Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

Wine Picks May 14, 2015

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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

Diabolica 2012, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: This blend of grapes is sourced from Oliver and Osoyoos vineyards. Loaded with sweet cherry-berry flavours. Full-bodied and supple. This is a red wine blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Shiraz grapes with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Finishes with cherry, red licorice and boysenberry. Drink: 2014 - 2018 373001 13% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gérard Bertrand Saint Chinian Syrah Mourvèdre 2011, Midi A.P., France: A blockbuster red wine from the southern French winemaking region of Saint Chinian. Attractive aromas of fleshy black fruit, dark spice and smoke. This red wine blend is mostly Syrah and has a luscious velvet smooth texture. There are savoury and pepper notes on the finish. What an incredibly great wine for the price point. Pair with a rare steak or blood sausages. Drink: 2014 - 2018 370247 13.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. May 2015. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Averill Creek Vineyard Foch Eh 2014, Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada: Notes of purple plums and blueberries with a foxy undertone. Full-bodied and smooth with no oak. Very blueberry, purple juicy with purple bubblegum on the finish. Mouth-watering acidity. Foch Eh food pairings: burgers, pizza or a picnic lunch. Drink: 2014 - 2016 750802 12% D 750 mL $15.99 Score: 84/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Errázuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Aconcagua Valley, Chile: Savoury and full-bodied with a firm grip on the palate. decant 2 hours. Classic aromas of cassis and blackcurrant. Great structure, depth and length. Elegant yet powerful. Pair with rare filet mignon. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: rack of lamb, grilled pork tenderloin. Drink: 2014 - 2019 335174 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. May 2015. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Des Marrans Vieilles Vignes 2012, Chiroubles, Beaujolais Aoc, France: A robust and flavourful French red wine that dispels any notion of Beaujolais being wimpy. Go gamay go! Some cedar and dark spice notes on the finish. Smooth and supple. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2014 - 2018 12.5% D 750 mL $22.75 Score: 89/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage 2012, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Dark chocolate and mocha on the nose of this full-bodied BC red wine from generous oak aging. Sweet blackberry and black plum notes on the palate. This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged 12 months in French and American oak. The grapes come from a 22 acre vineyard in the southern Okanagan Valley known as the Golden Mile. Pair with coffee-rubbed steak. Meritage food pairings: steak, hamburgers, lamb. Drink: 2014 - 2018 597039 14.5% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 89/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Huff Estates Winery South Bay Merlot 2012, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Herbal and savoury with cedar notes and a firm tannic grip on the palate. Tart blackberry and plum. Pair with grilled meats. This wine is unfiltered and was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, of which 40% was new. The grapes were picked at 22 brix. Drink: 2013 - 2018 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 87/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gérard Bertrand Syrah Carignan 2011, Minervois, France: This wine is made in what is known as the Kingdom of Syrah, the wine region in southern France where the Syrah grape finds vibrant expression. The grapes grow close to the Black Mountains and there is a great diurnal difference between day and night temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius during the growing season to ripen the grapes and preserve freshness. Part of this blend is also the Carignan grape, which Gerard Bertrand says has vines that are hard to train like teenagers. This wine features black pepper and dark fruit on the nose and palate, with a gorgeous texture on the palate. It's mouth-coating, but not heavy. That's the difference between wine that has great concentration and depth of flavour versus one that is simply highly extracted (loads of colour, alcohol, fruit flavour and so on but not integrated). Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2014 - 2018 894254002930 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Grenache Syrah Carignan 2011, Tautavel, Roussillon, France: The grapes for this wine are planted near the villages of Tautavel in southern France, in a spoon-shaped valley that has a protected, warm climate for grape ripening. The Grenache grape leads in this blend. Grenache was originally planted widely in southern France because it ripened early and produced high alcohol for spirits. Modern winemakers have harnessed that phenolic ripeness in dry red wines with great concentration of flavour. This one is smooth and elegant, not extracted, and finishes with black fleshy fruit. Pair with a rare filet mignon. Drink: 2015 - 2019 894254002299 15% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 93/100. May 2015. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Miguel Torres Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Central Valley, Chile: A savoury, cedary briar-rich, red wine with full-bodied, mouth-filling goodness. Supple and smooth. The vineyards in which these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown are certified organic. This is an incredible great price for this quality. Pick up a case as a party wine (and don't forget to invite other people to join you). Pair also with hamburgers and meat lovers' pizza. Drink: 2014 - 2017 407494 13.5% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. May 2015. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Terra Andina Chardonnay 2014, Central Valley, Chile: Buttery and rich with a tofeed nose from generous oak aging. Very tasty for the price. Full-bodied and mouth-filling with flavours of fleshy pear and peach and caramel. Drink: 2014 - 2017 234443 13.5% D 750 mL $10.95 Score: 87/100. May 2015. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Township 7 Vineyards & Winery Okanagan 7 Blanc 2013, Naramata, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada: Floral and pretty with notes of daisies, lillies, and some lychee with baking spice. Light with good mouth-watering action as an aperitif or companion to seafood. This wine is a blend of gewurztraminer, pinot gris and muscat ottonel. Food pairings: sushi, spicy south Asian dishes, mild creamy cheeses, corn fritters. Drink: 2014 - 2018 19880 12.5% MD 750 mL $20.00 Score: 88/100. May 2015. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

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