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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: June 2024

30 June 2024

Tantalus Blanc de Noirtext
91PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Noir 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHand picked from a single estate block of 1985 planted clone 93 Pinot Noir, this was fermented in older puncheons over 7 months prior to moving to bottle and 22 months sur lattes. It was disgorged in February 2024 with a dosage from their 2022 Maija Pinot Noir, bringing the RS to 7.2 g/L. Light wild strawberry, cherry is lit with pink grapefruit pith and peel, tightening this through a stony finish. Smart and friendly, which isn't the easiest combination, seek this out *if you can find it.Prices:
BC$36.50750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Tantalus Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2021

East Kelowna Slopes, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFruit from this BC classic chardonnay brut comes off a single block of 2013 plantings, and was fermented in older puncheons over 7 months prior to heading to bottle for 22 months sur lattes. This was disgorged in February with a low dosage (built from 2020 Chardonnay), leaving it under 4 g/L. Crisp green apple, crunchy Asian pear, grapefruit pith, anise is lit with a strident acidity, sharpening the edges and driving this forward to a lingering, savoury finish.Prices:
BC$34.80750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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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, FranceLes Parcelles is a mostly 2018 wine (70%), as noted by the XVIII on the front label, and is a mix of 70/30 pinot noir/chardonnay disgorged in June 2022 after 4 years on lees. Red and green apples and citrus roll over a saline oyster liqueur base that penetrates its long leesy palate, and finishes with a touch of spice. The balance is off the charts, allowing the terroir of one Champgane'se’s unique sub-regions to speak directly to the drinker. Pick your food match, as almost everything works. Antoine and Quentin Paillard are 8th generation vine growers, winemakers and brothers working with their father, Benoit. The family has been growing vines and making wine in Bouzy since 1768, owning only Grand Cru vineyards with old vines that are a result of a massale selection (vines created by taking cuts from the best example in the vineyard), an accurate definition of what a grower champagne producer is. Les Parcelles is an all-Bouzy sparkler made from 22 plots of the family's sustainably farmed vines, now more than 30+ years on average.Prices:
BC$100.00750ml
ON$73.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne Hélène Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes Extra Bruttext
94PTS

Champagne Hélène Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes Extra Brut NV

Côte des Blancs, Champagne, FranceDescended from a long line of winegrowers in Cramant since 1891, Pierre Hugot has worked with highly respected domains in France including Comte Liger-Belair, Chavy-Chouet, Jean-Marc Roulot, and Vaccelli, before coming back home to the family estate and implementing sustainable, organic, and biodynamic viticulture. He now oversees the family's small holdings in the Côtes des Blancs. This is the first release of his inaugural cuvée, and only 2000 bottles were produced. This cuvée, from vintage 2017, is from old vine vineyards in GC's Cramant, Avize, and Oger, and was native fermented and vinified in a mix of tank and barrel. My bottle was disgorged October 2023 with 2 g/L. Structurally fine boned, with a striking lightness of being, this epitomizes the graceful power of the Côte des Blancs, weaving deep chalk, lemon, and ample salinity, with a whisper fine line of reduction drawing this through the lingering finish. Precise, finessed, and impressive, this is certainly a producer to watch.Prices:
ON$100.00750ml
Producer: Champagne Domaine Hélène
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Tantalus Blanc de Blancstext
92PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2021

East Kelowna Slopes, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI am a big fan of Blanc de Blancs, which, at its best, pours with complexity and finesse, as this does. The Tantalus BdB comes off an ageing 11-year-old chardonnay block on the home East Kelowna estate. Winemaker David Patterson ferments it in older neutral puncheons, where it spends seven months on its lees before being bottled for secondary fermentation. It spends another 22 months on lees before it is disgorged and topped up with some still chardonnay, setting the residual sugar at a modest 3.85 g/L. Expect a creamy palate with intriguing textures mixed with early morning ocean notes. Citrus and oyster liquor fill the back end of an enticing sparkler that should live well through 2030. Oh, and I love the price.Prices:
BC$34.80750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Lightning Rock Pét Nat Chenin Blanc Harrington House Vineyardtext
90PTS

Lightning Rock Pét Nat Chenin Blanc Harrington House Vineyard 2023

Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPet Nats are not my favourite, but I would make an exception for this bottle, which is as good as it gets for the category. Certainly, chenin blanc seems well suited for the fragrant aromas that spill onto the palate, pitching pear, melons, and honeysuckle with refreshing acidity and a surprising amount of minerality. The fruit is farmed organically at Harrington House Vineyard in Peachland, whole cluster pressed, settled for a day and fermented slow and relaxed in concrete eggs. It was bottled by mid-October and rested on its lees for six months before being disgorged in March 2024. The winery recommends a creamy textured soft cheese like Brie or Camembert to set off the crispy green flavours of the wine. This is a refreshingly well-made Pet Nat you can enjoy all summer.Prices:
BC$32.00750ml
Producer: Lightning Rock
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JoieFarm Plein de Vie Bruttext
89PTS

JoieFarm Plein de Vie Brut 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt has been a few years since I last tasted this wine, which was a friendly cherry-berry affair at the time. This latest rendition is a much more complete bubble with bright acidity running through a field of wild strawberries and fresh cranberries, all with a tight array of bubbles that lifts its overall demeanour. It is still a delicious rosé, but a more serious approach to its carbonation allows it to come to the table where it shines.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: JoieFarm
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28 June 2024

Bartier Bros. Bruttext
90PTS

Bartier Bros. Brut NV

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt has been a year since we last tasted this multi-vintage wine. It was showing well then, and with 12 more months of bottle time, it has added to its charm, pitching more complexity and length. The Bartier traditional method sparkling program has gone multi-vintage to begin using a small supply of reserve wines to bolster the house style. Disgorged initially in October 2022 with zero dosage, it is a chardonnay brut, fermented and aged four months in stainless before heading to bottle for 12 months. Green apples with juicy citrus electrify a peach and pear underside with creamy, toasty notes. I love the taut, linear lines and lemon peel finish. Oysters, anyone? Friendly, and fresh, and a lovely work in progress.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Noble Ridge The Pink Onetext
91PTS

Noble Ridge The Pink One 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA favourite of many at the recent National Wine Awards, this mature rosé opens with toasted notes and crisp dry red fruit that shout class and traditional method winemaking. Look for a mix of strawberry and raspberry mixed with red apples and cherries that stream throughout the wine, with a touch of brioche in the finish. Drink all summer on the patio with smoked salmon and cream cheese or some spicy tuna sushi rolls. This will have a broad appeal.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosétext
87PTS

Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosé NV

Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainThis rosado remains a consistent class act for its price. Look for a bright, clean, fruity nose, a clear step up on most Cava, led by a fruity, creamy palate that enters with a hint of sweet raspberries but dries out as it runs along the palate. The blend is trepat / monastrell / garnacha, which ultimately makes for a fun summer sipper or brunch rosé that will charm most imbibers. Perfect with prawns.Prices:
BC$22.99750ml
AB$20.95750ml
Producer: Segura Viudas
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Henkell Rosé Dry Sectext
86PTS

Henkell Rosé Dry Sec NV

GermanyA pale, shiny, bright pink greets you in the glass of this off-dry bubble, with some tangy orange and rhubarb. The medium/large bubbles pull the baked red apples and pear to the surface before a round, lightly frothy finish. This is a simple, fun bubble for the patio or something you might use in cocktails or punch. The wine is as friendly as its price.Prices:
BC$14.99750ml
NF$15.00750ml
ON$14.00750ml
SK$15.00750ml
QC$16.00750ml
Producer: Henkell & Co. Gruppe
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Black Chalk Wild Rose English Sparkling Winetext
89PTS

