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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2017

26 May 2017

Ruby Blues Commune Viogniertext
85PTS

Ruby Blues Commune Viognier 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPeach gummies, banana and peach leather mark this simple, candied, floral and warm viognier, one that finishes with a powdered orange note. This is from Blue Pig, Granite Ridge and Ruby Blues Vineyards around Naramata. Stainless steel ferment and aging with lees stirring. Full bodied and ripe, chill this simple white down and crack this summer. The ripe, sweet, character suggests it could work with spicier dishes.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Ruby Blues
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Domane Wachau Gruner Veltliner Reservetext
91PTS

Domane Wachau Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2015

Wachau, Niederösterreich, Weinland Österreich, AustriaWhite asparagus, white fig and white pepper stream this GV. There's a lovely density on the palate, all tinged and tingled with prickly fine minerality and white grapefruit pith spicing. Anise and wild herbs hum throughout. Very complete, ideal with seabass or spot prawns or, highly fittingly, grilled asparagus.Prices: Producer: Domane Wachau
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Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanctext
88PTS

Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanc 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis younger vines chenin is from cuttings from the winery's Old Vines Chenin Blanc Vineyard (from 1968). The concentrated parentage is felt here, aided by whole bunch pressing, but kept brighter than its elder with time in stainless. Still mouth filling and creamy, this is filled with quince, yellow apple, white peaches, pear blossoms and heady spice lingering on the warming finish. I'd love even more of an acid cut to the fruity richness, though this is an appealing, approachable, full bodied white to enjoy now with halibut. More chenin in BC please.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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Stag's Hollow Albarino Shuttleworth Creek Vineyardtext
90PTS

Stag's Hollow Albarino Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAlbariño from the Okanagan Valley, you say? We say si, and why not? We've the warmth of Spanish summers, capable of the brisk acidity the grape benefits from, and able to achieve the long hang time that Albariño benefits from. Plus, we're young and experimental enough to try. Pear, melon, white peach, anise, and gentle peach fuzz spicing in this fluid and streamlined example. Partial barrel fermented (500L French puncheons) and no MLF has keep this bright, while six weeks battonage gives just a slip of cushion to the palate. In future, I'd like to see this go even deeper into the Okanagan terroir (wild yeast, more time on lees, less stainless) but for now, this is a crisp, clean and bright wine ideal for our spot prawns, fresh halibut and Asian scented scallops.Prices: BC 20.25 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Black Hills Roussannetext
88PTS

Black Hills Roussanne 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLush, rich and full, this is a small lot production. Baked peaches, apricot and honeysuckle line the voluptuous palate, with mandarine and ginger for seasoning. Richer than the 2014; the wood is felt at this point though acidity is adequate (not pronounced, not lagging) requiring matching with an equally potent food.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyardtext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Grower's Series Pinot Blanc Middle Bench Vineyard 2016

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaStainless steel and a long, cool ferment was utilized to preserve the crisp, tight and pithy tangerine fruit aromas. On the palate, Asian pear crunchy acidity, with yellow apple, pear and peach with fuzzy apricot and a kiss of anise on the stony finish. A slight bump of sugar offsets the zippy acidity here, leaving this fresh and ready for summer at a bonus 12.5 percent alcohol. The annual, all-Similkameen, Grower's Series Collection features one white and one red selected by winemaker Michael Clark. The pinot blanc comes off the Middle Bench Vineyard in Keremeos.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Semillontext
89PTS

Mt. Boucherie Semillon 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaShowing some of that attractive, savoury sheen of sémillon that comes with age this is honeyed pear, with grapefruit, tangerine pith and ample white pepper. There's an alluring anise scent in what is a medium-bodied white, one that streams along an oil-slicked palate to an herbal and whistled citrus, spiced finish. Impressive and will improve with even more time in the bottle. More sém in BC please.Prices: BC 16.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Domaine La Rosière Jongieuxtext
89PTS

Domaine La Rosière Jongieux 2015

Savoie, FranceStony, streamlined and bright, this lively jacquère charms with herbal meadow blossoms, green apple and scents of green fig, lemon thistle and nettle. A river stream of minerality beds this light bodied white, one that flourishes in the steep clay-limestone slopes of the French Alps. An herbal lick of lees carries throughout, until lemon zest, white blossoms and light smoked stone ring on the crisp finish. Honest, simple, charming, smashable.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Domaine la Rosière
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25 May 2017

Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnaytext
93PTS

Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandOne of Giesen's single vineyard series, this is from Brancott Valley's silty loam Clayvin vineyard, and from organically farmed vines more than twenty years of age. Whole bunch pressed, wild ferment, after settling this was sent to new 1000L German oak fuder (cigar) for 11 months to impart a lower oak to volume ratio. An impressively finessed, concentrated, earthy, flinty, structured form, with tight lemon eraser, stone, and earthy meadow herb-lined lees. A mineral hum vibrates along the finish. Love the energy in this young wine, one that will age very well over the next 5-10 years easy.Prices: Producer: Giesen Estate
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Synchromesh Riesling Storm Haven Vineyardtext
93PTS

Synchromesh Riesling Storm Haven Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Storm Haven ‘Black’ label is the flagship riesling at Synchromesh, the oldest vines on the best terroir is at the heart of this amazing single vineyard wine that transports me to the Mosel. The site is ideally located to absorb the warm day sun and then bathe in a cool evening katabatic wined off the Peachcliff Mountains. The soils, a mix of clay, granite, gravels and limestone adds to the mystery and complexity of this wine. A long 2016 season made for some fabulous hangtime and fruit purity. Think candied lemons, mangoes, peaches and a minera,l stony undercurrent. You can drink this now or wait a decade or two. Impressive to say the least.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Synchromesh Wines Inc.
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Domaine Queylus Cabernet Franc Merlottext
89PTS

Domaine Queylus Cabernet Franc Merlot 2011

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaA cool, challenging year only demonstrates the patient hand of winemaker Thomas Bachelder, who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to growing fruit and making wine. At six years, this red is ready to drink offering herbal, leafy, earthy, red fruit notes with just a hint of cocoa and coffee. The oak is round and melded into the wine, as are the soft tannins. Ready to drink. Think grilled beef with a peppercorn sauce.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Domaine Queylus
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Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franctext
88PTS

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franc 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSmoked branch, cherry, forest berries and mossy sprigs throughout this grippy, medicinal-hued cabernet franc. From 13 year old vines on Black Sage Bench's Diamondback Vineyard, this spent one month on the skins before time in French oak (25 percent new). Youthful and wound now, but with a delicate softness on the tacky-tannin palate, this will relax more with time in bottle, allowing the tannins to unknit and settle. As is, pour now with fired pork chops or ribs.Prices: BC 30.99 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Bartier Bros. Cabernet Franc Cerqueira Vineyardtext
88PTS

Bartier Bros. Cabernet Franc Cerqueira Vineyard 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWinemaker Michael Bartier is a hands-off-let-the-site-do-the-talking kind of winemaker. The ’14 franc is all Cerqueira Vineyard located on the Black Sage Gravel Bar. The soils are dense loam topsoil above gravel with limestone (calcium carbonate) covered granite, quartz, and basalt cobbles throughout a deep profile. It was fermented with wild yeast and finished unfined and unfiltered. It was a warm year and the red and black is jammy albeit with a savoury, south Okanagan film. The grapes were harvested October 23 at 23.5 Brix. Maceration took place over 28 days in small open top stainless steel and concrete fermenters facing a combination of punch downs, pump overs and delestage. The fruit was pressed directly to barrels to complete fermentations and racked twice over the following 12 months. This one needs a bit of time in bottle or try now with roast pork or lamb.Prices: BC 25.99 AB 25.95 Producer: Bartier Brothers
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Little Engine Cabernet Franc (Platinum Label)text
89PTS

Little Engine Cabernet Franc (Platinum Label) 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe first cabernet franc release by Little Engine is big, 15.1 percent (alcohol) big. The nose is open and lifted showing rich floral, leafy tobacco notes with a spicy undercurrent. The attack is similar with juicy, spicy red and black fruit with a whack of vanilla and toasted oak. Big bold, ripe and slightly cooked, this youthful red California style red will need five years more in bottle to settle down. If you must open it now serve it with a fire-grilled steak.Prices: BC 75.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
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Bachelder Johnson Chardonnay Oregon Single Vineyardtext
93PTS

Bachelder Johnson Chardonnay Oregon Single Vineyard 2013

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThomas Bachelder understands chardonnay and pinot noir in a way few other winemakers do, making terroir-driven wines from these grapes in Niagara, Oregon and Burgundy. The Johnson vineyard is on sedimentary soils in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, a site planted by Bachelder himself in 2000 during his time working at neighbouring Lemelson Vineyards. The 2013 struck with its reductive, flinty edge, flake salts and citrus, green apple, streaming along with verve and energy on a slick of lees. Textural and structured, with an alluring saline note, this will age beautifully, and drinking very well now. Impressive.Prices: ON 45.00 Producer: Bachelder
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Dorrance Kama Chenin Blanctext
91PTS

Dorrance Kama Chenin Blanc 2014

Swartland, Coastal Region, South AfricaFrom the first urban winery in South Africa, Dorrance is a project from Normandy's Christophe and Sabrina Durand set up in Cape Town's Heritage Square. They source grapes from across the Cape for their wines. Kama was grown on a single vineyard of decomposed granite soils, dry-farmed and 40 years of age. 70 percent was matured in concrete eggs with the remainder in older French oak barrels. Earthy with wild meadow herbs, white peach, heady concentration and a complex, spicy palate with texted mineral undertones and a firm but well placed bracket of oak. Power and restraint in youth.Prices: BC 36.00 Producer: Dorrance
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Pianirossi Rosso Black Labeltext
91PTS

Pianirossi Rosso Black Label 2010

Maremma, Tuscany, ItalyThe Pianirossi Rosso is a selection of the best grapes. The blend is a unique mix of petit verdot, montepulciano and cabernet sauvignon. The colour is deep red, the nose a peppery, liquorice, floral affair with a mineral undercurrent. The attack mixes red and black fruits in a silky, elegant manner with bits of balsamic, coffee and roasted chocolate. Just coming into its own at six years. Best with grilled meats.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Tenuta Pianirossi
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Yangarra PF Shiraztext
91PTS

