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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: January 2024

31 January 2024

Church & State Wines Gris de Noirs Bruttext
88PTS

Church & State Wines Gris de Noirs Brut 2020

Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a light blush hue, this pinot noir for this traditional method fizz grows on the silty soils of their Brentwood Bay vineyard, and after moving to bottle for secondary ferment, spent 12 months on lees prior to disgorge. Grated parmesan, wild cherry, red apple is braced with high riffing acidity which carries this savoury fizz to a saline finish. Try with grilled / smoked canapés.Prices:
BC$33.75750ml
Producer: Church & State Winery
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Church & State Wines Blanc de Gris Bruttext
88PTS

Church & State Wines Blanc de Gris Brut 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Brentwood Bay Vineyard, this pinot grow grows on the island's sandy silts, and once in bottle for traditional method ferment, spent 1 year on lees before disgorge. Pear blossom, white peach is kissed with anise, and shaped by a brisk bright acidity, returning to a gentle pear note on the snappy finish. A promising and fresh local choice for brunch / canapés.Prices:
BC$25.75750ml
Producer: Church & State Winery
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Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru XVIIItext
92PTS

Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru XVIII NV

Montagne de Reims, Champagne, FranceBrothers Antoine and Quentin Paillard are 8th generation vine growers and winemakers, carrying on the family tradition along with father Benoit. The Paillard family has been growing vines and making wine in Bouzy since 1768, owning only Grand Cru vineyards with old vines via massale selection (no clones). They are truly a star of the grower champagne movement. Les Parcelles is sourced entirely from their home village of Bouzy and 22 plots of the family's sustainably-farmed vines, now averaging 30+ years. As noted by the XVIII on the label, this is based on the 2018 vintage (70%) and my bottle is a mix of 70/30 pinot noir/chardonnay (the latter an anomaly in PN-centric Bouzy), disgorged in April 2022 after 4 years on lees, and with less than 1 g/L dosage. Red apple, Rainier cherry, and crisp lemon lead, with subtle toast and meringue following close behind. Wet chalk and crushed stones make up the textural base, leading this to a saline / chalky finish. As always with Paillard, a lovely showcase of how PN and Chardy can expertly complement each other.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
ON$73.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Fleurontext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Fleuron 2017

Champagne, FranceFleuron, meaning flagship, was created to capture the spirit of the vintage, and is a blend of all of the tanks in order to best represent the year. This encompasses 5 villages: Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Cuis, and Vertus. After 4 years on lees, this was disgorged in April 2022, with 5 g/L. Lemon meringue, green apple, and chalk are layered throughout this structural wine, lit with a buzzy, smoked lemon acidity, bedded on deep chalk, and boned with chardy's inherent structure. A beauty bottle, and one to keep in mind when you're thinking of the 2017 vintage.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
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Champagne Pierre Paillard La Grande Récolte Bouzy Grand Crutext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Paillard La Grande Récolte Bouzy Grand Cru 2012

Montagne de Reims, Champagne, FranceLa Grande Récolte represents the quintessence of the Paillard's vineyards, sourced from two sites within their top vineyard in their Bouzy homeland. This blends 55% old vine Pinot Noir from a plot called Les Maillerettes, planted in 1970, and 45% Chardonnay from Les Mottelettes, planted in 1961. Both are the mother vines for the massale selections made in house, and both vineyards are a mere 0.8 acres. This was vinified in stainless, and was kept on lees for eight months until bottling the following spring. This rested for 10 years in the deep chalk Paillard cellars, and was disgorged with 1.8 g/L in March 2022. From the excellent 2012 vintage, this is a highly layered and gastronomic champagne, with strata of chalk, lemon, white cherry streaming along the supple palate with a bright lemon acidity, finishing long with ample flake salts.Prices:
ON$128.40750ml
BC$144.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne A. Margaine L'Extra Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne A. Margaine L'Extra Brut NV

Montagne de Reims, Champagne, FranceArnaud Margaine is 5th generation winegrower in the Montagne de Reims, overseeing their sustainable vineyards. This BdB comes from their home village, 1er Cru Villers-Marmery, and parcels Alouettes, Grands Arbres, Chemin de Verzy. The village is a little island of chalky chardonnay in an abundant sea of Pinot Noir. This was fermented in a 67/33 SS/wood mix, with partial MLF, and approximately 20% reserve wines from the previous year. My bottle spent 2 years sur lattes and was disgorged January 2023, with 3.5 g/L. Tight green apple, bright lemon is braced with a chalk corset that beds the wine, and lingers on the saline finish. Really smart, tight winemaking here. 3350 bottles.Prices:
ON$85.00750ml
Producer: Champagne A. Margaine
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Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirs Réservetext
92PTS

Champagne Rémi Leroy Blanc de Noirs Réserve 2018

Côte des Bar, Champagne, FranceRemi Leroy farms 3 of his family's 9 ha in the Aube's Meurville, selling the remaining fruit for additional income, with the goal to use all of the fruit for his non-interventionist label. The only inputs he uses is a small addition of sulphur. This BdN Réserve is entirely pinot noir, native fermented with full MLF, and vinified in stainless. This was disgorged in winter 2021, and was dosed with 1 g/L. There's a lovely spiced cherry note to this salmon hued BdN, intermingling with raspberry, salted stone, orange rind, chalk, and flake salt.Prices:
BC$90.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Rémi Leroy
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Poggio Anima Il Mostro Ragana Biancotext
89PTS

Poggio Anima Il Mostro Ragana Bianco 2021

Abruzzo, ItalyPoggio Anima is a joint project between Toscana's Le Ragnaie, and one of their American importers to highlight different regions and indigenous grapes around Italy. Each cuvée in the colourful series is named for fantastic mythical beasts. This is a certified organic pét-nat of 85% pecorino and 15% chardonnay, from Vasto / Monteodorisio, in Abruzzo, and a site at 280m altitude. Pouring a slight haze, this slight, dry pét-nat streams tight apricot blossoms, pear skin, gooseberry along a light and zippy palate, finishing with pithy white grapefruit. Refreshing and honest.Prices:
ON$24.00750ml
Producer: Poggio Anima
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J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancstext
90PTS

J. M. Sohler Crémant d'Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs NV

Alsace, FranceNow a NV wine, this BdB blends pinot blanc, auxerrois, and 10% chardonnay, with a minimum of 15 months on lees, and is disgorged to order. White blossoms, orchard pear, toasted biscuit, and kisses of anise sail through this bright, dry sparkler, with more impact than its 11.6% would suggest. Quite smart.Prices:
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: J. M. Sohler
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Weingut Loimer Extra Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Weingut Loimer Extra Brut Reserve NV

Kamptal, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaFrom certified biodynamic vineyards in Village sites Langenlois and Gumpoldskirchen, and loess, gneiss, and limestone gravels, this blends 33% Zweigelt, 19% Pinot Noir, 17% Pinot Blanc, 16% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Gris, and 2% St. Laurent, native fermented in stainless, with full MLF. This spent at least 22 months on lees before disgorgement June 2023 with 2 g/L. Crunchy green apple, pear blossom, apricot skin races through this dry, zippy sparkler, with a tart citrus twist on the snappy finish. A lovely fresh aperitif wine.Prices:
ON$44.00750ml
Producer: Weingut Loimer
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High Note Patter Bruttext
87PTS

High Note Patter Brut 2022

British Columbia, CanadaAccording to the winery, musical 'Patter' is about precision, with each note exactly where it should be. The songs are intricate and fast-paced, following the natural ebb and flow of speech. The High Note Patter Brut is a fresh and inviting Prosecco-lookalike with a soft, fruity palate and clean finish. The apple, lemon, red berry mix stems from an 85/15 blend of pinot noir and merlot grown in the south Okanagan. This could be a fun pre-dinner summer sipper.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: High Note
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Unsworth Vineyards Cuvée De L'îletext
90PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Cuvée De L'île 2018

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaCuvée de l'île marks the top of the Unsworth sparkling wine program and a completely different attack than the Charmat-method Charme de L'île. It is all pinot noir and all estate fruit. The first fermentation occurs in neutral French barrels before a three year sleep in the bottle on its lees. The style is bone dry with intense acidity that sets the stage for a tightly drawn Island bubble that craves food. West coast oysters come quickly to mind. The palate is a mix of fresh green apples sprinkled with lemon juice and lime pith before a gentle hazelnut finish. It is interesting now, but it will age well into the 2030s. It is best to cellar this for a minimum of five years.Prices:
BC$50.00750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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30 January 2024

Cappellano Barolo Chinatotext
93PTS

Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV

Serralunga, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyIf you're not familiar with Chinato, you can think of it as a concentrated, herb-infused digestivo version of Barolo. And Barolo's answer to amaro. And also all entirely its own singular thing. Though many producers in Barolo make their own Chinato, Cappellano invented this aromatized wine back in the 1890s, making this the OG. Even today, they keep their recipe all in the family. We do know this blends Cappellano Barolo with neutral spirit that has been soaked in 54 herbs and spices (notably quinine, aka china in Italian, hence the name) plus sugar. Unlike many producers, the base wine is entirely estate, from Cappellano's sustainably farmed, marly soiled vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba, at 300-350m. All spent 42 months in large botti before bottling. It was originally sold as a "medicinal and anti-malaric liniment”, though I prefer to think of it as a killer digestivo. Intoxicatingly complexed from first whiff, with layers of sarsaparilla, spearmint, black liquorice, bittersweet chocolate, iodine, bergamot, star anise, and quinine woven throughout the dried plum and perfumed rose petal base. The sweetness here works to counter the bitter medicinal notes, while the spirit sails this 18% chinato right through whatever is filling your tummy, finishing off with a refreshing and lingering mint. I take this apothocarian elixir at the end of eve with a large cube of ice, though you can hold the open bottle in the fridge easy for a month and enjoy with a slight chill.Prices:
BC$120.00750ml
Producer: Giuseppe Cappellano
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Barbadillo Nave Trinidad Manzanilla en Ramatext
92PTS

Barbadillo Nave Trinidad Manzanilla en Rama NV

Sherry Jerez - Manzanilla, SpainThe Nave Trininad is one of the naves in the bodega El Toro, the first warehouse that Benigno Barbadillo bought when he started his company in 1821. This old school bodega is rectangular-ish in shape, with four independent sections around a central patio. Each of the naves has slightly different ageing conditions, and Trinidad is the one facing towards the sea, influenced by the fresh saline air. It was named Trinidad after one of the ships that were part of Magellan’s expedition around the world. In 2019, in honour of the 500th anniversary of the sailing of the Trinidad from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the solera system in their eponymous bodega was reconfigured to produce this very select Manzanilla, exclusively unblended with wine from other facilities. This is a high-quality youthful Manzanilla, around 4 years of age, and bottled unfiltered (en rama). Fresh and shining with briny and toothsome green olives, marcona almonds, crunchy green apple, and lemon zest, with a herbaceous meadow grass woven throughout, and omnipresent salinity, which lingers on the clean, crisp finish. Beauty freshness throughout this smart wine. Pass the boquerones. *The label is by local artist Marco Oliva, whose father Manolo worked in bodega El Toro.Prices:
BC$22.99375ml
Producer: Bodegas Barbadillo
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29 January 2024

Bachelder Willms Chardonnay Vielles Vignes 1983 Plantingtext
89PTS

Bachelder Willms Chardonnay Vielles Vignes 1983 Planting 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaLike Bai Xu, this comes from old vines planted in the Four Mile Creek sub-region of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This block was planted two years later than Bai Xu, in 1983, and comes across more restrained in style, with a distinctive combination of clementine, lemon, and minty herbs. I'm just looking for more depth on the palate, which is perhaps reflective of the challenging 2021 vintage, as this finishes a touch short and thin. Regardless, this is readily accessible and ready to drink now.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft Chardonnay Parcelle Nordtext
92PTS

Bachelder Wismer-Foxcroft Chardonnay Parcelle Nord 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom the flat, northerly section of Wismer-Foxcroft Vineyard on the Twenty Mile Bench, this shows a beautifully defined nose of honeyed pear, preserved lemon, chamomile, and subtle spice. There's a real tension to the palate, with a precise, linear texture that's backed by impressive fruit concentration and a pithy, sapid finish. This surely needs another 3-4 years in the cellar, but boy it's hard not to enjoy it now.Prices:
ON$47.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Red-Clay Barn Block Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Bachelder Red-Clay Barn Block Chardonnay 2021

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOne of a series of terroir-specific chardonnays Thomas Bachelder released from 2021, this organic Lincoln Lakeshore chardy was planted in 2004 in the red clay, silt, and limestone of historic Grimsby Hillside Vineyard, in the far west of Niagara. Like all of his chardonnays, this was native fermented and rested 20 months, this time in a seasoned puncheon and neutral Burgundian barrels. Quite powerful, this is licked with flint and seasoned with light toast, with green apple, white peach, lemon thistle, anjou pear coursing through the structural, medium palate. Subtly powerful.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Frontier Block Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Bachelder Frontier Block Chardonnay 2021

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOne of a series of terroir-specific chardonnays Thomas Bachelder released from 2021, this organic Lincoln Lakeshore chardy was planted in 2004 in the red clay, silt, and limestone of historic Grimsby Hillside Vineyard, in the far west of Niagara. The Frontier Block is the furthest out, and the topsoil sits above a base of boulders, nestled in the foothill of the Escarpment. Like all of his chardonnays, this was native fermented and rested 20 months, this time in a mix of new, slightly used, and neutral Burgundian barrels. The wood is present here in this youthful wine, supporting the bright lemon, crunchy green apple, perfumed orchard pear ruling the creamy palate. Very structural, this powerful wine lingers with a seashell salinity. Very much in youth, with a long life ahead.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bai Xu Chardonnay Vielles Vignes 1981 Plantingtext
91PTS

