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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: December 2014

31 December 2014

Burrowing Owl Meritagetext
91PTS

Burrowing Owl Meritage 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI find it interesting that in the two cool years of 2010 and 2011 BOV Meritage has excelled. The merlot cabernet franc dominated mix is the key to the fragrant, attractive spicy nose with some prominent oak and vanilla. It’s more Napa than Okanagan but this wine will have many fans who can’t get enough of its spicy, plummy, oaky flavours that with the help of some black olives, sage brush and chocolate are still fun to drink. Best let this sit for five years but you can drink it now with osso buco or grilled lamb dishes.Prices: BC 45.00 AB 50.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Burrowing Owl Athenetext
91PTS

Burrowing Owl Athene 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the best Athene we have tasted since its inception. A little less meaty in 2011 the fruit is superb, there are no green notes and spice is under control. The attack is juicy with wonderful balance and elegance and more cherry, smoky, vanilla, cassis and liquorice flavours. Solid from front to back and with this balance it will age superbly. We'll done. Try this with a big USDA steak now or in a decade with roast beef.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Samantha Cequeira Vineyard Syrahtext
90PTS

Samantha Cequeira Vineyard Syrah 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere is great lesson in this wine for many Okanagan producers. You need to taste more and more wines from outside the valley. Araxi Restaurant wine director Samantha Rahn has released a single red wine made at Okanagan Crush Pad. The yearly opportunity given to the Sommelier of the Year in BC is delicious. Okay it lacks a bit of power and depth but overall the elegance and drinkability of this syrah is amazing. The fruit comes off the ever impressive Cerqueira Vineyard in Oliver. Bravo.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone Redtext
86PTS

Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone Red 2012

Western Cape, South AfricaFoundation Stone is a 38/23/20/9/8/2 blend of shiraz, cinsault, mourvèdre, tannat, grenache, viognier. Soft easy-sipping juicy pepper red with leather and sweetness creeping in underneath. Friendly commercial red blend for the masses.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Rickety Bridge
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Robert Bateman Artist's Series Grasslands Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Syrahtext
88PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Robert Bateman Artist's Series Grasslands Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2010

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe classic 70/30 cabernet shiraz mix proves to be the best of the Bateman labels for us. The wine is made with organically grown fruit that opens with fragrant mix of black and red fruit aromas. The attack is elegant with more black cherry, leather tobacco flavours with some fairly prominent mid-palate acidity. Ready to drink but think about serving this with your favourite lamb dish.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Quady Batch 88 Starboardtext
87PTS

Quady Batch 88 Starboard NV

California, United StatesBatch 88 is a soft, sweet and round and eminently easy-drinking port-like wine. The style according to owner Andrew Quady lies somewhere between a ruby (fruity) and a tawny (aged) Portuguese port. Look for sweet raisins and chocolate to dominate. You can sip this solo by the fire with a bowl full of nuts or try it with your favourite fruitcake. Batch 88 is mostly made with tinta roriz grapes. Several different vintages aged an average of five years are used in the blend. The very first Batch of Quady port was made in 1988 hence the Batch 88 moniker.Prices: BC 15.00 375 Producer: Quady California Dessert Wines
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Château de la Grande Gardiole Châteauneuf-du-Papetext
90PTS

Château de la Grande Gardiole Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2011

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceGardiole is born on classic stony terraced vineyards in the heart of Châteauneuf-du-Pape owned by the Rey family. The mix is grenache, syrah and mourvèdre that goes through a long four to five week maceration on the skins that results in a silky harmonious mix of fruit and tannins. The flavours of red fruits raspberries cherries and truffles persist through a long spicy, friendly finish. An impressive bottle to be served with your favourite lamb dish.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Château de la Grande Gardiole
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30 December 2014

Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Noirtext
86PTS

Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Noir 2012

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaReally liking these new labels for a rebranded Blue Grouse. This promising little pinot noir is showing a positive direction in whats inside the bottle as well. Wild strawberries, raspberry gummies, forest moss and earth aromas. The juicy, fine spiced palate carries on in the red fruited theme, though the pure fruit is snuffed by firm, up-front wood (30 percent new French oak). Tannins are a little wood hewn and astringent before the young wine finishes rhubarb tart. Pour with wild mushroom pasta. Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Kamloopstext
85PTS

Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Kamloops 2013

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaBella has given another single vineyard a chance to tell its story, this time it's a blancs de blanc from Kamloop's Thadd Springs Vineyard owned Harper Trail Winery. The yield was kept at 3.7 tons per acre and the harvest commenced September 18th at 21 brix. Expect a pleasant, open grassy, toasted nose. The palate is somewhat similar with dried herbs camphor and a soft almost off-dry finish resiny finish. Tasted from a 375ml bottle.Prices: BC 24.00 BC 15.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Keremeostext
88PTS

Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Keremeos 2013

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBella has given another single vineyard a chance to tell its story, this time it's a blancs de blanc from vineyards grown by Robin Ridge Winery. The yield was kept at 3.1 tons per acre and the harvest commenced September 14th at 20 brix. The Similkameen effort is bone dry and supremely fresh on the nose. The attack is awash in citrus and green apple skin notes with an aggressive but tiny bubble factor. The finish is clean and sharp. Serve this with simple, oven-heated cheese sticks. Tasted from a 375ml bottle.Prices: BC 24.00 BC 15.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver West Sidetext
89PTS

Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver West Side 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Okanagan Bella style is always crisp and super fresh the 2013 does not disappoint. The fruit is grown at elevation at the Secrest Mountain vineyard. Always super fresh this has the creamy textures we did not see in the Kamloops or Similkameen version. Love the attack here with just the right mix of acid and fruit and creamy textures from front to back. Not terribly complex but well on its way with regard to style and texture. Tasted from a 375ml bottle.Prices: BC 24.00 BC 15.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSurprisingly rich and concentrated for 2011 perhaps exemplifying the heat you can collect in the south Okanagan most summers. The style is jammy with some mid-palate acidity to keep it all honest. The mid-palate shows more green notes and dried herbs but I'm sure this will have throngs of followers who love the peppery jammy black currant fruit in the finish. This will improve in the bottle over the next two years. For now it must be served with grilled beef to best effect.Prices: BC 38.00 AB 41.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Robert Bateman Artist's Series Grasslands Organic Cabernet Franctext
87PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Robert Bateman Artist's Series Grasslands Organic Cabernet Franc 2010

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuiet, fresh, red fruit aromas with crushed leafy bits and spice. The plate is similar although overall there is a dryness and bitterness that persists on the palate and in the finish. Be sure to serve this with grilled beef or lamb to give the wine a place to recede. Ready to drink. The fruit is grown at the single-vineyard Knollvine Farm in Okanagan Falls. Thirty-two month sin oak is probably too much for many BC wine. The franc appears as one of three Robert Bateman designed labels, with partial proceeds funding the Bateman Foundation's initiatives.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Familia Bianchi Reserva Malbectext
89PTS

Familia Bianchi Reserva Malbec 2012

San Rafael, General Alvear, Southern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaVoted the World's Best Dry Red at Vinales International Paris 2014 by the Union des Enologists de France (French Winemaker's Association) it was awarded the coveted Trophee Vinalies Internationale for Best Dry Red. It is amazing tribute to a $20 red wine from Argentina. We like the wine, especially for the price although we could quibble over the pruny aspects of its rich, spicy fruit and cherry jam notes laced with liquorice and a bit of chocolate. We suspect steak with a homemade chimichurri sauce would be the perfect match.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Bodegas y Vinedos Valentín Bianchi S.A.
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Bodega Piedra Negra Alta Colección Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Bodega Piedra Negra Alta Colección Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe Lurton cabernet sauvignon is all about understatement and elegance. Slightly reduced under screwcap it quickly cleans with some air in the glass revealing a nose red fruits, cassis and pepper. The palate is similar with hints of stony minerality mixing with ripe cabernet fruit flavours. The tannins are silky and soft helping the wines disappear down your throat. Delicious drinking but will improve in the bottle for a year or two. Try this with peppercorn steak.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Bodega Francois Lurton Mendoza
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29 December 2014

Yalumba Viognier Eden Valleytext
90PTS

Yalumba Viognier Eden Valley 2012

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaPerfumed aromas of apricot nectar, mandarin and stone fruit lead to a heady palate of peached and apricots and finishes with tropical citrus juiciness. Stylish and concentrated, this wine will continue to grow and develop in the bottle, now just a whisper showing enhanced apricot and spice flavours - and in future, developing honey flavors and toast after a few years rest. Pour with fragrant white fish chowder or curries. Prices: BC 28.00 AB 25.00 ON 25.00 MB 28.00 QC 24.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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JoieFarm Re-Think Pink! Rosé (iii)text
88PTS

JoieFarm Re-Think Pink! Rosé (iii) 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEvery year the blend shifts, and this year the white grapes have been dropped in favour of pinot noir and gamay, harvested from Kelowna, Skaha Bluff, Naramata, Summerland and Kelowna. This vintage is a deep blush pink hue, with a familiar sweetness, as is hallmark Joie style. Sweet pear nectar and strawberry jam on the nose leads to a ripe, round and concentrated palate of apple blossom, wild raspberry, sage, and Okanagan cherries on a spicy, lingering finish.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEarthy, wet forest fruit, black cherry and tart raspberry. The tart and lean palate shows bright cranberry and a savoury dried herb leaf spiciness across a cherry cola middle. Tannins slightly gummy and sticky - best poured with grilled mushroom burger or simple grilled salmon. Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Vinedos Altamira Valley Tres Fincatext
89PTS

Vinedos Altamira Valley Tres Finca 2011

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaA new listing worth checking out. The fruit is a mix of varieties and vineyards from the famed Vista Flores sub-section of the Uco Valley, a major sub-region of the Mendoza Valley. The mix is 39/24/23/8 cabernet sauvignon, malbec, syrah, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Look for a juicy full-bodied red but on the red fruit not black fruit side with notes of black cherries and raspberry with classic, savoury Uco 'jarilla' (native scrub/dried herbs). The palate is similar with spice, juicy, soft, savoury red fruits with soft pliant tannins in what was a cool year. A perfect match for turkey or beef. Good value and a signal of what Mendoza should be doing in this market. Load up.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Vistaflores Estate S.A.
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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cavatext
87PTS

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainYear in and year out the Segura Viudas does a great job with its non-vintage Reserva fizz that mixes 50/35/15 macabeo, parellada and xarel-lo grapes from the cool Alt Penedès region north of the winery. The attack is 'cava' dry, this is not prosecco, with nutty, floral, green apple aromas. The palate is creamy soft with more nutty, citrus, green apple, stony mineral, sea salt flavours. The perfect appetizer wine. Good value.Prices: BC 16.99 AB 15.95 SK 18.49 MB 15.99 ON 15.95 QC 14.40 NB 19.79 PEI 18.39 NFL 18.99 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Villa Teresa Prosecco Vino Frizzante Organictext
87PTS

Villa Teresa Prosecco Vino Frizzante Organic NV

Veneto, ItalyIt's always useful to have a self-closing bottle of fizz as is the case with this organic prosecco. Look for heady notes of honeysuckle, green apple peaches, citrus with just a hint of toasted almonds. The attack is dry the textures creamy and soft a la prosecco bit with a clean finish with a bit sweetness that makes it best suited to spicy appetizers. Good value.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Vini Tonon s.r.l.
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Villa Teresa Rosé Veneto Vino Frizzante Organictext
86PTS

Villa Teresa Rosé Veneto Vino Frizzante Organic NV

Veneto, ItalyThere is no need to overthink this all organic rosé prosecco with a reddish/pink hue. The attack is bright and floral with ripe red berries, plums and peaches on the nose with similar flavours flecked with citrus. A fun sipping lightly fizzy party pink that works well with a tapas style appetizers. Consistent quality.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Vini Tonon s.r.l.
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Ferrari-Carano Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2012

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe 2012 chardonnay is a mix of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Carneros fruit divided into some 60 separate lots that are cold settled for 48 hours before they are barrel fermented. Almost all the wine goes through malolactic to add creaminess but it leaves it all a bit soft. Still fresh and tasty with a big ripe baked apple and pear component and a buttery, citrus, nutty finish. Try this with halibut and a fresh fruit salsa.Prices: BC 37.00 ON 29.00 Producer: Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery
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Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnaytext
86PTS

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesConsistently old fashion which tells me in Washington State there is still a solid market for this mostly old-fashioned styled chardonnay. The nose is ripe with peachy, honey, vanilla aromas. The attack is ripe with sweet peach, resin and honey flavours with a firm butterscotch presence in the back end. Like last year this is a well-made, easy-sipping, old-style, American chardonnay. Try this with lobster.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 21.00 ON 18.00 QC 19.00 Producer: Château Ste. Michelle
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Blasted Church Unorthodox Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Blasted Church Unorthodox Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe secret here is the blend of the aromatic musqué chardonnay clone (73 percent) with a 13/10/4 mix of chardonnay, ehrenfelser and gewürztraminer, the latter two bringing more aromatics, spice and a dash of orange to the mix. Expect a fairly rich chardonnay with expressive up front fruit salad flavours but with enough acidity to appear fresh. There's enough ripeness and residual sugar to work with spicy foods but it will be fine with creamy pasta dishes too.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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Liquidity Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Liquidity Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is quiet with nutty, mineral stony notes that seemed to slip out of the glass and disappear. The attack is bright and fresh with a big citrus hit up front followed by some bitter nutty pear and guava notes. Overall a skinny wine with a nervous undercurrent, which we like but it could use a modicum of creaminess to make it just a bit friendlier. It's easily adjusted by food, sautéed squid would be a fine match or halibut or a creamy pasta dish. A solid effort heading the right direction.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard Grey Labeltext
89PTS

Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard Grey Label 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaClassic Haywire on the nose smelling of freshly mortar-ed Okanagan scrub in a stone pestle. Sage and yellow fruits predominate on its highly aromatic nose with a hint of mint. The palate is equally intriguing more creamy pear and apple flavours with a touch of guava in the finish. It's wild fermented and there is no oak involved - or what we call an Alberto Antonini intervention of well, nothing. In short it's all Canyonview. The New Okanagan. Fresh halibut would be a fine summer match - roasted chicken stuffed with lemons and onions all winter.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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28 December 2014

Culmina Family Estate Unicustext
90PTS

Culmina Family Estate Unicus 2013

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2013 was not only the winery's first release of this cool and hip Austrian white grape, but the first Okanagan release of GV. Unicus is 100% grüner, from the high altitude (600m) Margaret's Bench vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench. Kudos to winemaker Pascal Madevon, for his interpretation of this charismatic grape (and the first white wine he's made in over a decade!). Expressive spicy persimmon, pear and herbal meadow flowers on the nose entices to an oily, waxy palate with citrus, white pepper, wild mint, pear and grapefruit pith vibrancy on the finish. This is a big wine (14%) but all the Golden Mile's warmth is tempered by bracing acidity. Only 60 cases were made, so if you see it, try it.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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27 December 2014

Château de Brigue Rosétext
88PTS

Château de Brigue Rosé 2013

Côtes de Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceNow operated by the third generation, the Brun brothers carry on the family's winemaking tradition and oversee one of the largest family domaines in Provence at 120 hectares. This elegant and refined, delicate-pink rose is a blend of syrah and cinsault, opening quietly with stoniness, light wild strawberries and raspberry blossoms. Raspy red berry fruits and pink grapefruit juiciness continue on the bone dry palate - with whispers of savoury herbs and delicate florals on the finish. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Château de Brigue
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Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminer 2013

Alsace, FranceThis medium bodied off-dry gewürztraminer from Alsace is easy to like - a bit too easy to like, actually, what with all the sweet lime, pear, stony spice and flower notes. The palate is full with peach blossoms, pink grapefruit, roses and a heady, potent ginger spice note on the finish. Pour with Thai noodle dishes or lighter curries. Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr
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Côté Mas Languedoc Reservetext
88PTS

Côté Mas Languedoc Reserve 2012

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceCote Mas is a subsidiary of Domaines Paul Mas, one of the main Estates in the South of France and a family who have been cultivating grapes in Languedoc since 1892. This GSM is splashed with the charismatic and intriguing carignan grape, adding to its lightly cured meats, black cherry, mustard seed and savoury herbal notes. Fresh and juicy on the palate, with fresh cherry fruit to work alongside the garrigue, herbal notes. Perfectly drinking now, especially alongside pork.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Côté Mas
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26 December 2014

Tyrrell's Lost Block Semillontext
86PTS

Tyrrell's Lost Block Semillon 2009

Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaThe Lost Block range came to be when an impending storm forced the vineyard crew to abandon a prized block of Hunter semillon to pick less storm hardy grapes. When the 'lost' block, picked days later, became finished wine it showed so well that it was given a label of its own. Over the years, the range has expanded to include wines from across Oz, each crafted in an easy and approachable style. This, from select Hunter Valley vineyards, opens with fragrant musk melon, white peach and almond. The palate is losing sheen - showing white grapefruit, white peach, green apple and bitter herbs before a slightly sour, cleansing lemon finish. Acidity moderate - drink now with white fish. Prices: BC 17.99 ON 13.50 Producer: Tyrrell's Wines Pty., Ltd.
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M.O.B.text
90PTS

M.O.B. 2011

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalMOB stands for Moreira Olazabal Borges a venture of Douro-based winemakers Jorge Moreira (Poeira), Francisco "Xito" Olazabal (Quinta do Vale Meão) and Jorge Serôdio Borges (Wine & Soul) in the Dão. The wine is made from a leased vineyard Quinta de Corujão at one of the highest elevations 500m on Portugal. The blend is touriga nacional, jaen or mencia, alfrocheiro and baga. The nose is floral with plenty of red fruits and aromatics. The attack is dry with big acidity and a strong undercurrent of forest floor. The style is elegant almost pinot like and at 12 per cent alcohol it almost pulls it all off. In short, this is very much the new movement to fresher light more mineral stonier red wines not for the masses but certainly for the discriminating.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: M.O.B
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Bella Sparkling Gamay Rosé Olivertext
88PTS

Bella Sparkling Gamay Rosé Oliver 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBella does bubbles, and that's it. This is one of three traditional method, single vineyard sparkling wines released in 2012. 100 percent gamay sourced from Oliver's highly regarded Secrest Vineyard is a beautiful barely-pink, stainless steel fermented and with no dosage (bone dry!). The result is fresh, crisp and pure fruit. Strawberry, golden Macintosh, delicate peach blossom, tart rhubarb and freshness from first whiff through to a juicy, herbal pink grapefruit finish (with an orange peel twist). Nimble and sharp.Prices: BC 24.00 BC 15.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Haywire The Bub Méthode Traditionelletext
88PTS

Haywire The Bub Méthode Traditionelle 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bub might be an obvious name for bubbles, but it's more than just descriptive. The wine was made in honour of OCP's Alison Scholefield, whose first sip as a babe was sparkling wine. As a child, she went by The Bub, Bubba, Alibubba, and the Bubster, though (thankfully) today she prefers Alison. The Bub 2011 is chardonnay and pinot noir, from a cooler mountain vineyard near Oliver, and pours a foamy flute of apple, stone, pear skin, and light eraser rubbings on the nose, along with tart white peach and crisp lemon in the mouth. Baked apple notes seal the finish and a crown cap seals in the freshness. Pour with mussels, salads, canapés.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminertext
86PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminer 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe SYL gewürztraminer is soft and very easy-sipping. The attack is off-dry with spicy, floral fruity aromas and ripe red apple and grapefruit and litchi flavours with a twist of orange (no doubt coming from a small addition of ehrenfelser). Best served chilled before dinner with spicy appetizers or try it with your favourite curry.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 15.25 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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C.C. Jentsch Gewurztraminertext
86PTS

C.C. Jentsch Gewurztraminer 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh floral, peach, litchi, soapy, aromas. The attack is soft with soapy, green apple skin, spicy, ginger floral flavours with a pinch of spice. Light dry fresh, floral, fruit salad style that will work with Indian curries, quiche Lorraine, or a classic luncheon charcuterie dish.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Burrowing Owl Merlottext
88PTS

Burrowing Owl Merlot 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2011 is an 87/10/2 mix of merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Slightly pruney nose with cedar, pepper, black cherry, vanilla, saddle leather nose. The attack is dry with juicy, black cherry, cedar, tobacco and liquorice flavours with a strong savoury under current. This will need some extra bottle time to mature and soften up but a pretty good effort in another challenging year. Serve now with roast beef.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 31.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Burrowing Owl Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Burrowing Owl Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis barrel-aged white (60%) is an 88/12 mix of sauvignon blanc and sémillon. A portion of the finished wine was aged in a mix of oak including a small amount of new wood at 7 per cent. The style is fresh and open with tropical fruit notes of guava and passion fruit and pepper flavours. The palate is firm but not too dry with just hint of stony minerality. We suggest creamy seafood and or pasta dishes.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 29.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Maverick Estate Winery Origintext
89PTS

Maverick Estate Winery Origin 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWe love the freshness of this label the lemon thyme, spicy and bright green apple aromas. The mix is 60/40 gewürztraminer and sauvignon blanc and the pairings allows for a rich, juicy palate with fresh underlying acidity. The style of this blend is perfect and the freshness and food possibilities, well get on the list if it's not sold out it will be soon. Great value.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Maverick Estate Winery
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Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminer 2013

Alsace, FranceThe 2013 is nice notch up over the ‘12 with a more intense peach/pear and litchi fruit nose. The attack is still fresh and juicy with plenty of residual sugar and at least moderate acidity. Look for rich honey, peach, floral flavours with hint of spice in the finish. Spicy dishes even barbecue will work here as will a savoury bird. Good value.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr
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River Stone Splashtext
88PTS

River Stone Splash 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA friendly blend of viognier, pinot gris and gewürztraminer with good underlying acidity and touch of watery/freshness to pull it all together. The flavours are a mix of just off-dry, red apple, pear and orange peel aromas with hints of wet stone, minerality. Really this is fun to drink and should be on your summer sipper list or try it all year round with mixed sushi.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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24 December 2014

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel Premier Cuvéetext
90PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel Premier Cuvée 1998

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCertainly the most distinctive packaging for a sparkling wine in BC, from the most unique winery and probably the most memorable wine story as well. A misplaced lot in the cellars was rediscovered a couple of years ago, resulting in the release of this ultra-premium (for BC) cuvée. This estate grown blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier was disgorged after 13 years sur lie. Soy and vegemite at first whiff, chased by pear, apple blossom and brioche. The bubbles are super fine and subtle in the glass, the result of the lengthy aging. Regardless, the rich brioche, lemon custard, stone, pear butter, dried apple and nut shell character is potent, alluring and lengthy. A lovely vein of acidity flows to the nutty finish of this powerful sparklerPrices: BC 85.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Blue Mountain Gold Label Bruttext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis edition of Gold Label Brut NV was based on 2010 fruit and disgorged March 2013, a helpful note added to the back label providing consumers with a glimpse of maturing/aging of the wine. Pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris are whole cluster pressed, fermented separately and then blended and left sur lie for 24 months. After dégorgement, an additional 6-9 months rest. The result, BC's most consistent, classic and impressive sparkling wine year over year. Light dough, nuts and stone aromas lead to a crisp and nimble palate. Green apple, crisp pear, Meyer lemon, lemon rind, herbed salt and stone come together in lip-smacking raciness. Lively acidity, mineral driven finish, with a gentle cushion of pinot gris fruitiness to carry. Pair with oysters, spot prawns, moules frites.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 29.85 ON 34.95 QC 34.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Redtext
90PTS

Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Red 2011

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom an exceptional vintage the 2011 is looking mighty fine even if the best of the best fruit was designated for the top port cuvees. We love the richness and density here but there is still some tannin to shed in what is still a big, long, robust red with great aromatics and promise. Complex and pure we love the dusty black fruit flavours and balanced acidity. Stylish Euro red. Prices: AB 30.00 BC 30.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Quinta do Vale Meão
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Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Redtext
91PTS

Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Red 2012

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalBeautiful fragrant fruit on the nose, a la umami. Surprisingly refined for a Douro red especially one 100 aged in barrique for 14 months only one or two percent is new. Love the soft, chalky, tannins and fitness woven into this wine. Fresh stylish, stony, mineral spicy garrigue flavours - load up. Fine quality. Great value. Made with touriga nacional, tinta roriz, touriga franca and tinta Barroca.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 30.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Quinta do Vale Meão
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Quinta do Vale Meão Blancotext
89PTS

Quinta do Vale Meão Blanco 2013

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalYou feel the passion of Francisco Olazabal and the team in this white Quinta do Vale Meão. Clean fresh floral notes mixed with grass and grapefruit entice. The attack is soft and touch warm but with enough acidity to keep it on beam. The mix is 50/50 arinto and rabigato. The plate is a mix of cooked apple peach citrus and mineral notes that persist across the finish. Different for starters, and fun to drink.Prices: AB 25.00 BC 30.00 Producer: Quinta do Vale Meão
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23 December 2014

Osoyoos Larosetext
89PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2008

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFollowing up the very fine 2007 the 2008 was lacking earlier on but it's blossoming now. The mix is 60/25/7/3/3/ merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. Look for licorice graphite, and smoky black fruit aromas. On the palate black cherry liquorice, savoury olive flavours predominate. Tightly wound and still youthful this will need a few more years to come into itself. Classy, firm, quiet understated. Cellar through 2016.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 40.00 ON 40.00 QC 40.00 Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Kangarilla Road Terzettotext
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Kangarilla Road Terzetto 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaTerzetto is an intriguing mix of sangiovese, nebbiolo and primitivo. Expect a savoury, black cherry, barnyard, leather, spicy nose with bits of chocolate, pepper and meaty, tobacco notes. Again there is a freshness here with juicy, peppery, licorice, black cherry, plum, chocolate, vanilla flavours. Good fruit and concentration with a warm finish. Impressive for year three.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Devil's Whiskers Shiraztext
90PTS

Kangarilla Road Devil's Whiskers Shiraz 2011

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaFresh open smoky, blackberry jam with coffee, meaty, licorice, vanilla, floral, oaky aromas. Rich, ripe, round and suave yet with some mid-palate tightness and light tannins. Waxy, black berry jam, smoky, bacon, meaty, kirsch, licorice, vanilla and tobacco flavours. Good fruit, length and intensity with fresh acidity but hot on the finish. Needs 2-4 years but very solid. Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Scarce Earth 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaMcLaren Vale Scarce Earth is all about McLaren Vale's best Shiraz vineyards reaching full expression through single block wines. The wines go through three tasting panels to ensure they reflect a sense of place and express their true fruit characters. The vineyard block chosen is from the Eocene (34-56 million years ago) and is on Blanche Point Formation which is a marine fossil rich calcareous siltstone/limestone. Very spicy, anise, ginger, floral, plum, blackberry, chocolate and vanilla aromas with a hint of tobacco. Dry, fresh, juicy, suave palate with blackberry jam, savoury, poultry spice, vanilla, smoky bacon, chocolate and licorice flavours. Long with good elegance, concentrated fruit and very fine aromatics. This single vineyard, barrel selection should benefit from 3-7 years aging.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Q Shiraztext
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Kangarilla Road Q Shiraz 2009

