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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: November 2021

30 November 2021

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Réserve Brut Premier Crutext
92PTS

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Réserve Brut Premier Cru NV

Champagne, FranceThough no longer technically a grower champagne because Vilmart & Cie sources some grapes, they are certainly in the same authentic, hands-on, small-scale league. This is a 70/30 pinot noir/chardonnay cuvée (not to be mistaken with their Grand Cellier, which reverses the grapes in the mix). Reserve wines come from the previous two vintages come from 1er cru grapes from Rilly-la-Montagne, with vines averaging 35 years. All of Vilmart's base wines ferment in large oak foudres for 10 months prior to secondary fermentation in the bottle, and none see MLF. This was dosed with 9 g/L before release. Quite complete and round in the mouth, with biscuit, red apple, green apple, cherry blossoms and lemon, knit together seamlessly, and finishing with a lemon twist. This has lovely balance and flow throughout, and an easy classic to enjoy.Prices: BC 70.00 ON 79.00 Producer: Champagne Vilmart & Cie
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Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintagetext
93PTS

Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010

Champagne, FranceIn 2010 the Dom cuvée was 54/46 chardonnay/pinot noir, and my bottle was disgorged in February 2019 with a dosage of 5g/L. Powerful and complete, with cherry essence scenting a deep base of chalk, lemon, green apple, and salinity. There is a fine toasty framework around the sides, hugging the expansive palate through the end. For all its Dom power, there is an effortless freshness and lifted acidity that flows this through the lingering finish. While not the powerhouse of previous vintages, this is a very complete wine for drinking now.Prices: BC 259.99 ON 250.00 QC 250.00 Producer: Dom Perignon
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Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sectext
89PTS

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV

Champagne, FranceNocturne is nightclub champagne, jazzed up with a fancy packaging (my bottle is deemed City Lights) and a higher dosage (17.5 g/L) to appeal to the late-night demographic. This cuvée uses the same base as Taittinger's NV (40% chardonnay and 60% blend of the pinots noir and meunier) but gets one additional year on the lees before release which makes for a good partner with the higher sugar cane dosage. As far as Sec (off-dry) champagnes go, this is at the bottom of the sweet scale, so expect that dosage to feel slight, especially up against the toasty autolysis and tight lemon peel driving this wine. Red apple, pear, buttery toasted brioche is seasoned with gingery spices running the length of the smooth palate.Prices: BC 80.00 QC 72.00 ON 65.95 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Lelarge Pugeot Blanc de Blancs Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Lelarge Pugeot Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Lelarge-Pugeot is an eighth-generation winery in the 1er cru village of Vrigny, where the family has been growing since 1799 and producing since 1930. They moved to organics in 1985 and became certified biodynamic in 2017. They own 8.7 ha of vineyards carved into 42 distinct parcels, all on calcareous, clay loam and sand. This chardonnay is from the 2013 and 2012 vintages, disgorged in September 2019 with three g/L. The extended time on lees lends a slight oxidative note and ample autolysis that works smartly to offset the high acid / low dosage. Baked green apple, red pear, meringue is laced with lemon pith, drawing this into a tighter, chalky, lingering finish. Quite a bit of freshness for so long on lees; it is drinking very well right now.Prices: BC 85.00 Producer: Champagne Lelarge Pugeot
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Champagne Pierre Peters Rosé for Albanetext
90PTS

Champagne Pierre Peters Rosé for Albane NV

Champagne, FrancePouring such a deep peach hue, this newer rosé (first produced in 2007) is a departure in style for the Blanc de blancs house Pierre Peters. This cuvée is 55% chardonnay from Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger Grand Cru, and 45% Meunier rosé de saignée from Cumières 1er Cru, based on the 2018 vintage. It went through partial MLF, and was 60% fermented in stainless before heading into bottle before 24 months on lees and an 8 g/L dosage. Ripe raspberry, cherry yogurt, brioche fills the creamy core, spiced with rose petals and baking spice and livened with a pink grapefruit spritz.Prices: BC 120.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Peters
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Champagne Philipponnat Clos de Goissestext
96PTS

Champagne Philipponnat Clos de Goisses 2011

Champagne, FranceClos de Goisses is one of the world's most prized champagnes, entirely drawn from the single Glos des Goisses vineyard in the Vallée de la Marne. The steeply sloping south facing vineyard has been planted to vines since 1522, making it the oldest clos in Champagne. Champagne Philipponnat began in 1910 when Auguste and Pierre Philipponnat established their Champagne house in its current location of Mareuil sur Aÿ. They acquired this 5.8 hectare jewel of a site in 1935, currently planted to 3.5 hectares pinot noir, and 2 hectares chardonnay on chalky bedrock. Clos des Goisses is divided into 14 plots, of which only the four best of 2011 were included in this blend. This vintage is uniquely entirely pinot noir, due to the uprooting of Chardonnay vines in certain plots just before 2011, and the exceptionally floral aromatic profile of that year's pinot noir. The hand-selected grapes were primarily (80%) fermented in older wood, with no MLF, before heading to barrel for an 8 year rest, prior to disgorgement in 2020, with 4.5 g/L. Such a striking wine. Very powerful and deep, yet light and graceful, with deep chalk underlaying filigreed white cherry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry, scented with wild mint. The finish lingers with a fine chalky minerality, and slight dusting of white pepper. So vinous, but so elegant and finessed, every glass is a thrill. This wine is ideally drinking now, but will last in your cellar for many, many years to come.Prices: BC 400.00 Producer: Champagne Philipponnat
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Champagne Marie-Courtin Condordancetext
93PTS

Champagne Marie-Courtin Condordance 2016

Champagne, FranceChampagne Marie-Courtin is run by the feisty and energetic Dominique Moreau and is named for her Grandmother. The estate covers 2 hectares in Polisot, near the Seine River in the southern Aube, and is planted to mostly pinot noir. She farms biodynamically and ferments native in stainless before transferring to the bottle for secondary ferment. The wines are bottled with zero dosage. Concordance comes from a single parcel of pinot noir planted in 1968, and has no sulphur added (one of the few sans souffe Champagnes). My bottle was disgorged in 2020. Rich yet nimble, this carries wild cherry, brioche, lemon peel over a deep chalky base, laced with a salty, savouriness, and finishing with a burnished bergamot note. Quite serious, and moreish, this is a striking, vinous, characterful, and contemplative champagne.Prices: BC 167.00 Producer: Champagne Marie-Courtin
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Champagne Marie-Courtin Résonancetext
91PTS

Champagne Marie-Courtin Résonance 2017

Champagne, FranceChampagne Marie-Courtin is run by the feisty and energetic Dominique Moreau and is named for her Grandmother. The estate covers 2 hectares in Polisot, near the Seine River in the southern Aube, and is planted to mostly pinot noir. She farms biodynamically and ferments native in stainless before transferring to the bottle for secondary ferment. The wines are bottled with zero dosage. This cuvée is from 40+ year old vines and was disgorged in January 2021. Tight and nimble, with white cherry, wild raspberry, rhubarb brioche cut with a cranberry acidity through a buzzing, limestone base. Very pure and direct, this lingers with a trace of raspberry on the finish.Prices: BC 107.00 Producer: Champagne Marie-Courtin
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Champagne Gardet Brut Traditiontext
89PTS

Champagne Gardet Brut Tradition NV

Champagne, FranceGardet has been an active negociant in Champagne since 1895, and this is their flagship wine. The predominant red grapes (90 percent equally split between pinots noir and meunier) is brightened with 10% chardonnay, sourced from approximately 20 villages across Champagne. Reserve wines, primarily from the 3 vintages preceding the harvest, make up 30%. The whole rests for 3 years on lees, and is dosed with 8 g/L. Welcoming and friendly, with green apple, lemon peel, Rainier cherry, strawberry brioche, and a light dusting of spice which rests on the gently humming finish. An easy choice for cracking into now, with crowds.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Champagne Gardet
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Champagne Doyard Vendémiaire Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Doyard Vendémiaire Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Doyard family traces their winemaking roots in Champagne back to 1677. Maurice Doyard was the first in the family to make wine in Vertus under the Doyard label in 1927, and in 1979, Yannick Doyard took over, turning it into a focused, mineral-etched Champagne in the Côtes des Blancs. Today, Yannick’s son Guillaume is at the helm, organically farming 10 hectares of vineyards in Vertus and the Grand Cru villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Oger, Avize and Aÿ. My bottle was disgorged in March 2021 with 4 g/L after 56 months in the cellar. This chardonnay blends 3 years, and is a mix of 1er Cru and Grand Cru fruit (primarily their home village of Vertus) with 40% fermented in wood, and 20% MLF. Very perfumed and elegant, with light pear, green apple, white blossom streaming along a deeply chalky base, with kisses of meringue. There's a lovely tension here, thanks to the soils and minimal handling, with just a slight creaminess thanks to judicious time in wood offsetting the racy acidity. The finish lingers with lemon pith and a buzzy mineral hum. Lovely energy here, drinking very smartly now, and with time ahead.Prices: BC 85.00 Producer: Champagne Doyard
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Champagne Taittinger Brut Reservetext
91PTS

Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceSome classics are classics for a reason. This classic blends 40% chardonnay, 45% pinot noir, and the remainder pinot meunier from across 35 vineyards in the Marne, Sézanne and Aube, half of which come from estate vineyards. Around 30% reserve wines are used. After full MLF, this spent a minimum of 3 years on lees, before a dosage of 9 g/L. Rich and expansive, yet built around chardonnay's backbone, this NV carries red apple, green apple, Rainier cherry, lemon, almond, light toast across a streaming palate, bedded with chalk and studded with meringue. An accessible, smart NV for enjoying now with mixed company.Prices: BC 69.99 ON 63.00 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Vincent Couche Chardonnay de Montgueuxtext
88PTS

Champagne Vincent Couche Chardonnay de Montgueux NV

Champagne, FranceVincent Couche is a young vigneron in the Côte des Bar, with 10 hectares of pinot noir in Buxeuil and 3 hectares of chardonnay in Montgueux. He has been running the family domain biodynamically since 2008. This chardonnay comes off a single parcel of Montegueux's chalky and flinty soils, blending three different vintages, with 27% fermented in oak barrel, and with seven years on lees in bottle before disgorge, with 4.5 g/L dosage. The ample time on lees, and oak ageing, is evident through the heady oxidative notes here, overruling yellow and green apple, baked pear, anise, and toasted brioche spice coating the creamy, expansive, sherried palate. You can feel the chalky soils under the weight, thankfully giving an alluring hum of a style, which overrides the special place.Prices: BC 110.00 Producer: Champagne Vincent Couche
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Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Meunier Extra Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Meunier Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was originally made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate which then covered about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks, but soon realized that too much modernity such as the use of herbicides and pesticides would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. In 2005, his son Aurélien Laherte overtook operations of the estate. The 10.5 hectares of Larherte vineyards are situated largely in the Coteaux Sud D'Epernay, sandwiched between the Cotes des Blancs and the Vallee de la Marne. 7 of their 75+ separate parcels are farmed biodynamically and certified organic, with the rest organic and / or sustainably farmed. This cuvée is sourced from vineyards with an average age of 25 years, and more than 40 years for the parcels that are selected for the still red wine. It is a blend of 30% macerated Meunier, 60% white wine (immediately pressed Meunier) and 10% still red Meunier, generally equal parts The wine was fermented in vats, foudres, and barrels, with partial MLF, and is an equal blend of the two most recent vintages, dosed with 2.5 g/L after a minimum 24 months on lees. Deeply hued, with wild strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, sour cherry, meringue, along a medium bodied palate, finishing with ample chalkiness. Acidity is bright and buzzing, taking this to a lightly oxidative finish. I think the bottle would fare much better if not packaged in clear glass, to prevent the inevitable light strike. As is, enjoy this distinctively pinot meunier, and its stunning label, now.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Laherte Frères
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Champagne Leclerc Briant Extra Bruttext
88PTS

Champagne Leclerc Briant Extra Brut 2014

Champagne, FranceThe family negociant house was an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. The 2014 vintage was 60% pinot noir, and 20% each of pinot meunier and chardonnay. It was disgorged with 3 g/L in March 2021. Lemon led, with yogurt, red apple, brioche set off against a creamy, softer base. This bottle disappoints, after the shining 2013 base. Will try again.Prices: ON 99.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Champagne Leclerc Briant Premier Cru Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Leclerc Briant Premier Cru Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis negoc house was founded in 1955 when Bertrand Leclerc married Jacqueline Briant. They were an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin, known for his biodynamics / bioenergetics oversees the wines of the house and its near 30ha of vines, plus another 20ha of organically farmed contract fruit. This blends 70% pinot noir, and 15% each of pinot meunier and chardonnay, all from 2015, and sourced from four villages. This bottle was disgorged in May 2021 with 3 g/L. Being so recently disgorged, this is ringing with freshness and vibrancy, livening a red apple, white cherry, meringue, and toast base, finishing with a lick of anise. The texture is chalky, and acidity is shining. This is quite a smart cuvée, primed for drinking now.Prices: ON 96.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. For 17 generations Gosset was family owned, but in 1993 it was sold to the Cointreau family from Charente, owners of Frappin Cognac. The Grand Reserve Brut is sourced from Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Villers-Marmery, and blends 45/45/10 Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier. My bottle was based on 2017, and was disgorged in June 2021 with 8 g/L. As is the house style, this was fermented in stainless, with no MLF. Confident and classic, with a strident freshness thanks to its recent dosage. Crisp green apple, lemon, and subtly toasted brioche sit atop a lightly creamy base, with well proportioned lees buffering the shining acidity. The finish lingers with a chalky buzz. This is a classic for good reason, and a smart bottle suitable for many occasions and palates.Prices: BC 90.00 ON 85.95 ON 49.95 375 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancstext
95PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancs 2015

Champagne, FranceThis is a rare 100 percent chardonnay from The Aube, a region dominated by pinot noir, even though 95 percent of the vineyard is Kimmerdgean soil (the same as in chardy-central Chablis). The young Remi Leroy farms 3 of his family's 9 ha here, selling the remaining fruit for additional income, and with the goal to use all of the fruit for his non-interventionist label. The only inputs he uses is a small addition of sulphur. This 2015 was dosed with 2 g/L. Profound and pure, with deep chalk, lemon, green apple, chestnut, meringue across a gossamer, lifted palate. The sides feel like they were carved out of limestone, leading this to a saline, lingering finish. Still very fresh and alive. Very impressive.Prices: ON 91.00 Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Leclerc Briant Brut Reservetext
92PTS

Champagne Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceThis negoc house was founded in 1955 when Bertrand Leclerc married Jacqueline Briant. They were an early adopter of organic practices back in the 1960’s, and were one of the first to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s, Bertrand and Jacqueline’s son, Pascal, began integrating biodynamic principles and part of the production has been Demeter certified since 2003. Today, enologist Hervé Jestin, known for his biodynamics / bioenergetics oversees the wines of the house and its near 30ha of vines, plus another 20ha of organically farmed contract fruit. This wine, making up 75% of production, is a bit of a misnomer: there are no reserve wines (it's entirely the 2017 vintage) and it's actually extra-brut, with 4.5 g/L dosage, disgorged in June 2021. This blend of 40/40/20 pinot noir / pinot meunier / chardonnay was native fermented in stainless and oak (the latter 20%) before going into bottle for 3 years on lees. This newly released wine is right and fresh with lemon, red and green apple, lightly toasted brioche across a vibrantly humming, stony base, with a well used layer of creamy lees to pad. So fresh, and a joy to drink now.Prices: ON 79.95 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Cordon Bleu Extra Brut is a 50/25/25 mix of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay. It spends 48 months on lees before dégorgement. The de Venoge signature is freshness, led by white fruits dusted in citrus that supports an elegant, creamy, leesy mid-palate and an equally fine bead of bubbles throughout. It is a wonderful seafood wine that is lightly dosed at 3.5 g/L. Good value.Prices: BC 57.97 BC 45.05 375 BC 122.99 1500 MB 77.99 QC 54.75 Producer: Champagne de Venoge
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Champagne Ruinart Rosétext
93PTS

Champagne Ruinart Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceRuinart was the first Champange house to produce rosé champagne, back in the 18th century. Today's incarnation sources 45% chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims vineyards, and 55% pinot noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne, 18 to 19% of which is still wine, and all 1er cru. Reserve wines from the previous 2 years make up 20 to 25% of the blend. After approximately 3 years on lees, this is disgorged with 9 g/L. Lively and vibrant on the palate, with wild raspberries, tiny strawberries, red currants, perfumed plum blossoms, lit with a brisk rhubarb acidity, and lined with a fine chalky lattice that continues on the lingering finish. The core is gently plump via lees, and buzzing via chalk. A classic beauty.Prices: ON 130.00 BC 117.00 Producer: Ruinart Champagne
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Champagne Augustin Cuvée CXVI Blanc de Blancs Sans Soufretext
88PTS

Champagne Augustin Cuvée CXVI Blanc de Blancs Sans Soufre 2014

Champagne, FranceBased in the village of Avenay Val d’Or in the South-East corner of Montagne de Reims, Marc and Emmanuelle Augustin own and biodynamically farm 23.5 acres on two prestigious terroirs: Avenay Val d’Or, Montagne de Reims Premier Cru; and Vertus, Cote des Blancs Premier Cru. Together the couple forms a powerful Champagne duo: Marc is 4th generation vigneron and winemaker, and Emmanuelle's wine lineage spans 5 generations. All of their wines are vintage (even when NV declared). This cuvée is without any sulphur, which is apparent through the oxidative stylings of this richer wine. Sherried pears, red apples, subtle caramel rides the stretched palate, bright with acidity and soils, but feeling tired. Cleaner and fresher than last time I tasted this wine one year ago, but again, a little sulphur would have gone a very long way.Prices: BC 129.99 Producer: Champagne Augustin
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Fleurontext
95PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Fleuron 2015

Champagne, FranceFleuron, meaning flagship, was created to capture the spirit of the vintage, and is a blend of all of the tanks in order to best represent the year. This encompasses 5 villages: Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Cuis, and Vertus. After 4 years on lees, this was bottled in September 2020 with 5 g/L. Rich and powerful, savoury, yet shaped, with salted brioche, savoury stones and a firm buzz of minerality. Lovely harmony, complexity, depth, and completeness, with fantastic length. Such a wine.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Laherte Frères Ultradition Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Laherte Frères Ultradition Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was originally made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate which then covered about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks, but soon realized that too much modernity such as the use of herbicides and pesticides would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. In 2005, his son Aurélien Laherte overtook operations of the estate. This, their flagship range blends fruit from Vallée de la Marne and Coteaux Sud d’Epernay, this Ultradition is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir fermented in vat, foudres, and barrel, with 40% reserve wines, kept in wood. Disgorged September 2020 with 7 g/L. Very traditional in style, this is doughy and biscuity, with ample cherry brioche, ripe pear, baked red apple, toast, and lemon peel across an expansive palate, lingering with cracked stones and a chalky buzz. A classic, smartly reinvented for modern day.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Laherte Frères
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Champagne Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterietext
92PTS

Champagne Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie NV

Champagne, FranceThis single-vineyard cuvée is produced exclusively from grapes grown at Les Folies, at Château de la Marquetterie, Taittinger's historic vineyard and the origin of the family in Pierry, just outside of Epernay. The 1er Cru Les Folies gently slopes with a south/southwest exposure, and this cuvée blends first pressing 55% pinot noir with 45% chardonnay. Fermented by plot, with partial barrel fermentation (approximately 30%) in large, old oak casks. Once transferred to bottle, this remained for five years on lees prior to disgorge with 9 g/L. The chardonnay in this is immediately apparent, with a savoury, smouldering salinity that makes this unmistakable. Layers of burnished lemon, green apple, flake sea salts atop a base of stones, meringue, and toast on the medium+ palate, lingering with a potent salinity. Quite a characterful wine.Prices: BC 90.00 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Guillaume Sergent Le Chemin des Chappestext
91PTS

Champagne Guillaume Sergent Le Chemin des Chappes NV

Champagne, FranceSergent’s family has been growing vines in the area around Vrigny since at least the mid-nineteenth century, and Guillaume, a trained oenologist, took over the family estate in 2008, dividing it with his brother (who sells his grapes to Moët & Chandon). He organically and biodynamically (sans-certification) farms a total of just 1.5ha, spread over eight parcels in the villages of Vrigny and Coulommes, on primarily sandy soils, with outcrops of limestone and chalk. This cuvée of equal parts pinot noir and pinot meunier comes from vines planted by selection massale in 1972 and 1982 in Vrigny. It was disgorged in July of 2020 with 1 g/L. Quite profound, with layers of cherry, raspberry, over a meringue dense mid, imbued with stones, yet taut with a lattice of acidity. This has all the structure and all the fruit and all the acidity with none of the flab. An impressively drinkable and versatile Blanc de Noirs.Prices: BC 85.00 Producer: Champagne Guillaume Sergent
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Champagne Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Naturetext
93PTS

