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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2020

29 May 2020

Tantalus Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tantalus flagship Pinot is made from multiple clones and all grown on the East Kelowna estate, within select blocks. The fruit is handpicked, vinified in small lots, and all of it is fermented wild by block, respecting their origin. Post-ferment, it is aged in oak barriques, of which 25 percent is new, for eleven months. From here, the best barrels are blended into neutral barrels and left on their fine lees for another fifteen months. It is a brooding bear at this point, with rich notes of black plums and black cherry, and somewhat boisterous, dense tannins, albeit sweet, suggesting it needs a minimum five years in bottle before it begins to reveal its final story.Prices: BC 30.44 AB 30.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Pinot Noir Reservetext
90PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir Reserve 2017

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear three of the Reserve Pinot Noir opens with earthy forest floor notes and a dry, restrained style. The foundation is a small, mid-slope block of Dijon clone 667 that is mixed with clone 115 from the property’s oldest vines. The blend is key to the reserve philosophy, one that pursues the best fruit for the wine every year. It has the best texture of their three pinot labels, led by intensity and silkiness. The palate is fresh, with florals, more earth, and mushroom, before a light blanket of tannins and sage dust kicks in. You can drink this now with mushroom risotto, glazed ham, or grilled pork, but it will certainly be enhanced by three to five years in the bottle. It clocks in at a very comfortable 13.8 percent alcohol by volume.Prices: BC 60.78 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Maija Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Tantalus Maija Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMaija, named for owner Eric Savics' daughter, is the evolution of pinot noir fruit the originally went into a label called Juvenile. It comes off some of the youngest Dijon clone plantings at the estate, plus a nearby vineyard in South East Kelowna. Maija is fermented on native yeast and aged in French barriques for 11 months, with 20 percent new. The nose is a rambunctious smoky plum affair with a hint of dried herbs. On the palate, dark cherry and black raspberries are vying for your attention before a cedary finish with light but lingering tannins. There is no rush to drink tonight, but you can serve this with more sumptuous dishes like grilled salmon, duck confit, or duck salad.Prices: BC 21.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Rosétext
90PTS

Tantalus Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tantalus Rosé continues down a specific path from its alluring orange aura in the glass to its bone dry, crisp styling. The blend is 60/40 pinot noir/pinot meunier that is picked at very low Brix, or sugar levels, during the sparkling wine harvest. Its crisp jacket intensifies the flavours of wild red fruits, rhubarb, watermelon, and cherries, with a tart, wet stones, mineral finish. A classy summer sipper that would the perfect match for an adventurous charcuterie dish.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Riesling Lab Hard Pressings Experiment #09text
90PTS

Tantalus Riesling Lab Hard Pressings Experiment #09 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRiesling Lab is a celebration of experimentation. Each year the cellar crew at Tantalus is allowed to geek out over their much loved riesling grapes. The ninth release features the "hard pressings" of all blocks, kept separate and fermented wild in old oak puncheons and barriques. A portion of the juice was reserved for all the winemaking interns to trial five distinct yeast strains and three different acidity levels. Kudos to the Savics family and winemaker David Patterson for allowing such outrageously necessary behaviour in the Okanagan. The wine presents off dry with a full flavoured palate of baked apples, banana chips, intense honey, and sweet mandarin, all with a light coating of spice. What it lacks in elegance it more than makes up for in character, and a fun easy-sipping style. No need to wait on this one. Drink now with a favourite spicy curry. Fine value.Prices: BC 17.39 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Rieslingtext
91PTS

Tantalus Riesling 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWe have said it before, and we will say it again; there is nothing regular about the “regular” Tantalus Riesling. The site is very much a trigger for this variety, not to mention pinot noir and chardonnay, making East Kelowna a highly sought after corner of the Okanagan Valley. The Tantalus signature is purity of fruit and, by definition, the electricity that takes your breath away. Grapefruit, limes, Meyer lemons, citrus zest, nectarines: you pick the freshest fruit flavours you can think of, and they are all here. Add in a stony, mineral backbone, and again why would you drink anything else? Drink or hold this for a decade and beyond. The price is a rare mistake in your favour. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 21.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Old Vines Rieslingtext
93PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTantalus' Old Vines Riesling is something completely different. First off, it comes only from a single block of north-facing vines planted by the previous owners in 1978. It was fermented to near dry, but its measly four grams of residual sugar are little match for the minerality and acidity that electrifies this wine. It is not for everyone, and riesling aficionados should be happy with that; otherwise, it would be all gone in seconds after its release. Long, taut, serious, savoury, and as dry as it gets, this is a northern Okanagan experience in a bottle. Buy a case and drink one, screwcapped-finished, bottle every three years for the next 36 years.Prices: BC 30.35 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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28 May 2020

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling Clone 239text
90PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling Clone 239 2018

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of two single vineyard clone riesling from Cawston Bench's Hendsbee Vineyard this vintage, this is entirely 21B, hailing from the Mosel, but certainly feels at home in the stony, sloping Similkameen. Planted in 2006, this is rooted in sandy loam, calcium carbonate laced soils, over deep gravels. This is much drier than Orofino's other rieslings, with the stony soils taking centre stage, bedding pithy lime, green apple, pear skin, yeasty lees to a snappy finish.Prices: BC 19.05 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling Clone 21Btext
91PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling Clone 21B 2018

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of two single vineyard clone riesling from Cawston Bench's Hendsbee Vineyard this vintage, this is entirely 21B, hailing from the Mosel, but certainly feels at home in the stony, sloping Similkameen. Planted in 2006, and 2008, this is rooted in sandy loam, calcium carbonate laced soils, over deep gravels. This sweeter riesling is threaded with a savoury line that runs the streamlined palate, pulling along sweet lime, pear skin, river stones, and lime peel to a lingering, shimmery finish. Subtle and edgy at once, and at 11.3 degrees, tricky to keep away from.Prices: BC 19.05 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Rieslingtext
92PTS

Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Riesling 2018

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 29 year old Home Vineyard vines, this 21B riesling is rooted in sandy loam over gravels. After destemming and a long native ferment in old French barrels, the wine rested for a short time in wood, with occasional batonnage. Plump apricot and lime opens this off-dry, gentle white, bedded with river stones and sculpted with a pithy lime acidity, that really sneaks up and steals the mouth-watering finish. There's a lovely balance to this savoury, interesting, accessible wine, drinking well now but with years ahead in bottle. 96 cases produced.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Culmina Family Estate R&D Dry-ish Rieslingtext
88PTS

Culmina Family Estate R&D Dry-ish Riesling 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis off-dry riesling comes from their Golden Mile Estate higher altitude Stan's Bench, and was done entirely in stainless to preserve the crunchy pear acidity, perfectly pitched to offset the bump of RS. Orange sherbet, lime pith, yellow apples, perfumed yellow plums flood the palate, spiced with tropical notes and lined with perfumed cold cream. Friendly, cool, and ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Decora Rieslingtext
89PTS

Culmina Family Estate Decora Riesling 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the estate's upper altitude Margaret's Bench (600m), this fruity, intense riesling is packed with lemon curd, tropical melon, potent pear, pink grapefruit pithiness, and pulpy lime juiciness on a lees-lined palate. Off-dry, but tautly gripped and riveting with acidity, this generous and direct riesling is ripe for drinking this summer.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Four Shadows Riesling Drytext
88PTS

Four Shadows Riesling Dry 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA slimmed-down, taut, bone dry style with intensified aromas of peach and guava, this opens up on the palate with citrus, lime, and grapefruit flavurs before finishing bright and dry, calling for any number of foods. It’s a bit raw, but it’s a great start, and this wine will only improve as the experience and vineyards kick in over the next decade.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Four Shadows Vineyard and Winery
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Four Shadows Rieslingtext
89PTS

Four Shadows Riesling 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2018 Four Shadows Vineyards Riesling caused a stir with the judges at the 2019 National Wine Awards of Canada. In 2019 the wine is showing similar promise with perhaps just a little less electricity on the palate. It remains a crafty balance of acidity and residual sugar, making it very gulpable on a sunny patio. The style is juicy, with candied lime, ripe pears and red apple. A light mineral, stony undercurrent keeps it all aligned through the finish. A delicious sipping, just off-dry-style of riesling that will have many fans. Try with a spicy tuna sushi roll.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Four Shadows Vineyard and Winery
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Kung Fu Girl Rieslingtext
88PTS

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2018

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesNot much changes from year to year, which is why Kung Fu Girl Riesling continues to kick ass on the market. Super juicy, this off-dry Washington white (14 g/l RS) is flush with white peach, pulpy lime and tangerine, with a light dusting of white pepper and petrol to spice up the stony finish. This Columbia Valley riesling is sourced from the Evergreen Vineyard, in one of WA's newest AVA's, Ancient Lakes. Crack and drink this summer, as thousands upon thousands of other North Americans will be.Prices: BC 16.99 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2019

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 30+ year old vines, this riesling was whole cluster pressed and then fermented and aged in stainless steel. At the moment it’s not overly expressive, with subdued green apple and lime as well as a whiff of sulphur. The palate is taut and precise in a truly dry style, with the 2.9 g/L of residual sugar easily erased by the racy acidity. It comes across a little closed right now, so I’d give this some time in the cellar to see if it opens up. For now, it’s a crisp, refreshing white that will go down easily on a warm summer afternoon.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Moraine Rieslingtext
91PTS

Moraine Riesling 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Dwight Sick has found his mojo on the Naramata Bench after a fine run in Okanagan Falls, as evidenced by this 2019 clone 49 riesling that is 90 percent Red Row Vineyard and 10 percent Anastasia Vineyard. The fruit was “boot-stomped and allowed to cold-soak for 5 hours to maximize extraction.” The result is an amazing mineral, citrusy riesling with a sheen of botrytis lending it a lush mouthfeel and perfectly complex finish. Any food you like will work here.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Tantalus Old Vines Rieslingtext
93PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTantalus' Old Vines Riesling comes exclusively from a block of vines planted in 1978 on a north facing slope of deep, silty soils. It was fermented to near dry, with the remaining 4 g/L RS expertly balanced out against 10 g/L TA. Savoury and serious, as ever, with broken stones, lime pith, green apple, elastic, and vinyl notes, here in youth. Acidity is quivering, streaming this taut, sleek palate to a very long, minerally-rung finish. While a super interesting exercise to drink this now, this wine has a worthy evolution ahead of it.Prices: BC 30.35 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Rieslingtext
90PTS

Tantalus Riesling 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis, their flagship riesling, comes from estate fruit dating back to the late 1970s. After whole bunch pressing, each parcel fermented separately in stainless on gross lees before the final blend. The sweetness / acidity balance is much closer this year than in past years, with 10 g/L RS deftly balanced out by near the same (9.7 g/L TA). Green apple, lime pith and peel, mandarin, white peach is held taught and quivering around a slender (11.9 degrees), but juicy, palate. This has a more serious, grownup tone this year, but still with the smashability of the past. One for now, and short term cellaring.Prices: BC 21.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2019

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 30 year old vines, this Quails' Gate Dry Riesling is nearly that (at 2.9 g/L), but with ample zesty acidity and concentration to balance it well. White pepper, lemon, melon, and green apple steam down the narrow, slight palate, finishing bright and briskly. Simple and clean.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Tantalus Riesling Lab Hard Pressings Experiment #09text
89PTS

Tantalus Riesling Lab Hard Pressings Experiment #09 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Riesling Lab is a way for the team to experiment with their now-flagship grape each year. Here in version #09, winemaker Dave Patterson used the hard pressings of all the Riesling blocks separate, and fermented wild in old oak puncheons and barriques. They involved their visiting interns with trialling portions of the juice with various yeast strains and acidity / pH levels, combining the whole for 3 months on lees prior to bottling. A compelling story, and label, for this ever-changing wine, #09 is amply off-dry with baked yellow apple, pear gummies, candied mandarin and a dusting of light spice. Soft, easy, approachable, and fun, chill and crack this summer.Prices: BC 17.39 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Rieslingtext
92PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLuminous pale gold in the glass, this riesling from CedarCreek's Platinum series has a wonderfully expressive nose of that starts with orange blossoms and lime curd, moves to lemony petrol whiffs, then hits a few peachy notes with a dotting of herbs and crushed stones. A complex earthy mushroom-y element is evident, which I attribute to a minuscule inclusion of botrytis-affected fruit in the 2018 edition. Eye-popping acidity initiates a surge of citrus, peach, green apple flavours that roll around the mouth and peak in a prolonged, fruit drenched, electrifying finish that is fruity/savoury/herbal/stony. A modicum of residual sugar seamlessly balances this riesling to virtual dryness. A little belly fat from half a year of lees ageing adds luscious succulence, and don't forget to keep swirling and smelling the wine until toasted and honey aromas emerge as it gains a little air. Each year this is unfailingly one of BC's finest rieslings, the late pick of a single block of 20-year old vines, wildly fermented in steel with a small oak component. Dewy-fresh and bright yet rich and concentrated, this is magnificently adaptable wine for pairng with smokey grilled pork chops, teriyaki salmon or spring pea risotto. The cooler vintage has sharpened it wonderfully and there is no rush to drink now., except that it's so utterly delicious and life-renewing (as only riesling can be), there is no good reason to wait.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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27 May 2020

Pentâge Winery Pentâgetext
89PTS

Pentâge Winery Pentâge 2013

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTake an impressive vintage, 2013, and a flagship blend of 34/23/20/17/6 cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot, age it six years and this is what you get. The nose is intense, almost still youthful, offering ripe red/black fruit with similar follow up on the palate where ripe black cherries and toasted oak mingle effortlessly. The oak is fairly prevalent, in a 2013 American and French oak way (a lot has changed since then in BC). I like the fresh, high-intensity black fruit that permeates the blend and calls for a substantial piece of grilled meat or lamb for maximum enjoyment. Ready to drink, but there is no rush.Prices: BC 30.43 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Indigenous World Hee-Hee-Tel-Kintext
86PTS

Indigenous World Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHee-Tel-Kin opens with a touch of meaty reduction before the toasted oak kicks in, mixed with cedar, dried herbs, and black fruit. The attack is rustic with cedary, leafy, blackberry and vanilla. Youthful and straightforward, you can serve this now with grilled lamb or beef, or cellar for two to three years and wait for it to come together.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Indigenous World Simotext
87PTS

Indigenous World Simo 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVanilla, coffee, chocolate, and black cherry aromas with a light meaty reductive undertone set the tone for this boisterous, round, warm, red wine. On the palate, sweet black fruit fresh mixes with earthy, smoky, lifted cherry/cassis, with a spicy, oaky, savoury black olive finish. Serve this in the fall with beefy, hearty stews and grilled meats.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Vérité Le Désirtext
97PTS

