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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: August 2019

30 August 2019

Vinologist Chenin Blanctext
87PTS

Vinologist Chenin Blanc 2017

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaThis affordable chenin is from the Swartland, and you can feel the dry heat expressed through waxy pear, quince, yellow apple, melon and perfumed muscat. Off-dry, there's a snap of bitter musk melon that tightens to a short pop of a finish. Simple, sure, but well priced to reflect.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Helderberg Winery
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Quails' Gate Chenin Blanctext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Chenin Blanc 2018

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of 92 percent chenin blanc and 8 percent sauvignon blanc, this wine is fermented in 75 percent stainless steel and 25 percent oak barrels and puncheons. The nose is restrained, with a combination of fresh orchard fruit and subtle lees influence. The use of predominantly neutral oak means it is not evident on the nose, but instead provides a lovely creamy texture. Bone dry, this is a more serious style of Chenin Blanc with vibrant acidity and fine concentration, if not layers of complexity, for those that value balance and restraint over fruit.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 19.99 SK 23.79 MB 18.99 ON 23.00 QC 20.05 NS 23.00 PEI 23.19 NB 23.99 NF 23.00 YK 21.05 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanctext
87PTS

Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine comes from young vines that were planted by massale selection, with cuttings sourced from the old block of Chenin Blanc planted in 1968. There’s an immediate hit of sulphur dioxide on the nose, which is muting the underlying orchard fruit, but it does dissipate. It doesn’t scream chenin blanc, but it’s an approachable, fruity white that should have broad appeal, especially at this price. Splash decant for best results.Prices: BC 17.39 Producer: Road 13
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29 August 2019

Rama & Selas Método Classicotext
87PTS

Rama & Selas Método Classico NV

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis traditional method fizz comes from Bairrada's limestone-laced soils, and a blend of bical, chardonnay, arinto, and baga. The grapes well balance each other off, skipping along a tight base with pear, quince marmalade, yellow apple, biscuit, meadow herbs with darts of oxidative notes throughout. The soils and acidity keep this lively in the mouth. The finish is brisk and scented with delicate yellow blossoms. Reminds me of Spanish sparkling wine, like Cava, and a nice switch if that's what you're used to drinking.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Rama & Selas
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Miguel Louro 1* Nometext
88PTS

Miguel Louro 1* Nome 2016

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalMiguel Louro grew up in his family's vineyards at Quinta do Mouro, so his passion for wine was instigated early. In addition to this tiny personal project in Alentejo's Estremoz, he’s the enologist for S.A. Prum, in the Mosel. This is a white blend grown on slate, including arinto, gouveio, verdelho, rabigato, and alvarinho. After a cold maceration on the skins for a day, this fermented and aged for eight months in French barrels, on the lees. Tight and spicy up front, before a creamy, lees-bedded palate with light smoke, spring blossoms and yellow fruits. Acidity lags just a bit to keep up to the Alentejo's sunned fruits, though this has a full presence beyond its 12.5 degrees.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Miguel Louro
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Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Brancotext
92PTS

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Branco 2017

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalWow. From mica, schist, and feldspar soils (what winemaker Luis Seabra deems the best for whites), this is a field blend of rabigato, códega, gouveio, vioshino and more, with vines 30-60 years old, and at 400-500m in altitude. Ilimitado is akin to Seabra's "village wine", while his Cru wines, well, are self-explanatory. After crushing and destemming, the grapes are pressed together, native fermented, and aged in used French oak barrels for 7 months on lees, with no MLF or battonage. The grapes are terroir-transmitters here, imparting broken stone, mineral salts, light smoke and a driving fine acidity, gripping lightly on the finish. Lemon pith, tight quince, hints of tangerine and meadow herbs line a medium-bodied (13.5 degree), lees-plumped palate. Give this some time in the glass, and enjoy the bottle over an evening. 750 cases made. Fantastic value, especially in Ontario.Prices: BC 36.00 ON 27.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Quinta da Costa do Pinhão Gradual Dourotext
91PTS

Quinta da Costa do Pinhão Gradual Douro 2014

Cima Corga, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe touriga nacional, touriga franca, and tinta roriz for this Douro blend have been farmed by the same family for six generations. Gradual is from 40 year old organically farmed vines in Pinhão, in the Cima Corgo, growing at 300-450 meters. This wine was native fermented partially in schist lagares with foot treading and 40% whole cluster, with 30% fermented in stainless. Post-ferment, the wine aged for a year in French oak barrels prior to bottling. Harmonious in an edgy way, every piece balanced out against the others. Rock roses, plum, dusky wild blueberry, lifted violets, cassis thorns run the lighter palate, framed by very fine, tight and persistent tannins to a fine, salty, lingering finish. There's an effortless buoyancy here, entirely unexpected considering the grapes, but makes perfect sense when you understand that Luis Seabra consults here. A very welcome 12.5 degrees alcohol reassures that Douro reds can be elegant, delicate, and complex.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Quinta da Costa do Pinhão
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Luis Pato Baga Vinho Espumante Brutotext
89PTS

Luis Pato Baga Vinho Espumante Bruto NV

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Pato family is synonymous with Bairrada wine. Luis Pato’s family has been producing wine since the 18th century, with his father João the first to bottle wine in Bairrada DOC after it was officially demarcated as an appellation. This is a dry (bruto) fizzy deeper-hued rosé of baga, from chalky clay soils. This undergoes minimal pressure in a vacuum to obtain a light juice which is fermented in stainless before a second ferment in the bottle, where it spends nine months on the lees. Earthy, herbal raspberry, dusty stone, grippy thorny baga tannins, and a sapid, pink floral note is seized with searing pink grapefruit acidity, finishing with a heavy sprinkle of salts. For drinking now, with picnics / charcuterie.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Luis Pato
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Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Escolhatext
89PTS

Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Escolha 2018

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalAnselmo Mendes is a Vinho Verde legend, and wines like this show why. The polar opposite of cheap and cheerful VV, this blend of alvarinho, loureiro, and avesso comes from the steep granitic hillsides of the Monção and Melgaço sub-region. After a cold must clarification and low temperature fermentation, this aged four months on the lees. Orange blossom, pear, perfumed melon, cold cream glide along a silken, lees-decked palate to a spiced lime pith finish. Quite intense for 12.5 degrees.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Anselmo Mendes
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Quinta da Murta Bucelastext
90PTS

Quinta da Murta Bucelas 2014

Bucelas, Estremadura, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalBucelas is a small wine region northeast of Lisbon, known for its marine, saline white wines. Romans first cultivated arinto here 2000 years ago, and the grape is still firmly rooted in the coastal limestone soils today. Quinta da Murta's biodynamic vineyards are located around 250m in the chalky hills. After a spell of skin contact and gentle pressing, this light bodied white was tank fermented on full lees for up to six months. This positively rings with salty notes, seasoning a textural, medium/light bodied pad of lees, meadow herbs, pine nuts, and lemon verbena. The finish is mouthwatering with mineral salts. Quite a lot going on for a slight 12.5 degrees. Absolutely something to add into your coastal cooking repertoire (oysters, clams, spot prawns...).Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Quinta da Murta
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Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Brancotext
91PTS

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Branco 2017

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalLuis Pato’s family has been producing wine since the 18th century, with his father João the first to bottle wine in Bairrada DOC after it was officially demarcated as an appellation. Luis' daughter, Filipa, is a well-known winemaker in her own right. Bical, cerceal and sercialinho, the latter grape only produced by Luis, and a variety he bred between sercial x alvarinho. From chalky-clay soils and 40 year old vines, this was fermented and then aged in stainless for 6 months. Honeysuckle, pear skin, elderflower, earthy meadow grass, and almonds slide across the medium bodied, lightly waxy palate, finishing with a fine raft of stony, herbal spices.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Luis Pato
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Herdade do Cebolal Colheita Tintotext
87PTS

Herdade do Cebolal Colheita Tinto 2015

Setúbal Peninsula, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis rich blend of touriga nacional, alicante bouschet, and petit verdot comes from southern Portugal's very warm Setubal peninsula, which can quickly heatstroke and overwhelm big red grapes like these. However, this vineyard is planted near a river, which helps moderate the temperature somewhat. The grapes were fermented in stainless, and aged in oak barrels for six months. Cassis, blackberry is thick on the palate, lined with dough, baking spices and pencil shavings, and housed with cushy, lightly striated tannins. The finish is abrupt and warming with medicinal tinged blue fruits. A simple red that has sadly been overdone with ripeness and oak in an old school style.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Herdade do Cebolal
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Herdade do Cebolal Val das Éguastext
88PTS

Herdade do Cebolal Val das Éguas 2016

Setúbal Peninsula, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis Setubal blend of touriga nacional, alicante bouschet, and merlot was harvested late August, and fermented and aged in traditional clay tanks. This opens with a swing of balsamic before moving into ripe and dusky cassis, thorny blackberry, dark earth, and a cushion of plump, soft tannins. There's a tug of acidity to draw this bigger wine to the finish. Best now with grilled meats. 6000 bottles produced.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Herdade do Cebolal
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Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Brancotext
93PTS

Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Branco 2017

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalLuis Seabra is highly respected in Portuguese winemaking, having made the wines at Niepoort for a decade before leaving to make his own name with Douro wines. From sustainably farmed Douro Superiore vineyards planted from 1920-1933 on mica schists at 650-700m, this is a blend of 70 percent rabigato, balanced out with codega, gouveio, viosinho, and dozelino branco. Minerality rings from the start, with broken stones, meadow herbs, subtle dried quince, light anise and a pad of earthy lees to a flake salt and flint finish. Fantastic structure, finesse, and nonchalance, this is a joy to drink now and in future.Prices: ON 57.95 BC 58.00 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Heredade do Arrepiado Velho Tintotext
88PTS

Heredade do Arrepiado Velho Tinto 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis Alentejo touriga nacional leaps from the glass with giant purple and blue fruits and florals: plums, blueberries, violets, iris, cassis. The palate is drawn long via fine rasped pepper and scrubby rock roses, buffered by lightly chewy, grip tannins, and full of the Portuguese sunshine, to a warming finish. For all its intensity, there's an inherent freshness here that carries the 14 degrees alcohol. This was native fermented in a mix of inox and large oak vats before resting for a few months in the same. Antonio Maçanita (of FitaPreta) is the winemaker for this project.Prices: ON 20.95 Producer: Heredade do Arrepiado
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Aphros Loureirotext
90PTS

Aphros Loureiro 2018

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalVasco Croft is one of the pioneering biodynamic vintners in Portugal, and Aphros is his personal project. From Vinho Verde's Lima subregion, this loureiro spent time on skins before pressing into inox for fermentation and two months aging on lees prior to filtration and bottling. The richness of heady and lush blossoms, ripe honeydew, musk melon, is cut with the riff of lime pith, greengage, and worn granite. This hums along the palate with a buzz of minerality, which remains on the citrus drenched finish. Quite a lot of impact and volume in a wine that clocks in at 11.5 degrees.Prices: ON 22.95 Producer: Aphros
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Anta dos Lobos Selection Vinho Tintotext
87PTS

Anta dos Lobos Selection Vinho Tinto 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis Alentejo family dates back to the 15th Century, when one of their ancestors was named the first Baron and Marquis of Alvito (the first Baron title) from King Afonso V. Their coat of arms bore 5 wolves, and today it is five young cousins who are overseeing this winery and its 75ha of vines. This easy Alentejo red blends aragonez, touriga nacional, castelão, and trincadeira, all fermented and aged briefly in inox. Cherry, plum, blackberry, and raspberry is tinged with dusky baking spices on a short palate. Tannins are slightly stubby, and acidity is bright. Simple and authentic and ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Essencias Do Sul, Lda
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Niepoort Redoma Brancotext
92PTS

Niepoort Redoma Branco 2016

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalAnd again, Niepoort nails it. Old vines (65-85yo) on mica schist soils planted at 500-600m from the Douro's right bank fill this alluring branco. Led by rabigato, códega do larinho, viosinho, donzelinho, and gouveio, this rings with deep stony minerality. A plump bed of fine lees pads the slender body, supporting green fig, quince, dried apricot, salted lemon, elderflower, meadow grass, roasted pine nuts, and flake salts through the lengthy palate, and lingering mandarin pith finish. This was fermented in neutral French oak, where it aged for 8 months. This grows with time in the glass, and will do also in your cellar.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Fitapreta A Touriga vai Nuatext
90PTS

Fitapreta A Touriga vai Nua 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalBrisk purple and blue fruit, dusky spicing, alluring purple florals, riffing salt float through this unoaked touriga nacional, from 30 year old vines growing at 300-400m in schistous soils. “O Rei vai nua!” = “The king goes naked!” = Antonio Maçanita's version of unadorned Alentejo touriga nacional. Partial carbonic, and whole cluster maceration, this was native fermented in stainless, where it rested a short three months prior to release. This medium bodied red is slicked with anise, black liquorice, scrubby rock roses. Tannins are finely grippy, housing the lighter palate to a salty finish, with lingering dark plums, white pepper, and broken stones. A beauty, naked, view of the grape, especially with a light chill, and one that will blow your mind if all you're used to is oaked versions.Prices: BC 45.00 ON 41.95 Producer: Fitapreta
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Herdade do Cebolal Vale das Éguastext
88PTS

Herdade do Cebolal Vale das Éguas 2016

Setúbal Peninsula, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis blend of antão vaz and vedelho comes from southern Portugal's Setúbal Peninsula, a hot region best known for its sweet wines. This, however, was purposefully picked in late August by acclaimed winemaker mother and son duo Isabel Capitao and Luis. Stainless fermentation and aging keeps the sun-ripened fruit as bright as can be, yielding musk melon, pineapple, honeysuckle and tangerine. Acidity struggles to meet the weighty, creamy palate, one that finishes with a spiced apricot finish. Only 6000 bottles were made, and I recommend popping yours with calamari or grilled squash.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Herdade do Cebolal
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Quinta de Santiago Alvarinho Reservatext
88PTS

Quinta de Santiago Alvarinho Reserva 2017

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom a single clay-soiled vineyard in the prized Vinho Verde subregion of Monção e Melgaço, this was aged in a mix of 70/30 French oak / stainless for eight months, with periodic battonage. Earthy, fennel-streaked lees beds a plump core, transmitting the clay, and the wood, but still holding onto alvarinho's peach, pear, yellow apple notes. Simple, safe, and straightforward serious VV.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Quinta de Santiago
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Sexy Sparkling Golden Globe Edition Brut Blanc de Blanc NVtext
89PTS

Sexy Sparkling Golden Globe Edition Brut Blanc de Blanc NV NV

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalAntonio Maçanita is one of Portugal's top winemakers, making wines from the Azores to Alentejo under his own label, and together with his sister in the Douro Valley. This SEXY line was intended to show that traditional method fizz could be fun, accessible, and delicious, while still being high quality, well-made wine. From the ever-jovial Antonio, it's also a reminder to not take everything so seriously and enjoy life, and bubbles, liberally. While I admit the golden wrap is a bit offputish at first, the wine inside is entirely moreish. A blend of arinto, roupeiro, and verdelho, this blends four vintages and was dosed with 6 g/L. Dough, apple brioche, quince, toasted hazelnuts is braced with lemon pith, and brisk with a vibrato of mineral salts. Big intensity is matched with big freshness in this wine that is enjoyable solo, but can handle foodstuffs (cheese, please) with ease.Prices: BC 40.00 ON 33.95 Producer: Maçanita
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Anta dos Lobos Selectiontext
88PTS

Anta dos Lobos Selection 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis Alentejo family dates back to the 15th Century, when one of their ancestors was named the first Baron and Marquis of Alvito (the first Baron title) from King Afonso V. Their coat of arms bore 5 wolves, and today it is five young cousins who are overseeing this winery and its 75ha of vines. This wine blends arinto, antao vaz, and chardonnay into a full bodied, oaken white, rich with wood spice and ripe yellow fruits. Baked pear, fragrant white peach, mandarin and musk melon swirl on the heady palate, finishing with more toasty spice. A richer wine to handle creamy dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Essencias Do Sul, Lda
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Fitapreta Tintotext
92PTS

