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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: June 2021

30 June 2021

Rigour and Whimsy Cowabunga!text
89PTS

Rigour and Whimsy Cowabunga! 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis little trad-met is a fortunate turn of events, as the barrels set aside for a pét-nat finished ferment too quickly to be bottled, so this little surprise was born instead. Cowabunga! 80% pinot blanc and 20% roussanne from West Kelowna and Osoyoos vineyards, the fruit was whole cluster, native fermented, and fermented in used puncheon, where it ended up remaining for 4 months before heading to bottle for second ferment and 6 months on lees. This wine will have multiple releases as they experiment with extended time in bottle. My bottle is the first release, and presents youthful and fresh, as expected, with ample orchard pear and apple, dried apple, wild lemon wrapped with stony toast, and dusted with flake salts. This bone dry bubble has a gentle lees / elderflower core, and fine, persistent fizz that carries it far along the palate. A great, unexpected, result and a project to watch.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Rigour & Whimsy
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Baillie-Grohman Tête de Cuvée Bruttext
88PTS

Baillie-Grohman Tête de Cuvée Brut 2018

Kootenay River Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis traditional method sparkler blends equal parts pinot noir and chardonnay from their Creston estate vineyard, sitting around 650m. This spent 36 months on lees prior to disgorgement, with 36 g/L RS for an obvious off-dry style. Candied strawberries, red apple, cherry brioche rule the creamy palate, with a lovely riff of toast and ample cranberry acidity to offset the big bump of RS. I'd love to see this as a Brut (dryer) style in future, to up the seriousness. For now, a great start. 53 cases made.Prices: BC 41.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Peak Cellars Sparkling Rieslingtext
88PTS

Peak Cellars Sparkling Riesling 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the winery's inaugural Riesling fizz, a traditional method sparkling harvested from Block 4, one of the highest sites in their estate vineyard. This aged on lees for near a year, and was dosed with sugar dissolved in a base of 2019 Riesling Block 11 wine, adding 5 g/L RS. My bottle opened with a mere trickling of effervescence, which dissipated quickly in the glass, leaving tight lime blossom and peel, crunchy green pear, green apple, and a streak of riesling's tell-tale acidity on the dry, chalky palate. A good first attempt, but we need more bubbles in the bottle for something of this caliber (and price).Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Sperling Vineyards Speritz Pet Nattext
85PTS

Sperling Vineyards Speritz Pet Nat 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMuch like previous years, this is an idiosyncratic biodynamic pét-nat of white grapes planted on Ann Sperling's family estate. This year's, however blends the usual Perle of Csaba with Chardonnay, and Bacchus, all native fermented. Lightly effervescent, with sour melon, sour apple, pear blossoms, on a very natural, heavily sedimented, lightly astringent, bone dry palate. Quite extreme, though a welcome 10%.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Trumpeter Rosé de Malbec Extra Bruttext
88PTS

Trumpeter Rosé de Malbec Extra Brut 2018

Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaRosé de Malbec is a traditional method pink sparkler from the cool, high altitude, Tupungato sub-region of the Uco Valley. It spends 12 months on lees, providing a creamy texture to help offset a brisk palate of citrus, cherry, raspberry, cranberry, with a dash of tangerine in the finish. You will need a bite of food to tame this pink but it's worth exploring with food before dinner.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Rutini Wines
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Zago Prosecco Brut Rosétext
89PTS

Zago Prosecco Brut Rosé 2019

Veneto, ItalyThis Zago pink was a fun discovery and a newish release from a Prosecco company begun in the mid 19th century. The fruit is sustainably sourced glera with 15% pinot nero, fermented separately and blended for colour into the second ferment charmat tanks. It's refreshingly dry (Brut) and crammed full of summer berries, pomegranates, and lovely fresh acidity in the back end. Finally, a prosecco pink that will appeal to real wine drinkers who want a late afternoon bubble they can quaff before dinner.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Zago
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Champagne Dom Pérignon Millésimé Rosé Vintagetext
95PTS

Champagne Dom Pérignon Millésimé Rosé Vintage 2006

Champagne, FranceDom is always complex and sophisticated, and this rosé is no exception. The fruits are red and wild, the palate dry and salty with a wealth of underbrush scents from dried thyme and rosemary to fennel. The palate is packed full of flavours from front to back, aided by persistently tiny mousse that animates all the components before a bitter finish. It is a great year, and there is little doubt this wine will live through a full twenty years in the bottle. The pinot noir and chardonnay blend is darkened by the addition of 20% still pinot, and finished with a 6 g/L dosage.Prices: BC 309.00 ON 356.00 Producer: Dom Perignon
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Hester Creek Old Vine Bruttext
88PTS

Hester Creek Old Vine Brut 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2018 is the inaugural vintage of Hester Creek’s sparkling Blanc de Blanc made from old vine pinot blanc. The fermentation lasted 12 days before the wine was racked off the heavy lees and further aged in stainless on the fine lees. The base wine was laid down en tirage for 24 months allowing the pinot blanc to develop the classic rich and creamy autolytic characters that come with time. The half century old pinot blanc vines have given their best to this bubble, from a light golden colour to an inviting mix of brioche and toast over green apple and ripe pear. Fresh and vibrant, it is a fine start and likely one that will be even better in three to five years with some bottle ageing. Oysters, anyone?Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Church & State Wines Sparkling Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Church & State Wines Sparkling Pinot Gris 2018

Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe Brentwood Bay facility is getting serious about sparkling wine, leaving the still wine production to the Okanagan Valley. Look for a pale yellow colour flecked with green, and refined, tiny bubbles throughout the mousse. The attack is soft with light floral and pear, apple, grapefruit drizzled with citrus in the finish. The style is elegant, reflecting the origins of winemaker Arnaud Thierry who joined the team in late 2017. Thiery was born in the Champagne region of France and grew up among the vines of Bordeaux. Things are changing in a big way at Church and State. Fine value.Prices: BC 25.29 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Mirco Mariotti Surliétext
88PTS

Mirco Mariotti Surlié 2019

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyMirco Mariotti makes natural wines in the Bosco Eliceo area in the eastern part of Emilia-Romagna. The vines grow 300 meters from the Adriatic sea and many are well over 100 years old. They are gnarly non-grafted vines with roots that dig as deep as two meters in the sandy soil and into the aquifer below. Mariotti’s wines are named after local card games the locals play. This comes from 50-100-year-old Fortana vines, destemmed and on skins for 10 days before a native ferment and 2 months in cement tank. It then goes to bottle for a second ferment. Strung with balsamic, this dry fizz is bright and lofted with wild plum, downy violets, on an astringent, grippy palate. Super natural, and very Lambrusco-esque, this would be fun with a chill and charcuterie platter.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Mirco Mariotti Sét e Méztext
86PTS

Mirco Mariotti Sét e Méz 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyMirco Mariotti makes natural wines in the Bosco Eliceo area in the eastern part of Emilia-Romagna. The vines grow 300 meters from the Adriatic sea and many are well over 100 years old. They are gnarly non-grafted vines with roots that dig as deep as two meters in the sandy soil and into the aquifer below. Mariotti’s wines are named after local card games the locals play. This natural fizz is entirely Fontana grape, from 100+ year old self-rooted vines. This sparkling rosé was macerated for 24 hours, then native fermented over the winter, before heading to bottle the following spring for 2nd ferment. This pours a lightly hazy deep peach hue, with wild cherries, strawberries, tart red currants and sour rhubarb on a brisk, bone dry palate. Very natty, finishing quite astringent.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Mirco Mariotti Smarazentext
89PTS

Mirco Mariotti Smarazen 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyMirco Mariotti makes natural wines in the Bosco Eliceo area in the eastern part of Emilia-Romagna. The vines grow 300 meters from the Adriatic sea and many are well over 100 years old. They are gnarly non-grafted vines with roots that dig as deep as two meters in the sandy soil and into the aquifer below. Mariotti’s wines are named after local card games the locals play. This pét-nat of 70% trebbiano and 30% malvasia di candia is from 50-100 year old vines. Lightly fizzy, with white melon, tart tangerine, white pepper on a brisk, lightly astringent palate. Refreshing and lively at 12%.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Orofino Vineyards Gamay Bubbletext
90PTS

Orofino Vineyards Gamay Bubble 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe casual Gamay Bubble moniker of this wine speaks to its nature, but make no mistake, it is made with precision. A traditional method made with gamay, it comes off Mutch Vineyard on the Cawston Flats, just below the Orofino winery. It is naturally fermented, and aged in neutral oak barrels for three months before the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. It is fermented dry with zero dosage (no sugar added), and only a tiny amount of sulphites are added at disgorgement. The nose wafts out of the glass with fresh red berries, and the delicate scents carry over to the palate where strawberries and raspberries rule over a creamy, leesy underside. The acidity is perfect, and the message is 'drink me'. Cawston born and bred, it is part of a new breed of wines coming out of the Similkameen that shouldn’t be missed. Order winery direct or pick up on-site; only 139 cases produced.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Zinck Crémant d'Alsacetext
87PTS

Zinck Crémant d'Alsace NV

Alsace, FranceDomaine Zinck is nestled in Alsace's village of Eguisheim, and their estate vineyards are biodynamically farmed. This crémant, from contracted fruit, blends pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot blanc, with a bump of 20% reserve wine and 18 months on the lees, along with a moderate dosage. Ripe yellow and red apple rule the palate, running along a creamy base touched with perfumed meadow flowers and lit with some bright lemon pith on the finish. Mellow and friendly, this is a simple, welcoming fizz to pop now.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Paul Zinck Vins d'Alsace
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Renardat-Fache Cerdontext
88PTS

Renardat-Fache Cerdon NV

FranceThe Renardat Fache family has been growing grapes for 8 generations in the tiny sub-alpine region of Bugey, tucked in the scenic foothills of the southern Jura mountains, and at the crossroads of Savoie, Jura, Burgundy, and Rhône wine regions. Their 12.5 hectare property is farmed organically and biodynamically, and rooted in Jurassic limestone and clay soils. Wine from Cerdon, one of Bugey’s three crus, is always sparkling and red / rosé, with a sweetness. This pét-nat is entirely gamay, and pours a deeper crimson rosé hue, with delicate fizz and a definite sweetness. When the native ferment reached 6% it was lightly filtered and then bottled, trapping the remaining sugar, yeast and fizz in the bottle. Candied cherry, raspberry blossoms are riffed with broken stones, and brightened by tart rhubarb acidity, helping to offset the 50 g/L RS remaining. At 8%, this would make a lovely partner to brunch waffles, or berry desserts.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Renardat-Fache
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Domaine Vendange Grande Reserve Crémant de Savoie Bruttext
90PTS

Domaine Vendange Grande Reserve Crémant de Savoie Brut 2018

Savoie, FranceLocated in Combe de Savoie, on the foothills of the Massif des Bauges, Domaine Vendange stretches over 10 sustainably farmed hectares, on south facing slopes of youthful glacial till / limestone scree. This crémant blends Jacquère (45%), Altesse (30%), Chardonnay (25%) of 25 year old vines, with vinification in stainless over 9 months with bâtonnage, prior to a secondary ferment in bottle for a minimum of one year on lees. A riffing pear skin sets off subtle quince, yellow apple, elderflower blossoms, lemon pith on a savoury, stony, slender, lees-lined palate. The subtle dosage and happy 12.5% makes it very drinkable now, and smartly so.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Domaine Earl Vendange & Fils
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Strewn Winery Muselet Rosétext
86PTS

Strewn Winery Muselet Rosé NV

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaStrewn's inaugural traditional method fizz, this pinot noir came from a neighbouring vineyard. This spent 16 months on lees before being disgorged with 7.4 g/L. Dry and brisk with red currant, rhubarb and a cleaning cranberry acidity, buffered by some red apple, green strawberry on the palate, with a noticeable bump of sweetness on the finish. Best with a chill and canapés.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Strewn Winery
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Sandbanks Sparkling Rosétext
84PTS

Sandbanks Sparkling Rosé 2019

Ontario, CanadaThis Arterra brand rosé is off-dry with 10 g/L, which compensates for the raging acidity on this traditional method fizz. Citric tablet, green apple rips along the searing palate, finishing with a kiss of strawberry sweetness. Disjointed and sharp.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Sandbanks
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Tantalus Old Vines Pinot Piquettetext
80PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Pinot Piquette 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you haven't heard, orange wine / volcanic wine / natural wine is no longer the hot new wine category; it's piquette. Though it certainly sounds new and trendy, piquette is a very old traditional French way of using up grape skins and stems, giving them a quick (re)ferment, and bottling them right away, capturing the slight effervescence, and slighter alcohol (here 6.1.%) for a refreshing drink, usually for the farmers, to consume near instantly. It's a byproduct of the winemaking process, and not 'wine' itself. This super humble, super economical product is now a hot category, demanding quite a high price, and a place on hip kids' wine programs. The Tantalus Piquette fits that bill. This Pinot Piquette took the gently-pressed grape skins and stems of our Rosé-destined Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, rehydrated with water for a few days, and pressed again. The resulting juice is fermented in stainless, and bottled while still fermenting to capture a small prickle of fizz. A cloudy cherry hue, this bottle shrieks with VA and ethyl acetate, chopping off any of the prettyish candied raspberry, strawberry underneath. Short, light, but faulted, at least my bottle.Prices: BC 17.50 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Piquettetext
86PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Piquette 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you haven't heard, orange wine / volcanic wine / natural wine is no longer the hot new wine category; it's piquette. Though it certainly sounds new and trendy, piquette is a very old traditional French way of using up grape skins and stems, giving them a quick (re)ferment, and bottling them right away, capturing the slight effervescence, and slighter alcohol (here 5.1.%) for a refreshing drink, usually for the farmers, to consume near instantly. It's a byproduct of the winemaking process, and not 'wine' itself. This super humble, super economical product is now a hot category, demanding quite a high price, and a place on hip kids' wine programs. The Tantalus Piquette fits that bill. This comes from gently-pressed grape skins and stems of their Block 5 Old Vines Riesling, rehydrated with water for a few days and re-pressed. The resulting juice was fermented in stainless, and bottled while still fermenting to capture a that piquette prickle. Crab apple, subtle apricot fuzz, elderflower float on a light, sour, gently frizzy palate to a short, dry finish. Certainly would be refreshing on a hot day in the vineyards, especially stone (read ice) cold.Prices: BC 17.50 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Covert Farms Sparkling Zinfandel Methode Ancestraletext
86PTS

Covert Farms Sparkling Zinfandel Methode Ancestrale 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pét-nat blush comes from organic zinfandel off their McIntyre Bluff estate's Coyote Block, planted in 2006. This was native fermented in stainless before heading into bottle and capping. Searingly tight and tart, with rhubarb, cranberry, red currant, milk chocolate and apple blossoms, up against a bump of RS on the short, snappy finish. Somewhat disjointed at this stage, and best well chilled.Prices: BC 28.59 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Intrigue I Do Sparklingtext
85PTS

Intrigue I Do Sparkling NV

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough merlot, riesling and gewürztraminer are strange partners, this wedding-themed pink fizz unites them anyway. Pouring a light frizzante, this is a short, sweet pink with bubble gum, candied strawberry, sour orange gummies to a snappy end. A themed wine that has one purpose : toasting the newlyweds (or using in their mimosas).Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Zonin Prosecco Rosétext
87PTS

Zonin Prosecco Rosé NV

Veneto, ItalyProsecco rosé was only officially approved at the start of this year, but it already seems to be ubiquitous on store shelves. Although it may have ruffled some feathers, I think stylistically it makes a lot of sense. Value priced Prosseco is about everyday, easy drinking pleasure, and that's exactly what you get here. It's a simple, fruity Prosecco with a splash of sweet red fruits to complement the pear and delicate floral. Off-dry, frothy, with a pleasant creaminess to the texture, it's soft and easy. Perfect as an aperitif.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 14.95 MB 15.10 ON 15.95 QC 15.75 Producer: Casa Vinicola Zonin S.p.A.
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Zonin Prosecco Cuvee 1821text
87PTS

Zonin Prosecco Cuvee 1821 NV

Veneto, ItalyTasting this again, 1.5 years later, albeit surely a different bottling, this is still a simple, pleasant Prosecco with melon, pear, and floral aromatics. I find the sweetness more pronounced this time around, and it'll benefit from being chilled down more than usual. And I'm not just saying that because of the heatwave. It should also be perfect for spritzes, too.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 14.95 MB 15.10 ON 15.95 QC 15.75 Producer: Casa Vinicola Zonin S.p.A.
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Natural Bruttext
90PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Natural Brut 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is quite a singular wine, for BC, and Canada. From their 1978 block of estate riesling vines (block 5), this traditional method brut sells out every year, prized for its originality and rarity as much for its vibrant, mouth-watering acidity and drive. Only 50 cases were made this vintage. This is part of their iconic Old Vines Riesling grapes, picked the same day, and diverted off into this small lot fizz. Post primary ferment, this portion spent 22 months on lees in bottle, disgorged in late 2021 with 5 g/L dosage. Riesling has a hard time with traditional method, and only very serious Sekt has overcome. This wine, benefitted by the Okanagan's generous fruit ripeness, makes it work, resulting in a sharp, shining, singing sparkling, that easily rivals the best coming out of Germany. Green apple, red apple, lemon pith run the sleek, vibrant palate, textured with pithy lime, bright with lemon-lime acidity, and bedded with river stones. Lively aperitif.Prices: BC 43.48 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pristine blanc de blancs comes off one block from their Kelowna estate, fermented in older puncheons and barrique, and aged on lees until the following May, when it was transferred into bottle for second ferment and 22 months on lees. This was disgorged in March 2021 with 6 g/L dosage (from the 2018 Chardonnay). Crisp and bright, this rings with lemon pith and peel, before a vibrant palate of green apple, stony minerality, bedded with a layer of lees and humming with energy. Very much northern Okanagan, drinking beautifully now, and with some time ahead in cellar.Prices: BC 31.30 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancstext
89PTS

J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs 2017

Alsace, FranceThis blanc de blancs is a blend of pinot blanc and auxerrois, with a minimum of 36 months on lees, and is disgorged to order. Subtle pear blossom, apple blossom scent the dry, creamy palate, riffed with an alluring light grip around the sides, and finishing with a gentle anise note on the lingering. Quite smart.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: J. M. Sohler
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1701 Franciacorta Brut Naturetext
89PTS

1701 Franciacorta Brut Nature NV

Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10 hectare biodynamic certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. This Brut Nature blends the structural elegance of 85% Chardonnay, and the character of 15% Pinot Nero, aged for a minimum of 30 months on the lees. This bottle was disgorged in April 2020. Yellow and red apple, bread dough lead this creamy, medium-bodied sparkler, scented with marzipan, and finishing with a shimmering buzz. The zero dosage keeps this taut and lively on the palate. Quite smart and fresh.Prices: ON 49.95 Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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Perlage Zharpi Proseccotext
89PTS

Perlage Zharpi Prosecco NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyPerlage is one of Italy’s first organic sparkling wineries. In the local dialect, zharpì is a term transcribed as vine pruning, reflecting this wine’s connection to the vineyard and those who work the vines. This Glera is clean, fresh, and shining, with crunchy green apple, green melon, and grapefruit pith, finishing tart and snappy with a tangerine twist. Not your typical sweet prosecco; give this a go.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Perlage
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Harrow & Hope Brut Reserve No5text
90PTS

Harrow & Hope Brut Reserve No5 NV

EnglandHarrow & Hope is a newer English sparkling winery based in Marlow, in the Flint laden Chiltern Hills, and run by Henry and Kaye Laithwaite (of the famous English merchant family). This smart, sharp wine, their 5th release blends 40% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay, and 20% pinot meunier, with 20% barrel aged reserve wine (a split between 2014 and 2015), and with 36 months on the lees. It was dosed with 9 g/L upon disgorgement. Such a lovely wine, bright and crisp, with tight green and red apple across a chalky base, this drinks beautifully now, and with obvious time ahead. More like this please.Prices: ON 47.95 Producer: Harrow & Hope
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Parés Baltà Cava Brut B Organictext
89PTS

Parés Baltà Cava Brut B Organic NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainAn annual tasting of b never disappoints. Fresh, clean and dry, it comes with creamy textures and friendly flavours. It is the perfect wedding sparkler for large parties but interesting enough for the enthusiast. The fruit is a mix of parellada, macabeo and xarel-lo, organically grown. Look for nutty, creamy, green apple with a mineral/floral undercurrent. Fine value and food friendly, this is worth looking for in the private wine shops.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 18.00 MB 22.99 ON 18.95 QC 15.00 Producer: Parés Baltà
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Marqués de Monistrol Seleccion Especial Cava Prestige Cuvée White Flower Bottletext
87PTS

Marqués de Monistrol Seleccion Especial Cava Prestige Cuvée White Flower Bottle NV

SpainThis sparkler is part of the Marqués de la Concordia family of wines. Concordia is the name of the Roman goddess of Harmony, something the winery hopes to achieve in the bottle. The Cava is a 40/30/30 macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada blend. The nose is a mix of toasty lees and almonds with red apple, almond paste, and fennel dusted cherries. The acidity is firm, and the finish lively and fresh. Food friendly, so bring on the tapas.Prices: BC 22.49 Producer: Marqués de la Concordia
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Bottega Gold Prosecco Spumante Bruttext
89PTS

Bottega Gold Prosecco Spumante Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyEven though the distinctively blinged out and trademarked mirror packaging for Bottega Gold doesn't carry DOCG on the label, it is entirely DOCG quality fruit. A quirk in the appellation laws (Italy!) dictate that the bottle has to be made of clear glass in a limited range of shades. This glera comes from the hills of Treviso, and is fermented long and cool, partially native, before some time on lees prior to heading to the Charmat tanks for secondary ferment. It was dosed as brut, with 10-12 g/L. Potent and forward with yellow apple, perfumed white peach, pear blossoms, and white melon across a lightly frizzante palate. Lovely balance here in this friendly wine, with all the parts (acid, sugar, fruit) in harmony for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Bruttext
86PTS

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis glera comes from the hills of Treviso, fermented cool in steel before heading to the charmat tanks for a couple months on lees, and a dosage of 12 g/L at bottling. Potent and tart yellow apple, musk melon, hay, almond rule the shorter palate, finishing abruptly with a orange snap. Chill well and enjoy now.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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Veuve Clicquot Rosé Bruttext
91PTS

Veuve Clicquot Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe VC Rosé comes off 60 small vineyards mixing just under 50 percent pinot noir with 13 percent meunier, 25 percent chardonnay, and 12 percent still red wine bled from tanks. The reserve wine portion from older vintages can often be as high as 40 percent. The colour is a light pink/orange, the nose an open and inviting cherry affair with more red fruits, cranberry, pomegranate, and red currant. There is plenty of acidity to cut into the creamy core of lees and fruit, keeping each sip fresh. Like all VC wines, the rosé one is built for food, so don't worry about bringing it to the dinner table.Prices: BC 91.99 AB 85.99 ON 89.80 QC 87.50 NS 85.00 SK 83.99 MB 90.76 NL 98.48 Producer: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
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Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceGosset, located in the tiny Grand Cru village of Aÿ, is the oldest known Champagne producer, with origins back to 1584. The current production remains small by Champagne standards, at less than 1.5 million bottles. The rosé is made with a mix of fruit from Avize, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Cuis, Pierry, and Rilly, usually spending three to five years in the cellars before it is disgorged as a Brut at 8g/L. The blend is around 50 percent chardonnay, 50 percent pinot noir, where 8 percent of the pinot noir is added as still wine for colour. Finally, 10-20 percent is 6-8 years of reserve wine, although the latest bottling has little included reserve wine. This half bottle has a medium red colour followed by sweet strawberry aromas with a touch of oxidation. The attack is rich and relatively full flavoured with orange, raspberries, and light spice before a mostly dry finish. Perfect with local spot prawns or a favourite pâte.Prices: BC 40.00 375 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Perlage Afra Prosecco Rosé Extra Drytext
88PTS

Perlage Afra Prosecco Rosé Extra Dry 2019

Veneto, ItalyAn organic, vintage dated rosé Prosecco gives you hope before you pop the cork, and this glera and pinot nero blends turn out to be a very pleasant, off-dry, creamy bubble with an attractive pale pink coat. Look for strawberries and raspberries with a bump of sugar and cream, but all in balance. Ready to drink with a spicy tuna roll.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Perlage
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Varias Cava Genui Brut Naturetext
87PTS

