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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2021

31 May 2021

Peña Aldera Crianza Riojatext
89PTS

Peña Aldera Crianza Rioja 2017

Rioja, SpainBodegas Jalón is a small family run bodega making wine from their 10 hectares of organically farmed vineyards, averaging 30 years, and between 460 and 500m in the Iregua Valley. Peña Aldera is one of their brands for crianza and reserva wines. This blend of 80% tempranillo, 20% graciano is rooted in their clay and sandstone soils, and was Aged in oak barriques for 22 months. The American wood component is evident from first whiff, with heavily toasted cedar / toasted coconut framing black cherry, cassis, tobacco, stony smoke along the full bodied palate. Tannins are ample, but now enveloped by the wine with time in bottle. Classic Rioja, this is best taken with grilled lamb and / or root veg.Prices: ON 22.95 Producer: Peña Aldera
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Las Moradas de San Martin Initiotext
90PTS

Las Moradas de San Martin Initio 2013

Vinos de Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, SpainThey had me at 100-year-old vines, but organically and biodynamically farmed garnacha in granite really had me. Initio presents with bright red colour and a not surprising aromatic storm of ripe red fruits and a salty mineral character. The attack is fresh with lively black plums, fresh raspberries, light tannins, and silky textures. The winery is located in Pago de los Castillejos, about an hour south and east of Madrid, where winemaker Isabel Galindo works lightly using minimal sulphites and associated natural winemaking techniques. It is nice to have a little age in the glass too. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Las Moradas de San Martin
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Suertes del Marqués La Solanatext
90PTS

Suertes del Marqués La Solana 2019

Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainLa Solana is a single 1.5 hectare vineyard in northern Tenerife, between 350-450m and on clay atop volcanic soils. The family operation Suertes del Marqués organically farms 80-150 year old listán negro here, in the traditional cordón trenzado training system, employing minimal sulphur. After a native ferment in concrete, with 50% whole cluster, this aged 11 months in older French foudres before being bottled unfiltered. After a wave of reduction blows off, this opens into black cherry, black raspberry, broken earth on a scrubby, resinous, balsamic kissed palate. Tannins are long and fine and slightly sticky / gritty, hugging this textural wine through the lingering peppery finish. Such a singular, powerful (at 12.5%) wine.Prices: ON 36.95 Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Bermejos Listan Negro Maceración Carbonicatext
88PTS

Bermejos Listan Negro Maceración Carbonica 2019

Canary Islands, SpainLos Bermejos is headed by pioneering winemaker Ignacio Valdera. Lanzarote is the farthest east of the seven main islands of the Canaries, closest to Africa, and is the driest and hottest of the group, as it lacks the mountainous terrain that dominates the others. As such, the winds are intense, and vines need to be planted in small 2m deep hoyos, or holes, in order to survive. This is organically-farmed Listán Negro, native to the islands, and untouched by phylloxera. It is carbonically macerated, which is evident from first fruity whiff, after a puff of reduction (typical of this grape on these profound, black volcanic soils) blows off. Candied raspberries, wild blueberries, tayberries are at the fore, lofted with easy marine acidity, and hugged by soft, fine tannins. A striking, lighter wine, take with a chill.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Bodegas Los Bermejos
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Finca Cuarta Mencíatext
89PTS

Finca Cuarta Mencía 2019

Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, SpainFrom north west Spain's Galicia region, this mencia is rooted in Ribeira Sacra's dramatic terraced slate vineyards, first planted by the Romans 2000 years ago. After the Romans, the monks settled in, took over wine production, and the area became known as Ribeira Sacra, or Holy Riverbank. Rubén Moure inherited vines from his grandfather, and established his new winery, the Prior de Panton, in 2008. He works with small plots of old vines, and ferments at cool temperatures to retain fruit and vivacity. This mencia, from 50 year old vines, was fermented in stainless, aged for 7 months in French and American barrels. Deeply, duskily perfumed with wild blackberry, blueberry, thorns, and balsamic drawn across a medium+ bodied palate. Tannins are soft and sticky, hugging this to a stony, mineral-tinged finish. Decant, and enjoy with lamb or pork chops, or a fragrant mushroom stew.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Bodega del Abad
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Vinyes Domènech Bancal del Bosc Tintotext
89PTS

Vinyes Domènech Bancal del Bosc Tinto 2018

Priorato, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainVinyes Domènech is a family project started Joan Ignaci and his wife, Rita, in Capçanes, in the south of Priorat. Together with their sons, they biodynamically farm 15 hectares of recovered old-vines vineyards. This is 85/15 Garnacha / Samsó (AKA Carignan) from red clay and calcareous soils. After a native ferment, this aged in both French oak and stainless for 6 months. Ripe, leathery raspberry, cherry, strawberry pull across the slow, fuller palate, scented with scrubby thorny rosemary and thyme, and gripped with ample sticky tannins. There's an alluring dried herbal perfume darting throughout, lingering on the sticky finish. Drinking well now, ideally with grilled pork or lamb dishes.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Vinyes Domènech
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Castaño Hécula Monastrell Organictext
88PTS

Castaño Hécula Monastrell Organic 2019

Yecla, Valencia and Murcia, SpainOrganically grown monastrell (mourvèdre / mataro) from Yecla in south eastern Spain opens with a savoury, scrubby nose of black cherries and tobacco and spills onto a soft palate of similar flavours with a touch of oak. The fruit comes off 50 year old dry farmed bush vines, leaving the finish with a wild Mediterranean scent. Ready to drink best with grilled lamb, pork, or beef dishes. BBQ, anyone?Prices: BC 16.00 AB 16.00 YK 17.00 ON 14.00 NB 17.50 Producer: Familia Castaño
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Fusco Menciatext
92PTS

Fusco Mencia 2018

Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, SpainXurxo Alba's family has been farming and making Albariño in the Rïas Baixas O Salnés region, near the Atlantic Ocean, for generations. It wasn't until Xurxo finished his enology studies that the Alba family started bottling and commercializing their wines in 2006. The Alba family owns 2.5 hectares and sources approximately 10 hectares throughout the region. This old vine organically farmed Mencia comes from steep terraced slopes of decayed granite in Ribeira Sacra's Lugo zone, around Chantada. After a native ferment in stainless over three weeks, this remained in stainless over the winter, bottled the following spring without filtration or fining. ⁠This is naked mencia, and all the better for it, expressing exuberant floral violets, musk, wild blueberries, fragrant plums, black raspberries, subtle scrubby green branch/herbaceousness on a finessed, elegant, lighter palate. Tannins are fine, lightly grippy, and ideally in place to usher this to a haunting finish. Certainly showing its kinship here with Dão's Jaen, and quite reminiscent of a Loire cabernet franc. What a beautiful, light touch here, upon what is often an over-oaked, over-extracted grape. Fusco is Galician for night or darkness, referring to the fact that this was the first red Xurxo Alba added to his collection of Albariño.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Bodegas Albamar
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Campbell Kind Wines Spain Tinto Rossotext
87PTS

Campbell Kind Wines Spain Tinto Rosso 2017

Terra Alta, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainCampbell Kind Wines is a new project from Lifford Wine & Spirits founder Steven Campbell, build on his decades of travelling the wine world and connections in this industry. These are carbon neutral wines selected and produced by his winemaker friends worldwide, packaged with the Kind Wine packaging, and line priced across Canada at a very attractive price. The aim is to overdeliver value for drinkable, well-crafted wines while making an environmentally responsible choice. This is an organic Catalan blend of garnacha, cariñena and syrah, made in conjunction with Ed Adams MW and Bruce Jack. The vineyards are located in Terra Alta, and this had a two-month layover in oak. Sun-ripened blue fruit, wild blackberries leads this rustic red, with cedar spiced wood lining the ragged tannins to a grippy, warming finish — tastes of the wilds of eastern Spain.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Campbell Kind Wines
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28 May 2021

Viña Chocalan Alexiatext
92PTS

Viña Chocalan Alexia 2017

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileThis is the top wine of the winery (which you can tell by the obscene bottle weight), based on cabernet franc (75%) with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot from the Coastal area of Maipo Valley, near the Maipo River and rooted in granitic clays and loam. This is aged in French barrels for 18 months. Potent and impactful, with herbal black cherry, cassis, raspberry, heady menthol on a dense and full palate. Cracked pepper and tobacco are woven throughout, housed by ample, well-integrated yet grippy tannins, and brightened with a fresh coastal acidity to a saline finish. Intense, this is drinking well now with an appropriately intense fire-grilled meal, but will be happy in the cellar for the next few years.Prices: Chile 60.00 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Viña Chocalan Vitrumtext
92PTS

Viña Chocalan Vitrum 2019

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileOne of the icon wines of Viña Chocalan, Vitrum is based on Maipo cabernet sauvignon and syrah, with splashes of cabernet franc, malbec, carmenere, and petit verdot. The estate vineyards are from the Coastal area of Maipo Valley, near the Maipo River and rooted in granitic clays and loam. Each component is fermented individually before it is blended and aged for a further 14 months in French oak (50% new). This is a layered, complexed blend based around intense black cherry and blackcurrant, fleshed out with peppery spice box seasoning, pipe tobacco, menthol, anise through the full palate. Tannins are wood-hewn, but very well integrated, framing this through the lingering cedar finish. Ample freshness throughout to carry the weight of this powerful wine. Enjoyable now with grilled lamb or hearty grilled mushrooms, but this elegant red will certainly reward with time in the cellar.Prices: Chile 50.00 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileFrom the Coastal area of Maipo Valley, near the Maipo River and rooted in granitic clays and loam, this cabernet sauvignon is aided by 10% carmenere, and 5% petit verdot. After a stainless ferment, this remains on skins for an additional 10 days before 80% is moved to French oak barrels for 8 -10 months' aging. Ripe and dense with herbal branchiness seasoning ripe black cherry, blackcurrant, anise, menthol along an intense, heady palate, finishing with a wash of marine salts. Tannins are plumped and soft, taking this to a bitter espresso finish. Best with char-grilled meats, as intended.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Carmeneretext
88PTS

Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Carmenere 2018

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileFrom the Coastal area of Maipo Valley, near the Maipo River and rooted in granitic clays and loam, this carmenere is aided by 10% carmenere, and 5% petit verdot. After a stainless ferment, this remains on skins for an additional 10 days before 80% is moved to French oak barrels for 8 -10 months' aging. Plush and thick with smoked tobacco, charred branch seasoning heady blackcurrant and peppery spice. Tannins are ample but soft, leaving a puff of camp smoke in their wake. Best taken with grilled beef or root veg.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2019

Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThis chardonnay is sourced from Malvilla, in the cool San Antonio Valley, only 5km from the Pacific Ocean, and rooted in granite and clay loam soils. This had 8 hours of skin contact, cold settling, and ferment in a mix of 60% stainless and 40% French oak, where the latter remained on lees for 6 months and underwent 10% MLF. White asparagus rules this wine, aided by tight verbena, hedgerow, green apple, and lemon rind. The palate is lees-plumped and creamy, with a flick of positive reduction, while the acidity is brightened, thankfully, with a marine freshness. Going in the right direction, but would love to see this less handled / more dialled in in future. One to watch.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanctext
86PTS

Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThis sauvignon blanc is sourced from Malvilla, in the cool San Antonio Valley, only 5km from the Pacific Ocean, and rooted in calcareous soils. This had 14 hours of skin contact, cold settling, and ferment in stainless where it remained on lees for 2 months. Tight and steely clinical with so much asparagus! Wow. I bet your pee smells after drinking this wine. Once you get through / past that, there is greengage, hedge, lemon rind on a reductive palate, finishing briefly. A lot of coastal freshness, to be sure, but there are a lot of potently reductive characters that do not make for the most easy, pleasurable drinking experience.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyardtext
91PTS

Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard 2017

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileThis, the 'icon' bottling of Concha y Toro, comes from a single 127 hectare vineyard on the northern side of the Maipo River, cooled by the winds running down the Andes, and still reachable via the Pacific Ocean breezes. This is approximately 90% cabernet sauvignon, with splashes of cabernet franc, merlot, and petit verdot. Rich and elegant, with seamless integration of structural wood, ripe black and red fruit, savoury spices, and sunshine. There's an alluring lick of anise, and an easy, natural acidity that drives this long on the palate to a pencil shavings finish. Certainly one for the cellar.Prices: BC 149.99 Producer: Viña Concha y Toro S.A.
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Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva de Familiatext
92PTS

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva de Familia 2018

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileAlways solid, you would expect the Reserva de Familiato to rise to the top in 2018, and it does. Fragrant minty, red fruit and spice tones jump from the glass. The attack is rich with cabernet structure and dense sweet tannins that push through the finish. Red currants and plums dusted in cedar and eucalyptus carry through the wine. The fruit is all Maipo Valley (Mariscal) grown over deep, sandy alluvial soils. The macerations are long and can go up to 40 days before it spends 14-15 months French oak. Stylish, to say the least, and excellent value. I would hold this through 2023 and then begin drinking. Impressive for the price.Prices: BC 31.33 AB 18.99 MB 21.99 ON 17.10 NFL 23.99 Producer: Viña Santa Carolina
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Santa Carolina VSC Red Assemblagetext
89PTS

Santa Carolina VSC Red Assemblage 2019

Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileDeep dark and minty, the boldo takes me back to Chile quickly as the spice and coffee infill the nose. The assemblage is a mix of petit syrah, cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, and malbec grown at Peumo in the Cachapoal Valley. The attack is minty with spicy, intense black fruit flecked with espresso, olives, dried herbs, and licorice. A lot is going on here, so it might be best to cellar this for five to seven years before you begin to drink it. If you do open a bottle, lamb would be the preferred match at this time.Prices: BC 49.99 NB 44.25 Producer: Viña Santa Carolina
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Santa Carolina Herenciatext
94PTS

Santa Carolina Herencia 2018

Puemo, Valle del Cachapoal, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileYou can’t miss Herencia on the shelf: it is the bottle that looks like a magnum and weighs like one too. It is all carmenère from the Cachapoal Valley’s Puemo district, and it is impressive. The nose is a mix of smoky damp leaves burning outdoors on a cool fall day flecked with floral, mineral black fruit, and a touch of pepper. The textures are dense, the tannins sweet, and fruit black and showy before the freshness and salt and pepper notes kick in to run through its long, lingering, clean finish. It is a terrific bottle of carmenère that, while drinkable, will have a long life ahead. Chile doesn’t get the respect it should from the global wine community, hence the big bottle, but this suggests the world has it wrong. Chile is perfectly capable of competing and competing at a very high level. A wine for collectors.Prices: BC 180.00 Producer: Viña Santa Carolina
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Señatext
97PTS

Seña 2018

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileI have been fortunate to visit Errazuriz many times, before and after the birth of Seña, created as a joint venture between Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi in 1995. The goal was to allow Chile to reach its full potential by creating a first growth wine that could compete with the great wines of the world made in the Bordeaux style. Seña, is a “signal” to the world, containing a Chilean soul thanks to its unique carmenere content, revealed by biodynamic farming principles employed across the vineyard. In 2018 all parts of the growing seasons were in harmony with the vine, including a start with replenished water reserves, a warm spring, a regular bud break, and excellent flowering. The rest of the season was dry with no heat spikes signalling an outstanding year in Aconcagua. The blend is 55/18/15/7/5 mix of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, carmenere, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. It spends 22 months in 85 percent new French oak barrels, of which 15 percent are larger foudres. The wine is superb. It opens with classic cedar, tobacco, and black fruits that spill across a beautifully textured palate that runs long and linear, exhibiting balance and finesse with an undertow of power and depth. Red and black fruit meets before a dry, savoury, cigar box finish. It is the best Seña I have tasted.Prices: BC 199.99 AB 199.99 MB 199.99 ON 199.99 QC 199.99 Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Viñedo Chadwicktext
98PTS

Viñedo Chadwick 2018

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileViñedo Chadwick takes you to the exalted Puente Alto region, now more or less on the southern limits of greater Santiago. The wine is a tribute to Alfonso Chadwick, honouring the long tradition of family winemaking with expertise in Chile's historical home of cabernet. The vintage is superb and likely will be as good if not better than 2015. Plenty of winter rain, an early warm spring and summer with few if any heat spikes left the fruit in perfect condition. Viñedo Chadwick is essentially a solo cabernet sauvignon with only three percent petit verdot for spice. It spends 22 months in 80 percent new French oak barrels, of which 20 percent were the larger foudres to reduce the oak influence. The colour is opaque with a savoury, open, elegant nose of cassis, black cherries, and black raspberry. The palate, sweet blueberry pie, blackberries, bitter chocolate, and perfect spicing swim along a silky bed packed full of dense, sweet tannins. This wine has a big future and will only improve if possible in the cellar for the next two decades. It is one of the best wines ever made by longtime winemaker Francisco Baettig.Prices: BC 449.99 AB 449.99 ON 449.95 QC 499.75 NS 449.99 Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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27 May 2021

Gold Hill Cabernet Franctext
88PTS

Gold Hill Cabernet Franc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA power red that opens with an intense, dried leaf nose reminiscent of many cabernet francs raised in cooler climates. Perhaps a bit too much heat stunted the ripening, but it is cabernet franc, and a bit of greenness is always tolerated by the enthusiasts. The palate is both ripe and oaky with a glycerol-like texture that powers through to a spicy finish. A bit of a bruiser, this is best served with grilled lamb or venison. Buckle up.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Cabernet Franctext
86PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Cabernet Franc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrganic cabernet franc grapes from Kaleden's Esther Vineyard and its silty glacial rock are the source for this wine, fermented in a 10,000L foudre. Post-ferment, it was racked into oak barrels for a 25 month rest (mix of new and neutral wood). Soft and plush, with evident and potent cedar wood seasoning the heady cassis, black cherry, pencil shavings. There's a smouldering camp smoke note throughout to the finish, all wrapped with soft, plush tannins. Needs an equally camp-smoked meet or veg dish to tame.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Corcelettes Cabernet Franc Corcelettes Estate Vineyardtext
90PTS

Corcelettes Cabernet Franc Corcelettes Estate Vineyard 2018

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Similkameen is an exciting place to grow cabernet franc, and the latest from Corcelettes joins the party. All of the fruit, picked on October 25, is tended, harvested, and sorted by hand. The fermentation ran 26 days, and the wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels (30 percent new). The nose and palate have a similar sweet black fruit character mixing black cherries, black raspberries, and licorice, with savoury, minty, tobacco poking through a dense tannin finish. There is no rush to drink this one. A classic steak wine, or take with grilled vegetables in the fall and winter. The Corcelettes Estate Vineyard is on the Upper Bench in Keremeos and is a mix of alluvial Stemwinder soils and gravelly sandy loam Similkameen soils. An advantageous south facing setting helps at the end of the growing season as the temperatures dip down.Prices: BC 33.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Picassestext
90PTS

Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Picasses 2018

Chinon, Touraine, Loire, FranceJean-Maurice Raffault and Rodolphe Raffault’s family began cultivating vines in Chinon 14 generations ago, when their ancestor, Mathurin Bottreau, bought his first parcel of vines in 1693. Today, Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault owns 50 organically farmed hectares of vines in 7 communes. This cabernet franc is from the Les Picasses lieu dit, atop a plateau overlooking the Vienne, the windiness of the site reflected in the windmill on the label. Soils here are stony limestone and clay. After destemming and a native ferment this moves to barriques for MLF and aging 18 months on fine lees. Super fragrant with black cherry, black raspberry, blackcurrant, anise on a structural, medium+ bodied palate, lined with red liquorice. The wine is pulled across the palate with ample chewy tannins, finishing with a fragrant rosemary tug and liberal mineral salts. Pour alongside roasted pork.Prices: ON 23.95 Producer: Jean-Maurice Raffault
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Play Cabernet Franctext
87PTS

Play Cabernet Franc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a clean, fresh medium-weight franc with perfectly ripened fruit and zero green notes. Lean and long, it has medium intensity, red fruit, and a long, lean silky finish. It’s been barrel aged for 16 months, but you don’t notice it. The farming is sustainable, the soils are silty loams. Ready to drink. Pricey.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Time Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Time Cabernet Franc 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Time Cab Franc will surprise you from the moment you pour it into the bottle. The nose is aromatic and enticing with spicy, earthy black and red fruit. The textures are silky smooth, and the fruit purer with noticeably less caramel and oak. The fruit comes off the very warm Adega Vineyard in Osoyoos and the medium warm Halla Vineyard in Kaleden, across from the Skaha Bench. It is aged 6 months in French and American oak barrels, but it is less noticeable and much welcomed. Look for a peppery, earthy palate of black plums, blueberries, and savoury franc notes through the finish. Well made and should improve further as it ages. T-bone steaks, anyone?Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Seaside Pearl Lover's Lane Cabernet Franctext
87PTS

Seaside Pearl Lover's Lane Cabernet Franc 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe colour is Loire Valley garnet. The aromas are cleaner than last year with more precision and less oak leaving a red-fruited nose dotted with smoky bacon, a touch of rubber, fresh raspberries, and even a hint of violets. The attack is dry with more peppery red fruit and bright acidity, suggesting this would be well served with grilled sausages or a pork roast. A fine improvement over 2017.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery
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Bartier Bros. Cabernet Franc Cerqueira Vineyardtext
89PTS

Bartier Bros. Cabernet Franc Cerqueira Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a very pure franc. Clean and insightful, it reflects the Bartier mantra to do whatever makes sense in the vineyard, and then do as little as possible in the winery. The fruit comes off the Black Sage Terrace home site, Cerqueira Vineyard, and mixes approximately ten percent merlot with franc to keep it supple and round. The nose and palate mix savoury red/black fruit with a hint of leaf and earth. It's native fermented, on skins for a day, and aged a year in French oak barrels. Flavours run from black plums to licorice root with an undercurrent of white pepper and light baking spices. A perfect steak wine. There is big value here that you can drink or hold.Prices: BC 28.99 AB 26.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Frind Estate Premier Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Frind Estate Premier Cabernet Franc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrind Estate Winery is a new lakefront winery facility and visitor centre on the historic Bennett family property in West Kelowna, just south of Quails’ Gate. Owner Markus Frind purchased the property in 2017 and has been busy acquiring vineyard sites up and down the valley ever since. The fruit here is mostly from Rock Pile Vineyard in Oliver. The style is mid-weight at 13% alcohol with soft tannins and intense bright red cherry and cassis dusted with spicy sagebrush and cedar. As ripe as the red fruit is, the style is more Loire than California. Certainly, it will have appeal to traditional franc freaks. You can drink this now or hold three to five years. It is aged in French and American neutral oak barrels for only ten months, with a small portion going into new French cigar barrels. Enjoy with a mixed grill of fall vegetables and / or a flatiron steak.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Frind Estate
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Poplar Grove Cabernet Franctext
90PTS

Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a statement wine from Poplar Grove, and it's easy to taste why they're so bullish about Okanagan cabernet franc. It's beautifully expressive and complex, ranging from raspberry and blackberry to dried sage and tea leaf to alluring florals. Medium-bodied, this stands out for its elegance and impressive concentration, no doubt thanks in part to the low yields (2 tonnes per acre) at their Osoyoos Vineyard. In a vintage with the potential to produce monstrously tannic wines, winemaker Stefan Arnason has done an impressive job ensuring everything is seamless and in balance. Recommended.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Poplar Grove Winery
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Hester Creek Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Hester Creek Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franc 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA cool spring followed by a super warm and dry early summer brought a fall of fully ripe fruit with fine acidity. Block 3 is likely the oldest block of cabernet franc in British Columbia, planted in 1968, bringing complexity and intense flavours to this label. It is all hand harvested, destemmed, and whole berry pressed to ferment in Ganimede Italian fermenters. The wine is pressed off gently, and the juice fractions are separated, with only the best lots making it to Block 3. The final blend is aged 18 months in predominately French oak barrels and then cellar aged 6-8 months. I like the hedonistic style, with rich, warm, savoury black fruit flecked with raspberries, blackberries, sagebrush, and smoky peppery notes. It is fairly soft to allow early drinking.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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26 May 2021

Enfield Wine Co Waterhorse Ridge Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Enfield Wine Co Waterhorse Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Sonoma County, California, United StatesFrom Sonoma County's tiny Fort Ross - Seaview AVA's Waterhorse Ridge Vineyard, and its loamy/volcanic soils, this cabernet is cooled by its elevation and proximity to the Pacific, 5 miles away. The 2-acre dry farm, organic, no-till vineyard is farmed and owned by grower Jesus Velasquez. Enfield Wine Co. is the family project of John Lockwood and Amy Seese, focused solely on producing low-intervention wines of individuality and place. John typically farms the sites himself, but this vineyard, nearly 20 years old, was so meticulously cared for by Jesus, he leaves it in capable hands. It was a native co-fermented field blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc & 3% Petit Verdot, with 20% whole cluster. After a two week ferment, the wine aged for 18 months in a mix of 500L Puncheons and 225L barrels (10% new) before being bottled unfined & unfiltered. The early warm 2017 harvest pushed the vines into ripening mode, resulting in a plusher mouthfeel than the slight 2016 Cab. Dusky plum, ripe black raspberry flow along the cushy palate, seasoned with ample violets and wildflowers, and framed with softer, cushy tannins. Still quite finessed and pretty, through a sultrier lens this year.Prices: BC 125.00 Producer: Enfield Wine Co.
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Adamvs Térestext
91PTS

Adamvs Téres 2016

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, United StatesTéres is a cabernet sauvignon dominant blend, tipped with 6% merlot, 4% cabernet franc from the winery's Howell Mountain estate. Philippe Melka is the consultant winemaker, so you can imagine the league and profile they're striving for with this massively weighted bottle. This spent 22 months in 55% new French barrels. Deep, dark, and concentrated, this is intense with blackberry, black cherry, tobacco on a full+ bodied palate. Tannins are ample and granular, framing the plush palate to a lingering, perfumed vanilla finish. Lots of stuffing here, but well integrated. A massive wine that can be taken now with a decant, or cellared for the next 5+ years easy.Prices: USA 145.00 Producer: Adamvs
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Adamvs Quintvstext
90PTS

Adamvs Quintvs 2016

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, United StatesQuintvs is a cabernet sauvignon barrel selection from the five distinct soil types found at the winery's Howell Mountain estate, including the region's lauded iron-rich clays and powdery volcanic ash. Philippe Melka is the consultant winemaker, so you can imagine the league and profile they're striving for with this massively weighted bottle. This spent 22 months in 73% new French barrels. Deep, plush, and concentrated, with blackberry, black current, tobacco, and black plum florals filling the fleshy, full palate. Tannins are polished, but still quite grippy at this youthful state, right through the warming finish. Needs a good 5 years to settle into itself, as intended. Smartly handled, but showy, which I suppose is also as intended.Prices: USA 155.00 Producer: Adamvs
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Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillactext
91PTS

Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac 2015

Pauillac, Haut-Médoc, Médoc, Bordeaux, FranceChateau Pichon Baron and Chateau Pichon Lalande started out life together. At their inception, they were originally part of the same Pauillac vineyard. The chateau and vineyard of Pichon Baron acquired its name like many properties of the day, through marriage, when Therese, daughter of the founder, received the estate as a dowry when she married Jacques de Pichon Longueville, the first President of the Bordeaux Parliament. This began the creation of what we now know of as Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron. This vintage blends 80% cabernet sauvignon with merlot, 80% of which saw time in new oak. There's an alluring spice box perfume of rose petal, baking spice, bay leaf, lavender scenting this structural, classic Pauillac. Black cherry, tobacco, fill the core, gripped with quite firm tannins, to the somewhat drying finish. Stately, if a bit reserved at this time. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: Producer: Château Pichon-Longueville
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Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Tuscany, ItalyFrom the crumby galestro soils of Isole e Olena estate's 49 hectares of vineyard that face southwest. They are situated on the Western border of the Chianti Classico zone, approximately 350-400 meters above sea level. This spent 24 months in 80/20 French / American oak (40% new) oak and another 2 years on the bottle before release. Ripe, polished black cherry, herbal black raspberry fills the fuller, dusty frame, striated by grippy/gritty tannins and seasoned with baking spices and some older toasted wood. The finish is somewhat drying at this point and best taken with roast pork. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AB 135.00 Producer: Isole e Olena
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Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignontext
92PTS

Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Napa Valley, California, United StatesFrom Spring Mountain fruit and Calistoga fruit, this is a nice blend of freshness and warmth, always tempered by the cooling Pacific fog. Very elegant and harmonious, wrapped around a core of pure black cherry, fig, pipe tobacco, and seasoned with sultry florals, anise, and peppery spices. Tannins are finely grippy and structural, hugging this through the lingering finish. In a good place for drinking now. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: Producer: Chateau Montelena
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Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Napa Valley, California, United StatesBlack Stallion is located in the Stags Leap area of Napa valley on an old equestrian site. The Indelicato family, owners of the Delicato wine empire, own Black Stallion, so resources are not a problem. It is a true entry-level Napa cab, assembled from various sites across the valley and at $50, it represents pretty good value. First off, it is mostly off-dry, although the style is Napa ripe with plenty of black cherry fruit, rich but smooth tannins that finish with a hit of blackberry, cocoa and baking spice. It is made for early drinking and would be perfect with lamb or beef grilled on the barbecue.Prices: BC 38.99 Producer: Black Stallion Estate Winery
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25 May 2021

Modest Wines Little Green Red Petit Verdottext
86PTS

Modest Wines Little Green Red Petit Verdot 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaModest Wines is a newish project from the folks at Mt. Boucherie, headed by newish GM Jesse Harnden, and was originally designed to be a tiny project to pair with the food from their on-site Honest Butcher restaurant. Jesse's creativity started flowing, however, and Modest Wines now sources fruit from a few different vineyards in the Okanagan, including their estate, to make more edgy, adventuresome wines. This petit verdot comes off a vineyard in Osoyoos, which you can feel in the smouldering, uber-ripe profile of this rich, dense red. Smoked meats, charred veg, tobacco, smoked sage, mint rule a palate where the ripe blackberry, black cherry play a supporting role. Tannins are big and ragged, thankfully now integrating into the dense fruit. Too much of too much, but if you're looking for that, crack this alongside chargrilled beef.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Gnarly Head Old Vine Zintext
86PTS

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2018

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United StatesGnarly Head is made from old head trained bush vine zinfandel grown in Lodi. The nose is a round, open, black raspberry affair with smoky toasted oak and red berry undertones. On the palate, the rich, oaky, jammy flavours are weighty, spicy, and sprinkled with mocha before finishing with soft tannins, thanks to ageing in French and American oak. A weekend barbecue red for your favourite rib recipe, grilled chicken, or a meaty pizza.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 15.99 MB 17.99 ON 15.88 NFL 19.95 Producer: Gnarly Head Cellars
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Pedro Parra y Familia Vinista Paistext
91PTS

Pedro Parra y Familia Vinista Pais 2019

Itata Valley, ChileVinista is one of those otherworldy wines that is both thought-provoking and quaffable. It is made from a grape called pais (the first vinifera in Chile hundreds of years ago and known in California as mission) from old vineyards in the southern reaches of Chile. Vinista is distinctly pale in colour with delicate aromas of red berries, rose hip, iris, and herbal bay leaf. The flavours are a cerebral mix of cherry and raspberry with a touch of leather, smoke, and earth. Bright natural acidity without excessive tartness and filigreed tannins frame the sheer fruit without overwhelming it. Fermented in concrete with native yeasts, this is authentic wine personified. Elegant, multifaceted, light, lingering, and layered, Vinista is far more about place than grape. The senses are directed to the subterranean part of the wine, the sweet smell of granite, the salty nuances, and fine grit to the texture. What a gem this is from Chile's world-renowned 'Terroir Hunter' Dr. Pedro Parra. Few winemakers have a greater understanding of the relationship between rocks, fractures, roots, soils, and vines than Pedro, who believes that the grape is simply a vehicle for the more meaningful, deeper terroir message. More earth-driven and botanical that fruity, savoury food flavours will reveal additional red berry dimensions. Give this wine a bit of air and a slight chill and try with charcuterie, grilled herby lambchops, or some aged cheese.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Pedro Parra y Familia
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Caymus - Suisun Grand Duriftext
90PTS

Caymus - Suisun Grand Durif 2018

California, United StatesSuisun (su-soon) Valley, sits 40 minutes to the southeast from the Caymus home base in Napa Valley, and is home to the durif grape, better known in the New World as petite sirah. This is a big, black wine with soft, round, spicy fruit, in the petit verdot and tannat mould, with a little less tannin. The mid-palate is dense with black cherry, plums, intense blueberries, cocoa, and violet florality in the back end. Drink now with grilled lamb or hold for three to five years. Hedonists will love this one.Prices: CDN 65.00 Producer: Caymus Vineyards
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Modest Wines Little Green Red Petit Verdottext
88PTS

Modest Wines Little Green Red Petit Verdot 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMt. Boucherie modestly asks, why is it called 'petit' verdot? Good question, since this grape usually brings a fistful of power to any blend, and when bottled solo, it can be overpowering. You could argue except in cooler climates, but the problem is it is a late-ripening grape, and it usually is one of the last to come into the winery. Back in the heyday of Bordeaux, 1945 to 1990, often PV was credited with contributing to the region's greatest vintages that unfailingly were the warmest years with the best growing seasons. This PV is grown in the super warm climes of Osoyoos, and as its label suggests, it is neither little nor green. The attack is bold; the tannins dense and dry at the moment and will need some time. The fruit is big, big enough to take on the tannins, but to what end. This wine is for you if you like your red massive, savoury and meaty with a touch of leather. We could argue it should be used to juice up some of the red in the portfolio, but there is no shortage of folks who like to drink big wines — beef anyone.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Emandare Vineyard Marechal Fochtext
87PTS

Emandare Vineyard Marechal Foch 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2018 blended estate organically farmed 80% marechal foch and 20% cabernet foch, all destemmed and native fermented before 10 months in barrel prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Juicy and plump, lean and spicy, with dark cherry, brooding plum, and dark earthy notes. Tannins are low, and the palate is soft. An easy, darker red for drinking now.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Emandare Vineyard
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Bodega Garzón Reserva Tannattext
91PTS

Bodega Garzón Reserva Tannat 2018

Garzon, Maldonado, San José, UruguayTannat is the petit verdot of the south of France, but something happened on the way to Bodega Garzon in Uruguay, namely Alberto Antonini. Antonini is on the shortlist of the world's smartest and most sensitive wine consultants, and his work at Garzon is nothing short of spectacular. Uruguay has had success with tannat for some time, but none have been as elegant and equally structured at the same time as the Garzon wines. Working with 1000 separate blocks, Antonini has crafted wines of amazing grace while remaining true to the power of tannat and its famous full flavours. The proximity to the cold Atlantic Ocean helps promote bright fruit characters that offset the obvious black fruit. Yet even there, it is black plums over black currants, and it is black raspberries over cassis. It is the tannin and the texture of this beautifully balanced wine that makes it so special. No amount of bungling at the retail and distribution level of this wine since its early releases across Canada, and there has been plenty in our estimation, can hold this label down. Let's hope this wine finally gets the recognition it deserves. Stock up; they are giving this away.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Bodega Garzón
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Black Hills Carménèretext
89PTS

Black Hills Carménère 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith only 14 acres planted in the Okanagan (as of 2019), carménère is a rarity and, unfortunately, it's often priced as such. For such a limited production, there is still a lot of stylistic diversity between producers. This Black Hills carménère is a leaner expression at just 12.6% abv, but don't take that to mean unripe. There's a real purity and juiciness to the black fruits here, which is nicely accented by spicy herbs and green peppercorn. Bright, fine, and supple, you can drink this now with something nicely charred from the grill.Prices: BC 63.99 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Olivier Coste Oldstar Carignan Noirtext
88PTS

Olivier Coste Oldstar Carignan Noir 2020

l'Hérault, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceSince his childhood, Olivier Coste’s favourite places to play have been the vineyards and the family wine cellar at Domaine Montrose, his family’s wine estate founded in 1701 in Pézenas. With this upbringing, Olivier developed a profound attachment to the Languedoc’s terroir and landscape, and later to its wines. This was fermented and aged in stainless, to preserve the purity of the older bush vines. This very youthful (2020!) red opens with a wave of reduction before moving into candied cherry, strawberry on a juicy, round palate. Tannins are soft and lightly sticky, taking this to a warming finish. Best with a chill and grilled sausages / veg.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Olivier Coste
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Olivier Coste Cinsaulttext
90PTS

Olivier Coste Cinsault 2019

l'Hérault, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceSince his childhood, Olivier Coste’s favourite places to play have been the vineyards and the family wine cellar at Domaine Montrose, his family’s wine estate founded in 1701 in Pézenas. With this upbringing, Olivier developed a profound attachment to the Languedoc’s terroir and landscape, and later to its wines. Perfumed plums, boysenberries, wild blueberries, fresh rosemary flood the juicy, round palate, bound by lightly sticky tannins to a lightly warming pink peppercorn finish. A charmer.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Olivier Coste
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Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vinestext
88PTS

Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vines 2016

Northern Sonoma, Sonoma County, California, United StatesKnotty Vines is sourced from vineyards in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek with 30+ years of age, though some plantings date to 1904. It has an attractive brambly nose, and doesn't come across as excessively ripe or jammy even at 15% abv. Some subtle anise and oak spice adds to the wine's complexity, though this is really a simple, honest zinfandel at its heart, and fairly priced at that.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 22.00 ON 23.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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El Esteco Fincas Notables Las Mercedes Tannat Cuartel No. 28text
88PTS

El Esteco Fincas Notables Las Mercedes Tannat Cuartel No. 28 2015

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, North, ArgentinaThe Fincas Notables labels draw its fruit from top blocks across its Calchaqui Valley estates. Point in question is plot 28, with sandy alluvial soils at 1700m in Cafayate. There is nothing shy about this dark, almost menacing black chocolate, espresso, smoky red that will thrill barbecue fans looking for a hefty style. It shows no sign of deterioration at six years of age, so fear not, it will easily age another decade. It as rich and as savoury as tannat can get, and a bit reminiscent of a 70s style tannat from southwest France. It is partially native fermented in new French oak barrels and aged for 15 months. A leg of lamb comes quickly to mind.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Bodega El Esteco
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24 May 2021

Le Ragnaie Fornace Brunello di Montalcinotext
93PTS

Le Ragnaie Fornace Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyRiccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased this Montalcino property with a mix of old vines and younger plantings and established Le Ragnaie in 2003. The organically-farmed estate is divided into three distinct parcels across 42 acres in Montalcino. These vines are the highest in Montalcino, some reaching above the DOCG mandated 1,960 feet above sea level. As one of the highest points in the region, it became famous for bird catchers, hence the traditional birdcatchers' net that graces the label (Ragnaie is Etruscan for spiderweb, reminiscent of the netting). This sangiovese comes from 400m, which is the winery's low altitude vineyards. Dense and concentrated, though elegant, with black cherry, black raspberry ruling the plusher palate, shaped with long, fine and firm tannins, and finishing with a dusting of spice and ample salinity. This powerful wine is drinking beautifully now and with time ahead — certainly a different shape and form than their elevated vineyards, but the same family tree and intent.Prices: ON 187.95 Producer: Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie
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Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcinotext
93PTS

Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyRiccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased this Montalcino property with a mix of old vines and younger plantings and established Le Ragnaie in 2003. The organically-farmed estate is divided into three distinct parcels across 42 acres in Montalcino. These vines are the highest in Montalcino, some reaching above the DOCG mandated 1,960 feet above sea level. As one of the highest points in the region, it became famous for bird catchers, hence the traditional birdcatchers' net that graces the label (Ragnaie is Etruscan for spiderweb, reminiscent of the netting). This Brunello comes from 3 sites and vines up to 80 years old. After a little youthful reduction blows off, this shows off ripe and perfumed raspberry, cherry, light kirsch, and peppery/herbal scrub spicing. Tannins are firm, sidling the fruit through the lingering, grippy, mineral-licked finish. Lots of power and energy in this elegant Brunello, drinking well now in youth and with time ahead.Prices: ON 115.95 Producer: Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie
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Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcinotext
93PTS

Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyRiccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased this Montalcino property with a mix of old vines and younger plantings, and established Le Ragnaie in 2003. The organically-farmed estate is divided into three distinct parcels across 42 acres in Montalcino. These vines are the highest in Montalcino, some reaching above the DOCG mandated 1,960 feet above sea level. As one of the highest points in the region, it became famous for bird catchers, hence the traditional birdcatchers' net that graces the label (Ragnaie is Etruscan for spiderweb, reminiscent of the netting). This Brunello comes from 3 sites and vines up to 80 years old. Super elegant, with ripe cherry, raspberry, on a plump, juicy palate, with grippy, long, well-integrated tannins running the length of this svelte wine to a lingering finish. The generosity of the 2015 vintage is evident but so well handled here. Drinking beautifully now and with time ahead.Prices: ON 115.95 Producer: Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie
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Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcinotext
92PTS

Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyRiccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased this Montalcino property with a mix of old vines and younger plantings, and established Le Ragnaie in 2003. The organically farmed estate is divided into three distinct parcels across 42 acres in Montalcino. These vines are the highest of any in Montalcino, some reaching above the DOCG mandated 1,960 feet above sea level. As one of the highest points in the region, it became famous for bird catchers, hence the traditional birdcatchers' net that graces the label (Ragnaie is Etruscan for spiderweb, reminiscent of the netting). This Brunello comes from 3 sites, and vines up to 80 years old. So finessed, from the bricking hue to the fragrant dried cherries and raspberries flowing through the lengthy palate. Tobacco, dried orange, streaks of amaro, ride a base of worn leather, finishing with lingering mineral salts. Drinking beautifully now.Prices: ON 115.95 Producer: Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie
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Podere le Ripi Lupi Serene Brunello di Montalcino Riservatext
91PTS

Podere le Ripi Lupi Serene Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyPodere le Ripi is a 54 hectare organic and certified biodynamic estate owned by Francesco Illy (yes, of the Trieste coffee family), filled with forest, olive trees, and vineyards. Illy found the Podere Le Ripi site in 1997, south east of Montalcino, and previously owned by a shepherd. He planted the vines three years later. This sangiovese is rooted in brown marls, and was native fermented and macerated for 50 days in open top oak, before 33 months in oak barrel, 9 months in cement, and at least 19 months in bottle prior to release. Ripe and sultry up front, with fragrant black cherries (fresh and dried), filling the structural palate, along with medicinal blackcurrant, and peppery spice. Tannins are long and firm and grippy, holding this through a lingering spiced finish. Old school, but quite polished.Prices: Producer: Podere Le Ripi
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Podere Le Ripi Amore e Magia Brunello di Montalcinotext
88PTS

Podere Le Ripi Amore e Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyPodere le Ripi is a 54 hectare organic and certified biodynamic estate owned by Francesco Illy (yes, of the Trieste coffee family), filled with forest, olive trees, and vineyards. Illy found the Podere Le Ripi site in 1997, south east of Montalcino, and previously owned by a shepherd. He planted the vines three years later on its clay and limestone soils. This sangiovese is rooted in marl, clay and limestone, and was native fermented and macerated for 50 days in large, open top oak, before aging 33 months in these large barrels, followed by one year in cement vats, and one year in bottle prior to release. This opens with fragrant black fruit (fresh and dried), and subtle florals, with a slight wave of VA throughout. The palate is full and plumped with blackberry and balsamic, and housed by ample, grippy / gritty tannins, leading to an astringent finish. Old school in style, though some nice concentration on the palate.Prices: Producer: Podere Le Ripi
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Podere le Ripi Cielo d'Ulisse Brunello di Montalcinotext
86PTS

Podere le Ripi Cielo d'Ulisse Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyPodere le Ripi is a 54 hectare organic and certified biodynamic estate owned by Francesco Illy (yes, of the Trieste coffee family), filled with forest, olive trees, and vineyards. Illy found the Podere Le Ripi site in 1997, south east of Montalcino, and previously owned by a shepherd. He planted the vines three years later. This sangiovese comes from schists and limestone, rich in silt and sand which ranges from blue galestro to alberese. It was native fermented and aged 33 months in oak barrel, plus 12 months in cement. Opening with scents of aged wood, this moves into dried cherry, dried raspberry, with waves of VA throughout. Tannins are grippy and fierce, taking this to a very drying finish.Prices: Producer: Podere Le Ripi
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Podere Le Ripi Signi e Follia Rosso di Montalcinotext
88PTS

Podere Le Ripi Signi e Follia Rosso di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyPodere le Ripi is a 54 hectare organic and certified biodynamic estate owned by Francesco Illy (yes, of the Trieste coffee family), filled with forest, olive trees, and vineyards. Illy found the Podere Le Ripi site in 1997, south east of Montalcino, and previously owned by a shepherd. He planted the vines three years later. This sangiovese comes from schist and limestone soils, and was native fermented in cement vats before aging 30 months in large oak barrels. Pale cherry in hue, this has ample perfumed cherry before leading to a medium+ palate with dried cherry, dried raspberry, and fine spicing. Tannins are grippy and firm, taking this to the drying finish.Prices: Producer: Podere Le Ripi
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Podere Le Ripi Amore e Follia Rossotext
88PTS

Podere Le Ripi Amore e Follia Rosso 2019

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyPodere le Ripi is a 54 hectare organic and certified biodynamic estate owned by Francesco Illy (yes, of the Trieste coffee family), filled with forest, olive trees, and vineyards. Illy found the Podere Le Ripi site in 1997, south east of Montalcino, and previously owned by a shepherd. He planted the vines three years later on its clay and limestone soils. This Rosso is equal parts Syrah and Sangiovese, native fermented and macerated over 25 days in open oak before aging 15 months in concrete. Ripe cherry, raspberry is gripped with firm tannins, and seasoned with peppery spices. Acidity is bright, easily lofting the 14%, and taking it to a drying finish. Drinking well now, best with grilled foods.Prices: Producer: Podere Le Ripi
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Suolotext
95PTS

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Suolo 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyIn the highly regarded 2016 vintage, the fruit was cold-soaked for colour and aromatics before a two week natural fermentation in concrete. It is aged about 30 months in 10-15hl barrels from Garbellotto, specially selected for Suolo. From there, it spends ten months in a bottle. The nose is extremely complex and broad. Look for savoury, raspberries and red cherry flecked with orange peel, thyme, and balsamic. Dense and structured, the tannins are supple and well integrated into a stylish, silky finish. Suolo is the oldest and highest sangiovese vineyard in the group at almost 60 years, and it is situated 280 to 310 meters above sea level over heavy limestone-rich soil. The vines are the oldest as well, at 65+ years. Historically Suolo was an IGT Toscana red until 2015, but a history of elegant offerings earned it the DOCG ranking it deserves.Prices: BC 299.99 AB 299.99 Producer: Argiano
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riservatext
95PTS

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyThe Riserva comes off a vineyard block that sits from 280 to 310 meters above sea level. The vines, organically farmed, have an age span of 25 to 60 years old, rooted in marl, clay, and magical limestone. A perfect growing season saw the fruit come in late September. It is a best berry selection at that cellar before a three week maceration process in stainless steel vats and 36 months of ageing in 600-litre Slavonian oak barrels before two more years in bottle. The nose has a beautiful floral lift that mixes rose petals and licorice with an earthy mushroom note. The palate is taut and lined with fresh fruit and bright acidity. Flavours range from dried cherries and leather and orange peel to stony, mineral notes and refined, dense, sweet tannins. It is a keeper you can drink now thanks to the rush of fruit, but it is a wine that will cellar for decades. It is your choice, and you can’t go wrong.Prices: BC 399.99 AB 399.99 Producer: Argiano
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcinotext
95PTS

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyWe will be talking about the 2015 and the 2016 Brunello vintages for decades, and the wines will only get better while we do, so jump in if you want some real gems for the cellar. To simplify, there is more fruit in 2015, and more structure and tannin in 2016, but they are both outstanding years. Argiano opens with fragrant violet overtones with cedar, leather, anise, and wild fruit. On the palate, the riot of flavours continues, fighting to get to the front of an overstuffed glass of flavours. Fresh, and more importantly, alive and vibrant, this is a winner with a long future. Put on a seat belt and get ready for the ride. I want some pici and mushrooms, the local pasta with this gem. Drink through 2045.Prices: BC 74.99 AB 74.99 MB 85.00 ON 60.99 Producer: Argiano
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Argiano Rosso di Montalcinotext
90PTS

Argiano Rosso di Montalcino 2019

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyFrom another hot, dry year in Tuscany, saved by late rains, 2019 Argiano Rosso is 100 percent sangiovese with an average vine age of 13 - 23 years. Smaller bunches and lower yields mark the vintage, but at Argiano, the Rosso selection is all about freshness and fruit. The attack is lively with intense floral, cherry, earthy, mineral scents that spill onto the palate, joining cherries and cedar. It sees a mix of French oak in all sizes but only for a few months. A serious but softer look at the sangiovese grape you can drink or hold at your will. Food-friendly, you can serve it with a charcuterie plate or a pasta ragú.Prices: BC 42.99 AB 42.99 MB 36.00 ON 30.96 Producer: Argiano
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Argiano Non Confunditur NC Rosso Toscanotext
89PTS

Argiano Non Confunditur NC Rosso Toscano 2019

Tuscany, ItalyNon-Confunditur is the Argiano motto found on the family crest. It translates to unique, or as winemaker Bernardino Sani translates it from the Latin, “not to be confused.” It is a Super Tuscan mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and sangiovese, but the fruit comes off younger 15 to 20-year-old vines. Sani describes NC as a baby or junior Super Tuscan, and it fits the wine and its price point. In 2019 the organically farmed fruit experienced a mild spring with infrequent but heavy rains. Early summer was hot, but otherwise, it was a balanced year, and the grapes were fully ripe when picked in at the end of September. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and by variety in two and three-year-old oak. Expect plummy, savoury, wild berry aromas with a touch of oak, while on the palate, it is a medium rich red with earthy, savoury, Tuscan red-black fruits you can drink or hold. For now, grilled meats or spaghetti Bolognese are good matches.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 29.95 MB 31.95 ON 23.88 Producer: Argiano
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Altesino Rosso di Montalcinotext
91PTS

Altesino Rosso di Montalcino 2018

Tuscany, ItalyIn the case of the Altesino Rosso, the fruit is all sangiovese that is only aged for seven months in Slavonian oak barrels, followed by three months in bottle before heading to the market three full years before its big brother Brunello will arrive. Bright red, the nose is wild and fresh with earthy scents of wild berries and cedar, and the palate is a mix of ripe plums and dark cherries with bright acidity and tame tannins. Simple but sophisticated is my take, with the always present elegance of Altesino. A classic Euro luncheon wine that is ready to drink.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Altesino, Az Agr.
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Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vignaferroviatext
94PTS

Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vignaferrovia 2015

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyVignaferrovia is only produced in the finest vintages from the grapes of a small 4 hectare parcel in the vineyard adjacent to the 19th century railway station on the estate. The soil is mostly calcareous clay, rich in small stones. The wine is elegant by nature, featuring freshness over ripeness, and style over power. The first vintage of Vignaferrovia was 2004 but was not produced in 2005, 2008 and 2011. Look for a strong undercurrent of that burnt earth and scrubby forest floor before the floral notes chime in. There is some luxury here, but Antinori style, reserved but substantial with intense red fruit dried and fresh, and again with refined tannins. 2015 Vignaferrovia has a very bright and long future ahead of it. Buy and hold if you have the patience.Prices: CDN 135.00 AB 56.00 ON 61.95 QC 53.75 NB 65.00 PEI 65.00 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcinotext
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Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyAs you might expect, 2016 is rich, beginning with a full-blown nose of mostly red but some black fruit dusted in baking spices and anise. The palate is silky soft with a mix of tobacco, earth, floral dark cherries flecked with minerals. The finish adds a touch of salt to keep it complex. The main vineyard is located in the lower elevations of the Brunello DOCG, as its name ‘pian delle vigne’ (the floor of the vineyard) would suggest. It is built to age for a decade with ease. A big as it can be, Pian delle Vigne is always more on the elegant side, which only adds to its lustre. Fabio Ratto lovingly tends the vineyard, and the wine is quietly aged in 3000 to 8000-litre oak casks long free from any oak influence.Prices: BC 70.99 AB 70.00 ON 61.95 QC 53.75 NB 65.00 PEI 65.00 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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21 May 2021

Giant Steps Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Giant Steps Pinot Noir 2020

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaYou are going to love this 2020 regular label that is so fresh and juicy with blood, red cherry, and a lovely earthy forest floor undercurrent that it is anything but regular. Wow, just delicious. The estate pinot is made with a mix of vineyards: Sexton, Applejack, Primavera, and Tarraford, harvested between February and April. The average yields were lower across all the pinot blocks thanks to tighter and smaller bunches, all set off by wonderful natural acidity. The fruit is hand picked, chilled and cold soaked over four days before it warms to a wild ferment in small vessels, both stainless steel and open oak vats. About 40 percent of the fruit goes in the whole bunch, and it is all matured in French oak, 10% new, for eight months in a mix of 225-litre barriques and 4000-litre oak vats. The winery suggests handmade pappardelle and shredded confit duck leg and arugula, and I say bring it on.Prices: BC 55.99 Producer: Giant Steps Wine
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Koerner Viviantext
91PTS

Koerner Vivian 2019

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThis is the fellows' take on a Super Tuscan, with the addition of 5% Sangiovese, and 2% Sciaccarello, so you can think of this as their Super Clare. From their organically farmed Vivian Vineyard's black and red clay on limestone, this was destemmed, with 50% whole berries (no whole bunch) before a native ferment in open top steel fermenters, hand plunged twice daily, over 3 weeks. It was then moved to French demi-muid for 10 months, prior to a tightening stint in steel for 2 months. This is a more powerful, chewy wine, yet still lofted with the effortless buoyant acidity that is characteristic of their wines. Ripe cherry, raspberry leather, dried cherry, red florals, oregano, fragrant kirsch is drawn along the medium-bodied palate, plumed by the clay soils, and propelled by sticky, ample tannins. All of course is offset by the acidity. Open this powerful wine in advance to allow it to unfurl.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Koerner Wine
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Koerner The Clare Red Winetext
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Koerner The Clare Red Wine 2020

