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Wine Picks June 10, 2016

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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

13th Street Winery Gamay Noir 2014, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: No oak on this fresh and vibrant Niagara Gamay Noir. Dark berry aromas. Round and smooth. Perfect for planked salmon. Gamay Noir food pairings: grilled salmon, antipasto plate, meaty tomato based pasta, roasted turkey. Drink: 2015 - 2018 177824 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13th Street Winery Essence Pinot Noir 2012, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Only 250 cases of this lovely Niagara Pinot Noir were produced. The wine was aged for 6-10 months in oak barrels, of which very little was new oak. Aromas of fleshy dark cherry and smoke. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2013 - 2019 237222 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Back 10 Cellars Big Leap Cabernet Franc 2014, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Only 2.5 tons of grapes per acre were harvested for this wine so the result is richly flavoured and concentrated grapes and wine. The winery only makes 1000 cases a year of all wines combined. This cool climate Cabernet Franc offers savoury and herbal aromas with a pleasingly fresh acidic bite for food such as grilled meats. Drink: 2014 - 2018 13.5% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013, St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Gorgeous Niagara Pinot Noir grown in the Lowery Vineyard. Aromas of cherry, fresh earth and violets. This wine was deftly aged in oak barrels. Pair with duck. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal stew with sautéed vegetables served with gnocchi, roasted pork loin with a glaze of herbs, cloves, and brown sugar, Tourtière, roast beef, turkey. Drink: 2014 - 2020 361816 13.5% XD 750 mL $44.95 Score: 92/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pelee Island Winery Vinedressers Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2012, Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada: A full-bodied southwestern Ontario red wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes. Lots of mocha and toasty oak on the nose along with black plum and dark fruit on the palate. Pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2013 - 2018 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aure Old Vines Marechal Foch 2011, Beamsville, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A deep, rich Niagara red wine made from Marchechal Foch grapes that grow on vines that are 50 years old. Notes of purple and black plums. Pair with a pepper steak. Drink: 2012 - 2016 415968 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 87/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Queylus Signature Pinot Noir 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: An exciting, racy Pinot Noir from Niagara with classic notes of tart cherry and violets. Pair with planked salmon. Pinot Noir food pairings: lamb and pilaf casserole, roast leg of lamb in rosemary and garlic, lamb chops with Danish blue cheese. Drink: 2014 - 2019 13.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hidden Bench Winery Bistro Pinot Noir 2013, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous medium-bodied, smooth Niagara Pinot Noir with ripe red cherry aromas and smoke. Currently, only available in restaurants, thus the name bistro and this is the restaurant's cost, not the price on the list. Pair with planked salmon. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled seafood, pork tenderloin, lobster in butter sauce, ravioli in an Alfredo sauce. Drink: 2014 - 2018 13% XD 750 mL $20.00 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gentleman's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, South Australia, Australia: A terrific, full-bodied Australian red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Aromas of cassis, black currant and wild blackberry. This is a special edition wine named in honour of Lindemans Winery founder Dr. Henry Lindeman, who in 1843, with his wife Eliza, planted the first vines in the Hunter Valley, just south of Sydney. I love the old-fashioned label that reminds me of a Victorian sepia toned catalogue featuring Uncle Bertram's Exlirir for What Ales Yee and corsets for the modern woman. Pair with roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Drink: 2015 - 2020 461533 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Hidden Bench Winery Bistro Rosé 2014, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, light Niagara rosé with aromas of wild field strawberries. Pair with grilled seafood. Currently, only available in restaurants, thus the name bistro and this is the restaurant's cost, not the price on the list. Rosé food pairings: grilled seafood, pork tenderloin, lobster in butter sauce, ravioli in an Alfredo sauce. Drink: 2014 - 2016 13% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 89/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Moira Rose 2015, Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This vibrant and impressive Niagara rose is made from Pinot Noir grapes. Fresh and invigorating with notes of wild strawberries. Named for owner Martin Malivoire's wife Moira. Pair with planked salmon. Drink: 2015 - 2017 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

2027 Cellars Sparkling Wine 2012, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Superb Niagara sparkling wine that's a classic blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir grapes grown in a single vineyard: Queenston Road. Toasty, dry and crisp. This wine aged 28 months on its lees in Burgundian oak to add creamy texture and richness. There was no dosage or sugar added and it was a wild ferment. Serve as an aperitif or companion to shellfish. Drink: 2012 - 2018 520619 12.5% D 750 mL $30.00 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Back 10 Cellars Smitten Sparkling 2015, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A superb Niagara sparkling wine with terrific freshness and vibrancy and balance. Very accessible as an aperitif or companion to shellfish. Drink: 2015 - 2019 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hidden Bench Winery N.V. Natur Sparkling, Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This non-vintage dated Niagara sparkling wine is crisp, toasty and dry. The wine was aged for 48 months on its lees and one year in oak barrels. There is no dosage or sugar added. Enjoy as an aperitif or companion to shellfish. Drink: 2016 - 2019 13.5% XD 750 mL $38.00 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Hidden Bench Winery Bistro Riesling 2014, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, vibrant Niagara Riesling with juicy, mouth-watering acidity for food. This is a medium-dry (off-dry) white wine. Only 1000 cases were made and it's 100% estate grown fruit that was farmed organically. Currently, only available in restaurants, thus the name bistro and this is the restaurant's cost, not the price on the list. Riesling food pairings: grilled seafood, pork tenderloin, lobster in butter sauce, ravioli in an Alfredo sauce. Drink: 2014 - 2018 13% XD 750 mL $16.00 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Back 10 Cellars Start From Scratch Chardonnay 2014, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, toasty, rich Niagara Chardonnay with aromas of toasted almond and green apple. Wild yeast fermentation. This wine was fermented and aged in Canadian oak barrels. Pair with roasted chicken. Drink: 2014 - 2019 13% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