Varias Cava Genui Brut Nature NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainFairly consistent from year to year, Cava Varias has been bottling sparkling wine for 100 years in the Alt Penedès region of Spain, the historic birthplace of DO Cava. Brut Nature is a 30/40/30 mix of macabeo/xarel·lo/parellada that presents a super dry, light, fresh, almond sparkler with a creamy texture. So clean and light, it is ready to drink. Serve with assorted sushi rolls or other simple party bites.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: Cava Varias
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Lunessence Riesling Bruttext
88PTS

Lunessence Riesling Brut 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the second release of their Riesling Brut, and this year their Summerland estate fruit is certified organic. This charmat blends 86% Riesling and 14% Pinot Blanc, with 3 months on lees in tank, and 10 g/L RS. Lively and bright, with grapefruit, lime pith and peel, green apple streaking across a zippy palate, finishing with more fresh citrus and riesling's hallmark acidity. A fun, well-made fizz for enjoying this summer.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Noble Ridge The Fizzy Frizzantetext
87PTS

Noble Ridge The Fizzy Frizzante NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Fizzy One is a 60/40 mix of pinot gris/viognier, with the former contributing some colour after a whole cluster press and some skin contact. The pale pink colour shows a pink grapefruit nose flecked with ripe nectarine before a light, fresh palate of pears and gooseberry splashed in citrus. Soft bubbles and a hint of bitterness wrap up the finish. Ready to drink on the patio, well chilled.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Noble Ridge The One Sparkling Bruttext
90PTS

Noble Ridge The One Sparkling Brut 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2016 The One is an all Okanagan Falls bubble. It comes off the 34-acre Noble Ridge Vineyard, and is a blend of 61% chardonnay (clone 76 and 95), and 31% pinot noir (clone 115 and 777). The fruit is gently whole cluster pressed and aged en tirage for an impressive 42 months. The extra added time is noticeable with creamy brioche setting up the base before a salty, citrus, green apple, stony profile kicks in. The mousse is medium and persistent. A solid, well-made sparkler ready for a variety of BC seafood.Prices: BC 47.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Bruttext
87PTS

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyBottega is a vibrant producer of Prosecco under the energy of its tireless leader Sandro Bottega. Poeti is an excellent example of what can be done with a little care at this price point, aided by a small but well used touch of residual sugar to give it a lot of curb appeal. The nose is fragrant but not perfumed, and the palate just off dry. The taste is clean and fruity with a mix of red and green fruits and white flowers, with a creamy texture and citrus finish. Very food friendly. Certainly a benchmark style for this widely available wine. Sandro Bottega suggests the match is mozzarella or anther soft cheese, or sopressa, a typical salami from the region. The fruit is a 60/40 mix of hillside and plains fruit finished with 11-12 grams per litre of RS.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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25 June 2021

Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah +11/10text
90PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah +11/10 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their estate Perfect Hedge vineyard, on the Black Sage Bench, this syrah had 3% viognier tipped in. That lot was whole berry fermented first, in stainless, while the second pick was entirely syrah, fermented in 500L open top French puncheons and stainless. After pressing this aged for 20 months in French oak (28% new). Ripe and forward, with fragrant blueberries, damson plum, cassis, grilled meats laced with downy violet and espresso on the plush, posh palate. Tannins are ample, but well-enveloped by the fruit, leaving a gentle sticky tug in their wake. This savoury red is showing well now in relative youth, but will continue to reward with time in cellar.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Culmina Family Estate Syrahtext
88PTS

Culmina Family Estate Syrah 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Golden Mile Bench estate vineyard's high altitude Arise Bench, Culmina's inaugural syrah has seen 16 months in French oak (25% new). The wood treatment dominates this savoury wine, muting out the grape's inherent florality and even much black fruit. Instead, this is a brooding, muscular, full-bodied red with some muddled black fruit, stewed black plums, black earth, espresso, smoked salted meats. Tannins are gritty and finish with a bitter edge. This wine has lost the charm of the grape. Best partnered with fire-grilled, roasted peppers and meats.Prices: BC 42.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Syrahtext
86PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Syrah 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis syrah (tipped with 5% cabernet sauvignon) comes off Osoyoos' organically farmed Sehkon Family Vineyard. This was fermented in a 10,000L oak foudre before being racked into neutral oak barrels where it rested one year before bottling. Roasted meats, charred wood, campfire smoke rules this grippy, grainy red, feeling much bigger beyond its 12.3%. A tart spike of cranberry acidity works to fight this smoky heft, leaving the whole somewhat disjointed, and bound by grainy, disjointed tannins. Would be mitigated by fire-grilled root veg or beef burgers, but a bit much for solo sipping.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Rigour and Whimsy Orienteering in the Underworldtext
88PTS

Rigour and Whimsy Orienteering in the Underworld 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the teeny garagiste family-owned Rigour & Whimsy, in the OK Falls, this is a new syrah release, with fruit from an Oliver vineyard, around 300m. The ferment was kickstarted with heavy lees off their Cowabunga! pinot blanc fizz. Whole clusters of syrah were layered into the fermenter, layered with dry ice, and sealed up to encourage carbonic maceration. After 1 week, they began slowly foot-trodding the fruit, adding 100lbs of viognier skins from Hyperdrive in a Côte-Rôtie homage. After 4 weeks of fermentation, this was pressed into one used puncheon, 1 barrique, and a stainless tank, where it remained for 16 months. This swings bright and lifted, with darts of VA and reduction, and crunchy dark plums, black cherry, and wild blackberry, scented with violets and iris, and seasoned with a fine salinity. Tannins are soft and dusky, shadowing the sides to a lightly sticky finish. Quite an intriguing wine, from name and striking label (art by Powell River's Annnie Robinson), through the single note flavours and aromas which meld into harmony in the glass. Drinking well now, with a slight chill. 95 cases made.Prices: Producer: Rigour & Whimsy
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Orofino Syrahtext
90PTS

Orofino Syrah 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis single vineyard syrah comes off a higher altitude, windy, rocky, older vine Keremeos Bench. After destemming, this was native fermented in open top fermenters and hand punched twice daily, and then pressed into older French barrels, where it aged for 16 months before bottling without fining or filtration. Striking Similkameen syrah, with a tight fist of pure black cherry and balsamic wind swept with stoniness, and seasoned with savoury wild herbs and peppery spices. Tannins are compact and well integrated throughout. There is a slight twinge of VA here, aided by a slight chill and grilled food pairing.Prices: BC 27.74 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraztext
90PTS

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2018

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThis is sourced from vineyards across the different sub-regions of the Barossa Valley to produce, in their words, THE Barossan. I liked the previous vintage, and the 2018 is even better. There's more definition to the fruit, combining ripe blackberry and blueberry that's complemented by white pepper and sweet spices. The oak seems dialled down this vintage, or at least more fully integrated. Medium-full bodied, it’s quite soft and silky, with enough acidity to make it all work. There's a lot to like here, in a classic Barossa shiraz at a steal of a price. Perfect served lightly chilled and poured alongside BBQ. Recommended.Prices: BC 22.99 AB 22.95 MB 23.09 NS 22.98 Producer: Peter Lehmann Wines Limited
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Domaine Duseigneur Minha Terratext
80PTS

Domaine Duseigneur Minha Terra 2020

Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceMinha Terra, translating as my land, comes from vineyards just west of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and biodynamic, younger vine syrah rooted in deep alluvial soils. This was native fermented, semi-carbonic, in stainless, with no oak. Quite vivid violet hue in the glass and also in the aroma, with purple and blue florals and fruits ruling the softer palate, all gripped firmly with fine, gritty tannins. Youthful and rustic, and benefits from a chill. Unfortunately, the mousiness comes out as the bottle has been open.Prices: CDN 25.00 Producer: Domaine Duseigneur
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Assuli Ruggiero Syrahtext
88PTS

Assuli Ruggiero Syrah 2018

Sicily, ItalyBaglio Assuli lies in the midst of land belonging to the Caruso family, a splendid area of countryside in a property of over 120 hectares. Assuli ('In the sunshine' in Sicilian dialect), is the result of the patient, painstaking restoration of an old 18th century baglio, or farm. The third generation of the family, Roberto, Nicoletta, and Michele, is now overseeing operations. From their clay and limestone laced soils, this Syrah was fermented and rested in stainless to preserve freshness. Rich and ripe with the Mediterranean sun, this is flooded with herbal black plum, boysenberry, wild raspberry on a sticky, full-bodied palate. Fragrant scrubby rosemary and wild thyme are imbedded throughout, while the finish lingers with marine salts. Take with a slight chill and some roast pork.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Assuli
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Moraine Syrahtext
88PTS

Moraine Syrah 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a ripe, powerful, and floral syrah, flooded with blackberry, cassis, ripe plum, and perfumed downy violets, all clad with soft sticky tannins on a plush, fuller palate, thankfully still bright with some freshness. Wafts of smoke show up throughout, and linger on the stony finish. Enjoy this polished, bigger red now with grilled fare.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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24 June 2021

Mirco Mariotti Argotext
88PTS

Mirco Mariotti Argo 2020

Mirco Mariotti makes natural wines in the Bosco Eliceo area in the eastern part of Emilia-Romagna. The vines grow 300 meters from the Adriatic sea and many are well over 100 years old. They are gnarly non-grafted vines with roots that dig as deep as two meters in the sandy soil and into the aquifer below. Mariotti’s wines are named after local card games the locals play. This is entirely organic Grechetto gentile (aka pignoletto), with time on skins. Gentle orange blossoms, almond blossom, pine nuts, hay is etched with the gripping skin contact, finishing with a warming flush at 14%. An easy textural option for a richer oily white fish or fresh veg risotto.Prices: Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Anthony Buchanan Amphora Muscattext
89PTS

Anthony Buchanan Amphora Muscat 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis hazy, glowing orange orange of muscat comes from Oliver's Malhi Farm and 15 year old vines on pebbly, sandy soils. This was whole berry, native fermented in amphora, with 2.5 weeks skin contact and 4 months on lees before it was bottled in February 2021 unfined and unfiltered. Only 25 cases were made. Tight and nimble, this is stencilled long with apricot pith, and streams with wild orange, fragrant apricot, wild mint, grapefruit peel, and a gentle wash of bergamot tea. This is dry, though has an impression of citrus sweetness, which is quite charming. Well balanced and thoughtful orange wine; well done.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Anthony Buchanan Wines
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23 June 2021

Mirco Mariotti Cà Golenatext
87PTS

Mirco Mariotti Cà Golena 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyMirco Mariotti makes natural wines in the Bosco Eliceo area in the eastern part of Emilia-Romagna. The vines grow 300 meters from the Adriatic sea and many are well over 100 years old. They are gnarly non-grafted vines with roots that dig as deep as two meters in the sandy soil and into the aquifer below. Mariotti’s wines are named after local card games the locals play. This natural, skin contact blend of indigenous white varieties pours a lightly hazy yellow hue. Stony peach pit, subtle apricot blossom, ample hay finishes with a sour tangerine note, and finishes with a little skin contact grip. Light and simple orange.Prices: Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Jean Paul Balland Sancerre Grande Cuvéetext
93PTS

Jean Paul Balland Sancerre Grande Cuvée 2018

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceThis pours a soft gold colour in the glass, with glints of brassy green reflecting youth and northern provenance. The aromas pressage a thrilling wine: ripe, full, rich, and buttery, with acacia, apple danish, honeysuckle, hazelnut pralines, and very ripe pear. Given that this wine is made from sauvignon blanc, it’s quite unexpected. Creamy and deeply fruited, but also with fragrant minerals and the barest hint of oak, this is far outside the normal Sancerre canon. Sauvignon blanc’s varietal character shows far more recognizably in the mouth, with succulent acidity, candied grapefruit, and gooseberry jam, with spirity herbs, like having a sip of green Chartreuse. The oak is subtle and sits serenely amongst lush fruit, adding spice to the fresh herbs and warming alcohol. This is very special and singular Sancerre, unusually oaked and built to age. Jean-Paul Balland is a small estate in the eastern reaches of the Loire Valley. This comes from a tiny parcel of 45 year old vines, vinified in 600 litre oak casks, wildly fermented, and blended with a little fruit fermented in steel. Lees ageing adds a touch of smoke and pastry, and wafts in and out of a long minerally finish. It’s not at all oaky, but rather opulent, complex, and layered, and a magnificent food pairing for halibut with either bacon or beurre blanc. Serve it lightly chilled so its multifacets are not numbed.Prices: BC 43.99 Producer: Jean Paul Balland
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Luberri Zuri Blancotext
89PTS

Luberri Zuri Blanco 2019

Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, SpainFlorentino Martinez Monje started off life as a grape supplier before deciding to set up his own winery in Rioja Alavesa. Few know as much about the region as he does, nor how to get the best out of the local vineyards. With an intimate understanding of the 32 hectares he farms, he remains a farmer first and foremost. This savoury, stony, juicy, fuller blend of viura and malvasia beams white peach, wild lemon, quince butter along a waxy palate, finishing with a bitter citrus twist and with ample stony acidity throughout. Would be beauty with roast cod or halibut.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Familia Monje Amestoy
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22 June 2021

Culmina Family Estate Dilemmatext
89PTS

Culmina Family Estate Dilemma 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their estate vineyard's high altitude Margaret's Bench vineyard, this utilized Dijon clones 95 and 76, with partial MLF, and ferment and 9 months aging in a mix 20% stainless and 80% French oak (28% new). Rich and creamy and full, with heavy French cream lining the generous base, topped with lemon curd, ripe pear, hazelnut meringue, and toasty spice. Thankfully this weight wine is righted with a lemon pith backbone, holding this upright. Quite polished and posh, and drinking well now.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Orofino Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Orofino Chardonnay 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a vineyard Orofino farms and manages on the rich and fertile Cawston Flats, near their home estate, this was destemmed and bladder pressed, settled in tank and then moved to French barrels (20% new) for ferment. It remained there for 9 months prior to bottling, and another 9 months rest before release. Though the soils are fairly stone-free, this wine screams Similkameen to me, with a bony, stony stencilled framework housing bright meyer lemon, crunchy green apple, wild meadow herbs and flake salts. Savoury and structural, with a wave of flintiness yet still very finessed, this drinks beautifully now and will with time ahead.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Sperling Vineyards Organic Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Sperling Vineyards Organic Chardonnay 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Sperling family's historic and limestone-laced Kelowna vineyard, this chardonnay is fermented and aged in larger French barrels. Lemon curd, ripe pear, yellow apple, white asparagus is dusted with fine spice and fills a round, softer palate, lit with a fine shimmer that lingers on the finish. Subtle and smart, drinking well now.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Baillie-Grohman Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Baillie-Grohman Chardonnay 2018

Kootenay River Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Chardonnay comes off their Creston Valley estate's southwest facing slope. After whole bunch pressing, this was fermented in 500L French puncheons, with full MLF and than another 11 months rest there. Bright lemon, yellow and red apple, pear is met with ample toasted nut, flax, stones, and ample toasted spice on the finish. Promising start, and one to watch.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Covert Farms Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Covert Farms Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCovert Farms' inaugural chardonnay, the 2020 was clone 100, planted in 2007 on their organic estate, at 420m up on McIntyre Bluff. This was fermented and aged in a mix of 75% stainless, 25% oak. Creamy and round, with ample wood-spiced lemon curd, lemon peel, green apple, Anjou pear, macadamia nut leading the upfront palate, brightened by altitude and a cool stoniness that lingers on the finish. Great first effort, and looking forward to future editions (and a little less wood-presence). Drinking well now with roast chicken.Prices: BC 24.17 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Chardonnay Demeter Certified Biodynamictext
88PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Chardonnay Demeter Certified Biodynamic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their certified organic and biodynamic (Demeter) Kelowna estate vineyard, this chardonnay was taken off blocks 10 and 19, native fermented in a mix of stainless (75%) and new 500L oak. Creamy and gentle, with yellow apple, lemon custard, apple blossom on a stony base, dusted with light spicing, and filled out with a bump of RS. The new wood is well absorbed by the fruit, relaying a fine boned structure rather than potent woodiness. A friendly, easier chardy for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series - Dr. Bonnie Henry Old Main Road Vineyardtext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series - Dr. Bonnie Henry Old Main Road Vineyard 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Meyer Family Tribute Series Chardonnay honours one exemplary Canadian each vintage. For the 2019, released in 2021, they've honoured Dr. Bonny Henry, our Provincial Health Officer, and the one tasked with calmly, kindly, safely guiding us through the Covid-19 pandemic over these past 18 months. From their northerly facing 1996 planted Old Man Bench vineyard, on the Naramata Bench, and it's silty loams over clay, this was whole bunch pressed and cool fermented in stainless before heading to French oak (22% new) for 11 months on lees, without bâtonnage. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Potent lemon peel and pith pervades this complexed chardonnay, one woven with subtle alluring reduction, savoury stoniness, green apple stretched long across the palate, lingering with salinity. Fresh and finessed, this is drinking well now but will certainly reward with cellaring. A worthy tribute, indeed.Prices: BC 30.52 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Okanagan Falls home estate vineyard and its steep sloping gravelled sandy loams, this was partial native fermented in stainless, before completing fermentation in French oak (22% new), where it remained for 11 months on lees, without bâttonage, and with full MLF. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. There's a flicker of alluring flinty reduction on the front of this complexed, lemon-forward chardy, carrying yellow apple, green apple, river stones, verbena, and subtle cedar spice along the medium palate, amply bedded with herbal lees, and lingering with rock salt. Would love to see this dialled up and chiseled out even more, for the next level of chardonnay from McLean Creek.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Meyer Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFor Meyer's everyday chardonnay, fruit comes off estate vineyards in Naramata and Okanagan Falls, plus trusted growers in Osoyoos and Naramata, all grown organically / sustainably. After whole cluster pressing and cold settling overnight, this was partially fermented in older French barrels and stainless, and then left on lees for 4 months, with MLF. Baked yellow apple, lemon custard, Bosc pear rule the medium bodied palate, decked with ample earthy lees, and seasoned with flax and brightened with some stony spices on the finish. An easy, softer style, ready to drink now, as intended.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Tantalus Chardonnay Reservetext
92PTS

Tantalus Chardonnay Reserve 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the inaugural release of the Reserve Chardonnay, joining the Reserve Pinot Noir with the special Dempsey Bob mask and black / gold label. The fruit comes off the eldest chardonnay block on the estate, planted in 1985. This was a puncheon selection, left an additional 6 months on lees from the wine that made up the 2018 Chardonnay and its 11 months of elevage. Once bottled, it rested for one year prior to release, all 55 cases of it. This savoury, structural wine opens with an alluring wave of flinty reduction that carries through the entire frame, finishing with a lingering rocky salinity, and moving through green apple, Anjou pear, subtle hazelnut meringue in its path. Powerful, yet sophisticated, this wine drinks beautifully now after relaxing in the glass, but will certainly reward with time in the cellar.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Okanagan Falls estate vineyard, this is blending clones 75, 76, 95, 96, and 548, off 13-30 year old vines. This was whole cluster pressed and native fermented and then aged for 17 months in new through 3 year old 228L French barrels. Ripe and creamy, yet held bright and upright, this is shining with lemon peel, anjou pear, green apple set off by a creamy, ripe background, ample seasoned with toasty spices, roasted hazelnut and cloves. A lot of a lot at this stage, this concentrated chardonnay is better enjoyed with some time in bottle.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 27.95 ON 24.95 QC 23.95 NB 26.00 MB 26.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere's a real precision and focus to Blue Mountain's chardonnay program. It starts with 13- to 30-year-old vines, representing five different clones, planted at their Okanagan Falls estate. Winemaker Matt Mavety picks earlier than most, mid-September in this case, which gives this a fantastic freshness and modest 13% abv. The fruit is then whole cluster pressed and wild fermented and aged in French oak barriques for 17 months. There's still depth and surprising ripeness to the fruit, led by meyer lemon and juicy nectarine, balanced by spicy, perfumed oak, which feels more forward than previous vintages. Medium-bodied, round, and creamy, this is a natural pairing with rich shellfish dishes. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 27.95 ON 24.95 QC 23.95 NB 26.00 MB 26.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMeyer winemaker Chris Carson has moved to the important second level of winemaking, where the wines are consistently well made from year to year. Dependability is perhaps the best accolade any winery can receive because it means they care about every bottle going out the door. In the McLean Creek label, the citrus, nutty, mineral, stony flavours are a constant, as is the fresh, long, linear palate flecked with hints of Okanagan scrub. Complexly simple, it is all you could want for the price. The winemaking regime is now familiar: chardonnay directly to press for a long, cool, gentle, pressing regime where only the purest, free run juice is retained. The ferment begins in stainless steel with indigenous and cultured yeasts, and it remains there for most of the fermentation before it is moved to under 20 percent new French oak. It sits on its lees for 11 months without bâttonage while undergoing a natural malolactic fermentation.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Meyer Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAnother keeper from Meyer’s not-so vanilla regular bottling of chardonnay is an instruction manual on how this grape should be handled in BC. The fruit comes off four vineyards: two estate sites, Old Main Road on the Naramata Bench, and McLean Creek Road in Okanagan Falls; and purchased fruit from Anarchist Mountain Vineyard, Osoyoos, and Cellarsbend Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. The picking is numerous and spanned two weeks in late September and early October. The production is clinical: a gentle whole cluster press, an overnight cold settle, and then off heavy sediment to be fermented in an 80/20 mix of stainless steel and older neutral French oak barrels. It spends four months on its fine lees, and eventually goes through natural malolactic fermentation. In 2020 the fruit pops with vibrancy and freshness, with classic green apple, a bit of toast, and creamy lees that finishes clean. Incredible value for a quality BC wine and production is a healthy 1000 cases.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series - Dr. Bonnie Henry Old Main Road Vineyardtext
93PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series - Dr. Bonnie Henry Old Main Road Vineyard 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMeyer Family Vineyards are known for their single vineyard chardonnays made in a spare, hands off style. The 2019 Dr. Bonnie Henry Chardonnay comes off the family owned Old Main Road Vineyard that sits on a terrace on Naramata Bench. It was first planted in 1996 with a gentle northerly aspect over alluvial deposits of silt and clay loams. The northerly aspect is key because it allows the fruit to ripen slowly out of the heat of the day, retaining a good level of acidity and allowing the minerality to punch through. The farming methods are a combination of uncertified organic and sustainable principles. Expect a taut, finely strung white made in the reductive style of chardonnay. At once stony and mineral, the acidity freshens it form front to back. The wine reminds me of Dr. Henry: It’s both sunny and compassionate, but the palate is super bright and very complex when you get into it. We are not supposed to use the “B” word, but the enticing lees tinge with a scent of reductive garlic and a wash of citrus notes take me to Burgundy every time. Impressive. Super value.Prices: BC 30.52 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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21 June 2021

Niepoort Diálogo Douro Brancotext
89PTS

Niepoort Diálogo Douro Branco 2019

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis youthful white may show a comic on the label, but make no mistake, this is a serious wine, from one of the world's top winemakers, Dirk Niepoort. From schistous, mica-flecked vineyards on the right bank of the Douro, between 550-700m, this blend of indigenous Portuguese white grapes is native fermented in a split between stainless and older French barriques (30 percent), with no MLF, and remains there for eight months. The blend is 20-50 year old rabigato, códega do larinho, gouveio, dona branca, viosinho, bical and others. Lean and light, this dances on the palate with quince blossoms, pear skin, green fig, green apple, with a bitter lemon pith, and an ever-present wash of salinity throughout. Smashable.Prices: BC 25.00 ON 18.95 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Sottal Vinho Levetext
87PTS

Sottal Vinho Leve 2018

PortugalSottal is a light (9.5%) spritzy Lisboa version of the entry-level Vinho Verde blends, here based on moscatel with the remainder arinto and vital. Lime blossoms, perfumed melon, candied pink grapefruit and subtle soap float on the just off-dry palate, with a twist of grapefruit pith on the rear to tighten everything off, all lifted with a slight effervescence. An easy, light, friendly white to get the appetite started.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal
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Aveleda Alvarinhotext
89PTS

Aveleda Alvarinho 2020

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis alvarinho came from two different soil types: the typical granitic soils of VV, and 10% off a schistous band that stretches from the SE to the NW part of the appellation. This was fermented cool in stainless, where it remained in contact with lees until bottling. Crisp and bright, this very fresh 2020 rings with green plum, lemon, green apple, crunchy pear on a svelte palate, enlivened by a bit of that granitic hum on the finish. Bright and fresh and ideal for your summer salads or light shellfish.Prices: QC 14.95 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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Alvarinho Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhastext
92PTS

