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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: November 2022

30 November 2022

Bartier Bros. Bruttext
90PTS

Bartier Bros. Brut 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the first sparkling release from Bartier Bros., and it is a winner. The nose is B.C. vibrant, offering up orchard notes of red apples and peaches. Time on the lees had added a creamy texture with flinty, brioche aromas and flavours that carry through the finish. Fresh, elegant, light and food-friendly, the Bartier teams say you should think outside the box for pairings like buttered popcorn with truffle salt, truffle chips, risotto, creamy pasta, or macaroni cheese. Technically the chardonnay is hand-harvested and whole-cluster-pressed. Post ferment, it spent four months in stainless steel and 12 months in bottle on lees, en tirage. Initial vintage 2019, with portions of this vintage and subsequent vintages held back for blending to keep the continuity of style from vintage to vintage. It is 100 percent chardonnay made in the traditional method with no dosage added.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Red Rooster Sparkling Rosétext
89PTS

Red Rooster Sparkling Rosé NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Malbec-based traditional method sparkling wine is a fun discovery from the Okanagan. Aged one year on lees, it's fresh and fruit driven, with a hint of savoury complexity. Bright red berries are at the forefront, accented by sage, spice, and dried florals, in a dry style that is bursting with fruit. Nicely balanced, this will be easy to enjoy on its own. Only 340 cases produced.Prices:
BC$28.49750ml
Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
92PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis late disgorged Reserve Brut from Blue Mountain opens with quite an expressive nose of caramelized apple, cheese rind, and toasted nuts layered with a subtle hint of orange peel and chalky minerality. The savoury autolytic characters are even greater on the palate mingled with pear skin and spices. Only 4g/L dosage, but it feels sweeter, round, and creamy, thanks to the seven and a half years of lees ageing. It shows great integration coming from the further 12 months of bottle ageing. Highly recommended.Prices:
BC$49.90750ml
AB$58.85750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Gold Label Bruttext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2019 rendition of Blue Mountain’s Gold Label (disgorged in August 2021) shows a pure expression of white flowers and red pear blended with subtle biscuity toastiness. Fresh and crisp on the palate, the salivating vibrant acidity is gracefully balanced by the fine mousse, leaving a saline minerality on the finish. A wine that you would buy consistently and never feel disappointed.Prices:
BC$27.90750ml
AB$38.95750ml
ON$35.95750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Haywire The Bubtext
90PTS

Haywire The Bub 2017

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA pinot noir-chardonnay blend predominantly sourced from Summerland, with 30 percent from Okanagan Crush Pad's Secrest Mountain Vineyard in Oliver, this is a citrusy, mineral-driven sparkling wine done in a zero dosage style. It's not necessarily missing the dosage, either. There's ample fruit here, with acidity that is crisp but not austere, giving it a balance that will be perfect alongside a dozen oysters. Thirty months on its lees has provided subtle toasty notes, but this is really all about the precise, bright lemon, green apple, and chalk. Nicely done.Prices:
BC$32.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Haywire Vintage Bubtext
91PTS

Haywire Vintage Bub 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA 50/50 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, the 2013 Vintage Bub was aged on its lees for five years, benefiting from another couple of years in bottle since being disgorged in June 2019. It's quite a complex, serious sparkling wine, which is showing beautiful maturity at this stage. There's a combination of gold-hued fruits along with nuts, earthy mushroom, and ample toasty character. I love the finesse and balance, with a soft, elegant mousse that gives way to a chalky texture laden with dried citrus fruits. A complete wine, to be sure.Prices:
BC$43.90750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Seven Stars Vega Sparkling Wine Fool's Gold Vineyardtext
88PTS

Seven Stars Vega Sparkling Wine Fool's Gold Vineyard 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis sparkling viognier is a restrained and slimmed down interpretation of the variety, although the telltale viognier fragrance of citrus blossom and white peach is present, layered with a subtle hint of leesy notes from 12 months en tirage. The marked acidity, emphasized by the underripe nature of the fruit, makes it feel more linear and lighter. The inherent phenolic bitterness of the grape is quite subtle, adding a pleasant texture to the wine.Prices:
BC$36.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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1701 Franciacorta Sullerbatext
89PTS

1701 Franciacorta Sullerba NV

Brescia, Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10 hectare biodynamic certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. This frizzante Chardonnay pét-nat was native fermented in stainless, and tipped into bottle to finish fermentation along with a kick start from frozen Chardonnay must. It was not disgorged, hence the slight cloudiness, and has 0 dosage. Salinity runs through the gentle bubbles, lifting Anjou pear, lightly toasted wheat, yellow apple, and fine stones. Lovely balance here.Prices:
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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1701 Franciacorta Satèn Bruttext
91PTS

1701 Franciacorta Satèn Brut 2018

Brescia, Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10 hectare biodynamic certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. This Chardonnay was native fermented in stainless steel and older barriques, before spending 30 months on lees prior to disgorgement in January 2022, with 0 dosage. As per the Satèn style, this is softer and creamier on the palate, with Chardonnay's apple and light brioche notes livened with silken, fine bubbles, through a very saline finish. A dry, serious Satèn.Prices:
ON$64.00750ml
Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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1701 Franciacorta Blanc de Noirstext
90PTS

1701 Franciacorta Blanc de Noirs 2016

Brescia, Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10 hectare biodynamic certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. This pinot nero was disgorged May 2021, with zero dosage. Toasted brioche, cherry, light smoked stone flood the juicy palate, with a lingering saline finish. Bone dry and serious, this energetic wine is very drinkable.Prices:
Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of 55 percent chardonnay and 45 percent pinot noir, Blue Mountain's 2013 Reserve Brut spent 7.5 years on lees before being disgorged in August 2021, and finished in an Extra Brut style with 4 g/L residual sugar. There's a remarkable freshness to the fruit, showing a combination of green apple and lemon, that's intertwined with yogurt, spiced nuts, and beautiful toasty notes. What really stands out is the palate: finessed, concentrated, and textured, with a fine, soft mousse and chalky undercurrent that carries the finish. A beautiful expression of the Okanagan.Prices:
BC$49.90750ml
AB$58.85750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Gold Label Bruttext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBased on the cooler 2019 vintage, this bottling of the Gold Label is a blend of 65 percent pinot noir and 35 percent chardonnay that was aged for 24 months on its lees (disgorged August 2021). There's a generous fruitiness to this vintage, with a combination of bright red berries, red apple, and lemon, which is complemented by subtle toasty notes. It's beautifully balanced, perhaps not as complex as the 2018 vintage, but with a lovely intensity and purity to the fruit. As always, one of the best value sparkling wines you'll find in Canada.Prices:
BC$27.90750ml
AB$38.95750ml
ON$35.95750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Gold Label Bruttext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe latest gold label is based on the cooler 2019 vintage and mixes 65/35 pinot noir and chardonnay aged two years on its lees (disgorged August 2021). It’s no secret we like this wine at GOW because it is so consistent, and few if any, other sparklers in this range deliver so much quality for the price. The secret sauce is the reserve wine, aged in 2000L oak casks. It crafts the consistent style year in and year out. Expect mineral, flinty, pure green and red apple with a hint of toasted almond. Pop the cork. You won’t be disappointed.Prices:
BC$27.90750ml
AB$38.95750ml
ON$35.95750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot Indigène Crémant du Juratext
88PTS

Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot Indigène Crémant du Jura NV

Arbois, Jura, FranceNow headed by the winery’s second generation, Benedicte and Stephane Tissot produce 28 wines from 40 hectares in Arbois, farmed organically, biodynamically and chemical-free. Indigène blends 50% chardonnay, 40% pinot noir, 5% poulsard, and 5% trousseau, native ferment, and partially aged in barrel. The secondary ferment is kicked off naturally, with grape sugars. Oxidative apple, pear skin, dried pineapple, lemon rind rule the palate, held lofty up front with bright acidity. My bottle tasted pretty tired, so would like to try again in future.Prices:
BC$77.00750ml
Producer: André et Mireille Tissot
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Huia Brut Rosétext
86PTS

Huia Brut Rosé 2018

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThis Marlborough pinot noir trad met rosé was whole punch pressed, fermented and aged 11 months on gross lees in old French oak prior to heading to bottle for secondary ferment and 20 months' rest. Cherry, rhubarb are smacked with an oxidative wall, deadening the pure fruit, and painting a mustard seed, bitter-hewn red cassis and baked bread note on the whole. A bit tired at this tasting, but would hope for fresher from this top quality producer nearer the source / time.Prices:
$0.00750ml
Producer: Huia Vineyards
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Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2013 saw a ten percent drop in chardonnay to 55 percent chardonnay while the pinot noir jumped up to 45 percent. Like the Blanc de Blancs, it spends 7.5 years on its lees and is released 12 months after disgorging. This excellent wine opens with a mix of red fruits and citrus with a strong mealy undercurrent and a nutty aftertaste. Not as elegant as the Blanc de Blanc, but it comes with a fullness on the palate and a wonderful reductive autolytic scent. You can drink this now and pair it with a wider variety of foods. I love that the winery extends so much care to its R.D. lineup and wish other BC producers would consider similar ageing options for their best sparklers.Prices:
BC$49.90750ml
AB$58.85750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
93PTS

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe best of the best at Blue Mountain is and has been the Blancs de Blanc R.D. since its inception in 2006. The all-chardonnay bubble is made in the traditional method, although there is nothing traditional about spending 7.5 years on your lees at the winery. So it was R.D. (recently disgorged) in August 2021, and then spent another year resting in a bottle before it was released the following fall. It has it all: dry, ethereal, precise, elegant, and sporting notes of green apple, hazelnuts, citrus, brioche and sea salt. One of the best non-Champagne sparklers in the world. It doesn’t need another day of ageing, but in my experience, there is no rush to drink this. Instead, stock up and serve this with fresh local oysters right out of the shell.Prices:
BC$49.99750ml
AB$58.85750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAnother tasty release of Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. (recently disgorged) that is entirely estate grown within the Okanagan Falls GI and hand-harvested at relatively low yields. The makeup is a 70/30 mix of pinot noir and chardonnay that is fermented separately and blended post-fermentation. The secondary fermentation is done in a bottle and aged on its lees for 30 months before it was disgorged in August 2021 and finished with “a higher dosage than the Brut Gold Label,” at 10 grams per litre, leaving it on the edge of being perceptibly dry. It then spends another year at the winery before release. In the glass, a pale pink colour precedes a gently autolytic nose of croissants and wild strawberries. The texture is creamy smooth and comes off as accessible and charming but as the bottle depletes you notice the complexity and depth of the wine grow in a manner that suggests you could take this to the dinner table and it would perform flawlessly.Prices:
BC$39.90750ml
BC$48.85750ml
Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Domaine Longère Pétillant Rosé Méthode Ancestraletext
87PTS

Domaine Longère Pétillant Rosé Méthode Ancestrale NV

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceSixth-generation boutique winemaker Jean-Luc Longère owns and operates a five hectare vineyard in Beaujolais Village. This sweet pink is low in alcohol; the fermentation is halted at 8 percent, leaving a demi-sec with a solid bump of 35 g/L of residual sugar. As sweet as it is, it is well-balanced by an acceptable level of acidity. The nose is a sweetly scented raspberry affair that spills on the palate. They suggest serving it with fruit pies and sorbet, but I’m more inclined to think about doing it with spicy appetizers and letting the sugar bring down the heat level.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
ON$13.95750ml
QC12.95$0.00750ml
NB$17.80750ml
Producer: Domaine Longère
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Indigenous World La'P Cheettext
87PTS

Indigenous World La'P Cheet 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLa'p Cheet is a sparkling rosé mix of pinot noir and gamay made in the Charmat method, lending it a softer, rounder texture but with relatively fine bubbles to keep it interesting. The pretty in pink flavours include raspberry and pink grapefruit, with a touch of wild strawberry and a bump of residual sugar to smooth it all out. A perfect wine for appetizers.Prices:
BC$24.65750ml
Producer: Indigenous World
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Seven Stars Vega Sparkling Wine Fool's Gold Vineyardtext
89PTS

Seven Stars Vega Sparkling Wine Fool's Gold Vineyard 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis traditional method sparkling viognier is sourced from Fool's Gold Vineyard in Oliver, and spends 12 months on its lees prior to being disgorged. Early picking is clear here, with 11.5% declared abv on the label. The result is a sparkling wine that's more about style than variety, which is perfectly fitting for Township 7's line of serious sparkling wines. It's crisp and refreshing, with green fruits and gentle orange blossom aromatics at the forefront, backed by a fine mousse. Perfect with grilled oysters.Prices:
BC$36.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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28 November 2022

Château Bellevue Morgon Les Charmestext
90PTS

Château Bellevue Morgon Les Charmes 2019

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThe majestic Chateau de Bellevue was built in the 19th century on the hill of Bellevue, overlooking the village of Ville-Morgon. The Lyonnais founders built a cellar behind the chateau between 1830-1840, which saw multiple generations making wine there. In 2009, Maison Jean Loron purchased Chateau Bellevue, restored the castle, and modernized the winery and historic barrel cellar. This is 40-year-old vines in clay and sandstone, partial carbo, fermented over three weeks, and aged in a mix of stainless and large foudres over ten months. Wild black cherry, black raspberry, perfumed purple/blue florals, and thorns flow through a medium, polished palate with finely structural tannins and easily lofted acidity. This lingers in stony, white pepper salinity on the finish. Quite clever, showing well the very good 2019 vintage.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Jean Loron
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Jean Loron Chateau de la Pierre Regnié Pur Gamaytext
86PTS

Jean Loron Chateau de la Pierre Regnié Pur Gamay 2020

Régnié, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceBuilt in the 12th century, Château de la Pierre was one of the main forts used to defend the capital of Sires de Beaujeu. Owned by the Maison Jean Loron today, it encompasses 12 hectares of 50 year old vines. This cuvée comes from stony vines in pink granite soils, was native fermented, and saw no sulphur added. Fleshy dark cherry, black raspberry, spring rhubarb, and crushed stones flood a medium bodied, tart palate, with crunchy acidity, and furry tannins carrying this to a blunted, warming finish. A little bit of SO2 would have gone a very long way in cleaning up this (not so pur) wine.Prices:
BC$38.00750ml
Producer: Jean Loron
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Robin Ridge Organic Gamaytext
90PTS

Robin Ridge Organic Gamay 2021

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGamay continues to shine at Robin Ridge, a tiny boutique producer in the wild, windy, rocky Similkameen. The terroir is spare, providing the perfect platform for this gamay to thrive. Lean, tight, and red-fruited, with cherry and black plum nuances, this is vibrant from front to back. Precision and delicacy with a peppery undercurrent draw it across your palate in a straight line, asking for a chunk of grilled salmon or pork sausages. Crunchy, juicy, and mineral-scented, it has all the attributes of seriousness. You can find this one in the Save-on-Foods grocery stores with wine sections.Prices:
BC$25.90750ml
Producer: Robin Ridge Winery
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La Soeur Cadette Juliénastext
90PTS

La Soeur Cadette Juliénas 2021

Juliénas, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceBorn into a family of vignerons, Valentin Montaney sources grapes from across Bourgogne and Beaujolais for his negociant La Soeur Cadette wines. Valentin wanted to highlight the lesser-seen Juliénas cru in this bright and joyous red. This blends two sites, one on blue granite and one on sandy soils, with vines averaging 80 years. This was whole cluster fermented in concrete and then into older barrels for 8-10 months’ rest. Youthful and bright, with crushed florals, herbal raspberry, rhubarb, laced with ample mineral salts, lifted with easy granite acidity, and hugged with finely sticky tannins through the bitter cherry finish. Friendly, smart Juliénas for enjoying now and over the short term. #GoGamayGo.Prices:
ON$42.00750ml
Producer: La Soeur Cadette
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Château de La Chaize Cote de Brouilly Lieu-dit Brulhietext
92PTS

Château de La Chaize Cote de Brouilly Lieu-dit Brulhie 2019

Côte de Brouilly, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceChâteau de La Chaize is a historic Beaujolais estate that dates to the late 16th century. Today it's in the hands of the Gruy family, who are pursuing "the conversion of all vineyards to organic farming, the adoption of precision viticulture, reducing carbon their carbon footprint, and recycling every by-product from their wine growing activity, to achieve zero waste." Brouilly is one of the smallest Crus within Beaujolais but the wines are anything but. There is so much elegance and style it overwhelms its intense wild cherry/black plum. The minerality sings and texture is Beaujolais of the first order. The Brûlhier vineyard is a 1.7-ha site that sits on the south-facing slope of Mont Brouilly, within the Côte-de-Brouilly. The topsoil is composed of a shallow bed of diorite, also called blue stone, a result of ancient volcanic activity. The soil depth is composed of sandy clay loam. Vines are planted between 400 – 425m.Prices:
BC$47.99750ml
Producer: Château de la Chaize
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Steeve Charvet Chiroublestext
90PTS