Black Chalk Wild Rose English Sparkling Wine 2020

Hampshire, EnglandThis traditional method sparkling wine from England is a mix of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay. Expect fleeting raspberries, strawberries, and citrus. The acidity is bright, lean, and taut, more reminiscent of Okanagan style than Champagne. It pairs perfectly with lightly cooked prawns in butter and shallots, but it is expensive.Prices:
BC$87.14750ml
Producer: Black Chalk Winery
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24 June 2024

Rigour & Whimsy Gamay Noirtext
92PTS

Rigour & Whimsy Gamay Noir 2023

Kaleden, 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. From a young Kaleden vineyard, en route to becoming organically certified, this gamay was destemmed, punched down by hand, and barrel aged for 5 months. Bright and peppery wild plum, tayberry, perfumed raspberry, fragrant black tea teems on the medium bodied palate, pinned with long, fine tannins, and buzzing with a stony underlay. Lovely finesse and energy here.Prices:
BC$33.00750ml
Producer: Rigour & Whimsy
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Haywire Gamaytext
92PTS

Haywire Gamay 2022

East Kelowna Slopes, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 45 year old gamay vines in Kelowna, this was native fermented in small open top tanks and concrete over 1 month, with 50% whole cluster. Bright and peppery, this energetic and lifted gamay charms with wild plum, boysenberry, finely rasped pink peppercorn, and easy, buoyant acidity. Tannins are fine and long, and there's an alluring buzzy stony undercurrent that ups the interest. A beauty. #GoGamayGo.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Benjamin Passot Chénas En Pérelletext
94PTS

Benjamin Passot Chénas En Pérelle 2021

Chénas, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceBenjamin Passot is Burgundian by birth, with his professional experience acquired over several years on the Vosne Romanée terroirs. He created his Beaujolais domaine in 2017 in Juliénas, and today, the estate owns more than 3.5 hectares of vines, growing to include the crus Moulin à vent, Morgon, Chiroubles, and Chénas. En Pérelle is a lieu-dit from 50-year-old vines, at 210m, facing south on deep clay soils and galets. This was destemmed and native fermented in barrel. Super fragrant and buoyant, with peonies, cherry, rosewater, and wild strawberry lit with a crunchy cranberry acidity, seasoned with star anise, pink peppercorn, wild spearmint, mandarine peel, and fine salinity. Tannins are whisper fine, yielding a slight tactile edge to keep this food friendly. Such a joyous wine. 1200 bottles.Prices:
ON$37.95750ml
Producer: Domaine Benjamin Passot
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Domaine Benjamin Passot Juliénas Vauxtext
92PTS

Domaine Benjamin Passot Juliénas Vaux 2021

Juliénas, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceBenjamin Passot is Burgundian by birth, with his professional experience acquired over several years on the Vosne Romanée terroirs. He created his Beaujolais domaine in 2017 in Juliénas, and today, the estate owns more than 3.5 hectares of vines, growing to include the crus Moulin à vent, Morgon, Chiroubles, and Chénas. Vaux is from 80-year-old vines from the lieu-dit Vaux, at 290m, rooted in blue granites and Limoneux clay. It was native fermented and aged in older barrels. Pouring a pale cherry hue, this bright, lifted red shows spring rhubarb, wild raspberry, and finely crushed stones across a buzzy base, with a pure wild cherry core wrapped with whisper fine tannins and lit with brisk acidity and finishing with a lingering salinity. Finely boned, and super smart, this is showing beauty at present.Prices:
ON$40.95750ml
Producer: Domaine Benjamin Passot
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Haywire Gamaytext
91PTS

Haywire Gamay 2022

East Kelowna Slopes, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOld gamay vines (45 years) in Kelowna are at the heart of this native fermented gamay, using 50% whole clusters in a mix of small open top tanks and concrete for 30+ days. The nose is electric, with bright red fruit jumping from the glass. On the palate, the fruits run, blending notes of cranberries, boysenberries, and dark plum, all with a delicate peppery note. The tannins are soft, and the acidity is bright with a mineral undertow. This is a benchmark BC gamay and a delight to drink. Perfect for grilled chicken or a Margherita pizza.Prices:
BC$31.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Hillside Founder's Block Gamaytext
88PTS

Hillside Founder's Block Gamay 2020

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFounder's Block refers to Hillside's first planting, this 1984 block of gamay. It was cold soaked for 2 weeks over 1 month of skin contact and ferment, prior to pressing into French oak (1/3 new) where it remained for 8 months. Plum, sapid branch, forest bark is seasoned with espresso and barrel spice. Acidity is tart, and tannins are finely gritty, taking this through a warming, bitter cherry finish. Feeling a bit hot at near 14%, this 2020 should be drunk sooner than later.Prices:
BC$45.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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Pentâge Winery Gamay Noirtext
90PTS

Pentâge Winery Gamay Noir 2022

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Skaha Bench estate gamay was aged 13 months in an equal split of puncheon (2nd and 3rd fill) and stainless. Dark and dusky cassis, black plum, forest bark is housed with soft, sueded tannins, and lifted with a juicy acidity which takes this to the baking spice finish. A lovely darker shaded gamay for sauced mushroom and / or duck dishes.Prices:
BC$29.56750ml
Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Lunessence Gamaytext
90PTS

Lunessence Gamay 2022

Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Summerland gamay was foot trodden and native fermented before 9 months in a mix of neutral French and American oak. Perfumed plum, black cherry floods a juicy, lifted palate, with softly dusky tannins to frame. Very harmonious and knit, through the buzzy lingering finish.Prices:
BC$32.99750ml
Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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21 June 2024

Da Silva Vinho Brancotext
88PTS

Da Silva Vinho Branco 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVinho Branco is a unique BC wine starting with its blend of pinot gris, viognier, pearl of Casaba, and chardonnay that come off three different vineyards. Its progressive winemaking sees the grapes co-fermented in a single tank as they arrive at the winery in a nod to the old Portuguese field blends. Winemaker Richard da Silva, whose family emigrated from Portugal and been farming in the Okanagan since the mid-1950s, ages this wine for a short 4 months. It leaves it remarkably fresh, pitching florals, minerality, bitter grapefruit, and fresh white fruit sprinkled with a squeeze of ripe apricot and citrus that puckers the palate and prepares you to enjoy a varied menu of foods. A great place to drink this wine is onsite at The Kitchen, the winery patio restaurant that is packing them in. The label designed by Twyla Da Silva is spot on the money. Look for future versions to contain Portuguese grape varieties, as Richard pays homage to the family history.Prices:
BC$25.99750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Soito Dao Otios Reserva Brancotext
87PTS

Soito Dao Otios Reserva Branco 2022

Dão, Northern Portugal, Portugal2022 was a super dry growing season, leading to a richer white that opens with soft, warm hints of ripe peach and pineapple, and smooth, medium weight, creamy textures. There is a fair bit of sweet vanilla and almonds poking through the mid-palate and finish, suggesting this wine can take on richer fish dishes at the dinner table. I would love just a bit more acidity here to add some excitement.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Soito Wines
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20 June 2024

Lightning Rock Rieslingtext
89PTS

Lightning Rock Riesling 2023

Garnet Valley, Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis new Lightning Rock Riesling comes from Garnet Valley's Tony's Vineyard and its gravelly sandy loams. After a whole cluster press, it was native fermented in stainless (10% in neutral foudre) for six months. Finished off-dry, with 20 g/L RS to counter the racy acidity, it leaps across the palate with pulpy lime, juicy tangerine, fleshy ripe pear, and pithy grapefruit, finishing snappy and bright. Fun and easy to drink at 9.8%.Prices:
BC$25.00750ml
Producer: Lightning Rock
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Free Form Rieslingtext
90PTS

