Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Win, Win, Win

It’s a stretch but a statement in the January 1st Globe & Mail article The Wine World's African Queen touches on one of the current alternatives for addressing Ontario’s looming deficit: Selling the LCBO. The last time the Ontario Government sold off a public utility the Ontario citizen was exposed to monopolistic tariffs of a cross Province expressway. Now… how does an article on a South African winemaker contribute to this discussion?

The article described LCBO’s proclivity to source South African wines from large corporations with a focus on revenue rather than quality. A story similar to ones I heard firsthand several years ago from a number of small New Zealand winery owners - and more recently from owners of small Niagara wineries. There is often no upside to climbing the steep incline of LCBO’s requirements to market their wines. The small winery owner finds himself managing shelf inventory across outlets and accepting the full impact of slow sales.

Norma Ratcliffe, an Edmontonian and the first female winemaker to become commercially successful in South Africa says in the article: “They're (stodgy managers of Canada’s government controlled liquor monopolies) out of touch. If they don't sell the wine in a certain period of time, they don't care, they still get their paycheque. They favour volume brands from South Africa - real plonk. Nobody here would touch it. We've been fighting this for a long time.”

Selling off the LCBO in whole or part could be the slippery slope of losing control of existing products and services. Instead of less plonk on the shelves the appetite for increased profits would drive more plonk and at higher prices. And why on earth sell off a Cash Cow?

So let’s keep the status quo with the LCBO raking in even higher tax revenue as public appetite for wine increases. The plonk drinking (an endearing term) Ontario consumer would continue to receive both products and services found satisfactory in the past.

But how are the consumers looking for wines of distinct and genuine qualities to be satisfied? Whenever I discover an enjoyable wine, perhaps during a restaurant meal, I search LCBO stock as a followup. Not finding the wine in Vintages I phone the restaurant often being given the supplier’s name, usually an Agency in the Greater Toronto Area. Then it’s a quick Google for a complete list of wines distributed by that Agency. Unfortunately one legislated quirk Agencies abide by is that their wines must be sold by the case - there’s no mixing of wines. For a wine I’ve already tasted a case of twelve can be a quick sale - pick it up, have it delivered or route delivery through an Outlet.

What of the other 100 or so wines sold by the same Agency? And what of the other 20 or so Agencies in Ontario - sole distributors of equally delightful wines? How do I justify purchasing a full case of a wine that I haven’t tasted?

I haven’t found a solution within the current system - but there could be with one act of legislation . One so simple. One to benefit everyone that why it hasn’t been enacted is a mystery that only a bureaucrat could explain. It would be a Win, Win, Win: for the wine consumer, for the Agencies and for both municipal and provincial Governments.

Allow Agencies to open Wine Bars: Retail stores offering wines, wine tastings, wine flights along with appetizers - and live local music. Most large cosmopolitan cities give colour and character to their local communities through these social outlets.

Agencies could solve the revenue holdback until the sale of a wine. Agencies could reduce impact of cottage wineries having to negotiate terms of marketing and the managing of wine inventories. Agencies are already motivated to stock value wines and now would have an outlet to prove their value. Agencies would properly cellar wines so as to protect their investment in stock. Agencies could even be a trigger to solve the interprovincial anarchy preventing cross border wine purchases. As the example in the video, let free enterprise bring life back to the serious wine consumer - it would be another revenue source for existing Agencies. 

Only the lack of the will to change, a resistance to join the rest of the word in treating wine as a social beverage not a revenue leverage, is preventing this from being a Win, Win, Win. The “stodgy managers of Canada’s government controlled liquor monopolies" could quickly get in touch with a modern public by accepting a change.

My opinion, Ww

Friday, January 01, 2010

The 500 Best-Value Wines 2010: 11 Tasted of 11

This is part of a review of Rod Phillips  The 500 Best Value Wines in the LCBO, 3rd edition, available in ‘good book stores everywhere’. 

Excluding Rosés, Bubblies and Sweet wines, seventy-eight (fifty reds and twenty eight whites) get the author’s top ratings of 4½ and 5 Stars. The twelve (eleven reds and one white) at the 5 star level are listed below. Two were above my ceiling of $25 so were dropped.

Changes adding up to eleven to taste:
  • Liberty Syrah 2007 replaces the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Earlier tasting notes for the Cab Sauv are included.
  • Katnook’s 2004 Merlot is added
  • Errazuriz Shiraz 2007 is dropped.
  • A later vintage is on the shelf for Peninsula Ridge ‘Inox’ Chardonnay, Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, the Terra d‘Aligi and Farnese 'Casale Vecchio' Montepulciano d‘Abruzzo.
With one exception the ratings of 4½ and 5 stars are equivalent to Wine Advocate range of 90 to 100. The exception is that a ½ Star, the equivalent of 2 to 3 points, can be added to represent a wine’s value. The Wine Advocate system leaves it up to the purchaser to determine value so only includes intrinsic parameters of colour, nose, flavour, finish and potential to be rated. This could mean that a low-priced wine rated 4½, if considered a good value by the author, may be rated as low as 87 using the Wine Advocate 100 point system. Such a wine although ‘very good quality’ may not be ‘outstanding’ except for your budget. When tasted wines appear in bold.