Vérité Le Désir 2016

Sonoma County, California, United States2016 celebrates 50 years of winemaking for winemaker Pierre Seillan, someone who is all about structure, precision, and place. Desir is his ode to cabernet franc, and it begins with a highly attractive fragrant nose emanating from a blend of 82/12/6 cabernet franc, merlot, and malbec. A savoury dried herb flavouring streaks an intimate weave of red and black fruits, toning down the mix of blackcurrants and plums with a hint of cassis. The fruit comes off four different sites, and some 50 micro-crus, as Seillan likes to refer to his blocks across Sonoma County, including Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley, and Bennett Valley. The variations of soils and climate give the wine a complexity that lifts it over the simply hedonistic. The tannins are a joy as they cover your palate with dense, ripe textures that fade in the fruit, acid, and mineral notes in the finish. It is a superb bottle of wine that rivals some of the very best red blends in the world.Prices: BC 520.00 AB 400.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
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Rust Wine Co Cabernet Merlottext
88PTS

Rust Wine Co Cabernet Merlot 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Rust wines come off five separate vineyards planted as early as 1973 in the Okanagan Valley and Similkameen Valley, and the sub-GIs of Okanagan Falls and the Golden Mile Bench. The home vineyard, South Rock, was initially purchased from the Crown in 1963 by John Tokios. In 1968 it was planted to Okanagan riesling, bacchus, chancellor and other hybrid varieties that have since been pulled out and replaced by gewürztraminer, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and rare zinfandel. 2014 was a lauded vintage, and this cab/merlot has all the hallmarks of the ripe vintage from the south Okanagan, replete with spice, warmth, and a whack of savoury black fruit. This will age for a while longer in the bottle with no troubles. Best of all is a juicy factor that keeps it reasonably fresh on the palate. Barbecue spareribs would be a perfect match.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Rust Wine Co.
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Township 7 Reserve 7text
90PTS

Township 7 Reserve 7 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2017 the Reserve 7 mix was 51/28/20/1 merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot, mostly grown at estate-owned Blue Terrace Vineyard in Oliver, with cabernet franc from the Raju Vineyard and small amounts of merlot from Front Yard in Naramata. It's all aged in American and French barrels for 24 months, leaving a light, but youthful, oak footprint, yet to be dispersed. The initial attack is rich and full-bodied with enticing savoury cedar, and cassis. The mid-palate has a fine sense of elegance, mixing sagebrush, blackcurrants, and black plums streaked with vanilla and toasted oak. Well made and certainly a wine you can wait on for another three to five years. The move toward finesse is a lovely direction to head.Prices: BC 37.97 AB 37.95 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Township 7 NBO Blue Terrace Vineyardtext
89PTS

Township 7 NBO Blue Terrace Vineyard 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2017 NBO (North Bench Oliver) has a new 60/40 blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The style remains hedonistic, but with less savoury, spicy notes without the cabernet franc. Like last year, plenty of juicy black fruit marks the nose and palate. Wildfires were a two-edge sword, plenty of smoke in the air caused problems for growers but also blocked the intense mid-summer heat that, in the end, combined with a late-season frost topped off a year in which careful grape selection was paramount. Many will like the blockbuster style, intensified by a reduction in yields of nearly 15 percent. There is no rush to drink this wine, but if you can’t wait, I suggest lamb or beef grilled over a fire. The fruit comes exclusively off Blue Terrace Vineyard in Oliver.Prices: BC 35.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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26 May 2020

Arterra Chardonnaytext
85PTS

Arterra Chardonnay 2017

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaRich, full, wooded, and old school, this sweetish chardonnay is plumped with candied green apple, tropical fruit, vanilla, full cream, honeycomb and a minty coolness on the wood spiced finish. A shot of acidity lifts this, thankfully, though it sticks out from the sweet fruit, making this even more disjointed. Disappointing.Prices: BC 26.95 ON 26.95 Producer: Arterra Wines
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWithin Blue Mountain's chardonnay program, the Reserve is meant to emphasize structure, finesse, and elegance, with an extra year or so in bottle before release to underscore its ageability. Chardonnay is often just as much about the fruit as it is the winemaking, and that's certainly the case here with bright citrus fruits and white flowers from 11-28-year-old vines, alongside restrained, refined winemaking. It's easy to guess what's bolstering this wine's complexity: a 100 percent wild fermentation, partial malolactic fermentation, and a combination of new and older barriques, puncheons, foudre, and stainless steel. The result is a beautiful expression of chardonnay that is seamlessly balanced and harmonious. And somehow under $30.Prices: BC 29.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Coolshanagh Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted three times now, Coolshanagh remains an elegant, leesy, electric chardonnay with creamy lees textures riddled with layers of red apple and pear, and a solid frame of French oak. It has a real Okanagan signature with a savoury sage and dried herb undercurrent. Impressive and ready to drink. Burgundy is the model, and Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Matt Dumayne works closely with the owners Skip and Judy Stothert employing a "don't do too much to the wine" model. The grapes are fermented whole cluster in neutral French oak and new French foudres, with smaller amounts placed into egg-shaped concrete fermenters. The two are mixed and placed in concrete eggs for ten months of lees contact. Size matters at Coolshanagh (the name translates to a meeting place), and because the vineyard is small, the fruit is picked, block by block, several times.Prices: BC 36.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Blomidon Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Blomidon Chardonnay 2018

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThe new release 2018 Chardonnay is from Blomidon's Annapolis Valley Blomidon Estate Vineyard as well as their Woodside Road Vineyard. After French barrel fermentation (20% new) and full MLF, this remained on lees for one year, prior to tightening 4 more months more in tank. The wood is felt framing this youthful, creamy wine, through waves of gentle vanilla, orange blossom, and lemon curd. Green apple and lemon tighten the core some, and the gentle stony mineral hum on the finish is welcome.Prices: NS 35.00 Producer: Blomidon Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate R and D Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Culmina Family Estate R and D Chardonnay 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaR&D stands equally for research & development (the more experimental, small-lot line of wines from Oliver's Culmina), as well as founder Don and his twin Ron, Triggs brothers whose adorable childhood photo graces the label. Bright tangerine, perfumed pear, crunchy grapefruit acidity lifts this medium+ white, bedded with stony lees, and finishing with a bright snap. There's a telling sun-ripeness and 14 degree alcohol reflecting its Southern Okanagan provenance, but a wonderful freshness throughout that speaks to the altitude of the site. A worthy experiment.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Kitsch Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Kitsch Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaClone 95, planted on their estate in 2013, makes up this 2018 chardonnay. After a whole cluster press, this was partially native fermented in a mix of stainless (80%) and neutral French oak, with 75 days of lees contact before bottling. Light lemon, cream, green apple crispness, on a fresh, bright palate. There's a lovely fine savoury anise line in the lees, before a crisp finish. Building on last year's star turn, this wine is moving into serious chardy contention. As you'll notice by the capsule, this wine is a collab between Kitch and clothing company Tentree. For every bottle purchased, 5 mangrove trees will be planted in Madagascar. Win win with wine.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Pentâge Winery Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Pentâge Winery Chardonnay 2014

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt almost six years old this is a mature, full-style chardonnay, with intense, leesy, nutty, baked pear and honey, and a long, vanilla, spicy finish. A bit old style but in the right way. Think lobster or fresh Dungeness crab for the match. It is all hand-harvested, and whole cluster pressed before a four month ferment in French oak barrels with periodic light battonage.Prices: BC 24.35 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Intrigue Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Intrigue Chardonnay 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThe intrigue Chardonnay is an off-dry style at 9 grams per litre sugar, but it is anything but dull. There is a fresh thread of citrus throughout that keeps it all together, and frankly, it is a style appreciated by those who prefer a round easy-sipping style with a touch of sweetness. 12 percent of the blend is fermented in French oak barrels to pad the palate further. Pair with spicy Thai chicken or similarly spicy Indian cuisine.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2017 is another strong showing for the Reserve chardonnay, a blend of five clones and estate vines up to 28 years old. It was natively fermented predominantly in barrel (70%) of varying sizes and from new through the third fill and went through partial MLF. After a July 2018 blending, this was returned to barrels to rest on lees. Lees plumped, this creamy, elegant white is full of while florals, ripe pear, lemon peel, and green apple vibrancy. Very much in youth, this will continue to mellow and merge with cellaring. Hold tight for a couple of years, or give it some time to open in glass now.Prices: BC 29.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection No. 8 Jagged Rock Vineyard Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Mission Hill Terroir Collection No. 8 Jagged Rock Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Oliver's Jagged Rock Vineyard, and 360-380m, this clone 76 chardonnay was fermented and aged in French oak barriques and puncheons. The wood is certainly evident on the creamy palate of this youthful wine, luxe with lees, ripe pear, custard, white blossoms, and lemon peel. Acidity is well matched to the power on the palate, drawing this to a lengthy close. Quite polished, though a bit old school. Drinking well now.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Oliver, Osoyoos, and Naramata, this creamy, wood-forward chardonnay reflects its 75% fermentation and aging in oak (11% new), with the remainder in a mix of concrete eggs and stainless. Lemon curd is brightened with lemon peel, green apple, and crisp pear, riding a lees bed to a spiced finish. Friendly and open, and if you're keen for a fresh oaked chardy, this is ready to go.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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25 May 2020

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Keremeos' Whispered Secret Vineyard, this pinot gris was whole cluster pressed and fermented in a mix of stainless and French puncheons over a month, after which the wine remained on lees for 3 months. Orchard fresh and bright, with white peach, green apple, tangerine, and river stone on a shiny, sleek, and juicy palate. Well handled, with potency balanced off with refinement.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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CedarCreek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

CedarCreek Pinot Gris 2019

British Columbia, CanadaLook for a bright, fruity mix of grapes grown in the south and north Okanagan Valley. There is an evident touch of sweetness early on in the palate of ripe melon, pear, and red apple with a full measure of acidity and spice to balance out the finish. Simple, clean, and ready to drink.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhether labelled as pinot gris or pinot grigio, there’s a broad range of stylistic expressions of this grape throughout the Okanagan. What’s refreshing about Blue Mountain’s Reserve Pinot Gris is that it’s serious, but without striving to be from somewhere else. It tastes Okanagan-inspired. This falls almost right down the middle in terms of the pinot gris ripeness spectrum, balancing stone and tree fruits with delicate white flowers. And the winemaking works to accentuate the fruit, focusing on lees to add complexity and build a creamy texture alongside an oily viscosity that’s true to the variety. Other pinot gris may have more of a wow factor, but this excels with fruit purity and excellent length.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLast year was the first time out for this label from Keremeos-based Whispered Secret Vineyard, and 2019 is equally as exciting. It is electrified with bright, fresh acidity and a whack of mineral, stony nuances that let it hum along the palate. The winemaking is gloriously simple; whole cluster pressed fruit begins the process. It is fermented it in a combination of stainless steel barrels, tanks, and French oak puncheons, slow and cool over a month. It spends another three months on lees before light filtration and bottling. I love just sipping this wine in the sunshine, but it will pair endlessly with the likes of summer salads, chicken, pork, sushi rolls, fish tacos, and much more. Bravo Similkameen.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Indigenous World Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Indigenous World Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe price is attractive, and the wine is pleasantly drinkable if you are a fan of the older, honeyed, rich style of pinot gris. There is a dollop of lees to that gather some interest before an almond finish that makes you think this will tire sooner than later. Ready to drink, and at $12.99, it will fit many budgets.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Indigenous World
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Moraine Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Moraine Pinot Gris 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2019 joins 2018 as a terrific take on Moraine Pinot Gris, flexing the Naramata mid-valley style that is so attractive. Look for lemons and apricots with a juicy, stony mineral underside that energizes the glass, giving it a purpose in life. The home Anastasia Vineyard sits on an old moraine deposit that is responsible for its tight, juicy, orchard fruit. I have tried it with crab cakes, fish tacos, pasta, and prawns, and they all work. Get it while you can.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Kitsch Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Kitsch Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis estate pinot gris was planted in 2014 to clone 52, on gravel, sand and silt soils. This was whole-cluster pressed and fermented in stainless before 30 days of skin contact in steel. Squeaky clean, this beams lemon, Asian pear, gooseberry and green apple along a shorter, skippy, lean palate, finishing with a swing of lees. More Italian lean grigio in style than most Okanagan gris', this is for those looking for a sharper, tighter style.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Kitsch Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Kitsch Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Kitsch gris is a straight up white made in a fresh, clean style with a citrus undercurrent. The fruit is green apple and pear, with bright acidity that cleans the palate and resets it for another bite of food between every sip. Uncomplicated, ready to drink, and very serviceable with food. It is all clone 52 grown over gravel and sand, and is whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel and finished with 30 days of skin contact. As Treve correctly points out, it is more pinot grigio than pinot gris.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis polished Reserve once again proves its place as one of the top in BC in 2017 (yes, a current release now in spring 2020). 31 year old estate vines were native fermented predominantly in stainless, with 30% in new to 4th fill barrels and foudre, the latter aged on lees. Structural without being severe, with orchard pear and green apple flooding a creamy palate, subtly seasoned with wild desert herbs. Lovely poise and presence and confidence, drinking smartly now.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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CedarCreek Pinot Gristext
88PTS

CedarCreek Pinot Gris 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThis is a happy medium, blending southern and northern Okanagan fruit, fermented mostly in stainless (7% in neutral oak) with 3 months on lees to plump out the core. That beds ripe melon, pear, yellow apple, pear blossom, and fine, tight spicing that draws this to a snappy close. The acidity handles well the bump in RS, making this a friendly, easy, fresh choice for this summer.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTime continues to slip by; the vines for this pinot gris are now 31 years old. Watch out Europe. Blue Mountain ferments using native yeast, with 70 percent fermented and aged in stainless steel, and the remaining 30 percent is fermented and aged for eight months in new to fourth fill-228L and 500L French oak barrels, plus one 2000L. The definition and subtle lines in the wine point to significant ageing, yielding creamy textures and long, understated, pear, stony mineral, and a touch of oil in the finish. Pesto pasta is a fun match, though fresh halibut and an orchard fruit salsa are a bit more serious.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom estate vineyards on Black Sage Road and Naramata Ranch, this was primarily fermented in stainless, with 11% fermented in French oak (2% new). The balance is nailed this year, with orchard fruit nicely offset by a firm but neutral wood structure, and atop a fine but comfortable bed of lees. There's a seasoning of desert sagebrush and anise that lingers on the finish. Bright, fresh, full of typicity, but not dumbed down. Well done.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMission Hill continues to tweak their Reserve lineup and, for some reason don't get a lot of love for the effort they make to produce high-quality, affordable BC VQA wine, a combination in short supply across BC. This year 11 percent of this pinot gris is fermented in wood, and two percent of the wood used is new. It is just enough to add a layer of texture and length to the rest of the wine fermented crisp and clean in stainless steel. It's all estate fruit from the warm Black Sage Bench and the much cooler Naramata Ranch. The result is a lovely balanced wine with bright apples and peaches over a quiet but steady bed of lees. Pleasing and correct wit touch of style. Pasta, cheese, summer salads, sushi, fish tacos: they will all work here.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Kismet Estate Pinot Grigiotext
86PTS

