Monday, December 09, 2013

December 2013 Wines - 20 Tasted of 20

When Nature paints a Picture

I've started to lose interest in going to the LCBO. Starting when I was eighteen with mostly French imports and Niagara Concords the LCBO had the comfortable feel of a grandfather looking after what could be a wayward grandson. 'Have some Baby Duck - it doesn't have the kick of stronger wines and you'll enjoy the bouquet and sweetness'. 'You'll have plenty of time to grow into the hard stuff'.

Concord and caramelized Chardonnays weren't to my taste so it wasn't long before I was skipping the 'safe' stuff and tasting Canadian Rye. I never did progress to the bite of a Scotch and  Bourbon turned my eyes inward.  For something sweet it was a chilled mix of clear Creme de Menthe and Courvoisier. 

Losing interest could be partly a rebellion against 'grandfatherly' controls. However, having gone past the same labels row after row for sixty years shopping has become a chore - it's tiresome. 

I don't believe I'd ever grow tired of the variety of store fronts, labels and personalities of the shops I visited in New Zealand. And I enjoyed the novelty of selecting wines from CostCo shelves in Massachusetts, the boutique wineries with their tasting bars in California and even the odd one on Vancouver Island or in Burnaby, BC.

The other upsetting aspect, and it's becoming more prevalent, is the high cost of some less than average wines. Perhaps having languished in a warehouse or a poor choice by one of the few wine experts on the monopoly's payroll some, mostly notable reds, ie. the private gone corporate brand that now sells for $35 at the LCBO ($20 online), and defaults as gravy filler instead of a relaxing sipper.

As the wine world succumbs to modern day entrepreneurial greed and a monopoly is given control over price, product and availability there is much less value for the consumer. 

My opinion, Ww

PS. An interesting article by Rhys Pender, MW describing the 'wine and food culture', or lack of, in Canada.  I add that there can be no depth to a multifaceted appreciation and integration of wine into our society as long as authority for wine retailing is in the hands of a monopolistic oligarchy.   

THE LINEUP: (Reds, Whites then Bubblies)

  • William Cole Winemaker's Special Reserve 2010, 91-2  --  V,  Casablanca, Chile, #325431 $17.95
  • Salentein Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 90a-2  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #353177 $17.95 
  • Pillitteri Antagonist 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1  --  V, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #291948 $15.95
  • Zolo Reserve Estate Grown Malbec 2008, 88a-1  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #081091 $17.95 
  • Emiliana Natura Carmenère 2012, 87-1  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #056887 $14.95 
  • Luigi Righetti Campolieti Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2011, 85  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #695890 $17.95  
  • Domaine de Rochebin Clos Saint-Germain Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne 2011,  83  --  V, Burgundy, France, #264549 $18.95  
  • J.P. Chenet Limited Release Pinot Noir 2012, 82  --  G, Midi, France,  #142406  $12.95 
  • Cupcake Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2011,  75  --  G, Livermore, California,  #307975 $15.45

  • Vignobles Guilhem le Viognier 2012, 89-2  --  V,  Pays d'Oc, France, #358507 $15.95
  • Zolo Reserve Chardonnay 2012, 89-1 --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #347765 $16.95 
  • André Blanck et ses Fils Clos Schwendi Pinot Gris 2012, 89-1  --  V, Kientzheim, France, #686311 $18.95 
  • Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2012, 88-1  --  V,  Alto Adige, Italy, #095802 $16.95 
  • Joseph Cattin Gewurztraminer 2011, 87  --  V, Alsace, France, #224626 $17.95
  • Pierre Sparr Altenbourg Riesling 2010, 86  --  V, Alsace, France, #906016 $16.95 
  • Trapiche Finca Las Palmas Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2011,  83  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #355610 $16.95 
  • Pighin Pinot Grigio 2012, 83 --  V,  Fruili, Italy, #987545 $16.95
  • Genesis Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2010, 83  -- V, Washington, USA, #327916 $18.95

  • Charles Duret Crémant de Bourgogne NV, 84  --  V, Meursault, France, #185694 $18.95   
  • Juvé y Camps Cinta Purpura Reserva Brut Cava 2009, 83  -  V, Catalunya, Spain, #352864 $17.95
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


