Natalie MacLean 2017-07-01 06:24:02
Summer wines off the vine There’s nothing better than sitting in the sunshine sipping one of these fresh summer wines. Pahlmeyer Chardonnay 2014, Napa Valley, California, USA (LCBO #147454, $116.95): Toasted almond and butterscotch aromas in this cult Californian Chardonnay. Very rich and deep and hedonistically satisfying. Scrumptious seafood wine. Food pairings: Scallops with a sesame ginger dressing, spinach and pepper jack stuffed chicken, beef bourguignon, pan-fried cod with lemon butter sauce, toasted ravioli served with Alfredo sauce. Alcohol: 14.9%. Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2021. Score 91/100. Bollinger Brut Champagne Rosé, Champagne AC, France (LCBO #100503, $103.95): Like chasing after the dry dark cherry flavour of your childhood—you will never catch it but you will keep trying. This champagne is made mostly from Pinto Noir grapes and is hand selected from just six per cent of the winery’s vineyards. Talk about picky ... in a great way! Gorgeous gift wine. Food pairings: Charcuterie, baked brie and cranberry, spring-green salad with asparagus and raspberry vinaigrette. Alcohol: 12.5%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2013–2019. Score 94/100. Jacquesson Cuvée No. 739 Extra Brut Champagne, Champagne AC, France (LCBO #234120, $72.95): Complex and toasty with lovely mousse, persistent beaded bubbles and long finish. Classic and elegant Champagne at a great price. Pair with happiness. Sensational shellfish wine. Food pairings: Oysters on the half shell, smoked mussels on toast, panko prawns. Alcohol: 12%. Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017– Score: 92/100. Faust Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley, California, USA (LCBO #238261, $59.95): Blackened chary cassis and blackcurrant with lots of toasty oak. Full-bodied, rich and smooth. Needs a rare steak. Luscious lamb wine. Food pairings: Grilled lamb chops, Asian chicken salad, pork tenderloin, hodge-podge. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2022. Score: 90/100. Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley, California, USA (LCBO #60020, $65.95): Love that incoming tide of pleasure that envelops the senses as you breath in to smell this wine. Signalling pleasure awaits. Relax and let go. Elegant, distinguished and full-bodied Californian Cabernet. Classic red wine aromas of blackcurrant and cassis. Very dry and long on the finish. Perfect dinner party wine. Some attractive blackcurrant and cedar brush on the finish. Highly recommended. Best beef wine. Food pairings: Hearty meat dishes, hard cheese. Alcohol: 14.2%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2022. Score: 92/100. Emmolo Vineyards Merlot 2014, Napa Valley, California, USA (LCBO #96024, $69.95): Purple and black fleshy plums. Full-bodied and somewhat sweet and over-priced, yet delicious. Plush pork wine. Food pairings: Slow-cooked roast beef with root vegetables, braised pork ribs, roast chicken. Alcohol: 14.9%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2022. Score: 87/100. William Fevre Chablis Montmains 2014, Burgundy AC, France (LCBO #977587, $51.00): Clean and fresh unoaked Chardonnay from the northern Burgundian region of Chablis. This premier cru is a very reputable producer of the genre. Pair with shellfish and fresh seafood or pasta in cream sauces. Scrumptious seafood wine. Food pairings: Lobster in butter sauce, beef bourguignon, gougère, pork tenderloin, steamed mahi mahi with lime, garlic and chillies. Alcohol: 13%. Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2019. Score: 90/100. Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2009, Rioja DOCA, Spain (LCBO #743310, $57.95): A stunningly rich, complex and concentrated Spanish red wine with aromas of dark fruit, spice, toast, graphite and pepper. Pair with a rare steak. Luscious lamb wine. Food pairings: Grilled lamb, bison burgers, chicken salad, pork tenderloin, autumn hodge-podge. Alcohol: 14. 5%. Sweetness: Extra dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2017–2019. Score: 94/100. Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2013, Tuscany IGT, Italy (LCBO #735597, $79.95): This robust Italian red wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes. Full-bodied Italian red wine with gloriously rich aromas and flavours of black cherry, mocha and smoke. Complex and layered with a long finish. Pair this with T-bone steak or game meats. Best beef wine. Food pairings: Hearty beef stew with fall vegetables, three sausage and bean cassoulet, Mediterranean spiced lamb. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sweetness: Dry. 750 ml. Drink: 2018–2023. Score: 91/100.
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