Bachelder Bai Xu Chardonnay Vielles Vignes 1981 Planting 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis is sourced from Bai Xu Vineyard in the Four Mile Creek sub-appellation of Niagara-on-the-Lake, planted in 1981 to clone 95. It shows rich, honeyed red apple and lemon curd, with a mealy accent and delicate touch of oak. It's rich, creamy, and textured, yet with good freshness. Savoury and already slightly evolved, this feels like it'll be at its best over the short term, but it makes for quite a satisfying, complex pour now.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bator Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Bachelder Bator Chardonnay 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOne of a series of terroir-specific chardonnays Thomas Bachelder released from 2021, this comes from Four Mile Creek's Bator Vineyard, and its clay loam soils. Approximately 3-4 km from Lake Ontario, this clone 76 chardy was planted in 2005. It was native fermented, and rested 20 months in slightly used Burgundian barrels. Perfumed white fruits, citrus blossoms rule the fleshier chardonnay, lined with flax and lanolin, and brightened with lemon lacing through a saline finish.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Laundry Vineyardtext
90PTS

Bachelder Laundry Vineyard 2021

Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOne of a series of terroir-specific chardonnays Thomas Bachelder released from 2021, this organic Lincoln Lakeshore chardy was planted in 2000 and rooted in sandy clays. Like all of his chardonnays, this was native fermented, and rested 20 months in neutral Burgundian barrels. Highly perfumed with white peach, pear, and lemon over a lees bed of wet stones, finishing with a lemony snap. More primary and direct than his other offerings this year.Prices:
ON$39.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Ivy and Warren Chardonnay Saunders Parcelle Hauttext
92PTS

Bachelder Ivy and Warren Chardonnay Saunders Parcelle Haut 2021

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis is a compelling chardonnay sourced from the Haut, or higher, southerly, portion of Saunders Vineyard on the Beamsville Bench. This shows a combination of zesty lemon, yellow apple, and honeycomb that's lifted by orchard blossoms. The fruit is restrained, yet there's a surprising richness to the palate that's beautifully balanced by a real sense of energy and carried by an undercurrent of chalky minerality to a long, satisfying finish. Certified organic.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield Chardonnay 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaOne of a series of terroir-specific chardonnays Thomas Bachelder released from 2021, Wismer-Wingfield Chardonnay is their latest ripening parcel, furthest from Lake Ontario at 6.8km, and with the highest elevation (169m). These vines were planted in 1999 in magnesium-oxide and dolomitic limestone clays / silts. Like all of his chardonnays, this was native fermented, and this rested 20 months in new, slightly used, and neutral Burgundian barrels. Tight white blossoms, lemon balm and verbena, and green apple roll out along the stony palate, kissed with baby powder on the lightly spice wooded finish. There's a lovely charm and quiet confidence here.Prices:
ON$60.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Hill of Wingfield Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Bachelder Hill of Wingfield Chardonnay 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe 2020 vintage of Hill of Wingfield was one of my favourite wines from last year. It's richer and more opulent in style and, if anything, the 2021 vintage is perhaps pushed a notch too far. The fruit is lifted, honeyed and quite evolved already, though there's no questioning the depth and complexity on display, with a combination of ripe nectarine, baked apple, candied lemon, marzipan, and toasted nuts. There's the fruit concentration to effortlessly carry the more forward oak, at least relative to Bachelder's other chardonnays, leading to a savoury finish with very good length. It's such an impressive, distinctive wine.Prices:
ON$75.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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26 January 2024

Mt. Boucherie Reserve Malbectext
90PTS

Mt. Boucherie Reserve Malbec 2019

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCrafted with fruit from Lazy River Vineyard in the Similkameen, this malbec is pleasantly lighter and fresher in style with 13% abv. It opens with perfumed florals, sandalwood scents, and delicate oak spices on a base of red and dark berries. The tight acidity frames the palate, and ripe yet grippy tannins are wrapped around the juicy fruit. Subtle cracked pepper spiciness and earthy minerality linger on the finish. Just beginning to reveal some tertiary characters, I'm excited to discover how it will evolve in the bottle.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Gérard Bertrand An 1152 Cahors Malbectext
89PTS

Gérard Bertrand An 1152 Cahors Malbec 2020

Sud de France, FranceThis looks to be the first vintage of Cahors for Gerard Bertrand, which follows his acquisition of Domaine de Cause in 2022. It pours a deep inky purple, offering a combination of sweet blackberry, cassis, and boysenberry alongside anise, dried lavender, and gravel. Cahors can often be more structured and rustic than Argentine Malbec, but this strikes a nice balance between the two, with lush, opulent fruit that is balanced by a gravelly minerality and firm-grained tannins that will reward careful cellaring over the next 3-4 years.Prices:
CDN$22.99750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Catena Malbec High Mountain Vinestext
90PTS

Catena Malbec High Mountain Vines 2020

Mendoza, ArgentinaA blend of three high mountain Mendoza vineyards: Lunlunta at 920m; El Cepillo, Eugenio Bustos at 1,090m; and Gualtallary at 1,450m. The fruit is fermented with ambient yeast, followed by an extended maceration lasting 19-22 days before being barreled down for 8 months. This shows dark, brambly fruit coated with chocolate, dried violets, and spice. There's a good balance between fruit ripeness and freshness, with suave tannins and a juicy quality that carries the medium-long finish. Excellent value.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
AB$23.95750ml
MB$24.00750ml
ON$21.00750ml
NB$25.29750ml
PEI$24.85750ml
NF$26.25750ml
NS$25.80750ml
Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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Francois Lurton L'Esprit de Chacayestext
93PTS

Francois Lurton L'Esprit de Chacayes 2022

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaChacayes takes its name from the small jackals that roam the Andean plateaus, and this is the Mendoza property's flagship red. It opens with floral violet and fresh black cherry. The attack is similar, with crunchy cranberries flecked with orange and more spice in the aftermath. Rich, mouthfilling, and complex, this is a great cheese wine that will be a great storyteller in the coming years.Prices:
BC$43.99750ml
Producer: Francois Lurton
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Luca Old Vine Malbectext
92PTS

Luca Old Vine Malbec 2020

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe Luca wines are Dr. Laura Catena's passion, and named after her son. Laura has been instrumental in pushing to make small quantities of terroir-based wine as a natural extension of Catena's years of research into Mendoza's high-altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley. In 2020, the fruit was 50% Altamira and San Carlos, and 50% Gualtallary, Tupungato, all hand-harvested, aged 14 months in 40% new French oak, and 60% used barrels and stainless steel. You can expect a rich, dense red, inky purple and youthful, brimming with blueberries, and streaked with notes of coffee and cocoa with high-altitude bright acidity. A well made malbec with a long future in front of it.Prices:
BC$42.99750ml
AB$37.99750ml
Producer: Luca Winery
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25 January 2024

Johannes Zillinger Parcellaire Rouge #1text
88PTS

Johannes Zillinger Parcellaire Rouge #1 2021

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics, as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. Parcellaire Rouge #1 blends 62% cabernet franc with syrah, with the former whole bunch fermented in amphoras and then pressed and matured in 500L barrels. The syrah is macerated briefly and then pressed and fermented in older barrels and aged for 10 months. These two lots were blended 2 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered, and with no added SO2. Downy plums, tart cassis and lightly smoked stones are woven throughout this compact, lighter bodied red, with a slight spritz on the palate, and lightly furry tannins framing. The mouthwatering finish lingers with a dusting of black pepper. Pretty raw and quite pure, this could suit a hearty roast root veg dish, or some rustic charcuterie.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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Johannes Zillinger Parcellaire Blanc #1text
90PTS

Johannes Zillinger Parcellaire Blanc #1 2021

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics (now Demeter certified), as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. Parcellaire Blanc No.1 is equal parts Chardonnay and Welschriesling with the latter whole cluster fermented in qvevri on the skins, then pressed and matured in 500 litre oak barrels. The Chardonnay is pressed whole cluster and fermented and aged in Acacia barrels for 8 months under naturally occurring flor. They are blended 1 month prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered. Quite natural up front, with a sharp orange oil / bergamot twist leading into a lean palate of wild pear, ale, tangerine, marcona almonds and a riffing salinity that sails through the end. Very clean and straight, try pairing this with fragrant Korean / Japanese soups.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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JZ. Revolution Pink Soleratext
88PTS

JZ. Revolution Pink Solera NV

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics (Demeter certified), as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. Pink Solera blends approximately 50% Rösler from 2019, 40% Syrah from 2018 and 2019, and 10% St. Laurent from 2016-18. The Rösler is whole cluster pressed, fermented into stainless steel for fermentation, then matured in old 500L oak barrels. Syrah is whole berry fermented and matured in 500L oak. A portion of the St. Laurent solera is blended in for nuanced character. The blend is then aged on lees with full MLF, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, with no sulfur added. Pouring a hazy light crimson, this rosé is tart with rhubarb and early raspberry, subtle florals, and stony spice on a bright, slight 11.5% palate. The brief finish trails with peonies and light pink pepper. Certainly natural, and a curious experiment.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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Johannes Zillinger Numen Fume Blanctext
91PTS

Johannes Zillinger Numen Fume Blanc 2020

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics (now Demeter certified), as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. Numen is the top tier of Zillinger's wines, referring to metaphysical activity, and are highly non-interventionist. This old-vine sauvignon blanc comes from highly ripened grapes on loess / limestone / sandstone at 250m, and was destemmed and left uncrushed in Georgian qvevri for 2 weeks before pressing and fermenting in older 700L oak and acacia barrels over 16 months on lees. This was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with no SO2. Pouring a slightly hazy golden hue, this teems bergamot, pekoe, tangerine oil, and apricot along a taut, tight palate. Sleek and clean, there is slight riff of smoked stony textural intrigue here, hinting at the time in qvevri, finishing with a bright salinity. Quite distinct.Prices:
BC$58.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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JZ. Revolution White Soleratext
89PTS

JZ. Revolution White Solera NV

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics (Demeter certified), as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. The White Solera is roughly 50% Chardonnay from 2019, 25% Riesling from 2013-2019, and 25% Scheurebe from 2017 and 2018. The Scheurebe was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless; Chardonnay is fermented on its skins in Georgian qvevri amphorae; and the Riesling solera is the oldest and contributes the greater character and complexity to this cuvée year after year. All of the wine was aged on lees before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, with no SO2 added. Pouring a slightly hazy hue, this highly natural wine streams salinity, meadow grasses, yellow apple, Anjou pear along a slight palate, with a gentle riffing texture to remind you of the depth of time that came before. Certainly distinct, with layers of flavour that may help with tricky food pairings.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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JZ. Revolution Red Soleratext
87PTS

JZ. Revolution Red Solera NV

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhen Johannes took over the family's 350 year old organic Weinviertel winery in 2013, he began practicing biodynamics (Demeter certified), as well as introducing soleras, Qvevri, and skin contact white wines. Red Solera blends Cabernet sauvignon from 2017, Rösler from a solera stretching back to 2016, and Zweigelt from 2019. Each year the Rösler receives a short maceration during fermentation before being combined in large old oak barrels for maturation. The Zweigelt is also briefly macerated before maturing in 500L oak. However, the cabernet sauvignon sees a long maceration as it ferments in 1000L terracotta amphorae. This is bottled unfined and unfiltered with no added SO2. Crunchy plum and downy raspberry flood this juicy, lighter, quite raw red, with tannins replaced by a slight tug of age, leading this to a brief, lightly spiced finish. Certainly natural, this could well suit a lighter roasted veg / mushroom dish.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Johannes Zillinger
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23 January 2024

François Pinon Vouvray Sectext
92PTS

François Pinon Vouvray Sec 2020

Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, FranceFrançois, a former child psychologist, took over the Vallée de Cousse, Vouvray estate from his father in 1987, and is now joined by his son, Julien (8th generation). The vineyards are dedicated to organic viticulture and minimal intervention vinification. These vines are rooted in clay over limestone, and were native fermented over 3 months, stopped with a chill, and transferred to old barrels to age 5 months on lees. Though certainly sec (dry), this has a bump of 8 g/L RS ably balanced out by chenin's racy acidity. Bright tangerine, mandarin, pear streak along the palate, cushioned with a generous sheen of lees over a bed of river stones. Lovely balance and flow here, and a beauty welcome into Vouvray.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: François Pinon
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Visintini Friulanotext
89PTS

Visintini Friulano 2020

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyThe Visintini estate, once the location for the Castle of Gramogliano, has been in the family since 1884, and has a history dating back to 1290. Located on the hills south of the DOC Friuli Colli Orientali area, this estate rests on the border with DOC Collio, and alongside the provinces of Udine and Gorizia. Today siblings Oliviero, Cinzia, and Palmira farm and produce all the wines organically / biodynamically. This friulano was done entirely in stainless, to preserve freshness. Crunchy pear, white grapefruit, almond blossom shines on this sleek, medium bodied palate, tightened with tart lemon verbena, and finishing with river stones on a humming finish. Lovely freshness and purity here, and one to pour alongside fresh green veg dishes / spring risotto.Prices:
BC$31.00750ml
Producer: Visintini
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Château Dereszla Tokaji Furminttext
88PTS

Château Dereszla Tokaji Furmint 2022

HungaryThis is a floral, dry white with high acidity and petrol-like TDN notes akin to dry riesling or Hunter Valley sémillon. Yet, sweet citrus, volcanic minerality, and subtle green herbal nuances set it apart. Good value, and an interesting wine to try.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
Producer: Château Dereszla
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Clos Lentiscus Perill Blanc Àmfora Xarellotext
88PTS

Clos Lentiscus Perill Blanc Àmfora Xarello 2020

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThis is 1938-planted Xarel-lo from El Buschet vineyard, in the mineral-laden Garraf Mountains sub zone. After picking and leaving with stems on skins for 15 days, this spends 6 months in amphora before a light filtration and bottling. Bright and tart with tangerine, kumquat, and crunchy Asian pear along a slight 12% palate, lightly gripped by skins through a brief, astringent finish. Quite natural and pure expression of the grape.Prices:
ON$46.00750ml
Producer: Clos Lentiscus
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Tocco Capostazione Passerinatext
90PTS

Tocco Capostazione Passerina 2022

Abruzzo, ItalyTocco was founded in 1981 by Enisio Tocco, in the hills of Pescara, in Alanno, on the Adriatic coast. His sons Lorenzo and Danilo joined him in 2014 after studying and working abroad. Their 34 hectares (half dedicated to vines) is certified organic. This passerina was pergola trained, and native fermented and rested in stainless. Fragrant lemon blossom, crunchy Anjou pear, lemon verbena is kissed with fresh green herbs, and finish with a salted grapefruit twist. Shining and bright, this is a winner with green salads / vegetable dishes.Prices:
ON$24.00750ml
Producer: Tocco
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Ciù Ciù Merlettaie Pecorinotext
90PTS

