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Wine Picks April 1, 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.

Red Wine

Champy Vieilles-Vignes Pinot Noir 2008, A.C., Burgundy, France: More earthy and smoky, less fruity than the other Champy pinot in this release, but no less spectacular. These are amazing wines for the price point: so vibrant and beautifully structured yet medium-bodied liquid silk that slides down ever so easily. There's a lovely hazelnut smoke on the finish. This is my personal favourite and I'll be buying a lot of it. Yay! Pinot Noir food pairings: beef bourguignon, coq au vin. Drink: 2012 - 2022 726406 12.6% D 750 mL $28.95 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Roux Père & Fils Pinot Noir 2010, Côte De Nuits-Villages, Burgundy Ac, France: Wow price for Burgundian pinot noir! Juicy, savoury with tart small cherries and acidity. Silky smooth. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal cutlets. Drink: 2012 - 2022 279075 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey 2012, Burgundy A.C., France: Classic Old World Pinot Noir! Juicy and expressive with an amazingly great price. Aromas of sour cherry, wild violets and plush layers of hedonistic happiness. Love it! Medium-bodied and complex. In the Côte Chalonnaise region, the Mercurey district is the largest, and known for producing the best wine. Pair with roast chicken or turkey. Food pairings: grilled tuna with a pepper crust, grilled pork chops, lamb kabobs, venison burgers, roast veal. Drink: 2013 - 2018 341925 13% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kir-Yianni Diaporos Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016, Naoussa, Greece: A gorgeous, complex and supremely balanced and elegant Greek red wine made from the country's classic Xinomavro grape. If you love Spanish Rioja, try this red. Pair with grilled lamb. Drink: 2019 - 2023 14131 14% XD 750 mL $52.00 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