Kismet Estate Pinot Grigio 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLight aromas of pear, green apple, and citrus are reflected in this softish, round gris, marked with a touch of dried herbs. Structurally improved over previous years but still lacks an element of electricity to soar out of the glass. Ready to drink, and best with food like prawns, clams, and crab.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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23 May 2020

Rocky Creek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Rocky Creek Pinot Gris 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaTime is beginning to close in on this gris made with fruit from three estate vineyards. Its pale copper colour results from a day of skin contact before a stainless steel fermentation. The flavours are dry and tart with intense notes of sour cherry, plums, and a funky, leesy, mineral, salty, underbelly. There is plenty of promise here and full marks for being very Vancouver Island. It needs a screwcap to become a viable player in the modern marketplace.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Rocky Creek Winery
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22 May 2020

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorattext
93PTS

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2017

Priorato, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThis blend of garnacha, cariñena, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and merlot comes from 7 tiny villages in the mountainous Priorat region. The wine takes its name from the mostly restored camins of the region, the ancient pathways that connect the villages up and down the hillsides. The whole was fermented in stainless, cement, and large wooden vats. Savoury dark beauty, with salted black liquorice and anise streaming the long length of this wine. Wild cassis, wild raspberries, dried rosemary scrub, dark cherries are studded with cloves, riding a super mineral, schistous swell, plumped with sun and chiseled with licorella soils. Though a full bodied wine, the soils and altitude imbue a striking freshness. Beauty drinking now, and for years to come in your cellar.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Alvaro Palacios
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Comando G Mataborricostext
89PTS

Comando G Mataborricos 2017

SpainComando G is a partnership of minds, mates and winemakers Fernando García and Dani Landi. They were drawn to the near-forgotten high altitude old-vine vineyards of Sierra de Gredos, near Madrid, and began to gain the trust of the previous generation(s) who had tended to these wind-swept vines for the Co-ops. With time, came trust, and the chance to see these old vines into these current wines. A pale crimson hue, this light, naturalist, super fun blend of 50% Listan Prieto, 25% Carignan, and 25% Garnacha was originally made and bottled for their annual party. It was subsequently released to the public by popular demand. The Listan Prieto, a grape most commonly found in the Canaries, was found interplanted in their high altitude Gredos vineyards, so they decided to use it for Mataborricos. This limited run bottling is native fermented in amphorae, and bottled with no sulphur. Very light on its feet, lofted with strawberries, wild raspberries, red liquorice, scrubby rosemary, and a dusting of pink pepper. Tannins are near negligible, just shadowing this to the lingering, humming finish. Most definitely party-worthy, enjoy this charmer with a light chill.Prices: BC 42.00 Producer: Comando G
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Comando G Rozas 1er Cru Garnachatext
92PTS

Comando G Rozas 1er Cru Garnacha 2018

SpainComando G is a partnership of minds, mates and winemakers Fernando García and Dani Landi. They were drawn to the near-forgotten high altitude old-vine vineyards of Sierra de Gredos, near Madrid, and began to gain the trust of the previous generation(s) who had tended to these wind-swept vines for the Co-ops. With time, came trust, and the chance to see these old vines into these current wines.Taking its inspiration from Bourgogne, the 1er Cru Garnacha grapes come from a small, cool, 3ha plot at 900 meters, near the town of Rozas de Puerto Real. It was native fermented in open vats over 50 days prior to resting one year in 500L French barrels. Light crimson in hue, this opens and streams mineral salts along a lofty palate, perfumed with rock roses, wild raspberry, sapid plum, summer strawberry. Tannins are slight, striated, and sticky, jacketing this medium bodied, plumped red (13.5 degrees for garnacha!) to a lingering mineral, subtly spiced, lightly warming finish. Lovely delicate touch for garnacha, and best enjoyed with a slight chill.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Comando G
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Comando G La Bruja de Rozastext
90PTS

Comando G La Bruja de Rozas 2018

SpainComando G is a partnership of minds, mates and winemakers Fernando García and Dani Landi. La Bruja de Rosas is their village wine, sourced from numerous vineyards around Las Rozas de Puerto Real in Castilla y Leon, between 900-1200m altitude, and from granitic sands. Organically and biodynamically farmed 50-80 year old garnacha vines is native fermented with a lengthy maceration, followed by nine months in oak vats. Pouring a transparent crimson hue, this opens with ample wild scrubby florals, medicinal cherry, kirsch, wild strawberry jam. Tannins are sticky and acidity is lofty, both helping draw this youthful red to a lightly warming, sasparilla-scented close. This is a ballerina hippo, with much heft and girth (14.5), but surprising lightness on its feet. For drinking now, with a slight chill.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Comando G
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Forgeron Cellars Blacksmith Rougetext
88PTS

Forgeron Cellars Blacksmith Rouge 2017

Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThis blend of 37% Grenache, 37% Syrah and 26% Mourvedre comes from Yakima Valley, and spent time in a mix of American and French oak, about 10% new. The spiced sweetness of the wood is a good partner to the super ripe cherry, mulled plum, young leather, baking spice. Tannins are worn soft to the very warming finish. Easy and friendly to drink now and easily.Prices: ON 34.95 Producer: Forgeron Cellars
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Ochota Barrels The Green Room Grenachetext
91PTS

Ochota Barrels The Green Room Grenache 2019

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaFrom McLaren Vale's Onkaparinga Hills, this grenache was based on a vineyard planted in 1946 and on limestone and schist soils. Predominantly whole bunch and entirely native fermented, this fruit spent 88 days on skins before being basket pressed to older French barriques for a couple of months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with a wee tip of sulphur. Light and lithe, with wild strawberry, perfumed summer raspberry, savoury whiffs of cured meats, and dried summer herbs, all finely, firmly gripped with a riff of skin tannins. Acidity is buoyant, and alcohol a welcome 12.8 degrees (for grenache!). The soils give a pixellated acidity, while the vine age gives it a recognizable gravitas. Drink with a slight chill, and picnic of charcuterie and cheeses.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Ochota Barrels
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Domaine de la Mordorée La Dame Rousse Liractext
92PTS

Domaine de la Mordorée La Dame Rousse Lirac 2017

Lirac, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceFrom 40 year old vines on gales, sand and red clay, this is equal parts syrah and grenache, fermented in aged in stainless. Crushed plum, fresh cassis, wild blackberry, anise, thorns flood this juicy red, fuller in frame but held aloft with a spire of acidity that draws the black and white peppery fruit to a lingering finish. Tannins are ample but fine, gripping the sides to a spiced finish. Beauty balance and finesse, drinking well now but will continue to cellar over the next few years.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Domaine de la Mordoree
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Mon Coeur Côtes du Rhônetext
90PTS

Mon Coeur Côtes du Rhône 2017

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceJean-Louis Chave, like many of his competitors, makes "négociant" wines to showcase the appellations he works within the Rhone. The Côtes du Rhône 'Mon Coeur' is a blend of four distinct terroirs located in and around Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Though the combination varies year to year, it is roughly 50/50/ syrah/grenache from vines that range from 20-60 years old. The notion of the "garrigue" figures prominently in this wine with all manner of wild-growing thyme, rosemary, heather, juniper, lavender and blackberries. It's relatively soft and round with spicy black fruit flavours, but nothing would suggest it won't improve in bottle over the next five years—drink now with grilled lamb, beef or soft runny cheese.Prices: BC 28.99 AB 29.99 Producer: J. L. Chave
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Kismet Estate Mokshatext
87PTS

Kismet Estate Moksha 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMoksha is unique for Canada with its 38/24/14/14/10 mix of syrah, malbec, grenache, mourvedre and viognier. The Rhone-style prevails at a few wineries in the south Okanagan, and when we taste this wine, we think it has plenty of promise. The nose is tighter than the palate with light herbaceous, cedary black fruit notes. The attack opens with more cedar, light milk chocolate, smoky, peppery, oaky affair. The textures make it easier to sip now, but it will improve in the bottle over the next two years—best far with grill lamb chops or similar savoury dishes.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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Henschke Henry's Seventext
91PTS

Henschke Henry's Seven 2017

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaHenry's Seven opens with a rich, warm face reminiscent of the Rhone Valley meets Barossa. Shiraz is the lead grape at 73 percent (cofermented with 5 percent viognier), blended with 17 percent grenache, and 5 percent mataro. The nose is spicy and ripe with a red fruit bent (plums and red currants) while on the palate you find raspberries and boysenberries streaked with a swirl of milk chocolate. The tannins are moderate and silky throughout the long finish. Lamb chops are an excellent match.Prices: BC 58.99 BC 54.99 Producer: Henschke
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21 May 2020

Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis popular wine changes slightly year over year, as one would hope, reflecting the vintage. For 2019, Similkameen's Middle Bench Vineyard has given off ample peach and nectarine, with a palate of cool melon and perfumed lychee, and a crunchy Asian pear acidity. After a whole cluster pressing, this was fermented and rested in stainless to preserve the aforementioned orchard / tropical fruit notes. Snappy, slight (12.2 degrees) and dry, this year's version more fruit-driven than previous.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Val do Salnés Viña Vedra Albariñotext
88PTS

Val do Salnés Viña Vedra Albariño 2019

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainThis co-op consistently turns out a fresh, clear, naked view of albariño, in all its peachy glory. Melon, pear, lemon join the orchard-fruit allure of this bright wine, with juicy acidity and a lightly oily palate. Snappy on the finish, partner this dry, happy white with fresh seafood, as they do in Rias Baixas.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Luzada
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Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscattext
89PTS

Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscat 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis packaging mirrors the colour of the tangerine hued skin-contact muscat, aptly named Orange. From Similkameen's Cawston Bench, this came from Hendsbee Vineyard and the Orofino Home Vineyard, and 12 - 30 year old vineyards. The parcels were co-fermented on skins for 30 days before a gentle press and run into older barrels for six months ageing on its lees. It is bottled without fining or filtration, and with minimal sulphites. Tight and grippy, finely stencilled with apricot peel, tangerine, anise, up against the grape's inherent plump and floral sweetness. Dry, full-bodied, and oily, with the aforementioned skin tannins adding a slight grip. It makes for an excellent food wine, including the likes of caramel chicken, or glazed pork belly.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Culmina Family Estate Unicus Gruner Veltlinertext
91PTS

Culmina Family Estate Unicus Gruner Veltliner 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine gets more and more dialled in year over year. From their higher altitude estate Margaret's Bench vineyard, this GV, one of the only in the province, was fermented in a mix of concrete egg, concrete amphora, stainless, and neutral French oak. Layers of pear, quince, lemon are interwoven with herbal, downy lees, and shaped with citrus binding. Mineral salts and white pepper add the seasoning, while the concrete added ample texture to the palate. Fantastic balance, and interest.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot blanc continues to be a journey in BC, but as the years run by, this variety is beginning to show more and more promise. A lot of its future depends on simply letting it express itself, or place, along with each growing season. Middle Bench Vineyard in Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, is a stony, south sloping vineyard that is precisely the kind of place that gives this variety life. Expect a dry, crunchy mix of pear, peach and nectarine with a pleasant underlying bitterness to keep the fruit restrained and sophisticated. It is the perfect wine to accompany many vegan dishes and equally at home with grilled fish. I like it with a well-chosen charcuterie plate on the patio in the late afternoon.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Pieropan Soave Classicotext
91PTS

Pieropan Soave Classico 2018

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalyIf you've ever shied away from Soave, or the garganega grape because it's boring or weak, you owe it to yourself to try the master: Pieropan. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s, and their estate covers nearly 60 hectares of organic vineyards, dotting the stony hills of the Soave Classico. This is splashed with 15% trebbiano di soave, giving the waxy, yellow fruits a light white floral lift. Meyer lemon brings some sunny acidity, and there's a moreish pine nut note that lingers on the finish. The balance throughout is impeccable.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Pieropan, Az Agr.
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Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Biancotext
91PTS

Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco 2018

ItalyAs strikingly singular and memorable as the natural wine producer herself, manzoni bianco is a cross of riesling and pinot bianco. embodying both the citrus purity of riesling, and the perfumed orchard blossoms of the bianco. This is organically and biodynamically grown in the limestone / calcareous clay hills above Trento, and was native fermented on the skins in cement tanks, followed by 12 months of aging in acacia casks, concrete, and clay. Tight white fruit is scented with elderflower, meadow herbs, white grapefruit, lemon pith, along a shimmering, tight, energetic palate.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Foradori
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Champalou Vouvraytext
89PTS

Champalou Vouvray 2017

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceCatherine and Didier Champalou both came from vigneron families and began this domaine in 1983. They farm 21 hectares of vineyards, embracing some biodynamic practices. This, their flagship, is a dry chenin from 35-year-old vines on clay and limestone, fermented in stainless, and with 11 months on lees. Chenin's characteristic waxiness beds the palate, with ample honeysuckle, pear blossom, quince, over a stony base. Acidity is lemon-driven and while subtle, quite omnipresent throughout. Classic, mouth-filling Vouvray, primed for drinking now.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Champalou
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Bertani Soavetext
90PTS

Bertani Soave 2016

Soave, Verona, Veneto, ItalySoave always reminds me of the wine of my youth. Long before DOC and terroir hunters, there were simple names: Soave, Barolo, Valpolicella, Chianti, and more. Much has changed since then, and this once simple quaffing white has become a modern showpiece at the top level. You can quaff this wine, but a well shaped glass and a plate of pesto pasta give it a sense of place and meaning. Its subtle almond, grassy, gooseberries brighten the palate before finishing with a whiff of peach and dusting of pepper. This is a wine made for isolation. Drink all summer. The grapes are picked twice, and 40 percent is crushed and fermented with no skin contact in September. The rest are harvested in late October, and fermented on the skins, as they did in the 1930s. Both styles are aged on lees in concrete vats for 12 months.Prices: BC 36.49 Producer: Bertani
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Chateau de la Gravelletext
88PTS

Chateau de la Gravelle 2017

Muscadet, Pays Nantais, Loire, FranceMuscadet is generally exceptional value, and this bottle follows down that path. Expect a rush of green apple, stone, peach, lemon, with texture and aromas bolstered by time on lees (sur lie as the French say). Creamy and fresh, it comes with a rare expression of ripeness and weight. Light, refreshing, and food friendly.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Chateau de la Gravelle
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Yalumba Eden Valley Roussannetext
90PTS