Alvarinho Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas 2018

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalSoalheiro is, and should be, regarded as the epitome of Vinho Verde production. Luis Cerdeiro, along with his brother Joâo and sister Maria, have taken over the northern VV estate that their father Joâo planted in 1974, making them the 4th wine producer in VV at that time making and bottling their own wines to sell. Soalheiro is Portuguese for 'sunny', as their site, in the priced subregion of Moncão e Melgaço, is protected from the harsh Atlantic winds by a range of mountains. Thus, they are wamer and less humid than their neighbours just across the divide, in Spain's Rias Baixas region. Their 15 estate hectares are rooted in granitic soils between 100-400m, including one small parcel of own rooted vines. They also have one experimental 2 ha parcel planted at 1100m on pure schist, preparing for climate change. This, their 'entry' alvarinho was primarily fermented and aged in stainless, to preserve the purity of fruit, with 15% of the wine seeing time in older oak. And pure this is, with pear, green apple, lemon and pith, meadow grasses sailing along the lightly honeyed palate, finishing with a slick of stony salinity and that hum of granite. Drinking beautifully now, but will certainly age. Such a lovely view of alvarinho, and its zenith in Moncão e Melgaço.Prices: QC 28.00 Producer: Quinta de Soalheiro
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Quinta da Raza Alvarinho Trajaduratext
89PTS

Quinta da Raza Alvarinho Trajadura 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis 60% alvarinho / 40% trajadura blend comes from Vinho Verde's hotter, interior Basto region, and the family owned (since 1769!) Quinta da Raza. This was fermented and rested in stainless, to preserve the fragrant, pure fruit. Fragrant lychee, rambutan, pear, quince is slicked with honeysuckle and perfumed with peach blossoms, dusted with a fine spice and lime pith. You can feel the interior warmth with the easy ripeness of these grapes. Quite smart with 12.5%Prices: QC 18.75 Producer: Quinta da Raza
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Quinta de Azevedo Reserva Vinho Verdetext
90PTS

Quinta de Azevedo Reserva Vinho Verde 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Azevedo domaines date back to the 11th century when they were granted by royal donation to the Azevado family. The vineyards and winery, including the mysterious tower, remains since the 15th century. This Reserva blends 70% loureiro with 30% alvarinho, fermented cool, with 10% skin contact. This then aged in stainless on lees (5% in older barrels), with regular bâtonnage over 6 months. This is showing lovely concentration, with fragrant pear and pear skin, yellow plum, tangerine blossoms coursing through a savoury edged, amply saline palate. Quite a bit of stuffing glad intensity for 12%. Impressive now, but will still be in a year or two, and suitable for pork tenderloin or roast cod.Prices: QC 17.45 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Aveleda Casal Garcia Vinho Verdetext
87PTS

Aveleda Casal Garcia Vinho Verde NV

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe most sold Vinho Verde brand in the world, Casal Garcia has been made by the Quinta da Aveleda family since 1939. It's easy to see why this light white is so popular: easily recognizable branding, off-dry, ever-so-slightly effervescent, with perfumed melon, lime blossoms, white peach leading a short and snappy 9.5% palate. Chill down and crack this summer.Prices: BC 11.99 AB 12.00 MB 14.99 YK 14.25 NB 12.99 SK 12.29 ON 9.95 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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Quinta da Lixa Morgado da Vila Pét-Nattext
88PTS

Quinta da Lixa Morgado da Vila Pét-Nat 2018

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThink you know Vinho Verde? Think again. From Minho's Quinta da Lixa and the Meireles family, this was the appellation's first certified pét-nat, blending the floral aromatics of Loureiro with the pure citrus of Alvarinho. Native fermented and bottled with crown cap mid-way through fermentation to capture the bubbles, this a is light, bone dry fizz of tangerine peel, fragrant white peach, lemon verbena, and bitter almonds on a tight, energetic palate, finishing with a lick of anise and salinity. My bottle certainly was under ample pressure; I lost 1/3 of the wine when I cracked the crown cap. Great to see innovation and adventuresome winemaking out of this fresh, Atlantic-lashed, oft pigeon-holed region. Looking forward to following this project (and hope they get their pressure under control).Prices: Portugal 27.00 Producer: Quinta da Lixa
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Espera Vinho Brancotext
88PTS

Espera Vinho Branco 2019

PortugalThis blend of 60% arinto and 40% bical comes from the clay and limestone soils of the Atlantic-influenced Lisboa. This was cofermented, with 2 days on skins prior to a native ferment in barrel, where it remained for 8 months on lees. Pouring a deeper yellow hue, this coats the dry, waxen palate with melon, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, and pear on a briefer palate. Nice marine freshness and weight, making it ideal for white fish / shellfish dishes.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Espera
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Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Brancotext
92PTS

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Branco 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalIlimitado is akin to Seabra's village wine. This Branco comes from mica, schist, and feldspar soils (what winemaker Luis Seabra deems the best for whites), this is a field blend of rabigato, códega, gouveio, vioshino and more, with vines 30-60 years old, and at 400-500m in altitude. After crushing and destemming, the grapes are pressed together, native fermented, and aged in used French oak barrels for 7 months on lees, with no MLF or bâtonage. Broken stones rule this textural wine, moving subtle quince, pear skin, tangerine pith, wild melon, green apple along a streamlined, saline, schistous frame. Striking and memorable.Prices: BC 36.00 ON 27.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Quinta do Vallado Primatext
90PTS

Quinta do Vallado Prima 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis delicate muscatel galego, from 3 parcels, one of which is 55+ year old vines, is the first that Vallado picks each year. This is a dry muscatel, fermented without skins (bica aberta) in stainless, over one month, to preserve the perfume and vibrancy. Pretty fragrant lime blossom, gooseberry, lemon verbena, pear blossom runs the slender, streamlined palate through a finely ginger spiced finish. A lovely aperitif wine, or with fragrant Thai / Vietnamese curries.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Quinta do Vallado
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Soalheiro Alvarinho Granittext
92PTS

Soalheiro Alvarinho Granit 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalSoalheiro is regarded as the epitome of Vinho Verde production, and for good reason. Luis Cerdeiro, along with his brother Joâo and sister Maria, have taken over the northern VV estate that their father Joâo planted in 1974, making them the 4th wine producer in VV at that time making and bottling their own wines to sell. Soalheiro is Portuguese for 'sunny', as their site, in the priced subregion of Moncão e Melgaço, is protected from the harsh Atlantic winds by a range of mountains. Thus, they are wamer and less humid than their neighbours just across the divide, in Spain's Rias Baixas region. Their 15 estate hectares are rooted in granitic soils between 100-400m, including one small parcel of own rooted vines. They also have one experimental 2 ha parcel planted at 1100m on pure schist, in preparation for the changing climate. Granit comes from a specific selection of vineyards planted above 300m, showing off what Luis believes is the true granitic nature of Monção & Melgaço. This was fermented and rested in stainless, with regular bâtonnage. This is not about fruit, but about place. Focused and tense with that characteristic granitic buzz, this slender palate streams stone, pear skin, apricot fuzz, subtle lime blossom and firm lime pith through a lengthy, buzzing finish. This wine is alive with vibrancy, drinking beautifully now in youth, and with much time ahead.Prices: Portugal 15.00 Producer: Quinta de Soalheiro
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João Portugal Ramos Alvarinhotext
90PTS

João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalJoão is considered by many to be a Portuguese pioneer, consulting for many years before beginning his own projects in 1990, and always focusing on lower yields, estate fruit, varietal character, biodiversity, and sustainability. After starting his own wines in Alentejo, he expanded his vineyards to select locations in Tejo, Beiras, and the Douro. Vinho Verde is his most recent project. This alvarinho comes from the prized subregion of Monção and Melgaço, and its granitic soils. This was partially fermented in new French oak (10%), with the remainder in stainless, cool, with some skin contact. Granite driven, with a stony bed driving pear skin, white peach, lemon pith, scented with a pretty white blossom note, and finishing with a buzzy grip and wash of salinity. Quite smart, this is drinking beautifully now, especially alongside shellfish or green veg dishes.Prices: Portugal 13.00 Producer: João Portugal Ramos
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Morgadio da Torre Alvarinhotext
88PTS

Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalPart of the mighty Sogrape empire, this alvarinho is forward and direct with heady peach, yellow apple, orange blossom on a slick, medium bodied palate, infiltrated with a subtle, raspy, granitic grip to the stony finish. Some time on skins prior to a cool ferment ups the texture in this white, as does the 5 months on lees in stainless, post ferment. Quite friendly, and drinking well now.Prices: QC 20.00 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Alvarinotext
88PTS

Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Alvarino 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalIn 1985, Antonio Edwards Monteiro founded the family-owned winery in Alentejo. In 2012, he expanded into Vinho Verde with the purchase of 200 hectares. This alvarinho comes from the Minto, and after some skin contact, was fermented cool, and aged in steel for a few months with weekly bâtonnage. Peach-forward, with yellow apple, lime peel and pith and steely pear on a slick, medium-bodied palate, with a fine raspy, granitic grip on the finish. Lovely typicity here.Prices: QC 21.80 Producer: Quinta das Arcas
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Quinta do Vallado Primatext
90PTS

Quinta do Vallado Prima 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalI hope that Prima surprises you and delights you. The Coles Note is it’s floral and aromatic on the nose, but the palate is dry, lean, and deliciously bitter in the finish. The longer note is its 50 year old Moscatel Galego vines from the Douro Valley. The grapes are the first picked at Vallado each harvest, and are fermented without skins, seeds. or stems, a process called bica aberta. It ferments over 30 days, followed by four months in tank before it's bottled. After that, it is a wine for wine nuts. I didn’t have any of the classic fried fish, so we served it with Hard Bites potato chips, and it was a winner.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Quinta do Vallado
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Quinta da Lixa Pouco Comum Alvarinhotext
89PTS

Quinta da Lixa Pouco Comum Alvarinho 2020

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Meirles family has long owned vineyards around Vila da Lixa, selling their fruit to others, but in 1886 they decided to start making their own wines. They hired well-known oenologist Carlos Teixeira in the early 2000s to over see the project. They now have 52 hectares of vines across 6 estates. This cuvée is named Pouco Comum, translating as 'unusual'. Though fermented and aged in stainless, this alvariñho from Minho has seen additional time on lees, giving a very creamy feel to the palate. White peach, yellow apple, lime pith streaks across the buzzy, lighter palate, finishing with a raspy granitic grip. Food-friendly, most certainly with green veg / salads and any matter of white fish or shellfish.Prices: QC 17.65 Producer: Quinta da Lixa
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Borges Quinta de Simaens Vinho Verdetext
87PTS

Borges Quinta de Simaens Vinho Verde 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalIn 1884, brothers António and Francisco Borges founded a company dedicated to banking, the sale of lotto tickets and tobacco. In 1891, they shifted gears, creating Sociedade dos Vinhos Borges, a company dedicated to the production and marketing of wine. They didn't look back. In 1991 they added to their holdings with the 46 hectare purchase of Quinta de Simaens, in the southern part of Vinho Verde's Sousa subregion. This blends Pedernã, Avesso, Azal, Alvarinho, Loureiro, and Trajadura, from 15 year old vines, fermented cool in stainless where it spends 4 months aging on lees. Herb-infused, this melange carries pear, white peach, yellow apple, green melon, wild lemon, lime pith along a tight, shorter palate, with ample tart acidity brighting the slight, juicy frame. Ideal for spring / green veg dishes, or simple seafood, as intended.Prices: QC 14.95 Producer: Borges Quinta de Simaens
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Quinta da Raza Avesso Colheita Selecionadatext
88PTS

Quinta da Raza Avesso Colheita Selecionada 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalQuinta da Raza has been family owned and operated since 1769. From the interior Basto subregion, this Avesso was fermented cool in stainless, where it remained on lees for 4 months in a mix of 80% stainless and 20% oak barrels. The time in wood has given this avesso a lovely fine structure, framing the herbal peach, almonds, bosc pear on the medium palate, finishing with a snap. There's a bump of RS here, well situated to counter the bright acidity. Partner with steamed clams, or spring peas.Prices: Portugal 9.00 Producer: Quinta da Raza
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Adega Ponte de Lima Loureiro Colheita Seleccionadatext
88PTS

Adega Ponte de Lima Loureiro Colheita Seleccionada 2020

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalPonte de Lima is the oldest town in Portugal, and home to this co-op, founded in 1959. It now has 2000 growers, and an 11.5M L production. This loureiro comes from Lima's granitic sandy loams, and underwent some skin contact before a cooler ferment, and 3 months aging on lees. Bitter lime, floral peach, cold cream, pear blossom rule the sleek, lighter palate, with a faint grip through the middle to an astringent grapefruit finish. Dry and nervy, take this alongside simple salads or shellfish dishes.Prices: ON 16.00 Producer: Adega Ponte de Lima
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Vercoope Via Latina Loureirotext
87PTS

Vercoope Via Latina Loureiro 2020

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalVercoope is a co-op founded in 1964, and today represents more than 4000 wine growers across Portugal, with an annual production of 9 million bottles. This youthful and fresh loureiro was raised in stainless to preserve crisp fruit. Tight and lean with pear blossoms, gooseberry, lime zest, green apple tartness on a slight palate, with a faint spritz to keep all lively on the short palate. Easy and light, and primed for drinking now.Prices: Portugal 10.00 Producer: Vercoope
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Portalegre Terras de Baco Vinho Brancotext
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Portalegre Terras de Baco Vinho Branco 2019

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis Alentejo blend of arinto, Roupeiro, and Fernão Pires was corked.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Adega de Portalegre Winery
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Fitapreta Brancotext
91PTS

Fitapreta Branco 2019

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalFrom lauded winemaker Antonio Maçanita (2020 winemaker of the year in Portugal), this blend of roupeiro, rabo de ovelha, antão vaz, tamarez, alicante branco, and arinto are sourced from Alentejo's granitic soils, and vines from 30-50 years, up to 400m in altitude. After a native ferment in stainless barrels, this remained there on lees for 6 months prior to bottling. Ripe and generous with quince, yellow apple, beeswax stretched along a stony lees-bedded palate. This finishes with a lingering stoniness. Exceptional value in Ontario; less so here in BC.Prices: ON 18.95 BC 37.00 Producer: Fitapreta
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Alvarinho Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhastext
91PTS

Alvarinho Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalSoalheiro is, and should be, regarded as the epitome of Vinho Verde production. Luis Cerdeiro, along with his brother Joâo and sister Maria, have taken over the northern VV estate that their father Joâo planted in 1974, making them the 4th wine producer in VV at that time making and bottling their own wines to sell. Soalheiro is Portuguese for 'sunny', as their site, in the priced subregion of Moncão e Melgaço, is protected from the harsh Atlantic winds by a range of mountains. Thus, they are wamer and less humid than their neighbours just across the divide, in Spain's Rias Baixas region. Their 15 estate hectares are rooted in granitic soils between 100-400m, including one small parcel of own rooted vines. They also have one experimental 2 ha parcel planted at 1100m on pure schist, preparing for climate change. This, their 'entry' alvarinho was fermented and aged in stainless, to preserve the crisp, pure fruit. And crisp and pure it is, ringing with Atlantic salinity, and leading with crisp pear, green apple, bright lemon, with a slick of fine lees, and a very lengthy citrus and mineral finish. So well knit and complex in youth, and this has a few years ahead. Drink this to understand the top tier of Vinho Verde, and then go find their more premium releases.Prices: QC 28.00 Producer: Quinta de Soalheiro
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Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro & Alvarinhotext
87PTS

Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro & Alvarinho 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Guedes family has owned Quinta da Aveleda since the 15th C, and the family has practiced viticulture for 5 generations, dating back to the 1870s. Their 150HA estate includes 7HA of lush gardens, where majestic roaming peacocks strut their stuff. This is a blend of loureiro and albariño, in the granitic sands of the estate. With freshness as aim, this was fermented and rested briefly in stainless. The result is a bright, crisp, and fresh VV, with tight lemon, green apple, subtle melon on a light, snappy palate to a sour finish. Easy and bright and clean, enjoy this with salads and shellfish.Prices: ON 13.00 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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19 June 2021

The Vibrant Vine Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

The Vibrant Vine Gewurztraminer 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a lean, tight, dry gew, led by lime, pink grapefruit pith, and subtle soap, finishing with ginger spice. Not a lot of flesh on this medium-bodied wine, so if you're looking for a fragrant zippy gew to partner with your fragrant Thai or Vietnamese curries, look here.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: The Vibrant Vine
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Baillie-Grohman Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Baillie-Grohman Gewurztraminer 2020

Creston, British Columbia, CanadaThis gew comes off their estate vineyard and dry hillside slopes at 650m. The destemmed fruit had one day of skin contact before a cool ferment in stainless, where it remained until bottling. The wine suits the careful treatment, with gew's inherent opulence well-handled, showing fragrant apricot, orange blossom, melon, lychee, grapefruit pith, and Turkish delight across a bright, light, off-dry palate, finishing with a kiss of soap.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Orange Wine Gewurztraminer No. 013text
87PTS

Culmina Family Estate Orange Wine Gewurztraminer No. 013 NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their estate Arise Bench, on the Golden Mile Bench, this is Culmina's first foray into the world of orange wines. After a native ferment in stainless, with 67 days on skins, this remained there until the following March, when it was bottled. This pours a shining golden orange hue, leading a dry, tightly slicked palate of apricot, mango, peach blossoms, kumquat, and pear skin, all shaped by a severe, bitter sharp edge. Certainly a depart from Culmina's luxe style, and one that may leave the winery's fans puzzled. Nice first effort, and looking forward to the next.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Gewürztraminer Demeter Certified Biodynamictext
89PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Gewürztraminer Demeter Certified Biodynamic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Demeter certified estate vineyard, this biodynamic gew was soaked on skins overnight prior to a native ferment. Off-dry with fragrant apricot, ripe yellow apple, peach blossom, honeysuckle, and ginger spicing sliding along a slender palate, finishing with a lingering lime perfume and fine hum. Gentle, perfumed, and harmonious, and primed for enjoying now.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Gewürztraminertext
89PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Gewürztraminer 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe majority of this organic gew comes off the Buchler family's Park Hill vineyard in Oliver, with a smaller portion off of Lilypond Acres vineyard, in Okanagan Falls. The grapes were destemmed and settled in stainless, where they remained for ferment and a brief rest. Off-dry and fragrant with lush peach blossom, apricot, juicy ripe pear, and gardenia florals, brightened with lime zest running the sleek palate. There's a lovely freshness here, easily countering the RS, and bringing this to a bright, lightly ginger spiced finish. Well done.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Gewürztraminertext
89PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Gewürztraminer 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit is purchased, mostly from the organic Park Hill vineyard in Oliver, with a smaller portion out of Okanagan Falls. The style is off dry, but it much fresher and more vibrant than its Demeter biodynamic brother. The aromas and flavour dance across the palate with rich peaches and peach and pear blossom that dissolve into an intense palate of peach, litchi, lime sprinkled with ginger. Despite a strong sweet undercurrent, the freshness keeps it all in line and makes it a lot of fun to sip with or without food. Impressive.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Gewürztraminer Demeter Certified Biodynamictext
88PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Gewürztraminer Demeter Certified Biodynamic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDemeter certified biodynamic gew from the home estate, this had 12 hours skins soaking before kicking off a natural fermentation. A touch of cooked pear mingles with fragrant, slightly volatile apricot. More ripe yellow apple, honeysuckle, ginger, and sage preview a long, penetrating finish of lime and roses on the palate. Ready to drink. It's impressive to see this biodynamic program roll out at Summerhill after so much work.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Meyer Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Meyer Gewurztraminer 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gew is a bit of an Okanagan Falls oddity, planted in 1994 with German cuttings onto their estate's mix of gravel / sandy loams. This was picked and processed in two lots: the first whole bunch pressed, and the later pick destemmed and left to soak on skins for 24 hours prior to pressing. They were then combined for a long, cool, native ferment in stainless and older French barrels, where it remained on lees for 6 months further, with no MLF. Fragrant lime blossoms, gooseberry, lillies, and ample soapiness flood the fuller (14%) palate, cut with a fine thread of citrus herbal bitterness through the finish. There's a little bump of RS here, helping to offset the bitter notes somewhat. Best taken with lightly spiced and fragrant curries or soups.Prices: BC 18.12 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Hillside Gewürztraminertext
89PTS

Hillside Gewürztraminer 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is another rinse and repeat job at Hillside, where quality quaffable gewürztraminer is very much a part of the winery’s ethos. Short crops and a fabulous vintage have conspired to turbocharge the exotic tropical fruit from front to back. Look for litchi, tangerines, super-ripe pink grapefruit with an intense floral background. It remains a party in a glass. Try this served cool with a favourite curry or spicy South Asian dish. Winemaker Kathy Malone loves it with Shahi Korma. Fine value too.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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Meyer Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Meyer Gewurztraminer 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Meyer Gewürztraminer is about fun. The native ferment is done in stainless steel and older French barrels for 30 days, resulting in a soft, broad, candied-citrus palate flecked with classic rosewater and bitter lime. There’s even a touch of soapiness in the finish. Simple, well made, and ready to drink with a creamy, Thai green curry.Prices: BC 18.12 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Moraine Gewurztraminertext
89PTS

Moraine Gewurztraminer 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Dwight Sick has the touch that can make an ordinary grape rise above its station, and I'm sure his interest in Southeast Asian food also helps him craft this exciting gewürztraminer. The style is Alsace, from its jasmine and ginger nose that bleeds into a dryish white of litchi, ginger, and rosewater with a dusting of Turkish delight. Ready to drink, and you can be adventurous with your food match from Sichuan Chinese to Korean pork and Singapore-style noodles.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Glamour Farming Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

Glamour Farming Gewurztraminer 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe wine in this can is the estate gewürztraminer full of fresh fruit reminiscent of light litchi flecked with orange. The format is perfect for any number of outdoor occasions, including walking, hiking, camping, boating, skiing, serving around the pool, or if you only want a glass of wine. A touch of sweetness makes it flexible with food, including spicy bites from chips to sushi.Prices: BC 32.00 250 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Gewurztraminertext
86PTS

O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Gewurztraminer 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gew was partial barrel fermented, partial skin contact, and partially with arrested fermentation to capture some of the grape's natural sweetness. Soap-led, with lime blossom, lemon sherbet, tangerine pith, sour melon on a tart, dryish palate, with the high acids buffered by 6 g/L RS. This finishes snappy and brisk, with a subtle shadow of ginger spicing.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

O'Rourke's Peak Cellars Gewurztraminer 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Carr's Landing Vineyard in Lake Country, portions of this wine are barrel fermented or see skin contact. The end result is a relatively simple gëwurztraminer with perfumed aromas and muddled stone fruits that are lacking some freshness. A pinch of residual sugar (6 g/L) helps to balance the bitterness on the finish. Correct and reasonably priced, but there's room for improvement.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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18 June 2021

Pascal Bouchard Vézelaytext
90PTS

Pascal Bouchard Vézelay 2018

Burgundy, FranceLocated in the heart of the Chablis region, Maison Pascal Bouchard is one of the leading negotiants of Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois, sourcing from over 40 hectares. This comes from Vézelay, south of Chablis, and was vinified in stainless, where it continued to age for 8 months. Tight and bright with lemon, white peach blossom, and white grapefruit across a lightly lees-decked palate. It has some of the palate generosity of the weighted 2018 vintage, but ample bright freshness to counter, finishing quite harmonious at 12.5%. A lovely, smart, accessible white Bourgogne for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Pascal Bouchard
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Pascal Clément Rully Les Caillouxtext
91PTS

Pascal Clément Rully Les Cailloux 2019

Burgundy, FranceThis was native fermented in foudres, where it was held for a year. Pascal, well known for his exceptional white wines, loves using older foudre for his whites, as he feels it brings out the saltiness in the wine. Pascal also never uses batonnage on his wines, leaving them on full lees in barrels after pressing. From Rully's rocky, cool soils, this youthful wine is packed with struck stone, lemon, cream, subtle white blossoms coursing along a generous palate, bracketed with fine spice and brightened with easy acidity, benefitting from the 2019 vintage. Drinking well now, especially with richer dishes.Prices: ON 49.95 Producer: Pascal Clément
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Pascal Clément Bourgogne Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Pascal Clément Bourgogne Chardonnay 2019