Fitapreta Tinto 2017

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis characterful blend of aragonez, alicante bouschet, and trincadeira comes from the rocky schistous vineyards of Alentejo, and vines planted 1979-1989 at 300-400m. After native ferment in inox, this rested 9 months between French barrel and inox. Bright and lively with tobacco, branch, black raspberry and red currant, this medium bodied red is bedded on stones, seasoned with rock roses, and spiced with subtle red pepper on the finish. Tannins are grippy and fine, and acidity is brisk throughout, easily carrying the 14.5 degrees. Fantastic value, especially in Ontario.Prices: BC 32.00 ON 20.95 Producer: Fitapreta
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Luis Seabra Mono Ctext
89PTS

Luis Seabra Mono C 2016

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom 25 year old vines growing on yellow slate and clay soils, this was fermented in plastic and then aged in barrels. Shades of blue : primary plum, blueberry, hints of medicinal cherry, and rock roses are framed by low, downy, grippy tannins to the tight, snappy finish. This was Luis' first vintage of this wine, and it's lovely to have the opportunity to taste a straight castelão, treated with respect. Give it a slight chill and drink now.Prices: ON 46.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Douro Tintotext
90PTS

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Douro Tinto 2017

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalA field blend of six varieties planted across three subzones, Illimitado is a soil survey of the schist-driven terroir in the Douro. This year the blend is led by touriga franca, and includes tinta roriz, tinta marcela, and malvasia preta in the mix, all sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1960-1980, and at 400-600m. Entirely whole cluster, this was fermented 60/40 stainless vat and granite lagares with foot trodding. Opening young and grippy, with plum, wild blackberry, sarsaparilla, worn leather, blueberry on a bed of wet slate. There's a fine buzz that textures throughout to the lingering finish.Prices: ON 27.95 BC 36.00 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Maçanita Tintotext
92PTS

Maçanita Tinto 2017

Cima Corga, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalRetasted 9 months along, and this is tasting even more impressive as before. This is a blend of touriga nacional, sousão and old vine field blend from the Cima Corgo from brother sister due Antonio and Joana Maçanita. This was native fermented and spent twenty days on skins before being split between neutral barrel and tank for one year. Brisk, bright black raspberry, cherry, wild blueberry, damson plum, rock roses are framed by raspy, bamboo-fine tannins. Acidity is narrow and streaming with intent. Crushed stone lingers on the finish.Prices: ON 27.25 Producer: Maçanita
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Quadrus Vinho Brancotext
88PTS

Quadrus Vinho Branco 2017

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom a single, 650m schistous vineyard in Douro Superior, this is a blend of côdega de larinho, rabigato and viosinho, rich from the region's warmth, time in oak, and a bump of RS that fills the generous palate. Ripe yellow fruit, lush blossoms, white peach and honeysuckle are thankfully held taut by the soils and altitude. Able to take on buttery seafood dishes.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Quadrus Wines
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Pedra Cancela Dão Selecção do Enólogotext
88PTS

Pedra Cancela Dão Selecção do Enólogo 2016

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalDão's Pedra Cancela is owned and operated by the Gouveia family, with João Paulo Gouveia the winemaker. After a gentle maceration and ferment, this blend of touriga nacional, alfochiero, and tinta roriz rested six months in oak barrels and three months in bottle prior to release. Dusky cassis, wild cherry, black raspberry, perfumed violets, thorns fill the plump palate of this friendly red. Tannins are fine and sticky, finishing with a flood of fresh cracked black pepper. A great wave of acidity keeps this aloft, and at a very welcome 13 degrees.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Pedra Cancela
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Fado Tintotext
87PTS

Fado Tinto 2018

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis is a rustic, soft, and drink-now Alentejano blend of aragonês and trincadeira, with 10 percent syrah splashed in the mix to bring spice and heft. Musk, black raspberry, kirsch is ripe with sunshine, and thick in concentration. Tannins are sticky, vanilla-scented, and property plump to handle the sweetly ripe fruit. Chill slightly and pour alongside lamb burgers.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Terre d'Alter
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Fado Brancotext
86PTS

Fado Branco 2018

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalFado Branco is a blend of siria and arinto, with a splash of viognier, sourced from the Alentejo. This youthful wine comes off a bit muted and sour, with tart lemon, musk melon, lychee to a snappy finish. Stainless preserves the brightness, thankfully, and a chill keeps this a simple, easy wine to drink this summer.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Terre d'Alter
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Quinta de Cerejeiras Reserva Brancotext
91PTS

Quinta de Cerejeiras Reserva Branco 2015

PortugalSanguinhal is one of the oldest wineries in Lisboa, and this wine is only made in the best vintages, living up to its Reserva name. This wine will be known as Grand Reserva level in future vintages. Oak plays a major role here, cushioning the palate and structuring this serious, full-bodied blend of estate sandy/clay soiled Chardonnay, Arinto and Vital. Sanguinhal uses no chemical inputs in their vineyards, adopting some biodynamic philosophies and ample integrated pest management. The Chardonnay was fermented and aged in 600L French oak, with the remainder spending time in stainless for eight months, after which all was blended and transferred to stainless for tightening prior to bottling. Honey, orange curd and a creamy mid come courtesy of the chardonnay, while the brisk acidity, herbal citrus and pinenuttiness are a tip to the Arinto and Vital. Quite complete now in youth, and at an impressive 13.5 degrees, this is certainly ageworthy.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal
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28 August 2019

Rust Wine Co Gewürztraminertext
88PTS

Rust Wine Co Gewürztraminer 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Golden Mile Bench's South Rock Vineyard, this is clone 47 gew planted in 1973. After a native ferment on skins in stainless where it remained for two weeks, it aged for a short period in stainless before bottling. Lush apricot, ripe peach, sweet gingersnap and ample blossoms fill the off-dry palate, one tightened with spices to a sweet gingerale finish. Lovely intense fruit here, well matched to a too-gew-common 14 degrees.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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CedarCreek Gewürztraminertext
88PTS

CedarCreek Gewürztraminer 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCedarCreek tries to hold gew's exuberance at bay with low yields and a ferment and three months rest in stainless on the lees. This is finished with a sizeable plug of RS, the sugar well supporting the honeyed apricot, white peach, pear, lychee, and fragrant flowers. The finish is warming at 14 degrees, with fresh gingersnap cookie spicing. Best enjoyed well chilled this summer.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Unsworth Vineyards Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaIsland crisp, this is marine-shaped gewürztraminer carries melon, yellow apple, pink florals, soap along a lean palate. There's a light dusting of gingery spicing throughout. From North Cowichan's Saison Vineyard, this soaked overnight on skins before a stainless ferment and aging, with partial MLF and partial resting on skins for a short stint. Skinny and tight, this is a very coastal and light view on gew.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Gewürztraminer Orchard Blocktext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Gewürztraminer Orchard Block 2018

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuails' Gate makes two Gew each year: this reserve series, and their straight 'entry level'. Orchard Block Gew is a single vineyard planted in 1989, was whole cluster pressed, and partially fermented and aged in oak. Much more plump than its sister gew, yet still relatively restrained for the grape, thanks to its Boucherie Mountain volcanic soils, and northern Okanagan latitude. Apricot, tangelo, white peach, fennel is bracketed with lime pith, tightening this perfectly for accessible drinking with a variety of foodstuffs, or solo.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Gewürztraminertext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Gewürztraminer 2018

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLovely orange, lychee, fragrant white blossoms, roses slide along the medium/light body of this easy gewürztraminer. There's enough gingery spicing and lush orchard fruit / blossoms to cue to gew, but not enough to overwhelm. This was fermented and mostly aged in stainless, with a small amount done in barrel for added complexity. It works. Great value, as ever.Prices: BC 16.99 SK 21.59 MB 16.99 QC 19.00 NB 19.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 9 Single Vineyard Ehrenfelsertext
90PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 9 Single Vineyard Ehrenfelser 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEhrenfelser has always been a hidden star at CedarCreek since way back. In 2018 it was deemed Platinum worthy by winemaker Taylor Whelan, and we agree. The fruit comes off the single, stony Block 9 vines that are now 13 to 16-years-old. 11 percent is fermented in neutral oak to add a smidgeon of texture to the predominately stainless steel tank and barrels, ageing for four months on its lees. The traditional honeysuckle, tangerine, honeydew, ripe pear, key lime flavours are all here, but it’s the subtlety that attracts. The sugar, acid and alcohol are perfectly balanced suggesting this might keep a few years under screwcap. Impressive.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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26 August 2019

Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +19/09text
88PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +19/09 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a big, powerful pinot gris, coming off of sites in Naramata, Okanagan Falls, and Skaha Bluffs. After a fermentation split between French oak, stainless, and concrete eggs, this had a four month stint on lees with regular batonnage. Ripe lush peach, pear, pineapple flood the plump palate, seasoned with gingerale, and finishing with a bitter peach snap and a flood of warmth belying its 13.5 degrees.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Liquidity Wines Pinot Gris Reservetext
88PTS

Liquidity Wines Pinot Gris Reserve 2018

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUnlike their 'regular' pinot gris that was kept entirely in stainless, this Reserve was barrel fermented, where it also remained on lees for 5 months. This wine comes from the oldest estate block, and vines 23 years old. The wood and lees work plump up the mouthfeel of this plump wine, with ripe pear, lush white peach, yellow apple, and lemon curd cloaking the palate. There's a riff of spices that liven the weight of the fruit to a warming, bitter citrus pith finish. Serious attempt, and worthy to pour with your brown butter scallops or butternut squash dishes.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Wines Pinot Gristext
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Liquidity Wines Pinot Gris 2018

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Okanagan Falls estate pinot gris was whole cluster pressed and cool fermented in stainless where it remained for a short time before bottling. Pear, yellow apple, grapefruit ride the friendly, medium palate to a crisp, clean finish. A simple, straightforward and easy gris for drinking now.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Perlage Pinot Grigiotext
89PTS

Perlage Pinot Grigio 2017

Veneto, ItalyHoneyed stone, pear, yellow apple, meadow grass and hints of chamomile rule this certified organic pinot grigio. A slim blanket of lees lines the slender palate to a saline, medicinal white cherry finish. Sourced from 250m in the subregion of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and limestone / volcanic laced soils, this was native fermented on skins in stainless steel. The latter preserves freshness and brightness, while the skin contact provides texture. Far more interesting than your average PG; I only wish more Italian grigios were like this.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Perlage
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Church & State Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Church & State Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's C&S PG is from the Okanagan Valley's Coyote Bowl and Foundation Vineyards, and their gravelly sandy soils. Ripe but bright, with pear, melon, green apple to a snappy finish. Friendly, easy, and ready to drink now.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Church & State Winery
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25 August 2019

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Rieslingtext
87PTS

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Riesling 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEast (Greata Ranch) and West (Kelowna's Mannhardt Vineyard) make up this mouthwatering style of riesling with a slightly bitter undertone. Green apple and limes dominate the palate with light flecks of honey mixed with a dusting of minerality. It is a fresh, zesty, tart white wine for the adventurous. It must be served with food and preferably creamy low-acid dishes that could use an injection of energy.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Ex Nihilo Rieslingtext
88PTS

Ex Nihilo Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt 50 degrees north, it comes as no surprise this wine was picked after the first snow and freeze of the season, which helped to concentrate the flavours on the vine. The style is on the rich yellow fruit side with a dollop of residual sugar. Off-dry but with enough acidity to keep it fresh, this is is a soft, round, ready-to-drink rielsing that is perfect for barbecue pork or Thai curry.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Rieslingtext
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JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Riesling 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA delicious version of East Kelowna riesling that comes off an old block at St Hubertus planted in 1968. Spare, tight, juicy and mouthwatering, its talcum powder nose explodes on the palate with bright lemon-lime fruit and a strong undercurrent of guava with a twist of bitter lime rind and spice. Use the sweet finish to temper spicy sushi rolls or a favourite curry.Prices: BC 27.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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RockBare The Clare Valley Rieslingtext
91PTS

RockBare The Clare Valley Riesling 2018

AustraliaThe Clare Valley Riesling will cure all your longing for a zesty, dry riesling from its fragrant, floral lemon blossom nose to its bright jolt of citrus laced with ginger, lime rind, minerals and salt, followed by a clean, dry, refreshing finish. Think of any food and this wine will not only work with it; it will make it taste better.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Rockbare
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Rieslingtext
87PTS

Crowsnest Family Reserve Riesling 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA much cleaner version than our last visit, this ‘17 Family Reserve offers an off-dry version with the emphasis on the drier side. Look for fresh, green apple fruit sprayed with citrus and just enough acidity to keep it linear and food-friendly. A perfect patio wine you could serve with soft cow milk cheeses, roasted vegetables, or light pork kebobs.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards and Barcello Canyon
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23 August 2019

Laughing Stock Vineyards Amphora VRM +24/09text
89PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Amphora VRM +24/09 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Amphora project has grown to six terracotta amphorae, and is the second vintage of VRM, with the blend 50/17/33 sourced from Osoyoos and Oliver. Three of the amphorae were filled with whole bunch viognier, while the others were 2/3 marsanne and 1/3 roussanne. All were left covered and untouched for 65 days. The grapes were all pressed together and rested in a mix of amphora and older oak. Pouring a golden hue, with ripe apricot, quince, and peach tightened with a lasso of bitter citrus pith, and kissed with salty prosciutto. Sides are tightly grippy around a gently plump middle (as is Laughing Stock's M.O.), to a piquant ginger finish. Edgy and interesting, and a leading example of a local natural wine.Prices: BC 28.99 500 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Ex Nihilo XXX Single Vineyard Viogniertext
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Ex Nihilo XXX Single Vineyard Viognier 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2017, their estate viognier in cool-climate Lake Country froze on the vine, and was picked and processed afterwards, which is not ideal. For 2018, they sourced fruit from Naramata, fermenting in stainless before aging in both stainless and French oak. Ripe and waxy on the medium-bodied palate, with yellow apples, honeydew, peach and vanilla. There’s a bitter peach pit note to close out the finish. Somewhat disjointed, and best taken with grilled sauced ribs.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Intersection Reserve Barrel Fermented Viognier-Marsannetext
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Intersection Reserve Barrel Fermented Viognier-Marsanne 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis late picked southern Okanagan blend feels the sun-warmed richness of time, amplified by whole bunch pressing, and fermenting and aging in neutral French oak for six months with regular battonage. In 2016 the blend was 85/15 viognier/marsanne, the latter helping girdle the ever expansive viognier. White blossoms, pear, white peach, lychee, apricot fuzz and wood spicing flood a plump and juicy palate, finishing with big gingerale spicing. A bit disjointed, though registering at a welcome 13.5 degrees.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Intersection Viogniertext
89PTS

Intersection Viognier 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRichly perfumed, with a garden of lush florals, this estate viognier was fermented and aged in neutral French barrels for 10 months with regular battonage. The lees work has padded the palate, filling this creamy, textural wine with ripe white peach, apricot, pie crust and perfumed vanilla through to a lingering finish. Very polished, and held to a welcome 13.5 degrees, this is well suited to richer Thai green curries.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Viognier +10/10text
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Viognier +10/10 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Osoyoos’ Perfect Hedge vineyard, this is a sun trap of a site, feeding viognier’s heat-seeking missile-dom tendencies. After whole cluster pressing, this was fermented and aged in a mix of concrete eggs, French oak, and stainless. The palate is weighted down with ripe melon, apricot, peach, mandarin, and ample ginger spicing, running the girth of the palate. The finish is warming with gingersnap spicing. It is a potent wine.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Church & State Wines Viogniertext
88PTS

