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October 03, 2012 11:51 ET

O'Leary Fine Wines Wins "Best Value" at InterVin International Wine Awards

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2012) -

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O'Leary Fine Wines announced today that its 2010 Cabernet Merlot was one of only ten red wines awarded Best Value at the prestigious 2012 InterVin International Wine Awards. In this year's competition, judges tasted more than 1,200 wines from seventeen countries. The O'Leary offering is one of two wines recently launched under the O'Leary Fine Wines brand.

O'Leary Fine Wines offers a Cabernet Merlot and Unoaked Chardonnay, both 100% VQA Niagara Peninsula wines, and both available for under $15 (pricing can vary by region).

STRONG DEBUT

"I am extremely proud of this distinction," said Kevin O'Leary, founder of the O'Leary Fine Wines brand. "I am pleased to see our brand have such a strong appearance in its first year by being recognized for outstanding value alongside other great wines from around the world."

Kevin O'Leary, who is best known for his role as an investor on ABC's Shark Tank and CBC's Dragons' Den, engaged in a long search for a vineyard partner who could offer outstanding value and quality that fit with the O'Leary brand name. He partnered with Vineland Estates Winery, a vineyard in the Niagara peninsula run by third generation winemakers with more than 25 years of experience.

"Working with Kevin has been great", said Allan Schmidt, President of Vineland. "He is very hands-on, and he challenges us to produce great wines to rival top quality offerings from anywhere in the world."

EXCELLENT EARLY REVIEWS

O'Leary Fine Wines launched in the fall of 2012 and currently features a 2010 Cabernet Merlot and a 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay.

Both wines have received strong early reviews from critics. At one tasting, reviewer Mark Britton wrote that "O'Leary Wines won the night for me, and I stand by that."

O'Leary Fine Wines 2010 Cabernet Merlot, which was recognized as a Best Value at the InterVin International Awards, is described as rich, deep, and incredibly structured, owing to a yearlong stay in seasoned French oak barrels. Deep, dark berry fruits dominate the nose and are supported by a classic minerality and light cigar box. Mark Britton gave the red a rating of 89 and called it "a steal" at the Ontario retail price of $14.95. Natalie Maclean called the wine "pretty darn amazing really for the price", giving it a score of 90 and naming it a "Best Beef Wine", while her website's community score gave it 4.4/5.

O'Leary Fine Wines 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay is food-friendly and mouth-filling, and is characterized by hints of crème brûlée, fresh lemon juice, fall apple and lime zest. Natalie Maclean, who gave it a score of 88, named the chardonnay a "Scrumptious Seafood Wine". Her website's community score for the wine is 4.4/5. Mark Britton rated the chardonnay a 90, noting that he is "not normally a fan of celebrity wines" but calling O'Leary a "must buy" at $14.95.

ABOUT O'LEARY FINE WINES

O'Leary Fine Wines is a brand of wines that embodies outstanding value, honesty and directness. Each varietal is created in close collaboration with Kevin O'Leary. All wines are produced, bottled and distributed by Vineland Estates Winery. The O'Leary Fine Wines brand is owned and trademarked by O'Leary Ventures Corporation, and is used under license by Vineland Estates Winery. For more information, please visit www.kevinoleary.com/finewines.

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