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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: July 2017

31 July 2017

Protea Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Protea Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Coastal Region, South AfricaThe cabernet sauvignon in Protea is mostly from the Groenekloof ward in the Darling area. The nose is a fresh mix of floral/violet notes and a mix of black fruits. The attack is youthful and bright with the fruit showing little effect from one year in a mix of one and two-year-old oak and 500 litre stainless steel barrels. Cherries, blueberries, coffee and scents of freshly turned earth punctuate the finish. A simple, well-made, Euro-style cabernet to accompany hamburgers and grilled sausages. Fine value.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Anthonij Rupert
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Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Claret Cabernet Sauvignontext
84PTS

Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Claret Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

California, United StatesSoftly sweet plum, blueberry and dusky violets flood the sticky, tar-lined, full palate of this cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot, cabernet franc blend, sourced from vineyards across Napa and Sonoma, and possibly, further beyond (the mystic of filmmaking / winemaking). One year in French oak has brought some structure to this, but overall it's a gummy, candied, sweeter affair. Some spicing on the finish adds contrast, but this modern, anywhere wine is forgettable.Prices: BC 29.49 QC 27.00 Producer: Francis Ford Coppola Presents
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Alamos Cabernet Sauvignontext
84PTS

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Mendoza, ArgentinaSimilar to the last edition, this is pretty commercial stuff with light floral tones, fresh turned earth/tobacco and meaty saddle leather notes. Soft on entry with similar flavours and a resiny, rubbery reductive note. Best with burgers and a big splash decant.Prices: AB 14.00 BC 15.00 ON 14.00 QC 16.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner's Reservetext
90PTS

Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner's Reserve 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesSommeliers should drink a little less Alsace and a little more KJ occasionally and a lot of wine lists would improve. I’ll admit Vintner’s Reserve is hardly a home run name but the 2014 VR is the Aaron Judge of affordable cabernet sauvignon. The label is over 30 years old and it is only getting better because of KJ’s impeccable fruit sources. The blend is 2014 is 99 percent Sonoma County, one percent Mendocino County and the fruit mix is cabernet sauvignon (90 percent) blended with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. It’s all aged 10 months in 55/35/10 French and American oak barrels and stainless steel. The 2014 vintage was a cracker and the wine simply sings at three years old. Look for ripe black cherry, blackberry; a seamless mix of black fruit and cassis with a dollop of vanilla and mocha but all with some finesse. Ready to drink and perfectly suited to red meats. Great value in California cabernet. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 28.99 US 18.00 ON 22.95 QC 24.95 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe KJ Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is no shrinking violet. The attack is powerful, led by spicy, savoury black fruit with substantial mountain-style tannins. The 98 percent cabernet sauvignon is further amped by a touch of two percent petit verdot. Big, ripe and rich, this is a hedonistic style that will require another five to seven years in bottle to settle down. A blend of Alexander sites, it's aged for 19 months in an 83/17 ratio of French to American oak with only 31 percent new barrels. If you don’t cellar this, try it with a juicy T-Bone steak, portobello mushrooms, or a favourite lamb recipe.Prices: BC 42.99 AB 89.95 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignontext
93PTS

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesHawkeye Mountain is K-J's signature Alexander Mountain property planted from 900 to 2200 feet above sea level. Shallow, rocky and gravelly loam on steep, westward facing hillsides with some terracing is the home to the limited release Hawkeye Ridge cabernet—an ‘island in the sky’ above the fog line. As you might expect, the wine can be brawny, with texture accentuated by its spicy, liquorice, tobacco, black cherry fruit. The finish is long, savoury and persistent with mineral tones and soft, dense, chewy tannins.Prices: BC 60.99 AB 89.95 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Longview Devil's Elbow Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Longview Devil's Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaThe fruit is all Adelaide Hills and in 2014 it is very pure. The ferment is warm and short at 7 days before the wine heads to barrel (old and new French barriques) for 24 months. The nose is ripe and inviting with classic cassis, menthol and savoury black cherries. Love the balance here, with toasted notes running through the lively black fruit, and refreshing but not overbearing acidity. Drink now with grilled beef or hold through 2020. Nice improvement.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Longview Vineyard
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Punto Final Cabernet Sauvignontext
85PTS

Punto Final Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Mendoza, ArgentinaDefinitely on the fresh side and likely too acidic for those buying in this price range. The nose is a bit green and flat with red cherries flecked with spicy notes of pepper, mint, and green pepper. After that it is all oak to broaden the finish, which is dry and acidic too. A bit of a tough one that needs to be tamed with flame grilled smoky beef and perhaps a chimichurri sauce.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 13.00 Producer: Bodega Y Vinedos Renancer S.A.
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St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesI’m a fan of 2013 Sonoma cabernet, a wine that seemed to thrive in cooler conditions. The wine is sourced form a mix of mountain and hillside vineyards across the Sonoma County AVA to build texture weight and flavours. You will love the dark fruit, ripe but tempered by an undercurrent of savoury dried herbs and spice. Love the easy drinking style and the value. Lamb anyone? Stock up.Prices: BC 28.99 QC 29.95 ON 29.95 AB 28.32 NL 36.09 SK 43.71 Producer: St. Francis Vineyards and Winery
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Kitten Swish Mouth Flowerstext
91PTS

Kitten Swish Mouth Flowers 2012

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesAnise, ink, potent and driving blueberry, with a sheen of ash, graphite and a pure core of plum, this single vineyard Alexander Valley cab is showing its age, gracefully. Blackcurrant piquancy and cassis duskiness fills the mid palate, while tuggy tannins lead this out to the nutmeg and clove finish. One of nano-negoc Brad Royale's creations for his Kitten Swish label, this took inspiration from a Timothy Leary poem, titled "Mouth Flowers" (and this, as all of the Kitten Swish labels, is one that Royale designed himself). From three blocks of Stulmuller Vineyard, across gravel, silt beds and volcanic soils, this was aged in French and American oak, 40 percent new. Decant or open a day in advance at this young stage, not because of tannins, but to let this wine exhale. 50 cases made.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Kitten Swish
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Penfolds Max's Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Penfolds Max's Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

South Australia, AustraliaThe Penfolds Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon honours former chief winemaker Max Schubert (1948-1975), a legend in Penfolds history. The Max’s cabernet Sauvignon is all about the Penfolds ethos, mixing fruit from Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Barossa Valley and Padthaway that is all aged 12 months in American oak (5 percent new) with the balance in seasoned American and French oak hogsheads. Classic Oz with brilliant cassis and sun-dried tomato with a fabulous texture. The acidity is in check, giving the wine a slightly hedonistic side that is welcomed. Long and dense with spicy but well-grained tannins, this will age effortlessly for a decade. Impressive red for roasted meats. Super value.Prices: US 27.00 Producer: Penfolds
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Stags' Leap The Leap Cabernet Sauvignontext
92PTS

Stags' Leap The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Napa Valley, California, United StatesWe are fans of 2013 California cabernets at GOW and this tightly wound red is a good example. There is no Napa baby fat here, but rather a contoured, wiry, meaty, young cabernet that has years to go in the bottle. The palate is a rich smoky black fruit affair with a strong savoury undercurrent, calling for grilled beef at this point. The finish is similar with more mineral black fruit and bitter dark chocolate notes. Classic Paubert - a giant wine reigned in with a French touch.Prices: NS 90.00 Producer: Stags' Leap Winery
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Stags' Leap Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Stags' Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Napa Valley, California, United StatesNapa Valley cabernet sauvignon fans are going to like this generous, serious red that overcomes the ripeness with earthy, savoury, spicy, white pepper, counterbalancing the rich fruit and tobacco flavours. Winemaker Paubert is a master of oak, integrating it into the wine to the most positive effect. Impressive cabernet and it's just getting started. Steaks anyone?Prices: NB 56.00 ON 50.00 AB 50.00 BC 54.00 QC 55.00 Producer: Stags' Leap Winery
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Feather Cabernet Sauvignontext
95PTS

Feather Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesI’m in awe of this 2014 Feather, surely one of the best cabernets made in Washington to date. Randy Dunn is the maestro and he clearly has found his Washington orchestra in the Columbia Valley. The king of Howell Mountain seems to have found his mojo east of the Cascades, producing some of the finest, silkiest tannins we have tasted in Washington. A warm year bolstered by cool nights has left enough acidity to counter the spice and fruit. It aged 22 months in 90 percent new Vicard French oak barrels but you hardly notice the oak. This is sophisticated wine you can cellar for a decade and beyond yet enjoy now. After thirty-five years of tasting these are the kind of wines I know will be good if not great forever. Well done Randy, Gilles and Allan.Prices: BC 65.00 US 65.00 AB 77.00 ON 85.00 SK 67.00 Producer: Long Shadows Vintners
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Napa Valley, California, United StatesIt’s nice to see this wine coming back into form and the 2013 is right on track. The Napa label may be commercial in size at 24,000+ cases, but it's reserve style in taste. Fresh, ripe, spicy black fruits greet the nose and tumble onto the palate flecked with tobacco, cocoa and cinnamon. The blend is 75 percent cabernet sauvignon with varying amounts of merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec, all spending 26 months in wood. We love the complete body of work here and suggest this wine could easily be aged through 2023 and beyond. Steak anyone? Fine value.Prices: BC 50.00 AB 47.99 Producer: Freemark Abbey
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Painted Wolf The Den Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Painted Wolf The Den Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Coastal Region, South AfricaClassic style mixing edgy acidity and savoury, red cherry, smoky/earthy aromas. The palate is similar with notes of blueberries, light tannins, menthol, tobacco and leafy notes. Cleaner and brighter than past efforts, but needs a piece if grilled meat to tame the acidity and youthful fruit. Good value.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Painted Wolf Wine Pack
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Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesBig, spicy and sweet just about sums it up here. The nose has a warm earthy, leafy component before the sweet blackberry swamps your nose. The palate is similar with sweet cherry fruit and spice and not much else. I’m not sure who is demanding this style or buying it but it’s a bit depressing. More like a double double from Tim Hortons than a Knights Valley cabernet sauvignon.Prices: BC 45.99 AB 35.00 Producer: Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards
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28 July 2017

Liber Farm and Winery Signature Redtext
87PTS

Liber Farm and Winery Signature Red 2015

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom organic estate vineyards overlooking the banks of the Similkameen River, this is a blend of cabernet franc and merlot, sun-ripened and amply extracted and macerated. There is a beautiful fragrant opening with choke cherry, raspberry, dark floral, thorns and prickly herbs and a surprisingly skinny, spicy, warm finish. The tannins are light but sanded and would easily evaporate into duck or rabbit dishes. A good start in a warm year. We are looking forward to trying this blend again in future.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Liber Farm & Winery
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Narrative Red Cabernet Franc Merlot by Okanagan Crush Padtext
88PTS

