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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: December 2022

31 December 2022

821 Blanc de Blancs de Chardonnay Brut Naturetext
89PTS

821 Blanc de Blancs de Chardonnay Brut Nature 2020

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThe 821 refers to the 821 days (27 months) this pét-nat spent on lees, in bottle, prior to disgorge, with zero dosage. The time has lent an evident cushion of lees, with snappy green apple, lemon, dough resting atop. The fizz is gentle, and acidity Chablis racy, making this a smart, modern selection. Happy to see more diversity within Chablis.Prices:
ON$85.00750ml
Producer: Michel Laroche et ses enfants
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Domaine Rolet Coeur de Chardonnay Crémant du Juratext
92PTS

Domaine Rolet Coeur de Chardonnay Crémant du Jura 2016

Arbois, Jura, FranceThe Coeur de Chardonnay is a selection of the winery's best sparkling lots from Arbois and Côtes du Jura, and spent 36 months on lees. Lemon curd, green and yellow apple, dough, fill an expansive palate, layered with flake salts which linger on the finish. Very complete, drinking smartly now and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$50.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
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Domaine Rolet Crémant du Jura Blanc de Noirstext
91PTS

Domaine Rolet Crémant du Jura Blanc de Noirs 2018

Jura, FranceThis blend of Pinot Noir and Poulsard spent 24 months on the lees. Very red fruited, with plum, tayberry and subtle dough on a crisp, racy palate, laced with salt and pithy grapefruit. Crisp and structured, this is built for food.Prices:
ON$46.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
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Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Bruttext
89PTS

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut NV

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaNamed for the family matriarch, this blush hued traditional method fizz blends 70-80% chardonnay (partial barrel ferment) with pinot noir, and rests 24 months on lees before disgorgement. Tart red currant, raspberry jam is brightened with rhubarb acidity, built around a doughy base, and finishing with snappy lemon peel. Built for food, and ready to be enjoyed now.Prices:
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: Henry of Pelham
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Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Bruttext
90PTS

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut NV

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaNamed in memory of Henry's wife and family matriarch, this traditional method fizz blends 70-80% chardonnay (partially barrel fermented) and pinot noir, with 30+ months on lees prior to disgorgement with 6.5 g/L RS. Bright lemon, green and red apple, light meringue sit atop a chalky base, tapering off to a tart lemon finish. Nice balance in this friendly, smart fizz, an Ontario classic, ready to enjoy now.Prices:
ON$33.00750ml
Producer: Henry of Pelham
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13th Street Winery Blanc de Blancstext
89PTS

13th Street Winery Blanc de Blancs 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom select vineyards around Niagara Peninsula, this chardonnay was fermented in stainless, with no MLF, and aged 12 months on lees prior to disgorge in summer 2022 with no dosage. Tight and racy, with green apple, lemon pith, subtle verbena, wrapped around a leesy / yogurt core. Fresh and bright, with an evident limestone buzz taking this to a snappy, chalk-dusted finish.Prices:
ON$29.95750ml
Producer: 13th Street Winery
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30 December 2022

Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée n° 744 Extra-Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée n° 744 Extra-Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmi Jacquesson and was a house favourited by Napoleon, who bestowed it a gold medal for its cellars. The winery has been innovative initially, instituting the radical notion of training vines in rows with Dr. Guyot's collaboration and patenting the muselet, the wire cage that holds the cork in place. However, the real innovation began in 1978, when the Chiquet family purchased the house, and brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent spend the next ten years campaigning to their father to do something radically different, from the structure of the company to vineyard management. In 2000 they took a bigger risk and announced the 700 series. This numbered, vintage-based cuvée began with ‘728’, represented by the 2000 vintage. Rather than making a consistent NV wine every year, they aim to make the best possible blend for each vintage. Each year, a new-subsequently numbered-cuvée is released, maths meaning this current release 744 is from 2016. This was harvested from Ay, Dizy and Hautvillers (55%), Avize and Oiry (45%), with 30% reserve wines blended in, and blends 45% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier, and 35% Pinot Noir, vinified in oak barrels before heading to bottle for 3+ years. This was disgorged with December 2020 with no dosage. Deep and heady, with vegetal and oxidative notes woven throughout red apple, toast, lemon rind, and chalk, streaking with a lemon pith salinity on the finish. All a bit of elbows at the moment, this will benefit from a little time in the cellar, and partnering with protein.Prices:
BC$110.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Jacquesson
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Champagne Pol Rogertext
91PTS

Champagne Pol Roger NV

Champagne, FranceEstablished in 1849, Pol Roger is one of the few remaining Grande Marque champagne houses that are entirely family owned and operated. Its prestige cuvée, Winston Churchill, is admired worldwide, but I love to talk about the white-label Reserve Brut. Generations of knowledge are the secret weapon behind this cuvée that consistently presents as an elegant, almost ethereal bubble, exhibiting the style of much more expensive Blanc de Blancs. It is a blend of equal parts pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay from 30 crus. The 25 percent reserve wine used annually helps maintain the House style. The pinot noir brings structure, body and power; the pinot meunier is all about freshness, roundness and fruitiness; while the chardonnay sets up its aromatic complexity, finesse, elegance, and lightness on the palate. So when you need Champagne to cover the bases, this is it. It spends 48 months in the cellar creating a kaleidoscope of honeysuckle, jasmine, brioche quince and tangerine. You can’t go wrong with this label.Prices:
BC$79.99750ml
BC$159.991500ml
Producer: Champagne Pol Roger
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Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintagetext
92PTS

Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013

Champagne, FranceMoët sums up its Vintage 2013 as autumnal, chiselled, and energetic, reminding us that each Grand Vintage is unique, expressing the cellarmaster's interpretation of the year. In this case, it's the 75th Grand Vintage in the history of Moët. In a cool year known for its chardonnay, 2013 is a 41/38/21/ blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and meunier, and after seven years of ageing and another six months in the cellar after disgorging, it is ready to drink. There is a tinge of gold in colour and a mature nutty honeyed nose. The palate dances with energy and harmony, mixing ripe red and green apples drizzled in citrus with a long, lingering, saline finish. They've worked wonders here with a cooler, late vintage. My bottle was disgorged in September 2019 with five g/L.Prices:
BC$82.99750ml
QC$89.25750ml
ON$84.00750ml
AB$87.99750ml
MB$87.98750ml
Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancstext
93PTS

Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceRuinart Blanc de Blancs is what it should be: elegant and stylish, not unlike its classic bottle shape. The fruit is all 1er Cru rated and grown in Côtes de Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Sézanne, and St. Thierry. It’s chardonnay with 20 percent reserve wine added to the blend. The ageing regime on its lees is a minimum of 28 to 36 months before disgorgement and a dosage of a barely noticeable 8.5 g/L of sugar. Look for enticing toasted brioche notes, creamy textures, tiny bubbles, and a citrus backbone. The elegant finish is alive and long, with notes of hazelnut, chalk, and minerality. Sold with a paper jacket that protects the wine in its clear bottle from light stike.Prices:
BC$134.99750ml
Producer: Ruinart Champagne
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Champagne Gosset Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Gosset Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. For 17 generations Gosset was family owned, but in 1993 it was sold to the Cointreau family from Charente, owners of Frappin Cognac. The newest release for the house, this Extra Brut reflects the cultural shift towards dryer champagnes. This blends 40% Pinot Noir, 32% Pinot Meunier, 28% Chardonnay, with 4 years on lees, and a dosage of 4.8 g/L. Bright lemon, snappy green apple, and a lick of anise lines a meringue core, with fine chalky siding leading this to a lemony finish. Quite suave, yet still friendly and approachable, this is built for canapés.Prices:
ON$72.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Gosset
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29 December 2022

Domaine Saint Laurent Gariguette Côtes du Rhônetext
89PTS

Domaine Saint Laurent Gariguette Côtes du Rhône 2021

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceThis blend of Clairette 60%, Roussanne 30%, and Grenache blanc 10% grows in pebbled clay-limestone soils and was fermented and rested briefly in stainless. There's a lovely concentration on the nose leading into delicate white peach, ripe pear, and tangerine, with a snappy, stony finish. Quite smart and well suited to spring/summer veg dishes.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Saint Laurent
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La Font Louisiane Côtes du Rhônetext
87PTS

La Font Louisiane Côtes du Rhône 2020

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceFrom a co-op operating since 1956, with reach of 313 hectares across the Rhône, this blends 90% Clairette and Bourboulenc with 10% Viognier, all in stainless. Fleshy peach, yellow apple, ripe pear rule the cushy palate, with a brace of stony spice on the lightly warming, shorter finish. Clinicially clean and ready to drink.Prices:
Producer: La Cave Les Vignerons de Gigondas
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Clos du Caillou Le Caillou Côtes-du-Rhônetext
88PTS

Clos du Caillou Le Caillou Côtes-du-Rhône 2021

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceThis is a blend of 40-50 year old vines of grenache blanc, viognier, and clairette, rooted in sandy pebbled stones. This aged 4 months in stainless. Juicy and vibrant white peach, yellow apple, lemon verbena glide along the lees-decked palate, with fine stony spices lingering on the finish.Prices:
QC$26.00750ml
Producer: Clos du Caillou
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Monte del Frá Ca del Magro Custoza Superioretext
89PTS

Monte del Frá Ca del Magro Custoza Superiore 2019

Verona, Veneto, ItalyMonte del Fra is located in Custoza, Veneto, in Italy's north east just outside Lake Garda. The current winery was founded in 1958, but the land it sits on was auctioned off by decree from Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th Century right out of the hands of its original owners, the local monks. The winery is now in the hands of the Bonomo family, which owns 140 hectares of land. This is a richer, honeyed, floral white wine grown at the 60+ year old Ca' del Magro vineyard. In the blend is 40 percent garganega, with trebbiano Toscano, tocai friulano, cortese, chardonnay, riesling italico, malvasia, and incrocio manzoni backfilling the rest. Quince, ripe pear, yellow apples, and honeysuckle spread across the palate before finishing with a hint of spice. Unique.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
Producer: Monte del Frá
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Hugel Gentiltext
88PTS

Hugel Gentil 2019

Alsace, FranceIt's been a decade since we last tasted this Hugel classic, labelled Gentil, a wine reviving an ancient Alsace tradition of blending noble grape varieties. In this case, Hugel pairs the sophisticated, spicy flavour of gewürztraminer; the body of pinot gris; the finesse of riesling; the grapiness of muscat; and the refreshing character of pinot blanc and sylvaner. In 2019, a solid vintage, it yields a fresh, medium-bodied aromatic wine with plenty of pears, apples, and floral ginger that spill onto the palate, mixing with peaches and spice and a subtle oily texture. So fresh and clean, it is ready to drink, and would be a good match with a classic holiday roast turkey.Prices:
BC$22.95750ml
Producer: Hugel et Fils
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26 December 2022

Mission Hill Family Estate Oculustext
94PTS

Mission Hill Family Estate Oculus 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOculus is evolving, and the latest version is one of the best. The model is Bordeaux but makes no mistake, chief winemaker Corrie Krehbil is making an Okanagan red blend, albeit with a nod to Bordeaux. It was a beautiful spring and summer in 2019 with a wet fall, but the early rains were little more than a nuisance for the late-ripening grapes. Organically grown, the fruit ripens earlier, and the alcohol is lower, a big plus in years that end dramatically, like 2019 with a heavy frost. Kriebel ups the quantity of merlot in cooler years, hence the 52 percent, and adds a surprising 30 percent cabernet franc which speaks to the maturity of the many Mission Hill sites and the evolution of this variety as it asserts its quality and structure. The merlot has been improved by working the extraction early on, building density without the tannins. Add to that higher acidity which highlights the fruit’s purity. As mentioned, this wine is a clear notch above the earlier version of the flagship label. Words like fragrant and vibrant describe the pure fruit that mark the latest bottling, certified organic since 2021. The fruit is red/black, again emphasizing the freshness and lightness of what can be a big muscular red. Currants and blackberries with a hint of blue fruits mix effortlessly with a savoury desert scrub undercurrent, adding the all-important dash of umami to the mix. Stylish enough to drink now, but it is designed to go the distance for a decade or two in the bottle. One of the best so far. Only 99 barrels were made. 2019 Oculus offered a one time pre-release for club members during Oculus weekend last October. The official release will be available to the public in June 2023.Prices:
BC$185.00750ml
Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Koerner The Clare Red Winetext
94PTS

Koerner The Clare Red Wine 2021

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe Koerner brothers like to show a neoclassic view of their home, Clare Valley, and it's wines like this, The Clare, that typify their MO. This is their take on a Bordeaux blend. Half cabernet sauvignon, the remainder is cabernet franc, grenache, malbec, carignan, and sciacarello, from the terra rossa soils of Vivian, Parish, and Gullyview Vineyards, and vines planted in 1930 and 1998. This vintage was 50% whole berry (no whole bunch), native fermented in open top steel for two weeks on skins, and then racked into Slavonian foudre for 9 months. This was returned to steel for 3 months prior to bottling unfined and unfiltered, and with a minimum of sulphur. The nose is a treasure box of exotic herbs and spices, with scrubby rosemary, mint, thyme, wildflowers, and pink peppercorns, woven with a ferrous web. Black cherry, black raspberry join on the lifted, medium (13%) palate, framed with long, finely grippy tannins through a savoury, medicinal kissed finish. Really quite striking, there's a lot to intelligently unravel and enjoy here. The Diam10 cork leads me to believe the boys also think this has a long future ahead.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Koerner Wine
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Clos du Soleil Signaturetext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Signature 2019

British Columbia, CanadaA blend of Bordeaux red varieties merlot (42%), cabernet sauvignon (31%), malbec (13%), cabernet franc (10%), and petit verdot (4%), this Similkameen red was fermented using native wild yeasts and aged 16 months in French oak barrels. It’s packed with a lovely nose of vibrant red berries layered with subtle herbal greenness and graphite. It’s a pleasure to see the fruit unmasked by oak which just plays a supporting role, conferring refined tannins and subtle nuances of spices and nuttiness. For a Bordeaux style red, it offers excellent drinkability with mouthwatering freshness.Prices:
BC$54.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Señatext
93PTS

Seña 2019

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThe 2019 Seña mixes 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, and 4% Petit Verdot from a cool year, at least in Panquehue. It is primarily fermented in stainless steel, with only 10% coming out of concrete vats, keeping the wine taut and restrained. It soaks up 80 percent new French oak barrels and 10 percent in larger wood, where it’s aged for 22 months. It opens with a classic mix of red fruit and an earthy root ball streaked with cedar and tobacco. It is tightly wound, youthful, and at this point, linear, suggesting it will need a good five to seven years in the bottle before it's ready for prime time. The current finish is dry and savoury while flashing plenty of refreshing acidity. Its greatest asset is its elegance, so be patient.Prices:
BC$199.99750ml
AB$199.99750ml
MB$199.99750ml
ON$199.99750ml
QC$199.99750ml
Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Clos du Soleil Signaturetext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Signature 2019

British Columbia, CanadaReflecting the cooler 2019 vintage, this is a lighter, more restrained Signature that shows less can definitely be more. It's all about elegance and purity of fruit, with a remarkable precision to the winemaking. Led by vibrant raspberry, cherry, and blackberry, there's a backing of violet aromatics, spice, and minty herbs that give this wine its exceptional complexity. So pure and so polished, this will reward careful cellaring over the next 4-6 years, if you have the patience.Prices:
BC$54.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Painted Rock Red Icontext
92PTS

Painted Rock Red Icon 2020

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPainted Rock fans won’t be disappointed with this 2020 Red Icon. The mix is a 39/31/14/12/4 blend of merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon, and malbec, all aged 18 months in 30% new French Oak. Each selected vineyard block is hand picked, berry sorted, and then divided into small batches, cold soaked for four days, and fermented for three weeks with twice daily pump overs. The Painted Rock style is always a big despite a strict Bordeaux farming and winemaking regime thanks to a mid-valley vineyard that soaks up the sun from dawn till dusk. The colour is opaque, the nose a smoky red but primarily black fruit affair with cedar and mushroom throughout. Firm but silky tannins invade the palate from front to back, finishing with cassis, blackberries, baking spices, and dark chocolate. This will need a decade to come into its own.Prices:
BC$79.99750ml
Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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Roche Chateautext
93PTS

Roche Chateau 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Chateau is a 75/17/8/ mix of merlot, cabernet Sauvignon, and cabernet franc. The merlot is grown at Kozier Organic Vineyard on the Naramata Bench, over granite gravel slopes overlooking Okanagan Lake. The franc and the sauvignon are grown north of Oliver, on rounded river rock, from a post-glacial riverbed. The Grand Vin flagship demonstrates the best from Roche, something winemaker Penelope Roche is familiar with, having grown up at Pessac Leognan at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion. Elegance sets this apart from many Okanagan reds with flavour and power. Most of the competition lacks this wine's sophistication and mineral notes. The chalky tannins are the icing on the cake. The Chateau is 14 months in French oak, of which 30 to 40 percent is new. Braised lamb shanks are the winery match, but at the moment, I say leg of lamb.Prices:
BC$54.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Cuvee Rougetext
89PTS

Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Cuvee Rouge 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBohemian Rouge is 58/19/19/4 mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. It is an excellent vintage for reds, and this opens with a fragrant nose, desert sagebrush, and a rich hit of black and blue fruit. Plenty is going on here in a rambunctious young red, but I like the freshness that supports all the spice, chocolate, dark fruit, and fine dense tannins. There is no rush to drink this wine, and I expect five years in the bottle will be required for it to reach its drinking window.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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21 December 2022

