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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: December 2017

09 December 2017

Champagne Lanson Brut Rosétext
92PTS

Champagne Lanson Brut Rosé NV

Champagne, FranceRosé bubbles are in, but Lanson has been making this stylish, delicate wine since the 1950s, one of the first ever Rosés in Champagne. Its enticing pale salmon colour is a result of the assemblage or blending of 55/30/15 pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier with a small amount of still pinot noir from Bouzy. Expect a whiff of toasted lees and biscuit with baked pear, mineral, citrus notes and what I can say now is the freshness you get from Lanson’s no malo wines. The flavours are a riot of nutty, toasty, mineral, cherry, citrus and green apple flavours. Dry, crisp, but with fine elegance. Impressive.Prices: BC 63.79 AB 67.00 ON 65.00 QC 65.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Taittinger Prélude Grands Crustext
92PTS

Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV

Champagne, FranceThis richer, riper, doughier Taittinger is equal parts Grand Cru pinot noir (Montagne de Reims) and Grand Cru chardonnay (Côte des Blancs), aged for five+ years on the lees, and with a 9 g/l dosage. Dense and rich, with toasted brioche, almond biscotti, lemon zest, big spice, and an echo of elderflower on the finish. Ample autolysis here, but held with a girdle of lemon acidity that draws this out to a lingering finish. Impressive. Quail, cream-dressed mushrooms would be an ideal match to this powerful wine.Prices: BC 95.00 QC 79.50 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Pol Roger Brut Reservetext
91PTS

Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FrancePol is classic Brit-styled Champagne from equal parts chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier and from 150 parcels across some 30 crus. Brioche, dough, hazelnuts, red apple is generous on the palate, aided by 20 percent reserve wines, and reined in with a fine grip of acidity. Dosage is 9-10 g/L. Reserved at present, this is one of those NVs that will benefit from some time in your cellar.Prices: BC 65.99 ON 66.00 QC 61.50 NF 72.00 NB 65.00 BC 37.95 375 Producer: Champagne Pol Roger
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Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperialtext
89PTS

Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial NV

Champagne, FrancePouring a deeper peach hue, this is an assertive and punchy rose, with 40-50 percent pinot noir (10 percent still), 30-40 percent pinot meunier (10 percent still) and 10-20 percent chardonnay, with 20-30 percent reserve wines and a dosage of 9 g/l. Up to 48 months on the lees has provided a toasty structure, filled with cherry yogurt, cranberry tartness and raspberry jam. A brisk stream of grapefruit acidity and some cinnamon and nutmeg spicing lingers on the finish. A food wine, this can match up to tender lamb chops or grilled salmon.Prices: BC 76.99 QC 80.25 MB 81.59 NF 92.44 ON 82.95 NB 94.99 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Moët & Chandon Impérial Bruttext
89PTS

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis Champagne is reportedly the most consumed in the world (they say a bottle of Moet is popped every 1.3 seconds around the globe). With 20-30 percent reserves, this is 30-40 percent pinot noir, followed by pinot meunier and a smaller portion of chardonnay. Impérial, their flagship, is a blend of more than 100 wines, matured 24 months and with a nine g/l dosage. Compared to others in its NV class, this comes across with assertion, a bit coarse, ragged and rustic, with a noticeable bump of sugar on the finish. Red apple lemon, dough and stone are brightened with white florals. This ticks all the boxes save for finesse and elegance, but when you consider the scale, and scope, you can't help but be impressed.Prices: BC 64.99 SK 63.00 MB 66.50 ON 65.55 QC 64.00 NB 65.00 NS 66.50 YK 69.00 NL 74.00 BC 142.00 1500 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellow Labeltext
89PTS

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellow Label NV

Champagne, FranceConsistency is key at Veuve, and Yellow Label is their epitome of sameness. 50 different vineyards and 25 to 40 percent reserve wine (from five to six vintages) is blended back into the blend of 50-55 percent pinot noir, 15-20 percent pinot meunier and 28-33 percent chardonnay. This is always a richer, doughier style, with brioche, dough, red apple and a fine shaking of nutmeg spicing. The cushy palate is plumped with a generous dosage, and stunted by a shorter finish. Easy, approachable and still complexed and rich. Consistency is key, and perfectly achieved.Prices: BC 65.99 MB 71.49 NS 73.58 QC 70.25 ON 70.60 SK 68.97 YK 72.00 PEI 74.19 NL 76.49 NB 74.79 BC 142.99 1500 BC 39.99 375 Producer: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
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Taittinger Brut Reservetext
91PTS

Taittinger Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceTaittinger has just under 300 hectares of vineyards across Champagne, giving it a plethora of vines to work with in all vintage conditions. This is drawn 40 crus in the Marne, Sézanne and Aube and with three years on the lees. The dosage is 9 g/l. In the NV blend the mix is approximately 40 percent chardonnay with some 60 percent split between pinot meunier and pinot noir. It's the high percentage of chardonnay, unique among the fervent competition in the NV range, that gives this label a leg up in finesse. Green apple, lemon, white florals, lemon verbena slide the palate, with a potent lip smaking lemon acidity on the sides and end (almost distractingly so). A precise, familiar and welcomed house style.Prices: BC 63.99 QC 59.75 MB 69.41 ON 63.00 NF 58.00 SK 69.57 NS 80.00 YK 90.00 AB 65.99 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Lanson Black Label Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Lanson Black Label Brut NV

Champagne, FranceAt Lanson they like to say the colour black, the symbol of elegance, was a natural choice for a champagne dominated by pinot noir. In fact, the Black Label is a stunning introduction to Champagne from its 50/35 15 combination of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, selected from numerous crus and blended with 30 percent reserve wines spanning up to ten different vintages. Even better, it spends a full 36-month on its lees with an additional six months following disgorging before it is shipped. Expect the unexpected: power and elegance with a stream of freshness from front to back. Toasty, citrus, honeydew notes with a creamy, mineral, chalky, long finish awash in salinity. There is no malolactic fermentation employed at Lanson, giving it a brightness of acidity that allows it to cellar forever. Perfect for tuna sashimi or at dinner with scallops in lemon cream sauce or roasted pheasant. A non-vintage champagne for aficionados.Prices: BC 59.99 ON 57.00 AB 59.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Gardet Brut Traditiontext
89PTS

Champagne Gardet Brut Tradition NV

Champagne, FranceThis negoc has been active since the beginning of the 20th century. This cuvee is a 45/45/10 pinot noir/pinot meunier/chardonnay, and the red fruits make themselves known with baked strawberry, raspberry jam and toast. A bit rough around the edges (in an authentic way), but quite creamy on the palate, with acidity pointed and angular though well integrated and edgy enough to make this work (and stand out). A natural with pastry-rich meat pies.Prices: BC 46.99 Producer: Champagne Gardet
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Champagne Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceLa Cuvée Rosé, one of the bestselling rosé champagnes in the world, and one of the few still made using the saignée method, was first released in 1968. It is 100 percent pinot noir and is a combination of 10 different crus in Montagne de Reims. After a 48 to 72-hour maceration, and fermentation, it spends a minimum 60 months en tirage. Nuances of cherry, raspberry, pink florals, and smokey Earl Grey tea, this is bright and pure and framed with a grippy riff of fine tannins that frame the streaming flow along the palate. Elegant and timeless, this shines as an aperitif as well as with food (think salmon, poultry), and will also benefit from time in the cellar.Prices: BC 92.99 ON 99.95 QC 99.75 PEI 107.00 Producer: Champagne Laurent-Perrier
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Champagne Vollereaux Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
88PTS