SeaGlass Pinot Noir 2016, Santa Barbara County, California, United States: From Santa Barbera County, Seaglass 2016 is vibrant with fresh, lush red plum, bright red berry fruit, cherry, light herbs all wrapped up in a whiff of spice and smoke. Great acidity for food. Pair with grilled lamb chops. "SeaGlass" refers to the polished bits of glass brought in by sea to the surrounding beaches. Pinot Noir food pairings: spaghetti and meatballs, vegetarian lasagne, roast turkey. Drink: 2019 - 2024 539163 13.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Virginie Thunevin Bordeaux 2015, Bordeaux Aoc, France: A full-bodied, rustic, tasty Bordeaux red wine blend of Cabernet and Merlot. Aromas of cedar brush, blackcurrant and smoke. Pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2017 - 2025 15% XD 750 mL $23.25 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery The Judge Golden Mile Bench 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A stunning BC red wine with firm tannins that will smooth out with cellar time, then decant 1-2 hours. Aromas of mocha, espresso, black fruit, smoke and toasty oak. Winemaker Robert Summers makes this wine from some of the oldest vines in the Okanagan for this wine on the Golden Mile Bench. It's a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. This is stunning: Bordeaux elegance, BC power. Pair with a rare steak or grilled meats. Drink: 2018 - 2026 14.6% XD 750 mL $55.00 Score: 94/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domain Mega Spileo Grand Cave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Achaia P.G.I., Greece: A robust, richly flavoured, concentrated Greek red wine made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. This wine was matured for 16 months in an 85/15 split of French oak and American oak barrels. The vines were cordon trained, grown in a cool climate achieving late maturity for extra complexity and planted in sandy-clay soils. The 2011 vintage yielded 14,0000 bottles. The vineyard was originally used by the Holy Monastery of Mega Spileo (Grand Cave) for 500 years of respected wine production. Aromas of black plums, cassis and smoke. Decant 1-2 hours and enjoy with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: roast lamb, pork, grilled game sausages, tourtière. Drink: 2019 - 2026 539924 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Margherita Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Veneto, Italy: A terrific, juicy, full-bodied, smooth Italian Cabernet Sauvignon. So supple and easy-drinking. This will pair well with a wide variety of dishes from grilled meats to hard cheeses. Drink: 2019 - 2023 13620 13% XD 750 mL $20.00 Score: 90/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, California, United States: This superb, full-bodied Californian Cabernet sources fruit from three regions: Paso Robles, Lodi and Monterey. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and is then matured in American oak barrels for nine months. Aromas of fleshy ripe blackberries and plums wrapped in smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2019 - 2025 15760 13.5% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lighthall Vineyards Mes Trois Fils Pinot Noir 2017, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, supple, juicy Prince Edward County Pinot Noir with aromas of tart cherry, earth and spice. This wine was matured in French oak barrels. Pair with veal or roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2024 335794 12.5% XD 750 mL $35.00 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave des Vignerons de Buxy Buissonnier Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017, Burgundy A.C., France: A terrific Old World Pinot Noir from Burgundy, especially at this price. Aromas of tart cherry, earth and smoke. Perfect for veal or roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: pork Wellington, sautéed pork tenderloin, roast turkey. Drink: 2020 - 2023 11901 13.6% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Murphy-Goode Merlot 2016, California, United States: A full-bodied, supple Californian Merlot with polished tannins. Seductive even in the glass, deep ruby red with rich ripe plum, blueberry, cherry, mocha and dried herb flavours on the palate. Pair with a veal Porterhouse. Merlot food pairings: grilled pork chops, pork stuffed veal roast, roast turkey.. Drink: 2020 - 2024 59295 13.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonterra Zinfandel 2017, Mendocino County, California, United States: A fully, ripe and vibrant Zinfandel from Mendocino County, California. Grape are organically grown and have had time to fully ripen. Full-bodied and juicy with layers of blueberry and black raspberry jam, plum, underbrush, cedar and toasty oak spice flavours smooth on the palate. Pair with burgers and wings. Zinfandel food pairings: farmer's style pork chops, slow-cooked pork ribs, crown pork roast. Drink: 2020 - 2024 530139 15% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Penedès, Spain: A deeply concentrated, dark and brooding wine with great depths of flavour and complexity. This towering Spanish red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The grapes for this lusciously ripe Cabernet grow on vines planted on the Mas la Palana estate. Aromas of blackberry jam, dark spice and some pepper. Pair with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2018 - 2024 36483 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Thenard Bois Cheveaux Thenard Givry 1er cru Bois Chevaux 2014, Givry, Burgundy Aoc, France: The vineyard Les Bois Cheveaux is planted in clay and limestone soils, dating back to 1277. It's considered the best in Burgundy's Givry sub-appellation. Aromas of black cherry, earth and spice. This Old World Pinot Noir has it all: medium boy, silky texture and long finish. It'll age well in the cellar. Pair with veal or roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2027 644111 13% XD 750 mL $35.60 Score: 94/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benziger Family Winery Tribute 2015, Sonoma, California, United States: A spectacular California red wine blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is the first Demeter-certified biodynamic wine from Sonoma and in North America. Aromas of rich dark ripe plums and berries with a hint of smoke. Pair with filet mignon. Drink: 2020 - 2027 613695 14.5% D 750 mL $105.00 Score: 94/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Estate Cuvee Gamay Noir 2018, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Another terrific Gamay from one of BC's best wine producers. Juicy with aromas of dark plums and blackberries. Supple and smooth and medium-bodied. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2024 389882 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo 1996, Piedmont, Italy: A gorgeous northern Italian red wine with aromas of violets, truffles and leather. Perfect for wild game dishes. Drink: 1999 - 2025 314823 14% XD 750 mL $371.00 Score: 92/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, medium-bodied silky Niagara Pinot Noir from one of Niagara's most respected producers. This is a great price for Pinot too. Aromas of dark cherry and smoke. Pair with veal or roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: seared tuna, grilled salmon, roasted turkey. Drink: 2020 - 2024 13904 12.8% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cusumano Noà 2015, Sicily D.O.C., Italy: A towering southern Italian red wine from the island of Sicily and made from the classic grape Nero d'Avola. Aromas of ripe blackberries, dark plums, dark spice and toasty oak. Pair with grilled meats and gourmet hamburgers. Drink: 2019 - 2025 109512 15% XD 750 mL $31.95 Score: 93/100. April 2020. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Haute Cabrière Cellar Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2019, Western Cape, South Africa: A crisp, refreshing rose with notes of field strawberries. Pair with field greens. Drink: 2020 - 2023 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perle De Roseline Rosé 2018, Côtes De Provence, Provence A.C., France: A terrific, light-bodied, elegant southern French rosé with notes of small field berries and rosemary and thyme. Pair this wine with roast chicken. Rosé food pairings: brunch fare, quiches, veggie and goat cheese flatbreads, onion tarte. Drink: 2019 - 2022 667345 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. April 2020. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Luc Belaire Rare Sparkling Rosé, Provence, France: A delightful sparkling rosé from southern France in the heart of Provence and home to those Mistral winds. Notes of wild field strawberries. Dry and refreshing. From sunny Provence, cooled by its famous mistral winds, comes this medium-bodied, fruit-forward rose. A mouth-watering blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache grapes, with a touch of sweetness. Enjoy as a chilled aperitif or with grilled seafood. Sparkling Rosé food pairings: charcuterie, creamy cheeses, seafood tapas. Drink: 2019 - 2024 395384 12.5% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Estate Cuvee Chardonnay 2018, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A stunningly gorgeous BC Chardonnay from one of the top producers in the country. Toasted almond, golden apple and Asian pear with some spice. Yes please! Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, crab cakes with lemon garlic aioli, fish tacos. Drink: 2019 - 2024 350108 13% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 93/100. April 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Checkmate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous BC Chardonnay with aromas of golden apple, freshly baked bread with melting butter. Full-bodied, supple and luxurious. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2028 14.1% XD 750 mL $125.00 Score: 95/100. April 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay 2010, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Rich and buttery on the nose and palate without being heavy. A balanced and tasty Niagara Chardonnay that finishes with ripe peach notes and toffee from oak aging. Pair with roasted chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled freshwater fish, roast chicken breast with button mushrooms. Drink: 2013 - 2017 681247 13.4% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. April 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay 2015, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Rich and buttery on the nose and palate without being heavy. A balanced and tasty Niagara Chardonnay that finishes with ripe peach notes and toffee from oak aging. Pair with roasted chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled freshwater fish, roast chicken breast with button mushrooms. Drink: 2016 - 2019 681247 13.4% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 88/100. April 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Boutari Moschofilero 2018, Mantinia, Greece: A lovely, aromatic Greek white wine made from the country's classic Moschofilero grape. Great value. A profusion of aromas of grapefruit and white florals. Pair with fresh seafood and shellfish. Drink: 2019 - 2021 172387 11.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Skouras Moschofilero 2018, Peloponnese P.G.I., Greece: An attractive pale straw hue with lively aromatics. Notes of tropical fruit, lychee and white flowers! Racy acidity, medium body and a refreshing finish with zesty lemon. Pair with scallops. Drink: 2019 - 2021 442178 12% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. April 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Strewn Winery Terroir Riesling 2018, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific, zesty Niagara Riesling with aromas of lime, Asian pear and lemon. Pair with seafood. Riesling food pairings: roast chicken, spicy pasta dishes, shrimp tempura, grilled salmon. Drink: 2019 - 2024 467613 11.3% XD 750 mL $22.00 Score: 91/100. April 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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