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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: March 2023

31 March 2023

Canella Lido Prosecco Rosétext
88PTS

Canella Lido Prosecco Rosé 2020

Veneto, ItalyLido is an 85/15 mix of glera and pinot noir grown over rock and clay and fermented in stainless steel. The secondary charmat method fermentation is completed in a stainless steel pressure tank for two months. The colour is pale pink with relatively fine bubbles and fruity wild berry, and cherry. Fresh and just off dry, this a lunch party crowd pleaser.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Canella
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Anna Spinato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Bruttext
92PTS

Anna Spinato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut NV

Veneto, ItalyThis wine hails from a Unesco World Heritage site in the hills of Valdobiadene. The style is extra dry, aka medium sweet, with residual sugar. Expect a welcoming tropical fruit nose and bright, bubbly apple, pear, and mineral notes. On the palate, the flavours are reminiscent of a fresh fruit salad. It pairs well with imbriago, a local cheese born during the war when the wheels of cheese were hidden from the enemy under the spent skins of the prosecco after pressing. In time, it was noted that the skins and their residue gave the cheese a particular flavour that has become classic in the Valdobbiadene region and a perfect match with wine.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
Producer: Anna Spinato
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Anna Spinato Verduzzo Spumante Exclusive Edition – 70° Anniversarytext
90PTS

Anna Spinato Verduzzo Spumante Exclusive Edition – 70° Anniversary NV

Veneto, ItalyThe special anniversary release celebrates the verduzzo grape and the long history of the Spinato winery in Treviso. The site is an old floodplain of the Piave river made of limestone rocks. The vines are trained high in the air using the ancient Piave system known as Bellussera to leave the ground for grazing poultry and other crops while keeping the fruit away from the ground humidity to prevent any diseases. The fruit is hand harvested, fermented, and aged on lees in cement tanks, with 50 percent undergoing malolactic fermentation. The secondary fermentation to become sparkling wine takes place in a stainless steel tank over five months. The result is a straw yellow colour, awash in minerals with yellow apple streaks, and floral tropical notes. The flavours mix with citrus, grapefruit, and mango with an almond, forest floor undercurrent. A sparkling wine with substance and ancient style. Drink now. The match is the sweet meat of west coast spot prawns. A unique wine well worth the search.Prices:
BC$44.95750ml
Producer: Anna Spinato
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Anna Spinato Organic Rosé Proseccotext
87PTS

Anna Spinato Organic Rosé Prosecco NV

Veneto, ItalyThe first duty of a Prosecco is to be fun. The newest category, Prosecco Rosé, has the job of being even more fun. At Spinato, they mix Pinot Noir, Raboso, and Cabernet Sauvignon to create their juicy pink, pitching sour cherries with ripe strawberries and raspberries supported by a mellow effervescence throughout. Organically certified and suitable for vegan diets, this hits all the right notes for its price and the packaging. Well, it’s just fun.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Anna Spinato
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Anna Spinato Prosecco Organic Bruttext
88PTS

Anna Spinato Prosecco Organic Brut NV

Veneto, ItalyThe organic and vegan Prosecco from Anna Spinato is a delicious sipping, entry level Veneto bubble to light up any afternoon or early evening gathering. The entry is light straw / yellow, with a persistent effervescence. Expect floral jasmine and sweet lime, before a palate creamy and punctuated with lemon, lime, and almond. Perfectly balanced, it is finished with a bump of residual sugar that helps it with spicy dishes. It is versatile in working with pesto pasta, asparagus dishes, and vegetarian sushi.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Anna Spinato
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De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Brut Rosétext
89PTS

De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé NV

Loire, FranceCrémant de Loire Brut Rosé is made from cabernet franc and grolleau. It is all harvested by hand, and it gets a traditional method of a second fermentation in the bottle, hence its fine bead of bubbles. It spends at least 18 months in the cellar on its lees before disgorging. The colour is pale pink, the nose an intriguing mix of red berries and dried herbs with strawberry, cherry, and rhubarb. A subtle, stylish rosé for Easter brunch or the patio.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Cave de Saumur
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Haywire Pink Bubtext
88PTS

Haywire Pink Bub 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn year seven, Pink Bub is an old vine pinot blanc that’s whole cluster pressed, fermented, and aged in concrete tanks. The secondary fermentation takes place in horizontal Charmat tanks with daily lees stirring for three months, adding density and palate weight to a fresh, creamy, sparkling wine. The colour results from a drop of still red wine in the final blend. Look for tart raspberry, tangy lemon, and fresh red apple with a hint of tangerine in the smooth finish. New and fun, it is an everyday bubble that would be fun to have in the refrigerator for those unexpected days of celebrations.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Gray Monk Odyssey Rosé Brut Méthode Classiquetext
90PTS

Gray Monk Odyssey Rosé Brut Méthode Classique 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Odyssey sparklers from Gray Monk get lost in the BC sparkling scene, but they remain wines that overdeliver for the price. The balance of fruit and tension is outstanding, the palate is creamy and soft, and the persistent stream of bubbles agitates a lovely yeasty bread dough undercurrent. Oh, and it's pink too, so there is that attractive red berry fruit to attract a wide crowd. Delicious and affordable, this is one to check out.Prices:
BC$25.00750ml
AB$25.31750ml
Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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30 March 2023

Enate Reserva Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Enate Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Somontano, Aragon, SpainThis single varietal cabernet sauvignon from Somontano has spent 12 months in barrel and several years in bottle. It shows quite a complex bouquet of more evolved, preserved fruits like blackcurrant jam, dates, and dried persimmon layered with oyster sauce umami, while maintaining cabernet’s distinctive minty herbs and tobacco earthiness. It is drinking beautifully now, with or without food.Prices:
BC$46.00750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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Enate Crianza Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Enate Crianza Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Somontano, Aragon, SpainA blend of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon (75/25), this Crianza from Somontano offers tempranillo’s charming wild red berries and cabernet’s tea leaf and dried herbs peppered with savoury oak spices. A rather high level of alcohol (15% declared) is balanced by the freshness and is well integrated, giving the impression of lushness and richness. An ambitious and modern interpretation.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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Enate Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlottext
88PTS

Enate Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot 2019

Somontano, Aragon, SpainThis 50/50 cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend from Spain’s Somontano exhibits ultra ripe plums and dark cherries mixed with subtle baking spices. Though the rather high 15% alcohol is hard to not notice, the plushness and forward nature of the wine makes it appealing to those who prefer full bodied, bigger, bolder reds with high fruit ripeness. It will go well with grilled meats or juicy steaks.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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Enate Reserva Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Enate Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Somontano, Aragon, SpainAt nine years of age, this shows a nice balance of stewed brambly fruit and wild blueberries alongside tertiary notes of cedar and earth, all generously wrapped in sweet coconut oak (12 months). It offers a sweet attack, reflecting the opulent ripeness and 15% abv, while still being structured with firm, grainy tannins and surprising freshness. Far from at the finish line, it feels like this is just entering its prime drinking window. Fine value.Prices:
BC$46.00750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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Enate Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlottext
88PTS

Enate Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot 2019

Somontano, Aragon, SpainA 50/50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, this shows a muted nose of stewed dark fruits with woodsy herbs and cedar. It's not as rich and full as you'd expect, with moderate concentration leading to a firmly structured palate with sinewy tannins and soft acidity. It's quite ripe and warming at 15%, giving this a heavy quality that's calling for a light chill.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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Enate Crianza Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Enate Crianza Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Somontano, Aragon, SpainTempranillo-led, with 25 percent cabernet sauvignon, this shows stewed dark plums and figs, with sweet chocolate and generous spicy wood after 9 months in barrel. There's more weight and concentration here, giving this wine the ability to better balance the 15% abv, but it's still a full-throttle style. If you're looking for a fun discovery that's big, bold, and savoury, look no further.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Bodega Enate
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28 March 2023

Undurraga T. H. Terroir Hunter Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Undurraga T. H. Terroir Hunter Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Alto Maipo, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileYou have my attention when you say Pirque, the Alto Maipo, and Terroir Hunter. I have had the privilege of visiting Pirque vineyards many times, and the result is always the same: exciting wines are to be tasted. This is authentic Chile, and when it comes to cabernet sauvignon, it is also real, as in really good. The series is a prime example of what can be done in Chile, as demonstrated by this smoky, cedar, cassis, cabernet sauvignon nose from fruit farmed at 700 meters above sea level. The attack is intense with savoury boldo, black cherries, and bay leaves dominating. The texture is a highlight, rich and long, so silky and stylish it’s hard to believe this is cabernet sauvignon. The spice, tobacco, and mineral tone rule a long, satisfying finish. Impressive and nowhere near reaching its peak, this wine will repay any bottle time through 2028. Drinking it now is fine, especially with rare-ish grilled meat.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
AB$34.99750ml
MB$29.99750ml
Producer: Viña Undurraga
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Luigi Bosca de Sangre Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Luigi Bosca de Sangre Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Mendoza, ArgentinaThe winery moniker for this wine is De Sangre, said to be “given to a selection of outstanding wines that are meant to be shared with loved ones.” It is a tradition that has remained for over a century. The latest De Sangre Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious drinking red from grapes harvested in Uco Valley and Luján de Cuyo vineyards. Look for inviting black fruit sprinkled with pepper, roasted meats, and finishing ripe and savoury. It can be served with various foods, from turkey and pork to a mushroom pizza or a beef empanada. Drink or hold through 2028.Prices:
BC$31.00750ml
Producer: Luigi Bosca
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Reif Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reservetext
87PTS

Reif Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2018

Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes in an extra hefty bottle, clearly implying intent. Dark sour cherry, sour plum, toasted spice rule the medium bodied palate, with sticky tannins leading this to a bitter cocoa finish. Acidity is tart, helping to counter the heft. Crack and decant with roast beef now.Prices:
ON$37.15750ml
Producer: Reif Estate Winery
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Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Howe Vineyardtext
90PTS

Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Howe Vineyard 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLegend states that Hillside’s founder Vera Klokocka planted the first cabernet sauvignon vines in the Okanagan Valley on the Naramata Bench. That first row lives just south of the Howe Vineyard, planted in 2007. 2019 is a beautiful bottle of cabernet. If you are a California fan, this wine is not for you, but if you prefer a more restrained style with brighter acidity and a preponderance of red and black fruits, this is it. The fragrance is as elegant as the tannins and spice that fill in the body and run the length of this wine. This should age effortlessly, but you could easily drink it now with a Tomahawk steak, grilled portabello mushrooms, or a favourite aged cheese. A delicious and rare mid-valley cabernet, and very Bordelais in style. Impressive.Prices:
BC$48.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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27 March 2023

Monte Antico Toscanotext
88PTS

Monte Antico Toscano 2018

Santa Lucia, Pisa, Tuscany, ItalyThis IGT Toscana is a sangiovese dominant (85%) blend with some merlot and cabernet sauvignon. While only 10% of the blend, the sweet fruit of merlot gives the impression of lushness and polishes the rustic edge of the sangiovese, making it more friendly. Black cherry and plum wrapped with supple tannins are layered with subtle dried herb and sweet spices. With a medium body, it’s a versatile red that can pair with a wide range of dishes from simple tomato based pastas to grilled meat.Prices:
BC$17.99750ml
QC$15.90750ml
AB$16.00750ml
SK$15.00750ml
ON$14.45750ml
NS$19.00750ml
NB$19.00750ml
BC$35.991500ml
Producer: Empson and Company
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Monte del Frá Lena di Mezzo Scarnocchio Amarone del Valpolicella Classicotext
91PTS

Monte del Frá Lena di Mezzo Scarnocchio Amarone del Valpolicella Classico 2017

Verona, Veneto, ItalyA blend of 80% corvina (corvina veronese and corvinone) and 20% rondinella, this powerful wine boasts the classic Amarone aromas of highly concentrated dried fruit and sweet spices along with a richly dense texture. Prune and dried fig are interlaced with earthy and sweet nutmeg and cinnamon, and a touch of balsamic. The long finish with lingering flavours of bittersweet chocolate and savoury earthiness emphasises the hedonistic impression of the wine.Prices:
BC$57.99750ml
Producer: Monte del Frá
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Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
92PTS

Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016

Tuscany, ItalyMade from organically grown, dry farmed sangiovese, this Chianti Classico Gran Selezione has spent 16 months in French barriques and tonneaux, followed by three years of bottle ageing. Showing a garnet hue with brick rim, it opens with brooding dark notes of leather and tobacco layered with the tanginess of cherry and sundried tomato. A nice backbone of tight acidity and sinewy tannins confirms its provenance, as does the rich core of red and dark fruit. A wine of exceptional complexity and structure with the ability to age further gracefully.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
QC$43.50750ml
Producer: Il Molino di Grace
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Le Piane Nebbiolotext
89PTS

Le Piane Nebbiolo 2020

Piedmont, ItalyThis Nebbiolo is tipped with 5% Vespolina grapes from the Novara hills, in Altopiemonte. After a native ferment and 6 days of maceration, this aged nine months in steel. Tart cherry, red currant, perfumed red florals run the slender, lofted palate, hugged tightly with sticky/grippy nebbiolo tannins through the white pepper finish. Enjoy this youthful wine with a slight chill, and something savoury to meet those tannins (pizza night works).Prices:
BC$56.00750ml
Producer: Le Piane
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Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollotext
90PTS

Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo 2018

Maremma, Tuscany, ItalyA 60/40 mix of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon is grown on the Pitigliano estate. Expect ripe aromas of black and red fruits with dried thyme, rosemary, and baking spices. The palate is weighty with smoke, rich dark plum, and black currant cut with black raspberries wrapped in round, supple tannins, finishing vibrant. It is aged in for 12 months in 65 hl Slavonian oak casks. The alcohol is a modest 13 percent. It is the flagship wine of the Poggio al Tufo project, the first wine the Tommasi family made in the Maremma. Bistecca Fiorentina or a mushroom wild boar dish would be a good match. Good value.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
AB$25.99750ml
Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classicotext
90PTS

Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2018

Veneto, ItalyA warming Europe is aiding the maturation of Amarone grapes, in this case, a 50/30/15/5 mix of corvina, corvinone, rondinella, and oseleta grown in the La Groletta and Conca d’Oro crus in the hilly Valpolicella Classico zone. Expect a classic nose of super ripe cherries, raisins, figs and balsamic. The palate is warm with more intense sweet black fruit with coffee, pepper, earthy tobacco leaf, and a balsamic prune aftertaste. The finish is long, persistent, and warm, calling for mature cheese, lamb, or big rich game dishes. The grapes are manually harvested and selected, followed by drying for about three months in a well-ventilated loft. Fermentation took place in stainless steel for 25 days at 25°-30°C before 3 years maturation in 35 and 65 hl Slavonian oak casks.Prices:
BC$64.99750ml
AB$61.99750ml
Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico Organictext
90PTS

Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico Organic 2020

Tuscany, ItalyThe Ricasoli-Firidolfi family is part of the Chianti Classico fabric from Baron Bettino Ricasoli, who created the original formula for the Chianti Classico's blend of grapes in 1872, and even further back when a family member named Geremia was involved in many a battle between warring families on the property in the mid-1100s The rocca of Montegrossi was a strategic post, high up on a plateau, providing shelter for travelling dignitaries. Today the Rocca di Montegrossi estate is located in Monti in Chianti, part of Gaiole in Chianti. The high-altitude plateau, with its stony, calcareous soils is known for some of the more elegant and harmonious Chianti Classico wines in the DOCG. The 2020 mix is 91% sangiovese, 7% canaiolo, and 2% colorino, and it jumps from the glass and the youthful earthy, peppery, black cherry spills onto the palate. The finish shows some tannin and dryness, but nothing that won't be resolved down the road with time in the bottle. Technically the grapes are hand-harvested, fermented on indigenous yeasts in lined cement tanks, and aged for 11 months in a mix of traditional French Allier oak vats, and unlined cement tanks. I suggest mushroom pasta; the winery likes it with porcini risotto. Either would be delicious.Prices:
BC$35.99750ml
Producer: Rocca di Montegrossi
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Alasia Langhe Nebbiolotext
89PTS

Alasia Langhe Nebbiolo 2019

Piedmont, ItalyThis Langhe nebbiolo comes off vineyards with a south westerly aspect between 200-300m, with an average vine age of 30 years, rooted in limestone clays. This was fermented in stainless, and then racked to French barrels (40%) and large Piedmontese vats for 1 year prior to the blend. Savoury cherry, black raspberry, forest leaves, is lined with salt and worked leather, with sticky tannins taking this to a saline, bricking finish. Drinking now, ideally with wild mushroom dishes.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Araldica Vini Piemontesi
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Ca' di Ponti Nero d'Avolatext
86PTS

Ca' di Ponti Nero d'Avola 2019

Sicily, ItalyAraldica is a 3rd gen family operated co-op, based in Piemonte. They've expanded their reach beyond northern Italy, working with farmers and growers throughout the country. This Nero d'Avola comes from grapes in southern Sicily's Riesi, the heartland of the grape. This was fermented and aged briefly in stainless. Ripe and fleshy and sun-baked, with prunes, black cherry compote, and dark chocolate on a tart / sweet and sour palate. Tannins are powdery soft, leading this to a bitter cassis end. Best matched with a rustic hearty stew.Prices:
BC$19.00750ml
Producer: Adria Vini
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Araldica Corsini Barbarescotext
90PTS

Araldica Corsini Barbaresco 2015

Piedmont, ItalyAraldica is a 3rd gen, family operated co-op based in Piedmont, working with over 230 growers. This Barbaresco comes from the communes of Treiso, Neive, and Barbaresco. It was aged in Slovonian oak botte and barrique over 2 years prior to another 6 months maturation in bottle prior to release. The bricking orange hue reveals maturing nebbiolo, and indeed this 2015 is full of tertiary flavours of tea leaves, forest floor, fragrant dried cherry, dried thyme and rosemary, threaded throughout fresher morello cherry and wild plum. Tannins have now faded to a slighter but still evident tug, finishing with cracked salts and worn leather. Drinking now, and fun to fine a well priced Barbaresco ready for enjoying.Prices:
BC$40.99750ml
Producer: Araldica Vini Piemontesi
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Canalcchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcinotext
91PTS

Canalcchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino 2020

Tuscany, ItalyProduced mostly from their youngest vineyards, this Rosso represents their calling card for Canalicchio di Sopra wines: a young, fruity, and versatile expression of their estate Sangiovese. This comes mainly from vineyards located in the Canalicchio Cru, with ample clay, magnesium, iron and Manganese soils. It was macerated and fermented in stainless over three weeks, before resting one year in Slavonian Oak Barrels (50 hl and 25 hl), and French oak barrels (750L). Candle wax, wild cherries, raspberries flood a juicy, structural palate, framed with firm, sticky tannins, and kissed with medicinal cherry on the stony, ferrous finish. Lovely presence and confidence here.Prices:
ON$46.00750ml
Producer: Canalicchio di Sopra
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San Valentino BACAIA Sangiovese Superioretext
91PTS

San Valentino BACAIA Sangiovese Superiore 2020

Emilia-Romagna, ItalySan Valentino is a certified organic property owned by the Mascarin family since 1990, and is centered on the hills of Rimini, near the sea. This Sangiovese is from 150m, and 12 year old vines, native fermented and aged in stainless and concrete, and rested for up to 10 months in large French wood casks. There's a beauty freshness brightening this fuller Superiore, with juicy plum, cassis, cracked peppercorn, and perfumed wild flowers. Tannins are fine and sinewy, drawing this through the saline finish.Prices:
ON$26.00750ml
Producer: San Valentino
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Monte Antico Toscanotext
87PTS

Monte Antico Toscano 2018

Santa Lucia, Pisa, Tuscany, ItalyThis blend of sangiovese, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon offers confected dark cherry and plum, with dried herbs and an accent of sweet oak vanillin. It's quite modern in style, with an approachable structure that will be versatile with everything from pasta to pizza. Well priced for midweek enjoyment.Prices:
BC$17.99750ml
QC$15.90750ml
AB$16.00750ml
SK$15.00750ml
ON$14.45750ml
NS$19.00750ml
NB$19.00750ml
BC$35.991500ml
Producer: Empson and Company
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Podere 414 Morellino di Scansanotext
92PTS

Podere 414 Morellino di Scansano 2019

Tuscany, ItalyOwned by Simone Castelli, Podere 414 is a certified organic estate with 13 hectares of vines, situated in western Tuscany, straddling a river near Scansano. From the region's very stony soils, this morellino (sangiovese) is splashed with colorino, ciliegiolo, alicante, and syrah. Each variety is vinified separately before the blend goes into two-year-old barriques for one year, followed by additional bottle age before release. Wild flowers and scrubby herbs infuse a dusky palate of black cherry, blackberry, inky violet and crushed stones. Acidity is bright and lofty, and tannins are ample but softened with some time, providing a firm hug to this full bodied wine. The finish lingers with medicinal cherry rung with ample salinity.Prices:
ON$33.00750ml
Producer: Podere 414
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Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
91PTS

Il Molino di Grace Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016

Tuscany, ItalyThis has a gorgeous, lifted nose that still shows a good core of fruit, intertwined with mature, tertiary notes after additional time in bottle. Dried cherries and red plums are layered with dried lavender, humus, and sandalwood, with a balanced accent of toasted spices after aging 16 months in a combination of French barriques and tonneaux. The powdery tannins are nicely resolved at this stage, and it's certainly in its prime drinking window, though will hold for another 3-4 years. Far from heavy, this is a bright, juicy Gran Selezione, more medium-bodied than full, which will pair beautifully with braised beef ragu on pappardelle.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
QC$43.50750ml
Producer: Il Molino di Grace
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Monte del Frá Lena di Mezzo Scarnocchio Amarone del Valpolicella Classicotext
90PTS

Monte del Frá Lena di Mezzo Scarnocchio Amarone del Valpolicella Classico 2017

Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis shows a lifted, raisonated nose, reflecting 120 days of drying, with wild berries, fig, toasted walnut, chocolate, dried florals, and leather. It's complex, tertiary, and savoury, with moderate intensity and concentration, on a frame of fine, silky tannins. There is a certain elegance here, still within the paradigm of Amarone, and it's easy to see yourself pouring a second glass thanks to the relative lithe and integrated 15.5% alcohol.Prices:
BC$57.99750ml
Producer: Monte del Frá
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Masi Fresco di Masi Organic Rossotext
86PTS

Masi Fresco di Masi Organic Rosso 2020

Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis new organic and vegan red purports to be quite noble, though it sneaks in 9 g/L RS to the corvina / merlot blend. Soft and sweetly ripe, with cherry jam, raspberry popsicle, and fruit leather on a cushy, shorter palate. Take with a chill and simple fare.Prices:
BC$21.99750ml
Producer: Masi Agricola
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Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riservatext
89PTS

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2019

Sardinia, ItalySella Mosca makes this wine at its 650-hectare estate in Sardegna. The mix of Mediterranean scrub and vineyards, one of the largest in Europe, is the perfect home for cannonau. It is the most widely planted varietal in Sardegna and at Sella Mosca; it is gently pressed and fermented before ageing for one year in large neutral oak. It is the perfect vessel to give this grenache the respect it deserves allowing it to carry the day with its silky texture and soft, wild raspberry flavours dressed with a hit of dried herbs and wild meaty floral aromas. The style is an intriguing mix of pinot noir, Barolo and sangiovese. A delicious buy.Prices:
BC$21.29750ml
AB$20.50750ml
MB$19.90750ml
Producer: Sella & Mosca
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24 March 2023

Adega de Portalegre Conventualtext
89PTS

Adega de Portalegre Conventual 2020

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis blend of Arinto, Roupeirao, and Antão Vaz was done entirely in stainless. White peach, pear, tangerine floods a juicy palate, kissed with anise and white pepper spices. A smart, modern, and fresh aromatic white blend.Prices:
ON$20.50750ml
Producer: Adega de Portalegre Winery
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Terras De Lava Terroir Vûlcanicotext
89PTS

Terras De Lava Terroir Vûlcanico 2019

PortugalFrom the Coop Vitivinicola on Portugal's volcanic Azores island of Pico, this blends 70% Arinto dos Açores, with a mix of Verdejo, Fernão Pires, and Boal. This was fermented and rested 4 months on lees in stainless. Pouring a deep yellow hue, this is heady and waxen across a medium palate, lined with perfumed talc, honeysuckle, fragrant white flowers, and ample rosewater. There's a saline rinse carrying the finish, reminding of this volcanic island's geography. If you like floral aromatic whites but want brisk marine freshness, look here.Prices:
BC$36.00750ml
Producer: Cooperativa Vittivinicola Dailha Do Pico
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Domaine Fleith L'orangetext
89PTS

Domaine Fleith L'orange 2021

Alsace, FranceIn 1996, Vincent Fleith took over his family's 9 hectares, becoming the 11th generation of winegrowers to caretake these lands. He converted the estate to biodynamics over the next years. As the name suggests, this is an orange blend of macerated Gewürztraminer, Pinot gris, and Muscat. This is native fermented in stainless. Ample sultry perfumed musk, fleshy apricot, pear skin rule the low toned, lackadaisical palate, with a slight riff of apricot pith sharing the maceration. A curious wine, and one to pull out for trickier pairings like Moroccan dishes.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Fleith
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Domaine Mittnacht Frères Assemblage Copains Copinestext
90PTS

Domaine Mittnacht Frères Assemblage Copains Copines 2019

Alsace, FranceFounded in 1958, Domaine Mittnacht is a family-run estate led by Christophe and Yuka Mittnacht, with vineyards located around the town of Hunawihr. Christophe was an early pioneer of the biodynamic movement, and the domaine was officially certified biodynamic in 1999, one of the first in Alsace. Assemblage, as the name suggests, is a blend based on Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois, and 50+% mixing Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, and Gewürztraminer. Lush pear, white peach, green melon, flax is based with waxen honey and crushed stones. There is an alluring lifted acidity here, coated with stony salinity, which sails this cushy, dry white to a streamlined finish. A lovely white blend, drinking now.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Mittnacht Frères
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Bhilar Rioja Blancotext
89PTS

Bhilar Rioja Blanco 2020

Rioja, SpainBodegas Bhilar is a certified organic/biodynamic boutique winery in Elvillar, Rioja Alavesa, run by husband and wife team David Sampedro and Melanie Hickman. This blends 80% viura and 20% garnacha, native fermented in concrete before resting in French casks for 6 months. Pouring a golden yellow hue, this fuller white streams along a waxen palate of goldenrod, ripe melon, ripe pear, quince, and tangerine zest, seasoned with saffron and musk and light toast. A compact white, ready for unpacking with richer creamy white risotto or braised poultry.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Bhilar
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Lola Limited Edition Whitetext
85PTS

Lola Limited Edition White 2020

Ontario, CanadaLola's new Limited Edition white blends auxerrois, pinot gris, and pinot blanc from across Ontario. The short, snappy palate is sweet and sour lemon, melon, and apple. Very non-descript and flat.Prices:
ON$15.95750ml
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
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Magnotta Pinot Grigio / Chardonnaytext
86PTS

Magnotta Pinot Grigio / Chardonnay 2021

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaRipe and creamy white peach, pear, yellow apple fill the frame of this sleek palate, dusted with a light spice. Simple and easy.Prices:
ON$14.95750ml
Producer: Magnotta Winery
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Domaine La Coste Grand Vin Blanctext
90PTS

Domaine La Coste Grand Vin Blanc 2020

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceOrganic old vine Vermentino and Chardonnay from d'Aix's limestone soils were native fermented in new and 1 year old French barrels, with regular bâtonnage for 8-10 months. The wood and lees work lends a creaminess to this polished white, with white peach, pear, river stones, all bedded with silken lees and lit with lemon pith. Certainly suited to creamy seafood / pasta dishes.Prices:
ON$52.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Château La Coste Le Blanctext
90PTS

Château La Coste Le Blanc 2021

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceFrom d'Aix-en-Provence clay and limestone soils, this organic / biodynamic white blends Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Clairette, and Vermentino, all in stainless for a short time. The sauvignon jumps ahead here, with gooseberry, green hedge, verbena at the fore, followed by tight white blossoms and buzzy lemon pith on the saline finish. Fresh and dry and interesting.Prices:
ON$31.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Terravista Fandangotext
90PTS

Terravista Fandango 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of Spanish varieties albariño (51%) and verdejo (49%), this crisp white is the perfect mix of both. Albariño’s pure citrus and stone fruit is here combined with the green herbal notes of verdejo. It shows quite an intense nose of grapefruit and white peach layered with freshly chopped herbs. On the palate, the bittersweet citrus is intensified by mouthwatering zesty tanginess. A wine that offers immediate pleasure.Prices:
BC$29.00750ml
Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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Mullineux Old Vines Whitetext
93PTS

Mullineux Old Vines White 2021

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaThis iconic Mediterranean-meets-Swartland white blend is shining bright in 2021, based on 62% old vine Chenin Blanc, aided with 10% Clairette Blanche, 9% Viognier, 7% Grenache Blanc, 6% Semillon Gris, 6% Verdelho from the region's schist, granite, and iron soils. Each vineyard was hand harvested and whole bunch pressed, native fermented up to 2 months with natural MLF (or not), and left on lees in older 500L barrel for and 1 new 2000L foudre for 11 months. Very complete at this young age, with an alluring reductive stripe driving crisp lemon, green apple, Bosc pear, herbal melon, and meadow grass along a lees-decked palate imbued with potent mineral salts through the lingering finish. A beaut.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
ON$38.00750ml
QC$40.00750ml
Producer: Mullineux Wines
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Terravista Fandangotext
89PTS

Terravista Fandango 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis unique blend of albariño (51%) and verdejo (49%) from Lone Hand Ranch Vineyard on the Naramata Bench opens with delicate orange blossom accented by pear, gooseberry, and lemon. It's crisp, textured, and refreshing, buoyed by a slight spritz, in a style that is serious yet charming, with just a touch of astringency to the finish. The perfect kind of patio sipper, with spot-on balance.Prices:
BC$29.00750ml
Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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Masi Fresco di Masi Organic Biancotext
82PTS

Masi Fresco di Masi Organic Bianco 2020

Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis young, organic, simple white is designed to be enjoyed now. Tart crab apple, sour lemon, ale is all to find on the short, slight palate, finishing dry and thankfully quickly.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
Producer: Masi Agricola
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23 March 2023

Pelee Island Winery Lolatext
80PTS

Pelee Island Winery Lola NV

Ontario, CanadaThis new line of premium Lola is a blend of baco noir and merlot from across Ontario. Deep in hue, this has sour blackcurrant, herbal foxy notes, plum compote on a sweet and sour and soft palate, finishing with a spritz. Kind of bizarre.Prices:
ON$19.00750ml
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
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Tightrope Winery Vertigotext
88PTS

Tightrope Winery Vertigo 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVertigo is a quite singular blend of Merlot, Barbera, and Cabernet Franc from the Naramata Bench. After 3 weeks on skins this was pressed and racked into American and French wood (50% new) where it remained for 10 months. Ripe black cherry, ripe raspberry jam flood a juicy, silken palate, with sweet baking spices and ample sticky tannins to house this to a bitter, peppery finish. A big Naramata red well suited to grilled root veg / beef dishes.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Tightrope Winery Vertigotext
89PTS

Tightrope Winery Vertigo 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVertigo is a unique mix of merlot, barbera, and cabernet franc, all grown on the Naramata Bench. Post ferment, it spends ten months in American and French oak, of which 50 percent is new. The attack is fresh, the fruit a youthful mix of intense black raspberries and Bing cherries dusted in pepper and sweet spice. Barbera can be acidic, and a bit of skinny core balances off the riper, richer merlot and cabernet franc, leaving a unique Naramata red blend, perfect for barbecue season.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Livio Felluga Sossó Rosso Riservatext
90PTS

Livio Felluga Sossó Rosso Riserva 2016

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyLivio Felluga is one of the most respected producers in Friuli, dedicating his life to reviving high-quality and sustainable viticulture in the hills of this north-eastern, Adriatic-influenced region. He emigrated from Istria and established his property in Brazzano in the 1950s, buying up old, neglected vineyards and rejuvenating them. Created in 1989, this wine is named after the Sossó stream, which runs at the foot of the hill where the grapes grow. From old vine Merlot and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso grapes, together with a small percentage of Pignolo, this was fermented in stainless before aging in small French barrels. Wild and herbal black fruit is tamed by time, leaving black plum, blackberry, dried florals, anise gliding along the medium bodied palate, shaped with well integrated tannins, and lifted with tart blackcurrant acidity. This is drinking at prime now, ideally with herb crushed lamb and/or root veg.Prices:
ON$99.00750ml
Producer: Livio Felluga
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Red Rooster Carbonic Merlot Malbectext
89PTS

Red Rooster Carbonic Merlot Malbec 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI love how this wine is made, as a two level, simultaneous fermentation. Whole cluster malbec sits on the bottom of the tank fermenting berry by berry, or intracellular. The lightly crushed merlot grapes on top are inoculated with yeast protecting the malbec from any oxygen damage. After fermenting, the juice is aged in 13% new French oak barrels for ten months before filtering and bottling. The attack is floral with juicy, bloody notes upfront and a darker, wiry brambleberry with some wood vanillins. Easy sipping. This is a wine for now. The elevated fruit levels suggest it would be a fine partner for cheese.Prices:
BC$28.99750ml
Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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22 March 2023

Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir 2022

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesSokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir is first and foremost grown to be rosé. It’s made in an attractive dry-ish style, and in 2018, the coolest year in Oregon, it is a winner. The juice was given six hours of contact before being divided into multiple stainless steel tanks. One portion was inoculated with neutral yeast, and the other with yeast that lifted the pinot noir fruit aromatics. Each gets an extended, slow, cool fermentation to heighten the fruit and floral notes. It’s pink that doesn’t try too hard to be anything but a rosé. Juicy and a hint sour, it has summer night and food bites written all over it. The match is Dungeness crab in BC. The winery suggests a roasted beet salad topped with goat cheese and pistachios accompanied by crab cake sliders and a cheese board for dessert.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
AB$31.95750ml
MB$34.99750ml
Producer: Sokol Blosser Winery
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Château La Coste Grand Vin Rosétext
91PTS

Château La Coste Grand Vin Rosé 2021

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FrancePouring a pale pink hue, this is a graceful, finessed old vine syrah/grenache/vermentino rosé, from d'Aix's limestone clay soils, at some altitude. It was whole cluster pressed and gas-protected, with cool ferment in stainless, where it spends 6 months on lees prior to bottling. Pouring a pale, delicate pink hue, this is tight and tart with red currant, wild strawberry, scents of mandarin and ample stony salinity. Acidity is lofted, carrying this through a lingering mineral finish. Very smart wine.Prices:
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Château La Coste Rosé d'une Nuittext
89PTS

Château La Coste Rosé d'une Nuit 2021

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceRosé d'une Nuit is an organic / biodynamic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cinsault from d'Aix's clay and limestone soils. Ripe and juicy, with wild strawberries, raspberries, tangerine flooding the barely off dry palate, dusted with soft spicing on the finish. Friendly, joyous pink for enjoying now.Prices:
ON$31.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Château la Coste Rosétext
90PTS

Château la Coste Rosé 2021

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceThis elegant, and poshly packaged rosé blends organic and biodynamic Grenache, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon from d'Aix's clay limestone soils. Delicate cherry blossoms, wild strawberries flood a glossy, bone dry palate, with a dusting of fine spice, and mandarin twist on the bright finish. Fresh and sleek, this is primed for serious Provence fans to be enjoying this summer.Prices:
ON$35.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Megalomaniac Pink Slip Rosétext
86PTS

