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Wine Picks May 23, 2018

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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

Villa Annaberta Amarone Della Valpolicella 2012, Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy: Load of toasty oak, smoke, and vanilla spice on the nose and palate of this robust northern Italian red wine. Uses the appasimento method of dryin grapes before fermentation to concentrate flavour, alcohol and weight. Racy acidity on the palate. Pair with pepper steak. Drink: 2015 - 2023 433961 15% D 750 mL $38.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bogle Phantom 2014, California, United States: A powerhouse that needs serious cellar time! Very tannic, but that will resolve with aging, and then 2 hours decanting. Aromas of black fruit, toasty oak and tar. Pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2016 - 2022 14% D 750 mL $33.00 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bogle Pinot Noir 2014, California, United States: A juicy, fleshy ripe California Pinot Noir with a plush texture and layers of dark cherry splendour. Medium-bodied and smooth. Pair with veal. Drink: 2016 - 2021 751800 14% D 750 mL $24.00 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, California, United States: Full-bodied, luscious and supple Californian Cabernet with aromas of dark fleshy ripe fruit and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: beef stew with winter vegetables, pork tenderloin, brisket. Drink: 2017 - 2022 13.5% D 750 mL $18.85 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Grinder Pinotage 2015, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: Roasted coffee beans dipped in dark chocolate on the nose, espresso on the palate with smoky notes. This full-bodied, delicious red wine is made from South Africa's signature (and quite distinctive) Pinotage grape, a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir. This wine is dry, but it finishes with delicious flavours of dark chocolate. Pair it with grilled meats, especially grilled lamb. Pinotage food pairings: grilled meats, smoked pork, hard cheeses. Drink: 2015 - 2018 572107 14% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2016, Swartland W.O., South Africa: A full-bodied South African Shiraz with aromas of black fruit and toasty oak. Pair with hamburgers. Shiraz food pairings: gourmet burgers, grilled game meats, meaty stews. Drink: 2017 - 2022 536631 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California, United States: Sweet chocolate and mocha on the nose and palate from generous oak aging. Sweet plums and berries. Full-bodied and smooth. Coffee and espresso on the finish. Pair with Mexican mole. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb Bolognese, grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2017 - 2020 656561 14% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Espino Carmenère 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile: A full-bodied, smooth Chilean red wine made from the country's iconic Carmenere grape (not to be confused with Merlot). Aromas of dark plums, berries, spice and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Carmenère food pairings: lamb cutlets, beef tenderloin, pork shoulder roast. Drink: 2018 - 2021 464412 13.7% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stonehedge Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: A full-bodied, darkly concentrated Californian red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the cool climate of Sonoma's Alexander Valley. Aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak. Pair with a rare steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: prime rib roast, gourmet burgers, tourtière. Drink: 2018 - 2024 552174 13.7% D 750 mL $89.95 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Winery Gamay 2015, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous Niagara Gamay, with aromas of black and dark red ripe plum and dark berries with a touch of smoke. Medium- to full-bodied and supple. Perfect for grilled meats and game dishes. Gamay food pairings: vegetarian lasagna, veal chops. Drink: 2018 - 2022 291112 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cremaschi Furlotti Carmenère 2015, Peñasco Vineyard, Loncomilla Valley, Maule Valley, Chile: A full-bodied, smooth Chilean red wine made from the country's iconic Carmenere grape (not to be confused with Merlot). Aromas of dark plums, berries, spice and smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Carmenère food pairings: braised beef dishes, turkey, soft cheese, roasted pork, lamb. Drink: 2018 - 2022 549741 13.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cesari Amarone 2013, Valpolicella, Italy: A gorgeous, plush, full-bodied Italian red wine. This Amarone is made using the traditional appassimento style of drying the grapes on straw mats before fermentation to concentration the flavour, weight and alcohol of the finished wine. Aromas of black cherry liqueur, smoke and spice. Pair with roast beef. Drink: 2018 - 2022 426718 14% XD 750 mL $39.40 Score: 93/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cafe Culture Pinotage 2016, Western Cape, South Africa: Very, very coffee, espresso and mocha from the nose to the finish. You'll adore and abhor this style, but you need to try it at least once. Pinotage made in the coffee style has become a cult favourite. This isn't sweet but it beats coffee spiked with anything and has lower alcohol when compared to Bailey's etc. Pair with coffee-rubbed meats. Pinotage food pairings: coffee-rubbed steak or pork. Drink: 2017 - 2020 292466 14% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Montresor Amarone Della Valpolicella 2015, Veneto Docg, Italy: Black cherry liqueur and dark spice on the nose and palate of this attractive Italian Amarone. Made using the traditional method of appassimento: dry the grapes before fermentation to concentrate their flavours and the body of the wine. Pleasantly bitter finish. Pair with roast beef. Drink: 2018 - 2025 240416 15% D 750 mL $38.50 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 148 Carmenère 2016, Las Pataguas Vineyard, Rapel Valley, Chile: Full-bodied with robust aromas of black fruit and toasty oak. Fleshy ripe black plums on the finish with some dark spice. This Chilean red wine is made from the country's signature grape Carmenere. Pair with this roast beef. Carmenère food pairings: thick steaks, veal medallions in a red wine sauce. Drink: 2017 - 2021 30957 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Concannon Pinot Noir 2016, California, United States: Supple, smooth Californian Pinot Noir with aromas of fleshy ripe dark cherry. Racy acidity for seafood. Drink: 2018 - 2022 470294 14% D 750 mL $15.00 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bogle Petite Sirah 2015, California, United States: Savoury dried herbs and smoke on the nose of this full-bodied, delicious Californian red wine made from Petite Sirah grapes. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2017 - 2021 431478 14% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel Zinfandel 2015, California, United States: Love this old vine Zin! The power and concentration of this wine's flavour comes from those wizened old vines: like people, they're full of character. Aromas of cedar smoke and dark berries. Smooth and full-bodied. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2017 - 2021 13246 13% D 750 mL $24.50 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