Champagne Vollereaux Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

Champagne, FranceNow six generations into a family that has been growing grapes in Pierry and Moussy since 1805, with Franck Vollereaux now in charge. Uncharacteristic for a Bdb, this is quite assertive and bold, with a distinct resinous lime-mint note that runs the supple, full palate. There's a firm rasp of acidity that grips the sides and draws everything to the finish, and a generous amount of reserve wines which add to the density. This spent three years on the lees and has a dosage of 9 g/l.Prices: BC 45.99 Producer: Champagne Vollereaux
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Champagne Vollereaux Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Champagne Vollereaux Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceA family owned negoc that owns 42haaa of their own vineyards in between Pierry and Sézanne, and 200 years of history in wine in the region. The Brut Reserve is equal parts chardonnay / pinot noir / pinot meunier and with three years on the lees. Perfumed cherry blossoms, light raspberry on the creamy palate, with some some strawberry seed grip and light honey on the finish. 9 g/l dosage. Great value.Prices: BC 45.99 Producer: Champagne Vollereaux
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Champagne Vollereaux Brut Rose de Saigneetext
88PTS

Champagne Vollereaux Brut Rose de Saignee NV

Champagne, FranceA bigger, showier rosé Champagne, full of light smoked strawberries, raspberry, popcorn, cherry atop a base of broken stones. This pinot noir spent four years on lees and with a dosage of 9 g/l, that comes across at finish. Simpler, present and pleasant pink fizz, ready to drink now with salmon canapés.Prices: BC 45.99 Producer: Champagne Vollereaux
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Champagne Vollereaux Cuvée Margueritetext
89PTS

Champagne Vollereaux Cuvée Marguerite 2008

Champagne, FranceVollereaux is a family owned negoc that owns 42ha of their own vineyards in between Pierry and Sézanne, and also can claim 200 years of history in wine in the region. This is their top wine. Ripe and full, in an oxidative swing, this blend of 75/25 chardonnay/pinot noir has spent five years on the lees and is given a 10 g/l dosage. Gingersnap spicing is woven throughout, with yellow apple pie, peach, orange marmalade, honeysuckle, apricot and anise kisses on the finish.Prices: BC 75.99 Producer: Champagne Vollereaux
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Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Vintage Champagnetext
93PTS

Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Vintage Champagne 2010

Champagne, FranceThe Blanc de Blancs vintage is only produced in small quantities from top crus in the Côte des Blancs. In 2010, 20 percent of the wine was vinified in oak casks with no MLF. This wine was taken off at lower pressure, in the aims of a fuller, richer flow of bubbles. The wine rests five years in the cellars and left for a minimum of 6 months after disgorging to attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 9 g/l. Taut and purposefully chisled, with firm lemon tart bones and a flakey brioche base. Salt roasted hazelnuts, lemon curd, is scented with acacia and driven with a tight stream of acidity through the lingering finish. While drinking well now, this is just a baby, and will hold and deeper with cellaring.Prices: BC 98.99 QC 109.00 Producer: Champagne Louis Roederer
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Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagnetext
92PTS

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne NV

Champagne, FranceThe largest independent, family-owned and managed house manages more than 235ha of prime vineyards, supplying an amazing 70 percent of its needs. Of that, more than two-thirds are Grand Cru. Their vintage wines are from their estate properties, and this flagship Brut Premier NV (also their entry level) has more than 55 percent estate fruit. Orange peel, tangerine, yellow cherry with salted marzipan underpining, this is quite complex, with brioche, light nutmeg, fine salts gripping the sides. This is a 40/40/20 mix of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, incorporating 10 percent reserve wines (which rest in oak casks for 2-8 years). This is drawn from three harvests and spends three years on the lees with 20-25 percent MLF. Classic, and for all the right reasons, in the category of larger house NV, this shines bright and true. Drink now, and cellar-worthy.Prices: BC 68.99 MB 70.00 ON 66.95 QC 70.00 NF 79.20 Producer: Champagne Louis Roederer
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Henriot Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
91PTS

Henriot Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

Champagne, FranceHerriot has been independently family run for more than 200 years, allowing them the privileged stocks for long aging, and the ability to dig deep into reserve wines (there is 25 percent reserve wines here). Distinctive from first sniff, with struck flint, toasted popcorn, lemon curd and heady bruleed meringue forming the cushy, ample base. There's a chalky grip that holds this in, a lemon curd core that anchors, and vibrant acidity to focus to a humming finish. That said, the 8-10 g/l dosage and quarter amount reserve wines plumps this beyond an easy drinking wine. This rich wine requires something equally rich, like pate or goose.Prices: BC 76.99 NS 84.00 QC 78.79 NB 90.00 AB 99.99 Producer: Champagne Henriot
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Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Reserve Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Grande Reserve is a mix of three vintages and a 45/45/10 blend of three grape varieties: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The winery adds somewhere between 10 to 12 percent reserve wine from two vintages that gets a full 48 months on the lees. The winemaking style is reductive and the wine does not go through a malolactic fermentation which reinforces a house style based on freshness. The nose is a mix of prominent citrus with bits of red fruits and leesy bread dough. The attack is similar with fresh, juicy, citrus, crunchy apple flecked with floral, mineral, cherry, gingerbread flavours that end in a long, persistent, refined, elegant finish. Impressive, stylish, non-vintage bubble that jumps the category in my estimation. This has the weight to stand up to numerous food types; we enjoyed it post tasting with fresh oysters on the half shell and avocado toast.Prices: BC 92.99 QC 73.00 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reservetext
91PTS

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceOne of the oldest still-family owned houses, this was founded 1818 by the Billiard family, who have lived in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ since the 16th century. Hence, their seating on the throne of Champagne royalty. One of their signatures, and a process they pioneered in Champagne, is the use of double débourbage. After the standard clarification to settle the solids, they chill the juice down to 4C for 48 hours in the aim of achieving more pristine fruit. They own 15 ha of vineyards, rent a further 50+ha and purchase from 100ha in addition to those holdings. The Brut Reserve is 40/30/30 pinot meunier/pinot noir/chardonnay with a 9 g/l dosage. Elegant, with a lightness that counters the full, doughy, creaminess on the palate with lemon meringue, strawberry essence, and fine crystalline lemon florals. Very lengthy finish, lingering with fine lemon zest and citrus blossoms.Prices: BC 77.99 AB 78.95 ON 71.95 QC 67.00 Producer: Champagne Billecart-Salmon
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Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosetext
92PTS

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV

Champagne, FranceBillecart-Salmon is one of the few remaining Champagne houses to be owned by the original family, established in 1818 by Nicolas-François Billecart. Most of Billecart-Salmon's fruit comes from estate fruit, though this is supplemented with grapes bought in from the Marne Valley and the Montagne de Reims. The house is known for their rosé. Roughly 40/30/30 chardonnay/pinot noir/pinot meunier, with 7 percent-ish pinot noir red wine (from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ) and 9 g/l dosage, with 36 months on the lees. This pours a paler pink hue, with pink grapefruit, mandarin, light cherry, lean strawberry on the tight and nimble palate. Lightly toasted brioche and firm, filigreed acidity carry this to a lingering, chalky, grippy finish.Prices: BC 119.99 MB 129.99 NS 115.00 QC 110.00 Producer: Champagne Billecart-Salmon
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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancstext
96PTS

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006

Champagne, FranceOne of the top wines of the year, again, and still, and same (currant) vintage, as we've been tasting since 2013. What a treat to track the evolution of the '06 Comtes, one of our favourite in memory. Pristine and stunning, this graceful wine sets the bar for premium blanc de blancs, with, elegant and finessed fruit all in complete integration with each other. Potent, shimmering vibrancy with chalky, lemon, green apple, pear, brioche, cashew, delete white florals that linger on the very lengthy, streamline palate seasoned only with a dash of sea salt. The intensity has lessened, but the grace has remained, all in that elegant Taittinger style. My favourite Comtes in a while, and one I'll be cellaring.Prices: AB 245.00 QC 459.25 1500 NS 200.00 BC 244.99 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Cuvée Charlemagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancstext
91PTS

Champagne Cuvée Charlemagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2010