The Chocolate Blocktext
88PTS

The Chocolate Block 2020

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaBoekenhoutskoof was established 1776, and today, overseen by the talented maverick winemaker Marc Kent, they are still kicking off great things, like the behemoth that is Chocolate Block, known in markets the world over, thanks to its 500,000 bottles/year. The wine has smartened much over the years, becoming much more serious, whilst still being a friendly, welcoming pour upon release. The 2020 blends 73% syrah, 11% grenache, 8% cinsault, 7% cabernet sauvignon, 1% viognier. Quite a bit comes from Swartland's Porseleinberg, arguably one of the top sites for syrah in ZA. The cushy mouthfeel opens with dark chocolate and blackberry before moving into bitter black cherry, wrapped with soft tannins, and finishing with a thorny snap. One for drinking now, preferably with grilled steaks.Prices:
BC$43.50750ml
Producer: Boekenhoutskloof
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Tendu Red Winetext
90PTS

Tendu Red Wine 2021

Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County, California, United StatesTendu is French for taut, and one of the ranges of wines from California low intervention innovators Matthiasson family. Jill and Steve have propelled the less-is-more movement throughout the state, and are beacons of new California cool. This short bottle, for instance, illustrates perfectly. In a move to be more environmentally conscious, Jill and Steve Matthiasson chose American-made bottles finished with glue-free compostable/recyclable corks. This year's Red Wine blends Barbera, Aglianico, and Montepulciano from two sites in the Dunnigan Hills AVA, both with weathered, pink gravels, and one, Windmill Vineyard, certified organic. This was native fermented in stainless, and aged in neutral barrels for 5 months, with minimum SO2 at bottling, unfiltered/unfined. Light and nervy, with crimson red currant, cherry, spring rhubarb sailing along a slight, silken palate, easily lifted with buoyant acidity. Fine tannins guide this to a savoury, saline washed finish. Pure and singing. light (11%) and natural, primed for drinking now.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Matthiasson Family Vineyards
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Leko Red Winetext
91PTS

Leko Red Wine 2021

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaLEKO Wine is an Adelaide Hills sister brand to Clare Valley's Koerner Wine. Damon Koerner and his wife Maddy bought a property in Lenswood in 2017, now home to this winery. Damon developed a passion for the Adelaide Hills through his 10 years as a viticulturist in the region. The name LEKO represents Lenswood and Koerner while also giving a nod to Maddy’s maiden name, Lehmann. This lighter red blends 39% Pinot Noir, 24% Sangiovese, 23% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 5% Mencia & 1% Gamay from 3 Adelaide Hills vineyards, rooted in sandy clay loams. All was destemmed with 50% whole berry (no whole bunch) and native fermented in stainless open top fermenters over 2 weeks, then rested 7 months in 2000L Slavonian oak Foudre, followed by a tightening stint back in stainless for 5 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration. This juicy, lighter red fills the mouth with red currant, herbal raspberry, delicately perfumed red florals, wrapped all with gossamer fine tannins and buoyed by a tart, lifted grapefruit acidity. The finish fades out with a fine, lingering green herbal spice. A charmer, and one enjoyed with a slight chill.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Leko
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Lake Sonoma Zinfandeltext
90PTS

Lake Sonoma Zinfandel 2019

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesA ripe, inky Sonoma zinfandel, this shows a combination of sweet red fruits, jammy brambles, and cola spice. It's a big wine that's certainly full throttle in style, but it manages to make it all work. There's just enough freshness to keep everything in balance, and the dense, suave fruit easily carries the 14.9% declared abv. A hedonistic, polished pour that's perfect as we head into the winter.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
AB$25.50750ml
QC$26.00750ml
ON$29.00750ml
NB$29.79750ml
PEI$30.25750ml
Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
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Lake Sonoma Zinfandeltext
89PTS

Lake Sonoma Zinfandel 2019

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States2019 presents classic zinfandel with floral white pepper and ripe, rich, brambly, jammy black fruit with a sweet cola backfill. It’s not over the top at 14.9 percent alcohol which speaks to its balance and rich textures. Ready to drink all winter and a wine you can match with grilled meats or extravagant roasted vegetarian dishes. The zinfandel is aged for 29 months in a 50/25/25 percent mix of new French oak, new American oak, and neutral oak. Fair value.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
AB$25.50750ml
QC$26.00750ml
ON$29.00750ml
NB$29.79750ml
PEI$30.25750ml
Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
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Ridge Three Valleystext
90PTS

Ridge Three Valleys 2020

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRidge is a Sonoma County pioneer dating to the 1960s. They also advocate sustainable viticulture, minimal-intervention winemaking and, most importantly, the best zinfandel in America. The history of Ridge Three Valleys began in 2001, sourcing fruit from vineyards in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Russian River Valley. Three Valleys is pitched as an entry level Zinfandel blend, but it is hardly an introductory wine. Instead, it is a skillful blend of zinfandel from selected Sonoma vineyards mixed with old vine carignane, spicy petite sirah, and grenache for its juicy, briary fruit. It is hand harvested, crushed, then eased through primary and malolactic fermentation by native yeast at Monte Bello and Lytton Springs. The wine spends ten months in American oak (only 5% new) before blending. The palate is all briary black cherries and plums, dusted in cocoa. The style is slightly lighter for early accessibility, but it will serve you well for years ahead in an adequately stored bottle. A benchmark for entry level zinfandel.Prices:
BC$56.99750ml
CDN$55.00750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Ridge Geyservilletext
92PTS

Ridge Geyserville 2020

Sonoma County, California, United StatesGeyserville first appeared in 1966 and has gone from strength to strength ever since as a single site zinfandel. It is home to the oldest vines farmed at Ridge, now more than 130 years of age. Geyserville is a traditional field blend of zinfandel and its complementary varieties: carignane, petite sirah, and mataro (mourvèdre), and every vintage mix is unique. 2020 is a terrific vintage and a rare opportunity to lay away one of the greats. It is rich in black cherry, boysenberry, licorice, and chalky mineral and is highly approachable even when young but ages effortlessly. Remarkably consistent year after year, this wine is one you can always count on. This is real zinfandel.Prices:
BC$69.99750ml
ON$84.99750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Ridge Lytton Springstext
93PTS

Ridge Lytton Springs 2020

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesEast Lytton Estate, in the Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, has zinfandel growing on seven hilltops, Petite sirah surrounds the zinfandel on six, grenache on one, and all figure in the wine most years. After the primary fermentation and the malolactic fermentation, 24 of the 33 small fermentation lots were transferred to American oak (15% new, 85% used) for 14 months of ageing. The complexity comes from the blend: 73% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah, 9% carignane, and 2% mataro. I love it already, and it’s just a baby. Look for the characteristic brambly raspberry, peppery fruit dusted in dark chocolate and savoury dried herbs. The acidity is perfect, and the tannins are dense and sweet for both drinkability now and long term ageing.Prices:
BC$76.99750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirahtext
91PTS

Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah 2019

Sonoma County, California, United StatesYoung petite sirah can be a beast, but not at Ridge, where balance is the mantra and vines are old (some date to 1901). In 2019 the lush rich black fruit with chocolate and a mineral undercurrent coat the senses from front to back. The palate is more of the same with a dusting of savoury garrigue notes. The acidity is perfectly tuned, and this wine will effortlessly age through 2023, if not beyond. If you must drink it now, think lamb chops.Prices:
BC$76.99750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Ridge East Bench Zinfandeltext
90PTS

Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2020

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesEast Bench is located on the benchland on the far Eastern edge of Dry Creek Valley north of the town of Healdsburg. The site has been growing zinfandel for a long time. The original vines were abandoned in the early 1900s, but many old areas have been replanted over the last thirty years. Ridge’s East Bench is produced from vines planted in 2000 and 2001 from specially selected budwood from four pre-Prohibition era vineyards on 80 million-year-old iron-rich clay loam with ancient river rock. This is a deliciously juicy zinfandel almost unrecognizable in the current milieu of this variety that rarely achieves this level of quality and precision. Red cherries and raspberries with a briary undertone with cloves run along a smooth finish. Just enough structure to set it apart from the crowd and still be eminently drinkable.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
CDN$54.00750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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19 December 2022

François Pinon Vouvray Sectext
92PTS

François Pinon Vouvray Sec 2019

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceFrançois, a former child psychologist, took over the Vallée de Cousse, Vouvray estate from his father in 1987, and is now joined by his son, Julien. The vineyards are dedicated to organic viticulture and minimal intervention vinification. These vines are rooted in clay over limestone, and were native fermented over 3 months, stopped with a chill, and transferred to old barrels to age 5 months on lees. Though certainly sec (dry), this has a bump of 8 g/L RS ably balanced out by the racy citrus acidity, streaming along candied tangerine peel, Asian pear, white tea, salted marcona almonds across a base of crushed stones, trailing off into a lengthy salinity. For an introduction level wine, this impresses.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: François Pinon
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Trimbach Sylvaner Weinbaumtext
91PTS

Trimbach Sylvaner Weinbaum 2020

Alsace, FranceThe Trimbach family has a lengthy history in Alsace, growing vines since the 17th century. The estate is now in the capable hands of 12th generation brothers Pierre and Jean Trimbach. These sylvaner vines, averaging 55 years, grow on the limestone marls of Weinbaum, a small .8 plot in Ribeauvillé. Bone dry, this slender white charms with elderflower, lemon balm, lime pith, pear skin, river stones, along a subtly buzzing underlay which stretches long on the finish. Lovely pure vision of sylvaner.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: F.E.Trimbach
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Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneistext
92PTS

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2021

Piedmont, ItalyFrom Roero’s sandy soils, and vines up to 26 years old, this Arneis was fermented and aged in stainless to preserve the delicate fruit. White flowers, lemon, pear and quince run through the crisp, but concentrated palate. Very elegant, this is drinking now, and will cellar.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
Producer: Bruno Giacosa
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Domaine de la Baume Elisabeth Viogniertext
88PTS

Domaine de la Baume Elisabeth Viognier 2021

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThis domaine was established in the Languedoc more than 200 years ago. Bright and juicy, this viognier is all shiny lemon, apricot, melon gliding along a creamy, lees-slicked palate, with attractive ginger spicing on the snappy finish. A pretty version, clean and bright, and primed for cracking into now with lightly spiced Chinese.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
ON$18.95750ml
Producer: Domaine de La Baume
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Collavini T Friulanotext
88PTS

Collavini T Friulano 2021

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyCollavini began in 1896 under founder Eugenio Collavini. His grandson, Manlio, is known as 'the lord of ribolla, for his work the grape. The winery is now in the hands of Manlio and his sons Giovanni and Luigi. They are now centred in Corni di Rosazzo, with 170 hectares of vineyards in Collio, on the Slovenian boarder, and Colli Orientali, at altitude. This friulano comes from San Floriano del Collio, and was fermented and aged in stainless. Tart lemon, asian pear, sour melon, ale, lemon blossom fills a stony, sleek, medium bodied palate, finishing with a subtle saline citrus wash.Prices:
ON$17.95750ml
Producer: Eugenio Collavini
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Domaine Rolet Savagnin Ouillétext
91PTS

Domaine Rolet Savagnin Ouillé 2020

Arbois, Jura, FranceIn the Jura, ouillé indicates that barrels are topped up with wine to prevent the oxidative character and flor yeast that is characteristic of old school classic Jura. Almost all modern Jura whites are made in this way, as are 99 % of white wines worldwide. Savagnin is a very old variety which beget many other grapes over the centuries, including chenin blanc. This Savagnin is from parcels in Château Gimont and Gaillard, in Montigny-les-Arsures, planted in grey marls. It was native fermented in barrel, where it remained 9 months. Racy wild lemon, pear skin, wild green herbs streak across the tart, salty palate, with a subtle flax / lees bed that stretches long on the finish. Ample tension and energy here.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
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Liber Farm & Winery Rebil Viogniertext
90PTS

Liber Farm & Winery Rebil Viognier 2019

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Rebil (Liber backward) barrel-aged Viognier is grown on the west-facing banks of the Similkameen River. It is a perfect exposition for this variety that lets it fully ripen but under a gentle sun and a cooler site. The oak is a distant part of this wine that hits the palate with a citrus freshness that enlivens its peachy apricot dusted with a light covering of spice and vanilla. Liber says it is a REBIL in the vineyard and bottle if you harvest the grapes at the perfect moment. I love the winery pairing suggestions: a creamy lemon sage whitefish, or panko-crusted cauliflower. Very well done.Prices:
BC$32.99750ml
Producer: Liber Farm & Winery
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Domaine Michel Briday Bouzeron Cuvee Axelletext
92PTS

Domaine Michel Briday Bouzeron Cuvee Axelle 2020

Bouzeron, Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, FranceDomaine Michel Briday was founded in 1976 by Michel and Lucette Briday with 15 acres. Today the domaine is managed by Michel’s son and daughter-in-law, Stéphane and Sandrine, and consists of 38 acres spread across the municipalities of Rully, Bouzeron, and Mercurey. This is aligoté from 50 year old vines atop a white marl hillside. It was native fermented and rested in stainless. Heady pear skin, white peach, subtle white florals flood a saline, lightly waxen palate, scented with flax and studded with flake salts, which linger on the finish. Quite accomplished, and such a lovely example of what oft-neglected aligoté can achieve.Prices:
BC$43.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Michel Briday
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François Pinon Les Déronniéres Vouvray Sectext
92PTS

François Pinon Les Déronniéres Vouvray Sec 2020

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceFrançois, a former child psychologist, took over the Vallée de Cousse, Vouvray estate from his father in 1987, and is now joined by his son, Julien. The 37 acres of vineyards are dedicated to organic viticulture and minimal intervention vinification. From flinty clay over limestone bedrock, this was native fermented. Crushed stones, quince skin quiver along a medium palate, taut with a pithy framework, and lingering with ample salinity. Beauty example of dry Vouvray.Prices:
BC$47.00750ml
Producer: François Pinon
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François Pinon Les Trois Argiles Vouvraytext
92PTS

François Pinon Les Trois Argiles Vouvray 2019

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceFrançois, a former child psychologist, took over the Vallée de Cousse, Vouvray estate from his father in 1987, and is now joined by his son, Julien. The 37 acres of vineyards are dedicated to organic viticulture and minimal intervention vinification. This comes from flinty clays over limestone bed rock, and was native fermented. Waxen and relaxed, with waves of honeysuckle, white honey, white truffle, quince along a creamy, just off-dry palate, lit with a fine buzzy underlay, and lingering with subtle mineral salts. Really complete, drinking beautifully now.Prices:
BC$43.00750ml
Producer: François Pinon
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Paul Mas Viogniertext
88PTS

Paul Mas Viognier 2020

Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceIf you have travelled across the south of France, the nose of this wine will instantly transport you back in time. If you have yet to get there, the fragrant, floral peach blossoms and fresh fruit flecked with citrus, ginger, and pineapple will make you want to book your flight today. What I like most about this wine is its quiet nature, free of oily cloying characteristics that can make viognier tiresome, especially at this price point. This wine is a go-to white for various west coast seafood dishes. It's even better suited to chicken or pork. Summer, winter, fall, and spring it can handle any season. The recipe at Mas is mixing viognier fruit from cool and warm sites using young and old vines, and relatively low yields at 52hl/ha. Back up the truck.Prices:
BC$14.99750ml
AB$18.75750ml
MB$12.25750ml
ON$14.95750ml
Producer: Domaines Paul Mas
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Domodimonti Deja Passerinatext
88PTS

Domodimonti Deja Passerina 2020

Marche, ItalyDomodimonti is located in Marche on the eastern side of central Italy, between the Adriatic sea to the east and the Apennine mountain range to the west. The grape in question is Passerina, an ancient variety popular in the Adriatic area. This wine has a Canadian connection. The Bellini family owns Domodimonti, and Francesco Bellini grew up in Italy but moved to Montreal to pursue a pharmaceutical career. After achieving breakthroughs with drugs to treat diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and Alzheimer's, Bellini was able to cash in and achieve his dream of owning a vineyard near his home. It is traditionally a fragrant and delicate white, and this wine heads down that path. It opens with a slightly muddy natural nose that cleans up with time and air. Next, look for a fresh affair of citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and almond with a savoury, linear, stony minerality throughout the finish. Westcoast seafood is the match.Prices:
BC$22.50750ml
Producer: Domodimonti
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Basa Lore Txakkolitext
91PTS

Basa Lore Txakkoli 2020

SpainBasa Lore translates from Basque to "Wild Flower from the Forest," reflecting its location and the family philosophy. The property is near San Sebastian in Zarautz, where the cool Bay of Biscay meets the forest. Basa Lore and five other wineries founded the D.O. Getariako Txakolina, the Basque region's answer to Vinho Verde. The wine is made with the Hondarrabi Zuri grape and is delicious. Vibrant and alive with lemon-lime flavours, white flower aromas, and a coating of seaside salinity reminiscent of oyster liquor. . The regional match is fried potatoes and bacalao; on the west coast, I'm thinking about mussels, clams, squid or and rock cod. As good as it gets for $25.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Basa Lore
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Livio Felluga Ribolla Giallatext
91PTS

