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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2022

24 May 2022

Artemis Karamolegos 34text
94PTS

Artemis Karamolegos 34 2020

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This comes from very old assyrtiko vines (some of the oldest on the island), partially native fermented (10% in oak), where it remains for 8 months on lees. The subtle oak richness appears on the nose, and on the medium bodied palate, cushioning yellow plum, quince, wild lemon, stretching long through a lingering saline finish. So complete and profound.Prices: ON 51.95 Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Artemis Karamolegos Pyritistext
94PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Pyritis 2019

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This assyrtiko comes from three vineyards of 120+ year old vines in Pyrgos and Megalochori. This was native fermented in stainless, where it remains for 10 months with bâtonnage. There's a lovely flinty entry to this mineral-driven wine, complemented by wild lemon, marine salinity, quince skin, and ample mouthwatering salinity. Striking now, and with time ahead.Prices: ON 76.95 Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Artemis Karamolegos Santorinitext
91PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Santorini 2020

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This comes from vines averaging 80 years, and blends 90% assyrtiko and 10% blend of Athiri / Aidani. This was fermented and aged in stainless, on lees for 7 months. Wild pear, quince skin, wild lemon streak across a streamlined palate, lit with mineral salts, and bedded with a fine slick of lees. The finish lingers with a fine textural grip. Striking, ideally with seafood.Prices: ON 43.95 Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Torres Celeste Verdejo Sur Lees Pago del Cielotext
91PTS

Torres Celeste Verdejo Sur Lees Pago del Cielo 2020

Rueda, Castilla-Leon, SpainCeleste Verdejo is a new sister label to the familiar Celeste Crianza from Ribera del Duero. This, however, comes from Rueda, and clay / gravel riverbeds on the left bank of the Duero River. This verdejo had 3 hours cold skin maceration before ferment in stainless, where it remained for 2 months. The river stones are evident in the stony, savoury underlay of this crisp white, threaded with green hedge, grapefruit, white peach, tightened with tangerine pith and finishing with a subtle yet lengthy salinity. Beautiful finesse in this smart white, and a new star for the Torres portfolio.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 26.99 MB 22.99 QC 20.95 QC 39.20 1500 NB 29.99 NFL 29.99 Producer: Familia Torres
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23 May 2022

Ridge Lytton Springstext
93PTS

Ridge Lytton Springs 2017

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesWhat can you say about Ridge that hasn't already been said? They're one of the benchmark producers, not just for California but across the world of wine. The 2017 vintage of Lytton Springs, just one of several of Ridge's iconic vineyards, is an impressive wine that's bursting with ripe, juicy bramble and plum along with a litany of spices and dried florals. The purity of the fruit really stands out, as does the complexity, with impressive weight and ripeness that doesn't overshadow this wine's freshness and elegance.Prices: BC 45.00 375 Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay 2019

Sonoma County, California, United StatesFrom 42 blocks across Sonoma County, the fruit is whole-cluster-pressed and barrel-fermented using indigenous yeasts, with 10 months in wood prior to bottling. It's a reductive style of chardonnay that's still not shy on fruit, showing a combination of flint, peach, and citrus that's complemented by a deft touch of oak (25% new). You get a creaminess from the bi-weekly lees stirring, but this is still snappy and fresh. Modern, stylish, and smartly priced.Prices: USA 27.00 Producer: Landmark Vineyards
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Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2017

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, United StatesThis is a stylish chardonnay from Anderson Valley, where Long Meadow Ranch has a quaint boutique tasting room and farms 69 acres. It's precise and focused, showing a combination of bright lemon and stone fruits, with a lift of orchard blossom aromatics. The oak is harmoniously integrated and adds to the fruit, with a combination of 25% new and 75% neutral wood. It makes for an impressive wine, with real verve and tension on the palate. Good value, too.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Long Meadow Ranch
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Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
91PTS

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut 2018

North Coast Region, California, United StatesSchramsberg is one of the leading California sparkling wine producers, based in Calistoga at the northern end of Napa Valley. The Blanc de Blancs was the first wine Schramberg ever made, dating to 1965, and is now made from North Coast fruit sourced from Napa, Sonoma, and Marin. It's crisp and racy, showing a combination of crunchy green apple and zesty lemon, with some autolytic character from two years on its lees. Nicely balanced in a dry, Brut style (8 g/L dosage), this is calling out for oysters.Prices: BC 72.00 Producer: Schramsberg
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Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Reserve To Kalon Vineyardtext
93PTS

Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Reserve To Kalon Vineyard 2017

Napa Valley, California, United StatesThe Fumé Blanc from To Kalon Vineyard is one of the iconic wines within Robert Mondavi's portfolio, and the 2017 vintage doesn't disappoint. Predominantly sauvignon blanc, with five percent of semillon, this shows pure, beautifully defined fruit that ranges from lemon to passion fruit and mango. There's clear fruit ripeness, but the wine still manages to be bright and lively, showing a touch of herbs and beautifully integrated wood that adds to the overall complexity. Creamy yet crisp, this is beautifully balanced, as we've come to expect from To Kalon.Prices: ON 79.95 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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17 May 2022

Oak Bay Vineyard Pinot Noir Gebert Family Reservetext
89PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Pinot Noir Gebert Family Reserve 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Family Reserve Pinot Noir comes off their original small block plantings, and spent 10 months in French oak prior to release. You sense the wood with a noticeable background buzz of smoked cedar, framing the black raspberry, dark cherry fruit, finishing with a lick of warming kirsch and forest floor. A bigger, darker pinot, and one well suited to roast duck.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery
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Chain Reaction Pendulum Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Chain Reaction Pendulum Pinot Noir 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaChain Reaction is a relatively new virtual winery, based on the Naramata Bench, owned by Joel and Linda Chamaschuk, and named for their love of cycling. Originally from the Lower Mainland, they've been enjoying BC wine since 1991, and finally decided to become part of the industry, purchasing an orchard on the Bench, and planting their first vineyard in 2019. Well-known winemaker Dwight Sick oversees the wines, made at nearby Moraine Winery. This pinot, of their McMillan vineyard, was destemmed and native fermented, prior to aging in oak (15% new) until bottling, without fining or filtration. Juicy and fruit forward, with ripe black cherry, black plum, baked raspberry, on a bright palate, with a tart rhubarb acidity brightening the whole, and finely grippy tannins to house. A very promising start.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Chain Reaction Winery
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16 May 2022