Narrative Red Cabernet Franc Merlot by Okanagan Crush Pad 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOCP's Narrative line of wines are meant to be a clean, pure look at the Okanagan, for an affordable price. For the moment, the soft blackberry, plum fruit nose has a generous swing of reduction. The blend, cabernet franc and merlot, offers up sweet black plums, cured meats, potent tar and a touch of resin housed with softly grippy, supple tannins. It finishes with almost sweet fruit mix with peppery black spices. Easy drinking and ready to crack this summer. Splash decant to scare off the reduction and serve with grilled meats.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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LaStella Expressivotext
90PTS

LaStella Expressivo 2014

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe inaugural release of Espressivo is this 2014 and it’s a hit. Like Fortissimo, it is a Tuscan-inspired blend, but in this case the lead merlot is replaced with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc – something you note immediately on the nose. Again, large format French puncheons and Hungarian/Slavonian oak help to let the fruit shine: 20 percent new, 40 percent second fill with the balance in neutral barrels. The fruit is darker with a savoury, fragrant, leafy entrance marked with south Okanagan dried herbs and spice. Love the juicy rich palate and lively fruit. It’s warm but if you like your reds big and spicy this fits the bill. The blend is 55/20/20/5 cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sangiovese, all from North Oliver, Golden Mile and Osoyoos Lake District. Steak anyone?Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: LaStella
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27 July 2017

Anna Spinato Prosecco Organictext
87PTS

Anna Spinato Prosecco Organic NV

Veneto, ItalyAlways impressive for the price, it is easy to like this prosecco with its gentle bubbles and even gentler fruit. A dusting of lees keeps the floral, pear, honey aromas in check while the crisp, juicy, frothy mousse coats your palate. More pear, honey, nutty, candied grapefruit flavours round out this prosecco that pleases from start to finish. Good solid value and it's organic. Back up the truck and drink this all summer.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Anna Spinato
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Lang Vineyards Rose Bubbletext
86PTS

Lang Vineyards Rose Bubble 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt’s year two for this Lang sparkler, painted a salmon pink colour. The fruit is a mix of pinot noir and pinot meunier, all estate grown and now 35 years old. The nose is open and vibrant with fresh strawberry and cherry aromas that tumble onto its frothy palate. The say it’s dry but there is a hint of sweetness taking on a touch of bitterness in the finish. Ready to drink all summer. Serve well chilled.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lang Vineyards
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JoieFarm Quotidien Bruttext
88PTS

JoieFarm Quotidien Brut 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaApricot blossoms, tight pear, peach fuzz fill this new, foamy charmat fizz from Joie, a blend of riesling and chardonnay from vineyards in Kelowna, Naramata and Skaha. The 2016 fruit was dosed with Joie's riesling solera, which has been quietly ticking away, unsulphured. Prickly bright on the palate, riding a swell of residual sugar and an even higher swell of total acidity, this is meant to be enjoyed young and fresh (this summer). Quotidien means "your daily ration", if you need a reason to drink fizz daily. A serious price for anot so serious wine.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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JoieFarm Plein de Vie Bruttext
87PTS

JoieFarm Plein de Vie Brut 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTastes like summer. 2016 Plein de Vie Brut is a pinot meunier, pinot noir, chardonnay charmat fizz. Like its white brethern it is a bit foamy but bright, fresh and friendly showing just-crushed raspberries and strawberry jam, on a bright, frothy palate all with a kiss of sunny sweetness and a lift of bright cranberry acidity. Fun!Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Rosétext
89PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Rosé NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Cipes Brut Rosé is 100 percent, single-vineyard, pinot noir grown in Summerland at the Heckmann Vineyard. The fruit is raised from start to finish to end up in sparkling wine. Three-quarters of the fruit was pressed off after a 48-hour cold-soak leaving the wine with a beautiful Provencal pink hue. The palate is a riot of red and green fruits evoking thoughts of kiwi, raspberry and toasty almond. The palate is taut and acidity is bright. A charcuterie plate would be a fine match but so is just about anything else.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Stag's Hollow Muscat Frizzantetext
86PTS

Stag's Hollow Muscat Frizzante NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA marked improvement over the last vintage, this has moved to an NV blending, though the majority is the 2016 vintage. Pithy pink grapefruit sharpens the honeydew, pear, apricot that fills this injected fizz, an off-dry blend of muscat ottonel, orange muscat and riesling. Acidity is sharp and works to counter the RS, leaving this at a pleasant, brunch-worthy 11 percent alcohol.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Blue Mountain Gold Label Bruttext
89PTS

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe latest Gold Label Brut stays the course blending 56/39/5 pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris, pressing the bunches whole and fermenting each variety separately before putting them all together on the lees for two years. After dégorgement they give the wine another six to nine months of bottle rest. This is a wine for wine drinkers. Fresh, nutty and suitably mineral with green apple, crisp pear and Meyer lemon that finishes dry and salty with lively acidity. Oysters are the match.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 29.95 ON 29.95 QC 28.45 NB 29.99 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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River Stone Sparkling White Merlottext
87PTS

River Stone Sparkling White Merlot 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the prolific frizzante wines in BC, this is a unique blend of merlot with a splash of malbec. Sweeter pear, Rainier cherry, apple blossom on the off-dry, frothy and juicy palate. There's a riff of spice that tightens (and saves) the finish, making this appropriate wine for bigger brunch items or savoury canapés this summer.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Parés Baltà Cava Brut B Organictext
89PTS

Parés Baltà Cava Brut B Organic NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainI love the consistency here. This is highly dependable Spanish bubble year in and year out, made with fruit lovingly tended using sustainable, organic and biodynamic vineyard practices. The attack is fresh and dry mixing bright, mineral, crisp green apple fruit with freshly squeezed lemon that works its way to the end of a nutty palate. So clean and pleasingly crisp but with an attractive creamy, lees quality too. Super food friendly.Prices: BC 23.99 QC 16.55 ON 17.99 Producer: Parés Baltà
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Narrative XC Method by Okanagan Crush Padtext
89PTS

Narrative XC Method by Okanagan Crush Pad NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNarrative is OCP's line of approachable, friendly, pure Okanagan wines at equally friendly prices. Pale salmon in hue, the latest XC Method (XC in Roman Numerals speaks to 90 days in tank) is a charmat method sparkler made from pinot noir and chardonnay from Secrest Mountain Vineyard in Oliver, and Watkins Family Vineyard in Summerland. Soft on the palate, just off-dry with strawberry jam, herbal raspberries, mandarin and wild blackberries, bracketed with bracing acidity and housed in a snappy, appealing 11.5 percent package. So much flavour and character here, best enjoyed as an aperitif with charcuterie or over a lazy weekend brunch.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosadotext
86PTS

Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosado NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThis rosado fizz is fruitier and creamier than the standard bearer Segura Viudas Brut, with a gruff of tannins for added rusticity. Darker salmon in hue, this trepat/monastrell/garnacha blend carries raspberry, bright cherry, pomegranate and jammy strawberry to a short, brusque finish. Berry fruit sweetness and a swing of RS makes this appealing to a wide audience. Brunch, cocktails, ice buckets, summer.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 17.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Segura Viudas Gran Cuvee Reserva Cavatext
87PTS

Segura Viudas Gran Cuvee Reserva Cava NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainToasted biscuits, nutty, searing lemon, pear skin and a light floral note in this medium bodied middle-tier Segura Viudas. Certainly a step up in concentration than the regular Segura, but markedly below the top tier Heredad, this newer cuvee blends the traditional old vine Macabeo and Parellada with some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The whole has spent 15 months on the lees. Pear and a gingerale linger on the grapefruit-pithy finish. Best enjoyed while cold and crisp.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancstext
95PTS

Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancs 2009

Champagne, FranceThis is a rare 100 percent chardonnay from The Aube, a region dominated by pinot noir, even though 95 percent of the vineyard is Kimmerdgean soil (the same as in chardy-central Chablis). The young Remi Leroy farms 3 of his family's 9 ha here, selling the remaining fruit for additional income, and with the goal to use all of the fruit for his non-interventionist label. The only inputs he uses is a small addition of sulphur. Gossamer lightness, with a beauty fine hum that keeps lifting up. Delicate, wild strawberries, white cherries are carried with a fine driving capillary of acidity. This is the most effortless, lifted and stunning blanc de blancs that I have tasted in a long time. Dances on the palate, to a very lengthy finish. Very impressive.Prices: US 45.00 Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Quinta do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Classico Rosetext
86PTS

Quinta do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Classico Rose NV

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalSoft, fruity, and expansive, this is a rustic traditional method fizz from touriga nacional (yes, you read that correctly). Six months on the lees, plus one month in bottle post-disgorgement. Gruff and grippy, this is raspberry, strawberry, red currants on a frothy, dry medium body. The tannic rusticity here welcomes pairing with pork ribs at a summer grill, or Asian styled (this can take heat).Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Quinta do Encrontro
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La Escapada Cava Demi Sectext
87PTS

La Escapada Cava Demi Sec NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThis demi-sec (mid-sweet) Cava is a blend of 55 percent Macabeo, 40 percent Parellada and 5 percent Chardonnay from a small 20 hectare estate just outside Sant Sadurni d'Anoia. The highest point of the region, this is just off the Mediterranean sea, with views of the Montserrat mountains to the north.This aged one year in the bottle, and carries 35 g/l RS through the brisk finish. Sweet pear, apple sauce fill the generously sweet form, with a red apple peel and pink grapefruit pithiness to counter. If you're looking for a sweet fizz to pair to angel food cake or pear clafouti, look no further. Well made for the style.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Finca Can Petit
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Moltó Negre Cava Bruttext
87PTS

Moltó Negre Cava Brut NV

SpainPouring a pale blush, this cava is a blend of Xarel-lo, Parellada and Trepat. Soft and doughy on the palate, with brioche, yellow apple, strawberry and pear blossoms to a zippy, detailed finish and a moderate (6g/l) dosage. Nice weight and density for its 11.5 percent.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Casa Rojo
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Cavas Hill 1887 Bruttext
86PTS

Cavas Hill 1887 Brut NV

SpainThis is a round, frisky and approachable cava, with yellow and red apple, plums and a riff of orange citrus on the finish. Stony and bright, this is amply padded out with a noticeable bump of RS at 12 g/l. Nice buzzy acidity on the finish. Chill well and drink now at brunch.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Cavas Hill
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Kessler Jägergrün Brut Rieslingtext
88PTS

