France – Bordeaux
This lovely white Bordeaux—90% Sauvignon and 10% Semillon from old vines—delivers crisp acidity and well-modulated, complex flavours. The components harmonize very successfully, making this an excellent choice for grilled white fish, seafood, or steamed mussels.
Score: 4 ½ out of 5, Rod Phillips, www.rodphillipsonwine.com, Jul 2010
Spain – DOCa Rioja
The price-quality ratio skews crazily in your favour; pick up an armful. The nose is expressive, graphite and black licorice and the flavours are an amalgam of black currant, espresso roast and briary berry. It’s perfectly balanced, displays good moderating acidity, is mid weight and nicely textured with a complex and lingering fruit-forward finish.
Score: 4 ½ out 5, Vic Harradine, www.winecurrent.com, Nov 2009
South Africa – WO Western Cape
It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. It is deep garnet coloured and o n the nose you will detect plum jam notes along with some leather and spice. On the mouth, expect more black cherry, plums and spice. It is a hearty wine perfect for heavy meals, like pasta or anything braised and served with potatoes.
Score: 4 ½ out of 5, James Geneau, www.gremolata.com
Canada – VQA Niagara Peninsula
This wine is a great offering from the fabulous 2007 vintage in Niagara. The fruit was well ripened and extracted, offering an attractive nose of dark field berries and sweet spices. Medium bodied, all the components are playing well together with plummy fruit, delectable acidity and drying tannins. It has a long finish with some tasty coffee and smoky oak notes. A few bottles will go a long way on those cold winter nights!
Score: 4 ½ out of 5, Susan Desjardins, www.winespectator.com, Jan 2010
Australia – Yarra Valley, South Australia
This is a well-priced mid-weight Pinot with engaging aromas of red cherries, field berries and undergrowth. It offers an array of flavours—red berries, spice and a light vegetal note—balanced with bright lively acidity. Fresh and lively, the red fruit flavours linger on the finish. It earned an extra ½ star for value
Score: 90 out of 100, James Halliday, www.winecompanion.com.au, Sep 2009
Australia – McLaren Vale, South Australia
Dark and inky-coloured, aromas of dark fruit and savoury spice abound. There’s a smooth and mellow delivery of cooked fruit flavours with black plum, brambly berry and red cherry predominant. It’s medium bodied with a generous mouth feel and a mid-length finish. Good to go now with gourmet sausage or burgers.
Score: 90 out of 100, James Halliday, www.winecompanion.com.au, Feb 2009
Australia – Coonawarra, South Australia
From one of Australia’s cooler regions, this inky, estate-bottled Cab displays enticing aromas of spicy dark fruit along with mint and an elusive whiff of herbed roasted root vegetables. Deftly balanced and structured, the wine has supple tannin and a tangy texture. It offers complexity on the palate—dark spiced fruit, cassis, and notes of espresso roast with caramelized, roasted red peppers. Decant it for 2-3 hours to enjoy with rare prime rib; you can also cellar for 5-7 years.
Score: 90 out of 100, James Halliday, www.winecompanion.com.au, Mar 2010
$11.95 (169391) Greece
Made from Kotsifali (60%) and Syrah (40%) this is a full-flavoured rosé verging in flavour (though not in colour) towards a light red. The flavours are concentrated and structured, the texture edgy and refreshing, and it makes a great choice for roast or grilled poultry, pork or roasted ham.
Score: 4 ½ out 5, Rod Phillips, www.rodphillipsonwine.com, Jun 2010