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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: August 2021

31 August 2021

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Douro Tintotext
92PTS

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Douro Tinto 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalIllimitado is a soil survey of the schist-driven terroir in the Douro, irregardless of grapes. This year, field blends of grapes from Cotas and Ervedosa do Douro in the Cima Corgo were sourced, with vines between 35 and 60 years, planted in Patamares and large terraces from 400-550m, predominantly on loamy clays and yellow slate. 40% of the grapes were fermented whole cluster in Lagares, foot trodden, with 8-10 days maceration. The remaining 70% fermented whole cluster in stainless tanks, with 20 to 30 days maceration. Both lots aged for 14 months in used French barrels. This is certainly schistous, with a tight stony grip holding ripe plum, wild blackberry, fragrant blueberry, pink peppercorn, and rockrose, with naturally elevated acidity holding all aloft. Tannins are long and firm, framing this to a lingering wet slate finish. Great energy here in this savoury red, drinking very well now and with time ahead.Prices: ON 27.95 BC 36.00 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Pereira Lisboa Tintotext
86PTS

Pereira Lisboa Tinto 2019

Lisboa, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis is a simple red from southern Portugal's Lisboa region, blending touriga nacional, syrah, touriga franca, and tinta roriz. Fleshy and ripe, with ample peppercorns, black cherry, black currant on a short palate. Tannins are pasty / sticky, and the finish is tart. Take with grilled sausages now.Prices: QC 12.95 Producer: Pereira
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Niepoort Diálogo Tintotext
89PTS

Niepoort Diálogo Tinto 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis youthful red may show a (Canadian themed!) comic on the label, but make no mistake, this is a serious wine, from one of the world's top winemakers, Dirk Niepoort. This is a blend of touriga franca, touriga nacional, tinta roriz, tinta amarela from the Cima Corgo's schistous soils, and vines up to 40 years in age. This was native fermented in stainless, and aged in a mix of stainless and oak for 6 months. Youthful and fresh with wild blackberries, tayberries, plum on a stony, schistous palate. Tannins are light and lightly grippy, and acidity is lofted, both carrying this to a subtly saline, rockrose finish. Serious, and smashable; stock up (especially in Ontario - check that price!)Prices: ON 18.95 BC 24.00 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Oscar's Quevedo Redtext
88PTS

Oscar's Quevedo Red 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalQuevedo is a collective of small family wineries based in the Douro, together cultivating 100 hectares of vineyards across six properties in the valley, from the sub-regions of the Cima Corgo and the Douro Superior. Oscar's Red blends touriga franca, touriga nacional, and tinta roriz, with 6 months in wood. Round and cushy, with cassis, black plum, raspberry and rockrose, with a buoyant schistous freshness, and soft, sticky tannins to frame. A smart, accessible red for drinking now with grilled burgers.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Vinhos Oscar Quevedo
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Vila Regia Tintatext
85PTS

Vila Regia Tinta 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis simple, entry Douro red from the colossal Sogrape winery blends the classic Port wine red grapes touriga nacional, tinta roriz, tinta barroca, and touriga franca. Plump and brooding, with roasted meats, grilled plums, unripe blackberries on a tart, shorter palate, framed with pasty, soft tannins. Requires hearty grilled fare to mitigate.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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Grão Vasco Tintotext
86PTS

Grão Vasco Tinto 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis simple, entry Dão red blends tinta roriz, touriga nacional, alfrocheiro, jaen from various growers in the region, sourced by the massive Sogrape operation. Tart cherry, lightly smoked cedar rule the softer, medium=bodied palate, framed by light, gritty tannins and finishing briefly with a bitter twist. Try with roasted root veg or mushroom stews.Prices: BC 8.99 SK 12.95 ON 8.20 MB 9.86 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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Casca Wines Monte Cascas Colheitatext
87PTS

Casca Wines Monte Cascas Colheita 2019

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalCasca Wines is a project of winemakers who came together to create a high quality Portuguese wine brand, across the country's grapes and regions. This blend of organic 80 year old vine aragonez (tempranillo), and rufete comes from Piuhel, in the Beiras Interior's hart continental climate, at 700m altitude. This rested for 6 months in aged French barrels prior to release. Soft and dark fruited, with perfumed violets, plump plum, boysenberry, milk chocolate, and fragrant spices on a plush, medium+ palate. The altitude is helpful in keeping this from weighing the palate down, but it's all a little fuzzy around the sides, and would welcome partnering with a hearty mushroom / root veg stew.Prices: BC 25.99 QC 15.65 Producer: Casca Wines
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Portalegre Terras de Baco Vinho Tintotext
86PTS

Portalegre Terras de Baco Vinho Tinto 2018

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalFrom Alentejo's Portalegre, and the Terras de Baco co-op, this is a blend of Trincadeira, Aragonez, and Castelao, with a short maceration, fermentation, and brief aging stint in stainless. Soft and plump with plum, blackberry, blueberry jam on a fuller palate, this is sided with powdery, sticky tannins to the short finish. Basic, well made, friendly, and affordable.Prices: BC 13.50 Producer: Adega de Portalegre Winery
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Adega Mãe Lisboa Valley Selection Redtext
89PTS

Adega Mãe Lisboa Valley Selection Red 2018

PortugalFrom Lisboa's Adega Mãe, and winemakers Anselmo Mendes and Diogo Lopes, this blends touriga nacional, tinta miuda, and merlot from Ventosa, in Torres Verdas. Approximately 1/3 of this wine was raised in used French oak, with the remainder in stainless. It's a welcome change from a few vintages ago, which was heavy on the international varieties, and all French and American oak-aged. 2018 shows lovely herbal freshness brightening wild plum, wild blackberry, scrubby sappy herbs along a long, medium+ bodied palate. Tannins are fine and well-integrated, siding this to the anise seasoned finish. Well done, and a lovely example of an Atlantic-influenced fuller red.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: AdegaMãe
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27 August 2021

Château Briottext
86PTS

Château Briot 2016

Bordeaux, FranceThis is quite a lifted, savoury Bordeaux rouge that shows a reductive note upon first opening. Give it a quick splash in the decanter, and you'll find soft cherry alongside spicy herbs, green peppercorn, and cedar. Medium-bodied and lacking in concentration, grainy tannins lend just a touch of grip to the finish. This will go nicely with steak au poivre.Prices: BC 23.49 Producer: 0913881 B.C. Ltd. Dba Terra Vigniti
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Château Pascaudtext
0PTS

Château Pascaud 2018

Bordeaux, FranceCorkedPrices: BC 24.49 Producer: Château Pascaud
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Les Annereaux Vin Biologiquetext
89PTS

Les Annereaux Vin Biologique 2019

Bordeaux, FranceThis organic Bordeaux rouge shows a lifted, perfumed nose of spiced cherry, violets, graphite, gravel, and cedar. It's ripe but elegant. You feel the 14.5% abv, but there is a youthful charm and appeal here, with the elevated concentration typical of the 2019 vintage. Medium-full bodied and round, led by merlot (91%) with an accent of petit verdot (9%), this is well-proportioned and clearly there's an emphasis on freshness and place. You can drink this now with pleasure, but it has the structure to improve in bottle over the next 3-4 years.Prices: BC 30.49 Producer: Benjamin Hessel
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Château Haut Basclatext
87PTS

Château Haut Bascla 2018

Bordeaux, FranceThis is a solid Bordeaux rouge from Caves de Rauzan, the co-op based in Entres-Deux-Mers. The 80/20 merlot-cabernet sauvignon blend shows black cherry and cedar, with a slightly muddled character to the fruit. It may not be overly complex, but this is still Bordeaux through and through and a winner at this price. Enjoy this lightly structured red with French bistro fare and a light chill.Prices: BC 15.25 Producer: Château Haut Bascla
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L'Orme de Rauzan Gassiestext
88PTS

L'Orme de Rauzan Gassies 2016

Haut-Médoc, Médoc, Bordeaux, FranceProduced by Château Rauzan-Gassie since 2012, this Haut-Médoc label is made in quite a ripe, extracted style, showing lifted dense, dark fruit accented by sweet spices after aging 12 months in French barriques. Medium-full bodied and broadly textured, this merlot-dominant blend is still youthful with dense, firm tannins that dry out the finish. This is going to need a few years for the tannins to come into balance, but they'll likely always outpace the fruit. If you're opening it today, give it some time in the decanter and pair with a hearty protein.Prices: BC 44.99 Producer: Château Rauzan Gassies
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Château Gaillot Fournier Bordeauxtext
88PTS

Château Gaillot Fournier Bordeaux 2015

Bordeaux, FranceThe family owned Château Gaillot Fournier is nested in Entre deux Mers, between the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, in the village of Tizac de Curton. This blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet sauvignon, 5% Malbec is from vines averaging 30 years, and clay limestone soils. After a stainless ferment, this rested in a mix of stainless and wood. Classic claret on the nose, with dusty gravels mixed with cherry, raspberry, dried tobacco, and leafy herbaceousness. Tannins are still grippy, but absorbed into the fruit now with bottle age. Ready to drink now, ideally with roast beef and / or root veg.Prices: ON 15.95 Producer: Château Gaillot Fournier
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26 August 2021

Moon Curser Dolcettotext
86PTS

Moon Curser Dolcetto 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rarely-seen dolcetto grows in Fernandes Vineyard, on Osoyoos East Bench's loamy sands. This was destemmed and not crushed, fermented cool in 5000L stainless with thrice daily pump-overs for a week before being pressed off skins. It remained in stainless until it was bottled the following March. This is an overwhelming 16.2%, akin to some Port Wine and pretty extra for table wine. This presents much more like a port on the palate than table wine, with the ample alcohol immediately apparent, followed by ripe plum, ripe blackberry, and black raspberry jam, all swirled with vanilla on a cushy chewy palate, finishing with a swell of warmth. Tannins are ample but sucked into the density of this giant red. Dolcetto is a lighter, early-drinking red of Northern Italy's Piemonte region. Not sure what this particular example is trying to express, but if you want a monster, Lodi Zin, like red from your BC backyard, here you go.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Tempranillotext
87PTS

Moon Curser Tempranillo 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis heady tempranillo comes off the Osoyoos east bench, a region with a smattering of plantings that seem to fare ok, surprisingly. As expected, this is a dense, full, and inky version of the Spanish super grape, with potent baked cherry, plum compote, espresso, and a medicinal blackcurrant note on the warming finish. Tannins are soft, and the palate is plumped, taking this to a drying bitter espresso finish. Nothing like Spain, but all to do with massive southern Okanagan reds, so if that's what you're looking for with your rosemary grilled T-Bone steak, try this.Prices: BC 33.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Touriga Nacionaltext
85PTS

Moon Curser Touriga Nacional 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rarely seen Touriga Nacional is planted in Osoyoos East Bench's loamy sands. As expected, this is a super dense, rich, extracted massive red (at 15.5%). What is not expected is the insane amount of peppery rotundone. Wow! From the first scent to the warming finish, this is like drinking wine full of cracked black peppercorns, which inflames the alcoholic heat. Under that blanket of pepper, you can find baked blackberries, baked black cherries on a soft, velveteen palate. Tannins are ample and sticky through the chewy finish. This has little to do with touriga nacional to me and a lot to do with winemaking decisions. Look elsewhere for your big red, unless you really love black pepper.Prices: BC 42.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Roussanne Marsannetext
88PTS

Moon Curser Roussanne Marsanne 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect the unexpected from Moon Curser. The classic Rhone blend made its return to Moon Curser in 2019 and continues in 2020 with a fresher 58/42 mix of roussanne/marsanne sourced from the home vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench. It is whole cluster pressed and cofermented in mostly stainless steel with a small amount that spends four months in oak with regular lees stirring, before resting in 27% new French oak for four months, while the rest remains in stainless. The result is a silky, ripe, orange-kissed white wine with honey, caramel, and vanilla. Hedonistic is my take, and a broad spectrum of consumers will welcome that. The winery suggests ageing this wine to let all the secondary notes build into a super rich white wine. I like it right now for its freshness. It is your choice.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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25 August 2021

Play Starring Viogniertext
87PTS

Play Starring Viognier 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Wild Horse Estate Vineyard, this viognier was fermented and aged in a mix of stainless and French oak. Though it has a creamy mouthfeel, this lacks the grape's inherent lush florality and apricot notes, instead bringing a dry palate of peach fuzz, white grapefruit, and white peach. The finish closes quickly with a bitter citrus note.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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24 August 2021

Amulet Whitetext
91PTS

Amulet White 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAmulet is the passion project of winemaker Dwight Sick, with a singular focus on Rhône-inspired wines. Quantities are minuscule and almost exclusively available through Roche Wines, where the brand makes its home. (You may luck out and find the wines at select restaurants, too.) Nevertheless, it’s clear no detail has been overlooked, and this may be one of the most serious wine brands to emerge in the Okanagan in recent years (the first vintage was in 2018). The Amulet White is a blend of viognier (88%) and marsanne (12%), sourced from the Naramata Bench and Penticton’s West Bench. There’s an incredible freshness and purity to the fruit, which is generous, concentrated, and bright. It evolves in the glass, slowly unveiling apricot, tangerine, and lemon alongside beeswax, flint, and well-integrated oak. This was fermented and aged in French barriques, with the 20% new wood barely perceptible against the density of the fruit. Medium-full bodied, it’s broad and richly textured, with beautifully balancing acidity. It's a wow wine – and if it were from the Rhône, it would be at least double the price. So trust me when I say you want to get on Amulet’s mailing list. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.Prices: BC 26.79 Producer: Roche Wines
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Amulet Whitetext
90PTS

Amulet White 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Amulet White is a blend of 87% Viognier and 13% Marsanne, from at Kiln House and Kozier Vineyards in Penticton and Naramata Bench. Whole cluster fruit was French oak barrel fermented (20% new) and aged on lees for 6 months with periodic bâtonnage. After a quick dose of sulphur, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered in summer 2020. Ripe and round, this stretches wide and long across the palate, leaving a coating of honeycomb, baked pear, ripe peach, spiced with ample wood, before moving into a marmalade trail through the ginger-warmed finish. A powerful white, almost chewy, and surprisingly only 13.6%. If you're a fan of Rhone whites, please look here. The Diam10 cork asserts this should last for a while.Prices: BC 26.79 Producer: Roche Wines
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Anthony Buchanan Viogniertext
88PTS

Anthony Buchanan Viognier 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Cawston's sandy loams and clay, and a vineyard in transition to organics, this was whole cluster pressed and native fermented in 1000L cask and stainless barrels, with full MLF, and 7 months' rest, with periodic bâtonnage. It was bottled without filtration. Slick pear, gooseberry, green hedge, lemon verbena, white pepper rule this streamlined, early-pick, dry and edgy viognier. This is more about acid / green flavours than the grape's inherent lush florality. A more severe style that is for adventurers.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Anthony Buchanan Wines
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Church & State Wines Viogniertext
88PTS

Church & State Wines Viognier 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Church and State Viognier is mostly fermented in stainless steel to keep it fresh, though it is mixed with 12% French oak barrel fermented juice. The result is a lively style that opens with a floral aspect before peachy, lime, melon, and tropical fruit flavours. Like last year it's not a lightweight version, nor is it a fat heavyweight. Somewhere in the middle leaves it a perfect companion to simply prepared seafood dishes. I expect this wine to evolve under new winemaker Arnaud Thierry in the coming vintages.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Nostalgia Home Vineyard Viogniertext
88PTS

Nostalgia Home Vineyard Viognier 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Black Sage Bench, this kerner was farmed by Gina Fernandes Harfman, 4th generation South Okanagan farmer, and now part of the woman owned and operated Nostalgia Wines. This was fermented and rested briefly in stainless. Dry and sleek, with apricot, cold cream, peach, and yellow apple dosed smartly with gingersnap spicing on the shorter palate. Slightly shy, this is a viognier for those who shy away from the grape's exuberance.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Nostalgia Wines Inc.
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Hester Creek Viognier Stone's Throw Vineyardtext
88PTS