Kessler Jägergrün Brut Riesling NV

GermanyThere's Sekt, and then there's serious Sekt. The word Flaschengärung on this label (without Traditionnelle appended) indicates this Sekt that underwent its second fermentation in the bottle, though disgorgement was in tank under pressure via the transfer method. The first recorded date of Sekt dates back to 1826, when Georg Christian Kessler, ex-employee of Veuve Clicquot, founded G. C. Kessler & Co. Jägergrün has been produced since 1910, a crisp, tight and focused riesling fizz, off-dry with pear, yellow apple, white peach and petrol streaking along the racy palate, finishing with lingering tangerine pith and oils. Lovely concentration, appropriate as an aperitif, or with brunch.Prices: Producer: Kessler
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Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvéetext
90PTS

Kit's Coty Coeur de Cuvée 2013

EnglandKit's Coty are the new single-vineyard, super-premium wines released from Chapel Down, one of the UK's largest wineries. Kit’s Coty vineyard is 38 hectares of chalky soils in the North Downs of Kent. This barrel selection is the pricer of the two, priced at £100. The best blocks were wild fermented, matured on lees in French oak for seven months and with a dosage of 6 g/l. Rich and fuller on the palate, with nuttiness, dough, baked apple and some lemon curd, all lifted with a moderate but strong citrus undercurrent. A richer, polished style well meant for aging, or to pair with food now.Prices: GB 100.00 Producer: Chapel Down
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Monticava Conegliano Prosecco Superiore Rive di Oglianotext
90PTS

Monticava Conegliano Prosecco Superiore Rive di Ogliano NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyBottled exclusively for Marks & Spencer in the UK, and solely from the vineyards Rive di Ogliano (Rive = single vineyards). Delicate white blossoms, wild florals, white peach, very fine pear and lovely fine spice on the snappy finish, this is a highly sophisticated, pretty, and delicate extra dry (12-17 g/l) fizz for enjoying now.Prices: UK 16.00 Producer: Monticella
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26 July 2017

Terravista Figarotext
89PTS

Terravista Figaro 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRoussanne, viognier and viognier. Now who thought of that besides winemaker Senka Tennant. Well the Rhone Valley did but watch out for the Naramata Bench. The blend is frankly peachy with some apricots, yellow plums, limes and desert sage and it couldn’t be more perfect. The acid remains lively and the secret to a wine that could die from its own unctuousness, yet doesn’t. Rather it’s perfect and a rare bottle you want to finish. Fish seems the match but the Tennants suggest nut crusted meats. Stock up. Winery/private wine shops only.Prices: BC 24.00 AB 24.00 Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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Terravista Albariñotext
91PTS

Terravista Albariño 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted several times this is one of Canada's unique wines. The third vintage of this Naramata Bench-dominant albariño is 70 percent grown on Terravista’s home vineyard: Lone Hand Ranch. The other 30 percent comes off the Gravelbourg Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. The nose is an enticing, potent mix of anise, nectarine, tangerine and apricot that remain fresh throughout its full, off-dry, glycerol-slicked palate. A flush of ginger spice permeates the finish that remains bright, suggesting glass after glass with just about any food you can think of. Impressive vintage after vintage, it should make the Spanish nervous.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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Terravista Fandangotext
91PTS

Terravista Fandango 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the sixth vintage of Fandango, a singular Canadian blend of albariño and verdejo from Terravista's granitic home vineyard, Lone Hand Ranch, on the slopes of the Upper Naramata Bench. Lime blossom and lime pith, ripe apricot, orchard pear, peach fuzz, scents of anise and a pile of acidity that streams along the palate (pleasantly watery) with lively acidity to a gingery finish. Slightly fatter than the straight albarino but equally delicious. Tapas anyone?Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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25 July 2017

Desert Hills Viogniertext
86PTS

Desert Hills Viognier 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe DH viognier opens with a distinct floral, almost muscat tone mix into some peach and tropical fruit aromas. The attack is soft with a hint of sweetness, more ripe peachy fruit with just a hint of minerality. The fruit is all Osoyoos grown at Sira’s Vineyard on the banks of Lake Osoyoos. A simple, tasty white that is ready to drink.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Desert Hills Estate Winery
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Lang Vineyards Viogniertext
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Lang Vineyards Viognier 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA ‘luxurious style’ in the wineries own words brimming with sweetness. The aromas are exotic boasting honeysuckle, apricot, ripe peach but not a lot of acidity. Candied and persistent the sweet fruity notes carry through the entire wine. Chill this down and serve it with extra spicy dishes to combat the sugar in the wine and spice in the food.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lang Vineyards
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Oliver Twist Estate Viogniertext
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Oliver Twist Estate Viognier 2016

CanadaThe Twist viognier is more fun than serious but that’s okay. The fruit is bright and upfront mixing tropical mango, papaya and honeydew fruit a touch of watery freshness with peachy undertones in the backend. Best with spicy sushi or a favourite curry and serve well-chilled.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Oliver Twist Estate Winery
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Viognier +02/09text
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Viognier +02/09 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSupercharged, overripe nose of apricots, sweet pear nectar and candied cherries in what is a full, fat viognier grown at Osoyoos in the Perfect Hedge vineyard. Forty percent was fermented in stainless, 35 percent in French oak and the remainder in concrete eggs, upping the voluptuous texture. The finish is long and persistent with ample ginger, and a touch of phenolics. If you love your viognier big this is it.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyardtext
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyard 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's not so often you get to taste a wee vertical of orange wine from BC, but with three vintages in front of me of Stag's hollow Viognier Marsanne, today's my day. This was the first of three in a series of library wines, with 30 cases made. The last time I tasted this vintage was the fall of 2015. Now, almost two years on, this 55/45 viognier/marsanne had nothing added or taken away - the first "natural wine" winemaker Dwight Sick produced. Yellow golden in the glass, with potent Valencia orange, apricot along a fine, streamline body, lightly fuzzy with texture from two weeks skin contact, and almond hued, thanks to the time in Acacia barrels. Streaming on the palate, with a fine grip around the sides, this has mellowed with time, but is no less impressive as when first tasted.Prices: BC 19.32 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyardtext
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyard 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's not so often you get to taste a wee vertical of orange wine from BC, but with three vintages in front of me of Stag's hollow Viognier Marsanne, today's my day. Shining light orange / yellow in the glass, this 60/40 blend of viognier/marsanne came from Penticton's Kiln House Vineyard. After wild ferment and six weeks of skin contact in stainless, this was pressed into 4th year acacia barrel where it underwent MLF and spent 14 months on full lees before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Pear and orange oil, Pear skin, crunchy Asian pear acidity, yellow apple, on a medium toned, slender body. There's a fine, riffing, salty texture that just houses this in. Impressive and alluring.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyardtext
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Stag's Hollow Viognier Marsanne Kiln House Vineyard 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn impressive third vintage of this orange wine, the 2015 is a 54/46 blend of viognier/marsanne from Penticton's loamy, graveled Kiln House Vineyard. This shining orange hued wine greets you before it even reaches your nose with piercing orange oil - a guide into apricot fuzz, pear skin, Asian pear crispness. Bone dry, textural, and compelling, this had nothing added, nothing taken (so pay no mind to any sediment in the bottom of this unfined and unfiltered wine). Wild yeast fermented, this spent twelve weeks in contact with the skins before being drained and pressed into five-year-old acacia barrel, sleeping a winter, and then spontaneously undergoing MLF in the spring. After tasting the two previous vintages of this wine, we are confident that this tight, wound, salt-licked, no sulphur added wine made as naturally as possible will age gracefully.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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24 July 2017

The Hatch Rhymes with Door Hingetext
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The Hatch Rhymes with Door Hinge 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhat rhymes with orange? Seems hinge is close enough (with an accent). This is certainly orange through and through, right up to its Stelvin top. Usually wineries falter matching label to hue, but The Hatch nailed it, as they did with the wine. Kerner, schönburger and chardonnay were co-fermented and left on their skins for six weeks in old puncheons. Like the 2015 this is all high-toned and shimmery with orange and apricot pith, perfumed with acacia blossom and kissed with apricots, tangerine and anise. Bone dry and grippy, this is a joyous adventure to enjoy now. Only 200 cases were made, so if you find yourself in threat of scurvy or just thirsty, seek and crack.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: The Hatch
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Gazela Vinho Verdetext
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Gazela Vinho Verde NV

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Gazela Vinho Verde is the ultimate summer sipper. Fresh cut apples and green melon mix with mineral, nutty aromas and zesty almost watery fruit flavours all with touch of lively spritz. If you have forgotten this wine or perhaps never had it, chill it down on super-hot day and serve with tapas -like food bites for a perfect match. Only nine percent alcohol and it's great value too.Prices: ON 9.00 BC 11.45 NF 13.40 QC 11.00 MB 10.00 SK 12.00 NS 13.00 PEI 13.60 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Blue Grouse Quill Dry Whitetext
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Blue Grouse Quill Dry White 2015

British Columbia, CanadaThis vintage of Quill White is a blend of schonberger, pinot gris and müller-thurgau. Stainless steel has kept this clinically clean, leaving perfumed soap, orange blossom, jasmine on a sweet and sour, short palate. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Tinhorn Creek 2Bench White Oldfield Reservetext
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Tinhorn Creek 2Bench White Oldfield Reserve 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRich and full, this blend of sauvignon blanc, sémillon, viognier, chardonnay, muscat was sourced from both the Black Sage and Golden Mile Benches. Weighted with wood, (partial French, partial new is used in ferment), this was blended with stainless steel fermented and matured fruit, in the aim to marry crisp orchard fruit with richer notes. Hops, ripe pear, pear skin, red apple mark a somewhat disjointed palate, one that finishes with a touch of bitter, sour apple and a touch of warmth.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidaltext
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Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidal 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVidal from Stag's Hollow Vineyard and Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard was splashed with 14 percent orange muscat. This vintage has approximately one quarter botrytis affected imparting a subtle but persistent line of earth and spice, deftly countering the sweetness. There's an alluring lining of wildflower honey that bases lime blossom, tangerine, orange blossom on this off-dry wine. A big improvement over last vintage, this is a wine that will deepen with age.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Montes Twins Whitetext
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Montes Twins White 2016

Region de Aconcagua, ChileSauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier from the Aconcagua come together in this creamy, medium bodied white, one ripe with tropical fruit and finishing with toasty spice and a heat wave. Suitable for richer white fish with fruit salsa - think Chilean or Peruvian.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Montes Wines
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21 July 2017

