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Wine Picks August 29, 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

Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2015, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Gorgeous and rich aromas and flavours of 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 10% S 200 mL $24.95 Score: 94/100. August 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

River Road Cabernet 2015, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Full-bodied with supple purple plums with juicy blueberry flavours. Pair with barbecued ribs. Drink: 2015 - 2018 457390 13% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2015, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: An incredibly great price for such a juicy, full-bodied, full-flavoured red wine blend of Cabernet and Merlot! Fleshy ripe black plums and berries on the nose of this robust, dry Niagara red wine. Pair with grilled meats and barbecued anything. Cabernet Merlot food pairings: Italian-style pastas, grilled meats, pizza, grilled vegetables, stuffed peppers. Drink: 2017 - 2020 565713 XD 750 mL $14.75 Score: 89/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Lots of layers of dark fruit and smoke on the nose. A full-bodied and complex Niagara Cabernet from the 2014 vintage. Pair with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hodge-podge, grilled burgers, Margherita pizza, hamburger.. Drink: 2015 - 2021 304162 12.6% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Merlot 2013, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Dark spice and smoke on this nose of this Niagara red wine made from the classic Merlot grape. It's full-bodied and supple. Pair with a rare steak. Merlot food pairings: veal Porterhouse, grilled lamb, Tandoori-flavored dishes, grilled pork chops, pepper steak. Drink: 2014 - 2020 935676 13% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Old Vines Baco Noir 2016, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Spectacularly juicy and savoury! This iconic Niagara red wine is crafted by the master producers of the Baco Noir genre: Henry of Pelham. Aromas of fleshy black plums and dark berries with a smoky weave throughout. Pair with grilled meats and happiness. Baco Noir food pairings: venison, lamb or steak, spicy pasta dishes with rich tomato sauces. Drink: 2016 - 2022 459966 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Pinot Noir 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, tart Niagara Pinot Noir with juicy, racy, mouth-watering acidity for food. Aromas of tart cherry and cranberry with some fresh earth. Perfect for roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: seared tuna, grilled salmon, roasted turkey. Drink: 2016 - 2022 13904 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robertson Winery Shiraz 2016, Breede River Valley, Robertson, South Africa: This South African robust red wine is made by a co-operative of local growers in the Robertson region of South Africa. It offers aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2019 286012 14% D 750 mL $14.00 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cecchi Chianti 2015, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy: A rustic, full-bodied Chianti at a nice price. Firm tannins with aromas of sour cherry. It's a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo and Colorino grapes. This is the fourth largest winery in Tuscany. Decant 1 hour and pair with rare meats. Drink: 2016 - 2019 490144 13% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tocado Campo de Borja Garnacha 2015, Aragon, Spain: A juicy, supple, full-bodied Spanish red wine made from the Garnacha (grenache) grape. Sweet, juicy ripe purple and black plum aromas and flavours. Perfect for grilled meats and hamburgers. Drink: 2015 - 2019 489690 13.5% D 750 mL $8.25 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13th Street Winery Burger Blend 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, savoury, juicy red wine blend from Niagara that should be paired with, what else, burgers, Aromas of black currant and toasty oak. Nice price. Drink: 2016 - 2018 419945 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Game Of Thrones 2015, Paso Robles, California, United States: Produced by winemaker Bob Cabral, this is a full-bodied Californian red wine blend of 8 grapes, mostly Syrah, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. The coald soak was 3 days before fermentation and no malolactic fermentation. Aromas of sweet dark berries and lots of toasty oak. As the back label reads for this marketing-driven wine branded with the HBO series "Game of Thrones": From the arid climate of Dorne to the lush vineyards of The Reach, the topography of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is as diverse as the wine we produce. Against the backdrop of the ever evolving struggle for the Iron Throne and amidst the howling winds of winter, nobles raise their glasses and toast to luck in the wars to come. The suggested pairings? Often served at feasts, paired with hearty meats, roasts and blackbird pie, poured at Small Council sessions. Drink: 2017 - 2021 515684 14.7% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Game Of Thrones Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley, California, United States: This Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is made from individual lots of wine that were racked after malolactic fermentation in the winter following harvest. Each lot was matured individually until late fall of 2016 when the components were blended. Aromas of smoky black plums and toasty oak. The back label of this marketing-driven wine branded with the HBO series "Game of Thrones" reads: Winemaker Bob Cabral has summoned his legendary skills to craft a wine worthy of the Iron Throne. Sourced from the finest wine growing kingdoms of the land, it is as complex as the tales and histories it acclaims. Revel in the winemaker’s art, for winter is here. My suggested pairings? Since revenge is a dish best served cold, this wine would be ideal. Also ideal for red weddings. Drink: 2017 - 2024 517896 14.7% D 750 mL $74.95 Score: 92/100. August 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Hobo Series Cabernet Franc 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A savoury, juicy, full-bodied BC Cabernet Franc with none of that bell pepper nonsense. Dark red berries and smoke on the nose and palate. Racy acidity. Decant 1-2 hours. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2021 854323 13.8% D 750 mL Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonny Doon Vineyard Tasting Room Le Cigare Volant Syrah Grenache 2011, California, United States: This wine is a blend of mostly syrah and grenache grapes, with some cinsault, mourvèdre and carignane grapes. I love the Bordeaux aroma I get first followed by cassis, blackcurrant and smoke, but most of all, fresh earth. Full-bodied and complex. The name of this wine refers to French vintners in 1954 who were concerned about flying saucers and extraterrestrials Long story). So the town council passed an ordinance banning flying saucers or “Flying Cigars” (Cigare Volant) from landing on the vines and damaging them. Syrah Grenache food pairings: barbecued chicken, beef stew, pasta, lamb cutlets. Drink: 2014 - 2021 975847 14.5% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. August 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

