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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: February 2015

15 February 2015

Sterling Vineyards Merlottext
88PTS

Sterling Vineyards Merlot 2011

Napa Valley, California, United StatesStylish smooth polished red wine, as merlot should be, with medium structure and fairly generous plush, smoky, dusty, Napa fruit. Balance and fun to drink and with its mix of herbal, olive and savoury notes it was a perfect match with grilled lamb. Prices: BC 30.00 ON 28.00 Producer: Sterling Vineyards
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Time Meritage Whitetext
88PTS

Time Meritage White 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTime white Meritage combines sauvignon blanc and sémillon that is aged in barrel. The style is fresh with a mix of melon fruit and flecks of dried herbs and cedar bough. The palate is round and full with a limey pear finish. Try this with prawns or scallops.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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Kismet Estate Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Kismet Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLovely clean fresh style sauvignon without that pungent asparagus kick. In fact it's more on the ripe side with peachy, melon tropical fruit flavours that finish with a dash of grass and dried herbs savoury note. Chill well and serve with appetizer bites.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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Kismet Estate Safedtext
86PTS

Kismet Estate Safed 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2013 Safed is a 60/22/18 mix of sauvignon blanc, sémillon and orange muscat and it's as you might expect floral, fruity and a bit soft. The attack is a touch sweaty, with citrus, green melon and orange aromas. It's made for your favourite curry.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Kismet Estate Winery
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The Velvet Devil Merlottext
87PTS

The Velvet Devil Merlot 2013

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesOne wonders when they will head down the Masseto road in Washington State. It's hardy the path for Velvet Devil that brings cherries and milk chocolate to the mix on the nose and the palate but a touch of restraint and wild herbs would be a fine addition. The attack is smooth and round with a penetrating sweet black fruit entry and glossy, plummy, chocolate fruit flecked with cedar and tobacco. Try this with spicy barbecue ribs.Prices: BC 20.00 MB 21.00 NS 19.00 ON 20.00 AB 19.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc text
88PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe warmest vintage since 2003 cooled in September before early rains hit the valley. As a result the picking was delayed, the Hangtime lengthened and the fruit intensified. Winemaker John Simes ferments about 25 per cent of this 100 percent sauvignon wine in French oak and its aged six months sur lie. The fruit come out of Osoyoos & Oliver giving it an unexpected ripeness and fullness of pink grapefruit and gooseberry still with a crisp underside. Lemongrass, nettle creamy lees finish with a touch of dried herbs. Solid shellfish wine.Prices: BC 22.00 ON 20.00 NB 20.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Spierhead Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Spierhead Pinot Noir 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSpierhead has quietly moved into the BC pinot noir game working in the prime East Kelowna region where cooler temperatures play a significant role in keeping the fruit fresh and bright. The regular or entry level pinot sets the tone for the property with its silky tannins and spicy fruits. It does spend ten months in French oak and you feel a bit of that sitting on the wine along with some vanilla but overall it remains a pretty good effort that is tracking down the right path. Try this with a favourite salmon dish.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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Santa Rita Merlot Reservatext
87PTS

Santa Rita Merlot Reserva 2011

Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileBenign and merlot go together in Chile but they don't have to as demonstrated at Santa Rita. The reserva series has an injection of flavour and structure over the 120. In this case the soft textures of the 90 percent merlot are the perfect foil to its savoury black cherry bay leaf aromas and cassis, cedar, black cherry, tobacco flavours. Not as tart as previous edition and worked well with grilled steak. The wine is kept for 10-12 months in American and French oak barrels before blending and bottling.Prices: BC 14.00 AB 14.00 NS 17.00 NB 19.00 Producer: Viña Santa Rita
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Freemark Abbey Merlottext
91PTS

Freemark Abbey Merlot 2012

Napa Valley, California, United StatesA perfect growing season has contributed to a fresh juicy delicious style merlot with about twenty five percent cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec. It's aged 14 months in French and American oak (21% new). This is delicious stuff treading the fine line between ripe and savoury it opens with a fresh juicy black fruit attack grown across a variety of Napa sites. It's an elegant style that speaks to the potential of this variety and what can be done when fat and full isn't the game. This was perfect with lamb chops.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 36.00 Producer: Freemark Abbey
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11 February 2015

