quicksearch
Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: July 2017

21 July 2017

Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwo French clones make up the nine-year-old estate vines planted near the near the entrance of the estate as you drive in. The nose is bright, 2016-like, with fresh acidity, and grassy, gooseberry sea salt flavours spilling across the palate. Well-made conservative style sauvignon that could easily slip onto local restaurant wine lists to take on most local seafood. Private wine shops and winery direct.Prices: BC 18.90 AB 24.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
Read Full Note
Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSauvignon blanc struggles in Canada, yet there are a few glimmering hopes, and Blue Mountain has always been one of those. A blend of 8-9 year old estate vines, farmed sustainably, cropped low, whole bunch pressed and fermented wild (in a blend of stainless and older wood). This vintage is tropical citrus, crunchy pear, boxwood, thistle, white peach and punchy lemon, throughout the potent, yet streamlined (this much flavour in 11.5 percent?) medium bodied wine. A pink grapefruit pithiness sticks the finish.Prices: BC 18.90 AB 24.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
Read Full Note
Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis reserve tier sauvignon blanc has moved up another notch this year in quality aided and abetted by multiple pick times that bring an even fresher tone to the wine. Some 20 percent of the wine spends time in oak and concrete (split about 50/50) while the balance remains on its lees in stainless steel. The oak and concrete portion builds texture while the stainless steel share maintains that zesty lemony freshness. Look for a beautiful tropical fruit nose that previews a much tighter lemongrass, lime palate that finished long, bright and creamy. Super value here in a sophisticated sauvignon blanc. Impressive value. Shellfish anyone?Prices: BC 20.49 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
Read Full Note

20 July 2017

Rodney Strong Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRipe, rich, sweeter and full on the creamy palate, this is what most folks think of with modern, commercial, Cali chardonnay. With 60 percent barrel fermented and aged in oak for six months and the remainder is cold fermented in stainless steel, this is wood-evident, with tinned white asparagus, dense lemon curd, pear butter and baked apple. There's a swing of acidity here, counter balanced against the rich, ripe fruit. The short, warm, vanilla-kissed finish welcomes pairing with creamy pasta dishes or theatre-style popcorn.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 22.00 QC 20.00 ON 20.00 SK 22.99 MB 19.99 NB 25.00 YK 26.00 NF 26.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Read Full Note
Black Hills Chardonnaytext
86PTS

Black Hills Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSweet, ripe and rich, with caramel, butterscotch spread thick on the palate. Ripe melon, baked pear, vanilla, a whack of spicy oak and a slick of glycerol overrides fruit density. There is a lemon curd butteriness on the finish. Old school, old style.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Fort Berens Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Fort Berens Chardonnay 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Lillooet, Oliver and Similkameen fruit, this chardonnay was 30 percent fermented and aged in French oak, partially wild, and partial MLF. After six months, this was united with the stainless steel portion and bottled. Bright yellow apple and Anjou pear on a creamy base, with florals, pineapple on the finish. Simple, correct, and ready for crab cakes.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Cakebread Cellars Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay 2014

Napa Valley, California, United StatesA fresher style for a change with some leesy reductive notes that add a touch of complexity. On the palate, the fruit is bright with pear/apple, modest bits of toast and fine acidity. Easy drinking and food friendly this one is mostly ready-to-go despite its price. Serve through 2019 to best effect.Prices: BC 64.99 ON 69.95 Producer: Cakebread Cellars
Read Full Note
Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hilltext
88PTS

Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hill 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRodney Strong was the first to plant chardonnay in Sonoma's Chalk Hills in 1965, an area that became its own AVA in 1983. The volcanic, chalky, white ash soils, unique to the area, can be seen in the stream of fine minerality throughout this fuller white. I'd love to see less wood here, so the site and soils really rings. As stands now, barrel ferment (partial new) and wood toast leads the creamy palate, with the yellow apple, pear, nougat and lemon curd finishing this off with a trailing spiciness. Less is more, please.Prices: ON 25.00 BC 27.99 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
Read Full Note
Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin Petit Chablistext
89PTS

Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin Petit Chablis 2015

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThis is a humble Petit Chablis from one of the appellation's historic, unsung (IMHO) producers, the father-son team of Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin. The Droins have been producing wines in Chablis for 400 years (their history as vignerons dates back at least to 1620). Benoît represents the 14th generation of Droins and is one of the most dynamic young winemakers in the region today. They own 13 ha of vineyards, including many 1er and Grand Cru sites. Lemon and stones ride along a bed of lees in this streamlined white, with ample pear, subtle stone fruit, lemon and fine spice. There's an earthy herbal wave to the finish. Ideal for drinking now, while you wait for your Grand Cru Chablis to be ready.Prices: AB 34.95 Producer: Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin
Read Full Note
Domaine Pattes Loup Vent d'Angetext
90PTS

Domaine Pattes Loup Vent d'Ange 2014

Chablis, Burgundy, FranceThird generation Thomas Pico is one of the young shining stars of Chablis, making natural wines from lieu dit that have been farmed by his family for decades. However, when young Pico took over selected sites from his father, he converted them from conventional to organic and biodynamics, returning to the kind of farming his grandfather began. Wild yeast fermented and with no inputs, this, one of Pico's entry-level Chablis, is from vines averaging 55 years, mostly massale plantings from his grandfather around the villages of Corgis and Preys, around 300m at altitude on kimmeridgian soils. A long, slow ferment in a combo of stainless and cement eggs, this continued aging in those vessels, along with 10 percent in old oak before it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Green apple, earthy lees, fine chalky grip around the edges, with shimmering acidity, lemon and precise fine spicing to a nutty finish. Beauty, understated and authentic, and his wines only complex from here. If you see these wines, buy, because Pico lost a lot (nearly everything) in the past two, very poor vintages in Chablis, so quantities are rock bottom low.Prices: BC 43.00 Producer: Domaine Pattes Loup
Read Full Note

19 July 2017

Orofino Vineyards Gamaytext
90PTS

Orofino Vineyards Gamay 2016

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom two vineyards in Cawston, this was planted in 1999 and 2010 on Stemwinder soils (angular granite shale). Dusky herbal cherry, downy raspberry, blackcurrant expressed along a crunchy, salty, stony bed. Acidity is fine and nimble, humming along the lingering finish. A more structure, severe shade of friendly gamay. #GoGamayGo.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
Read Full Note

18 July 2017

Sperling Vin Gris of Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Sperling Vin Gris of Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAs the name suggests, this is a white-ish wine from red grapes - in this case, a pale peach from pinot noir. Whole cluster press, wild ferment, full MLF and into puncheons for twelve months, this opens with earthy lees, wild herbs, rock salts before an alluring bed of wild strawberry, faint wildflowers and subtle cherry notes. River stones and salted herbs linger on the tingling finish, drawing you back for more (especially as the bottle opens up). Light on palate (12 percent), this is a memorable, intriguing white/red/rosé.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
Read Full Note
Radio Boka Summer Sangriatext
80PTS

