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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: May 2015

22 May 2015

M. Chapoutier Hermitage Chante Alouette Blanctext
92PTS

M. Chapoutier Hermitage Chante Alouette Blanc 2012

Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceA fully biodynamic product here and only 13.5% alcohol. Light gold colour with honey, baked pear, floral, vanilla, spicy lees, earthy, apricot skin and nut aromas. Ripe, rich, round, juicy and elegant yet with fine texture. Apricot, nutty, floral, honey, butter, lees, ginger, guava, pear and citrus flavours with a buttery, baked quince finish. Very flavourful yet delicate and round, drinking well now but could be good again in 10 years time. A bit lighter than previous vintage but very fine effort.Prices: BC 92.00 AB 85.00 ON 74.00 QC 74.50 Producer: M. Chapoutier
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Pasion de Bobaltext
86PTS

Pasion de Bobal 2011

Utiel-Requena, Valencia and Murcia, SpainHave you ever tasted the bobal grape before? Here, 60+ year old bobal from the hot interior of Valencia is freshened with altitude (approx. 1000m) and paid attention to via organic farming. Deep and dense plum, sweet cassis, red and black liquorice aromas carry through to the juicy palate where blue fruit, wood smoke, earth, vanilla, cracked pepper and candied blackberries join in across smoothed, fine tannins. Densely fruited and medium bodied, this juicy and rustic red makes a stellar barbecue red and match to grilled pork chops or plum lamb kabobs.Prices: BC 16.49 Producer: Bodega Sierra Norte
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21 May 2015

La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigiotext
90PTS

La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigio 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerhaps it was the warm 2014 summer, or the lower than average yield, but this vintage of Vivace, with its gently concentrated, pure-fruited, finessed form, especially impresses. Wild desert herbs, orchard pear, fine lees and lemon zest roll across the textured palate, brightened by crisp green apple tartness and bitter white grapefruit pith. Fragrant melon, subtle meadow blossoms and stones linger on the finish. Lively, dry and elegant, this is a grown up grigio.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: La Stella Winery
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Soahc Estate Wines Chardonnaytext
88PTS

Soahc Estate Wines Chardonnay 2014

Kootenay River Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA marked improvement over the 2013 vintage, this pioneering biodynamic producer from the Southern Kootenays seems to be finding its rhythm (lunar and otherwise). A tight, energetic chardonnay with green apple, lemon and stone aromas. The green apple and lemon pith return on the crisp palate, where they are joined by gentle hazelnut and waves of caramel. Acidity is bright and stony spiced, and finishes with herbal meadow flowers. Best appreciated when the wine has a chance to warm a bit and breathe, especially paired with scallops or clams.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Soahc Estate Wines
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Township 7 Cabernet Franc Rock Pocket Vineyardtext
87PTS

Township 7 Cabernet Franc Rock Pocket Vineyard 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis cabernet franc, exclusive to Township 7's wine club, is grown in Oliver's Rock Pocket Vineyard, a sun trap site on the Black Sage Bench. Cola, ripe cherry and sun warmed raspberries on the nose. The smoothed, full palate echoes the same, along with peppery spice, cool mint and soft cedar wood notes. Tannins are supple and the cola scented, cocoa textured wine persistent, ending with a bittersweet chocolate finish. A gentler, ripe cabernet franc, welcoming pairing with lamb meatballs.Prices: BC 31.00 Producer: Township 7 Vineyards and Wineries
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Fort Berens Cabernet Franctext
90PTS

Fort Berens Cabernet Franc 2012

Lillooet, British Columbia, CanadaGravelly, savoury and ripe dark fruits at first whiff, followed by earthy cassis, walnuts and subtle brambles. The structured palate is textured with ripe black cherries, thorny cassis, cassis, tobacco, dark florals and dried herbs. Acidity is fresh and natural and the length considerable and tactile. This layered and complex wine reveals itself to you in stages - worth opening in advance and savouring over time, especially with grilled pork tenderloin. Enjoy now or 2-3 years time (would be longer if they lose the plastic cork).Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Soahc Estate Wines Rieslingtext
88PTS

Soahc Estate Wines Riesling 2014

Kootenay River Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWhite flowers, lime pith and cucumber scents open this Fruitvale riesling, the first winery in the Southern Kootenays region and billed as North America's first biodynamic winery from inception. The off-dry palate carries ripe pear, lychee, fragrant white peach, wild anise, cold cream and floral apple blossoms - concentrated and generous, but reined in with lime peel focus and brightened with kicky citrus acidity. The finish lingers on and on with lime, spring blossoms and stone. An attractive 10.3% alcohol, ideal for partnering with fresh spot prawns.Prices: BC 23.50 Producer: Soahc Estate Wines
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20 May 2015

Zuccardi Serie A Bonardatext
88PTS

Zuccardi Serie A Bonarda 2012

Santa Rosa, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaOriginally grown in Piedmont, bonarda has seen much success in the high altitude, rich soils of Argentina, though it always plays second string to the gloried malbec grape. Which is a shame - the juicy, fruity and floral forward red can be quite welcoming. Here, from the sandy desert heat of Santa Rosa, ripe blueberry, plum and violets are the entry to a juicy, soft and chewy palate. Potent, concentrated blueberry, blackberry gummies, mulberry and wine gums fill the mouth, with moderate acidity. Tannins are present, but supple and pliable, and end with a downy finish. Try alongside grilled beef burgers or spiced beef or lamb empanadas.Prices: BC 13.10 ON 17.00 MB 19.00 Producer: Familia Zuccardi
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Averill Creek Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

Averill Creek Gewurztraminer 2014

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis cool climate gewürztraminer leaps from the glass with lemon blossom, pear and fragrant lime. The crisp, zesty palate displays the same - dominated by lively key lime peel and spicy ginger, and centered with tight green apple, bright melon, herbal anise and lychee and finishing with perfumed blossoms. No flabby gewürztraminer here, but rather a tight, energetic and vibrant spiced white, ideal for a summer al fresco seafood dinner or Vietnamese flavours. Rethink the Wine Islands with this.Prices: BC 15.82 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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19 May 2015

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
92PTS

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010

Tuscany, ItalyFloral, black cherry, sausage meat, peppery, licorice root, tobacco, resin and savoury herb aromas. Ripe, round, elegant, dry and juicy palate with light, grainy tannins. Smoky, plum, black cherry, meaty, black pepper, tobacco, resin, cardamom and almond flavours with a touch of coffee. Very good intensity and balance but still youthful. Drink with grilled lamb or keep for 3-5 years. New plantings and clonal work done almost two decades ago are paying off at Ruffino's many estates; the Ducale Oro is an 85/15 blend of sangiovese with merlot and colorino.Prices: BC 50.00 ON 44.95 QC 45.00 NS 50.00 Producer: Tenimenti Ruffino
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Pascual Toso Alta Cabernet Sauvignon Las Barrancas Vineyardstext
90PTS