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Blanctext
89PTS

M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Blanc 2013

Côtes du Roussillon, Roussillon, South of France, FranceA Chapoutier hallmark is to make affordable wines with the same precision as his highly awarded Northern Rhone labels. It is certainly the case with Bila-Haut Blanc grown on stony terraces with black and brown schist, gneiss, limestone and chalk in the south of France. Expect a seamless mix of grenache blanc, grenache gris and macabeu that spills onto the palate with citrus, quince and pear notes marked with mineral, apricot dusted in garrigue. It hard not to like the juicy, limey flavoured finished either. The perfect seafood wine.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 17.00 Producer: M. Chapoutier
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10 February 2015

Trigone No13 by Le Soulatext
91PTS

Trigone No13 by Le Soula 2013

Roussillon, South of France, FranceA beguiling wine from the Roussillon. Rich but not opulent floral but not cloying. Look for yellow fruits, honeysuckle and tropical under tones but with a citrus/mineral core. A full figured spicy white with ageing potential. Try it with halibut. The rest of the story revolves around a complex mix of village fruit from the Pays des Côtes Catalanes Fenouillèdes region grown on decomposed granite that sits between 400 and 550 m above sea level. The blend is a 75/15/5/5 of macabeu, vermentino, sauvignon, grenache blanc and grenache gris, malvoisie du Roussillon, chardonnay, marsanne and roussanne all from 25 to 30 year old vineyards. It is also a mix of vintages: 2013 (45%) 2012 (30%) 2011(24%) and 2009 (1%) - 65 percent in tank and 30 percent in old 500-liter demi-muids and finally 5 percent in foudre.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Le Soula
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Giusti Rosalia Proseccotext
87PTS

Giusti Rosalia Prosecco NV

Treviso, Verona, Veneto, ItalyThis is a fun rendition of the now ubiquitous sparkling prosecco, seemingly sold everywhere. Rosalia's Extra Dry moniker means sweet-ish but thankfully the fruit and acidity in this Pieve sparkler are in perfect balance. The attack is elegant with small but persistent bubbles, fresh light, floral citrus aromas and Golden apple flavours. A fun appetizer-style bubble you can serve with assorted light bites.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Guisti Dal Col
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09 February 2015

Moorooduc Estate Robinson Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Moorooduc Estate Robinson Pinot Noir 2012

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AustraliaKate McIntyre came back to her parents' Mornington Peninsula 20 acre wine estate in 2009 after a job at a bottle shop post-university and exposure to fine wines led to completion of her MW. Practicing lutte raisonnée, they utilize wild yeast, whole bunch press and natural MLF to translate the specifics of site. This site, Robinson Vineyard pinot shows perfumed black cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry aromas which carry through to the finely textured, elegant palate. Pure-fruited with a gentle ripe cushioning, this has a beguiling floral rose prettiness throughout. Tannins are a touch gummy, finishing with black cherry perfume and finely rasped spice. Would be lovely with duck or cherry sauced pheasant.Prices: Australia 55.00 Producer: Moorooduc Estate
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Kooyong Single Vineyard Selection Ferrous Pinot Noir text
92PTS

Kooyong Single Vineyard Selection Ferrous Pinot Noir 2012

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AustraliaAs the name suggests, there is a lot of ironstone in this vineyard. If you don't believe vines / wines can transmit minerality, I urge you to taste this wine. Wild yeast fermented in barrel and whole bunch press yields a very earthy, textured wine. Very savory/serious nose of iron, blood, fine black cherry. The firm, well knit palate carries worn iron, iodine, black cherry, subtle dark floral notes, blood orange, earth and gentle stony spice. Needs time to fully express itself, drink now with duck or hold for 5+ years. Prices: QC 79.00 ON 80.00 Producer: Kooyong
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Curly Flat Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Curly Flat Pinot Noir 2012

Macedon, Victoria, AustraliaOne of Jancis Robinson's favourite wineries in Australia, and after spending time at this biodynamically farmed idyll with winemaker/owner Phillip Moraghan it's easy to see why. Uniquely lyre trained fruit. From the fantastic 2012 vintage comes this elegant pinot, with perfumed wild strawberry and fine spice aromas. Fresh and finely textured, the finessed palate carries perfumed cherries, red currant, subtle earth, savoury lamb, mineral and very fine grained tannins. Fruit is precise and pure, acidity is vibrant and the finish lingers with a stony minerality.Prices: Australia 50.00 Producer: Curly Flat
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Bress Harcourt Valley Rieslingtext
89PTS