Yangarra PF Shiraz 2016

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaThe shiraz is grown at Kangarilla, McLaren Vale from 17-21-year-old vines that sit between 150-180m. The 100 hectares of vineyards at Yangarra are divided into 35 individual blocks spread amongst 70 hectares of creeks, native vegetation and native corridors. Each block is defined by different aspects and subtle variations of the sand and ironstone soils. This wine is grown primarily on the sandy sites. The PF shiraz blocks are among the first blocks to be picked and are said to often be low in sugar and high in natural acidity. Whole berries are double sorted, lightly broken and dumped into small open-top fermenters. No additives were used for the wine’s entire production. A few days of cold soak precedes a natural yeast fermentation and a careful regime of plunging and drain to return a perfect extraction. This wine is delicious, and soars far above its winemaking. Uncannily textural and dry with firm, round fruit that spills across the palate spreading dense soft tannins everywhere, supporting rather than affecting the finish. Pure is a perfect word to describe this wine. The PF Shiraz is made from grapes grown without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals. It is made without additions of any kind: no sulphur (preservative), acid, tannin or finings. There is no barrel aging and the alcohol, at 14.5%, is natural. Wow.Prices: US 23.00 BC 38.00 Producer: Yangarra Estate Vineyards
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24 May 2017

Zuccardi Emma Zuccardi Bonardatext
91PTS

Zuccardi Emma Zuccardi Bonarda 2014

Mendoza, ArgentinaEasily the best Emma I have tasted. The wine is a tribute to visionary winemaker Sebastien Zuccardi’s grandmother. The Uco Valley red is unoaked and so relies upon its savoury fruit to entice. I love the floral notes and the red raspberry/strawberry fruit that buoy its soft, slippery textures and tannins. Fresh and elegant, it’s more pinot noir than bonarda. Not cheap but well worth investigating.Prices: BC 40.00 ON 35.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Paolo Bea Pagliarotext
93PTS

Paolo Bea Pagliaro 2008

Umbria, Italy100 percent sagrantino from Italy's iconic / iconoclastic naturalist Paolo Bea. The organically farmed Pagliaro vineyard sits at 1300 feet in altitude, and planted mostly to this revealed local grape, sagrantino. A long ferment with wild yeast (up to 50 days) precedes aging for one year in stainless, two additional years in large Slavonian oak, and then one more year (unfiltered) in bottle. This is alive, fresh and youthful for 2008, with worn leather, sapid branch, salts, and a fine tug and grip around the sides of the dense, medium bodied palate. Tight knit and confidently unyielding, you have to work your way into this wine, an untamed beaut. Texture stretches the length to the lingering, drying finish, matched by a bristling, earthy mineral acidity. Layers and layers of flavours, best enjoyed over a few hours (or couple of days).Prices: BC 110.00 Producer: Paolo Bea
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Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolotext
91PTS

Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo 2012

Langhe, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyAnother super effort from Lecinquevigne, this is a blend of nebbiolo from five sites grown in the calcareous-clay soils of Barolo in Grinzane Cavour, Monforte and Novello. The vines are 30 to 50 years old and you can almost sense them regulating lower yields and squeezing out only the finest juiciest nebbiolo fruit into the grapes. Don’t be fooled by its pale colour but rather revel in its earthy, violet, wild cherry nose. The palate is similar with fleshy, juicy red fruits seldom encountered in young nebbiolo -especially from what many would describe as a difficult vintage. You can cellar this another three to five years or serve now with mushrooms, grilled beef or roasted chicken. Good value and worth stocking up. A great bottle for restaurants.Prices: BC 47.99 Producer: Damilano SrL
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La Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
89PTS

La Valentina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013

Abruzzo, ItalyHeady, concentrated wild cassis, sapid blackberry, dried black plum and a layer of worn leather on the medium bodied palate. Tannins are noticeable, but in check with the plump, savoury lined fruit. Youthful still, this best served now with meat-sauced fresh pasta. So much Abruzzo.Prices: Producer: Fattoria La Valentina
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Mountain Fish Agiorgitikotext
88PTS

Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko 2014

Nemea, Peloponnese, GreeceStrofilia Estate was started by two friends in 1984. This is the latest project in their portfolio, ‘Syn+’, the result of the next generation experimenting with their family’s accomplished practices. This agiorgitiko is from mountainous vineyards in Asprokambos and Psari, in Nemea. Deep clay soils, whole cluster and two weeks on the skins, this spent six months in tank before bottling. Downy plum, blackcurrant, cassis, wild cherry on the soft, generous and friendly palate, one with fine powdery, fuzzy tannins hugging the edges to a warming finish. A fine, potent line of acidity plumbs the whole. Rustic and charming, crack and chill and serve with pork. Good value - more like this in BC please.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Strofilia Estate
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23 May 2017

Intrigue Social Rosètext
86PTS

Intrigue Social Rosè 2016

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep glossy pink, this is a sweet rosé of riesling, pinot noir, merlot, and rotberger. The party atmosphere of the bottle is reflected in this wine. Shiny and juicy strawberry, candied apple, pear gummies on the full body, closing off with a gentle cinnamon heart spicing. Chill well and drink up this summer.Prices: BC 16.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Road 13 Honest John's Rosétext
87PTS

Road 13 Honest John's Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep glowing crimson in hue, this is a potent and punchy blend of merlot, pinot noir, gamay, viognier, syrah and cabernet franc that spent 48 hours on the skins to produce this electric hue. Full-bodied and glycerol-lined (feeling the 14 percent alcohol and 9 g/l RS), this is packed with sweet strawberry jam, pear nectar, ripe peach and a riff of peach fuzz spicing. This is best well chilled and to partner with richer bites (involving pork or chicken) this summer.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Rosétext
88PTS

Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDistinct smoked herbs and meadow grass leads off this pinot noir rosé, with grapes sourced from various vineyards across the Okanagan. Direct press method, this was macerated on the skins (22 hours) before fermentation and aging in stainless to preserve the bright, crunchy acidity. Rhubarb, pink grapefruit, smoked stones fill this bone dry, structured, medium bodied and adult rosé. The finish is awash with the smoked herbs that led us off.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Monte Creek Ranch Rosétext
86PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Rosé 2016

British Columbia, CanadaDeeper glowing pink, this is a sweeter rosé of the hybrid marquette grape. Candied apple, strawberry gummies and cherry popsicle are kept bright and frisky with a juicy acidity (and 13 percent alcohol). Chill down and enjoy this easy pink this summer on the patio.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Quails' Gate Rosétext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPink grapefruit, wild strawberry and mandarin full this sunny, bright rosé of gamay, pinot noir and pinot gris. Just off dry, this has a juicy flood of acidity to carry the silky palate to the crisp finish. A pillow of lees and peach fuzz on the palate keeps this in the game for pairing with lox or salmon salads.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 21.00 ON 17.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyardtext
88PTS

Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Rosè Pozza Vineyard 2016

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pale pink rose was from a small block of cabernet franc in the sloping Pozza Vineyard, a cooler, higher altitude site in Similkameen's Olalla Gap, surrounded by desert scrub. This spent brief time on the skins before being fermented cool and bottled without fining. Tight and lean, dry and crisp, with sour cherry, sour apple, rhubarb, herbal raspberry in a compact, 11 percent alcohol form. On the severe, savoury spectrum of the rosé rainbow. Bonus points - this also comes in magnum (you'll be the hit of the party).Prices: BC 19.90 BC 39.80 1500 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosétext
89PTS

Seven Directions Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Franc Rosé 2016

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSourced from Westbank's Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard, the least expensive Seven Directions’ coral coloured rosé is looking good in 2016. Made with cabernet franc grown on rock over gravel mixed with loam and clay. Like last year it opens with a stony mineral bent but the fruit jumps in and the acidity stiffens its resolve. We love the dryness here and the spikes of tangerine, oranges and wild berries. Delicate, creamy and delicious. Super value and there are 300 cases this year.Prices: BC 14.69 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosétext
89PTS

Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

Westbank South, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTrout Creek single-vineyard pinot noir is the grape behind this sensational looking, almost zero coloured rosé with an equally enticing nose. Floral orange blossoms and citrus aromas waft from the glass. The attack is similar with bits of grapefruit, lime rind, citrus, ripe melon and peach with the perfect mix of acidity, sweetness and salt. Back up the truck if it isn’t all gone.Prices: BC 19.91 Producer: Seven Directions Wine
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Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Rosétext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFull, rich and ripe strawberry and candied raspberry on this glycerol-slicked rosé, part of the Oldfield Series. Nineteen year old cabernet franc from Black Sage Bench's Diamondback Vineyard gains the deeper peach hue with 12 hours of skin contact before heading into stainless steel. The acidity lags (5.5 g/l), while the residual sugar is moderate (6.5 g/l), leaving this feeling weighted down on the palate. Could easily take on bigger proteins like quail.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Sperling Pinot Noir Rosétext
88PTS

Sperling Pinot Noir Rosé 2015

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a medium peach hue (from a 30 hour soak), this is pinot noir from the family's Estate Vineyard, with crisp strawberry, sour cherry and red currant kept tight with a snappy finish. A fine sprinkle of cinnamon throughout this medium bodied rosé to the lightly sweet finish, this would do well with fish tacos or salmon steaks this summer.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Stag's Hollow Syrah Grenache Rosétext
89PTS

Stag's Hollow Syrah Grenache Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPouring a deep candied apple pink, this bright, dry and powerful rosé reminds of Tavel in its potency and structure. This is 70/30 syrah/grenache from Osoyoos and Penticton, fermented, blended and rested in stainless steel, partially with lees contact and battonage. Deep strawberry, raspberry jam, thorns and peppery spice on the fuller, firmer frame. A generous cushion of lees and berry on the palate make this welcoming, while the potency makes it useful for pork chops.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosétext
92PTS

Lock & Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé 2016

CanadaPale but potent, light but intense, dry but lively: THIS is what I want to drink in pink. Copiously. From 1.5 acres of 2008-planted cabernet franc on the sandy Naramata Bench, this was whole cluster pressed (three hours of skin contact) before resting in neutral French oak for six months. A slight cloudiness attests to the low-intervention winemaking: this was bottled without fining or filtration. Crisp and tight, streaked with mandarin peel and brightened with a juicy quell of acidity, this is all wild strawberries, salted plum, herbal salts and broken stones. Savoury, lithe and finessed, at an impressive 11.6 percent, this is the definition of serious AND seriously smashable.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
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Meyer Rosetext
88PTS

Meyer Rose 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe and full strawberry, raspberry and orange fills this juicy, medium bodied and silky rosé. This is a saignée from the younger pinot noir vines on their Okanagan Falls estate as well as selected Kelowna vineyards. The Pommard and Dijon clones are fermented wild in barrel, where it rests for four months, undergoing MLF, before bottling. A light candied apple note, ample cinnamon spicing lingers on the finish. Chill and drink this summer.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Quails' Gate Rosé Lucy's Blocktext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Rosé Lucy's Block 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNikki Callaway's latest pink, Lucy’s Block Rosé, is named after the Stewart family’s Grandmother, Lucy Mary Whitworth. Its dry rosé (yeah) made from a 50/50 blend of single vineyard pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes from the young vines Westpoint Vineyard in East Kelowna. The colour is light salmon pink (could be lighter) and the wine is electric rosé. The nose is floral with red fruit nuances but the attack is super fresh with a citrus lead that permeates the watermelon, dried herbs, red fruit flavours finishing dry and clean at 1.9 residual. Fine balance. Think food including fresh seafood, bouillabaisse, paella, artisanal sausages and chicken kebabs with grilled vegetables. Club members only.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 21.00 ON 17.95 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Bartier Bros. Rosétext
89PTS

