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Wine Picks January 3, 2019

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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.

Dessert Wine

Sandeman Tawny Port, Douro D.O.P., Portugal: This 20-year-old tawny port is absolutely glorious. Santa's not getting cookies and milk this year ;) Aromas of toasted almond, toffee and smoke. So lovely. This wine is aged in the winery's centuries' old cellars for an average of twenty (different vintages in the blend). Finishes with hints of dry honey, nuts and spices. Port food pairings: fruitcake, blue cheeses, nut pies. Drink: 2017 - 2020 116178 20% S 750 mL $64.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2013, Douro Valley, Portugal: The 2013 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port offers concentrated aromas of blackberry, black cherry, smoke and toasted nuts. It's a full-bodied, fortified dessert wine. Perfect as an after-dinner sipper Drink: 2017 - 2023 46946 19% S 750 mL $17.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Harveys Winery Bristol Cream Sherry, Andalusia, Spain: This fortified Spanish dessert wine is made from the Pedro Xérès grape. It exudes nutty, toffee, spicy and dried fruit aromas. Light acidity and voluptuous texture on the palate with a long finish. Harveys has a long history and was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II as the offical supplier to the palace. Harveys started off with Bristol Milk, then produced this richer, sweeter version, thus the name "cream." Perfect for nutty cheeses and fruit-based desserts. Drink: 2018 - 2022 215483 17.5% S 750 mL $16.45 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2017, Central Valley, Chile: A plush, juicy, berry-ripe Chilean red wine made from the Pinot Noir grape. I challenge you to find Pinot Noir this delicious at this low a price. Lots of ripe and fleshy cherry aromas and flavours. Pair with roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: pasta, grilled poultry, seafood and mild fish. Drink: 2018 - 2021 341602 13.5% D 750 mL $11.95 Score: 88/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

La Vieille Ferme 2017, Cotes Du Ventoux, Rhone A.O.C., France: A full-bodied, rustic, robust southern French red wine blend. Aromas of black fruit, cedar brush and spice. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2018 - 2022 263640 13% D 750 mL $12.45 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Seghesio Zinfandel 2014, Sonoma County, California, United States: Seghesio 2014 is a bold and fleshy Old Vine's Zinfandel, full on ripe black fruits, smoky herbs, savoury spice and licorice on the nose. This full-bodied and juicy Californian Zin and a crowd pleaser. On the palate, there is dried berry and cherry fruit, smoky herbs with dark fruit, licorice and savoury spice flavours. Big indeed. Tannins still need some taming. Decant prior to pouring with bison burgers. Can cellar for a few more years, but enjoy from 2020 on. Zinfandel food pairings: crown pork roast with corn niblets, roast duck, gourmet burgers. Drink: 2018 - 2024 56879 15% D 750 mL $54.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

J.M. Raffault Les Picasses 2015, Chinon, Loire A.C., France: From J.M. Raffault, there is mouth-watering acidity on this Chinon from the Loire. Les Picasses 2015 is a dry, medium bodied Old World Cabernet Franc with sour cherry, red currant, fresh herbs and a zesty, clean mineral finish on this food-friendly red wine. Pair with a roast Bresse chicken. Malolactic fermentation for Les Picasses took place in 3-10 year old barrels and then the wine was aged for 12 months on its fine lees, both processes contributing richness and smoothness to the wine. It was aged in the ancient caves of the Loire Valley that comprise its famous tuffeau -- a soft stone found in the Loire. Food pairings: Brazilian slow-cooked pork, beef and black bean stew, roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2022 367011 13.5% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese 2016, Tuscany I.G.T., Italy: Produced by Tenuta San Guido, Le Difese 2016 is initially fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures. Then the wine is aged for 12 months in oak barriques. The wine is a juicy, full-bodied and mouth-watering, entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese red wine blend from the Tuscany wine region with dark cherry, strawberry and rosehip tea flavours on the palate. Vibrant acidity and food friendly for a pasta and tangy tomato and meat sauce dish. Food pairings: prime rib, hearty meat stews, pork tenderloin. Drink: 2018 - 2022 147876 12.