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Wine Picks October 30, 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.

Red Wine

Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, well-balanced BC red wine blend of Cabernet and Merlot grapes. Aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak. Pair with a rare steak. Cabernet Merlot food pairings: duck, braised beef ribs, pasta with Bolognese sauce, Asiago cheese, or eggplant Parmesan. Drink: 2014 - 2018 145102 13% XD 750 mL $16.45 Score: 88/100. October 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

vinAmit√© Cellars Hidden Corner Bordeaux Blend 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied BC red with high alcohol. Aromas of black fleshy ripe fruit and toasty oak. A little warm on the finish. Pair with prime rib. Drink: 2016 - 2019 16.3% D 750 mL $53.79 Score: 88/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

vinAmit√© Cellars Gamay Noir 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied Gamay with unusually high alcohol and a strong acidic attack on the palate. Aromas of dark cherry and smoke. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2016 - 2018 14.9% D 750 mL $33.76 Score: 87/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank 2014, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, beautifully aromatic BC red wine that is a traditional "Right Bank" Bordeaux blend of Merlot-dominating Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Aromas of black fruit, mocha and espresso from two years of aging in French and American oak. Only 1,091 cases were produced. Great depth, concentration and character. Drink: 2014 - 2020 14.9% D 750 mL $39.99 Score: 94/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Oliver Twist Estate Winery Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Full-bodied BC red wine blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. Aromas of blackened fruit and toasty oak. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2015 - 2019 13.9% D 750 mL $34.35 Score: 87/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cellar Hand 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Dense and dark and full-bodied BC Cabernet Franc with aromas of black currant and blackberry. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2015 - 2018 13.9% D 750 mL $23.98 Score: 89/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Oliver Twist Estate Winery Rockabilly Red 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Sweet ripe berries and plums on the nose and palate of this smooth, full-bodied BC red wine. A lick of dark spice and black licorice on the finish. Pair with gourmet hamburgers. Drink: 2016 - 2019 14% D 750 mL $33.14 Score: 87/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

vinAmit√© Cellars Petit Verdot 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A robust BC red wine made from the Petit Verdot grape, one of the five grapes traditionally in Bordeaux blends, but not usually a stand-alone grape. Aromas of blackened fruit and toasty oak. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2019 16.1% D 750 mL $66.43 Score: 89/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Full-bodied BC Cabernet with lots of cellar potential. Aromas of cassis and black currant. Firm tannic grip so leave in the cellar a few years at least then decant for 2 hours and pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2016 - 2022 553321 14.5% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cisplatino Progreso Tannat 2014, Uruguay: A full-bodied, tannic Urguay red wine made from the country's leading red wine grape Tannat. Aromas of blackened fruit and toasty oak. Pair with grilled meats. Tannat food pairings: meatlover's pizza, lamb, spicy sausage, beef, meatloaf. Drink: 2017 - 2020 514760 13.7% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. October 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Syrah Viognier 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Sexy, hedonistic BC Syrah with all goodness on the nose and palate of smoke, espresso, black fruit and mystery. Full-bodied and supple. A take-me-now wine. If you don't, I will. Finishes with black pepper, violets and longing. Pair with rare steak. Drink: 2017 - 2020 14% D 750 mL $34.05 Score: 92/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Bourbon Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Monterey County, California, United States: Full-bodied Californian Cabernet with enticing aromas of wood smoke and fleshy ripe black plums. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2021 464149 15% D 750 mL $20.95 Score: 91/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Motto Wines Unabashed Zinfandel 2015, California, United States: Juicy purple and black plum aromas with dark spice and smoke. Full-bodied, but not heavy. This smooth, robust Californian red wine is made from the state's iconic grape Zinfandel. Some terrific notes of cherry and blackberry on the finish. Pair with roast turkey and grilled meats. Zinfandel food pairings: meat lovers' pizza, chicken wings, grilled burgers, sausages. Drink: 2016 - 2019 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. October 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cusumano Nero D'avola 2016, Sicily, Italy: The Cusumano family has been making wine for more than 60 years on the southern Italian island of Sicily. Their expertise and craft shows in the glass of this exceptional red wine. Such terrific value! This Italian red wine is made from the Nero d'Avola grape, the iconic red grape of the island of Sicily. Layers of fleshy black (nero) fruit and pepper spice. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2016 - 2019 143164 14% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. October 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Syrah 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: This wine blows my mind, really. How does this wine get better every year when it started off with such a high bar? Black pepper sprinkled over wild black cherries on a bed of violets. Full-bodied, exotic and delightful. Layers of hedonistic pleasure. The finish goes on and on. Syrah food pairings: wild game, bison or duck. Drink: 2017 - 2024 130989 15.1% XD 750 mL $39.90 Score: 94/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Imperfecto Malbec 2013, 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: 93/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quails' Gate Estate Winery Merlot 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia B.C. V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific BC Merlot year after year featuring fleshy rip black plum aromas. Quail's Gate is what I'd call a merlot specialist, having elevated the whole varietal for the country. Love the cedar brush finish that leaves a wispy trail right back to the bottle. Superb craftsmanship. Pair with Angus steak, cheddar cheese, beef quesadillas. Merlot food pairings: roast pork, pulled pork sandwiches, veal scaloppini. Drink: 2017 - 2021 639633 12% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cusumano Syrah 2016, Sicily, Italy: A juicy, smooth, full-bodied, beautifully textured red wine from southern Italy. This Sicilian Syrah punches well above its weight. Pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2016 - 2019 145490 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. October 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sella & Mosca Di Sardegna Riserva Cannonau 2014, Sardinia, Italy: A robust, mature-tasting Italian red wine with classic aromas of smoke, tanned leather, dried earth and tobacco leaves. Made from old vines and aged in oak barrels. Amazing for the price. Pair with rare steak. Cannonau food pairings: braised beef dishes, turkey, soft cheese, roasted pork, lamb. Drink: 2015 - 2020 425488 14% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. October 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Cabernet Franc 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Savoury, meaty and juicy BC Cabernet Franc without a trace of bell pepper or herbal notes. Full-bodied and smooth with layers of fleshy black plum and dark spice. Pair with lamb. Highly recommended. Drink: 2018 - 2023 14.8% D 750 mL $50.00 Score: 92/100. October 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Bourbon Barrels Chardonnay 2016, California, United States: Rich and buttery and full-bodied Californian Chardonnay with aromas of of golden apple and pear and toffee. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2017 - 2020 516450 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. October 2017. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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