Bress Harcourt Valley Riesling 2014

Bendigo, Victoria, AustraliaFrom their polyculture, biodynamically farmed estate in Harcourt Valley comes this vibrant riesling. Wild yeast, thirty year old vines on aged granitic soils yields scented lemon, pear skin aromas. Off dry and very juicy palate of lychee, perfumed pear blossom, zesty lemon pith acidity and delicately perfumed florals. Lovely stony concentration, drinking well now or hold 5+ years.Prices: Australa 27.00 Producer: Bress
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Campbells Rutherglen Topaquetext
92PTS

Campbells Rutherglen Topaque NV

Rutherglen, Victoria, AustraliaTopaque can be a revelation to many. For more than 150 years this wine was known as Rutherglen Tokay - with pioneering winemakers thinking they were using the same grape varieties in the famed dessert wines of Tokai in Hungary. It was not until 1976 when French ampelographer, Paul Truel visited the Rutherglen region and positively identified the variety as muscadelle - the important French variety used in the production of Sauternes. In 2005, Hungary claimed Intellectual Property rights to the name Tokay, and in 2010 Topaque was officially registered as the new name. Shining like a golden Topaz gemstone, this sticky was burnished brown gold in the glass, with intense burnt caramel, buttered popcorn, toffee, citrus and brown sugar. Crafted from raisinated grapes, this is lusciously sweet but still elegant, and an incredibly absurd value. Serve with flavourful cheeses, chestnuts.Prices: Australia 18.00 375 Producer: Campbells Wines
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08 February 2015

Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraztext
93PTS

Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2008

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaBig black berry jam, black cherry, coffee, chocolate, orange, licorice, smoky, vanilla, graphite and meat aromas with a hint of jasmine. Rich, ripe, smooth and juicy with fine concentration and tannins. Savoury, licorice, black pepper, black berry jam, coffee, vanilla, tobacco, rosemary and orange peel flavours with a chocolaty, plum finish. Long, warm, intense and rich finish with some oak showing. Drinkable now but will improve with 3-7 years. A rich, somewhat oakier style but with fine complexity and balance. Time in bottle will only add to this wines potential. Prices: BC 140.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Penfolds Shiraz Bin 128text
90PTS

Penfolds Shiraz Bin 128 2012

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaBlack pepper, resin, savoury, graphite, black cherry, coffee, light vanilla and tobacco aromas with a touch of game and leather. Full, juicy, dry, suave palate with light tannins and good intensity. Big black cherry, blueberry, savoury, peppery, floral, vanilla and coffee flavours with a touch of graphite and licorice. The finish is warm but offers fine fruit and concentration. Drink now with a lamb dish or cellar over the next decade.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 35.00 ON 35.00 QC 33.00 Producer: Penfolds
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Penfolds Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389text
92PTS

Penfolds Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 2011

South Australia, AustraliaOpen black berry jam, blueberry, floral, black licorice, black olive, vanilla, chocolate, and tobacco and resin aromas. Full, rich, ripe and intense palate with some smooth, grainy tannins. Coffee, licorice, resin, tobacco, cassis, black berry jam, savoury, peppery, vanilla and dried herb flavours. Long, smoky bacon, cassis and rosemary finish. Still youthful, needs 3-7 years. Very fine, rich, warm 389 with balance. One to keep.Prices: BC 70.00 AB 45.00 SK 38.00 MB 40.00 ON 45.00 QC 45.00 Producer: Penfolds
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Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Shiraz text
91PTS

Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch Shiraz 2010

Strathbogie Ranges , Victoria, AustraliaBlack licorice, savoury, light garrigue, smoky, black berry jam, sausage, floral, orange peel and resin aromas. Ripe, round, elegant and smooth palate with juicy acidity. Black cherry jam, orange peel, coffee, tobacco, meaty, peppery, licorice root flavours with a blueberry, menthol note. Warm and fresh on the finish but very good fruit and ripeness. Could use a year or two more to fully develop. Worth cellaring.Prices: BC 40.00 ON 36.00 NB 40.00 Producer: Fowles Wine
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Tellurian Tranter Heathcote Shiraztext
92PTS

Tellurian Tranter Heathcote Shiraz 2012

Heathcote, Victoria, AustraliaVery gamey, smoky, savoury, tobacco, kirsch, black licorice, black berry jam, smoked pepper, vanilla and coffee aromas- fine aromatics. Rich, round, smooth, juicy palate with very fine tannins. Black berry jam, licorice, resin, smoky leather, meaty, tobacco, chocolate and vanilla with a roast red pepper note. Long finish with good complexity and light tannins to dissipate. Should improve with 3-7 years. A very fine effort.Prices: Australia 40.00 Producer: Tranter Rd Wines
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07 February 2015

