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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: April 2019

30 April 2019

Poggiotondo Chiantitext
90PTS

Poggiotondo Chianti 2015

Tuscany, ItalyThe DOCG Poggiotondo is mostly sangiovese mixed with canaiolo and colorino grown on old marine soils at 100 metres above sea level. Antonini is a stickler for natural, pure wines, made with a mix of science and love. There is a high presence of old seashells in the soils that seem to energize the wine, adding elegance and complexity to its pure red and floral flavours, streaked with dried herbs and bright acidity. It's fermented in concrete tank and untoasted foudres to give it a creamy, silky palate. I love the balance and texture in this modern view of an old favourite.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Poggiotondo
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Poggiotondo Chiantitext
89PTS

Poggiotondo Chianti 2015

Tuscany, ItalyAlluring aromas of red liquorice, cherry, raspberry carry along to the medium bodied, tight and grippy palate of this classically modern Chianti. There's a positive branchiness and herbaceousness holding this red tight, one splashed with caniolo and colorino to provide additional spice and florals. Fermented in concrete and aged in concrete and older large cask, this is tight and hemmed in now, but will relax in due time, revealing a gentle, expressive Chianti.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Poggiotondo
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Altesino Rosso di Montalcinotext
90PTS

Altesino Rosso di Montalcino 2016

Tuscany, ItalySimplicity can be strangely sophisticated when you pull it off. In the case of this rosso, the fruit is all sangiovese that is only aged for seven months in Slavonian oak barrels followed by three months in bottle before heading to the market three full years before its big brother Brunello will arrive. Light-ish in colour and alcohol, Altesino is about elegance and red and black fruits, harmony and drinkability in a fresh, mouthwatering style that complements a wide variety of foods. A classic Euro luncheon wine you can serve with creamy pasta dishes, roasted chicken, barbecued sausages and or pizza. Ready to drink. Superb value, stock up.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Altesino, Az Agr.
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Altesino Brunello di Montalcinotext
93PTS

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyThe '13 Brunello is a savoury, floral, herbal, medicinal, forest floor affair with notes of bay leaf, cedar, balsamic and menthol. The texture is silky smooth, and the fruit vivid with notes of plums and strawberries spiked with orange and spice. It was a cooler year, presenting more aromatics and making it more approachable now. The sangiovese goes through a traditional ferment and four years of ageing, with two years in oak barrels. Roasted meats are a fine match.Prices: BC 58.99 AB 58.00 ON 51.00 QC 48.00 BC 31.99 375 Producer: Altesino, Az Agr.
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San Fabiano Calcinaia Casa Boschinotext
87PTS

San Fabiano Calcinaia Casa Boschino 2015

Florence, Tuscany, ItalyA bit old style, this certified organic Toscana Rosso is fresh, spicy, licorice on the nose and most of that spills onto the palate. The tangy black cherry presents on the lighter, fresher, savoury side of the sangiovese spectrum before finishing dry and earthy. The blend is 90 percent sangiovese blended with 10 percent cabernet sauvignon and merlot. It’s a mid-week pizza red that is ready to drink.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: San Fabiano Calcinaia
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26 April 2019

Ridgeview Marksman Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
91PTS

Ridgeview Marksman Blanc de Blancs Brut 2014

EnglandFrom the chalky soils of Sussex' South Downs, this dry, focused chardonnay is an exclusive for Marks & Spencer in the UK. It's a steal at 23 quid, and the best supermarket-exclusive wine I've ever come across. Three years on the lees has created the ideal cushion to offset the brisk acidity and tight lemon lacing. Meringue, green apple, and a wash of mineral salts linger on the bright finish. Distinctly English, and positively lovely.Prices: UK 25.00 Producer: Ridgeview England
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Clos Lentiscus Sumoll Reserva Famila Blanc de Noirs Brut Naturetext
89PTS

Clos Lentiscus Sumoll Reserva Famila Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature 2013

SpainObscurities abound in this characterful natural Spanish sparkler, a biodynamically farmed blanc de noirs from the sumoll grape. From a single vineyard planted on sandy calcareous soils in the 1930s in Garraf National Park, this wine uses the property's rosemary honey to kickstart the secondary fermentation in bottle, lending an earthy honeyed headiness to the red apples, cherries, cranberry and tight spicing on the brisk, bone-dry palate. This bold wine spends 30 months on the lees before disgorgement. Finishes astringent and food-ready. My bottle was disgorged in spring 2018.Prices: Spain 17.00 Producer: Clos Lentiscus
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Haywire Baby Bubtext
88PTS

Haywire Baby Bub 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBaby Bub, affectionately named for Haywire's Alison Scholefield's childhood nickname of The Bub, is a darling diminutive pink split that is released early in the year, prior to Valentine's Day. This charmat sparkler comes from chardonnay and pinot noir from the winery's Oliver and Summerland vineyards and gets its pink hue from the addition of still red wine. Juicy and primary with red fruit, raspberry, and tart cranberry acidity, this is held refreshingly dryish. The crown cap encourages drinking now, easily, often. Picnic appropriate.Prices: BC 15.90 375 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Domaine Rolet Coeur de Chardonnay Crémanttext
90PTS

Domaine Rolet Coeur de Chardonnay Crémant 2014

Jura, FranceThis may not be what you're expecting from Domaine Rolet, one of Jura's larger producers and a veritable kingdom of vin jaune. Or, what you might be expecting from a humble crémant. This is Rolet's only vintage dated crémant, and is entirely of chardonnay, with more than 30 months on the lees and full MLF. Oxidative and not shyly so, with popcorn, toasted hazelnuts, green apple sharpness, a shiver of lemon pith and vibrato of tight acidity that drives this through a lengthy finish, keeping it taut when it could easily be drawn otherwise. A wine with purpose; rich enough to stand up to bigger dishes, and for drinking now.Prices: ON 45.00 Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
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Blomidon Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
92PTS

Blomidon Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThis is the inaugural release of their Blanc de Blancs, and it's an absolutely striking one at that. Annapolis estate chardonnay from the fantastic 2010 vintage is in its glory, having spent 80 months on lees and dosed with 8 g/l. Even after that, and full MLF, this is whip-snapping sharp. Acidity is riveting, driving the chalky, greyhound sleek frame forward with lemon pith, flake salt, gunshot flintiness. Still very youthful and vibrant, this drinks beautifully now (acid lovers!) and will spend time equally comfortably in your cellar.Prices: NS 75.00 Producer: Blomidon Estate Winery
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Bonnet-Huteau Nuit Boréale Méthode Traditionnelletext
88PTS

Bonnet-Huteau Nuit Boréale Méthode Traditionnelle NV

Muscadet, Pays Nantais, Loire, FranceHoneycomb and stones coat this biodynamic pet nat from Muscadet. Remi and Jacques Bonnet have been running this 40-hectare estate more than a decade, certified organic since 2005 and working towards biodynamic certification. this is a blend of estate melon, chardonnay, pinot blanc and folle blanche, grown on clay-calcareous gneiss soil. Authentically on the upper end of off-dry with aforementioned honey, pear, tangerine, on a moderate acidity palate. At 10.5 degrees, and with the ancestral bump of RS, this is a beauty afters or pre- wine (like for breakfast, mais oui).Prices: ON 28.00 Producer: Bonnet Huteau
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22 April 2019

Pedro Parra y Familia Pencopolitanotext
89PTS

Pedro Parra y Familia Pencopolitano 2015

ChileAs the name defines, this is Pedro Parra's (aka Dr. Dirt) family project, and this wine is from 45-120 years old cinsault, carignan, malbec, syrah and carmenere from Southern Chile's Itata and Maule regions, and from altitudes between 250-350m. From these red granite / sandy / quartz soils, this was individually native fermented in stainless and cement, and blended before bottling. Very reductive when first opened, so give this a lengthy decant to open up and lift off, revealing pitch, black raspberry, thorns, grippy earth and a very fine, tight minerality, finishing with a downy cassis grip. Pedro was leasing winery space until 2017; I look forward to seeing newer vintages of this wine when he was in full control of production.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Pedro Parra y Familia
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Pedro Parra y Familia Imagindortext
91PTS

Pedro Parra y Familia Imagindor 2016

Itata Valley, ChileFrom THE Terroir Doctor's own family project, this is Pedro Parra's blend of four vineyards, three in Itata (Guarilihue) and one in Cauquenes (Maule). Juicy plum, balsamic, pitch, wild plum, pink peppercorns are held with tight sidings, and finish with thorny resin. Bright and fresh, though this was picked two weeks later than Pedro would have optimally liked because Pedro didn't own a winery at that time, and was borrowing space to vinify. This wine draws a slice of reduction from the quartz, and tension from the granite. Great grippy texture throughout, positively vibrating with salts and energy along the finish. From 2017 this was produced in his own facility; I can't wait to taste these going forward.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Pedro Parra y Familia
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Ochota Barrels She's Lost Control Fragolatext
86PTS