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaPeppery, smoky bacon, saddle leather, gamey, vanilla, blackberry jam, licorice, vanilla and plum aromas. Rich, full, round, suave, juicy palate but very warm. Black berry, plum jam, savoury, licorice, tobacco, gamey, smoky, vanilla, coffee, roast pepper flavours. Shows good concentration and intensity amid red fruits and minerals. A high quality, chalky, dense rich fine-grained tannins. Terrific bottle.Prices: BC 70.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Sangiovese 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia88 Kangarilla Road 2012 Sangiovese McLaren Vale, South Australia Spicy, leather, earthy, floral, tobacco, black cherry, menthol, coffee grind, pepper aromas. Ripe, full, warm and juicy but slightly tart palate. Black pepper, black cherry, tobacco, plum, vanilla, coffee, cardamom and game flavours. Good fruit and body in a forward style. Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Shiraztext
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Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2004

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaThe coldest vintage on record has produced a sensational bottle. Similar to the current vintage with its blueberry, blackberry, peppery, savoury, floral, tobacco nose with a bit of cedar, game and barnyard leather. Dry, fresh, full, suave and juicy palate with savoury, chocolate pepper, black berry, bacon, smoky leather and game flavours. Fine complexity and length with an all McLaren Vale manner. The first year under screwcap is a resounding success.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Shiraztext
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Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2011

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaPeppery, blueberry, blackberry, light game, savoury, licorice, aromas with a hint of tobacco. Dry, fresh, juicy and warm but balanced palate with light tannins. Black pepper, meaty, minty, black berry, licorice, smoky compost flavours. Good concentration and intensity with a salty, mineral underbelly. Well done.but young, needs 1-2 years. Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaFragrant mature nose reflecting a cool drought year and low yields. look for cassis, peppery, savoury, black berry, smoky aromas with bits of tobacco, earth and floral notes. The attack is ripe, round, rich, supple palate with coffee, cassis jam, plum, smoky herb, tobacco, prune and licorice flavours. Warm but good fruit and juicy with a light herbaceous note. Ready to drink. Impressive old wine. Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaCassis, cedar, black olive, red fruits with menthol, tobacco, pepper aromas. Round, fresh, juicy, warm and supple palate with peppery, black berry jam, cassis, coffee, rooty, licorice, menthol and earth flavours with a bit of vanilla and leather on the finish. Elegant styling with finesse and balance. Give it a year or three to blossom in the bottle.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Kangarilla Road
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Torres Mas La Plana 40th Anadatext
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Torres Mas La Plana 40th Anada 2010

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainIt's hard to believe Mas la Plana is forty years old. In 1970 growing cabernet sauvignon was a gamble but under the patient vision of Miguel Torres nothing has been left to chance. It's not hard to miss a cabernet sauvignon in a Burgundy bottle, dressed in black. First planted in 1966 the idea was revolutionary at the very least. A big wine in Paris in 1979 with the 70 Mas La Plana secured its future. Forty years later Mas La Plana can slide into nay cabernet tasting and hold its own. Is the 2010 the best yet? Maybe but at such a tender age it will need time to fully express itself. It has the blueberry, the cherry jam and the black currant fruit brightly focused as result of a cool, long growing season. The tannins are the best in years, small grained and polished with fine density and weight but all in balance. The finish a long affair with more floral, black berry, vanilla liquorice notes. The wine needs a decade in bottle to fully blossom.Prices: ON 47.00 BC 65.00 US 50.00 NF 52.00 MB 55.00 AB 62.00 QC 56.00 NS 57.00 Producer: Familia Torres
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Pratesi Carmignanotext
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Pratesi Carmignano 2011

Carmignano, Tuscany, ItalyThis DOCG is a 70/20/10 mix of sangiovese cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The nose is fragrant with spicy black cherry and cassis aromas with a dusting of oak. The palate is balanced with the red fruits setting the tone for the richer cabernet notes. This would be perfect with a mushroom pasta dish. The yields are low, one bottle per vine, total maceration is less than three weeks before the wine spends 16 months in French oak barriques followed by 10 more months in bottle. Solid.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Pratesi
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Puerto Salinas Alicante Red Winetext
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Puerto Salinas Alicante Red Wine 2010

Alicante, Valencia and Murcia, SpainThe mix is mostly old vine monastrell with garnacha and cabernet sauvignon. The nose is intense with warm, dark black fruit aromas. The attack is warm, alcoholic with huge intensity. Pepper, blackberries, Christmas cake, earth and almost meaty, tar-like notes that mark the long palate. Even so there is a freshness, good acidity to help balance the finish. Very hedonistic. Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Bodegas Sierra Salinas
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Mira Salinastext
91PTS

Mira Salinas 2010

Alicante, Valencia and Murcia, SpainBodega Sierra Salinas is a Castaño family project in the DO Alicante. The goal is to make serious wine in the Sierra Salina Mountains - the vehicle is Mira Salinas is a changing mix of approximately 70/20/10 monastrell, cabernet sauvignon and garnacha. Look for a restrained effort where the emphasis is on finesse and length. The nose is a complex mix of cherries, raspberries and earth with bits of spice and chocolate and a dusting of oak. Built for the long haul you can drink this now with a rich piece of meat, lamb or beef, or cellar it for half a decade.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Bodegas Sierra Salinas
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Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTownship 7 sources is cabernet from the Blue Terrace Vineyard in Oliver and mixes it with about 15 percent merlot to smooth out the edges. Not nearly as cool as the 2010 hence the ripe plum fruit flecked with blackberries and black cherries. The tannins are in check balancing the rich black fruit flavours with a savoury, cedar, undercurrent. Not near ready to drink but you could serve it now with a steak or venison.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Sartori Valpolicella Superioretext
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Sartori Valpolicella Superiore 2011

Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyAnother year, another fresh well-made straight-up Valpolicella. The entry is dry with cool black cherry fruit, bright acidity and light tannins. Grilled chicken or pizza would work here. Good value in a simple red wine.Prices: NF 17.00 BC 15.00 NS 17.00 ON 17.00 QC 14.50 Producer: Casa Vinicola Sartori S.p.A.
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Nugan Alfredo Second Pass Shiraztext
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Nugan Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz 2012

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaThe Down Under version of ripasso "the Second Pass" re-fermented over the skins or pomace of the Nugan Alfredo Dried Grapes Shiraz before spending a year in US and American oak. The result is a surprisingly appealing shiraz (does Oz shiraz need more concentration) with bright black cherry fruit and clean, fresh, cracked pepper and some bitter dark chocolate. It's a touch acidic and a bit spirity (alcoholic) but with the right dish like barbecue ribs, it would be just fine.Prices: ON 16.00 MB 17.00 Producer: Nugan Estate
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Nugan Alfredo Dried Grape Shiraztext
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Nugan Alfredo Dried Grape Shiraz 2012

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaMaybe Australia should dry its grapes if that makes any sense. Expect a powerful minty spicy nose of blackcurrant fruit with a touch of cedar. There's a dryness that appeals before the blockbuster fruit and oak assault your palate. The finish is dense rich long and war, with plenty of alcohol swirling about. There's a market for this style and frankly this is pretty well done. Not quite Amarone but then neither is the price.Prices: ON 26.00 Producer: Nugan Estate
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Obikwa Shiraztext
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Obikwa Shiraz 2013

Western Cape, South AfricaStill the best of the Obikwa reds the shiraz leads with a relatively fresh earthy, peppery, meaty nose and some black fruit aromas. The attack is similar, spicy, coffee, rubber, meaty, cherry flavours, soft tannins and a warm finish. Your basic hamburger red.Prices: BC 10.00 AB 11.00 SK 10.00 MB 11.00 ON 9.00 NF 12.00 NB 12.00 NS 10.00 Producer: Distell - Obikwa
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22 December 2014

Spierhead Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Spierhead Chardonnay 2013

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPotent lifted and fragrant white blossoms lead this bright chardonnay from south east Kelowna, and carry through the medium bodied palate. Ripe pear, pear blossoms, lychee and lemon peel freshness are weighted with a base of anise, vanilla, oak and spice. The finish veers a touch sweet/sour, so would be best so pour alongside scallops or mango chicken that can take it.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Spearhead Winery
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Bartier Bros. Unoaked Chardonnaytext
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Bartier Bros. Unoaked Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGentle caramel, stone and floral blossom aromas are the entry to this full bodied, unoaked chardonnay. Don't let the 'unoaked' lead you to believe this is a lean/tart chardonnay - quite the opposite. Whole cluster press plus five months on the less without stirring has yielded a creamy texture, concentrated on the palate without heaviness. Flinty stone, lemon pith, lees, meadow blossom and wild herbs are carried with crisp citrus acidity and finish with a lemon twist and stony spice. A natural for Dungeness crab or scallops.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Ferghettina Franciacorta Milledí Brut text
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Ferghettina Franciacorta Milledí Brut 2009

Lombardy, ItalyI'm a sucker for Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine and when you suggest it reflects your soul and your quest for quality well it is difficult to resist. If the packaging doesn't grab you the fresh delicate styling of this all chardonnay sparkler will. The second fermentation lasts 4 weeks the bottle ageing a very respectable 36 months. Grown at altitude, 820 feet above sea level, each vineyard is vinified separately and blended the following spring. The colour is pale, the mousse persistent with delicate almost fragile citrus fruit mixed with minerals and white flowers and hint of almond. Delicate, sippable bubble for pre-dinner appetizers bites.Prices: BC 52.00 Producer: Azienda Agricola Ferghettina
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Champagne Baron-Fuenté Brut Millésimetext
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Champagne Baron-Fuenté Brut Millésime 2006

Champagne, FranceGreat to see a vintage champagne of this quality at this price. The nose is an enticing mix of citrus, apricot and yeasty biscuit notes that spill across the palate. The attack is smooth and creamy with a certain elegance mixing honey and minerals with nuts and acidity. This is a lot of fun to sip. Seems like good value in Canada at $60, not sure what you call it at $30 in the USA. The Grand Millésimé is a 45/40/15/ blend of chardonnay, meunier and pinot noir age five-plus years on its lees. Don't miss this one.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Baron-Fuenté
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Champagne Liebart Régnié Chardonnay Bruttext
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Champagne Liebart Régnié Chardonnay Brut NV

Champagne, FranceAnother 100 percent chardonnay bubble that brings elegance and style to the glass from the nose on through the palate. Plenty of pear and floral mineral brioche flavours mark the palate but all in a subtle understated manner. The wine spends four years on its lees adding complexity and length to this well-priced sparkling Blanc de Blancs. Perfect with delicately smoked salmon.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Liebart Regnier
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H. Billiot Fils Brut Grand Cru Brut Réserve Champagnetext
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H. Billiot Fils Brut Grand Cru Brut Réserve Champagne NV

Champagne, FranceA Grand Cru site in the Montagne de Reims is home to this wine that mixes 75/25 pinot noir/chardonnay in 18 parcels. The wine is fermented in enameled steel tanks and does not go through a malolactic fermentation. The mousse is fine and stylish with a lovely nutty, cherry, floral, citrus nose. The attack begins with creamy textures followed by ripe strawberry, citrus, baked apple/honeyed fruit with just a wisp of yeasty/toasted notes. Such an attractive style - pour liberally at parties.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Champagne H. Billiot Fils
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Pierre Sparr Crémant Brut Rosétext
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Pierre Sparr Crémant Brut Rosé NV

Alsace, FranceA fun pink Crémant made with 100 percent pinot noir grapes normally picked a few days before the still wine bunches are harvested. The colour is pinky orange the palate fresh and nutty with juicy, citrus green apple strawberry flavours. Love the freshness and acidity here that makes this so food friendly. Pate anyone.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 32.00 Producer: Pierre Sparr & Successeurs
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The Exhibitionist Merlottext
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The Exhibitionist Merlot 2012

Limestone Coast, South Australia, AustraliaHard to believe anyone wants to drink this kind of wine but maybe I underestimate those who crave soft sweet red wine. Plums and chocolate with the emphasis on chocolate all with a leafy savoury underside. A sort of yellow tail meets inexpensive Argentinian malbec. Add some sweet oak and a warm finish and voila. A modern sweet soft red wine that needs the biggest, spiciest rib dish in the world to balance off the sugar. Not our cup of tea in fact I would prefer a cup of tea.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Alliance Wine
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MMM Macho Man Monastrell Jumilla Monastrelltext
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MMM Macho Man Monastrell Jumilla Monastrell 2012

Jumilla, Valencia and Murcia, SpainAs the label says MMM. This one hundred percent monastrell was recently selected the best barrel aged wine in Spain sold in Germany. Typically dark for monastrell/mourvèdre the nose is mix of black fruit and floral notes with no reductive notes. The attack is soft, round and pleasing in the mouth with bits of mineral, smoky, black fruits and leather and black pepper. Very old vines are the secret weapon her. Good value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Casa Rojo
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Mo Salinas Monastrelltext
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Mo Salinas Monastrell 2011

Alicante, Valencia and Murcia, SpainThis is a fun, floral, light red wine with an earthy fruity palate. The mix is cherries and orange peel with bright acidity and some rustic tannins in the back end. Try this with grilled chicken and rice dish the combination should tame the food and the wine. A solid, affordable party red. Prices: BC 13.00 Producer: Bodegas Sierra Salinas
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Opawa Pinot Noirtext
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Opawa Pinot Noir 2012

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandOpawa or the 'smoky river' isn't your classic Marlborough pinot given its dry reserved style. There is a hint ripe strawberry fruit on the nose with bits of thyme and rosemary. The attack is juicy albeit with notes of cranberry and celery salt and liquorice root flavours with just a hint of sweetness in the silky back end. Anything with mushrooms works here.Prices: BC 27.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Nautilus Estate
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Nederburg Shiraz The Winemasters Reservetext
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Nederburg Shiraz The Winemasters Reserve 2012