Burgundy, FranceFrom Savigny-les-Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune, and Puligny, this was native fermented in foudres, where it was held for a year. Pascal, well known for his exceptional white wines, loves using older foudre for his whites, as he feels it brings out the saltiness in the wine. Pascal also never uses batonnage on his wines, leaving them on full lees in barrels after pressing. Fresh and vibrant, with bright lemon, fine cream, herbal-kissed lees and ample stoney salinity flooding the sleek palate. This finishes with an alluring flash of flint. Overdelivers for a humble Bourgogne Blanc, drinking beautifully now and with time ahead.Prices: ON 41.95 Producer: Pascal Clément
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Xanadu DJL Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Xanadu DJL Chardonnay 2017

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaXanadu is one of the OG Margaret River wineries, founded by Dr James Langan in 1977. Now in the hands of the Rathbone family, this DJL Chardonnay comes off their Stevens Road and Boodjidup Vineyards, in MR's Wallcliffe subregion and is entirely the Gingin clone. After whole bunch pressing, this was native fermented in French barriques (17% new), where they remained for 9 months with periodic bâtonnage, and no MLF. Lemon zest and peel jump out of the glass, followed by a creamy, full and forward palate of lemon curd, ample toasty spice, wet stones, and an alluring reductive flicker through a saline finish. Though a generous wine, all the components (fruit, spice, wood, acidity) are in check, making this for lovely drinking now or over the short term, especially with butter-drawn dishes.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Xanadu Wines Pty
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Benjamin Laroche La Manufacture Petit Chablistext
89PTS

Benjamin Laroche La Manufacture Petit Chablis 2018

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceLa Manufacture is the negoce company of Benjamin Laroche, nephew of Michel Laroche, and THE legendary Chablis royal family. Benjamin sources his wines from the La Chablisienne cooperative, easily considered to be one of the top cooperatives in the world. This is a charming and friendly Petit Chablis, from the appellation's portlandian limestones. Crisp lemon, verbena, crunchy pear fill a juicy palate, cupped with a little salted butter, to a bright, lemon twist finish. Overdelivers for this underrated appellation, and at this price.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Maison Benjamin Laroche - La Manufacture
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Sea Sun Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Sea Sun Chardonnay 2018

California, United StatesSimilar to last year, Sea Sun is a mix of California chardonnay grown in Solano County, Santa Barbara County, and Monterey County, which span several hundred miles and feature subtle differences in soil and temperatures. Sea Sun is also a Caymus family wine, so it will never be lightweight. Look for honey, pineapple flecked with sweet lemons and creamy vanilla undertones. It is ready to drink and mix effortlessly with a pasta prima verde in a creamy lemon sauce.Prices: BC 27.99 ON 25.30 Producer: Wagner Family of Wines
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Benjamin Laroche La Manufacture Petit Chablistext
90PTS

Benjamin Laroche La Manufacture Petit Chablis 2018

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe Petit Chablis appellation was instituted in 1944 and is, above all, a classic chardonnay wine that has been vastly improved over the decades. The nose is a wonderful mix of herbs and florasl. The palate is packed full of surprisingly intense peachy citrus with vibrant acidity. The finish is long and salty, with more minerality punching on the back. Oysters or gougères are the ticket. Benjamin Laroche, the nephew of Michel Laroche, sources his wine from the highly reputable La Chablisienne cooperative. Stock up. A good model for BC producers to emulate.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Maison Benjamin Laroche - La Manufacture
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Xanadu DJL Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Xanadu DJL Chardonnay 2017

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaDLJ refers to Xanadu founder Dr. James Langan who launched the winery in 1977. Today the Rathbone family owns the property, and the wine has never been better. Native fermented in only 17 percent new French oak, it spends nine months with intermittent bâtonnage but no malolactic fermentation. Bright, fresh lemon spread across the palate with a rush of hazelnuts laced with spice, mineral, and toast. This what Burgundy should taste like, but seldom does. A delight to drink and a relative bargain to boot. Stock up.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Xanadu Wines Pty
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Marcel Cabelier Côtes du Jura Chardonnay Vieilles Vignestext
89PTS

Marcel Cabelier Côtes du Jura Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2015

Côtes du Jura, Jura, FranceThis old vine chardonnay (25 years) is made in the famed region of Côtes du Jura, and it opens with a touch of oxidation given its six years in the bottle. After that, its saline hazelnut aromas and flavours draw you toward the glass and bring on thoughts of grilled fish and mushroom risottos. It is a chardonnay for the enthusiast and the dinner table. It is nice to see it in just under 30 BCLS stores at a very competitive price.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Marcel Cabelier
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Boschendal 1685 Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaSouth Africa wine prices are almost always affordable, so if the wine shows any promise, you win. In this case, the crisp fruit of Elgin Valley joins the richer Stellenbosch grapes to come together to make this clean, tasty chardonnay. The wine spends ten months in a 30/70 mix of stainless steel and oak, the latter containing about 12 percent new barrels. The nose has a rich buttery aroma, but the wine behind it is fresher than you might expect before some residual sugar (4 g/L) kicks in to smooth out the finish. A modern white worth checking out.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Boschendal Estate Winery
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17 June 2021

Bodegas Beronia Rioja Tempranillotext
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Bodegas Beronia Rioja Tempranillo 2019

Rioja Alta, Rioja, SpainBeronia is located in Ollauri, at the heart of Rioja Alta, at elevation and with a mix of clay and chalky soils. The winery was founded in 1973 by a group of friends from the Basque region, who wanted the best wine to accompany their gastronomic fêtes (Txoko in Basque). The winery was acquired by Gonzalez Byass in 1982. The winery is surrounded by 20 hectares of estate vineyards, though Beronia also controls 870 hectares of contract vineyards within a 10km radius of the winery. Beronia is one of the top 5 Rioja brands in Spain, and is sold in 80+ global markets. It's easy to see why, with the friendly, charming, yet savoury black cherry, wild blackberry, black plum ruling the palate, cut with a herbal salinity, and framed with finely grippy, integrated, spicy oak tannins. Drink now, with grilled pork, sausages, or mushrooms.Prices: BC 18.99 ON 20.00 QC 21.50 MB 24.00 AB 23.00 Producer: Bodegas Beronia
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Stag's Hollow Tempranillotext
89PTS

Stag's Hollow Tempranillo 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStag's Hollow may have made me less of a skeptic of Okanagan Falls tempranillo, which is something I wasn't expecting to write anytime soon. Compared to the Joven, this is riper and richer, both darker-fruited and more savoury. Alongside black cherry and plum, there's tobacco, leather, and perfumed spices, the latter perhaps from the dollop of syrah (4.9%). The emphasis is still on the fruit, with very little impact from oak, and there's some secondary character after 20 months in barrel. This is drinking well now, thanks to the fresh acidity and fine, nicely handled tannins, though it could still go another 3-4 years.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Stag's Hollow Tempranillo Joventext
89PTS

Stag's Hollow Tempranillo Joven 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis delivers exactly what it promises: a youthful, juicy, unoaked red that's ready to drink now, preferably with a light chill. But there's a level of seriousness to this wine, too. The fruit is bright and pure, with lovely black raspberry and cherry, and stylistically it doesn't feel forced. Everything is seamlessly in balance, from the crisp acidity to the soft, supple tannins to the 12.3% abv. Good value and recommended.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Bodegas Beronia Rioja Tempranillotext
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Bodegas Beronia Rioja Tempranillo 2019

Rioja Alta, Rioja, SpainThis is a bold expression of Rioja, both in terms of the dark fruit and the forward dill and coconut notes of American oak. The oak isn't unexpected, but the fruit character pushes this closer to the modern stylings of Rioja. More black fruited than red, there's a softness and richness to this wine, forgoing the leanness and freshness you can sometimes find at this price point. It means there's a lot of wine here for the price and, unusually for this category, it's likely not at its peak yet, though you can easily enjoy it today with charcoal grilled burgers.Prices: BC 18.99 ON 20.00 QC 21.50 MB 24.00 AB 23.00 Producer: Bodegas Beronia
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Marques de Grinon Criado en Barricatext
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Marques de Grinon Criado en Barrica NV

Castilla-La Mancha, SpainYou don't see non-vintage Rioja every day, especially in a category that is traditionally known for its long maturation times. But it makes sense in this case: it's simply classic Rioja at a very reasonable price. It shows ripe, dark berry fruit, slightly baked in character, with integrated dill and sandalwood notes after ageing in American oak for eight months. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity, this is ready to drink, with just a slight firmness to the tannins. A bit tart on the finish.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Pagos de Familia Marques de Griñon
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Rioja Bordón Gran Reservatext
90PTS

Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva 2009

Rioja, SpainThis is classic Gran Reserva Rioja at a very reasonable price. Bodegas Franco-Espanolas dates to 1890, and this is very much a traditional approach to Rioja, from the blend (80% tempranillo, 16% garnacha, 2% mazuelo, and 2% graciano) to the maturation in American oak for 36 months. Rioja has this amazing ability to retain freshness as it ages, and that's certainly the case here. There's a wonderful balance between fresh red cherry, raspberry, savoury sundried tomato, sandalwood, and leather. Medium-bodied and lively, the tannins are already nicely resolved and softened. Enjoy now or hold for another 5+ years.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Bodegas Franco - Espanolas
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Vina Ane Rioja Autortext
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Vina Ane Rioja Autor 2016

Rioja, SpainViña Ane is a family winery established in 2004 by Eduardo Monge and Lorena Garbati, both born into families of grape growers. They are located north of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, sheltered by the slopes of the Mount Toloño in the Sierra de Cantabria. This tempranillo comes from 5 different vineyards, all on clay limestone soils. Post-ferment this rested in French oak, with 5% each aging in Hungarian and American oak, for 11 months. Neo-modern Rioja, this is bright and fresh for all its 14.5%, with crunchy acidity lifting red currant, black raspberry, anise to the nutmeg scented, spicy, limestone humming finish. Tannins are appropriately finely grippy and structural, built to take this mineral-based red over the next few years.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Bodega del Monge - Garbati
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16 June 2021

Modest Wines By Jove Sangiovesetext
89PTS

Modest Wines By Jove Sangiovese 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom first whiff, this was quite distinctly sangiovese. This divine grape, from sanguis Jovis means ‘the blood of Jove’. Hence, By Jove. Modest Wines is a new 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 came off Black Sage Bench's Quinta Ferreira vineyard, and has 5% merlot and cabernet franc blended in, harkening the Super Tuscan tradition. Savoury, cedar-edged cherry, thorny wild blackberry, tomato leaf flood a fuller, fresher palate, seasoned with desert sage and wild rose, and finishing with a saline lift. Tannins are lightly grippy/sticky, and perfectly suited to the southern Okanagan fruit. Impressive.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Modest Wines By Jove Sangiovesetext
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Modest Wines By Jove Sangiovese 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs they like to say at Mt. Boucherie, when they dry age their beef, "sometimes you just need a little blood (sanguis) on your plate, and this is the wine to help soak it up." This impressive juicy red that is, in a small way, very Tuscan on the nose was made specifically with cowboy cuts and Tuscan T-bones in mind. Fresh, savoury and low in tannin, it is a perfect red wine for a dinner conversation based on life, not wine. It is characterized with tongue in cheek as their first "super-Okanagan," basked in the sun-drenched, sage scented slopes of the Black Sage Bench. It is 85% sangiovese with a dash of other reds, that comes with a modest 13.5 percent alcohol.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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15 June 2021

Tributo a Norcelo Malbectext
88PTS

Tributo a Norcelo Malbec 2019

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaSourced from Barrancas, a small subregion that's just over 30 minutes southeast of the City of Mendoza, the fruit is grown on clay loam soils at 702 metres elevation. There's a juicy, sappy quality to the blackberry fruit, with a light spice note that adds complexity. Even at 14.5% abv, this is fresh and more medium-bodied than full, with fine-grained tannins that make it ready to drink now. Serve with a light chill. Available exclusively at Everything Wine.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Fincas Don Martino
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Tributo a Norcelo Malbectext
88PTS

Tributo a Norcelo Malbec 2019

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaSourced from the flatter vineyards south and east of Mendoza city, where the malbec grows on heavier clay loam soils that have washed down off the Andes for millennia. The elevation is still 700+ metres, but the style is warmer and richer with intense cherry and black plum, dusted in espresso. The finish is medium-light with a fresh peppery twist and a savoury hit of Argentine jarilla amid the dense fine grained tannin in the rear. A perfectly solid wine drinkers' red for mid-week burgers or steak. Exclusively by Everything Wine.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Fincas Don Martino
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Zuccardi Concreto Paraje Altimiratext
92PTS

Zuccardi Concreto Paraje Altimira 2017

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaWinemaker Sebastián Zuccardi is the brains behind this amazing malbec grown at Finca Piedra Infinita, Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza at 1100 metres above sea level. There’s very little soil over rocky deposits of calcareous material, and you can taste it in the wines. 2017 was cool, and yields were down, but that plays into Zuccardi’s hands. The fermentation takes place in Zuccardi designed concrete tanks (made without epoxy) using native yeasts and macerating for 20 days. After that, it goes through malolactic fermentation and ageing in concrete tanks, and again you can feel it in the elegant, supple textures that make this wine so special. Ethereal, floral, mineral, savoury, fresh, and dusty, it is hard to imagine the alcohol is 14 percent because it tastes more like 12 percent. Cool chalky tannins run out the finish of what is an intellectual malbec, and one that tastes like no other. Stock up if you can find it.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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José Zuccardi Malbectext
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José Zuccardi Malbec 2014

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaJosé Zuccardi, initially known as Zeta, is a salute to the family history in wine “as seen through José Alberto’s innovative eyes,” says son Sebastián Zuccardi, head of Zuccardi Valle de Uco. It’s a throwback to the older Euro style of winemaking and the use of French oak, in this case, two years in large foudres. Five percent of cabernet sauvignon is in the mix, which is most elegant with plenty of underlying acidity, and a floral, black cherry profile mixed with leather and light spicing. Subtle for Argentina, it is both complex and mysterious, mixing dense, refined tannins with an earthy coffee underside. Drink or hold, there is no big rush to finish this wine at the seven year mark.Prices: CDN 45.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Versado Old Vines Malbectext
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Versado Old Vines Malbec 2017

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaVersado is the Argentine project of Canadian winemaker couple Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble. An exhaustive 2 year search of more than 200 vineyards brought them to this special 3 hectare high elevation site in Mendoza, and its 1920s plantings of ungrafted malbec. This comes from those old vines. Unfortunately my bottle was too riddled with bret to continue, so look to retasting in the future.Prices: BC 46.99 Producer: Versado
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Trapiche Medalla Malbectext
89PTS

Trapiche Medalla Malbec 2016

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis malbec comes from Tupungato in Argentina's Uco Valley, off mature vines that are well into their 4th decade. It has a lovely youthful colour: deep, rich, dark purple with a telltale pinkish rim. The nose is somewhat closed and unyielding at first, but opens to present an appealing mix of concentrated berry, bramble, plum, and cherry combined with earthy, herbal, and dusty gravel complexity, along with a clear vanilla oak signature. The palate is rich, ripe,  mouthfilling, and full of plummy generosity, with a satisfying, fruit drenched finish. Aged for 18 months in first fill French oak barrels, but the wine easily absorbs this. It's a lot of wine for the price, and winemaker Daniel Pi has embued it with elegance and refeshment.Prices: BC 21.00 MB 22.00 NB 22.85 NFL 22.85 Producer: Trapiche
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Alamos Selección Malbectext
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Alamos Selección Malbec 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaA vibrant fuschia colour, this opens with a sweet smelling malbec nose brimming with candied violets, dried blueberries, and chai latte. Compact and complete with tasty berry compote, a grinding of black pepper, and creamy oak balanced by botanical freshness and brisk acidity. Tannins are medium firm, but very ripe and sweet, and the respectible finish gets nice and dusty. High sites in the La Consulta sector of the Uco Valley account for the expressive, streamlined fruit in Alamos' Seleccion. It's a lot of wine for the price and pairing possibilities include roast chicken, lamb shoulder, or pastitsio.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 19.00 MB 18.00 ON 16.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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El Enemigo Malbectext
91PTS

El Enemigo Malbec 2017

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis is classically-styled Argentinian malbec made by legendary Catena winemaker Alejandro Vigil. The fruit comes from the elite malbec terroir of 'high and dry' Gualtarray in the Uco Valley. However, great effort is made to make this malbec fresher, juicier, leaner, more claret-like. The inclusion of 10% cabernet franc adds discipline and depth, and 50% whole bunch fermentation provides lively fruit. The resulting wine combines classic aromas of violets, red cherries, and dark plums with appealing leafy and earthy notes. Loaded with red, black, and blue fruit and a grinding of black pepper, El Enemigo is full-bodied with smooth tannins, burnished by 15 months in large oak casks. The highly distinctive finish is juicy and fresh, with a very attractive lingering herbal complexity. Quite literally made for the barbecue. The juicy tang of the wine powerfully evokes the inviting aromas of steaks and chops over a smoky charcoal fire.Prices: BC 39.99 AB 37.05 Producer: Bodega Aleanna
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Felino Malbectext
89PTS

Felino Malbec 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaVivid crimson in the glass, and full of appetizing aromas of wine gums, ripe blackcurrant, and inky graphite. Super juicy and fresh with flavours that veer from red cherry to dark leathery plum, then a daub of blueberry jam. Smoky barrel notes round out this confident crowd pleaser from Felino, stamped with the dusty, saline finish that accompanies fruit from Uco and Lujan de Cujo.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 21.95 MB 25.99 ON 19.00 Producer: Viña Cobos
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Zuccardi Q Malbectext
92PTS

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2018

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaGive this a good slosh in the glass to help you zone in on its wonderfully understated, vinous nose. Precise red and black ripe fruit, fragrant dried herbs, orange oil, and limestone dust emerge with each swirl. Juicy and vigorous with blackcurrant and raspberry, wintergreen, and tannins that are firm, fruit-draped, and finely textured. There is seamless integration of acid/fruit/tannins/stones, and an abundance of a quality that is increasingly rare in wine, vinosity. Sebastien Zuccardi's imprimatur is all over this Valle de Uco wine. It's elegant, refined, less-is-more, and bristling with mineral energy. Brilliantly farmed fruit from top terroirs Paraje Altamira and Los Chacayes within Uco are given a lengthy skin soak and cool fermentation, then slipped into neutral oak and concrete for 15 months of relaxation. Steak with chimichurri sauce, Tuscan Peposo, Lamb curry will all be worthy.Prices: BC 24.95 QC 20.00 NF 22.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Flight of the Condor Malbectext
86PTS

Flight of the Condor Malbec 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaBlue tinged ruby in the glass with an open and pretty nose showing dried lavendar and red fruit aromas. You'll find loads of red cherry, plum, and grape jelly, coated with plenty of coconut oak. Honest and easy to drink, it's soft and accessible overall, and will slip easily into your glass alongside beef tacos.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 25.00 NFL 26.99 Producer: Permasur S.A.
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1884 Malbec Finca E.G.text
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1884 Malbec Finca E.G. 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaBright and juicy, this is an affordable and highly representative Mendoza malbec. Soft and plump with blueberries and blackcurrants, with a layer of creamy oak and relaxed, pleasing finish. Easy to find, easy to afford, easy to drink.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Luigi Bosca Malbectext
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Luigi Bosca Malbec 2018

Mendoza, ArgentinaThis is bulls eye malbec from Luigi Bosca, deep purple in the glass and possessing pure aromas of crushed wild berries, foliage, and earth. Ripe, plummy flavours are balanced by zippy acidity and sleek tannins that stretch into a lithe, minerally finish. The intensity of biodynamically farmed old vines (50 years on average) helps to convey the unique site conditions of Lujan de Cuyo. It's a terrific value, impeccably made, and worthy of pasta tossed with grilled veg or smoky beef fajitas.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 23.99 MB 18.78 ON 18.95 NB 23.99 Producer: Luigi Bosca
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14 June 2021

Phantom Creek Estates Rosétext
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Phantom Creek Estates Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe blend, merlot 40%, cabernet franc 30%, syrah 15%, malbec 10%, cabernet sauvignon 5%, mixes savoury dried herbs and juicy round red fruit. The style is soft with a pH of 3.6 and residual sugar at 5 grams per litre, although round and ripe is a big deterrent for most rosé drinkers. It’s aged in foudres which explains the creamy, soft textures that might benefit from more acidity next time. Ready to drinkPrices: BC 30.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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11 June 2021

The Vibrant Vine Rosétext
86PTS

The Vibrant Vine Rosé 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their East Kelowna estate, this off-dry, super trippy looking pink blends riesling, pinot auxerrois, and gewürztraminer, coloured with a tip of merlot. Pouring a salmon peach hue, the aromatic grapes leap from the glass immediately, with gooseberry, pear blossom, rose petal, lime zest, and potpourri on a short, snappy palate. Best with a brisk chill, and the branded 3-D glasses provided for a fully vibrant experience. Pricy, but I guess those hand-wrapped bottle skins don't come cheap.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: The Vibrant Vine
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Fort Berens Rosétext
86PTS

Fort Berens Rosé 2020

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a day-glo electric fuchsia, this year's all-Lillooet rosé blended 80% pinot noir, 16% cabernet franc, and 4% merlot, the latter two the first graves harvested from their new Red Rock Vineyard, planted in 2018. The destemmed and crushed grapes had 48 hours of skin contact, providing that deep hue. Fruit forward, with punchy cranberry, watermelon, rhubarb, and baked red apple, lit with grapefruit pith and pineapple rind, lined with yogurt, and tamed by a slight bump of RS. Not a shy pink, so if you are looking for a louder one, here it is, ready for summer 2021.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Baillie-Grohman Florence Rosétext
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Baillie-Grohman Florence Rosé 2020

Kootenay River Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNamed for the wife of William Baillie-Grohman, this pinot noir comes from the slopes of their Creston Valley estate home block. This was destemmed and left to macerate for 3 days before pressing, providing the deep peach hue. This was cool fermented in stainless, where it remained on lees until bottling. This pours a deeper peach hue, and is full in the mouth with raspberry yogurt, red apple, cherry jam, offset by a bump of RS. A simple style, best suited to a brisk chill and a 2021 summer patio.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosètext
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis peach-hued rosé of cabernet franc comes from one small block on Similkameen's sloping Pozza Vineyard, a cooler, higher altitude site in the valley's Olalla Gap. This purpose grown rosé was destemmed and lightly crushed, with a short time on skins prior to pressing off and fermenting at cool temperatures until dry. Wild raspberry, cherry blossoms, tangerine peel waft over the strawberry yogurt and savoury broken stones bedding the slight (12%) palate, dusted with stony spices which linger on the finish. Elegantly understated, as ever, and is drinking beautifully this summer.Prices: BC 19.04 BC 38.90 1500 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Cliff and Gorge Peasant Wine Rosétext
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Cliff and Gorge Peasant Wine Rosé 2020

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaCliff and Gorge is a new Lillooet-based winery started by former Whistler councillor, Eckhard Zeidler. Together with his wife Deanne they started planting on the Texas Creek Ranch site more than a decade ago, planting 32 different grape varieties in an experimental vineyard, and following organic principles in the vineyard. Peasant Rosé is a purpose-built pink, based off a 90% white Blattner cross base (507), coloured by 5% each pinot meunier and gamay. 507 was one of Blattner's experimental grapes, and very disease resistant. This was fermented and aged in a mix of stainless and plastic (latter for the reds). Pouring a peachy hue, this presents just off-dry and quite bright, with wild strawberries, raspberries, Rainier cherries, cherry blossoms seasoned with fine spices on a snappy finish. A welcome addition to the Lillooet and BC wine scene, and one to keep an eye on as they hone down their grapes and into their soils.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Cliff and Gorge Vineyards
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Sperling Organic Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Sperling Organic Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeply-hued rosé was off their biodynamically-farmed estate pinot noir 777 clones. This was whole cluster pressed and fermented in barrel, where it remained until the following March when bottled. Candied apple, raspberry jam, fill a tart, slight (11.5%) yet lees-decked palate, seasoned with moss and light peppery notes to a snappy finish. Quite forward and punchy for its slight body, this is best taken now with grilled veg salads or hearty charcuterie.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Intrigue Rotberger Rosétext
86PTS