Devil's Rock Pfalz Rieslingtext
86PTS

Devil's Rock Pfalz Riesling 2013

Pfalz, GermanyThis wine remains a terrific at $13 a bottle with its fresh floral fruity nose. The attack is similar with bright green apple fruit, fresh cut limes with a squeeze of orange and a twist of lime rind. A fun white for mixed sushi or for cheese appetizers.Prices: BC 13.00 Producer: Binderer St. Ursula
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Kung Fu Girl Rieslingtext
89PTS

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2013

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesSo consistent a fresh Kung Fu Girl shines in the Northwest. Expect a super fresh, pure, riesling nose with big floral notes mixed with apple aromas and nectarine skin. On the palate the minerality and acidity propel the fruit through wine. Fresh cut apples, pears and limes dominate with sweet fruit. Best with your favourite curry or assorted spicy sushi, even barbecue ribs.Prices: BC 20.00 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
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McGuigan Wines Bin 9000 Semillon text
87PTS

McGuigan Wines Bin 9000 Semillon 2014

Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaThis was specifically crafted to be approachable and ready to drink now in its youth. The winery ferments at higher temperatures using pressure tanks (as is used for Charmat wines) to increase saturation of CO2, lower the pH and raise the acidity. Apricot and peach blossom aromas with a tempering peach pit bitterness. The juicy palate shows lime, green hedge, baby powder, light soap, lees and pink grapefruit tinged acidity. Finishes sweeter and muscat-y. A bit gangly in its youth, pour with Thai or Vietnamese dishes.Prices: NB 17.00 Producer: McGuigan Wines Limited
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06 February 2015

Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407text
92PTS

Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407 2011

South Australia, AustraliaThis is a very good 407. You can trace a lot of that back to the fact that neither Bin 707 nor Bin 169 were produced in 2011 leaving the best of that juice, collected in McLaren Vale, Barossa, Robe and Coonawarra, for 407. It certainly explains the weight and density and the refined sweet tannins. Half the wine is aged in new oak - 30 French 20 American and it has easily embraced it. The attack is juicy with rich black, savoury fruits with a dusting of dried herbs and mint. Lamb chops would be a fine a pairing but it really needs five more years to settle into itself. Prices: AB 45.00 BC 45.00 ON 45.00 QC 40.50 Producer: Penfolds
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Shot in the Dark Gewurztraminer Rieslingtext
85PTS

Shot in the Dark Gewurztraminer Riesling 2013

AustraliaLemon oil, light spice, floral, green apple and peach aromas. Fresh, creamy palate but fairly sweet with honey, grapefruit rind, grassy, spicy, nectarine flavours. Summer sipper for picnics or try with spicy sushi dishes.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Quarisa Wines
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Wakefield St Andrews Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignontext
93PTS

Wakefield St Andrews Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaA single vineyard Clare Valley cabernet planted on terra rossa over a limestone and this is a lot of fun to drink. Plenty of cedar and eucalyptus mark the nose along with sweet, black fruit fragrances. Ripe plums and blueberries spread across a super juicy with soft chalky tannins and just the right amount of acidity and mocha coffee finished. An impressive cabernet not to be missed. Serve this beauty with a T-Bone steak or wait a decade.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Tyrrell's Vat 1 Hunter Semillontext
89PTS

Tyrrell's Vat 1 Hunter Semillon 2008

Pokolbin, Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaLime rind, lees, toasty cashew, asparagus and green apple aromas with a touch of matchstick and buttered quince. Fresh, delicate, creamy and dry, juicy palate with green apple, jalapeno, gooseberry, lime and nut flavours. A food oriented, greener style in this disastrous harvest for red wines in the Hunter. Fortunately the sémillon was picked before the rains. This will need a few more years to hit its stride.Prices: US 35.00 AB 65.00 Producer: Tyrrell's Wines Pty., Ltd.
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Vasse Felix Chardonnay Filiustext
89PTS

Vasse Felix Chardonnay Filius 2013

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaLight waxy, nutty lees, spicy, baked green apple, butter, vanilla and honey with a touch of orange. Dry, fresh, creamy and juicy palate with earthy, granny smith, ripe pear, grapefruit, green peach, toasty lees and vanilla flavours. Bright, crisp, leesy style with solid finesse and balance. Try with grilled scallops or sole. Impressive second label.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Vasse Felix Pty Ltd.
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Serafino Bellissimo Fianotext
87PTS