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. Sappy plum, tayberry, raspberry fill a sun-ripened palate, with crunchy green branch notes threaded throughout. Tannins are sticky, guiding this medium bodied red through the gently spiced finish. Drinking well now.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Koerner Wine
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Koerner Mammolotext
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Koerner Mammolo 2020

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaBrothers Damon and Jono Koerner show classic and alternative Clare varieties through a variety of winemaking vessels and styles, all from estate fruit, and all with low intervention. Sciacarello is an Italian red variety that is grown primarily in Corsica, known for its haunting floral perfume. From Watervale's Vivian Vineyard, planted im 1998 on clay and limestone, this light red preserves the grape's alluring nature. This was destemmed with 50% whole berry (no whole bunch) before native ferment in steel with twice daily pigeage for two weeks. This then ages in ceramic amphora for 3 months prior to moving into steel for 7 months of tightening, then bottling without fining or filtration. Light and fragrant with herbal cherry, wild raspberry, perfumed plum on a finessed, light palate. Tannins are whisper fine and long, and acidity is effortlessly lofted to a lingering wildflower kissed, saline laced finish. Such a pretty, striking, and charismatic wine.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Koerner Wine
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Xanadu DJL Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Xanadu DJL Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaXanadu is one of the OG Margaret River wineries, founded by Dr James Langan in 1977, and now in the hands of the Rathbone family. This full-bodied Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon is tipped with 6% malbec, 5% petit verdot. A portion of the wine was left for an extended maceration on skins, adding additional depth and structure to this big wine. This was fermented in a mix of stainless and barrel before 14 months' rest in French barriques (25% new). Plush and plump, teeming with dark chocolate, cool mint, cassis, and red currant cut with a green herbal swath. Tannins are ample, green-edged, and easily able to manage the weight of the fruit through a lingering, powdery finish. Somewhat disjointed between ripe and unripe character. Requires a rich piece of beef or hearty veg potpie to mitigate.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Xanadu Wines Pty
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Leko Red Winetext
91PTS

Leko Red Wine 2020

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaLEKO Wine is an Adelaide Hills sister brand to Clare Valley's Koerner Wine. Damon Koerner and his wife Maddy bought a property in Lenswood in 2017, now home to this winery. Damon developed a passion for the Adelaide Hills through his 10 years as a viticulturist in the region. The name LEKO represents Lenswood and Koerner while also giving a nod to Maddy’s maiden name, Lehmann. This lighter red blends 38% Pinot Noir, 35% Merlot, 21% Shiraz, and 6% Mencia from Coulter, Gower, and Deanery Vineyards, and the Adelaide Hills' clay and sandy loams. This was destemmed, with 50% whole berry, and native fermented in open top steel fermenters over two weeks' time on skins before pressing, and blending the free run and pressed juice. This then rested in 2000L Slavonian oak Foudre for 7 months, followed by a tightening stint in stainless for 2 months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered, as evidenced by its hazy, medium cherry hue. Fragrant wild raspberry, rhubarb flood the juicy palate, woven with fine green herbaceousness, soft spice, and wrapped with downy, soft tannins. Acidity is lofty like the Hills, easily carrying this to a lingering finish. Very harmonious and moreish.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Leko
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Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaNot just an Eden Valley legend, but an Australian one, Henschke's wines are unparalleled for their grace and gravitas, and this cabernet is no exception. This was planted in 1989 on sandy loams over sandstone, and farmed organically and with biodynamic practices in Eden's windy hillside environment. This vintage saw 1% cabernet franc tipped in, and spent a scant 10 days on skins, and was aged 18 months in French barrique (20% new). Fragrant and luring with wild herbs, iris, violets along a lengthy, finessed palate, bedding wild raspberry and cherry, and finishing with ample saltiness. Tannins are fine and firm, housing this through the lingering finish. Amazing how such an impactful wine can taste / feel so effortless. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: BC 215.00 Producer: Henschke
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Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaVasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate, was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate’s first red wine. The Tom Cullity descends from these original vines. This vintage blends 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, and saw 16 months in French barrique (51% new). There's an herbal green edge to this full wine, now showing some age through the lightly browning cherry and cassis flooding the fuller palate. Tannins are ample and structural, with a stickiness most likely reflective of the warm vintage. Tasting ready to drink now. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AUS 165.00 Producer: Vasse Felix Pty Ltd.
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Cullen Wines Diana Madelinetext
90PTS

Cullen Wines Diana Madeline 2015

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaDiana Madeline is the flagship cabernet of Cullen, from own-rooted Houghton clones (8 in total) on the gravelly granite sands of Margaret River, organically and biodynamically farmed, and from vines 50+ years old. This vintage is 87% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, and 1% each malbec and cabernet franc. It spent 17 months in French barriques (66% new). Fragrant baked blackberry, ripe black cherries, dark chocolate flood the cushioned palate, darted with violets and clay, and seasoned with baking spices. Tannins are ample and grippy / sticky across the concentrated palate, welcoming pouring this alongside grilled steak. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AUS 130.00 Producer: Cullen Wines
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Mount Mary Quintettext
93PTS

Mount Mary Quintet 2015

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaThe iconic Mount Mary Quintet is one of the jewels of the Yarra Valley. This Bordeaux field blend personifies the refined, cool climate wines of the region. The vineyard was planted in 1971 on sandy clay loams, farmed organically, and has been dry farmed from the start. These fermented on skins for 14 days, followed by 22 months of barrel maturation, with 25% of the blend in large format oak (1500L or larger), and 30% in new barriques (225L). This was bottled with minimal fining and filtration. Savoury cherry, wild blackberry is lined with graphite and iron, running a long, dusty gravels palate. Tannins are similarly lengthy and fine grained, leading this to an herbal mint finish. Incredibly elegant, and savoury, with the bright lifted fruit expected of the Yarra. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AUS 160.00 Producer: Mount Mary Vineyard
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Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No. 1text
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Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No. 1 2015

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaFrom Gruyere's grey silty loams, in central Yarra Valley, this cool climate cabernet (tipped with 2.5% Viognier, 2% Mataro, .5% Marsanne) was planted in 1969. This was basket pressed, fermented whole berry (1/3 stalks) in tiny stainless half ton fermenters, with 15 months aging in French barriques (40% new). Herbal wild black cherry, wild blackberry runs the lengthy, graceful palate, with bright, natural acidity reflective of the cooler climate. Tannins are fine and stencil this through the lingering, saline finish. Reserved, this wine makes you come to it (and you will!). Stunner example of Yarra's cool climate cabernet. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AB 120.00 Producer: Yarra Yering
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Balnaves The Tally Cabernet Sauvignontext
92PTS

Balnaves The Tally Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaThe richly concentrated Tally Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a terra rossa classic, sourced from the best parcels of the vintage. Rooted in the iron-oxide, limestone belt of the region, it aged in new and seasoned French oak for 20 months. Super fragrant with herbal thistles, wild rosemary, eucalyptus, mustard seed along a blackcurrant driven palate, gripped with firm, gritty / sticky tannins through the warming, herbal finish. Quite distinct and expressive. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: Australia 100.00 Producer: Balnaves of Coonawarra
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Labeltext
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label 2015

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaThis is a Coonawarra classic, and for a good reason. From the tiny sliver of land that is Coonawarra's red terra rossa (iron oxide clays over limestone), Sue Hodder creates this affordable benchmark from 44ish year old organically farmed vines, and fermenting over 30 days in a mix of open and static fermenters. This then aged 18 months in French oak (19% new). Ripe cherry, blackcurrant is seasoned with dried herbs and flicks of mint, framed by fine, firm, lightly grippy oak through the lingering, saline finish where you really feel that limestone buzz. Great freshness for its 13.8%, drinking well now or with time ahead in the cellar. Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Hollick Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Hollick Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaOne whiff of the Hollick Old Vines Cab, and you are transported to the terra rossa soils of Coonawarra in the Limestone Coast Wine Zone. Old Vines is matured in French oak, which sets structure to the mid palate dominated by black fruit, eucalyptus, and spice. This comes off two special blocks: the Wilgha, and Neilson's Block vineyards, both at the cooler, southern end of Coonawarra. This wine will keep for a decade, if not more, so there is no rush to drink it. if yo are fan of cabernet sauvignon and pure fruit this is one you will enjoy. Best now with a grilled steak, no more than medium rare.Prices: BC 39.99 Producer: Hollick Wines Pty
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Xanadu DJL Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Xanadu DJL Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaIf you like cabernet sauvignon with a savoury, herbal edge, you'll enjoy what you find here. The nose is quite intense, led by fresh mint and thyme, though it's not shy on fruit either. Red currant and dark berry is nicely framed by mocha and sweet oak spices. Overall, it's quite complex and there's surprisingly good depth, too. Even though it's a not-so-modest 14.5% abv, the herbal lift, red fruits, and balanced acidity gives this a real sense of freshness. The firm, medium-grained tannins are calling for a beef roast if you open this in the short term, but it should age gracefully for at least 5-7 years. Fine value at this price.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Xanadu Wines Pty
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Sidewood Stablemate Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Sidewood Stablemate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaFrom Maximilians Vineyard in the town of Verdun in Adelaide Hills, this was fermented in open top vats before transferring to French oak to age for 18 months. It's an honest, lighter-bodied Australian cabernet sauvignon that shows bright red currant, spicy herbs, and a light touch of wood. It will complement bistro fare nicely, especially if served with a light chill.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Sidewood Estate
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Sidewood Stablemate Shiraztext
89PTS

Sidewood Stablemate Shiraz 2018

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaThe parcels of fruit are preselected for the perfect ripeness. A portion goes through the fermentation process as whole berries and under a partial carbonic maceration to add more layers of complexity. It spends 12 months in French oak barriques, one quarter of which were new. In the glass, it's textbook fresh Adelaide Hills, with plummy white peppery fruit and a lovely long and juicy midpalate that finishes fresh with a hit of spice and silky tannins that only add to its charm. Lambchops, anyone? Fine value.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 98.99 MB 114.99 Producer: Sidewood Estate
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Pirramimma Old Vine Grenache Stock's Hilltext
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Pirramimma Old Vine Grenache Stock's Hill 2018

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaFrom the old WarHorse Block planted in 1943, this grenache projects power and more of an old-style feeling with sweet licorice, black raspberry, and earthy cherry. The finish is round and long, with warm, lifted fruit aromas in the very back end. Ready to drink with plenty of concentration. Best with your favourite pork rib recipe.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Pirramimma
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Wolf Blass Maker's Project Shiraz Partial Whole Berry Fermentationtext
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Wolf Blass Maker's Project Shiraz Partial Whole Berry Fermentation 2020

Langhorne Creek, South Australia, AustraliaFrom Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, a portion of the fruit is destemmed but not crushed, undergoing a partial whole berry fermentation before aging largely in stainless steel. That whole berry fermentation brings out juicy blackberry fruit, backed by black pepper and dried florals. It's lively and medium-bodied, with hard tannins that stunt the finish. Chill slightly and enjoy with simple grilled fare.Prices: CDN 20.00 Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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Wakefield Shiraztext
88PTS

Wakefield Shiraz 2018

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThis approachable, ready to drink Clare Valley shiraz shows a combination of ripe, slightly confected black fruits and cracked pepper, with the wood firmly in the background. It's not quite as full as you'd expect from the 14.5% abv, but it should make for a fantastic barbeque wine as we head into the May long weekend. Just follow the guide on the back label and chill slightly.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaCan we talk about this label for a second? Specifically the back label. I love the temperature indicator, which provides a clear visual cue of whether the wine is too cold or, more likely, too warm. It's not a new refrain, but on the whole most reds are best served slightly below room temperature between 16-18 degrees. Any warmer, especially for wines like this Aussie cabernet, and the fruit becomes muddled and the alcohol accentuated. Try it for yourself with this wine. A slight chill brings out juicy blackberry fruit, complementing the dried herbs and subtle dusty oak spices. It'll never be the most complex wine, but at the right temperature the end result is a solid pour for the price.Prices: ON 19.95 BC 20.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Shaw and Smith Balhannan Vineyard Shiraztext
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Shaw and Smith Balhannan Vineyard Shiraz 2017

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaOur last look at this wine was 15 vintages ago when it was explained as a cool-climate style shiraz, a style most of the world had been chasing ever since. Indeed it’s cool, but complex, and 2017 is a great example of how cool the wine can be. Heavy rains gave way to lesser amounts during the flowering period, while the harvest was dry and long-ish thanks to record low temperatures. The result is beautiful acidity throughout this red shiraz. Balhannah Vineyard, loam over clay, ironstone, quartzite, and shale, is tightly planted and is coming into its own at a dozen years. Fragrant, stylish, balanced, and swimming in bright red fruit and white pepper, this is a wine you can savour for hours. There is a richness of texture that finishes with an intriguing meaty, spicy note. No rush to drink this. It is hand picked, sorted, and fermented as whole berries and whole bunches, in open fermenters, with minimal intervention. It spends 14 months in 500 litre French oak puncheons and another 14 months in bottle before release. Hats off to that treatment.Prices: BC 117.99 AB 98.99 MB 114.99 Producer: Shaw & Smith
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Black Angus Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Heathcotetext
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Black Angus Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Heathcote 2018

Heathcote, Victoria, AustraliaBlack Angus is a cabernet sauvignon from a single vineyard in Heathcote that is crafted to enhance premium meats' enjoyment. The minty, gum leaf aromas add to the mystery as you nose the savoury aromatic mix of dried herbs, ripe black currant, and black raspberry. The wine is surprisingly elegant as it glides across the palate, the fruit, tannin, and acidity working as one into a long cedary, minty finish. Classic Heathcote and a wine that will improve in the bottle through 2027. Good value.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Aberdeen Wine Company
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Yangarra GSMtext
92PTS

Yangarra GSM 2017

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaHow good is the new Australia? Plenty good, maybe even scary good. Few GSM I have experienced have the mouth presence and cushioned weight that is the perfect bed for a wine packed full of fragrant old bush vine grenache (60 percent) planted in 1946. The remainder is 22 percent shiraz, and 18 percent mourvèdre. The result is an aromatic layered wine that is more red than black, with licorice and peppercorn flecks in the finish. It’s the balance and mouthfeel that attracts. You can serve this with any favourite wood-fired entrée, from pizza to steak.Prices: BC 43.99 AB 37.99 SK 45.99 MB 45.99 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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Yangarra Old Vine Grenachetext
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Yangarra Old Vine Grenache 2019

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaThe Old Vine Grenache was the first release in 2007. In 2019 the growing season was extremely dry, leading to super-low yields easily seen in the concentration of this wine. These bush vines were planted in 1946, and the vineyard is certified biodynamic, which appears to add pure bounce to the wine's vibrancy. It is planted on the Blewitt Springs estate's deep, sandy soils. It is fermented with 50% whole berry and kept on yeast lees in older French oak. Black plums reign, with a dusting of white pepper and a salty mineral finish. Wow.Prices: BC 43.99 AB 37.99 SK 45.99 MB 45.99 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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Yangarra High Sands Grenachetext
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Yangarra High Sands Grenache 2017

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaIt's hard to believe it could get better than last year, but this 2017, is, thanks to one of the coolest growing seasons ever in McLaren Vale. The gnarly old bush vines were planted in 1946 at the highest point of Yangarra's white/grey dunes at 210 metres above sea level. Block 31 is 1.7 hectares of dry farmed 70-year-old bush vines sitting on low vigour, one meter deep, white sands (silica not marine), said to be 54 million years old. The nose and palate are pure fruit with an amazing texture and a red fruit fragrance that hums along with the acidity from front to back. I dare you not to drink the whole bottle in minutes. This edition comes in at 14 percent alcohol that seemingly disappears into its savoury mix of minerals, fruit, and oak you never notice. This is a new highwater mark for High Sands.Prices: BC 109.99 AB 99.99 SK 111.99 MB 111.99 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraztext
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Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2018

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaThe Peake is an ode to Edward John Peake, who planted the first vines in Clarendon, where Hickinbotham is based, in 1850. The vineyard used for this wine was later planted by the Hickinbotham family in 1971, and is sourced from four blocks. It's a classic Australian blend of cabernet sauvignon (55%) and shiraz (45%), with all lots left on their skins for at least 18 days. The cabernet is aged for 15 months in Bordeaux-coopered barrels, while a combination of puncheons and barriques are used for the shiraz. Only the best barrels, selected by Napa-born winemaker Chris Carpenter, go into the final wine. It shows quite lifted, high toned dark fruit that's lavishly ripe and complemented by eucalyptus and sweet chocolatey oak. It's a big, dense, powerful wine that's just starting to unravel and reveal itself, with tightly wound, fine grained tannins that suggest this has years, if not decades, of life ahead of it. Every time you return to the glass, something new presents itself. A sure sign that this will be worth the wait. Worth a lengthy decant if you open it now.Prices: BC 125.99 AB 115.99 SK 129.99 MB 129.99 Producer: Hickinbotham Clarendon Vintners
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Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraztext
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Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2017

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaThis classic Coonawarra blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz was fermented in a mix of stainless and oak, before 6 months of aging in predominantly stainless. Juicy and chewy, there's a herbal green twinge / mustard seed earthiness that intrigues in this full red, elevating it beyond many of its peers in this price tier. The cushy ripeness on the palate is framed by lightly sticky tannins, finishing in more of that herbal mustard spicing and ample limestone salinity.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Majella Wines
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Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaMajella Coonawarra Cab is a classic, approachable red, meant for cracking into now, but can certainly rest a couple of years in your cellar. After starting ferment in static and rotary stainless fermenters, the ferment completed in 300L barrels, prior to an additional 18 months aging in new and second use French oak hogsheads. Each parcel is kept separate prior to blending. Coonawarra's characteristic menthol / mint is in the fore, imprinting on ripe dark cherry, fleshy raspberry, and cedar spicing through the lingering finish. Tannins are in check, enveloped by the fruit, and guide this to a spicy eucalyptus finish. Take with rich beef braises, or with beet / root vegetable stews. Showing typicity of grape and place.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Majella Wines
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20 May 2021

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Colomé Torrontés 2020

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, North, ArgentinaColomé has been making wine in Salta's Upper Calchaquí Valley since 1831. This torrontés comes from vineyards 1700 - 2300m, and was fermented and rested in stainless, preserving the grape's perfumed aromatics. Perfumed this certainly is, with fragrant gooseberry, grapefruit, and pear along a lean, vibrant palate. This bright, fresh wine finishes with a grapefruit twist, and is ready for your fresh and equally fragrant south Asian curries.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Grupo Colomé
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Amalaya Malbectext
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Amalaya Malbec 2019

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, North, ArgentinaWhen I see this wine at retail or on a restaurant wine list, I know that no matter what else happens, I'm going to be able to secure a solid bottle of wine at a bargain price. Perfect under screwcap, it consistently tastes like it smells: an alluring mix of red and black fruits with a dusty, stony, mineral underside. It is wonderfully dry and fresh, the palate juicy and round, and the tannins light but structured. The esperanza por un milagro (waiting for a miracle) Amalaya is grown at some of the world's highest vineyards (1800 meters). It is mostly malbec mixed with 15 percent cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and tannat, and it is an absolute bargain at $21.99. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 18.99 MB 21.99 ON 18.99 NS 20.49 Producer: Grupo Colomé
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El Enemigo Chardonnaytext
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El Enemigo Chardonnay 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaEnemigo is an accessible, textured chardonnay with creamy honey notes on the nose and palate. The main thrust is richness, with baked apple, ripe reach flecked with wood spice. A sort of old school meets new, but I encourage this style to continue to full freshness and vibrancy in future vintages. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 38.99 AB 34.00 Producer: Bodega Aleanna
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Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyardtext
91PTS

Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard 2017

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaHaving walked extensively through this vineyard, I can vouch for the sense of place this malbec conveys. Violet, plum, and briar fruit aromas have a fragrant, juniper berry, smoky herbal scent and distinct dustiness. Oak spice and vanilla suggest time in French oak. Big and expansive, with intensive red cherry, boysenberry, and ripe brambly fruit up front, juicy craisins in the middle, then a chocolatey coating of plush oak on the finale. Spicy and full bodied with admirable elegance and savoury freshness, give it some air and a big glass. This is definitely one for a prime cut of beef.Prices: BC 27.99 AB 22.95 ON 25.95 Producer: Finca Decero
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19 May 2021

Tantalus Blanc de Noirtext
91PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis special Blanc de Noirs comes from a single estate block of 1985 planted clone 93 pinot noir. The grapes were native fermented in barriques and puncheons, and the wine rested 7 months on lees before transferring into bottle for secondary ferment, and 22 more months on lees. This was disgorged in March 2021 with 6 g/L of still 2018 Pinot Noir. Fresh and youthful with bright cherry, raspberry, almond, patisserie on a creamy palate, buoyed with frisky acidity and finishing with lingering stony spices. There's a lovely grippy texture throughout, keeping this interesting on the palate, and a favourite for food pairings. A singular wine, as ever, and worth seeking out.Prices: BC 31.30 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Pinot Noir Reservetext
91PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir Reserve 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis elegant, small-lot Reserve Pinot Noir, the 4th release of the cuvée, pays a fitting tribute to the legacy of its label artist, Dempsey Bob. This is built on their 18 rows of Dijon clone 667, complemented by a small portion of Clone 37 wine that was a highlight in barrel. This was native fermented with 50% whole bunch, before resting 15 months in French oak (40% new). It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Sappy wild plum, black raspberries, autumnal violets are stretched long across the lengthy, slender palate, shaped by grippy, well integrated tannins, and finishing with a seasoning of pink peppercorn and ample mineral salts. Quite elegant, this is drinking well now but still has some youthful tannin to shed over the next couple of years.Prices: BC 65.22 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyardtext
90PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom one of the original vineyard plantings at their Okanagan Falls estate McLean Creek Road Vineyard, this was planted in 1994 to an unknown clone. The fruit was destemmed and cold soaked before a native ferment and transfer to French barrels (30% new) for 11 months, before the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The mix of wood and this special old block certainly yields more structure and presence than their estate McLean Creek Road Pinot Noir, with darker shaded plum, cherry, and blackcurrant at the fore, seconded and seasoned with raspberry blossoms and tight, fine baking spices. Tannins are grippy and well integrated, leaving a wash of black tea in their wake. Certainly drinking well now, but with time ahead in your cellar.Prices: BC 43.58 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
90PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of Canada's pinot noir and chardonnay specialists, this is from Meyer's home estate McLaren Creek Road Vineyard, and its steep gravelly / sandy loams. Pommard (91) and Dijon (114, 115, 667, 777) clones from 3 blocks go into this wine, meant to capture the home estate. This was destemmed, cold soaked, and native fermented before aging 11 months in French oak (25% new). The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This captures Dijon's pinot perfume, with fragrant plum, raspberry, and fragrant cherry blossoms floating atop a wild plum, boysenberry, and sarsaparilla base. The cedar wood spicing is present, striding and structuring the wine, as are long, lightly grippy / sticky tannins to a slight warming flush finish. Drinking well now, in youth, but this friendly wine can spend a couple of years in your cellar easily.Prices: BC 34.87 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaTaken from North Cowichan’s dry-farmed Saison Vineyard, and its well-draining sloping glacial loam and rocks, this was clone 115, 777, 667, and 828. Winemaker Dan Wright called 2018 ‘an excellent year” and “his favourite vintage of the past 5 years’. After destemming and an extended skin contact (30 days), this was fermented in tank, this aged in 228L and 300L French oak barrel (10-15% new) for 15 months. Very floral, with forest berries, wood berries, and the extended skin contact providing a bit more structure vs the 2017. There’s a lovely generosity to the palate, with plum, wild cherry, wild raspberry and ample perfumed rose florality, all brightened by fresh, crunchy acidity. Alluring spice carries through through the pencil shaving finish. Richness, and freshness, and still just a baby.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Rathjen Cellars Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Rathjen Cellars Pinot Noir 2017

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Cowichan Valley’s dry-farmed Saison vineyard, and clones 115, 667, 777, and 828, this was destemmed and cold soaked for 48 hours before native fermentation in neutral French open-top puncheons, and 23 months’ rest in neutral French barrels. Wild cherry, dark raspberry, flood a softer palate, layered with fine spicing, and finishing with a saline streak. Fresh. 90Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Rathjen Cellars
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Rathjen Cellars Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Rathjen Cellars Pinot Noir 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaEntirely from Cowichan Valley’s Saison Vineyard’s southern sloping, deep rocky soils, this pinot blends clones 115, 667, 777, 828, all dry farmed since planting in 2009. After crushing / destemming, this cold soaked for 48 hours before a native ferment in open top neutral French puncheons, with twice daily punchdowns for a week. This remained in barrels for two years before bottling without fining or filtration, evident through the slight haze in the glass. Textural and finessed, this medium (12.7%) bodied pinot graces the palate with wild plum, fragrant black cherry, wild black raspberry, housed with long, lithe tannins to a softly spiced finish. This gentle red is drinking beautifully now.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Rathjen Cellars
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Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the earlier accessible clone 115 (with a tip of 667/777), this is entirely whole bunch, native fermented, in older barrique, where it spent 10 months without racking, until bottling unfined and unfiltered, with a dusting of sulphur. The whole bunch is evident through the crunchy acidity brightening early raspberry and strawberry, crisp plum, and tight, fine, grippy tannins. There’s a lovely tension and energy in this youthful wine, strung with a salinity that runs front to snappy back.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis was mostly clone 115, an earlier-drinking red off their site. In 2018, this was destemmed, but in the future Brent plans on using whole bunch exclusively for all reds due to its tannin extraction (when well handled). This time, they added 20% whole bunch 667 and 777 backblended in to give it additional structure. Soft, downy dark cherry, dark plum, wild blackberry has a fine grip of tannins around the sides and sticking on the juicy finishPrices: BC 27.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Averill Creek Somenos Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Averill Creek Somenos Pinot Noir 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis was Brent Rowland’s first Pinot Noir after taking over the winemaking at Averill Creek, a winery that built its reputation on that grape. It was hard to convince Andy Johnston for 100% whole bunch, but Brent was insistent, and Andy thankfully relented. This is clones 667 and 777 off their estate, fermented in very large oak vats (also a first time) with 8% new wood, and with no pump overs, only pigeage. Dark cherry is laced with oak spicing throughout the textural, juicy palate, filled in with perfumed wild blackberry, dark and darting spices, and finely grippy tannins. Great structure through the fresh finishPrices: BC 52.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Meyer Pinot Noirtext
86PTS

Meyer Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe white label pinot noir blends fruit from Okanagan Falls, South East Kelowna, Naramata, Kaleden, and Osoyoos. This was destemmed and native fermented prior to resting in older French barrels and puncheons for 8 months. There's a swing of VA that is woven throughout tart cherry, black raspberry, and red current, finishing quickly, and with a dusting of baking spices and a sour cherry note. Tannins are slight and sticky. Best taken with grilled burgers or sausages.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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18 May 2021

