quicksearch
Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: April 2018

25 April 2018

Alvear Pedro Ximénez de Anadatext
91PTS

Alvear Pedro Ximénez de Anada 2014

Montilla-Moriles, SpainA pierce of piney resin, orange oil, scrubby rosemary on this unctuous golden PX, one that bathes the palate with thick marmalade and auburn maple syrup. Golden raisins and honeysuckle are flecked with walnuts and rancio notes through the exceptionally long finish. Acidity keeps this aloft, even with a staggering 435 g/l RS. This sweet, youthful wine is made with pedro ximenez grapes that were sundried on mats before aging in the traditional earthenware “tinajas”, for at least 12 months.Prices: BC 30.00 375 Producer: Bodegas Alvear
Read Full Note
Bodegas Baron Xixarito Manzanillatext
90PTS

Bodegas Baron Xixarito Manzanilla NV

Sherry Jerez - Manzanilla, SpainBodegas Baron has a tradition of winemaking dating back to the middle of the 17th century. This is a Manzanilla Pasada en Rama, with Rama indicating it was bottled with very light filtration, straight from the cask. Pasada tells us this is a richer, older Manzanilla, in which the flor has faded. This particular wine has an average age of ten years. This still carries ample pre-oxidative freshness, with salted Marcona almonds, tight lemon pith and showers of chamomile. There's a weight here that reflects its extended age, with a layer of worn wood to a bitter nutshell finish, lingering along with salts. This has the oily body to match with oily fish, like sardines, beautifully.Prices: BC 30.00 500 Producer: Bodegas Baron
Read Full Note
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanillatext
89PTS

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla NV

Sherry Jerez - Manzanilla, SpainLa Gitana, with the iconic gypsy girl (gitana) on the label, is the most popular Manzanilla on the Spanish market and is the top selling wine in Seville. Its dry delicacy, sea salt freshness and lingering tanginess make it a natural pair for almonds, olives, sardines and cured meats (hola Jamon). The light body and vibrant acidity and salinity also make it a beautiful pairing for sushi. An ideal aperitif.Prices: BC 14.00 375 BC 25.50 MB 17.55 QC 22.30 Producer: Emilio Hildago
Read Full Note
Hidalgo El Tresillo Amontilladotext
93PTS

Hidalgo El Tresillo Amontillado NV

Sherry Jerez - Manzanilla, SpainEl Tresillo was a card game that older generations of the Hidalgo family played in the bodega. Participants in this leisurely rite would sneak a taste or two from the solera before dealing each round, enough so that the solera eventually adopted the name of the game. Today it is one of Hidalgo’s oldest soleras, and its bottlings are considered a family treasure. This solera was started in 1874. The wine started life as a Fino, matured for more than ten years underneath the flor. It then spent an additional five years in contact with oxygen, changing its characteristics from that of pure Fino to something special - both marked by biological evolution and influenced by the oxidation. Roasted almonds, salted pistachios, subtle smoked peat, some dried tea leaves, dried seville orange, are threaded with a line of caramel and dosed amply with sea salts. Length is fantastic.Prices: BC 66.00 Producer: Emilio Hildago
Read Full Note

24 April 2018

Hester Creek Character Syrah Petit Verdot Malbectext
87PTS

Hester Creek Character Syrah Petit Verdot Malbec 2016

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCharacter Red is an unusual mix of syrah, merlot, petit verdot and malbec that spends 24 to 32 months in a mix of French and American oak. The nose is improved this year, with less oak and more savoury, brighter fruit intensity. The attack is soft thanks to similar tannins with heaps of black fruit, dried herbs, cocoa and vanilla and roasted meats. Ready to drink with grilled lamb chops or beef kebobs.Prices: BC 20.95 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Augey Bordeaux Merlot Cabernet Sauvignontext
80PTS

Augey Bordeaux Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Bordeaux, FranceBitter coffee, dried wood, branch and tar notes dry out quickly and assertively. The palate feels flat and pressed so. Whiffs of sweet cassis waft in, but never materialize. This merlot / cabernet sauvignon is pinched and painful; look elsewhere.Prices: BC 13.29 Producer: Caves de Rauzan
Read Full Note
Stag's Hollow Heritage Blocktext
87PTS

Stag's Hollow Heritage Block 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA salute to the Bordeaux blend from the south Okanagan involving a 44.5/27/12.5/8.5/7.5 mix of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and malbec from a very warm year. Each variety is harvested separately and sent to the fermenters as 50 percent whole, uncrushed berries. The ferment is pressed off to finish in a combination of two, three and four-year-old American and French oak before it is racked off and returned to the wood for 18 months. The style is supple and ripe in 2015 with lifted, juicy meaty, almost reductive flavours, punctuated by a strong, savoury, sagebrush thread running from front to back. As I have said, more California than BC this year. Three years of ageing should be sufficient here but you could drink this now with grilled meats, especially spicy sausages, meat pies or richer charcuterie.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
Read Full Note
Painted Rock Red Icontext
89PTS

Painted Rock Red Icon 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI’m told they tried to manage the record heat in 2015 at PR but one sip of this giant wine would suggest it was a losing battle. This is a blockbuster red, albeit with a French sensibility, but it's not Skaha this year. The good news is if you love the Napa Valley style this is a poster child, from its rich dark cherry/black raspberry fruit to its roasted earth, cracked pepper and brown spice flavours that mark a sweet and bitter palate, as if the vines shut down too many days due to heat to physiologically fully ripen. Merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon went into 30 percent French oak for 18 months. There will be a willing market for this style but after such a magnificent 2104, I long for the finesse and freshness that is an Okanagan hallmark. Hold mid-term, say five years, or drink now with a favourite cut of steak.Prices: BC 47.79 Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Oak Bay Vineyard Meritage Gebert Family Reservetext
88PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Meritage Gebert Family Reserve 2014

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn what the family terms ‘special years’, the Gebert clan selects their best lots for reserve ageing in French oak. I must say I’m impressed with the recent winemaking and grapes going to the reserve program and the 2014 might be the best yet. Linear but with a modicum of richness, this black cherry-scented red offers up a wealth of tobacco, wet earth and coffee flavours with a few young aggressive tannins drying out the back end. This needs another two to three years in bottle, or if you must, open it with roasted meats.Prices: BC 20.00 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Chateau Canadatext
88PTS

Chateau Canada 2015

Bordeaux, FranceChâteau Canada is on a bit of roll, like a lot of the lesser-known Bordeaux properties that are getting their act together. The Château has been around for 155 years and makes wines from 30-year-old vines spread over the rolling hills of Cubzac-les-Ponts. This mix is a 70/30 blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon, averaging 30 years in age, and the style is fresh and modern. The attack is juicy, the fruit much riper than previous editions, with classic dried cherry, earth, cedar and tobacco with a twist of balsamic in the back end. You could drink this now or through 2020 for best results, Steak frites anyone? Solid.Prices: BC 19.49 Producer: Chateau Terrefort-Quancard
Read Full Note

23 April 2018

Stag's Hollow Renaissance Merlot Stag's Hollow Vineyardtext
90PTS

Stag's Hollow Renaissance Merlot Stag's Hollow Vineyard 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA 95/5 merlot/cabernet sauvignon mix, all perfectly ripe in 2015. Expect rich, black cherry fruit aromas and flavours in a structured, soft frame. Rich, plummy Bing cherries fill the glass with chocolate, spice and sagebrush that run through a long finish. Youthful but well structured in a style that is drinkable. This will earn extra complexity with three to five years bottle age. Some 50 percent of the berries were left whole and uncrushed. After a 3-day cold soak the wine is fermented and the juice run off. Then the must is lightly pressed to 2/3 new French oak barrels to finish the ferment before ageing undisturbed for 15 months in wood. Impressive.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
Read Full Note
Hester Creek Terra Unica Old Vines Merlottext
88PTS

Hester Creek Terra Unica Old Vines Merlot 2015

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Old Vines Merlot is allocated to HC Bench Club members. First planted in 1968, the merlot vines of Italian descent are sourced from Block 13 in the middle of the estate. There is no pressing, leaving only free-run juice eventually aged in three, used, 225-litre French and American oak barriques. There is some old vine concentration here with a mix of earthy/herbal cherry aromas, rich soft round textures and more black cherry fruit wrapped in savoury Okanagan sagebrush through the finish. Perfect for grilled lamb chops or Italian sausages and pasta.Prices: BC 32.95 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
Read Full Note
The Velvet Devil Merlottext
86PTS

The Velvet Devil Merlot 2015

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesAs the name suggests, this is a velveteen and plush merlot, with ripe blackberry jam, cushy plum and cherry blossom. Tannins are soft and nubby at the finish, closing out the dry palate and ending on a short, pinched blueberry note. This everyday merlot requires meat to show its best; think about burgers or ribs.Prices: BC 19.99 MB 21.00 NS 19.00 ON 20.00 AB 19.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
Read Full Note
Bartier Bros. Merlot Cerqueira Vineyardtext
90PTS