Champagne, FranceChampagne Guy Charlemagne has been homed in the small village of Mesnil sur Oger since 1892. They only harvest and vinify grapes from their own Grand Cru vineyards and produce approximately 130,000 bottles per year, from their 15 ha, and from vines approximately 42 years old. This cuvée from the Côte des Blancs, more precisely from Mesnil sur Oger and Oger on limestone soil is only made in the best vintages. Doughy and oxidative, with lemon meringue pie ruling, and pear butter, oak spicing, dough and creme brûlée playing staring roles. This is entirely Grand Cru fruit and feels / shows it, with an opulence and regality worthy of the name Cuvee Charlemagne.Prices: BC 75.99 Producer: Champagne Guy Charlemagne S.A.S.
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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosétext
94PTS

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2006

Champagne, FranceThe Comtes Rosé is made from entirely Grand Cru grapes and produced only in exceptional years. Chardonnay (30 percent) is sourced from Côte des Blancs, and the Pinot Noir (70 percent) from the Montagne de Reims. Quite vinous, this has 12 percent of the Pinot Noir blended in as still red wine, and spends 7-8 years on the lees. This striking rose is marked with smoked stones and sweet salami before a bedding of cherry, herbal raspberry, wild strawberries and rich brioche. There's a hint of oxidation throughout the finessed, pixellated palate, one with a fine slick of fine cream. Delicately fruity, and elegant as expected by this prestigious Champagne. Tight with energy in spades, this is drinking beautifully now, but with age will impress further.Prices: AB 332.95 QC 276.25 ON 278.00 BC 419.99 Producer: Champagne Taittinger
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Champagne Victoire Brut Prestigetext
89PTS

Champagne Victoire Brut Prestige NV

Champagne, FranceFrom the negoc house GH Martel & Co, this is a blend of 55/30/15 pinot noir / chardonnay / meunier. GH Martel dates back to 1869, and own numerous other Champagne brands. This cuvee is creamy and expansive with red apple, red pear fruit and lemon custard, but holds its form well with a girdle of acidity on the snappy, briefer finish. Dosage is 10 g/l. On the rustic side, but fantastic price on this market.Prices: BC 46.99 Producer: Champagne G. H. Martel & Co.
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Champagne JM Labruyere Prologue Brut NVtext
91PTS

Champagne JM Labruyere Prologue Brut NV NV

Champagne, FranceThis grower from Verzenay uses all Grand Cru fruit, 7 ha in total. This cuvee is 70/30 pinot/chardonnay. disgorged june 2016 after 35 months on lees. Oxidative up front, with creme brûlée, brioche, honeycomb, lemon curd, cherry eau de vie, vanilla and almonds. Prologue is quite intense and long, lightly gritty, with a honeyed vanilla and highly spicy finish. Only 4.8 g/l RS keeps this tight, despite the rich characters on the palate. Ready for steak tartare or sashimi. The Labruyère family’s roots in Beaujolais go back to 1850. Burgundy, and Champagne, came with growth over the generations.Prices: BC 80.00 Producer: Champagne J. M. Labruyere
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Veuve Clicquot Rich Reservetext
88PTS

Veuve Clicquot Rich Reserve NV

Champagne, FranceWow - they're not kidding with the name of this wine. Veuve Rich is certainly that, thick with sugar, sweet dough and orange cream on the luxuriously plump palate. Invented expressly for "mixology" and for all its modernity, this silver clad bottle reaches back to the house's past, 1840s bottles of Veuve Clicquot found recently in the Aland Islands have over 150 grams per liter of sugar. Caramelized sugar, apple butter, creme caramel is thick on the palate, struggling to be met by the rapids of acidity. This is useful with desserts; think about pairings with blurred or caramelized fruit tarts or peach /pear pie.Prices: BC 78.99 MB 86.79 SK 81.00 ON 84.55 QC 84.50 Producer: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
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Veuve Clicquot Vintage Bruttext
92PTS

Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut 2008

Champagne, FranceTasted one year along, and this is as ripe, concentrated and doughy as remembered, with brioche dough, hazelnut paste, red apple butter, candied orange, dried apricot, and gingersnap. For all its weight, there is a raft of freshness that hums on the finish. 61 percent pinot noir, 34 percent chardonnay, 5 percent pinot meunier from Grand and Premier Cru sites, this spent six years on the lees and was disgorged March 2015. New to this 2008 Vintage: 5 percent of the wines were produced and aged in wooden casks. The 2008, the first vintage since 2004, featured new winemaker Dominique Demarville (ex-Mumm) and was the first vintage Veuve fermented and aged in wood since the 60s. It's also the first time VC has placed a disgorgement date on the label.Prices: BC 93.99 MB 97.49 QC 99.50 AB 104.99 Producer: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
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Deutz Brut Classictext
88PTS

Deutz Brut Classic NV

Champagne, FranceSince 1838 Deutz has been based in the Grand Cru village of Ay, just west of Epernay. In 1983 the Rouzaud family, owners of Louis Roederer, purchased Deutz. The Brut Classic contains 25 percent reserves and one third each of chardonnay/pinot meunier/pinot noir, 9 g/l dosage. Riffing white cherry, biscuit, red liquorice, red apple, herbal honey, on a rustic, grippy palate. Lees is evident, but rather than smoothing out the palate, roughs it up. This bottle is certainly one that welcomes pairing: poultry pot pie, white fish / shellfish stew, vegetable risotto.Prices: BC 60.00 QC 58.65 NS 64.99 AB 69.99 Producer: Champagne Deutz
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Champagne Deutz Rosétext
92PTS

Champagne Deutz Rosé 2012

Champagne, FranceSince 1838 Deutz has been based in the Grand Cru village of Ay, just west of Epernay. In 1983 the Rouzaud family, owners of Louis Roederer, purchased Deutz. Elegant crimson berry, pecans, sweet spices, citrus pith dances along the lengthy palate of this pinot noir rose. Giant flake salts, this pale rose comes across pure and fresh and elegant, with a vibrato of acidity on the finish. Delicate, yet with intensity; this is one of the few rosé Champagnes that achieves that.Prices: ON 80.00 NS 80.00 AB 85.00 BC 85.00 Producer: Champagne Deutz
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Champagne Gremillet Selectiontext
89PTS

Champagne Gremillet Selection NV

Champagne, FranceThis smaller grower champagne is a 35ha property just on the southern outskirts of the Aube. The southern situated ripeness shows in this 70/30 pinot noir/chardonnay blend of 4-5 vintages, with 20 percent reserve wine and at least 22 months on lees. An almond brioche base anchors ample toast, red apple and a creamy mouthfeel. Macaron lingers on the spicy finish.Prices: AB 48.00 QC 44.00 Producer: Champagne Gremillet
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Champagne Varnier-Fanniere Cuvée St. Denis Brut Grand Crutext
92PTS

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

Champagne, FranceThis grower makes only 3000 cases each year, all from their 4 ha of Grand Cru vineyards in the heart of Côtes des Blancs. Cuvée St. Denis is entirely chardonnay from Avize, and 70 percent of which is Clos du Grand Père, a 75-year old vineyard, topped with 30 percent Pierre Vaudon, a 50-year-old parcel. Fermented in stainless steel, it goes through full malolactic fermentation and it rests on its lees for 48 months. Oxidative up front, with a palate blanketed with full cream and topped with pastry, marshmallow, baked apple, roasted nuts and light sweet smoke on the lengthy, minerally finish. Striking and unique.Prices: BC 86.99 Producer: Champagne Varnier-Fanniere
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H. Billiot Fils Brut Grand Cru Brut Réserve Champagnetext
91PTS

H. Billiot Fils Brut Grand Cru Brut Réserve Champagne NV

Champagne, FranceThis small family house owns five, well-located, mid-slope Grand Cru hectares in Ambonnay, and is now run by Serge Billiot's daughter Laetitia, who has been a leading force in Champagne for younger, woman winemakers. The Reserve is a blend of 75 percent pinot noir and 25 percent chardonnay with 24 months on the lees, and crafted of 50 percent 2014, 25 percent 2013, 25 percent 2012. All of the wines are fermented in enameled stainless steel, and none undergo MLF, fining or filtration, the latter three choices all bold moves in Champagne, and ones that pay off in complexity. The wine is honeyed, nutty and full of crackable creme brûlée, with an undercurrent of fresh red apple, Rainier cherry and lemon tones. There's a seasoning of nutmeg and cinnamon that lingers on the shimmery finish. Polished, and authentic.Prices: BC 65.00 Producer: Champagne H. Billiot Fils
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Moët and Chandon Ice Impérialtext
88PTS

Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial NV

Champagne, FranceIce cubes in your Champagne? Mais non! Unless, of course, it's Moet Ice, which was engeneered to be served with ice (or upgrade to this recommended mixed drink of 3 Ice Cubes in a large red wine glass with your choice of mint leaves, lime or white grapefruit zest, cucumber peel, a very thin slice of ginger, cardamom seeds and fresh red fruits like strawberries or raspberries). Aimed at the nightclub young, monied, and pretty crowd, Ice is primarily pinot noir at 40-50 percent, with 30-40 percent pinot meunier and 10-20 percent chardonnay. 20-30 percent reserve wines give it some depth, and 45 g/l after dosage gives it a heap of sweet, gooey fruit. Ripe yellow apple, sweet dough, gingerale spicing on a juicy palate. I tried the ice cubes (sans other ingredients) and I reckon it helps cut the sweetness around the edges. Serve well chilled. Nightclub a recommended pairing.Prices: QC 81.00 NB 84.99 BC 74.00 Producer: Moet & Chandon
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Ruinart Blanc de Blancstext
93PTS

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

Champagne, FranceAs elegant and distinctive as the bottle, this is primarily from 1er Cru fruit on the Côtes de Blancs and Montagne de Reims, with 10 percent each from Sézanne and St. Thierry. After 28 months on the lees and an 8.5 g/l dosage this is bottled in its clear glass bottle (be sure to keep this covered until right before opening to prevent light strike). Very fine and purity with almond, light toast, meringue and marzipan on the base, framed with fine bones, shimmering with acidity to a lengthy, meringue finish. Finessed and elegant.Prices: BC 107.00 Producer: Ruinart Champagne
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Champagne Ayala Majeur Bruttext
0PTS

Champagne Ayala Majeur Brut NV

Champagne, FrancecorkedPrices: BC 71.99 AB 64.95 QC 58.75 NS 61.00 Producer: Ayala
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Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut 12text
93PTS

Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut 12 NV

Champagne, FranceBased on the 2012 vintage. This extra brut is an impressive 2.6 /gl dosage and was disgorged 2016 December, after four years on the lees, and comprised of 60/40 chardonnay/pinot noir. It's rare to see this amount of chardonnay in a blend from this red-centric region, and gives a distinct character to this impressive and terroir-focused family founded and run house. Highly impressive, with a gossamer meringue, fine cream, fine nut base, succulent, but with a tight grip of chalky acidity. The family-owned, sustainably farmed grower champagne house continues to impress each year. The vines average 25-years of age and span 22 Grand Cru rated parcels. Drinking beautifully now (that structure!) but will age gracefully in your cellar.Prices: BC 57.00 Producer: Champagne Pierre Paillard
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Champagne Bauchet Saint-Nicaise Blanc de Blancs Millesime Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Bauchet Saint-Nicaise Blanc de Blancs Millesime Brut 2009

Champagne, FranceThis grower is one of the larger in Champagne, with 34 ha in Bisseiul, Grauves and the Aube, but only makes 25,000 cases annually. Creamy and ripe, but stencilled with firm acidity reflective of its 100 percent chardonnay, this feels its 2009 vintage: soft, round and dough, coated with hazelnuts, yellow apple, Asian pear. Powerful and bold, yet with that upright chardy structure, this is certainly a step up from a typical NV Champagne. The finish lingers with aged parmesan, welcoming pairing with poultry.Prices: BC 119.99 Producer: Champagne Bauchet
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Champagne Lanson Extra Age Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Lanson Extra Age Brut NV

Champagne, FranceLanson marked its 250 years making champagne by releasing a new cuvée - 'Extra Aged'. If you like mature champagne this is it. It’s 100 percent chardonnay and 100 percent Grand Cru fruit from a trio of vintages: 2003, 2004 and 2005. The bottle can rest for six, seven or eight years on lees prior to release. No malolactic fermentations turns what could be a rich, almost fat style into a fresh one, with citrus, mineral, chalk and honey aromatics followed by a creamy pear, brioche, crushed hazelnut palate, bright with impressive mineral salinity. Rich enough and close enough to a still chardonnay to take on bigger dishes at dinner including roasted birds. Drink through 2020.Prices: BC 100.00 QC 99.75 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Lanson Clos Lansontext
95PTS

Champagne Lanson Clos Lanson 2006

Champagne, FranceClos Lanson is the kind of wine you dream about tasting once you have immersed yourself into the notion that wine is something that comes from a place. Opposite Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral lies a one hectare plot of chardonnay vines protected by a high stone ‘clos’, or wall, that dates to the 18th century. Clos Lanson sits at the top the hill where the house of Lanson and its wine cellars are located. The vineyard (vines are 35 to 50-years-old) is considered the family garden and it’s cared for as if their life depended upon its production. Each year everyone who works at Lanson helps harvest the precious plot, selecting the absolute best bunches to make up Clos Lanson Champagne. This label is one hundred percent chardonnay, one hundred percent organic, and one hundred percent delicious. The no malo 2006 is brilliant…in the glass and on the palate. You might expect a richer style from within the warm environment of a steep walled clos but like all the Lanson fizz, it relies on bright acidity combined with salinity and minerality from the chalky soils to support its generous chardonnay fruit. Lanson has been experimenting with oak casks for a while and it began with 225 litre oak casks for the fermentation of this single vineyard Clos de Lanson. It was the forerunner of a new parcel by parcel experimental approach for both fermenting wines, and ageing reserve wines. The hope is that these methods used in lesser amounts will increase complexity at Lanson, as opposed to weight or heft. The wine is the initiative of Philippe Baijot, CEO and director of Lanson-BCC (Boizel Chanoine Champagne Group) and honours long-time winemaker Jean-Paul Gandon. Now retired, Gandon made a Clos Chandon every year since 2006, finally released in 2016. The juice, which comes exclusively from the first pressing, is vinified for several months in oak barrels. After a decade of ageing, new chief winemaker Hervé Dantan released the 7,870 bottles of Clos Lanson 2006. You will have to look for this at very select retailers in the US or the finest restaurants.Prices: US 200.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Lanson Millésime Gold Labeltext
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Champagne Lanson Millésime Gold Label 2005

Champagne, FranceThe 2005 Millésime Gold Label is a blend of roughly half pinot noir and half chardonnay, all Grand Cru, left on its lees for at least 60 months. Lanson notes the 2005 harvest as one that produced ‘tender’ wines. We found rich, fleshy textures on the palate with classic honey-dew flavours but just the right amount of no malo electricity pulsing through the wine to keep it fresh and lively. As well as this champagne is showing at 12 years of age, export director Enguerrand Baijot has even higher hopes for a phenomenal 2008 issue. We can’t wait either. Lanson maintains a Vintage Collection that spans more than a century. Today, a few magnum bottles from the 1976 and subsequent vintages are offered to a limited number of Champagne enthusiasts around the world.Prices: ON 90.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Bruttext
91PTS

Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Brut NV

Champagne, FranceGosset, located in the miniscule Grand Cru village of Aÿ, is the oldest known Champagne producer with origins back to 1584. Since 1994 the Frapin Cognac house has owned Gosset with Jean Pierre Cointreau running both companies. Current production is small at an estimated 1.3 million bottles. All Gosset champagnes are RD or ‘recently disgorged,’ normally with a high proportion of Chardonnay and without malolactic fermentation. The Grand Rosé is a 56/35/9 mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and Bouzy and Ambonnay still red wines (9 percent) plus an average 25 percent of reserve wines to add depth and complexity. The balance sets the stage to highlight the fresh creamy fruits reminiscent of persimmons strawberries and raspberries with just a dusting of spice. The classic match is foie gras.Prices: BC 109.99 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Gosset Celebris Rosé Extra Bruttext
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Champagne Gosset Celebris Rosé Extra Brut 2007