Intrigue Rotberger Rosé 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pale hued, light (10%) rosé is grown by the Drought family, bringing 3 decades of Okanagan grape growing knowledge. Sharp, tart, and lean, with green melon, grapefruit, green strawberry, and yogurt on the shorter, clipped, dry palate. Needs a brisk chill, and perhaps a few berries or fruit, sangria style.Prices: BC 16.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Culmina Family Estate Wild Ferment Rosé No. 014text
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Culmina Family Estate Wild Ferment Rosé No. 014 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pale peach-hued rosé is No. 14 in their Wild Ferment Series, sourced from the Arise Bench on their estate Golden Mile Bench. This vintage blends cabernet franc, malbec, and syrah, native fermented and aged in a mix of 70% stainless and 30% neutral French oak, where it remained for 2 months prior to bottling. Wild strawberries and cream, ripe red apple flood a full, glycerol slicked palate, dusted with spice and twisted with pink grapefruit on the finish. This is a simple, polished, fuller, fancy pink, more show than substance, for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosétext
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosé 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Arise Bench, on their Golden Mile estate vineyard, this year's Saignée Rosé blends cabernet franc, syrah, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot fermented in stainless. Though the packaging is elegant, down to the glass vino-loc closure, this is a big, assertive wine, clocking in at a warming 14%. Ripe strawberries, strawberry jam, Honeycrisp apple and watermelon fill the glossy glycerol palate, dusted with pink grapefruit rind and subtle spice. A potent rosé for your summer steak.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Wild Ferment Rosé No. 014text
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Culmina Family Estate Wild Ferment Rosé No. 014 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNo. 14 in the Wild Ferment Series is a pale, orange-pink rosé from the Arise Bench on the Golden Mile Bench sub-GI. The mix is 60/25/15 cabernet franc, malbec, and syrah, aged two months in a 70/30 ratio of stainless steel and neutral French oak. The palate is overrun in sweet ripe strawberries and a creamy smooth mouthfeel flecked with white pepper before a sweet pink grapefruit finish. Showy and ripe, it will have wide appeal, and it is ready to drink now. Consider serving this with spicy sushi rolls.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosétext
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosé 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Arise Bench, a Culmina Golden Mile Bench estate vineyard, the 2020 Saignée blends cabernet franc, syrah, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. The fermentation is done in stainless steel, the colour is Provence cool, but the style is fuller, as evidenced by the blend. At 14 percent alcohol, backed up by the glossy, silky textures, it is packed full of ripe strawberries and fully ripe watermelon, citrus, and spice. It is meant to be served with richer summer dishes and should please those looking for a mouthfull of rosé.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Sperling Organic Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Sperling Organic Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn organic, 777 clone pinot noir is at the heart of this Sperling rosé, coming with a deepish red colour reminiscent of a Tavel. The attack is dry, reserved, and barrel-fermented to a pleasant 11.5% alcohol, where it aged through the following March before bottling. Apples, earth, and pepper will have you contemplating this pink. Try this with grilled asparagus or a favourite mild cheese.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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13th Street Winery Vin Gristext
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13th Street Winery Vin Gris 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom an early pick of gamay off their Creek Shores estate Whitty Vineyard, this was very softly pressed, resulting in just the faintest pink hue. Bright and lifted and tight wild strawberries, cherry blossoms, kissed with tangerine and lit with pink grapefruit peel. The palate is vibrant with lively acidity. Quite finessed and unique; well done.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: 13th Street Winery
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Alvento South Windtext
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Alvento South Wind 2019

Ontario, CanadaPrimarily estate grown marquette, this is joined with muscat, chardonnay, and riesling. Deeper pink hued, this off-dry pink leads with some perfumed notes before a disjointed, bitter palate of deli meats, rhubarb, and green. Perhaps sangria can help this wine. Better luck next time.Prices: ON 19.95 Producer: Alvento
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Two Sisters Margo Rosétext
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Two Sisters Margo Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Niagara River estate fruit, and a mystery mix of grapes, this pale pink rosé is bright and lively with pink grapefruit, tangerine, strawberries, orange blossoms, watermelon on an off-dry palate, livened with a gentle spritz to the shorter finish. Best with a brisk chill, and hopefully under screwcap in the future.Prices: ON 34.80 Producer: Two Sisters Vineyards
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13th Street Winery Cabernet Franc Rosétext
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13th Street Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper-hued cab franc rosé is full and round on the palate, with candied apples, apple blossoms, crab apples, strawberry gummies being cut short by a a bitter, branchy note on the brief, bitter finish. Best taken with a brisk chill.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: 13th Street Winery
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Redstone Rosétext
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Redstone Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom various vineyards around the Niagara Peninsula, this 2019 Redstone Rosé blends 50% Cabernet Franc with 25% each Merlot and Syrah. Punchy and fruit-forward with peppery spice, branchy green notes mingling with the candied red apple and strawberry on the palate. Off-dry and best with a brisk chill and some grilled sausages.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Redstone Winery
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Tawse Limestone Ridge Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Tawse Limestone Ridge Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis 2020 Limestone Rosé was crafted from estate pinot noir planted in 1999 and farmed sustainably. Wild strawberries, raspberry, cherry blossoms are woven with a buzzing minerality, driving this to the mandarin kissed finish. Just a light kiss of sweetness makes this drinking beautifully now. 1000 bottles made.Prices: ON 27.95 Producer: Tawse
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Tawse Sketches Rosétext
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Tawse Sketches Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis deeper-hued rosé is a blend of sustainably farmed Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay from vineyards around Niagara Peninsula. Juicy strawberry, raspberry, lime pith on a fruit-forward palate, finishing with a dusting of spice and bright snap of stony minerality on the off-dry finish. Ready for food and cracking now. Pick up the fresher 2020 if you can.Prices: ON 17.95 Producer: Tawse
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Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rosétext
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Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis cabernet franc rosé opens with a medium peach/orange colour from 18 hours of skin contact. The nose is ripe with a dusting of the desert sage and grass mixed into strawberries. The palate is creamy and dense, with some of that skin contact pushing into the strawberry and tangerine, flecked with baking spices. The addition of some residual sugar tends to smooth it all out and will add appeal for most. Best with spicy food this year, but why not lean this out a bit and give a bit more finesse in the future?Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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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, CanadaModest Wines is a new, stand alone line from the folks at Mt Boucherie, spearheaded by new GM Jesse Harnden (ex of Hatch Wines), and originally intended to be consumed in their on-site Modest Butcher Restaurant. You can see and feel Jesse's thumbprint all over these eye catching, palate-stretching, contract-vineyard wines, especially for those used to the classic, staid, Mt. Boucherie style. Oeil-de-Perdrix is French for 'eye of the partridge', a colour supposedly similar to the eyes of that game bird, and oft used to categorize wine hues. This pinot noir rosé is sourced from Similkameen's Lazy River Vineyard, and was soaked on skins for 8 hours It's thankfully kept dry, savoury and stony, like its home. Wild raspberry, cherry blossoms, tangerine flood the lighter palate, gently plumped with a slick of lees and bedded with ample stoniness. Certainly food ready and worthy, but also lovely to enjoy on its own.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Covert Farms Rosétext
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Covert Farms Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's rosé comes off their organic estate's Coyote Block vineyard, and blends Merlot 75%, Cabernet Franc 15%, Syrah 10%, with 12 hours cold soaked on skins for the deep peach hue, prior to a coferment in stainless, where it remained for 4 months on lees. Full in body and mouthfeel, with a glycerol base bedding red currant, red apple, cherry, and baked raspberry. There's a dusting of baking spices woven throughout, finishing briefly with an orange twist. A simple, somewhat old school style, best taken with heartier grilled dishes this summer.Prices: BC 22.49 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Intrigue Social Rosètext
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Intrigue Social Rosè 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 blend mixes 53% riesling, 13% rotberger, 10% gewurztraminer, 10% merlot, 9.5% chardonnay, 2.5% pinot noir and 2% viognier. It results in a juicy, fresh, off-dry rosé full of sweet strawberry and watermelon mixed with ripe red apples. It is eminently quaffable for those who like a bump of sugar in their rosé, and would be perfect on a hot beach or patio. It can also be more than a simple quaffer when you pair it with spicy meatballs, sushi, or a peppery strawberry salad with goat cheese. Enjoy and drink all summer. Good value.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rosétext
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Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Gill Family had been selling their Golden Mile fruit for 30 years before deciding to make their own label, in 2009. Val Tait, Winemaker/Viticulturist extraordinaire, joined the winery recently, and this is one of her first releases. The deep peach hue comes from 18 hours' skin contact, while stainless ferment and aging work to preserve bright fruit from the Southern Okanagan sunshine. The result is a creamy, fuller-bodied rosé with creamy baked peach, ripe strawberry on a creamy palate, seasoned with baking spices, and bumped with RS to make it extra friendly. Old-school in style; I'd love to see this lighter, fresher, dryer in future.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Corcelettes Oracle Rosétext
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Corcelettes Oracle Rosé 2020

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCorcelettes is hitting it out of the park with its Provence-inspired rosé, now a leader in BC. In 2020 the blend was similar to last year’s 80/20 mix of pinot noir and syrah. The colour is pale, the nose is all Simikameen with its wild desert scrub and floral notes and citrus, wild berry that finishes clean with a mineral Similkameen underbelly. There is fair value here and wine you can drink year-round.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Giant Head Rosé Jinny Lee Vineyardtext
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Giant Head Rosé Jinny Lee Vineyard 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGiant Head Rosé does something I wish other wineries would consider: making their rosé with varieties close to the winery's core production. In this case, the mix is merlot, pinot noir, and gewürztraminer. Day-glo pink, it is essentially dry, offering up a fresh watermelon nose and palate with a dusting of strawberry sprinkled with a squeeze of lemon. Food-friendly and ready to drink all summer.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
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Clos du Soleil Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA rare malbec rosé, sourced from La Côte Vineyard on the Upper Bench of the Similkameen Valley, opens with a slightly reductive, garlic lees nose. The colour is pale thanks to a four-hour cold soak under dry ice and a gentle pressing. The nose is almost sauvignon-like with a touch of earthy armpit and tart red fruits. Light and crisp on the palate with more earthy tart fruit calling for richer, fatter dishes. Ready to drink. Think barbecued beef ribs or a pulled pork sandwich.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Project B Rosétext
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Project B Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaProject B is a winemaking partnership between the Old and New worlds. Winemakers Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros.) and Eric Monnin, of Boutinot France, respect the land, viticulture, climate, and vineyards of the Okanagan Valley to make a BC rosé wine destined for the world. The style is dry (1.6 grams residual sugar), Provençal pale, with earthy, strawberry patch aromas mixed with Okanagan desert scrub. Crisp and refreshing, the red fruit and acidity is the perfect foil to a creamy texture that runs through the entire wine. Think about any food you like, as this one can take it. The final blend is 36% pinot noir, 33% pinotage, 29% gamay noir, 2% merlot.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Boutinot
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Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Rosétext
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Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeply hued rosé of dolcetto calls itself a rosato, harkening to the grape's Italian roots. From their estate Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, in OK Falls, this was foot stomped, and has spent 5 days on skins in cold maceration, hence the deeper, gutsy hue. It was then pressed into concrete tanks, innoculated and fermented, and then finished aging in stainless. Peppery rhubarb, red and black currant, boysenberry, black tea floods a medium-bodied palate, bound by that savoury peppery spicing to a snappy finish. Certainly unique, this would be a welcome addition to some heartier charcuterie, or grilled sausages this summer.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Fort Berens Rosétext
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Fort Berens Rosé 2020

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaThe first all-Lillooet rosé blends 80% pinot noir with 16% cabernet franc and 4% merlot. The franc and merlot are inaugural picks from the new Red Rock Vineyard established in 2018. The colour is deep pink, and the palate a brisk cranberry, rhubarb, and watermelon affair with a small amount of residual sugar for balance. Authentically local, this one is ready to go. Charcuterie, anyone?Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Play Saignéetext
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Play Saignée 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs the name suggests, this rosé was made in the saignée, or bleeding method, where wine was drained off for this pink, while concentrating the remaining red wine. This year blends 50% Merlot, 22% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Malbec, from their estate vineyard and complemented from other Okanagan vineyards. This was partial (10%) native fermented before a stainless ferment and rest. Full with glycerol, this plump, off-dry rose pulls candied red apple, tangerine, cherry yogurt along the sluggish palate, seasoned with baking spices on the finish. Old-school in direction, this lacks vibrance, but not alcohol. Chill very well and utilize in punches or mixed drinks this summer.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Rosétext
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Tightrope Winery Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeeply-hued, this year's rosé blends pinot noir, syrah, and barbera: strange bedfellows indeed. The grapes were crushed and left with skins for a couple of days prior to pressing, hence the deeper and day-glo tone of fuchsia. Candied raspberries, candied rhubarb rule the glycerol-slicked palate, lightly spiced, and finishing with an orange twang. Quite bold and fruit-forward, think of this as kool-aid for grown-ups. Crack now, as intended, with BBQ ribs or kabobs.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Augey Bordeaux Rosétext
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Augey Bordeaux Rosé 2019

Bordeaux, FranceThe Augey Rosé is estate bottled in the Entre-Deux-Mers, grown among the cool, high lime content of the region's calcareous clay and limestone soil. The style is spare and simple by North American standards, but a less-is-more tack is not a bad thing with rosé. The colour is pale, the flavours tart, but likely make a fine partner with food. Ready to drink at a fair price.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Caves de Rauzan
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Condor Peak Peak Rosetext
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Condor Peak Peak Rose 2020

ArgentinaSimple, straight-up, dry rosé with fresh strawberries and blackberries with a big fresh, citrus finish. Simple, yes, but food friendly, and at this price should be just the ticket for picnic and beach trips.Prices: BC 12.09 Producer: Andean Vineyards
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Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosétext
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Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFruitvale Ridge Vineyard is an Ososyoos cabernet franc from sustainably farmed, 13 year old vines grown over larger rock and shale, with gravel, loam and clay. Cooler weather closed the gap between the sugar and the acid, leaving a well balanced affair hand harvested on October 16 at a refreshing 21.6 Brix. The grapes were crushed and pressed with two hours of skin contact, and fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel. Bâtonnage was employed once / week during the fermentation for added texture and mouthfeel. This dry rosé displays a bright eye of the partridge colour, previewing a mix of wild strawberries, citrus, apricot, and Okanagan sagebrush. Very food-friendly. Seven Directions is working hard on its new home in Cawston, where they have just under four acres of vines in the ground, including garnacha tinta, grenache clone 52, cabernet franc clone 214, and pinot noir clone 667. The property is farmed organically, and the winery is well underway. It should be ready for the 2021 harvest.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Bottega Wine Studios
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Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTractor & Vines Rosé is from Summerland pinot noir clone 667, off a 1.1 acre site at lake level, oriented east-west. The 12 year old vines grow in silty clay loam and fluvioglacial deposits rich in organic matter. Winemaker Daniel Bontorin says, “a great growing season combined with excellent temperatures, no disease pressure, a lighter crop” gave him lower alcohol and 4.2 tons of amazing fruit, picked the latest date ever. The grapes were crushed, cold-soaked for 2 hours, gently pressed, and fermented in 75/25 stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak. The result is Provence, from its barely pink colour to its subtle strawberry and grapefruit, flecked with a hint of tangerine. It doesn’t get much better than this. Seven Directions is working hard on its new home in Cawston, where they have just under four acres of vines in the ground, including garnacha tinta, grenache clone 52, cabernet franc clone 214, and pinot noir clone 667. The property is farmed organically, and the winery is well underway. It should be ready for the 2021 harvest.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Bottega Wine Studios
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La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux Rosétext
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La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux Rosé 2019

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceOne of the best value import pinks in the market is now available in a 3-litre bag-in-the-box format. Canadian producers have used this format for a lot of junk over the years, no doubt not lost on consumers, but this wine is what it should be, and at the equivalent of $8.50 per 750ml bottle, the price is unbeatable. Look for a dry, medium-pale pink rosé with vibrant, floral, jammy strawberry flecked with tangerine and licorice. A food-friendly, patio pink.Prices: BC 33.99 3000 Producer: Famille Perrin
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Gazela Vinho Verde Rosétext
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Gazela Vinho Verde Rosé NV

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalGazela Rosé is a NV blend of espadeiro, amaral, borraçal and vinhão in a welcome 9.5 percent alcohol, but with a whopping 17 g/L RS, resulting in a sweeter pink with candied strawberries, candy apple, orange gummies on a short, clipped palate. Better to look elsewhere.Prices: BC 11.99 ON 9.45 AB 12.99 YK 13.05 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Paul Mas Côté Mas Rosé Auroretext
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Paul Mas Côté Mas Rosé Aurore 2020

Sud de France, FranceYou only need to meet Jean Claude Mas once to feel his passion for the south of France and what he terms "Le Luxe Rural." This litre-bottle of juicy fruity rosé comes with a pale pink hue and bright strawberry, raspberry that charms from the first glass to the last. A grenache/cinsault/syrah mix has all the elements to turn a patio into a luxurious country setting. Fantastic value too. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 14.99 1000 Producer: Domaines Paul Mas
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La Fiorita Ninfalia Rosatotext
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La Fiorita Ninfalia Rosato 2019

Tuscany, ItalyThis sangiovese rosato comes from Montalcino's Castelnuovo dell’Abate, and is grown over calcareous clay soils, resulting in a rosé for grown ups. Early picked for its freshness, it is native fermented in concrete eggs for texture which it has in spades. From strawberries to cherries, it is refreshingly dry and focused from the front end to the rear, sporting orange and spice highlights. Impressive and well worth trying, even at $40. The 9 hectare organic estate was started in 1992 by well-known Italian wine consultant Roberto Cipresso. It is now owned by American Natalie Oliveros, who came on board in 2011. Seriously good.Prices: BC 39.99 Producer: La Fiorita
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Lunessence Rosétext
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Lunessence Rosé 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Rosé is a single vineyard offering that comes off a new supply of fruit from a 2-acre site owned by the Drachenberg family in Summerland. The plan is to buy the fruit long-term to support this label. It is a 68/28/4 mix of merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah. The palate is a mix of candied ripe raspberries and freshly picked strawberries, sitting on a silky slippery finish. At 7 g/L residual sugar, it's just off-dry, which plays well with the fresh citrus rind notes. Chill and serve on the patio.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Mayhem Rosétext
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Mayhem Rosé 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMayhem Rosé mixes 95.5% merlot with 4.5% cabernet franc from Anarchist Mountain. Slightly darker than the new pale standard sweeping the rosé world, it opens with a touch of sulphur that sits on the crunchy red plum, red currant flecked with a savoury scrubby desert note before it finishes smooth and silky. I like the acidity and freshness, but had to decant vigorously to blow off some early stinky notes that eventually subside.Prices: BC 19.13 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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La Fiorita Ninfalia Rosatotext
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La Fiorita Ninfalia Rosato 2019

Tuscany, ItalyThis organic, 9-hectare estate was started in 1992 by well-known Italian wine consultant Roberto Cipresso. It is now owned by American Natalie Oliveros, who came on board in 2011. This sangiovese rosato comes from Montalcino's Castelnuovo dell’Abate, and its calcerous clay soils. After an early pick, this was native fermented in concrete eggs, resting for 7 months before release. Silken and elegant, with wild summer strawberries, Rainier cherries gliding along a very saline, slender palate, finishing with an alluring mandarin twist and a dusting of spice. One of the most convincing sangiovese rosatos I've tried and one worth seeking out in this premium price range.Prices: BC 39.99 Producer: La Fiorita
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Tantalus Rosétext
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Tantalus Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is a 65/35 mix of pinot noir and pinot meunier that interestingly sees the noir whole bunch pressed while the latter gets 72 hours of skin contact before it is pressed off, resulting in a medium reddish colour. Cofermented, they spend two months on lees before it is bottled in February. Expect a juicy, vibrant, stylish rosé with pure strawberry, red apple, watermelon that is exquisitely styled with lees and a wire of acidic electricity. Nothing but sophisticated fun here. Bring on the food. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 20.87 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Roche Rosétext
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Roche Rosé 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRoche has nailed their 2020 Rosé, grown organically at the Naramata home vineyard, mixing 20 year old zweigelt and 8 percent schonberger. Dry, fresh, and crunchy, this has all you could want in a food rosé, including an electric jolt of minerality and acidity throughout. The palate is perfection, and you have your choice of fruits including pomegranates, red currants, cranberries, and cherries. Euro styling and Naramata terroir are a great match.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
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Quails' Gate Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is a gamay, pinot noir and pinot meunier blend that gets approximately four hours of skin contact. The colour is pale and pink, the nose a citrus-scented mix of strawberries with beautiful floral undertones. Clean, dry, refreshing, this has a squeeze of Okanagan desert scrub to keep it interesting to the last sip. Good value in a less-is-more pink. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 18.99 NB 19.29 ON 19.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosétext
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Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosé 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaA pale salmon colour results from a 60/40 mix of chardonnay/pinot noir, and a refreshing pink with strawberry citrus. Uncomplicated and perfect for a summer’s day. A patio pal with a hint of sweetness at a forgiving price.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Spier
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Glamour Farming Pinot Noir Rosétext
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Glamour Farming Pinot Noir Rosé 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis 250ml pink can contains the pinot noir Glamour Farming Rosé. The colour is neon pink, and the nose fresh with cherry and berry highlights. The attack is simple, dry and stylish, with just a hint of ripeness to smooth out the finish. Easy to pack to the beach, I assume you could freeze them if need be to cool down your picnic basket until it is time to spread the blanket and have lunch. Perfect for smokies on a bun and better with salmon steaks. Nice to see something hip coming out of the Okanagan.Prices: BC 36.00 250 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Kitsch Rosétext
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Kitsch Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of pinot noir and pinot gris, this has 48 hours of skin contact followed by whole cluster pressing to get the stylish pale colour. It's a bright, fruit-driven rosé, showing strawberry and candied watermelon. That confected fruit quality gives an impression of sweetness to the palate, though it finishes dryish (3 g/L residual sugar). Made to enjoy on its own, though this could do nicely with fish tacos. Only 272 cases produced.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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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, CanadaI can't say enough about this mouthwatering rosé from Pender Island. It is made with pinot noir grapes grown on Clam Bay Farm on Pender Island. The Star of Burgundy, pinot noir, is making a name for itself on Vancouver Island and surrounding islands in the Salish Sea. Gentle handling has yielded a million-dollar, barely any colour robe, and the lightness extends across the wine. You can sip this solo as the sun goes down, or you can serve it with your favourite summer fare. Look for all the keywords: strawberries, cranberries, and cooler rhubarb notes that remain fresh and mouthwatering on the palate. Classy, salty, and bone dry, this is a winner.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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10 June 2021

Stormy Bay Sauvignon Blanctext
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Stormy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaA full-bodied style of sauvignon with a strong passion fruit and asparagus underside, this finishes with a slight bump of sugar and honey followed by a touch of bitterness. Noisy and busy is the best way to describe this sauvignon that for the price will have its fans. Ready to drink. My takeaway is if SA can do this for $12, I'm wondering what they can do for the $20 that NZ charges. That's the level that will change their fate in North America, not these British supermarket wines.Prices: BC 12.99 ON 10.95 Producer: Spier
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Covert Farms Sauvignon Blanc Semillontext
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Covert Farms Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their organic Coyote Block estate vineyard, atop McIntyre Bluff, the 2020 blends 73% sauvignon blanc, 17 sémillon, and a surprising 10% splash of viognier. This was was fermented and aged in stainless. Tropical pineapple, baked yellow apple, fragrant guava rule the bright, off-dry palate, finishing with spiced pineapple rind. I'd love to see this without the viognier, for a clearer view of what BC meets white Bx can show. A fun, friendly, riper style for drinking now.Prices: BC 22.43 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Tightrope Winery Sauvignon Blanc Sémillontext
89PTS