Free Form Riesling 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their organic Garnet Valley Ranch, this riesling was planted in 2015. After a whole bunch press and native ferment in concrete egg, this remained in situ until bottling. Lime blossoms, pithy white grapefruit, and steely green apple rule the dry, slight (11%), and sleek frame, finishing with a raspy crushed stone bite. Packs a lot into a little, and if you like your riesling dry and textural, try this.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Bartier Bros. Rieslingtext
87PTS

Bartier Bros. Riesling 2022

Thompson Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Thompson Valley riesling is rooted in sandy silt soils over limestone, and was whole cluster pressed and native fermented in stainless, where it ages on lees for 3 months. Super sharp acidity drives this snappy riesling, but comes up against some lactic cheesy lees on the palate, detracting from the purity. Lime blossom and peel, green melon, and crunchy green apple work the sleek palate, bumped with sugar which finishes this bluntly. Looks like a great site, and hope for smoother results in future.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Bartier Bros. Rieslingtext
90PTS

Bartier Bros. Riesling 2022

Thompson Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMichael Bartier has much experience making riesling in the south Thompson River Valley consulting for others, but I asked why not make your own wine and sell it under the Bartier label. 2022 is a stunning South Thompson River Valley riesling, hand picked the day before Halloween. The fruit is grown on sandy silts over limestone bedrock. It is whole cluster pressed, and native fermented in stainless steel tanks. Post ferment racking from lees is followed by a brief 3 months in the tank. This is off-dry, yet seemingly dry, thanks to what Michael calls a “galvanizing acidity.” Lemons and minerals dominate from front to back, and are perfectly balanced. Ready to drink, and keep your hand on the bottle at parties because it will be gone in seconds. This wine is incredibly fruity, mineral and intense, with a long finish. This will age gracefully for decades. The chemistry is poetic: pH 2.71, RS 12.8 g/L, TA 9.1 g/L and modest alcohol at 10.8%.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Free Form Rieslingtext
91PTS

Free Form Riesling 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFree From is a certified organic riesling grown in Summland at Garnet Valley Ranch, a 300+hectare, high-altitude property planned and executed by Chris Coletta and Steve Lornie, wine visionary David Scholefield, along with superstar consultants Chilean Pedro Parra, and Italian Alberto Antonini. The property is currently under the care of viticulturist Duncan Billing and winemaker Matt Dymayne, and the riesling is thriving. In 2022, a prolific crop turned out what looks to be another winner. It’s packed with minerals and Okanagan desert scrub scents that set the stage for a mouthwatering, electric, citrus palate, pitching lemons and wet stones in a taut, balanced, bone dry package. This is not a sipper. It is a wine made for food. West Coast shellfish is the match, and hats off to winemaker Matt Dumayne.Prices:
BC$34.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Moselland Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Kabinetttext
87PTS

Moselland Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Kabinett 2021

Mosel, GermanyThis Mosel riesling is clean and bright. It comes from one of the top co-ops in the region, based in Bernkastel. The style is just off-dry, but it's hardly noticeable, given the citrus, apricot, and green apple. The finish is clean and crisp. Enjoy it solo on a warm patio, or pair it with a favourite sushi roll. It's fine value.Prices:
BC$18.49750ml
AB$15.95750ml
Producer: Moselland eG
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17 June 2024

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Carignantext
90PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Carignan 2021

LebanonFrom a western Bekaa site at 1050m elevation, this old vine carignan was fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeast and aged for 2 years in the same. It begins with a slightly reserved profile that evolves into a sumptuous red. Raspberry, red plum, fresh fig, and dark cherry merge with dusty earthiness and hints of dried lavender. The fruit, both fleshy and pure, integrates seamlessly with savoury rustic notes. Ample tannins lead to a dry, satisfying finish.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsaulttext
91PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsault 2021

LebanonA charming cinsault from the western Bekaa's old vines, over 50 years strong. Fermented in concrete tanks with native yeasts and aged in neutral French oak barrels, this lighter bodied, refreshing red bursts with high aromatic intensity. Enticing notes of rose petals, a hint of spices, wild brambles, and tangy raspberries are layered with earthy minerality and a touch of dried Mediterranean herbs. Highly drinkable, this wine is an exciting find, full of delightful surprises, and proof that less is more.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Domaine des Tourelles Syrah du Libantext
88PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Syrah du Liban 2018

LebanonThis is a bold, sun-soaked syrah from Western Bekaa that's led by generous American oak (100% new, 24 months) alongside baked brambles and peppery spices. It's certainly a well made wine, though very much in a traditional, old school idiom that's more about wood than grape variety. The vines here are 20-25 years old.Prices:
BC$74.99750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Carignantext
89PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Carignan 2021

LebanonLike the cinsault, this carignan comes from 50+ year old vines in Western Bekaa. This is a rugged, savoury red with lifted dark plum and red cherry backed by leather, potpourri, anise, and clay. The tannins are assertive and chewy, even after two years in concrete, and this is calling for hearty grilled meats like lamb kofta, or another 2-3 years in the cellar.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsaulttext
90PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsault 2021

LebanonThis cinsault comes from dry farmed 50+ year old vines planted in Western Bekaa at 1050m elevation. It shows a combination of dried red cherry and raspberry, with dried rose petals, savoury spices, and a sapid, baked clay-like minerality. There's a rustic charm here, while still transparently speaking to place with a beautiful purity of fruit. This was aged in neutral French barriques for 8 months prior to bottling.Prices:
BC$44.99750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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12 June 2024

Da Silva Vinho Tintotext
88PTS

Da Silva Vinho Tinto 2021

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDa Silva estate is located on the Naramata Bench and is owned by Richard and Twylla da Silva. The family story began in 1955 when they moved from Portugal to the Okanagan Valley and in 1959 when they purchased their first piece of land. The Tinto can come from four estate vineyards blending merlot, syrah, cabernet franc, sauvignon, and malbec. However, the plan is to go Portuguese with future editions, including touriga nacional and friends. The 2021 was crafted following the Portuguese centuries long tradition of field blending. It was aged 18 months in a mix of French and American oak, a little less than previous releases, and it looks better. I like the sweet cherries and vanilla, florals, Turkish coffee, and baking spices. It has an intriguing wild note and bits of desert brush in the finish. A perfect winter stew wine or an all around pizza friend. I recommend a short decanting period to allow the wine to stretch its legs. If you are in the neighbourhood, the winery is also home to The Kitchen at da Silva, where a fusion of Mexican/Portuguese tapas is the theme, making it one of the most exciting places to eat in South Okanagan.Prices:
BC$28.00750ml
Producer: Da Silva Vineyards and Winery
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Liber Farm and Winery Rebil Craftman's Blendtext
90PTS

Liber Farm and Winery Rebil Craftman's Blend 2018

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Rebil Craftsman's Blend 2018 is a unique mix of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot, all from small lot, old vine plantings in the south Okanagan. At five years old, it initially had a bit of rubber on the nose, but with time, that dissipated, revealing a wine bursting with black fruit and savoury desert scrub, an accurate representation of the south Okanagan. The palate is intense with wild, savoury Similkameen, and black fruit. It's a continuation of the same on the palate, with spicy, peppery, dry black fruits and a cedar licorice undercurrent through the finish. This wine will benefit from expanding in the bottle for another year or two, but it's also enjoyable now, especially with grilled beef or lamb. Wine club members, particularly, should find this wine irresistible upon release.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Liber Estates
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Rocas de Señatext
90PTS