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Pey La Tour Réserve Du Château 2015, Bordeaux A.C., France: Château Pey La Tour Réserve Du Château 2015 is a dry, full-bodied Bordeaux red wine blend From Vignobles Dourthe of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot wine grapes. Look for ripe blackberry, black currant, spicy pepper and smoky flavours from oak ageing on the palate. Tannins are soft and silky. Enjoy now. Pair with a crown roast of pork. Food pairings: prime rib roast rare, New York strip loin steak, Porterhouse veal chops. Drink: 2018 - 2025 349308 14.5% D 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Burrowing Owl 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, V.Q.A., Canada: Burrowing Owl marked their 25th anniversary in 2018. Their 2015 Meritage is produced from the five principal Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Lovely, dry and full-bodied red with blueberry preserves, earthy violets sweet cake spice, cinnamon and soft vanilla flavours on the palate. Tannins are present but well integrated. Finishes long, balanced. Drink now and for the next five years. Food pairings: slow roasted duck, roast beef, tourtière. Drink: 2018 - 2026 343038 14.9% XD 750 mL $57.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2014, Paarl W.O., South Africa: Avondale`s Jonty's Ducks Pekin Red 2014 is a lush and juicy red wine blend of Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Grapes for this wine are organically grown in the Paarl wine region and the wine's name comes from the ducks that owner Johnathan Grieve has to take care of the snails and other pests that hang around the vineyard. On the palate, there is smoky blackberry, dark plum, earthy florals, underbrush and soft vanilla flavours. Pair with grilled meats. Food pairings: bison stew, beef rib, venison stroganoff. Drink: 2018 - 2023 383547 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sterling Merlot 2015, Napa Valley, California, United States: Sterling released its first-ever vintage-dated California Merlot in 1969 and is known for its smooth, full-bodied and superbly balanced Merlot wines. The 2015 vintage is silky with soft ripe blackberry, cherry, plum and chocolate tones. Tannins are fine and there is good acidity on this wine for food. Pair with Porchetta sandwiches. Merlot food pairings: roast pork with apricot compote, crown pork roast with corn niblets, roast chicken. Drink: 2018 - 2024 330241 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Viña Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: Viña Cobos Felino 2016 is a medium-plus-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mendoza wine region with red berries, blackcurrant, green herbs, green olives and spicy flavours on the palate. Tannins are fine and there is great acidity on this Cab Sauv. for food. Pair with old cheddar, tourtière or Shepard’s Pie. Produced by Paul Hobbs. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: barbecued steaks, roast leg of lamb, gourmet burgers. Drink: 2018 - 2024 132365 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Nodo d'Amore 2016, Trevenezie, Trentino I.G.T., Italy: A juicy, full-bodied Italian red wine blend from the Remo Farina family winery of 65% Corvina, 25% Merlot and 10% Teroldego grapes. The wine is aged in French barriques and Slavonian oak barrels. Aromas of dark cherries, toasty oak and mocha. Pair with a grilled steak. Food pairings: veal chops in red wine sauce, Osso Buco, veal liver and olives in rose sauce. Drink: 2018 - 2024 583039 13.9% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: The Malbec wine grapes for Zuccardi's Q are sourced from La Consulta (Altamira) and Vista Flores. The Uco Valley of the Mendoza region is where the vines were planted at more than 1000 metres above sea level. This is great for having grapes ripen slowly, evenly and fully. The label on the wine bottle symbolizes the Andes Mountains. The 2015 vintage is a silky, full-bodied Malbec with ripe blackberries, blue florals, ripe, dark fruit, finishing nutty on the palate with a touch of dark spice. Pair with herbed-crusted pork loin. Malbec food pairings: turkey, tomato sauces, meaty casseroles, hamburgers, steak and kidney pie. Drink: 2018 - 2024 723478 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Giesen The Brothers Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Wine grapes for Giesen's The Brothers 2016 are hand-harvested and fermented in small batches and matured in a mix of new and neutral French oak barrels. Each vintage the winemaker selects the most expressive parcels of vines to create The Brothers range of wines. Look for bright fruit flavours of crushed raspberry, sour cherry and earthy florals finishing with dried herbs and sweet spice on the palate from this Marlborough, South Island red. Pair with a roast duck. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb sirloin with cocoa rub, barbecued duck sausages, grilled pork tenderloin with cauliflower purée and cherry compote, veal chops. Drink: 2018 - 2024 402685 14% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Terra D'aligi Tatone Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2013, Abruzzo D.O.C., Italy: Terra D'aligi's Tatone 2013 is a dry, full-bodied, rustic red with dried red berries, dark fruit and chocolate flavours on the palate. Supple and easy to drink. The wine was first produced in 1997, by Carlo and Adriano Spinelli. Tatone is the local word for "grandfather," and the name given to the wine because it reflected the strength and authority of their grandfather. The wine aged for 24 months in Slavonian oak barrels. Pair with a rich meat pasta and sun-dried tomato sauce dish. Montepulciano D'abruzzo food pairings: pasta with Bolognese