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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2016

31 May 2016

Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosétext
88PTS

Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom BC's first and only exclusively rosé winery, this light pale peach hued cabernet franc rosé is from Osoyoos' Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard. Seven year old vines from predominantly rocky shale, this is whole cluster pressed and then cool fermented in stainless steel to preserve delicate sunripened strawberry, rhubarb, green melon and apricot. A bitter clementine cut lingers on the dry, slightly warm finish. Dry and clean, and fantastic value, we need to see much more of this style in BC please.Prices: BC 14.69 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Seven Directions Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
87PTS

Seven Directions Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom BC's only rosé-exclusive winery, this is sourced from the highly acclaimed Canyonview Vineyard. In Seven Direction's hands, the pinot noir is bright pink, glycerol glossy and slick with strawberry jam, candied red apple, roses and cinnamon spice. Full bodied and creamy at 14 percent, this is certainly not shy. A pink for big red wine drinkers? Would love to see more restraint in the future.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Seven Directions Kalala Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
87PTS

Seven Directions Kalala Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom BC's sole rosé-only winery, this is one of a trio of 2015 releases. This one, from West Kelowna's organic Kalala Vineyard, is a medium-pink hued, full bodied and near-dry pour, with cream, raspberry jam, mandarin and strawberry pie notes, plumped with time in new French oak. The creamy palate streams along on a bed of silky glycerol to a heated (fourteen percent) alcohol finish.Prices: BC 24.29 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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30 May 2016

Synchromesh Rieslingtext
89PTS

Synchromesh Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpeaks volumes of this winery's hand with riesling when this delicious pour is their "entry level" gateway riesling out of the seven different rieslings they have this year. Synchromesh has earned their street cred as THE riesling producers in BC, and on par with the best in Canada. A blend of four vineyards in Okanagan Falls and Naramata, this amply off-dry, Kabinett-styled riesling carries the 34 g/l RS, with perfumed pear blossom, key lime cordial, ripe apricot and fleshy peach on a round, generous mouthfeel. Ample juiciness, with a cut of bitter key lime to hem everything in. Reflective of the generous 2015, but still maintains a beauty 10.9 percent alcohol. Impressive, more so when considering the $19 price.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Wines Drier Rieslingtext
90PTS

Synchromesh Wines Drier Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSynchromesh has earned their street cred as THE riesling producers in BC, with this one of their seven releases of riesling this year. This, "Drier", is in comparison to their straight Riesling (also a boggling $19) and still sings at 27 g/l RS, but with TA at 10.78 to keep the sugars neatly in check. With more late harvest grapes in this blend from Okanagan Falls and Naramata, cold cream, lime pulp, green apple, orange blossom hovers above a base of stone and citrus pith. The acidity here is tight and edgy, ideal for pairing with a wide range of foods - and at this price point, ideal for restaurants by the glass too. Very impressive value - stock up!Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Rieslingtext
92PTS

Synchromesh Wines Thorny Vines Riesling 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSynchromesh has earned their street cred as THE riesling producers in BC, and on par with the best in Canada. This is one of four single vineyard rieslings released this year. Alan Dickinson works with many different ferments within each vineyard, isolating the ones which best signify the site. From the southern end of Naramata Bench, Thorny Vines Vineyard is German clones on fertile heavy clay; facing north affords the vineyard some cooler temperatures, as does the moderating effects of Okanagan Lake. Chalky, lemon acidity and a green apple cut works across the lemon balm, lime pulp and fleshy pear juiciness. Kabinett-styled, this linear, medium bodied and intense white gobbles up 36 g/l RS, leaving a pithy white grapefruit and lime-y-ness in its wake, finishing dry. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Wines Bob Hancock Rieslingtext
91PTS

Synchromesh Wines Bob Hancock Riesling 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSynchromesh has earned their street cred as THE riesling producers in BC, and on par with the best in Canada. This is one of four single vineyard rieslings released this year. Alan Dickinson works with many different ferments within each vineyard, isolating the ones which best signify the site. Bob Hancock Vineyard is one of the last vineyards on the far Northern tip of the Naramata Bench, facing south on sloping gravelly clay and calcium carbonate, and is self-rooted 21B Riesling clone. Amply off-dry, with concentrated orange and tangerine, lush peach, pulpy lime, yellow apple, cold cream and scented honeysuckle. Juicy and youthful, this rides a wave of 32 g/l RS capably, finishing with an orange marmalade twist. Fantastic value.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Synchromesh Wines Four Shadows Vineyard Rieslingtext
92PTS

Synchromesh Wines Four Shadows Vineyard Riesling 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSynchromesh has earned their street cred as THE riesling producers in BC, and on par with the best in Canada. This is one of four single vineyard rieslings released this year. Alan Dickinson works with many different ferments within each vineyard, isolating the ones which best signify the site. Four Shadows Vineyard is an exciting, higher altitude steep sloping gravelled site on Naramata Bench, facing east towards Penticton. Fragrant apricot blossoms, apricot flesh, honeysuckle are drawn across an Auslese-styled, Pfalz-like palate, with concentrated viscosity matched by surging limey acidity. Lemoned caramel lingers on the lengthy finish. An astounding 52 g/l RS, absorbed handily. 10.6 percent alcohol; fantastic value.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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27 May 2016

Synchromesh Cachola Family Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosétext
88PTS

Synchromesh Cachola Family Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the first rosé from Synchromesh in a few years; the last incarnation was pinot noir grapes. This, cabernet franc, was whole cluster wild ferment from selected blocks, without stems or crushing. Pours a beauty pale orange, a result of sixteen hours spent on the lees. Big earthy, funky, franc-y nose followed by subtle Bing cherry, red currant and thorny herbal freshness, this finishes with green peppercorns, salt and a kiss of orange. A slim cushion of lees on the middle and on the corners, a result of three months rest in barrel. Bone dry, biscuity and 11.3 percent alcohol, this is a savoury style for adventuresome rosé drinkers.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Tantalus Rosétext
88PTS

Tantalus Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep cherry hued, this pinot noir/pinot meunier opens with punchy red currant, cinnamon and raspberry jam. The fuller palate is cherry jam and salted, candied red apple, plum, with a bump of residual sugar that flushes out the frame (and then some). Acidity is cheerful throughout. The finish is pure meunier: fruity, red and pink florals and a skiff of mace spicing. Would love to see this drier and tighter in future.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Hillside Estate Rosétext
85PTS

Hillside Estate Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVibrant and glowing crimson hued, this gutsy, full-bodied rosé blends merlot, malbec and cabernet franc in a ripe, sweeter and round rosé, one pushing fifteen percent alcohol. Soft, sweet berry jam and candied apple throughout, this is a simple style, best well chilled.Prices: BC 19.12 Producer: Hillside Estate Winery Ltd.
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Monte Creek Ranch Rosétext
85PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Rosé 2015

British Columbia, CanadaBright crimson in hue, this rose is 100 percent marquette, a hybrid grape. Fragrant orange swirls in the raspberry, red apple fruit, with cherry popsicle sweetness dominating and a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder on the finish. Off dry, simple and fruity, chill and crack this summer.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Rosétext
88PTS

