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Wine Picks November 10, 2021

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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.

Other Wines/Drinks

Remy Martin VSOP Heritage Limited Edition Champagne Cognac, Cognac A.O.C., France: A top-notch Cognac from one of the most respected producers. Gorgeous aromas of clementine and orange zest with warm spices. Perfect on its own or with creme brulée. 21209 40% 750 mL $104.95 Score: 95/100. November 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Peller Family Vineyards Light Cabernet Sauvignon, Ontario, Canada: Terrific value for the price, plus the low alcohol is a bonus. Aromas of red berries and smoke. Perfect for grilled meats. 16810 8% D 750 mL $10.45 Score: 88/100. November 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Napa Valley, California, United States: A beautifully built, full-bodied red blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Lush and mouth filling with ripe blackberry, plum, mocha and well-integrated oak spice flavours. Well-balanced with great food-friendly acidity and fine-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steaks, smoky ribs, hard cheese, braised pork shanks. Drink: 2020 - 2031 708982 14.5% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 93/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benziger Family Winery Sonoma County Merlot 2017, Sonoma County, California, United States: Benziger 2017 Merlot is so plummy on the nose and just as expressive on the palate with spiced plum, dark cherry, cocoa, meaty and spicy toasty oak flavours balanced with good acidity for food. Tannins are silky throughout. Nicely done! Pour with pork chops from the grill. Merlot food pairings: herbed-rub flank steak, grilled pork chops, roast pork. Drink: 2021 - 2024 633156 14.4% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Benchmark Red 2016, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: An extraordinary blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot! Rockstar winemaker Emma Garner consistently delivers spectacular wines like this one. Full-bodied and subtle with aromas of dark fruit and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2019 - 2029 373126 14.2% D 750 mL $85.00 Score: 95/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Rooster Winery Rare Bird Series Reserve Meritage 2017, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada: This is a robust BC red wine blend of 37% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec grapes from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. Individual lots fermented separately. Natural yeast used. Aged in new French and American oak barrels for 18 months. Only 33 barrels produced. Aromas of black cherry, dark plum, spice, smoke, vanilla. Full-bodied, smooth, long finish. Pair with rack of lamb in rosemary, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s pie, dark chocolate. Drink: 2021 - 2025 366187 14% XD 750 mL $35.00 Score: 90/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gray Monk Estate Winery Odyssey Meritage 2018, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A robust BC blend: 45% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot. Vines planted in Osoyoos, southern Okanagan Valley. Aged in new, one-year oak barrels for 18 months. Top 56 barrels selected. Full-bodied, complex, great depth. Aromas of red and black berries, dark spice, cigar, leather. Smooth, with a long finish. Pair with Grilled meats, leg of lamb, pheasant and aged cheddar. Drink: 2021 - 2025 14% D 750 mL $35.00 Score: 93/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

José Maria da Fonseca Domini 2015, Douro D.O.C., Portugal: José Maria Da Fonseca`s Domini 2015 is a robust Douro red made mostly with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Francesa. Great price as well. Pair with roast duck. Food pairings: lamb chop casserole, stuffed breast of veal, roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2024 452730 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. November 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2017, Central Coast, California, United States: Calera 2017 Pinot Noir is a medium-plus bodied Pinot Noir from California's Central Coast. Elegant, with ripe raspberry, red berry, cherry, anise and dried wild herb flavours on the palate. A beautifully crafted PN with layers of flavours. Pinot Noir food pairings: filet mignon, pork tenderloin, pizza, pasta, hard cheese. Drink: 2021 - 2025 933044 14.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 94/100. November 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Le Boscq 2015, Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux A.C., France: A superb Bordeaux red wine blend of mostly Cabernet and Merlot grapes, produced by the reputable négociant Dourthe. Aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak. Decant 1-2 hours and pair with prime rib. Food pairings: roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, grilled meats, tourtière. Drink: 2025 - 2030 633891 13.7% XD 750 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Terra Unica Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, juicy BC Cabernet Sauvignon made from fruit grown on old vines planted in 1968 on the renowned Golden Miles. Aromas of black fruit and toasty oak. Fairly smooth. Decant 1-2 hours and pair with a grilled steak. Drink: 2018 - 2024 14.2% XD 750 mL $28.99 Score: 92/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stave & Steel Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, California, United States: A robust, smooth, tasty Californian red wine made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the Livermore Valley, a cool climate district. The wine is aged in bourbon barrels for four months rather than the oak usually used to age wine from France, Hungary or the US (but not bourbon oak). The bourbon oak staves (panels or strips of wood) impart a maple spice flavour to the wine, much like bourbon itself, with a brown sugar, vanilla toast finish. Aromas of ripe black fruit through the mid-palate. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2019 - 2023 541946 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