sauce, rabbit stew, roast chicken with olives. Drink: 2018 - 2021 994616 14% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico 2014, Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy: This is an earthy, smoky Chianti Classico Riserva with dried berries, sweet spice, earthy mushrooms, leather and vanilla on the nose and palate. Produced by Castello Di Gabbiano, this dry, medium-bodied Tuscan red is a crowd pleaser with a value-added price and a perfect pairing to a meat lover's pizza wine. The Castello di Gabbiano estate is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in Tuscany. The historical “Castello” dates back from the 12th century but has been restored into a spectacular hotel which includes its own restaurant, a swimming pool, as well as the winery itself and over 100 hectares of vines and olive groves. All the winemaking work is done on the premises so guests also witness the whole process from picking grapes to bottling. Drink now and for the next three years. Chianti Classico food pairings: roast beef, cheesy pizza, stuffed roasted turkey, pasta in tomato sauce. Drink: 2018 - 2025 216309 14% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, United States: Fantastic value this fantastic 2013 full-bodied 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Malbec blockbuster from The Hess Collection. On the nose there are pronounced aromas of white florals, anise, espresso, ripe dark berries. The wine is dry, beautifully built, silk and satiny with ripe blueberry and red berry flavours, licorice, cedar spice and espresso flavours finishing long. Enjoy now and for the next five years. Pair with a rare rib roast. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: BBQ beef ribs, grilled lamb, sausage and chick pea casserole. Drink: 2018 - 2024 662015 14.5% XD 750 mL $99.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Black Chook Shiraz Viognier 2016, Mclaren Vale, Padthaway, South Australia, Australia: Chook refers to the roosters that strut their stuff on the winery property. Aromas of blackberry preserves, blackcurrant jam lusciousness with some mint. Layers and layers and layers of pleasure. Eyes closed kinda wine. Some violets and cedar on this finish. Highly recommended. Loaded with fleshy ripe dark berries and vanilla spice from toasty oak aging. Good mouth-watering acidity on the palate leads to a clean finish. Pair with a juicy steak. Shiraz Viognier food pairings: chicken pieces in creamy gravy, rosemary lamb, pepper steak. Drink: 2017 - 2028 66738 14.5% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Monte Del Frá Lena Di Mezzo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2015, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: A voluptuous, supple Italian red wine with layers of black cherry, anise, coffee, mocha, dark chocolate and smoke aromas and flavours. Vibrant red berry notes with pepper and dark spice. Very lively on the palate with terrific acidity for tangy dishes and tomato sauces. This wine will cellar well. Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore food pairings: meat lovers pizza , spicy sausage , prime rib roast, hearty winter stew. Drink: 2018 - 2022 165662 14% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Tragically Hip Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red 2016, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: An easy-drinking red wine blend from Niagara in honour of the band Tragically Hip, whose leader Gord Downie recently died. Juicy black plums and toasty oak. Produced by Stoney Ridge winery. Pair with a steak. Food pairings: pork roast, sausage cassoulet, mushroom risotto. Drink: 2018 - 2022 411595 13.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 87/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kaiken Las Rocas Ultra Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina: A big, dark-fruited Argentine red wine. Aromas of blackberries and fleshy black plums. Supple and delicious. Finishes with dark spice and wood smoke. Pair with gourmet hamburgers. Malbec food pairings: roasted lamb, veal dishes, grilled pork chops, cheese. Drink: 2017 - 2020 50849 14.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Acrobat Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon, United States: A full-bodied Pinot from Oregon, which is a rarity. Not as acidic either in style: richer and rounder with black cherry and some mocha from oak aging. Pair with grilled pork chops. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal chops, grilled duck sausages, pork tenderloin, barbecued lamb sirloin. Drink: 2017 - 2022 421149 13.5% D 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mollydooker Carnival Of Love Shiraz 2016, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Liquid cigar in the best sense -- so smoky and great! Black fruit and dried herbs and pipe tobacco and cigar box. Pair with brontosaurus burgers. Shiraz food pairings: bison roast, roast venison ribs, Kangaroo strip loin steak. Drink: 2017 - 2020 242743 13.5% XD 750 mL $79.