Hester Creek Viognier Stone's Throw Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSmaller berries in 2020 have led to intense flavours, and a good example is this single-vineyard viognier grown by the Fournier family, long-time contract growers in Oliver. Stone’s Throw Vineyard is ideally situated at an elevation of just over 1000 feet, adjacent to the Black Sage Bench. The gravelly, sandy loam soil is covered with vines that run north/south for superior sun exposure. After a careful whole cluster pressing, the wine is fermented and aged on its fine lees for four months. The Storied Series Viognier is an exciting addition to the Hester Creek lineup, albeit at a tiny 330 cases. The wine is essentially dry at under 4 grams per litre residual sugar, but don’t be surprised by its bright, sweet, unoaked orange notes. It’s a standout aperitif but would be fine at the dinner table.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Moon Curser Viogniertext
89PTS

Moon Curser Viognier 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Osoyoos' east and west benches, this classic viognier was whole cluster pressed, fermented cool in stainless, where it remained without MLF or bâtonnage, both smart choices for a grape that already tends towards abundance. Sage scents throughout hint at the desert landscape, while the cold cream, apricot, lush peach, bump of RS and higher alcohol (14.2) well reflect the grape. The plumpness on the palate is managed with a brace of lime pith and peel, reeling it all in. Ready to drink now.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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23 August 2021

Envinate Benje Tintotext
90PTS

Envinate Benje Tinto 2019

Canary Islands, SpainThis listan preito (aka País, or Mission) grows at 900-1200m in Santiago del Teide, high on the northwestern volcanic sandy slopes of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. From ungrafted 70-100 year old organically farmed bush vines, this was destemmed by parcel, each vinified in a mix of concrete and open tubs, with 10-20 days maceration. The lots then went into concrete (40%) and neutral French barriques for MLF and 8 months' aging, without bâtonnage and sulphur. It was bottled without fining or filtration. This opens with a dusting of black pepper before coursing into a reductive ruled lighter red with red currant, wild raspberry, tart cherry, sapid plum, iris, thorns, and ample white pepper. Tannins are slight, and acidity is lofted, taking this lighter natural red to a lingering saline finish. Serve with a chill.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Envinate
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Domaine Jean Bourdy Cuvée Chloé Trousseautext
91PTS

Domaine Jean Bourdy Cuvée Chloé Trousseau 2020

Côtes du Jura, Jura, FranceThis natural trousseau is one of Jean Bourdy's daughter Laura's set of sulphur-free wines, and only a few bottles made their way to Canada. This was whole bunch macerated with stems in stainless for 10 days, with daily pigeage. It remained in stainless for 6 months until bottling, with a light filtration. It was named Chloé for her eldest daughter, whose artwork also graces the label. Pouring a lightly hazy crimson hue, this lighter trousseau is tight and grippy with wild raspberry, cherry, pomegranate on a slight, crunchy, textural palate. Tannins are fine and grippy, hugging this to a gently spiced, saline finish. There's a lovely harmony throughout this that lingers with a humming stony buzz. Take with a chill.Prices: BC 52.00 Producer: Domaine Jean Bourdy
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Casa di Baal Aglianico di Baaltext
92PTS

Casa di Baal Aglianico di Baal 2016

Campania, ItalyThis organic and biodynamically farmed Aglianico is rooted in the Salernitan Hills’ sandy clay soils. It was native fermented before resting twelve months in medium sized oak barrels, and then at least twelve months in the bottle prior to release. Pouring an inky dark hue, this full red teems with crushed violets, wild blackberry, thorns, fragrant black plums, and dark cherries, all threaded with an alluring anise note, and bedded with river stones. Tannins are firm, structuring this fresh, bigger red through a lingering, spiced finish. A lot of intensity for 13.5%.Prices: ON 33.95 Producer: Casa di Baal
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Vietti Nebbiolo Perbaccotext
91PTS

Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco 2017

Langhe, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyThis Langhe Nebbiolo is sourced from declassified cru sites, and aged for less than the minimum requirements, therefore not qualifying for the Barolo DOCG. All the better for us = delicious cru nebbiolo, at a stellar price. Decant this and allow the 35-year-old vines some breathing room to reveal crushed florals, lifted raspberry and cherry, threaded with reams of broken stones and lashes of subtle leather and medicinal cherry. Tannins are slight and sticky, and acidity is lofted and alit with a limestone buzz, lingering with salinity. This 2017 is drinking now smartly.Prices: BC 43.00 Producer: Vietti
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Pearl Morissette Primesautiertext
88PTS

Pearl Morissette Primesautier 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaPouring a deep violet / crimson hue, this lemburger comes off Knizat vineyard in Niagara on the Lake. Destemmed fruit was native fermented in concrete, where it remained for 6 weeks before moving to 3000L foudres for 5 months aging on lees. Juicy and primary, with crunchy red currant, tart blackberry, rhubarb on a slight, tight, peppery palate. Tannins are slight and lightly furry, guiding this lighter bodied red to a spiced finish. Take now, with a chill.Prices: ON 28.00 Producer: Pearl Morissette
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Nicolas Mariotti Bindi Cantina di Torra Rougetext
90PTS

Nicolas Mariotti Bindi Cantina di Torra Rouge 2019

Corsica, Sud de France, FranceFrom Bindi's home estate in Patrimonio, this is organically farmed Nielluccio (aka Sangiovese) rooted on clay and limestone slopes. Destemmed grapes spent 48 hours in concrete before a native ferment, followed by 24 months’ rest in concrete. It was bottled without fining and with a light filtration. Super floral, with violets, iris, peonies, fragrant plum blossoms scenting a wild blueberry, mulberry base. Tannins are long and sticky on this lighter (12.2%) red, carrying it to a sweetly spiced, lightly saline finish. Quite unique, and unlike any sangiovese you've had previously. Worth seeking out.Prices: ON 35.95 Producer: Nicolas Mariotti Bindi
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Jorche Primitivo di Manduriatext
89PTS

Jorche Primitivo di Manduria 2017

Salento, Puglia, ItalyThis primitivo is rooted in red, iron-oxide rich layers of sandstone in the Torricella area of middle Manduria. Post-ferment, these 40 year old vines were aged 9 months in barrique, and several years in the bottle prior to release. Rich and intense, as you would expect (notwithstanding the 15% alcohol), with plush, cushy and sweet plum, baked red currants, anise, pipe tobacco housed by soft, velvet tannins, finishing with a dusting of sweet baking spices. This is all of primitivo's soft generosity, bolstered by Puglian warmth.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Jorche
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Altesino Brunello di Montalcinotext
92PTS

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyThis Brunello brings together fruit from the vineyards of Altesino, Macina, Pianezzine, and Castelnuovo dell’Abate in the Val d’Arbia DOC, across 21 hectares of tufaceous limestone soils and Alberese. The wine spends a minimum of two years in oak barrels before bottling, and at least four months maturation in bottle prior to release. There's a lovely complexity to this confident wine, one that takes its time to reveal itself, showing secondary layers of pipe tobacco, dried cherry, dried florals, menthol, leather, all threaded with burnished orange rind, and wrapped with ample, finely firm, well-integrated tannins. This lingers with mineral salts on the lengthy finish. Drinking beautifully now, as expected, and will still hold over the next few years easy.Prices: BC 59.99 ON 59.00 QC 64.50 Producer: Altesino, Az Agr.
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Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classicotext
87PTS

Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico 2018

Tuscany, ItalyFrom high altitude vineyards rooted in sandstone in the historical heart of Chianti, this organically farmed sangiovese has 10% merlot blended in. Smooth and juicy with cherry, wild plum, ripe raspberry, subtle peppery spices, housed with soft, sticky tannins, this finishes with tart raspberry and bitter espresso. Drinking now, ideally with braised root veg or pork.Prices: ON 32.95 Producer: Giovannella Stianti
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Alasia Langhe Nebbiolotext
88PTS

Alasia Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

Langhe, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyProduced by Araldica, a co-op based in Castel Boglione, this is a modern, approachable style of nebbiolo that typifies the Langhe. It's ripe and fruit-driven, led by dark cherry with a medicinal edge, alongside walnut, dried florals, and sweet oak spices, with use of French barriques (40%) to complement the traditional large oak vats known as botti (60%). This is pressed at dryness, forgoing the extended maceration that is traditionally common to nebbiolo, which gives this an approachable structure, even at this youthful stage. It's thoughtfully made and a solid introduction to nebbiolo at a fantastic price.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Boutinot
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Las Moradas de San Martin Initiotext
92PTS

Las Moradas de San Martin Initio 2013

Vinos de Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, SpainLas Moradas de San Martin sits at a height of 870m above sea level, on the fringes of the Sierra de Gredos, in the unique landscape of San Martín de Valdeiglesias to the south-east of Madrid. Twenty-one hectares of vineyards surround the winery. From old vine (some over 100), high altitude garnacha located at 900m in the windy Madrilenian slope, these organically farmed vines are rooted in the estate's granitic sandy soils. Winemaker Isabel Galindo is very hands-off in the winery, respecting the vines and farming. After a week of cooler maceration, this was native fermented over three weeks prior to heading to French barrels for 14 months prior to the final blend. This was then bottled without fining or filtration. Dense and concentrated with layers of tobacco, black cherry, dark earth, dark cocoa, burnished orange peel and broken stones run the length of the powerful, 15% palate. Tannins are ample and structural, though well absorbed into the depth of fruit. Acidity is naturally lifted, helping to buoy this powerful red through the lengthy saline finish. This is a powerful, masterful red that is drinking beautifully now, but will reward with cellaring.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Las Moradas de San Martin
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Olivier Coste Illégal Mourvèdretext
89PTS

Olivier Coste Illégal Mourvèdre 2019

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThis wine comes from a small appellation in Languedoc, but 100% mourvèdre is illegal there, thus, the winery declassified it to "Vin de France“ and hid its origin. Destemmed grapes were macerated and fermented in stainless for 3 weeks, and kept there for a brief time before bottling in late winter. Smouldering plum, wild blackberry, perfumed blueberry is scented with scrubby rosemary and thorns, finishing with a wash of salinity and dusting of pepper. Tannins are sticky, but well-absorbed into the medium plus, fleshy body. Drinking well now, especially with grilled sausages.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Olivier Coste
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La Floridita Bonus Tracktext
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La Floridita Bonus Track 2020

Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainThis light, pale, hazy red is predominantly 100+ year old ungrafted and organic Listán Negro, splashed with 10% Listán Blanco, showcasing Tenerife's volcanic soils at 350-450m. It was fermented in concrete with 4 days on skins before finishing ferment in 2 older 500L barrels, where it remained for 3 months’ rest. This opens with a puff of volcanic reduction that lingers throughout its slight frame, threaded with pink grapefruit, wild plum, wild raspberry, scrubby rosemary on a broken stony base. Acidity is lofted and easy, buoying this to a lingering, saline finish, and tannins are slight. There's a lovely fine texture to this natural red, ideal with a light chill.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Jean-Paul Brun Le Ronsay Beaujolaistext
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Jean-Paul Brun Le Ronsay Beaujolais 2019

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceFrom younger (still 20+ vines) in the limestone soils of Terre Dorées, in Southern Beaujolais' Charmay, this young, fresh Bojo is a profound intro into the legend of Jean-Paul Brun, one of the first low-intervention revolutionaries of Beaujolais. Wild strawberries, wild raspberries, wildflowers, peppercorns stream through this lithe wine, threaded with meadow herbs, lit with a limestone vibrancy and housed by soft, fine tannins through the saline finish. This authentic wine is such a charmer. #GoGamayGo. Sealed with a recyclable normacorc.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
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Alpha Box & Dice Enigma Barberatext
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Alpha Box & Dice Enigma Barbera 2019

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaThese Barbera grapes come from the Christmas Hill Vineyard in Kuitpo, Carmine Peppicelli Vineyard in Kenton Valley, and Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. The soil is light red clay loam. This was whole bunch, and spent 24 months in old barriques (225L) and puncheons (500L). Fragrant purple florals, boysenberry, blueberry lead this cushioned, juicy, fleshy, medium bodied red, with soft tannins hugging the sides through to the lightly spiced finish. Though this is 14.5%, the altitude of the hills keeps this fresh in the mouth.Prices: ON 32.95 Producer: Viottolo Pty
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Kellerei Bozen Lagreintext
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Kellerei Bozen Lagrein 2019

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyThis lagrein grows in the warm sandy alluvial soils near Gries / Bolzano. This was fermented and briefly raised in stainless, to preserve the fresh alpine fruit. Wild dark plum, perfumed boysenberries, savoury cherry floods a juicy, fresh palate, threaded with scrubby wild herbs and perfumed mountain florals. Tannins are long and soft, and the finish is dotted with pink peppercorns and river stones. Lovely purity to this medium bodied red, and one that would be stellar with grilled sausages / wild mushrooms.Prices: ON 22.95 Producer: Kellerei Bozen
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Filipa Pato & William Wouters Dinamica DNMC Bagatext
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Filipa Pato & William Wouters Dinamica DNMC Baga 2019

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis biodynamic Baga is sourced partially from Filipa and William’s estate vineyards in Ois do Bairro, and partially from other growers in various villages in Bairrada. There’s a mix of bush vines and trellised plants with an average age of 40 years. The younger vines have been propagated by mass selection from the old vines in an effort to maintain diversity and select the best plant material available. Handpicked, fully destemmed, and fermented and raised entirely in tank this has a very gentle extraction and long (4 week) maceration, adding the fine, firm structure here. Tart blackcurrant, black raspberry, perfumed wild plum rule the slender frame, gripped with firm, long, fine tannins to a pink peppercorn, buzzing limestone finish. Enjoy this fresh, lighter red with a slight chill.Prices: ON 23.95 Producer: Filipa Pato
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17 August 2021

Unsworth Vineyards Chardonnaytext
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Unsworth Vineyards Chardonnay 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the inaugural release of Unsworth Chardonnay, and a wave we're going to see a lot more of with numerous chardonnay vines going into Island soils these past couple of years (right clones this time too!). This one comes off Mildenstein Vineyard (used to be Godfrey Brownell), and was whole cluster pressed, with partial native ferment, in neutral barriques. It remained here for MLF and 10 months on lees with monthly bâtonnage. Some oxidative handling of the fruit has given a lovely nutty, flinty, brown butter note that runs the length of this fresh, streamlined wine, drawing green apple, lemon pith and peel, stones, and a slight deck of lees through the saline finish. A lot going on for 11.7%, and more to look forward to as their knowledge of working chardonnay on the wine islands grows. Impressive first start.Prices: BC 30.35 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their estate McLean Creek Road Vineyard, in OK Falls, this Micro Cuvée Chardonnay comes off a steep sandy and gravelled loams site, planted in 1994. After a long, cool ferment in stainless, this transferred to French oak (33% new) for MLF and 11 months on lees, sans bâtonnage. The Micro Cuvée is a barrel selection that was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Rich and expansive on the fuller palate, this is driven by toasted oak, and bolstered by lemon curd, hazelnut, and flecks of brown butter, finishing with a sprinkle of rock salt. Quite a rich, slower moving wine, and one that will suit those used to a Napa styling.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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2house Chardonnaytext
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2house Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2house is a collaboration of Valeria Tait and Ian Sutherland. These owners and winemakers will work separately and together to make a handful of small lot wines they could never make commercially in their previous winemaking lives. I know the pair, and they come from a place and view that knows what the world of chardonnay is doing, and they are determined to compete at that level with Okanagan wines. The project is to be highly focused on only two wines from two winemakers per vintage. Age has its privileges, not that they are all that old. All the fruit will come off single vineyards owned by the Gill brothers, owners of Gold Hill Winery. The first 2House Chardonnay is something special. It is amazing what can be done when serious wine folks are free from the trappings of retailers and a market that is less focused on quality than price. I love this fresh, skinny, vibrant nutty, reductive, electric chardonnay that is the future of Okanagan greatness. You will have to join the club to buy this but you won’t be disappointed if you are in love with the best Next World Chardonnay coming out of the old New World.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: 2house
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Sperling Vineyards Organic Chardonnaytext
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Sperling Vineyards Organic Chardonnay 2018