Steeve Charvet Chiroubles 2018

Chiroubles, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThis Chiroubles is not your grandmother’s Beaujolais. Deep in colour, it comes with a granitic-fired structure that gives it a substantial base to launch a raft of intense spicy black fruit all wrapped up in a juicy finish with soft tannins. This is a wine for food, and at this time of the year, turkey quickly comes to mind. Chiroubles is a small, hilly appellation (the highest in Beaujolais) to the west of Fleurie. The general wine style is all about fragrant aromas, fruit, and silky textures. The old rules would say to serve this in three to five years, but these wines are grown and made much better today and will easily hold five to seven years or more.Prices:
BC$30.99750ml
Producer: Domaine Steeve Charvet
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Michel Guignier Morgon Canontext
92PTS

Michel Guignier Morgon Canon 2020

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceTo be clear, I like Beaujolais for what it is. I don’t need it to be a Burgundy, but if that was the goal of the winemaker or, more likely, the taster, it could be released as something other than a Beaujolais. On the other hand, an excellent Beaujolais cru can be a big wine, a rich wine, or like Burgundy, but it is still a gamay. Case in point Michel Guignier Morgon Canon. The colour is deep, almost black in the middle. It has all the signs of a big wine, black colour, black fruit, spice, and even some smoky, meaty notes, but in the end, it’s a cru Beaujolais because the structure is far too silky and soft to be anything else. Then there is the minerality that sticks to Beaujolais wines like a second skin. The best of all is it is only 13 percent. Guignier employs a classic vinification, à la Beaujolaise; the fruit is not destemmed, and only indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation. Maceration for the top wines runs for two weeks, and the pressing is done with a vertical wooden press that slowly and gently presses the grapes. Finally, the juice is returned to cement tanks to finish its alcoholic and malolactic fermentations.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Michel Guignier
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Domaine Baron de l'Ecluse Côte de Brouilly Les Garancestext
90PTS

Domaine Baron de l'Ecluse Côte de Brouilly Les Garances 2020

Côte de Brouilly, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceLes Garance is one serious cru. Built to age, it is fermented in concrete, supercharging its savoury fruit. The beefy nature of this gamay, and some dense tannins, all add to the ageing argument but when you taste the wine the black fruit and liquorice draw you into the glass suggesting maybe you could drink it now. I agree, but it would have to be something rich and equally powerful at this stage to take on the 14.5 percent alcohol and intense black fruit finish. Duck confit would work, or a grilled steak in a peppercorn sauce. Or wait three to five years for what should be a formidable bottle of wine.Prices:
BC$38.99750ml
Producer: Domaine Baron de l'Ecluse
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Chateau de Vaux Le Clos de Valentin Beaujolais Villagestext
90PTS

Chateau de Vaux Le Clos de Valentin Beaujolais Villages 2020

Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceChâteau de Vaux has a history to the 12th Century when the monks of Cluny planted the first vines. Yannick de Vermont is in charge today, and the family-owned, fifth-generation producer is making notable gamay from 70+ year old vines working their way to full organic certification. The nose offers intense ripe black fruit mixed with black pepper that spills onto the palate. When you think it's going to be a big wine, its silky textures balance the entire picture, revealing even more fruit and beckoning you back to each glass. It is delicious; end of the story. The eight months in concrete tanks seem like the perfect venue to deliver this wine with its granitic minerality.Prices:
BC$30.99750ml
Producer: Yannick de Vermont
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Marc Delienne Abbaye Road Fleurietext
91PTS

Marc Delienne Abbaye Road Fleurie 2019

Fleurie, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceMarc Delienne’s Abbay Road is a delight to slip right now, thanks to a slightly less mineral style and a little more fleshy character on the palate. Bright cherries, black plums, and sweet tannins make this fun, but it will age through 2025. That said, the delicacy and refinement on the palate make it so attractive to drink today. Southeast Fleurie vineyard soils are primarily sandy, loamy-sandy, decomposed granite = the secret sauce of gamay. At Delienne, the vines are densely planted (10,000 per hectare) and are old, from 40 to more than 80 years old, and are converting to organics. The wine growing is manual, as is the picking. After a short fermentation in concrete (12 days), it is aged for 11 months, mainly in barrels of 30 hectolitres, some new demi-muids of 600 litres, and a few barriques.Prices:
BC$74.99750ml
Producer: Marc Delienne
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Thibault Ducroux Morgon Corcelettetext
89PTS

Thibault Ducroux Morgon Corcelette 2021

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThibault Ducroux grew up in a winemaking family in Bojo but was inspired towards natural wines through reading Jules Chauvet. After working with some natural winemakers in Bojo and Jura, he began his winery with 1.25ha owned vines and 6.5ha total via long-term contracts, all organically farmed and in conversion. This was his second vintage of Corcelette, from 50-year-old vines on granite and schist. Grapes were whole bunch, carbo, native ferment, and aged in old barriques for eight months before bottling without fining or filtration and minimal SO2. Wild plum, black raspberry, and thorns are woven through a stony, textural palate, with brisk, tart acidity streaming through a saline finish. I've concerns about the low SO2 and shipping. I think a bit more would go a long way with these wines.Prices:
Producer: Thibault Ducroux
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Thibault Ducroux Morgontext
89PTS

Thibault Ducroux Morgon 2021

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThibault Ducroux grew up in a winemaking family in Bojo but was inspired towards natural wines through reading Jules Chauvet. After working with some natural winemakers in Bojo and Jura, he began his winery with 1.25ha owned vines and 6.5ha total via long-term contracts, all organically farmed and in conversion. This Morgon comes from 2 vineyards he has contracts with, one in Les Charmes (40-year-old vines) and one in Corcelette (50-year-old vines) on granite and schist. After a whole bunch of carbo, this was native fermented and aged in concrete for eight months, bottled without fining filtration, and with minimal sulphur. Sultry dark plum, cassis, and perfumed purple florals are carved out with a firm schistous grip and textured with a fine stony / cement through the aromatic finish. Quite natural and youthful and fun to drink now, with a slight chill. I've concerns about the low SO2 and shipping. I think a bit more would go a long way with these wines.Prices:
Producer: Thibault Ducroux
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Thibault Ducroux Fleurietext
88PTS

Thibault Ducroux Fleurie 2020

Fleurie, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThibault Ducroux grew up in a winemaking family in Bojo but was inspired towards natural wines through reading Jules Chauvet. So after working with some natural winemakers in Bojo and Jura, he began his winery with 1.25ha owned vines and 6.5ha total via long-term contracts, all organically farmed and in conversion. This was the first vintage of Fleurie for Thibault, coming off a parcel he contracts in the Grille-Midi of 50-year-old vines on pink granite. It's whole bunch carbonated, native fermented and aged in old barriques for eight months with no fining, filtration, and minimal SO2 at bottling. Soft and fuzzy, with raspberries, candied cherries, and bitter-edged herbs, with a tart / sharp acidity that sticks out. A bit too wild/rustic/natural; this could be dialled in smartly for the future. I've concerns about the low SO2 and shipping. I think a bit more would go a long way with these wines.Prices:
Producer: Thibault Ducroux
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Thibault Ducroux En Roue Libretext
89PTS

Thibault Ducroux En Roue Libre 2021

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceThibault Ducroux grew up in a winemaking family in Bojo but was inspired towards natural wines through reading Jules Chauvet. After working with some natural winemakers in Bojo and Jura, he began his winery with 1.25ha owned vines and 6.5ha total via long-term contracts, all organically farmed and in conversion. This was the wine he made, in 2019, from his grapes, and called En Roue Libre, 'Freewheeling,' referencing his non-intervention winemaking and his love of cycling (he used to race in a club). From 40-year-old vines in silty clays, this was whole bunch of carbo, native ferment, and aged in concrete for eight months with no fining, filtration and the bare minimum of sulphur at bottling. Crunchy and bright, with scrubby lavender/rosemary mixed with red currant, raspberries, and pink blossoms hugged by soft, fine tannins through a buzzy finish. Fun, smashable red for enjoying now, with a slight chill. I've concerns about the low SO2 and shipping. I think a bit more would go a long way with these wines.Prices:
Producer: Thibault Ducroux
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24 November 2022

Suertes del Marqués Trenzadotext
90PTS

Suertes del Marqués Trenzado 2021

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 near shocking reductive smack upon first opening, this quickly segues into flake salts, wild lemon, pear skin, green fig, verbena, across an energetic palate, grippy with crushed stones. Marine and wild and singular.Prices:
ON$37.95750ml
Producer: Suertes del Marqués
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Ciù Ciù Oris Faleriotext
90PTS

Ciù Ciù Oris Falerio 2021

Ascoli Piceno, Marche, ItalyOris is an organic blend of Trebbiano, Pecorino, and Passerina, grown in the towns of Offida and Acquaviva Picena, in Marche's Ascoli Piceno province at 300m. This was native fermented in stainless, and left to settle on lees for 4 months. This year's has a lovely textural mouthfeel, with pear skin, white blossoms, Asian pear, white peach, and fresh almonds infiltrated with broken stones along a lightly waxen base. There's a lovely freshness throughout, and a lingering salinity on the finish. Beauty with simple shellfish and spring veg dishes.Prices:
ON$18.00750ml
BC$19.49750ml
Producer: Ciù Ciù
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Mullineux Old Vines Whitetext
93PTS

Mullineux Old Vines White 2019

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaTasted a couple of years along, and wow, can this wine age. About a quarter of the 2019 White Blend was lost when a transport truck tipped over. So if you find the 2019, cherish it even more than it normally warrants. This Swartland blend of chenin, clairette blanche, viognier, grenache blanc, semillon gris is mostly sourced from older vines (up to 70 years), lending greater concentration and character. The lots were whole bunch pressed and native fermented in 500-5000L barrels (5% new), with MLF encouraged. Some time in bottle has amped the already ample texture, and showing chenin's luring cusping with age. Honeycomb, wild pear, cracked flax is layered with flake salts and licked with a flinty reduction across a generous wild lees decked base. The finish on this full bodied wine lingers, leaving a stony salinity in its wake.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
ON$38.00750ml
QC$40.00750ml
Producer: Mullineux Wines
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23 November 2022

Torres Celeste Crianzatext
90PTS

Torres Celeste Crianza 2018

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThis tempranillo, from 40 year old vines and high altitude vineyards in Ribera Del Duero, takes its name from the celestial heavens, seemingly within reach from the 895m high vineyard. From this site, far away from lights and habituation, Miguel Torres Jr has said “you can almost touch the stars.” The memorable label is a depiction of the constellations seen if you look straight up when you’re standing in said vineyard. After a stainless ferment, this transferred to new barrels for MLF, prior to moving into French and American oak (10-15% new) for 1 year. Dense with blackberry, black cherry stretched across a taut palate, lit with bright mountainous acidity, and housed with lightly furry tannins. There's a lovely mountainous freshness lighting this full-bodied red from within. Serve now with roast lamb / root veg.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
AB$28.99750ml
MB$29.99750ml
QC$20.95750ml
QC$39.201500ml
NB$29.99750ml
NFL$29.99750ml
Producer: Familia Torres
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Arzuaga Reserva Ribera del Duerotext
93PTS

Arzuaga Reserva Ribera del Duero 2018

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainBy all accounts, Bodegas Arzuaga Reserva is becoming a Ribera del Duero star thanks to its base of sandy soils over limestone, and an altitude of 950 meters above sea level. It’s the perfect setting to tame the hot days with cool nights throughout the growing season, slowing the maturation process and allowing the grapes to ripen while retaining maximum acidity. The result is an amazingly fresh, elegant style. The vines are now 80+ years old, and the blend is almost all tempranillo plus three percent cabernet sauvignon and one percent merlot, aged 26 months in French oak. We treasure power with finesse, and when you add vibrancy, it becomes a must-buy. Look for smoky brambleberry with a subtle dusting of chocolate and coffee. Long and persistent, this is a winner.Prices:
BC$69.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Arzuaga
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Arzuaga Crianza Ribera del Duerotext
92PTS

Arzuaga Crianza Ribera del Duero 2019

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThe Arzuaga crianza is a 94/6 mix of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon/merlot and malbec. 70 percent of the tempranillo comes off the clay and limestone soils of the La Planta farm’s La Maquinilla vineyard. In comparison, the other 30 percent is grown on centuries-old vineyards of pebbled and sandy soils in the province of Burgos. It is all hand-picked and fermented in stainless steel before spending 16 months in a 75/25 mix of French and American oak barrels. The nose is highly aromatic, offloading black fruit and balsamic with a hint of toasted wood. Elegant and mouth-filling with a bright, savoury, dense, complex mid-palate, this is a delicious introduction to Ribera del Duero tempranillo with very little tannin to dissipate. It is an ideal companion for lamb, big game, and turkey. Excellent value.Prices:
BC$49.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Arzuaga
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Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reservatext
91PTS

Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2017

Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, SpainMarques de Riscal is a legendary Rioja producer founded in 1858. The Rioja Reserva is a 90/10 blend of tempranillo, graciano/mazuelo hand-harvested from 30 to 40-year-old vines. Over the last decade, the quality of this label has really soared. It was always good but sometimes inconsistent; those days are gone. The wine spends 24 months in American oak barrels, just enough to rein in some of the acidity and lift of the tempranillo and polish its supple tannins. Intense blackberry and floral violets spill from the glass. Milk-fed lamb is the classic Spanish match. Drink or hold, there is no rush.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
CDN$27.00750ml
Producer: Vinos Herederos del Marqués de Riscal S.A.
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Hito Tempranillo Ribera del Duerotext
90PTS

Hito Tempranillo Ribera del Duero 2019

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainA Hito is a stone post, sometimes carved, which is used to indicate the direction or distance of paths or to mark boundaries. At Bodegas Cepa 21, Hito is made with young vines to complete the range and mark the boundary of a modern and innovative winery. The youngest vineyards have been grafted to the Tinto Fino clone. Hito is fermented in stainless steel for 12 months before ageing in French oak.Expressive, juicy, balanced and an absolute joy to drink, this is so savoury and satisfying, it should be on every wine list in the city. Stock up.Prices:
BC$28.75750ml
AB$26.95750ml
Producer: Bodegas Cepas 21
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Anciano No. 3 Tempranillotext
85PTS

Anciano No. 3 Tempranillo NV

Rioja, SpainYou can’t expect much for $12.99 when more than half of that is tax and markup, but such is wine life in BC. In the end, this is a well made, spicy cherry, berry red with a kiss of vanilla and a smooth slippery texture that finishes with a dusting of dried herbs. A mid-week meaty pasta wine. Criadores de Rioja belongs to a family with one of the longest traditions in Rioja winemaking, near Logroño, in the heart of Rioja Alta. Mature vines grown at high altitudes (300-500m) on gravel and sand produce low-cost quality fruit that post fermentation is aged six months in American oak barrels.Prices:
BC$12.99750ml
Producer: Guy Anderson Wines
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Anciano No. 5 Crianza Riojatext
87PTS

Anciano No. 5 Crianza Rioja 2018

Rioja, SpainAnciano Rioja Crianza No.5 is a big step up from No. 3, and sits at a very affordable $16. The grapes are hand-harvested from mid-September off 100ha of vineyards, including a selection of bush-trained vines, with an average age of 20 years. Post-fermentation, it spends a year in American oak barrels for 12 months, followed by a year in bottles. Expect more intensity than No. 3, with more decadent flavours of red and blue fruit dusted in milk chocolate and dried herbs. Easy sipping, it has a lovely silky texture allowing the wine to slip down easily. Perfect for grilled lamb chops, barbecue ribs, or a favourite pan vegetable dish.Prices:
BC$15.99750ml
Producer: Guy Anderson Wines
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Montecillo Crianzatext
86PTS