Church & State Wines Viognier 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's been a few years since we've seen a C&S Viognier. The flamboyant grape is well suited to the winery style. From the Coyote Bowl, and Bella vineyards, this is a fleshy, full bodied, ripe white, flush with honeysuckle, apricot, overripe melon, and tropical florals. Ginger sticks on the vanilla-lined finish, reflective of time in French oak. Shy this is not, and at 14+ degrees, it's not for the shy of heart.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Church and State Marsannetext
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Church and State Marsanne 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPotent and heady, the Black Sage Bench provenance amplifies marsanne's potency, as does fermentation in French oak. Dried apricot, orange, dried lush florals, ripe white peach fill the full palate, one that rights itself with a snappy finish of almond paste, and vanilla. A lot of a lot here, reflective of the grape, though none of it particularly referencing the place.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Church and State Roussannetext
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Church and State Roussanne 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Coyote Bowl and Bella vineyards on the Black Sage Bench, this roussanne was fermented in French oak, amplifying and plumping up an already rich wine. Exotic spices, sandalwood, white peach, vanilla on a plump, expansive palate. This feels every bit of its luxurious fullness, and would suit well creamy pasta or buttery white fish dishes.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu Condrieutext
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Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu Condrieu 2016

Condrieu, Northern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceWaxy and pure, with grilled almonds, delicate white blossoms, light lemon curd, perfumed melon, orange blossom, honeysuckle and ample ginger spicing along a silken, elegant palate. Condrieu is the epitome of viognier, and wines like this show why. Fermentation and vinification in oak, and time on lees in barrel build power and richness, while the Northern Rhone's climate, altitude and soils lends freshness and a welcome sort of severity. Restrained power, and a long life ahead.Prices: BC 89.00 Producer: Jean-Luc Colombo
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22 August 2019

Château la Grolet Côtes de Bourgtext
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Château la Grolet Côtes de Bourg 2017

Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux, FranceChâteau La Grolet is a 17th-century manor house at the bottom of a valley surrounded by its 50-hectare estate, including 38 hectares of vines. The Hubert family acquired the estate in 1997, and began its conversion to biodynamics, with Demeter certification coming in 2000. This blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot, averaging 50 years in vine age, are from their vineyards' steep slopes of gravel and clay. This was native fermented in concrete before a rest in older wood. Bright and shining, with dusky red fruits, led by cherries and red currants, infiltrated with carnations and dusty gravels. Tannins are tight and finely grippy, housing this medium bodied red to a fresh roasted coffee finish. Lovely energy and vibrance throughout, as is texture via the concrete.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Chateau la Grolet
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LaStella Fortissimotext
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LaStella Fortissimo 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Tuscan-inspired red continues to be tweaked and tightened year over year. In 2017, the blend was 60% merlot, 18% cabernet sauvignon, 13% cabernet franc, and 9% sangiovese, sourced from Osoyoos West and East Bench, the Golden Mile Bench, and Black Sage Bench. Utilizing large format Hungarian / Slavonian oak works to marry the parts seamlessly, evident even in this very youthful stage. It spends 15 months in puncheons (10% new) and neutral oak, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Graphite, wild blueberry, plum and cherry rise through this year, buffered by ample, slightly sticky tannins and propped with natural acidity to a spiced violet, stony finish. Very much in youth and with angles to shed and tightness to give but the future is bright. It will be a worthy cellar addition for the next seven to ten years or an immediate partner for grilled lamb.Prices: BC 30.99 Producer: LaStella
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LaStella Fortissimotext
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LaStella Fortissimo 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith a nod to the Super Tuscan tradition, this is a merlot dominant blend (at 76%), followed by cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, and cabernet franc, sourced from various southern Okanagan vineyards. Aging in French and Slavonian oak barrels, puncheons and botti, 10% of which were new, has well-knit this structural wine, merging the graphite, cassis, blackberry and tight grain leather together along a bigger palate. Though the fruit carries power, it isn't overripe at all, rather riding the savoury side of southern Okanagan to a dried rosemary and sage finale. Drinking beautifully now, and will continue to do so in your cellar.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: LaStella
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Mouton Cadet Rougetext
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Mouton Cadet Rouge 2016

Bordeaux, FranceSoft cherry, liquorice, tart cranberry, dusty wood, and light smoke opens this simple, easy Bordeaux blend, mixing merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from across the region. Tannins are soft and spiced to a short, pasty, warming finish. Underwhelming.Prices: BC 16.99 BC 11.99 AB 11.75 MB 14.99 QC 15.80 NF 17.99 Producer: Baron Philippe de Rothschild - France
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River Stone Corner Stonetext
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River Stone Corner Stone 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRiver Stone is a small estate operating just south of McIntyre Bluff near Oliver. In 2016 the blend is a 42/22/17/14/5/ mix of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot, all grown at their estate River Rock Vineyard. At 13 years of age, the vineyard is beginning to come into its own, reaping a wealth of flavours from the rocky, sandy, gravelly soils. The attack is dense but dry, showing dark chocolate and savoury tapenade. The fruit is equally dense with dried black fruit and firm tannins. It’s aged in French oak, 33 percent new, and it will need some time to digest it. As in previous years, it is sleek, dry and firm, with just the perfect amount of muscle and fruit. For now, you can serve this with a rare steak or lamb, but it is probably best to give this another five years to settle in and show its best stuff. Promising.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Black Hills Addendumtext
89PTS

Black Hills Addendum 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Ross Wise will be fine-tuning Addendum going forward, reducing the oak influence and making it a cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc blend, but for 2017 there is merlot in the mix. The wine is aged in 35 percent new French oak for a year. The attack is again rich and round with black fruit and toasted oak dominating the palate, and some tannins yet to disperse in the back end. It really needs time to pull it together and shed some sweet oak notes. Serve now with grilled meats or wait five years for it all to come together.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Equipoisetext
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Tightrope Winery Equipoise 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEquipose is a mix of Naramata merlot (40%), syrah (40%) and cabernet franc (20%) made from small lot ferments cold-soaked for five days and macerated for three weeks. It is all aged in French oak, and half of the wood is new. As you might expect, the aromas and flavours are intense, evoking black fruits, cherries, plums and blackberries, dusted in vanilla and pipe tobacco. The palate is soft, and the tannins well managed. You can drink this now if you like a rambunctious, fruity style, but it is worth laying this down for a couple of years until it fully comes together. Love the 13.8 percent alcohol. A classic red made for lamb chops, roasted lamb, or roasted fall vegetables.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Tightrope Winery Vertigotext
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Tightrope Winery Vertigo 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVertigo is an oddball blend of 47 percent merlot, 24 percent cabernet franc, and 29 percent barbera that caught the attention of judges at the National Wine Awards of Canada. No doubt it was the lightness and the freshness that attracted. It’s fruit-forward with cassis, plum and rhubarb, earthy notes, and a juicy, lively finish. Could be a match for duck, woodfired, meaty pizzas, or any grilled vegetables dishes. Vertigo is handpicked and fermented in small lots. It spends 21 days on skins before going into a combination of French and American oak, of which 50 percent is new. It spends a further ten months in barrel before being bottled.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Upper Bench Altitude Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Releasetext
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Upper Bench Altitude Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAltitude is the newest wine at Upper Bench, and likely their best. The blend is 75% merlot and 25% cabernet sauvignon, but the difference here is this wine displays the elegance and class you expect from a top tier red for $46. Plums and black cherries dominate with just a touch of milk chocolate, spice and oak. Still just a baby, but the parts are all here to let this age effortlessly for the next five to seven years. A stylish New World red that works with a variety of grilled meats or cheeses.Prices: BC 46.10 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Upper Bench Merlot Cabernet Franctext
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Upper Bench Merlot Cabernet Franc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2016 merlot and cabernet franc were picked during the last week of October at perfect ripeness. The winery describes this as a fun wine, and indeed it is hedonistic, but it has other very likeable attributes that would make me want to drink this for several years through 2022. It spends 18 months in 30 percent new French oak, adding spice and dimension to rich black cherry and blackberry. The tannins are dense but much improved over the past vintage. Perhaps this is best described as a mid-weight Napa Valley-style red that over delivers for the price. There is better winemaking all around as the years slip by, and the wine quality reflects it. Serve now with grilled meats or with a trio of Upper Bench cheeses: Grey Baby, Okanagan Sun, or Gold.Prices: BC 30.50 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Upper Bench Yard Winetext
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Upper Bench Yard Wine 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYard Wine is a tribute to winery co-owner Gavin Miller, who once made wine from a tiny vineyard at his old home on the Naramata Bench. 2016 is a massively concentrated red that added 12 percent cabernet sauvignon to a 60/28 mix of merlot and cabernet franc, seemingly bolstering the spine and ageability of the blend. It’s all cofermented, a Miller tradition, before spending 18 months in 30 percent new French oak. The tannins are better managed in 2016 but remain dense and sweet. The nose and attack are big, with a large rip of spice that runs throughout the palate. Dark chocolate, coffee and delicious savoury Okanagan dried herbs mix with blackcurrant in what is a robust, wild glass of wine. Not for the timid. Best with grilled beef.Prices: BC 34.50 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Pétales d'Osoyoostext
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Pétales d'Osoyoos 2015

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEasily the best Pétales yet, led by 76 percent merlot mixed with 11.5/10.5/1/1 of cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc/petit verdot/malbec. The wine has a soft, enticing demeanour thanks to a big percentage of Osoyoos merlot offering up sweet, dense black fruits and tannins with a drier, far more interesting profile than many North American versions of this blend. The combination of dusty tannins and plummy fruit with just a touch of cedar and pepper and only an illusion of oak that should quickly dissipate over the next 18 months gives this red a big thumbs up for wine lovers. Never as firm or dry as its big brother Osoyoos Larose, but then you can drink this much earlier in its life. Very Bordelais and I am very okay with that. Serve with grilled beef.Prices: BC 28.99 QC 28.00 MB 26.00 NS 29.00 SK 29.00 NF 31.00 Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Sumac Ridge Cabernet Merlot Private Reservetext
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Sumac Ridge Cabernet Merlot Private Reserve 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is straightforward stuff made for current drinking and in a style that will have its appeal to those who like reds soft and ripe. The fruit is overtly ripe, showing sweet black fruit jam, tobacco, and and smoky, toasted oak. Smooth, round, sweet and slippery, this is an easy red, and it is entirely ready to go. The finish follows on with a brush of tannins and more sweet maple and blueberry. Hamburgers are the match.Prices: BC 15.49 AB 15.50 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Célestialetext
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Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2015

British Columbia, CanadaCelestial is a nod to Bordeaux, blending four classic varieties: 54/32/7/7 cabernet sauvignon/merlot/ cabernet franc/malbec from Keremeos and Cawston in the Similkameen, and Osoyoos in the southern Okanagan. The superheated 2015s were barrel aged for 15 months in French oak, and while good, it lacks the lift and energy of the 2013 or 2014s. Look for a jammy, smoky, cassis nose with resiny black fruit that finishes warm with some peppery highlights and light tannins. Drier than usual, but will be excellent with grilled meats.Prices: BC 23.50 ON 26.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Vérité La Musetext
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Vérité La Muse 2015

Sonoma County, California, United StatesVigneron Pierre Seillan recalls that of his 49 vintages, 2015 was the first where picking began in August, the 31st to be precise. The harvest lasted 12 days, and while yields were low, the grape quality was outstanding. La Muse presents as youthful with floral, stony mineral aromas. The mix is 90 percent merlot, seven percent cabernet franc and three percent malbec. Look for a super-rich, round, savoury Sonoma style with fresh blackberries, sliced apple, and an amazing silky texture. The mid-palate is awash in baking spices, chocolate, and more smoky, savoury, licorice and black cherry. It’s the supple nature of this wine that makes it of so attractive. It's more like Masseto than Petrus, but either way, it's in good company. Vérité, or truth, makes a trio of Bordeaux-shaped reds all grown at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains at the southern tip of Sonoma County's Alexander Valley, where Seillan works with Sonoma Mountain fruit. Seillan is a disciple of the cru concept, and at Vérité his selections are released under the monikers of ‘La Muse’, a Pomerol-style merlot/cabernet franc mix; ‘La Joie’, a left bank, Haut-Medoc style cabernet sauvignon; and ‘Le Désir, a Saint Emilion-style blend of cabernet franc/merlot/cabernet sauvignon.Prices: BC 520.00 AB 238.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
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21 August 2019

JoieFarm Pinot Blanctext
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JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRetasted one year later, and this 2017 pinot blanc is holding strong. From 1978 planted vines at Kelowna’s St. Hubertus vineyard, this was destemmed, fermented, and held in stainless prior to bottling. Light struck stone, grapefruit pith, lemon verbena, musk melon streak along a slim palate to a snappy finish. Acidity is brisk and the wine feels as tight and alive as before.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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The Eyrie Vineyards Oregon Pinot Blanctext
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The Eyrie Vineyards Oregon Pinot Blanc 2016

Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThis limited edition bottling is of pinot blanc from Dundee's iconic Eyrie Vineyards and Alsatian clones planted over 25 years ago, plus 1990 plantings, and fruit from the neighbouring Tukwilla vineyard. Destemming and long, cool aging in stainless (11 months) gives a purity and depth of fruit rarely seen in oft-neglected pinot blanc. Yellow apple, orange blossom, white florals, melon, and grapefruit pith are padded with fine lees work, textural and very complete. Acidity is finely threaded, and nervy, and there's a steady lick of anise on the finish, which is welcome and inviting.Prices: Oregon 23.00 Producer: Eyrie Vineyards, The
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JoieFarm Pinot Blanctext
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JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA characterful style of pinot blanc, with yellow apple, honeycomb, a touch of underlying minerality, and subtle lees work. The palate is round with good precision and bright acidity. The fruit suggests there is more ripeness here than the 11.7% abv would indicate, perhaps benefiting from the more gradual growing season of West Kelowna. A very drinkable style, but that gives you a lot to contemplate if you give it the time.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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Upper Bench Pinot Blanc Limited Releasetext
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Upper Bench Pinot Blanc Limited Release 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a blend of 96 percent pinot blanc and 4 percent muscat, the latter bringing some lovely orange blossom aromatics that complement the lemon, honeyed fruit of the pinot blanc. A slightly riper expression of pinot blanc, it has nice weight, balanced with retained freshness. There’s a pinch of residual sugar (3.8 g/L), but the wine finishes decidedly dry and with good length. If you’re not a believer in Okanagan Pinot Blanc, you may want to try this. Well done.Prices: BC 20.80 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Blue Mountain Pinot Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne hundred percent pinot blanc from 33-year-old vines, this was wild fermented and then aged for five months sur-lie in a combination of stainless, foudre, puncheon, and neutral barrel. A restrained, elegant expression of pinot blanc that shows an attractive flinty reductive note, bright lemon and pear fruit, and subtle floral aromatics. There’s good tension on the palate, with vibrant acid and a real sense of precision - though with some grip to the finish. Make sure not to serve this too chilled.Prices: BC 24.90 AB 24.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot blanc comes from Middle Bench Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley. The fruit was whole cluster pressed and then fermented and matured in stainless, with some lees influence to build complexity. Quite restrained and lean, this is all about fresh green pear, lemon, and a slight herbal edge. Bone dry in style, the acid is vibrant, well-integrated, and begging for food. This will appeal to fans of Old World whites, for sure.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Hester Creek Pinot Blanctext
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Hester Creek Pinot Blanc 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot blanc comes from blocks 4 and 9 of Hester Creek's Golden Mile Bench Vineyard, which were planted in 1968 and 1997/98, respectively. This is fairly neutral in style, with some citrus fruit and yeasty aromas, possibly reflective of the fact that this was bottled after only four months. There is a dollop of residual sugar, which serves to give the wine some weight, but also detracts from the overall freshness. All in all, an easy drinking style, perfect for the summer patio, and one that doesn’t require much contemplation.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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20 August 2019

Fort Berens Rieslingtext
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Fort Berens Riesling 2018

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaOne of two rieslings released in 2018, the other being the Dry Riesling. This is certainly not, with a sizeable swell of RS, leaving candied pink grapefruit, lemon peel, pear sorbet, and honeyed lychee. There's a bolt of acidity here that saves this from being too sweet for itself. Two thirds of the fruit comes from Lillooet, with the remainder coming from Vernon. After whole cluster pressing, this fermented and rested for a brief time in stainless. Chill and crack this summer.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Rieslingtext
89PTS