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWow, wow, wow. This is the best I have seen from Sperling, from fruit grown on the family's historic and limestone-laced Kelowna vineyard. It is fermented and aged in large format French oak barrels, barely noticeable on the palate, although the ratio of wood to juice appears to have worked its magic on the wine. The salty lemon flavours are heaven, and the balance is even better. It goes on forever with a perfect dusting of savoury Okanagan to set it apart from most anything else with chardonnay on the label. Complex and sophisticated, it's as good as anything in the country.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Upper Bench Chardonnay Estate Growntext
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Upper Bench Chardonnay Estate Grown 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2018 is the first year UB has vinified an estate chardonnay, growing a small list of Estate Grown wines. It is a small batch for sure, picked on October 5 at 22.8 Brix and fermented wild in new French oak barrels. After fermentation, the chardonnay is sur lie aged for eight months in the same barrels. The result is an impressive 98 cases of a complex, balanced, cool-climate chardonnay with nutty, caramel, creamy notes supported by a citrus, apple underside. This is just coming into its own, but it is well worth looking for if you are a modern New World chardonnay fan.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Upper Bench Chardonnaytext
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Upper Bench Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis chardonnay was aged in a split of French oak barrels and stainless for three months. The nose opens with reductive, nutty green apple. On the palate it is definitely fresh, maybe a little too aggressive, but better to have higher acid than too much oak. The flavours are a mix of peach, green apple, citrus, butter, hazelnuts, and wet stones. Super tart but would be fine pired with a creamy pasta dish or Dungeness crab with drawn butter. Only 13.3 percent alcohol is an added bonus of the Naramata Bench.Prices: BC 28.85 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Covert Farms Chardonnaytext
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Covert Farms Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 chardonnay is all clone 100, regeneratively farmed and hand-harvested at 23.1 Brix and 2.1 tons of fruit to the acre. It is predominately stainless fermented (85%), with the remainder fermented in new French oak and aged sur lie. Lots going on here, including a garlic lees aroma, lemon, green fruit, and nutty reductive notes with some sulphur poking through the finish. All that said, this is heading in the right direction. A little more precision and care during the winemaking process should ensure future versions get better. But, for now, give this another year in the bottle and then served it with a favourite roast chicken recipe.Prices: BC 24.17 Producer: Covert Farms Family Estate
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnaytext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlue Mountain has the advantage of 13 to 30-year-old vines in the ground, in effect the old and the new, leaving winemaker Matt Mavety with a selection of five different clones from which to shape his Eatste Cuvées. The perfectly tended vines that ripen with precision are picked early to retain freshness and, even more important, come in at or about 13 percent alcohol. The winemaking is simple: a whole cluster press is wild fermented and aged in French oak barriques for 17 months. The result is a sophisticated creamy chardonnay with juicy Meyer lemon and ripe nectarine flecked with spice and lees throughout the finish. Shellfish is the match, but it will also work with turkey or creamy pasta dishes. Real wine, and real 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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16 August 2021

Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Redtext
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Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Red 2017

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOnly 95 cases of this wine, the pinnacle of their organically / biodynamically farmed estate terroir, was made off the 2017 vintage. Unlike 2016, this is merlot dominant at 47%, followed by cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec. Each variety was native fermented separately (partial whole cluster), and then rested in French barrels for 18 months prior to the blend. The finished wine was bottled without fining or filtration. Such a savoury red, I'm surprised cab sauv isn't in the lead. Gravels and graphite is ruled by red and black cherry and raspberry, soft plum, subtly smoked stone, fragrant violets, and wafts of cracked black pepper. Tannins are youthfully tight and grippy still, though integrating well into the wine, while acidity is Similkameen fresh. Thoughtful farming and winemaking shows here in this impressive red, drinking beautifully now and with a few years ahead in the cellar.Prices: BC 53.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Redtext
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Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Red 2017

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaClos du Soleil's Estate Reserve Red is the top red in their portfolio, and it's rightfully earned its place as one of the top reds in the province. This wine continues to go from strength to strength, with winemaker Michael Clark elegantly expressing the terroir of Clos du Soleil Estate Vineyard. There's exceptional intensity to the fruit, with finely detailed dark berries and black currant, but what really elevates this wine is the profound savouriness and mineral backbone, which could really only come from the Similkameen. There's crushed stones, dried herbs, graphite, cedar, and deftly integrated oak spices. Even with 2+ years of bottle age, and 18 months in barrel, this is only just starting to unwind and open up. Give it some time to evolve in the glass if you open it today. But make sure to revisit it in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. At least. Highly recommended.Prices: BC 53.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Emiliana Coyamtext
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Emiliana Coyam 2018

Valle del Colchagua, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileThis well-proportioned sleek and seamless red is one of the best value wines out there, even at $29.99. Biodynamically farmed and certified organic, It is an intriguing blend of 42% syrah and 39% carmenere with smidges of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, garnacha, petit verdot, carignan, tempranillo, and mourvèdre from a superb site in the rich silt clay soils of Colchagua. 'Los Robles' refers to the native oak forests that carpet the valley, creating a breathtakingly beautiful park-like environment teeming with birds, insects, and flowers. Coyam presents classic Chileano aromas of black olive, cassis, violet, cocoa, and the definitive heady menthol scent of eucalyptus. It's ripe and mouthfilling, but most importantly has the archetypal suave balance of fruit, acid, and tannin that defines Chilean wine. Vivid acidity and firm but melting tannins imbue Coyam with surprising freshness and striking architecture, allowing it to have weight without heaviness. The 2018 vintage was aged for 13 months in French oak (various ages and sizes of barrels) which adds a layer of spicy gloss to this fruity/savoury thoroughbred. Coyam ages effortlessly (verticals I have tasted attest to this) and will adorn a grilled porterhouse with power and grace. Give 30 minutes in a decanter to allow complexity to shine. Winemaker Noelia Orts would highly approve of serving it at a cool 18 degrees Celsius.Prices: BC 28.00 MB 31.00 ON 29.95 Producer: Viñedos Emiliana
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Nostalgia Meritagetext
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Nostalgia Meritage 2018

Canada2018 Nostalgia Meritage is a 51/21/14/11/3 mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot. A south Okanagan red blend is taken for granted these days, nearly three decades after the first red grapes went into the ground to a very skeptical audience. However, Nostalgia is a reboot of the old Oliver Twist property just southeast of downtown Oliver and this Meritage is a pleasant surprise. Look for soft, rich black fruit with tarry, smoky tobacco notes and dry tannins. It is young and needs a bit of ageing or at the very least decanting before serving, but the is some promise of better things to come from this property.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Nostalgia Wines Inc.
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Hester Creek Limited Edition The Judgetext
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Hester Creek Limited Edition The Judge 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Judge has always been about hedonistic drinking, and 2018 is no different. Soft, round, and full of sweet black fruit dusted in cocoa and vanilla with a touch of sagebrush. It is more stylistic than terroir-driven with dense, round, softish tannins. You can drink or hold this wine that is best served with roasted meats or rich root vegetables. The fruit is all estate farmed from some of the oldest vines on this Golden Mile Bench property. In 2018 the blend was merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon, fermented in Ganimede Italian fermenters for 15 days. Each of the lots was tasted, and the best were selected and blended before ageing another 24 months in primarily French oak barrels, 35% new.Prices: BC 43.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Liber Farm and Winery Rebil Craftman's Blendtext
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Liber Farm and Winery Rebil Craftman's Blend 2017

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRebil is a Similkameen blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot, all from small lots of old vines. The first impression of this giant wine is favourable. The nose is equally explosive with intense wild savoury Similkameen savoury notes and black fruit. On the palate, more of the same, with spicy black currants, wild blackberries deeply spiced with cedar, pepper, and black licorice streaks. A giant wine with rich, warm tannins that will carry it well into the 2030s. A stunning snapshot of what can be done in the Similkameen moving forward.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Liber Farm & Winery
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Pétales d'Osoyoostext
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Pétales d'Osoyoos 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe youngest vines of the 32 hectare Osoyoos Larose estate are behind the Pétales label. The wine is merlot dominated, but all five Bordeaux varieties make their way into this juicy blend. The blocks are all kept separate, hand sorted, destemmed, and crushed at the winery. The fermentation is done in stainless steel cone shaped tanks. Over 12 months, each variety is aged separately in two and three year old French oak barrels. There is a little less fruit in 2018, with peppery, earthy truffle notes mixing with cedar and campfire notes and soft, dense tannins. Solid and ready to drink now, it will age through 2025. Very good value.Prices: BC 29.99 QC 28.00 MB 26.00 NS 29.00 SK 29.00 NF 31.00 Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Upper Bench Yard Winetext
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Upper Bench Yard Wine 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYard Wine is a tribute to winery co-owner Gavin Miller, who once made wine from a tiny vineyard at his old home on the Naramata Bench. 2018, a 60/40 blend of merlot and cabernet franc, is youthful, offering primary black fruit and robust tannins from front to back. It is wild fermented in 30% new French oak and bottled unfined. The attack is similarly large and rambunctious, with rich black currant streaked with savoury desert scrub and intense spice. I like the wild spicy aftertaste, and with no chocolate, it presents much clearer. The single drawback is you will have to wait five years, but it should be well worth the wait. If you must drink it now, be sure to have a well-marbled piece of meat ready to meet this wine halfway.Prices: BC 34.50 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Corcelettes Talustext
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Corcelettes Talus 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Similkameen Valley is enclosed by steep mountain walls accentuated by steep Talus slopes, the slopes responsible for the winery’s mixed earth and broken stone soils. The blend is a complex mix of 38/31/15/12/4 merlot / cabernet franc / cabernet sauvignon / petit verdot / malbec, and upon tasting this twice over the summer, I can say this is something special. It spends 18 months ageing in various tight grain, premium French oak barrels. The wine is deliciously ripe, showing pipe tobacco notes and ripe blueberries streaked with a touch of tea and all embellished by that savoury desert perfume that penetrates the wine. So highly polished, this is a rare one you can cellar for a decade, or you can enjoy it now.Prices: BC 49.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Signaturetext
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Clos du Soleil Signature 2018

British Columbia, CanadaSignature is the flagship red at Clos du Soleil, blending 42% merlot with 32/19/5/2 cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot. Each Similakmeen-based block is harvested separately, destemmed and native fermented in concrete before moving to French oak for 16 months. There is a smoky note upfront but hardly intolerable before the black cherry floral sagebrush that mark this wine kicked in. However, the tannins, so silky smooth, really impress, giving it a sense of sophistication some of its neighbours have yet to achieve. Not the purest expression of the Similkameen this year likely due to the prolonged wildfire season but a solid effort none the less.Prices: BC 47.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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13 August 2021

Nichol Vineyard Old Vines Syrahtext
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Nichol Vineyard Old Vines Syrah 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the oldest syrah in Canada, planted in 1990/91 on granite bedrock at the end of the Naramata Bench. After destemming, this fermented on skins in large open top fermenters before being basket pressed to neutral French barrique where it remained until March 2021, when it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Waves of black pepper and cured meats waft from the glass, followed by brooding black cherry, black plum, thorns, and dark earth. Tannins are firm but fine, housing this to a peppery, balsamic-kissed finish. Ample freshness throughout, thanks to altitude, soils, and the smart 2019 vintage. Try with a light chill.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
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Frank Hellwig Shiraz Grenachetext
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Frank Hellwig Shiraz Grenache 2017

South Australia, AustraliaThis is an easy, simple, straightforward blend of shiraz and grenache from Southern Australia, thankfully not overlooked or overripe. Crunchy red fruits mix with tart cherry, waxy plum, and pasty tannins, finishing short and a bit warm. Crack with burgers now.Prices: ON 15.70 Producer: Frank Hellwig
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Nostalgia Syrahtext
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Nostalgia Syrah 2018

CanadaThe Nostalgia 2018 Syrah is available only to wine club members, but it is probably a good reason to join the club. It is perfectly balanced, opening with some peppery undertones before the ripe, earthy, savoury black fruit fills the mid palate. In addition, there is a somewhat piquant underside that helps this wine stay fresh as it tows a balanced line to the finish. Well made and stylish, it is a terrific wine for grilled lamb chops or hard cheese.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Nostalgia Wines Inc.
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Moon Curser Syrahtext
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Moon Curser Syrah 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis makes for an interesting contrast to the Contraband Syrah, sourced from three vineyards along the Osoyoos East Bench. It's quite juicy with spiced blackberry, dark cherry, violets, and sweet oak from aging in 33% new Hungarian oak. It may not have the opulence or concentration of the Contraband but, instead, there's a freshness and floral lift that is just as appealing. It's real Okanagan syrah at a fantastic price. Recommended.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Contraband Syrahtext
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Moon Curser Contraband Syrah 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Bartsh Vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench, the Contraband has an opulence and richness that distinguishes it from Moon Curser's main tier syrah. It's bursting with ripeness, clocking in at 15.7% abv, with a combination of dense, dark berry fruit, desert shrub, and white pepper. This sees 29% new Hungarian oak, but that's firmly in the background thanks to the incredible fruit density. Full-bodied and hedonistic, while still very much true to the variety and place. Sold out at the winery, so you may have to call in some favours to smuggle a bottle. Or just join Moon Curser's wine club.Prices: BC 33.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Corcelettes Syrahtext
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Corcelettes Syrah 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt was a pleasure to taste this wild, dry, desert styled syrah. The fruit comes off the home estate on the Upper Bench of Keremeos, grown in the local Stemwinder soils. The site is dry and windswept, much as it is in the Northern Rhone. The nose is a smoky mix of black fruits and black pepper with strong garrigue notes of Okanagan sagebrush. They continue to a rich, dry, structured syrah that seems years from ultimate maturity. Some sweet black raspberry pulls you into the back end of the wine and holds your interest through 2025. Serve now if you must with a rich lamb ragu or even lamb meatballs and root vegetables.Prices: BC 27.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Syrahtext
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Syrah 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis organic syrah mixes in 5 percent cabernet sauvignon, mentioned because you likely won't notice it on the palate. It is all farmed in Osoyoos' Sekhon Family Vineyard. It was fermented in a 10,000L oak foudre before being racked into neutral oak barrels where it rested one year before bottling, essentially minimizing any wood influence. Expect some classic meaty, peppery notes mixed with smoky campfire penetrating the red fruit. The fruit is almost underripe, showing red cranberry and red cherry along with some unresolved tannins. Think big juicy grilled hamburger or Portabella mushroom burger. Onwards and upwards.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Hillside Heritage Series Syrahtext
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Hillside Heritage Series Syrah 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI love this juicy, fresh style with incredible black raspberry fruit streaked with Okanagan savoury herbs and a whiff of smoked meat. So alive and fresh, it is a real delight to sip already, and at 12.8 percent, is a testament to brilliant terroir and educated wine growing. The tannins are dense but fine-grained and build just enough structure to funnel the juicy red and black fruit along the palate. While you can cellar this, you can also drink it now. The fruit is Naramata Bench from Hidden Valley Vineyard, picked in very late October. It had a nine-day cold soak and a total of 17 days of skin contact before spending 8 months in 21 percent new French oak. Brava winemaker Kathy Malone. Stock up while you can.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Reserve Syrahtext
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Mt. Boucherie Reserve Syrah 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThe Mount Boucherie Reserve Syrah comes off two prime BC vineyard sites: Lazy River Vineyard is in the wild and rugged Similkameen Valley, and South Rock Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench. 2018 opens with a lifted nose of black fruit and fresh cracked pepper. The textures are rich and smooth, giving the wine a sleek signature despite the power and alcohol. It is full-bodied with intense black cherry streaked with smoky, stony mineral notes. So wild and juicy, it will age effortlessly through 2025 and beyond. Think roasted meats, lamb, venison, duck or a big, oily rich salmon recipe.Prices: BC 44.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Kay's Syrahtext
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Dirty Laundry Vineyard Kay's Syrah 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Dirty Laundry Syrah is cofermented with 5 percent viognier adding a floral component and overall upping the complexity of the wine in some minds, though others think it a needless distraction. In this case, the syrah comes out of the South Okanagan, the viognier is grown in Summerland, and it is all aged for 18 months in French and American oak. It opens with aromatic violet with a peppery undertone. The palate is expansive, offering a lush texture of blackberry jam, cassis, smoked meat with a dash of milk chocolate and leather. It is a crowd pleasing, sweeter style that surprises with a refreshing ending. The winery suggests braised lamb shanks.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Dirty Laundry
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah +11/10text
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah +11/10 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe LS Syrah is estate farmed at the Perfect Hedge Vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench. Côte Rôtie inspired, the wine always has a small drop of viognier in the mix. The style is somewhat wild and rugged on the surface, but underneath it is more subtle. The first pick is a whole-berry ferment in stainless steel, and the second is fermented in 500L open-top French puncheons. It is all aged for 20 months in French oak (28% new). The result is sophisticated fragrant blue fruit with a subtle mix of grilled meat and smoke throughout rich Bing cherry and black raspberry. There is tannin to drop but nothing to indicate it won’t emerge in 2024-2026 as a tasty Okanagan syrah.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Moraine Syrahtext
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Moraine Syrah 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Dwight Sick honed his syrah talent in Okanagan Falls and brought it to his new home on the Naramata Bench. I love the power here, yet it is well-tempered by a floral undercurrent and ripe plummy, black fruit mixed with black pepper, earth, mushroom, licorice with a fresh stony finish. The tannin remains youthful and will require five years to disappear, but they are well matched to a rich piece of meat on the barbecue. Sick arrived just before crush began in 2018, so it will be fun to see where he takes this wine over the next few years.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Black Market Syrahtext
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Black Market Syrah 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlack Market presents as a rich expression of syrah, yet just as you think that, its floral, fruity, woodsy Northern rhone style kicks in, including red fruit and plenty of freshness. 2018 is a 96/4 cofermentation of syrah/viognier that ran 18 days followed by 18 months in French and American oak barrels (30 percent new).On the palate, savoury notes pull this wine into the serious category, flexing black cherries, black olives, and spice, with a dusting of sweet oak. Drink or hold, there is no rush here. Love that it is only 13 percent alcohol.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: Black Market Wine Co.
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12 August 2021

Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Brancotext
93PTS

Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Branco 2018

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom sustainably farmed Douro Superior vineyards planted from 1920-1933 on mica schists at 650-700m, this is a blend of 70 percent Rabigato, balanced out with Codega, Gouveio, Viosinho, and Dozelino Branco. According to Seabra, Rabigato is a fairly neutral grape, so is a natural terroir-transmitter. There is no MLF or battonage to blur the story here. Minerality rings from the start, with flinty broken stones, a touch of light smoked stone, meadow herbs, subtle dried quince, light anise and a pad of earthy lees to a flake salt and flint finish. Fantastic structure, finesse, and nonchalance, this is a joy to drink now and in future. Fantastic vintage (and one of Seabra's faves of recent years).Prices: ON 55.95 BC 58.00 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Véu de Xistotext
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Luis Seabra Véu de Xisto 2015

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalBeing a fan of wines aged under veil of yeast in an oxidative way lead Luis to experiment aging a white wine for 3 years under flor. Rabigato, Códega, and Gouveio from 30 year old vines in Douro Superior’s Meda region were native fermented in 2x 500L barrels, and were left under the thin film of yeast, with no topping. It was moved to stainless for another 2 years’ rest prior to bottling in July 2020. Pouring a lightly deeper lemon hue, this fuller wine opens with an earthy hay, lemon / orange whiff and ample oxidative flor energy before moving to a ringing palate of brown butter, honeysuckle, lemon verbena, lemon pith, and flake salts, extending long along the palate. So much energy and life in this characterful wine. Only 890 bottles were made.Prices: ON 55.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Brancotext
93PTS

Luis Seabra Vinhos Xisto Cru Branco 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalLuis Seabra is highly respected in Portuguese winemaking, having made the wines at Niepoort for a decade before leaving to make his own name with Douro wines. From sustainably farmed Douro Superior vineyards planted from 1920-1933 on mica schists at 650-700m, this is a blend of 70% Rabigato, balanced out with Codega, Gouveio, Viosinho, and Dozelino Branco, native fermented and aged in French 229L barrels. It remained there on lees, with no bâtonnage, for one year, and then headed to stainless for a 6 month stint prior to bottling. This opens with ample lemon and pine nuts, before moving to a fuller, lightly waxen palate of kernel, quince, hay, and brown butter. This is a savoury, serious wine that ends with ample salinity and a flinty flicker.Prices: ON 55.95 BC 58.00 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dãotext
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Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dão 2018

Serra da Estrela, Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis is the first vintage of Granito Cru from Dão, and the 35+ year old vines of Encruzado, Bical and Sercial are rooted in the high altitude granite soils off the Serra da Estrela Mountain, in the village of Vila Nova de Tazém. The wine was native fermented and aged for 1 year in 500 L used barrels, and then into stainless for 6 months prior to bottling. This pours a hazy / cloudy pale yellow hue, and teems with wild lemon, meadow grass, subtle lemon blossom, verbena, and crushed stone. Acidity is easily lofted, steaming this to an amply saline and lengthy finish. Subtle, yet striking, this is a charmer.Prices: ON 49.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Vinhos Granito Cru Alvarinhotext
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Luis Seabra Vinhos Granito Cru Alvarinho 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalAfter a successful decade as winemaker at Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to break out on his own. This is his line of wines exploring grape (in this case albariño) and terroir (the granite soils of Vinho Verde). This Alvarinho came from three plots of 25+ year old vines, rooted in the granitic soils of the village of Paderne, Melgaço. The destemmed fruit was native fermented and aged in used, oval 1000L and 2000L oval vats of eastern Europe oak. It remained there, with no sulphur, for 12 months on lees, without bâtonnage, prior to a 5 month stint in stainless before bottling. Hay and straw lead into a streamlined palate of tight lemon, green pear, verbena, wild mint, and ample granitic buzzing salinity that lingers far beyond the wine. There is a gentle pad of lees on the core to cushion, and counter the citrus tightness. Lovely energy and freshness here.Prices: ON 39.95 Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro & Alvarinhotext
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Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro & Alvarinho 2019

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThere is no more storied Portuguese family than the Guedes, who have continuously owned Quinta da Aveleda since the 15th Century. The family is five generations deep into viticulture, dating back to the 1870s. The 150-hectare estate is home to various gardens and granitic sand vineyards planted to loureiro and albariño. After a cool fermentation, the wine goes through ageing in stainless steel tanks on fine lees. The result is bright and fresh, with citrus, apple highlights, ripe melon, and a clean tight mineral finish. A terrific value seafood wine I enjoyed with a prawn salad. Stupid value in Ontario.Prices: ON 13.00 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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11 August 2021

Mt. Boucherie Pinot Gristext
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Mt. Boucherie Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMt. Boucherie is located in West Kelowna, but the winery has a long reach, such as this Lazy River Vineyard pinot gris from South Cawston, in the Similkameen Valley. It shows a touch of colour in 2020, and carries a fresh, honeyed nose streaked with orange blossoms. The palate is full of sweet lime and creamy, leesy fruit with a bump of sweetness at the finish. I liked this with a spicy sushi roll.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Church & State Wines Pinot Gristext
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Church & State Wines Pinot Gris 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrench-born and trained winemaker Arnaud Thierry oversees all the Church and State wines in Victoria and the Okanagan, and he is off to an impressive start. 2018 is all stainless fermented and mostly aged for six months on its lees in the same vessels, with ten percent going into French oak. The nose is crisp and fresh with a slight mineral pitch followed by intense peach and apple orchard aromas. The palate is medium-soft with leesy, sweet lime, grapefruit and yellow fruit. Ready to drink, and I suggest you serve it well chilled.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Pinot Gristext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlue Mountain has taken its pinot gris to another level with the outstanding 2020 vintage, benefiting from 34 year-old vines. There's still the juicy Okanagan orchard fruit of previous vintages, but there's so much more here. This vintage is bolstered by lifted florals, honey, smoky lees, and just the right amount of spicy oak from aging in a combination of stainless steel, foudre, and puncheons. There's also a notch more ripeness here than I recall from past vintages, giving some additional weight to make it all work. I found myself continually going back to my glass as I was tasting this, and it's only going to get better over the next 2-3 years as the components more seamlessly integrate. An absolute steal at $25.Prices: BC 24.90 AB 26.85 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Pinot Gristext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is hard to beliveve the Blue Mountain PG is 34 years old, but it is, and vines are thriving in their Okanagan Falls sub-GI. The vineyard is planted to two French clones, and over the years, they seemed to have become one with the wine. The fermentation begins with indigenous yeast in a mix of vessels: foudre, stainless, older French barrels, and puncheons. Next, the wooded wines undergo regular bâttonage, while the stainless portion sits tight on its lees. Eventually, they are blended, and in 2020 the mix is knockout. Citrus drenched lime pith with first class creamy lees through a taut nervy and complex finish. Very food-friendly, this is all class. Back up the truck at this price; it doesn't get much better.Prices: BC 24.90 AB 26.85 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Kühling-Gillot Grauer Burgunder Rtext
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Kühling-Gillot Grauer Burgunder R 2019

Rheinhessen, GermanyKühling-Gillot is located in the municipality of Bodenheim, Rheinhessen, and the Kühling family has been farming and making wine for more than 200 years. Until Roland Gillot married into the family in 1970, it was always run by women. Since 2006, the winery has been run by Carolin Spanier-Gillot and her husband H.O. Spanier. Their 23 hectares of vines have been cultivated biodynamically since 2005. This pinot gris was from 20-50 year old vines rooted in limestone-loess soils, fermented in large wood, and then transferred to 900L Tonneau for a few months prior to bottling. This dry, energetic gris carries perfumed pear, lemon blossom, quince, yellow apple, all lit with a limestone buzz that lingers on the saline finish.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Kühling-Gillot
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Perlage Pinot Grigiotext
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Perlage Pinot Grigio 2020

Veneto, ItalySourced from 250m in the subregion of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and limestone / volcanic laced soils, this was native fermented on skins in stainless steel. The latter preserves freshness and brightness, while the skin contact provides texture. Honey, yellow apple, meadow grass, elderflower and chamomile rule this textural, slender white, humming with stony minerality through the bright finish. If more pinot grigios tasted and were treated like this, it wouldn't get such a poor reputation.Prices: ON 15.95 Producer: Perlage
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Nostalgia Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Nostalgia Pinot Gris 2020

CanadaThe former Oliver Twist Winery has been rebranded to Nostalgia, and at first glance, the wines are showing a bump up in quality. Look for a ripe pear nose of sweet orchard scents. It is broad and wide on the palate, offering smooth tropical fruit led by pineapple and dried apricots. Simple, clean, ready to drink with enough sweetness to take on light spicy foods through garlic prawns.Prices: BC 22.75 Producer: Nostalgia Wines Inc.
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Peak Cellars Skin Kissed Pinot Gristext
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Peak Cellars Skin Kissed Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gets a beautiful pale peach colour from 16 hours on skins, after being harvested from Block 18. It may be rosé-like in colour, but it's still very much pinot gris in character. There's a real precision to the fruit, showing peach skin, orange blossom, strawberry water, and red apple. There's a pithiness to the texture, without being bitter, and concentration and depth that is above the norm. A really interesting expression of pinot gris, and one you don't commonly find in the Okanagan. Recommended.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Nichol Vineyard Pinot Gristext
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Nichol Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is an iconic BC gris, known for its peach hue long before skin contact / orange / amber gris was the it thing. Off their Naramata estate, this gris was gently crushed and left to settle on the skins for 36 hours in open top fermenters. Pressed of the skins with fermentation taking place in a combination of 2 tonne open top fermenters and 5+ year old French barriques. Gently filtered and bottled in February 2021. This year's feels softer and riper than year's past, with mandarin, grapefruit, apricot, perfumed peach over a lactic base, finishing with gentle spicing.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
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Enrico Winery Shining Armour Pinot Gristext
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Enrico Winery Shining Armour Pinot Gris 2020

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe arrival of Daniel Cosman has immediately upped the wine quality at Enrico, and along with viticulturist Simon Spencer, they are elevating the game there. I love this wine because it has released the island in this gris, offering up lime and crisp green and red apple with bright acidity to float the mid-palate to the end. The finish is equally compelling, with a lovely clean mineral thread. Pick your favourite match, it can handle it, and the price is a bargain.Prices: BC 16.50 Producer: Enrico Winery
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Peak Cellars Skin Kissed Pinot Gristext
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Peak Cellars Skin Kissed Pinot Gris 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gris takes its colour from 16 hours of skin contact before being pressed off, but despite its beautiful pale colour, it is not a rosé. Instead, it is a delicious pinot gris with fabulous, juicy, red apple and strawberry nose that spills onto the palate, where that savoury North Okanagan sagebrush and tarragon kick in and balances the wine. There is an extra layer of texture from the skin contact without the bitterness that enlivens the wine from front to back. It is an excellent role model for a varietal wine desperately in need of changes worldwide and a great story from Lake Country, 30 minutes north of Kelowna. Well done, stock up.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Gris 2020

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaAnother Vancouver Island rising star wrapped in a dry, leesy mineral jacket. Intense pear and green apple preview a sensual and herbal palate with more pear and quince and plenty of staying power. Well-balanced and fresh, I can't think of any fresh BC seafood that wouldn't go well with this wine. It was whole cluster pressed and fermented in 90% stainless steel and 10% neutral barriques and finished impeccably.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 24.99 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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10 August 2021

Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinetttext
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Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett 2019

Saar, Mosel, GermanyFrom the Mosel's Saar region, and the single Scharzhofberger vineyard, this riesling is rooted on south facing slopes of weathered grey slate. Grapes were fermented in 1000L Fudre, where it rests for a few months on lees before bottling the following late spring. Unfortunately this bottle was corked.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Bischofliche Weinguter Trier
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Synchromesh Riesling Storm Haven Vineyardtext
92PTS

