Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Here are Natalie MacLean's top picks for today’s Vintages release in the LCBO (March 20, 2010) Lots of tasty reds and white for spring (yes, it is coming!) and Easter in this release.

From Natalie,

If you’re using either my new iPhone app or mobile section of my site for other smartphones to shop for wine this weekend, you can start with a dish you want to cook in the Pairings section . Let’s say it’s roast chicken, then when you get to the results page of generic wine types , click on the one you want, say Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and you’ll get the most recently reviewed wines from today that match the dish and are in stores now.

Top Picks for March 20

Best Value White Wine

2008 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling, Q.B.A., Mosel, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany: VC: Another fabulous Mosel Riesling with aromas of apple blossom, honey, citrus, peach and slate. A medium-dry, medium-bodied white with balancing mouth-watering acidity and a complex, lengthy finish. A trusty companion for a vast array of foods. Consider also moderately spiced Thai or Chinese dishes as interesting counterpoints. My note: Off-dry with a succulent ripe fruit sweetness that will go divinely with dishes that have an element of sweet or heat. Light-bodied. Pair with: oven-roasted turkey, apricot-braised pork, stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, honey-garlic chicken spiced Thai dishes, Chinese dishes. 596601 9.50% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100.

Favourite White Wine (

2007 Le Clos Jordanne Chardonnay Claystone Terrace, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada: VC: A very expressive Chardonnay from the exceptional 2007 vintage. The aromas of toast, tropical fruit, floral, peach, and nettles all play off each other to perfection. It’s dry, full bodied, with terrific balance and structure. A real charmer with a long finish. Consider cellaring this age-worthy beauty 3-5+ years, or, if you wish to enjoy it now, decant it (yes, decant a white wine to bring the fruit forward). My note: Is it possible to have a love affair with a wine? This would be mine. I don’t even drink Chardonnays much but this one drops me to my knees. Hazelnut, green apple, white perfect peach. Full-bodied with a long finish. Amen. Pair with: roast pork. 56929 14.00% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 94/100.

Best Value Red Wine Tied

2008 d'Arenberg Shiraz The Stump Jump, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Big attack wine with lots of mouth-watering acidity that needs food. Black plums and berries. 158238 14.50% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100.

Best Value Red Wine Tied

2008 Feudi Di San Marzano Primitivo, I.G.T., Puglia, Italy: VC: One of Italian wine’s creative forces is Valentino Sciotti. With state-of-the-art equipment, quality grapes, and a talented consulting winemaker, he manages to produce modern wines with outstanding varietal character, such as this fruit forward, beautifully balanced, food-friendly Primitivo. My note: Juicy, lip-smacking delicious! Bursting with purple plums and fleshy berries. Supple and full-bodied. Is there any better wine for barbecue or pepperoni pizza? I think not. Pair with: duck or pork in a plum sauce, barbecue, pepperoni pizza. 120915 13.50% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 88/100.

Favourite Red Wine

2006 Tenuta Di Castelgiocondo Lamaione Sangiovese Marchesi De' Frescobaldi, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Magnificent, heart-stopping wine: the kind that if you bring it to dinner, you gain 20 social standing points as everyone murmurs, “Who brought this wine?” while you bask in silent glorious modesty. Black fruit, smoke, forest-hidden violets, and the element of elusive happiness. 978411 15.00% XD 750 mL $63.95 Score: 96/100.

Best Value Rosé

2009 Mas Des Bressades Rosé Cuvée Tradition, A.C., Costières De Nîmes, Rhône, France: VC: An attractive, bright pink-red colour. Pretty aromas of wild strawberry, ripe redcurrant, rose petals, and a sweet menthol note. Dry and medium bodied, this rosé offers a compelling mix of tangy acidity and sweet fruit character on the palate. A delightful sipper, so put a few bottles away for the coming warmer days. My note: Draws you right into the glass, head first. Fleshy strawberries and raspberries. Resistance is futile. Pair with: spring salads. 950576 13.50% XD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 89/100.

Best Value Sparkling Wine

2008 Batasiolo Bosc D'la Rei Moscato D'asti, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Pure summer afternoon essence! Lovely orange and apricot peel with a light frizzante that sends a shiver through your palate. 28175 5.50% M 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100.

Favourite Sparkling Wine

R. Pouillon & Fils Champagne Cuvée De Réserve Brut, A.C., Champagne, France: Robust and deep bubbly with strong toasty notes and ripe tree fruit. Terrific mousse. Persistent finish. 160937 12.00% D 750 mL $48.95 Score: 90/100.

Best Value Dessert Wine

Quinta Do Infantado Ruby Port, Portugal: A very pleasant after-dinner drink with ripe red fruit and tangy acidity. 979898 19.50% MD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100.

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