Monthly Picks: March 2011

Generation Seven Wines 2009 Red - $14
Enjoyable on its own, but the wine really shines when paired with food. I tried it with a tomato-based, spicy meatball pasta sauce (with some of the wine added in) and the acidity and weight stood up beautifully.
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Hugel et Fils 2008 Classic Pinot Blanc - $15-20
A rich and creamy Pinot Blanc from top Alsatian producer Hugel et Fils with strong tropical and orchard fruit flavours and subtle slate minerality. Slightly off-dry with a full mouth feel and lingering lemon zest.
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Dr. Loosen 2009 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett - $20
An off-dry, slightly effervescent, single-vineyard Riesling from famed Germany producer Dr. Loosen. Classic petrol, citrus and slate notes abound but the nectar-like sweetness from the expressive fruit is the dominant character.
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Meyer Family Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir - $25
The hot 2009 growing season has contributed a bit more tannin than normal for Pinot Noir, but it doesn't over-power the palate in any way. Flavours are both juicy and earthy. The texture is tart and dusty making this an excellent wine to accompany food.
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Fairview Cellars 2008 Madcap Red - $27
The 2008 yields a cooler, more masculine character of dark berries and fruits with earthy minerals notes and savory flavours. Compared to the 2007, which was warmer and more feminine, the 2008 Madcap, a Merlot-heavy blend, is more serious and conservative.
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Cassini Cellars 2008 Maximus - $29
The 2008 Maximus will appeal to wine lovers who enjoy extracted, concentrated, full-bodied red blends best summed up as "big". Well priced at just under $30, the 2008's blend is comprised of 63 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 31 % Merlot and 6 % Malbec.
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Tantalus Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir - $30
The 2008 vintage, although not the blockbuster that the 2007 was, is a solid and delicious Pinot Noir with an excellent balance of red fruit and savoury characters with a touch of fragrant aromatics.
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Blackwood Lane 2007 Merlot - $44
Wine lovers who find Merlot boring or incomplete will be happily rewarded with this example from Fraser Valley producer Blackwood Lane. Winemaker Charles Herrold has rounded out the flavours and aromas with a splash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The result is a more complete experience than drinking a straight varietal.
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