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Wine Picks January 9, 2017

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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

Dubonnet Rouge Red Wine Aperitif, Marseille, France: A sophisticated aperitif wine first created for the French Foreign Legion in 1846 by Parisian chemist and wine merchant Joseph Dubonnet to mask the taste of medicinal quinine for the soldiers contending with malaria in North Africa. This classic cocktail is a blend of fortified wine, herbs, spices and peels, and no longer, medicinal quinine. Drink: 2015 - 2020 386334 16% S 750 mL $11.95 Score: 89/100. January 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Croix Milhas Maury, Roussillon Aoc, France: A lovely fortified dessert wine from the southern French region of Rousillon made from mostly from the Grenache (Garnacha) grape, which makes it similar in style to Banyuls. Aromas of blackberry spice and dark spice. Perfect for all types of chocolate. Drink: 2016 - 2025 22822 16% S 500 mL $15.00 Score: 90/100. January 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Floc De Gascogne Domaine des Cassagnoles, Gascony Aoc, France: A light, floral fortified wine that makes for a lovely after-dinner sipper. You'd never guess it has 16.5% alcohol. The name means the Flower of Gascony, and this drop of southern French sunshine is a blend of fresh grape juice and young Armagnac. Serve chilled. Drink: 2016 - 20123 519140 16.5% S 750 mL $18.00 Score: 89/100. January 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Verger Pedneault La Grande Glace Mistelle De Pomme Glacé, Quebec, Canada: This ice cider is made from apples grown in Quebec and has a lovely golden hue in the glass. Vibrant acidity and a voluptuous texture. Drink: 2016 - 2019 18% S 375 mL Score: 88/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lustau Solera Reserva Oloroso Don Nuno Dry Sherry, Jerez, Spain: A lovely amber hue with aromas of toasted almonds and nuts, dried fruit and brown sugar. Long finish. Serve at room temperature. Match with hard cheeses, salty nuts and cured meats. Drink: 2016 - 2021 375105 20% D 750 mL $15.35 Score: 88/100. January 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Iroquois Shore Ambria Riesling Vin De Cure 2010, Ontario, Canada: This Ontario dessert wine is a cross between an icewine and a vin de cure, which involves allowing the grapes are cut and left on the arm of the vines to desiccate (dehydrate, shrivel and concentrate flavours and sugars) in the nets before they freeze and are hand-picked. The wine is fermented in 60 litre French oak barrels. Aromas of caramel, toffee, apricot, honey, clementine jam and toasted almonds. Very viscous and mouth-coating. Pair with creme brulee. Drink: 2010 - 2018 472266 15% S 200 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Toro Albala Don Px Selección 1967, Montilla-Moriles, Spain: Truly the most remarkable Sherry I've ever tasted. Aromas of baked prune pie, molasses and dark brown sugar spice. Wow. Drink: 2016 - 2031 491647 17% S 750 mL $199.95 Score: 99/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2010, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Gorgeous apricot preserves in this lovely Niagara icewine from Reif. Luscious layers of peach preserves fold over each other across your mouth and then bring on a tide of pleasurable sun-dappled orchard fruit on the finish. Pair with fruit flans and cobblers. Vidal Icewine food pairings: spice cake, crème brûlée, fruit-based desserts, pastries, fresh field berries in cream. Drink: 2016 - 2023 544791 12% S 200 mL $24.95 Score: 94/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Sisters Vineyards Icewine Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Splendid Niagara icewine in all dimensions, and most importantly, pure hedonistic pleasure. Aromas of red berries and spice. Smooth tannins. Pair with dark chocolate. Yum. Drink: 2016 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $48.00 Score: 93/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Sisters Vineyards Icewine Riesling 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Drop-dead gorgeous Niagara icewine from an upstart winery to watch. Classic Riesling provides the balancing acidity. Lime blossom and peach. It's got it all. Drink: 2016 - 2022 13% S 750 mL $45.00 Score: 94/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Indian Summer Late Harvest Riesling 1998, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Liquid gorgeous year after year, Cave Spring delivers this late harvest Riesling for our drinking pleasure. Apricot peach blossom. Perfect for angel food cake and fruit-based desserts. The Riesling grapes for this dessert wine are picked later in the fall, well after those from the dry style table wine. The result is much more concentrated flavours and fruit sweetness like apricot preserves. Pair this terrific wine with blue cheeses and toasted almonds. Riesling food pairings: spice cake, crème brûlée, fruit-based desserts, pastries, fresh field berries in cream. Drink: 2000 - 2017 415901 12.5% S 375 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Riesling Icewine 2006, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A luscious and opulent dessert wine with aromas of apricot and peach. A long, satisfying finish. Pair with sweet dreams and creme brulee. Riesling Icewine food pairings: strong blue cheeses or seared foie gras, for dessert with fresh fruit. Drink: 2010 - 2018 430561 9.5% S 375 mL $49.95 Score: 93/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Simply gorgeous BC icewine made from the classic Riesling grape. Silver seam of acidity balances the luscious apricot honeyed fruit of this dessert wine. Drink: 2016 - 2030 9% S 375 mL Score: 93/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Reserve Merlot Icewine 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A berry-rich, flavourful BC icewine made from Merlot grapes. Pair with dark chocolate. Drink: 2016 - 2030 9.2% S 200 mL Score: 90/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Gewürztraminer Icewine 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Beautiful apricot spice and peach preserves on the nose of this BC icewine made from the gewurztraminer grape. Drink: 2016 - 2030 9.4% S 200 mL Score: 92/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Late Harvest Pinot Blanc 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A pretty floral, light late-harvest BC pinot blanc with notes of peach and Asian pear. Drink: 2016 - 2020 9% S 375 mL Score: 89/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Vineyard Syrah Late Harvest 2014, Okanagan Valley, Bristish Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A dessert-style Syrah that reminds me of the Australian sweet shiraz wines. Berry flavours and bold. Drink: 2016 - 2020 10.2% S 375 mL Score: 87/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Sisters Vineyards Icewine Vidal 2012, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely apricot rich Vidal icewine from Two Sisters from the warm, ripe 2012 vintage. Pair with fruit flan. Drink: 2016 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $45.00 Score: 92/100. January 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Tinhorn Creek Kerner Late Harvest 2008, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Such a pretty wine! Lovely aromas of ripe apricot, peach and pear preserves. The tropical fruit flavours make a tasty companion to any fruit-based dessert. Kerner Late Harvest food pairings: fruit and nut desserts such as tarte tatin, pears poached in wine, or hazelnut tart. It is also an excellent choice for cheese, perhaps served with dried apricots and roasted nuts.. Drink: 2009 - 2018 632216 13.4% S 200 mL $13.00 Score: 89/100. January 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fruit Wine