San Pedro 1865 Selected Vineyards Carmenère 2018, Maule Valley D.O., Chile: A terrific, full-bodied, smooth Chilean red wine made from the country's iconic Carmenere grape. Aromas of dark plums and blackberries with some smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Carmenère food pairings: venison, ratatouille, rabbit stew, bison steaks. Drink: 2020 - 2024 249201 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Santa Margherita Stilrose Rosé 2018, Riviera Del Garda Classico Chiaretto, Lombardy D.O.C., Italy: A lovely, medium-bodied Italian rose with aromas of small field berries and strawberries. Perfect for sipping on the patio on its own or with fresh seafood. Rosé food pairings: pasta Primavera, grilled salmon, prawns, grilled radicchio topped with a raspberry and blood orange vinaigrette. Drink: 2019 - 2021 659565 12.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. November 2021. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: A lovely, mouth-watering Italian sparkling wine, at a great price! Aromas of apricot and peach. This Prosecco is perfect as an aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2021 - 2024 11% MD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. November 2021. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benjamin Bridge Méthode Classique Brut NV Rosé Sparkling, Nova Scotia, Canada: A plushy, persistent sparkler with red berry, blanched almond, citrus zest and spicy flavours on the palate. Nicely done, versatile and fun to sip anytime. Nv Rosé Sparkling food pairings: creamy cheeses, salads, fish tacos. 15688 12% D 750 mL $31.95 Score: 93/100. November 2021. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2019, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: This is a full-bodied, rich and lush 100% Chardonnay with citrus, tropical fruit, ripe apple, butterscotch, toasty oak spice and vanilla flavours creamy and lemon zesty on the palate. Chardonnay food pairings: raspberry braised partridge, pork filet au gratin with green herbs, grilled chicken breast with cranberry and red currant sauce. Drink: 2021 - 2024 328559 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cupcake Vineyards Light Hearted Chardonnay, California, United States: A lovely, light Californian Chardonnay with aromas of peach and pear. The alcohol level in this wine is just 8%, which is refreshing compared to the average of 13-14% in many table wines. Enjoy on its own or with seafood. Chardonnay food pairings: spring greens with soft cheese, brown buttered shrimp,. Drink: 2021 - 2022 19725 8% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villa Maria Wairau Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: From the Wairau Valley, Marlborough wine region, Villa Maria Reserve 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is produced from sustainably-grown wine grapes. Dry, medium-bodied and vibrant with tropical fruit, wild herbs, lemon-lime zest, concentrated and mouth-filling on the palate. Great value here. Chill and enjoy with grilled shellfish dishes. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: seafood ravioli with Alfredo sauce, pan-fried panfish, lemon and herbed grilled chicken breast. Drink: 2021 - 2022 536201 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 94/100. November 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lenz Moser Prestige Grüner Veltliner 2017, Niederösterreich, Austria: Lots of juicy, mouth-watering acidity on this Gruner Veltliner to pair with fresh seafood and shellfish. Weighty with ripe tropical fruit, lemon meringue, flinty smoky mineral flavours on the palate. Enjoy now with a lime zesty seafood ceviche and fish tacos. Grüner Veltliner food pairings: lentil soup, smoked salmon, boiled ham, salads, vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2019 - 2020 71233 12.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lightfoot & Wolfville Ancienne Wild Fermented Chardonnay 2017, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: A gorgeously rich and full-bodied Nova Scotian Chardonnay from one of the province's best producers. Aromas of golden apple, lemon zest and smoke. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: seafood Shepherd's pie, butter-sautéed scallops, roast chicken. Drink: 2021 - 2023 462093 13% XD 750 mL $56.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Dandelion Vineyards Twilight of the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia: A refreshingly crisp cool-climate Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills with mouth-filling stone-fruit, citrus zest and mineral flavours creamy on the palate. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled chicken breasts, salads, seafood Alfredo. Drink: 2020 - 2022 368274 13.5% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 86/100. November 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Napa Valley, California, United States: This is 100% sustainably farmed and designated a Napa Green winery. Lots of herbal and grassy notes in the glass here. Very herbal with canned peas and asparagus. Mouth-watering acidity. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: asparagus and pear galette, grilled seafood, crunchy breaded calamari. Drink: 2017 - 2017 339663 13.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 87/100. November 2021. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

