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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: September 2015

04 September 2015

Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Closson Chase Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaBig sulphur-y, struck matchstick nose with nutty lees, garlic, lemon, baked pear, green apple, vanilla, light floral, butter aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant, juicy palate with fine intensity. More lemon, baked green apple, lees, garlic, butter, vanilla, toasty, grassy, chalky flavours. Excellent flavours and intensity but initially marred by excess sulphur use. It will dissipate over time but why not reduce it at the source. Wait there years before you open this.Prices: ON 27.95 Producer: Closson Chase
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Closson Chase The Brock Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Closson Chase The Brock Chardonnay 2013

Prince Edward County, Ontario, CanadaOpen waxy, leesy, light baked apple, honey, pear nose with lemon aromas and a touch of reductive garlic lees. The attack is dry and fresh with fine elegance, a slightly oily texture with more spicy lees, baked apple, pear, artichoke, butter, vanilla, grassy flavours. A delicate style with fine intensity and length with a buttery finish. A wonderful dinner wine. Should age well for five to seven years. Good value.Prices: BC 20.89 Producer: Closson Chase
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Thornhaven Pinot Noirtext
84PTS

Thornhaven Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEarthy, worsteshire, compost, peppery, savoury nose with light barnyard and sour cherry aromas with some reduced notes too. Dry, light, tart, elegant but lean palate with cranberry, dusty, tobacco leaf, rhubarb, celery and coffee flavours. Very dry, lean, cool style with some astringent tannins.Prices: BC 14.90 Producer: Thornhaven Estates Winery
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Thornhaven Pinot Meuniertext
86PTS

Thornhaven Pinot Meunier 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpicy, gamey, peppery, tobacco, licorice nose with cherry aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, elegant but slightly lean palate. Sour cherry, herbal, tobacco, licorice, orange, light chocolate and raspberry flavours. Good finesse and juicy. Showing better balance than its sister pinot noir from this vintage.Prices: BC 17.90 Producer: Thornhaven Estates Winery
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Thornhaven Decadencetext
86PTS

Thornhaven Decadence 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPale ruby colour with strawberry jam, orange peel, floral, licorice, five-spice aromas with some light barnyard and leather notes. Fresh, elegant, light palate with moderate sweetness and candied orange, strawberry jam, spicy, earthy, clay flavours. Fun style sweet wine for simple desserts.Prices: BC 14.90 375 Producer: Thornhaven Estates Winery
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Errazuriz Max Reserva Pinot Noirtext
86PTS

Errazuriz Max Reserva Pinot Noir 2013

Aconcagua Costa, Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileLight cherry, smoky, tobacco, lees, worsteshire, meaty, carrot top, compost aromas with a bit of vanilla, coffee and strawberry jam. Dry, elegant but lean, tighter palate. Smoky, compost, tobacco leaf, black tea, rhubarb, coffee, carrot and herb flavours. Very unbalanced and tart on the finish. Needs food to counter but disappointing for the region.Prices: NS 20.00 QC 19.95 BC 22.00 Producer: Vina Errazuriz
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Burrowing Owl Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSmoky, vanilla, bacon, peppery, tobacco nose mixed with cherry, compost and cocoa aromas. Round, soft, juicy but slightly tart and warm with rhubarb, strawberry jam, vanilla, cocoa, tobacco, chocolate and resin flavours with a bit of orange spice. Seems a bit cooked and acidic at this point and will need another year in bottle for the oak to better integrate. Best now with grilled salmon.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 38.00 ON 40.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Coolshanagh Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCoolshanagh is a meeting place of friends and a spectacular, small vineyard that sits some 7 kilometres north of Naramata on the path to Chute Lake. Owners Skip and Judy Stothert work with Okanagan Crush Pad winemaker Matt Dumayne to make this standoffish, stony mineral chardonnay that comes with medium intensity, dusty, chalky, green apple fruit flavours. The 2013 is the best yet revealing its true nature thanks to the use of large neutral oak barriques, egg-shaped concrete vats and careful lees aging. A halibut natural, it can work with oysters and seafood pasta dishes.Prices: BC 37.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom vineyards in Naramata Bench, Skaha Bench and Summerland and across six clones, this ripe, sharp and smooth pinot noir blends seriousness with fun. Fragrant cedar, raspberries and baked cherry nose. The fuller palate carries ample sun-plump fruit - cherries, cranberries, plums - nimbly, with fine grained tannins and lifted, shining acidity. Perfumed black currant and violet gummies lend a lick of sweetness to the finish. Wood is well-checked and supportive; pour with duck accented with plum or cherries.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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de Lancelloti Pinot Noir Famigliatext
88PTS