CedarCreek Riesling 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith partial estate fruit, this was fermented in mostly stainless steel,with 8% in French Oak and Stainless Steel Barrels, and the whole rested on lees in stainless for 3 months. Off-dry and vibrantly so, this lively riesling explodes in the mouth with lime pulp, lemon peel, sherbet, and racy acidity, nimbly balancing the 20.6 g/l RS. So much fun, this snappy little wine. Great value too.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Intersection Rieslingtext
88PTS

Intersection Riesling 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSunbaked Oliver and high strung riesling don't really go together as natural partners. That said, this ripe, mid-sweet, juicy white works. Lime pith and pulp, pear drop, honey, white cherry, peach gummies ride a gushing palate to a snappy finish. Simple, well made, and perfectly pitched for this summer.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Kung Fu Girl Rieslingtext
89PTS

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2017

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThe Evergreen Vineyard is now 21 years old and producing high-quality fruit on steep cliffs high above the Columbia River in the state’s newest AVA, Ancient Lakes. This wine has been amazingly consistent over the years and is a terrific choice for those who like their Riesling fresh and tangy. 2016 again offers pure fruit flavours of apple and nectarine with a subtle undercurrent of stony minerality. The palate is equally lively and easily carries the fruit to all parts of the palate. Apples, pears and limes dominate its sweet fruit, and finishes with a small bump of bitterness for complexity. Barbecue ribs or chicken work here and so does a spicy South Asian dish. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 16.99 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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16 August 2019

Intersection Unfiltered Cabernet Franctext
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Intersection Unfiltered Cabernet Franc 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRich, ripe, and roasted sums up this Black Sage Bench cabernet franc, amplified by a year in French and American oak prior to bottling, as the label alludes, unfiltered. The sediment contributes to the thickness weighing down the palate, in combination with hickory spice, green wood, smokey char, thick leather and overripe fruit. Tannins are chewy, working hard to house the massive intensity. If all you want is a powerhouse to partner with a porterhouse, this might do.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Cave de Saumur Lieu Dit Les Epinatstext
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Cave de Saumur Lieu Dit Les Epinats 2017

Saumur, Loire, FranceFrom the Loire's large Alliance Loire co op, this simple Saumur rouge carries perfumed plum, blueberries, cassis, and peppery thorns along a shorter, pasty palate. Tannins are slight and sticky, holding the medium palate to a warming finish. Best with a chill and a grilled sausage.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Cave de Saumur
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Lock and Worth Square One Cabernet Franc V.6text
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Lock and Worth Square One Cabernet Franc V.6 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaV.6 indicates the sixth version of this Naramata Bench cabernet franc, planted in 1995 on clay soils. After a native ferment, this spends close to 18 months in neutral French oak before bottling unfined and unfiltered. A slight reductive opening leads into gently smoked cassis, twine, black raspberry, dotted with mustard seed and dried blueberries. This benefits from opening in advance, and a slight chill.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Church and State Cabernet Franctext
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Church and State Cabernet Franc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig and bold, with ripe / overripe blackberry, dark cherry, tar, cracked black pepper, and crushed violets. There's a lovely floral note that threads throughout to a warming, nippy finish. Tannins are supple and lightly spiced from ferment in French oak, and are well supportive of the big fruit. This lumbers along the 14.5 degree palate, welcoming partnering with roast meats.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Rust Wine Co. Cabernet Franc 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a big, wood-driven cabernet franc, that benefits from from Okanagan Falls' altitude and microclimate. This is taken from Lost Horn Vineyard's clay loam soils, and clone Davis 01, planted in 2002. This spent 13 months in French oak, 20 percent of which was new. Brooding and deep black cherry, plum, medicinal raspberry, tobacco fill the dense palate, ripe with sun-lit fruit, and spiced via toast oak. You can sense the inherent bright freshness of the fruit poking through here and there, but this is overwhelmed by the ripeness and wood at this point. Roasted beef or lamb requisite.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Field Recordings Franc 2017

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesAndrew Jones is a vine nursery fieldman, planning and planting vineyards across California. Field Recordings is his personal garagiste project from special sites and vines he's become familiar with over the years. This cabernet franc is sourced from various vineyards across Paso Robles, aged for six months in neutral French oak barriques. This is a trio of franc's intrinsic herbaceousness, with Paso's inherent ripeness, and Jones' hands-off winemaking. The result is a youthful, chillable red, with a slight carbonic spritz, medium+ acidity and ample raspberry, red currant fruit. Tannins are softly grippy on the sides and alcohol is light at 11.9 degrees. Chill and enjoy this summer.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Field Recordings Wines
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15 August 2019

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Gini La Froscà Soave Classico 2015

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyGini's wines are amongst the highest regarded in Soave. This organic garganega is from the Froscà cru, planted in 1955. This historic, 6 hectare vineyard is planted on calcareous and tuffaceous volcanic soils. Native ferment an aging is split between stainless steel and small oak casks. Quite concentrated and rich, yet with a welcome lightness still on the (12.5 degree) palate. Honeysuckle, white peach, apricot blossoms, and waves of ginger ride the creamy palate, aloft with a buzz of stony minerality, to a spiced finish. A masterful showing of Soave, worthy of Classico, and its cru. 1666 cases produced.Prices: BC 41.00 Producer: Gini
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Gini Soave Classico 2017

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyFrom one of the leading organic farmers of the region, these 70 year old garganega vines are grown on volcanic and limestone soils in the historic hillsides of Soave Classico, 100-200m in altitude. After a native ferment, this spends six months on the lees in small stainless barrels, with no MLF. This carries the Classico weight, with honeysuckle, river stones and a grip of mineral salts running the sides to a lightly spiced finish. The soils and light touch are felt on the palate, one that skips along the slim frame to the end. New classic.Prices: BC 29.99 ON 29.95 QC 24.99 Producer: Gini
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Hajszan Neumann Muskateller Natural 2017

Weinland Österreich, AustriaA pierce of apricot and orange oil drives through elderflower, sour mash, and Asian pear on this slim, grippy, and brisk natural wine. Biodynamic, and natural, this muskateller came from the limestone, clay and chalk soils of Neuberg vineyard, on the Wiener Nussberg. The wine native fermented on skins in concrete eggs, staying there for five months, after which it was carefully racked to older 500L barrels where it remained for 6 weeks. This went to bottle without fining, filtration or sulphur. Natural is Fritz Wieninger's experimental range of wines.Prices: ON 36.95 Producer: Weingut Hajszan-Neumann
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Schiopetto Collio Friulano 2016

Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyThe Schiopetto family has been active in Collio for three generations, making wines as Schiopetto in 1965 when Mario Schiopetto rented a property in the hills of Capriva del Friuli. His first vineyards were planted in 1954 with friulano, and it was from these grapes that Mario produced the first single variety wine in the region. This tocai friulano comes from the same hilly Collio of Gorizia and its clay and limestone (marna) soils. This was fermented and aged in stainless for 8 months to preserve the crisp fruit. Medicinal white cherry, yellow fruits, dried citrus peel draw along this savoury wine, bedded with a lees pad and salt roasted almonds that linger on the finish.Prices: ON 38.95 Producer: Schiopetto
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San Valentino Bacaia Rebolatext
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San Valentino Bacaia Rebola 2017

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThis grechetto gentile is from Rimini's Covignano Hills, in Emilia-Romagna, and 10 year old biodynamically farmed vines on calcareous clay soils. This was naturally fermented in stainless, where it remained on fine lees for 8 months prior to bottling. There's a lovely texture that rolls throughout this fuller bodied, concentrated wine, streaming wild herbs, meadow flowers, quince, pine nuts to a long, salted finish. Nothing feels heavy or pushed; rather this is a confident, balanced and beguiling drink. Fantastic value.Prices: ON 20.95 Producer: San Valentino
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Fento Wines Plurivarietal Rias Baixas 2017

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainOne of winemaker Eulogio Pomares' many projects (most notably, Zarate), this is a blend of albariño, loureiro, treixadura, torontés, and godello, from the mountainous, inland, granite and slate soiled Rias Baixas subregion Condado do Tea. “Tea County” is named after the river Tea, a tributary of the Miño. Fento is Galician for fern, hence the label. These 10-15 year old vines were fermented and rested in stainless, yielding juicy yellow fruits, quince, white peach blossoms and tight, fine spicing. Volumnous in the mouth, despite its 12.5 degrees. Ample interest and intensity to take on grilled halibut or spot prawns.Prices: ON 26.95 Producer: Fento Wines
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Fento Wines Bico Da Ran Albariño 2017

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainOne of winemaker Eulogio Pomares' many projects (most notably, Zarate), this albariño master has used grapes from Rias Baixas' sub-area of Valle del Salnés, up to 300m, near the sea. Juicy yellow fruits, white blossoms, spice, pine nuts fill a medium bodied palate, to a snappy finish. I appreciate the confident, restrained style here. Good value.Prices: ON 20.95 Producer: Fento Wines
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Minimus Grüner Veltlinertext
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Minimus Grüner Veltliner 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesMinimus was created in 2011 by Chad Stock as a series of one-off experiments, and the line continues to be an incubator and innovator for Oregon winemaking. They source from sustainable through to biodynamic vineyards, and practice low-intervention, native fermentation, utilize various vessels, and work with numerous grapes and clones (many unique to this project). Opening with a bright, flinty flick, this GV was planted in 1977 in Vitae Springs Vineyard, high in the south Salem hills' volcanic jory soils, on own roots. It's believed to be the oldest planting of GV in America. The wine was fermented and aged for nine months in stainless, preserving the purity and crisp fruit. Lemon, meadow herbs, are scented with elderflower and kissed with flake salts that run the long, slender palate to a bright finish. Acidity is shining, well balancing the gentle lees. Lovely poise and balance in this 12.4 degree wine.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Craft Wine Co.
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Menade Rueda Verdejo Ecologico 2018

Rueda, Castilla-Leon, SpainMenade is made with organic grapes that see no sulphur or copper sulphate in the vineyards. Native fermentation takes place in various size stainless tanks matched to the vineyard blocks. It is brimming with concentrated varietal and mineral aromas, pronounced white fruits and attractive herbaceous elements such as laurel, thyme and fennel (your dried desert herbs). The palate is a sea of citrus, lime, mango and nectarine in a medium-rich style. Think of this as an upscale sauvignon for the senses with the perfect yin and yang for the palate. Grilled seafood comes quickly to mind.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Bodegas Menade
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Gini Contrada Salvarenza Soave Classico Vecchie Vigne 2015

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyContrada Salverenza is all about limited production and in some cases, 80-year-old vines. The name originates from the area known as Salvarenza (Save Renza), a legend of the maid Renza who was saved from brigands by a noble knight. This particular label is made with garganega grown over limestone, hand-picked and fermented in barriques for nine months before spending another six months in bottle. The colour is golden and the nose and palate explosive with rich, ripe, mineral-led sweet fruit with tropical undertones. The finish is intense and persistent with peach and pear highlights and a touch of sea salt. Perfect now but will age through 2022.Prices: BC 57.99 ON 49.99 Producer: Gini
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Gini Soave Classicotext
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Gini Soave Classico 2017

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyGarganega can be a bit of crapshoot at the best of times, but in the hands of a serious producer, it can be an experience you won’t regret. Lower yields impart a fresh citrus, honey nose and palate to this Soave that is clearly better than the pack. Best of all is the freshness and minerality that allows the wine to soar in your mouth. Creamy cheese, spaghetti olio, butter clams all work here. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 29.99 ON 29.95 QC 24.99 Producer: Gini
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Atlantis by Maetierra Albariño 2017

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainAtlantis Albariño is a part of the Atlantis series managed by oenologist Raúl Acha, producing Atlantic wines from different DOs in Spain. This juicy albariño is from a sandy soiled vineyard near the river Miño in Rias Baixas. The attack is a lemon storm with lime peel and melon, and a floral apricot blossom undercurrent. Fresh, electric, alive, and simply so much fun to sip, I forgive its unnecessary cork finish. A clear jump above less year and terrific value. Steamed clams, tuna sushi rolls, fish tacos and more, they all work with this delicious white.Prices: BC 24.99 ON 22.95 Producer: Maetierra
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Filippi Castelcerino Soave 2017

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyThe Filippi family first settled Colli Scaligeri around 1300, formally entering into wine production around 1900. The estate and surrounding woodlands rests 400 meters above sea level, and is overseen by descendant Filippo Filippi. Soave Colli Scaligeri DOC is one of five subregions of Soave, the Colli referencing this hilly zone outside of Soave Classico. This is entirely organically farmed garganega, from two exposed, volcanic soiled parcels, 70 year old vines, and fermented native and raised in stainless for six months on the lees until bottling without filtration. Tight herbs, pear, quince on a nimble 12 degree palate, laced with zippy spicing that vibrates along the slender frame. Much depth and complexity for the winery's 'entry level' wine; impressive.Prices: MB 24.99 QC 23.80 Producer: Cantina Filippi
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Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet Les Pins De Camille 2017

Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, South of France, FranceAnother year, another dollar, but this wine is worth it. Picpoul is not likely on any lists in your wine shop, but this southern French variety is a skinny, enticing food-friendly grape that makes exciting everyday wine. Fresh and citrus scented with a mix of honey, quince and ginger, its juicy grapefruit and ginger palate screams grilled fish. Serve well chilled.Prices: BC 17.99 QC 13.20 Producer: JeanJean
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14 August 2019

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Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the inaugural release of Tantalus' Blanc de Blancs, sourced from one of their estate chardonnay blocks. After fermentation and aging six months in neutral French oak barriques and puncheons, this went through secondary and spent 2.5 years on lees before disgorgement in spring 2019 with a light chardonnay dosage. Opening with a burnished, oxidative note, this moves into a base of yellow apples, baked white pear, toast, spice cake, and lemon curd, sharpened with green apple, and finishing with ample spicing. Much acidity here, cutting a swath through the dense fruit and spice. Great length and impact.Prices: BC 34.70 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a very special wine, in very limited release, with only 100 cases made. From a few rows in their block of old 1978 heritage riesling vines, this traditional method fizz spent 2 years on lees before being dosed with Old Vines Riesling prior to corkage. The result is seamless, savoury, and pure, with decomposed stones, dried herbs, pink grapefruit pith, and frizzed lemon peel. So much tension here, driving fine, potent fizz through a long, slender palate to a lingering and persistent rock salt finish. Quite singular, and worth seeking out. Drinking beautifully now, though I expect will age masterfully. Alcohol 13.4 degrees, RS 4 g/L, pH 2.91, TA 9.2 g/L.Prices: BC 34.70 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Minimus Pétillant Naturel 2018

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesMinimus is an envelope-pushing Oregon winery, exploring the previously known limits for grapes, regions, and winemaking in the state. Crunchy rhubarb, tart raspberry, cider apple in this bright, lively and fresh pét-nat rosé from Eola-Amity Hills' Jubilee Vineyard. From young dolcetto vines, this disgorged ancestral method finishes dryish, tart and crisp, with red currant, wild raspberry and light florals. Energy abounds; this seriously fun fizz is pretty smashable. What more would you like in a pét-nat (save for a more affordable price?)Prices: ON 54.95 Producer: Craft Wine Co.
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Champagne Marie-Courtin Résonance 2014