Bartier Bros. Merlot Cerqueira Vineyard 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Bartier Merlot comes off the home Cerqueira Vineyard along the Black Sage Terrace in Oliver. The vineyard has a gentle west-facing slope. The soils are dense loam topsoil above gravel with limestone (calcium carbonate) covered granite, quartz, and basalt cobbles throughout a deep profile. The mix in 2016 is 96/4/ merlot/cabernet franc fermented in tank where it was pumped over twice a day for four weeks. There is freshness and nimbleness to the front end, a result of its ageing in neutral French barrels for fourteen months. The nose is a mix of blue/red fruit with a savoury mineral undercurrent. The finish is bright with pleasing stony/silky, black cherry, salty fruit free of any obvious oak with just a brush of tannins to facilitate another five years of bottle aging, if you like your merlot mature. Perfect now with most any of your favourite steak cuts. Super value. Real wine.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 21.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
Read Full Note
Lock and Worth Merlottext
91PTS

Lock and Worth Merlot 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThat's right, a 2017 BC merlot, tasted in March 2018. It's amusing to me that this tiny independent winery, so very much apart from BC's wine politics (no VQA here) and trends, and marketing, consistantly sums up what I love about the potential of Okanagan wine: purity. Merlot is the most planted red grape in BC, but it's not even close to being the best red grape for this province. That said, there are none like this one: lighter bodied, cloudy, textural and singular. From low interventionist producer Lock & Worth, this unfined and unfiltered merlot was planted in 1995 on a sandy 2 acre site on the Naramata Bench. Destemmed and with five days on the skins, this was basket pressed, fermented and aged in neutral French oak for seven months. This vintage shows a sun-warmed dark plum core, wrapped with a dusky web of smoked stone, pipe tobacco, thorny wild blackberry and subtle violet perfume. Tannins are slight, bittersweet cocoa dusted, and supple, and acidity keeps pace to the fruit, holding to the prickly cracked peppercorn finish. This vintage is plumper than last year's greyhound sleek model, and may gain wider appeal because of it. I prefer this with a slight chill.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Lock & Worth
Read Full Note

20 April 2018

Domaine Skouras Moscofilerotext
90PTS

Domaine Skouras Moscofilero 2016

Peloponnese, GreeceFrom Peloponnese, this 100 percent Moscofilero overdelivers from start to finish. It gets some short skin contact, a stainless steel ferment and a bit of mouth building lees contact, but it doesn’t go through any acid flattening malolactic fermentation. The nose is floral with spicy jasmine notes, honeysuckle and roses. On the palate there is a crisp, mouthwatering attack of acidity mixed with white flowers and orange, all with purity and length. The 33-year-old vineyards in Mantinia sit at 2,400 feet above sea level, basking in cool afternoon breezes. Understated opulence.Prices: BC 32.95 Producer: Domaine Skouras
Read Full Note
Diamantakos Preknadi Whitetext
90PTS

Diamantakos Preknadi White 2016

Naousa, Makedonia, GreeceThere is very little white wine made in Naoussa, but one of the best is made with a local variety called preknadi. It has a similarity to northern Rhone whites, yet despite its rich, fruity nature it has a sense of refinement and balance that keeps the wine from spilling all about your mouth. The floral fruit is organically grown and spends only a brief time in oak to stay fresh and clean. Yellow fruits and red apple and peach notes ride out the finish. It’s the restraint and balance that makes this wine so inviting and food friendly. Serve with a seafood risotto, or lemon-roasted chicken.Prices: BC 43.95 Producer: Diamantakos
Read Full Note
Domaine Skouras Nemea Aghiorghtikotext
90PTS

Domaine Skouras Nemea Aghiorghtiko 2014

Nemea, Peloponnese, GreeceGermany has nothing on Greece when it comes to wine and grape names as evidenced by this mouthful of a red grape name: agiorgitiko. The fact is it’s about the only struggle you should have with this wine. It’s fermented and macerated in stainless steel vats before ageing in 50 percent used French barrels and 50 percent stainless steel for 12 months, followed by a few more months in bottle at the winery. Old-ish vines (31 years) are grown over clay soils at various altitudes from 250-1000 meters, shaping a generous, soft, round red that fills the mouth. Think pinot noir structure and dusty red fruits with bits of raspberries, brown spices and licorice. A light, quaffable style that would be a versatile luncheon red or party wine.Prices: BC 34.69 Producer: Domaine Skouras
Read Full Note
Diamantakos Naoussatext
91PTS

Diamantakos Naoussa 2013

Naousa, Makedonia, GreeceNaoussa is famous among Greek wine regions and home to this xinomavro, one with an amazing mix of power and finesse. If you were to hide this stylish red in a Barolo tasting it would be hard to find. Look for a fragrant nose of red fruits, black cherry, tar and spice. The tannins are slippery in a finish full of dusty, meaty, savoury red fruits, cocoa powder and fresh acidity. Elegantly structured, it seems it could age for ever. Very refined and made with only 13.5 percent alcohol. Production is about 5500 cases.Prices: BC 50.34 Producer: Diamantakos
Read Full Note

19 April 2018

Vincent Caille Gros Plant du Pays Nantaistext
87PTS

Vincent Caille Gros Plant du Pays Nantais 2014

Pays Nantais, Loire, FranceIt's lovely to see Nantais through a different lens than melon de bourgogne, the grape of Muscadet. In the hands of 5th generation winemaker, Vincent Caillé, along with wife Sylvie and two younger brothers, they farm 26ha biodynamically and organically, across three terroirs (orthogneiss, gabbro and granite). This is folle blanche, aka gros plant, from the same special mineral-rich soils of his memorable Muscadets. This wine is made in underground concrete tanks, glass lined at the top, where it remains for eight months. Like Muscadet this is driven by acidity, however the concrete gives this tart, tangy wine some texture and body. Green, tight, herbal, and sour grapefruit on the tight and lean palate. Acidity prickles on the spiced finish. With its herbal twang, this matches well with pickled / fermented foods, with like matching like. I would prefer to taste a more recent vintage, with a closer capture of fresh fruit.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Vincent Caillé
Read Full Note
Barone di Villagrande Etna Biancotext
91PTS

Barone di Villagrande Etna Bianco 2016

Sicily, ItalyThis is a wine that benefits from time, and not over chilling; let this relax and unknit in the glass some before drinking (liberally). The pixellated minerality will spill out of the glass, carried with subtle and alluring reductive notes, pine nuts, lemon thistle, meadow herbs, quince blossom and pear skin. Etna Bianco Superiore can only come from the village of Milo, embracing and facing the sea breezes, and from 700m altitude. This is forty-year-old carricante (with ten percent other autochthonous grapes) that is harvested early and spends ten months in stainless. The finish lingers with seawater freshness and salted citrus. Serious wine; best enjoyed at cellar temperature and with octopus, scallops or white fish now, or better yet, your cellar.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Barone di Villagrande
Read Full Note
Niepoort Dialogo Douro Brancotext
89PTS

Niepoort Dialogo Douro Branco 2016

Douro Superior, Douro Valley, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis youthful white may show a comic on the label, but make no mistake, this is a serious wine, from one of the world's top winemakers, Dirk Niepoort. From schistous, mica-flecked vineyards on the right bank of the Douro, between 550-700m, this blend of indigenous Portuguese white grapes is native fermented in a split between stainless and older French barriques (30 percent), no MLF, where it remains for eight months. In 2016, the blend is 20-50 year old rabigato, códega do larinho, gouveio, dona branca, viosinho, bical and others. Tight, mineral-laced green fig, lemon thistle, meadow herbs and fine salts over a creamy bed of lees, all youthful and highly quaffable. This line of Fabulous Wines (Branco and Tinto) are sold worldwide, the scale of which makes this wine even more impressive -- especially considering the price.Prices: QC 17.00 BC 25.00 Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.
Read Full Note
Nichol Vineyard Pinot Gristext
92PTS

Nichol Vineyard Pinot Gris 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis iconic orange-hued wine steals hearts every year; it's one I look forward to tasting, and then stocking up on. The idiosyncratic hue show's the grape's gris side, and is the result of 36 hours on the skins in open tops fermenters before pressing (during fermentation) into old French barriques and two-tonne open top fermenters for a few months before being bottled with gentle filtration. Valencia orange, tangerine, apricot fuzz streams the length of this long wine, gripped on the sides by mineral salts and propelled with a grapefruit-laced acidity. There's a skim of lees cushioning the palate and a snapy orange citrus on the lengthy finish. Mouthwatering and welcoming now in youth, but with the structure to deepen with a few years' age (trust me). Once again, stock up.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
Read Full Note
Domaine Rolet Crémant du Juratext
89PTS

Domaine Rolet Crémant du Jura 2013

Jura, FranceCreamy red and brisk green apple, white flowers, mountain herbs, grapefruit and a kiss of vanilla pod perfume lines the lees bed of this chardonnay / poulsard / pinot noir blend from Jura. Twenty months on the lees builds creamy depth, while the soils and altitude contribute to the brisk acidity. Lighter fizz with a little edgy interest.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Domaine Rolet Père & Fils
Read Full Note
Nichol Vineyard Two Barrels Pinot Gristext
90PTS

Nichol Vineyard Two Barrels Pinot Gris 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOrange, mandarin fill this youthful pinot gris, kept tight with apricot fuzz and green apple, and tightly gripped with citrus sherbet fountain. Lighter in hue than their infamous and iconic pinot gris, this is bottled with the older Nichol label and with frosted glass to differentiate it. Minerality rings through this crunchy wine to a salty, snappy, mouthwatering finish.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Nichol Vineyard
Read Full Note
JoieFarm Pinot Blanctext
89PTS

JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBack on form after the bloated 2015, the 2017 is awash in freshness and bright acidity from front to back. The fruit comes off a 40-year-old Kelowna vineyard located in the Mission District of Kelowna. Green apple skin notes preview a tightly wound white with a lovely balance of ripe, melon fruit and a delicate minerality throughout the long juicy, almond-flecked finish. A super wine for seafood.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: JoieFarm
Read Full Note

18 April 2018

Blue Mountain Gamay Noirtext
87PTS

Blue Mountain Gamay Noir 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDeeper crimson in hue, reflective of the deeper plum, black raspberry, violet fruit filling this fleshy palate. This youthful wine requires a decant to blow off some reduction now. A blend of 9-27 year old estate vines, this saw 20 days maceration and native ferment before 16 months in French oak and two 500L puncheons. Like last year, I'm left wanting more snap in this gamay. Soft, lightly smokey and somewhat soupy / hollow on the palate, this lacks the juicy vibrance that makes gamay so effortlessly charming.Prices: BC 22.90 AB 26.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
Read Full Note
Blue Mountain Gamay Noirtext
87PTS

Blue Mountain Gamay Noir 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpen, somewhat meaty, reductive nose with plum and black fruit. The attack is soft and fleshy with an odd combination of skinny, fleshy, floral, raspberry that dissipates quickly in the aftertaste. A blend of estate vines from 9 to 27-years-old, it was aged 16 months in French barriques and two 500L puncheons. Unexpectedly ordinary this year. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 22.90 AB 26.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
Read Full Note
Jean-Paul Brun Le Ronsaytext
90PTS

Jean-Paul Brun Le Ronsay 2016

Beaujolais, Burgundy, France#GoGamayGo. Brilliant value for this young Beaujolais, an "entry tier" wine composed of young vines (still 20+ years) and made through the same low-interventionist philosophy that governs all of legendary Jean-Paul Brun's wines. Rock roses, wild raspberry, white peppercorn, sapid herbals rush through this lean, charming, light bodied and highly quaffable wine. Tannins are bamboo fine, housing this to a peppery finish. Honest, characterful, authentic; I challenge anyone who says they don't like gamay to not like this real wine.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
Read Full Note
Jean-Marc Burgaud Cote du Py Reservetext
92PTS

Jean-Marc Burgaud Cote du Py Reserve 2014

Beaujolais, Burgundy, France#GoGamayGo. Jean Marc Burgaud is one of the starlight young guns of new Beaujolais, founding his eponymous winery with his wife Christine in 1989. They farm only their own vineyards, the heart of which are clustered in Morgon's famed Cotes du Py (13ha). His youngest vines are 50+ years old. Youthful plum, wild, thorny / grippy blackberry is braced with acidity and finely grippy tannins. Orange peel is prominent, as is astringent black tea, as is acidity. All this deftly sets off a youthful, medium-bodied and tight palate. 7 barrels made, ready for drinking now, but certainly structured for aging. Real wine.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Jean-Marc Burgaud
Read Full Note
Oak Bay Vineyard Gamay Noirtext
87PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Gamay Noir 2015

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe vineyard is in year two of its final transition to certified organic. This is a very friendly style of gamay, soft in tannins and rich in lightly smoky notes, black cherry fruit aromas and flavours. The texture is very silky and inviting glass after glass before it finishes up with the perfect amount of acidity mixed between a dusty, peppery finish. A warm year has given this wine an extra layer of flesh that it wears well. Planted in 1964, 1990, 1999 at 350-440m on clay, sand and gravels, it is fermented in stainless steel tanks and French and American oak.Prices: BC 18.50 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
Read Full Note
La Pausetext
90PTS

La Pause 2016

Loire, FranceWhen young Frenchman-turned NYC chef turned-vigneron Laurent Saillard was offered to purchase half of the organically farmed Clos Roche Blanche vineyard in the Loire Valley's tiny village of Pouillé in 2015, he jumped at the offer. He's been busy transforming the estate, uprooting diseased vines, and focusing on small-yield quality. This is gamay grown on limestone over clay, with eight months in old vats before unfiltered bottling (expect harmless sediment). From first whiff, there's a stony clay thread running through the medium body, pushed up with perfumed cherry, raspberry, and sea salts. A brisk and frisky acidity streams a fine thread to the lingering white pepper dusted finish. A simple, uncomplicated joy, especially with a light chill.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Laurent Saillard
Read Full Note
Christophe Pacalet Cote de Brouillytext
90PTS

Christophe Pacalet Cote de Brouilly 2016

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceChristophe Pacalet is the nephew of revered biodynamic and naturalist wine pioneer Marcel Lapierre, and with advice and support from his uncle Marcel, he took a leap of faith in 1999 and opened his own boutique winery. He raises all his crus in neutral Burgundy barrels, employs minimal intervention and makes wines from various Beaujolais crus, expressing the distinct terroir. This Cru Bojo comes from the distinct granite, diorite (volcanic rock) and schist soils of Côte de Brouilly. This was carbonically macerated at cool temperatures, fermented wild, before 6-9 months on fine lees, without any sulphur inputs. Pouring a dusky, cloudy hue (hinting to its unfined and unfiltered heritage), this has a pure core of bright, natural plum. There's a youthful wrap of wild blueberry, brambleberry and pink peppercorn spicing that is hemmed in by fine, tight tannins, and kept aloft with pixellated acidity. A thread of perfumed blue/purple florals weaves throughout this light on its feet wine (12.5 percent). For drinking now, liberally, with a slight chill.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Christophe Pacalet
Read Full Note

17 April 2018

Le Macchiole Paleo Rossotext
93PTS

Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2009

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyPaleo is 100 percent cabernet franc, a variety seemingly made for Bolgheri. The ’09 Bolgheri vintage gave us a rich, hedonistic Paleo although some of that exuberance and fruit has thankfully dissipated over the last nine years, leaving a more complex wine of mixed red plums and cherries with a spicy, smoky, dried herbs undercurrent and a long, silky elegant finish. Not as complex as most years but a sheer delight to drink now. Try this with a favourite steak cut.Prices: BC 149.99 AB 135.00 Producer: Le Macchiole
Read Full Note
Le Macchiole Messoriotext
94PTS

Le Macchiole Messorio 2012

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyMessorio (the workers who harvest the grain) is the flagship red of Le Macchiole. It’s one hundred percent merlot and each year it is fussed over from bud break to bottling. The yields are low, the fermentation is done in wooden vats while the ageing runs 18 months in 75 percent new French oak barrels and 25 percent second year wood. Production is limited to approximately 10,000 bottles per vintage. The 2012 has a certain elegance that reminds us of owner Cinzia Merli who has poured her heart into this project. Texture is something you expect from merlot but it’s the structure that sets Messorio apart, adding a framework to showcase its many layers of flavours and nuance. Messorio is wine that bucks the merlot trend in that it needs time to reach its apex. Don’t be fooled by its supple, silky textures or inviting savoury red fruit flavours; there is still plenty to come. What’s remarkable about Bolgheri reds is their ability to mimic the exquisite scents of the Mediterranean coast.Prices: BC 292.00 AB 325.00 QC 232.00 Producer: Le Macchiole
Read Full Note
Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rossotext
90PTS

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2015

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyThe Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso begins its second decade of production in 2015, performing a role it was created for, working with highly vetted select blocks of the youngest fruit on the 26-hectare property. The ’15 is a 60/30/10 blend of merlot, cabernet franc/sauvignon and sangiovese. Some 80 percent is aged in older three to five-year old barrels, and the remainder goes in concrete, both of which help to release the fruit into the glass. The goal was drinkable wine, but not a simple wine, and the family insists it’s not a second choice. Expect a classic, savoury Bolgheri nose with more red fruits than black. They pick the merlot earlier to maintain its acidity and leave the other varieties to provide ripeness and weight. In fact, the wine is both silky and stylish with a complex finish of black olives and spice. The Bolgheri Rosso is the Macchiole “calling card” at 130,000 of the 170,000 bottles produced.Prices: BC 46.99 AB 45.00 QC 33.00 ON 34.95 NS 44.00 Producer: Le Macchiole
Read Full Note

16 April 2018

Elio Filippino Barba Cesco Barbera d'Alba Superioretext
91PTS

Elio Filippino Barba Cesco Barbera d'Alba Superiore 2014

Piedmont, ItalyBarba Cesco is a nod to the family’s Uncle Francesco the original owner of the vineyard. The bouquet is floral with a subtle mocha, vanilla, undercurrent. The entry is crazy soft and round yet with an inviting texture and fine length. Less acidic than the norm and with more oak then you might expect but in the entire picture it is well-crafted and balanced. Savoury pastas, roasted meats and or turkey all work here. It is 100% Barbera selected from the best vineyards on the hillsides of Serra Capelli and San Cristoforo in Neive. Post ferment the wine ages in barrique for 18-20 months and then rests in the bottle for another 10 months. This family-run winery sits in the heart of the District of Neive, among the rolling hills of the Langhe zone. Elio Filippino is the current winemaker employing traditional winemaking techniques along with biodynamic vineyard practices. Impressive.Prices: BC 47.00 Producer: Elio Filippino
Read Full Note
Elio Filippino Barbera d'Alba Vigna Vejatext
0PTS