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe colour is lighter and the sugar has been dialed back from 9 grams to 6 grams. There is still a noticeable bump of sugar here, but the reduction is appreciated, brightening the fruit and upping this rosé’s food-friendly quotient. It’s all cabernet franc from the Diamondback Vineyard on Black Sage Bench. Rhubarb pie, cranberry, and raspberry mark the nose with savoury flecks of dried herbs in the finish. Drink solo in the sun or serve with chilled salmon dishes all spring and summer. Private wine shops.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Little Farm Winery Rosétext
90PTS

Little Farm Winery Rosé 2014

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis rosé continues to impress year after year, even with a little age under its belt (now tasting two years after harvest). From Similkameen's stony Blind Creek Vineyard, merely a kilometre from Little Farm, this dry cabernet franc rosé opens with ripe wild raspberry and strawberry, mandarin pith, wild sage and desert herbs, and savoury stoniness. Half this wine was whole cluster pressed and the remainder foot trodden and left to macerate six-eight hours on the skins before gentle pressing and a rest in neutral barrel for four months. A lovely cushion of ripe cherry, plum and strawberry, smooth lees, dried sage and dusty, stony spice to linger on the finish. Juicy acidity easily caries the sun-ripened fruit (noticeably fuller, deeper hued than the previous vintage). Grilled wild salmon is a must, though charcuterie, flavourful farm cheeses and crusty bread al fresco is a close second.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Little Farm Winery
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Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosé 2015

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaWhole cluster, organic Pender Island pinot noir, this light rosé opens with lashings of sea salt, ripe wild strawberry, wild flowers and pear. Pink grapefruit acidity rings throughout the juicy palate, along with pink blossoms, gooseberry, plum and raspberry. Juicy, fruity, floral and crisp, this is a lovely, just off-dry wine to sip in the sun this summer.Prices: BC 19.04 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Rosétext
90PTS

Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStructured with lightness, this dry pinot noir rosé opens with bacon fat, salted strawberry and rhubarb, all of which continue to a dry, bitter edged and sea salt-kissed palate. Twenty-two hours on the skins before being pressed into painless steel for four months. Wild raspberry, rose thorns, tight strawberry and fine salts ring through the streaming medium bodied and concentrated palate, finishing with salts and a salami note. Attractive style; would be lovely with a charcuterie board or grilled wild salmon.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Poplar Grove Blanc de Noirstext
87PTS

Poplar Grove Blanc de Noirs 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWe love the onion skin/orange/pink colour here and the enticing clean watermelon, kiwi and strawberry nose. The blend is 40/38/22 malbec/merlot/syrah left on skins (separately) for three hours before being bled off the tank saignée style. The attack is a mix of citrus and green fruits with a dry tart finish. This is a party pleaser for any number of appetizers including salmon, chicken or fresh goat cheese.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Poplar Grove Winery
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26 May 2016

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superioretext
88PTS

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2004

Tuscany, ItalyHeavy rains in the autumn of 2003 replenished the countryside baked by a super hot summer. A cool winter and cool spring delayed flowering, even then it was cool and wet year. Selection at harvest was key and small crop of 50/40/10 cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah that produced a solid, balanced wine now fully ready to drink. The plate is a fruity mix of red and black fruits with a hint of mocha and toasted wood. Serve now with a mushrooms or pork. Guado al Tasso takes its name from notoriously shy badgers crossing the fords of the streams which run through the property. The 1000-hectare estate boasts 300 hectares of vineyards planted to rocky, lightly calcareous soils over rolling hillsides in the heart of the Bolgheri amphitheater. The flagship blend was first released in 1990. Tasted in a vertical presentation in Vancouver.Prices: BC 94.00 AB 80.00 ON 83.00 BC 247.00 1500 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superioretext
91PTS

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2005

Tuscany, ItalyThe grapes a 50/45/5 cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah were picked ripe under perfect conditions. Back then the wine was placed in new 225 litre barriques made with Allier and Tronçais oak. In all the wine spent 30 months in oak. Mow ready to drink it is actually showing a bit of age. Still fragrant with those savoury Bolgheri scents mixed red fruits and licorice. Dried herbs and rosemary with just a touch od smoked meat mark the finish. Guado al Tasso takes its name from notoriously shy badgers crossing the fords of the streams which run through the property. The 1000-hectare estate boasts 300 hectares of vineyards planted to rocky, lightly calcareous soils over rolling hillsides in the heart of the Bolgheri amphitheater. The flagship blend was first released in 1990. Tasted in a vertical presentation in Vancouver.Prices: BC 94.00 AB 80.00 ON 83.00 BC 247.00 1500 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superioretext
89PTS

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2003

Tuscany, ItalyThe remarkably hot summer in Europe has produced a California-style Guado al Tasso with richness, power and alcohol that is fading 13 years down the road. The blend is 60/30/10 cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah. Blackberries and cassis still dominate the nose and palate with a hint of smoke and meat (syrah) in the background. Approaching full maturity now and ready to drink with slow cooked meats or mature cheeses. Guado al Tasso takes its name from notoriously shy badgers crossing the fords of the streams which run through the property. The 1000-hectare estate boasts 300 hectares of vineyards planted to rocky, lightly calcareous soils over rolling hillsides in the heart of the Bolgheri amphitheater. The flagship blend was first released in 1990. Tasted in a vertical presentation in Vancouver.Prices: BC 94.00 AB 80.00 ON 83.00 BC 247.00 1500 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superioretext
93PTS

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2012

Tuscany, ItalyGuado al Tasso is located 96 kilometers to the southwest of Florence. The 1000-hectare estate boasts 300 hectares of vineyards planted to rocky, lightly calcareous soils over rolling hillsides in the heart of the Bolgheri amphitheater. The flagship blend was first released in 1990. The 2012 mix is 55/25/18/2 cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. Overall 2012 was a warm dry year but the properties proximity to the sea kept the fruit from baking. Each year the fruit is fermented block by block and parcel by parcel with 15-20-day skin contact. The best lots go into new French oak barrels for a year before the blend is assembled and given a further six months in oak. Typical plums and mint with a bit more chocolate this year and the recognizable savoury/spicy finish. Still plenty of glossy tannins to shed before this is ready around 2020. A perfect choice for grilled beef or lamb. Guado al Tasso takes its name from notoriously shy badgers crossing the fords of the streams which run through the property. Tasted in a vertical presentation in Vancouver.Prices: BC 94.00 AB 80.00 ON 83.00 BC 247.00 1500 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superioretext
95PTS

Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2013

Tuscany, ItalyGuado al Tasso is located 96 kilometers to the southwest of Florence. The 1000-hectare estate boasts 300 hectares of vineyards planted to rocky, lightly calcareous soils over rolling hillsides in the heart of the Bolgheri amphitheater. The flagship blend was first released in 1990. The 2013 grown in a cool season is the most refined version of Guado we have tasted mixing 50 percent cabernet sauvignon with 27 percent merlot and 20 percent cabernet franc 3 percent petit verdot. Look for an aromatic, dried herbs and menthol mixing with black fruits. Plummy silky textured fruit marks the mid-palate with a spicy finish. All the components are here they just need time in the bottle. The best we have tasted. Guado al Tasso takes its name from notoriously shy badgers crossing the fords of the streams which run through the property. Tasted in a vertical presentation in Vancouver.Prices: BC 94.00 AB 80.00 ON 83.00 BC 247.00 1500 Producer: Tenuta Guado al Tasso
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25 May 2016