Pascual Toso Alta Cabernet Sauvignon Las Barrancas Vineyards 2011

Maipú, Northern Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaLots of black pepper, black berry, cassis aromas with smoky, savoury, tobacco, cedar, saddle leather and prune aromas. Dry, fresh, warm, juicy, soft palate with smoky tobacco, black berry, cassis jam, cedar, coffee, black olive, vanilla and saddle leather flavours. Good finesse and fruit intensity despite the warm finish. Drinkable now or over the next 2-4 years. Steak anyone?Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Pascual Toso
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Symphony Vineyard Ortegatext
86PTS

Symphony Vineyard Ortega 2014

Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThe grapes for this Saanich Peninsula ortega come from neighbouring Starling Lane Vineyard, and the grapes were offered to Symphony when the Starling Lane owners retired. Reductive at first crack of the cap, with airtime this shows peach fuzz, lemon thistle and bitter melon notes. The dry, juicy palate is dominated by herbed bitter melon, while potent peach, peach fuzz and tangerine pith mingle alongside. An Arcadian white, best enjoyed chilled on a patio alongside melon and prosciutto.Prices: BC 15.57 Producer: Symphony Vineyard
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Averill Creek Vineyard Foch Eh!text
85PTS

Averill Creek Vineyard Foch Eh! 2014

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaThis carboni-macerated red is as carefree and easy as Beaujolais and should be treated as such, chilled, cracked and enjoyed al fresco, preferably alongside a ham, salmon or roast eggplant sandwich. Bright in hue (royal purple) and fruit, this easy-drinking, light bodied red reveals mulled spiced plum and cherries on the nose. Blackberry gummies, youthful plum and strawberry jelly fill the gulpable palate, unhindered by tannin, and lifted with mulling spices and green, resinous tinged acidity.Prices: BC 16.12 Producer: Averill Creek Vineyard
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18 May 2015

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale (Tan Label)text
90PTS

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale (Tan Label) 2011

Tuscany, ItalyA nice jump up in quality after the 2010 with a bright floral, cherry jam, meaty, spicy, peppery nose flecked with chocolate, tobacco and licorice root. Round, dry, fresh, supple palate with light, smooth tannins. Spicy, peppery, cherry, smoky, light meat, tobacco and ash flavours with a touch of vanilla. Well balanced and elegant with solid fruit core and some tannins to shed. Needs another two to five years in bottle to reach its peak. The Riserva Ducale mixes 80 per cent sangiovese with 20 per cent cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Total skin contact last about 20 days before it is aged for twenty four months in 40/80 hl. oak barrels, stainless-steel and concrete vats.Prices: BC 26.09 AB 27.00 SK 30.00 ON 25.00 QC 25.00 NS 35.00 NF 39.00 Producer: Tenimenti Ruffino
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Amalaya Vino Tinto de Alturatext
88PTS

Amalaya Vino Tinto de Altura 2013

Calchaqui Valley, Salta, North, ArgentinaThe nose is slightly reduce but with time opens up with black cherry, tobacco, black pepper, savoury, orange peel, meaty, coffee aromas. Dry, fresh, round, juicy palate with light tannins. Savoury, blood orange, plum, cassis, black olive, tobacco, peppery flavours. Good intensity if a bit short on the finish. Fine for grilled beef or lamb. The ‘Milagro’ waiting for a miracle 'Amalaya' wine is grown at some of the highest vineyards in the world. Mostly malbec mixed with 15 percent cabernet sauvignon, syrah and tannat.Prices: AB 20.00 BC 17.39 YK 21.00 Producer: Bodega Colomé
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Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollotext
85PTS

Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo 2012

Maremma, Tuscany, ItalyEarthy, barnyard, saddle leather, floral, nose with stemmy, tobacco notes. Tart, lean, slightly sweet palate with light tannins. Candied cherry, tobacco, meaty, resin, olive and coffee flavours. This needs a meaty pasta dish to balance what is in the glass.Prices: BC 22.00 ON 19.00 MB 19.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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La Stella Fortissimotext
90PTS

La Stella Fortissimo 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and - wait for it - sangiovese - from the south Okanagan lures with savoury plum, spices and dark cocoa. The structured palate holds the textured black fruit well, layered with dark flowers, red cherry and some branched earthiness. Firm, grainy tannins, though still a bit raggedy in youth, are integrating and built to last. Decant and enjoy with herbed lamb now, or cellar for 5 plus years.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: La Stella Winery
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Signorello Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Napa Valley, California, United StatesRich black olive, tobacco leaf, peppery nose with cassis, sappy, resin, smoky, licorice, cedar aromas. Dry, round, elegant, suave, juicy palate with light, smooth tannins. Smoky, vanilla, coffee, peppery, cassis, tobacco, cedar, black olive, green bean, resin and earth flavours. Very well balanced for the vintage. Drinkable now but should improve with 2-5 years. A mid-term cabernet likely best from 2018-2022.Prices: BC 94.99 ON 62.00 AB 65.00 NS 56.00 Producer: Signorello Estate
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Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane-Machotte Rougetext
0PTS

Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane-Machotte Rouge 2012

Gigondas, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceCorked try anotherPrices: BC 38.00 ON 29.00 Producer: Pierre Amadieu
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Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Le Pas de l'Aigle Rougetext
92PTS

Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Le Pas de l'Aigle Rouge 2012

Gigondas, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceHuge black pepper, sausage meat, garrigue nose flecked with eucalyptus, black cherry, black berry, licorice root and light vanilla and coffee aroma. Dry, fresh, full, round, suave palate with some grainy tannins buffered by intense black berry, black plum, licorice, meaty, savoury, peppery, tobacco, menthol, blood orange and vanilla flavours. A big styled, fruity, age-able Gigondas. Drinkable now but will benefit from 3-5 years. Perfect for the cellar.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Pierre Amadieu
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Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reservetext
90PTS

Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve 2012

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesBig black cherry, tobacco, celery salt, rooty, licorice, black pepper, vanilla, light smoky oak and vanilla aromas. Dry, tart, tight palate with some gritty tannins. Smoky oak, stemmy, rooty, bramble, black cherry, tobacco, vanilla, gamey, light barnyard flavours. Rich, ripe California style pinot. The reserve is now mostly two select Carneros AVA blocks: Rancho Carneros head-trained, dry-farmed vines over forty years old and the clonally diverse Hyde Vineyard planted in 1979. This will need time to develop.Prices: QC 60.50 Producer: Robert Mondavi Winery
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CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir 2012