Ciù Ciù Merlettaie Pecorino 2022

Marche, ItalyMerlettaie means lace, and the name of this wine pays homage to the lace workers of Offida, characteristic of these hills much like the Pecorino grape. From organic vineyards in Offida and Acquaviva Picena, at 280m, this was native fermented and aged in 25hL Slavonian oak barrels over a period of 8-10 weeks, where it remained for 6 months on lees prior to bottling. Floral pear, almond blossom, white honey rule this medium bodied wine, shining with a pink grapefruit acidity which lingers on the buzzy finish. Lovely bright freshness here, and a natural partner for spring salads / risotto.Prices:
ON$25.00750ml
Producer: Ciù Ciù
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Azores Wine Co. Arinto dos Açorestext
92PTS

Azores Wine Co. Arinto dos Açores 2022

PortugalArinto dos Açores is a unique grape native to the Azores, unrelated to mainland Portugal's Arinto. These vines are planted in the rock cracks at the foothills of the volcanic mountain, almost touching the ocean. The vineyards are protected from the strong salty marine breezes by rock walls known as currais. This was native fermented in stainless, where it remained until bottling. Tight, bright, and crunchy with Asian pear, green apple, and hedgerow, lightly lined with stony lees through a super saline finish. Not shy on acid, this arrow of a wine sings of the windy, volcanic Pico.Prices:
ON$51.00750ml
Producer: Azores Wine Co.
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Château Dereszla Tokaji Furminttext
88PTS

Château Dereszla Tokaji Furmint 2022

HungaryThis is a lime-driven furmint, accented by white grapefruit and lemon blossom, with subtle residual sweetness that is balanced by crisp acidity and perceptible effervescence. The fruit is clean and pure, with a textured palate that shows a level of concentration that belies the modest price tag. Excellent value, to be sure, even if the dollop of aromatic varieties in the blend steers this away from a classic expression of furmint.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
Producer: Château Dereszla
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Fontanafredda Briccotonda Arneistext
88PTS

Fontanafredda Briccotonda Arneis 2021

Piedmont, ItalyItaly is the theme of next month’s wine festival, and arneis is one of its grapes that deserves more attention. The grapes are picked, pressed, and fermented before aging briefly in stainless steel for 4-5 months. There is no malolactic fermentation to keep it fresh and bright. The palate is a mix of exotic fruit, honey, and pears that slide down easily. It is a versatile food wine with seafood hors-d’oeuvres, or assorted pasta dishes.Prices:
BC$17.99750ml
Producer: Fontanafredda
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Amulet Roussannetext
91PTS

Amulet Roussanne 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata Bench's Quail on the Rail vineyard, this roussanne was whole cluster pressed and settled 12 hours before moving to French oak (35% new barriques and the rest neutral puncheons) for a slow fermentation and full MLF. This remained on lees for 9 months with no bâtonnage before heading to bottle unfined and unfiltered. Pouring a deeper yellow hue, this full bodied white rolls across the palate with cascades of perfumed honeysuckle, fragrant peach, ripe apricot, and potpourri spicing. There's a rod of potent lemon verbena giving backbone, and a lovely dusting of white pepper stringing out the finish. Not a shy wine, but an impressively powerful one.Prices:
BC$34.69750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Unsworth Vineyards Wild Island Auxerroistext
90PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Wild Island Auxerrois 2022

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Cowichan Valley's Zanatta vineyard, this was native fermented and rested 8 months in neutral French oak. The wee bump of RS is wiped out entirely by the crisp marine acidity, leaving pear blossoms, crunchy Asian pear, subtle melon, and a dusting of ginger spice. The time in neutral wood well suits this, gently softening the edges while providing a lightly spiced depth. Distinctly Wine Islands, this aromatic white is a light bodied charmer.Prices:
BC$28.90750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Artemis Karamolegos 34text
93PTS

Artemis Karamolegos 34 2021

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This comes from very old assyrtiko vines (some of the oldest on the island), partially native fermented (10% in oak), where it remains for 8 months on lees. Streaked with salinity, this electric wine streams along the palate with quince, lemon rind, yellow plum and white grapefruit, finishing long with more alluring salinity. Very striking, drinking beautifully now, and with future age.Prices:
ON$63.00750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Unsworth Vineyards Wild Island Auxerroistext
90PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Wild Island Auxerrois 2022

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaIn a world of cheap white wine, many with zero provenance, the Unsworth Auxerrois brings a little sanity to the picture. The even better news is it is less aggressive in terms of acid than many Island whites, lending it a more mainstream appearance. The vines were planted in the early 1990s at Zanatta vineyard, and they have been singing for two decades. Only a few barrels are made, but the bottle is worth pursuing. The wine is fermented wild and pitches plenty of inviting ripe melon. The palate is a mix of melons and yellow fruits with the perfect level of acidity that is almost soft without inhibiting the freshness of the wine. This is a terrific wine to pair with spaghetti and fresh butter clams, or a Margherita pizza. Ready to drink.Prices:
BC$28.90750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Olivier Coste Orange Startext
80PTS

Olivier Coste Orange Star 2022

Faugères, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceAs you can assume from the name, and the glowing orange hue, Orange Star is an organic skin contact blend of 90% Muscat à Petits Grains and 10% Grenache Gris from their Faugères estate, with 7 days’ maceration before blending and a 6 month stint in stainless. Tight and zippy, with grapefruit, Asian pear and pear blossom before a pithy finish. My bottle was pretty mousey, which is unfortunate, as this was promising. Better luck next vintage.Prices:
ON$22.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Montrose
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Artemis Karamolegos Terra Nera Assyrtikotext
90PTS

Artemis Karamolegos Terra Nera Assyrtiko 2022

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceArtemis Karamolegos is one of the most dynamic wineries on the unique island of Santorini. Led by his grandfather, who started making wine and cultivating vines as a hobby in the 1950s, Artemis founded the winery in 2004. They own just over 3ha of vineyards (some over 100 years old) across Pyrgos, Megalorchori, Exo Gonia, Akrotiri and Fira, and have long term contracts to farm another 5 hectares. This 'entry level' Assyrtiko comes from relatively young vines, averaging only 50 years, from lower altitude vineyards. It was fermented and aged in stainless, on lees, for 6 months. Crystalline lemon, quince, green apple, pink grapefruit flood the bright, medium-bodied white, with nice grippy saline-swept tension. Smart, friendly, charming marine white.Prices:
ON$35.00750ml
Producer: Artemis Karamolegos
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Winemaker's Cut Grüner Veltlinertext
90PTS

Winemaker's Cut Grüner Veltliner 2022

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt Winemaker’s Cut, the Bohemian tier is dedicated to wines that exemplify their unique South Okanagan terroir and a self-described unconventional winemaking style. The fruit is grown north of Oliver in the south Okanagan Valley on sandy loam and gravel, and this 1 acre plot was planted in 2009. The wine is fermented in 50% Slovakian oak for 41 days. The nose is fresh with green peach and pear that spills onto a lively palate of citrus, white pepper, and a refreshing, uplifting mineral character. Tempura dishes are a perfect match. Production is far too low at 150 cases.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Amulet Roussannetext
90PTS

Amulet Roussanne 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe nose is awash in floral notes and desert undertones, while the palate is led by apricots, honey, and white fruits with a dusting of spice. As rich as it is, it is relatively dry and well-suited to ageing. If you are unaware of complex white wines, this is one to get to know. The fruit is whole cluster pressed and settled for 12 hours before moving to French barrels (35% new 225L barriques and 65% neutral 300L hogshead barrels) for a slow fermentation. In all, it aged nine months on its lees with zero stirring. This needs time to go the distance, but should peak near 2027.Prices:
BC$34.69750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Van Westen Vineyards Vivacioustext
89PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Vivacious 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot Blanc is having a moment in BC, and Vivacious is one of the reasons why. There is a splash of pinot gris in the mix, all coming off the rocky estate of Homelot vineyard above Naramata Road. It’s fermented in a mixture of tank and barrel, with partial malolactic juice mixed with lees contact juice, which enriches and adds complexity. An exotic orange current in the finish marks fresh red apple and pear. Clean, fresh, and delicious, this is a stylish food wine from the Naramata Bench.Prices:
BC$22.50750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Vig Ambertext
89PTS

Vig Amber 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPenelope and Dylan Roche, owners of Naramata-based Roche wines, have launched a collection of labels tagged Vig (that’s short for vigneron or winegrower), which collaborates with renowned Canadian artists known for their bold style. The Roches asked each artist to create a label that illustrates their sensory experiences when tasting the wine. This orange wine (aka Amber) is organic Naramata gewürztraminer, partially skin fermented for 5 months. After aging in stainless, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Pouring a slightly hazy amber hue, this is teeming with mandarin pith and peel, apricot skin, cantaloupe, and perfumed peach blossom, all nicely balanced by a riffing texture, astringent citrus, and finishing with bergamot tea. Nice balance and harmony here. Drinking now, with salty bites.Prices:
BC$32.00750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Trimbach Gewürztraminer Réservetext
91PTS

Trimbach Gewürztraminer Réserve 2016

Alsace, FranceA family business since 1626, brothers Pierre and Jean Trimbach are currently overseeing the house. This Réserve Gewürztraminer is not made every year, but only when conditions merit. This is compact and dense with white grapefruit, mandarin, dried apricot, and a sheen of white honey that lines the fuller, luxuriant palate. Appearing just-off dry, there is a wave of bright citrus acidity that carries this through a star anise finish. A lovely pour with older Gouda-style cheeses.Prices:
BC$57.99750ml
Producer: F.E.Trimbach
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Terravista Albariñotext
91PTS

Terravista Albariño 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis albariño is estate grown on Lone Hand Ranch on the Naramata Bench. The fruit is picked in 2 lots, whole cluster pressed and fermented dry in stainless steel. This mouthwatering white, rich in juicy grapefruit and lime, will scour your palate clean. You can go two ways with this wine: the like-like match is a ceviche dish; the opposite would be a creamy, cheesy pasta dish.Prices:
BC$31.00750ml
Producer: Terravista Vineyards
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Unwinder Ehrenfelsertext
88PTS

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards The Unwinder Ehrenfelser 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a fruit-driven, off-dry white that combines lime, honeydew, and white peach with delicate white blossoms. It's made in an easy drinking style that is well suited to poolside, or even an ice cube or two. Well made and fairly priced.Prices:
BC$20.50750ml
Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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22 January 2024

Alheit Vineyards Cartologytext
91PTS

Alheit Vineyards Cartology 2020

Western Cape, South AfricaChris Alheit is one of South Africa's top winemakers and old vine rescuers, working closely with the Old Vine Project to preserve the country's OV heritage, and making expressive wines of place, like this. This is the cuvée that first propelled Alheit Vineyards and Chris (aka Butch) into the stratosphere, and recent releases (watch for the 2021 on shelves now) are most definitely still on point. From the same vineyard building blocks as the inaugural vintage, this blend of old vine 90/10 chenin blanc / sémillon (the latter from 1 old Franschhoek vineyard) streams wild herbs, lemon verbena, white blossoms, and flax along a textural, saline palate, finishing with a savoury, stony finish. A ZA old vine classic.Prices:
BC$60.00750ml
ON$60.00750ml
QC$60.00750ml
Producer: Alheit Vineyards
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2022

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of 71% sauvignon blanc and 29% sémillon, this Bordeaux-style white blend highlights the varietal characters of both grapes, offering citrus freshness and herbal sappiness on the nose. The palate reveals a nice balance of lemony fruit and well-integrated subtle oak spices, accented by distinct saline minerality. Aged in barrels for 9 months on the lees, it imparts added creamy textural elements and a lingering savoury finish.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
91PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2022

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis 71/29 blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon comes from Whispered Secret and Les Collines Vineyards in Keremeos. The juice was barrel fermented in French puncheons using ambient yeast, and then aged for nine months on its lees. It's restrained and elegant, with a combination of white grapefruit and lemon that beautifully reflects the more moderate 2022 vintage, all lifted by perfumed honeysuckle and sagebrush aromatics. Textured and precise, with excellent concentration and tension, this needs another few years in bottle to really show its potential. Incredible value, once again.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
92PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2022

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTheir flagship white wine, 2021 Capella 2022 blends 71% sauvignon blanc with 29% sémillon, from two Keremeos vineyards (no Oliver fruit this year). Each block was picked and fermented separately, crushed and destemmed and cold soaked on skins for 3 hours before a partial native ferment in French puncheons, with 10% of barrels undergoing MLF. All lots were aged for 9 months with bâtonnage prior to final blending. Though the sauvignon is naturally up front and present, with its shining white grapefruit, bright lemon, and crunchy gooseberry, it's the sémillon that seals this wine for me, with a slippery, oily undercurrent drawing dried sage, verbena, and kisses of anise through the lingering stony finish. Lovely balance throughout this young wine, drinking smartly now and with cellaring.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2022

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere is a reason why we mention the consistency from year to year with Capella. It is consistently well made. Capella is the flagship Clos du Soleil white, and in 2022, the blend is 71/29 sauvignon blanc / sémillon in what the older crowd would know as a classic Bordeaux mix. Not surprisingly, the palate is lively, pitching lemons, grapefruit and gooseberry dusted in the Similkameen's secret sauce: desert sagebrush. Elegant and drinkable now with fresh oysters, clams, or mussels. The fruit comes from Whispered Secret Vineyard, Keremeos (Sauvignon Blanc); and Les Collines Vineyard, Keremeos (Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon). Each vineyard block was separately harvested by hand, and the grapes were gently crushed and destemmed, cold-soaked on the skins for 3 hours, and then fermented entirely in French oak puncheons, with the majority undergoing only wild, spontaneous fermentation. Ten percent of the barrels were also allowed to undergo wild malolactic fermentation. It was aged for nine months on the lees, with stirring. The final wine was created by blending the best barrel lots.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Catena Alta Lujan de Cuyo White Claytext
90PTS

