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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: June 2020

05 June 2020

Anthonij Rupert L'Ormarins Brut Classiquetext
90PTS

Anthonij Rupert L'Ormarins Brut Classique NV

Western Cape, South AfricaThis was made in Anthonij Rupert’s sparkling cellar, La Garonne, in Franschhoek, but the wine comes from various cooler spots and a variety of soils around the Western Cape. This release is a blend of 59/41 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir from Franschhoek, Elandskloof, Darling and Robertson and spends 24-48 months on the lees before a dosage approximately 9g/L. This sophisticated fizz carries toast, red apple, brioche on the palate, with an easy swell of acidity, and a riff of salted stones on the finish. Lovely intensity, while maintaining elegance and prestige; a very drinkable and accessible MCC.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Anthonij Rupert
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Free Form Blanc de Noirtext
90PTS

Free Form Blanc de Noir 2017

Garnet Valley, Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is 100 percent pinot noir from Garnet Valley Ranch near Summerland, which underwent a wild fermentation in concrete before being bottled for secondary fermentation. The nose shows classic blanc de noir character with red apple skin, tart red berries, and a light touch of brioche from 20 months on its lees. There’s also a subtle oxidative character, maybe explained by the lack of added sulphites, which adds an extra layer of complexity. But what sets this apart is the palate, from the rich, mouth-filling texture to the fine, creamy mousse to the excellent balance. While zero dosage sparkling can sometimes be unforgiving, that’s not the case here. Between the elevated concentration and fresh, but not austere, acidity, you can taste why no dosage was needed. Vegan friendly.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Free Form Blanc de Noirtext
90PTS

Free Form Blanc de Noir 2017

Garnet Valley, Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis new traditional method fizz comes from Okanagan Crush Pad's pioneering Garnet Valley Ranch estate vineyard. These young organic pinot noir grapes were whole bunch pressed and native fermented in concrete, before heading to bottle in January 2018 where it rested on lees for 20 months. It was disgorged with zero dosage. The wine is as uncompromising as its naturalist approach, with negligible fruit save for some subtle pear skin and tight, racy green apple. More prevalent is the broken stones, ample earthy yeast, aged parmesan, and subtle note of herbal grasses skipping along the taut palate. Very severe style now upon release, but one that will build flesh with a little age.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperialtext
91PTS

Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial NV

Champagne, FranceMoët has records dating back to 1881 showing Napoleon ordering the Rosé Impérial. Climate change is a definite thing in Champagne; Rosé only used to be produced in the best / warmest years. Now all the rosés in the portfolio make up 20% of production, up from only 2% 20 years ago. One thing that sets this rosé apart from most peers is the use of pinot meunier in the base wine mix. Chef de Cave Benoît Gouez puts the pinot meunier through thermovinification, macerating the fruit for only 2 hours and then pressing, with no skin or seed contact. This extracts a lot of colour and fruit, but it's not a long-lived production method. To this they add pinot noir, macerated as normal. This is also the only red that goes into the reserves, as it has the structure and production method to last years. The two each make up 10% of the final blend of the Rosé Impérial, with chardonnay making up the majority at 80%. After up to 48 months on lees, this is dosed with 7 g/L. Strawberry leather, cherry brioche, red apple floods the palate, tightened on the sides with a slight grip, and lingering with cherry leather and fine spice.Prices: BC 77.99 QC 89.25 MB 87.88 NF 94.68 ON 82.95 NB 84.99 AB 76.99 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Moët & Chandon Impérial Bruttext
89PTS

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut NV

Champagne, FranceMoët & Chandon is the largest champagne house, and their Brut Imperial is the most consumed champers in the world. It is estimated that a bottle of this is popped every 1.3 seconds around the globe. Since his arrival in 1998, Benoît Gouez, Chef de Cave, has gently evolved the style, holding house consistency, while steering this historic wine into modernity. Brut Imperial began in 1869, and was known for being drier than its contemporaries at that time, near 100 years before Brut became normal. Today the wine is dosed with 7 g/L (down from 14 > 11 > 9 over the past 2 decades). As dosage has decreased, reserve wines have increased, now up to 30-50%. Though the NV blend changes every year, it's based on 30-40% pinot noir, followed by pinot meunier and a smaller portion of chardonnay, blended from more than 288 villages (estate and contract, as of 2019), and with at least 24 months on lees. Red apple, biscuit, dough is tightened with green apple and lemon pith.Prices: BC 69.99 SK 65.74 MB 69.99 ON 67.00 QC 67.00 NB 71.79 NS 66.50 PEI 70.60 NL 78.99 BC 145.00 1500 AB 64.99 ON 145.00 1500 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Jean Bourdy Crémant du Jura Bruttext
88PTS