Yalumba Eden Valley Roussanne 2017

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaRoussanne hails from the northern Rhone but was planted in the late 2000s by Yalumba, and is now part o the Eden Valley range. It’s native fermented in used oak barrels, and aged on yeast, a method that allows it to be a true expression of its terroir. It is exotic, but it is not as aromatic as its cousin viognier. The nose is a mélange of wildflowers, tea, and lavender honey. The palate is lighter and brighter than you might expect, but still with that round slippery texture, highlighted with fleshy fruit. It is a terrific food wine and can play to a wide range of foods, including roasted cauliflower, vegetable soups, roast pork, and mushroom risotto.Prices: BC 44.95 AB 35.99 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Township 7 Muscat Sunshine Acres Vineyardtext
89PTS

Township 7 Muscat Sunshine Acres Vineyard 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLove the classic treatment here, revealing the perfume and the aromatics that scream muscat but with a reserved almost Euro-style. Gooseberries and tangerines have a bitter underside and some soapy notes followed by a strong citrus finish. An impressive wine from Osoyoos. Serve with white asparagus.Prices: BC 26.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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20 May 2020

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +07/10text
91PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +07/10 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2017 Portfolio is out, and the road to elegance continues. The blend involves all five classic Bordeaux varietals: 48% merlot, 32% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc, 4% malbec, and 2% petit verdot. Post ferment, Portfolio spends 20 months in French oak barrels with 48% new French oak and 52% second fill barrels using fruit from three sites on the Naramata Bench and the estate-owned Perfect Hedge Vineyard in Osoyoos. Sweet tobacco and cigar box tones make a solid first impression before the savoury black cherry, black pepper, subtle vanilla, and dense ripe tannins kick in. This wine presents as very drinkable early on in life, but you can cellar this with ease for a decade.Prices: BC 49.99 ON 53.00 AB 53.00 BC 109.99 1500 BC 219.00 3000 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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K - Little Vintners My Redtext
88PTS

K - Little Vintners My Red 2017

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of my favourite BC red wine blends is one with a high proportion of merlot mixed with 10-20 percent cabernet franc, exactly what you get in the K-Little Vintners Red, aged two years in second and third-year French oak. The label is an ode to the family name behind Bottega Wine Studio. Kristine Little is the winemaker’s wife, said to be honest, transparent, and easy going. The wine is just that. I love the aromatic nose, with savoury, floral, spicy notes that spill across the palate with black currants and pepper leaving a soft, easy-drinking red. It's youthful, and there is a slight tug of tannin, but this wine is a winner in the glass and will only improve in the bottle moving forward. This is a bargain.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Bottega Wine Studios
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Bizou + Yukon Savvy Franctext
87PTS

Bizou + Yukon Savvy Franc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBizou + Yukon Savvy Franc is an amusing offering from the folks at Okanagan Crush Pad, where they take most things wine, very seriously. The Great Pyrenees who tend to the sheep all night and day are a sight to behold in the vineyard, and have been honoured with a series of dog labels that will no doubt have appeal to the large sector of the dog-loving wine-drinking public. The blend is a mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc, wild fermented and aged in concrete. The result is a sweet, fragrant, dark fruit nose that spills across the palate with light, grippy tannins and black fruit flavours. Hamburgers, anyone?Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Château le Puy Émilientext
92PTS

Château le Puy Émilien 2016

Bordeaux, FranceChâteau le Puy lies on the same rock plateau as Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, known in ancient times as The Plateau of Wonders due to the excellence of its wines. The Amoreau family has been living and working on the Château le Puy estate since 1610. Firmly biodynamic, this oft-overlooked estate is a hidden gem of the Right Bank. Old school in the best possible modern way, you can think of this friendly, slight, fresh red as modern claret. This cuvée is a native fermented field blend of 85% Merlot, along with cabernet franc, 6% cabernet sauvignon, 1% malbec and 1% carménère. It is matured in oak barrels and casks for 24 months before bottling. Fresh and modern and a welcome 13% alcohol, this medium-bodied Bx rings with crushed cassis, black plum, anise, graphite, sweet tobacco, along a lightly leathery, lengthy base. Tannins are grippy, structurally finely firm, to a lengthy, humming finish. Such natural ease and confidence to this charming Bordeaux, drinking lovely now, but with time to go.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Château le Puy
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Vérité La Musetext
98PTS

Vérité La Muse 2016

Sonoma County, California, United StatesIs La Muse the best California merlot, even though it doesn’t have merlot on its label? I think so. Winemaker Pierre Seillan is a disciple of the cru concept, and Vérité La Muse is his ode to Pomerol’s merlot/cabernet franc mix. In this case, the combination is 93 percent merlot joined by two key elements: five percent cabernet franc, and two percent malbec. It opens with a breathtaking savoury smoky element that sets the tone right off the top, and an underlying stony mineral character that works as a base from the front of the wine to the back. The palate is awash with a complex mix of black plums, dark chocolate, wild herbs, and dusty, silky, dense, soft tannins that add the kindest of structure to allow the fruit to express itself. What a delight. You can drink this now, but it will repay cellaring through 2025 many, many times over. Uncannily Masseto-like.Prices: BC 520.00 AB 539.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
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Fort Berens Meritagetext
87PTS

Fort Berens Meritage 2012

British Columbia, CanadaFirst tasted back in 2014, it remains very fresh six years down the road with plenty of smoky, earthy, spicy red fruit and excellent acidity. The tannins have mostly dissipated, but there is some sticky dryness in the back end, and savoury herbal notes that suggest the fruit is fading as it ages. I recommend you consider drinking up this wine within the next year. Roast beef would be a perfect match at this point.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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18 May 2020

Clos des Fous Subsollumtext
90PTS

Clos des Fous Subsollum 2015

ChileClos des Fous is Pedro Parra's collaboration with Francois Massoc, Paco Leyton, and Albert Cussen, with a focus on rediscovering and celebrating great unknown terroirs throughout Chile. Well worn leather, medicinal cherry, wild plums, scrubby herbs fill this medium-bodied wine, smoothed with time in bottle, but bound with sticky tannins reflective of the intense UV in Chile. Thankfully, the acidity is potent and lofty, courtesy of the chilly Pacific breezes and mix of volcanic and calcareous soils. The lingering finish breaths kirsch. It is nearly indistinguishable as pinot noir, but somehow entirely recognizable as Chile = a great result.Prices: BC 33.89 AB 27.00 ON 18.95 Producer: Clos des Fous
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Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir Pauléetext
89PTS

Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir Paulée 2017

Côtes de Nuits, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceFounded in 1825, the Faiveley family established themselves among the most prestigious vineyard owners in Burgundy, with 120 hectares of selected plots, seldom bigger than a single hectare. It is an upscale introductory that celebrates all the annual La Paulée fetes held across Burgundy to mark the end of the grape harvest. Expect an entirely correct red fruited pinot that comes with a touch of weight and power you might not be expecting. Excellent acidity and a spicy back end make it a perfect mid-week dinner red for salmon, or pork. A top-level Bourgogne for sure.Prices: BC 39.99 AB 34.99 Producer: Domaine Faiveley
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Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune Rougetext
91PTS

Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune Rouge 2016

Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceThe fruit is all estate from a 3-hectare site, as well as a high energy injection from the younger vines of Clos des Mouches and other Premier Crus of Beaune that have been declassified. The vineyard density of the massale selected clones is from 10,000 to 12,500 vines. Winemaking is minimal, as is the new oak, capped at 10 percent. The style is all Côte de Beaune: silky soft, with delicate, ethereal red fruit that persists long into a smoky, earthy, gamey finish. Another impressive vintage for this appellation that speaks well for modern Burgundy. It’s impossible to make this wine outside of Beaune, but it’s a fabulous blueprint for New World pinot to emulate.Prices: BC 67.99 AB 56.99 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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15 May 2020

Sea Sun Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Sea Sun Chardonnay 2017

California, United StatesCalifornia’s sunshine is certainly perceptible in the glass, with melon and stone fruits alongside buttered corn and obvious oak that harkens back to a previous era of California chardonnay. It’s bold and intense, with a rich, creamy texture that’s bolstered by a sense of sweetness. Let’s be honest: sometimes you just want an old school-style chardonnay, and this certainly fits the bill. I’d be tempted to go simple and enjoy alongside a bowl of liberally buttered popcorn, but richer shellfish dishes are definitely not off the table.Prices: BC 27.99 ON 25.30 Producer: Wagner Family of Wines
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Clos des Rocs Mâcon-Loché en Charpauxtext
91PTS

Clos des Rocs Mâcon-Loché en Charpaux 2018

Mâconnais, Burgundy, FranceFuissé's Saint-Philibert estate belonged to a family of winegrowers for 7 generations before Olivier Giroux bought it in 2002. He gave it the name Clos de Rocs, and converted the entire estate (10 ha of vineyards) to organics. Classic Mâcon as soon as you sniff this golden yellow wine, with the hallmarks of Bourgogne (French cream, light gentle lemon, fine, driving acidity), with the clues of Mâcon (a bit fuzzier around the edges, with a gently plump core). Yellow fruits lead, almond patisserie and lemon verbena kisses the core, while a solid stony mineral aspect that lingers. Drinking well now, but can certainly cellar short term.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Clos des Rocs
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Jean Collet & Fils Chablistext
89PTS

Jean Collet & Fils Chablis 2017

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe vineyards for this wine come from mostly from Villy, Vallée du Valvent, Préhy, and the Valley de Chigot, all on kimmeridgian limestone marl bedrock and clay topsoil. Grapes were planted between 1978-83, underwent a native ferment with full MLF, and aged on lees in steel for 11 months with no batonnage. Lemon crisp and bright, with a pretty note of orange blossom, light melon, verbena gracing a slender palate over a fine bed of lees, finishing with a slight mineral buzz. Charming, honest, drink-me-now Chablis.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Jean Collet et Fils
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Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablistext
92PTS

Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis 2017

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThis is one of my favourite Chablisienne producers. Since 1620 this winery has been passed from father to son without pause. Benoît is the 14th generation, working with his father Jean-Paul on their 26 HA in Chablis, all managed latte raisonée. This was fermented wild, aged on fine lees without battonage, and spent 8-10 months in tank on the lees, without battonage. This deftly strides being fresh, but with confidence and elegance, with energy beaming through stony minerality, fine lees, lemon peel, lemon blossom, white asparagus, and wild herbs. Such life and flow in this humble Chablis.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin
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Sea Sun Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Sea Sun Chardonnay 2017

California, United StatesSea Sun is a mix of California chardonnay grown in Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Solano Counties. The regions span several hundred miles and feature subtle differences in soil and temperatures used to build the style of this wine. Caymus usually means big and rich, but they have curbed their penchant for richness and oak with this wine, and look to have held the overt ripeness brought about by the California sun in check. The nose is a mix of honey, mango, pineapple, vanilla, and sweet lemon, and they spill across a creamy palate. There is light but important vibrancy in the back end that keeps it fresh enough to entice. Try this with creamy pasta dishes or halibut fish cakes.Prices: BC 27.99 ON 25.30 Producer: Wagner Family of Wines
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Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachettext
90PTS

Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 2016

Chassagne Montrachet, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FrancePierre Ramonet arrived in Burgundy in the late 1920s with nothing but a knapsack, and started to earn money by buying and vinifying grapes. The land value was very low, so hardworking Pierre was able to accumulate vineyard plots surrounding the village of Chassagne-Montrachet, with his first purchase within the great Ruchottes vineyard in 1934. Pierre eventually handed over the reins to his son André, who died in 2011, and subsequently to his grandchildren, Noël and Jean-Claude, who had tended the family vineyards since 1984. The Domaine produces 24 appellation wines from 40 acres located primarily near Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet in the southern Côte de Beaune. From 1972-planted vines, this wine started ferment in stainless before transferring to barrel, where it remained 12-15 months. This youthful Chassagne-Montrachet presents as it should, precisely, with the wood framework at the fore, housing creamy lemon, pear and white florals on a generous, open core. Ready for drinking now, but will hold short term in your cellar.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Jean-Claude Ramonet
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Freemark Abbey Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2018

Napa Valley, California, United StatesWinemakers Kristy Melton and Ted Edwards are behind this expressive 2018 chardonnay, a modern, slightly slimmer version of the blockbuster Napa chardonnay style. Ripe apples, honey, butterscotch, and citrus come together to entertain. Creamy, soft, and luxurious, this is a crowd-pleasing style that is easy to drink. Try this with turkey or lobster. The complexity comes from a blend of sites and clones, including 55 percent Carneros (clone 76 and clone 96); 35 percent Coombsville AVA on the northeast border of the town of Napa, all clone 4; and 10 percent Howell Mountain, clone 96 and clone 15. It's 92 percent barrel fermented in 47 percent new French oak. A portion undergoes partial malolactic fermentation in the barrel as well, and it’s aged sur lie for ten months with monthly stirrings.Prices: BC 45.99 AB 36.99 MB 36.99 ON 39.95 Producer: Freemark Abbey
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Hartford Court Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Hartford Court Chardonnay 2018

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesIt's taken a while, but Hartford is coming around to the notion that chardonnay can be both rich and electric. I thought 2017 was delicious, and 2018 is most similar. The Hartford Court label is the best the winery has to offer. In this case, the chardonnay, all Russian River, comes off select estate vineyards: Jennifer's, Fog Dance, Bellflower, and Arrendell, as well as a handful of neighbouring sites. The flavours are a compilation of AVAs as described by winery: Middle Reach – ripe fruits, honeysuckle and jasmine characters; Green Valley – citrus, lemon drop candy and green apple aromas and flavours; Laguna Ridge – baked apple and pear, layered texture, crystallized ginger finish; and Sebastopol Hills – bright citrus oil aromatics with focused acidity and lemon-lime flavours. It's Grand Cru-like chardonnay, again less fat, more purity, tighter structure, better oak but less new oak (25 percent). See for yourself. Bet you can't stop finishing the bottle.Prices: BC 54.99 AB 53.99 ON 53.95 Producer: Hartford Family Wines
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Cambria Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyardtext
90PTS

Cambria Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyard 2018

Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesI love the direction this chardonnay is heading, mainly dropping weight and fat and softness for the purity of tropical Santa Barabara fruit. The site is located on the coastal Santa Maria Bench in Santa Barbara County. Typically typical fog-blanketed and cool, its fossilized seashells, shale, limestone, and sand soils are planted to the Wente selection, and clones 4, 76, 96. I love the brightness, and shocking citrus, apple, pink grapefruit, and tangerine, with plenty of fresh west coast acidity. Much improved oak finishes leave it a New World delight. Freshly cracked crab anyone?Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Cambria Estate Vineyard & Winery
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Vasse Felix Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2016