Rocas de Seña 2020

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileRocas de Seña, as you may have deduced, is the second wine of Seña. Second wines speak to the history of wine in Bordeaux, and traditionally, they were made with fruit from younger vines and barrels that failed to make the cut for the number one label. The Rocas 2020 was the first such label released by Seña commercially, although it appears to be more of a standalone label. It is a softer version with fewer tannins, making it more approachable now. The blend mixes malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, and petit verdot, leading to a vibrant and more critically complex red. Look for a bright mix of red fruits, meat, tobacco, mushrooms, dried herbs, and green olives. Perfect for a midweek steak.Prices:
BC$70.99750ml
AB$59.99750ml
MB$199.99750ml
ON$199.99750ml
QC$199.99750ml
Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Señatext
93PTS

Seña 2019

Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileLast tasted in December, there is little change here. 2019 Seña mixes 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, and 4% Petit Verdot from a cool year, at least in Panquehue. It opens with earthy, red fruit streaked with cedar and tobacco. It is tightly wound, linear, and youthful at this point, but a calm balance suggests it will have a long future in the bottle. The current finish is dry and savoury while flashing plenty of refreshing acidity. Its greatest asset is its elegance, so be patient. It is primarily fermented in stainless steel, with only 10% coming out of concrete vats, keeping the wine taut and restrained. It soaks up 80% new French oak barrels and 10% in larger wood, where it’s aged for 22 months.Prices:
BC$199.99750ml
AB$180.00750ml
MB$199.99750ml
ON$180.00750ml
QC$180.00750ml
Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Baron Philippe de Rothschild Baronesa Ptext
91PTS

Baron Philippe de Rothschild Baronesa P 2020

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileBaronesa P. came from a selection of top blocks studied over the years, and blended to create a cuvée in honour of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. 2020 is considered to be on the short list of modern Chile’s finest vintages. The nose is classic Maipo with a savoury, boldo undercurrent punctuated with spicy black fruits and subtle toasted oak that run through the wine. It is aged 14 months in 65% new French oak and 35% 1 year old barrels. On the palate, the silky textures grab your attention upfront before the black fruit and licorice take over, with streaks of blueberry and bitter chocolate. It is a baby that will undoubtedly be even better in three to five years. The upper Maipo is a particular part of Chile, and the red wine world needs more of it moving forward. An old school match I like is beef Wellington.Prices:
BC$71.99750ml
AB$75.99750ml
MB$81.50750ml
ON$76.00750ml
QC$74.25750ml
Producer: Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA
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Maison Smith Monpetit Musetext
89PTS

Maison Smith Monpetit Muse 2022

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMuse is another fine start from Maison Smith Monpetit. It is always delightful to taste wines that are well made right out of the gate because first impressions are significant in the wine business. Muse is a cabernet franc / merlot blend and a superb mix of red and blue fruit, pitching a full flavoured but lively red with no sense of cooked or dead fruit. This is aged 30% in two year old French oak, and 70% in neutral French oak barrels for only 12 months before being bottled, fined and unfiltered. The result is a bright wine with freshness and fullness that will age gracefully through 2030.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Maison Smith Montpetit Bottega and Vineyards
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Hillside Mosaictext
91PTS

Hillside Mosaic 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe just released 2017 comes with 7 years of age at the winery. The Naramata red blend is a 33/25/18/17/7 mix of merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot, which is a study in blending. The tannins are mostly dispersed, leaving a silky dryness here that takes me more down the Margaux path than Napa. In all, it spent 18 months in 42% new French oak. The style is graceful, and the result is admirable, although the vintage was not one of the best. You can drink this now or hold it through 2027 with no issues. Winemaker Kathy Malone’s thoughts on the vintage appear to be bang on today: “We were very fortunate this summer on the Naramata Bench to have no close fires and to actually have clear skies during the early weeks of veraison when grapes are thought most likely to pick up taint. The smoke cover during the hottest periods acted as a shade, preventing sunburn, loss of aromatics and excessive sugar production, while the warmth promoted tannin and flavour ripening.”Prices:
BC$70.00750ml
Producer: Hillside Winery
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Road 13 Fifth Element Redtext
90PTS

Road 13 Fifth Element Red 2020

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 5th Element is a rugged red blend that mixes most of the Bordeaux varieties with a hit of syrah, but it is more South Okanagan in style than Australian. The final blend is based on selecting the best barrels after 18 months of aging in French and American oak. The style is rich, spicy, and savoury, with more blue and black fruit across the middle and end of the palate. The finish is a gathering of sweet fruit and slick, chalky tannins with more spicy oak to disperse in the finish. BBQ ribs will do fine now until this wine settles into itself in a few years.Prices:
BC$65.00750ml
Producer: Road 13
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Nestor Avarinó Dry Red Winetext
88PTS

Nestor Avarinó Dry Red Wine 2022

Messinia, Peloponnese, GreeceFrom Greece's peninsular Peloponnese, and the Nestor Wines co.op, this full red blends cabernet sauvignon, agiogitiko, and grenache from sandy clay soils at 300-400m. Ripe and cushy cherry, plum, stones flood the juicy palate, threaded with scrubby herbs, and smoothed with silky tannins, finishing off this medium red with a peppery baking spice. Very friendly and welcoming.Prices:
AB$16.00750ml
Producer: Nestor
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10 June 2024

Escorihuela 1884 Organic Vineyard Malbectext
89PTS

Escorihuela 1884 Organic Vineyard Malbec 2021

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaWinemaker Matias Ciciani is a big fan of Plot 6 at the El Cepillo estate in the Uco Valley. The fruit is farmed biodynamically, resulting in excellent acidity and homogeneous ripeness. It is aged in stainless steel for eight months and then another eight months in bottle. The wine is very earthy, blending red and black fruits with a wealth of aromatics featuring thyme, rosemary, and balsamic. Some black fruit balances the earthy undertones of this wine, making it a well rounded bottle. It has all the hallmarks of an excellent, cool vintage. This wine is a perfect match for beef empanadas, and with a bit of decanter time, it will truly shine.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Escorihuela 1884 Limited Production Malbectext
90PTS

Escorihuela 1884 Limited Production Malbec 2020

Mendoza, ArgentinaExpect fragrant aromas of ripe red fruits, led by plums and cherries, with a floral undercurrent. The palate opens earthy and dry, full of wild berry, spices, and finishing fresh. The wine spent 10 months in French oak barrels, and fruit comes from 4 Mendoza vineyard sites: Las Compuertas and La Consulta, with vines more than 100 years old and planted in deep clay/loam soils; Vistaflores, with sandy-loam soils covered by calcareous rocks; and the estate vineyard located in El Cepillo, an area with a rocky surface rich in calcium carbonate and a sandy loam texture.Prices:
BC$45.00750ml
Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Escorihuela 1884 Cabernet Sauvignon Finca E.G.text
88PTS

Escorihuela 1884 Cabernet Sauvignon Finca E.G. 2022

Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis rich everyday cabernet takes you in two directions. It is oak driven, with vanilla, sweet spices, and some milk chocolate, but it has some herbaceous jarilla character that helps temper the sweet notes. The black fruit is the star here and should help this wine fully mature over the next two or three years. Steaks, ribs, or your favourite cheese are all you need here.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Escorihuela 1884 Gran Reserva Malbectext
91PTS

Escorihuela 1884 Gran Reserva Malbec 2021

Mendoza, ArgentinaThe Gran Reserva labels come out of the heart of the Agrelo estate in Lujan de Cuyo, consistently revealing the terroir's highest expression. The vines grow over homogeneous sandy loam soils on a site flushed daily by cool mountain air coming off the Andes. In 2021, spring frost lowered the yields across the province of Mendoza, delivering some impressive red grapes. I have been impressed by what is going on at this winery at the high end, and this wine is no exception. The purity of malbec is on full display here, where it is aged for 12 months in French oak and 12 more months in the bottle. The nose and palate are awash in fresh plums, floral undertones, and bright raspberry jam, with a perfectly spicy smoky finish. It's complex but in a fun way. Serve this with anything from beef tacos or empanadas to lamb shanks or aubergine casserole.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Escorihuela Gascón 1884 Finca E. G. Malbectext
88PTS