Montecillo Crianza 2016

Rioja, SpainThe classic Rioja of the house, this tempranillo was tipped with 10% garnacha and fermented in underground vats prior to barrel aging in partially new American oak over 18 months, plus six months of bottle age before release. Ripe cherry, saddle, roasted root veg, and earth is tart with cranberry acidity and framed with toasty, cedar-lined tannins. Simple red to pour alongside tomato-sauced pasta or stews.Prices:
BC$20.00750ml
Producer: Bodegas Montecillo, S.A.
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La Planta Ribera del Duero Tinto Finotext
89PTS

La Planta Ribera del Duero Tinto Fino 2019

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainLa Planta is a gift to wine drinkers. The tempranillo (aka tinto fino) is made in the Ribera del Duero by Bodegas Arzuaga Navarra. Its 20 year old vines sit in chalky clay soils at 1000 meters, taking advantage of large daily swings between day and night, and between scorching summers and freezing winters. The winemaking is simple: fermentation in stainless steel followed by six months of ageing in older French and American oak. It has a lovely soft refreshing demeanour with balance and harmonious red fruit with delicate aromatics. Very food friendly, and is no doubt a super tapas start in Spain. We enjoyed it with a sablefish sushi roll.Prices:
BC$0.00750ml
Producer: Bodegas Arzuaga
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Bodega Lanzaga Vinedos en Lanziegotext
94PTS

Bodega Lanzaga Vinedos en Lanziego 2018

Rioja, SpainThe combination of organic grape growing and low intervention winemaking reveals a terroir that sets this field blend of tempranillo, garnacha, and graciano free. The delicious factor is off the charts, and the drinkability is equally impressive. You can’t get much more quality than this for $40. If you gave up on Rioja a few years ago, it’s time to return, because this is the real thing. Telmo Rodriguez returned to the Rioja family business in 1998, a different person from the one who first worked with his father making white wines. He was far more experienced and keen to elevate the region’s wines to something that spoke to the past. His passion led to a search for the best places in Rioja, “those towns with a long tradition of viticulture.” In the end, he chose Lanciego de Alava, in the Rioja Alavesa, as his base, and he set about buying small pieces of dirt that best express the characteristics of the nearby village. Today Lanzaga covers 15 hectares, an old-time model on a human scale, something Rodriguez imagines to be responsible for “the famed Riojas of the 18th century.” Bush pruning, field blend, organic viticulture, concrete fermentation, ageing in foudres and barrels of different sizes and origins is Lanzaga. These grapes are grown at 500-700 metres, naturally fermented, and aged 14 months in 1500-2500 litre foudres and 225-litre barriques. In 2018 the wine was a knockout.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
AB$39.95750ml
ON$39.95750ml
QC$39.95750ml
Producer: Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez
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Terrelab Winemaker Series Tempranillotext
87PTS

Terrelab Winemaker Series Tempranillo 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe TerreLab Tempranilo label is a new wine for Gold Hill, with a label designed for wine geeks. From its PH 7.9 to clone type 770, Block number ITPJ, vine density of 2200 vines/acre, yield of 3 tons/acre, and ageing 18 months in wood, this is a label chock full of interesting facts. It is all tempranillo with vibrant lifted red fruit, on the threshold of being volatile. The texture is soft, and the flavours are persistent, long, and savoury, but this needs a big chunk of meat to rein in the volatile notes in the finish. Grilled lamb or pork would be my choice. Ready to drink.Prices:
BC$35.99750ml
Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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22 November 2022

Montanet-Thoden Galernetext
91PTS

Montanet-Thoden Galerne 2020

Burgundy, FranceValentin Montaney is based in western Bourgogne's Vézelay, where he is the caretaker of his parents' 22ha of organically farmed vineyards. In 2016, Valentin began a négociant business, creating the La Soeur Cadette range. This comes from his mother's organically farmed vineyards, with a higher proportion of clay in the limestone-laden soils. Creamy white flowers, crystalline lemon, and ripe pear fill a medium-bodied frame, lit with a buzzy salinity through a lingering finish. Lovely palate weight here.Prices:
BC$41.99750ml
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: La Soeur Cadette
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1701 Franciacorta Surnàttext
89PTS

1701 Franciacorta Surnàt 2021

Brescia, Lombardy, Italy1701 Franciacorta is a 10-hectare biodynamic-certified estate, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. 1/3 of the Chardonnay underwent one-week skin contact before fermenting and aging on lees in the amphora for eight months. Apple baked apple, pear skin, and lemon pith are seasoned with mineral salts and etched with a very fine concrete texture, lingering with a humming salinity.Prices:
ON$40.95750ml
Producer: 1701 Franciacorta
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Wieninger Chardonnay Wienertext
89PTS

Wieninger Chardonnay Wiener 2021

Wien (Vienna), AustriaCreamy lemon, fragrant white blossoms, fleshy pear, cushioned lees, river stones, and rock salt rule this Village level chardonnay from vineyards across Wieninger's biodynamic holdings in Vienna (Wien) Off loess and limestone soils, this was fermented and held in stainless, on lees, until bottling.Prices:
Producer: Weingut Wieninger
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Paddy Borthwick Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Paddy Borthwick Chardonnay 2020

Wairarapa, North Island, New ZealandFrom Wairarapa's Gladstone subregion and own-rooted chardonnay planted in 1997 on stony, alluvial soils, this was whole berry pressed and transferred to French puncheons for a native ferment, with little MLF, and ten months in French oak puncheons (20% new) before blending and bottling. Opening with a wave of reduction, this segues into a plump palate of lemon curd, crushed stone, nougat, popcorn, and flake salts, running long on the saline finish. This bigger, fuller, textural wine has years ahead.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Borthwick Vineyards
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Palliser Estate Om Santi Vineyard Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Palliser Estate Om Santi Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

Martinborough, Wairarapa, North Island, New ZealandOm Santi is Palliser's original vineyard on Martinborough's (now Wairarapa's) Terrace, with 10 meters of river gravels for these chardonnay vines to root through. Native fermented in oak, this blends 75% Clone 15 with Clone 95, with 12 months in barrels prior to bottling unfined and unfiltered. Rich and concentrated, leading with lemon curd and peel, verbena, crisp white peach, and butter, all licked with flint and lingering with mouthwatering salinity. Great concentration for its 13.5%, something that NZ seems to excel at. Drinking very well now but has ample years ahead in the cellar.Prices:
Producer: Palliser Estate Wines
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Kelly Washington Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Kelly Washington Chardonnay 2021

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandFrom the Rapaura subregion of Marlborough, this certified organic chardonnay comes from 25-year-old vines rooted in the valley's clay soils. This was whole bunch pressed and native fermented prior to resting in new and neutral French barrels and puncheons. Creamy and textural, with toasted wood framing ripe red apple, lemon curd, and nutmeg filling an expansive palate. There's a lovely lemon brace of acidity to lift through the spiced pencil shavings finish. A moderately richer yet chiselled style, well accomplished, and ready for buttery scallops/prawns and/or lemon risotto.Prices:
Producer: Kelly Washington
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Pascal Clément Savigny-lès-Beaune Guettottestext
92PTS

Pascal Clément Savigny-lès-Beaune Guettottes 2015

Savigny-lès-Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FrancePascal Clément, well known for his exceptional white wines, loves using older foudre for his whites, as he feels it brings out the saltiness in the wine. Pascal blocked MLF in this warm vintage, and he never employees bâtonnage on his wines, leaving them on full lees in barrels after pressing. From the hills of Savigny-les-Beaune and the Guettottes parcel. This is holding that warm vintage very well, with a streaming tight acid line driving ripe pear and pear skin, lemon peel, and a buzzy, salty limestone underlay that lingers long. Beauty freshness still in this smart wine.Prices:
ON$52.00750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Pascal Clément Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Fillestext
91PTS

Pascal Clément Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles 2018

Pernand-Vergelesses, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceGrown just around the hill from the Grand Cru of Corton Charlemagne, these vines are rooted between 250-300m in the foothills of the hillside, in clay / limestone soils mixed with chaillots. It was native fermented in foudre, where it remains for 11 months, with full MLF and no bâtonnage. Expressive white flowers, pear blossoms, quince, river stones glide along the silken / creamy palate, with a firmly buzzy chalky underlay through a finely saline finish.Prices:
ON$61.00750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay 2021

South Australia, AustraliaAustralian chardonnay has come a long way, as evidenced by this 70/30 Padthaway/Clare Valley blend. Bright and aromatic with fresh lemon, vanilla, and cream on the nose. The palate is vibrant with peach, nectarine, and lightly toasted cashew streaked with lemon pith acidity. Only a tiny portion of new French oak is used to broaden the palate without quashing the fruit, leaving the finish clean and elegant. Halibut would be a good match. At $19, I say back up the truck.Prices:
BC$18.99750ml
Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis Fourchaume Les Côtes de Fontenaytext
92PTS

Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis Fourchaume Les Côtes de Fontenay 2016

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe Vrignaud family, settled in the village of Fontenay-près-Chablis, have been growing vines for 5 generations. Guillaume Vrignaud started to bottle his first wines in 1999, and became certified organic in 2009. They have 28 hectares today. This comes from the Côtes de Fontenay climat, at the entrance of the valley, in Vrignaud's four hectare vineyard in the 1er Cru Fourchaume. The vines were planted in 1955 in brown clay and Kimmeridgian soils. After a native ferment in stainless, this remained there for one year on lees, without bâtonnage. Showing lovely cusping of age, with white honey, anjou pear, lemon drop and lemon pith, and ample limestone buzz lighting this from top to bottom, finishing with ample energy and a lingering salinity. Really lovely, showing well the shade of aged Chablis, and the cut of the cool, north-winded Côtes de Fontenay.Prices:
ON$67.00750ml
Producer: Guillaume Vrignaud
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Domaine Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume Les Vaupulanstext
91PTS

Domaine Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume Les Vaupulans 2020

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe Vrignaud family, settled in the village of Fontenay-près-Chablis, have been growing vines for 5 generations. Guillaume Vrignaud started to bottle his first wines in 1999, and became certified organic in 2009. They have 28 hectares today. From the Les Vaupulans climate in Fourchaume 1er Cru, this is from 30 year old vines, native fermented with MLF and aging on lees in a mix of stainless and barrels over 1 year. The creamy, lees-bedded palate is topped with green apples, yellow apples, pear skin and river stones, with a fine, buzzy chalky limestone underlay that lingers long on the palate. Lovely presence here, drinking smartly now and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$67.00750ml
Producer: Guillaume Vrignaud
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Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieutext
92PTS

Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu 2020

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe Vrignaud family, settled in the village of Fontenay-près-Chablis, have been growing vines for 5 generations. Guillaume Vrignaud started to bottle his first wines in 1999, and became certified organic in 2009. They have 28 hectares today. This comes from 40 year old vines in the 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, situated south of the Right Bank's acclaimed Grand Cru Chablis. Historically, this hill used to have a boundary running through its middle, separating the county of Champagne and the duchy of Burgundy. This wine was native fermented in stainless, where it remained on lees for one year, sans bâtonnage. Steaks of salinity run through this 1er cru, alongside crunchy pear, perfumed white peach, green apple, and river stones lining the silken palate. Lovely flow here, drinking smartly now, and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$64.00750ml
Producer: Guillaume Vrignaud
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Guillaume Vrignaud Chablistext
91PTS

Guillaume Vrignaud Chablis 2021

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe Vrignaud family, settled in the village of Fontenay-près-Chablis, have been growing vines for 5 generations. Guillaume Vrignaud started to bottle his first wines in 1999, and became certified organic in 2009. They have 28 hectares today. This is juicy and shining with lemongrass, lime zest, green apple along a bright frame, with a slick of lees. All is lit with a buzzy Kimmeridgian underlay. Showing really smart right now.Prices:
ON$47.00750ml
Producer: Guillaume Vrignaud
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Il Borro La Melletext
89PTS

Il Borro La Melle 2021

Arezzo, Tuscany, ItalyLamelle is one of those wines that might turn your head if you haven’t been keeping up with the global shift to brighter, leesy, more lively chardonnay. Italian chardonnay is rare, but La Melle is rare because it is an excellent bottle of Italian chardonnay that never sees any oak. Picked by hand and kept cool throughout the fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Post-fermentation, the wine is held on lees for about 60 days before bottling. The nose is aromatic with fruity floral notes and that distinctive leesy oatmeal scent. On the palate, juicy green and red apple are mixed with citrus and dried herbs. Bright, complex, and very food friendly, it is a lovely addition to the world chardonnay community.Prices:
BC$38.99750ml
Producer: Il Borro
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Ridge Estate Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020

Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesThe success of Ridge Montebello Cabernet leaves many people shocked to hear that Ridge produced its first chardonnay in 1962 from fully mature vines planted in the late 1940s on the Monte Bello Estate vineyard. Production never exceeded ten barrels, and Monte Bello Chardonnay was sold at the winery with few exceptions. As it turns out, many outstanding chardonnays have been made at Ridge over eight decades, thanks to its cool climate and, more critically, its fractured limestone subsoils. Most of the old vines were pulled out in the mid-80s, while the younger vines, planted in the 1970s, are the source today. The newer lower vineyard plantings, not yet farmed as part of the Monte Bello estate, were labelled Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 2009, the wine has been designated Ridge Estate Chardonnay, but in years when differences among lots warrant a separate bottling, a Monte Bello Chardonnay is made. In 2020 an even crop ripened slowly through mid-September. It is all whole cluster pressed, and the resulting juice is fermented in a barrel for six weeks to two months. Post ferment, the lees was stirred weekly for five months. The Estate Chardonnay is full of bright pear and apple with little oak influence (only 10 to 15 percent new oak). The palate is rich and fully flavoured with brioche and more pear that is persistent and long through the finish. Delicious and all at a modest 13.6 percent.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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21 November 2022

Artemis Karamolegos Terra Nera Whitetext
89PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Terra Nera White 2020

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This 'entry level' Assyrtiko comes from relatively young vines, averaging only 50 years, from lower altitude vineyards. It was fermented and aged in stainless, on lees, for 6 months. White blossoms, crystalline lemon, verbena, and lemongrass stream across a tight, saline palate, with crunchy green apple acidity and ample fresh marine acidity. A friendly charmer, ready for spring salads or shellfish.Prices:
ON$39.00750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Artemis Karamolegos Papastext
93PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Papas 2018

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. Papas is a single vineyard in Megalochori with 150 year old assyrtiko, with 22 months on stainless and 2 months in large oak before bottling. Expansive on the salt slicked palate, with a flinty flick leading into ripe pear, verbena, tight lemon pith, light wax, and heady flake salts. The finish is long with crushed stones and flake salts, all imbued with a marine air. Quite a profound wine, even now 6 years on, and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$154.95750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Artemis Karamolegos Ftelostext
94PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Ftelos 2019

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. Ftelos is a single vineyard with 150 year old assyrtiko vines, in the district of Fira, facing the caldera rim. This spent 2 years in stainless, plus time in bottle prior to release. Insane levels of salinity lead this wine; there is no mistaking this is volcanic. A flinty lees-decked base is layered with wild herbs, lemon pith, white grapefruit, meadow grass, and heady tosses of flake salts, all of which flood the mid-palate, and linger long on the finish (the salt wins the endurance race). Such a profound, electric, and alive wine, of the sea, and soils, and one for enjoying copiously now or with years ahead.Prices:
ON$132.95750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Artemis Karamolegos Louroi-Platiatext
91PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Louroi-Platia 2020

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This is a single vineyard with 150 year old assyrtiko vines, in the lower part of Pyrgos. This spent 11 months in stainless with regular bâtonnage, with one year in bottle prior to release. Layers of pear, white grapefruit, green fig, quince are interwoven with flake salts across the expansive and alive palate, one that lingers with a saline wash.Prices:
ON$110.95750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Berton Vineyards The Vermentinotext
87PTS

Berton Vineyards The Vermentino 2021

AustraliaCrunchy and tart, with melon, green fig, Asian pear, and bitter lime on a steely, medium palate through to a snappy finish. A fun, crisp and dry white to partner with green veg dishes / spring soups.Prices:
BC$14.99750ml
Producer: Berton Vineyards
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Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Anchor Man Old Vine Chenin Blanctext
88PTS

Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Anchor Man Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2018

Western Cape, South AfricaThe Anchor Man was named for Nederburg’s founder, Philippus Wolvaart, who established the Nederburg farm in 1791. These Chenin vines came from Swartland and Agter-Paarl, between 36-40 years old. One portion was fermented in first, second, and third use use 300 and 500L barrels; another part was fermented in stainless tanks; the third portion was fermented in amphorae. Post-ferment, the parts were kept on their lees for 9 months prior to the final blending and bottling. Ripe pear, yellow apple is carried along a waxen honeyed sheen, with finely buzzy texture throughout to the shorter, bitter edged finish. Solid.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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Natte Valleij Axle Chenin Blanctext
90PTS

