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Wine Picks December 7, 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

Peter Lehmann Wines Clancy's Red Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2015, Australia: A juicy, full-bodied Australian red wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot grapes. Aromas of fleshy ripe plums and blackberries. Perfect for grilled meats. Drink: 2015 - 2020 611467 14.5% XD 750 mL $18.00 Score: 90/100. December 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Portrait Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A distinguished, balanced and well-structured Barossa Cabernet with classic aromas of cassis and blackberry. This wine elongates the mouth-feel and finish. The wine was aged in 10$ America oak and second-fill French oak. Perfect for BBQ meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued spare ribs, grilled steaks. Drink: 2015 - 2021 605741 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Stonewell Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Exceptional from start to finish. Still tarry and young, needing cellar time, but it's smokin' hot already. Stonewell selects its exceptional fruit from a sub-region of the western Barossa Valley, from vines that were planted in 1885, the oldest in the region. The 2012 vintage is a powerful one that has a long life ahead of it. Drink: 2017 - 2029 724625 14.5% XD 750 mL $80.00 Score: 97/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Oliver BC 2016, Oliver, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A richly layered, full-bodied BC blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah grapes. Aromas of fleshy ripe black plum and dark berries. Pair with grilled lamb. Some espresso and spice on the finish. Great cellar wine but also enjoyable now. Drink: 2016 - 2021 13.8% D 750 mL Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Paso Robles, California, United States: A balanced, full-bodied Californian red wine made from the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Aromas of blackberry and cassis. Pair with rare steak. Drink: 2014 - 2018 738823 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. December 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Portrait Shiraz 2014, Barossa, Australia: Juicy black and purple plums aromas and flavours. Very rich and concentrated. The grapes come from an elevated region of the Barossa Valley and express that cooler vibrancy in the wine. Aromas of dark chocolate and black plum. This is a terrific wine, especially for the price. Pair with gourmet hamburgers. Shiraz food pairings: steak, barbecued quail, roast beef. Drink: 2015 - 2022 572875 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vinamite Cellars Compass 2015, Oliver, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied BC red wine blend of 33% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 10 Malbec grapes produced during a long hot summer, which in turn helped to create very high alcohol in this wine. Aromas of blackberry liqueur and mocha and toasty oak. Decant for 1 hour and pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2015 - 2018 16.1% D 750 mL $36.18 Score: 88/100. December 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Summit Winemaker's Reserve 2013, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A robust, BC red wine blend of 35% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Malbec grapes. The wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels. This is the winery's flagship wine and made from only 42 barrels. Needs cellar time to come together. Firm tannic grip. Aromas of wild cassis and black currants and toasty oak. Decant 2 hours and pair with rare steak. Food pairings: Beef Stroganoff with Cremini & Porcini Mushrooms to be the perfect pairing. The wine's Tannin's is slightly mellowed by the meat that simply melts in your mouth, along with complementing flavors of mushrooms in a rich sauce. Drink: 2018 - 2022 14% D 750 mL $50.00 Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Gamay Noir 2016, Similkameen Valley, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous, smooth, robust BC Gamay Noir. Suprisingly high alcohol, though it doesn't taste warm or hot. Fleshy ripe cherries and blackberries with a lick of spice. Perfect for grilled meats. Gamay Noir food pairings: Try a Planked Salmon with a Soy Glaze or Grilled Salmon with a Dijon Glaze. Roast Chicken with Herbs de Provence. Drink: 2017 - 2020 14.2% D 750 mL $21.00 Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Meritage 2012, Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied BC red wine blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Cabernet Franc grapes. The wine was aged for 30 months in French oak barrels. Classic aromas of black currant and tart blackberry and toasty oak. Pair with rare meats. Meritage food pairings: Port Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs, Grilled Rib Eye with Potato Gratin. Drink: 2015 - 2022 14.8% D 750 mL $35.00 Score: 90/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Futures Shiraz 2014, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: This truly shows the pedigree of the Barossa region. The grapes come from de-classified Stonewell parcels (the flagship wine), so this is a steal at $30. The wine is aged 30% in new French oak barrels for 14-16 months. More than 120 different parcels of grapes go into this wine. It's supple and beautifully nuanced, yet has full-bodied richness. Shiraz food pairings: smoky sausages, meat stews. Drink: 2016 - 2023 301309 14% D 750 mL $27.00 Score: 93/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

MontGras Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Maipo Valley, Chile: Terrific structure and concentration of flavour in this value-priced Chilean Cabernet. Aromas of ripe blackberry and cassis wrapped in smoke. Pair with prime rib. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: Marbled red meats, fine cheeses, duck confit, rosemary lamb ribs or oven roasted goat (Strong foods with high fatty content). Drink: 2017 - 2025 57901 14.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2014, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: A blockbuster Australian wine with savoury, juicy, meaty, lip-smacking flavours! Enticing eucalyptus and blackberry aromas in this full-bodied, smooth Australian red wine. Loaded with concentrated dark red fruit flavours on the finish, along with a spice kick. This robust red wine was not fined or filtered. Pair with meat lovers pizza or prime rib. Shiraz food pairings: black bean soup, blue cheese, caramelized onion dip. Drink: 2015 - 2021 984021 14.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bolla Rhetico 2010, Italy: A superb, elegant Amarone - not a descriptor you usually hear associated with this robust style of Italian red wine. There's a fine balance and a long finish. Aromas of dark red and black fruit, dark spice and smoke. Pair with roast beef. Drink: 2017 - 2023 16.5% D 750 mL $35.00 Score: 92/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