CUPCAKE CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011,   Livermore, California, 13.0%  D  9g/L, #307975  $15.45  (Tasted December 6, 2013) 

A General listing.  My notes:  A scent of raspberries rinsed and on the way to the crusher, from 100 feet, ie. in the distance.  The colour is a oak hued ruby and a swirl leaves a thin viscous film draining slowly without separating. The first sip has an offensive aftertaste taking away an initial impression of blackberry fruit with a finish carrying a bland likeness ending flat and unappealing. Not to be served to guests nor paired with a meal - was discarded. 75

J.P. CHENET LIMITED RELEASE PINOT NOIR 2012,  Midi, France, 12.5%  XD  4g/L, #142406   $12.95  (Tasted December 4, 2013) 

A General listing.  My notes:  A distant taffy apple combines with a spicy cherry scent to offer a party aspect to the first sniff. The film is firm on the glass and slowly gives up rows of receding tears. The first sip is fresh, fruity and sweet - contrary to the LCBO rating - including light tannins that lead to a dusty finish. Mindful of a Nouveau although a different and modest flavour spectrum this has overtones of fresh raspberry-strawberry. Have as a social sipper for the Gen Y crowd. A duck breast pot roast adequately balanced the sweetness though there was conflict with the cranberry gravy. A drink now. 82

WILLIAM COLE WINEMAKER'S SPECIAL RESERVE 2010,  Casablanca, Chile,  13.9%  XD  4g/L,  #325431  $17.95  (Tasted December 13, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 6, 2013. Rated 90 by Patricio Tapia, Descorchados Wine Guide (2013). My notes:  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 25% Carmenere. For a visual there's a charcoal tinted ruby and a viscous film that forms a rounded rim shedding long slow legs. Sweet cherry is the main feature of a nose having a smoky accented blackberry scent easily sniffed accompanied with or without grilled sausage pieces or pepperoni thins on garlic bread. Flavours follow the nose ending an extra dry tangy berry. Better with a rare tenderloin smothered in onions and a side of twice baked potato . Cellaring several years could integrate the tannins, spice and fruit. 91

PIGHIN PINOT GRIGIO 2012, Fruili, Italy, 12.5%  XD  2g/L, #987545  $16.95  (Tasted December 10, 2013) 

Released by Vintages on July 20, 2013. My notes: A clear lemon yellow and an unusual nose having a noticeable vegetable accent to a tropical fruit mix. A thin film sticks then drains by slow tears from a lacy rim. Serve well chilled for flavours of tart lemon balanced with Herb-de-Province. Airing softens vegetable aspect a tad for a long extra dry finish.  Difficult to pair unless a  cheesy pasta, macaroni and cheddar perhaps, or Italian sausage pieces with gnocchi in a tomato sauce. Did not pair well with grilled pork with a plum sauce. A drink now or a cooking white. 83

DOMAINE DE ROCHEBIN CLOS SAINT-GERMAIN VIEILLES VIGNES BOURGOGNE 2011, Burgundy, France, 12.5%  XD  3g/L, #264549  $18.95  (Tasted December 6, 2013)CS

Released by Vintages on August 3, 2013 and described in glowing terms by the Vintages Panel (December 2012) as well as being rated 4 of 5 (anonymously) on the Winealign website.  My notes: A charcoal tinted ruby with mild aromas of red currant, sour cherry and a touch of raspberry. A swirl leaves a thin film to recede leaving a lacy pattern. The first sip is a thin metallic cherry with fine tannins starting warm then woody for a long finish. The thin body, extra dry texture and sour fruit makes for an unappealing sipper. Was OK paired with roast duck with a cranberry gravy - not that flexible as a meal companion. A drink now.  83