Natte Valleij Axle Chenin Blanc 2021

Darling, Coastal Region, South AfricaCinsault-centric Alex Milner crafted this white for his Chenin-loving wife, sourcing fruit from 1985 planted dry farmed bush vines in Darling. This was basket pressed settled 1 day before racking to older 225L barrels for native ferment. It remained in the barrels post-ferment with regular bâtonnage for a couple of months, and then a quiet rest, all totalling 9 months. Gently creamy quince, pear, glides along the medium palate, lit with subtle crystalline lemon and mineral salts which linger on the finish. Drinking very smartly now.Prices:
BC$45.00750ml
Producer: Natte Valleij
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El Petit Bonhomme Blancotext
88PTS

El Petit Bonhomme Blanco 2020

Rueda, Castilla-Leon, Spain50 year old bush vines in Rueda are the source of this verdejo. Do you need any more information to buy this wine for $17? It aged on lees in an 80/20 mix of stainless steel and new French oak for four months. Clean, lively, vibrant white fruits streaked with tangerine rush across a soft creamy palate with a touch of spice in the finish. Highly underrated, the friendly white is the Spanish version of sauvignon blanc without the biting acidity. Westcoast shellfish is a good match, or a favourite vegetarian bowl. Stock up.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
AB$16.99750ml
SK$15.99750ml
MB$16.99750ml
Producer: Les Vins Bonhomme
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Mingaco Vino Blancotext
87PTS

Mingaco Vino Blanco 2021

Itata Valley, ChileDaniela de Pablo Mendoza and Pablo Pedreros are the duo behind this Itata Valley project, biodynamically farming just over 1 hectare of land close to the Pacific Ocean. This dry farmed Moscatel de Alejandria comes from 30 year old bush vines in Itata's Secano Interior, at 300m, on granitic clay. Very obviously unfined and unfiltered, this cloudy orange wine spent 12 days on skins, before aging outside for a year in old barrels, amphora, and plastic bins, where a flor developed. Apricot and peach fuzz grip this astringent wine, with tangerine, orange blossom, grapefruit pith through a rustic, medicinal citrus finish. Extreme (non) winemaking.Prices:
Producer: Mingaco
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Rall Wines Grenache Blanctext
91PTS

Rall Wines Grenache Blanc 2021

Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom ungrafted bush vines in the Coastal Region, this was native fermented and rested in a mix of concrete eggs and amphora for 10 months prior to blending and bottling. The careful treatment has given some lovely texture to this wine, showing the textural component of grenache blanc via meadow grass, wild scrubby herbs across a waxen palate, threaded and tightened with white grapefruit. Lovely weight and layers here.Prices:
Producer: Rall Wines
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A. A. Badenhorst Palomino Sout Van Dei Aardetext
93PTS

A. A. Badenhorst Palomino Sout Van Dei Aarde 2019

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom 4 different old vine vineyards, and limestone studded Swartland soils, this palomino was pressed into 500L barrels for ferment, and spent 1 year in cask. Straw, white honeycomb stretches taut across a waxen palate, with an embedded scrubby herbal note and a lit buzz from the soils. Lovely lingering saltiness on the the finish, with a luring reductive lick. Such memorable wine.Prices:
Producer: A. A. Badenhorst
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Tommasi Le Fornacitext
90PTS

Tommasi Le Fornaci 2020

Veneto, ItalyLe Fornaci is a Lugana white, a DOC on the southern tip of Lake Garda due east of Veron, made by the Tommasi family. Historically Lugana has been drunk by the many tourists that visit Lake Garda every year. The DOC straddles two Italian regions: Lombardy, with 90 percent of the vines to the west; and Veneto to the east, where 60 percent of the winemaking takes place. Le Fornaci, or the Furnace, takes its name from a local Roman brick kiln, and the show star is the turbiana grape. Originally thought to be a trebbiano variety (it was called Trebbiano di Lugana until 2008), DNA testing confirmed it is a relative of verdicchio, grown widely in the Marche. The grapes are night harvested by machine and shipped to the Tommasi winery in Pedemonte di Valpolicella. The fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation and no wood as it ages for three months on its lees. Floral scents of white flowers mixes with citrus. It is more full-bodied than you might think on the palate, with green apple, lime, honeysuckle, and almond washed in salinity. Drink or hold, and always serve with seafood.Prices:
BC$32.99750ml
AB$26.99750ml
Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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18 November 2022

Roche Nuancestext
92PTS

Roche Nuances 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Roche family has deep winemaking roots led by Pénélope, who counts six generations of viticulture and winemaking at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Nuances is the perfect name for this blend of 54/24/22 merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc, aged 12 months in 10% new French oak. The fruit comes from two sites: the merlot is from the Kozier Organic Vineyard perched high on the Naramata Bench; while the cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon come from the south Okanagan just north of Tuc-el-nuit Lake on the outskirts of Oliver. The considerable nuances in this wine are the result of balancing the vintage, vineyards, and varieties. Expect a Bordelais-style, sporting savoury red and black fruit just beginning to pull together for a long journey in the bottle. Like last year, this wine is all elegance, nuance, and understatement.Prices:
BC$34.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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D'Angelo Miscela  Tempranillotext
89PTS

D'Angelo Miscela Tempranillo 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTempranillo blended or mixed (miscela) with merlot and cabernet franc is an intriguing cuvée, and undoubtedly unique to BC. The colour is inky opaque, but adding tempranillo in the majority adds a freshness and a fruity lift to the label. Black plums, black cherries, and blackberries flood the palate with a drying, earthy undercurrent and some sticky tannins. This would be a good match for a lamb stew or a mushroom pasta dish.Prices:
BC$26.95750ml
Producer: D'Angelo Estate Winery
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D'Angelo Merlot Cabernet Franctext
87PTS

D'Angelo Merlot Cabernet Franc 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a robust Naramata Bench red that blends merlot and cabernet franc. The nose is lifted with 15% alcohol, offering big spice and blackberry from front to back. The palate is equally exuberant with more spicy oak and plenty of sweet, black fruit streaked with vanilla, espresso, and milk chocolate. This will need some time to settle down in the bottle and let all the components come together.Prices:
BC$99.95750ml
Producer: D'Angelo Estate Winery
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Il Borro Borrigiano Organictext
92PTS

Il Borro Borrigiano Organic 2019

Arezzo, Tuscany, ItalyBorrigiano is the first wine to come from the Il Borro winery under designated Valdarno di Sopra DOC and with organic certification. Records suggest Il Borro dates back to 1254 when the Mscagni family purchased the castle of Il Borro and the surrounding land. Ownership has changed throughout the years but was most recently bought in 1993 by Ferruccio Ferragamo. His son Salvatore now leads the project of this baby SuperTuscan. The vineyards of sangiovese, syrah, and merlot are planted to a density of 5000 vines per hectare, and in 2019 the mix went to a combination of large oak casks of 75hl and 50hl, and a blend of 40/35/25 merlot, syrah, and sangiovese. The style is generous thanks to ten months of ageing in wood. I love the subtle cherry and white pepper that pervades the freshness and spice in this red wine. Serene, balanced and nuanced, this is a delicious wine you can drink or hold. In Tuscany, bread-based soups (ribollita, pappa al pomodoro), fresh or lightly aged cheese, and lighter meat dishes are paired with Borrigiano. I would recommend wild boar pappardelle pasta as well. Now for the best news of all, you can buy this wine in BC Liquor Stores. The Il Borro estate is located about 45 minutes south of Florence within the Valdarno Valley of Tuscany. The Valdarno di Sopra DOC designation was one of the original four wine appellations within Tuscany recognized by Cosimo de' Medici III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Today, Valdarno di Sopra D.O.C. is working toward becoming the very first Italian wine denomination requiring organic production.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Il Borro
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Fitzpatrick Sudden Inversion Meritagetext
87PTS

Fitzpatrick Sudden Inversion Meritage 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Maverick Vineyards in the south Okanagan, this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc were fermented separately in stainless before aging 14 months in French oak (10% new). Ripe cassis, black cherry is woven with cedar, and framed with blocky tannins to a tart, shorter finish. Simple, silken red for equally unfussy mid-week dinners.Prices:
BC$29.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Fitzpatrick Sudden Inversion Meritagetext
88PTS

Fitzpatrick Sudden Inversion Meritage 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pleasant weekday Meritage red blend won’t blow your head off. The style is soft and easy to drink with plummy blackberry and savoury south Okanagan desert scrub to keep it interesting. Lamb chops would be a fun match, or a pan of grilled root vegetables. The fruit comes from the south Okanagan from Maverick Vineyard, near the Osoyoos airstrip. It’s a 65/25/10 blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc from the challenging 2019 vintage that eventually under lower yields, surprised with its quality. A five-day cold soak containing 10 percent whole bunches builds fruit and flavour intensity without alcohol. Post ferment, it spends 14 months ageing in French oak, of which only 10 percent is new.Prices:
BC$29.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Nobs and Snobs Malbec Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

Nobs and Snobs Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThis Clare Valley red is an unusual mix of 61% malbec and 39% cabernet sauvignon, with a year in older French and American oak. It is reasonably fragrant with upfront cedar and leather notes that mix with blueberries, black plums, and black raspberries. The style is lush and full-bodied, but the finish is warm and leathery dry. This will need a piece of well-marbled grilled beef to pull it all together. Not for the timid. Drink now or hold it through 2024.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: RedHeads Wine
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17 November 2022

Vidal-Fleury Cairannetext
89PTS

Vidal-Fleury Cairanne 2019

Cairanne, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceEstablished in 1781 in the Northern Rhône, Vidal-Fleury is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Rhône. This Cairanne, from the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, blends grenache, syrah, and mourvèdre. The parts were separately native fermented in a mix of stainless and wood, and remained for 10 months prior to the final blend. Black raspberry, cherry are lined with a stony underlay and carried with a bright acidity. Tannins are ample, but well knit, taking this to a warming, spiced finish. Drinking smartly now, ideally with roast veg / pork dishes.Prices:
QC$23.00750ml
Producer: Vidal-Fleury
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Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône Villages Louistext
87PTS

Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône Villages Louis 2020

Côtes du Rhône Villages, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceCuvée Louis is named for all the great Louis' out there, including the namesake of this winery. This CdR Villages blends 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah from Sablet and Signarues, blending the former's sandy soils with the latter's river stone pebbles. After each is fermented separately over 1 year (Syrah in French barrels and Grenache in tank), they are blended. Ripe and dense with sweet baked raspberry, medicinal cherry, and baking spices, hugged by sticky tannins to a shorter, bitter finish. A chewier red, for hearty braises.Prices:
ON$16.95750ml
Producer: Louis Bernard
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Nederburg The Motorcycle Marveltext
87PTS

Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2016

Western Cape, South AfricaThis series is named after special people in the history of the legendary company (since 1791) and this cuvée of carignan, shiraz, grenache, and mourvèdre from across the Western Cape was named in honour of Günter Brözel, a Nederburg winemaker who rode by motorcycle and was awarded the International Winemaker of the Year in 1985. The high proportion of grenache is most likely influencing the browning hue here, and imparting the leathery underlay to this blend. Dried cherry, dried leaves, nutmeg fill out the rest of this aging blend, with a chewy texture and sticky tannins. The oxidative finish carries salted dried fruits. This is a couple of years past prime now, but still an interesting drink for those looking for a relatively affordable aged wine to open tonight.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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Gérard Bertrand Château de Villemajou Grand Vin Rougetext
0PTS

Gérard Bertrand Château de Villemajou Grand Vin Rouge 2016

Corbières, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceCorked, try another one.Prices:
BC$57.99750ml
QC$41.50750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Moon Curser Dead of the Nighttext
90PTS

Moon Curser Dead of the Night 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you need a recipe for a giant red wine, the Moon Curser flagship Dead of the Night is it. The blend is 51/49 East Osoyoos Bench tannat/syrah, which is about as hefty as it gets in the red wine business. 2020 was a spectacular year in the south Okanagan, described at Moon Curser as a year to remember for many reasons: "the quality of the grapes harvested, the fantastic flavour development and the balanced accumulation of sugars and acidity." It's dense and dark with a strong licorice undercurrent that almost smothers the blueberry, dark plum, and peppery fruit. The tannins are healthy and youthful and will require at least five years of bottle age to be totally resolved. The alcohol seems better managed this year, so it will be interesting to see how this develops down the road. For now, only the richest beef dishes will be able to take it on. I'm thinking of a roast leg of lamb. The oak regime is a mix of 225-litre French oak barriques (29 percent new) mixed with remaining neutral oak barrels.Prices:
BC$43.99750ml
Producer: Moon Curser
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16 November 2022

Black Hills Ipso Factotext
93PTS

Black Hills Ipso Facto 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIpso Facto grabbed a Platinum medal at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada with this impressive riff on the classic Australian blend of 55/45 cabernet sauvignon/shiraz. The 2020 vintage is a delight to drink, thanks to its balance and elegance — a trademark of the style of winemaker Ross Wise MW. Look for dense aromas of black and blue fruits, dark chocolate and sweet spice that spill across a silky palate with a complex underscore. It is crazy to drink this wine now, but you could, given its balance. Think Penfolds Bin 389 in the south Okanagan. Impressive, to say the least.Prices:
BC$55.00750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Gérard Bertrand L'Hospitalitastext
92PTS

Gérard Bertrand L'Hospitalitas 2019

La Clape, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThe L'Hospitalet sits on the coast's edge, overhanging the Mediterranean sea, providing protection from the hottest days and nights and leaving the wine with adequate acidity keeping it fresh and vibrant. It's rich in fossils, marls, and chalky soil, and location at the foot of the cliff holds a steady supply of water to keep the vines happy in summer. In contrast, the red Mediterranean soil over bluish-grey compact limestone contributes a rich, concentrated character to the vines. The syrah and mourvèdre blend comes with plenty of aromatics and embraces the oak without being overwhelmed. Look for violets, blackberries, and cherry jam laced with garrigue which keeps it interesting. The finish is cracked black pepper with dense sweet tannins, requiring five years to dissipate, so cellar this through 2024. If you must drink, a leg of lamb is the best bet now. In the Middle Ages, l'Hospitalitas was a place of refuge for pilgrims, protected from fierce winds and the punishing summer sun by a high cliff.Prices:
BC$85.00750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Gérard Bertrand Clos d'Oratext
95PTS

Gérard Bertrand Clos d'Ora 2015

Minervois la Liviniere, Minervois, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThe Minervois sub-region of La Livinière’s sandstone, limestone, and marl soils has long been recognized as a terroir of great note, and Clos d’Ora is a shining example. The tiny, perfect, nine hectare vineyard sits at an altitude of 220 meters and is cultivated using biodynamic methods. Only live horsepower is employed between the vine rows. The blend of syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and carignan is macerated by block in separate batches in unlined, thermoregulated concrete vats. The syrah is the backbone of this blend but while it is powerful and complex it has a sense of grace and balance that puts it in the top echelon of fine French wine, while elevating the Languedoc brand worldwide. All fruit comes from biodynamically cultivated vines that thrive in the sunlight and garigue-splashed vineyards of Minervois. Black fruits streaked with subtle licorice, dried herbs, and pepper permeate its dense tannin structure that melts in the mouth. A huge shift in the daytime and nighttime temperatures contribute to its vibrant acidity, the final element in what is a fabulous young wine. Collectors will cellar this for a decade to begin and experiment form there.Prices:
CDN$294.99750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Burrowing Owl Athenetext
89PTS

Burrowing Owl Athene 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Athene blends 52% syrah with 48% cabernet sauvignon from their Black Sage Bench vineyard. Destemmed grapes were cofermented, and then transferred to barrels for MLF and 18 months' aging in a mix of French, American, and Hungarian wood (33% new). The syrah totally dominates this year, with ample fragrant violets, blackberry jam, cassis filling the plush palate, framed by lightly grippy tannins. Friendly and ready to drink now, yet serious enough to open with lamb chops.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rougetext
90PTS