Catena Alta Lujan de Cuyo White Clay 2022

Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaA 60/40 blend of sémillon and chenin blanc from Luján de Cuyo (950m elevation), this seamlessly combines both varieties with an attractive nose of honeyed white peach, lemon, and lanolin. The palate is precise and textured, with concentration that is above the norm, leading to a balanced, chalky finish. A distinctive wine, and a worthwhile discovery.Prices:
BC$30.99750ml
AB$26.99750ml
Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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19 January 2024

Bachelder Beam City Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Bachelder Beam City Pinot Noir 2021

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaA village blend from three parcels in Beamsville, this shows pure, perfumed raspberry and cherry with an appealing sappy edge and dusty spices. Quite fine with real verve and concentration, this is a fantastic entry point to Beamsville pinot.Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Old Eastern Block Pinot Noir Lowrey Vineyardtext
92PTS

Bachelder Old Eastern Block Pinot Noir Lowrey Vineyard 2021

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis is from the oldest block at Lowrey Vineyard, planted in 1984 and 1988 on St. David's Bench, not far from the Niagara River. The 2021 vintage is perhaps the most savoury expression of Old Eastern Block that I've tried, ferrous and wild, with dusty, dried rose petals and anise, alongside subdued fruit that ranges from blood orange to pomegranate. Well structured with excellent freshness, this shows Niagara-on-the-Lake pinot at its best.Prices:
ON$75.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Ivy and Warren Pinot Noir Saunder Parcelle Bastext
92PTS

Bachelder Ivy and Warren Pinot Noir Saunder Parcelle Bas 2021

Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe vines are grown on the Beamsville Bench and were planted in 2014 and 2011. Batchelder has the lock on ethereal and manages to stay out of the way of most wines he makes. Indeed, this Saunders Vineyard pinot wafts into your senses both on the nose and the palate, pitching subtle red berry with an underlying flinty, mineral, earthy carriage that runs from start to finish. The texture is sublime, silky, silty, and supremely balanced. The flavours are marginally more aggressive, offering dried red fruits and more complex herbals. Bacheldor says "Saunders Vineyard [exhibits the] Lake-effect and Bench-effect at once! In Niagara, the curves of the bench sometimes draw close to the lake - and sometimes don't! Saunders IS Bench, but it IS also closer to the Lake than any other bench site... and thus, is warmer fleshier Bench!" I thought Beaune was in the front, and Nuits-Saint-Georges was in the back. This is a winner. After indigenous yeast ferment and complete malolactic fermentation, it spends 20 months in used and neutral Burgundian coopered oak (second and third use).Prices:
ON$49.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wild West End Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Bachelder Wild West End Pinot Noir 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis comes from the far wild west end of Wismer-Parke vineyard, in Niagara's Twenty Mile Bench. Still from the same reddish magnesium-oxide clay soils with a solid silt and dolomitic limestone component as the Wismer-Parke Pinot, this was planted in 1999 to a mystery clone. It was native fermented before resting 20 months in 2nd, 3rd, and neutral Burgundian barrels. Crushed leaves, forest floor, fresh and dried cherries, fragrant raspberry, is woven with smouldering ferrous notes, and framed with downy soft tannins through a lingering sarsaparilla / black peppercorn finish. A sultry, savoury viewpoint of Wismer-Parke.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Wismer-Parke Pinot Noirtext
93PTS

Bachelder Wismer-Parke Pinot Noir 2021

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThis pinot was planted in 1999 (clones 115 and 667) to Wismer-Parke's reddish magnesium oxide rich silts, clays, and limestone, facing north on a slight downhill slope. After a native ferment, this rested 20 months in lightly used and neutral Burgundian barrels. Alluring wild raspberry, forest floor, red florals, and smouldering smoked stone / ferrous notes course throughout this darker shaded pinot, all buoyed by an easy lifted acidity, and shaped by long, suave tannins. The finish lingers with crushed pink peppercorns and more red florals. A very elegant example, and one ready for your top truffled risotto / duck breast.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noirtext
93PTS

Bachelder Hanck Pinot Noir 2021

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." This vintage has even more of a ferrous, mineral edge, with wild raspberry and strawberry that's nicely framed by a touch of toasty new wood. Beautifully structured and concentrated, this is everything you want in Escarpment pinot.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
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 2021

St David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThese pinot vines were planted between 1988-1993 in St. David's Bench Lowrey Vineyard, rooted in a band of clay/loam soils overtop a limestone base. It was native fermented and then aged 20 months in slightly used and neutral Burgundian barrels. Forest moss, wild cherry, black raspberries are kissed with anise and red florals, while fine, long tannins frame this bright pinot through the peppery finish. Not the prettiest pinot, but full of charm.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Patte Rouge Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Bachelder Patte Rouge Pinot Noir 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaKnown as Red Paw when it was owned by Coyote's Run, this is the last release of Patte Rouge for Bachelder, after the vineyard was pulled out following a tough winter in 2022. Even at 11.5% abv you feel the warmth of this Four Mile Creek vineyard, with a lifted nose of wild raspberries and brambles accented by rose bush and allspice. It's a pure, complex wine that's distinctive and captivating, carried by fine, supple tannins and a lovely verve and freshness that belies the perceived fruit ripeness. Drinking well now and best enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.Prices:
ON$45.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Bachelder Bator Old Vines Pinot Noir 2021

Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaFrom Four Mile Creek's Bator Vineyard, 3-4km from Lake Ontario, this clone 375 pinot was planted in 2003 and 2014 in clay and sandy loams. After a native ferment this rested 20 months in 3rd use Burgundian barrels. Smouldering smoked cherry, black raspberry, autumnal forest floor, and suede rule this fuller, broody pinot, feeling quite the clay at present. A thankful wave of cranberry-tinged acidity props this up, and welcomes tomato / mushroom ragu.Prices:
ON$55.95750ml
Producer: Mary et Thomas Delaney-Bachelder et Filles
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18 January 2024

Familia Monje Amestoy Biga de Luberri Crianzatext
89PTS

Familia Monje Amestoy Biga de Luberri Crianza 2019

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 Tempranillo spent one year in American and French oak. The wood is certainly felt in this fuller red, with ample toast and vanilla scenting the ripe black cherry, dense raspberry on the compact palate. Tannins are ample and mostly well-integrated at this stage, leaving a sticky tug on the spiced finish. A classic to partner with lamb shank / roasted root veg.Prices:
ON$27.00750ml
Producer: Familia Monje Amestoy
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Bodega Peique Mencíatext
89PTS

Bodega Peique Mencía 2021

Bierzo, Castilla-Leon, SpainBodegas Peique is a family winery currently owned and operated by Luis and Sagrario Peique and their children. The winery, which is located in Valtuille de Abajo, Bierzo, emerged in 1999 as a joint partnership of three generations of the Peique family, whose winemaking dates back to 1912. The current winemaker is Jorge Peique; Mar Peique serves as General Manager. Their vineyards are almost 100 years old and are planted with Godello and Mencía. This Mencía comes from 45-55 year old vines, at 450-500m. It was fermented and briefly in stainless, to preserve the bright, fresh, fragrant and wild black fruit. After a swing of reduction, this moves into cassis, black plum, cracked peppercorn, and a medicinal blackberry note, all framed by sticky tannins through an herbal, green branch finish. Nice 13% freshness makes this particularly food friendly with grilled veg / lamb sausages.Prices:
ON$20.00750ml
Producer: Bodega Peique
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Torres Celeste Crianza Montreal Editiontext
90PTS

Torres Celeste Crianza Montreal Edition 2020

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThis tempranillo, from 40+ year old vines and high altitude vineyards in Ribera del Duero, takes its name from the celestial heavens, seemingly within reach from the 895m high vineyard. From this site, far away from lights and habituation, Miguel Torres Jr has said, “You can almost touch the stars.” After a stainless ferment, this tempranillo was transferred to French and American oak (10-15% new) for one year. Ripe and fleshy blackberry, black plum, and cassis flood this juicy, full-bodied red, scented with scrubby desert herbs and licked with wild mint. Tannins are dense and subtly sticky but well absorbed in the 14% density here, finishing with a dusting of black pepper. Drinking well now and is ideally suited to roast lamb/sausage.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
AB$28.99750ml
MB$29.99750ml
QC$20.95750ml
QC$39.201500ml
NB$29.99750ml
NFL$29.99750ml
Producer: Familia Torres
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Bodegas Portia Roble Ribera del Duerotext
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Bodegas Portia Roble Ribera del Duero 2020

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainA bold nose of dark wild berries with generous barrel influence overpowers the fruit at this stage, leading to a rustic frame with drying, gritty tannins. There's a lot of wine here for the price, though it seems more aspirational at this stage.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Familia Martinez Zabala
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Faustino Rioja Organictext
88PTS

Faustino Rioja Organic 2019

Rioja, SpainThis shows a more fruit-driven side of Rioja, perhaps with more emphasis on grape (100% tempranillo) than place, with a combination of ripe strawberry and red cherry that's lifted by perfumed roses. Correct, well-made, and certified organic to boot.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Familia Martinez Zabala
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Campo Viejo Gran Reservatext
90PTS

Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2016

Rioja, SpainShowing a medium garnet hue, this matured Rioja Gran Reserva has been aged for over 7 years. Oak notes of vanillin, dill, and coconut dominate the nose and palate, yet are not overpowering. There's a surprising amount of youthful fruitiness with plum and red cherry, layered with tertiary notes of dried cranberries, leather, and tobacco. It presents a nice complexity, highlighting freshness and lightness rather than sheer power. Savoury and earthy, it's a traditional Rioja with good drinkability.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
MB$34.99750ml
ON$30.99750ml
NF$36.55750ml
Producer: Campo Viejo
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Conde Bel Rioja Crianzatext
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Conde Bel Rioja Crianza 2018

Rioja, SpainBel comes from the Akkadian Word belu, meaning Lord or Master. Here it refers to Bel being the lord or master of a particular place : Rioja. This Crianza blends 80% tempranillo with 20% garnacha from north-facing vineyards in Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Orientale, in the foothils of the Sierra de la Demanda. The destemmed fruit was aged in medium toast American and French barrels for 14 months, with racking every 4 months to facilitate filtration. Plump morello cherry, black raspberry, floods a juicy palate, framed by well-integrated, lightly toasted wood tannins, and finishing with a tart cherry and lingering mixed baking spice. A modern, fresh, approachable update to a classic. Lamb burgers calling.Prices:
BC$22.49750ml
Producer: Bodegas Franco - Espanolas
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15 January 2024

Frind Estate Winery Viogniertext
88PTS

Frind Estate Winery Viognier 2022

British Columbia, CanadaA fresher, drier style makes this a more attractive viognier from the get-go. The aroma is a mix of floral green and yellow fruits. Clean green melon and light apricot mark the mid-palate, with a medium, short, clean finish. This is best with food, and the winery suggests seared scallops with mango salsa, or grilled pesto prawns.Prices:
BC$25.99750ml
Producer: Frind Estate
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Amulet Whitetext
89PTS

Amulet White 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Amulet White blends 61% viognier (from Naramata Bench), 29% viognier (from Penticton), and 10% Marsanne (Penticton), all whole cluster pressed and left to chill for 48 hours prior to moving into French barrels (10% new) for a long, cool fermentation and full MLF. After 6 months rest on lees, this was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Highly perfumed with apricots, lime blossoms, talc powder, honeysuckle, and white peach which carries onto the expansive palate, studded with gingersnap and seasoned with light toast. Very harmonious, and if you're looking for a richer aromatic white blend, seek this out. The Diam10 cork suggested it will last quite a while in your cellar.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Church & State Wines Trebellatext
88PTS

Church & State Wines Trebella 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn a nod to the Rhône, Trebella blends near equal parts roussanne, marsanne, and viognier from the sandy gravels of Coyote Bowl Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. This rested 8 months in French oak. Ripe and decadent, with ample buttery toast, fragrant spicing, lush peach and apricot, and muskmelon, trailing off into bitter lime pith and peel. This packs a big punch for 13%, so try partnering it with gentle Thai green curries.Prices:
BC$21.65750ml
Producer: Church & State Winery
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Q and A RMVtext
87PTS

Q and A RMV 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJason Priestley, a former Black Hills Estate Winery investor, and Hollywood actor/director, is back in the wine business with media broadcaster Terry David Mulligan and winemaker Michal Mosny (Winemaker's Cut). The latest and inaugural release of Q&A, is the RMV 2021, a 58/34/8 blend of roussanne/marsanne/viognier. The attack is skinny, with some candied lemon highlights, green fruit, and bitter dried apricots. It's just a bit too unknit at the moment, so I suggest giving it some time in the bottle to come together.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
AB$40.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Church & State Wines Trebellatext
89PTS

Church & State Wines Trebella 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTrebella blends a third each of roussanne, marsanne, and viognier in a Rhône-like white blend from fruit grown over the sandy gravels of Coyote Bowl Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. The nose is at once inviting and fresh with a scent of lees while pitching a ripe, lush, peachy apricot palate with some perfectly bitter lime rind in the back end to keep it all balanced. Full bodied and fully flavoured but with enough restraint to start at the dinner table. Treve says Thai green curries, and I would add squash ravioli or chicken in a lemon cream sauce. Trebella spends eight months in French oak before bottling.Prices:
BC$21.65750ml
Producer: Church & State Winery
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Amulet Whitetext
89PTS

Amulet White 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAmulet White 2022 is a 61/29/10 mix of viognier (from Naramata Bench), viognier (from Penticton), and marsanne (Penticton). The nose is awash in floral notes and desert undertones. The palate is led by apricots, honey, and white fruits with a dusting of ginger spice. As rich as it is, it is relatively dry and well-suited to ageing. The fruit is whole cluster pressed and chilled for 48 hours before moving to French barrels (10% new) for a long, cool fermentation and a complete malolactic fermentation. It spent six months on its lees before it was bottled, unfined, and unfiltered.Prices:
BC$31.90750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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Van Westen Vineyards Viogniertext
90PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Viognier 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis shows quite an attractive nose, combining fragrant honeysuckle and jasmine with expressive apricot and lemon that's balanced by a touch of cream and spice. There's a verve and liveliness to the palate, rare for viognier, which is reflective of North Naramata, with fruit sourced from Orlando and Granite Ridge vineyards. The result is a wine that is immensely moreish, but still with excellent varietal character and complexity. Add this to the long list of outstanding BC viogniers.Prices:
BC$27.50750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Goats do Roam White Blendtext
87PTS