Synchromesh Riesling Storm Haven Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStorm Haven is one of Canada's top rieslings made by winemaker Alan Dickinson. It's also the flagship estate vineyard of Okanagan Falls-based Synchromesh Winery, one of Canada's riesling specialists. The stunning site is biodiverse, perched on the outflow from a mountain pass, and nestled at the base of Peachcliff Mountain, mixing soils from gravelled Gibson Block and shattered slate of Golddigger Block. It's easily one of BC's best vineyard sites. Low intervention in the vineyard and winery combines with fruit picked in stages to best express the site. The 2020 Storm Haven Riesling returns to the white label (vs the blue labels of the home site GG wines) and shows juicy pear, honeysuckle, honey crisp and green apples, subtle anise, wild desert scrub all lit with a vibrant shimmering acidity. The finish closes off with a lime pith / ginger grip and lingering stoniness. Lovely complexity here, as ever, and drinking beautifully now and with time ahead.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Gully and Terrace Vineyard Rieslingtext
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Synchromesh Gully and Terrace Vineyard Riesling 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGully and Terrace is a new vineyard for Synchromesh, adding Oliver to their cadre of choice vineyards across the Okanagan. These older vines sit on the Golden Mile Bench in two aspects: a rich alluvial gully, and a stony / bony terrace. A deeper shade of fruit here, with brown butter ruling, and caramelized quince, orange, red apple in the background. This presents slightly more off-dry than their northern Okanagan offerings. 28 g/L RS and 8 TA, with 8% alcohol.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Rieslingtext
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Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Riesling 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Thorny Vines vineyard, at the southern end of the Naramata Bench, the site faces gently north and was planted to 21B in 2010 on fertile heavy clay loam. The north facing site gives this crazy acidity (11.025), easily cutting through the 56 g/L RS. Stony and serious, yet juicy and bright, with Asian pear, lime pith and peel, mandarin, grapefruit, quince, tightening and drying on the lingering finish with a chalky / lime pith twist. A beauty, as ever, and at a boggling 7% to boot. Smashable.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Long's View Vineyard Rieslingtext
90PTS

Synchromesh Long's View Vineyard Riesling 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata's Long's View Vineyard (the ex-Bob Hancock Vineyard), the 3.5 acre gravelled clay / calcium carbonate south facing site of self-rooted 21B riesling vines shines with its characteristic juiciness. Ample fresh lime, lemon, honey crisp apple, gooseberry sings on the off-dry palate, with the 62 g/L RS expertly balanced off against 10.46 TA. The finishes closes off with an Asian pear pop. A joyous Riesling for drinking now. The vineyard is being transitioned into organic farming.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Rieslingtext
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Synchromesh Riesling 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe classic 2020 riesling now sources fruit from 6 sites they farm throughout Naramata, Okanagan Falls, and Oliver. Juicy and bright with ample lime, tangerine, mandarin, ripe pear and perfumed apricot on an off-dry palate, with the 47.11 g/L RS balanced off against the racy 9.3 TA. This finishes with a bright twist of lime. Smashable at 8.7%, this friendly riesling is ready for drinking now. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Peak Cellars Block 11 Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Block 11 Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock 11 Riesling is entirely 21B, fermented in two parts with two different yeasts. The ferments were stopped with approximately 13% sugar remaining, at 28 g/L, to balance off the acidity and leave this off-dry. Perfumed melon, tropical orange, ripe pear rule the juicy, creamy palate, certainly with a good deal of sugar but with an equally matched lime peel / pith acidity to counter. The finish lingers with a spiced peach hum. Tasty riesling for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTheir classic riesling sources fruit from Blocks 1, 4, 11, 19, and 37, planted primarily in granite-based. Part of the ferment was arrested to preserve a higher RS, while other parts were fermented in neutral barrel and concrete tank for additional complexities. The slight bump of RS is well suited to handle the crisp, bright orchard fruit. Yellow apples, white peaches, bosc pear is dusted with talcum powder and white pepper, and livened with a lime peel twist. Juicy and shining, this is best taken now with fragrant and flavourful Thai or Chinese dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Rieslingtext
87PTS

Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the inaugural release of Terraces Dry Riesling, with estate grapes sourced from the low-lying, clay soiled Block 20, and clone 21B. This was fermented cool in stainless over 6 weeks, where it remained until bottling. Bone dry, this is led by earthy lees, followed by lemon blossoms, green apples, and peach yogurt. The slender palate finishes with a bitter orange note. Somewhat disjointed and lactic up against the piercing citric acidity, this is definitely one for severe acid freaks.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Riesling Demeter Certified Biodynamictext
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Riesling Demeter Certified Biodynamic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Demeter biodynamic estate riesling is entirely 21B clones now 40+ years old. This was native fermented in stainless until the desired sweetness was left (mid-sweet, with 41.5 g/L). The honeyed sugar plays up against lush white peach, honeyed pear, lime peel and perfumed apple blossoms. The palate glides with a glycerol slick, and the finish lingers with ash and lime. Give this a try with gently spiced Thai or Vietnamese noodles.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Rieslingtext
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Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Riesling 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTheir home vineyard, clone 21B riesling is now 30 years old, rooted in the estate's rich sandy loam soils over gravels. This was native fermented long and slow in older French oak barrels until it was bottled without fining. It then sat in bottle for one year prior to release. Just off-dry, this is taut with lime pith, green apple, yellow apple, pear skin across a stony, textural base. Lovely energy and balance here, drinking well now and with time ahead. 95 cases produced.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Mayhem Rieslingtext
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Mayhem Riesling 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo vineyards are listed for this label: Summerland's Campagnaro Vineyard, and Vernon's Garagan Vineyard. The wine is whole cluster pressed and partially native fermented in a mix of puncheons, neutral barriques, and stainless steel. Fermentation was halted at 6.4 g/L, leaving the wine essentially dry. It remained five to six months on its lees before bottling. Juicy but a little less bright than last year, think more yellow fruit than crisp green apple. The mid-palate is soft and round with pear and sweet lime. Ready to drink, simply crack the screwcap and let the mayhem begin.Prices: BC 18.26 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the terraced rows of Block 20, planted to clone 21B like Block 11, the soil here is rich in clay. The fermentation was cool and slow, dialled down to 10 degrees and lasting 5-6 weeks. It's zesty, racy, and most certainly dry (1.5 g/L). If anything, this is a bit too austere, but it'll be at home on the dinner table, adding a splash of lemon, lime zest, and chalk with a clean, lipsmacking finish.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Pearl Morissette Oxydetext
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Pearl Morissette Oxyde 2019

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Niagara's leading naturalist producer (rather, Canada's iconic naturalist producer), this riesling comes off Redfoot Vineyard in Lincoln Lakeshore. Whole bunch presses were native fermented slow and long in a combo of old foudres and concrete, where it remained on lees, sans bâtonnage, for 16 months. The wine was blended and moved to stainless for 2 months prior to bottling unfined and unfiltered. Oxyde is an apt name for this natural wine, showing some degrees of oxidation, but also VA and some ethyl acetate as it streaks across the palate. Oyster shell, pear skin, lime pith and peel side an earthy, leesy base, all lashed with a mineral salinity, and lifted/gifted with riesling's high acidity. Hoping for a purer image of the grape in the future from this cuvée.Prices: ON 33.00 Producer: Pearl Morissette
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Therapy Rieslingtext
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Therapy Riesling 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker/viticulturalist Jack Kempf continues to reap the rewards of her tireless work in the vineyards and the inside the Therapy winery. 2020 was sourced from two important vineyards on the Naramata Bench. One is known for its acidity, the other at a higher elevation which consistently ripens its fruit, lending this wine its exquisite balance. It is all whole bunch pressed at low pressure for maximum gentle dejuicing, and the result after 15 weeks of cool-ferment is a very pure riesling. Look for lime and orange blossoms over a fresh palate of mineral-based citrus flavours and a rich, full-flavoured, complexly textured finish. Drink or hold, there is no rush to drink this now as it will only get better in the bottle. Sip through 2028. Good value.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Therapy Vineyards
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Lunessence ESV Riesling Organictext
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Lunessence ESV Riesling Organic 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the second release of the ESV Riesling and the first from the newly certified organic Summerland vineyard. It was handpicked October 7, fermented and aged on its lees for five months before bottling. The nose is a floral bouquet of scents that lead into a juicy mix of green apple, nectarine, and citrus rind, pleasantly mouthwatering. It is delicious and perfectly balanced if a touch off-dry, but that only makes it more inviting and certainly a candidate for spicy bites. Well done and ready to drink all fall.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Quails' Gate Clone 49 Rieslingtext
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Quails' Gate Clone 49 Riesling 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Collection Clone 49 Riesling showcases an emerging South Kelowna microclimate that appears to be highly friendly to riesling and pinot noir. In the case of this Alsace clone, set out on a cool climate quartz-laced site awash in millions of years old alluvial melt and sandy loam, gently sloping west, the mix is a winner. Expect a more floral, almost Mosel-like tone on the nose with fresh, racy green apple streaked with lime zest and a flinty, mineral, oyster liqueur, dry finish. It would be fantastic with vegetarian sushi rolls or a favourite Thai seafood dish. You would hardly notice it was fermented and aged in a mixture of puncheons and French Oak barriques with moderate stirring of the lees. An impressive start for such a young wine and vineyard.Prices: BC 22.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Peak Cellars Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom five different vineyard blocks based on granite soils, this riesling strikes a nice balance between the Block 11 and Terraces Rieslings. With just 7.5 g/L residual sugar, and zippy acidity, this is perceptibly dry but not austere. There are some of the lime notes of the Terraces riesling, with some of the riper fruit character of Block 11, showing honeyed stone fruits and yellow apple. All in all, a solid riesling that delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Ready to drink now.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Block 11 Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Block 11 Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is all clone 21B from Block 11, split between two different yeast strains. It's off-dry and more approachable than its Dry sibling, but with great balance. Even with 28 g/L residual sugar, the racy acidity lends this a just off-dry finish that is crisp and refreshing. It's gently floral with lemon and fresh orchard fruit, showing a notch more ripeness than the Dry Riesling. Peak Cellars is clearly a riesling producer to watch.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslesetext
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Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 2018

Mosel, GermanyThe Ürziger Würzgarten vineyard is said to produce amply spiced wines, most likely a result of Ürzig's red volcanic soils, rich in iron. This Grosse Lage Auslese had 50% botrytis. Unfortunately this bottle was corked.Prices: BC 44.50 375 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Dr. Burklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Gaisböhl GG Rieslingtext
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Dr. Burklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Gaisböhl GG Riesling 2016

Pfalz, GermanyThe Dr. Bürkin-Wolf estate is the sole owner of this highly rated Grosse Gewachs (Grand Cru). The site, located at the foot of the Mittelhaardt mountains, has been farmed since the medieval era. These biodynamically farmed riesling vines are rooted in the vineyard's gravelled / clay terraces, with sandstone. This was native fermented in large old casks, followed by 15 months' rest there on lees. An intense, honeyed and stony nose follows through on the dry, textural and tense palate, with ample generosity from the tangerine, pear, mirabelle plum fruit. This savoury wine finishes with a wash of eraser, meadow grass, and wild, dried herbs, along with a drying, pithy wild citrus note. Somewhat restrained, yet classic Pfalz, drinking beautifully now and with years ahead.Prices: BC 68.00 Producer: Dr. Burklin-Wolf
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Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Rieslingtext
88PTS

Peak Cellars Terraces Dry Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe first dry riesling is made with estate grapes grown on low-lying heavier clay soils that Peak Cellars calls Block 20. The clone is 21, and folks, this one is dry. The fermentation was long and cool at 36 days in stainless steel, and the wine remained on fine lees in the tank until bottling. Green apples and citrus rule the day with some lactic notes and piercingly sharp acidity, somewhat tempered by the creamy lees notes in the finish. Best with fatty foods to help soften the blow.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Rieslingtext
89PTS

Peak Cellars Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Peak Cellars classic riesling comes off four individual blocks: 1, 4, 11, 19, and 37, in Lake Country, mostly all planted over granite-based soils. The brew includes one part halted early to add a higher level of residual sugar, while the other parts were fermented in a neutral oak barrel and a concrete tank. The palate presents with juicy, crisp orchard fruit with a wisp of desert scrub. Quite delicious and ready to drink with any of your favourite south Asian dishes or simply prepared baked salmon.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Block 11 Rieslingtext
89PTS

Peak Cellars Block 11 Riesling 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock 11 is an off-dry riesling made from the Mosel riesling clone 21B. The fermentation was split 50/50 using two different yeasts. In 2020 it was halted with 28 grams per litre of sugar that appears to perfectly balance off the easy to attain acidity given in Lake Country. The nose is highly aromatic with ripe melon, tangerine, and pear that all spill onto a fresh, creamy, juicy palate. The sugar is front and centre but is easily subdued by the freshly squeezed lime acidity in the finish. Ready to drink, modestly priced and best of all, at 10.8 percent alcohol. Serve with spicy bites or rich, salty foods.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Rieslingtext
92PTS

Orofino Home Vineyard Wild Ferment Old Vines Riesling 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Home Vineyard 21B riesling clone that makes up this Old Vines Wild Ferment Riesling is now 30 years old, rooted in the sandy, loamy gravels of the Similkameen Valley. The berries are all destemmed and cool fermented on native yeast in old French barrels plus another 12 months in bottle before release Pretty impressive for the price. I was fans of this last year, but this year seems even more vibrant. Look for pear, green apple, and nectarine skin, with a fine, mineral, wet stone aspect in the finish. Throw in some Similkameen sagebrush and perfect balance, and you have a terrific bottle of riesling.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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RockBare The Clare Valley Rieslingtext
90PTS

RockBare The Clare Valley Riesling 2019

AustraliaThe Clare RockBare comes off three blocks just north of the Watervale township in the Clare Valley. Two of the blocks date back to 1975, and all three bring something different to the blend. The winemaking is simple: a cool early morning pick is pressed, the juice clarified, and fermented slowly in stainless steel. The wine is then left on lees and stirred often over four months, building texture on the palate before bottling. Expect a classic cut lime nose with a dusting of lemongrass, tangy citrus flecked with ginger, minerals, and sea salt. Prawns, anyone?Prices: BC 23.99 AB 24.99 Producer: Rockbare
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Upper Bench Rieslingtext
88PTS

Upper Bench Riesling 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA slightly more rustic style that is big on freshness flashing a citrus, peach, nectarine nose that spills onto the palate dusted with a touch of desert scrub and gooseberry that runs through the finish. It presents as a dry riesling with a fairly austere finish. I enjoyed it with a selection of Two Rivers sausages and soft cheeses.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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09 August 2021

Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNamed after owner Anthony Von Mandel's mother, Fritzi's Vineyard is located at the base of Mt. Boucherie, a granite soiled dormant volcano, at Mission Hill Family Estate's West Kelowna home base. This pinot is from a single block of the oldest pinot vines, planted in 1997 to clone 115. After a native ferment with 55% whole clusters and a 36 day maceration, this spent 17 months in French and Austrian extra tight-grained oak. Full bodied and fleshy with dark cherry, brooding plum, boysenberry, dark cocoa, and dark plum. Tannins are firm and long, housing this muscular pinot through a cola spiced finish. There is a lot of power and intensity here, drinking well now (with, say, duck or rich mushroom dishes), but still has a couple years ahead to shed some of the youth.Prices: BC 150.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimes is a cooler, steep, north-facing vineyard from East Kelowna, with granite-based soils underlying silt topsoils. This was planted to pinot noir clones 943, 667, 777, 114, 115, 828, and Swan, and was native fermented with 45% whole cluster before 17 months in extra tight grained French and Austrian oak. Quite elegant, with perfumed raspberry, ripe cherry, and dark plum set against a spicy / peppery background, this finishes with a gentle swell of warmth and cola. Tannins are long and still have a bit of tight firmness to shed. The various clones give a lot for the palate to play with here, with layers of complexity that are just starting to reveal. A very exciting vineyard and wine to watch.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
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Martin's Lane Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom East Kelowna's organically farmed Dehart Vineyard, this pinot was planted in 2008 at 430-470m on glacial silts over gravel. This is from clones 777 and 667, native cofermented in concrete, with 45% whole clusters and a 32 day maceration prior to resting 17 months in French and Austrian extra tight grained oak. Bright and lifted, with raspberry, cherry, wild strawberry skipping along the slender palate (even for 14.5%), wrapped with long, fine tannins, and finishing with a light peppery, pencil shavings kiss. Lots of energy here in this polished, fresh pinot, drinking beautifully now, and with time ahead.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of a quad of single-vineyard pinot noirs released in 2016, this came off the glacial silt topped granite bedrock of Naramata Ranch vineyard, at the far north end of the bench. Planted in 2008, this blends Pommard, 943 (the newer Dijon clone with small, oval berries and long bunches), and 667. After a native ferment in concrete, with 35% whole clusters and one month maceration, this rested 17 months in French and Austrian extra tight-grain oak before bottling unfiltered. Deeply hued, with smoked plum, wild blackberry, black cherry, hints of anise, and ample desert scrub on a fuller palate, kept fresh and aloft with lofted acidity. Tannins are long, fine, and well-absorbed into the dense fruit, taking this to a lingering peppery, brown spiced finish. Drinking well now.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Rieslingtext
91PTS

Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFritzi's Vineyard, named for owner Anthony von Mandl's mother, is a small vineyard at the base of West Kelowna's Mt. Boucherie, also the home site of Mission Hill. This clone 21B riesling was planted in 1999, and is the first parcel picked by Martin's Lane winemaker Shane Munn every year. After a native ferment in large format German oak, including 48 hours skin / stem contact, this remained in the vessel for 6 months, on lees. Intense with lime pith and peel streaking across a streamlined palate, pulling green apple, crunchy pear, and an electric buzzy minerality along the textural palate with. The finish lingers with a stony hum, enticing further exploration. This smartly balances out the gentle 8 g/L RS with the racy acidity, leaving a wine that is drinking well now, and with time ahead.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Rieslingtext
90PTS

Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Riesling 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Naramata Ranch Vineyard, this organically farmed riesling was planted in 1976 to an unknown clone, and on granite bedrock topped with silt. This was native fermented in large German oak, with 48 hours skin contact, including stems. Post ferment, this rested there 6 months on lees prior to bottling, unfined. This is intense with the mid-Okanagan sunshine, streaming white peach, pear skin, lime pith and blossoms on a juicy palate, framed with a savoury, stony chalky grip. The dry palate finishes with a refreshing lime twist and hint of desert sage. Lovely now, and with time ahead.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
95PTS

Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFritzi's Vineyard is a compact vineyard that sits at the base of Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna on a former conical volcano created some 60 million years ago. It faces southeast, 417 metres above Okanagan Lake, exposed to the gentle morning sun and well-protected from the hot afternoons that bathe the east side of the valley. The vineyard is named after owner Anthony von Mandl's mother, and it is planted exclusively to clone 115. In 2016 the fruit was perfectly ripe, offering a sweet cherry note with an air of lightness and elegance from front to back. It is floral, stony, refreshing, and it manages to stay within itself, relying on grace and charm to temper its power. Balanced at 13.6 alcohol, and cellar worthy, you could lay this down five to ten years with little problem. The fermentation is wild, and it takes place in concrete with 55 percent whole clusters for 36 days. It spends 17 months in tight-grain French and Austrian oak barrels.Prices: BC 150.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
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Martin's Lane Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUnder winemaker Shane Munn’s vision, the tiny perfect Martin’s Lane Winery is fast becoming one of the most exceptional pinot noir facilities built anywhere in the wine world. And the same vision is turning out some spectacular pinot noirs that 30 years ago would never have been considered possible. Set high above the lake facing west into the setting sun, Dehart Vineyard in East Kelowna is just beginning to hit its stride at 14 years of age. It is planted to a mix of clones 667 and 777, co-fermented in concrete with up to 45 percent whole bunches over 32 days. Gentle, gentle, gentle is the mantra of many pinot producers, but at the six-level winery that doesn’t own a pump, the gravity fed, five movement production program is a way of life. There is no deviation under Munn’s critical eye. The Dehart pinot is rich and full-bodied, offering ripe black cherry with savoury undertones reminiscent of the Sonoma Coast but with more precision and polish. At 14.5 percent alcohol, it has a Grand Cru's presence from its fresh entry to its cool, spicy finish. It is bigger than last year, but the tannins are more refined.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
94PTS

Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot noir was first planted at the ranch in 2008, with several more blocks added at different elevations and expositions over the next decade. It is an amazing mix of sites and mesoclimates, depending on the exposition and proximity to Okanagan Lake. Four clones are in the ground: Pommard, 943, 828 and 667. In a picture-perfect 2016 growing season, three of the four clones (no 828 this year) were picked on September 26 and 27. A mid-valley pinot gives it a richer structure than its northern brethren, crafted with the same care and precision. The clones are cofermented in concrete with 35 percent whole bunches over 32 days and spend 17 months in extra tight grain French and Austrian oak. I like the bold flavours of black cherries and the savoury licorice and spice that highlight the pure tones of this pinot. Both complex and elegant, you can drink this now or cellar through 2025 and beyond.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
95PTS

Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimes is a cooler, steep, north facing vineyard in East Kelowna. Its granite-based soils sit just a few kilometres south of the 50°N mark. The northern aspect adds a rare distinction to this site that remains cool even as climate change is warming up the west coast. Three blocks within the site make up 2016; the mix of clones are 943, 667, 777, 114, 115. After a spontaneous native fermentation, with a majority of whole bunches, it is all aged in extra tight-grain French oak for 17 months. Easily the best I have seen from this site and a true harbinger of what is to come in the North Okanagan for pinot noir. Intense but graceful and packed full of flavours, the texture is ultra-silky, and the length is ridiculous. Kudos to Shane Munn, who remains highly focused on only making outstanding wine at Martin’s Lane. It rivals anything on the West Coast and much of Burgundy. Look out, world; BC pinot noir is coming to town.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Rieslingtext
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Martin's Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Riesling 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Naramata Ranch site sports a topology and geology that is a winegrower’s dream. Planted across several elevations, where the soils (or better described rocks), a mix of red granite on the surface over granite bedrock are everywhere. The site is mostly grass-free because it won't support grass or a cover crop, and in 2017 it yielded 1490 growing degree days. The vines are old at 41 years, and own-rooted to an unknown clone, adding another layer to this wine's complexity. The ferment and ageing are completed in German oak stücks. On the palate, the style is electric, with ultra-bright, juicy fruit with intense stony, mineral, lemon-lime. The Ranch sits at the northern end of the Naramata Bench before running up against Chute Lake's mountains. In general, the riesling is hand sorted, and not all the berries are crushed before they go to press sans sulphur. A riesling for wine geeks.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Rieslingtext
94PTS

Martin's Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFritzi's vineyard is a tiny single vineyard at the base of Mt. Boucherie, a dormant volcano in West Kelowna at 49.83°N. It is a warm, south-eastern facing parcel named after owner Anthony von Mandl's centenarian-plus mother. The vines were 19 years old and all clone 21B. There is a one day plus cold soak with stems before a spontaneous ferment that runs 7-14 days in ceramic, German oak stück, and stainless steel before it all spends nine months on lees. The Fritzi riesling style is ripe and full of lovely sweet mango streaked with guava and kiwi over a saline, citrus finish. It's finished with five grams of sugar, but you would be hard-pressed to detect it in the finish. Winemaker Shane Munn hand sorts the riesling and doesn't crush all the berries before they go to press sans sulphur. An exquisite bottle that will age effortlessly.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Rieslingtext
93PTS

Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimes is a cooler, steep, north-facing vineyard in East Kelowna. Its granite-based soils sit just a few kilometres south of the 50°N mark. The northern aspect adds a rare distinction to this site that remains cool even as climate change is warming up the west coast. It is the perfect home for the small amount of riesling that joins a vineyard predominately planted to pinot noir. The riesling fruit (Alsace clone 49) was hand picked using selective passes through the block on October 6. At the winery, it is meticulously hand sorted at the top of the six level, five movement winery. The juice is cold macerated for 24-48 hours, followed by stainless steel and ceramic fermentation that lasts one to two weeks before it ages on its lees for a minimum of six months. The ageing is in a mix of stainless steel and 1200 litre German foudres. The result is a knockout lemon-led riesling that, in the end, is bone dry, sporting a hum of electricity and minerality that speaks to East Kelowna riesling dusted in Okanagan desert scrub.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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08 August 2021

Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Rieslingtext
92PTS

Martin's Lane Simes Vineyard Riesling 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimes Vineyard is a steep, north-facing site in East Kelowna overlooking Lake Kelowna, based on granite soils. This is entirely clone 49, native fermented in stainless and ceramic egg, with 48 hours skin / stem contact, followed by six months on lees. It was bottled without fining. An intense, focused nose of lime pith and peel carries through to the palate, accompanied by tangerine, crunchy pear, and an electric acidity. Bone dry, this streaks along the palate, leaving a lime peel / brown butter wash and granitic buzz in its wake.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Martin's Lane Winery
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06 August 2021

Tributo a Norcelo Malbectext
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Tributo a Norcelo Malbec 2019

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis malbec comes from Barrancas, 30 minutes southeast of Mendoza city, on clay loam soils at 702 metres. Soft and plump in the mouth with dark cherry, plum, and blueberry on a cushy palate, this has soft, plush tannins that finish with a dusting of spice. A welcoming malbec that isn't overt or dumb downed, take this now with grilled mushrooms or burgers.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Fincas Don Martino
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Catena Malbec High Mountain Vinestext
91PTS

Catena Malbec High Mountain Vines 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaCatena’s High Mountain Malbec is a blend of high altitude, family owned vineyards. The precision you taste is a result of Laura Catena and chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil blending three sites. The 80-year-old vines in Lunlunta (Maipù) sit in loamy clay and rounded rocks yielding soft, sweet textures. At El Cipillo in Eugenio Bustos, loamy sands and thick calcareous layers sit over rounded rock. Finally, under intense sunshine in Gualtallary (Tupungato), the gravel limestone soils yield floral aromatics and structure. 2019 was a solid, dry, growing season yielding smaller berries, and low yields left the wines bright and ripe, which is a great combination for malbec. Look for attractive red/black fruits with a touch of mocha, toasted oak and superb balance. Fine value most every year.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 19.00 MB 22.00 ON 19.00 NB 23.29 PEI 22.85 NF 24.25 NS 23.80 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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EsteOeste Malbectext
87PTS

EsteOeste Malbec 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaThe fruit for this wine is evenly split between Mendoza Este and Oeste Mendocino, hence EsteOeste. The result is a sappy, juicy style of malbec, showing plum, blackberry, and a light touch of sweet oak. The tannins are negligible, and the acidity bright, making this well suited to serving lightly chilled alongside grilled fare. Solid, if a bit simple.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Bodega Cicchitti
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Tapiz Alta Collection Malbectext
89PTS

Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec 2015

Mendoza, ArgentinaSix years seems the perfect tonic for this red rich in blackberries and black plums, dusted in local jarilla, chocolate toasted oak, and a hint of age. There is more freshness and acidity on the palate than you might expect before rich, dense tannins and a bit of heat flood the finish. Steak anyone?Prices: BC 36.00 AB 26.00 Producer: Tapiz
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Trapiche Medalla Malbectext
89PTS

Trapiche Medalla Malbec 2016

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom Tupungato inside the Uco Valley, Trapiche is working with old vine malbec now over forty years old. The nose is a polished mix of fresh berries and violets with a savoury, umami-like undercurrent and vanilla streaks. The palate apes the nose with supple textures and sweeter black fruits. It is slick and generous, but at five years old, beginning to wear out. It is fully ready to drink. Winemaker Daniel Pi ages this big value red for 18 months in French oak. Steak, anyone?Prices: BC 21.00 MB 22.00 NB 22.85 NFL 22.85 Producer: Trapiche
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Alamos Selección Malbectext
88PTS

Alamos Selección Malbec 2017

Mendoza, ArgentinaAlamos opens with sweet floral tones and a savoury dried black fruit aroma. The attack is broad and juicy with tasty blackberry jam, black pepper, and toasted oak filling in the finish. The tannins are moderate, more structural than textural, and the acid is medium fresh, making it eminently sippable now. The fruit comes off higher altitude La Consulta sites in the Uco Valley. Value and quality are nice monikers to attach to this easy sipping red.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 19.00 MB 18.00 ON 16.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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Felino Malbectext
90PTS

Felino Malbec 2019

Mendoza, ArgentinaFelino is a rambunctious malbec made with a mix of fruit from the Valle de Uco and Lujan de Cuyo aged in new American oak for eight months. The nose and palate are dominated by rich, soft black, juicy plum fruit streaked with licorice, black pepper and smoky, dense sweet tannins. It has always been a friendly wine you can drink early. A perfect backyard barbecue red, capable of rolling into autumn and winter to handle most any dish as the intensity of the fare amps up with the weather. Hedonistic and unapologetic.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 21.95 MB 25.99 ON 19.00 Producer: Viña Cobos
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Terrazas de los Andes Malbec Reservatext
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Terrazas de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2018

Mendoza, ArgentinaFrom estate vineyards in Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley, this big, savoury, mineral malbec is sourced from vines 20-90 years growing at 1070 to 1200m. The attack is less sweet than most entry level malbecs with toasted oak and spice throughout dense, savoury, dry black fruit. There is a coolness and a freshness that comes with a cooler vintage that makes it finish drier than most, with a twist of bitter dark chocolate, but I like its sophisticated cool demeanour. Think steak here grilled medium-rare, and root vegetables.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 22.00 MB 19.00 NS 25.70 Producer: Terrazas de los Andes
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Finca La Linda Private Selection Old Vines Malbectext
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Finca La Linda Private Selection Old Vines Malbec 2018

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaI was in awe the first time I saw this high-altitude (960M) vineyard with thirty-year-old vines back in 2010, so I'm not surprised by the quality of the wine coming from it. The fruit jumps from the glass even in this cool year with bright notes of blueberries and blackberries with a commensurate dusting of savoury dried herbs. It is a slightly more sophisticated look for a soft, round dense red that makes for a delicious mid-week wine you can serve with grilled sausages or mushrooms.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 19.99 ON 15.95 Producer: Luigi Bosca
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05 August 2021

Fitzpatrick The Elusive Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Fitzpatrick The Elusive Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the southern blocks of their estate Greata Ranch, this vintage employed 23% whole bunch, and aged in French barrels (10% new) before heading to bottle without fining or filtration. This is a darker shade of pinot, with black raspberries and black cherries ruling, and soft plum filling out the fleshy core. Tannins are somewhat astringent, yet pasty, making for a somewhat disjointed mix. This is best taken with grilled mushrooms or burgers to mitigate.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Baillie-Grohman Pinot Noir Reservetext
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Baillie-Grohman Pinot Noir Reserve 2017

Creston, British Columbia, CanadaThis single vineyard, Creston estate grown pinot is at 650m. Destemmed fruit was cold soaked for 3 days before heading to tank for ferment and 30 days skin maceration. This completed MLF in French barriques (30% new), where it rested in total for 11 months prior to bottling. The wood is apparent from first whiff, with toasted cedar, and subtle camp smoke permeating the still potent black cherry, black raspberry, forest bark on the palate. Tannins are furry, and acidity is bright, housing this to a baking spiced, lightly warming finish. I taste more of the winemaking and less of the site and fruit here in this warm 2017 vintage. Drink now.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Baillie-Grohman Terraces Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Baillie-Grohman Terraces Pinot Noir 2019