Bartier Bros. Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI should recuse myself from this review because I was at the Northern Italy tasting where a particularly tasty pinot grigio rosé inspired winemaker Michael Bartier to mix some light gewürztraminer with some crisp chardonnay (both still fermenting) and some cabernet franc still in contact with its skins when he returned. The result: a perfect Provençal-style pink with an electrically-charged BC version of red fruits and acidity. Picked early to maintain its acidity this is a winner and unbelievably sold in BC Liquor stores.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Bartier Brothers
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Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosétext
90PTS

Sea Star Blanc de Noir Rosé 2016

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaThis is whole cluster, organic Pender Island pinot noir. Rhubarb, raspberry, strawberry, pear and cranberry fill this juicy and fresh rosé, with a crunchy coastal acidity to carry. Sea salts and fine spice echo on the bright finish. A cushion of plum on the palate makes this approachable solo, and entices pairing this with poached salmon. A lovely, coastal-imbued rosé.Prices: BC 19.04 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Clos du Soleil Rosétext
88PTS

Clos du Soleil Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA nice improvement over last year. In 2016 they have made this a 60/40 cabernet franc/cabernet sauvignon blend, introducing the fresh herbaceousness of the franc into the mix - a welcome addition. Wild raspberry, cherry, red currant and rhubarb finish clean and brisk and stony, at a welcome 13 percent. This is on the full-bodied end of the spectrum so you can bring on the grilled poultry or pork and it will stand up. It’s still too dark in hue to have that magic look, but it’s a solid achievement, and one we're happy to drink.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Blasted Church Rosétext
85PTS

Blasted Church Rosé 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMedium pinkish colour, a bit dark by modern standards. The nose is fresh and bright with obvious strawberry. The palate is a mix of ripe strawberries, citrus, pepper and dried herbs with a slightly cloying sweet finish. Drink solo on a warm day. The last Blasted Church Rosé was made six years ago. The blend is a mix of estate grown cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir along with merlot and malbec from their Osoyoos vineyards.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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Black Hills Rosetext
86PTS

Black Hills Rose 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBright, full bodied, on the red side of pink, with sweet, ripe strawberry and raspberry and candied apple. There is a thread of citrus that keeps it fresh as it travels along the palate before a somewhat abrupt finish. The residual sugar is noticeable here, with a glycerol slick that coats the palate. A perfect wine for this summer's richer seafood or chicken salad. Chill well.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Mt. Boucherie Rosétext
86PTS

Mt. Boucherie Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeep red/pinkish hue. The nose has a strong candied strawberry/cherry note with similar jammy strawberry, forest berries, dried herbs and cinnamon bark. There is some acidity here to keep it on track but it all seems a bit overworked. Best served well chilled and solo on a warm patio.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Tantalus Rosétext
88PTS

Tantalus Rosé 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis 60/40 rosé mixes pinot noir and pinot meunier, topping out just under 14 percent alcohol. The peach/orange hue introduces fresh strawberries streaked with cinnamon and cream. A silken, glycerol-gilt palate carries wild strawberries, rhubarb jam, ripe watermelon with a twist of dried herbs and pink grapefruit in the pithy back. More Tavel than Provence, and charmingly so. Like last year, we'd love to see this in a drier, tighter, nervier form in the future.Prices: BC 19.09 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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Harper's Trail Rose Thad Springs Vineyardtext
88PTS

Harper's Trail Rose Thad Springs Vineyard 2016

Kamloops, British Columbia, CanadaExpect a coral salmon colour and a quiet nose of tangerine and red berries. The attack is soft and creamy with a slightly off-dry current below a lime rind, tonic fruity finish. Quaffable and tasty this is a summer patio scene stealer. The winery suggests cured meats, sautéed prawns, olives and bruschetta. We say we are on our way. Good value.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: Harper's Trail
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22 May 2017

TerraVentoux Ventoux Rougetext
87PTS

TerraVentoux Ventoux Rouge 2014

Côtes-du-Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceTerraVentoux is a 70/30 mix of grenache and syrah. The former vines are 30-years-old, the latter 15-years-old, all grown over clay and limestone soils peppered with small pebbles. Classic fresh red berry and licorice nose. The attack is rounded with a mix of black and red fruits, plums and red berries with soft tannins. silky tannins. Fun fresh and fruity and ready to drink. Think barbecue lamb sausages.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Cave TerraVentoux
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Cellier des Princes La Blason du Prince Chateauneuf-du-Papetext
90PTS

Cellier des Princes La Blason du Prince Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2014

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceLe Blason du Prince is grown on typical Châteauneuf-du-Pape soil: clay and sand covered in galets. The blend is 90/5/5 grenache/mourvèdre/syrah and its aged ten to twelve months in tank. The style is warm and spicy with plenty of fruit doused in spicy garrigue evoking thyme, rosemary and lavender. The textures are rich and soft, more hedonistic than complex, but still enjoyable. A true 2014 showing less alcohol and concentration but with supple textures and plenty of showy, elegant, pure fruit. A charming look at Châteauneuf-du-Pape you can drink now. A grilled steak, or leg of lamb seems a fitting match.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: Cellier des Princes
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Geographico Capofosso Chiantitext
87PTS

Geographico Capofosso Chianti 2015

Tuscany, ItalyChianti Geografico (the geographical area of Chianti) was founded in 1961 by 17 members to improve quality. Today it is a cooperative, a company, a family group with 200 partners. The latest release is a 90/10 sangiovese/canaiolo blend with a fresh, fragrant, red fruit nose. Geografico has just enough body and tannin to support the acidity before it finishes clean and dry. Pick your favourite meaty, pasta dish or a young cheese to match.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Geographico
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Domaine de la Cote Cotes du Rhonetext
89PTS

Domaine de la Cote Cotes du Rhone 2013

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FranceA classic 70/30 mix of grenache and syrah from producer Cellier des Princes. You will love the silky robe that wraps about this spicy, round, delicious drinking red with perfectly ripe fruit and the alcohol in balance. Hard not to finish this bottle in a few pours. Back up the truck this is a winner, especially for the price. Pour all summer around the barbecue.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Cellier des Princes
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Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftraptext
87PTS

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2015

Western Cape, South AfricaSweet, dense and rich, with potent blackberry, resin, medicinal black cherry and a full palate lined with a thick layer of warm tar to the peppery finish. This is a ripe blend of syrah, mourvedre and viogneir from sandy and hot Frranschoek, thick and dense on the palate, and requiring an quality heady portion of red meat to counter and absorb the alcohol. This has many fans, and no wonder why: ripe, sunsweet and meat-ready.Prices: BC 13.49 AB 15.00 ON 14.00 QC 16.80 NF 15.75 NS 16.00 MB 14.00 SK 14.25 NB 16.00 YK 17.20 Producer: Boekenhoutskloof
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Arnaldo-Caprai Anima Umbratext
88PTS

Arnaldo-Caprai Anima Umbra 2009

Umbria, ItalyInk, anise, potent wild blackberry, resin is drawn along a supple core palate by grippy tannins. The potency is lifted with a fresh acidity, but the finish is drying and sapid. This needs food, even eight years along its evolution, and I recommend drinking now, with lamb sausage or pasta.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Arnaldo-Caprai
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Chateau d'Escales Déese Dianetext
87PTS

Chateau d'Escales Déese Diane 2013

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FrancePlush black plum, raspberry, dark cherry, medicinal tinged, with dusky black perfume, musky spicing, violets. Warm and full bodied on the palate, with grippy fine tannins housing the plush, warming fruit. Tight, short and branchy on the finish at this stage. More overt, than polished, like D'Esclans rosés. This is a prime example why Provence bests in pink wines, not reds.Prices: US 30.00 Producer: Chateau d'Esclans
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Denbies Redlands Cellarmaster's Choicetext
89PTS

Denbies Redlands Cellarmaster's Choice 2014

EnglandMy first English red wine. This is a "blend of red grapes" from Dorking (best name ever) in Surrey. 30% of the wine was aged to oak, with the remainder in stainless. Smooth plum, subtle blackcurrant, black raspberry, fine spicing, with an herbal leafy woven throughout the medium body, and very fine, supple tannins. At only 12 percent alcohol, and this drinkable (suits meat pies brilliantly) I'm impressed.Prices: Producer: Denbies Wine Estate
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Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Village Vaison La Romainetext
91PTS

Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Village Vaison La Romaine 2013

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, France40+ year old Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault fill the frame of this Côtes du Rhône from naturalist leader and pioneer, Eric Texier. Biodynamic principals lead Texier's intelligent, questioning, terroir-driven philosophy. In La Romaine, grapes were whole cluster fermented in cement vats. Black plum leads the mineral-driven palate of the structured, medium bodied red, with wild strawberry, raspberry, and a fragrant red currant on the tight core, reflective of the grapes in the blend. Acidity is quenching, and tannins are downy fine and leathery. An alluring mineral salts entice on the finish.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Eric Texier
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19 May 2017

Cellier des Princes Rosé La Princessetext
88PTS

Cellier des Princes Rosé La Princesse 2015

Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThis light pale Vaucluse rosé is smarter than the cartoon girl on the label might indicate. The label changes colour once the wine temperature reaches 12°C, indicating that it's ready to drink. Liberally. A blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault, this spent a quick six months in tank after a cool fermentation to keep the freshness front and centre. Youthful strawberry, raspberry, cranberry share stage on this dry, light bodied and pink, one that finishes sunny and juicy. Chill and enjoy this little charmer this summer.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Cellier des Princes
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Famille Sumeire Chateau Coussin Sainte-Victoire Côtes de Provence Rosétext
91PTS

Famille Sumeire Chateau Coussin Sainte-Victoire Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceThe Sumeire family has lived in Trets, next to Mont Sainte Victoire, since the thirteenth century, and currently own three châteaux in Provence. This is one of the few wines that bear one of the four, relatively new, official terroir denominations. Unlike most of Provence, Sainte-Victoire is sheltered by the mountains, and the protection from the sea makes this more continental climate than mediterranean. That structure is felt in the wines of Sainte-Victorire, one of the few places in Provence to have some limestone soils. Fine bones frame this lean, straight and structured blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah, all averaging 30 years of age. Sour cherry, strawberry, rhubarb, pink grapefruit sit atop a flow of spiced red currant underneath. Graceful light pink in the glass, this is bone dry and lingers with stones. A welcome new addition to our market.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Famille Sumeire
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Pure Mirabeau en Provence Rosétext
90PTS