Champagne, FranceThe ’07 Celebris Rosé comes with a modest four grams of sugar, pointing to a serious bottle of pink. Expect an enticing, super pale pink colour with floral/red fruit overtones. The attack is fresh and dry with impressive raspberry, strawberry demonstrating both power and elegance with an undercurrent of citrus and grapefruit and minerality from the Côte des Blancs chardonnay in the mix. The blend is 59/41 chardonnay/pinot noir, with seven percent still pinot noir and is made without malolactic fermentation. It’s aged six years before disgorging. Rich enough for tuna and salmon, and delicate enough for prawns or fruity desserts. Drink or hold, it's your choice. Gosset, located in the miniscule Grand Cru village of Aÿ is the oldest known Champagne producer with origins back to 1584. Since 1994 the Frapin Cognac house has owned Gosset with Jean Pierre Cointreau running both companies.Prices: BC 124.99 AB 149.95 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Gosset Blanc de Blancs Bruttext
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Champagne Gosset Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThe Blanc des Blancs Brut is the newest label from the oldest champagne producer. This wine is simply delicious, hitting the mid-section between elegance, finesse and persistence. It’s amazingly complex for a single variety (chardonnay wine) which points to blending multiple lots and sites form the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The acidity is electric, yet tamed by smoky, toasty, creamy textures. Lemons, apricots, sea salt, hazelnuts and nectarines create complex flavours that won’t quit. Gosset, located in the miniscule Grand Cru village of Aÿ, is the oldest known Champagne producer with origins back to 1584. Since 1994 the Frapin Cognac house has owned Gosset with Jean Pierre Cointreau running both companies. Current production is small at an estimated 1.3 million bottles. All Gosset champagnes are RD or ‘recently disgorged,’ without malolactic fermentation.Prices: BC 114.99 ON 98.00 Producer: Champagne Gosset
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Champagne Alfred Gratien Bruttext
92PTS

Champagne Alfred Gratien Brut NV

Champagne, FranceThis small house never makes more than 300,000 bottles annually, does not employ MLF, and the ferment and first six months takes place in small, neutral barriques, with four years on the lees. Their reserve wines are stored in large oak barrels, adding more wood-whisper complexities. This is a blend of 46/29/25 chardonnay/pinot noir/pinot meunier. Very detailed and polished, with creamy core tightly detailed with lemon-laced zesty acidity and hoisin savoury interest. The interplay here between barrel aging depth and no MLF-cut is extremely well done. The golden straw hue reflects the barrel maturation and additional time in bottle.Prices: BC 59.99 ON 57.00 AB 59.00 Producer: Champagne Lanson
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08 December 2017

Ex Nihilo Nighttext
89PTS

Ex Nihilo Night 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNight is Ex Nihilo's Bordeaux blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc grown on their Oliver and Black Sage vineyards. This spent 18 months in French oak, well struck to stand up to the potency of the fruit, and is a highlight of their portfolio. This is a big, muscular wine that carries its confidence well: brooding black fruit, dark chocolate, olive, anise, licks of raspberry and ample cinnamon / peppery spicing. The palate is lush and tannins are well integrated. There's a flush of heat on the finish (you feel the near 15 percent) that is best met with roasted beef or lamb. Cellar for a few years for best showing.Prices: BC 46.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Mission Hill Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlottext
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Mission Hill Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAlways one of the best lines of highly affordable, varietally-appropriate and accessible BC wines, this edition of cabernet sauvignon / merlot draws blackberry, black cherry, black plum along a rope-hewn, medium/full palate to a shorter finish, one lined with powdery tannins. Roasted coffee, fine black pepper seasons the whole, and welcomes grilled beef or lamb.Prices: SK 18.00 AB 15.00 BC 16.99 MB 17.00 ON 17.00 QC 17.00 Producer: Mission Hill Family Estate
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Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Redtext
92PTS

Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Red 2013

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe estate wines, noted by their white label, are seen as the pinnacle of their portfolio, and reflective of their Keremeos estate vineyards. The 2013 (current release) Reserve Red is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec. Seventeen months in French oak was capped with being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Heady cherry, ripe black raspberry, dark earth, cassis on the plush, seamlessly elegant palate, seasoned with raspy black pepper and lined with a forest berry undergrowth. Licks of dark violet dart around, bounded by finely dusky tannins and lingering with a fine mineral salts. A great match struck between structural and approachable, this is savoury / brooding yet highly drinkable now, but will continue to cellar short term.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Evolve Elevate Cabernet Shiraztext
82PTS

Evolve Elevate Cabernet Shiraz 2016

CanadaDusty black fruit and plums on the nose turns into green, thorny and weedy/branch on the short palate. Tannins are powdery and finish gritty and hard pressed. Try with hearty beef stew.Prices: BC 38.99 Producer: Evolve Cellars
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Pentâge Winery Pentâgetext
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Pentâge Winery Pentâge 2013

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI admire any winery, no matter how large or how small, that decides to hold wine back until it's ready (or close to) prior to release. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, tempranillo 2013 is current release, as is many of Pentâge's wines. Here dark sweet plum, blackberry jam and black cherry set the stage for this bigger red, well-worn with time and showing that aging very well. Pipe tobacco and worn leather shade the supple wine, while well managed downy tannins house it. A saline rinse on the very finish keeps this lifted at 14 percent. Fantastic value, considering they've done the aging for you and you don't even need to decant before pouring with your steak frites.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Pentâge Winery Pentâgetext
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Pentâge Winery Pentâge 2012

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2012 Pentâge is a blend of 43 percent cabernet sauvignon, 32 percent cabernet franc, 18 percent merlot, 5 percent petit verdot, 2 percent syrah. Roasted coffee pervades black cherry, green tobacco, branch to a drying, warm finish. Tannins are assertive and pitch-lined, with toasted cedar spicing. Cinnamon bark sticks on the finish. This is a hard-pressed big red that requires roast beef to match.Prices: BC 34.90 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Moon Curser Border Vinestext
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Moon Curser Border Vines 2014

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is a gritty, grippy big red blend from the bottom of the Okanagan Valley. In 2014 the blend is cabernet sauvignon, malbec, carmenere, merlot and petit verdot. Compact and intense, with tobacco, cassis jam, kiss of mint and ample dense thorny fruit. Peppercorns linger. The complexity is impressive, but the extraction is overwhelming at this point, requiring a decant and roast beef or steak to match.Prices: BC 23.39 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Border Vinestext
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Moon Curser Border Vines 2015

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis big red, from Osoyoos' eastern bench vineyards, feels even bigger in the warm 2015 vintage. Half cabernet sauvignon is flushed with 39 percent malbec, 11 percent carmenere, pressed into stainless 5000L tanks for primary, and then split 80/20 stainless / barrel for MLF. After all fermentation was complete, this spent 14 months in French oak (one quarter new). Gritty tannins house black cherry, blueberry, espresso, charcoal, blackberry jam, mint, thorns on a full palate, one still clipped in with structural tannins. This is drinking ok now (with beef!), compared to the 2014 which is extracted and pinched at this time.Prices: BC 23.39 Producer: Moon Curser
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Lariana Cellars Thirteentext
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Lariana Cellars Thirteen 2013

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThirteen signifies 2013, the year this southern Osoyoos fruit was harvested. This year is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and carmenère, full and dense and flowing on the palate. The syrah is very welcome addition to the blend, making all the difference. The black fruit is scented with camp smoke and toast, but the tannins are softened and pliable, supporting rather than fighting the intense fruit. Anise, black pepper, kirsch, violets, and a hint of savoury medicinal cherry on the finish. Much more elegant than last year, and is drinking very well now, in spite of all its intensity. Pair with roasted meats now if you like, or cellar for a few years for even more smoothing. A well-balanced, elegant, full bodied southern Okanagan red blend : harder to achieve than it sounds.Prices: BC 44.90 Producer: Lariana Cellars
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Lariana Cellars Fourteentext
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Lariana Cellars Fourteen 2014

