Natalie MacLean - delicious wine picks and pairings

20 Wines Under $20 > July 2014

Natalie MacLean

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Bel Echo Terroir Greywacke Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, South Island: Love the blend of expressive New World fruit with a savoury, earthy Old World edge in style. Aromas of mouth-watering black cherry, luscious layers of satiny fleshy fruit with some spice on the finish. Superb quality and taste for the money. The signature of the Greywacke sandstone soil comes through on the both the palate and finish. Previous vintages of this wine have won the Gold Medal at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards. Drink: 2013-2016. 159137 13.50% XD 750 mL  $22.95 Score: 90/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Luscious Lamb Wine Full Review
Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Mendoza, Argentina: Full-bodied with attractive black fruit and smoke aromas. Balanced and elegant at an amazingly great price. Great with meat dishes. Finishes with black cherry. Try it with prime rib. Drink: 2013-2016. 143206 14% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz Cabernet 2012, Padthaway, South Australia, Australia: A lively, mouth-coating red wine blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from a consistently good producer. This vintage offers aromas of minty blackberry on the nose with fleshy black plum on the palate. Round, supple and satisfying with a great finish. Try it with gourmet hamburgers and all the fixings. Drink: 2013-2016. 186114 14.50% D 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 90/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling 2013, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia: Austerity writ large. Holy acids Batman! Come-alive Australian Riesling with crisp, cool lines of refreshment from start to finish. Love it! Petrol, lemon blossom, lime zest, mineral depth. Mouth-watering and dry. Supreme! Try it with creamy cheeses. Drink: 2014-2018. 262469 12.40% XD 750 mL  $24.95 Score: 93/100. July 5, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Cool Creamy Cheese Wine Full Review
Sperling Vineyards Speritz Ann Sperling Moscato 2011, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Bc V.Q.A., Canada: So lovely! If you like Moscato d'Asti or even Prosecco, try this please. It's a gently fizzy and spritely white wine with enticing aromas of honeysuckle and apple blossom. Love the fact it's only 7% alcohol, yet packs so much flavour. Hello breakfast wine ;) Drink: 2013-2015. 364166 7.40% D 375 mL  $13.00 Score: 90/100. May 24, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Harmonious Hard Cheese Wine Full Review
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2011, Okanagan Valley, BC VQA, Canada: Robust and tannic, needs some cellar time and an hour of decanting. This full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is sourced from five vineyards on the winery's estate. Dark fruit, tarry notes and smoky oak. Good with a rare steak. Drink: 2013-2017. 145102 13% XD 750 mL  $16.45 Score: 87/100. June 18, 2014 Full Review
Union Squared Red 2012, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A supple, smooth, medium-bodied blend of 5 red grapes, Union Squared is an easy-drinking red wine from Niagara that would go well with various pizzas. The total production of this wine was only 200 cases. Drink: 2014-2017. 292359 13.50% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 87/100. June 21, 2014 Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Tawse Winery Inc. Sketches Of Niagara Riesling 2013, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, V.Q.A., Canada: This vibrant, well-priced Ontario Riesling offers seductive aromas of peach blossom, lemon zest and wet stone. A complex core of minerality runs through the heart of this wine. Tawse is a family-owned Niagara winery that farms sustainably. Drink: 2013-2017. 89029 10.50% M 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 90/100. October 25, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Great Goat Cheese Wine Full Review
Château La Croix De Queynac Bordeaux Rosé 2013, Bordeaux A.C., France: Savoury, juicy and dry French rose with lovely, oh so lovely essence of field berries and clementine zesty. Sunshine in your glass. Perfect aperitif. Drink: 2013-2015. 119529 12.50% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 88/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Rosé Wine. Charming Grilled Chicken Wine Full Review
Kuhlmann-Platz Muehlforst Gewürztraminer 2012, Alsace A.C., France: Intense gingered spice candied apricot in this exotic, signature Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Yes!!! Love the aromatics on this wine. If any wine can handle Asian dishes and curries, it's this one. Drink: 2013-2020. 168864 13% M 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 92/100. July 5, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Plush Pork Wine Full Review
Château Gachon Cuvée Les Petits Rangas 2010, Montagne St-Émilion, Bordeaux A.C,, France: Fairly smooth already and medium- to full-bodied with pleasant notes of cassis and smoke. This Bordeaux red wine blend leads with the Merlot grape, as do most Right Bank Bordeaux wines. The 2010 vintage was a strong one at all price points, yielding great gems like this one. Decant 1-2 hours and enjoy with rare filet mignon tonight. Drink: 2013-2017. 280040 14% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 89/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine Full Review
Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling Sparkling, Deutscher Sekt, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Product Of Germany, Germany: Fans of Dr. L Riesling will lap this bubbly up, literally! It's fresh and crisp with lovely white peach and toasty pear notes. And my goodness, the price: you can't beat it. Is it a typo? Stock up for your weddings and big parties now. Try with fresh steam lobster and a marriage proposal. Drink: 2012-2015. 296095 12% D 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 89/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Sparkling Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
Cormòns Pinot Grigio 2012, Isonzo Del Friuli D.O.C., Italy: Clean, crisp and simple with white grapefruit and lime aromas in this zesty white wine. The wine sources its grapes from a grape growing co-operative that has more than 200 small vineyard owners as members, and is the largest wine producer in the Friulian province of Gorizia. Clean, crisp and refreshing at a nice price. Drink: 2013-2015. 734038 13% XD 750 mL  $15.95 Score: 87/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value White Wine. Voluptuous Veal Wine Full Review
Sergio Cerrino Brich Menu Moscato D'asti 2012, Piedmont D.O.C.G., Italy: I love most Moscato d’Astis and every time I try them, I chastise myself for not drinking them more often. They have a light spritz and a touch of sweetness that expresses itself more in citrus ripeness and orange zest rather than in any sort of cloying sweetness. They make wonderful aperitifs and digestifs. This one has lovely notes of clementines, fleshy ripe peach and apricot preserves. Give it a go. Drink: 2014-2017. 159822 5.50% MS 750 mL  $15.00 Score: 90/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Dessert Wine. Divine Dessert Wine Full Review
Antiche Terre Venete Ripasso Valpolicella 2012, Veneto D.O.C., Italy: Love that smoky, meaty, sizzling bacon nose! The Antiche Terre was founded in 2000, and in a short time has earned a reputation for respecting the traditions of the Veneto wine region, while injecting some new energy and style into its winemaking. Honkin' big black fruit with great depths of flavour and concentration. A pleasant finish with some notes of tar and smoke. Awesome price! Fire up the grill please! Drink: 2014-2018. 178459 13.50% D 750 mL  $17.95 Score: 89/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
The Doctors' Forrest Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Classic Kiwi Savvy nose here: herbal yes, but not too grassy. Incredibly mouth-watering and juicy with fresh notes of lime, lemon and white grapefruit. Hard to believe the alcohol level is so low with so much flavour here, but yay!  Try this with fresh seafood or shellfish to keep the other doctor away ;) Drink: 2013-2016. 317842 9.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 91/100. July 5, 2014 Top Rated White Wine. Sensational Shellfish Wine Full Review
KWV Kwv Merlot 2010, Western Cape, Coastal Region W.O., South Africa: Incredibly great quality for the money: this wine gets better every year. Rich, full-bodied, smooth and mouth-watering with fleshy ripe black plums. Awesome price for this quality. Great party wine that is matured in new French oak. Try it with hamburgers. Drink: 2013-2016. 522219 14.50% XD 750 mL  $14.95 Score: 89/100. July 5, 2014 Best Value Red Wine. Heavenly Hamburger Wine Full Review
Vizcarra Senda Del Oro Roble 2011, Ribera Del Duero D.O., Spain: Looking for a delicious, robust organic wine? Here's your answer! This organic wine has just 8 mg/l of free sulphur and is made 100% Tempranillo grapes grown in organic vineyards. The wine was matured 7 months in both French and American oak. Black fruit, smoke, layered depth and a long finish. Great value. Try it with free range chicken. Drink: 2013-2017. 331249 14.50% XD 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 90/100. July 5, 2014 Outstanding Organic Wine Full Review
Burgáns Martín Códax Albariño 2012, Rias Baixas D.O., Spain: We don't see a lot of Albariño, that refreshing white wine from northern Portugal, on the liquor store shelves, so here's your chance to try it. This producer is very consistent and has a great reputation for zesty whites. Clean, crisp and fresh with bright lime-lemon aromas and mouth-watering white grapefruit flavours. Great aperitif or food companion. This vibrant white wine hails from the northern region of Spain where the climate maintains the crispness in style. Perfect for a wide range of dishes from fresh seafood to salads. Finishes with green apple and lime. Drink: 2013-2016. 945063 13% XD 750 mL  $18.95 Score: 88/100. July 5, 2014 Scrumptious Seafood Wine Full Review
Bonterra Zinfandel 2011, Mendocino County, California, United States: This Californian Zinfandel is made from organic grapes and the winery practises sustainable viticulture, but that's not its main selling point - flavour is! Big, juicy black fruit wrapped lovingly in a warm blanket of toasty oak. This wine would make even cold pizza (topped with free range chicken of course) taste good. Drink: 2014-2018. 530139 14.50% D 750 mL  $19.95 Score: 91/100. July 5, 2014 Top Rated Red Wine. Outstanding Organic Wine Full Review

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