Livio Felluga Ribolla Gialla 2021

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyLivio Felluga is one of the most respected producers of Friuli, dedicating his life to reviving high-quality and sustainable viticulture in the hills of this north-eastern, Adriatic-influenced Italian countryside. He emigrated from Istria and established his property in Brazzano in the 1950s, buying up old, neglected vineyards and rejuvenating them. Rooted in ponca soils, this was native fermented in stainless, where it remained on lees for a few months until bottling. Fleshy pear, greengage, lime leaf, and river stones slide along the sleek frame, finishing with a fine textural grip and lime pith. A leaner version of ribolla gialla, with lovely tension throughout.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Livio Felluga
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Livio Felluga Friulanotext
91PTS

Livio Felluga Friulano 2021

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyLivio Felluga is one of the most respected producers of Friuli, dedicating his life to reviving high-quality and sustainable viticulture in the hills of this north-eastern, Adriatic-influenced Italian countryside. He emigrated from Istria and established his property in Brazzano in the 1950s, buying up old, neglected vineyards and rejuvenating them. From Friulano’s Ponca soils (marl and sandstone), this friulano was fermented and aged in stainless, on lees. Tangerine, pear, honeysuckle is textured with broken stones on a medium, streamlined palate, finishing long with a medicinal white cherry note. Serious wine, with time ahead.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Livio Felluga
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Rivera Marese Bombino Biancotext
89PTS

Rivera Marese Bombino Bianco 2019

Puglia, ItalyRivera is one of Puglia’s star producers, with refreshingly affordable wines. This fragrant, showy, yet sophisticated bombino bianco is from the Castel del Monte region, named for the unique eight-sided 13th-century hilltop castle that dominates the countryside. Awash in white flowers, green apple acidity, white grapefruit, barely ripe pear, and melon, with perfect bitterness and tension, this wine slides down so fast the bottle will disappear before the appetizers are served. If you wonder about the fuss with indigenous grape varieties, buy a bottle of this and wonder no more. Back up the truck.Prices:
BC$17.00750ml
Producer: Azienda Vinicola Rivera S.P.A.
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Hester Creek Pinot Biancotext
88PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Bianco 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Hester Creek Pinot Bianco is a blend of two sites: storied estate Blocks 4 and 9 on the Golden Mile Bench; and 33 percent grown by long-time grower Stone’s Throw Vineyard on Black Sage Road in Oliver. Most of the juice is cool fermented in stainless steel, with 13 percent fermented in two French François Frères oak barrels for a rounder mouthfeel and more texture. The style is fresh and fragrant, mixing classic almond with apple blossoms. A small amount of residual sugar smooths out the palate without becoming sweet, leaving a fresh, lively, citrus finish to balance it. The winery suggests pork as a match. I would also add a piece of mature Italian cheese as a fun option. The 2021 growing season in the South Okanagan was the driest on record. It was also one of the warmest years, with the most growing degree days GDD (1758) since 2015. The result at Hester Creek was a light fruit set and a smaller berry size, but on the upside, the smaller berries in the clusters yielded intense flavours and vibrant aromatics.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Masia de La Roqua El Truc Blanctext
89PTS

Masia de La Roqua El Truc Blanc 2020

Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainMasia de la Roqua is in Olivella, a small town in Massís del Garraf, a mountain range between Barcelona and Tarragona. The winery dates back to 1164 and is under winemaker Jot Camps' care. The philosophy is to make wine from grapes indigenous to the region, namely parellada, xarel-lo, macabeo, malvasia de Sitges, and garnatxa negre. El Truc is all macabeo, a grape many of you may know from its use in Cava. The grapes are grown under a warm Mediterranean climate in clay/limestone soils that, at twice in history, were under the ocean. It's a pure white high in minerals and subtle citrus that weaves in and out its ultra-dry fish. Simply prepared oysters, calamari, clams, or mussel would all work here. This is a white wine for the adventurous, made as natural as possible.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Masia de la Roqua
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Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegnatext
91PTS

Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna 2021

Sardinia, ItalyYou can set your watch by Costamolino because year in and out, these guys deliver, and the price of the wine remains stable and sensible. The highly respected estate is on the island of Sardegna, where it concentrates on native varieties such as this vermentino. This vermentino comes from cool, hillside vineyards set 190 metres above the Mediterranean. The grapes get a super light pressing, and only free run juice makes it to the fermentation. The result is an overwhelmingly enticing floral aroma dusted with lemon and ginger. Bitter quince and juicy, ripe stone fruit balance each other off before a sweet tangerine closes the door. My advice is don’t open this too early before dinner, or you will have to open another bottle for dinner. Seafood is best here, including squid, crab, clams, mussels and more. Serve throughout the holidays.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
AB$26.00750ml
Producer: Argiolas
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15 December 2022

François le Saint Sancerre Rougetext
91PTS

François le Saint Sancerre Rouge 2020

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This organic Pinot Noir comes off vines 35-50 years in limestone soils. It was destemmed and native fermented in stainless, where it remains for 1 year. Plump plum, wild cherries floods a juicy palate, cored with ripe boysenberries, housed with fine, downy tannins and lit with a bright, tight acidity. Quite plush fruit here, well balanced by the stony acidity, drinking smartly now and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$51.00750ml
Producer: François le Saint
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Domaine Michel Briday Mercurey Les Vauxtext
88PTS

Domaine Michel Briday Mercurey Les Vaux 2017

Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, FranceDomaine Michel Briday was founded in 1976 by Michel and Lucette Briday with 15 acres. Today the domaine is managed by Michel’s son and daughter-in-law, Stéphane and Sandrine, and consists of 38 acres spread across the municipalities of Rully, Bouzeron, and Mercurey. These vines were planted in 1990 on deep clay, and grapes were native fermented in stainless before moving to oak to rest (25% new). Sultry cherry, raspberry leather, tart red currant run the streamlined palate, shaped with mineral salts and sticky tannins. Tasting a touch oxidative and a bit tired at this point in its evolution, this is drinking now, ideally with roast mushrooms / pork.Prices:
BC$53.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Michel Briday
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La Soeur Cadette Bourgogne Rougetext
90PTS

La Soeur Cadette Bourgogne Rouge 2021

Burgundy, FranceValentin Montaney is based in western Bourgogne’s Vézelay, where he is caretaker of his parents’ 22ha of organically farmed vineyards. In 2016, Valentin began a négociant business, creating the La Soeur Cadette range. This Bourgogne Rouge comes from 60 year old vines on the Cote d'Or, in clay and limestone soils. It was aged for 8 months in 225L barrels. Fragrant cherry, perfumed raspberry, is studded with mustard seed and lined with candle wax through a subtly medicinal spiced finish. Tannins are finely sticky, and acidity is easily lofted, making this prime for drinking now, ideally with autumn veg / wild mushrooms.Prices:
ON$56.00750ml
Producer: La Soeur Cadette
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Maude Wines Mohawk Hill Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Maude Wines Mohawk Hill Pinot Noir 2017

Central Otago, South Island, New ZealandAfter working as winemakers in Oz, Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen returned to her parents' Central Otago vineyard and took over the 4ha of steep, north facing, terraced slope. Mohawk Hill was the name given to their Lowburn vineyard in Cromwell, after the hills in the distance. This 667 pinot, planted in 2008 at 220m, was 36% whole cluster, had 3 weeks maceration, and 11 months in barrel. Lusty and burnished from time in bottle, this still has quite bright acidity, lifting the black plum, medicinal edged cherry, dark earth, forest floor bedding this wine. Tannins are softened by age, giving a gentle hug to the generous palate at this point, and leading it to a herbal / mustard seed finish. Drinking now, ideally with roast pork or lamb chops.Prices:
NZ$50.00750ml
Producer: Maude Wines
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Mondillo Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Mondillo Pinot Noir 2020

Central Otago, South Island, New ZealandFrom Central Otago's Bendigo, and Mondillo's single estate vineyard planted in 2001, this blend of Pommard and Dijon clones was destemmed and fermented in barrel, 25% new, for 11 months, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Tight and herbal laced cherry, raspberry flood the juicy palate, with effortlessly bright acidity rafting this through the saline finish. A charming CO PN, drinking well now and over the next couple of years.Prices:
NZ$25.00750ml
Producer: Mondillo Vineyards
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Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir 2021

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States"Mt. Jeff" is said to be a classic representative of Cristom's style, with the majority of fruit off the volcanic soils of their Eola-Amity Hills estate, the remainder from partner growers from the AVA. This vintage utilizes 46% whole cluster, which pokes up with alluring herbal raspberry edges across a finely textural cherry, floral plum base. Tannins are long and tightly etched, sculpting this medium wine through a lingering saline finish. Graceful, elegant, and present, this is a very classy wine showing the highlights of E-A Hills.Prices:
CDN$67.00750ml
Producer: Cristom
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14 December 2022

Lake Sonoma Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Lake Sonoma Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Sonoma County, California, United StatesI like the direction Lake Sonoma Winery has gone with the 2019 vintage. The fruit is still ripe and bold, but it's more vivid and front and centre in the glass. This cabernet sauvignon offers opulent blackberry and black currant alongside subtle florals and balanced oak spice. Medium-full bodied and quite polished, the palate is supple and juicy, making it an easy big red to enjoy on its own. Solid and fairly priced.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
AB$27.00750ml
MB$29.99750ml
ON$33.00750ml
QC$31.00750ml
NS$33.79750ml
NB$33.79750ml
SK$36.99750ml
YK$32.80750ml
Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
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Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThis deeply coloured cabernet sauvignon opens with a lifted nose of confected dark berries and chocolatey oak. It's not overly complex, or varietally specific, but it will certainly appeal to those looking for a solid local big red. A touch firm on the finish, this will do well with your favourite tomato-based pasta dish.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Backyard Vineyards
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Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignontext
93PTS

Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesThe best description of this wine is Montebello without the Montebello price. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but the attention to detail at Ridge allows this wine to soar close to its big brother Montebello. The differences are minute, with a slightly higher level of a cabernet sauvignon from old Monte Bello Vineyard blocks that winemaker John Olney (and now retired Paul Draper) see as more accessible earlier. The blend is 88/11/1 cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petite verdot. We love the dry mineral, meaty, peppery notes that preview its black and blue fruit reminiscent of cassis streaked with leather. A benchmark, if ever there was for a top-quality California cabernet sauvignon that reflects its coastal mountain terroir.Prices:
BC$114.99750ml
AB$100.00750ml
ON$114.95750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Ridge Montebellotext
96PTS

Ridge Montebello 2019

Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesFreshness is the calling card of Montebello, grown close to 900 metres on the side of a coastal California mountain. Tightly wound, smoky, minty nose with equally intense red/black fruit wrapped in spicy oak, this structure suggests its will age thirty years. 2019 was a generous crop, fuelled by much-needed heavy winter and spring rains. Opulent yet refined, Montebello is a kind California cabernet that stands heads and shoulder above most of its competitors. You might have to put a consortium together to buy it, but you won’t be disappointed with the bottle. One of the best I have tasted. The final tape is a mix of 82/9/8 cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all hitting 13.7% alcohol. As usual, it was aged in new American oak.Prices:
BC$376.99750ml
QC$168.00750ml
AB$175.00750ml
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Inglenook Rubicon Cabernet Sauvignontext
94PTS

Inglenook Rubicon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, United StatesRubicon first appeared in 1978, designed to be from the finest vineyard blocks. Under the guidance of current general manager Philippe Bascaules, ex-Chateau Margaux, the goal is to raise the level even higher. In 2018 the Rubicon harvest began at the end of September, and 75% of the fruit destined for the Rubicon was harvested by the first week of October. The early ripening of the Rubicon fruit in 2018 significantly contributed to the freshness and elegance of the final blend. California rich in colour and extract, this cabernet is quintessential Napa. Hedonistic to a fault, it is a mix of black fruit, five spice, black licorice, and vanilla that wafts out of the glass while the long silky back end carries on for minutes in the finish. This is built for the long run. The 2018 mix is 88 cabernet sauvignon, eight merlot, three cabernet franc, and one petit verdot aged 18 months in 100% French oak, of which 76 percent is new.Prices:
BC$389.99750ml
Producer: Inglenook Wine Estate
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Inglenook Estate Cabernet Sauvignontext
92PTS

Inglenook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, United StatesThe wine is a blend of blocks grown on the estate in the heart of the Rutherford Bench and on the famed Pritchard Hill. The magic is the magnetic intensity of this wine. Opaque in colour, it is awash in ripe black fruits streaked with coffee, cedar, and a faint hint of eucalyptus. Round and savoury, you can drink it now, but I recommend cellaring this cabernet for 7-10 years and allowing it to reach its zenith. The final blend is 95/3.5/1/.5 cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petit verdot, aged in 43 percent new French oak. Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon is a tribute to John Daniel Jr., who produced the famous Inglenook 1941. The modern day version is made with organically farmed estate fruit. 2018 was an excellent year, and the crop was described as generous. A home run for consumers and producers.Prices:
BC$149.99750ml
Producer: Inglenook Wine Estate
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Inglenook 1882 Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Inglenook 1882 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, United StatesA small production, Cabernet dominated blend that gives ripe red plum and black cherry, tightly wound but wrapped in silky tannins. This has a power to it but in a more accessible delivery. Confident and spiced with plenty of signature Inglenook balance, 1882 honours the year Captain Gustave Niebaum released the first Rutherford estate vintage, three years after the property was founded. The wine sees 15 percent new French oak, while 85 percent is raised in one year old French and American barrels. 130 years later, Philippe Bascaules, ex-Chateaux Margaux, is appointed general manager by the Coppola family to continue the story. 2018 is a stellar vintage, and the cabernet is very Napa. Sweet and wild black fruits streaked with cedar and savoury minty vanilla is kissed with cabernet franc for a lush finish. So silky soft you can drink it today, or it will hold through 2028.Prices:
BC$89.99750ml
Producer: Inglenook Wine Estate
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St Huberts The Stag Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

St Huberts The Stag Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThis brand is deep and plump and ripe with cassis, blackberry, and black cherry, with a chewy palate surrounded by soft tannins, taking this to a warming vanilla finish. Simple stuff for those wanting some gobs of fruit (and don't need it to taste much like cabernet sauvignon).Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
AB$18.75750ml
MB$19.75750ml
ON$20.31750ml
QC$20.00750ml
NB$22.95750ml
NS$22.50750ml
NFL$20.58750ml
Producer: St Huberts
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12 December 2022

Niepoort Vintage Porttext
94PTS

Niepoort Vintage Port 2019

Cima Corga, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom schistous vineyards in the Cima Corgo, and vines 80-100 years, this magisterial vintage port blends Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Tinta Roriz and others. After foot treading in lagares, this aged 2 years in tonel, and was bottled in July 2021. Sultry ripe plums, boysenberry flood a structured palate, with a savoury medicinal thread running the length, and scrubby rockrose scenting. The sweetness is held at bay by the savoury schistous character, showing itself through the pure fruited core, and again on the lingering stony finish. Tannins are ample yet working with, not against, the youthful fruit, and the spirit is ideally placed as to not stick out at all. A slightly lighter, certainly savoury, serious port for the cellar.Prices:
ON$79.95750ml
ON$138.95750ml
Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Fonseca 10 Year Old Aged Tawny Porttext
90PTS

Fonseca 10 Year Old Aged Tawny Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalWith a medium mahogany hue, this 10 Year Old Tawny from Fonseca (bottled in 2018) opens with evolved aromas of dates, spices, and pecans, blended with subtle dried herb notes. The warm alcohol, along with underlying tannins, is wrapped with unctuous sweetness. The delicate and nuanced finish offers lingering nuttiness and pleasant walnut skin bitterness.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
AB$40.00750ml
QC$34.75750ml
PEI$40.00750ml
NB$39.00750ml
NS$40.00750ml
NFL$40.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawnytext
92PTS

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis 20 Year Old Tawny from Taylor Fladgate shows an excellent combination of pecan nuttiness, toffee sweetness, and savoury spiciness. The evolved notes of the fruits, sweet dried apricot, and fig, with tangy orange peel, are charming. It’s an elegant and delicate Tawny with richness and complexity. It will do well with any sweet holiday dessert but fig tarts or pecan pies will pair superbly.Prices:
BC$72.99750ml
ON$69.00750ml
MB$69.00750ml
QC$69.75750ml
NF$78.00750ml
SK$90.75750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawnytext
91PTS

Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalTaylor Fladgate’s 10 Year Old Tawny (bottled in 2022) leads with dried fruits and a hint of savoury nuts and peppery spices. The residual sugar is slightly less (107g/L) than that of regular 10 YO Tawnys but sweetness from the elevated fruit concentration makes it feel sweeter and richer. Great integration of the warm alcohol, a fair amount of fine tannins, and marked acidity provides structure to ensure future ageability.Prices:
BC$41.99750ml
AB$35.00750ml
MB$34.99750ml
ON$34.99750ml
QC$32.95750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Fonseca Bin No 27 Reserve Porttext
88PTS

Fonseca Bin No 27 Reserve Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalDeeply coloured, this Reserve Port is full of jammy red and dark berries layered with sweet red beans and spicy undertones. It’s a fruity Ruby Port with a mellow and supple mouthfeel. Its straightforward chocolate bittersweet finish makes it a good pairing for any chocolate dessert.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
AB$22.00750ml
MB$20.00750ml
ON$16.95750ml
NB$24.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Porttext
90PTS

Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis organic Reserve Port from Fonseca starts off with a more developed nose of dates, Chinese five spices, and a hint of soy. Although there are fresher dark berries on the palate, the focus is more on earthiness and savouriness than the fruit itself. With tight acidity and chewy tannins, it’s a structured Reserve Port that offers multi-layered flavours.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
AB$29.00750ml
MB$28.00750ml
QC$28.50750ml
ON$25.00750ml
YK$33.00750ml
NS$31.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Porttext
90PTS

Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe first certified organic port to be released back in 2006, this Reserve bottling (lot number LA21140) shows youthful, boisterous dark fruits accented by licorice, cracked pepper, and violets. There's both generosity and purity to the fruit, with a remarkable concentration that easily carries and balances the hedonistic sweetness. A distinct style of Reserve Port, but one that I find very compelling. Pair this with chocolate desserts with raspberries.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
AB$29.00750ml
MB$28.00750ml
QC$28.50750ml
ON$25.00750ml
YK$33.00750ml
NS$31.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Fonseca 10 Year Old Aged Tawny Porttext
90PTS

Fonseca 10 Year Old Aged Tawny Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis exuberant, youthful tawny is packed with spices and lush dark fruits, true to Fonseca's house style, with a generous, almost hedonistic, palate that's richly concentrated with fruit and accented by caramel and spiced nuts. It's a sweeter style of tawny port, but with the fruit concentration to keep everything in balance. A perfect dessert on its own. Bottled in 2018.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
AB$40.00750ml
QC$34.75750ml
PEI$40.00750ml
NB$39.00750ml
NS$40.00750ml
NFL$40.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Fonseca Bin No 27 Reserve Porttext
89PTS

Fonseca Bin No 27 Reserve Port NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Bin 27 is a ripe, full-throttle style of Reserve Port, with spiced berries complemented by chocolate and mint. The fruit is intense and lush, making it a Reserve Port that's easy to appreciate, with a soft structure that rewards drinking on its own.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
AB$22.00750ml
MB$20.00750ml
ON$16.95750ml
NB$24.00750ml
Producer: Fonseca Guimaraens
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Taylor Fladgate Historical Reserve Tawny The Mallettext
92PTS

Taylor Fladgate Historical Reserve Tawny The Mallet NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThe Mallet joins the Taylor Fladgate Historic Limited Edition series, a collection of specially blended cask-aged Ports presented in bottles inspired by historic bottle moulds. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the shape of the wine bottle continuously evolved from the squat globular form of early glass vessels, used to convey wine from the wine merchant’s cask to the consumer’s table, into the tall cylindrical shape of today’s bottles in which wine can be cellared and aged. The Historic Limited Edition series represents different stages in this evolution. The latest addition to the series is a bottle moulded in a distinctive ‘mallet’ shape which became established in England by the 1730s. It represents the transition from the early ‘onion’ bottle to the straight-sided ‘cylinder’ shape, similar to modern bottles, which emerged around 1750. Look for a darkish red/brown colour that goes brick red at the edge. Old Tawny is always harmonious. In this case, it is a rich harmony. Still, maturity and complexity play an equally important role, binding the butterscotch, the caramel, the spice, the toffee, the reserved fruit and frankly, the history. Drink or hold, but mainly contemplate.Prices:
BC$54.99750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Taylor Fladgate Golden Age 50 Year Old Tawny Portotext
95PTS

Taylor Fladgate Golden Age 50 Year Old Tawny Porto NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalTaylor Fladgate Golden Age is a collector's edition port released in limited quantities. In the years leading up to the blending, the individual wines were aged in Taylor's cellars in specially selected seasoned oak casks that the firm's team of expert coopers cared for. Fifty years is considered the Golden Age of maturity for such a Tawny. It is blended from rare wood-aged ports matured in large oak casks, and the fruit comes from the Douro Valley's eastern reaches, considered the best source of the most long-lasting wines. The colour mixes chestnut and copper with typical elegant and ethereal aromas of nutmeg, rum raisins, and spice. The palate continues the parade of flavours with prunes, dried apricot, streaks of orange, and a freshness of acidity that adds life to the butterscotch almond finish. Long, complex, and contemplative, this is an intriguing bottle of port for the enthusiast. Its exposure to oxygen over 50 years means if you have the willpower, you can open the bottle and taste it over weeks without worrying about it going off. Pecan pie, anyone? Look for this in private wine stores in December.Prices:
BC$349.99750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Porttext
90PTS

Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2017

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalTaylor Fladgate were pioneers of the LBV category, a high-quality ready-to-drink alternative to Vintage Port for everyday consumption. Unlike Vintage Port, removed from wood and bottled at the two-year mark, LBV is bottled after four to six years in vats and is ready to drink when bottled. The blend pulls from a reserve of some of the best full-bodied red Ports produced at the 2017 harvest — many from grapes grown on Taylor Fladgate vineyards and other top properties in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior areas. It is reasonably developed, with rambunctious black pie fruit aromas and flavours intermixed with sweet spices. It is an upgrade in 2016 thanks to a long, rich finish full of dark chocolate, black raspberry jam and abundant flavours. The perfect Taylor to sip while you wait for your Vintage Port to mature.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawnytext
93PTS

Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis is a poised, sophisticated 20 year old tawny that's confidently understated. If the 10 year old is more obvious and forthcoming, this slowly and meaningfully evolves in the glass, offering dried red berries, candied orange peel, caramel, roasted nuts, and savoury spices. It's a complete pour, that's equally decadent and elegant, which will no doubt be incredibly versatile at the dinner table. Bottled in 2022.Prices:
BC$72.99750ml
ON$69.00750ml
MB$69.00750ml
QC$69.75750ml
NF$78.00750ml
SK$90.75750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawnytext
92PTS

Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny NV

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis is a benchmark 10-year-old tawny port for a reason. It strikes a beautiful balance between fresh fruit and mature notes from cask-aging, making for an impressively complex tawny with soft red fruits and orange peel, alongside spice, walnut, and seasoned wood. I love the balance, slightly drier in style (though still sweet, to be sure) with beautifully integrated alcohol, with impressive concentration and polish. A must-have for the holiday season. Bottled in 2022.Prices:
BC$41.99750ml
AB$35.00750ml
MB$34.99750ml
ON$34.99750ml
QC$32.95750ml
Producer: Taylor Fladgate Partnership
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07 December 2022

Robertson Winery Number One Constitution Road Shiraztext
87PTS

Robertson Winery Number One Constitution Road Shiraz 2020

Robertson, Breede River Valley, South AfricaThe colour of this heavyweight shiraz is about as hefty as the weighty bottle. From warmer inland Robertson, this full bodied red brings smoked meats, baked blackberry, black cherry, and reams of fresh cracked peppercorn across a plush palate. Tannins are soft and furry, and the finish is blackberry jam sweet and spiced. If you're looking for a big BBQ red, look here. If you're looking for a wine with typicity of place, look elsewhere.Prices:
BC$36.00750ml
Producer: Robertson Co-operative Winery
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Little Giant Barossa Shiraztext
89PTS

Little Giant Barossa Shiraz 2019

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe Little Giant is the stocky, robust, southern hairy-nose wombat and the symbol of this humble Barossa shiraz that packs a punch in the glass. The Barossa fruit is fermented in stainless steel to keep the flavours of a dry and small vintage of very high quality. It spent nine months in large, used French and American oak barrels. Look for gobs of black plum and blueberry dusted in licorice, mocha, and fresh cracked pepper. Hedonistic and ready to drink. Anything grilled works here.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Fourth Wave Wine
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06 December 2022

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir 2020

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaUnsworth is reshaping its future with pinot noir and chardonnay, and this wine, tasted several times now, is a terrific picture of the future. Bright and juicy, it's a medium-weight pinot that defines the Island coastal pinot noir vibe. In 2020 it's a touch fleshier, giving it an extra edge in the glass. It is silky smooth on entry with wild cherry, raspberry, and a dried leaf undertow that adds complexity. Saison Vineyard is the anchor pinot noir for this wine, providing 75 percent of the blend. The texture and freshness of Cowichan Valley pinot reflect its unique BC marine silt and glacial, fluvial, sandy loam soils. A mix of clones is used: 115, 667, 777, 828, and a clone whose origin is unknown, adding a level of complexity that is much appreciated. Very little new oak completes the picture of a standout island pinot. Drink or hold.Prices:
BC$34.90750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Van Westen Vineyards Di Bello Wines VD Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Di Bello Wines VD Pinot Noir 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is year eleven for the Di Bello - Van Westen pinot noir collaboration, better known as the VD label. The style continues on the lush, hedonistic side. It’s all Naramata fruit that is reminiscent of Sonoma Coast and Central Otago with better acidity. Its dark, floral, sweet black cherry wafts from the glass. The palate is silky soft, with juicy black plum and spicy black raspberry mixed with an earthy undercurrent and a fresh finish. Pork tenderloin, anyone? Released Feb 14, 2023.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Vig Clone 115 Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Vig Clone 115 Pinot Noir 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPenelope and Dylan Roche, owners of Naramata-based Roche wines, have launched a collection of labels tagged Vig (that’s short for vigneron or winegrower), which collaborates with renowned Canadian artists known for their bold style. The Roches asked them to create a label that illustrates their sensory experiences when tasting the wine. In this case, artist Sarah Neely’s colourful label takes on the clone 115 pinot noir with earthy raspberry/tomato and an earthy undercurrent. The savoury fruit is organically farmed, hand picked, and aged in neutral French oak. I like it with fresh goat cheese.Prices:
BC$46.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Roche Pinot Noir Traditiontext
89PTS

Roche Pinot Noir Tradition 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe west facing 15-acre organic Kozier Vineyard was planted in 2007 on the Naramata Bench, 4 km north of the winery. In 2018 the wine was perfectly balanced, pitching forest floor, earthy mushrooms, with red fruit. The silk textures speak to almost spent tannins, leaving it ready to drink. Perfect for a grilled salmon, winter stew, or a sage and brown butter gnocchi dish.Prices:
BC$49.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Quails’ Gate classic pinot is a mix of clones from various sites. Post ferment, it spends about ten months in Frech oak which is probably the limit for any significant production, cool-climate pinot noir to give the fruit its best chance to express itself. The ’21 nose pitches black cherry and cedar boughs. The tannins are youthful and somewhat dry and are sitting on the fruit at this point. Gives this another two years in the bottle, then serve it with an umami-infested pasta dish with mushrooms and veal.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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CedarCreek Platinum Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe DeHart vineyard faces west in east Kelowna but is tucked away from the Okanagan Lake effect, which makes it a cooler site. This is always a plus with pinot noir. It is wild fermented and aged in French oak for only ten months, which pushes lushness and fruit purity over all else. 2020 proved to be a terrific year by the end of the harvest, so there are high expectations for the wines. Some reduction on the nose is currently subduing the fruit. The texture is fabulous, and the cherries and orange zest glide along a lengthy palate with no noticeable oak, a touch of lees, and struck match reduction in the finish. I will withhold a final judgment on this wine to see how it develops and if it cleans up on the palate. Only 13.1 percent of alcohol by volume is a beautiful thing. Drink or hold through 2025.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Naramata Ranch Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNaramata Ranch Vineyard is a primarily unknown vineyard that sits at the northern end of the Naramata Bench. The topography has always been outstanding, but the wines are about to surpass the site. With significant elevation changes, surrounded by steep, rocky cliffs, the pinot noir is often landlocked, clos style, by rocks, providing heat incubators that ripen the pinot noir to perfection. The grapes are generally tiny, yielding fruit of great intensity. It is all wild fermented with whole bunches to help calm the robust fruit, resulting in a lovely, delicate, complex, earthy pinot that takes your breath away. It was a perfect vintage when the fruit arrived at the winery, and the wine was superb. Blueberries, black cherries, juicy plummy notes and a dusting of earth push the wine over the finish line of exceptional. A new moment in BC pinot noir.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Home Block Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Home Block vineyard, planted on the eastern shores of Okanagan Lake, dates to 1991, and has a proven record of turning out quality pinot noir from a mix of clones planted on clay, silt, and stone. The different local expressions within Home Block capture the character and style of that site. The attack is silky soft, pitching a pinot that fills the mouth with earthy mushroom undercurrents supporting black cherry, black raspberry that runs through the wine. This is a wine made for duck or pheasant, and you can try both at Home Block restaurant, one of the finest winery restaurants in the country, if not the continent.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyardtext
91PTS

Haywire Pinot Noir Secrest Mountain Vineyard 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis comes off their organically farmed Secrest Mountain Vineyard, a higher altitude site with calcium-carbonate laced alluvial and gravelled soils. This was native fermented, 50% whole cluster, with 4 weeks skin contact in concrete and stainless before basket pressing into concrete for 10 months. Wild plum, cherry, perfumed raspberry flood this lifted pinot, seasoned with scrubby desert shrubs and pink peppercorn, and hugged with finely grippy tannins through a textured, lingering finish. Beauty.Prices:
BC$25.00750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Pinot Noir 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe winemaker and owner of Winemaker’s Cut, Michal Mosny, was so pleased with the quality of his fruit in 2020 that he made the decision o bottle several single varieties. Indeed, this walks the fine line of sweet pinot fruit and earthy forest floor, both of which let the savoury black cherry and spice bleed into the wine from front to back. Ready to drink. Duck pizza would be a treat, or a favourite mushroom pasta.Prices:
BC$37.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Liquidity Reserve Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Liquidity Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2020 Reserve comes with a new fruit source, adding a component from the northern end of the Naramata Bench to join estate fruit from the Okanagan Falls G.I. This style is classic New World pinot, reminiscent of Central Otago, pitching lush, rich black cherry, earth, and cedar spice. Anything mushroom will do here, from pizza to risotto or a portabello burger.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
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Scorched Pinot Noirtext
84PTS

Scorched Pinot Noir 2017

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis medium bodied pinot noir mixes clones 115, 828, and 777. The texture is pinot perfect, and the black plum, black cherry, and spice can entice, but the wine is marred by a funky, sulfuric, burnt rubber scent on the nose that, at this point, is winning the game. It dissipates but never entirely leaves the wine.Prices:
BC$30.95750ml
Producer: Scorched Earth
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03 December 2022

Champagne Louis Roederer Collection 242text
92PTS

Champagne Louis Roederer Collection 242 NV

Champagne, FranceA new wine from Roederer forged by three decades of climate change will be the successor to Brut Premier. 242 results from a decade of planning for riper grapes, earlier harvests, and likely more often, vintage champagne declarations. The multi-vintage, re-tooled 242 is free from any formulas and will be blended each year to tell the best story of its terroir. In essence, Roederer is “placing the art of blending” at its soul. One thing left unchanged are the historical origins of the mix: 1/3 “La Rivière” estate, 1/3 “La Montagne” estate and 1/3 “La Côte” estate and most of that organically grown, mainly in chalk. The secret sauce is the new “Perpetual Reserve,” started in 2012, enriched every year from the latest harvest and stored in large-capacity stainless steel. The Perpetual Reserve will also significantly increase its proportion of oak-aged reserve wines that go into the blends. Wines from previous years and young plots on the Cristal estate, aged in large French oak vats (foudres), will all make it into 242, the 242nd blend since the founding of Roederer. The mix is 34% Perpetual Reserve and 10% oak-aged reserve wines from the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages, complemented by 56% of the finest wines from the 2017 harvest. It is all aged between 3 and 4 years, and you feel the richness and weight from the first sip, suggesting this is different. An epicurean bubble, complex, nuanced, mixing that Roedered lighter than air fruit and citrus zest with a leesy, hazelnut finish. It would appear they are going after Bollinger with this style which is a noble pursuit. This will be a fun label to watch in the coming decade.Prices:
BC$82.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Louis Roederer
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Champagne Krug Grande Cuvée Bruttext
97PTS

Champagne Krug Grande Cuvée Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe 169th edition of the Grande Cuvée has been good to Krug after two challenging years. The 2013 harvest saw fabulous fruit from the old vineyards in Ambonnay and Ricey. Cellar Master Julie Cavil says, "the chardonnays of the year were magnificently fresh and pure, with great intensity and length, while the pinot noirs were powerful and long with discreet fruit, while the pinot meunier added structure, tension and vivacity." The latest KGC is a blend of a staggering 146 wines from 11 different years. The youngest is from 2013, and the oldest dates to 2000. The final cuvée is 43% pinot noir, 35% chardonnay and 22% meunier, aged 84 months in the Krug cellars. I am struck by the freshness of this wine and the youth of its alluring nose that tells a story of seven years on the lees. Rich, complex, and mysterious, the almonds and hazelnut mix effortlessly with the dried apricot, toast, and lemon pith. Intense, austere, dry and unforgettable. Let the journey begin.Prices:
BC$285.99750ml
AB$289.99750ml
ON$290.00750ml
QC$313.00750ml
NB$280.00750ml
NS$295.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Krug
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceBased in the Aube, which shares the same Portlandian and Kimmeridgian limestone soils as Chablis just further south, young Remi farms 3 of his family's organic 9ha under this label; the rest of the grapes are sold to large champagne houses. This current Extra Brut, his largest production wine at 25K bottles / year, is based on 2019 (v19) and blends 65% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, and 5% meunier, with 20% reserve wines. Primarily fermented in stainless, with full MLF, 20% saw wood aging prior to 2 years sur lattes and 2 g/L dosage, in January 2022. Very red fruited, with tart red currant, cherry, cranberry streaking across the palate, cored with bright lemon and green apple. There's a toasted meringue hug around the sides, with slight oxidative kisses throughout. All is riveted by a buzzy limestone base, which continues to vibrate on the salt studded finish.Prices:
ON$64.00750ml
BC$99.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirs Réservetext
92PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirs Réserve 2018