Megalomaniac Pink Slip Rosé 2021

Ontario, CanadaThis blend of mystery grapes from Ontario lead with candy apple, sugared strawberry, and pear on a brief palate, with a noticeable bump of RS met with some searing early-pick acidity. Needs a brisk chill (or ample ice cubes).Prices:
ON$20.00750ml
Producer: Megalomaniac
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Marynissen Estates Pinot Noir Rosétext
86PTS

Marynissen Estates Pinot Noir Rosé 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis pinot noir rosé was barrel fermented and aged in neutral French puncheons. Pointed, perfumed blossoms, tart raspberry, red currant fill a sour, slight palate, reflective of the early pick. The finish is brief and snappy. Chill well and crack now.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Marynissen Estates
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Pelee Island Winery Pelee Puretext
80PTS

Pelee Island Winery Pelee Pure NV

Ontario, CanadaPelee Pure is a certified organic rosé, but that's about all revealed about it (no varieties, vineyards, vinification, or vintage), which is pretty surprising, and somewhat scary. Dish soap, lime pith, sour candies are disjointed and short on the strange sweet/sour palate.Prices:
ON$19.95750ml
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
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Finite x Fogolar Cabernet Franc Rosétext
85PTS

Finite x Fogolar Cabernet Franc Rosé 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Vinemount Ridge' Picone vineyard, this cabernet franc was destemmed and partially crushed into stainless steel for 6 hours of skin contact, and then bled off into neutral French oak barrels for native ferment and 10 months aging. It was bottled with no fining, filtration, or additional sulphur. Sour cherry, red currant, wilted florals rule the shorter palate, dusted with spice. I think a bump more SO2 would really help this wine. Chill briskly.Prices:
ON$34.00750ml
Producer: Fogolar
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Four Shadows Rosétext
87PTS

Four Shadows Rosé 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWilbert and Joka Borrens own Four Shadows Winery and a hefty 17 acres of a vineyard near the entrance to the Naramata Bench. Once a source of grapes for other wineries, the family has set about their winemaking journey with some direction from French-born, Okanagan-based Pascal Madevon of Osoyoos Larose fame. The style of this pink is sweet, led by intense candied strawberries and taffy apple notes that spill onto the palate and run through a soft finish. Many will love this rosé served solo and well-chilled on a sunny patio, while others will pair it with spicy pork ribs or chicken drumsticks to tone down the sugar. Either way, it is ready to drink.Prices:
BC$21.00750ml
Producer: Four Shadows Vineyard and Winery
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Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé Grey Labeltext
89PTS

Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé Grey Label 2022

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis grey labeled cab franc rosé (partner to the pink label merlot rosé from Naramata) comes from a river bed vineyard in Oliver planted in 1997 and 2007. After 3 hours skin contact this was fermented in stainless where it remained until bottling unfined and unfiltered. There's a lovely cushion of salted wild strawberry and lees that beds this streamline rosé, infused with fresh green herbs, and bright with rhubarb yogurt acidity through a lingering saline finish. Dry, savoury, and fresh.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Lock & Worth
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Lock and Worth Merlot Rosétext
91PTS

Lock and Worth Merlot Rosé 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis blush hued Merlot Rosé is sourced from Apricot Hill Vineyard, part of Matt Sherlock's property on the Naramata Bench, planted in 2005 and dry farmed since 2020. The grapes, currently undergoing organic conversion, were whole cluster pressed with 3 hours skin contact, fermented in stainless before aging in older oak puncheons, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Summer strawberries, wild raspberries, cherry blossom, bergamot fill a streamline palate, subtly textured with wild herbs and salted sage. There's a lovely meeting of savoury and fruit in this dry rosé, making it alluringly crushable. A dreamboat.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Lock & Worth
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21 March 2023

Leyda Reserva Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Leyda Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Valle de Leyda, Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileLeyda’s entry-level sauvignon is a simple linear wine that is highly varietal on the nose and the palate. With a nod to New Zealand, the style is grassy, herbaceous with canned jalapeno and gooseberry with a tart lemon, lime, guava finish. From fish sticks to crab cakes and oysters, this wine is ready to add a squeeze of lemon. Ready to drink and affordable.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
Producer: Viña Leyda Ltda
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Leyda Coastal Vineyards Kadún Sauvignon Gristext
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Leyda Coastal Vineyards Kadún Sauvignon Gris 2021

Valle de Leyda, Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileFrom El Granito vineyard, this sauvignon gris was planted in 2010, just 4km from the Pacific Ocean. This is one of the most extreme vineyards in Chile. The grapes for this wine come from a granitic soiled plot planted on marine terraces. Whole cluster fruit was fermented in 66% concrete vats and the remainder in older 400L barrels, where it remained on lees with bâtonnage over 7 months. Tart tangerine, pear skin, gooseberry rules the brisk palate, lashed with marine salinity. There's a subtly smoky stoniness woven throughout, making this particularly savoury and food friendly for grilled seafood / veg.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Viña Leyda Ltda
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Leyda Garuma Coastal Vineyards Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Leyda Garuma Coastal Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Valle de Leyda, Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThis coastal sauvignon blanc comes off two of estate vineyards: El Maitén, located 12km from the Pacific Ocean; and El Granito, situated just 4km from the sea, and one of Chile’s most extreme vineyards. The various plots, clones, and soils (granite and clay) provide layers of flavour and freshness. Destemmed fruit was partially macerated with skins in the press prior to joining the other freshly pressed juice. It was fermented and rested on lees in stainless. Brisk and bright, with ample asparagus, guava, passionfruit, and tangerine on a buoyant, saline, and stony palate, lashed with marine salinity. Mouthwatering, with Chile's abundant fruit, this is a great take on the grape.Prices:
ON$17.95750ml
Producer: Viña Leyda Ltda
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Divergence Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Divergence Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Lincoln Lakeshore's Hughes Vineyard, this sauvignon blanc is clones 530 and 297. It was aged in a mix of French oak (37% new puncheons, 17% neutral barrique) and stainless. Sour lemon, green apple, passionfruit is buffered by a light toast / smoke, and finishes with a bitter lime twist. A more gastronomic wine via the oak structuring, and one to think of when pairing with citrus scallops or spring risotto.Prices:
ON$28.00750ml
Producer: Divergence Wines
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Pelee Island Lighthouse Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Pelee Island Lighthouse Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Ontario, CanadaFrom vineyards across Ontario, this is a tight, dry sauvy, with grapefruit, passionfruit, pineapple rind, and green hedge. Simple and fresh, and ready for your spring veg dishes.Prices:
ON$14.95750ml
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
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Château La Coste Les Pentes Doucestext
90PTS

Château La Coste Les Pentes Douces 2021

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, Sud de France, FranceThis organic / biodynamic blend of Vermentino and Sauvignon blanc comes from d'Aix's limestone slopes. After a ferment in stainless and barrel, this continued to mature in barrel on lees for 6 months, with bâtonnage, prior to bottling. The creaminess from the barrel and lees work are easily met by the limestone laced fruit on the streamlined, lightly creamy palate. Wild lemon, tight melon, verbena, white peach blossom is licked with anise, and amply laced with salinity. Impressive and unexpected.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Château La Coste
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Reif Estate Winery White Meritagetext
80PTS

Reif Estate Winery White Meritage 2021

Niagara River, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis blend of sémillon and sauvignon blanc leads with smokey ash tray, with green hedge, sour lemon, tropical melon and a jarring bump of RS on the textural mid. Not sure where this went awry, but hoping for a cleaner result next vintage.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Reif Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2021

British Columbia, CanadaTheir flagship white wine, 2021 Capella blends 73% sauvignon blanc with 27% sémillon, from vineyards in Keremeos and Oliver. Each block was picked and fermented separately, on skins for 3 hours and fermented partial native in French puncheons, with 10% of barrels undergoing MLF. All lots were aged for 9 months with bâtonnage prior to final blending. The wood provides a formidable, yet friendly structure to this Bx blend, with toasty cedar staves in the shadows of this medium white. White grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, desert sage work to fill out the core, bedded with creamy lees. Potent and BC forward at this youthful state, this will be best with some time to settle in the bottle.Prices:
BC$30.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillontext
89PTS

Lock and Worth Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a vineyard on the Naramata Bench planted in 2007 in sandy alluvial till, this 75% SB, 25% Sém was fermented in stainless, and rested in older 225L French barrels for a few months. The time in old wood slightly tempers the crisp green character of this wine, one still brisk with lemon verbena, lime peel, greengage, grapefruit peel, and kisses of passionfruit. Will continue to merge and develop in bottle.Prices:
BC$23.00750ml
Producer: Lock & Worth
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Earthling Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Earthling Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThis one is for the millennials, and it begins with the label, 'try and find the same bottle twice'. The background of the front label changes with each bottle, and you'll find a new 'Earthling' on every back label in a case. Each Earthling offers unique 'cheers' to a relatable human truth on the label, and you can also scan the QR code on the back label and watch the earthling come to life. Tap each character to interact with them. I know, I know, what about the wine? Well, it measures up. The style is vibrant and very sauvignon leading with lime, citrus, and passion fruit. Impressive. The Earthling uses lightweight bottles (417g), minimal use of farming equipment, plants 100s of trees to offset carbon, employs netting instead of spraying and more.Prices:
BC$23.50750ml
AB$20.00750ml
MB$22.00750ml
Producer: Rossendale Winery
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Seven Terraces Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Seven Terraces Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandSeven Terraces is a BC favourite, from the busy taps at Earls to the many retail outlets and restaurants where it sells. Consistency is this wine’s middle name, and if you are a Marlborough sauvignon fan, this is one of the best values in the country. It is a family business, and they make this wine with care. It is grown over stony, silty soils in the Rapara District of Marlborough. The style is juicy, and what makes it so attractive is the acidity it's reined in, plus the passionfruit, guava, and tangerine that are pushed forward. Delicious drinking Kiwi white that is a mussel slayer.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
AB$20.00750ml
MB$22.00750ml
BC$34.992000ml
BC$34.992000ml
Producer: Rossendale Winery
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Bollini Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Bollini Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Trentino- Alto-Adige, Italy2020 was an important year at Bollini, when the wines achieved vegan certification. The property is owned by Maria and Neil Empson, who created their label working in the Alpine foothills of Friuli and Trentino. Their purpose was to showcase the excellence and consistency of noble international varieties in the cool northeastern regions of Italy while maintaining accessible price points. At only 12.5% alcohol, winemaker Franco Bernabei has done a masterful job keeping this flinty dry sauvignon humming along, exposing notes of fig and wild sage with a stream of acid to keep it fresh. Post ferment, the wine is racked and aged on its fine lees for a few months with bâtonnage adding the final touch of creamy textures.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
AB$19.95750ml
ON$18.95750ml
Producer: Empson and Company
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Lock and Worth Sémillon Kelownatext
92PTS

Lock and Worth Sémillon Kelowna 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of two sémillons produced by Lock & Worth from 2019 (the other from Okanagan Falls) comes off the lauded Knorr vineyard on Mount Boucherie in West Bank, planted in 1993. Whole cluster pressed and native fermented in stainless, it was raised in neutral French puncheons (full MLF) for 2 years on full solids, mostly undisturbed. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Very much in youth still, with that telltale greengage, tart lemon, crunchy green apple, green herbs, and ample flake salts. Some youthful angles to shed still, but this wine and grape is well known to go the distance. Will retaste in future. If you buy the Sém upon release via the wine club, it's $30, but if you wait for the winery's 5 year latent release to the public, it will be $45. Get in while you can.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Lock & Worth
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Lock and Worth Sémillon Kelownatext
92PTS

Lock and Worth Sémillon Kelowna 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of two sémillons produced by Lock & Worth from 2019 (the other from Okanagan Falls) comes off the lauded Knorr vineyard on Mount Boucherie in West Bank, planted in 1993. Whole cluster pressed and native fermented in stainless, it was raised in neutral French puncheons (full MLF) for 2 years on full solids, mostly undisturbed. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Lemon verbena, green apple, green herbs is lit with a buzzy energy. Kissed with white honey, this sém (a finicky grape) is coming into its prime, starting the shedding of gawky elbows and unifying. Beautifully understated, this slender, subtle, savoury white is always entirely overlooked, but always one of BC's best. If you buy the Sém upon release via the wine club, it's $30, but if you wait for the winery's 5 year latent release to the public, it will be $45. Get in while you can.Prices:
BC$45.00750ml
Producer: Lock & Worth
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Francois Lurton Les Fumées Blanchestext
88PTS

Francois Lurton Les Fumées Blanches 2021

Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceCitrus, lemongrass, and smoked stones open the wine, offering a riper version of sauvignon blanc with sweet kiwi notes and a touch of spice. A friendly round mid-palate tightens up in the finish leaving a dry white well suited to chicken tacos or fish cakes. Highly affordable and dependable too.Prices:
BC$16.49750ml
AB$10.99750ml
ON$10.95750ml
QC$16.65750ml
Producer: Francois Lurton S.A
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2021

British Columbia, CanadaI love consistency in wine production as in, no matter the conditions, save for natural disasters, the best wineries turn out quality wine every year. Enter Capella, the flagship Clos du Soleil white. In 2021, the 73/27 sauvignon blanc / sémillon blend was a nod to some classic Bordeaux white wines. The fruit comes from a combination of Keremeos and Oliver vineyards, hence the British Columbia designation. Winemaker Michael Clark is meticulous and keeps each block picked and fermented separately. Everything is aged nine months with some lees stirring before final blending. The palate is alive with grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, and the secret sauce: desert sagebrush. Drink now for the theatrical version, or hold through 2024 for a slightly less edgy version. I prefer it now with oysters, clams, or mussels on the coast.Prices:
BC$30.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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20 March 2023

Restless River Ava Marietext
94PTS

Restless River Ava Marie 2019

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaRestless River is a small, but mighty, family-owned winery in the cool Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Hundreds of years ago, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley was known as Attacquas Kloof. In 1760 the elder, Wessel Wessels arrived with his family and set up home. Some historians say it was Wessel who called the valley 'Hemel-en-Aarde'. What is known for sure is that old man Wessels was the first European of settler descent to live in and farm the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Fast forward a few hundred years, when husband and wife Craig and Anne Wessels started planting part of the farm in 2004, launching the Restless River label in 2012 to continual critical acclaim. The farm has some of the oldest Cabernet sauvignon and Chardonnay in the Hemel-en-Aarde, with vines first planted in 1999. This Chardonnay bears the name of its single 2.06 hectare vineyard, named after their daughter. The slopes are south and east facing, with shallow top soils with iron-rich rocks and sandy gravels over decomposed granite clays. This was whole bunch pressed, settled overnight, and then native fermented into various sized French barrels (5% new) as well as two terracotta amphora, from Tuscany. Post ferment, this rested on lees for 11 months prior to moving to stainless for a 3 month tightening stint prior to bottling. Once in bottle, this rested for 18 months prior to release. Subtle white peach, pear is laced with crushed stone and woven with flint, deftly shaped and slightly gripped by the time in wood and amphora. The finish lingers long, with a wet chalk / saline note. Ample energy and achieved intent, and bottled under a Diam10, you can expect this to go the distance. A stunner. 9634 bottles produced.Prices:
ON$62.00750ml
Producer: Restless River
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Two Tradesmen Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Two Tradesmen Chardonnay 2018

Central Coast, California, United StatesA vibrant nose opens with tropical fruits, fresh pineapple, peach, tangerine, and honey. The palate is lighter than you might expect, which is good, and the textures are creamy with a hint of spice. A solid everyday California chardonnay at the top end of its price range. A good match for a vegetarian pizza.Prices:
BC$25.99750ml
AB$25.89750ml
Producer: Two Tradesmen
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Trim Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Trim Chardonnay 2021

California, United StatesYou don't see Ray Signorello's name on this label, but his Napa team is responsible for this Russian River chardonnay, one of only two wines made under the Trim label. The Trim wines are made without additives. They don't add sugar, concentrate, colouring, or anything else that shouldn't be there, and now that information is on the back label. Signorello says, "We believe in winemaking, not winefaking, and we are transparent about this." Trim Chardonnay opens with an apple, honey, white flower nose streaked tropical fruit and citrus. The attack is inviting but with an underlying acidity that offsets the creamy texture and the pear, vanilla, and apple butter. A wine that will brighten any lunch, this is a Next California chardonnay you can serve with food. As for the "ingredients," here is the list: grapes, yeast, malolactic bacteria, potassium metabisulphite, natural oak, and tannins. The calories are 128 per 148 ml, and there is zero sugar.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Trim Wines
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Hartford Court Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Hartford Court Chardonnay 2021

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe 2021 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Chardonnay is sourced from a collection of small vineyards (some estate) located throughout the Russian River Valley AVA. The various sites express the essence of the Russian River Valley, bringing long-awaited complexity and freshness to the blend. The nose is awash in jasmine flower, citrus oil, and green apple notes. The palate is a citrus-drenched pear with bits of kiwi and green apple, leading into a mineral saline finish with specks of ginger. Impressively fresh and full-flavoured, this is Grand Cru-like but more approachable. The fruit is all hand-harvested at night or early morning; it is whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented with indigenous yeast in all French oak barrels (28% new). The ageing is nine months, with weekly lees stirring through malo-lactic fermentation. I love wines that can transform themselves over time to be better and more enjoyable.Prices:
BC$47.25750ml
AB$53.99750ml
ON$53.95750ml
Producer: Hartford Family Wines
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Cambria Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyardtext
90PTS