de Lancelloti Pinot Noir Famiglia 2013

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLight ruby colour with spicy, floral, strawberry, tobacco leaf, caraway, light olive, peppery, vanilla aromas with a hint of barnyard. Dry, fresh, slightly tight palate but very elegant and round. Strawberry jam, peppery, tobacco, light blood orange, savoury herb and vanilla flavours. Needs a year or two to finish integrating the light herbal tea tannins on the finish but there is fine elegance in what is an earlier drinking style.Prices: AB 49.00 Producer: de Lancelloti
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de Lancelloti Pinot Noir Lachini Vineyardtext
89PTS

de Lancelloti Pinot Noir Lachini Vineyard 2013

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesVery spicy, light menthol, plum, strawberry, floral, carrot top, celery salt, tobacco, cedar and vanilla aromas with a touch of dried green herb. Dry, fresh, juicy, slightly tannic palate but round and elegant again. Strawberry, cherry, celery root, coffee, peppery, tobacco leaf, vanilla and savoury flavours. Very good finesse but needs 1-2 years to fully integrate the light tannins.Prices: AB 89.00 Producer: de Lancelloti
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J.L. Vergnon Brut Conversation Blanc de Blancs Grand Crutext
91PTS

J.L. Vergnon Brut Conversation Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceVery toasty, brioche, baked green apple, pear, honey, spicy, lemon aromas. Fine, continuous, tight mousse in the mouth and glass with nutty, brioche, spicy, floral, lemon custard, baked apple and pear flavours. Very good concentration and intensity with a long, tight acidity finish. Fully mature now after two years from disgorgement but seems to be a style that can hold and age. Very fine effort. A specialist in Blanc de Blancs, this producer is worth seeking out.Prices: US 50.00 Producer: Champagne J.L. Vergnon
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03 September 2015

Road 13 Jackpot Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

Road 13 Jackpot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA cool year presents a challenge for cabernet sauvignon but this south facing block has history of ripening most years. The nose is classic cab, with a big cassis, cedar tobacco aroma. The palate fresh with an intense mix of cranberry and cassis flavours with bits of soya, cedar and leather. The finish is very intense with strong cedar-y, savoury cassis notes. This needs time in the bottle or a T-bone steak. The fruit comes off 26-year-old vines in the Oliver-based Nk’Mip Vineyard. The ageing is in French oak, 25% new, for 16 months followed by six more months in stainless steel barrels. The wine is neither fined nor filtered. Only 122 cases produced.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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Roche Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Roche Pinot Gris 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPear, floral, light honey, leesy, spicy aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant and creamy palate but somewhat lean and tight. More lemon, green apple, pear, lees, light butter flavours with a light spice note. Good finesse and racy with a hint of vanilla and some tart acidity in the back end. Should improve over the next one tot here years and will work well with lighter seafood. Think Chablis-Meursault meets pinot grigio.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Roche Wines
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Chateau Peyros Madiran Tannat Cabernet Franctext
88PTS

Chateau Peyros Madiran Tannat Cabernet Franc 2010

Madiran, Sud-Ouest, FranceEven better than ’09 in my opinion beginning with the fragrant, bright red fruit nose flecked with savoury, tobacco, pepper and black currants. The attack is dry and juicy and while the fruit is rich and dense there is some elegance too. Love the rich meaty, smoky, black fruit finish. Youthful and needs time but you can easily pour it now with grilled flank steak. Good value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Chateau Peyros
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One Faith Vineyards Grand Vintext
89PTS

One Faith Vineyards Grand Vin 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn imposing price for a first time release and wine with no named vineyard sources other than the Black Sage Bench. The colour is inky black with licorice, tobacco leaf, meaty, resin, compost notes mixed with chocolate, vanilla, wet concrete and black olive aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant entry with light, well managed tannins. The flavours are a mix of juicy cassis, tobacco, cedar and black pepper flecked with earth, dark chocolate, kirsch, licorice root and gamey, black olive flavours. The finish is long and polished with lots of vanilla and coffee throughout. All in all a good start. The aromas are subdued and lacking in fruit but this is a very polished style that will improve in the bottle over the next three to five years.Prices: BC 175.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Black Hills Nota Benetext
89PTS