Goats do Roam White Blend 2022

South AfricaGoat's do Roam is Fairview's take on a classic Côtes-du-Rhône blend, but in this case, they're using a blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Marsanne, all fermented cool and held in stainless until release. Juicy and crunchy pear, Asian pear, yellow apple, and gooseberry lead this snappy palate, with a light dusting of ginger on the finish. Fun, easy, simple, and chillable for enjoying now. Sold in private wine shops only.Prices:
BC$16.99750ml
AB$16.95750ml
MB$16.95750ml
Producer: Fairview
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Blasted Church Viogniertext
88PTS

Blasted Church Viognier 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis viognier was sourced from the Osoyoos East Bench and Osoyoos West Bench, with some partial skin contact and the rest whole cluster pressed directly to tank. 25% underwent barrel fermentation, while the rest remained in stainless. Ample fragrant apricot, tangerine, sherbet rule the short and compact palate, trailing off with bitter citrus and ginger spicing. One for enjoying now with lightly spiced Indian cuisine.Prices:
BC$24.00750ml
Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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12 January 2024

Chionetti San Luigitext
90PTS

Chionetti San Luigi 2022

Piedmont, ItalyThis Dogliani DOCG red, crafted solely from Dolcetto, is packed with bright, vibrant red berries and florals, mingled with licorice and stoney, flinty minerality. On the palate, the tartness of the fruit is accentuated by taut acidity and youthful tannins. While showing excellent value, the potential for improvement lies in further integration of acidity and tannins. A promising wine with a bright future ahead.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Chionetti
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E Pira & Figli - Chiara Boschis Dolcetto d’Albatext
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E Pira & Figli - Chiara Boschis Dolcetto d’Alba 2022

Piedmont, ItalyThis organic Dolcetto comes off Ravera di Monforte d’Alba, Mosconi, and Le Coste di Monforte d’Alba, and clay lime marls, around 400m. It was fermented and aged in stainless for a few months. The challengingly dry 2022 vintage has yielded very perfumed plum, cherry, raspberry and herbal mustard seed, with long, finely grippy sticky tannins guiding to a purple floral finish. Bright acidity carries this fragrant and pretty medium bodied red through a pink peppercorn finish.Prices:
ON$38.00750ml
Producer: E. Pira & Figli
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Jorche Soltema Primitivo del Salentotext
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Jorche Soltema Primitivo del Salento 2020

Salento, Puglia, ItalyDalila and Emanuela Gianfreda are fifth generation winemakers at Jorche, overseeing the 31 hectares of vines surrounding their Salento estate. This Primitivo grows in the red, iron-oxide rich sandstones throughout the property, and was aged 9 months in barrels and 3 months in bottle prior to release. This mouthfilling red is stencilled with ferrous notes, woven with wild plum, rockrose, wild blackberry, and scrubby Mediterranean herbs. Tannins are ample and sticky, hugging the sides of this full-bodied wine through the pink pepper finish. Fantastic value for this lamb-ready red.Prices:
ON$23.00750ml
Producer: Jorche
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SCEGtext
93PTS

SCEG 2021

Basilicata, ItalyIn 2016, Elena Fucci, responsible for saving her family’s high altitude, volcanic soiled vineyards and solidifying the appellation with her singular Titolo cru, began another passion project, SCEG (translation pomegranate), to help out friends of her 94-year-old grandfather Generoso. To preserve their vines and tradition, she makes this special wine from his friends’ vines, four parcels near her family’s vineyards, and vines ageing 70+ years. SGEC (pronounced Sheg) is organically farmed Aglianico, spending one year in 500L tonneaux and 6 months in bottle before release. Wild herbs, wild black fruit flood this structural palate, infiltrated with fragrant violets and smoky quartz, lit with mountainous acidity, and framed with firm, sticky tannins which draw this to a saline end. A beauty aglianico, primed for enjoyment now, though able to hold in your cellar over the next couple of years easy.Prices:
ON$33.00750ml
Producer: Elena Fucci
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Vino Lauria QuarantaSarme Perriconetext
90PTS

Vino Lauria QuarantaSarme Perricone 2019

Sicily, ItalyThis is the rarest of Vito’s wines, sourced from 40 sarme of Perricone, hence the name Quarantasarme. Sarme is an ancient system of measurement in Sicily, and 40 sarme equates to roughly 80 hectares, situated between Alcamo and Campo Reale. This organic Perricone spent one year in large oak barrels. Wild plum, blackberry, fragrant tayberry, red liquorice, and thorns flood the fleshy palate, framed with sticky tannins, and buoyed by marine acidity. Quite fragrant, this wild red finishes with lingering scrubby Mediterranean herbs. Pour with grilled lamb kebabs.Prices:
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: Vino Lauria
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Vino Lauria Frappato Scoglittitext
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Vino Lauria Frappato Scoglitti 2022

Sicily, ItalyFrom 3rd generation winemaker Vito Lauria, Vino Lauria is based in the northwest corner of Sicily, though fruit for this organic frappato comes from the eastern island's sandy soils, around 600-1000m. This was fermented and aged in stainless for 8 months, preserving the bright, fresh and floral plum, candied cherry, boysenberry on the medium palate, all framed with sticky tannins, and imbued with scrubby Mediterranean herbs and ample salinity. Let the youthful reduction blow off, and enjoy this with a slight chill and a selection of charcuterie.Prices:
ON$29.00750ml
Producer: Vino Lauria
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Chionetti San Luigitext
91PTS

Chionetti San Luigi 2022

Piedmont, ItalyThis organic dolcetto comes from fifth-generation growers in Dogliani. The fruit comes off San Luigi Vineyard, which sits at 400m elevation. We loved the 2020 vintage, and the new 2022 vintage could be even better. There's a fantastic purity to the black cherry and dark plum, which is lifted by enticing lavender aromatics. Fantastic value and a sneaky cellar candidate, too, with structured, fine-grained tannins that are well balanced by a juicy freshness.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Chionetti
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Corcelettes Petit Verdot Micro Lot Seriestext
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Corcelettes Petit Verdot Micro Lot Series 2021

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Charlie Baessler is growing a half acre of petit verdot vines over stony ancient Stemwinder soils, doing what few can, namely bottling a solo varietal version you may want to drink. The magic is in the savoury Similkameen desert wildflower nose that spills onto a palate with dried herbs, black plums, Christmas cake, dried black cherries, and a peppery finish. Petit Verdot made its stripes in great years in Bordeaux when needed, but it added something magical to the great vintages of 1945, 1953, 1961, 1982, and many others. The density of this wine is impressive, and the chalky tannins are inviting, suggesting you could drink it if you had to, but it would also cellar easily for more than a decade. Steak, anyone?Prices:
BC$45.90750ml
Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Domaine Rolet Trousseautext
90PTS

Domaine Rolet Trousseau 2017

Arbois, Jura, FranceTrousseau vines (30 years old) were planted in Montigny-les-Arsures, on hillsides on the localities of Chagnon and L'Euvrin, as well as Arbois' Montesserin. The marl and clay soils are ideal for the trousseau, as proven by this charming wine. After destemming and a few days of maceration, it was fermented in stainless for three weeks and then aged for 9 months in a split of stainless and foudre. Pouring a light, dusky crimson hue, this streams wild raspberry, perfumed cherry, forest wild flowers, and a finely buzzy texture, all wrapped with slightly tuggy tannins. This current release means the winery has done all the aging for you. Drink now, ideally with wild mushroom dishes.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
ON$30.00750ml
Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
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Time Waits For No One Black Old Vines Monastrelltext
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Time Waits For No One Black Old Vines Monastrell 2021

Jumilla, Valencia and Murcia, SpainAs evidenced by the name, skull label, and hefty bottle, this is not a shy wine. From Finca Bacara, this is organic old vine monastrell from Jumilla, aged 1 year in American oak. Pouring a deep black cherry hue, this full bodied red is thick on the palate with perfumed cloves, dense blackberry, tobacco, medicinal cassis, mint, and fragrant purple florals. Tannins are chewy, and thankfully there is acidity to carry this across a baking spiced finish, in pretty sound harmony. One for stewed lamb / root veg.Prices:
BC$30.99750ml
Producer: Finca Bacara
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10 January 2024

Niepoort NAT'Cool! Tinto Bairradatext
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Niepoort NAT'Cool! Tinto Bairrada 2021

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalDirk Niepoort's NAT'Cool! range of wines were created to meet certain criteria : be made as naturally as possible, be low alcohol, be terroir-driven, use native grapes to the region, be affordable, and be so smashable that it's only sold in 1L bottles. This lighter, shining red is 40-100 year old baga vines from the limestone laced, clay soils of Bairrada. This was native fermented and aged in stainless, to preserve the purity of fruit. Crushed plums, black raspberries, rockrose streams through this lighter 11% red, with tart rhubarb acidity brightening, and fine, lightly sticky tannins framing. The finish is dusted with pink peppercorn, with a pink grapefruit twist. A fun, bright, and smashable, chillable red to open with friends (1L!)Prices:
BC$32.001000ml
ON$26.001000ml
Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Niepoort NAT'Cool! Primatatext
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Niepoort NAT'Cool! Primata 2021

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalDirk Niepoort's NAT'Cool! range of wines were created to meet certain criteria : be made as naturally as possible, be low alcohol, be terroir-driven, use native grapes to the region, be affordable, and be so smashable that it's only sold in 1L bottles. Primata is the result of Dirk Niepoort giving his cellar master Luís Pedro a push to make his own wine in 2016. Half the blend is Touriga Nacional grapes, with the rest a mix of old vine Tinta Amarela, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, all from vineyards at 600m in the Douro Valley's Tabuaço region. Whole bunch and foot-trodden, this was macerated and native fermented in lagares before being pressed into stainless, for a 6 month rest. This lighter red opens with crushed florals, fresh strawberries, peony, and summer rhubarb, with a cranberry tart acidity buoying this fresh 10% red to a cherry blossom finish. Enjoy with a chill and with friends (1L!)Prices:
ON$29.001000ml
Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Brancotext
91PTS

Luis Seabra Xisto Ilimitado Branco 2022

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalIlimitado is akin to Seabra's village wine. This Branco comes from mica, schist, and feldspar soils (what winemaker Luis Seabra deems the best for whites), this is a field blend of rabigato, códega, gouveio, vioshino and more, with vines 30-60 years old, and at 400-500m in altitude. After crushing and destemming, the grapes are pressed together, native fermented, and aged in used French oak barrels for 7 months on lees, with no MLF or bâtonnage. Fragrant pear, quince blossoms, grapefruit streak across a stony, electric palate, with a slick of lees over river stones that linger on the saline finish. Very refined, with beauty energy and verve.Prices:
BC$36.00750ml
ON$29.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Xisto Crutext
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Luis Seabra Xisto Cru 2021

Cima Corga, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalAfter a successful decade as winemaker at Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to break out on his own, leaving his own name on the wines of Douro. From two clay loam / blue slate high altitude vineyards in the Cima Corgo, Xisto Cru Tinto blends Rufete, Touriga Franca, Tinta Carvalha, Alicante Bouchet, Donzelinho Tinto, Malvazia Preta and others (but no Touriga Nacional), from vineyards 80+ years old. This was native fermented, whole cluster, with maceration over one month in open old wood port wine vats. Post ferment, this was aged 20 months in 228L French barrels. This is built on slate structure, with wild cassis, plum, purple florals and taut elevated (VA kissing) acidity working through a firm, mineral-driven palate, still waiting to unknit. Tannins are fine and firm, and just starting to yield to a lingering finish kissed with scrubby wild mint and pink pepper. Will be interesting to watch this one unfold.Prices:
ON$66.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Mono Atext
91PTS

Luis Seabra Mono A 2021

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalAfter a successful decade as winemaker at Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to break out on his own, leaving his name on the wines of Douro and elsewhere. Mono A translates to this being a mono-varietal Alfrocheiro, from Dão's granitic quartz soils. This vineyard was planted around 1987, in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela Mountain Range. This was native fermented with 40% whole cluster in 5000L wooden vats, and aged in foudre for 14 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration. Fragrant plum, perfumed wild flowers, cassis, anise flow across a tightly textural palate, framed by grippy tannins, and lofted with easy smoked stony acidity. Savoury quartzite darts keep this pretty wine serious and up the intrigue though a lingering finish.Prices:
BC$67.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Mono Ctext
90PTS

Luis Seabra Mono C 2019

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalMono C translates that this is a mono-varital Castelao, with 25+ year old grapes from a single vineyard in Oliveira's clay loam and yellow slate soils, at 490m. As with all Seabra's reds, this was entirely whole cluster, and foot trodden in plastic bins with a 3 week ferment and maceration before 16 months in older 500L French oak. Wild black fruits, ample herbal thorns and brooding dark florals are structured with a slatey, firm underlay, and framed with inherently grippy, textural tannins. Acidity is lofted, giving this savoury and wild wine drinkability now.Prices:
ON$46.95750ml
BC$61.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Indie Xistotext
92PTS

Luis Seabra Indie Xisto 2020

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalAfter a successful decade as winemaker at Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to break out on his own, leaving his name on the wines of Douro. Indie Xisto blends Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Rufete, Touriga Brasileira, Donzelinho Tinto, Malvasia Preta and Touriga Femea, from a sustainably farmed, blue schist soiled single vineyard in Alijó, planted since 1950 and at 580m elevation. This was native fermented, whole cluster in lagares with 10 days of maceration before resting 18 months in 500ml French oak barrels and saw very low sulphur additions throughout. Grippy and schistous, with a firm, fine grip holding perfumed cassis, wild blueberry, thorns, and rockrose. Tannins are textural and structural, while acidity is naturally lofted, carrying this elegantly powerful red through a lingering finish. Still tightly wound, enjoy now with a decant, or cellar. A wine of place.Prices:
ON$51.00750ml
BC$66.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dãotext
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Luis Seabra Granito Cru Branco Dão 2021