Serendipity Rosétext
80PTS

Serendipity Rosé 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep and dark crimson in hue, this is an assertive and punchy blend of assorted unknown grapes, presenting in a candied berry, herbal and spicy way. Clunky and disjointed, with a short, clipped and powdery finish and vague berry and dark plum fruit. Useful for a fruity wine punch perhaps.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Serendipity Winery
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Red Rooster Reserve Rosétext
85PTS

Red Rooster Reserve Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh squeezed pink grapefruit, orange and cranberries leap from the glass of this pale but punchy rosé. A gutsy blend of syrah, malbec, mourvèdre, grenache and petit verdot, this was cold soaked on the skins for three days before heading to stainless steel. The bold, bled-off palate is full of crunchy acidity, rhubarb, crab apple and red currant, before a snappy, warming finish. Not shy.Prices: BC 19.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Sumac Ridge Rosé Private Reservetext
85PTS

Sumac Ridge Rosé Private Reserve 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep, dark pink, this off-dry rosé is a gush of cherry gummies, candied apple and apple blossom. A bitter black cherry note floats on the finish, perhaps reflective of the majority merlot that makes up this blend (along with pinot noir and gewürztraminer). Simple, soft and smooth, chill and crack for the crowds this summer.Prices: BC 13.09 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEvery vintage Quails' Gate dials this in a bit tighter. This year gamay, pinot noir and pinot gris are matched with a juicy flush of ripe strawberry and cherry on an off-dry (5.4 g/l RS), medium bodied, silky and ripe palate. Pink florals, pink grapefruit and a rush of watermelon closes this out. Soft, juicy and fruity, this will appeal to many. Chill and crack on the patio.Prices: BC 16.49 AB 21.00 ON 17.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Unsworth Vineyards Rosétext
88PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Rosé 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPale pink in hue, with a hint of strawberry, red currant and earthy brie, this is a lean, bright and marine styled rosé, reflective of the coastal climate. Cowichan pinot noir is tank fermented, preserving the crisp, bright berry fruit. A touch of residual and lees just fills out the elegant and finessed fruit. Finishes with a lick of bitter pear and fine salts. Hoping to have under screw cap in future vintages.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Monster Vineyards Rosétext
86PTS

Monster Vineyards Rosé 2015

British Columbia, CanadaMonster pink is a mix of malbec, merlot and syrah bled off their skins after minimal contact time. The attack is fresh and ripe with dried strawberry notes on the nose and palate with a dash of savoury dried herbs. At seven grams per sugar its barely off-dry flavours leaving some bitter cherry notes in the finish. Chill this one down and serve on a hot patio with finger food.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Monster Vineyards
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24 May 2016

Upper Bench Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Upper Bench Pinot Blanc 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh peach/nectarine skin notes. The attack is dry with lime rind/guava with some candied cherries in the mix. The finish is relatively short and a bit sticky. Simple stuff ready top drink now with fish tacos.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Lake Breeze Pinot Blanctext
89PTS

Lake Breeze Pinot Blanc 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe quintessential BC pinot blanc is made at Lake Breeze most every year. The mid-valley site brings a fresh style with a mineral, pear and ripe apple notes on the nose. The attack is open with pear and apple skin notes followed by mouth-watering tropical fruit and pear notes. Great with goat cheese, halibut steaks and chicken/kale salads.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Lake Breeze Vineyards
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JoieFarm Pinot Blanctext
86PTS

JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 27-year-old grapes on Kelowna's St. Hubertus Vineyard, this opens with perfumed nose of pear blossoms and gummies which carry through onto its light palate. Banana and candied rose petals dominate what is a short and sweet palate with a snappy, finish. It was a challenging year (hot, with the earliest vintage on record) and you can feel the ripeness but kudos to JoieFarm for not doctoring their wines with acidulation or dilution or other unnatural winemaking tricks. Ready to drink think spicy foods.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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23 May 2016

Poderi dal Nespoli Borgo Dei Guiditext
89PTS

Poderi dal Nespoli Borgo Dei Guidi 2009

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyBorgo dei Guidi hails from the IGT Rosso Forlì IGT mixing 70/15/15 sangiovese, cabernet and merlot. The wine is soft and round reflecting the clay soils it is grown on. The fruit is bright with blackberry and licorice flavours with a thread of red fruit and acidity in the back end. The fruit is left to hang on the vine and extra month giving the wine a richer concentrated. Clean and fresh and delicious. Chicken, quail, mushrooms, braised meats they all work here.Prices: BC 21.52 Producer: Poderi Dal Nespoli 1929
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Poderi dal Nespoli Nespolino Rossotext
87PTS

Poderi dal Nespoli Nespolino Rosso 2014

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThis Rubicone IGT is a 70/30 mix of sangiovese and merlot grown in the Nespoli region about 155 meters above sea level. The nose is fresh the attack similar with earthy cherry nutty notes on the nose and palate with some salty hints in the finish. Dry and refreshing this is a classic spaghetti red although the winery suggest it is best served with ravioli of Mora Romagnola with “crazy sausage” sauce.Prices: BC 9.99 Producer: Poderi Dal Nespoli 1929
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Poderi dal Nespoli Prugneto Limited Editiontext
86PTS

Poderi dal Nespoli Prugneto Limited Edition 2012

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyThis DOC Romagna Superiore Sangiovese is made with 100 percent sangiovese grosso. From the Nespoli region. This vintage was made with the oldest vines in the Prugneto vineyard planted to the best sites. The fruit is grown on clay soils giving it a soft round character in the mouth. The nose is more old-style with earthy mushroom cherry fruit nuances with similar flavours on the palate. Best with slow cooked meats or older cheeses.Prices: NF 14.25 Producer: Poderi Dal Nespoli 1929
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Luccarelli Negroamarotext
86PTS

Luccarelli Negroamaro 2014

Puglia, ItalyA consistent performer this negroamaro opens with a spicy warm plummy southern Italian nose. The is warm with ripe cherries mixed with chocolate, coffee and balsamic notes. Cleaner than the previous version with just a bit of acidity poking through the warm, spicy back end. Order up your favourite pizza.Prices: BC 12.99 Producer: Luccarelli Winery
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20 May 2016

Evolve Rosétext
83PTS

Evolve Rosé 2014

CanadaBold, ripe and full, with sweet plum, raspberry jam and smoked branch notes. A bump of sweetness coats toasted wood and a solid structure, filled out with thick, jammy fruit. This clunky and assertive rosé is best served chilled and with assertively flavoured dishes like pasta with olives.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: Evolve Cellars
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See Ya Later Ranch Nelly Rosétext
85PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Nelly Rosé 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVibrant, glowing pink, this blend of pinot noir, gamay and merlot sat on the skins for 24 hours before fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Ripe, round, soft and sweet, with a rhubarb kick and a cushy, strawberry jam pillow. Chill and drink solo; a bit too sweet for most pairings.Prices: BC 13.89 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir Rosétext
86PTS