Elio Filippino Barbera d'Alba Vigna Veja 2013

Piedmont, ItalyCorked. Try another.Prices: BC 32.00 Producer: Elio Filippino
Read Full Note
Giovanni Rosso Barbera d'Alba Donna Margheritatext
89PTS

Giovanni Rosso Barbera d'Alba Donna Margherita 2015

Serralunga, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyOwner-winemaker David Rosso runs the 40-acre, family-owned estate in the heart of Serralunga d’Alba with the philosophy that his wines should reflect their origins. The family was growing vines for more than a hundred years when Giovanni Rosso began an estate-bottling program in 1995 exploring 11 separate parcels that include blocks in the prime Barolo vineyards of La Serra, Vigna Rionda and Cerretta. Rosso switched from stainless steel tanks to concrete for his Barolo production and has gone down a natural path with yeasts as well as moving to unfined and unfiltered at bottling. Expect an attractive, fresh, cherry-scented and flavoured red with savoury, earthy undertones streaked with dried herbs and a classic hint of toasted almonds. The freshness masks some of its structure but you can be sure this will age handsomely for a decade or more. A very food-friendly red; think mushroom dishes, beef pastas, and sausages. Real wine at a fair price.Prices: BC 25.93 ON 30.00 Producer: Giovanni Rosso
Read Full Note

13 April 2018

Capture Tradition Sauvignon Blanctext
89PTS

Capture Tradition Sauvignon Blanc 2016

United StatesThe Captûre motto is 'classic Bordeaux winemaking in the rugged Mayacamas Mountains'. Established in 2008, Captûre is working in remote high-elevation vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, and Lake Counties. Captûre targets vineyards within Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, Spring Mountain District, and Lake County, all appellations at the untamed edges of mainstream wine regions, and ones that see more wildlife visitors than human ones. The flagship label is the Tradition Sauvignon Blanc, it’s stainless steel fermented and aged on its lees for ten months. The style is bright with citrus, lime pith and peach and just that hint of richness that comes from the California sun. The fruit is 76/24 Sonoma County/Lake County.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Capture Wines
Read Full Note
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanctext
90PTS

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThough you may not be familiar with Loveblock, the winery based in the Lower Awatere valley of Marlborough, you most certainly have heard of its owner and winemaker, Kim Crawford. After achieving sizable success with his eponymous label, Kim and his wife Erica sold that winery, and after some well-deserved rest, opened this personal wine farm. Their estate vineyards grow on the hills of the Awatere, collecting freshness via altitude and breezes. Organically farmed, most of this wine spent its time in stainless, with seven percent aged in neutral French oak for six month (also undergoing MLF). Unmistakably Kiwi savvy, and inherently Awatere, with its cooler, fresher profile of white grapefruit, lemon pith, starfruit, pineapple rind and lime. A fine layer of lees coats the palate and buffers the intense acidity and fruit. Shy, this is not, but balanced it sure is.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Loveblock
Read Full Note
Vina Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
88PTS

Vina Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Valle de Casablanca, Region de Aconcagua, ChileNimbus is a reference to the clouds that mark the valleys of Chile and the vineyard located in the coolest, westernmost area of the Casablanca valley. The soil is granite over bedrock, providing the perfection foundation for roots to go deep. Morning fog keeps the heat in check, slowing maturation throughout the growing season. The nose is a muted tropical fruit affair with floral, litchi and passionfruit, but with no aggressive esters. The attack is fresh, balanced and with creamy, mineral, grassy, fruit flavours. Most any seafood works here. Real wine.Prices: AB 14.25 BC 27.95 Producer: Vina Casablanca Ltda
Read Full Note
Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanctext
90PTS

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Aconcagua Costa, Valle de Aconcagua, Region de Aconcagua, ChileThis wine has impressed me from the day it was launched. It’s first class Chilean sauvignon, and should be widely available in BC, but for some reason it’s off the radar of retailers and restaurants. The vines are grown at the Manzanar Vineyard, Aconcagua Costa, only 12 kilometers from the cool Pacific Ocean. Very little pre-maceration has led to a beautifully structured, aromatic, complex white wine that dances across the palate with herbal, mineral, guava, passion fruit flavours. Delicacy and tension is the story. This wine was made for oysters. Even if it can’t make the cut in local private wine shops (Chilean bias is my guess), it does reside on the reserve wine list at Earls across Canada, at a very modest price. Delicious. Real wine.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Vina Errazuriz
Read Full Note

12 April 2018

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Brut Cuis 1er Cru Blanc de Blancstext
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Brut Cuis 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceThis understated 1er cru is impressive time immemorial. Didier, third generation of the Gimonnet family, oversees this small Côtes des Blancs grower champagne house. This wine, like all of their chardonnay-centric wines, is crystal crisp and bright, with driving linearity through to the lingering finish. Five different harvests in the cuvée provide depth and complexity to this 1er cru, though the base is youthful, keeping the freshness and the piercing acidity of Cuis prominent. This bottle was disgorged in January 2015, and showing notes of maturity. Nougat, green apple, sea salt, elderflower and lemon open onto schisty complexity, showing a base of brioche dough, with chalky purity, vivacious intensity and a shimmery, saline-laced lemon pith to the finish. Chardonnay’s pure elegance and finesse, with a shadow of bottle age, perfectly expressed.Prices: BC 67.00 QC 61.75 NS 60.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Gimonnet
Read Full Note

11 April 2018

Casebianchi La Matta Vino Spumante Blanco Dossagio Zerotext
86PTS

Casebianchi La Matta Vino Spumante Blanco Dossagio Zero 2016

Campania, ItalyBitter lemon, elderflower, pear fill this light, natural, biodynamic pet nat from Campania. Brusque acidity lifts fiano's soft palate to a faintly humming, sour citrus finish. No sulfur, undisgorged and unfiltered, the winery recommends mixing the lees into the wine (tilt upside down gently a few times) before opening. La Matta means 'the crazy one' in Italian; perhaps a few folks thought Elisabetta and husband Pasquale were a touch crazy to leave their home in Naples to take over her aging father's farm in Torchiara. But the couple wanted to raise their children connected to the land, and now are in charge of farming the 5.5ha of biodynamic vines on the 14ha property.Prices: Producer: Casebianchi
Read Full Note
Caves São João Bruto Reservatext
87PTS

Caves São João Bruto Reserva 2015

Bairrada, Northern Portugal, PortugalCaves São João was established in 1920 by brothers José, Manuel and Albano Costa. After initially specializing in selling Douro wines, they turned their focus on their home region of Bairrada. This reserva bruto is a classical method dry, toasty blend of bical, chardonnay, maria gomes and arinto, fermented in stainless before a year on lees in bottle. Ripping acidity lifts bitter lemon, pear skin, green fruits, dried chamomile flowers, with a finish verging on harsh due to the bracing acids. Suitable for an aperitif with olives, anchovies or bacalao croquettes with aioli.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Caves São João
Read Full Note
Rinaldini Picol Ross Lambrusco Bruttext
88PTS

Rinaldini Picol Ross Lambrusco Brut NV

Emilia-Romagna, ItalyForget about the sweet and candied Lambruscos of your past. This is serious, dry, handmade metodo classico (traditional method) from the ancient, rare and endangered original Lambrusco grape: pjcol ross. The Rinaldinis are the only producer of pjcol ross varietal wines today, a grape that exists in only three vineyards. It was rediscovered by Rinaldo Rinaldini in the 1970s when he took over the vineyard. This tiny family owned winery is between Reggio Emilia and Parma in Emilia-Romagna at the foothills of Matilda de Canossa. This is full of balsamic imbued black plum, pitchy thorns, with a tight fist of stony spice from the core to the brisk finish. Bubbles are slight, acidity is high, tannins are grippy, and the feel is rustic authenticity. This spent one year on the lees, and is a solid match for wild pork or boar.Prices: BC 31.99 Producer: Rinaldini
Read Full Note
Varichon & Clerc Privilege Blanc de Blancstext
87PTS

Varichon & Clerc Privilege Blanc de Blancs NV

Savoie, FranceThe official proclamation of the small AOC Seyssel in 1973 (only 220 acres under vine) was the first sparkling wine AOC in France after Champagne. This was très bon for Varichon & Clerc. Winemaking in Seyssel was recorded for the first time in the 12th Century (1145), and further developed under the monks from the 14th century onward. Seyssel is where Varichon & Clerc was established in 1901, making them one of the region’s oldest and most important wine houses making Traditional Method fizz. They were purchased by the Boisset family in the 1990s. This wine is a blend of ugni blanc, colombard, chenin, chardonnay and jacquère, aged for 15 months on the lees, and given a dosage of 12 g/l. Though brut, the sugar sticks out here, first on the nose (fruit loops) and then on the palate, slapping candied peach, light toast, dried mango on a sharp, crunchy palate. Acidity is high, intention is valid, and the framework is good, but this falls a bit on the bittersweet orange finish. I'd love to see some of their drier fizz, where the fruit isn't jockeying for position with the RS. Best enjoyed with a good chill.Prices: BC 24.00 Producer: Varichon & Clerc
Read Full Note
Jaillance Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé Cuvée de l'Abbayetext
88PTS