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2016, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: A full-bodied, deeply concentrated Australian Shiraz with attractive aromas of black plum and blackberry. Mouth-filling and delicious. Pair with roast beef. Shiraz food pairings: marinated pepper steaks, burgers with blue cheese, grilled pork chops, Muscovy duck. Drink: 2018 - 2022 636407 15.8% D 750 mL $61.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous, juicy BC red wine made from the classic Pinot Noir grape. Aromas of fleshy ripe dark cherry and berries with some spice and smoke. Racy acidity for veal and roast chicken. Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled lamb chops, veal Porterhouse steak, roast quail. Drink: 2017 - 2023 609164 14% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2016, Mclaren Vale, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Wakefield Jaraman is a zesty, full-bodied, Shiraz from Clare Valley wine region in South Australia. This Australian red wine is a regional blend of Shiraz grapes of about two-thirds Clare Valley and one-third McLaren Vale regions. The wine was partially cold-soaked for 4 days, then aged in 100% new American oak barrels for 11 months. Dark chocolate and sweet black fleshy plums on the nose with a pleasant zing of acidity mid-palate for lots of dishes from tangy meat sauces to grilled meats. More black fruit and mouth-filling roundness. A consistently good producer at fair prices for the quality. This Australian red wine is a regional blend of Shiraz grapes of about two-thirds Clare Valley and one-third McLaren Vale regions. The wine was partially cold-soaked for 4 days, then aged in 100% new American oak barrels for 11 months. Deeply concentrated and flavoured. Shiraz food pairings: juicy, grilled rare sirloin steak, hard cheese like Cheddar or Havarti. Drink: 2018 - 2023 377036 14.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Campo Arriba Old Vines Monastrell Syrah Tintorera 2014, Yecla, Spain: The 2014 vintage of the robust Spanish red wine Campo Arriba is made from grapes grown at some of the highest elevations in the Yecla region. This wine is a savoury blend of 70% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah and 10% Grenache grapes. It was matured 3 months in small French oak barrels. The winery was founded in 1925 by the Candela family. Aromas of fleshy ripe blackberries, plums, anise and dark spice with toasty oak. Incredible value for the price. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Monastrell Syrah Tintorera food pairings: grilled pork sausages, meat lover's pizza, grilled smoky ribs. Drink: 2018 - 2022 511519 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Julia Magna Malbec Cabernet 2016, Mendoza, Argentina: A juicy, power-packed Argentine blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc grapes. Fleshy purple plums and blueberries abound. Pair with spare ribs or chicken wings. Drink: 2018 - 2021 499699 13% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Emiliana Coyam 2014, Colchagua Valley D.O., Chile: Emiliana Coyam 2014 is a full-bodied red blend of Syrah, Carmenère, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes. So well-blended, structured and very approachable now, but could hold in cellar for several years. Food pairings: roast leg of venison with sautéed mushrooms and sweet onions, roast pheasant, fried wild rabbit on toast. Drink: 2018 - 2022 63891 14.5% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Santa Ema Amplus Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Maipo Alto, Maipo Valley D.O., Chile: Santa Ema's Amplus 2016 is a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with smoky, spicy ripe red berry, black fruits and toasty oak on the palate. This Chilean red wine with aromas of cigar box, dried tobacco leaves and toasty oak. Tannins are Velcro-like. Enjoy now and for the next five years. Pair with grilled game sausages. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pork tenderloin, hodge-podge, grilled burgers, Margherita pizza. Drink: 2018 - 2024 76307 14% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stags' Leap Estate The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, United States: From the Stags Leap District in the Napa Valley this is the quintessential California Cab, Stags' Leap Estate's The Leap 2015. This is an elegant, powerful and complex full-bodied red with layers of ripe blackberry, cassis, cedar spice, grilled herbs, dark olives and chocolate flavours on the palate. Tannins are firm, structured. Cellar or enjoy now and for the next 10 years. Pair with a roast beast. Stags' Leap is one of California's oldest wineries and has been making wine since 1893 and even through prohibition. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: steak, hearty meat dishes, hard cheese, prime rib. Drink: 2018 - 2030 142844 14.1% XD 750 mL $119.95 Score: 95/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lirica Primitivo Di Manduria 2015, Puglia D.O.P., Italy: Lirica 2015 is a robust red Primitivo Di Manduria with black and purple plum liqueur, crushed raspberry, blackberry, tarry with toasty oak flavours on the palate. Great concentration of dark fruit flavours to toasty oak on this southern Italian red wine. Pair with a meaty, cheesy lasagna. Primitivo Di Manduria food pairings: meaty stews, rabbit stew, roast chicken with olives. Drink: 2018 - 2024 326710 14% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vite Colte Essenze del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba Barolo 2011, Del Comune Di Serralunga D'alba, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: At peak - it might hold for a few more years but drink now. Lovely mature aromas of tanned leather, violets and cigar box. Pair with juicy lamb. OTHER: Really aromatic and fresh with blueberry, blackberry and floral character. Full body, chewy and muscular. Needs at least three years to soften but already so pretty to taste. Drink in 2020. Score - 93 (James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, July 11, 2017). Barolo food pairings: meaty stews, roast gamebirds, meat lover's pizza topped with steak. Drink: 2018 - 2028 576801 14.1% XD 750 mL $46.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States: A full-bodied and complex Californian red wine with aromas of wild tart blackberry and cedar brush. Finishes with a lick of dark spice. Pair with rare steak. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: grilled New York strip loin, hard cheese, braised pork shanks, veal chops. Drink: 2018 - 2023 435099 14.5% XD 750 mL $54.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Girard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa Valley, California, United States: Girard 2015 is a medium-plus-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley with flavours of smoky dark fruit, blackberry, black currants, cedary underbrush, savoury spice and dark chocolate. Grapes for this rich red were sourced from the Mount Veeder sub-region of Napa Valley. Enjoy now and for the next five years. Pair with a duck confit and roasted small potatoes and pearl onions. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: lamb barbecued, crown roast of lamb, stuffed saddle of rabbit. Drink: 2018 - 2024 231712 14.5% XD 750 mL $39.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Barista Pinotage 2018, Robertson W.O., South Africa: As you can guess, this supple, full-bodied South African red wine features coffee espresso on the nose and palate from the toasty oak aging. Barista 2018 is rich with a smoky layering of black cherry, ripe cassis and dark chocolate flavours on the palate. The Robertson wine region winery is Certified for Integrity & Sustainability by the South African Wine and Spirit Board. Winemaker Bertus Fourie, who holds degrees in microbiology, chemistry and oenology, is nicknamed "Starbucks" for his role in shaping the so-called "coffee Pinotage" style. Pair with smoked meats and mature cheeses. Pinotage food pairings: blackened lamb burgers, smoked cheese, braised beef in a Porter reduction. Drink: 2018 - 2024 172585 13.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sparkling Wine

Nino Franco Prosecco, Veneto D.O.C.G., Italy: Crisp and clean with white peach and white grapefruit notes. Great for large gatherings. Nice price. Terrific persistence of bubbles and mousse. Pair with pasta in cream sauce. Prosecco food pairings: seafood in a citrus cream sauce, spring greens salad, soft cheeses. Drink: 2017 - 2020 349662 11% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taittinger Nocturne Champagne, Champagne A.C., France: Toasty, bready and robust especially for a Champagne house known for the delicacy of its sparkling wines. This Champagne is a sparkling wine blend of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. This is a special edition bottle of the Taittinger in purple glittering squares ("reflective tiles") meant to look like a disco ball. (It certainly does after several glasses of this bubbly.) The grapes are sourced from more than 30 different crus or villages and vineyards for the final blend: that's the magic of Champagne. This champagne has a slightly sweeter dosage than the regular bottles at 17.5 grams per litre and is combined is a long aging period in the winery's cellars to create a rich and robust bubbly ready for clubbing. Taittinger's Nocturne is matured for a minimum of 4 years before disgorgement (removing the dosage and sediment to put the final cork in) which creates richness and creaminess. Love this. Pair with sushi. Champagne food pairings: steamed Dungeness crab, lobster thermidore. Drink: 2016 - 2021 618389 13.5% D 750 mL $68.95 Score: 94/100. January 2019. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lallier Grand Cru Brut Rosé Champagne, Champagne A.C., France: A vibrant, full-bodied rosé Champagne with aromas of fresh strawberries and toast. Pair with shellfish. Rosé Champagne food pairings: smoked oysters, grilled shellfish, smoked fish. Drink: 2017 - 2022 385179 12.5% D 750 mL $56.