M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rouge 2020

Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Roussillon, Sud de France, FranceI have nothing new to say here. Know that the Chapoutier team has one mentality: that every wine should be made to show its absolute best, no matter the price. Bila-Haut is a billboard for the Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages. Fragrant, savoury, mouth-filling with juicy, plummy, wild, peppery fruit, this slides down effortlessly. It is a simply delicious, biodynamically farmed red selling at a bargain price: back up the truck. The syrah, grenache, and carignan are hand-harvested, destemmed, and macerated for two to four weeks before ageing nine months in a 70/30 mix of stainless steel vats and mainly new demi-muids.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
AB$17.00750ml
QC$16.35750ml
Producer: M. Chapoutier
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Burrowing Owl Athenetext
89PTS

Burrowing Owl Athene 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 19 Athene is a 52/48 syrah/cabernet sauvignon from the Black Sage Bench. It's not quite up to the French oak Ipso Facto in texture, but this is another fine rendition of the classic Australian blend. BC syrah can be a mouthful, and in 2019 it left a significant impression on this wine. The grapes are cofermented and barrel aged for 18 months in a mix of French, American, and Hungarian wood (33% new). On the nose, you get an instant hit of syrah with its violets and pepper. There are some slightly sticky tannins in the finish, but nothing that will stop you from drinking it now through 2025. Vegetarians will like the winery's suggestion of serving this with a grilled portobello mushroom dish.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Les Vignerons du Castelas Côtes du Rhônetext
88PTS

Les Vignerons du Castelas Côtes du Rhône 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceThe winegrowers of Castelas created their cooperative cellar in 1952, the same year the AOC Côtes du Rhône was developed. Today, 45 families make up the cooperative, and the cellar's vineyard covers 450 hectares, mainly in Côtes du Rhône. The red is a 60/40 mix of syrah and grenache with vines averaging an impressive 30 years of age. The nose is a mix of red and black, and the flavours are wild berries dusted with pepper. A soft, round, correct and ready to drink wine.Prices:
BC$20.99750ml
Producer: Les Vignerons du Castelas
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Kismet Estate Mokshatext
89PTS

Kismet Estate Moksha 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of 45% syrah is mixed with malbec, grenache, mourvédre, and viognier from several top Osoyoos vineyards. Another full-bodied red, Moksha leads with its spice, but this time there is some underlying acidity to help carry a weighty mid-palate to a spicy, meaty, savoury finish. Half Oz, half Rhône, all Okanagan, you can drink this now with a favourite lamb dish, or cellar it for three to five more years.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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15 November 2022

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Interloper Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Interloper Gewurztraminer 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Greata Ranch Estate, this gew was partially macerated on skins for 12 hour, with the remaining 60% whole bunch pressed. After a 3 week maceration this aged in stainless until the following spring. Dryer-styled, this medium+ white buzzes with ginger, ripe pear, lychee on a slender, but textural palate thanks to the skin contact, with a hint of soap on the finish. A smart choice for cracking now, suited to lightly spiced Chinese dishes.Prices:
BC$19.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Interloper Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Interloper Gewurztraminer 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is all Greata Ranch fruit planted in 1996 on the south field of the estate, a slight stretch of vineyard land that sits between Peachland and Summerland just above the lake. A portion of the fruit (40%) gets about 12 hours of skin contact, while the remaining is whole bunch pressed. Post ferment, it is held in stainless steel until a spring bottling. Look for a mostly dry style with an aromatic nose of litchi, ginger, white flowers, and pears. The palate is almost a carbon copy with a squeeze of citrus. It is light, breezy, well balanced, with no bitter notes, and will have a lot of fans and work with most south Asian dishes with a pop of heat. The Fitzpatrick style is pure, and this is the poster child.Prices:
BC$19.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Peak Cellars Broken Granite Gewürztraminertext
90PTS

Peak Cellars Broken Granite Gewürztraminer 2021

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Block 12 Gew comes off the oldest block of gewürztraminer at Carr's Landing Vineyard where it has a visible soil profile of broken granite. It is fermented in a combination of two-year-old oak and stainless steel, and the styling of this label is richer and drier, more in the Alsace style. Extra skin contact adds the ginger spice, floral litchi, and more concentration. You think it will be sweet but it isn’t. Another impressive release and white wine you can drink all winter with substantial fare, a rarity among most BC gewürztraminers. Well done.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Peak Cellars
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Mayhem Fortified Gewürztraminertext
89PTS

Mayhem Fortified Gewürztraminer 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit was handpicked from Cellarsbend Vineyard in Naramata on October 10 at 28 Brix. The grapes are whole bunch pressed and kept at two degrees Celsius before being transferred to stainless where the grapes and juice receive a three day cold soak, followed by fermentation, eventually fortified with a grape-derived spirit to 18 percent alcohol, leaving a healthy amount of residual sugar. The finished juice was aged in a neutral oak vessel for 23 months before bottling, spending six months ageing outdoors in the Okanagan summer heat to help balance all the flavours and alcohol. It has a pleasant tropical fruit bent mixing mango, pears, and guava. Those flavours mix with caramel, raisins, tangerine, and exotic spices on the palate, while the alcohol and glycerol take over in the long warm, smooth finish. A fun drink that would be perfect with Christmas cake, a figgy pudding, or a bowl of spiced nuts.Prices:
BC$30.43500ml
Producer: Mayhem Wines Inc.
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14 November 2022

Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMade with grapes grown in select blocks at the West Kelowna estate, this pinot noir is the flagship red wine of the winery for a reason. It leads with ripe dark cherries layered with baking spices and dried rose petals. Concentrated and generous fruit on the palate is delicately framed by crisp acidity and fine grained tannins. It’s an elegant yet powerful pinot with long lingering savoury flavours. An excellent combination of New World richness with Old World structure and nuances.Prices:
BC$59.00750ml
AB$49.99750ml
MB$56.50750ml
ON$54.95750ml
QC$48.00750ml
SK$59.99750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis, their flagship pinot noir, comes off vineyards at their Mt. Boucherie estate. The grapes were cold soaked for 5 days prior to a ferment over 3 weeks on skins, followed by 16 months in new and neutral oak. A firm frame of upright cedar-lined tannins house soft and cushioned cherry, perfumed black raspberries, savoury cola, and sultry cinnamon spicing. A darker, fleshier pinot, suitable for duck.Prices:
BC$59.00750ml
AB$49.99750ml
MB$56.50750ml
ON$54.95750ml
QC$48.00750ml
SK$59.99750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pioneering BC winemaking family is also pioneers in pinot noir and chardonnay. This classic pinot, from a variety of sites and clones, was cold soaked and fermented on skins for 2 weeks before being pressed to new and used French barrels for 10 months. Sultry plum, black cherry is drawn with brown spices and shaped with ample toasted cedar spices. Tannins are firm and somewhat blocky at this young stage, pinning this down to a bitter cherry end. Give this a bit more time in bottle to come about, or serve with juicy pork chops or mushroom ragout now.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
AB$30.99750ml
MB$30.00750ml
QC$29.10750ml
NS$30.00750ml
PEI$30.09750ml
YK$32.99750ml
SK$30.00750ml
NB$32.99750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStewart Family Reserve is typically a riper expression of Okanagan pinot noir and the excellent 2020 vintage is no different. Deeply coloured, this offers a dark, brooding nose of ripe macerated berries and cola, balanced by judicious wood and earth. There's a lot to like here, even at this early, youthful stage, with a beautiful balance of fruit, oak, and savoury complexity. It's still tightly wound, with richly concentrated fruit that's just starting to unfurl, and will effortlessly and gracefully improve over the next 5-7 years, though we know it has the pedigree to go much longer. Recommended.Prices:
BC$59.00750ml
AB$49.99750ml
MB$56.50750ml
ON$54.95750ml
QC$48.00750ml
SK$59.99750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Stewart Family Reserve has a long history of excellence. It is also a label that ages well, typically seven to ten years, with ease, especially in great years like 2020. It is richer and more complex than the regular version beginning with a deeper colour and riper fruit: more New World than Old World. The mid-palate is dense, with some sweet tannins to shed, but this is packed with possibilities that will unfurl slowly over the next five years. The use of oak is very judicious and will further accentuate its ability to mature fully in the bottle. Veal chops in a mushroom sauce would be the match now.Prices:
BC$59.00750ml
AB$49.99750ml
MB$56.50750ml
ON$54.95750ml
QC$48.00750ml
SK$59.99750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Simes Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Platinum Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine is all about texture, something winemaker Taylor Whelan attribute to a new regime working with Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir. "The combination of the more classic cherry and raspberry flavour profile from clone 667 and those soft, velvety tannins from clone 943 just work together so well." It opens slightly reductive with earthy mushroom mixing with dark cherry. The wine cleans up with time in the glass, so consider splash decanting it before serving. The fruit is farmed organically and fermented wild in 75/25 concrete and stainless steel. It's aged for 14 months in French oak.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Terralux Pinot Noirtext
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Terralux Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTerrralux runs a pop-up out of West Kelowna, while this single vineyard pinot noir comes off Chapman Vineyard located in Okanagan Falls. The nose is slightly subdued, with savoury, earthy, black cherry. The palate is similar in style, treading on the drier, earthier, savoury aspects, with notes of soy, dried herbs, and subtle black cherry. Try this with duck paté.Prices:
Producer: Terralux Estate Winery
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Storm Haven Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Storm Haven Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is the second release of the Storm Haven wines from Synchromesh, with all the fruit coming off their spectacularly diverse 107 acre home site in Okanagan Falls. This Storm Haven Pinot Noir used to be released under their black label, but now has moved over to new blue wax / cross hatch packaging to reflect the home site / Storm Haven portfolio. The 2020 comes off their Amelia Block's clay and granite, as well as Block 4's decomposing granite and sandy gravels. The mix of clones 114, 115, 667, 777, and 828 give a sultry, darkly perfumed black plum blackberry, cassis, and crushed violets to this fleshy red, one bound by finely sticky tannins, lined with fine leather, and lifted by an easy stony acidity. There's a lingering pink peppercorn / charcoal dust on the stony finish. Alan, the king of Riesling, has been slowing working on his red wines, and this smart pinot shows how far he's come. Enjoy with a light chill.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Saddle Blocktext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Saddle Block 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Grant Stanley is a pinot-phile of the first order. He is all about respecting the site, something you see in this savoury, dark-fruited pinot pitching with prominent floral notes and sweet baking spices on the nose. The palate mixes cool plums, blueberries, and a dusting of mineral, earthy, tobacco, all over a silky undercarriage. Match this up with grilled root vegetables, salmon, or a duck pizza. Saddle Block Vineyard takes its name from the saddle shaped site home to the 12 year old vines growing at 1550’ above sea level in South East Kelowna. The site is planted with a mix of clones: 33% Dijon 777, 28% Dijon 667, 17% Dijon 115, 11% Dijon 828, and 11% of California’s Mt. Eden clone. The Spearhead single vineyard pinots are all processed the same way: hand-harvested, cold-soaked for 5-7 days, followed by a natural, 16 to 21-day ferment. It then spends over a year in French oak barrels (approximately 25 percent new). The Saddle Block Pinot Noir resides within the new East Kelowna Slopes sub-GI.Prices:
BC$33.00750ml
Producer: Spearhead Winery
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
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Spearhead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat Vineyard 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSummerland is home to the Golden Retreat Vineyard and pinot noir clones 667, Pommard, 115, and 777, all of which are hand harvested. Winemaker Grant Stanley destems the berries and cold soaks them for approximately 5-7 days before a spontaneous fermentation that ends after a total of 16 to 21 days of skin contact. The finished wine spends 13 months in French oak barrels, of which 25 percent is new. This New World pinot comes darker in colour and a touch more assertive upfront. The attack is savoury, spicy plum, black raspberry, and dark chocolate. A perfect fall red you can pair with mushrooms or pork with ease. Drink or hold through 2028.Prices:
BC$38.00750ml
Producer: Spearhead Winery
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Scorched Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Scorched Pinot Noir 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine is showing some age opening with a smoky, earthy, underbrush current with a touch of sweet caramel. The texture is smooth and glycerol with quiet cherry, black tea, leather, and forest floor through a drying finish. This needs drinking now before the fruit completely goes. On to the next vintage.Prices:
BC$30.95750ml
Producer: Scorched Earth
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Quails' Gate Dijon Clone Pinot Noirtext
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Quails' Gate Dijon Clone Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Dijon Clone Pinot Noir is an exclusive selection of 828, 777, and 667 plantings first brought to Canada by founder Ben Stewart, along with numerous other Burgundian clones. At 15 years of age, the vines planted in sandy loams are coming into their own. The style is denser than most, with enough ripe tannins to age gracefully. Look for a red, black, and blue fruit nose with a subtle savoury dusting. The palate is firm, the tannins dense and sweet with cherry pie and brown spices. Drink or hold, this wine isn’t going anywhere. Take this to richer dishes like Asian spiced duck, venison, or a Moroccan tagine leg of a lamb.Prices:
BC$49.00750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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11 November 2022

Santa Margherita Rosatotext
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Santa Margherita Rosato 2021

Veneto, ItalyFrom the smartly named IGT Trevenezie (I may be biased) this is a new rosato listing from the well-known Santa Margherita brand. This blend of Chardonnay (from the mountainous area of Trentino), Sauvignon Blanc (from the Adriatic shores), and a touch of Venetian Pinot Nero is going for the lucrative Provençal rosé crowd. Fermented in stainless, this pale-peach hued pink is glossy with raspberry, tangerine, and fine spice on a compact, somewhat tart, and thankfully bone dry palate. Chill well and drink now.Prices:
BC$20.00750ml
Producer: Santa Margherita S.P.A.
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Crowsnest Similkameen Sunsettext
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Crowsnest Similkameen Sunset 2021

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNow, 24 years along, Crowsnest is in the hands of the second generation. Similkameen Sunset blends pinot auxerrois with pinot noir into a sweet, almost port-ish light red, with browning spices, bruised strawberry, and rhubarb jam on a shorter palate. Needs some winemaking tweaking here.Prices:
BC$16.45750ml
Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards
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Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirstext
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Stag's Hollow Blanc de Noirs 2021

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Blanc de Noirs has improved yearly, and less skin contact and more whole-bunch-press have added a bit more style to the ‘21. So has more battonage and less wood. The colour is barely there, pink followed by a peachy floral nose with a hint of brown spice. The balance of sugar and acid on the palate is perfect at 4.5 g/L of residual sugar, revealing baked apple favours streaked with peach and caramel, again well balanced by a fresh finish. Delicious stuff. It’s all Okanagan Falls pinot noir farmed on Stag’s Hollow Vineyard (gravels & coarse glacial till) and Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard (gravels, glacial till & silty loam). I like the winery’s adventurous pairings: Fish and chips, Jamon Iberico, olives, oysters, peppery arugula salads, shredded pork tacos, and truffle fries.Prices:
BC$25.00750ml
AB$29.00750ml
Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Black Hills Rosétext
90PTS

Black Hills Rosé 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe ’21 Rosé is another wine Ross Wise has tweaked, from the colour, to the grapes, to flavours, and it’s all the better for it. Wise, a newly minted Master of Wine, takes his inspiration from the south of France. It is a 70/16/14 mix of syrah, grenache, and mourvèdre crafted in a very fresh, charming style that begs for food and good company. The alcohol at 13.2 is in check, and the pale, juicy strawberry and raspberry call for one appetizer after another. The choice is yours.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Scorched Bearly Blushing Pinot Noir Rosetext
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Scorched Bearly Blushing Pinot Noir Rose 2020

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA new label for us opens with a pinkish-orange salmon colour. The organically grown pinot noir pink is a delicate affair, sharing fresh cut strawberries, citrus, and watermelon dusted in honeysuckle. The palate is similar, and best of all, this tart, bone dry rosé doesn’t overreach itself. Clean, fresh, and eye-pleasing, it is well suited to an array of appetizers, from sushi rolls to charcuterie.Prices:
BC$21.95750ml
Producer: Scorched Earth
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Pentâge Winery Rosétext
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Pentâge Winery Rosé 2021

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPentâge Winery is family owned and operates 35 acres overlooking Skaha Lake in Penticton. The rosé fruit comes from an interesting field blend that involves seven different varieties led by syrah and zinfandel. It opens with candied strawberry and caramel, with a touch of violets. The palate is equally intense with pink grapefruit and ripe strawberry and watermelon. Rich, soft, ripe, and ready to drink, this would be a fine foil to spicy appetizers. The fruit gets a lengthy 30 hour cold soak, hence its deep pink glow. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks and it is a blend of five picks, all fermented separately with 3 different yeasts.Prices:
BC$20.00750ml
Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Maçanita Touriga Nacional em Rosétext
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Maçanita Touriga Nacional em Rosé 2021