Jaillance Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé Cuvée de l'Abbaye NV

Bordeaux, FranceThree years down the road, the Crémant de Bordeaux Appellation, established in 1990, has upped its game. It’s all merlot and its aged for 18 months in a cool cellar carved out of a quarry. It’s the texture and elegance here that attracts. There is an ethereal, herbal, red fruit character that barley penetrates the outer layers of the wine but overall, it’s a very acceptable bubble well suited to food. Try this with a mixed charcuterie plate or seafood fritters. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Jalliance
Read Full Note
Meyer Family Vineyards Méthode Traditionnelle Extra Bruttext
89PTS

Meyer Family Vineyards Méthode Traditionnelle Extra Brut NV

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMakes perfect sense that one of the Okanagan's chardonnay and pinot noir specialists has turned their hand to traditional method sparkling wine. MFV's Méthode Traditionelle Extra Brut sees 70 percent Chardonnay and 30 percent Pinot Noir remain for two years in stainless, undergoing full MLF, before blending and bottling for secondary fermentation under crown cap in the summer of 2014. The bottles were then aged on lees for 20 months and were disgorged from May 2016 through to June 2016. In lieu of dosage, this was topped up with 2014 blanc de blanc base wine, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Shining green apple leads this firm frame, with bright mineral, salts, citrus trailing across a bed of river stones. The lees is ever present on the creamy base, and carries an aged sheen of gingerale and spice on a prickly palate to the sharp finish. Good intensity, great acidity, and drinking well now. 550 cases made.Prices: BC 40.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
Read Full Note

10 April 2018

Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
87PTS

Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014

Abruzzo, ItalyCrushed boysenberries, mulberries, black plums, medicinal cherry sides this montepulciano from Abruzzo. Medium bodied, with a swell of acidity and finely gritty tannins to a smoked, bitter cherry finish, welcoming lamb or pork loin. This was vinified in stainless before ten months in French oak. The Sorricchio family has owned the baronial fief of Valforte since the 13th Century and the Tenute Barone di Valforte vineyards cover 42 hectares in various communes in the Teramo hills, a prized place for montepulciano.Prices: BC 17.79 Producer: Tenute Barone di Valforte
Read Full Note
Meinklang Zweigelttext
89PTS

Meinklang Zweigelt 2015

AustriaMeinklang is one of the darlings of the natural / hipster / sommelier set, and this wine lives up to its darling reputation. Biodynamically grown (Demeter certified) estate zweigelt was native fermented in neutral oak and small tanks. Highly perfumed black raspberry, downy thorns, underbrush, mushrooms, wild strawberry, potent white peppery channels down a medium bodied, streamlined palate. There's a slim mud of tannins around the sides that houses all this earthy, forested savouriness to a dusky cherry finish. Zweigelt is a friendly, bright grape, and here shows all of its earnest charm.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Meinklang
Read Full Note
Lake Sonoma Zinfandeltext
89PTS

Lake Sonoma Zinfandel 2014

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesI love this round, friendly Dry Creek zin and its savoury, black fruit nose that draws you into the glass. The attack is juicy with lively red and black cherry with smoky, bramble, cinnamon dust. The finish is smooth, round and refreshing. Good value barbecue red. There's 11 petite sirah in the blend, and it spends two years in French and European oak barrels (17 percent new).Prices: BC 24.49 AB 25.50 QC 26.00 ON 29.00 NB 29.79 PEI 30.25 Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
Read Full Note
Contrada Santo Spirito di Passopisciaro Etna Animardentetext
90PTS

Contrada Santo Spirito di Passopisciaro Etna Animardente 2014

Sicily, ItalyContrada Santo Spirito is a project of Antonio Moretti Cuseri, the owner of iconic properties Tenuta Sette Ponti and Podere Orma in Tuscany, and Feudo Maccari in Sicily. Morretti fell in love with the 14 ha estate planted to autochthonous grapes between 500-700m, located between Passopisciaro and Randazzo, on the slopes of Mount Etna. This nerello mascalese is crafted from 60+ year old ungrafted vines, fermented in wood and stainless, where it rested for six months. Anise, red liquorice, red florals, dried strawberry, worn leather, tobacco and walnut shells fill the textural, lighter-bodied palate, scented with raspberry, wild cherry, thorns, and gripped with herbal, fine hewn tannins. Subtle soil salts linger on the finish, brightining the finish, and contreyveying the 14.5 degrees alcohol. Rabbit, wild mushrooms would make an excellent pair.Prices: BC 79.99 Producer: Contrada Santo Spirito di Passopisciaro
Read Full Note
J. Hofstatter Lagreintext
88PTS

J. Hofstatter Lagrein 2015

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyThe 50-hectare J. Hofstätter estate vineyards are situated in South Tyrol, with vineyards along the steep slopes of both sides of the broad valley. They are one of the largest family estates in the region, now run by 4th generation. Lagrein is indigenous to Alto Adige, and in their estate vineyards and this wine, was planted more than thirty years ago. Grapes are destemmed and crushed before ten days fermentation in contact with the skins and solids, warming at the finish to extract additional dark florals and grip from the lagrein grape's leathery skins. Chewy tannins are ample, but handled well and integrated, very smartly suited to the black plum, damson berry, forest floor that coats the soft, downy, low acid palate, with persistent nutmeg and five spicing to the cola finish. I expected, and craved, more freshness here.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: J. Hofstatter
Read Full Note
Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Shuttleworth Creek Vineyardtext
88PTS

Stag's Hollow Dolcetto Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaDolcetto is Italian for the "little sweet one." The moment this juicy, dark-berry scented red hits your palate it pulls at your heart. It's fresh, earthy, black raspberry/cassis fruit finishes with a twist of kirsch in a bed of soft tannins. A classic from winemaker Dwight Sick in what is a fresh look at a quirky Italian grape that will have you running to a wine guide to investigate. A soft, red-fruited style, it is well-suited to charcuterie, mushroom & sausage pasta and or root vegetables. Harvested by hand over 4 separate dates due to desiccation. Fermented in small 1-ton open top fermenter and a 5-ton sidekick using a combination of both wild and selected yeasts. Punch downs are limited to two to four times a day for 15-18 days; press and racked into a concrete tank and neutral oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtration.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard
Read Full Note
Feudi di San Gregorio Siricatext
91PTS

Feudi di San Gregorio Sirica 2014

Campania, ItalyBrooding dark plum, boysenberry is infiltrated with black pepper, tobacco, and subtle sapid resin in this alluring, medium bodied red from Campania. Tannins are slender, but astringently raspy, finishing with an herbal/medicinal echo. This is from the centuries-old sirica grape, rediscovered by the winery's agronomists. They found three giant plants, 200-years-old, growing in Taurasi, and quickly determined they were not agliancio, the dominant red in the area. DNA testing showed traces of refosco, teroldego and syrah, and the newly known grape was determined as sicira (a name that Pliny the Elder refers to in ancient Roman times). The viticultural team did a selction to reproduce the plant, and now the winery has near to two ha of sirica vines. The wine is aged in barriques for twelve months, followed by a nine-month stint in bottle. This blends the newly planted six-year-old plants with those growing for 200 years.Prices: BC 44.99 Producer: Feudi Di San Gregorio
Read Full Note
Masseria Surani Heracles Primitivotext
86PTS

Masseria Surani Heracles Primitivo 2015

Puglia, ItalyOne of the Tommasi family estates, they have purchased 80ha of land in Manduria, in the Salento area, for this primitivo-driven project. Heracles is 100 percent primitivo, fermented in stainless before ten months in oak. Rustic, ripe and compact, with ample ragged tannins housing black, sinewy fruits, dark chocolate cherry, olives, and bitter anise. The finish is drying, and you can feel the burning heat of the sun even in a surprising 13.5 degrees alcohol. Best matched with hearty ragu or red meat stews.Prices: BC 25.99 NS 20.00 NB 19.99 Producer: Tommasi Viticoltori
Read Full Note
Mountain Fish Agiorgitikotext
87PTS

Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko 2015

Nemea, Peloponnese, GreeceOpening with a prickle of spritz, this agiorgitiko is bright sour cherry, plum and blackcurrant on an eager palate. The palate is silky, though tannins are powdery and dark cocoa dusted to a snappy, shorter finish. Sourced from deep clay soiled mountainous vineyards in Asprokambos and Psari, in Nemea, this was whole cluster fermented with two weeks on the skins, prior to six months in tank before bottling.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Strofilia Estate
Read Full Note
Luccarelli Primitivotext
87PTS

Luccarelli Primitivo 2016

Puglia, ItalySolid most years, negroamaro is the zinfandel of southern Italy, offering spicy, plum/prune/fig fruit and savoury dried herb aromas and flavours. The palate is soft, ripe and warm with black cherries, chocolate, balsamic notes with a touch of acidity poking through a low tannin finish. Order up a pizza and twist off the cap.Prices: BC 14.99 Producer: Luccarelli Winery
Read Full Note
Torrevento Torre del Falco Nero di Troiatext
87PTS