Ochota Barrels She's Lost Control Fragola 2018

Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaWhat's fragola, you ask? Well, based on my initial note on this wine, it tastes like a cross between Welch's grape jelly, flat ale and sour lemon. When I learned this medium-hued of the fragola grape was a Vitis labrusca, all made more sense. Fragola = strawberry grape. There is very little of it planted in Oz, and Taras Ochota only has three short rows to work, which makes two to three barrels. The vines were found in a tiny vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley, planted from canes smuggled in from Calabria in the 1980's to provide for a migrant family’s wine consumption needs. After destemming and native ferment, this was basket pressed to French barriques for a short stint, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. In Taras' opinion, these are "The weirdest grapes I’ve worked with, the weirdest wine I’ve made." Which is saying something for this super avant guard naturalist winemaker. Best with a brisk chill, this dry wine shares jube-jubes, strawberry leather, sour ale, puckering acidity, and negligible tannins to a short finish. I tasted bottle 101 of 488. A curiosity, and also curious: why the natural cork here?Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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Ochota Barrels From the North Mourvèdretext
93PTS

Ochota Barrels From the North Mourvèdre 2018

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaTaras Ochota is synonymous with idiosyncratic and deliciously smashable wines from Adelaide Hills. This, then, mourvèdre from Barossa, is a beautiful anomaly. This special vineyard was planted in 1869 on decomposed granite and quartz. After native ferment and gentle hand pigeage (the bottom grapes fermented semi-carbonically), this was basket pressed after 12 days into older French barriques where it rested for three months. Blending, tank settling, and bottling unfined and unfiltered with a smidge of CO2 were the only interventions before what is in the glass. Alluring purple fruited and floral, with liquorice, plum and cherry leather lining the slight frame. There's an impressive pixellated texture brightening the pure plum core, with bright acidity rafting this to a shining, saline finish. A lovely tribute to an ancient vineyard.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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Angry Bunch Zinfandeltext
88PTS

Angry Bunch Zinfandel 2016

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United StatesThe Lodi AVA is in San Joaquin County due east, and a little north of San Francisco in the northern part of California’s Central Valley. It’s the capital of old vines that have a foothold among the 103,000 acres currently planted to wine grapes. Warm days and cool nights yield very intense fruit, revealing itself immediately on the nose of this zinfandel that comes from sustainably farmed ranches surrounding the Mokelumne River, home to some of Lodi’s oldest, angriest (gnarly) vines. The blend is 87/10/3 zinfandel, petite sirah and syrah and it's aged 15 months in a 90/10 mix of French and American oak. The syrah and petite sirah come from upper bench Dry Creek Valley vineyards. The attack is ripe and spicy with black and red fruit flavours before you feel a bit of acidity pushing back in the finish. Barbecue anyone?Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Angry Bunch Wines
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Errazuriz Kai Carménèretext
92PTS

Errazuriz Kai Carménère 2015

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe ’15 Kai is all Aconcagua Valley and a 95/5 mix of carménère and syrah that tops out at 14 degrees alcohol. Each block of wine is aged separately and spends 22 months in French oak, of which 70 percent is new. It was a solid year; warm and dry conditions created healthy vines and ripe grapes. In the end, Kai, an Errazuriz ‘Icon’ label, presents an intense version of spicy black and red fruit aromas followed by blueberries, pepper, bay leaf and very polished sweet tannins with roasted coffee and peppery leaf notes in the finish. A stylish one-of-a-kind red that holds the torch up high for carménère. The vines are over 35 years old, planted to sandy loam soils that are half stones. It should age effortlessly for ten years, but you can serve it now with pork.Prices: BC 169.00 MB 142.99 ON 150.00 QC 141.00 NS 115.00 Producer: Vina Errazuriz
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San Pedro 1865 Selected Vineyards Carmeneretext
88PTS

San Pedro 1865 Selected Vineyards Carmenere 2015

Valle del Maule, Region del Valle Central, ChileThe folks at 1865 made a significant commitment to carménère to get it back to respectability and to give it a platform to be an important grape in Chile. It is typically spicy and meaty with that telltale crushed pepper and lively dried bay leaf mix with smoke and black fruit. The finish is long and warm with dense, well-rounded tannins and more peppery, resinous, bay leaf notes. It’s drinkable now, but you could age it for three years in your cellar. Best with rich dishes.Prices: MB 19.99 ON 20.00 QC 22.00 Producer: Viña San Pedro
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Oak Bay Vineyard Fochtext
88PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Foch 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis was a nice surprise, unusually clean (for Foch) and fresh with no foxy notes. Look for a smoky, grapey, brambleberry fruit attack with a hint of smoke and roasted coffee bean to a smooth finish. Congratulations on the winemaking that is clearly improving at this winery. Try this with cassoulet southern France style, grilled beef tenderloin and mushrooms, or slow-cooked short ribs.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
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Corcelettes Petit Verdot Micro Lot Seriestext
89PTS

Corcelettes Petit Verdot Micro Lot Series 2016

CanadaWines like this remind us of the seemingly unlimited potential to make wine in BC, and particularly in the Similkameen Valley. From a half acre of vines grown over stony ancient Stemwinder soils, winemaker Charlie Corcelettes produced only three barrels of petit verdot (some 70 cases). Floral, bright and inviting, this super vibrant New World style petit verdot offers fully ripe fruit and very lively acidity knitting the finish into a long, linear event. Impressive. I would age this three to five years to see the final result. The price is a bit much, but that's up to the market to decide.Prices: BC 59.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirahtext
90PTS

Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2014

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United StatesThe Mettler family has been growing grapes in California’s Lodi appellation for five generations. They farm over 800 acres and own 300 acres including 75 acres certified organic. The 2014 Petite Sirah is a 90/7/3 mix of Lodi petite sirah, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. The nose is a smoky, earthy black pepper affair with a sweet undertone. Expect intense black cherry, blackberry lined with dense, meaty sticky tannins and a long warm finish. A blockbuster red that will attract those who love their reds big. Serve with charcoal grilled beef to best effect.Prices: BC 46.00 Producer: Mettler Family Vineyards
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Stags' Leap Petite Sirahtext
93PTS

Stags' Leap Petite Sirah 2015

Napa Valley, California, United StatesWinemaker Christophe Paubert is hitting it out of the park at Stags’ Leap seemingly raising the bar every year. We love it when French winemakers make wine in the New World. They do such a great job corralling the fruit and bringing a sense of balance to the wine that makes it attractive. The SL petite syrah comes from a handful of old vines on the estate and assorted other sites in the north and south of Napa Valley. The ’15 is particularly fresh and stylish with complex flavours of blueberries, black plums, black pepper, black raspberries and bitter, dark chocolate. As mentioned, there is a perfect acidity to keep the long balanced finish lively. The tannin is sublime. The wine goes through a short maceration period (9-12 days on average) that included the fermentation. Two lots are co-fermented with viognier, and the wine is aged for 12 months in American oak barrels (25% new). The final blend includes smaller amounts of syrah (12) grenache (10) and other mixed Rhone varietals 2). Drink or hold forever.Prices: BC 46.99 AB 45.00 ON 45.00 QC 40.50 Producer: Stags' Leap Winery
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20 April 2019

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyardstext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyards 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMicro Cuvee 2017 is predominantly Pommard 91 blended with approximately one-third of Dijon clone 667. The entire batch went in three French oak puncheons, one all new oak and other two were used just once. Somehow this wine survived the smoke and the rot that dominated the 2017 vintage, giving us a delicious, hedonistic pinot. The fruit is ripe and intense pitching raspberries, Bing cherries, plums and a hint of stony minerality. The tannins are sweet and dusty with a touch of bitterness adding complexity. Impressive and fun to drink now.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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19 April 2019

Lightning Rock Pinot Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Lightning Rock Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRosé is a giant stretch for this wine, with a colour clocking in deeper than some pinot noir red wines. In fact, the process and procedure is as for red wine, so perhaps their attempt at the Rosé name was to differentiate this lighter, chillable red from the winery's pinot noir from the same Elysia Vineyard. This was carbonically macerated for three days before continuing a native ferment in neutral oak puncheons where it remained for four months prior to tightening in stainless and bottling unfined and lightly filtered. Chiseled plum, forest berries, thorny blackberries on a slight, lifted palate, one spiced with smoked pink peppercorns and with negligible nubby tannins. Now, if they get the truth in labelling correct with next vintage, this pure little light pinot is a smashable star.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Lightning Rock Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Lightning Rock Pinot Noir 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Summerland's Elysia Vineyard, a south-east facing slope with limestone laced soils over granite bedrock. Pale crimson in hue, black raspberry, wild blackberry, summer strawberry, scented leather is imbued with a dusky earthiness, tickle of VA and soupçon of black pepper. Tannins are slight and taut, slight in grip and long in frame. From this brand new winery one would expect some experiments, and this wine was one. Three tanks of varying whole cluster, from 25-75 percent, were native fermented and spent 21 days on skins before being pressed into neutral oak puncheons. It remained here on lees for eight months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Impressive debut, and winemaker Jordan Kubek's years of winemaker experience at Okanagan Crush Pad is showing off in her new family project.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Arterra Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Arterra Pinot Noir 2017