Champagne Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceRuinart Blanc de Blancs is all about elegance, precision, and minerality thanks to a base of 1er Cru fruit grown on the Côtes de Blancs and Montagne de Reims. It spends a respectable 28 months ageing on its lees before disgorgement, and is topped with 8.5 g/L of sugar that you hardly notice. Pure, bright, and ethereal, it is all you want in Blanc de Blancs, mixing citrus, white grapefruit, and oatmeal with a dusting of almonds. Finesse personified. A terrific bottle of fizz.Prices: BC 135.99 AB 123.29 MB 131.95 ON 133.00 QC 86.75 Producer: Champagne Laurent-Perrier
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Champagne Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceLa Cuvée Rosé, the world's top selling rosé champagne, is as recognizable for its distinctive bottle shape as for its smouldering taste. Entirely pinot noir, this was sourced from 10 villages in Montagne de Reims, primarily Grand Crus. It spent up to three days in contact with skins before bleeding off (saignée), and spent a minimum of 60 months on lees before a disgorgement around 9 g/L. Wild strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, cherry blossoms fill the complete, dense, and subtly creamy palate, with a generous lees cushion, offset by poised, humming acidity. There's a lovely chalky underlay here, shimmering under the red fruit above, and lingering on the lengthy finish. For a wine of this reach, it certainly achieves what it sets out to.Prices: BC 105.99 BC 245.99 1500 AB 91.35 ON 99.95 ON 174.55 1500 Producer: Champagne Laurent-Perrier
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Champagne Agrapart & Fils Terroirs Extra Brut Blanc de Blancstext
94PTS

Champagne Agrapart & Fils Terroirs Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceFrom four villages (Avize, Cramant, Oger and Oiry) and Chardonnay vines aging 20-50 years, this bottle was put into bottle May 2017, with 40% reserve wines. It was disgorged March 2020, it with 5 g/L. Sharply focused, this drives through the palate with lemon, roasted marcona almonds, deep, wet chalk and a tight riffing grip housing the nimble, medium bodied palate. Fantastic tension throughout to a mouth-watering finish. Green plaquette.Prices: BC 130.00 Producer: Champagne Agrapart & Fils
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Champagne Moutard Pere et Fils Grande Cuvée Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Moutard Pere et Fils Grande Cuvée Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFrom a half bottle. This pinot noir champagne is aged on its lees for a full three years. The families of Champagne Moutard Diligent have been living in the village of Buxeuil since the mid 17th century. Located in the Côte des Bar, the soils mix clays and limestones, and the wine style is decidedly rich and fruity. The attack is fresh and biscuity with citrus, green apple, lemon, butter, and nutty quince. Intense and ready to drink, not to mention fun.Prices: BC 33.27 375 Producer: Champagne Moutarde Pere et Fils
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Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancstext
92PTS

Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Ruinart was founded in 1729, making it the one of the first established Champagne Houses. As elegant and distinctive as the bottle, this is primarily from 1er Cru and Grand Cru fruit on the Côtes de Blancs and Montagne de Reims, with 10 percent each from Sézanne and St. Thierry, north of the Vessel Valley. Much of the fruit is estate holdings from its parent company, LVMH. The blend has 20-25% reserve wines from the previous two vintages), and after a stainless ferment, the whole spends a minimum of 3 years on the lees before an 8.5 g/L dosage. Be sure to keep this clear glassed bottle covered until right before opening to prevent light strike. Toasted brioche opens this classic, leading to a full-bodied, creamy, doughy, lees-decked palate of green apple, lemon, meringue, fresh hazelnut, and deep chalk. The smart use of chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims gives a generosity to the palate, while still holding onto that chardonnay spire of acidity. The finish stretches out far along a humming, buzzing chalky minerality, drawing you back for another sip. Seek out one in a box to prevent light strike, and enjoy this classic BdB now.Prices: BC 118.99 Producer: Ruinart Champagne
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Special Club Cramant Grand Crutext
94PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Special Club Cramant Grand Cru 2014

Champagne, FranceSpecial Club (Club Trésors) is an invite-only group of 28 grower champagne vignerons, recognized for the quality of their wines. A Special Club champagne is different from their other cuvées, can only be made in outstanding vintage years, and is packaged in the special distinctive bottle. This singular Special Club comes from a singular parcel in Cramant, and 4 lieu-dit: 32% Buissons, 22% Bauves, 16% Le Fond du Bateau, 16% Bionnes, 11% Champ du Prévot. This spent 5 years on lees, and was disgorged with 4 g/L. For all of its Cramant Grand Cru generosity, this shows great linearity and focus, as is the house style, with a riveting palate led taut by lemon pith and peel, but bolstered by green and red apple, deep chalk along a silken, layered palate. Quite detailed, yet deep, this is a stunner now and will continue in your cellar.Prices: BC 180.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis newer cuvée from Pierre Peters is also a Blanc de Blancs, like their flagship, but this time it is shown as an Extra Brut, with 2 g/L dosage. It comes off 4 Grand Cru parcels in the Côte des Blancs (Le Mesnil, Avize, Cramant, Oger), along with 20% of their Perpetual Reserve. The wine rested at least 36 months on lees prior to disgorgement. My bottle is based on the 2016 vintage, and was disgorged October 2020. Meringue is at the fore of this wine, followed by red apple, lemon, brioche, and light toast, finishing with a lingering toasted stoniness and ample chalkiness. This feels more expansive than their flagship, perhaps because of compensating for the Extra Brut dosage. Still, another strong wine from Pierre Peters.Prices: BC 89.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Peters
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Champagne Chanoine Cuvée Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Chanoine Cuvée Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1730, Champagne Chanoine Frères is the second oldest Champagne house. This negotiant Cuvée blends chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir, with a dosage of 9 g/L. This friendly, easy champagne fills the soft palate with raspberry brioche, red apple, subtle lemon pith, and light toast. Old school, but welcoming, this is a good choice for a mixed crowd.Prices: BC 0.00 Producer: Champagne Chanoine
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Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosétext
90PTS

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceThis fruit-forward rosé champagne uses 16% still red wine in the matrix of 45/45/10 pinot noir / pinot meunier / chardonnay. The softer, cushioned palate carries raspberry, strawberry, cherry jam threaded with orange peel atop a cloud of lees, finishing with a kiss of anise. The ample dosage is checked by a chardonnay spire of acidity, guiding this to a soft, spiced landing. A smart, welcoming rosé for enjoying now, as intended.Prices: BC 66.99 BC 35.99 375 Producer: Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
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Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut NV

Champagne, FranceNicolas Feuillatte is one of the largest co-ops, with 4500+ growers. This premium Reserve cuvée blends 40/40/20 pinot noir / pinot meunier / chardonnay, and saw 3-4 years on lees prior to disgorge. Creamy and toasty, this welcoming and friendly chardonnay floats red apple, lemon pith, almonds, meringue along a humming palate, finishing with a luring chalky note. Impressive elegant style for the house.Prices: BC 52.49 QC 48.50 ON 50.55 Producer: Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Brut Cuis 1er Cru Blanc de Blancstext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Brut Cuis 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceUnderstated and classic, this 1er Cru always impresses with its cut and precision. Didier, third generation of the Gimonnet family, oversees the winemaking of this Côtes des Blancs grower champagne house based in Cuis. This wine, like all of their chardonnay-centric wines, is crystal crisp and bright, driving through to the lingering finish. Based on the 2016 harvest, this has 35% reserve wines from the previous 4 harvests to provide depth and complexity. Gimonnet keeps all their reserve wines in magnum under crown cap to preserve the freshness and prevent oxygen ingress. My bottle was disgorged in December 2020 at 6 g/L. Shining lemon pith leads into a very chalky, grippy and taut palate, with green apple, meringue, lemon blossoms, and a shimmery vibrance. Fresh on the attack, though the core is polished by the reserve wines, this is an excellent solo sipper as well as oyster mate. Fantastic value for this blanc de blancs.Prices: BC 67.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Chavost Terroir Bruttext
87PTS

Champagne Chavost Terroir Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1946, the Chavost Co-op is located in the south hillsides of Epernay, Coteaux Sud, which began with 20 members. Chavost is the ancestral name of the village, which formerly was located between the Saint-Martin Church and the Mount Felix hill, upon which a castle was established. Today more than 100 vigneron contribute 70 hectares into the co-op. This project is from 5 hectares of vineyards, in the process of organic conversion. This is one of the wines in their no-added sulphites range. This cuvée blends 38% Chardonnay, 57% Meunier and 5% Pinot Noir, with 4 years sur lattes, and a dosage of 9 g/L. Ripe and full in the mouth, with red apple, toast, lemon, and a metallic note, riding a creamy mousse base to a lemon pith finish. Old school and rustically so.Prices: France 21.50 Producer: Champagne Chavost
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Champagne Chavost Rosé de Saignéetext
87PTS

Champagne Chavost Rosé de Saignée NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1946, the Chavost Co-op is located in the south hillsides of Epernay, Coteaux Sud, which began with 20 members. Chavost is the ancestral name of the village, which formerly was located between the Saint-Martin Church and the Mount Felix hill, upon which a castle was established. Today more than 100 vigneron contribute 70 hectares into the co-op. This project is from 5 hectares of vineyards, in the process of organic conversion. This is one of the wines in their no-added sulphites range. All wines are from a single vintage, with 18-20 months on lees (therefore, unable to be classified as vintage Champagne, under the appellation rules). This is a blend of 67% Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir, entirely saignée, and finished with zero dosage. Cherry dough, raspberry, brioche, and toast rides along expansive mousse to a shorter finish. A bit rustic, this is best taken with canapés and receptions.Prices: France 56.00 Producer: Champagne Chavost
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Champagne Chavost Blanc de Meunier Brut Naturetext
88PTS

Champagne Chavost Blanc de Meunier Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1946, the Chavost Co-op is located in the south hillsides of Epernay, Coteaux Sud, which began with 20 members. Chavost is the ancestral name of the village, which formerly was located between the Saint-Martin Church and the Mount Felix hill, upon which a castle was established. Today more than 100 vigneron contribute 70 hectares into the co-op. This project is from 5 hectares of vineyards, in the process of organic conversion. This is one of the wines in their no-added sulphites range. All wines are from a single vintage, with 18-20 months on lees (therefore, unable to be classified as vintage Champagne, under the appellation rules). This meunier was disgorged brut nature. This opens with a deeper, oxidative based nose, with red florals, cherry, and red apple, across expansive mousse. Somewhat rustic, this finishes with a brightening lemon twist.Prices: France 42.00 Producer: Champagne Chavost
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Champagne Chavost Blanc de Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Champagne Chavost Blanc de Chardonnay NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1946, the Chavost Co-op is located in the south hillsides of Epernay, Coteaux Sud, which began with 20 members. Chavost is the ancestral name of the village, which formerly was located between the Saint-Martin Church and the Mount Felix hill, upon which a castle was established. Today more than 100 vigneron contribute 70 hectares into the co-op. This project is from 5 hectares of vineyards, in the process of organic conversion. This is one of the wines in their no-added sulphites range. All wines are from a single vintage, with 18-20 months on lees (therefore, unable to be classified as vintage Champagne, under the appellation rules). This opens with an oxidative swing, before moving into lemon, red apple, marshmallow, with a riffing lemon pith acidity and light toast. Somewhat disjointed and rustic, though has a lovely pure lemony acidity that drives through the finish.Prices: France 42.00 Producer: Champagne Chavost
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Champagne Chavost Blanc d'Assemblage Brut Naturetext
87PTS

Champagne Chavost Blanc d'Assemblage Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1946, the Chavost Co-op is located in the south hillsides of Epernay, Coteaux Sud, which began with 20 members. Chavost is the ancestral name of the village, which formerly was located between the Saint-Martin Church and the Mount Felix hill, upon which a castle was established. Today more than 100 vigneron contribute 70 hectares into the co-op. This project is from 5 hectares of vineyards, in the process of organic conversion. This is one of the wines in their no-added sulphites range. All wines are from a single vintage, with 18-20 months on lees (therefore, unable to be classified as vintage Champagne, under the appellation rules). This is a blend of 47% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Meunier, and 6% Pinot Noir, fermented in stainless with no additions or deletions, including disgorgement. Fragrant with white and pink flowers, yellow apple, lemon, and a kiss of caramel oxidation peeking through the meringue and lemon palate. The finish tightens again with a riff of lemony acidity, but this is lacking energy.Prices: France 39.95 Producer: Champagne Chavost
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Champagne Leclerc Briant Rosé Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Leclerc Briant Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis biodynamic Rosé Brut is labeled NV, but this bottle is from the 2017 harvest, and is a blend of 95% chardonnay (from Chouilly and Montgueux), 5% pinot noir (from Les Riceys), native fermented in stainless, with a small amount of the pinot noir fermenting in wood. The cepage rests for two years on lees before being disgorged with 4.5g/l (this bottle in December 2019). Pouring a deep peach hue, this streams along the palate with raspberry, strawberry, red currants, tangerine pith over a deep chalky base, trailing with a lingering salinity and broken stones. Lovely balance and drinkability here, able to solo sip and partner with a wide variety of foods (tuna tataki a current fave pairing).Prices: ON 85.30 Producer: Champagne Leclerc Briant
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Rosé de Blancstext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Rosé de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceDidier, third generation of the Gimonnet family, oversees the winemaking of their family winery, based in Cuis. This wine, like all of their chardonnay-centric wines, is laser focused. According to Didier, he wants to have a rosé that tastes like a blanc de blancs with colour. "Powerful chardonnay." This certainly succeeds. This bottling sources fruit from Cramant, Oger, and Chouilly, with an addition of 8% Bouzy still pinot noir. My bottle was disgorged in December 2020. Pouring a pale peach hue, this rings with buzzy chalky minerality, carrying cherry, raspberry, cranberry, fine meringue along a streamlined frame, with lingering spices on the chalky finish. Smashable, yet serious, this is my house champagne for a very good reason.Prices: BC 69.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organictext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organic NV

Champagne, FranceLanson is using certified organic grapes for a new cuvée from its vineyards in the Marne Valley around the village of Verneuil. The vineyards were farmed biodynamically when Lanson acquired the vines in 2010 from Leclerc Briant. Since the acquisition, Lanson has used 8 of 13 hectares to produce an organic base wine, based on the excellent 2012 harvest. With no malolactic fermentation, the decision was made to age the Green Label for three+ years on its lees to balance the high level of malic acid in the Champagne. After that, the plan is to make a green label every year, although it won’t be certified biodynamic, just organic. The latest bottle in BC was aged a full four years and had a modest 6 g/L dosage, leaving it essentially bone dry for most palates. The blend is 50/20/30 pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier. The nose is fresh and mineral lined and the attack is crisp and electric with bright pear and peach, black currant, and plum that helps tone the acidity. Just a baby and surely would be a fine candidate to age five to seven years. An impressive start and certainly an option for organic wine drinkers.Prices: BC 99.99 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosétext
92PTS

Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceRosé Champagne is hot, but it is old news at Lanson where they have been making a stylish, delicate pale pink bubble since the 1950s, which is one of the first rosé releases in Champagne. The colour is pink salmon courtesy of the 53/32/13 pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier with a small amount of still pinot noir from Bouzy for colour. Expect a whiff of toasted lees and biscuit, a reflection of 30% reserve wine, combined with mineral, citrus, baked pear. There is a clear freshness thanks to a no malolactic Lanson policy. There is plenty more to entice on the palate, including nutty, toasty, mineral, cherry streaked with citrus and green apple. An impressive, dry, crisp, elegant rosé that doesn’t quit in the glass. Perfect for lightly sauteed BC prawns. Fine value.Prices: BC 65.00 AB 67.00 ON 65.00 QC 65.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Lanson Black Label Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Lanson Black Label Brut NV

Champagne, FranceBlack Label is a fabulous introduction to champagne, from its 50/35/15 combination of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier, selected from more than 100 villages. Its 30 percent reserve wines span ten vintages back to 1995. A small percentage goes through malolactic fermentation before it is all aged for three years on lees before disgorgement in 2020, and another six month rest before shipping. I love the mix of power and elegance here. Toasted almonds, citrus, creamy, chalky mineral notes spill across the palate and pull you into the wine with a special force. Crunchy Vancouver Island oysters on the half shell are the perfect ticket.Prices: BC 73.00 ON 57.00 AB 53.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Charles Mignon Bio-Organic Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Charles Mignon Bio-Organic Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Charles Mignon is a 6th generation grower based in Epernay, and have been working towards organic certification these past years. This is the first organic certified cuvée. The family became a NM (negoce) in the 1990s as they had to begin purchasing fruit to maintain and grow the business. This 2020 blends 55% pinot meunier, 30% pinot noir, 15% chardonnay from Montagne de Reims. After a stainless steel ferment, this went to bottle for 36 months time, prior to a dosage of 6 g/L. Tight lemon and lime leaf lead a slender palate, with green apple and river stones lined with lees, and shimmering with a buzzy energy. Quite enjoyable for drinking now.Prices: BC 90.00 Producer: Champagne Charles Mignon
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Champagne Benoit Marguet Shaman 17 Rosé Grand Cru Brut Naturetext
88PTS

Champagne Benoit Marguet Shaman 17 Rosé Grand Cru Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceBenoit Marguet took over his family's vineyards in 2009, converting the 10 hectares in Ambonnay to Demeter certified biodynamics (2 hectares of which are sold to Krug). The natural wines are native fermented, with no added sulphites, and vinified by plot in wooden vats, with extended elevage in small older barrels. The 17 in the name refers to the base year 2017, to which 15% of reserve wines were added. This rosé blends 59% chardonnay, 41% pinot noir from older Grand Cru Ambonnay vineyards. It was finished with zero dosage. Red currant, raspberry, cherry brioche fill a full, doughy base, threaded with an oxidative note, and tightened with a bitter red currant grip. A powerful, distinct style, and one I wish to see with a little sulphur in future, to preserve the purity and freshness of the fruit.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Benoit Marguet
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Champagne Benoit Marguet Shaman 17 Blanc Grand Cru Brut Naturetext
88PTS

Champagne Benoit Marguet Shaman 17 Blanc Grand Cru Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceBenoit Marguet took over his family's vineyards in 2009, converting the 10 hectares in Ambonnay to Demeter certified biodynamics (2 hectares of which are sold to Krug). The natural wines are native fermented, with no added sulphites, and vinified by plot in wooden vats, with extended elevage in small older barrels. The 17 in the name refers to the base year 2017, to which 15% of reserve wines were added. The cépage is 69% pinot noir, 31% chardonnay from older Grand Cru vineyards in Ambonnay. This saw zero dosage. The lack of sulphur is immediately evident, with searing yellow apple, green apple, dough ruling this oxidative wine, with wafts of smoky ash across a deep chalky, sherried base, trailing with a humming stoniness. Certainly powerful and intense, if you're after the oxidative character, here you go.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Benoit Marguet
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Champagne Nathalie Falmet Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Nathalie Falmet Brut NV

Champagne, FranceIn 1993, Nathalie Falmet took over the family vineyard and became a grape grower in Rouvres les Vignes in the Cote Des Bar where she makes her wines. Grape grower and oenologist, she is one of the few women in Champagne to have both titles and to have both jobs simultaneously. This Brut cuvée is 50% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, and 20% reserve wines from a perpetual solera. The base wine is fermented in stainless, where it rests on lees for 8 months prior to heading to bottle for secondary ferment. As a self-professed Chablis drinker, Nathalie aims for a short time in contact with lees, leaving the Champagne on lees for 27 months, to preserve the freshness, and “better reflect terroir.” She makes her own liquor de tirage, which is the rarity in Champagne, and finishes this with 5 g/L dosage. Red apple, white cherry fills a deeply chalky, brioche base, taut with a limestone grip, and lingering with pistachio meringue. Lovely precision and depth here, in a very authentic wine of place.Prices: ON 64.00 Producer: Champagne Nathalie Falmet
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Champagne Moët and Chandon Rosé Minitext
89PTS

Champagne Moët and Chandon Rosé Mini NV

Champagne, FranceThe Mini Moét rosé is exactly that: a small 200mL bottle that you can take just about anywhere. It's a brilliant format, and it doesn't break the bank, either. Inside is a more developed style of rosé sparkling, with dried strawberry and lifted cherry alongside red apple and a subtle toastiness. Dry and crisp, with a gentle, creamy mousse, this is perfect for enjoying on its own or paired with butternut squash risotto. I imagine this will find its way into several holiday stockings, and for good reason. Just make sure to open it sooner rather than later. It won't be hard to find an occasion.Prices: BC 28.99 200 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Champagne Huré Frères Invitation Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Huré Frères Invitation Brut NV

Champagne, FranceA close-knit family, two brothers sharing a common vision and then passing on their values to the next generation, all this and more makes up the story of Champagne Huré-Fréres: started just over 50 years ago and still very much a family business. Today Raoul Huré and his two sons, Francois and Pierre invite you to discover their maison at Ludes in the Montagne de Reims. This cuvée is forward and direct with ample green and red apple, lemon, white cherry, and a cushion of lees across the medium+ body, ringed with a chalky grip. Quite vinous, this is a great food pairing wine, especially with proteins or richer dishes. Terroirs : - Grapes from the Montagne de Reims, namely Ludes and Villedommange - Vitriat, namely Vavray Grand. To ensure year-on-year consistency, we safe-keep ‘library stock’, in order to retain the ‘principle of the Solera’. As this Champagne is considered our introductory Champagne, it is deemed an ‘invitation’, exuding freshness and conviviality for the senses. Blend : 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot noir and 40% Pinot meunier Reserve wine usage : 25-40% of previous years Aging : 30 to 36 months on lees Liquor d'expedition : 6g (of sugar)Prices: ON 70.00 Producer: Champagne Huré Frères
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Champagne Pierre Paillard La Grande Récolte Bouzy Grand Crutext
92PTS