2027 Cellars Wismer Vineard, Fox Croft Block Chardonnay 2013, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Round and rich Niagara Chardonnay but not buttery and heavy. No malolactic fermentation. Aged 14 months in oak barrels. Delightful aromas of green apple and peach. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2014 - 2018 421362 13% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Wine Company Pinot Gris 2015, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Savoury with such fascinating aromas of white peach and pear. This is no beige boring wine. Perfect as an aperitif or companion to seafood. Pinot Gris food pairings: pork tenderloin, pasta with cream sauce, white meats, French onion soup, duck rillettes with apricot purée. Drink: 2015 - 2018 591305 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bachelder Wismer Vineyard Chardonnay 2012, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Superb on every dimension! Opens with seductive toasted almond and hazelnut and then unfolds layers of rich textured orchard fruit and complexity on the palate. So balanced, so lovely. Pair with rich sauces and poultry. Chardonnay food pairings: scallops with a sesame ginger dressing, spinach and pepper jack stuffed chicken, beef bourguignon, pasta with tomato sauce, egg dishes. Drink: 2013 - 2021 345819 13.5% D 750 mL $44.95 Score: 94/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Back 10 Cellars Big Reach Riesling 2014, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A glorious Niagara Riesling with savoury, mouth-watering juiciness. Medium-bodied with aromas of lime blossom. Grapes are hand-picked. Perfect for seafood dishes. Drink: 2014 - 2022 13% MD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pelee Island Winery Premium Select Chardonnay 2014, Pelee Island, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A fresh, simple southern Ontario Chardonnay with golden apple notes. Medium-bodied. Pair with cold chicken sandwiches. Drink: 2014 - 2016 216044 12.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 85/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aure Wines White Gamay 2014, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A light-bodied, dry Niagara white wine with a hint of strawberry aroma. Serve as a well-chilled aperitif. Drink: 2014 - 2016 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 85/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aure Wines Riesling 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A light-bodied, floral Niagara white wine made from Riesling grapes. Subtle. Pair with light seafood dishes. Drink: 2014 - 2017 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bachelder Mineralité Chardonnay 2012, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Savoury and complex Niagara Chardonnay with a core of minerality. Aromas of toasted hazelnut and almond blossom. Pair with chicken a la king. Chardonnay food pairings: tuna steaks, swordfish, turkey dinner, beef, chicken breast. Drink: 2014 - 2020 13% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 92/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hidden Bench Winery Felseck Chardonnay 2012, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The vines for this lovely Niagara Chardonnay were planted in 1988 and express their Beamsville Bench terroir. The Felseck Vineyard creates a vibrant, expressive Chardonnay with aromas of baked pear and toasted almond. Lots of citrus and apple notes on the palate of this cool-climate Chardonnay. Pair with grilled chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled seafood, pork tenderloin, lobster in butter sauce, ravioli in an Alfredo sauce. Drink: 2014 - 2018 13% XD 750 mL Score: 92/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hidden Bench Winery Nuit Blanche 2013, Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This vibrant Niagara white wine is a blend of 91% Sauvignon Blanc and 9% Semillon for the 2013 vintage. The grapes were sourced from the Rosomel Vineyard. Smoky and full-bodied with great balance. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2013 - 2017 13.5% XD 750 mL Score: 90/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Creekside Estate Winery Reserve Viognier 2013, St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Classic aromas of rosewater, lychee, baking spices and vanillin on the nose of this vibrant and well-made Niagara Viognier. Not over-the-top: well balanced. Perfect for Asian and spicy dishes. Viognier food pairings: sautéed scallops, roasted pork, mild curries dishes, chicken stir-fry. Drink: 2014 - 2018 264168 13.5% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 91/100. June 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13th Street Winery Pinot Gris 2013, Creek Shores, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Fresh and crisp Niagara Pinot Gris that was aged in stainless steel tanks to preserve fruit purity (no oak). Grapes are sourced from the Market Vineyard. No malolactic fermentation keeps the nervy tension of acidity for seafood and shellfish. Only 600 cases made. Drink: 2014 - 2018 12% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. June 2016. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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