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlottext
91PTS

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlot 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe '18 is all about the texture at this point, and it over-delivers on what many would agree is the charm of merlot: softer tannins, and bright fruit. Black cherry dominates the wine, with toasted oak, coffee bean, and some savoury blueberry/ brambleberry in the finish. The tannins are dense but dusty, and the wine is already very drinkable. Black Rook comes off the sparse, sandy soils of the Black Sage Bench. Their low vigour yields intense black cherry dusted with licorice and a savoury sagebrush undercurrent so prominent across the east side vines of the south Okanagan. The vineyard is pushed up into the foothills of the Okanagan Highland at an elevation of 317 metres through 408 metres. All the Checkmate fruit is hand picked and hand sorted and then destemmed. In 2018 production was only 10 barrels. It is wild fermented and gets extended skin contact before barrel ageing in new French oak for 21 months.Prices: BC 95.00 BC 215.00 1500 BC 480.00 3000 BC 989.00 6000 Producer: CheckMate Artisanal Winery
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CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlottext
93PTS

CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlot 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEnd Game is born on two South Okanagan benches that line up on the warm eastern side of the valley. Their sandy soils primarily define the Black Sage Bench and the Osoyoos East Bench, but the multiple expositions and elevations help produce a range of flavours and styles heightened by long days and plenty of warm, late day sun. This was native fermented with 50-55 days of skin contact, and 21 months in new French oak, mostly St. Martin and Deptos Bordeaux. The nose is rich in black raspberry and whiffs of sassafras that spill onto the palate. The finish is long and persistent, with plenty of desert scrub sagebrush notes that remind me of Bolgheri. Dense, rich tannins suggest it will age well into the late 2020s. Again, lamb is a good match. Production nudged up to 17 barrels in 2019.Prices: BC 95.00 BC 200.00 1500 Producer: CheckMate Artisanal Winery
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CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlottext
90PTS

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlot 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlack Rook Merlot comes off the meagre sandy soils of the Black Sage Bench from a site pushed up tight against the Okanagan Highlands at 300+ metres above sea level. It is a single vineyard wine with small clusters and powerful fruit with a twist of finesse. The ’19 opens with juicy black cherry laced with licorice and subtle notes of roasted coffee. It is wild fermented, which seems to heighten the blueberry black cherry that could be considered wealthy, but with what winemaker Phil Magann terms light feet. The tannins are dense and chalky but should quickly dissipate through 2025. The blend in 2019 is 86/9/4/1/ merlot, petite verdot, cabernet franc, and malbec.Prices: BC 95.00 BC 220.00 1500 Producer: CheckMate Artisanal Winery
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13 May 2022

Pascual Toso Malbec Reserva Barrancas Vineyardstext
0PTS

Pascual Toso Malbec Reserva Barrancas Vineyards 2019

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom estate vineyards in Las Barrancas, Maipú, this Reserva was fermented in stainless before one year in new oak (80% American, 20% French). My bottle was corked.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 19.50 Producer: Pascual Toso
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Pascual Toso Limited Edition Malbectext
87PTS

Pascual Toso Limited Edition Malbec 2020

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom their estate vineyards in Barrancas, Maipú District, this saw 40% aged in American Oak for 8 months, with the rest in stainless. Ripe and round on the entry, with black cherry jam, blackberry jam on a forward palate. Tannins are downy soft, to a clipped and minty, warming finish. An easy malbec to take with ribs now.Prices: BC 22.99 SK 19.25 MB 19.99 ON 16.25 YK 20.40 NS 22.00 Producer: Pascual Toso
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Bramare Malbectext
92PTS

Bramare Malbec 2019

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom gravelled 990-1060m vineyards in Luján de Cuyo, this malbec was aged for 18 months in French oak (24% new) before heading to bottle without fining or filtration. Full bodied and potent, with dense cassis, compact blackberry, pipe tobacco, pitchy thorns, and threads of iron soils up against lifted mountain acidity. Tannins are well absorbed into the fruit, leaving a gritty framework around the sides, through the saline, medicinal black cherry finish. Quite an aspirational wine, and one to take with lamb now, or better yet, a while in the cellar.Prices: BC 55.99 AB 45.00 ON 40.00 QC 40.00 Producer: Viña Cobos
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Septima Malbectext
88PTS

Septima Malbec 2019

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaSéptima, meaning seventh, is Grupo Codorníu-Raventós' seventh winery. The winery is situated in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, at 1050m. After a stainless ferment, most of this malbec aged in stainless for 6 months, with 15% seeing new American and French oak. Alluring red and black cherry peel out of the glass, followed by savoury notes of leather, turned earth, and a fencing of gritty / sticky tannins. Take now, with grilled pork / veg.Prices: BC 20.91 AB 13.85 ON 17.00 NFL 17.99 Producer: Bodega Septima
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Salentein Malbec Reservetext
90PTS

Salentein Malbec Reserve 2019

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis malbec comes primarily off their Uco Valley El Oasis vineyard (1050 – 1200m), with a smaller portion off their La Pampa estate (1250 - 1300m). This was fermented / macerated over 3 weeks prior to transfer to French and American oak casks for MLF and a year's rest. Rich and heady, with roasted espresso, crushed violets, ripe cassis, and savoury red cherry. Tannins are ample but sueded, hugging the dense fruit through a spice box finish. Quite regal, this dense wine shows well now with big grilled beef, but will reward with a little cellaring.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 19.99 ON 15.99 Producer: Bodegas Salentein
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Luigi Bosca Malbectext
91PTS