PondView Estate Winery Bella Terra Fumé Blanc 2017, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous, smokey Niagara Sauvignon Blanc with a lusciously rich texture and finish. Notes of green apple and lemongrass. Perfect for rich seafood dishes. Fumé Blanc food pairings: smoked fish, creamy cheeses, grilled chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2023 13.5% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

San Pedro 1865 Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Leyda Valley, Chile: A crisp, mouth-watering, vibrant Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Medium-bodied with a long finish. Match with seafood, shellfish and roast turkey. Each of the wines in the 1865 line-up comes from its own single vineyard. These Sauvignon Blanc grapes are planted only 4 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: pan-fried scallops, steamed shrimp with white wine sauce, crab cakes. Drink: 2019 - 2021 375212 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Escudo Rojo Reserva Chardonnay 2019, Casablanca Valley, Chile: From the Casablanca Valley, Escudo Rojo Reserva 2019 is produced from sustainably-grown Chardonnay wine grapes. The wine is dry, medium-plus-bodied with crunchy green apple, citrusy, vanilla flavours vibrant, creamy and lingering on the palate. Drink or hold. Chardonnay food pairings: roast duck, veal cutlets, grilled chicken, grilled prawns. Drink: 2021 - 2023 17617 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 91/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse Sancerre 2019, Loire A.C., France: Jean-Max Roger Cuvée Genèse 2019 Sancerre is bone-dry and mouth-watering with green apple, smoky, flinty and mineral flavours balanced with laser-like acidity. The Roger family have a refined understanding of their terroir. The Cuvée Genèse comes from one of the most famous vineyards in the village of Bué -Le Grand Chemarin. Sancerre food pairings: grilled prawns, poached salmon, roasted herbed chicken, goat cheese-stuffed roasted red peppers. Drink: 2021 - 2023 189126 12.5% XD 750 mL $33.95 Score: 90/100. November 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wayne Gretzky Estates Okanagan Whisky Oak Aged Chardonnay 2019, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A luscious, full-bodied BC Chardonnay with aromas of freshly baked bread, green apple and toast. Perfect for roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: smoked cheddar, turkey pot pie, creamy mushroom risotto. Drink: 2020 - 2024 13.5% D 750 mL $17.99 Score: 90/100. November 2021. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rabl Langenlois Grüner Veltliner 2019, Langenlois, Kamptal D.A.C., Austria: Produced by Rabl Langenlois, this Austrian Grüner Veltliner from the Kamptal wine region is crisp and citrusy on the nose with fresh green herbs, fresh pear, honey, toasty and pepper spice flavours finishing with a mineral, mouth-watering citrus finish. Fresh and juicy. Pair with all things seafood. Grüner Veltliner food pairings: pan-fried pickerel, fish tacos, smoked whitefish. Drink: 2022 - 2029 377457 12.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. November 2021. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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