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanctext
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis reserve tier sauvignon blanc has moved up another notch this year in quality aided and abetted by multiple pick times that bring an even fresher tone to the wine. Some 20 percent of the wine spends time in oak and concrete (split about 50/50) while the balance remains on its lees in stainless steel. The oak and concrete portion builds texture while the stainless-steel share maintains that zesty lemony freshness. Look for a beautiful tropical fruit nose that previews a much tighter lemongrass, lime palate that finishes creamy with dried herbs and sagebrush pushing through. Super value here in a sophisticated sauvignon blanc. Impressive value. Shellfish anyone?Prices: BC 21.49 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSauvignon blanc struggles in Canada, yet there are a few glimmering hopes, and Blue Mountain has always been one of those. A blend of 8-9 year old estate vines, farmed sustainably, cropped low, whole bunch pressed and fermented wild (in a blend of stainless and older wood). This vintage is tropical citrus, crunchy pear, boxwood, thistle, white peach and punchy lemon, throughout the potent, yet streamlined (this much flavour in 11.5 percent?) medium bodied wine. A pink grapefruit pithiness sticks the finish.Prices: BC 18.90 AB 24.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo French clones make up the nine-year-old estate vines planted near the near the entrance of the estate as you drive in. The nose is bright, 2016-like, with fresh acidity, and grassy, gooseberry sea salt flavours spilling across the palate. Well-made conservative style sauvignon that could easily slip onto local restaurant wine lists to take on most local seafood. Private wine shops and winery direct.Prices: BC 18.90 AB 24.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Chateau Saint Nabor Gris de Nabortext
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Chateau Saint Nabor Gris de Nabor 2016

Le Gard, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, South of France, FranceHow do you get some Provence at a Languedoc price, head to the Gard? The ‘16 Gris de Nabor is a 50/30/20 blend of grenache, cinsault and tempranillo. The colour is pale Provence perfect; the nose an enticing mix of sweet watermelon, strawberries and honeysuckle. The palate more of the same with crisp, mineral notes and a touch of bitterness in the finish. Chill this down grill some chicken and serve with a Greek salad.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Château Saint-Nabor
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20 July 2017

Domaine Pattes Loup Vent d'Angetext
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Domaine Pattes Loup Vent d'Ange 2014

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThird generation Thomas Pico is one of the young shining stars of Chablis, making natural wines from lieu dit that have been farmed by his family for decades. However, when young Pico took over selected sites from his father, he converted them from conventional to organic and biodynamics, returning to the kind of farming his grandfather began. Wild yeast fermented and with no inputs, this, one of Pico's entry-level Chablis, is from vines averaging 55 years, mostly massale plantings from his grandfather around the villages of Corgis and Preys, around 300m at altitude on kimmeridgian soils. A long, slow ferment in a combo of stainless and cement eggs, this continued aging in those vessels, along with 10 percent in old oak before it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Green apple, earthy lees, fine chalky grip around the edges, with shimmering acidity, lemon and precise fine spicing to a nutty finish. Beauty, understated and authentic, and his wines only complex from here. If you see these wines, buy, because Pico lost a lot (nearly everything) in the past two, very poor vintages in Chablis, so quantities are rock bottom low.Prices: BC 43.00 Producer: Domaine Pattes Loup
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Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin Petit Chablistext
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Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin Petit Chablis 2015

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThis is a humble Petit Chablis from one of the appellation's historic, unsung (IMHO) producers, the father-son team of Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin. The Droins have been producing wines in Chablis for 400 years (their history as vignerons dates back at least to 1620). Benoît represents the 14th generation of Droins and is one of the most dynamic young winemakers in the region today. They own 13 ha of vineyards, including many 1er and Grand Cru sites. Lemon and stones ride along a bed of lees in this streamlined white, with ample pear, subtle stone fruit, lemon and fine spice. There's an earthy herbal wave to the finish. Ideal for drinking now, while you wait for your Grand Cru Chablis to be ready.Prices: AB 34.95 Producer: Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin
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Rodney Strong Chardonnaytext
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRipe, rich, sweeter and full on the creamy palate, this is what most folks think of with modern, commercial, Cali chardonnay. With 60 percent barrel fermented and aged in oak for six months and the remainder is cold fermented in stainless steel, this is wood-evident, with tinned white asparagus, dense lemon curd, pear butter and baked apple. There's a swing of acidity here, counter balanced against the rich, ripe fruit. The short, warm, vanilla-kissed finish welcomes pairing with creamy pasta dishes or theatre-style popcorn.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 22.00 QC 20.00 ON 20.00 SK 22.99 MB 19.99 NB 25.00 YK 26.00 NF 26.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hilltext
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hill 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRodney Strong was the first to plant chardonnay in Sonoma's Chalk Hills in 1965, an area that became its own AVA in 1983. The volcanic, chalky, white ash soils, unique to the area, can be seen in the stream of fine minerality throughout this fuller white. I'd love to see less wood here, so the site and soils really rings. As stands now, barrel ferment (partial new) and wood toast leads the creamy palate, with the yellow apple, pear, nougat and lemon curd finishing this off with a trailing spiciness. Less is more, please.Prices: ON 25.00 BC 27.99 QC 26.00 SK 29.99 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Cakebread Cellars Chardonnaytext
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Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay 2014

Napa Valley, California, United StatesA fresher style for a change with some leesy reductive notes that add a touch of complexity. On the palate, the fruit is bright with pear/apple, modest bits of toast and fine acidity. Easy drinking and food friendly this one is mostly ready-to-go despite its price. Serve through 2019 to best effect.Prices: BC 64.99 ON 69.95 Producer: Cakebread Cellars
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Fort Berens Chardonnaytext
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Fort Berens Chardonnay 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Lillooet, Oliver and Similkameen fruit, this chardonnay was 30 percent fermented and aged in French oak, partially wild, and partial MLF. After six months, this was united with the stainless steel portion and bottled. Bright yellow apple and Anjou pear on a creamy base, with florals, pineapple on the finish. It's a bit short and acidic on the finish but all in all ready for crab cakes or buttered clams. Good value.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Black Hills Chardonnaytext
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Black Hills Chardonnay 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2015 whites are all super rich and this sweet, ripe white with caramel and butterscotch spread thick on the palate is a classic example. Ripe melon, baked pear, vanilla, a whack of spicy oak sit under a slick of glycerol. There is a lemon curd butteriness on the long, warm, round, sweet fruit finish. Old school, old style Napa which may appeal to a certain crowd. Best with lobster or fresh cracked crab.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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19 July 2017

Orofino Vineyards Gamaytext
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Orofino Vineyards Gamay 2016

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom two vineyards in Cawston, this was planted in 1999 and 2010 on Stemwinder soils (angular granite shale). Look for dusky savoury spicy cherry, downy raspberry, blackcurrant expressed along a crunchy, salty, stony bed. Acidity is fine and nimble, humming along the lingering finish. A more structured, severe shade of friendly gamay that needs some grilled sausages to really sing. #GoGamayGo.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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18 July 2017

Blue Grouse Quill Rosétext
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Blue Grouse Quill Rosé 2016

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaA 50/50 blend of Cowichan pinot noir and gamay, this bright, crisp, paler rosé is brisk and dry, with a shade of raspberry sweetness lining the light palate. Acidity is lively and shining, lifting tight rhubarb, wild strawberry and alluring spices. Yes please Wine Islands! More of this, liberally.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Fort Berens Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

British Columbia, CanadaOff dry and juicy, with pear drop, strawberry gummies and a swell of acidity on the generous palate. Cold soak, with a three day skin contact to preserve orchard fruit freshness with a moderate colouring. Has the intensity and glycerol-lined body to take on salmon or portobello burgers. Marked improvement over last year.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Radio Boka Summer Sangriatext
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Radio Boka Summer Sangria NV

Valencia, Valencia and Murcia, SpainOK. For reals. What is this? It's hard to say. It's the regular Radio Boka tempranillo, from Valencia, blended with orange juice (si, from Valencia) along with pineapple and peach (now you've lost me), to create a sweet, summer-necessary, ice-necessary, no stirring or mixing necessary sangria. There's some cinnamon hearts and a shift of grip on the palate that closes out the short finish. I reckon, for the price you could buy a heap of fresh fruit and a bottle of cheap and cheerful and make your OWN sangria (Google it) that's oceans beyond this.Prices: BC 14.49 MB 12.99 Producer: Vinnico Exports
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Sperling Vin Gris of Pinot Noirtext
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Sperling Vin Gris of Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs the name suggests, this is a white-ish wine from red grapes - in this case, a pale peach from pinot noir. Whole cluster press, wild ferment, full MLF and into puncheons for twelve months, this opens with earthy lees, wild herbs, rock salts before an alluring bed of wild strawberry, faint wildflowers and subtle cherry notes. River stones and salted herbs linger on the tingling finish, drawing you back for more (especially as the bottle opens up). Light on palate (12 percent), this is a memorable, intriguing white/red/rosé.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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17 July 2017

Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancstext
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Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainCorked. Try another.Prices: BC 15.49 MB 19.00 Producer: Codorníu
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Segura Viudas Heredad  Brut Reservatext
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Segura Viudas Heredad Brut Reserva NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThough some call this silver gilt bottle Spanish gaudy (or is it Gaudí?) the Heredad is the high end cuvee from Segura Viudas. This is only old vine macabeo and parellada, with a minimum of 30 months on the lees. Ample and generous with sweet dough, brioche, baked red apple, pear, all tightened on the finish with a welcome pear skin briskness. Pour this when you want a richer Champagne at half the price.Prices: BC 31.99 ON 38.00 AB 35.00 NF 38.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cavatext
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Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainA cuvee of macabeo (50%), parellada (35%) and xarel-lo (15%) from the Alt Penedès region of Spain, this consistent value wine has earned itself a following worldwide. Fruity and frisky, generously ripe and round, this is full with red apple, floral, almonds on a creamy lemon-clad palate. Easy to understand and omnipresenct on our shelves (at an affordable price) this is one to stock up on this summer and year round.Prices: AB 16.00 BC 15.49 ON 15.00 QC 14.00 MB 15.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
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Giró Ribot Brut Reserva Cava Ab Originetext
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Giró Ribot Brut Reserva Cava Ab Origine NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), Spain“Ab Origine” means from the roots. With macabre, xarello, parellada and chardonnay vines between 20-30 years of age, this spends up to 30 months on the lees in bottle, adding to the complexity. Earthy, mushroom, nutty, savoury, with a bright palate lined with downy lees, and finishing with a tight and fine pithy lemon peel and green apple shimmer. Very characterful and serious. Good value.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: Giró Ribot
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Greyfriars Blanc de Blancstext
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Greyfriars Blanc de Blancs 2014

EnglandCrisy and racy chardonnay from the North Downs was fermented in stainless and aged in oak for 3-6 months before resting in the bottle for two years.Prices: UK 21.00 Producer: Greyfriars Vineyard
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Genevieve Blanc de Blancstext
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Genevieve Blanc de Blancs 2012

Overberg, South AfricaCrisp and tight, this MCC from Overberg is zero dosage, and spent tine on the lees, evident in the fine green apple, pear cushion on the medium bodied palate. Large flake salts, spice on the rear ground this strict bubble. Not for everyone, but for those looking for acidity and tight, neat fruit, this is it.Prices: Producer: Genevieve
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14 July 2017