Luigi Bosca Malbec 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaThis classic malbec comes off vines averaging 35 years in Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley. After a ferment in stainless, this rests in French oak for one year. Silken black fruit glides across the medium+ palate, drawing tobacco, espresso, black pepper along with seamless black cherry, cassis, and savoury ferrous notes. Tannins are entirely absorbed into the fruit, framing this through a lingering, lightly warming, spice box finish. Very polished and ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 23.99 MB 18.78 ON 18.95 NB 23.99 Producer: Luigi Bosca
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Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyardtext
88PTS

Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard 2018

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaDecero means 'from scratch', referencing this site's natural state before the vineyards and winery were established, in Agrelo, Mendoza. Remolinos Vineyard is sited at 1100m, and takes its name from the winds that keep the vineyard clean and dry. After a month's maceration and ferment in stainless, this malbec went into 90% oak (30% new) with the remainder in stainless, for 14 months' rest. Savoury and stony, with ripe black cherry, turned earth, ferrous notes, and crushed florals on a leathery palate. This 2018 is primed for drinking now, with grilled meats.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 21.95 Producer: Finca Decero
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Finca La Linda Private Selection Old Vines Malbectext
88PTS

Finca La Linda Private Selection Old Vines Malbec 2019

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom vineyards at 950m in Maipú and Luján de Cuyo, this was fermented in stainless and partially aged in American oak for 8 months. Ripe and plush, with gobs of blackberry, cherry jam flooding a medium+ palate, framed by firm, long tannins to a baking spiced finish. Nice lift and juiciness, making it a smart choice for burgers or steak now.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 19.99 ON 15.95 Producer: Luigi Bosca
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Felino Malbectext
89PTS

Felino Malbec 2020

Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom high altitude vineyards in Valle de Uco and Lujan de Cuyo, this was partially native fermented in stainless before resting in American oak (10% new) for 8 months. It was bottled unfined. Grilled meats, smoked stone start on the nose and carry through the medium bodied palate, infiltrating black plum, dark cherry, and peppery spices. Tannins are well in check with the fruit, and this is quite smart now with a decant and a piece of grilled beef or pork.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 21.95 MB 25.99 ON 19.00 Producer: Viña Cobos
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Argento Single Vineyard Finca Altamira Malbectext
91PTS

Argento Single Vineyard Finca Altamira Malbec 2019

Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis organic malbec comes from Argento’s Finca Altamira estate in the Uco Valley at 1090m, and off rocky calcareous soils. After a stainless maceration and ferment, this rested in a 75% mix in 5000L french oak foudres, with the remainder in concrete eggs for 10 months. Mouthfilling wild cherry, wild blackberry, sweet pipe tobacco, and stony savoury notes rule the fresh, fuller red, with long, fine and grippy tannins hugging the juicy palate to the spiced finish. Bright and vibrant, this is a joy for a bigger red. Take now with roasted pork.Prices: ON 24.00 Producer: Bodega Argento
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12 May 2022

Kalala Organic Estate Zweigelttext
87PTS

Kalala Organic Estate Zweigelt 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe winery’s signature, zweigelt, is from Kalala’s Westbank Vineyard. The cooler Westbank climate gives this variety a juicy undertone and a fresh character. The fruit was harvested in the third week of October and spent 14 months in mainly Hungarian barrels. The palate is fresh with campfire, cassis, licorice, earthy, savoury black cherry with a twist of leather. Tannins are soft with some bitterness. Ready to drink and best served with grilled pork chops or a meaty pizza.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Kalala Organic Estate Winery
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Covert Farms Zinfandel Grand Reservetext
87PTS

Covert Farms Zinfandel Grand Reserve 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe grapes are certified organic and come off the winery's Coyote Block Vineyard just on the south edge of McIntyre Bluff at 420m in Oliver. It spent 20 months in French and American oak, yielding a big roasted, black fruit nose with a savoury palate of wild blackberry, cracked pepper, and sticky, slightly bitter tannins. It is fresh and fruity, but it loses some of its charms as it ages. Best now with lamb sausages or grilled lamb chops.Prices: BC 53.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Boland Cellar Cappucino Pinotagetext
86PTS

Boland Cellar Cappucino Pinotage 2021

Paarl, Coastal Region, South AfricaThe coffee Pinotage style is on a roll in South Africa and some export markets that support SA wines. Coffee and any wine is not the most appealing thought for this writer, but I’m told there is a slice of the market that loves it to each their own. Look for a chocolate, mocha, roasted coffee mix that spills onto a palate of red berry fruits and toasted oak with elevated acidity. There are just too many moving parts for this taster. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Boland Cellar
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Quails' Gate Old Vines Fochtext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Old Vines Foch 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuails' Gate Osoyoos Vineyard, in the south Okanagan, is home to this foch planted in 1978. The nose is fragrant with notes of roasted coffee, sour cherries, tobacco, black fruits, and licorice. The tannins are soft, but the finish is acidic with more coffee and oak pushing through. Best with rich dishes like lamb, pork, venison, or mature cheese.Prices: BC 25.99 AB 24.99 ON 27.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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11 May 2022

Play Saignéetext
87PTS

Play Saignée 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs the name suggests, this was made in the saignée, or bleeding off method, with this pink drained off to concentrate further the remaining red wine. This year's blend is 50% Merlot, 22% Syrah, and the rest a mix of grapes, off their estate and complemented with other Okanagan vineyards. Tart and punchy, with bracing green apple up against cherry blossoms and red apple, with just bump of RS to meld it all together, finishing with a raft of citrus pithiness. Chill this well and crack this stylish looking pink this summer.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Rosé blends gamay and pinot noir, with four hours of skin contact imparting a medium-peach hue. Entirely in stainless, this is cool and steely, with tangerine, grapefruit, white cherry, and ample peppery spice on a brief, bright palate. Simple and easy, ready to chill down and crack into this summer.Prices: BC 19.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Meyer Rosétext
89PTS