Cheers, Ww
  • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 94-3 -- V, Paso Robles, California, USA, #738823 $18.95* (pg136)
  • Liberty School Syrah 2007, 94-3 -- V, Paso Robles, California, USA, #942383 $18.95
  • Terra d’Aligi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2007, 93-3 -- G, Abruzzo, Italy, #028530 $11.95 (pg182)
  • Muga Reserva Rioja 2005, 90-1 -- V, Rioja, Spain, #177345 $24.95 (pg215)
  • Farnese ‘Casale Vecchio’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008, 88-2 -- G, Abruzzo, Italy, #612788 $9.95* (pg172)
  • Katnook Estate ‘Founder’s Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 88-1 -- G, Coonawara, Australia, #620070 $17.95 (pg112)
  • Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône 2007, 84 -- V, Rhône, France, #363457 $14.95 (pg162)
  • Pérez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, 80 -- V, Maipo Valley, Chile, #694208 $14.95 (pg147)
  • Katnook Estate ‘Founder’s Block’ Merlot 2004, 76 -- G, Coonawara, Australia, #141267 $16.95
  • Bellingham Shiraz/Viognier 2006 , 75 -- G, Coastal Region, S. Africa, #554360 $13.95 (pg207)

  •  Peninsula Ridge ‘Inox’ Chardonnay 2008, 91-2 -- G, Niagara, Ontario, #594200 $12.95 (pg89)
  • Errazuriz ‘Max Reserva’ Shiraz 2007, G, #614750 $17.95 (pg146)
  • Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, V, #352583 $39.95 (pg131)
  • Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, V, #255513 $35.95 (pg137)
(V - Vintages, G - General list, pg - Page of Rod Phillips tasting notes)


LIBERTY SCHOOL ( Map It! ) CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006, Paso Robles, California, USA, 13.5% XD, #738823 $16.95* (Tasted February 12, 2009) CS

My notes: *The LCBO is trying to find a price level that breaks the bank... now $18.95. This has a purple tint to the ruby red and a nose of subtle oak and blackberries, just a tinge of sweet fruit. The texture is full and soft with a ripe fruit tartness and silky tannins. The finish is moderate ending with a possible currant edge. A delightful sipper, full of flavour, appropriately dry and building in warmth and interesting nuances. A drink now with possibly two to four years cellaring. Have with red meat dishes.  94
LIBERTY SCHOOL ( Map It! ) SYRAH 2007, Paso Robles, California, 13.5% D, #942383 $18.95 (Tasted January 5, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on January 9, 2010 however this was on the shelf early.  My notes: The 2005 vintage was tasted in February 2009 with a rating of Ww88 and summed up as “a medium-bodied European style Syrah with some fresh fruit.” The deepness of the ruby colour of the 2007 gives an impression of velvety and rich which shows in the first sip. Full-bodied, the flavour is an interesting mix of blackberry and red currant with fine tannins and white pepper to spice things up a reasonable notch. The nose is soft taking time to settle - leave sniffing for five minutes then it’s of crushed blackberries and cherry blossom. Flavours and fine tannins carry through a long bright finish ending with a touch of sweet liquorice. An interesting sipper that should cellar well. Have with any grilled red meat.  94

PENINSULA RIDGE ESTATES ( Map It! ) ‘INOX’ CHARDONNAY 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 13.0% D, #594200 $12.95 (Tasted January 5, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing. The 2007 vintage was tasted on September 29, 2008 with a Ww89 rating and the comment “An elegant sipper not exposing a strong fruit leaning.” The 2008 is a buttery gold with a nose of banana, grapefruit and nippy citrus. A swirl shows a firm film that recedes ever so slowly - negligible legs. The first sip is smooth with a lemon-lime and some buttery melon flavouring and a long dry finish - no detectable sweetness. An interesting sipper - I would say unusual. Better to have with bacon wrapped scallops or grilled telapia, crab legs dipped in butter or fishcakes. I don’t think this will cellar beyond a year.  91

KATNOOK ( Map It! ) FOUNDER'S BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006, Coonawara, Australia, 13.5% D, #620070 $17.95 (Tasted January 14, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing last tasted November 15, 2008 and rated Ww88 with the recommendation to “cellar up to five years.” Air for an hour or aerate before serving and this will have an alluring aroma something between currant and floral. A deep black cherry colour, grey cast and flavours of blackberry and faint cedar well layered with fine tannins leaving a dryness to the palate that lasts to a light berry bramble. Well balanced, medium-bodied, dry, good as a sipper part way to old world. Have with grilled rib-eye or T-bone. Not much to gain by cellaring and perhaps close to a decline. 88 

KATNOOK ( Map It! ) FOUNDER'S BLOCK MERLOT 2004, Coonawara, Australia, 13.5% D, #141267 $16.95 (Tasted January 8, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on November 7, 2009 rated 88/100 and described by James Halliday (March 2007) as “A fine wine to enjoy with meat lasagna. Fresh, with some savoury/minty overtones to small berry fruits; fine tannins. Drink [until] 2012.” My notes: From the Wingara Wine Group. Cellaring 4-6 years was suggested for this wine and now has a ruby cast with an adobe edge suggesting this could be in to a 2nd year of decline. The nose is of red currants on burnt toast, a tad sharp but not unpleasant. On the first sip the fruit is no longer fresh being more of a unsweetened jam compote on the brambly side, medium-bodied, smooth with drying tannins and prominent acid ending warm and dry with cherry pit and leather tones. Not a sipper for a social crowd but could be passable with a T-bone or grilled ribs. If marked up to $48 in a restaurant I’d send it back.  76

PERRIN ( Map It! ) RÉSERVE CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROUGE 2007, Rhône, France, 13.0% D, #363457 $14.95 (Tasted January 31, 2010) CS

My notes: A Vintages release and last tasted on November 26, 2008 with a Ww91 rating and the comment ‘If you like European style this is a value.” A strawberry glow with a pinkish rim and faint aromas of cherry berry jam starts this in the right direction for a sipper. A swirl gives a thin film with a full ring of slow tears. Smooth, a lightish medium-body and fine tannins with flavours of cherries, a forest floor touch and long finish slightly minty on the tongue. Polite even interesting as a sipper but was too light in flavour and spice with prime rib, maybe better with a ham steak. Now, similar to the 2006 vintage. Not for cellaring.  84

PÉREZ CRUZ ( Map It! ) CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA 2007, Maipo Valley, Chile, 14.5% XD, #694208 $14.95 (Tasted February 11, 2010) CS

