Up to $8.00
Barefoot NV Refresh Summer Red, California
Dark pink color. Refreshing strawberry and cherry aromas are lifted by a slight spritz in the bottle. Fresh berry and peach flavors are enhanced by lively acidity and a light effervescence. Perfect for summer sipping on the patio. Pair with a fresh fruit salad.
$8.01 to $10.00
Ferrante 2013 Vidal Blanc, Ohio
Brilliant, glistening water-white clarity belies the rich, juicy, resinous, ripe aroma. Though very highly aromatic with slightly herbal subtleties, it has excellent balance with a note of acid and even a touch of tannin to keep the finish clean and refreshing. This is an ideal wine to serve with fresh Lake Erie Walleye.
St George 2012 Select Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Here is a remarkable bargain find! This extremely vinous wine is clearly “reserve” style from the complex, beautifully developed nose to the array of black cherry, blackberry, and forest scents that linger throughout the long toasty finish. It is a perfect candidate to turn an everyday meal into a special occasion.
Thirsty Owl 2012 Diamond, New York
The essence of the Finger Lakes is captured in the nose. This true American variety unabashedly tastes like grapes. Yet, it maintains a degree of class and elegance not usually associated with varieties such as Concord or Niagara. It is sweet enough to keep the fresh acidity balanced on the soft side yet not too sweet to serve with nuts, blue veined cheese and crusty bread.
St James Winery NV Sweet Raspberry, Missouri
The unmistakable fresh raspberry aroma also encompasses a definite red wine bouquet. The clean balanced sweet fruit flavors will complement pie a la mode or enjoy it with a blast of soda as a “spritzer.”
Wollersheim Winery 2013 “Prairie Fume” American Seyval, Wisconsin
Steely mineral and citrus smells with bracing acidity give a very clean fresh impression. The wine is, however, a bit more generous than that. Creamy, Chardonnay-like nuances create a more round and lush experience than the nose suggests. Serve it as you would a Muscadet with shellfish or seafood linguini.
Easley 2013 Traminette, Indiana
It is mildly aromatic with subtle nuances of peach and yellow plum with a long sweet lemon-like finish. It will pair nicely with sausage, smoked pork loin or ham.
PKNT 2012 Carmenere Reserve, Chile
The varietal purity is a display of classic textbook Carmenere! Black truffle, earth, dried herbs and tons of condensed black fruit are hard to beat in this softly tannic rich red wine for under $10! This is a go to wine for steaks, pork chops and grilled lamb. It offers fabulous value.
Washington Hills 2012 Late Harvest Riesling, Washington
Pure Anjou pear in the nose with an exotic quince or Meyer lemon haunting the mid-palate produces a most interesting contrast to the sweet and acid that combine for a mouth feel not unlike very fine tannin. The finish also offers long pristine white fleshed fruit flavors. This palate gripping Riesling will serve well with fresh fruit or fruit torts.
St. James NV Strawberry, Missouri
Lightly pink. Smells just like fresh cut strawberries and tastes like it too. Try spritzing this wine with soda or serve over ice to liven up a party. Pair with chocolate covered cake pops.
$10.01 to $13.00
Torrey Ridge Winery NV Diamond, New York
Straw color. Mouthwatering grape / labrusca aromas lead to a slight effervescence on the pallet. Slightly tart with juicy grape flavors and just the right amount of sweetness to balance the acidity. Serve ice cold with strawberry shortcake.
Torrey Ridge NV Lucky Dog, New York
This blend of Diamond and Catawba shows off the best of these American grapes. Straw colored, the bright aromas are unmistakably from labrusca grapes. Mouth watering flavors of grape and tart apple are nicely balanced with acid and sweetness. Try spritzing over ice with soda or with ice cream and vanilla wafers.
Wagner 2012 Riesling Select,
Finger Lakes, NY
Quince and gooseberry dominate the nose while grains of resin, aromatic herbs and lush ripe stone fruit are built into the finish. This is an excellent companion to linguini with white wine clam sauce.
Flickerwood Wine Cellars 2013 Cayuga Kiss, Pennsylvania
Strong, vinous scent of freshly crushed grapes laced with stones, minerals and flint make up the bouquet. It is surprisingly fat and ripe on the palate while finishing soft and juicy. Serve it with spicy Asian cuisine.