Cambria Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyard 2021

Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesKatherine’s Vineyard is located on the coastal Santa Maria Bench in Santa Barbara County. The property is typically fog-covered and cool most mornings, providing a surface asset to match the underground fossilized seashells, shale, limestone, and sandy soils. The winery describes Katherine’s Chardonnay as an “ocean-influenced, single vineyard expression of refrigerated sunshine.” The wine is rich in flavour yet fresh with intense citrus, ripe red apple, tangerine, and honey, supported by a cool underside of acidity and minerality. Food-friendly halibut dishes make a great match. Katherine’s mixes mostly Clone 4 (92%) with Clone 76 (2%), Clone 96 (2%), and the Wente Clone (4%). It weighs in at 13.9% alcohol and is 65% barrel fermented, which goes through a complete malolactic fermentation, and 35% stainless steel fermented with no malolactic fermentation. It is aged sur lies for 5.5 months before blending and bottling. 85% of this wine is from old vines planted in the 1970s.Prices:
BC$33.99750ml
AB$31.00750ml
SK$38.00750ml
MB$38.00750ml
Producer: Cambria Estate Vineyard & Winery
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Stonestreet Estate Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay 2018

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe estate bottling is a mix of the best Chardonnay grown on the Alexander Valley mountainside. Winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs is all about precision and does a fine job of balancing the aromatics and textures with the signature structural elements of the Mayacamus Mountain. It is rich, to be sure, with pineapple and salted caramel that recede into a mineral saline mid-palate and creamy finish. Substantial by modern chardonnay standards yet restrained in a fashion that lets you get to its heart and bright, clean finale. The vineyard is only 23 miles from the cool Pacific Ocean and climbs from 400 to 1800 feet. The chardonnay clones are Peter Michael and 4, and it is all barrel fermented with native yeast that goes through malolactic fermentation in the barrel. The lees are stirred monthly, and it is barrel aged for ten months in 32% new French oak.Prices:
BC$53.99750ml
Producer: Stonestreet Winery
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay 2021

Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe Brewer-Clifton philosophy is embedded in the geographic, geologic, and climatic peculiarities of the Santa Barbara sub-AVA Santa Rita Hills. This blend comprises 3D, Machado, and Hapgood vineyards, yielding a fresh nose with delicate floral notes of orange blossoms and lemons. The whole cluster fruit is pressed and fermented in neutral barrels adding zero extra weight to the wine. The freshest and juiciest addition yet, with no malolactic fermentation to keep it that way. The palate is fully flavoured with fresh cut orchard fruits, limes, and a saline mineral underside. Steamed lobster, Dungeness crab with butter, or roasted turkey with stuffing all fit here.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
AB$50.00750ml
SK$55.00750ml
MB$55.00750ml
ON$44.95750ml
Producer: Brewer-Clifton
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Murphy-Goode Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Murphy-Goode Chardonnay 2021

California, United StatesBe prepared to be surprised by this delightful, cool coastal California nose reflecting lemons, green apples, and peaches. The mid-palate comes with a touch of honeysuckle, but this wine has been subtly modernized in a good way, going leaner and fresher. It is a happy balance of sweet fruit and citrus zest, and the key to everyone wanting to finish this introductory-style chardonnay is that it is all it can be for the price in Canada.Prices:
BC$20.99750ml
AB$17.95750ml
QC$19.60750ml
NB$24.99750ml
Producer: Murphy-Goode
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La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnaytext
89PTS

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2021

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United StatesWinemaker Craig McAllister does a sensitive job of shepherding this large production chardonnay and keeping it fresh and relevant. Post ferment, it spends six months in a 75/25 mix of French and American oak (17% new). I love the fresh Meyer lemon, ripe pear that settles comfortably into the oak mixing with green apple, and a mineral /tangerine note. Sonoma Coast is big, but the fruit is well-defined from La Crema estate vineyards, including Laughlin, Saralees, Fluton, KelliAnn, Carneros Hills West, Carneros Hills East, Piner, and Dur ll. The clones are a complex mix of 4,5,15, 17 (Robert Young), 76, 95, 96, 809, Wente, and Hyde Wente, all of which add unique input to the final blend. A relatively dry winter with exacerbated drought conditions led to a cold Spring before warmer temperatures triggered an August 26 picking. 15% of the barrels are initially co-inoculated with a house strain of malolactic bacteria, later used to top off the remainder of the entire lot after primary fermentation. The lees in each barrel are stirred once or twice a month to provide additional texture, and the final blend is aged on its lees for seven months before blending and bottling.Prices:
BC$33.99750ml
AB$30.00750ml
SK$35.00750ml
MB$35.00750ml
Producer: La Crema
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La Crema  Monterey Chardonnaytext
90PTS

La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2021

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe Monterey AVA consists of a long valley stretching from the uniquely cold Monterey Bay to the far Southeast reaches of the Salinas Valley. An ever-present breeze and maritime influence cool vast expanses of rolling vineyards. The fruit comes from multiple sites, including the Gravelstone and Clark estate vineyards. It was a long growing season with a continuous marine layer most of the year, save for a few heat spikes that served to ripen the fruit to perfection. The harvest began on October 10, ten days later than 2020. Look for fresh, bright fruit, and freshly baked apple streaked with tangerine and orange. The palate is juicy with more Asian pear, Meyer lemon and pineapple, with a mineral saline underside. Intriguing and more new wave than you might expect. The alcohol trips out at a modest 13.5 percent. Food friendly and ready to drink.Prices:
BC$32.99750ml
AB$29.99750ml
ON$24.00750ml
Producer: La Crema
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Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Vintner's Reservetext
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Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Vintner's Reserve 2021

California, United StatesWinemaster Randy Ullom has made subtle tweaks to this wine over the last decade, tightening the structure and restraining the fruit and oak in favour of a livelier palate while keeping its millions of fans happy. It begins with impressive fruit sourcing up and down the Golden State's coolest hillside vineyards influenced by the Pacific Ocean from Mendocino to Santa Barbara. The alcohol is 13.5%, and the sourcing is 51% in Monterey County, 32% in Santa Barbara County, 16% in Mendocino County, and 1% in Sonoma County. The fruit is whole cluster pressed and kept in small vineyard lots throughout the winemaking process. It is all barrel fermented and sur lie aged with monthly bâtonnage reflected by its creamy textures and subtle bread dough notes. The fruit is tropical but never over the top, with a delicious lime butter finish. Impressive for the price and quantity produced. 2020 spent only five months in French (4.5% new) and American oak (7% new).Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
AB$22.99750ml
MB$23.95750ml
ON$20.95750ml
QC$21.05750ml
Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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17 March 2023

Tightrope Winery Syrahtext
88PTS

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Upper Naramata Bench's Paisley Vineyard, this The Syrah is co-fermented with 4% viognier, cold soaked for 5 days prior to natural ferment, and pressing off into French and American oak (50% new, 1 barrel American) for 1 year. The wood is immediately evident, with ample sweet toasted cedar spices leading the cushy palate of blackberry, black cherry jam, and vanilla. Tannins are ample and a bit ragged, while acidity pitches tart. At present, best with some fire grilled fare.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Middle Bench Vineyard Syrahtext
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Middle Bench Vineyard Syrah 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis syrah cones from Cawston's Blind Creek Vineyard, with a 3% splash of viognier from Keremeos's La Côte Vineyard. The destemmed viognier was cofermented with the syrah over 3 weeks, prior to being pressed into French barrels (5% new) for 16 months. Dusky and sultry blackberry, black plum is seasoned with pipe tobacco and perfumed dark florals across a long, silken palate. Tannins are fine and firm and cedar scented, lining this fuller red through a stony and saline finish. Savoury and structured, this is one for the cellar, yet welcoming drinking now (with some airtime), ideally with BC lamb.Prices:
BC$39.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Marynissen Estates Syrahtext
88PTS

Marynissen Estates Syrah 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaPart of the winery's Platinum Series, this fuller syrah is soft and and perfumed with plump black fruit, plush dark florals, and baking spice. Tannins are soft, and acidity is tart, making this ideal with lamb burgers now.Prices:
ON$50.00750ml
Producer: Marynissen Estates
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Redstone Winery Syrahtext
88PTS

Redstone Winery Syrah 2019

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe Redstone estate vineyard, in Lincoln Lakeshore, seems to well suit syrah, with its heavy red clay soils and sun trapping large stones. This rested 18 months in French oak. Ample black pepper pervades this fuller red, seasoning black cherry, black raspberry, medicinal notes, shepherd's pie, and perfumed red florals. Acidity is tart, and tannins are sticky / grippy, making this best taken with grilled meats.Prices:
ON$41.00750ml
Producer: Redstone Winery
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DogRidge The PUP Shiraztext
87PTS

DogRidge The PUP Shiraz 2019

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaDogRidge’s sustainably farmed vineyards are home to some of the oldest vines in McLaren Vale, with 60+ year old Shiraz, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon growing on their McLaren Flat site. THE PUP is a cheeky, robust Shiraz, with candied plum, ripe cherry, light smoke, and fine, rugged tannins. Soft, ripely sweet, and ready to crack now, with meat on the barbie.Prices:
ON$26.00750ml
Producer: DogRidge Wine Company
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Yangarra Shiraztext
92PTS

Yangarra Shiraz 2017

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaTasted off the Earl's wine list in early March. Winemaker Peter Fraser is behind this single vineyard McLaren Vale shiraz grown biodynamically at 180m on the estimated 54 million-year-old North Maslin Sands, a mix of sand and ironstone that covers a dozen unique blocks. It has an unusual aromatic dark fruit aroma with bright spice that lifts the wine out of the glass with style. The tannins are supple and speak to an impeccably balanced wine. The long and entertaining finish pitches more blueberry, blackberry, and black licorice. The texture, as always, is amazing. Technically, 10% of the fruit remained as whole bunches, with the remaining fruit destemmed and mechanically sorted. 50% remained as whole berries, while the other 50% was lightly broken. It was native fermented in open fermenters, and finally kept for 12 months in 25 percent new French oak.Prices:
BC$45.99750ml
AB$38.99750ml
SK$49.99750ml
MB$49.99750ml
ON$34.95750ml
Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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Nichol Vineyard Old Vines Syrahtext
92PTS

Nichol Vineyard Old Vines Syrah 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the oldest syrah in Canada, planted own-rooted in 1990/91 on granite bedrock at the end of the Naramata Bench. After destemming, this fermented on skins in large open top fermenters before being basket pressed to neutral 500L French puncheons where it remained until going to bottle, unfined and unfiltered. Dusky wild plum, thorny wild blackberries, crushed stone, dried dark florals, tilled earth set the frame for this savoury, medium bodied syrah. Tannins are ample yet sunken into the fruit, gripping through the surface. A wine of gravitas, ready for your cellar.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Nichol Vineyard
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Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswelltext
92PTS

Quails' Gate Syrah The Boswell 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Boswell is part of the Founders' Series and is available in limited quantities at the winery. The syrah honours the values Rosemary (Boswell) Stewart instilled in the family business, and is one of the Okanagan Valley's most northern plantings of syrah. A warm sunny August and September was the key to fully ripening this syrah that was hand-harvested on October 19, 2020. Grapes were destemmed into small 1-tonne totes and left to ferment on skins for 19 days. It was aged for 17 months in large format French oak. I love the cool climate style, pitching classic blueberry and white pepper with a floral undertone. The attack is dry with peppery fruit pushing through a wealth of tannins that, while youthful and dense, come with a sweetness and roundness that leaves them practically unnoticed in the finish. Built to age, this will return any extra time in the cellar through 2030. You can drink this wine now with the richest of rich dishes such as slow-roasted barbecue pork or beef ribs.Prices:
BC$80.00750ml
Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Tightrope Winery Syrahtext
88PTS

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Tightrope Syrah is sustainably farmed on a steep sloping western facing Paisley Vineyard in the upper Naramata Bench. It is co-fermented with just enough viognier (4%) and cold-soaked for five days to grab some colour and flavours without any alcohol before fermenting on its yeast. The ageing is primarily French oak (50% new) with a small amount of American wood for 12 months. Pepper and toast with a jolt of acidity greet the palate with more red fruit and a cool, lean Rhône-like texture through the finish. A medium-weight syrah that needs a bit more concentration and weight to get to the next level. Best with pork or grilled vegetables at this point.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Painted Rock Syrah Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Painted Rock Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a study in pepper and dried herbs with just enough spice to heighten the flavours. The mid-palate is youthful with some reductive notes that require decanting or, at the very least, constant swirling, but it should pass with time. The finish is a mix of smoky oak and drying tannins leaving it a touch rustic in 2020. It needs some time in the bottle or serve it now alongside a rich piece of grilled lamb, or cellar through 2025. The 2020 mix is 76% syrah with 24% cabernet sauvignon, and is aged 18 months in 30 percent new French oak.Prices:
BC$49.99750ml
Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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16 March 2023

Vérité La Musetext
97PTS

Vérité La Muse 2019

Sonoma County, California, United StatesMany years ago, I walked the early Vérité vineyard blocks with winegrower Pierre Seillan, whose take on complexity was simple, “Every hillside, every elevation and every aspect offers us a different micro-cru. From the beginning, the pure expression of these unique sites has defined our winemaking philosophy.” It makes it easy to understand the birth of the Vérité trilogy: La Joie, La Muse, and La Desire, each exploring a different grape while reflecting its Sonoma origins. In 2019 the vintage began with a healthy water supply in the soil from a warm winter of storms. Budbreak was early in what would be a warm year, complete with some heat spikes. Merlot is at the heart of la Muse, and it comes with a series of complex flavour layers. Inspired by the Pomerol style, the first release was 21 years ago. Seillan works with fifty micro-crus in Eastern Sonoma when he blends this wine. The fruit is California opulent, but Seillan plays that off against dried herbs, woodland spices, and French oak ageing to achieve a level of harmony seldom seen in California. 2019 is aged 16 months in 95 percent new French oak, and the blend is 90/5/5/ merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec from Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Chalk Hill, and Knights Valley.Prices:
BC$520.00750ml
AB$539.00750ml
Producer: Vérité Estate
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Hillside Mosaictext
92PTS

Hillside Mosaic 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHillside takes its best red wine seriously, as evidenced by the expensive, extended cellaring it gets at the winery. 2016 is my favourite vintage, and I have been waiting for this Mosiac to be released. It doesn’t disappoint as it begins its long journey in the bottle that collectors should note. An early warm spring followed by a summer of moderate heat allowed optimal hang time to ripen the fruit, delivering intense black cherry with brilliantly pure flavours. The blend is 42% merlot, 24% cabernet sauvignon, 16% malbec, 15% cabernet franc, and 3% petit verdot, all aged 16 months in French Oak (27% new). Over the years, the Hillside flagship wine has evolved as it transitioned to a more graceful Naramata red full of grace and power. A delicious mid-valley red you can effortlessly age 7 to 10 years.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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Clos du Soleil Célestialetext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCélestiale is the little sibling to Clos du Soleil's icon Signature red. Theoretically, you can enjoy this one now (signal screwcap) while waiting for Signature to mature. This year blends 56% merlot, 18% cabernet sauvignon, 12% cabernet franc, 12% malbec, and 2% petit verdot from various vineyards, Keremeos and Cawston. Each vineyard and variety was harvested separately, destemmed and fermented in concrete before aging in French oak for 15 months. Wild red and black fruit flood a juicy, compact palate, with a sweet spice of barrels, licks of mint and tobacco, and tight cedar-lined tannins holding all in. A big 14% red this year, this will settle with time in the bottle or a pairing with lamb now.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Roche Chateautext
90PTS

Roche Chateau 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDrawing on her family's six generations of viticulture and winemaking at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion in Bordeaux, Pénélope and Dylan Roche have created their Grand Vin, Chateau. This year blends 75% merlot, 17% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc from Kozier Organic Vineyard on the Naramata Bench, as well as a site just north of Oliver. After fermentation in stainless this rested in 30% new French oak for 14 months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Spiced black cherry, black raspberry course through the layered palate, with cedar hewn tannins framing, and a tart acidity streaming this through a bitter cherry, baking spiced finish. On the tarter spectrum of full bodied Bx blends, and welcomes a decant or chance to open in the glass prior to enjoying with roasted pork / veg.Prices:
BC$54.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Osoyoos Larosetext
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Osoyoos Larose 2009

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRecently rereleased 2009 will be a revelation to some. It was always restrained, but when younger, unresolved tannins showed a bit sticky back then. Those have dissipated today, and while it is beginning to dry out, it still has plenty of flavours and south Okanagan power with a dash of French sophistication. The nose is a mix of black cherry, mint, and cassis, with a savoury tobacco undertow and the dryness mentioned above in the finish. All in all, it's in great shape but should be drunk sooner than later. Again, roasted meats are the ticket here. Well done, and certainly a historical benchmark, given how much more refined the latest releases are.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
AB$40.00750ml
ON$40.00750ml
QC$40.00750ml
Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Osoyoos Larosetext
93PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOsoyoos Larose is firmly under the direction of Groupe Taillan in Bordeaux, which not only suits its styling but reflects a wine that has been intelligently planned, planted and made since 2001. The 2020 vintage was unique. The spring was cool and wet, with bud break slightly later than previous vintages. Spring gave way to a warm and dry July, August, and September. The long, warm autumn helped the crop ripen perfectly under acid-retaining cool nights. The harvest began October 1 with merlot and was completed on the 19th with petit verdot. The 2020 is a 66/15/9/8/3 blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, malbec, and cabernet franc. The blocks are handpicked and fermented in custom conical tanks for 25 days. Ageing is a 12 month process in a 30-30-30 split of new, one-year-old, and two-year-old French oak barrels. I feel increasingly more tannins in Osoyoos since 2019. The incremental change comes with denser, sweeter, more refined tannins contributing to a longer, fuller life in the bottle. Power meets elegance in 2020 with black fruit, cedar, toasted oak, and a dusting of savoury south Okanagan sagebrush. No rush here. Buy and cellar through 2027.Prices:
BC$53.99750ml
MB$46.06750ml
ON$47.95750ml
QC$44.60750ml
SK$58.30750ml
NL$52.49750ml
AB$45.99750ml
Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Da Silva Legado Nobrezatext
91PTS