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe latest Arterra Pinot Noir builds on the juicy 2016, cherry fruit style with an extra bit of exotic five-spice you get in some top Burgundies. The mid-palate is a bit more rustic with intense spice and oak pushing in, suggesting it needs some time to settle. A portion of the fruit is air-dried appassimento-style although I’m unclear why that technique is required for something like pinot noir. Rich enough for grilled chicken or a favourite creamy cheese.Prices: CDN 29.95 Producer: Arterra Wines
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNow a product of older vines, this pinot embodies the West Coast style, ripe and soft but with more restraint than you might expect. The attack is spicy, with sage dusted black cherries and a puff of toasted oak. It’s the texture that attracts, soft and silky, but with freshness filling in the finish. There are still some tannins to shed so a year or two in the bottle could be in order. If you are going to open it now be sure to choose robust dishes like oven roasted duck, grilled pork chops, or a mushroom risotto.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 30.99 MB 26.99 QC 29.10 NS 30.00 PEI 30.09 YK 27.00 SK 30.00 NB 27.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reservetext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reserve 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Stewart Family Reserve is the winery's flagship red. The fruit is sourced from the slopes of Mt. Boucherie, adjacent to the winery in West Kelowna. Only the very best blocks are chosen for the Reserve blend that totals just under 14,000 bottles. A solid year, the fruit is physiologically ripe offering up a mix of spicy, red fruit including Bing cherries and raspberries cut with some fresh cranberry notes before the five spice and cloves kick in. The texture remains silky and long giving the wine a classic mouth-filling style. It’s the perfect turkey wine but rich enough to take on duck or lamb. Some of the vines are now pushing fifty years old, contributing a sense of complexity you do not experience with younger vines.Prices: BC 51.99 AB 49.99 MB 56.50 ON 54.95 QC 48.00 SK 59.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Hillside Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Hillside Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2017 Pinot Noir is all mid-Okanagan, Naramata bench fruit exhibiting some of the vibrancy of a cooler site and some of the richness of a sunny location. It opens with earthy, forest floor with a mix of balsamic and a touch of volatility. Call it complicated if you like, but the mid-palate is currently showing mineral, red fruit mixed in with sticky tannins and some savoury dryness. It could stand another year or two in the bottle, or serve now with grilled salmon, or chicken.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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18 April 2019

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyard 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOld Block comes off the original 1994 vineyard plantings and is the largest block of pinot at McLean Creek Road. It’s roughly one acre, and the clone is unknown. The nose is almost aromatic, pumped full of raspberries and forest floor. The mix of sour cherry and sweet ripe raspberries is a perfect match in this medium-bodied pinot, one you can drink now or age five to seven years. The winemaking is simple: the fruit is de-stemmed and runs via gravity into small, open-top fermenters (although 15 percent goes in whole cluster). After a cold soak, an indigenous fermentation peaks at 30 degrees Celsius with hand plunging of the must throughout. Post-maceration, the wine is transferred to French oak barrels (30 percent new) for 11 months undergoing a natural malolactic fermentation in late spring. McLean Creek Road Vineyard is located in Okanagan Falls on a predominantly steep southerly aspect with the soil comprised of alluvial and glacial deposits.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Malbectext
91PTS

Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Malbec 2014

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom winemaker Daniel Pi's single vineyard Terroir Series, this is own-rooted 12 year old malbec vines, growing at 1300m in the Ambrosia Vineyard in Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza. After native fermentation, this was macerated in concrete eggs and concrete vats for a month before aging in new French oak for 18 months, followed by one year in bottle. Give this young wine time to breathe, and it will reward you with layers of tobacco, cherry, raspberry, thorns, black pepper, and pencil shavings. Wafts of purple and red florals give lift, and stout, raspy tannins anchor this massive, textural wine. Crunchy acidity keeps all the elements brightly in check to the very grippy finish. With a couple of years in the cellar, this will really sing. At present, best appreciated with a decant and a roast pork tenderloin.Prices: BC 43.99 Producer: Trapiche
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyardtext
90PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyard 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMeyer Family Vineyards makes several single vineyard pinot noirs; this is from their home McLean Creek Vineyard in Okanagan Falls, planted in 1994. The sparse, sloping, sandy alluvial/glacial gravels and sandy loams is planted to an unknown clone, farmed organically. Primarily destemmed with ten percent whole cluster, this was native fermented before going into French oak (30 percent new) for 11 months, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. This youthful wine is finely textured with earthy cherry, sasparilla, thorns, and ripe raspberry along a dusky palate. Tannins are softly furry to gentle, sticky finish. Youthful, yes, but quite drinkable now.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyardstext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyards 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimilar to the 2017 McLean Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, but with definition, which makes all the difference. This is from the same home vineyard, organically farmed Okanagan Falls site, though this cuvee is the best barrel selections of the vintage. From the site's sloping alluvial and glacial gravels and sandy loams. Micro Cuvee 2016 is predominantly Pommard 91, with four Dijon clones (114, 115, 667, 777). All went into French oak, one new 500L puncheon, and two young French oak puncheons, for 11 months prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. The fruit stands up to the wood here, resulting in a harmonious, fuller, balanced blend of black raspberry, cherry, stones and perfumed plum. Dusty tannins house the dusky, textural palate to an elongated, astringent finish, the whole brightened by a gentle acidity. Impressive now in youth, this will reward with time in the cellar.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Trivento Reserve Malbectext
86PTS

Trivento Reserve Malbec 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaThis malbec comes from Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley sites approximately 1000m in altitude. After a stainless fermentation, this aged in French oak barrels for six months. Ripe and dense roasted red fruits, earth, branch and big spices to a shorter, bitter finish, all wrapped with soft, silky tannins. This clocks in at a welcome 13 degrees alcohol, making it an easy-entry malbec.Prices: BC 14.99 AB 15.99 NB 16.99 SK 14.99 Producer: Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos S.A
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1884 Malbectext
85PTS

1884 Malbec 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaThe nose is a subtle earthy, savoury, peppery affair; the attack is sweet and sour with roundish black fruit upfront flavours with sour cherry notes in the back end. A simple ready to drink malbec. Hamburgers are the match.Prices: BC 17.99 YK 18.85 ON 16.95 AB 19.99 Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Punto Final Malbectext
86PTS

Punto Final Malbec 2017

ArgentinaEarthy, aromatic black fruit nose flecked with pepper leads to an idendical palate with juicy, savoury earthy fruit with a flicker of acidity to keep it balanced. The finish is medium long with light tannins, violets and fading sweet fruit.Prices: BC 14.99 AB 14.25 MB 15.99 Producer: Bodega Renacer
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Achaval-Ferrer Malbectext
87PTS

Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 2017

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaSweet baking spices open this ripe, expansive malbec, one that is led by cola and sarsaparilla, centred by ripe plums and stewed cherries, and framed with raspy tannins. Sourced from three sites in Luján de Cuyo up to 3600 ft, this spent ten months in French oak. This year's fruit lacks the definition seen in the past; a twist of acidity would bring this up to the next level. As it is, its slightly muddled mid palate signifies drinking now with dark meat poultry or goat.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 25.99 ON 29.95 NS 33.30 Producer: Achaval-Ferrer
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Finca Los Primos Malbectext
84PTS

Finca Los Primos Malbec 2018

San Rafael, General Alvear, Southern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe nose is a quiet mix of savoury dried herbs that spill onto a sweet and sour palate. The fruit is ripe, soft and round with candied plum and cherry finishing light and short. A classic commercial malbec that satisfies minimum expectations at a minimal price. Hamburgers are the match.Prices: BC 12.99 AB 12.00 MB 10.95 Producer: Bodegas y Vinedos Valentín Bianchi S.A.
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TintoNegro Malbectext
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TintoNegro Malbec 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaPlush and welcoming, this is a welcoming, cushy malbec from Mendoza's Primera Zona of Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo, and from 3000 feet elevation. The altitude keeps this big red fresh, with a gentle swing of VA before settling deep into black plum, blackberry, wild cherry, tobacco. Tannins are softly gritty, and the finish is warming, both welcoming BBQ meats.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: 55 Malbec
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TintoNegro Limestone Block Malbec 2015

Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis Limestone Block Malbec, as you might expect, is from a rocky, limestone laced vineyard located in Uco Valley's Los Chacayes vineyard, around 4000 feet in altitude. After five days of cold maceration and extensive extraction, this was cool fermented for three weeks and then aged for nine months in French oak, seven percent of which was new. A splash of cabernet franc adds an herbal edge to this full red, and a welcome lift to the compact red fruit. Cherry, raspberry, strawberry jam on a soft palate, one lightly sharpened with a swing of VA, and lifted with a swell of acidity to a fuzzy, warming finish. Would love to see more definition in this wine, especially when labelled with a Limestone name.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: 55 Malbec
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Kaiken Ultra Malbectext
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Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2015

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaKaiken Ultra is from Las Rocas vineyard, named for the countless small rocks that speckle the vineyards. The vineyards are in the process of converting to certified biodynamics. The fruit here is coming from three Uco Valley vineyards: Vista Flores at 1,400 m; Gualtallary at 1,300 m; and Altamira at 1,100 m. This was fermented and macerated for a month before one year in French barrels, one third new. Thick, dense and intense with potent blackberry, ripe blueberry, anise and medicinal cherry, this full bodied wine has plush tannins that hug this to the sweet and warming baking spice finish. A big, fleshy red drinking well now, and best matched with big proteins that can take on its 14.5 declared degrees.Prices: QC 20.00 ON 20.00 BC 31.50 Producer: Montes Wines
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Norton Malbec Barrel Selecttext
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Norton Malbec Barrel Select 2018

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaNorton is making polished wines under David Bonomi, and the Barrel Select is a good example. It’s a youthful, round, dense, smoky wine full of plummy, blackberry fruit, and is fun to drink now. Tannins are light and chalky, and the finish is clean with a subtle mineral undercurrent. Best with anything grilled on the barbecue.Prices: QC 15.00 BC 15.00 SK 16.00 MB 15.00 NB 15.00 Producer: Bodega Norton
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TintoNegro Finca La Escuelatext
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TintoNegro Finca La Escuela 2015

Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaTintoNegro is a collab of Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach, colleagues at Bodega Catena Zapata for almost 15 years. This is a single vineyard wine from Uco Valley's Finca La Escuela, sited at 4000 feet at the foot of the Andes and on calcareous clad soils. After small bin batch ferment, this aged one year in French oak, 15 percent new. Lovely welcoming and sueded red fruit, fine spice, leather, tobacco, anise, and perfumed florals are interwoven into a full bodied (14 degree) red, one that still feels fresh thanks to altitude and soils and a relatively light handed touch. Tannins are lightly grippy, enough to house the well-integrated wood and sun-lit fruit to a lengthy finish. Smartly handled, elegant and complex, this is drinking beautifully now but will age equally well in your cellar.Prices: BC 45.99 Producer: 55 Malbec
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Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyardtext
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Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard 2016

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaSourced from the 3500 foot Remolinos Vineyard in Agrelo, named for the whirlwinds (remolinos) that keep this site dry, fresh, and pristine. Red florals, black raspberries are bedded with pork belly, scented with ample camp smoke and thorns, and housed with cushy, oak plumped tannins that work well to support. Though there is a vein of freshness, this big red requires BBQ meats to match property. Decant.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 22.00 ON 22.00 Producer: Finca Decero
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Ben Marco Malbectext
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Ben Marco Malbec 2016

Mendoza, ArgentinaMalbec from Uco Valley's Vista Flores and Los Chacayes, harvested around 1100m, makes up this youthful, balanced and enjoyable wine. Black liquorice, leather, wild blackberry, violets fill the juicy, affable wine, one seasoned with dark chocolate dusted tannins and fine stony textures, upping the interest here. A warming swell of pepper trails the finish. Excellent approachable and well-made malbec for enjoying now.Prices: BC 25.49 NS 23.00 QC 20.25 AB 25.00 NS 23.25 Producer: Dominio del Plata
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Trivento Golden Reserve Malbectext
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Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2016

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe nose is an attractive mix of florals and dark fruit with a touch of licorice. The attack is silky smooth suggesting an almost hypnotic balance throughout the wine. On the palate, the fruit is fresh and peppery with bits of anise, blueberries, tobacco, dark blueberry with a touch of the medicine chest. Fine value and a wine made for beef. Tasted twice in a year and still solid.Prices: BC 23.99 MB 23.00 SK 25.00 NS 28.00 AB 24.00 NL 21.50 ON 19.95 Producer: Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos S.A
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Crios Malbec by Susana Balbo Dominio de Platatext
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Crios Malbec by Susana Balbo Dominio de Plata 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaThe 2017 Crios is all malbec and all Uco Valley fruit, now a secret blend of older regions in Vista Flores grown on average at 1140 metres above seal level. It’s hand harvested and the juice is in contact with the skins for 25-plus days before spending nine months in 100 percent French oak. Beautiful reddish-purple color. Expect a refreshing blueberry/cherry nose that spills onto the palate with just a hint of blackberries but mostly spicy, red fruit flavours that seemed plumped up in a clever way by the mix of three to five-year-old barrels. Lamb burgers, pasta and mushrooms or oven roasted chicken all work here.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 15.99 ON 15.95 MB 16.00 NS 17.00 Producer: Dominio del Plata
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Renacer Milamoretext
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Renacer Milamore 2015

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaRetasted nine months along, and the fruit, as sweet and dusky as it ever was, is now pinched with a twinge of balsamic, which tightens, squeezes and lifts this bigger Amarone-style red. This is a blend of malbec, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and bonarda. After harvest, the grapes were placed on drying racks outside, where wind and the elements dried the berries and concentrated the flavours and sugars. Grapes lost approximately 30 percent of their weight in this process. After wild yeast ferment and MLF in French oak barriques, this wine aged for 12 months in new French oak. Alberto Antonini consults on this project, one run by winemaker Pablo Sanchez.Prices: BC 36.99 AB 34.99 MB 36.99 Producer: Bodega Renacer
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Doña Paula Estate Malbectext
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Doña Paula Estate Malbec 2016

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis wine has been on the newer red fruit spectrum for a while. In other words, malbec doesn’t have to be fat and black. Expect a fragrant, savoury nose with some black cherry and peppery notes. The attack is similar with freshness and more juicy peppery, plummy, black cherry fruit with a dusting of vanilla. Pork or veal are good choices here, as are beef and vegetable kabobs.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 15.99 ON 16.99 QC 17.99 NS 17.99 MB 20.99 SK 20.00 Producer: Doña Paula Estate
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Kaiken Ultra Malbectext
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Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2015

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaExpect a sophisticated, cool, spicy nose with rich, floral undertones. The nose has interesting spicy and floral notes with the welcomed restraint of a cool year. The black and blue fruit is juicy and silky with bright acidity and typical peppery, dried wild herbs and licorice. Not a keeper in 2015, but damned delicious now and a stylish red for creamy cheeses. Incredible value in Ontario and Alberta. The fruit comes from three important Uco Valley vineyards: Vista Flores at 1,400 m; Gualtallary at 1,300 m; and Altamira at 1,100 m. Despite variations in altitude and location the soil type is predominately alluvial soil with bits of sand and silt on top of very rocky layers that provide excellent drainage and ideal conditions to grow highly concentrated grapes.Prices: QC 20.00 ON 20.00 BC 31.50 Producer: Montes Wines
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17 April 2019

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noirtext
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOver the years this label has been a consistent performer drawing from vines now 10 to 30+ years, and four French clones. The nose is sweet and smoky with leather, Worcestershire sauce, and strawberries. The attack is drier than most other Okanagan pinots, the tannins light and the fruit an earthy mix of sour cherries, savoury raspberries, orange peel and tobacco. It is well balanced with a tension that pulls you along to the finish. The Reserve is normally released at the end of April. You can drink this now, but it will easily age for another two to five years in your cellar.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 44.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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10 April 2019

CedarCreek Rieslingtext
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CedarCreek Riesling 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI love simplicity. At 20.6 grams of residual sugar, you might expect a sweet barrage of fruit, yet it’s anything but. Expect a bright, vibrant, citrus bomb with peach and apricot, with a similarly weighted level of acidity. The result is a friendly, softer style of riesling that is gulpable. Almost all the fruit is clone 21B off Block 1, planted in 2013 at the winery, although nearly a quarter of the site is now over a 25 years old. It's tasty stuff at a terrific price. Eight percent of the wine is fermented in French oak and stainless steel; 94 percent is fermented in stainless steel. After that, it all spends three months on its lees in stainless steel.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Rieslingtext
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Fort Berens Riesling 2018

