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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: March 2015

29 March 2015

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noir 2010

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe power of aromas: clear memories of hubba bubba strawberry gum, raspberry gummies on the nose. Past that initial recollection, a ripe style, with sunwarmed cherry, leather aromas. The juicy and bright palate shows florals and cherry pie before earthy herbs, branch, slightly astringent tannins and a bitter-edged, raspberry seed finish. Bit disjointed at present, but would make for a fine pour with salmon steaks.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Summerhill Pyramid Syrahtext
86PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Syrah 2010

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAssertive aromas of green tinged bark, resin and green pepper kicked up with ample black cracked pepper. The smooth, slick palate reflects the green cassis and resin fruit, along with light smoke. Lean and well built tannins - best with grilled lamb.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Oxford Landing Estate Pinot Grigiotext
85PTS

Oxford Landing Estate Pinot Grigio 2013

South Australia, AustraliaIf all entry level Australian wines were as solid and varietally correct as Oxford Landing, the country would be in a far better wine place. Bright and juicy, with light pear, yellow apple, juicy stone fruit and a sunny, citrus finish. This would slide down easily with a plate of salt and pepper squid and green salad.Prices: BC 13.00 MB 15.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba Y Series Viogniertext
89PTS

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2013

South Australia, AustraliaYalumba is the preeminent Aussie viognier producer, and with good reason. Spicy white pepper, jasmine and ginger leap out of the glass, with struck stone, thistle, juicy apricot, peach, ginger and lychee notes leading to a juicy citrus finish. The savoury/sweet fruit balance is pitched perfectly in this consistent, go-to viognier. Fantastic value here.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 18.00 ON 16.00 SK 19.00 NS 16.00 QC 17.00 YK 20.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba Old Bush Vine Grenache Barossatext
90PTS

Yalumba Old Bush Vine Grenache Barossa 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaI love the freshness of this overlooked Aussie grape, so oft relegated to a blending partner. When treated with respect - especially in old vine examples like this - results are outstanding. Opening with primary cherry, mineral, scented raspberry and fine spice. Beautiful silken strawberry, savoury spiced cherry, fine grained spice and orange peel close out the lively palate. Pure fruited, precise and clear, and a natural for tender pork tenderloin, quail or grilled salmon.Prices: BC 25.00 ON 25.00 QC 20.00 NS 22.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba Organic Shiraztext
88PTS

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2012

South Australia, AustraliaA testament to their green practices and dedication, this was Yalumba's first 100% organic wine seen on this market. This wine sees no time in oak, allowing fresh, bright fruit to shine. Notes of dusty plum and earthy raspberry lead to a soft palate of spice, blueberries, black cherries, coffee and plum. A wave of earth and spicy pepper close the tart finish. BBQ pork ribs would work beautifully here.Prices: BC 18.00 ON 20.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vinestext
86PTS

Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vines 2012

Northern Sonoma, Sonoma County, California, United StatesBaking spice, blackberry and an undercurrent of black liquorice lead to this northern Sonoma zinfandel. The palate is full with vanilla, wood and sweet cinnamon and cloves, framing dense, sweet black and blue fruit jam and round tannins. There is a spiced pepsi and Dr. Pepper note on the finish. Full, big and not shy, pair with blackberry lacquered beef and roast beets.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 22.00 ON 23.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Sonoma County, California, United StatesSmoky mesquite and hickory corn chips rise out of the nose, along with cedar wood and roasted berries. The smoked cedar note carries through the palate, along with dense, compact blackberry and ripe cassis across rough hewn tannins. Vanilla, dark cocoa, black cherries and mocha finish with a bit of heat - best tempered with grilled or roasted beef over masa.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 22.00 ON 23.00 SK 25.00 YK 27.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Vineyards
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28 March 2015

Quails' Gate Old Vines Fochtext
86PTS

Quails' Gate Old Vines Foch 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThough much of the maréchal foch was scrubbed up in favour of popular grapes, there are pockets of older vines dotting the Okanagan. Grapes for this wine are from 33 year old vines in Osoyoos. Potent roasted meats, grilled onions, resin and espresso aromas before a dusky, black fruited, rustic hewn palate. Juicy ripe blackberry, tart blackcurrant and floral raspberry blossom lay soft and plush on the full palate. Spice and blackened onion skins on the finish. Unique, to be sure. Pair with grilled venison or game meat to complement.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 24.99 ON 27.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Meander Sparkling Moscatotext
85PTS

Meander Sparkling Moscato 2013

Breedekloof, Breede River Valley, South AfricaCalling itself a "naturally sweet perlé wine" this very lightly fizzy wine is a bright, unabashedly sweet sipper that might make a welcome addition to your brunch lineup. Sweet lime, pear, grapefruit and floral perfume, would be best enjoyed chilled and young. 15 year old muscat of alexandria grapes make up this 7.5% moscato.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Meander
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Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reservetext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reserve 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Stewart Family Reserve is made from pinot noir clones entirely from their estate vineyards on the Mount Boucherie bench. Ten to twenty-seven year old vines were selected; only the best lots make it into the SFR series. Fragrant black cherry and toasted cedar aromas lead into a structured and herbaceous palate. Rasped cedar, black cherries, wild raspberries, tobacco and fine spice are bound with tight grained tannins and lifted with fresh acidity. Bitter cherry lingers on the spicy finish. This will continue to mature and evolve in bottle over the next 3-5 years, but pour now with grilled salmon or pork tenderloin.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 5 Chardonnaytext
88PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 5 Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhen I first opened this wine, wild yeast fermented and via low intervention winemaking, it was so joltingly earthy/lavender/plastic that I let it air - for a full day - before I attempted again. The second time was easier to get into, though still certainly singular. Lush wilting blossoms, ripe pear, baby powder and vanilla pudding aromas. Vanilla, cream, pear and pineapple compote fill the voluminous palate, gaining focus with a grapefruit/lemon citrus note and trailing off with a lengthy hint of spiced butterscotch and buttered popcorn. The wine comes together when it's not fully chilled - at a cool temperature all the components stick out, but as it warms up a bit the corners blur and the whole rounds and merges. By the end of the tasting, we were good friends. A complex wine that deserves time to adjust to air and get into, not a casual sipper. Pour alongside sablefish or richer poultry dishes.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Chateau Routastext
89PTS

Chateau Routas 2013

Coteaux Varois, Provence, South of France, FranceBeguilingly delicate in hue and aroma, this 45/35/20 cinsault/grenache/syrah harkens spring no matter the season. Gentle wild strawberries, red currant, roses on the nose. The palate carries greater intensity, with a raft of pomegranate, red currant, strawberry, sweet salami and white peppery spice to glide along. Crisp and dry, pour this with a charcuterie and cheese platter.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Chateau Routas
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27 March 2015

Radio Bokatext
87PTS

Radio Boka 2012

Valencia, Valencia and Murcia, SpainRadio Boca hails from Valencia the home of oranges and paella and in a similar fashion this red is as comforting as both. Okay it's dirt cheap, and even 30 percent cheaper in Ontario, but when you come from mountainsides and head-pruned, 25-50 year-old vines well let's just say it's a good start. The result is a simple but tasty red. You can expect a ripe, soft, cherry-flavoured reds with a dash of mocha and pepper. A pizza wine that over delivers and it’s finished under screw cap. Hamburgers work as well.Prices: BC 15.00 ON 11.00 Producer: Vinnico Exports
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Marisco The King's Legacy Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Marisco The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2012

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandIn some markets this goes by its original name, The King's Bastard Chardonnay, but that wouldn't fly in Canada, hence, King's Legacy. Fifty percent whole bunch press before time in large French oak puncheons (half new wood) for lees contact yields this creamy white. Cream, pineapple, melon, stone and light toast aromas. The generous palate carries spiced baked apple, nuts, lees, white florals, ripe melon and butter, with lemon curd acidity. A bit hefty in the mouth, pour with creamy poultry or white seafood dishes.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Marisco Vineyards Limited
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Bench 1775 Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Bench 1775 Pinot Gris 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHerbal meadow flowers and peach open this juicy white. Peach continues on the palate - bitter fuzz and ripe flesh, along with yellow apples and pear skin. A bit disjointed between fruit sweetness and herbal bitterness, but refreshing acidity through the finish. Pour with peach kissed spinach salad or mango chicken sandwich.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Bench 1775 Winery
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Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Valle del Colchagua, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileThis plumy, approachable medium-bodied cabernet is drinking well now (especially with that grilled beef) but will continue to hold and improve over the next 2-4 years. And at this price, you can afford to lay a couple down for a couple of years. Blending 85/15 cabernet sauvignon/merlot here yields deep cassis, cedar spice, blackberry bush and dark flowers on the nose, before dense and dusky-cloaked tannins around juicy black fruit, tobacco, vanilla and spice. A lick of mint on the zesty finish.Prices: BC 15.00 NB 15.00 NF 15.00 SK 18.00 Producer: Montes Wines
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Le Volte dell'Ornellaiatext
90PTS

Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2011

Tuscany, ItalyLe Volte is the little brother to Super Tuscan Ornellaia, and keeping in the family, ages for 10 months in old Ornellaia barriques. Black cherry, dried cassis, black plum aromas. Fresh acidity carries dense fruit across the palate - wild blackberry, black cherry, anise, tar, dried flowers are wrapped with sticky tannins and finish with fine peppery spice. Gravitas in youth. Decant and pour with ragú alla Bolognese.Prices: BC 35.00 AB 30.00 QC 30.00 ON 30.00 NF 30.00 YK 37.00 Producer: Tenuta dell'Ornellaia
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26 March 2015

40 Knots Spindrift Bruttext
87PTS

40 Knots Spindrift Brut 2012

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaSpindrift Brut is made using the traditional French method mixing pinot noir and chardonnay. The attack is aggressively fresh and acidic with bright citrus note and green apple, pear skin and grassy notes. The attack is lean and juicy with an intensely dry, acidic finish. This requires oysters to temper the acidity. Right on the edge of drinkability but much better at the tart dry end of the spectrum than the sweet end. Should age well over the next three to five years.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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La Jara Prosecco Extra Dry Organictext
88PTS

La Jara Prosecco Extra Dry Organic NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyOn the drier side of Extra Dry this prosecco, grown organically, strikes me as more than interesting. Made from the glera grape you can expect to taste hints or orange throughout its green apple grapefruit flavours. The textures are creamy and just off-dry perfect for a savoury charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: La Jara
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Sandhill Gamay Noir Sandhill Estate Vineyardtext
85PTS

Sandhill Gamay Noir Sandhill Estate Vineyard 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSandhill's gamay noir falls on the darker, deeper end of the spectrum, and 2012 is no exception. Black plums, toasted cedar and light smoke aromas. The palate is full, weighted down with a whack of wood spice and ragged stave tannins (15 months in French and American oak barrels). Black plum, black cherry, black tea and thicker smoke cling on the palate, though while juicy, is overwhelmed by wood. Pour this if you need a big, gutsy red to match up to your grilled pepper steak - not if you're in the mood for a lithe gamay.Prices: BC 20.00 MB 19.00 Producer: Sandhill Wines
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Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPolished and stately first whiff, with hazelnuts, fine cream, ripe melon and subtle vanilla blossoms. Orchard pear, apple and bright Meyer lemon is pure and potent on the fuller bodied palate, though overshadowed by spicy clove and vanilla wood texturing. Finish is spicy - cloves and vanilla - and lingering. Pour with richer citrus buttered white fish or lobster.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 25.00 SK 22.00 MB 22.00 ON 22.00 QC 20.00 NB 26.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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La Chablisienne Chablis La Pierreléetext
88PTS

La Chablisienne Chablis La Pierrelée 2009

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceAccessible bottle of Chablis from a choice site - La Pierrelée vineyard, hugging the River Serein, on Kimmeridgian clay and limestone. Exotic jasmine and floral musk mingles with crisp Asian pear, leesy minerality and zingy lemon zest. Shellfish and delicate white fish welcome here.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 28.00 Producer: La Chablisienne
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Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Hawkes Bay, North Island, New ZealandThis regional sauvignon blanc always delivers classic passion fruit, floral, dried herbs in the aromas and the palate. Crisp, elegant and mouth-watering expect a whack of tropical fruit led by pineapple with nectarine and jalapeno notes. Fresh and juicy and ready to drink. Good value here and best paired with fresh goat cheese or a chicken salad sandwich.Prices: BC 17.00 QC 19.00 MB 18.00 NF 19.00 ON 16.00 NS 19.00 AB 16.00 Producer: Matua Valley Wines
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Spierhead Pinot Gristext
88PTS

Spierhead Pinot Gris 2013

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaReductive notes upon opening blow off and talc, pink blossoms and sharp green apple aromas emerge. This single vineyard pinot gris is sourced from Summerland's Golden Retreat Vineyard. Mouthwatering red apple, pink grapefruit and lime pith on the juicy palate, with just a touch of residual sugar for body, but not enough to distract from the pointed herbal, citrus fruits. Great spice on the crisp, grapefruit laced finish. Would make a fine match to fish tacos or ceviche. This wine is a strength of Spierhead's portfolio.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Zuccardi Q Tempranillotext
89PTS

Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2010

Santa Rosa, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaDense, spicy, ripe black and cola fruit aromas leap out of the glass. The compact palate surprises with freshness - bright, nimble black and blue fruit, finely rasped pepper and chocolate tannins. A hint of dark cocoa and dried figs close out the lingering finish. Drinking very well now (supple mole pork tenderloin would be killer), but will continue to knit over three to five years' time.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Concha y Toro Carmin de Puemo Carmeneretext
95PTS

Concha y Toro Carmin de Puemo Carmenere 2011

Puemo, Valle del Cachapoal, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileThis is one great bottle of wine. A blend of vineyards Blocks 27 & 32; the Carmenere comes of the Peumo Vineyard in the Rapel Valley; the cabernet sauvignon form the Pirque Viejo Vineyard and the petite verdot and cabernet franc from the Puente Alto Vineyard in the Maipo Valley, Chile. The wine is aged in 100 percent new, medium toasted French oak for 20 months and then spends a minimum 12 additional months in bottle prior to release. The wine is inky black with a fragrant, floral, rich black fruit nose of the kind you don’t associate with most commercial carmenère. The attack is similar with more sweet plummy, black fruits and a powerful savoury, resiny, chocolate notes. This wine was built for a decade in the bottle to showcase its power elegance and complexity. Lamb would be my choice if you had to open it now. Bravo Ignacio Recabarren.Prices: ON 120.00 NS 102.00 BC 126.00 AB 120.00 MB 121.00 QC 120.00 Producer: Vina Concha y Toro S.A.
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Bieler Père & Fils Sabine Rosétext
88PTS

Bieler Père & Fils Sabine Rosé 2013

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceThis savoury and crunchy rosé from Coteaux d'Aix en Provence practically craves food - as will you when you get the bold and bracing wine in your glass. A medium-deep pink hue, this wine is smoked stone, raspberry, Bing cherry and cracking spice, bone dry and medium bodied. Sourced from five hillside vineyards of Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, the blend is syrah-based (55 percent), along with cabernet sauvignon, grenache, cinsault and rolle. Think grilled salmon or prosciutto wrapped melon.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Bieler Père & Fils
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Haywire Pinot Noir Rosétext
87PTS

Haywire Pinot Noir Rosé 2012

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA new rosé form Haywire switching form gamay to pinot noir. It would appear to be a touch richer than the gamay and clearly sweeter. The attack is soft, with sweet cherry strawberry fruit offering less complexity and more drink me appeal. Should be fine with the usual fare but the sweetness will also help with spicy appetizers. The colour is pink/orange, a la Provence, the finish juicy if a touch sweet. Watermelon salad anyone?Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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25 March 2015

HMC McWatters Collection Meritagetext
87PTS

HMC McWatters Collection Meritage 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCoffee, chocolate, tobacco leaf, cedar, rooty, menthol, meaty, leather aromas. Round, fresh, easy palate with cranberry, spicy, floral, earthy, coffee, peppery, savoury, beefy flavours. Simple, easy-sipping cooler style Meritage. Serve with grilled meats.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Time Cabernet Franctext
85PTS

Time Cabernet Franc 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCranberry, cedar, tobacco leaf, olive, resin, saddle leather, leafy aromas. Fresh, round, easy palate with tobacco, olive, chocolate, peppery, cranberry, prune and leather flavours. Firm dry red that needs food to excel.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Pietradolce Etna Rossotext
89PTS

Pietradolce Etna Rosso 2012

Solicchiata, Sicily, ItalySlightly muted nose with light cherry, almond, licorice, peppery, iron and earthy aromas. Fresh, round, elegant, juicy and slightly austere palate with slate, stony, strawberry, cherry, almond pit, peppery, cedar, coffee flavours. Still a touch tannic and oaky but that will dissipate with time in the bottle. Revisit in two years or serve now with pork.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Pietradolce
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Domaine Georges Vernay Saint-Joseph Terres d'Encretext
90PTS

Domaine Georges Vernay Saint-Joseph Terres d'Encre 2012

Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceBig intense spicy, peppery, sausage meat, licorice, smoky, garrigue, savoury, black cherry, minty, gamey aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant, suave palate with smoked meat, pepper, savoury, roasted pepper and black cherry flavours with a dash of licorice root and Band-Aid on the finish. A cool finish but with excellent finesse. Lamb chops are the match.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Domaine Georges Vernay
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The Girls Voluptuous Redtext
83PTS

The Girls Voluptuous Red NV

British Columbia, CanadaCedar, resin, menthol, tobacco, riparian, cranberry, rooty aromas. Thin, tart, round palate with cedar bark, earthy, tobacco, resin, rooty, saddle leather and cranberry flavours. Tart and artificial.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Trapiche Extravaganzatext
81PTS