PILLITTERI ANTAGONIST 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, 13.0%  XD  4g/L,  #291948  $15.95  (Tasted December 10, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013.  My notes: A unique back label design unreadable in dining light. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, proportions not given. The colour is a charcoal ruby and a swirl brings a moderately viscous film that drains quickly through long smooth legs. A sniff senses a warming spice and a cherry raspberry blackberry scent, pleasantly fruity. Tangy fruit wakens the taste buds on the first sip and a silky texture stays then thins into a long finish somewhat raw with drying tannins. Better with a buffet spread of pigs-in-a-blanket, beef sliders or pair with bbq'd back ribs or savoury Osso Bucco. The empty bottle is an eco-unfriendly 1.5lbs. 88  

GENESIS COLUMBIA VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2010, Washington, USA, 13.3%  XD  4g/L, #327916  $18.95  (Tasted December 15, 2013)  CS 

Released by Vintages on August 3, 2013.  My notes:  A mid golden leaving a thin viscous film then patchy fragments on the glass. A spice and vanilla edge to the nose matches lemon lime fruit aromas and the first sip has a healthy nip to accentuate a citric bias.  Medium-bodied, nicely balanced, dry on the tongue with spice and vanilla that linger then trail off with a clay accent. Too much of a spice and mineral presence to pair well with delicate grilled cod and basmati rice - would do better with grilled or roasted chicken and sweet potato fries. Not a solo sipper. 83

LUIGI RIGHETTI CAMPOLIETI RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 2011, Veneto, Italy, 13.5%  D  6g/L,  #695890  $17.95  (Tasted December 18, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013. My notes:  The colour is a charcoal tinted ruby. The nose pours a reserved earthy blackberry/blueberry with a herbal hind end (Vintages Panel describes this as 'smoked meat, new leather, spice box...'). The film is smooth forming a rounded rim to eventually shed slow tears. A sip starts smooth until drying tannins take over for a long finish. A sipper if you prefer the 'herbal' difference. Pair with basil flavoured flatbread, a meaty pizza or rack of lamb. Cellaring four years may accentuate the flavours otherwise a drink now. 85

ZOLO RESERVE ESTATE GROWN MALBEC 2008, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD  5g/L, #081091  $17.95  (Tasted December 12, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on  December 7, 2013 and rated 88 by Jay Miller  (December 2011).  My notes: Has a purple cast to a deep ruby and freshness, from time in American oak, of blackberry edged with black cherry and smoothness, the French oak perhaps. Sheds long slow legs from a firm rim. The first sip grows some fur, aerating helps, on the mouth as fruit quickly turns to a long finish of spice, dried grape skins and unsweetened chocolate. Sip with a buffet spread or pair with rack of lamb, a pork and veal cheesy lasagna or grilled Italian sausage. A Merlot with an unusual terroir, well balanced and with 1-2 year potential in the cellar.  88a

ANDRÉ BLANCK ET SES FILS CLOS SCHWENDI PINOT GRIS 2012, Kientzheim, France, 14.0%  D 10g/L, #686311   $18.95  (Tasted December 22, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013. My notes: A mid yellow with aromas of apple, apricot and pear having an enticing appeal as a sipper. Pair with pork tenderloin with a plum sauce or a smoked salmon and spinach pizza. There's a touch of sweet to balance a salty edge of fruit providing an interesting flavour blend that lingers until finishing with a light chalky dryness. Tasting with a flight of Pinot Gris/Grigio would likely place this in the middle of fruit and spice. Was excellent with tilapia with balsamic butter sauce thyme mashed potatoes and snap peas.  A short cellaring could deepen its character but primarily a drink now. 89

JOSEPH CATTIN GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2011, Alsace, France, 13.5%  M 18g/L, #224626  $17.95  (Tasted December 18, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013. Awarded a Gold Medal at the 2012 Concours Général Agricole in Paris.  My notes: A mid golden with a tinge of tawny and an aroma of honey the sweetness well balanced with spice. A moderate film sticks then waits for the rim to mound and flow a few slow tears.  The first sip fills the mouth with spicy sugar countering with a penetrating tartness and finishing dry on the tongue. Have with Asian with some heat. We paired with a somewhat mild Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry on Jasmine rice - likely sushi/sashimi would work or a Bento Box of Tempura veggies & shrimp.  A drink now. 87

