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2010 J. Wrigley Pinot Blanc

Clear, bright, gold color. Clean nose with medium-light intensity aromas of white flowers, jasmine, peach, pineapple, and some honey. Dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium body, lemon peel, orange, floral, yellow apple, pear, slight yeastiness adding texture and a medium finish. Pair grilled Tilapia and mango salsa. Recommended.
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2008 Winderlea Ana Pinot Noir

Clear, bright, medium, ruby color. Clean aromas of sweet fruit, black cherry, brown sugar, smoke, baked black fruit, cola. Dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium-low tannin, round, intense flavors, lush, red fruit, black fruit, Bing cherry, blackberry, plum, blueberry, cocoa, medium finish. Drink now, or hold for 5-7 years. Pair with slow smoked ribs. Recommended.
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2006 Produttori del Barbaresco

Co-ops are usually the volume-first, quality-second institutions of the wine world. Not so with Produttori del Barbaresco, a group of 19 producers in the Barbaresco appellation who work together to produce some of the best wines in all of Piedmont, and at remarkably reasonable prices. Italian wine expert Charles Scicolone, in an interview I had the chance of doing with him last year, told me he considered Produttori as the best Barbaresco producer, bar none, and after tasting a few of their bottlings, I tend to agree. The 2006 “regular” Barbaresco (as opposed to their single vineyard bottlings), is clearly built for the long run, with fine but significant tannins, loads of great tart cherry and tobacco leaf aromas, a fine acidity and a terrific, clean, precise finish. The color is the clear garnet of traditional nebbiolo, free of oak (why would that grape need it?), fine and well-defined. Buy every bottle you find and drink them slowly over the next twenty years. Also look for their Langhe Nebbiolo, a simpler, fun expression of nebbiolo that is a real deal at less than $20 CDN. Highly recommended.
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2008 Sacha Lichine Cabernet Merlot

This is billed as an “Old World meets New World” wine. It might be more correctly labeled as a “French wine aimed directly at cutting into the American market.” There are some nice blackberry nuances around the nose but they seem to get cut off by some herbal notes. Fruit-forward, it’s a little cluttered on the palate, with cassis flavors battling it out a bit with some briar and red licorice notes, but has some nice silken tones after it has a little time to sort itself out. Tannins are soft and the finish is pleasant. Nothing here to distinguish this from the ocean of low-to-mid range American Cabernets produced each year, but still a pleasant quaff, and not a bad value. Try with a roast pork or grilled chops. Recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Helioterra Columbia Valley Syrah

Clear, medium-deep intensity, plum purple in color. Clean nose with medium to medium-full aromas of dark fruit, plum, raspberry, blackberry, and savory herbs, rosemary, coffee. Dry on the palate with medium-full tannin, medium-low acidity, and flavors of cherry conserves, blackberry, sage, and oak. Needs time; pair with sautéed portabella mushrooms tossed with herbs and cooked raspberries. Recommended.
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2009 Brittan Chardonnay

Clear, medium intensity, straw yellow color. Clean, medium intensity aromas, yellow apple, cooked tropical fruit, candied lemon peel, spun sugar, and caramelized pineapple; simply intoxicating. Dry, full body, medium acidity, medium-long finish, candied orange, peaches and cream, slight butter, roasted apples, and pears. Pair with crab, lobster, or prawns. Highly recommended.
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2009 Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Riesling Kabinett

This has a lovely floral nose, magnolia and roses, toffee, and the tiniest hint of petrol. On the palate it is off-dry, with very subtle creamy citrus, more key lime pie than key lime, moving toward apple on the mid-palate, all lightly-honeyed, with an acid background and bright citrus tartness around the edges. From start to finish a sweet nuttiness lingers very lightly under all the other flavors. The floral accents come alive again on the finish. Drink with baked clams. Highly Recommended.