St Ambrose Meadery NV Rose Ambrosia, Michigan
This is biscuits, honey, and strawberry jam in a bottle! Though quite sweet, it remains light on the palate finishing with soft jam-like nuances. Serve it for a toast at your next medieval reenactment.
Schulze NV Ruby Sweet Concord Wine, New York
Along with honey and wild berry essence in the nose, there is also an essential element of blue grass and grazing cattle. Enjoy this definitively sweet grape wine on the porch on a beautiful sunny day.
$13.01 to $16.00
Braganini Reserve 2013 Albarino, Michigan
The true Portuguese pedigree of this grape comes through with fresh citrus smells and pure apple/pear aromas as clean as a silver saber. What is surprising is the rather generous yellow fleshed fruit in the mid palate and nicely balanced finish. Serve this zesty, clean white with peel ‘n eat shrimp, steamed clams or raw seafood.
Chateau Fontaine 2012 Woodland White (Auxerrois), Michigan
Light straw color. Aromas of white peach, melon, pear and wet stone. Pear and melon flavors are arranged over a mineral backbone with a soft, long finish. Pair with pan seared scallops with tarragon white wine sauce.
Hunt Country Vineyards 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes NY
Flowers and Bosque pear greet the nose. Ripe sweet fruit is balanced by citrus notes in the long, fresh finish. Enjoy it with lake perch or walleye.
Chateau Fontaine 2012 Semi-Sweet White Riesling, Leelanau, Michigan
A big honeysuckle gala apple nose transitions to a mid-palate of pear and yellow plum with hints of dried herbs. The emphatically lush palate of white grape juice finishes cleanly. Enjoy it with sausage, ham and other cured meats.
Eagle City NV Black Currant, Iowa
The very pure nose is not unlike a very ripe Merlot. Strong overtones of raspberry and peach will survive any fruit based dessert such as Gateau de Framboise.
Dakota Sun Garden NV Haskap Berry Wine, North Dakota
This wine has a fresh, clean apple-like nose with a subtle splash of ripe juicy strawberry in the mid-palate. The finish is balanced, pleasant and fresh. Though thoroughly enjoyable as is, a generous splash of Champagne would reveal a truly mid-western version of Kir Royale.
Gill’s Pier 2012 Whitewater (Riesling/Vignoles), Leelanau County, Michigan
Wow! This is pure Northern Michigan fruit at its finest. Bosque pear, yellow plum and subtle hints of sorrel and lemon grass complete the package. Serve it with Thai cuisine, especially Pad Thai or ginger rice soup.
$16.01 to $20.00
Sivas-Sonoma 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel, California
The black/red translucent hue comes up all cherries in the aroma while adding marmalade and chocolate in the mid-palate. Though lush and velvety, it is not heavy and finishes surprisingly clean with silky tannins. It is a pretty civilized choice with stews, braised meats and complex vegetarian combinations.
45 North 2013 Pinot Gris, Michigan
Light straw color – almost clear. Green apple, honeydew and lime zest aromas. Bright, grapefruit acidity reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. Long, mouthwatering finish. Pair with asparagus and soba noodles with prosciutto and fried egg.
Picket Fence 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Deep garnet color. Aromas of cassis, clove and blackberry are beautifully integrated. Cocoa and cedar compliment the berry flavors. Tannins are soft and well-balanced. Pair with braised short ribs and roast vegetables.
Hazlitt NV Solera Sherry, Finger Lakes, NY
The big, heady nose is full of nuts, honey, raisins, Nicoise butter and beeswax smells. The leathery, earthy palate defines the solera style. Enjoy it with cookies and glazed pecans.
Laurentide 2012 Pinot Gris, Michigan
Light straw color; aromas of Granny Smith apples and pear. Delicate flavors of mineral, apple and melon. Crisp, long dry finish. Pair with pan seared white fish.
$20.01 to $25.00
Brutocao 2010 Quadriga (Hopland Ranches) Mendocino, California
This blend of Sangiovese, Primitivo, Barbera and Dolcetto over delivers in every way. Gorgeous ruby color. Earthy, truffle aromas mingle with tea, cedar, black cherry and blueberry leading to lovely soft palate overlaying firm tannins. Sandalwood and cocoa are unique and welcome additions to this delightful blend. Pair with a Bolognese sauce over fettuccine.
Bel Lago 2012 Chardonnay, Leelanau County, Michigan
Clean, pear and citrus accents on the nose open up to hints of stones, lightly toasted oak, fresh acidity and a long, tantalizing finish. Of course, this Chardonnay pairs perfectly with the abundance of fresh water fish found in the Great Lakes states.