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFourteen refers to the vintage that these southern Okanagan grapes were harvested. This year is a blend of 63 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 26 percent Merlot (the latter from Naramata Bench), and 11 percent Carmenere. Youthful, strident and structured still, with a firm bracketing of smoked wood and ample extraction. Dense blackberry, cassis, black plums, walnuts, savoury dark chocolate is all ringed with gritty, hard press and bitter edged tannins. Unlike the syrah-blended 2013, which is drinking beautifully now, this will need more time in bottle to shed its standoffish potency.Prices: BC 44.90 Producer: Lariana Cellars
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07 December 2017

Clos du Soleil Signaturetext
92PTS

Clos du Soleil Signature 2014

British Columbia, CanadaAs the name implies, Signature is the calling card of this Similkameen winery, and the flagship blend of the house. The big five Bordeaux red grapes: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec, made it into the 2014, sourced from the estate vineyard as well as in nearby Cawston. Each variety and each vineyard block is harvested separately at optimal maturity. It’s gently destemmed, crushed, and fermented after a moderate cold-soak. More than half of the lots used only native fermentations to reinforce terroir expression. After a gentle pressing, the wines were barrel aged for 17 months in 100 percent French oak barrels. Ripe, savoury cassis, black cherry, black plum, anise, scrubby thorns is perfumed with blueberry and violets, and sided with grippy tannins that coax and guide the wine to the lingering finish (bottled unfined and unfiltered). Elegance and authenticity throughout, with surprising depth at this youthful age. This is drinking well now, benefitting from pairing with pork or lamb, but will reward more with short term cellaring.Prices: BC 44.90 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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Quails' Gate The Connemaratext
89PTS

Quails' Gate The Connemara 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis Bordeaux blend, sourced from across the Okanagan Valley, was named for the Stewart family's immigrant grandfather Richard Stewart Sr., who said that Connemara was the most beautiful part of his home country, Ireland. The sun-baked, smoked fruit is reflective of the 2015 vintage. This blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, native fermented over one month, before 18 months in French wood. The density is felt on the thick weighty palate, redolent with cedar-lined blackcurrant, bitter black cherry, blacker espresso, and softened with a plush suede touch. Tannins are gritty and ample, even overriding the potent fruit at this youthful stage. The end flushes with heat and echoes with menthol, requiring a decant and a pairing of roast beef or lamb. This intense wine is very much in youth, and is best enjoyed after a few years in bottle.Prices: BC 60.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Vanessa Vineyard Right Banktext
87PTS

Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaSweet, ripe, dense and intense, with roasted coffee, espresso, smoked wood, blackberry jam. The extraction and intensity here is richter scale, presenting even warmer and more boozy than the 14.9 degrees on the label. Tannins are gritty and hard pressed, while the palate is cushy and plumped. The finish, warm as it is, lingers with a steely tin note. Finessed and elegant this wine is not, which is a shame since Vanessa Vineyard is a beautiful stony site in the Similkameen, with vines now 10 years old. Here you taste winemaking over site: two years in French and american oak (2nd use) hits like a sledgehammer. More is not more.Prices: BC 39.99 Producer: Vanessa Vineyard
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Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +10/09text
92PTS

Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio +10/09 2015

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe, full, polished, perfumed, and impressively so, the 2015 Portfolio has buy written all over it. Well, not literally. The ticker tape label shares the Bordeaux blend, and reflects the uniqueness of each vintage. Here merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot, sourced from the Naramata Bench and Osoyoos, were fermented in a blend of stainless and oak before spending twenty months in French oak (40 percent new). Everything about this is powerful without being overt: the perfumed and wild black fruit, the gentle smoke, the subtle grilled meats, the minty cassis, the rafting cracked black pepper, to the alluring vanilla pod on the lengthy finish. Tannins are appropriately grippy, harnessing but not overwhelming the fruit, and the acidity carries the sun-ripened weight of this age-worthy red. The top Portfolio to date.Prices: BC 44.99 ON 53.00 AB 53.00 Producer: Laughing Stock Vineyards
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Fort Berens Meritage Reservetext
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Fort Berens Meritage Reserve 2015

British Columbia, CanadaA step up from their standard-bearer Meritage (and differentiated by a small band on the label stating "Reserve"), this is a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet from Okanagan and Similkameen, fermented and aged in French and American oak, with the best barrels gaining entry to this wine. After blending, the wine was bottle aged for one additional year. Full and sun-ripened, this shows the same herbal, damp forest, dark fruited DNA of their other Meritage, but with more concentration and elegance. Dark cherry, blackberry jam, tobacco is housed with slightly sticky / gummy tannins and finish with black pepper and dark chocolate. Those tannins stick out a bit on the finish of this youthful wine, and would be best met with sauced lamb shank.Prices: BC 27.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Fort Berens Meritagetext
86PTS

Fort Berens Meritage 2015

British Columbia, CanadaRoasted meats and earth, undercut with a swing of swamp wood, opens this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from Similkameen, Black Sage Bench, Osoyoos, and their home site in Lillooet. Tme in French and American oak has provided a wood-hewn frame for the sunned fruit, expressed with choke cherry, raspberry, tiny cassis and black coffee to a bitter, powdered finish. Requires protein (think beef) to smooth out.Prices: BC 23.99 Producer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
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Domaine de L’Arjolle Èquilibre Merlot Cabernettext
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Domaine de L’Arjolle Èquilibre Merlot Cabernet 2015

Vins de Pays des Côtes de Thongue, Languedoc, South of France, FranceA fresh 60/40 blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon that opens with a bright acidity. The attack is similar with earthy forest floor and red fruit characters. Still a bit youthful and tight, the finish is medium-long. Domaine de l’Arjolle is situated in the north of the Côtes du Thongue appellation in southern central Hérault, about mid-Languedoc-Roussillon. It’s run by Teisserenc family and the vineyards are anywhere from 20 to 30-years-old. The estate practises sustainable viticulture including zero herbicides, minimum intervention, and using harvesting machines adapted to minimise damage to the environment.Prices: BC 26.50 Producer: Domaine de L'Arjolle
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Sumac Ridge Cabernet Merlot Private Reservetext
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Sumac Ridge Cabernet Merlot Private Reserve 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt's been a while since GOW has tasted this wine. Now, four vintages along, it's clear to see the style has not changed much at all. Sweeter, candied black fruit (blackberry-dominant) is sided by tuggy tannins which finish short and powdery, and on a sweeter maple, and blueberry gummy note. Dumbed down and overtly simple.Prices: BC 13.99 AB 15.50 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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Chappellet Mountain Cuveetext
90PTS

Chappellet Mountain Cuvee 2013

Napa County, California, United StatesA Napa County wine that mixes 43/34/11/7/5 merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, malbec and cabernet franc. The nose is ripe with black cherries, cedar, vanilla and a generous pinch of baking spice. The attack is a touch hard at this point with ripe cassis, black pepper and smoky French oak. At 14.5 percent alcohol, it strives to keep it all together as it works through some smoke and dense tannins in the finish. Drink now with grilled meats or hold five years and let it all come together. Excellent value. Fine vintage.Prices: BC 47.97 Producer: Chappellet Vineyard
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Clos du Soleil Célestialetext
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Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2014

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCelestiale is one of the Similkameen estate's Bordeaux blends, combining fruit from Keremeos and Cawston in the Similkameen, with fruit from Osoyoos in the southern Okanagan. A barrel selection of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot, all aged in French oak for 15 months, make up this youthful and full-bodied wine. Mint-lined cassis, blackberries, ripe black cherries, thorns, and perfumed violets is creased with cedar and spiced with fine black pepper. Acidity is lively and fresh enough to swell the sun-ripened weight. There is a big flush of heat on the finish, best met with lamb shank or osso bucco. Only 57 barrels were made.Prices: BC 26.90 ON 26.00 Producer: Clos du Soleil Winery
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06 December 2017