Trapiche Extravaganza 2013

ArgentinaChocolate, cedar, cherry jam, floral, vanilla, resin aromas. Round, fresh, sweet, juicy palate with cologne, cherry jam, spicy, vanilla bean, coke flavours. A retro-style, super sweet red wine that is almost undrinkable to anyone who enjoys dry wine. Extravaganza is a blend of malbec, bonarda and syrah that is to fat and too cloying for this taster.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Bodegas Trapiche
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Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignontext
84PTS

Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Western Cape, South AfricaPeppery, smoky, saddle leather, cassis, tobacco, meaty, resin aromas. Round, dry, slightly tart palate with tobacco, cedar, cassis, resin, coffee, meaty, leather, meaty flavours. Finish is a bit too rustic.Prices: BC 19.00 ON 17.00 Producer: Nederburg Wines (Pty) Ltd.
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Alamos Cabernet Sauvignontext
83PTS

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Mendoza, ArgentinaLight floral, earthy, tobacco, black cherry, saddle leather and meat aromas. Thin, dry, somewhat tart palate with earthy, resin, tobacco, rooty, rubber, tobacco leaf flavours. Very basic and lacking fruit.Prices: AB 14.00 BC 15.00 ON 14.00 QC 16.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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Rustenberg John X Merrimantext
86PTS

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2011

Simonsberg - Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaCassis, floral, tobacco leaf, cranberry, cherry, olive, meaty, leather, smoky herb aromas. Dry, fresh, somewhat lean palate with cool cassis, leather, tobacco, cedar, resin, gamey, herbal, black olive, tomato paste and riparian flavours. A bit too tart and lean, needs beef.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Rustenberg Estate
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KWV The Mentors Orchestratext
86PTS

KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2010

Western Cape, South AfricaCherry, coffee, meaty, leather, tobacco, chocolate, smoky, sweaty saddle, menthol aromas. Round, fresh, elegant, lighter palate with a hint of sweetness. Cranberry, cherry, coffee, chocolate, cedar, smoked meat, leather and menthol flavours. Elegant but a bit too rustic not to mention the sweet and sour. Grilled meat will help.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: KWV International
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40 Knots Safe Haventext
87PTS

40 Knots Safe Haven 2012

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPruny, foxy, cooked berry, coffee, vanilla, peppery, resin, smoky coffee and light nut aromas. Full, round, soft, sweet, juicy palate with coffee, vanilla, spicy, cardamom, black cherry jam, stewed prune, menthol and herb flavours. A bit oaky and tart but solid winter tipple.Prices: BC 21.00 375 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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Stall Speed Meritage Okanagan Selectiontext
85PTS

Stall Speed Meritage Okanagan Selection 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCranberry, chocolate, tobacco leaf, cedar, resin, olive aromas. Fresh, lean, somewhat tart and tannic palate but elegant with tobacco leaf, cranberry, sappy cassis, carrot top, rooty flavours with a lean, sweet cherry finish. best with spicy dishes.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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See Ya Later Ranch Ping - Meritagetext
86PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Ping - Meritage 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGamey, menthol, coffee, cherry, tobacco, cedar chest, licorice root, black olive and vanilla aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant but somewhat lean palate. Cranberry, sour cherry, carrot top, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, espresso, green olive and herb flavours with some tea tannin finish. Elegant but pretty cool style for the vintage.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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Black Sage Vineyard Merlottext
86PTS

Black Sage Vineyard Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMenthol, cherry, savoury, tobacco, dried herb, coffee and olive aromas. Soft, round, fresh palate with coffee, eucalyptus, cedar, tobacco, chocolate, savoury and vanilla flavours. Easy-sipping style for near term consumption. Try this with roasted chicken.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Black Sage Vineyard
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Black Sage Vineyard Zinfandeltext
87PTS

Black Sage Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCandle wax, earthy, smoky, leather, coffee, cedar chest and cherry aromas. Dry, fresh, full, slightly tannic palate with cherry, espresso, vanilla, chocolate, black plum, resin, smoky, licorice flavours. A bit chunky and warm but solid and youthful. Drink this with a meaty pizza.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Black Sage Vineyard
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Planeta Etna Rossotext
89PTS

Planeta Etna Rosso 2013

Sicily, ItalyStrawberry, cedar, carrot top, citrus, red licorice, peppery, tobacco aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, elegant but slightly tannic palate. Carrot top, smoky, tobacco leaf, strawberry, orange peel, slate, peppery, coriander and coffee flavours. Good intensity and finesse if tannic. Needs a few years. An alternative to pinot noir or young Barolo.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Planeta
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Gehringer Brothers Pinot Gris Private Reservetext
87PTS

Gehringer Brothers Pinot Gris Private Reserve 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhite peach, pear and Meyer lemon open to a brightly coloured palate of tart and crispy citrus, mild honey, juicy gooseberry and herbal grapefruit. Scents of thyme bush float atop the spicy finish. A versatile food wine, pour with white fish, salmon or creamed pastas.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery
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Tinhorn Creek Merlottext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe raspberry jam, smoked plum, coffee and medicinal cherry. Huge, chewy tannins and a warm, suntanned hewn oak texture make it a solid choice for your grilled ribs or meaty burgers.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinho Tintotext
89PTS

Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinho Tinto 2013

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalAlways a consistent little stunner, and 2013 is no different. Twenty+ year old tinta roriz, tinta barroca, touriga franca and touriga naçional is aged in stainless steel before a splash of old vine reserva from oak barrels is added to the blend. Pure black plum, black cherry and youthful violets carry through to the structured, peppery and precise palate. Finely textured tannins are slightly grippy, carrying the stony cassis fruit to a lingering bitter black cherry and candied violets finish. Young, will refine further with a couple of years bottle age. Pour now with lamb.Prices: BC 20.00 QC 20.00 ON 16.00 Producer: Quinta do Crasto (Sociedade Agricola da)
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classiquetext
90PTS

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe dream season finally arrived in 2012 and the syrah fruit was a benefactor coming in to the winery pristine. Warm days pumped up the fruit and the cool desert nights brings the freshness pepper and acidity crucial to great syrah. We hate to say more Rhone than Okanagan but it’s a good description of the Cuvée Classique with its intense savoury/garrigue, spicy, bacon-scented nose and peppery floral, wild black fruit flavours. There’s plenty of tannin throughout but all in soft packets that will add a decade of life. No rush here but if you must try it served with grilled lamb. The wine is aged 19 months in wood.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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The Wild Olive Rosétext
85PTS

The Wild Olive Rosé 2013

Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom the folks behind The Grinder wines comes this new release and label. This is a punchy WO Coastal Region blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, with light smoke, sappy tree fruit, prickly pear and bitter melon notes. Spikes of acidity and a choppy finish make this a bit rough hewn, but nothing that a BBQ beef or lamb burger couldn't quell.Prices: BC 13.00 Producer: The Grape Grinder
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24 March 2015

Red Rooster Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Red Rooster Pinot Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLight, fresh green apple, butter, citrus rind, floral, peach pit aromas. Fresh, dry, juicy palate with green apple, lime, butter, and nectarine flavours. A refreshing, lighter, style pinot blanc made for food. Try this with a chicken panini. Great value.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 18.99 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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C.C. Jentsch The Dance Rosétext
85PTS

C.C. Jentsch The Dance Rosé 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUsing the saignée or bleeding method via cold soak The Dance is a little of this, a bunch of that and little of what’s left as in 26/20/2/50/2/ cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot and petit verdot. Expect a fairly deep pink/orange colour and a sweet-ish rosé that presents more like a light red full of spice and candied strawberry fruit. Ready to drink. Try with a spicy pizza.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Chamdeville Blanc de Blancs - Bruttext
86PTS

Chamdeville Blanc de Blancs - Brut NV

FranceDry, crisp, grapefruit toast and pear - what more could you ask for from an under $15 French bubble? Great value for this sémillon/muscadelle/ugni blanc blend from the southwest/midi region. Large, frothy mousse is potent on the palate, bringing forth gobs of apple, pear, grass, hay and smoked stone. A consistent pour for crowds or sparkling cocktails.Prices: BC 15.00 YK 16.00 Producer: Societe Vins des Mousseux
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Ceralti Alfeo Bolgheri Rosso Superioretext
90PTS

Ceralti Alfeo Bolgheri Rosso Superiore 2011

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyThis blend of 50/40/10 merlot/cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc begins with notes of balsamic, black cherry, dark flowers and black earth. Dusty and earthy black fruit fills the generous and juicy palate, along with spiced stewed plum compote, espresso and thorned branch. Tannins are ripe and sticky and on the chewy side, cradling the earthy dark fruit and carrying it through the lingering finish. Decant and pour with hearty meat sauced pasta.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Ceralti, Azienda Agricola
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Road 13 Old Vines Chenin Blanctext
89PTS

Road 13 Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLove the complexity here. This is not a straightforward and easy wine, and one that may need a few sips and some time to get into. Herbal, savoury, lemon thistle aromas before an oily and dry palate of honey blossom, wild herbs, straw, citrus and soaring acidity. Try this with creamy pasta dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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Steller's Jay Brut Méthode Classiquetext
88PTS

Steller's Jay Brut Méthode Classique 2009

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStruck stone, beach sand, lemon pith and rind and light nut shell on the nose leads into this medium bodied sparkler, BC's best selling sparkling wine in the old Sumac Ridge portfolio and now a stand along brand on its own. As before, the 2009 is a blend of pinot blanc, pinot noir and chardonnay, and leads in the mouth with assertive bubbles, green apple, bitter lemon pith, anise and a white grapefruit cushion of fruit on the palate. The end finishes crisp and tight. Consistent, easy to find and a good pour with shellfish, canapés.Prices: BC 22.00 MB 23.50 NS 25.00 ON 26.00 SK 27.25 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanctext
88PTS

Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2013

Napa Valley, California, United StatesGrapefruit, floral, passion fruit, grassy, light honey and vanilla aromas. Fresh, soft, round but juicy palate with nettle, pink grapefruit, lemon grass, light asparagus, gooseberry and jalapeño mineral flavours. Good texture if a bit soft and rind-y. A terrific wine with seafood especially west coast shellfish.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Reserve Fumé Blanc To Kalontext
91PTS

Robert Mondavi Reserve Fumé Blanc To Kalon 2012

Napa Valley, California, United StatesPassion fruit, vanilla, toasty lees, lanolin, grapefruit, floral, guava and artichoke aromas. Dry, fresh, creamy, juicy palate. Grassy, vanilla, grapefruit, lanolin, lemon grass, nettle, spicy lees flavours with a touch of passion fruit and jalapeno on the finish. Good concentration, fruit and length. Attractive style for drinking now or ageing further 2-4 yerars.Prices: BC 47.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Robert Mondavi Chardonnay 2012

Napa Valley, California, United StatesHoney, peach, citrus, vanilla, guava, baked apple and spice aromas. Full, ripe, round and juicy palate. Waxy, lemon, floral, honey, vanilla, creamy, nectarine, spiced peach and baked green apple flavours. A tad warm but has good fruit, intensity and texture. Drink now, a fantastic value.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesVery spicy, toasty lees, lemon custard, smoky, vanilla, baked apple, floral, pineapple aromas. Rich, fresh, creamy, juicy palate with nice intensity. Creamy vanilla, spicy lees, baked apple, honey, peach, lemon, lanolin, guava and pineapple flavours. If anything it’s a little to ripe for the current trend but it is with very fine fruit concentration and even finer texture.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reservetext
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Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009

Napa Valley, California, United StatesBlack pepper, spicy, blackberry, cassis, coffee, vanilla, cedar, tobacco and black olive aromas. Dry, rich, full, concentrated palate with grainy tannins. Warm and juicy with black berry, cassis, coffee, vanilla, smoky leather, black pepper, earthy, tobacco, minty, black olive flavours. Good concentration and intensity with a few herbal notes. Still young, needs 3-7 years to develop. A blend of 88 cabernet sauvignon and the rest mixes cabernet franc and petit verdot. Impressive Napa style you can serve with your favourite cut of steak.Prices: BC 165.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Districttext
90PTS

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District 2010

Oakville, Napa Valley, California, United StatesBig cassis, black berry, black pepper, menthol, earthy, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, olive, dill and tobacco aromas. Full, round, warm and supple palate with ripe tannins. Tobacco, coffee, chocolate, black olive, green bean, peppery, cedar, vanilla, cassis flavours with a touch of leaf and menthol on the finish. Good concentration and length but a bit green, needs 3-5 years to integrate.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Districttext
88PTS

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District 2011

Oakville, Napa Valley, California, United StatesSpicy, dill, black olive, mint, peppery, cassis, smoky, tobacco, vanilla, saddle leather aromas. Dry, fresh, elegant but slightly lean and tannic palate. Smoky, coffee, dill, briny, peppery, black olive, tobacco, mint and vanilla flavours. Good balance and length but shows some hollowness and herbaceous notes. Now – 5 years. Uses all five Bordeaux varieties.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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23 March 2015

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +09/10text
90PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +09/10 2012

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNow in its tenth vintage, it's always an easy 'yes' to the question to Buy! Hold! Cellar! Portfolio. Weather you enjoy this ready-to-drink big Bordeaux-styled red now with roast beef or lie it down for a couple of years, this vintage is another winning investment. Ripe cassis, sweet plum and earthy bramble aromas carry through to a satisfyingly layered medium-full bodied palate. Fresh, brambled cassis, ripe plum, cracked peppercorn, tart cherry and cinnamon bark are reined in by youthful grippy tannins that should relax with time. Subtle vanilla oak and bitter espresso hits on the juicy, lingering finish. Well-constructed and confident.Prices: BC 45.00 ON 53.00 AB 53.00 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Chateau St. Jean Fumé Blanctext
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Chateau St. Jean Fumé Blanc 2012

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThis wine is a model of consistency although it is getting a hair leaner each year which is a good thing. A small amount of the mix is oak-fermented and aged in neutral oak for texture. Open fruity mineral nose with bits of grapefruit, lemon and tangerine with as mention a leanness and brighter acidity. Ready and easy to drink with soft cheeses, pasta or shellfish. The grapes come from across Sonoma County including the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Knights Valley and Sonoma Valley.Prices: BC 19.00 AB 19.00 ON 20.00 QC 20.00 Producer: Chateau Saint Jean
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Joie Chardonnay Un-Oaked (ii)text
85PTS

Joie Chardonnay Un-Oaked (ii) 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJoieFarm was one of the first in Okanagan to put "unoaked" on their chardonnay label, spurning a wave of followers with their initial success. This opens with a leesy nuttiness, soybean, a hint of plastic and tinned pineapple. The fuller palate shows cloudy lees, peanuts, pear skin, lemon pudding and white peach, finishing with a baked apple heft and herbal bitterness At 14.2 percent alcohol, this is no crisp and lean unoaked chardonnay.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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River Stone Estate Winery Cornerstonetext
88PTS

River Stone Estate Winery Cornerstone 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe winery's Oliver vineyard was planted with this Bordeaux-blend red in mind. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec was aged for 18 months in French oak, resulting in a rich, but smooth and silky big red. Youthful black fruit, blackberry jam, cassis, dusky sheen through the finish. Easy to enjoy, especially with black cherry sauced beef medallions.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
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Hester Creek Old Vines Block 16 Trebbianotext
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Hester Creek Old Vines Block 16 Trebbiano 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI'm not alone in my appreciation of this singular Canadian wine; numerous top name restaurants snap up this fresh, aromatic white to pair with their fragrant dishes. Broken stone and light citrus and pear subtly open this Golden Mile Bench white. Just off dry, mandarin orange, young guava, honeysuckle, pink grapefruit and lemon peel flow throughout this medium bodied, fresh wine, finishing with lingering spice. Old vines, planted in 1972, lend concentration without blousiness and 9.5 g/l RS give a plumpness to the typically-thin trebbiano. This wine is a rare gem - Canada's only commercial trebbiano planting, imported from Italy more than 40 years ago. My preferred pick of the Hester Creek portfolio, pour with fragrant Indian or Thai curries or goat cheese.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Caves São João Beiras Reservatext
87PTS

Caves São João Beiras Reserva 2000

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalIt's not so often that you get to buy a red wine fifteen years old off the shelf - at less than $25. The age is apparent here - dried violets and dusty cherry. Acidicy is still shining through however, through the fruit has fallen off. Light cherry, dried violets, dried strawberry, dried plum, leather and savoury cured meats. Peaked, and facing the down slope; drink now and enjoy this aged Portuguese red with rice and sausage dishes.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Caves São João
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Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraztext
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Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraz 2012

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaMade from valley floor vineyards. Clove, gingerbread, poultry spice, chocolate, vanilla, peppery, licorice, black berry, blueberry and meat aromas. Fresh, round, suave, elegant and soft palate with chocolate, plum jam, peppery, vanilla, coffee, meaty, smoky, savoury herb flavours. Good finesse and elegance if a bit oaky. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 26.00 ON 24.00 NS 25.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Blue Mountain Pinot Blanctext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNo pinot blah here - this is intellectual (and delish) blanc actualized in the Okanagan. Here two French clones of 28 year old vines are whole cluster pressed, fermented and aged in stainless steel (60 percent) with the balance fermented and aged in four year old French oak barrels for six months. Complexities and restraint at once, with subtle crisp pear, fragrant anise aromas, and a lightly toast/lees palate with wild herbs, anise, key lime pith, white peach and white pepper on the finish. Bright, shining and dry, pour this medium bodied white with citrus herbed white fish or scallops.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Cantina Nals Margreid Mantele Sauvignontext
90PTS

