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2012 Best Values

27 Great Value Bottles to Buy Now

The Judges' Award for Best Value was bestowed on wines that received high scores from InterVin judges — ranking as silver or gold medal winners — and retail for $15 or less. Twenty-seven selections received the special citation at the 2012 InterVin International Wine Awards. These beautiful bargain bottles hail from all corners of the globe, including strong representation from Australia, Canada and Spain. Buy with confidence.

Boekenhoutskloof 2011 The Wolftrap Viognier/Chenin Blanc/Grenache Blanc

Western Cape, South Africa  $14.95 (263608)
The quality of this welcoming white blend made it stand out from the crowd. Rich, floral aromas capture your interest, while the bold and balanced flavours tug on your heartstrings. It's a delicious, intriguing wine.

Graffigna 2010 Centenario Reserve Malbec

San Juan, Argentina  $13.45 (230474)
Judges found a lot to enjoy in this expressive Malbec that captures the complexity of the variety. Its floral, roasted herbs and ripe fruit aromas and flavours leave a lasting impression. Nicely layered and balanced, this is an affordable red that truly delivers.

Rosewood Estates Winery 2010 Natalie's Süssreserve Riesling

Niagara Peninsula  $14.95 (258806)
The juicy and delicious style of Rosewood's Süssreserve Riesling earned it an InterVin gold medal. Our panel was impressed by its attractive aroma, rich flavour and long, fruity finish. A terrific example of Niagara Riesling.

Cabernet/Cabernet Blends

Caves du Val de France 2010 Jovly Cabernet Franc Chinon

Loire Valley, France  $14.95 $13.95 (300665)
The ripe and complex character of this French Cabernet Franc impressed tasters. The mix of cherry, plum and spice on the palate is nicely framed by firm structure.

Casa Montes Bodega & Vinedos 2009 Don Baltazar Cabernet Franc

San Juan, Argentina  $12.95 (261909)
Judges enjoyed the combination of complexity and powerful fruit offered by this expressive Cabernet Franc. The abundance of cherry and dark berry flavours on the palate gain interest from some savoury and leathery notes.

Vineland Estates 2010 Kevin O'Leary Wines Cabernet Merlot

Niagara Peninsula  $14.95 (307744)
The classical style of this Niagara Bordeaux blend made a profound impression. Produced from Niagara's warm and dry 2010 vintage, this well-made red maintains a sense of balance and proportion.

Rosewood Estates Winery 2010 Natalie's Süssreserve Riesling

Niagara Peninsula  $14.95 (258806)
The juicy and delicious style of Rosewood's Süssreserve Riesling earned it an InterVin gold medal. Our panel was impressed by its attractive aroma, rich flavour and long, fruity finish. A terrific example of Niagara Riesling.

Chardonnay

Lindeman's 2010 Bin 65 Chardonnay

South Australia  $10.95 (142117)
Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay makes a return appearance on our annual Best Buys list. We loved its vibrant character, intensity and pleasant texture. As always, it is made in an incredibly precise and focused style.

Fruit Wine

Viña Casal de Gorchs Fresita

Chile  $13.95 (056697)
This creative blend of strawberry purée from Patagonia and white sparkling wine is easy to appreciate. Tasters highlighted its obvious and pure strawberry aromas and flavours as well as its pleasing balance and bright aromatic charm.

Other Reds

Aviva Vino 2010 Bodegas Terra Sigilata Filón Garnacha

Calatayud, Spain  $14.95 (280602)
A gold medal winner, our panel enjoyed the contrasting fruity and earthy personality of this bold, flavourful Spanish red. Made with 100 percent Grenache, spice, vanilla and strawberry jam aromas gain interest from cured meat and coffee notes. The end result is a delightful, intensely enjoyable wine.

Boutari 2008 Agiorgitiko

Nemea, Greece  $11.95 (172148)
The Agiorgitiko grape, also known as St. George, is one of Greece's greatest indigenous varieties. This example shows the rustic charm that makes it so easy to appreciate. Spice, tobacco and red fruit notes stand out in a red with fresh acidity and good grip on the palate. Serve slightly chilled for best enjoyment.

Cantina Clavesana S.C.A. 2011 D'Oh Dolcetto

Piedmont, Italy  $12.60 (268037)
This classic pizza night wine makes the most of its dried fruit, leather and spice complexity. Its bright and tart fruit flavours are refreshing and focused, making this a supremely versatile red to match with food.

d'Arenberg 2010 The Stump Jump Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

South Australia  $14.95 (173294)
Made in a modern, pleasing style, d'Arenberg's The Stump Jump puts the emphasis on ripe berry fruit flavours. It's a solid, appealingly full-bodied style with good intensity, freshness and structure.