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalSiblings Antonio and Joana Maçinata work together on this Douro Valley project. This Touriga Nacional rosé comes from the Cima Corgo, around 200m altitude. Gently crushed grapes were macerated for 3 to 6 hours, before ferment and a short rest in stainless. Pouring a pale pink, this is tight and salty, with wild cherry, wild raspberry, scrubby herbs on a stony palate, tightened with pink grapefruit acidity. There's a lovely ease and grace to this savoury-edged rosé, making it a real charmer.Prices:
ON$21.00750ml
Producer: Maçanita
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Terrelab Winemaker Series Tempranillo Rosétext
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Terrelab Winemaker Series Tempranillo Rosé 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTerreLab is new series of exclusive, small lot labels made by winemaker Val Tait for Gold Hill club members. Less than 50 cases allow for precision and reflect the site and meso-climate. One of the first offerings is this tempranillo rosé. Look for an orange/pink colour, bright acid, red licorice, and low alcohol, all with a pleasant, savoury palate. A fabulous pink for food. Well done.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Domaine Respelido Tavel Rosétext
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Domaine Respelido Tavel Rosé 2021

Tavel, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThe cooperative cellar of the winegrowers of Castelas, created in 1952, works with wines of the Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues, IGP du Gard, and AOP Tavel, the latter of which is the origin of Respelido. The wine comes from an ancient Tavel property bought by one of the family founders of Les Vignerons du Castelas in early 2000. It was wholly replanted in 2015. Respelido gets 18 hours of skin contact before it's fermented in stainless steel resulting in a much darker coral colour than its Provençal cousins. It's a 90/10 blend of grenache/syrah that opens with cherry, mandarin, and red currant. It is fresh and well balanced, and comes with a structure not generally associated with modern rosés. You can comfortably bring this wine to the dinner table and pair it with mussels, chicken, salmon, or roasted vegetables.Prices:
BC$28.49750ml
Producer: Les Vignerons du Castelas
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Township 7 Rosé Provenance Seriestext
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Township 7 Rosé Provenance Series 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year, I am surprised at how refreshing and delicate this wine presents, given its makeup of grapes: 53 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet franc, and 7 percent cabernet sauvignon. It is all unoaked, adding to its lively, fruity demeanour and bright acidity. The colour is pale pink, and the flavour profile is very southern Rhône. Well done and food friendly. Stock up.Prices:
BC$26.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Rosatotext
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Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Rosato 2021

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeply hued rosé of dolcetto calls itself a rosato, harkening to the grape's Italian roots. From their estate Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, in OK Falls, this was foot stomped, and has spent 5 days on skins in cold maceration, hence the deeper, gutsy, glowing hue. Post concrete fermentation, this rested in stainless prior to bottling. Salted plum, rhubarb pie and peppery spice fill a juicy, silken palate, with a dusting of sweet nutmeg and cinnamon on the bitter edged finish. This has some tannins from skin time, encouraging partnering with protein.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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10 November 2022

Scorched Merlottext
87PTS

Scorched Merlot 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is an Oliver-based 100 percent merlot aged 24 months in 40 percent new French oak barrels followed by 18 months in bottle before release. 2017 is lighter in colour than 2016, with a slightly muted nose leaning to a leafy, earthy, savoury side that carries onto the palate. Black cherry and cocoa powder line a round soft palate with little or no tannin at this point. It lacks charm; otherwise, it is an authentic merlot ready to drink. We suggest a mushroom chicken dish to set it off.Prices:
BC$30.95750ml
Producer: Scorched Earth
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Scorched Merlottext
89PTS

Scorched Merlot 2016

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted side by side against 2017, this wine is darker in colour and more intense on the nose. The fruit came from the Golden Mile Bench and was aged 24 months in 40 percent new French oak barrels, followed by 18 months in the bottle before release. The attack is aromatic and intense, with a lifted cassis aroma. It mixes very ripe blackberries, dark plums and mocha flavours through a spicy finish — a blast from the past. The tannins are negligible, suggesting you can drink this now with pleasure. It would be a perfect sidekick to T-bone steaks and some fried onions to play up the savoury undercurrent.Prices:
BC$30.95750ml
Producer: Scorched Earth
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Merlottext
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Merlot 2016

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith a garnet hue, this merlot feels a bit muted on the nose showing slightly evolved dark fruit along with some woodsy oak nuances and a hint of dried herbs. Richer and more concentrated on the palate, red berries and plum, layered with subtle oyster sauce umami, are framed by adequate wood tannins that are felt at the back. A straightforward finish gives it a slight smoky aftertaste.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards
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Crowsnest Family Merlottext
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Crowsnest Family Merlot 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Similkameen merlot opens with bright red fruit and blackberries with some oak spices. The 14.5% alcohol is unexpectedly not obvious on the palate. The whole is lifted by the fresh acidity, making it feel lighter. Supple tannins and chocolatey sweetness make it more approachable and enjoyable. An easy drinking, juicy merlot.Prices:
BC$35.99750ml
Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards
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09 November 2022

Phantom Creek Estates Small Lot Riesling Limited Editiontext
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Phantom Creek Estates Small Lot Riesling Limited Edition 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis tiny lot riesling comes from the spectacularly stony, windy Similkameen Valley, the next valley west of the south Okanagan. The nose is a muted lemon affair with light mineral notes. The palate is pleasantly balanced but perhaps a little flat or, to be fair, rich for riesling acid freaks. It is aged in Austrian oak foudres. Overall the wine is crisp and tasty, and ready to drink. These are young vines and early days, but this is a good start for Phantom Creek in the Similkameen as Olivier Humbrecht works to interpret a very young vineyard site. Lots of texture and complexity here in a wine built to age.Prices:
BC$33.00750ml
Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Phantom Creek Estates Rieslingtext
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Phantom Creek Estates Riesling 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe red wines at Phantom Creek get most of the press, but the white wines under the direction of noted Alsace winemaker Olivier Humbrech are no less impressive. In 2020 Hunbrecht captured all the power of the vintage and funnelled it into this Black Sage Bench riesling. The nose is warm and fragrant with exotic phenolic notes mixed with honeysuckle, pears, orange zest, and plenty of creamy, eggy notes in the finish. It is more Alsace in style and 19 months in Austrian white oak foudres solidifies the notion. Perfect for rich winter meals.Prices:
BC$33.00750ml
Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Hugel Estate Rieslingtext
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Hugel Estate Riesling 2016

Alsace, FranceThe Hugel Riesling was reset in 2016 thanks to a new parcellaire selection of carefully chosen plots from the Famille Hugel estate in Riquewihr. Most of the plots for this new wine are being converted to organic viticulture, something new for the soils of Riquewihr, which in and around the Schoenenbourg are known for the minerality they can bring to a wine. The style is just off-dry and aromatic, but it's more elegant than in previous years. You can look for plenty of lime, lemongrass, and peachy mango flavours. A benchmark for sure. Alsace escaped the hail and frost in 2016, and the crop is generous. Notably, 2016 is the first vintage in over a decade when no botrytis wines were made at Hugel.Prices:
BC$19.95750ml
Producer: Hugel et Fils
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Storm Haven Boulders Rieslingtext
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Storm Haven Boulders Riesling 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is the second release of the Storm Haven wines from Synchromesh, with all the fruit coming off their spectacularly diverse 107 acre home site in Okanagan Falls. This marks the debut vintage of Boulders, a tiny block planted in 2017 between the original plantings and their Cabernet Franc. The young vines are rooted in heavy clays and rocky granite over sandy gravels. Much drier than most of Alan's wines, this has just a blip of RS at 14.95 g/L, so up against the TA of 8.175 and 3.2pH feels positively stark in the lineup. The style allows the crushed stones, rock salts, meadow grass, pear skin to rule the shier palate, with that weighed clay underlay providing a solid base. The finish spins out quickly with lime leaf and fine salinity. Will be interesting to watch this young block mature. 23 cases made.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Storm Haven Gold Digger Rieslingtext
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Storm Haven Gold Digger Riesling 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is the second release of the Storm Haven wines from Synchromesh, with all the fruit coming off their spectacularly diverse 107 acre home site in Okanagan Falls. This marks the debut vintage of Gold Digger, a section of the north block, planted in 2016 on slate and sandy gravels. Crushed stone, honeycomb, brown butter is the savoury base for coursing apricot, lime pith and peel, and tangerine, all lingering long on the stone licked finish. The fractured slate soils certainly yield a fine backbone and hint of gravitas to these young vines, a verve that will continue to deepen as the vines age. Love the savoury subtleties here. Impressive. 7.35%, 2.8pH, 11.925 TA, 65.27 g/L RS.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Storm Haven Gibson Block 3 Rieslingtext
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Storm Haven Gibson Block 3 Riesling 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is the second release of the Storm Haven wines from Synchromesh, with all the fruit coming off their spectacularly diverse 107 acre home site in Okanagan Falls. Gibson's Block is on decomposed granite and sandy gravels, the earthy grippy underlay providing a lovely contrast to the lush peach, fragrant mango, tangerine, lime rind, honeysuckle streaming through the mid-sweet core. This juicy, mouth filling wine is slight by alcohol standards (7.63%) but flooded with flavour and energy, trailing off with a saline lift, encouraging glass after glass. A delight. 2.75pH, 12.105 TA, 69.26 g/L RS.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Storm Haven Riesling Drytext
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Storm Haven Riesling Dry 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2020 is the second release of the Storm Haven wines from Synchromesh, with all the fruit coming off their spectacularly diverse 107 acre home site in Okanagan Falls. This spectacular Dry Riesling could be considered the GG of Alan's exemplary range, and is the result of 10 years of experimentation on the site. A dry rarity from Alan, this slender, sleek white streams apricot, pear skin, green apple, Asian pear, subtle anise, and lime pith along the palate, with nervous bony tension playing off against a gentle cushion of earthy lees. The long finish lingers with herbal salinity. Mouthwatering, and energetic, with 3.17pH, 7.575 TA, 2.5 g/L RS, and 13%.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Monte Creek Ranch Rieslingtext
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Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2021

British Columbia, CanadaRiesling is one of the Monte Creek stars, and 2021 is no exception. The Living Land label is sourced from a single vineyard site in the Similkameen Valley, which sits on an old stony riverbed. Inherent pure flavours allow them to pick this fruit earlier to keep the wine super fresh, primarily dry (6.7 g/L RS), and full of attractive citrus and mineral with perfect balance. The solution has a touch of residual carbon dioxide because of a very cold ferment that protects the wine and keeps sit fresh under the screwcap. I love the style here, and this will cellar for five to seven years with ease. Fine value.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Rieslingtext
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Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Riesling 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere is much to like about this wine, and it’s more than the Bohemian thing. The nose is bright with a mix of tropical and orchard fruit. The flavours are ripe with a green citrus theme that slides into stony mineral saline before finishing just off-dry. Best of all, it’s just quietly sophisticated, a grown-up wine for grown-ups. Mix and match duck, chicken, fish, pork, and Chinese, Thai, or Japanese. At Winemaker’s Cut, the Bohemian tier is dedicated to wines that exemplify their unique South Okanagan terroir and a self-described unconventional winemaking style. The 2020 riesling is a 500-case release grown at the 1.8-hectare Chahal Vineyard just north of Oliver, where the dirt is sandy loam and gravel, and the vines are 12 years old. The ferment is long at 71 days, with 22 percent barrel fermented for texture, while 10 percent gets 14 days of skin contact for aromatics.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Rieslingtext
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Riesling 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit comes from Block 8, North Field at Greata Ranch in Peachland, and Covert Farms Vineyard in Oliver. A little sweet with 15.2 g/L sugar that plays up against a Granny Smith apple acidity for balance before finishing sweet and sour and just a bit short. Clean and simple, this needs drinking now. I like the winery food matches: Vietnamese lemongrass pork, or chicken.Prices:
BC$19.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Rieslingtext
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Lookout Riesling 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith fruit from their Greata Ranch estate and Covert Farms in Oliver, this riesling went through a long, cool stainless ferment, where it remained until early spring 2022 and bottling. The bump of RS (15.2 g/L) works to meet the zingy acidity here, leaving yellow apple, pear skin, sour melon and lemon sherbet on the shorter finish.Prices:
BC$19.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Rieslingtext
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Riesling 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNow, 24 years along, Crowsnest is in the hands of the second generation. From older estate vines, this Similkameen riesling is laced with lime pith, pulp, yellow apple, and petrol lees, the latter squashing the fruit somewhat through the shorter, sherbet finish. Chill well and crack with sweet sauced Chinese dishes.Prices:
BC$22.50750ml
Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards
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Weingut F. X. Pichler Riesling Ried Burgstalltext
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Weingut F. X. Pichler Riesling Ried Burgstall 2021

AustriaFounded in Oberloiben in 1898, the Pichler estate has developed a reputation as a Grüner Veltliner specialist since Franz Pichler Sr began selecting his own clones in 1928. His grandson son Lucas joined the winery team in 1996, taking over winemaking at the estate in 1999 and assuming management of the whole estate in 2009. Lucas manages the winery together with his wife Johanna, representing the 5th generation to farm these lands. The Burgstall vineyard refers to a crag bedrock plateau towering 30 metres above, bordering Unterloiben to the east. This sun drenched, wind swept vineyard is situated at the westernmost end of this rock terrace, and the soils consist of pure gneiss and granite, with a shallow topsoil of sand. Bone dry and energetic, with crunchy green apple, Asian pear, lemon pith, verbena strung across a buzzy granitic baseline. Whiffs of elderflower and struck stone scent the juicy, vibrant palate, finishing with lingering lime pith and saline notes. Lovely energy here in this pure riesling, drinking smartly now, and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$59.00750ml
Producer: F.X. Pichler
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Crowsnest Family Reserve Rieslingtext
87PTS

Crowsnest Family Reserve Riesling 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis dry riesling from the Similkameen shows a somewhat restrained nose of citrus and green apple with subtle leesy notes. Fruit feels slightly riper on the palate, revealing tangerine and white peach. It’s a fairly lean and austere style with marked acidity. This will do well with shucked oysters or sushi.Prices:
BC$22.50750ml
Producer: Crowsnest Vineyards
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08 November 2022

Black Hills Syrahtext
91PTS

Black Hills Syrah 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn update on what is still an excellent bottle of wine. A year down the road the colour remains is impossibly dark, the nose a refined and Rhoney floral affair with plums, blueberries, desert scrub, and meaty, smoky, peppery notes. The palate is all this and more with a touch of smoked meat and spice to further excite, along with bright acidity. Best of all is an impeccable balance that suggests this clone 99 syrah will age effortlessly and only get better through 2030. A reduction in oak, 20% new puncheons for 18 months, and no American wood made for a simple fix and a big time improvement in class. Lamb, anyone?Prices:
BC$42.00750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Township 7 Benchmark Series Syrah Fool's Gold Vineyardtext
90PTS

Township 7 Benchmark Series Syrah Fool's Gold Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis deeply coloured single vineyard syrah opens with plump red and black fruit mingled with savoury, peppery spices and subtle floral notes. Ripe and rich on the palate, the charming South Okanagan fruit is well-framed by crisp acidity and tight tannins. The relatively long finish leaves pleasant dark chocolatey bitterness. A wine for grilled lamb.Prices:
BC$45.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Backyard Vineyards Reserve Syrahtext
87PTS

Backyard Vineyards Reserve Syrah 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve Syrah is a barrel selection from 3 different parcels in the Southern Okanagan, with 20% whole cluster and 18 months in neutral French oak before bottling unfined and unfiltered. You can taste the forest fires of 2018 here, seeing this big, plush red through a smokey haze. Browning cherry, red currant, and worn leather are pinned by sticky tannins and seasoned with baking spices. This wine is tiring before its time, though it could be suited to cracking into now with a roast beef sandwich or the like.Prices:
BC$55.00750ml
Producer: Backyard Vineyards
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Backyard Vineyards Simply Social Syrahtext
87PTS

