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Wine Picks May 22, 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

KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2014, Western Cape W.O., South Africa: Full-bodied and robust South African Shiraz with aromas of cassis, tanned leather and dark spice. Perfect for pepperoni pizza. Awesome price for this quality. Shiraz food pairings: lamb tangine, roast rack of lamb, beef long ribs on the barbie. Drink: 2015 - 2019 561142 14.3% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Troublemaker Blend 9, Paso Robles, California, United States: This robust southern Californian red wine is a blend of 71% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 8% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Mourvèdre grapes. Lots of black fruit, toasty oak and spices on the nose and palate. Pair with grilled meats. Food pairings: lamb shanks in red wine and roasted garlic, grilled lamb lollipops, stuffed lamb tenderloin. Drink: 2016 - 2021 478636 15.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Irony Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, North Coast, California, United States: A solid Californian Cabernet that's full-bodied with classic blackberry and cassis aromas, and just enough toasty oak. Polished tannins, good balance. Finishes with attractive wood smoke and black fruit. Pair it with a pepper steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: hearty meat dishes, hard cheese. Drink: 2017 - 2021 25106 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calvet Reserve Des Remparts 2015, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux Aoc, France: A tannic Bordeaux red wine blend of mostly Merlot grapes but some Cabernet. Slightly unripe fruit. Pair with rare steak. Food pairings: prime rib. Drink: 2015 - 2018 31898 12.5% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 84/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ruffino Il Ducale 2014, Tuscany Igt, Italy: A robust, juicy 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 and spicy sausages. Smooth and full-bodied. Drink: 2015 - 2020 27797 14% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel 2015, California, United States: A gorgeous California Zin, with a velvet-tongued texture. This full-bodied Californian red wine is so supple. Perfect for grilled meats with its black cherry flavours and hickory smoke on the finish. Zinfandel food pairings: spaghetti Bolognaise, aged cheddar, grilled lamb loin, grilled duck breast, Italian sausage burgers. Drink: 2015 - 2020 359257 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Reserve Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: An amazing wine for the price! Wow. This luscious, full-bodied Argentine red wine is made from the country's classic Malbec grape. Aromas of fleshy ripe blackberry and black plum with some smoke. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2018 - 2021 614651 14% D 750 mL $12.45 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Seven Falls Merlot 2013, Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington, United States: A terrific Washington State red wine made from a supple, yet complex Merlot grape. Savoury, meaty mocha and dark chocolate on this nose of this delicious and full-bodied Washington Merlot. Layered and smooth. Pair with grilled pork chops. Merlot food pairings: Brazilian-style flank steak, rack of BBQ ribs, veal Porterhouse, grilled lamb, cheese. Drink: 2015 - 2020 420711 14.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fontanafredda Serralunga D'alba Barolo 2013, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: A fabulous Barolo from a strong vintage. Not fruit forward but rather dust, smoke, tar, leather and earth. Good acidity for truffled risotto or wild boar. Some tannins still though they are taming. Decant 1-2 hours. Pair with truffle-accented meat dishes and wild game. Barolo food pairings: hamburgers, aged cheese, venison, grilled beef, roast veal. Drink: 2018 - 2025 943290 14% XD 750 mL $44.95 Score: 93/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Woodbridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, California, United States: A sturdy well-priced Californian Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of cedar smoke and cassis. Pair with a rare steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: prime rib, filet mignon. Drink: 2017 - 2020 48611 13% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile: An amazing price for this quality! Juicy, supple and delicious with aromas of ripe black plums and blackberries a hint of smoke. Pair with a pepper steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: red meats, ripe cheeses, meat sauce pasta dishes. Drink: 2015 - 2018 253872 13.5% D 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Trapiche Pure Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: A terrific robust Argentine red wine, especially for this price point! Full-bodied, juicy and savoury Malbec with aromas and flavours of black fruit and toasty oak. Pair with prime rib. Drink: 2016 - 2019 370924 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Odfjell Vineyards Orzada Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Maipo Valley, Chile: Juicy and delicious Chilean red wine made form the classic Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Aromas of ripe blackberries and plum. Pair with hamburgers. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb tangine, roast rack of lamb, beef long ribs on the barbie. Drink: 2018 - 2022 542407 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Alamos Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: A full-bodied Argentine red wine made from the country's iconic Malbec grape. It's balanced and smooth with aromas of fleshy ripe black plums. Perfect for barbecue and meat lover's pizza. Drink: 2018 - 2020 295139 13.5% D 750 mL $13.90 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

