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Canadian Wine All Stars

Natalie MacLean

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Neige Recolte D'hiver 2012, Monterigie, Quebec, Canada: Essence of apple pie in a glass. Lovely dessert wine/cider with refreshing notes of various types of apples. Pair with, what else, apple pie, apple cobbler and apple flan. Drink: 2012-2015. 00744367 9% S 375 mL  $19.95 Score: 88/100. July 10, 2015 Full Review
Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut Sparkling Wine, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada: This crisp and refreshing sparkling wine is a blend of about 60% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and a splash of Pinot Gris grapes, and is designated BC VQA. It spent two years resting on its lees to give it richness and creaminess that challenges the best of N.V. Champagnes. A zesty, refreshing bubbly with vibrant green apple notes. Clean finish. Great price. It offers low alcohol but lots of taste and a persistent mousse. Pair with oysters and mussels. Drink: 2017-2022. 206326 13% XD 750 mL  $30.95 Score: 93/100. October 20, 2019 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Cave Spring Cellars Riesling 2014, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario VQA, Canada: A lovely, off-dry Niagara Riesling from one of the province's best producers of this genre. Aromas of fleshy ripe peach and pear. Served as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2016-2022. 234583 11% MD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 90/100. October 30, 2017 Best Value White Wine. Full Review
Tawse Winery Inc. Grower's Blend Cabernet Franc 2013, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario VQA, Canada: Smooth, plush and supple cool-climate Niagara Cabernet Franc. Aromas of mocha, fleshy ripe plum and berries. Perfect for grilled pork chops. Drink: 2015-2021. 284570 13% XD 750 mL  $26.95 Score: 92/100. November 9, 2016 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Featherstone's Black Sheep Riesling stands shoulder to shoulder (ear to ear) with the best of Niagara Rieslings. This is one of my favourite Niagara Rieslings: delightful every vintage. The 2016 vintage is no exception with lovely bright notes of lime blossom, lemon zest and flint. Pair with fresh seafood and vegetarian dishes. This Ontario white wine offers great refreshment in the glass. Drink: 2017-2020. 80234 13.80% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 92/100. November 25, 2017 Best Value White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Flat Rock Cellars Riddled Sparkling 2010, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Clean, crisp Ontario sparkling wine with a refreshing finish. Notes of green apple and stone fruit. The beer-bottle crown cap allows the bubbly to continue to develop flavours and bubbles (just as they do in Champagne before finally sealing it with the mushroom-shaped large cork). Pair with fried chicken. Drink: 2017-2019. 383315 12.50% D 750 mL  $34.95 Score: 90/100. November 11, 2017 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Fantastic Fried Chicken Wine Full Review
Dirty Laundry Cabernet Merlot 2014, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A pleasant, easy-sipping BC red wine blend of Cabernet and Merlot grapes. Supple and medium-bodied with aromas of fleshy black plums. Pair with grilled pork chops. Drink: 2017-2020. 334441 13.50% D 750 mL  $25.95 Score: 89/100. July 22, 2017 Remarkable Roast Chicken Wine Full Review
Henry of Pelham Winery Old Vines Baco Noir 2016, Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada: Spectacularly juicy and savoury! This iconic Niagara red wine is crafted by the master producers of the Baco Noir genre: Henry of Pelham. Aromas of fleshy black plums and dark berries with a smoky weave throughout. Pair with grilled meats and happiness. Drink: 2016-2022. 459966 13.50% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 92/100. August 29, 2017 Best Value Red Wine. Full Review
Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling 2016, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Love the lime zest and minerality in this lovely Niagara Riesling. Pair it with fresh seafood and peering at your image in a reflecting pool. Riesling is a grape that reflects the terroir and place where it's cultivated, thus the wine's name and mirror image on the label. Drink: 2017-2020. 67587 10.90% M 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 90/100. November 25, 2017 Best Value White Wine. Remarkable Roast Chicken Wine Full Review
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2013, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A spectacular blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and malbec with a solid Bordeaux-like structure. The Okanagan signature is fully present here with a generosity of dark fruit aromas and rich, full-bodied weight. A long, satisfying finish. Drink: 2017-2020. 626325 13.80% XD 750 mL  $48.95 Score: 93/100. November 11, 2017 Top Rated Red Wine. Harmonious Hard Cheese Wine Full Review
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC VQA, Canada: Buttery, rich and round yet balanced with a long finish. This BC Chardonnay offers so much pleasure in the glass. Aromas of golden apple and freshly baked bread. Pair with roast chicken or veal. Drink: 2015-2019. 545004 13.80% D 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 91/100. November 14, 2017 Top Rated White Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Malivoire Wine Company Gamay 2016, Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada: A lusciously ripe and juicy, cool-climate Niagara Gamay. Wild blackberries on the nose. Medium-bodied and supple and smooth. Pair with roast chicken or turkey, even planked salmon. Drink: 2016-2019. 591313 12% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. April 14, 2018 Best Value Red Wine. Perfect Pasta and Tomato Sauce Wine Full Review