Champagne Pierre Paillard La Grande Récolte Bouzy Grand Cru 2008

Champagne, FranceLa Grande Récolte represents the quintessence of the Paillard's vineyards, sourced from two sites within their top vineyard in their Bouzy homeland. This blends 45% old vine Pinot Noir from a plot called Les Maillerettes, planted in 1970, and 55% Chardonnay from Les Mottelettes, planted in 1961. Both are the mother vines for the massale selections made in house, and both vineyards are a mere 0.8 acres. This was vinified in stainless, and was kept on lees for eight months until bottling the following spring. This rested for 10 years in the deep chalk Paillard cellars, and was disgorged with 1.8 g/L. Ample dense chalk leads this powerful wine, backed by lemon pith, Rainier cherry, wild raspberry, fragrant meringue, smoked stone on a plumply lees lined base. Quite expansive, you can use this to pair with proteins like roast turkey or sablefish.Prices: ON 128.40 BC 144.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceBased in the Aube, which shares the same Portlandian and Kimmeridgian limestone soils as Chablis just further south, young Remi farms 3 of his family's organic 9ha under this label; the rest of the grapes are sold to large champagne houses. bottle is 75% pinot noir, 25% chardonnay, native fermented and rested on lees until the following spring, and was based on the 2017 vintage. Chisled and focused, with white cherry, green apple, lemon driving this powerful, energetic wine forward, scented with cherry blossoms and textured with a fine, chalky grip. A bright, sharp go-to.Prices: ON 64.00 Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceMaison Bruno Paillard is relatively new for Champagne, with the house founded in 1981 by Bruno Paillard. From the beginning, their strategy has been on purchasing vineyard land. They now have 90+ parcels in 14 crus, covering the majority of their needs. My bottle is sourced from 30 vineyards, and disgorged in December 2019. It was a blend of 25 vintages since 1985, with ample (sometimes up to 50%) reserves. This is a blend of 45% pinot noir / 33% chardonnay / 22% pinot meunier, 20% of which was barrel fermented, with the cepage spending 36 months sur lie, plus six more months in bottle, and with a dosage under 6 g/L (extra brut). Ripe and doughy, with brioche, red apple, fresh hazelnuts seasoned with toast across an expansive palate. Acidity is braced by lemon pith and peel, drawing this in on the end for a lingering stony finish. A comfortable, polished wine for enjoying now, able to easily handle roast chicken or turkey dishes. In 1983, Bruno Paillard became the first to put the disgorgement date on every single bottle, not only on his prestige cuvée.Prices: BC 85.99 Producer: Champagne Bruno Paillard
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Champagne Huré Frères L’Inattenduetext
92PTS

Champagne Huré Frères L’Inattendue NV

Champagne, FranceThis has chardonnay's laser focus, along with Montagne de Reims' generosity, and François Huré's thoughtful farming and light touch. From plots planted in 1982 and 1989 at Les Paquies (Rilly-La-Montagne) and Les Sentiers (Ludes), on calcareous clays, this was vinified half in oak, and is entirely from the 2015 vintage. This spent 4 years on lees prior to disgorgement with 3.5 g/L. Lemon meringue, green apple flood a chalky base, with a fine grip around the sides and an easy, effortless elegance. Impressive now, and will continue to hold.Prices: ON 82.00 Producer: Champagne Huré Frères
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirstext
89PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirs 2014

Champagne, FranceThis pinot noir comes from Meurville, and was native fermented and vinified in a 60/40 stainless / old oak barrel split. This spent 60 months on lees, and was dosed with 1 g/L. Fragrant white and red cherry, wild raspberry, lemon pith and peel, brioche is driven by an incredibly potent streak of acidity that can only be from Pinot noir on limestone. Though this is white and sparkling, this reminds me so of Irancy with its fine, tight structure, tart red fruit, and very grippy buzzy undertow. High acid style that works so well with tapas.Prices: ON 87.00 Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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29 November 2021

13th Street Winery Gamay Blanc de Noirtext
90PTS

13th Street Winery Gamay Blanc de Noir 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Creek Shores' Whitty Vineyard, this traditional method gamay was fermented in stainless, with no MLF, before moving to bottle for secondary ferment and 12 months on lees. It was finished with zero dosage. Racy and bone dry, with cranberry, raspberry, white cherry and ample chalky limey acidity streaking across the juicy palate. If you're a fan of acid, dry sparkling, and / or gamay, you need to try this.Prices: ON 34.95 Producer: 13th Street Winery
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Adamo Gamay Noir Pét-Nattext
89PTS

Adamo Gamay Noir Pét-Nat 2020

Ontario, CanadaThis gamay is sourced from vineyards across Ontario and vines averaging 15 years. The grapes were destemmed and macerated for 12 hours before pressing, starting fermentation in stainless prior to moving to bottle to complete ferment. It was then disgorged, but no additions were made, including sulphur. This pours a cloudy peach hue, and streams subtle wild strawberry, pomegranate,, rhubarb, and peach fuzz along the slight palate, livened with a fine, persistent buzz of acidity through the dry, snappy finish.Prices: ON 18.00 Producer: Adamo Estate Winery
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Vanzini Pinot Nero Spumantetext
87PTS

Vanzini Pinot Nero Spumante NV

ItalyThis off-dry spumante of pinot nero comes across as fresh and bright thanks to the elevated acidity. Crushed strawberry, cranberry, raspberry fill a frothy palate, finishing with a sugared cherry twist. A pleasant, easy fizz for group festivities.Prices: Producer: Azienda Vitivinicola Vanzini
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Perlage Afra Prosecco Rosétext
88PTS

Perlage Afra Prosecco Rosé 2020

Veneto, ItalyThe Perlage story started in 1985, when the seven Nardi brothers, encouraged by their father Tiziano and mother Afra, decided to embark on a journey of discovery of converting the family’s vineyards to organic agriculture, starting with the Riva Moretta vineyard, in the heart of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore area, in Northeastern Italy’s Veneto region. All wines are certified organic (for more than 30 years), and vegan, and Perlage was the first winery to produce a certified biodynamic Prosecco. This off-dry pink Prosecco is based on Glera, with 10-15% Pinot Nero splashed in, from vines 10-20 years old. This had 6 months on lees prior to bottling, with 15 g/L RS. Pouring a pale pink hue, this leads with candied strawberries, candy apple, and raspberry, orange, before a tart cranberry acidity breaks in, leaving this crisp and dry on the shorter, snappy finish. Great freshness for this relatively new category. Pour with brunch waffles, or light berry desserts.Prices: ON 25.95 Producer: Perlage
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West and Wilder Sparkling Whitetext
87PTS

West and Wilder Sparkling White NV

United StatesThis new canned sparkling white is appellated 'America', so we can assume grapes are sourced from a wild range of regions. The mix includes Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscat, resulting in a bright, zippy, just off-dry frothy fizz of lime pith and peel, grapefruit, green and red apple, gooseberry, and Asian pear. Lively and fun, with great packaging, and an easy shareable price of 3 x 250ml cans at the LCBO. Bonus, $0.75 per 3-pack is donated to Evergreen Brick Works through 1% for the Planet, to beautify and preserve Toronto’s ravine system.Prices: ON 19.95 250 Producer: West + Wilder
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Le Rughe Prosecco Rosétext
88PTS

Le Rughe Prosecco Rosé 2020

Veneto, ItalyFrom one of the oldest wineries in Valdobbiadene-Conegliano, the heartland of Prosecco, Le Rughe was established in 1960 by Gaetano Sandro, and today his family works to continue his vision. This organic, vintage dated rosé prosecco (an exciting new appellation) blends 85% glera with 15% pinot nero from their Tenuta Cor estate, located in Belluno, at the foothills of the Dolomites at 400m. This was finished with 6 g/L RS. Pouring a peach hue, this draws cherry yogurt, red apple, strawberry blossoms along a medium palate, finishing with a fine dusting of spice and an evident stony buzz. This lacks some energy, and while I love the drier profile, I would love to see the acidity dial amped just a bit to make this excel.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Le Rughe
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Le Rughe Prosecco Bruttext
89PTS

Le Rughe Prosecco Brut NV

Veneto, ItalyFrom one of the oldest wineries in Valdobbiadene-Conegliano, the heartland of Prosecco, Le Rughe was established in 1960 by Gaetano Sandro, and today his family works to continue his vision. This organic glera prosecco is from Conegliano vineyards, left with 7 g/L RS. Bright and crisp, the racy acidity well balances out the RS, leaving this feeling pretty dry and spritely on the palate. Green apple, Asian pear streak across a dry palate, backed by toasted almond, stones through the lingering, drying finish. Quite a smart, modern prosecco, drinking very well now. Impressive.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Le Rughe
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Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosétext
88PTS

Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosé NV

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesMadame de Pompadour (mistress to Louis XV) is credited with introducing Champagne to the court at Versailles and the inspiration for the Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour. This NV bottle blends organic, estate grown pinot noir (58%) and chardonnay (42%), with some days on skins for the pinot imbuing the deep peach / blush hue. This spent 18 months on lees in bottle, before a disgorgement of 9 g/L. Earthy raspberry, strawberry, is laced with tight red currants, and lit with a fine cranberry acidity, offsetting the creamy palate. The sweeties finish sticks with sugared cranberries and a light dusting of spice. An easy Cali choice for a wide-ranging crowd.Prices: BC 52.99 AB 49.95 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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Anna Spinato Prosecco Organictext
88PTS

Anna Spinato Prosecco Organic NV

Veneto, ItalyThere's no missing this neon green bottle on the shelf, and the wine stands out, too. It's quite expressive with zesty lemon, confected pear, and almond wrapped in orchard blossom aromatics. Light bodied with a gentle, soft mousse, this is well-balanced in a brut style that finishes just off-dry. Ideal as an aperitif, this will be able to handle a range of canapés. A worthwhile discovery. Don't let the packaging deter you. Certified organic.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Anna Spinato
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Concerto Reggiano Lambruscotext
89PTS

Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThis is archetypal lambrusco salomino. It's pure and expressive, combining juicy, succulent black fruits with perfumed violets and layers of spice. It’s such an alluring, attractive nose. Medium-bodied and nicely balanced, it's just off-dry (9 g/L residual sugar) while still being savoury and lip-smacking. Easy to drink on its own, pairing this with charcuterie takes it to another level. Recommended and excellent value.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 24.00 ON 19.95 NB 25.71 Producer: Medici Ermete
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Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé Bruttext
87PTS

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis perfumed, fruity, sparkling rosé, a blend of glera and pinot nero, leads with orchard blossom aromatics with confected red berry fruit. Off-dry (12 g/L residual sugar), soft, and easy, this is perfect as an aperitif, and will surely have broad appeal as we head into the holiday season.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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Loosen Bros Dr. L Riesling Sparklingtext
87PTS

Loosen Bros Dr. L Riesling Sparkling NV

GermanySparkling wine is hardly news to Germans where it’s been called Sekt since the late 1800s, and they remain the largest consumers of sparkling wine in the world. Dr. L Sparkling is riesling made in the Charmat style, leaving it soft and round with a light, frothy undercurrent. There is a fair bit of sweetness here but with just enough acidity to keep it on keel. A fun sipper best served with spicy appetizers. Fair value.Prices: BC 18.50 ON 14.95 SAQ 16.05 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Bruttext
91PTS

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, United StatesIt has been a while since we have seen the Roederer Estate Brut multi-vintage sparkler, but it is simply better than ever. Set among the fog in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley, it is a sparkling California star. The owners Champagne Louis Roederer know a thing or two about making sparkling wine, and the latest edition is outstanding. The fruit is estate grown and subject to a meticulous vineyard regime. Each year oak aged wine from the estate's reserve cellars is added to the blend, creating a multi-vintage cuvée in the traditional Roederer style. The attack is lively with enticing pear and hazelnut dusted in complex, tasty lees. Long and intense, this is a winner. The blend is 60/40 chardonnay/pinot noir aged a minimum of two years on the lees.Prices: BC 42.99 AB 32.00 ON 25.00 QC 28.00 Producer: Roederer Estate Inc.
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Township 7 Seven Stars Equinox Brut Rosétext
92PTS

Township 7 Seven Stars Equinox Brut Rosé 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEquinox is inspired by the date when day and night are of equal length. This single vineyard Brut Rosé is made with pinot noir from the acclaimed Sperling Vineyards in Kelowna’s Mission District. The Sperling family has been growing grapes since 1925; the pinot was planted and grown organically by the family since 2008. The soils are a complex mix of components, including a limestone seam that runs underneath the vineyard. The colour is a 10 out of 10 pale, pale salmon. The nose is bright with an enticing combination of rhubarb and strawberries, and the same fruit and acid tension spill onto the palate. Lovely depth and fine complexity, this is an excellent bottle of rosé bubble. The wine spent 30 months en tirage for adding the perfect level of autolytic notes. Fresh, creamy, and food-friendly, so stock up.Prices: BC 51.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Township 7 Sirius Seven Starstext
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Township 7 Sirius Seven Stars 2015

Fraser Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Mary McDermott is the force behind the new sparkling wine program at Township Seven. Yet, new is hardly a good description for the 2015 Seven Stars Sirius sparkler that has been ageing quietly for 60 months at the Langley-based winery. I have been tasting this wine for the last three years prior to its release, and it has not disappointed me. Sirius is a traditional serious sparkling wine made with pinot noir and chardonnay grown at the Township 7 Langley vineyard. I like the apple brioche notes, dusted in citrus, followed by a creamy, mineral, red berry character that runs through the finish. Lean, stylish, and will keep for years in the bottle. A top-flight BC bubble you should try before it is all gone.Prices: BC 79.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Township 7 Rigel Seven Starstext
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Township 7 Rigel Seven Stars 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced from a block of clone 21B riesling at Fool's Gold Vineyard in North Oliver, the primary fermentation for this sparkling riesling is cool and in stainless, followed by 12 months on lees prior to disgorgement. The winemaking approach is about retaining riesling's aromatics, and that's clear in the glass with an attractive nose of delicate lime blossom, zesty citrus, and subtle lees. Precise, textured, and chalky, this finishes just off-dry with a 10 g/L dosage. Well made and a perfect aperitif to pair wth shellfish. Only 246 six-packs produced, available through Township 7's Seven Stars club.Prices: BC 32.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Township 7 Polaris Seven Starstext
90PTS

Township 7 Polaris Seven Stars 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTownship 7's sparkling program is rolling out under the watchful eye of winemaker Mary McDermott. The series is six strong with a seventh label on the way, and all are made in the traditional method. Polaris is chardonnay picked from the estate vineyard on the Naramata Bench, and Hidden Bench Vineyard in Oliver. It spends 18 months on lees and presents as a pure, green apple bubble with white florals, and lemon pith that finish soft and round. A charming bubble that could use a bit more complexity to sing. Promising, nonetheless.Prices: BC 35.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Farmhouse Cidertext
89PTS

Lightfoot and Wolfville Farmhouse Cider 2019

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaLong before they ever began producing wine, the Lightfoot Family has had a long-standing tradition of artisan, small lot cider making over their 8 generations of farming in the Annapolis Valley. This traditional method cider follows a recipe handed down from generation to generation. The 2018 was officially the first time they shared their annual cider with those outside the family. Juice from feral, uncultivated apple trees scattered throughout the tree line at their Oak Island Vineyard in Avonport and Home Farm in Wolfville was blended with local apple juice sourced from friends just down the road from Stirling Fruit Farms, and includes a mix of Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Cortland, Jonah Gold, McIntosh, and a 10% tip of Flemish Beauty pear juice. This aged one year on lees, and was bottled May 2020, without disgorgement. Bone dry, this skips along the palate with perfume pear blossoms, tart crab apple, lime pith, and earthy lees to a lightly nutmeg dusted finish. Acidity is highly strung taut, and the body is slight, at 7%. Quite authentic, and of place.Prices: NS 25.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Brut Rosétext
90PTS

Lightfoot and Wolfville Brut Rosé 2019

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThe organic Pinot Noir for this pink fizz comes from their Wolfville neighbours at Raven Hill Vineyard. It was 2/3 destemmed, with the remainder whole cluster, full MLF, before 11 months on lees prior to disgorgement with 4 g/L dosage. Pouring a medium-pale peach hue, this high acid fizz rings with raspberry, strawberry jam, peach yogurt, and mandarin. Acidity is high, but the fruit pushes back. The dosage keeps this friendly and ready for cracking now.Prices: NS 75.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Bruttext
93PTS

Lightfoot and Wolfville Brut 2015

Nova Scotia, CanadaThis Chardonnay Brut comes off their Lightfoot Home Farm, and was mostly fermented in stainless steel (85%), with the remainder in neutral French oak barrique. Once in bottle, this aged for 45 months on lees prior to disgorgement in spring 2021 with a dosage of 12 g/L. Tight and nimble, with green apple, red apple, ruling a lees-bedded, creamy palate, lit with a shimmering stony salinity that lingers long on the palate. Quite accomplished, drinking smartly now and in years ahead.Prices: NS 45.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Blanc de Noirstext
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Blanc de Noirs 2015

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThis Blanc de Noirs blends 84% pinot meunier and 16% pinot noir from their Oak Island Vineyard. 89% of the base wine was fermented in stainless, with the remainder in older French oak. It was aged 11 months prior to secondary fermentation, where it rested for 42 months on lees. It was disgorged in March 2020 with 10 g/L. This opens with a puff of oxidation that permeates the bready, cherry brioche, raspberry on the creamy, high acid palate. The green apple acidity holds this easily aloft, streaming it to a lingering humming, saline finish. Unreleaesd (hence, the lack of label); 993 bottles produced.Prices: NS 75.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Small Lots Sparkling Chenin Blanctext
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Small Lots Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2016

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaFrom their organic and biodynamic Oak Island Vineyard, this chenin spent 19 months on lees, and was finished with a Brut dosage 12 g/L. This is deeply stony and amply perfumed with chenin's honeysuckle and pear, lit from within by the site's bony soils, and positively vibrato with the grape and region's intense acidity. There's an anise / lemon verbena note that plays against the intense perfume, making this mouth filling sparkler quite a distinct wine. Chenin fans need check this out. The high acid sparkler will also reward with time in cellar, as chenin does.Prices: NS 55.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Bruttext
91PTS

Lightfoot and Wolfville Brut 2016

Nova Scotia, CanadaThis Chardonnay Brut comes off their organically and biodynamically Lightfoot Home Farm, and was mostly fermented in stainless steel (85%), with the remainder in neutral French oak barrique. Once in bottle, this aged for 45 months on lees prior to disgorgement in spring 2021 with a dosage of approximately 12 g/L. Ripe red apple, pear ride a stony, expansive base, finishing with a lash of anise and a lingering shimmering finish. The ample dosage keeps this friendly, and ready for drinking now. Very smart.Prices: NS 46.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Blanc de Blancs Extra Bruttext
93PTS

Lightfoot and Wolfville Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2014

Nova Scotia, CanadaFrom a low cropping block on their home estate in Wolfville, this chardonnay was native fermented in older French barrels before partial MLF and 4 years lees aging. After disgorgement with 4 g/L, this rested another year in bottle before release. Tight and nervy, this is positively vibrant with lemon pith and peel over green apple, atop a deeply pristine chalky base. This shimmers long on the saline finish. Such a deeply impressive wine now, and with years to come. TA 12, pH 2.94.Prices: NS 65.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Da Silva Isabella Frizzante Hidden Hollow Vineyardtext
87PTS

Da Silva Isabella Frizzante Hidden Hollow Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Penticton's Hidden Hollow Vineyard, this is a racy frizzante of riesling and muscat, done in stainless. Sharp lemon, lime pith is followed by sour melon, and subtle pear blossoms on a high acid, lightly frizzante palate. While I applaud the dry finish, a little RS might help offset the searing acidity here, allowing for more friendly drinkability in this early-access, crown cap fizz.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Beck-Hartweg Crémant d'Alsace Bruttext
88PTS