EMILIANA NATURA CARMENÈRE 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 14.0%  XD 5g/L, #056887  $14.95  (Tasted December 14, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on November 9, 2013. A blend of 85% Carmenère, 8% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot and an organic wine.  My notes: Aromatic from the start with bright red cherry and the warmth of crushed berries - a deep ruby shade. The film is smooth and moderate, running long legs from an unbroken rim. Starting tart and furry, an astringent berry flavour dries the palate begging for the next sip. For me, not a solo sipper preferring to partner with a mixed buffet or pair with a rare beef steak covered with savoury gravy and sided by a baked yam. Cellaring may bring the fruit forward - try a year at a time. No change when aerated. 87

PETER ZEMMER PINOT GRIGIO 2012,  Alto Adige, Italy, 13.5%  XD 4g/L, #095802 $16.95  (Tasted December 11, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on December  7, 2013.  My notes: A bright mid yellow with a nose needing time to develop then a lasting crisp lemon and pear. Runs long fast legs from a light rim. Serve chilled, 10-12oC, for a round texture and citrus and melon flavours that remain refreshingly zesty from the start and through a long extra dry finish. Pair with sliced chicken in a creamy bowtie pasta... also went well with grilled lake trout with a dill dip and greens. Sip now or cellar a year.  88

ZOLO RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2012, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD 5g/L, #347765  $16.95  (Tasted December 13, 2013)

Released by Vintages on November 9, 2013.  My notes:   A mid golden with a firm film slowly fragmenting after a swirl. The nose has a blending of mineral and a quieter apricot-apple aroma. More flavour comes with the first sip, apricot, vanilla then apple until finishing adding extra dry mineral. Served chilled and allowed to warm a trifle the taste is nicely balanced and crisp. Was adequate with grilled Lake Trout and zucchini latkes with a dill dip - better with Cuban seafood. A drink now. 89

VIGNOBLES GUILHEM LE VIOGNIER 2012,  Pays d'Oc, France, 13.5% XD 4g/L, #358507  $15.95  (Tasted December 20, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013.  My notes:  There's a hint of forest green in a strong yellow colour of this white and the nose has a lavender lemon melon scent on pouring. A thin film leaves a lacy rim that drains evenly until reaching the meniscus. The first sip matches the nose adding a silky texture to full flavours. Extra dry and medium-bodied adds interest as the flavours leave a smoothness on the tongue for a long finish.  Served 12-14oC this was a pleasing sipper and paired well with cod on basmati rice with tomato pieces sided by roasted baby carrots. Should cellar well for several years. 89

PIERRE SPARR ALTENBOURG RIESLING 2010, Alsace, France, 12.5%  D  12g/L, #906016  $16.95  (Tasted December 28, 2013)  CS
Released by Vintages on Dec 7, 2013.  My notes: Rated 4.5 of 5 by
Natalie MacLean.  A mid yellow leaving a smooth film shredding at the rim and dropping to fragmenting island. A green apple scent edged with a light honey for a distinct nose. The first sip is almost a tooth scrubber, cleansing then going into a long sour apple and mineral finish with just a hint of sweet on the swallow. A sipper if you prefer sharpness - for me, I'd pair with tilapia, cod, halibut, curried chicken  with rice and buttered snap peas - great with 'fish & chips'.  A drink now. Try cellaring five years for remote possibility of petrol. 86

TRAPICHE FINCA LAS PALMAS GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY 2011,  Mendoza, Argentina, 14.0%  XD 4g/L, #355610  $16.95  (Tasted December 21, 2013)

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013 and rated 4 of 5 (Decanter World Wine Awards, 2012) and a Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada.  My notes: A tawny yellow with a grassy citrus nose. The film is thin, smooth on the glass and quickly runs long legs. The first sip has a sharp tang and an extra dry blend of hollow citrus juices. Serve chilled for a refreshing medium-bodied sipper although a buffet table would soften the bite as well as a latent mineral edge. As a dinner companion keep chilled and pair with a creamy seafood pasta, pork chops in a light tomato and capers sauce or crab cakes with a dill sauce. A drink now. 83

JUVÉ Y CAMPS CINTA PURPURA RESERVA BRUT CAVA 2009,  Catalunya, Spain, 12.0%  XD  11g/L, #352864  $17.95  (Tasted December 15, 2013)