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. After harvesting all together, the wine was native fermented and aged for 1 year in 500L used barrels, and then into stainless for 6 months prior to bottling. Tight yellow fruits, almond blossoms are laced with white grapefruit pith, and lined with downy lees on a lightly creamy palate, finishing with a gentle granitic hum.Prices:
ON$55.00750ml
BC$67.00750ml
Producer: Luis Seabra Vinhos
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Filipa Pato Nossa Calcário Bagatext
92PTS

Filipa Pato Nossa Calcário Baga 2021

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis Baga is handpicked and hand selected from their centenary vineyards in the rocky limestone soils of Bairrada, yielding only 3 to 4 bunches/vine. Partly destemmed, this was fermented in open oak lagares with some pigeage. After fermentation the wine is aged in 500/600L pipas, plus 1 2000L foudre. Wild black plum, wild blackberry is structured with thorns and finely firm tannins, scented with purple wildflowers and scrubby rosemary. Very much in youth still, this will unravel and unknit with time.Prices:
ON$63.00750ml
Producer: Filipa Pato
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Filipa Pato Post Quer..s Bagatext
92PTS

Filipa Pato Post Quer..s Baga 2022

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThese biodynamic Baga grapes are handpicked from various partials in Bairrada, partly destemmed, and native fermented in 500-700L amphorae with very little extraction and a long maceration on the skins. After the fermentation the wine is pressed off and returned to amphorae for 6 months' aging. This is softly juicy and jubilant, with baga's inherent tannins softened by the amphora, leaving wild downy plum, rockrose, thorns, perfumed scrubby rosemary framed with lightly sticky tannins and lingering with raspy pink peppercorn.Prices:
ON$43.00750ml
Producer: Filipa Pato
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Filipa Pato Flos Castaneatext
92PTS

Filipa Pato Flos Castanea 2022

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis experimental project was made with the grandson of Vinho Verde biodynamic pioneer Fernando Paiva, of Quinta da Palmirinha. Paiva has been working with natural preservatives instead of using sulphur in his wines. This Bical was destemmed and native skin fermented along with chestnut blossoms over 2 weeks, as it has been shown to act as a preservative (in lieu of sulphur). Post ferment, this was pressed and rested 1 year in cask and amphora. Pouring a light golden hue, this textural wine has a lightly toasted pine nut, wild white honey, wild lemon, white grapefruit and ample tight, limestone buzziness that carries long on the slight, saline palate. A very interesting experiment. 1155 bottles.Prices:
Producer: Filipa Pato
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Filipa Pato Nossa Calcário Bicaltext
92PTS

Filipa Pato Nossa Calcário Bical 2022

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThese biodynamic Bical grapes come from the limestone clays of Óis do Bairro vineyard, and 40 year old vines. This was the first vineyard they purchased, and first converted to biodynamics. This was whole bunch, and native ferment in foudre and 500-600L pipas, where it remains on lees, with full MLF and without bâtonnage, for 9 months. Tight lemon, white grapefruit, and crunchy pear braces the ample mineral stoniness that rules the palate, kissed with wild fennel on the saline finish. Taut in youth, this harmonious wine will unfurl with time, though the minerality will always be its hallmark.Prices:
ON$51.00750ml
Producer: Filipa Pato
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Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Redtext
91PTS

Meãndro do Vale Meão Douro Red 2020

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalMeãndro Red is a 50/35/10 touriga nacional, touriga franca, tinta roriz, with some infill of tinta barroca and alicante bouschet. It is all aged 14 months in used French oak, allowing its beguiling juicy character to run free. Look for a plush, soft, inviting red despite what could be a difficult growing season. Expect a rush of ripe red fruit with a strong mineral and savoury black pepper undercurrent. Drink or hold through 2030.Prices:
BC$35.99750ml
AB$35.99750ml
ON$26.55750ml
QC$24.85750ml
MB$34.00750ml
Producer: Quinta do Vale Meão
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Filipa Pato & William Wouters Dinamica DNMC Bagatext
92PTS

Filipa Pato & William Wouters Dinamica DNMC Baga 2021

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis biodynamic Baga is sourced partially from Filipa and William’s estate vineyards in Ois do Bairro, and partially from other growers in various villages in Bairrada. There’s a mix of bush vines and trellised plants with an average age of 40 years. The younger vines have been propagated by massale selection from the old vines in an effort to maintain diversity and select the best plant material available. Handpicked, this is partial whole cluster and fermented and raised entirely in tank with a very gentle extraction and long (4 week) maceration, adding the fine, firm structure here. Lifted and bright with blackcurrant, wild plum stencilled with thorns and scented with rockrose and pink peppercorns along the buzzy textural and very saline palate. Acidity is crunchy, and tannins are finely downy, all encouraging enjoying liberally now, with a light chill (bonus when you find it in magnum).Prices:
ON$26.00750ml
Producer: Filipa Pato
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09 January 2024

Fort Berens Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis juicy, fruity pinot uses fruit from their estate Lillooet vineyard as well as from the southern Okanagan. All were destemmed, inoculated, and fermented 9 months in mostly neutral French. Very fruit-forward, with candied cherry, strawberry, and peppery spices on a brief, rhubrab-tart palate, framed with sticky / pasty tannins and finishing with a cherry twist. Simple, friendly, and ready to crack into now.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Old Block McLean Creek Vineyard 2022

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their home estate McLean Creek Road Vineyard, in Okanagan Falls, the Old Block was planted in 1994 on a steep south facing slope of gravels and sandy loams. This was destemmed and cold soaked before a native ferment in stainless prior to moving to French oak (40% new) for 11 months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Silken smooth on the palate, with black raspberries, dark plum, and perfumed cherry dusted with pipe tobacco and seasoned with pink peppercorn. Acidity is crunchy bright, and tannins are long and downy through the lingering finish. Drinking now, this friendly pinot would well suit grilled salmon or pork, though the Diam10 closure suggests the winery wants you to lay it down for a while first.Prices:
BC$44.44750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir - B Field Blend McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
89PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir - B Field Blend McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2022

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe B Field Blend is a new pinot cuvée from their home estate McLean Creek Road vineyard, and a plot planted in 2017 to Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, plus a cutting taken from their Old Block and its unknown clone (Germanic?) For this cuvée, the four clones were picked together and cofermented before resting 11 months in neutral French barrels. Smoked green herbs, forest moss, spring rhubarb rules this punchy, medium bodied pinot, lit with cranberry acidity, and framed with soft, furry tannins through a super saline finish. A bit disjointed, this youthful pinot best suits some grilled mushroom / salmon burgers now.Prices:
BC$31.39750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir Saison Vineyardstext
92PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir Saison Vineyards 2021

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Cowichan Valley's Saison Vineyard, and its marine silt loams, this pinot blends clones 115, 667, 777, and 828. All were destemmed and fermented whole berry in stainless before aging in French barriques (20% new) for 1 year. Fragrant and lifted wild strawberries, raspberries, pink florals sail through this lighter (12.3%) pinot, giving an air of finesse and elegance that stretches from first whiff through a lingering pink peppercorn finish. Tannins are slight and supple, hugging this bright red, and welcoming numerous food pairings (I'm voting wild salmon / wild mushrooms).Prices:
BC$64.90750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Code Wines Pinot Noir Cone Collection Ancestor 01text
92PTS

Code Wines Pinot Noir Cone Collection Ancestor 01 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis newer Okanagan winery is the vision of Shay and Harlee Code, the farmers and owners of this organic 5 acre Okanagan Falls east bench estate. They began planting in 2017 with chardonnay and syrah. Over the past 3 years they've made their wines at Naramata's Roche Winery, but have recently launched their own operation. One of 4 clonal pinot noirs from the 2020 vintage, this is an unknown clone, thought to be Germanic in origin, and planted on the crest of their upper block (block #4). Like the others in the collection, this was destemmed and whole berry fermented in open top containers before aging in 2nd fill French barrels for 10 months prior to bottling, unfined and unfiltered. A spice box nose opens this juicy, fragrant pinot, woven with dark cherry, mulberry, and lilac, and lifted with easy, bright acidity. Tannins are long and finely grippy, taking this through a stony finish. Really quite different, very pretty, finessed, and memorable. Certainly a project worth following. 22 cases made.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Code Wines
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Code Wines Pinot Noir Clone Collection Pommard 91text
90PTS

Code Wines Pinot Noir Clone Collection Pommard 91 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis newer Okanagan winery is the vision of Shay and Harlee Code, the farmers and owners of this organic 5 acre Okanagan Falls east bench estate. They began planting in 2017 with chardonnay and syrah. Over the past 3 years they've made their wines at Naramata's Roche Winery, but have recently launched their own operation. One of 4 clonal pinot noirs from the 2020 vintage, this is entirely Pommard clone 91, from the middle supper section of their vineyard (block #6). This was destemmed and fermented in open top fermenters before moving to 2nd fill French barrels for 10 months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Pouring a lightly bricking hue, this teems with wild cherry, juicy plum, black team, and forest moss, gliding along a silken palate, and rimmed with slightly sticky bergamot tea tannins. There is a lovely fine texture and generosity to the medium palate, keeping this of interest through the cola finish. Very promising project, and one to watch for. 22 cases made.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Code Wines
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Frind Estate Pinot Noir Cuvéetext
87PTS

Frind Estate Pinot Noir Cuvée 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Frind Pinot comes from several vineyards in the Central and North Okanagan Valley. The style is Frind-friendly, pitching dry, eathy notes mixed with red plums. The palate has more earthy, dry, black cherry with a dusting of baking spices on the finish. It aged in aged in French oak barrels for 9 months. Simple straight-up pinot that is ready to drink.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
Producer: Frind Estate
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Carmel Road Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Carmel Road Pinot Noir 2020

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThis wine is consistent as the cool Pacific breezes that sweep across the Monterey Peninsula. The nose shows meaty, screwcap reduction while mixing cherries and black tea early on. The attack is soft with more meaty black cherry, cola, caramel, and vanilla. Ready to drink in a party situation with plenty of appetizers and less discretion among the drinkers.Prices:
BC$28.99750ml
AB$24.49750ml
Producer: Carmel Road Winery
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Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaA notably slightly darker translucence on the colour opens into a floral whirl on the nose of violets, marionberry, and forest floor. Still a little closed and formative with some tannic friction, the elegant, sleek plum and loganberry promise much. This is all estate fruit and utilizes clones 667 and 777. It was whole bunch fermented, and bottled unfiltered and unfined.Prices:
BC$34.00750ml
Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Da Silva Legado Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Da Silva Legado Pinot Noir 2020

Penticton Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA fine example of pinot noir's range in the hands of the right winemaker. Initially, aromas of black cherry, darker fruits, tar, and roses greet. The flavours are big, a little exotic, dark, and slightly spicy with good supporting acidity. The precise tension amongst these elements also makes it elegant and focused. This singular, barrel marked, big bodied combination of flavours shouldn't work, but quite beautifully does. This is a barrel selection assembled over two years from the Da Silva family Blenheim Hill site, and the Marchand's Lazy Dog Vineyard, both near Penticton, and the precise coordinates are shared on the back label. it was aged 20 months in a 50/50 combination of French and Hungarian oak barrels.Prices:
BC$70.00750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyardstext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Micro Cuvée McLean Creek Vineyards 2019

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Meyer Micro Cuvée bottling is a barrel selected from their estate McLean Creek Vineyard, and always presents as a beguiling melange of richer flavours. Baking spices, underbrush, charcoal, pomegranate, and red berry dance across the palate along with framing tannins. The oak touch is complementary. It shows a pleasing intensity of flavour that, at 13.5%, is not big alcohol body driven. The finish is long and echoing. The clonal mix here is Dijon 114, 115, 667, and Pommard 91.Prices:
BC$58.35750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Tantalus Pinot Noir Reservetext
93PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir Reserve 2019

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTantalus first released this Reserve wine in 2016. It is based on 18 mid-slope rows of 667 clones in their home vineyard, and a small selection of stand-out Clones 37 and 777. Both the similarities to and the differences from the estate pinot noir are at play in the flavours here. The baseline fruit density, forest floor earthiness, and darker berries are all here, but the Reserve is like the perfected copy. It's more elaborate, more affluent, livelier, and structured. On the nose, Morello cherry, loganberry, mulberry, and wet undergrowth lead to authoritative silky cherry and berry. The fruit profiles differ, but it has the balanced, deeper intensity of some Oregon pinots. The finish trails on and on. It is still formative and should develop for at least 3-5 years. This was 50% whole bunch fermentation, with 15 months in 40% new French barriques, and foot trodden.Prices:
BC$65.22750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2022

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe McLean Creek Road Vineyard is closing in on two decades of harvest in 2024. It was planted long before the 2018 Okanagan Falls sub-geographical indication (sub-Gi) was proclaimed. The vines sit on a mostly steep southerly aspect over gravel and sandy loams. The clones are Pommard clone 91, and 4 Dijon clones: 114, 115, 667, 777. The property is not certified organic but practices organic/sustainable farming principles. Look for a full-flavour pinot reminiscent of Central Otago and Sonoma Coast, before the savoury dusting of Okanagan sagebrush leans in. Look for a round, soft, dense, sweet palate tempered by an earthy, spicy background. Fresh and palate cleansing with each sip. This is a quality pinot, but there is no rush to open this bottle.Prices:
BC$37.48750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Fort Berens Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt 12.5% alcohol, I'm tempted to say this pinkish/purple pinot noir takes me back to Burgundy, but that would be a bit of a stretch. It is an inviting pinot with a soft, ripe red berry palate, moderate tannins, and a smooth, long, savoury, lightly warm finish. Tasting this blind would shock a few folks. The grapes were hand picked early in the season but at optimal ripeness. They spent two days in a cold soak before inoculation with a Burgundy yeast strain. Gentle extraction came from three pumpovers a day during fermentation, and it was aged for 9 months in mainly neutral French oak barrels with a perfect 3% addition of new French oak barrels. It's impressive and will be fun to keep track of over the next two years.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Corcelettes Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Corcelettes Pinot Noir 2022