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaFort Berens released two rieslings in 2018: a “Dry” version, and this off-dry label simply tagged Riesling that comes with a push of residual sugar. For the first time it’s 66 percent Lillooet fruit from Dry Creek Vineyard, while the final third comes out of the Vernon's The Rise Vineyard. Both sites were harvested by hand on October 17 and the grapes from both sites were whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel. It would appear the Lillooet fruit has injected a fair bit of energy into the wine, balancing off its pear, apple, sweet litchi, lime and honey flavours. Perfect for sweet and spicy pork dishes or a favourite curry. A crowd pleaser at a crowd pleaser price.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Dry Rieslingtext
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Fort Berens Dry Riesling 2018

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaThere’s some history here; the 2018 Riesling is the first 100 percent Lillooet VQA wine. It’s quite a tribute to a lot of hard work done by the FB team, and work that was no doubt done in the face of constant doubters. The attack is fresh and lively with bright lime, green apple, orange, and a finish of stony minerality. Congratulations to Rolf de Bruin and Heleen Pannekoek for their pioneering spirit. Bravo Lillooet. The riesling clone is 21B, also known as Wiess 21, after Hermann Weiss who brought the clone to Vineland Estate in Niagara in 1979. The origins of the clone trace back to the Mosel region in Germany.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Kitsch Maria's Block Rieslingtext
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Kitsch Maria's Block Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere’s lot of potential here, starting with the juicy, tropical fruit that spills across the palate. This off-dry, just under 20 grams/sugar riesling has all the parts it just needs, but though needs a bit more finesse. Love the guava/pineapple/lime flecked with nectarine skin. Best now with spicy dishes, but I look forward to a slightly tighter version down the road.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Kitsch Esther's Block Rieslingtext
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Kitsch Esther's Block Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaKitsch released a pair of single block rieslings in 2017. Esther's Block Riesling was planted to the clay/limestone soils of the home site, and is all clone 239. After a gentle whole-bunch press, it was fermented in stainless, and then rested 90 days on the lees. The result is a tightly strung white with limey, green apple fruit flecked with apricots, a touch of honey, a hint of diesel and a whiff of nutty lees. It’s dry enough to pair well with seafood but can take on a curry as well. Very promising.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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09 April 2019

Bojador Talha Tintotext
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Bojador Talha Tinto 2016

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalWinemakers Pedro Ribeiro and his wife Catarina Vieira moved to Vidigueira, in the Alentejo, to produce wines that are true to the historical traditions of this region. As a tribute to the region they ferment their top wines in impermeable clay pots called Talha, which is seen on the label. Ribeiro's talha haven't any lids, but keep the wine protected from oxygen by a layer of olive oil. The Talha Tinto is sixty+ year old trincadeira, moreto (bara) and tinta grossa (tinta barroca) native fermented in the aforementioned 200+ year old talha. Super peppery and herbal, with wild, red, bitter and sapid berries, gripped with textural terracotta framing and buoyed with a core of juicy, sour cherry and cassis fruit. Sharper edged, and very natural, this may be a divisive wine, but it's an important one.Prices: Portugal 64.00 Producer: Bojador
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Bojador Tinto Reservatext
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Bojador Tinto Reserva 2015

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalWinemakers Pedro Ribeiro and his wife Catarina Vieira moved to Vidigueira, in the Alentejo, to produce wines that are true to the historical traditions of this region. This, entry-tier wine is a gutsy, ripe blend of aragonez and trincadeira (from schist) and touriga nacional (from granite), spending ten months in barrel and five months in bottle prior to release. Dark chocolate, bittersweet mocha, ripe blackberry, thorns and dusky plum on a grippy palate, with firm tannins on the long frame.Prices: Portugal 20.00 Producer: Bojador
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Bojador Vinho Tintotext
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Bojador Vinho Tinto 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalWinemakers Pedro Ribeiro and his wife Catarina Vieira moved to Vidigueira, in the Alentejo, to produce wines that are true to the historical traditions of this region. This, entry-tier wine is a blend of aragonez, trincadeira, and touriga nacional, foot-trodden, and fermentated for 21 days in small, stainless tanks before aging in used French oak for six months prior to filtration and bottling. Plush purple and black fruits are ripe with sunshine and framed with French oak. Tannins are soft and cushy, as is the palate, with a slight welcome rusticity to this bigger red wine. Well suited to sausages and grilled mushrooms to counter the warming 14 degree finish.Prices: Portugal 13.00 Producer: Bojador
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Bojador Talha Vinho Brancotext
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Bojador Talha Vinho Branco 2016

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalWinemakers Pedro Ribeiro and his wife Catarina Vieira moved to Vidigueira, in the Alentejo, to produce wines that are true to the historical traditions of this region. As a tribute to the region they ferment their wines in impermeable clay pots called Talha, seen on the label. Ribeiro's talha haven't any lids, but keep the wine protected from oxygen by a layer of olive oil. This is a blend of 60 year old, dry farmed antao vaz, perrum, rabo de ovelha, and manteudo, basket pressed and fermentated in aforementioned 200+ year old talha for four months, punched down thrice daily, and then bottled unfiltered. A streaming apricot oil, quince, bergamot nose opens this very naturalist wine, with a slight waxy note, and ample riffing acidity. There's a savoury slick of salted brown butter on the finish, held snappy and en pointe. Tight and nimble on the streaming palate, with fine grip and super intriguing herbaceousness offered through grapes and process.Prices: Portugal 18.00 Producer: Bojador
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Bojador Alentejo Brancotext
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Bojador Alentejo Branco 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalWinemakers Pedro Ribeiro and his wife Catarina Vieira moved to Vidigueira, in the Alentejo, to produce wines that are true to the historical traditions of this region. This, entry-tier wine is a blend of antao vaz, arinto, alvarinho fermented and aged in stainless for a few months, followed by two months in bottle. Tight grippy and nimble, with potent apricot, white peach, grapefruit, mandarin through a slender, fresh palate. There's a welcome cushion of less to counter the youthful, exuberant fruit.Prices: Portugal 12.00 Producer: Bojador
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Lagar de Darei Josétext
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Lagar de Darei José 2004

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalCasa de Darei is a third generation 150-hectare estate nestled in the Dão Valley, and belonging to the Ruivo family. Their 7ha of certified organic vineyards are planted to indigenous varieties. The 2004 José takes its name from José Ruivo, the founder of the winery. The 2004 vintage was an exceptional year for their vines, and this special bottling was not released until 2014, with only 1200 bottles to sell, to commemorate the winery's 15-year anniversary. This combination of touriga nacional, jaen, alfrocheiro, and tinta roriz was native fermented in old lagares before aging in French barrique and large concrete vats for six months, before all moving to concrete for two years. After bottling, this remained at winery for the long stint prior to release. Deep dark and brooding, with charcoal, tobacco, bitter chocolate and black cherry. Tannins are hard pressed, but the structure is kept upright and firm. Acidity easily holds this aloft through a medicinal scented wild cherry, warming finish. Very traditional, pulled into modern times.Prices: Producer: Lagar de Darei
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Lagar de Darei Reservatext
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Lagar de Darei Reserva 2012

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalCasa de Darei is a third generation 150-hectare estate nestled in the Dão Valley, and belonging to the Ruivo family. Their 7ha of certified organic vineyards are planted to indigenous varieties, and the family uses traditional vinification methods like their old cement lagares. This is a blend of higher altitude touriga nacional, tinta roriz, alfrocheiro, and jaen. After natural fermentation in granite lagares, this is basket pressed to 5000L cement for MLF and two years rest. Ripe, darker purple and black fruits are weighted with a pitchy resin, though still fresh with some acidity. Moderate alcohol, moderate body, subtle, but structural, this wine is drinking beautifully now with a decant.Prices: Portugal 15.25 Producer: Lagar de Darei
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Lagar de Darei Sem Abrigo Reservatext
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Lagar de Darei Sem Abrigo Reserva 2012

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis structural, brooding wine blends touriga nacional, tinta roriz, alfocheiro and jaen (averaging nine years vine age) after foot tredding in lagares, 24 months in concrete and an additional ten months in bottle prior to release. Dark plum, cassis, wild roses are housed by firm, fine tannins and carry a welcome 13 degrees. You can feel some warmth here from grape hang time, though it is very well balanced off against fresh acidity. Lingering violets and wild cassis lure on the finish of this authentic Dão.Prices: Portugal 18.00 Producer: Lagar de Darei
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Lagar de Darei Rodeiotext
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Lagar de Darei Rodeio 2014

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom Dão's granitic soils, this is a youthful blend of tinta nacional, tinta roriz, alfrocheiro and jaen that brings crushed forest berries, soft and welcoming on the medium palate. A granitic texture and ample fine grip throughout finishes with subtle rock roses, light pink peppercorn seasoning.Prices: Portugal 12.00 Producer: Lagar de Darei
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Lagar de Darei Private Selectiontext
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Lagar de Darei Private Selection 2015