My notes: The second Vintages Release on October 10, 2009 of this vintage the previous being in May, 2009. The 2006 I rated 94 in November 2008, quite a turnaround from the same vintage tasted a year earlier (an 88). The 2007 in the May 2009 Release was rated 80. Spending time in the bottle seems to help this blend of cabernet sauvignon, and bits of merlot, carmenère and/or syrah depending on the year. The 2008 has a light nose of black cherry, a taint of floral and of humidor. The colour is a deep ruby purple hued and the first sip comes across as a rough, tart bramble and sour cherry. Fine tannins coat the palate drying the roof and continuing into a long tart, woody finish. It mellows somewhat with another sip but it never achieves a 'sipper' - rather it’s a grilled steak or rib red, very bright with sufficient acids to cut any fats. Cellaring several years may not mellow out firm acids and there’s not enough fruit to carry it - a ‘consume now’. 80

BELLINGHAM SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER 2006, Coastal Region, South Africa, 14.5% D, #554360 $13.95 (Tasted January 26, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing. Tasted the 2005 vintage (Ww87) in 11/2008 advising “With only 2% Viognier for softening, the shiraz … may have significant roughness. … Cellar at least two years for best value.” Let breathe for thirty minutes minimum for an unusual, lightly fragrant cherry blossom and pepper nose, ruby coloured with lots of tears on the first swirl. The first sip is thin, drying the palate adding flavours of sour cherry, lemon and brambly blueberry - not a sipper. The finish confirms this carrying the odd flavours to a slightly mineral, chalk dry ending. Have with grilled steaks, spaghetti and meatballs/chorizo sausage pieces. Would likely cellar for a few years to remove high tannins but not improve overall.  75 

MUGA ( Map It! ) RESERVA RIOJA 2005, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% D, #177345 $24.95 (Tasted February 5, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on November 21, 2009 rated 90/100 and described by Jay Miller  (June 2009) as “The purple-colored 2005 Muga Reserva, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the balance Mazuelo and Graciano ... delivers an alluring nose of cedar, tobacco, earth notes, mineral, and black cherry. This is followed by an elegant wine with good depth and enough ripe tannin to evolve for several years. Nicely balanced and long in the finish, it will be at its best from 2012 to 2020 if not longer.” My notes: An unusual flavouring of tobacco and stewed plum that evolves eventually to a delicate earthy humidor. Pairing with osso bucco or a slow simmered lamb shank would be ideal. Dry, fine tannins and an oak influence says this may not be for a mixed crowd - save for the Rioja guests who would appreciate the price. The colour is a ruby with a Garnacha hue, pinkish at the rim and there is a slight aroma of cherry blossoms and forest floor - but let air for 30 minutes or aerate. Rather than drink now cellar for two years. 90

TERRA D'ALIGI MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO ( Map It! ) 2007, Abruzzo, Italy, 13.0% D, #028530 $11.95 (Tasted February 2, 2010) CS

General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Dark garnet in colour, it shows intense aromas of stewed black cherry, violet and sour cherry. Medium to full-bodied, fruit-forward, somewhat earthy and ripe, it ends with sour cherry and leather tones. Serve with veal stew, grilled red meat.” My notes: A General listing and a vintage later than the Book. 100% Montepulciano and aged 12 months in Slavonia barrels. There’s a purple tint to deep black cherry skin red and warm aromas of spicy cherries and an earthy fragrance. A thin film with fast legs then a sip of hazel nut edged cherries. A good tannic bite with leather and liquorice, not strong but enough to add interest as fruit flavours evolve on the palate. A long flavourful, dry finish. Sip with Lindt milk chocolate balls or pair with tomato pastas, veal parmigiana or grilled lamb chops in a red wine gravy. This should cellar a few years well. 93

FARNESE ( Map It! ) ‘CASALE VECCHIO’ MONTEPULCIANO 2008, Abruzzo, Italy, 13.5% D, #612788 $9.95 (Tasted February 16, 2010) CS

My notes: A General listing and a toonie less than the 2007 and 2006. In October 2007 the 2006 vintage was rated Ww85 noting “A reasonable sipper perhaps flattening in texture and flavours more quickly than anticipated…”  The 2008 has a royal ruby glow, deep and attractive in the glass. The nose is muted blackberry, some earth and spice, politely nippy on the senses. The film is firm with slow tears and the first sip is smooth, with a minty berry riding on fine tannins and spice. An interesting sipper if not a tad earthy at the end leaving a tinge of woody bramble as well that would disappear with spaghetti and meatballs or marinated sirloin chunks fired over hot coals. Cellar for up to a year - primarily a drink now.  88

January 2010 Wines: 17 Tasted of 17

The five wines asterisked in the lists below are from Ww Recommendations for the Holidays blogged last month (25 Top LCBO Picks). The remaining wines were gifts from family and friends who know of my addiction - interventions are welcome if you bring some wine. Others were picked by chance. When tasted wines will be in bold with a rating.
Cheers, Ww

  • Ortas Tradition Rasteau 2008, 90-2 -- V, Rhone, France, #998716 $15.00
  • Jeanneret Grace & Favour 2005, 90-1 -- O, Clare Valley, Australia, #B&W Wines, $22.46
  • *Konzelmann Pinot Noir Spaetburgunder 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1 -- G, Niagara -on-the-Lake, Ontario, #200584 $12.70
  • J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, 87 -- V, Paso Robles, California, #656561 $21.95
  • Kleine Zalze ‘Vineyard Selection’ Shiraz 2006, 86 -- V, Stellenbosch, S.A., #906081 $21.95
  • *Cave Spring Gamay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 85 -- G, Jordan, Ontario, #228569 $12.95 
  • *No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Merlot 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 84 -- G, Vineland, Ontario, #063966 $15.95
  • Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, 84 -- G, California, USA, #534263 $19.95
  • MontGras Quatro 2007, 80 -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile,  #050641 $15.95