Meyer Rosé 2021

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe pinot for this deeper-hued rosé comes off their estate McLean Creek Road vineyard in Okanagan Falls, plus Lakehill Rd. in Kaleden, as well as from select growers throughout the Okanagan. After 12 hours of skin contact, this moved to stainless and older French oak barrels for partial native fermentation, full MLF, and a four months' rest on lees. More serious and savoury, with dark cherry, plum yogurt, smoked stone across a juicy, spiced, dry palate, lingering with subtle salinity. Crack into this now with duck and / or wild mushroom salad.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Mayhem Rosétext
88PTS

Mayhem Rosé 2021

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis merlot comes off Osoyoos' Ryegrass vineyard, fermented cool in stainless, before resting in 80% stainless tank, 9% stainless barrique, and 11% neutral French oak. The fruit is quite forward, but silken, with tangerine, raspberry yogurt, summer strawberry, and ample fine baking spices filling the dry, shorter palate. Take this snappy, easy, dry rosé this summer with simple grilled fare.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Mayhem Rosétext
88PTS

Mayhem Rosé 2021

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe folks at Mayhem are all about fun, and the '21 pink delivers despite a challenging growing season across the South Okanagan. This merlot was destemmed and crushed directly to the press. The extended cold final fermentation mix was 80/11/9 stainless steel tank, neutral French oak barriques, and stainless steel barrique. The colour is pale, with red berries and sagebrush flecked with subtle orange, finishing bone dry. Think charcuterie, olive tapenade, grilled vegetables, or salmon sashimi.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
91PTS

Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2021

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaKristine and Daniel Bontorin have been busy building their winery at Cawston in the Similkameen Valley, but they have not taken their eyes off the rosé ball. Tractor & Vines 2021 is grown at lake level on a 1.1 acre, dry-farmed, Summerland site. The 14 year old vines orient east-west and sit on silty clay loam and fluvioglacial deposits rich in organic matter. The ethereal pink is made from clone 667 and has escaped any smoke damage. The grapes were crushed, cold soaked for 2 hours, gently pressed, and fermented in 75/25 stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak. Lower yields in '21 have intensified the flavours and deepened the colour a bit without altering the balance of this Provencal-style rosé. The attack is fresh and creamy and melts in your mouth. Look for dry melon, citrus, wet stone, and wild strawberries but in a very subtle package. One of the best in the country.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Bottega Wine Studios
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a light, crisp rosé that will be perfect for summer fare on the patio. A blend of pinot noir and gamay, with just four hours of skin contact, it shows bright grapefruit, delicate red berries, and a touch of spice. If you're looking for a dry, refreshing, local rosé, this is a solid place to start, and it's widely available to boot.Prices: BC 19.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Red Horses Vineyard Run Away Rosétext
87PTS

Red Horses Vineyard Run Away Rosé 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRed Horses Vineyard is a 3 generational winery in the Southern Okanagan. This deeper-hued rosé is from their estate cabernet sauvignon. Bold and fruity, with glossy cherry, smoked raspberry on a compact palate, finishing with some lingering ash notes. A simple, forward rosé for chargrilled burgers this summer.Prices: BC 22.75 Producer: Red Horses Vineyard
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosétext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of pinot noir, merlot, and syrah from the Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos East Bench, this is an elegant, restrained rosé that's equal parts serious and fun. The fruit pulls you into the glass, with pink grapefruit and watermelon that are joined by delicate florals and herbs. It's dryish, textured, and refreshing, with mouthwatering acidity that gives this a moreish character. Nicely done. Best enjoyed this summer.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosétext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2021 Reserve Rosé is sourced from estate sites in Osoyoos and Oliver, first planted in 1997. The colour is barely visible, and the nose a subtle rush of watermelon and ripe raspberries. It's bright, light, elegant, and simply fun to drink. Best of all, it is fresh and crisp and finished dry. It is made for tapas. This year, the blend has flipped around to 56% pinot noir, 23% merlot, and 21% syrah fermented in stainless steel. Good value too. Unprecedented midsummer heat led to the earliest start of harvest and the highest number of growing degree days on record.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Stag's Hollow Syrah Rosétext
88PTS

Stag's Hollow Syrah Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeper peach hued syrah comes off the sandy loams of Amalia Vineyard, on Osoyoos East Bench. It was fermented cool in stainless, where it remained until bottling. Fleshy and compact, with ripe cherry, raspberry, white pepper, and scrubby desert sage, this is a punchy, dry, well-handled style, ready to tackle salmon or mushroom burgers this summer. Conveniently available in a 750ml bottle, or 250ml can (I tasted the latter).Prices: BC 25.00 BC 32.00 250 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Liquidity Rosétext
91PTS

Liquidity Rosé 2021

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit is grown and picked specifically for Rosé, to get that juicy acidity and freshness balanced by the perfect level of ripeness. It is all hand sorted and whole cluster pressed with a short amount of skin contact time. The result is a mouthwatering, almost dry citrus affair of ruby red grapefruit and delicate wild strawberries. Winery chef Phil Tees suggests pairings of Ahi sashimi or a summer berry and spinach salad. A big upgrade over 2020. Stock up.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Chain Reaction True Colours Pinot Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Chain Reaction True Colours Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThe Chain Reaction Rosé was three hours of skin contact followed by a 4-week fermentation in stainless steel. The pinot noir comes off McMillan Vineyard, from a highly lauded vintage. Winemaker Dwight Sick also oversees the wines made at nearby Moraine Winery. The colour comes with a peachy hue. The nose is intense, reminiscent of wild strawberries, and with a hint of orange and desert scrub. The finish is dry and salty with a stylish mineral kick. It is well suited to small bites before dinner, or the likes of spot prawns.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Chain Reaction Winery
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Red Barn at Jagged Rock Transfiction Rosétext
90PTS