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013 and rated 89/100 by Tony Aspler.  My notes:  A pale yellow offering a profusion of bubbles frothing at first then settling quickly to a steady stream as the initial excitement wains. A miniscule nose from the bottle and after 10 minutes waiting a possible Granny Smith scent, light-bodied with a tang and extra dry. A fine spritz wakens the palate offering some faint apple and pear... a pleasingly crisp sipper but no 'wow' factor. A drink now finishing without distinction. As a toast I prefer a hint of sweet fruit with the tang. Have as a breakfast waffle partner with fruit and Maple syrup - or as a clean refresher at any time. 'Reminiscent of Champagne' ? (Vintages Panel, April 2013)  83

CHARLES DURET BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE NV, Meursault, France,  12.0%  XD  2g/L, #185694  $18.95  (Tasted December 24, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013. Rated 1 of 3 by Guide Hachette, 2010. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay.  My notes: A pale blond colour showing a profusion of bubbles that settles quickly to a rapid release of fine streams then a refreshing spritz. The nose is a light apple pie crust no sweetness but with the sharpness of lemon zest. A sharp acid blends with the spritz for a wakening jab followed quickly by a hint of extra dry pie crust. A dull finish prompts continued sips - better with hard cheeses, stuffed mushrooms or other buffet treats. A style for a summer pool party or outdoor fish fry. 84

SALENTEIN RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Uco Valley, Argentina, 14.5%  XD  6g/L, #353177  $17.95  (Tasted December 24, 2013)  CS

Released by Vintages on December 7, 2013. Vintages recommends decanting for 30 minutes.  My notes: A purple tinted ruby welcomes sipping or pairing. The film is moderate and leaves a lacy rim with columns of slow tears. There's a woodiness to a black cherry/raspberry scent that suggests a smoked steak is nearby - the fruit reflects the nose staying awhile then slowly finishing dry as granite. The back label says this wine can be aged up to 8 years - perhaps 2 initially will lead to a mellower touch. For drinking now aerating softens the tannins and is recommended. 90a

2nd Half 2013 Summary - Reds+

Jesse's now 11 Months
The 72 Reds+ tasted from July 1st through December 31st are listed below. These include an excellent Pinot Noir Bubbly from Australia. Shown in brackets is the month of tasting where the original notes can be found.   

Wines rated 90 and above are considered excellent, are flavoured appropriately for their grape and style and have 'complexity'. Those 85 to 89 are enjoyable and those 84 and below have something that is progressively less appealing - to me. The value that is hyphenated to the rating indicates whether a wine is 'worth the price', one that I'd buy in 'multiples', or one I'd buy in 'quantity'.  Not unpredictably the highest value wines are the first to disappear from LCBO/Vintages shelves.

Everyone has their own preferences so consider this one person's view and perhaps a starting point if it helps. Hope you find something of value.
For a list of Whites+ click on WHITES+.