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United StatesCelery root, carrot top, compost, strawberry, worsteshire, slightly meaty, vanilla and cola aromas. Fresh, round, elegant, juicy, suave palate with raspberry, cocoa, vanilla, blood orange, peppery, celery salt, compost and tobacco flavours with light tannins. Rich, fruity, intense palate, more so than the nose would suggest. Needs a few years to open up.Prices: BC 43.49 QC 42.00 Producer: Paul Hobbs Winery
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Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnaytext
90PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTwenty three year old vines and a selection of four French clones make up this understated and elegant reserve chardonnay. Half was fermented and aged in French oak with the remainder in stainless steel, and no MLF was employed, leaving the acidity clear, shining and bright. Biscuit, cream, light lees and orchard apple aromas. The palate is full with apple, pear, lemon peel, almond, fine lees and persistent gentle nutmeg spice through the lengthy finish. This is a full bodied and structured chardonnay that handles ample oak in a confident, finessed way. Drinking well now (especially with scallops and crab), but will reward with 3 plus years in the cellar.Prices: BC 30.00 AB 30.00 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Domaine du Grand Cros Rosétext
89PTS

Domaine du Grand Cros Rosé 2014

Côtes de Provence, Provence, South of France, FranceVery pale salmon colour with a delightful peppery, cherry, red apple, floral, citrus nose. Fresh, elegant, juicy, round palate with cherry, black pepper, black licorice, savoury herb and citrus flavours. Perfect summer food wine without the sweet and sour flavour pendulum. Well balanced. Don’t let the drab package put you off this is a very appealing wine. The blend is 50% grenache, 30% cinsault, 10% semillon and 10% rolle.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Domaine du Grand Cros
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17 May 2015

Two Oceans Shiraztext
83PTS

Two Oceans Shiraz 2013

Western Cape, South AfricaRubbery, peppery, lees, floral, rooty, tobacco, resin aromas. Fresh, juicy, slightly tart and sweet with cherry jam, meaty, peppery, cocoa, prune and cedar flavours. Very simple commercial light acidic syrah. Same as last time.Prices: BC 9.79 Producer: Bergkelder, The (Distillers Corporation)
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Pierre Amadieu Domaine Grand Romane Gigondastext
90PTS

Pierre Amadieu Domaine Grand Romane Gigondas 2012

Gigondas, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceBig black pepper, savoury, smoky herb, tobacco, licorice, coffee, black cherry, garrigues aromas with a meaty note. Fresh, dry, juicy, slightly tannic palate with black cherry, black plum, smoky, slate, black pepper, resin, coffee, meaty, garrigues flavours. Big style wine with some tannins to shed on the finish. Should improve with 2-5 years or try with barbeque chops.Prices: BC 33.09 Producer: Pierre Amadieu
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Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir 2012

California, United StatesMuch like last year this is much to like in this friendly, juicy style pinot with its super bright fruit. Look for cherry, light vanilla, cocoa, strawberry jam, light barnyard and earth aromas. Fresh, juicy, elegant texture on the palate. Strawberry jam, orange peel, cocoa, light celery salt, licorice and coffee flavours. Solid fruit and good value. Try this with grilled chicken.Prices: AB 20.00 ON 20.00 Producer: Chateau Saint Jean
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Unsworth Vineyards Petit Milo Vintners Selectiontext
88PTS

Unsworth Vineyards Petit Milo Vintners Selection 2014

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPetit Milo is a hybrid grape (one of the Blattners) specifically suited to our cool, maritime climate. Here, 21 grams/litre of residual sugar is gobbled up handily by racy acidity, buoyed by ripe pear, pink grapefruit, white peach and fine, pithy spice. Mid-sweet and pure fruited, this makes for a lovely aperitif with melon and prosciutto and sweetly fresh spot prawns. Well done.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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16 May 2015

Los Dos Corte d'Orotext
87PTS

Los Dos Corte d'Oro 2012

Mendoza, ArgentinaViñas Don Martin a 60-ha estate at 1000 meters at Alto Agrelo in Mendoza belongs to Swiss shareholders. Famed Argentine winemaker Roberto de La Mota is the consulting winemaker working with owners Los Dos Los Dieter Meier, a Swiss artist and Laurenz Moser, pupil of the Austrian wine family Moser. Typically dark and ripe on the nose with hints of savoury black fruits and oak. The attack is soft and round with spicy chocolate black cherry fruit flavours soft smooth, vanillin notes in the finish. A round harmonious, spicy red, for current drinking.Prices: BC 17.79 Producer: Vinas Don Martin
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Sea Star Ortegatext
89PTS

Sea Star Ortega 2014

Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, CanadaOrtega is one of the finer calling cards of the Wine Islands - a coastal, bright, aromatic white grape native to Germany, and a cross between müller-thurgau and siegerrebe. Sea Star's crisp, lively version is an excellent introduction to the grape. Crisp lime, white peach and spring blossoms fill the nose and carry through to the palate, where it is joined by fragrant melon and pink grapefruit pith. Sprightly but concentrated, off dry but crisp, this would be lovely with papaya salad and Thai lime dressed dishes.Prices: BC 17.30 Producer: Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards
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15 May 2015

Rodney Strong Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2013

Sonoma County, California, United StatesSpice, toast and cinnamon apples open this entry tier Rodney Strong Sonoma chardonnay, partially barrel fermented and aged (with the 40 percent remainder in stainless steel). Green apple, lemon and smoked stone coat the palate, along with pear, asparagus and fine cloves. Wood is ever-present, though the crisp apple fruit pops through from time to time. Best with smoked white fish or grilled corn dishes.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 22.00 QC 20.00 ON 20.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Vineyards
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Sandhill Cabernet Merlot Vanessa Vineyardtext
85PTS

Sandhill Cabernet Merlot Vanessa Vineyard 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom the well-situated Vanessa Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley comes this coffee-kin cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot blend. Black cherry joins coffee on the nose and continues through the dense palate, along with spicy blackberry, red currant, tobacco, thorny branch and a lick of dark florals. Tannins are astringent and the finish is ragged. Try pouring with ragu sauced rustic pastas.Prices: BC 20.00 AB 22.00 MB 19.00 Producer: Sandhill Wines
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14 May 2015

Le Vieux Pin Retouchetext
88PTS

Le Vieux Pin Retouche 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOkanagan growers that worked with the cool 2011 growing season were still able to achieve phenolic ripeness on their reds, at the expense of sun ripe fruit, sugar, alcohol and quantity. That's certainly the case here, with a scant 62 cases of this branchy, sinewy, dark cherry and leathery Hermitage blend of cabernet sauvignon/syrah, tasted after time in cellar. Dried cherry and fig compote, tar, dark plum and blackberry leather are stretched across structured, chewy tannis and finish with drying blackcurrant, a touch menthol and spice. A couple of years in now, the 2011 has settled nicely into a wine for drinking, particularly with mole lamb or braised rabbit.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Cantina di Negrar Valpolicellatext
85PTS