Champagne, FranceRemi Leroy farms 3 of his family's 9 ha in the Aube's Meurville, selling the remaining fruit for additional income, with the goal to use all of the fruit for his non-interventionist label. The only inputs he uses is a small addition of sulphur. This BdN Réserve is entirely pinot noir, native fermented with full MLF, and vinified in stainless. This was disgorged in winter 2021, and was dosed with 1 g/L. Pouring a blush hue (thanks to the generous 2018 vintage), this is very red fruited, with fresh cherry, raspberry, meringue, scented with fragrant wildflowers and lit with a buzzy kimmeridgian hum that streams this to a lingering saline finish. This bone dry sparkler is quite sleek considering the density of red fruit here. Very well handled, with a lovely light touch. 3000 bottles produced.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Meunier Extra Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Meunier Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was originally made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate which then covered about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks, but soon realized that too much modernity such as the use of herbicides and pesticides would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. In 2005, his son Aurélien Laherte overtook operations of the estate. The 10.5 hectares of Larherte vineyards are situated largely in the Coteaux Sud D'Epernay, sandwiched between the Cotes des Blancs and the Vallee de la Marne. 7 of their 75+ separate parcels are farmed biodynamically and certified organic, with the rest organic and / or sustainably farmed. This cuvée is sourced from vineyards with an average age of 25 years, and more than 40 years for the parcels that are selected for the still red wine. It is a blend of 30% macerated Meunier, 60% white wine (immediately pressed Meunier) and 10% still red Meunier, generally equal parts The wine was fermented in vats, foudres, and barrels, with partial MLF, and is an equal blend of the two most recent vintages, dosed with 2.5 g/L after a minimum 24 months on lees. My bottle was disgorged January 2022. Pouring a deeper blush hue, this is packed with red currant, white cherry, florals, all gripped with a chalky hand, livened with tart acidity, and finishing with salinity and bitter cherry. I've concerns with the clear glass bottle and light strike, so purchase by the case if you can, or from a shop where this isn't sitting out exposed. Well suited to pork / poultry dishes.Prices:
BC$95.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Laherte Frères
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Champagne Laherte Frères Ultradition Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Laherte Frères Ultradition Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was originally made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate which then covered about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks, but soon realized that too much modernity such as the use of herbicides and pesticides would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. In 2005, his son Aurélien Laherte (7th gen) overtook operations of the estate, now 11 hectares, with another 4 hectares contracted by like-minded farmers. This, their flagship, blends fruit from Vallée de la Marne and Coteaux Sud d’Epernay, and is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir, primarily (80%) fermented in vat, foudres, and barrel, with 40% reserve wines, kept in wood. My bottle was disgorged December 2021. Cherry brioche, lemon curd, red apple flood this doughy, compact palate, carved out with chalk and lemon pith / peel. Well suited to proteins, and enjoying now.Prices:
BC$82.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Laherte Frères
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Champagne Lilbert-Fils Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Lilbert-Fils Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Lilbert property was established in 1746, and today is in the care of Bertrand Lilbert. Champagne Lilbert-Fils owns 3.5 hectares of GC fruit on the Côte des Blancs, with an average vine age of 45 years. This NV Brut, their flagship blend, is by default a blanc de blancs, blending Cramant, Chouilly, and Oiry, based half on 2019, with the remaining half reserve wines. This spent 3 years on lees, and was disgorged in spring 2022 with 3 g/L. Crystalline lemon, crunchy green apple, toasted almonds, subtle meringue streak along a very pure palate, with a fine cushion of lees, softer mousse, and kiss of white flowers on the lightly chalky finish. A subtle delight.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Lilbert-Fils
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Champagne Henriot Rosétext
89PTS

Champagne Henriot Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceHenriot's vineyards have been around since the 1700s, but they didn't begin producing sparkling wine until 1808, when Apolline Henriot began to make wine from her family's lands. This rosé was first released in the 1980s. This bottle blends approximately 60% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, and 10% meunier, with 20-40% reserve wines and 10% still red pinot noir, from Aÿ. It spent 3 years on lees, and was disgorged with 7 g/L. Pouring an orange / salmon hue, this streams smoked stone, burnished orange, toasted cherry brioche along a lightly creamy, tart red currant core, finishing with a pink grapefruit rinse. One well suited to gutsier foods.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Henriot
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Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceHenriot's vineyards have been around since the 1700s, but they didn't begin producing sparkling wine until 1808, when Apolline Henriot began to make wine from her family's lands. 2/3 of this BdB comes from 1er and GC fruit, and employs 30-50% reserve wines, including partial perpetual. It spent 4 years on lees, and was dosed with 7 g/L. Abundant buttered popcorn and toasted brioche lead, wrapping around an expansive core of apple and lemon, finishing with a chewy, chalky wake. For all its doughy toastiness, this is pristine. Ideally situated for richer risotto and/or crab / lobster / scallop dishes.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Henriot
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Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Travel Packtext
92PTS

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Travel Pack NV

Champagne, FranceIf you are looking for a slick gift and a wine that delivers, the Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Travel Pack hits all the right notes. The Piper folks call it a night champagne for bars, clubs, and the theatre. Well, that translates nicely to a party bubble, and its insulated red carry pack comes with two elegant champagne glasses. All you need to do is add one. The champagne is bright and fresh with a chalky, citrus profile and a dusting of sea salt. Perfect for any occasion, including nightlife.Prices:
BC$89.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Piper Heidsieck
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Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organictext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organic NV

Champagne, FranceLanson Green label has an appealing fresh green apple style streaked with lemon pith and floral, mineral, chalky notes. Its precision can be found in its tight linear palate that refreshes every sip. A slight improvement over the last rendition. The certified organic fruit comes from vineyards around Verneuil and Vandières in the Marne Valley. The land was farmed biodynamically when Lanson purchased the site in 2010 from Leclerc Briant. They use 8 to 13 hectares to produce this cuvée, a 50/30/20 pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay blend based on fruit harvested in 2015. There is no malolactic, so brighter acidity, and it spends 48 months on its lees, as exhibited by its appealing aromas and textures.Prices:
BC$99.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Henriot Millésimetext
92PTS

Champagne Henriot Millésime 2012

Champagne, FranceHenriot's vineyards have been around since the 1700s, but they didn't begin producing sparkling wine until 1808, when Apolline Henriot began to make wine from her family's lands. Vintage 2012 blends 54% chardonnay with 46% pinot noir, from 6 1er and GC: Trépail, Mailly-Champagne, Verzenay, Avenay in Montagne de Reims; and Avize, Chouilly in Côtes des Blancs. This spent a minimum of 8 years sur lattes, and was dosed with 6 g/L. Deep apple and toasted brioche fill the base of this generous wine, filled out with lemon, anise, brown butter along an expansive finish. Impressive wine from the impressive 2012, drinking beauty now and with time ahead.Prices:
BC$140.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Henriot
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Champagne Henriot Brut Souveraintext
91PTS

Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain NV

Champagne, FranceHenriot's vineyards have been around since the 1700s, but they didn't begin producing sparkling wine until 1808, when Apolline Henriot began to make wine from her family's lands. This, their flagship blends 45% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay, and 15% pinot meunier from 29 crus. This uses 30% reserve wines (including part perpetual), and spent at least 3 years sur lattes, disgorged with 7 g/L. Ripe red apple, green apple ride a deep brioche base, with cherry blossoms and fine baking spices scenting. There's a tight lemony brace pinning everything in to the subtly saline, lemony finish. Quite smart, friendly, and classic.Prices:
BC$72.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Henriot
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Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organictext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Green Label Bio-Organic NV

Champagne, FranceGrapes from this relatively new Lanson cuvée come from certified organic vineyards around Verneuil and Vandières in the Marne Valley. The Domaine de la Malmaison vineyards were farmed biodynamically when Lanson purchased the site in 2010 from Leclerc Briant. They use 8 of 13 hectares to produce this cuvée of 50% pinot noir, 30% pinot meunier, and 20% chardonnay, based on the 2015 vintage, with no MLF, and four years on lees, disgorged October 2021 with 6 g/L. Tight and zippy, with green apple, lemon peel, and white blossoms, strung across a taut palate, with a green edge and a finely chalky finish. Precise and still quite friendly.Prices:
BC$99.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Pommery Pink POP Rosé Extra Drytext
87PTS

Champagne Pommery Pink POP Rosé Extra Dry NV

Champagne, FrancePerfectly pocket-sized, this dancehall ready Extra Dry (read, sweeter) champagne has a proper, authentic (and super cute) cork and muselet, even sporting its own POP plaque. This is 1/3 each PN, PM, C, with a heady swig of RS to balance out the tart raspberry, strawberry on the lightly effervescent palate. Though this finishes short and sweet, it is in balance, as far as nightclub fizz goes. Cute and fun, chill well and dance away.Prices:
BC$24.99200ml
Producer: Champagne Pommery
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Champagne Pommery Pop Extra Sectext
86PTS

Champagne Pommery Pop Extra Sec NV

Champagne, FrancePerfectly pocket-sized, this dancehall ready Extra Dry (read, sweeter) champagne has a proper, authentic (and super cute) cork and muselet, even sporting its own POP plaque. The wine inside (PM, PN, C) isn't as cute and fuzzy however, with bitter citrus, bruised pear, and wilted flowers mixing with a reductive note off the hop, all with a sharp acidity jockeying with a generous dosage. As cute as it is, this doesn't make a recommended dance partner.Prices:
BC$20.00200ml
Producer: Champagne Pommery
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Champagne Lancelot Pienne Table Ronde Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Lancelot Pienne Table Ronde Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceBoth the Lancelot and Pienne families have been making Champagne for more than 100 years, and were united in the 1960s when Jean Lancelot wed Brigitte Pienne. Today they have just over 8 hectares of vines. From the chalky GC villages of Cramant, Avize, and Chouilly, these vines age 50 years. This bottle was based 80% on 2017, with 20% reserve wines from a solera started in 1998. This was disgorged in October 2021 (3+ years sur lattes) with a dosage of 3.5 g/L. The power of the grand crus is evident, as is the concentration of older vines on the deep chalk soils, translating as frizzed lemon, ripe green apple, meringue, atop a salted brioche base, and lingering with chalky salinity through the bitter rainier cherry finish. Quite smart, drinking very well now.Prices:
BC$82.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Lancelot Pienne
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Champagne Canard-Duchene Cuvée Leonie Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Canard-Duchene Cuvée Leonie Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1868, the red dominant blend of 40/40/20 pinot noir/pinot meunier/chardonnay includes 25% reserve wines, a minimum of 3 years on the lees, and a dosage of 9 g/L. Ripe and doughy, with red apple, spiced cherry leading, braced with lemon peel, and smoothed out with the generous dosage through a salted finish. Upfront and generously present, you can understand why this is a regular on airplanes / in lounges.Prices:
BC$54.99750ml
QC$52.95750ml
NB$56.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Canard Duchene
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Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintagetext
93PTS

Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010

Champagne, FranceIt is always a privilege to taste this historical champagne that is often underrated by those quick to dismiss larger producers in favour of the artisan. Let’s be clear; not all large producers are committed to the highest quality in the same manner, and not all artisan producers can make outstanding wine. The 2010 Dom is a 54/46 chardonnay/pinot noir mix that is humming along just fine in 2022, essentially mid-life for this champagne. Tasted several times now since its release, I am always amazed at its ability to project power and intensity while tasting as elegant as a Blanc de Blancs most years. A subtle palate of cherries, lemon, chalk, and salt weave in and out of every sip, leaving you wanting more. Freshness with complexity is a powerful pairing and one this label accomplishes easily. It is even more impressive given the challenging growing season and how few people released vintage champagne in 2010.Prices:
BC$259.99750ml
ON$250.00750ml
QC$250.00750ml
Producer: Dom Perignon
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Champagne Pommery Brut Royal Rosétext
90PTS

Champagne Pommery Brut Royal Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceBrut Royal Rosé blends 38% pinot noir, 31% chardonnay, 31% pinot meunier, from 40 villages (95% of which from 1er and GC sites). After 3 years sur lattes, this was disgorged with 10 g/L. Red apple, cherry brioche, meringue rule the creamy core, finishing with crushed stones and pithy pink grapefruit. Nice acidity to counter the RS, making this a friendly and appealing option for canapés for a crowd. Well done.Prices:
BC$86.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pommery
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Champagne André Clouet Rosé No. 3 Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne André Clouet Rosé No. 3 Brut NV

Champagne, FranceAndré Clouet and his son Jean-François are the owners of this domaine, with 10 hectares in Bouzy and Ambonnay, begun in 1741. The Clouet family first found the spotlight as the official printer to Louis XV’s Royal Court in Versailles in the 18th century, hence the intricacy of their wine labels. This GC pinot noir rosé includes 4% still wine, and is 75% base wine (based in 2018), with 22% reserve wines. This spent at least 2 years on lees, and was dosed with 8 g/L. The 3 in this No3 Rosé represents the style of the wine measured on a scale from 1-10, hence, this is a lighter, more elegant rosé. Wild strawberries, raspberries glide along a satin palate, with a tart/sweet rhubarb core through the gentle finish.Prices:
Producer: Champagne André Clouet
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Champagne Barons de Rothschild Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV

Champagne, FranceWith over 150 years of winemaking experience, the Rothschild family need no introduction. However, it wasn't until 2003, when the three Rothschild cousins Baron Benjamin, Baron Eric, and Baroness Philippine came together to finally add champagne to Rothschild’s huge portfolio of wines. The primary cuvée of Champagne Barons de Rothschild, this is 60% chardonnay primarily from the Côte des Blancs 1er and GCs, with 40% pinot noir predominantly from Verzenay, Ay, Mareuil-sur-Ay, and Ambonnay. 40% reserve wines are used, and this spent a minimum of 3 years sur lattes, with approximately 7 g/L dosage. Rich and doughy, with ample toasted biscuit, yellow apple, light cherry, perfumed pear across an expansive palate, finishing with a slight bitter red currant. Certainly a posher style, yet still affordable.Prices:
BC$95.00750ml
QC$77.00750ml
Producer: Domaines Barons de Rothschild
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Champagne Pommery Brut Royaltext
88PTS

Champagne Pommery Brut Royal NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Pommery began in 1836, and this flagship Brut Royal has been produced since 1874, said to be the first Brut released at that time. This is 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, from 40 villages (95% 1er or GC fruit). It spent 3 years sur lattes and was disgorged with 10 g/L. Red apple, toast rule the creamy palate, with some bruised florals, meringue, and pear on the briefer finish. The higher dosage makes this very friendly, but takes away its appealing edge. Toasting-ready.Prices:
BC$81.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pommery
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Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintagetext
96PTS

Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintage 2012

Champagne, FranceAll in all, after a challenging start, 2012 is a vintage to be reckoned with and having tasted it now, we can confirm that this Dom is doing fine in the bottle after ten years. The growing season started with frost in the winter and spring, followed by heavy rains, frightening hailstorms and cold spells throughout the flowering. After that, an intensely warm summer seemed extreme, but the saviour was a warm, dry fall with a September 10 to 26 harvest. So today, the wine shows plenty of promise as it emerges a decade later. Typically fresh but mouth-filling, the nose is a mix of stony minerals, chalk and white flowers. The palate is expansive and complete with ripe apricot notes, flecks of rhubarb and dried herbs and more of that chalky minerality in the finish. Long seductive and flavourful, this is a wine to sip and savour for as long as possible. They like to talk more about energy in Champagne, and this wine has more than its share. This is the bottle to buy when you want to celebrate or see the stars.Prices:
BC$288.99750ml
AB$300.00750ml
Producer: Dom Perignon
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Champagne Gosset Celebris Bruttext
93PTS

Champagne Gosset Celebris Brut 2008

Champagne, FranceThis Vintage is only the eighth edition of Gosset Celebris Vintage in the past 34 years. It is a limited edition of 15,000 bottles. A blend of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir, from Ambonnay, Avenay, Avize, Aÿ, Bouzy, Cramant, Cuis, Cumières, Trépail, Vertus, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, this spent 12 years in the cellars prior to release, with 4.8 g/L dosage. Generous and expansive on the palate, with red apple, meringue, lemon pith, and crushed chalk / stones, with slight oxidative notes reflecting the ample aging, but a wave of energy upon opening, which easily counters and leads to a saline finish. Impressive.Prices:
ON$199.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne A. Margaine L'Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne A. Margaine L'Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceArnaud Margaine is 5th generation winegrower in the Montagne de Reims, overseeing their sustainable vineyards. This BdB comes from their home village, 1er Cru Villers-Marmery, and parcels Alouettes, Grands Arbres, Levoies. The village is a little island of chalky chardonnay in a generous sea of Pinot Noir. This was fermented in a 80/20 SS / wood mix, with no MLF, and approximately 20% reserve wines from the previous year. My bottle spent two years sur lattes and was disgorged May 2022, with 3-4 g/L. Tight and streamlined, with bright acidity driving crunchy green apple, lemon down a chiseled palate. This smart wine is friendly and complete, making it easy to love.Prices:
ON$59.00750ml
Producer: Champagne A. Margaine
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Champagne Gosset Celebris Rosé Bruttext
93PTS

