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For Immediate Release

Dear Wine Lovers!

Here’s the short version…

Get to know Napa: Watch our series of videos on some of the greatest wineries in Napa. Meet Doug Shafer, Bo Barrett at Montelena, Darioush Khaledi, Janet Trefethen, Dan Duckhorn, Stags Leap Wine Cellars and many more. www.finevintagewineclub.com .

Inside Scoop: Here’s what to buy at Premiere Napa Valley this Saturday, in person or by absentee bid. These special tiny lots (usually 5 cases) are the ultimate wines to have from Napa as only a few cases are made – these are special reserves. Heitz Lot 164, Red Mare Lot 140, and Trefethen Lot 185. Get the bid forms and learn more at the site: http://www.napavintners.com/pnv/index.asp

Take a wine course: We have 14 WSET schools in Canada and the USA and have now become the largest operator of professional wine courses in North America. Courses sell out fast so sign-up and get certified. Or, do it with us in a Convent in Tuscany www.WineCoursesTuscany.com – slightly more romantic than Vegas. The schedule is below.

Get a job: You’ll find hundreds of listings at the #1 job site in Canada www.winejobsCanada.com along with the daily news feeds. Or start saving your money and use www.WineJobsUSA.com , or in the UK www.WineJobsEngland.co.uk

Luxury wine tours: See inside the great estates, guided by an MW, and eat and drink like a King.  Our trips to Bordeaux, Tuscany, Spain, Champagne-Burgundy-Rhone this year are almost all sold out with just a few spots left on each of them. Visit www.FineVintageLtd.com and view the amazing itineraries.

Big reveal: The way you buy wine in Canada has just totally changed. We are the only independent company choosing wines for you, with a degree of expertise that you don’t find elsewhere, and delivering them to your door.

Our wine club is now officially open and you’ll love our new format. There are lots of options to choose from – Import Club, Okanagan Club and Cellar Selections.

Now you can click a button and every month (or 2) you’ll get our wine picks delivered to your door. Buy wines you won’t readily find elsewhere that I’ve selected with our team. Visit www.FineVintageWineclub.com to join our exclusive quality-driven wine club that is operated in partnership with Wine Ink, a licensed retailer.

Thanks for all your support!!!

James Cluer

Shiraz from Langhorne Creek

Shiraz

Heartland, Director’s Cut, 2008

Langhorne Creek, South Australia

Described by Robert Park as a brilliant winemaker, Ben Glaetzer is one of the leading young winemakers setting trends in Australia.

As with films, the Director’s Cut is regarded as the definitive version – without any compromises. It is the finest barrels from the best vineyards.

Harvested at night, the grapes are cold soaked for 7 days to extract color, mid-palate richness and fine tannin structure. Post fermentation the wine is aged in French oak for 14 months before bottling.

The color is dense and the wine shows high levels of viscosity. The nose explodes with ultra-ripe notes of blueberry, black cherry, and dark chocolate. The palate is full bodied, displaying smooth and supple tannins that melt away amidst the succulent dark berry flavours.

Food and wine pairing: This can be enjoyed by itself, but is ideally suited to grilled meats and cheese plates.

Meritage: Merlot & Cabernet blend

Meritage – Merlot & Cabernet blend

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, AC Pomerol, 2007

Bordeaux, France

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur is the home of the world’s most famous flying winemaker, Michel Rolland. This is a highly revered property that lies in close proximity to Chateau Petrus, and is literally a stone’s throw from Cheval Blanc.

Inside Le Bon Pasteur, you will find some of the most revolutionary winemaking techniques in the world. They harvest individual vines when they are at perfect ripeness, rather picking the entire block at once. They ferment the red wine inside small oak barrels by taking off the barrel heads, an incredibly labor intensive technique. The estate sets trends in winemaking that then spread to the finest wineries of California, South America and elsewhere.

The color is a beautiful cherry red. The nose shows fragrant aromas of plum, fruitcake, coffee and milk chocolate. The palate is dry, medium to full bodied, with red berry and vanilla flavors, leading into a long smooth finish. Merlot represents 90% of the blend in this delicious Pomerol.

Food and wine pairing: Perfect with red meats, and hard cheeses.

Meritage: Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend

Chateau Leoville Poyferre, AC St. Julien, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2008

Bordeaux, France

In 1855 the great estates in the Medoc were ranked according to their quality. The 1855 classification is still in place today, and provides wine lovers with a useful guide to the wines of Bordeaux. Château Leoville-Poyferre was classified as a 2nd Growth, almost the highest ranking for an estate in Bordeaux, the world’s most famous wine region.

The property is in the appellation of Saint Julien. This small region is known for creating wines with more richness and body than AC Margaux and for being softer in tannin and more elegant than the neighboring estates in AC Pauillac.

This 2008 vintage, rated 94 points by Robert Parker, is deep in color and shows gorgeous aromatics of blackcurrant, cedar, and espresso. The palate is dry, full bodied and multi-layered with plenty of ripe firm tannins. All of the criteria for judging wine quality are evident – intensity of flavor, balance, length, and complexity. We hope you enjoy this classic Bordeaux red.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect complement to red meats such as lamb and beef, and ideal with hard cheeses like aged Cheddar.