Moraine Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Moraine Pinot Noir 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect a full blown style of pinot noir. This was made with the 777 clones growing at Sophia Estate Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. The nose is aromatic with spicy, earthy black cherry, and a subtle twist of garlic, black cherries, plums washed in French oak. The textures are pinot silky as the wine persists on the palate long after you swallow. It has a lot of curb appeal and will attract many who love pinot and duck, or pinot and a favourite ripe cheese. Fair value too.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Foxtrot Pinot Noir The Waltz Vineyardtext
90PTS

Foxtrot Pinot Noir The Waltz Vineyard 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2018 Waltz mixes pinot noir fruit from Naramata Bench, Summerland, and the Similkameen Valley in a difficult growing season due to unusual disease pressure and wildfire smoke. In the end, winemaker Andrea Barker characterized the year as a cooler year than average, with moderate yields and healthy fruit of excellent quality at Foxtrot. The fruit is separated and fermented by vineyard and block. It's partially destemmed, leaving approximately 1/3 whole cluster. It gets a 3 day cold soak before inoculation and two week ferment followed by ageing in 30 percent new oak, 2nd fill, and neutral oak for 14 months. The Waltz opens with a lifted nose that mixes cherries, black raspberries, and licorice with an earthy, barnyard bent that works up against a spicy, vibrant acidity that runs through the wine. A solid effort that will need three to five years to gather itself. It's more Old World style at 13 percent alcohol but it needs some time to settle into itself and reveal the whole picture. If you must drink it, be sure to serve it with food.Prices: BC 47.00 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Niche Wine Co. Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Niche Wine Co. Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThey only make 125 cases of the this pinot, and it all comes off the family owned and operated Hugh & Mary Vineyard. The vineyard averages just under 20 years of age and is a mix of clones 667 and 115. It is fermented in small, ½ ton lots, and cold soaked for ten days. They were punched down three times a day and then gently basket pressed and aged in 25% new French Oak for 11 months. The style is slightly rustic but in a good way, with fairly bright fruit. The nose is lifted to the limit with raspberry and cherry over the earth and herbal notes. Soft and juicy, you can drink this now. It would be perfect with any favourite mushroom dish.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Niche Wine Co.
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Niche Wine Co. Extra Mile Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Niche Wine Co. Extra Mile Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNiche is 57 cases. The Extra Mile comes of 23-year-old vines, and it is all clone 115. The fruit was handpicked in October and fermented in small, 1⁄2 ton lots after a 10-day cold soak. It ages 16 months in 25% new oak. The style is more concentrated, but there is less fruit here and more earthy rhubarb with a hint of bacon and a dry finish. Not as interesting as the regular version, lacking elegance and freshness.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Niche Wine Co.
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMcLean Creek Road Vineyard is the home vineyard in Okanagan Falls. The sparse, sloping, sandy alluvial/glacial gravels and sandy loams support five clones (114, 115, 91, 667 and 777), each farmed (not certified) organically, plot by plot. The finished juice goes into 25 percent new French oak for 11 months and is bottled unfined and unfiltered. It always presents exuberantly when young, with a mix of earthy, rhubarb and sour cherry flecked with ripe raspberry over a savoury, spicy, forest floor base. Well-balanced at a modest, by modern standards, 13.5 percent alcohol, but the good news is you can enjoy it now. A little bit of Oregon in Okanagan Falls. Try this with a favourite curry dish or grilled line caught salmon. An impressive 1,000 cases were produced.Prices: BC 34.87 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyardtext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOld Block comes off the original 1994 vineyard plantings and is the largest pinot block (roughly one acre) at McLean Creek Road. The clone is unknown. The nose is almost aromatic, as it wafts raspberries and forest floor out of the glass. The flavour mix is underripe black cherry, sweet ripe raspberries, and earthy dark plums supported by delicate, silky textures that sing along the palate. The finish is lengthy, with an enticing mix of violets and spice. The balance suggests you can drink this now or hold it because there is no rush. McLean Creek Road Vineyard is located in Okanagan Falls on a predominantly steep southerly aspect with the soil comprised of alluvial and glacial deposits.Prices: BC 43.58 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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1 Mill Road Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

1 Mill Road Pinot Noir 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne Mill Road is the next incarnation of the Enns family, David and Cynthia, former owners of Laughing Stock Estate, which rests a few kilometres north of their new venture. Cynthia Enns grows the fruit, and David makes the wine, although somehow I think the lines are more blurred as time moves on. It all begins in the vineyard they call Home Block. Born out of glacial lake formed bluffs, the crescent shape site (planted on an abandoned pear orchard overlooking the original village of Naramata) tilts southwest to catch the maximum amount of heat while maintaining constant airflow. The silty, calcareous loam is perfectly suited to making high quality pinot from a single Dijon 115 clone. The fruit was handpicked in two passes, October 7 and 15, hand sorted and whole fermented berry with 20 percent clusters. The primary fermentation was in large French Oak vats before ageing 50/50 in the vats and neutral oak barrels. The year was challenging and cool, and the yields were lower than normal. In the end, 1 Mill Road opens with a pale red/orange hue, with subtle dried cherry, savoury licorice, and hints of earth and leather. The slightly darker ripe fruit tones take me to Sonoma Coast.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: 1 Mill Road Vineyards
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Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLook for an open New World style with earthy black cherry and a touch of reduction upon opening. The palate has more of an earthy forest floor with fresh strawberry, and a dryish, leafy, savoury finish. This style of pinot lends itself to mushroom, pork, or salmon dishes to take to another level. The fruit comes off the Lazy River Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Tantalus Pinot Noir Reservetext
90PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir Reserve 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fourth edition of Reserve Pinot Noir opens a bit like last year with a dry, with reserved forest floor and dark fruit. The base of this label is a small, mid-slope block of 18 rows that contain the Dijon clone 667, and, in 2019, a small selection of what Winemaker David Patterson called a stand-out Clone 37 wine in barrel. It is all wild fermented, incorporating 50% whole bunches. The wine gets a single foot treading per day to ensure finesse. It is aged in French barriques for 15 months, 40 percent new, and then bottled unfined and unfiltered and kept at the winery for another 12 months. It's aromatic and delicate with silky textures and rich blue and black fruits and notes of soy that take me to the cooler parts of Sonoma. Wildfires delayed the ripening process, but the wine shows zero smoke damage. There is still some tannin to shed here, so lay this away through 2023 and give it some time to come together.Prices: BC 65.22 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Roche Pinot Noir Texturetext
90PTS

Roche Pinot Noir Texture 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI love how this organically farmed Naramata Bench pinot from Kozier Organic Vineyard coats the palate with a silky smooth texture from front to back, thanks in part to ten months of ageing in neutral oak barrels. The fruit is equally interesting, with ripe plummy black cherry leading the way, underpinned by a savoury, scrubby BC herbal note that balances the wine in the finish. This is a welcome addition to the BC pinot noir clan that is growing and improving each year. The winery suggests matching this pinot with duck confit, or lamb ragout with root vegetables, but it has the finesse to complement halibut.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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Emandare Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Emandare Pinot Noir 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2019, Emandare employed 50% whole bunch for the first time in their pinot noir. From organically farmed estate vines and clones 114, 115, 667, 777, this was native fermented in open top neutral French puncheons, with 10 months rest before bottling, unfined and unfiltered. Bright and fresh, with crunchy raspberry, and perfumed cherry wrapping around a soft core, with a wash of salinity on the lingering finish. Quite charming, and drinking beautifully now.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Emandare Vineyard
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Foxly Reserve Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Foxly Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxly is the 2nd label of Foxtrot Vineyard, released in the spring of 2020, and meant to be a more approachable, drink-now style. The Reserve Pinot Noir comes from Naramata Bench estate fruit, with 1/3 fermented whole cluster, with thrice daily punch downs over 2 weeks. This was then transferred to French barrels (30% new) for 18 months prior to bottling, and another 2 years' rest. Structured by the wood, though tamed with time in bottle, this flows along the medium+ palate with dark cherry, black raspberry, brooding black plum, tobacco, and browning spices. Tannins are softly tuggy and long, and acidity is lofted to a fading, smoky finish. Ready to drink now.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Foxly Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Foxly Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxly is the 2nd label of Foxtrot Vineyard, released in the spring of 2020, and meant to be a more approachable, drink-now style. This blends fruit from the Okanagan and Similkameen, 1/3 whole cluster for a seperate stainless ferment, before resting in French oak (30% new) for 14 months prior to the final blend and bottling. Already pouring a bricking hue, this is soft and easy access, with dried strawberries, cherries, raspberry jam on a softer, cushy palate. Acidity is moderate, and tannins are slight, finishing with some browning spices. This feels a bit autumnal, so best to take now with wild mushroom and/or roast poultry dishes.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Roche Pinot Noir Texturetext
90PTS

Roche Pinot Noir Texture 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis organically farmed Naramata Bench pinot streams wild plum, cherry, black raspberry along a finely textured, medium bodied palate, seasoned with scents of the forest, and lofted with an easy, natural acidity through the lingering finish. Tannins are slight, with a subtle stickiness, hugging the gently handled, youthful fruit deftly. A fresh, approachable, smart pinot that typifies Naramata. Well done.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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Roche Tradition Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Roche Tradition Pinot Noir 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is one of two pinot noirs that Naramata Bench's family owned Roche Wines produces, and is the more serious of the two. This small lot pinot comes from the west facing slopes of the Kozier vineyard, fermented in stainless and with three weeks on skins before 14 months in 2nd, 3rd, and neutral barrels. Dark fruited and structural, with black raspberry, cherries, brooding plum flowing along the savoury, medium+ palate, structured by finely firm, cedar-grained tannins leading this to a spiced finish. Very elegant and refined, drinking beautifully now, but still with time ahead.Prices: BC 47.00 Producer: Roche Wines
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Dirty Laundry Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is a mix of fresh cherries and vanilla that leads you down the New World path. On the palate, it is relatively dry with a mix of crancherry and pomegranate with a spicy, savoury, scrubby desert finish. The winemaking is gentle, including turning the cap with forced air versus using the punch down method. Skin contact maxed out at 14 days before it was aged in French oak (25% new) for 13 months. I like the suggested match of mushroom pizza or seared duck breast. Drink or hold.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Dirty Laundry
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is a mix of reductive notes with black cherry, black raspberry and spicy aromas. The Quails’ Gate pinot style is almost always medium to full-bodied. Still, while the flavour intensity has improved over the years, the alcohol has remained lowish at 13-13.5 percent, giving it a sense of elegance and concentration that can be rare in New World pinot. A wine best aged a few years to let it show off its impressive east-facing, volcanic site origins in the fully developed flavours of the wine. Best now with roast chicken.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 30.99 MB 26.99 QC 29.10 NS 30.00 PEI 30.09 YK 27.00 SK 30.00 NB 27.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Foxly Pinot Noirtext
0PTS

Foxly Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2nd label of Foxtrot Vineyard is designed to be a more approachable, drink-now style. Unfortunately, my sample is suffering from some form of spoilage that has blunted the fruit, nose, and palate. It seems Treve’s bottle faired a bit better, so check her note. I will try to retaste this wine down the road.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Foxly Reserve Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Foxly Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxly Reserve Pinot Noir comes off the Naramata Bench with a third of the fruit fermented whole cluster and punch downed three times a day over two weeks. That fruit is aged a year and a half in French oak barrels, of which about one third are new. Clean and fresh on the nose, the Reserve comes with a dark cherry nose and palate with spicy, toasted oak in support underneath. The textures are silky, and the fruit deep, dark and welcoming on the palate. This will be a hit with consumers who want something to drink now. Serve with mushroom risotto or pasta, pork chop,s or grilled vegetables.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Moraine Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Moraine Pinot Noir 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Naramata Bench Sophia Estate vineyard, this is 777 clone, whole berry fermented, with gentle hand punch downs before oak aging. Fragrant black cherries, forest berries, violets, sultry damson plums flood the soft, perfumed palate, structured by time in oak, and freshened with a bright, lofty acidity. Tannins are finely rasped, gripping this lightly to the prominantly wood spiced finish. A pretty, darker, floral version of pinot, well suited to duck.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaLight, herbal forest berries and cola mark the nose of this island pinot that tasted blind might take you to Oregon. The palate is a mix of red fruits, bloody plums, cedar, and brown spice that fills the mid-palate before finishing long into light dusty tannins. A savoury pinot that will have wide appeal for true pinot aficionados. It is another impressive putting for Vancouver Island.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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17 May 2021

Carpineto Chianti Classicotext
87PTS

Carpineto Chianti Classico 2018

Tuscany, ItalyCarpineto was founded in 1967 in the little enclave of Dudda, just outside of Greve in Chianti by Giancarlo Sacchet and Antonio Mario Zaccheo This blend of sangiovese with canaiolo was aged in a mix of stainless tanks and Slavonian oak barrels for 4-6 months, then bottled aged an additional 4-6 months. Tart cherry, red currant, brown spice take a slight, clipped palate, finishing with a tart cranberry twist and dusting of warming baking spices. Tannins are light but ragged, making this crave tomato / meat sauced pastas.Prices: MB 20.00 QC 20.00 NB 19.50 NS 23.00 Producer: Carpineto
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Carpineto Chianti Classicotext
87PTS

Carpineto Chianti Classico 2019

Tuscany, ItalyCarpineto Chianti Classico is a regular version of Chianti Classico coming off estate owned vineyards at Greve in Chianti. It falls more on the full bodied style with a weighty midpalate of 90/10 sangiovese/canaiolo. In 2019 the wine opens with aromatic notes of violets and red berries that spill onto its earthy, wild red fruit palate that finishes tart and a bit short. Best served now with a mushroom or meaty pizza.Prices: MB 20.00 QC 20.00 NB 19.50 NS 23.00 Producer: Carpineto
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Chiara Condello Sangiovese Predappiotext
87PTS

Chiara Condello Sangiovese Predappio 2018

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThe Condello sangiovese comes off seven hectares in the heart of Predappio, Romagna. The vines are deeply rooted in a soil of calcareous clay, laden with sediments of marine life dating back three million years. The ferment is natural yeast, the maceration long with ageing in stainless steel and Slavonian oak. Look for a medium-dark earthy style of Sangiovese with light cherry spiced fruit and firm acidity that accentuate a dry finish. Pork would be a good match to take on the tannin and work with the richer earthy flavours. A good effort from a challenging year in the vineyard.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Chiara Condello
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Chiara Condello Sangiovese Predappiotext
91PTS

Chiara Condello Sangiovese Predappio 2017

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyChiara Condello is a rising star among the younger generation of winemakers who are taking on the family business, and doing so in a sustainable, sensitive way. She took over from her father in 2015. Her seven hectares including 4 hectares of organically-farmed sangiovese vines, located in the heart of Predappio, in Emilia-Romagna's calcareous clays. She produces two different sangioveses to express this distinct terroir. This comes from vines averaging 40 years, destemmed but left whole berry, and was native fermented, macerated approximately 3 weeks, and then aged in a mix of stainless and old Slavonian oak casks before bottling without filtration. Dark and fleshy with wild blackberry, black cherry, perfumed dark plum is seasoned with scrubby rosemary and thyme. The juicy, cushy palate is structured with finely firm, lightly sticky tannins, easily guiding this to a lengthy, mineral-humming, medicinal kissed finish. Very harmonious and graceful, this is drinking beautifully now, and has the structure and stuffing to age over the next few years.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Chiara Condello
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Fattoria Selvapiana Riserva Vigneto Bucerchialetext
90PTS

Fattoria Selvapiana Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale 2013

Tuscany, ItalyRufina is the smallest sub-region of Chianti Classico, northeast of Florence, and prized for its elevation (up to 900m) and soils (galestro, chalk, and marl). This estate, originally built as a summer residence for Florentine bishops, is 240 hectares, 45 of which are planted to vine and 31 to olives. It was purchased in 1827 by Michele Giuntini Selvapiana and since 1957 it has been run by the fifth generation Giuntini family member, Francesco Giuntini Antinori. Consulting winemaker Franco Bernabei has been at Selvapiana since 1978, and Bucerchiale, their flagship wine and only made in the very best years, was born the year after he arrived. This vintage is now showing its age, with worked leather bedding crushed violet, dark plum, dried cherry, autumnal forest notes, sundried tomato across a stretched out palate. Tannins are long and sticky, drawing this to a brown spiced finish. Ready to drink now, especially with wild mushroom / pork based dishes.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Fattoria Selvapiana
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Conti Capponi Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classicotext
89PTS

Conti Capponi Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2016

Tuscany, ItalyOrganically grown grapes at Greve in Chianti are at the root of this stylish Chianti Classico. The blend is 90/10 sangiovese/canaiolo grown over albarese soils at 225-325m. A standard stainless steel and cement ferment is followed by a 20 month stop in casks before the final blend. A fine vintage reveals a very correct, youthful, fresh, almost tart acidity that works with the bright, red cherry and red currants to lift the midpalate before earthy forest floor notes fill out the finish. I would wait two or three more years before opening this wine or serve it now with grilled proteins. A solid textbook example of Chianti Classico.Prices: CDN 33.85 Producer: Conti Capponi
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Conti Capponi Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classicotext
88PTS

Conti Capponi Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2016

Tuscany, ItalyFrom Greve in Chianti, in Chianti Classico's northeast, this organic 90/10 sangiovese / canaiolo is rooted in albarese soils at 225-325m. This was native fermented in stainless and cement, before spending 20 months in wood casks. It underwent the final blend and rest in cement vats prior to bottling. Wearing its time in bottle well, this is a medium bodied red with tart acidity lifting cherry, red currant, dried florals, raspberry to a snappy finish. Tannins are long and lightly sticky, hugging this to the end. On the leaner side, partner this with bean stews.Prices: CDN 33.85 Producer: Conti Capponi
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Castello di Radda Chianti Classicotext
89PTS

Castello di Radda Chianti Classico 2018

Tuscany, ItalyThis Chianti Classico demonstrates all that is good about this style of modern Tuscan sangiovese. It's 90 percent sangiovese mixed with 5% colorino, and 5% canaiolo. the nose is a riot of ripe red fruit ranging from cherries to raspberries with a touch of underbrush and tannin. I'm thinking to pair it with a favourite ragu and penne. Drink or hold through 2023-24. Not in BC because ????Prices: ON 22.95 Producer: Agricola Gussalli Beretta
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Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classicotext
92PTS

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2018

Tuscany, ItalyThe Badia CC is grown at Gaiole in Chianti, in the southeastern part of the appellation. It is a certified organic wine that is a 90/10 mix of sangiovese with indigenous grapes. It fermented in stainless steel with natural yeast and aged 12 months in French and Austrian casks of varying sizes. The colour is sangiovese light (think pinot), but the flavours are concentrated and ripe. Sweet cherry with ripe plums and earthy mineral undercurrents all come together in perfect balance and stay that way through an excellent finish. The tannins are dense, as they can be from sangiovese, but fine grained as they disappear into the wine. This wine always ages effortlessly through 7-10 years so don’t be afraid to cellar it. Special.Prices: BC 39.95 ON 26.95 PEI 29.00 Producer: Badia a Coltibuono
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Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classicotext
90PTS

Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2018

Tuscany, ItalyWhat appears straightforward comes from 120 different winery owned parcels across varying soils, encountering equally changeable mesoclimates at altitudes from 220 to 570 metres. The flagship Fonterutoli red is a 90/5/5/ mix of sangiovese, malvasia nera, and colorino, served up at a very approachable 13.5 percent alcohol. It spends a year in French oak before going to bottle. This is a wine that exudes elegance and class but brings a full bodied midpalate to please the crowds. The fruit is dark and spicy, with black cherries and black raspberries in full view. It finishes with a touch of tannin with a light and stony mineral wash. Made for the cellar or food Tuscan style, that is, fresh, simply prepared dishes with few ingredients. Stock up.Prices: AB 33.95 ON 28.99 Producer: Marchesi Mazzei S.P.A. Agricola
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Antinori Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
93PTS

Antinori Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017

Tuscany, ItalyBadia, a Passignano Gran Selezione, is produced exclusively from the best lots of sangiovese coming out of the Badia Passignano Vineyard and a region noted for its outstanding wine production since the year 1000. The vineyards sit at 300 meters above sea level on soils rich in limestone with a fair amount of clay. For what it is worth, the wine is aged in the historic cellars under the Badia (abbey) of Passignano that dates back to the 10th century. Look for a smoky, earthy, bloody, red-fruited wine with flecks of violets and a surprisingly rich palate. I love the long, savoury, finessed flavours of dried cherries, thyme, and dense, tightly wound, fine grained tannins. One of the best I have tasted in the modern age. A perfect wine for bistecca Fiorentina, or cellar through 2030.Prices: BC 66.99 NF 56.66 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Tignanellotext
93PTS

Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Tignanello 2018

Tuscany, ItalyTenuta Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva originates from the same carefully tended vineyard that spawns the noted Super Tuscan Tignanello, and it is impressive. It's fermented in stainless steel vats for seven days. Post malolactic, the wine is transferred to French and Hungarian oak barriques for approximately one year before it is bottled and aged for an additional twelve months. The sangiovese is made in an elegant style, reflecting its origins, and mostly hands off winemaking. The nose is a riot of pure cherries with violets and earth. On the palate, it is vibrant, showing more intense flavours than weight, mixing tobacco and bright red fruit with a savoury, smooth, salty, impression throughout the finish Another impressive effort from this pedigreed label.Prices: BC 69.90 NF 55.30 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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15 May 2021

Hillside Rosétext
86PTS

Hillside Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep pink in hue, this year's rosé blends a base of 65% merlot with saignée cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah, gamay, and pinot noir. Only 4 hours skin contact (on partial grapes) imparted this deep colour. Strawberry jam, red apple, raspberry fill the off-dry palate, slicked with glycerol to a gently spiced, shorter finish. Old school, need a chill, or serving over ice.Prices: BC 19.12 Producer: Hillside Winery
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Podere 414 Flower Power Rosatotext
89PTS

Podere 414 Flower Power Rosato 2020

Maremma, Tuscany, ItalyOwned by Simone Castelli, Podere 414 is a certified organic estate with 13ha of vines, situated in western Tuscany, straddling a river near the town of Scansano. This charming, dry roasto of early-harvested Sangiovese was fermented cool in stainless, where it remained until bottling in spring 2021. Pouring a cheery light pink hue, this charms with wild strawberries, perfumed cherries along a slight, silken palate, seasoned with fine spice. Juicy and fresh, this is a delight for summer. Great value.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Podere 414
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J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosétext
90PTS

J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé 2018

Alsace, FranceSituated 30 km southwest of Strasbourg, J.M. Sohler is a boutique estate family producer nestled in the hamlet of Blienschwiller. This rosé comes entirely from Pinot Noir, and was gently whole bunch pressed before resting on lees until the following spring, when it heads to the bottle and a minimum 24 months rest on lees. This was disgorged to order. Pouring a shining gold peach hue, this is scented with wild raspberries, tangerine pith, white cherries, light toast, on a brisk, astringent palate, finishing with a lick of cherry and fine rasp of spices. Lovely balance and depth here; paired beauty with tuna tataki.Prices: ON 28.95 Producer: J. M. Sohler
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Pillitteri Estates Winery Racina Pinot Squared Rosétext
86PTS

Pillitteri Estates Winery Racina Pinot Squared Rosé 2018

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaRacina is a Sicilian word that translates as 'grapes', and their Pinot Squared is so called because it is a blend of pinot gris and pinot noir. Soft and creamy, with strawberries and cream, baked rhubarb, red apple on an off-dry, brief palate. Not as fresh as I'd love to see; take this 2018 with a chill and crack this summer.Prices: ON 25.00 Producer: Pilliterri Estates Winery
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Spec Bros Lazzara Rosato Seccotext
87PTS

Spec Bros Lazzara Rosato Secco NV

Ontario, CanadaLazzara is named for the Speck brothers' great grandmother, and the label is in honour of their family moving from Italy to New York to work in marble on the skyscrapers built at that time. This is a charmat fizz of mystery grapes, dosed with ample RS. This off dry fizz is bright with candied strawberries, candied orange peel, and perfumed peach. A solid local take on typical Prosecco.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Speck Bros
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Rosehall Run Pixie Petite Rosé Spritzertext
86PTS

Rosehall Run Pixie Petite Rosé Spritzer NV

Ontario, CanadaThis new canned little sprinter is based off their bottled Pixie Sparkling Rosé, a sweeter vidal charmat fizz coloured with pinot noir. For the spritzer, the alcohol has been lowered to 5.5%. Very light, with faint candy apple, orange, on a watery, lightly frizzante palate. Take over ice on a hot day, as intended.Prices: ON 3.95 355 Producer: Rosehall Run
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Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling Rosétext
85PTS

Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling Rosé NV

Ontario, CanadaThis is a sweeter, frizzante rosé of vidal, with a tip of pinot noir for the peach hue. Candy apple, strawberry gummies, candied cherry rule the shorter palate, with a light fizz to brighten. Needs ice cubes or a sangria party for best result.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Rosehall Run
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Rosehall Run Loveless Brut Rosétext
88PTS

Rosehall Run Loveless Brut Rosé 2017

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaThe name, and the wine, was inspired by an album by My Bloody Valentine. The PEC pinot noir is based on the 2017 vintage, with 13% of their first attempt at traditional method fizz in 2014 as a reserve, held en triage for 33 months, and dosed with 5.9 g/L. Tart red currant, rhubarb, perfumed musk fills the lightly bubbling, lighter palate, finishing with a tart astringency. Refreshing, and well suited to canapés.Prices: ON 45.00 Producer: Rosehall Run
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Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgognetext
86PTS

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne NV

Burgundy, FranceFounded in 1877, Bouillot was one of the first to experiment with the crafting of sparkling Bourgogne. This blends pinot noir, gamay, and chardonnay from across the Cote d'Or and the Maçonnais, before twelve months on the lees. Punchy and forward cherry, raspberry, pear blossoms are housed with lightly grippy tannins and laced with tart pink grapefruit acidity. What this lacks in grace, it makes up for in power, so partner with savour french toast, or grilled root veg salads.Prices: BC 23.49 AB 20.00 ON 20.00 QC 24.00 Producer: Louis Bouillot
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Free Form Rosétext
88PTS

Free Form Rosé 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe cabernet fruit for this Free Form Rosé comes off the Sekhon Family Vineyard in Osoyoos, and it's fermented and aged on its lees in concrete. Again, despite its age, it is very fresh, balancing bright red berry with smoky, leafy, herbal notes that finish with a light bump of residual sugar. More substantial, this can tolerate more than you might anticipate.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Narrative Rosétext
88PTS

Narrative Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2019 Narrative Rosé has the quintessential light pink colour, and now the label itself comes in colour, giving this fun wine extra curb appeal. Narrative is meant to tell an Okanagan story, and at OCP it is one of freshness and respect for nature. The blend mixes grapes from Summerland and Oliver, all destemmed and given 12 hours of skin contact before a light press and a ferment in concrete. The result is a delicious, bone dry pink with sweet red berry and fresh citrus lined finis. Party, anyone? Serious value.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Gamay Rosétext
89PTS