Champagne Gosset Celebris Rosé Brut 2008

Champagne, FranceThis vintage is only the fourth edition of Gosset Celebris Rosé in the past twenty-five years. It is a limited edition of 15,000 bottles. This blends 72% Chardonnay and 28% Pinot Noir (8% is red wine). The grapes came from Ambonnay, Avize, Aÿ, Bouzy, Cramant, Cuis, Cumières, Trépail, Vertus, Villers-Marmery. After 12 years in the cellars, it was disgorged in April 2021, with 6.5 g/L. Salted cherry, raspberry blossoms, lightly toasted brioche, subtle meringue flood a juicy palate, bedded with a generous fine grained chalk bed, and lifted with bright, effortless, orange-kissed acidity. Oozing elegance.Prices:
ON$250.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Oudiette x Filles Uni Terre II Extra Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Oudiette x Filles Uni Terre II Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe third generation female grower champagne is organically farmed, and this blanc de blancs comes off 3 parcels of their estate, around their home village of Beaunay, south of Epernay, and its clay / loam / sand soils. Native fermented in French barrels, where it spent 10 months on lees, this then spent 3 years sur lattes, dosed with 1 g/L. The II reflects the second vintage this cuvée was produced. White flowers, apple blossoms, green apple wrap around a softer, gently sweet fruited core, with a lingering saline wash on the finish. A very pretty wine, ready for drinking now. 3686 bottles produced.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Oudiette x Filles
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Champagne Tarlant Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Champagne Tarlant Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1687, this family owned grower champagne house is now in the care of the 12th generation. This cuvée is an organically farmed 1/3 each blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay (vines 40 years old), from the chalky silica sands river slopes of the Vallée de la Marne. The base wine was native fermented in oak, where it spent 6 months on lees, no MLF. This bottle was based on the 2013 vintage, and contains 40% reserve wines. It spent 6.5 years sur lattes, and was disgorged in February 2020, with 5 g/L. Red apple, cherry dough, oatmeal is laced with a lemony brace and dosed with a heady shake of mineral salts. The extended time on lees certainly makes this a more gastronomic wine, ready to handle medium eight proteins easily. Solid value.Prices:
ON$46.20750ml
Producer: Champagne Tarlant
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Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Rosétext
88PTS

Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceSélèque began in 1965, when Henri Sélèque planted his first plots of vines with the help of his father-in-law, Jean Bagnost, president of the Pierry wine cooperative. Henri's son Richard moved the winery into the modern era, and since 2008 third gen Jean-Marc oversees the estate, based in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay. Since Jean-Marc arrived, no herbicides have been used at the estate. The Rosé blends 45% chardonnay, 40% meunier and 15% pinot noir, from seven villages. The majority of the wine is fermented in stainless with full MLF, though 10 percent is fermented in oak barrels and without MLF. For the rosé, they add 10 percent pinot meunier (infused after two days with skins) as well as five percent Coteaux Champenois sourced from Les Gayères. The 40 percent reserve wines are stored in a perpetual reserve (mix of tanks and barrels) that dates back to 2000. My bottle spent a minimum of 18 months on the lees before being disgorged in January 2022 with 2 g/L dosage. Red apple, raspberry, red liquorice, florals is lit with lemon pith, and seasoned with light toast across a medium palate, sheened with oxidative notes. One that will work well with proteins.Prices:
BC$76.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Jean Marc Sélèque
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Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Extra Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne J-M Sélèque Solessence Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceSélèque began in 1965 when Henri Sélèque planted his first plots of vines with the help of his father-in-law, Jean Bagnost, president of the Pierry wine cooperative. Henri's son Richard moved the winery into the modern era, and since 2008 third gen Jean-Marc oversees the estate, based in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay. Since Jean-Marc arrived, no herbicides have been used at the estate. For this cuvée, fruit from seven villages across the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs, namely Pierry, Moussy, Epernay, Mardeuil, Dizy, Boursault and Vertus, half of which are farmed biodynamically. With minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery, this is a blend of 50/40/10 chardonnay/pinot meunier/pinot noir, primarily stainless with full MLF (a small amount was fermented in oak, with no MLF). This uses 50% reserve wines, and went into the bottle with no fining or filtration. My bottle was disgorged January 2022 with 2 g/L. Framed by a green apple brace, this tight champagne skips lemon, red apple, light meringue along the medium palate, finishing with bitter lemon and a saline wash. Tight and nimble.Prices:
BC$66.00750ml
Producer: Champagne R et JM Sélèque
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Champagne Guy Charlemagne Brut Classictext
90PTS

Champagne Guy Charlemagne Brut Classic NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Guy Charlemagne was founded in 1892 in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. The estate today covers 15 hectares of vineyards, and is overseen by Philippe Charlemagne. They use only their own grapes, in this case, 50/50 chardonnay / pinot noir from their chalky/clay vineyards in Sezanne. This was vinified in stainless, and spent 2 years sur lattes prior to disgorge, with 8 g/L. Rich and doughy, with red apple, toast, lemon pith across an expansive palate, held in check by Sezanne's chalky underpinning. Really lovely balance between the depth of fruit and the tightness of chalk here.Prices:
BC$88.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Guy Charlemagne S.A.S.
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Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosétext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceThe latest Lanson pink is 53/32/7 mix of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier, topped with seven percent still pinot noir and pinot meunier to get its attractive pink colour just right. There is no acid-softening malolactic fermentation to keep it all fresh during the primary ferment. It has 35% reserve wines in the mix to maintain the house style easily. The nose is an enticing yeasty, doughy affair with subtle red fruit permeating the wine and an active citrus note from front to back. It has an even broader appeal at 8 grams per litre of sugar, bringing the balance to perfection. This would be fun before, after, and during dinner. Great value here.Prices:
BC$79.99750ml
AB$67.00750ml
ON$65.00750ml
QC$65.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintagetext
96PTS

Champagne Dom Pérignon Vintage 2012

Champagne, FranceThe most classic of the Classics? Dom Pérignon is named after the 17th century Benedictine monk, Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715), who, by legend, is said to have invented sparkling wine while cellarmaster at the Abbey of Hautvillers. This is the prestige cuvée of Moët et Chandon since 1937. 2012 has been widely recognized as an epic vintage (reputed a 'solar' vintage, like 2022), so it's little surprise this DP is glowing at present. A near split of pinot noir and chardonnay (51% / 49%), this was disgorged in September 2020, with 5 g/L, after 7+ years sur lattes. Having most recently tasted the 2010 DP, this is leaps and bounds beyond. Exceptional depth and complexity here, with fine tuned lemon shaping green and red apple, white cherry, decadent brioche, across a deeply layered, deeply chalky core. Corseted with lemon zest, and laced with riveting salinity, this lingers extremely long on the chalky finish. Nimble, yet assertive, this DP merges elegance with power. Drinking so very well now, and all signs point to a lengthy future ahead. Wow.Prices:
BC$288.99750ml
AB$300.00750ml
Producer: Dom Perignon
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Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintagetext
92PTS

Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013

Champagne, FranceThe 2013 Grand Reserve makes the 75th release of this unique vintage wine, which the winery has been producing since 1842. This year blends 41% Chardonnay, 38% Pinot Noir, and 21% Pinot Meunier and spent seven years sur lattes. It was dosed with five g/L. Quite complete and harmonious, with a generous core of a red apple, green apple, lemon curd, and hazelnut across a gently expansive, salt-studded palate. They've worked wonders here with a cooler, late vintage. My bottle was disgorged in September 2019 with five g/L.Prices:
BC$82.99750ml
QC$89.25750ml
ON$84.00750ml
AB$87.99750ml
MB$87.98750ml
Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Champagne Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterietext
92PTS

Champagne Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie NV

Champagne, FranceThe acquisition of Château de la Marquetterie and the surrounding vineyards, a site known as Les Folies, marked the beginning of the Taittinger family’s Champagne adventure. Long before that, Marquetterie played host to several historical moments, including a one-time residency of writer Jacques Cazotte, author of the French classic Le Diable Amoureux. It was a site for village fairs where philosophers and intellectuals of the Enlightenment would gather. General Castelnau also used the stately home as his headquarters during the Battle of Champagne in 1915. Much earlier, in the 17th century, Brother Oudart, a Benedictine Monk, discovered some of the secrets of champagne fermentation. Today, Folies de la Marquetterie celebrates its rich history with a similarly rich 45/55 blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, sourced exclusively from the estate vineyards that now include more than 35 different crus. A portion of the wine gets some wood contact before spending 60 months in the bottle underground. The colour is on the light yellow side, but the bubbles are Taittinger refined and delicate. It’s as fruity as Champagne can get, but it's more a pleasant diversion of peach and apricot, with a round, smooth finish. Described as a terroir wine, its structure and power lead me to the dinner table, and to flavourful fish or meat entrees.Prices:
BC$99.00750ml
CDN$110.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sectext
89PTS

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV

Champagne, FranceNocturne is nightclub champagne, jazzed up with a fancy packaging (my bottle is deemed City Lights) and a higher dosage (17.5 g/L) to appeal to the late-night crowd. This cuvée uses the same base as Taittinger's NV (40% chardonnay and 60% blend of the pinots noir and meunier) but gets one additional year on the lees before release which makes for a good partner with the higher sugar cane dosage. As far as Sec (off-dry) champagnes go, this is at the bottom of the sweet scale, so if you're looking for a noticeably sweet champers, this is not it. What this is, is smoothed out, with champagne's edges rounded off with the dosage, bound by red apple, ripe pear, and lightly toasted brioche. The sugar also helps this go down a bit too easy, so prepare the dance the night away.Prices:
BC$92.99750ml
CDN$80.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Taittinger Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceThis classic blends 40% chardonnay, 45% pinot noir, and the remainder pinot meunier from across 35 vineyards in the Marne, Sézanne and Aube, half of which come from estate vineyards. Around 30% reserve wines are used. After full MLF, this spent a minimum of 3 years on lees, before a dosage of 9 g/L. Pure and stately red and green apple, lemon, pear blossom flood a cushioned palate, with a tightening lemony brace around the edges. This bottle is showing quite smart at present, and would be a welcome addition to any dinner / festivities.Prices:
BC$74.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Forget-Brimont Extra Brut Premier Crutext
90PTS

Champagne Forget-Brimont Extra Brut Premier Cru NV

Champagne, FranceMichel Forget is a sixth generation producer from the town of Craon de Ludes. He owns nine hectares of prime pinot noir vineyards, planted mainly on the Grand Crus of Mailly-Champagne and Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims. This Extra Brut is the estate’s driest cuvée with a dosage of 5 g/L. The standard non-vintage blend is pinot noir dominated (50%) and pinot meunier (30%) with a small percentage of chardonnay (20%). It rests on its lees in bottle for a minimum of 30 months before dégorgement. There is a hefty 40-50 percent reserve wine in the mix going back a decade, adding a consistency of style roundness and complexity. The nose is a citrus floral affair, while the palate is pear driven with a pure mineral finish. The classic match is caviar or oysters.Prices:
BC$70.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Forget-Brimont
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Champagne Forget-Brimont Brut Rosétext
89PTS

Champagne Forget-Brimont Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceFrom 6th generation Champenoise Michel Forget's 1er Cru vineyards in Chigny les Roses, Coulommes la Montagne, Ludes, Montbre, Sermiers, Taissy and Villers-Allerand, this blends 40% each of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, with 20% Chardonnay. The cuvée employees 6% still red wine, and up to 50% reserve wines, 10 vintages deep. This was fermented in stainless prior to heading to bottle and 30 months' rest sur lattes, dosed with 10 g/L RS. Pouring a deep blush / salmon hue, this gentle rosé carries cherry, strawberry leather, wild raspberry, across a finely creamy palate, to a quieter spiced finish. Delicate throughout, this subtle rosé is for enjoying now with simple canapés, or solo.Prices:
BC$78.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Forget-Brimont
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Champagne Marc Chauvet RM Brut Millésimetext
91PTS

Champagne Marc Chauvet RM Brut Millésime 2012

Champagne, FranceChampagne Marc Chauvet's vineyards are located in the 1er cru Rilly-la-Montagne, in the heart of Montagne de Reims. Brother and sister Clotilde and Nicolas took over from their parents, and brought modernity to the winery. Nicolas takes care of the vineyard and Clotilde, enologist, is in charge of winemaking. From the excellent 2012 vintage, this blends 60% pinot noir with 40% chardonnay, with no MLF, around 6% fermented in wood, and 6 years' aging sur lattes. Creamy and dough laden, with ripe pear, red apple, lemon pith and peel and toasted nut filling a complete core. The finish cleans up and lingers long with pithy lemony chalkiness. Very smart, and drinking beautifully now.Prices:
BC$76.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Marc Chauvet
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Champagne Marc Chauvet Bruttext
88PTS

Champagne Marc Chauvet Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Marc Chauvet's vineyards are located in the 1er cru Rilly-la-Montagne, in the heart of Montagne de Reims. Brother and sister Clotilde and Nicolas took over from their parents, and brought modernity to the winery. Nicolas takes care of the vineyard and Clotilde, enologist, is in charge of winemaking. This blend of 1/3 each PN, PM, C, was fermented in stainless, with no MLF, and around 30% reserve wines. Cherry and red currant scent a meringue / brioche base, basing a sweet core of red fruit, and scented with pretty perfumed spices. The dosage feels too amply generous here, which will make this a very friendly, accessible pour alongside protein canapés or lighter fare.Prices:
BC$76.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Marc Chauvet
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Champagne Devaux Coeur Des Bar Blanc de Noirtext
88PTS

Champagne Devaux Coeur Des Bar Blanc de Noir 2020

Champagne, FranceThis BdN comes from sustainable / organic conversion pinot noir vineyards in the Côte des Bar, as the name reflects. This was fermented in stainless, with full MLF, and includes approximately 1/4 reserve wines (partially saved in oak). This spent 3 years on lees, and was disgorged with 8 g/L. There's a wave of oxidation opening this red fruited fizz, with cherry brioche, rhubarb, and tart red currant acidity along a lightly buzzy palate. A riper, redder style, one ready for protein pairings.Prices:
BC$58.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Devaux
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Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceBruno Paillard, founded in 1981, is a family-run operation and owner of thirty-two hectares of land that cover some of Champagne’s most important vineyards. The house style is sculpted from over 40 plots of land, bringing complexity via terroir. They store their reserve wines in both tanks and small oak barrels for at least three years, and uniquely blends the multi-vintage reserve wines a year before assemblage. The Brut Premiére Cuvée NV is the house wine, and Bruno Paillard’s flagship champagne. The delicious non-vintage blend of 45/33/22 pinot noir, chardonnay, and meunier are multi-vintage given its 25-48 percent use of reserve wines dating back to 1985. The final blend gets six months of ageing on the lees before bottling, and three months in the cellar post-disgorgement. The nose is vibrant, and the vibe is all red fruits streaked with tangerine, honey, and dusted minerality.Prices:
BC$85.99750ml
AB$80.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Bruno Paillard
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Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Grand Crutext
93PTS

Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceThe Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs is born from 36 blocks of Grand Cru Chardonnay inside the Côtes des Blancs. The effervescence is lighter than in other champagnes, thanks to a Bruno Paillard-specific bottle fermentation technique. During the bottling before the second fermentation, they use less added yeast than the Champagne standard, creating a slightly lower finished pressure. As a result, an added delicacy and creaminess seem to absorb and show off its refined flavours of lime and almonds dusted in salinity. I love the minerality and finesse that flows throughout this bubble. Well worth the money.Prices:
BC$127.00750ml
AB$122.00750ml
ON$107.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Bruno Paillard
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Rosé de Blancstext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Rosé de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceDidier, the third generation of the Gimonnet family, oversees the winemaking of their family winery, based in Cuis. This wine, like all of their chardonnay-centric wines, is laser-focused. According to Didier, he wants a rosé that tastes like a blanc de blancs with colour. "Powerful chardonnay." It certainly succeeds. This bottling sources fruit from Cramant, Oger, and Chouilly, adding 5% Bouzy still pinot noir. This bottle was disgorged in March 2021. Lively and joyous fresh strawberry raspberry meringue on a tightly wound, chalky base, trailing off with fine salinity. Lovely release and very much in the BdB vein.Prices:
BC$95.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Oenophile RDtext
92PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Oenophile RD 2008

Champagne, FranceOenophile is the same blend as Fleuron, the thumbprint blanc de blancs of the vintage, but with no dosage. As the name suggests, this is all about purity, and was originally directed towards the sommelier community. This special RD (Recently Disgorged) 2008 is one of 2000 bottles kept back, and disgorged in May 2021. This is based on Cramant (40%) and Chouilly (38.5%), with 7.5% from Oger and 14% Cuis. Tightly wound up front, with green apple, red apple, meringue, chestnuts, light toast around a savoury, doughy base, with ample chalkiness lingering down the salty finish. This reflects well the rich 2008 vintage, with still fantastic freshness in the bottle for having spent so long sur lattes. Quite special.Prices:
BC$160.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Emile Leclerc Rosétext
87PTS

Champagne Emile Leclerc Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Emile Leclere was founded in 1832, and is today run by 5th generation Vincent and Marie. Based in Mardeuil, they own 12 hectares of vineyards, primarily pinot meunier, chardonnay, and pinot noir. This blend of 80% pinot meunier and 20% pinot noir (7% still wine, aged 3 month in barrel). This spent 3 years on lees, and was dosed with 8 g/L. Rustic. gritty raspberry, cherry, biscuit lead the short palate, finishing a bit bitter and coarse. Packaging this in a clear bottle is an issue, welcoming light strike.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Emile Leclerc Cuvée Bicentenaire Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Emile Leclerc Cuvée Bicentenaire Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Emile Leclere was founded in 1832, and is today run by 5th generation Vincent and Marie. Based in Mardeuil, they own 12 hectares of vineyards, primarily pinot meunier, chardonnay, and pinot noir. This was based on chardonnay (60%), with 30% Pinot Meunier and 10% pinot Noir. It spent 6 months in oak prior to heading to bottle and 5 years sur lattes. It was disgorged with 8 g/L in September 2020. Lovely and complete, with lemon, red apple, brioche, anise wrapping around a doughy core, braced by lemon pith seasoned with fresh hazelnuts, and finishing with a lingering chalkiness. Drinking now.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Emile Leclerc Vincent Delouvintext
92PTS