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaDistinctive and terroir-based, this chardonnay remains a beacon for regional Western Australian chardonnay. The nose is an attractive mix of butter, garlic, lees, and hazelnuts mixed with apples. The attack is a creamy mix of lime, green apple, white peach and lemons, with a brush of toast and minerality. Try this with prawns, lobster, or crab.Prices: BC 59.99 AB 56.99 Producer: Vasse Felix Pty Ltd.
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14 May 2020

Quails' Gate Dijon Clone Selection Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Dijon Clone Selection Pinot Noir 2011

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their choicest, oldest estate Dijon clones, this is 15 year old clones 115 and 667. After a light crushing, this was native fermented in stainless, before being racked off into French oak (60% new) for 18 months. Showing beautifully now, 9 years on, and a testament to the oft-written off 2011 vintage, a cooler one that has remained firmly locked in the hearts of of acid freaks, like me. The stelvin has preserved the grape's freshness, even at 14 degrees. A lighter crimson hue, this carries layers of cherries fresh and dried, red currant, ripe wild strawberry, wild mushrooms, moss, and puffs of smoke. Tannins are fine, slightly sticky, and long, housing this slender wine to a lingering finish. Subtle, finessed, and showing typicity of variety and place, this is drinking beautifully now.Prices: Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Pinot Noir Simes Vineyardtext
88PTS

Mission Hill Terroir Collection Pinot Noir Simes Vineyard 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDamp forest, cedar, smoke and ample green notes dominate this East Kelowna single vineyard pinot noir (clone 667) from the beginning through the finish. An altitude of 420-450m keeps things fresh, while the fine silt and clay soils give this heft. This spent 10 months in French oak, which is felt in the cedar stave spicing throughout. A bit too green for most, and a bit too wooded for some, give this youthful wine some airtime and keep an eye on future vintages; the acidity is spot on.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Pinot Noir Dehart Vineyardtext
88PTS

Mission Hill Terroir Collection Pinot Noir Dehart Vineyard 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot noir comes from East Kelowna's Dehart Vineyard, and its silt over gravels, around 430-470m. All clone 777, this was aged 10 months in French oak prior to release. Earthy, forest berries, moss, and mushrooms rule this fuller red, with sticky, cedar-hewn tannins, and a warming flush on the ripe, juicy, warming finish.Prices: BC 45.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend from estate vineyards in Naramata (35%), Lakeshore (32%),East Kelowna (29%), and West Kelowna (4%), this Reserve tier pinot spent 10 months in French oak prior to release. Ample green branchy notes from front through finish lead sour cherry, bitter raspberry, smoked cassis along a pinched, tighter palate. Tannins are tightly sticky and the finish is snappy and warming. Very much in youth, and with a lighter attempt, which is appreciated, but this remains very much a Bordeaux-drinkers' pinot noir, and best with grilled meats to match.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 26.00 ON 25.00 QC 26.00 MB 28.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 4 Single Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 4 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhat a difference a slope makes. Block 4 Pinot Noir comes from the home estate, same as their Block 2 Pinot Noir, but this is up-slope on sandy/clay loams, allowing the 22 year old vines of clones 115 and 667 altitude, and drainage. After a native ferment and 4 weeks in concrete, this spent one year in French oak barrels before bottling without fining or filtration. This is certainly the more elegant of the duo, lighter in hue and body (though only 0.01 degree alcohol separates the two). Silken tannins draw forest berries, lightly smoked plum, cinnamon bark, and fine tobacco along a smooth palate. Tannins are grippy and lightly furry, with a walnut shell bitterness which is alluring. Drinking well now, and will continue as thus in your cellar.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the lower blocks of their clay-soiled vineyard in Kelowna, and clone 225 from 27 year old vines, this was native fermented over 4 weeks in concrete before moving to French oak for one year, prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Wild plum, cherry is striated with dusty stones and gravels, and subtle cinnamon spicing, based by a layer of clay. Tannins are taut and lightly grippy, hugging this to a spiced finish. Drinking well now with pork or wild mushrooms, and will easily last a couple of years in the cellar.Prices: BC 54.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

CedarCreek Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the estate Home Block Vineyard, this pinot noir (sporting its new label) was native fermented in small stainless and concrete before spending 14 months in French barriques. Darkly fruited with black plum, wild cassis, and herbal, stewed cherry notes, this full-bodied pinot noir teems with dark earth, smoked cedar and cracked pepper to a sour cherry finish. Tannins are a bit ragged and ready for taking on your heartier stews or sausages.Prices: BC 24.49 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Tantalus Pinot Noir Reservetext
90PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir Reserve 2017

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis elegant pinot noir pays a fitting tribute to the legacy of its label artist, Dempsey Bob. A small-lot reserve releases, this pours much lighter and finer in the glass than the other Tantalus pinots. Built on their estate block of Dijon clone 667, this also includes older plantings of clones 115 and 37, the latter the first time these joyous younger vines have been included in the cuvée. Partial whole bunch, and all native fermented, this spent 16 months in French oak (30% new) before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Forest berries, moss, and smoked sage are woven through raspberry, dark cherry, violet, wild mushroom, to a lingering, warming, subtle black pepper finish. Tannins are fine and tuggy, hugging this to the lightly astringent finish. Drinking very well now, benefitting from a decant, but will reward with some time in cellar.Prices: BC 60.78 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis estate pinot noir is a mix of plots, and clones, all native fermented in small lots, and with 20-40% whole bunches. After 18-35 days on skins, the wine moved into oak barriques (25% new) for 11 months, before blending and and returning to barrel until the following spring when it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dark damson plum, black cherry, black raspberry, thorns floods the fleshy palate, ringed with smoke, seasoned with graphite, and framed by wood-hewn tannins. Very much in youth, this is one of the gutsier pinot noirs you've tried, now. Give it some time in bottle to mellow before pouring with grilled duck or pork or roasted wild mushroom.Prices: BC 30.44 AB 30.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Maija Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Tantalus Maija Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMaija is the next gen Juveniles Pinot Noir, named for owner Eric Savics' daughter. This fruit comes from young estate Dijon clone plantings, complemented by a neighbouring vineyard in South East Kelowna. After a native ferment, this went into French barriques (20% new) for 11 months, and was blended just prior to bottling. Pouring a crimson brown hue, this adolescent cuvée blasts its enthusiasm through smoked plum, potent cherry, and ripe raspberry. Tannins are lined with moss and cedar, and the finish lingers with smoke and damp forest.Prices: BC 21.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Privato Woodward Collection Tesoro Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Privato Woodward Collection Tesoro Pinot Noir 2016

British Columbia, CanadaTesoro, or treasure in Italian, is the winery message speaking to the elegance and finesse of their flagship pinot noir. It is aged 18 months in French oak and then gets another year in the bottle. The nose is earthy with hints of garlic and barnyard that are more positive than negative. The palate is a complex mix of dark berries, smoke, orange peel, subtle celery salt, and toasted vanilla. Rich and weighty, it has the mouth presence and silky notes pinot noir drinkers crave. It needs a grilled piece of pork, salmon, or roasted turkey to shine. Drink or hold through 2022.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Woodward Vineyard
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Liquidity Estate Pinot Noir Reservetext
89PTS

Liquidity Estate Pinot Noir Reserve 2017

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLiquidy Reserve Pinot is a nice jump up in stying and quality. The complexity begins with a mix of clones: 667, 828, and 115, the latter a precious plot of own-rooted vines planted in 1994. There is a satisfying level of ripeness without being too much. The nose is plummy with red fruit compote, toasted oak, and a light dusting of pepper. On the palate, forest floor, and earthy bitter cherry notes (reminding me of Oregon) fill out the mouth from side to side, finishing long and warm. Tannins are moderate but dense, giving this pinot substantial mouth presence. Duck would be the call here. Drink or hold two to three years.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Lightning Rock Reserve Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Lightning Rock Reserve Pinot Noir 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is one of three pinot noirs Summerland's Lightning Rock Winery released in 2018, and the sole black label 'reserve' wine. This comes from Canyonview Vineyard's sandy and granite studded soils, planted in 2003. This was native fermented and aged in neutral barrels. Dark cherry, plush raspberry, moss slide along a silken palate, seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon spicing. Ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Lightning Rock Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Lightning Rock Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is one of three pinot noirs Summerland's Lightning Rock Winery released in 2018. This is from Canyonview Vineyard's sandy and granite studded soils, planted in 2003. Partial whole cluster, this was native fermented in tank before being pressed to neutral oak of varying sizes for aging. A deeper cherry hue, this is flush with raspberry, sour cherry, subtle red florals, baked rhubarb, light earth on a softer palate, albeit one spiked with a salty bite and lipstick kiss on the finish. A youthful project, and one to keep a close eye on.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Lightning Rock Pinot Noir Elysia Vineyardtext
90PTS

Lightning Rock Pinot Noir Elysia Vineyard 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is one of three pinot noirs released by Summerland's Lightning Rock Winery in 2018. This comes from their estate Elysia Vineyard and its limestone laced, granite bedded slopes, and from vines planted in 2006. Partial whole cluster, this was native fermented before being pressed off into neutral oak vessels of various sizes. Pouring a pale crimson hue, this swirls with wild raspberry, morello cherry, baked plum, and mineral salts. Tannins are appropriately grippy around the slender sides, drawing this to a narrow, sour cherry close.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Lightning Rock
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Fort Berens Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPartial Lillooet estate fruit is blended with pinot noir with the Similkameen and West Kelowna here, fermented partially via carbonic maceration, and then aged in French barrels for 9 months. Pouring a light crimson hue, this mixes tart rhubarb, smoke, moss, and dark cherries, along a juicy, silken palate, finishing with a swirl of cinnamon bark. Simple, ready, varietally-pinot, ready to crack now,Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Sperling family estate, this organic / biodynamic pinot noir was planted in 2008 on calcium/clay benches, and to three different Dijon clones (114, 777, 828). 40% whole cluster, this was native fermented in tank before heading to French barrels (up to 500L), with a small portion new. Supple and soft with forest berries, fine earth, autumnal mushrooms, and cracked nutmeg. Tannins are slight, and acidity is bright, gently lifting this to an easy, mellow finish. Drink now, as this is already feeling a bit sluggish.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Foxtrot Pinot Noir The Waltz Vineyardtext
93PTS

Foxtrot Pinot Noir The Waltz Vineyard 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHats off to winemaker Gustav Allander. The Waltz 2017 Pinot Noir, based mostly on grapes from Foxtrot's own Evelina's Block, and from the Raisin D'Etre Vineyard, which lies almost directly below Evelina, finally matches the hype that surrounds this winery. Planted in 2012, Evelina's Block is grown on own-rooted cuttings from Foxtrot's original Estate vineyard. The vineyard is a mix of sandy loam with veins of sand and gravel that run down the slope marking streams of yesteryear. Raisin D'Etre is planted to clone 828 over chalky clay that no doubt contributes to the glossy textures that characterize the finish of this delicious pinot. Even better, it has escaped the smoke of the wildfires that blanketed the region up to veraison. The smoke had a silver lining, namely adding an extra three weeks of hangtime in the vineyard, moving the final ripening to a cooler time of year: Foxtrot, macerates for some three days before a cultured yeast ferment. Post ferment, the juice is transferred into a combination of new (30 percent) and used French oak barrels respecting each vineyard for 20 months. In the end, a small amount of pinot noir from another Okanagan vineyard was used to polish the blend. It is delicious. Round ripe pure and focused, it has a linear centre enveloped in a mouth-filling explosion of black cherries and crushed raspberries with a hint of wet mud and spice. It is so well balanced it will live well beyond its best date, which might be in the 2027-2030 range.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Niche Wine Co. Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Niche Wine Co. Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNiche is small batch, and frankly, niche. Handmade is the word with the owners growing the fruit and making the wine. The pinot noir all comes off the Hugh & Mary Vineyard in West Kelowna where days are warm, but the nights are cool. The vineyard, a mix of clones 667 and 115, is settling in with some 10-21 years of age. The winemaking is blessedly basic: the fruit goes through a light crush, cold soaks for several days in half ton bins before it is fermented to dry, and basked pressed off into French oak. I am impressed with this year’s model, now all in new and used French oak. The colour is medium, the nose an aromatic herbal red cherry affair with spice and earth. The attack is fresh, with a rush of acidity that works through the wine, surrounded with light, soft tannins. All in all, a much better effort than previous editions. The fattiness of salmon is a perfect foil to this wine.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Niche Wine Co.
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12 May 2020

Clos du Soleil Rosétext
88PTS

Clos du Soleil Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis medium peach-hued rosé is entirely malbec, from Keremeos' La Côte Vineyard. After destemming and chilling under dry ice, this fermented slow and cool in stainless, where it remained on lees until a light filtration and bottling. Look for a punchy raspberry, cherry, rhubarb, tangerine to flood a big, juicy palate, housed with grippy spices, to a snappy, salted finish.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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De Martino Gallardía Cinsault Rosétext
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De Martino Gallardía Cinsault Rosé 2018