Fenn Valley 2013 42 Ice Wine, Michigan
Extraordinarily ripe, resinous and honeyed from the beeswax scents to the lingering passion fruit, glazed pecans and apricot nectar, it commands attention. Blow away your guests by serving this remarkable wine with pecan pie, pumpkin pie or even by itself with a cup of French roast coffee on the side.
Sunset Cellars 2008 Barbera, Napa, California
The big, sweet black cherry-like aroma and chocolaty sweet oak scents brings to mind rich ripe Merlot with a subtle exotic cherry liqueur nuance. This wine’s refreshing, cleansing components would serve well with complex roast meats and lots of garlic and herbs.
Borjon 2012 Primitivo Reposado, Amador County California
The big raisin and baked cherry nose combine with earth, leather, cocoa dust and an avalanche of blackberry to culminate in a magnificent finish. Serve this baby with rare lamb chops!
Avondale Sky 2012 Martock Vidal Blanc Select Late Harvest, Nova Scotia, Canada
With Ice Wine-like intensity, the resinous botrytis nuances explode on the palate with strawberry, melon, peach and plum filling the mid-palate while green apple and citrus complete the finish. Though very sweet, it is very appetizing and will go nicely with apple pie a la mode.
$25.01 to $35.00
Windsor Vineyards 2011 Meritage, California
Dark ruby color. Aromas of brambles, cassis and black cherry. Flavors of cocoa powder compliment berry and black cherry, cedar and clove. A slight hint of bell pepper adds complexity and accents the mélange of fruit / cocoa. A firm tannic backbone gives length to a delightful finish. Will age well for 5 to 10 years. Pair with Prime Rib and new potatoes.
Forchini 2011 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, California
Ruby color – classic Pinot Noir. Earthy, truffle, clove and allspice aromas lead to beautiful, velvety soft tannins. Flavors of black cherry, cedar and allspice go on and on. The classic “Peacocks tail” of flavor. Pair with Duck Confit.
Black Mesa Winery 2011 Zinfandel, New Mexico
Deep, dark, ruby color – almost inky. Aromas of bramble berries and allspice and flavors that follow the aromas. Velvety soft tannins coat the pallet while hints of chocolate and vanilla mingle with berries and clove. Pair with seared tuna with hoisin sauce.
Lake Chelan Winery 2011 Malbec, Washington
The dense, black/red robe is matched by rich chocolate/cherry scents, rich tannins and a long soft finish reminiscent of a tart cherry reduction. This would be ideal with roast lamb particularly if served with a fruit chutney.
Almaza Wine Cellars 2011 Grappa, Texas
The distinct scent of grape pumace defines any good Grappa, and this is no exception. The essence of distilled grapes with hints of licorice and cinnamon is as vivid as the day it rose wafting through the air while steamy hot from the still. Good Grappa works well as an after dinner digestive.
Dascomb Cellars Santa Barbara 2011 Sangiovese, California
The sweet aroma of seedless strawberry jam and red plums flow into a tangy mid-palate finishing dry with just hinting at the memory of the plums. It is an excellent complement to spicy Mediterranean cuisine.
$35.01 to $50.00
Hagafen 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
Dark garnet – inky, youthful. Black cherry, blackberry and clove aromas lead into big, bold bramble flavors with leather and cedar still forward. The classic “iron fist in a velvet glove” tannins. Strong yet soft. Beautifully balanced flavors and tannins, this will age for years. Pair with Beef Wellington.
Navarro Vineyards 2012 “Deep End” Pinot Noir, California
The fresh, bright, vividly stated red fruit aroma and the soft easy texture make it perfectly matched to leisurely enjoying a buffet of appetizers such as carpaccio, cold smoked fish, grilled vegetables and seared tuna.
Fazeli Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc, Temecula, California
The nose offers up rich, earthy, red fruit with subtle hints of cinnamon and Greek spice. It remains remarkably soft and supple yet gripping and textured. Serve it with well-seasoned roast chicken or seared herb-rubbed duck breast.
$50.01 to $65.00
2012 Block Three Ice Wine, New York
The baklava-like honey and nut bouquet and the aggressive texture literally attack every part of the palate and olfactory senses with very condensed caramel, toffee and allspice flavors to boot! It is sweet enough to serve with pecan or pumpkin pie or just savor it by itself.