Inniskillin Niagara Estate Vidal Icewine 2015, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada: Golden honey apricot elixir with peach jam aromas. So deliciously and devilishly good. Pair with angel cake. Drink: 2015-2023. 388306 9.50% S 375 mL  $50.95 Score: 93/100. September 4, 2017 Top Rated Dessert Wine. Divine Dessert Wine Full Review
Malivoire Wine Company Ladybug Rose 2016, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario VQA, Canada: Lovely light and lifted aromas of wild field strawberries on a sun-dappled afternoon. Dry and refreshing and mouth-watering. This is a Niagara blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes. Pair with grilled salmon. Drink: 2016-2018. 559088 12.50% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 92/100. September 4, 2017 Best Value Rosé Wine. Full Review
Benjamin Bridge Brut 2012, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada: This Nova Scotia sparkling sets the trend for Canadian bubblies in style and elegance. The 2012 vintage of the Benjamin Bridge Brut is stunning. You're drinking the stars here. This bubbly is made using the traditional method (Methode Classique) of the second fermentation in the bottle, just as they do in the Champagne region of France. They also use two of the grapes, Pinot Noir (10%) and Chardonnay (8%), used in France in their blend, together with L'Acadie (42%) and Seyval (40%) to give a decidedly (and deliciously) Nova Scotia signature to the cuvee. All grapes are estate grown and hand-harvested in October and bottled in June after spending 5 years on the lees to add richness, creaminess and depth. The 2012 vintage had the ideal conditions of sustained cool weather moderated by the Bay of Fundy which allowed for slow and complex ripening of the grapes. Lovely aromas of lime citrus, fresh mint, and lemon brightness on the nose and palate with great replays of flavour. A long, toasty finish leaves you at the shoreline of this Atlantic bubbly longing for more. This wine dances in the glass like sunlight on the ocean, with just as much refreshing sea spray on the palate and senses. Pair with Atlantic lobster in melted butter or fresh seafood. Drink: 2013-2023. 381533 11% D 750 mL  $32.95 Score: 96/100. November 25, 2017 Top Rated White Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2015, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: This is an extremely powerful and concentrated BC Pinot Noir. It needs some cellar time to come together, but when it does: watch out! Luscious layers of black cherry and spice. Great mouth-watering acidity for seared tune and planked salmon. Drink: 2017-2023. 639658 14% XD 750 mL  $54.95 Score: 93/100. November 11, 2017 Top Rated Red Wine. Delightful Duck Wine Full Review
Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2016, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: This lovely off-dry Niagara Riesling is bursting with aromas of fresh citrus, lime and green apple. Remarkable, even though there are 18 grams of sugar in this wine, the acidity balances it perfectly, yielding only a slight impression of sweetness. Terrific mouth-watering acidity for seafood and salads. Drink: 2017-2020. 578625 11.60% D 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 92/100. November 11, 2017 Top Rated White Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Burrowing Owl Athene 2014, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: The strength of the 2014 vintage shows beautifully in this BC blockbuster red wine. Wowsers. A robust BC red wine blend of Cabernet and Syrah grapes. Smoky, toasty oak with a charred, blackened edge. This is the winery's flagship label. Pair with grilled meats. Drink: 2017-2023. 371336 14.50% XD 750 mL  $43.95 Score: 93/100. January 6, 2018 Top Rated Red Wine. Magnificent Meat Pizza Wine Full Review
Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling 2014, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: Unparalleled quality and flavour in this off-dry, mouth-watering Ontario white wine. Superb craftsmanship in this benchmark Niagara Riesling. You simply won't find better than this. Incredible depth and concentration of flavour yet ephemerally light in alcohol. The best of all worlds: pure hedonism without the headache. Pair with happiness. Drink: 2016-2022. 241182 10.50% M 750 mL  $34.95 Score: 96/100. January 6, 2018 Top Rated White Wine. Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Stratus 2013, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A vibrant and terrific Niagara red wine blend from a much-respected winery in a spectacular vintage. Aromas of cassis, black currant and wild blackberry with some clove-spice on the finish. Great cellar wine. Pair with rare meats. The 2013 vintage of the Stratus Red is a blend of 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 11% Syrah, 2% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese and 2% Tannat grapes. Great structure, firm tannins and a long finish. Could also cellar for 10 years. Drink: 2017-2022. 131037 13.50% D 750 mL  $47.95 Score: 92/100. January 6, 2018 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Domaine Queylus Tradition Pinot Noir 2014, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A spectacular Pinot Noir from an excellent producer in a great year -- the perfect storm conditions to create a glorious and hedonistic tempest in your glass. Seductive fleshy cherry and cranberry with spice on the nose and palate of this ethereal Ontario Pinot Noir. Winemaker Thomas Bachelder is a master; he belongs with the Justice League of Super Heroes: Vine Man! Pair with more of the same. Drink: 2016-2023. 392738 13% XD 750 mL  $29.95 Score: 93/100. November 24, 2018 Top Rated Red Wine. Luscious Lamb Wine Full Review

© 2019 Natalie MacLean