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2014, Quebec, Canada: A lovely, fresh and richly flavoured Quebec ice cider. Aromas of crisp apples and sun-dappled orchards. Try this with fruit-based desserts. Ice Cider food pairings: pork sausage pie, roast pork with applesauce, pork ribs and sautéed red cabbage. Drink: 2016 - 2020 393611 10.5% S 375 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. January 2017. Best Value Fruit Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012, Quebec, Canada: A lovely, fresh and richly flavoured Quebec ice cider. Aromas of crisp apples and sun-dappled orchards. Try this with fruit-based desserts. Ice Cider food pairings: pork sausage pie, roast pork with applesauce, pork ribs and sautéed red cabbage. Drink: 2016 - 2020 393611 10.5% S 375 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. January 2017. Best Value Fruit Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Other Wines/Drinks

Domaine Labranche Sweet Maple Wine Vin D'érable Liquoreux 2014, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada: A luscious, maple inflected dessert wine.Perfect for creme brulee or ginger cookies. Drink: 2014 - 2017 12% S 375 mL Score: 87/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Labranche Cidre De Glace 2012, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada: Lovely and luscious with ripe aromas and flavours of golden apples. Perfect for a fruit flan. Drink: 2012 - 2018 12% S 375 mL Score: 90/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Verger Pedneault Mistelle De Prunes, Quebec, Canada: A deep amber tone in the glass of this Quebec dessert wine made from plums. Good acidity and a rich texture. Pair with blueberry cobbler. Drink: 2015 - 2018 18% S 375 mL Score: 87/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Criollo Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Liquor, Canada: The rare Criollo cocoa bean was discovered in South America after being thought to be extinct. Those rich chocolate flavours are the essence of this liquor made in Canada, with sea salt as the finishing touch. Drink: 2015 - 2020 356147 17% S 375 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Maverick Distillery Chantilly French Cream, Oakville, Ontario, Canada: Better than Bailey's ... this is to-die-for French cream liqueur. Who needs coffee, just pour me this over ice... then you can go if you leave the bottle. Drink: 2015 - 2022 424044 17% S 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Vignerons Catalans Ambre Hors D'âge Rivesaltes 1974, Languedoc-Roussillon, France: A superb fortified after-dinner wine! Light and floral with peach blossom. Made from the muscat grape, this is a vin doux naturel. Perfect for a fruit flan or cobbler. Drink: 2014 - 2023 16% S 500 mL Score: 90/100. January 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

The View Winery Distraction Frizzante 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: This BC sparkling wine is a blend of Pinotage, Gewurztraminer and Ehrenfelser grapes grown by the fifth generation of this family-owned winery overlooking the Okanagan Lake. Aromas of sweet red berries and red licorice in this off-dry bubbly. Serve as a chilled aperitif or companion to glazed ham. Drink: 2014 - 2017 14.6% M 750 mL Score: 87/100. January 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

The View Winery Well-Heeled 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A pretty, floral BC dessert wine that's a blend of the highly aromatic grapes Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Drink: 2015 - 2020 13.8% S 375 mL Score: 90/100. January 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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