The Hatch Screaming Frenzy Rose 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A juicy, medium-bodied, rich BC rose with aromas of cranberry and tart cherry. Lots of racy acidity. Perfect for planked salmon. Drink: 2016 - 2019 464925 13.6% MD 750 mL $19.99 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

River Road Cabernet Rosé 2016, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Strawberry fresh and vibrant Niagara rose with mouth-watering juiciness for seafood and shellfish. Great value for the taste. Drink: 2016 - 2017 468223 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Bodegas Lozano Anoranza Frizzante Rose, La Mancha, Spain: A tasty, sweet Italian bubbly with fleshy ripe aromas and flavours of strawberries and raspberries. Love the low alcohol. Delicious as an after-dinner chilled drink or pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2017 - 2019 5.5% S 750 mL $18.00 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Konzelmann Estate Winery Riesling Sparkling, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A crisp, clean Niagara sparkling wine made from the Riesling grape. Dry and refreshing with notes of lime zest and white grapefruit. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2017 - 2019 31401 11.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodegas Lozano Anoranza Frizzante Rose, La Mancha, Spain: A lime-fresh, sweet apple-flavoured Italian bubbly. Love the low alcohol. Delicious as an after-dinner chilled drink or pair with grilled chicken. Nice citrus finish. Drink: 2017 - 2019 5.5% S 750 mL $18.00 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hermann Moser Rosi Mosi Zweigelt Sparkling Rosé, Kremstal, Austria: A vibrant Austrian bubbly made from the red grape Zweigelt. Notes of strawberries and raspberries. Racy acidity keeps this fresh, not cloying. Great as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Zweigelt Sparkling Rosé food pairings: seafood or roasted chicken. Drink: 2017 - 2019 11.5% M 750 mL $32.50 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