Champagne, FranceThe Domaine is run by the feisty and energetic Dominique Moreau and is named for her Grandmother Marie Courtin. The estate covers about 2 ha in Polisot, near the Seine River in the southern Aube, and is planted to mostly pinot noir. She farms biodynamically, ferments natively, ferments and ages in stainless before transferring to bottle for secondary ferment, and bottles with zero dosage. This cuvée is from 40+ year old vines, and was disgorged in April 2018. There's a slight oxidative kiss to the textural red fruit, led by cherry and braced with rhubarb, cranberry, raspberry brioche to a lingering red currant finish. More savoury and earthy than fruity, and an authentic look at pinot noir in the Aube.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Marie-Courtin
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Indigenous World La'P Cheettext
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Indigenous World La'P Cheet 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Okanagan's second First Nations owned and operated Indigenous World winery, this charmat fizz is an off-dry blend of cabernet sauvignon and gamay. La'p Cheet is the Okanagan Syilx word describing the light sparkling off the water. Sharp rhubarb, cranberry, crab apple run the frothy palate, with high acidity that works to offset the candied sugar note. Short and disjointed, this needs some work to come up to the high calibre of its BC bubble peers.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Indigenous World Ho-We-Nam Ho-We-Nem 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the First Nations' owned and operated Indigenous World winery, this is a charmat method fizz of pinot auxerrois. Ample sweetness meets ripe pear, lychee, applesauce, peach gummies, and pink florals on a frothy and bright palate. Best suited to light fruit desserts.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Fitz Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough 2015 was a scorcher year, this well made, tight, bright and brisk fizz shows Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards' talent for sparkling. Entirely estate pinot noir, this traditional method wine spent a minimum of 36 months on lees. The red fruit is gentle but present, with light cherry, young raspberry, red apple, pink grapefruit, and a pop of tart cranberry acidity. The briskness is tamed with a slick of lees on the palate and a slight 5.2 g/L residual, buffering the natural acidity. Structure and acidity makes this a great partner for food, though works lovely as a solo sipper as well.Prices: BC 42.50 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Fitz Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTight, taut, racy and purposeful, the 2015 Blanc de Blancs from sparkling-focused Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards speaks volumes for focus. By this I mean that it's obvious the winery is putting effort into its fizz, from vineyard management to harvest through to bottling, all making a big difference for this zippy wine, especially in a hot vintage like 2015. From their estate Greata Ranch, this chardonnay spent 36 months on the lees, and was dosed with 3.1 g/L. Focus it certainly has in the glass as well, with lemon, light brioche, green apple, stones, sagebrush, and riveting acidity running the length of the linear palate, to a brisk, chalky finish. A more severe style for acid-freaks, like me.Prices: BC 42.50 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Church and State Sparkling Pinot Gris 2017

Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Church & State's Saanich Peninsula vineyard, their original home site, this is a charmat pinot gris, bright, fresh, and lightly floral. Pink blossoms, pear, melon skip along the energetic palate to a snappy, lightly bitter finish. A great local aperitif.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Singletree Merryfield 2016

Fraser Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMerryfield is a traditional method fizz of chardonnay and pinot noir, sourced from their Mr. Lehman estate. This spent 24 months on lees to build texture and complexity. Biscuit, frizzed lemon, fennel, orange is sharpened and brightened with lemon pith, and wrapped around a green apple core to a bittersharp finish. Fine dry style well suited to a wide variety of foods.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: Singletree Winery
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Seaside Pearl Magnolias Estates Cabernet Foch Rosé Sparklingtext
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Seaside Pearl Magnolias Estates Cabernet Foch Rosé Sparkling 2018

Fraser Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Fraser Valley's Seaside Pearl winery, this is a darker hued, lightly fizzy rosé of the hybrid cabernet foch. Here a big bump of residual sugar cloaks the earthy / foxy character of the grape, resulting in candied cherries and blueberries, light florals and pear gummies on a frothy palate. The finish is snappy and bright. Well suited to a brisk chill and brunch or light berry desserts.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery
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Seaside Pearl Daffodils Sparkling Winetext
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Seaside Pearl Daffodils Sparkling Wine 2018

Fraser Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Fraser Valley's Seaside Pearl winery, this is the hybrid petite milo transformed into fizz. Frothy peach, candied orange, lime pith on a crisp, off-dry palate, finishing snappy and bright. Easy, moderate-alcohol (12.6) fizz best suited for brunch or light fruit desserts.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery
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Crowsnest The Nest Pinot Auxerrois Chardonnay Rieslingtext
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Crowsnest The Nest Pinot Auxerrois Chardonnay Riesling NV

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Nest is a sparkling wine from Similkameen's Crowsnest Vineyard, and a blend of pinot auxerrois, chardonnay, and riesling. There's a good dose of residual here, resulting in the orchard fruits expressing themselves like a candied necklace. Orange, peach, melon, apple in abundance on the medium-bodied palate to a snappy finish. Chill well and pour with light fruit desserts.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards and Barcello Canyon
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13 August 2019

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Château Pesquié Silica Rouge 2017

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceSilica Rouge is the latest Pesquié red and the third single-vineyard wine by Alexandre and Frédéric. The terroir is sandy (if you haven't guessed from the name) and it's a blend of mostly grenache (90 percent) with 10 percent cinsault. Post ferment, 30 percent is aged in concrete eggs while the remaining 70 percent is aged in more substantial, older oak demi-muids to keep the wood to a minimum. The nose is fantastic, bolder than the Artemia with lifted black cherries and strawberries laced with black licorice and violets. The palate is dense with rich but rounded tannins. The finish is long, and the textures silky. Power and finesse is a rare combination, but it’s all here in a very vibrant package. Surely a statement for both Ventoux and biodynamic grape growing.Prices: BC 54.99 AB 47.99 ON 67.95 QC 59.75 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ascensio 2017

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceAscensio is one of three single vineyard labels made at Château Pesquié alongside Artemia and Silica. Its name celebrates the tradition of the ascent of the Mont Ventoux which goes back to the XIVth century. It also symbolizes the magic of altitude terroirs. Ascensio is only produced in tiny quantity (less than 3000 bottles) and only in exceptional vintages. The grapes, 95 grenache and 5 syrah, are grown over a limestone-driven site. There is no wood involved, and all ageing is in concrete. The fruit is late picked in October and only partially destemmed leaving 30 percent whole-cluster. It is a giant wine with a rich and overpowering nose of black raspberries, dark plums, licorice, mineral, and dried herb notes. Like all the Pesquie wines, it manages all its intensity by remaining fresh and vibrant. There is no rush to drink this remarkable wine but if you must, think of equally rich dishes like bœuf bourguignon or venison.Prices: BC 99.99 AB 95.00 ON 125.00 QC 99.75 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Edition 1912m 2018

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceÉdition 1912m is a nod to Mont Ventoux, standing 1912 meters above the sea and said to be the last real mountain of the Alpes chain, and commonly referred to as the Giant of Provence. My first look at this wine revealed a super fresh, red-fruited affair dusted in garrigue, and ready to drink. Bright red berries mixed with violet notes and southern French wild herbs makes an intriguing and elegant glass of wine. Ventoux is one of the coldest areas of the southern Rhone, and the freshness in this wine reflects it. The blend is close to 70/30 grenache /syrah, but there are traces of cinsault and carignan in the mix. The vinification is in stainless and concrete tanks for fifteen days, and none of the wine sees oak. Perfect for pizza, it will also perform well with charcuterie, meat pies, empanadas and chicken salads. There is fine value here.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 17.49 ON 17.95 QC 15.70 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Quintessence Rouge 2018

South of France, FranceThe Quintessence Rouge is an 80/20 blend of syrah/grenache the Chaudiere family began in 1990 from tightly selected plots of 50+ year old, south-facing vines that sit between 250-350 meters above sea level over a mix of clay and limestone. The yields are impressively low at 30-35 hectolitres per hectare. A traditional maceration runs three to four weeks with pumpovers for aeration before the blend is aged twelve to fifteen months in a mix of stainless steel and cement. 2017 is very dark, reminiscent of Bing cherries, dried thyme, and black olives. The palate is rich and meaty with more black fruits, licorice and black pepper flecked with orange peel. A serious Ventoux at a very fair price. Think venison, wild boar, or turkey as matching menu items. There is no rush to drink this label. It can effortlessly age five to seven years in your cellar and will be even better in 2025. Again the freshness and vitality of this organic red is beguiling.Prices: BC 33.00 AB 30.00 ON 42.95 QC 24.15 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Les Terrasses 2018

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThe Pesquié Ventoux red grows at roughly 300 metres on various estate terroirs along the hillsides of Mount Ventoux. The stony limestone soils flecked with iron oxide sands and clays offer up a refreshing wine that is organically grown and will be Demeter certified biodynamic next year. The mix is 60/40 grenache/syrah macerated 15 days and then aged for several months in stainless steel and cement. Expect ripe and fleshy black raspberry, black cherry, mulberry tempered by a mineral crushed stone undercurrent and a clean peppery finish. Again the Pesquié freshness adds to this attractive, round, easy-sipping red that has all the hallmarks of serious Rhone reds, built with an extra dose of drinkability.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 18.99 ON 21.95 QC 17.55 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rosétext
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rosé 2018

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThe Pesquié Rosé is a 50/40/10 mix of cinsault / grenache / syrah fermented in stainless steel tanks and held at a low temperature for a few hours. It sees no oak. The colour is Provençal perfect, the nose bright and full of red berry/citrus scents. The attack is similar to the nose, fresh and glossy with a mix of raspberries flecked with a litchi/orange/gooseberry undercurrent. The acid is perfectly balanced by the sweet and bitter fruit flavours. An excellent wine for the dinner table all summer.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 18.30 ON 21.95 QC 18.95 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanctext
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Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanc 2018

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThe Chaudière family use “Terrasses” on their signature red and white blends to honour the work done by their ancestors, carving terraces into Pyrennes hillsides around the winery. The poor limestone soil, once underwater, is the perfect medium for growing grapes. In this case, it's a 40/20/20/20 mix of viognier / roussanne / clairette / white grenache. The wine sees no oak, and there is no malolactic fermentation to keep it as fresh as possible. The nose is a riot of floral and citrus notes that spill onto a similarly fresh palate where lemon grapefruit, mandarin, lime rind and sea salt continue the run of freshness and vibrancy. Perfect for vegetarian menus, it will also work with a variety of shellfish, light seafood and cheese. A stylish, super value white. More, please.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 15.95 QC 19.05 Producer: Château Pesquié
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12 August 2019

Château Pesquié Quintessence Blanctext
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Château Pesquié Quintessence Blanc 2018

South of France, FranceQuintessence Blanc is the top white at Pesquié. It is produced in tiny amounts (4000 and 5000 bottles) and is shaped to be an elegant expression of roussanne. The mix is 80/20 roussanne /clairette, with traces of viognier. The grapes are picked and processed separately, with the roussanne fermented and aged in wood for five months, while the clairette remained in stainless steel vats. There is no malolactic fermentation, and both varieties are aged in concrete for another six months. The nose opens with complex, fresh florals spiked with pineapple and brown spices. There is terrific minerality here translated in a big way by the clairette. Rich and balanced, it is the salty notes that sell this wine and take it to another level. Best with rich dishes like truffle risotto.Prices: BC 28.49 AB 26.99 QC 28.85 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Artemiatext
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Château Pesquié Artemia 2017

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceOne three single-vineyard wines produced at Pesquié, Artemia is impressive beginning with its deep opaque, purple-black colour. In 2017 the mix was 75/25 syrah/grenache, the latter bringing a fresh floral character to the wine to soothe the bold syrah. It was grown at 1400 metres above sea level on mostly limestone soils, giving the wine a bony undercurrent. There is real power here with perfectly vibrant black fruits dusted in garrigue and flecked with a subtle white pepper note. It’s very pure and for a minute, Northern Rhone-like. A modern look at high-end Ventous through an organic/biodynamic lens. Cellar this a decade with no worries.Prices: BC 99.99 AB 95.00 ON 125.00 QC 99.75 Producer: Château Pesquié
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Northern Lights Bumbleberrytext
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Northern Lights Bumbleberry 2020

CanadaBumbleberry pie is a Canadian institution, akin to a mixed berry pie originating from the Maritimes. You need a minimum of three kinds of berries, and in the case of this fruit wine, it is a mix of blueberry, raspberry and saskatoon berries. The nose is rich and jammy with intense dark fruit and a brisk undercurrent. The texture is soft, and the style approachable. Think venison or duck as a pairing. Well done and very pure.Prices: BC 18.99 375 Producer: Northstar Winery
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Northern Lights Cranberrytext
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Northern Lights Cranberry NV

CanadaIt’s year three for the Cranberry label at Northern Lights Estate Winery, and this wine has my attention. Its more of a holiday release, but get in line to make sure you can order it come the holiday season. Like Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s released in the third week of November. It’s whole berry fermented, and the fruit is supremely pure with a savoury cedar, Christmas tree twist. There is an illusion of sweetness held firmly in check by the cranberry’s innate acidic character. Impressive wine and perfect for turkey.Prices: BC 19.99 375 Producer: Northstar Winery
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Northern Lights Estate Seduction Strawberry Rhubarb Winetext
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Northern Lights Estate Seduction Strawberry Rhubarb Wine NV

British Columbia, CanadaNo significant changes here. As before, it reminds me of an off-dry rosé, just shy of sweet. There’s an undercurrent of citrus to keep it from being cloying. A rhubarb red blush in the glass, it shows opulent tropical fruit notes with some of the spicy litchi you find in gewürztraminer. Anything spicy would work here given the sweetness, but I am leaning towards sausage or even a chicken curry. It could work with cake and fruit desserts too. Serve well chilled for best effect.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Northern Lights Estate Winery
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09 August 2019

Intersection Alluvia Merlottext
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Intersection Alluvia Merlot 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2007, Intersection planted one block of merlot across two distinct soil types: a fine, thin plot of dry silicate sand; and the alluvial wake of the ancient Tinhorn Creek system. For three years they vinified one wine from the block, but in 2012 they divided the field by soil and formed the Silica and Alluvia Merlots, harvested in tandem and vinified the same (aged in tight-grained French oak, 30% new, bottled unfiltered). This is a massive wine, even for the record-breaking heat of 2015, clocking in at 15.7 degrees declared. There's a definite burn as this goes down, warming the grilled meats, cedar, raspberry and crushed stones. Tannins are long and slightly fuzzy / grippy through a lengthy finish. Lovely savoury flavours here, but far too hot and overwhelming for more than one glass.Prices: BC 28.90 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Rust Wine Co. Similkameen Valley Merlottext
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Rust Wine Co. Similkameen Valley Merlot 2016

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike their syrahs, Rust has released a series of merlots in 2016. This is from the southern Similkameen Valley's Lazy River Vineyard, and its rocky, gravelly soils. That sun bears thick on the palate, with intense tobacco, red currants, lusty cherries and raspberry. Tannins are furry, reflecting the 18 months in French oak, 30% new, and finishes with a lingering sandpaper grip. This is a very warming 15 degree red, necessitating food. Great flavours and structure, but just needs be dialled down a notch or two to find elegance.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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The Velvet Devil Merlottext
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The Velvet Devil Merlot 2016