Pure Mirabeau en Provence Rosé 2016

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceMuch like last year the colour is super pale Côtes de Provence. The fruit is a mix of grenache and syrah grown between 300 and 400 metres above sea level and night harvested. The style is delicate, bone dry and fresh with super tight acidity. The flavours are light strawberries and citrus with and undercurrent of electric acidity. Made for food you can serve this all summer with grilled vegetables, grilled fish and or cheese. Proper dry rosé, which means it's not for everyone. But ditch the cork - it's a mistake.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: Mirabeau
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Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosétext
89PTS

Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2016

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FrancePouring the palest pink, this luxury rosé is full and glossy, with fine spicing bracketing the plump wild strawberry, roses, light raspberry. The glycerol-lined palate finishes with a flush of warm cinnamon spicing. The bankroll for the winery, there are four million bottles of this made every year (and winery has planning for seven million in the next couple of years). Well constructed, this is to be poured on posh patios, yachts this summer.Prices: BC 34.00 Producer: Chateau d'Esclans
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Chateau d'Esclans Les Clans Rosétext
90PTS

Chateau d'Esclans Les Clans Rosé 2015

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FrancePale pink-orange, this is a powerful, big, full-bodied, glycerol-lined blend of grenache and rolle (vermentino) that was fermented in new and second year demi-muids (600L) for ten months, with battonage twice weekly. The oak is certainly present, with giant spicy, strident wood overruling the glossy strawberry, raspberry, jammy fruit at this early stage, and one that will stand up to protein-laden foods. This is a luxury rosé and label and one that sends a message.Prices: MB 73.95 Producer: Chateau d'Esclans
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18 May 2017

Upper Bench Pinot Noirtext
87PTS

Upper Bench Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA warmer summer has added some generosity to this 2014 pinot. Look for an open nose of piney, caramel, black cherry aromas with a cedar, spicy undercurrent. The mid-palate is round and fresh with smoky, Okanagan dried herb notes and a round finish. Ready to drink now and would be fine with grilled salmon, duck or cheese. The wine spends 16 months in 30 percent new French oak and 305 cases were made.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Upper Bench Winery
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Domaine Queylus Tradition Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Domaine Queylus Tradition Pinot Noir 2014

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaA classic pale cherry hue with inviting warm, ripe raspberry flecked with plums, tart cherry, forest floor and worn wood. The grapes from Lincoln Lakeshore and Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellations are grown organically, destemmed without crushing before wild yeast ferment and age in French oak (1/3 new) for 16-20 months. Perfumed raspberry and potpourri spices fills the nose, silky, black cherry fruit the entry while hard-grained wood provides a shell for the fruit. Tannins are fine and firmly gritty to a warming, astringent and highly-spiced finish. Youthful, this lean wine will yield with time. Best now with food. Good value. 1900 six-packs produced.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Domaine Queylus
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Domaine Queylus Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Domaine Queylus Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir 2013

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThe Reserve pinot noir is a barrel selection described as more reserved than the ‘Tradition,’ by winemaker Thomas Bachelder, and capable of improvement through mid-to-longer-term ageing. It is sourced from two organically farmed vineyards, one from Beamsville's Lincoln Lakeshore sub app and the other from the Twenty Mile Bench sub app. Destemmed and fermented wild, this spent 16-20 months in French oak (1/3 new). This vintage is ripe and concentrated, with perfumed and sapid black raspberry and cherry drawn along lengthy, lightly grippy tannins and streaming along a juicy palate. Elegance and style are hallmarks of this drinkable-now pinot, but this will reward with five to eight years ageing in the cellar. 1000 six-packs available.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Domaine Queylus
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Domaine Queylus La Grande Réserve Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Domaine Queylus La Grande Réserve Pinot Noir 2013

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaLa Grande Reserve Pinot Noir is a barrel selection from the eastern flanks of two Niagara vineyards, farmed organically, but not certified. One is in Lincoln Lakeshore, the other, on the Beamsville Bench. The style is the most "old world" of Domaine Queylus' three pinots, that is to say, the most savoury, leathery, and least fruit-driven. Destemmed and fermented wild, it spent 16-20 months in French oak (1/3 new). Only the very best barrels make it to Le Grande Reserve, what Bachelder terms “the most elegant, harmonious, complex and ageable. Look for forest berries, forest floor and perfumed raspberries scent this ripely cushioned, age-worthy wine, one that glides along lengthy, silken, lightly grippy tannins to a lightly spiced, dry finish. Drinking well now, this still has years to go in the cellar. Total production was 480 six-packs.Prices: ON 29.95 Producer: Domaine Queylus
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Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFine progression here from earlier offerings. Earthy and forest-led, this mouth filling pinot noir is kept fresh with a stream of acidity and shored by dusky tannins. Alluring dark plum, black cherry and wild raspberry notes are swept along to a lingering, brown spiced, walnut and tobacco-seasoned finish. It’s all handpicked estate fruit (Okanagan Falls) destemmed and cold soaked for five days before a warm ferment and 14 months in French oak (twenty percent new). The density of the fruit gobbles up the wood, leaving a plush tug on the lingering finish. Impressive and well-handled darker, fuller style of pinot, ready for short term cellaring or drinking now with duck or goose. Potent, with restraint. Impressive.Prices: BC 29.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Seresin Raupo Creek Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Seresin Raupo Creek Pinot Noir 2013

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandSeresin is the leader in organic, biodynamic winemaking in New Zealand. This is from Their Raupo Creek Vineyard is on clay slopes in Marlborough's Omaka Valley. Wild ferment, this spent 18 months in French oak (20 percent new) before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Perfumed raspberry, mulberry, deep plum, resinous branch and fine raspy spice on this single vineyard pinot noir. Gritty, fine tannins, still in youth, and eager to take on duck or rabbit.Prices: Producer: Seresin Estate
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17 May 2017

Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature Andrew Murphytext
94PTS

Yalumba Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature Andrew Murphy 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaRe-tasted six months down the road, The Signature 2013 is looking just fine. The cabernet sauvignon is all Barossa Valley with fruit from vineyards of Trevor Fromm, near Williamstown; the Brooks vineyard at Gomersal; the Cowham Light Pass vineyard; and the Crown Village vineyard, in the Krondorf foothills. Much of shiraz comes from the Schiller family vineyard north of Nuriootpa on the Barossa Valley floor. Four of the blocks were selected with vines planted between 1925 and 1969. Huge on the nose and palate, The Signature 2013 is a 52/48 cabernet/shiraz blend with a rich, spicy demeanour but without a powerful alcoholic undercurrent. The attack is round and open upfront, but then quickly muscles up on the mid-palate and the finish. Look for lifted blueberry and black raspberry mixed with sweet spicy notes of black plums and licorice. The styling is supple and soft but with dense, rich black tannins. The ferments, open top, are all wild yeast induced to give the wine its individuality and complexity. The wine is one to age, even until 2020 for a first peek. The 55th release of Signature in 2013 honours the Signatory Director of Wine Andrew Murphy. A young Murphy started his working life in the cellar where he rose to Cellar Manager, qualified as a Winemaker, was promoted to Operations Manager in 1992, and today is Director of Wine.Prices: BC 70.00 ON 65.00 NS 75.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraztext
93PTS

Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2013

Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaIn 2013 The Octavius is a 53/47 mix of cooler Eden Valley shiraz and warmer Barossa Valley fruit, now just under 85 years of vine age. Winemaker Kevin Glastonbury suggests that the Eden Valley shiraz brings aromatics and structure while the Barossa Valley fruit is typically all about richness, density and concentration. A good, if not great year sets the scene for the latest Octavius. The aromatics show off its Eden Valley heritage, with fresh floral berry fruits and sweet dark cherries. The palate depth showcases the Barossa Valley, with dark, brooding chocolate, dark plum roundness and great concentration. The cool freshness of Eden Valley develops with the supporting acid and grainy tannin giving the wine structure for long term cellaring. The Octavius is all old vines with a big brooding nose of black cherry jam mixed with chocolate/coffee licorice with smoky, vanilla, floral. The attack is rich and smooth with savoury, licorice, black pepper, black cherry meaty notes flecked with orange peel, chocolate and plums. A more elegant version than in 2012, showing balance and length over alcohol. A lovely complex mix of fruit and tannin. No rush; this will cellar well through 2020 and beyond. If you decide to open a bottle think lamb shanks. The Octavius is aged 20 months in 42 percent new French and American octaves plus one-year-old and older French barriques and hogsheads.Prices: BC 160.00 ON 130.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba The Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignontext
91PTS

Yalumba The Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Coonawarra, South Australia, AustraliaClassic Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon jumps from the glass. Spice, balsamic and savoury red fruits mark the nose and the palate. Blackcurrants and cassis dominate the minty, spicy palate with a whiff of tomato leaf. The weight is medium full and the texture firm, with plenty of acid. The French/Hungarian oak adds structure to a very structured vintage. The vineyard site is flat but the wine is alive thanks to the special red sandy loam over limestone – the defining feature of Coonwarra’s top cabernet sauvignon sites. Most of the vines are now 30+ years of age, yielding small bunches and berries. In 2013 plentiful winter rains preceded an even set of berries. In short, the vintage is muscular, providing a solid base for the wine that will need a decade to come into its own. Yalumba has pursued minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking, making The Menzies a regional benchmark.Prices: BC 70.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraztext
96PTS

Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012

Coonawarra - Barossa Valley, South Australia, AustraliaFred Caley Smith set out on a two-year journey in 1893. travelling through Europe, North America, the Middle East and Indian subcontinent looking for new global markets for the wines and canned fruits made at his grandfather's Angaston-based company - Yalumba. Caley’s adventures have been immortalised with the release of The Caley 2012, with Yalumba honouring its wandering son by selecting a favourite historical claret mix of cabernet and shiraz. The blend is 52/27 Coonawarra/Barossa Valley cabernet sauvignon with 21 percent Barossa Valley shiraz, all of which spend 22 months in Yalumba-coopered French oak – not that you really notice it. The Caley is all about elegance and poise. Its refinement on the palate rules from the front of the wine to the back. It’s not a wimpy red but everything is in balance. It’s the story of cab/shiraz where fleshy, supple shiraz clings to the structure and backbone provided by the cabernet. Look for savory black fruits and creamy milk chocolate highlights with a cedar/pipe tobacco running through the finish before the silky tannins kick in. Elegance is not a word we use lightly at GOW but this wine has it in spades. Cellar through 2020. A great start. Additional information from the winery: The Ming D block of the Yalumba Coonawarra vineyard provides 52% of the Cabernet Sauvignon of the blend. This 2.7ha plot was planted in 1992 with two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon selected for structure and depth of flavour. This block differs from the ubiquitous Coonawarra terroir, with a higher content of clay than the other blocks on The Menzies Estate. The Shiraz is sourced from the Burgemeister “Linke Block” between Nuriootpa and Angaston. Planted in 1901, these Shiraz vines run east-west and are on a single wire trellis. The soil is a red brown earth in the Light Pass loamy fine sand family. There is also a component that comes from the 1971 Yalumba Horseshoe Block in Eden Valley. The Caley was matured for 22 months in a mix of 31% new French barriques and hogsheads, 22% one-year old French barriques and the balance in older French barriques and hogsheads all made and seasoned at the Yalumba Cooperage. After bottling, the wine was cellared for a further 36 months.Prices: BC 70.00 ON 65.00 NS 75.00 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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16 May 2017