Cantina Nals Margreid Mantele Sauvignon 2013

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyPotent and assertive ricola and herbal aromatics hint to the provenance of this characterful sauvignon - grown in the alpine foothill vineyards of northeastern Italy's Alto Adige. Green apple, stony flint, potent mountain herbs and white grapefruit pith in this fuller bodied, white pepper spiced white. Concentrated enough to stand up to stronger food flavours; try with spiced pork or wild game.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Cantina Nals Margreid
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Jean Maupertuis Pink Bullestext
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Jean Maupertuis Pink Bulles 2013

FranceThis pétillant natural rosé is from the little known Auvergne wine region, located in the centre of France, nestled in the central Massif and surrounded by extinct volcanoes. Here Jean Maupertuis prunes, tills and cares for his organic 3.5 hectare vineyards all by himself. This blend of 50+ year old d’auvergne gamay and gamay pours the palest pink orange hue, with very fine, delicate bubbles. Quiet stony strawberries, mineral and subtle thorny floral notes. Crisp and bright with strawberry laced residual sugar balanced by a rush of acidity. The ideal aperitif bubble - lifted, edgy and subtly sweet - and far too easy to down at 11 percent.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Jean Maupertuis
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Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf La Buttetext
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Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf La Butte 2013

Touraine, Loire, FranceThierry and his older brother Jean-Marie farm the organic and biodynamic vines on their forest-surrounded family estate Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf in the village of Les Montils in Touraine. This 100 percent gamay is whole cluster fermented, and opens with welcoming perfumed red currant, raspberry and fine white pepper. The juicy, light bodied palate refreshes with tart cranberry, perfumed tayberry and youthful cherry, carried with lissom, fine grained tannin and finishing with a sweep of wild strawberry jam and snap of pink grapefruit. Easy and affable, particularly with sausages and lentils.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf
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Santa Carolina B Blendtext
86PTS

Santa Carolina B Blend 2013

Valle del Cachapoal, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileRoasted earth, resin and blackberry bush scents introduce this carmenère, grenache, merlot blend. Potent blue fruits join in on the full bodied, fruit forward palate, along with ripe cassis, roasted coffee, plum jam, tar, black liquorice and light smoke. Tannins are smooth and supple with a sticky finish, and though the alcohol clocks in at 13.5 percent, the wine ends with a bit of heat. Pour with grilled burgers or steak and kidney pie.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Santa Carolina
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22 March 2015

Clos du Soleil Saturn Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanctext
90PTS

Clos du Soleil Saturn Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn expansive, ripe late harvest sauvignon blanc, with rich butter, deep peach, apricot and floral notes. Intense lime and mandarin blossom glides along with vanilla, honey and heady pear nectar on the palate. A spicy and savoury finish lingers. Would make a lovely pour alongside vanilla or peach cheesecake or blue cheeses.Prices: BC 29.00 375 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Venturi-Schulze Vineyards Brandenburg #3text
90PTS

Venturi-Schulze Vineyards Brandenburg #3 2009

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaAn interesting and complex wine, Cobble Hill's Venturi-Schulze has earned their cult-coveted reputation by going to extraordinary lengths to make idiosyncratic wines. After madelaine sylvaner grapes are crushed, the juice is simmered for several days, concentrating the flavours and the sugar, then cooled. Fermentation can last up to a year, until the yeast stops naturally, leaving a touch of residual sugar. The wine is aged in French oak and then is bottled with no preservatives and no sulphites. Off-dry and earthy with dried figs, caramel, espresso, five spice and roasted nuts. Pour alongside foie gras, burnished creme brûlée or figgy olive oil cake.Prices: BC 35.60 375 Producer: Venturi-Schulze Vineyards
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Louis Jadot  Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobinstext
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Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay Couvent des Jacobins 2012

Burgundy, FranceThis cuvée is drawn from grapes across Burgundy, with a blend of chardonnay from the Côte d'Or, Chalonnais and Saint Vérand, in Mâconnais. PThis cuvée is drawn from grapes across Burgundy, with a blend of chardonnay from the Côte d'Or, Chalonnaise and Saint Véran, in the Mâconnais. Partial stainless steel ferment and aging has preserved fresh, crunchy fruit, while the remaining portion's time in oak brings the wood grain and vanillin notes. Lemon blossoms, spring asparagus, green apple, unripe pear finish with a wood-grain nuttiness. Pour with lemony white pasta dishes.artial stainless steel ferment and aging has preserved fresh, crunchy fruit, while the remaining portion's time in oak brings the wood grain and vanillin notes. Lemon blossoms, spring asparagus, green apple, unripe pear finish with a wood-grain nuttiness. Pour with lemony white pasta dishes.Prices: BC 30.00 MB 22.72 ON 19.95 QC 21.80 Producer: Maison Louis Jadot
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La Bargemone Cuvée Marina Rosétext
90PTS

La Bargemone Cuvée Marina Rosé 2013

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceYeah , I was skeptical too. I mean, look at that bottle. Marketing ploy? But then, the aroma: savoury, stony minerality, spice. And the colour - that gossamer pale peach salmon hue, that instantly transports to the warm, herb-laden winds of Provence. Safe to tuck in and enjoy this bone dry and positively racy rosé. Stony spice throughout, with sun-warmed watermelon, wild strawberries, roses, mandarin and an undertone of a heady wild herb bouquet. The structure is quietly confident, acidity is vibrant and the pink grapefruit pith finish lingering. The sustainably farmed syrah, cabernet sauvignon and grenache in this blend are on a 150 hectare property that dates back to the 13th century, situated just outside of the village of Saint-Cannat in Aix-en-Provence. Only a limited amount of this striking wine found its way into our liquor stores. Pour with charcuterie or mussels.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Marina et Cristian Garin
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Stag's Hollow Tempranillotext
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Stag's Hollow Tempranillo 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA blend of three sites: estate Okanagan Falls, Naramata Bench and Osoyoos. Fifty percent whole bunch and 100 percent fermented in American oak (half of which were new). Camp smoke, branch, cinnamon bark, strawberry, earthy tobacco aromas. With some air, perfumed blackberries emerge. The crunchy palate carries a lot of dark smoked berries, toasted wood and prune. Tannins moderate, but grippy and cedar hewn, finishing with bitter coffee. Pair this rustic red with grilled lamb/pork kabobs.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva Finca Ygaytext
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Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva Finca Ygay 2008

Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, SpainThis historic estate in the south of la Rioja Alta is one of the most memorable vineyard visits - pristine, peaceful, unhurried and untouched (much like the graceful wines). This vintage is a blend of tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo, graciano, aged in American oak barrels for 18 months. Gentle notes of dried cherry, subtle wild raspberry and cranberry on the nose. The quietly confident palate carries the finessed fruit across long, fine and chalky tannins. Leather, fragrant red flowers and sun warmed pottery to the lingering finish, lifted with delicate acidity. Drinking lovely now with tender young pork or truffles, but will continue to gain complexity over the next five plus years.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 34.00 QC 27.25 ON 28.00 Producer: Marqués de Murrieta
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Esporao Reserva Whitetext
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Esporao Reserva White 2013

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalPear, honey, quince, matchstick, honey, floral, lemon aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, round and creamy with guava, honey, lemon, quince, green apple, white pepper, vanilla and jalapeño flavours. Warm but good acidity and texture for a wine so young. Very good to drink now or keep 1-3 years. The blend is 30% Antao Vaz, 30% Roupeiro, 20% Arinto e 10% Semillon.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Heredad do Esporao
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Bartier Bros. Cerqueira Vineyard Syrahtext
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Bartier Bros. Cerqueira Vineyard Syrah 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn upfront nose of fresh cassis, tobacco and cracked black pepper entice to this medium bodied and lively syrah, doubtlessly reflecting the cooler 2011 vintage. Stony pencil lead, subtle violets and black cherry ride along silky, finely grained tannins, finishing with black cherry pit bitterness and showing the herbal nature inherent in 13 percent cabernet franc.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bartier Brothers
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Haywire Pinot Gris Raised in Concretetext
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Haywire Pinot Gris Raised in Concrete 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFermentation in stainless followed by six months rest in concrete has preserved the pure orchard fruit and fresh acidity, while plumping this medium bodied wine with stony complexities. Bone dry but cushioned with ripe Asian pear, apple, grapefruit and a fragrant orange/strawberry blossom note. Stony, herbal thorn spice on the finish; a much more savoury style of pinot gris, and one well-suited to herb trussed poultry or citrus salted white fish.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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21 March 2015

14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blendtext
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14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThis red blend is a mix of merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and 'other' grapes sourced across Washington's Columbia Valley. Light smoke, branch, deep berry and light leaf aromas. The full, smooth palate carries sweet smoked black berries, cherry jam, brambles, sweet baking spices, red liquorice and cracked pepper and roast coffee on the finish. Tannins are a bit ragged and the wine is a bit worked, but you will enjoy this punchy red blend with chargrilled beef or lamb burgers.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 17.00 SK 18.75 MB 15.25 ON 16.00 QC 17.00 YK 19.00 NS 20.00 Producer: 14 Hands Vineyard
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Robin Ridge Winery Late Harvest Sun Sweet Chardonnaytext
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Robin Ridge Winery Late Harvest Sun Sweet Chardonnay 2013

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPressed apple and spice aromas. The medium-sweet palate is full of flowers, mango and sweet pear, and finishes with a lemon scented note. Pour with lemon curd.Prices: BC 17.00 375 Producer: Robin Ridge Winery
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Mission Hill Reserve Riesling Ice Winetext
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Mission Hill Reserve Riesling Ice Wine 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTinned pear and canned pineapple juice on the nose. High, pointed lemon oil acidity attempts to cut through the extremely sweet, syrupy palate, one thick with honey, apple, pineapple and lemon curd. Too much sweet, not enough balance.Prices: BC 60.00 375 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Inniskillin Okanagan Riesling Icewine Dark Horse Vineyardtext
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Inniskillin Okanagan Riesling Icewine Dark Horse Vineyard 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOverripe pear, caramel and sweet apple pie overwhelms this very sweet (even for icewine) wine. Unctuous and syrupy on the dense palate, with apple butter, caramel and dried apricot and peach notes.Prices: BC 35.00 200 Producer: Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Inc.
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Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Reserve Riesling Icewinetext
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Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Reserve Riesling Icewine 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGolden hued, the nose starts off surprisingly closed, with sand and bruised peach. Very sweet and rich on the palate, with pineapple, tinned peaches, thick marmalade and dried mango. Best poured with rich peach custards or caramelized pear.Prices: BC 53.00 375 Producer: Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate
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Quails' Gate Botrytis Affected Optimatext
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Quails' Gate Botrytis Affected Optima 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis stunning late harvest TBA (totally botrytis affected) wine is BC's closest kin to Sauternes. Notes of flint, ashes, peach fuzz and honeycomb entice to a rich and layered palate of ripe and dried apricot, lemon curd, marmalade and golden raisins. The waxy palate is satisfyingly complete and deftly balanced between intense sweetness, herbal savouriness and buoyant acidity. You'll taste this wine long after the last sip, courtesy of its exceptionally lengthy finish.Prices: BC 29.99 375 AB 29.99 MB 29.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Averill Creek Vineyard Cowichan Blacktext
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Averill Creek Vineyard Cowichan Black NV

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaWild Vancouver Island blackberries are naturally fermented to 18% alcohol. Medium sweet, this wine is a nice lighter option for those with less devout sweet teeth. Blackberries and strawberries in abundance on the nose and palate: cotton candied. Dusty plum and grape candied flavours, with bright, lifted acid. Pour with a blackberry tart or plum coffee cake.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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Nexus Onetext
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Nexus One 2012

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainScented wild blackberry, tobacco, pencil and whiffs of dark florals open this wine with a sense of presence. The palate seals the deal - fine grained and structured tannins carry textured black fruit and is lifted with juicy black cherry. Beauty balance through to the lingering tobacco-clad finish. Serious, sensual and charming. Pair with young lamb dishes.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Bodega del Placio de los Frontaura y Victoria
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Pewsey Vale The Contours Old Vine Rieslingtext
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Pewsey Vale The Contours Old Vine Riesling 2009

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaSeventy-five year old vines from windswept and contoured Eden Valley go into this beautiful, extremely long-lived wine. Screwcap will ensure the preserve the laser acidity and marmalade for years to come. Eraser, lime pith, marmalade, kumquat, light honey, lees and herb dusted brioche notes. Beauty texture and concentration with driving focused, acidity and lively vibrance through the lengthy finish. This will continue to mature for 10-20+ years and it's worth charting its evolution. Stock up - amazing price for this wine. Tasted in Australia, the 2008 is current vintage in BC.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Pewsey Vale
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Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraztext
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Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011

AustraliaOpen tobacco leaf, cedar, earthy, cassis, black pepper, savoury, resin aromas. Round, fresh, juicy, elegant palate with lean tannins. Cassis, black pepper, black olive, cedar, tobacco, prune, meaty, resin flavours. The cabernet is dominating for the moment leaving the wine a bit short in the finish. Needs another year or two to settle in.Prices: Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCedarCreek has decided to isolate single blocks of their vineyards when the demonstrate something striking and unique, like this Block 4 pinot noir from 2012. Here, 22 year-old vines throw black raspberry and sweet earth aromas. The smooth palate shows cedar toast, red cherries and black raspberries, sanded, somewhat stemmy tannins and finely rasped pepper. The finish is A1 Steak Sauce. Partner with mushroom doused pork casserole or flank steak.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Shiraz Cabernettext
87PTS

CedarCreek Shiraz Cabernet 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis started out as a cellar trial, an experiment to blend the shiraz (52 percent) and cabernet sauvignon (29 percent) grapes grown as neighbours in their Osoyoos vineyards. Cabernet franc, merlot and malbec flush out the rest of this medium bodied, spicy and structured red. Medicinal black cherry, raspberry and cranberry compote notes stretch across wood hewn, ragged tannins, finishing with a cedar stave dryness. Nice potency of fruit here, but stymied by the potency of the wood.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Pentâge Winery Hiatustext
88PTS

Pentâge Winery Hiatus 2012

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpiced dark chocolate, cherry and dried herbs open this Skaha Bench blend, an eclectic bunch of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tempranillo, zinfandel, malbec and pinot noir. Earthy sweet tobacco, cassis and branch on the medium bodied, supple and ripe palate, lifted with a gentle black cherry brightness, and reined with suede tannins. Easy-sipping; pour with beef and or kidney pot pie or shepherd’s pie.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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CedarCreek Rieslingtext
87PTS

CedarCreek Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis ripping riesling streaks across the tongue with screeching green apple acidity. Pear skin, lemon, lime float on the palate, lacking a cushion of the undercarriage that would come with a bit more sugar and alcohol (this is a promising, but lean 9.9 percent). The finish is a bit granular and lime sherbet. If you're feeling like an extreme example to pour with fresh oysters, give this a go.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Tua Rita Rosso dei Notritext
88PTS

Tua Rita Rosso dei Notri 2008

Tuscany, ItalyLicorice, black cherry jam, smoky, chocolate, gamey, leather aromas. Dry, fresh, slightly tart entry but with an elegant palate and juicy, peppery, savoury/tobacco flavours and bits of black plum on the finish. Solid but ready to drink. Best well with food.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Rosso dei Notritext
89PTS

Tua Rita Rosso dei Notri 2011

Tuscany, ItalyPeppery, savoury, meaty, black cherry, smoky, floral, licorice, plum and herb aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, slightly tannic palate with peppery, savory, black berry, resin, licorice, game, leather and black cherry flavours. Showing some acidity but with fine concentration and intensity.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Rosso dei Notritext
89PTS

Tua Rita Rosso dei Notri 2012

Tuscany, ItalySpicy, black cherry, meaty, coffee, peppery, red licorice aromas. Fresh, slightly tart, elegant and suave palate with plum, black cherry, licorice, meaty, peppery, black live and savoury herb flavours. Good finesse and fruit in a more forward, lighter style.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Perlato del Boscotext
91PTS

Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2011

Tuscany, ItalyBig spicy, black cherry jam, plum, savoury, leather, chocolate, light balsamic, gamey, floral aromas. Fresh, juicy, round and full palate with good concentration and soft tannins. Peppery, sausage, chocolate, garrigue, licorice, tobacco and black cherry jam. Finish is long with a bit of black olive with very good fruit and finesse. Drink now and over the five years.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Giusto di Notritext
90PTS

Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2011

Tuscany, ItalySmoky, black olive, anise, cassis, floral, coffee, earthy, vanilla and leather aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy and elegant palate with some astringency. Black olive, tobacco leaf, peppery, coffee, balsamic, anise, leather, green tea, blackberry and herb flavours. Good elegance and balance but needs 2-4 years to round out the tannins and herbal notes.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Giusto di Notritext
90PTS

Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2008

Tuscany, ItalyTobacco, cedar, cassis, peppery, chocolate, balsamic, earthy, smoky, black olive, resin and herb aromas. Dry, rich, full, juicy and suave palate but warm. Coffee, black olive, tobacco, peppery, licorice, resin, cedar, cassis, blackberry flavours with a touch of leather. A bit chunky on the finish but good concentration, could age a further 3-5 years.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Syrahtext
93PTS

Tua Rita Syrah 2007

Tuscany, ItalyBig vanilla, black berry, black cherry, meaty, tobacco, garrigues, black pepper, gamey, violet and licorice aromas. Rich, full, warm, juicy palate with some tannins yet. Richf, full, round, suave palate, fresh palate with some light, grainy tannins. Big coffee, vanilla, roast meat, peppery, balsamic, tomato paste, roast bell pepper, kirsch flavours with some rosemary and black berry jam. Big fruit and concentration with fresh acididty, drinking well but should age further.Prices: BC 205.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Tua Rita Redigaffitext
93PTS