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis stately blend of encruzado, malvasia fina, cerceal, bical, verdelho, averaging 15 years in vine age, was aged in wood and concrete before maturing in concrete for approximately one year. Much more intensity than the standard Branco coming from the extended aging, and grip from the concrete. Lees, tight subtle quince, lemon pixellation on the palate, with a slight herbal and salted parmesan note. Slender and slight through the finish.Prices: Portugal 13.75 Producer: Lagar de Darei
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Lagar de Darei Vinho Brancotext
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Lagar de Darei Vinho Branco 2017

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom Dao's granitic soils, Lagar de Darei is a family run winery, with siblings José and Inês Ruivo overseeing operation of the organic estate. They farm 6ha between 400-500m, near the Dão River. Encruzado, malvasia fina, cerceal branco, bical, gouveio come together in this fresh white. Candied grapefruit, white peach and a light citrus is buzzed along the palate, tidy and bright after a short time in stainless.Prices: Portugal 7.70 Producer: Lagar de Darei
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08 April 2019

Narrative White by Okanagan Crush Padtext
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Narrative White by Okanagan Crush Pad 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNarrative White is a blend of chardonnay, viognier, gewürztraminer and riesling in 2017, sourced from growers across the Okanagan Valley. Designed to tell a story, or a narrative, it is all native fermented with each variety aged eight months in concrete, or stainless. This is fruit salad with an edge, forsaking the sweet aromatics and perfume for a somewhat more serious, tightly wound white with tangerine, apricot, citrus and green apple. Dry and fresh, it cleans rather than clings to the palate. Perfect for shellfish, or fish tacos.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc Semillontext
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Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe low key labels lend a clue to this lo-fi winery, focused solely on low-intervention wines. These sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes were planted in 1999 in Oliver, and one third whole cluster pressed before time in neutral French oak. Lemongrass, thistle, wild herbs are streamed along a juicy lime-lined palate, one textured slightly with white peach and frizzed sage. One of BC's top sem/sauvs yet again in youth, and if previous experience rules, will be one that will impress with age.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminertext
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Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Character is, well, showing some character with a turn toward freshness and much brighter acidity. It’s still aromatic and off-dry, but no longer cloying. The sweet fruit salad is gone in favour of a tighter, juicier style reminiscent of pears, citrus, gooseberry, and yellow apples sprinkled with sage. Ready to drink all summer on the patio. Love the price too.Prices: BC 17.95 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Intrigue Socialtext
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Intrigue Social 2018

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe latest Social is a 51/42/3/3/1 blend of riesling, gewürztraminer, muscat canelli, kerner and ehrenfelser. The palate is an explosion of fruit salad, including melon, oranges and papaya flecked with honey and a generous squeeze of lemon to keep it relatively fresh. There is just enough residual sugar here to take on a favourite spicy dish, be it pork, tuna or curry. Good value.Prices: BC 14.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Stina Cuvee Whitetext
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Stina Cuvee White 2017

Coastal Croatia, CroatiaI’m guessing few of you have tasted a Croatian wine, yet they have been making wine since the earliest of times. Pošip and vuguva are the two main two varieties in this Dalmatian coast blend along with a ten percent splash of chardonnay. Situated on the island of Brač only metres form the sea, atop limestone dominated soils it was aged six months in stainless steel to best allow the its creamy pear, ripe cantaloupe, lemon and green fig nose sing. The attack is round and honeyed with just enough salinity and acidity to keep it fresh. Think scallops, prawns, steamed mussels or fish tacos.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Jaco vino Stina
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Jason Parkes Customs Crown + Thieves Roussanne Viogniertext
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Jason Parkes Customs Crown + Thieves Roussanne Viognier 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Jason Parkes describes roussanne as being like “chardonnay on steroids; it loves oak, is super rich and textured.” The ’16 is all that and more in the glass. The nose is floral with weighty perfume. The attack is equally rich with pear butter, honeysuckle, orange and caramel running through its rich textures and slightly bitter finish. Parkes has added viognier to the mix to lift further the aromatics and add a mysterious, exotic undercurrent. Not for everyone, but then that’s what makes wine so much fun. Try this now with sablefish or lobster or hold it for three to five years for the entire picture.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: The Hatch
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Tinhorn Creek 2Bench White Oldfield Reservetext
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Tinhorn Creek 2Bench White Oldfield Reserve 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA rich, aromatic blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, viognier, sémillon, and muscat sourced from the Black Sage, and Golden Mile Benches. Perfumed and wooded on the attack, there's some barrel fermented fruit bringing texture, weight, and creamy butter tones to the underlying orchard fruit that rise through the mid-palate. This is a full-bodied white capable of taking on more opulent menu items.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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St. Hubertus Great White Northtext
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St. Hubertus Great White North 2017

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDespite its hokey moniker, Great White North overdelivers in the glass, especially for price, while maintaining the classic Gebert family style. Razor fresh and dry, it's all about pears, and lemon pith, with a subtle touch of dried herbs. Ready to drink and perfect with any foods that need a squeeze of lemon. Inexpensive wine for the connaisseur.Prices: BC 12.50 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Darktext
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2017 is finished dry, offering up notes of nectarine, citrus rind, and lime blossoms. The entry is medium-weight with warm, peachy apricot and moderate acidity to keep it all in place. Not as aromatic as the previous version, which is okay with me. Fairy rich, it finishes crisp and dry with a nutty undercurrent. Ready to drink. Solid.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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06 April 2019

Wine for Yoga Lovers Sangiovese Rosetext
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Wine for Yoga Lovers Sangiovese Rose 2018

Langhorne Creek, South Australia, AustraliaAs we said last year, if someone showed us this label before pouring it, we would likely say no thanks. But then there is that as the adage, you can’t judge a wine by its label, or name so, we judged it by its flavour and guess what? This pale, fresh, lightly-spiced rosé packed full of raspberry/cherry/orange is super fun to drink. You had us at Langhorne Creek, but the sangiovese and its acidity seal the deal. Maybe Yoga is a good name for a wine that may make folks bend over backwards.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: CMV Group
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05 April 2019

Road 13 Seventy-Four Ktext
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Road 13 Seventy-Four K 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's been a few years since we tasted Seventy-Four K, named for the length of all Road 13's vineyard if laid end to end. The 2017 is a grand melange of merlot, syrah, cabernet franc, teroldego, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot, viognier, grenache and mourvèdre. Plush and ripe purple and blue fruited, with lush plums, lavender, sweet blueberry, vanilla and nutmeg fill the round, cushioned palate. Tannins are plump, and the finish is bitter chocolate. Drink now, as intended.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Road 13
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Chateau Lasséguetext
93PTS

Chateau Lasségue 2015

Saint Émilion, Libourne, Bordeaux, FranceA ready to drink vintage is always welcomed, even in 2015 when everything is already managed better in the vineyard and the winery. At Lasségue, winegrower Pierre Seillan is doing a fine job of letting the site express itself via soft, plummy ripe black fruits spiked with spice and a subtle but present stony minerality. The blend is 70/20/10 merlot/cabernet franc/cabernet sauvignon, and while it's drinkable now, it should age well through 2022. Try this with a favourite mushroom dish or roast pork or chicken. Chateau Lasségue has roots in Bordeaux that date back to the 1600’s, but by the time Jesse Jackson got involved in 2003 it was at a low point. His fix was winegrower Pierre Seillan, and after Jess died in 2011, Seillan and Jesse’s wife Barbara Banke have carried on improving every aspect of the chateau.Prices: BC 76.99 AB 70.00 Producer: Chateau Lasségue
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Echo Bay Vineyard Synoptictext
89PTS

Echo Bay Vineyard Synoptic 2015

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEcho Bay has been where the Kenyon family has retreated for five generations. They purchased the 18 acre parcel, a previous apple orchard, in Okanagan Falls in 1967. Under well known grower Richard Cleave's guidance, they planted grape vines in 2013, and made their first wines, including this, with Alan Dickinson at nearby Synchromesh. They farm their five acre vineyards with organic and biodynamic practices, and use minimal inputs in the winery. Synoptic is Echo Bay's signature red, and in 2015 was a classic Bx blend of 40 percent merlot along with friends cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, carmenere, and petit verdot. This was native fermented and spent time in French oak (30 percent new). A curious wintergreen mint licks the plush blend, one filled with cushy red fruits (cherry and raspberry), strawberry jam, juniper freshness and licks of pine along a very spicy palate. Tannins are rubbed fine, and supportive to the lingering, PV perfumed finish. The oak overrides at this youthful stage, and best match with fragrant five spice duck or mushrooms. Looking forward to seeing what this winery does in the future. The striking label features symbols taken from synoptic weather charts. Each symbol relays a state or change in weather conditions.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Echo Bay Vineyard
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04 April 2019