Serafino Bellissimo Fiano 2013

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaClean fruity lemon zest, floral, spicy, pear, and gooseberry aromas. Fresh, slightly soft palate but dry with grassy, grapefruit, lemon, and herb flavours with a touch of quince. An impressive effort with such a foreign variety. Seafood-friendly.Prices: BC 23.90 Producer: Serafino Wines
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J.J. McWilliam's Pinot Grigiotext
85PTS

J.J. McWilliam's Pinot Grigio 2013

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaLight earthy, floral, apple, matchstick, citrus and pear aromas. Fresh, crisp, juicy, slightly sweet palate with grapefruit, green apple, pear and butter flavours. Simple, clean, easy style that is good value.Prices: BC 10.00 MB 10.00 NS 10.00 AB 10.00 SK 10.00 NF 10.00 Producer: McWilliam’s Wines
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McWilliam's Hanwood Shiraztext
85PTS

McWilliam's Hanwood Shiraz 2013

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaEarthy, tobacco, resin, cherry, prune and herb aromas. Fresh, juicy, easy, slightly sweet and sour entry with cherry, cola, rooty, savoury, peppery, prune and tobacco flavours. Simple stuff that would work with burgers or ribs.Prices: BC 14.00 AB 14.00 SK 14.00 MB 14.00 ON 14.00 NS 14.00 QC 14.00 PEI 14.00 NF 14.00 NB 14.00 Producer: McWilliam’s Wines
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Angove Family Crest Shiraztext
89PTS

Angove Family Crest Shiraz 2013

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaGamey, black licorice, smoky, bacon, black berry jam, prune, coffee and jasmine aromas. Ripe, round, suave and juicy palate with coffee, peppery, cola, black licorice flavours flecked with kirsch and tobacco flavours with a vanilla and bacon finish. Warm and spicy but with very ripe fruit intensity. Try this with lamb.Prices: ON 33.00 BC 30.00 Producer: Angove's Pty Ltd
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Rustic Roots Mulberry Peartext
87PTS

Rustic Roots Mulberry Pear 2012

British Columbia, CanadaThis Amarone/port style wine is made from farm grown organic mulberries and Bartlett pears. The Mulberries are picked and dried and then added to neutral grain alcohol to fortifying the blend to 18 percent alcohol before it is aged 18 months in old French oak barrels. Look for a spicy, peppery, menthol, leafy nose with cola, prune and dried pear aromas. Fresh, elegant, juicy, sweet palate with cola, peppery, minty, raspberry and medium fruity note of cooked pear and prune flavours. Serve with fruitcake.Prices: BC 29.00 375 Producer: Rustic Roots Winery
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Wakefield Shiraztext
86PTS

Wakefield Shiraz 2013

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaPeppery, licorice root, black cherry, gamey, cedar and cola aromas. Dry, tight, juicy, slightly tart palate with black cherry, savoury, coffee, cola, game and tobacco flavours. A bit pruny and warm on the finish but would be fine for grilled meat dishes.Prices: NS 16.00 ON 18.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Clare Valley / Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaBright fresh red fruited nose with plenty of mint and briar. The attack is smooth at least up front with more spice, resin, black and red currants with a fair bit of acid pushing thorough the back end. The finish is dry and bitter with some twiggy notes. Best with grilled meats.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate The Gables Cabernet Shiraztext
88PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate The Gables Cabernet Shiraz 2011

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaCassis, blueberry, black pepper, coffee, black olive, tobacco leaf, cedar and resin aromas. Fresh, smooth, elegant palate with floral, cassis, peppery, blueberry, smoky herb, tobacco leaf, green bean and olive flavours. Well balanced offering with both fruit and greener notes that should mature over the next few years. The Gables blend is a selection parcels made by winemaker Sue Hodder. Ready to drink but will hold three to five years.Prices: ON 20.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 2013

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaGreen apple, pear, light floral, butter, lees and grapefruit aromas. Fresh, creamy, dry and juicy palate with pear, honey, light lees, green apple, nectarine and butter flavours with a hint of vanilla. Not big or complex but nicely balanced in a cooler style. Food-friendly. Super value.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 18.00 NS 20.00 ON 18.00 NF 22.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraztext
88PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2012

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaPeppery, smoky, tobacco, black berry nose with cedar, floral, gamey aromas. Fresh, juicy, suave palate with black pepper, blueberry, black berry, cola, tobacco, game and prune flavours and a bit of coffee and vanilla on the finish. Forward, well balanced style with solid intensity. You can drink this now with lamb or beef or hold two to four years until its in full bloom.Prices: BC 22.00 AB 23.00 QC 22.45 ON 23.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz text
89PTS

Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz 2011

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaSpicy, smoky, gamey, coffee, licorice nose with tobacco and pepper highlights with a blueberry and blackberry streak. Full, round, suave, juicy palate with fine tannins. Black berry jam, graphite, vanilla, coffee, cola, licorice, tobacco and bacon flavours with a touch of gamey bacon on the finish. Good intensity and fruit with light tannins to drink now - 5 years. Best with grilled poultry.Prices: BC 37.00 ON 35.00 AB 35.00 Producer: Wolf Blass Pty Ltd
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Mount Pleasant Lovedale Hunter Valley Semillontext
91PTS

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Hunter Valley Semillon 2007

Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaIt's been called the world's best semillon vineyard. This 7HA block of Semillon was planted in 1946, and the juice has been treated gently: gravity settled, only free run juice, resting on gross lees with no stirring, then racked and bottled. The residual sugar here is zero, with the low alcohol (11.5 percent) allowing yeast to ferment through to dryness. Lovely honey, meadow, herbs, bitter citrus, stone aromas. The pure-fruited palate pulses with lemon, lime sherbet, white grapefruit, stony minerality, a whiff of toast and honey and savoury phenolics. Nice concentration, very lengthy finish. Prices: ON 59.00 Producer: McWilliam’s Wines
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Tyrrell's Vat 1 Hunter Semillontext
93PTS

Tyrrell's Vat 1 Hunter Semillon 2005

Pokolbin, Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaBeautiful to taste with nearly a decade of time, and from a very good vintage. Intent eraser and struck stone to open. Evolved, heady notes of honeycomb, chamomile, nuts, lime pith, biscuit and seashell stream through the intense palate. Acidity has focus, palate has breadth and the finish is long. Will hold and deepen for another 10+ years.Prices: BC 60.00 AB 65.00 Producer: Tyrrell's Wines Pty., Ltd.
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05 February 2015

Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Pinot Noir 2013

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaMac Forbes is one of Yarra Valley's great winemakers and his winery is breeding ground for young, driven talent. His natural-bent, off-hands and innovative approach yields ethereal, exciting and alive wines, like this pinot noir, from a cooler, south facing site in the upper Yarra. Gentle aromatic black currant, black cherry, subtle clay weight to the nose. The finessed, elegant and precise palate carries tobacco, black florals and black cherry seamlessly across finely grained tannins. A gentle juiciness surrounds the savoury edged, stony structure, finishing long and gravelly spiced. Finessed and harmonious. Drink now (mushrooms, truffles, roast duck) or be rewarded with 5+ years wait. Prices: AB 78.00 Producer: Mac Forbes
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04 February 2015

De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillontext
94PTS

De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2009

New South Wales, AustraliaConcentrated, pure and persistent notes of eraser, honeycomb, beeswax, apricot paste, green fig, tangerine, candied lime peel and smoked stone. Rich and unctuous across the palate, with tactile layers of herbal syrup and honeyed intrigue. Length for days. One of the iconic sweet wines of the world. Prices: BC 35.00 375 AB 38.00 375 ON 32.00 375 QC 27.00 375 NS 33.00 375 Producer: De Bortoli Wines
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Brokenwood Semillontext
90PTS

Brokenwood Semillon 2014

Pokolbin, Hunter, New South Wales, AustraliaFrom the excellent 2014 vintage (best in the Hunter since 1965?) comes this striking semillon - still flush in its youth, but prepped to last decades. Beautiful perfumed lime blossom, lemongrass, gentle honeysuckle, light almond aromas - youthful and promising. The juicy, pure fruited palate flows with the same lime lifted fruits and citrus zest backbone, along with subtle straw, sweet pear and finishing with fine spice. Electric and elegant now, this will continue to deepen and honey for the next 15+ years. Pour today with oysters if you can't wait. Prices: BC 30.00 ON 23.00 AB 24.00 QC 25.50 Producer: Brokenwood Wines
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Coldstream Hills Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaEstablished in 1985 by well known Aussie wine expert James Halliday, Coldstream Hills is one of Yarra Valley's best known wineries. This pinot is sourced from grapes in the Lower and Upper Yarra, and is partial whole bunch before seeing time in new and aged oak. Warmed cherries and subtle cedar wood spice on the nose. the medium bodied, supple palate teems with sour cherry, ripe raspberry, nutmeg and five spice. Cedarwood and lightly smoked oak frame the fruit and dominate the finish. Best enjoyed with pork dishes. Prices: ON 30.00 QC 27.70 BC 33.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Coldstream Hills
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Langmeil Shiraz Valley Floortext
86PTS