Itata Valley, ChileNow well into its fourth generation with brothers Marco Antonio and Sebastián De Martino, De Martino was founded in 1934. Gallardía is a tribute to Itata's coastal vineyards, and also the home of Chilean viticulture, with vines dating back to 1551. This comes from dry farmed 35 year old own rooted cinsault bush vines in Guarilihue's gentle granite slopes, 22km from the coast. This was native fermented, and done by maceration, entirely in stainless, hence the very, very pale hue. Fine strawberry, subtle spice, wild red currant is tightened with pink grapefruit acidity and lined with a cloud of lees. Refreshing when well chilled, and gastronomic when opened in the glass.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: De Martino
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosétext
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosé 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rosé embodies style, from embossed label, to Vino-loc glass T-top, to the pale orange/peach hue, through to the Culmina name and brand. 2019 Saignée blends malbec, merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon from the Golden Mile Bench estate's Arise Vineyard. After a few hours' skin contact, this fermented and aged in stainless. Cool, slick strawberries, raspberries, white peach and Rainier cherries glide along the super peppery palate to a lengthy finish. There's ample glycerin and a wave of alcohol (14%) to make this extra stylish, for those looking for style like this.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosé Blendtext
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Culmina Family Estate R&D Rosé Blend 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaR&D stands equally for research & development (the more experimental, small-lot line of wines from Oliver's Culmina), as well as founder Don and his twin Ron, Triggs brothers whose adorable childhood photo graces the photo of this orange / peach hued wine. Silken raspberry, rhubarb, and orange glide along the dry palate, with a shake of peppery spices on the punchy finish.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
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Quails' Gate Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of gamay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, each variety has four hours of skin contact before being pressed and fermented in stainless steel. The pale salmon hue is on trend, and so is the style. It's lean and restrained, clocking in at only 12% abv with grapefruit, crunchy red fruits, and a floral lift. Light and refreshing, it doesn't have to rely on residual sugar (it's technically dry at 2.3 g/L) to be approachable. At this price, I could easily see this becoming a summer go-to. Don't think too much; just lightly chill and enjoy.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
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Clos du Soleil Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis 100 percent malbec rosé is sourced from La Côte Vineyard in Keremeos, with six hours of skin contact under dry ice before being gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel. The result is absolutely delicious, with the 2019 vintage taking this wine to another level. The fruit is vibrant and lean - to the wine’s benefit - with tart strawberry, rhubarb, and a flinty note from ageing on fine lees before bottling. And, of course, there’s the Similkameen’s unique saline quality. In fact, this could be one of the more overtly mineral rosés I’ve had in recent memory. It’s a serious style, not just from its bone dry finish or precise fruit definition, but also the noticeable concentration. It’s the complete package: food-friendly, contemplative, and moreish. Highly recommended and remarkable value.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyardtext
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyard 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a pale peach orange hue, this cabernet franc comes from a small block of cabernet franc on the sloping Pozza Vineyard, a cooler, higher altitude site in Similkameen's Olalla Gap, surrounded by desert scrub. Summer strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb glides across the doughy palate, with a pin-prickle of skin grip holding everything in place. Quite full bodied for 11 degrees, this will be an excellent food wine this summer (salmon)!Prices: BC 19.04 BC 38.90 1500 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyardtext
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyard 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn many ways, Orofino seems to dance to its own tune, but dance they do, and their latest pale, pale orange rosé is a show tune. It's all cabernet franc from a single, cool temperature block that sits on the sloping Pozza Vineyard, in the Similkameen's Olalla Gap. The vineyard is affected daily by the BC desert scrubland effect in the same way garrigue makes its savoury mark on the wines of the south of France. The palate is dry with red berry nuances, rhubarb, and a healthy dose of grippy skin contact lurking in the silky finish. Fresh and low in alcohol, but should be served with food to best effect. Grilled salmon or fish tacos would be a good match.Prices: BC 19.04 BC 38.90 1500 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Covert Farms Rosétext
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Covert Farms Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Rosé is a certified organic blend of merlot, cabernet franc, syrah, from the estate Coyote Block Vineyard, planted in 2007. After a 12-hour cold soak on skins, the varieties were cofermented and aged on lees for four months in stainless tanks. Deeper peach in hue, this off-dry rosé is plumped on the palate with strawberry, raspberry yogurt, and perfumed peach to a snappy, warming finish. Chill well and crack this summer.Prices: BC 25.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Kitsch Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Kitsch Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot noir brings a certain structure to this bright, neon orange/pink rosé that opens up along red fruit lines, leaning toward cherries and freshly picked raspberries, lightly dusted with white pepper. The finish has that structural element that makes this dry rosé decidedly better with food.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Kitsch Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Kitsch Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA glowing orange peach hue, this year's Kitsch Rosé is flooded with cherry blossoms, summer raspberries, and light spice to a snappy finish. This pinot noir pink comes from their gravel, sand, and silts of their East Kelowna estate vineyard, planted in 2014 to clones 777 and 115. After 4-16 hours of skin contact, this was whole-cluster pressed and fermented in stainless, where it rested briefly before release—an easy to like friendly, fun pink.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Tantalus Rosétext
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Tantalus Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a glowing orange/peach hue, this comes from 60% pinot noir/ and 40% pinot meunier, the latter from estate plantings dating back to 1985. Partial whole bunch pressed (the pinot noir) and partially macerated on skins (the meunier), the whole was combined and co-fermented before a short stint on lees and a February 2020 bottling. Wild raspberry, rhubarb, morello cherry floods the juicy palate, cut with tart red currant, and finishing off with a stony raspy spice. Bright, dry, fruity, and forward, with a striking swell of acidity throughout, this is a lovely structural rosé for ample pairings this summer.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
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Quails' Gate Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRosé is much about style these days, so it's best you know which style you like before you go shopping. In this case, the Quails' Gate light in alcohol (12 percent) and pale in colour rosé suggests a fresher, red-fruited, lean style, and you get that all in spades. In 2019 the blend was adjusted. The gamay and pinot noir is now teamed up with pinot meunier, replacing the pinot gris content. The meunier seems to juice the entire blend up a bit, adding some electricity and lowering the palate weight. Ready to drink and about as dry as you want it. Sip all summer long. Well done.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
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Quails' Gate Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis juicy, easy, dry-ish rosé is a blend of gamay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, the latter a new addition for this popular pink, replacing pinot gris of the past. PM's inclusion makes for a more serious rosé, though one with all sorts of strawberry, plum, mandarin charm. There's a nice dusting of stony spice on the finish. Well done.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Vineyard Rosétext
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Vineyard Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Osoyoos' loamy-sanded Border Vista Vineyard, and altitudes 330-360m, this is a striking, salty and pointed blend of merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah. It was fermented in 75% steel, with the remainder in neutral French oak. The streamlined palate is lined with summer strawberries, wild plum, pink grapefruit, and tangerine, bedded with light lees, and streaming with mineral salts that lure on the finish—polished, elegant, and sophisticated; quite impressive.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosétext
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Osoyoos, this year's Reserve Rosé is a blend of Merlot (50%), Syrah (45%), and Pinot Noir (5%), predominantly in stainless, but with 3% seeing time in neutral French oak. Pouring a glossy medium/pale pink, this juicy pink refreshes with silky strawberry, crunchy red apple, lime, and scented watermelon, finishing with a dusting of cinnamon spice. Friendly, welcoming, and ready to crack this summer.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Averill Creek Joue Rosétext
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Averill Creek Joue Rosé 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a deeper raspberry hue, this playful and lively rosé surprises with its forward savoury, salty drive, sculpting strawberry, rhubarb and tart red currants. There's a balsamic twinge that rinses out the finish and hints to its naturalist roots and intention. Most definitely, you wouldn't be able to nail its route to your glass. Winemaker Brent Rowland had three different fermenters on the go: two pinot noir and one marechal foch. He gently pressed the fruit, with the juice going into open-top fermenters onto which he destemmed whole berry gewürztraminer (on the foch) and pinot gris (on the pinot), followed by the just-pressed juice. He then proceeded like a typical red ferment (though the cap was white berries), with regular pigeage. After all, was pressed off, it was blended and left in the tank on lees until bottling with nothing added and nothing is taken away (including fining, filtration, and sulphur)—a fun adventure, and one equally adventurously fun, with a brisk chill, in your glass.Prices: BC 29.50 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Vineyard Rosétext
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Border Vista Vineyard Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBorder Vista Vineyard is as far south as you can go in BC wine country, but at 330-360m above sea level, the sandy, loamy soil yields some interesting fruit flavours that make this merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah rosé a winner. The Terroir Collection is meant to be different, as in site-specific, and this tightly wound saline, strawberry and pink grapefruit rosé flecked with orange rind and some much-appreciated lees notes is all that. The ferment is a 75/25 mix of stainless steel and neutral French oak barrels. It is an altogether different level than the regular run of the mill BC rosé.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosétext
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2019 the fruit is all Osoyoos estate. The 50/45/5 blend of merlot, syrah, and pinot noir fermented in stainless steel, save for three percent that sees time in neutral French oak. The colour is a medium pink, the nose fresh and bright, and the flavours follow along in style, mixing ripe red apples, strawberry, lemon-lime, and juicy watermelon. It is ready to drink and could be used in several scenarios such as well chilled and served solo, or to take on chicken or fish tacos, as well as cheese. Good value too.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Fort Berens Rosétext
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Fort Berens Rosé 2019

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaDeep salmon in hue, this year's rosé blends five clones of pinot noir from their Lillooet estate. Juicy and off-dry with watermelon, cherry blossom, and candied red apples, finishing with a wave of sweet spices. Easy, simple pink for the summer.Prices: BC 18.49 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Elegance Rosé by Ingo Gradytext
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Elegance Rosé by Ingo Grady 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMourvèdre grapes make up a minute amount of fruit grown in the Okanagan each year, so Hemit owner Ingo Grady says he jumped at the chance when offered a small batch of the southern Rhone red grape responsible for some of the best, dry rosés made in France. To mitigate the power mourvèdre can bring to any wine, it was picked early at 21° Brix, to retain freshness and to work with an alcohol by volume around 12 percent. It was chilled overnight and then destemmed, crushed, and pressed directly, tallying less than four hours of skin contact. The dark pink, free-run juice is fermented to dryness with only 1.5 grams per litre of residual sugar. It remains a more lavish look at the category, and in my view, a little more Tavel than Provence, but reliable none the less, and ready to accompany richer bites throughout and beyond summer.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Hermit Wine Company (Kismet Wines)
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Kismet Lotus Rosétext
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Kismet Lotus Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLotus Rosé is made using the saignée method (a tank bleed) of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, and then blended with orange muscat. The result is a round, viscous, aromatic, sweet rosé with notes of candied cherries, tangerines and rose petals spilling across a similarly rich palate, with more amplified sweet tropical fruit on the finish. Best served well chilled or with spicy food.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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Kismet Infinity Rosétext
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Kismet Infinity Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaInfinity is a kitchen sink blend made via saignée, or the bleeding of tanks of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, syrah, petit verdot, malbec, mouvèdre, and grenache. The result is surprisingly tasty; this fresh, dry, spicy light red has a fine lift of acidity throughout the length of the wine. A fine summer rosé that will be a perfect partner for light snacks. Good value.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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M Minuty Rosétext
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M Minuty Rosé 2018

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceMinuty is a highly focused producer of climat sourced fruit from a rigorous selection of Côtes de Provence vineyards. The vinification is uncomplicated: direct crushing, meticulous settling, and low-temperature fermentation. The result is an alluring, pale pink rosé with orange highlights, and just a squeeze of acid that spills citrus, watermelon, red currants across the smooth Provençal palate. A super food wine that can take on the likes of gazpacho soup, grilled and raw vegetables, mussels, clams, and spot prawns.Prices: BC 28.99 AB 27.30 Producer: Minuty SA
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Play Starring Saignéetext
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Play Starring Saignée 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe saignée or bleeding method is employed here, where a portion of red juice, after it’s been in contact with the skins and seeds, is bled off the tank. This is primarily to increase the concentration of the rest of the juice in the tank, in this case, the Play Bordeaux blend. The colour, as you will note, is on the darker side of the modern rosé look. It is also richer and smoother in texture, and it works better with medium or heavier menu items. It is a different style that appeals to those who are NOT fans of the, skinny, citrus-like rosés. It is virtually dry, but the ripe fruit gives it an underlying notion of sweetness, adding to its appeal.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Play Starring Rosé de Syrahtext
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Play Starring Rosé de Syrah 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe folks at Play set aside a few rows of Naramata Bench syrah to make rosé, looking for brighter acidity and a moderate alcohol level. In short, it works, offering fresh red fruit, crunchy red berries, with savoury and citrus notes that carry through its dry finish. Its palate-cleansing acidity is perfect for cheese and charcuterie on the patio.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

South East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpearhead has released a deep-coloured pink/red rosé that is a mix of three vineyards: Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in SE Kelowna, Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland and Coyote Vineyard in West Kelowna. The nose is slightly candied, but after that, the acidity kicks in, and the herbal, fresh northern notes that keep this rosé dry and fresh take over. Think grilled chicken skewers, prawn potstickers, or salmon burgers. Well done.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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11 May 2020

Stag's Hollow Syrah Rosétext
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Stag's Hollow Syrah Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Syrah Rosé is made in two lots. The first portion comes off a rosé dedicated block in Amalia Vineyard in Osoyoos; part two is from the Simikameen's Stone Slope Vineyard in Keremeos. The mix is 64.8% syrah and 35.2% zweigelt. Fresh and juicy the aromas are a mix of strawberries and rose with pink grapefruit, watermelon, and light pepper. It is a style I like a lot because it is dry, soft, silky and fun to drink. It is what many rosés look like but not near enough taste like. Classic matches from the winery includes Mediterranean flavours (think olive oil, seafood & fresh vegetables).Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Luke Lambert Syrahtext
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Luke Lambert Syrah 2018

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaFrom south east Yarra's Tibooburra vineyard, this cooler site was planted in 2001 to this darker, more strucutral clone of syrah. It's well matched to the unusual soils: seams of black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay, with a smattering of granite. True to Lambert form, this was 80% whole bunch and native ferment, aged in neutral 5000L oak where it remained until bottling, unfined and unfiltered, and with its first sprinkling of sulphur. This reflects the warm, dryer 2018 with riper cherry and fleshy plum, but it maintains acidity and freshness due to the soils and site. The perfumed plum courses through this fresher (13 degrees) red, teeming with cracked pink peppercorn, boysenberry, and thorns. Tannins are whisper fine, just holding in the plump, soft, lightly hazy palate. Acidity is brisk throughout, lofting this layered red and stretching it long on the palate. Give this beauty a slight chill, and some airtime before you tuck in.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Luke Lambert
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Yalumba Organic Shiraztext
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Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2018

South Australia, AustraliaThe grapes for the 2018 Organic Shiraz come from four family owned, organically certified vineyards in Adelaide Plains, Loxton, Riverland, and McLaren Vale. Big, bold, and peppery, with cracked spices ruling ripe cassis, blackberry jam, velveteen perfumed violets, kissed with menthol and bound by lightly furry tannins. Acidity holds out to bring this to a respectable 13.5 degree finish. Best taken now, with grilled burgers or lamb / pork sausages.Prices: BC 16.99 AB 20.00 MB 16.99 ON 17.95 QC 16.99 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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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, FranceThe Terres Brûlées, or burnt earth cuvée, is a nod to the origin of the village of Cornas. The appellation was created in 1938 and has remained the spiritual homes of syrah ever since. The Colombo blend involves twenty separate blocks of vines. It sets itself apart from anything made in the New World with a jolt of electricity that runs through the entire wine. Floral scented coffee beans mix with white pepper, black currants, liquorice, and stony minerality, making a complex red that is very food-friendly. We tried it with barbecue pork, and the match was divine. A classic Cornas that will age effortlessly for a decade and requires a hardy meal. Impressive.Prices: BC 99.99 ON 87.99 Producer: Jean-Luc Colombo
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08 May 2020

Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanctext
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Fumé Blanc blends 77/23 sauvignon blanc and sémillon, from Keremeos and Oliver. After destemming and light crushing, this was left on skins for 3 hours before being pressed into stainless and French puncheons, the two grapes undergoing their own vinification. After 4 months on lees, they were blended. Juicy and potent with gooseberry, white grapefruit, white peach, guava, and lightly flinty toastiness on the finish. Quite a punchy wine, and able to stand up to equally punchy dishes.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Covert Farms Sauvignon Blanc Semillontext
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Covert Farms Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their organic estate atop McIntyre Bluff, and 2007 planted Coyote Block, this is a blend of 72% sauvignon blanc, 20% semillon, and 8% viognier. It was fermented and aged in stainless, the tightness of which works well against the inherent potency of the grapes. Medicinal lemon, quince, yellow apple is decked with a waxy semillon base all buoyed by the bright acidity of the sauvignon. Balanced and clean, this medium+bodied white is drinking well now and should age effortlessly for two years or more under screwcap.Prices: BC 25.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Stag's Hollow Sauvignon Blanctext
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Stag's Hollow Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimilar to last year, though a bit richer and riper on the palate. Look for hints of lees under grassy, citrus, kiwi aromas, with a twist of wood. The attack is super ripe, mixing lime rind, gooseberry, and grassy tropical fruit. Just a bit too big in the finish, but fine if you are a fan of rich, ripe, warm, mouth-filling sauvignon blanc. Like last year it has a richness and sweetness you can use up against spicy dishes, but I would prefer a bit more mystery and complexity. Still fine value.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc  - Semilliontext
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - Semillion 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOliver's Jagged Rock Vineyard and its deep, glacial till soils at 365-385m yields this 70/30 sauvignon blanc / sémillon. Predominantly fermented in stainless, 10% went to neutral French oak, while 5% fermented in concrete egg. The sauvy is evident up front, with pithy lemon, tangerine, gooseberry, and passionfruit leading. The sém shows on the palate, with a slight oily slick, gliding this to a snappy, sagebrush finish. Polished, but still fresh and full of verve.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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CedarCreek Sauvignon Blanctext
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CedarCreek Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJuicy, fresh, and sauvy direct, this vintage of CC's Sauvignon Blanc comes from Jagged Rock and Border Vista Vineyards in the Southern Okanagan, and was native fermented, primarily in stainless, with 6% done in concrete and oak. This spent 3 months on lees prior to bottling. Distinct Okanagan sagebrush infiltrates the potent white grapefruit, lemon pith, green apple, and gooseberry, all held taut on the juicy palate. A kiss of lemon blossom and a riff of spices graces the finish of this snappy white, one with great typicity of grape and place.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritage Whitetext
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritage White 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve Meritage blends Sauvignon Blanc with 20% Sémillon, coming from Oliver and Osoyoos estate vineyards. Predominantly fermented in stainless, 38% was fermented in French oak (15% new), which is seen and felt in the spiced structure of this forward white. The mid is layered with creamy lees, bedding passionfruit, guava, pineapple rind to a potently spiced finish. Quite a statement wine, and with an impact beyond its 13%.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanctext
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Oliver and Osoyoos vineyards, this Reserve Savvy was predominantly fermented in stainless, with 17% in French oak (7% new), and a little bit in concrete. All pieces are evident in this forward, juicy example, bursting with bright gooseberry, lemongrass, pineapple and sage grass, and creamily textured by time in wood. The finish lingers with citrus spices. Big, friendly, forward, well made and ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc  - Semilliontext
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Mission Hill Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - Semillion 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2019 growing season began with near-perfect seasonal conditions in spring and summer before a wet, and subsequently, cold fall proved challenging for many producers and varieties. In the end, strict viticultural practice was king and Mission Hill has a firm handle on that. There is something magical about the sauvignon / sémillon coming out of south Oliver's Jagged Rock Vineyard, given its deep, glacial till soils and warm conditions by sauvignon / sémillon standards. The mix in 2019 is 70/30 sauvignon blanc / sémillon. Only 10% went to neutral French oak and 5% was fermented to concrete egg, with the remainder in stainless. All in all, it sings with freshness and the bright lemon, gooseberry, passionfruit you hope for from this blend. Still, there is an exotic tangerine undercurrent that smooths and lengthens the dusty, herbal sagebrush finish. A food-friendly, stylish, polished wine.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanctext
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2019 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is primarily grown (70 percent) in estate vineyards in Osoyoos, and the remainder comes off a 60-block site in Oliver. The vast majority is fermented in stainless steel ten percent is fermented in neutral, French oak, seven percent goes into new oak barrels while a small amount is fermented in concrete. Multiple pick times continue to deliver vibrancy and freshness, as evidenced by the fresh citrus flavours streaked with pineapple, lime, lemongrass, and sagebrush. Think mussels, fish tacos, a tomato burrata salad, or Margherita pizza would all work. Ready to drink and another excellent example of a variety whose time is coming in BC. Good value.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritage Whitetext
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritage White 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe MHFE Reserve series always offers value, but this 80/20 Meritage mix of sauvignon blanc and semillon grown in Oliver and Osoyoos estates is a super bargain. Just over 60 percent is fermented in stainless steel, the remainder in French oak, of which 15 percent was new. The nose is highly attractive with melon, citrus, and wood spice notes. The attack is fresh and vibrant with creamy mid-palate textures and intense flavours of passionfruit, guava, pineapple, and more spice. The balance is perfect, and the alcohol a minimum of 13 percent. This is a winner, and I suspect as good as it is, it will improve in the bottle for another year or three.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Fine Disregard Sémillontext
91PTS

Fine Disregard Sémillon 2017

Napa Valley, California, United StatesFine Disregard is a garagiste duo (spouses Mike Schieffer and Kara Maraden) seeking out interesting vineyards around Cali to make equally interesting low-intervention wines, like this sémillon. This comes from two parcels planted in alluvial soils at the base of the Vaca Mountains: one in Oak Knoll, and the other from the Oakville Bench vineyard. This was native fermented in barrel, with no MLF. Classic youthful sem here, with waxy honeysuckle, lanolin, heady white florals, and a dusting of talc, strung surprisingly taut at a smart 12.8 degrees. The finish is lemon bright and moreish. A lovely showing, and surprisingly so.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Fine Disregard Wine Co
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Greywacke Sauvignon Blanctext
91PTS

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandA riot of summer fruit is how this wine is described, and I agree. The flagship sauvignon from Kevin Judd mixes nectarines, canteloupe, yellow peaches, and grapefruit with subtle passionfruit, all supported by a strong central lemon thread. The fruit comes off prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains, and a river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Its complexity of vineyards and picking times is reflected in the wine. Stylish, and will be a big hit with Westcoast seafood dishes.Prices: BC 30.99 QC 28.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Greywacke
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07 May 2020

Orofino White Bridgetext
88PTS

Orofino White Bridge 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis off-dry white blend is led by muscat, which is evident from first whiff of the orange blossom, perfumed white floral, gooseberry, orchard pear nose. Riesling and chardonnay rounds out the soft palate, one held aloft with a tight bead of citrus acidity that lingers as lime sherbet on the finish. Fun, fresh, friendly, crack and sip this Similkameen sweetie well chilled this summer.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Stina Cuvee Whitetext
89PTS

Stina Cuvee White 2018

Coastal Croatia, CroatiaPošip and vuguva, two main white grapes from this Dalmatian coast, make up the majority of this fuller white blend, along with a ten percent splash of chardonnay. from the Island of Brač, this rings of the sea, through saline laced white and yellow fruits, ripe melon, and green fig. There is a wildflower honey lining the cushioned palate, lingering with meadow grasses and sour lemon. An ideal partner to your shellfish and white-fleshed seafood dishes.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Jaco vino Stina
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Kitsch Block Partytext
87PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis white blend is sourced from the 5 blocks on their estate, hence the colourful name. In a glass is a busy mix of riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, and pinot noir, whole-cluster pressed and co-fermented over 45 days with inoculated yeasts, before spending 90 days on its lees prior to bottling. White peach, gooseberry, lime blossom, lemon sherbet, tangerine dominate this juicy, mid-sweet palate, tightened by lime pith, and finishing crisp and snappy. Party in a glass this summer on the patio.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Kitsch Block Partytext
88PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis white blend (that is pale, pale, pale orange) comes off five estate blocks, hence the colourful name and label (Kitsch packaging is top-drawer). In the glass is an original mix of riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, and pinot noir, whole cluster pressed and with various coferments over 45 days. In all, it spends 90 days in contact with lees before bottling. The just off-dry peach is flecked with lime and tangerines, and is mouthwatering but never over the edge sweet. Plenty of lime lines its crisp finish. It is a "block party" in a glass that is hard to put down. Nothing but fun and well made to boot. Stock up.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Alheit Vineyards Hemerland Vine Gardentext
91PTS

Alheit Vineyards Hemerland Vine Garden 2018

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaChris Alheit is one of South Africa's top winemakers and old vine rescuers, working closely with the Old Vine Project to preserve the country's OV heritage, and making expressive wines of place, like this. Hans Evenhuis planted this vineyard on Hemelrand (Hemel-en-Aarde) in 2010, on gravelly clay and sandstones at 350m, and Alheit calls it Vine Garden, based on the numerous varieties trialled here. The wine is made and bottled just as the vineyard and vintage dictates, creating a white field blend that changes every year. In 2018, that yielded 29% Chardonnay, 3% Muscat, 30% Chenin Blanc, 31% Roussanne, 7% Verdelho. Low intervention throughout, this goes through long, slow native ferment in older wood. Fuller in the mouth, but held to a welcome and fresh 13.5 degrees, this creamy white flows with quince, white peach, and orange blossom, blanketed with lees, and all tightly bound by fine skin tannins, lingering with a sandstone buzz. Allow this youthful wine to stretch its wings in your glass. Ready for drinking now or over short term. A lovely, serious vintage of Vine Garden.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Alheit Vineyards
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Domaine Gauby Calcinairestext
89PTS

Domaine Gauby Calcinaires 2014

IGP Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, South of France, FranceDomaine Gauby is near the tiny Roussillon town of Calce, nearby the Cataluña border with Spain. This is an old vine blend of Chardonnay, Macabeau Grenache Gris, Muscat, and Vermentino, native fermented and in unlined cement, where it remains until bottling, without fining or filtrations. Gérard Gauby uses no additives or deletions in his low interventionist winemaking. Honeysuckle, white peach, quince floods the soft palate, now cusping with age into white mushroom, white tea leaves, truffles, gently gliding along a waxen palate. Now's the time to drink this, while the freshness is still present to match the weighted fruit. And at a welcome 12 degrees, this is certainly food friendly.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Domaine Gauby
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Paul Jaboulet Aîné Parallèle 45 Blanctext
89PTS

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Parallèle 45 Blanc 2016

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceClassic Côtes du Rhône, from its deeper golden hue, to its waxy, full body, the Parallèle Blanc, the estate's 'entry level' tier, remains an excellent choice for value, and typicity. Biodynamically farmed grenache blanc, marsanne, viognier, and bouboulenc averaging 20 years of age and from two family farms on the right side of the Rhone river make up this blend. The waxiness rules the palate, bedding honeysuckle, orange curd, lime peel, elderflower and ample baking spices, finishing cool, snappy and stony. Drinking beautifully now, and will continue short term.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné
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Sperling Market White Organictext
87PTS

Sperling Market White Organic 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLean, crisp, lemony and light (at 10.6 degrees), this aromatic white is similar year, and exactly as intended. Organically farmed Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling from vines averaging 30 years on her her family's Kelowna homestead (started 150+ years ago) are imbued with an orchard fresh apple blossom, yellow apple, and crab apple bitterness, finishing snappy and pithy. Chill well and drink this summer.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Gabriel Meffre Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc Cuvée Saint-Vincenttext
88PTS

Gabriel Meffre Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc Cuvée Saint-Vincent 2018

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceThis label has a history of being fresh, but in 2018 it is even more crisp and aromatic in a pleasing way. The mix is grenache blanc, roussanne, clairette, and viognier, with floral, herbal, peachy tones. I love the trace of lees and spice that livens up the palate, finishing with citrus, pear and peach. A refreshing dry summer white that is vegan friendly that offers super value. The select vineyard parcels are from two terroir profiles in Gard and Vaucluse. The former is from Gardois on clay and sand, while the latter, planted to roussanne and clairette, grows over limestone. Saint Vincent, born during the 3rd century in Spain, is considered the patron saint of winegrowers. Vincent means triumphant in Latin. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Gabriel Meffre
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Tenuta di Castellaro Bianco Pomicetext
93PTS

Tenuta di Castellaro Bianco Pomice 2018

Sicily, ItalyFrom Lipari Island, off the coast of Sicily, this blend of Malvasia delle Lipari and Carricante grows in deep, sandy, volcanic soils, trained in the free standing alberello system (little tree) at 350m. After destemming, the malvasia fermented in stainless, and the carricante in older oak, followed by batonnage for 6 months. This streams the sea, with a streak of salinity woven through a nimble palate, anchored with a slip of lees, but layered with wild Mediterranean herbs, subtle kelp, and meyer lemon pith. Fantastic energy and vibrance in this shining example. Packs a seriously memorable punch, and all at welcome 12 degrees. Impressive.Prices: BC 53.00 Producer: Tenuta di Castellaro
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Pittnauer Perfect Daytext
89PTS

Pittnauer Perfect Day 2017

Weinland Österreich, AustriaThis is a tight, bright, zippy blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Muscat Ottnel, 20% Gruner Veltliner, and 10% Traminer, from the heavy clay soils of the Altenberg (Gols) vineyard. The GV was 95% whole berry (the remainder whole bunch) and fermented for 10 days on skins, while the Muscat and Traminer, spent less time on skins. The chardonnay was pressed immediately to preserve the freshness. After a native ferment, each part aged separately in barrique 8 months before blending and bottling. Lime blossom, green apple, melon and white pepper are lifted and zippy, sharpened via skin time, and finishing bright. Interesting and smart bright white.Prices: ON 38.00 Producer: Pittnauer
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06 May 2020

Township 7 Muscat Sunshine Acres Vineyardtext
88PTS

Township 7 Muscat Sunshine Acres Vineyard 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNo mistaking this perfumed, slight, aromatic white for muscat, with its gooseberry blossom, fragrant orange, lime peel, and soapy notes. From Oliver's Sunshine Acres vineyard, this was fermented and aged in stainless. A lovely little glimpse of the pretty grape.Prices: BC 26.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Covert Farms Pinot Blanctext
88PTS

Covert Farms Pinot Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Covert Pinot Blanc was planted in 2007 at 415 metres, on glacial-fluvial sedimentary soils just west of McIntrye Bluff. 10 percent of the wine sees time in oak on its lees, while the majority is fermented and aged in stainless steel. I like this tighter style and leaner profile that showcases the site and the fruit, led by fresh cut green apple, ripe pear, and a mix of melon and yellow fruits. A bright citrus line runs across the finish, making it very food-friendly.Prices: BC 23.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Covert Farms Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Covert Farms Pinot Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their organic estate's Coyote Block, this was planted in 2007 at 415m on glacial-fluvial sedimentary soils. Fermented primarily in stainless, 10% of this spent time in French oak, aged on lees. Lean and bright with green apple, Asian pear, subtle starfruit and light melon along a slim palate, bedded with some downy lees, but finishing snappy and clean on a short finishPrices: BC 23.80 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Yalumba Organic Viogniertext
88PTS