Cantina di Negrar Valpolicella 2013

Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyTight, spicy meaty (reductive) nose that needs some air or splash decanting. As it cleans up you pick up some cherry, floral notes before the dry balanced finish kick in. Simple honest red for barbecue or pizza needs. The longer it is open the better it gets.Prices: BC 22.00 1500 Producer: Cantina Negrar
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Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandeltext
85PTS

Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2013

California, United StatesClassic nose of brambly, sweet blackberry and spicy red currant. The attack is smooth the textures soft and fleshy with more sweet, smoky, spicy black cherry fruit and a soft pepper finish. Try this with grilled meats; hamburgers, pork chops or beef kabobs. Simple ready to drink zinfandel for large parties.Prices: BC 34.79 3000 Producer: Bota Box Vintners
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Pascual Toso Malbectext
85PTS

Pascual Toso Malbec 2013

Mendoza, ArgentinaI call this old style malbec now. The attack is soft and sweet with a meaty reductive note. The palate is supple, the style easy-sipping with earthy, black raspberry, savoury, spicy fruit that finishes sweet and sour a la Australia.Prices: AB 13.00 BC 15.00 ON 14.00 QC 14.00 YK 17.20 Producer: Pascual Toso
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Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyardtext
88PTS

Spierhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2014

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaApple blossoms, bitter melon, pear skin and green apple aromas lead this single vineyard pinot gris from Summerland's Golden Retreat Vineyard. Crisp red apple, yellow apple, melon and grapefruit pith on the juicy palate, with just a lick of residual sugar for body. The herbal, citrus bitterness lingers alongside fine and slightly fiery ginger spice. Would make a fine match to spicy fish tacos.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminertext
87PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminer 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSoft rose petals, melon and peach notes open this juicy, mouth-watering white, and continue on the palate. Ripe white peach, pear, lychee and melon are overlaid with fine herbal and ginger, and finishes off dry with a wave of ripe, sweet melons. The bright fruit easily manages blousy gewürztraminer's alcohol (ringing in at 14 percent). A well-priced summer pour with salads or orange spiced Chinese.Prices: BC 16.00 AB 22.00 SK 19.00 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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13 May 2015

See Ya Later Ranch Major's Block Red Blendtext
85PTS

See Ya Later Ranch Major's Block Red Blend 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis merlot dominant blend is plumped out with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, and sees time in both American and French oak. Blackberry jam, spiced plums and sundried blueberries dominant the ripe, dense palate. Vanilla, cloves, mocha and sweet, dense and uber-concentrated fruit finish a bit hot. Best to pair this uncomplicated big red with well-dressed beef burgers on the BBQ.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: See You Later Ranch
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Road 13 Fifth Element Redtext
89PTS

Road 13 Fifth Element Red 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaWith densely ripe, sweet black fruits, dark florals, tobacco, pitch and alluring roasted meats this blend of merlot, caberet franc, syrah, caberet sauvignon and petit verdot packs a lot of stuffing. Fortunately, the structure is there to support it. Though this wine still presents youthful, it was built to last five plus years. Ample ripe tannins finish with black cherry and blackberry on a lingering, brooding finish. Pour with your grilled steaks.Prices: BC 49.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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12 May 2015

Maverick Estate Winery Sophia Port Style Winetext
87PTS

Maverick Estate Winery Sophia Port Style Wine 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaVery peppery, spicy, licorice root, resin, black cherry jam, cedar, chocolate, coffee, spirit-y, earthy aromas. Fresh, warm, juicy, somewhat sweet palate with huge vanilla, coffee, chocolate, cedar, tobacco, gamey, earthy, resin, licorice, meaty and leafy flavours. Needs a few years to integrate and subdue the herbaceous leafy tannins.Prices: BC 30.00 500 Producer: Maverick Estate Winery
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Babble Mendocino Red Winetext
86PTS

Babble Mendocino Red Wine 2013

Mendocino County, California, United StatesPeppery, sausage meat, smoky, licorice, black berry jam, prune and coffee aromas. Soft, round, slightly sweet and easy palate with black cherry, chocolate, cocoa, peppery, black olive and licorice flavours. Easy-sipping, basic, red blend for grilled meats.Prices: US 35.00 Producer: DNA Vineyards
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33 Route Tempranillo Bonicairetext
87PTS

33 Route Tempranillo Bonicaire 2012

Castellón, SpainSmoky, meaty, peppery, saddle leather, black cherry, savoury, coffee and black olive aromas. Round, fresh, smooth, warm palate with chocolate, black olive, black pepper, plum, smoked meat, saddle leather and garrigue flavours. Good concentration but a bit rustic.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Les Useres
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Torres Celeste Crianzatext
89PTS

Torres Celeste Crianza 2011

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainBig spicy, licorice, black pepper, black cherry jam, smoky, savoury, chocolate and tobacco aromas. Ripe, full, juicy, suave palate with coffee, chocolate, cedar, black berry, plum, licorice, vanilla, savoury, blood orange flavours. Full and rich but with fine ripeness and tannin balance for near term consumption. The vineyard sits at 895 metres above sea level.Prices: ON 22.00 QC 20.85 MB 25.00 BC 27.00 AB 28.00 NB 28.00 YK 27.00 Producer: Miguel Torres Spain
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Barone Ricasoli Campo Cenitext
85PTS

Barone Ricasoli Campo Ceni 2012

Tuscany, ItalyBlack cherry, gamey, savoury, light barnyard, sausage, peppery, coffee and balsamic aromas. Dry, fresh, light, somewhat leaner style palate with smoky, tobacco, savoury herb, and peppery, cherry, meaty, resin flavours. Finish is somewhat lean and tart, lacks appeal at this price.Prices: BC 20.00 QC 16.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Barone Ricasoli
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Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir 2012

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThis Dijon clone wine offers spicy, floral, black raspberry, cocoa, worsteshire, tobacco, celery salt and licorice aromas. Fresh, juicy, creamy, warm but bright palate with celery, savoury, black cherry, orange, licorice and tobacco flavours. Good fruit and finesse in a forward style to drink now. Good value in an American pinot noir. Serve with pork.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Noble Vines
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Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classicotext
89PTS

Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010

Veneto, ItalyRich, cherry jam, plum, smoky, raisin nose with pepper, meaty, balsamic, almond, barnyard, sweaty saddle and tobacco aromas. Round, full, elegant, slightly tannic, slightly sweet palate with fresh acidity. Warm with coffee, pepper, tobacco leaf, plum jam, earthy, resin, leather, meaty, balsamic, prune and mocha flavours. Still young, needs some years yet to reduce the tea tannins and further integrate the tannins and fruit. Big and boisterous only lamb will take it down at this point or mature hard cheese.Prices: BC 52.19 MB 53.00 ON 50.00 QC 45.00 AB 53.00 NB 52.00 QC 98.00 Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
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Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Combe aux Jacquestext
88PTS

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Combe aux Jacques 2012

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceGo gamay go thanks to a peppery, black cherry, tobacco, gamey, earthy, floral nose. The attack is fresh and elegant with a dry, juicy palate with blood orange, black cherry, meaty, black pepper and smoky leather flavours. Very solid fruit and finesse for drinking now - 2 years. Try it with grille chicken dishes.Prices: BC 19.19 ON 17.00 MB 19.00 QC 18.00 Producer: Maison Louis Jadot
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Pasion de Bobaltext
86PTS

Pasion de Bobal 2011

Utiel-Requena, Valencia and Murcia, SpainSpicy, black pepper, earthy, licorice, black berry, smoky, meaty, tar aromas. Fresh, round, dry, elegant palate with light tannins. Black raspberry, black pepper, savoury, smoky, tobacco flavours. Elegant but somewhat rustic and lean but with solid fruit. Try this with grilled pork chops.Prices: BC 16.49 Producer: Bodega Sierra Norte
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JP Azeitao Tintotext
85PTS

JP Azeitao Tinto 2013

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalPeppery, cedar, tobacco, black berry, licorice, meaty aromas. Fresh juicy easy palate with black plum and similar peppery, cedar, tobacco and licorice flavours. A bit tart but will be find with hamburgers or grilled sausages.Prices: ON 9.00 MB 10.50 AB 12.00 Producer: Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal S.A.
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Stellenzicht Red Escapetext
83PTS

Stellenzicht Red Escape 2010

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaPeppery, tobacco, chocolate, earthy, cassis, cedar, smoked meat and black cherry aromas with a bit of sweaty saddle leather. Round, easy, soft, somewhat sweet style with similar flavours. The finish is sweet and warm. Basic stuff.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Stellenzicht
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Beringer Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignontext
84PTS

Beringer Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

California, United StatesCassis, black berry, tobacco, black olive, cedar, celery salt, pepper and herb aromas. Soft, round, somewhat sweet and pruny palate with olive, cocoa, cedar bark, prune, black berry, tobacco and resin flavours. Modern inexpensive American red that is sweeter than it needs to be.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 18.00 SK 17.00 MB 18.00 ON 18.00 QC 20.00 NF 20.00 NS 19.00 Producer: Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards
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Beringer Founders' Estate Chardonnaytext
86PTS

Beringer Founders' Estate Chardonnay 2013

California, United StatesPeach, honey, baked apple, earthy, butter and grapefruit aromas. Round, easy, fresh palate with a touch of sweetness. Baked apple, pear skin, grapefruit, honey, guava and light lees flavours. Solid, friendly, easy-sipping chardonnay that would work with a Margherita pizza.Prices: BC 18.00 AB 17.00 NB 17.00 MB 17.00 ON 17.00 QC 20.50 Producer: Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards
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Taken Red Winetext
90PTS

Taken Red Wine 2011

Napa Valley, California, United StatesTobacco, black olive, cedar, floral, cassis, chocolate, earthy, peppery aromas. Round, dry, fresh, slightly lean but elegant palate with light tannins. Coffee, peppery, chocolate, cedar, tobacco leaf, black olive, resin, licorice, cassis and green bean flavours with a smoky leather, savoury note on the finish. Needs a few years to integrate the fruit and tannins but an otherwise solid effort. Steak anyone.Prices: BC 38.39 Producer: Taken Wine Company
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Fetzer Chardonnay Sundialtext
85PTS

Fetzer Chardonnay Sundial 2013

California, United StatesFloral, honey, baked pear, apple and light peach aromas. Round, soft somewhat flat palate with light apple skin, pear, honey, citrus, pineapple and spicy, floral flavours. Simple, easy-sipping, slightly sweet style. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 14.00 AB 12.00 ON 12.95 QC 14.95 Producer: Fetzer Vineyards
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Charles Sparr Rieslingtext
87PTS

Charles Sparr Riesling 2012

Alsace, FranceSpicy, slate, lemon, baked apple and floral aromas. Fresh, round, just off-dry palate but juicy with a touch of austerity. Lemon, honey, pear, nectarine and slate flavours. Good solid intensity and food friendly.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Domaine Charles Sparr
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Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnaytext
87PTS

Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnay 2013

FranceLight butter, spicy lees, peach, honey, baked apple and anise aromas. Fresh, elegant, juicy and dry palate with pear, nectarine, baked apple, light lees, citrus and herb flavours. Very solid food wine for current drinking. Good value.Prices: BC 17.00 ON 16.00 NF 18.25 PEI 19.00 Producer: Maison Louis Latour
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Bramito del Cervo Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay 2013

Umbria, ItalyOpen peach, green apple, light vanilla nose flecked with cinnamon, butter, honey and spicy lees with quince and pear aromas. Dry, fresh, crisp, juicy palate with verve. Green apple, lemon, pear, lees and butter flavours with a bit of toasty oak. Cooler, leaner style with good structure but intensity. Should be good for aging 2-4 years. Excellent food wine you can serve with poultry or fish.Prices: BC 34.00 ON 22.00 Producer: Castello della Sala
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Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2012

Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche, Languedoc, South of France, FranceHoney, warm peach, butter, nutty lees notes over baked apple, light vanilla and citrus aromas with a hint of anise and guava. Fresh, creamy, juicy palate but open with peach, ripe red apple, honey, pineapple, orange, baked pear, lees and butter flavours with a touch of garlic lees. Fruitier, forward style and quite ripe for current drinking, Napa-like but in a lighter style.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Maison Louis Latour
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Aveleda Vinho Verdetext
87PTS

Aveleda Vinho Verde 2013

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalLime, green apple, light floral, mango, grassy, slate aromas with a touch of matchstick. Fresh, lively, slightly spritzy palate with a hint of sweetness. Green apple, slate, light lees, lime rind, pear, grassy flavours. Good delicacy and freshness with just a bit more intensity and length than the regular Casal Garcia.Prices: BC 14.00 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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Aveleda Casal Garcia Vinho Verdetext
86PTS