Langmeil Shiraz Valley Floor 2011

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaNot a shy shiraz. Porty, ripe blackcurrant, prune and fine spice on the nose. The plush, brooding palate is full with boozy plums, vanilla, spice, blueberry compote and baking spices before a peppery finish. This is a ripe, big wine, so if you're in the mood for a chewy Barossa shiraz, this is it. Prices: On 30.00 BC 30.00 AB 27.95 Producer: Langmeil Winery
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Culmina Family Estate Unicustext
90PTS

Culmina Family Estate Unicus 2013

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCertainly one of the best BC white wines I have tasted in a while from the standpoint of I would like to drink the whole bottle. The inaugural release of Unicus joins a handful of wines made in Canada with grüner veltliner. Grown at 595m (Margaret's Bench) on minimal soils of mostly schist, the Triggs family has a winner with this spare, stony, spicy peppery white. The mint/sage garrigue of the south Okanagan permeates the back end which finishes crisp and fresh. This is a delicious food wine. Pascal Madevon keeps the winemaking simple using only a basket press, a stainless steel ferment and minimal lees contact before bottling at six months. Love the minerality and purity here.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Culmina Family Estate Winery
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03 February 2015

Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaNot your average Margaret River cabernet. Its ripe, the nose is beautifully proportioned showing hints of oak and spice with plenty of black currant fruit. The attack is fresh with cedar, black fruits, coffee and vanilla but again all in proportion with just the right amount of savoury notes. Power and elegance is a very attractive trait to own. You could drink this now but I would wait three to five years and let it unfold into the serious red it is. Prices: BC 25.00 MB 26.00 ON 18.00 Producer: Xanadu Wines Pty
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Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Langhorne Creek, South Australia, AustraliaAn old family farm Bleasdale has been making wine since 1850 in Langhorne Creek. The nose is mix of blue and black fruits with spicy undertones. There is a surprising amount of charm and softness for a cabernet sauvignon mixing floral, black cherries and chocolate. You can drink it now with any grille meat or pork dishes. Good value.Prices: BC 17.00 MB 16.00 AB 16.00 SK 16.00 Producer: Bleasdale Vineyards
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McWilliam's Hanwood Cabernet Sauvignontext
85PTS

McWilliam's Hanwood Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

South Eastern Australia, AustraliaThis is an introductory cabernet sauvignon but we like the freshness and varietal character. Look for plenty of cassis with a dollop of chocolate and vanilla followed by a rush of firm if not slightly rustic tannins and a cedar-y finish. Hamburgers or beef kabobs would a solid match.Prices: BC 14.00 AB 14.00 SK 14.00 MB 14.00 ON 14.00 NS 14.00 QC 14.00 PEI 14.00 NF 14.00 NB 14.00 Producer: McWilliam’s Wines
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Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignontext
87PTS

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Clare Valley, South Australia, AustraliaThe nose is floral with a mix of red and black fruit aromas that lead juicy, sweet fruit, jammy blackberry flavours that finish with light, grippy tannins. A solid commercial version of cabernet at a premium price in BC that is already approachable. Try it with barbecued ribs to best effect. Prices: ON 17.00 BC 24.00 Producer: Wakefield Wines Pty
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Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Labeltext
91PTS

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label 2012

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaGo Sue Hodder. Black Label has been made since 1954 and is considered the classic Coonawarra red. Using only the top 20-25 percent of the cabernet fruit chief winemaker Sue Hodder has really put her stamp on this wine now sporting only 13.5 percent alcohol. Texture, texture, texture makes this almost drinkable now, as do vines that are now 35 years old. More red fruits than black give it a Bordeaux look before the savoury cool Coonawarra notes take over. Love the black cherry, earth and bramble notes and the glossy tannins. A more precocious 2010.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 28.00 MB 23.00 ON 28.00 QC 35.00 Producer: Wynns Coonawarra Estate
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02 February 2015

Champagne Varnier-Fanniere Cuvee St. Denis Brut Grand Crutext
92PTS

Champagne Varnier-Fanniere Cuvee St. Denis Brut Grand Cru NV

Champagne, FranceYou have to love a champagne that mentions Danish pastries among its descriptors. The grapes, all from one Grand Cru site in Avise, the Clos du Grand Père, are 65 years old. Five years of bottle age ensure complexity and mature flavours but with freshness and floral notes. The attack is rich and creamy with nutty, toasted, Danish pastry notes some honey and baked apple all with enough citrus to keep it fresh. Impressive bottle with a sheen of minerality. Works with most any foods.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne Varnier-Fanniere
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Raza Malbec Reservatext
85PTS