Quails' Gate Merlottext
86PTS

Quails' Gate Merlot 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPotent and dense, reflective of the 2015 vintage, with intense blackberry, black cherry, espresso, tobacco and branch, highly extracted and compact. Tannins are gritty and ample, and overwhelming, to the bitter finish. This was fermented in stainless before 18 months in French oak. Requires serious red meat to tame.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 20.00 SK 26.00 MB 24.00 ON 27.00 Producer: Quails' Gate Vineyards Estate Winery
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Emmolo Merlottext
87PTS

Emmolo Merlot 2014

Napa Valley, California, United StatesThis is big, ripe, round and rich with super ripe plum aromas and flavours flecked with raisins and pruny notes. Add some milk chocolate and a big warm smooth finish and you have the Caymus recipe for red wine: a ready-to-drink, super ripe red. The price is crazy.Prices: BC 63.99 AB 69.00 MB 69.99 ON 69.95 QC 69.75 NS 69.00 NFL 70.98 Producer: Emmolo Wines
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Ex Nihilo Merlottext
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Ex Nihilo Merlot 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMerlot suits the hedonistic Ex Nihilo style, where subtlety is not yet the rule. This is a full bodied, dense merlot from their sun-drenched Oliver vineyard, aged 18 months in young French oak barrels. Potent medicinal cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry jam is warmed with heat (15 percent alcohol) and housed with rich wood spices through a bitter espresso finish. All the intense parts (alcohol, tannins, fruit) are equally matched, making this drinkable now with heavily shellacked ribs or lamb shank, or cellar for three years.Prices: BC 36.00 AB 43.00 Producer: Ex Nihilo Vineyards
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Sumac Ridge Merlot Private Reservetext
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Sumac Ridge Merlot Private Reserve 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAmple smoke, steak spice, hickory dominate this full wine, one strangely watery on the mid-palate through to a very short finish. Ripe plum, blackberry, vanilla and milk chocolate, with giant peppery spicing on the bitter finish. The oak is evident, and overt; this was aged in French and American oak for one year. Simple.Prices: BC 11.79 Producer: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
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05 December 2017

Van Westen Vineyards Viogniertext
88PTS

Van Westen Vineyards Viognier 2016

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom 10-14 year old vines in Orlando Vineyard and Granite Ridge Vineyard on Naramata Bench, this was barrel fermented in 6-10 year old neutral French oak for five months. Full, lush peach and apricot with textured with peach fizz grip. There’a powdered lime note on the finish that makes it stick a bit, but this has slimmed down, pleasantly from the richer, fatter 2015.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Van Westen Vineyards
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Bottega Viogniertext
87PTS

Bottega Viognier 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaCandied necklace, orange blossom, pear gummies in this juicy, off-dry viognier from Osoyoos. Bottega Wine Studios™ is the home base for Seven Directions (of the rosés) as well as this new line, where winemaker Daniel Bontorin can produce small lot, single varietal wines. Soft and easy, with a dollop of apricot sweetness overriding the thread of acidity, this is an easy and accessable BC viognier.Prices: BC 20.78 Producer: Bottega Wine Studios
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Black Hills Viogniertext
88PTS

Black Hills Viognier 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe nectarine and a flush of gingerale floats on a creamy base, perfumed with honeysuckle and pear. The sides are a little powdery with spices to a snappy, bitter lime finish. This is much leaner than the 2014, with viognier's trademark expansiveness tucked into a 12 percent frame. While I appreciate the fitter form, I'm missing a touch of viognier's lushness here, especially from the warm Okanagan.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Black Hills Estate Winery
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Domaine de L’Arjolle Èquilibre Viognier Sauvignontext
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Domaine de L’Arjolle Èquilibre Viognier Sauvignon 2016

Vins de Pays des Côtes de Thongue, Languedoc, South of France, FranceThe nose is fragrant with a collection of ripe orchard fruit flecked with fresh melon. The palate is medium rich, with the sauvignon keeping it fresh and showing pear, apple, honeysuckle and a light hint of dried herbs. Clean, simple, fresh seafood wine or perfect with most any vegetarian entrée.Prices: BC 25.50 Producer: Domaine de L'Arjolle
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Pentâge Winery Viogniertext
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Pentâge Winery Viognier 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerfumed pear, ripe peach, nectarine and ginger fill the voluminous, but watery palate. There's an apple butter richness on the palate that weighs this down, though it's livened by the gingersnappy finish. This is a blend of fruit that saw time in both stainless and 1-3 year old barrels.Prices: BC 22.90 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Darktext
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Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaPerfumed honeysuckle, orange, apricot and lime blossoms fill this pretty little number from the Southern Okanagan. The lime pith works like a noose to tighten up the finish a bit, but the middle is loose and flouncy. A nice swell of acidity keeps this bigger wine afloat. A solid BC white blend.Prices: BC 19.04 Producer: Moon Curser
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Lariana Cellars Viogniertext
90PTS

Lariana Cellars Viognier 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe sloping site facing Osoyoos Lake helps the grapes hold their freshness in the hot Okanagan sun. The grapes were whole cluster pressed before fermentation in a 1800L concrete egg and one neutral French oak barrel. It was kept on fine lees, with regular battonage. The attention to detail paid off in this impressive wine. Creamy and lush, yet finessed and restrained, with a fine filigree of grip framing wild honeysuckle, dried sage, Anjou pear, mandarin, apricot and honeydew over a fine butter base. The wine feels light on its feet, in spite of its 14 percent alcohol. Drinking beautifully now. One of Canada's top viogniers by leaps.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Lariana Cellars
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TerraVentoux Ventoux Blanctext
87PTS

TerraVentoux Ventoux Blanc 2015

Côtes-du-Ventoux, Southern Rhone, Rhone Valley, FranceThis is a blend of 90/10 white grenache / clairette from the clay and limestone soils of AOP Ventoux, in the Southern Rhone (and yes, the foothills of the master climb in Tour de France). Crisp and clean, with greengage, lemon blossom and a fine pear film brightened with crunchy, white grapefruit acidity to the snappy, salted finish. This is a bright and sunny medium bodied white to match with white fish and shellfish stews.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Cave TerraVentoux
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Calera Viogniertext
86PTS

Calera Viognier 2013

Central Coast, California, United StatesRipe, round and warm, feeling every bit (and more) of its 14.5 degrees alcohol. Whole cluster, native fermented, this spent seven months in French oak barrels before bottling. Apricot jam, peach butter on the voluptuous palate, one somehow still watery in the middle. The finish is brief, with butterscotch notes. Not shy, and I wish it were more so.Prices: BC 45.00 Producer: Calera Wine Company
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04 December 2017

Moon Curser Carmeneretext
88PTS

Moon Curser Carmenere 2015

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA warm year has not affected the freshness of this wine, now firmly ensconced in the Moon Cursor lineup. The fruit comes off the Home and Stubbs Vineyard, both located on the Osoyoos East Bench, which was baked in 2015. It was picked ripe at 24.1 Brix. It’s barrel-aged in 225L French oak barriques with about one quarter new. The nose is the most expressive yet with peppery, sweet cherry notes mixed with tobacco and flecks of chocolate. The palate is similar with rich black fruits, light-ish tannin and a wash of Okanagan garrigue. Best with grilled meat and or even duck confit.Prices: BC 37.30 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Tannattext
90PTS

