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Wine Picks November 9, 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.

Dessert Wine

Viticoltori Acquesi Brachetto D'acqui, Piedmont, Italy: Very sweet, red sparkling wine from France. Perfect for chocolate desserts. Drink: 2015 - 2017 375667 6.5% S 750 mL $13.35 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Malivoire Wine Company Guilty Men Red 2013, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A rich, layered, mouth-filling red wine with mocha and dark chocolate notes from oak aging. This Niagara red wine is a blend of red grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Merlot (40%), and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Pinot Noir, made by one of the province's most respected wineries that operates on a gravity flow basis so the grapes and juice are gently handled. Pair with Cornish hen. Food pairings: grilled or roast beef, lamb, duck or game with mushrooms, garlic and tomato sauce. Drink: 2014 - 2017 192674 12.7% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Firestone Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Santa Ynez Valley, California, United States: A full-bodied, richly textured Californian Cabernet with toasty oak and mocha as well as black fruit and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hamburgers, prime rib. Drink: 2016 - 2020 292128 14.2% XD 750 mL $17.90 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

El Guardian Crianza Tempranillo 2012, Rioja D.O.C., Spain: A pleasant, full-bodied Spanish red wine with lots of acidity on the palate, black fruit and oak. The bird featured on the label is one often found in Rioja vineyards. It eats the bees and insects that eats the vine grapes so they call it the Guardian. Pair this wine with game birds ;) Drink: 2014 - 2018 429670 12.5% XD 750 mL $14.10 Score: 86/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Piccini Villa Al Cortile Rosso Di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany Doc, Italy: A savoury, tannic Italian red wine that's redolent of violets, leather and truffles. Pair with wild boar and game dishes. Decant 1-2 hours. Drink: 2014 - 2019 460295 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.50 Score: 89/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Coldisole Rosso Di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany Doc, Italy: A pleasantly bitter Italian red wine with tar, graphite and blackened fruit aromas. This wine is known locally as "baby brunello" as it's lighter, more medium-bodied than Brunello. decant 1 hour. Pair with braised beef. Drink: 2015 - 2018 460568 14% XD 750 mL $18.60 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Casa Santos Lima Bons Ventos 2014, Portugal: Sweet black and purple plums on the nose and palate. Full-bodied and smooth. The vines are planted in limestone and clay soils and are influenced by the Atlantic Ocean in moderating the climate. The wine undergoes a long maceration, traditional fermentation and is aged in oak barriques. This wine is a Spanish red wine blend of Castelao, Camarte, Tinta Muda and Touriga Nacional grapes. Pair with barbecued meats. Drink: 2015 - 2019 462051 13% D 750 mL $11.80 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Anciano 7 Year Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2007, Valdepenas, Spain: Lots of mouth-watering acidity on this robust Spanish red wine made from the classic Tempranillo grape. This wine is aged for at least 18 months in oak barrels to add vanilla spice notes. Pair with a meat lasagna. Drink: 2010 - 2018 464214 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello Di Montalcino 2010, Tuscany, Italy: This is the magnum format for this wine, equivalent to two regular (750 ml) bottles). Great for parties. A spectacular wine on every dimension: depth of complexity and flavour and length of finish. Full-bodied: needs cellar time then decant 2 hours and pair with a juicy steak or hard cheeses. Aromas of truffle, violets and dark fruit. Drink: 2018 - 2030 494468 14.5% XD 1500 mL $272.00 Score: 94/100. November 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, South Australia, Australia: A terrific, full-bodied, well-structured Australian red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grape. This wine offers aromas of minty blackberry, toasty oak and dark spice. On the palate, it's savoury, meaty, and juicy mouth-watering. Perfect for prime rib. The wine is named in honour of the original convicts who settled in Australia. Drink: 2016 - 2021 461525 14% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Borsao Garnacha 2015, Borja, Spain: This Spanish red wine offers extraordinary value and taste for the price. Aromas of purple plums and spice with fleshy sweet blackberries. This is a savoury, full-bodied blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Pair with roast beef. Drink: 2015 - 2019 386961 14.