New in Vintages

**** cellar
Markham Merlot 2009
Napa Valley, California $31.95 (738740) 14.2% alcohol
Charred toast, blueberry and mixed red cherry/berry aromas herald a rich and silky-smooth wash of black, juicy cherry and kirsch liqueur mingling with espresso roast and cassis. It’s mid-full weight with good mouth feel and a robust finish with good fruit, excellent moderating acidity and an underpinning of still-resolving tannin. Pour 2015 to 2019. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar
Mission Hill ‘Family Estate Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
VQA Okanagan Valley $22.95 (553321) 13.5% alcohol
Dark-ruby hued, barrel fermented and aged 13 months in French and American oak, this offers complex aromas including notes of dried herbs and flowers, cassis, tobacco and cedar. Dry, full bodied, the perceptible tannin offers fine structure for the intensely flavourful spiced, dark fruit, layered with subtle nuances of earth and spice. Mouth-wateringly good, it finishes long, dry and full flavoured. Savour now with roast lamb or cellar medium term. (Susan Desjardins)

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Mike Weir Pinot Noir 2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula $19.95 (00075) 13.0% alcohol
Dry and mid weight, this is nicely balanced with delicate aromas and well-defined flavours of tasty red and black berries mingling with sweet spice and an underlying earthy note that lingers through the finish. It’s fresh, lively and slightly peppery, a good match for farfalle with duck and arugula. (Susan Desjardins)

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Mike Weir ‘10’ Riesling 2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (229286) 12.0% alcohol
Here’s a versatile, little-black-dress Riesling that you can take anywhere! It’s dry, light-mid weight, and offers a pretty nose of lime, peach, pear and floral notes. Crisp acidity and tangy citrus fruit combine to create a juicy texture that offers a nice fresh finish. Great balance, great value. (Susan Desjardins)

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Mike Weir ‘Méthode Traditionelle’ Sparkling Brut 2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula $24.95 (187294) 12.0% alcohol
Golden, with a fine frothy mousse, this is a well crafted, dry, rich sparkling wine. Aromas of yeast, citrus and vanilla pear custard tantalize. The texture’s clean and creamy while flavours of lemon chiffon, pear, toasted nuts and brioche delight the palate. Finishing fresh and flavourful, the flavours of ripe, orchard fruit provide lingering pleasure. Sip to savour. (Susan Desjardins)

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Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2009
Sonoma County $20.95 (226936) 13.5% alcohol
Spice, pit fruit and sweet vanilla on the nose, it coats the palate with a mouthful of delectable, ripe peach, crisp Granny Smith apple and a salad bowl of tropical fruit. It’s balanced and beautiful sporting a creamy texture and good weight, finishing in a blaze of ripe fruit and good, balancing citrus tang. Pour with rotisserie-roasted chicken or pan-seared tilapia. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now
Rodney Strong ‘Russian River Valley’ Pinot Noir 2010
Sonoma County $24.95 (954834) 14.5% alcohol
This is a bold, substantial Pinot, showcasing wonderful warm aromas of ripe raspberry, cherry, sweet spice and vanilla. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s round and smooth on the palate, spice and pepper coming through, mingling with lush red fruits. The powerful flavours and warmth linger on the fruit-filled, spicy finish. Serve with beef tenderloin with a mushroom sauce. A Vintages Essentials product, this wine is always available in select LCBO stores. (Susan Desjardins)