Da Silva Legado Nobreza 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLegado Nobreza is the flagship red of winemaker Richard Da Silva. Richard is a giant man, and this is a big wine. Da Silva calls 2019 an exceptional vintage noting the purity of the fruit that came to the winery. Four vineyards made the blend: Blenheim Hill Vineyard, Penticton Naramata Bench; Lazy Dog Vineyard, Penticton West Bench; Avila Family Vineyard, Oliver West Bench; and Outwash Vineyard, Oliver Central Moraine. The blend is a 60/25/14 mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc. Da Silva barrel aged the mixture for 26 months in French and American oak barrels. The palate is broad, the tannins soft, allowing the black fruit and cassis to wash across the palate, dusted in a touch of desert scrub and spice. It is a bit rustic but overall solid. I would ditch the American oak and amp up the complexity to reach the final level.Prices:
BC$95.00750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Clos du Soleil Célestialetext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2020

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is wildly floral and red-fruited, leading to a rush of juicy black and blue fruit, raspberry compote, and sweet wood spice. The palate is full-flavoured, but the tannins are muted by soft edges and streaked with cedar and residual cement notes. You can drink or hold this wine, but expect it to improve through 2026-27 in the bottle. Grilled beef or lamb would be my match for the moment. Célestiale is the Clos du Soleil red wine you can drink while waiting for Signature to mellow out. The 2020 Similkameen mix is 56/18/12/12/2 merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot coming off various sites in Cawston and Keremeos. Winegrower Michael Clark works individually with each grape through the fermentation in concrete before aging this wine for 15 months in used French oak.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Osoyoos Larosetext
88PTS

Osoyoos Larose 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOsoyoos Larose is owned by Bordeaux's Groupe Taillan, and this, Le Grand Vin, feels firmly French influenced, while having grown up very Okanagan. The 2018 blends 64.9% merlot, 14.2% cabernet sauvignon, 12.7% cabernet franc, 5.2% petit verdot, and 3% malbec into this savoury, full red, one striated with herbaceous green notes, making me wonder about picking dates in this hot, smoke affected vintage. Tart blackberry, black cherry, espresso is taut with a bitter black currant, and hugged with sticky tannins through a warming amply smoked spice hickory finish. Certainly needs grilled beef, lamb, root veg to tame at this time. Not the first 2018 smoked out red from Okanagan I have encountered.Prices:
BC$57.99750ml
AB$59.99750ml
QC$46.95750ml
NS$56.00750ml
BC$465.996000ml
Producer: Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
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Orofino Douradotext
92PTS

Orofino Dourado 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOur first look at Dourado, a wine Orofino says is a reserve-tier Bordeaux-style red. It is a Cawston blend of the first order from the Similkameen Valley containing merlot from Cawston Flats and Hendsbee Vineyard on the Cawston Bench; cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon from the sun-baked Cawston bench; plus one barrel of cabernet sauvignon from the stony Cawston Bench. The blend is 50/33/17 merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc, and 2020, this first release for club members only, is a winner. The texture/tannins are silky smooth, suggesting a balance that will serve the wine well over the next decade and beyond. The nose is red fruit and mineral, the palate a bloody, stony, earthy wild black fruit affair with a long, long aftertaste. Hold and be patient, this will be a terrific bottle.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Black Widow Reserve Hourglasstext
90PTS

Black Widow Reserve Hourglass 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis ripe, bold blend of merlot (67%) and cabernet sauvignon (33%) offers macerated blackberries and dark cherries alongside graphite, dried herbs, chocolate, and generous wood. There's an appealing complexity and concentration to this wine, though a bit lifted, with a good balance of polish and structure to support drinking now or lying down for another 5-7 years. An impressive wine, all in all.Prices:
BC$0.00750ml
Producer: Black Widow Winery
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15 March 2023

Bachelder Saunders Bas Pinot Noirtext
93PTS

Bachelder Saunders Bas Pinot Noir 2020

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaComing from a specific parcel in Saunders vineyard, located on the Beamsville Bench, this rather quiet pinot has a more rooty and earthy nose mingled with dried herbs and flowers. It unfurls its layers on the palate, revealing dark cherries and roasted red beets with savoury spices that are framed by a nice backbone of tight acidity and firm tannins. The subtle, salted dark chocolate on the finish adds complexity. A multi-layered, sophisticated pinot that you need to listen to carefully, and which deserves attention.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines Pinot Noir 2020

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaWith a very pale hue, this is the leanest of Bachelder’s 2020 pinots. Primarily from vines planted in 1993 on the tail-end of the St. David’s Bench, this pinot shows an expressive nose of floral perfume and clove spiciness over top of a macerated red fruit base. The oak and tartness are quite prominent at this stage and will benefit from a bit more time cellaring for further integration.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Spencer Morgan Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Bachelder Spencer Morgan Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom the Spencer Morgan vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench, this pinot noir offers fleshy, luscious dark fruit layered with a touch of balsamic vinegar and earthy spices. Its rather generous frame of broad acidity and supple tannins already makes it quite approachable. A charming, juicy pinot with a chocolatey finish.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noirtext
94PTS

Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaComing from the famed Wismer Parke’s Wild West End block, this perfumed and ethereal pinot noir is packed with dried rose petals, herbal fragrance, sanguine rawness, and succulent red fruit in a lean frame. Everything here is tight yet elegant, showing perfect tension between its taut acidity and silky tannins, while the concentrated fruit provides richness and seamlessness. A wine of extreme complexity and finesse.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noirtext
94PTS

Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaHanck Vineyard is located just 10 metres to the north of Wismer-Parke’s Wild West-End on the Twenty Mile Bench. They are equally exceptional in quality, but distinctively different. This opens with a stunningly expressive nose of bright red berries, florals, and spicy notes layered with perfumed sandalwood and incense. The richness of the lovely fruit is framed by tight acidity and refined tannins which are both exquisitely integrated. The finish is long with saline savouriness. A pinot with exceptional aromatic intensity and depth.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis pinot noir from Wismer Parke Vineyard on the Twenty Mile Bench is slightly shy on the nose, with hints of savoury black olives and earthy black tea. Bright raspberry, cranberry, and dark cherry jumps on the palate along with fresh herbs and gamey wildness forming richness and deliciousness. The bright acidity and suave tannins show decent integration.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noir 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaBachelder’s first pinot noir from Bator Vineyard located in Four Mile Creek, this pinot is full of sweet red cherry and raspberry, accented by fresh chopped herbs and spices. The bright, juicy fruit is wrapped with cushiony tannins and balanced by elevated crisp acidity. A friendly, unpretentious pinot that is ready to be enjoyed now.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Emandare Vineyard FTV Point Noirtext
89PTS

Emandare Vineyard FTV Point Noir 2021

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe FTV in the name refers to fruit From The Valley, meaning this is not solely estate fruit, but sourced from their Cowichan neighbours. For the 2021 FTV PN, this was split 60% Mildenstein vineyard (nee Godfrey Brownell) and 40% Deol vineyard. Overall it was 40% whole cluster, with the remaining destemmed, all fermented into neutral French barrels where it was left for 1 year prior to bottling unfined and unfiltered. This lighter 11.5% red is lifted and perfumed with cherry blossoms, wild raspberry, and summer strawberries along a slight palate. Tannins are near negligible, with just a slight stickiness, while acidity is red currant tart and marine fresh, trailing off the finish with a lingering salinity. A youthful, bright and light pinot that speaks of the islands.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Emandare Vineyard
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Fort Berens Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom vineyards around BC, this pinot noir aged 9 months in neutral oak. Juicy and mouth filling, with fleshy cherry, black raspberry, dark cocoa on a brisk palate, framed with softly sticky tannins and a warming smoked spice finish. A friendly and welcoming pinot to partner now with grilled burgers.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Domaine Jean-Marie Haag Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Domaine Jean-Marie Haag Pinot Noir 2021

Alsace, FranceThis youthful pinot is bright and lifted with the vineyard's limestone soils and the winery's light touch. Tart raspberry, cherry, red currant is housed with fine, lightly sticky tannins, finishing snappy and spiced. An easy, lighter red to enjoy with a chill and some tarte flambee with bacon.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Jean-Marie Haag
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Cave de Ribeauvillé Pinot Noir Roderntext
86PTS

Cave de Ribeauvillé Pinot Noir Rodern 2019

Alsace, FranceCave de Ribeauvillé is the oldest wine cooperative in France, active since 1895. This Pinot Noir comes from the commune of Rodern, around 250-360m, and an area that stretches over a small hill where the grapes of the Grand Cru Gloeckelberg are also grown. After 10 days maceration, this moves to French barrels for 1 year. The barrels are apparent, with a smokey, wet wood character that overrules black cherry and cassis. Tannins are ragged, and acidity is quite tart. Somewhat disjointed, this is best with hearty stews.Prices:
Producer: Cave de Ribeauville
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Domaine Fleith Pinot Noir Ftext
91PTS

Domaine Fleith Pinot Noir F 2018

Alsace, FranceIn 1996, Vincent Fleith took over his family's 9 hectares, becoming the 11th generation of winegrowers to caretake these lands. He converted the estate to biodynamics over the next years. This pinot noir comes from their estate plot of Grand Cru Furstentum. It aged for 2 years in older Bourgogne barrels. Sultry dark cherry, black raspberry is woven with tart cassis, buzzy acidity, and shaped with a subtle worn leather hand, with fine, softly sticky tannins. Wearing now the nightshade of age, this is primed for drinking now, ideally with duck or wild mushrooms.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Fleith
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Justin Boxler Pinot Noir Croisée des Cheminstext
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Justin Boxler Pinot Noir Croisée des Chemins 2021

Alsace, FranceCroisée des Chemins is sourced from several granitic vineyards, primarily on the Grand Cru Brand, and with plantings staring in the early 1970s. Part of the juice spends 10 days macerating before all is united and native fermented in barrels of various Bourgogne coopers and sizes for 8-10 months. Striking white pepper leaps from the glass, seasoning the vibrant palate of wild raspberry, cherry, perfumed rhubarb which streaks along the slender palate. The tension is wrapped with long, whisper fine tannins which guide this to a wild herb and saline end. Vibrant and beauty, drinking now and with time ahead.Prices:
Producer: Justin Boxler
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Domaine Valentin Zusslin Pinot Noir Bollenbergtext
91PTS

Domaine Valentin Zusslin Pinot Noir Bollenberg 2018

Alsace, FranceEstablished in 1691 by M. Jodocus Cisle (former name of Zusslin), Domaine Valentin Zusslin is now run by two generations of the Zusslin family. The winery is based in Orschwihr, south of Colmar, and the vines are planted on the slopes of the Bollenberg, Clos Liebenberg and Grand Cru Pfingstberg. Since 1997, the estate has been run biodynamically. Bollenberg is a hill close to Rouffach and their home village of Orschwihr. At the foot of the Vosges mountains, it’s one of the driest places in France, and rests on 23 million year old limestone. This medium red is imbued with the buzzy limestone, coursing through wild cherry, floral raspberry, candle wax, and darts of smoked stone. Acidity is tart, and tannins are long and fine and cozy, holding this through a spiced end. Beauty energy here.Prices:
Producer: Domaine Valentin Zusslin
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Leyda Pinot Noir Lot 21text
90PTS

Leyda Pinot Noir Lot 21 2019

Valle de Leyda, Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileLeyda's LOT wines are meant to express the best of each variety, coming from tiny plots and very limited production (a maximum of 5,000 bottles per vintage). LOT 21 Pinot Noir comes from 3 marine influenced estate plots, and a mix of red granite, iron, calcium carbonate, clay soils, all at various exposures. Each was harvested separately, with around 30% whole cluster, and native fermented in closed concrete vats prior to heading into untoasted, 2000L foudres, a concrete vat, and used 300L French oak barrels. The hefty bottle certainly reflects intent, and the silken plum, black raspberry, wild blackberry dusky florals that rule the medium bodied palate reflects result. There's a lovely freshness here, with a cool stoniness running the base, and long, fine tannins holding the sides through the saline and dried floral finish. Really smart, this merges structure and prettiness very well.Prices:
ON$29.95750ml
Producer: Viña Leyda Ltda
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Pascal Clément Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozièrestext
91PTS

Pascal Clément Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozières 2017

Aloxe-Corton, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceVery perfumed, with wild flowers, fragrant raspberry, and black cherry flooding a softly elegant, medium/slight body. Tannins are long and whisper fine, and acidity is tight and lofted. The finish lingers with crushed stones and petals. From the complexed calcareous red clays of 1er Cru Les Valozières, near the GC side of Aloxe-Corton, this is drinking now.Prices:
ON$94.95750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Megalomaniac Sonofabitch Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Megalomaniac Sonofabitch Pinot Noir 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaPretty and perfumed raspberry, cherry flood this charming pinot noir, with lifted acidity and fine, lightly sticky tannins taking this to a bright, tart, snappy finish. One for mushroom or salmon burgers.Prices:
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: Megalomaniac
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Southern Lines Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Southern Lines Pinot Noir 2021

Central Otago, South Island, New ZealandThere is new wine in the BC market, and it is the best priced Central Otago pinot noir in the province. It is made by Brent and Shirley Rawstron, who planted their first New Zealand vineyard in 1986 and were among the first to produce pinot noir in Canterbury. In 1999, they purchased the first five vineyards in Marlborough that now form a large block in the heart of Rapara. They are behind the successful Seven Terraces Sauvignon Blanc sold on tap in Earls and most other retail outlets by the bottle. Southern Lines is a family-owned business centred around a culture of integrity, transparency, respect, and stewardship for the land. The winery is certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. I want to like this wine. Its silky textures and rich pinot noir fruit are easy to sip and affordable, but upon cracking the screw cap, it is reductive and stinky, requiring you to aerate the wine by splash decanting or at least agitating it in your glass to let it open up a bit. However, with time the wine does come around to exhibit the rich, dark Central Otago pinot fruit that can be seductive. Look for earthy forest floor, savoury dried herbs, dark plummy spice, and a supple finish. Turkey would be a good match.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
Producer: Newco Wines
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Noir Rubistext
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Tightrope Winery Pinot Noir Rubis 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rather reserved pinot noir doesn’t reveal itself all at once, but instead, it displays its layers one at a time. It opens with spicy and nutty notes dusted with black tea and jasmine-scented florals. Red and dark berries come a step behind followed by dusty earthy minerality. Fine, yet substantial tannins along with bright acidity shapes the palate. The finish is long leaving charming subtle smokiness.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Fort Berens Pinot Noir Reservetext
89PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir Reserve 2021

Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada2021 is a mix of two clones, 115 and 667, from specially selected rows cropped at low levels. The winemaking is simple: the fruit is crushed, destemmed and cold soaked for two days and after a brief post-maceration of three days, the wine is pressed off and aged in 25 percent new, 75 percent neutral French oak barrels for nine months. The style is juicy and fresh, with plenty of red fruit and earthy green forest. This could use some time in the bottle, but it has the balance to be drunk now. A mushroom risotto or salmon burger would be fun matches. A more elegant Old World style, and one worth pursuing.Prices:
BC$41.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Pinot Noir Reservetext
88PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir Reserve 2020

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaIt is year four, for the all Lillooet, Dry Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, from a few select rows of clone 115 cropped to lower yields. This was barrel matured for ten months in 20 percent new French oak and 80 percent neutral French oak. The style is cool with bright acidity and cedar, rhubarb, cherry over earthy forest floor. I like that this wine is made to be what it is: a far north cool climate pinot from young vineyards, and it’s getting better every year. The winery food match is a classic Beef Bourguignon.Prices:
BC$38.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Da Silva Legado Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Da Silva Legado Pinot Noir 2019

Penticton Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom two sites near Penticton, the home Blenheim Hill site and the Marchand's Lazy Dog Vineyard, this aged in an equal split of French and Hungarian oak. The colour is Richard da Silva dark, as in Côte de Nuits, but worry not, the wine has a sense of elegance. The fruit is pinot sweet and spicy but with a nice twist of dried herbs and spices to keep it all balanced. There is no shortage of oak poking through, but for New World pinot noir drinkers, the density and weight work well. It is somewhat idiosyncratic, like the winemaker, but a lot of fun to drink. For now, duck, mushroom, and grilled salmon are best to take on its spectrum of rich dark fruit.Prices:
BC$70.00750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Township 7 Benchmark Series Pinot Noir Remuda Vineyardtext
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Township 7 Benchmark Series Pinot Noir Remuda Vineyard 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Remuda Vineyard is in Okanagan Falls, considered one of BC’s sweet spots for pinot noir. What this wine lacks in delicacy and refinement, it more than makes up for in spice and flavour. It opens with exuberant black cherry dusted in peppery spice and forest floor. The tannins are a touch sticky at this youthful point, and will need a couple more years to disperse. A solid effort you can drink now with something substantial like roasted soy marinated salmon, or let it sit through 2024 in the bottle. It was aged for one year in neutral French oak.Prices:
BC$41.97200ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Roche Pinot Noir Traditiontext
89PTS

Roche Pinot Noir Tradition 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot noir comes from Kozier Organic Vineyard in the Naramata Bench, and was fermented and aged in neutral French barrels for 10 months. Fleshy cherry, ripe raspberry fill a juicy, medium bodied palate, bright with acidity and seasoned with subtle sweet baking spice. Tannins are fine and soft, taking this to a bitter edged raspberry finish. Very pure, and ready for enjoying now with mushrooms / pork / salmon.Prices:
BC$49.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Hartford Court Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Hartford Court Pinot Noir 2021

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesIn 2021 Hartford aged its Russian River Valley pinot for ten months in 27 percent new French oak barrels. The style, as always, is vibrant, with dark fruit leading the way, but the fruit/acid/alcohol mix is much better balanced these days, allowing the juicy black cherry, wild raspberry a chance to sing. There is an undercurrent of wild herbs, a hint of minerality, and round and soft tannins, suggesting you can enjoy it now.Prices:
BC$66.00750ml
Producer: Hartford Family Wines
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Vig Clone 115 Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Vig Clone 115 Pinot Noir 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVig (for vigneron) is Roche's collection of wines celebrating Canadian artists. Penelope and Dylan present the wine, and the artist creates a label based on their tasting. For this wine Sarah Neely is expressing her experience with clone 115 Pinot Noir, organically grown on the Naramata Bench, and aged in neutral French oak. Ample toasted cedar lashes at this medium+ bodied red, with plush black cherry, red currant compote and an earthy tomato leaf edge. Tannins are furry, and acidity is tart, welcoming a tomato sauced hearty dish.Prices:
BC$46.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Bachelder Lowrey Eastern Block Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Bachelder Lowrey Eastern Block Pinot Noir 2020