Tua Rita Redigaffi 2010

Tuscany, ItalyPlum jam, black cherry, floral, vanilla, licorice, coffee, orange cake and tobacco aromas. Rich, full, juicy, warm, slightly tart and tannic palate. Coffee, peppery, tobacco, black cherry jam, balsamic, orange peel, five spice, savoury and vanilla flavours with some smoky, black olive notes on the finish. Good fruit, intensity and length but still young and a tad rustic, needs a further 3-7 years.Prices: BC 295.00 Producer: Tua Rita
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Efeste Evergreen Rieslingtext
89PTS

Efeste Evergreen Riesling 2012

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesHigh up above the Missoula Flood Plain, the cool Evergreen Vineyard is dedicated only to white grape varieties, and the caliche and basalt soils certainly set off the ringing acidity. Even in the warm 2012 vintage, the lime pith cordial note sings, joined with green and yellow apple, ripe pear and delicate honeysuckle. Acid is crunchy and chalk laced, setting off the 10 g/l residual sugar, and finishing with a comfortable cushion of lychee and crystallized lime. Drink now or hold for 2-5 years.Prices: QC 22.50 Producer: Efeste
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Matchbook  Dunnigan Hills Syrahtext
86PTS

Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Syrah 2011

Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County, California, United StatesShiraz is propped up with 8 percent cabernet sauvignon, all cured from the Dunnigan Hills AVA, in Yolo County in the Sacramento Valley of California. Assertive black currant and spicy dark plum overtop of smoked green brambles on the nose. The full bodied palate shows the same - ample smoked cassis fruit, blackberry gummies, with potent tannins smoothed and stretched out along a base of black peppercorns. Acidity is piquant, with a bit of branchy herbal interest. Simple but potent and ready for your roasted beef roast.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: JL Giguiere
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine is nearly as well known as the Stewart family themselves, celebrating 25 years with Quails’ Gate in 2014. Always a great value go-to rosé every year, this vintage surpasses all in memory as the best yet. A blend of gamay, pinot noir and pinot gris transform into fresh wild strawberries, mouth watering upon first whiff and followed up by raspberry blossoms. The beauty pale pink hue reflects what’s in the glass: juicy watermelon, strawberries, baked rhubarb and elderflower on a silky palate, finishing dry and fruity with a pretty thorny rosé fragrance. Partner with a patio and plate of charcuterie.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Le Vieux Pin Petit Sigma Blanctext
88PTS

Le Vieux Pin Petit Sigma Blanc 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Petit line of wines (there is a Rouge as well) are well crafted without needing to be contemplative. This year the Petit Blanc is a blend of sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, viognier, muscat, gewürztraminer, rousanne, marsanne and ehrenfelser aged in stainless steel to preserve the aromatic fruit. Tasted now, a couple of years later, there is beauty texture in this singular blend – the palate is dense and oily with leesy notes, ripe peach, pear blossom, mandarin, anise, apricot, musk melon and honeysuckle. The finish is lengthy herbed brown butter – the perfect savoury send off and mate to lunch of local cheese, fruit and crisps.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Synchromesh Tertre Rougetext
89PTS

Synchromesh Tertre Rouge 2011

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a single vineyard tucked up above the Naramata Bench, comes this expressive red. Cabernet franc dominates the blend with beauty black cherry, spicy cassis, sun ripened tomato and dusty thorns, while merlot plumps up the balance, all dark chocolate, roasted coffee and fragrant ripe blackberry. Acidity is brisk, tannins are confident and the vanilla essence on the finish lengthy. After a 15-month stint in French oak, plus a further year-long repose in bottle, the wine is ready for drinking upon release but will be rewarded with cellaring.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeauxtext
90PTS

Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux 2010

Chinon, Touraine, Loire, FranceMatthieu and his father Bernard Baudry run this small, family operated winery and tend the most treasured vineyards in Chinon, where cabernet franc finds pure expressiveness. Here fifty+ year-old vines are fermented in concrete with wild yeast and aged in neutral barrels, yielding alluring (and charmingly funky and bretty) notes of sand, cassis, cherry, earth and pencil lead. Clay clad tannins end with great spice and length.Prices: BC 33.50 Producer: Bernard Baudry
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Oveja Negra Cabernet Franc Carménère Reservatext
87PTS

Oveja Negra Cabernet Franc Carménère Reserva 2011

Valle del Maule, Region del Valle Central, ChileCarmenère supports in this satisfying and complete mouth filling blend, with sundried cherry, salted olives, tobacco, bramble and bacon notes. There's a wild herbaceous character throughout, trailing off with lingering herbal tobacco and roasted coffee. Best with grilled meats.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: VIA Wines
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Paradigm Cabernet Franctext
91PTS

Paradigm Cabernet Franc 2009

Oakville, Napa Valley, California, United StatesA beautifully rich and structured Napa red, with deep and ripe cassis, cracked black pepper and herbal thorns balanced out over a supple, complete palate. Nearly one fifth of the blend is cabernet sauvignon, the structure and presence of the grape upping the gravitas of this powerful, polished red. Drink now with richer lamb or beef dishes, but be patient and rewarded with five years in the cellar.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Paradigm Winery
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Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosétext
89PTS

Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceDomaine Houchart is a 220-acre family estate belonging to the Quiot family and farmed since Roman times. This silky Provencal rosé is a beauty pale pink hue, and alluring mandarine and pear blossom on the nose. The blend of cabernet sauvignon, cinsault, grenache and syrah swirls on the palate, lively yet structured around sea salt, white pepper, savoury wild herbs and red currant. The crisp grapefruit laced finish lingers, encouraging you to keep nibbling on the charcuterie and olives. Delish.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Domaine Houchart
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20 March 2015

Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanctext
86PTS

Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileBright and nippy, from first whiff of spring asparagus and gooseberry though to lip-smacking lime and passion fruit zest on the palate. A core of ripe tropical fruit builds a solid mid palate cushion, balancing out the bright acidity and finishing with a mustard seed twist. Another fantastic value from sustainable leaders, Cono Sur. Pour with lightly caramelized scallops. Good value.Prices: BC 14.50 Producer: Vina Cono Sur
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Hester Creek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpiced pear, white florals and juicy citrus fill the glass, along with bright and fragrant stone fruit, a heavy hand of fresh desert herbs and a lemon drop finish. Medium bodied, can take on your chicken salad sandwich.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Darktext
88PTS

Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2013

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYou needn't fear the dark to drink this beguiling, medium bodied white from the bottom reaches of the Okanagan Valley. Moon Curser Vineyards has proven that no one needs to fear Rhone varieties in BC, expressed through their concentrated wines like this roussanne, viognier, marsanne blend. These grapes can absorb the desert heat, expressed through the aromatic roses, peaches, ripe pear nose. The round, ripe and creamy palate shows orange blossom, gingersnap spice, ripe peach and nectarine and lime pulp. There's a bitter peach fuzz on the warm finish. Partner with your Thai / Indian take out.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Moon Curser
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Skullstext
87PTS

Skulls 2013

South Australia, AustraliaThe 16.5% alcohol is certainly evident - from first nostril burning sniff to the slow warmth down your throat. It's all shiraz from 20 to 60-year old Barossa vines, raised in American barriques. Deep purple in hue, with high intensity candied red and black herbed licorice notes, and a concentrated palate of polished black fruit, exotic spice, cinnamon, incense, toast and vanilla. Tannins are plush finish is inky black licorice. Even with all of this ripe and massive fruit, the alcohol is evident (no illusion could mask 16.5%). This is a monstrous, blockbuster red wine. Put on your seatbelt.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Fullglass Wines
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Dão Sul Cabriz Encruzadotext
89PTS

Dão Sul Cabriz Encruzado 2009

Dão, Northern Portugal, PortugalYou would be forgiven for guessing this was a Rhone white on a blind tasting. Encruzado, especially with some age (2009 still on shelves) builds herbal, hazelnut, honeycomb and savoury stone while maintaining a firm rod of acid - all of which are in play here in this impressive white. Bitter wild herbs, light meadow flowers, straw, mellow pear and lemon rind, all bound together across an oily, textured palate. Great length - drinking beautifully right now. Pour with roast poultry or sablefish.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Dao Sul
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Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraztext
89PTS

Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2009

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaStony blackberry, ripe cassis and earthy, rustic peppery notes. The juicy palate shows black pepper, medicinal cherry, espresso, ripe black raspberry fruit and grippy, cherry-pit tannins. Raspberry seed brightness/bitterness on the lingering finish. A bit angular; best to smooth out with by pouring alongside venison or beef.Prices: BC 82.00 AB 75.00 MB 82.00 Producer: Peter Lehmann Wines Limited
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Teusner Avatar Grenache Mataro Shiraztext
88PTS

Teusner Avatar Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThis heady 50/20/30 GSM blend undergoes old French and American oak maturation, yielding a dense fruited wine with baking spice, black plum and black cherry jam. Tannins are silky and round and the finish is a bit choppy with wood stave finish. Best paired with bigger game or lamb dishes.Prices: BC 40.00 QC 36.00 ON 35.00 Producer: Teusner
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Penfolds St. Henri Shiraztext
92PTS

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2009

South Australia, AustraliaStriking iron aromas sweep across dried and fresh black cherries and blackberry thorns. Finessed and polished black fruits on the palate - black cherry, anise and cassis - alongside dried herbs, heady eucalyptus and fine pepper. St. Henri (junior to Grange) presents masculine and stately. Palate is structured and tannins are tight and grippy - this is wound tight and ready for the years to gently unfold (10+). Lengthy and well-knit fruit now, decant and pour with dry aged beef tenderloin.Prices: BC 65.00 AB 75.00 SK 46.00 MB 52.00 ON 75.00 NF 55.00 NS 54.00 QC 63.00 Producer: Penfolds
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Gérard Bertrand Banyuls Legend Vintagetext
93PTS

Gérard Bertrand Banyuls Legend Vintage 1951

Banyuls, Côte Vermeille, Roussillon, South of France, FranceBrick pecan colour with chocolate, raisin, toffee, peppery, spicy, honey, soy, apricot and prune aromas. Rich, fresh, elegant, moderately sweet with good acidity and balance. Apricot, raisin, prune and chocolate flavours flecked with orange peel, cedar, tobacco and spice flavours. So well balanced and fresh without high alcohol. Very fine shape and will keep. A fortified version yet only at 16% alcohol and 60 years in wood. Super quality here.Prices: France 400.00 Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Nautilus Estate Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Nautilus Estate Pinot Noir 2011

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandA mix of clones and sites across Marlborough plus influence from wild ferment results in a layered pinot, perfumed and earthy. Warmed strawberry jam, sweet spices and generous ripe berry aromas. Tart cranberry acidity wakes up the palate, while silken, gentle strawberry and red cherry, soothes it before a smoked green branchiness closes out the finish. Smooth, but a bit clunky and abrupt. Would go well with cedar planked salmon or charcoaled pork kabobs.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: Nautilus Estate
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CedarCreek Merlottext
87PTS

CedarCreek Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSeven percent cabernet franc and two percent cabernet sauvignon liven up this merlot, one that has seen 20 months in French oak. The nose opens with subtle black plum and spice before a juicy, mouth filling palate of anise, black plum, blackberry thorn and black cherry peel. Wood tannins are a bit raggedy, and prop up (and dry out) this merlot a bit more than necessary. Crack the Stelvin with your next beef kabob or burger night.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Chateau de Sancerretext
89PTS

Chateau de Sancerre 2012

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceStruck stone, lemon and chalk open this classic Sancerre, always a familiar sight on BC lists and shelves. The crisp, fresh, medium-bodied palate continues the flinty notes of the nose along with apricot fuzz, bright lemon, white grapefruit, tight white florals and youthful white peach. Acidity is shining and mineral laden and the finish is brisk and dry, calling for shellfish.Prices: BC 30.00 QC 28.50 Producer: Chateau de Sancerre
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19 March 2015

Little Yering Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Little Yering Pinot Noir 2013

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaStrawberry, rhubarb, earthy, licorice nose with bits of resin and light coffee aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, if slightly lean palate, with orange peel, tobacco leaf, pepper, celery salt, chocolate and tart raspberry flavours. Solid for the money but will show best with something like grilled salmon.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 13.00 Producer: Yering Station
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Quails' Gate Merlottext
87PTS

Quails' Gate Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRoasted coffee, cassis and light tar open this dense and ripe merlot. A five percent splash each of cabernet sauvignon and syrah amp up the structure, resulting in smoked branch, vanilla cherry compote, raspberry jam, black pepper and bitter black cherry skin / espresso. Tannins are a bit ragged and finish with a bitter cassis and thorn note. Pour with beef.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 24.00 SK 25.00 MB 23.00 ON 26.00 QC 27.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Okanagan Crush Pad Narrative Redtext
88PTS

Okanagan Crush Pad Narrative Red 2013

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNarrative is a new line of wines from the folks at Okanagan Crush Pad and is meant to tell story of what the Okanagan is best at: cool climate, aromatic, crisp, lively wines - here possible for a decent price. Syrah from Black Sage Bench and gamay from Secrest Mountain Vineyard comes together in a juicy, dark berried red. Lightly smoked black cherry, roasted meats on the nose. The smooth palate picks up more of the gamay - strawberry jam and wine gums, while syrah offers grilled meats, black pepper and floral violets. Tannins are smoothed, subtle and a bit gummy - welcoming pairing with beef kabobs or teriyaki pork.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Calona Vineyards Sovereign Opal Artist Seriestext
85PTS

Calona Vineyards Sovereign Opal Artist Series 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHard to believe you can cross golden muscat and maréchal foch but we did in BC and sovereign opal is the outcome. Expect a pungent floral nose with a hint of armpit and heavier yellow fruit aromas. The palate is similar with a mix of citrus, grassy, green apple and rind-y orange/tangerine peel flavours. A fun wine with appetizers or curry based dishes.Prices: BC 13.00 AB 16.00 SK 15.00 MB 15.00 Producer: Calona Vineyards
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Summerhill Pyramid Gewürztraminer Organictext
85PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Gewürztraminer Organic 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis mid-sweet gewurztraminer is overflowing with peach nectar, blossoms, mandarin, tangerine peel, dried herbs and apricot fuzz before ending into tangerine and dusty froot loops. There's a citric tablet note that lingers on the finish. Chill this for patio season.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminertext
90PTS

Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2012

Alsace, FranceImpressive by way of expressing delicacy and seriousness at once. Savoury stone, dry rasped spice, delicate wild flower blossoms, lime pith, ginger spice and bitter melon. Fantastic oily concentration on the palate before a very long, powerful finish. Drinking well now.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht
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Cono Sur Bicicleta Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Cono Sur Bicicleta Gewurztraminer 2013

Region del Valle Central, ChileThis spring-fresh wine is just off-dry, with white and pink flowers, ripe peach, pink grapefruit juiciness and baby powder perfume. Moderate acidity carries a ribbon of concentrated spice throughout. Fantastic value for textbook gewürztraminer, pour with papaya salad and tuna tatami with cucumber.Prices: BC 11.00 AB 12.00 MB 12.00 YK 12.00 Producer: Vina Cono Sur
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P.J. Valckenberg Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

P.J. Valckenberg Gewurztraminer 2012

Pfalz, GermanyGreat example of the generously cushioned, balanced wines characteristic of Germany's warmer Pfalz region. Cinnamon and peach fuzz lead into a mid-sweet, round gewürztraminer with heady blossom, ripe white peach and juicy pear. Enough pink grapefruit acidity to carry to the finish. An enjoyable 9.5 percent.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: P. J. Valckenberg
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Joie A Noble Blendtext
86PTS

Joie A Noble Blend 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGewürztraminer (45 percent) leads friends riesling, pinot auxerrois, pinot blanc, muscat and schönburger in this very popular BC orchard basket blend. Crafted in the spirit of Edelzwicker, the traditional blend of Alsace, this off-dry medium-bodied aromatic is teeming with lime pulp, granny smith apple, litchi and baked spiced cider apples on the finish. Partner with Indian or Thai spiced dishes.Prices: BC 24.00 AB 34.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Serendipity Winery Estate Syrahtext
87PTS

Serendipity Winery Estate Syrah 2010

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a huge wine - gobs of baked blackberry, dense cassis and a savoury wood-smoked steak sauce note. Black pepper, earth, stewed black fruits and plum on the muscular palate. The tannins feel a tad hard press and ragged, drying out the finish. Would benefit from decanting, allowing some air to permeate the density. Pour now with hearty grilled or stewed beef.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Serendipity Winery
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Serendipity Viogniertext
84PTS

Serendipity Viognier 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAssertive herbal blossom, bruised fruits and anise on the nose and carry through to the palate. Sweet and sour interplay here, with bruised pear, orange, grass and toasted spice floating on low-moderate acidity. Disjointed.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Serendipity Winery
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Upper Bench Pinot Noirtext
86PTS

Upper Bench Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwine, earth and light campfire smoke lead to a dark and concentrated spicy palate. Cherry pie, powdered sage, earthy cedar stave and peppery spice. The finish is a bit hot and clunky. Feels like the oak (French, 30 percent new, for 14 months) has overwhelmed the promising fruit here.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Upper Bench Merlottext
86PTS

Upper Bench Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaScents of deep black fruit and stewed plum is streaked with Worcestershire sauce. The palate is plummy and soft with chocolate, mocha and fine spice, and the tannins smoothed out until the drying finish. The 40 percent new French oak for 18 months feels overwhelming. Pour now with big beef dishes.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Torres Vina Esmeraldatext
87PTS