Radio Boka Summer Sangria NV

Valencia, Valencia and Murcia, SpainOK. For reals. What is this? It's hard to say. It's the regular Radio Boka tempranillo, from Valencia, blended with orange juice (si, from Valencia) along with pineapple and peach (now you've lost me), to create a sweet, summer-necessary, ice-necessary, no stirring or mixing necessary sangria. There's some cinnamon hearts and a shift of grip on the palate that closes out the short finish. I reckon, for the price you could buy a heap of fresh fruit and a bottle of cheap and cheerful and make your OWN sangria (Google it) that's oceans beyond this.Prices: BC 14.49 MB 12.99 Producer: Vinnico Exports
Read Full Note
Fort Berens Pinot Noir Rosétext
86PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

British Columbia, CanadaOff dry and juicy, with pear drop, strawberry gummies and a swell of acidity on the generous palate. Cold soak, with a three day skin contact to preserve orchard fruit freshness with a moderate colouring. Has the intensity and glycerol-lined body to take on salmon or portobello burgers. Marked improvement over last year.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Blue Grouse Quill Rosétext
89PTS

Blue Grouse Quill Rosé 2016

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaA 50/50 blend of Cowichan pinot noir and gamay, this bright, crisp, paler rosé is brisk and dry, with a shade of raspberry sweetness lining the light palate. Acidity is lively and shining, lifting tight rhubarb, wild strawberry and alluring spices. Yes please Wine Islands! More of this, liberally.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
Read Full Note

17 July 2017

Segura Viudas Heredad  Brut Reservatext
88PTS

Segura Viudas Heredad Brut Reserva NV

Penedès, Catalunya, SpainThough some call this silver gilt bottle Spanish gaudy (or is it Gaudí?) the Heredad is the high end cuvee from Segura Viudas. This is only old vine macabeo and parellada, with a minimum of 30 months on the lees. Ample and generous with sweet dough, brioche, baked red apple, pear, all tightened on the finish with a welcome pear skin briskness. Pour this when you want a richer Champagne at half the price.Prices: BC 31.99 ON 38.00 AB 35.00 NF 38.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
Read Full Note
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cavatext
87PTS

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava NV

Penedès, Catalunya, SpainA cuvee of macabeo (50%), parellada (35%) and xarel-lo (15%) from the Alt Penedès region of Spain, this consistent value wine has earned itself a following worldwide. Fruity and frisky, generously ripe and round, this is full with red apple, floral, almonds on a creamy lemon-clad palate. Easy to understand and omnipresenct on our shelves (at an affordable price) this is one to stock up on this summer and year round.Prices: AB 16.00 BC 15.49 ON 15.00 QC 14.00 MB 15.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Segura Viudas
Read Full Note
Genevieve Blanc de Blancstext
89PTS

Genevieve Blanc de Blancs 2012

Overberg, South AfricaCrisp and tight, this MCC from Overberg is zero dosage, and spent tine on the lees, evident in the fine green apple, pear cushion on the medium bodied palate. Large flake salts, spice on the rear ground this strict bubble. Not for everyone, but for those looking for acidity and tight, neat fruit, this is it.Prices: Producer: Genevieve
Read Full Note
Greyfriars Blanc de Blancstext
0PTS

Greyfriars Blanc de Blancs 2014

EnglandCrisy and racy chardonnay from the North Downs was fermented in stainless and aged in oak for 3-6 months before resting in the bottle for two years.Prices: UK 21.00 Producer: Greyfriars Vineyard
Read Full Note
Giró Ribot Brut Reserva Cava Ab Originetext
90PTS

Giró Ribot Brut Reserva Cava Ab Origine NV

Penedès, Catalunya, Spain“Ab Origine” means from the roots. With macabre, xarello, parellada and chardonnay vines between 20-30 years of age, this spends up to 30 months on the lees in bottle, adding to the complexity. Earthy, mushroom, nutty, savoury, with a bright palate lined with downy lees, and finishing with a tight and fine pithy lemon peel and green apple shimmer. Very characterful and serious. Good value.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: Giró Ribot
Read Full Note
Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancstext
0PTS

Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya, SpainCorked. Try another.Prices: BC 15.49 MB 19.00 Producer: Codorníu
Read Full Note

14 July 2017

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Bruttext
92PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStriking, potent and direct, with a sharp chalkiness, green apple chisel, red apple grip, smoked stone in a driving, persistent, linear frame. For all its intensity, this impressive fizz, from 1978 planted vines, streams lightness and lift. This spent two years on the lees before disgorgement in spring 2017, and a dosage of Tantalus' Old Vine Riesling (wow). Electric and nervy, with a lingering white grapefruit pith, this is an energetic wine in youth, and one that will continue to deepen and build with cellaring. Memorable.Prices: BC 34.70 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Tantalus Blanc de Noirtext
90PTS

Tantalus Blanc de Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a single block of 1985-planted Clone 93 pinot noir, fermented and aged for six months in neutral oak barrels before two years on the lees. The wine was disgorged in the Spring of 2017 and received a light 2015 Juveniles Pinot Noir dosage before finishing in bottle. Pointed strawberry, herbal raspberry, red apple, almond biscotti, white cherry fill the mouth, finely detailed with acidity and finishing with a chalky riffing note.Prices: BC 27.74 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut Rosetext
88PTS

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut Rose NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a dark peach hue, this is a dry and pithy pinot noir fizz, sourced from Summerland's Heckmann Family Organic Vineyard. Whole cluster pressed, this had a dosage of still red wine before resting on the lees for at least three years in bottle. Cranberry, rhubarb, black cherry rides a frisky, toasty and fruit-forward palate, one that lingers with mandarin, smoked stones and raspberry. Gentle sweetness (less than 9 g/l) makes this approachable. I can't taste this without thinking of turkey and cranberry.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Read Full Note
Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut Méthode Classiquetext
87PTS

Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut Méthode Classique 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRose petals, raspberry blossoms, earthy forest berries and a dusty stone on this traditional method blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier. Lots of fruit here, but the finish is a bit murky and flat. Will try another bottle in future for variation.Prices: BC 18.49 AB 25.31 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Haywire The Bubtext
89PTS

Haywire The Bub 2015

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bub is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Oliver's Secrest Vineyard. After fermentation in concrete and stainless, this was bottled in November 2015 for secondary fermentation, and disgorged late December 2016 with zero dosage. They've dialled it here: crisp, tight, focused and ringed with orchard fruit, finishing with light toast, pithy white grapefruit note and frisky acidity. Light in body and alcohol (10.5 percent), which is welcome.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
Read Full Note

13 July 2017

Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia's Pinot Noir Rosétext
91PTS

Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia's Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesNamed for the Beckham's youngest daughter, this is four clones of organic, dry-farmed pinot noir (Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) from the rocky, volcanic soils of their Chehalem Mountain estate vineyard. Lively and bright, this dry rose rings with wild strawberry, delicate ripe cherry and whiffs of raspberry on a bed of firm, stony spice. The light/medium palate glides with a cushion of lees, before a lingering, spicy finish. Effortless finesse and poise. Bonus - it also is bottled in magnum.Prices: US 22.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
A.D. Beckham MMXVI Amphora Vermentinotext
90PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXVI Amphora Vermentino 2016