Play Estate Winery Dramatic Whitetext
86PTS

Play Estate Winery Dramatic White 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA classic BC fruit salad white with an aromatic peachy, honeysuckle nose. The attack is thankfully drier with some green melon, honeydew and just the right amount of acidity. A fresh, fun, 12-percent with a hint of lees to keep the finish blanced and food friendly. The winery suggests a soft cheese paring, and I might add a chicken salad.Prices: BC 15.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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Intrigue Socialtext
86PTS

Intrigue Social 2016

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe latest Social is a 68/27/2/2/1 blend of riesling, gewürztraminer, muscat canelli, kerner and ehrenfelser. Expect the usual honeyed fruit salad nose with a squeeze of lemon. The attack is round and sweet with orange and melon, but the finish is clean. Try this with your favourite spicy curry dish or serve solo, well chilled.Prices: BC 14.90 Producer: Intrigue Wines Ltd.
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Cuma Organic Biologique Torrontéstext
87PTS

Cuma Organic Biologique Torrontés 2016

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, North, ArgentinaCuma is the Michel Torino organic brand, and in this case 100 percent torrontés. Bright litchi fruit marks the nose but with a dry tone that carries onto the bone-dry palate. Citrus, floral, intense and brisk this is a super clean super dry wine for summer nights on the patio. From shrimp to charcuterie it can handle it all. Good value too.Prices: BC 12.49 Producer: Bodega El Esteco
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Blasted Church Hatfield's Fusetext
86PTS

Blasted Church Hatfield's Fuse 2015

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerfumed pear blossom, peach, orange, melon and lime mark this off-dry aromatic white blend. The 2015 is the current vintage - why not the brighter, fresher 2016? That aside, this vintage is a wide-ranging blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Optima, Ehrenfelser, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Musque, Orange Muscat and Riesling. This is a clean, soft, pretty off-dry white that is ready to drink now.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 26.00 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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Inception Irresistible Whitetext
86PTS

Inception Irresistible White 2015

Western Cape, South AfricaThe style is fresh and aromatic. The good news is the chardonnay, viognier and gewürztraminer blend is not over the top. A green melon thread keeps it grounded and fresh before the floral, citrus honey notes kick in. Ready to drink now with spicy Thai or Chinese dishes.Prices: BC 12.00 NF 16.60 NS 15.00 MB 15.00 ON 14.00 SK 16.00 NB 16.00 Producer: Distell Group Limited
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Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Whitetext
87PTS

Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up White 2016

British Columbia, CanadaUnmistakably BC on the nose and fresher than last year’s fine edition. The Kamloops-based fruit is a floral basket of aromas including citrus, orange, tropical, fruit all with a savoury undercurrent. It’s a touch tighter than the 2015 opening it to more food possibilities. The blend is a mix of frontenac blanc, viognier and la crescent.Prices: BC 15.49 Producer: Monte Creek Ranch
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Aurora Faleriotext
90PTS

Aurora Falerio 2014

Marche, ItalyAurora is an organic farm project shared between five partners that begun in 1979. This is a blend of 50 trebbiano, 25 passerina, 25 pecorino. Oily, pine nuts, lees beds this fresh white from Falerio, in the Marches. Delicate in frame, but concentrated on the palate, with pear, green fig rinsed with bracing acidity. Incredibly well knit, with fine grained texture and great length. Well worth seeking out. Light, clear youthful. Clean and fresh aromatics of white flowers, apricot and peach. Delicate and focused palate with refreshing acidity and an orchard fruit tinged finish. From 25-40 year old vines. Real wine that can be consumed with great enthusiasm.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Aurora
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Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Brancotext
89PTS

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Branco 2009

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalFrom the cellar. Luis Pato’s family has been producing wine since the 18th century, with his father João the first to bottle wine in Bairrada DOC after it was officially demarcated as an appellation. Bical, cerceal and sercialinho spend time in stainless to highlight the bright fruit. Now coloured by age, this shows almond paste, mushroom, dusty stone and faint scents of honey that linger on the finish. A little past its prime, but enjoyed over an evening.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Luis Pato
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15 May 2017

Movia Sivi Pinot Grigiotext
91PTS

Movia Sivi Pinot Grigio 2014

SloveniaThe Movia estate dates back to 1700, straddling 22 borderland hectares of land, about half of which lie on the Italian side of the Goriška Brda (Collio) and the remainder in Slovenia (ZGP Brda). This iconic naturalist producer makes wines of place, not grape. There is a distinct and overt earthy swing to this layered, complexed and characterful pinot gris. Some are quick to call "cork" on this, but none is there. There is lots of other stuff to uncover however. Oxidative, sure, and alluringly so, this is harvested later than any contemporaries, wild fermented in barrique, on lees, without racking, with no additives at all. Light honey, crab apples, honey, seville orange, broken stones, and medicinal, mint-threaded meadow herbs on the tight, textural, lingering and bracing finish. Not an easy wine, wild and unruled, and unapologetically so. Yet, one I found myself returning to this complete and balanced and interesting wine over three evenings in a row, each time uncovering more layers within.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Movia
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Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gristext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gris 2014

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFull and creamy, this reserve is two clones of 27 year old vines from Blue Mountain's Okanagan Falls estate. Thirty percent of this was fermented and aged in French oak for eight months, and that wood is evident in the cedar scented perfume, toast, and vanilla pod perfume that lingers on the finish. Orchard pear, meadow herbs, orange blossoms, pink salts all sit atop a cushy pillow of lees. This wine is quite proper, and still presents too youthful at this age - a rare thing to say about BC 2014 pinot gris. I'd like to try this vintage again in a few years time. Give it time to open up in the bottle or glass if opening now.Prices: BC 27.90 AB 31.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe and round, this vintage is a soft, sweeter show of pinot gris, even more so than the hot 2015 vintage. Pear nectar, ripe peach and yellow apples coat the off-dry, full-bodied and blousy palate, one cornered with a tug of peach spicing and warmed on the finish. Reflective of the hot southern Okanagan climate, this gris requires a good chill, and an abundant prosciutto and fig plate to match.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
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Sea Star Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Sea Star Pinot Gris 2016

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the inaugural pinot gris from Sea Star, and it's a welcome addition to the portfolio. Ripe pear, yellow apple, yellow plum is tightened with a bright lemon peel and rings with citrus freshness. There's a lovely stony base, textured with apricot peel grip on the finish. The richness of pinot gris here meets the marine freshness of the coast, to great results. An understated, cool and shining gris.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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12 May 2017

Yalumba The Triangle Block Shiraztext
89PTS

Yalumba The Triangle Block Shiraz 2013

Eden Valley, South Australia, AustraliaSelect parcels of shiraz grapes from Yalumba’s Samuel’s Garden collection trace a direct line to Australia’s first vine plantings, now over 160 years ago. Select shiraz parcels of the Triangle Block are fermented with tiny amounts of viognier, while the remainder of the shiraz is fermented on its own, and all is aged in French and Hungarian hogsheads (15 % new oak) for 11 months. The result is a meaty, dark, brooding, floral affair with notes of briar and black fruits. The finish is youthful with sticky tannins and savoury licorice dried herbs notes. Still youthful and tight, even slightly reductive upon opening, if you do serve it now be sure to decant and consider serving it with something rich like fire-grilled lamb. It is vegan friendly.Prices: BC 29.00 ON 24.00 NB 28.79 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Perseus Syrahtext
87PTS

Perseus Syrah 2014

British Columbia, CanadaMild notes of white pepper dot the ripe black fruit nose. The attack is warm and round with smooth, savoury, peppery, blue and black fruits and coffee but it dies off quickly and disappears into the oak and sagebrush finish. The blend is 95/5 syrah/viognier, fruit that comes off 22-year-old vines in Saddle Ridge Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench fermented and aged in 75% new American oak (a quarter in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels). Best with grilled lamb chops.Prices: BC 24.99 Producer: Perseus
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Painted Rock Syrahtext
92PTS

Painted Rock Syrah 2014

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAgain, you can’t help but notice the marked difference in mid-valley syrah, even in a particularly warm year, and maybe a shift to less is more at Painted Rock. The sweaty, peppery floral nose invites you into the glass with a hint of reduction (be sure to decant for 45 minutes). The palate is more of the same with floral, sagebrush, black pepper, curry and licorice supported by dense, fine-grained tannins. More refinement again and we will take it. Cellar through 2020 or serve now with grilled rare beef.Prices: BC 34.69 Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrahtext
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Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrah 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEquinoxe takes its cue from the astronomical equinox “the only times when the edge between night and day is perpendicular to the equator and as a result, the northern and southern hemispheres are equally illuminated." At le Vieux Pin winemaker Severine Pinte says her Équinoxe is about equal day, equal night. Equal heat of the day, equal cold of the night. Equal New World, equal Old World. I say it's Next World. This is a blockbuster syrah with fruit taken from various sub-appellations in the South Okanagan Valley: the Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos West Bench, East Bench and Lake District. If anything, it’s a bit richer than the 2013 and most certainly one of the best in the valley. Equinox is a balance of power and elegance, perfectly aged in 56 percent new French oak barrels and puncheons and 44 percent used barrels. Ripe but savoury, floral, black cherry and tobacco mark the nose while the palate is a mix of blueberries and fine-grained tannins. Roasted leg of lamb is the perfect match.Prices: BC 79.99 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violettetext
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Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violette 2015

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCuvée Violette is always about its florals and often that means violets. The wine is a selection of like minded fruit that is smooth and ready to drink. It’s co fermented with 1 percent roussanne to add some texture and freshness. Winemaker Severine Pinte calls it LVP'a feminine/graceful syrah, referring to it as “a syrah for pinot noir lovers.” I like the gentle collision of floral roasted meats and cracked pepper with earthy, savoury blackberry fruit. You can drink this now with grilled meats or give three to five more years in bottle to reach its zenith. Impressive without overpowering the drinker.Prices: BC 26.99 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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11 May 2017

Covela Escolha Brancotext
88PTS

Covela Escolha Branco 2012

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalOrganically farmed avesso, chardonnay and other local grapes "for seasoning" make up this Vinho Verde branco, sourced from granitic, right river bank soils. Stony and pithy orchard fruit, white grapefruit, white cherry, thorny herbs, meadow flowers on a medium, lees-blanketed body and very spicy finish. This was fermented wild before a layover in stainless steel. Match to denser white fish.Prices: CDN 24.00 Producer: Covela
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Ruffino Orvieto Classicotext
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Ruffino Orvieto Classico 2015