Escorihuela Gascón 1884 Finca E. G. Malbec 2021

Mendoza, ArgentinaEscorihuela Gascón has been exploring its terroir since 1884, and it continues today. The entry level malbec is made from select parcels that provide a soft, friendly, welcoming note for wine drinkers. The Agrelo area is a site favoured by catabatic winds that push out the warm air every evening, leaving the vineyard and the grapes fresh. 60% was aged in French and American oak for eight months. The fruit is juicy and rich in plum and blueberry, with soft tannins. Well made, reasonably priced, and ready to drink.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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07 June 2024

Falernia Number One Pedriscal Single Vineyardtext
89PTS

Falernia Number One Pedriscal Single Vineyard 2019

Valle del Elqui, ChileNumber One is a full throttle, blockbuster red blend that shows opulently ripe fruit backed by generous oak. There's a lot of wine here for the price, and you'll want an equally hefty protein to match. Expect lifted, brooding dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, sweet spices, and fresh herbs. Everything about this wine says "more is more," and it's certainly well made for the style. A 50/25/25 blend of cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, and syrah from Elqui Valley.Prices:
BC$25.99750ml
AB$24.99750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Mayu Pinot Noir Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyardtext
90PTS

Mayu Pinot Noir Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyard 2020

Valle del Elqui, ChileFrom Don Mauro Vineyard in the Elqui Valley, this pinot noir combines ripe strawberry and cranberry, cherry with a savoury earthiness that gives this real depth, and pinot character. It's nicely proportioned, with fine tannins and a lovely juiciness to the fruit even at 14%. I continue to be impressed by the quality of pinot noir coming from throughout Chile. Excellent value, though not yet available in the BC market.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Falernia Viognier Reservatext
87PTS

Falernia Viognier Reserva 2023

Valle del Elqui, ChileFrom Elqui Valley, the northernmost wine region in Chile, this is a crisp, fruit driven Viognier that’s surprisingly citrusy with a combination of orange blossom, lemon, and cream, alongside a desert herb accent. Well made and fairly priced.Prices:
BC$15.00750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Mayu Carménère Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyardtext
88PTS

Mayu Carménère Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyard 2020

Valle del Elqui, ChileThis Elqui carménère shows cassis and lush blackberry sitting under a lavish amount of American oak. That's overshadowing the pure, expressive fruit underneath at this stage, though it's difficult to imagine this will ever fully come into balance. It's otherwise impressively made, with a suave, polished palate that's seamlessly balanced with a well integrated 14.5% abv.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Mayu Syrah Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyardtext
89PTS

Mayu Syrah Gran Reserva Don Mauro Vineyard 2021

Valle del Elqui, ChileThis syrah shows sweet black raspberry with candied rose petals, sap, cracked pepper, and a subtle meatiness. There's clear varietal character here, and it nicely evolves in the glass to reveal more depth with time, before finishing with moderate length. Well made and correct. Sourced from Don Mauro Vineyard in Elqui Valley.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Falernia Syrah Reserva Titon Vineyardtext
90PTS

Falernia Syrah Reserva Titon Vineyard 2020

Valle del Elqui, ChileFrom Titon Vineyard, planted on stony soils in Elqui Valley 18 kilometres from the ocean at 350m elevation, this has a mineral undercurrent that's layered with dried blackberries, raspberries, herbs, and a litany of savoury spices. In contrast to the 2017 Gran Reserva Syrah, the fruit is much more restrained here, but with a rich, full bodied palate that is dense and mouthcoating, backed by polished, structured tannins that will allow this to continue to improve over the next 3-5 years. An impressive, distinctive wine of place.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Falernia Gran Reserva Syrahtext
89PTS

Falernia Gran Reserva Syrah 2017

Valle del Elqui, ChileThis Elqui syrah combines macerated brambles, candied violet, and a rich meatiness. There's notable fruit ripeness here, both in terms of the liqueur-like character of the fruit and 14.5% abv, but there's a retained freshness that keeps this well balanced. The 2017 vintage is just starting to show a hint of tertiary development, but remains surprisingly youthful, with fine grained tannins that are nicely resolved at this stage. Drink now with summer barbeque fare, or continue to the cellar for another 5-7 years. Tremendous value, so back up the truck.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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Falernia Gran Reserva Carmeneretext
88PTS

Falernia Gran Reserva Carmenere 2020

Valle del Elqui, ChileThis is a distinctive expression of carmenere from Elqui, with 60% of the fruit dried in the appassimento method. It comes across as more spicy than herbaceous, with an evolved character to the fruit. Expect a combination of black pepper, stewed black currants and blackberries, and generous coconut tinged American oak. It doesn't quite come into balance, but there's much to like at this price for those seeking a bold, full bodied, value priced red for barbeque season.Prices:
BC$19.99750ml
Producer: Viña Falernia
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06 June 2024

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Merweh & Obeiditext
89PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Merweh & Obeidi 2022

LebanonThis is a blend of two indigenous Lebanese grapes, merweh and obeidi, sourced from the north of the country. It's a distinctive wine, and you certainly feel the impressive concentration of these low-yielding old vines (100+ years for the merweh) on the palate. It's textured, saline, and savoury, yet with a sun-soaked warmth to the restrained fruit even at just 11% abv. The vines have not been pruned or treated for over two decades, so this is as organic as it gets. A fun discovery that is well worth exploring.Prices:
BC$42.00750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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River Stone Splashtext
87PTS

River Stone Splash 2023

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis aromatic white blend uses estate and sourced fruit in its pinot gris, gewürztraminer, viognier mix. Each had a short amount of skin time before fermenting in stainless. Post ferment, the blend was made just prior to bottling. Quite fragrant up front, with a mix of jasmine, honeysuckle, and ripe pear that funnels into the snappy, glycerol-lined palate, finishing with a dusting of ginger spice. Friendly and simple, take this with a big chill and lightly spiced bites.Prices:
BC$22.90750ml
Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Boutinot La Fleur Solitaire Côtes du Rhône Blanctext
88PTS

Boutinot La Fleur Solitaire Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2019

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceLa Fleur Solitaire is the only white wine in the Boutinot Rhône range, hence its Solitaire moniker. This Côtes du Rhône mixes grenache blanc with marsanne, roussanne, viognier, bourboulenc, and clairette, and will thoroughly entertain you. The fruit comes from selected vineyards in the southern Rhône. Over the years, the portion vinified in stainless steel has grown, with just under a third of the wine now vinified and matured for six months in mostly 3rd fill French oak barrels to add complexity and a creamy texture. It smells like the southern Rhône with floral, licorice, and soft, round, creamy, ripe yellow fruit. It is still hanging in there for 2019. It is best served with white asparagus, or creamy chicken with tarragon sauce.Prices:
BC$26.00750ml
MB$22.05750ml
NFL$23.30750ml
Producer: Boutinot
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River Stone Splashtext
88PTS

River Stone Splash 2023

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI can get behind this kind of aromatic off-dry white blend because the mix of viognier, pinot gris, and gewürztraminer, all from the south Okanagan, doesn’t get too sweet. In fact, it opens with ripe orchard fruits on the nose, but after that, the mix of white peach and crunchy Asian pear keeps the palate linear and fresh with just a dusting of spices in the finish. Bright, fresh, restrained, and fun to drink, especially on a warm patio.Prices:
BC$22.90750ml
Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Vignoble du Rêveur Artisantext
92PTS