Applegate Valley, Rogue Valley, Oregon, United StatesFrom Full Quiver Vineyard in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley, this vermentino was transformed through fermentation and time spent in Andrew Beckham's hand crafted and kilned amphora. Beckham, a high-school ceramics teacher, makes his own terra cotta amphorae for the Beckham's line of naturalist wines, denoted by A.D. Beckham. The Vermentino is the newest in the A.D. portfolio. This was wild fermented and aged in his terra cotta vessels for ten weeks before a tightening stint in stainless for six weeks, and then bottling unfined and unfiltered. Lightly grippy, with orange oil, bergamot blossom, pear skin, Asian pear, pine nuts and brisk green apple acidity, this alluring white is lighter in body, but weighted with texture and gravitas. Only 65 cases.Prices: USA 24.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Pinot Gristext
92PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Pinot Gris 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThis single vineyard pinot gris was skin fermented and partially aged in amphora that Andrew Beckham hand crafted and fired on their family estate in Chehalem Mountain. The remaining 50 percent was aged in French acacia barrels before all was blended and bottled unfined and unfiltered. A turbid deep russet pink / peach in hue, with grippy peach fuzz, broken stones, scented with wild flowers and herbal scrub. Buoyant acidity is perfectly pitched to carry the intensity of this natural wine, leaving just a riff of pithy grip on the lingering finish. This is not about fruit, and alluringly so. Enjoy over many hours as this is continually evolving in the glass. Impressive natural beauty.Prices: USA 38.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
Beckham Estate Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Beckham Estate Pinot Noir 2014

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesOrganic, dry-farmed on volcanic Jory and Saum soils, this vintage of Estate Pinot Noir is four clones (Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) of pinot noir. Wild yeast fermented and 35 percent whole cluster, this was aged in French oak for 15 months, ten percent of which is new. Perfumed black raspberry, sun-ripened strawberry, forest berries and smoked pepper is housed with fine, firm tannins on a medium bodied palate. There's a lovely, approachability to this serious wine, making it highly accessible and drinkable now.Prices: USA 30.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
Beckham Estate Vineyard  Sophia's Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Beckham Estate Vineyard Sophia's Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesNamed for their eldest daughter, this organic, dry-farmed pinot noir is solely own-rooted Dijon 115 from the Beckham's Jory soiled estate vineyard. Fermented wild, with 25 percent whole cluster, this spent 15 months in French oak, ten percent of which was new. A darker, deeper shade of pinot versus their estate pinot (which is a blend of four clones), this streams black raspberry, perfumed dark cherry and a lick of black liquorice along finely grippy, firm tannins and a with a stony spice woven throughout to a finely salty finish. Structural, while still being light and finessed, this is impressive now and will age.Prices: USA 40.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Grenachetext
91PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXV Amphora Grenache 2015

Rogue Valley, Oregon, United StatesWinemaker Andrew Beckham is also a talented ceramicist, and his A.D. Beckham wines are fermented and aged in terra cotta vessels he made on his family's Chehalem Mountain estate. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this throws a slightly cloudy hue. This grenache was sourced from Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley, was wild fermented in Andrew's amphora, with half aged in his vessels and the remainder aged in ten year old barrel. Sunripened sweet strawberry, cherry jam, raspberry is lifted with a bright swell of acidity and lined with a very fine slick of thorny resin and dusty stone. A subtle grippiness to the tannins hint to the use of amphora, a welcome temperance to grenache's natural abundance.Prices: USA 40.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
A.D. Beckham MMXV Lignum Amphora Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXV Lignum Amphora Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLignum is Latin for wood, signalling that even though this A.D. Beckham wine was fermented in Andrew Beckham's handmade amphora, this wine was finished in old French oak barrels (if you want to try the amphora fermented wine that was aged in amphora, look for the Creta Pinot Noir). You can see it visually on the label: the Lignum is a half amphora outline, while the Creta shows a full amphora. In comparison, this is softer on the palate than the bristling Creta. Wild fermented, dry and organically farmed, this was 25 percent whole cluster and four clones of pinot (Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777) bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dark cherry, subtle blackcurrant, plum, mellow resin, with a dusky shadow of sticky tannins and a softly flowing form. Acidity is brisk and helpful to lift the medium body to a lingering, salted finish.Prices: USA 45.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note
A.D. Beckham MMXV Creta Amphora Pinot Noirtext
94PTS

A.D. Beckham MMXV Creta Amphora Pinot Noir 2015

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesStunner. Creta is Latin for clay, signalling that this A.D. Beckham wine was fermented and aged in Andrew Beckham's handmade amphora, (if you want to try the amphora fermented / wood aged wine look for the Lignum Pinot Noir). You can see it visually on the label: the Lignum is a half amphora outline, while the Creta shows a full amphora. Dry- and organically farmed, this is estate grown Pommard, Wädenswil, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777, fermented wild and with 30 percent whole cluster, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Dried cherry, black plum, wild cassis and thorns are textured with abundant iron and graphite. Tannins are finely grippy and acidity is lifted and effortless, brightening and chiseled the medium body. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this lingers long in the mouth and memory.Prices: USA 55.00 Producer: Beckham Estate Vineyard
Read Full Note

12 July 2017

Tantalus Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Tantalus Chardonnay 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSerious juice, Tantalus' aim with this was to marry Burgundy's power with the Okanagan's freshness. This is a wild ferment of 1985 Oppenheim plantings plus 2007 Dijon clones, fermented in French oak puncheons and barriques (30 percent new) where it remained for the next year. 2015 was a hot, and characteristically flabby year for Okanagan whites. At this young stage, power wins out, with ample toasted wood structure and spice leading the fore. But with time (or an ample decant) you get a glimpse of what is lurking underneath the lemon curd and peel, apricot, peach pit fuzziness and a creme brûlée sweetness. Lay this one down for a few years while you drink the Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnay now.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnaytext
91PTS

Tantalus Juveniles Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is young vine (four years), single vineyard, estate chardonnay, hence the name Juveniles. Wild fermented, this was raised in stainless and neutral barrels. Bright lemon, cool cream, tight spice and a light smoked stone define this medium bodied wine, swept up at the finish with a tight twist. Impressively structured, juicy and drinkable - without being dumbed down - this is what you drink now while you lay your seriously age-worthy Chardy down. Well done Tantalus (and this price!)Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note