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPinot noir from Central and Southern Okanagan make up this vibrantly hued rosé. Grapes were destemmed and placed in a closed fermenter where they were cooled down to near freezing for a forty-eight-hour cold soak before pressing and a cold ferment in stainless. Clean, tight strawberry jam, cherry gummies and a dusting of cinnamon in this juicy, off-dry and medium bodied pink. The finish closes with a bitter pear note and a wave of heat, but when chilled down as this wine should be, you won't mind. Rosé sauced pastas, here you go.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosétext
88PTS

Culmina Family Estate Saignée Rosé 2015

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis full, silken and polished pale rosé glides on the tongue, as much a result of the ripe, sun warmed fruit as the fourteen percent alcohol. A step up from 2015, this saignée rosé blends merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec from Golden Mile's Arise Bench vineyard. Delicate wild strawberries, lavender, thyme, tangerine peel float on a full-bodied palate, one with a small bump of sugar and more potent than many red wines. A distinct style (and not just because of the glass Vinolok stopper) though I would love to see this with less-is-more thinking. Pour with something equally hefty; suckling pig with lentils would work beautifully.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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Seven Directions Kalala Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

Seven Directions Kalala Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a cooler rosé style with a touch more red in the colour making it less attractive to the eye. The nose is a mix of floral and candied notes. Citrus, lime and red berries makeup the mid-palate before some herbal, bitter, spicy flavours kick in. The grapes are farmed organically in cool, West Kelowna before they spend four months in new French oak moving this wine into the heavier Tavel style perhaps best consumed next winter.Prices: BC 24.29 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Seven Directions Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
87PTS

Seven Directions Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA pinot noir rosé with the requisite pink/orange colour has fresh floral strawberry melon, peach nose. The palate is dry, if a touch fat with creamy, strawberry, raspberry flavours with just a hint of citrus. The finish is warm and heavy exposing the 14 per cent alcohol that round out the weighty palate. I like the wine but a little less alcohol and a little brighter acidity would take this to another level. Try this with a kale and chicken salad.Prices: BC 21.65 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosétext
89PTS

Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced from only Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard grapes Seven Directions’ least expensive rosé made with cabernet franc could be its best. Rock over gravel, loam and some clay gives this a touch of minerality and freshness that appears to match its highly attractive barely orange colour. Minimalist techniques have yielded delicious fresh, clean, creamy strawberry/citrus flavours that finish dry. Only 260 cases made. Thank you.Prices: BC 14.69 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosétext
89PTS

Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015

CanadaThis graceful rosé pours the very palest orange peach hue, a hallmark of this wine from the low interventionist duo of Matthew SherLOCK & Ross HawkWORTH, also a team at Nichol Winery, further along the Naramata Bench. Mostly whole cluster pressed, with four hours on the skins, this expresses cabernet franc grapes planted in 2008 on sandy soils. Pear skin and ample salts weave through subtle wild strawberry on a slender, sandy, salty palate. Four months in neutral oak before going into bottle unfined and unfiltered has lent a lovely fine texture throughout, matched by ample lifted acidity. Savoury, salty and streamline, this dry rosé is for adventurous sippers, and best when it warms up in the glass.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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19 May 2016

Signorello Chardonnay Vieilles Vignestext
90PTS

Signorello Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2012

Napa Valley, California, United StatesThirty two year old vines are behind the ‘Vieilles Vignes’ estate chardonnay. The grapes are handpicked, whole cluster pressed and native yeast fermented. Yields are a miniscule 1.8 tons per acre. The attack is rich and succulent with pineapple/honeysuckle aromas and flavours, definitely more Napa then Burgundy its spends 16 months on its lees in 333 percent new French oak from three tonneliers and three different forests. More old style this year. Try with lobster.Prices: BC 66.99 ON 52.00 AB 57.00 Producer: Signorello Estate
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFour French clones and twenty-four year old vines make up this elegant and concentrated Reserve Chardonnay. Half was fermented and aged in three year old French oak with the remainder in stainless steel before blending and resting on the lees in barrel for an additional 6 weeks or so. Lightly toasted popcorn, cream, perfumed white flowers, lemon and green apple are carried on a creamy, lees-led palate. Biscuit, almond and nutmeg spice carries the back palate, closing out with lemon curd and fantastic length. A serious chardonnay and it knows it; pour now with lobster or butter drawn crab, or cellar for three or more years.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 31.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnaytext
86PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe pineapple, baked pear and cinnamon apple on this full, sweeter chardonnay, one further plumped by vanilla and oak spicing. Creamy lees, lush melon and scented cloves closes out the finish, along with some heat. A round and sweet simple style.Prices: BC 14.99 AB 21.00 ON 18.00 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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18 May 2016

Sea Star Stella Maristext
88PTS

Sea Star Stella Maris 2015

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaPender Island estate grown grapes, this vintage is a blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Ortega and Schönberger. Lush perfumed peach, musk melon, lime, pear skin and rose blossoms are tightened with pink grapefruit and spiced with a fine ginger spicing. Just off-dry and juicy, this finishes with some peach fuzz heat and bitterness.Prices: BC 20.78 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Sea Star Salish Seatext
89PTS

Sea Star Salish Sea 2015

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaLovely perfumed white peach, lime blossom, pear, melon and grapefruit leap from the glass of this aromatic and crisp coastal white. The lush aromatics are reined in with lemon peel brightness and tightness, leaving a refreshing rinse of anise and grapefruit lingering after this lean and off-dry white. A beauty wine to showcase what brisk, coastal winemaking can be; ideal with our Pacific shellfish or melon and prosciutto.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Sea Star Siegerrebetext
89PTS

Sea Star Siegerrebe 2015

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaSiegerrebe is a cross between Madeleine Angevine and Gewürztraminer, so aromatic spiciness is in the genes. This is a coastal, cool and lean example of the expressive grape, one that deserves time and warmth in the glass to release its ripe peach, honeysuckle, apricot, anise, lime and rosewater. Skinnier than the 2014, this vintage has an appealing looseness to the mid palate to balance the concentrated aromatics.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Sea Star Ortegatext
90PTS

Sea Star Ortega 2015

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaOrtega is a signature grape of the Wine Islands; the bright, lean, aromatic white grape is well suited to our marine-fresh coastal climes. A cross between müller-thurgau and siegerrebe, this opens with tight pear, white peach, melon, crystalline lemon and pink grapefruit. Sea Star has this grape dialled in yet again. Pour with Thai or green curries.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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17 May 2016