Champagne

Champagne

Lanson, Brut, 1999

France

Vintage Champagne is only produced in excellent years. Essentially, it is only the finest grapes from the best vineyards.

In the winery, vintage Champagne is also given special treatment. Notably, it is aged for longer to allow its complex nuances time to evolve. This wine matured for over 13 years old before release.

Lanson 1999 is the epitome of a mature vintage Champagne. The golden tinges to the color indicate some age. On the nose the quality of the wine first becomes apparent, with high intensity of apple, citrus and toasted nuts.

The palate is dry, exceptionally rich and layered, with a backbone of acidity giving this full bodied Champagne excellent structure. Mature Champagne is a special taste, and one that we hope you will enjoy.

Food and wine pairing: The ultimate aperitif, and a perfect complement to caviar, smoked salmon, lobster and a variety of seafood.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Albert Bichot, Chassagne Montrachet, 2007

Burgundy, France

Albert Bichot was recently named amongst the “Top 100 wineries in the world” by Wine and Spirits magazine. When Bernard Bichot founded the house back in 1831 it’s doubtful that he could have imagined such success.

This wine is from the famous appellation of Chassagne Montrachet, which is synonymous with top quality white wines. Chassagne typically produces some of the most elegant and complex wines of Burgundy’s prestige appellations. It’s located just south of the historic town of Beaune, the winemaking capital of Burgundy.

The nose shows mature aromas of hazelnuts, toast, peach and citrus. It is beautifully dry, quite full bodied, crisp and refreshing, and has a light toasty note to complement the minerality. This is well balanced fine white Burgundy.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect complement to chicken dishes, richer fish and pasta in a cream sauce. It also drinks beautifully all by itself.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Pierre Andre, Meursault, 2010

Burgundy, France

Pierre Andre is an old established House in Burgundy drawing from vineyards throughout the Cote D’Or, or golden slopes. One such vineyard lies in the prestige appellation of Meursault, known for her full bodied and rich style of Chardonnay.

As is the case in classic regions, the emphasis is placed on the growing of the grapes. The vines are pruned to produce low yields to add concentration and intensity to the wines. Harvesting is done by hand in order to select only the perfect bunches.

In the winery the philosophy is minimal intervention and a light amount of new oak. This allows for maximum expression of the terroir and a certain purity in the wine.

Pale gold in color, the nose shows elegant aromas of toast, almonds, citrus and peach. The palate is beautifully dry, medium to full bodied, with a thread of acidity providing freshness and ageing potential.

Food and wine pairing:  A delight with richer fish dishes, pasta in a cream sauce, and delicious all by itself.

Sangiovese

Sangiovese

San Felice, Brunello di Montalcino, 2006

Tuscany, Italy

In 2011 this wine ranked in 4th place in the Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines of the Year. Only 3 wines in the world were ranked above it. High praise, given the fact there are thousands and thousands of wineries in the world.

The most prestigious amongst Tuscany’s noble wines, Brunello di Montalcino is the ultimate expression of 100% Sangiovese. By law it must be aged for 5 years before release, allowing time for the tannins to soften and the complex flavours to unravel.

A touch of garnet at the rim indicates the early stages of maturity. The nose shows licorice, leather, earthy aromas and black cherry. The palate is dry, full bodied, with fine but structured tannins. There is tremendous depth of flavour and the finish lingers on and on. This is one of the greatest wines of the world, and a true expression of Sangiovese at its best.

Food and wine pairing: The wine pairs perfectly with pasta in a tomato sauce, lamb and beef.

Champagne

Champagne

Bollinger, Rose

France

In 1961 Madame Bollinger famously remarked…

“I drink my Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it when I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”

Bollinger is the Champagne of royalty. It is also James Bond’s preferred tipple.

The stately House is tucked away in the village of Ay, founded in 1829. Bollinger is known for their high proportion of Pinot Noir in the final blend, and the extended ageing in the maze of underground cellars.

This Rose is a delicate bright pink marked by a fine stream of bubbles rising to the surface. The nose shows raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate aromas. The palate is dry, elegant yet concentrated with superbly long length. It is the ultimate drink of romantics and connoisseurs.

Food and wine pairing: As Madame Bollinger said, it suits all occasions.

Champagne

Champagne

Billecart-Salmon

France

Billecart-Salmon is one of the most stylish boutique Champagne houses. Since being founded in 1818 it has remained one of the best kept secrets in wine.

Production is small. Francois Billecart prefers it that way. It allows him total control of a family business that has won the adoration of serious Champagne lovers.

The gorgeous winery and underground cellars are hidden in a small village surrounded by vines. Billecart uses some old techniques such as basket presses, which gently extract the finest juice. Modern technology is used to create extra cold temperatures during fermentation, which extend the process, and add freshness, elegance and delicacy to the wines. There is an extra-long ageing period in the dark underground cellars, which allows the complex flavours to unfold.

Billecart-Salmon is pure luxury. We hope you enjoy it.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect way to start your journey in style, it is also the classic aperitif, and well suited to smoked salmon and other light seafood.