Sagebrush Annie’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara County, California
Rich, concentrated red fruit combines with a powerful herbal/black truffle nuance in the nose. On the palate, tons of red plum and raspberry subtleties plus an array of toasted nuts, caramel and baked cherries are matched by an incredible rich mouth feel all the way to the finish. This awesome wine will pair beautifully with any red meat dish.
Navarro Vineyards 2013 Cluster Select Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Mendocino, California
Surprisingly this sweet “Gewurz” is more in the caramel and honey vein than the typical musky, cilantro camp one normally associates with Gewurztraminer. A peach strudel or torte would find this wine a worthy companion.
ZD 2009 Founders Reserve Pinot Noir, California
A very pretty combination of tart cherry, orange marmalade and forest scents continue from the first sniff to the finish. A refreshing acid note in the mid-palate carries the weight of the rich fruit throughout the long fresh finish. Though you could serve this wine with salmon or tuna because it is not heavy though very big, a nice veal chop with Italian seasonings would be sublime.
Up to $8.00
Harlow Ridge 2009 Petite Sirah, Lodi, California
Loaded with plum and black cherry aromas and robust flavors of black currants and vanilla. The tannins are velvety and soft reflecting a touch of oak. Great with BBQ meats, braised veal chop or hearty beef stew.
Jacob's Creek NV Sparkling Moscato, Barossa Valley, Australia
A lovely wine with the distinctive Moscato nose, nice mousse, lively little bubbles. Just what you're looking for in a Sparkling Moscato. Quite delicate on the palate just full of flavor. Would work very nicely with aperitifs and a good balance to match Asian foods.
Easley Reggae Blush NV Red Table Wine, Indiana
The big grape aromatics and essence of the slip skin on the nose and palate keep it interesting. The fresh acid is balanced keeping the wine's sweetness from being cloying or foxy. It is remarkably clean for a labrusca native grape wine and ideal as a "good ol' country sippin" wine. 1
Barefoot Cellars NV Sauvignon Blanc, California
Aromas of fresh honeydew and nectarines with the crisp flavors of pear and lime and a touch of grapefruit. Full flavored with a soft yet tangy finish. Pairs nicely with poultry or seafood and pastas
with white sauces. Would work as an aperitif along with mild cheeses.
Barefoot Cellars NV Moscato, California
Not a Sparkling Moscato, but with a few little bubbles to tickle the tongue. Juicy peach and apricot on the nose followed by lemon and orange citrus providing a crisp refreshing finish. Delightful sugar/acid balance. This one will hold up to more spicy Asian foods and could be used with light desserts or fresh fruit.
Redwood Creek 2010 Merlot, California
Loaded with velvety flavors of plum, dark cherry and blackberry with a hint of chocolate and nutmeg. It lingers on the palate with the flavors of raspberry and rich fruit. Hard to find a Merlot in this price range that offers so much. Great with BBQs, roast pork and grilled chicken.
Lakewood 2010 Long Stem White, Finger Lakes, New York
With the tangy aromas of tangerine and grapefruit, followed by a crisp appley palate and a nice finish, this blend has much to offer. There's plenty to savor when matched with roast chicken, sautéed fish or pork. Excellent with appetizers, as well.
$8.01 to $10.00
St. James Winery NV Blackberry, Missouri
Huge blackberry aroma with plenty of chewy blackberry flavors on the palate that hold through to the finish. No end of possibilities with this fruit wine – spritz it, add a dollop to sparkling wine, reduce it for a sauce over steaks or game, or just drink it chilled as a cordial after dinner.
Ackerman Winery NV Black Razzy, Amana, Iowa
If I didn't know better, I would have guessed that this very vinous Syrah-like fruit wine was aged in oak! Ginger spice, lush glycerol texture is not at all harsh and although quite sweet is not cloying. It is easy to enjoy with toasted coconut wafers and ice cream.
St. James Winery NV Semi-Dry Riesling, Missouri
Apple blossom aromas with the flavors of tart green apples, citrus and peaches, with a touch of honey. The distinctive nose tells you it's Riesling right off the bat and the tart, crisp finish makes this wine perfect with stir-fry dishes or pan-fried trout. Could also be served with Alsatian charcroute or other light sausage dishes.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2011 Diamond, Finger Lakes, New York
You can almost smell the ripe grapes hanging on the vine from the minute this wine is poured in the glass. The grapey aroma fills the air as the wine bursts with American grape flavors. The finish is sweet on the tongue but there is still a crispness that reflects the good sugar/acid balance. Serve this chilled with fresh fruit or rich fruit desserts.