Red Barn at Jagged Rock Transfiction Rosé 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe packaging stands out, and the wine in the bottle is even more enticing. You can see (and taste) some Provençal influence from the colour to the style, but the winemaking speaks to the overall direction and philosophy of Red Barn. A blend of cabernet franc, syrah, and sangiovese, whole cluster pressed and concrete aged, this is bright and citrusy, with grapefruit, strawberry, and perfumed orchard blossoms. It's delicate without lacking in fruit intensity, and just as much about the texture as the fruit. Nicely balanced, with a crisp finish that shows excellent length. Recommended.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Red Barn
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09 May 2022

Mayhem Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Mayhem Pinot Gris 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Oliver's Ryegrass vineyard, this year's Mayhem PG was whole bunch pressed and aged in French oak (7% new) for six months. The oak feels negligible, with the focus here on the pure, crisp pear, crunchy yellow apple fruit that pops on the palate. The finish is zesty lime and lemon, making this a friendly choice to crack into now — fun, fresh, and still serious.Prices: BC 17.31 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Gray Monk Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Gray Monk Pinot Gris 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGray Monk is the original pinot gris grower in BC, and way ahead of its time with a super cool Lake County site. It is fermented and aged in stainless and does not go through a secondary acid-flattening malolactic fermentation to retain a fresh, vibrant style. The nose is awash in mineral, wet stone notes mixed with ripe pear and yellow apple with a dusting of spice. There is a bump of residual sugar to balance the freshness that undoubtedly attracts its fans' legions. Serve with grilled salmon soy steaks.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 21.94 MB 21.28 SK 22.69 ON 19.95 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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Tommasi Pinot Grigio Le Rossetext
88PTS

Tommasi Pinot Grigio Le Rosse 2020

Verona, Veneto, ItalyTommasi offers a reliable, screwcap finished grigio from the Verona area of Northern Italy. The attack mixes grassy, floral, honey scented fruit with clean, mineral, leesy, pear. Fresh, ripe, well made and ready to drink. Think local shellfish, Margherita pizza, or tuna sushi rolls.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 19.99 MB 18.99 NB 16.00 Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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Kalala Organic Estate Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Kalala Organic Estate Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCertified organic in September 2010, Kalala’s philosophy is to keep the intervention to a minimum. The 2020 Gris is an open, fragrant white with ripe apple and sweet pear, but not as crisp as the 2019 on the finish. Best to serve this with spicy bites to balance it all out. The fruit comes off the Kalala’s Westbank Vineyard, where it gets the early morning sun and avoids the warm afternoon sunsets, thanks to hills to the west. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Kalala Organic Estate Winery
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Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Monovitignotext
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Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Monovitigno 2020

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyThe Di Lenardo property has been in production since 1878. They mix estate fruit with purchased fruit from the DOC regions of Friuli Grave, Friuli Aquileia, and Colli Orientali Del Friuli to put together their grigio. The style is modern, and the fruit is hand harvested. The result is a consistently clean, bright style boasting floral honey, baked apples, citrus, quince, and almond with a dusting of minerality in the finish. Spaghetti carbonara is a good match, but most sushi rolls work here too. Good value.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Di Lenardo Vineyards
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Gidda Family Estate One Block Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Gidda Family Estate One Block Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Daniel Bontorin is at the helm here, and this single block selection is the better for it. The nose combines freshness and oaty leesy notes with baked apple pie crust highlights. It is very subtle, Bontorin-style, with an enticing dry entry, mixing a hint of citrus zest with green apple, local scrub, and more fresh pie notes. A delight to drink and will be a fine bottle for the dinner table. The winery suggests you pair it with sunset views and deep conversations. Try it with chicken Marbella, apricot stuffed pork tenderloin, or bacon wrapped scallops for a culinary adventure.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Volcanic Hills Winery
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Phantom Creek Estates Pinot Gristext
92PTS

Phantom Creek Estates Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Olivier Humbrecht has ventured outside his beloved Alsace appellation to make a pinot gris in British Columbia at Phantom Creek. And, the humble, legendary winemaker, and biodynamic guru is knocking it out of the park. While he patiently waits for the cold, windy, rocky vineyard he has planted in the Similkameen Valley to come to life, he works his magic with purchased fruit. Like Olivier, there aren’t a lot of showy edges to this wine, but its tight, tart fruit, spiked with savoury sagebrush, are complex and persistent from front to back. It is a wine for thinkers and what I like to term 'wine drinkers.' The fermentation runs over four months to dryness involving only indigenous yeasts. 40 percent is aged in traditional foudres for ten months, adding extra layers of texture and richness to this Alsace lookalike, with a touch of wild BC. Stock up - you can age this one too.Prices: BC 27.49 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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05 May 2022

Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2021

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of BC's top value wines, this white blend is impressively consistent vintage-to-vintage. It's all about the balance: light, crisp, and dry, and easy to enjoy on its own while incredibly versatile at the dinner table. We're just about at the start of spot prawn season, and this would make the quintessential BC pairing. Expect bright citrus and white blossoms, with just a touch of bitterness on the finish.Prices: BC 19.99 MB 18.99 SK 19.99 QC 19.95 NS 20.99 YK 20.95 AB 20.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Frind Estate Big Whitetext
86PTS

Frind Estate Big White 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a crisp, summer-friendly, patio sipper that's nicely balanced for easy enjoyment, with simple citrus fruits and honeysuckle.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Frind Estate
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Frind Estate Big Whitetext
86PTS

Frind Estate Big White 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA few months down the road, this wine remains soft, with a low fruit component mixed with light almond and lemon notes. A quaffing wine for warm summer afternoons. It is fully ready to drink.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Frind Estate
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Niepoort Nat'Cool Brancotext
88PTS

Niepoort Nat'Cool Branco 2021

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis cloudy pét-nat ish Vinho Verde, comes from the sub-region of Lousada, and is a mix of Azal, Arinto, Avesso, Trajadura and Loureiro. It was bottled with a few grams RS, so it could continue to percolate in the bottle, affording it a gentle spritz. Hazy yellow apple, pear skin, apricot skin rules the slim, fuzzy palate, with a gentle rise of acidity to a subtly spiced finish. Crack now, with a brisk chill, and mates to share.Prices: ON 22.00 1000 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Road 13 Honest John's Whitetext
88PTS