11 July 2017

Liquidity Estate Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Liquidity Estate Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2015 pinot steps back to a more rustic style. Bright, spicy cherry jam with notes of worsteshire mark its cool earthy palate. The tannins are bit sticky at this point suggesting more bottle time. Best now with some classic matches like salmon, duck or turkey.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Liquidity Wine Ltd
Read Full Note
Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIf you prefer your pinot noir on the riper side with more dark fruit the 2014 reserve is for you. The wine spills from the glass with beautiful perfumed black cherry and ripe damson plum. The tannins are dense and soft, adding some flesh to the mid-palate and finish. The fruit is all estate, a blend of five French clones, all pressed into French oak barrels for ten months. More Russian River than Burgundy this year but so delicious and drinking well right now.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 44.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
Read Full Note
Little Engine Silver Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Little Engine Silver Pinot Noir 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Naramata Bench, this saw 15 percent whole cluster and three weeks maceration before tank settling and 15 months in French oak barrel (28 percent new).The wood is evident immediately on the nose and palate, poking through the dusky black plum and blackberry, cherry leather, hickory spice and balsamic sheen. A swing of forest notes surmises pinot noir, but this potent, warm and direct dark red is suitable for all things roasted lamb. Hoping for a lighter touch in future so we can see the site and grape, not the winemaking.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
Read Full Note
La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valleytext
91PTS

La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThis wine has been good for a while and the price is more than fair. Look for a lively spicy entry with bright juicy dark cherry and a wash of dried herbs. The palate is plummy and smooth with a long, warm, spicy finish and round, soft tannins. Perfect oak for the fruit. A well-made pinot noir that should be a restaurant standard, it is a mix of seven clones from eight vineyards aged in 100 French oak but only 20 percent is new.Prices: BC 59.99 AB 49.99 ON 45.00 QC 42.95 Producer: La Crema
Read Full Note
La Crema Pinot Noir Willamettetext
90PTS

La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette 2014

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesLa Crema pinot noir is always on the hedonistic spectrum emphasizing soft, ripe black cherry with a fair lashing of oak. In this case, there is a piney, spicy, smoky worsteshire ‘Oregon’ undercurrent that balances the overall weight and ripeness of this wine. This is just entering its prime drinking window but should be fine for another two or three years. Serve with turkey, pork or salmon to best effect.Prices: BC 40.00 AB 40.00 Producer: La Crema
Read Full Note
Little Engine Gold Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Little Engine Gold Pinot Noir 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Gold label is all about richness and power, what they call their autumnal pinot. Spiced black fruits, truffles, and savoury Okanagan dried herbs mark the palate of this warm, rich, sweet pinot that’s more Russian River than Naramata. The finish is a mix of smoke with a lick of sweet balsamic. Duck, turkey, mushroom risotto are required to take on the power here.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
Read Full Note
Tantalus Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Tantalus Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDusky plum, black raspberry, cherry fills this fine grained, and sweetly sunned pinot noir. Dusky forest berries, moss, earthy notes fill the voluminous palate, one that is kept tidy with finely gritty, cedar-seasoned tannins. This was small-batch picked, fermented wild, and into new and older French oak for 11 months before final blending and bottling. Wearing its time well, this is ready for drinking now, with wild mushrooms or planked salmon.Prices: BC 26.00 AB 30.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir Vinedo de Paredonestext
88PTS

Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir Vinedo de Paredones 2015

Valle del Colchagua, Valle del Rapel, Region del Valle Central, ChileFrom coastal vineyards in Paradones, Colchagua comes a soft, round, juicy, pinot noir that pleases with gentle strawberry fruit. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in pure fun. In fact, it’s a little less cool-climate and a little more mild. We served it with pork kebabs and it was perfect. Good value.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Vina Casa Silva
Read Full Note
Matua Valley Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandPerfumed potpourri of spices, with sultry raspberry, strawberry jam, lavender, baked rhubarb, pink peppercorns flooding the medium bodied palate, one sharpened with a balsamic note and finishing with a flush of warmth. Tannins are gentle and soft on a downy cushion. Easy to like, and an accessible entry into pinot without being dumbed down.Prices: BC 19.00 AB 18.00 ON 18.00 Producer: Matua Valley Wines
Read Full Note

10 July 2017

Bella Wines Reserve Brut Nature Oliver Eastside Chardonnaytext
92PTS

Bella Wines Reserve Brut Nature Oliver Eastside Chardonnay 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted one year along. This style has been vintner Jay Drysdale's goal from the beginning of Bella: a serious fizz of the calibre of top grower champagne, but bursting with what it means to be Canadian. Singularly sourced from Oliver's calcium carbonate-laced Cerqueira Vineyard, this chardonnay spent forty months on the lees and was bottled with no dosage and sulfured only after first ferment. The searing apple acidity is now starting to relax slightly, with a honeyed warmth that wraps around a tight citrus core. There's a smoked minerality and fine salts on the lengthy finish. Riveting structure, exciting stuff. Very promising future for this project, and this wine. Only 25 cases were released, with the remainder to be held 6-8 years. Looking forward to tasting again then.Prices: BC 55.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Cavada Gamay Rosé Bruttext
89PTS

Bella Wines Cavada Gamay Rosé Brut 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Vineyard Series gamay fizz is from the granite-soiled Cavada vineyard, at the far end of Naramata Bench. Neglected in recent years, it is in the process of being converted to organic viticulture and has been dry-farmed for the past two years - always a transitional phase for the vineyard. Twenty-two year old vines were whole cluster pressed, wild ferment (primary) and sans sulfur. A pale pink hue, with pink grapefruit, rainier cherry, light dough, white pepper, strawberry leaf bite which cleanses the brisk, green apple finish. Bone dry and textured, this is a big step up from last year's Cavada.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Hillside Cellars Founders Blocktext
87PTS

Bella Wines Hillside Cellars Founders Block 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHillside Cellars Founders Block is from 34 year old vines planted at the winery's Naramata Bench estate, on alluvial loam soil. Unlike Bella's other wines, this was farmed conventionally, though winemaker Jay Drysdale was keen to learn more about working with older vines, as all of his other vineyards are comparatively much younger. I don't know whether this is reflective of the farming, but this was not as fluid and balanced as the other 2016 bruts tasted. Whole cluster pressed, this will wild fermented (for primary) and no sulphur used. Sharper and sour tight strawberry, with tight, unyielding fruit and stern on the palate, with searing acidity, a beer-hoppiness and a bitter broken stone finish. There's a lactic coat on the pithy, grapefruit finish. A clear and authentic reflection of site.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Westbank Gamay Rosé Bruttext
89PTS

Bella Wines Westbank Gamay Rosé Brut 2016

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis terroir-focused traditional method fizz is from organic, volcanic soiled Beaumont Vineyard in Westbank. Fifteen-year-old vines, this was destemmed for pressing, and fermented wild for primary. Deep watermelon hue, a departure from Bella's typical pale wines, but don't let that turn you off this dry and vibrant rosé brut. Juicy wild strawberry, cranberry, rhubarb and mandarin pith fill the palate with a rush of acidity on the palate and a snap of cranberry briskness on the finish. Still dry and pithy, but more accessible than some of the more severe bruts Bella does.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Gamay Noir Methode Ancestrale Mariani Vineyardtext
88PTS

Bella Wines Gamay Noir Methode Ancestrale Mariani Vineyard 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom Naramata's young Mariani Vineyard, this is a single grape (gamay), single clone (787), single vineyard pet nat in its third leaf (1st fruit taken). Organically farmed on silty clay soils, this was fermented wild in old barrels until the brix reached 2.5, when it was hand-bottled with no additives. The funk is still evident: white florals, pear blossom, this is sharp on the entry and brief on the finish, with ample acetone funk on the end. Pours fairly clear, indicating this was disgorged prior to release. Promising for the future.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Bella Estate Vineyardtext
89PTS

Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Bella Estate Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOnly 18 cases were made of this estate Ancestrale, a mix of biodynamically-farmed, wild co-fermented gamay and chardonnay from Jay and Wendy's silty clay soils. Juicy and direct, with a flash of fleshy cherry, strawberry jam, raspberry leaf juicy watermelon and orange pith on the finish. The core of cherry jam charms, as does the 10.5 percent alcohol, perfectly balanced. There's a lovely flow to this juicy, deeper hued fizz. An accessable ancestral = well done Bella.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Brut Similkameen Valleytext
88PTS

Bella Wines Methode Ancestrale Brut Similkameen Valley 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Similkameen, this is Bella's only pet nat (methode ancestrale) with some RS (14 g/l RS). This is certified organic chardonnay from Keremeos' Robin Ridge Vineyard. Ripe pear, white peach, apricot, yellow apple, ripe starfruit on a tight, pithy, limey, off-dry palate, one ringing with bright acidity to offset the sweetness. Pours clear, indicating this was disgorged prior to release. Quite impactful (and impressive) for 10.3 percent, and has come into fine balance.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note
Bella Wines Gamay Methode Ancestrale Westbanktext
90PTS

Bella Wines Gamay Methode Ancestrale Westbank 2016

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the organic, volcanic soiled Beaumont vineyard in Westbank, this ancestrale method gamay pours a deep watermelon hue. Tight rhubarb, cherry leather, cranberries on a stony base. The finish is pithy and dry, lingering with smokey stones and a vibrant hum that carries the finish far. Zero additives, this was hand bottled and tagged; there is no label on the bottle itself, but a singular paper catalogue tag affixed by string.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Bella Wines
Read Full Note

07 July 2017

Mt. Boucherie Meritagetext
87PTS

Mt. Boucherie Meritage 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMust admit, I was surprised (and a little scared) to see the 2012 vintage of Meritage as a current release from Mt. Boucherie. This is a blend of Similkameen and Okanagan Valley fruit, a 74/26 cabernet sauvignon / cabernet franc blend that aged 30 months in French oak. Rich and full with dried blackberry, kirsch, porty plums, leather and ample clove and nutmeg spices. Tannins are strident-softened and this has an oxidative note that hovers over top to the drying, hot finish. Too much, and at this point, too late without an equally huge piece of roast beef or lamb.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Vérité La Joietext
97PTS

Vérité La Joie 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesVérité is French for truth, and the truth is this is this has always been an old world wine made in the new world. Each year is a distinct mix of numerous small vineyard blocks. The maestro is vigneron Pierre Seillan, who refers to his methodology as droit du sol or the right of the soil. In 2013 La Joie is a 71/16/8/5 mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot that spends 15 months in 100 percent new French oak. The attack is leaner than you might expect for California, more Bordelais left bank with a firm, spicy, earthy, forest floor undercurrent. The tannins are dense but refined; the fruit pretty but intense, mixing black berries and black cherries, licorice, cocoa powder with more earth and mushroom notes before finishing long, firm and dry. Amazing complexity and elegance here and certainly the potential to keep at least twenty-five years. Best now with lamb shanks or a T-Bone steak but this baby should be cellared for a decade.Prices: BC 499.99 AB 450.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
Read Full Note
Vérité Le Désirtext
96PTS

Vérité Le Désir 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe 2013 Désir is a blend of 62/22/11/5/ cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec aged 15 months in 100 percent new French oak. Perhaps the spiciest, it opens with a whiff an alluring hint of white pepper. The attack is as powerful and elegant as it gets, clearly mimicking the great wines of Saint Emilion. With so much finesse already evident you could drink this now although I would say wait a decade. The attack is round, the tannins chalky and soft with fine black tea, licorice, orange with a stony mineral backend. Impressive style and seemingly set to age for decades. Try now with Bistecca Fiorentina.Prices: BC 499.99 AB 400.00 Producer: Vérité Estate
Read Full Note
Road 13 Syrah Malbectext
87PTS

Road 13 Syrah Malbec 2015

British Columbia, CanadaThe 2015 Syrah Malbec (tipped with viognier and gamay!) is a thick, sweet, dense, overt affair, with pervading waves of charcoal smoke (2015 was the big forest fire year), rich cassis, blackberry jam on a full palate, one that finishes with a bitter espresso twist. Road 13's characteristic sweet musk violets pervade again here, with the candied pastille jockeying with the smoked peppercorn for final say. The finish is blocky and wood-led, leaving the palate with dark roasted coffee beans. More, is not more.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Road 13
Read Full Note

06 July 2017

Poet's Leap Rieslingtext
90PTS

Poet's Leap Riesling 2015

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThe Long Shadow is German Armin Diel, whose family has owned the celebrated estate of Schlossgut Diel, in Burg Layen, in the Nahe River Valley since 1802. The facilitator is the patient LS winemaker Gilles Nicault. Despite a super warm year, this has still yielded fresh and lively Poet’s Leap character, rich with peach and kumquat flavors, bits of minerality and wet stones and only 1.23 percent residual sugar. Clearly some impressive viticulture is taking place in Eastern Washington. The 2015 blend is a mix of Columbia Valley vineyards, of which roughly half is from German clones planted in the Horse Heaven Hills high above the Columbia River. How good could this be under screwcap versus its natural cork closure? 4,490 cases produced.Prices: BC 35.00 US 20.00 QC 31.00 AB 31.00 SK 30.00 Producer: Long Shadows Vintners
Read Full Note
Collection Schloss Schnait Riesling Trockentext
88PTS

Collection Schloss Schnait Riesling Trocken 2013

Württemberg, GermanyFrom the Felsengartenkellerei Co-op, this Wurttemberg riesling streams gingerale, tangerine, green apple, on a lean palate, one textured with earthy orange and pithy acidity. More severe and angular with broken stones, this has a gentle roundness on the palate, but finishes dry with a flush of warmth.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Schloss Schnait
Read Full Note
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlesetext
91PTS

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese 2015

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyThe steep, south facing Scharzhofberg vineyard is one of the Saar's most famous and climatically coolest site. With 6.6 ha, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt numbers among the largest owners with holdings in the site. Loess, coarse gray and reddish slate (up to 70%) contribute to the characteristic minerality of this site. This striking wine certainly complies, with ample crushed stone, wet slate, honeyed pear, quince, yellow apple, crystalline lemon and earthy, dried herbs filtered throughout.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt
Read Full Note
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinetttext
93PTS

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2014

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyThe Piesporter Goldtropfchen vineyard is rocky and steep, opening south and wide, amphitheatre-style, at an acute bend in the Moselle River. There is a hint of petrol and botrytis on the nose before the minerality, white peach, honey and gooseberry takes over. Lively, fresh and treading the sweet and sour line, it is both elegant, assertive and complex. A real treat. So much more than just pure acid.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt
Read Full Note
Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Rebentext
91PTS

Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2016

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyAll St Urbans-Hof dry wines bear a white label, not to mention an electric opening of freshness in the mouth. The Weiss family are third generation winegrowers and the second largest family owned and operated winery in the Mosel. Wiltinger is a "village" wine but don’t be fooled. The fruit comes off the 22-acre parcel known as Schlangengraben, a south facing site over red slate well-suited to its ‘Alte Reben’ or old vines planted in the 1930s. Intensely herbal and salty, it smells like a fresh low tide, with green apple and peach flecks throughout. There is some sweetness trying to break through, but it's held intact by the salty minerality. Beautiful balance and Mosel finesse.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
Read Full Note
Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Kabinetttext
91PTS

Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett 2016

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyWhen third generation Nik Weis took over St. Urbans-Hof in 1997, he steered the venerable Mosel site sustainable. Organic fertilizers, wild ferment, no additives are all employed to showcase the true nature of this steep slope of gravelled slate. A gentle press and fermentation in stainless at cool cellar temperatures captured the delicacy and light spritz of the grape, before aging in traditional 1000L fuder for a few months. So much ginger here – leading off a rich and full kabinett riesling. Elderflower, lilies, apricot, honeyed pear, gingerale and river rock, and a flush of perfumed tangerine and mandarin. This lingers with rosewater and fine jasmine spicing and a gentle smoked stone.Prices: BC 33.99 MB 27.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
Read Full Note
Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Rieslingtext
92PTS

Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Riesling 2016

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyThe Piesport town name has a long history of growing wine, some of which ends up to be some pretty ordinary stuff. Not the St. Urbans-Hof Goldtröpfchen Black Label Kabinett, however. The soil is heavy slate and the Weiss family farms some of the oldest vineyards in Goldtröpfchen with steep, rocky banks down to the river. The dark slate heats all day and releases its warmth all night and the result is a very rich style Kabinett, brimming with bright, tropical fruit. The palate is a story of black fruits, warm stones, peaches, and like last year, a dash of gooseberry. Sweet-ish yet refined, its the final elegance that pulls you back into a delicious bottle of sophisticated wine.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
Read Full Note
Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Saar Rieslingtext
90PTS

Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Saar Riesling 2016

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyQuiet floral, dried herbs nose with bits of fresh cut apples. Just off-dry, but barely noticeable, with the Saar minerality and stones leading a fresh palate of salty, orchard fruits that is pristine and lip-smacking. Cool and fresh and steely but with a sense of fruit that is inviting. Load up.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Weingut Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof
Read Full Note
Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan Ruppertsberg Riesling Trockentext
89PTS

Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan Ruppertsberg Riesling Trocken 2015

Pfalz, GermanyThis is sourced from the Bassermann-Jordan's estate vineyards in Ruppertsberg, fermented wild and without any additives. Alluring nose of stones, lemon verbena, tangerine pear skin and a wash of petrol on the juicy, pulpy, cushioned core. Dry and honey-sheened, this matches well the bitter pithiness of the citrus against underripe orchard fruit, all bedded with stones, plumped with Pfalz generosity, and finishing with a swipe of anise.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Bassermann-Jordan
Read Full Note
Gunderloch Fritz's Rieslingtext
88PTS

Gunderloch Fritz's Riesling 2013

Rheinhessen, GermanyThough Fritz's, named for principal Fritz Hasselbach, is a catchy label and name, don't be fooled. The grapes here come from the same area as their premium wines, grown in a special part of the Rheinhessen called the Roter Hang, or Red Hill. These slate soils are red in colour, and the iron oxide deposits impart a lot of minerality to the wines. Tangerine, pear, Asian pear, tangerine flows, housed by a beauty lime leaf tension around the edges. There’s a noticeable bump of sweetness here on the juicy, off-dry, waxy palate, well balanced by the zip of acidity.Prices: BC 18.00 ON 14.00 QC 16.00 MB 16.00 AB 16.00 Producer: Weingut Gunderloch
Read Full Note
Pewsey Vale Single Vineyard Estate Rieslingtext
91PTS

Pewsey Vale Single Vineyard Estate Riesling 2016

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaEnglishman Joseph Gilbert planted the Pewsey Vale vineyard in 1847. It wasn’t until 1961 that Geoff Angas-Parsons and Wyndham Hill Smith fully developed the historic vineyard site at 540 metres above sea level into the contoured Pewsey Vale Vineyard: a single vineyard dedicated to a single variety – riesling. The 2016 is particularly dry and clipped, showing a floral mix of dried herbs, white pepper and tight, fresh lime pith acidity. The finish is equally dry and stony with a touch of sea salt that calls for food.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 22.99 QC 22.99 Producer: Pewsey Vale
Read Full Note

05 July 2017

Mt. Boucherie Estate Collection Pinot  Gristext
84PTS

Mt. Boucherie Estate Collection Pinot Gris 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSweet, ripe and candied, with a noticeable reserve of sugar on the round, soft palate. Baked pear, yellow apple, quince paste on the fleshy, warm (14 percent) palate, with a low lying acidity to carry. Lacks verve and carries too much heat.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
88PTS

Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCrisp, crunchy pink grapefruit, passionfruit and orange fill this bright, tropical pinot gris, one that feels like it carries a swing of sauvignon blanc. From Summerland's Golden Retreat vineyard, this is full of ripe and sun-drenched orchard fruit, felt in the bump of residual sugar on the medium+ palate and finish. A good weight and density to take on fruit dressed fish or vegetable curries.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
Read Full Note
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe, round and softm the Tinhorn gris is always a crowd pleaser. Plenty of pear and honey mark the nose and palate with just enough orchard fruit acidity to keep it fresh. Ripe enough to take on dishes with a bit of spice or chill down and serve liberally on the patio with your favourite charcuterie plate. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Read Full Note
Harper's Trail Pinot Gris Thad Springs Vineyardtext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Pinot Gris Thad Springs Vineyard 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year it comes with a tinge of colour, or gris authenticity. The nose is fragrant and fresh with herbal, earthy, citrus, pear aromas that spill onto the palate. The attack is juicy and packed full of pear, quince and nectarine flavours. A ready-to-drink, just off-dry gris that would be perfect with a grilled, spicy chicken Santa-Fe style salad.Prices: BC 17.90 Producer: Harper's Trail
Read Full Note
Matua Valley Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Matua Valley Pinot Gris 2015

Gisborne - Poverty Bay, North Island, New ZealandYou never really know what you're going to get with New Zealand pinot gris. This one is ripe, full bodied and honeyed pear, surprisingly showing some maturity beyond its 2015 vintage and the warmth of the fruit basket of Gisbourne, on the North Island. Marmalade and ginger finish out the snappy finish.Prices: BC 21.49 Producer: Matua Valley Wines
Read Full Note
Q do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Brancotext
90PTS