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Extra Brut Champagne 2009, Champagne A.C., France: Superb, toasty and robust sparkling wine with zesty notes of green apple and baked bread. Complex and layered and creamy yet with a mature nuance that makes this Champagne fascinating and so different from the Non-Vintage variety. Soft citrus, ripe stone fruit and a toasty flavours on the palate are matched by racy acidity. Disgorged February 2017. Lovely now and for the next 10 years. Champagne food pairings: pasta with cheese-based sauce, caviar, lobster thermidor, sushi. Drink: 2018 - 2024 69773 12% D 750 mL $91.95 Score: 94/100. January 2019. Top Rated Sparkling Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Huff Estates Cuvée Peter F. Huff 2015, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This sparkling wine from PEC was named in honour of owner Lanny and Catherine Huff's late son Peter, and has won two Lieutenant Governor awards. Huff Estates Cuvée Peter F. Huff 2015 is a superb, rich traditional method sparkler with crunchy green apple, lemon cream, pink grapefruit and buttery, toasty flavours on the palate. Chill and enjoy now. Food pairings: grilled shellfish, smoked fish, green salads. Drink: 2018 - 2022 198754 12% D 750 mL $39.95 Score: 89/100. January 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Wither Hills 2017 is a dry, medium-bodied vibrant and grassy Sauvignon Blanc with crisp tropical fruit notes, stonefruit, honeysuckle, finishing with lime-lemon zest, soft gooseberries and fresh acidity. Enjoy now and pair with pan-fried trout. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: Thai green curry fish, apple stuffed chicken breast, steamed mussels, herbed couscous salad. Drink: 2018 - 2021 919514 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The Foreign Affair Riesling 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The Foreign Affair 2013 Riesling is off-dry, medium-bodied, mouth-watering with flinty, apple butter, lemony-lime zest on the palate and an incredible mineral backbone. This wine is made with 20% dried grapes as in the appassimento style. Wonderfully rich and concentrated yet refreshing and crisp too. Chill and enjoy now. Pair with a pork schnitzel and spaetzle topped with Gruyere cheese. Riesling food pairings: sushi, paprika chicken, turkey dinner with a spicy stuffing. Drink: 2018 - 2020 127290 11.4% D 750 mL $23.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eugenio Collavini Viticultori Pinot Grigio 2017, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy: Villa Canlungo's Collavini with the wiener dog is a dependable Pinot Grigio from northern Italy. Aromas of lime and white peach. Lots of acidity for seafood. Drink: 2018 - 2020 33340 12.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 86/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Featherstone Winery Four Feathers 2017, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, medium-bodied Niagara white wine blend of Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Floral, aromatic and off-dry, this is a terrific aperitif or companion to fresh seafood. Finishes with apple blossom. Pair with medium curries and spices as well. Great price. Food pairings: Caesar Salad, fried Gruyere cheese sandwich, raclette. Drink: 2018 - 2022 341586 12% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2016, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A gorgeous, full-bodied BC Chardonnay with aromas of golden apple, freshly baked bread with melting butter and smoke. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: turkey burgers, crab cakes, chicken breast, lobster in butter sauce, cheese. Drink: 2017 - 2022 377770 14% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Thierry Delaunay Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Touraine, Loire A.C., France: Great value here with this Old World style Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. Thierry Delaunay Touraine (2017) is bone dry with gooseberry, citrus and a flinty minerality characteristic of the Loire region with its sandy, chalky and flinty clay soils. Excellent Old World Sauvignon Blanc that has the herbal grassy power and concentration of a New World wine. Pure lime focus in this mouth-watering, medium-bodied French white wine. This Sauvignon Blanc is zesty expression of the Loire Valley soil and climate with a soft yellow-gold colour and crisp finish. Pair it with fresh fish or drink as an aperitif. There's an attractive yellow-gold hue with green tints. Finishes brightly with lemon zest. Pair with vegetarian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: lobster in butter sauce, crab cakes cheese, poultry. Drink: 2018 - 2021 391847 12.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Marcel Cabelier Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2014, Côtes Du Jura, Jura A.P., France: Lemon and white grapefruit notes on the nose of this fresh French Chardonnay. Pair with seafood and shellfish. