April Release Recommendations
By Natalie MacLean
April 5: Highly Recommended White Wines
963124 Jackson Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002, New Zealand $19.95: Major lawnmowers: terrific herbal, zesty, zippy wine.
966408 Joseph Drouhin Meursault 1999 Burgundy, France $52.25: I know this is steep, but this is an outrageously hedonistic wine: lime, tree fruit, pears, earthy, oh dear.
480517 Gunderloch Riesling Kabinett 2001, Germany $14.95: Lovely floral notes and refreshing acidity, fabulous food wine, great price.
512376 Antinori Cervaro Della Sala 2000, Italy $49.95: Another pricey one, but it's unbelievably good: honey, toast and tree fruit -- exotic.
April 5: Highly Recommended Red Wines
942904 d'Arenberg The D'Arry's Original 2000, Australia $18.95: Brilliant wine: minty, chocolate, ripe dark fruit, fantastic price for such a wine. I tasted the other two pricier wines from this winery in this release, each around $40 (Ironstone Pressings and Dead Arm), and they're also marvelous, but the price-quality ratio heavily favours D'arry's Original.
959841 Normans Wines/Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Australia $26.80: A wine from the golf pro that'll appeal both to golfers and to those who like to say "How about I'll meet you in the clubhouse when you're done." (I've met a number of wonderful people that way, and drank many great wines.) Received 94 from Australian reviewers: ripe fruit, balanced, intense.
987529 McLaren Vale Stump Hill Shiraz 2000, Australia $21.75: Delicious! dark berries and mint chocolate.
131672 Chateau Loudenne 1999, Bordeaux $27.95: Lovely rustic Old World wine. Comes in the convenient half bottle too.
963256 Chateau Lynch-Moussas 2000, Bordeaux $49.95: This is a deal compared to most Bordeaux these days -- and if you crave Old World finesse, structure and the rest, go for it.
746883 Domaine de Lathevalle 2001, Beaujolais $9.35: light and happy, bursting with fruit and sunshine.
982587 Domaine Terres Blanches 2000, Provence $17.95: Juicy, ripe organic wine.
730937 Taurino Notarpanaro 1995, Italy $23.85: Lovely Old World wine, bright red berries and smooth texture.
730879 Vini Farina Valpolicella 1999, Italy $13.75: Delicious Old World wine -- great value. Excellent with tomato-sauce pastas. Best Value Red Wine
April 19: Highly Recommended White Wines
403188 Beringer's Alluvium White 2000, California $28.85: exotic blend of white grapes that yield notes of honey, citrus and flowers. Parker gave it a 90.
933424 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2002, South Africa $21.30: This is one of the wines we had at the South African restaurant at Disney (Jiko) and it made our night -- South Africa is going to give New Zealand a run for it's money on SB. (And meanwhile NZ will give Burgundy a run on pinot noir.) Favourite White Wine
733733 Chateau Belingard 2001, Southwest France $12.85: Fantastic deal, not too oaky, just the right refreshing acidity and fruit -- great party sipper. Best Value White Wine
988618 Weingut Max Ferd Richter Riesling Kabinett 2000, Germany $19.95: Lovely wine: nice acid and fruit, mineral and floral.
712547 Cantine Bava Moscato d'Asti 2001, Italy $15.70: This zippy, light, slightly sweet, slightly effervescent wine is like the first robin of spring -- try it on it's own after dinner if you want to skip dessert, or with a fruit flan. You can thank me later.
April 19: Highly Recommended Red Wines
597039 Inniskillin Meritage Dark Horse Vineyard 2000, BC $24.95: Huge, delicious, rip, touch tannic -- the amazing wines now coming out of BC!
714816 Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, California $23.40: Supple, dark fruit, rich and smooth.
382325 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1998, California $39.90: Long been a fan of this producer of blockbuster cabs.
948240 J. Lohr Syrah 2000, California $23.65: Yum! Blackberry, black plums and a velvet finish.
541821 Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, South Africa $23.95: If you like powerful wines, wines that hit you right back, this is terrific!
937441 Fairview Shiraz 2000, Australia $21.95: The other wine in which South Africa is excelling is shiraz: they make 'em big and bold and bursting with fruit. This one is more like cabernet than shiraz -- but it still comes off as a lovely wine.
733410 Baron de Rothschild Chateau Clarke 2000, Bordeaux $42.85: This is when a wine writer feels conflicted (yes we do have dark nights of the soul): I want to strongly recommend this one but I don't want it to sell out. Oh well, guess I'll selflessly throw myself on the fires of self-sacrifice yet again. This is a magnificent wine (and the bonus is that you get the name Rothschild on the label). Favourite Red Wine
930438 Bodegas Vina Bajoz Crianza 1999, Spain $17.70: Beautiful Old World wine with Spain's unique rustic character.