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Corcelettes Pinot is a mix of clones 117 and 115, and given the heat that can build up in the Similkameen Valley most summers, it opens with some elegance on the nose. Dry black cherries and some youthful tannins mark the entry. The mid-palate is full flavoured and persistent, pitching warm, spicy, savoury red fruit before finishing with some dense but silky tannins. It is your choice to drink or hold. For now, it can take on some more decadent dishes like duck, barbecue pork ribs, mushroom anything, or salty cheeses.Prices:
BC$39.90750ml
Producer: Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Vig Clone Len's Cuvée Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Vig Clone Len's Cuvée Pinot Noir 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPenelope and Dylan Roche, owners of Naramata-based Roche wines, have launched a collection of labels tagged Vig (that’s short for vigneron or winegrower), which collaborates with renowned Canadian artists known for their bold style. The Roches asked each artist to create a label that illustrates their sensory experiences when tasting the wine. The Len in this cuvée refers to Len Kozier, founder, along with his wife Marion, of Naramata's regarded organic Kozier vineyard, the source for many of Roche's wines. In Len's memory, this wine is from a selection of pinot noir clone 828 grapes, fermented in stainless and aged in Burgundian barrels (30% new) for 18 months. Very fragrant, with morello plums, dusky spice, and sweet wild cherries coursing through the gently plumped, medium-bodied palate. Tannins are tobacco hewn and lightly sticky through a bittersweet cocoa and baking spice finish, while easy acidity keeps this highly food friendly (ideally with wild mushrooms). Very pure, and very Naramata, this darker shaded pinot is drinking smartly now, and over the coming years (sealed with a Diam10 closure).Prices:
BC$95.00750ml
Producer: Roche Wines
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08 January 2024

Karp-Schreiber My Karp Off-Dry Rieslingtext
88PTS

Karp-Schreiber My Karp Off-Dry Riesling 2022

Mosel, Germany2022 was challenging in the Mosel, with intense heat and very little rain until September, but the Karp family has been farming grapes and making wine there for 359 years and is well-versed in survival. There is a touch less acidity this year but more flavours led by sweet lime, red apples, and honeysuckle with a mostly elegant Mosel ending. My mind wanders to spicy tuna sushi rolls or Indian/Thai curries. A fun wine that delivers for its price. Available in 54 BCL Stores.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Weingut Karp Schreiber
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Frind Estate Winery Rieslingtext
87PTS

Frind Estate Winery Riesling 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrind is chiselling out a style that embraces many consumers. Soft, round, and easy sipping describes the style of its entry level wines, and the 2022 Riesling is a good example. Look for primarily yellow fruits and honeysuckle, with generous pillowy soft textures and a dollop of residual sugar to help it all slide down. The sugar is tempered, but this riesling would best suit spicy sushi rolls or pizza. Simple, fun white wine.Prices:
BC$28.49750ml
Producer: Frind Estate
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Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Rieslingtext
91PTS

Winemaker's Cut Bohemian Riesling 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAt Winemaker’s Cut, the Bohemian tier is dedicated to wines that probe the unique South Okanagan terroir and a self-described unconventional winemaking style. I thought the 2020 Bohemian was a lovely wine, and the 2021 is equally delightful. The nose is a fresh, fruity affair of peach and ripe apple with a touch of Mosel elegance, if I can be bold. It’s off-dry but well balanced by stony, green citrus that finishes with the same mineral, saline theme. Best of all, it remains grown up wine for grown ups. The grapes are grown at the 1.8-hectare Chahal Vineyard just north of Oliver, where the dirt is sandy loam and gravel, and the vines are 12 years old.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
Producer: Winemaker's Cut
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Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrockentext
92PTS

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken 2021

Mosel, GermanyThe Zeltinger Himmelreich (Kingdom of Heaven) Kabinett Halbtrocken is a model Mosel riesling that demonstrates some of the region's best aspects. It is wild yeast fermented, allowing an overwhelming floral scent lined with spice and dried herbs to draw you into the glass. The attack is juicy and crunchy with citrus and fresh cut apple bathed in a saline stony finish. It is off-dry at 14 g/L residual sugar, but you hardly notice thanks to its electric undercurrent. Ready to drink but it will live forever. Serve whatever you want. This works with so many foods even at a lightish 10.5% alcohol.Prices:
BC$36.99750ml
Producer: Weingut Selbach-Oster
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High Note Capriccio Rieslingtext
90PTS

High Note Capriccio Riesling 2022

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAccording the Capriccio folks their wines are all about feeling, and in this case giving the riesling room to be itself by ageing it in a combination of concrete and stainless steel eggs. The style is stark, with high total acidity that pretty much obliterates the 7.2 grams per litre of residual sugar. Expect a cutting edge dry riesling that’s big on vibrancy, electricity and minerality, and low of fruit. Floral and chalky, but mostly subtle, this is a food wine and you can explore a wide range of dishes with this style. The fruit comes from Sunflower Vineyard in Oliver. The match is BC shellfish or spot prawn risotto.Prices:
BC$28.00750ml
Producer: High Note
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Van Westen Vineyards Viscoustext
90PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Viscous 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStill available, this is a first rate, intensely flavoured Riesling stuffed with ripe pear, peach, green apple, orchard blossom, lemon zest, and honey. Fully ripe yet lively, walking the acid line, boasting nectarine, Granny Smith apple, lime, guava, and sugared lemon drops. I love the balance, and the 11.6 alcohol lets this riesling slide down so fast that the bottle will empty before the food arrives. Anything spicy works here, especially sushi rolls, but you can sip this solo, too. Back up the truck if you are a patio freak, as this could be your summer star. Viscous continues to overdeliver in likeability and sheer quaff-ability, not to mention how it plays to the versatility of the Naramata Bench.Prices:
BC$27.50750ml
Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Township 7 Riesling Benchmark Series Fool's Gold Vineyardtext
89PTS

Township 7 Riesling Benchmark Series Fool's Gold Vineyard 2020

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFool's Gold Vineyard is located in North Oliver. The highly selected fruit is pressed and cold settled before fermenting in stainless steel at very cool temperatures, with a small portion fermented wild in neutral oak barrels. Like 2019, it remains surprisingly fresh on the attack with a subtle light Clare Valley face powder scent and flavour. The fruit is crunchy with more green apple, lime rind, and grapefruit pith that runs through the finish. Tart, crisp, and mineral, it's ready for food that needs a squeeze of lemon. I like the consistency from year to year.Prices:
BC$29.97750ml
Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Culmina Family Estate Decora Rieslingtext
88PTS

Culmina Family Estate Decora Riesling 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRetasted 16 months down the road, and 2020 has changed very little. It comes bone dry (4 grams per litre residual sugar) on the palate with some underlying bitterness that counters the fruit. Look for yellow fruits with a citrus zest spiked with concentrated dried apricots, toasted nuts, starfruit, and yeasty mineral-scented texture. Ready to drink with more decadent dishes with slow-roasted pork belly.Prices:
BC$23.00750ml
Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Trimbach Rieslingtext
90PTS

Trimbach Riesling 2021

Alsace, FranceA family business since 1626, brothers Pierre and Jean Trimbach are currently overseeing the house. This riesling comes from various plots, and true to house style, is served up dry and sleek, with racy acidity driving white grapefruit, crystalline lemon, pear skin, and crunchy green apple along the crushed stone frame. Classic for a reason.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
AB$34.95750ml
QC$22.50750ml
Producer: F.E.Trimbach
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05 January 2024

Pascal Clément Rullytext
91PTS

Pascal Clément Rully 2021

Rully, Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, FranceSourced from several prime parcels across Côtes Chalonnaise's Rully, Pascal ferments and ages this wine in 500 L oak puncheons (25% new) for 11 months, with zero bâtonnage, before bottling with a very light filtration. The oak is evident in the subtle toast texturing the frame of this medium+ chardonnay, woven through lemon curd, tight white blossoms, pencil shavings, all lit with a crunchy green apple acidity. This carries long on the palate, finishing with ample flake salts. A powerful chardy, partnering well know with roast chicken / risotto, but will rest in your cellar happily.Prices:
ON$64.00750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Pascal Clément Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Fillestext
94PTS

Pascal Clément Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles 2021

Pernand-Vergelesses, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceGrown just around the hill from the Grand Cru of Corton Charlemagne, these vines are rooted between 250-300m in the foothills of the hillside, in clay / limestone soils mixed with chaillots. It was native fermented in foudre, where it remains for 11 months, with full MLF and no bâtonnage. Profound from the start, with a smouldering mix of lemon rind, crushed stones, flinty reduction, and subtly toasted oak, all taut with a vibrato of acidity. This is very reminiscent of its neighbouring GC, but with a freshness and tightness that is very welcome. Beauty now, and with time ahead.Prices:
ON$77.00750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Pascal Clément Savigny-Les-Beaunetext
92PTS

Pascal Clément Savigny-Les-Beaune 2021

Savigny-lès-Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FrancePascal Clément, well known for his exceptional white wines, loves using older foudre for his whites, as he feels it brings out the saltiness in the wine. Pascal employs MLF but never bâtonnage on his wines, leaving them on full lees in barrels after pressing. From his home village of Savigny-lès-Beaune, this was sourced from numerous hillside plots. Lemon blossom, green apple, and crunchy pear light up the medium palate, lofted by an easy limestone acidity, and over a savoury pencil shavings / lees base, through the buzzy saline finish. Very tight and fine, this is shining now and with time ahead in your cellar.Prices:
ON$72.00750ml
Producer: Pascal Clément
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Kendall-Jackson Low Calorie Chardonnay 85 Caloriestext
87PTS

Kendall-Jackson Low Calorie Chardonnay 85 Calories 2030

California, United StatesKendall-Jackson Low Calorie Chardonnay is a different kind of low-calorie wine. According to Kendall-Jackson winemaker Randy Ullom, the initial harvest of grapes is picked earlier to keep the primary sugar low. A secondary harvest later in the season brings complexity and concentration to the wine. It balances the structure in light of its lower alcohol and calories, namely nine percent alcohol and zero sugar, hence the 85 calories. The palate is a blend of grapefruit and other citrus with pineapple and a taut citrus lees that leads to subtle hazelnuts and vanilla in the finish. Its only drawback is a high level of acid, but for fans of New Zealand sauvignon blanc, it should be no problem. It is 78% barrel-fermented and aged in neutral French and American oak, drawing 41/31/28 fruit from Mendocino County/Monterey County/Santa Barbara County. If you want to lower your sugar and alcohol intake while drinking wine, this may be a possible alternative, mainly because it tastes like wine.Prices:
BC$23.99750ml
AB$22.99750ml
MB$23.95750ml
ON$20.95750ml
QC$21.05750ml
Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Freemark Abbey Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2021

Napa Valley, California, United StatesUnabashedly Napa, the 2021 pitches a full-on opening of honey, pineapple, oak spice, and orange. The palate is no less boisterous, with more warm, spicy pineapple and lemon curd, with creamy caramel and apple pie on the end. It's a bit old school, but no doubt there is a large audience for this style. Lobster is a fine match, or a brown butter pasta dish. The wine is 84% barrel fermented in 40% new French oak barrels before aging for 10 months in an 85/15 oak and stainless steel spread.Prices:
BC$50.99750ml
AB$50.47750ml
MB$42.00750ml
ON$44.95750ml
Producer: Freemark Abbey
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Carmel Road Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Carmel Road Chardonnay 2022

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesAt first taste, this certified sustainable all-Monterey chardonnay suggests it has had some oak aging, but this is not true. Its rich, creamy palate speaks to lower yields in 2022 that elevated the fruit quality. Look for intense fresh peach and sweet lime that spills onto a multi-layered citrus palate, providing acidity and freshness through the finish. It is California, for sure, but with a twist of modernity. It is certainly worth the money for California chardonnay fans, new and old. Technically, 75% of the chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel while the remainder is fermented in neutral oak, all at less than 13.5 percent alcohol.Prices:
BC$22.99750ml
AB$18.49750ml
Producer: Carmel Road Winery
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Yellow Tail Chardonnaytext
84PTS

Yellow Tail Chardonnay 2022

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaIt's been a while, Yellow Tail. The nose is attractive with fresh peach and a touch of lees. The mid-palate is fun with more baked peach and apple, but for some reason, there is an odd sweet liquid vanilla note that messes up the back end of what could have been a fun, affordable chardonnay.Prices:
BC$13.99750ml
Producer: Casella Estate Wines
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Yellow Tail Pure Bright Chardonnaytext
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Yellow Tail Pure Bright Chardonnay 2021

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaYellow Tail Pure Bright Chardonnay has been dialled back in alcohol and residual sugar. The claim is 110 calories per glass, at 9.5% alcohol. Messing around with grape juice to create a bottle of wine by numbers is never good, but I suppose you could say all wines are manipulated to some extent, so what have we here? The nose is tropical, pitching pineapple and ripe canteloupe that spills onto a vanilla and green melon palate that finishes short and low-alcohol flat. Ordinary at best, given an average glass of white wine runs about 120 calories with much less manipulation.Prices:
BC$12.99750ml
SK$12.99750ml
MB$12.99750ml
ON$8.95750ml
Producer: Casella Estate Wines
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Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay 2021

South Australia, AustraliaI tasted this 14 months ago, and it is pretty much the same delicious screwcap-sealed chardonnay today, namely a 70/30 Padthaway/Clare Valley blend. The nose is bright with fresh citrus, lees, and vanilla. The palate is packed with juicy nectarine and bolstered by lightly toasted cashew through the backside. Only a tiny portion of new French oak broadens the palate without quashing the fruit, leaving the finish clean and elegant. At $19, I repeat, back up the truck. It is in 49 BCL stores.Prices:
BC$18.99750ml
Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay 2021

Padthaway, South Australia, AustraliaWhat can you say about Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay? It’s been around forever but has changed its colour over the years literally and figuratively. I can say it's not your parent's chardonnay, but a much fresher, brighter, lighter version with much less oak. Expect a refreshingly light green apple affair with a touch of tangerine and stony, mineral fruit. Simple, dry, and ready to drink. Fish or chicken burgers come to mind.Prices:
BC$15.49750ml
AB$16.00750ml
SK$17.00750ml
MB$16.00750ml
ON$15.00750ml
QC$16.45750ml
NS$18.00750ml
Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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Leko Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Leko Chardonnay 2022

Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaLEKO Wine is an Adelaide Hills sister brand to Clare Valley's Koerner Wine. Damon Koerner and his wife Maddy bought a property in Lenswood in 2017, now home to this winery. Damon developed a passion for the Adelaide Hills through his 10 years as a viticulturist in the region. The name LEKO represents Lenswood and Koerner while also giving a nod to Maddy’s maiden name, Lehmann. This chardy comes 2/3 from Piccadilly, 1/3 Lenswood (young vineyard) and was fermented in French oak, mainly puncheons (50% new), where it remained 12 months on full solids before going back into stainless for 6 months prior to bottling. The new wood is face first at present, with an ample toasty, creamy bracket framing the lemon blossom / lemon balm / lemon curd, ripe green apple filling the core. Though tasting very much in youth, there is ample stuffing here, with great bones and buzzy energy through the finish. Quite smart.Prices:
BC$70.00750ml
Producer: Leko
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Wente Morning Fog Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2022

Livermore, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesThe Morning Fog opens with more freshness in 2022, no doubt due to the morning fog that drifts across the San Francisco Bay and pushes into the Livermore Valley most mornings during the growing season. This protects the fruit naturally from the sun for half the day, and returns in the mid to late afternoon to fix the acidity overnight. Look for fresh floral, buttery notes with green apples, melons, early-picked pineapple, and vanilla. I like this wine with West Coast Dungeness crab or a classic creamy linguini and clams dish.Prices:
BC$22.99750ml
AB$19.99750ml
MB$19.99750ml
ON$19.95750ml
QC$19.60750ml
NS$21.99750ml
NB$21.99750ml
PEI$22.99750ml
NL$22.99750ml
Producer: Wente Vineyards
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Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobinstext
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Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobins 2020

Burgundy, FranceThe Jadot Bourgogne Blanc is chardonnay purchased from quality growers in the Mâconnais, Côte Chalonnaise, and recently, Cote d’Or vineyards. Only about one-third of this white wine sees oak; the remaining is fermented and aged in stainless steel. I like the freshness here, the hint of yellow fruits, and the straw, mineral, citrus, and nut throughout. There is delicate harmony here. You can be assured this is food-friendly. Chicken dishes or creamy pasta creations all work here, as well as shellfish. An enjoyable Euro-style chardonnay.Prices:
BC$37.99750ml
AB$29.99750ml
Producer: Maison Louis Jadot
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04 January 2024

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyardtext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyard 2021

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom La Côte Vineyard in the Similkameen, the organic fruit was whole cluster pressed and then fermented and aged in French puncheons. It's a ripe expression of this chardonnay, reflecting the warmth of the 2021 vintage, with a combination of tangerine, peach, and russet apple that's accented by dried sage. On the palate, it's round, rich, and creamy, with soft acidity that will pair well with lobster pasta. A solid chardonnay at a fair price.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Unsworth Vineyards Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Chardonnay 2021

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaQuickly rising to the top echelon of BC chardonnay, this 2021 Chardonnay from Unsworth is only their 3rd vintage released. From the Mildenstein Vineyard's hillbank marine silts, this was whole cluster pressed and partially native fermented in neutral barriques on lees. Crisp and taut, latticed with lemon peel, this is lashed with marine salinity and bedded with fine downy lees. Green apple, lemon blossoms, and Meyer lemon are woven across the 12.5% palate, finishing with a saline wake. Think Chablis x BC in this crisp Wine Islands wine.Prices:
BC$34.90750ml
Producer: Unsworth Vineyards ULC
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Stevens Block Old Main Road Vineyardtext
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Stevens Block Old Main Road Vineyard 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSteven's Block is the steepest of the 4 acres planted on Naramata's Old Main Road vineyard in 2006, with clones 4 and 5 in silt over clay loams. Grapes were whole cluster pressed and fermented long and cool over six weeks in stainless before moving to older French barrels for MLF and 10 months's rest. Toasted popcorn, lime and lemon pith and peel, crunchy green apple is woven with fine, subtle reduction, and ample flake salts along a medium bodied, sleek, and mineral driven palate. The finish lingers with lemon peel and flake salts. Expressive, yet well handled, this is how BC can excel at Chardy. Really well done.Prices:
BC$27.04750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyardtext
91PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyard 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPreviously known as their Tribute Series Chardonnay, this Old Main Road vineyard's 26 year old vines are rooted in silt over clay loams. This was fermented long and cool in stainless before moving into French oak (25% new) for 11 months on lees, without bâtonnage, and with full MLF. It was bottled unfined and coarsely filtered. This opens with abundant alluring reduction which streams through the medium bodied wine, imbuing it with a potent salinity that colours the lemon, green apple, ripe pear, toasted flax, pencil shavings, fresh hazelnut that layers the palate. A lifted acidity easily carries this through a lingering saline finish. Quite forward, but carries this confidence very well. Very smart.Prices:
BC$31.39750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Dekleva Clone Anarchist Mountain Vineyardtext
89PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Dekleva Clone Anarchist Mountain Vineyard 2022

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the third single vineyard Anarchist Mountain Chardonnay from one of BC's chardy specialists. This comes from their family's estate, Osoyoos vineyard, planted in 1985 to an unknown clone (planted by Anthony Dekleva, hence the name on the label). This was native fermented long and cool in stainless, then transferred to French oak (33% new) for 11 months' rest on lees, without bâtonnage. Ripe and creamy, with ample pineapple, lemon curd, ripe pear, and toast gliding across the glossy, medium bodied palate, lingering with dried sage. Very southern Okanagan, in all its abundance, this well-handled chardy would suit creamy dishes now.Prices:
BC$32.26750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Stevens Block Old Main Road Vineyardtext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Stevens Block Old Main Road Vineyard 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaExpect a little Chris Carson magic, pitching crunchy, salted green apples with a hint of toasted baguette, all with a rush of stones and minerality. Lemon, lime, citrus dominates the mid-palate and finish, which is long, complex, and fun to savour. So much is packed into this wine from a unique piece of dirt in Narmata. If Meyer can do this, indeed, others should adopt the style. This is where the money is if that helps motivate your team. Impressive chardonnay you can drink or hold. Steven's Block is the steepest of the four acres planted on Naramata's Old Main Road vineyard in 2006, with clones 4 and 5 in silt over clay loams. Grapes were whole cluster pressed and fermented long and cool over six weeks in stainless before moving to older French barrels for MLF and ten months's rest. Back up the truck.Prices:
BC$27.04750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyardtext
92PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyard 2022

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFew chardonnays are as attractive as this wine, which is off the hop. Look for an inviting swath of reduction that draws you into this salty, fresh pear and apple affair, drenched in citrus. The flavours continue across the palate, adding hazelnuts and oyster liqueur. This is delicious stuff and should be a delight for chardonnay fans. the price is an outright bargain. The Old Main Road Vineyard's 26 year old vines sit over silty clay loams on the Naramata Bench, and were fermented in stainless at low temperatures before moving into French oak (25% new) and 11 months on its lees. It undergoes full malolactic fermentation but there is no bâtonnage.Prices:
BC$31.39750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Dekleva Clone Anarchist Mountain Vineyardtext
90PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Dekleva Clone Anarchist Mountain Vineyard 2022

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn 1985, an unknown chardonnay clone was planted on the Golden Mile Bench by the Dekleva family. Today, the unknown French clone has been labelled the Dekleva clone. While it is part of the chardonnay production at Checkmate Winery, it has also found a home on the highest vineyard in Osoyoos (585 metres) at Anarchist Mountain Vineyard. It is native fermented in stainless steel tanks before moving to French oak (33% new) for 11 months. The lees are in contact with the wine the entire time, but there is no stirring. Fully ripe, soft, and creamy, a tropical note is here, mixing ripe pineapple and lemon curd that carries the mid-palate to a wild desert sagebrush and toasted oak finish. This full-meal style chardonnay would be fine with roast turkey, creamy pasta dishes, and lobster with drawn butter.Prices:
BC$32.26750ml
Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyardtext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Winemaker's Series Chardonnay La Côte Vineyard 2021

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI remember when La Côte Vineyard was acquired and certified organic to fit easily into the comprehensive vineyard strategy at Clod du Soleil, and so it has. The individual notes of the GOW team all express a ripe, creamy character with peach, apple, lemon curd notes that are dusted in Similkameen sagebrush. Young and boisterous, this will settle down over the next year and remain a hardworking young chardonnay, rewarding now and over the next couple of years. It is all whole cluster pressed and fermented in older French puncheons, with no malolactic to keep it fresh, and aged on its lees for eight months, with periodic stirring as needed. Good value.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Chardonnay +30/09text
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Chardonnay +30/09 2021

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA season marked by intense heat has given this chardonnay a sweetness on the nose reminiscent of ripe pineapples and burnt taffy. The attack is bright with some freshness before spicy caramel and candied lemon kicks in through the finish. It's very Napa-like, with some redeeming minerality at the end. A bit of two styles fighting it out for your attention. My money is on a leaner, more Burgundian style heading down the road, but why do I think the California style will win out? Fruit sources from Okanagan Falls to Osoyoos suggest it's likely. The fermentation is a 78/22 mix in barrel/concrete egg, where 20% is new French oak. The wine is aged for 9 months sur lie and stirred, with a partial malolactic fermentation. Ready to drink.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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1 Mill Road Chardonnaytext
91PTS

1 Mill Road Chardonnay 2022

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis chardonnay is the first release for 1 Mill Road from a 10.4-acre site on the East Kelowna Slopes. About a third of the vineyard was planted to clone 95 a decade ago, and the quality is high. 2022 was a long, cool growing season, and it yielded a delicious, well-balanced chardonnay long on flavour. I love the vibrancy here and the lovely salty, citrus nuttiness. Fresh and lean but with complexity and depth, this is a winner. Restraint and elegance are rare in Chardonnay, but it is time to buy when it arrives. The handpicked fruit was pressed, and some 85% was fermented in seasoned French oak puncheons, while the remainder was fermented in new French oak barriques: post ferment, the wine aged in a barrel for nine months before blending and bottling. Good value.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: 1 Mill Road Vineyards
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Upper Bench Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Upper Bench Chardonnay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis chardonnay was aged in a split of French oak barrels and stainless steel for three months, and like the last vintage, it opens with intense toasted nut and smoky green apple and citrus. The attack is fresh, and what it lacks in subtlety, it more than makes up for in flavour. It is fresh on the palate with a slight uptick in alcohol to 13.8. Still, it has the peach and hazelnut base to absorb that easily, and it finishes with a vibrant level of acidity with a touch of reduction and smoke that adds interest. Think creamy pasta, seafood dishes, steamed lobster, or clams with a beurre noisette.Prices:
BC$28.85750ml
Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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1 Mill Road Chardonnaytext
89PTS

1 Mill Road Chardonnay 2022

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis restrained, lifted chardonnay shows a combination of lemon, baked apple, and fleshy white peach with a subtle, integrated oak accent. Some lees adds texture to the lean, snappy palate, leading to a moderate finish. A smart, modern chardonnay that reflects the vibrancy of the 2022 vintage. This is 1 Mill Road's first chardonnay released, coming from a single vineyard on the East Kelowna Slopes.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: 1 Mill Road Vineyards
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03 January 2024

Rigour & Whimsy The Beasttext
89PTS

Rigour & Whimsy The Beast 2020

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRigour & Whimsy are a tiny garagiste, family-owned winery based in Okanagan Falls, sourcing vineyards across the Okanagan for their creative and adventuresome (and artfully labelled) portfolio, one that changes annually. Nicknamed The Beast in the cellar due to its distinctive and potent character, this blend of 75% riesling and 25% gewürztraminer came from God's Mountain vineyard in Okanagan Falls. All was picked on the same day, destemmed and fermented in a 300L stainless tank where it macerated on skins for 4 months. It was then basket pressed into older French puncheons where it rested 26 months. After a wee squirt of SO2, this was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Pouring a deeper golden, lightly hazy hue, this orange certainly packs a punch beyond its 12.4%, with stencilled tangerine, perfumed white peach, apricot fuzz, crunchy Asian pear, anise, and a slick of white honey along a dry, textured frame, finishing with a twist of lime peel. These bigger flavours can handle bigger salty / umami flavours, so don't be shy in pairing.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: Rigour & Whimsy
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Frind Estate Big Whitetext
86PTS

Frind Estate Big White 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig White is a mix of grapes from Frind properties across the North and South Okanagan Vineyards. Each variety is part of a mosaic, mixing specific flavours and structures to produce a well-balanced, vibrant wine. The nose is a mix of floral and honeydew notes. The attack is round and mouth-filling with citrus and lime rind notes with a touch of bitterness in the finish. This is a simple summer sipper style to be served well chilled with spicy chicken tacos.Prices:
BC$21.49750ml
Producer: Frind Estate
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Domaine Gayrad Loin de L'Oeiltext
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Domaine Gayrad Loin de L'Oeil 2021

Galliac, Sud-Ouest, FranceLoin de l'Oeil is the dominant white grape in Gaillac, a commune in the south of France near Montpellier. It is a juicy, lean wine with more style than weight. Look for white flowers, pears, and mangoes with a whiff of honey. The palate is more of the same, with tropical and mineral support that pulls this white wine together. The grape is one of several local varieties that are grown biodynamically, picked by hand and fermented wild before it ages in older foudres for one year.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Domaine Gayrard
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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Grenache -Vermentino - Viogniertext
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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Grenache -Vermentino - Viognier 2020

Languedoc, Sud de France, FranceCôte des Roses celebrates the Mediterranean/Languedoc lifestyle, blending local grapes grenache, viognier, and vermentino, harvested separately at perfect ripeness. Bertrand pays particular attention to the pressing to ensure that only the first, highest quality juice is kept. Fermentation lasts between 15 and 30 days, and after light fining, the wine is bottled quite early to preserve its freshness and fruit. Look for a golden yellow colour with citrus and exotic tropical fruit, mixing floral, pineapple, and pear. The palate is equally fully flavoured with candied pears, melons, and pineapples with a twist of minerality. It is pleasing but straightforward, and perfect for steamed shellfish.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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