E. Guigal 2014, Cotes Du Rhone, France: An amazing value for this quality. Savoury, chewy and full-bodied southern French red wine from the Rhone Valley. Guigal is a terrific producer, and offers great value. Aromas of black plums, bacon fat and dark spice. Pair with hearty meat dishes especially a grilled steak. Food pairings: grilled hamburger, barbecued lamb cutlets, pork chops. Drink: 2017 - 2024 259721 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Knot Shingleback Shiraz, Mclaren Vale, Australia: Blackened fruit and charred oak on the nose and palate of this robust Australian red wine made from Shiraz grapes. A smoky, brooding wine for pizza night. Shiraz food pairings: meat lovers' pizza, hamburgers, juicy steak. Drink: 2011 - 2014 619395 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Perrin & Fils Reserve 2016, Cotes Du Rhône, France: Terrific value, especially at this price! This southern French red wine from the heart of the Rhone Valley is made by the Perrin family, which also produces the coveted Chateau Beaucastel and farm organically. Smoky, dark, rich and full-bodied, this is a superb wine for anyone who wants a drier style of Syrah (Shiraz). Pair with grilled meats or a pepper steak. Drink: 2018 - 2023 363457 13.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Trius Winery at Hillebrand Rosé 2017, Niagara Pensinsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A pretty new label on this Niagara rose. Medium-bodied with cherry-berry aromas. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2019 341743 12% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pelee Island Winery Lola Rose 2016, Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada: A lightly spritzed (fizz) wine with aromas of bubblegum, strawberry jam and bananas and a little effervescence on the tongue. Serve well chilled. Drink: 2017 - 2018 450981 13% MD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 85/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Rosehall Run Pixie, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A light, pretty Ontario sparkling wine with notes of field strawberries. Works as an aperitif or companion to steamed lobster. Food pairings: summer salads, hors d'oeuvres. Drink: 2016 - 2020 492959 11% MD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Blanc De Blanc 2012, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Absolutely top-notch, premium sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, thus blanc de blanc (white wine of white grapes). Toasty, creamy, rich and refreshing. Aromas of freshly baked bread and golden apples. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or companion to shellfish, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Highly recommended. Drink: 2014 - 2020 12% D 750 mL $50.00 Score: 94/100. May 2018. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Bogle Chardonnay 2016, California, United States: Round, supple, juicy and buttery Californian Chardonnay. Classic. Full-bodied but not heavy. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $20.00 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Hester Creek Estate Winery Pinot Gris Viognier 2017, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, light-bodied floral BC white wine blend of Pinot Gris and Viognier grapes. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2018 - 2020 13.2% D 750 mL $16.00 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Crios Susana Balbo Dominio Del Plata Torrontés 2017, Mendoza, Argentina: Lovely, floral and highly aromatic. This light- to medium-bodied Argentine white wine is made from the country's iconic white grape Torrontes by one of the most respected winemakers, Susan Balbo. Pair with seafood and shellfish. Torrontés food pairings: seafood, salad. Drink: 2018 - 2021 1834 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fuzion Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2017, Mendoza, Argentina: Floral and pretty and light and highly aromatic as we expect Torrontes to be in this blend with Pinot Grigio. Great aperitif or companion to seafood. Finishes with notes pineapple and pear. Drink: 2018 - 2020 168419 13.5% MD 750 mL $10.75 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Piattelli Vineyards Reserve Torrontés 2016, Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina: The Andes mountain range that separate Argentina and Chile is featured on the label of this wine. The vines are planted at high altitudes in Salta in the northwest region of the country. Aromas of white flowers, baking spice and some toasty oak. Pair with rich seafood dishes. Torrontés food pairings: prawn salad, grilled chicken breast with mango mandarin coulis, seafood pizza. Drink: 2018 - 2020 536672 14% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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