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Di Neive Barbaresco 2013, Piedmont, Italy: Lots of acidity and tannin in this full-bodied northern Italian red wine. A vibrant red wine that still needs cellar time to smooth out the tannins. Lots of racy acidity on the palate for tomato sauce dishes and grilled meats. Decant 1-2 hours. Good value. Drink: 2016 - 2020 160143 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.80 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mauro Alberello Primitivo 2015, Puglia I.G.T., Italy: Savoury and sweet with black fruit flavours. Alberello means "bush vine" and is a traditional vine training method in Italy. Juicy and full-bodied with lots of acidity on the palate of this Italian red wine made from Primitivo grapes (aka Zinfandel). Black raspberry and berry. Pair with meat lovers' pizza. Drink: 2015 - 2018 441790 13.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Farnese Numero Uno Primitivo 2015, Puglia I.G.T., Italy: Sweet purple plums and blueberries with a chalky texture on the palate. Lots of acidity on the palate with tart and sour cherry notes. Smooth and full-bodied. Acidic attack throughout. Drink: 2015 - 2017 442491 13.5% XD 750 mL $12.90 Score: 82/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Grower's Blend Cabernet Franc 2013, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Smooth, plush and supple cool-climate Niagara Cabernet Franc. Aromas of mocha, fleshy ripe plum and berries. Perfect for grilled pork chops. Cabernet Franc food pairings: mature cheeses, grilled red meat, braised game meat. Drink: 2015 - 2021 284570 13% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. November 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Argento Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina: Sweet purple and black plums on the nose and palate of this full-bodied, smooth Argentine red wine made from the Malbec grape. Perfect for hamburgers. Great price. Drink: 2015 - 2018 591693 13.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello Di Montalcino 2010, Tuscany Docg, Italy: A spectacular wine on every dimension: depth of complexity and flavour and length of finish. Full-bodied: needs cellar time then decant 2 hours and pair with a juicy steak or hard cheeses. Aromas of truffle, violets and dark fruit. Drink: 2018 - 2030 650432 14% XD 750 mL $119.95 Score: 94/100. November 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, United States: A superb Californian Cabernet from one of the region's most respected producers. Classic aromas of cassis, black currant and wild dark berries. This will do well in the cellar given its terrific structure. Pair with a rare steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2015 - 2019 255513 14% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. November 2016. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut Champagne, Reims, Champagne, France: A toasty, crisp, yeasty Champagne with lots of persistent bubbles in the glass. Pair with oysters. Drink: 2016 - 2021 308056 12.5% XD 750 mL $59.65 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Grand Brut Champagne, Champagne, France: A very creamy and rich Champagne with toasted bread and apple aromas. Perfect as an aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2022 155341 12.5% XD 750 mL $69.95 Score: 93/100. November 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Victoire Brut Prestige Champagne, Champagne, France: A toasty, robust Champagne at an incredibly great price! Aromas of toast and apple. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2016 - 2021 190025 12.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 91/100. November 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne, Champagne, France: Toasty, crisp and full-bodied Champagne at a very reasonable price (for Champagne). Classic aperitif or pair with shellfish. Drink: 2015 - 2020 215962 12.5% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tarlant Brut Reserve Champagne, Champagne, France: Toasty, crisp and refreshing yet deep and rich and complex with terrific frothy mousse. Great price for such quality. The vines are planted in the Marne River Valley in chalky, sandy, limestone soils. One third blend comes from the 2008 harvest and the remainder from reserves. This wine was aged on the lees 6 years and disgorged in August 2015 with a dosage 5.8 grams per litre. Pair with fried chicken. Drink: 2016 - 2022 325167 12% XD 750 mL $43.25 Score: 93/100. November 2016. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Sebastiani Chardonnay 2013, Sonoma County, California, United States: Loaded with rich, sweet toffee and butterscotch from generous oak aging. This full-bodied Californian Chardonnay offers golden peach and pear on the palate. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2014 - 2018 364497 13.5% D 750 mL $19.80 Score: 89/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castleforte Soave 2014, Veneto Doc, Italy: Crisp and clean, with refreshing mouth-watering acidity. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2014 - 2017 440826 12.5% XD 750 mL $10.90 Score: 85/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Paco & Lola Albariño 2014, Rías Baixas D.O., Spain: Aromas of lime zest and lemon sunshine. Lots of acidity but not overwhelming, especially when you pair this bone-dry wine with food. Perfect for all types of seafood dishes. Clean, crisp and zesty Spanish white wine made from the country's iconic white varietal Albariño. The grapes are estate grown and bottled. Albariño food pairings: linguine with crab meat, falafel, grilled veggies, hearty soups and stews. Drink: 2014 - 2017 350041 12.