Haywire Gamay Rosé 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVirtually unchanged a year down the road speaks to the precision winemaking at Okanagan Crush Pad. The fruit is certified organic from Secrest Mountain Vineyard, owned by Okanagan Crush pad. Rosé wine is the focus at OCP, and you can feel it through this bone-dry savoury pink that is crisp and mouthwatering. The fruit is whole bunch pressed into an 80/20 mix of concrete and stainless steel and fermented using native yeasts. Look for subtle hints of wild strawberry and crushed raspberries dusted with black pepper in a spare, fresh version of rosé. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Bottega Gold Rose Prosecco Spumante Bruttext
89PTS

Bottega Gold Rose Prosecco Spumante Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyRosé Gold is a newer addition to their ever-expanding lineup, with the appellation changes allowing for Prosecco Rosé. This is entirely pinot nero, from the marl/limestone/clay soils of southern Lombardy (what Sandro Bottega considers a superior place for the grape). After 24 hours on skins for a cold maceration, this was fermented in stainless before heading to the Charmat tanks for secondary ferment and a brut dosage of 10-12 g/L. Like the classic Gold, this is packaged in a trademarked mirrored bottle and is the bigger, more serious sibling to the Poeti bottling. Perfumed raspberries, wild strawberries float along a pretty, frizzante palate, finely graded with pinot nero's structure, and finishing on a clean, brisk note. The sugar is held in check by easy, bright acidity. Enjoy now, for elevated prosecco occasions (Mother's Day?)Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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Moët and Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé Limited Edition Design by Ambushtext
89PTS

Moët and Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé Limited Edition Design by Ambush NV

Champagne, FranceThis limited edition bottle was created by Yoon Ahn, co-founder and Creative Director of the fashion label AMBUSH. Designed to be 'voluptuous and gourmet', Moet Impérial blends Pinot Noir: 45 - 55% (10% still); Pinot Meunier: 35 - 45% (10% still); Chardonnay: 5 - 10%. Reserve wines make up 20-30%, and it was dosed at 45 g/L. Ripe and noticeably sweet, with candied raspberry and strawberry brioche, meringue, and a tightening riff of tangerine pith on the shorter, somewhat astringent finish. Just think of this as a dessert wine, not a typical champagne. Pour alongside strawberries and cream, for breakfast or dessert.Prices: BC 89.99 ON 88.70 QC 89.25 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Chateau de L'Aumérade Cuvée Marie Christine Rosétext
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Chateau de L'Aumérade Cuvée Marie Christine Rosé 2020

Côtes de Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceIn the now-norm distinctly shaped Provence bottle, this stylish Marie-Christine blends 41% cincault, 34% grenache, and 25% syrah. Pale peach in hue, this glides with red currants, silken strawberries, sweet pear on a slick, glycerol-lined palate, lightly dusted with spice. Simple, pleasant, and oh so Provençal. What isn't simple however is the label: each vintage the fashionable woman on the bottle changes, with a party held to unveil the new vintage's fashionable design.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Domaine and Chateau Fabre
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Tiberio Cerasuolo d'Abruzzotext
90PTS

Tiberio Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2020

Abruzzo, ItalyCerasuolo d'Abruzzo is a relatively recent DOC in central Italy's Abruzzo, and is a category named for the light and graceful cherry-like colour of these wines (cerasuolo means cherry in Italian). Take this as a cross between a rosé and a very light red, with the 20+ year old montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes being allowed to shine. The single block of heritage massale clones rest at 350m on limestone soils. After a destem, this sees only 20 minutes of skin contact before the free run juice is fermented in stainless. Even then, the colour is quite deep cherry in hue, with pomegranate, rhubarb, red currant, blood orange, tayberry on a tart, fresh, dry palate. Lovely intriguing wine for drinking now.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Agricola Tiberio
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Joseph Mellot Sincérité Pinot Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Joseph Mellot Sincérité Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Loire, FranceThe Mellot family has been working in the Loire Valley since 1513 and today own vineyards in every appellation of the Loire. Sincerité is a pinot noir based rosé sourced from estates across the region. The colour is more orange than pink, the nose fresh with a strong, cherry, red currant bent. On the palate, raspberries dominate with silky textures and a wisp of spice and pepper. It is bone dry and food friendly. Try this with any number of summer dishes, including fresh line caught salmon.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Joseph Mellot
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Mateus Rosétext
87PTS

Mateus Rosé NV

Douro - Bairrada, PortugalMateus Original is a light, fresh, barely frizzante rosé with a history that has allowed it to live through several rosé revivals. Expect a perfectly pale raspberry colour and a fresh, uncomplicated fruity nose that stems from a mix of baga, rufete, tinta barroca, and touriga franca. Summers are hot in Portugal, and this wine was designed to cool you down without any pretense. It’s ready to go for patio season, and with its shining screwcap, it couldn’t be easier to crack a bottle and begin the party. Serve with sunshine.Prices: BC 9.99 SK 11.73 MB 9.99 ON 10.45 QC 9.50 NB 9.45 NS 10.45 PE 10.50 NF 9.54 NL 13.60 BC 15.99 1500 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Zago Prosecco Brut Rosétext
89PTS

Zago Prosecco Brut Rosé 2019

Veneto, ItalyZago has been producing Prosecco since the mid 19th century, and this, a Rosé Prosecco, is one of the newer additions to the portfolio, with the appellation laws officially recognizing the category in spring 2020. This is a blend of sustainably sourced glera with 15% pinot nero, fermented separately, and then blended for second ferment in charmat tanks and 3 months' rest. This is refreshingly dry (Brut), with only 5 g/L dosage. Summer strawberries, wild raspberries, pomegranate is held bright with a crisp cranberry acidity, lifting the lighter frizzante palate to a snappy finish. Quite a smart Prosecco rosé, and enjoyable now. I wish so that more Prosecco would follow this drier lead.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Zago
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Villa Sandi Prosecco Rosétext
86PTS

Villa Sandi Prosecco Rosé 2020

Veneto, ItalyThis Rosé Prosecco blends glera and pinot nero into an off-dry 10 g/L, lightly fizzy pink, with candied strawberry, baked red apple, and an herbal green / underripe note brightened with a tight, zest lemon peel acidity. Best with a brisk chill, and to be drunk now.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Villa Sandi
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Famille J-M Cazes L'Ostal Rosetext
87PTS

Famille J-M Cazes L'Ostal Rose 2020

Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThis is a pale pink affair with hints of strawberries and citrus. It finishes with a supple texture and light floral notes. Simple, soft, and ready to drink, this is one for a warm summer’s day. If we ever get back to street block parties, this would be the bottle to take along to the celebration. Good value.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Famille J.M. Cazes
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Pillitterri Estates Winery Racina Sunset Rosétext
86PTS

Pillitterri Estates Winery Racina Sunset Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis rosé blends in some late harvest wine, resulting in the evident sweetness in this deeper-hued pink. This year blends 81% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Franc Select Late Harvest, with 23 g/L of sugar. Candied strawberries, candy apple, raspberry gummies rule the fuller, silken palate, finishing with a dusting of spice. Chill well and take with a light fruit dessert.Prices: ON 20.00 Producer: Pillitteri Estates Winery
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Mirabeau en Provence Rosé Classictext
90PTS

Mirabeau en Provence Rosé Classic 2019

Côtes de Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceThe last time I reviewed this wine, it was excellent. I did complain that it didn’t need a cork, and voila, the cork is gone in 2019. It’s still pale, pale pink and super delicate, but the nuances are even more subtle under screwcap. The blend is grenache and syrah grown between 300 and 400 metres and all harvested at night. Delicate, bone dry, and food friendly, this is tightly wound and a pleasure to drink. Strawberries and citrus dominate the palate. Serve all summer with grilled vegetables, grilled fish, or cheese. Very proper, dry rosé, which means it's not for everyone. As mentioned, the cork is gone, which makes this wine even easier to open. It is hard to believe how many producers fail to understand the barrier a cork is to consumers who just want a glass of rosé.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 24.99 Producer: Mirabeau
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Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé Bruttext
88PTS

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis blend of glera and pinot nero comes from the hills of Treviso (Glera) and Prosecco (pinot nero), and were vinified separately in steel, with the nero receiving approximately 16 hours of skin contact, imparting the lovely light blush hue. The two wines were then blended into charmat tank for 2 months or so of secondary ferment, and dosage off 12 g/L at bottling. Pretty strawberry, perfumed white peach, pear blossoms fill a finely fizzy, medium/light frame, with a kiss of orange on the finish. Lovely harmony here, with an easy acidity gobbling up the sweetness.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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Gianni Masciarelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzotext
89PTS

Gianni Masciarelli Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2019

Abruzzo, ItalyCerasuolo d'Abruzzo is one of the only Italian appellations dedicated to rosé, and this is a serious one at that. Cerasuolo translates as ‘pale cherry red’, and this pours a glowing light cherry hue. Montepulciano from Loreto Aprutino's calcareous clays, at 250m, spent only 4-6 hours on skins before a ferment and short rest in stainless. Crunchy up front, with cherry, red currant, this glides along the slender palate, lightly gripped by tannins, to a fresh, lightly peppery finish. I do wish they'd ditch the crappy plastic cork and move to screwcap for more vibrancy. A gentle, quiet, charming rosé, ideal with lighter mushroom risotto or bouillabaisse.Prices: BC 25.99 QC 30.75 AB 45.00 Producer: Masciarelli Tenute Agricole S. R. L.
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Rémi Leroy Rosétext
93PTS

Rémi Leroy Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceBased in the Aube, which shares the same Portlandian and Kimmeridgian limestone soils as Chablis just further south, young Remi farms 3 of his family's organic 9ha under this label; the rest of the grapes are sold to large champagne houses. This deeper peach hued rosé is an 85/15 pinot noir / chardonnay split, based on the 2017 vintage. The 20% red wine in the mix is reflected in the deeper hue. Vinified in 75% stainless, with the remainder in older oak barrels, this has 15% reserve wines, and spent 3 years on lees before a dosage of 2 g/L. Perfumed wild raspberry, wild strawberry, redcurrant, lemon, stony spice rules a tight, zippy, humming, limestone base. There's lovely density of red fruits that counters the brisk acidity, making this a natural for a wide variety of pairings, or enjoying solo. Incredible value.Prices: ON 67.00 Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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14 May 2021

Mauro Molino Barolotext
90PTS

Mauro Molino Barolo 2016

Barolo, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyMauro Molino was born in Piemonte, grew up amongst the storied hills and iconic vines, and graduated from Alba Winemaking School in 1973. After a few years of making wine in Emilia Romagna, he returned to start his own winery in the Langhe following the passing of his father. Grown in calcareous and clay soils from vineyards across their holdings in Barolo, this wine is meant to typify the region, through Molino’s understated elegance. This was fermented in steel before aging in French oak barrels for 18 months. Pouring its characteristic nebbiolo orange glint, this opens with subtle smoked stones, ripe and dried strawberries, and fragrant cherries, scented with pipe tobacco and fine spices. Tannins are ample and firm, but long and fine, gently housing this through the lingering finish. Best taken now with lamb or wild mushroom / truffle dishes.Prices: ON 66.95 Producer: Mauro Molino Viticoltore
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San Valentino Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
86PTS

San Valentino Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2019

Abruzzo, ItalyThis Montepulciano was crushed and left on its skins for 4-8 days to extract a medium red/brown colour before an 8-10 day ferment. The result is a soft, juicy, cherry flavoured, ready-to-drink red that sees no oak. Think pizza, hamburgers, or beef kebabs.Prices: BC 11.49 Producer: San Valentino
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Tiberio  Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
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Tiberio Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2019

Abruzzo, ItalyTwenty years ago, in 2000, Riccardo Tiberio found an old plot of trebbiano abruzzese vines, among other indigenous varieties, near the hillside town of Cugnolia, 40km from the sea. Today the estate is run by his children, Cristiana and Antonio. This montepulciano is from 55-year-old vines grown over calcareous clay soils, fermented and aged in stainless for three months. The colour is opaque, the nose a mix of floral, scrubby herbs that preview mostly red fruit and considerable tannins. This is richer than you might expect and has the power to accompany big dishes like lamb or pork. Hold three to five years or decant for an hour if serving sooner. Well made, authentic wine.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Agricola Tiberio
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Rivetto Nebbiolo Terracotta Vino Rossotext
89PTS

Rivetto Nebbiolo Terracotta Vino Rosso 2017

Langhe, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyYouthful, energetic, travelled Enrico Rivetto farms his family's estate with a philosophy beyond biodynamics, and towards complete biodiversity. Entirely singular; nebbiolo was native fermented for 2 weeks on skins, racked from gross lees, then back on skins until June, for a total of 8 months in Italian amphora. Tasted again, 2 years along, with fragrant cherry, raspberry ruling the textural palate, laced with brooding plum and fragrant raspberry blossoms through a bacon fat finish. Tannins are nebbiolo-strong, though softened marginally here via amphora. Best with a light chill, and drank over the course of a night (possibly due to 31 mg total sulphur). Only 1000 bottles produced. The charming label art was created by one of Enrico's children.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Rivetto
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Poggio Anima Lilith Primitivotext
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Poggio Anima Lilith Primitivo 2017

Salento, Puglia, ItalyPoggio Anima is a joint project between Toscana's Le Ragnaie, and one of their American importers to highlight different regions and indigenous grapes around Italy. Each cuvée in the colourful series is named for fantastic mythical beasts. From 27 year old vines in Salento's rocky volcanic soils, laced with limestone, sands, and red clay, this was fermented over 3 weeks in stainless before moving into French barriques (15% new) for 7 months aging. Ripe, leathery raspberry and strawberry lead the full bodied palate, with a rasp of sweet baking spices, and sticky tannins that land the finish. Now with some age, this is a gentler, softer version of primitivo, all the better for it. Drink now.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Poggio Anima Asmodeus Nero d'Avolatext
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Poggio Anima Asmodeus Nero d'Avola 2019

Sicily, ItalyPoggio Anima is a joint project between Toscana's Le Ragnaie, and one of their American importers to highlight different regions and indigenous grapes around Italy. Each cuvée in the colourful series is named for fantastic mythical beasts. From the sandy volcanic clay slopes of western Sicily, these 27 year old vines were fermented in stainless, before 6 months in 500L French tonneau, and an additional 3 months' tightening stint in steel. Wild plum, wild blackberry, floral blueberry flood the juicy palate, infiltrated with pepper and sweet baking spicing on the finish. Tannins are soft, as is the palate, welcoming early consumption.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Poggio Anima Samuel Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
88PTS

Poggio Anima Samuel Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018

Abruzzo, ItalyPoggio Anima is a joint project between Toscana's Le Ragnaie, and one of their American importers to highlight different regions and indigenous grapes around Italy. Each cuvée in the colourful series is named for fantastic mythical beasts. This montepulciano comes from a clay / limestone vineyard in Abruzzo, and vines 24 years old. After 2 weeks on skins for ferment, this was pressed into neutral French barrique for 6 months. Juicy and teeming with wild blackberry, black plum, boysenberry on a medium palate, with silken tannins housing a softer core. Friendly and easy and set for smashing now.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Vino Lauria Zio Paolotext
89PTS

Vino Lauria Zio Paolo 2018

Sicily, ItalyZio Paolo is the first wine that Vito made and it takes its name from the vineyard, the expansive land around Alcamo. This organic Nero d’Avola is fresh and bright, with the fragrant scrubby Mediterranean herbs, perfumed strawberry, boysenberry and wild thorns preserved from time in stainless. Acidity is crunchy, and tannins are sticky, to a pink peppercorn finish. A lovely lighter view of Nero d'Avola, even at 14.5%.Prices: ON 23.95 Producer: Vino Lauria
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Villa Barcaroli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riservatext
88PTS

Villa Barcaroli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2015

Abruzzo, ItalyVilla Barcaroli, now owned by Marche's Ciù Ciù, is an organic winery based in Abruzzo. This montepulciano is sourced from Controguerra and Ancarano, in Teramo, and at 260m.This was fermented and rested 6 months in stainless, before resting 18 months in barrique. Smoked stone, floral black cherry, brooding black currants, some prune rule the fuller palate, showing the effects of the stint in wood. Tannins are ample, chewy, and ragged, guiding this to a drying finish. Needs roast pork or beef to mitigate.Prices: ON 38.95 Producer: Villa Barcaroli
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Villa Barcaroli Montepulciano d’Abruzzotext
87PTS

Villa Barcaroli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018

Abruzzo, ItalyVilla Barcaroli, now owned by Marche's Ciù Ciù, is an organic winery based in Abruzzo. This montepulciano is sourced from Controguerra and Ancarano, in Teramo, and at 260m.This was fermented and rested 6 months in stainless. Plump, perfumed blueberry, plum and boysenberry lead the simple, easy palate, framed with somewhat sticky tannins to a shorter finish. Best with a light chill and a pizzaPrices: ON 15.95 Producer: Villa Barcaroli
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Rivetto Langhe Nebbiolotext
90PTS

Rivetto Langhe Nebbiolo 2019

Langhe, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyYouthful, energetic, travelled Enrico Rivetto farms his family's estate with a philosophy beyond biodynamics, and towards complete biodiversity. This nebbiolo, tipped with 5 percent barbera, comes from a west facing vineyard planted 340-400m on clay and limestone at the top of Lirano Hill, between Sinio and Serralunga d’Alba. Native fermented in stainless. Lively, tight, and bright, with wild raspberry, cherry on a brisk, slender palate, finishing with refreshing astringency. Very much in youth, this will continue to relax and unfold with time in the bottle.Prices: ON 44.95 Producer: Rivetto
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Vino Lauria Nerello Mascalesetext
91PTS

Vino Lauria Nerello Mascalese 2018

Sicily, ItalyVito Lauria is a Sicilian local. After studying winemaking in Friuli, he returned home in 2005 to take over his family's winery in the west of Sicily, renovating the vineyards, focusing on organic viticulture. He focuses on local varieties, like nerello mascalese. This is sourced from Sambuca di Sicilia, this sees time in stainless only. Fragrant and bright with wild raspberries, cherries, scrubby resinous herbs, this lighter red streams along the slender palate to a herbal, saline finish. Acidity is lofted, and tannins are light and gently sticky, reflective of the Mediterranean sunshine. Very moreish.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Vino Lauria
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La Braccesca Santa Pia Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riservatext
91PTS

La Braccesca Santa Pia Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2017

Tuscany, ItalySanta Pia is produced from a 15 hectare vineyard of the same name, located on the ridges just below the town of Montepulciano. This soil is sandy loam with rocky deposits known as scheletro that contributes to a more classic sangiovese style, offering elegance and depth. There is a fragrance here, signalling an elegant version of Vino Nobile, and a juicy, fresh sangiovese full of savoury, perfectly ripe red cherry lined with the perfect level of spicing through the finish. A wonderful red you can drink now or cellar for seven to ten years. There is a dusting of fine tannins that would disappear at the dinner table. Long, classy, and persistent, this is a winner.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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La Braccesca Vino Nobile de Montepulcianotext
89PTS

La Braccesca Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2018

Tuscany, ItalyLa Braccesca spends about ten days on skins during the fermentation process before going to large oak casks for twelve months. Post bottling, in the second spring of its life, the wine gets an additional twelve months of ageing at the winery. The mix is mostly sangiovese, or prugnolo gentile as it's known in the region, with a small amount of merlot to bolster the mid-palate. I like the wild aromatic floral nature of this wine, and the rich, chewy, blackberry and black cherries that finish with a mineral underbelly. Spaghetti and meatballs, anyone?Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Marchesi Antinori
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13 May 2021

Osoyoos Larosetext
94PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOsoyoos Larose continues to hit it out of the park with Le Grand Vin, a dominant merlot blend at 61.4 percent filled out with 14 percent cabernet franc, 12 percent cabernet sauvignon, 7.6 percent petit verdot, and 5 percent malbec. The wine is rich and full-bodied from front to back with a plush midpalate of blue and black fruits covered in a dense jacket of fine grained tannins. It is a savoury, complex, youthful red that reminds me a bit of some Bolgheri blends. It is amazing at this point but far from its ultimate potential. The price is extremely fair for the quality, and my advice is to stock up. It has a long history of going the distance and getting better and better in the bottle. Well done.Prices: BC 48.99 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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Château Valentintext
88PTS

Château Valentin 2017

Bordeaux, FranceAn early frost and some September rain marred what otherwise would have been an excellent year in Bordeaux. That said, given the technology available and the skill of the Bordelais, the vintage is solid, if not better than the pundits first predicted, as evidenced by the 2017 Château Valentin that hails from Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux. The chateau is situated on the right bank directly across from the Haut-Médoc. The wine is an unoaked, merlot-dominant blend containing 70-80 percent merlot mixed with cabernet franc and a lesser amount of petit verdot. Expect a light, fresh, savoury, red-fruited cherry affair with a touch of earth and a medium-long finish. Classic mid-week Bordeaux for your lamb chops or flank steak. Drink or hold through 2025.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Château Valentin
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Clos du Soleil Signaturetext
88PTS

Clos du Soleil Signature 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Signature, the winery's aptly named flagship blend, puts merlot into the lead (42%), followed by cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot, all from the Similkameen. Each block was harvested separately, destemmed and native fermented in concrete before moving to French oak for 16 months aging. Ample smokiness pervades this year's Signature, with smoked meats, camp smoke, bacon fat hazing the plump blackberry, savoury black cherry coating the full palate. There are scents of scrubby sage and dried violets darting throughout this powerhouse, all housed with big, toasty cedar tannins, and finishing with a sticky kirsch flush. Curious if the wildfires had any affect here, as I'm not getting the elegance of the 2017.Prices: BC 47.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Summittext
89PTS

Mt. Boucherie Summit 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSummit is a proprietary red blend representing their best vineyard blocks in the Okanagan and Similkameen, and the best barrels of wine made by winemaker Jeff Hundermark. Merlot leads a mix of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and malbec. The general tone is fresher with cleaner fruit and no shortage of tannins. The palate is a mix of black and blue fruits, with dry, earthy, smoky tobacco undercurrents, and medium spice to a long warm finish. Definitely hedonistic and powerful, but with a little more restraint this time out, and I applaud that. It will need a minimum of five years to settle in unless you served it with a medium-rare Porterhouse to break down some of the tannins and rein in the fruit. Time is on your side here.Prices: BC 59.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Roche Nuancestext
91PTS

Roche Nuances 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNuances is a great name for this wine that is full of intrigue and winemaking savoir-faire. The blend is 58/24/18/ merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon, something like the golden ratio in my estimation if you are looking to make a great red blend in BC. The fruit comes off two vineyards, Kozier and Suncrest, situated respectively in warm Naramata and hot Oliver. It’s fermented in stainless steel before spending 12 months in French oak barrels, but only 10 percent was new. The final blend was done before bottling to balance the wine, and it is perfect. Look for a ripe red full of delicious red and black fruit counterbalanced by a savoury underside. It is a gem you can drink now or hold for a decade, given how pure and plentiful the fruit is. If you are into elegance, nuance and understatement, this is a good wine for you. Super value too.Prices: BC 32.19 Producer: Roche Wines
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French Door Héritage French Blendtext
91PTS

French Door Héritage French Blend 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe French Door is situated just west and south of the Black Sage Bench, almost due west of downtown Oliver. The 2019 French Blend is 30 percent merlot, 25 cabernet franc, 25 cabernet sauvignon, 11 syrah, 6 petit verdot, and 3 malbec. The fruit is all hand harvested, hand sorted, destemmed and cold soaked. Fermentation is followed by 3-4 daily pump overs, leaving the skins in contact with the juice for some 50-65 days. It was aged without movement in less than 1/3 new oak and more than 50 percent neutral wood, all of which account for a stylish texture that presents elegance and flavour intensity. The nose is very Bordeaux with cedar, tobacco, and black fruits leading, flecked with blueberry, quince, and graphite. There is a lovely balance here, and what appears to be the perfect mix to age over the next decade easily. Young and approachable so that you can try it now, but my advice is to put this in the cellar through 2027 and only then should you begin to explore your collection. Well done.Prices: BC 48.00 Producer: French Door Estate Winery
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Noble Ridge King's Ransom Meritagetext
88PTS

Noble Ridge King's Ransom Meritage 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis comes in a large, heavy bottle, and the wine is equally monolithic. The oak is in the foreground of this merlot (57%) and cabernet sauvignon (43%) blend, with gobs of coconut and dill from the American oak overshadowing the luscious, dark fruits. Medium-full bodied, it's quite ripe and extracted, with blocky, grainy tannins that dry out the finish. Fans of big, oaky reds should revisit this in 2-3 years.Prices: BC 109.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +02/10text
90PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +02/10 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the 16th vintage of Portfolio, a wine which has consistently been one of the leading Bordeaux blends from the Okanagan. It's also been consistently true to Laughing Stock's house style. The 2018 vintage is merlot dominant, like its predecessors (with, I believe, one exception: the 2010 vintage), rounded out by cabernet sauvignon (34%), cabernet franc (15%), malbec (3%), and petit verdot (3%). The oak is lavish (42% new), but not to the detriment of the wine. It tastes like no money was spared on the barrel program, with perfumed, expressive spices that are at home next to the lush, high-toned black fruits. It exudes long hang time, perhaps not far from some stewed character. And, of course, there's Laughing Stock's hallmark suave, glycerous palate, a style which other wineries have tried to emulate but few have mastered. It's not as seamless as previous vintages, though. Powdery, granular tannins present themselves on the finish, which is marked by disjointed acidity. But, it still provides a lot of pleasure for those seeking a hedonistic pour, and, as always for this wine, it's ready to drink upon release.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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Bartier Bros. The Orchard Rowtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. The Orchard Row 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis started out as a house wine for the Bartier family and it's easy to taste why. It's a fresh, lighter-bodied vin du soif that can just as easily be enjoyed on its own or at the dinner table during the week. Tasted blind, it would likely be difficult to identify this blend of pinot noir, gamay, cabernet franc, and merlot, but there's no questioning the result. Drink now with a chill to highlight the juicy plum and cherry.Prices: BC 36.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Hester Creek Character Syrah Petit Verdot Malbectext
86PTS

Hester Creek Character Syrah Petit Verdot Malbec 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCharacter Red is a mix of merlot, syrah, petit verdot, cabernet, and malbec that spends 6-8 months in a mix of French and American oak. The nose is a savoury, herbal, aromatic affair with cedary undertones. On the palate, more savoury, red cherry runs bright with grippy tannins tugging at the finish. This year's slightly more rustic version is perhaps more authentic, but nothing some grilled sausages or beef kebabs wouldn’t take down now.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Frind Estate The Premiertext
88PTS