Umbria, ItalyAlmonds, kernel, nut oil, orange oil, tangerine skin and heady lanolin-lined lees in this Classico orvieto from Umbria. Density without heft, this lingers with stones and wild herbs. Lovely intensity in a slimmer frame and would make for an ideal partner to grilled halibut or sesame scallops. Great value.Prices: BC 13.49 Producer: Tenimenti Ruffino
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Herdade da Malhadinha Novatext
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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova 2006

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThis full white is a bland of antão vás, arinto and chardonnay, fermented in new wood (80 French, 20 American) for five months. Now a decade on, and the potent wood still stands alone from this wine, pouring a golden yellow hue. Outside of all that wood, there's a nutty leesiness, honey, and Fino sharpness. Too much wood for all that beautiful Alentejo fruit.Prices: CDN 53.00 Producer: Malhadinha Nova
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Emmanuel Delaille Cheverny Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnaytext
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Emmanuel Delaille Cheverny Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay 2014

Cheverny, Touraine, Loire, FranceFrom Touraine's AC Cheverny, this is a family estate wine of sauvignon blanc, tipped with 15 percent chardonnay. Savvy's bracing herbaceousness is seen here, all steely lemon, lemon thistle, peppery greens and a slick of lees on the medium body. Chardonnay helps counter the heightened acidity, but this is all stony sauvignon led. Grilled mackerel or other small white fish would rock with this.Prices: CDN 10.00 Producer: Seca Delaille
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10 May 2017

Sea Star Ortegatext
89PTS

Sea Star Ortega 2016

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaPerfumed lime and pear blossoms ring throughout this bright and fruity ortega, one of the star grapes of the Wine Islands. A cross between müller-thurgau and siegerrebe, this streams with ripe peach, pink grapefruit, pithy mandarin and crystalline lemon peel. While coastal crisp, the 2016 shows a greater cushion on the palate, enough to marry with succulent spot prawns or scallops.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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Chateau de Tracy Pouilly-Fumétext
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Chateau de Tracy Pouilly-Fumé 2015

Pouilly-Fume, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceWines have been made from the vineyards of this Château since 1396, with the Count and Countess Alain d'Estutt d'Assay in ownership of the estate since 1952. Today it is run by their children. Sharp, crisp and riffing, this intense white stings with passionfruit, tangerine, ripe peach, before a scratch of pink grapefruit on the lingering finish.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Chateau de Tracy
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Bodega Garzón Estate Sauvignon Blanctext
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Bodega Garzón Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Garzon, Maldonado, San José, UruguayThe thing about all these Garzon wines is the purity of fruit and expression of the origin. Ironically it is an Alberto Antonini trademark, even though he would tell you if you feel his presence in the wine than he has failed. I would suggest we do not feel his presence but rather his reluctance to be one of the ordinary 2015 sauvignon, leaving a us a perfectly correct core of fruit with bright citrus/apple flavours a touch of tropical fruit and plenty of refreshing acidity. An easier introduction to the varietal than its aggressive Kiwi counterparts, all grown at the same latitudes. Perfect with shellfish, especially steamed mussels.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Bodega Garzón
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Domaine Joel Delaunay La Voûte Touraine Chenonceauxtext
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Domaine Joel Delaunay La Voûte Touraine Chenonceaux 2014

Touraine, Loire, FrancePerfumed white florals, crystalline lemon, smoked stone from select clay and silex parcels on the bank of Cher. There's a lovely silken flow to the palate, providing a choice contrast to the grippy, pithy white grapefruit and flinty spice. Lovely balance in this young, highly drinkable Touraine. Chenonceaux is one of the two sub-appellations of Touraine.Prices: US 22.00 Producer: Domaine Joël Delaunay
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Little Engine Silver Sauvignon Blanctext
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Little Engine Silver Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaLittle Engine is based in Penticton, but the grapes for this electric sauvignon blanc come from a single vineyard in the Similkameen. Cropped low, this was fermented in stainless and neutral oak puncheons before spending five-months on its lees prior to bottling. The result is crisp and bright, with tropical and zesty lemon, lime pith, hedgerow and green apple wrapped around a tight frame and finishing with a crunchy snap. A subtle film of lees is the perfect foil to the bright fruit, and should continue to deepen over the next year or two in bottle. An impressive achievement for a grape that has struggled to find its way in BC and from a new winery too. Made for shellfish it should be a winner in Vancouver restaurants.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Little Engine Wines
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Stag's Hollow Sauvignon Blanc Vineyardtext
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Stag's Hollow Sauvignon Blanc Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWe love the lean, nimble and nervy style of this sauvignon from the winery's home vineyard in Okanagan Falls. Time in stainless and 2nd fill French oak puncheons for ferment (there is no secondary, acid softening, malolactic fermentation) and a couple of months with twice weekly battonage for texture keep the freshness to a maximum before bottling. Lemon-led, with hedgerow, medicinal white cherry, fine pithy spice and some gooseberry. A severe, fruity, lean style that is not for everyone but it is a place we must go to improve the breed. Bravo.Prices: BC 20.25 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
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09 May 2017

Weingut Robert Weil Kiedricher Trocken Rieslingtext
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Weingut Robert Weil Kiedricher Trocken Riesling 2014

Rheinhessen, GermanyWeingut Robert Weil, founded 1875, is run today by Wilhelm Weil, the fourth generation of the founding family. They specialize in one thing: riesling. This is the finest dry riesling the estate produces, a powerhouse now in youth, and one that will continue to build over the coming decades. Pear, apple in a linear, greyhound sleek frame, wrapped in a blanket of light honied pear. Whisper fine spicing surrounds the whole. There's a cut of pear skin, savoury stones and a salted, lingering finish. A beauty vibrant example of youthful, dry riesling drinking well now, and that will honey and age with time in the cellar.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Weingut Robert Weil
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Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Rieslingtext
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Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2015

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling is consistent form 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
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Dr. Loosen Beerenauslesetext
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Dr. Loosen Beerenauslese 2006

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, GermanyFrom a darling 187ml bottle. 2006 was a big BA year, so they made more than normal, hence the wee cute bottle. Rich and full, but savoury edged, with honeycomb, orange curd, orange pith. The sweet richness is matched with an equally potent fine line of acidity, rounding out with a balanced, though drink-now availability. A subtle beauty.Prices: BC 26.00 187 Producer: Weingut Dr. Loosen
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Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spatlesetext
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Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spatlese 2015

Rheingau, GermanyThe 2015 vintage is a keeper and this window into late picked grapes is a postcard to collectors. The nose is a riot of exotic fruits from mango to litchi and more in between. The mid-palate is an electric mix of lime and minerals with a lip-smacking finish flavoured in orange and wet stones. Come back in a decade and thank your lucky stars you bought this wine.Prices: BC 55.00 MB 54.00 QC 52.00 Producer: Weingut Josef Leitz
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08 May 2017

Domaine Bobinet Les Gruchestext
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Domaine Bobinet Les Gruches 2015

Saumur, Loire, FranceSebastien and Emeline Bobinet are in high demand for their low-interventionist wines )all the rage in Paris, London and the like), so to have a few cases on our shores is a big win. Stock up! The couple organically farm seven hectares in Saumur, (along with their horse plow) and with vines ranging from 25-80 years of age. Wild yeast fermented, sans additives, and aged in old 300L wood before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, this lays on a clay and herbal base, creamy with wild herbs and a cut of anise. Very light waxy, hazelnut, yellow plum throughout the flow to the pithy finish. This lacks chenin's shearing cut of acid, but shows up with a honeyed, dense form to impress.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Domaine Bobinet
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Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Biancotext
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Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco 2014

ItalyAs strikingly singular and memorable as the natural wine producer herself, manzoni bianco is a cross of riesling and pinot bianco. embodying both the citrus purity of riesling, and the perfumed orchard blossoms of the bianco. This grows in the calcareous clay hills above Trento, was fermented on the skins in cement tanks, followed by 12 months of aging in acacia casks. Pink perfumed blossoms, bruised quince, yellow fruit on a light bed of nut, nectarine and slick of herbal oil. A quiet hum of minerals and white grapefruit on the finish. This wine will turn more honeyed and nutty with time.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: foradori
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Hancock & Hancock Home Vineyard Fianotext
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Hancock & Hancock Home Vineyard Fiano 2016

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaRipe, round, fleshy peach, with great volume on the palate capped with a tight little nip of riffing acidity on the finish. Lovely creamy mid, with freshness to counter. McLaren Vale can do Italian whites, like Campania's classic fiano, very well. This was partially fermented in neutral oak for added depth to the honeyed, creamy and complete palate. Showing very well for such youth. Purchased in the UK.Prices: UK 28.00 Producer: Hancock & Hancock
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Hester Creek Old Vines Block 16 Trebbianotext
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Hester Creek Old Vines Block 16 Trebbiano 2016

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA rare curiosity not only in BC, but in Canada, this is 49-year-old trebbiano vines, planted on the Golden Mile Bench and treated with care. After destemming, half the grapes are left whole and the remainder lightly crushed before a cool ferment. Look for musk melon, grapefruit, Asian pear drawn along a ripe, fuller bodied and glycerol slicked palate, one plumped by Okanagan sunshine. Apricot fuzz lingers on the soft round finish. The wine is a huge favourite of locals but we would love to see this tightened up and a little fresher (earlier picked and wild ferment) to give it broader, legit, international appeal and shine a light on this vineyard. As is, it makes a solid accompaniment for pasta salads and calamari.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
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La Scolca Gavi dei Gavi Bianco Seccotext
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La Scolca Gavi dei Gavi Bianco Secco 2015

Gavi, Piedmont, ItalyLa Scolca was the first winery established in Gavi, in 1919. The vineyard is located 50km from the sea, in the Rovereto Superiore area of Gavi. Planted on steep hills, the Cortese vines—the oldest in the Piedmont region—produce complex wines and some of Italy’s best Grand Crus. The winery has implemented cryomaceration, a technique that involves cold fermentation and the use of natural yeast strains. The black label Gavi dei Gavi is the premium white of the property, with vine age 60+ years, wild fermented and with partial skin maceration all adding layers of depth and complexity. Full and lees-rich, with almonds, roasted walnuts, crystalline orange, green fig, white honey, quince, nougat and white floral blossoms all kept taught with a buzzy spicing and fine grip through a lengthy finish. This is a full, elegant, concentrated and sophisticated white wine that is showing well now and over the next few years. Impressive that all of this is only 12 percent alcohol. Best enjoyed without a chill.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: La Scolca
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Marotti Campi Orgiolo Lacrima di Morro D'Alba Superioretext
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Marotti Campi Orgiolo Lacrima di Morro D'Alba Superiore 2013