Vignoble du Rêveur Artisan 2020

Alsace, FranceThis orange of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris comes from 40 year old vines rooted in their biodynamic Bennwihr estate. This was native fermented in stainless, where it rested on lees for one year until bottling with light filtration and a minimum of sulphur. Pouring a hazy apricot hue, this dry orange is stencilled with apricot skin, tangerine pith, and lime peel, all tight and taut with a bracing acidity, and finishing with a saline, bergamot twist. Lovely balance and flow and lift, belying its 14.5%.Prices:
ON$46.95750ml
Producer: Vignoble du Reveur
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Vignoble du Rêveur La Vigne en Rosetext
92PTS

Vignoble du Rêveur La Vigne en Rose 2020

Alsace, FranceThis off-dry blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling comes from 40-year-old vines rooted in their biodynamic Bennwihr estate. Ten percent of the Gewürztraminer was macerated on skins for ten days and then blended back with the whole for a native ferment in stainless, where it rested on lees until bottling with light filtration and a minimum of sulphur. Fragrant rose petals, tangerine blossoms, jasmine is sprinkled with star anise and taut with lime pith. There's an easy, effortless lift to this fuller white, keeping it buoyant and airy on the 14% palate. Really lovely.Prices:
ON$40.95750ml
Producer: Vignoble du Reveur
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Livio Felluga Illiviotext
92PTS

Livio Felluga Illivio 2021

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, ItalyLivio Felluga is one of the most respected producers of Friuli, dedicating his life to reviving high-quality and sustainable viticulture in the hills of this north-eastern, Adriatic-influenced Italian countryside. He emigrated from Istria and established his property in Brazzano in the 1950s, buying up old, neglected vineyards and rejuvenating them. Illuvio was created in 1998 by Livio Felluga’s children, who dedicated the wine to him for his 85th birthday. Unlike his signature varietal series, done in stainless, this blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Picolit was fermented and aged in small oak casks on lees. Perfumed white peach, apricot, quince, fresh green herbs, and almond floods the creamy palate, cushioned by wood, but held taut with a brace of stony acidity which carries this through a lingering finish. Quite impressive.Prices:
ON$66.00750ml
Producer: Livio Felluga
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Cave and Cove Pinot Grigio Colombardtext
85PTS

Cave and Cove Pinot Grigio Colombard NV

California, United StatesThis simple, entry blend of pinot grigio and colombard is short and brief on the medium palate, with melon, yellow apple, and candied white peach, offset by a little bump of RS. Super basic.Prices:
BC$10.99750ml
Producer: Cave and Cove
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Hardy's Stamp Series Riesling Gewurztraminertext
86PTS

Hardy's Stamp Series Riesling Gewurztraminer 2022

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaOff-dry, with perfumed lychee, pear, and grapefruit on a short, snappy palate, this lighter bodied (11.5%) blend of riesling and gewürztraminer is a friendly, easy introduction to wine.Prices:
BC$13.99750ml
NS$13.50750ml
NB$13.75750ml
PEI$14.99750ml
ON$13.00750ml
QC$13.00750ml
Producer: Hardys Wine Company
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JoieFarm A Noble Blendtext
89PTS

JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2023

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNoble Blend is a signature BC aromatic blend. Winemaker Richard Charnock, formerly of Pentâge, has moved from the Penticton Bench to take over the reins at JoieFarm. The 2023 crop was small, but the fruit is intense, mixing gewürztraminer, riesling, pinot auxerrois, pinot blanc and muscat, echoing the Edelzwicker Alsace style. Fresh, bright, and lively, the '23 has a lime spine with yellow fruits on the nose and palate. This is one of the driest examples at 2.92 g/L of residual sugar. It's a summer sipper, but with a slightly bitter finish, it can pair well with various bites.Prices:
BC$28.61750ml
AB$33.99750ml
Producer: JoieFarm
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Nestor Avarinó Dry White Winetext
87PTS

Nestor Avarinó Dry White Wine 2024

Messinia, Peloponnese, GreeceThis blend of trebbiano, moschofilero, and roditis comes from Greece's Peloponnese peninsula, and primarily clay soils at 300-450m. Crisp, bright, and dry, this brisk white sings of the sea, with white blossoms, crystalline lemon peel, river stones along a snappy, brief palate. Stainless steel keeps this fresh, and summertime ready.Prices:
AB$15.00750ml
Producer: Nestor
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Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Merweh & Obeiditext
89PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Merweh & Obeidi 2022

LebanonFrenchman François-Eugène Brun fell in love with the Bekaa Valley during a visit, and set up Lebannon's first winery there in 1868. This is an equal split of local grapes merweh (100 yo vines from North Lebanon’s Bsharreh mountain) and obeidi (50 yo vines from Bekaa Valley), from 1100 - 1400m, all dry farmed, organically. Each variety was native ferment solo in stainless before a blend and short stint in stainless prior to bottling. Tart and crisp, with bitter melon, crunchy Asian pear, white grapefruit sailing along a sleek, narrow palate. There's a taut salinity underpinning this lighter white through a crushed stone finish. Give these old vines some time to open up in the glass, and don't serve too chilled.Prices:
BC$42.00750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Domaine des Tourelles Blanctext
88PTS

Domaine des Tourelles Blanc 2023

LebanonFrenchman François-Eugène Brun fell in love with the Bekaa Valley during a visit, and set up Lebannon's first winery there in 1868. This blanc blends 65% viognier, 20% chardonnay, 10% obeidi, and 5% muscat d'alexandrie, from vineyards at 1050m. Crunchy and crisp, with green apples, green melon, and tart white grapefruit running a steely palate to a snappy finish. A subtle floral perfume hints at viognier, but tasted blind this is more akin to a cool climate sauvignon blanc. Pour alongside spring green veg dishes.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Domaine des Tourelles
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Lunessence Estate Single Vineyard Field Whitetext
88PTS

Lunessence Estate Single Vineyard Field White 2023

Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis year's Field White blends 71% riesling, 19% gewürztraminer, and 10% pinot blanc from their Summerland Bench estate vineyard. This was partial native ferment, then whole cluster pressed, and aged 4 months on lees in stainless. Gooseberry, ripe pear, red apple, and white blossoms is kissed with ginger, and lime, and finishes with a citrus twist. Quite smart and polished, and ready to crack into with fragrant green curries or lightly spiced bites.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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05 June 2024

River Stone Cabernet Franc Boulder Vineyardtext
87PTS

River Stone Cabernet Franc Boulder Vineyard 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOff their estate Boulder City Vineyard, in Oliver, this cab franc is rooted in alluvial soils of sand, silt, and gravels. This was 80% whole berry / 20% destemmed, cold soaked and then fermented in stainless before aging in French oak (33% new) for 14 months. Noticeably smoky, with black cherry, raspberry jam, tart cassis, roasted coffee, and wood toast, this fuller red is wrapped with finely gritty tannins, taking this to a bitter edged finish. A bit disjointed, this would be best suited to richer autumnal stews.Prices:
BC$38.90750ml
Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Tantalus Cabernet Franc Furthur Afield Seriestext
91PTS

Tantalus Cabernet Franc Furthur Afield Series 2022

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker David Patterson said Cabernet Franc was a natural choice for the next Further Afield series because “It’s a variety we have long admired in BC.” Expect an attractive, juicy red that is a nod to Loire but made with the sensibility of a pinot specialist. Patterson has tamed the herbaceous, savoury notes and pushed the ripe blueberry and black fruits to the foreground, all sitting on a silky tannin structure that melts in your mouth. Fresh, smooth, intense, and it finishes clean and long, this is Next World cabernet franc. Considerable value.Prices:
BC$31.30750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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River Stone Cabernet Franc Boulder Vineyardtext
88PTS

