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Wine Picks September 4, 2017

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Reviewed Wines | All Wines | Group by Wine Type | Group by Country/Region

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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

Beronia Reserva 2012, Rioja Doca, Spain: Savoury, mouth-watering and tannic with attractive aromas of black fruit, smoke and toasty oak. This is a robust Spanish red wine blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes. The wine was aged 18 months in French and American oak barrels then another 20 months in bottle before being released from the winery. Pair with pepperoni pizza. Food pairings: blackened leg of lamb, spicy meat dishes, beef tenderloin. Drink: 2013 - 2018 50203 14% XD 750 mL $20.90 Score: 89/100. September 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lan Crianza 2013, Rioja D.O.C.A., Spain: Savoury and juicy with racy acidity and a firm tannic grip on the palate. This Robust Spanish red wine is made from the classic Tempranillo grape. Aromas of tanned leather and black fruit with some smoke on the finish. Good value. Food pairings: beef, roast of goat, roast lamb, smoked meats, ribs. Drink: 2013 - 2018 166538 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015, Cote De Beaune, Burgundy Aoc, France: A tart, earthy, classic Old World Burgundian Pinot Noir from one of the most respected names in the region, Joseph Drouhin. Aromas of sour cherry, cranberry and dried leaves. Medium-bodied and smooth. Racy acidity for roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2016 - 2020 512574 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