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesRipe, dusky, and plush with eastern Washington sunshine, the 2016 vintage of The Velvet Devil blends 10% cabernet sauvignon and 1% malbec into the merlot, and takes grapes from numerous AVAs. The lot was whole berry fermented with native yeast, and then into French oak for 10 months (30% of which was new). Mocha, blackberry jam, red currant, light florals, and plush plum fill the plump palate, cut with a very tart and sharp acidity, leaving this finishing short and somewhat disjointed. For immediate consumption.Prices: BC 16.99 MB 21.00 NS 19.00 ON 20.00 AB 19.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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Indigenous World Merlot Single Vineyardtext
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Indigenous World Merlot Single Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker, Jason Parkes (known of The Hatch) has his hand in the wines at Indigenous World, and you can taste it in this merlot. It’s medium-weight, on the elegant side, and dry. There are light aromas of vanilla, dried and intense black cherry, and a touch of brown spice. The fruit is bursting to get out, but the wine is restrained and lengthy with a layer black fruit laced with licorice and a touch of coffee bean.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Lock & Worth Merlot Grey Labeltext
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Lock & Worth Merlot Grey Label 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a biodynamically farmed vineyard in Oliver, this new Grey label merlot is for the export market and their Naramata tasting room only. Whole berry picked and on skins for three days, this was fermented in stainless before three months in old wood. After a swing of reduction, this veers into sherry vinegar, wet meadow herbs, light cassis, plum, tart blackcurrant and light leather, all seasoned with ample salts and camp smoke. Best with a chill.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Intersection Alluvia Merlottext
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Intersection Alluvia Merlot 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you didn't know the vintage, it wouldn’t take you long to notice the 15.7 percent alcohol by volume, and the sheer weight and warmth of this merlot, and think 2015. For those of you who love your reds hedonistic and luxurious, this is it. The nose and palate combine rich meaty black fruit flecked with cedar, black raspberry and a welcome touch of minerality to lift the finish just enough to keep it interesting. Big, black, and savoury, this is for the adventurous. Lamb is the key to success here. In 2007, Intersection planted a single block of merlot across two soil types: silicate sand and alluvial rubble. For the first three vintages the fruit was vinified together, but by 2012 they had begun to make two wines off each soil type, releasing Silica and Alluvia. They are still made in the same manner and aged in French oak (30% new).Prices: BC 28.90 Producer: Parallel 49 Vineyards Limited
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Tightrope Winery Merlottext
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Tightrope Winery Merlot 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTightrope is the right name for this wine, one that treads a fine line of fruit and acidity. Naramata is a sweet spot for merlot, revealing its cooler, mineral, fruit side with blueberry, black raspberry, and dark plum. The textures are smooth, the tannins and alcohol in check, leaving an elegant, ready to drink red but with some complexity. A perfect simple chicken or pork wine.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Upper Bench Merlot Limited Release Estate Growntext
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Upper Bench Merlot Limited Release Estate Grown 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe “estate-grown” UB merlot is a more intense style with a slightly tighter style than the regular label. The nose is aromatic, with desert savoury, black fruit notes that spill on onto the palate. Its slightly cooked super-ripe, black cherry/blackcurrant fruit flavours present with some lifted, volatile notes marking what was a very hot vintage. Similar to last year the texture is chewy in texture. Drink now and in the mid-term with grilled sausages or a meaty pizza.Prices: BC 41.50 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Upper Bench Merlot Limited Releasetext
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Upper Bench Merlot Limited Release 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThree picks: September 24, September 29 & October 15, yielded about four tons per acre and a bright savoury, spicy black cherry nose. The attack is similar, with glossy textures and oaky undertones offset by bright blackcurrant/black cherry fruit. It’s round and mouth-filling a crowd-pleaser style with along warm cocoa menthol black fruit finish. It spends 18 months in 30 percent new oak, and it needs some time to shed the apparent oak and sweet fruit finish, but the tannins are much softer this year. Best with grilled beef or pork at the moment - it will come around in the bottle.Prices: BC 32.30 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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The Velvet Devil Merlottext
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The Velvet Devil Merlot 2016

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesOpen, savoury black fruit aromas lead to an attack that's glossy smooth, but with ripe black fruit and soft, dense, deep tannins. The style is changing here, becoming more refined and less oaky. 2016 continues to turn down in intensity and sweetness, and dial up the savoury undercurrents. The fruit is grown on several sites including one of the oldest vineyards on the Wahluke Slope, planted in 1997. The blend is 89/10/1/ merlot, cabernet sauvignon and malbec, all aged ten months in 30 percent new oak. Rady to drink and terrific value for red wine lovers.Prices: BC 16.99 MB 21.00 NS 19.00 ON 20.00 AB 19.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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C.C. Jentsch Small Lot Series Merlottext
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C.C. Jentsch Small Lot Series Merlot 2015

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA hefty red from a warm 2015 vintage, the Small Lot Merlot is barrel-aged for seventeen months to round out edges and disperse some tannins. Job accomplished. The attack is warm and peppery and more New World this year. The palate is firm with dark cherry fruit, cocoa and pepper, with a mocha coffee finish. Serve with charred beef or wild birds. The winery suggests Chinese food as well, and I think that’s an exciting choice.Prices: BC 35.90 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Merlottext
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Merlot 2014

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI enjoyed this wine two years ago, and it’s ageing just fine, demonstrating the Similkameen Valley’s penchant for freshness and acidity, resulting in this brighter, more elegant version of merlot. Red fruits, soft tannins, and pepper set up the attack followed by a medium weight, cool cranberry and black cherry red. Perfect for roasted chicken or a mushroom pasta dish. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards and Barcello Canyon
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Lock and Worth Merlottext
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Lock and Worth Merlot 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's merlot is a radical departure from 2017, and I'm digging where this is at currently. This unfined and unfiltered merlot was planted in 1995 on a sandy 2 acre site on the Naramata Bench. Destemmed and with five days on the skins, this was basket pressed, fermented and aged in neutral French oak for seven months. Soft, perfumed cherry, salted cherry, raspberry, scrubby herbs, meadow grasses, are touched with a whisper of smoke and haunting, fine tannins. There's a swell of acidity to carry this to the finish, lingering with dried florals. Chill and enjoy.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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08 August 2019

Ferdinand Wines Rosétext
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Ferdinand Wines Rosé 2018

Mendocino - Amador - Sonoma Counties, North Coast Region, California, United StatesCanned dry vintage-dated Napa rosé wha? Yup! Welcome to BC, Ferdinand Wines. Everybody loves pink, especially when it's serious, like this tempranillo pink from Amador County's Shake Ridge Vineyard. The vineyard is around 500m and on red volcanic soils, studded with quartz, basalt, and share. Early picked fruit, whole cluster pressing, native yeast ferment, and canning unfined and unfiltered has created this light peach-hued pink, with strawberry, raspberry, cherry on an easy, slender and slick palate to a spiced finish. Picnic-perfect, and proper pink fun.Prices: BC 15.00 375 Producer: Ferdinand Wines
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Montagu Cellars Rosétext
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Montagu Cellars Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rosé marks the return of much-missed Montagu Cellars, an insider cult wine made by beloved BC sommelier and restaurateur Tom Doughty. The bespoke winery was established in 2004 with Three Barrel Merlot, and that wine was the project's focus until 2010 when Tom suffered a massive brainstem stroke, nearly died, and had an extended and unexpected break from his career to concentrate on his recovery. Now that he has recovered and is back active in the wine industry, he has revived Montagu Cellars, this time working in conjunction with Michael Bartier of Bartier Bros., to produce this rosé. This peach-hued pink is a singular one at that, blending 58% gewürztraminer, 34% chardonnay, 4% merlot, and 2% muscat ottonel. Ripe strawberries, perfumed peach, pear, lychee is full on the plump palate, scented with exotic spices and dusted with sagebrush. Though off-dry, this is held aloft with juicy acidity through to the snappy finish. Welcome back Tommy.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Montagu Cellars
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Sperling Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Sperling Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCertified organic. Pale salmon colour, this pinot noir rosé only undergoes a 2-3 hour cold soak prior to pressing. It’s quite restrained, with delicate wild strawberry and pink grapefruit as well as a leafy note. Dry in style, it's well balanced with fresh acidity and lovely precision. The worst thing you can do is serve this too cold; take it out of the fridge at least 30-40 minutes before opening. Excellent value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Chic Fille Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Chic Fille Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCorked.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Thornhaven Rosétext
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Thornhaven Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a deep blush hue, this mid-sweet rosé blends pinot noir, pinot meunier and syrah into a strawberry jam, floral, orange, glycerol-laden pink. There's a gentle swing of acidity before a snappy, short finish. Chill this very well and enjoy this summer if you like your old school pinks sweet.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Thornhaven Estates Winery
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River Stone Malbec Rosétext
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River Stone Malbec Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs in previous years, this is a deep, glossy, glycerol-laden pink from the southern Okanagan, absorbing some estate River Rock vineyard malbec. This was partial whole berry, cold soaked for up to 48 hours, fermented cool in stainless where it remained for three months on the lees before it was back sweetened (with unfermented must), and bottled. The sweetness is evident, via strawberry jam, white chocolate, tayberry, lemon and pear on a juicy, shorter palate. The whole is cloying, and I wish this was a dryer, sharper, less made wine to bring it fully into modernity.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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LaStella Lastellina Rosatotext
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LaStella Lastellina Rosato 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a blend of 66 percent cabernet franc, 30 percent merlot, and 4 percent sangiovese sourced from vineyards throughout the South Okanagan. The wine was made using a combination of saignée and direct press methods. Medium salmon in colour, it has quite a savoury nose with herbs, spice, and wild strawberry. Although the winery describes this as off-dry, it is perceptibly dry - and only 3 g/L residual sugar. At only 12.6 percent alcohol, it is a very drinkable style, which also provides a lot of interest. Recommended.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: LaStella
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Seaside Pearl Magnolias Estates Cabernet Foch Rosétext
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Seaside Pearl Magnolias Estates Cabernet Foch Rosé 2018

Fraser Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI'm really digging winemakers coming up with new and different ways to use marechal foch, like this. A deeper, darker hue (more like a light red), this foch comes from Fraser Valley's Mount Lehman, and it's left off-dry, the sugar well pitched against the grape's herbal / twine notes. Sour cherry, cranberry, and rhubarb sit on the short palate, to a crab apple finish. Chill well and crack this summer.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Rosétext
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Tightrope Winery Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA pinot noir rosé with a splash of barbera (6.5%), the grapes were sourced from Naramata and left on the skins for 1-2 days prior to being pressed. A pale pink colour, this has restrained ripeness that leans towards the citrus and crunchy red fruit end of the spectrum, with some spice notes adding complexity. This, in combination with the modest 12.5% alcohol and zesty acidity, makes for a highly drinkable rosé. You can tell Tightrope takes their rosé seriously. No need to serve this too chilled.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Harper's Trail Rosétext
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Harper's Trail Rosé 2018

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaThe colour is a glorious light copper à la Provencal, and the wine delivers as much in the glass. This pink is just off-dry, so it should stand up to food with a bit of spice. I suspect it will be widely consumed on a sunny patio thanks to its strawberry pear flavours that slide down easily. Chill thoroughly and enjoy all summer and into the fall, especially out-of-doors.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: Harper's Trail Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
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Clos du Soleil Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMade from malbec, the fruit was grown specifically for this rosé from La Côte Vineyard. Interestingly, the fruit was not harvested until November 5, but comes in at only 12.4% alcohol. After a 20-hour cold soak, the fruit was pressed and then fermented and aged in stainless steel for just over four months. Don't be misled by the neon pink colour. On the nose it’s quite restrained, with fresh strawberry and pomegranate as well as a herbal, smokey quality. At only 2.1 g/L residual sugar, the ripe fruit gives a perception of sweetness on the attack, but it’s well balanced with fresh acidity. With this modest alcohol level, you'll want more than just a glass. Serious, well-made, and well-priced.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosétext
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Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé 2018

Condrieu, Northern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThe innovative approach of the Colombos, Jean Luc and Anne, in Cornas has been described as “nothing short of revolutionary.” The pair have taken a similar tact further south in the Mediterranee IGP with their Cape Bleue Rosé. The vines grow over stony, limestone soils in the hills above the bay of Marseille (the area next to Provence). The influence of the sea, sun, and lake provide for hot days and cool nights, a key to high acidity. The grapes are subjected to a 10-hour cold soak until the perfect pale pink colour is achieved. The ferment is cold and slow, lasting three weeks. Expect a fresh floral nose flecked with watermelon and mango. The palate is dry with fresh cherry and raspberry to the finish. Ready to pour on the patio.Prices: BC 28.99 ON 20.99 QC 17.55 Producer: Jean-Luc Colombo
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07 August 2019

Blanville Haut-Blanville Horustext
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Blanville Haut-Blanville Horus 2014

Languedoc, South of France, FranceChâteau Haut-Blanville is a family-owned wine estate founded in 1997 by Béatrice & Bernard Nivollet. Their goal was to find unique vineyard sites and produce single parcel, low-intervention wines when most of the local wineries were producing volume and bulk. They now own 70ha of vineyards, and make a range of single site wines, as well as regional blends like this. Horus is a blend of 50% syrah, 40% grenache, and 10% cinsault, with from from both their estate and from neighbours. The lots were fermented separately in stainless, with the syrah aging for 7 months in old barrique prior to the final blend. Woodsy florals, plums, cherries rule this medium-bodied red, floored with stones and herbed salami. Tannins are finely grippy, well pitched to house the sun-drenched fruit. No overripeness here; a juicy, spicy red, well suited for grilled sausages.Prices: ON 19.99 Producer: Chais de Blanville
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Octota Barrels One Eight Six Grenachetext
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Octota Barrels One Eight Six Grenache 2018

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaOne Eight Six refers to the 186 days on skins this grenache spent. From the same Blewitt Springs site as the beloved dry farmed Fugazi Grenache (planted 1946), this small lot of 288 bottles was subject to more of Taras Ochota's experimental side, to a very positive result. Whole bunch fermented in a headless puncheon, where it remained on skins until it was basket pressed off, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. So smooth and linear it comes across nebbiolo-esque (really), with earthy raspberry, kisses of sarsaparilla, graphite and plum. Fine spice and ample texture in the mouth provide interest, and an effortless swell of juicy acidity creates smashability. Supple and moreish.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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Savage Wines Follow The Linetext
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Savage Wines Follow The Line 2015

Western Cape, South AfricaRetasted three years along, and wonderfully so. Duncan Savage (unofficial leader of the Zoo Cru) sources fruit from maritime vineyards, typically at altitude, for his low-interventionist wines. This is a blend of cinsault, grenache and syrah from Darling and Piekenierskloof, of which 20 percent goes whole bunch into large format French oak. Time has shaped this finer than ever, with any exuberance from youth shed, and emergent is scrubby herbs, raspberry, wild strawberry sliding along a slender palate. There's a lovely fine detailing here, with tannins that are purposefully pencilled like bamboo, and acidity which is nonchalantly bright. Best enjoyed with a light chill, and a few hours ahead of you.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Savage Wines
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Ochota Barrels A Sense of Compression Grenachetext
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Ochota Barrels A Sense of Compression Grenache 2018

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaViolets, wild blueberry, dusky plum, red currants flow through this McLaren Vale old vine grenache, leathery thick with sun, but bright with authenticity. Tannins are lightly sticky, and well primed for housing the fruit. There's a splash of gew in here to add florality, not to mention originality. This wine was a joint project between Taras Ochota and Maynard Keenan of US Supergroup, Tool. After they established a friendship at Keenan's winery in Arizona, the sharing of both musical and vinous ideas culminated in this cult hero wine collaboration. 606 bottles produced.Prices: BC 84.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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The Chocolate Blocktext
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The Chocolate Block 2017

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaBoekenhoutskoof was established in 1776, and today is under the care of celebrated winemaker Marc Kent. 2017 is a blend of 64% syrah, 14% grenache, 11 cinsault, ten cabernet sauvignon and 1% viognier and is the third edition to originate in Swartland. The intensity is off the charts in this drought year, but Kent feels Swartland is better suited to deal with drought conditions and yields better quality fruit. There are still some sweet chocolate notes in the mix along with burnt earth, black cherries, and smoke. It’s a big red with power and just enough acidity to keep it going in the back end. A modern style syrah blend reminiscent of the south of France.Prices: BC 40.99 Producer: Boekenhoutskloof
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Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenachetext
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Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2018

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaYou can feel the dry-farmed, old (71 years) bush vines and ironstone / gravel / red clay soils in this light but potent grenache. medicinal and mineral leaden, with ferrous, medicinal cherry, wild raspberry, reships, graphite, leather lined, to a white pepper dusted finish. Tannins are bamboo fine, and perfectly sited to the After a native ferment this spent up to 80 days on skins and stalks, 80% whole bunch, in barriques for 6 months, with random battonage. Drinking beauty now, but with time to go in cellar.Prices: BC 54.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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Thornhaven XVtext
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Thornhaven XV 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe XV opens with a reduced nose of meat and pepper over blackberry and cherry. The blend is an unusual mix of roughly 60/40 syrah and cabernet franc. The attack is lifted with red fruits and fairly prominent acidity, and the finish is fresh and peppery. Pork tenderloin is the fit for the moment; otherwise, this needs more time in the bottle.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Thornhaven Estates Winery
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Road 13 GSMtext
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Road 13 GSM 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig wood-driven spices and camp smoke open this grenache, syrah, mourvèdre blend, with grapes sourced from the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys. the grenache and mourvèdre were cofermented along with syrah skins from an earlier fermentation. Ample cap management was followed by basket pressing into old and new French oak where it stayed until late spring when joined by the syrah. The peppery, meaty, lusty syrah rears its head in the middle, along with potent violets, blackberry jam, cured meats, and lusty ripe plum. This is a big, spicy and potent wine best enjoyed with fire grilled veg and / or red meat.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Road 13
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La Croix Belle Caringoletext
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La Croix Belle Caringole 2017