River Stone Cabernet Franc Boulder Vineyard 2021

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSouth Okanagan cabernet franc is stretching its legs with a fragrant, enticing style. The nose is a savoury, spicy mix of violets and red fruits that spill onto a blueberry and red currant palate, easily accommodating its earthy, dusty, lightly sticky tannins. The grapes for this single vineyard franc come off the River Rock Vineyard, the home estate in Oliver, and its alluvial deposits of rock, sand, and gravel dropped during the last glacial recession.Prices:
BC$38.90750ml
Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Picassestext
90PTS

Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Picasses 2020

Chinon, Touraine, Loire, FranceJean-Maurice Raffault and Rodolphe Raffault’s family began cultivating vines in Chinon 14 generations ago, when their ancestor, Mathurin Bottreau, bought his first parcel of vines in 1693. Today, Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault owns 50 organically farmed hectares of vines in 7 communes. This cabernet franc is from the Les Picasses lieu dit, atop a plateau overlooking the Vienne, the windiness of the site reflected in the windmill on the label. Soils here are stony limestone and clay. After destemming and a native ferment this moves to barriques for MLF and aging 12 months on fine lees. Super perfumed, with ample fragrant plums, wild blackberry, thorns, and crushed florals on a medium palate, gripped with ample firm, gritty tannins, and finishing with a lingering peppery note. Lovely lift and freshness, encouraging partnering this with food (think grilled sausages).Prices:
ON$26.00750ml
Producer: Jean-Maurice Raffault
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04 June 2024

Pointer Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Pointer Cabernet Sauvignon 2022

ChileIf you are hunting for an inexpensive red wine that you can serve it liberally around the barbecue, you can give this Pointer Cabernet a go. It has all the hallmarks of an inexpensive Chilean red with its savoury, dried herb nose, cassis, and mint, with a slight tug of tannins in the back end. It was lightly reductive on entry, but that mostly blows off with some time, 15-20 minutes in a decanter or your wine glass. Best with burgers, empanadas, beef tacos, or a cheese plate. Ready to drink and hard to beat for $14.Prices:
BC$13.99750ml
Producer: Bodegas y Vinedos Talagante
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Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesLiberty School Cabernet Sauvignon is a Paso standard and one that, over time, winemaker Austin Hope says they have worked hard to reign in the alcohol and, more importantly, build texture and weight with denser, softer tannins shearing the rustic moniker from the wine. Simply put, the back end of this flavourful cabernet has less bitterness and more smoothness that belies its price. Only 10% new oak, Liberty School comes from more than 50 growers in the Paso AVA. It is aged for 15 months in oak. You can expect a full bodied cabernet sauvignon with lush black and red fruits and a hint of savoury vanilla. It is ready to drink with almost any beef dish off the grill.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
AB$18.75750ml
MB$19.75750ml
ON$20.31750ml
QC$20.00750ml
NB$22.95750ml
NS$22.50750ml
NFL$20.58750ml
Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Viña Chocalán Cabernet Sauvignon Reservatext
88PTS

Viña Chocalán Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2020

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileMuch like the 2019, the 2020 Chocalán Cab is a journey back to the medicinal, herbaceous chocolate style of the 90s but with a bit more terroir, if not finesse. The palate is lush, with an attractive volume of black and red cherry streaked with coffee and tobacco. The fruit is from the coastal Maipo Valley and includes 15% of syrah this year. It was aged in 80 French oak barrels / 20% stainless for 10 - 12 months. The winery likes this wine with wild boar empanadas, and I am all in. Good value.Prices:
BC$17.99750ml
MB$14.69750ml
Producer: Viña Chocalán
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Labeltext
93PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label 2019

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaThe Black Label Coonawarra Cab has been a forever classic and a pet project of winemaker Sue Hodder for decades. From the tiny sliver of land that is Coonawarra's red terra rossa (iron oxide clays over limestone), Hodder created this affordable benchmark from 50+ year old organically farmed vines, and in 2019, it was the 64th vintage of the iconic label. The fermentation runs a month in a mix of open and static fermenters before it ages 14 months in French oak (31% new) and a mix of 61/26/13/ hogsheads / barriques / vats. 2019 was a year to remember in Coonawarra, and its ripe cherry, mulberry, blackcurrants, crushed chalk, mint, seawater, and that Coonawarra dried herb styling in the finish tell an amazing story. It will age for decades, but it has the class and balance to be drunk anytime now.Prices:
BC$40.99750ml
Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Viñedo Chadwicktext
94PTS

Viñedo Chadwick 2020

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileViñedo Chadwick sits on the northern bank of the Maipo River, on the third alluvial terrace, which is older and higher than the previous two. This is Puente Alto, home to the region's oldest and highest quality vineyards. Its stony, clay loam and sandy loam textured soils come with high levels of calcium carbonate, accumulated over millennia in the soil and gravel, likely the key to its freshness and minerality of their reds. If 2019 was a dream year, 2020 was far more challenging in Maipo. It was a warm, dry year from the start, causing issues in the vineyard. The Petit Verdot did not perform well in the heat, so only Cabernet Sauvignon was used in the wine. Ultimately, Chadwick has turned a wine far superior to what the vintage pitched at them. It has all the tobacco and spice you expect, but there is just the right tone of red and black fruits that keep it vibrant and lively thanks to fresh acidity and a juicy palate. More coffee, cigars, black olives, and dark chocolate add to the final picture, which is complex and years away from peaking. Polished and restrained, it is a wine for the cellar at least through 2027.Prices:
BC$449.99750ml
AB$449.99750ml
ON$449.95750ml
QC$499.75750ml
NS$449.99750ml
Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Viñedo Chadwicktext
96PTS

Viñedo Chadwick 2019

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileAfter a near perfect growing season, the 2019 harvest began under ideal conditions on March 15. Viñedo Chadwick, at its best, is a story of finesse with the ability to age forever. The nose is an exotic mix of floral red fruits and orange peels. The entry is a fine mix of tension and richness with layers of intense red fruit, something you should expect at this price level. It has an elegance you don't often encounter in Napa, and a power that often eludes Bordeaux's pricey crus. In my estimation, it's a Chilean superstar and worth cellaring through 2029. Viñedo Chadwick sits on the northern bank of the Maipo River, on the third alluvial terrace, which is older and higher than the previous two. This is Puente Alto, home to the region's oldest and highest quality vineyards. Its stony, clay loam and sandy loam textured soils come with high levels of calcium carbonate, accumulated over millennia in the soil and gravel, likely the key to its freshness and minerality of these reds.Prices:
BC$459.99750ml
AB$449.99750ml
ON$449.95750ml
QC$499.75750ml
NS$449.99750ml
Producer: Viña Errazuriz
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Maison Smith Monpetit Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Maison Smith Monpetit Cabernet Sauvignon 2022

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMaison Smith Montpetit is located at the heart of the lower Similkameen Valley, Canada’s organic winemaking capital. The vineyard is planted with French and Italian grape varieties: riesling and tempranillo. It is a farm to table, organic, vegan producer focused on minimal intervention and sustainable vineyard and viticultural practices. This is a bright, vibrant floral cabernet sauvignon, with red fruit and spice as opposed to the powerful black fruit Napa Valley style. Owner, president, winemaker, and director Erich Smith-Peter has a focus, and seems intent on reaching the top in the Similkameen. This will need further development, but it is off to a solid start.Prices:
BC$39.99750ml
Producer: Maison Smith Montpetit Bottega and Vineyards
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Kanonkop Kadette Cabernet Sauvignontext
85PTS