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. November 2016. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eugenio Collavini Viticultori Pinot Grigio 2015, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy: Mild, light-bodied Pinot Grigio that's not highly aromatic. Serve chilled as an aperitif. Drink: 2015 - 2017 33340 12.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 85/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Colio Estate Wines Bricklayer's Predicament Chardonnay Pinot Grigio 2014, Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A soft, subtle white wine without a lot of acidity and subtle notes of white melon and white apricot. Dry. The founders of this winery were Italian bricklayers, thus the name. The winery is located on the shores of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario. Pair with light seafood dishes. Drink: 2014 - 2017 371567 13% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

KWV The Vinecrafter Chenin Blanc 2015, South Africa: Lovely peach blossom and apple on the nose and palate. Mouth-watering acidity for fresh seafood. This medium-bodied South African white wine is made from the country's classic Chenin Blanc grape by KWV. Lots of tropical fruit on the finish including pineapple and guava. Pair with mild curries. Chenin Blanc food pairings: shellfish, seafood, quiche, chicken, pork. Drink: 2015 - 2018 18689 12% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills, Australia: Bodious, buttery and blousey with butterscotch and golden apples on the nose of this robust Australian Chardonnay. Great price. The higher altitude of the Adelaide Hills makes it a cool climate with a long, slow ripening season that produces crisp white wines. This wine is oak fermented which gives it a toasty note. Pair with grilled chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, pan-seared swordfish or vegetarian dishes.. Drink: 2015 - 2019 270017 12.5% MD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Julia + Chardonnay 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy, full-bodied Chardonnay with golden apple and lemon notes. This winery was founded in 1963. This wine is made from 100% sustainably farmed grapes. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2019 365221 13.5% D 750 mL $10.90 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy, lemon zesty Argentine Sauvignon Blanc with herbal and lime lift. Mouth-watering acidity for seafood and shellfish. The vines for this wine are more than 15 years old. A part of the wine is fermented in French oak barrels. This winery was founded in 1895. Drink: 2015 - 2017 400564 12.5% XD 750 mL $13.10 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fuzion Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: Floral and pretty and light and highly aromatic as we expect Torrontes to be in this blend with Pinot Grigio. Great aperitif or companion to seafood. Finishes with notes pineapple and pear. Drink: 2016 - 2018 168419 13.5% MD 750 mL $10.75 Score: 89/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Torres Vina Esmeralda 2015, Catalun, Spain: So lovely and floral, pure aromatic expression. Medium-bodied and off-dry: perfect for spicy dishes. This wine has been made since 1976. Pretty with notes of sun-warmed apple blossom, honeydew and fresh peach. Perfect for mild to medium curries and spices. Incredibly great price. Drink: 2015 - 2018 377465 13% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 90/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villa Wolf Riesling 2014, Mosel, Germany: A light, floral German Riesling that's off-dry with aromas of peach blossom and some lime. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2014 - 2019 394023 11% MD 750 mL $14.80 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Remy Pannier Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Loire Valley, France: A grassy, herbal Sauvignon Blanc with notes of freshly cut grass and green gooseberries. Lots of acidity on the palate. Drink: 2015 - 2017 471318 11.5% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 84/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Megalomaniac Wines Homegrown Riesling 2015, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A off-dry aromatic white with lots of juicy acidity for seafood. Also try with dishes that have some sweetness like glazed ham. Drink: 2015 - 2019 183061 10.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Fresh and crisp with vibrant aromas of lime, chives and freshly cut grass. Good acidity for seafood. Medium-bodied. The vines are planted in limestone clay soils. Drink: 2013 - 2017 529933 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. November 2016. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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