Western Cape, South AfricaReductive leafy rubber, earthy, nose with hints of leather. The attack is smooth and somewhat sweet with leafy, spicy fruit flavours flecked with smoked leather prunes and an acidic bite in the finish. This is listed because?Prices: BC 12.00 AB 12.00 ON 12.45 NS 12.00 Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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Obikwa Merlottext
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Obikwa Merlot 2013

Western Cape, South AfricaOne year I'll be surprised by this wine I hope, but not this one. Much like the previous edition this sweet, smoky, leafy, red finishes soft, warm and acidic. Your basic hamburger red that is priced appropriately for B.C.Prices: AB 10.00 BC 10.00 Producer: Distell - Obikwa
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21 December 2014

La Frenz Liqueur Muscattext
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La Frenz Liqueur Muscat NV

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAll of the wines from Naramata's La Frenz Winery are a bit cultish, a bit under the radar, and quite a bit coveted. Liqueur Muscat NV is no exception, so if you see it, buy it. This special wine was made in a traditional solera system dating back to 1999, and is a blend of three muscat varieties, schönburger most dominant. Layered notes of caramel, burnished orange, brûlée-d sugar, spice, citrus peel and walnut. Very smooth and intense, with lifted citrus acid on the lingering finish. Lovely. Prices: BC 22.00 375 Producer: La Frenz Winery
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Forbidden Fruit Winery Caught Apricot Mistelle 2013

British Columbia, CanadaThis golden elixir is made from three different types of organic apricots. The result is a fluid, fortified nectar of pure apricot fruit, spiced with orange and baking scents. Would be lovely chilled with a fruit tart or cheeses. Prices: BC 27.00 375 Producer: Forbidden Fruit Winery
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Forbidden Fruit Winery Impearfection Fortified Asian Pear Winetext
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Forbidden Fruit Winery Impearfection Fortified Asian Pear Wine 2012

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Asian pears, this very sweet fortified fruit wine carries expressive blossoms, candied lemon, canned syrupy peaches and yellow and orange gummies. Pair with fruit tart or pineapple cake. Prices: BC 22.00 375 Producer: Forbidden Fruit Winery
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Gray Monk Kernertext
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Gray Monk Kerner 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of two vineyards, this kerner might surprise if you're not aware of its 53 g/l of residual sugar. Dried herbs, stalk and stone on the nose, before an earthy, citrus, perfumed apricot palate. Medium sweet, with juicy citrus peel acidity to carry all the sugar. Pair this with sweeter Indian curries or fruit salad. Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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Harper's Trail Late Harvest Thadd Springs Vineyard Rieslingtext
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Harper's Trail Late Harvest Thadd Springs Vineyard Riesling 2012

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaHigh toned and shiny with peach, pear, apple skin and yellow apple notes, with an oxidative note pervading. Mid sweet, finishes fresh and at an enjoyable 10 percent alcohol. Pair with fruit custard.Prices: BC 20.00 375 Producer: Harper's Trail Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Late Harvest Pinot Blanctext
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Hester Creek Late Harvest Pinot Blanc 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis light and bright wine opens with fragrant blossoms and a hit of savoury brown butter. Nice concentration of apricot and apple butter, with a pointed bitter apple peel/seed acidity to counter the sweetness. Medium-sweet, try pairing with pear custard or pie.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Vidal Icewine Reservetext
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Mission Hill Vidal Icewine Reserve 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVidal is a winter hardy hybrid grape, more commonly seen in Ontario than in BC. Pointed lemon notes here - pulp and candied peel and my telltale vidal 'Lemon Pledge' note - along with ripe and broad dried apricot, mango and peach. Very sweet and highly aromatic.Prices: BC 50.00 375 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Domaine Roc de Chateauvieux Sauvignon Blanc Tourainetext
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Domaine Roc de Chateauvieux Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2013

Touraine, Loire, FranceTypical grassy, herbal nose with hints of lemongrass and gooseberry. Skinny fresh attack with a nod to New Zealand, super bright acidity and a clean crisp finish. Always nice to taste a sauvignon blanc that is dry from the start through the finish. Oysters anyone?Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Domaine Roc de Chateauvieux
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Villa di Capezzana Carmignanotext
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Villa di Capezzana Carmignano 2010

Carmignano, Tuscany, ItalyCarmignano recovered its DOC status in 1975 and obtained its DOCG designation in the 1990. The blend is an 80/20 mix of sangiovese/cabernet sauvignon grown over schist and limestone that spends about 15 months in wood and another year in bottle. 2010 was an amazing vintage in Tuscany but it is more classic than generous. Expect a big firm structure with fine acidity and plenty dry extract. Earthy mushroom, red fruits mingle but have yet to assimilate each other. Like an awkward teenager this will need time to grow into its structure. If you drink it now make sure the meal is substantial as in osso buco or roasted meats. Authentic. Prices: BC 40.00 QC 32.00 AB 48.00 Producer: Capezzana Conti Contini Bonacossi
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St. Hallett Poacher's Semillon Sauvignontext
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St. Hallett Poacher's Semillon Sauvignon 2012

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaGetting bit long in the tooth but the upside is the sémillon is showing some age. Expect a nutty figgy nettle nose with bits of asparagus. The attack is dry and elegant with more fresh grassy, floral, nutty mineral fruit flavours. Best with oysters or assorted shellfish or seafood sushi rolls. Good value all under screwcap.Prices: BC 16.00 ON 14.15 AB 13.00 MB 14.00 NS 16.00 QC 15.10 NF 16.00 Producer: St. Hallet Wines
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19 December 2014

Alois Lageder Gewürztraminertext
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Alois Lageder Gewürztraminer 2010

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyTerroir trumps grape here, in this aged example of gewürztraminer from the mountains of northeast Italy. Oxidized notes work between lean orchard fruit, green apple, pear peel and dusty stone. The oily palate carries heaps of stony spice through to the bone dry finish.Prices: QC 25.50 Producer: Alois Lageder
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La Crema Pinot Noirtext
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La Crema Pinot Noir 2012

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United StatesLa Crema Sonoma Coast is cool climate California. Refreshingly lean for California pinot noir this mix of clones fermented in small open-top tanks and aged in 98 percent French oak, about one quarter is new, mixes fresh red fruits, cherries and wild raspberries with spicy, earthy, savoury undercurrents. The style is soft and drinkable. Best with roasted birds or salmon. Prices: BC 29.00 AB 29.00 ON 31.00 Producer: La Crema
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17 December 2014

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Loma Larga Syrah 2010

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe top syrah has a strong cool climate streak to match its deep purple colour. It comes from two single plots of the estate. The nose is rich and intense with liquorice, coffee, smoky black plum jam aromas. The attack is round, the fruit is juicy with light tannins and excellent finesse. A very polished powerful red that stays within itself offering delicious meaty, plummy, peppery fruit. Again it's the balance and elegance that surprises. You can drink this now with grilled lamb but it will easily age a decade.Prices: ON 30.00 NS 32.00 BC 37.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Lomas del Valle Syrahtext
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Lomas del Valle Syrah 2012

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe Lomas syrah is made from the 525 clone not common in Chile. The nose is floral and fresh with meaty spicy chocolate notes. On the palate blackcurrant and blackberry fruit mark the nose but all in a fresh, cool style with meaty, peppery undertones. Love the balance here; no over extracted flavours and frankly a bottle style that makes you want to drink the entire bottle yourself. Fruity, ready-to-drink with excellent varietal character. Try this with grilled pork or beef.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Lomas del Valle Unfiltered Cabernet Franctext
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Lomas del Valle Unfiltered Cabernet Franc 2012

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe Lomas de Valle franc is a juicy, easy-drinking, soft, fun red that clearly over delivers for its price. About 15 percent of the wine undergoes carbonic maceration to soften the wine and juice up the fruit and it works. Look for floral violet notes, black fruits and just enough pepper to keep it interestingly. A fun easy-sipping barbecue red. Prices: ON 15.00 BC 20.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Loma Larga Cabernet Franc Unfilteredtext
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Loma Larga Cabernet Franc Unfiltered 2010

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileA five day cold soak led to a closed tanks ferment followed by ten days of post fermentation maceration. The result is an impressive red with very fine texture and weight with more fruit than leafy notes. It reminds me a bit of the very fine cabernet franc made at Valdivieso. The wine is aged in a 60/40 mix of new and used French oak for 20 months but you do not feel it. Love the juicy black fruit flavours with an appealing earthy undercurrent. Impressive length and power here. Serve with roasted meats.Prices: ON 23.00 BC 30.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Pentâge Winery Pentâgetext
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Pentâge Winery Pentâge 2010

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPentâge does the hard work for us in this, their flagship red. 2010 is the current release, the winery preferring to age and merge the cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc/merlot/petit verdot/syrah/gamay blend for us, and release it when they feel it is ready. Deep dusky plum and berry fruit is overlaid with warm baking spice aromas. The full, spicy palate has benefitted from the time in bottle; tannins are elongated and smooth, the black spicy fruit married seamlessly, leather, bitter cherry pit, dark cocoa and cedar notes provide interest and the very spicy finish lingers. Pour with herbed beef tenderloin and gravy or grilled peppercorn steak.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Loma Larga Pinot Noirtext
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Loma Larga Pinot Noir 2011

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe Loma Larga vineyards are in Lo Ovalle, a sub-valley of the Casablanca Valley planted in 1999 at some 240m above sea level. For the pinot noir, the selection is bunch by bunch, followed by another sorting table selection before a berry selection is made. All grapes undergo a 5 day cold soak prior to fermentation and the wine stays in contact with the skins (post fermentation maceration) for 5 days and then it spends about a year in 100 percent French oak (15 percent new). We love the silky mouthfeel here and the floral, black cherry aromas. The palate is equally fresh and rich with earthy, red fruit flavours, bits of orange peel and pepper. Fine complexity and depth. Well done. Perfect for British Columbia salmon dishes. Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Loma Larga Chardonnaytext
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Loma Larga Chardonnay 2013

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe Larga style leans toward France, in this case clean and fresh is the goal, and a bit, if we can say, made in the St. Veran style. It's still Chile and there is riper fleshier style with bits of butter and citrus rind on the nose. Winemaker Cédric Nicolle admits to fighting too much alcohol and too little acid but he gets a lot of help from a cooler Casablanca climate. Expect a fresh style in 2013 thanks to a mix of clone 76 and Mendoza some of which is barrel fermented in larger tonneau. Love the green apple, floral, pea shoot, grassy, citrus aromas and the juicy, citrus, lemon, green apple, honey, butter, vanilla flavours. Acidity and finesse with a twist of nutty/lees. Well done.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Loma Larga Sauvignon Blanctext
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Loma Larga Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileHandpicked in the early morning this three clone sauvignon blanc mix gets a brief 3 hours of skin contact prior to pressing. After that not much else is done other a racking off the gross lees. It is left on its fine lees with stirring between 1 to 3 times per month (based on tasting) for three months. Again the style is more Sancerre with floral, passion fruit, pink grapefruit, melon and green apple. It's both juicy and delicate with some austerity. Very food-friendly. Oysters anyone.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Lomas del Valle Sauvignon Blanctext
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Lomas del Valle Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileLovely fruity juicy white from multiple blocks mixing pineapple mineral and herbaceous notes into a tasty even complex little white. Lemongrass dominates its fresh palate with bits of grapefruit, passion fruit and nettle flavours. No Kiwi notes here in fact it leans toward Sancerre in style and structure. Good value in a short production year. All fruit is estate and no oak is used.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Lomas del Valle Chardonnaytext
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Lomas del Valle Chardonnay 2013

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileButter, canned peach, light honey, spicy lees and citrus rind aromas. Soft, round, easy palate with light green apple, buttered popcorn, pear, grapefruit and grassy flavours. Simple, fresh, easy style if a bit buttery.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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Lomas del Valle Pinot Noirtext
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Lomas del Valle Pinot Noir 2013

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileZero oak is used in this mix of 115 and 777 pinot clones. Much cleaner nose this year albeit cool and rooty with carrot top notes, spice, twigs and red fruits. Cool brooding, juicy red fruit flavours with notes of strawberries and cherries all with a touch of celery salt. Tight cool, spicy, smoky, cool, red-fruited pinot with fresh acidity. Try this with duck and other fowl. Solid value for a tasty mid-week red.Prices: BC 15.99 ON 17.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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16 December 2014

Wittmann Riesling Trockentext
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Wittmann Riesling Trocken 2012

Rheinhessen, GermanyThe family estate was established in 1663, and has been farming organically (in the modern times that is) since the 1980's. They achieved organic certification in 1990, and biodynamic certification in 2003. Looking for a very natural expression of site, they ferment each vineyard parcel on their 25ha estate separately (110 units total). Some 98 percent of the winery's 200,000 bottles/annually is trocken, or dry. Or in this case, searingly bone dry. Precise and focused minerality, stone, ripping acid, barely ripe white peaches and green apple - all dancing around the mouth with energy to spare.Prices: BC 27.00 MB 28.00 AB 33.00 Producer: Weingut Wittmann
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Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Vineyard Botrytis Affected Rieslingtext
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Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Vineyard Botrytis Affected Riesling 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhen botrytis took hold in part of the Thorny Vines Riesling, winemaker Alan Dickinson decided to listen to nature and pre-select botrytis clusters at a very early stage of ripeness to add to this wine. The result - an apparently dry, aperitif wine with 30 g/L of residual sugar that you cannot possibly believe is there. Crisp lime, green apple, apple peel, almonds lime pith and wildflower honey, with Anjou pear and bright, lively acidity through the lengthy finish. And only 8.6% alcohol! A revelation, and welcome, especially with canapés and as an apéritif.Prices: BC 15.00 375 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Viña Finca Suarez Lastratext
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Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Viña Finca Suarez Lastra 2010