Black Hills Nota Bene 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2013 opens with a savoury, peppery, crushed leaf, tobacco nose flecked with resin, leesy, black olive, green bean, coffee, vanilla and cassis aromas. Dry, fresh, round, elegant, slightly lean entry with reasonably smooth tannins. Coffee, black pepper, black olive, tobacco, cassis, inky, Oxo, cedar, cranberry, black tea and vanilla flavours. As always this needs a three to five years to gather itself and round out the oak and slightly green tannins. Best with grilled meats.Prices: BC 53.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Black Hills Per Setext
90PTS

Black Hills Per Se 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA treat for wine club members, this 62/38 cabernet franc/syrah opens with a fragrant, peppery, clove, vanilla, gingerbread nose flecked with poultry spice, black berry jam, cedar, meaty, cranberry aromas. Full, round, juicy, warm palate with some light tannins. Vanilla, orange spice, black pepper, gamey, cigar, clove, ginger, licorice, coffee and dark chocolate flavours. It finishes rich and warm with attractive fruit with still some oak and tannins to integrate. One to keep in the cellar.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Benjamin Bridge Cabernet Franc Rosétext
90PTS

Benjamin Bridge Cabernet Franc Rosé 2014

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaTheir inaugural vintage of this Cabernet Franc Rosé is not just a first for sparkling wine-renown house Benjamin Bridge, but also for Nova Scotia. These late harvest grapes were harvested early November - a risky proposition, though entirely worth it. Cabernet franc's herbal, leafiness is entwined with a crisp salinity and bright cranberry, cherry, blood orange, pink grapefruit fruit. Fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, basil) surprise, as well as the concentrated elegance. 10.5 percent alcohol makes this a winner any time of the day.Prices: NS 23.00 NF 23.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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Benjamin Bridge Nova 7text
86PTS

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2013

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaPale peach hue, this light, grapey, effervescent drop clocks in at 7 percent alcohol. Mid-sweet, it's brightened with lime, pear drops and lemon gummies and sheared with ripping pithy grapefruit acidity. Lively and fun, reminds me of the wine I used to drink as a child (ahem) though at approximately three times the price. A blend of Nova Scotian grapes, some of which are muscat and variations therein. Hello brunch.Prices: NS 25.00 BC 28.00 MB 25.00 NB 25.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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Benjamin Bridge Tidal Baytext
88PTS

Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay 2014

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaTidal Bay is not only the name for this wine (and many others from Nova Scotia), it is the first wine appellation for Nova Scotia, launched in 2012. Off-dry, this blend includes l'acadie blanc and ortega in a tidy 9.5 percent alcohol package. Pear drop, perfumed apple blossom, roses, lime gummies and bitter lime leaf are anchored by crisp, racy granny smith apple and a powdery, chalky mouthfeel. Works well with spicy foods, including Thai or Japanese flavours.Prices: BC 24.00 ON 22.00 NS 22.00 NB 22.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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02 September 2015

Gruet Brut Rosétext
86PTS

Gruet Brut Rosé NV

United StatesStriking orange peach in hue, this New Mexican traditional method bubble has spent 24 months on sur lie, and opens with light pear, peach, apple aromas. Large frothy mousse on the dry palate, with red apple, beetroot, tomato leaf earthiness over a cherry berry base. Crisp, ripping acidity lifts this gutsy pinot noir bubble to a zesty finish, and welcomes pairing with pulled pork sandwiches or tuna steaks on the grill.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 28.00 Producer: Gruet Winery
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Darktext
87PTS

Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2014

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the better aromatic white blends that is a little less fruit salad and a touch more mineral and fresh. Rhone-style, the mix is roussanne, viognier, marsanne blend and the aromas are roses, peaches/oranges and cooked pears. The round, ripe and creamy palate shows orange blossoms, ripe juicy peaches, spicy ginger notes with a squeeze of lime pulp. A perfect match with assorted Thai or Indian dishes or with a pasta mixed with pan tossed tomatoes, zucchini and onions.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Moon Curser
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Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Semillontext
91PTS

Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLock & Worth is a Naramata based partnership between Matthew Sherlock & Ross Hackworth – longtime colleagues and comrades from Nichol Vineyard, further up Naramata Bench. This low interventionist sauvignon blanc/semillon blend was 1/3 whole cluster pressed before time in old French oak. Subtle lemon, gentle honey ample stone and granny smith apple aromas. The lean, savoury palate carries green apple, wild herbs, meadow, subtle nuts, herbal lees and light honey, which will continue to deepen and expand with time as the semillon stretches its legs (already settling into itself after just a few months in bottle). Looking forward to retasting this again with some age.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth Winery
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Mike B Riesling Cabinetttext
87PTS