Frind Estate The Premier 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI have to say it is refreshing to see a highly capitalized BC winery launch its first flagship red at only $39.99. The Premier is a blend of the well known, the known, and the unknown, also a bit of a shock. The mix is stated in this order: merlot, cabernet franc, regent, syrah, and marechal franc, and it presents with a very clean, strawberry, cherry nose and palate. The tannins are soft and well-integrated into the wine; the texture is its best lead at the moment. There’s a lot of technology behind this wine, from picking, to sorting, to crushing, and it shows in its sense of balance and freshness. Many small lots were fermented in isolation and carefully blended by winemaker Eric von Krosigk before going to bottle. On the light and elegant side, you can drink it now and it is best served with roasted meats and vegetables.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Frind Estate
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Township 7 Reserve 7text
89PTS

Township 7 Reserve 7 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike past vintages, the 2018 Reserve 7 is a merlot-dominant blend (50.5%) rounded out by cabernet sauvignon (32%), and cabernet franc (17.5%). The majority of the fruit is sourced from the estate Blue Terrace Vineyard, located along Tuc-el-Nuit Road just outside of the town of Oliver, which is strewn with river stones. This shows polished, lush black fruits, led by plum and blackberry, that's complemented by forward oak, after aging 12 months in a combination of French and American barriques and puncheons. Medium-full bodied, this is richly concentrated but there's not quite the fruit weight to carry the dense, firm tannins. This will benefit from another 4-5 years in bottle, but will be well worth revisiting.Prices: BC 38.97 AB 38.99 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Painted Rock Red Icontext
92PTS

Painted Rock Red Icon 2018

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNot quite up to 2017, the latest Icon is still very cool, calm, and collected, showing fewer aromatics but no less concentration of flavours. The nose is quiet, the attack filled with red (cassis), black (cherry), before hitting the back of the palate with a hint of brown spice. Again its Euro stying kicks in after ageing 18 months in 30 percent new oak. The current mix is 54 merlot and 14 cabernet franc, with 11/11/8 cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot. There is no syrah in the blend this year, and I hope that continues. Like last year, the texture is measured and elegant, and when combined with acidity and structure, it is clear this Icon will age effortlessly and improve a decade and beyond. Still a baby, we must be patient.Prices: BC 54.99 Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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Osoyoos Larosetext
91PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Osoyoos Larose, now firmly in the hands of sole owner Groupe Taillan (of Bordeaux), blends 62% merlot with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec. Thick, dense and concentrated fruit is led by merlot's plummy richness, and structured somewhat by the cabernets. Dark chocolate, inky blackberry, cassis, bittersweet dark chocolate fill the brooding, savoury, full-bodied palate, framed with wood spices and ample wood-grain tannins. Very much in youth, with fine aging potential ahead.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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Il Fauno di Arcanumtext
91PTS

Il Fauno di Arcanum 2017

Tuscany, ItalyThere is no denying 2017 was a super hot year in Italy, but for some reason, the Super Tuscans led by cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot managed to make the best of the sunshine as evidenced by this terrific bottle of Il Fauno. Fresh, dense, and power-packed, this is a delight to drink even now, although I would suggest it is a wine that deserves a decade in the cellar. And at this price, that makes it a superstar for the cellar. Spicy licorice spills out of the glass along with powerful black fruit, thankfully held in restraint by the touch of French-born winemaker Pierre Seillan. The textures are equally expressive. Stock up.Prices: BC 39.99 AB 43.49 ON 49.95 QC 49.50 Producer: Tenuta di Arceno
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Osoyoos Larosetext
92PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMerlot dominant, with plush black cherries, blackberries, on a velvet palate, structured via the cabernets, and raging with chewy tannins. The fruit is very ripe and dense, with ample impact and intensity at this youthful stage, and will reward with time in the cellar. Le Grand Vin has certainly grown into its name, and is perennially one of BC's top reds. The 2017 blends 61.4% merlot with 14% cabernet franc, 12% cabernet sauvignon, 7.6% petit verdot, and 5% malbec.Prices: BC 48.99 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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11 May 2021

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Alive Organic Red Vegantext
87PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Alive Organic Red Vegan 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAlive is an organically grown red that utilizes some biodynamic practices and preparations. The blend is a mix of syrah and merlot fermented in large vats; cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon fermented in stainless steel; all aged in large oak vats six months before the final blend was put together. It is a meaty, smoky, earthy affair of black plums and black cherries with little or no tannin, and a vanilla hit in the finish. Pairing suggestions include grass-fed meats from the grill, tomato based sauces, or bean and lentil dishes.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rougetext
89PTS

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceBelleruche is classic Chapoutier, biodynamically farmed, vinified in concrete and stainless to showcase the fruit and add texture. The blend is 80/20 grenache/syrah with grapes drawn from across the appellation and with a short six months at the winery before bottling. Year in and year out, it is consistently one of the best value red blends in the market and 2019 is no exception. Round, medium-bodied, and packed full of red and black fruits, this is flecked with fresh pepper, garrigue, and a touch of youthful tannins. Chapoutier’s goal is to make high-quality large production wines with the same care and quality levels as his treasured parcel wines. Stock up.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 17.99 ON 17.99 QC 17.95 Producer: M. Chapoutier
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La Remise de la Mordorée Rouge Sans Sulfitestext
91PTS

La Remise de la Mordorée Rouge Sans Sulfites 2020

Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThis is the best Vin de France I have ever tasted, and it's made with no added sulphites. It comes off a fifteen year old vineyard, and the blend is hand harvested, 50/50, marselan/grenache (Demeter certified) grown over sand with a little clay. The vinification is simple. The fruit is destemmed and crushed before going through a 20-day maceration. The result is a silky textured red wine bursting with pure black cherry, with innocent ripeness. There is a touch of tannin that allows you to serve up some grilled beef. Otherwise, a favourite cheese is all this need to set it off. Simply delicious. I would drink this up over three years, given there are no added sulphites.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Domaine de la Mordorée
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Cellier des Princes Vielles Vignes Cotes du Rhonetext
88PTS

Cellier des Princes Vielles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceVielles Vignes (Old Vines) 40-50 years-old are at the heart of this Côtes du Rhone 2019. The nose is an aromatic garrigue affair washed in raspberries, plums, and pepper. The attack is round and open, with only light tannins mixed into the spicy, earthy, red and black fruit. It will improve in the bottle through 2023, but you can serve it now around the barbecue with grilled chicken or pork sausages. The blend is 90/5/5 grenache, syrah, mourvèdre.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Cellier des Princes
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M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rougetext
89PTS

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceThe great Chapoutier is synonymous with the Rhône Valley, in the wine business there since 1879, and now in their 7th generation with infamous Michel Chapoutier at the helm. Belleruche is the #1 wine brand from Côtes-du-Rhône. Meaning “beautiful beehive” in French, the Belleruche name is inspired by the abundance of bee and beehives that prosper in the sustainable M. Chapoutier vineyards. This is a biodynamically farmed 80% grenache / 20% syrah blend from across the appellation and its varied stony / clay / silty / sandy soils. The grapes are vinified in concrete and stainless, where they remain for 6 months. Soft, fleshy raspberry, black cherry, is seasoned with cracked pepper and broken ferrous stoniness, wrapped with a savoury, scrubby, herbal garrigue. Tannins are sticky, acidity moderate, making this friendly and welcoming to crack into now. Impressive wine to be made at these standards, at this scale, and taste like this.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 17.99 ON 17.99 QC 17.95 Producer: M. Chapoutier
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Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèlstext
90PTS

Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèls 2016

Faugères, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThe highly regarded Brigitte Chevalier is the winemaker behind this delicious red, often described as textbook Faugères. Chevalier is a fan of cooler sites in the Languedoc, organic grape growing, and careful vinification. Les Bancèls grows on two parcels planted over schist: organic syrah and grenache face north and northeast; the mourvèdre vines tilt south. The attack is fresh and mostly red-fruited with a bit of black raspberry and light tannins. The finish is marked with white pepper, streaked with garrigue, and a gazing of minerality. No oak, just purity. Les Bancèls is a local term designating the schist terraces where the majority of Domaine de Cébène vines grow. 2016 was the driest season in Languedoc since 1944, and a small crop at least 10 percent below normal was the result.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Domaine de Cébène
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Rathjen Cellars P + Gtext
91PTS

Rathjen Cellars P + G 2018

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaLike the previous 2016 P+G, this absolutely nails what the island needs do red-wise: bright, crisp, saline, lighter bodied, joyous reds, from entirely island fruit. P+G is a brill example of just that. This 50/50 blend of gravelled, mostly dry-farmed Cowichan pinot noir (Saison Vineyard) and gamay (Deol Vineyard) takes its cue from that other marginal cool climate region of Bourgogne, and their Passe-Tout-Grains tradition of blending the two lighter reds into an earlier-drinking wine. This was cold soaked for 48 hours prior a native ferment in open top bins, with one week on skins prior to pressing. This remained in neutral French barrels for one year separately, and then was blended and returned to barrel for a year together prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Wild cherry, wild raspberry, fragrant plum, finely rasped pink peppercorns flood the slight, juicy palate, lofted with easy, marine-fresh acidity and finishing with lingering salinity. All this and 11.9%? Only half of the 50 cases made remain as of tasting time - act quickly to find this charmer.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Rathjen Cellars
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Bartier Bros. The Orchard Rowtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. The Orchard Row 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrchard Row began life as the Bartier family house wine, but after being pressured by friends who no doubt drank copious amounts, the family was convinced to release this wine to the public. The 2019 is a blend of 47/24/24/5/ mix of cabernet franc, gamay noir, pinot noir, and syrah. After ferment in stainless, this spent 14 months in 225L French barrels. Sweet, ripe blackberry, cherry, raspberry, flood the juicy, cushy palate, perfumed with violets and seasoned with black pepper. Tannins are sticky, housing this medium+ red to the peppery finish. Friendly and welcoming, crack this southern Okanagan red now, as intended.Prices: BC 36.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Bartier Bros. Grenache Syrah Mourvèdretext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Black Sage Terrace estate vineyards and its sandy loam over granitic gravels, this grenache, syrah, mourvèdre was destemmed and fermented separately over three weeks before heading to French barrels for 14 months. This showcases the trio well: syrah's peppery florals backed up with mourvèdre's black wildness, and grenache's sunbaked strawberry warmth. Tannins are soft, as is the cushy palate, taking this to a warming, peppery finish. Crack this friendly wine now, as intended, particularly with BBQ ribs or tofu.Prices: BC 41.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Niepoort Concisotext
92PTS

Niepoort Conciso 2015

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalConsiso comes off an old vine vineyard in Dão, with Baga, Jaen and other indigenous grapes from 80 to 100+ year old vines, rooted in sandy granitic soils at 600m. This was native fermented in lagares, with 50% whole bunch, before aging 20 months in old 2500L foudre. Sultry and perfumed plum, cherry, wild raspberry, dried thyme and rosemary, fragrant rockrose fill the long, finessed palate, lingering with that granitic buzz. Tannins are equally long and fine, worn some with age, and housing this to the finish. Lovely to taste this wine (current release in ON) with some age on it.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Bartier Bros. Grenache Syrah Mourvèdretext
89PTS

Bartier Bros. Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a BC GSM that comes off the Black Sage Terrace just west of Black Sage Bench Road. The soils are sandy, but unlike the bench, the loamy topsoil sits over granitic gravels, all of which seem to agree with this blend of grenache, syrah, mourvèdre. The wine is blended before spending 14 months in French oak and heading to the bottle. The style is Bartier fresh with pure red fruits filling the front of the palate before softer round strawberry and raspberry dovetails into a peppery finish. It is a barbecue wine you can drink while you are grilling and finish with the main course. Pricey.Prices: BC 41.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Campbell Kind Wines Italy Rossotext
88PTS

Campbell Kind Wines Italy Rosso 2017

Veneto, ItalyCampbell Kind Wines is a new project from Lifford Wine & Spirits founder Steven Campbell, built on his decades travelling the wine world and connections in this industry. These are carbon neutral wines selected and produced by his winemaker friends worldwide, packaged with the Kind Wine packaging, and line priced across Canada at a very attractive price. The aim is to overdeliver value for drinkable, well-crafted wines while making an environmentally responsible choice. In addition, this project has resulted in more than 90,000 trees being planted in Canada. This organic Rosso is made with the Speri family, from very young vine corvina, rondinella, oseleta and other native grapes. All the vineyards belong to the Speris, 5th generation growers in the Valpolicella Classico region, between 120-350m. The Speris were the first organic winery in the region and controlled the largest number of vines in the heartland. The vines used in this wine are too young to be classified as Classico, but it's made the same so that you can think of this as a baby Valpolicella Classico. It spent 18 months in large oak barrels before bottling. Light in hue and moderate in frame, this carries cherries, ample perfumed spice, tobacco along a snappy palate. Tannins are tightly sticky, and the finish is crisp, both welcoming partnering with red sauced pasta.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Campbell Kind Wines
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La Kiuva Rouge de Valléetext
90PTS

La Kiuva Rouge de Vallée 2018

Aosta Valley, ItalyFounded in the second half of the 1970s, La Kiuva is a co-op winery with 50 grower members, located in the heart of the high altitude Aosta Valley, bordered by France west and Switzerland to the north. The word kiuva is local dialect for a 'sheaf of leaves' typically gathered in the fall to feed livestock. It’s also a play on the Italian chi uva, meaning literally 'who grape.' They farm roughly 15 hectares of steep sandy vineyards by hand. This is a blend of 70% Picotendro (local Nebbiolo clone), 30% Gros Vien, Neyret, Cornalin, and Fumin from 400-500m. Post ferment, this rested 8 months in 2/3 stainless, 1/3 barrel before bottling. Pouring a shining, lighter red hue, this opens with wild red currants, raspberries, red licorice and anise, on a joyous, bright palate. Tannins are fine and grippy, and acidity is lofted, with the whole scented with Alpine herbal scrub — a charmer, especially with a light chill.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: La Kiuva Società Cooperativa
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10 May 2021

Play Starring Viogniertext
88PTS

Play Starring Viognier 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Spotlight Viognier is made with clusters that hang longer on the vine to attain maximum ripeness. Pickers went through the block twice: the early pick brings higher acidity and freshness, while the later pick adds richness and more flavours. That said, it is a relatively quiet or elegant viognier you should serve medium cool, and enjoy its subtle green fruit and sleek textures that slide down easily at a mere 13.4 percent alcohol. It sees no wood. Perfectly pleasing and delicate in a cool climate way. Less is more here.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Play Spotlight Viogniertext
87PTS

Play Spotlight Viognier 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMuch like last year, it is fresh but low in aromatics. It opens with a mix of sagebrush and light tropical notes with lime, honey, and minimal residual sugar. Perfect for patio sipping with tapas or vegetarian sushi rolls. Ready to drink. 46 percent of the fruit that comes off Wild Horse Vineyard is barrel fermented and kept on fine lees with regular bâtonnage to add a touch of creaminess to the mix. Play Estate sits above the Penticton Airport in the area known as the Wild Horse Mountains.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Liquidity Viogniertext
89PTS

Liquidity Viognier 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis expressive, unmistakably viognier (and Okanagan) is entirely from their estate, and clone 642, planted 2005. This was whole bunch pressed and cool fermented in stainless save for the 5% that was crushed and underwent some skin time before being blended and resting a couple months on lees. Lush apricot, ripe peach, mango, fragrant honeysuckle flood the juicy, full-boded palate, held aloft by a bright, grapefruit pith acidity, and stencilled by some lightly fuzzy skins on the side. Classic for the grape, and Okanagan.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Yalumba Y Series Viogniertext
88PTS

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2019

South Australia, AustraliaYalumba's long history with viognier dates back decades, fuelled by the most extensive plantings of viognier vineyards in the world. The result is the standard bearer new world offering under its Y Series label that opens up with a perfumed jasmine and honeysuckle nose. On the palate, fresh apricots, lemongrass, and ginger mix in a lively manner, revealing a complex, leesy white wine that overdelivers for $17. A vegetarian's delight, you can serve this with a wide variety of salads and vegetable dishes. Superb value too.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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Blasted Church Viogniertext
87PTS

Blasted Church Viognier 2019

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Skaha Bench estate vineyards, this is a dry, driven viognier, led by peach skin, apricot pit, and Bosc pear, and scented with anise, salami, gentle pink florals, and ginger spice. Though this is missing viognier's inherent flamboyance, it certainly carries its alcohol, on the 14% palate. Try well chilled with fragrant (non spicy) curries for best effect.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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Domaine de L'Olivette Blanc Organictext
88PTS

Domaine de L'Olivette Blanc Organic 2019

Corbières, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThe 2019 Blanc is an organic blend of viognier and marsanne grown south of Carcassone in the Languedoc region. A long time proponent of organic viticulture in Languedoc, Chateau de Caraguilhes has been making wine for more than two centuries, and growing organic since 1987. Expect a fresh, savoury, grassy, lemon, citrus, green apple, white with a mineral and wet stone touch in the finish. A delicious mid week white to serve with clams, pesto pasta. or vegetarian dishes. Excellent value.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Château de Caraguilhes
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Township 7 Benchmark Series Viogniertext
89PTS

Township 7 Benchmark Series Viognier 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI'm not a fan of the big, fat, rich, creamy, overripe style of viognier that tends to dominate the category. That is why I love this Benchmark Series label that is more like an elegant, refined sparkling wine, sans the bubbles. The fruit comes off two vineyards: Raju Vineyard in Osoyoos, and Fool's Gold Vineyard in Oliver. Despite being warm somehow, this wine is focused on juicy pink grapefruit and lime that stay fresh from front to back. 2019 was a moderately cool vintage, and you see its vibrant effort. It is great late day patio wine you can pair with some favourite tapas or bites, including creamy cheeses. Super value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Penner-Ash Viogniertext
90PTS

Penner-Ash Viognier 2019

Oregon, United StatesIt is year 19 for the Viognier label, and it arrives with a great flavour profile. It is 92 percent fermented in Stainless steel for freshness, with an additional 8 percent fermenting in a concrete egg to add some texture and mouthfeel to the finished wine. The growing season started cool before moving to a warmer than average summer followed by a cool finish — perhaps best for tuning all of the viognier’s panoply of flavours to a perfect pitch. Look for an exotic orange blossom and jasmine nose that spills across the palate that adds some green apple freshness and subtle notes of bitter lime for complexing — a delicious and stylish viognier that walks the tightrope of richness and leanness to a tee.Prices: BC 39.99 AB 32.99 SK 41.99 MB 41.99 Producer: Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
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Road 13 Marsannetext
88PTS

Road 13 Marsanne 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe mix is 94/4.5/1.5 marsanne, roussanne, and viognier, opening with a leesy fruit salad, nutty, pie pastry scent, with tropical guava, pineapple, and honeyed pear dominating the palate. It’s a little less intense this year which is a good thing, including a drop in alcohol. The winery recommends pork, roast chicken, or turkey burgers. I like the idea of a cassoulet too. The 2018 Marsanne was hand harvested, and whole cluster pressed, fermented in French oak barrels (20% new) and left to age for five months in the same barrels. Regular lees stirring is employed to build richness before the final assemblage. It spends another month in the tank before bottling.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Road 13
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Road 13 Viogniertext
87PTS

Road 13 Viognier 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Blind Creek Vineyard viognier hails from the Similkameen Valley, and the wildfire 2018 growing season that blocked off a lot of sunlight, retarding the ripening schedule. But slow can result in more intense flavours at lower potential alcohol levels and healthy natural acidity levels, all on show here. The wine is pressed whole bunch and fermented in stainless steel yielding an apricot and nectarine nose with floral, orange blossom undercurrents. Tasted twice now, and the mid-weight palate remains lively, with similar flavours. Ready to drink. Match with prawns, crab, scallops, or peaches wrapped in prosciutto.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Road 13
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07 May 2021

Champagne Leclerc Briant Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Leclerc Briant Extra Brut 2014

Champagne, FranceThe family negociant house was an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. The 2014 vintage was 60% pinot noir, and 20% each of pinot meunier and chardonnay. It was disgorged with 3 g/L in September 2020. Creamy and rich, with lemon pith / peel, lemon blossom, Rainier cherry, green and red apple on a driven palate, shaped by tight, nervy acidity, lined with lees and bedded with deep chalk. The pinots are evident here through the structural, fruity palate, while chardonnay provides the spire to drive this through the lemon-lingering finish.Prices: ON 99.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Leclerc Briant Premier Cru Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Leclerc Briant Premier Cru Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis negoc house was founded in 1955 when Bertrand Leclerc married Jacqueline Briant. They were an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin, known for his biodynamics / bioenergetics oversees the wines of the house and its near 30ha of vines, plus another 20ha of organically farmed contract fruit. This blends 70% pinot noir, and 15% each of pinot meunier and chardonnay, all from 2014, and sourced from four villages. This bottle was disgorged in June 2020 with 2 g/L. Chalk leads this wine, backed by green apple, red apple, meringue, and light toast through the lengthy finish. More structured and refined than the NV Brut, yet still highly approachable, this is an elegant wine for drinking now.Prices: ON 96.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Leclerc Briant Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceThis negoc house was founded in 1955 when Bertrand Leclerc married Jacqueline Briant. They were an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin, known for his biodynamics / bioenergetics oversees the wines of the house and its near 30ha of vines, plus another 20ha of organically farmed contract fruit. This wine, making up 75% of production, is a bit of a misnomer: there are no reserve wines (it's entirely the 2016 vintage) and it's actually extra-brut, with 4 g/L dosage, disgorged in January 2021. This blend of 40/40/20 pinot noir / pinot meunier / chardonnay was native fermented in stainless and oak (the latter 20%) before going into bottle for 3 years on lees. Tight lemon, green apple is countered with a fine cream / red apple base on the medium+ palate, with a pure core of lemon, and a lingering, chalky spiced finish.Prices: ON 79.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Champagne Stéphane Regnault Lydien No. 29 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Stéphane Regnault Lydien No. 29 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceAfter working as a sommelier in London and an aerospace engineer in Paris, Stéphane Regnault returned to his family's Côte des Blancs domaine in 2007, and converted the farming to organics. The domaine includes four hectares of Chardonnay divided equally between the legendary chalk terroirs of the Grand Cru villages Oger and Le Mesnil. The majority of the vines are between 40 and 60 years old. A passionate jazz saxophone player, he has named his three single vineyard cuvées after a different jazz mode that each wine reminds him of. This comes from Chemin de Flavigny, in Oger, planted in the 1950's on the village's deep chalk soils. Based on 2015, this was native fermented in 2/3 stainless, and 1/3 used barrels, with MLF allowed to happen if it wants (it did this time). After 3 years on lees, this was disgorged Feb 2020 with 1 g/L RS. The 15% reserve wines for each cuvée are unique to each vineyard. 3250 bottles produced. Profound and chalky, as is Oger, with lemon, green apple, on a dense, creamy base, scented with subtle lemon blossom through the lingering finish. Reserved and serious, this is drinking well now and will hold in your cellar for a few years.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Champagne Stéphane Regnault
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Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut XVtext
91PTS

Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut XV NV

Champagne, FranceLes Parcelles is sourced entirely from the Paillard's home village of Bouzy, and from 22 plots of the family's sustainably-farmed vines, now averaging 25+ years. As noted by the XV on the label, this is based on the 2015 vintage (70%), and is a mix of 70/30 pinot noir / chardonnay (the latter an anomaly in PN-centric Bouzy), disgorged in June 2020 after 4 years on lees, and with less than 2 g/l dosage. White cherry, subtle wild strawberry, red apple lead the generous medium+, palate, based by meringue and fresh dough. Acidity is bright, carrying this through a lightly spiced finish. Welcoming, friendly, and primed for drinking now.Prices: BC 70.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne Étienne Calsac L'Echappée Belle Blanc de Blancstext
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Champagne Étienne Calsac L'Echappée Belle Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceAfter taking over his grandparents' 2.8 hectares scattered in small plots around Avize, Etienne began the transition to organic viticulture, working the vines by hand, plow and horse. This cuvée is from predominantly premier cru villages in the Grauves, in the Côte des Blancs, from 30+ year old vines, aged on lees for 7 months before bottling with 30% reserve wines, followed by 36 months in bottle. It was bottled with 2 g/L dosage. Classic Avize, with its profound yet precise structure. Deep chalk bases meyer lemon, green apple, chilled with a grippy, saline framework along the nimble, crispy meringue palate. There's a lovely balance between delicacy and depth here, making for beautiful drinking now, but with time to build in your cellar also. One to watch.Prices: ON 89.00 Producer: Champagne Étienne Calsac
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Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Brut NV

Champagne, FranceSélèque began in 1965 when Henri Sélèque planted his first plots of vines with the help of his father-in-law, Jean Bagnost, president of the Pierry wine cooperative. Henri's son Richard moved the winery into the modern era, and since 2008 third gen Jean-Marc oversees the estate, based in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay. Since Jean-Marc arrived, no herbicides have been used at the estate. For this cuvée, fruit from seven villages across the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs, namely Pierry, Moussy, Epernay, Mardeuil, Dizy, Boursault and Vertus, half of which are farmed biodynamically. With minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery, this is a blend of 50/40/10 chardonnay/pinot meunier/pinot noir, primarily stainless with full MLF. However, ten percent is fermented in oak, sans MLF. It went into the bottle with no fining or filtration. This was based on the 2017 vintage, accompanied by 50% reserve wines in large tanks and wood casks as a perpetual reserve dating back to 2000. This spent 18 months on lees and was disgorged in October 2019 with 2.5g/L. Tight and focused, with red apple, green apple, lemon pith and mineral salts on a nimble palate, etched with a deep bed of chalk, and lingering with cherry and red apple. Lovely, easy, friendliness throughout this serious wine. Great value.Prices: BC 49.99 AB 58.50 Producer: Champagne R et JM Sélèque
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06 May 2021

Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaConsistently one of BC's top selling VQA white wines, this year's Chasselas, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris follows form. White florals, gooseberry, pear, lime peel lights up a lighter (11.5%), dryish palate, finishing with a snap. Friendly and easy to like for a reason (and it's not just the sub-$20 price).Prices: BC 19.99 MB 18.99 SK 19.99 QC 19.95 NS 20.99 YK 20.95 AB 20.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Modest Wines The Elder Vicartext
89PTS

Modest Wines The Elder Vicar 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA nod to Alsace brings together this authentic lookalike, a co-fermented, skin contact, field blend of muscat, pinot gris, riesling, and gewurztraminer. Cleverly described by the winery as “a mouthful,” it is that and more with a fresh acid base and fruity, floral, off-dry, yellow fruit palate that transports you to Alsace and the Edelzwickers of old. Roasted white meat is the match, as espoused by the Modest Butcher, but you could go as big as Choucroute and take it home to rest.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Averill Creek Joue White Field Blendtext
90PTS