La Consulta, Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis is one of a series of single vineyard premium malbecs from Trapiche. Keep a watchful eye out for Orellana De Escobar and Ambrosia as well. This locale is drilled down to Altamira, La Consulta, San Carlos, Valle de Uco, Mendoza and from a lofty altitude of 1072 meters. It opens with aromatic ripe black fruit and dark flowers, grilled wood and light graphite. The finely smoked palate is rich with cassis, figs, espresso, tobacco, ripe and dried blackberry and a bitter chocolate blueberry note on the finish. Fresh and succulent acidity throughout, ensuring the drinkability of the wine today (where's the beef?) even though tannins are structured and sternly steadfast. This full-bodied wine will continue to reward in the years to come. Prices: BC 45.00 NB 43.00 Producer: Trapiche
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River Stone Malbec Rosétext
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River Stone Malbec Rosé 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRiver Stone is located south of the mighty McIntyre Bluff and just north of Oliver on deep rock and glacier-laid gravel soils - prime grape growing territory. Deeply hued, there is ample rhubarb, juicy plum, cranberry, raspberry and herbal notes here, with hints of strawberry blossoms on the nose and finish. Bright acidity and slight tannins mean this will stand up to chicken burgers, grilled tuna or salmon steaks just fine.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanctext
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Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc 2012

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceGamay accounts for 99 percent of the grapes grown in Beaujolais, so this Beaujolais Blanc (100 percent chardonnay) is a rare treat and a fantastic value. The warmer climate allows for a richer, fuller wine while the limestone soil adds a fresh, mineral-laden element. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks that are laid on their side to allow for more lees contact, amping the complexity further. The resulting wine (bottled without any oak) is brimming with apple, pear, citrus, creamy lees and bright, saline minerality. Fine depth and length.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
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Orofino Vineyards Gamay Celentano Vineyardtext
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Orofino Vineyards Gamay Celentano Vineyard 2013

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom sloping stemwinder soils in the Similkameen comes this bright, fresh red. This savoury, lissom gamay is laced with cured meats, wild strawberry, a swipe of stony minerality throughout, and an alluring bitter cherry note on the finish. Tart and earthy rhubarb acidity carries finely spiced tannins through a lingering finish. Serve slightly chilled, this versatile wine will suit anything from grilled pizza to charcuterie to salmon. Only 100 cases produced. #GoGamayGo.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Chateau La Maroutine Blanctext
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Chateau La Maroutine Blanc 2012

Bordeaux, FranceChâteau La Maroutine vines are located on the hills of the village of Saint Germain de Graves (Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux appellation). White grapefruit raciness of sauvignon blanc is tempered with 20 percent sémillon, resulting in bright and zippy greengage, acacia florals, concrete spice, wildflower honey, dried sage, a subtle cushion of white peach mid palate and crystallized lime on the finish. Pour with white fleshed fish, arugula salad with parmesan or pea ravioli.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Chateau La Maroutine
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Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 21 Pinot Noir Viento Martext
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Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 21 Pinot Noir Viento Mar 2012

Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileA step above the 2011 with more dark fruit flavours and ripeness. Look for smoky black cherry, raspberry, mineral note son the nose that pull you to the glass. The fruit is cool and chiselled with fine acidity and silky easy-sipping tannins that finish with hint of smoke and tea. Turkey chicken or salmon would be fine pairings for this modern New World cool coast pinot style.Prices: BC 20.00 ON 16.00 QC 20.00 Producer: Viña Cono Sur
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15 December 2014

Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Terres Rosés 12 Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Bruttext
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Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Terres Rosés 12 Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis growers' grand cru rosé is a blend of 70/30 chardonnay/pinot noir, including 6 percent of Bouzy Rouge (still red wine from the village of Bouzy). It is based on the 2010 vintage, with some 2009 reserve blended for additional complexity. Light cherries and fresh summer raspberries overlay crisp green apple and Anjou pear in this bright orangey pink sparkler. Full in the mouth, with pink flowers, pink grapefruit, wild strawberries and salty, bright citrus acidity to the fresh finish. This would certainly stand up to your lighter pork or chicken entrée, though I'd like to fill a flute or few with my next sushi dinner. One of the more elegant and fresh rosé Champagnes on our market.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Vina 1924 De Angeles Malbectext
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Vina 1924 De Angeles Malbec 2011

Vistalba District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom a portion of the 1924 vineyard, showing peppery, earthy, savoury, tobacco, cherry jam, roast mushroom, spicy aromas with a hint of meat and vanilla. Dry, fresh, smooth, juicy and suave palate. Black olive, savoury, dried herb, plum, vanilla, chocolate, licorice, cardamom and tobacco leaf flavours. A fresher, more elegant style for current drinking but may improve with 1-3 years aging. Reflects a cooler year but with more finesse.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bodega Vina 1924 De Angeles
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Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThe Ste. Michelle style in this series is always about drinkability. Look for a soft, forward style wine with supple tannins and a savoury smoky plum nose. The attack is a mix of cedar smoke and vanilla, chocolate and cassis flavours. Ready to drink. Try with grilled beef or pork.Prices: BC 23.00 AB 24.00 Producer: Château Ste. Michelle
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Maverick Estate Winery Pinot Gristext
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Maverick Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit is had picked and whole bunched press 'Champagne' style a small portion is fermented in oak and age on its lees for three months to add some structure and weight to the wine. Winemaker Bertus Albertyn has added 9 percent gewürztraminer. Its touch fresher than last year in our estimation, a good thing, but make no mistake this is a richer pear and lees style gris with some minerality to keep it on track and food friendly. Try this with roast chicken or even turkey. Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Maverick Estate Winery
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Haywire Baby Bubtext
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Haywire Baby Bub 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAppealing style of fizz for food lovers and champagne aficionados who will likely be attracted to the wine's spare style. Fresh and bright with plenty of acidity it plays with a subtle sour cherry undertone and just a hint of creaminess in the back end. Salmon sashimi would be a good match.Prices: BC 15.90 375 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire The Bub Secrest Mountain Vineyard Traditional Methodtext
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Haywire The Bub Secrest Mountain Vineyard Traditional Method 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2012 Bub is a 51/49 mix of pinot noir and chardonnay. The fruit is from Oliver and the nose is an attractive mix of stony, brioche, yeasty mineral notes on the nose. The attack is a bit crude with fresh green apple flavours, foamy bubbles and some bitter, resiny notes which may dissipate with time in the bottle if you can wait. Try this with warm cheese cookies for best results.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Howling Bluff Pinot Gristext
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Howling Bluff Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh grassy, floral, honey nose with bits of pear and baked apple on the nose. The attack is fresh with a touch of resiny, grassy pear, green apple skin fruit with a drizzle of honey. Good not great but affordable and a fine white for chicken or pasta dishes.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Howling Bluff Estate Wines
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The Furst Pinot Gristext
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The Furst Pinot Gris 2011

Alsace, FranceRich round, soft, full-textured attack with ripe, pinot gris fruit. The flavours are classic Alsace: rich, spicy and heady with honeydew fruit, citrus and plenty of mouth weight. Not overbearing but requires food to really sing. Quiche Lorraine might be a great match.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Eagle Eye Brands
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Red Rooster Pinot Gristext
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Red Rooster Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Karen Gillis shows her maturity with this spare mineral dry style of pinot gris. The attack is a mix of pear, floral, apple skin notes that melts into similar flavours on the palate. It has some creamy textures but finished dry calling richer seafood dishes like prawns or crab.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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14 December 2014

Entwine Chardonnaytext
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Entwine Chardonnay 2011

Livermore, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesEntwine is a unique project pulled together by the Food Network and Wente Vineyards and aimed at a younger wine drinker. They recommend you pair it with "potato chips, grilled cheese sandwiches and hanging out with friends". I can't disagree there - though I wager it's also intended to pair with sitting in front of the TV & Food Network programming. The sustainably harvested grapes were fermented in stainless steel and oak, building freshness and spicy creaminess. Toast, vanilla, apple butter, pear and light caramel notes dominate, with a sprig of fresh apple and citrus on the finish.Prices: BC 16.00 ON 12.45 NF 16.50 NS 17.00 MB 11.25 Producer: Wente Vineyards
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Plume Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Plume Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Napa Valley, California, United StatesPlume Winery bridges the 49th parallel with one Canadian parent (the Stewart family, of Quails' Gate Winery) and one American parent (the Zepponi family, of ZD Winery in Napa Valley). Their joint vintage began with the 2009 vintage, and with fruit sourced across Napa from north of Calistoga through to Rutherford and south to Atlas Peak and Oak Knoll. The resultant blend is splashed with cabernet franc and petit verdot to give a ripe and full bodied red, with warm blackberry fruit, ample plush tannins, spiced oak, dark chocolate cherries, mocha and a touch of sweet vanilla on the finish. When you consider that the wine rests for 20 months in French oak and the price of the land in Napa, the price is impressive. Well-built and ready to drink now, especially if you're faced with roast tenderloin or filet mignon.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Plume Winery
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Wolf Blass Gold Label Pinot Noir Chardonnaytext
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Wolf Blass Gold Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2011

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaGold Label Brut is a mix of mostly cool pinot noir/chardonnay/pinot gris fruit that is all estate grown and sur lie aged for 24 months. We love the purity and spare style the mineral, yeasty, wet stone, salty citrus apricot aromas and flavours that spill across the palate. A tightly wound sparkler for fizz aficionados and most any food.Prices: BC 27.00 AB 25.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
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Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2007

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimilar to the 2006 the '07 Blanc de Blancs is 100 percent chardonnay. The latest edition has been aged sur-lie for six years before release but the result is the same. The nose is an enticing mix of yeasty, citrus, brioche notes that finish nutty, clean and dry. There is a touch more fruit than 2006 which leaves it a sophisticated bottle of fizz. Think oysters.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Boom Boom Syrahtext
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Boom Boom Syrah 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesBig spicy, black pepper, sausage meat, licorice, smoky, blackberry jam aromas with smoky oak and vanilla. Round, smooth, soft, warm palate with chocolate, peppery, savoury meat, coffee, licorice and blackberry jam flavours. A bit pruny and warm but very syrah and a match for most barbecue fare.Prices: BC 24.00 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 ON 20.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard South Clos Chardonnaytext
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Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard South Clos Chardonnay 2012

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaBig rich spicy nose with full flavoured honeyed baked apple fruit that is flecked with smoky, citrus hazelnut and struck match. Big round and rich it's all part of the house style but there's a nutty complexity and that pulls it all together in the finish. Serious chardonnay for serious wine drinkers.Prices: ON 40.00 Producer: Closson Chase
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Eve Chardonnaytext
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Eve Chardonnay 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesLight green apple, floral, pear and grassy aromas. Fresh, round, slightly oily and sweet palate with baked apple, pear skin, butter and honey flavours. Easy, sipping, attractive style of chardonnay for party guests.Prices: BC 18.00 ON 22.00 AB 23.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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13 December 2014

Longview Yakka Shiraztext
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Longview Yakka Shiraz 2010

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaAussie slang for 'hard work'. From a single estate vineyard on the SE Ridge of the Mt Lofty Ranges comes this characterful shiraz. Fresh thyme and rosemary dominate a warm herbal nose, with dark chocolate and red cherry fruit. The full bodied palate teems with black cherry, perfumed violets, cracked pepper and wild blackberry blossoms, with downy plush tannins and an herbal twist to the lengthy finish. This is a big, striking wine - possibly Yakka to absorb at first, but impossible to turn away from.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 30.95 Producer: Longview Vineyard
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Aveleda Vinho Verdetext
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Aveleda Vinho Verde 2012

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe 150ha estate has been owned by the Guedes family since the 15th Century, and viticulture has been practiced here for 5 generations, dating back to the 1870s. This is a blend of well-known grapes from the region, loureiro, trajadura and alvarinho, aged in stainless on the fine lees, granting both freshness and added creaminess on the palate. Dry, fresh and bright, with red and yellow apple, peach blossom, ripe cantaloupe, orange oil and a spiced lime pith finish. Pour with white fish and shellfish.Prices: BC 14.00 ON 10.00 NS 12.00 NF 12.00 PEI 14.00 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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Giusti Prosecco Bruttext
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Giusti Prosecco Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyStately from first sniff, with broken stone, lemon pulp and white flowers. The medium bodied palate shows white peach, apricot fuzz, biscuit, subtle anise and zesty lemon pith. Nice orchard fruit roundness in the middle, while holding its structure. Pour with melon wrapped prosciutto or fresh peach and burrata.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Società Agricola Giusti Dal Col S.r.l.
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Warre's Warrior Finest Reservetext
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Warre's Warrior Finest Reserve NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalClosing in on 265 years of production you could say this brand has staying power. From the beginning it has been aged in seasoned oak casks for 4 to 5 years prior to bottling. Its purple colour is opaque previewing a plummy almost Christmas cake flavoured port with a hint of chocolate in the finish. Like all wood ports no decanting is necessary. If you want to impress your guests offer them a glass of what is the oldest mark of Port having been shipped continuously since the 1750s.Prices: BC 14.00 375 MB 22.00 BC 25.00 Producer: Symington Family Estates - Warre & Ca
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Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Porttext
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Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalTaylor LBV is made with fruit from both Taylor estate vineyards as well as sites in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. I like to say the style is 'ready-to-sip' but with that Taylor structure. In '09 the yields were low due to the set and drought-like conditions late in the year. Expect plenty of black fruit and vitality on the nose and palate with plums and black cherries doused with a little pipe tobacco. Sip solo or with walnuts or even dark chocolate. Good value.Prices: QC 21.50 NS 22.00 MB 20.00 AB 27.00 NL 21.00 BC 26.00 NF 27.00 NS 25.00 ON 19.00 BC 16.00 375 Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Porttext
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Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalNice to see Dow's LBV on the shelf to bring that slightly drier style of port to the early drinking port market. The nose is typically floral with fragrant roses and violets and hint of wet stone minerality. Black fruits, spice black liquorice, orange peel, dried fig, and smoky, tobacco flavours mark the palate. Dow's LBV normally spends four to six years in the barrel before it is released in a ready to drink style.Prices: BC 26.00 AB 24.00 Producer: Symington Family Estates - Dow's Port
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Dow's Old Tawny Port Aged 10 Yearstext
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Dow's Old Tawny Port Aged 10 Years NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe art of blending is at the heart of old Tawny ports. Selection and ageing is crucial and it takes plenty of experience to envision the final product. Aged in the old cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia Dow's boasts one of the largest stocks in oak casks in Oporto. The house style is notably drier than the competition but the Ten Year Old remains consistently soft and rich with a mellow, apricot, black cherry, caramel, steeped tea flavours that fade effortlessly into a long, spicy, delicate, refined finish. Open and pour throughout the holidays.Prices: MB 35.00 NS 38.00 NB 40.00 Producer: Symington Family Estates - Dow's Port
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver East Side Reservetext
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver East Side Reserve 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Cerqueira Vineyards along Oliver's Black Sage Bench, Bella's site specific labels seek to express a unique terroir by applying identical winemaking techniques to each wine made at Bella. In this case the one hundred percent chardonnay offers up a spare green apple, citrus, grassy nose with a hint of wet stone. Fresh and juicy with no sugar it's not for the timid but rather the adventurous sparkling wine hunter. Oysters anyone.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Porttext
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Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalTypically attention grabbing with an aromatic fragrant nose of plums, licorice and vanilla with bits of spicy tea and orange rind. The attack is warm but juicy with fine sweetness and more intense, black cherry and molasses with hint of spirits in the back end. Add a good book and a roaring fire for the ultimate enjoyment.Prices: ON 18.00 BC 28.00 AB 29.00 QC 20.00 MB 25.00 Producer: Symington Family Estates - W. & J. Graham & Co.
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12 December 2014