Unsworth Vineyards Petit Milo Vintners Selectiontext
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Unsworth Vineyards Petit Milo Vintners Selection 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPoor petit milo. Such a strange name for a tasty grape. This Blattner hybrid is engineered to be marine/cool/wet climate happy, which is why it's well suited to our wine islands. Here, ripe pear, white peach and citrus streams across a juicy, off-dry palate. The 21 g/l RS is handled easily, leaving a cushion of orchard pear and yellow apples and pink grapefruit acidity behind, as well as a tidy 12% alcohol. Pure, bright, juicy and lively - exactly what this fringe region should focus on.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Vintners Selection Sauvignettetext
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Unsworth Vineyards Vintners Selection Sauvignette 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaTight and bright, this hybrid sauvignette opens with bitter pear skin and ample oak. The barrel ferment is obvious at the get go, lacking integration with the crisp island fruit. Wood plank, vanilla, lemon and pear stick out in turn, finishing with a cloudy clove note. Perhaps will integrate with time, but currently not so much.Prices: Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Allegrotext
86PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Allegro 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaAllegro is a blend of equal parts petit milo and sauvignette, two hybrid grapes that were adapted to our Island's cool, coastal climate. Tight, light and lean, with unripe melon, green apple, grass and bitter citrus on the finish. This has undergone full MLF and spent time on lees, thankfully, since this is still a skinny drinking white.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaA lean, skinny gewurztraminer, with tight melon, Asian pear, pear skin, yellow apple and light soap. Coastal fresh, light bodied and off-dry, this closes with a light rasp of ginger and spice. Sixty cases produced.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Gris 2015

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaTight and light, with ample pear, lemon and green apple driving a lean, juicy palate. Pear skin, almond and meadow herbs dominate the bright palate, one lined with a cushion of lees, and textured with fine spice, trailing with anise. Soft, pretty and pear-kissed, finishing with a bitter line of apple skin a warmth. Pour alongside brothy mussels or clams.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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16 May 2016

Suvla Kirte Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot - Cabernet Franctext
85PTS

Suvla Kirte Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot - Cabernet Franc 2011

Gallipoli Peninsula (Marmara) (Thracian) Region, TurkeySomewhat volatile nose with lifted cherry fruit and spice tones with a dollop of green pepper. The attack is soft with raw/acidic cherry fruit and more bell pepper flavours. Dry resiny tannic finish. This need some time in the bottle but is a bit too rustic for a modern red wine. Best served with well-marbled, grilled meat.Prices: BC 24.79 Producer: Suvla
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Suvla Kabatepe Kirmizi Red Cabernet Sauvignon - Syrah - Karasakiztext
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Suvla Kabatepe Kirmizi Red Cabernet Sauvignon - Syrah - Karasakiz 2013

Gallipoli Peninsula (Marmara) (Thracian) Region, TurkeySomewhat light colour but the nose is intriguing mixing red cran-cherry fruit and a touch of wet stone minerality. The attack is soft and round with beautiful juicy cherry/strawberry fruit flavours that wash across the palate form for not back. It’s fresh too with a clean finish. Delicious and ready to drink. Try this with a Margherita pizza or a mushroom-based pasta dish. Good value.Prices: BC 20.29 Producer: Suvla
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Suvla Sur Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc - Petit Verdot Single Vineyard Bozokbag Barrel Agedtext
86PTS

Suvla Sur Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc - Petit Verdot Single Vineyard Bozokbag Barrel Aged 2010

Gallipoli Peninsula (Marmara) (Thracian) Region, TurkeyThe 2010 ‘Sur’ is a 50/34/14/2 blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. The nose is a mix of cherries, bell pepper, tobacco and spice with a dollop of oak. The palate is fresh and round with more cherries resin licorice and oak. The tannins are gritty and a touch green. A rustic, old school version the modern red blend that will be best with beef – roasted or grilled.Prices: BC 33.99 Producer: Suvla
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Montresor Amarone della Valpolicellatext
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Montresor Amarone della Valpolicella 2012

Veneto, ItalyA solid Amarone mixes a rich blend is 75/25 corvina/rondinella from five traditional villages. The fruit is dried out until February followed by a 120 day ferment in stainless steel before it spends three years in a mix of Slavonian oak casks and French small barrels. Expect an intense cherry kirsch nose with slightly pruny, almond cherry flavours and a touch of sweaty leather. Quite ripe almost sweet in the aftertaste this will keep another decade or two. Serve with grilled sausages or an old piece of mature cheese.Prices: BC 40.99 QC 34.75 ON 36.45 SK 38.48 NS 44.00 Producer: Cantine Giacomo Montresor
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Ravenswood Single Vineyard Teldeschi Zinfandeltext
92PTS

Ravenswood Single Vineyard Teldeschi Zinfandel 2013

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThey say if zinfandel was only grown in one place it would be Dry Creek Valley where its tell-tale blue fruits and warm spices predominate. The Teldeschi Vineyard planted between 1913 and 1919 brings a century of life to this wine. The blend is 80 percent zinfandel with a 12/8 split of carignan and petite sirah. The nose is fragrant awash in black and blue fruit aromas with floral, peppery notes throughout. There is very good freshness here given the warm vintage with full rich, graceful black raspberry fruit flavours, dusky spicing and a savoury finish. There is blance and restraint here at least as much as you can expect at 15.1 percent alcohol. Drink this now with grilled ribs or lamb or wait or decade for it to fully develop in the bottle. Special.Prices: BC 42.99 Producer: Ravenswood Winery
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13 May 2016

Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraztext
93PTS

Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe Two Hands Garden Series is a six shiraz set bottled to expose the terroir of individual approved South Australia wine regions. The fruit is bought under long term contract. The ‘garden’ is in fact a reference to German propensity for calling their vineyards gardens. Bella’s is the largest production and since the inception the use of new oak has fallen setting this wine free. The 2013 is a picture of density and sweet fruit over pepper and brown spices with along warm persistent finish. Not for the timid and it could use a few years in bottle but many will enjoy the rambunctious new World fruit now. Served with a well-seasoned leg of lamb.Prices: BC 78.99 ON 66.95 Producer: Two Hands Wines
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Two Hands Sexy Beasttext
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Two Hands Sexy Beast 2014

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaI don’t know about sexy but rich and opulent yes. You feel the power and linear character of cabernet on entry and some grippy tannins ye to disperse in the back end. In between lots of floral black fruit flavours with blueberries, cassis and cocoa. The ferment is done in traditional open fermenters followed by 14 months ageing in French oak hogsheads. This needs another three years in bottle to open up and will easily hold a decade. Best with grilled lamb.Prices: BC 29.99 ON 66.95 Producer: Two Hands Wines
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Two Hands Gnarly Dudestext
90PTS

Two Hands Gnarly Dudes 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaLots of baby fat here with sweet plummy, blackcurrant/blueberry fruit aromas and flavours with a touch of cola. Not near as weighty as the Angel’s Share showing some minty blue/black fruit in the finish with some acidity poking through the back end. A fun, ready-to-drink style that will have wide appeal. Serve now with grilled lamb chops.Prices: BC 34.99 ON 66.95 Producer: Two Hands Wines
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Two Hands Angel's Sharetext
91PTS

Two Hands Angel's Share 2014

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaThe ‘Angel's Share’ refers to the evaporation from the cellar’s oak barrels during ageing although this wine appears to have been ably topped up to remain bright fresh. This wine is open and ready to please form the get go. Rich blueberries, brambleberries, sweet plums and a savoury light pepper undercurrent. Lovely fruit thanks to only six percent new oak and a mix of one to six-year-old puncheons and hogsheads. All you could want for $30 and a good example of the McLaren Vale style. Drink or hold.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Two Hands Wines
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12 May 2016