Champagne Emile Leclerc Vincent Delouvin NV

Champagne, FranceNamed for 5th generation Vincent, this pinot meunier made by Champagne Emile Leclerc spent 2 years sur lattes and was disgorged with 8 g/L. Bright raspberry, white cherry, lemon pith, light toast light up this fresh, lively champagne, with a fine meringue character on the core, and lingering chalky finish. Energy and charm, which are not always words that come to mind with 100% meunier.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Emile Leclerc Blanc de Blancstext
90PTS

Champagne Emile Leclerc Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Emile Leclere was founded in 1832, and is today run by 5th generation Vincent and Marie. Based in Mardeuil, they own 12 hectares of vineyards, primarily pinot meunier, chardonnay, and pinot noir. This chard had 3 years on lees sur lattes, and was dosed with 8 g/L. This bottle was disgorged November 2020. Red apple, dough, toast, and lemon peel carry this wine, with a tight, buzzy finish. Somewhat simple, but clean and direct and focused.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Emile Leclerc Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Champagne Emile Leclerc Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Emile Leclere was founded in 1832, and is today run by 5th generation Vincent and Marie. Based in Mardeuil, they own 12 hectares of vineyards, primarily pinot meunier, chardonnay, and pinot noir. This cépage is the same as there Brut Nature (80% meunier, 20% chardonnay), though with 8 g/L dosage. It aged 3 years sur lattes prior to release. Ripe red apple, lemon, meringue and light toast stream through this bright fizz, with a doughy core, and snappy, chalky finish. Smart and friendly champagne, drinking well now.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Emile Leclere Brut Naturetext
89PTS

Champagne Emile Leclere Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Emile Leclere was founded in 1832, and is today run by 5th generation Vincent and Marie. Based in Mardeuil, they own 12 hectares of vineyards, primarily pinot meunier, chardonnay, and pinot noir. This cépage is the same as there Brut Reserve (80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay), though with zero dosage. It aged 3 years sur lattes prior to release. Red apple, lemon lead the dough-lined palate, with a sweet core lit with a bright lifted acidity through the lingering, lightly oxidative finish. Quite compact, drinking well now.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Emile Leclerc
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Champagne Paul Bara Réserve Brut Grand Crutext
92PTS

Champagne Paul Bara Réserve Brut Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FrancePaul Bara was founded in Bouzy in 1833, and the 6th generation, Chantale Bara, is now overseeing the 11 hectares of the Montagne de Reims estate. This, their flagship NV is a blend of 80/20 pinot noir / chardonnay, from vines 35 years average age, rooted in clay limestone soils. This was fermented in stainless with partial MLF, and aged 6 years on lees, with partial reserve wines, dosed with 7 g/L. Deeply dough based, with green apple, cherry brioche, and ample meringue. Laced with lemon this has a tight freshness countering the red fruit depth on the palate. The finish lingers with spiced ginger and salinity.Prices:
BC$80.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Paul Bara
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Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut NV

Champagne, FranceNicolas Feuillatte is one of the largest co-ops in Champagne, with some 4500+ growers. Co-ops seldom hit the highest notes, but they have a massive selection of fruit to choose from, and this Reserve Exclusive selection of 40/40/20 pinot noir, pinot meunier, chardonnay is well chosen and made. It spends 42 months on its lees, creating a creamy, leesy, toasted palate, all elements required to appeal to the fans. Expect fresh red apples dusted in citrus and almond, with a mineral-chalky upbeat finish. This was a pleasant surprise and an excellent value in the current market.Prices:
BC$67.99750ml
AB$55.00750ml
QC$50.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
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Champagne Bollinger B13text
93PTS

Champagne Bollinger B13 2013

Champagne, FranceB13 isn’t likely to be in your market anymore, but it may reside on a restaurant list or at auction and is worth looking for. It is from the Montagne de Reims and is entirely pinot noir. Only five crus were used to make this 2013 vintage, from what can only be described as a challenging vintage, but 92% were Grands Crus, while eight percent of the vineyards used are rated Premiers Cru. It spent over seven years on its lees with a low dosage of 6 grams per litre at disgorgement. The nose is riper than you might expect, with plum and peach, and a hint of almonds. It follows onto the palate, adding a pie crust / Tarte Tatin flavour with some citrus, mineral, and salinity. Idiosyncratic, yes, but complex and fun to drink.Prices:
BC$224.00750ml
AB$204.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Bollinger
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Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Bruttext
96PTS

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Brut 2014

Champagne, France2014 La Grande Année has been widely lauded, and it is no surprise. It has upfront energy that lights up the glass as soon as the wine hits it, which is slightly different in style. Bollinger is all about richness and power, but you can add some linear electricity to the mix. The blend is spread across 19 villages in a 61/39 mix of pinot noir and chardonnay. The silky, creamy mousse is laced with subtle blackcurrant and tangerine notes with a rich undercurrent of hazelnuts, chalk, and saline notes. Long and complex, it has the Bolinger persistence and complexity that turns heads. It was disgorged in July 2021, after almost 80 months on the lees. This is the real thing.Prices:
BC$249.99750ml
AB$226.00750ml
MB$219.00750ml
ON$210.00750ml
QC$201.95750ml
Producer: Champagne Bollinger
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Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV

Champagne, FranceSpecial Cuvée has always been champagne for enthusiasts. The blend of 60/25/15 pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier remains mostly unaltered year after year because it contains such a high amount of reserve wine, thus fixing the house style at the same time. That style of aged, rich nutty lees, dare I say gout Anglais, is countered by a complex mix of white fruits, apple pie crust, saline notes, with darker pinot character, almonds, and ginger. The mousse is particularly fine, a function of its creamy texture and the age of the juice. Drink or hold, there is no rush.Prices:
BC$94.99750ml
MB$90.25750ml
ON$78.95750ml
QC$76.25750ml
PEI$74.95750ml
NB$79.95750ml
NS$79.95750ml
Producer: Champagne Bollinger
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Champagne Bollinger Rosé Bruttext
93PTS

Champagne Bollinger Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceIt has been said that Madame Bollinger never understood the need for Rose champagne and was against creating one. The family waited a long time but finally gave in to demand, releasing its first pink in 2007. The latest offering, a 62/24/14 pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier blend, continues down the delicate road shedding a touch of colour and weight for subtlety and complexity. The colour comes from a small percentage of red wine from Verzenay and Aÿ. The freshness draws you into the glass and the precision of flavours hold your attention. Seriously good and one of the best rosés in the category.Prices:
BC$139.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Bollinger
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Champagne de Venoge Princes Blanc de Noirstext
92PTS

Champagne de Venoge Princes Blanc de Noirs NV

Champagne, FranceThe Cuvée Princes Blanc de Noirs opens with an elegant nose of fresh red fruits with a twist of black cherry on a mineral flooded, saline mid-palate. Delicate, fine-tuned, balanced, and long, this impressive non-vintage champagne can do double duty before and during the meal. The Champagne Princes by Maison De Venoge revives the splendour of the Orange court with its historical bottles created by Joseph De Venoge in honour of the princes of the Dutch royal family. Its particular shape is reminiscent of the crystal decanters used at the beginning of the 20th century to serve the champagnes of the time. Cuvée Princes Blanc de Noirs comes from carefully selecting only pinot noir from villages classified as Premier and Grand Cru in the Montagne de Reims. 30 percent of the wine is reserve material blended and aged for a minimum of 60 months prior to dégorgement and six g/L dosage, leaving it a Brut.Prices:
BC$135.00750ml
Producer: Champagne de Venoge
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Champagne Vincent d'Astrée Cuvée Eclipse Zéro Dosagetext
88PTS

Champagne Vincent d'Astrée Cuvée Eclipse Zéro Dosage NV

Champagne, FranceFrom Pierry, Cuvée Eclipse is entirely meunier and only made in the best years. It was fermented in stainless, with no malolactic fermentation and zero dosage, and it spent six years in the cellars. Cherry meringue, wild strawberries are rinsed with red currant astringency along a doughy palate, finishing briefly with a dash of salt. Chill well, and enjoy with canapés or lighter protein mains.Prices:
ON$70.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Vincent d'Astrée
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Rosétext
92PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceBased in the Aube, which shares the same Portlandian and Kimmeridgian limestone soils as Chablis just further south, young Remi farms 3 of his family's organic 9ha under this label; the rest of the grapes are sold to large champagne houses. This deeper peach hued rosé is an 85/15 pinot noir / chardonnay split, based on the 2017 vintage. The 20% red wine in the mix is reflected in the deeper hue. Vinified in 75% stainless, with the remainder in older oak barrels, this has 15% reserve wines, and spent 3 years on lees before a dosage of 2 g/L. Cherry brioche, raspberry, wild strawberries is laced with burnished orange across a bed of doughy lees. Acidity easily carries the fruit through the lightly spiced finish.Prices:
ON$67.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Nathalie Falmet Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Nathalie Falmet Brut NV

Champagne, FranceIn 1993, Nathalie Falmet took over the family vineyard and became a grape grower in Rouvres les Vignes in the Côte des Bar where she makes her wines. Grape grower and oenologist, she is one of the few women in Champagne to have both titles and to have both jobs simultaneously. This Brut cuvée is 50% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, and 20% reserve wines from a perpetual solera. The base wine is fermented in stainless, where it rests on lees for 8 months prior to heading to bottle for secondary ferment. As a self-professed Chablis drinker, Nathalie aims for a short time in contact with lees, leaving the Champagne on lees for 27 months, to preserve the freshness, and “better reflect terroir.” She makes her own liquor de tirage, which is the rarity in Champagne, and finishes this with 5 g/L dosage. Red apple, green apple is layered with chalk and laced with lemon, pinning this in through the meringue finish. Very smart, drinking well now.Prices:
ON$64.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Nathalie Falmet
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Champagne Stéphane Regnault Mixolydien No. 29text
93PTS

Champagne Stéphane Regnault Mixolydien No. 29 NV

Champagne, FranceAfter working as a sommelier in London and an aerospace engineer in Paris, Stéphane Regnault returned to his family's Côte des Blancs domaine in 2007 and converted farming to organics with biodynamic practices. The domaine includes four hectares of Chardonnay divided equally between the legendary chalk terroirs of the Grand Cru villages Oger and Le Mesnil. The majority of the vines are between 40 and 60 years old. A passionate jazz saxophone player, he has named his three single-vineyard cuvées after a different jazz mode that each wine reminds him of. This comes from the east-facing, slight slopes of Le Moulin in the Grand Cru Oger and its soft, chalk soils. This bottle was based in 2015, with 15% from 2014 (the start of the solera). Half the final wine was done in stainless, with 35% in barrel, with full MLF. This was disgorged in July 2020 with one g/L. This is his smallest cuvée, with 2500 bottles produced. Brioche, lemon and red/green apple open this chiselled, savoury-edged wine, imbued with chalk and lashed with marine salinity. Structural, tight, and fresh, with a fantastic presence and length. Worth seeking out.Prices:
BC$115.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Stéphane Regnault
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Champagne Paul Bara Grand Rosé Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Paul Bara Grand Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FrancePaul Bara was founded in Bouzy in 1833, and the 6th generation, Chantale Bara, is now overseeing the 11 hectares of the Montagne de Reims estate. This Grand Cru Rosé blends 80% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, and 12% red wine from Bouzy, with vines averaging 35 years. The wine was fermented in stainless (partial MLF) and aged for four years on lees. My bottle was disgorged in March 2021. Pouring a pale hue, this charms with wild cherry, perfumed raspberry, and meringue across a structural, fine-boned frame. The chalky underlay lingers on the finish. Lovely food wine, and also very enjoyable as a solo sipper. Great depth and finesse for a rosé (not always easy to achieve).Prices:
BC$82.50750ml
Producer: Champagne Paul Bara
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Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils Premier Cru Rosé Bruttext
87PTS

Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils Premier Cru Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis rosé de maceration is entirely pinot noir from 1er cru Mareuil sur Aÿ, and is based in 2017 with 20% from 2016. After 12 hours of maceration, was fermented in wood, with 2 years on lees before disgorge in early 2020 with 7 g/L. The time on skins has lent a deep hue and deep pinosity, with fleshy dark cherry, red apple, candied mandarin, raspberry brioche across a creamy palate. There's a welcome brace of acidity which holds this aloft, though the dosage sticks out on the finish. Quite rustic, this has the stuffing and intensity to stand up to roast lamb or Peking duck. Biodynamic and organic.Prices:
BC$115.00750ml
Producer: Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils
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Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Brut NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. For 17 generations Gosset was family owned, but in 1993 it was sold to the Cointreau family from Charente, owners of Frappin Cognac. The Grand Reserve Brut is sourced from Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Villers-Marmery, and blends 45/45/10 Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier, with approximately 15% reserve wines. The current bottle in market was based on 2018, and was disgorged in January 2022 with 8 g/L. As is the house style, this was fermented in stainless, with no MLF. Toasty and gently expansive on the palate, the doughy palate of red apple, lemon is held taut with a green apple brace, taking this to a lingering saline finish. This recent disgorge is showing fantastic at present.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
ON$85.95750ml
ON$49.95375ml
Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Hugues Godmé Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Champagne Hugues Godmé Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceHugues Godmé is the 5th generation to make wine in Verzenay. They own 8ha of vines in the Montagne de Reims, farmed organically and biodynamically since 2006. This comes from their home base in Verzenay. 50% was fermented in old oak barrels, has 60% reserve wines, and spent three years on lees, disgorged in January 2021 with no dosage. Toast and meringue lead the doughy core, with lemon and red apple padding the medium+ body, studded with rock salts, which linger on the chalky finish. A fuller, toastier style, braced smartly with acidity.Prices:
BC$94.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Hugues Godmé
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Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reservetext
91PTS

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Charlie is a classic, rich and toasty, thanks to an impressive 50% reserve wines, and range of 60 crus. This flagship NV is based upon GC Oger (Côtes des Blancs), GC Ambonnay (Montagne de Reims), and Verneiul (Vallée de la Marne), with a cépage of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier. Each cru was vinified in stainless solo, with 5-10% seeing time in wood. Luxuriant brioche, lemon curd, praline fills the doughy palate, redolent of red apple, with enough sharpened chalky acidity to sculpt and shape through a lemon / chalk finish. Quite stylish and modern, this house's NV leads the three Heidsieck lots by a lot. Don't forget Champagne Charlie when you're looking for a classic English styled champagne.Prices:
BC$73.99750ml
Producer: Champagne Charles Heidsieck
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancstext
94PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Blancs 2016

Champagne, FranceThis is a rare chardonnay from Southern Champagne's Aube, a region dominated by pinot noir, even though 95 percent of the vineyard is Kimmerdgean soil (the same as in chardy-central Chablis). The young Remi Leroy farms 3 of his family's 9 ha here, selling the remaining fruit for additional income, and with the goal to use all of the fruit for his non-interventionist label. The only inputs he uses is a small addition of sulphur. This 2016 was dosed with 2 g/L, disgorged in April 2021. Tight and racy, with green apple, lemon meringue, and light brioche over a bed of deep chalk, anchoring this blanc. Chardonnay's arrow structure keeps this streamlined, while the time on lees gives the gravitas. A striking, charismatic wine, drinking beautifully now.Prices:
ON$91.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThough it changes from year to year, Cuvée Sainte Anne Brut is sourced from the village of Merfy in the Montagne de Reims. It is the only grower champagne from the village and the family has wine growing roots back to 1485; the rest of the vineyards in Merfy are claimed by co-ops or go to larger houses. Based on the 2019 vintage, with 20% reserve wines, this bottle was 50% chardonnay, 40% noir, 10% meunier, organically farmed, and native fermented in older wood before heading to bottle, and finished with a dosage of 4 g/L. Dough, red apple fills a generous palate, one shaped and sculpted with lemon pith and peel, and somewhat textural and wild, thanks to time and wood and no filtration before bottling. Lovely authenticity here.Prices:
QC$52.50750ml
Producer: Champagne Chartogne-Taillet
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Champagne Étienne Calsac Les Rocheforts 1er Cru Blanc de Blancstext
90PTS

Champagne Étienne Calsac Les Rocheforts 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceLes Rocheforts translates to the strong rocks, referring to the single vineyard 1er cru in Bisseuil on pure chalk. Etienne created a perpetual reserve in 2012 just for this chardonnay, off vines planted in the mid 1980's. This was fermented in stainless, and then aged in a mix of tank and barrel (15%) on lees for 7 months prior to bottling. 25-30% of reserve wine is included, and the whole spends 18-24 months in bottle before disgorge. Broken stones, yellow and red apple, toast, is woven with gentle oxidative notes across a powerful, medium bodied palate. Drinking now, with sturdier fare.Prices:
ON$91.95750ml
Producer: Champagne Étienne Calsac
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Champagne Vilmart and Cie Grand Cellier Brut Premier Crutext
93PTS

Champagne Vilmart and Cie Grand Cellier Brut Premier Cru NV

Champagne, FranceThough technically not a Grower Champagne (RM) due to Vilmart & Cie sourcing some grapes from around their Rilly-la-Montagne home base, they are certainly in the same authentic, hands-on, small-scale league. It is a 70/30 chardonnay/pinot noir cuvée from 30 year old vines (not to be mistaken with their Grand Reserve, which reverses the grapes in the mix) that has spent ten months in a blend of oak foudre, and barrel, on the lees (no malolactic fermentation) before heading to bottle for secondary ferment over 30 months. My bottle was disgorged in February 2022. An arrow of lemon pith and peel pierces the expansive palate, carving through lemon meringue, pastry, chalk, and green apple, all strung with a taut pithy brace of acidity. Lovely chalky depth on the palate gives this gravitas.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Vilmart & Cie
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Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertustext
92PTS