Jost Vineyards 2010 Valley Roads, Nova Scotia
This red blend of Leon Millot and Marechal Foch is deep in color with rich, red berry flavors. A slight spiciness and a touch of cedar in the aroma adds to the flavors that would go well with barbequed meats, wild game or roasted pork.
$10.01 to $13.00
Shooting Star 2010 Riesling, Lake County, California\
The color is water white and the aroma of honeydew and mangos is really appealing. On the palate, a hint of herbs, green apples and Bosque pear finishes soft and fruity. This is a great partner to seared tuna with ginger.
Peller Estates 2010 Pinot Blanc, British Columbia, Canada
This is a smooth, medium-bodied wine with aromas of apples and pears finishing with the flavors of tropical fruit having tangy citrus notes. It is hearty enough to stand up to baked salmon and would nicely pair with lightly seasoned grilled chicken.
Northville Winery 2011 Sparkling Sweet Hard Cider, Michigan
Baked apple aroma, tickly on the palate and a full robust cider finish. Although labeled as sweet, this cider is only moderately so and is just the thing for a hot summer day picnic with bratwurst and sausages on the grill. Your beer loving friends will love this too.
$13.01 to $16.00
Alba Vineyards 2010 Gewurztraminer, Warren Hills, New Jersey
Alsatian in style, there's lots of spice, rose petals and grapefruit on the nose. This is classic Gewurz and would pair beautifully with Pacific Rim cuisine; Thai with its many spices would be perfect, but don't hesitate to match it with Alsatian sausage dishes reflecting its heritage.
J. Lohr Estates 2009 Los Osos Merlot, Paso Robles, California
Raspberry, red currant and blackberry aromas with a rich, concentrated fruitiness on the palate and silky, velvety tannins. This is a big wine; serve with grilled red meats or robust red-sauced pasta dishes.
Chateau Fontaine 2011 Woodland White (Auxerois), Leelanau Peninsula MI
Minerals, light green apple, and pear stones greet the nose and follow all the way through finishing with a long ample textured finish. Serve it with lake perch or pan fish.
Chateau Chantal 2011 Late Harvest Riesling, Michigan
Fine floral, green grape taste, soft glycerin mouth feel and a spicy cinnamon-like resinous combine with a hint of green herb on the palate finishing with a persistent spiciness. Enjoy it with marinated veal chops.
Chateau Fontaine 2010 White Riesling, Semi-Sweet, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan
Floral nose with hints of jasmine and honeydew melons. Rich flavors come from adding unfermented grape juice before bottling which also adds to the level of sweetness. The finish, however, is crisp and long lasting. Perfect with many Asian dishes like that of sweet and sour pork but would also match well with desserts like apple tart.
Gaspereau NV Maple, Nova Scotia
Toffee flavored, finished with a touch of brandy this is ideal with desserts like hazel-nut torte, maple walnut cheesecake or other nutty desserts. The distinctive maple aroma might have you thinking of pancakes and waffles, but try this one over butter pecan ice cream.
Laurier 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California
Lots of fruit on the nose; cherry, plum and raspberries. Fruit carries through on the palate to the finish which is pleasant and long lasting. Tannins are moderate and silky providing a crisp yet velvety texture. This is the kind of wine that cries out for a grilled T-bone or sirloin steak.
Six Hands 2009 Delta Red, Walnut Grove, California
Their signature blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petite Sirah has a deep intense red color with aromas of blackberry, plum, black cherry and vanilla. Loads of fruit on the palate, soft tannins and lingering finish. Try this with hearty stews or pastas; grilled meats and wild game.
Biltmore Estate NV Century White, North Carolina
A bright aroma of flowers and spice defines this Gewurz/Riesling Alsace-style blend. Though very aromatic and fruity, it is crisp yet supple but not sweet. Bring on the ham, sausage and smoked fish.
$16.01 to $20.00
Callaway Special 2011 Selection Rosé of Sangiovese, Temecula Valley, California
With a big intense peppery spicy nose, this rosé really has a red wine-like feel to it. Both good tannin and acid give structure to the fruit balance which finishes with melons and mangos in the long finish. This is a great wine to serve with creamy vodka tomato sauce over your favorite pasta.