Road 13 Honest John's White 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you are going to make an aromatic white wine with everything but the kitchen sink, its first duty is to be clean and fresh. Honest John's has done that and added an extra level of minerality and aromatics to give this wine life. Floral, citrus, nectarine notes spill from the nose to the palate, and finish medium-long but clean, with enough acidity to make it food friendly. A patio pleaser for summer salads, fish cakes or a charcuterie board. Good value.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Road 13
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Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidaltext
87PTS

Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidal 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA slightly muted tropical fruit nose with peachy, honeysuckle notes. The attack is primarily fresh with apricot, peach, and ripe apple with a leesy biscuit. Rich and off-dry, it is entirely ready to drink and should be finished by the end of summer, given the hint of smoke creeping at the end of this wine's generous mouthfeel. There's an abundance of bright acidity to balance the gentle nudge of residual sugar. The winery's adventurous pairings include Cajun and Creole dishes, Thai food, Chinese food, Vietnamese food, Mexican food, coconut curries, and Indian food. The final mix is 96 /4 vidal / orange muscat. The fruit is sourced from Stag's Hollow Vineyard, Parsons Vineyard, and Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, all in Okanagan Falls.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Ciù Ciù Oris Faleriotext
88PTS

Ciù Ciù Oris Falerio 2020

Ascoli Piceno, Marche, ItalyOris is a blend of Trebbiano, Pecorino, and Passerina, grown in the towns of Offida and Acquaviva Picena, in Ascoli Piceno province at 300m. This was native fermented in stainless, and left to settle for 4 months. Shining and sleek with pear skin, white flowers, lemon, and fresh almonds on a bright, 13% frame, finishing with white pepper spicing. Subtle and gentle marine white.Prices: ON 15.95 Producer: Ciù Ciù
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Kalala Organic Estate Harmony Whitetext
86PTS

Kalala Organic Estate Harmony White 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Kalala blend has a quiet nose with passion fruit and guava. The attack is similar, with lightly bruised yellow fruit and some bitterness in the dry finish. It is best served with a piece of soft cheese to bring more symmetry to the wine. Most of the varieties came from Kalala’s Westbank Vineyard, while some of the riesling and gewürztraminer came from Chandra Vineyard in Oliver. The blend is riesling (40%), gewurztraminer (25%), pinot gris (23%), and muscat (12%). Ready to drink.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Kalala Organic Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viogniertext
87PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viognier 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLook for the Gris/Viognier label at Save-on-Foods. Its fresh fragrant nose is thanks to a no oak production process and 30+ days of cool fermentation. On the palate, it reveals a mix of honeycrisp apple, nectarines, ripe pears, lemon, and a streak of minerality underneath to keep it fresh through the last sip. It is a Block Party white you can serve with spicy wings or a favourite sushi roll. The blend is roughly 2/3 pinot gris, 1/3 viognier.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Character Whitetext
87PTS

Hester Creek Character White 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Foundation Series Character White is a 66/34 mix of pinot gris and gewürztraminer from the Oliver area. The style is aromatic and fresh, hand-harvested, meticulously sorted, whole bunch pressed and racked to stainless tanks for a month-long cool fermentation. Like last year it is all you could want for the price from its round, soft, juicy, savoury, lime, litchi, stone fruit that goes down friendly. Serve solo well chilled on a warm patio or with spicy bites that can help balance off the final flavours.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Frind Estate Big Whitetext
85PTS

Frind Estate Big White 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is simple stuff that seems to have survived a savage year. It is a kitchen sink blend of aromatic white grapes kerner, gewurztrainer, and viognier. It has a surprisingly acidic citrus undercurrent in a round, soft, and ready to drink, style. Serve well chilled on the patio with New World tapas.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Frind Estate
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04 May 2022

Pentâge Winery Hiatustext
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Pentâge Winery Hiatus 2016

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPentâge must have a large cellar because they take the time to age their wines for you before release. 2016 was a fine vintage, and this blend comes in at a humble 13 percent full of dark black fruits balanced by supple tannins at this point, and a surprisingly elegant finish given its robust combination. Ready to drink with a splash decant, and serve with any beef or pork dish you can imagine, or a rich root vegetable sheet pan. The latest Hiatus 2016 is a decidedly different mix featuring a 36/32/10/8/7/7 blend of petite sirah, tempranillo, petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon, and mourvedre and merlot. Each variety is handpicked, hand sorted and barrel aged separately. The wines are matured solo for 18 months to dryness in new and neutral French and American oak. I love the price; stock up.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Red Horses Vineyard Cross Breedtext
87PTS

Red Horses Vineyard Cross Breed 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis south Okanagan red is a 75/25 cabernet sauvignon / merlot field bend with medium-light colour and a spicy, earthy nose. The attack is fresh with a mix of spice, bloody iron notes with a leafy underside, light tannins, and a medium-length finish. Round, soft, and ready to drink over the next two to three years. Best with ribs or burgers.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Red Horses Vineyard
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritagetext
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritage 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve Meritage is a mix of cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot. In 2020 it took on a slightly brawnier style, at least at this point, perhaps reflecting its highly lauded growing season that has produced a youthful, almost rambunctious edition of Meritage. Look for a peppery, black cherry, savoury affair with balanced acidity and firm, dry tannins supporting underneath. The Oliver Osoyoos fruit is aged 14-16 months in French and American oak. This wine shows all the signs of youth and probably needs another two to three years in the bottle before it begins to settle into itself. If you are going to drink it now, it will be best with mushrooms or beef.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Lunessence Cabernet Merlottext
89PTS