13th Street Winery Burger Blend 2016, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Such a pretty, light-bodied, floral Niagara white wine blend of 78% Riesling and 22% Pinot Grigio grapes. Pair with grilled Portabella mushroom, veggies and seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2019 469304 12% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Game Of Thrones Chardonnay 2016, Central Coast, California, United States: This robust Californian white wine is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling from the Central Coast region. The wine underwent a partial malolactic and barrel fermentation. Aromas of toasty oak and golden apples. Pair with roast chicken and family entanglements. As the back label reads for this marketing-driven wine branded with the HBO series "Game of Thrones": From the arid climate of Dorne to the lush vineyards of The Reach, the topography of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is as diverse as the wine we produce. Against the backdrop of the ever evolving struggle for the Iron Throne and amidst the howling winds of winter, nobles raise their glasses and toast to luck in the wars to come. Drink: 2016 - 2020 515676 13.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Talking Stories White 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Such a pretty BC white wine blend of aromatic grapes. Medium-bodied with aromas of white florals and lychee. Pair with mild curries. Drink: 2016 - 2019 13% MD 750 mL Score: 90/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc Roussanne Grenache Blanc 2011, Arroyo Seco, Central Coast, California, United States: This gorgeous Californian white blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc grapes, traditionally grown in the Rhone Valley, but in this wine achieve a Californian signature. The vineyard from which these grapes are sourced is named Beeswax, and is certified biodynamic by Demeter. This wine offers attractive notes of honey, beeswax (naturally), guava and lemongrass. Just slightly off-dry. Drink Roussanne Grenache Blanc food pairings: mild curry, roast chicken, crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops. Drink: 2016 - 2019 95331 14.3% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 93/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Svelte, Quebec, Canada: This floral, off-dry white wine has just 80 calories. Notes of apple blossom and honeydew. pair with carrot sticks and spring salads. Drink: 2017 - 2019 13% M 750 mL Score: 85/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Pinot Blanc 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Just when you thought Pinot Blanc was blah, along comes this vibrant, expressive BC white wine. This estate bottling of Pinot Blanc is crisp, clean and refreshing with lovely notes of lime and white melon. Perfect for fresh seafood and salads, or a sunny afternoon on the deck. Drink: 2016 - 2022 329441 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.90 Score: 92/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A vibrant, medium-bodied, mouth-watering BC Sauvignon Blanc produced by Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars in the Okanagan Valley, overlooking Vaseux Lake. Aromas of lemon zest, lime and other racy citrus fruit. Winemaking husband-and-wife team of Mavetys have done it again. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2016 - 2018 132571 12% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Black Tower Rivaner 2016, Rheinhessen, Germany: A simple, floral medium sweet German white wine made from the Rivaner grape. Pair with tacos. Drink: 2016 - 2018 336503 9.8% M 750 mL $9.05 Score: 85/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Hungry Point Unoaked Chardonnay 2016, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Fresh and crisp unoaked Chardonnay from one of Prince Edward County's best producers. Notes of white melon and Asian pear. Match with shellfish. Chardonnay food pairings: pasta with Alfredo sauce, pork tenderloin, lobster with melted butter, stuffed roasted chicken.. Drink: 2016 - 2020 401208 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Liberated Unoaked Chardonnay 2016, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific, fresh unoaked (thus liberated from oak) white wine from Prince Edward County made from the classic Chardonnay grape. Aromas of golden apple and fresh pear. Match with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: tuna or salmon sashimi and wasabi mayo or with shrimp pancakes with watercress, snow pea and poached pear salad. Drink: 2016 - 2019 303776 13% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 91/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Hungry Point Pinot Gris 2016, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Crisp and clean with notes of white melon and lime zest in this vibrant, medium-bodied Prince Edward County white wine made from Pinot Gris grapes. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2020 86868 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosehall Run Hungry Point Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Juicy and mouth-watering with vibrant fresh melon notes. Nothing herbal or grassy here. Love it. Medium-bodied. Pair with veal. Drink: 2016 - 2019 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rodney Strong Wine Estates Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Sonoma County, California, United States: A vibrant Californian Sauvignon Blanc from the cool climate of northern Sonoma. Aromas of lime zest, lemongrass, smoke and chives. Fresh, crisp and mouth-watering. Pair with shellfish and fresh seafood. Drink: 2015 - 2018 449207 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.20 Score: 89/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch B. Yanco 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A fresh BC white wine blend from a winery that has a fine sense of humour. Medium-bodied with notes of lemongass and white grapefruit. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2016 - 2018 13% D 750 mL $15.99 Score: 89/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Hobo Series Gewürztraminer 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous BC white wine made from Gewurztraminer grapes grown in the winery's Paven Vineyard. Aromas of lychee, rosewater and baking spice. Medium-bodied. Perfect for spicy dishes and curries. Drink: 2017 - 2019 12.5% MD 750 mL $21.99 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Screaming Frenzy Pinot Gris 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, fresh, crisp BC Pinot Gris. Aromas of white melon and lime. The grapes for this wine are grown in the winery's Kurkjian Farm Vineyard in east Kelowna. Pair with fresh seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2018 13% D 750 mL $19.99 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Screaming Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: This fresh, crisp, citrus-inflected BC Sauvignon Blanc is vibrant. Medium-bodied with a lime finish. The grapes are grown in Bob's Roadside Fruit Stand Vineyard. Perfect for seafood. Drink: 2016 - 2018 12.7% XD 750 mL $18.99 Score: 89/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hatch Screaming Frenzy Chardonnay 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A rich, butterscotch, toffeed BC Chardonnay from generous oak aging. The grapes are grown in the winery's Oak Street Vineyard. Full-bodied. Pair with butter chicken. Drink: 2017 - 2020 13.1% D 750 mL $18.99 Score: 87/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Steel Chardonnay 2015, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Crisp and fresh Niagara Chardonnay that doesn't touch a trace of oak barrel, thus "steel" as it was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to preserve its fruit freshness. Classic cool climate aromas of granny smith apple and Asian pear. Match with roast chicken. Drink: 2015 - 2019 483156 13% D 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Pinot Grigio 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Clean and refreshing with zesty notes of green apple, lime, and green melon. Terrific mouth-watering acidity. Medium-bodied. Great aperitif. Drink: 2016 - 2018 118513 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. August 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Reif Estate Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2014, Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A rich, full-bodied Niagara Chardonnay with aromas of golden apple and toasty oak. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: steamed mahi mahi, beef bourguignon, cheese, stuffed chicken roasted. Drink: 2015 - 2019 728022 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. August 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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