  • Wente ‘Morning Fog’ Chardonnay 2008, 92-3 -- G, Livermore Valley, California, #175430 $16.45 
  • Lammershoek Barrique Chenin Blanc 2007, 91-2 -- V, Swartland, South Africa, #058206 $18.95
  • *Konzelmann Pinot Blanc Weissburgunder 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87-1 -- G, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #219279 $10.95 
  • Loredona Pinot Grigio 2008, 87 -- V, Monterey, California, #059188 $16.95 
  • Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Gris 2008, 85 -- V, Hawke's Bay, NZ, #032292 $15.75
  • *Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery ‘The Census Count’ Chardonnay 2006 VQA, 84 -- G, Okanagan Valley, Canada, #092296 $14.95 
  • Lailey Vidal 2008 VQA Ontario, 83 -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $12.20
  • Mike Weir Sauvignon Blanc 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 80 -- G, Beamsville, Ontario, #686972 $15.95
(V - Vintages, G - General listing, O - Other r-v - Rating-Value)


BERINGER ( Map It! ) FOUNDERS’ ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007, California, USA, 13.5% D, #534263 $19.95 (Tasted January 15, 2010) CS
A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Ruby red colour; forward cassis and spice in the nose that follows through to the palate; dry and medium-bodied with ripe fruit mid-palate and fruity, oaky vanillin notes in finish. Serve with grilled or roasted red meats, spicy chicken dishes and medium cheese.” My notes: A Foster’S label. The thin film recedes quickly leaving mostly scalloped edges rather than tears. The colour is ruby and nose is earthy, blackberry with a touch of dry liquorice. Silky edged to a lightish medium-bodied, bright flavour of berries, white pepper and old vines lead to a long, dry berry skin finish. The brightness, even a sweet edge, that comes with a sip gives this extra interest as a sipper. The body, tannins and soft spice would pair well with grilled beef. Not much to cellar - a commercial drink now.  84

*CAVE SPRING ( Map It! ) GAMAY 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Ontario, 12.5% D, #228569 $12.95 (Tasted January 8, 2010) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Light ruby red colour; lots of fresh red and black cherry aromas with hints of smoked meat and spice on the nose; dry, medium bodied, with round, ripe berry fruit flavour and crisp finish. Quite versatile; roast turkey and cranberry sauce; grilled salmon steaks; roast pork, pizza; cold meats.” My notes: Previously tasted in May this year and rated Ww90 saying "a delicate first sip that builds on the roof with warmth and spicy berries and leaving a velvet fuzz… should cellar well". This has a deep strawberry colour with a garnet cast and a pink meniscus. Aromas are an earthy blend of cherries and strawberry bubble gum - a touch of white pepper. A few tears flow as the thin film quickly recedes. There’s a brightness that comes before flavours of almost ripe strawberries along with an unexpected tart ending. The finish goes to a bramble edge, dry and velvety. Not a sipper but a meal red to pair with turkey breast and apple stuffing, grilled salmon, veal cutlet or parmigiana. Not likely to improve with cellaring - possibly becoming more acidic.  85

KLEINE ZALZE ( Map It! ) ‘VINEYARD SELECTION’ SHIRAZ 2006, Stellenbosch, S.A., 14.5% XD, #906081 $21.95 (Tasted January 11, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on June 6, 2009 winner of a Silver Medal (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2008) described as “A baked fruit pie and cedar nose. Ripe, open, juicy. Integrated tannins. Sleek and sweet. Zesty, appealing. Fine, creamy tannins.” My notes: A rich ruby deep enough to be opaque in the bowl, a firm film and fast tears makes this attractive on the first pour. Left for twenty minutes to air the nose comes slowly: stewed, spicy edged black cherries and equal mahogany. A strong but smooth nip, full in the mouth and soft oak and black cherries finely laid with noticeable tannins. Finishes dry, long with an aftertaste like chewing on a Cuban cigar - but not quite. Could leave to cellar a few years but drinking well now if you enjoy fully processed European reds.  86

MONTGRAS ( Map It! ) QUATRO 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 14.5% D, #050641 $15.95 (Tasted January 18, 2010) CS
A Vintages release on January 9, 2010 rated 89+/100 and described by Jay Miller (Oct 2008) as “The 2007 Quatro is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 25% Carmenère, and 15% Syrah. Purple-coloured, it has a complex bouquet of cedar, spice box, black currant, blackberry, and a hint of blueberry in the background. This is followed by a layered wine with good depth and concentration with enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years. Drink this excellent value from 2009 to 2015. “ My notes: A dense ruby with a purple tinge and delicate aromas of berries, currant and cedar blended equally. Let this air forty minutes minimum before serving. A swirl shows a firm film that recedes slowly forming just a few slow tears then a sip finds fine tannins and a herbal berry flavour that leaves a long medicinal, anise tinged ending - not a favourite note as a sipper. Have with grilled meats brushed with a smoky glaze or with a beef bourguignon, something heavy, even sweet. Cellar two years for foreground flavours to mellow or skip - not a drink now, maybe not then for most. 80

J. LOHR ( Map It! ) SEVEN OAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007, Paso Robles, California, 13.5% XD, #656561 $21.95 (Tasted January 1, 2010) CS
A Vintages release on October 10, 2009 described anonymously (undated) as “… Aged in oak for more than a year, this densely coloured red is packed with intense aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant, cedar, vanilla, and spices. Full-bodied and sweet-centred, this Cabernet will beautifully complement braised beef with a mildly spicy sauce.” My notes: A Vintages Essential and $2 more than the 2005 (Ww86) tasted in January 2008 and the 2003 (NR) in June 2006. This is a blend of 80.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petite Sirah, 4.0% Petit Verdot, 2.7% Syrah, 1.4% Merlot and 1% Malbec and 1.8% other reds. Air twenty minutes or so. The colour is a violet ruby, deep and luxuriant in the bowl. The nose is a berry blend with a currant or two added. A firm film with tears taking a moment to form… full-bodied, an excellent balance of fruit, acids, fine tannins, oak and leaving a dry, ripe berry compote that lasts a long while ending earthy - a commercial sipper likely to please a crowd. Have with any grilled beef or full flavoured stew. A drink now that could cellar a few years.  87 