40 Knots L'Orange Schönbergertext
86PTS

40 Knots L'Orange Schönberger 2015

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis orange-hued wine is true to name, the peach hue a result of extended time on the skins. Made naturally without additives, this bone dry wine is highly textured and amply grippy, with white pepper, grapefruit pith and peach blossom before a tight riff of bitter pear skin that squeezes off the finish with a tight negroni-briskness. Unique - kudos to consulting winemaker Matt Dumayne (from Okanagan Crush Pad) for taking high acid, less ripe grapes and giving them texture and body through extended skin maceration, AND streaming into natural wines on Vancouver Island. For the very adventuresome.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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40 Knots Uncloaked Chardonnaytext
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40 Knots Uncloaked Chardonnay 2015

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe uncloaked name signifies that this Comox grown chardonnay hasn't seen time in barrel, instead preserving bright fruit through time in stainless steel. What you don't know from the label though is that it certainly has a close relationship with sugar, with a noticeable bump from an RS of 9.7. Mid-sweet, with lime candy, applesauce and pineapple dominant. Fine powdered cinnamon spices on the finish. A sweet/sour wine between sugar and crisp fruit.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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40 Knots Whitecapstext
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40 Knots Whitecaps 2015

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of estate pinot gris, chardonnay, siegerrebe, schönberger, pinot auxerrois (all the whites they grow) this is an aromatic, off-dry blend. Pink flowers, baked pears, red apple and banana bread on a medium bodied, loose and broad palate, with a candy necklace sweetness ringing on the finish. Chill.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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40 Knots Ziggy Siegerrebetext
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40 Knots Ziggy Siegerrebe 2015

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaNamed for the vineyard whippet Ziggy, who was named after siegerrebe, this crisp, light, aromatic white does seem to skitter around the palate much like the slight dog breed. Crunchy Asian pear, perfumed white flowers, apricot fuzz and grapefruit pith, this dry white finishes with a powdered candied citrus note. Pour alongside fragrant and delicate Thai curries.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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40 Knots Pinot Gristext
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40 Knots Pinot Gris 2015

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPear, melon, yellow apple and bitter orange line this bright, dry pinot gris, grown on the winery's estate vineyard in Comox Valley. A wave of matchstick lurks underneath the tight, crisp fruit, and finishes with an apple skin note.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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11 May 2016

Stag's Hollow Cabernet Franctext
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Stag's Hollow Cabernet Franc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSmoked spices and sweet wood pervade this ripe and black fruited cabernet franc. Fruit sourced from Oliver and Osoyoos was fifty percent whole cluster and partially fermented in French oak before an additional eighteen months barrel rest and into bottle without fining or filtration. Full bodied and dense, with ample rich blackberry, cloves and perfumed dark flowers. Tannins are thick and chewy and the finish comes across heated and sweet. Pair with rich beef dishes, because this overwhelming red is nearly too powerful on its own beyond one glass.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Kitten Swish Target Practicetext
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Kitten Swish Target Practice 2014

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe first “vineyard up” project for Kitten Swish involves David and Cynthia Enns of Laughing Stock, Alberta nano-négociant Kitten Swish AKA Brad Royale and a vineyard in west Osoyoos. The vines are young and fermented in stainless using 70 percent whole cluster, roughly 20 percent whole berry and the remaining juice. The wine was aged in one single, four-year-old puncheon. Look for exuberant perfumed red florals and lush raspberry on a bed of thorny wild blackberry, sweet tobacco and brambles. The soft, sandy soils are expressed in the gentle expansiveness of the palate; a core of bramble berry, plum and wild thyme stretches out and relaxes in the glass with time, finishing with a finely rasped, pink peppercorn. A fruity, full-bodied, generous red with long tannins, spun silk textures and bright acidity. Fifty cases made.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Kitten Swish
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10 May 2016

Chateau de Sancerretext
89PTS

Chateau de Sancerre 2014

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceChateau Sancerre is mix of fruit grown over a diverse mix of terroirs: clay limestone, limestone, flint and sandy clay that come together to produce, at least in 2014, a fresh, bright relatively youthful expression of Sancerre sauvignon. Look for a stony/mineral notes mixed with riper versions of grapefruit and kiwi fruit flavours to predominate from front to back. Best with shellfish or lighter whiter seafood dishes.Prices: BC 27.99 QC 28.50 BC 14.95 375 ON 24.95 QC 23.99 AB 29.99 NS 31.79 NF 30.85 Producer: Chateau de Sancerre
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Chateau de Sancerre Cuvée du Connétabletext
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Chateau de Sancerre Cuvée du Connétable 2010

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceCuvée du Connétable is a selection of top parcels within the Chateau Sancerre estate. The fermentation is long followed by one year in barrel; the lees are stirred regularly throughout the ageing period which takes place in 95/5 percent, used/new French oak barrels for one year. The 2010 with its light yellow colour is nearing the end of its run but has that older white wine appeal. Floral with candied citrus and quince aromas and flavours with bits of coffee and spice. Foie gras would be a fine match for the weight and heft of this wine.Prices: BC 51.19 AB 45.00 QC 50.00 ON 49.95 Producer: Chateau de Sancerre
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09 May 2016

Gifford's Hall Bacchustext
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Gifford's Hall Bacchus 2014

EnglandGiffords Hall is a small family vineyard located in the village of Hartest between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury in Suffolk. Their bacchus is very perfumed white peach, pear, yellow apple and gooseberry, all sharpened by lime pith. Light and bright, with a pretty sweetness and candied chalk necklace on the finish.Prices: UK 16.50 Producer: Gifford's Hall
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Oaken Grove Vineyard Bacchus Reservetext
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Oaken Grove Vineyard Bacchus Reserve 2014

EnglandThis family run vineyard is nestled in the Chiltern Hills, near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Very perfumed peach, light anise and bright kiwi rule this light wine. A lovely and potent anise savoury vein streaming through the whole is a nice counterpart to the sweetness.Prices: UK 13.00 Producer: Oaken Grove Vineyard
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gristext
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Quails' Gate Chasselas - Pinot Blanc - Pinot Gris 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the juicy, fun, gulpable whites that comes out of Quails’ Gate. The blend is mix of chasselas/pinot blanc/pinot gris all hand harvested, whole bunch pressed, cold fermented in stainless steel tanks and then fermented separately. Plenty of orchard fruit flavours a squeeze of lime rind and there is even some mysterious wet stone minerality in the finish. Some times the simple stuff is the best. Fish tacos, sushi, or a Margherita pizza. Good value.Prices: BC 17.49 AB 19.00 SK 20.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Gray Monk Pinot Auxerroistext
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Gray Monk Pinot Auxerrois 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLike chardonnay, pinot auxerrois is a cross between gouais blanc and pinot noir. Unlike chardonnay, this is a bright, aromatic and light bodied white with gently perfumed peach blossoms, pink florals, melon, kiwi and fresh pear. Off dry, but with a grapefruit pithiness to counter, this finishes fresh and bright. A simple, soft light white.Prices: BC 14.79 AB 15.75 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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06 May 2016