Haywire The Bub Bottle Fermented and Agedtext
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Haywire The Bub Bottle Fermented and Aged 2015

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bub is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Oliver's Secrest Vineyard. After fermentation in concrete and stainless, this was bottled in November 2015 for secondary fermentation, and disgorged late December 2016 with zero dosage. They've dialled it here: crisp, tight, focused and ringed with orchard fruit, finishing with light toast, pithy white grapefruit note and frisky acidity. Light in body and alcohol (10.5 percent), which is welcome.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut Méthode Classiquetext
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Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut Méthode Classique 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRose petals, raspberry blossoms, earthy forest berries and a dusty stone on this traditional method blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier. Lots of fruit here, but the finish is a bit murky and flat. Will try another bottle in future for variation.Prices: BC 18.49 AB 25.31 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut Rosetext
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut Rose NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a dark peach hue, this is a dry and pithy pinot noir fizz, sourced from Summerland's Heckmann Family Organic Vineyard. Whole cluster pressed, this had a dosage of still red wine before resting on the lees for at least three years in bottle. Cranberry, rhubarb, black cherry rides a frisky, toasty and fruit-forward palate, one that lingers with mandarin, smoked stones and raspberry. Gentle sweetness (less than 9 g/l) makes this approachable. I can't taste this without thinking of turkey and cranberry.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Tantalus Blanc de Noirtext
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Tantalus Blanc de Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a single block of 1985-planted Clone 93 pinot noir, fermented and aged for six months in neutral oak barrels before two years on the lees. The wine was disgorged in the Spring of 2017 and received a light 2015 Juveniles Pinot Noir dosage before finishing in bottle. Pointed strawberry, herbal raspberry, red apple, almond biscotti, white cherry fill the mouth, finely detailed with acidity and finishing with a chalky riffing note.Prices: BC 27.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Bruttext
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStriking, potent and direct, with a sharp chalkiness, green apple chisel, red apple grip, smoked stone in a driving, persistent, linear frame. For all its intensity, this impressive fizz, from 1978 planted vines, streams lightness and lift. This spent two years on the lees before disgorgement in spring 2017, and a dosage of Tantalus' Old Vine Riesling (wow). Electric and nervy, with a lingering white grapefruit pith, this is an energetic wine in youth, and one that will continue to deepen and build with cellaring. Memorable.Prices: BC 34.70 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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13 July 2017

A.D. Beckham MMXV Creta Amphora Pinot Noirtext
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Creta Amphora Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesStunner. Creta is Latin for clay, signalling that this A.D. Beckham wine was fermented and aged in Andrew Beckham's handmade amphora, (if you want to try the amphora fermented / wood aged wine look for the Lignum Pinot Noir). You can see it visually on the label: the Lignum is a half amphora outline, while the Creta shows a full amphora. Dry- and organically farmed, this is estate grown Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777, fermented wild and with 30 percent whole cluster, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dried cherry, black plum, wild cassis and thorns are textured with abundant iron and graphite. Tannins are finely grippy and acidity is lifted and effortless, brightening and chiseled the medium body. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this lingers long in the mouth and memory.Prices: USA 55.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Lignum Amphora Pinot Noirtext
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Lignum Amphora Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLignum is Latin for wood, signalling that even though this A.D. Beckham wine was fermented in Andrew Beckham's handmade amphora, this wine was finished in old French oak barrels (if you want to try the amphora fermented wine that was aged in amphora, look for the Creta Pinot Noir). You can see it visually on the label: the Lignum is a half amphora outline, while the Creta shows a full amphora. In comparison, this is softer on the palate than the bristling Creta. Wild fermented, dry and organically farmed, this was 25 percent whole cluster and four clones of pinot (Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dark cherry, subtle blackcurrant, plum, mellow resin, with a dusky shadow of sticky tannins and a softly flowing form. Acidity is brisk and helpful to lift the medium body to a lingering, salted finish.Prices: USA 45.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Grenachetext
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Grenache 2015

Rogue Valley, Oregon, United StatesWinemaker Andrew Beckham is also a talented ceramicist, and his A.D. Beckham wines are fermented and aged in terra cotta vessels he made on his family's Chehalem Mountain estate. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this throws a slightly cloudy hue. This grenache was sourced from Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley, was wild fermented in Andrew's amphora, with half aged in his vessels and the remainder aged in ten year old barrel. Sunripened sweet strawberry, cherry jam, raspberry is lifted with a bright swell of acidity and lined with a very fine slick of thorny resin and dusty stone. A subtle grippiness to the tannins hint to the use of amphora, a welcome temperance to grenache's natural abundance.Prices: USA 40.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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Beckham Estate Vineyard  Sophia's Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Beckham Estate Vineyard Sophia's Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesNamed for their eldest daughter, this organic, dry-farmed pinot noir is solely own-rooted Dijon 115 from the Beckham's Jory soiled estate vineyard. Fermented wild, with 25 percent whole cluster, this spent 15 months in French oak, ten percent of which was new. A darker, deeper shade of pinot versus their estate pinot (which is a blend of four clones), this streams black raspberry, perfumed dark cherry and a lick of black liquorice along finely grippy, firm tannins and a with a stony spice woven throughout to a finely salty finish. Structural, while still being light and finessed, this is impressive now and will age.Prices: USA 40.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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Beckham Estate Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Beckham Estate Pinot Noir 2014

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesOrganic, dry-farmed on volcanic Jory and Saum soils, this vintage of Estate Pinot Noir is four clones (Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) of pinot noir. Wild yeast fermented and 35 percent whole cluster, this was aged in French oak for 15 months, ten percent of which is new. Perfumed black raspberry, sun-ripened strawberry, forest berries and smoked pepper is housed with fine, firm tannins on a medium bodied palate. There's a lovely, approachability to this serious wine, making it highly accessible and drinkable now.Prices: USA 30.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Pinot Gristext
92PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Pinot Gris 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThis single vineyard pinot gris was skin fermented and partially aged in amphora that Andrew Beckham hand crafted and fired on their family estate in Chehalem Mountain. The remaining 50 percent was aged in French acacia barrels before all was blended and bottled unfined and unfiltered. A turbid deep russet pink / peach in hue, with grippy peach fuzz, broken stones, scented with wild flowers and herbal scrub. Buoyant acidity is perfectly pitched to carry the intensity of this natural wine, leaving just a riff of pithy grip on the lingering finish. This is not about fruit, and alluringly so. Enjoy over many hours as this is continually evolving in the glass. Impressive natural beauty.Prices: USA 38.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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A.D. Beckham MMXVI Amphora Vermentinotext
90PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXVI Amphora Vermentino 2016

Applegate Valley, Rogue Valley, Oregon, United StatesFrom Full Quiver Vineyard in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley, this vermentino was transformed through fermentation and time spent in Andrew Beckham's hand crafted and kilned amphora. Beckham, a high-school ceramics teacher, makes his own terra cotta amphorae for the Beckham's line of naturalist wines, denoted by A.D. Beckham. The Vermentino is the newest in the A.D. portfolio. This was wild fermented and aged in his terra cotta vessels for ten weeks before a tightening stint in stainless for six weeks, and then bottling unfined and unfiltered. Lightly grippy, with orange oil, bergamot blossom, pear skin, Asian pear, pine nuts and brisk green apple acidity, this alluring white is lighter in body, but weighted with texture and gravitas. Only 65 cases.Prices: USA 24.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia's Pinot Noir Rosétext
91PTS

Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia's Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesNamed for the Beckham's youngest daughter, this is four clones of organic, dry-farmed pinot noir (Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) from the rocky, volcanic soils of their Chehalem Mountain estate vineyard. Lively and bright, this dry rose rings with wild strawberry, delicate ripe cherry and whiffs of raspberry on a bed of firm, stony spice. The light/medium palate glides with a cushion of lees, before a lingering, spicy finish. Effortless finesse and poise. Bonus - it also is bottled in magnum.Prices: US 22.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
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12 July 2017

Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is young vine (four years), single vineyard, estate chardonnay, hence the name Juveniles. Wild fermented, this was raised in stainless and neutral barrels. Bright lemon, cool cream, tight spice and a light smoked stone define this medium bodied wine, swept up at the finish with a tight twist. Impressively structured, juicy and drinkable - without being dumbed down - this is what you drink now while you lay your seriously age-worthy Chardy down. Well done Tantalus (and this price!)Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Tantalus Chardonnay 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSerious juice, Tantalus' aim with this was to marry Burgundy's power with the Okanagan's freshness. This is a wild ferment of 1985 Oppenheim plantings plus 2007 Dijon clones, fermented in French oak puncheons and barriques (30 percent new) where it remained for the next year. 2015 was a hot, and characteristically flabby year for Okanagan whites. At this young stage, power wins out, with ample toasted wood structure and spice leading the fore. But with time (or an ample decant) you get a glimpse of what is lurking underneath the lemon curd and peel, apricot, peach pit fuzziness and a creme brûlée sweetness. Lay this one down for a few years while you drink the Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnay now.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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11 July 2017

Matua Valley Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandPerfumed potpourri of spices, with sultry raspberry, strawberry jam, lavender, baked rhubarb, pink peppercorns flooding the medium bodied palate, one sharpened with a balsamic note and finishing with a flush of warmth. Tannins are gentle and soft on a downy cushion. Easy to like, and an accessible entry into pinot without being dumbed down.Prices: BC 19.00 AB 18.00 ON 18.00 Producer: Matua Valley Wines
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Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir Vinedo de Paredonestext
88PTS

Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir Vinedo de Paredones 2015

Valle del Colchagua, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileFrom coastal vineyards in Paradones, Colchagua comes a soft, round, juicy, pinot noir that pleases with gentle strawberry fruit. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in pure fun. In fact, it’s a little less cool-climate and a little more mild. We served it with pork kebabs and it was perfect. Good value.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Viña Casa Silva
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Tantalus Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDusky plum, black raspberry, cherry plumps out this fine-grained and sweetly sunned pinot noir. Dark forest berries, moss and earthy notes fill the voluminous palate, one that is kept tidy with finely gritty, cedar-seasoned tannins and fresh acidity. This was small-batch picked, fermented wild, and into new and older French oak for 11 months before final blending and bottling. There is impressive structure and styling here and it's wearing time well. If you need to open it now try it with wild mushrooms or planked salmon.Prices: BC 26.00 AB 30.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Little Engine Gold Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Little Engine Gold Pinot Noir 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Gold label is all about richness and power, what they call their autumnal pinot. Spiced black fruits, truffles, and savoury Okanagan dried herbs mark the palate of this warm, rich, sweet pinot that’s more Russian River than Naramata. The finish is a mix of smoke with a lick of sweet balsamic. Duck, turkey, mushroom risotto are required to take on the power here.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
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La Crema Pinot Noir Willamettetext
90PTS