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaComing from the oldest, eastern part of Lowrey Vineyard located on the tail-end of the St. David’s Bench, this pinot exhibits delicate aromas of tea leaves and dried flower petals mingled with raspberries and pomegranate. Within the sleek frame of searing acidity and dusty tannins, there’s rich yet focused fruit on the palate along with clove spices. It’s a nuanced and elegant pinot.Prices:
ON$75.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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14 March 2023

Tightrope Winery Viogniertext
90PTS

Tightrope Winery Viognier 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2021 Viognier is entirely from Fleet Road Vineyard on Tightrope's Naramata Bench estate. This was whole cluster pressed and fermented in a mix of French and Acacia barrels, where it remained on lees for an additional 3 months. The wood spice works very well up against the grape's inherent lushness, adding to the honeysuckle, jasmine, tangerine blossom and lime pith on the bright, creamy palate, all wrapped up with a welcome 13.5%. Quite smart.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Divergence Viogniertext
88PTS

Divergence Viognier 2021

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Lincoln Lakeshore's Mazza vineyard, this viognier was aged in French barriques (25% new). Very perfumed white peach, perfumed pear, lime pulp is seasoned with ginger spicing. Viognier's richness is well tempered here, making this more drinkable than many.Prices:
ON$35.00750ml
Producer: Divergence Wines
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Hillside Heritage Series Viogniertext
89PTS

Hillside Heritage Series Viognier 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Kathy Malone's white winemaking is always about fragrance and elegance, and in 2021 the viognier represents. A long warm growing season yielded fully ripe fruit that was handled to preserve all the delicate aromatics. The nose is an explosion of spring blossoms and rose petals that spill onto a silky, spicy honeysuckle palate. Pretty is the best description, and it is ready to drink. Technically after 18 hours of skin contact, 70 percent was barrel fermented in new French oak, while the remainder was slow fermented in stainless steel. At the six-month mark after regular lees stirrings, the wine was racked and blended. The sweet fruit ripeness takes me to spicy food as the perfect match.Prices:
BC$28.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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Tightrope Winery Viogniertext
90PTS

Tightrope Winery Viognier 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOwners and growers Lindsay and Graham O’Rourke were the force behind the birth of Sustainable Winegrowers British Columbia. Hence, it is no surprise their 2021 viognier from the Fleet Road Vineyard, Naramata Bench, is certified sustainable. It is fermented in a mix of French and Acacia barrels and gets just the right amount of lees contact, three months, to shape its texture and add a wisp of complexity to a delicious wine. It has all the standard viognier fruits and aromas from honeysuckle to tangerine in perfect balance at a modest 13.5 percent alcohol. Clean and fresh, it is finished under an easy-to-crack screwcap.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Da Silva Cabana Estate Viogniertext
89PTS

Da Silva Cabana Estate Viognier 2021

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis stainless steel fermented and aged viognier opens with attractive floral, citrus and a touch of salinity. The attack is perfumed with peach, tangerine with a resiny mineral undercurrent and a fresh, delicate finish. You can drink this now solo or with a creamy seafood dish. An attractive alternative style to the many wooded, heavily perfumed examples from this grape.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Laroche La Chevaliere Viogniertext
87PTS

Laroche La Chevaliere Viognier 2021

Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceThis entry-level viognier from Pays d'Oc gives a glimpse of the lush grape, with subtle pear, honeysuckle, lime, and ginger spicing on a slight 12.5% palate, finishing briefly. A quieter style, ready for pairing with fragrant Chinese or Vietnamese salads.Prices:
ON$14.78750ml
Producer: Laroche
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Uppercase Viogniertext
87PTS

Uppercase Viognier 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith fruit from the Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos West Bench, in the very south of the Okanagan Valley, you can expect a full, lush style. This was whole cluster pressed and fermented in an equal split of stainless and barrel (no MLF), aged on lees for 10 months. Youthful and perfumed notes of jasmine, ripe pear, and peach is seasoned with toasty smoke, and gingersnap. The spiced wood overrides the fruit at this point, leaving it somewhat disjointed and bitter on the shorter finish.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Uppercase Winery
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Van Westen Vineyards Viogniertext
89PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Viognier 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith fruit off the Orlando and Granite Ridge vineyards in North Naramata, this is a juicy, perfumed, and exuberant viognier, with fragrant honeysuckle, apricot, and ginger wrapped up in a tidy 13.6% palate, lifted and tightened with lime pith and peel. It's not easy to have a fresh and medium viognier, and this is a winning one.Prices:
BC$27.50750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Phantom Creek Estates Viogniertext
89PTS

Phantom Creek Estates Viognier 2020

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a small block off Golden Mile Bench's Kobau Vineyard, this was native fermented and aged in French casks on lees. The combo of the sun-stroked site and the golden wood treatment yields this richer, creamy, polished viognier, feeling much weightier than its 13.2% (and its extra heavy bottle). Glossy guava, honeysuckle, lush pear, and fragrant white peach glides across the silken palate, slightly tightened with orange peel, and subtly kissed with jasmine and ginger. Quite posh, and surprisingly mellow despite its make-up, this is one for drinking now with richly fragrant seafood / veg dishes.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Phantom Creek Estates
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Terralux Reserve Viogniertext
90PTS

Terralux Reserve Viognier 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their rocky gravelled S’milka Vista vineyard in the Similkameen, this golden hued 2019 is a current release. A more savoury style, with a backdrop of toasted oak spice, this fuller white draws clover honey, anise, ripe white peach, 5 spice, and white pepper along the waxen palate and across a bed of broken stones. Alluring exotic spices throughout, and on the lingering stony finish. A lovely surprise, this is clearly a wine made with intent, down to its Diam10 closure.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Terralux Estate Winery
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13 March 2023

Bachelder Hill of  Wingfield Chardonnaytext
94PTS

Bachelder Hill of Wingfield Chardonnay 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaAnyone who has ever sat through a chardonnay dissertation by Thomas Bachelder will know why he decided this particular piece of dirt should be tagged the Hill of Wingfield. A hill is a hill, while a gentle slope is not. Bachelder brings his critical eye and soft hands to this beautifully structured chardonnay that opens with a touch of honey and fullness of flavour up front, but gets down to business with a mineral, stony, citrus, limestone sculpted underbody that doesn’t quit throughout the finish. Long, complex, and contemplative, this type of Next World chardonnay will keep the Burgundians awake at night.Prices:
ON$75.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Saunders Haut Organically Grown Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Bachelder Saunders Haut Organically Grown Chardonnay 2020

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe old vines are farmed organically on clay/limestone soils at the Saunders Beamsville Bench site. The style is generous, if not soft, yet a stony, flinty reductive note on the mid-palate adds structure to the tropical pineapple and starfruit that fill the back end. The style is medium-rich with a honey and toasted nut finish. A solid effort that is drinking well now but should age effortlessly into 2027.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield Chardonnay 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe Wismer-Wingfield chardonnay fruit is the latest ripening parcel at Bachelder. It's also "the furthest from Lake Ontario (6.8 km!), at the highest elevation (169 metres at the very top). That makes its grapes the longest hanging among all the Bachelder chardonnay, which means the most intense flavours. But the prowess of pears and melons is tempered by the mineral chalky, stony notes that line walls and finish. It has all the hallmarks of Cru. All it needs is a decade of whinging at the government level to get it approved. Complex wine for thinking drinkers. Drink or hold, there is no rush here.Prices:
ON$60.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft Nord Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft Nord Chardonnay 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaWismer-Foxcroft Nord Chardonnay comes off a steep, sloping vineyard five kilometres from Lake Ontario in Vineland. The stony-silty soils, mixed with limestone, provide an excellent medium for growing chardonnay. Nord is definitely at the richer end of the Bachelder array of chardonnays but will garner a large audience who like fuller custard, pear with a touch of honey, almonds, and a lingering but light undercurrent of minerality. Could it be more reductive and electric? Maybe, but knowing Bachelder, what you are getting is what the site gives, and that’s the specificity of place. Go Thomas.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Grimsby Hillside Red-Clay Barn Block Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Grimsby Hillside Red-Clay Barn Block Chardonnay 2020

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe Red-Clay Barn Block is adjacent to a red brick barn and sits on bright red clayey soils, which may explain a slightly fatter base than the Grimsby Frontier. This lends this wine a somewhat more straightforward style, making it more receptive at this point to drink. A comforting swath of honey and peaches greet you upfront before the acidity and stony mineral notes kick in to balance the picture at the finish. It remains a contemplative wine and a chardonnay for fans which is okay with me. It sits on washed-down Escarpment rubble, giving it a Bench persona. Then there is the 4.6-billion-year-old meteorite that hit Grimsby Hillside in 2009 that Bachelder surmises likely left the farm with fragments of soil much older than anywhere in Niagara. We need more of this in Canadian wine.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bai Xu Vignes de 1981 Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Bai Xu Vignes de 1981 Chardonnay 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaIt is worth noting that Bai Xu vineyard is one of the oldest vinifera plantings in the region, as evidenced by their Grape Grower number: 011. The nose is mostly pear with a subtle nutty undercurrent that is barely there in a good way. It is broader on the palate than expected, with similar creamy notes I saw in the Bator. It was a warmer year, but it appears to have escaped most of the heat save for a little mid-palate weight that dissipates through a long honeyed, somewhat savoury finish that, like most Bachelder wines exhibits little, if any, oak characters. It is clone 95 grown in sandy, loamy sediments over lacustrine clay with bits of silt and limestone. Bachelder lauds the excellent moisture holding properties, which help sustain the vines through the drier summer months.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Willms Vignes de 1983 Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Willms Vignes de 1983 Chardonnay 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaWillms Vignes 1983 comes off a historical site inside the Four Mile Creek appellation not far from the original downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. Bachelder speaks to its waxy, minty green that offset the tangerine and lemon that line the sidewalls of this wine. Deep roots and somewhat sandy soils are said to contribute what may be its best aspect, a distinct minerality that bespeckles a warm, round, almost buttery finish. Stylish, yeasty, food friendly, I love this wine with roasted chicken.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Laundry Organic L.L.L. Chardonnay Musquétext
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Bachelder Laundry Organic L.L.L. Chardonnay Musqué 2020

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe Musqué clone has a love-hate relationship with winemakers. Some love its intensely aromatic, perfumed notes, and some hate it. In this case, Bachelder says, "The place speaks louder than the clone," referring to a nose of pure stone-fruited mintiness that attracts and holds your interest. It is all that and more. It is delicious, something we fail to say enough about any wine, let alone chardonnay. Lime, wet stone minerality and a brush of creamy lees are at the centre of Laundry Organic L.L.L. Already singing, ready to drink.Prices:
ON$39.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Patte Rouge Organically Grown Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Patte Rouge Organically Grown Chardonnay 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaPatte Rouge Vineyard, formerly Red Paw Vineyard, sits on the edge of St. David’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Four Mile Creek. Oak, honey, and lanolin set the tone for this wine, which lacks the refinement of most of the Toussaints chardonnays. Nevertheless, it remains tasty and will undoubtedly appeal to those who prefer their chardonnay wider and full of flavour. As it turns out, the vineyard was subject to winter kill in the winter of 2022 and was subsequently pulled out. For now, the story ends here.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Chardonnay 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaBator 2020 is clone 76 chardonnay, now fifteen years old. It’s aged in used French oak barrels for two years. The nose is ethereal and clean with pears and peaches but with a restraint seldom seen in New World chardonnay. The leesy texture is wonderfully creamy with bright twangy acidity and a saline shake in the back end. It’s not long or overly complex, but it slides down effortlessly with the help of some electric minerality. The vineyard is located in the Four Mile Creek sub-appellation at the extreme west of the appellation, close to St. Catharines.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Grimsby Hillside Frontier Block Chardonnaytext
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Bachelder Grimsby Hillside Frontier Block Chardonnay 2020

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaI grew up in Hamilton, not all that far from historic Grimsby Hillside Vineyard, a historic piece of dirt on the far west side of the Niagara region first planted in 1874. Bachelder describes the wine as “tight, chalky, seashell minerality.” On that note, I’m all in. The next world chardonnay has zero body fat, although its creamy textures lead you to think it is richer than it is. It is primarily a stony, saline, leesy citrus affair with green apple to remind you it is made from fruit, not stones. Long and lingering, this is a joy to drink, and a fine tribute to a vineyard long lost to the shiny stars to the east. This was made for west coast seafood. As the vineyard transitions to organic farming, I can only imagine the terroir will shine even brighter than it does now in the wine.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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10 March 2023

Bachelder Saunders Bas Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Saunders Bas Pinot Noir 2020

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Saunders Vineyard, a certified organic vineyard on the Beamsville Bench along King St., this comes from a single block at the 'bas' of the vineyard. There's an exuberance to the fruit of these young vines, with a combination of black raspberry and chocolate-coated cherry that's rounded by aging 20 months in third-fill and neutral Burgundy barriques. The fruit is layered with sappy herbal notes, graphite, and violets, showing real depth and complexity even at this early stage. It's a complete, finely structured pinot that's just beginning to open up, though certainly will be even better 3-5 years from now. A pure expression of the Beamsville Bench and the warmth of the 2020 vintage. Only 46 cases produced.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Lowrey Old Vines Pinot Noir 2020

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Lowrey Vineyard, but a different parcel than the Old Eastern Block. The vines here date to 1988 and 1993, on a gentle slope at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. It shows lifted, medicinal cherry and cranberry, accented by dried shrubby herbs, lavender, and thyme blossoms. Although impressively concentrated, with considerable dry extract, this is surprisingly lean and tart, lacking the generosity that's evident across the balance of the 2020 line-up.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Spencer Morgan Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Spencer Morgan Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Megalomanic's home vineyard on the Twenty Mile Bench, this site is both the furthest from Lake Ontario and the highest elevation that Bachelder worked with in 2020. It shows a deep, rich nose of generous fruit, led by spiced dark cherries and sun-soaked strawberries. That's accented by walnut and wood spices, coming from 20 months in a combination of new and used Burgundian barriques. It's the most hedonistic of the 2020 line-up, though certainly no less serious.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Wild West End Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFifty metres from Wismer-Parker Vineyard proper on the Twenty Mile Bench, Wild West End refers to westerly rows planted in 1999 to an unknown clone. Rich in reddish magnesium oxide and dolomitic-limestone clay, these soils give this wine its "wild" iron character. This is such an impressive wine, though still tightly wound at this early stage. It's mineral-driven, ferrous and flinty, supported by bright cherry, dried roses, and five spice. The place shines here, and you can't help but feel transported to the vineyard. It's simply a spectacular bottle of wine, elegant, expressive, and complete, that you wish would never end.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaJust north of Wismer-Parke, Hanck Vineyard is similarly situated on what Bachelder calls Vineland's "grand cru strip." There's a wild edge to the lifted fruit, showing macerated strawberries and raspberries that are heightened by perfumed rose petals, savoury herbs, and delicate spice. There's a remarkable purity to the fruit and real precision to the winemaking, with a polished, silky palate that's richly concentrated and laden with minerals. In a word: ethereal. Only 128 cases produced.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis comes from Wismer-Parke Vineyard on the Vineland Bench, a vineyard which Bachelder had to "learn to love." It yields pinots with a wild, bloody character, and that's certainly felt again with the 2020 vintage. It's distinctively gamey with lifted dark cherry fruit – think rare duck breast generously sauced with cherry compote – alongside dried lavender, thyme, and fine spices. It continually pulls you back in, so mouthwatering, sapid, and savoury, with a firm, fine-grained structure that will pay dividends over the next 5-7 years with careful cellaring.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noirtext
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noir 2020

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom vines planted in 2003 and 2014 in Four Mile Creek, just outside of Virgil in the greater Niagara on the Lake region, this is a single clone 375. It leads with sweet, ripe red cherries alongside dried florals, delicate spice, and a dusty earthiness. There's a beautiful balance of generous, succulent fruit and savoury complexity, on a suave, concentrated frame that shows the ripeness and exceptional quality of the 2020 vintage. Drinking beautifully now. Only 22 cases produced.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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09 March 2023