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled seafood steamed shellfish, chowders. Drink: 2018 - 2022 485839 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 87/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2017, Mendoza, Argentina: From renown producer, Catena, High Mountain Vines 2017 is a dry, full-bodied and well-priced Argentinean Chardonnay. Look for ripe pears, and a soft lingering tropical fruit finish on this zesty Chardonnay. Enjoy now with grilled herbed chicken breasts. The inimitable Laura Catena works with chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil create this beautifully expressive white wine. Chardonnay food pairings: roasted stuffed chicken, seared scallops, pasta with primavera sauce, fish and chips. Drink: 2018 - 2022 918805 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2017, Napa Valley, California, United States: This is fantastic value for this dry Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc from Napa Valley. Nice nose of lemon pie with riper stone fruit, Meyer lemon, white flowers, gooseberry and a light grassiness on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied, the 2017 vintage has an addition of 15% Semillon. This is a stellar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend, rich with, silky and vibrant with a long finish. Perfect with grilled halibut. Fumé Blanc food pairings: chicken salad, pork tenderloin, seafood, barbecued lobster. Drink: 2018 - 2022 221887 14.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cloudy Bay Vineyards Ltd Chardonnay 2015, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Cloudy Bay 2015 is a dry, medium-bodied Chardonnay for South Island, Marlborough with pink grapefruit, white florals, pastry and almond paste flavours on the palate. Finishes long and zesty. Chill and pair with grilled shellfish. Chardonnay food pairings: pork tenderloin, roast chicken, pan-fried trout with fresh lemon juice. Drink: 2018 - 2022 359513 14% XD 750 mL $37.95 Score: 93/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Roussillon 2017, Côtes Du Roussillon, Midi A.P., France: From the Midi wine region, Saint Roch vielles vignes white wine blend is fantastic value under $20. The 80% Grenache Blanc 20% Roussanne wine blend is aromatic with ripe pear, melon and pineapple on the nose. This wine is dry, medium bodied well-balanced and structured finishing with good acidity for food. Chill and enjoy with fresh steamed lobster tails in a light garlic butter sauce. Food pairings: roast turkey with all the trimmings, tender roast pork. Drink: 2018 - 2023 175232 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 91/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pierre Sparr Mambourg Pinot Gris 2015, Alsace A.C., France: Produced from a world-famous Alsatian wine producer, Pierre Sparr Mambourg 2015 is a Grand Cru Pinot Gris. Rich and medium sweet on the palate with weighty layers of honeyed apple, pear, soft spice and citrus zest. Great for spicier Asian dishes and even Korean barbeque ribs. Pinot Gris food pairings: pork tenderloin, roast turkey, seafood, pasta with cream sauce. Drink: 2018 - 2020 686451 12.5% M 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cloudfall Chardonnay 2016, Monterey County, California, United States: A lovely Californian Chardonnay - nicely balanced with attractive aromas of green apple and smoke. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled pork chops, roast chicken, duck confit with small roasted potatoes. Drink: 2018 - 2022 629113 13.8% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

McManis Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2017, River Junction, California, United States: Mcmanis winery is certified sustainable and certified Green. Wine grapes for their 2017 Chardonnay were sourced from the AVA of River Junction. This is one of the few California appellations that is home to a single producer located at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Stanislaus rivers. Great acidity on this dry, medium-bodied Chard with buttery apple, ripe pear, stonefruit, tropical fruit. Chill and enjoy with grilled pork chops. Chardonnay food pairings: scallops with a sesame ginger dressing, spinach and pepper jack stuffed chicken, pan-fried cod with lemon butter sauce, toasted ravioli served with Alfredo sauce. Drink: 2018 - 2024 265983 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13Th Street June's Vineyard Riesling 2016, Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: From Creek Shores in the Niagara Peninsula, 13Th Street, June's Vineyard 2016 has a delicate nose of fresh stone fruit, floral blossom, sweet bees wax, petrol, and crisp limestone minerality. Pair with pad Thai. Riesling food pairings: smoked salmon on baguette, mild curries, seafood salad. Drink: 2018 - 2020 147512 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner 2017, Niederosterreich, Austria: Crisp, clean and zesty, this Austrian white wine is made from the country's iconic Gruner Veltliner grape. No heavy oak or alcohol. Great price for parties and large gatherings. Pair with seafood or fried chicken. Drink: 2015 - 2019 375022 12% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. January 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Terroir Series Scheurebe 2017, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: A lovely, floral white wine from Nova Scotia made from the Scheurebe grapes. This is highly aromatic and related clonally to Riesling. This organic wine is made from hand-picked grapes and fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks. Aromas of white flowers, peach and pear. Off-dry and medium-bodied. Perfect for seafood and mild curries. Drink: 2017 - 2020 10% MD 750 mL Score: 90/100. January 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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