Raza Malbec Reserva 2012

La Rioja, ArgentinaA cleaner, fresher nose this year. Soft, round fleshy ripe palate with sweet palate with flavours of black fruit and chocolate. A modern style red that offers reasonable value for its price. Hamburgers grilled chicken they all work here.Prices: BC 13.00 Producer: La Riojana
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The Show Malbectext
88PTS

The Show Malbec 2013

Mendoza, ArgentinaAmericans Charles Bieler, Roger Scommegna and Joel Gott are the 3 Thieves Wine Company and the folks behind The Show Malbec made in Argentina. The fruit comes off a mix of high-altitude sites in the Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley and like last year they have gone for fruit balance and texture instead of just sweetness. Expect a dry savoury red fruit attack with fine acidity and structure that calls for food. Steak frites anyone? Good value.Prices: BC 19.00 MB 20.00 Producer: Rebel Wine
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Famila Gascon Malbectext
85PTS

Famila Gascon Malbec 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaSimilar to previous years this label delivers a fresh open blueberry scented nose that attracts. Smoke and cola with a touch of reduction mark the mid-palate before it finishes dry and fresh. Hamburgers, beef kabobs, ribs, all would work.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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Paz de Finca Las Moras Malbectext
87PTS

Paz de Finca Las Moras Malbec 2012

Pedernal Valley, San Juan, ArgentinaIntense lifted nose of black fruits with vanilla and spice throughout. The attack is full and ripe with rich blueberry black fruit with and dense sweet tannins and a slightly volatile back end. Fresh full and still with some tannins to shed. Best now with a grilled steak and 30 minutes in a decanter; or give it another year in bottle.Prices: AB 16.00 BC 19.00 Producer: Finca Las Moras
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Vina Chela Malbec Reservetext
86PTS

Vina Chela Malbec Reserve 2013

Mendoza, ArgentinaVina Chela Reserve is made with organic grapes grown at four highly regarded sub-regions of Mendoza at 3000-plus feet: Agrelo, La Consulta, Vistalba and Tupungato. Expect a dark, sweet, black-fruited wines with plenty of chocolate notes all aged in 50/50 French and American oak barrels. An accessible style with plenty of curb appeal if a bit sweet and simple. Serve this with spicy rib dishes.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Vina Chela
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Catena Malbectext
89PTS

Catena Malbec 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaIt would be easy to miss the terroir subtleties in this wine, too polished, too soft, and too perfect for the price but give it some attention. The nose is a floral black fruit affair that draw you into a smooth polished red wine with very soft tannins. The palate is a mix of blackberries and blackcurrants with just enough oak to keep it all interesting. Grilled meat entrees are the match or mushrooms, or Osso Buco and or aged cheeses. Classy.Prices: BC 21.00 AB 29.00 ON 17.00 NS 24.00 NB 24.00 PEI 24.00 Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata
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Trivento Golden Reserve Malbectext
90PTS

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaTruly hedonistic, the Golden Reserve is rich and savoury with dense, lush, black fruit flavours with just enough freshness to keep it interesting throughout. This wine over delivers most years and 2013 is no exception. You can cellar this wine for five years or consider serving it now with a lamb roast. Delicious new World red.Prices: NF 21.50 MB 23.00 SK 25.00 NS 28.00 AB 24.00 BC 23.00 Producer: Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos S.A
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1884 Reservado Malbectext
86PTS

1884 Reservado Malbec 2013

Mendoza, ArgentinaTypical savoury, peppery, vanilla nose with bits of black fruit and dried herbs. Soft juicy smoky fruit flavours spread across the palate with a hint of coffee chocolate and more savoury notes. Simple, smooth and ready to drink. Pair with grilled meats or chicken for best results.Prices: BC 17.00 YK 18.85 Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon
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01 February 2015

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Leyda Estatetext
87PTS

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Leyda Estate 2013

Valle de Leyda, Valle de San Antonio, Region de Aconcagua, ChileNew Zealand or Leyda? This is a lock and load label for sauvignon blanc fans. Fresh lively and full of grapefruit, canned jalapeno, melon and lemongrass aromas and flavours. We love the juicy, creamy textures and bright acidity. Extreme value warning. Serve with shellfish.Prices: BC 14.00 AB 10.00 ON 12.00 MB 12.00 NF-LAB 11.00 Producer: Vina Santa Carolina
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