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertus 2015

Champagne, FranceBoth the Larmandier and Bernier families have had a long history in the Champagne region dating back to the French Revolution. Pierre took over the direction of the family estate in 1988, moving the family’s vineyards to organics by 1992, and then into Biodynamics by 1999. This exceptional parcel of chardonnay, Les Barillers, has been vinified separately since 1995. It's located mid-slope in Vertus. Native fermented in Stockinger casks and vats, where they remain on lees and head to bottle without fining or filtration, this cuvée spent at least five years on lees and was bottled without fining or filtration. Quite textural and vinous, with meringue, frizzed lemon across an earthy, chalky palate, with a lingering saline lemon pith. Very pure expression of Vertus.Prices:
QC$133.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Larmandier-Bernier
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Champagne Ayala Majeur Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Ayala Majeur Brut NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Ayala is one of the longer-established champagne houses, founded over 150 years ago in Aÿ. In 2005, the Bollinger family bought this neighbouring estate and set upon a resurgence for the brand, with a complete restoration of winemaking facilities and a bold new direction. This blend of 45/35/20 Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier was sourced from 70 crus. At blending, there are 120 different vats to work with, and the final cépage spent 3 years on lees. My bottle was disgorged January 2021, with 7 g/L. This is showing lovely development, with a darker hued yellow yielding toasted brioche, nougat, green and red apple, rainier cherry, with an expansive palate framed across a tight, lemon-laced lattice. Nice balance between rich and reined, drinking well now.Prices:
BC$76.99750ml
AB$60.00750ml
QC$60.00750ml
Producer: Ayala
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Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Grand Crutext
0PTS

Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceThis special BdB comes off their 36 parcels of GC fruit in Oger and Mesnil-sur-Oger. Minimum four years on lees (disgorged June 2018). My bottle was corked.Prices:
BC$127.00750ml
AB$122.00750ml
ON$107.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Bruno Paillard
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Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceMaison Bruno Paillard is relatively new for Champagne, with the house founded in 1981 by Bruno Paillard. From the beginning, their strategy has been to purchase vineyard land. They now have 106+ parcels in 30+ crus, covering the majority of their needs. My bottle is sourced from 30 vineyards, and disgorged in June 2021. It was a blend of 25 vintages since 1985, with ample (up to 50%) reserves. This is a blend of 45% pinot noir / 33% chardonnay / 22% pinot meunier, 20% of which was barrel fermented, with the cepage spending 36 months sur lie, plus six more months in bottle, and with a dosage under 6 g/L. Ample toast seasons red apple, lemon pith, roasted hazelnuts across an expansive, stony palate that rolls through the chalky finish. Very well handled, holding the line between rich and chiselled well.Prices:
BC$85.99750ml
AB$80.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Bruno Paillard
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Champagne Etienne Leclair Brut Rosétext
89PTS

Champagne Etienne Leclair Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceChampagne Etienne Leclair is UK grocery's own brand, under it's The Best label. This deeply pink hue (in the scary clear lightstrike-able bottle) is based on pinot meunier, affording the generous fruitiness to the medium bodied palate. Cherry brioche, strawberry jam, red apples flood the welcoming palate, structured with a stony intensity, and finishing with an alluring spice. Really smart, and certainly one of The Best UK supermarket fizz I've found.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Etienne Leclair
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Champagne Etienne Leclair Bruttext
89PTS

Champagne Etienne Leclair Brut NV

Champagne, FranceUK supermarket Morrison's own brand (under their The Best series), this Brut blends 50% meunier with chardonnay and pinot noir, the whole spending 18 months on lees. As you'd expect, this is friendly and welcoming, with green apple, red apple, lemon peel around a round, plumped core, seasoned with toast. Everything in balance, making this really one of The Best supermarket branded champers you can buy in the UK.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Etienne Leclair
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Champagne de Saint-Gall 1er Cru Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Champagne de Saint-Gall 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceDe Saint Gall is the flagship label of of major co-op Union Champagne, the wealthiest co-op in the world, and a massive force of 1860 members, founded in 1966. This boutique wine comes from 1er cru villages Versus, Bergères les Versus, Avize, Clamant, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Villers Marmery in the Côtes de Blancs. This chardy had 36 months on lees, and was dosed with 8g/L dosage from a solera that goes back 40 years. Lemon blossom, pear skin, green apple is bedded by a deep chalk base, and centered around a round apple core. The finish trails off into chalk dust. Impressive showing.Prices:
Producer: Champagne de Saint-Gall
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Champagne Gardet Brut Traditiontext
89PTS

Champagne Gardet Brut Tradition NV

Champagne, FranceGardet has been an active negociant in Champagne since 1895, and this is their flagship wine. The predominant red grapes (90 percent equally split between pinots noir and meunier) is brightened with 10% chardonnay, sourced from approximately 20 villages across Champagne. Reserve wines, primarily from the 3 vintages preceding the harvest, make up 30%. The whole rests for 24-36 months years on lees, and is dosed with 8 g/L. Red apple, dough is propped up with lemon peel, making for a friendly, accessible fizz for drinking now.Prices:
BC$55.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Gardet
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Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosétext
94PTS

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé 2008

Champagne, FranceThis special blend of 63% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay (including 9% Red Wine) is entirely Grand and 1er cru fruit, from 15 different crus. This aged 10 years on lees, and was disgorged with 7 g/L in January 2021. Serious stuff this, with numerous layers of cherry meringue, wild raspberry, light toast, and deep chalk, carved by lemon pith and peel, and buoyed by a cranberry acidity. So well knit and harmonious, with wonderful depth, and length, this beautiful wine is drinking lovely now, and still with time ahead. Rare to have this much finesse in a rosé. Well done Charlie.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Charles Heidsieck
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Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosétext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Le Rosé Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceLanson has been making this friendly rosé since the 1950s. The current incarnation blends 53% pinot noir, 32% chardonnay, and 15% pinot meunier, with a 7% splash of still pinot noir and pinot meunier for colour. As per house style, no malolactic fermentation is employed in the primary ferment. There are 35% reserve wines in the mix, and the blend comes from 100 different crus, 50% of which are GC and 1er. My bottle was based on 2016 and was disgorged in October 2021 with eight g/L. Doughy and toasty cherry brioche, raspberry, and red apple fill the cushy core, with perfumed cherry blossoms adding allure to the cinnamon-spiced finish. There's a bright lemon thread throughout, driving this to the humming finish. Very friendly, with the dosage and red fruit making this an easy pairing for poultry/salmon/mushroom dishes.Prices:
BC$79.99750ml
AB$67.00750ml
ON$65.00750ml
QC$65.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Bruttext
93PTS

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Brut 2007

Champagne, FranceThis special cuvée was created in 1964 as a tribute to the House’s founder. This vintage blends 79% GC and 21% 1er Cru, and is a mix of 60 / 40 pinot noir and chardonnay. 15% of the wine is fermented and matured in 15 year old oak barrels, and it was disgorged in July 2019 with 6 g/L. Powerful and forward, with ample deep toast, biscuit, and red apple on a structural, finessed palate, laced with lemon pith and etched with chalk. Quite profound, and certainly worthy of its honouree.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Billecart-Salmon
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Champagne Tribaut Schloesser Vallée du Brunet Blanc de Noirs Brut Naturetext
89PTS

Champagne Tribaut Schloesser Vallée du Brunet Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceFounded in 1929 and now 4 generations in, farming 40 hectares including additional growers' vines. This 50/50 Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier comes from Romery, Eceuil, Damery and Olizy, with 40% of the base wine aged in barres and foudre before going to bottle for 30 months on lees, and a zero dosage. Both the red fruits and time in wood are apparent, leading with cherry, ripe raspberry, meringue, and toast on a gently expansive, doughy palate. The finish lingers with toast and apple blossoms. A welcoming, cushy champagne.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Tribaut Schloesser
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Champagne Ayala La Perletext
93PTS

Champagne Ayala La Perle 2012

Champagne, FranceLa Perle is Ayala's prestige cuvée, made only in the best years, and composed of Grand Crus Chouilly, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Verzy (Côte de Blancs and Montagne de Reims). The 2012 is 80% chardonnay, 20% pinot noir, rested 8 years on lees under cork closure (agrafé) and was disgorged in July 2020 with 6 g/L. Deep biscuit and dough leads the nose and continues on the palate, joined by red and green apple, subtle Rainier cherry, lemon pith / peel, all etched with chalk. Lovely depth and complexity here, still with freshness. Quite accomplished.Prices:
Producer: Ayala
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Champagne Palmer Blanc de Blancstext
90PTS

Champagne Palmer Blanc de Blancs NV

Montagne de Reims, Champagne, FranceFounded in 1947 under the name Producteurs des Grands Crus de Champagne, Palmer & Co is one of Champagne's best quality-focused co.ops. Chardonnay from 1er Cru villages in Montagne de Reims' Trépail and Villers-Marmery makes up this Bdb, based on the 2016 vintage. It was disgorged in August 2021 with 6.5 g.L. Bright lemon, green apple rule the sleek frame, with a chalky vibrato highlighting, and a silken, white peach coring. Smart showing.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Palmer
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Champagne Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Naturetext
93PTS

Champagne Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV

Champagne, FranceThe Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was initially made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth-generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate, covering about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks but soon realized that too much modernity, such as herbicides and pesticides, would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. In 2005, his son Aurélien Laherte overtook operations of the estate. The 10.5 hectares of Larherte vineyards are mainly situated in the Coteaux Sud D'Epernay, sandwiched between the Cotes des Blancs and the Vallee de la Marne. Seven of their 75+ separate parcels are farmed biodynamically and certified organic, with the rest organic or sustainably farmed. The Blanc de Blancs come off their chalkiest soils, in Chavot and Epernay, from vines averaging 35 years. It was fermented in small foudres and barrels with light bâtonnage and partial MLF before heading to the bottle for at least 24 months. My bottle was disgorged in July 2021 with zero dosage. Racy and tight, the chalky soils and gently handled grapes swallow up all of the oak, returning it as a gentle, subtle cloak around the zippy, driving acidity ruling the palate. Green apple, lemon blossom, and lemon peel streak the length of this energetic wine, bedded by a generous layer of deep chalk and fine lees. The finish stretches long and saline, kissed with white flowers. A graceful charmer.Prices:
BC$93.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Laherte Frères
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Champagne Pehu Simonet Fins Lieux # 1 Blanc de Noir Extra Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Pehu Simonet Fins Lieux # 1 Blanc de Noir Extra Brut 2014

Champagne, FranceDavid Pehu is the 4th generation to lead this Verzenay estate, with 7.5 organically farmed hectares across Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Sillery and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. They only produce Grand Cru wines. From the Les Perthois parcel in Verzenay, this pinot noir was fermented in barrique with no MLF before heading to bottle and 60 months on lees. It was disgorged in early 2021 with 1.5 g/L. Red apple, meringue, lemon pith floods the gently expansive palate, all held taut with a bright, chalky grip. There's a lovely red currant tartness to counter the lees here, and help stream this to the finish.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Pehu Simonet
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Champagne Pehu Simonet Rosé Grand Crutext
89PTS

Champagne Pehu Simonet Rosé Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceDavid Pehu is the 4th generation to lead this Verzenay estate, with 7.5 organically farmed hectares across Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Sillery and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. They only produce Grand Cru wines, selling off their 1.5ha of premier cru fruit to negotiants. This Rosé blends 80% pinot noir (including 5% still wine) with 20% chardonnay, based on 2018, with 20% reserve wine from their 2005 solera. The wine was fermented in a mix of 80% stainless, 20% barriques, with no MLF. After 36 months on lees, it was disgorged with 4 g/L. This opens with ripe red fruit, cherry meringue, baked red apples, and toast, on a creamy, gently expansive palate. There's a welcome lashing of lemon pith / red currant acidity to brighten, through to the chalky finish.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Pehu Simonet
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Champagne Pehu Simonet Face Nord Brut Grand Crutext
89PTS

Champagne Pehu Simonet Face Nord Brut Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceDavid Pehu is the 4th generation to lead this Verzenay estate, with 7.5 organically farmed hectares across Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Sillery and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. They only produce Grand Cru wines, and this cuvée represents the Grand Crus of the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims. The blend of 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay was based on 2018, with 30% reserve wines based on their 2005 solera. It was fermented in a mix of 80% stainless and 20% barrique, with no MLF. After 36 months on lees, it was disgorged with 5 g/L. Toasty and creamy, with ripe red apple, brioche, cherry blossoms, lemon peel on a gently expansive palate, held taught with a brisk brace of lemony acidity. There's a lovely chalky shimmer to counter the weight of the red fruit, leading this to a snappy red currant finish.Prices:
Producer: Champagne Pehu Simonet
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Special Club Grand Terroirs de Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Special Club Grand Terroirs de Chardonnay 2014

Champagne, FranceSpecial Club (Club Trésors) is an invite-only group of 28 grower champagne vignerons, recognized for the quality of their wines. A Special Club champagne is different from their other cuvées, can only be made in outstanding vintage years, and is packaged in the special distinctive bottle. This 2014 Chardonnay is sourced from a selection of the oldest vines (more than 40 years old), with a majority of Cramant Grand Cru (60%), 25% Chouilly Grand Cru, with 15% from their home village of Cuis (Premier Cru). After a minimum of 4 years on lees, this was finished with 5 g/L in September 2020. Showing some worthy development at this point, with the power of the grand crus tempered with some age. Toasted almonds, meringue, vanillin, brioche flood the expansive palate, shaped with a chalky brace. The finish is subtle. This quietly confident cuvée is one for drinking now.Prices:
BC$121.25750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Bruttext
90PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis Grand Rosé is roughly equal parts chardonnay and pinot noir (8% still pinot) sourced from Avize, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Cuis, Pierry, and Rilly. Reserve wines spanning 6-8 years makes up about 15% of the blend, and this was disgorged with 8 g/L. This pours a deep peach hue, and streams with wild raspberry, strawberry, red apple lit with lemon pith across an expansive palate, shimmering with minerality on the finish. Quite sweet fruited, but with structure, chill and enjoy with bouillabaisse.Prices:
BC$107.00750ml
ON$97.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Gosset
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01 December 2022

Jonathan Didier Rabiot Prélude Pouilly Fumétext
91PTS

Jonathan Didier Rabiot Prélude Pouilly Fumé 2020

Pouilly-Fume, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceCool and stony pear, subtle white peach blossoms, white grapefruit, lime pith, is seasoned with lemon thistle, stretched across a long, slender palate. There's a fine buzzy underlay of energy, livening a slight lees bed, and pushing through a saline finish. Very smart and charming young Pouilly-Fumé, leaving you wanting glass after glass.Prices:
BC$45.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Jonathan Didier Pabiot
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Château la Rabotine Les Petites Pierres Sancerretext
90PTS

Château la Rabotine Les Petites Pierres Sancerre 2020

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceAlban Roblin is one of the rising stars of Sancerre, managing the family's 12 hectare domaine in the small village of Sury-en-Vaux, just half a dozen kilometres from the town of Sancerre, since 2010. From one of the domaine's top plots, these sauvignon blanc vines date back to the 1970s and 1980s, planted in shallow, stony soils. This was fermented and aged in older barrels over 1 year. Stony, salty rock juice, this is imbued with lemongrass, subtle passionfruit, pear blossom, lemon pith and ample flake salts across a lightly cushioned palate, trailing off with salinity. Lovely generosity and likability to this youthful Sancerre, primed for enjoying now.Prices:
BC$53.00750ml
Producer: Château la Rabotine
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François le Saint Sancerre Silextext
91PTS

François le Saint Sancerre Silex 2020

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This sauvignon blanc is certified organic and biodynamically farmed, from 35 year old vines grown on a 3.15ha plot of clay soils with flint and marls, native fermented. A broken stone base lines this medium white, with lemon pith and peel, anjou pear, white grapefruit, and ample mineral salts that turn into lingering flint on the finish. Subtly powerful, and will grow with time.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
ON$48.00750ml
Producer: François le Saint
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François le Saint Calcairetext
90PTS

François le Saint Calcaire 2020

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This sauvignon blanc is certified organic and biodynamically farmed, from 30-45 year old vines grown on a 6.26ha plot of calcareous soils. After a native ferment in stainless, it rests there for a brief time on lees prior to bottling. Perfumed white blossom, melon, tangerine, almond, flood a slender palate, with ample mouthwatering stony limestone acidity to stream this through an amply saline finish. Subtle yet persistent energy throughout this gentle wine.Prices:
BC$44.00750ml
ON$46.00750ml
Producer: François le Saint
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François le Saint Pouilly-Fumétext
92PTS

François le Saint Pouilly-Fumé 2020

Pouilly-Fume, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceFrançois le Saint is a line of wines from one of Sancerre's most revered names. Established in 1749 in the heart of Sancerre, Domaine Fouassier is one of the oldest wine growing families in the Loire Valley with a history that spans 10 generations. This organically certified sauvignon blanc comes from vines 15-35 years in clay/limestone soils. Tight and zesty lemon, verbena is lined with a medicinal white cherry, and textured with buzzy stones through a lingering saline finish. So alive and vibrant, drinking smartly now and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$45.00750ml
Producer: François le Saint
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