Marche, ItalyHaunting white pepper and fragrant raspberry opens this lacrima di morro from The Marches. Lifted and floral anise, wild blackberry, dried violets, cassis, subtle cured meats is striated with thorns and gritted with moderate tannins. Scrubby wild herbs leave an impression of complex gin, with lingering oils on the white pepper finish. Lighter bodied and savoury. Super interesting.Prices: BC 27.50 Producer: Marotti Campi
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Avantis Dolphins Santorinitext
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Avantis Dolphins Santorini 2013

Aegean Islands - Santorini, The Islands, GreeceSantorini's crisp and shining assyrtiko is honey and lees slicked with a couple of years in the bottle, giving it a medicinal-tinged lemon thistle note. Hay, wild herbs, fine spice, flake salts fill the palate, but a piercing linear acidity carries all to a lingering, briny finish. The family farms 20 HA in the Afrati region in central Euboa, ranging from 250-500m and on clay, gravel, sand soils.Prices: CDN 20.00 Producer: Avantis
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05 May 2017

Zuccardi Tito Zuccarditext
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Zuccardi Tito Zuccardi 2013

La Consulta, Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThis is an opaque blend of 80 percent malbec, fleshed out with cabernet sauvignon and ancellotta (most often seen in Emilia Romagna and prized for its inky colour) from Paraje Altamira in the Uco Valley. The additional grapes give malbec a fleshy, red-fruited character, with cherry, liquorice and tobacco housed by gritty tannins and seasoned with roasted wood and aromatic herbs. Fine spices - cinnamon, nutmeg - warm the warm finish. Requires decanting to fully appreciate now (or a hunk of grilled meat).Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Renacer Enamoretext
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Renacer Enamore 2014

Mendoza, ArgentinaAn Alberto Antonini project, Enamore is an Amarone style wine, where grapes are dried appassimento style to create a concentrated, full wine. Malbec, Cabernet sauvignon, bonarda and cabernet franc are sweet and thicker on the full palate, with ripe and dried plum, dried blackberry, raspberry leather, pink florals drawn across thick, sueded and - at the end - drying tannins. Cushy, velvety, warm on the finish, think of this as a red fruited / pink floral and lighter version of Amarone.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Bodega Renacer
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Trivento Amado Sur Malbec Bonarda Syrahtext
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Trivento Amado Sur Malbec Bonarda Syrah 2014

Mendoza, ArgentinaAn interesting concept blend of malbec with bonarda and syrah. The result is a soft, spicy mix of ripe black fruits—blueberries and blackberries with a floral/licorice undercurrent and a coating of oak. Warm and ready to drink, this is best served with grilled beef or pork.Prices: BC 15.99 ON 17.00 QC 17.25 SK 18.00 NS 18.99 NB 19.49 Producer: Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos S.A
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Masi Tupungato Passo Dobletext
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Masi Tupungato Passo Doble 2014

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaGrippy, amply earthy, dusty black fruit is strung taut against rustic tannins in this malbec/corvina blend. In the apassimento style, this uses dried corvina grapes with fresh malbec, resulting in a clash of soft and harsh on the palate. Earthy, stalky and bitter on the finish. Needs grilled beef to tame.Prices: BC 11.57 NS 17.00 QC 17.00 ON 14.00 NF 18.00 AB 16.00 MB 15.00 PEI 19.00 YK 18.00 NB 19.00 Producer: Masi Agricola
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Santiago Graffignatext
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Santiago Graffigna 2014

Pedernal Valley, San Juan, ArgentinaSantiago is Graffigna's tribute to the founder of the winery, with foresight to begin the company 140 years ago. This "icon wine" is a selection of vineyards in Pedernal Valley (1400m) and a blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. Eighteen months in new oak barrels (85 percent French, 20 percent American) is easily absorbed by the concentrated, smoothed fruit. Savoury and elegant, plush and smoked dark plum, thorny cassis, anise, graphite, pipe tobacco, dusky violets is framed by grippy and firm tannins, and with elevation-amplified acidity enough to easily lift the density. Bitter and brisk red currants and ample spices tighten the lengthy finish, refreshing for the next glass. Decanted, this is drinking beautifully now, but will easily hold and merge over the next 5-10 years. Well done.Prices: MB 56.00 Producer: Bodegas y Viñedos Santiago Graffigna
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04 May 2017

Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noirtext
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Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir 2013

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the cellar. Pouring a brownish hue, this very smoky, very silky pinot noir is from the Similkameen Valley. Bright, lifted acidity carries black cherry, forest berries, moss along a fuller, smooth palate. Tannins are whisper fine and the length is lingering on the spicy finish. If this had less smoky oak it would be a star; as is, the smokiness detracts from the whole. Pour with wild mushroom dishes or fire-grilled pork.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
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Seven Terraces Pinot Noirtext
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Seven Terraces Pinot Noir 2015

Canterbury, South Island, New ZealandNot a lot of change here from what has become a reliable workhorse Canterbury pinot with a cool, spicy demeanour. The nose is floral with rhubarb, strawberry and ginger notes. The palate is light and silky with more dried herbs, and a savoury, herbal, strawberry, carrot/compost note. A very solid mid-week red you can serve with simply prepared salmon.Prices: BC 27.00 ON 19.95 AB 23.00 Producer: Rossendale Winery
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03 May 2017

Paolo Scavino Barolo Classicotext
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Paolo Scavino Barolo Classico 2012

Castiglione Falletto, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyPaolo Scavino was founded in 1921, and the family run estate today is in the hand of the forth and fifth generations, Enrico Scavino and his two daughters Enrica and Elisa who farm and produce low-intervention, finessed wines. The Classico is from a selection of the crus from varying altitudes and soils on the estate, and each plot separately spent ten months in neutral French before an additional year in large casks prior to blending. When the wine is united, it spends an additional year in stainless and ten months of bottle aging before release. They do to the work for you. Classic aromas of dried roses drift onto the anise and dried cherry palate, floating on the fine veil of tar, tugged with firm tannins. Textural and lighter with a lingering subtle truffle. Drinking well now, but will easily hold for the next 7+ years.Prices: BC 68.00 Producer: Paolo Scavino
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Paolo Scavino Barolo Bricco Ambrogiotext
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Paolo Scavino Barolo Bricco Ambrogio 2012

Piedmont, ItalyPaolo Scavino was founded in 1921, and the family run estate today is in the hand of the forth and fifth generations, Enrico Scavino and his two daughters Enrica and Elisa who farm and produce low-intervention, finessed wines. Brice Ambrosia is a small, rarely seen cru, new to the family estate (since 2001). Deep, dark haunting wild blackberry throughout, with a moderate layer of tar on the palate, and resinous, tugging tannins right up to the espresso-dusted finish. Powerful and youthful, this is best appreciated after decanting, or with more time to settle into itself.Prices: BC 89.00 Producer: Paolo Scavino
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Paolo Scavino Barolo Moviglierotext
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Paolo Scavino Barolo Movigliero 2012

Piedmont, ItalyFounded in 1921, the family-run Paolo Scavino estate is today is in the hands of forth and fifth generations, Enrico Scavino and his two daughters Enrica and Elisa. Movigliero is their "grand cru" in Verduno, and this limestone-laced vineyard was planted in 1967. Florals, thorns, violets twist throughout the wine's firm-fisted structure, but lifted the length along with effortless acidity. Spiced blood orange, black plum, anise lingers. Grippy as expected for its age, and far too young to taste now, but will happily sit for another ten+ years.Prices: BC 100.00 Producer: Paolo Scavino
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Luke Lambert Yarra Valley Nebbiolotext
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Luke Lambert Yarra Valley Nebbiolo 2015

Yarra Valley, Victoria, AustraliaOne of the rare Nebbiolos that excels as an expat from its native Piemonte. From two rocky and granitic vineyards in the hills of Yarra Valley, fermented wild on skins for one month and matured in large old oak before being bottled without fining or filtration. An alluring hay and wild herb note woven throughout this crisp and frisky, young, lighter bodied red. Salted black plum, floral cherry, perfumed wildflowers are textured with grippy, fine tannins and completed with a lingering dried floral and pink pepper note. Decant and serve slightly cooler for best enjoyment. Quite characterful and unique – a bright new lens for Nebbiolo.Prices: AUS 61.00 Producer: Luke Lambert
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02 May 2017

Yalumba Christobel’s Moscatotext
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Yalumba Christobel’s Moscato 2016

AustraliaA fun, lively mix of fruit that can cool down a summer afternoon. The ferment is stopped early to maintain the perfect balance between bright natural acidity and grape sugar. The nose is a mix of roses and fruit salad with bits of mango and litchi all covered in candied citrus flavours. Light, fresh and bright with a hint of spritz, this is the perfect summer sipper you can serve with sashimi, light cheeses, and assorted summer dips. As Treve would say, Oz meets Asti.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Yalumba Wine Company
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Stella Bella Pink Muscattext
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Stella Bella Pink Muscat 2012

Margaret River, Western Australia, AustraliaThis little eight percent sweetie pours a lovely pink hue. Likely intended to be drunk in 2013, now rescued from the cellar and just hanging on. Strawberry jam, pear blossom, honey and a kiss of candied sugar on the finish. Drink now, well chilled, if you find a bottle like I did. Preferably with Strawberry meringue.Prices: UK 33.00 375 Producer: Stella Bella Wines Pty Ltd
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Play Estate Winery Moscatotext
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Play Estate Winery Moscato 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Play Moscato gets the weight and freshness right by blending three different muscat grapes: white, orange and ottonel. The mix adds a touch of complexity to what is essentially a fun wine. The wine is barely off-dry to give it wider appeal, but honestly I like it for what it is: fresh, food friendly and ready to drink. Try this with your favourite sushi or a classic Santa Fe chicken salad.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Play Estate Winery
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JoieFarm Muscat The Pure Grape (v)text
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JoieFarm Muscat The Pure Grape (v) 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpen, soapy, floral, peachy nose with hints of summer sausage. The grape is moscato giallo (yellow muscat or goldenmuskateller) and it comes off the Joie Naramata Bench home vineyard. Fresher than last year, and seemingly drier in the mouth, this is more classic muscat with notes of lemon lime flecked with white pepper. The winery suggest deep-fried and salty snacks and I wholeheartedly agree.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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LaStella Moscato D’Osoyoostext
90PTS

LaStella Moscato D’Osoyoos 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt’s hard not to marvel at this wine. While it's true that muscat almost always trumps terroir, LaStella has managed to bring a little bit of d’Asti to its d’Osoyoos, offering a stunningly elegant version of a pétillant bubble. They have gone back to cork to better adjust the gentle pressure in the bottle and they have got it right. You can expect an explosion of perfumed fruit with just a hint of effervescence. Orange blossoms, nectarine skin, rose petals and more all jump from the glass. At less than 10 percent alcohol by volume this wine is multidimensional. Think aperitif, dessert or brunch wine – the winery suggests you try it with green curry and fish. Sounds perfect.Prices: BC 19.99 500 Producer: LaStella
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Kuentz-Bas Muscattext
91PTS