Pink by Yellowglentext
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Pink by Yellowglen NV

AustraliaYou don't get much sparkling wine for $12 but Pink over delivers in its rosé class. I love that it is less sweet than most of the competition swapping earthy red berry fruit nuances for caramel and candy. Look for a pinch of citrus and licorice to balance the pink fruit. Simple, fun, party style bubble.Prices: SK 15.50 AB 13.00 BC 11.72 MB 13.00 ON 13.00 NS 15.50 Producer: Yellowglen Vineyards
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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Mousseuxtext
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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Mousseux NV

South Australia, AustraliaIt's been a couple of years since this wine was tasted but it remains reliable. The wine is tank fermented and always taste of freshly fermented fruit with peppery pear and apple skin aromas. They style is refreshing with juicy, citrus, honey apple flavours. A crowd pleaser at a crowd pleasing price.Prices: BC 17.00 ON 18.00 AB 18.00 MB 17.00 Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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Domaine Vincent Delaporte a Chavignol Sancerre Rougetext
89PTS

Domaine Vincent Delaporte a Chavignol Sancerre Rouge 2011

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceSancerre Rouge? Oui. Red Sancerre must be made only from pinot noir, and accounts for approximately 20% of total Sancerre production. As you would expect from a cool climate pinot, these are lighter, fresher wines. Domaine Vincent Delaporte, passed on from father to sons since the 17th Century, produces some beautiful reds, full of grace, florals and finesse. Here cherry and raspberry dominate the nose, with red flowers and a rasp of cinnamon spice. The palate is juicy fresh, yet firm, with prominent stoniness, swirls of smoky red berries and undercurrents of prune. The vines range in age from 21-40 years and are planted across clay, flint and limestone. This wine is elegant now, served cool and with salmon or charcuterie, but will reward in a few years time with additional earthy, mushroom complexity.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Domaine Vincent Delaporte
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Famille Bougrier Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lietext
85PTS

Famille Bougrier Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie 2011

Muscadet, Pays Nantais, Loire, FranceMaison Bougrier is a well-known family-owned négociant house in the Loire founded in 1885 and now run by the 5th generation. These grapes are in the area where the Sèvre & Maine Rivers meet, grown on clay and silex soils and within close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. This higher acid, lithely bodied, mildly citrus white welcomes the added richness and body of sur lie treatment. Delicate, lemon bright, tight shell and light grass, with a slightly earthy cushion due to time on the yeasty lees. These wines are at their peak when young and fresh, so watch for recent vintages. As is customary, serve with shellfish and dream of springtime.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Famille Bougrier
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Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaConsistently one of BC's top sauvignon blanc, the 2013 is better than ever. The oak treatment (35 percent fermented and aged in 2-4 year old French oak for 4 months) is reminiscent of Bordeaux, but the whole cluster press, crisp green apple acidity, herbal pear, tart gooseberry and lemon curd are reflective of these OK Falls' estate vines and Blue Mountain's finessed style. White grapefruit on the nose carries through to the finish, with fine lees and spice over the medium bodied palate. This wine can age, but enjoy now with halibut, sablefish or goat cheese quiche.Prices: AB 24.00 BC 19.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Therapy Vineyards Fizziotherapytext
86PTS

Therapy Vineyards Fizziotherapy 2012

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a much more affordable way (and much more fun) to introduce a bit of Therapy into your life. The cuvée is predominantly chardonnay, perfumed with 10 percent orange muscat. Ripe peach and pear blossom dominate, on top of a big frothy mousse and a pink grapefruit bitter twist on the finish. Pair with summer brunches or therapy sessions with good friends. Bonus points for combining the two.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Therapy Vineyards
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Gray Monk Odyssey White Brut Méthode Classiquetext
88PTS

Gray Monk Odyssey White Brut Méthode Classique 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis méthode-traditionnelle, floral-kissed sparkling from Okanagan Valley's Lake Country impresses yet again, holding the pithy citrus, perfumed lemon blossom, sherbet and ripping lemon acidity that this cooler climate region can naturally produce. Lively and bright, with a pristine lemon focus that is a perfect match to seafood or salted bites.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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8th Generation Vineyard Confidence text
87PTS

8th Generation Vineyard Confidence 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis off-dry frizzante wine is attractive on the inside and out, and was one of the first in BC to start the waterfall of fresh, lightly sparkling, fresh sippers. A blend of merlot, pinot noir, dunkelfelder, pinot gris and viognier come together well in this striking frosted bottle. Pink grapefruit, candied strawberries and ripe apples throughout this softer sparkling, with light and zippy bubbles and a creamy middle. As refreshing (and fun!) as a summer run through a sprinkler.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: 8th Generation Vineyard
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Castellani Nero D'Avola - Merlottext
88PTS

Castellani Nero D'Avola - Merlot 2012

Sicily, ItalyFrom organically grown grapes and native yeast 550m high in west Sicily comes this juicy, plum and plump red. Dusty cassis, wild blackberries, plum and black cherries, with ample juicy currant acidity and a light grip to the tannins. The touch of bitter cocoa and earthy spice on the finish make this medium bodied red a natural for simple tomato-based pastas or salumi-decked Neapolitan pizza.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Castellani
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Liquidity White Blendtext
87PTS

Liquidity White Blend 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough the blend is 64/25/11 chardonnay/viognier/pinot gris, the viognier really dominates this medium bodied warm weather sipper, with fragrant orange blossom and an oily, medium body. Round and ripe orchard fruit, lemon peel, gingersnap and a lick of bitter pear peel and herbs on the finish. Pour with fruit sauced Chinese or Thai dishes.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Viogniertext
89PTS

Liquidity Viognier 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe ripe richer 2012 vintage is heady with aromas of perfumed ripe pear and honeysuckle, lifted with a juicy and spicy palate of white peach, pear, anise, lees and white pepper. Partial wild yeast fermentation in older French oak barrels amp up the complexity. The finish is impressive. Pour with citrus dressed crab or lobster.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Merlottext
88PTS

Liquidity Merlot 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMerlot is filled out with a splash of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon in this youthful, fresh merlot. Moving in a great direction, with black plum, black currant, dark florals and herbal cassis. Its plush textured palate throws slightly sticky tannins that will calm with a bit of time. This is youthful still - pour now with duck or veal, or put down for a couple of years and be rewarded.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Bartier-Scholefield B-S Rosé Table Winetext
88PTS

Bartier-Scholefield B-S Rosé Table Wine 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA 2011 current release rosé? Not a typo - the folks at Okanagan Crush Pad (also behind the Haywire brand) create wines to age. Winemaker Michael Bartier & Co. feel that their wines gain complexity from age, even typically-ready-to-drink pink. This wine is 100% gamay, sourced from Oliver's Seacrest Mountain Vineyard. Smoked stone, wild raspberry and spicy red currants end with a sage leaf and herbed bramble note. Ahi tuna or smoked salmon salad would work very well here.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Domaine Drouhin Laurènetext
90PTS

Domaine Drouhin Laurène 2011

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLaurène is the eldest daughter of winemaker/owner Véronique Drouhin and as it happens her name graces the winery's finest label. It's all estate, handpicked, fermented on its own yeast, in French oak never more than 20 percent is new. Let me repeat never more than 20 percent is new. In the end the best barrels make the blend or least the ones that allow Veronique to best express the site. In 2011 the crop was late bringing some troubled grapes to the winery that had to be sorted properly. The nose is classic Oregon tea spice and rooty celery salt and rhubarb. The palate is full and mouth coating in the pinot style with more red fruit raspberries and pomegranate and spice. Still a bit unknit and not quite the 2010, but consider it to be brooding. Time will cure all. 3000 bottles were made.Prices: BC 78.00 ON 60.00 QC 55.00 NS 55.00 AB 70.00 Producer: Domaine Drouhin Oregon
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11 December 2014

Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosadotext
87PTS

Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosado NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainYou're having a potluck, guests are en route, and you're going to need wine. With so many factors to consider, let me make your wine choice easy for you. This wine. This dry rosé is fruitier and creamier than the standard bearer Segura Viudas Brut (one of the top cava on our market). Pale salmon in hue, this trepat/monastrell/garnacha blend has fresh, raspberry aromas and a palate of nuts, citrus, bright cherry, pomegranate and wild strawberry. Enough berry fruit sweetness makes this appealing to a wide audience, and sparkling always makes an occasion more festive - stock up.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 17.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Stoneboat Vineyards Piano Bruttext
87PTS

Stoneboat Vineyards Piano Brut NV

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Martiniuk family was Inspired by Italy's Prosecco for Edition 1 of Piano Brut, but ended up capturing the perfect pitch of the fresh fruit of their Oliver Home Vineyard in this made-for-summer sparkler. The 1983 planted pinot blanc and müller thurgau are vinified in stainless steel in the Charmat method (cuve close) to yield a fragrant and delicate floral bouquet of light peach, pear blossoms and peonies. The frothy and fresh palate carries more of the same, with the addition of nectarine, white peaches, ripe mandarin and lime. Barely off-dry, Piano Brut closes out with peach sherbet notes. Driving through Oliver in the middle of summer smells like this wine. Pop the cork for brunches, garden parties or impromptu piano recitals.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Stoneboat Vineyards
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Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado Rosétext
86PTS

Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado Rosé 2011

Valle del Curicó, Region del Valle Central, ChileWhat's old is new again, in this case, Chile's indigenous, ancient and maligned pais grape variety, here receiving much investment and care from the Torres family. Pink roses, assertive thorniness, young strawberries, bitter melon, hyacinth, bone dry, with a creamy mousse.Prices: BC 22.00 ON 20.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Chile
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Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver West Sidetext
88PTS

Bella Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Oliver West Side 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBella makes different sparkling cuvees from around the Okanagan, altering only the geography in an exercise in terroir expression. Try pouring West Side Chardonnay next to East Side Chardonnay and you'll see what a big difference 13km can make. Here grapes at higher elevation Seacrest Mountain vineyard have yielded a crisp, green apple and mineral sharp sparkler, with light earthy, struck stone notes, and a bitter grapefruit pith finish. The wine is brut natural (no dosage) so acidity is tendered only by the sun bright fruit and light lees work.Prices: BC 24.00 BC 15.00 375 Producer: Bella Wines
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Champagne Lanson Extra Age Brut Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Extra Age Brut Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceFrom one of the oldest Champagne houses (dating to 1760) and from a blend of 3 vintages - 2000, 2002, 2004. The bottle rests for 5 years prior to release. Crisp and shearing lemon, with mineral, chalk and honey aromatics leading to a racy, full bodied palate with creamy pear, pastry, lemon sherbet, green apple, almond paste and mineral salinity. No MLF keeps acidity shining, a counterpart to the maturity from extra age. Rich enough to take on bigger dishes like scallops in lemon cream sauce or roasted pheasant.Prices: BC 100.00 QC 99.75 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Mionetto Il Prosecco Frizzantetext
88PTS

Mionetto Il Prosecco Frizzante NV

Veneto, ItalyIt's hard to believe how attractive this bubble is for $18. Ripe, floral peachy/apple skin notes but with a freshness you might not expect and a nutty almond undercurrent. Balance and style bottled under a terrific yellow crown cap closure you just pop off. Serve solo or try with your favourite sushi roll. Good value.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Mionetto S.p.A.
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Taittinger Prélude Grands Crustext
92PTS

Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV

Champagne, FranceThis Grands Crus Cuvée is composed of 50/50 chardonnay / pinot noir aged 4-5 years on the lees for depth. Deeper in hue than the NV Brut, with big seashell, chalk, lemon rind and hazelnuts. Serious and confident at first sniff. Generous, full palate with hazelnut, popcorn, toasty lees, lemon curd and struck stone. Fantastic length. For those who prefer a yeasty, richer style of champagne.Prices: BC 95.00 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancstext
94PTS