Torres Vina Esmeralda 2014

Catalunya, SpainNo changes in what is a classic, cool Upper Penedès blend built on aromatic, spicy, floral Mediterranean fruit all with a touch of rose oil. The mix is 85/15 moscatel/gewürztraminer and this year it’s showing a little more weight and richness reminiscent of Alsace. Exotic, generous, spicy/limey litchi fruit flavours that will work well with turkey or a favourite curry.Prices: BC 16.00 QC 15.00 ON 14.00 MB 14.00 AB 16.00 YK 17.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Il Grigio da San Felice Chianti Classico Riservatext
89PTS

Il Grigio da San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva 2010

Tuscany, ItalyThe top sangiovese grapes from the estate vineyards make up this Riserva, which opens with leather, dried cherry and a wave of attractive (to me at least) barnyard. The medium plus palate shows upfront wood, along with subtly medicinal cherry, saddle, dusty red currant and sweet spices. Tannins are still youthfully chewy and bitter hewn, but the ripe, warm fruit shines through, and this should continue to merge and meld for 5+ years. Pour now with rabbit or wild boar pappardelle.Prices: BC 32.00 ON 28.00 QC 28.00 Producer: San Felice S.p.A., Agricola
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Joie Riesling (iv) A Delicate Balancetext
89PTS

Joie Riesling (iv) A Delicate Balance 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJuicy! This fruit basket is sourced from the Naramata Bench and Kelowna, resulting in a melodic riesling with ripe, Spätlese-styled and mouth-watering fruit. Intense pear, apple and lime blossom glides into a medium, smooth and juicy palate of crisp pear, Asian pear, green apple and perfumed honeysuckle. A wave of dried apple and pear close out the finish and add a savoury undertone.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Cortestrada Garganega Pinot Grigiotext
87PTS

Cortestrada Garganega Pinot Grigio 2013

Veneto, ItalyRipe musk melon, light herbs and yellow apple are the entry to this medium bodied white. Bitter herbs, pear skin and lemon pith cut through the creamy palate, finishing with a fine, persistent spice and a hint of anise. Try with white fish or spaghetti vongole.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo & C. Spa
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18 March 2015

Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reservetext
86PTS

Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2013

San Juan, ArgentinaFloral soft honeyed nose with notes of ginger, stone fruit and guava aromas. The attack is soft and round with some spicy, green peach, grapefruit, nectarine flavours. Warmer and rounder than past versions it is ready to drink with chicken or pasta dishes.Prices: AB 13.50 MB 14.25 BC 15.00 ON 13.00 SK 15.00 NB 15.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Bodegas Y Vinedos Santiago Graffigna
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Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franctext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTinhorn Creek was one of the first to champion single variety cabernet franc in the southern Okanagan. Here in the 2012 vintage, smoked wood, cassis and branch reflect franc's characteristic earthiness, while the ripe Bing cherry and floral raspberry elements remind me of the warm Okanagan sunshine. Big spice throughout the medium bodied red, finishing with a whack of wood spice and a musk perfume. Partner with BBQ pork ribs or sauced chicken wings.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Bench 1775 Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

Bench 1775 Gewurztraminer 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhite pepper and flower petals lead to mild pear, thistle, stone and peach fuzz. Medium bodied with a bristle of acidity on the palate and a tart lime finish. Fresh bright simple white. Pick up a bottle for your Thai take out.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Bench 1775 Winery
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Summerhill Pyramid Ehrenfelsertext
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Summerhill Pyramid Ehrenfelser 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Ehrenfelser comes from a leased vineyard in Oliver that is not certified organic, though the fruit is grown to Summerhill's standards without synthetics, and treated the same way in the winery as all of the winery's organic wines. The wine was the first in BC to be made with the use of a nitrogen generator, allowing the winery to a reduce sulphite additions to the minimum. Opening with a nose of orange tablet and peach nectar before a lightly, fizzy, palate of tropical fruits, key lime and musk melon and a spicy finish. More than off-dry (32 g/l RS), it finishes crisp and juicy - ready for your brunch.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
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Mission Hill Reserve Merlottext
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Mission Hill Reserve Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBig, slick nose of black plums, ripe blackberries and vanilla scented black compote. Full, silky palate of the same - deep, dense blackberry, black liquorice and plum compote - married with peppery spice, clove, and mocha, tight wood and bitter espresso on the finish. Tannins are tight and a touch powdery and the finish is juicy and potent. Pour with a blackberry sauced or peppercorn steak.Prices: ON 26.00 AB 24.00 BC 27.00 SK 25.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Quails' Gate Gewürztraminertext
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Quails' Gate Gewürztraminer 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuiet orange blossoms and roses are the entry to a juicy, just off-dry palate with peaches, lychee, ripe melon and pink grapefruit acidity. A fine exotic spice closes out the bright finish. Pour alongside Vietnamese papaya salad.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 22.00 MB 17.00 SK 18.00 NS 20.00 ON 17.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Hesketh Tourigatext
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Hesketh Touriga 2014

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaOne of the darling surprises of this year's Vancouver International Wine Festival, this charming, likeable, drinkable (hell - quaffable) touriga from Barossa exemplifies Mod Oz wine. Hugely floral, with perfumed blue fruits and florals, this smooth, juicy and lengthy wine flows with mulberry, violet musk candies, cool plum and blueberry. Touriga's tannins are present, but dusky and plush and the acidity moderate, lifting the scented fruit. Very interesting, and would make a good partner for berry jus beef or lamb or kabobs.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: The Hesketh Wine Company
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Joie Muscat The Pure Grape (v)text
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Joie Muscat The Pure Grape (v) 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis sprightly muscat covers the spectrum of floral and fruity flavours, from crystalline lime to pear blossom to lychee to honeydew to fragrant freesia. Blending moscato giallo (yellow muscat) and moscato canelli (white muscat) from the Naramata Bench has resulted in this intense, crisp and just off-dry juicy white, lively and vibrant on the palate, with wild herbs and exotic spices on the finish. Pour with green curry or papaya salad.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Red Rooster Rieslingtext
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Red Rooster Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhole cluster press and cool ferment in stainless steel preserved the fresh, crisp fruit. Light eraser, white peach, mandarin and lemon notes on the nose and palate. Medium bodied and zesty, with ample green apple acidity, and both marmalade sweetness and bitterness to the finish. Solid and very well priced, pour with chicken pad Thai or pan-fried white fish.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Haywire Switchback Vineyard Wild Fermenttext
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Haywire Switchback Vineyard Wild Ferment 2012

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fact that the grape (pinot gris) isn't mentioned on the front label, but the vineyard (highly acclaimed Switchback) is, illustrates the winery's progression towards site and soil vs. grape. Here, five distinct plots were identified in the vineyard and farmed individually, fermented with wild yeast in egg-shaped concrete tanks with no enzymes and minimal winemaking intervention. Intense and herbal-doused aromas of honeysuckle and fragrant freesia blossoms. Full bodied, the palate is shining with earthy wild herbs, lime peel, white peach, brown butter and acacia. Textured and complex, lingering on the palate and in memory of new Okanagan.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Township 7 '7 Blanc'text
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Township 7 '7 Blanc' 2013

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGewurztraminer and pinot gris from the winery's Naramata Bench estate vineyard make up this liquid apple pie and Alsatian inspired sipper. Red apples, peach blossom and pink grapefruit soda come together in this medium bodied / medium acid and off dry white, best paired chilled with melon and prosciutto or watermelon and feta, preferably on a summer patio. Hopefully future editions will eschew the plastic cork in favour of screwcap.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Calona Vineyards Pinot Gris Artist Series Reservetext
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Calona Vineyards Pinot Gris Artist Series Reserve 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPotent nose of pear and apple blossoms opens this juicy, peachy, medium bodied pinot gris. The bright fruit is preserved in stainless steel, and accompanied by a hint of anise and a good whack of lemon peel, peach fuzz and spicy herb flowers. Great concentration through the off-dry finish, and amazing value (under $13 in BC!) for this classic Okanagan label pinot gris.Prices: BC 13.00 Producer: Calona Vineyards
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Calona Vineyards Sovereign Opal Artist Seriestext
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Calona Vineyards Sovereign Opal Artist Series 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you haven't heard of the sovereign opal grape, fret not, because virtually no one else has either. This grape was developed by Agriculture Canada (maréchal foch x golden muscat) to thrive specifically in the particular conditions found in the Okanagan Valley. Grown by the Casorso family, this varietal is created exclusively for Calona, resulting in their exclusive claim to this unique and regal sounding wine. Delicate flower blossoms, light perfumed orange blossoms orchard pear, honeydew, light almond in a softer, fatter off-dry style. If you like the perfume of muscat grape, give this a try.Prices: BC 13.00 MB 15.00 Producer: Calona Vineyards
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Cono Sur Organic Chardonnaytext
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Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay 2013

Region del Valle Central, ChileThe bicycle on the label references the winery-provided mode of transportation for its workers. Sustainably minded from grape to glass (including conditions for the crew along the way) this organic, medium bodied white is the number one selling Chilean chardonnay by quantity in BC. Primary apple, pear and pear skin aromas carry through to the bright, lightly buttery palate, brightened with lemon and kissed with nectarine sweetness before a gently spiced finish. Chicken salad or poached fish would suit beautifully.Prices: BC 14.50 MB 13.00 AB 15.00 Producer: Vina Cono Sur
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Mt. Boucherie Semillontext
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Mt. Boucherie Semillon 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHappy to see this now under screw cap, holding that lemon, white grapefruit pithy edge and preserving the oily, herb and thistle-hewn palate. Green fig, olive oil, white pepper, tangerine oil and anise finishes long and medium-full bodied, with great concentration. Pour with sablefish or French onion tart.Prices: BC 15.50 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Pinot Noirtext
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CedarCreek Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis medium bodied pinot noir was partially fermented with wild yeast, upping the interest and earthiness. Silky raspberry, branch, rhubarb and cherry jam are roughed up with a little cedar hewn tannins and finish with a bitter twist. Best enjoyed with salmon burgers or mushroom couscous.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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17 March 2015

Wild Goose Autumn Goldtext
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Wild Goose Autumn Gold 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA perennial favourite in the aromatic blend category. Now a mix of roughly one third gewürztraminer, riesling and pinot blanc the 2013 is an electric blend of citrus, red apples, honey and tangerine aromas that spill across the palate. A much nervier edition giving up a bit of weight and softness for a fresher finish. Any spicy Pan Asian dish or curry work here.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery
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40 Knots Whitecapstext
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40 Knots Whitecaps 2013

Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaFormulaic BC aromatic blend of aromatic floral, ginger pink grapefruit and red apple notes. The attack is creamy with an off-dry undercurrent of cooked pears and apples. Full-bodied, off-dry, simple white blend that is ready to drink. Serve with spicy dishes to best effect or chill down for patio parties.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: 40 Knots Winery
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Paul Buisse Crémant de Loiretext
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Paul Buisse Crémant de Loire NV

Loire, FranceThis chenin based traditional-method sparkling is splashed with chardonnay and sourced from clay, limestone and flinty soils in Touraine. Struck stone, green apple, grapefruit and light biscuit with fresh lemon, chalky shell and nut notes. Fantastic French character at half the price of Champagne. Pour liberally, especially with salty canapés.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Paul Buisse
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Terre Proseccotext
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Terre Prosecco NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalySubtle white florals, anise, light honey and yellow apple notes fill this frothy prosecco. The medium body is zippy with stony yellow MacIntosh and the finish is crisp with a faint kiss of mandarin peel sweetness. Nice drier, fuller bodied prosecco to pair to seafood canapés.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Terre S.r.L.
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Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandeltext
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Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2011

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThis wine, from Ridge's Lytton Springs vineyard in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley, is predominantly old vine heritage zinfandel (82 percent), along with 16 percent petite sirah and 2 percent carignane, aged for 14 months in American oak (25 percent new). Dusty black cherry and blackcurrant teem with deep anise, olive and black floral notes. The acidity is brisk and structured tannins are firm and slightly dusty. The 2011 vintage was a cool, allowing the finessed nature of these old vines to shine. Lovely bones here, clad in expressive, fragrantly herbed black fruit. Drinking very well now, but you can easily hold another decade.Prices: BC 55.00 AB 50.00 QC 50.25 ON 53.00 MB 55.00 Producer: Ridge Vineyards
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Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablastext
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Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas 2011

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe familiar Esprit de Beaucastel was remained Esprit de Tablas with the 2011 vintage, the winery's flagship wine reflecting their Paso Robles home rather than their sister property in France's Rhone Valley. The 2011 is a structured, spicy blend of mourvèdre, grenache, syrah and counoise, completing this mineral-dominant savoury red. Strawberry jam, ripe dark cherry and peppery spice carry to a fresh palate and are met with worn leather, earth, cured meat and wild herbs. The cool 2011 vintage gives this a welcome leanness and elegance, and I predict that it will continue to impress for the next decade and I look forward to tasting again. Enjoy now with grilled sausages, pork or lamb chop.Prices: BC 70.00 ON 55.00 NB 65.00 AB 68.00 Producer: Tablas Creek
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Spierhead Pinot Noirtext
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Spierhead Pinot Noir 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpierhead has thrown their hat into the challenging pinot noir arena in a big way, planting five acres more this year and putting more in the ground next year as well. This, their entry pinot, is a smooth and approachable one, with plum and perfumed flowers carrying to a supple palate of cassis, cherry-vanilla jam, milk chocolate, mocha and a tinge of molasses spiced beans. The 10 months in French oak is evident on the wood spiced finish, but any edges are all but swallowed up by the fruit. A deeper, plushy styled pinot noir. Partner with hearty bean casserole.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Tolloy Pinot Grigiotext
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Tolloy Pinot Grigio 2013

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyIt may take the foothills of the Dolomites and Alto Adige Südtirol DOC for you to realize that pinot grigio doesn't have to be banal. Fragrant pear, light eraser, cream, acacia and light honeysuckle nose. Bright, crisp acidity with mineral salts (granite) through the finish. Medium body, inviting pairing with poultry or spring vegetable risotto.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Gruppo MezzaCorona
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Pewsey Vale The Contours Old Vine Rieslingtext
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Pewsey Vale The Contours Old Vine Riesling 2009

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaLemon, petrol, green apple, spicy, smoky, floral aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy, full but slightly austere structure with rose, petrol, lemon, slate, green apple skin, lime and honey nut flavours. Very fine effort and ready to drink but should hold for 5-10 years under the Stelvin. Serve with your favourite Pan Asian dish.Prices: Producer: Pewsey Vale
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Henschke Keyneton Euphonium Redtext
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Henschke Keyneton Euphonium Red 2010

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaBig boysenberry, blueberry jam, cassis, tobacco, light barnyard, peppery, clove aromas with an earthy, floral note. Ripe, round, full, suave and juicy palate wit light tannins. Savoury, chocolate, peppery, cassis, licorice, earthy, cove, blueberry, vanilla, menthol and tobacco flavours. Good finesse and length but slightly hollow mid-palate. Drinking well but should improve somewhat.Prices: ON 70.00 Producer: Henschke
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Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Semillontext
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Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon 2013

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. The duo’s low interventionist winemaking philosophy is in play here, with grapes sourced from 1999 plantings on gravelly soils in Oliver. Three quarter whole cluster press and a six month layover in neutral French oak has filled out some of the mineral stoney framework, resulting in a flinty, wild herb and citrus tressed wine, with texture and length beyond its humble price. Bright acidity tempered with a gentle cushion of pear, hay and salted, dried herbs. Striking labels are a tribute to beauty in simplicity – much like this wine.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth Winery
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Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyardtext
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Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFirst whiff conjures up herb and salt roasted wild chicken. My mouth waters before I even put anything in it. These savoury dried herbs and scrubby meadow bush aromas last through the lingering finish, carrying a creamy, potent palate of desert citrus, herb-laced pear, musk melon, stony, savoury lees and fine spices. Fermentation with wild yeast and in concrete tank amps up the complexity and mouthfeel exponentially, and low vintner intervention allows this terraced vineyard's terroir to shine. Alert: this doesn't taste like chardonnay. It tastes like Canyonview. Well done. Serve slightly chilled and pair with that herb trussed poultry, naturally.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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16 March 2015

Blue Grouse Quill Whitetext
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Blue Grouse Quill White 2012

British Columbia, CanadaBlue Grouse is Cowichan Valley-based, on Vancouver Island, but this is a 52/34/14 blend of pinot blanc from Secrest Mountain Vineyards (Oliver), ortega estate grown in Duncan while the riesling comes from cool Kelowna. The style is spare with just enough fruit to keep the acidity in check and just enough acidity to keep the residual sugar dormant. Classic lime and apples with a pinch of yellow fruits. Food-friendly style that is ready to drink. Good value. Doesn’t need a cork.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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C.C. Jentsch The Chasetext
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C.C. Jentsch The Chase 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSmokey, gamey, cassis, cherry, tobacco, black olive, barnyard, orange peel and vanilla aromas with a light leafy, sage note. Dry, fresh, juicy, elegant palate with orange, cassis, cranberry, light vanilla, peppery, tobacco, savoury, coffee flavours. Well balanced with solid intensity and ripeness and good value.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Parker Station Pinot Noirtext
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Parker Station Pinot Noir 2012

Central Coast, California, United StatesAdd another two bucks to the price be it taxes or the dollar and this simple pinot is now in danger of losing its lustre. The latest edition is fresh with spicy, raspberry/strawberry, floral notes on the nose and supple earthy, strawberry/tea licorice, cinnamon flavours. Easy-sipping this is perfect for simply prepared salmon.Prices: BC 22.00 QC 22.00 Producer: Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard
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Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées l'Ancien Beaujolaistext
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Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées l'Ancien Beaujolais 2012