*No. 99 WAYNE GRETZKY ( Map It! ) MERLOT 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.7% D, #063966 $13.95 (Tasted January 1, 2010) CS
A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Medium ruby in colour with aromas of red cherry plus hints of vanilla. It is medium-bodied, slightly austere with flavours of red cherry ending with tart acidity. Serve with steak, burgers.” My notes: Previously rated Ww89 on January 24th 2009 noting “… the first sip has a softness mixed with bright fruit quite pleasing to the palate… ”. The colour of ripe black cherries and a nose of raspberries touched by cinnamon. The thin film recedes slowly fragmenting into fast tears and the first sip is a fresh black- raspberry blend, finishing dry and steely edged with a moderate tang. Doesn’t have the softness as a sipper as a year ago. A lightish medium-bodied meal red. Have with cheesy pastas and pizzas… or with rack of lamb or lamb shank. 84

*KONZELMANN ( Map It! ) PINOT NOIR SPAETBURGUNDER 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, NOTL, Ontario, 12.0% D, #200584 $12.70 (Tasted January 6, 2010) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Ruby red colour; aromas of light berry, black cherry, red liquorice, a touch of spice/oak & earth; dry, med-bodied with good acidity, light earthy/mineral notes, ripe strawberry & raspberry fruit flavours; quite smooth with soft tannins & a fruity finish. Serve with grilled or poached salmon steaks; vegetable kebabs; pizza; pork; ham; poultry.” My notes: Tasted in October 2009 rating it Ww88 with the note, “… long finish is flavourful right to an ending that has a mineral twinge”. This has a soft floral nose with a slight beet and berry scent. A swirl brings a firm film with a few slow legs and a sip has a tobacco tinge to a bright ripe berry mix. The brightness follows through a long finish ending on a mineral note. Strikes me there’s some sweetness with a balanced fruit, earth, fine tannins and acids. A meal red to have with a ham steak, pork cutlets or sliced turkey breast. - hmmm wondering about sipping with milk chocolates perhaps.  88

*KONZELMANN ( Map It! )  PINOT BLANC WEISSBURGUNDER 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, NOTL, Ontario, 12.5% D, #219279 $10.95 (Tasted January 19, 2010) CS
A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Straw yellow colour; floral, fruity peach & melon nutty tone in aroma; medium body and fruit flavour fresh finish, good food wine. Serve chilled with pasta or vegetarian dishes.” My notes: Previously tasted in October 2009 and has kept flavours and textures well. A light golden with aromas of stone fruit and apple. Smooth with a bit of chalk on the first sip, well balanced leaving a slight tang and dryness with the stone fruit carrying through the finish - a twinge of sweetness. Flavours build as a sipper - on the delicate side for a meal white… would go well with scallops with lemon vodka sauce and risotto, other seafoods or Japanese fare. Cellaring a year at a time may develop roundness further improving value but primarily a drink now.  87 

*GANTON & LARSEN PROSPECT WINERY ‘THE CENSUS COUNT’ CHARDONNAY 2006 VQA Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada, 13.0% D, #092296 $14.95 (Tasted January 14, 2010) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Deep straw colour; notes of citrus, lime, and butter; medium bodied, crisp, yet round in the mouth with flavours of tropical fruit and balanced oak. A delicious match with pasta in cream sauce.” My notes: From the Artisan Winery in Oliver, BC. Rated Ww86 when tasted in January 2009 with the recommendation to sip off chill. A golden colour in the bowl with a healthy butter, ripe banana and grass aroma. An oaked chardonnay one you’d expect from California full of sunshine and flavours. A reasonable film with long fast legs, medium-bodied, and a first sip that has more grass masking pear and light apple, a soft texture for a finish that fades slowly. A pleasant sniffer and the creaminess makes this an interesting not outstanding sipper. A drink now to have with whitefishes or creamy pastas - was great with minestrone.  84

MIKE WEIR ( Map It! )  SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5% XD, #686972 $15.95 (Tasted January 2, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on November 21, 2009 described anonymously (undated) as “This homegrown Savvy features concentrated aromas of mineral, lemon, and grapefruit with clean grassy notes. Refreshing, with hints of ripe tropical and citrus fruit flavours and a racy, crisp finish. Enjoy it as an aperitif or pair it with fish pan-fried in lemon butter.” My notes: The 2006 purchased in April 2007 was thought to be “unusually NZ-like…” but didn’t age well rated Ww81 when tasted in April 2008. The 2008 vintage has a nose of gooseberries and dry grass, both equally faint. The film recedes slowly leading to a few slow tears against a light straw colour and the first sip has a predominant chalk and grass flavouring overriding minimal lime and gooseberry. The texture and soft acids would have provided an interesting sipper except for the flavours carried into a moderate finish. Not a sipper and did not go well with asparagus and cilantro soup with grilled cheese on multigrain. A drink now - not a value imho. 80

LOREDONA( Map It! ) PINOT GRIGIO 2008, Monterey, California, 13.5% D, #059188 $16.95 (Tasted January 5, 2010) CS
A Vintages release on November 21, 2009 described anonymously (undated) as “Fresh and elegant, … an exceptional sipping wine that's perfect for Sunday brunches. Bursting with tangerine, lemon and other citrus fruit flavours, it will also match grilled white fish with lemon and fresh herbs.” My notes: From Delicato Vineyards. There’s a faint peach to a crystal light gold for this Italian style Pinot Grigio. There’s negligible nose when chilled and a faint apple apricot and soft floral when off chill. Extra dry for cleansing the palate right from the first sip along with blended flavours of pear and peach discernible when slightly off chill. An aperitif with raw oysters, grilled mussels paprika aioli, stuffed mushrooms or bacon wrapped scallops. The finish is refreshingly tart with some late chalk layering the palate. Not a sipper. Have with creamy pastas, lemon chicken and white rice or sushi/sashimi rolls. Cellaring for a few years should be OK.  87 .