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89PTS

Roubine La Vie en Rose 2018

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceThis Côtes de Provence rosé is classically so, from the elaborate packaging, to the pale peach hue, to the slicked raspberry, strawberry florals. Touched with a kiss of reduction that blows off quickly in the glass, this is a mouth-filling, silken, medium+ bodied blend of tiboruen and cinsault that finishes with pink florals and fine spices. The historical property dates back to the times of the Templar Knights, who ruled the chateau through 1307.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Chateau Roubine
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé grey labeltext
90PTS

Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé grey label 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo Cabernet Franc Rosés were made in 2018, though you'll only find this grey label one if you're visiting the winery or come across the wine in one of the export markets (rare sighting). This was also planted in Naramata in 1995 on the original Poplar Grove property, middle bench. This low-intervention, deeper orange-hued rosé was destemmed, had three hours skin contact before ferment and time in stainless. It was bottled with minimal sulphur, unfined and unfiltered, evident by the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. With a lime cordial centre, this round and juicy rosé is more potent and herbaceous than its white label sibling. Bergamot, yellow apple, pear rule this youthful wine, one still slender and finishing with a salt snap. You can consider this the more extraverted, exuberant Naramata twin.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé White Labeltext
91PTS

Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé White Label 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo Cabernet Franc Rosés were made in 2018, though unless you're visiting the winery or come across the wine in one of the export markets (rare sighting), you'll have this white label version, sourced from the same Naramata north bench site, planted under Nichol, as all the previous versions. Planted in 2008, this low-intervention, slight, orange-hued rosé was destemmed, had three hours skin contact before ferment and time in stainless. It was bottled with minimal amounts of sulphur, unfined and unfiltered, evident by the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Reassuringly delicious as ever, bone dry and brisk, with with salted quince, apricot fuzz, meadow herbs, light white honey coating the core, and a bitter bergamot tea rinse on the finish. Bright and shining on the slender palate to a salted finish, all encouraging another glass or few.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Meiomi Rosétext
88PTS

Meiomi Rosé 2017

California, United StatesMeiomi and residual sugar go to together like that famous horse and carriage, yet the wine you think would be sweetest, Meiomi’s Rosé, is anything but, and for that, we are eternally grateful. The colour is pale, pale pink, the nose a mix of watermelon, rhubarb, citrus and strawberries. The palate is dry, offering fresh flavours of stone fruit and best of all, some electric minerality. Very food friendly, this will work with prawns, Dungeness crab and summer salads. It would appear winemaker Melissa Stackhouse is making her mark with this new release.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Meiomi Wines
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Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirstext
89PTS

Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirs 2018

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Blanc de Noirs is a new rosé from Stag’s Hollow, mixing 76 percent ritter clone pinot noir with 24 percent gamay cold settled for 72 hours. Two-thirds of the wine is fermented in two new 500L French oak puncheons and one third went to stainless steel. The colour is pale, pale pink, and the nose a lovely mix of peach and strawberries, but it’s the creamy, leesy texture that gives this wine its real interest. Near bone dry, the mouthwatering pink has terrific energy and mouthfeel. I agree with the winery’s suggested food matches of white pizzas, pork tacos and peppery arugula salads.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 26.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Rust Wine Co. Pinot Noir Merlot Rosétext
87PTS

Rust Wine Co. Pinot Noir Merlot Rosé 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Rust Rosé is made using the saignée method from merlot grown in the Similkameen Valley. It was wild fermented spending 18 hours on skins. The colour is Provençal pink, the nose a mix of lemon, orange zest, and sweet watermelon with just a touch of five-spice. There’s some residual sugar here, so it's best to chill this down, and even better, serve it with spicy dishes and give the sugar a chance to balance the dish. The folks at Rust are donating five dollars to the BC Hospitality Fund for every magnum sold. Consumers wanting to support the cause should look for this label in a restaurant. Quantities are limited.Prices: BC 30.00 1500 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis purpose-grown, early-picked pinot noir comes with two hours of skin contact for a pale pink shade. After pressing, this was fermented in stainless to preserve its inviting, almost dry, fresh, crisp form. Perfumed apple blossoms, strawberry jam, lime and starfruit ride a lightly slicked glycerol palate. Medium-weight, spicy, and food-friendly, this is a bargain crowd-pleaser.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Rosétext
88PTS

Fort Berens Rosé 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThe Fort Berens Rosé is a 66/27 blend of organically grown pinot noir and gamay, with seven percent muscat added to the mix to strategically add some aromatics. The style is bright and super fresh with juicy strawberry/cranberry flecked with ripe pear and tart cranberries to keep it all in balance. At 9.2 grams of residual sugar it's just barely off-dry, giving it more versatility as a glass pour or something you can pair with lightly spiced food.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosétext
89PTS

Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosé 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaR&D is a nod to the research & development done at wineries on an ongoing basis, and something the Triggs family is famous for. The label depicts a young Don Triggs and his twin Ron back in their formative years in rural Manitoba where they both practiced an investigative lifestyle. This is a delicious youthful Golden Mile Bench rosé redolent in bright raspberries, kiwi and gooseberry with a vibrant core of citrus/lime pith washed cherry. It’s as Provençal as you can get without being in France. Fine value.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosétext
89PTS

Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosé 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaR&D stands equally for research & development (the more experimental, small-lot line of wines from Oliver's Culmina), as well as owner Don and his twin Ron, Triggs brothers whose adorable childhood photo graces the photo of this wine. Tight youthful raspberry, spring rhubarb, green hedge, gooseberry, lime pith season a core of pure cherry and ride a fine wave of lees. A welcome lighter hand here than the last vintage I tried of this wine (2016).Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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De Bortoli Rosé Pale and Drytext
87PTS

De Bortoli Rosé Pale and Dry 2018

King Valley, Victoria, AustraliaAs the label suggests, this is pale and dry. What the label doesn't tell you, is that this is still amply round and full-bodied, ripe, fruity, and juicy, with a glycerol clad core and a strawberry jam base. Raspberry, rhubarb, cherry, and spice tip off sangiovese, purpose-grown, with four hours of skin contact before being gently pressed into vats and casks. Two months on lees plumps up that mouthfeel and makes this easy for drinking solo, or with food. Easy-sipping, accessible, and friendly.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: De Bortoli Wines
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Pittnauer Dogma Rosétext
88PTS

Pittnauer Dogma Rosé 2017

Weinland Österreich, AustriaThe Dogma Rosé is an equal blend of blaufrankisch and st. laurent, from sandy, loamy, chalky soils. The wine spends ten months in stainless to preserve the youthful buoyancy and freshness. Alluring peachy hue, this opens with a hearty swig of reduction that blows off into cherry, cranberry, wild red florals and a brace of acidity. Give this some airtime and a chill and it turns highly smashable.Prices: ON 30.95 Producer: Pittnauer
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03 April 2019

Suertes del Marqués Trenzadotext
92PTS

Suertes del Marqués Trenzado 2017

Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainFrom the volcanic soils of Tenerife, this is a village blend led by Listán Blanco, with 10-150 year old native varieties like marmajuelo, guao, vijariego blanco, verdelo, torrontés and baboso blanco sourced across various vineyards 300-700m in the Valle de La Orotava and predominantly grown in the traditional cordón trenzado training system. After native ferment in concrete, and older French casks, this aged nine months on lees in concrete, foudres and older 500L barrels. Salty, salty, salty, with apricot blossoms, pear skin, kernel, and highly alluring dried wild herbs along an oil-slicked palate. Marine kisses throughout and a bright acidity keep this wine thirst-quenching and smashable.Prices: ON 27.95 Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Laposa 4Hegy Olaszrizlingtext
89PTS

Laposa 4Hegy Olaszrizling 2017

HungaryFrom four different mountainous regions (Badacsony, Csobánc, Somló and Szent György) this olaszrizling (welshriesling) was 60 percent oak fermented, but in super giant oak (10000L). This basalt-driven white opens with a potent, petrol-slicked nose before darting into lightly perfumed pear, peach blossom and ginger which lingers on the super stony, salty finish. Bright grapefruit acidity slices through the subtle white and yellow perfumes, leaving an impression of tautness and grip. Very interesting.Prices: Hungary 7.50 Producer: Laposa
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Laposa Szürkebaráttext
88PTS