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceDomaine des Terres Dorées is in a limestone-rich area known as the "Region of the Golden Stones." Sustainably focused and non-interventionist in both the vineyard and winery, Brun is a firm advocate of minimal SO2, natural yeast, old vines and low yields with his wines, and has seen wide critical acclaim for his honest, expressive wines. L'Ancien, from vines 50-80 years old, opens with potent spicy pepper (white and black) and fine rasped fragrant cloves. Bright cherry, dried sage, raspberry and sea salt continue on the juicy palate. Lifted pink grapefruit acidity carries wild berry spices across fine grained, lithely structured tannins and through the lengthy finish. Elegant and honest; a beautiful match for your herb trussed poultry or pork tenderloin.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
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Marcel Lapierre Morgontext
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Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2011

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceIf your only acquaintance with Beaujolais is the baby, carbonically macerated nouveau style, you owe it to yourself to buy this wine. Morgon is widely recognized for producing high quality wines with structure and aging potential. This wine lures with herbs, stone, perfumed wild raspberries and strawberries and intoxicating floral notes. The silky palate is full of cherries - Bing and black - perfectly woven with strawberry, flowers, earth, mineral and savoury notes. A complete wine. Lovely structure, dense yet perfumed fruit, bright acid, and a finish that lingers on and on. As much as I enjoyed drinking this right now, I would save any future bottles for 8-10 years.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 37.00 QC 31.00 NS 34.00 MB 40.00 Producer: Marcel Lapierre
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Maison des Bulliats Régniétext
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Maison des Bulliats Régnié 2012

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceMaison des Bulliats was bought by retiring schoolteacher couple Fred and Helen Lockwood in 2005. This is the only wine they regularly produce, from vines averaging 40 years. Youthful wild strawberries, bright, light and fresh with orange peel and fine peppery spice on the finish. Great value for a Cru Beaujolais. Pour with poultry.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Maison des Bulliats
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Terra Andina Malbectext
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Terra Andina Malbec 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaHeaps of sweet clove, ripe plum and baked blackberry here, over a full, round palate broken with a determined gherkin pickle sweetness and peppery spice. Root beer and plum finish it off. Crowd pleaser for extended family beef BBQ?Prices: BC 16.00 AB 15.00 Producer: Sur Andino S.A.
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Catena Malbec Mountain Vinestext
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Catena Malbec Mountain Vines 2011

Mendoza, ArgentinaThis malbec is sourced from high mountain vines and is a blend of 4 different vineyards. The result is a fresh and savoury red with anise, black plum and ink aromas. The fine grained tannins and juicy acid balance the firm and tight black fruit on the palate. I appreciate the quiet confidence of the wine; it doesn't shout, but it brims with power nonetheless. The pencil shavings finish lingers with espresso dust. Picturing hearty roast beef dinner as a great match.Prices: BC 23.00 AB 29.00 ON 17.00 NS 24.00 NB 24.00 PEI 24.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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M. Chapoutier Hermitage Chante Alouette Blanctext
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M. Chapoutier Hermitage Chante Alouette Blanc 2011

Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceWe do not drink enough Rhone whites. Yes, you and me and the world. What's not to love about heady, earthy, pointed and exotically perfumed, granitic quartzy mineral-laced full bodied whites? Especially if it's this stunning 100 percent marsanne from the sacred hill of Hermitage in the northern Rhone, biodynamically farmed. Oily intensity, heady honey blossom, grapefruit chalky notes, exotic white flowers and spice, quince and green fig. Round yet focused, with an endless length, this has the structure and heft to match rich seafood, poultry and lighter pork. I enjoyed this now with oyster velouté, but with age, the nutty, honey complexities crescendo. This wine is a baby - try it now, and again in 7-10 years.Prices: BC 76.00 AB 75.00 ON 74.00 QC 74.50 Producer: M. Chapoutier
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Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinho Tinto Reserva Old Vinestext
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Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinho Tinto Reserva Old Vines 2009

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom this legendary estate in the Douro comes this 70 year old field blend of more than 40 local varieties. Layers of bacon and savoury meats over black fruit and waves of stony graphite. Structured touring tannins prop up the finessed and elegant fruit - confident wild blackberries, cassis, plum and alluring black flowers. Dense and powerful, starting to (thankfully) mellow with time, but will still hold for the next decade.Prices: BC 43.00 QC 37.25 AB 49.00 Producer: Quinta do Crasto (Sociedade Agricola da)
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Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraztext
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Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2012

AustraliaDusky plum, a kiss of eucalyptus and black flowers. The medium bodied palate shows more of the same, along with dark, inky, chocolate and fine-grained, lengthy and silky tannins that finish with a bit of wood grip. Structure of cabernet plus plushness of shiraz makes everyone happy, especially if you pour with grilled ribs or lamb.Prices: BC 26.00 NFLD 25.00 NS 26.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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15 March 2015

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanctext
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Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis unique sparkling chenin opens with an intense nose of key lime and herbal white grapefruit. The lively palate vibrates with tight bubbles, crisp green apple, hay, green fig, quince and chalk. Racy acidity carries the low-yield, sun-sweetened fruit (16 g/l RS) to a crisp lemon pith lingering finish. Oysters please!Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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Anderra Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Anderra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Region del Valle Central, ChileSimple cabernet sauvignon from the Baron Philippe de Rothschild's Chilean enterprise. Light smoke, tobacco, dusty cassis and earthy bark notes in this extracted red. Juicy black and red fruit throughout, and gummy, sticky tannins. Partner with grilled beef and a casual night.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA
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C.C. Jentsch Syrahtext
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C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom a relatively new producer on the Golden Mile Bench comes this stylish and supple syrah, a key grape for the region. Co-fermented with a splash of viognier, the black flowers, vanillin and peppery cassis notes of the syrah are well integrated, working with the subtly spiced wood and fresh acidity. Partner with lamb medallions or kabobs. Nice balance here - promising start from this winery.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Vaporetto Prosecco Bruttext
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Vaporetto Prosecco Brut NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyAlluring toasty, nuts, citrus peel and meadow flowers to open. Bright and lively palate, crisp and dry, with small bubbles, abundant citrus acidity and a wave of apple blossom before a stony spice finish. Elegant and fresh, break this out for a special brunch or dressy canapés.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Jeio Belstar S.r.L
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Torres Mas La Planatext
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Torres Mas La Plana 2009

Penedès, Catalunya, SpainIntense black flowers, blackberry, tar, spice and anise open, leading to a structured, present and expressive palate of savoury wild black fruit, spiced cedarwood, tobacco, cacao and dried herbs. Enjoy now with braised lamb cheek, though it would certainly continue to meld with cellaring for 3-6 years.Prices: ON 47.00 BC 55.00 US 50.00 NF 52.00 MB 50.00 AB 52.00 QC 56.00 NS 57.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gristext
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Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPear and ripe pink grapefruit on the nose, with heady perfume and tropical spiced overtones. The medium and creamy palate shows more ripe pear, along with mild honey, tropical blossoms and stony spice. The stainless steel ferment and aging preserve the fresh orchard fruit, while two months of lees stirring amps up the creaminess. The pinot gris vines are now in their 19th year, and the 2013 vintage is stronger than ever. Pear with grilled pork or halibut.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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14 March 2015

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlottext
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Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHere merlot from Black Sage Bench's Diamondback Vineyard is splashed with 9 percent cabernet franc and 2 percent syrah and rests for 18 months in new, 1 and 2 year old French oak before a further 18 months of bottle aging. The result is deep cassis, wild blackberry, thorn and a light smoke nose. The deep palate is full with black smoked plum, cedar, dark chocolate and fine clove spices, ending with a bitter tobacco leaf / espresso note. Tannins are firm, but smoothed over - all that additional aging served this big wine well, and it will continue to meld for another 2-4 years. Pour with rosemary lamb medallions now.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Gazela Vinho Verdetext
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Gazela Vinho Verde NV

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalRefreshing and zesty, with a natural, slight touch of lively spritz on the palate, this light bodied blend has crisp citrus, mineral, green apple and a touch of sweet gooseberry and mild melon. A low alcohol content (9 percent) ups the quaffing quotient. Pair with a garden party - these colourful bottles can be prominently displayed as the artful centerpiece.Prices: ON 9.00 BC 11.00 NF 12.50 QC 10.80 MB 10.00 NB 11.30 SK 12.00 NS 12.50 Producer: Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal, SA
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13 March 2015

Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve Zweigelttext
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Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve Zweigelt 2010

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis zweigelt comes from Mt. Boucherie's Similkameen vineyard, the hot, southern BC sunshine feeding this ripe, dense red. Big peppery spice and wild berries open, leading to smoked branch, Worcestershire sauce, green/stem notes and bitter anise-streaked herbs. Tart cranberry on the juicy finish. Match this with wild game or lamb burgers on the grill.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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CedarCreek Chardonnaytext
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CedarCreek Chardonnay 2012

British Columbia, CanadaCreamy and gentle on the palate, with fine grated spice and delicate florals through the finish, I wasn't surprised to discover there is 6 percent pinot gris splashed in this chardonnay - it's a charmer. Two months of fermentation split between stainless, foudre and oak barrels lends layers of complexity from bright vibrant green apple to spiced, subtle wood. Anjou pear, mild pineapple, lemon peel, meadow, herbs and nutmeg reveal as the glass warms up, finishing with lingering potent rasped nutmeg spice. Fantastic value for price - pair with crab, scallops or pumpkin ricotta ravioli.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Yangarra Grenachetext
87PTS

Yangarra Grenache 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaFresh, black cherry, gamey balsamic nose with peppery, licorice, resin and coffee highlights. Fresh, round, slightly tart, lean and tannic with celery root, peppery, raspberry, tobacco, orange peel, meaty flavours. Warm and fresh across the finish calling for a rich mushroom dish or grilled lamb.Prices: BC 29.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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12 March 2015

Barone di Valforte Passerinatext
87PTS

Barone di Valforte Passerina 2013

Abruzzo, ItalyGreen apple skin, light quince, lees, grassy, floral aromas with a touch of lime. Fresh, round, slightly soft but juicy palate with anise, green apple, guava, earthy, lees, grapefruit and herb flavours. Solid intensity and balance for summer seafood.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tenute Barone di Valforte
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Ferrari-Carano Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2012

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesFull bodied and very creamy, aided by fermentation in wood. Apple, underripe pear crispness and a perfumed vanillin note fill the weighty palate, and finish with a dose of hazelnut paste. Old school style, executed well. Pair with creamy white sauced pastas or buttery white fish.Prices: BC 37.00 ON 29.00 Producer: Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery
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CedarCreek Pinot Gristext
89PTS

CedarCreek Pinot Gris 2013

British Columbia, CanadaFrom their east Kelowna Upper CedarCreek Vineyard, this later-pick gris sees partial (15 percent) French oak ferment, adding extra texture to this vibrant, medium-bodied white. Eight grams of residual sugar are carried light as air across the expansive palate, along with orange zest, pear, almond, honeysuckle and white peach. Bright tangerine acidity finishes with sizzled sage. Very impressive - enjoy on its own, or with poultry, halibut or mussels.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraztext
86PTS

Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz NV

AustraliaThis hefty sparkler is a natural for celebrations, along with a big whack of funky and fun. Sparkling shiraz is inherently quirky Australian and can range from candied sweet pink suds to slightly more serious sippers. Here with Banrock Station's, a nose of blackberries, blueberries, dark plums and a dusting of cocoa starts you off. A frothy palate of velveteen dark fruit, blueberry jam and darker chocolate lure you in. Refreshing acid cleanses you off, and readies your palate for more. Said by many Aussie mates to be the ultimate turkey dinner wine, though I also have it on good authority that lacquered pork ribs fare very well with this. This has some weight and tannins to take on the dressed-to-the-nines bird, but the acid and bubbles keep it from overwhelming. Be warned that the dark purple vibrant bubbles in the flute may very well steal the show.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Banrock Station Wines
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Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard Grey Labeltext
89PTS

Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview Vineyard Grey Label 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPotent dried herbs and grass opens the nose - desert sage, dried Ponderosa pine, meadow scrub. These intriguing sandy, earthy, desert characters carry through to the lingering finish, joining a medium-bodied palate of creamy musk melon, subtle pineapple rind, yellow apple and Asian pear. Savoury, stony spice elements dominate; wild ferment, zero oak and low vintner intervention allow the terraced vineyard's nature to dominate chardonnay's blank canvas. Not your typical Okanagan chardonnay and that's a welcome relief. Pair with salt crusted roast chicken and sage dressing.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Quinta do Ameal Minho Branco Escolhatext
90PTS

Quinta do Ameal Minho Branco Escolha 2011

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis wine is 100% Loureiro grape from the subregion of Ponte de Lima, which is named for the popular, picturesque town where Ameal is based. Here owner Pedro Araujo focuses on serious, long-lived wines, farmed organically and treated with respectful care, and specializes in the ancient and elegant Louriero grape. Labelling this Vinho Verde with the Minho appellation designation signifies that this isn't the simple, fizzy Vinho Verde style prevalent to the region. Heady peach blossom, mandarin oil, anise and gentle oak on first approach, this wood-aged white has spent 6 months in new French oak hogshead barrels with regular lees-stirring for additional creaminess and suppleness. Full and waxy on the palate, with lime pith, anise, citrus and mildly smoky, fragrant vanillin spice, finishing with tight lemon acidity. The wine undergoes minimal filtration, preserving much of the textured complexities. I recommend decanting this wine at least one hour before enjoying it, preferably with pheasant or grilled quail - or you can cellar this for another 2-4 years.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Quinta do Ameal
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Niepoort Dialogo Douro Brancotext
90PTS

Niepoort Dialogo Douro Branco 2011

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom high altitude vineyards in the Douro comes this blend of local grapes: codega do larinho, rabigato, gouveio, dona branca, viosinho and bical. 25 percent barrel fermentation and aging sur lie has resulted in a very textured, oily and stony white, with pear, citrus blossom, meadow herbs and crisp bright finish. Weighty while presenting light and citrus-lifted - very evocative, well done.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Olivares Jumilla Rosadotext
87PTS

Olivares Jumilla Rosado 2013

Jumilla, Valencia and Murcia, SpainPower of suggestion? The bright watermelon hue is reflected in the aromas of this juicy rosado, along with fresh strawberry and sweetly scented candied berry fruit. This is no simple wine; 70/30 monastrell/syrah comes together with spicy, nutty minerality, sun ripened cherries, wild strawberries, pink flowers and ripe pear. Dry and fruity, with ample berry cushiness on the palate, this will remind you of watermelon season even through the wet coast winters. Crack for lunch with melon and prosciutto or bagels and lox.Prices: BC 13.00 QC 12.50 Producer: Bodegas Olivares
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Fouassier Père et Fils Sancerre Les Romainstext
90PTS

Fouassier Père et Fils Sancerre Les Romains 2011

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceThis isn't sauvignon blanc, it's Sancerre. Les Romains is 3 hectares of 30-ish year old vines, on silex, flinty clay across southwest exposed slopes. That is what you taste, and one reason why I appreciate this biodynamically managed, organically farmed wine. Light smokiness, pronounced stone and ripe pear, with a pear skin bitterness tempering the fruit. There's a vibrant fluidity in the mouth of this wine - more pronounced minerality, dense Anjou pear, mild honey, salted white grapefruit and savoury spice on the finish. Drink now (oysters! chèvre!), though this wine will continue to honey, mushroom and mature over the next 5-10+ years.Prices: BC 32.00 MB 24.00 Producer: Fouassier Pere et Fils
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Alvear Amontillado Medium Drytext
89PTS

Alvear Amontillado Medium Dry NV

Montilla-Moriles, SpainConsistency is a good thing and Alvear has little problem with this product over the years. Expect a nutty, figgy, cedar nose flecked with dried herb. The attack is full and slightly sweet as it spills across the palate with just the right amount of acidity. Walnuts, orange peel, soy and tobacco flavours give it a complex flavour with fine intensity. Great with soup or cheeses. Its Pedro Ximénez base gives it a richer tone. Super value, again.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 18.00 YK 18.00 ON 12.00 NS 14.00 Producer: Alvear
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11 March 2015

Torres Vina Luna Campas da Ibéricos Riojatext
87PTS

Torres Vina Luna Campas da Ibéricos Rioja 2012

Rioja, SpainSmoky, savoury, black cherry jam, meaty, spicy, floral, light barnyard and chocolate aromas. Smooth, fresh, supple palate with juicy cherry, orange peel, red licorice, chocolate, tobacco, peppery, meaty flavours. Lighter style but good juicy finish with some intensity. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Blue Grouse Cowichan Station Pinot Gris 2013

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaDry farmed until torrential rains September 23rd. It was eventually picked in mid-October when the canopy gave up. A small portion is barrel fermented adding some middle weight and texture to what is a fairly crisp rendition of pinot gris. Look for a bright peach/melon nose with a whiff of vanilla followed green melon and lemon notes. Try this with turkey meat or seafood pasta dishes.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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C.C. Jentsch Syrahtext
87PTS

C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLove the fragrant Big spicy, peppery, sausage meat, licorice, vanilla, sage and tobacco aromas with a big coffee note. Round, smooth, dry palate with fresh acidity but very smooth tannins. Coffee, roasted meat, peppery, licorice, sage, thyme, vanilla, black cherry, five spice and tobacco flavours. Good intensity in a cooler style with a bit of acidity showing on the finish.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: C.C. Jentsch Cellars
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 2014