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2004

Champagne, FranceThis Blanc de Blancs exemplifies pristine elegance. For whatever reason, Comtes is always feminine in my anthropomorphizing mine. White flower and talc, citrus and Asian pear, refreshing and bright green apple, focused in intensity, yet elegant and nimble. A Countess. The 2004 vintage is no exception, except perhaps the Countess went to the tropics and brought back some exotic gooseberry, peach and a sliver of ripe musky melon to the palate. Warm spice, white peach and lemon zest minerality on the lengthy finish. 5 percent of the Chardonnay has spent time in new oak barrels, providing that shelly toast. Enjoy with oysters - a royal pairing.Prices: AB 245.00 QC 153.00 NS 160.00 BC 167.00 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Haywire Pink Bub Traditional Methodtext
89PTS

Haywire Pink Bub Traditional Method 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA cooler mountainside vineyard near Oliver was the source for the 51/49 pinot noir/chardonnay grapes in the cuvee, whole cluster pressed for complexity and cool fermented to preserve the crisp, shining fruit. At disgorging, a syrah dosage is added to give Pink Bub its lively hue. Light and bright strawberries and orange blossom aromas entice to a crisp palate of green apple, mandarin, Anjou pear and a welcome centre cushion of sage kissed strawberries. Citrus peel carries out the bright finish, well balanced with a touch of residual sugar. Pair with cheese, charcuterie, baguette and fresh berries.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Liquidity Viogniertext
88PTS

Liquidity Viognier 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2013 vintage is much more reined in and tighter than the exuberant and expressive 2012, gaining quiet confidence. Gobs of just-picked, sun warmed apricot here, with a lovely bitter herb and wild thyme note. The full and creamy, lanolin-like palate rests in great balance with the key lime acidity and spiced finish. 80 percent wild ferment introduces an herbal intrigue, and 20 percent barrel ferment lends a well-worn suppleness to the whole. Pour with orchard fruit or pineapple salsa fish dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Liquidity Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI love where this wine is right now. I tasted it a few months back and it was good, but just a few more months along and the wine was showing fantastically. The 2012 is bears the old scenic label, watch for a newer, fresher look in 2013. A lovely nutty maturity, with light eraser and ample mineral notes. Bright lemon on the palate, with gentle hazelnut, fragrant dough, apple and Anjou pear. A partial malolactic fermentation builds mouthfeel while keeping a bright line of acid and wild ferment adds an earthy/herbal interest. The result is a wine that has arrived together and will continue to hold and deepen over the next couple of years if you can find it. (Only 330 cases produced).Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgognetext
88PTS

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne NV

Burgundy, FranceI'm a fan of this simplified sparkler made from an 80/20 mix of pinot noir and gamay. The nose is bright and fresh with citrus, mineral cherry fruit notes mixed with an attractive yeasty note. The mousse is light but persistent with very fresh acidity, cherry, strawberry, anise and citrus/lees flavours. Fun, fresh, bright and affordable a great introduction to French sparkling wine.Prices: BC 23.49 AB 20.00 ON 20.00 QC 24.00 Producer: Louis Bouillot
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Sandeman Ruby Portotext
89PTS

Sandeman Ruby Porto NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalSandeman Porto Ruby is made traditionally to be richer and more robust than your average Ruby Port. The blend comes from a diverse stock of wine offering plummy, cherry, licorice, black tea aromas. The palate is shaped in a drier style where the sweetness, acidity and spice is all in balance. A friendly pour on a cool night of chocolate, dried figs, balsamic, clove and black fruit flavours. Try this with creamy cheeses or your favourite chocolate dessert. Once open this bottle will keep comfortable on aside table for three to four weeks.Prices: BC 22.49 Producer: Sandeman
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Graham Six Grapes Reserve Porttext
89PTS

Graham Six Grapes Reserve Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalYear in and year out Six Grapes maintains a high level of integrity as illustrated by its six grapes emblem - the highest quality designation used at the property to classify the best lots of wine. Six Grapes is an unfiltered, wood-aged reserve port grown primarily at Graham's Malvedos Vineyards. The style is thoroughly modern as in soft, spicy, fruity and ready to drink. It's has the characteristic sweet Graham style with plenty of soft, plummy fruit and a spicy but mellow finish. A perfect fireside port to accompany of good book, a bit of cheese or a bowl of toasted nuts.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 24.99 SK 33.99 MB 26.99 ON 24.99 YK 30.99 Producer: Symington Family Estates - W. & J. Graham & Co.
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Champagne Lanson Black Label Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Lanson Black Label Brut NV

Champagne, FranceLanson has been making Champagne since 1760 and as you would expect the brand has its ups and down. For the moment the Black Label Brut remains a solid player in the very mixed category of non-vintage brut selections. The nose is fresh and floral with classic toasted brioche notes, the palate crisp and juicy with mostly stony, green apple fruit, some lemon, hazelnuts and pear with just hint of sweetness in the finish. The style is balance with some finesse, the mix of grapes is 35/50/15 chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.Prices: BC 73.00 ON 57.00 AB 53.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012

Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaWe like this wine but its edgy herbaceous pinot notes will put some New World drinkers off who are more attracted to a richer, rounder, pinot noir style. The HR is a true cool climate expression offering the rooty, herbal sour cherry notes with bits of red currants celery salt, savoury, strawberry jam, smoky bacon with dried herbs. Dry, fresh, delicate and smooth palate with very light tannins. The attack is gamey, with smoky, earthy, red fruits that leads to stylish, complex almost brooding demeanour in the finish.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Hamilton Russell Vineyards
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Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcinotext
89PTS

Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2008

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyThe '08 vintage at Banfi, rated four-star for Brunello di Montalcino, has created a modern wine for the modern consumer. It's friendly, approachable and crying out for food. It could further benefit from a year or two ageing in bottle to soften up but it is certainly enjoyable now with food. Fermentation in hybrid stainless steel/wood tanks adds characteristic wood savouriness while preserving a lot of fresh fruit. Spiced strawberry, plums, licorice and bright, tart cranberry liveliness lead to a slightly dry/astringent, dusty herbal finish.Prices: BC 54.95 ON 58.95 Producer: Castello Banfi
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Black Hills Viogniertext
88PTS

Black Hills Viognier 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHoney, orange, ginger, floral, pear, baked apple and herb aromas. Fresh, creamy, juicy, slightly austere palate with a touch of sweetness. Grapefruit, quince, lemon, honey, pear and light orange flavours. Good finesse and texture with balanced alcohol. Drink now - 2 years. Impressive bottle of wine.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Nederburg Pinot Grigio The Winemaster's Reservetext
85PTS

Nederburg Pinot Grigio The Winemaster's Reserve 2013

Western Cape, South AfricaHoney, floral, candied grapefruit and pear aromas. Fresh, round, creamy, easy palate with grapefruit, butter apple, pear and honey flavours. A well-made every day style sipper you can serve with light seafood dishes.Prices: AB 11.00 BC 13.00 ON 11.45 NS 12.00 NF 14.50 MB 13.49 Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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Guado al Tasso Il Bruciatotext
89PTS

Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato 2012

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyBig peppery, smoky, coffee nose with hints of sausage meat, tobacco, roast tomato and black berry aromas. Ripe, round, juicy, smooth palate with light tannins. More coffee, vanilla, chocolate, cassis, black berry, meaty flavours with that savoury, tobacco, black olive thread that runs through Bolgheri reds. Good fruit and intensity with a light herbal note and some oak on the finish to integrate over the next few years. Best with a Bolognese sauce. Pricey in BC.Prices: BC 40.00 QC 28.00 ON 30.00 NS 32.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riservatext
89PTS

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2010

Tuscany, ItalyMeaty, black cherry, chocolate, peppery, smoky, leather, licorice, vanilla and light barnyard aromas with a floral note. Dry, fresh, juicy, slightly astringent palate and medium light concentration. Black cherry, plum, smoky leather, cedar, gamey, chocolate, vanilla, resin and pepper flavours. A bit rustic and light but youthful on the finish. Needs 2-4 years or have with grilled meats.Prices: ON 30.00 BC 45.00 QC 30.00 PEI 27.00 AB 35.00 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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Santa Cristina Sangiovese Toscanatext
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Santa Cristina Sangiovese Toscana 2012

Tuscany, ItalyPeppery, sausage, black cherry nose with a chocolate/savoury/resin undercurrent. Fresh, soft, juicy palate with plum jam, spicy, savoury, black licorice, meaty flavours. Simple but well made with good fruit and acid balance for light meat and tomato dishes. Solid value here.Prices: ON 12.25 AB 14.00 BC 17.00 MB 13.00 SK 16.00 QC 14.70 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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Perseus Synergy Pinot Grigiotext
86PTS

Perseus Synergy Pinot Grigio 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpen grapefruit rind, green apple, floral, lemon oil and ginger aromas. Fresh, juicy, crisp entry but with some sweetness in the back end. Canned grapefruit, peach, pear, green apple and ginger flavours. Easy, fresh style best with spicy, Asian dishes.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Perseus
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Blind Trust Red +09/10text
88PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Blind Trust Red +09/10 2012

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPeppery, smoky, vanilla, espresso, roast bell pepper, black cherry, cassis, tobacco leaf aromas with a bit of black olive and resin. Dry, fresh, medium bodied with slightly tart acidity and youthful, grainy tannins. Coffee, black cherry, cassis, licorice root, resin, tobacco leaf, cranberry and vanilla flavours with some herbal, olive notes. Good finesse but with some greenness and plenty of oak integrate over the next 2-5 years. Best with grilled meats.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Jansz Premium Cuvéetext
89PTS

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

Tasmania, South Australia, AustraliaA Tasmanian sparkler will super charge any party appetizers. The nose is a mix of méthode champenoise boasting a bread and lees character followed by citrus, green apple flavours that mix seamlessly into the creamy textured palate. A notch above good and with excellent acidity and toast this is a compelling drink for the price. And it seems to get better every time out.Prices: BC 27.99 QC 28.00 ON 28.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Jansz Wine Company
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Henkell Trocken Dry Sekttext
84PTS

Henkell Trocken Dry Sekt NV

GermanyAlways fresh and pleasant Henkell never surprises but nor does it disappoint, especially for the money. Expect a soft peach/green apple flavour with a touch of sweetness in the finish. A dry bubble you can feature in Mimosas or with Crème de Cassis or serve with bite-size appetizer throughout the holidays.Prices: BC 14.49 AB 13.39 SK 15.99 MB 14.99 ON 12.95 QC 14.95 NB 16.99 NFL 16.99 Producer: Henkell & Co. Gruppe
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Henkell Rosé Dry Sectext
86PTS

Henkell Rosé Dry Sec NV

GermanyPerhaps the best of all the inexpensive Henkell sparklers the Rosé Fine Sekt simply over delivers for $15. We love the pale, salmon colour and the just off-dry, fresh fruity nose with bits of citrus, red berries and baked caramel apple notes. The attack is creamy with enough fruit and acidity to work with a variety of food. A fun holiday, pre-dinner sipper you can serve with assorted appetizers.Prices: BC 14.99 NF 15.00 ON 14.00 SK 15.00 QC 16.00 Producer: Henkell & Co. Gruppe
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Henkell Riesling Dry Sekttext
86PTS

Henkell Riesling Dry Sekt NV

GermanyBright fresh fruity nose with peachy/green apple riesling aromas. The palate is similar with tangy, peachy fruit flavours and just a trace of stony minerality before the just off-dry finish kicks in. A pleasant pre-dinner sipper to accompany spicy, bite size appetizer treats.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Henkell & Co. Gruppe
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10 December 2014

River Stone Pinot Gristext
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River Stone Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect a ripe pear, grapefruit, bready lees, grassy, spicy ginger nose. Ripe, fresh and juicy palate with some sweetness. Baked pear, honey, grapefruit flavours with a bit of bitter lemon and lees on the finish. Elegant and creamy but a bit too sweet (tiring) for our taste.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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09 December 2014

Toucas Alvarinhotext
88PTS

Toucas Alvarinho 2011

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis wine is made by a group of winemakers specializing in specific regions of Portugal named Wines & Winemakers by Saven, and one of Portugal's leading winemakers, Anselmo Mendes, made this wine. Peach and orange blossom on first approach, with creamy lees, yellow apple and ripe pear, bold pineapple and an undercurrent of almonds throughout. 15 g/l of residual sugar is all but hidden in this bright wine, evident only in the round, textured mouthfeel. This has the body and heft to stand up to smoked seafood.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Quinta do Touquinheiras
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Blue Grouse Cowichan Valley Estate Ortegatext
88PTS

Blue Grouse Cowichan Valley Estate Ortega 2012

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaNot familiar with ortega? This cross between müller-thurgau and siegerrebe has become the premier white grape for the Wine Islands. Ortega ripens early and easily, is not overly frost-sensitive and achieves high must weights, which is why it is typically used for sweeter wines and blending in its native Germany. Blue Grouse's, with its fresh, striking label, is lean and steely, with crisp, citrus herbed fruit, bitter-kissed wildflowers anise and stone. Nice orange pith on the finish. Lower alcohol (11.5) and subtle. Pour with fresh shellfish.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Nichol Vineyard 9 Mile Whitetext
88PTS

Nichol Vineyard 9 Mile White 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPlanted on glacial till at the most northernly winery at the end of Naramata Bench (approximately 580m), Okanagan scrubby herbs leap out of the glass - dried thyme and sage - followed closely by perfumed rose blossoms, anise, key lime and lemongrass. This dry, refreshing and intriguing blend of gewürztraminer/riesling carries the roses through to the bright palate, alongside shearing white grapefruit acidity, bitter herbal thorns, candied lime peel and a light dusting of sweet spice. Pour with flavourful Thai dishes. Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
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Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Gris 2013