Q do E Vinho Espumate Bruto Branco NV

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom the stunning architecture of Quinta do Encontro (Google it) and the pristine, cool environment of Bairrada. In the western part of the Beiras, between the mountainous Dão and the Atlantic beaches, Bairrada has a maritime climate. This traditional method fizz is a blend of bical, maria gomes and arinto, with one year on the lees. Herbal lemon, white grapefruit, white fig, almond biscotti, lees bed and - characteristically - bitter herbs, this lighter bodied wine vibrates with acidity on the chalky finish.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Quinta do Encrontro
Read Full Note
Santa Julia Pinot Grigiotext
87PTS

Santa Julia Pinot Grigio 2015

Mendoza, ArgentinaPear, apple and earthy lees, with ripe pear and dried apple lining the base and grapefruit rind to brighten. Surprisingly dry and grippy, all around a thicker base of melon and citrus lees. This is a medium bodied, solid wine that is more serious than the rice and label would suggest.Prices: BC 13.49 AB 13.99 SK 13.99 MB 10.99 ON 11.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
Read Full Note
Fort Berens Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaEighty percent of the grapes come from Lillooet and as fresh as they seem they were supercharged by the addition of 20 percent from the Similkameen. Partial whole cluster pressed, partial new American oak fermented, and all with Montrachet yeast—hints to where they want to go with this fuller wine. Ripe pear, yellow apple, fine spice on a round palate, easily lifted with acidity and a sun sweetness to the snappy, sage-dusted finish. The fruit absorbs all the wood handily here. Impressive.Prices: BC 18.40 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2015

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe site is encircled by natural vegetation including sage, bunch grass, ponderosa pine and fruit trees that all appear in the wine, but the flavours are more terroir than fruit and frankly, pleasantly complex. The site is planted to clone 52 Pinot Gris, now ten years old and just hitting its stride. The wine goes through full malolactic and is aged in concrete tanks for ten months on its gross lees. Intense herbal aromas mix with floral leesy notes flecked with honeysuckle and peach. Love the complexity here that takes this label to a completely different level. Not your mother’s pinot gris; the New Okanagan.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
Read Full Note
River Stone Pinot Gristext
88PTS

River Stone Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSunripened pear, peach and canteloupe in this Oliver pinot gris, now a highlight of their portfolio. The medium body is scented with roses, bedded with river rock and lined with fine lees. From their estate River Rock vineyard, this was fermented and aged on fine lees in stainless steel to preserve the fresh fruit. Very complete, right to the finely spiced finish.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: River Stone Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris Vintner's Reservetext
86PTS

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris Vintner's Reserve 2016

California, United StatesWinemaker Randy Ullom is having fun with pinot gris, mixing about 25 percent other grapes (roussanne, chardonnay, marsanne, albariño, viognier and muscat) and ageing the juice in both wood and stainless steel. Expect a fresh tropical white with melon, honey, grapefruit, pear and lees with a touch of vanilla. Fruit friendly, if a little varietally confused, but ready to drink.Prices: BC 24.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
Read Full Note
Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +20/09text
88PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Pinot Gris +20/09 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTexturally lush and full bodied, this is sourced from three Naramata Bench sites plus Skaha Bluffs site. The fruit is whole cluster pressed and settled with no skin contact. It’s fermented in 50% neutral French oak barrels, 30% stainless steel and 20% concrete eggs all aged sur lie for 5 months with weekly stirring. Ripe peach, apricot, pear and red apple jump from the glass with a just enough acid to keep it interesting. The finish is blanketed in cedar, floral spice. Serve now with fresh salmon or halibut.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
Read Full Note
DouRosa Vinho Brancotext
91PTS

DouRosa Vinho Branco 2009

Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalWhat fortune to find this vintage of a white Portuguese wine currently on shelves in BC. If you think all Portuguese wines are cheap and cheerful drink-nows, think again. This blend of old vine viosinho, gouveio, arinto is from granitic soils, 600m altitude above the rugged Douro Valley. Honeyed almonds, rock salts, pear leather, quince, stones flow slowly along the palate, buoyed by an ever-present wave of easy acidity. The finish snaps with mineral salts - highly impressive, and lingering. This has shed all the fresh fruit of youth, revealing layers of maturity far beyond its price.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Quinta da Rosa Vinhos S.A.
Read Full Note

04 July 2017

Intrigue Rieslingtext
86PTS

Intrigue Riesling 2016

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLime curd, apricot and tangerine fill this juicy and ripe riesling from the "Two Wongs Make a White" vineyard (for reals) in Lake Country. White flowers, zesty gingersnap and rosewater floods the juicy palate up to a pithy, powdered grapefruit note that sticks on the shorter finish. A sweet and sour style.Prices: BC 16.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
Read Full Note
Monte Creek Ranch Rieslingtext
89PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2016

British Columbia, CanadaRiesling is highlight of the Monte Creek Ranch portfolio, boasting the most authenticity of flavour. Like last year, the fruit is streamlined with super bright white peach, yellow apple and lime pulp flavours with a dash of dried herbs. Intense lemon persists across a sharp clean crisp finish. Food friendly now, this will age comfortable another five years. Well done.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
Read Full Note
Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling is consistent from year to year, never fancy, never showy, just focused. The nose is a lime leaf and citrus affair with some light petrol notes. The attack is spare with firm, dry, stony, mineral, citrus notes that all lead to a complex style built for food. Hendsbee sits adjacent to Orofino’s Home Vineyard and the fruit is a mix of eight to ten-year-old vines tagged as clones 239 and 21B. The site is two-to-four feet sandy loam over nothing but rocks. Not for the timid, this is best served with a mixed charcuterie plate or rich pork dishes now, or cellar it a decade and wait for it to fully expand in the bottle. Good value.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
Read Full Note
Meyer Family Fleet Road Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Meyer Family Fleet Road Vineyard Riesling 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFleet Road Vineyard was planted in 2005 on the Naramata Bench. The ferment is wild, the style is skinny and tight with a strong citrus, pear skin flavour and bitter grape fruit finish. The 2016 is fresher than the previous version but the style remains intense and made for food.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA slight change this year in the fruit mix has turbo charged this riesling, giving it a legitimate edge. The fruit is harvested selectively using a combination of early and late picks from both East and West Kelowna vineyard sites. The early fruit adds acidity and freshness; the second round adds deeper tones and orange. Expect a fresh, green, lime/apple affair lined with orange flecks and a dry, mineral bite in the back. Clean as a whistle and made for crab cakes, veal picatta, pork belly and most summer salads. A pitch perfect riesling given its stellar price.Prices: BC 15.99 AB 18.00 MB 16.99 YK 18.90 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Rieslingtext
89PTS

Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom vines first planted in 1978, and now among the oldest riesling in the Okanagan, this is an electric, off-dry, fruity riesling with yellow apple, quince, white honey and bedded with ample and potent river stones. Juicy on the core, ripe with orchard fruit but with a piercing acidity that lifts the fruit from front to back. Rich and powerful enough to accompany main course menu selections and aged cheeses.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
Read Full Note
Bartier Bros. Rieslingtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. Riesling 2015