Backyard Vineyards Simply Social Syrah 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThis easy, mouth-filling south Okanagan syrah spent one year in mostly neutral oak, resulting in a plump, ripe spiced red with blackberry jam, juicy plum, toasted coconut and black pepper. Tannins are cushy, hugging this to a warming, soft, red currant finish. Crack into now with lamb burgers.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Backyard Vineyards
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Code Wines Single Clone Syrahtext
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Code Wines Single Clone Syrah 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis new Okanagan winery is the vision of Shay and Harlee Code, the farmers and owners of this organic 5-acre Okanagan Falls east bench estate. They began planting in 2017 with chardonnay and syrah. Over the past three years, they've made their wines at Naramata's Roche Winery but have recently launched their operation. This 2020 Syrah is from a single unknown clone planted in 2017 across two blocks on their Peach Cliff Mountain estate vineyard. It spent one year in French oak (25% new) bottled unfined and unfiltered. Sultry and silken dark plum, brooding blackberry, and downy violet fill a juicy, softer palate with fuzzy/furry tannins and a slurry of cracked pepper on the brief finish—a gentle syrah for taking now with a chill and plate of grilled sausages.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Code Wines
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Township 7 Benchmark Series Syrah Fool's Gold Vineyardtext
91PTS

Township 7 Benchmark Series Syrah Fool's Gold Vineyard 2019

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis single vineyard syrah comes off the river rock-strewn soils of Fool's Gold Vineyard on Tucelnuit Drive in Oliver, and is co-fermented with a ten percent splash of viognier. It's a beautiful expression of Okanagan syrah, with a combination of lush dark berries, gamey meat, aromatic spices, and perfumed violets. Both complex and precise, there's a polish to the winemaking that stands out, with an underlying freshness that carries the wine through the finish, with very good length. Highly recommended.Prices:
BC$45.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Burrowing Owl Syrahtext
90PTS

Burrowing Owl Syrah 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 2020 the syrah and viognier (two percent) were hand-harvested in the second half of October from estate vineyards on the Black Sage Bench and in Osoyoos. They get a gentle crush before fermenting in stainless steel tanks with a small amount of syrah cofermented with viognier. Post-ferment, the juice is run into a particular mix of French, American, Hungarian, and Caucasus wood for 15 months (the new wood totals a modest 22 percent). The BOV style is meaty and peppery with a rich and savoury presence to offset the fruit, in this case, blackcurrants and black cherries dusted in brown spice. The syrah traditionally ages well, and I suspect this year will be no different. For the moment, lamb is the ultimate match in what would be a battle of rich versus rich flavours.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
AB$42.00750ml
ON$40.95750ml
Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Gold Hill Syrahtext
88PTS

Gold Hill Syrah 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis has a dry, firm nose with less aromatic notes this year. The smoke is not a big issue in the nose, but you taste some of that in the finish, where you get some subtle notes that are fighting it out with the pepper. A good wine meets a tough year. The palate is all anise and spice with smoky red fruit. The structure is firm and weighty, but this is best consumed with rich foods like duck or a pork roast to tame some of the tannins and dryness. It has been aged in French Oak barrels for 18 months.Prices:
BC$23.39750ml
Producer: Gold Hill Winery
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Backyard Vineyards Reserve Syrahtext
87PTS

Backyard Vineyards Reserve Syrah 2018

British Columbia, CanadaThe Reserve Syrah is a barrel selection from three Southern Okanagan parcels. It is less pure this year, hidden under a dusting of smoky skies, made even more evident by the 2020 sections in the tasting. Savoury forest floor, pepper, and licorice set the tone for a drier style that never really opens up in the glass. Simple but flavourful food is the best solution here. I think you get the picture: bacon burgers, ribs, barbecue chicken. Drink up sooner than later.Prices:
BC$55.00750ml
Producer: Backyard Vineyards
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Backyard Vineyards Simply Social Syrahtext
87PTS

Backyard Vineyards Simply Social Syrah 2019

British Columbia, CanadaIf we take this wine at its word or label it an easy sipping, everyday red, which is mostly right but in the end, it’s a syrah, so it’s a touch more than that. Post ferment it spends one year in neutral oak to give it oxygen resulting in a cushy, savoury, blackberry, plum jam red with a modicum of pepper in the finish. This is ready to drink, hence the simply social moniker, and would be a perfect partner for lamb chops or a pulled pork sandwich.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Backyard Vineyards
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Bartier Bros. Syrah Cerqueira Vineyardtext
91PTS

Bartier Bros. Syrah Cerqueira Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBartier Syrah is grown at Cerqueira Vineyard, which surrounds the winery on the unofficial GI, which Bartier calls the Black Sage Gravel Terrace. Winemaker Michael Bartier’s raison d’etre in winemaking is capturing as much of the vineyard nuances as he can and getting them in the bottle. Hence, a lush but slick syrah, awash in floral, savoury black and blue fruits with a scrubby, mineral finish. It often appears to be drinkable on release but don’t be fooled. It will go the distance in the bottle safe and secure under screwcap. Lamb is the match today, or mushroom risotto is in the future.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Moon Curser Contraband Syrahtext
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Moon Curser Contraband Syrah 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMoon Curser's Contraband Syrah is grown in a magical west-facing hillside block of the Bartsch Vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench, nicknamed The Hill. Add the 2020 vintage to the mix, and this wine reaches for the stars. The unforgettable season allowed for excellent flavour development and a balanced accumulation of sugars and acidity. The grapes were hand picked at 24.6 Brix and went to the fermenters as whole berries. The new oak total sits at one-third, seemingly plenty for this variety. This wine is all about intensity, concentration, and pureness of flavours. Blueberry jam is a sure sign of syrah nirvana. Dense, rich, powerful, and sophisticated, this wine has it all and it's a bright and long future. Once again, it is sold out at the winery, so you may have to call in some favours to smuggle a bottle. Or join Moon Curser's wine club.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Syrahtext
90PTS

Moon Curser Syrah 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOver the last decade, south Okanagan has been recognized as a consistent producer of top flight syrah. Add the outstanding 2020 vintage to the mix and you can expect big things from this simple but well made label. Mainly Osoyoos East Bench, the fruit jumps from the glass, a testament to light-handed winemaking. It gets 28 percent new oak, but the rest is all neutral, again letting the grapes shine through. I love the aromatics led by violets, pepper, and dark chocolate. The palate has all that and an intense savoury thread that turbocharges the blueberry and cumin notes that streak the juice. Fun to drink, but you can hold this for five years with no problems. Two percent tannat is the secret sauce here.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Moon Curser
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07 November 2022

Q and Atext
91PTS

Q and A 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJason Priestley, a former investor at Black Hills Estate Winery and Hollywood actor/director, is back in the wine business with media broadcaster Terry David Mulligan and winemaker Michal Mosny (Winemaker's Cut). The release of Q&A, a 2020 red blend, marks a return of Priestly to the B.C. wine scene after the sale of Black Hills to the Peller family. Mosny's hands-off winemaking at Winemaker's Cut has increased us for some time, always exhibiting a sense of finesse with most of his wines to date. Mosny's calm and efficient winemaking style is the perfect antidote to the Hollywood and Vine media rush the other partners will bring to the mix. The blend is a 45/38/13/4 cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot, all of which enjoyed ideal growing conditions in 2020. The nose is an attractive savoury mix of ripe blue fruits, sweet black raspberries, and fresh cloves. The textures are equally inviting thanks to an excellent vintage that pitches round, ripe, juicy fruit that slides down easily. The ripe fruit and oak are a little reminiscent of California cabernet sauvignon blends with a touch of Canadian restraint. You can drink this now through the next seven years as it matures in a bottle.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
AB$50.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Mission Hill Reserve Meritagetext
90PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Meritage 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYear after year, Mission Hill's Meritage is one of the best value red blends in the Okanagan, and the 2020 vintage ups the ante. Opening with ripe, shrubby wild berries, this offers no shortage of complexity with notes of spice, dried sage, chocolate, and balanced wood. It's a serious expression of the Okanagan, with the freshness and fine-grained structure to easily benefit from another 3-5 years in the bottle. Recommended.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée N° 24text
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Phantom Creek Estates Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée N° 24 2019

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPhantom Creek Vineyard turned 25 in 2021. Pioneering viticulturist Richard Cleave planted it in 1996 on the lower terrace of the Black Sage Bench. The little eight acre parcel is mostly cabernet sauvignon, and it is the lead grape at 55 percent in Cuvee No. 24. The balance starts with the alcohol at 13.8, which seems to fade into the texture with little or no influence on the flavour. It spends 19 months in French oak, half of which is new, but that too fades into the fold to support the fruit without interfering with flavours. The remaining blend 34/15/7/6/2 petit verdot, malbec, syrah, cabernet franc, and merlot disappear effortlessly into a highly refined mix of boysenberries, black cherries, earth, sagebrush, and dense sweet tannins. Already fabulous, this wine has a terrific future from a challenging year. Impressive, but you will have to join the club to get it.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Narrative Non-Fiction Red Blend by Okanagan Crush Padtext
89PTS

Narrative Non-Fiction Red Blend by Okanagan Crush Pad 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Non-Fiction red blends malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, and cabernet franc, all fermented and aged in concrete for 1 year. Fleshy with sarsaparilla, boysenberry, raspberry jam, and herbal cassis, this medium bodied red is seasoned with cracked pepper, and lifted with an easy acidity. Friendly, but not dumbed down at all, and ready for cracking into now.Prices:
BC$23.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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D'Angelo Dolce Vita Rossotext
89PTS

D'Angelo Dolce Vita Rosso NV

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe dessert wine category has its ups and downs with consumers, but some of the new experimental wines in BC contribute to a lift in interest in these sweeties. As the weather turns cold across the province, the Dolce Vita Rosso, tempranillo-based wine, might be what you need to warm up. The play is tempranillo ice wine juice mixed with brandy distilled from their grapes at Maple Leaf Spirits craft distillery, up the road on the Naramata bench. It’s a play on the Portuguese late bottled port style. There is less fragrance up front but the palate flavours are intense. Look for ripe black cherries and prunes dusted in milk chocolate with a hit of spirit spice in the finish. It is barrel aged for seven years. Unique and worth investigating if you are a dessert wine fan. Our bottle clocked in at 18.3 percent alcohol and 97 grams of residual sugar.Prices:
BC$42.90750ml
Producer: D'Angelo Estate Winery
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D'Angelo Sette Coppatext
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D'Angelo Sette Coppa 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Setta Coppa blend contains all five historic Bordeaux varieties: merlot cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot. The nose is mature offering dried leaves and balsamic notes. The attack is powerful with rich black fruit, licorice, sagebrush, and dark chocolate. It has that mid-valley freshness to keep it lively before the dense tannins kick in across the finish. It would appear to be on track for a minimum of ten years in the bottle of ageing. A little old style but certainly capable at the table with a classic beef Wellington or braised lamb stew.Prices:
BC$30.70750ml
Producer: D'Angelo Estate Winery
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D'Angelo Sette Coppa Apassimentotext
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D'Angelo Sette Coppa Apassimento NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe NV Setta Coppa Appassimento blend mixies cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot, only this time, the grapes were placed in a ventilated drying shed where they typically lose 25 to 30 percent of their water via evaporation (Amarone-like), further concentrating flavours before it goes to press. The attack is again powerful, but the flavours are more profound, darker, and smoother via the appassimento method and sixteen percent alcohol. Licorice and black currants with spicy desert scrub permeate a long, dense, persistent finish. There is no rush to drink this wine. It will age for a couple of decades, or you can serve it alongside the likes of venison, lamb, or mature, hard Italian cheeses.Prices:
BC$99.95750ml
Producer: D'Angelo Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Garlandtext
91PTS

Hester Creek Garland 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGarland is the Hester Creek flagship red, named after the longtime owner Curt Garland. The inaugural 2015 vintage first appeared in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of planting vinifera vines on the property in 1968. Garland has been made every year since. In 2019, Growing Degree Days (GDD) were 1598, above the 20-year average of 1474. A severe widespread frost throughout the Okanagan Valley ended the season on the night of October 9. What was a problem for reds grown further north wasn't on the Golden Mile Bench. The 2019 mix is 74 percent cabernet sauvignon, with 14/6/5/1 petit verdot, cabernet franc, malbec, and merlot. Post ferment, it's aged for 24 months in tight-grain French oak barrels. Because it's cabernet sauvignon dominant, it pitches youthful blackberry with streaks of licorice, cinnamon, balsamic, and sweet pipe tobacco before surrendering to a rush of velvety tannins. The Garland is always tighter and more focused than The Judge and is suited to more extended ageing. This one will need a decade or more.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Indigenous World Simotext
91PTS

Indigenous World Simo 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSimo, pronounced See-Moo, is the signature Bordeaux blend made at Indigenous World. Winemaker Jason Parkes has worked magic with this outstanding red, made in small lots and aged for 44 months at the winery. The blend is merlot led, mixed with cabernet sauvignon from the Okanagan Valley. Parkes has retained the balance and vibrancy of the vintage and used it to ignite a bouquet of black raspberries, leather, and vanilla that spill onto a lively palate with more of the same streaked with licorice and pepper. It is complex and elegant, which is no easy task. However, it is another example of why you should hunt for 2016 BC reds.Prices:
BC$64.99750ml
Producer: Indigenous World
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Black Hills Nota Benetext
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Black Hills Nota Bene 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Ross Wise is slowly tweaking Nota Bene, transforming a marketing icon success into an authentic icon wine worthy of all the hype and its price. The 2020 vintage is an excellent starting point, expressed by its refreshing plum, raspberry, and black cherry. Wise is also improving the texture of Nota Bene, dropping some of those green grippy tannins in favour of denser, sweeter, more refined tannins that effortlessly balance the fruit and acidity. He’s mixing crunchy red currant with milk chocolate, cloves, and savoury desert scrub to add complexity. Power and refinement are an excellent combination in a red blend, and the latest Nota Bene was heading in that direction in 2020. The final mix is 42/33/24/1 cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot that spent 18 months in French oak, 44 percent new.Prices:
BC$75.00750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Rougetext
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Gérard Bertrand Cigalus Rouge 2019

Sud de France, FranceA broad contribution of grapes is at the heart of Cigalus Rouge, a wine that reflects its sunny Mediterranean climate. The authentic Languedoc blend mixes cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, syrah, grenache, and caladoc that is all Demeter certified biodynamic. The ageing occurs in new 225L French oak barrels for 12 months before the final blend and bottling. This wine gets better every year as the vines connect to the terroir. Look for a storm of garrigue throughout the juicy black fruit, plums, and cherries flecked with white pepper, curry, mint, and licorice. Its easy southern demeanour invites you to sip it now, but don’t be fooled. This wine is built to age and will easily keep 10-15 years in the bottle on the way to its apex. A versatile food wine takes me to Bejing duck, spaghetti Bolognese, or a roasted shoulder of lamb. Technically the syrah and carignan are vinified separately as whole grapes with carbonic maceration. The rest of the grapes are destemmed and fermented the traditional way for 20 days.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Pentâge Winery Pentâgetext
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Pentâge Winery Pentâge 2016

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2016 Pentâge Blend is a 30/30/17/13/10 mix of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec from a very good vintage. It opens with an expansive nose of red and black fruits, showing some admirable maturity after spending 1.5 years of ageing in new to two year old French and American oak, and another 3.5 years at the winery’s rock cellar in the bottle. It has an intense spicy mulberry and blackcurrant profile running through the wine from front to back. The tannins are mostly resolved to leave a long and supple finish. It is genuinely a drink or cellar proposition. Beef will be my choice if you are opening it now.Prices:
BC$39.13750ml
Producer: Pentâge Winery
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04 November 2022

Château Pesquié Quintessence Rosétext
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Château Pesquié Quintessence Rosé 2020

Sud de France, FranceThis is the first vintage of what is described as a gastronomic rosé, (translation = made for food), from Pesquié. The Quintessence Rosé is a collaboration between Olivier Poussier (Best Sommelier of the World 2000), Emmanuel Gagnepain (oenologist), and the Chaudière brothers Fred and Alex. It is a 70/20/30 blend of mourvèdre, cinsault, and clairette, vinified and aged separately before the final cuvée. The key difference is in the maceration. The saignée, or bleed the tank, method is used for the cinsault while direct pressing is applied to the mourvèdre and the clairette. The fermentation and aging are done in a concrete egg for 12 months. The colour is coral pink, the nose ripe strawberries, and palate caramel-covered raspberries. There is some extra mid-palate weight to help with richer foods. Reminiscent of the richer spectrum of French rosé from the south. In Vancouver, Tandoori chicken is the match.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ascensiotext
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Château Pesquié Ascensio 2018