Blanville Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Blanville Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceChâteau Haut-Blanville is a family-owned Languedoc wine estate founded in 1997 by Béatrice & Bernard Nivollet. The Nivollets based their estate on the Burgundian model of terroir first, creating wines showing the diversity of Languedoc. Their 70 ha of vineyards extend across The Grés de Montpellier AOP. This youthful, easy red carries tart raspberry, cherry, and plum along a shorter, fresh palate. Tannins are nearly non-existent, with just a slightly sticky tug. Crack into now with burgers or pork sandwiches.Prices:
ON$18.00750ml
Producer: Chais de Blanville
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Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaRestless River is a small, mighty, family-owned winery in the cool Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Hundreds of years ago, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley was known as Attacquas Kloof. In 1760 the elder, Wessel Wessels, arrived with his family and set up a home. Some historians say it was Wessel who called the valley 'Hemel-en-Aarde.' What is known for sure is that old man Wessels was the first European of settler descent to live in and farm the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Fast forward a few hundred years, when husband and wife Craig and Anne Wessels started planting part of the farm in 2004, launching the Restless River label in 2012 to continual critical acclaim. They have the oldest plantings of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in the valley, dating back to 1999, and they are still one of the only ones working with cab sauv in this cool region. Main Road and Dignity are two single vineyards with slopes of gravel and koffeklip soils over decomposed granite clays. This was destemmed and native fermented in small open-top oak vats, with an extended maceration followed by basket pressing. This then entered French barriques (25% new), which rested undisturbed for 23 months. It was then racked from barrel to stainless for a short tightening stint before bottling and two more years' rest before release. Iron-laced black cherry and plum lead the structural and savoury palate, filled with tobacco, anise, crushed dark florals, and graphite. Cedar-scented tannins are appropriately firm, framing this serious cab. The freshness of the site and soils quickly lifts the full 14.5% through a lingering dusty stone finish. Impressive. 7765 bottles.Prices:
ON$88.00750ml
Producer: Restless River
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Two Tradesmen Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Two Tradesmen Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesA 91/9 Paso Robles red blend of cabernet sauvignon mixed with petite sirah and petit verdot has a built-in richness, extract, and plenty of sweet black fruit. The nose is a kirsch and cassis affair with a dusting of baking spices. The palate is soft and round with more sweet black fruit, licorice, mocha and low tannins. There is an audience for this style of wine that is more commercial than serious. Barbecue favourites work here.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Two Tradesmen
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La Jota Vineyard Co. Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignontext
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La Jota Vineyard Co. Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, United StatesLa Jota Vineyard lies high upon a volcanic plateau, looking east over Napa Valley. It is a big, brooding mountain cabernet that is naturally constructed to age for a decade or two. Winemaker Chris Carpenter uses only native yeast in a mix of open and closed-top stainless steel fermentation tanks. In 2019 plentiful winter rains were followed by frequent fog events in the spring, and a mild summer with just a few short heat spikes, which led to a long growing season, extended hang time, and a final pick on November 1. A giant of wine, it improved throughout the tasting and hours later. Intense blackberry and an equal amount of tobacco mesh seamlessly with the dense tannin that readily accepts the oak and acid. Drink if you must, but this is one for the cellar to be left through 2030 to unfold in all its glory. Winemaking pioneer W.S. Keyes planted some of the first vines on Howell Mountain in 1888. A decade later, a stone winery was established and named after the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. carries on the legacy with its small-production mountain cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. The fruit is a mix of estate-grown additions from nearby W.S. Keyes Vineyard.Prices:
BC$200.00750ml
AB$175.00750ml
SK$200.00750ml
MB$200.00750ml
Producer: La Jota Vineyard Co.
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Mount Brave Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Mount Brave Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, United StatesMt. Brave Vineyard sits high atop Mt. Veeder at an elevation of 1,400 to 1,800 feet on the original home of the Napa native Wappo tribe. The area has been planted since the early 1860s. The site is all about high elevation, meaning thin, rocky soils and numerous winegrowing challenges, including the most extended growing season and lowest yields in Napa Valley. Winemaker Chris Carpenter says “Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon is meant to show all that is Mt. Veeder without overt tannins.” In 2019 the savoury, dried herb notes were front and centre after a “very wet winter, frequent foggy spring mornings, and a mild summer with just a handful of brief heat spikes.” A classic Mt. Brave, offering density and structure, and a rich, spicy, black cherry, blueberry palate. Long and satisfying, this is an outstanding Mt Brave and an authentic Napa Valley cabernet. The blend is 89.5/4.5/3/2/1.5 cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, and petit verdot. Drink through 2040.Prices:
BC$200.00750ml
AB$175.00750ml
SK$200.00750ml
MB$200.00750ml
Producer: Mt. Brave
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Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesAlways a blend of the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Monument Ridge, Mayacamus Mountains, sites at Stonestreet. The savoury aromatic Alexander Valley fruit sets the stage for a rich cabernet packed with blackberry, black licorice, menthol, smoke and tobacco, and dense, sticky tannins with a touch of orange. A small splash of petit verdot is aged 19 months in 38% new French oak. Big and burly at this point, this will need some time to mellow. Best now with grilled meats.Prices:
BC$74.25750ml
Producer: Stonestreet Winery
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Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner's Reservetext
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Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner's Reserve 2020

Sonoma County, California, United StatesKJ Vintner’s Reserve label is famous for its chardonnay, but this cabernet sauvignon is something to be reckoned with. Now in its mid-30s, it is only getting better every year thanks to a deep reserve of fruit sources. The blend is 91/3/3/3/2 cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, malbec, and merlot from a 90/5/5 mix of Sonoma/Mendocino/Napa fruit. The ageing has been extended to 15 months in a mix of French (58%) and American (30%) barrels, and 12 percent goes into stainless steel. The nose opens with spicy black fruit that spills onto a dense palate of black currants, blueberries, and cedar with long sweet tannins through the finish. A savoury Sonoma undercurrent pulls it together, making this wine a real winner. Anything off the grilled would be fine, but I think ribs or lamb would be perfect. Impressive for the price.Prices:
BC$40.50750ml
AB$28.99750ml
US$18.00750ml
ON$22.95750ml
QC$24.95750ml
Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Cardinaletext
98PTS

Cardinale 2019

Napa Valley, California, United States2019 has some standout primary fruit characters, but the complexity and interest come from the accents or spicing, namely the floral, cedar, and toasted espresso bean and bread notes. The vintage has a robust, savoury edge, which pulls all this mountain madness together. Winemaker Chris Carpenter assembled this Napa Valley red using 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% merlot aged 21 months in 100% French oak, 81% new. I love the way this wine comes at you in waves, each one different in length and intensity. Cardinale is far more refined at this stage, less boisterous and more stylish, something you can't say about many Napa cabernets. The balanced of power and elegance is perfect, as are the rich black/blue fruits, fresh acidity, and savoury umami underside. Long, silky and complex, this is one to age for decades if you have the time and the money.Prices:
BC$450.00750ml
AB$400.00750ml
SK$500.00750ml
MB$500.00750ml
Producer: Cardinale
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Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veedertext
97PTS

Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2018

Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, United StatesLokoya produces four cabernet sauvignons from four of Napa Valley’s most celebrated mountain appellations. The wines are entirely cabernet sauvignon, fermented on native yeast, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Mount Veeder label comers off the eastern ridges of the Mayacamas Mountains at the northern end of the Mount Veeder appellation. The fruit is grown at 1,800 feet of elevation, and winemaker Chris Carpenter chooses a selection of blocks to put together the Mount Veeder label. The steep, mountainous terrain with its spare volcanic soil produces tiny bunches of concentrated dark fruit led by blackberries and blueberries. Floral and surprisingly inviting on the nose Lokoya grabs you before its structure and tannins fill the back palate, leaving you to wonder how great this wine will be 10-20 or even 30 years from now. 2018 is full of aromatics, power, layers of flavours, and a welcome level of minerality throughout the finish. Cabernet collectors can expect this to have a long future in bottles. The yields are a modest two tons per acre, and it spends 22 months in 94 percent new French oak. Serious and seriously good.Prices:
BC$550.00750ml
AB$550.00750ml
SK$600.00750ml
MB$600.00750ml
Producer: Lokoya
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyardstext
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards 2018

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, United StatesSycamore Vineyard sits at the southern end of the Rutherford Bench, close to the Mayacamas Mountains. The wine opens with a dark, intense, spicy cassis nose with earthy espresso. The palate is similarly concentrated with rich and textured flavours of black cherry, dark chocolate, leather, and warm oak spices. The blend is a 77/9/8/6 cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, and petit verdot and cabernet franc, aged 27 months in 62 percent new oak. This wine shouts Napa Valley from its rich, ample palate to its long concentrated and balanced finish. It’s a solid vintage, and this will age effortlessly for 20 years. The classic T-bone steak wine.Prices:
BC$135.00750ml
Producer: Freemark Abbey
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyardtext
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard 2018

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, United StatesFaulty cork. It needs to be retasted.Prices:
BC$135.00750ml
Producer: Freemark Abbey
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Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard El. 950 Feettext
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Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard El. 950 Feet 2019

Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesSince 2001, Anakota has made two single vineyards, single variety, single appellation estate cabs: Helena, Dakota; and Helena, Montana. Helena Dakota is a 12.4-acre block of vines sited below Mount St. Helena’s two highest peaks at 750 feet elevation. It is an ancient volcanic zone with reddish-brown, gravel/silt loam soils intermingled with volcanic rock well suited to the main Bordeaux grapes. This year Helena Montana Vineyard sits at 950 feet of elevation, and while the differences are subtle, Montana is the more significant, more mountain red. In 2019 a wet winter and warm growing season combined to make giant wines at Anakota. Luckily Frenchman and winemaker Pierre Seillan has become quite a genius at taming the California sunshine in his reds, giving them a sense of balance and purpose. Powerful and complex, Montana pitches rich, ripe red and black fruits from black raspberries to blueberries mixed with dried herbs, spiced clove, and firm, dense tannins. This is one for the cellars, and it could effortlessly age 20 years. Described as a mystery to many, “set along the flanks and foothills of Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains, this rustic sanctuary possesses the sparse volcanic soils and ideal climate needed to produce elegant, profound and age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons."Prices:
BC$125.00750ml
AB$125.00750ml
SK$140.00750ml
MB$140.00750ml
Producer: Anakota
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Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard El. 750 Feettext
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Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard El. 750 Feet 2019

Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesExcessive winter rainfall left the vines in great shape to take on 2019, a year with above average warmth and heat spikes throughout July, August, and September, leading to a late September harvest. The Dakota is huge, with lifted black fruit and big peppery aromas. It’s jam-packed with black currant, blueberry compote, and more toasted cardamom spice, yet all that said, winemaker Pierre Seillan is the master of balance, and this wine has it in spades. The tannins are dense but soft with dark chocolate and a subtle undercurrent of minerality in the finish. This is not a wine to drink now, at least not without food. I advise cellaring this a decade or serve it with grilled T-Bone steak or leg of lamb on the spit. Since 2001, Anakota has made two single vineyards, single variety, single appellation estate cabs: Helena, Dakota; and Helena, Montana. Helena Dakota is a 12.4-acre block of vines sited below Mount St. Helena’s two highest peaks at 750 feet elevation. It is an ancient volcanic zone with reddish-brown, gravel/silt loam soils intermingled with volcanic rock well suited to the main Bordeaux grapes.Prices:
BC$125.00750ml
AB$125.00750ml
SK$140.00750ml
MB$140.00750ml
Producer: Anakota
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Kirkland Signature Napa Valley Red Blendtext
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Kirkland Signature Napa Valley Red Blend 2020

Napa Valley, California, United StatesAs you might expect, cabernet sauvignon takes the lead on this generously styled red blend, making up three-quarters of the mix with contributions from merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc and petite sirah. Black fruits, cola, spice and oak take you to Napa with just enough tannin and cedar/cigar to let you know it’s cabernet. As is the trend in America, there is a sweetness that will bother a particular sector of drinkers but will undoubtedly please a much broader audience. Given the price of Napa reds, this wine remains a bargain. Ready to drink.Prices:
US$12.99750ml
Producer: Brothers In Arms
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07 March 2023

Divergence Gamay Noirtext
87PTS

Divergence Gamay Noir 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom the lauded Wismer Wingfield vineyard, this gamay was destemmed and partially crushed into 1-Ton bins for a two-week ferment on skins before aging for nine months in older French barrels. Sour cherry, rhubarb, and raspberry rule a green-edged palate, with softly sticky tannins framing. Take it chilled now.Prices:
ON$28.00750ml
Producer: Divergence Wines
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Jean Max L’Ext’hasetext
90PTS

Jean Max L’Ext’hase 2021

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceFrom 70 year old gamay in southern Bojo's Charnay rooted its calcareous clay soils, this was carbonically macerated, with 7 months in oak, prior to a tightening moon phase rest in stainless, and bottling with low sulphur. A swing of reduction blows off to reveal pink grapefruit, tart red currant, wild flowers, peony on a crunchy, fresh palate. Tannins are long and sticky, and the finish is dusted with white pepper. A characterful charmer, much like the hare on the label. These are made in the cellar of Eric Texier in the Rhône, hence they are labelled as Vin de France. 3550 bottles made, plus 120 magnums. #gogamaygo.Prices:
ON$48.00750ml
Producer: Maxime Barrot
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Oak Bay Vineyard Gebert Family Gamay Noirtext
88PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Gebert Family Gamay Noir 2021

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the newly appointed South Kelowna Slopes, southeast of the city of Kelowna, this juicy gamay offers a combination of sappy cherry and smoked spices on a light, brisk frame that rewards a light chill. Solid value for the price, this is the type of midweek red that you can never have enough of. The winery is currently in transition to organic certification.Prices:
BC$18.50750ml
Producer: St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery
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Haywire Gamaytext
88PTS

Haywire Gamay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gamay is fermented in small open top tanks with twice daily punch downs for four weeks. The use of 75 percent whole cluster increases its mid-palate weight. Look for deep rich plummy fruit streaked red with a brambly, peppery, savoury herbaceousness, bright acidity, and silky textures. Perfect for a mushroom pizza or a pulled pork sandwich. Haywire was established in 2009, with the first tiny harvest at Switchback Organic Vineyard, starting life as a virtual brand. Today, Haywire is an anchor tenant of the Summerland wine scene, with a new visitor lounge scheduled to open in April 2023. Haywire has always been a winery that cares passionately about terroir, employing a less is more style, utilizing state of the art concrete tanks and amphorae, and gentle winemaking under winemaker Matt Dumayne.Prices:
BC$28.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Haywire Gamaytext
88PTS

Haywire Gamay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA new year, a new label, a new wine, and a new winery name. Okanagan Crush Pad has shifted its name to Haywire Winery, reflecting the growing importance of its leading brand and the company's shift away from being a custom crush facility. With the change comes new branding and this new Haywire Gamay, incorporating 75% whole cluster. Fleshy black plum, black raspberry, is cut with a tart blackcurrant acidity and wrapped with soft, cushioned tannins across a bright, taut frame. This darker shaded gamay comes with a lot of bright peppery freshness, and is ready to crack and enjoy now with mushrooms /pork.Prices:
BC$28.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Mathieu & Camille Lapierre Morgontext
93PTS

Mathieu & Camille Lapierre Morgon 2019

Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceSiblings Mathieu and Camille Lapierre took over the reins of their father Marcel's groundbreaking naturist wines in Beaujolais, carrying on the house's tradition of organic / biodynamic / estate. From 70 year old vines on sandy decomposed granites, this was native ferment, semi-carbo (no SO2) for up to 3 weeks before aging 9 months in older 216 later barrels. This vintage feels particularly light and effortless, with perfumed iris, wild raspberry and sapid cherry buoyant across a medium core, housed with fine, long tannins, and lit with a buzzy pixellated mineral underlay which stretches long to the saline finish.Prices:
BC$52.00750ml
Producer: Marcel Lapierre
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Lunessence Gamaytext
90PTS

Lunessence Gamay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSummerland gamay is becoming a thing, and it is a good thing at Lunessence, where they work biodynamically. In this case, the mix is 96/4 gamay/pinot noir, grown naturally free of herbicides and pesticides and gently handled through production. It’s fermented in 80% neutral French oak and aged for five months on its lees. The palate is as refreshing as the nose while pitching earth, wet stones, and juicy, savoury cranberry and cherry with a tangy finish. Real gamay and a dinner stable star.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Orofino Vineyards Gamay (1.5L MagBag)text
91PTS

Orofino Vineyards Gamay (1.5L MagBag) 2021

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of BCs best gamays just got better thanks to its MagBag packaging that reduces its carbon footprint to practically nothing. The 1.5-litre environmentally friendly pouches give you a month’s worth of tasting time with freshness and stability, which is gone in hours from bottled wine. This packaging is a wake-up call for the industry. As for the gamay, it is delicious. Fresh, bright, and juicy with plenty of acidity and low alcohol is all you need to know. The grapes come off three Cawston vineyards and go into older French oak barrels and concrete tanks post-ferment. Expect a juicy blend of red berries and rhubarb with no tannins leaving it soft and slippery. A charming dinner wine perfect for a Margherita pizza or a grilled chicken salad.Prices:
BC$45.35750ml
Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Hillside Founder's Block Gamaytext
87PTS

Hillside Founder's Block Gamay 2018

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaComing from vines planted in 1984 by the founder of the winery, this Naramata Bench gamay was cold soaked for 8 days and fermented for 3 weeks, followed by barrel aging for 9 months in French and Hungarian oak. It starts off with tart red brambleberry blended with some herbal greenness and ground clove savouriness. Lean and brisk on the palate, it exhibits a slightly elevated level of tannins for gamay, which somewhat overwhelms the fruit at this stage.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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Deep Roots Winery Gamaytext
88PTS

Deep Roots Winery Gamay 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a southwest facing site on the Naramata Bench, this gamay initially showed more macerated dark berries on the nose along with some earthy notes. The fruit feels fresher and more red-toned on the palate, and is framed by vibrant acidity, and ripe, supple tannins. The savoury, spicy finish is layered with a subtle smokey undertone. It’s a fruity yet dense interpretation of the grape.Prices:
BC$22.53750ml
Producer: Deep Roots Winery
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06 March 2023

Finite x Fogolar Finite Redtext
88PTS

Finite x Fogolar Finite Red 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis equal blend of merlot and cabernet franc comes off the Stouck vineyard and Oppenlaender vineyards, respectively, with additional Cab Franc off the Picone vineyard, the latter having 25% whole cluster. After one month on skins, all was pressed to new American and neutral French oak for 20 months. Wild blackcurrant, black plum is imbued with thorns and baking spice and lit with bright herbal acidity. Tannins are soft and furry, welcoming drinking now, ideally with grilled burgers/chops.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Fogolar
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Marynissen Nanny's Blendtext
89PTS

Marynissen Nanny's Blend 2020

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaNanny's Blend is a mix of 64% merlot, 22% cabernet franc, and 14% cabernet sauvignon from various Niagara Peninsula vineyards. It was fermented in stainless, on skins for 24 days, and aged in older French, American, and Hungarian oak for 14 months. Savoury dark cherry raspberry is scented with cedar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and wrapped with long, lightly firm tannins, which take this to a peppery finish. Nice balance here, making it ready for drinking now with grilled meats/veg.Prices:
ON$28.00750ml
Producer: Marynissen Estates
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Tawse Winery Meritagetext
90PTS