Averill Creek Joue White Field Blend 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe Joue line from Averill Creek is where winemaker Brent Rowland gets to play and experiment. These field blends vary from year to year. For 2019, the Joue White blended 40% pinot gris, 40% gewürztraminer, and 20% chardonnay, each foot stomped with 8 hours on skins, native fermented in older French barriques, and pressed off into older oak where it remained on primary lees, no bâtonnage, until bottling, with no additions or deletions along the way. Soft lime, lime blossom, pear streams along the slender palate threaded with salinity and fine herbal lees through the lingering finish. Quite smart, and adventuresome winemaking. More like this please Wine Islands.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's no surprise that this is one of the top selling BC VQA white wines. It's dependable year in and year out, both in terms of the quality in the bottle, and the light, crisp style. This vintage, like last year's, shows citrus, white floral aromatics, and a prick of SO2. But it's a notch drier, with a delicate 11.5% abv frame that seems purpose-built for the patio. Good value, though you already knew that.Prices: BC 19.99 MB 18.99 SK 19.99 QC 19.95 NS 20.99 YK 20.95 AB 20.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Adegas Valmiñor Darilatext
88PTS

Adegas Valmiñor Darila 2018

O Rosal, Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainFrom the Rías Baixas O Rosal region, this blends 40-year-old vines of trellised albariño, loureiro, and treixadura from the area's sandy, alluvial, river stone laden soils. The grapes were fermented separately in stainless, with albariño and loureiro receiving additional time on lees before blending. Now with a couple of years under cork, this deeper yellow-hued wine is cusping with light honeysuckle, mandarin marmalade, white peach, subtle lime blossoms on a softer, sandy, medium-bodied palate. Drink now, ideally with octopus, calamari, or brothy vegetable soups.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Adegas Valmiñor
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA perennial favourite 2020 is off just a notch this year with a touch of sulphur that dulls the nose ad palate. It is still light and mostly crisp but lacks the fruit it usually expresses with ease. Splash decant for best results.Prices: BC 19.99 MB 18.99 SK 19.99 QC 19.95 NS 20.99 YK 20.95 AB 20.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Sea Star Stella Maristext
90PTS

Sea Star Stella Maris 2020

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 version of this flagship 'Star of the Sea' blend is organically grown gew, pinot gris, schonburger, and ortega from Pender Island. Fragrant lime and lime pith, melon, crisp green apple, rose petals streams along a slender, off-dry palate to a lingering, humming finish - what aromatic white blends in BC should be.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Kitsch Block Partytext
86PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Block Party unites Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir from their East Kelowna vineyard. This was whole cluster pressed and fermented separately, and blended post ferment. Pouring a light peach hue, this streams lime blossom and peel, soap, sour melon on a short, light, softer, sour palate. Not sure what kind of party this is, but I will sit this one out.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Niepoort Clos de Crappe Brancotext
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Niepoort Clos de Crappe Branco 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe new Clos de Crappe white is based on the same idea Dirk had for the OG Clos de Crappe (red). The wine is serendipitous based on and created around technical errors or perceived flaws, in this case reduction. This comes from a single 80-year-old vineyard planted to Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Gouveio and Malvasia Fina, rooted in sloping granitic soils at 500m. This was whole bunch pressed and native fermented in barrique, where it remained for 9 months. Reductive this certainly is, so give it some solid airtime to let the old vines show through. Alluring darts of fragrant lemon blossom and rind, dragonfruit, mirabelle plum, pear skin rule the slick medium-bodied palate, finishing gently, with a swell of warmth. The altitude and soils keep this fresh, while the reductive feature keeps things interesting. Crack and enjoy over a few hours (or day).Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Kitsch Block Partytext
88PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a riesling/chardonnay/pinot gris/gewurztraminer blend, with a 2 percent dollop of pinot noir that presumably gives this its pale rosé hue. Don't expect rosé-like aromatics, though; this is heavy on the tree and citrus fruits, lacking the burst of red fruits you may expect from the colour. It's light and refreshing, and just the sort of easy drinking wine you'd bring to a Block Party.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Kitsch Block Partytext
88PTS

Kitsch Block Party 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock party anybody? Well, maybe after May 24. In 2020 the mix was riesling, chardonnay, pinot gris, and gewurztraminer tinted with two percent pinot noir that adds a rosé hue to a medium-rich, aromatic white. Easy sipping, this is a just off-dry peach, lime, and tangerine affair to lubricate the masses. If you take this bottle to the party, keep an eye on it.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 21.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viogniertext
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Hester Creek Pinot Gris Viognier 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of 67 percent pinot gris and 33 percent viognier, this is a marked improvement over recent vintages, no doubt bolstered by what seems to be, at this early stage, an excellent 2020 vintage. Early picking in mid-September has given this a crisp freshness and moderate 12.7%, which is perfectly suited for the style. It's fruity and unoaked, with a long 35-day fermentation at a cool 13 degrees bringing out melon, pear, as well as viognier's perfumed aromatics. It's still off dry, but the balance is just about perfect for this easy drinking patio sipper.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminertext
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Hester Creek Character Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCharacter White delivers just about all it can for the price with a just off-dry whack of limey, peachy, litchi that reflects its 70/30 mix of pinot gris and gewürztraminer. A small bump of residual sugar keeps it friendly and frankly makes it more useful with spicy bites such as spicy tuna sushi rolls. Juicy and savoury this guy is ready to drink on the patio.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Domaine Martin Jund Edelzwickertext
89PTS

Domaine Martin Jund Edelzwicker NV

Alsace, FranceA blend of pinot blanc, muscat, riesling, and gewurztraminer, the one-litre format is perfect for this style of wine. Edelzwicker refers to a blending ("zwicker") of noble ("edel") grape varieties. Traditionally it was a field blend, though that's less commonly the case today. This non-vintage bottling is perfumed with honeyed orchard fruit, identifiably Alsatian but without over the top aromatics. It makes for a lovely, quaffable pour, perfect for an aperitif, with some subtle sweetness to balance the phenolic bitterness on the finish.Prices: BC 31.99 1000 Producer: Maison Martin Jund
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Sea Star Stella Maristext
89PTS

Sea Star Stella Maris 2020

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaStella Maris is an estate blend of organically grown gewürztraminer, pinot noir, and a splash of pinot gris, riesling, ortega, and schönburger. Stella Maris, or star of the sea, is the Pender island Winery’s flagship blend, and it lives up to its billing. Dry and relatively crisp, its floral rose petal gewürztraminer notes give way to a wash of lime pith and green melon, with a touch of subtle bitterness in the finish. Think vegetarian dishes, or grilled chicken with a Caesar salad.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Fieldling Block 26 Field Blendtext
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Fieldling Block 26 Field Blend 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis field blend comes from the winery’s Block 26 at Carr's Landing Vineyard, at the Lake Country estate. Pinot gris, riesling, and gewürztraminer are co-picked and co-fermented. Crisp and tight and green, with celery, green apple, tart lemon on a crunchy, medium bodied palate, with sharp and high acidity, finishing with a snap. Best taken with a chill, and some fragrant brothy noodles to cut the acid.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Portal del Priorat Luno Blanctext
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Portal del Priorat Luno Blanc 2019

Montsant, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainFamous Spanish architect, Alfredo Arribas, shifted his focus to farming and winemaking fifteen years ago. His estate is composed of about 150 acres in Priorat and 50 acres in southern Montsant, with many vines on original rootstock and pushing 100 years. Farming is organic/biodynamic, elevage is similarly natural, with native yeast, short macerations, minimal S02. This biodynamic grenache blanc and macabeo blend comes from the high altitude hills of Monstant, on chalky-clay. Creamy and textural, with lemon curd, toasted spice, white honey, lime zest on an expansive, 13% palate. The altitude and soils keep this brisk across the lengthy palate, affording numerous pairing opportunities for richer shellfish, white fish, or spring risottos. Lovely.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Portal del Priorat
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Otronia 45° Rugientes Cortes de Blancastext
91PTS

Otronia 45° Rugientes Cortes de Blancas 2018

Patagonia, ArgentinaThis organic mix of gewürztraminer (42%), chardonnay (32%), and pinot gris (26%) comes from the region of Sarmiento, Chubut in southern Argentina. The harvest is all done manually, and after a static settling, each variety is fermented separately in concrete eggs. Once the final blend is ascertained, all the wine is aged in French oak foudres and concrete for 18-20 months. Wow, is my take on this delicious, cool wine that opens with exotic, flowery jasmine, some mid-weight chardonnay honey tones, and a whack of fresh lime and bitter citrus peel. Complex, mineral, and refreshing, it is a lovely introduction to cool-climate extreme Patagonia. Coming soon, hopefully to BC, stay tuned.Prices: CDN 35.00 Producer: Otronia
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Fieldling Block 26 Field Blendtext
89PTS

O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Fieldling Block 26 Field Blend 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock 26 is a field blend inspired by the winery’s Block 26 planting at Carrs Landing, made up of pinot gris, riesling, and gewürztraminer. The block is picked once, and all three varieties are cofermented, something more akin to the Old World of wine than the new, but it is a technique we encourage in pursuit of upping your game in the vineyard. It is tiring just a bit a year down the road, but it remains a rich mix of floral, fruity, bitter, mineral, savoury flavours on the mid-palate and dry in the finish. Ready to drink with a variety of dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Pentâge Winery Roussanne Marsanne Viogniertext
89PTS

Pentâge Winery Roussanne Marsanne Viognier 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Rhone inspired white blends 70% roussanne with 30% marsanne from their Skaha Bench estate. Each variety was fermented separately in stainless, with 40% transferred to French barrique and puncheon (2nd and 3rd use) for MLF and aging, with weekly bâtonnage. Honeysuckle, lime blossom, ripe golden apple and pear fill the fuller palate, gently expansive and subtly spicy on the plump palate, finishing with a flush of warmth. There's a lovely inherent freshness to counter the inherent richness of the grapes, which works beautifully with this site and wine. Showing the honeyed cusping of age, this is drinking very well now.Prices: BC 30.34 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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05 May 2021

Lunessence Rosétext
88PTS

Lunessence Rosé 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's rosé blends 68% merlot, 28% cabernet franc, and 4% syrah from Summerland's Drachenberg family vineyard. It was destemmed and foot trodden for three hours, with the merlot and cab franc co-fermented, before 5 months on lees in stainless. Silky smooth, with candied raspberries, ripe strawberries gliding along a streamlined palate, aided by a 7 g/L RS slick. That said, the tangerine pith/peel acidity meets well the sugar, making this a very friendly, seamless, polished choice for cracking this summer.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their estate La Côte Vineyard, on the upper bench of the Similkameen, this is a punchy, potent malbec, with its pale peach hue coming off 4 hours skin contact. This was fermented in stainless for a long, cool fermentation before resting on lees there until bottling, with a light filtration. Quite forward and direct, with medicinal cherry, raspberry, plum on a lightly textured palate. Take this powerful rosé with bigger flavoured dishes like ribs or salmon burgers.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis purposeful malbec rosé is sourced from La Côte Vineyard on the Upper Bench of the Similkameen Valley. Like last year's bottling, this is bright and delicate, without being austere or underripe. It's a fine line, and winemaker Michael Clark clearly has this wine dialled in. The pale salmon colour is the result of four hours of skin contact under dry ice, followed by gentle pressing. A cool, slow fermentation preserves the zesty grapefruit and tart strawberry, but without obscuring the Similkameen's characteristic saline minerality. It's light, crisp, and dry, perfect for summer salads, perhaps with warm goat cheese, or enjoying its own at just 12.3%. Just don't overchill.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Mayhem Rosétext
88PTS

Mayhem Rosé 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom siblings and wine industry veterans Terry Meyer Stone (Anarchist Mountain Vineyard) and JAK Meyer (Meyer Family Vineyards), Mayhem Rosé 2020 comes from Anarchist Mountain and blends 95.5% merlot with 4.5% cabernet franc. After foot-stomping, this was fermented and aged 6 months in a mix of 67% steel and 33% neutral French barrels. Pouring a deep peach hue, this medium-bodied pink is filled with crunchy plum, red currant, and herbal desert sage along a slick, streamlined palate. Acidity is tart and lively through the lightly astringent, saline finish. Food-ready, this is primed to take on cured salmon and/or summer salads.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Tantalus Rosétext
90PTS

Tantalus Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough the final make up varies each vintage, this intent of Tantalus Rosé remains the same. The 2020 brings 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Pinot Meunier, the former whole bunch pressed, and the latter left on skins for 3 days prior to pressing. The two were joined, and fermented cool, with two months on lees prior to bottling in February 2021. Juicy wild strawberry, red apple, watermelon, pear flood the joyous, medium-bodied, lees-lined palate, shining bright with an easy buoyant acidity, and seasoned with light peppery spice. Such a friendly, smart wine, widely accessible without being dumbed down.Prices: BC 20.87 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA gamay, pinot noir, pinot meunier blend with four-hour skin contact behind its pale colour. It is light and citrusy with delicate red fruits and a touch of rosemary. It's crisp, refreshing, and dry, easy drinking, but with enough savouriness to add intrigue. At this price, this should be one of your go-to rosés. Recommended.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Mayhem Rosé Cantext
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Mayhem Rosé Can 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a trendy new format for Mayhem's Rosé: a 250ml can. From siblings and wine industry veterans Terry Meyer Stone (Anarchist Mountain Vineyard) and JAK Meyer (Meyer Family Vineyards), Mayhem Rosé 2020, in the can, is a different wine than their 2020 regular bottle of Rosé. This is entirely merlot from Naramara's Middle Bench Road Vineyards. It was destemmed and crushed in stainless for ferment, where it remained on lees for 3 months. This pours a glowing peach hue and glides along a juicy, lighter, dry palate with wild strawberries, watermelon, and a tangerine snap on the finish. Refreshing and friendly and not dumbed down at all, this is a very smart choice for pockets all summer long, and the best local canned wine I've tried to date. Well done.Prices: BC 6.09 250 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Meyer Rosétext
87PTS

Meyer Rosé 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Rosé takes pinot noir from estate vineyard in Okanagan Falls and Kaleden, as well as from contracted fruit from growers throughout the Okanagan, from East Kelowna down through Oliver. This was partial saignée, and partial destemmed with 2 days cold soak prior to pressing. The juice was partially native fermented in a mix of stainless and older French barrels. It remained on lees for 6 months, with full MLF. Pouring a deeper cherry hue, this fuller, duskier pink carries forest berries, cherries, raspberry jam along a soft, creamy palate, scented with perfumed plum blossoms, and cut with a subtle wave of reduction to a spiced finish. The weightier palate would make this friendly rosé sensical with food pairings, from grilled salmon through roasted vegetable salads.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Pinot Noir Rosétext
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLake Country's O'Rourke's Peak Cellars was founded by Albertan Dennis O’Rourke, who hired Adrian Baker, the former Head of Cool Climate Oenology from NZ's Craggy Range, to oversee the mapping of soil types and the planting for a single 200 acre vineyard, planted exclusively to Burgundian and Germanic grapes. This deeper-pink hued pinot noir rosé fills the glass with silky raspberry, cherry, orange blossom, and fine peppery spices, bumped with a little RS to make it extra friendly. Crack and enjoy now.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Modest Wines The Eye of the Partridge Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Modest Wines The Eye of the Partridge Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThey do have a sense of humour at Mt. Boucherie, even if it is all in modesty. The Oeil de Perdrix is an old French expression used to describe pale pink rosé champagnes. It seemed appropriate to the Mt Boucherie folks to give this South Cawston (which is almost as glamourous as Champagne) pink the same name because it too is technically dry and made from pinot noir. In fact, this rosé has a very ripe nose, and a fair bit of perceived sweetness on the palate, which I'm sure will be well received in most camps. Modest Butcher chef Dan Carkner uses this to wash down charcuterie and all his woes, making it extremely versatile stuff. Give it a go; you won’t be disappointed.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Rosétext
88PTS

Mt. Boucherie Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is a co-fermented field blend of zweigelt and pinot noir, closing in on two decades of vine life. It's grown over decomposed granite, lending a stony, spare mid-palate to this fresh, bone dry pink with low alcohol and bright fruit. Look for fresh citrus, watermelon, strawberry on the nose and palate. Ready to drink. Chill and serve with a wide variety of summer patio bites.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé Grey Labeltext
89PTS

Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé Grey Label 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo cabernet franc rosés were released from L+W's 2020 vintage: this off-dry, grey label rosé from Oliver; and the classically dry, white label one, from Naramata. Pouring a deeper peach hue, this cab franc was planted in 1997 and 2008 in Oliver, and this is the second vintage. After destemming, this had 3 hours of skin contact during the press cycle. It was fermented in stainless before aging in old barrels. In January 2021 the ferment stopped, and instead of inoculating to re-boot, they decided to filter and bottle the wine as it wanted to be. Noticeably off-dry, with perfumed rosehips, candied cherries, ripe wild summer strawberries running the slight 11.4% palate to a herb-dusted, bergamot rinsed finish. Easy to like, most certainly if you're looking for a sweeter (yet still smashable) style.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé White Labeltext
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé White Label 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo cabernet franc rosés were released from L+W's 2020 vintage: this dry white label one, from Naramata; and the off-dry, grey label rosé from Oliver. Instantly recognizable in the category for its near lack of colour (it's more a light tangerine hue), these cab franc vines were planted in 1995 at Poplar Grove. After destemming, this had 3 hours of skin contact in the press before a stainless ferment, and older barrel aging, with full MLF. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is not about the fruit, but about the place. This is a slight, alluringly saline wine, bone dry and countered by the wild herbal lees bedding the 11% palate. There's some subtle quince, Rainier cherry, and apricot fuzz pencilling this rosé, finishing with a bergamot twist and rinse. So smashable and finessed, this will doubtlessly sell out near rapidly, as ever, so stock up while you can (and at this killer good price, why would you not?)Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Anthony Buchanan Malbec Rosétext
88PTS

Anthony Buchanan Malbec Rosé 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe malbec for this deeper hued rosé comes from Gurjeet Vineyard, Osoyoos, from 12 year old vines on gravel, sandy loams. It was partial carbonic, partial direct press, with a native ferment in neutral barrel and stainless, with 4.5 months on lees prior to bottling without filtration. Juicy candied strawberries, raspberries, cherry gummies flood the medium bodied palate, seasoned with fine spicing and finishing with a tart blackcurrant note, balanced off with a slight bump of RS. Tasty, gutsier rosé, and something different from BC, which is always cool to see.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Anthony Buchanan Wines
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Foxly Rosétext
88PTS

Foxly Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaF foxly is the 2nd label of Foxtrot Vineyard, released in the spring of 2020, and meant to be a more approachable, drink-now style. This deeper peach hued rosé blends 80% pinot gris with 20% pinot noir saignée, resulting in a medium+ bodied red with spiced cherry, raspberry, and a pop of red currant tartness across a broad pear base. This finishes briefly with a bitter cherry twist. Crack into this summer, especially with protein like a grilled veg salad, or light salmon dishes.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a pale pink hue, the 2020 QG Rosé is based on pinot noir gamay and pinot meunier, as it was for the first time in 2019. Each was vinified separately and coolly in stainless after four hours of skin contact and was blended post ferment. This is a slender, sleek, lighter pink, with crushed strawberries, pretty pink florals, and a slick of rasped spice and twist of orange on the bright finish. Less is more, and they captured it here in this easy, crack-now rosé, ideal for this summer.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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French Door Rosétext
88PTS

French Door Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Rosé is a 63/37 mourvèdre/grenache from a vintage they describe as hot and dry. Everything was hand harvested and placed whole bunch directly to press. The colour is Provençal pale, and the texture is sleek and smooth, aided by natural malolactic fermentation. It is very French in style, including a bit of bottle stink that requires a splash decant to get at the delicate pink grapefruit. I’m sure it will settle in over time to be a solid wine, but for now, give it some air. I will try to retaste in the summer if there is any left.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: French Door Estate Winery
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Hush Rosétext
87PTS

Dirty Laundry Vineyard Hush Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHush is a mix of grapes led mainly by pinot gris and cabernet sauvignon, picked and processed at different times during harvest. The style is friendly with a rich bump of strawberry fruit and residual sugar held at bay by a slight undercurrent of rhubarb, spicy raspberry, cinnamon, and just enough acidity. Best with spicy dishes or well chilled for patio sipping.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Dirty Laundry
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Foxly Rosétext
89PTS

Foxly Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is pretty close to a single variety pinot gris, with a 20 percent dollop of pinot noir saignée to bring an attractive pale salmon hue to the glass. Expect crunchy orchard fruits and melon, with subtle cranberry and floral aromatics. Nicely balanced, bright acidity carries the 3 g/L residual sugar to a dry, crisp finish. It's meant to be fun and approachable, but the texture and concentration make it more than just a patio sipper.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Foxly Rosétext
88PTS

Foxly Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxly is the second label of Naramata Bench's Foxtrot Vineyards, well known for its production of Burgundian style chardonnay and pinot noir. The rosé is an 80/20 mix of pinot gris and pinot noir, leading a pale orange-pink colour to a fresh orchard fruit nose. The palate is dry and well structured with spicy cherry and tart red fruit, suggesting this is more than a sipper, but a pink that can support light lunches or appetizers. Impressive.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

South East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe rosé is a mix of fruit from Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in southeast Kelowna, Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland, and Coyote Vineyard in West Kelowna. It is all hand-harvested, destemmed, and crushed into small stainless steel tanks. It is cold-soaked with skins for 48 hours to shape its reddish-pink colour and light tannins that build a bit of texture. The style is always refreshing and dry, offering cranberry, blood orange followed by rhubarb and more red fruit with a citrus wash. A food-friendly style you can drink solo, given its balance and freshness.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Unsworth Vineyards Rosétext
88PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Rosé 2019

British Columbia, CanadaPouring a peachy hue, this year's rosé is pinot noir, primarily from from Damm Vineyard (82%), and supplemented with fruit from Unsworth Vineyard and Cherry Point Vineyard, and clones 777, 667, 115. This was fermented and aged briefly in stainless. Slick and gilded with a bump of RS to make it slide down, this is filled with strawberry jam, cherry gummies, fine spicing on the shorter finish. A simple, friendly pour to chill well and crack this summer.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Moraine Pink Mountain Rosétext
87PTS

Moraine Pink Mountain Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeper, day-glo hued rosé comes from their Naramata Bench estate Anastasia Vineyard, and blends 79% gamay with 21% malbec. Ripe and bumped with a generous dose of RS, this glides along the medium palate with strawberry jam, raspberry gummies, mandarin, and ripe honeydew, finishing with a snappy, juicy finish. Simple, easy, chill well and crack on the patio.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Grow Wild Ravishing Rosétext
89PTS

Grow Wild Ravishing Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Okanagan Valley VQA pink made by Artisan Wine Company is new to me. It is a dry, rosé mixing merlot, syrah and pinot noir that is brimming with fresh pink grapefruit, watermelon and a sprinkling of citrus before finishing with a touch of earth. Think tapas and sunshine on the deck. Well done, especially given its bargain price of $16.99.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Artisan Wine Company
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Liquidity Rosétext
87PTS

Liquidity Rosé 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot noir rosé is filled with candied strawberries, red apple, cherry along a cream base, bumped with a good dose of RS. The silken palate finishes with a light dusting of spice. Easy, simple, and polished, crack this summer, as intended.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Road 13 Rosétext
87PTS

Road 13 Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 pink is 68.5% pinot noir, 26.5% gamay noir, and 5% syrah. The fruit is all estate grown on the Golden Mile Bench, and is handpicked and macerated on skins for 4-6 hours in separate blocks. The nose is bright and fresh, led by grapefruit and citrus, with a healthy dose of lime rind. A touch rustic, but it would easily work with the likes of grilled salmon, roast chicken, or seared tuna.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Road 13
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Road 13 Honest John's Rosétext
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Road 13 Honest John's Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeper, glowing peach hued pink is a soft, sweeter, candied melange of grapes designed to be as friendly as possible. Ripe strawberries, candied red apple, cherry blossoms flood a juicy, shorter palate, finishing with a snap. The RS (10+ g/L) patches up any holes. Easy and accessible, chill and crack this fresh pink this summer.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Road 13
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Bartier Bros. Rosétext
87PTS

Bartier Bros. Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 BB Rosé blends chardonnay, gewurztraminer, and merlot from their home base on the Black Sage terrace, as well as from Summerland. Each variety was fermented separately in stainless, where it aged 4.5 months on fine lees. Pouring a brilliant pale peach hue, this mid-sweet rosé shows heavily on the gewurztraminer, with ample fragrant lime blossoms, rosewater, jasmine on a spritely, medium-bodied palate. This finishes with a lime pith twist — for lovers of aromatic whites looking for pink.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Kitsch Rosétext
87PTS

Kitsch Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Rosé blends pinot noir and pinot gris, lightly foot-tread, and left on skins for 48 hours before whole cluster pressing. Pouring a shining, day-glo orange / peach hue, this off-dry rosé is driven with fruit: orange, red apple, candied pear, strawberry gummies. There's a sprinkle of pinot spices along the medium+ palate, to a snappy, bittersweet red currant finish. Chill well, crack now, as intended.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Four Shadows Rosétext
87PTS

Four Shadows Rosé 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFour Shadows Winery sits at the start the Naramata Bench. Wilbert and Joka Borrens sold their grapes for many years, but decided to being their own label a couple of years ago, with consultant winemaker Pascal Madevon. Deeper peach in hue, this is an off-dry pink of pinot noir and merlot. Candied strawberries and cherries, red apple floods the fuller palate, finishing with a nip of spice on the brief finish. Needs to lose sugar and slim down some to join the rosé revolution.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Four Shadows Vineyard and Winery
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Kitsch Rosétext
87PTS

Kitsch Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot noir and pinot gris are the 2020 mix, pouring a pinky/orange colour, dancing with a strawberry bubblegum scent. The attack is soft and round, accentuating what little sweetness there is. Flatter than last year, so be sure to serve this one well chilled. I do like the suggestion of serving it with watermelon feta pizza, goat cheese, pine nuts, balsamic cherries, and arugula salad. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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Unsworth Vineyards Rosétext
89PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Rosé 2019

British Columbia, CanadaA mix of pinot noir clones makes up this Island pink, shared between Damm (82%), Unsworth, and Cherry Point vineyards. The winemaking is simple, from a stainless steel ferment and a brief stay in tank. The colour is light orange, the attack fresh, before just sweet cherry and strawberry fills in the mid-palate, with a touch of dried herbs and gentle spicing. Elegant, soft, and ready to drink, this is the perfect patio sipper with or without food.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosétext
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Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosé 2020

Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaAfter missing tasting the 2019 vintage due to a change in ownership, BC gem Sea Star is back with their 2020 Blanc de Noir. With Pinot Noir grape from their estate Saturna Island vineyards. A light salmon hue, this is crunchy and brisk, with tart cherry, raspberry, underripe pear, tangerine, pink grapefruit, on a distinctly marine, saline, bone dry palate. While it doesn't share the finesse and elegance of the 2018, this youthful rosé shows ample intensity and character, which may settle with some time in bottle.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Poplar Grove Rosétext
89PTS

Poplar Grove Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere's clear purpose to the Poplar Grove Rosé. Much of the fruit is sourced from a vineyard designated for their rosé program. The winemaking also leans heavily on direct press, with a small portion of saignée. It strikes a nice balance, with the saignée portion bringing weight and fruit ripeness (along with some spice from the syrah) to the wine's relatively light frame, along with an appealing 12.6% abv, and brisk, refreshing acidity. Expect expressive citrus and red fruits, with just a hint of savouriness, leading to a balanced, dry finish. Good value.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Poplar Grove Winery
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Roche Rosétext
90PTS