La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette 2014

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLa Crema pinot noir is always on the hedonistic spectrum emphasizing soft, ripe black cherry with a fair lashing of oak. In this case, there is a piney, spicy, smoky worsteshire ‘Oregon’ undercurrent that balances the overall weight and ripeness of this wine. This is just entering its prime drinking window but should be fine for another two or three years. Serve with turkey, pork or salmon to best effect.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 40.00 Producer: La Crema
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La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valleytext
91PTS

La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThis wine has been good for a while and the price is more than fair. Look for a lively spicy entry with bright juicy dark cherry and a wash of dried herbs. The palate is plummy and smooth with a long, warm, spicy finish and round, soft tannins. Perfect oak for the fruit. A well-made pinot noir that should be a restaurant standard, it is a mix of seven clones from eight vineyards aged in 100 French oak but only 20 percent is new.Prices: BC 59.99 AB 49.99 ON 45.00 QC 42.95 Producer: La Crema
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Little Engine Silver Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Little Engine Silver Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Naramata Bench, this saw 15 percent whole cluster and three weeks maceration before tank settling and 15 months in French oak barrel (28 percent new).The wood is evident immediately on the nose and palate, poking through the dusky black plum and blackberry, cherry leather, hickory spice and balsamic sheen. A swing of forest notes surmises pinot noir, but this potent, warm and direct dark red is suitable for all things roasted lamb. Hoping for a lighter touch in future so we can see the site and grape, not the winemaking.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you prefer your pinot noir on the riper side with more dark fruit the 2014 reserve is for you. The wine spills from the glass with beautiful perfumed black cherry and ripe damson plum. The tannins are dense and soft, adding some flesh to the mid-palate and finish. The fruit is all estate, a blend of five French clones, all pressed into French oak barrels for ten months. More Russian River than Burgundy this year but so delicious and drinking well right now.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 44.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Liquidity Estate Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Liquidity Estate Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2015 pinot steps back to a more rustic style. Bright, spicy cherry jam with notes of worsteshire mark its cool earthy palate. The tannins are bit sticky at this point suggesting more bottle time. Best now with some classic matches like salmon, duck or turkey.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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10 July 2017

Bella Wines Gamay Methode Ancestrale Westbanktext
90PTS

Bella Wines Gamay Methode Ancestrale Westbank 2016

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the organic, volcanic soiled Beaumont vineyard in Westbank, this ancestrale method gamay pours a deep watermelon hue. Tight rhubarb, cherry leather, cranberries on a stony base. The finish is pithy and dry, lingering with smokey stones and a vibrant hum that carries the finish far. Zero additives, this was hand bottled and tagged; there is no label on the bottle itself, but a singular paper catalogue tag affixed by string.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Brut Similkameen Valleytext
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Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Brut Similkameen Valley 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Similkameen, this is Bella's only pet nat (methode ancestrale) with some RS (14 g/l RS). This is certified organic chardonnay from Keremeos' Robin Ridge Vineyard. Ripe pear, white peach, apricot, yellow apple, ripe starfruit on a tight, pithy, limey, off-dry palate, one ringing with bright acidity to offset the sweetness. Pours clear, indicating this was disgorged prior to release. Quite impactful (and impressive) for 10.3 percent, and has come into fine balance.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Bella Estate Vineyardtext
89PTS

Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Bella Estate Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOnly 18 cases were made of this estate Ancestrale, a mix of biodynamically-farmed, wild co-fermented gamay and chardonnay from Jay and Wendy's silty clay soils. Juicy and direct, with a flash of fleshy cherry, strawberry jam, raspberry leaf juicy watermelon and orange pith on the finish. The core of cherry jam charms, as does the 10.5 percent alcohol, perfectly balanced. There's a lovely flow to this juicy, deeper hued fizz. An accessable ancestral = well done Bella.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Gamay Noir Methode Ancestrale Mariani Vineyardtext
88PTS

Bella Wines Gamay Noir Methode Ancestrale Mariani Vineyard 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata's young Mariani Vineyard, this is a single grape (gamay), single clone (787), single vineyard pet nat in its third leaf (1st fruit taken). Organically farmed on silty clay soils, this was fermented wild in old barrels until the brix reached 2.5, when it was hand-bottled with no additives. The funk is still evident: white florals, pear blossom, this is sharp on the entry and brief on the finish, with ample acetone funk on the end. Pours fairly clear, indicating this was disgorged prior to release. Promising for the future.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Westbank Gamay Rosé Bruttext
89PTS

Bella Wines Westbank Gamay Rosé Brut 2016

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis terroir-focused traditional method fizz is from organic, volcanic soiled Beaumont Vineyard in Westbank. Fifteen-year-old vines, this was destemmed for pressing, and fermented wild for primary. Deep watermelon hue, a departure from Bella's typical pale wines, but don't let that turn you off this dry and vibrant rosé brut. Juicy wild strawberry, cranberry, rhubarb and mandarin pith fill the palate with a rush of acidity on the palate and a snap of cranberry briskness on the finish. Still dry and pithy, but more accessible than some of the more severe bruts Bella does.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Hillside Cellars Founders Blocktext
87PTS

Bella Wines Hillside Cellars Founders Block 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHillside Cellars Founders Block is from 34 year old vines planted at the winery's Naramata Bench estate, on alluvial loam soil. Unlike Bella's other wines, this was farmed conventionally, though winemaker Jay Drysdale was keen to learn more about working with older vines, as all of his other vineyards are comparatively much younger. I don't know whether this is reflective of the farming, but this was not as fluid and balanced as the other 2016 bruts tasted. Whole cluster pressed, this will wild fermented (for primary) and no sulphur used. Sharper and sour tight strawberry, with tight, unyielding fruit and stern on the palate, with searing acidity, a beer-hoppiness and a bitter broken stone finish. There's a lactic coat on the pithy, grapefruit finish. A clear and authentic reflection of site.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Cavada Gamay Rosé Bruttext
89PTS

Bella Wines Cavada Gamay Rosé Brut 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Vineyard Series gamay fizz is from the granite-soiled Cavada vineyard, at the far end of Naramata Bench. Neglected in recent years, it is in the process of being converted to organic viticulture and has been dry-farmed for the past two years - always a transitional phase for the vineyard. Twenty-two year old vines were whole cluster pressed, wild ferment (primary) and sans sulfur. A pale pink hue, with pink grapefruit, rainier cherry, light dough, white pepper, strawberry leaf bite which cleanses the brisk, green apple finish. Bone dry and textured, this is a big step up from last year's Cavada.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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Bella Wines Reserve Brut Nature Oliver Eastside Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Bella Wines Reserve Brut Nature Oliver Eastside Chardonnay 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted one year along. This style has been vintner Jay Drysdale's goal from the beginning of Bella: a serious fizz of the calibre of top grower champagne, but bursting with what it means to be Canadian. Singularly sourced from Oliver's calcium carbonate-laced Cerqueira Vineyard, this chardonnay spent forty months on the lees and was bottled with no dosage and sulfured only after first ferment. The searing apple acidity is now starting to relax slightly, with a honeyed warmth that wraps around a tight citrus core. There's a smoked minerality and fine salts on the lengthy finish. Riveting structure, exciting stuff. Very promising future for this project, and this wine. Only 25 cases were released, with the remainder to be held 6-8 years. Looking forward to tasting again then.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Bella Wines
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07 July 2017

Road 13 Syrah Malbectext
87PTS

Road 13 Syrah Malbec 2015

British Columbia, CanadaThe 2015 Syrah Malbec (tipped with viognier and gamay!) is a thick, sweet, dense, overt affair, with pervading waves of charcoal smoke (2015 was the big forest fire year), rich cassis, blackberry jam on a full palate, one that finishes with a bitter espresso twist. Road 13's characteristic sweet musk violets pervade again here, with the candied pastille jockeying with the smoked peppercorn for final say. The finish is blocky and wood-led, leaving the palate with dark roasted coffee beans. More, is not more.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Road 13
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Vérité Le Désirtext
96PTS

Vérité Le Désir 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe 2013 Désir is a blend of 62/22/11/5/ cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec aged 15 months in 100 percent new French oak. Perhaps the spiciest, it opens with a whiff an alluring hint of white pepper. The attack is as powerful and elegant as it gets, clearly mimicking the great wines of Saint Emilion. With so much finesse already evident you could drink this now although I would say wait a decade. The attack is round, the tannins chalky and soft with fine black tea, licorice, orange with a stony mineral backend. Impressive style and seemingly set to age for decades. Try now with Bistecca Fiorentina.Prices: BC 499.99 AB 400.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
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Vérité La Joietext
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Vérité La Joie 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesVérité is French for truth, and the truth is this is this has always been an old world wine made in the new world. Each year is a distinct mix of numerous small vineyard blocks. The maestro is vigneron Pierre Seillan, who refers to his methodology as droit du sol or the right of the soil. In 2013 La Joie is a 71/16/8/5 mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot that spends 15 months in 100 percent new French oak. The attack is leaner than you might expect for California, more Bordelais left bank with a firm, spicy, earthy, forest floor undercurrent. The tannins are dense but refined; the fruit pretty but intense, mixing black berries and black cherries, licorice, cocoa powder with more earth and mushroom notes before finishing long, firm and dry. Amazing complexity and elegance here and certainly the potential to keep at least twenty-five years. Best now with lamb shanks or a T-Bone steak but this baby should be cellared for a decade.Prices: BC 499.99 AB 450.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
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Mt. Boucherie Meritagetext
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Mt. Boucherie Meritage 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWe were surprised (and a little reticent) to see the 2012 vintage of Meritage as a current release from Mt. Boucherie. Where has it been hiding. The blend of Similkameen and Okanagan Valley fruit, and 74/26 cabernet sauvignon / cabernet franc was aged 30 months in French oak. The attack is rich and full with dried blackberry, kirsch, with port-like plums, leather, clove and nutmeg spices. Tannins are full measure through its drying, hot finish. Too much power and flavour at this point, but could be brought under control with a piece of roast beef or lamb.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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06 July 2017

Pewsey Vale Single Vineyard Estate Rieslingtext
91PTS

Pewsey Vale Single Vineyard Estate Riesling 2016

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaEnglishman Joseph Gilbert planted the Pewsey Vale vineyard in 1847. It wasn’t until 1961 that Geoff Angas-Parsons and Wyndham Hill Smith fully developed the historic vineyard site at 540 metres above sea level into the contoured Pewsey Vale Vineyard: a single vineyard dedicated to a single variety – riesling. The 2016 is particularly dry and clipped, showing a floral mix of dried herbs, white pepper and tight, fresh lime pith acidity. The finish is equally dry and stony with a touch of sea salt that calls for food.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 22.99 QC 22.99 Producer: Pewsey Vale
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Gunderloch Fritz's Rieslingtext
88PTS