KWV Kwv Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Western Cape, South Africa: Savoury and juicy, offering incredibly great value. This robust South African red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon offers dried herbs, black plum and dark spice. Decant 2 hours. Pair with kobe beef. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2015 - 2019 328567 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2016, Swartland, South Africa: Campfire and hickory smoke on the nose of this generously oaked South African red wine made from Syrah grapes. Tasty and attractive, it features aromas of black almost charred fruit. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2019 595280 14.6% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Muga Reserva 2013, Rioja Doca, Spain: A robust Spanish red wine blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and 10% of Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) grapes. The wine was aged 24 months in French and American oak casks. Aromas of black fruit, toasty oak and smoke. Rich and generous. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2015 - 2021 177345 14% XD 750 mL $25.95 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Reserva 2011, Navarra, Spain: Full-bodied with black fruit and toasty oak. Firm tannic grip on the palate. Decant 1 hour and pair with meat lovers' pizza. Drink: 2013 - 2018 479014 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Conundrum 2014, California, United States: Sweet layers of dark chocolate and sweet black and purple plums. Smooth and full-bodied. Pair with Mexican mole. Food pairings: chicken mole, rib steak, dark chocolate. Drink: 2016 - 2019 294298 15.2% M 750 mL $24.95 Score: 87/100. September 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Mendoza, Argentina: A smooth, full-bodied Argentine with notes of fleshy sweet plums and blackberries. Supple with a good finish. Savoury Argentine red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Incredibly aromatic for Cabernet with aromas of black plums and smoke. Great value. Pair with grilled meats and steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pepper steak, beef empanadas, chicken cacciatore, venison burgers, hard cheese. Drink: 2016 - 2022 985002 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Iscay Malbec Cabernet Franc 2011, Mendoza, Argentina: The spectacular 2011 vintage of this blockbuster Argentine red wine is a blend of 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Franc grown in the estate vineyards of Russell, Maipu and Los Arboles, Uco Valley, Mendoza. Iscay means two or couple representing the two grapes in the blend. The Malbec contributes juicy red fruit, structure and minerality from the Uco Valley. The Cabernet Franc fruit from the Russell Vineyard is a warmer region contributing sweet red pepper and spice. The wine is not filtered and is aged in new French oak for 12 months, then the vineyard parcels are blended and the wine is aged another 6 months in French oak. Pair with slow roasted meats or rack of lamb. Drink: 2012 - 2025 450585 14.5% XD 750 mL $49.95 Score: 98/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Gran Medalla Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Mendoza, Argentina: A spectaclarly well-crafted wine, especially for this price point. Rich, full-bodied and savoury with aromas of dark fleshy berries and some meaty notes that are very satisfying. Lots of great layers. Pair with rare filet mignon. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2014 - 2021 415257 14.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cave Spring Cellars Cabernet Franc 2015, Niagara Escarpment Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific, vibrant Ontario Cabernet Franc wine. Rich and full-bodied with layers of dark plums, smoke and mocha. Beautifully balanced, with a fresh finish. Pair with grilled pork chops or lamb. Cabernet Franc food pairings: pasta with bolognese sauce, mushroom risotto, bouillabaisse, coq au vin, roasted guinea hen or game birds, steak tartar, hearty beef stews. Drink: 2016 - 2019 523001 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, California, United States: Mocha, juicy, savoury, dark chocolate seduction on the nose and palate. Supple, round, full-bodied and ripely delicious! Aromas of black plum and dark spice with mocha on the finish. The winery tasting room is housed in a former one-room schoolhouse in Paso Robles. Pair with roast beef. Pair with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2014 - 2017 212126 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Imperfecto Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina: The joke in the name is that this wine is imperfect because it has 3% Cabernet Franc ... 100% Malbec would be perfecto, according to the winemaker, such is the devotion to the country's flagship grape. However, there are no flaws here with this wine that is made from Malbec on its own-rooted massal selection and planted at 1300 metres above sea level in Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza. Loaded with fleshy ripe black fruit, pepper and smoke. Concentrated yet balanced. Pair with hearty stews and meat dishes. Drink: 2016 - 2026 516914 14% D 750 mL $53.95 Score: 95/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thornbury Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: A luscious and layered New Zealand Pinot Noir from the Central Otago region, arguably the best for Pinot Noir in the country given its cool nights and warm days. Aromas of ripe berry fruit and spices. Medium-bodied and satin smooth. Pair with planked salmon. Pinot Noir food pairings: poached salmon with sautéed snap peas and snow peas, Thai seafood noodle salad, butternut squash risotto,. Drink: 2016 - 2020 329706 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thornbury Merlot 2016, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: This supple New Zealand Merlot is made from vines planted in the estate Omahu Vineyards, in the famous Gimlett Gravels district of the Hawkes Bay region. This is mostly Merlot with a splash of Malbec and Merlot. Black fruit aromas with dark spice. Pair with grilled pork chops. Drink: 2016 - 2020 421189 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villa Maria Estate Private Bin Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand: A supple, silky smooth New Zealand Pinot Noir featuring aromas of ripe berry fruit and spice. Medium-bodied with plush tannins. Racy acidity for roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2016 - 2020 146548 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Villa Maria Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Clifford Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand: A fresh, crisp, mouth-watering New Zealand white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grown in the Clifford Bay district of the Marlborough Region. Aromas of chives, lemongrass and dried herbs. Pair with shellfish. Drink: 2016 - 2019 461359 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thornbury Pinot Gris 2017, Waipara, South Island, New Zealand: This vibrant New Zealand Pinot Gris is grown in Waipara, where the winery also grows Riesling. Racy acidity with medium-body. Notes of lime zest and orchard fruit. Pair with fresh seafood and shellfish. Drink: 2017 - 2019 421205 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. September 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thornbury Gisborne Chardonnay 2016, Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand: A juicy and generous New Zealand from the cool climate Gisborne region. Attractive aromas of green apple, peach and pear with a lovely weave of smoke. The vines are planted in loam soils. Pair with roast chicken or turkey. Chardonnay food pairings: seafood, full-flavoured chicken dishes with creamy, garlic or lemon sauce. Drink: 2017 - 2021 338755 13% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. September 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Flaxbourne Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand: A terrific, vibrant New Zealand white wine made from the country's classic grape Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of lime zest and lemongrass. Pair with shellfish and vegetarian dishes. Drink: 2015 - 2018 13% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 92/100. September 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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