Creston, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Creston estate, this is from a single vineyard at 650m. Destemmed fruit was cold soaked for 3 days before heading into ferment, with 30 days on kins. MLF finished in French barriques (20% new), where the wine rested for on year prior to bottling. Tight and bright cherry and raspberry opens, leading to downy plum and tart blackberry on the medium bodied palate. Tannins are soft and lightly sticky through to a warming baking spice finish. Lovely freshness from altitude and latitude throughout. Quite smart, this bright pinot noir is drinking very well now.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
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Nichol Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Nichol Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 6 rows vines planted in 1990 beside the winery, this was whole cluster pressed and raised in neutral oak until it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Quite youthful and primary still, with black plum, wild blackberry, crunchy black raspberry, and a wash of balsamic spilling across the peppery palate. Tannins are downy, leading this to a green herbal edged / black currant finish. Take now with a slight chill.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
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Haywire Garnet Valley Ranch Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Haywire Garnet Valley Ranch Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis special pinot comes off their high altitude, organically farmed Garnet Valley Ranch. It is native-fermented in concrete and open-top stainless tanks for four weeks, with gentle twice-daily punch-downs before being basket pressed into concrete tanks for ten months ageing before heading to bottle, unfiltered. It is quite smoky from the get-go, a cautious and unfortunate side effect from the wildfire-tinged 2018 vintage. Through the cloud of smoked wood, dusky plum, wild blackberry, black cherry emerge, ringed with firm stoniness and housed by fine, softly sticky tannins. There's an easy lofted acidity that brightens this, leading to a subtle saline, spiced finish — certainly a wine of vintage and place.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyardtext
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis comes off their organically farmed Secrest Mountain Vineyard, a higher altitude site with calcium-carbonate laced alluvial and gravelled soils. The destemmed fruit was put into concrete Nico Velo tanks for a native ferment and aging until August 2020, when it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Ripe and round and soft, with plush dark cherry, black raspberry, sultry baking spices on a plumped palate. Tannins are velveteen, housing this to a sarsaparilla and espresso finish. A richer, softer shade of pinot noir, ready for drinking now.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Haywire Pinot Noir 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's white label Pinot Noir comes off xxxxx , and was destemmed and native fermented in a mix of concrete tanks, 600 litre puncheons, and amphora before heading to concrete to finish MLF and a 10 month rest prior to bottling in August 2020 with no filtration. Perfumed and silky, this streams fragrant raspberry, plum and cherry along a softer, finely textured palate, finishing with a wisp of dessert scrub. Friendly and smart pinot, not dumbed down any, and primed for drinking now, amply.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Noir 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaClassic Vancouver Island pinot noir in its delicate, pale, juicy, low alcohol (12 percent), high acidity and freshness to beat the band, as like last year. The fruit is red as in raspberries, black cherries, and pomegranate, with a smoky cedar underside, medium curry spice and light tannins. On the palate, the flavours persist, flexing depth and layers of more spice and a long warm finish. A much appreciated intellectual style of pinot noir that draws you into the glass wanting more. Salmon or creamy mushroom risotto would be a good match. Watch out, the world; you can buy 870 bottles of this delicious pinot noir or one bottle of Leroy Musigny.Prices: BC 37.99 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Saddle Blocktext
90PTS

Spearhead Pinot Noir Saddle Block 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit is sourced from Spearhead's estate Saddle Block Vineyard in South East Kelowna. It is a mix of pinot clones 115 and 828, all hand harvested, and cold soaked for 5-7 days before a natural, 16 to 21 day long ferment prior to spending just over a year in French oak barrels (approximately 25 percent new). The nose is high toned and savoury with a spicy, minty undertone. East Kelowna sour cherry mixes with floral, mineral, white pepper and a silky undercarriage on the palate. Just under the height of Coyote Vineyard but very fine, nevertheless. Drink with grilled root vegetables, duck, salmon, or a sausage pizza.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Coyote Vineyardtext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Coyote Vineyard 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCoyote Vineyard sits on the magical, decaying volcanic soils of Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna. It is all clone 115, a favourite choice, at least for me, on mid-valley Okanagan sites. The attack is lively and packed with spicy, red-fruited pinot plump with acidity and a whack of fresh black plums and savoury cherries. Pure New World pinot with an Old World touch. It seems as if winemaker Grant Stanley is hitting his stride at Spearhead, essentially being at one with his grapes. True north pinot noir, and one of the best I have tasted in some time. Drink or hold through 2026.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat Vineyard 2019

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Summerland's Golden Retreat Vineyard comes one of three single vineyard pinots (plus two multi-site blends) that Spearhead is producing. Every year I am enamoured by the pinot fruit coming out of Summerland, in this case a mix of Pommard, 115, and 777 clones, native fermented with 21 days on the skins before spending 13 months in French oak barrels (25 percent new). It opens with an inviting savoury, spicy, beet, juniper, plum nose with a dash of black raspberry, dark chocolate, and Worcestershire. As always, fresh, even piquant, with a refined, silky finish. I love this with pork or a roasted Tuscan-style pizza. Well made, smoke-free, and ready to impress through 2027 and beyond.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Haywire Pinot Noir 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis makes for an interesting contrast to the Secrest Mountain Vineyard Pinot. It's lighter, leaner, and more red-fruited, with crunchy cranberry and wild raspberry, rhubarb, and sweet spices. There's a nice balance of fruit and savoury complexity, bolstered by winemaker Matt Dumayne's use of concrete, 600L puncheons, and amphora. The tannins are negligible and the acidity tart, giving this a glou-glou quality. But it'll really be at its best alongside charcuterie and a generous serving of paté. Bottled unfiltered.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyardtext
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 38 acre Secrest Mountain Vineyard is located north of Oliver, on a bench above the valley floor that sits at 487m elevation. The soils are alluvial based, with coarse gravel and sandy loam. Okanagan Crush Pad has been farming this site since 2010. It's now certified organic under their ownership, and winemaker Matt Dumayne has really dialled this in. It shows a darker fruit profile, with black raspberry, spiced cherry, and perfumed, savoury spices that allude to that ethereal quality of pinot. Aged in concrete, it's quite textural with fine, supple tannins. There is some richness and weight here, too, and even at 13.5% there's a warmth to the finish. Give this a light chill and enjoy over the next 3-4 years.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Foxly Reserve Pinot Noirtext
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Foxly Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxtrot created its second label, Foxly, so it had a tier of wines that were approachable and ready to drink upon release. This Reserve offering from the 2016 vintage certainly fits that bill and is ready for prime time. From Foxtrot's Naramata estate, there's a notch more complexity and ripeness here than you'll find in their entry-level pinot, with black strawberry, cola, and vanilla-tinged oak after aging for 18 months in barrel (30% new). Even with that darker fruit profile, this is still more medium-bodied than full, with appealing freshness and quite fine, supple tannins. A good introduction to Foxtrot at a fair price.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Haywire Garnet Valley Ranch Pinot Noirtext
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Haywire Garnet Valley Ranch Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear two organically certified fruit from the spectacular Garnet Valley project is a wine of two stories. The nose is cool with soaring floral notes, a touch of reduction, and some smoky undertones. There is bright, fresh red fruit with stony mineral fruit support on the palate before a smoky, campfire, bacon fat theme kicks in. It is all wild-fermented in concrete and open top stainless tanks for a month. Twice daily punchdowns preceded a basket press and ten more months of storage in concrete. The acidity easily pierces its silky finish. Given the smoky tone, I recommend serving this now with food for best results. Lots of promise here to be something special in a better year.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyardtext
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSecrest Mountain Vineyard is a high altitude Okanagan site that sits over calcium carbonate laced alluvial and gravelled soils, all organically farmed. Winemaker Matt Dumayne destems the fruit and ferments it wild in concrete tanks where it ages for approximately ten months. The nose is aromatic with a rush of juicy, stemmy red and black fruit with a rich texture sporting a touch of grippy tannins, mocha and some cool spicing. It needs another two to three years to better integrate its fruit and tannins but should be a standout, naturally-made northern pinot.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuails' Gate's pinot program is really hitting its stride, and it starts with their Estate Series. This 2019 is stylish and elegant, led by bright strawberry, herbs, and underbrush, with well integrated oak spices after aging for nine months in Burgundian barrels. And, sure, the oak may be from Burgundy but this is Okanagan through and through, combining vibrant fruit with an enticing savouriness. It's supple and juicy, with just 13% abv, and a steal at this price.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 30.99 MB 26.99 QC 29.10 NS 30.00 PEI 30.09 YK 27.00 SK 30.00 NB 27.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Foxly Pinot Noirtext
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Foxly Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFoxtrot created its second label, Foxly, so it had a tier of wines that were approachable and ready to drink upon release. You certainly don't need to wait on this pinot. It's already quite developed, showing a combination of dried red fruits, underbrush, and cedar, with sweet spices after aging in French barriques for 14 months (30% new). The palate is still lively, with soft, supple tannins, but the fruit does feel like it's beginning to fade. Drink now with a slight chill.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Foxtrot Vineyards Ltd.
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Giant Head Pinot Noirtext
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Giant Head Pinot Noir 2018

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot appears to have escaped unharmed in a smoky year and is a nice upgrade from 2017. The style is intense, and on the rich side of pinot, more Californian than Euro. The tannins are silky, and its richer dark cherry and spice will have wide appeal for a certain market sector. It is all aged in neutral French oak for 10 months and bottle unfined and unfiltered. The fruit is a mix of purchased and estate fruit (a 40-year old German clone is on the home site). Cool nights are a big part of the Summerland ethos giving the necessary acidity to balance the wine. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 39.04 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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Canyonview Wines Pinot Noirtext
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Canyonview Wines Pinot Noir 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSoft and ripe 2017 presents a similar meaty, earthy, forest floor style as I saw in other Giant Head wines. More barnyard than clean fruit, it harkens back to the '70s in Burgundy. It spends 18 months in French oak barrels and thankfully delivers at only 13.5 percent alcohol. The flavours are intense, and spice with strawberry dominating before the pepper and meaty notes return. Lots of promise here; let’s hope for cleaner versions in the future.Prices: BC 47.99 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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Giant Head Pinot Noir Selecttext
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Giant Head Pinot Noir Select 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpen meaty, barnyard earthy nose with a savoury, herbal cola undercurrent. The palate has more of that earthy forest floor mixed with meaty rhubarb, sweet strawberry, and bitter cola. It is fully ready to drink and would be best served with mushroom dishes and roasted meats.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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04 August 2021

Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Crutext
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Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru 2018

Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceBeaune Clos des Mouches Rouge is all about charm and sophistication and the 2018 has it in spades. The fruit, mostly dark cherries and black plums, with a touch of violet, floods the nose and the palate, gaining weight and an expansive texture on the mid-palate. The tannins are rich and dense but pinot soft and frankly a little New World, at least where it meets the Old World. It's slightly richer than normal, but it will only endear the New World drinkers who will embrace the harmony of the wine. That said, this should age effortlessly into the 2030s and beyond.Prices: BC 199.99 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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Kühling-Gillot Spätburgundertext
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Kühling-Gillot Spätburgunder 2015

Rheinhessen, GermanyFrom the cellar. Kühling-Gillot is located in Bodenheim, Rheinhessen, and the Kühling family has been farming and making wine for more than 200 years. Until Roland Gillot married into the family in 1970, it was always run by women. Since 2006, the winery has been run by Carolin Spanier-Gillot and her husband H.O. Spanier. Their 23 hectares of vines have been cultivated biodynamically since 2005. This 2015 is still quite alive, though certainly worn some with time, as evidenced by the paling, bricking hue and autumnal aromas on the nose. The palate is mellow with dried cherry, raspberry and seasoned with subtle baking spices. Acidity is lofted, easily buoying this to a lingering salt and tea-kissed finish. A lovely example of ageing pinot; this still has time to go ahead.Prices: ON 32.45 Producer: Kühling-Gillot
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Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune Rougetext
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Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune Rouge 2018

Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceThere is a lot to like about the 2018 Côte de Beaune, from its expressive nose of red and black fruit flecked with an earthy, olive, spicy note to its silky, rich textures in the mouth. Smoky cherry chocolate with good underlying acidity finish long and expansively with a touch of spice and perfume. Impressive for a mid-priced Burgundy, and you can almost enjoy it right now. Well done.Prices: BC 68.99 AB 65.00 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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Kühling-Gillot Spätburgundertext
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Kühling-Gillot Spätburgunder 2018

Rheinhessen, GermanyKühling-Gillot is located in Bodenheim, Rheinhessen, and the Kühling family has been farming and making wine for more than 200 years. Until Roland Gillot married into the family in 1970, it was always run by women. Since 2006, the winery has been run by Carolin Spanier-Gillot and her husband H.O. Spanier. Their 23 hectares of vines have been cultivated biodynamically since 2005. Bright with cherries, raspberries, plums, this light / medium-bodied pinot is seasoned with light peppercorns and lofted with an easy limestone/loess loftiness. Tannins are fine and black-tea etched, providing a lovely firm framework for this elegant wine. Drinking well now, especially with wild mushroom and/or duck dishes.Prices: ON 32.45 Producer: Kühling-Gillot
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Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noirtext
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Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2020

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AustraliaFrom the cool Mornington Peninsula, this pinot was destemmed and macerated cool for 3-5 days before native ferment and partial whole bunch fermentation. The wine was aged in French barriques and puncheons (26% new) for 9 months. Pouring a pale crimson hue, this opens with fragrant raspberries, wild cherries, juicy plum on a light, lifted palate. There's a pretty peony florality throughout and fine long-grain tannins that guide this to a lightly spiced finish. Acidity is lofted, and drinkability, especially now, for this youthful red is high.Prices: ON 34.95 Producer: Montalto
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Penner-Ash Pinot Noirtext
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Penner-Ash Pinot Noir 2018

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThe Willamette Valley, pinot cuvée sources fruit from 6 AVAs, thought of as a broad overview of the valley through the Penner-Ash / Jackson Family lens. The wide mix of clones, soils, and locations gives a broadly textured wine, further amplified by 10 months in French oak (23% new). Darkly fruited, with brooding plums, perfumed blackberries seasoned with thorns, tobacco, violets, and soft baking spices. Tannins are ample but supple, guiding this to a lingering spiced finish. Able to take on duck or richer pork dishes; drinking now.Prices: BC 58.99 AB 45.99 SK 60.99 MB 60.99 ON 59.95 Producer: Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noirtext
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2018

Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe Brewer Clifton style is in your face pinot with full on intense fruit. The nose is a dusty mix of teal leaf and pomegranate mixed with brown spices and earthy, gamey, forest floor, fig, and raspberries, with a dusting of cocoa. The fruit is aged in neutral barrels, and whole stems are an essential part of the structure of this wine. I’m thinking rich duck or pork dishes as the perfect foil to the intense flavours of this wine. The Brewer-Clifton pinot is an assembly of three Sta. Rita Hills AVA sites: 3D (Swan, Pommard and 667 clones), Machado, and Hapgood (Merry Edwards clone).Prices: BC 44.99 AB 39.99 SK 46.99 MB 46.99 ON 59.95 Producer: Brewer-Clifton
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Cambria Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyardtext
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Cambria Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard 2018

Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesJulia's Vineyard will soon be 50 years old. It was named after Julia Jackson, daughter of Jesse Jackson and Barbara Banke, in 1988, two years after the Jackson family purchased the Cambria Estate Winery. You can feel the inherent warmth of Santa Maria Valley here, in terms of its darker fruit profile, brown spices, and rich, glycerous-like textures. It’s not over the top but rather nicely balanced by savoury notes of underbrush, flint and perfectly integrated oak. It’s always charming shortly after bottling, given its silky smooth tannins. I suggest a light chill to set the fruit off here.Prices: BC 38.99 AB 39.99 SK 39.99 MB 39.99 ON 34.95 QC 34.00 Producer: Cambria Estate Vineyard & Winery
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Black Stallion Limited Release Pinot Noirtext
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Black Stallion Limited Release Pinot Noir 2018