Tightrope Winery Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata's Thomas Vineyard, this blend of 77.5% sauvignon blanc and 22.5% sémillon was destemmed, cold fermented and blended, aged a short time in stainless. Zesty and bright with grapefruit, Asian pear, tangerine peel on a full palate, lined with sém's inherent oiliness. There's a lovely freshness and vibrance to this wine, one that makes a firm statement for sémillon in BC, and its benefit to sauvignon blanc.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Play Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Play Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Penticton estate Wild Horse Estate Vineyard and its silty loams, this sauvignon blanc was partial native ferment and rested in a mix of 70% stainless, 30% French oak until early the following March when it was bottled. You can feel the spiced creaminess of French oak poking through the potent grassy green hedge, lemon peel, green apple and green melon leading the medium palate, livened with lime zest and peel to a zippy finish. For fans of a zesty Kiwi style, but want to support BC.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Gold Hill Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Gold Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Gill family has been growing grapes on the Golden Mile Bench for more than 3 decades, deciding to start their own label in 2009, and more recently bringing on celebrated viticulturist and winemaker Val Tait on board. This wine comes from their Mirror Lake Vineyard. Crisp and tangy and bright, with white grapefruit, passionfruit, tart green apple racing through the sleek, slender palate, buffered by a slip of lees to counter the sharpness. Reminiscent of super coastal Chilean, but certainly BC.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Gold Hill Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Gold Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Gold Hill SB comes in on the lean and crisp side with bright, fresh, citrus reminiscent of grapefruit, green apples, asparagus and a whiff of passionfruit. It’s medium-light and food friendly with a dusting of lees to give it a bit more mouthfeel. Ready to drink and perfect for shellfish dishes. The Gill family has been farming BC vineyards for almost thirty years and bottling wine for the last decade but have recently, under the direction of Navi Gill, and winemaker/grower Valeria Tait, decided to get serious about their wine label.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Mayhem Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata Bench fruit, this was destemmed and partially native fermented over one month in stainless and 225L French barriques (10% new), where it remained for 6 months on lees. I like the subtle wood touch here, up against the crunchy, bright grapefruit, tangerine, lemongrass, lime pith, and Asian pear on the palate, trailing off with an alluring salinity. This year's sauvy harkens both NZ and Bx, but still remains firmly Okanagan. Nicely done.Prices: BC 15.65 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanctext
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA sauvignon blanc–semillon blend from Dhaliwal Bros Vineyard in Oliver, the fruit was crushed and then macerated for three hours before pressing. Fermentation was slow and cool in a combination of stainless steel and puncheon, giving this a fruit-forward character that's led by grapefruit, orange zest, and passionfruit. I don't pick up much oak, but this easy sipper doesn't need it.Prices: BC 20.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanctext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Fumé Blanc blends 74/26 sauvignon blanc and sémillon, all from the Dhaliwal Bros Vineyard in Oliver. After destemming and light crushing, each was left on skins for 3 hours before being pressed into stainless and French puncheons for solo ferments and 4 months on lees prior to blending. Punchy and direct with passionfruit, pink grapefruit, crunchy pear on a forward, potent palate. The wood certainly takes a backseat to the fruit here, with perhaps some cedar-tinged spicing the only fumé-indication. Enjoy now with equally-forward and potently flavoured dishes.Prices: BC 20.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Modest Wines La Graves Robber Sauvignon Blanc / Semillontext
90PTS

Modest Wines La Graves Robber Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaModest Wines is a new 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. La Graves Robber is a cheeky reference to Bordeaux's Graves region, and its reign over excellent sauvignon blanc / sémillon blends. This 'robs' that idea with 80% sauvignon blanc from Naramata, blended with 20% off sém off their estate vineyard in OK Falls. This was aged in neutral oak puncheons on lees until bottling. The sauvignon is briskly out front, but the sultry sém dials it all in, and sets the tone for a sophisticated, elegant, and highly drinkable wine. Pink grapefruit rules (pith, rind, and juice), followed by crunchy pear, lemon blossom, and a slight slick of honeysuckle with a waxy sheen, courtesy the sémillon. This harmonious, elegant wine lingers with a luring citrus and desert sage note. Well done.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Free Form Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Free Form Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFree Form is all about nature and minimal intervention. As you can see from its cloudy nature in the glass, it is fussed with very little at the winery in post-production. The ferment is wild, and after that, it spends nine months in a mix of amphorae and stainless steel before a final press and another two months in concrete. All of which creates a fabulous creamy texture, mixed with sweet leesy apricot, nectarine skin, and a dash of Okanagan sagebrush. A wine for geeks, the curious, and the bored.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Canyon View Wines Sauvignon Blanctext
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Canyon View Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe new Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is fermented and aged in 20% new French oak and 80% stainless steel tank. The nose is enticing, mixing desert sagebrush, passionfruit, and a strong mineral undercurrent. On the palate, guava and orange highlight the citrusy flavours in what is a very delicious, somewhat Loire-like sauvignon blanc, selling for less than $30. Bone dry and vibrant, this would be a lot of fun to pair with west coast shellfish.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanctext
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Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Fumé mix is 74/26 sauvignon blanc and sémillon, all from Oliver’s Dhaliwal Bros Vineyard. It is fermented into stainless and French puncheons and kept separate for four months before the final blend. It is a little less formal in style, with some Marlborough passionfruit leading a fresh pear and grapefruit undercurrent. No need to wait for this one, it is ready to go. Oysters are the match. Good value.Prices: BC 20.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Project B Sauvignon Blanctext
90PTS

Project B Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear two is every bit as good as last year for Project B. This is a humble sauvignon blanc that is whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless with limited lees contact. There is three percent barrique sémillon added to the mix, all from the same premium, single vineyard in Oliver. The fruit is picked twice, ten days apart, to catch both the fresh version and the ripe version of this grape. It’s not exotic or showy, but as is the Boutinot wont, it is suitably restrained, emphasizing minerality that supports a quiet, delicate pear, guava, apricot, peach profile. At this time of the year, it is a perfect accompaniment to the subtle flavours of spot prawns. Winegrower Michael Bartier, co-owner of Bartier Bros., a south Okanagan boutique estate, was handpicked to make a BC wine for acclaimed English négociant and world winemaking force, Boutinot Wines. Project ‘B’ is Boutinot’s first reach into Canada. The Name ‘B’ surfaced as a constant in the partnership of Boutinot and Bartier. It was the first harvest from Plot B, and it is also a special nod to the Boutinot Rhone symbol of quality, the worker bee. Bartier works with Boutier chief winemaker Eric Monnin to make a wine that reflects the Boutinot style while honouring the terroir (land, viticulture, climate, and vineyard sites) of the Okanagan Valley.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Boutinot
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Niche Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanctext
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Niche Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe grapes come out of Oliver, and 2020 is the first vintage of sauvignon made at Niche. The fruit is ripe and to the point of being a touch sweet, but otherwise is fun to sip. The 2020 growing season was amazing. The grapes were cold soaked for a day and pressed off into stainless steel tanks to ferment. The style is fresh and sleek with a big hit of lime and guava mixed with notes of licorice and tarragon. A perfect west coast wine for seafood, from Monday night fish tacos to Sunday halibut dinner.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Niche Wine Co.
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Familienweingut Sattlerhof Südsteiermark Sauvignon Blanctext
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Familienweingut Sattlerhof Südsteiermark Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Südsteiermark, Steiermark (Styria), AustriaThe Sattler family has been growing wine in the village of Gamlitz since 1887, and they were one of the first in the region to bottle high quality dry white wines under their own name in the 1970s. Willi Sattler is the current family member in charge and has grown the estate to 35 hectares of biodynamically farmed vines in some of the region’s most famous vineyards. This comes from the steep quartz and limestone slopes of Südsteiermark. Sustainable viticulture, selective handling, and stainless steel vinification has preserved the punchy, steely white, with crunchy pink grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, hedgerow, and ample mineral salts flooding the slick, medium bodied palate. Vibrant now in youth, and with time ahead.Prices: ON 23.95 Producer: Weingut Sattlerhof
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Serge Dagueneau et Filles Pouilly Fumé L'Odyssée Silextext
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Serge Dagueneau et Filles Pouilly Fumé L'Odyssée Silex 2019

Pouilly-Fume, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceThis branch of the Dagueneau family, headed by father Serge, is based in Saint Andelain, and owns 19 hectares of old vineyards across several of the prime sites of the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, as well as 3 hectares in the nearby appellation of Cotes de la Charite. Today the estate is run by Serge's daughter Valerie, cousin of the late Didier Dagueneau, and Serge still helps in the vineyard.The grapes for this wine are rooted in the profound silex soils that make this wine region so highly regarded. From the striking 2019 vintage, this is the inaugural release of this cuvée. This was whole bunch and native fermented in concrete eggs, where it remained on lees for aging. Bright grapefruit, pear, lemon verbena lead the stony palate, with a tight mineral grip streaming along the sleek frame, bedded with light herbal lees, and lingering with salinity. Very much in youth still, this wine will build complexity with time in the bottle.Prices: ON 62.95 Producer: Serge Dagueneau et Filles
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Play Sauvignon Blanctext
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Play Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canadacorked, try another.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Sauvignon Blanc Sémillontext
91PTS

Tightrope Winery Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis electric blend of 77.5% sauvignon blanc and 22.5% sémillon is all about grapefruit streaked with a touch of tangerine. The sémillon ably fills in some of the skinny sauvignon notes, leaving it refreshing but with some mid-palate gravitas. Fresh, vibrant, and food friendly, this white blend will find a compatible home with various seafood and chicken dishes.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Mayhem Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMuch like last year, this youthful, showy, pungent sauvignon demonstrates the versatility of the Naramata Bench. Expect an intense grapefruit and passionfruit that is reminiscent of Marlborough, but $5 cheaper. I’m impressed with what you get here for the money and suggest it would be perfect with west coast mussels or clams. It's made with a mix of destemmed and whole bunch pressed fruit, partially native fermented in a combination of stainless steel (76%) and French barrels (10% new and 14 neutral). aged on its lees until bottling. Super value and fun. It's the Mayhem style I applaud.Prices: BC 15.65 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Modest Wines La Graves Robber Sauvignon Blanc / Semillontext
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Modest Wines La Graves Robber Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe grave robber pun is a throwback to the great white wines of the Graves region of Bordeaux and their classic sauvignon blanc/sémillon blends. This is an 80/20 sauv/sém blend, fermented and aged in French oak puncheons. It’s on the tight, bright side with a fresh hit of citrus and scrubby desert herbs from Naramata and Okanagan Falls fruit, in the coolest of Okanagan cool climates. Mt. Boucherie is hell-bent on having fun with these Modest Wines.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Emandare Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
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Emandare Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 21 year old vines, the oldest sauvignon blanc on the island, this was organically farmed, destemmed and left to soak for 24 hours prior to a native ferment in stainless over one month. It then remain on lees, with no bâtonnage, for 5 months, with full MLF. Bright and vibrant with great grapefruit acidity and passionfruit punchiness, wrapped around a core of pure, warm citrus fruit. There's an alluring textural component drawing you along the palate to the zesty, lemon pith finish. A very convincing example for SB, and organic viticulture, in Cowichan.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Emandare Vineyard
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Emandare Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Emandare Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the oldest sauvignon blanc vines on the Island, in the tender, organic care of Mike & Robin Nierychlo, this is a singlular Wine Islands wine, and out of the few SB's I've tasted, by far the most convincing. 2018 saw this picked at the latest date ever, October 13. After destemming, this was left to soak for 24 hours, and then native fermented for 4 weeks in stainless, prior to 4 months left untouched on lees. Honeyed pineapple, tight green apple, lemon verbena flow along a textural, creamy palate, with zippy lemon zest spicing on the finish.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Emandare Vineyard
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French Door Sauvignon Blanctext
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French Door Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrench Door Sauvignon Blanc comes from Oliver, in the southern Okanagan Valley, and in 2020 it was hot and dry in the south. The fruit was hand harvested over two picking dates, pressed whole cluster, cold settled overnight, and racked to French oak to ferment. A full malolactic was completed, and the barrels were stirred weekly during fermentation. The wine remained on lees without any addition of sulphites until being stabilized and bottled. The style is rich, weighty, and full flavoured like a fine white Bordeaux. Look for guava, grapefruit, and grassy licorice throughout. Think richer foods like quail or salmon.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: French Door Estate Winery
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect an easy-sipping style mixing tropical mango, papaya with a touch of tomato leaf and citrus. All in all, a fresh style that will attract Kiwi sauvignon drinkers. On the palate, there is more tropical fruit before a clean, dry finish leaves it food-friendly. Ready to drink on the patio with grilled chicken.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Dirty Laundry
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The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanctext
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The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaThis sauvignon blanc comes from Wellington, in Paarl, and reflects the warmer inland area. Ripe and plumped with sun and some RS (6 g/L), this is a soft, sweeter white, with gooseberry, baked pear on a shorter, simple palate. Chill briskly.Prices: BC 11.99 ON 10.00 NS 12.00 PEI 13.00 AB 13.00 SK 13.00 MB 12.00 Producer: DGB
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Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanctext
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Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaAsparagus, gooseberry, grass, gooseberry, lemon blossoms fill this simple, softer sauvignon blanc, sourced from vineyards around the Western Cape. Not a great example of grape or region, but it's a simple, bright, easy-access white wine, if that's what you're looking for.Prices: BC 10.99 AB 11.00 SK 12.00 MB 11.00 ON 12.00 NB 12.00 NF 13.00 YK 12.45 Producer: Bergkelder, The (Distillers Corporation)
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Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanctext
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Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaIf you are a sauvignon blanc freak, you will love this Adelaide Hills version from the kings of cool, Shaw and Smith. The fruit comes off the estate vineyards at Balhannah and Lenswood with smaller amounts from trusted local growers. 2020 is year 31 for what most would concede is the benchmark Australian sauvignon blanc. The nose is a fresh breeze of spring peas, asparagus, grapefruit with a whiff of fresh-cut grass. Intense but sophisticated, the lemon-flavoured stone fruit marvel swims in bright acidity and is the ultimate seafood crusher. The finish goes on forever, offering more nectarine and passion fruit dusted in white pepper. First class.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Shaw & Smith
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09 June 2021

Zidarich Malvasia Lehtetext
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Zidarich Malvasia Lehte 2017

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyZidarich is based in the Friulian region of Carso, a very rocky region that borders Slovenia. Benjamin and his wife Marisa Zidarich tend 8 hectares here in a naturalist, non-intervention vein. This Malvasia comes from the Lehte vineyard, located in Prepotto, in the municipality of Duino Aurisina, on soils rich in marine limestone formations and ferrous clays, and from vines with an average age of 45 years. This was destemmed and native fermented, with maceration on the skins in open vats. It was aged 24 months in Slavonian oak barrels of varying sizes. This pours a hazy yellow hue, and opens with sultry, smouldering smoked stones, honeycomb, quince, fragrant apricot blossoms on a slender, streaming palate, textured very finely with a riff of skin tannins and ample salinity. This might be the most elegant orange wine I've tasted. Wow. Only 12 bottles imported into Canada.Prices: ON 104.95 Producer: Zidarich
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Zidarich Kamen Vitovksatext
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Zidarich Kamen Vitovksa 2018

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyVitovska is an indigenous grape specific to the Friulian region of Carso, a very rocky region that borders Slovenia. It is a natural cross between Malvasia Bianca Lungo and Prosecco Tondo. Benjamin and his wife Marisa Zidarich tend 8 hectares here in a naturalist, non-intervention vein. The Vitovska Kamen (Kamen = stone) was native fermented in stone lagares, with skin maceration for 18 days, before ageing 22 months in older oak barrels. Pouring a hazy golden hue, this is rich with honeysuckle, broken stones, apricot fuzz, white pepper, fresh wild herbs, spearmint drawn across a lightly waxen palate, studded with mineral salts and finely yet fiercely textured with skin tannins. Such a striking wine. Only 12 bottles were imported into Canada.Prices: ON 86.95 Producer: Zidarich
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Da Vero Catarratto Vino Bianco Biologicotext
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Da Vero Catarratto Vino Bianco Biologico 2019

Sicily, ItalyAraldica is a third generation, family operated co-operative based in Piedmont, though they also work on projects outside of their home region, like this catarratto, from Sicily. The grapes are organically grown in chalky soils at 500 metres, near the town of Calatafimi. It was fermented and aged in stainless to preserve the fruit. On the palate, look for exotic fruit, green melon, Asian pear, with a fennel undercurrent before a crisp, if short, dry finish. Steamed clams or mussels would be a good match, as would a buttery piece of halibut. Impressive value wine that takes you far from the usual suspects.Prices: BC 15.49 Producer: Araldica Vini Piemontesi
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Trerè Arlùs Albanatext
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Trerè Arlùs Albana 2019

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyArlùs, from the Roman dialect, translates as shimmer, or shine. This Albana comes from Compadrona Vineyard's silty soils, and vines near 40 years old. It was fermented and aged in stainless, with part of the lot harvested late, and including noble rot. This gives a honeyed richness to the dry, fuller palate, with ripe pear, white peach, acacia, toasted almonds at the fore through the spiced finish, lingering with anise. A softer, creamer and richer white to take on fuller fish or richer poultry dishes.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Trerè
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Tiberio Trebbiano d'Abruzzotext
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Tiberio Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2020

Abruzzo, ItalyThis massale selection of Trebbiano Abruzzese comes from 62 year old vines rooted in limestone and sandy soils at 350m. This was fermented and rested in stainless to preserve the grape's freshness and concentration, which was achieved perfectly. Tight and intense white grapefruit, green apple, Bosc pear, lemongrass streak across the light, bright palate, seasoned with citrus pith and finishing with a humming minerality. If you've bypassed trebbiano for being bland in the past, you have to check this out.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Agricola Tiberio
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Sartarelli Classico Verdicchiotext
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Sartarelli Classico Verdicchio 2019

Marche, ItalyA light, straw yellow colour previews a delightful white wine seemingly built for the west coast table. The verdicchio grape is a fun journey yielding tight, grassy green apple, crunchy pear, and green melon flecked with melon and tangerine rind with a refined citrus current flowing through the wine. The Sartarelli family is committed to the historical preservation of Verdicchio in Castelli di Jesi as they move to elevate the reputation of the grape, and it has been doing it for over four decades. A perfect wine for butter clams, pesto pasta. or sushi rolls. Only 17,000 cases are made.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Sartarelli
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Poggio Anima Gabriel Pecorinotext
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Poggio Anima Gabriel Pecorino 2019

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 pecorino comes from Abruzzo's Chieti, located close to the Adriatic Sea. This is an understated, leaner version of the grape, with yellow apples, wild lemon, white melon, and grape skin, on a slight, textural palate, finishing with a crab apple tartness and marine salinity. A small portion underwent skin contact, and all was native fermented and aged on lees in stainless for 6 months. Not your typical pecorino, sadly.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Poggio Anima Uriel Grillotext
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Poggio Anima Uriel Grillo 2020

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 fragrant grillo comes from the sandy slopes of western Sicily, and is bursting with orange blossom, ripe melon, almond, elderflower on a juicy, silken palate. Quite a bit of concentration in this medium bodied wine, though ample Sicilian seaside freshness to match.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Poggio Anima
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Villa Barcaroli Trebbiano d'Abruzzotext
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Villa Barcaroli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2020

Abruzzo, ItalyVilla Barcaroli, now owned by Marche's Ciù Ciù, is an organic winery based in Abruzzo. This trebbiano is sourced from Controguerra and Ancarano, in Teramo, and at 260m. After a cool ferment in stainless, this remained in the vessel for a few months, to preserve freshness. Crisp and shining, with lemon pith and peel, mandarin, melon on a textural palate, finishing with a wash of Adriatic coastal freshness. Far more than your average trebbiano.Prices: ON 15.95 Producer: Villa Barcaroli
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Ciù Ciù Arbinus Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classicotext
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Ciù Ciù Arbinus Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2020

Marche, ItalyCiù Ciù was founded in 1970 by Natalino Bartolomei and Anna Maria Iobbi, just a few kilometers from the legendary medieval town of Offida. Today, brothers Massimiliano and Walter Bartolomei continue their father Natalino’s work at their 130 hectare vineyard. This organic verdicchio grows at 300m, and was fermented and briefly rested in stainless to preserve the fresh fruit. Fragrant white blossoms, pear, white peach, melon leaps from the glass, brightened with lemon pith acidity through the juicy finish. Bright and shining, this is well suited to seafood and spring veg dishes.Prices: ON 21.95 Producer: Ciù Ciù
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Vodopivec Solo MM17text
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Vodopivec Solo MM17 2017

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyPaolo Vodopivec owns this organically and biodynamically farmed Carso estate, on the border with Slovenia, and just north of Trieste.  Vodopivec (vo-do-pee-vetz), works solely with the Vitovska grape, and knows it intimately. Only 50 hectares of Vitovska currently exist in Carso, and 6 hectares are owned by the brothers on their limestone plateau estate. Vodopivec, inspired by the wines of Gravner, uses amphorae to age many of his wines. Solo, a single high-density plot of vitovska, comes from from a very rocky part of the vineyard at 260m. It was destemmed and native fermented in Georgian Anfora, in contact with the skins for one year, and plunged several times a day. The wine then matured for 18 months in large 3000L Slavonian oak barrels prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Pouring a golden hue, this powerful, textural wine teems with crushed stones, ash, bergamot, and ample mineral salts, woven with elderflower and apricot fuzz. Striking and memorable and age worthy, this is a stunner.Prices: ON 99.95 Producer: Vodopivec
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Vodopivec Vitovskatext
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Vodopivec Vitovska 2017

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyPaolo Vodopivec owns this organically and biodynamically farmed Carso estate, on the border with Slovenia, and just north of Trieste.  Vodopivec (vo-do-pee-vetz), works solely with the Vitovska grape, and knows it intimately. Only 50 hectares of Vitovska currently exist in Carso, and 6 hectares are owned by the brothers on their limestone plateau estate. Vodopivec, inspired by the wines of Gravner, uses amphorae to age many of his wines. From a vineyard at 260m, and rocky, limestone soils high in iron and magnesium, the destemmed Vitovska grapes are crushed and native fermented in Georgian Anfora, and in contact with the skins for six months, plunged several times a day. The wine then matured for 24 months in large 3000L Slavonian oak barrels prior to bottling without fining or filtration. This pours a shining gold hue, with a powerful nose of apricot, pear, apricot fuzz, white peach, and ash, with a fine elderflower perfume that lingers throughout. There's more generosity to the textural palate than the stricter 2016, yet this is held lean at 12.5%. The whole is gripped with a chalky limestone hand, shaping this wine until the lingering finish. Intriguing, and moreish, this singular wine is drinking beautifully now, and with time ahead.Prices: ON 81.95 Producer: Vodopivec
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Vodopivec Vitovskatext
92PTS

Vodopivec Vitovska 2016

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyPaolo Vodopivec owns this organically and biodynamically farmed Carso estate, on the border with Slovenia, and just north of Trieste.  Vodopivec (vo-do-pee-vetz), works solely with the Vitovska grape, and knows it intimately. Only 50 hectares of Vitovska currently exist in Carso, and 6 hectares are owned by the brothers on their limestone plateau estate. Vodopivec, inspired by the wines of Gravner, uses amphorae to age many of his wines. From a vineyard at 260m, and rocky, limestone soils high in iron and magnesium, the destemmed Vitovska grapes are crushed and native fermented in Georgian Anfora, and in contact with the skins for six months, plunged several times a day. The wine then matured for 24 months in large 3000L Slavonian oak barrels prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Pouring a shining yellow / light gold, this textural orange teems with apricot skin, pear skin, ash, along a tightly grippy palate, all imbued with a chalky, rocky minerality. The finish is lingering with more chalk and a limestone buzz. Not about the fruit at all, and entirely of the place, this striking wine will age beautifully.Prices: ON 81.95 Producer: Vodopivec
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08 June 2021

Domaine Chasselay Beaujolais is Not Deadtext
90PTS

Domaine Chasselay Beaujolais is Not Dead 2020

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. From calcareous clay soils and vines 45+ years in the lieu dit Les Grandes Terres, this gamay was carbonically macerated, native fermented in concrete, and bottled in early 2021. The siblings wanted to do something friendly and approachable, without pretense, and entirely smashable. Fresh and bright with wild strawberries, fragrant raspberries, on a juicy, lighter palate. Tannins are slight, and acidity is lofted and shining, easily carrying this joyous red to a lingering finish. Charming and moreish and smashable, as intended. Bojo is most certainly not deadPrices: ON 25.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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Famille Chasselay Je T’aime Mais J’ai Soiftext
89PTS

Famille Chasselay Je T’aime Mais J’ai Soif NV

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. I Love You But I’m Thirsty is a Vin de France, blending a couple of vintages, and entirely carbonic. The grapes come from the lieu-dit of Rouvières, and 60+ year old vines in calcareous clay soils. It was aged briefly in stainless, and bottled the following spring. Young and fresh and fun, with crunchy plum, raspberry, wild strawberry flooding a juicy, mineral palate. There’s a crunchy, shining acidity, and fine, soft tannins, upping the smashable factor. Fun and delicious, especially with a light chillPrices: ON 25.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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Famille Chasselay Morgon Corcelettetext
92PTS