Mike B Riesling Cabinett 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPart of the OCP Wine Campus series, this Kabinett style riesling was created in conjunction with Mike Bernardo, Vancouver's Sommelier of the Year 2014. Proceeds from the 120 cases go towards the BC Hospitality Foundation. Mike B wanted to make a riesling, fermented in both stainless steel and a concrete egg. The result suspends crisp fruit over a subtly creamy concrete cushion, all sweetened with a swipe (2.5 g/l RS) of sweetness. Perfumed florals, baby powder, ripe pear and guava pervade the nose and juicy palate - one lifted with a lively lime electricity and finishing with a chalky texture. Youthful and exuberant, I'm looking forward to tasting this again in 3-5 year’s time when it has relaxed a bit.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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01 September 2015

Oak Bay Vineyard Fochtext
86PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Foch 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAfter so many years it is nice to see this grape do something. The nose is as always smoky and grapey with meaty, coffee aromas but this year the fruit is ripe. The textures are smooth the flavours a mix of black cherry, chocolate and spice. All in all a fine effort that will appeal to foch fans. Best with hearty foods, grilled, smoked or roasted.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
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Noble Ridge Reserve Meritagetext
88PTS

Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage 2011

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerfect south Okanagan savoury nose with ripe black fruits and savoury, smoked dried herbs. The attack is soft and fresh with bright juicy fruit and solid oak management. Look for smoky cedar cassis fruit with a cool, peppery, black tea, black berry, tobacco palate. Medium weight and a touch thin in the back end but nothing a steak wouldn’t fix. Solid effort in a difficult year.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Noble Ridge Reserve Meritagetext
89PTS

Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTake the 2011 and turn it up a notch. This is the ripeness that turns heads yet still with the attractive savoury dried herbs undercurrent. The attack is round and soft the tannins supple, the blend fruit juicy. Look for smoky cedar, ripe cranberry, black berry flavours and some substantial but round tannins. There is no rush here. You could drink this this fall with apiece of roasted meat or cellar it for two to three years and let it unfold. Well done.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Mission Hill Reserve Late Harvest Vidaltext
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Late Harvest Vidal 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHaven’t seen this label in a decade; not sure why not. The nose is fresh and intense with big notes of apricots and ripe mango. The palate is similarly full flavoured with almost slate-y, more apricot and lifted litchi fruit with a long lingering sweet finish reflecting the impressive 170 grams per litre of residual sugar. Perfect for light cakes, including chocolate or summer fruit bowls.Prices: BC 32.00 375 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Riesling Ice Winetext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Riesling Ice Wine 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpen canned pineapple nose with bits of cooked pear and apricot. The attack is juicy with a limon/apricot, baked apple, lemon curd and intense acidity. The finis is short with plenty of sugar but not a lot of depth or length. Ready to drink with fresh fruit flans.Prices: BC 60.00 375 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Mission Hill Reserve Merlot Ice Winetext
90PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Merlot Ice Wine 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the first ever merlot icewine to come out of Mission Hill spawned on a rare November 21 freeze in the Okanagan. The flavours are an inviting mix of cooked, ripe rhubarb and strawberries with a caramel dried herb undercurrent. Long and sweet at 303 grams of residual sugar but with some elegance. A classic dessert wine you can serve solo or with a peach cobbler.Prices: BC 60.00 375 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Five Vineyards by Mission Hill Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Five Vineyards by Mission Hill Pinot Noir 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLight cherry ruby colour. Tobacco, strawberry jam, floral, leather, earthy, barnyard and light leather aromas with a touch of carrot top and orange peel. Dry, fresh, round, elegant palate with delicate structure. Strawberry, rhubarb, tobacco, herbal, orange spice, vanilla and coffee flavours. Forward style for current drinking with some finesse and represents solid value for BC.Prices: AB 17.00 BC 19.00 SK 18.00 MB 17.00 ON 16.45 NB 19.00 NF 20.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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CedarCreek Platinum Riesling Icewinetext
90PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Riesling Icewine 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh lemons, covered in honey come to mind on the nose with a squeeze of tropical fruits. The attack is super sweet and intense with big apricot, orange, honeysuckle and lemon flavours. Intense and long the finish linger but it is not cloying if anything it can be a touch acidic. The winery recommends it with cheese. We like the idea of a chocolate dessert.Prices: BC 53.00 375 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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