New in Vintages

****1/2 drink now
J. Lohr ‘Riverstone’ Chardonnay 2012
Arroyo Seco Monterey, California $18.95 (258699) 13.5% alcohol
Stunning aromas of baking spice, exotic incense, baked apple and poached pear herald a creamy, mid-full weight wash of crisp, green apple, racy lemon curd and a cut of grapefruit pith. It’s complex, terrific value, fully flavoured and simply delicious. The aftertaste is lengthy, crisp and refreshing. It’s a Vintages Essentials, always available in select stores. (Vic Harradine)

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Michael David Vineyards ‘7 Deadly Zins’ Zinfandel 2010
Lodi, California $24.95 (053391) 15.0% alcohol
Right from the get go, this attracts a crowd. Perfumed with aromas of wood smoke, baking spice and dark juicy cherry/berry fruit, it coats the palate with ripe, briary berry, juicy Bing cherry and dark plum jam. It’s mid-full weight with oodles of texture and a lengthy, delectable aftertaste that’s fruit forward, tangy and charming. Poured well with smoked, grilled back ribs mopped with spicy BBQ sauce. (Vic Harradine)

• The following wine has a limited time offer of $2.50 off the price listed below from December 5 to December 30, 2013 – pick up a few.

****1/2 drink now
Rodney Strong ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir 2011
Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $24.95 (954834) 14.5% alcohol
This is a premium Pinot from the fabulous cool-climate appellation of Russian River Valley. It’s part California with ripe fruit and oodles of it, and part Burgundy with good structure and lip-smacking acidity for excellent balance. There’s red cherry with wisps of red currant and mixed spice on the nose and palate joined by ripe black berry and notions of beetroot on the finish and lingering aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)