Tawse Winery Meritage 2018

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis 2018 Meritage blends 43% cabernet franc, 29% cabernet sauvignon, and 28% merlot, all aged 16 months in French oak. Quite savoury and polished, with red cherry, leather, and cured meats seasoned with a gravelled graphite note. Tannins are now worn with time but are still relatively grippy, housing the shading fruit. This is drinking well now and recommended with roast beef/root veg.Prices:
ON$60.00750ml
Producer: Tawse Winery
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Château la Grolet Tête de Cuvéetext
89PTS

Château la Grolet Tête de Cuvée 2018

Cotes de Bourg, Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FranceChâteau La Grolet is a 17th-century manor house at the bottom of a valley surrounded by its 50-hectare estate, including 38 hectares of vines. The Hubert family acquired the estate in 1997 and began its conversion to biodynamics, with Demeter certification coming in 2000. Tête de Cuvée blends 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec from 55 year old vines. Made with native fermentation with very low sulphite additions, this aged for a year in new French oak barrels. Fragrant black raspberry, fleshy cherry flood a juicy, yet structured palate. Gravels, thorns, tobacco, and dusky dark flowers season the full palate, one framed with grippy / gritty tannins. A savoury red to decant and serve with roast beef / root veg, or lay down for another couple of years. 6,600 bottles.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Chateau la Grolet
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Château la Grolet Cuvée Classique Rouge Côtes de Bourgtext
88PTS

Château la Grolet Cuvée Classique Rouge Côtes de Bourg 2021

Cotes de Bourg, Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FranceChâteau La Grolet is a 17th-century manor house at the bottom of a valley surrounded by its 50-hectare estate, including 38 hectares of vines. The Hubert family acquired the estate in 1997 and began its conversion to biodynamics, with Demeter certification coming in 2000. Château La Grolet Cuvée Classique Rouge blends 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec. The vines at Grolet are now approaching 50 years, and this wine was native fermented and aged in a mixture of concrete and wooden vessels (20%) before being bottled without fining or filtration, and minimum sulphur. Dusty stones, gravels, perfumed wild cherry and raspberry rule the lighter 12% palate, running over a bed of worked leather, and framed with grippy / gritty tannins. There's an inherent freshness that is charming, making this a useful partner for roast pork / beef / root veg.Prices:
ON$28.00750ml
Producer: Chateau la Grolet
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Fort Berens Meritagetext
87PTS

Fort Berens Meritage 2020

British Columbia, CanadaFrom fruit sources around BC, this year's Meritage blends 65% merlot with 18% cabernet franc, and 17% cabernet sauvignon. Each was vinified separately, and rested in 50/50 American / French barrels for 15 months prior to the blend. Ripe and sweet-tinged blackberry jam, cassis compote, dark earth rule the medium palate, with bitter tobacco and baking spice to season. Tannins are chewy, finishing with more bitter espresso notes. A bit rough hewn, this is best taken with roast veg/meats now.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Roche Nuancestext
90PTS

Roche Nuances 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDrawing on her six generations of viticulture and winemaking at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion in Bordeaux, Pénélope and Dylan Roche have created Nuances, a blend of 54% merlot, 24% cabernet sauvignon, and 22% cabernet franc fermented in stainless before ageing 12 months in French oak (10% new). The fruit comes off Kozier Organic Vineyard on the Naramata Bench, as well as Suncerest vineyard on the northern outskirts of Oliver. Fragrant raspberry, tight cherry roll along a silken palate, with rhubarb strung tannins tightening this through a subtly spiced finish. Far more Okanagan than Bx, this is ready for enjoying now, ideally with wild mushroom / pork or poultry dishes.Prices:
BC$34.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Fort Berens Meritage Reservetext
88PTS

Fort Berens Meritage Reserve 2019

British Columbia, CanadaThe 2019 Meritage is the first all-estate blend from the home Dry Creek Vineyard in Lillooet. The mix is 85/15 merlot and cabernet franc, hand picked from select rows grown at low cropping levels. The wine was aged in 72 percent French oak for 15 months, of which 43 percent is new. The style is relaxed, northern, and savoury, with spicy raspberry and red plum. The oak covers whatever the Lillooet terroir is at this point, so maybe another year or two in a bottle won’t hurt. For now, the winery is suggesting slow-cooked beef stew or vegetarian lasagna; I like that notion.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Meritagetext
89PTS

Fort Berens Meritage 2020

British Columbia, CanadaThe latest FB Meritage release is the best yet, which reflects its attachment to an excellent red wine vintage in the Okanagan, and better winemaking. In 2020 the blend was 65/18/17/ merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc, each fermented and aged separately in a mix of seasoned 50/50 French and American oak barrels. You immediately sense the balance from its attractive swirl of red fruits and subtle vanilla to an attack that is round and silky full of plums, cassis, cranberry, cherries that melt slowly into a long finish. Well done and ready to drink (or hold). Cheeseburgers would be a good match, or beef tacos, or flank steak.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Il Fauno di Arcanumtext
92PTS

Il Fauno di Arcanum 2020

Tuscany, ItalyThe 1011 hectare Tenuta di Arceno estate rises 404 metres above sea level to 809 metres. The property has produced wines for nearly 3000 years, situated between Florence and Siena. According to Roman mythology, an ancient Roman statue, Il Fauno, was installed in the middle of the property to protect the estate from intruders. Today the estate produces high quality Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva of Sangiovese, but its IGT wines seem particularly suited to cabernet franc and merlot. Il Fauno is a Bordeaux-style blend from the heart of Tuscany mixing 41/34/20/5/ merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot. The nose is a riot of savoury licorice and black cherries. The attack is rich, robust, and full-bodied, pitching black plums, balsamic, cedar, and more licorice over a peppery, menthol, toasted oak finish. There are high hopes for the 2020 vintage, and there is no rush to drink this wine. You could effortlessly age it a decade. However, should you decide to drink it now, wild boar, or a classic steak Florentine, would be a good match.Prices:
BC$48.99750ml
AB$45.00750ml
SK$60.00750ml
MB$60.00750ml
Producer: Tenuta di Arceno
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Château Lassèguetext
94PTS

Château Lassègue 2018

Saint Émilion, Libourne, Bordeaux, FranceThe soft, sometimes cozy style of St Emilion is at its best with opulent Lassègue. Its old vines grow on the south/southwest hills that are an extension of the clay and limestone soils of the Côte de Saint-Émilion. Winemakers Pierre and Nicolas Seillan do a marvellous job of marrying the savoury aromatic cabernet franc with the dense old vine merlot, stiffened by a touch of cabernet sauvignon. The result is the much used axiom of power and elegance that, in this case, speaks volumes of winemaker Seillan. The wet vintage was somewhat problematic, but with particular attention to the vines, the result was excellent. Look for a deep black-purple colour. On the nose, the richness of the merlot is complemented by the savoury extravagance of the cabernet franc. With time, a floral undercarriage and freshness pull the finish to a long silky, balanced finish. The 2020 blend is 62% merlot, 35% cabernet franc, and 3% cabernet sauvignon.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
AB$85.00750ml
SK$100.00750ml
MB$100.0070ml
Producer: Château Lassègue
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The Sauce Columbia Valley Red Blendtext
87PTS

The Sauce Columbia Valley Red Blend 2017

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThis simple red blend is made with Columbia Valley grapes. As you might expect, the mix is predominately merlot, with 28 percent cabernet sauvignon, and a splash of malbec. It’s soft, round, and stuffed with ripe cherry, chocolate, with a spicy, savoury black fruit finish. Ready to drink and is probably best served around the barbecue when hamburgers are on the menu.Prices:
BC$22.99750ml
Producer: Zero One Vintners
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Mt. Boucherie Summittext
90PTS

Mt. Boucherie Summit 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSummit is a proprietary red blend selected from the best Mt. Boucherie vineyard blocks in Lost Horn Vineyard, Okanagan Falls, South Rock Vineyard, Golden Mile Bench, and Lazy River Vineyard in South Cawston, Similkameen Valley. After that, it is a best barrels selection made by winemaker Jeff Hundermark. The 2019 mix is 57% merlot, 26% cabernet franc, 9% carménère, 5% malbec, 2% cabernet sauvignon, and 1% syrah. Like last year the styling is getting more elegant, and the current blend is more amenable for drinking, which is a big plus. I like the texture and subtle aromatics before the California black and blue fruits and cedar, mineral notes round out through the finish. Well done, and you can drink or hold a good wine through 2027 and beyond.Prices:
BC$59.99750ml
Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuoustext
89PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2019 Voluptuous is back on track with a luxurious blend of 67/33 merlot and cabernet franc from 17 year old vines grown at Naramata's Boothe Vineyard on silty clay/loam soils. An enticing, savoury jacket is wrapped around the ripe, juicy blueberry, blackberry, black olive, and cedar dusted in a touch of baking spice and sagebrush. The tannins are firm but fine, allowing for bottle aging of three to seven years, or drinking now with grilled beef, mushrooms, or root vegetables.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Van Westen Vineyards Vtext
91PTS

Van Westen Vineyards V 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is vintage 11 for V, the Van Westen Bordeaux blend of 45% merlot, 24% cabernet franc, 16% malbec, 7% cabernet sauvignon, and 8% petit verdot. It offers a slightly more elegant mix than Voluptuous, blending complexity and intensity in just the right amounts. The nose is classic Okanagan, showing dried sage, rich black plums, and tobacco, which rush to the palate in equal measure. Its full-bodied Naramata style with ripe fine-grained tannins, bright acidity, and a whack of minerality. This is one to lay away for five to seven years. The alcohol tops out at 14.5 percent, aged in French oak barrels for 21 months. The fruit comes from four vineyards: Home Lot, Boothe Road, Granite Ridge, and Salting, all on the Naramata Bench.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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02 March 2023

Luberri Zuri Blancotext
90PTS

Luberri Zuri Blanco 2022

Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, SpainFlorentino Martinez Monje started off life as a grape supplier before deciding to set up his own winery in Rioja Alavesa. Few know as much about the region as he does, nor how to get the best out of the local vineyards. With an intimate understanding of the 32 hectares he farms, he remains a farmer first and foremost. This is a blend of Viura and Malvasia, from 30 to 50 year old vi­neyards located in Elciego and adjacent villages, fermented and rested in stainless where it remained for two months with daily bâtonnage. Fragrant white peach, melon, is lit with green apple acidity, matched with a light buffer of lees. The finish lingers with a buzz of crushed stones. A lovely fresh view of white Rioja.Prices:
ON$21.00750ml
Producer: Familia Monje Amestoy
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Kamara Pure Nimbus Albustext
90PTS

Kamara Pure Nimbus Albus 2021

Thessaloniki Area, Makedonia, GreeceDimitrios Kioutsoukis and his family decided to give up city life to be more connected to nature, moving to Thessaloniki and planting 11 ha of organically farmed vines. All of their wines are low intervention, with native ferment, no sulphur additions and bottling without fining or filtration. This 50/50 Assyrtiko and Malagousia blend comes from the clay and schist slopes of Kamara-Oraiokastro Thessaloniki. Each variety is vinified separately in stainless, with three days skin contact, and full MLF, before blending and resting on lees for 3 months. Pouring a hazy lemon hue, this is threaded with tangerine, musk melon, and elderflower, with a finely grippy texture housing this medium white to a stony/ash finish. Very pure and authentic.Prices:
ON$41.00750ml
Producer: Kamara Estate
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Montecariano Madonna Biancotext
90PTS

Montecariano Madonna Bianco 2020

Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis wine is deliciously styled with bright, tangy floral fruit that match its introductory nose of jasmine and peach. Surprisingly, it contains 45 percent corvina and corvinone, grapes famous for making Valpolicella red wine, as well as pelara 20%, molinara 20%, and 15 percent other white varieties. The fruit is all pressed off its skins and fermented in stainless steel before four months of ageing and lees stirring. This is a lovely food wine and would be a star on a warm patio all summer. This one is made for the west coast lifestyle.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Montecariano
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Borja Pérez Artifice Vidueñostext
93PTS

Borja Pérez Artifice Vidueños 2020

Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainBorja Pérez is an ex-race car driver-turned winemaker based in the northern part of Tenerife. After his previous high octane career, he decided to take over his family business, creating the critically well-received wine project Ignios. Pérez, however, wanted to make a range of accessible wines under a new label, Artífice, working with local island varieties, and restoring old ungifted vines back to health, organically. These vineyards in Ycoden-Daute-Isora are rooted in ashy / rocky volcanic soils, averaging 800m and climbing to 1400m. Vidueños Blanco blends Albillo, Gual, Marmajuelo, and Listán Blanco from various vineyards, and was native fermented in 500L French oak barrels before ageing in 20hL foudres for 8 months, on lees. Ample flake salts infiltrate this brisk, deeper-hued white, tightly woven with reduction, and shaped by lashes of marine salinity. The lees and large wood lend this an expansive shape, deftly countering the wild oceanic / volcanic character, and guide this through a lingering amply saline end. There's a density here that belies its 12.5%, just adding to the allure. Seek this out.Prices:
BC$55.00750ml
Producer: Borja Pérez
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Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dãotext
92PTS

Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dão 2020

Serra da Estrela, Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalThese 35+ year old vines of Encruzado, Bical and Sercial are rooted in the high altitude granite soils off the Serra da Estrela Mountain, in the village of Vila Nova de Tazém. The wine was native fermented and aged for 1 year in 500L used barrels, and then into stainless for 6 months prior to bottling. Wild herbs, yellow fruits, citrus, almond run the streamlined length of this medium white, finishing with a subtle buzzy hum. Quite complete and compelling.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Fita Preta Brancotext
91PTS

Fita Preta Branco 2021

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalFrom lauded winemaker Antonio Maçanita (2020 winemaker of the year in Portugal), this blend of roupeiro, rabo de ovelha, antão vaz, tamarez, alicante branco, and arinto are sourced from Alentejo's granitic soils, and vines from 30-50 years, up to 400m in altitude. After a native ferment in stainless barrels, this remained there on lees for 6 months prior to bottling. This streamlined base is bedded with stones, supporting tight lemon, quince, green apple and rivets of salinity through the lingering finish. There's a lovely pad of lees to support and welcome protein pairings.Prices:
ON$20.00750ml
BC$37.00750ml
Producer: Fitapreta
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01 March 2023

Megalomaniac Reserve Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Megalomaniac Reserve Pinot Noir 2021

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis Reserve Pinot Noir spent 16 months in French oak barrels. Perfumed black cherry, black raspberry is lit with a tart currant acidity along a silken palate. Tannins are finely sticky / grippy, and acidity is easily lofted, taking this to a spiced finish. Nice polish here, ready for wild mushrooms / duck pizza.Prices:
ON$53.00750ml
Producer: Megalomaniac
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Megalomaniac Pompous Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Megalomaniac Pompous Pinot Noir 2021

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis simple, friendly pinot noir shows tart blackberry, black cherry, crushed florals on a slender palate, with sticky tannins and bright acidity to a shorter finish. An easy red for cracking now.Prices:
ON$20.00750ml
Producer: Megalomaniac
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Pelee Island Reserve Pinot Noirtext
83PTS

Pelee Island Reserve Pinot Noir 2020

Pelee Island, Ontario, CanadaThis youthful pinot was 50% French and European barrel aged for 6 months. It presents quite disjointed, with very tart black fruit and dark cocoa up against a pad of residual sugar, resulting in a pasty, short finish, with a bit of a spritz. Needs work.Prices:
ON$17.45750ml
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
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Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFruit for this Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir comes off Block 100 on the Old Farm, with plantings begun in 1984, and soils of silty clays. This clone 667 fruit was destemmed and fermented in stainless, before aging in European oak (30% new) over 10 months. Tart black and red fruits open this cushy, perfumed medium bodied pinot, with darts of violets and a lingering wild blackberry on the finish. Lovely structure here, welcoming partnering with grilled mushrooms / duck.Prices:
ON$40.00750ml
Producer: Henry of Pelham
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Therianthropy Ruby Woolf Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Therianthropy Ruby Woolf Pinot Noir 2021

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaTherianthropy is the mythical process of shapeshifting, which is another way to view turning nature into wine. This small collaborative project launched in late 2019. This pinot comes from tavistock red phase, toledo loamy phase soils, uncommon in the region. After a cultured native ferment over 3 weeks with 50% whole cluster, this rested in concrete eggs for 7 months without disturbance. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Perfumed raspberry, cherry, and tart rhubarb fill the frame of this slight pinot, with bright acidity, and soft, fine tannins through the gently spiced finish. Very natural and authentic, best taken with a slight chill.Prices:
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: Therianthropy
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Tawse Winery Cherry Ave Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Tawse Winery Cherry Ave Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom their Twenty Mile Bench estate Cherry Avenue Vineyard, planted on loamy clays in 2003. This opens with a deeply spiced nose, including star anise, pine, pipe tobacco, and dark gingerbread which pervade the medium+ wine, scenting black raspberry, dark plum, sarsaparilla. Ample wood tannins are sinewy, and acidity is moderate. There is a lot to unravel in this, so grill up some herbed pork / veg and give it some airtime.Prices:
Producer: Tawse
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Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaThe Vineyard Pinot Noir blends 80% from Churchside vineyard, and 20% from South Clos, destemmed and fermented in large tonneau, then aged in French barrels (10% new). Light and perfumed with red and black cherry, crushed florals, and tart with a snappy red currant acidity, this is framed with fine, sticky tannins and finishes with a gentle baking spice. There's a kiss of VA throughout, which is best handled with a slight chill and some protein.Prices:
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: Closson Chase
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Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noir 2020

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaFrom a site across the road from Closson Chase's home property, this pinot noir was destemmed without crushing and fermented in large tonneau before aging in French barrels (20% new). Tart black currant, perfumed florals and lavender, wet wood is kissed with VA and wrapped with downy tannins through a dusky spiced finish. Crack into this now, with a slight chill.Prices:
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: Closson Chase
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