Kuentz-Bas Muscat 2014

Alsace, FranceBeautiful delicate lime blossom, pretty pear, anise blossom, and a grippy riff edging the whole. Light and effortless on the palate, this dry muscat is delicate, with great, fine boned persistence. Very pure showing of muscat, from a place that knows how to focus it.Prices: BCX 26.00 Producer: Kuentz-Bas
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JoieFarm Muscat The Pure Grape (v)text
88PTS

JoieFarm Muscat The Pure Grape (v) 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaJoieFarm's Muscat is pretty much dry, and by that I mean it's blessedly leagues apart from most muscats you find on the shelves, though it still has a little bump of residual sugar (nearly 5 g/l), which is intrinsic to this little grape. The 2016 has tightened up again, with lime leaf acidity lifting perfumed rose petals, orange blossoms, fleshy peach and ripe melon colouring a watery mid-palate. A little snap of salted anise and citrus acidity brightens the finish, closing out this light bodied wine at 10.8 percent alcohol.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: JoieFarm
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LaStella Moscato D'Osoyoostext
89PTS

LaStella Moscato D'Osoyoos 2015

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is an Okanagan take on Piemonte's famous Moscato d'Asti, and a believable one at that. Perfumed and pretty orange blossoms, apricot, ripe pear, rose petals and ginger, all with a delicate effervescence that lifts the mid-sweet, slender-boned palate at a desirable 9.7 percent alcohol. The humming acidity keeps this bright on the featherweight palate. This is three different clones of young muscat from Osoyoos (muscat blanc à petits grains, orange muscat, muscat ottonel) that spent four months on the lees in pressurized bubble-inducing tanks.Prices: BC 20.00 375 Producer: LaStella
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01 May 2017

Narrative Ancient Method by Okanagan Crush Padtext
89PTS

Narrative Ancient Method by Okanagan Crush Pad 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNarrative is about the Okanagan story. A rare climate, a region of extremes: home to both arid desert landscape and cold snowy winters. Pedro Parra and Theo Siemens are the farmers of record for this imaginative sparkler made from pinot noir grown at the Summerland Garnet Valley Ranch project. The GVR is 126 ha organic farm established in 2012 on virgin land left to its natural landscape. The vineyards sit between 600 and 680 meters above sea level, making it the highest elevation vineyard site in the Okanagan. The soil is a mix of fractured rock with a high level of calcium carbonate encased rock. The ’15 Narrative sparkler is all pinot noir, clones 667, 777, 115, and 828, bottled at 22 grams of residual sugar during primary fermentation – with no additives or stabilization. In the glass this is beguiling. Soft and juicy, bubbly - if a touch crude - yet delicious in the back end delivering all you want with no additives at 11.5 percent alcohol.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Chateau Martinolles Crémant de Limoux Bruttext
88PTS

Chateau Martinolles Crémant de Limoux Brut 2013

Limoux, Languedoc, South of France, FranceThe Limoux wine region lies at the westernmost point of the Languedoc, just south of the medieval city of Carcassonne. The region is buffeted by cool and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean and warm/hot dry conditions from the Mediterranean. Domaine de Martinolles, owned by the Vergnes family since 1926, was sold to Jean Claude Mas in 2011 as part of an estate sale. The vineyards lie on ancient chalky hillsides from 200 to 600 metres above sea level where the monks of St. Hilaire produced the world’s first sparkling in 1531. The chardonnay cuvée (there is no mauzac the traditional grape of the region) has a fresh, aromatic nose with floral, stony undertones. White fruits and more minerality marks the nose of this fresh, crisp sparkling wine.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: Maison Vergnes
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Vouette & Sorbée Blanc d'Argile Extra Bruttext
93PTS

Vouette & Sorbée Blanc d'Argile Extra Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThough Vouette & Sorbée has only been releasing wines since 2001, this Demeter-certified biodynamic domaine from the Aube has quickly established itself as a leading star in the grower champagne world. Founder Bertrand Gautherot used to sell grapes to other producers, (including Anselme Selosse) before releasing his own. His 5ha are mostly Kimmeridgian marls and Portlandia limestones, in the village of Buxières-sur-Arce in the Aube's Côte des Bar, just 60km northeast of Chablis. This was pressed in a vertical Coquard press, fermented wild and without sulphur until minimal amounts just before bottling, without dosage. The wines aren't vintage dated since they only spend 20 months on the lees (vs the minimum 36 months required by the AOC for vintage declaration), though he lists the base wine year and disgorgement date on the label. Fine dough, shortbread, ample herbal lees is pierced with lemon peel and pith in this blanc de blanc, sourced from younger vines. This wine requires time to open (decant?), allowing some of the mushroom earthiness and herbal heft airtime, and for the lemon, white grapefruit pith and chalky precision to focus. Light white honey and shimmering stones on the finish. A characterful beauty to savour slowly over an evening.Prices: BC 93.99 Producer: Vouette & Sorbée
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Água Viva Espumante Brutotext
91PTS

Água Viva Espumante Bruto 2013

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalToast, red apple, and a cut of riffing, sea salt acidity in this blend of 30-60 year old maria gomes, bical, cercial, and chardonnay sourced from the limestone and clay soils of Bairrada. This lively fizz spent 36 months on lees in barrel before being disgorged November 2016. The lovely mid palate is cushioned with green apple and just enough toasted texture before a refreshing 11 percent alcohol finish Tastes of where it's from, and I'm already looking forward to tracking this along future releases.Prices: UK 20.00 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
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Juve y Camps Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familiatext
90PTS

Juve y Camps Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2012

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya, SpainOne of the most serious, vintage dated Cavas, this is the Brut Nature from the respected Juvé y Camps house. This cuvee comes from the free run juice of macabeo, parellada and xarel·lo grapes coming from the limestone studded Espiells, Can Massana and La Cuscona estates. Earthy, mushroom, red apple, stone, roasted nuts, toasted brioche lines the palate, up until pink grapefruit pith spicing up the finish. This spends three years on the lees. Serious stuff.Prices: BC 35.00 QC 22.25 Producer: Juvé y Camps
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Blasted Church OMGtext
88PTS

Blasted Church OMG 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOnce you've seen Blasted Church's distinctive labels, they're impossible to forget. This is a sharp, tight and lean traditional method sparkling from pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot blanc. Lightly smoked stones, green apple and crunchy, searing acidity is streaked with oxidative notes and finishes with some nuts. If you're looking for a racy little fizz, and label, look no further.Prices: BC 24.50 Producer: Blasted Church Vineyards
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Noble Ridge The One Sparklingtext
89PTS

Noble Ridge The One Sparkling 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTreve and I really enjoyed this toasty, smoked stone scented sparkler, packed with orchard-fruit. 81/19 Okanagan Falls chardonnay/pinot noir spends 41 months on the lees, affording it a complex, nutty lustre and depth. Ripe apple, Rainier cherry, wild strawberry, croissant is propped up with a brace of acidity on the medium-bodied, lees-lined palate. The finish is serious and firm, almost austere. This drinks well now, but will reward with a year or two more in bottle when it can relax and breathe. Well done.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThough it changes from year to year, Cuvée Sainte Anne Brut is equal parts chardonnay/pinot noir, sourced from the village of Merfy in the Montagne de Reims. It is the only grower champagne from the village and the family has wine growing roots back to 1485; the rest of the vineyards in Merfy are claimed by co-ops or go to larger houses. This is 60 percent from 2014 vintage, and 40 percent from 2013, disgorged December 2016. Farmed organically and wild fermented there’s no filtration that gives an earthy wildness to this oxidative-leaning champagne. Earthy, mushroom, brioche, toasted almond on a dense core of red apple and finishing with fine, nutmeg dusted spicing. Serious, striking, earthy style, with a slight oxidative swing.Prices: AB 50.00 MB 65.00 QC 49.75 Producer: Champagne Chartogne-Taillet
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Narrative XC Method Sparkling Winetext
88PTS

Narrative XC Method Sparkling Wine NV

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaXC is a charmat method (tank fermented) pinot noir and chardonnay blend sourced from Oliver's Secrest Mountain Vineyard and Summerland's Watkins Family Vineyard. In this case the tank is on its side, reminiscent of a Champagne bottle during its secondary ferment. Lively and off-dry, fresh and clean, with red apple, ripe pear and a toasted brioche base. A riff of mandarin acidity works to offset the RS here, though a pleasant pear / orange blossom remains. Treve nailed its demeanour calling it “a grown up, and local, variant of Prosecco.” All hail diversity.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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Villa Di Corlo Primevo Lambrusco di Sorbaratext
89PTS

Villa Di Corlo Primevo Lambrusco di Sorbara 2014

Modena, Emilia-Romagna, ItalySalmon pink, this effortless, light and charming fizzy is a blend of 80 percent Lambrusco Sorbara and 20 percent Lambrusco Salamino, from one of the top producers in the region. Two-to-three days of skin maceration (short, by regional standards) aids in the easy freshness of this wine. Balsamic ringed fresh raspberries, cherry, hints of wild cassis all dance on a tingly tight palate that is bone dry, savoury-stained, and streaked with wild herbal scrub. Balsamic lingers on the finish. At 11 percent, this is highly smashable. Lambrusco di Sorbara is the lightest in color of the five DOC lambruscos, with a characteristically delicate floral lift and lithe body, certainly evidenced here.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Villa Di Corlo
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Nyetimber Classic Cuvee Bruttext
91PTS

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee Brut NV

EnglandThis is a new NV (or MV) release from Nyetimber, one of England's most lauded and recognized fizz producers. Yellow apple, pear, scented stone on this medium bodied, very complete blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier sourced from 2013 (73 percent), and splashes from 2011, 2010, 2009. Richer and warmer on the palate, this holds a fine backbone of spicy acidity to carry to the finish, one plumped with a bump of dosage. A code on the back of the bottle allows you to trace this wine at www.nyetimber.com/wineinfo. For instance, I can see that this was bottled on April 2, 2014, riddled on November 11, 2016, and disgorged on November 23, 2016. Knowledge is power.Prices: CDN 50.00 Producer: Nyetimber
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Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanctext
90PTS

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVery pleased to retaste the 2013 Sparkling Chenin Blanc a few months after my first (pre-release) taste, as the finished time in bottle has made a huge difference to the quality of this iconic BC wine. Racy crisp and lemon pith tight, with a fine, potent bead of lemon acidity to drive this to a shimmering, salty finish. Green apple, light hay is textured with a chalky grip, adding interest on the lean palate, buffered with just enough Okanagan orchard fruit to balance the searing chenin acidity. Oysters!Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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