Lunessence Cabernet Merlot 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 86/14 cabernet sauvignon/merlot fruit is grown in the Oliver area and aged in French, Hungarian, and American oak for 14 months. The wine opens with savoury black fruits, licorice, and cedar notes. The attack is round with a slurry of dusty tannins streaked with red fruit and a supple back end. Although it would easily age three to five more years in the bottle, it is surprisingly forward. Drink now with grilled beef or mushroom risotto.Prices: BC 34.95 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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AltoSur Red Blendtext
88PTS

AltoSur Red Blend 2020

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis blend of 50% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Syrah comes from Gualtallary, Tupungato, at a vineyard around 4000 ft, in the foothills of the Andes. Each variety was fermented in stainless over three weeks before 3-4 months in contact with French oak (staves?). Rich and ripe blackberry, black plum filter through tobacco, espresso, and dark cocoa on a compact, shorter palate, with cassis acidity and a hem of pasty/gritty tannins. The tart cassis acidity brings some freshness, along with the altitude — one to crack now with grilled burgers.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Finca Sophenia
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Evans & Tate Redbrook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlottext
88PTS

Evans & Tate Redbrook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017

Western Australia, AustraliaFrom their estate Wilyabrup vineyards, this cab underwent a cool, 10-day ferment, then direct to 300L French Hogshead barrels (20% new) for malolactic fermentation and 11 months of maturation. Ripe and dense with compact black fruit, espresso, tobacco, roasted root veg, housed by somewhat ragged tannins, and finishing with brown spices. This bigger, rustic red would benefit from partnering with roast beef and/or root vegetable.Prices: ON 38.95 Producer: Evans & Tate
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Voyager Estate Girt by Sea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlottext
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Voyager Estate Girt by Sea Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaThis blend of 62% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 3% petit verdot comes off the north block and Weightmans vineyards, near the coast in the Wallcliffe subregion of Margaret River. Smooth and polished, this fuller red streams black cherry, black plum, pencil lead, and tobacco along a lightly textured palate, seasoned with broken stones and dried florals to a warming finish. A richer, smartly constructed Margaret River cabernet, drinking beautifully now.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Voyager Estate
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AltoSur Red Blendtext
87PTS

AltoSur Red Blend 2020

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe mix is 50/40/10 malbec/cabernet sauvignon/syrah grown at Gualtallary, Tupungato, at a vineyard around 1200 meters in the Andean foothills. The style is high mountain stark with intense cedar and balsamic mixed with cassis, tobacco, and espresso bean. The power and acidity are overpowering at the moment, so I suggest more bottle time. If you want to drink it now, serve it with barbecue ribs or hamburgers. Not for the faint hearted.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Finca Sophenia
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Coralie and Damien Delecheneau Touraine Ad Libitumtext
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Coralie and Damien Delecheneau Touraine Ad Libitum 2020

Touraine, Loire, FranceOn the bank of the Loire River, La Grange Tiphaine was created at the end of the 19th century by Alfonse Delecheneau, followed by three generations: Adrien, Jackie and as of 2004, Damien, along with his wife Coralie. Their biodynamically farmed 15 hectare estate is spread across Montlouis-sur-Loire, Touraine, and Touraine-Amboise. This is a blend of cabernet franc, côt (malbec), and gamay grown on clay/silex soils in Touraine Amboise. Each variety was macerated and native fermented in concrete tanks, before the blend, and return to concrete for 4 months' rest. Brooding black plum, earthy forest berries and tart cranberry jockey for position on the peppery palate, framed by long, silken tannins. There's a dusting of baking space on the snappy finish, along with a puff of warmth. Give this wine some breathing time to relax and open up.Prices: BC 32.95 Producer: Coralie and Damien Delecheneau
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Phantom Creek Estates Petite Cuvée N° 4text
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Phantom Creek Estates Petite Cuvée N° 4 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year, Petit Cuvée leads with an inviting cedar, desert scrub, and black fruit nose reflecting its sourcing from the westside (Golden Mile Bench) and eastside (Black Sage Bench) in the south Okanagan Valley. Again like last year, the texture is an exquisite silky smooth experience even at its tender age. The blend in order of importance is cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. The fruit is all blackcurrant, and the tannins are dusty, but the finish comes with a smoky, savoury, balsamic note that bites into the fruit. For now, it needs a well marbled grilled T-bone steak to take on the finish of the wine. I will revisit this in the next year to watch its development.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Phantom Creek Estates Becker Vineyard Cuvée N° 27text
90PTS

Phantom Creek Estates Becker Vineyard Cuvée N° 27 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaChanges at Phantom Creek Estates continue with the arrival of winemaker Mark Beringer in the fall of 2021, joining consulting winemaker Olivier Humbrecht, who has been working with the white wines for the last few years. The winery has expanded its reach north to Skaha and west to the Similkameen to control its fruit sources fully.The latest Becker Cuvée is a mix of 55/28/9/7/1 cabernet franc, merlot, carmenere, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. The style has been rich and will undoubtedly stay that way in 2019. There is a strong balsamic, spicy, savoury undercurrent with smoky cassis notes. On the palate, it is similar, with black fruit, roasted coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla dominating in its youth. I’m tempted to say wait a decade, but you might want to keep an eye on this as it ages over the next three to five years to ensure it remains on course. In a challenging growing season, the significant amount of franc has left it with some rusticity that will probably suggest you drink it sooner than later as time marches on. Solid.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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03 May 2022

Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noir 2019

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis comes from Wismer-Parke Vineyard on the Vineland Bench, a vineyard which Bachelder had to "learn to love." The reddish magnesium-oxide and dolomitic-limestone clay soils yield pinots which are more sauvage and rustic, though certainly no less compelling. Again, this wine has a distinctive ferrous note, though it's less forward here than the Wild West End bottling. That doesn't mean it's any less complex or savoury, though. Turned earth, game, and sweet spices are beautifully balanced by cherry, showing exceptional purity. It's a complete wine with tremendous freshness and fine grained tannins that will reward careful cellaring for a decade to come.Prices: ON 47.95 Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines I Vielles Vignestext
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines I Vielles Vignes 2019

