breast. Drink: 2021 - 2023 366948 12.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Old Vine Pinot Blanc 2020, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous, vibrant BC Pinot Blanc grown on 50-year-old vines. Aromas of melon. Medium-bodied. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2023 467316 13% D 750 mL $16.99 Score: 91/100. July 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coteau Rougemont La Côte Chardonnay 2017, Monteregie, Quebec, Canada: A buttery, luscious Quebec Chardonnay that offers lots of pleasure in the glass. Aromas of ripe pair, butterscotch and vanilla smoke. Pair with roasted chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2022 13% XD 750 mL $26.00 Score: 89/100. July 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Terra Unica Semillon 2019, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A, Canada: A lovely, floral white wine with notes of white peach and apricot. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2020 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $19.99 Score: 89/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tryst Fresh and Clean White, Ontario, Canada: A smooth, medium-bodied blend of white grapes from Canada and other countries. Aromas of sweet peach, apricot and butterscotch. Great price at $9.95. Pair with grilled chicken or popcorn with melted butter on movie night. Drink: 2021 - 2022 16776 12.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A stunning Riesling from one of the province's best producers of this genre. Aromas of lime, lemongrass and wet stone. Pair with seafood and vegetarian dishes. Riesling food pairings: roast chicken, spicy pasta dishes, shrimp tempura, grilled salmon with lemon sauce, duck liver pate. Drink: 2021 - 2024 24133 11% MD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 93/100. July 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sperling Vineyards Vision Series Chardonnay 2017, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada: The 2017 vintage of the Vision Series is a seductive and medium-bodied Chardonnay from Sperling Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. On the palate there is hazelnut, yellow apple, freshly baked bread, nutty and baking spice. The wine grapes were hand-harvested, cluster sorted, then gently whole-cluster pressed and the wine juice fermented in large oak barrels. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: butternut ravioli served with Alfredo sauce, roast duck, crab cakes. Drink: 2019 - 2023 378570 12.6% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. July 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Pinot Blanc 2018, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, aromatic BC Pinot Blanc with notes of sun-dappled orchard fruit. Clean and fresh without heavy oak. Light- to medium-bodied. Perfect for seafood, field greens or as a chilled aperitif. Drink: 2019 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $13.65 Score: 89/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Folonari 3L Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC, Delle Venezie D.O.C., Italy: This boxed wine is the equivalent of four regular glass bottles of wine and offers extraordinary value for the taste and size. Aromas of lime zest and lemon. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2022 - 2023 492116 12% D 3000 mL $47.05 Score: 88/100. July 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


© 2022 Natalie MacLean