Jean Bourdy Crémant du Jura Brut NV

Jura, FranceJean Bourdy is 15th generation of direct descendants in the Bourdy family, documented since 1475. He continues the tradition of producing wines as they were made up to 150 years ago from the Jura family estate. This chardy crémant speaks to the heritage of the estate and cellars, with dusty stones, yeast, lemon pith, green apple, dried apple, dried peach, toasted hazelnuts, and mushroom notes drawing along the dry, lightly spiced palate. For drinking now.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Domaine Jean Bourdy
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Blomidon Estate Winery Cuvée L'Acadietext
89PTS

Blomidon Estate Winery Cuvée L'Acadie NV

Nova Scotia, CanadaFrom their estate vineyard, this is the first NV of traditional method l'acadie blanc, a smart move to cover off the vagaries of vintages in NS. From the same block each year, this bottle was 65% from 2017, with the remainder from 2016, was bottled in August 2018, spent 16 months on lees, and was disgorged in December 2019, with 6 g/L. Future vintages will have a perpetual reserve added into the mix, for additional consistency. Brisk, sharp and saline, with tight white flowers, lemon pith, crystalline lime, and a shimmering mineral salinity that pulses along to the faintly floral finish. Like all of Blomidon's fizz, this has a palpable energy and nervous tension. Dosage is necessary to balance out the acidity here, and winemaker Simon Rafuse does is deftly.Prices: NS 35.00 Producer: Blomidon Estate Winery
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Graham Beck Bruttext
89PTS

Graham Beck Brut NV

Robertson, Breede River Valley, South AfricaClassic, consistent and accessible, from South Africa’s leading sparkling wine house and one of the world's top fizz experts, Pieter Ferreira. This is a 50/50 chardonnay/pinot noir MCC (Method Cap Classique = traditional method) coming 80% from their Robertson estate, and spent 15 months on the lees. This has 6-10% reserve wine from a perpetual reserve, and was dosed with 8 g/L. This bottle was disgorged April 2019. Red apple, toasted brioche, richer lemon, light cherry fill a creamy palate, lightly spiced to a generous finish. Friendly, rightfully so, and a great gateway to the world of MCC.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Graham Beck
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Contratto For England Blanc de Noir Pas Dosétext
89PTS

Contratto For England Blanc de Noir Pas Dosé 2008

Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy, ItalyContratto was founded in 1867 by Giuseppe Contratto, and is known as the oldest producer of sparkling wine in Italy, with their 1919 Contratto Extra Brut the first vintage sparkling wine ever made in the country. This wine, For England, was named in 1930, when Contratto began producing a low-dosage wine for the English market. At that time, the trend for Champagne and sparkling wines were very sweet (doux), though England's posh Royal Court had developed a drier palate for wine. This traditional method fizz is entirely pinot noir, sourced from calcareous-marl soils at 600m in Oltrepo Pavese, and aged a minimum of 30 months on lees before being disgorged with no dosage. Quite alive for 12 years old, with telling oxidation overridden by brioche, Rainier cherry, marzipan, and anise on a very plumped palate, all held tight by that zero dosage. The finish shimmers with a telling limestone buzz. Such an idiosyncratic wine, and quite interesting to unravel (and drink).Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Giuseppe Contratto
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Château de Bligny Blanc de Blancstext
89PTS

Château de Bligny Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceThis chardonnay comes entirely from the Aube, where blanc de blancs are still fairly rare. Though the house style is amply rich with green apple, almond brioche, full cream, and oxidative notes, those kimmeridgian soils and chardonnay backbone holds this wine upright. Vines have been planted in Bligny since the 12th century, and the château's current vineyards cover twenty hectares. All the plots that were well-reputed in the past have been replanted, including the former vineyards of the Sainte Euladie Priory founded centuries ago, the Bernardin vineyards that once belonged to the monks of the famous Cistercian abbey of Clairvaux, and the Val-l’Ermite.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Chateau de Bligny
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Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Bruttext
90PTS

Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut NV

Veneto, ItalyNino Franco was founded in 1919 and is one of the oldest wineries in Valdobbiadene, and the winery is now overseen by the forth Franco generation. Refreshingly dry, with tight while flowers, hints of elderflower, almond, with crunchy Asian pear acidity and a lingering bitter lemon essence on the finish. Serious Prosecco, from a respected family, and definitely worth seeking out.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Nino Franco
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel Premier Cuvéetext
92PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel Premier Cuvée 2000

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMysteriously lost in the depths of the cellar, Ariel 1998 emerged as one of the finest sparkling wines made in British Columbia. The follow up 2000 is equally blessed after 17.5 years on lees. Ariel is estate grown at Summerhill Vineyard in East Kelowna. The 2000 blend is 68/30/2 pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot meunier, and it’s been disgorged in small batches since last September 2019. The nose is mature, with complex scents of toasted nuts, ginger, and leesy umami. The palate is creamy and showing age, but there is plenty of citrus, gout Anglais, brioche notes throughout the middle, and to the mineral finish. Slightly tighter and drier than in 1998. We know it can age but suggest you drink it now. Try this with the ultimate match: caviar.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Pentâge Winery Fizz Rosétext
86PTS

Pentâge Winery Fizz Rosé 2019

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis youthful sweetish rosé is a field blend of 10 different varieties, obviously superfluous to the winery's main portfolio, and used in this fizzy melangé. 30 hours of skin contact gives the deep cherry hue, while stainless ferment keeps things as bright as can be. Jammy raspberry, strawberry, orange creamsicle fill a plump, candied palate, finishing with a maple kiss. Best with a brisk chill (on ice!) and a summer patio.Prices: BC 21.74 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Rathjen Cellars Sparkling Rosétext
89PTS

Rathjen Cellars Sparkling Rosé NV

Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaMike Rathjen made 75 cases of this inaugural traditional method rosé and released 25 cases worth in February 2020. This pinot noir came from 25-year-old organically farmed vines from Saanich's Brambleside and Starling Lane Vineyards, and the 2017 and 2018 vintages. After a 4-5 hour skin contact soak, the base wines fermented native in neutral barrels with no MLF kicked off secondary ferment in the bottle with primary fermenting lees and organic sugar and then aged on the lees (this second release for 18 months) before bottling unfined and unfiltered, with no dosage. Sour cherry, young raspberry, rhubarb ring through the tight palate with a cranberry tartness, and lingering salted smoke finish. Bone dry, the body is light, the fruit slender, and the acidity brisk, precisely as the Wine Islands should be. Rathjen is one of a handful of passionate WineIslands advocates and explorers, redefining this unique region.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Rathjen Cellars
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Tantalus Blanc de Noirtext
92PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Noir 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAfter a year hiatus, it's lovely to see this Blanc de Noir back to the portfolio. From a single block of 1985 clone 93 Pinot Noir, this native fermented in barriques and puncheons, where it spent 6 months before transferring into bottle for 22 more months on lees. This was disgorged with 6 g/L of 2017 Pinot Noir. Tight and brisk, with ample perfumed cherry blossoms, plum, pink grapefruit acidity, this rides an alluring base of stony spices along a slip of fine lees, finishing with a lingering subtle savoury wild raspberry. Lovely balance here between riveting acidity and pure fruit, drinking beautifully now, but will age in your cellar.Prices: BC 27.83 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Stag's Hollow Muscat Frizzantetext
86PTS

Stag's Hollow Muscat Frizzante 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis lightly sparkling muscat comes from Okanagan Falls, was cold fermented and injected with carbonation for a simple, buzzy little white. Delicate florals, lime pith, bitter lime, subtle tropical melon dances across the short, light palate. Best with a brisk chill, or as part of your mimosa programming.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Tantalus Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTight lemon, green apple, seashell rings through this blanc de blancs, one of BC's leading serious sparklers. There's a gentle pad of lemony lees reflecting this estate chardonnay's fermentation and 6 months in French barriques and puncheons before 22 months on lees. A lovely stony spice mingling with subtle toasted hazelnuts linger on the finish. This was dosed with 8g/l from their 2017 Chardonnay.Prices: BC 27.83 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Jean-Paul Brun Terre Dorees FRV 100text
89PTS

Jean-Paul Brun Terre Dorees FRV 100 NV

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceFRV100 = F R V Cent = Effervescent. Classic Jean-Paul Brun, and his wry, smart take on the wines of his Beaujolais homeland. Brun is the elder statesman of Beaujolais non-interventionist winemaking, and Terres Dorées is his realm of the golden (clay-limestone) slopes in the south of Bojo, where he is based. It is gamay, left deliberately sweet, and flush with sugared strawberry, pear gummies, candy apples. Acidity holds bright and riveting. Brun was the first to do a pét-nat in Bojo, 15 years ago. Back then, it was 65 g/l RS and has dropped to 35 g/l over the years—a lovely 7.5% pink fizz, ready for brunch, or light fruit desserts.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
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Covert Farms Sparkling Zinfandel Methode Ancestraletext
86PTS