Kanonkop Kadette Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom vines up to 20 years, in Stellenbosch's decomposed granites, this cab was fermented warm in open top concrete with near hourly punchdowns during fermentation. Post MLF, this was transferred to older 225L French oak for 1 year. Bitter black cherry, cassis, dark earth, powdery cocoa, and tree branch rules the warming, fuller palate, with soft, sticky tannins framing to a pasty finish. Old school.Prices:
AB$23.99750ml
Producer: Kanonkop
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03 June 2024

Alias Chardonnaytext
84PTS

Alias Chardonnay 2020

California, United StatesPrimarily sourced from Monterey County, this Cali chard used 50% MLF, and 50% new wood. The wood is certainly evident, with vanilla and toast overriding ripe and creamy melon, sweet lemon and wood spice. Quite made, and disappointingly so.Prices:
BC$20.50750ml
Producer: Alias Wines
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Bartier Bros. Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. Chardonnay 2023

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Black Sage Terrace's lauded Cerqueira Vineyard, this chardonnay was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless, where it remains on lees for 4 months. Ripe and fruit forward, with ample pineapple rind, melon, verbena, crunchy Asian pear, and green apple, this buzzes along the zesty palate, reminding more of sauvignon blanc than Okanagan chardonnay. Regardless, a snappy, friendly, medium+ white to crack into this summer.Prices:
BC$24.99750ml
Producer: Bartier Bros.
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Garnet Valley Ranch Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Garnet Valley Ranch Chardonnay 2022

Garnet Valley, Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOff their organic and spectacular Garnet Valley Ranch estate, with blocks sitting between 600-680m, this was whole cluster pressed and native fermented in concrete, and aged in a mix of concrete and stainless. Quite textural, with a crushed stone underlay basing a savoury, medium bodied palate of lemon, green apple, wild sage, woven with reduction, and finishing with a trail of flake salts. Really impressive, this wine has entirely come into its own, and is just starting out. Scoop up while you can.Prices:
BC$36.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Haywire Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Haywire Chardonnay 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced from Naramata Bench, this Chardonnay was whole bunch pressed and native fermented in a mix of stainless, concrete, amphora, and foudre, before resting on lees in concrete and foudre. All those elements add layers of complexity to this classic chardy, with green apple, bright lemon, verbena, downy lees, and pencil shavings, the latter lingering on the snappy finish. Super smart, while being super friendly, this is an easy choice to reach for.Prices:
BC$29.99750ml
Producer: Haywire by Okanagan Crush Pad
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Lightning Rock Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyardtext
91PTS

Lightning Rock Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard 2022

Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPlanted in 2003 on south facing, sandy granite soils, this chardonnay was whole cluster pressed and native fermented in neutral oak puncheons, where it remained until bottling, unfined and unfiltered. Light cream beds bright green apple, ripe lemon, subtle toast, and lees, with an alluring thread of reduction woven throughout, drawing this to a saline finish. Very smart, and a welcome addition to the portfolio.Prices:
BC$35.00750ml
Producer: Lightning Rock
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1 Mill Road Chardonnaytext
91PTS

1 Mill Road Chardonnay 2022

East Kelowna Slopes, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI tasted this wine again last week, and it continues to impress for a first release 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 according to winemaker Ben Bryant, the fruit 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 and salty, citrus nuttiness with a ripe pear undercurrent. Fresh and lean with restraint and elegance, it is a solid addition to the 1 Mill lineup. It needs a subtle brush of complexity to hit its stride but that will no doubt arrive in future renditions. The handpicked fruit was pressed, and 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 9 months before blending and bottling. Good value.Prices:
BC$40.00750ml
Producer: 1 Mill Road Vineyards
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Liber Estates Rebil Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Liber Estates Rebil Chardonnay 2020

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Rebil (Liber backwards) Chardonnay is grown on the west facing banks of the Similkameen River over a stony, rocky, sandy debris field that sits just below Highway 3, west of Mt. Kobau, and only four kilometres from the Nighthawk–Chopaka US Border Crossing. It is a fabulous exposition for an organic vineyard, once part of the Mariposa Organic Farm (established in 1962) on a cool, wild, and windy site with plenty of sun. Winemaker Mike Dowell speaks of the "shimmer effect" of the sun bouncing off the bend of the Similkameen that runs directly up from the foot of his vineyard and helps to ripen the fruit. Oddly, this wine takes me to Chablis, and the Santa Clara Mountains. Its dry, rich, complex front end and nutty, leesy citrus undercurrent is Chablis Grand Cru like. In contrast, the nutty, firm, intense palate that is both powerful and fresh is also reminiscent of Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay. It doesn’t quite have the polish of those giant wines, but it has the wild, savoury Similkameen character they will never have. Drink or hold this wine over the next decade, and you will not be disappointed. Delicious at 13.6% alcohol, it is a modern look at a venerable style of chardonnay. Like last year, I contend that you will fall in love with this the first time you taste it. The Dowells suggest you serve this wine with crab, grilled zucchini, or fresh Asiago. I would add halibut, or roasted chicken stuffed with onions and dried herbs. The price is a fantastic bargain.Prices:
BC$27.99750ml
Producer: Liber Estates
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Tantalus Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Tantalus Chardonnay 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTantalus is famous for its Old Vine Riesling, but you can see plenty of love for chardonnay too. These estate vines, clones 95, 96, 76, and 589, date back to 2006 and 2013. A green gold colour pulls you into a glass brimming with ripe, exotic fruit, flecked with orange, roasted nuts, sweet peaches, and ripe ambrosia apples. A tiny sugar bump in a warm year opens the wine up to a broader spectrum of chardonnay lovers who will still benefit from a lesson in balance and elegance. Watch this bottle disappear in minutes at any gathering.Prices:
BC$36.50750ml
Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Lunessence Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Lunessence Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2022

Summerland Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLunessence continues to wow me with its technical precision. Look for a fresh citrus entry mixed with sweet lemons and hazelnuts. Soft and leesy, this is exceptionally drinkable and sports a creamy texture. It is not complex, but most chardonnay drinkers will embrace the style. It is perfect for a bowl of clams or a crab sandwich on crusty bread.Prices:
BC$26.99750ml
Producer: Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
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Tightrope Winery Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Tightrope Winery Chardonnay 2022

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata Bench's Four Shadows Vineyard, this chardy was whole cluster pressed and French barrel fermented over 3 weeks (1/2 MLF) before ageing 9 months on lees. Ripe and creamy, with ample oak presence colouring the lemon, green apple, and apple fritter filling the medium+ palate. Some tight, brisk lime / lemon thistle acidity works well to hold this en pointe. Though has good intensity, this lacks some sophistication at this point. Would work well with scallop / corn chowder.Prices:
BC$30.00750ml
Producer: Tightrope Winery
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Black Hills Chardonnaytext
0PTS

Black Hills Chardonnay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOff their southern Okanagan estate vineyards, this chardonnay was whole bunch pressed and native fermented in French puncheons and barriques (6% new), where the wine remained 10 months on lees. Lemon cream, downy lees pads the medium palate, framed with lightly toasted wood, and finishing with a bitter lemon thistle twist. My bottle tastes slightly faulted, so I will look to retaste in future.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Black Hills Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Black Hills Chardonnay 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2021 heat dome year saw record temperatures posted across BC, which led to an early veraison and a harvest that was 21 days ahead of the previous year. The warm growing season led to intense flavours, phenolic ripeness, and aromatic intensity across all varieties, with bold flavours. The nose is surprisingly fresh with a touch of green apple and citrus. The palate is California rich, with sweet lemons and ripe pear that entertain, along with some spicy pie crust in the finish. It is much less Chablis-like this year and more Sonoma Coast, but it still delivers. Perfect for spaghetti vongole. Technically, it is hand harvested, hand sorted, whole bunch pressed directly to French oak puncheons and barriques, fermented with wild yeasts, and matured for 10 months on its lees in 6% new oak.Prices:
BC$29.90750ml
Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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