     Reds (71):
    • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, 94-3  --  V, Paso Robles, California,  #738823 $19.95 (Sep) 
    • Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2011,  93a-3 -- V, Tanunda, South Australia, #167189  $20.95 (Jul)
    • Rutherglen Single Vineyard Petite Sirah 2008, 93-2  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #179127 $21.95 (Jul) 
    • Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera Monferrato 2011, 92a-3 -- V, Barolo, Italy, #748277 $16.95 (Jul)
    • Vesevo Benevinetano Aglianico 2010, 92-3  --  V, Forino, Italy, #120907 $14.95 (Oct)
    • Hahn Winery Pinot Noir Monterey 2011, 92-2  --  G, Monterey County, California, #226555 $18.95 (Aug)
    • Yering Station Village Shiraz/Viognier 2010, 92-2  --  V,  Victoria, Australia, #311431 $21.95 (Sep)
    • William Cole Winemaker's Special Reserve 2010, 91-2  --  V,  Casablanca, Chile, #325431 $17.95 (Dec) 
    • Emiliana Signos de Origen Organic Syrah 2011, 91-2  --  V, Casablanca Valley,  Chile, #212407 $19.95  (Nov)
    • Emiliana Signos de Origen Pinot Noir 2011, 91-2  --  V, Casablanca Valley, Chile,  #325670 $19.95 (Nov)
    • Villa Raiano Taurasi 2008, 91a-2C  --  V, Campania, Italy, #344234 $23.95 (Oct)
    • Pedroncelli Petite Sirah 2010 Dry Creek Valley, 91-2  --  V,  Sonoma County, California,  #686691 $18.95 (Sep) 
    • Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 91-2  --  G, Napa, California, #055517 $14.95 (Aug) 
    • Quintay Pinot Noir Grand Reserve Q 2011, 91-2  --  V, Casablanca Valley, Chile, #325449 $16.95  (Aug) 
    • Aquinas Pinot Noir Napa Valley 2010, 91-2  --  G, Napa Valley, California, #277657 $17.95* (Aug)
    • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2010 VQA Okanagan Valley, 91-1  --  O, Oliver, BC,  $33.00 (Jul) 
    • Oveja Negra Single Vineyard Carmenère 2011, 90a-2  --  V, Valle de Maul, Chile, #302646  $15.95 (Aug) 
    • Ferraton Père & Fils Plan de Cieu Côtes du Rhône-Villages, 90-2  --  V, Rhône, France, #074229 $15.95 (Oct)
    • Vineland Estates Winery Pinot Meunier 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 90-2  --  V,  Vineland, Ontario, #225508  $17.95 (Sep) 
    • Salentein Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 90a-2  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #353177 $17.95 (Dec)
    • Famille Perrin 'Nature' Côtes du Rhône 2011, 90-2  --  V, Rhône, France, #010363 (375 mL) $9.45 (Sep) 
    • Tournon Mathilda Victorian Shiraz 2010, 90-2  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #336966  $19.95 (Sep)
    • Stoneleigh Latitude Pinot Noir 2011, 90-1  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #325654 $24.95 (Jul)
    • La  Posta Cocina Tinto Blend 2011, 89-2  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #269860 $13.25 (Nov)
    • Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Carmènere 2010, 89-1  --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #034942 $18.95 (Nov)
    • Beringer Founders' Estate Syrah 2009, 89a-1  --  V, Napa, California, #919654 $18.95 (Jul)
    • Romain Duvernay Cairanne 2010, 89-1  --  V, Rhône, France, #320465 $19.95 (Jul)
    • Altivo Balance Cabernet Sauvignon 2009,  89-1  --  V, Uco Valley, Argentina, #324202  $21.95 (Nov) 
    • Tawse Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, 89 -- O, Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $32.15 (Jul)
    • Peter Lehmann Weighbridge Shiraz 2011, 88-1  --  G,  Tanunda, South Australia, #219170 $14.95  (Nov)
    • La Posta Estela Armando Vineyard Bonarda 2011, 88-1  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #261586 $14.95 (Nov)
    • Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel 2011,  88-1  --  G,  Napa, California, #272393  $14.95 (Aug) 
    • Pillitteri Antagonist 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 88-1  --  V, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #291948 $15.95 (Dec)
    (Return to Top)