Aveleda Casal Garcia Vinho Verde NV

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalLight floral, lemon, green apple skin, slate and pear aromas. Fresh, creamy, juicy, elegant palate with pear skin, green apple, citrus, earthy, chalky, nectarine skin flavours. Delicate, light spritzy style that still delivers for summer at the price.Prices: BC 10.99 AB 12.00 MB 16.00 YK 14.25 Producer: Quinta da Aveleda
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11 May 2015

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBright cherry, stone, twine and bramble open this youthful pinot. Cherry and raspberry are cushioned on the gently rounded palate. Fine grained tannins and lifted red berry and rhubarb acidity finish with a fine dusting of cocoa. An approachable and interesting pinot for your pork kabobs or simple salmon dishes.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Moon Curser Border Vinestext
88PTS

Moon Curser Border Vines 2012

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGrowing along the border belt separating Osoyoos from the USA, this structured blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot and carmenère leads with ripe black cherry, tar, lacquer and earth. Potent, sun-sweetened black plum and perfumed florals mix on the dense palate, and end in some distinct herbal stemmy and thorns. A match for your grilled beef or pork ribs.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Moon Curser
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Tawse Winery Meritagetext
90PTS

Tawse Winery Meritage 2010

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaThough this biodynamic meritage blend is from Niagara Peninsula, it presents very much like its old world kin, with its savoury graphite, tar, and cured meat notes. Potent in black fruit and pretty solidly built in structure with ample grainy tannins and acidity to carry. This textured red will match your herbed roast beef or lamb roasts and accompanying root vegetables.Prices: ON 60.00 NF 61.00 QC 67.00 AB 71.50 Producer: Tawse Winery
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Spierhead Riesling Gentleman Farmer Vineyardtext
89PTS

Spierhead Riesling Gentleman Farmer Vineyard 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerfumed white flowers, gooseberry and white peach open this juicy riesling, from the estate Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in south east Kelowna. Crisp, cool orchard fruit, pear blossom and scented melon rules the fresh palate - streamlined, focused and lime-peel zesty. Whole cluster pressing ups the textured mouth feel and a gentle cushion of residual sugar ups the friendliness, inviting pouring with fragrant Thai or Vietnamese dishes.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Spierhead Winery
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10 May 2015

The Ned Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandBright fresh citrus gooseberry attack with notes of pink grapefruit and passion fruit. Similar flavours mark the palate with a light, fresh, lemon-lime undercurrent and touch of bell pepper. A slightly less aggressive style make this a friendlier sipper. Try this with steamed mussels.Prices: NS 21.00 BC 14.79 YK 18.00 AB 18.00 Producer: Marisco Vineyards Limited
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Inniskillin Okanagan Dark Horse Single Vineyard Red Meritagetext
86PTS

Inniskillin Okanagan Dark Horse Single Vineyard Red Meritage 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAnise, black liquorice, tar and damson plum open this dark, brooding blend. Cracked spices, black cherry compote and blackberry bush herbaceousness fill the toasty palate, with dusty, grippy tannins hinting to the ample use of American and French oak aging. The finish trails off to bitter and astringent berry skin and espresso. Best poured with sauced steaks.Prices: MB 21.00 BC 25.00 Producer: Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Inc.
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Concha y Toro Trio Reserva Sauvignon Blanctext
87PTS

Concha y Toro Trio Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Casablanca - Rapel - San Antonio, ChileThe ‘Trio’ sauvignon is all about a three sites that are home to this stylish, delicious sauvignon blanc. The fruit, a varying amounts from Casablanca, nearby San Antonio and Rapel, bring citrus and elegances, mineral notes and exotic fruit respectively. We like the cool fruit and freshness in the structure and the richer, mango fruit in the underbelly that makes this an enjoyable wine to sip with appetizers or to serve with a variety of shellfish recipes. Good value.Prices: ON 15.00 QC 15.00 AB 15.00 Producer: Vina Concha y Toro S.A.
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Tantalus Rieslingtext
89PTS

Tantalus Riesling 2013

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrange blossom, marmalade and river stone on first whiff, a standard-bearer for BC riesling and made up of vines up to 37 years old. This bigger boned riesling carries its fleshy fruit well. Honeycomb, mandarin, Seville orange, ripe peach and apricot pit spice are lifted by lime pulp juiciness and lime. There's a bit of a hole in the middle palate that time will easily fill; this can last and mature over the next decade and beyond.Prices: BC 23.00 AB 32.50 QC 30.00 Producer: Tantalus Vineyards
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JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Chardonnaytext
89PTS

JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFragrant, ripe pear, potent cream and light nut notes open this finessed chardonnay, the reserve "En Famille" from Heidi Noble and team. Green apple, fine spice and cool, stony minerality are lifted with bright lemon acidity and seamlessly integrated with perfumed orchard fruit. Pour with creamed and/or citrus dressed poultry or shellfish dishes.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: JoieFarm
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09 May 2015

Sileni Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanctext
86PTS

Sileni Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandIf you need a wine to boost your blind tasting skills Marlborough sauvignon blanc is it. You can set your watch by the intense aromas of gooseberry and grapefruit with a splash of lime rind. The attack is similar with fresh squeezed lemon and tropical yellow fruits mixed with dried herbs. Needs food to smooth those edges and either fresh steamed mussels or clams will do.Prices: BC 14.79 Producer: Sileni Estates
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50th Parallel Estate Grown Pinot Gristext
89PTS

50th Parallel Estate Grown Pinot Gris 2014

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA pointed nose of lemon oil, eraser and white flowers. The round, ripe palate flows with the same, though with lovely herbal intrigue - peach fuzz, apricot stone and fine ginger spiece. Nice freshness and lick of herbal anise. Would do well with fragrant green curries, pork/chicken kabobs or melon dressed summer salads.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
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Sandhill Chardonnay Sandhill Estate Vineyardtext
88PTS

Sandhill Chardonnay Sandhill Estate Vineyard 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis big creamy wine is intensified with whiffs of flint and light puffs of smoke. Wood is overly evident at present on the creamy, ripe palate, topped with ample dough, apple, pear, melon and lightened with green apple acidity. Round and welcoming, this would stand up to buttery shellfish and pastas.Prices: BC 18.00 SK 19.00 MB 18.00 YK 23.00 Producer: Sandhill Wines
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Real de Aragon Cavatext
89PTS

Real de Aragon Cava NV

Penedès, Catalunya, SpainYes, there are cheaper Cava out there, but for $15, this is a stellar superstar. AND the pretty label is sure to brighten your day long after the bubbles are gone. From the highlands of Catalunya, this crisp sparkler charms, from the first nutty, green apple whiff to the tart quince and lemon palate, though the persistent finish. Bright and friendly, but serious. And seriously good.Prices: BC 15.00 NS 19.00 Producer: Pagos Familia Langa
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08 May 2015