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Lowrey Vineyard, but a different parcel than the Old Eastern Block. The vines here date to 1988 and 1993, on a gentle slope at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. It shows fresh, expressive cherry bolstered by dried florals and spice. The verve and stoniness of the Old Eastern Block still come through here but with a more muscular structure thanks to firm-grained tannins. This will reward revisiting in two to three years.Prices: ON 47.95 Producer: Bachelder Oregon
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Bachelder Cuesta Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Cuesta Pinot Noir 2019

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOn the eastern edge of Vineland, Cuesta Vineyard sits on a gentle slope above Highway 8 on dolomitic-limestone clay soils with silt. It's a cooler site, and Bachelder's last pinot block to be picked, and you can sense that here. It's light and ethereal, with alluring perfumed aromatics, bright red berries, rhubarb, and an attractive flinty reductive note. There's real verve and tension, with exceptional precision to the fruit. A seamless, elegant pinot, and a steal at this price. Only 75 cases were produced.Prices: ON 44.95 Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noir 2019

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFifty metres from Wismer-Parker Vineyard proper on the Twenty Mile Bench, Wild West-End refers to westerly rows rich in reddish magnesium oxide and dolomitic-limestone clay. These soils give this wine its "wild" iron character. That savouriness is at the forefront, alongside perfumed spices complemented by rich red cherries and dried flowers. It's exceptionally complex and expressive in a muscular and structured style, while still refined and profoundly elegant. This will only improve, but it's hard to resist right now. An impressive wine. From an unknown clone planted in 1999.Prices: ON 60.00 Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noir 2019

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaJust north of Wismer-Parke, Hanck Vineyard is similarly situated on what Bachelder calls Vineland's "grand cru strip." The fruit is more overt here and with more perceived ripeness, led by wild strawberries and black raspberries accented by delicate spices. The palate is also more generous but still with the freshness and modest alcohol that characterizes all of Bachelder's pinots. It makes for a very satisfying pour, with a suave texture and silky tannins that will make it tempting to open any bottles in your cellar sooner than you probably should.Prices: ON 47.99 Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Eastern Block Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Eastern Block Pinot Noir 2019

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis is from the oldest block at Lowrey Vineyard, planted in 1984 and 1988 on St. David's Bench, not far from the Niagara River. The nose is lifted and perfumed, showing a combination of bright, pure fruit, with crunchy red cherries and raspberries, alongside fresh herbs and subtle spices. The palate manages to be both light and delicate yet exceptionally concentrated with remarkable energy and intensity to the fruit, along with underlying stoniness that carries the finish. Quite simply, wow.Prices: ON 65.00 Producer: Bachelder Oregon
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02 May 2022

Trim Chardonnaytext
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Trim Chardonnay 2019

California, United StatesYou don't see Ray Signorello's name on this label, but his Napa team is responsible for this California white, one of only two wines made under the Trim label. The Trim wines are made without additives. They don't add sugar, concentrate, colouring, or anything else that shouldn't be there. As Ray Signorello says, "We believe in winemaking, not winefaking, and we are transparent about this." The Chardonnay opens with an apple, honey, nectarine note streaked with citrus, almonds, and vanilla. Bright and refreshing, it is more next world, mixing bright acidity, peach, apple butter and fresh bread. A wine that will brighten any lunch.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Trim Wines
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Farm to Table Chardonnaytext
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Farm to Table Chardonnay 2019

Victoria, AustraliaFrom vineyards across Victoria, this wine was designed to pair with food, as the name and label would imply. A good part of this was aged in French puncheons, with the remainder in stainless. Ripe and round, with white peach and pear, textured with subtly spiced wood around a creamy core. A friendly partner to white sauced pasta or chicken dishes.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Fowles Wine
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Cascina Galarin Nuvole Chardonnaytext
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Cascina Galarin Nuvole Chardonnay 2020

Piedmont, ItalyA 24 hour skin contact precedes a one month stainless steel fermentation at 14-16C with weekly bâtonnage. The colour is straw yellow, and the nose is an attractive, slightly reductive floral mix of citrus and hazelnuts. Similar flavours mark the palate, with a breath of fresh acidity and complex savouriness. A classy medium-weight chardonnay with fine minerality and a sense of place at the dinner table. I love the simplicity and pureness of this chardonnay. Great value too. The Galarin family has been making wine since 1781.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Cascina Galarin
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BK Wines Swaby Chardonnaytext
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BK Wines Swaby Chardonnay 2016

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaFrom the cellar. Boom, what a wine. Named for the grower, Bernie Swaby, who was the Head Geologist for the University of South Australia in the 1980s. This Piccadilly Valley vineyard is one of the highest in Adelaide Hills, right below Mount Lofty. The site is east facing at 650 meters, rooted in sandstone with quartz. Swaby Chardy, clone 110v1, 1983 planted, was native fermented and pressed to French barrique (partial new) for full MLF and sporadic bâtonnage for 10 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered. The reductive edge is still very much present, sculpting the structural, fuller palate of toasted popcorn, lemon curd and peel, broken stones, crunchy meringue, and roasted hazelnuts. Acidity is still shining, carrying this easily to the subtly saline, super stony finish. Drinking beautifully now, and still with life ahead.Prices: Australia 45.00 Producer: BK Wines
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El Enemigo Chardonnaytext
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El Enemigo Chardonnay 2018

Mendoza, ArgentinaGualtallary, Tupungato fruit is always a recipe for success, as is Catena winemaker Alejandro Vigil. As if this wasn't intense enough, Vigil adds a little flor, inspired by the Jura, to amp up the palate. El Enimigo is fermented wild for 40 days and aged in 500 litre oak barrels, of which 35 percent are new, for nine months. The attack is a bracing mix of saltiness, lemons, lees, and oak that persist throughout the wine. It's a bit heavy handed in an older chardonnay way, but in the end, it's also revolutionary, especially for Argentina.Prices: BC 45.99 AB 34.00 Producer: Bodega Aleanna
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