Torrevento Torre del Falco Nero di Troia 2015

Puglia, ItalyThe fruit grows at 350 to 450 metres above sea level on the hills of Apulia. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel for ten months. The nose is Mediterranean fragrant with vibrant black raspberry and cherry notes. The attack is soft and juicy with round sweet tannins and a push of acid at the back end. A grilled chicken pasta or a favourite meaty pizza is the match.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Torrevento, Azienda Vinicola
Read Full Note
Odjfell Armador Estate Selection Carmenère Organic Winetext
87PTS

Odjfell Armador Estate Selection Carmenère Organic Wine 2016

Region del Valle Central, ChileA blend of Maipo and Maule 20-year-old fruit, this is a round, soft, ripe, carmenère (with 14 percent malbec) with big aromas and flavours. There was a 4-6 day whole-berry maceration prior to fermentation. The resulting juice went to tank and 25 percent into used oak barrels for four months. An intensive mix of peppery, black fruits that spill onto a palate of licorice, dried herbs, tobacco, black pepper, chocolate and black cherry. A solid red made with certified organic fruit. Good value.Prices: BC 16.49 Producer: Odjfell Vineyards
Read Full Note
Azienda Agricola COS Frappatto Terre Sicilianetext
91PTS

Azienda Agricola COS Frappatto Terre Siciliane 2016

Sicily, ItalyCOS is a joint project between three friends, the initials of which make up this iconic naturalist winery's name. Their dedication to Sicily, and their inherited bush vines around the city of Vittoria, province of Ragusa, enabled them to make the first ever DOCG wine of Sicily. This is frappato di vittoria, grown at 230m on the red soiled, limestone laced soils. Native fermented on skins in concrete, this captures frappato's delicate and ephemeral perfume, with effortless herbal scrub, bergamot, dried florals, wild raspberry, fine rasped pink pepper to a savoury, very lengthy finish. The limestone-laced soils lend to the minerality and brightness here. Tannins are whisper fine and persistent. Exactly what I want to drink, copiously, cellar-temperatured, now and for the next few years.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Azienda Agricola COS
Read Full Note
Azienda Agricola COS Nero di Lupotext
92PTS

Azienda Agricola COS Nero di Lupo 2015

Sicily, ItalyCOS is a joint project between three friends, the initials of which make up this iconic naturalist winery's name. Their dedication to Sicily, and their inherited bush vines around the city of Vittoria, province of Ragusa, enabled them to make the first ever DOCG wine of Sicily. Nero di Lupo is 100 percent nero d'avola, grown at 230m on the red soiled, limestone laced soils. Native fermented on skins in concrete, this is liquorice lashed black plum, wild blackberry, thorns, truffle, oregano, streaming through a surprisingly light-bodied, gentle palate, lined with iron. There's a very salty snap uprighting the soft tannins, bourne of the soils and formed through the time in concrete. Sweet spices close out the haunting finish. Authenticity rules all; this is a real wine of place and time.Prices: BC 48.00 Producer: Azienda Agricola COS
Read Full Note
Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d'Abruzzotext
88PTS

Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015

Abruzzo, ItalyThis wine surprises with its gushing mulberry, black cherry, black plum fruit that spills across the palate. Medium bodied, it jumps to life with some lively mid-palate acidity touched with a bit of smoke and tannin. Grilled pork or lamb chops would be the ticket here or a meaty pizza. This was vinified in stainless before spending ten months in French oak. The Sorricchio family has owned the baronial fief of Valforte since the 13th Century and the Tenute Barone di Valforte vineyards cover 42 hectares in various communes in the Teramo hills, a prized place for the montepulciano grape.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Tenute Barone di Valforte
Read Full Note

09 April 2018

Pra Morandina Valpolicellatext
90PTS

Pra Morandina Valpolicella 2016

Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyMorello cherry, wild raspberry on this charming, light/medium bodied Valpo, with pretty florals, a tuggy tension around the sides and a juicy, buoyant acidity on the palate. The finish is light bitter cherry and savoury sapidity. Lovely confidence and finesse here from Prà, one of the region's most progressive and interesting producers (and this is their "entry-level" red). This wine welcomes a chill and wild mushroom dish now, though is easily cellar-worthy short term.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Azienda Agrcola di G. Pra
Read Full Note
Tedeschi Lucchine Valpolicella Classicotext
89PTS

Tedeschi Lucchine Valpolicella Classico 2016

Pedemonte Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto, ItalyFrom the Lucchine vineyard at the foot of the Pedemonte hills of the heartland of Valpolicella, this is a 25-year-old clay and limestone rooted blend of corvina, corvinone, rondinella, molinara, rossignola, negrara, and dindarella. Stainless fermented, then rested, for a brief two months, this is a humble, charming Valpo with bright, sapid red fruit, perfumed florals, smoked stones, tobacco leaves, and fine, taut tannins to an alluring salt snap finish. Lower in alcohol (12.5 degrees), this red is eager for a slight chill and to be paired with your pork or game birds.Prices: BC 0.00 BC 21.00 Producer: Tedeschi
Read Full Note

06 April 2018

Meyer Gewurztraminertext
89PTS

Meyer Gewurztraminer 2016

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSweet perfumed pear, lime blossom, starfruit fill this lean framed but voluptuous gewürztraminer, a grape that struggles in the Okanagan. Here, however, gew's lushness meets Okanagan Falls acidity, via this single McLean Creek vineyard wine. Planted in 1994 on sandy and gravel loams, this was picked in stages, partial whole bunch, partial skin contact, and entirely native fermented, long and cool in stainless and older French oak where it was left on lees for a further three months post ferment. Mid-sweet, but with lime-laced acidity to counter, this is a level of attention not oft seen in gew in Canada, and it shows. I've found Meyer Family Vineyards' wines need time in bottle after release to really shine, and this is one example.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Meyer Family Vineyards
Read Full Note
Jason Parkes Customs Crown + Thieves Gewurztraminer DOC Guernseytext
89PTS

Jason Parkes Customs Crown + Thieves Gewurztraminer DOC Guernsey 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaEvery wine has a story, but few can top this gew from Jason Parkes. The fruit is grown by the family vet on a small, two-acre overlooking the lake at Summerland. Parkes claims there would be hell to pay if he upset the vet, so two, old, French puncheons were conscripted to store the wine on its lees for 10 months, with daily stirrings. The thing is, it’s bone dry, so rather than sipping it on the patio, pull out the roast chicken, or an onion tart, and prepare to be stunned. Floral, dried apricot, orange, pepper, ginger and more. It’s a bit geeky, but in a good, real wine way.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: The Hatch
Read Full Note
50th Parallel Estate Gewurztraminertext
88PTS

50th Parallel Estate Gewurztraminer 2017

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI like this juicy style of gewürztraminer: long on flavour and fruit and a little less focused on the heavier, oily style. The nose is fresh and aromatic with a bright floral rose/orange/citrus theme. The palate is similar with bits of fresh litchi, ginger, spice and honeydew melon. Balanced and clean, this is a food magnet. I like it with fish tacos, spicy tuna sushi rolls, fresh crab or a spicy pork rice dish. Good value.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
Read Full Note