Five Vineyards by Mission Hill Pinot Blanctext
87PTS

Five Vineyards by Mission Hill Pinot Blanc 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis round, bright pinot blanc is blended from vineyards stretching from Kelowna south to Osoyoos, and reflects the orchard basket fruits of the Okanagan. The 5V pinot blanc opens with pronounced white and pink flowers, light pear and lime blossom. Lime pith acidity severs pinot blanc's flabby tendencies, mellow yellow apple fruit keeps it pleasant and approachable and a sharp white grapefruit finish helps with food pairing possibilities.Prices: BC 16.00 SK 18.00 MB 17.00 ON 16.45 NB 19.00 NF 20.00 QC 18.00 YK 21.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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07 May 2015

J. Christopher Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

J. Christopher Pinot Noir 2011

Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesThe J. Christopher philosophy is to “produce wines in an Old World style that emphasizes focus, length and balance.” His partner Ernst Loosen is the collaborator bringing Old World ideas techniques with some amazing international marketing know how. Their flagship is the Willamette Valley pinot that in 2011 it came off four impressive Willamette AVAs: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. All native yeast and 18 months of barrel is all you need to know other than it was one of the coolest years on record and the pick date was mid-November. What you get is a bright, juicy textured pinot with the perfect mix of understated sweet and sour cherry fruit with a dusting of earth. Finesse, length, drinkability and balance all in one package. Good value at $44 going to $55 in late May. Total production: 2,300 cases.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: J. Christopher
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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Nuages Unfilteredtext
92PTS

J. Christopher Pinot Noir Nuages Unfiltered 2011

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesMusician winemaker Jay Christopher Somers named ‘Nuages,’ in tribute to the Django Rheinhart song one of his favourite gypsy jazz tunes. The fruit is comes off neighboring vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. In fact nuages is French for clouds that most days moderate the temperature in the vineyards extending long hang time and helping to developed ripe pinot flavours. The fruit is grown over marine sediment soils producing a drier, firmer style but with those classic Christopher silky textures. We love the spice and bright cherry fruit with a dusting of dry herbs. Rich and long this needs another three to five years in bottle. It’s an all-native yeast ferment that spends 18 months in barrel. Production is 640 cases.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: J. Christopher
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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lia's Vineyardtext
91PTS

J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lia's Vineyard 2012

Chehalem Mountain , Willamette Valley, Oregon, United StatesIn 2012 a long, dry summer meant an earlier harvest and richer fruit characters when compared to 2011 as the winery says there’s less terroir. Lia’s Vineyard is a south-facing site on volcanic Jory soil planted in 1992 to one block of Pommard and one of Wadensvil clones. The style is pinot pretty with ripe sweet fruit dehydrated by the warm winds that sweep down off the mountain. Soft, round, juicy black fruit flavours its hedonistic style in 2012 stands alone from the norm at J. Christopher. Some ten percent of the cluster were fermented whole using native yeast fermentation. The wine spends 20 months in barrel. Total production is 171 cases.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: J. Christopher
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06 May 2015

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violettetext
90PTS

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violette 2013

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaViolette is very high quality, entry level syrah, that in 2013, co-fermented with one percent of roussanne. The nose is very complex with a fabulous floral nose quite an achievement in a year where rains and rot were problem. The silky textures invite you to drink it as does the peppery cherry fruitbut the acidity comes through to freshen the finish. As suggested you can drink this now or over the next five years. Duck and or lamb. Good value.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Le Vieux Pin
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Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanctext
87PTS

Road 13 Chip Off The Old Block Chenin Blanc 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThere are only four acres of the original old vine Chenin Blanc at Road 13 so three years ago the decision was made to take some cuttings from the 1968 patch and 5 acres were planted; this is the first edition. The wine is very exciting. So fresh and clean with bright, juicy, youthful chenin blanc with just a twist of sweetness with bright acidity. A fabulous patio wine, great with spicy food, the winery suggests you pair it with a bubble bath.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Golden Mile Cellars (aka Road 13)
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05 May 2015

Clos du Soleil Fume Blanctext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Fume Blanc 2014

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Similkameen and sauvignon blanc may be the best wine match in BC and the ‘Fumé Blanc’ at Clos du Soleil's is a good example. Spiked with a dash of sémillon (12 percent) the nose is bright the fruit is ripe with big notes of gooseberry, passion fruit and lime, not quite tropical but showing layers of fruit including some pineapple and ripe grapefruit and some pleasant but unobtrusive oak. Rotisserie chicken, goat cheese and or mussels are work here.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Quails' Gate Dry Rieslingtext
88PTS

Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThirty year old estate riesling vines make up this dry white, a consistently good value in BC. Aromas of orange creamsicle, pear and stone, before a juicy, highly zesty palate of pithy tangerine, lime pulp and a gentle cushion of herbal pear. The finish is granny smith and lemon pith bright. Lean (but not mean), this is a likeable, crisp riesling, perfect with your crab cakes or sashimi.Prices: BC 17.00 AB 18.00 MB 18.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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04 May 2015

LaStella Fortissimotext
91PTS

LaStella Fortissimo 2012

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI’m so happy not to be tasting 2010 and 2011 Okanagan reds I’m wondering if I’m over reacting to the 2012s. Fortissimo is said to be a nod to Tuscany, not so much for the style but the fact that they challenged the traditions of earlier Italian winemaking. In 2012 it boasts its highest ever percentage of cabernet franc at 38 percent in addition to 39 percent merlot, 17 percent cabernet sauvignon and finally six percent sangiovese grosso most of which spends time in large format puncheons (35 percent new) of Hungarian/Slavonian oak. It is fragrant on the nose with a beautiful savoury south Okanagan streak that feeds into its silky textures and black cherry fruit. Love the elegance and styling. This will age effortlessly for a decade. Bravo.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: LaStella
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La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigiotext
89PTS

La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigio 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine has caught our attention in the past but the 2014 is the best expression yet. The nose is aromatic even lifted offering sweet floral cherry notes with a squeezed of dried sagebrush. The attack is lighter and fresher mixing citrus and apples which complements its reductive wine making style that lets the lees work its magic adding just a wisp of complexity. A truly fun food wine that would be fine with most any shellfish dish or a favourite summer salad.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: La Stella Winery
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Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc 2011

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBright and juicy red and black fruits meets structured, ripe tannins in this fresh, herbal red. Tobacco, branch, cherry compote, bramble, rhubarb, plum and some darker cola notes on the smoothed, full palate, finishing with a peppery spice and dusky clove. Pour now with grilled ribs.Prices: BC 33.00 AB 45.00 ON 44.00 Producer: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
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Domaine Zind Humbrecht Rieslingtext
89PTS

Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling 2012

Alsace, FranceWhile lean and linear, this aromatic white is quite concentrated with white blossoms, quince, mandarin and eraser. Stone and smoky mineral fill the palate, layered with ginger, dried pear, fennel, quince and lemon pith spiciness. From one of the iconic bio-dynamic producers in the world, this is a highly interesting riesling, and the starting level of his riesling portfolio, which arcs up steeply in both price and complexity from here. Would pour with scallops, roasted fowl or tarte a l'oignon.Prices: BC 30.00 QC 25.00 Producer: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht
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03 May 2015

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyardtext
87PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard 2013

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe McLean Creek Road Vineyard pinot noir blocks are planted with five different French Pommard and Dijon clones. Smoky forest, moss and toasted wood aromas. Young raspberry, herbal and more smoked earth, tobacco, cinnamon bark and wood on the palate, dominating over bright berry and cherry notes. Acidity is bright, and tannins are fine. Pair with planked salmon or prosciutto pizza now, or lay down to mature and settle for a year or two.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
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Lake Breeze Pinot Gristext
89PTS

Lake Breeze Pinot Gris 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHeady and fragrant pear and orchard fruits, imbued with an alluring herbaceousness and light anise reminiscent of the Okanagan. The creamy, rounded palate carries the same, along with white peaches and cream, white florals and a green apple sharpness on the lifted finish. Pour with mussels or chèvre decked greens.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Lake Breeze Vineyards
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02 May 2015

8th Generation Vineyard Merlottext
87PTS

8th Generation Vineyard Merlot 2012

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis friendly, medium bodied merlot offers ample plum, along with blackberry, dark chocolate, sweet black gummies and black pepper spiciness. Fine tannins suit the fresh acidity, and would welcome beef and pork kabobs.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: 8th Generation Vineyard
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Time Syrahtext
85PTS

Time Syrah 2012

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBlack Sage Bench's Sundial Vineyard holds a special place in Harry McWatters' heart, and here he expresses the warm site through this full bodied, near-near-opague syrah. Black pepper and blackberry jam aromas lead to a very densely fruited palate. Thick blackberry jam, black cherry, dark cherry compote, prune, roasted coffee and chocolate are cut with thorny brambles and sweet wood. Tannins are smooth and a bit sticky, and the finish cloved, warm and woody. Pour this big beefy red with big beefy dishes.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Time Estate Winery
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01 May 2015

Whiplash Lodi Zinfandeltext
87PTS

Whiplash Lodi Zinfandel 2012

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United StatesLodi zinfandel can be rich, ripe and spicy and it appears Whiplash has it all and then some. The attack is fresh if a touch acidic with a mix of black and reds fruits and the aforementioned spice in the back end. The tannins are moderate but nothing a big slab of ribs wouldn’t defeat easily. Solid barbecue red.Prices: BC 17.59 Producer: Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
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Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignontext
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Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Puente Alto, Valle del Maipo, Region del Valle Central, ChileTypically rich and always solid look for a savoury, cassis, meaty, menthol, bay leaf nose with bits of coffee and vanilla. Dry, fresh and elegant on the palate the tannins are well managed the flavours a mix of cassis, black berry, smoky thyme, cedar and earth. Warm but with fine acidity, well balanced with solid intensity. A classic steak wine.Prices: BC 23.00 ON 22.00 QC 22.00 AB 20.00 Producer: Vina Concha y Toro S.A.
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Covert Farms Zinfandel Grand Reserve (Organic)text
88PTS

Covert Farms Zinfandel Grand Reserve (Organic) 2012

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the better zinfandels we’ve tasted in the Okanagan; the vines are planted to fluvial and glacial sedimentary soil at about 420m above sea level and in a perfect 2012 growing season the fruit is ripe. Peppery lifted black and red fruits with fine acidity mixes with plenty of Okanagan ‘garrigue.’ Youthful and powerful this will be best served alongside grilled lamb.Prices: BC 44.00 Producer: Covert Farms (Dunham & Froese)
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Twisted Old Vine Zinfandeltext
82PTS

Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

California, United StatesNot much change here. This is simple stuff offering confected blackberry jam and cedar notes with bits black licorice. The attack is round, slightly sweet with candied berry and mocha, coffee cedar flavours with a soupy, acidic finish. A simple commercial zinfandel.Prices: BC 16.00 NF 15.00 Producer: Twisted Wine Cellars
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Gnarly Head Old Vine Zintext
85PTS

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2012

Lodi, Central Valley, California, United StatesThe nose is cleaner this year with brighter cherry berry fruit notes mixed with earth and spice. The attack is spicy with sweet blueberry fruit with vanilla, mocha, chocolate flavours. A safe sweet sipping zinfandel for hamburgers or spicy meaty pizzas.Prices: BC 20.00 MB 18.00 AB 18.00 SK 20.40 ON 18.00 NS 18.00 NB 20.00 YK 21.00 Producer: Gnarly Head Cellars
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Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Bruttext
89PTS

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut NV

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaHenry of Pelham Family Estate has been owned and operated by the Speck family since 1988, but their connections to the land reach back far further than that. The winery was founded by brothers Paul, Matthew and Daniel Speck on the limestone bench land that was deeded to their great, great, great grandfather, Henry Smith, in 1794. This traditional method bubble shows dough, subtle wet stone, apple, citrus, playdough and nougat notes, with a fairly intense and hazelnut paste and delicate meyer lemon jockeying on the medium bodied palate.Prices: ON 30.00 MB 32.00 NF 35.00 AB 45.00 Producer: Henry of Pelham
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Henry of Pelham Special Select Late Harvest Vidaltext
88PTS

Henry of Pelham Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2013

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaVidal grapes from Short Hills Bench. Sweet and silky, without the unctuous body of an icewine, this is a great alternative for a lighter dessert wine. Perfumed florals, lemon curd, lychee, apricot and lime come together with potent sweetness, cut a bit with pointed lime peel and gooseberry acidity. Pour alongside a vanilla or stone fruit custard dessert.Prices: ON 20.00 375 Producer: Henry of Pelham
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Clos du Soleil Célestialetext
89PTS

Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2012

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis very complete Bordeaux-styled blend is composed of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot from their Similkameen home vineyard. Big, sweeter wood aromas open this ripe, full red, layered with lacquer, black fruits and perfumed darker florals. Big peppery spices are woven into the structured, finely grained tannins and lifted with a wave of black cherry freshness. A lingering medicinal cherry and cracked peppercorn on the finish. Youthful still, decant and enjoy with beef, or lay down for a couple of years and be rewarded for your patience.Prices: BC 27.00 ON 26.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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