Napa Valley, California, United StatesA surprisingly fresh and bright pinot that tips the scales at 14.5 percent alcohol. The nose is varietal Carneros with that black cherry nose and cool, earthy undertones and a touch of upfront violets. The palate is equally fresh with black cherry, raspberry fruit and perfect spicing — a friendly, juicy, ready-to-drink style with soft textures. Los Carneros is one of Napa Valley’s coolest growing regions and the perfect home with morning fog and afternoon winds coming off the cool San Pablo Bay. The wines were allowed to mature in 42 percent new French oak for nine months before bottling. Black Stallion is located in the Stags Leap area of Napa valley on an old equestrian site. The Indelicato family, owners of the Delicato wine empire, own Black Stallion Estate.Prices: BC 38.99 Producer: Black Stallion Estate Winery
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Sea Sun Pinot Noirtext
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Sea Sun Pinot Noir 2019

California, United StatesIf you love cabernet, you will love this pinot that comes with a whack of sweet baked red fruit and brown spices that frankly is more like a cabernet than a pinot noir. The tannins are soft, the oak rich, and it is ready to drink. I think it might be best with a spicy pizza or an equally spicy barbecue chicken recipe. Expensive for what you get.Prices: BC 27.99 ON 25.30 Producer: Wagner Family of Wines
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Maison Champy Beaune Vieilles Vignestext
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Maison Champy Beaune Vieilles Vignes 2017

Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceThe simple Beaune appellation vineyards lie at the bottom of the hill facing east to the south over limestone and clay soils. Vieilles Vignes refer to the selection of vines that are now 75 years old. Interestingly they are two years into an organic certification program. It is all handpicked, cold macerated, and fermented wild for three weeks. It aged in French oak barriques (25 percent new), for 14 months. Look for a lightly smoky, earthy nose with a touch of dried herbs and wild berries. The palate is silky, Beaune smooth, with more strawberry and earthy mushroom notes and a soft, inviting finish. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 59.99 Producer: Maison Champy
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Secret de Famille Bourgogne Côte d'Or Pinot Noirtext
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Secret de Famille Bourgogne Côte d'Or Pinot Noir 2018

Burgundy, FranceThe Bourgogne tag puts a lot of pressure on any French pinot noir, but not every label can be a Grand Cru. At $20, the Bichot Secret de Famille Bourgogne Rouge is as rare as Grand Cru, at least price-wise. The Bichot Secret de Famille (Family Secret) is made with carefully sourced grapes from the Côte d’Or only, around Pommard, Chambolle-Musigny, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Gevrey-Chambertin and Marsannay. It is aged in French oak barrels for 10-12 months. The style is soft and laid back with warm earthy strawberry, blueberry to an easy sipping finish. An introductory pinot for the mid-week dinner table.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 16.95 QC 15.95 Producer: Albert Bichot
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Familia Schroeder Alpataco Pinot Noirtext
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Familia Schroeder Alpataco Pinot Noir 2019

Patagonia, ArgentinaAlpataco is an indigenous bush that symbolizes the tenacity of life on the cool, windy, barren Patagonian steppe. The low-yield pinot is handpicked and made with minimal intervention and stainless steel fermented. This introductory pinot hits a number of the important bells: soft, round, red-fruited with raspberry and strawberry, and some spice and length in an elegant style. Crazy value.Prices: BC 14.90 Producer: Familia Schroeder
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03 August 2021

Meinklang Weisser Mulatschaktext
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Meinklang Weisser Mulatschak NV

Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Weinland Österreich, AustriaThis light-bodied (11.5%) natural, biodynamic orange pours a hazy light orange hue, from 5-7 days maceration on skins of the Welschriesling, Pinot Gris, and Traminer blend. The grapes come from Burgenland's Neusiedlersee and its sandy, loamy, rocky soils. Post pressing and native ferment in stainless, this rested 4 months on lees before bottling with no fining or filtration and minimal sulphites. Lightly riffing on the palate with apricot, peach fuzz, and gooseberry, marked with a dusting of ash, and humming along with a slight prickle and gentle him of acidity. Refreshing orange for drinking now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Meinklang
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Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscattext
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Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscat 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Orange sourced muscat from 3 Similkameen vineyards: Hendsbee and Orofino's Home Vineyard, which rest on the Cawston Bench, and a neighbouring vineyard on the valley floor. The Bench sites have a couple of feet of rich soils before 100 feet of gravel and river rock, while the valley floor is much richer river deposits. The grapes were all combined and co-fermented on skins for 24 days until dry. It was then bladder pressed and aged on light lees in older barrels for 6 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered, with minimal sulphur. As the name and style suggest, this pours a glowing golden, hazy hue, with ample apricots, peach skin, bergamot on a sleek palate, gripped with skin tannins and tension around the edges. With ample wild Similkameen stoniness throughout, this finishes with a bitter tangerine twist.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Vino Lauria Radicetext
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Vino Lauria Radice 2020

Sicily, ItalyThis orange catarratto came from a 30-year-old organically farmed vineyard at 600m on the northern face of Monte Bonifato. It spends 15 days on skins before 6 months’ rest in stainless. Pouring a hazy orange hue, this textural white streams apricot fuzz, peach pit, acacia blossoms along a grippy, tight palate, with ample saline energy from the site. Detailed and interesting and drinking beautifully now.Prices: ON 26.95 Producer: Vino Lauria
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Poppyshake Roussanne and Chardonnaytext
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Poppyshake Roussanne and Chardonnay 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPoppyshake is the personal project of Kathleen Sinclair, a natural wine and cider maker based in Naramata, working with Bella Wines these past few years. This orange blend of 63% roussanne and 37% chardonnay saw the former spend 11 days on skins before being basket pressed and blended with the chardonnay for a natural coferment, followed by 6 months ageing on lees. Pouring a hazy orange hue, this streams along the slender, bright palate with tangerine, bergamot slick, scented with wild sage, and finishing with a wash of sea salts. Whistle clean and still cut with authenticity. Keep an eye on Poppyshake. 840 bottles.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Poppyshake
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Mirco Mariotti Centrotext
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Mirco Mariotti Centro 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 skin contact pét-nat garganega pours a hazy yellow hue and lights up the palate with sour melon, tangerine, kumquat, and lychee, finishing with a sour beer twist on the dry, astringent finish. Super natty and adventuresome, and fun to drink chilled, with bites, on a warm day (11.5%).Prices: Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Mirco Mariotti Maléstartext
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Mirco Mariotti Maléstar 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 is entirely the montú grape (aka Montuni), with time on skins, hence the golden hue. White peach, apricot, yellow plum, tangerine is livened with a gentle riff of skin contact, drawing this to a shorter, sour orange, warming flush finish — a gentle, easy, approachable orange.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Mirco Mariotti
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Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscattext
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Orofino Orange Skin Contact Muscat 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom three vineyards throughout the Similkameen, this muscat was fermented on its skins for 24 days, aged for six months, and then bottled unfined and unfiltered. Everything about this wine is, well, Orange: from the colour to the orange blossom aromatics to the marmalade-rich palate, it lives up to its name. It's quite enticing and mineral-driven, with just a hint of phenolics on the finish Good value and consistently a top-performing orange wine from BC.Prices: BC 25.13 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Culmina Family Estate Orange Wine Gewurztraminer No. 013text
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Culmina Family Estate Orange Wine Gewurztraminer No. 013 NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCulmina's first orange wine, this gewurztraminer, had 67 days of skin contact to get its golden amber colour, pouring slightly cloudy in the glass. It's intensely concentrated with orchard blossoms, stone fruits, orange pekoe tea, and loads of spice. Bone dry with a glycerous texture, there's just a touch of phenolic bitterness to the finish. Well done and well worth discovering.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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02 August 2021

Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
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Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThe Dog Point style is slightly more reductive or Burgundian (less overt fruit, more complexity), giving it a different look than many of its Marlborough peers. The nose is a moody, smoky mix of intense juicy lime and lemongrass that spills across the palate, injecting its creamy textures with a hit of electricity. The finish is equally complex, featuring yeasty, nettle, mineral notes. It is very food friendly if you can wait for the food to get to the table. Drink or hold; there is no rush to drink what is an excellent white wine finished under a screwcap.Prices: BC 31.99 AB 30.25 SK 38.00 MB 36.00 ON 27.95 Producer: Dog Point Vineyard Ltd.
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 13-14 year old vines, and SB clones 242 and 530 off their estate high density vineyard, this was whole cluster pressed, settled overnight, and then into a mix of 8% stainless, 7% 500L French oak, and 85% 4500L fourdre for native ferment. The wines remained in the vessels on lees for 5 months prior to blending and bottling. Bright and focused, with lemon peel, pith, and a streak of electricity on the snappy palate, carrying green apple, crunchy pear, and a slick of lees along to the saline finish. BC rarely excels with sauvignon blanc, but this is a shining example.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 26.85 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTrue to form, this is a restrained, elegant expression of sauvignon blanc from Blue Mountain. It's precise and focused with lemon, green apple, and chalk, deftly balanced by flinty lees and oak after aging in foudre, neutral barriques, and stainless steel for six months. The palate is steely and laser-sharp, with more than enough fruit weight to balance the racy acidity. It's a natural pairing with shellfish, if you're opening a bottle upon release, or give this a few years in the cellar to truly shine. Few wineries can match what Blue Mountain is doing with sauvignon blanc in BC.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 26.85 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanctext
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Blue Mountain Estate Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAgain, it’s the freshness that draws you to this wine. Look for a lemon peel nose with mineral, green melon, lime pith, and wet stone before a clean, leesy, saline finish. Again, BC seafood is the match and just about any will do. Well done and another demonstration that sauvignon blanc can become something more interesting in British Columbia. The technical data includes SB clones 242 and 530, planted densely to 8000 vines per hectare. These are whole cluster pressed, settled overnight, and transferred to 8% stainless steel tanks, 7% 500L French oak, and 85% 4500L foudres for a wild ferment. The wine spends five months on lees before blending and bottling in the same vessels at the same ratio. There is no malolactic fermentation to retain freshness, and the alcohol is a very pleasant 13 percent.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 26.85 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Churton Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanctext
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Churton Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandFrom Churton's organic and biodynamically farmed hillside vineyard above the Waihopai Valley, this was whole bunch pressed and native fermented long and slow in a mix of stainless and barrel, with each plot vinified separately and held on lees for 9 months prior to racking and bottling. Big and intense with potent gooseberry, lemongrass, tangerine, lime on a punchy, bright palate. The wood gives a nice creaminess to the palate, while the altitude and attention give is a shining freshness. Drinking beautifully now.Prices: ON 25.95 Producer: Churton Wines
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François le Saint Sancerre Silextext
90PTS

François le Saint Sancerre Silex 2019

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This sauvignon blanc is certified organic and biodynamically farmed, from 35 year old vines grown on a 3.15ha plot of clay soils with flint and marls, native fermented. Lemon blossom, grapefruit, light cream streams the slender palate, lit with a buzzing minerality, and gently lined with herbal lees to a humming, flint-kissed finish. Very much in youth, this will build complexity with time in your cellar. Impressive.Prices: BC 50.00 ON 41.95 Producer: François le Saint
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François le Saint Calcairetext
89PTS

François le Saint Calcaire 2019

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This sauvignon blanc is certified organic and biodynamically farmed, from 30-45 year old vines grown on a 6.26ha plot of calcareous soils. After a native ferment in stainless, it rests there for a brief time on lees prior to bottling. Perfumed white blossoms, lemon peel, tangerine, fragrant melon, creamy pear stream the slender palate, finishing with a dusting of almond spice.Prices: BC 44.00 ON 39.95 Producer: François le Saint
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Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandSpy Valley is a family owned 400 acre winery that sits on the sunny southern side of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. The fruit is picked early in the morning and processed in small batches, fermented in mostly stainless steel (along with several blocks designated to be fermented in barrel) before they are all blended. The 2020 COVID harvest will not be forgotten. The spring was warm with no frost and aboveaverage rainfall that led to early flowering. There was little significant rainfall after that and thorough harvest but along with moderate temperatures, it balanced off the effects of the drought. In the end, the wine looks more like a warm year than a cool one. Look for a riper, more generous style with intense passionfruit, nectarine and mineral notes that run through the wine. A Kiwi sauvignon with a touch of warmth that unleashes many flavours. Stock up.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 22.99 NB 25.00 NS 30.00 Producer: Spy Valley Wines
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Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillontext
89PTS

Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Sauvignon Blanc / Sémillon blends 74% Sauvignon Blanc and 26% Semillon, all planted in Naramata. This was aged in neutral French oak, and bottled without fining or filtration. Tart and crunchy, this is very much in youth, with green hedge, gooseberry, passionfruit buffered with a padding of sémillon's waxiness, finishing with a pithy grapefruit twist. Enjoy now on the patio, or lay down for a few years to allow sém to work its aging magic.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSauvignon blanc and chardonnay may not make the likeliest blending partners, and though you can feel them at odds in this new cuvée, it kind of works it out at the end. This wine was never meant to be, but in the end, it was, and its uniqueness makes it special. You get both grapes clearly here: creamy pear, white peach, lemon, all lit with tart gooseberry, zesty lime pith on a dry, lightly creamy palate, seasoned with desert sage, and bedded with downy lees. One for drinking now while you wait for the Sém Sauv to get over its youthful self.Prices: Producer: Lock & Worth
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Fleur Entre Deux Merstext
90PTS

Fleur Entre Deux Mers 2019

Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, FranceWhite Bordeaux continues to be one of the best values on the planet, across all quality levels. This unassuming bottle from Caves de Rauzan, a large co-op in the heart of Bordeaux, may be one of the best deals in British Columbia right now. There's no shortage of fruit, with lemon, white grapefruit, and apricots that taste as if they were tossed in honey, alongside delicate herbs and wet stone. It's quite complex and serious, though just a touch thin on the finish. What a steal, and highly recommended.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Caves de Rauzan
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Church & State Wines Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Church & State Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNo big changes here since the last tasting, although it is clear this wine has aged very well. The nose is intensely sauvignon blanc; some might say Kiwi-style. The attack is fresh with grapefruit, lime rind, and passionfruit mixed into a palate of nectarine, lemongrass, and citrus. This cool-climate sauvignon has 88% fermented in stainless, with 12% of the mix from a six-month stay in French oak, supplying a hint of creaminess to the texture. A terrific wine for vegetarian dishes or anything that needs a squeeze of lemon.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Red Rooster Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Red Rooster Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe revamped Red Rooster SB comes off two Oliver sites picked at different times. The soils are a complex mix of glaciofluvial rock that helps support minerality and freshness. A small portion of the fruit was fermented wild on its skins to help increase weight and complexity before it is all aged in stainless tanks. The style is finished dry at 1.5 g/L. Look for a bright, fresh opening with subtle orchard fruit and citrus undertones. On the palate, more green apple, gooseberry light up the wine from front to back. It is a refreshing style made for early consumption. Think Margherita pizza, asparagus pasta, or barbecue chicken.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 18.99 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Château Villa Bel-Air Blanctext
88PTS

Château Villa Bel-Air Blanc 2017

Graves, Bordeaux, FranceChâteau Villa Bel-Air is located in the Southern part of Graves, in the parish of Saint-Morillon, near La Brède. Villa Bel-Air's buildings have been listed as part of France's historical monuments and are a classic illustration of the French Revolution. In 1988, the Cazes family, already owners of Châteaux Lynch-Bages and Les Ormes de Pez, bought Villa Bel-Air, and Jean-Michel Cazes undertook an important programme of restoration of the winery and vineyards. This Bx Blanc is a blend of 65% sauvignon blanc and 35% sémillon, from the winery's gravelled and sandy soils. This was fermented cool in stainless before aging in barrel (30% new) on lees, with regular bâtonnage, over 9 months. Now 5 years on, this is showing some age, with sémillon's characteristic honeyed cusping ruling this structural white. Earthy lees and cracked flax make up the base for honeysuckle, bosc pear, dried apple, marzipan, rubber cement, white grapefruit pith all fading to a gently spiced finish. Lovely opportunity to try a Bx Blanc with a little age.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Château Villa Bel Air
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