Beck-Hartweg Crémant d'Alsace Brut NV

Alsace, FranceBeck-Hartweg is one of the historic domaines of Alsace, tracing their lineage back to the early 16th century. They’re located in the medieval town of Dambach-la-Ville, built upon pink granite bedrock. Florian and Mathilde are the 16th generation at the domaine and despite their young age (early 30s) they've already gained a solid reputation as a skilled and progressive representative of natural Alsace. They are certified organic, and practicing biodynamic. This crémant is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Riesling, with 36 months on lees. Crisp and driving, with apricot skin, green apple, lemon pith, licked with anise and atop a broken stone base. The auxerrois lends a pear blossom note, which helps offset the sharp stony acidity of the Riesling. A cleansing, brisk, savoury styled sparkler for enjoying now, with canapés and lighter fare.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Beck-Hartweg
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CedarCreek Platinum Jagged Rock Sparkling Rosétext
90PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Jagged Rock Sparkling Rosé NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Taylor Whelan is spreading his wings with this pinot noir bubble that comes off Jagged Rock Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. The colour is more onion skin than pink, and some might say non-existent. The nose is quietly strawberry scented with a fresh leesy undercurrent from four months on lees in stainless steel, auto stirred every hour for 5 minute. The textures are fresh and creamy with its soft edges defined by persistent effervescence. The palate is equally delicate with subtle notes of pink grapefruit with a dusting of savoury south Okanagan desert scrub. A dry, fresh, clean, tart style that pulls you along glass by glass until the bottle is finished.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Road 13 Sparkling Traditional Method Chenin Blanctext
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Road 13 Sparkling Traditional Method Chenin Blanc 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThey make two chenin sparklers at Road 13 from the oldest chenin blanc vines in North America. The standard version is designed for early drinking and pure fun. Most attention is given to the acidity levels to keep the wine lively and fresh when the cork blows out. The primary fermentation is done in the tank, the secondary in the bottle, where the wine spends another three years on its yeast lees, building mouthfeel and palate length. Expect a fresh fruity nose with red apple, pears, and citrus before some toasted nutty notes pull the finish together and prepare you for your next sip. Ready to drink with your favourite Thai, Indian, or Chinese dishes.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Road 13
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Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirstext
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Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirs 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Blanc de Noirs is settling at Stag’s Hollow in year three, and the all-white pinot noir is coming to you with less oak. The colour is pale pink, and the style is a bit of nod to chardonnay, a varietal not produced at Stag’s Hollow. The attack is juicy with bright red berry fruit and a long, creamy, textured, stylish palate. The finish is streaked with orange but remains fresh before a barely off-dry finish. A fun wine for vegans and vegetarians, and works well with a Margherita pizza.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 26.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Corcelettes Santé en Cannettetext
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Corcelettes Santé en Cannette 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis low alcohol (9%), lightly frizzed, lower calorie (80 / can) bubble in a can is a new release from the winery, and portable, lower booze version of their Santé Frizzante. Here Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc run a slight, somewhat dilute, and very lightly frizzante fizz, with subtle, gentle white flowers, soft pear, and yellow apple. Chill well, pack in pocket, and enjoy.Prices: BC 6.90 250 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Da Silva Isabella Frizzante Hidden Hollow Vineyardtext
87PTS

Da Silva Isabella Frizzante Hidden Hollow Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis aromatic blend of riesling and muscat is made in a frizzante style, sourced from Hidden Hollow Vineyard on Upper Bench Road. It's fruit driven, as you'd expect for the style, with crisp tree fruits and orchard blossoms. Light-bodied with a gentle mousse that's not overly persistent, this finishes bone dry with brisk acidity. It's a bit austere to enjoy as an aperitif, but would be a great choice for sparkling cocktails.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Church & State Wines Frizzante Muscattext
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Church & State Wines Frizzante Muscat 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike the 2017 vintage, this fizzy muscat is sourced from Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. More specifically, Brentwood Bay and Coyote Bowl Vineyards. There's a notch more freshness to the fruit here, showing soft pear and peach skin alongside light floral aromatics. Light-bodied with a gentle mousse, this is nicely balanced in an aperitif style, with some bitterness to the finish. Best enjoyed in the short-term to retain the fruit.Prices: BC 17.69 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Concerto Reggiano Lambruscotext
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Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThe Medici winery has been pioneering top quality Lambrusco for over a century. Today the company owns 60 hectares of land spread among the best wine growing areas in Emilia-Romagna. The 2020 Lambrusco di Reggiano is made with the Lambrusco Salomino grape at Tenuta La Rampata. However, unlike the many Lambruscos that flood the marketplace, this one is drier and much more sophisticated, with only 9 grams of residual sugar. Expect a fresh red fruit nose, and a dark plum palate with savoury, earthy undertones heightened by a medium sparkle and a refreshing acidity. Turkey, anyone?Prices: BC 19.99 AB 24.00 ON 19.95 NB 25.71 Producer: Medici Ermete
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Boyd Brut Rosetext
88PTS

Boyd Brut Rose NV

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe rosé is a 97/3 mix of chardonnay/pinot noir where the chardonnay is grown on the Silhouette estate North Naramata Road property. The sparkle results from a full secondary fermentation in the bottle where the wine rested for 36 on its lees before it was hand-riddled and disgorged in June 2021. A three percent dosage of pinot noir from outside the Naramata Bench is responsible for the wine pouring an attractive pale pink colour. On the palate, the wine is dry and opens with somewhat tart notes. The plate mixes earthy strawberry notes with a lift of acidity that runs through the finish. It is definitely a fizz that would benefit from foods like grilled prawns or smoked salmon to take on the acidity.Prices: BC 39.00 Producer: Silhouette Estate Winery
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Boyd Classic Cuveetext
90PTS

Boyd Classic Cuvee NV

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Classic Cuvée is chardonnay grown at the estate on the cool northern Naramata Bench. It is all handpicked at the ideal acidity required to make serious sparkling wine. The first fermentation goes to dryness in stainless steel, and there was no malolactic fermentation prior to the key secondary fermentation in the bottle. The wine was aged on its lees for 20 months before being riddled and disgorged in August 2020. No dosage was used. The bubbles are impressively small and move throughout the wine glass with a tight tiny bead. The nose is a mix of citrus notes with a tinge of Okanagan sagebrush. On the palate, there is a restrained lemon-lime streaked with peach and wet stone and a slight sweetness to balance off the acidity in what is otherwise a clean, dry finish. It is a very fine start for this label and but another sign that sparkling wine at a very high level is made in BC. Oysters would be my first pick, but the matches are endless.Prices: Producer: Silhouette Estate Winery
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Church & State Wines Frizzante Muscattext
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Church & State Wines Frizzante Muscat 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis dual-region fizzy muscat is sourced from Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. At four years of age, the fruit has started to fade and it's lost much of the aromatic charm of the variety. That's not altogether surprising: the frizzante style isn't necessarily built for the long haul. Rather vinous and frothy now, drink up if you have any bottles left.Prices: BC 17.69 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Enrico Winery Revelation Charme de L'Île Sparkling Rosétext
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Enrico Winery Revelation Charme de L'Île Sparkling Rosé 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaCharme de L'Ile is a Wine Islands collective style, using Island grapes in a charmat method, fresh, youthful fizz. This pinot noir rosé opens with a wall of sulphur before some muted cherry, tart cran, gentle fizz to a short, brisk finish. Give this some air time and a brisk chill.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Enrico Winery
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Peak Cellars Sparkling Rieslingtext
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Peak Cellars Sparkling Riesling 2019

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt 50 degrees+ north, this high elevation riesling block near historical Carr's Landing is the source of this Lake Country traditional method sparkler that gets 12 months of ageing on its lees. The power of riesling is its fruity bent, and this delicious citrus bubble is all that and more. At five grams per litre dosage of sugar, it appears mostly dry, tight, and vibrant and best suited to being served with food. Goat cheese or baked brie would work. A fine start.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Natural Bruttext
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Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Natural Brut 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Tantalus' renowned block of old vines riesling, planted in 1978, the Natural Brut shows an alternate expression of this fruit. It comes from the same pick as the exceptional Old Vines Riesling, but a small lot is diverted to their sparkling program. There's real complexity and precision here, with bright lemon, apple, honey, and wet stone, alongside a surprising amount of biscuity autolytic character from 22 months on lees. It's impeccably balanced in a brut nature style (5 g/L dosage), which works beautifully with the fruit ripeness here. This will make you rethink traditional method riesling. It's no wonder it's already sold out at the winery.Prices: BC 43.48 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Bottega Gold Prosecco Spumante Bruttext
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Bottega Gold Prosecco Spumante Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyBottega Gold is distinctively decked out in its baked on gold packaging but do not let its shiny exterior throw you off; the wine is every bit as impressive as its packaging. The fruit is all glera from the hills of the Treviso DOCG region in the Veneto. It gets a lengthy primary ferment with some important lees contact before it undergoes a secondary ferment via the Charmat tank process. Its 10-12 grams of residual sugar gives its peachy, pear, melon a ripe demeanour that is quickly balanced off by its lightly fizzy palate. Owner Sandro Boscaiani is an exacting master, and every bottle of Bottega is made with extreme care and attention. It is a perfect holiday wine to serve with appetizers and drop-in guests.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Bottega S.p.A.
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26 November 2021

Torres Grans Murallestext
92PTS

Torres Grans Muralles 2017

Conca de Barbera, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainFrom DO Conca de Barberà, and 450-470m, this blends garnacha, cariñena, querol, monastrell, and garrò from the llicorella and granite soils of the region. Torres has been working hard to recover near-extinct local varieties like querol and garrò, revitalizing vines and plantings to showcase in small lot wines of place like this. Each parcel was vinified separately in small stainless tanks. Aging varies depending on the variety, but averages 18 months in new thin-grained French oak barrels. This is an alluring blend, with wildflowers, wild plum, wild blueberries layered with decomposed stones, mineral salts running the fuller, yet fresh palate. Certainly a wine of place.Prices: Canada 137.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Fidora Monte Tabor Valpolicella Ripassotext
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Fidora Monte Tabor Valpolicella Ripasso 2016

Veneto, ItalyThis organic Monte Tabor Valpo blends 65% corvina, 25% corvinone, 10% rondinella from calcareous soils on the hillsides of Illasi Valley, in Veneto. The Ripasso comes through the second fermentation of Valpolicella wine in contact with the residual lees of Amarone. This process 2-3 weeks and is followed by 2 years' aging in French oak. Fully matured ripe cherry, black raspberry, leather fills the surprisingly fresh palate, with stony lifted acidity buoying this peppery full red. Tannins are worn smooth with time, guiding this to a milk chocolate finish. Feeling a little tired, and best taken now.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Fidora
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Suertes del Marqués 7 Fuentestext
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Suertes del Marqués 7 Fuentes 2018

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain100+ year old ungrafted and organic listan negro is splashed with 10% castellana negra in this singular wine, showcasing Tenerife's volcanic soils and vineyard altitude up to 750m. Suertes del Marqués considers this their 'village wine', and an introduction to their range. Careful aging for 9 months in concrete and neutral French oak gives this lighter red ample fine texture and finesse, with wild flowers, wild plum, pink grapefruit, and stony salts wafting throughout the slender frame, woven with volcanic reduction and pink peppercorns. Tannins are spiderweb fine and strong, and acidity is effortless. Give this a light chill and some airtime in the glass before enjoying liberally.Prices: ON 23.95 Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Alpha Box and Dice Mistresstext
88PTS

Alpha Box and Dice Mistress 2019

South Australia, AustraliaMistress is a blends' blend, sourcing touriga nacional, tempranillo, and carignan from Barossa, Adelaide Hills, and Langhorne Creek. Each variety was harvested and native fermented separately, with a mix of whole bunch and whole berry in the lot. As one could expect from the mix of grapes and regions, there are a lot of disparate parts in this fuller red: ripe raspberry and black cherry, thorny cassis, wild mint, potpourri, and cracked mustard seed fill the fuller palate, framed with sticky tannins to a spiced finish. An adventurous mistress for taking to a BBQ now.Prices: ON 32.75 Producer: Alpha Box & Dice
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Niepoort Rótulotext
91PTS

Niepoort Rótulo 2016

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalOff Dão's granitic soils, this is predominantly Touriga Nacional, with smaller parts Jaen, Tinta Pinheira, and Alfrocheiro, and (mostly) bush vines 30-80 years old, growing around 600m. It was fermented and aged in cement. Dusky plum, wild blackberry, thorns, crushed violets, cracked stones are drawn across the medium palate, fresh with altitude, and buzzing with that granitic grip, particularly prevalent on the lingering, peppery, rosemary finish. Tannins are ample, but well absorbed by the fruit, leaving a sticky tug in their wake. Certainly still alive, and drinking well (ideally with an herb roasted rack of lamb or pork).Prices: Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Niepoort NAT’Cool! Voyeur Tinto Amphoratext
92PTS

Niepoort NAT’Cool! Voyeur Tinto Amphora 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalSix amphora reds and whites, from vines 40-50 years old, and from six different sites in the Douro go into this unique Voyeur wine. Voyeur is taken from different sites, altitudes, etc. each year. Each site spent 6 months in 1000L Spanish amphora, lined with beeswax, prior to blending in stainless, returning to amphorae for a couple of months, and then bottling. Pouring a lighter plum hue, this lighter red is crunchy and fresh with plum, wild blackberry, wild blueberry, and rockrose, threaded with lines of wax and pink peppercorns. Tannins are long and slight, and acidity is effortless and lifted, drawing this to a lingering, schistous finish. Enjoy this smashable wine now (conveniently in a #NatCool 1L format) with a light chill.Prices: ON 43.95 1000 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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25 November 2021

Suertes del Marqués Trenzadotext
91PTS

Suertes del Marqués Trenzado 2020

Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainFrom Tenerife's volcanic soils, this is based on Listán Blanco, with a mix of 10-150-year-old native grapes Marmajuelo, Guao, Vijariego Blanco, Verdelo, Torrontés and Baboso Blanco sourced across various vineyards 300-700m in the Valle de La Orotava, and predominantly grown in the traditional cordón trenzado training system. After native ferment in a mix of concrete and older French casks, this aged nine months on lees in concrete, foudres, and older 500L barrels. Distinctively volcanic, with a reductive flinty rush imbuing pear skin, wild herbs, wild lemon, flax through the amply saline palate, with that salinity lingering long on the finish. There's a lovely fine texture to this characterful wine, making a lot of impact for its 12%.Prices: ON 37.95 Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Luberri Zuri Blancotext
89PTS

Luberri Zuri Blanco 2020

Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, SpainFlorentino Martinez Monje started off life as a grape supplier before deciding to set up his own winery in Rioja Alavesa. Few know as much about the region as he does, nor how to get the best out of the local vineyards. With an intimate understanding of the 32 hectares he farms, he remains a farmer first and foremost. This is a blend of Viura and Malvasia, from 30 to 50 year old vi­neyards located in Elciego and adjacent villages, fermented and rested in stainless where it remained for two months with daily bâtonnage. Savoury and stony, with red apple, subtle white peach, crushed stones along a fuller, lightly waxen palate, finishing with a bitter quince twist and lingering salinity. A suitable partner for roast chicken or halibut.Prices: ON 18.95 Producer: Familia Monje Amestoy
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Azores Wine Co. Branco Vulcânicotext
91PTS

Azores Wine Co. Branco Vulcânico 2019

PortugalThis blend of 85% arinto de azores (unrelated to mainland Portugal's arinto) and 15% verdejo was whole bunch pressed and fermented in stainless with bâttonage. Light and bright with wild melon, lemon, tangerine, quince on a mouthwatering, lees-lined palate lingering with bracing marine salinity.Prices: ON 41.95 BC 35.00 Producer: Azores Wine Co.
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Livio Felluga Abbazia di Rosazzotext
90PTS

Livio Felluga Abbazia di Rosazzo 2017

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyLivio Felluga is one of the most respected producers in Friuli, dedicating his life to reviving high-quality and sustainable viticulture in the hills of this north-eastern, Adriatic-influenced region. He emigrated from Istria and established his property in Brazzano in the 1950s, buying up old, neglected vineyards and rejuvenating them. This, Livio's flagship white, is a blend of Pinot Bianco, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon, Friulano, and Malvasia, from the marl and sandstone soils of the historical vineyards of the Abbazia di Rosazzo, a site with more than 1000 years of viticulture. After starting ferment in stainless, this was moved to oak casks to complete fermentation and aging. Subtly savoury, this moves honeysuckle, white grapefruit, light quince, gentle tangerine and chamomile across the medium palate, framed with white grapefruit pith and peel, and finishing with a buzzy earthy stoniness. Drinking now.Prices: ON 74.95 Producer: Livio Felluga
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Anselmi San Vincenzotext
89PTS

Anselmi San Vincenzo 2020

Veneto, ItalyAnselmi is one of the forerunners of quality whites from the Soave region (though he uses IGT Veneto rather than DOC Soave). Founded in 1948, the winery has 70 HA of vineyards in Monteforte d'Alpone, high in the hills between Soave and Monteforte, near Verona. This expressive garganega/chardonnay/sauvignon blanc blend rings with peach blossoms, guava, almonds, honeysuckle and tropical orange along a medium-bodied palate, finishing with a dusting of sandy spices and bitter lemon. Lovely freshness and presence for its 12.5%.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Anselmi
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Church & State Wines Trebellatext
89PTS

Church & State Wines Trebella 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTrebella is the Church and State tribute to the famous Rhone white blend, mixing 40/40/20 marsanne, roussanne, and viognier. The style is fat but not quite opulent, with perfumed exotic fruit led by peaches and pineapple mixed with honey and vanilla. The winery suggests you not overchill the wine to take in all the flavours that finish with a streak of orange and a hint of minerality to balance out the finish. A fine match for lobster or roasted birds.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Church & State Winery
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24 November 2021

Treana Redtext
91PTS

Treana Red 2019

Central Coast, California, United StatesTreana is inspired by the Spanish trio of natural elements: the sun, soil, and sea, and it is the flagship red blend at Hope Family Wines. You often hear Americans refer to it as a cabernet sauvignon. In fact, the blend is 75/25 cabernet sauvignon/syrah. Not that it was ever an Australian cab shiraz style, Winemaker Austin Hope says it was always a cab syrah and, in his mind, a perfect pairing in Paso Robles. The Paso Robles AVA is awash in sunshine and warmth. Still, the nearness to the Pacific Ocean is responsible for the large diurnal temperature swings from day to night and the lift of acidity in the wine. Look for rich fruit with intense cassis, blackberry streaked with spice and a cut of red fruit that keeps it balanced and fresh. The tannins are dense but sweet and soft, leaving a perfect textural finish. Drink or hold another five to seven years until it is fully mature.Prices: BC 49.99 ON 42.95 QC 41.35 NS 42.95 AB 41.00 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Treana Blanctext
92PTS

Treana Blanc 2019

Central Coast, California, United StatesTreana Blanc has been a highly-regarded wine, but I believe the latest offering is one of the best. The “New World” version of a Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc opens with floral/citrus mixing orange blossom and peaches. The palate is more of the same with a dusting of honey, jasmine, and a tropical undertow of pineapples, apricots and honeysuckle. The texture is pleasantly rich and soft but with just the right twist of acidity to keep it all fresh. A gastronomic wine with matches that boggle the mind. The 2019 blend is 47/35/18 viognier/marsanne/roussanne. Over the years, the search for a roussanne site finally landed at the Templeton Gap and pretty much since then, the blend has begun to hit all the right notes. Of course, turkey with all the trimmings would be a good match, as would any creamy seafood dish.Prices: BC 36.99 AB 23.99 SK 47.99 MB 30.99 ON 30.30 QC 30.30 NL 29.76 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Liberty School Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Liberty School Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesSince 1975 the Hope family has been making wine in Paso Robles, and this 2018 Reserve Cab celebrates 45 years of Liberty School. The recipe is best vineyard sites, best barrels, and extended ageing. The fruit comes from vineyards located in the Geneseo, Pomar, Estrella, and Creston Districts, all within an eleven-mile radius of one another. The Reserve is aged two years in ten percent new French and American oak. It was blended in the winter of 2020 and aged for three months in 75% new French oak. The nose and the palate are amped up as they should be in Reserve. Here the flavours are black cherry with a savoury leafy undercurrent supplying a framework with more depth and definition to the wine. The tannins are perfectly tamed, dense and sweet, suggesting that the wine will keep with no problems for a decade in the cellar. Impressive for the price.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 18.75 MB 19.75 ON 20.31 QC 20.00 NB 22.95 NS 22.50 NFL 20.58 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesPaso Robles, or roughly “Passageway of Oaks,” is at the core of this flagship cabernet for Hope Family Wines, long-time champions of the Central Coast AVA. It is intense and flushed with black fruit and ripe raspberry, spice and dark chocolate, yet as big as it looks and feels at the front of the palate, the wine shows more elegance and style as the years go by. Today it is all about select vineyard lots, fermented individually in stainless steel tanks and aged separately for 11 months in a combination of 10% new, 25% once used, and 65% 2nd and 3rd use French oak barrels. Only the very best barrels are “assembled” and aged a further three months in 75% new and 25% once-used French oak. The pulse-air technique has reigned in the ragged tannins, and the lower alcohol and bright acidity have given this wine added life.Prices: BC 69.99 AB 54.00 SK 71.99 MB 69.99 ON 69.95 QC 70.00 NB 69.99 PEI 69.99 NS 59.99 NL 69.98 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesLiberty School Cabernet Sauvignon has long been a Paso standard, but winemaker Austin Hope says they have worked hard to reign in the alcohol and, more importantly, build texture and weight with denser, softer tannins shearing the rustic moniker from the wine. To put it simply, there is less bitterness and more smoothness in the back end of this flavourful cabernet. Modern tannin management includes using shade cloth, orientating the berries away from the sun, leaf pulling to let speckled light through, and in some cases, a return to the California Sprawl to protect the berries from harsh sunlight. There is only ten percent new oak in the wine, one that comes from more than 50 growers in the Paso AVA, and was aged 15 months in oak. As a result, look for a full-bodied cabernet with savoury vanilla undertones, and rich black and red fruits that finish lush and round. Ready to drink with grilled beef dishes.Prices: BC 25.49 AB 18.75 MB 19.75 ON 20.31 QC 20.00 NB 22.95 NS 22.50 NFL 20.58 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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23 November 2021