ORO Wines 2010 Bodegas Atalaya Laya

Almansa, Spain  $13.99
A rich, age-worthy blend of Alicante Bouchet (Garnacha Tintorera) and Monastrell, the Atalaya Laya presents impressive complexity for its price. A gorgeous core of red berry fruit is layered with spice and leather notes on the palate. Youthful tannins suggest serving with grilled meats or cellaring for three to five years for best enjoyment.

Other Whites

Boutari 2011 Moschofilero

Mantinia, Greece $11.95 (172387)
Produced from 100 percent Moschofilero grown in high elevation vineyards in the Mantinia region of the Peloponnese, this striking, dry white wine successfully mixes delicate floral notes and mouthwatering fruit flavours. A great option for light white fish or seafood dishes.

J. García Carrión 2011 Mayor de Castilla Verdejo

Rueda, Spain $10.95
Fresh and focused, this subtle Spanish white effectively balances its stony mineral, peach pit and intervin.ca 17 grapefruit aromas and flavours. It's an elegant partner for lighter dishes, such as white fish, seafood or simply dressed salads.

Legends Estates Winery 2011 Diva Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Niagara Peninsula  $14.95 (179143)
A consistent performer, Legend’s Diva Sauvignon Blanc Semillon returns to our Best Value lineup. Judges enjoyed its bright, fresh style, which offered peach, lime and grassy notes that carry through to a long, lingering finish.

Strewn 2011 Cottage Block Sauvignon Blanc Riesling

South Australia  $12.95 (296574)
A new addition to the Strewn portfolio, the zesty and aromatic Cottage Block white is 75 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 25 percent Riesling. Its refreshing character made a good impression with our panel.

Weingut Meinhard Forstreiter 2011 Grooner Grüner Veltliner

Lower Austria  $12.95 (168625)
This affordable white is a leaner yet solid introduction to the fresh, intense personality of Grüner Veltliner. Look for mineral, green pear and spice notes in this tart and tangy wine.

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Bodega François Lurton 2012 Pinot Grigio

Uco Valley, Argentina $11.95 (556746)
Here's a dry white wine that really picks up steam. Its subdued aroma didn't register with our crew, but the flavourful and fruity palate really drew them in. Peach, apricot and anise notes dominate the flavour profile, which culminates in a pleasingly long, spicy finish.

McWilliam's 2011 JJ McWilliam Pinot Grigio

South Eastern Australia $10.70 (291765)
Made in a crowd-pleasing, commercial style, this affordable Pinot Grigio is tailor-made to be the life of the party. A vibrant honeysuckle fragrance and ripe and juicy palate make for a lively and charming white.

Peller Estates Okanagan 2011 Family Series Pinot Gris

Okanagan Valley  $12.99 (615559)
The quality and persistence of Peller's Family Series Pinot Gris make it an unbeatable value. Smoky notes add complexity to the ripe fruit aromas, while an attractive mix of pear, lemon and toast flavours make the palate truly sing.

Riesling

Jacob's Creek 2010 Barossa Riesling Reserve

Barossa, Australia $14.95 (212704)
This unapologetically dry white wine presents lime zest, toast and mineral notes that will be a shock to the system of anyone who thinks Rieslings are simple, fruity and sweet wines. Its austerity and balance made our judges sit up and pay attention. Not for the faint of heart, but fans of intense whites take note.

Konzelmann Estate Winery 2011 Riesling

Niagara Peninsula $11.95 (200501)
Made in Konzelmann's distinctive house style, this ripe and peachy Riesling is pleasantly plump. Its off-dry character is nicely countered by vibrant citrusy acidity. A wonderful example of affordable Niagara Riesling.

Mike Weir Wine 2010 Riesling

Niagaraon- the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (229286)
The current release of the Mike Weir Riesling offers serious style. It's nicely balanced and focused, with some earthy and wet stone notes adding complexity to the green apple, lemon and lime aromas and flavours. Tasters found it to be fresh, intense and oh so enjoyable.

Rosé

Castello di Gabbiano 2011 Rosé

Tuscany, Italy $11.95
This Sangiovese-based dry Rosé inspired comments like "elegant," "mouthwatering" and "satisfying." Bright strawberry and cranberry fruit flavours and great length made it our top-scoring pink wine. The crisp, dry finish makes it a natural food wine, which would match with traditional antipasto selections and more.

Cattail Creek Estate Winery Estate 2011 Serendipity Rosé

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (118059)
An eclectic blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon makes for a vibrant and fresh Rosé. Strawberry and cranberry fruit flavours dominate, with some spice and orange peel emerging on the lingering finish.

Sparkling

Mionetto Il Prosecco

Treviso, Italy $11.55 (588053)
This affordable Italian sparkler was compared favourably by one judge to a velvet pillow. Its delicate and intense aroma gives way to a lovely wine with a creamy texture that makes a profound impression. The gently sparkling character comes from fermentation in the Charmat method in a reinforced tank.


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