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2017

South Australia, AustraliaThis organic viognier comes from the Babich family property, tucked up along the Murray River in Loxton, as well as the Bassham's family vineyard in Barmera. Winemaker Heather Fraser does little to this wine, allowing it to ferment naturally in stainless steel, where it remains until bottling. Clean and bright with light orange blossom, pear, honeydew, and subtle jasmine spicing, finishing snappy and brisk. Don't drink this full-bodied white too cold; this benefits from some expansion in the glass—Fine value.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 18.99 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Play Starring Viogniertext
88PTS

Play Starring Viognier 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDespite September rains, the winery was able to manage the fruit and bring it in the clean enough to perform a bit of skin contact on this viognier. A mixture of wild and selected yeasts was used to bring up the aromatics. It presents dry with some leesy, nectarine skin, apricot, and orange. Dry, firm, and fresh (there was no malolactic fermentation), it is made for food. A promising style.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Blanc 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot blanc comes from blocks 4 and 9 inside Hester Creek's Golden Mile Bench Vineyard, planted in 1968 and 1997/98, respectively. After destemming, this underwent a cool ferment in stainless, followed by five months rest there. Juicy melon, tangerine, yellow apple on a straight, clean palate, finishing with a touch of spice. Very Hester Creek recipe, and right for drinking this summer, chilled.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Yalumba Y Series Viogniertext
89PTS

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2018

South Australia, AustraliaYalumba has a long history with viognier, dating back decades, and has the most extensive plantings of viognier vineyards in the world. The Y Series label is a beautiful introduction to this delicious white, smeared with honeysuckle and jasmine, followed by fresh apricots, lemongrass, and ginger. Wild fermented and lees aged, this wine has all you could want for $16.99, and a lot more. Drinks perfectly with harissa chicken, or crispy rice pancakes with potato and chickpeas. Top value.Prices: BC 16.99 AB 20.00 ON 17.00 YK 20.70 MB 18.00 NB 19.50 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Hester Creek Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Blanc 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock 4 and 9, from within Hester Creek's Golden Mile Bench Vineyard, and planted in 1968 and 1997/98, respectively, is home to this tasty pinot blanc. Clean and fresh, it is the result of a cool ferment in stainless, followed by five months on lees in tank. You will be instantly attracted to its juicy melon, orange, tangerine, and clean, ripe finish. Ready to drink solo on the patio or with pre-dinner bites. Real value.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viogniertext
86PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viognier 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2019 is an exact copy of last year's edition, so full marks for consistency. Bright and fruity, it has that juicy unoaked texture that slips down quickly along with some orange and melon and residual sugar to smooth the way. It's mostly pinot gris in style with a twist of viognier for body and weight, but it's barely noticeable. Serve this well chilled on the patio or pair it with spicy appetizers and let the sweetness of the wine tame the spice in the food. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu Condrieutext
92PTS

Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu Condrieu 2016

Condrieu, Northern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceCondrieu, a Rhone appellation that is home to the centre of viognier, sets the standard. Still, the problem is the style is foreign to most wine drinkers who have embraced New World viognier and barely know this wine. The nose is delicate, offering up flower blossoms and light almond mixed with citrus, orange, and honeysuckle. The palate is equally involved with ginger adding to its complexity. Power and elegance with restraint; this is a delicious bottle of viognier. Made by Jean Luc Colombo, this is a wine worth investigating. We served it with a curry and bean rice bowl to maximum effect.Prices: BC 89.00 Producer: Jean-Luc Colombo
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05 May 2020

Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rioja Reservatext
88PTS

Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rioja Reserva 2015

Rioja, SpainFrom Spain's innovative Vintae project, this is a blend of tempranillo and graciano from terraced soils in the area of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, La Rioja. The nice thing about Rioja Reserva is the aging is all done for you. This has seen twenty months in French and American oak, prior to a couple of years in bottle prior to release. Crushed plum, cassis, leather, pipe tobacco roll along the smoothed palate, with oxidative edging creeping in on the dusky finish. Drinking well now, especially with mushroom or Bolognese ragu.Prices: BC 22.99 AB 18.99 MB 19.99 Producer: Vintae
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Castaño Monastrelltext
87PTS

Castaño Monastrell 2018

Yecla, Valencia and Murcia, SpainThe Castaño family puts its heart and soul into their wines, and could probably use a helping hand given the COVID-19 challenges all across Spain. I like the fresh fruit-forward style here with earthy monastrell notes colliding with sweet berry fruits. The result is a smooth sipping barbecue red that you can serve liberally at this price. Fresh, juicy, and ready to drink; splash decant for best effect. Burgers, sausages, meatballs, lamb chops and pork all work here.Prices: BC 12.49 AB 12.00 NB 12.00 ON 8.95 Producer: Familia Castaño
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Contino Rioja Gran Reservatext
94PTS

Contino Rioja Gran Reserva 2012

Rioja, SpainContino Gran Reserva is an excellent example of the renaissance that has occurred in Rioja. The disappearance of Brettanomyces and heavy oak and the emergence of intense fruit, even in a Gran Reserva, is a significant step forward. Contino has always been a bit of a modern style, but this GR is a terrific model to follow. Soft, silky, and polished, it remains persistent on the palate from front to back. The blend is 70/15/12/3 tempranillo, graciano, grenache, viura, all selected block by block. The grapes are picked ripe, and destemmed in untreated concrete. The malolactic takes place in new French oak barrels, after which the wine was racked to American and French oak barrels. After three years in barrel, the wine was bottled and aged for another two years in their underground cellars. This is a superstar red.Prices: BC 89.99 AB 79.99 Producer: Viñedos del Contino S. A.
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Cune Imperial Rioja Gran Reservatext
91PTS

Cune Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2011

Rioja, SpainCompañía Vinicola del Norte de España is better known as Bodegas C.V.N.E. (pronounced Cunay), and is still owned and operated by the Real de Asua family, who founded the winery in 1879. Imperial is only made in the best years. Classic and traditional this wine certainly is, with tempranillo (along with 10% graciano and 5% mazuelo) coming from the estate's oldest vineyards, presenting in that aristocratic, reserved Rioja way. After a cold maceration, this ferments in French oak vats, after which the wine spends two years in oak casks before a minimum of 3 years bottle aging prior to release. The beauty in these wines is that the aging is all done for you; the wine is ready for enjoyable drinking immediately upon release, though will continue for a couple of years in your cellar. Layers of leather, anise, worn paper, dried cherry, tobacco leaf, graphite, subtle cigar smoke wrap around a ripe, plump core. This is a structural wine, but one worn with nine years aging, leaving tannins strident, yet softened, gently supporting the purple fruit to a typically bitter Italian finish.Prices: BC 88.99 Producer: Compañía Vitivinícola del Norte de Espana (CVNE)
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Familia Monje Amestoy Biga de Luberri Crianzatext
89PTS

Familia Monje Amestoy Biga de Luberri Crianza 2016

Rioja, SpainThis tempranillo spent one year in American and French oak. The wood is certainly present, striating the cherry, black raspberry, and red currant fruit with firm, long tannins. There's a dollop of vanilla on the spicy finish, tipping to the American oak in the blend. Modern styled, but with firmly traditionalistic grounding.Prices: ON 25.50 Producer: Familia Monje Amestoy
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04 May 2020

Stina Cuvée Redtext
88PTS

Stina Cuvée Red 2018

Croatian Coast, Coastal Croatia, CroatiaStina Winery opened on Broc Island in 2009 when Jako Vino rented a building from the Agricultural Cooperative of Bol, on the Dalmatian coast. Wine had been made in the building, “The first Dalmatian Wine Cooperative” since 1901. This is a blend of local grape plavac mali, along with syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The international grapes are an attempt to reach a broader international audience, though the plavic mali (a cross between crljenak kaštelanski (ancestral zinfandel) and dobričić) is the star here. Open this gutsy red in advance for best results. Then the perfumed mulberry, cassis, thorny wild plum, and dried cherry emerge beyond the rustic hewn tannins. There's a lot of ripeness here, and ample wood, making this gusty red a suitable partner for grilled sausages or stew.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Jaco vino Stina
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Koerner The Clare Red Winetext
91PTS

Koerner The Clare Red Wine 2019

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe Koerner brothers like to show a neoclassic view of their home, Clare Valley, and it's wines like this, The Clare, that typify their MO. This is their take on a Bordeaux blend. Half cabernet sauvignon, the remainder is malbec, grenache, and cabernet franc, from the terra rossa soils of Vivian, Parish, and Gullyview Vineyards, and vines planted in 1930 and 1998. This vintage was 50% whole berry (no whole bunch), native fermented in open top steel for two weeks on skins, and then racked into Slavonian foudre for 9 months. This was returned to steel for 3 months prior to bottling unfined and unfiltered, and with a minimum of sulphur. An atypical Oz Bx blend from the start, with only 13 degrees, this slightly hazy, fresh red teems with dusky violet, plum, morello cherry, anise along a medium bodied palate, housed with lightly furry tannins. The lingering finish haunts with a perfumed purple florality and a lick of kirsch.Prices: BC 39.00 Producer: Koerner Wine
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Julia Kemper Elpenor Vinho Tintotext
90PTS

Julia Kemper Elpenor Vinho Tinto 2016

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Melo family landed in Dão's Oliveira–Mangualde hundreds of years ago, and that's where the vineyards and winery of current custodian / owner Julia Kemper (named for Julia de Melo Kemper) are today, at Quinta do Cruzeiro, a site that dates back to Roman times. In 2000, Lisbon lawyer Julia was called by her father, António, to continue the legacy of the Melo family, so she returned and became a farmer, and thanks to the mentorship of her friend Dirk Niepoort, moved the viticulture into organic and biodynamic practices. This Tinto blends Dão's four main reds, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro and Jaen, into a fresh, herbal 13 degrees red. Foot trodden in granite lagares and native fermented, this is shining bright with cherry, wild plum, fresh raspberry, broken stone along a slight palate, nipped at the sides with a granitic grip, and finishing with a peppery rinse.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Julia Kemper
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Castello di Roncade Villa Giustiniantext
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Castello di Roncade Villa Giustinian 2017

The estate was founded in 1508, and the current family has owned the historic property since the early 1900’s. The entire estate is farmed organically. This special single vineyard blend can be considered one of the first (if not the first) Super Venetian, one of Italy's first Bordeaux-inspired blends, pre-dating the Super Tuscan phenom by a decade or more. After travelling to Bordeaux in the 1940s and 1950s, the Baron decided to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec, and the original 1950's wine blended these 4 grapes. However, in 2017, Malbec was replaced with a small percentage of the indigenous Raboso grape, making it more of a Super Venetian. All the parts are certainly present, well-represented, and integrated via layered herbal cherry, leather, black plum, lined with dusty gravels, dark earth, and bound with fine sinewy tannins to an herbal, cracked spice, tight, warming finish. Drinking well now, but can hold longer in your cellar.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Castello di Roncade
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Kloof Street Swartland Rougetext
90PTS

Kloof Street Swartland Rouge 2018

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaInspired by time spent working in Côtes du Rhône, Chris and Andrea Mullineux wanted to create a fresh wine from a dry region. This is a blend of syrah, tinta barocca, grenache, cinsault and carignan, from 8 sustainably farmed parcels in different parts of the Swartland, and vines aging 12-40 years. Two parcels of Syrah and one parcel of Cinsault come from the stony Shale and Schist based soils of Kasteelberg; one parcel of dry land, bushvine Syrah, one Carignan, one Grenache and a single parcel of gnarly old dry farmed Tinta Barocca bush vine, come from the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg. Averaging 25% whole cluster, this was slowly native fermented (utilizing some 5000L fermenters) over 4-6 weeks, with daily pigeage. The wine moves to barrel for MLF before blending, and then a rest back in barrels (older 225L and demi-muids) for 11 months. Lovely wild black raspberry, sapid dark plum, brooding dark florals, leather, black cherry is imbued with fantastic peppery baking spices. Tannins are worn smooth, and acidity is easily in balance to counter Swartland's sun ripeness. Lovely balance and drinkability now in this full bodied red, especially with grilled pork or lamb.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Mullineux Wines
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Tenuta di Castellaro Ypsilontext
90PTS

Tenuta di Castellaro Ypsilon 2017

Sicily, ItalyThis blend is 60/30/10 corinto, nero d'Avola and alicante is from Sicily's Lipari Island, and its fertile, 350m deep sandy volcanic soils. After destemming, it undergoes a native ferment in stainless, where it remains for one-year post-ferment. It was bottled without fining. Plump and sun-ripened, yet fresh with soils and altitude, it teems with perfumed cherry blossoms, ripe raspberry, scrubby thorns, bergamot, and a healthy dusting of sweet baking spices. Tannins are soft and powdery, hugging the cushy palate to a floral finish. Quite distinct.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Tenuta di Castellaro
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Osoyoos Larosetext
94PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWow, wow, wow. When the merlot is over 60 percent in this wine, it has always looked better, and this year the 62.5/12.5/11.8/7.7/5.5 blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec is one of the best yet. The original single vineyard red in BC has nailed the 2016 vintage, with texture, dense ripe tannins, and a smooth, stylish structure that portends much more in the future. It has all the parts: red cherries, stony gravels, floral notes, and a broad swipe of south Okanagan garrigue. The balance is already in place and will serve this red blend for the next twenty years. Osoyoos Larose is fully owned by Groupe Taillan out of Bordeaux.Prices: BC 47.99 MB 46.06 ON 47.95 QC 44.60 SK 58.30 NL 52.49 AB 45.99 Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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01 May 2020

Narrative Red Cabernet Franc Merlot by Okanagan Crush Padtext
88PTS

Narrative Red Cabernet Franc Merlot by Okanagan Crush Pad 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNarrative is an early-drinking line of wines from Haywire Winery, intended to represent an authentic, pure view of Okanagan fruit, In 2017 Narrative Red, a blend of cabernet franc and merlot, is a mix of 83% organic fruit from Kaleden and Osoyoos, supplemented with fruit from Summerland and Naramata. Desert sage imbues this dusty, dusky red filled with juicy cherry and raspberry. Finely grippy to a peppery finish, ready for enjoying now.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Robin Ridge Cabernet Franc - Merlottext
88PTS

Robin Ridge Cabernet Franc - Merlot 2016

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine surprises with its fullness and richness of flavours. It’s all estate fruit grown organically mixing cabernet franc and merlot. Look for ripe, red cherries, bright, plummy fruit with a stony mineral undercurrent and medium grippy tannins that have yet to be drooped. The finish is clean with bits of licorice, blueberry with dried cherry fruit and brown spice dusted with chocolate powder. If you have to drink it, make sure you have some grilled meat in the vicinity or simply wait two to four years for this to fall into line. Well made.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Robin Ridge Winery
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