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuoustext
88PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2018 Voluptuous is just a little less voluptuous, relying on its juicy red fruit to capture your imagination. The blend is the same as last year, 67/33 merlot and cabernet franc from 16 year old vines growing at Boothe Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. However, the style is cooler and spicer this year, with tannins that are a little more grippy than normal. The savoury notes speak to the cabernet franc, while the pine trees and sagebrush add a BC touch to a classic Right Bank blend. Drink or hold, it should improve in bottle over the next five years.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Van Westen Vineyards Vtext
90PTS

Van Westen Vineyards V 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear ten of V is a winner. The blend is 41/24/12/12/8 merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot, all grown within two kilometres of the Naramata Bench winery. In 2018, the wine exhibits savoury black fruit and intense dark chocolate that will attract many. The tannins are sweet and dense and structured without the dry edges. It is a hedonistic style you can drink or hold. Good value here.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Da Silva Vinho Tintotext
86PTS

Da Silva Vinho Tinto 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Tinto is a blend of their four estate vineyards: Outwash, Cabana, Blenheim Hill, and Avila Family Vineyards, and a mix of merlot, syrah, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and malbec. This aged 24+ months in a split of 50/50 American and French medium+ toast wood. This seemingly simple red is overrun by ample smoke, and that giant amount of toasted wood, with some worn cassis, black cherry poking through. Tannins are worn with time, but still edged ragged to a flushed finish. It feels like they used the scraps of what didn't fit elsewhere to make this wine. This screw capped red requires big grilled meats and / or root veg to mitigate.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Road 13 Fifth Element Redtext
88PTS

Road 13 Fifth Element Red 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRoad 13 5th Element can be a rocky road of a red, and 2019 is no exception. The lead variety is merlot at 39%, followed by 37% syrah, 13% malbec, 7% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot, and 1% cabernet sauvignon. The selection is a best barrels affair, although you could argue it may have been the biggest flavoured barrels. The blend is aged 18 months in 35 percent new French and American oak barrels before assemblage and bottling. Expect a rustic rich black and blue fruited front end with intense spice, smoked meat, and a dry, oaky finish. The syrah makes a big statement and suggests this will need a decade to calm down.Prices: BC 52.99 Producer: Road 13
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Road 13 Seventy-Four Ktext
89PTS

Road 13 Seventy-Four K 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThe latest Seventy-Four K is a big winner, led by an amazing fetching texture that fills the wine with dense fine grained tannins and a support system for big black fruit. The roundness and softness come from 61% perfectly ripe merlot, with support from 14% malbec, 9% syrah, 8% petit verdot, 5% cabernet franc and 3% mourvèdre. It is a magical blend with all you could want in a big, well-constructed Rhone-Bordeaux-Okanagan-Similkameen blend. The components were all separately harvested, fermented and aged in 20% new French oak before final blending and then aged ten more months in bottle before release. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Road 13
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Co-Fermented Malbec Merlottext
88PTS

Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Co-Fermented Malbec Merlot 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPhantom Creek Vineyard, located on the lower terrace of the Black Sage Bench, turned 25 years old this year. It was planted by pioneering viticulturist Richard Cleave in 1996 on the edge of the Black Sage Bench, just above the warm valley floor. The tiny, seven acre parcel is planted primarily to cabernet sauvignon, an unthinkable variety to ripen in BC back in the day. In the case of this wine, the blend is 60/40 merlot/malbec that boasts a rich 14.5%. It spent 21 months in French oak, the same barrels it was fermented in. The attack is youthful with some unknit tannins and savoury red fruit. The palate follows down the same road with freshness and some green highlights. This needs time to come together to settle. At the moment, it’s a bit raggedy for prime time.Prices: BC 90.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée Cuvée N° 23text
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée Cuvée N° 23 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée No. 23 is said to be the best expression of the site. In 2018, when heat and wildfire smoke were a factor in southern BC, the wine appears to have been managed perfectly to capture both the power of the site and the finesse in a tough year. The textures are silky smooth in this 40/31/19/5/5/ mix of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, malbec, cabernet franc, and syrah. Dense, rich tannins coarse through the black and blue fruits, with just the right amount of toasted oak. It takes time for sure, but you can expect this wine to age effortlessly and develop into a complex red.Prices: BC 125.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Corcelettes Talustext
92PTS

Corcelettes Talus 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is year ten at Corcelettes, and to celebrate, they are launching a new Talus label to pay homage to the Similkameen mountains, river, and the stony terroir of the windy, wild valley. The bottle and the wine are a bit of a beast, mixing 45/28/21/4/2 merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot. The attack is full on with black olives, cedar, tobacco, with rich, savoury black fruit, and a whack of spice in the back end. In the finish, the balance and textures are spot on and would suggest this has the stuffing to go the distance, which is key, because it will need a decade to hit its stride. Venison or lamb are the best matches at the moment, but I would wait a minimum of five years to get into this red.Prices: BC 49.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Redtext
92PTS

Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Red 2017

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Estate Reserve is the flagship red at Clos du Soleil that is farmed biodynamically and certified organic. It opens with Similkameen intensity: bony, rich in savoury black fruit, with a mineral undercurrent. In 2017 merlot took the lead at 47%. The rest of the mix is cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec. It is all fermented and aged separately for 18 months before the final assemblage. Plums, violets, crushed stones, black pepper, cedar, it is all here. It gets two more years of bottle age, but really, this wine is a decade away from its plateau. Impressive.Prices: BC 53.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Frind Estate Big Redtext
88PTS

Frind Estate Big Red 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig Red is aptly that, a medium+ bodied merlot dominant Bordeaux blend that has seen time in both French and American oak (20% new). Ripe and fleshy, with black plum, raspberry, dark cherry, kirsch, and vanilla on a soft, cushy palate. Tannins are plush, hugging this to a baking spiced finish. Gobs of fruit here for only 12.5%, and ready for drinking now, ideally with braised fall veg and/or pork.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Frind Estate
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Da Silva Vinho Tintotext
87PTS

Da Silva Vinho Tinto 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tinto is a blend of four estate vineyards blending a mix of merlot, syrah, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and malbec, but the plan is to go Portuguese in the coming years when some newer plantings come online. It is aged 24+ months in a split of 50/50 American and French medium+ toast wood. Look for a sweet, lifted oak entry mixed with toasted smoky notes, with black cherry lurking throughout. It is all a bit wild, but it will be fine with a thin crust pizza or a roast chicken to smooth out the edges. Decant the wine for 30 minutes to serve at its best.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Imbzzl Fast One Fast Red Blendtext
87PTS

Imbzzl Fast One Fast Red Blend 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe commercialization of Laughing Stock Vineyards is underway, and Imbzzl 'Fast One' Red is one of the three second labels, set to get the job done. The blend is a mix of Bull Pine fruit, a mature vineyard sight in south Oliver whose fruit has ended up in various Constellation/Arterra wines over the years. The mix is cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc aged in Frech and American oak for one year. The result is a rich, heavy black fruit wine with plenty of spice and oak ready to drink on release. Your favourite BBQ rib recipe would be a fine match for the chocolate, tobacco, black fruit mixed with a hit of wildfire smoke.Prices: BC 23.49 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Church & State Wines Meritagetext
87PTS

Church & State Wines Meritage 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA 75/15/10 blend of merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon, this shows stewed, smoky dark fruits with balanced oak coming from 12 months in French barriques (20% new). The evident fruit ripeness carries through to the palate, with a warming 14.5% abv. The firm, sinewy tannins still need some time to resolve, but the level of smoke suggests this is best for short-term consumption, with a smoky astringency to the finish. It should pair nicely with charcoal grilled flank steak.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Church & State Wines Quintessentialtext
92PTS

Church & State Wines Quintessential 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuintessential is the flagship Church and State red that historically contained all five Bordeaux varieties in the blend. There has been an adjustment to the 2017 Quintessential under new winemaker Arnaud Thierry who arrived in 2018 from Champagne. Along with a label change, Thierry is changing the blend, dropping the all-in recipe for one that showcases the best grapes showing a true sense of terroir depending on vintage conditions. Only 200 cases were made in 2017, and even less, 112, in 2018. Both are likely to become Wine Club only wines upon release. The 2017 mix is 50/50 merlot/cabernet franc, and the structure and texture of 2017 is an outstanding offering that all important balance from the beginning of its life. The nose is fragrant and savoury, reflecting its origins in the south Okanagan. The intensity and length are outstanding, vacillating between black and red fruits with a perfect amount of oak. It will be fun to watch Quintessential start to regain some of the previous status that placed it among BC’s best red wines. It is all the better for the extra bottle age at the winery, and the new label befits its long time standing of excellence.Prices: BC 74.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Moraine Meritagetext
89PTS

Moraine Meritage 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a bright, restrained blend of merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec that shows an appealing combination of red and black fruits, with blackberry and cherry alongside violets and cedar. The oak is forward but finely integrated, adding toasted spices that work nicely with the fruit. Medium bodied with lively acidity and fine grained tannins, this is well balanced in a style that's approachable yet serious, with gravelly mineral undertones. Well made and distinctive.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Moraine Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Queuetext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Queue 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQueue is part of new series of small-batch wines at Quails Gate they are calling the Distinction Collection. It is our first look at a series of wines that fill in some gaps using a combination of varieties, clones, rootstocks, vineyard blocks and wine-making techniques to offer a series of labels for club members. Like the pattern on a quail’s egg, no two are alike. The Upper Boucherie bench vineyard boasts a unique southern exposure and a series of vineyard blocks on volcanic soils spiked with mineral deposits. It is one of the few sites in the Kelowna area that ripens merlot, cabernet, and syrah, which appear in the 47/45/8 Queue mix. The grapes are fermented and aged separately for 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels adding more structure to the wine. The initial offering is a rich red wine with a full-bodied, spicy red palate with some savoury, tobacco, herbaceous threads throughout. The tannins are fine-grained and youthful and will need a year or two more to disperse. Expect a rich, punchy red that will settle into itself as it ages.Prices: BC 49.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Township 7 Infinity Redtext
90PTS

Township 7 Infinity Red 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaInfinity is a mix of fruit off low yielding premium blocks. At every step of the process the fruit is given the highest priority to reveal its best. The grapes are left to self-press gently overnight, and the juice is run off into new or near new French oak barrels for 24 months. This wine opens with promising bright savoury aromatics, black cherries, graphite, and dense sweet tannins that build a structure with zero dryness. The finish is lush and mostly smooth with more spice and length. It needs time, but the early elegance would suggest your patience in the glass be rewarded down the road.Prices: BC 33.97 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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22 November 2021

Torres Milmanda Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Torres Milmanda Chardonnay 2018

Conca de Barbera, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainFrom deep, silty calcareous clays of the Conca de Barberà, this was fermented in 300L French barrels (50% new) followed by a partial MLF. The wine then aged for 6 months in barrel, followed by a 10 month tightening stint in stainless with periodic bâtonnage. Green fig, pear, lemon thistle and verbena is strung with chalky electricity, and tightened by a crystalline lemon tightness, finishing off with a trail of minerality. Such a striking wine this vintage, drinking well now and with time ahead.Prices: Canada 60.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Santa Rita Floresta Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Santa Rita Floresta Chardonnay 2020

Valle del Limari, ChileFrom cool-climate, Pacific cooled Limarí , this chardonnay is rooted in alluvial clay loams with stones and calcium carbonate. After a whole bunch press, this was native fermented in stainless before transferring to French barrel (25% new), where it sees periodic bâtonnage over 8 months prior to the final blending. Creamy lemon, green apple rule the medium palate, with a good deal of marine freshness (the Pacific is 28 km away) buffered by a pad of downy lees. The finish lingers with a potent wash of salinity. Quite smart, fresh Chile chardy, and with its Diam 10 cork, evident the winery thinks this will be an age worthy one.Prices: ON 30.00 Producer: Viña Santa Rita
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1701 Franciacorta Surnàttext
90PTS

1701 Franciacorta Surnàt NV

Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10 hectare biodynamic certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. This Chardonnay had 1/3 undergoing 1 week skin contact, prior to fermenting and aging on lees in amphora for 8 months. Crystalline quince and lemon pith is livened with buzzy stony soils, on a zippy green apple base, with a stencil of grip around the sides. Quite fresh and lively, this is a complete wine, drinking very well now.Prices: ON 40.95 Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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Carmel Road Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Carmel Road Chardonnay 2019

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesAt first taste, this certified sustainable chardonnay suggests it has had some oak ageing, but it is not the case. Its creamy custardy palate is all part of the Monterey site it comes off. The nose is a mix of intense fresh peach and sweet lime that spills onto the palate. Butter and baked pear and lime mark the finish along with a refreshing hit of acidity that is all Monterey. It is California, no doubt, but fun to sip and friendly enough to work with chicken tacos. Fun and well worth the money for California chardonnay fans, new and old.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 18.49 Producer: Carmel Road Winery
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Château de Messey Mâcon Cruzille Clos des Avoueries Calcairetext
88PTS

Château de Messey Mâcon Cruzille Clos des Avoueries Calcaire 2018

Mâconnais, Burgundy, FranceThis wine has the elevated status of Régionale Mâcon with a geographical designation, in this case, the village of Cruzille. This walked vineyard in Cruzille, Clos des Avoueries, belonged to the monks of Cluny nearly 10 centuries before Marc Dumont took it over in 1986. He followed with purchasing the Château de Messey a few years later, converting all the vineyards to organics. This parcel is located between 360-420m, on deep red clays over limestone, hence the Calcaire in the name. This was native fermented in mostly used barrels, where it matures on lees without bâtonnage, and sees a light filtration before bottling (minimal sulphur throughout). Creamy and dense, the wood presence is felt with toasty spice throughout the lemon curd, baked yellow apple, and perfumed, vanilla musk. This feels a bit clunky at this stage, and would be best enjoyed with a creamy chicken or pasta dish to mitigate.Prices: Producer: Domaine du Château de Messey
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Domaine Marc Jambon et Fils Cuvée Classique Mâcon-Pierreclostext
90PTS

Domaine Marc Jambon et Fils Cuvée Classique Mâcon-Pierreclos 2018

Mâconnais, Burgundy, FranceThis Régionale Mâcon wine has been elevated to include the Pierreclos designation, showing their southern Mâconnais village has elevated status within the appellation. The Jambon family has been in Pierreclos since 1752. Marc Jambon and his son Pierre-Antoine created this estate in 1996, growing it to to the sustainably managed 12 hectare estate it is today. This chardonnay grows on clay limestone, was partially native fermented and aged in stainless, buried underground for temperature control. The wine remains there on lees until bottling in April 2019. Lees-led, this carries green apple, flax, cracked stone along a slender palate, finishing with a rinse of salinity and a lingering limestone buzz. Nice definition to this 2018, drinking smartly now and with a couple years ahead.Prices: Producer: Domaine Marc Jambon et Fils
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Eric and Catherine Giroud Mâcon-Uchizy Vieilles Vignestext
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Eric and Catherine Giroud Mâcon-Uchizy Vieilles Vignes 2018

Mâconnais, Burgundy, FranceThis Régionale level Bourgogne is part of the top 15% with a geographical designation, in this case, the village of Uchizy. This appellation can only produce chardonnay, and this organically farmed one comes off older vines rooted in clay over limestone. This was fermented cool in stainless where it remained on lees until bottling. Quite direct and open up front, charming with a flick of reduction, bright lemon, perfumed pear, river stones that quickly run a slender palate through a buzzing finish. There's a power and depth and energy to this likeable wine, encouraging drinking now (though it will hold a couple of years in your cellar easily).Prices: Producer: Eric & Catherine Giroud
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Fichet Château London Mâcon-Igétext
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Fichet Château London Mâcon-Igé 2018

Mâconnais, Burgundy, FranceThis cuvée from the impressive Domaine Fichet is the top tier of Régional Mâcon, awarded the geographical designation of the village Igé. The Fichet family has been present in the village of Igé since the 15th century, with Francis Fichet beginning the winery in 1976. His two sons, Pierre and Olivier, joined the business in the 1990s, growing the sustainably farmed estate to 36 hectares today. The Château London climat is southwest facing, on clay-limestone soils. This was native fermented in vats (10% in oak) where it remained for 10 months on lees with very little bâtonnage. Very pure and linear with lemon, downy cream, fresh hazelnuts running the gently expansive (thanks 2018 vintage), lees-lined palate, finishing with a raft of river stones on the finish. A classic Mácon blanc for drinking now.Prices: Producer: Domaine Fichet
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Pierre-Louis and Jean-François Bersan Cuvée Marianne Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerretext
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Pierre-Louis and Jean-François Bersan Cuvée Marianne Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre 2018

FranceBourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre is at the top of the Régionale Appellation, awarded a geographical designation for its focused terroir and stricter growing / winemaking. The first traces of the Bersan family in Saint-Bris-le-Vineux date back to 1453, though the cellars of the domain date from the 11th and 13th centuries, and form a real labyrinth deep under the village. The sustainably farmed domaine, 15km west of Chablis, is now in the hands of father Jean-François, and his son Pierre-Louis. This chardonnay is rooted in kimmeridgian clay-limestone, and was native ferment in tank before resting 1 year in French barrels (10% new). The clay rules the soils here, imbuing a creamy expansion to the stony / earthy frame, basing green apple, light lemon and a wash of salinity through the finish. Drinking now.Prices: Producer: Domaine Pierre-Louis & Jean-François Bersan
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Nautilus Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Nautilus Chardonnay 2018

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand2018 marks the 30th vintage of Nautilus, primely situated with Clive Jones at the winemaking helm. This is a creamy, rich and powerful chardonnay, with fruit off their Renwick estate (newer Bourgogne clones and older 15) blended with Dijon clone 95 from a neighbouring site. This was chilled overnight and direct pressed to French barrique (20% new) for native ferment and a short time on lees with bâtonnage prior to bottling. Creamy and wood spiced, this rich chardonnay packs a whopping lot into a 13% declared frame. Lemon curd, toasted hazelnut, buttery pastry is propped up with lemon peel, green apple, nutmeg and cloves, and a welcome flash of acidity. A big wine that is ready for cracking into now, ideally with butter drawn crab or popcorn.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Nautilus Estate
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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Chardonnaytext
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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Chardonnay 2020

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceOne of a few wines released in this highly distinctive rose-stamped glass bottle, this chardonnay was sourced from across the Languedoc and all its varied soils. Destemmed grapes are cool settled and fermented in stainless, aged a very short time on lees before bottling. This is ripe and full on the palate with pineapple, baked green apple, butterscotch, stones, and subtle lemon peel acidity. Tastes of sunshine, and best enjoyed sitting in some, along with richer canapés or crab cakes.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Gérard Bertrand Domaine de l’Aigle Chardonnaytext
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Gérard Bertrand Domaine de l’Aigle Chardonnay 2018

Limoux, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceDomaine de l’Aigle is near the village of Roquetaillade, close by Limoux in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The estate covers 31 hectares, with biodynamically certified vines planted between 250-500 metres, making it one of the highest vineyards in the Haute Vallée de l’Aude, and all the Languedoc, for that matter. After a native ferment start, this was transferred to oak for full MLF and a rest on lees. This is full and rich, ripe with the Mediterranean sun, but freshened somewhat by altitude. Marzipan, hazelnuts, vanilla baked pear, fragrant white peach, coats the full palate, imbued by ample wood spicing through the finish. This is a hefty, creamy white, and I wish I could see more of the Demeter certified fruit and soils rather than some heavier treatments. As such, enjoy now with rich cream or butter drawn dishes.Prices: BC 38.99 Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Oyster Bay Chardonnaytext
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Oyster Bay Chardonnay 2020

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThis friendly Marlborough chardy comes from Wairau, Renwick, and Brancott's shallow, sandy loams over gravels, and is a blend of Dijon B95, UCD 15, and 548 clones. This was fermented 50/50 in stainless and French barriques with 9 months on lees with bâtonnage and partial MLF. The result is very creamy and toasty, yet full of characteristic Marlborough fruit: gooseberry, lemon, grapefruit, fragrant baked pear to a clove spiced finish. Though the wood is up front and evident, there is youthful freshness throughout this wine, ready to crack and drink now, ideally with creamy pastas or shellfish.Prices: BC 19.95 ON 20.00 Producer: Oyster Bay
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Yohan Lardy Beaujolais-Village Blanc Les Bruyèrestext
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Yohan Lardy Beaujolais-Village Blanc Les Bruyères 2019

Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceYohan is the fifth generation in his family to grow wine in the Beaujolais, but 2012 was the first vintage under his own label, one focused on low-intervention wines of place. This organically farmed, young vine chardy comes off a small 1 acre vineyard in Les Bruyeres, near Fleurie, on silty clays. This was fermented and aged 6 months in stainless to preserve the bright fruit. Steely and sleek, with ripe pear, lightly waxen quince, lemon blossoms, bedded by lees, and finishing with a fine salinity. An easy, likeable chardy for enjoying now.Prices: Producer: Yohan Lardy
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Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanctext
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Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 2017