Covert Farms Sparkling Zinfandel Methode Ancestrale 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pét-nat zinfandel comes from Covert's organically / biodynamically farmed estate, striding McIntyre Bluff. After starting its ferment in stainless, it was moved into the bottle and capped with a crown cap to complete fermentation. Rhubarb, baked cherry, sour apple, cinnamon spicing, and apple blossoms fill a slight, just off-dry palate, finishing tart and brisk.Prices: BC 32.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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André et Mireille Tissot Crémant du Jura Rosétext
90PTS

André et Mireille Tissot Crémant du Jura Rosé NV

Arbois, Jura, FranceImpressive crémant, and among the top from Jura, where crémant makes up nearly one-third of wines. The numbers are similar at Tissot (one of many Tissots), with fizz comprising approximately one-quarter of their production. Now headed by the winery’s second generation, Benedicte and Stephane Tissot produce 28 wines from 40 hectares in Arbois, farmed organically, biodynamically and chemical-free. It is a blend of 25-year-old vine pinot noir, poulsard, and trousseau, and my bottle was disgorged in July 2018 with zero dosage. It pours an orangey peach hue, with redcurrant, wild alpine strawberry, mandarin, white cherry, laced with heady pink florals and lightly smoked stone, on a dry, brisk, super stony palate. Quite savoury, playing well up against the subtle fruit sweetness. A lovely aperitif, or wine to handle lardon-laced salads.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: André et Mireille Tissot
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Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée n° 742 Extra-Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée n° 742 Extra-Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmi Jacquesson, and was a house favourited by Napoleon, who bestowed it a gold medal for its cellars. The winery has been innovative from the beginning, instituting the radical notion of training vines in rows with the collaboration of Dr. Guyot, and patenting the muselet, the wire cage that holds the cork in place. The real innovation, however, began in 1978, when the Chiquet family purchased the house, and brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent spend the next ten years campaigning to their father to do something radically different, from the structure of the company to vineyard management. In 2000 they took a bigger risk and announced the 700 series. This numbered, vintage-based cuvée began with ‘728’, represented by the 2000 vintage. Rather than making a consistent NV wine every year, they aim to make the best possible blend each vintage. Each year, a new-subsequently numbered-cuvée is released, maths meaning this current release 742 is from 2014. This blend is 59% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ, Dizy and Hautvillers) and 41% Chardonnay (from Avize and Oiry), and was disgorged in July 2018 with 1.5 g/l. This year saw the wine aged on lees under cork rather than crown cap, and with two months further ageing in oak prior to heading into bottle. Ripe and full with lemon pith, brioche, fresh hazelnuts, dried white florals seasoning a core of pear and white peach, and swung with an oxidative sherry-like note, finishing with a lingering nutmeg / cinnamon kiss. The dominance of pinot noir, extended aging in oak, and the move to bottle age under cork has rendered 742 more voluptuous than previous releases. I think this is drinking deeply, and ideally, now, but will hold in your cellar.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Champagne Jacquesson
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02 June 2020

Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswelltext
92PTS

Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswell 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2015 The Boswell Syrah is ageing effortlessly, and it was fun to have a look it three years down the road. The Westbank estate grown syrah is part of the winery's prestigious Anniversary Series, honouring its pioneering Okanagan ancestors. It spent 18 months in French oak that was more than adequate to stand up to its strong fruit base. Its black cherry, lashed with licorice and dried herbs, is humming along, shedding tannin and turning into a sleek Rhone style red still with plenty of life ahead of it. The vineyard block sits at the base of West Kelowna, nearest the lake. It is the perfect spot to take advantage of the late day katabatic winds that flush the heat out of the vineyard, contributing to a complex syrah capable of many years bottle age. Lamb, venison, or aged hard cheeses all work here.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Lightning Rock Syrahtext
90PTS