Famille Chasselay Morgon Corcelette 2019

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. This comes from the famed Morgon plot of Corcelette, and certified organic 70+ year old vines rooted in its decomposed granite, stony soils at 460m. This was native fermented, 80% destemmed, and with 2 weeks on skins prior to one year in wood. Beauty wild plum, wild blackberry, fragrant violets flood the finessed palate, structured via long, slender tannins, and seasoned with mineral salts. The lengthy finish entices and buzzes with that granitic grip. Structure for aging, yet drinking beautifully nowPrices: ON 35.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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Famille Chasselay Moulin-à-Vent Le Bieftext
89PTS

Famille Chasselay Moulin-à-Vent Le Bief 2019

Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. This comes from a small plot, Le Bief, and was native fermented, 80% destemmed, on skins for two weeks prior to one years’ aging in barrel. The partial carbonic is noticeable up front here, with an herbal, green edge to the bright cherry, red currant, wild raspberry fruit. Tannins are long and lightly sticky, and acidity is bright and crunchy. Take this youthful wine with a chillPrices: ON 35.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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Famille Chasselay Brouilly Les Balloquetstext
92PTS

Famille Chasselay Brouilly Les Balloquets 2018

Brouilly, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. This comes from a 0.69 ha plot named Les Balloquets, in d’Odenas’ shallow granite soils, and vines 45 years average age. This was native fermented and macerated for 2 weeks in concrete vats before 7 months’ rest in oak barrels. Fragrant plum, wild blueberry, iris float through this graceful wine, with fine, firm tannins etching the sides, carrying this to a humming granite, pink peppercorn dusted finish. Lovely.Prices: ON 35.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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Famille Chasselay Fleurie IIItext
90PTS

Famille Chasselay Fleurie III 2019

Fleurie, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe Chasselay family can trace their lineage in the village of Chatillon d'Azergues, in southern Bojo’s Pierres Dorees, back to 1418. The region, the land of the golden stones, is named for the local ochre-hued limestone, traditionally quarried for buildings. Fabien Chasselay, his sister Claire, and their father Jean-Gilles have farmed their 15 acres in the Pierres Dorees organically since 2000, with the average vine age of 55 years. This Fleurie comes from three tiny plots: Chapelle des Bois, Champagne, and Levratière, hence the III in the name. Some of the vines are 115 years old here. This was 80% destemmed, and native fermented on skins for 15 days before one year in barrels. Floral and perfumed, with red florals, cherry blossoms, and fragrant plum on a medium, finely textured palate. Tannins are long and lithe, and acidity is crunchy. The finish lingers with a granitic hum. Quite charmingPrices: ON 35.95 Producer: Famille Chasselay
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07 June 2021

Sperling Vineyards Amber Pinot Gris Organictext
88PTS

Sperling Vineyards Amber Pinot Gris Organic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis singular orange pinot gris comes off Ann Sperling's certified organic/biodynamic vineyard in East Kelowna, belonging to her family since 1925. Pouring a very cloudy dark peach hue, this was a whole bunch, native fermented to dryness and pressed after setting. This went to bottle sans fining, filtration, or sulphuring. This is the pure essence of the grape, if you will, stripped down to the bones, and allowed to fill itself in. Grippy apricot, peach pit, fragrant white peach, bitter kumquat fill the textural frame, stencilled by the time on skins, and rinsed with bergamot tea and VA on the finish. Singular, indeed.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Fort Berens Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2020

British Columbia, CanadaWhile they wait for their Lillooet vineyard to mature, Fort Berens continues to source fruit from around the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys for their wines. The 2020 PG takes grapes off their estate Dry Creek Vineyard, one in West Kelowna, and one in Lytton. All were whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in stainless, where it remained until bottling. Crisp and lean, with pear, melon, green apple, and crunchy Asian pear on a bright, zesty grapefruit palate. Enjoy this fresh white this summer, as intended.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Glamour Farming Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Glamour Farming Pinot Gris 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI don't want to complicate this can of wine, but the juice is terrific and more than you might imagine you would find in a can. It's bright, refreshing, and when chilled, eminently quaffable. Beach salmon bake, anyone?Prices: BC 32.00 250 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Rathjen Cellars Pinot Gristext
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Rathjen Cellars Pinot Gris 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaOne of Rathjen’s Flagship series, this is sealed under cork and white wax. From the sloping clay silty loams of Cowichan’s Saison Vineyard, this dry-farmed, clone 53 pinot gris was whole-cluster pressed and native fermented in neutral oak, where it spent 10 months on lees without bâtonnage, and with full MLF, before light filtration and bottling. Understated and alluringly so, with a savoury wild herb undercurrent carrying bosc pear, green apple, subtle meadow flower along a lees-bedded, creamy, textural palate. As with 2018, this remarkable salinity runs through this marine-fresh wine, lingering on the moreish finish. Distinctively Wine Islands.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Rathjen Cellars
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The Vibrant Vine Pinot Grigiotext
86PTS

The Vibrant Vine Pinot Grigio 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWow. If you were a hippy in the past, or present, you should totally try this wine, man, and use the provided branded 3D glasses to experience a whole new wine world. The hand-applied bottle skin is quite unique, and colourful. The grapes come from an East Kelowna vineyard. Tart, lean, and skinny with green apple, lemon, lemongrass, this is a dry and crisp gris, very much in the grigio style, and certainly reflective of the cooler northern Okanagan. Drink now, with 3D glasses on, to best effect.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: The Vibrant Vine
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Foxly Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Foxly Pinot Gris 2020

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. From two Summerland vineyards, this was fermented and aged in stainless for a quick 4 months. Tight and cool with crunchy pear, green apple, green melon, and grapefruit rind on a compact, grigio-esque palate. Drinking best now, while young and bright.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Gristext
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom various Naramata vineyards, this gris was whole-cluster pressed and cool-fermented in stainless until the desired off-dry sweetness was reached. Juicy pear, yellow and green apple is laced with a bright grapefruit peel/pith, and lined with a fine bed of lees, sweetened on the finish by that bump of RS. A friendly and welcoming gris, typifying Naramata.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSwitchback Pinot Gris is a special wine of place sourced from Haywire's certified organic home vineyard in Summerland. It was whole-bunch-pressed and native fermented in concrete, where it underwent full MLF and then remained on lees for 10-months before bottling unfiltered. Desert pear, yellow apple, elderflower floods a juicy, creamy palate, seasoned with dried sage. Acidity is gentle, the texture is ample, and the finish is long. It's drinking well now and benefitting from time in bottle, like all winemaker Matt Dumayne's wines.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Haywire Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith estate gris from their Oliver and Summerland vineyards, this wine was pressed and native fermented in concrete, stainless steel, and oak foudre, where it remained on lees for six months before bottling. Okanagan bright and crisp, with crunchy pear, honey crisp apple, lemon peel, and white peach-scented with a desert scrub note. Lovely harmony in this 'entry' white label wine for Haywire. There is nothing entry about this, benefiting from another year in bottle.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Invivo Michelle's Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Invivo Michelle's Pinot Gris 2017

Central Otago, South Island, New ZealandFrom Central Otago's Gibbston Valley and Monterosa vineyard, this was late picked, native fermented in neutral oak, where it remained on lees. In the Alsatian style, Ripe and rich with honeyed pear, baked white peach, dusted with ample gingery spice, and with the oily palate livened with lime zest. Certainly worthy of pairing with richer, buttery fishes or pasta.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Invivo Wines
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Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadigetext
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Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2020

Valdadige, Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyYes, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is the greatest selling grigio on the planet, and yes, they sell countless millions of bottles, and yes, as such, it has a reputation of being a little bit basic. That's why it's the number one selling grigio on the planet. From 150 - 300m in the Valle dell'Adige, this was cool-fermented in stainless, where it remained for a short time before bottling. 2020 is still fresh and bright with lemon, green apple, subtle almond blossoms on a shorter palate, smoothed out with a layer of lees. Simple and light, as needed. No idea why this isn't under screwcap, but I hope that's the next move in itsevolution.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Santa Margherita S.P.A.
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaClos du Soleil is going from strength to strength with the 2020 vintage. This pinot gris is from Whispered Secret Vineyard in Keremeos, and was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel barrels and tanks as well as French oak puncheons. Like the winery's other 2020 releases to date, this shows exceptional purity of fruit, and was bottled after three months on its lees to retain bright, youthful fruit with white peach skin and orchard blossom aromatics. But it's just as much about texture as it is fruit, with a pithy, precise palate that shows noticeable dry extract. Bone dry and crisp, this will be incredibly versatile at the dinner table.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOkanagan Crush Pad is surrounded by Switchback Vineyard, a biodynamically farmed site just beginning to hit its stride. This is wild fermented and aged in concrete tanks for ten months, spending time on its gross lees, forming creamy textures and going through a full malolactic fermentation. The colour is Alsace gold, but the palate is Okanagan fresh, and the intensity is too. Minerals and desert scrub grass, sagebrush, and honey end with a super fresh finish. An intriguing pinot gris that has the structure to be on the dinner table.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Pinot Gristext
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Organic Pinot Gris is tipped with 9% pinot blanc, the former from Vispering Vines vineyard in Okanagan Falls and the latter from Serwa Family vineyard in Lake Country. This was destemmed and fermented in stainless, where it remained for a short time on lees. Crisp and lean with Asian pear, green apple, lemon, hedge on a crunchy palate, with the high acid evened out with a bump of RS. More grigio than gris, take this lean white with lightly spiced Thai or Japanese veg dishes.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Keremeos' Whispered Secret Vineyard, on the south side of the Similkameen, this pinot gris was whole-cluster-pressed and fermented in a mix of stainless barrels, tanks, and French puncheons for over one month before giving the wine an additional three months ageing on lees before bottling. Fruit forward with white peach, pear, and white grapefruit, seasoned with desert sage and a light dusting of nutmeg on the finish. Very harmonious and ideal for cracking now with halibut or summer salads.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Mayhem Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Mayhem Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMayhem is a sibling label, with Terry Meyer Stone of Anarchist Mountain partnering with JAK Meyer of Meyer Family Vineyards. For this fun new project - cans - they've sourced pinot gris from a contract Naramata Vineyard. It is whole-bunch-pressed, fermented and rested on its lees in stainless for three months. Crisp and dry with melon, Asian pear, yellow apple on a short, somewhat sour palate, finishing briefly. It suits its purpose for a pocket-ready white for this summer.Prices: BC 6.09 250 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrganic pinot gris from Whispered Secret Vineyard in Keremeos is fermented in stainless steel barrels, tanks, and French oak puncheons. Like other Similkameen 2020s, it has a presence in the bottle that is almost unnerving. There is a complexity and layers of flavours you don’t normally associate with pinot gris. Texture, precision, power, and finesse. It is only a pinot gris, but what the heck? It is a good one. The finish is dry and crisp with a twist of lime pith. Serve with raw or lightly cooked shellfish, and raw or barely cooked tomato dishes or fresh goat cheese. Love the price.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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J. M. Sohler Grand Cru Winzenberg Pinot Gristext
90PTS

J. M. Sohler Grand Cru Winzenberg Pinot Gris 2019

Alsace, FranceWinzenberg Grand Cru rests between 240-320m, south and south-east facing, on pink granite soils laced with mica and feldspar. Fragrant pear blossom, yellow apple blossom floods the off-dry palate, layered with honey, ripe melon, and ripe pear along the streamlined, medium-bodied palate. Lovely intensity for the body, this drinks beautifully solo or with food.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: J. M. Sohler
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Pinot Gristext
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA fruit-forward, off-dry pinot gris that's still reasonably refreshing thanks to crisp acidity and a hint of effervescence. The fruit character is fairly confected, with pear drop and candied lemon peel notes, that sit on a light, 12.5% abv frame. A bit short and bitter on the finish. Certified organic.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Fort Berens Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2020

British Columbia, CanadaFort Berens is patiently converting its labels, where possible, to all estate fruit or the new BC VQA Lillooet sub-GI. In 2020, an excellent but short vintage was a mix of 39% estate grown grapes, 8% from Winches Spur Vineyard in Lytton, and 53% from vineyards in West Kelowna. The style is dry and crisp, with more citrus and melon tones before the grapefruit kicks in. Clams and mussels are the matches.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Gristext
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tightrope Pinot Gris is a blend of mid-Okanagan vineyards around the Naramata Bench. The style is just off-dry with a juicy pear and honeyed palate, with a fresh citrus undercarriage. The style is clean and easy to sip, perfect for warm summer weather. You can serve this solo, or if need be, it can take on a spicy tuna roll or some fresh cream cheese.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadigetext
87PTS

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2020

Valdadige, Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyA simple and correct pinot grigio, this has become the go-to-sipper for many thanks to its dependably light, easy-drinking style. It's dry and crisp, proving that you don't need a heaping tablespoon of residual sugar to sell millions of cases, with soft pear, lemon, and almond notes that are true to the variety. Solid, but pricey.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Santa Margherita S.P.A.
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Phantom Creek Estates Pinot Gristext
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Phantom Creek Estates Pinot Gris 2018

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere are Alsace clones and an Alsace style. Still, mostly those are only words in the New World unless Olivier Humbrecht, the legendary Alsace winemaker and biodynamic guru happens to be the consulting winemaker (his only consultation outside his estate in Alsace). There is nothing showy about the wine, but rather it is all nuance and innuendo, mixing mostly tart fruit flavours, desert scrub, and sagebrush with a lime peel finish. Complex and persistent, this is a wine for thinkers and drinkers. It is painstakingly fermented over four months to dryness using only indigenous yeasts. Alsatian in style, and yes, a bit spicy, 40 percent is aged in traditional foudres for ten months, adding more layers of texture and richness while the remainder is held fresh in stainless steel. It is a new benchmark for pinot gris in BC and gives me hope for the many hectares of pinot gris vines to reach a higher goal.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Foxly Pinot Gristext
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Foxly Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is quite a perfumed, estery pinot gris from two vineyards in Summerland, led by soft pear, stone fruits, and honeysuckle. It's made in a crisp, refreshing style, buoyed by a light effervescence, with four months in stainless steel before bottling. Fairly restrained, with some creaminess to the midpalate, enjoy this summer with light appetizers.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Liquidity Pinot Gristext
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Liquidity Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit for this pinot gris was sourced from Liquidity's Allendale and Lusitano vineyards, as well as the Black Sage Bench. Each lot was fermented separately at a range of temperatures, predominantly in stainless steel, with 20 percent fermented in neutral French barriques with daily bâtonnage. The wine hints at some cool fermentation temperatures, with honeyed peach and pear fruit at the foreground atop pillowy lees. There's surprising weight and breadth to the palate, with an impression of being just off-dry even at three grams per litre residual sugar. Drink now with summer salads topped with grilled chicken or salmon.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Hillside Un-oaked Pinot Gristext
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Hillside Un-oaked Pinot Gris 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAnother perfectly ripe 2020 to enjoy from the winemaker, this, like last year, is fresh and mostly dry with pink grapefruit, apples ,and peach. A tiny bit of colour adds to its allure and takes you down the Provence path. It is the perfect luncheon wine or day drinking patio sipper, to be served with any of your favourite noshes. Terrific value too.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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Mayhem Pinot Gristext
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Mayhem Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Mayhem PG comes in 250ml cans just for fun which is what siblings Terry Meyer Stone (of Anarchist Mountain Vineyards) and JAK Meyer (of Meyer Family Vineyards) shared brand is all about. The fruit comes out of Naramata, and it's lees aged for three months. The style is lean and fresh with simple, short orchard fruit made to top off a snack on a mountain trail hike or an early afternoon summer potato salad and crab cake lunch. Sold in 12-packs for $72.08Prices: BC 6.09 250 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Modest Wines No. 4 Orangetext
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Modest Wines No. 4 Orange 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaModest Wines is a new, stand alone line from the folks at Mt Boucherie, spearheaded by new GM Jesse Harnden (ex of Hatch Wines). You can see and feel Jesse's thumbprint all over these eye catching, palate-stretching, contract-vineyard wines, especially for those used to the classic, staid, Mt. Boucherie style. No 4 Orange refers to the 4 classic grapes of Alsace, one of which they will utilize each year to make their orange wine. 2020 is pinot gris, grown in the Similkameen Valley's Lazy River Vineyard, native fermented whole berry in stainless, with 121 days there on skins. You can see it in the deep peach hue, and feel it with the ample, grippy, drying tannins bracing this wine from front through finish. Peach fuzz, apricot pit, bitter bergamot tea leaves rule, allowing a slender stream of bone dry apricot / pear to sneak through on the medium bodied palate. I think this has been the most tannic orange wine I've tasted to date, and that's saying something. Quite extreme.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Roche Pinot Gris Texturetext
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Roche Pinot Gris Texture 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNaramata's west-facing Kozier Organic Vineyard is the fruit source that spent four months in stainless steel on its fine lees. The texture is a much fresher version when compared with the 2018 regular version. The nose is a mix of grapefruit, lemon, and lime pith with a lining of savoury pine and sagebrush that adds several layers to the refined textures of this wine. A perfect amount of complexity and balance that lets you enjoy this at the table or solo on a lounge chair.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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Averill Creek Somenos Pinot Gristext
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Averill Creek Somenos Pinot Gris 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada2018 was winemaker Brent Rowland's inaugural vintage with Cowichan's Averill Creek, and he made his mark quickly. This striking pinot gris comes from a very exposed part of the vineyard, with stony gravels interspersed with sandy loams. There is a little bit of botrytised fruit in here, adding a subtle savoury note. After foot stomping and leaving on skins overnight, this was whole bunch pressed, and native fermented in a mix of old oak barrels (85%), 1 year old barrels (10%) and new wood (5%). The wine remained there for 18 months on lees with no bâtonnage. Brent says that pinot gris on the island behaves a lot like chardonnay, and I see what he means in this wine. Pear, quince, subtle orange and threads of honeysuckle are woven throughout this wine, textured with fine spicing, and finishing with a lingering salinity. Very moreish. Well done.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Pinot Gris 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere's no shortage of fruit to this pinot gris, and it should appeal broadly. Fruit salad-like, it's led by juicy peach and lifted by white floral aromatics and some lees character. The palate is pleasantly off-dry, with just enough acidity to keep things crisp. Clean, correct, and fairly priced. Serve well chilled.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Dirty Laundry
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Foxly Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Foxly Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Foxly gris comes from two vineyards in Summerland split 90/10 between Thurn Vineyard and Savard Vineyard. Almost all free-run juice is fermented separately and aged in stainless steel before being blended after four months. Look for an open, yellow fruit nose with hints of citrus and honeysuckle. Lime rind and melon dominate a lean white wine with a touch of spice and a fresh demeanour on the palate. Reminiscent of the northern Italian style. Ready to drink. The winery suggests you serve it with smoked salmon pasta with a light cream sauce.Prices: BC 20.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Spearhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
89PTS

Spearhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGolden Retreat Vineyard is in Summerland, and like Naramata and perhaps the Similkameen, these are the star sites for pinot gris. Winemaker Grant Stanley prefers the tighter, sleeker style of gris, although I find this wine very accommodating in 2020 with its ripe citrus touched with honey and lees. It is all hand harvested, and whole bunch pressed, and only ten percent of the fruit is fermented in two year old French oak barrels adding a touch of texture and weight to the mix. In fact, in 2021, most of the heft comes from very ripe orchard fruits, giving it a somewhat juicy tropical front end balanced off by a mineral finish. A good year for gris, and this one over-delivers. Perfect for richer seafood dishes this year. Super value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Kitsch Pinot Gristext
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Kitsch Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTight and lean, the Kitsch Gris opens with an orchard fruit nose and palate. Peaches, pears, lime peel mix with grapefruit and a touch of honey to take you on a linear path from front to back. Dry and ready for food, it is a nice step above the norm in interest. Now, if we could inject some complexity, it would tell a story. Ready to drink and perfect for summer dinners of grilled chicken and freshly shucked corn.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Kitsch Wines
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04 June 2021

Espera NAT'Cool!text
89PTS

Espera NAT'Cool! 2020

Lisboa, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalOne of the growing global, Niepoort-led NAT'Cool! wines, this castelão is from 2 vineyards and the clay and limestone soils of Lisboa. This was entirely whole cluster, all in stainless (their only that sees only stainless steel). Pale crimson in the glass, this charms with wild raspberry, wild cherry, plum, candle wax, with a rasp of pink peppercorn. Tannins are slight, and sticky, hugging this lighter red to a lingering finish. Lovely pure expression of the grape, and one suited to a light chill and a patio. Only 3300 bottles made.Prices: Producer: Espera
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Espera Castelãotext
87PTS

Espera Castelão 2018

PortugalFrom the Atlantic-influenced clay and limestone soils of Lisboa, this castelão is bright and marine-fresh, with fragrant raspberries, scrubby rockrose, boysenberry and subtle purple flowers on a slight, shorter, peppery palate. Tannins are slight and downy. Best with a light chill.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Espera
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Convento da Glória Tinta Roriztext
86PTS

Convento da Glória Tinta Roriz 2018

PortugalFrom south western Portugal's Lisboa region, this is a plump, full, soft tinta roriz, (aka aragonês). The plush palate holds ripe plum / prune, sweet blackberry, anise, gripped with powdery tannins, to a shorter finish. Kind of a dumbed down, tricked up version of this lovely grape, which is a shame. Crack with grilled ribs.Prices: BC 14.95 AB 14.99 Producer: Caves da Montanha
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Oscar's Quevedo Redtext
87PTS

Oscar's Quevedo Red 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalQuevedo is part of a new generation of small family wineries based in the Douro that have been growing grapes for many years and making Port wine for merchants based in Vila Nova de Gaia. Quevedo cultivates 100 hectares of vineyards across six Douro Valley properties in the Cima Corgo and the Douro Superior. It is an uncomplicated easy-drinking red to wind up the week at an informal block barbecue. The blend is 45/42/13 touriga franca, touriga nacional, and tinta roriz. It presents fresh black fruit with florals, and spends about six months in wood to help soften and broaden the palate. Another value for money red in a food friendly style, and rarely not made in the New World.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Vinhos Oscar Quevedo
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Quinta do Vallado Douro Vinho Tintotext
89PTS

Quinta do Vallado Douro Vinho Tinto 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis is a field blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Sousão, with 80% of the grapes coming from vineyards planted in the 1990's, and 20% from vineyards 60 to 100 years old. Grapes are destemmed and fermented over one week in stainless before resting for 16 months in a mix of 70% stainless and 30% in 225L used French barrels. Brooding dark plums, wild blackberries, dark cherries, downy violet flood the textural palate, threaded with a schistous line, and framed with long, finely tuggy tannins. Acidity is driving this through the finish, spiced with a dried herbal scrub. Drinking well now, especially with roast pork or lamb.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Quinta do Vallado
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Grão Vasco Tintotext
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Grão Vasco Tinto 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalGrão Vasco is a 39/38/12/11 mix of tinta roriz, touriga nacional, alfrocheiro, jaen that is pinot noir-like light and fresh. It opens with fragrant, spicy, leathery flavours with plenty of acidity that makes it very food-friendly. The Grão Vasco wines are named after Portuguese Renaissance painter Vasco Fernandes (1480 - 1543), and his famed portrait of St. Peter is featured on the label. Expect a gentle affordable red with cherry and plum and light soft tannins. The 2019 vintage in the Dão was unusually dry, but timely rain at the end of the growing cycle helped the vines to the finish line. The fruit is purchased from trusted growers and vinified at the state-of-the-art Quinta dos Carvalhais winery.Prices: BC 8.99 SK 12.95 ON 8.20 MB 9.86 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Vila Regia Tintatext
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Vila Regia Tinta 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalVila Regia sees no wood throughout the fermentation and ageing period. The blend is a classic mix of touriga nacional, tinta roriz, tinta barroca, and touriga franca. It is Euro dry with more red fruits than black, and plenty of balancing acidity. The palate is a cherry, leather, cedar affair, best served with grilled pork to break down the tannins and broaden the wine. Good value for money here if you are willing to explore a different style.Prices: BC 9.99 MB 8.45 ON 7.95 QC 9.95 SK 10.95 NF 9.87 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Quinta do Vallado Douro Vinho Tintotext
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Quinta do Vallado Douro Vinho Tinto 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalA classic Portuguese field blend, mixing touriga franca, touriga nacional, tinta roriz, and sousão. Twenty percent of the mix has been growing for more than 100 years, with the remainder replanted in 1990. There is nothing shy about this wine, although, for all its weight and colour, the rich blackberry, black plums, and black cherries have a rift of minerals and violets throughout that keep it fresh and lively. Add some savoury scrub notes, and you have a very enjoyable and complex red wine that will easily age a decade and beyond. For now, grilled lamb chops or a pork roast will tame the tannins and serve the wine well.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Quinta do Vallado
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03 June 2021