Burgundy, FranceFrom the legendary Bourgogne house of Leroy, and unquestionably one of the best values in this portfolio. Do not be deceived by the designation. While Lalou Bize Leroy never reveals the source of the grapes, it is known that these are usually grapes from villages and 1er Cru plots, and she blends each vintage to best represent her wines for that vintage. From the cooler 2017 vintage, this is tight and compact, with lemon, light cream, broken stones, and a hint of lemon verbena that stretches long along the svelte palate, finishing with a hum of limestone and wash of salinity. This humble wine grows as it opens in the glass, so give yourself time to fully enjoy. Smart now, and with time ahead in the cellar.Prices: ON 220.00 Producer: Maison Leroy
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Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablistext
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Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis 2019

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThere is nothing better than a straight-up, spare, restrained well-made Chablis like this stainless steel aged wine left on its lees for ten months. The entry is fresh with a strong citrus, grapefruit, mineral undercurrent flecked with bits of resin, wet stone, and creamy lees. The perfect oyster/mussel/clam wine is best served with simply prepared foods that let the delicate flavours slip through. Defaix is based in the Milly area of Chablis.Prices: BC 45.00 AB 37.95 MB 37.50 ON 35.50 Producer: Domaine Bernard Defaix
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Oceano Wines Chardonnaytext
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Oceano Wines Chardonnay 2016

San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesOceano Wines is a boutique winery founded in 2016 in San Luis Obispo Coast, the newly designated AVA highlighting this cool climate wine region. This comes off the Spanish Springs Vineyard, the westernmost vineyard in the US, 1.5 miles from the Pacific, on a mix of marine shale, limestone, sandstone. This chardonnay, off clones 76, 17, and 4, was fermented in 228L French oak barrels, and it aged in a mix of these and 500L French puncheons, with partial MLF. Ripe and sweet, with butter, caramel, popcorn across a full, creamy palate, with ample oak spicing and a thankful spire of marine acidity to draw to the warming finish. Drink now, with richer dishes.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Oceano Winery and Vineyard
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Oceano Wines Chardonnaytext
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Oceano Wines Chardonnay 2017

San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesOceano Wines is a boutique winery founded in 2016 in San Luis Obispo Coast, the newly designated AVA highlighting this cool climate wine region. This comes off the Spanish Springs Vineyard, the westernmost vineyard in the US, 1.5 miles from the Pacific, on a mix of marine shale, limestone, sandstone. This chardonnay, off clones 809, 17, and 4, was fermented in 228L French oak barrels, and it aged in a mix of these and 500L French puncheons (30% new) for 11 months. The wood is at the fore here, with toasted spices framing vanilla, lemon custard, baked green apple, and clove, all buoyed by a bright marine acidity, and finishing with a flush of warming spices. Fresh, oaked chardy for drinking now.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Oceano Winery and Vineyard
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Oceano Wines Chardonnaytext
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Oceano Wines Chardonnay 2018

San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesOceano Wines is a boutique winery founded in 2016 in San Luis Obispo Coast, the newly designated AVA highlighting this cool climate wine region. This comes off the Spanish Springs Vineyard, the westernmost vineyard in the US, 1.5 miles from the Pacific, on a mix of marine shale, limestone, sandstone. This chardonnay, off clones 809, 17, and 96, was fermented in 228L French oak barrels, and it aged in a mix of these and 500L French puncheons for 9 months. The wood is up front in this wine, with the toasted notes flesh up against the creamy lemon, green apple that fills the core. There's a welcome and necessary brace of Pacific acidity that rights this to a spiced, warming finish. A modern style Cali chardy for drinking now.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Oceano Winery and Vineyard
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Oceano Wines Chardonnaytext
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Oceano Wines Chardonnay 2019

San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesOceano Wines is a boutique winery founded in 2016 in San Luis Obispo Coast, the newly designated AVA highlighting this cool climate wine region. This comes off the Spanish Springs Vineyard, the westernmost vineyard in the US, 1.5 miles from the Pacific, on a mix of marine shale, limestone, sandstone. This chardonnay, off clones Swan, 809, 17, and 96, was fermented in 228L French oak barrels, and it aged in a mix of these and 500L French puncheons for 9 months. Ripe and creamy with tropical pineapple, melon, green apple, and fragrant papaya, held taut with a spire of lemony acidity, and framed with toasty oak which lingers on the warming, saline kissed finish. A bright, modern style, drinking well now and with time ahead.Prices: ON 59.95 Producer: Oceano Winery and Vineyard
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Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobinstext
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Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobins 2019

Burgundy, FranceThe Jadot Bourgogne Blanc is 100% chardonnay purchased from growers in the Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise and more recently from Cote d’Or sites. A third is barrel-fermented; the rest is fermented in stainless steel, and a portion is aged in a barrel. The latter lends it a bit of weight and roundness that smooths out the mid-palate and finish. 2019 is a high-quality vintage and the kind of year when Bourgogne wines can shine and be great buys. The colour is light, the nose attractive with mineral, stony, green apple notes, the mid-palate fill in with richer nutty citrus fruits with a touch of tropicality — delicious for the price and appealing to Euro-style chardonnay drinkers.Prices: BC 29.99 AB 26.49 SK 31.99 MB 31.99 Producer: Maison Louis Jadot
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19 November 2021

Torres Reserva Realtext
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Torres Reserva Real 2017

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainReserva Real was first produced in 1995 following the visit of Juan Carlos I King of Spain to the winery. This limited production blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc comes from the slate soiled 4 hectare parcel of Les Arnes, from their Santa Margarida d'Agulladolç estate in Penedès. This spent 18 months in new French oak barrels. Wild cherry, wild blackberry, dark blossoms, thorns and tobacco flood the fuller palate, with ample stony minerality, and wrapped with firm yet pliable leathery tannins which take this to a warming finish. There's a great freshness and structure here, making this bigger red drinking well now (ideally with roast lamb and/or root veg) but with some time ahead in cellar.Prices: ON 200.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Hester Creek Garlandtext
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Hester Creek Garland 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGarland is the flagship red at Hester Creek, named for owner Curt Garland. The 2015 vintage first appeared in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of planting vinifera vines in 1968, and it has been made every year since. In 2018 the Growing Degree Days (GDD) totalled 1575, about the ten-year average. Still, nothing much about the year was average, from the cool start, the early drought, and the cold finish, not to mention a plethora of wildfires across BC that spread smoke everywhere. At first taste, the hand-picked blocks of cabernet sauvignon mixed with merlot, petit verdot, and a lesser amount of malbec and cabernet franc are inviting. The style is polished and much tighter than The Judge, with stylish black fruit intense but not over the top. The mid-palate is well constructed, the tannins dense but sweet, and the youthful finish long. It will need time in the cellar, or highly flavoured fare to drink now.Prices: BC 55.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Black Hills Per Setext
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Black Hills Per Se 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Ross Wise has redesigned Per Se to be more of a right bank Bordeaux red with a touch of Bolgheri, and in 2019, the blend is 76/24 cabernet franc/merlot. It opens with fresh raspberry and black cherry with impressive silky tannins. There are low level savoury sagebrush notes that add depth, and some French oak that is seamlessly integrated. There is a modest amount of tannin yet to disperse, but this is a wine of finesse heading for stardom.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Phantom Creek Estates Petite Cuvée N° 2text
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Phantom Creek Estates Petite Cuvée N° 2 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe first thing you notice about this wine is its exquisite texture. Silky smooth, it draws you into the glass, proving the worth of its selected barrels that make up the 45/31/24 blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. The fruit is all blackcurrant, and the tannins are dusty, but the finish is marred by smoky/ash/resin that persist to the finish, biting off the fruit. It needs a well-marbled T-bone steak to balance, in what was a tough wildfire season. The wine was aged in 24 percent new French oak for 19 months.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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17 November 2021

CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis complex, serious pinot from CedarCreek's Home Block Vineyard shows subdued dark berry, dried violets, olive, humus, and a delicate touch of high-quality oak. This vintage is still tightly wound, and I found it much more expressive when I revisited it a day after opening. If you'e going to open it anytime soon, give it a healthy splash in a decanter. If you're more patient, it has the structure to easily improve over the next 5-7 years thanks to its sweet, fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe deep ruby colour alludes to what’s to come in the glass: a dark, brooding pinot that combines dark cherry and plum with layers of earth and spice. It's serious pinot for $27, with a savouriness and structure that you don't always find in entry level bottlings. It's Okanagan through and through, though, combining ripe fruit and succulent acids, with a concentration that is well above the norm. Serve this lightly chilled and pair with grilled meats; this medium-full bodied pinot can handle it. Good value.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 4 Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 4 Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlock 4 is on the upper slopes of CedarCreek's home vineyard, where clones 115, 667, and 777 are planted on sandy loam soils. I tasted this blind at the National Wine Awards, and my note and score are consistent. It’s a restrained, savoury pinot that emphasizes the variety's sous bois character while being true to CedarCreek's house style and East Kelowna terroir. It opens with some subtle reduction alongside succulent, sappy dark fruits, smoked herbs, and toasted spices. There’s an appealing freshness overall, more medium-bodied than full, and a relatively moderate 13.5% abv. Tasting this next to the Block 2, it’s clear that there's more concentration here, perhaps bolstered by 22-year old vines. The smoke is also less forward, though still present, drying out the finish.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 2 Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 2 Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the lower slopes of CedarCreek's home vineyard, Block 2 is planted to pinot clone 115 on glacial basal till with high clay content. The 2018 vintage has a subtle, lifted nose of dried dark cherries, smoky underbrush, and finely integrated oak after aging 14 months in French barriques (18%). The fruit comes across as muted with modest concentration, lacking the generosity we saw in the single clone bottlings from the same vintage, which were reviewed last year. Instead, the smoke is felt more here, especially on the finish, suggesting this is best enjoyed in the short term.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2019 was a terrific growing season right up until September when cool weather and rain arrived. It required meticulous care from then to the finish, but this is a good example of all the right things being done. The nose is a mix of freshly turned earth, black cherries that spill across the palate with a suave, silky texture and sweet tannins that run through the finish. It is very easy to drink now and with just enough power to take on mushrooms, duck, veal, or salmon. Best of all, at 13.5 percent alcohol, it’s a delight to sip. It spends 16 months in French oak, showing very little influence. The Home Block vineyard was planted on the eastern shores of Okanagan Lake in 1991 to a mix of clones on clay, silt, and stone. A simple, hands-off style leaves this wine with a lot of local character. Well done.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced out of the Home Block in East Kelowna, the regular edition of CedarCreek Pinot Noir checks all the boxes in 2019, but with a little less fruit and lot more earthy undertones. The attack is savoury and woodsy with sour cherry, blackberries, and mushrooms that come with a density from front to back. A solid effort in a year that was marginal in September. Duck pizza, anyone?Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 4 Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 4 Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Aspect Collection is a new series from CedarCreek as the teams pursue Grand Cru status for pinot noir. The somewhat obscure "Aspect" moniker speaks to the orientation of the vineyard west toward the late day sun, which gives the single block wines a chance to stand apart. Block Four is located on the upper slopes of Home Block Vineyard. Its sandy loam soils provide excellent drainage, leaving the 22-year-old vines to work hard and go deep to search for water and minerals. The result is lower yields and increased concentration from generally smaller berries. Block 4 is aged 14 months in French oak barriques, of which 22 percent are new. Again, the alcohol is an attractive 13.5%. The savoury, earthy gamey notes speckled with spice and licorice draw you into a serious pinot that eschews primary fruit for something deep and mysterious. Like Block Two, there are some smoky ashy notes but not to the same extent, and the texture is beguiling. It should age through 2023, but I would keep an eye on it throughout that period as it develops.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 2 Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Aspect Collection Block 2 Pinot Noir 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Aspect Collection is a new series from CedarCreek as the teams pursue Grand Cru status for pinot noir. The somewhat obscure "Aspect" moniker speaks to the orientation of the vineyard west toward the late day sun, which gives the single block wines a chance to stand apart. Block 2 sits on the lower slopes of the CedarCreek Home Block vineyard in Kelowna. The block's clay soils originate from post-glacial sediment of the immense Lake Penticton, the ice age predecessor to Okanagan Lake. The true north pinot checks in at a modest 13.5 percent alcohol with dense, dusty tannins coating earthy, smoky, spicy black cherry from front to back. The balance is perfect (14 months in 18 percent French oak), but the smoky finish tends to sit on the wine, deadening the end. Best now with grilled salmon or mushroom risotto.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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16 November 2021

Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Grüner Veltlinertext
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Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner 2015

Wachau, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaFrom the cellar. Nikolaihof is the oldest wine estate in Austria, and credited with being the first biodynamic estate in the world. It is currently run by Nikolaus Saahs Jr. Grüner is one of those amazingly age worthy whites, transforming from a youthful, vibrant and verdant steely and white peppery wine into a striking, truffled, honeyed, waxy wine, still with that streaming, sleek minerality. The Hefeabzug (meaning lees-aged) Grüner is sourced from multiple sites near Mautern on loess soils, native fermented long and slow in in wooden barrels before transferring to 2,000-12,000 litre wooden foudres to continue aging on lees. This is certainly showing it has cusped into a more mature wine, with that truffled honey, fresh almonds, lemon blossoms, and a profound generous stony expansiveness to the base. This feels much more mouthfilling than the 12% would imply, finishing long with ample buzzing salinity. This wine is one with a long plateau.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Nikolaihof
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Markus Altenburger Neuburger Betonttext
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Markus Altenburger Neuburger Betont 2019

Burgenland, Weinland Österreich, AustriaThis neuburger, a crossing of Roter Veltliner and Sylvaner, grows in the limestone and schist soils of Jois, Burgenland. After destemming and 4 days skin contact, this was native fermented in concrete egg, where it remained for 6 more months before it was bottled, unfiltered and with minimal sulphites. This orange pours a glowing orange hue, tight and nervy with apricot, mandarin pith, green apple and a shimmering limestone buzz on the finish. There's a fine grip throughout from the time on skins, well integrated into the savoury fruit. Very smart.Prices: BC 39.00 Producer: Markus Altenburger
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Markus Altenburger Weisstext
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Markus Altenburger Weiss 2018

Burgenland, Weinland Österreich, AustriaMarkus took over the family winery in 2006, turning the focus towards varieties that best express their unique Leithakalk terroir. From Burgenland's Jois, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Traminer, Neuburger, Grüner Veltliner, and Welschriesling was macerated up to 10 days and native fermented in older oak and concrete egg before one years' rest in oak and bottling without filtration. This is a striking orange, finely stencilled with bergamot, apricot skin, quince, chamomile, crystalline lemon, clover honey, and ample mineral salts on the lengthy finish. Very precise and finessed and fine and impressive. If you've been hesitant about orange wines, seek this out and change your mind.Prices: BC 39.00 Producer: Markus Altenburger
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Markus Altenburger Blaufrankisch von Kalktext
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Markus Altenburger Blaufrankisch von Kalk 2018

Burgenland, Weinland Österreich, AustriaThis blaufränkisch grows on the limestone, schist, and loam soils of Jois, in Burgenland. After a weeks' maceration in stainless, this was native fermented and aged for 1 year in oak. Juicy and joyous with wild cherry, pure black plum, wild blackberry, and fine black pepper, sculpted with herbal mustard seed and anise, and buoyed by fine, bright, stony acidity. A charmer.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Markus Altenburger
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15 November 2021

Barton & Guestier Les Petites Parcelles Vouvraytext
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Barton & Guestier Les Petites Parcelles Vouvray 2019

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceThis chenin comes from a few sites across Vouvray's sandy clay limestone soils. It was fermented and aged in stainless, on lees. This is an off-dry white, with honeysuckle, ripe pear, apricot blossoms, and a sprinkling of white pepper on the finish. The acidity is chenin high, but feels a bit adjusted to account for the 23 g/L RS. A simple, somewhat disjointed chenin that is best enjoyed with a chill. Crack into now.Prices: ON 16.95 Producer: Barton & Guestier
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanctext
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaThis is a ripe, fruit-driven chenin from Scattered Earth, a Western Cape label produced by KWV, that shows a combination of yellow tree fruits, ripe apricot, and guava. There's a honeyed character to the fruit on the palate, but this is still pleasingly dry, fresh, and tangy. Solid value and perfect for everyday sipping.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: KWV International
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanctext
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaThe Western Cape is home to this introductory chenin, a grape that comes with a bit of the zinfandel crisis: you never know what you will get. Sweet or dry, fat or lean, fresh or dull, it comes with no playbook. Scattered Earth opens on the sweet richer side with exotic ripe melon, honeysuckle, and pineapple. There is a citrus undercurrent trying to keep in line, but it ends with a cloying note. Something spicy would be best to balance this wine out in the mouth.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: KWV International
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanctext
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Scattered Earth Chenin Blanc 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaFrom sites around the Western Cape, this is a slick, and full bodied chenin, with ripe melon, ripe pear, and hints of honeysuckle sliding along the fuller palate. There are kisses of fynbos spices, and an ample flush of heat on the 14.5% finish. Drink now, with fuller-flavoured salads.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: KWV International
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Bernard Baudry Chinon Blanc Le Domainetext
90PTS

Bernard Baudry Chinon Blanc Le Domaine 2019

Chinon, Touraine, Loire, FranceThis special chenin from Chinon is grown on a limestone / sandy / clay slope of Château de Sonnay, a historical site, and very near to Domaine Bernard Baudry. This was native fermented in neutral 600L barrels, on lees with no racking until bottling. Shining and bright, with crystalline lemon, tangerine, buzzing with limestone along the lees-slicked palate. Subtle honeysuckle, green apple, chalk streams through to the finish. Drinking beautifully now.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Bernard Baudry
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Da Silva Chenin Blanc Hidden Hollow Vineyardtext
88PTS

Da Silva Chenin Blanc Hidden Hollow Vineyard 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Da Silva family fave been farming the Okanagan Valley since they arrived in the 1950s, continuing the work of their ancestors who have been involved in farming and winemaking on Portugal's Azores Islands since the 1700s. This chenin comes from Hidden Hollow Vineyard, in Penticton. It was fermented and rested in stainless to preserve the fresh fruit. Crunchy green apple and Asian pear lead the bright palate, with verbena, lemon, lime pith leading through the humming finish. This is an earlier pick, leaner, greener style of chenin, with the acid line crisp and taut, ideal for canapés and green summer salads.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Da Silva Chenin Blanc Hidden Hollow Vineyardtext
88PTS

Da Silva Chenin Blanc Hidden Hollow Vineyard 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRichard and Twyla Da Silva are growing the family business from the ground up to the winery. From fruit to grapes to winemaking, the Da Silva family story in the Okanagan began in the 1950s. It continued the work of their ancestors, who have been involved in farming and winemaking on Portugal's Azores Islands since the 1700s. The chenin blanc comes off a Penticton-based site, Hidden Hollow Vineyard. I love the freshness here, the crunchy fruit, the simplicity of winemaking that exposes a wealth of green apple, citrus, pears, and a lime pith finish. Lean and fresh, this is a fun wine for shellfish and seafood appetizer bites. Well done.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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With Love from the Cape Chenin Blanctext
86PTS

With Love from the Cape Chenin Blanc 2019

Western Cape, South AfricaWith Love from the Cape is a negociant label produced by Rascallion Wines, with fruit sourced from throughout the Western Cape. This simple chenin shows sweet, unctuous stone fruits and perfumed aromatics. Off-dry, soft, and easy, this is the type of white wine you can serve well chilled or with an ice cube or two on a hot summer day.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: Rascallion Wines
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Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanctext
90PTS

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2019

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaThis South African chenin, sourced from the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, continues to overdeliver year after year. The 2019 vintage stands out for its remarkable complexity, especially when you consider this is just over $20 per bottle. There's a terrific balance of developing fruit and savoury complexity, with honeyed pear, baked apple, and fresh nectarine accented by wool, oatmeal, and subtle wood. This is fresh, well-balanced, classic chenin. Excellent value, and highly recommended.Prices: BC 21.99 ON 17.95 QC 18.00 Producer: Ken Forrester Wines
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12 November 2021

Greystone Rieslingtext
89PTS

Greystone Riesling 2018

Waipara Valley, South Island, New ZealandThis organic riesling comes from hillside blocks of their Waipara Valley, North Canterbury estate. Clone 239 Riesling is rooted into clay limestone soils, and each block was harvested, whole bunch pressed, and fermented separately, with 5-10% botrytis inclusion in this vintage. After 5 months on lees, this was blended and bottled without fining. Ripe and fleshy pear, honeysuckle, quince is shaded with petrol and livened with lime peel, taking this off-dry white to a lingering finish. Smart and primed for drinking now.Prices: ON 24.95 Producer: Greystone Wines
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Chronos Rieslingtext
89PTS

Chronos Riesling 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom The View Vineyard in East Kelowna, this riesling is hand sorted and then whole bunch pressed. It was fermented in two separate tanks, one dry, one with some residual sugar left, at different temperatures, and with different yeast strains to add extra complexity and balance. The nose is Alsace floral with white flowers and honeycrisp apple. The attack is medium dry with lime and mineral earthy notes. A solid gastronomic style, ready to drink.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Time Family of Wines
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Van Westen Vineyards Viscoustext
90PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Viscous 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaViscous is the real meal deal and gives you further insight into the versatility of the Naramata Bench. This wine is overtly exuberant and aromatic with fresh notes of Okanagan nectarine and freshly sliced Granny Smith apple streaked with lime, guava, and sugared lemon drops. It has a terrific balance at 11.9 percent alcohol, and the wine slides down so fast the bottle will empty before the food arrives. Serve with a favourite Thai or Indian curry. You won’t be sorry. Back up the truck.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen GG Alte Reben Drytext
94PTS

Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen GG Alte Reben Dry 2018

Mosel, GermanyErdener Treppchen comes from 100-year-old, ungrafted vines grown on the red slate soil of the “little staircase” vineyard. It is a powerful riesling served up dry and complex. It has a GG or Grosses Gewächs designation, the German equivalent of “great growth”, and an estate’s best dry wine from a Grosse Lage (grand cru) vineyard. The wine spends a year on its full lees before bottling in 1000 litre fuder casks, building texture and complexity. 2018 was the earliest ever recorded harvest in the Mosel, although an early bud break and flowering led to the normal development of the grapes. In the end, this wine delivers at all levels, from its sleek restrained styling to its intense, fragrant, juicy nectarine. The finish goes on forever.Prices: BC 60.99 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Dr. Loosen Wehlener Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinetttext
93PTS

Dr. Loosen Wehlener Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2019

Mosel, GermanyÜrziger Würzgarten is grown on an exceptional deposit of red volcanic soil at 200 to 300 meters of decomposed lava over the blue slate. The colour is pale yellow but super-bright, a sure sign the wine will follow a similar form. The nose is aromatic, full of white flowers and Golden Delicious apple that spill across the palate. The attack is lively with peaches, tangerines and minerals everywhere and a long, lively, delicious, salty finish. Impressively all at nine percent alcohol. Drink or hold, it's under a screwcap so it will last a lifetime.Prices: BC 48.99 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Drytext
89PTS

Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Dry 2019

Mosel, GermanyErnie Loosen has been reviving the dry Riesling style of his grandfather’s wine for more than a decade. In the case of Dr. L Riesling Dry, the goal has always been about elegance, racy fruit, and a mouthwatering dry finish, the true characteristics of the steep, slate-soiled Mosel. The palate is a storm of fresh citrus, guava, and bright acidity. The final chapter is a clean, stony mineral finish. Impressive for the price.Prices: BC 15.69 ON 14.00 MB 15.00 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Selbach Riesling Fish Labeltext
89PTS

Selbach Riesling Fish Label 2019

Mosel, GermanyConsistently well made, this is a wine you can buy blind every year and be rewarded with a delicious bottle. The attack is crisp and crunchy with middle Mosel fruit grown on steep south-facing slopes. The style is Kabinett+ in terms of ripeness, meaning red apple, not green with a dusting of sweetness to balance off the refreshing acidity that lifts this wine along the palate. It is a true value for money wine with a certain pedigree that speaks to its terroir and the Selbach commitment to quality. So stock up, and don't forget it will be a good match for turkey.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: J & H Selbach
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11 November 2021

Maison Leroy Gamaytext
89PTS

Maison Leroy Gamay 2019

Burgundy, FranceFrom the legendary Bourgogne house of Leroy. While Lalou Bize Leroy never reveals the exact source of the grapes, it is always of the highest provenance. This was the first Bourgogne Gamay she produced, and only 2000 bottles were made available (though easily 10x that could have been sold worldwide). This comes from the newly official Bourgogne Gamay AOC, and fruit mostly drawn from around Chenas. Unmistakably gamay, from first whiff of wild strawberry, wild raspberry, candied red currant fruit gliding along the slight palate, this has fine, long, sticky tannins wrapping around a pure fruited core. Acidity is bright and shining through the finish. A charming wine, and a real rarity.Prices: ON 110.00 Producer: Maison Leroy
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La Grosse Pierre Fleurie Bel Airtext
90PTS

La Grosse Pierre Fleurie Bel Air 2019

Fleurie, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThough Pauline Passot grew up in Fleurie, it took a restaurant career as a sommelier, and a vintage at Seresin in New Zealand before beginning enology studies in Beaune, followed by stints at several wineries. She returned to Bojo and leased an organic vineyard in Chiroubles' Grille Midi, before taking over her family’s six hectares in 2018, the third generation to farm these lands. All of her vineyards are in conversion to organics. From 60 year old vines rooted in Fleurie's pink granites, this was partial carbonic, native ferment, and aged 11 months in concrete, with no filtering and minimal sulphur at bottling. Perfumed, light, and pretty, as is the Fleurie way, this shines with peonies, pomegranate, red currant, and wild raspberries along a graceful, gentle, lifted palate. Tannins are whisper fine and long, guiding this to a pink peppercorn, granitic grip finish. A charmer for drinking now, ideally with a slight chill.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: SCEA Coudert Père et Fils
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Domaine Mee Godard Moulin-à-Vent au Michelontext
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Domaine Mee Godard Moulin-à-Vent au Michelon 2018

Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceBorn in South Korea, raised and educated in France, and Mastered in wine science at the University of Oregon (followed by Diplôme National d'Oenologue in Montpellier), Mee purchased 5 hectares in Morgon in 2013, including key plots in Côte du Py, Corcelette, and Grand Cras. In 2017 she acquired 2.1 hectares in Moulin-a-Vent. She farms everything organically, and has rapidly risen to be one of Bojo's young star vigneron. Dark and structural, with perfumed violets, plump blackberry, black plum, earthy thorns, licked with anise and seasoned with cracked white pepper. This is a muscular and confident M-À-V, with a softness around the edges which hints to the generous 2018 vintage (hence, its readiness to drink), but a frame that suggests this will easily rest in your cellar for a few years.Prices: ON 53.95 Producer: Domaine Mee Godard
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09 November 2021

Petrichor Cabernet Merlottext
87PTS

Petrichor Cabernet Merlot 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPetrichor is a blend of Okanagan fruit that mixes cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot, returning a full-bodied red in a rambunctious youthful frame. Black fruit and spice dominate the palate, with sticky tannins punching through the finish. It is plenty of rich red wine for the price, and would be a match for ribs or burgers.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Artisan Wine Company
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Red Rooster Cabernet Merlottext
88PTS

Red Rooster Cabernet Merlot 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThe Red Rooster Cabernet Merlot is a soft, easy-sipping red blend with silky textures. It aged in a 50/50 stainless steel and oak mix, leaving it fresh but with tempered edges. The plummy, black currant fruit persists through the finish, where black tea and light pepper notes clean up. Ready to drink and would be a perfect wine for Spaghetti Bolognese or beef tacos.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Quartz & Yarrow Sustainable Redtext
90PTS

Quartz & Yarrow Sustainable Red 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuartz & Yarrow sources sustainably farmed grapes from across the Okanagan Valley to produce the fruit-forward style of this brand. The blend is a 53/36/9/2/ mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah. The vines are all well established in the 20-year range. Post ferment, the blend spends 18 months in 30 percent new French barriques. The style is overt with spicy black fruit spilling out of the glass, rich in licorice, pepper, blackcurrants, with a dusting of toasted oak. You can drink this now, but it will need a significant piece of protein to knock down some of the spice and power of youth.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Culmina Family Estate Hypothesistext
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Culmina Family Estate Hypothesis 2016

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect a big powerful red with blackcurrants, ripe plum, tobacco and earthy resin. The tannins are youthful and grippy with a long, full-flavoured, earthy, black fruit finish that will need time to soften up. Beef and mushrooms are required if you are going to open this now. Hypothesis 2016 leads with 42 percent cabernet sauvignon and is filled out with merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot, all from the Arise Bench. It gets 16 months in 33% new French oak and a further three years in bottle. The vintage was superb in many ways, signalling that Hypothesis made in the Bordeaux style will require a minimum of five to seven years further ageing before it is released.Prices: BC 46.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Intrigue Reserve Redtext
86PTS

Intrigue Reserve Red 2018

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIntrigue makes reserve wines only when the wine reflects the best expression of the fruit from that growing season. The fruit for this 2018 is all grown in Oliver, fermented in stainless steel and aged for 18 months in oak barrels. The blend is front-loaded with a powerful mix of 50/16 cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot with 12/8/5/malbec, syrah, and merlot additions. In the end, it is a bit like crossing a California cab with an Australian cabernet shiraz, leaving a muddled palate of spicy, rich black fruit with an okay finish. Unfortunately, it is disjointed at the moment, so the only real solution is time in the bottle. Give it three to seven more years.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Hillside Mosaictext
89PTS

Hillside Mosaic 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI have documented the change in Mosaic over the last decade as it transitioned to an all-Naramata red. Winemaker Kathy Malone has been the force behind the changes at Hillside, arguing the winery needed to be all in on Naramata fruit, including its red wines. It's been a sound decision, and it's beginning to pay dividends for the flagship red. Mosaic has responded with grace and style in a super warm year, opening with dry, leathery notes and savoury sage dusted black cherry. It is mouth-filling, but the alcohol and tannins are well managed, so the finish is more elegant than power-driven. Perfect for fall fare from game to beef to root vegetables. In the art world, a mosaic is small pieces coming together to create art. At Hillside, it's an assembly of vineyard work, winemaking and blending. The puzzle in 2015 was 54/16/15/11/4 merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, cabernet franc, and petit verdot, all aged 16 months in 44 percent new French oak barrels.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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Roche Chateautext
89PTS

Roche Chateau 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear two of the Roche Grand Vin brings some added complexity to the blend that mixes 54/36/10/ cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. The merlot is grown in Kozier Organic Vineyard on the Naramata Bench on granite gravel and fine glacial sediments. In contrast, the cabernets are grown on well-sorted rounded river rock, gravel and a post-glacial riverbed north of Oliver. Roche has an attractive less-is-more style which suits this wine just fine. Look for subtle notes of vanilla (14 months in 50 percent new French oak) with medium-dark berries and flecks of cedar and tobacco. There is still some tannin to shed here, but this is approachable now with a side of lamb chops or mushroom risotto. Cellar through 2022.Prices: BC 49.90 Producer: Roche Wines
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08 November 2021

Mayhem Gewurztraminertext
89PTS

Mayhem Gewurztraminer 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis youthful gew blends fruit from McLean Creek Vineyards in Okanagan Falls and Cellarsbend Vineyard in Naramata, with batches whole-bunch-pressed and fermented in neutral barriques where it remains on lees for six months before blending and bottling. The attack is dry and textural, with pear, white peach, apricot on a dry, sleek palate that finishes with a dusting of ginger spicing. A smart, chic gewurztraminer that is ready to crack and enjoy now.Prices: BC 15.65 Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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Peak Cellars Gewürztraminertext
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Peak Cellars Gewürztraminer 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom two estate blocks on the Carr's Landing Vineyard, this fruity, light gewürztraminer is made in a mix of stainless steel and neutral oak with some skin contact to excellent results. It is floral and spicy, with crisp pink grapefruit, apricot, lime zest, all with a bit of residual sugar barley noticeable at 6 g/L. Fresh, friendly, fun, and a perfect wine to take on most appetizers and large thirsty crowds. Winery pairing thoughts include honeyed or caramelized game bird dishes, poke bowls and curries (try Butter Chicken or Fish Rogan Josh). This wine also does well with charcuterie boards and smoked foods.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Peak Cellars Broken Granite Gewürztraminertext
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Peak Cellars Broken Granite Gewürztraminer 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Block 12 Gew comes off the oldest block of gewürztraminer at Carr's Landing Vineyard with a new label and a style change. It is fermented in a combination of two year old oak and stainless steel, and the styling is richer and riper than we have seen before. More skin contact brings spicy, floral notes with more concentration and that rich, almost sweet Alsace finish. There is a fair bit of finesse in an impressive food wine, something you can't say about many BC gewürztraminer. Keep it going, please.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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04 November 2021

Van Westen Vineyards Violetatext
89PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Violeta 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you want to know why the Naramata Bench is special, start with Violeta, a malbec that holds its own with many of the best merlot and pinot noir grown across the mid-Okanagan Valley. I love the floral, violet, mineral nose with red plums, mulberry, exotic spices, and dense but softish tannins. As mentioned before, it is more Cahors than Mendoza, especially with a touch of campfire in the finish. Serve with roasted chicken or a meaty pizza.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Road 13 Jackpot Malbectext
89PTS

Road 13 Jackpot Malbec 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis full throttle, inky malbec takes the ripeness up to eleven. There are lush, opulent dark fruits, which are just on the edge of being raisonated, accented by dried violets and sagebrush. The oak is also present and forward, though the impressive fruit weight can carry it. Medium-full bodied and rich, there's enough acidity to keep everything in balance with fine grained, sculpted tannins that are hardened by the warming 14.8% abv finish.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Road 13
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Malbectext
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Malbec 2018

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine is interesting on many levels. Yes, it has an undertone of wildfire smoke, but it manages to pull it all off given how much fruit purity is currently showing in the wine. It is a pretty red wine with rich black fruit, spice, and subtle chocolate flecked with tobacco and cedar. The tannins are expertly managed to add to the lushness and length of the wine. A late pick that overdelivers fully ripe fruit and is a winner for club members.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Church & State Wines Malbectext
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Church & State Wines Malbec 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike the 2017 vintage, this is from Coyote Bowl Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. A couple of changes have been made, though. This vintage is matured longer in barrel at 18 months instead of 12, and the alcohol is appreciably lower at 13.5%. The nose shows soft, confected plum and blueberry that is framed by sweet oak spices and chocolate. It's an approachable style that's round, soft, and medium-bodied, lacking the concentration or weight of the 2017 vintage, but with more brightness. Powdery, grippy tannins linger on the finish.Prices: BC 64.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Moon Curser Malbectext
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Moon Curser Malbec 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Moon Curser's home vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench, this malbec shows juicy bramble and blueberry fruit that's accented by dried sagebrush, violets, and sweet oak spices. The complexity here is well above the norm, but what stands out is the definition and expressiveness of the fruit. The cooler 2019 vintage means there's a terrific freshness to this malbec – even at 14.7% declared alcohol – that makes it a compelling pour now, with the structure to continue to enjoy over the next 4-5 years.Prices: BC 33.99 Producer: Moon Curser
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Church & State Wines Malbectext
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Church & State Wines Malbec 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Coyote Bowl Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, there's no shortage of ripeness here. Four years on, the fruit is just starting to dry out, with lifted dark plum, bramble, and fig that is joined by dried sage and mocha tinged oak from 12 months in French barriques. There's still freshness to the acidity, but you certainly feel the 15% abv. Best enjoyed over the next year or two with saucy grilled ribs.Prices: BC 74.74 Producer: Church & State Winery
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French Door Malbectext
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French Door Malbec 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis malbec comes from French Door's home vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. Hand-harvested fruit was destemmed and fermented in a French oak tank after a 10-day cold soak. Following a 65-day extended maceration, the wine was aged in first-, second-, and third-fill French barriques for 14 months. It shows dense, sappy dark fruits layered with spices and dried herbs. It's a meaty, savoury style that's a distinctive – and compelling – approach for Okanagan malbec. Medium-bodied and juicy, this is quite elegant with impressive, suave tannins.Prices: BC 58.00 Producer: French Door Estate Winery
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03 November 2021

Da Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Outwash Vineyardtext
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Da Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Outwash Vineyard 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Outwash Vineyard, on Oliver's sandy east bench, giant cab sauv spent 26 months in equal parts French and American oak, medium+ toasted. And it's evident, even before taking the 2018 vintage into consideration. Thick smoke, hickory, toasted cedar carpets this full bodied red, allowing just a peak of the cherry, raspberry underneath. Tannins are smoothed, almost strangely so considering the heft of the fruit underneath. This finishes with a swell of smoked baking spices and a puff of heat. Less is more, and I'm hoping for less in the future here.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Road 13 Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Road 13 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Similkameen-sourced cabernet sauvignon is made in a polished, modern style that has become a trademark of Road 13. The fruit oozes ripeness with blackberry compote and dark plum that's accented by dried sagebrush, espresso, and sweet spices from aging 16 months in French oak (25% new). It's not overdone or overworked, though. It's the fruit that leads with this wine, and you could tell this is cabernet sauvignon if it was poured at the table next to yours. Medium-full bodied, it's plush and round with finely integrated, sculpted tannins that set this apart. Recommended.Prices: BC 30.99 Producer: Road 13
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Hester Creek Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Hester Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe grapes in this small lot cabernet come from two blocks, 7 and 8, on a very warm site on the Golden Mile Bench. It is a mix of clone 191 from St. Émillon, and 169 from Bordeaux, both ripening easily on the site. At 15 years of age, the vines yield moderate amounts of handpicked fruit, which was sorted, destemmed, and gently fermented in Italian Ganimede fermenters. Post ferment, most of the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. Chocolate and herbal black fruits lead to a soft and warm palate with more blackberry, chocolate, a swath of vanilla, and spice. Soft and ready to drink, this is best with grilled beef.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Corcelettes Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Micro Lot Seriestext
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Corcelettes Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Micro Lot Series 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Corcelettes' home vineyard on Keremeos' Upper Bench, this cabernet sauvignon shows lush, macerated dark fruits with gravel, cocoa nibs, dried spicy herbs, and smoke. If you're a fan of full throttle cabernet, you'll find a lot to like here. Medium-full bodied, this is broad and richly concentrated with dense, fine grained tannins that will pair well with charcoal grilled striploin. A touch of astringency to the finish, but a really strong effort in a challenging vintage.Prices: BC 46.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Da Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Outwash Vineyardtext
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Da Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Outwash Vineyard 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Outwash Vineyard, located south of the Black Sage Bench on Oliver's sandy east bench, this shows sweet red fruits and a swath of oak spices. Twenty-six months in equal parts French and American oak lends this no shortage of vanillin, coconut, and espresso. Medium-full bodied, there's a sweetness to the attack from the oak lactones, alongside the ripe fruit and 14.5%, that balances the tannins, leading to a soft, smooth finish.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Church & State Wines Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Church & State Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Church and State's estate Détente Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, this medium-full bodied cabernet sauvignon shows luscious, confected dark berry with violets, cedar, and savoury spices. The oak is quite forward, showing a touch of sappy greenness. A dollop of residual sweetness (6 g/L) helps to soften the medium-grained tannins to make this approachable now, with a clean, tart finish.Prices: BC 36.79 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Free Form Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Free Form Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is similar in style to the 2018 vintage, but there's added depth and definition this year. It's an elegant, lighter style of cabernet sauvignon, showing juicy currant and red cherry alongside dried flowers and leafy herbs. Medium-bodied and just 12% abv, it’s vervy and mouthwatering with finely integrated tannins on a gravelly finish. Restrained and compelling, this is more than just a vin du soif but it’s certainly crushable all the same. Sourced from a certified organic vineyard in Osoyoos and then aged in concrete for 11 months.Prices: BC 44.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Upper Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Limited Releasetext
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Upper Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Limited Release 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Upper Bench's estate vineyard, this luscious, densely concentrated cabernet sauvignon speaks to low yields (2.45 tons per acre in 2017) just as much as it does the Naramata Bench. Expect expressive bramble, black currant, and sweet herbs wrapped in sweet oak spices and chocolate after aging in French barriques for 21 months (30% new). There's impressive depth and weight, but this is still tightly wound and needs time in the bottle to reach its full potential. A touch warm on the finish.Prices: BC 46.10 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Phantom Creek Estates Limited Edition Block 12 Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Phantom Creek Estates Limited Edition Block 12 Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPicked on November 11, this was matured for 20 months in 25% new French oak barrels. The Small Lot series is dedicated to limited production wines that deserve to be bottled independently. The nose is quite fragrant, spewing ripe red fruit and floral cherry blossoms. The cabernet sauvignon planted at Phantom Creek Vineyard is 22 years old, and as small as the site is, three planted clones add both flexibility and complexity to the winemaker’s tools. The nose is muted plums and smoke with dark chocolate and cassis that filter through at the end. The texture is full of finesse and style, supporting black fruit, cedar, bitter chocolate, dense tannins, and a spicy finish. Not quite clean, but nothing a grilled steak will not chase away.Prices: BC 99.99 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Howe Vineyardtext
89PTS

Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Howe Vineyard 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis single vineyard cabernet sauvignon, sourced from Howe Vineyard on the Naramata Bench, saw 28 days of skin contact before being drained and pressed to French barriques (14% new) for 19 months. It's an elegant, Bordelais-styled cabernet that combines juicy wild berry with savoury notes of dried herbs, graphite, and cedar. The medium-bodied palate is succulent and finely textured, with a brisk finish that is calling for rich French bistro fare. Only 170 cases produced.Prices: BC 48.00 Producer: Hillside Winery
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02 November 2021