Lightning Rock Syrah 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBuilding on last year's solid start with Syrah, this 2018 vintage (as of yet unreleased) dials it up a few notches, impressively so. Shedding some of the heft and weight and alcohol of the 2017, this vintage of syrah was cofermented wild with viognier skins before being lightly pressed to neutral puncheons. Savoury and floral, this youthful wine darts along the palate with peppery spice and granitic energy, buoying blackberry, wild blueberry, violets, thorns, and cured meats around a tight core, finishing with a slight balsamic astringency. A fresher, brighter style of syrah.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Lightning Rock Syrahtext
88PTS

Lightning Rock Syrah 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Summerland's Elysia Vineyard, and its decomposed granite / limestone slopes, this deeply perfumed red flows with ample violets, iris, and lavender lining its velveteen, plush palate. Soft tannins cuddle this to the finish line, while a buzzy minerality keeps it bright on the 14.9 degree palate. Well handled ample style, and an interesting syrah project to follow.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Narrative Syrah Viogniertext
89PTS

Narrative Syrah Viognier 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOkanagan Crush Pad's Narrative line is all about freshness, purity of fruit, and in the end, being seriously crushable. The blend in 2018 is syrah and viognier from two Osoyoos vineyards, some of which were cofermented in clay amphora and left on skins for nine months. The result is heightened aromatics and silky textures. On the palate, the wine is juicy, spicy, and alive with the hint of the good side of naturality. Drink or hold through the next three to five years. Whole roasted organic chicken would be an excellent match.Prices: BC 27.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Orofino Syrahtext
92PTS

Orofino Syrah 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis vintage was based on a new Similkameen vineyard for the first time, with the Scout Vineyard that historically made this wine now being used by its owners for their project. In 2018, a higher altitude, windy, rocky, older vine Keremeos Bench vineyard makes the base for this wine, with a small amount still tipped in from South Cawston's granitic Scout Vineyard. After destemming, this was native fermented and then pressed into older French barrels, where it aged for 16 months before bottling without fining or filtration. Striking Similkameen syrah, from its dusty, stony bed to its perfumed violets, through its peppery seasoning, all colouring thorny cassis, wild blackberry and black plum to a lingering, dusty stone finish. Tannins are slight furry, mimicking the texture layered throughout this wine — a lovely expression of Similkameen syrah, a variety best suited to this valley in BC.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Pentâge Winery Syrahtext
90PTS

Pentâge Winery Syrah 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSkaha-based Pentâge Winery likes to do the ageing for you, as evidenced by this recently released five-year-old syrah. The screwcapped finished bottle is slightly reduced upon opening, but that reduction dissipates with some air time (I recommend a splash decant). The attack is smooth and the tannins silky before the wild cassis and black raspberry floods the palate. It's laced with pepper, charcuterie, and scrubby desert sagebrush. Fine value. This is another excellent example of where syrah is in BC and where it is headed in the future. It's certainly amongst the best reds made the province. The syrah is fermented in four batches, using different hand-selected yeasts to promote the wine's complexity. It is matured for 18 months in 70% French and 30% American oak. Only 30 percent of the barrels are new; the balance was aged in two to four-year-old barriques.Prices: BC 24.35 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Orofino Syrahtext
91PTS

Orofino Syrah 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2018 a vineyard change was made for this label, albeit still remaining in the precious soils of the Similkameen Valley. The new Keremeos site is slightly higher in altitude, boasting older vines but is equally rocky and windy, contributing to the wild makeup of this syrah. A small amount from the original Scout Vineyard still makes its way into the mix that spends 16 months in older French barrels, providing plenty of oxygen without adding any traces of oak. The attack is a mix of wild stony minerality and intensely sweet, almost candied black fruit. It’s tour de force, although a slightly drier version would really make the ultimate statement. If you like powerful, rich, ripe, red syrah this is it. Grilled lamb anyone?Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswelltext
93PTS

Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswell 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Boswell Syrah is a Westbank estate grown syrah that is part of the winery's prestigious Anniversary Series, honouring its pioneering Okanagan ancestors. In 2017 the wine is singing freshness, reflecting its northern position, cool climate, and ancient volcanic soils. It is the elegance and sleek styling that gives it its gravitas. Look for intense black and blue fruits with fresh cracked black pepper and a touch of salami dusted with a savoury, spicy mix of dried desert herbs. The tannins are youthful and dense, but with a sweetness and roundness that lets them slip by almost unnoticed. Impressive and the best yet from this Westbank producer.Prices: BC 69.99 AB 69.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Syrahtext
88PTS

Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Syrah 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Osoyoos's Border Vista vineyard, and its gravelly, loamy sands, this potent and powerful syrah sucks up every bit of its southern Okanagan heat. This spent 14 months in French oak, felt throughout the spiced structure of this big, youthful red. Plush and dense with crushed violets, inky cassis, wild blackberry, and potent peppery spice, tannins are firm and dense, and the finish is potent and warming. This needs some airtime, as well as an appropriately equal protein pairing.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Shiraztext
87PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThick with ripeness, and smoke, and wood, this potent syrah came from the Black Sage Bench, and was splashed with 3% viognier. It spent 14 months in wood, 20% new French, 65% used French, and the remainder used American wood. You can feel all of this as you chew through the palate, taking in dense blackcurrant, blackberry, kirsch, wrapped with furry tannins. There's a hickory sweetness that lands on the finish. Quite up front, this lacks the sophistication of Mission Hill's other reserve tier.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 28.00 ON 27.00 QC 28.00 SK 27.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Rust Wine Co. South Rock Vineyard Syrahtext
89PTS

Rust Wine Co. South Rock Vineyard Syrah 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSouth Rock Vineyard is on the Golden Mile Bench, and opens in a drier, more peppery style that draws you into the glass. The midpalate is a mix of meaty, peppery licorice notes with just a hint of sweetness, and a long, warm, smoky, peppery finish. The fruit comes off gravel laced clay that seems to paly a small role in the elegance of this wine, as big as it is. You can drink this now or age it for three to five years to let it mellow, but it's fun at this youthful stage and can take on some pretty robust items like lamb, duck, venison, or wild boar.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Rust Wine Co Lazy River Vineyard Syrahtext
91PTS

Rust Wine Co Lazy River Vineyard Syrah 2017

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year this is the best of what are three exciting syrah releases from Rust. Lazy River Vineyard, in the Similkameen Valley, is home to this stony, intensely black-fruited wine. It reflects its origin in stony, windy, Cawston, where cool overnight temperatures equally match the warm growing days, even in July and August. I love the rich, savoury, almost chewy entry of black cherries, black raspberries, cassis and black pepper. The tannins are dense but sweet, the finish warm but mostly balanced. It lacks a bit of persistence in the finale, but this is a beautiful bottle of syrah and something that speaks to a very bright future.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Rust Wine Co. Ferreira Vineyard Syrahtext
88PTS

Rust Wine Co. Ferreira Vineyard Syrah 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Okanagan Syrah, one of three releases from Rust in 2017, originates from the Ferreira Vineyard, known for the production of high quality syrah fruit for many years. The richness here is all about 50% new oak, and a mix of American and French, where it is aged for 16 months. The style is super ripe and fat with intense black raspberry, with a candied, sweet finish, tempered by a peppery underside. It needs a few years of bottle age or a fire grilled, richly seasoned piece of meat.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Syrahtext
90PTS

Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Syrah 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBorder Vista is a west-facing, single vineyard estate property in East Osoyoos. A mix of new and old French oak is used for 14 months to add a polished sheen to this plush red wine with super smooth edges. Big and youthful, it is less wild than its contemporaries, but it also a pure style with no reduction, letting its floral, blackberry, blueberry shine through before the pepper and spice take over. It’s all grown on loamy sand with no stones in a site that speaks to the round, silky textures that will attract many. Turkey or roast suckling pig would be a fine match.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Shiraztext
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA warm, dry summer resulted in a crop of small, concentrated berries that played into the voluminous, Oz-style of this shiraz. Look for a lavish, rambling, peppery affair with sweet blackberries, black plums streaked with vanilla. Open, soft, and savoury, serve this now with beef ribs, pork ribs or chicken swathed in barbecue sauce. There is a small amount of viognier (three percent), in the mix that spent 14 months in wood: 20% new French, 65% used French, and 15 percent used American lumber.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 28.00 ON 27.00 QC 28.00 SK 27.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Moon Curser Syrahtext
91PTS

Moon Curser Syrah 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMoon Curser's syrah appears plum coloured in the glass, and the first swirls and sniffs show fragrant oak emphatically, matched by aromas of crushed summer berries, floral perfume, and black pepper. An underlying smoke note and meaty savour completes the arcetypal syrah checklist. Zesty acidity leads the flavour parade, with ripe cassis and blueberry, and vanilla custard notes of oak. Overall there is a lovely cool-climate weight and juiciness to this savoury syrah, with a touch of alcohol warmth on the finish that reminds us that this is the south Okanagan, not the northern Rhone valley. Excellent effort and I'd grill a herb-crusted rack of lamb for dinner.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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