Kiona Vineyards NV Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Washington
With 17% residual sugar, produced from nearly frozen grapes, the aromas are of honey and apricot. Golden in color with tangy acidity, this dessert wine lingers on the palate. Would balance nicely with rich fruit tarts or pies and with fruit topped cheese cakes.
Canyon Wind 2010 Cabernet Franc, Grand Valley, Colorado
This wine demonstrates what high altitude grape growing can produce. Plum and chocolate on the nose with an earthiness on the palate where soft tannins prevail. The fruit and chocolate carries through to the finish. Would like to see this paired with grilled lamb chops or roasted turkey with sausage dressing.
Koenig Vineyard 2010 Riesling Ice Wine, Snake River Valley, Washington
The perfect white fruit purity demonstrates all that is Riesling; flowers, hints of honey, and spice (nutmeg). The sweet, lush mouth feel is balanced by refreshing acidity to cleanse the palate when enjoying angel food, pound cake or any dessert with lots of egg whites in the crust.
Stone Hill 2008 Norton, Missouri
How nice to see this American hybrid in the winner's circle. (See the Book Shelf elsewhere in the issue for more about Norton) Full-bodied, bursting with fruit, inky black in color with soft, velvety tannins and a long, lingering finish. A touch of oak shows through on the nose. Lamb, beef, grilled pork chops or venison match up nicely.
Verterra 2011 Dry Riesling, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan
Unusual in that vintage 2011 produced lots of little shot berries on the vines which were added to the must producing intense fruit flavors. The aroma is floral but the fruit on the palate is huge. This would go with just about anything; fish, chicken, Thai or other Asian, or as an aperitif.
Villa Bianca Winery 2009 Old Vines Zinfandel, California
Bramble-berry nose, good acid/sugar balance, long lingering finish. Big and fruity, just like the Zinfandels of yesteryear. Great with spicy, tomatoey pastas, rich hearty stews or grilled meats.
Fenn Valley 2010 Merlot, Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan
The relatively low alcohol (12.5%) really keeps the sweet cherry / ripe plum fruit easy and light on the palate. The purity of the fruit is its strongest suit so enjoy a glass with steaks on the grill.
G. Marquis 2009 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Amazingly aromatic with pure Riesling-like fruit without a hint of hybrid funk. This beautiful Ice Wine exhibits toffee, almond nougat, herbal and lemon nuances. Strawberry short cake comes to mind.
G. Marquis Silver Line 2009 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Fine botrytis and honey is complimented by strawberry jam, red plums, cinnamon and red pepper. There are wonderful fresh, red fruit flavors in this intensely concentrated resinous wine. Don't hesitate to bring it out with cigars, nuts and hard cheese.
$20.01 to $25.00
The Winery at La Grange 2010 Fletcher's Chardonnay, Virginia
A fine nose of cream, nuts and baked lemons stays fresh on the middle palate finishing long, clean and dry with a palate memory of sesame and nougat. This wine will work well with roasted herbed chicken.
Lafond Winery 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California
Aromas of red raspberry and the earthiness of fresh plowed soil make this a classic Pinot Noir. A touch of sweet fruit on the palate but the finish is totally dry. Flavors linger and would blend nicely with grilled salmon and mushrooms, roast chicken or turkey.
Keuka Springs Vineyard 2010 Miller's Cove Red, Finger Lakes, New York
Light toasty oak blends with blackberry, plums and spice followed by a huge mouthful of ripe fruit flavors and a long, lingering, velvety finish and perfect acid/sugar balance. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this would match nicely with anything from grilled hamburgers to an elegant rack of lamb.
Borjon Winery 2009 Barbera Reposado, Shenandoah Valley, California\
Huge ripe Zin-like aroma of black currant jam, sweet oak and chocolate; lush and fat it can be described as generous on all accounts. Serve it with flavorful pasta with a bit of spice and red pepper flakes.
Gamache Vintners 2009 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, Washington
Lovely aroma of berries on the nose – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and black cherries. Smooth on the palate with robust flavors of ripe, red fruits. Well-balanced with mild tannins, great with hearty stews, game or grilled red meat
$25.01 to $35.00
Rock Wall Wine Company 2009 Tannat, California
Inky black just like the Madiran of France and full of all the expected flavors; blackberry, cappuccino and dark chocolate, big robust tannins, lingers on the palate. This wine calls for big hearty fare like a grilled sirloin, short ribs in Madeira sauce or a rich cassoulet.
Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Blancs Methode Champenoise, Finger Lakes, NY
Remarkably complex, the toasty, yeasty, rich texture grips the palate and lasts for many seconds on the clean dry finish. It is memorable. Celebrate the day with lox, salami, nuts and a sip of Chateau Frank!
Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noirs, Finger Lakes, New York
Vibrant mousse, tiny bubbles, fresh bread yeasty aroma, crisp on the palate and pleasant lingering flavors. This sparkling wine would be right at home with any fine meal; light enough to go with hors d'oeuvres but solid enough to match up to fish, chicken or pork as an entrée. A delight on the tongue with its spritzy, bubbly nature.
von Stiehl Winery 2008 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Wisconsin
Sweet oak and fruit mélange greet the nose. Ripe prune plums, a big texture with lush, soft tannins completes the palate. The finish is clean with a memory of the nose. Browned veal chops will welcome this wine's round, soft persona.
Magnotta 2008 Vidal Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Deep, dark yellow gold with aromas of apricot, mango and pineapple. Touches of banana and honey on the palate. The mouth-watering intense flavors would compliment an array of rich cheeses and fine pates. Would also match up nicely with fruit pastries.
$35.00 to $50.00
Steele Stymie 2008 Limited Production Merlot, California
Surprising cedar, tobacco, dark chocolate and marzipan in the nose with huge depth of flavor and long, rich soft tannins on the palate; enjoy it with herb-crusted roast pork butt.
Lake Chelan Winery M5 (Maximum 5) 2008 Meritage, Washington
Comprised of 59% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc, this Bordeaux-style red is scented with ripe red fruits and a touch of sweet French oak. At first the nose is closed in but develops with air and would benefit from decanting. Tannins and acid level suggest aging potential. Serve with well-seasoned meats and BBQ sauce dishes.
Magnotta 2008 Enotrium, Niagara Peninsula Ontario
A huge nose of roasted meats, black fruit, and brandied black berries is followed up by big tannin structure with oak, smoke and rich, long, lush rustic cedar and tobacco. Serve this beauty with standing rib.
$50.01 to $65.00
Hawk & Horse Vyd 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County, California\
The aroma screams blackberry! Big, lush and fat on the tongue with sweet berry liquor-like intensity remarkably stays perfectly balanced, perfect knit sense of fruit, oak and terroir. Can you imagine this wine with seared duck breast?
Sunce Winery 2009 Trois Amis, Sonoma, California
Rich blend of 44% Merlot, 44% Sangiovese and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon bring the best of each of the three together. The Merlot provides a velvety plum fruitiness; the Sangiovese adds tart cherries and pepper; the Cabernet provides the tannin for structure. Great with rich tomato-based pasta dishes and perfect with osso buco.
Christopher Creek 2009 Kelli's Block #7 Cabernet Franc, Dry Creek Vly, California
Limestone, mint, orange peel and cherry butter all come to mind while the inviting nose gracefully turns into a long, full, lush, juicy mouth feel and a firm but fluid finish. Lamb chops with mint or rosemary sauce come to mind.
V Sattui 2008 Paradiso Red, Napa Valley, California
Fine, airy red fruits like prickly pear and red plums dominate the nose while a rich texture and long, fruit laden aftertaste complete the picture. This is a great companion to lemon seasoned roast leg of lamb.
$65.01 and over
St. Supery 2009 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
Black red robe invites a strong sniff which reveals cedar, tobacco, red cherry fruit, black berries, hints of compost and soft, well integrated oak. It is rich and warm, with persistent fruit, yet limpid and not too big. Marinated flank steak with mushroom sauce will bring out its best.
Magnotta Limited Edition 2008 Sparkling Vidal Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Intense botrytis, honey, resin essence, that literally attack the palate are expected with Ice Wine. What is different here, is the bubbles which refresh the palate and keep the intensity from overwhelming the otherwise fresh acidity and fruit. Enjoy it as an awesome after dinner drink with spiced pecans.
Richard Partridge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California
This very elegant, garnet colored wine, loaded with blackberry and dark cherry flavors requires something just as elegant to match up to its heritage and breeding. The lingering finish and velvety tannins bode for aging potential. With a savory mouthful I'm dreaming of a chateaubriand for two. Heavenly!