Gunderloch Fritz's Riesling 2013

Rheinhessen, GermanyThough Fritz's, named for principal Fritz Hasselbach, is a catchy label and name, don't be fooled. The grapes here come from the same area as their premium wines, grown in a special part of the Rheinhessen called the Roter Hang, or Red Hill. These slate soils are red in colour, and the iron oxide deposits impart a lot of minerality to the wines. Tangerine, pear, Asian pear, tangerine flows, housed by a beauty lime leaf tension around the edges. There’s a noticeable bump of sweetness here on the juicy, off-dry, waxy palate, well balanced by the zip of acidity.Prices: BC 18.49 ON 14.00 QC 16.00 MB 16.00 AB 16.00 Producer: Weingut Gunderloch
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Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan Ruppertsberg Riesling Trockentext
89PTS

Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan Ruppertsberg Riesling Trocken 2015

Pfalz, GermanyThis is sourced from the Bassermann-Jordan's estate vineyards in Ruppertsberg, fermented wild and without any additives. Alluring nose of stones, lemon verbena, tangerine pear skin and a wash of petrol on the juicy, pulpy, cushioned core. Dry and honey-sheened, this matches well the bitter pithiness of the citrus against underripe orchard fruit, all bedded with stones, plumped with Pfalz generosity, and finishing with a swipe of anise.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bassermann-Jordan
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Saar Rieslingtext
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Saar Riesling 2016

Mosel, GermanyQuiet floral, dried herbs nose with bits of fresh cut apples. Just off-dry, but barely noticeable, with the Saar minerality and stones leading a fresh palate of salty, orchard fruits that is pristine and lip-smacking. Cool and fresh and steely but with a sense of fruit that is inviting. Load up.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Rieslingtext
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Riesling 2016

Mosel, GermanyThe Piesport town name has a long history of growing wine, some of which ends up to be some pretty ordinary stuff. Not the St. Urbans-Hof Goldtröpfchen Black Label Kabinett, however. The soil is heavy slate and the Weiss family farms some of the oldest vineyards in Goldtröpfchen with steep, rocky banks down to the river. The dark slate heats all day and releases its warmth all night and the result is a very rich style Kabinett, brimming with bright, tropical fruit. The palate is a story of black fruits, warm stones, peaches, and like last year, a dash of gooseberry. Sweet-ish yet refined, its the final elegance that pulls you back into a delicious bottle of sophisticated wine.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Kabinetttext
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett 2016

Mosel, GermanyWhen third generation Nik Weis took over St. Urbans-Hof in 1997, he steered the venerable Mosel site sustainable. Organic fertilizers, wild ferment, no additives are all employed to showcase the true nature of this steep slope of gravelled slate. A gentle press and fermentation in stainless at cool cellar temperatures captured the delicacy and light spritz of the grape, before aging in traditional 1000L fuder for a few months. So much ginger here – leading off a rich and full kabinett riesling. Elderflower, lilies, apricot, honeyed pear, gingerale and river rock, and a flush of perfumed tangerine and mandarin. This lingers with rosewater and fine jasmine spicing and a gentle smoked stone.Prices: BC 33.99 MB 27.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Rebentext
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Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2016

Mosel, GermanyAll St Urbans-Hof dry wines bear a white label, not to mention an electric opening of freshness in the mouth. The Weiss family are third generation winegrowers and the second largest family owned and operated winery in the Mosel. Wiltinger is a "village" wine but don’t be fooled. The fruit comes off the 22-acre parcel known as Schlangengraben, a south facing site over red slate well-suited to its ‘Alte Reben’ or old vines planted in the 1930s. Intensely herbal and salty, it smells like a fresh low tide, with green apple and peach flecks throughout. There is some sweetness trying to break through, but it's held intact by the salty minerality. Beautiful balance and Mosel finesse.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
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Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinetttext
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Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2014

Mosel, GermanyThe Piesporter Goldtropfchen vineyard is rocky and steep, opening south and wide, amphitheatre-style, at an acute bend in the Moselle River. There is a hint of petrol and botrytis on the nose before the minerality, white peach, honey and gooseberry takes over. Lively, fresh and treading the sweet and sour line, it is both elegant, assertive and complex. A real treat. So much more than just pure acid.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt
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Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlesetext
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Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese 2015

Mosel, GermanyThe steep, south facing Scharzhofberg vineyard is one of the Saar's most famous and climatically coolest site. With 6.6 ha, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt numbers among the largest owners with holdings in the site. Loess, coarse gray and reddish slate (up to 70%) contribute to the characteristic minerality of this site. This striking wine certainly complies, with ample crushed stone, wet slate, honeyed pear, quince, yellow apple, crystalline lemon and earthy, dried herbs filtered throughout.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt
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Poet's Leap Rieslingtext
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Poet's Leap Riesling 2015

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThe Long Shadow is German Armin Diel, whose family has owned the celebrated estate of Schlossgut Diel, in Burg Layen, in the Nahe River Valley since 1802. The facilitator is the patient LS winemaker Gilles Nicault. Despite a super warm year, this has still yielded fresh and lively Poet’s Leap character, rich with peach and kumquat flavors, bits of minerality and wet stones and only 1.23 percent residual sugar. Clearly some impressive viticulture is taking place in Eastern Washington. The 2015 blend is a mix of Columbia Valley vineyards, of which roughly half is from German clones planted in the Horse Heaven Hills high above the Columbia River. How good could this be under screwcap versus its natural cork closure? 4,490 cases produced.Prices: BC 35.00 US 20.00 QC 31.00 AB 31.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Long Shadows Vintners
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Collection Schloss Schnait Riesling Trockentext
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Collection Schloss Schnait Riesling Trocken 2013

Württemberg, GermanyFrom the Felsengartenkellerei Co-op, this Wurttemberg riesling streams gingerale, tangerine, green apple, on a lean palate, one textured with earthy orange and pithy acidity. More severe and angular with broken stones, this has a gentle roundness on the palate, but finishes dry with a flush of warmth.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Schloss Schnait
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05 July 2017

DouRosa Vinho Brancotext
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DouRosa Vinho Branco 2009

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalWhat fortune to find this vintage of a white Portuguese wine currently on shelves in BC. If you think all Portuguese wines are cheap and cheerful drink-nows, think again. This blend of old vine viosinho, gouveio, arinto is from granitic soils, 600m altitude above the rugged Douro Valley. Honeyed almonds, rock salts, pear leather, quince, stones flow slowly along the palate, buoyed by an ever-present wave of easy acidity. The finish snaps with mineral salts - highly impressive, and lingering. This has shed all the fresh fruit of youth, revealing layers of maturity far beyond its price.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Quinta da Rosa Vinhos S.A.
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Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe, round and soft the Tinhorn gris is always a crowd pleaser. Plenty of pear and honey mark the nose and palate with just enough orchard fruit acidity to keep it fresh. Ripe enough to take on dishes with a bit of spice or chill down and serve liberally on the patio with your favourite charcuterie plate. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +20/09text
88PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +20/09 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTexturally lush and full bodied, this is sourced from three Naramata Bench sites plus Skaha Bluffs site. The fruit is whole cluster pressed and settled with no skin contact. It’s fermented in 50% neutral French oak barrels, 30% stainless steel and 20% concrete eggs all aged sur lie for 5 months with weekly stirring. Ripe peach, apricot, pear and red apple jump from the glass with a just enough acid to keep it interesting. The finish is blanketed in cedar, floral spice. Serve now with fresh salmon or halibut.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris Vintner's Reservetext
86PTS

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris Vintner's Reserve 2016

California, United StatesWinemaker Randy Ullom is having fun with pinot gris, mixing about 25 percent other grapes (roussanne, chardonnay, marsanne, albariño, viognier and muscat) and ageing the juice in both wood and stainless steel. Expect a fresh tropical white with melon, honey, grapefruit, pear and lees with a touch of vanilla. Fruit friendly, if a little varietally confused, but ready to drink.Prices: BC 24.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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River Stone Pinot Gristext
88PTS

River Stone Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSunripened pear, peach and canteloupe in this Oliver pinot gris, now a highlight of their portfolio. The medium body is scented with roses, bedded with river rock and lined with fine lees. From their estate River Rock vineyard, this was fermented and aged on fine lees in stainless steel to preserve the fresh fruit. Very complete, right to the finely spiced finish.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2015

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe site is encircled by natural vegetation including sage, bunch grass, ponderosa pine and fruit trees that all appear in the wine, but the flavours are more terroir than fruit and frankly, pleasantly complex. The site is planted to clone 52 Pinot Gris, now ten years old and just hitting its stride. The wine goes through full malolactic and is aged in concrete tanks for ten months on its gross lees. Intense herbal aromas mix with floral leesy notes flecked with honeysuckle and peach. Love the complexity here that takes this label to a completely different level. Not your mother’s pinot gris; the New Okanagan.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Fort Berens Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaEighty percent of the grapes come from Lillooet and as fresh as they seem they were supercharged by the addition of 20 percent from the Similkameen. Partial whole cluster pressed, partial new American oak fermented, and all with Montrachet yeast—hints to where they want to go with this fuller wine. Ripe pear, yellow apple, fine spice on a round palate, easily lifted with acidity and a sun sweetness to the snappy, sage-dusted finish. The fruit absorbs all the wood handily here. Impressive.Prices: BC 18.40 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Santa Julia Pinot Grigio Julia Zuccarditext
87PTS

Santa Julia Pinot Grigio Julia Zuccardi 2015

Mendoza, ArgentinaPear, apple and earthy lees, with ripe pear and dried apple lining the base and grapefruit rind to brighten. Surprisingly dry and grippy, all around a thicker base of melon and citrus lees. This is a medium bodied, solid wine that is more serious than the rice and label would suggest.Prices: BC 13.49 AB 13.99 SK 13.99 MB 10.99 ON 11.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Q do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Brancotext
90PTS

Q do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Branco NV

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom the stunning architecture of Quinta do Encontro (Google it) and the pristine, cool environment of Bairrada. In the western part of the Beiras, between the mountainous Dão and the Atlantic beaches, Bairrada has a maritime climate. This traditional method fizz is a blend of bical, maria gomes and arinto, with one year on the lees. Herbal lemon, white grapefruit, white fig, almond biscotti, lees bed and - characteristically - bitter herbs, this lighter bodied wine vibrates with acidity on the chalky finish.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Quinta do Encrontro
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Matua Valley Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Matua Valley Pinot Gris 2015