Roche Rosé 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Naramata home vineyard, this rosé is a blend of organically farmed, 92% Zweigelt and 8% Schonberger, from 20 year old ungrafted vines. This had only 45 minutes of skin contact, and was native fermented. Crunchy and bright, with pomegranate, cranberry, and red currant leading, and zesty green apple acidity driving this along the zippy palate. There's a base of lees offsetting the fresh acidity and fruit, finishing with a lingering salinity. Quite delicious.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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Mission Hill Reserve Rosétext
87PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2020 the fruit was all Osoyoos estate. The 38/33/29 blend of pinot noir, syrah, and merlot was fermented in stainless steel, with less than three percent seeing time in neutral French oak. The colour is pale pink, the nose not so interesting with some stinky leesy notes mixed into citrus, ripe red apples, lemon-lime, and watermelon. Splash decant and serve with grilled chicken or creamy pasta.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 17.99 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosétext
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CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis purpose-grown pinot noir was early picked, and had 2 hours of skin contact prior to pressing off into stainless for ferment and a short stint. Tight and zippy, with lime, pink grapefruit riding the sleek palate, glossed with a bump of RS to a zesty, mouthwatering finish. A lovely patio partner this summer, as intended. Sharply packaged with their stylized vineyard row labels and stelvin lux cap.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Sandhill Terroir Driven Wine Rosétext
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Sandhill Terroir Driven Wine Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a day-glow peach hue, this 'terroir driven' wine comes from two different vineyards, and blends gamay and merlot. So I'm not exactly sure what terroir they're driving towards, other than the general 'Okanagan Valley'. Candied apple, strawberry jam, pear nectar rule the off-dry, creamy, glycerol-licked palate, with a slight fuzz of spicing to the shorter finish. Benefits from a brisk chill. This old school style rosé shouldn't trade in on a terroir name.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Sandhill Wines
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JoieFarm Tsunami Rosétext
88PTS

JoieFarm Tsunami Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA new wine format from the ever-forward thinking Heidi Noble and JoieFarm team, this shows her very popular rosé in a whole new way : 250ml can. From Skaha, Kaleden, and their home bench, Naramata, this blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and pinot gris is easily smashable. Strawberries and cream, ripe raspberries, red apple, subtle cinnamon spicing flood the juicy, creamy palate, buoyed by a swell of acidity, and bumped with a kiss of RS on the snappy finish. Picnics and pockets, this is calling for you.Prices: BC 7.30 Producer: JoieFarm
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04 May 2021

Reif Estate Fortune Gamay Rosétext
86PTS

Reif Estate Fortune Gamay Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis gamay rose was pressed and fermented cool in stainless. Perfumed strawberries, green raspberries, rhubarb fill the dryish palate, finishing briefly with a green astringency and light spices. Best with a brisk chill.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Reif Estate Winery
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Westcott Delphine Rosétext
85PTS

Westcott Delphine Rosé 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis dark-hued rosé is a blend of 60% cabernet franc and 40% pinot noir, in an off-dry, deeper (6-hour skin contact) gusty rose with sour cherry, red currant, green herbal notes on a clipped, grippy palate. Needs a brisk chill.Prices: ON 18.99 Producer: Westcott Vineyards
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Drea's Rosétext
88PTS

Drea's Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaAndrea Kaiser grew up immersed in Canadian wine, with Karl Kaiser her father. She is the Director of Marketing, Reif Estate Winery, where she makes her own boutique line of wines. This cherry-hued rosé, her first, is entirely dornfelder, one of her father's favourite grapes. Red currants, raspberries, pomegranate, sour cherries rule the dry palate, woven with a foxy herbaceousness to a snappy, bitter-edged finish. This lacks some of the freshness I would have hoped for, though I appreciate its dry, serious focus. Looking forward to seeing more of Drea's wines.Prices: ON 26.50 Producer: Drea's Wine Co
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Kacaba Rebecca Rosétext
88PTS

Kacaba Rebecca Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper blush hued rosé is gamay, fermented cool in stainless after 12 hours of cold soaking on skins. Tight and dry, with strawberries, cherries, red currants on a bright, medium-bodied palate, padded by a slick of lees, and finishing with some spice. Thankfully dry, this is a smart food-pairing choice.Prices: ON 17.15 Producer: Kacaba
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North 42 Degrees Cabernet Sauvignon Rosétext
88PTS

North 42 Degrees Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2019

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaWith fruit from Lake Erie North Shore and Niagara, this cab sauv rosé had a 18 hour cold soak, giving its deeper blush hue. Raspberries, cherry is scented with orange, and freshened with a red currant acidity. This is dryer than the 2020, and shows the better for it. Enjoy this summer.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: North 42 Degrees Estate Winery
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Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Windsock Rosétext
87PTS

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Windsock Rosé 2018

Ontario, CanadaAs you can tell by the heavyweight flint vodka bottle, this is a wine that strives to be taken seriously. This cabernet sauvignon saw 8 months' time in oak, which is also evident on the toasty, smokey palate. Wild raspberries, cherries rule the fuller palate, finishing with tobacco, toast, and smoked stone, with a rhubarb tartness cutting some of the richness. This is a powerful rosé for big red wine drinkers.Prices: ON 36.00 Producer: Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
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Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pinktext
86PTS

Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis is a sweeter, fragrant rose of 95% riesling, 5% cabernet franc, meant to be an easy, accessible, fun pink for summer. Candied lime, strawberry gummies, ample candied orange on a short, sweeter palate, finishing with an orange twist. Needs a brisk chill or sangria.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
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Spec Bros Three of Hearts Rosétext
88PTS

Spec Bros Three of Hearts Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom the Speck Bros, this is whole cluster pinot noir from Niagara Peninsula. Pale pink in hue, this is a dry, grown-up rosé, with silken wild strawberries, light cherry, fragrant raspberry gliding along the medium palate to a shorter, bitter orange pith finish.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Speck Bros
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Speck Bros Aria Rosétext
86PTS

Speck Bros Aria Rosé NV

Ontario, CanadaAria Rosé is a stand alone label from the Spec Bros, and a NV blend of unknown grapes. Lightly frizzante and amply sweet, with candied grapefruit, pear gummies, sweet orange on the short palate, finishing with a bitter orange twist. Simple, light (11.5%), pink fizzy wine for your summer and summer cocktails.Prices: ON 14.95 Producer: Speck Bros
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Lakeview Cellars Serenity Rosétext
88PTS

Lakeview Cellars Serenity Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis pinot noir rosé pours a medium-pale pink, and fills a silky palate with raspberry, cherry blossoms, pear, and a light dusting of spice. Acidity is bright, and RS is a slight bump (6 g/L), making this a sophisticated choice for cracking this summer.Prices: ON 15.95 Producer: Lakeview Cellars
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Featherstone Rosétext
87PTS

Featherstone Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper hued, off-dry rosé blends cabernet franc, gamay and merlot from their Vineland estate. Candied raspberries, cherries, candied red apple fill the juicy, medium+ palate, tightened with a green herbal brace on the snappy finish. Chill well and enjoy this friendly, fresh rosé this summer.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Featherstone
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Henry of Pelham Classic Rosétext
86PTS

Henry of Pelham Classic Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper pink hued rosé is a blend of mystery grapes, resulting in an off dry (9g/L), floral, fragrant pink with rose petals, wild strawberry, on a silken, short, light bodied palate, with a twist of green, and orange. This is an easy, friendly choice to crack this summer on a sunny patio.Prices: ON 14.95 Producer: Henry of Pelham
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Huff Estates Country Roads Pinot Noir Rosétext
86PTS

Huff Estates Country Roads Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaThis pinot noir rosé was half whole cluster, half destemmed, with 18 hours on skins giving the strawberry hue. After a wave of reduction, this leads into a tart cranberry, red currant, rhubarb pink, dry on the slight palate, with a green herbal edge around the sides. This finishes briefly, with a mustard-seed note. Crack into this summer.Prices: ON 25.00 Producer: Huff Estates
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Flat Rock Cellars Twisted Pinktext
87PTS

Flat Rock Cellars Twisted Pink 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis day-glo, deeper-hued, off-dry rosé blends Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Potpourri perfume is cut with sharp grapefruit acidity, and padded with tangerine, candied apple, on a shorter, peppery, lighter (11.5%) palate. Certainly snappy, this needs a brisk chill and cracking this summer.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Flat Rock Cellars
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Leaning Post Rosétext
87PTS

Leaning Post Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper pink hued rosé blends 70% pinot noir with 30% cabernet franc, overnight on skins, and then pressed to stainless for a cool ferment and rest until the following spring. Watermelon, green raspberry, light smoked stone and a swing of reduction open, offset by a bump of RS and a whack of acidity on a silken palate. A bit disjointed, this shows best with a brisk chill. Crack this summer.Prices: ON 20.00 Producer: Leaning Post Wines
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Château des Charmes Rosé Cuvée d'Andréetext
86PTS

Château des Charmes Rosé Cuvée d'Andrée 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper-pink hued pinot noir rosé is named for the winery's matriarch, Madame Andrée Bosc. This was fermented and rested briefly in stainless. Off-dry, with candied cranberry, tart raspberry, on a silken palate, with the green edges padded out with the gloss of sugar, finishing with a pasty edge. Disjointed; needs a brisk chill.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Château des Charmes
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Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Ontario, CanadaFrom their Vinemount Ridge estate, this pinot noir (667 and 777) had 4 hours skin contact prior to fermentation in stainless, where it remained for a short time (no MLF) until bottling. With a lighter pink hue, this is strawberries and cream, perfumed raspberries ruling the slick palate, brightened with fine spicing, and finishing cranberry tart and bright. Fresh rosé for summer, and very food-friendly also.Prices: ON 23.00 Producer: Westcott Vineyards
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03 May 2021

Chateau Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosétext
90PTS

Chateau Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé 2019

Côtes de Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceMiraval has a history that dates to 1252 and St. Thomas Aquinas. "Studio Miraval" has hosted Sting, Sade, the Cranberries and Pink Floyd, not to mention the current owners Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (divorced but still partners in rosé). In fact, the wine is in good hands because it is grown on an excellent piece of dirt in Provence, and it is made by a first-rate winemaking partner in the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel of Châteauneuf-du-Pape fame. In 2020 the cinsault, grenache, syrah and rolle (vermentino) blend opens Provencal pink and a sleek, smooth texture. Citrus and subtle red fruits mix with a savoury, mineral, stony finish — ready-to-drink.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Jolie - Pitt & Perrin
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Garage d'Or Love Drunk Rosétext
89PTS

Garage d'Or Love Drunk Rosé 2020

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThis rosé hails from vineyards in the McMinnville AVA featuring some of the oldest plantings in the region. The cépage is 72% chardonnay with 28% pinot noir. The nose is packed full of fresh-cut strawberry that spills unto the palate to mix with melon, kiwi, and lime rind. Crisp and dry, this is a sophisticated rosé that really only wants to have fun. Love Drunk Rosé is part of Maison Noir Wines, founded by New York sommelier André Hueston Mack.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Maison Noir Wines
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Garage d'Or Love Drunk Rosétext
89PTS

Garage d'Or Love Drunk Rosé 2020

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesMaison Noir Wines is a micro-negoce founded in 2007 by winemaker/sommelier/designer André Hueston Mack, a Per Se and French Laundry alumni. This super juicy, medium-hued rosé blends 72% chardonnay and 18% pinot noir from Hyland Vineyard in McMinnville, planted in 1971 on volcanic, sandy, Jory soils. Watermelon, strawberry jam, kiwi flood the joyous, glycerol-lined, off-dry palate, cut clean with pink grapefruit pith and salted peel. Basically, this smart wine is FUN in the glass, and recommended to crack, chill, and enjoy liberally this summer.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Maison Noir Wines
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Quinta do Vallado Rosétext
90PTS

Quinta do Vallado Rosé 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalOne of the legendary Douro Boys, the historic (even by Douro standards) Quinta do Vallado was originally established in 1716, and became part of the Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira empire in 1818. The quinta is spread across both banks of the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro River, and near the town of Peso da Régua, bordering both the Baixo and Cima Corgo. Sixth generation descendants and cousins Francisco Ferreira and João Ferreira Álvares Ribeiro are the owners. This touriga nacional rose comes from high altitude estate vines, and was fermented bica aberta (without skin contact) over one month, prior to resting for 3 months in stainless. Juicy and bright, with fresh strawberries, cherries, wild orange, and scents of scrubby herbs drawn across a silken, cushioned palate, freshened by lofted acidity and finishing with an alluring mineral lick.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Quinta do Vallado
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Joseph Mellot Sincérité Pinot Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Joseph Mellot Sincérité Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Loire, FranceThe Mellots have been growing vines and making wine in the Loire Valley since 1513. The time and knowledge has paid off; today, Joseph Mellot is the only estate that owns vineyards in every appellations of the Loire. Wines in their second line, Sincerité, are sourced from numerous estate vineyards across the region. Fresh cherries, red currant, raspberries glide along a silky, medium-bodied (12.5%) palate, woven with orange, subtle florals, and fine peppery spice. Fruit-forward, and showing lovely now even with a couple of years in bottle. Partner with summer salads or light salmon dishes.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Joseph Mellot
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Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosétext
88PTS

Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosé 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaFrom vineyards around the Western Cape, and vines 12-16 years old rooted in Malmsbery shale and Cape granite soils, this medium-hued pink blends 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir, cofermented in stainless. Strawberries and cream, cherry blossoms, fresh pear lead a fresh, silken palate, finishing with a dusting of spice. A bump of 4 g/L RS keeps this super friendly and easy. Nice choice to crack this summer.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Spier
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La Petite Perrière Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

La Petite Perrière Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

FranceSince 1790 in their Loire home base, the Saget family have been producing wines, and over three centuries, they have built a formidable negoce operation. This Vin de France is pinot noir largely sourced from their certified organic estate vineyards in Touraine, complemented by grapes from the South of France. Tart red currant, strawberry, light spice on a slick, shorter palate, and a mandarin twist. Easy, accessible, and ready to pair with food now.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Saget La Perrière
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Montalto Rosétext
89PTS

Montalto Rosé 2020

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AustraliaThis pinot noir rosé comes from selected parcels of fruit off their estate Tuerong vineyard (85%), and their Red Hill vineyard. With a pale pink hue, a portion was whole bunch in stainless, while the remainder was native fermented in oak. Cool and silken, with wild strawberries and cream, fragrant florals, light spice flooding the juicy palate. Quite an elegant rosé, reflective of the cool climate, and primed for drinking now.Prices: ON 34.95 Producer: Montalto
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Tucks Now Rosétext
88PTS

Tucks Now Rosé 2019

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AustraliaThis pinot noir rosé comes from Mornington Peninsula and was whole bunch pressed directly to stainless for a cool fermentation and short time on lees. Wild strawberries, raspberries, subtle floral perfume flood the silken palate, with a slick of glycerol gliding this to a lightly spiced finish. Friendly, elegant, and ready to crack this summer.Prices: ON 36.95 Producer: Tucks
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Poggio Anima Raphael Rosatotext
87PTS

Poggio Anima Raphael Rosato 2019

Sicily, ItalyPoggio Anima is a joint project between Toscana's Le Ragnaie and one of their American importers to highlight different regions and indigenous grapes around Italy. Each cuvée in the colourful series is named for fantastic mythical beasts. This rosato comes from western Sicily's sandy slopes and blends 85% Zibibbo and 15% Syrah on brown clay and limestone, and done entirely in stainless. The shining pale peach hue comes from a couple of days of skin contact on the syrah. Extravagantly fragrant and floral with lime blossom, potpourri, rose blossoms, spring strawberries, wild lemon pith, with a fragrant soapy note that is omnipresent.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Bijou Ciel de Lilac Rosétext
89PTS

Bijou Ciel de Lilac Rosé 2019

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceCiel de Lilac Rosé hails from the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence and comes with the requisite pale French Rivera colour. It is a 50/40/10 mix of grenache, cinsault and syrah, grown over clay and limestone soils. The style is bone dry, the nose slightly aromatic, offering up notes of faded roses and redcurrants. The palate is tangy with a delicate mix of red fruits, rhubarb, and the perfect touch of bitterness in the back end. Serve with any charcuterie and local cheese. The synthetic cork is a minus on what is a fun bottle.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Bijou
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Wolf Blass Maker's Project Rosé Free Runtext
86PTS

Wolf Blass Maker's Project Rosé Free Run 2019

Langhorne Creek, South Australia, AustraliaThis is a mystery mass of grape(s) from Langhorne Creek, with candied cherry, candied red apple, mandarin, and pomegranate juice on a shorter, creamy, just off-dry palate, finishing with a dusting of spice. For a wine calling itself 'Maker's Project,' one would expect some more details on place/provenance/maker. Simple pink. Pretty bottle though.Prices: ON 16.25 Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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19 Crimes Snoop Cali Rosétext
86PTS

19 Crimes Snoop Cali Rosé 2020

California, United StatesWow. This is Snoop Dogg's 2nd wine, in conjunction with the Oz wine brand 19 Crimes. This is a sweet, confected Cali blend of grenache and zinfandel. Candied strawberry, watermelon gummies, candied apple take the brief palate, finishing with a twist of orange. Don't just take it from me, though: “We did it big with 19 Crimes Cali Red, so you know we had to do it again—and this time, I was thinking pink,” Snoop said in the release. “I can’t wait for everyone to sip on my Snoop Cali Rosé and bring those fresh feels from spring into summer and beyond. I hope when you open a bottle of this wine, you take a little mind trip to my Cali home. This is how we Rosé the Snoop Dogg way!” If you need more convincing, the label on the bottle is part of the 19 Crimes’ Living Wine Labels augmented-reality series. All you have to do is go to AskTheDoggfather.com on your phone, scan the label, and ask Snoop a question. A holographic version of him will then serve you some words of wine wisdom. If you like sweet pinks and/or Snoop Dogg, or have the munchies, crack into this.Prices: BC 18.49 PEI 18.99 AB 19.00 ON 18.95 Producer: 19 Crimes
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Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Rosétext
88PTS

Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Rosé 2019

Cotes de Gascogne, Sud-Ouest, FranceDomaine de Pellehaut, one of the oldest estates in the Gers, has been owned and managed by successive generations of the Béraut family for over 300 years. Today the 180-hectare estate is overseen by brothers Mathieu and Martin Béraut. This juicy, off-dry rosé is an unlikely dog's breakfast saignée blend of 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Tannat, 10% Malbec, 10% Pinot Noir, 8% Syrah, 7% Manseng Noir, done entirely in stainless. Primary cherry, candied strawberry, red apple rule the shorter, snappy palate, finishing with a bump of RS. Easy, accessible, and friendly for those looking for an easy-going style.Prices: BC 15.50 Producer: Domaine de Pellehaut
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Paul Jaboulet Aîné Parallèle 45 Rosétext
89PTS

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Parallèle 45 Rosé 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FrancePaul Jaboulet Aîné is one of the Northern Rhone's leading estates, first established in 1834. The Parallèle line, their 'entry level' tier, was named because the 45th parallel runs two kilometres from the domaine’s cellars near Tain L’Hermitage. This cuvée began in 1950 and represents the Jaboulet commitment to producing France’s finest Rhône value. The estate has been under the purview of the Frey family for the past decade or so, and Caroline Frey is currently oenologist and proprietor. Pale peach in hue, This Côtes du Rhone rosé is a blend of 20+-year-old, organically-farmed grenache, cinsault and syrah growing on clay-limestone slopes and terraces. It was gently fermented and aged in stainless on lees over 6 months. Juicy youthful strawberries, rhubarb, raspberry fill a bright, bone-dry palate, seasoned with a fine rasp of peppercorn and kissed with cinnamon. Nice and compact, and prime for drinking now. Very food-friendly.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné
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Barone Ricasoli Albia Rosétext
91PTS

Barone Ricasoli Albia Rosé 2019

Tuscany, ItalyThis sangiovese / merlot blend comes from the historic Ricasoli estate, in the heart of Chianti Classico. Ferment and a short stint in stainless preserve the bright fruit, though they've moved from Stelvin closure back to a plastic cork, presumedly because it serves the distinctively squat bottle (á la Provence). Certainly, that is the cue for the style, pouring a very pale peach hue, with the dry, silken palate led by strawberry, plums, kissed with tangerine, pink florals, and a very fine rasp of spices. Quite elegant, as befits the brand legacy.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Barone Ricasoli
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Honoro Vera Rosadotext
88PTS

Honoro Vera Rosado 2019

Rioja, SpainThis smart, snappy, dry Jumilla rosado blends tempranillo and syrah, made with both direct press and saignée, vinified cool in stainless, where it remained for a short stint to preserve the fresh fruit. Bright cherry, watermelon, cherry, redcurrant flood a juicy palate, seasoned with an alluring salinity. As usual, the Gil Family overdeliver for price. Worth seeking out. Striking packaging too.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 16.95 Producer: Gil Family Estates
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Summer Water Rosétext
88PTS

Summer Water Rosé 2020

Central Coast, California, United StatesKudos to Director of Winemaking Ryan Zotovich for pursuing a serious rosé and admitting it is hard to make. Summer Water is a blend of meticulously managed small lot batches using sustainably farmed Central Coast fruit. The blend is an 85/15 mix of grenache and syrah, fermented in stainless steel and finished low in sugar, sulphur, and alcohol. Everything about this wine is just about right. It is fresh, aromatic, and mixes citrus, grapefruit, with a pinch of peach and orange in the finish. It is a far cry from the history of American rosé, and we all happy about that. Pour all summer like water.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Summer Water
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Tornatore Etna Rosatotext
89PTS

Tornatore Etna Rosato 2019

Sicily, ItalyThis is a shining, deeper-hued rose of nerello mascalese, from Castiglione di Sicilia, on Etna's northern slopes. With just a few hours of skin time giving a glowing crimson, this was fermented and aged for a short stint in stainless to preserve the fresh fruit. Juicy wild raspberry, red berries, wild orange, lemon peel livens the medium-bodied, saline palate. Ample Etna minerality and freshness give a vibrancy to the palate, finishing long and salty. Unique and smart. Smashable.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Francesco Tornatore
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Cerejeiras Rosétext
87PTS

Cerejeiras Rosé 2018

PortugalFrom the Atlantic-swept VR Lisboa, this deeper hued, dry rosé is a blend of touriga nacional, castelão, and Aragonez, done entirely in stainless to preserve freshness. Wild raspberry, red currants are imbued with an herbal mustard seed note throughout the fuller, round, silken body. Simple and forward, ready for cracking now, ideally with grilled vegetables or rosé sauced shellfish.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal
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La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesCool-climate is a good descriptor of this Monterey pink made from pinot noir. The nose is aromatic with notes of strawberries, watermelon, and mandarin that spill onto the palate with equal freshness. The finish is clean, if a bit short, but hey, it's rosé, not rocket science. Serve cool with your favourite charcuterie plate, and let the summer begin.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 28.00 ON 27.95 QC 30.00 Producer: La Crema
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Muga Rioja Rosadotext
90PTS

Muga Rioja Rosado 2019

Rioja, SpainA blend of tempranillo, garnacha, and viura, from clay-limestone soils at 480m in Rioja's upper Najerilla district, this iconic Spanish rosado is referred to locally as clarete, which is a lighter type of rosé made by combining white wine with direct press rosé, as opposed to the saignée method. Also, unlike the vast majority of other rosés, this one also sees a brief period of time in used oak barrels (a hallmark of the Bodega, one of the historic cellars of La Rioja). Crisp, crunchy, and bright, with cherries, strawberries, stones on a silky palate, framed with spice, and freshened by brisk grapefruit acidity. This has a lovely balance, making it particularly food-friendly. Now only if they'd move to screwcap...Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Muga
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Bodega Garzón Estate Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

Bodega Garzón Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Garzon, Maldonado, San José, UruguayBodega Garzón is Uruguay's leading winery and one of the top architectural wineries worldwide. Located 11 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the estate has more than 1000 small vineyard blocks covering hillside slopes of granitic soils. The vineyards are surrounded by lush forests, palm trees, rocky soils, and granite boulders. This medium / pale pink pinot noir rosé was fermented cool in stainless and spent 3-6 months on lees there before bottling. Silken smooth, this glides along the medium+ palate with strawberries and cream, summer raspberries, cinnamon spicing, finishing abruptly on a stony note. Striving for Provence, from South America, and it's a very good attempt.Prices: CDN 22.00 Producer: Bodega Garzón
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Les Quatre Tours Classique Rosétext
88PTS

Les Quatre Tours Classique Rosé 2018

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceLes Quartre Tours is a group of quality-driven producers farming around 270 hectares of land around the villages of Venelles, Puyricard, and Puy Ste Reparade in the rolling hills just north of Aix en Provence. It first came into existence in 1924 as a co-op for bulk wine. However, in the 1990s a group of the winegrowers decided to completely change the direction of the co-op, and model themselves on a small, quality winery. They began working sustainably and organically, installed new equipment in the winery, and hired an oenologist. Now each parcel is managed according to its terroir, regardless of the individual owners' boundaries. Classique is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in marl and chalk hillsides around 250 to 400 metres. Pouring a very pale rosé, this is filled with raspberries, wild strawberries, pink grapefruit, big spicing, on a fuller, silken palate. The cabernet bumps up the structure, while altitude and soils easy hold it bright. Drinking well now.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Les Quatre Tours
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Doña Paula Rosétext
88PTS

Doña Paula Rosé 2020

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis deeper-hued Malbec rosé comes off the El Alto estate, Lujan de Cuyo, and clay loam soils at 1000m altitude. A gentle pressing and cool ferment and a short 3-month stint in stainless are aimed at preserving freshness. Juicy strawberries, light cherries, fine spice flood the fleshy body, finishing with a tart rhubarb note. This dry, spicy rosé would be particularly food-friendly.Prices: BC 18.50 SK 14.25 MB 12.99 Producer: Doña Paula Estate
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Doña Paula Rosétext
88PTS

Doña Paula Rosé 2020

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis is sourced from Doña Paula's El Alto vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, located south of Mendoza City. It's bright and fresh, thanks to early picking during the first two weeks of February. A cool fermentation in stainless steel makes this quite fruit-driven in style, with cherry and strawberry complemented by subtle spice. It's approachable and easy-drinking, even more so thanks to the dry finish and moderate 12.2% abv. Chill and enjoy with light summer salads.Prices: BC 18.50 SK 14.25 MB 12.99 Producer: Doña Paula Estate
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Doña Paula Rosétext
88PTS

Doña Paula Rosé 2020

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaI like that this wine has had a designated vineyard since 1998 in Lujan de Cuyo, at 1000 metres above sea level. You can sense that this wine has a personality and a sensibility that goes beyond its colour. It spends a minimal three months in stainless steel before it's bottled to capture fresh strawberry, watermelon with a touch of spice in an essentially dry rosé. Perfect for late afternoon tapas on the patio. Good value too.Prices: BC 18.50 SK 14.25 MB 12.99 Producer: Doña Paula Estate
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