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPromising direction for Blue Grouse, under new ownership since 2012 and with winemaker Bailey Williamson at the helm. This crisp, maritime-edged pinot gris opens with bright lemon, youthful apricot and white peach. A gentle plumpness in the mid-palate via partial barrel fermentation is a welcome move, the cushion offsetting the tart gooseberry and lean cantaloupe freshness. Spicy, white peach fuzz and a bitter, floral, herbaceous finish. Welcomes pouring with prawns or scallops.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Buried Cane Heartwood Red Winetext
90PTS

Buried Cane Heartwood Red Wine 2011

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThe Middleton family has been working the land in Washington since 1898, so you know they know their dirt. The blend changes each vintage. In 2011 it is syrah dominant, with contributions from cinsault, mourvèdre, grenache, counoise and viognier. Grenache abounds in this spicy red; wild strawberry, fragrant violets and peppery spice are supplely cushioned around the structured syrah, bright and elegant up through the stony finish. Pour with thick cut grilled pork chops or salmon steaks.Prices: WA 25.00 Producer: Buried Cane Wines
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Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonomatext
87PTS

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2012

Sonoma County, California, United StatesPeppery, cassis, floral, black berry, rooty, chocolate, black olive, spicy, resin aromas with a meaty note. Fresh, juicy, smooth palate with very light tannins and a hint of sweetness. Coffee bean, peppery, cedar, briar, black berry, resin, cassis, earthy, prune flavours. Solid cab expression and balance at a fair price.Prices: BC 20.00 SK 20.00 ON 17.00 NF 21.00 MB 19.00 NB 23.00 Producer: Louis M. Martini
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Rustenberg Stellenbosch Shiraztext
86PTS

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Shiraz 2011

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaSavoury, gamey, black cherry, saddle leather, smoky, black pepper, tobacco and coffee aromas. Fresh, smooth, elegant palate with coffee, cedar, vanilla, plum jam, meaty, smoky leather and cardamom flavours. A bit warm but solid balance and ready.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Rustenberg Estate
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Selbach Riesling (Fish Label)text
88PTS

Selbach Riesling (Fish Label) 2013

Mosel, GermanyLight honey, green apple, grassy, floral aromas. Crispy, juicy, delicate palate with fine sugar-acid balance that leaves it on the less sweet side. Honey, floral, guava, orange, green apple and lime flavours. Fine elegance and fruit in an easy-sipping, food-friendly style. Thai anyone?Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: J & H Selbach
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C.C. Jentsch Viogniertext
88PTS

C.C. Jentsch Viognier 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLees, earth, matchstick, honey, floral, peach, light lychee and pear aromas. Fresh, juicy, creamy palate with light honey, pear, ginger, green apple, lemon and lees flavours. Good intensity, acidity and finesse but a bit reductive. Splash decant and give it some time to refresh itself. Try this with your favourite curry dish.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Yalumba Viognier Eden Valleytext
90PTS

Yalumba Viognier Eden Valley 2013

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaOrange peel, lees, light vanilla, honey, guava, green apple, ginger and lanolin aromas. Fresh, creamy palate with nectarine, honey, grapefruit, green apple, quince and lees flavours. Nice finesse and length with balanced acidity and alcohol that should age well for 2-4 years. Try this with your favourite pork dish.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 25.00 QC 24.00 NS 25.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reservetext
90PTS

Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve 2011

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesSmoky, strawberry jam, carrot top, light saddle leather, bacon, caraway, vanilla and orange peel aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant, juicy palate but slightly light and austere. Tobacco leaf, raspberry, smoky herb, light game, rhubarb, coffee and resin flavours. Delicate, cooler style with a touch of lean tannins on the finish. Needs a few years yet to fully mature. Best with duck or mushrooms at the moment.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Domaine Serene
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Maverick Estate Winery Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Maverick Estate Winery Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLight butter, honey, floral, canned peach, baked apple and vanilla aromas with a touch of struck matchstick and lees. Fresh, round, juicy, elegant palate with a hint of sweetness. Baked pear, honey, grapefruit, red apple, peach skin flavours with a spicy lees and butter finish. Nice delicacy in an easy, appealing style. Try this with halibut.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Maverick Estate Winery
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Wild Goose Rieslingtext
87PTS

Wild Goose Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSlate, floral, green apple skin, earthy, light petrol and lemon oil aromas. Crisp, juicy, elegant palate with a light spritz. Granny smith apple, pear, lemon-lime, earthy, nectarine flavours. Good delicacy and length in a lighter style to share with food.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Hearle Vineyardtext
88PTS

Stag's Hollow Viognier Hearle Vineyard 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFloral, toasty lees, spicy, ginger, honey, lemon, quince and marmalade aromas with a touch of vanilla. Full, ripe, rich, round palate with some sweetness. Honey, baked peach, floral, ginger, orange and lees flavours. Good concentration and fruit but a bit too soft and sweet.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Red Rooster Rieslingtext
88PTS

Red Rooster Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFloral, pear, lime, green apple aromas with a bit of petrol. Fresh, juicy, racy palate with lime, honey, nectarine and green apple flavours. Just off-dry with good balance. You can drink it now but another year will help to round it out. Solid effort here.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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07 December 2014

Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparklingtext
89PTS

Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparkling 2008

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesWhen you want the complexity and legacy of Champagne without the price reach for a bottle of Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée, a ground-breaking California sparkling house, founded by and in conjunction with Champagne's illustrious Domaine Taittinger. Opening with toast, shell, frizzed lemon pith, and whiffs of apricot fuzz notes before a lightly nutty, full palate, textured with lemon and stone spice. Rounder in mouth, with shell, apricot scent on the finish. Generous, but still fresh, this can handle courses from canapés through poultry or seafood for the main.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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Liquidity Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Liquidity Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLovely bright pear, white grapefruit and fine spice open to a phenolic, textured mid-palate. Partial wild ferment and no fining ups the concentrated and layered mouthfeel with flavours led by creamy pear, mandarin peel and subtle exotic spice. Partner with coconut spot prawns or papaya salad.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTrue to house style, this up front and fruit-forward pinot noir wins fans for it's forward style. The ripe, bigger style reflects Oliver's desert heat. Multiple small-lot fermentations of five clones from two vineyards result in additional complexities. Black cherry, cola, stewed raspberry, earthy minerality and subtle oak smoke. Pair with autumn root vegetables. Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Stoneboat Vineyards
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Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparklingtext
89PTS

Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparkling 2008

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesLots of fine, continuous mousse. Baked apple, light toast, honey, citrus, quince, light raspberry aromas. Rich, full, juicy palate with some sweetness and fine, creamy mousse. Raspberry, baked apple, citrus, honey, buttery, toasty nut and pear flavours. Quite rich, ripe and full style for dinner with good elegance.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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06 December 2014

Domaine Carneros Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir 2012

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesSpicy, rhubarb, raspberry, carrot top, peppery, black tea, tobacco, celery, smoky aromas with a streak of clove and vanilla. Ripe, round, full, juicy, warm palate with celery root, carrot, raspberry, stewed rhubarb, compost, peppery, tobacco leaf flavours with the same vanilla, smoky clove nuance. Very flavourful and juicy with good finesse. Impressive style.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 35.00 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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Domaine Carneros Le Reve Blanc de Blancs Carneros Sparklingtext
93PTS

Domaine Carneros Le Reve Blanc de Blancs Carneros Sparkling 2006

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesDisgorged in 2013 with about 6 years on the yeast, this has a big nutty, lemon, floral, honey, baked pear and green apple nose. Fresh, crisp, juicy, delicate palate with fine, creamy mousse. Lemon, baked green apple, honey, spicy, nutty, slightly buttery flavours. Good concentration and finesse with fine acidity balance and a touch of sweetness at the very end. As good, or better than, most champagnes from France and it will improve with time in the bottle.Prices: BC 77.00 QC 50.00 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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Chateau de Santenay Clos de La Chaise Dieu Monopole Blanctext
88PTS

Chateau de Santenay Clos de La Chaise Dieu Monopole Blanc 2012

Burgundy, FranceLemon, nutty, floral, green apple, butter aromas. Dry, round, fresh, elegant and juicy palate with green apple, lemon butter, spicy, pear, floral, grassy flavours. Good fruit and structure with a slightly leaner finish. Needs a year or so or try with grilled seafood.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Château de Santenay
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Chateau de Santenay Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes Rougetext
88PTS

Chateau de Santenay Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes Rouge 2012

Burgundy, FranceEssentially a declassified Mercurey, this has peppery, meaty, worsteshire, licorice, celery salt, cherry aromas. Fresh, light, elegant and dry palate with raspberry, cherry, earthy, meaty, smoky, tobacco flavours with a bit of carrot top. Good finesse but on the light side for extract.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Château de Santenay
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Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napatext
89PTS

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2011

Napa Valley, California, United StatesBlack olive, cassis, spicy, tobacco, floral, black berry, chocolate, light coffee and game aromas. Ripe, soft, round, full palate with light tannins. Coffee, milk chocolate, leather, prune, blackberry jam, black olive, smoky, vanilla, leather and cedar flavours. A touch warm and oaky on the finish but good fruit with some finesse in a very consumer friendly style. Drink now - 3 years.Prices: BC 30.00 MB 30.00 NF 35.00 QC 30.00 NB 35.00 NS 40.00 Producer: Louis M. Martini
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Vina 1924 De Angeles Gran Malbectext
92PTS

Vina 1924 De Angeles Gran Malbec 2010

Vistalba District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaBlack licorice, black cherry, earthy, smoky, coffee, vanilla, savoury, black olive, tobacco and plum aromas. Rich, full, ripe, intense and concentrated palate but very smooth tannins. Huge black cherry jam, smoky, licorice root, tobacco, savoury, five spice, orange peel, plum, resin and vanilla flavours. A bit warm but long with huge fruit and unctuousness. Drinkable now but will improve with 2-5 years. Continued fine effort here.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Bodega Vina 1924 De Angeles
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Doña Paula Los Cardos Syrahtext
87PTS

Doña Paula Los Cardos Syrah 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaPeppery, smoky, licorice, lack berry, chocolate, herb and meat aromas. Soft, round, easy palate with warm black cherry, resin, meaty, spicy, jammy flavours. Warm finish but an easy, forward drinking style. Drink now with barbecued meats.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 16.00 NB 16.00 Producer: Doña Paula Estate
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La Crema Pinot Noir Willamettetext
89PTS

La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette 2012

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesFloral, strawberry jam, cocoa, carrot top, maraschino cherry, vanilla and light compost aromas. Fresh, juicy, delicate and dry palate with good acidity and very light tannins. Smoky, vanilla, worsteshire, celery salt, rhubarb, cedar, tobacco leaf and raspberry flavours. Finish is warm but creamy and offers nice fruit intensity with delicacy to drink now - 5 years.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 40.00 Producer: La Crema
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Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noir 2012

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, United StatesRaspberry, peppery, smoky, red currant, carrot top, celery salt, briar and vanilla aromas with a touch of barnyard. Ripe, round, fresh, juicy and elegant but intense palate with light, smooth tannins. Raspberry jam, peppery, tobacco leaf, cedar, smoky, coffee, savoury herb, carrot and compost flavours with a vanilla, licorice finish. A bit warm and oaky now but super fruit, balance and intensity. Drinkable now but will improve with 2-5 years. Fine effort here.Prices: US 35.00 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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03 December 2014

Tyrrell's Moore's Creek Shiraztext
85PTS

Tyrrell's Moore's Creek Shiraz 2012

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaSavoury, spicy, tobacco leaf, meaty nose with weedy, black cherry and light barnyard aromas. Soft, fresh, light, easy palate with cherry, tobacco, spicy, resin, savoury herb flavours. A simple barbecue red for hamburgers or grilled chicken.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tyrrell's Wines Pty., Ltd.
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01 December 2014

Pewsey Vale Individual Vineyard Selection Rieslingtext
90PTS

Pewsey Vale Individual Vineyard Selection Riesling 2013

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaFloral, red apple, lime, peach, light petrol, matchstick aromas with a hint of guava and slate. Nearly dry, fresh, creamy palate with rose, lime, honey, granny smith, grapefruit rind and slate flavours. A delicate, balanced, slightly austere style with good intensity for food. Will age well for 10-15 years.Prices: AB 21.00 ON 20.00 BC 24.00 NS 22.00 Producer: Pewsey Vale
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Vina 1924 De Angeles Gran Cabernet S. Parcel 4text
88PTS

Vina 1924 De Angeles Gran Cabernet S. Parcel 4 2011

Vistalba District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaCassis, black cherry, peppery, floral, savoury, licorice, meaty, light vanilla, chocolate and tobacco aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, round tannin palate with good concentration. Blackberry, cassis jam, smoky herb, tobacco, black olive, coffee, peppery, floral, licorice root flavours. A touch warm but good intensity and balance for drinking over the next few years. More elegant yet ripe style.Prices: BC 0.00 Producer: Bodega Vina 1924 De Angeles
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Loma Larga Rapsodia Unfilteredtext
89PTS

Loma Larga Rapsodia Unfiltered 2010

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileWinemaker Cédric Nicolle mixes 50/30/20 syrah, cabernet franc and malbec the first two are fermented in rotating French oak barrels - 60 percent new and 40 percent second use before it spends 18 months before final blending and bottling. Look for intense black cherry, pepper, bramble, spicy and licorice on the nose with bits of orange and cedar. The attack is dry, fresh and elegant with light tannins and slightly tart acidity. Plum jam, black cherry, red fruits, licorice, orange and tobacco flavours with some cranberry and savoury aspects. Good finesse and fruit. Drink now- 5 years.Prices: ON 23.00 BC 30.00 Producer: Agricol Llancay Ltda.
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