Ridgeview Marksman Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
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Ridgeview Marksman Blanc de Blancs Brut 2011

EnglandCrisp and shearing chardonnay lemon is tempered with light lees and ripe red apple before large flakes of sea salt grip. A pear cordial note lingers on the finish. Sourced from the chalk soils of the Sussex South Downs before three years bottle rest,this is Ridgeview's Marks & Spencer bottling, and is far above par for a supermarket brand.Prices: UK 25.00 Producer: Ridgeview
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Ruffino Sparkling Rosétext
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Ruffino Sparkling Rosé NV

Veneto, ItalyYouthful and generous strawberry, raspberry and cherry, this darkens glera with a small splash of pinot noir before being produced in the charmat method. Vibrant pale strawberry in hue, this carries ripe pear, red apple and light florals before a fruity, frothy and off-dry palate. Patio or picnic lunch is a natural pair.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Tenimenti Ruffino
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Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgognetext
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Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne NV

Burgundy, FrancePinot noir, gamay and chardonnay from Burgundy is sourced across Cote d'Or, South Burgundy and the Maconnais respectively, before twelve months on the lees in this crémant. Strawberry, raspberry and cherry dominate, with scented floral petals, lightly grippy tannins and riffing grapefruit acidity. Lovely, elegant and simply serious fizz (at a great price).Prices: BC 23.49 AB 20.00 ON 20.00 QC 24.00 Producer: Louis Bouillot
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Paul Buisse Cremant de Loiretext
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Paul Buisse Cremant de Loire NV

Loire, FrancePerfumed red apple blossom and red grapefruit pith lead this Loire crémant, a blend of chenin blanc and chardonnay from Touraine. White peach, pear skin and a thin sheen of meadow honey joins in on the palate, dialled in with a tight citrus pith acidity and lightly structured palate via twelve months on the lees.Prices: BC 23.49 QC 23.20 Producer: Paul Buisse
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Jansz Premium Cuvéetext
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Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

Tasmania, South Australia, AustraliaDevils aside, this is why Tazzie rules. This cool climate island is ideal for bright, crisp and high acid sparkling wine with a gentle cushion of ripe fruit. This "méthode Tasmenois" is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier from across the Island. Taut with red apple, cherry and citrus, the palate courts lemon curd and Asian pear before a riff of tight grapefruit and a whiff of herbal anise.Prices: BC 27.99 QC 28.00 ON 28.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Jansz Wine Company
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Charles de Fère Brut Merite Mousseux Premiumtext
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Charles de Fère Brut Merite Mousseux Premium NV

FranceThis traditional method blancs de noir blends merlot, grenache, pinot noir and gamay before a rest of twelve months on the lees. Light, dry and crisp, with a wave of earthy lees before picking up strawberry, red apple, red currants, light dough and perfumed cherry blossom across a mouth filling palate. Tight and crisp on the finish. Amazing value.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Charles de Fère
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Unsworth Vineyards Charme De L'iletext
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Unsworth Vineyards Charme De L'ile NV

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPinot noir, pinot gris and sauvignette come together in this coastal fresh and floral charmat (Prosecco-like) sparkling. Yellow apple, unripe pear, orchard blossom are expressed across a frothy, off-dry palate, tightened at the end by a grip of citrus pith. A lovely, fresh wine for brunch or the patio.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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05 May 2016

Pascal Jolivet Sauvage Sancerretext
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Pascal Jolivet Sauvage Sancerre 2012

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceThe chalky soils of Champtin yield this organic sauvignon blanc, one of Jolivet's Grandes Cuvées. Aptly named Sauvage, this is wild fermented, spends a year on the lees and is bottled without filtration. Allow this to stretch its legs before drinking; this will reward you the favour and expand in the glass. Elegant and quietly confident, with slate, subtle wild herbs, white grapefruit pith and tight pear concentrating on the textured palate and holding through a lengthy finish. Acidity is brisk, tightening up this structured, savoury sauvignon. Beauty now, but will reward with five+ years in the cellar.Prices: US 60.00 Producer: Pascal Jolivet
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Gray Monk Pinot Noirtext
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Gray Monk Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaForest berries and cedar roasted spices frame this welcoming and warm pinot noir, sourced from plots throughout the Okanagan Valley. Earthy and autumnal, with a bump of sugar and lightly sanded tannins supporting ripe cherry, rhubarb compote, red currant, cola and black pepper spicing. Finishes with some heat; best poured with pork sandwiches or salmon burgers.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 16.25 MB 21.28 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
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Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noirtext
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Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2014

Region del Valle Central, ChileThe latest Bicicleta shows some pinot form on the nose mixing rooty, smoky, compost and cherry aromas. The attack is dry with some light, grippy tannins mixed with sour cherry, rhubarb and earthy, celery root. Simple ready-to-drink pinot for salmon pizza or grilled pork chops. Fair price.Prices: BC 10.49 NB 11.99 AB 13.00 ON 9.95 MB 11.99 NS 12.99 Yukon 13.50 Producer: Vina Cono Sur
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Upper Bench Pinot Noirtext
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Upper Bench Pinot Noir 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUpper Bench made 281 cases in 2013 of rich, masculine pint noir. Some 16 months in French oak, of which 1/3 is new, will do that, but then again it was a warm year on the Bench. Look for spicy, minty, resiny notes on the nose, with plenty of oak covering mostly red fruits. Textures are firm with some oak tannin predominating. This needs time to settle in, or serve it with some cheese if you can’t wait. A big wine that could use a touch of elegance going forward.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom seven to 29-year-old vines, this is a blend of five French clones from the Mavety family's Okanagan Falls estate. A small proportion of whole cluster, and a full proportion of wild yeast was used in the ferment, before the wine was pressed into French oak barrels for ten months. Perfumed black cherry, dark raspberry and ripe damson plum are framed by firm, finely boned and fine grained tannins. Resin kissed, sweet pipe tobacco carries out the lengthy finish. Drinking well now but this will reward with time in the cellar.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 44.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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04 May 2016

Lunessence Gewurztraminertext
89PTS

Lunessence Gewurztraminer 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe mix is 90/5/5/ gewürztraminer, sémillon and schönburger. The residual sugar is 19 grams per litre and the fruit is all Golden Mile Bench. Classic spicy nose with a mix of orange and rose blossoms. The palate is sweet and spicy with rich flavours of ripe red apples, litchi fruit and flecks of tangerine. Big rich and off–dry this would be fun with a curry or a rich spicy barbecue sauce. Well done.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Moonlight Valley Winery
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Blasted Church Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

Blasted Church Gewurztraminer 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA drier style Gewurz with floral litchi, spicy aromas with touch of pink grapefruit. Fresh and clean there is a slightly pithy grapefruit character on entry with floral, litchi honey notes. Ready to drink would be perfectly suited to a meat and cheese charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 17.50 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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50th Parallel Estate Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

50th Parallel Estate Gewurztraminer 2015

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh open leesy aromatic nose with an orange/citrus undercurrent. The palate is a mix of litchi, ginger, honey melon and spice. Well balanced and suitably refreshing in the finish. We like it with fish tacos the winery is suggesting spicy crab, crayfish or pork. Good value.Prices: BC 21.85 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Hillside Estate Gewürztraminertext
88PTS