05 April 2018

Quails' Gate Riesling B.M.V.text
91PTS

Quails' Gate Riesling B.M.V. 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBMV, or Boucherie Mountain Vineyard, is the origins of Quails’ Gate Family Estate winery, nee farmgate, and some of its earliest riesling plantings. Winemaker Nicki Callaway was looking for something special and different than her regular ‘dry’ offering and BMV was it. It’s a mix of clone 21B off the original Westbank site mixed with clone 49 grown in East Kelowna. It was fermented for two months with indigenous yeast in neutral oak barrels, leaving the wine weighty yet nimble, with intense lemon lime fruit and a touch of residual sugar to counterbalance the acidity and electricity that runs through the wine. BMV is part of the highly successful Collector Series, which means there isn’t very much to buy. Club members and winery direct is your best bet. Impressive, real wine.Prices: BC 29.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Chardonnay Stewart Family Reservetext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Chardonnay Stewart Family Reserve 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay is one of three chardys released, and the one the winery considers its flagship. The fruit is sourced from their chardonnay blocks on the volcanic slopes of Boucherie Mountain, just above the winery. The bright 2016 vintage helps this big wine. Full and rich, reflective of its fermentation and aging in French oak, plus full MLF. Nutmeg spices the creamy palate, structured and built for aging. Ripe green apple, pear, French cream and perfumed white blossoms fill the fuller palate. Impressively built, and while you can enjoy now, this is one for the future.Prices: BC 39.99 AB 39.99 ON 43.95 QC 36.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuails' Gate has long been known for their pinot noir, and the quality of this "entry-level" tier aptly demonstrates why. Most of these vines are older than twenty years now, and after cold soak were partially native fermented, before gentle pressing into French oak, where it remained for ten months. Though juicy and bright, this remains elegant, with ripe black raspberry, plum, cherry and ample alluring perfume streaming throughout waves of light smoke and fine ground pepper. Friendly, serious, classic BC pinot, drinking well now and into the short term.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 30.99 MB 26.99 QC 29.10 NS 30.00 PEI 30.09 YK 27.00 SK 30.00 NB 27.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reservetext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reserve 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQuails' Gate has long been respected for their pinot noir, and this Stewart Family Reserve (the flagship) is one of three releases from the excellent 2016 vintage. The mix of clones is grown from twenty-plus-year-old vines rooted on the ancient, volcanic soils of Mt. Boucherie Bench. SRF is cold soaked to reveal a light cherry hued wine that is native fermented and gently pressed into French barrels where it rests for ten months. The 2016 has finesse and elegance in spades (a trademark of winemaker Nikki Callaway), with gentle cherry, fragrant dark raspberry, forest suboir, housed by tobacco and sweet smoke. Tannins are polished, the palate silken, through a long, peppery and sweet cinnamon finish. Impressive and one of the best we have tasted by QG.Prices: BC 49.99 AB 49.99 MB 50.00 ON 54.95 QC 48.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Richard's Blocktext
90PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Richard's Block 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of three pinot noirs released from the stellar 2016 vintage from pinot specialist Quails' Gate, this wine is named after the Stewart family's father, Richard, instrumental in bringing the grape to the Okanagan Valley in the early ‘70s. The fruit comes from the Boucherie slopes, ancient volcanic soils, just above their West Kelowna winery. A blend of Dijon clones, each block was vinified separately (native and cultivated yeasts) in stainless steel before aging in French oak barrels for 11 months. Warm cherry, ripe plum, savoury strawberry jam on a fleshy, polished, palate. Puffs of smoke and cinnamon texture and spice this medium bodied wine.Prices: BC 54.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Chardonnaytext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaBright, ripe pear and yellow apple, vanilla-kissed and cream-bedded fill this BC classic chardy. Fine wood spicing brackets the lees-lined palate, one keot aloft with mouthwatering acidity, and reflective of the split between time in stainless and in oak. This is a blend of French clones grown across the estate, and the entry-level of the three chardonnays released this year. Friendly and approachable now, with the ability to age short term.Prices: BC 22.90 AB 24.99 SK 23.99 ON 23.95 NS 23.00 MB 22.99 NB 23.99 QC 22.35 NL 24.98 PE 24.20 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNow a product of older vines, this pinot has a subtle, laid-back style that doesn’t shout at you. The nose is a smoky, spicy affair, with black cherries dusted in sage. The texture is silky and perfectly weighted, if more on the drier, spicy, forest floor side than an exuberant, fruity story. The finish is firm and dry suggesting another year or two in bottle will help the tannins and the fruit better marry. Solid now and will get better. Serve with grilled pork chops or a mushroom pasta dish.Prices: BC 26.99 AB 30.99 MB 26.99 QC 29.10 NS 30.00 PEI 30.09 YK 27.00 SK 30.00 NB 27.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Richard's Blocktext
91PTS

Quails' Gate Pinot Noir Richard's Block 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRichard’s Block is a special bottling honouring Richard Stewart, who purchased the original family vineyard in Westbank back in 1956. Winemaker Nikki Callaway made 14 barrels in 2016 and she nailed the texture. It’s a blend of old vine Dijon clones that are vinified separately using native and cultivated yeasts, in stainless steel before spending 11 months in French barrels. There’s touch of Russian River hear with a savoury, smoky, spicy QG/BC flavour mixed with inviting ripe plummy, strawberry, cherry fruit floating on a dense silky palate. Rich enough for duck, mushrooms and aged soft cheeses. Well done. Real wine.Prices: BC 54.99 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Chateau de Nages Vieilles Vignestext
89PTS

Chateau de Nages Vieilles Vignes 2015

Costières de Nîmes, Languedoc, South of France, FranceThis organic blend of roussanne, clairette, grenache blanc and bourboulenc is grown in the iron-rich clay soils of Costieres de Nimes. This blanc is half native fermented in old oak, with the rest fermented in concrete, where both remained for eight months on the lees. Yellow florals (acacia dominant) and yellow fruits (Bosc pear) fill this generous, expansive wine, with a sweep of wax and ample sprinkling of spices on the creamy palate. Vanilla lingers on the finish. This can take on richer foods, like sablefish, lobster, or heady pea risotto.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: Château de Nages
Read Full Note

04 April 2018

Meinklang Gruner Veltlinertext
88PTS

Meinklang Gruner Veltliner 2016

AustriaSubtle perfumed elderflower, pear blossoms, delicate green apple on the lighter palate of this biodynamic gruner. Thin and fine on the palate, with a riff of white pepper spiciness and etchings of apricot fizz and grapefruit peel lingering on the sour-swinging finish. Tight and light, this is best suited to tender spring vegetables or lighter risotto.Prices: BC 21.00 Producer: Meinklang
Read Full Note
Clos de Diatext
87PTS

Clos de Dia 2016

Terra Alta, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainGentle peach, pear gummies, melons, orange blossoms fill the fleshy, soft palate of this garnatxa blanca (white grenache). Typical of the grape, this is wide and low in acidity. Twenty year old grapes from Terra Alta, in northern Spain, are kept in stainless and meant to be drunk young and fresh. White grapefruit and bright orange is strung throughout to the snappy finish.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Cofama Vins / Caves
Read Full Note
Elio Filippino Gavitext
89PTS

Elio Filippino Gavi 2016

Piedmont, ItalyThere is nothing too complicated about this Gavi. It is cortese (it’s a varietal wine whose identity is focused on place), hand-picked and aged three months in stainless steel tanks. The result is a fresh, fruity style cloaked in a nutty, mineral, citrus, orange-flecked cloth. It’s seafood friendly and the more delicate the dish the better. Real wine at a fair price. Gavi di Gavi or Cortese di Gavi is a 1200-hectare DOCG zone that surrounds the city of Gavi itself near the Ligurian border southern Piedmont.Prices: BC 29.00 Producer: Elio Filippino
Read Full Note
Arrowleaf Wildblumetext
88PTS

Arrowleaf Wildblume 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaArrowleaf's first sparkling wine, Wildblume (German for wild flower) is a light, bright and delicate charmat method bubble of vidal. Pretty white and pink florals, pear blossom, melon, lifted peach is aloft with citrus acidity to a shining finish. Gently sweet (11.6 g/l RS), and plenty fresh (8.6 g/l TA) this is a beauty wine for brunching. Love the new look packaging as well.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Arrowleaf Cellars
Read Full Note
Ruffino Moscato d'Astitext
86PTS

Ruffino Moscato d'Asti 2014

Veneto, ItalySweet light and floral, just as Moscato d'Asti is to be. On the palate this version however is less ethereal, more thick and weighted with sugar ripeness. Orange blossoms, pear cordial and elderflower finish with a light spritz and a snap. Best enjoyed on a warm patio well chilled, even on ice.Prices: BC 17.99 NB 17.99 QC 17.99 AB 17.99 SK 17.99 NS 17.99 NF 19.99 Producer: Tenimenti Ruffino
Read Full Note
Ameal Loureirotext
90PTS

Ameal Loureiro 2016

Vinhos Verde, Northern Portugal, PortugalThis single variety loureiro is from the Vinho Verde subregion of Ponte de Lima. Pedro Araujo focuses on serious, long-lived wines, farms organically, and specializes in the ancient and elegant Louriero grape. Yields are very low from the sloping granitic soils, and the grape is handled gently from picking to pressing. Up to six months in stainless steel, and low oxygen exposure, preserves the delicate freshness of the grape, one usually blended into Vinho Verde wines. On its own here, the wine is light and crisp, with subtle pear blossoms, shining grapefruit acidity and a lick of anise. What shines brightest is the lime pith and minerality on the finish. Light bodied (11.5 percent) and vibrant, and perfectly suited to to light white fish and shellfish.Prices: BC 15.49 Producer: Quinta do Ameal
Read Full Note
Bartier Bros. Semillontext
91PTS

Bartier Bros. Semillon 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Cerqueira Vineyard is one of those magical spots in the Okanagan that speaks to place. The land slopes gently to the west collecting the late day sun on the lower side of Black Sage Road between Oliver and Osoyoos. Winemaker Michael Bartier speaks lovingly (and long) on the granite cobbles coated with calcium carbonate dictating his main job, namely to let the site’s distinctive character shine through the wines. Semillon is an outlier in BC but when it's done right, it shines. Bartier employs a wild yeast, partial concrete fermentation to coax the complexity from this ‘oily’ grape. The nose in '16 is strikingly fresh yet infused with that south Okanagan medicinal herb-laced, yellow fruit, with grass, fig, nectarine skin, and mineral, salty notes. The structure is tight, the acidity firm and the length long. It’s still youthful but it will no doubt flip over to the nutty, honey, quince affair with time. I love this style now but you can forget this in the cellar for twenty years too. Real wine.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Bartier Bros.
Read Full Note
A. A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanctext
90PTS

A. A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2016

Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South AfricaAdi Badenhorst is a champion of the Swartland, the region his family has family has been rooted in and growing in for generations. This wine is mostly from the family farm, Kalmoesfontein, on the granite soiled northern side of the Paaardeberg Mountain. Old unirrigated bushvines planted in the 60s-70s is picked over nearly two weeks, with fresh juice added to the already native ferment. Whole bunch pressed, 25 percent was fermented in older casks and large foudres, where it remained for seven months on full lees with occasional stirring. A splash of SA's rare and historic palomino is splashed in here, as is another historic and "secret" grape. Herbal lees lines the waxy palate, thick with herbal cream, fennel, honey roasted almonds, and brightened with meadow florals, lemon pith through a savoury, salted finish. Not about fruit, all about place, and amazing value for authentic wine.Prices: BC 26.00 AB 24.00 MB 23.00 Producer: A. A. Badenhorst
Read Full Note
Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Roussannetext
91PTS

Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Roussanne 2014

Beaujolais, Burgundy, FranceRoussanne from Beaujolais? Mais oui, if you're iconic naturalist Bojo producer J-P Brun. This Rhone Valley grape has a whole new lens on the iron-laden, yellow limestone terres dorées (golden stones) in his vineyards. In place of roussanne's characteristic expansive mid-palate this is a sleeker, serpentine white, with bright lemon zest, lemon curd, yellow fruits, dried herbs, meadow flowers, all wound up in a 12 degrees alcohol package. Alluring.Prices: BC 33.00 Producer: Jean-Paul Brun
Read Full Note
ColleStefano Verdicchio di Matelicatext
90PTS

ColleStefano Verdicchio di Matelica 2016

Marche, ItalyHerbal, dusty stone, melon, green fig, lemon verbena flow through this streamlined organic verdicchio from the mountains of Matelica. Whole bunch pressed, this was fermented at cool temperatures before ageing in stainless to preserve the pristine mountain fruit. Compact, with a treble of acidity, to a tightly spiced finish, this is best enjoyed with spring veg or seafood dishes.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: ColleStefano
Read Full Note
Domaine Bobinet Les Gruchestext
91PTS

Domaine Bobinet Les Gruches 2014

Saumur, Loire, FranceSebastien and Emeline Bobinet organically farm seven hectares in Saumur (along with their horse plow), and with vines ranging from 25-80 years of age. Wines are wild yeast fermented, additive-free, and aged in old 300L wood before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Crushed stone, honeysuckle, green fig, rambutan, Mirabelle plum on a creamy, waxy base. Now four years along this wears the golden sheen of age, with dried pear, fresh hazelnuts, laced with perfumed grapefruit oils and large flake salts. Throughout, chenin's hum holds a tight line to a lengthy finish. Lovely vintage, drinking very well now.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: Domaine Bobinet
Read Full Note

03 April 2018

Poplar Grove Pinot Gristext
87PTS

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2017

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFlood and drought plagued the valley in 2017, and smoke was a summer constant in Naramata, but after all was said and done, the fall was long and warm and the fruit ripened to perfection. The Poplar Grove Gris is always ripe and fruityk with sweet nectarines, lime zest, honeysuckle on the nose. The palte is lush apricot and sweet peach with just enough acidity to keep it in line. This is a winner on a warm patio, which is most days in the summer at Poplar Grove’s Vanilla Pod Restaurant. Made with almost all Naramata fruit plus four percent from Osoyoos.Prices: BC 17.99 Producer: Poplar Grove Winery
Read Full Note
J. Hofstatter Pinot Grigiotext
89PTS

J. Hofstatter Pinot Grigio 2016

Trentino- Alto-Adige, ItalyA classic northern Italian style, that springs from simple, almost ancient winemaking techniques, save for the stainless-steel ferment. The nose is expressive, offering pear, mineral, citrus fruit aromas with a dusting of almonds. The palate is similar with more pear and honeydew melon up front and fresh acidity in the back end. This would be perfect with grilled chicken salads or a Margherita pizza.Prices: BC 28.99 Producer: J. Hofstatter
Read Full Note
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Gristext
89PTS

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Gris 2017

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe fruit is hand harvested and whole bunch pressed before it’s cold settled in an oxygen-free environment to up its aromatic expression. The ferment is an 80/20 split of stainless steel / three-year old French oak barrels. The wood adds texture to this exuberant, bright orchard fruit with peach, nectarine and citrus notes. The palate is round and ripe with just the right amount of sweet figgy quince fruit and acidity to bring you back the glass. Salmon, chicken, seafood: it all works here.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
Read Full Note
Hester Creek Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Hester Creek Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFresh, floral, candied fruit nose. The attack is similar with sweet pear yoghurt and melon fruits mixed with a resiny undercurrent and sweet spice. Chill down and serve with spicy foods or on a warm sunny patio.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 17.99 Producer: Hester Creek Estate Winery
Read Full Note
BK Wines Ovum Pinot Gristext
92PTS

BK Wines Ovum Pinot Gris 2016

Lenswood, Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaBrendan Keys makes low-intervention, naturalist, non-input, single vineyard wines in Adelaide Hills. This is from Lenswood's One Ball Vineyard. After BK empties his pet nat from the Sonoma concrete eggs, he tipped in this pinot gris, leaving it for one month on the skins, but with a CO2 cover on it, so the colour is clear and paler. It remains in the egg for one year on the lees. Slightly grippy, with a slick of salts and nut shells texturing a honeyed quince, yellow plum base. There's a well timed cut of green apple and an alluring and fleeting herbal honeysuckle floral. Lees is ample, but gentle, effortlessly integrated, through the lingering five spice finish. This wine has weight and lightness, breadth and linearity, neither pair a common find, but a special one. Smashable, easily. Real wine.Prices: BC 35.00 Producer: BK Wines
Read Full Note
Arrowleaf Pinot Gristext
86PTS

Arrowleaf Pinot Gris 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFull, off-dry and super ripe, with peach, pear, lemon blossom and lemon curd filling a shorter, snappy palate. This finishes with a candied lemon/lime note and ample dose of RS, requiring a good chill and summer sun.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Arrowleaf Cellars
Read Full Note

02 April 2018

CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Rieslingtext
88PTS

CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaHistorically, the Platinum Block Riesling gets two picks, with the second trier getting a few extra weeks of hang time before harvest. In 2016 however, the first pick, all fresh and bright, felt right to winemaker Taylor Whelan and was fermented (ten percent in French oak) for 30-45 days. Post ferment the juice spent five months on its lees in stainless steel. The result is a bit of buttery lime curd, with a crisp lime playing against a light, creamy palate. There is a candied citrus note, again led by lime, that textures the white peach, tangerine palate and clings to the finish. Very youthful still, as well as angular - this is mostly elbows and knees at this point. A welcome 10.5 percent, making this shine with dishes like Thai green curry. Drinkable now, but a few years could add some complexity.Prices: BC 22.99 Producer: CedarCreek Estate Winery
Read Full Note
Kung Fu Girl Rieslingtext
90PTS

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesEvergreen Vineyard was planted in 1998 and stretches along steep cliffs above the Columbia River in the state’s newest AVA, Ancient Lakes. This wine is consistently well made, but I must say the 2015 is best yet. It’s both fresh and tangy, with a very pure fruit nose with fine minerality and fresh apple/nectarine skin. The palate is equally lively with plenty of acidity to carry the fruit and define the wine’s edges in the mouth. Apples, pears and limes dominate its sweet fruit flavours. Best with a favourite curry or barbecue ribs.Prices: BC 19.99 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
Read Full Note
50th Parallel Estate Rieslingtext
88PTS

50th Parallel Estate Riesling 2017

Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 50th Parallel style is fresh and drinkable. The nose and palate are awash in bright apple fruit and lime pith that reflects the cool northern site (at the 50th parallel). The style is bright, with a tug of dryness, but really this is an open, pour and drink riesling that is magic with chicken, curries, seafood. Good value and no rush to drink.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: 50th Parallel Estate
Read Full Note
Kung Fu Girl Rieslingtext
88PTS

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015

Columbia Valley, Washington, United StatesThis riesling sells freighters-full every year, so popular throughout the States for its juicy flush of off-dry limey fruit, memorable name (built-in food pairing bonus) and extremely reasonable pricing. Light honeysuckle, perfumed white peach and orange blossom scents yellow apple, with the whole rasped with a spicy cider spritz edge. This is from Evergreen Vineyard in Columbia' Valley's cooler Ancient Lakes AVA.Prices: BC 19.99 QC 25.00 ON 25.00 AB 25.00 Producer: Charles Smith Wines
Read Full Note
Oak Bay Vineyard Gebert Family Reserve Rieslingtext
91PTS

Oak Bay Vineyard Gebert Family Reserve Riesling 2013

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the second look we have had at this wine, whose vines were set down in 1978 in East Kelowna. The nose is a cross between Rheinhessen and Australia’s Clare Valley. Concentrated and rich, this bone-dry offering is overflowing with minerality, lime, tangerine pith, white honey and green apples. Treve correctly denotes ‘a parmesan-scented lees’ that carries the palate through to a snappy, dry, tart finish. This is a special bottle that will live for many more years. Well done and a fine example of real wine in BC. Pick your food this wine is up to it.Prices: BC 26.00 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
Read Full Note
St. Hubertus Rieslingtext
89PTS

St. Hubertus Riesling 2015

East Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIntense open nose with kerosene, bright peach, red apple and a fair bit of peppercorn. The attack is juicy with plenty of orange and honey splashed apricot, cut with a wet stone minerality that tightens up the finish. Impressive at 12.8 in a super warm year, it should be sensational in a normal cooler growing season. Pick your favourite curry. Real wine real value.Prices: BC 16.75 Producer: St. Hubertus Estate Winery
Read Full Note