WENTE( Map It! ) MORNING FOG CHARDONNAY 2008, Livermore Valley, California, 13.5% D, #175430 $16.45 (Tasted January 3, 2010) CS

A General listing described anonymously (undated) as “Pale straw colour; apple and pear aromas with mineral and oaky notes; round fruit flavours with a citrusy finish. Serve with pasta in a cream sauce or with finger foods. The Wente website says “Enjoy aromas and flavours of green apple and tropical fruits, balanced by subtle oak, cinnamon and vanilla from barrel aging. With a mouth-filling body and balanced acidity, this wine delivers a medium-long, refreshing finish” My notes: Rated Ww86 on August 11, 2008 the 2006 vintage was described as ‘a leesy butter and minimal mandarin as it comes off chill.’ The 2005 on June 9, 2007 was ‘easily forgettable as a sipper’. The 2008 is a mid gold, crystal clear in the bowl and has a clean light scent of butterscotch. Flavours of lemon and faint orange with balanced acid and a sweet edge makes this an elegant white. A smooth butter starts then a clean tang takes over for a long finish. Serve chilled and it’s a super aperitif. Let go off chill and the smoothness makes sipping interesting and refreshing. Have with grilled whitefish, crab cakes or creamy lobster pieces on thins. Should cellar a few years. A good value imho.  92

LAMMERSHOEK ( Map It! ) BARRIQUE CHENIN BLANC 2007, Swartland, South Africa, 14.5% XD, #058206 $18.95 (Retasted January 21, 2010) CS

My notes: Last tasted in June 2008 and rated Ww92. A rich golden in the glass with aromas of melon, stone fruit and straw after a few minutes de-chilling. A swirl brings many tears from a light, scalloped film and a first sip is fully rounded with an interesting blend of nearly ripe melon, apricot, honey and slight pear. Medium-bodied with flavours that continue into the long finish mellowing into an appealing tangy blend. This has cellared well developing a slight smoky edge and will likely go another few years. It was great with roast salmon fillet and dill sauce.  91

ORTAS ( Map It! ) TRADITION RASTEAU 2008, Rhone, France, 14.0% XD, #998716 $15.00 (Tasted January 22, 2010) CS

A Vintages release on January 9, 2010 described (Aug 2009) by their Panel as “This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre displays an attractive nose of wild berries, black fruit, pepper and a hint of tar. This dry, soft-textured, medium-bodied wine features juicy black fruit and hints of leather and pepper. Very pleasant match indeed for comfort foods like lamb stew, shepherd's pie or beef casserole.” My notes: There’s a gold medallion on the label from the 2009 Concours des Grands Vins de France in Mâcon. Previous vintages tasted were the 2007 (Ww92, Dec 2008) and 2006 (Ww90, June 2008) so I had to try their 2008. A mid ruby bright in the bowl and a swirl brings a think film and long fast tears. A nose of sweet blackberry, slight pepper, floral and rough hewn cedar from twenty feet, ie. a tad. The first sip has a level acid, brighter than the 2006, and fine tannins carrying berry, woody vine and leather flavours. This was good with a tomato lasagna and tangy greens - better with a beef stew or prime rib. Cellaring potential is high for a lightish medium-bodied sipper or meal red in two years.  90

JEANNERET ( Map It! ) GRACE & FAVOUR 2005, Clare Valley, Australia, 15.0% XD, #B&W Wines $22.46 (Retasted January 23, 2010)

My notes: Last tasted in June 2008 and rated Ww94, this is rich ruby, pink at the rim with faint aromas of berries and charred earth. The film is thin but firm with tears showing after a few seconds. Less fruit forward than first tasted in Sept 2006 but with increased depth now showing. The first swallow is smooth quickly followed by a brightness that wakes up the buds and a lingering acid to fill in a long berry, slight liquorice, lip smacking finish. This has cellared well adding character that changes during sipping but likely nearing decline. Was good with penne in an arabatta sauce with sausage and shrimp and would be good paired with most grilled meats. 90

SILENI ( Map It! ) CELLAR SELECTION PINOT GRIS 2008, Hawke's Bay, NZ, 14.0% MD, #032292 $15.75 (Retasted January 24, 2010) CS

Released by Vintages on January 10, 2009 with the suggestion to ‘drink it young or keep 3-4 years. My notes: Last tasted in January 2009 and rated Ww80. The colour is a light golden and the nose needs time and slight warming to appear then it’s a just perceptible honey and stone fruit. A thin film with fast legs leads to a nicely rounded light-bodied blend of melon, citrus and grass. A lighter flavour than last year and the finish carries mostly green melon, a touch of lime and fades to a grassy tinge. Definitely D rather than MD, a white for white fishes, lobster or crab, green lipped mussels or grilled chicken breast. Was excellent with scallop pieces in a creamy white wine sauced farfelle casserole. Has kept well during the year altho’ losing some fruit but gaining charm. No harm in keeping another year - likely will keep its freshness. 85

LAILEY ( Map It! ) VIDAL 2008 VQA Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 11.5% D, #Winery $12.20 (Retasted January 27, 2010)

My notes: Last tasted after purchase from Lailey in April 2009 and rated Ww92. The colour has shifted to a light blond and the nose just a touch of citrus. Lots of spritz when pouring and on the first sip. Very dry, very much like a sparkling white, and full of fresh grapefruit, lemon, lime blended so not one is distinct. A surprise with grilled salmon and cauliflower but went well. A long finish of the same flavourings. An Ok sipper and should improve with fresh oysters or crab cakes. As an aperitif it’s adequate, also as a meal white. The remaining in the cellar will need attention soon. 83

Favourites of 2009

My top picks from the 322 (omitting dessert and bubblies) wines tasted during 2009 are listed below. The wines were from twelve countries with the majority from Canada (74), Australia (53), Italy (38), Chile (35), Argentina (34) and the USA (25). Of the ninety-five in the 90+ range all but sixteen were from Vintages shelves… which is ‘good’ and ‘bad’: ‘good’ says that Vintages is a more likely place to find a 90+ wine at a reasonable price and ‘bad’ since good wines don’t stay in stock long. LCBO stock can be checked by clicking on the wine's Product Code. If it shows '0 results found' the wine has been delisted - it may come back at a different vintage. I've used the LCBO link as it will be current.
Some wines were purchased directly from an Ontario winery and I've included the winery link in the event they still have stock. WinerytoHome also represents many Ontario wineries.