Paco & Lola Prime Albariñotext
90PTS

Paco & Lola Prime Albariño 2018

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainPrime is a limited-edition albariño from the Val do Salnés subregion of Rías Baixas, produced from the free run must of their oldest vineyards, growing on sandy granitic loams. After a stainless ferment over 3 weeks, this remained on lees with weekly bâtonnage for 6 months, and then another 6 months without touching prior to bottling. Yellow apple, pear, quince custard, tangerine takes the full, fruit-forward, lightly honeyed palate, seasoned with broken stones and peach pit, and finishing with a lingering granitic hum.Prices: Producer: Paco & Lola
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La Caña Albariñotext
90PTS

La Caña Albariño 2020

Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainFrom the Salnés Valley subregion of Rías Baixas, this organic, dry-farmed albariño comes off vineyards planted from 1962 to 1984 on the region's granitic sands. The grapes were cold-soaked for 12 hours and a mix of destemmed and whole cluster fruit. This was fermented in 500L & 600L puncheons and demi-muids (35%), with the remainder in stainless steel, aged sur lie for 8 months with biweekly bâttonage. Ripe white peach, pear, lime pith flood the juicy palate, seasoned with peach pit, apricot fuzz, and a kiss of anise on the lingering finish. The granitic grip is welcome and alluring, welcoming sip after sip. Well done, and a lovely example of the grape in this special place. This is sealed with a recyclable plastic Normacorc.Prices: Spain 18.00 Producer: Jorge Ordoñez Selections
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Abellio Albarinotext
88PTS

Abellio Albarino 2019

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainAbellio sits in the Salnes Valley, the prized subregion of Rias Baixas, and this albariño comes from vines seven to twenty years old, rooted in granitic clays and sands. This was fermented and aged in stainless to preserve the bright fruit, which it has accomplished well. Guava, green pear, grapefruit, apricot, custard floods a juicy palate, smartly gripped by that distinctive gravel hum, and finishing with a bitter almond bite.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Rectoral do Umia
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Play Spotlight Sémillontext
87PTS

Play Spotlight Sémillon 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Wild Horse Estate Vineyard, this sémillon was whole bunch pressed, with 56% barrel aged and the remainder in stainless barrels, all with regular bâtonnage for 6 months. The wood is upfront and present, overruling the fruit at first, but as this warms up, ripe pear, peach, yellow apple emerge, along with fine spice and a slight sheen of waxiness on the lean palate, along with a puff of sulphur. A solid, if safer sém.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot blanc is a winner year in and year out, and 2020 is no different. From Middle Bench Vineyard in Keremeos, this vintage shows a notch more ripeness, fruit intensity, and aromatics than I recall from recent vintages, with nectarine and a slight tropicality. But it's still restrained and lively with green apple and citrus notes that are classic to the variety. Medium-bodied and textural, this stands out for its purity of fruit, with remarkable freshness (and just 12.4% abv) as well as a clean, saline finish. Recommended and a steal at this price.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaKeremeos' Middle Bench Vineyard, in Similkameen, yields this fruit-forward pinot blanc. This was whole cluster pressed and cool fermented in stainless, where it rested until the following March on lees. Crunchy Asian pear, green apple, gooseberry, grapefruit, green hedge, and underripe pear rule the snappy palate, with brisk, frisky acidity and seasoned with pithy citrus fruit through the lingering finish. Reminiscent of sauvignon blanc this year.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Fort Berens Grüner Veltlinertext
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Fort Berens Grüner Veltliner 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThis grüner veltliner comes off Bordertown Vineyard, in Osoyoos, and is in wait of their estate crop of GV, due for the 2021 or 2022 vintage. This ripe, creamy view was whole cluster pressed, and cold fermented, and you can taste it: the clinically cool ferment up against the Southern Okanagan's sun-ripeness. The result is a bit jarring, with angular unripe pear, crab apple, asparagus buffered with a creamy mid-palate, and finishing with a sour crab apple note. Looking forward to a less-manipulated turn from their estate fruit in a year or two.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Covert Farms Pinot Blanctext
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Covert Farms Pinot Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCoyote Block was planted in 2006 over glaciofluvial sedimentary soil at an elevation 415-420m above sea level. It is regeneratively farmed and certified organic and was harvested at 23 Brix on Oct 23. The fermentation is 90/10 stainless steel and neutral oak, and it is all aged sur lie. After a few fits and starts, the growing season finished dry and warm and is considered one of the best of all time. Expect riper, yellow fruit with sweet melon and pear and the richness to stand up to spicier dishes. More chardonnay-like in 2020.Prices: BC 20.70 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMiddle Bench Vineyard is located at Keremeos, in the Similkameen Valley. It is a spectacular stony, south sloping vineyard farmed organically to reveal an authentic sense of place. The nose is an uplifting affair of tropical fruits, including nectarines, limes, and melon. Ripe yet crunchy, you can savour the pear, peach and nectarine that feel as if they were squeezed into the finished wine. Dusty, stony mineral-stained flavours mark the finish. Delicious and ready for most any west coast seafood dish or a creamy piece of cheese.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Fort Berens Grüner Veltlinertext
88PTS

Fort Berens Grüner Veltliner 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThis grüner veltliner comes out of the southern Okanagan at Bordertown Vineyard, from the super warm Osoyoos region. That said, FB has done a decent job of giving the wine a hint of the lean, spare coolness of Grüner while fighting off the ripe, warm flavours of the South Okanagan. The attack is medium rich and but there is a touch of minerality and desert scrub throughout its creamy, soft, pear palate. Traditional Grüner fans will want a more pointy end to this wine, but many will like it just how it is. There will be a Lillooet version in time, so keep the faith. Love the price.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Play Spotlight Sémillontext
87PTS

Play Spotlight Sémillon 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is correct if a bit quiet with grass and honey lightly wafting from the glass. The attack is medium ripe with peach and pear that flattens out the mid-palate before a touch of leanness brings it back on track. Ready to drink but could hold through 2022. A solid, if safer sém. The fruit is all off Wild Horse Estate Vineyard, just above the Penticton airport on the west side of town. It is whole bunch pressed and aged in a 56/44 mix of barrels and stainless steel tanks regularly stirred for six months.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanctext
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Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaChip Off the Old Block comes from cuttings off the original old vine 1968 plantings. Lemon verbena, green apple, fresh almond, lemon pith flood the creamy palate, with a sheen of that characteristic chenin waxiness. The finish is a bit bitter green and tight, and then lingering with parmesan cheese, which offsets some of the charming characters earlier on, and perhaps reflective of the early pick / youthful grapes. Regardless, this Chip is on the right track, and will be one to watch.Prices: BC 16.97 Producer: Road 13
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Bermejos Malvasía Volcánica Secotext
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Bermejos Malvasía Volcánica Seco 2020

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 Malvasia Volcánica, a cross between Malvasia Aromatica and Marmajuelo, the latter of which is indigenous to the Canaries. The vines were not affected by phylloxera. This was fermented in steel, where it remained on skins until bottling. Wild and bright, struck by a streak of flinty reduction that draws subtle quince, green fig, white peach, wildflowers, salted dried herbs, crushed stone along a slender palate, finishing with a marine rinse. There's a lovely purity to this wine, though it's not of fruit. Would be beauty with any kind of white fish / shellfish dish, or use to partner with tricky asparagus or artichoke dishes. Impressive.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Bodegas Los Bermejos
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Quails' Gate Chenin Blanctext
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Quails' Gate Chenin Blanc 2020

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis chenin blanc incorporates small dollops of viognier and sauvignon blanc, with short aging in mostly stainless steel. It shows crunchy yellow orchard fruit, white flowers, and citrusy freshness in a bright, racy style. Dry, clean, and refreshing, with just a bit of midpalate roundness, this is a fantastic food wine to pair with apple feta spinach salad.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 22.99 SK 23.79 MB 20.99 ON 23.00 QC 20.05 NS 23.00 PEI 23.19 NB 23.99 NF 23.00 YK 21.05 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Granbazan Ambartext
90PTS

Granbazan Ambar 2019

Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainGranbazan's 13.5 Ha vineyard is located in Vilanova de Arousa, one of the villages in the Val do Salnés, an area prized for its exceptional albariño, and the largest of the subregions of Rías Baixas. Like most of Salnés, the vines are rooted in granite, planted en parra on granite pergolas about 2 metres above the ground to maximize wind exposure, and decrease humidity. This is the icon bottling of the winery, which you might discern from the tall, historic bottle and label. From older estate vines, this was macerated over 12 hours, and gravity fed into stainless tanks for a cool ferment over 5 weeks, and then remains in the tanks for 8 months on lees. A mid yellow hue, this saline wine leads with subtle aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, custard apple, and river stone across a svelte, granitically buzzing palate.Prices: Spain 16.00 Producer: Granbazan
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Fillaboa Selección Finca Monte Altotext
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Fillaboa Selección Finca Monte Alto 2015

Rías Baixas, Galicia, SpainThis selección comes from the estate's emblematic Monte Alto plot, at 150 m, and with 28 year old vines rooted on the sandy loam soils of the 6.7 hectare site. Only around 10,000 bottles are produced each vintage. This was native fermented in stainless, where it remained for one year on fine lees. Pouring a deep glowing golden hue, reflective of its age, this teems with honeysuckle, ripe white peach, wild mint, fragrant quince, eraser, along a medium bodied, luxuriant palate, still faintly buzzing with a granitic hum. Powerful stuff, drinking beautifully now.Prices: Spain 22.00 Producer: Bodegas Fillaboa
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Tinto Reytext
88PTS

Tinto Rey 2018

Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County, California, United StatesAn unusual California selection I welcome with open arms, Tinto Rey is an 89/11 mix of verdejo/chardonnay fermented in neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel for five months. It would appear the iconic Spanish grape has found a home in Dunnigan Hills. The nose is a savoury green affair with bits of fresh cut apples flecked with lime zest, although the addition of chardonnay and oak unnecessarily fattens the wine, in my opinion. That said, many will love the creamy style and butter notes. Ready to drink and food friendly, the winery suggests serving it with creamy cheeses, spicy shrimp, or a salmon salad.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 19.95 Producer: JL Giguiere
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Narrative Chenin Blanctext
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Narrative Chenin Blanc 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe first Narrative Chenin, this comes from Naramata and a sandy/ loamy/ rocky vineyard spread with Lyre / Scott Henry training. This was native fermented and aged in two concrete eggs where it remained for MLF and 10 months on lees. The concrete and low handling brings a lovely fine textural component that works beautifully up against chenin's electric buzz. Opening with a kiss of flintiness, this moves into white grapefruit peel, lemon pith, green apple on a nervy and bone dry palate, slicked with a fine layer of honeysuckle lees. There's a mouthwatering, crunchy acidity that streaks this across the palate, finishing with a wash of salinity. A beauty; would love to see more chenin like this in the Valley.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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02 June 2021

Coterie of Wildeberg Cabernet Franc Malbectext
89PTS

Coterie of Wildeberg Cabernet Franc Malbec 2018

Coastal Region, South AfricaThe Wildeberg way is sourcing exceptional fruit in Franschhoek and the Coastal Region. From these highly regarded sites, another selection makes up The Coterie. This delicious mix of cabernet franc and malbec is fermented for 20 months yielding dense sweet tannins that bolster the mouthfeel of this impressive red. Black plums and red cherries are all dusted with a light savoury, peppery spice. The mix is 67/33 cabernet franc/malbec that you can hold for two to three years or drink now with lamb chops, meaty pasta dishes, and soft cheeses. The Wildeberg ethos is minimal intervention winemaking, wild ferments, and coarse filtration to expose the site in all its glory. Finally, a high quality label from South Africa makes it to the BCLS stores via English negociant and fine wine purveyor Boutinot.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Wildberg
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Kanonkop Estate Winetext
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Kanonkop Estate Wine 2015

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom vines averaging 26 years of age, and decomposed granite, Hutton and Clovelly soils. This aged 24 months in 225L French barrels (50% new). Pencil shavings, gravels pervade this savoury cabernet, built around a core of black cherry fruit. Tannins are somewhat raggedy but well integrated into the plumped fruit, finishing with a dusting of earthy spice and a flush of heat. Well-handled.Sample tasted at Global Comparative Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon.Prices: AB 80.00 Producer: Kanonkop
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Spier Pinotage Signature Collectiontext
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Spier Pinotage Signature Collection 2019

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaWinemaker Johan Jordaan has sourced this Pinotage from Durbanville and Darling, up the coast from Cape Town and further inland from Paarl. Like the merlot, this is predominantly aged in stainless steel with the use of French oak staves. Twenty percent of the wine is aged in French barriques for 8 to 10 months. It shows soft, lush black fruits accented by raspberry, dried flowers, and subtle, integrated oak. It's richly concentrated without being over-extracted and doesn't have a problem carrying the 14.5% abv as a result. It also means the tannins are nicely balanced with the fruit, though the finish is still tart and disjointed.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 15.99 NB 16.99 Producer: Spier
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Spier Seaward Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Spier Seaward Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom vineyards around the Coastal Region, rooted in its decomposed granite and weathered shales, these cabernet sauvignon grapes began fermentation in stainless, and were racked to barrel after 15 days to complete ferment and rest for 14 months (80% American, 20% French, 2nd and 3rd fill). Soft and plush, with ripe black cherry, blackberry, streaked with wood spicing and wrapped with ample, plush tannins, finishing with pipe tobacco smoke. Best taken as intended, with grilled root veg or beef.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Spier
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Inception Deep Layered Redtext
84PTS

Inception Deep Layered Red 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaThis sweet red may not have as many layers as Christopher Nolan's film of the same name, but you can expect bold, dark fruit that emerges from a backdrop of smoky oak, kind of like the thunderous horns on Hans Zimmer's dissonant soundtrack. Serve well chilled with a flick, or barbecue.Prices: BC 13.99 NF 16.60 NS 15.00 MB 15.00 ON 14.00 SK 16.00 NB 16.00 Producer: Distell Group Limited
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Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaThis wine takes us on a tour of the Western Cape, with fruit sourced from Stellenbosch, Swartland, Darling, Voor-Paardeberg, Botrivier, Wellington, and Paarl. It's oak-forward, with vanillin, coffee, and toast, after aging in a 95/5 combination of French and American oak (35% new). The rich, dark fruit is slightly overshadowed, but comes through on the sweet attack and medium-full bodied frame. This will benefit from a few years in the cellar to soften the firm, grainy tannins and absorb some of the wood.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 19.00 MB 17.95 ON 17.95 QC 17.95 NFL 18.25 Producer: KWV International
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Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon The Winemaster's Reservetext
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Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon The Winemaster's Reserve 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaThis cabernet sauvignon, sourced from across the Western Cape, shows surprising typicity and varietal character, which is a rarity at this price. There's a sense of freshness to the currant and blackberry fruit, which is lifted by tobacco and spicy herbs. It has an honesty to it, with little oak and fully embracing cabernet's inherent (and attractive) greenness. Medium-bodied and structured, this isn't a blockbuster, but it's just about perfect for a midweek barbecue.Prices: BC 13.99 ON 12.10 NS 13.85 NF 16.00 MB 13.50 Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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The Grinder Pinotagetext
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The Grinder Pinotage 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaIf at first, you don't succeed… is the story of the latest Grinder. We have been tough on this wine for years, and while it's hardly a superstar, the intense smoky coffee bean character is gone, the tannins have softened, and the fruit, while still ripe and sweet by dry wine standards, makes this the best-balanced Grinder I have tasted. A barbecue/ hamburger red, you can drink this now. Finished under screwcap.Prices: BC 13.99 AB 14.00 NS 11.61 QC 11.81 Producer: The Grape Grinder
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Spier Seaward Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Spier Seaward Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom vineyards in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, grapes were hand harvested, fermented in stainless steel, and then transfered to used French and American barrels for 14 months. This shows plump black fruits that are bolstered by woody cedar notes and smoky herbs. There's a good amount of both ripeness and extraction, with 14.5% abv and noticeable grip to the tannins, though it doesn't quite fill out to full-bodied. Will do nicely alongside burgers.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Spier
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Spier Merlot Signature Collectiontext
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Spier Merlot Signature Collection 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaFrom vineyards in Swartland, Paarl, Breedekloof, and Stellenbosch, this Western Cape merlot is predominantly aged in stainless steel tanks with the addition of French oak staves. Expect a combination of roasted dark cherry fruit, chocolate, and smoky oak that gives way to a rich but juicy palate. The concentration is above the norm for the price, though the palate isn't entirely seamless with grainy tannins and some tartness to the finish.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Spier
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01 June 2021

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanctext
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Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2017

Tygerberg, Coastal Region, South Africa21 Gabels is the 'serious' chenin from Spier, as you can tell by the weightier bottle and ample oak treatment. This comes from a vineyard high in the hills of Tygerberg, rooted in the decomposed Malmesbury shale of Stellenbosch and 15km from the ocean. 35-year-old vines of dry-farmed chenin were destemmed with 6 hours of skin contact and an overnight settling before a ferment in various sizes of French barrels (60 % new) and an in situ rest on lees for 14 months. Full and forward, led by wood spice and quickly backed by ripe white peach, ripe pear, toasted almond on a medium-bodied creamy palate. There's a bracing white grapefruit acidity that keeps this full-bodied white aloft, marginally. Take now, with butter-drawn dishes.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Spier
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The Wild Olive Old Vines Chenin Blanctext
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The Wild Olive Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaFrom the uber-branding folks behind Grape Grinder, this wine comes from two bush vine planting in Swartland. This was fermented cool in stainless where it remained for 6 months on lees prior to bottling. Crisp pear, green melon, grapefruit rule a slick, sleek palate, finishing with a fleck of stony, saline spicing. A tight, fresh, quick view of South Africa's most important grape.Prices: BC 12.29 Producer: The Grape Grinder
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Bees Knees Chenin Blanc Viogniertext
88PTS

Bees Knees Chenin Blanc Viognier 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaFrom a single vineyard in Mount Rozier, in the Western Cape, this blend of 80% chenin / 20% viognier was fermented and aged on lees for 4 months in stainless. Waxy and fragrant with ripe pear, melon, white peach, honeysuckle on a lees-plumped, medium-bodied palate, sprinkled with light spices. I'd love to see this chenin without the addition of viognier, but it makes for a friendly, fragrant, drink-now white. Crazy value.Prices: BC 12.00 Producer: Journey's End
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Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanctext
90PTS

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2017

Tygerberg, Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom the hills of Tygerberg outside Cape Town, this vineyard is planted to 35 year-old vines that are dry farmed and grown on Malmesbury shale. It's a riper, more powerful style, in contrast to Spier's Signature Chenin Blanc, with baked apple and honeyed tropical fruits. This wine also sees some oak, but it's deftly integrated and not as pronounced as one would expect from 60% new French barriques. Medium-full bodied, it's quite broad and round, but with enough freshness to balance the 14.3% abv. Fourteen months in barrel has given this dry chenin some nutty oxidative development, also apparent with the golden colour, and I would be tempted to enjoy it over the short term.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Spier
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Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanctext
92PTS

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2017

Tygerberg, Coastal Region, South AfricaI make no secret of my devotion to wines made from chenin blanc, but, and it is a big but, chenin crop levels need to be vigorously restricted before exceptional wine can result. That’s exactly what Spier has done with 21 Gables Chenin Blanc. This is oak-aged chenin made from old vines planted 15 kilometres from the coast in Stellenbosch, where cool ocean air has a significant impact on the balance between fruit and acidity, thanks to lengthier hang time. Vines root deeply in ancient shale soils in the Tygerberg hills producing grapes with tremendous concentration and expression that possess a deep golden colour and rich, nutty, buttery oak-derived aromas that combine splendidly with peach and cantaloupe. The wine spends 14 months in French oak barrels, 60% new, with the balance second fill. Spier has added complexity by using a range of casks, from 300 litres to 2,500-litre vessels and a 6-hour skin soak before fermentation. The result is a splendidly complex wine full of creamy oak, tropical fruit lushness, and flecked with salty minerals. Harmonious, mouth-filling, and vivid with succulent natural acidity, this chenin manages to be weighty but without heaviness. You’ll also note a honeyed, herbal perfume, the Cape signature of fynbos, which is a distinctly fragrant heather-like shrub only found on the southern tip of Africa. If ever there were a ‘shrimp on the braai’ wine, this is it, but a smoky pork chop or decadent triple cream cheese will do just as well. The 2016 edition of this wine won the Chenin Blanc Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and this vintage will help you understand why. It's beginning to unfurl and will gain complexity over the next five years or so. Drink lightly chilled and splash into a decanter if you have one handy.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Spier
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Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosétext
87PTS

Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir Signature Collection Rosé 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaOne of the benefits of blending white and red grapes to make a rosé is that you can dial in the colour quite easily, and this pours a trendy pale salmon thanks to the combination of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir. The chardonnay really drives this wine, with bright lemon and green apple that is delicately accented by strawberry. The fruit forward style, with a hint of residual sugar (4 g/L), makes this an easy drinking sipper for the patio that's light and refreshing.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Spier
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The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanctext
86PTS

The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaThis patio sipper from Wellington, a ward of Paarl, shows simple notes of gooseberry and herbs, with moderate alcohol and a pinch of residual sugar (6 g/L) to make it easily enjoyed on its own. You can serve this well chilled, or even with a few ice cubes. Correct and fairly priced for the style.Prices: BC 11.99 ON 10.00 NS 12.00 PEI 13.00 AB 13.00 SK 13.00 MB 12.00 Producer: DGB
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Spier Chenin Blanc Signature Collectiontext
88PTS

Spier Chenin Blanc Signature Collection 2020

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaYear after year, Spier's Chenin Blanc is dependably one of the top value wines you'll find on the shelf. This youthful 2020 vintage shows a whiff of sulphur dioxide upon opening, but that's quick to dissipate. What remains is attractive honeyed orchard fruits and some of chenin's inherent savouriness. Wines at this price point can sometimes be style driven, but this admirably stays true to the variety while still being dry (3 g/L residual sugar), approachable, and ready to pour for just about any occasion.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Spier
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Spier Chenin Blanc Signature Collectiontext
87PTS

Spier Chenin Blanc Signature Collection 2020

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaThis chenin comes from Western Cape's Breede River and Coastal regions, and an obvious mix of soils (alluvial and decomposed granite ruling) and training (including bush vines). This was cool fermented and aged in stainless on lees for 3 months, prior to bottling. Bright and crisp by design, this shows greengage, hedge, Asian pear, gooseberry, crunchy yellow apple on a snappy, brief palate, finishing with some stony spice. A simple snapshot of youthful chenin, and primed for cracking into now.Prices: BC 13.99 Producer: Spier
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Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanctext
85PTS

Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaThis is a simple, citrus-fruited sauvignon blanc, which shows just a hint of passion fruit. It may not be one for the geeks, but if you're looking for a clean, crisp, value-priced white, you can't go wrong here.Prices: BC 10.99 AB 11.00 SK 12.00 MB 11.00 ON 12.00 NB 12.00 NF 13.00 YK 12.45 Producer: Bergkelder, The (Distillers Corporation)
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Boschendal 1685 Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaFruit from Stellenbosch, Elgin Valley, and Boschendal's estate was whole cluster pressed and then fermented, with inoculation occurring after wild yeasts had fermented approximately two Brix of sugar. It then aged for 10 months in a combination of barrel (70% of the blend, 12% new) and stainless steel (30%). This is led by ripe stone fruits that have been tossed in butter and accented by spicy oak. It's a notch fresher than you'd expect from the nose, medium-bodied at 13.5% abv, and the light touch of residual sugar (4 g/L) makes it even more easy drinking.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Boschendal Estate Winery
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Boschendal 1685 Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaBoschendal was founded in 1685, making it one of the oldest and grandest Cape estates. This chardonnay was sourced from Stellenbosch, Elgin, and the Boschendal farm proper in Franschhoek. It was whole bunch pressed and partial native fermented in stainless steel, before 70% was transferred to French oak for 10 months (12% new) maturing on lees. Rich and full with lemon curd, baked green apple, wood spicing on a creamy palate, braced by bright lemon peel acidity. This is a fuller style, well-handled, bringing it towards modernity.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Boschendal Estate Winery
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Two Oceans Pinot Grigiotext
85PTS

Two Oceans Pinot Grigio 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaThis limey, off-dry pinot grigio is crisp and purpose built to be served well chilled. Enjoy on its own, as part of a spritzer, or alongside sushi. Plus, it's two dollars off right now in BC. Beach anyone?Prices: BC 10.99 Producer: Bergkelder, The (Distillers Corporation)
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