1000 Stories Zinfandel 2015, California, United States: Sweet purple and black plums on the nose with dark spices. Juicy, smooth, supple and full-bodied. This Californian Zinfandel demands barbecued meats. The small batch Zin is aged in new and used bourbon oak barrels, which adds a lick of spice and caramel on the finish. Zinfandel food pairings: grilled hangar steak, sausage casserole, Hawaiian pizza. Drink: 2018 - 2022 480244 15.6% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Primarius Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon, United States: Juicy, velvet smooth Oregon Pinot Noir. Aromas of dark cherry and spice. Supple and smooth. Perfect for grilled chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb chops, grilled salmon, sautéed pork tenderloin. Drink: 2018 - 2025 402180 12% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cantina Di Venosa Verbo Aglianico Del Vulture 2015, Basilicata D.O.P., Italy: Aromas of dates and prunes on the nose and palate of this robust, smooth red wine. Perhaps a year past peak or a little oxidized? Aglianico Del Vulture food pairings: pork cutlets, Salisbury steak, vegetarian chili. Drink: 2018 - 2023 538561 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Abbotts & Delaunay 2015, Corbières, Languedoc A.P., France: A robust southern French red wine with attractive aromas of black fruit and toasty oak. Incredible value! Pair with a rare steak. Food pairings: prime rib roast, roast duck, grilled sausages on the barbie. Drink: 2018 - 2022 537944 13.9% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Bodegas Alto Moncayo Grenache 2015, Campo De Borja D.O., Spain: Stunning depth and richness in this Spanish red wine. Although it weighs in at 16% alcohol, it doesn't taste hot as it's got great balance. Very luxurious on the palate like liquid velvet. Aromas of fleshy ripe black plums. Grenache food pairings: veal stew with sautéed vegetables, roast quail wrapped in prosciutto, beef bourguignon, grilled tuna with a pepper crust, pork tenderloin. Drink: 2016 - 2019 396358 16% XD 750 mL $51.00 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenute Sella Bramaterra 2011, Bramaterra, Piemonte D.O.C., Italy: An interesting Italian red wine: full-bodied and smooth with some dark cherry and prune aromas. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2015 - 2025 13% XD 750 mL $32.00 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenute Sella Lessona Lessona, Piemonte D.O.C 2012, Lessona, Piemonte D.O.C, Italy: A beautiful, mature Italian red wine with aromas of tanned leather, dried herbs, violets and dried cherry. Full-bodied, supple and complex. Pair with veal. Drink: 2015 - 2025 13% XD 750 mL $38.00 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Joel Gott Wines Pinot Noir 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States: A juicy, mouth-watering absolutely luscious Oregon Pinot Noir from a top producer! Aromas of fleshy ripe cherry and berry with a lick of baking spice on the long fnish. Pair with veal or roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2022 13.5% XD 750 mL $44.77 Score: 93/100. May 2018. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mouton Cadet 2015, Bordeaux, France: A robust Bordeaux red wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. The tannins are firm so decant 1-2 hours. Aromas of cassis and blackcurrant. Pair with a rare steak. Food pairings: steak, prime rib, brisket, spring lamb. Drink: 2018 - 2022 943 13.5% XD 750 mL $16.15 Score: 87/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Velvet Devil Merlot 2016, Washington State, United States: The 2016 vintage of this Washington Merlot offers lots of pleasure in the glass. Hailing from a cold climate, this Merlot features aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry. Pair with grilled pork chops and lamb. Drink: 2018 - 2022 394742 13.5% D 750 mL $18.85 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Kim Crawford Rosé 2017, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: A dry, refreshing New Zealand rose. Aromas of small strawberries and field berries and a lick of orange zest on the finish. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or pair it with seafood, shellfish, salads and vegetarian dishes. Rosé food pairings: seafood, quiche, planked salmon, seared tuna. Drink: 2018 - 2020 650325 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Meiomi Wines Rose 2016, Sonoma Monterey Santa Barbara, United States: A lovely, delicate, dry Californian rose with aromas of small field berries. Mouth-watering and refreshing. Perfect as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2017 - 2019 13.2% D 750 mL $21.96 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Gerard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2015, Languedoc, Midi A.P., France: Freshness is everything in this wine. Grenache is ideal for rosé because it matures easily and quickly, has vibrant aromatics, yet keeps its zesty acidity for food. This lovely southern French rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. It's elegant, yet full-bodied for rosé and very satisfying. This grape has a short vegetative cycle and yields enough for production while keeping the fresh character. The bottle for this rosé was created in a competition for students at design schools in Paris. There is actually a rose shape and cut to the glass on bottom, as well as an elegant glass stopper on the top. pair with planked salmon or seared tuna. Rosé food pairings: Seared tuna, Sushi, Seafood Nebayaki Udon. Drink: 2015 - 2017 373985 12.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Juve Y Camps Reserva Brut Pinot Noir Rosé, Cava D.O., Spain: A robust, muscular non-vintage Pinot Noir Brut Rose sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes, thus the dark hue and deep flavour of cherry and dark berries. Pair with hard cheeses. Pinot Noir Rosé food pairings: tapas, charcuteries, nuts, fruit flan. Drink: 2016 - 2019 385088 13% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zardetto Molín Prosecco Superiore 2015, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy: A terrific Proscco with aromas of tropical fruit such as guava and peach. Zesty and refreshing. Perfect for shellfish. Prosecco Superiore food pairings: charcuterie, cheeses, seafood canapes, egg dishes. Drink: 2018 - 2020 514521 11.1% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ruffino Sparkling Rose, Italy: A terrific Italian sparkling wine creted from a blend of mostly Glera and a little Pinot Noir. Both are fermented separately, then blended. The winery then uses the charmat method for the secondary fermentation. Aromas of small field strawberries, raspberries and spice. Racy acidity for seafood and shellfish. Drink: 2018 - 2022 632950 11% D 750 mL $21.60 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Central Valley, Chile: A terrific value for this crisp, refreshing Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of freshly cut grass and chives. Pair with seafood. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: an excellent aperitif, pairs well with shellfish and salads.. Drink: 2017 - 2019 23606 13.5% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2016, Venezie I.G.T., Italy: Refreshing, crisp and clean with lemon zest and lime. Racy acidity for fresh seafood and shellfish. Terrific value. Drink: 2017 - 2019 589101 12% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Inniskillin Niagara Estate Unoaked Chardonnay 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A rich, buttery, full-bodied Niagara Chardonnay with notes of toasty oak and spice on the finish. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2021 66266 12% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cline Viognier 2016, North Coast, California, United States: This 2016 Viognier from the North Coast of California by Cline Cellars is a brilliant gold colour with honey, ripe stonefruit and fruit salad on the nose and even more so on the palate. Simply lovely. Viognier's home is in the northern Rhone Valley, but it also thrives in California, especially in Sonoma. Viognier is known for its exotic and vibrantly perfumed aromatics. Lychee and rosewater and baking spices, especially nutmeg. A floral white wine with good balance and a nice finish. Try it with mild curries and Asian dishes. Good price. Viognier food pairings: crab cakes with mango chutney, mild curries, pork tenderloin en croute. Drink: 2018 - 2021 128421 14% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Foris Vineyards Gewürztraminer 2016, Rogue Valley, Oregon, United States: A delightful Gewurztraminer with aromas of lychee, rose water, and baking spice. Pair with Asian dishes and curries. Gewürztraminer food pairings: pad Thai, mild curries, sushi and sashimi. Drink: 2018 - 2021 420828 13.9% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Okanagan, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: Beautifully refreshing on the palate. This BC Sauvignon Blanc offers aromas of white melon, white pepper and lemon. Crisp and medium-bodied. Pair with fresh seafood. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled salmon with herb butter, green salads with goat cheese, freshly steamed shrimp with salad. Drink: 2015 - 2020 57430 13% D 750 mL $22.99 Score: 89/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay 2016, Marlborough, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: Lovely vibrant unoaked New Zealand Chardonnay. Clean and crisp with aromas of yellow apple and Asian pear. Perfect for seafood dishes. Chardonnay food pairings: seafood stir-fry, roast pork, beef bourguignon, roast chicken, veal. Drink: 2016 - 2019 991950 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tom Gore Chardonnay 2015, California, United States: Lovely balance, refreshment and richness in this Californian Chardonnay. Aromas of peach, green apple and vanilla spice. Beautifully balanced, rich and round. Pair with roast chicken or turkey. Chardonnay food pairings: roast chicken, turkey tetrazzini, roast lemon duck. Drink: 2018 - 2021 458810 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Raimbault Bel-Air Vouvray 2014, Loire A.C., France: Curious about Vouvray? Pour yourself a glass of this refreshing French white wine. Lots of mouth-watering acidity here for food or as an aperitif. White pear and peach on the finish of this bone-dry wine. Racy (and bracing) acidity offers freshness with crisp white grapefruit and pear notes. Cries out for food. Bone-dry and perfect for salads and shellfish. Vouvray food pairings: grilled chicken, green salads, shellfish. Drink: 2018 - 2021 205468 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: A fresh, crisp New Zealand white wine made from the Pinot Gris grape. We generally associate kiwi whites with Sauvignon Blanc, but Pinot Gris is equally refreshing and also does well in a cool climate. This 2016 Kim Crawford Pinot Gris offers aromas of lime, Asian pear and lemongrass. Pair with seafood, shellfish and wonderful performances of the Cirque du Soleil. Pinot Gris food pairings: grilled lobster tail in butter, stir-fried shrimp, grilled salmon. Drink: 2016 - 2019 369850 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 91/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2016, Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States: I love this off-dry Washington Riesling with its touch of natural sweetness. Aromas of peach and pear and sunshine. Enjoy as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2017 - 2021 394759 12% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Matthias Et Emile Roblin Le Enclos De Maimbray Sancerre 2015, Loire A.C., France: A lovely, fresh Old World Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. Aromas of lemon and chives. Soft acidity and a medium-bodied weight. Perfect for seafood. Sancerre food pairings: goat cheese salad topped with dried cranberries, grilled seafood, creamy pasta dishes. Drink: 2018 - 2020 527200 13.1% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 90/100. May 2018. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mouton Cadet 2016, Bordeaux, France: A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes create this balanced, restrained and moderately priced white Bordeaux wine. Aromas of fresh lemon. Balanced acidity for seafood and shellfish. Food pairings: grilled seafood, pasta in cream sauce. Drink: 2017 - 2020 2527 12% XD 750 mL $15.20 Score: 88/100. May 2018. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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