Hillside Estate Gewürztraminer 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig fresh, spicy, floral nose with those smoked meat Alsace notes wrapped in litchi fruit and ginger. Similar flavours with bright acidity, pink grapefruit, honeysuckle and oily lemon and nectarine notes. Bring on your favourite curry or choucroute garnie dish. Super value.Prices: BC 19.12 Producer: Hillside Estate Winery Ltd.
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Sumac Ridge Gewürztraminer Private Reservetext
86PTS

Sumac Ridge Gewürztraminer Private Reserve 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis label is consistent year in and year out and always offers good value for money. It’s on the sweet side of off-dry which mean you can serve it well-chilled solo or alongside spicy summer barbecue meats. Fresh floral rose petals and litchi fruit greet your nose with a touch of orange and new shower curtain.Prices: BC 14.99 AB 16.00 ON 10.45 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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Meyer Gewurztraminertext
89PTS

Meyer Gewurztraminer 2014

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a fun-style gewürztraminer that comes off a block of 22-year-old fruit that faces the setting sun. The nose is mix of lees and litchi fruit, orange flecks and spicy. The attack presents mostly dry with just a hint of bitterness but not oily. A drinkable food-friendly style I like to serve with spicy tuna rolls and or vegetarian dishes.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Gewürztraminertext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Gewürztraminer 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn a leaner vein, delicate floral blossoms and perfumed soap leads this gewürztraminer, sourced from vineyards in West Bank and South East Kelowna. Medicinal orange, light pineapple, Asian pear and melon dominate a loose, watery palate, brightened by a gentle brook of acidity and closed with a whisper of ginger and star anise and a bitter Seville orange peel. Good value.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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03 May 2016

Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Los Quillayes Vineyardtext
89PTS

Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Los Quillayes Vineyard 2012

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileClassic Maipo here from its bay leaf nose to its stony mineral red fruit finish. In between there is a whack of fresh cedar, smoky resiny black cherry fruit with a bit of chocolate, dried crushed leaf and firm but controlled tannin. Made for grilled lamb when young and better beef cuts as it ages. Needs extra bottle time but otherwise well done.Prices: BC 19.79 Producer: Vina Carmen
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Carmen Winemaker's Red Cabernet Sauvignon Blendtext
92PTS

Carmen Winemaker's Red Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2010

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileWinemaker’s Red is a lively expression of the Alto Maipo Valley with its aromatic notes of cedar, bay leaf and red fruit aromas. More cassis and cedar with bits of cigar, mints and cherries mark the long elegant mid-palate and persistent, almost Bordelais, finish. Perfect tannin management makes this drinkable now but you could wait a decade. Good value.Prices: BC 36.99 Producer: Vina Carmen
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Continuumtext
96PTS

Continuum 2012

Napa Valley, California, United StatesIt was a perfect year on Pritchard Hill and the 2012 is all Pritchard Hill (Oakville) fruit from 21-year-old vines. This is a terrific bottle of wine whose quality reflects a sorting of the lots that eliminated or (declassified) thirty percent of the wine. Tim Mondavi continues the journey and while his style remains focused there’s some irony in that this exquisite, restrained (for Napa) red with a bit of a Euro bent is now much more widely accepted by the American press and public. Too bad they didn’t think that way in the 1980s when shunned Tim’s ‘elegant’ wines ne might still be at Robert Mondavi with his family. Enjoy this silky, plummy red fruited blend that is long on polish and restraint. Mineral, complex and persistent this is all it can be and more. The 2012 is a 78/11/6/5/ mix of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot. A warmer, drier more normal year with almost no heat spikes brought the harvest five days earlier than normal. Cellar through 2020 and then drink slowly over the next decade.Prices: BC 229.99 AB 219.19 ON 319.99 Producer: Continuum Estate
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Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red (GOW)text
82PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red (GOW) 2014

British Columbia, CanadaMarquette, Frontenac noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot come together in this thick, almost muddled red blend, one rife with dried cherry, red florals, hickory and steak spice. A very hot and early vintage appears in the over-ripeness of this Thompson Valley full bodied-red. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 15.50 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Kim Crawford Corner 50 Vineyard Small Parcels Merlot Cabernettext
86PTS

Kim Crawford Corner 50 Vineyard Small Parcels Merlot Cabernet 2013

Hawkes Bay, North Island, New ZealandPart of Kim Crawford's premier "Small Parcels" tier, this opaque and thick Hawke's Bay merlot is doused with 28 percent cabernet sauvignon. Ample wood is evident from the start, with fourteen months in French and American oak, 31% of which was new. Black cherry and kirsch aromas continue on the full bodied palate, along with bitter black chocolate, mint, dried blackberry and fruitcake. The wood tannins are strident, propping up the ripe, weighted fruit before a black espresso finish. A bit clumsy, best poured with rich short ribs and mashed root vegetables.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Kim Crawford Wines
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02 May 2016

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
90PTS

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2012

Tuscany, ItalyBellezza Gran Selezione is the top red at Gabbiano. The nose is a melange of oak and chocolate and toast with leather red fruit nuances. The entry is silky soft and round on the palate with an intense cherry, chocolate, leather flavours flecked with earth and spice and adequate acidity. A serious red that needs another five years in bottle to reach its potential. Steak anyone.Prices: AB 40.00 BC 45.00 ON 40.00 NF 40.00 MB 45.00 QC 45.00 Producer: Castello di Gabbiano
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Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Il Cavalieretext
87PTS

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Il Cavaliere 2014

Tuscany, ItalyLovely fresh red fruit sangiovese nose with a touch of sour plum. Fresh cherries on the palate with a touch of grilled mushroom and little or no tannins. Ready to drink and a pizza red you want to have with pizza. Super value.Prices: BC 13.29 AB 14.00 SK 15.00 MB 14.00 ON 14.00 QC 14.60 NS 16.00 NB 15.00 PEI 16.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Castello di Gabbiano
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Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riservatext
86PTS

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2013

Tuscany, ItalyFirm young dry juicy style with a little less fruit and a little more earth on the nose and palate. The 'classico' moniker seems to dry out the mid-palate where tannins sit over the fruit. Solid mid-week sangiovese that could use a bit more fruit. Serve with a pasta in a tomato meat sauce to best effect.Prices: ON 23.00 QC 23.00 SK 22.50 MB 23.00 NB 26.00 AB 19.00 Producer: Castello di Gabbiano
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Sette Ponti Crognolotext
91PTS

Sette Ponti Crognolo 2012

Tuscany, ItalyCrognolo (the wild bush) is an oaked aged IGT of predominantly sangiovese 90 with a small amount of merlot 10. The palate is silky with warm, spicy, fruit flavours with a hint of earth. Long persistent red with dark, ripe cherries, licorice and dried herbs. The oak is in balance adding weight and balance to the finish. Serve this with grill lamb for a great match.Prices: BC 38.99 ON 34.95 AB 37.00 QC 30.00 MB 42.00 Producer: Tenuta Sette Ponti
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