MontGras Reserva Carmenère 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Terrific value for this full-bodied red. Loaded with black plums, berries and some smoke. Evenly oaked with a robust, satisfying weight. Yum! Drink: 2016 - 2019 178624 13.5% XD 750 mL $11.95 Score: 88/100. December 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tawse Winery Inc. Quarry Road Pinot Noir 2014, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A smooth, medium-bodied Niagara red wine made from the heartbreak grape Pinot Noir. Aromas of tart cherry and earth. Pair with roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: braised lamb with mushroom, duck comfit, grilled veal chops. Drink: 2015 - 2021 307686 13% D 750 mL $34.95 Score: 89/100. December 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Discovery Series Baco Noir 2016, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A rich, full-bodied Ontario red wine made from the hybrid grape Baco Noir, for which Ontario is famous. Aromas of dark chocolate and mocha from oak aging, along with fleshy ripe black plums. Perfect for roast beef. Drink: 2017 - 2019 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 88/100. December 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ruffino Il Ducale 2015, Tuscany Igt, Italy: A full-bodied, lip-smacking tasty Italian red wine blend of Sangiovese (55%), Merlot (20%) and Syrah (25%) grapes. This Tuscan red wine offers great aromas of tart dark cherry and earth with some smoke. Lots of racy acidity for tomato sauce, lasagna and spicy sausages. Smooth and full-bodied. Drink: 2016 - 2022 27797 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château des Charmes Estate Bottled Gamay 2016, Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A light-bodied Niagara quaffer made from the Gamay Noir grape. Tart cherry and some mocha. Drink: 2016 - 2018 57349 13% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. December 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nino Negri Le Tense 2014, Valtelliana Superiore Docg, Italy: A beautiful, full-bodied Italian red wine with aromas of dark cherry, smoke and fresh earth. Mouth-watering juiciness is perfect for tangy tomato sauce. Drink: 2016 - 2022 699629 13.5% XD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 90/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nino Negri Sfursat Val Tellina 2015, Lombardy D.O.C.G., Italy: A gorgeous northern Italian red made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Although high in alcohol, it tastes balanced and elegant. It still has a long life ahead of it, so keep it in the cellar a few more years at least. Aromas of violets, truffle, dark fruit and smoke. Pair with truffle-accented dishes. Drink: 2018 - 2020 84848 15.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 92/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nino Negri Vignetto Fracia 2015, Lombardy Docg, Italy: A lovely, juicy northern Italian red wine with aromas of tart cherry, earth and dried leaves. Full-bodied with mouth-watering acidity for tangy tomato sauces. Drink: 2017 - 2022 13.5% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 91/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nino Negri 5 Stelle Sfursat Valtellina Superiore 2013, Lombardie Docg, Italy: A beautiful, full-bodied, elegant northern Italian red wine with classic aromas of wild dark cherry, smoke, dried leaves and violets. Racy acidity of tangy tomato sauces and hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2015 - 2022 525717 15.5% XD 750 mL $61.50 Score: 94/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta Sant'antonio Monti Garbi Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2014, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: A juicy, full-bodied Italian red wine with generous aromas of fleshy ripe purple plums and blueberries. Pair with meat lovers' pizza. Valpolicella Superiore food pairings: vegetarian pizza, vegetable and lentil stew, stuffed tomatoes with beef, pork and roasted garlic. Drink: 2015 - 2020 29850 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. December 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta Sant'antonio Selezione Antonio Castagnedi Amarone Della Valpolicella 2013, Verona D.O.C.G., Italy: A smokey, full-bodied northern Italian red wine made using the Appasimento method of drying grapes before fermentation. Generous aromas of black fruit and dark spice. Perfect for roast beef. Drink: 2014 - 2022 435222 15% D 750 mL $45.85 Score: 92/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loveblock Pinot Noir 2014, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand: A gorgeous Pinot Noir from New Zealand's Central Otago region, renowned for this grape and style. Luscious ripe yet balanced with aromas of fresh cherry and a lick of spice. Pair with duck, roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2015 - 2021 313924 13.5% XD 750 mL $28.95 Score: 93/100. December 2017. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Peter Lehmann Wines Wigan Riesling 2012, Eden Valley, Australia: The vines for this stunning Australian Riesling are planted in sparse limestone soils, quite the opposite of Barrosa terroir. The result is a tightly wound, racy, exciting Riesling with a nervy edge of acidity for seafood. This wine will live on past your grandchildren. The wine is named in honour of a winemaker who had been at the helm for 34 years. Highly recommended. Drink: 2012 - 2022 303305 11.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 94/100. December 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Portrait Riesling 2016, Eden Valley, Australia: The vines for this stunning Australian Riesling are planted in sparse limestone soils, quite the opposite of Barossa terroir. The result is a tightly wound, racy, exciting Riesling with a nervy edge of acidity for seafood. This wine will live on past your grandchildren. The wine is named in honour of a winemaker who had been at the helm for 34 years. Highly recommended. Drink: 2016 - 2024 303305 11.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 93/100. December 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Peter Lehmann Wines Portrait Riesling 2012, Barossa, Australia: The vines for this stunning Australian Riesling are planted in sparse limestone soils, quite the opposite of Barossa terroir. The result is a tightly wound, racy, exciting Riesling with a nervy edge of acidity for seafood. This wine will live on past your grandchildren. The wine is named in honour of a winemaker who had been at the helm for 34 years. Highly recommended. Drink: 2014 - 2024 303305 11.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 93/100. December 2017. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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