There was a 1 in 3 (red) or 1 in 4 (white) chance of picking a wine in the top range. Of the 322 the best selection of reds came from Australia and Argentina and of whites from New Zealand - although limited to Sauvignon Blanc - and Canada.

The list is in order of rating and value which doesn't tell a complete story without the tasting notes. These can be found by searching the blog by entering the Product Code at the sidebar. I hope the following is useful in some way. Most of the prices are below $25 and were at time of purchase.

Happy imbibing! Ww

Red Wines - 63 of 187 Tastings (includes Rosés) 

(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other r-v - Rating-Value)
  1. Wolf Blass Black Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2002, 97 - V, Australia, #960468 $89.95
  2. Rosenvale Estate Grenache 2005, 96-3 -- V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #059881 $21.95
  3. Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2006, 95-3 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #050849 $19.95
  4. Saltram of Barossa ‘Mamre Brook’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 95-3 -- V, Barossa, Australia, #048579 $21.95
  5. Water Wheel ‘Bendigo’ Shiraz 2006, 95-3 -- V, Victoria, Australia, #700815 $18.95
  6. Vista Touriga Nacional Berias Red 2004, 94-3 -- G, Portugal, #613919 $13.20
  7. Concha Y Toro ‘Winemaker’s Lot 148’ Carmenère 2007, 94-3 -- V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #030957 $16.95
  8. Irony Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 94-3 -- V, Napa Valley, USA, #025106 $19.95
  9. Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 94-3 -- V, Paso Robles, California, #738823 $17.95
  10. Sonsierra Rioja Reserva 2002, 94-3 -- V, Rioja Alta, Spain, #094920 $20.95
  11. Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 93-3 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #077776 $18.95
  12. Finca Flichman Expresiones Reserve Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon March 2007, 93-3 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #017111 $15.95 
  13. Viña Calina Alcance Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 93-3 -- V, Maule Valley, Chile, #079533 $19.95 
  14. d'Arenberg ‘The Custodian’ Grenache 2006, 93-2 -- V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #713040 $21.95 
  15. Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 93-3 -- V, Maipo Valley, Chile, #061937 $16.95
  16. Fess Parker ‘Santa Barbera County’ Syrah 2006, 93-2 -- O, California, USA, #Other, $24.95US
  17. Malivoire Old Vines Foch (Canadian Oak) 2002 VQA Ontario, 92-2 -- O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.00
  18. Apaltagua Envero Gran Reserva ‘Apalta Vineyard Selection’ 2007, 92-3  -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #129973 $15.95
  19. Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2006, 92-3 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #677559 $16.95 
  20. Ferngrove Shiraz 2007, 92-3  -- V, Western Australia, #090282 $16.95
  21. Mitolo ‘Jester’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, 92-2 -- V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #043224 $22.95
  22. Stella Bella Shiraz 2006, 92-2  -- V, Margaret River, Australia, #048553 $20.95
  23. Clos de Los Siete 2007, 92-2 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #622571 $23.95
  24. Final Cut Montage Shiraz 2008, 92-2 -- V, South Australia, #108084 $19.95
  25. Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa Valley, 92-2  -- V, California, USA, #314575 $24.95
  26. George Wyndham Founder’s Reserve Shiraz 2005, 92-2 -- V, South Australia, #107904 $22.95
  27. Domaine Grand Veneur ‘Les Champauvins’ Côtes Du Rhône-Villages 2007, 92-2 -- V, Rhône, France, #076331 $19.95
  28. Telteca Anta Reserve Malbec 2004, 92-2 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #093690 $20.95
  29. The Hedonist Shiraz 2005, 92-2 -- V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #090191 $19.95
  30. Mission Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006 VQA Okanagan Valley, 92-2  -- V, BC, Canada, #553321 $22.95
  31. X & Y Cabernet Merlot 2004, 92-2  -- V, Margaret River, Australia, #107995 $17.95
  32. Chalten Gran Seleccion Malbec 2007, 92-2 -- V, Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina, #114215 $18.95
  33. Neudorf Tom’s Block Pinot Noir 2007, 92-2  -- V, Nelson, NZ, #120790 $26.95
  34. Pillar Box Red 2007, 92-2 -- V, Padthaway, Australia, #685941 $17.95
  35. No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estate ‘Estate Series’ Shiraz/Cabernet 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 92-2 -- O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery, $22.95
  36. Torbreck Cuvée Juveniles 2006, 92-1 -- V, Barossa Valley, Australia, #723940 $29.95
  37. Chakana Andean Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, 91-3  -- V, Luján de Cuyo, Argentina, #663161 $13.95
  38. Valentin Famiglia Bianchi Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, 91-2 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #677567 $15.95
  39. Pikes ‘The Assemblage’ Shiraz/Mourvedre/Grenache 2006, 91-2 -- V, Clare Valley, Australia, #014332 $18.95
  40. Ballast Stone ‘Currency Creek’ Merlot 2006, 91-2 -- V, South Australia, #127555 $16.95 
  41. Lailey Vineyard Cabernet-Syrah 2006 VQA Niagara River, 91-1  -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $30.20
  42. Erath Pinot Noir Oregon 2006, 91-1  -- V, Oregon, USA, #932541 $24.95
  43. Viu Manent Reserva Carmenère 2006, 90-2  -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #045161 $16.95
  44. Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Carmenère 2007, 90-2  -- V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #034942 $19.95
