Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

Top 10 Valentines Day Wines

Natalie MacLean

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D'arenberg Wines D'arenberg The Love Grass Shiraz 2004, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: In Australia, this wine is available only to restaurants or at the cellar door. Though it is mostly shiraz, winemaker Chester Osborn gets his blending groove on adding small amounts of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, grenache, petit verdot, tempranillo and pinot noir. My note: Full-bodied wine with aromas of black plums and mint. 48785 14.50% D 750 mL  $23.95 Score: 90/100. January 5, 2008 Full Review
Magpie Estate The Sack Shiraz 2009, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Full-bodied and seductive with lusciously ripe blackberries and black plums on the nose. Fills out on the palate with layers of hedonistic richness and dark fruit. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Drink: 2013-2015. 94078 14% D 750 mL  $22.95 Score: 92/100. February 16, 2013 Best Beef Wine Full Review
Willi Opitz Pink Kiss Rosé Pinot Noir Zweigelt Merlot 2007, Austria, Austria: Vintages Wine Panel: Terrific all year round, rosé wines are particularly popular on Valentine’s Day for obvious reasons and this bright and fruity blend of Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Merlot is made for romantic interludes. Willi Opitz is one of Austria’s leading winemakers and he crafts this dry rosé to be elegant and memorable. Enjoy it as an aperitif. My note: A pretty raspberry pink color hints at the ripe fleshy berries on the nose. This lovely, elegant and delicious wine has notes of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry. It’s light but not wimpy, perfect for spontaneous snacks and toasting. It’s bone dry so don’t even think of that syrupy pink stuff from the 1970s. 111633 12% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 89/100. February 14, 2009 Best Value Rosé. Full Review
The Foreign Affair Winery The Conspiracy 2010, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Full-bodied and smooth with dark fruit and a meaty, savoury mid-palate note. Nicely balanced. Drink: 2012-2016. 149237 12.80% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 88/100. December 8, 2012 Full Review
Moet & Chandon Moet & Chandon Rose Games Of Seduction, Champagne, France: Glorious and seductive bubbly with fleeting aromas of field strawberries. Tickles the senses. Drink: 2015-2025. 127829 12.50% XD 750 mL  $75.00 Score: 91/100. January 8, 2017 Top Rated Sparkling Wine. Full Review
Kim Crawford Small Parcel The Mistress Riesling 2006, Wairarapa Valley, Martinborough, South Island, New Zealand: Love it! Crisp and clean with spring morning aromas of lime zest, lemongrass and zesty goodness. Medium-bodied. Drink: 2012-2015. 90134 13% D 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 91/100. November 10, 2012 Top Rated White Wine. Full Review
The Chocolate Block Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Shiraz 2010, W.O., Western Cape, South Africa: Savoury, complex and delicious: wow! Cassis, blackberry and cedar forest. Meaty and enticing, full-bodied wonderful. Drink: 2012-2016. 129353 14.50% XD 750 mL  $39.95 Score: 93/100. November 10, 2012 Top Rated Red Wine. Full Review
Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Red Label Zinfandel 2009, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Fresh and flavourful Zinfandel with aromas of sweet cherry, plum and smoked meat. Dry, ripe and round with velvety tannins bringing good balance. A great late-summer barbecue choice. My note: Purple plums and fleshy blueberries. Full-bodied and supple. Juicy-fruit! Drink: 2011-2014. 939743 13.50% D 750 mL  $21.95 Score: 88/100. September 17, 2011 Full Review
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend Hot to Trot 14 Hands Vineyards Columbia Valley 2009, Washington, United States: Dynamite for the price! Simply wow. Smooth, full-bodied and packed with luscious dark plum and blackberry aromas. This wine takes its name from the time when wild mustang horses ran freely around the hills of eastern Washington State where this wine is made. Drink: 2010-2014. 226522 13.50% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 89/100. January 3, 2012 Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Folie À Deux Menage A Trois 2010, California, United States: A floral blend of chardonnay, moscato and chenin blanc. Lively and fresh with just the right amount of acidity for a variety of dishes. Great aperitif as well. Drink: 2012-2013. 308015 13.50% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 88/100. October 27, 2012 Full Review

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