Laposa Szürkebarát 2017

Badacsony, HungarySzürkebarát is the Hungarian name for pinot gris, and this is a just off dry example of the grape. Lightly honeyed pear, Asian pear, on a soft, lightly spiced palate, finishing with a sprinkle of ginger and a wash of stones. Nice concentration mid, but finishes a little short and warmth. Lovely balance between sweet pear fruit, stony minerality and alcohol (13 degrees).Prices: Hungary 9.30 Producer: Laposa
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Laposa Kéknyelútext
88PTS

Laposa Kéknyelú 2017

Badacsony, HungaryKéknyelű is an ancient and rare Hungarian grape variety, which remains solely in Badacsony today. Translating as 'blue Stalk' this indigenous grape is difficult to work with, though Laposa has risen to the challenge, and is acknowledged as a master of this grape. This kéknyelú is from 25-year-old basalt-grown vines, sourced from three hillside vineyards. It opens with piercing, potent apricot oil, white grapefruit pith, tight flinty spicing that wraps around a coil of peach, pear, and white cherry, and finishes with warming gingerale and a dry extract grip.Prices: Hungary 16.30 Producer: Laposa
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Laposa HegyBortext
87PTS

Laposa HegyBor 2017

Badacsony, HungaryThis is 100 percent Hungarian olaszrizling, the same as welshriesling, the white wine grape (unrelated to the Rhine riesling), grown throughout Central Europe. Stones and yellow fruit lead the nose and palate, with quince, pear skin and ample dusty chalkiness bringing up the rear. Lighter, quiet and shy, but friendly, if not forgettable.Prices: Hungary 11.68 Producer: Laposa
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Laposa KóKövöntext
89PTS

Laposa KóKövön 2017

Badacsony, HungaryStone to stone = Kokovon = very apt name for this furmint grown on stony soils. This has an oily sheen on the palate, laced with lime and driven by ample minerality, broken stones, pear skin and buoyed by very juicy acidity. There's a slight grip to pen in the sides, leaving a lingering dusty stone note.Prices: Hungary 13.00 Producer: Laposa
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02 April 2019

Township 7 Syrah Silver Barrel Vineyardtext
91PTS

Township 7 Syrah Silver Barrel Vineyard 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt’s been a decade since I have seen this wine, which is a shame, since it's likely the best bottle of wine I have tasted from Township 7. Aromatic and fresh with peppery undertones, there is an inviting black fruit with fresh pepper and liquorice throughout. It’s the elegance that attracts, along with the meaty, truffle, peppery aftertaste. It spent 24 months in 50 percent new French and American barriques, including a single puncheon to breathe further style into the wine. Frankly, it seems worthy of all French oak, but I leave those details to the winemaker. Grilled or roasted beef is the match. The fruit is mid-valley Skaha Lake from the west facing rocky soils of Silver Barrel Vineyard. Only 298 cases were made.Prices: BC 35.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Hillside Syrahtext
92PTS

Hillside Syrah 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHidden Valley Vineyard just south of the winery and north of the main road that runs along Naramata Bench is home to this delicious syrah. Elegant, peppery, balanced it has an eerily European bent from the front to the back. There’s more juicy red fruit than black and a wonderful less is more styling. Naturally beautiful, this is all Naramata Bench and certainly a beacon for the new sub-GI designating the Naramata Bench as sub-appellation of the Okanagan Valley. It’s a crime the bureaucracy has taken so long to approve an overwhelmingly pro-vote robbing this vintage of its true origin on the label. Drink or hold through 2026.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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89PTS

Black Swift Vineyards Monarch Vineyard Syrah 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year, this site offers up better acidity than most, along with less sugar. Long Road 2016 opens with a slightly reduced barnyard syrah nose with black licorice, black pepper, and summer sausage, with a shake of salty minerality. For the moment the acidity is pushing hard, but it should back off in time. I recommend bottle ageing for three to five years minimum. Rosemary rubbed leg of lamb is the one meat that can tame this beast at the moment. Long Road is a 100-acre vineyard at the northern extent of the Osoyoos Bench. It was planted in 1999 to clones 99 and 100, and is sustainably farmed at 3 tons to the acre.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: The Hatch
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Painted Rock Syrahtext
90PTS

Painted Rock Syrah 2016

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMuch cleaner on the nose in 2016, with a sweet, savoury, peppery fruit character that comes with just a hint of meatiness. The style is attractive, especially with a whack of toasted American oak showing up through the mid-palate. There is 30 percent new oak here, and 20 percent of that is the noisier American oak. The mid-palate is mildly cool with pepper, coffee, black fruits and dense, fine-grained tannins that gently slip away in the finish. A restrained hedonistic version with balance and length. Lamb souvlaki would be a fine match. Good value.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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Moon Curser Syrahtext
89PTS

Moon Curser Syrah 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs reported, 2016 was a terrific year for late-ripening varieties in Osoyoos and none more so than syrah. The fruit comes off the warm southwest facing Bartsch Vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench. The fruit is hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard, and then resorted before it's destemmed and fermented without crushing. It’s a mix of barrel and tank fermentations all matured in 225L barriques that are mostly Hungarian oak. The ’16 is fragrant and inviting on the nose with a balanced blend of blueberry and boysenberry with a pleasant, peppery, sweet vanilla finish. The alcohol is in check and this will only improve with any added bottle age; I think about three years. Drink now with roast lamb. Good value.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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01 April 2019

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88PTS

Hillside Un-oaked Pinot Gris 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHillside is synonymous with the Naramata Bench and will no doubt be among its biggest champions if the provincial government ever figures out how to implement a simple, sub-Gi designation that was overwhelmingly approved by the Naramata wineries and growers. The 2018 is a touch drier than last year and fresher with tight, citrus-soaked orchard fruit aromas and flavours with a resiny undercurrent. There is still a hint of colour, a la Provençal, to add interest. Think summer salads, grilled chicken, shellfish and patios and drink all summer.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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CedarCreek Pinot Gristext
88PTS

CedarCreek Pinot Gris 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThis is roughly a 50/50 blend from CC's Southern Okanagan vineyards and their Home Block vineyard on the slopes of Okanagan Lake. After whole-bunch pressing, ten percent was fermented in barrel (including some new), imparting big spice, pear butter and toast to the anise imbued palate. Full and round, padded with lees and ripe yellow apple on a moderately oily palate, lifted with fresh acidity. A much more serious lens for the estate PG than the last vintage, and a welcome shift.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Lake Breeze Pinot Gristext
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Lake Breeze Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSouth African winemaker Garron Elmes has been making clean, fresh wines at Lake Breeze for just under a quarter century. It’s easy to be fruit driven when you are working with Naramata fruit, and it’s been his goal to take that fruit and get it into the bottle without a lot of fuss since the beginning. The 2017 is fresh and bright on entry with green pear, peach and green apple aromas with a stony mineral peachy palate with a hint of honey butter — best with shellfish or fish tacos.Prices: BC 20.90 Producer: Lake Breeze Vineyards
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Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Monovitignotext
88PTS

Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Monovitigno 2017

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyThis is classic Northern Italian pinot grigio the way it should be. Floral honey, baked pear, guava spill across the palate mixing with bright acidity and citrus, apple, and quince with a lightly buttered almond undercurrent. Austere in an excellent way with a long, clean persistent finish. A terrific seafood wine especially with clams, mussels, raw oysters, and sushi. Real wine, excellent value.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Di Lenardo Vineyards
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSwitchback Organic Vineyard is surrounded by wild sage, bunch grass, ponderosa pine and fruit trees, all of which appear throughout the wine. This brings me to my annual question: when will they drop the pinot gris from the label? A landmark achievement, this pinot gris is 95 percent site and terroir, and five percent variety. The silty, gravelly soils with rocks encased in limestone underline a southeast facing vineyard, planted to 100 percent clone 52 pinot gris. It is now 18 years old, and has been farmed organically since 2011. The fruit comes in over four separate picks, and is whole-cluster pressed to concrete tanks where it's fermented using native yeasts, and left on gross lees for ten months. The textures are creamy perfect, the acidity lively, and the palate is a complex mix of wildflowers, sage, salt, savoury melon, quince and pear skin sprinkled with lemon. Delicious, Next World pinot gris that's textural, botanical and newly certified organic.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Greywacke Botrytis Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Greywacke Botrytis Pinot Gris 2015

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandWhen this was picked, it was the only fruit remaining in all of Marlborough. In 2015, it took until 8 June until all the fruit would accept the botrytis. The shrivelled grapes were whole bunch pressed, cold-settled, and then racked to old barrels for partial native fermentation. The fermentation was eventually stopped in September, retaining 105 g/l residual sugar. The wine then aged in barrel for a further nine months before bottling. Lovely honeycomb, butterscotch, and caramel, with a fine kiss of smoke wrapping around a pear nectar core. There's a spire of acidity and lovely fresh spicing that carries this savoury sweet to the finish. Not made every year.Prices: BC 43.00 375 Producer: Greywacke
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