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyardtext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyard 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Keremeos' organically farmed La Côte Vineyard, this was whole cluster pressed, and racked into an equal mix of French puncheons and stainless for ferment and partial MLF. All rested on lees for 8 months, with occasional bâtonnage before a gentle filtration and bottling. This lees-decked white is lit with a stony buzz, layered throughout crisp pear, green apple, shining lemon that runs a taut palate. There's a lovely interplay here between lightly creamy lees and nervy stony tension that works really well, culminating in a lingering shimmer. Looking forward to watching where this chardonnay project goes.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Lunessence Small Lot Series Chardonnaytext
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Lunessence Small Lot Series Chardonnay 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTen months down the road, the Small Lot Series Chardonnay continues to impress. Its time in bottle has been well used, amping up its aromatics and expanding its texture. SLS is a first at Lunessence, coming off a single vineyard in Osoyoos and aged in French oak (33 percent new and two-thirds second fill barrels) for eight months. There is an affinity with the regular chardonnay, but this wine has more intensity and refinement. At the same time, it is aged in oak and goes through partial malolactic fermentation. It has an attractive freshness with nutty, citrus, leesy, green apple with perfectly melded oak, keeping the wine lively and complex. It is showing far more complexity at this point that perhaps was hiding under screwcap at release. Stock up if you can, while you can. The price is a bargain.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHands down, this is one of Canada’s best-made chardonnays. Glinting pale gold in the glass, it’s aromatically gorgeous with honeysuckle, lemon curd, flint and toast—a hint of reduction, subtle oak spice and distinct mineral complexity mark this as something special. In the mouth, it’s tight and bracing, showing ripe apple, pear and peach, lemon verbena and a saline signature on the finish. With lip-smacking lemony acidity, creamy-mid palate swell, and graceful, adorning oak, this 2019 McLean edition vineyard impresses with both restraint and generous fruit. Notable body and intensity make this a fine dinner candidate. I recently tasted this blind in a competition setting, and my barely legible shorthand had words like ‘exciting,’ ‘energy,’ and ‘gorgeous nose.’ McLean Creek Road Vineyard is a superb, steep, rocky site in Okanagan Falls, planted in 1994. Steel fermented then slipped into fine French oak (only 22% new) to fatten up on the lees for nearly a year. Yes, Meyer’s Micro Cuvée from this vineyard is supremely head-turning, but this more affordable and accessible bottling has class and style to spare. Deserving of crab cakes, lemony roasted chicken, or aloo gobi.Prices: BC 30.39 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Tantalus Chardonnaytext
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Tantalus Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough Tantalus is well-known for their exemplary Rieslings, the chardonnays have really captured my heart of late. One of three released this season, this flagship chardonnay comes off their estate 1985 plantings alongside younger components of Dijon clones, planted between in 2006 - 2007. This mix of clones 76 and 95 was native fermented and aged for 10 months in oak barriques and puncheons (30% new). The new wood is making its presence felt in this still youthful wine, smartly framing and structuring the bright lemon, green apple, stony toast, and salted pastry that fills the medium+ bodied palate. Acidity is bright, and the finish is long and savoury. While quite striking now, it's obvious this was built for the future. One of Canada's main chardy players.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Bear Chardonnaytext
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Tantalus Bear Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bear label replaces the Juveniles Chardonnay, now that vines are nearing a decade old. The ‘Bear’ tag is a nod to the nickname of owner Eric Savics’ eldest son. From clones 76, 95, and 548, this was small lot native fermented in neutral French barriques and puncheons, where it remained on lees until bottling. The neutral wood dampens none of the crisp, buoyant freshness of this wine, with green apple, lemon peel, almond, chiseled with a firm stoniness, and finishing with a luring wash of salinity. Quite impressive, and drinking beautifully now, yet with time ahead. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Lock and Worth Chardonnay Whole Clustertext
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Lock and Worth Chardonnay Whole Cluster 2018

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is my second look at the 2018 Chardy, and I'm loving where this wine is currently sitting. This was the first L&W Chardonnay, sourced from an Okanagan Falls vineyard planted in 1995. After whole cluster pressing, this fermented (full MLF) in 500L puncheons, where it remained for 10 months on lees, with no bâttonage, prior to bottling without fining or filtration. The savouriness is building with time, infiltrating downy lees, green apple, verbena, and ample flake salts. There's a luring flicker of reduction, finishing with ample salinity on the lengthy palate. If you can find this, stock up, and if you have some, lucky you.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Therianthropy Bonnie Vivant Chardonnaytext
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Therianthropy Bonnie Vivant Chardonnay 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaTherianthropy is the mythical process of shapeshifting, which is another way to view turning nature into wine. This small collaborative project launched in late 2019. From St. David's Bench's Bock Vineyard, this dry farmed chardonnay is rooted in loamy clays (Tavistock red phase, Toledo loamy phase, Toledo phase), planted 9 years ago. After a whole cluster, native ferment (with 14% seeing 3 weeks on skins) in concrete egg, this remained there for full MLF and 7 months on lees without bâtonnage. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Fine lemon pith and peel brighten a lightly creamy palate, lightly textured by the concrete and whispering skin contact. The finish lingers with flax and delicate white blossoms. Impressive move forward from their inaugural 2019 Chardonnay, and certainly one to watch.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Therianthropy
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Ancienne Chardonnaytext
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Lightfoot and Wolfville Ancienne Chardonnay 2018

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaFrom their Home Farm Vineyard in Wolfville, this chardonnay is from 3 Dijon clones, and was native fermented in mostly neutral French barriques, with 18 months' aging on lees prior to bottling. Creamy and round, with a haunting floral note, this chardonnay feels much more expansive in the mouth than its 11% would imply. Creamy lemon, baked red apple, almond paste, flax is seasoned with toast, flax, downy lees, nutmeg, sharpened with green apple acidity, and finishing with with a lingering saline rinse. A complete, smart, welcoming chardy for enjoying now and over the next couple of years.Prices: NS 45.00 Producer: Lightfoot and Wolfville
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Hester Creek Chardonnaytext
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Hester Creek Chardonnay 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLast year I praised the evolution of this wine, shedding weight and oak in favour of zest and freshness, and it continued in 2020. It was also well-received at the National Wine Awards. So you can expect the same svelte styling and honeyed lemon, ripe, peach, orange that slide down effortlessly. The finish is clean with a dusting of mineral, stony, leesy ginger notes and a touch of resin to up the complexity. The grapes are sourced from handpicked fruit off Block 17, a low yielding site planted to Burgundy clones 76 and 809. The free run juice is cold settled for five days. Then, post ferment, the barrels are stirred weekly until the malolactic fermentation is complete. 45% of the wine is barrel fermented in 35% new French oak, and the remainder is fermented in stainless steel, aged and stirred on fine lees for ten months. Opulent but with some underlying freshness. Baked halibut, anyone?Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Corcelettes Chardonnay Micro Lot Seriestext
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Corcelettes Chardonnay Micro Lot Series 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAnother rich, creamy, California style chardonnay opens with a fragrant caramel, butterscotch nose with tropical fruit overtones. A good portion of chardonnay drinkers will be attracted to its silky round demeanour, peach and honey melon that dominate the acidity and freshness level of the finish. It is a style that appeals to a wide sector of consumers but not a wine for those who prefer their chardonnay more chiselled and electric. I would give this another year in bottle to develop a bit more complexity.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Coolshanagh Chardonnaytext
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Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCoolshanagh continues to evolve in style, seemingly getting softer and broader on the palate, which will appeal to some and not so much to others looking for a brighter white. It's whole cluster pressed and fermented 50% in stainless steel and a mix of new French puncheons and concrete tulips where it spends nine months on lees. The palate is a mix of ripe red apples and honey mixed with soupy, nutty, smoky, toasted oats and a pear and butter custard underside. There is a touch of lime zest in the finish, but it needs more time to pull together. Best now with roasted chicken or a favourite vegetable dish.Prices: BC 36.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Hidden Bench Felseck Vineyard Chardonnaytext
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Hidden Bench Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaHidden Bench is one of Canada's preeminent chardonnay producers, and this Chardonnay comes off their organically farmed Felseck Vineyard, on their Beamsville Bench estate. 60% of the fruit comes from 1992 plantings, with the balance of younger Dijon clones. This was whole bunch pressed and native fermented in a mix of French oak (82%, 17% of which was new) and concrete egg, where it remained for 10 months prior to blending and resting in 228L barriques and stainless steel barrels for an additional 4 months. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Though very much in youth, this is lit with limestone, basing green apple, bosc pear, and a generous pad of lees, reflective of the warmer 2018. You can feel all the pieces here are not yet fully knit, but like most teenagers, will come together seamlessly with some more time.Prices: ON 40.00 Producer: Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery
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Da Silva Chardonnaytext
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Da Silva Chardonnay 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 comes off two clay, loam silty sites: Blenheim Hill Vineyard (Naramata Bench) and Lazy Dog Vineyard (Penticton Bench). After a stainless steel fermentation, it spends two months in new, medium toast, American oak barrels. The nose mixes sweet oak and tropical notes, while the palate is a creamy, leesy mix of spicy, salty citrus notes. At this point, it is disjointed and needs some bottle time to settle in. Going with French barrels and a longer ageing process might be more interesting to develop better complexity.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Da Silva Chardonnay Legado Series Chardonnaytext
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Da Silva Chardonnay Legado Series Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLegado is a barrel selection made over two years that blended four of the best 2016 chardonnay barrels. It is all medium+ French oak, and the ageing took place over two years. Look for ripe peach and caramel oak punching into the finish making the style more California than French. It is rich and full flavoured but could use just a bit more acidity and restraint to reflect its origins. Ready to drink and perfect with roast chicken.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Spearhead Chardonnay Saddle Block Clone 95text
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Spearhead Chardonnay Saddle Block Clone 95 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaClone 95 is considered a superior chardonnay clone originating in the Côte d'Or, Burgundy, and in this case, reveals some topical pineapple, butter, baked apple, honey and citrus. The finish has a lingering wood bitterness that could dissipate over time but will need two to three years to move on. Solid if less vibrant than their pinot noirs that are jumping to the top of BC offerings. More California style for those who love their chardonnay big and buttery. Stanley gets his Clone 95 chardonnay from Duncan Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. It's all hand harvested and whole bunch pressed before the ferment and ageing in French oak barrels for ten months. They use a mix of standard barrels and puncheons, of which 25 percent are new, and the wine goes through partial malolactic fermentation.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95text
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Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpearhead’s Clone 95 label is a single French clone bottling from a single site, Duncan Vineyard, on the Naramata Bench. The style is fresh with a mineral, leesy, hazelnut nose, and a very attractive creamy texture. The palate is fun with more ripe pineapple, grapefruit mixed with a liberal dose of French oak. Mostly fresh and stylish, this is a terrific direction for Okanagan chardonnay to be heading. Drink or hold, there is no rush here. Good value.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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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, CanadaThe Micro Cuvée Chardonnay is all McLean Creek Road Vineyard fruit designated VQA Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley. The site, just north of McIntrye Bluff on the east side of the valley, is a mix of sand and gravel loams that appear to be the perfect medium for this wine. The vines are now 27 years old and well adapted to the land. Winemaker Chris Carson likes long, cool ferments in stainless steel before running the juice into French oak (33% new) to go through malolactic fermentation and 11 months of ageing on lees with zero stirring. In the end, Micro Cuvée is made from a handful of select barrels whose output is a meagre 125 cases. The style is reductive with a strong, slightly bitter hazelnut nose with intense lemon curd and mineral notes and a twist of brown spice in the finish. Impressive.Prices: BC 58.35 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Church & State Wines CBS Chardonnaytext
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Church & State Wines CBS Chardonnay 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBarrel fermented and barrel aged, this wine comes with plenty of vanilla and oak, but the acidity and creamy lees textures help to diminish any overpowering oak effects. Look for honeyed, red apple with a leesy, almond mid-palate. A modern California style that benefits from being a few thousand kilometres further north, like last year's. Drink or hold, it is fine under the screwcap.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Quartz & Yarrow Sustainable Whitetext
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Quartz & Yarrow Sustainable White 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuartz and Yarrow reference two biodynamic preparations, although the fruit is only sustainably farmed in the Similkameen Valley. The wine is mostly chardonnay, and it presents with creamy yellow apple and a hit of honey. The style is a bit blousy, more California/Rhone white, but a salty mineral finish tries to tighten up the finish. A good first effort but a bit old style.Prices: BC 35.99 Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Mirabel Chardonnaytext
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Mirabel Chardonnay 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Reimer family owns Mirabel Winery. The South East Kelowna hilltop estate and vineyard is home to much-acclaimed pinot noir and, more recently, a small block of chardonnay plantings. The steep slope vineyards with southwest and northwest aspects at +49 degrees north sit at 284 to 372 metres. The estate chardonnay is still developing in the vineyard, but they have successfully purchased grapes out of Naramata for this wine. The style is fresh with rich, creamy lees textures and a swath of 25 percent new oak. Mineral wet stone notes add complexity to a long finish. Drink or hold.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Mirabel Vineyards
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Peak Cellars Unoaked Chardonnaytext
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Peak Cellars Unoaked Chardonnay 2020

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThree blocks of Carr's Landing Vineyard are home to this unoaked chardonnay. The style is fruit-driven, thanks to a stainless steel ferment and weekly stirring for four months. Bright, fresh, and tight, it's full of citrus-soaked pears and apples with a touch of lees. Serve this wine as you would squeeze lemon on your food. Could we see the same wine in concrete to add some next-level warmth and complexity?Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars
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Culmina Family Estate Dilemmatext
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Culmina Family Estate Dilemma 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced from high up on Golden Mile Bench, Culmina's Margaret Bench mixes Dijon clones 95 and 76 and goes through a partial malolactic fermentation before ageing 9 months in an 80/20 mix of French oak (28% new) and stainless steel. The style is creamy and rich with honey and lemon curd, and a citrus, nutty, spicy, ripe pear finish. More New World, as has been its style. A fine white for lobster.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Haywire Chardonnay Secrest Mountain Vineyardtext
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Haywire Chardonnay Secrest Mountain Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe current edition of Seacrest Chardonnay is amazingly creamy and soft on the entry and packed with sweet red apple. It was fermented in concrete which also adds to its expansive palate, and aged in several different vessels, including concrete eggs and neutral puncheons. It is fully ready to drink, preferably with lightly spicy menu items.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Intrigue Reserve Chardonnaytext
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Intrigue Reserve Chardonnay 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve is fermented in a 60/40 mix of French oak barrels and stainless steel. A portion of the barrels went through malolactic fermentation, adding a bit of silky mouthfeel to the palate. The wine treads lightly with citrus and medium intensity creamy, lemon custard. There is a sweetness that can bear on you, but many will be just as happy with the style, especially if it s served before dinner. A drier version should be the future.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Canyon View Wines Chardonnaytext
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Canyon View Wines Chardonnay 2017

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is nice to see another chardonnay that has toned down the sweet fat fruit in favour of something drier and fresher with more complexity and length. Two mid-October Summerland picks are behind this chardonnay destemmed and pressed without crushing. The fermenting juice was moved (at 17 Brix) to 10 French barrels (30 percent new). Thirty days from harvest, the wine was dry and aged another ten months in barrel. The barrels were topped as needed, and bâttonage was used sparingly. The vineyard has been around since 2003 on the edge of Trout Creek Canyon. The attack is fresh and salty with resiny, leesy notes and a honeyed, ripe red apple aroma. It is pleasantly skinny with subtle lemony highlights and a long, dry, persistent finish. Not perfect, but a wine that is fun to sip over an hour or two with dinner.Prices: BC 47.75 Producer: Giant Head Estate Winery
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01 November 2021

De Martino Legado Reserva Cabernet Sauvignontext
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De Martino Legado Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileThe Legado wines come from highly selected vineyard parcels. The goal is to reflect the essence of their origin and be recognized for their intensity, character, and elegance. First up, this super intense red comes in at 13.5 percent. The cabernet is sourced from an alluvial terrace on the Isla De Maipo in the heart of the Maipo Valley. The vines are 22 to 28 years old. The winemaking is pretty standard: destemmed and sorted grapes fermented in stainless steel, aged for one year in French barriques. Expect ripe blueberry, black cherry with a strong cigar leaf undercurrent. The lush, smooth textures fill out the finish with impressive intensity and length. A classy cabernet that many in Chile might want to ape.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: De Martino
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Noble Vines Collection 337 Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Noble Vines Collection 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United States337 refers to the French cabernet sauvignon clone that makes up this wine. It is a soft, superripe version of cabernet with ultrasmooth edges. Blackberries and black cherries combine, flecked with milk chocolate and cedar. A soft, spicy, easy sipping cabernet you can serve as an aperitif or with dinner.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 19.00 Producer: Delicato Family Vineyards
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Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Region del Valle Central, ChileA retaste seven months down the road reveals much hasn’t changed with this 90/10 cabernet sauvignon/merlot. To offset the chocolate and oak, it mixes blue and black fruits with a healthy, savoury boldo dose. Unfortunately, the tannins are now awkward, with some drier pointy notes in the finish. I still like Empanadas here, but beef tacos with some cheese would also be up to the task.Prices: BC 23.99 AB 27.00 MB 23.02 NS 22.00 SK 28.00 Producer: Montes Wines
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Lake Sonoma Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Lake Sonoma Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Sonoma County, California, United StatesWest Kelowna is home to the Stewart Family wine fortune at Quails' Gate, but they also have expanded in the United States as owners of the Lake Sonoma brand. It has cabernet style and weight right off the hop, flashing dark, ripe cassis with plenty of spice and toasted oak from the barrels. I like that the tannins are rich and dense but not hard, and they finish Sonoma savoury with just a hint of dryness. Decant and drink, or cellar for another three years. Think grilled beef for best results now.Prices: BC 28.99 AB 26.00 MB 29.99 ON 33.00 QC 31.00 NS 33.79 NB 33.79 SK 36.99 YK 32.80 Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
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CS Substance Cabernet Sauvignontext
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CS Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Washington, United StatesA cool year has produced an unremarkable sweetish black raspberry cabernet with some walnut bitterness and roasted coffee grains that eventually give in to the sweet cherry fruit that wraps the finish. Simple, ripe, sweet red wine that frankly lacks substance. Where is the Washington?Prices: BC 25.99 AB 19.99 SK 25.99 MB 25.99 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

North Coast Region, California, United StatesThis cabernet fits the true California model with its rich black fruit reminiscent of black plums and blackberries with a savoury North Coast undercurrent from well drained volcanic and gravelly soils. Perfect for a cool evening and capable of seducing just about any cut of meat off the barbecue. A fine vintage has left this wine ready to drink with style, but it will age through 2025.Prices: BC 26.49 AB 24.49 SK 26.99 MB 26.99 Producer: The Hess Collection Winery
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Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Livermore, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesWente has been making wine in the Livermore Valley since 1883. This cabernet is named after the vineyards that sit along the southern hills of the Livermore Valley and is made with two clones originating from pioneer Charles Wetmore’s 19th century Bordeaux cuttings. Post ferment, the wine is aged 16 months in a combination of stainless steel, French, American, and neutral oak barrels. I like the aromatic notes in 2018, and the less than one gram of residual sugar. Dry and firmer, the blackberr and fig notes are cleaner and finish more refreshing. Think sausage pizza, of beef tacos. Ready to drink. Simple but pleasant.Prices: BC 20.99 AB 19.49 SK 20.99 MB 19.99 QC 20.00 Producer: Wente Vineyards
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Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaA blend of cabernet from several Western Cape sub-regions, including Stellenbosch, Swartland, and Paarl, comes with an earthy, vegetal tone from front to back. The flavours are fairly intense, with bright acidity that seems to accentuate the cedar and spice. On the palate, coffee and earth dominate the black cherry base. The tannins are round and soft, and this wine is ready to drink with some airtime to freshen the nose. Not much has changed here over the decades.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 19.00 MB 17.95 ON 17.95 QC 17.95 NFL 18.25 Producer: KWV International
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Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, Chile90 minutes north of Santiago, Aconcagua is home to warm, powerful cabernet sauvignon, first brought to my attention by Errazuriz. In this case, the cassis and black cherry with a savoury Boldo jump from the glass, with an oaky undercurrent courtesy of 14 months in French barriques (30% new). Somewhat disjointed for a simple red wine. Ready to drink and best served with hamburgers.Prices: BC 29.77 ON 19.95 NS 22.99 Producer: Viña Arboleda
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Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reservatext
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Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2019

Valle del Colchagua, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileYou can expect a fresh, pleasant, spicy Colchagua Valley cabernet here. Deep rocky soils and warm, dry days cooled by nighttime mountain breezes contribute to a simple but elegant style, enhanced by eight months in French oak bottled one year later. Look for bright red fruit with herbal, cedar, spice, all medium weight. Perfect for beef tacos or a meaty pasta sauce and spaghetti. Good value.Prices: BC 13.99 AB 11.99 QC 14.70 ON 13.95 NL 15.90 MB 12.99 PEI 12.62 SK 15.60 Producer: Viña Santa Carolina
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Cousiño Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Cousiño Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileReserva Antiguas harkens back to another era in Chilean winemaking. Over the years the wine has been modernized and cleaned up, by international standards, to an everyday cabernet. 2017 is a solid effort, offering up classic Chilean savoury boldo, mixing bay leaf, spicy cassis, leafy black cherries, all with a touch of mocha. It is modern Maipo selling at a fair price. Try this with a grilled flank steak.Prices: BC 18.99 AB 17.99 Producer: Cousiño Macul
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Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Vistalba District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaUltra is an elegant expression of cabernet whose structure begins at its Vistalba vineyard, now over 80 years old and farmed biodynamically. The stony, mineral, black fruit opens with fresh notes and attacks the palate with glossy refined tannins that slide down easily. Savoury with a pleasant umami twist, this wine will easily age into the bottle through 2026. Try this with richer fall fare.Prices: BC 28.15 AB 25.00 ON 19.95 Producer: Montes Wines
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