Vins de Pays des Côtes de Thongue, Languedoc, South of France, FranceLa Croix Belle's vineyards are on the outskirts of Montpellier. This domaine has been family owned for over 200 years, with Francoise and Jacques Boyer taking control of the property in the late 1970s. Ripe black raspberry, thick and soft cherry, tobacco, olive, leather, and dried herbs mark this rustic, wild, easy blend of syrah, merlot, and carignan. Tannins are smoothed and the fruit is clean via time in stainless. For current drinking.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Jacques y Francois Boyer
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Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèlstext
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Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèls 2015

Faugères, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, South of France, FranceBrigitte Chevalier, a highly rated name within winemaking circles, makes wine described in the French press as the perfect, textbook example of Faugères. Her modus operandi is cooler sites in the Languedoc, organic grape growing, and careful vinification. Les Bancèls grows on two parcels planted over schist: organic syrah and grenache that is situated north and northeast; the mourvèdre vines face south. Expect a fresh, red and black-fruited wine with white pepper, classic garrigue and schistous minerality. No oak, just authenticity. Super value. Les Bancèls is a local term designating the schist terraces where many of the Domaine de Cébène vines grow.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Domaine de Cébène
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Front Row Shiraz/Mourvedre/Viogniertext
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Front Row Shiraz/Mourvedre/Viognier 2016

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaThis Swartland blend of shiraz, mourvèdre, and viognier is thick and plump on the warming palate, with sweet blackberry, ripe plum, mocha, strung with grippy / sticky tannins to a very drying finish. Best taken with grilled meats to meet those tannins and ripeness. Simple and ready to drink.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Stefan Basson
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Pirramimma Ironstone GSMtext
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Pirramimma Ironstone GSM 2016

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaIronstone is a powerful and weighty Pirramimma GSM blend of 60% grenache, 35% shiraz, and 5% mourvèdre from McLaren Vale. The mighty bottle is adorned with a golden medal shield, adding more weight to an already massive everything. Mulberry, blackberry jam, cassis, perfumed violets, peppercorns and baking spices fill the plump, ripe red. Tannins are nubby soft, and acidity is low, welcoming most folks, as well as a juicy grilled steak.Prices: AB 61.50 Producer: Pirramimma
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Stag's Hollow Renaissance Grenachetext
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Stag's Hollow Renaissance Grenache 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinter kill is the only issue holding grenache in check across Canada, but with climate change, it’s clear BC could be a home away from home for this fantastic European variety. The nose is all wild cherries this year with a dusting of white pepper, and it spills across the palate. Its red fruit is equally intense, again led by expressive wild strawberries and black cherries dusted in savoury dried herbs. The finish is ridiculously juicy and peppery. Seriously good. The oak is French but hardly noticeable amongst the silky texture. It has finished under a beautiful glass Vinolok closure, so it can never be corked.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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06 August 2019

Liquidity Wines Reserve Chardonnaytext
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Liquidity Wines Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve Chardy is clone 76 from their oldest estate block, planted in 1994. This was whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented with daily lees stirring, and 23% new barrels. After partial MLF (60%), this aged on lees for 11 months. Creamy and rich, though with fine structure, this is filled with an Okanagan orchard of crisp pear and apple, along with lemon curd, and toasty spices. Certainly more serious drop than their Estate Chardonnay, and worthy of your local crab dishes.Prices: BC 52.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Wines Estate Chardonnaytext
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Liquidity Wines Estate Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2017 Estate Chardy is clone 76, planted in 1994 and 2009, whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented in French oak (14%) new. After partial MLF, the wine was aged on lees with regular batonnage for 9 months before blending and bottling. Medium-bodied and fruit orchard sweet, with yellow apples, baked pears, lush peach, and toasty spices on a creamy, custardy palate. There's not a huge amount of acidity here, and there is a blip of RS, making this very friendly and accessible now.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Hester Creek Chardonnaytext
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Hester Creek Chardonnay 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe and fruit sweet, with golden pear, yellow applesauce, caramel and toasty spice. From their Golden Mile Bench estate vineyard, this was whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak (20% new) with the remainder in stainless, all of which spent 8 months with battonage before blending and bottling. Soft and easy in the mouth, with the aforementioned fruit sweetness, this is a friendly, albeit very older style of chardy.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Big Leap Chardonnaytext
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Big Leap Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a single block on their Greata Ranch estate, this was native fermented in French oak (25% new) where it remained on lees for 10 months, with partial MLF. Bright and joyous with meyer lemon, pear, gentle lees, and fine spice. The wood is very well integrated, leaving its mark by way of a soft ginger spice on the finish. Acidity is moderate, as is the body, making this an easy, friendly, welcoming and youthful chardonnay for your summer.Prices: BC 24.50 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Privata Chardonnay by Ex Nihilo Vineyardstext
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Privata Chardonnay by Ex Nihilo Vineyards 2017

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPrivata is the top of Ex Nihilo's tier, sourced from estate Lake Country fruit. This was fermented and aged in French barrels for 10 months, with weekly battonage. As per house style and the above, this is a full bodied white, creamy with lees, and spiced with wood. Pineapple, baked pear, peach and vanilla flood the slow palate to a orange zest finish. Reminiscent of Sonoma Coast.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Bret Brothers La Soufrandière Mâcon-Vinzellestext
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Bret Brothers La Soufrandière Mâcon-Vinzelles 2016

Maconnais, Burgundy, FranceSince arriving on the Burgundy scene in 2000, the limestone-sculpted wines of the brothers Jean-Philippe and Jean-Guillaume Bret have garnered much acclaim. From 40 year old vines at 200m altitude, this parcel is a recent addition to Bret Brothers' holdings. In 2014 they were able to purchase this 12 acre parcel adjoining their iconic Clos de Grand-Père. Historically, this had been an integral part of the Clos, but was detached during legacies of the early twentieth century. This was the last vintage of the organic / biodyanmically farmed wine solo, before it joined into Clos de Grand-Père for the 2017 vintage. This spend nine months in older oak prior to bottling. Ripe white cherry, pear, is brightened with shining lemon, grapefruit pith along a plump, lees-lined, medium+ bodied palate.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Bret Brothers
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Tantalus Chardonnaytext
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Tantalus Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tantalus Chardonnay is their number one white wine label, more intense than The Bear, grown on younger vines. The attack is attention-getting with a bright splash of citrus and minerality with notes of green apples, pears, wet stones all with a touch of flint. The finish is reasonably lean with spice and some toasted oak poking through the back end. Food-friendly and ready to drink but this will keep for three years or more under screwcap. The original plantings of the Oppenheim clone went in the ground in 1985, followed by younger components of Dijon clones, planted in 2007 and 2013. After a native ferment, it's aged ten months in oak barriques and puncheons, 30 percent new. Impressive style.Prices: BC 27.83 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnaytext
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine gets more sophisticated every year thanks to vines that are now 27-years-old. Just under two-thirds of the fruit is barrel-fermented and aged in a mix of 30/70 stainless steel and French oak – the latter a mix of new through four previous fills. The nose is très French/Chablis-like, with a fraction of toast and a blast of fine lees. The fruit is vibrant with citrus, pears and green apples dominating before that nutty complexity kicks in. A joy to drink and very food-friendly. One to age for three to five years. Consistently excellent, it is well worth the money.Prices: BC 29.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Hester Creek Chardonnaytext
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Hester Creek Chardonnay 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA big chardonnay but with some elegance this year - honeyed and lemon with bits peaches and cream corn mark the nose. The palate is warm spicy and creamy with some fine lees notes, light toast and touch of mineral. The GMB chardonnay is estate sourced from a single-bunch-per-shoot vine to increase concentration. It's hand-harvested, cluster pressed, and the free-run juice is cold settled for five days. Post ferment the barrels were stirred weekly until it completed malolactic fermentation. Some 34% was barrel fermented in French oak (20% new and 14% older barrels), and 66% went into stainless steel aged and stirred on its fine lees for eight months. It’s a blockbuster style, but the peak is reign in this year, and the acidity is better. Try this with crab or halibut.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Liquidity Wines Reserve Chardonnaytext
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Liquidity Wines Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLiquidity’s Reserve Chardonnay is always more intense than the Estate, thanks to more new oak (23 percent). The attack is rich and creamy with supporting notes of lemon curd, spice, and baked apples before a nutty, leesy mineral finish. A touch old school but will have its fans. The reserve is all clone 76, exclusively from their oldest block planted in 1994. Lobster, halibut in butter sauce, or crab all come to mind.Prices: BC 52.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Liquidity Wines Estate Chardonnaytext
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Liquidity Wines Estate Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA fun chardonnay with peach, apricot, pear, citrus wrapped in a leesy mineral scent that tempers the fruitiness. The palate is medium-weight with light nutty vanilla notes mixed with more orchard fruits. Balanced, if a touch sweet, this is a crowd-pleasing style that is best served with creamy seafood dishes. It is all clone 76 chardonnay planted in 1994 and 2009 at the winery’s Allendale Vineyard. It was barrel fermented in only 14 percent new French oak; the remaining wood was three to eight years old. Forty percent of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, and it was all aged on lees in barrel for nine months before blending and bottling. Excellent value.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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05 August 2019

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Rust Wine Co Similkameen Valley Syrah 2016

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBe warned: Rust Wine Co. put out three syrahs in 2016. There's this one, from Similkameen, and sibling syrahs from the south Okanagan, and Golden Mile Bench. This is the superior sib, showing south Cawston's wind swept rocky soils' aptitude for the grape. Red fruit rules here, with savoury cherry, dusty raspberry, kirsch, red and black pepper ruling a full, smooth palate. Tannins are worn smooth, and the finish is very warming, taking away from the elegance of the palate. Meet that with a rack of lamb, however...Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Road 13 Syrah Malbectext
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Road 13 Syrah Malbec 2017

British Columbia, CanadaAmple cracked black pepper opens and infiltrates this big, rustic syrah / malbec blend. Dried blueberries and purple florality showcase malbec's lift, while roasted meats, boysenberry and that peppery spice shout syrah. The varieties were destemmed and fermented separately in French oak before the final blend. Tannins are a bit stalky to a warming, sharp finish, all of which welcome partnering with grilled pork or beef burgers.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Road 13
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Hester Creek Syrah Viogniertext
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Hester Creek Syrah Viognier 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOften viognier splashed into syrah is a gimmick, or worse, a disjointed mess. Here, it works, with 16% viognier joining the Black Sage Bench and Golden Mile Bench syrah. In classic Rhone style, the two were cofermented and then aged in oak (60/40 American/French) 30% of which was new. Silky and plush cassis, blueberry, cured sweet sausage, violets, vanilla flow seamlessly on the full palate, the power and warmth of the southern Okanagan subdued into a 13.9 degree package. Tannins are worn soft to a lingering peppery finish. Best partnered with grilled lamb burgers.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Church and State Syrahtext
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Church and State Syrah 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Coyote Bowl Syrah is massive, absorbing all of Coyote Bowl Vineyard's southern Okanagan heat, and reflecting it via dried blueberries, ripe blackberries, plum compote and ample spice. Aging in French oak adds structure and hickory / wood spicing, both of which require roasted meat dishes to handle. There's a flush of warmth on the 15.5 degree declared finish that is overwhelming. Too much of too much here.Prices: BC 52.00 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violette 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCuvée Violette is the youthful, pretty, perfumed, purple fruited and coquettish sister of the LVP syrah family (which is growing every year it seems). This year, the southern Okanagan fruit was co-fermented with a wee splash of 0.5% viognier. For the first time, new concrete tulip vats were added to the ageing vessels along with large oak botti and French oak barrique. Classic syrah: with minimal reduction upon opening, leading to roasted meats, crushed violets, dark soils, grilled plums, cracked peppercorns, housed by plump tannins to a very peppery finish buoyed with a grapefruit pith acidity. So well put together, and drinking beautifully now, especially with a slight chill — a BC classic.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Le Vieux Pin Dead Man Lake Syrah 2016

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2016, Le Vieux Pin released a series of small lot single vineyard syrahs, Dead Man Lake being one of them. Sourced from a volcanic / sedimentary soiled vineyard on the entrance to the Golden Mile Bench, this rested 19 months in neutral French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. After a wave of reduction (give this some airtime), dusky violets, plums, cherries ride the medium+ palate, seasoned with medicinal cherries, leather and peppery spicing. The texture is fine, and the aromatics purple and pretty; this reminds me of LVP's Cuvée Violette. Drinking lovely now, especially with a slight chill, and will hold for a few years in the cellar.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Airfieldtext
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Airfield 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2016, Le Vieux Pin released a series of small lot single vineyard syrahs, Airfield being one of them. Only 50 cases were made of this Osoyoos West Bench syrah, sourced from loamy sand and granite, and aged for 19 months in used French barrique. There is a gentle expansion and ripeness on the red fruited palate, though it's studded with structure via the granite and finely firm bracketing of sticky tannins. There's a lovely texture running the length of this syrah to a warming, spiced finish. More deep dives into single terroirs, please. Enjoyed with a slight chill.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Hester Creek Syrah Viogniertext
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Hester Creek Syrah Viognier 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA mix of sites from Black Sage and the Golden Mile Bench for the syrah, while the viognier comes off two vineyards in Osoyoos. In the traditional Rhone style, the two varieties were sorted, destemmed and co-fermented in an Italian-style Ganimede fermenter and left on the skins for 17 days. It was aged another 14 months in 60% American and 40% French oak, of which 30% was new oak. The wine is a vivacious red with excellent acid and silky, refined tannins. The palate is ripe with floral, ripe cherries and blueberries and a lick of minerality to keep it all aligned. Impressive and should age through 2021. I like the idea of lamb burgers. Fine value.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Porcupine Ridge Syrahtext
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Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2017

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaOne of the more consistent SAF syrahs available in Canada, an export market that remains a dumping ground for some of the cheapest wine made in South Africa. Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge is an exception, and this easy-sipping peppery, blueberry flavoured syrah with just a hint of scorched earth is ready to drink. Flank steak is a suitable match here.Prices: BC 16.99 AB 17.00 SK 17.99 MB 17.99 ON 15.00 YK 19.00 QC 18.00 Producer: Boekenhoutskloof
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Boekenhoutskloof Syrahtext
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Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2015

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaThe Boekenhoutskloof Syrah has expanded its reach with two properties in Swartland, tapping new terroir: rocks and decomposed mica schist soils. The grapes are kept separate and ferment naturally in concrete tanks. Post ferment the wine ages in traditional 2500-litre foudres and 600-litre demi-muids for up to 18 months. The nose is an intriguing mix of complex aromas suggesting black fruits, black olives, and mineral wet stone notes. The attack is similar with silky tannins working in tandem with a dusting of garrigue. A bit too big to sip solo, it would be best served with grilled beef or lamb. Rhone-like.Prices: BC 59.99 QC 55.50 Producer: Boekenhoutskloof
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Vinologist Shiraztext
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Vinologist Shiraz 2017

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaCape winemaker Marc Kent made his mark with syrah at Bookenhoutskloof, but this label from Swartland is an intriguing adventure. The style is very different, with more vivacious, cleaner fruit with delicious scented plum and cherry. There’s smoke and leather but above all freshness this is a silky, savoury red that dances across the palate. Simple and very well made, and a super value. Load up for the barbecue.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Helderberg Winery
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Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Syrahtext
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Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Syrah 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2016 Qwam Qwmt (reserve) is the best yet from winemaker Randy Picton. There is plenty of power in 2016 but with a little less heft and more elegance than the 2015. It returns to a more elegant version in this stylish vintage offering up an intriguing mix of peppery blueberries with a smoked meat undercarriage, and that unmistakable dusting of desert sagebrush. Balanced and set for long life, you could leave this alone for a decade, or serve it now with a roasted leg of lamb. Impressive.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Nk'Mip Cellars
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Seaside Pearl The Connaught Syrahtext
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Seaside Pearl The Connaught Syrah 2016