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaSimilar to last year the style of this Coonawarra chardonnay is crisp and fresh with a big green apple attack on the nose and palate. It fresh, spare style calls for food to tame the acidity. Simple, lean straightforward chardonnay that reminds me a bit of some Okanagan editions. Good value but we would like a bit more complexity.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 18.00 NS 20.00 ON 18.00 NF 22.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Tinhorn Creek 2Bench Oldfield Series Whitetext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek 2Bench Oldfield Series White 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis plump, aromatic white blends sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, sémillon, viognier and muscat to create a tropical fruit salad, ripe with orchard fruits and floral blossoms. Moderate acidity carries the heady lychee and white peach fuzz through the finish. Nice weight - able to stand up to Waldorf salad or shellfish pastas.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Haywire Free Form Natural and Unfiltered Whitetext
88PTS

Haywire Free Form Natural and Unfiltered White 2013

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA touch of yellow in the colour denotes its natural handling including wild yeast, zero So2 used and eight months on the skins. The nose is a muted mix of red fruits and yeast with just enough acidity to keep it from being overly flat. The attack is weighty with nutty, buttery, marzipan under a mix of sweet grilled lemons and a touch of stony minerality and good bitterness in the aftertaste. There’s a lot going on here and well worth contemplating. A kind controlled naturalness if that makes any sense. Spicy chicken, roasted or grilled is the ticket here.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Heemskerk Abel's Tempest Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Heemskerk Abel's Tempest Pinot Noir 2012

Tasmania, South Australia, AustraliaSpicy, strawberry jam and pepper nose sprinkled with celery salt, thyme, tobacco, worcestershire and vanilla aromas. Round, elegant, juicy palate with light tannins. Peppery, tobacco, strawberry jam, earthy, vanilla, celery salt and raspberry flavours. Good intensity and balance but youthful, needs a few years to soften fully. Try this with a creamy mushroom pasta dish.Prices: BC 35.00 NF 25.00 Producer: Heemskerk Wines
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Tinhorn Creek Chardonnaytext
86PTS

Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTropical fruit and orchard ripe pear on the nose lead to more of the same on the palate - plumped up with 15 percent barrel fermentation in new French wood. Ripe and rich pineapple, pear butter, spice, vanilla has a moderate apple acidity, though finishes a bit clunky; would hold up against buttery and creamy pasta or shellfish.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Sumac Ridge Pinot Noir Private Reservetext
87PTS

Sumac Ridge Pinot Noir Private Reserve 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAfter a decade hiatus, Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Pinot Noir has returned to the shelf. Subtle red currant and floral aromas lead to a silken smoothed palate with strawberry jam, fine grained peppery spice and bright raspberry. Simple and straightforward pinot noir for a great price, pour this with your turkey cranberry sandwich.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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JoieFarm Gamaytext
89PTS

JoieFarm Gamay 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis gamay gains my appreciation with air in the glass, allowing all the pure cherry fruit and dusty raspberries to really shine. Good structure props up the orchard fruit without distracting from it - lovely summer strawberries, cherries and fine grained tannins finish with a silky raspberry note. Pass the bird (or albacore tuna, salmon, pork chop... Just pass me the bottle). #GoGamayGoPrices: BC 24.00 AB 35.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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Jansz Premium Cuvéetext
89PTS

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

Tasmania, South Australia, AustraliaPremium sparkling wine from Tazzie? You bet! This cool climate island is ideal for sparkling wine. Chardonnay based, this "méthode Tasmenois" opens with notes of bready lees and green apple and into a ripe and creamy palate full of juicy lime, lime blossom, greengage and kicky lemon kick on the finish.Prices: BC 30.00 QC 27.00 ON 28.00 Producer: Jansz Wine Company
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Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Marca Orotext
87PTS

Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Marca Oro NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyValdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG denotes the peak of the Prosecco pyramid. Here, prosecco is lightly floral, peach scented and aromatic, with citrus acidity lifting fruit loops and pear flavours over the smooth, soft palate. Pour with brunch and strawberry spinach salads.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 20.00 SK 21.00 Producer: Spumanti Valdo srl
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Lini Lambrusco Rosso 910text
87PTS

Lini Lambrusco Rosso 910 NV

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyDry Lambrusco is gaining popularity, and with excellent reason: interesting red berry depth and tannin to tackle foods plus fresh and taut acidity to carry them. And bubbles! Here notes of plum, blueberry and cherry compote, juicy and lively in the mouth, reigned by cherry pit/chalky tannins. Pour with pizza and enjoy.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Lini Oreste & Figli
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Terra Andina Sparkling Moscatotext
85PTS

Terra Andina Sparkling Moscato NV

Vale do São Francisco, BrazilWhat else do you expect but fun from a Brazilian Moscato? C'mon! Floral and frothy, with a mid-sweet grapey pear, sweet lime, pink grapefruit and peach blossom perfume. Pair with beach volleyball.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 15.00 Producer: Sur Andino S.A.
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Canella Prosecco Superiore Di Conegliano Valdobbiadenetext
88PTS

Canella Prosecco Superiore Di Conegliano Valdobbiadene NV

Veneto, ItalyCrisp apple, light stone and apple open this fresh prosecco, and carry on to the bright palate along with tight lemon blossoms, peach and pear. Subtle hint of bitter melon before a kiss of sweetness on the finish. Lovely for brunch or with prosciutto wrapped melon.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Canella
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Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Bruttext
91PTS

Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceSplendor in salmon. Fresh strawberry, citrus and raspberry aromas lift up out of the flute to meet you. Elegant and full bodied, with fine mousse and notes of strawberry, cream, brioche, dark cherry and mineral and a lingering cherry-currant finish. One of the bestselling rosé Champagne in the world, LP's Cuvée Rosé Brut is one of the few still made using the saignée method - keeping skin contact with the 100% Grand Cru Vineyard pinot noir grapes - to produce the structured and complex rose. This traditional technique is honoured with the signature embossed bottle - a reproduction of those used in the late 17th century.Prices: BC 100.00 ON 100.00 QC 97.00 Producer: Champagne Laurent-Perrier
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Touquinheiras Alvarinho Vinho Verdetext
88PTS

Touquinheiras Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2011

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis wine is made by a group of winemakers specializing in specific regions of Portugal named Wines & Winemakers by Saven, and one of Portugal's leading winemakers, Anselmo Mendes, made this wine. Peach and orange blossom on first approach, with creamy lees, yellow apple and ripe pear, bold pineapple and an undercurrent of almonds throughout. 15 g/l of residual sugar is all but hidden in this bright wine, evident only in the round, textured mouthfeel. This has the body and heft to stand up to smoked seafood.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Touquinheiras
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Gabbiano Chiantitext
86PTS

Gabbiano Chianti 2013

Tuscany, ItalySpicy, floral, light black cherry, red licorice, savoury, gamey, peppery, smoky herb aromas. Dry, fresh, juicy but light and slightly lean with peppery, cherry jam, orange peel, leather, tobacco, savoury, licorice and cedar flavours. Nice and juicy with fruit on the finish but quite light in body. Fine for light meat and pizza.Prices: BC 15.00 AB 14.00 SK 15.00 MB 14.00 ON 14.00 QC 14.60 NS 15.00 NB 15.00 PEI 20.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Castello di Gabbiano
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCedarCreek has decided to isolate single blocks of their vineyards when the demonstrate something striking and unique, like this Block 4 pinot noir from 2012. Wild yeast further expresses the individuality of site, here showing dark, dusty plums and subtle leather on the nose and palate. Tannins are fine grained, veering towards stems and earth, while acidity is black cherry piquant. A darker shade of pinot noir, well suited to berry sauced pork or beef kabobs.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Pasión de Bobal Rosétext
87PTS

Pasión de Bobal Rosé 2013

Utiel-Requena, Valencia and Murcia, SpainThis juicy rosé from DO Utiel-Requena will bring the sun through the clouds with its fresh acidity and bright fruit. Refreshing and dry, this 100% bobal wine opens with fragrant peach blossom, red currants and tangerine, and carries to juicy orchard fruit, perfumed rosewater and citrus oil on the finish. Straightforward and delightful, this would make a welcome addition to brunch or a salmon decked salad.Prices: BC 12.60 Producer: Bodega Sierra Norte
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10 March 2015

Laberinto Vina Ribera del Lago Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Laberinto Vina Ribera del Lago Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Valle del Maule, Region del Valle Central, ChileFresh limon/passion fruit citrus nose. Soft creamy notes on the entry followed but intense passion fruit lemongrass and citrus flavours throughout. Intense pungent Kiwi style that is likely cheaper. The vines are grown on a cool site at altitude (600m) along the Colbún lakeshore in the Andes. We look forward to further iterations.Prices: CDN 25.00 Producer: Viña Ribera del Lago (Laberinto Wines)
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Quails' Gate Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Nikki Callaway finished off the 2012 chardonnays and she has managed to infuse extra freshness into this label. This is a more pure style now with fresh pear and peach flavours and plenty of toasted oak. The attack is a mix of hazelnuts, pineapple and lemon curd with just a hint of minerality. A lot going on here for $20 with perhaps just a bit too much oak. Still a quite fine and well above the average. Try this with halibut.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 20.00 SK 20.00 ON 20.00 NS 24.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Capellatext
88PTS

Clos du Soleil Capella 2013

British Columbia, CanadaCool rind-y, gooseberry nose with grassy, floral, nettle, pea shoot aromas. The attack is juicy but spare with bright acidity and chalky, green apple, grassy, nettle, grapefruit and light passion fruit flavours. We like the intensity and length but the acidity rules at the moment. Now tasted twice and still need more time in bottle or a creamy seafood dish to balance it off.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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St. Hallett Gamekeeper's Shiraz Grenachetext
86PTS

St. Hallett Gamekeeper's Shiraz Grenache 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaBlack pepper, black bery, spicy, smoky, floral, earthy aromas. Round, fresh, smooth, easy palate with blood orange, black cherry, pepper, chocolate, earthy, spice flavours. Simple, style for the bbq.Prices: BC 17.00 ON 15.00 AB 13.00 MB 15.00 Producer: St. Hallet Wines
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Navarro López Rojo Granrojo Tempranillotext
85PTS

Navarro López Rojo Granrojo Tempranillo 2013

SpainSimple straight-up tempranillo a touch on the dry earthy side. expect notes of coffee, pepper mted black cherries and earth. the attack is similar with light but dry tannins with earthy, resiny cherry flavours. best to try this with grilled sausages or cheese to work the dry tannins and low fruit.Prices: BC 12.00 AB 12.00 QC 15.00 Producer: Navarro López
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Hesketh Tourigatext
88PTS

Hesketh Touriga 2014

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaCardamom, floral, black plum, chocolate, licorice, black raspberry, savoury, cedar aromas. Round, smooth, fresh and succulent palate. Black berry, resin, licorice, chocolate, black raspberry jam, orange peel, vanilla and poultry spice flavours. A wild streak with good fruit and intensity makes this worth trying.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: The Hesketh Wine Company
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Hester Creek Chardonnaytext
83PTS

Hester Creek Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA deep, highlighter bright yellow in the glass, this opens with a nose of sweet cream, toast and a lick of spearmint. Wood stave prominence on the round, ripe tropical fruited palate results in a clunky pour, finishing with tin, popcorn butter, butterscotch, vanilla sweetness and light smoke. Old style.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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Judeka Cerasuolo di Vittoriatext
89PTS

Judeka Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2012

Sicily, ItalyThe sole DOGC in Sicily, Cerasuolo di Vittoria is quite distinctive, generally equal parts nero d'avola/frappato and markedly cherry dominant (cerasuolo translates as cherry-like) in aroma and flavour. This is an excellent, elegant example - crimson cherry, pomegranate, plum, dried herb, twine, wild raspberry and raspberry leaf notes, with bright, juicy cranberry, wild strawberry, subtle tannins, sea salt and a powdery fine spice that extends through the finish. "Italian Beaujolais"? Si! Pour with cranberry wild rice salads or roast turkey.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Judeka
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Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Shiraztext
90PTS

Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Shiraz 2010

Strathbogie Ranges , Victoria, AustraliaIf you don't fall in love with the name (intriguing) or the label (characterful) you'll surely fall in love with the fresh, inviting and open wine. Concentrated in fruit, complexed by ancient granitic soils and brightened by altitude, this wine was blended to complement wild game. This shiraz was aged in 1/3 stainless steel, 1/3 140-year old oak and 1/3 oak puncheons; no overblown sweet oaked shiraz here. In fact, this wine is much more to the wild, Rhone-inflected syrah bent. Intense aromas of floral cassis, black cherry and leather lead to a fresh and savoury palate of black cherry, fine black pepper, softly plush tannins and black plums on the lingering finish. I'll concur that wild game would make a fine pair, though herbed lamb rack would also suit.Prices: ON 36.00 BC 40.00 NB 40.00 Producer: Fowles Wine
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Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwenty-nine year old estate riesling vines make up this dry riesling - at a fantastic price. Aromas of clay, pear, cool stone, orange creamsicle and subtle plastic, before a juicy, simple and succinct palate of lime blossom, delicate flowers lime pulp and pear skin. The finish is lemon pith and granny smith tangy. Bright acid throughout - easy to like. Drink now with a crab salad or onion tart.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 23.00 MB 20.50 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Devil's Lair Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Devil's Lair Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaBottle age has benefitted this cabernet sauvignon from Margaret River, time softening the power punch of this concentrated wine in youth. Not that this is a subtle example now, mind. Deep plum, blackberry, dusty earth, light eucalyptus nose. The dense palate carries dried blackcurrant, prune plum, dusty cocoa and black cherry. Tannins still on the muscular side, finishing with astringency. Needs food - try beef stew or lamb burgers.Prices: BC 42.00 Producer: Devil's Lair Vineyard
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Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Langhorne Creek, South Australia, AustraliaBleasdale was established in 1850, on the fertile and deep alluvial floodplains of Langhorne Creek. Muddy black fruit and sweet cinnamon bark spice on the nose. The medium bodied palate is polished and smooth, with a green mint freshness, hint of floral violets and a whack of cassis, drying with cocoa power tannins on the finish. Straight up, drink now with cherry compote pork or lamb kabobs.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Bleasdale Vineyards
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8th Generation Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

8th Generation Vineyard Riesling 2013

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBernd Schales is an 8th generation winemaker and his wife, Stefanie is a 10th generation winegrower. Lifetimes of history and years of winemaking/winegrowing study throughout Germany (where their family still owns vineyards), New Zealand and South Africa lead the Schales to set up shop with their young family in the Okanagan in 2003. They have carved their niche with Germanic-meets-Okanagan wines, crafted in a small-scale, contemporary style. This is from 28 year old estate vines, with the fruit purity preserved by stainless steel tanks and the hint of sweetness from the ripe, concentrated fruit. Bright intensity and tension throughout, with Anjou pear, white peach, lime pulp, stone, nectarine and a touch of candied lime zest on the lengthy finish. Partner with papaya salad or Indian spiced chutney.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: 8th Generation Vineyard
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Cellar Hand Free Run Whitetext
86PTS

Cellar Hand Free Run White 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCellar Hand is the approachable second label from Black Hills, and meant to be drunk and enjoyed now -This vintage is a blend of pinot blanc, muscat, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier from the Double Black and Sharp Rock vineyards on the Black Sage Bench. Round and creamy, this off-dry white shows orange blossom, lemon and white peach, with a whiff of anise and a whack of citrus pith acidity on the finish.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Domaine de L'Olivette Redtext
86PTS

Domaine de L'Olivette Red 2012

Corbières, Languedoc, South of France, FranceA certified organic blend of merlot/grenache/syrah 50/25/25, this humble Vin de Pays has concentrated aromas of cherry and spice, juicy flavours of plum and cherry, and spicy dark violet notes. There is a cool hint of light mint in this soft, mouth filling wine, with juicy fruit though to the finish. Pour with hearty pork or poultry sandwiches.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Chateau de Caraguilhes
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Selbach-Oster Riesling Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrockentext
91PTS

Selbach-Oster Riesling Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken 2013

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyThis wine continues to impress even if few in the world know what ‘Halbtrocken’ wine is. If you guessed half dry good for you, but many will find it drier than most of the so-called dry wines you normally drink. By law it can’t exceed 18 g/L of residual sugar but the acidity is so bright you simply do not notice and sweetness. Like most editions we have tried it is terrific. The nose is a salty, mineral stony affair with hints of dried herbs. The attack is barely sweet with intense citrus, green apple even slightly bitter flavours in the finish. Impressive and ready to meet most food challenges from seafood to chicken and beyond.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Weingut Selbach-Oster
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Sola Fred Montsanttext
89PTS

Sola Fred Montsant 2013

Montsant, Catalunya, SpainCellar El Masroig is among the top cooperatives of Spain and a leader in the D.O. of Monsant. They do a fine job with this 90/10 mix of carignan and garnacha, grown close to the toney wines of Priorat. Look for soft, pleasing palate of red and black fruits mixed with smoke and spice all with touch of stony minerality. The finish is medium long with smoky, earthy, floral cherry flavours. Most anything grilled works here my vote is for lamb chops. The vines are 20 to 40 years old and grown near the southern extent of Monsant near to Priorat. Good value.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Cellar El Masroig
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Joie Pinot Blanctext
86PTS

Joie Pinot Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJoieFarm sources their pinot blanc from the 26 year old St. Hubertus Vineyard in Kelowna, a rarity to see pinot blanc with this age in the Okanagan. Delicate peach blossom, red apple and tangerine pith aromas come back through on the round palate, along with orange creamsicle, peach fuzz and a subtle but tempering stoniness. Off dry, would make a fine match for pineapple/poultry skewers or baked ham.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Rieslingtext
90PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA potent and expressive nose of pear blossom, elastic, stone and citrus leaps from the glass. The pulsing palate is alive with honeyed citrus, lime pulp, white blossom and green apple, with zesty lime cordial on the finish. A kick of residual sugar (left after 57 days cold fermentation in stainless) plumps out the 8.8 percent alcohol. An electric and exciting wine to drink now, but should impress with its honeyed weight in 5 years time. Pour with ahi tuna tataki and papaya salad.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Château de Lancyre, Vieilles Vignes Pic St-Louptext
89PTS