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceChâteau Pesquié is a remarkable convergence of limestone soils, altitude, and old vines mined to spawn a series of three single vineyard labels: Artemia, Silica, and this delight Ascensio. Its name celebrates the tradition of the ascent of the Mont Ventoux, which goes back to the XIV century. Ascensio is only produced in tiny quantities (less than 3000 bottles) and only in exceptional vintages, from 50-80-year-old grenache vines. The fruit is farmed manually, and all treatments and composts used in the vineyard are organic. Alexander Chaudiere runs the winemaking. All ferments are done in stainless steel, but the ageing occurs in various vessels (tank, barrel, or concrete) depending on the particular grape involved. In 2018 Ascensio is all about the power of super-ripe grenache mixed with five percent syrah. I revisited this wine one year down the road, and very little has changed. It is still a big wine with a rich, overpowering nose of black raspberries, dark plums, licorice, mineral, and dried herbs. Like all the Pesquie wines, it manages all its intensity by remaining fresh and vibrant. There is no rush to drink this intense red, but think of equally rich dishes like bœuf bourguignon, venison, or duck confit. Or, wait until 2028 before you open your bottles.Prices:
BC$99.99750ml
AB$94.99750ml
ON$119.95750ml
QC$90.75750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rosétext
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rosé 2020

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceFrom 300m up the side of Mont Ventoux, this biodynamically grown cinsault, grenache, and syrah rosé leads with strawberry red fruit dusted in tarragon. It is over two years old, but remains fresh in the glass with plenty of citrus and dried herbs streaked with tangerine and spice. Lively and bone dry, it's at its apex. Pork dishes would be a good match here.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
AB$18.29750ml
ON$22.95750ml
QC$18.95750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Quintessence Rougetext
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Château Pesquié Quintessence Rouge 2019

Sud de France, FranceIt’s year 30 for Quintessence Rouge, a label that highlights the notion of exception and concentration that goes into this cuvée. Expect a powerful and complex wine with an innate sense of balance, a welcomed freshness, and a liveliness that makes this a delight to drink. Look for a spread of black fruits dusted in savoury garrigue and meaty black olive. It is the perfect mix of Ventoux freshness and wild scrubland, black cherry, with silky tannins. Think meats in sauce, game, tuna steak, duck confit, and creamy cheeses. Again, it is a serious Ventoux at a very fair price. It is an 80/20 blend of syrah/grenache from highly selected plots of 50+ year old, south facing vines that sit 250-350 meters above sea level over a mix of clay and limestone. Post-fermentation, the blend is aged twelve to fifteen months in barrels (40% in new oak).Prices:
BC$33.00750ml
AB$30.00750ml
ON$42.95750ml
QC$24.15750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Silica Rougetext
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Château Pesquié Silica Rouge 2019

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceSilicon is a natural element found in sandstone, clay, and granite and is plentiful in the earth’s crust. It has been recently classified as a quasi-essential”, or beneficial element for agriculture. It plays a vital part in biodynamic treatments because of its significant benefits on crops. As a tribute, the Chaudière family has named one of its single vineyard wines, with an abundance of silicon, Château Pesquié Silica Rouge. Silica Rouge is made from grenache and cinsault planted over sandy soil mixed with limestone gravel and silica. The vines have been Demeter certified since 2015. The vinification is carried out in 600 L barrels (75%), and cement eggs (25%), using native yeasts. The wine is aged for 15 months before bottling. 2019 is a concentrated affair of fresh red and black fruits, a juicy palate, with silky black cherries, raspberries, and white pepper. Power and finesse. A serious red that will need three to five years to fully mature in the bottle. Think lamb chops, beef stews, or root vegetable terrine.Prices:
BC$54.99750ml
AB$47.29750ml
ON$64.95750ml
QC$59.75750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanctext
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Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanc 2020

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceTerrasses appears on the Chaudiere family's three signature labels: the red, white, and rosé blends. It honours the work done by their ancestors, carving terraces into the Pyrenees hillsides around the winery. The spare limestone soils, once deeply immersed below sea level, supply the perfect medium for growing grapes in the relatively cool climate setting of Mont Ventoux. Tension and freshness are the white wine goals, and tasting 2020 alongside 2021, it is fair to say both remain fresh. It opens with bright citrus and white flowers on the nose. The blend is a 40/20/20/20 mix of viognier, grenache blanc, roussanne, and clairette, all farmed biodynamically since 2015. Post ferment, it is blended and aged in concrete and stainless steel vats. The 2020 is less electric on the palate with less lemon, and more lime and weight. Still tasty, but needs drinking over the next six months.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
AB$18.29750ml
ON$22.95750ml
QC$17.70750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Artemiatext
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Château Pesquié Artemia 2019

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceOver the last thirty years, Ventoux has emerged from the shadows to be considered one of the better appellations in the Rhone. It all begins with soils rich in limestone and the dedication of the Chaudiere family, now under the direction of brothers Paul and Fred. The brothers farm the 100-hectare site organically with the help of many hands. The cuvée comes off two sloping sites: a grenache vineyard on stony limestone 400+ metres above sea level. In contrast, the syrah vineyard clings to the hillside at 340 meters on alluvial soils. Yields are wonderfully low from 20-25hl/ha resulting in highly concentrated wines. The fruit is fermented in oak vats and aged in 50 percent new French oak barrels for 18 months. The blend is 75/25 syrah and grenache, which grabs your attention from the opening sip. Vibrant black fruits dusted in garrigue, white pepper and bacon. It takes us north toward the Hermitage style, suggesting it has nothing but time on its hands in the bottle. Impressive. The Pesquie wines, except the Terrasses Rouge, are sporadically sold in better private wine shops in B.C. Why they are not widely available in government stores joins a long line of mysteries about how wines are listed in B.C.Prices:
BC$54.99750ml
AB$47.29750ml
ON$64.95750ml
QC$43.75750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Cuveé Juliettetext
92PTS

Château Pesquié Cuveé Juliette 2020

Sud de France, FranceCuvée Juliette Blanc is a 70/30 blend of clairette and grenache blanc, the latter grape highly underrated. The label takes the name of Frederick Chaudiere’s daughter, representing the 4th generation at Château Pesquié. The nose and flavour profile is Mediterranean exotic, with grapefruit and lemons mixed with ripe pineapple and orange rind dusted in sea salt. The freshness is the perfect foil to the creamy textures and savoury garrigue. Wonderfully rich yet crisp and thirst-quenching, the bottle will quickly disappear at any dinner. Think creamy seafood dishes or roasted chicken stuffed with lemons.Prices:
ON$64.95750ml
QC$59.75750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Edition 1912mtext
91PTS

Château Pesquié Edition 1912m 2020

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceÉdition 1912m honours Mont Ventoux, standing 1912 meters above the sea, and is said to be the last real mountain of the Alps chain, commonly referred to as the Giant of Provence. This is the third edition of this label for us, and it is as good as last year if not better. The nose is enticing with rich peppery red fruit doused with the obligatory savoury garrigue. More supple strawberry/black cherry lifted by violets, minerals, and wild herbs jump from a very fresh palate. Ventoux is one of the coldest, windiest areas of the southern Rhône, which explains its joyous freshness. The blend is a 70/30 mix of grenache with syrah and mouvédre. The vinification is in stainless and concrete tanks for fifteen days, and none of the wine sees oak. It is perfect for pizza, but it will also perform well with charcuterie, meat pies, empanadas, beef tacos, and more.Prices:
BC$21.29750ml
AB$17.49750ml
ON$17.95750ml
QC$15.90750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanctext
91PTS

Château Pesquié Terrasses Blanc 2021

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceTension and freshness are the white wine goals at Pesquié, and 2021 delivers in spades. Fresh, bright citrus and white flower draws you toward the glass. The blend is a 40/20/20/20 mix of viognier, grenache blanc, roussanne, and clairette, all farmed biodynamically since 2015 and fermented in stainless steel. Post ferment, it is blended and aged in concrete and stainless steel vats on lees. Pure peach, lime with exotic tropical fruit fill out the palate, and the chalky wet stone finish is dusted in the garrigue. Terrasses appears on the Chaudiere family's three signature labels: the red, white. and rosé blends. It honours the work done by their ancestors, carving terraces into the Pyrenees hillsides around the winery. The spare limestone soils, once deeply immersed below sea level, supply the perfect medium for growing grapes in the relatively cool climate setting of Mont Ventoux.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
AB$18.29750ml
ON$22.95750ml
QC$17.70750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rougetext
90PTS

Château Pesquié Ventoux Terrasses Rouge 2020

Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceAs written last year, the Pesquié Ventoux red ticks many buy boxes. It grows at an altitude of roughly 300 metres on various estate terroirs along Mount Ventoux's hillsides. The soils are stony limestone marine-like, with iron oxide, sands, and clays. The property is certified organic using biodynamic techniques, and production is a third-generation family affair under brothers Alexandre and Frederic Chaudiere. The blend is 60/40 grenache/syrah, macerated for 15 days and then aged for several months in stainless steel and cement. The nose is pure black raspberry with juicy hints of mulberry and black cherry that all spill onto the palate. There is also a stony mineral underside that stiffens a fresh finish. There is excellent value here, something fading among the best Rhône wines. Think of pizzas, kebabs, charcuterie, vegetable pies, and terrines.Prices:
BC$20.99750ml
AB$18.29750ml
ON$22.95750ml
QC$18.55750ml
Producer: Château Pesquié
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03 November 2022

Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte Rosso Riservatext
91PTS

Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva 2015

Puglia, ItalyIl Falcone is a local legend among Apulian reds, and one sip of this wine will tell you why. What an exciting, refreshing 70/30 mix of indigenous nero di Troia and montepulciano, that leaves a favourable impression across your palate. The fruit is grown in the Murgia hills in the Castel del Monte DOC at an altitude of 200m on deep porous rock and chalky soils. Post ferment, the wine ages for 14 months, 50% in 30 hl French oak casks, and 50% in 225L French oak barriques, followed by another year in bottle before release. The result is a great conflagration of complexity and elegance that is a delight to sip. Look for spicy tobacco, blackberry that doesn’t quit through a long persistent finish, with highly agreeable tannins. Rich menu items are the ticket here, with even more decadent sauces. There is no rush to drink this wine. You could even serve it after dinner with mature old Italian cheese.Prices:
BC$30.99750ml
Producer: Azienda Vinicola Rivera S.P.A.
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Koerner Mammolo Sciacarellotext
93PTS

Koerner Mammolo Sciacarello 2021

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaBrothers Damon and Jono Koerner show classic and alternative Clare varieties through a variety of winemaking vessels and styles, all from estate fruit, and all with low intervention. Sciacarello is an Italian red variety that is grown primarily in Corsica, known for its haunting floral perfume. From Watervale's organic Vivian Vineyard, planted in 1998 on black and red clay over limestone, this light red preserves the grape's alluring nature. This was destemmed with 50% whole berry (no whole bunch) before native ferment in steel with twice daily pigeage for two weeks. This then ages in Slavonian oak foudre for 6 months, then back into steel for 3 months of tightening prior to bottling without fining or filtration. Such a charmer, with wild strawberries, tayberries, wild flowers, peonies, wax, cracked mustard seed filling the slight frame, scented with pink peppercorns, tart with rhubarb acidity, and layered with mineral salts over a finely buzzy base. Tannins are lengthy and whisper fine, taking this finessed lighter red to a haunting, saline laced finish. Take with a light chill. This 2021 is dedicated to wee Charlie Jack Koerner, born 21.05.21.Prices:
BC$65.00750ml
Producer: Koerner Wine
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Tedeschi Maternigo Valpolicella Superioretext
90PTS

Tedeschi Maternigo Valpolicella Superiore 2017

Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyMaternigo is an all-Tedeschi red. That is to say, it has muscles, and at the right time, it flexes them — a rare occurrence in the Valpolicella market. It opens with sweet aromas of black cherries, vanilla and a whiff of milk chocolate. On the palate, figs, anise almonds and peppers all streak through the black fruit flavours. The blend is 40/30/30 corvina, corvinone, and rondinella, all grown organically at Impervio Vineyard, which sits at 400 meters over worn white and yellow marble. The fermentation with the stalks takes palce in 20-25 hectolitre Slavonic oak vats. It is not a shrinking violet at 15 percent alcohol, but it is well-balanced, making it an ideal dinner wine for steak or after dinner paired with mature cheese.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
AB$38.99750ml
MB$39.99750ml
Producer: Tedeschi
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Pietrame Edizione Limitada Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
88PTS

Pietrame Edizione Limitada Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2019

Abruzzo, ItalyFounded in 1960, Abruzzo's Cantina Tollo has grown into one of the foremost CoOps in Italy, with near 800 shareholders and approximately 3000 hectares of vineyards. They bottle 30% of their wine as Cantina Tollo, and sell the remainder bulk to other producers. This montepulciano comes from 25-30 year old vines and clay/limestone sites around Tollo, where the CoOp is based. After a lengthy maceration and warm fermentation, this rested 18 months in French barriques before an additional 6 months in bottle. Chewy black cherry, dried leaves, flake salt flood the juicy palate, with an easy lifted acidity and fine, softly sticky tannins to frame through a bitter floral cassis end. Drinking at peak now, ideally with roast root veg and / or pork dishes.Prices:
BC$14.99750ml
Producer: Cantina Tollo
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02 November 2022

Lunessence Small Lot Series Vin Gristext
90PTS

Lunessence Small Lot Series Vin Gris 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis small lot Vin Gris is mostly gamay (96%) with 4% pinot noir, off their biodynamically farmed Summerland estate. The grapes were soaked on skins for 1 hour prior to 70% whole cluster pressing into 80% neutral French oak and 20% stainless. Post-MLF, this aged 5 months on lees in stainless. There's a lovely cushioned texture to this sleek, pale blush wine, with hints of strawberries, raspberries on a subtle frame, scented with delicate spice. Like drinking a well made Provençal rosé, from your own backyard.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Domaine Gayrard Mauzac Ori Organictext
88PTS

Domaine Gayrard Mauzac Ori Organic 2020

Sud-Ouest, FranceThis mauzac from the Côtes du Tarn, in France's South West, was farmed organically, cold macerated on skins, and native fermented in stainless before aging in clay amphora. Pouring a glowing golden amber, this is softly etched in the mouth, with apricot, bergamot, pear skin, and a finely grippy texture thanks to the amphora. The finish on this gentle orange is astringent, welcoming foods.Prices:
BC$36.99750ml
Producer: Domaine Gayrard
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Sperling Vineyards Amber Pinot Gris Organictext
88PTS

Sperling Vineyards Amber Pinot Gris Organic 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the better natural orange wines I have tasted. In this case, it is a pinot gris, although almost unrecognizable as one from its cloudy orange colour to its rich textural mix of nectarine skin, pear skin, and apple skin. The fruit comes from a certified organic/biodynamic vineyard in East Kelowna, owned by the Sperling family since 1925, and it’s bottled without any sulphur. So if you are up for an adventure, this is one to try. Be sure to chill it well before serving.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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01 November 2022

Bartier Bros. The Orchard Rowtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. The Orchard Row 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Bartier house wine red blends pinot noir, cabernet franc, and merlot, with 16 months rest in neutral 225L barrels. Tart cherry, red currant, cedar, and cocoa works through the dusky, medium bodied palate, with fine, soft tannins hugging the sides to the shorter finish. An easy choice to crack into with burgers now.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Bartier Bros. The Orchard Rowtext
90PTS

Bartier Bros. The Orchard Row 2020

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrchard Row was the Bartier family house wine, and it’s easy to understand why when you taste it. Ripe, round, and slippery, this is an easy drinking red with a fresh juicy mid-palate that keeps you coming back to the glass for more. Winemaker Michael Bartier refers to it as a vin de soif, a thirst-quenching wine you can drink solo or with lighter weekday fare at the table. The 55/38/7 blend of pinot noir, cabernet franc, and merlot is packed with bright, floral, plummy, strawberry, raspberry that slides down effortlessly. This should be on a lot of restaurant lists.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Stag's Hollow Simply Noirtext
89PTS

Stag's Hollow Simply Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit comes from three sites: This Is It Vineyard, Naramata; Stag’s Hollow Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard; and Stag's Hollow Vineyard, Okanagan Falls. In 2020 the blend shifted positions with pinot noir at 67.7% first, followed by merlot at 22.6%, gamay at 5.5%, and a dash of dolcetto at 4.2%. This spends eight or nine months in French oak barrels. The fruit mixes red and black, and the texture is supple. Mostly it is an easy drinking, juicy red, with a spicy, savoury undercurrent. Try this with charcuterie or a favourite grilled chicken. The adventurous winery match is spicy jambalaya with chicken, or a Creole seafood jambalaya.Prices:
BC$23.00750ml
Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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