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA rare syrah from the Similkameen Valley, offering a mid-weight, well-balanced attack. The style is firm with some drying tannins, but I like the stony, mineral, black fruit just beginning to open up on the palate. The finish is firm and dry with peppery notes, but all in all, this is very pleasant syrah you could enjoy with lamb sausages, chops, or a mushroom pasta dish. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Syrahtext
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Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn all Naramata syrah reflecting moderate mid-valley temperatures, and a co-ferment with six to seven percent viognier gives us a pleasant, drinkable style that is very food-friendly. It was fermented in small lots after a five-day cold soak, collecting colour without alcohol. It was barrel-aged for ten months, in mostly French oak. The nose is highly perfumed with violets followed by black cherry and blueberry. The finish is silky soft, ripe, and savoury.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Valle Secreto Vineyards and Winery First Edition Syrahtext
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Valle Secreto Vineyards and Winery First Edition Syrah 2016

Valle del Cachapoal, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileFirst Edition is hand-harvested syrah from the Cachopoal Valley at elevation amongst the foothills of the Andes, 80 kilometres south of Santiago. It is fermented in stainless steel and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. You can expect a vibrant, bright style here, with a great deal of boldo or wild dried herbs in the mix of red fruits, pepper and lively acidity. Ther is a tug of tannins in the back end, so it needs a few years to pull it all together. Exciting effort and worth laying down a few bottles to see how it finally turns out. Try it now with lamb or pork dishes.Prices: BC 37.98 Producer: Valle Secreto Vineyards and Winery
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Yangarra PF Shiraz No Added Sulfitestext
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Yangarra PF Shiraz No Added Sulfites 2017

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaHappy to taste the latest vintage of this delicious syrah made like very few, if any, around the world. Delicious, textural, fruity and soft, it soars from the glass. The tannins are light and pillowy, supporting but never interfering with the fruit. It’s delicious and ready to drink. If you want to geek out, well, PF Shiraz is made from grapes grown without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals. It is made without additions of any kind: no sulphur (preservative), acid, tannin or finings. There is no barrel ageing and the alcohol, at 14.5%, is natural. Wow. The shiraz is grown at Kangarilla, McLaren Vale from 18-22-year-old vines that sit between 150-180 metres above sea level. The 100 hectares of vineyards at Yangarra are divided into 35 individual blocks spread amongst 70 hectares of creeks, native vegetation and natural corridors. Every block is different, be it aspect or subtle variations of the sand and ironstone soils. This wine is grown primarily on the sandy sites. The PF Shiraz blocks are among the first blocks to be picked and are said to often be low in sugar and high in natural acidity. Whole berries are double sorted, lightly broken and dumped into small open-top fermenters. A few days of cold soak precedes a natural yeast fermentation and a rigorous regime of plunging and drain to return a perfect extraction.Prices: BC 42.99 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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C.C. Jentsch Syrahtext
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C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Amber Pratt made 817 cases of this impressive syrah grown on the Golden Mile and Black Sage benches in a 60/40 ratio. Post ferment it spends 16 months in French and American oak barriques. Its sweet flavours belie its one percent residual sugar, but the balance from earthy, savoury, Okanagan desert spicing keep it juicy and complicated in the mouth. Look for a bit of black pepper, licorice, plums and leather; far from its peak. You can drink it now with rich dishes. Grilled beef and venison come quickly to mind.Prices: BC 31.90 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraztext
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Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2016

Victoria, AustraliaThis Heathcote Shiraz is planted on an ancient stripe of Cambrian (greenstone) soils, providing structure to these vines. These vines were planted in 1994. The destemmed fruit was split into 10 lots and between open and closed top fermenters, aged in French oak (20% new) for 18 months. Ample and soft baked plum, cassis, blackberry stem, kirsch, thorns, charcoal, and ample oak notes fill a very plump, sun-baked palate. Tannins are soft, acidity is low and ripe sweet fruit is high. Old school, but still has many friends. In the year 1100, an errant arrow fired by Sir Walter Tyrrell killed King William Rufus II. The infamous "accident" is marked by the Rufus Stone.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Tyrrell's Wines Pty., Ltd.
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Vanessa Vineyard Syrahtext
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Vanessa Vineyard Syrah 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Vanessa Syrah is estate-grown in the Similkameen Valley. It’s co-fermented with a small amount of viognier in the classic Northern Rhône style. The blockbuster warm 2015 vintage is almost all free run with minute amounts of press juice added to the final mix. It’s aged 20 months in new and second use American and French oak barrels that were medium-plus toast. 2015 is much improved on the nose, with little or no reduction this year. It’s typically expansive with intense savoury, black pepper and a twist of espresso. The attack is smooth and warm but not overpowering, with rich plummy fruit, dried black cherry and floral, stony, dusty, peppery notes in the back end. Would love to see an all-French oak version of this wine to see just how Rhone-ish it can be.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Vanessa Vineyard
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Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Les Terres Bruléestext
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Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Les Terres Brulées 2016

Cornas, Northern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThis cuvée, Terres Brûlées, or burnt earth, is a nod to the origin of the village Cornas. The Cornas appellation, created in 1938, remains one of the spiritual homes of syrah. The Jean-Luc Colombo blend involves twenty separate blocks of vines and sets itself apart from the New World with an electric acidity that runs through the entire wine. Floral-scented coffee beans mix with white pepper and red fruit shape this complex red, one that is very food-friendly. A classic Cornas that will age effortlessly for a decade and requires a hardy meal. Impressive.Prices: BC 105.99 Producer: Jean-Luc Colombo
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Mac Forbes Syrahtext
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Mac Forbes Syrah 2017

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaFrom the winery's silt stone and clay based home block in Healesville, this was five percent whole bunch, native fermented before 11 months in French oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dusky plum, wild cassis, thorns and dried violets dart throughout this fresh, buoyant wine, threaded with fine peppercorns, and bound by fine tannins. There's a lovely earthy forested element to this wine, finishing with a kiss of resin. Chill lightly, drink copiously.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: Mac Forbes
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02 August 2019

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LaStella Espressivo 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike its sibling, Fortissimo, the Espressivo is a Tuscan-inspired red blend, identified by its dominant cabernet sauvignon mix, (its sibling is merlot-based), followed by merlot, cabernet franc, and sangiovese, all sourced from the home vineyard on the Osoyoos west bench in the southern Okanagan. After 20 months in Slavonian and French oak barrels, puncheons, and botti the 2016 Espressivo expresses very ripe, soft, plump fruit, with plush plum, blackberry jam, thorns and mild baking spices. It is ready to drink, think rabbit or roasted mushroom dishes or you could hold it through 2020. Impressive.Prices: BC 39.99 Producer: LaStella
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Treana Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Treana Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesCabernet Sauvignon has played a significant role in the Hope Family viticultural history, and this Treana cab is an ode to some who influenced winemaker Austin Hope: his father Chuck Hope, his uncle Paul, and Napa Valley winemaker Chuck Wagner. The mix is 90 percent cabernet sauvignon with merlot, petit verdot and petite sirah filling in the back 10 percent. It’s typically dark, in fact opaque, with rich, ripe, powerful aromas of black currants and blackberry jam. It’s warm, and you feel the heat, but it has a sense of elegance the belies its alcohol and power. I love the tobacco, clove, and cinnamon-spiked black fruit with well managed, softish tannins and a wisp of smoke. Impressive. Drink or hold through 2025.Prices: BC 39.99 US 30.00 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Ex Nihilo Nighttext
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Ex Nihilo Night 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Night is Ex Nihilo's ode to Bordeaux, mixing cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot all grown on the warm Black Sage Bench. Usually, the Ex-Nihilo style has been more powerful, but I like the direction this wine is moving in, showing more red fruits, balance, and elegance, at least as much as you can do in the south Okanagan. The attack is rounded out three years down the road with floral, crushed cassis, cherry and wild raspberry peppered with spice. It's ageing slowly and well, and should peak through 2025.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Nk'Mip Cellars Talontext
90PTS

Nk'Mip Cellars Talon 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe harvest for white wines began September 1st, the earliest ever at Nk’Mip. The weather eventually cooled off mid-month allowing the winemaking team to wait until October 3 before taking the reds. The best blocks were picked from October 13 through November 3. The wine is dominated by 44 percent syrah with an 18/13/13/10/2 mix of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot, cabernet franc and pinot noir. The attack is rich with peppery, juicy, black fruit that persists throughout the finish. The structure is invitingly round but with enough acidity to keep it all fresh and well balanced. Hearty dishes work here, like pasta with beef or mushrooms, grilled lamb, or a simple T-bone steak. Excellent value. Try with fusilli with artichoke hearts and parmesan cream, roasted lamb and a variety of grilled meats. Talon is named for the mythical Thunderbird by North America’s first Aboriginal owned and operated winery.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Nk'Mip Cellars
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Black Hills Nota Benetext
89PTS

Black Hills Nota Bene 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's hard to believe that this year's Nota Bene is the 18th release of this once super iconic, now firmly established, Okanagan red blend. This vintage blends 45% cabernet sauvignon, 41% merlot, and 14% cabernet franc from their Sharp Rock and Double Black Vineyards in the southern Okanagan. The blend spent 18 months in French barrique, 30% of which was new. Just bottled and newly released, this opens with a wave of reduction, which I let sit until the following day when I retasted. It's still present, along with potent and intense smoked meat, dense cassis, violets, bittersweet chocolate, and toasted wood. Tannins are furry, but appropriate for the 14 degree declaration. At this early stage, I'll give it intensity, and can see it's obviously quite purposefully made, though it's overwhelmingly so. The warmth on the finish demands grilled beef or lamb.Prices: BC 59.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Black Hills Nota Benetext
90PTS

Black Hills Nota Bene 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe super youthful 2017 Nota Bene is about to be released. The blend is cabernet sauvignon dominant at 45 percent, mixed with 41 percent merlot and 14 percent cabernet franc. As rich as the wine is, there are red fruit characters on the nose and palate painted with a savoury south Okanagan sagebrush and spice. The attack is similar with more resiny, red and black fruit that are tight and linear before the oak takes over the back end. The tannins are well-managed despite their youth, and present with an elegance we have come to expect from Black Hills over the past few years. There is no rush to drink this wine, which brings us to the question of why it is on such an early release path. At some point, this wine should be given more time to rest and gather itself in the bottle at the winery, and consumers and the accountants are just going to have to wait. It’s only fair to the wine and its fans. Buy and hold for a decade is my recommendation today.Prices: BC 59.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Township 7 Reserve 7text
89PTS

Township 7 Reserve 7 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe latest Reserve 7 remains merlot dominant, with fruit coming from mostly Okanagan Falls and Naramata (56%), and containing all five classic Bordeaux varieties including cabernet franc (29%), cabernet sauvignon (14%) from Osoyoos, and 1% malbec and petit verdot. The attack is full-bodied with cedar and cassis predominating on the nose, and some of that south Okanagan sagebrush underneath. The palate is weighty with near jammy blackcurrant fruit, black plums and more cedar and vanilla. Still youthful and only beginning to come together, there is no rush to open this before 2020. Lamb is the dinner choice. 658 cases produced.Prices: BC 35.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Da Silva Cabernet Syrahtext
88PTS

Da Silva Cabernet Syrah 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe classic Aussie blend looks good in pale blue with fruit grown on the Oliver Medial Moraine and the Black Sage Bench. The attack is round and soft with rich plummy black fruit. This was barrel aged 36 months in a 50/50 mix of French and American oak, the latter seemingly adding some sweet character to the finish. Still, the touch is refreshing and light, leaving the wine stylish and fun to drink now, and I suggest with a favourite BBQ rib recipe.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère Syrahtext
87PTS

Cono Sur Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère Syrah 2017

ChileFive years along from the 2012 vintage you can feel the improvements in winemaking and viticulture, even in what is essentially a commercial label. The nose is classically spicy with roasted pepper and savoury leather notes. The attack is more juicy, less soupy, with a moderately tannic palate. A solid mid-week hamburger red.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 14.00 ON 14.00 QC 15.45 SK 14.00 YK 16.75 Producer: Viña Cono Sur
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Pirramimma Pirra Cabernet Merlottext
89PTS

Pirramimma Pirra Cabernet Merlot 2016

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaCool is a relative term, but in 2016 you could describe the vintage as moderate for Australia, bringing brighter fruit to the sorting table. Five different vineyards made it into this classic Oz blend that is designed to be drunk on shipment. The attack is full-bodied with ripe, warm, juicy, black fruits with jammy textures. The finish is smooth and long with spicy highlights. Best with ribs, hamburgers or lamb chops. Good value and widely available at a fair price.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Pirramimma
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Santa Julia Reserva Malbec Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Santa Julia Reserva Malbec Cabernet Franc 2017

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThey call this the mountain blend because the malbec and cabernet franc grow in the Uco Valley at 954 metres and 1402 metres above sea level. The result is super pure fruit with a peppery, savoury undercurrent, and firm tannins that line the walls of this wine through the finish. Red fruit, a Zuccardi signature, pops from the glass, reminiscent of plums, black raspberries with a dusting of spice. Reliable, affordable and ready to drink with grilled beef but you can hold this another five years and expect it to improve further. Crazy value but won't be easy to find.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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01 August 2019

Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viogniertext
86PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viognier 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis blend of pinot gris and viognier is exclusively sold at Save-On-Foods throughout BC. The grapes come from Oliver and Osoyoos, and left with nearly 10 g/l residual sugar to make a soft, floral, easy sipper with pink blossoms, pink grapefruit, pear drop. Friendly and accessible. Chill well.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Kitsch Block Partytext
88PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's a block party all right, with 60% chardonnay, 25% riesling, 10% pinot gris, and 5% pinot noir, each sourced from one of the five estate blocks. Pear, nectarine, orange and kiwi are lined with lees, and sunny with easy acidity. Well knit together, this will be a party favourite this summer.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2018

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis BC summer favourite is the #1 selling BC VQA white wine in the province, and this is a mainstay on patios and restaurant wine lists. Tight and frisky, this vintage is 60% Chasselas (the first vinifera planted on their estate), 20% Pinot Blanc, and 20% Pinot Gris, all harvested and fermented separately in stainless, and then blended. Fresh pear, gentle citrus, honeydew melon is rafted with piquant zesty pithiness and a rise of acidity. Chill and crack and find a patio.Prices: BC 17.99 MB 18.99 SK 22.69 QC 20.05 NB 19.99 NL 19.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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JoieFarm A Noble Blendtext
89PTS

JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNoble Blend was always pleasant, but a lot of sweetish white blends are. In 2017 the style shifted a bit and in 2018 we see a much more interesting electric white wine that is better suited to food. It’s still based on the Alsace classic whites of Edelzwicker, or Gentil. I love the freshness, the lime leaf, pure pear and spice that sits on the nose of this gewürztraminer, riesling, pinot blanc, pinot auxerrois and muscat blend. As good as the aromatics are, the juicy palate with its drier sheen and peppery finish is just so much more fun. Less cloying, more dramatic. Perfect for mussels, clams or fish tacos.Prices: BC 25.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminertext
86PTS

Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFruity, friendly and off-dry, with near 10 g/l RS to encourage easy sipping, this is a blend of pinot gris and gewürztraminer. Green apple, pear, white peach fill the juicy palate, snapping to attention on the quick finish. Best enjoyed well chilled, with a patio and sunbeams.Prices: BC 17.95 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Bordertown Living Desert Whitetext
83PTS

Bordertown Living Desert White 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt would have been interesting to taste this a few years ago, but unfortunately it's now fairly tired and not showing a lot of fruit on the nose. Off-dry, the acid just isn't there to keep this in balance. A wine that could be appealing in its youth.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery
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