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Wine Picks May 20, 2022

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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

Fonseca Porto Bin 27, Douro Valley, Portugal: This full-bodied dessert wine offers aromas and flavours of fleshy purple and black plums with blackberry liqueur. Layered and rich. Food pairings: chocolate and berry fruit dishes. Drink: 2018 - 2027 325506 20% S 750 mL $16.95 Score: 92/100. May 2022. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Ruby Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fresh and feminine with aromas of vibrant red fruit and berries. A touch of mint and spice make this port racy and refreshing. Drink: 2020 - 2030 23366 19% S 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2022. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz 2019, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: From the Okanagan Valley wine region in British Columbia, Mission Hill's reserve Shiraz is dark purple in in the glass with juicy black plums and tertiary mocha notes on the palate from oak aging, finishing with spicy, cracked black pepper. Tannins are smooth and supple. Grapes for this wine were hand-selected and harvested from select blocks in the estate vineyards. Pair with grilled steak. Shiraz food pairings: slow-cooked beef ragú, lamb cutlets, espresso and cocoa-rubbed flank steak, black bean soup. Drink: 2022 - 2026 126763 14% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. May 2022. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thirty Bench Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous Niagara Pinot from the Beamsville Bench! Liquid silk, medium-bodied with aromas of fleshy ripe berries. Beautiful balance and length. Pair with veal or roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: lamb cutlets, hamburgers, veal Porterhouse steak. Drink: 2022 - 2026 461566 12.5% D 750 mL $36.95 Score: 94/100. May 2022. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Piekenierskloof Six Hats Shiraz 2019, Swartland W.O., South Africa: Piekenierskloof Six Hats 2019 Shiraz is an excellent value, Fair Trade red wine from the Swartland W.O. Fragrant with dark berry, plum and pepper spice aromas, the wine is dry, medium-plus-bodied and textured with ripe dark fruits, red berry, cherry, pepper spice flavours with a long and vibrant finish. Tannins are fine and firm. Enjoy with a rack of lamb from the grill. Drink or hold. Shiraz food pairings: grilled ribeye steak, duck confit, game burgers. Drink: 2022 - 2028 21193 13.5% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. May 2022. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Conundrum Red 2020, California, United States: A terrific, full-bodied, smooth red wine with aromas of fleshy ripe dark berries, spice and mocha. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Red food pairings: beef vindaloo, pork chops, barbecued ribs. Drink: 2022 - 2026 294298 14% MD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. May 2022. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ghost Pines Winemaker's Blend Merlot 2019, Napa, Sonoma, California, United States: A full-bodied, smooth, complex, balanced California Cabernet with aromas of blackberry and toasty oak. The grapes are grown in Napa and Sonoma. Pair with grilled steak or pork chops. Merlot food pairings: grilled meats and poultry, hearty tomato-based pastas, pork chops. Drink: 2022 - 2025 454876 14.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. May 2022. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ciao Organic Sangiovese, Terra De Chieti Igp, Italy: This full-bodied organic Italian red wine made from Sangiovese grapes is also vegan-friendly. Simple and straight-forward with notes of purple plums. Packaged in a tetrapak. Pair with pizza. 29090 13% D 1000 mL $12.90 Score: 83/100. May 2022. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Athene 2013, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia B.C. V.Q.A., Canada: A robust BC red wine blend of Cabernet and Syrah grapes. Smoky, toasty oak with a charred, blackened edge. This is the winery's flagship label. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2022 371336 14% XD 750 mL $43.95 Score: 90/100. May 2022. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Harbour Estates Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2018, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A tart, juicy wine that tastes a lot more like pinot noir than a cabernet-merlot blend, but I like it. Medium-bodied and juicy with sour cherries. Lovely with planked salmon. Drink: 2021 - 2024 58479 11.9% D 750 mL $20.00 Score: 86/100. May 2022. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Coteau Rougemont Versant Rosé 2020, Montérégie, Québec, Canada: A Coteau Rougemont Versant Rosé 2020 is fresh with field berries and red melon throughout. Pair with grilled chicken and summer salads. Versant Rosé food pairings: shrimp tempura, grilled salmon, chicken dishes. Drink: 2023 - 2024 12644153 12% D 750 mL $17.00 Score: 90/100. May 2022. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Allimant-Laugner Pinot Noir 2019, Alsace A.O.C., France: Crisp and tasty with field strawberry notes and some toasty oak. Finishes dry and clean. Drink: 2022 - 2026 319939 12.5% XD 750 mL $23.00 Score: 89/100. May 2022. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Trius Brut Rosé Sparkling, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A bright, fresh, dry and medium-bodied rosé brut with ripe raspberry, strawberry, citrus zest, elegant and vibrant on the palate. Nicely done. Brut Rosé Sparkling food pairings: baked ham, salads, hors doeuvres, smoked fish. 17690 12% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. May 2022. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Blanc de Blanc Carte Blanche, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Zesty, refreshing and balanced with crisp notes of green apple and baked bread. Superb quality. Carte Blanche food pairings: shellfish, fried foods. 315200 12% D 750 mL $44.95 Score: 91/100. May 2022. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Martini & Rossi Asti, Piedmont, Italy: This lower alcohol light and lively sweet sparkler crackles in your mouth. Pair with desserts or pineapple pizza. 253948 7% MS 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. May 2022. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Chandon Blanc de Noirs, California, United States: This Californian sparkling wine producer is owned by one of Champagne's most revered wineries, Moët & Chandon, the same house that makes top-of-the-line Dom Pérignon. Chandon is actually no newcomer to the scene having been founded in the 1970s, and the first winery to make sparkling wine using the traditional Champagne method (Méthode Traditionelle). Blanc De Noirs This bubbly offers terrific value for the money; a great bottle to serve at small or larger gatherings given its taste: price ratio. Crisp, clean and dry with aromas of green apple and baked bread. Terrific! Food pairings: fried chicken, vegetable curry, fish tacos. Drink: 2022 - 2024 419374 13% D 750 mL $32.95 Score: 92/100. May 2022. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

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. May 2022. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quails' Gate Estate Winery Chardonnay 2020, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: From Quails Gate Winery in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, this is a gorgeous, full-bodied and elegant BC Chardonnay with ripe golden apple, freshly baked bread with melting butter and smoke. Well-priced and well done. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: turkey burgers, crab cakes, chicken breast, lobster in butter sauce, cheese. Drink: 2022 - 2025 377770 14% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. May 2022. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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