  45. Water Wheel Memsie 2007, (RP87-89), 90-2 -- V, Bendigo, Australia, #656637 $13.95
  46. Terre Domini Valpolicella Ripasso La Vigilia 2006, 90-2  -- V, Veneto, Italy, #103606 $18.95
  47. Bonterra ‘Mendocino County’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 90-2 -- V, Hopland, California, #342428 $19.95
  48. Malivoire Red 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2 -- G, Niagara, Ontario, #141523 $14.95
  49. Julián Chivite Gran Feudo Viñas Viejas Reserva 2003, 90-2 -- V, Navarra, Spain, #948067 $19.95
  50. Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah 2008, 90-2  -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #037887 $16.95
  51. Truchard Zinfandel Napa Valley 2003, 90-2 -- V, Carneros, USA, #054858 $18.95
  52. Chakana Malbec 2007, 90-2 -- V, Mendoza, Argentina, #003509 $13.95
  53. Graffigna Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 90-2  -- V, San Juan, Argentina, #060202 $17.95
  54. Volpaia Citto Toscana 2007, 90-2 -- V, Chianti, Italy, #134817 $13.95
  55. Alkoomi ‘Frankland River’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, 90-2 -- V, Western Australia, #904227 $17.95
  56. Casa Tamaya ‘Estate Bottled’ Syrah Reserva 2008, 90-2  -- V, Limari Valley, Chile, #135418 $13.95
  57. Familia Zuccardi Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec 2008, 90-2 -- G, Mendoza, Argentina, #135475 $9.95
  58. Monte Antico Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006, 90-2 -- V, Tuscany, Italy, #069377 $14.95
  59. Zenato Valpolicella Superiore 2007, 90-2  -- V, Veneto, Italy, #995704 $16.95
  60. Pasión 4 Merlot 2007, 90-2  -- V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #059287 $11.95
  61. Clarence Hill Shiraz 2005, 90-1 -- V, McLaren Vale, Australia, #599811 $20.95
  62. Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006, 90-1 -- V, Central Otago, NZ, #093708 $29.95
  63. Bodegas Ateca Atteca Old Vines 2006, 90-1  -- V, Calatayud, Spain, #103473 $22.95 
Whites Wines - 32 of 135 Tastings  (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value)
  1. Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc 2008, 94-3 -- V, Margaret River, Australia, #108159 $19.95
  2. Rosewood Estates ‘Renaceau Vineyard’ Chardonnay Reserve 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 94-2 -- O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.20
  3. Rosewood Estates ‘Renaceau Vineyard’ Riesling Reserve 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 94-2 -- O, Beamsville, Canada, #Winery $25.20
  4. Cattail Creek Dry Riesling 2006 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, 92-3 -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $15.20
  5. Lailey Vineyard Vidal 2008 VQA Ontario, 92-3 -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $12.20
  6. Wandering Piano by Gravitas Sauvignon Blanc 2006, 92-3 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #091017 $15.95
  7. Calamus Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 92-3  -- O, Jordan, Canada, #Winery, $15.20
  8. Tedeschi Capitel Tenda Soave Classico 2008, 92-3 -- V, Verona, Italy, #730903 $15.95
  9. Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2006, 92-3 -- V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #045138 $13.95
  10. Grove Mill Pinot Gris 2007, 92-3 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #001693 $16.95
  11. Malivoire White 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 92-3 -- O, Beamsville, Ontario, #141531 $14.95
  12. Domaine des Aspes Viognier 2008, 92-3 -- V, Languedoc, France, #712638 $14.95
  13. Parri Estate Viognier Chardonnay 2007, 92-2  -- V, Southern Fleurieu, Australia, #017319 $17.95
  14. Hugo Grüner Veltliner 2008, 91-3  -- V, Niederosterreich, Austria, #641506 $13.95
  15. Château de Maligny Le Carré de César Chablis 2007, 91-2 -- V, Burgundy, France, #708339 $22.95
  16. Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2008, 91-2 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #990580 $19.95
  17. Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chenin Blanc 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 91-2  -- O, Jordan, Canada, #Winery $18.15
  18. Martin Steimer Pinot Gris 2008, 91-2  -- V, Alsace, France, #106807 $17.95
  19. McPherson Basilisk Marsanne Viognier 2007, 90-2  -- V, Central Victoria, Australia, #678599 $19.95
  20. Cattail Creek Chardonnay Musqué 2007 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, 90-2  -- O, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #Winery $17.20
  21. Coyote’s Run ‘Red Paw Vineyard’ Pinot Gris 2007 VQA Four Mile Creek, 90-2 -- V, St. David’s, Niagara on the Lake, #116582 $17.95
  22. Bonterra ‘Mendocino County’ Chardonnay 2006, 90-2 -- V, Hopland, California, #342436 $18.95
  23. Bonterra ‘Mendocino County’ Chardonnay 2007, 90-2 -- V, Hopland, California, #342436 $18.95
  24. Borgo Magredo Pinot Grigio 2007, 90-2 -- V, Fruili, Italy, #072389 $16.95
  25. William Fèvre Chile Gran Cuvée Chardonnay 2007, 90-2 -- V, Maipo Valley, Chile, #045146 $18.95
  26. Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2006 VQA Okanagan Valley, 90-2 -- V, BC, #377770 $19.95
  27. Soljans Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007, 90-2 -- V, Marlborough, NZ, #091223 $17.95
  28. Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2008, 90-2 -- G, Marlborough, NZ, #426601 $15.95
  29. X&Y Chardonnay 2006, 90-2 -- V, Margaret River, Australia, #048561 $18.80
  30. Malivoire Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 90-2 -- V, Beamsville, Ontario, #573147 $19.95
  31. Riff Terra Alpina Pinot Grigio 2008, 90-2 -- V, Veneto, Italy, #066415 $13.95
  32. Amayna Sauvignon Blanc 2006, 90-1 -- V, Leyda Valley, Chile, #077693 $20.95