Gisborne - Poverty Bay, North Island, New ZealandYou never really know what you're going to get with New Zealand pinot gris. This one is ripe, full bodied and honeyed pear, surprisingly showing some maturity beyond its 2015 vintage and the warmth of the fruit basket of Gisbourne, on the North Island. Marmalade and ginger finish out the snappy finish.Prices: BC 21.49 Producer: Matua Valley Wines
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Harper's Trail Pinot Gris Thad Springs Vineyardtext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Pinot Gris Thad Springs Vineyard 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year it comes with a tinge of colour, or gris authenticity. The nose is fragrant and fresh with herbal, earthy, citrus, pear aromas that spill onto the palate. The attack is juicy and packed full of pear, quince and nectarine flavours. A ready-to-drink, just off-dry gris that would be perfect with a grilled, spicy chicken Santa-Fe style salad.Prices: BC 17.90 Producer: Harper's Trail Estate Winery
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Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
88PTS

Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCrisp, crunchy pink grapefruit, passionfruit and orange fill this bright, tropical pinot gris, one that feels like it carries a swing of sauvignon blanc. From Summerland's Golden Retreat vineyard, this is full of ripe and sun-drenched orchard fruit, felt in the bump of residual sugar on the medium+ palate and finish. A good weight and density to take on fruit dressed fish or vegetable curries.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Estate Collection Pinot  Gristext
84PTS

Mt. Boucherie Estate Collection Pinot Gris 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSweet, ripe and candied, with a noticeable reserve of sugar on the round, soft palate. Baked pear, yellow apple, quince paste on the fleshy, warm (14 percent) palate, with a low lying acidity to carry. Lacks verve and carries too much heat.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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04 July 2017

Ex Nihilo Rieslingtext
87PTS

Ex Nihilo Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEx Nihilo sits near 50 degrees north in cool-climate Lake Country, a perfect home for riesling, especially in 2015 when temperatures across the valley soared. The style of this riesling is lean and dry. The midpalate is tightly strung with yellow fruits dominating. The finish is dry, perhaps a touch woolly, with dry, stony mineral highlights. It's all free-run juice fermented in stainless steel before spending a few months in tank prior to bottling. A food-friendly, dry riesling that is ready to drink with soft cheeses or seafood.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Gray Monk Rieslingtext
87PTS

Gray Monk Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine always seems to over deliver for its price, even in 2015 when it might have been too warm in most of the Okanagan for crisp whites. Lake Country fruit has delivered a cooler demeanour riesling with peachy, lemon and green apple fruits and mostly bright acidity. The palate is equally fresh on attack with a mix of peachy, orange fruit and a soft back end. A perfect patio sipper. Serve well chilled with spicy sushi rolls.Prices: BC 13.89 AB 21.59 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Rieslingtext
88PTS

Fort Berens Riesling 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaFort Berens now produces two rieslings: the ‘Classic’ carries 6.7 g/l RS and 7.6 g/l TA, as opposed to the new 'Dry Riesling' sitting at 4.6 g/l RS and 8 g/l TA. Estate Lillooet grapes were blended with Vernon and Similkameen grapes, and fertilized with a mix of numerous yeasts for a cold, slow ferment. Ripe red apples, perfumed pear blossoms are tightened on the finish with a citrus twist. More dialled in than previous attempts; make some room on the patio for this sipper all summer.Prices: BC 18.40 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Dry Rieslingtext
87PTS

Fort Berens Dry Riesling 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaA new release from Fort Berens tagged at 4.6 g/l RS and 8 g/l TA as opposed to the 6.7 g/l RS and 7.6 g/l TA of their classic riesling. Estate Lillooet grapes were blended with fruit from Vernon and Similkameen, whole cluster pressed and fermented with a cocktail of different yeasts, stopped when the desired sweetness (for their 'dry') was reached. Lime leaf, lemon blossom and baked yellow apple. Acidity is high, though the finish is a touch sour candy - likely more about the yeast than the fruit. Sweet and sour, but bright on the finish, this is well suited to summer patios and light food duty.Prices: Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUnderripe orchard fruit (quince, pear) and searing, stony acidity hallmark this severe, lean riesling. Lemon thistle, tangerine filters through the palate, along with a reductive edging. You can certainly understand the site here; Hendsbee is sandy loam over rocks, adjacent to Orofino’s Home Vineyard, and a mix of eight to ten-year-old vines, clones 239 and 21B. Bracing.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Rieslingtext
89PTS

Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom vines first planted in 1978, and now among the oldest riesling in the Okanagan, this is an electric, off-dry, fruity riesling with yellow apple, quince, white honey and bedded with ample and potent river stones. Juicy on the core, ripe with orchard fruit but with a piercing acidity that lifts the fruit from front to back. Rich and powerful enough to accompany main course menu selections and aged cheeses.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Harper's Trail Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Silver Mane Blocktext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Silver Mane Block 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a fun off-dry riesling (20.6 RS) you can quaff on a warm summer’s day or put it up against some spicy tuna sushi or curry bowl at dinner. The single vineyard Thadd Springs yields some light watery peachy/red apple fruit with orange and ginger highlights. Simple, fresh and ready to drink. Thadd Springs Vineyard is on Shuswap Road in Kamloops, just off the Thompson River.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Harper's Trail Estate Winery
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Harper's Trail Dry Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Pioneer Blocktext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Dry Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Pioneer Block 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year there is plenty of refreshing acidity here. The nose offers up dried herbs, sagebrush, with apples and limes. The attack is mouth-watering with citrusy, stony, mineral notes. I suspect this will improve in bottle but for the moment this south Thompson-sourced wine is a little skinny. Serve for lunch with a pulled-pork sandwich or a charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Harper's Trail Estate Winery
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Tantalus Old Vines Rieslingtext
92PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the iconic BC labels, ‘Old Vines’ is made from the first lot of riesling plantings (1978) from a single 2-acre plot. Block 5 is on a slope of deep, silty soils, bordered on the western edge by a stand of Ponderosa Pine that act as a sunblock from warm Okanagan summer sun. Only 8.1 g/l of residual sugar are deftly handled to balance out the 9.8 g/l of total acidity. The fruit is farmed sustainably, cropped low and cellared for two years before release. This savoury riesling certainly is a stunner and among the best yet from Tantalus. Broken stones, wild herbs, earthy grasses and eraser notes undercut a lifted tone of lime leaf and lime pith, green apple, verbena and tight pear. The acidity is nervy and electric, vibrating along the medium, sun-dappled palate, until the brisk, grippy finish. Minerality rings throughout, from first whiff to lingering, lime pith finish. You can enjoy this now with herb roasted chicken but its future is bright and many years down the road.Prices: BC 30.35 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Rieslingtext
90PTS

Tantalus Riesling 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2016 hails a return to an earlier streamline form for the flagship Tantalus riesling, one of BC's cult wines. This comes from various estate blocks, including the initial 1978 plantings. The blocks were harvested over a two-month period, fermented in stainless and then blended and bottled the following spring. Joyously and confidently off-dry, with ample pulpy lime, pear, tangerine blossom and a stony mineral cut. There's a stream of juicy acidity that flows along the gently cushioned palate to the bright, pithy finish. Well done. The 17.3 g/l of residual sugar are effectively struck off against 10.1 g/l of total acidity keeping the wine electric. A serious bargain you can serve with just about anything you can imagine.Prices: BC 19.91 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Spierhead Riesling GFV Saddle Blocktext
86PTS

Spierhead Riesling GFV Saddle Block 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Saddle Block of Gentleman Farmer Vineyard, this aged five months in stainless steel, preserving the bright fruit. Juicy pear, yellow apple, apricot and white peach tones. There’s a very tart white cranberry juice that floods the palate, one with a frame of sweet ginger ale spicing and zesty, high acidity. Off-dry and sharp with a prickly, confusing mix of sweet and sour in the finish.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Rieslingtext
86PTS

Mt. Boucherie Riesling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pours a light gold hue, and presents as rich and waxy on the palate as the hue suggests. Ripe pear, apricot, baked yellow apple, quince and ginger spicing on the full, warmer palate. A dose of acidity helps, but this still lags behind the ripeness and density, and feels a bit sluggish and woolly overall.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Bartier Bros. Rieslingtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. Riesling 2015

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bartier riesling comes off the limestone studded Thadd Springs Vineyard in Kamloops. The nose is deliciously bright with a whiff of sagebrush and fennel. The attack is crisp and awash in citrussy, stony, mineral, fruit flavours with an attractive watery edge that makes it easy to gulp. Perfect balance means a long future in the bottle is in the cards but why wait - this is delicious now. The grapes were harvested on the 25th and 29th of September at 22.2 Brix, pH 3.12, and TA 8.8.Prices: BC 19.29 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA slight change this year in the fruit mix has turbo charged this riesling, giving it a legitimate edge. The fruit is harvested selectively using a combination of early and late picks from both East and West Kelowna vineyard sites. The early fruit adds acidity and freshness; the second round adds deeper tones and orange. Expect a fresh, green, lime/apple affair lined with orange flecks and a dry, mineral bite in the back. Clean as a whistle and made for crab cakes, veal picatta, pork belly and most summer salads. A pitch perfect riesling given its stellar price.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 18.00 MB 16.99 YK 18.90 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Meyer Family Fleet Road Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Meyer Family Fleet Road Vineyard Riesling 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFleet Road Vineyard was planted in 2005 on the Naramata Bench. The ferment is wild, the style is skinny and tight with a strong citrus, pear skin flavour and bitter grape fruit finish. The 2016 is fresher than the previous version but the style remains intense and made for food.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling is consistent from year to year, never fancy, never showy, just focused. The nose is a lime leaf and citrus affair with some light petrol notes. The attack is spare with firm, dry, stony, mineral, citrus notes that all lead to a complex style built for food. Hendsbee sits adjacent to Orofino’s Home Vineyard and the fruit is a mix of eight to ten-year-old vines tagged as clones 239 and 21B. The site is two-to-four feet sandy loam over nothing but rocks. Not for the timid, this is best served with a mixed charcuterie plate or rich pork dishes now, or cellar it a decade and wait for it to fully expand in the bottle. Good value.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Monte Creek Ranch Rieslingtext
89PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2016

British Columbia, CanadaRiesling is highlight of the Monte Creek Ranch portfolio, boasting the most authenticity of flavour. Like last year, the fruit is streamlined with super bright white peach, yellow apple and lime pulp flavours with a dash of dried herbs. Intense lemon persists across a sharp clean crisp finish. Food friendly now, this will age comfortable another five years. Well done.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Intrigue Rieslingtext
86PTS

Intrigue Riesling 2016

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLime curd, apricot and tangerine fill this juicy and ripe riesling from the "Two Wongs Make a White" vineyard (for reals) in Lake Country. White flowers, zesty gingersnap and rosewater floods the juicy palate up to a pithy, powdered grapefruit note that sticks on the shorter finish. A sweet and sour style.Prices: BC 16.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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