New in Vintages

Icewine

93 drink or cellar Oh Canada! 
Henry of Pelham Riesling Icewine 2016 
VQA Niagara Peninsula $49.95 (430561) 9.5% alcohol
This is a perennial favourite showcasing excellent acidity and ripe, sweet, fruit flavours that are perfect partners in this delicious offering. Aromas of peach, pear and wisps of minerality unleash a flow of palate-enveloping flavours—baked apple and poached pear interlace with crisp green apple, sharp ginger and lemony tang in a crescendo of balanced and beautiful ambrosia. It all replays on the lengthy finish and aftertaste. Gorgeous now, will develop depth and complexity with bottle age. Pour on its own or with premium blue-veined cheese, fruit flan or pan-seared foie gras. (Vic Harradine)

Champagne

95 drink or cellar 
Roederer ‘Cristal 2009
AOC Champagne $304.95 (268755) 12.0% alcohol 
Leesy and honeysuckle aromas dominate the nose while the mousse froths in the glass followed by a profusion of small-bead bubbles streaming upward in the glass. A glorious swath of rich flavours blanket the palate with poached pear, baked apple and lemon pie filling to the fore. The monumentally long finish and aftertaste replay palate flavours. This is elegant and charming from cork pop to last drop—include this experience on your bucket list. (Vic Harradine)

White Wine

87 drink now 
Bollino Pinot Grigio 2016 

DOC Trentino, Italy $17.95 (951319) 14.0% alcohol 
Delicate aromas of straw and floral notes open the door to a medium-bodied, nicely textured wash of crisp refreshing white grapefruit intertwining with Granny Smith apple and mineral notes bathing the palate infusing the clean, zippy-dry finish and aftertaste. Pour this clean, mouth-watering pinot grigio with grilled fish or seafood under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

85 drink now 
Anselmi ‘San Vincenzo’ 2016 

IGT Veneto, Italy $16.95 (948158) 12.5% alcohol 
An über-savory nose of grassy notes and sprigs of savory herbs dressed in piquant spice provide segue to this garganega blend. The mid-weight, lightly textured stream of palate-pleasing flavour skips over the palate with flavours of lemongrass, pear and wisps of apple persisting through the mid-length finish and aftertaste. Pour on its own as a pleasant pre-dinner sipper. (Vic Harradine)

92 drink or cellar Oh Canada! 
Thirty Bench ‘Winemaker’s Blend’ Riesling 2015
VQA Beamsville Bench $20.85 (24133) 10.8% alcohol
The lifted nose of lime and piquant spice aromas is also decorated with sharp mineral notes and notions of petrol. An off-dry surge of citrus-infused flavours explode on the palate with lemon curd and lime cordial providing pizzazz along with delicious accoutrements of melon, minerality and under-ripe orchard fruit. It’s medium-weight with a bountiful, lip-smacking finish. Divine sipped on its own, it pours well with grilled or pan-seared fish, steamed mussels or breaded and skillet-fried calamari. (Vic Harradine)

87 drink now 
Mer Soleil ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2015

Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County $34.95 (958975) 14.9% alcohol
Baking spice, caramel and toasty, buttery aromas unleash a huge gusher of flavour that will leave few imbibers without a strong opinion. If you’re looking for a full-bodied, fully textured, high-octane, tsunami wave of rich, luscious, sweet flavours—grilled pineapple, oak-inspired vanillin and caramel apple—then you should love this. There are tropical fruit notes along with ripe pear, a bit of citrus pith and wisps of oak on the sweet-tinged finish and aftertaste—not for the faint of palate. (Vic Harradine)

Red Wine

91 drink or cellar Oh Canada! 
Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir 2014
VQA Beamsville Bench $31.95 (274753) 12.7% alcohol
A subdued nose of red berry fruit and spice provide segue for a gorgeous mouthful of deftly balanced racy tang—pie cherry and red currant—and ripe juicy fruit—black plum and dark Bing cherry. It’s medium weight with good mouthfeel and a delectable lingering finish of mixed spice with wisps of toasty oak and soft tannin. Pour with rack of lamb, roast turkey or crown roast of pork. (Vic Harradine)

• The folks from Caymus, the iconic Charles F. Wagner is winemaker, only reveal two of the grapes that make up the following multi-blend 2014 Conundrum Red—zinfandel and petite sirah—with no mention of oak or winemaking regimen—other than that it is oaked.

88 drink now 
Conundrum Red 2014
California $24.95 (294298) 15.2% alcohol
Dark cherry/berry aromas, charred toast and spice box leap from the almost-opaque liquid in the glass. Ripe, sweet fruit envelops the palate—black plum compote, cherry cordial and rich, blackberry jam to the fore, decorated with milk chocolate. This is full bodied, fully textured and certainly fully flavoured with a lengthy sweet-tinged, fruit-forward finish and aftertaste. Pour with grilled back ribs mopped with spicy barbecue sauce. (Vic Harradine)

92 drink or cellar 
Two Hands Wines ‘The Gnarly Dudes’ Shiraz 2016
Barossa Valley, South Australia $24.95 (660043) 13.8% alcohol
Purple/black, almost opaque in the glass, this unleashes aromas of ripe black berry fruit with support from mixed spice and savory herbs. On the palate, crunchy red fruit—pie cherry and cranberry—meet up with ripe black fruit—currant and mulberry—in a delightful, delicious pairing that’s balanced, well paced and well priced. Flavours replay on the long, mouth-watering finish. This pours well on its own, with each sip as good, or better, than the previous, as well as rack of Australian lamb or grilled steak. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2015 Trius ‘The Icon’ red blend—43% cabernet franc/42% cabernet sauvignon/15% merlot—was matured 12 months in French and American oak.

87 drink or cellar Oh Canada! 
Trius ‘The Icon’ Red 2015
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 (303800) 13.6% alcohol
Aromas of ripe cherry/berry fruit, herbs and spice abound. A medium-full bodied, nicely textured flow of red cherry, bramble berry and savory herbs blanket the palate tightly robed in the still-evolving grip of perceptible tannin. Aerate/decant for three hours pouring with rare-grilled, well-seasoned striploin. (Vic Harradine)