    • Château des Charmes St. David's Bench Vineyards Gamay Noir Droit 2010 VQA St. David's Bench, 88-1  --  V,  NotL, Ontario, #346742 $16.95  (Oct)  
    • Château Haut-Plaisance Montagne Saint Émilion 2010, 88-1  --  V,  Gironde, France, #326587 $17.00 (Sep)
    • Zolo Reserve Estate Grown Malbec 2008, 88a-1  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #081091 $17.95 (Dec) 
    • Monte Zovo Sa' Solin Valpolicella Ripasso 2011, 88-1  --  V,  Veneto, Italy, #650713 $17.95 (Oct) 
    • Tenute Girolamo di Gallo Aglianico 2011, 88a-1 --  V, Puglia, Italy, #268367 $18.95 (Oct)
    • Emiliana Natura Carmenère 2012, 87-1  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #056887 $14.95 (Dec)
    • Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz 2011, 87-1  --  G, South Eastern Australia, #189415 $15.95 (Nov)
    • Cassini Cellars Merlot 2011 VQA Okanagan Valley,  87a  --  V, Osoyoos, BC, #324319  $21.95  (Jul) 
    • Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel, 86-1  --  G, Napa, California, #308163  $13.85 (Jul) 
    • Bisquertt Family Vineyards La Joya Reserve Syrah 2011, 86-1  -- V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #325407  $13.95 (Nov) 
    • Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 86  --  G, South Australia, #251876 $14.95* (Oct)
    • Hahn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, 86  --  V, Soledad, California, #057877 $18.95 (Oct)
    • J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, 86  --  V,  Paso Robles, California, #313817 (375 mL) $11.95  (Aug) 
    •  Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Syrah 2010 VQA Okanagan Valley, 86  --  O, Oliver, BC, $33.00 (Jul) 
    • William Fèvre Chacai Mountain Cabernet 2010, 86  --  V, Maipo Valley, Chile,  #347773  $39.95 (Nov)
    • Luigi Righetti Campolieti Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2011, 85  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #695890 $17.95 (Dec)
    • Brazin (B) Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2010, 85  --  V, Lodi, California, #256750 $19.95  (Jul)
    • Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011, 85  --  V, Russian River, California, #954834 $22.95* (Oct) 
    • Cupcake Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2011,  75  --  G, Livermore, California,  #307975 $15.45  (Dec)
    • Deakin Estate Shiraz 2012, 84 --  G, Victoria, Australia,  #560821 $9.95 (Nov)
    • Laurence Feraud Plan Pégau 2011, 84  --  G,  Rhône, France, #312991 $15.05 (Sep)
    • Jean-Philippe Janoueix L'Évidence 2011, 84  --  G, Bordeaux, France, #315226 $16.95 (Sep) 
    • Domaine de Rochebin Clos St. Germain Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne 2011, 84 -- V, Macon, France, #264549 $18.95 (Aug)
    • Eau Vivre Pinot Noir 2008, 84a  --  V,  Simalkeen Valley, BC, #308353 $20.75 (Oct) 
    • Mission Hill Family Estate Pinot Noir 2011 VQA Okanagan Valley, 84  --  V,  Okanagan, BC,  #545012  $24.95 (Jul) 
    • Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, 84  --  V, Napa Valley, California, #255513 $34.95 (Nov)
    • Domaine de Rochebin Clos Saint-Germain Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne 2011,  83  --  V, Burgundy, France, #264549 $18.95  (Dec) 
    • Peter Lehmann 'Portrait' Barossa Shiraz 2011, 83  --  G,  Tanunda, South Australia, #572875  $19.95 (Nov)
    • George Wyndham Founder's Reserve 'Langhorn Creek' Shiraz 2010, 83  --  G, Dalwood NSW, Australia, #107904  $19.95 (Nov)
    • The Academy of Spherical Arts Pinot Noir 2010 VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, 83 -- O,  Vineland, Ontario, #Winery  $20.15 (Jul)
    • Domaine de la Tete Noire Vacqueyras 2010, 83a  --  V, Rhône, France, #323675  $22.95 (Jul)
    • J.P. Chenet Limited Release Pinot Noir 2012, 82  --  G, Midi, France,  #142406  $12.95 (Dec)
    • Juan Benegas Malbec 2010, 82a  --  V, Mendozas, Argentina, #222273 $14.95 (Aug)
    • Selvanova Vigna Antica Aglianico 2009, 82 --  V, Campania, Italy, #313494 $15.95 (Oct) 
    • Angels Gate Rage Red 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 80  --  V, Beamsville, Ontario, #352351 $13.95(Sep)
    • Lionel Osmin & Cie Villa la Réserve Malbec 2010, 80a --  V, Cenac, France, #328641 $14.95 (Aug) 
    •  Little Yering Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2011, 80a  --  V, Victoria, Australia, #188094 $19.95 (Oct)
    • Château le Chêne 2010 Haut-Médoc, 79  --  V, Bordeaux, France, #339994 $18.95 (Sep)
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     Bubblies (1):
    • Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir 2011, 91-2 --  V, Adelaide Hills, Australia, #327429 $19.95 (Sep)