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bartier riesling comes off the limestone studded Thadd Springs Vineyard in Kamloops. The nose is deliciously bright with a whiff of sagebrush and fennel. The attack is crisp and awash in citrussy, stony, mineral, fruit flavours with an attractive watery edge that makes it easy to gulp. Perfect balance means a long future in the bottle is in the cards but why wait - this is delicious now. The grapes were harvested on the 25th and 29th of September at 22.2 Brix, pH 3.12, and TA 8.8.Prices: BC 19.29 Producer: Bartier Brothers
Read Full Note
Mt. Boucherie Rieslingtext
86PTS

Mt. Boucherie Riesling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pours a light gold hue, and presents as rich and waxy on the palate as the hue suggests. Ripe pear, apricot, baked yellow apple, quince and ginger spicing on the full, warmer palate. A dose of acidity helps, but this still lags behind the ripeness and density, and feels a bit sluggish and woolly overall.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Spierhead Riesling GFV Saddle Blocktext
86PTS

Spierhead Riesling GFV Saddle Block 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the Saddle Block of Gentleman Farmer Vineyard, this aged five months in stainless steel, preserving the bright fruit. Juicy pear, yellow apple, apricot and white peach tones. There’s a very tart white cranberry juice that floods the palate, one with a frame of sweet ginger ale spicing and zesty, high acidity. Off-dry and sharp with a prickly, confusing mix of sweet and sour in the finish.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
Read Full Note
Tantalus Rieslingtext
90PTS

Tantalus Riesling 2016

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada2016 hails a return to an earlier streamline form for the flagship Tantalus riesling, one of BC's cult wines. This comes from various estate blocks, including the initial 1978 plantings. The blocks were harvested over a two-month period, fermented in stainless and then blended and bottled the following spring. Joyously and confidently off-dry, with ample pulpy lime, pear, tangerine blossom and a stony mineral cut. There's a stream of juicy acidity that flows along the gently cushioned palate to the bright, pithy finish. Well done. The 17.3 g/l of residual sugar are effectively struck off against 10.1 g/l of total acidity keeping the wine electric. A serious bargain you can serve with just about anything you can imagine.Prices: BC 19.91 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Tantalus Old Vines Rieslingtext
92PTS

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the iconic BC labels, ‘Old Vines’ is made from the first lot of riesling plantings (1978) from a single 2-acre plot. Block 5 is on a slope of deep, silty soils, bordered on the western edge by a stand of Ponderosa Pine that act as a sunblock from warm Okanagan summer sun. Only 8.1 g/l of residual sugar are deftly handled to balance out the 9.8 g/l of total acidity. The fruit is farmed sustainably, cropped low and cellared for two years before release. This savoury riesling certainly is a stunner and among the best yet from Tantalus. Broken stones, wild herbs, earthy grasses and eraser notes undercut a lifted tone of lime leaf and lime pith, green apple, verbena and tight pear. The acidity is nervy and electric, vibrating along the medium, sun-dappled palate, until the brisk, grippy finish. Minerality rings throughout, from first whiff to lingering, lime pith finish. You can enjoy this now with herb roasted chicken but its future is bright and many years down the road.Prices: BC 30.35 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
Read Full Note
Harper's Trail Dry Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Pioneer Blocktext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Dry Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Pioneer Block 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaLike last year there is plenty of refreshing acidity here. The nose offers up dried herbs, sagebrush, with apples and limes. The attack is mouth-watering with citrusy, stony, mineral notes. I suspect this will improve in bottle but for the moment this south Thompson-sourced wine is a little skinny. Serve for lunch with a pulled-pork sandwich or a charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Harper's Trail
Read Full Note
Harper's Trail Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Silver Mane Blocktext
87PTS

Harper's Trail Riesling Thad Springs Vineyard Silver Mane Block 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a fun off-dry riesling (20.6 RS) you can quaff on a warm summer’s day or put it up against some spicy tuna sushi or curry bowl at dinner. The single vineyard Thadd Springs yields some light watery peachy/red apple fruit with orange and ginger highlights. Simple, fresh and ready to drink. Thadd Springs Vineyard is on Shuswap Road in Kamloops, just off the Thompson River.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Harper's Trail
Read Full Note
Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Rieslingtext
88PTS

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaUnderripe orchard fruit (quince, pear) and searing, stony acidity hallmark this severe, lean riesling. Lemon thistle, tangerine filters through the palate, along with a reductive edging. You can certainly understand the site here; Hendsbee is sandy loam over rocks, adjacent to Orofino’s Home Vineyard, and a mix of eight to ten-year-old vines, clones 239 and 21B. Bracing.Prices: BC 21.90 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
Read Full Note
Fort Berens Dry Rieslingtext
87PTS

Fort Berens Dry Riesling 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaA new release from Fort Berens tagged at 4.6 g/l RS and 8 g/l TA as opposed to the 6.7 g/l RS and 7.6 g/l TA of their classic riesling. Estate Lillooet grapes were blended with fruit from Vernon and Similkameen, whole cluster pressed and fermented with a cocktail of different yeasts, stopped when the desired sweetness (for their 'dry') was reached. Lime leaf, lemon blossom and baked yellow apple. Acidity is high, though the finish is a touch sour candy - likely more about the yeast than the fruit. Sweet and sour, but bright on the finish, this is well suited to summer patios and light food duty.Prices: Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Fort Berens Rieslingtext
88PTS

Fort Berens Riesling 2016

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaFort Berens now produces two rieslings: the ‘Classic’ carries 6.7 g/l RS and 7.6 g/l TA, as opposed to the new 'Dry Riesling' sitting at 4.6 g/l RS and 8 g/l TA. Estate Lillooet grapes were blended with Vernon and Similkameen grapes, and fertilized with a mix of numerous yeasts for a cold, slow ferment. Ripe red apples, perfumed pear blossoms are tightened on the finish with a citrus twist. More dialled in than previous attempts; make some room on the patio for this sipper all summer.Prices: BC 18.40 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Gray Monk Rieslingtext
87PTS

Gray Monk Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine always seems to over deliver for its price, even in 2015 when it might have been too warm in most of the Okanagan for crisp whites. Lake Country fruit has delivered a cooler demeanour riesling with peachy, lemon and green apple fruits and mostly bright acidity. The palate is equally fresh on attack with a mix of peachy, orange fruit and a soft back end. A perfect patio sipper. Serve well chilled with spicy sushi rolls.Prices: BC 13.89 AB 21.59 Producer: Gray Monk Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Ex Nihilo Rieslingtext
87PTS

Ex Nihilo Riesling 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEx Nihilo sits near 50 degrees north in cool-climate Lake Country, a perfect home for riesling, especially in 2015 when temperatures across the valley soared. The style of this riesling is lean and dry. The midpalate is tightly strung with yellow fruits dominating. The finish is dry, perhaps a touch woolly, with dry, stony mineral highlights. It's all free-run juice fermented in stainless steel before spending a few months in tank prior to bottling. A food-friendly, dry riesling that is ready to drink with soft cheeses or seafood.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
Read Full Note