Château de Lancyre, Vieilles Vignes Pic St-Loup 2012

Pic St Loup, Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, South of France, FranceBlack cherry, gamey, smoky, garrigue, orange peel, light leather, waxy, coffee and light barnyard aromas. Full, round, smooth and juicy palate with black raspberry, orange peel, tobacco, licorice, peppery, coffee and smoked meat flavours. Good intensity and depth, try with grilled lamb or Nectaire cheese. The blend is 65/35 grenache/syrah all in the Appellation Coteaux du Languedoc - Pic Saint Loup.Prices: BC 27.50 Producer: Château de Lancyre
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4 Foxes Chardonnaytext
89PTS

4 Foxes Chardonnay 2013

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United States4 Foxes Chardonnay is part of a fundraiser as a percentage of sales go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and its fight against Parkinson’s Disease. Now that you are feeling good you may even feel better when you taste what is a delicious ripe style Sonoma Coast chardonnay. Expect a bright citrus floral nose with a hint of toasted French oak and creamy peach/red apple, lemon orange flavours. A succulent style chardonnay that will have broad appeal. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 25.00 AB 22.00 Producer: Tigner Family Vineyards
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Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Crutext
90PTS

Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru 2012

Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceThe 2012 will be a very good Clos des Mouches. Typically reductive when young the nose is somewhat supressed showing light red fruit and black cherry aromas mix with smoke and earth. The palate is tight and youthful with smoky, black liquorice and subtle restrain cherry flavours. It’s the texture you notice, dense and plush but refined and perfectly balanced by the acidity. It’s exuberant in that Cote de Beaune way, less power and tannin but perfectly balanced to go the distance. This will need the standard decade in the bottle before it begins to unwind. The wine is aged in French oak (20% new) for 14 to 18 months. The Drouhin site at 14 hectares is the largest in the appellation. The clay and limestone site is planted to equal parts of chardonnay and pinot noir – average age of vines is 45 years old and the cultivation has been organic since 1990 and bio-dynamic (not certified) since the mid-90s. Today there are from 10,000 to 12,500 vines per hectare.Prices: BC 108.00 QC 110.00 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Premier Cru Vaillonstext
91PTS

Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 2012

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceWe love the ripe fruit, the hint of pears and peach pushing through a grassy, nettle salty foreground. It hits the palate with a silky smooth almost weighty mix of citrus, butter, honey, green apple flavours washed in mineral seashell notes. This is fun to drink and it’s just getting going. Fresh west coast oysters are the perfect match.Prices: BC 49.00 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraztext
89PTS

Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz 2012

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaAfter a fair bit of trial and error the folks at Jacob’s Creek went against the grain so to speak and released a shiraz (and cabernet sauvignon) that are aged 12-18 months in new and used American oak (the cab is in French oak) before ageing it a further eight months in a used, drained, and dried, whiskey barrel. The good news is almost a year down the road in bottle I did not detect any real whisky character but what I did perceived was a very big, rich, round shiraz with red and black fruit tones and plenty of spice. It is all supported by a sweet fruit centre that is as soft and as supple as it gets and that comes from the whisky barrel. Call it depth or even complexity it is an interesting twist for those who like big reds you can drink now.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Orlando Wines
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Coldstream Hills Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaCoffee, strawberry, stewed rhubarb aromas with light reductive notes, celery salt, dried herbs and vanilla. Round, full, soft, juicy and elegant palate with more strawberry/coffee, vanilla, tobacco, resin, herb and tea flavours. A bit soupy but it is well made just a light bit of tannin on the finish. Again serve with a local piece of salmon.Prices: BC 36.00 AB 30.00 ON 30.00 QC 27.50 Producer: Coldstream Hills
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Inniskillin Okanagan Merlottext
84PTS

Inniskillin Okanagan Merlot 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSubtle pepper, stewed cherry to open this medium bodied red. Branchy and herbal rhubarb, sour cherry, tomato on the astringent, pressed palate. Simple stuff. Serve with tomato sauced meatballs and noodles.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Inc.
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09 March 2015

Wild Goose Botrytis Affected Rieslingtext
91PTS

Wild Goose Botrytis Affected Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere have only been three years at Wild Goose when conditions have permitted the growth of noble rot or botrytis cinerea. It is a desert environment after all. In 2013, noble rot returned the bunches were infected with ‘noble Rot’ a disease that shrivels the grape by venting its water content thus concentrating the sugar. In this case it has left a spectacular honeyed, tangerine fruit wine flecked with bits of ginger and stony minerality. Even more impressive is the elegant, complex, almost Mosel-like style of this wine. BravoPrices: BC 40.00 375 Producer: Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery
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Toscolo Chiantitext
86PTS

Toscolo Chianti 2013

Tuscany, ItalyMeaty, sausage, peppery, light saddle leather, black cherry, earthy, red licorice aromas. Fresh, elegant, round, light palate with cherry jam, licorice, spicy, savoury, tobacco, light resin and sausage meat flavours. Easy going, fruity style for any pasta or bbq food.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 17.00 ON 18.95 NS 17.95 NF 16.00 Producer: Empson and Company
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Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon The Menziestext
90PTS

Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon The Menzies 2008

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaFresh cedar chest, licorice root nose with pepper, cassis, black olive, smoky pencil lead aromas. The attack is dry, fresh, smooth and elegant palate with light tannins and more coffee, pepper, vanilla, black olive, black berry fruit flecked with resin, licorice root and tobacco. Fine intensity and persistence with a spicy clove, herbal note. Youthful with some grippy tannins so try with beef or let age a further 2-5 years in bottle.Prices: BC 70.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature Judy Argenttext
92PTS

Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature Judy Argent 2008

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe ’08 Signature is classic SA mixing 56/44 cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. Coffee, black olive, pencil lead, vanilla, cassis, licorice, black cherry, tobacco leaf, cedar and leather aromas. Full, juicy, round, ripe palate with elegant styling and soft tannins. Black berry, cassis, licorice, coffee, chocolate, black olive, peppery, vanilla, orange peel, smoky, tea and herb flavours. Good intensity and length with very light tannins on the finish. Nicely balanced to drink now with a great piece of cheese or hold for 2-5 years. The Signature a significant contributor to the Yalumba pursuit of great reds in 2008 that person is Judy Argent to develop a system of keeping winemaking records. Not a bad idea Mark Hill-Smith.Prices: BC 70.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Fort Berens Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Fort Berens Chardonnay 2013

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaSubtle herbs, prickly pear, white peach and pear opens this juicy and bright chardonnay. The tight palate shows meadow, gooseberry, anise, citrus and stone - crisp and focussed, with a nice peach cushion on the palate and a light rasp of peach fuzz on the finish. The choice to ferment in both stainless and French oak works well - nice balance throughout. Pour with citrus kissed creamy pastas or scallops.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Yangarra Roussannetext
90PTS

Yangarra Roussanne 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaYangarra is a biodynamic McLaren Vale producer focusing on single-vineyard Rhone variety wines. Roussanne, rarely seen in Oz, shines on these soils of sand and ironstone gravels. Wild yeasts and a lack of sulphur and fining have created a savoury, textured, waxy white, herbal and wild meadow flower aromas, fresh with grapefruit and lychee acidity, and plumped with honeysuckle, nutty lees, florals and musk melon. The finish is spicy and lemon peel lingering. Pour with roast poultry or sablefish, or hold for three to five years.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Releasetext
94PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2010

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaFragrant enticing cabernet nose with light vanilla, cassis, tobacco, cedar, black cherry, smoky, violet, black olive aromas with a touch of balsamic. Rich, ripe and full palate with smooth but grainy tannins plenty of juicy acidity. Surprisingly elegant at five years of age the palate mixes coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavours with cassis, blackberry, licorice, smoky black olive, pipe tobacco, cedar and smoked meat notes. It has fine intensity and balance without being too hard. Drinkable now but will benefit from another five to ten years aging in bottle to fully soften the tannins. Pure Coonawarra and a keeper.Prices: BC 101.00 AB 100.00 MB 75.00 ON 99.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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CedarCreek Ehrenfelsertext
87PTS

CedarCreek Ehrenfelser 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaYou don't generally think about old vine ehrenfelser, but that's exactly what's in the glass here. Planted in 1977 at Mannhardt Vineyard, this rarity opens with herbal florals and honeysuckle, leading to a palate of Asian pear, yellow apples, guava and kiwi. Acidity is pointed, carrying nearly all but leaving a lick of residual sugar noticeable on the palate. Light bodied, pear this tropical fruit salad with fragrant green curries or Pad Thai.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
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Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 1er Crutext
93PTS

Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc 1er Cru 2010

Beaune, Côte de Beaune, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, FranceThe nose is exquisite quietly mixing floral and spicy notes with tightly wound green pear and nectarine aromas. The attack is similar in flavour with some tightly wound minerality, salt and crushed stone, honey/hazelnut and lots of citrus. Clos des Mouches blanc needs time, it can live a decade with ease but 15 to 20 years is possible in great vintages. The journey has just begun. The vineyard sits at the southern end of the Beaune appellation, mid-slope facing east/south east. The Drouhin site at 14 hectares is the largest in the appellation. The site was once home to bee-hives and mouches à miel (honey flies) the origin of Clos des Mouches. The clay and limestone site is planted to equal parts of chardonnay and pinot noir – average age of vines is 45 years old and the cultivation has been organic since 1990 and bio-dynamic (not certified) since the mid-90s. Today there are from 10,000 to 12,500 vines per hectare. The wine is age in French oak (25% new) for 12 to 15 months.Prices: BC 166.00 AB 130.00 Producer: Joseph Drouhin
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Pentâge Winery Gamay Noirtext
88PTS

Pentâge Winery Gamay Noir 2013

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeeper ruby/bricking hue. Crushed cassis and black cherry swirl with soft baking spice and bramble twine on the nose and palate. Smooth, supple tannins and earthy black cherry fill the mouth, and finish with a rush of juicy berry. The finish is lingering and spicy. This is not a subtle, gamine gamay, but rather a stylish, stocked example. Ready to pour with grilled pork ribs.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Gérard Bertrand Aigle Royal Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Gérard Bertrand Aigle Royal Chardonnay 2013

Limoux, Languedoc, South of France, FranceThis is my third vintage encounter with Aigle Royal this time it’s at the winery. Like the ’11 and ‘12 the 2013 is as special as the 31 hectares of perfection at northernmost coolest part of the Haute Vallée de l'Aude in Limoux where the grapes grow at 250m to 500m above sea level. The site gives Bertrand the possibility to make an elegant wine his chardonnay vines that sit over clay-limestone soils over deliver. Expect a vibrant mix of pear, nectarines and red apples injected with citrus and flecked with subtle garrigue and vanilla notes. Attractive creamy, juicy textures pull you into the wine and hold your interest through the stony mineral finish. Greta with rich seafood dishes. Lobster anyone?Prices: BC 95.00 Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Pirramimma Petit Verdottext
91PTS

Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2012

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaBack on track and shining in what is a fine vintage the 2012 PV is as rich and showy as they come. The nose is an exotic mix of chocolate, vanilla, liquorice and black cherry jam flecked with savoury dried herbs. The plate is soft the fruit is black, warm and sweet with dense fine grained tannin that persists well into the back of the palate. You can drink this now with your favourite steak or cellar it five to eight years.Prices: BC 30.00 QC 27.50 ON 25.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Pirramimma
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08 March 2015

Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Oliver's Blue Terrace Vineyard, this 85/15 cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend opens with sweet deep plum, blackberry thorn and black cherry. The smoothed palate continues the same dark, potent fruit, stretched across rough and raspy cedar hewn tannins. Bitter coffee and sweet ripe plum close out the finish. A bit ragged on the edges, this would fill out alongside your grilled, sauced steak.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Deinhard Lila Riesling Brut Sekttext
84PTS

Deinhard Lila Riesling Brut Sekt NV

Rheinhessen, GermanyFresh apple, soft perfume and sweet candy necklace. The frothy palate is bright and cheery, with a citric sour gummy bear finish. Easy to find, this sekt is crowd pleasing and party-ready.Prices: BC 15.50 AB 15.00 ON 13.00 Producer: Deinhard KG Koblenz
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07 March 2015

Desert Hills Gamaytext
84PTS

Desert Hills Gamay 2012

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA very big, black, brooding approach to gamay, with campfire, stewed cherries, coffee leading into a spicy, woody and beefy palate with rustic, rough tannins. Much wood char and smoke on the finish. Too much, even for this big, ripe fruit.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Desert Hills Estate Winery
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Pablo Old Vine Garnachatext
87PTS

Pablo Old Vine Garnacha 2012

Calatayud, Aragon, SpainRound and ripe, with black cherry, anise, blackcurrant jam and cracked black pepper. More of the same on the palate, along with a rush of juicy black fruit, black wine gummies and dried herbs. Nice, honest fruit concentration over slightly ragged tannins, urging you to partner with grilled pizza or ragú sauced pastas. Another example of great red values from Spain.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Bodegas San Alejandro
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05 March 2015

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe reserve tier from Mission Hill focuses on estate fruit, consistent vineyards from year to year and premium lot selection. The sauvignon blanc comes from their vineyards in Osoyoos, and the ripe passion fruit and papaya on the nose reflect the warmer growing area. Pink grapefruit, gooseberry, pear and peach fuzz on the textured, medium weight palate, amped up a bit with lees and raspy spice. Finishes crisp and grapefruit tart. I would pair this with citrus dressed prawns or fish tacos with lime aioli.Prices: BC 20.00 ON 20.00 NB 20.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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See Ya Later Ranch Ping - Meritagetext
86PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Ping - Meritage 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith an addendum of 'Meritage' to the Ping name on the label (and a pronunciation guide on the back), See Ya Later is trying to make this wine as clear and accessible as possible. Merlot/cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc have been assembled and a proportion aged in new French barrels to yield aromas of cedar stave and blackberry, and a peppery, sweet, ripe palate of dense blackberry, plum, mocha and fig compote. Wood tannins are quick to dry out all this fruit, and practically demand big meat to pair alongside.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignontext
84PTS

Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAfter the initial jarring of seeing Black Sage Vineyard ((TM)) all over the marketing and label, I popped the cork and was presented with a sage leaf, bramble, resin nose that carried through to the ripe, roughly hewn palate. Cedar staves, eucalypt, resin and sweet black cherry fruit end abruptly and a bit hot and sticky. Pour with hearty lamb or beef stews and crusty breads.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Black Sage Vineyard
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Pepperjack Saltram of Barossa Redtext
87PTS

Pepperjack Saltram of Barossa Red 2012

South Australia, AustraliaLike the name, lots of black pepper, black berry, cassis, licorice, coffee and light vanilla and meat aromas. Round, smooth, suave palate with light tannins and fresh acidity. Warm with black berry, chocolate, resin, licorice, prune, cassis, cedar and tobacco flavours. A bit hot and short but solid fruit and balance.Prices: BC 22.50 AB 25.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Saltram Wine Estate
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04 March 2015

Vina Tondonia Red Reservatext
87PTS

Vina Tondonia Red Reserva 2002

Rioja Alta, Rioja, SpainFrost reduced the harvest load by 30%, never a bad thing, especially in a growing season that didn’t inspired grape growers. The wine is mature beyond its years now showing leather and quite a bit of Brettanomyces. The blend is 75/15/10 tempranillo, garnacha and graciano and mazuelo aged in barrels for six years. If you look beyond the Brett there are dried berries, earth and vanilla notes previewing a dry, relatively high acid red with a modicum of tannins. Best with meat or chicken dishes especially those with a savoury edge. Disappointing for the price.Prices: BC 54.00 Producer: R. Lopez Heredia Vina Tondonia S. A.
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Therapy Vineyards Bi-Polartext
87PTS

Therapy Vineyards Bi-Polar 2010

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI fear we are getting to this icewine a little bit late in the game as it starts to show a bit of oxidation. There is plenty of sweetness and equally impressive acid but the style of the honeyed apple fruit is slightly bruised or cooked to be more positive. This need drinking in the near future. The wine is cork finished.Prices: BC 50.00 375 Producer: Therapy Vineyards
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02 March 2015

Concha y Toro Gravas del Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon Syrahtext
90PTS

Concha y Toro Gravas del Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2012

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileRich dark opaque colour with equally dense rich blackberry blueberry fruit aromas with vanilla and smoke. The attack is similarly, round and opulent. It is an exotic style syrah with weight and density underlying a rich flavours of cassis fruit, chocolate and pepper flavours. Will have many admirers but definitely more New World style than Euro. Best with grilled lamb.Prices: BC 126.00 MB 121.00 NB 80.00 SK 75.00 Producer: Vina Concha y Toro S.A.
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Porca de Murça Tintotext
86PTS

Porca de Murça Tinto 2013

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalA blend of traditional Portuguese grapes (the same ones found in fortified port) touriga franca, touriga nacional, tinta roriz and tinta barroca, this entry level Porca de Murça is the top selling wine for Real Companhia Velha, with over 1M bottles annually (!) Fantastic authenticity for the quantity. No oak here - this is fresh red cherry and sweeter black plum, with bright florals, raspberry cotton candy, a swath of earthy herbal notes, soft tannins and sweet black pepper on the finish. Uncomplicated and simple to drink, but not entirely simplistic - there is some depth of flavour here. Roasted or grilled beef is the match.Prices: BC 12.00 Producer: Real Companhia Velha
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