Moon Curser Tannat 2013

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the best tannat we have seen from Moon Curser, and it has improved in my estimation since the National Wine Awards, where it showed very well. This guy is aged in 225L French oak barrels, of which 30 percent are new and 70 percent are neutral one to three-year-old vessels. It’s big and chewy but with some softness and plenty of black plum fruit, cloves and a dusting of baker’s spices. You can drink this now, preferably with a rare steak, but I would wait a decade to see the real story and it will be just fine under screwcap. The fruit is grown on the very warm Osoyoos East Bench where Moon Cursor says the sandy soils help mitigate the excessive tannins.Prices: BC 37.30 Producer: Moon Curser
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Moon Curser Dolcettotext
87PTS

Moon Curser Dolcetto 2016

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaMoon Curser gets it mostly right with this dolcetto that doesn’t see any oak. The entry is fresh and very juicy with earthy red and black cherries fruit. Yet the mid-palate is surprisingly rich in tannins that tend to dry out the finish. Think meat pizzas or sausage and pasta to take on the tannins and acidity. Or let it age for another two years in bottle. The super young vines grow in the Fernandes Vineyard located on the East Bench of Osoyoos.Prices: BC 23.39 Producer: Moon Curser
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Falernia Carmenère Reservatext
86PTS

Falernia Carmenère Reserva 2015

Valle de Elqui, ChileWinemaker Giorgio Flessati, is a Trentino native but an unabashed Elqui Valley crusader these days. This Reserva is handpicked very late in the season with some 60 percent of the grapes going through an appassimento or drying on the vines. After fermentation 60% of the juice is aged in premium American oak for 8 months. It’s not overly herbaceous as carmenere in Chile can be, and it’s sporting a touch of Brettanomyces, but the round, fat, sweet, fruit flavours and low acidity are not as fashionable in 2017. Best served with grilled meat, slow braised pork dishes and meaty pasta dishes.Prices: BC 18.99 Producer: Vina Falernia
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01 December 2017

Noble Ridge The One Sparklingtext
90PTS

Noble Ridge The One Sparkling 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA distinctive style in a veritable sea of BC bubbly, The One from Noble Ridge rings with smoked stones and toasted biscuit, topped with lemon curd, crunchy red apple and riffing sea salts. This medium-bodied fizz dances on the palate, reflective of this single vineyard estate blend's large proportion of chardonnay (82/18 chardonnay/pinot noir). Whole cluster pressed, cool fermented prior to 27 months on the lees, the 7.6 g/l RS just edges out the racy acidity for a harmonious finish, lingering with aged parmesan. Striking, well made, well done.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Noble Ridge The Wild One Sparklingtext
89PTS

Noble Ridge The Wild One Sparkling 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaNoble Ridge is a small estate producer in Okanagan Falls where everything is done by hand. In 2013, as they like to say, “things got a little wild” when the winery went artisanal with wild ferments. Naturally there is a little less consistency, bottle to bottle, but then that’s what living on the wild side is all about. What you will find is a fresh nose, reminiscent of fresh cut green apples and assorted orchard fruits drizzled in citrus with a saline, mineral, seawater finish. It’s been 39 months en tirage. Oysters on the half shell would be a fine match, as well as creamy seafood dishes. The blend is 77/23 chardonnay/pinot noir. Only 95 cases produced. Impressive start.Prices: BC 39.90 Producer: Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery
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Varias La Bona Vidatext
88PTS

Varias La Bona Vida NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainCava Varias continues to impress for the price, no doubt helped by a sparkling wine pedigree since 1918 in the Alt Penedès region. The nose is Cava bright with fresh, persistent citrus, melon notes with a dusting of dried herbs. The blend is a mix of traditional grapes 30/40/20 macabeo, xarel.lo and parellada. The palate is equally fresh and bright but with creamy, delicious lees, and fresh baked brioche notes in the finish. Estate grown and bottled, I love the value here. A perfect party sparkler for sushi, tacos, or a charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Cava Varias
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Villa Conchi Cava Brut Selecciontext
87PTS

Villa Conchi Cava Brut Seleccion NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainMuch like the previous version, the Villa Conchi has a very fresh, fruity nose with floral, nutty, apple aromas. The attack is a mix of citrus, nutty, resiny mineral flavours with a modicum of creaminess. Dry, clean, tart and ready to drink. Best with tapas-like appetizers. Aged six months in vats and three years in bottle.Prices: BC 15.99 Producer: Bodegas Villa Conchi
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Feudi di San Gregorio Dubl Rosato Aglianico NVtext
91PTS

Feudi di San Gregorio Dubl Rosato Aglianico NV NV

Campania, ItalyA lot of sparkling wine leaves me wanting, especially rosés. Most are light years ahead of where they were in the 1980's or 1990’s but as clean, fresh, and as expensive as they are, few are as complex as the real competition, Champagne. That said, this week I stumbled on this fabulous bottle of sparkling rosé from Italy. Riccardo Cotarella and Anselme Selosse are the winemaker behind Fuedi’s impressive sparkling wines. The vineyards spread out over the lush and gentle hills in Sorbo Serpico, about an hour from Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It's the unique volcanic, sandstone, marly soil that free up the wealth of cherries, cinnamon and licorice that mark the nose and palate. The Rosato is 100 percent aglianico di taurasi, harvested in part from century-old pre-phylloxera vines. The colour is barley pink. The attack fresh with bright, floral, citrus fruits. The Rosato is all about refinement and elegance in the glass. Creamy but bright and fragrant with notes of ginger and nectarine skin it finishes in a storm of stony minerality. Smoked salmon, shellfish, prawns you name it, it all works here. The story began in 2003 when Feudi di San Gregorio made the decision to produce sparkling wine using the method champenoise and the region’s historic varietals of falanghina, greco di tufo and aglianico grapes. The name Dubl signifies the project partners Feudi and its French partner, the renown Champagne house of Anselme Selosse. Greco Brut dates to the occupation of Naples by Louis XII in the 15th century, who demanded that the Neapolitans make a sparkling wine in his honour. The combination of greco and the local chalky composition of the Tufo soil was a perfect fit.Prices: BC 58.99 Producer: Feudi Di San Gregorio
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Flat Rock Cellars Crowned Sparkling Bruttext
90PTS

Flat Rock Cellars Crowned Sparkling Brut 2009

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, CanadaGreen apple crisp and shining even with six years on the lees, this Twenty Mile Bench charonnday was barrel fermented and aged for six months prior to bottle for secondary fermentation. Eight g/l RS is left to balance out the crazy acidity, and just achieves it. The wine is finished with a crown cap to best preserve freshness and longevity, hence the name 'Crowned'. Shimmering acidity, lemon peel on a bed of oxidized lees, with a scent of ginger spicing to finish.Prices: ON 45.00 Producer: Flat Rock Cellars
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Sperling Vineyards Brut Reservetext
90PTS

Sperling Vineyards Brut Reserve 2011

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis pinot noir and chardonnay comes from the site of BC's oldest vineyard, first planted to vinifera in the 1930's. This is the home site of the Sperling family, and vintner Ann Sperling's organic and biodynamic vines. This traditional method fizz has spent 36 months on the lees, followed by time in the bottle, making the 2011 the current release, lucky for us. This impressive sparkling is sheared stone, red apple and red pear, with riffing acidity that drives this toasty, creamy wine forward and lifts it skyward. Fruity and elegant, with that potent hum of acidity, this will continue to evolve over the next few years.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Sperling Vineyards
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Codorníu Clásico Bruttext
86PTS

Codorníu Clásico Brut NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya (Catalonia Cataluña), SpainYou don’t get a lot of sparkling wine for $15 but when it's fresh and clean and has the scent of fruit you must consider it a bargain, especially if you are putting it in orange juice or other drinks. Citrus, nutty, green apple, ginger flavours with honey and toasted almonds adding some weight to the finish. Fair value in a simpler style.Prices: BC 14.49 NF 15.99 PEI 15.19 ON 11.95 NB 15.99 MB 13.99 Producer: Codorníu
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Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2009

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaA year ago we reviewed the Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R. D. Méthode Traditionelle disgorged in late 2016. The winery held half of the wine back to space out the supply and give it another year in bottle before releasing it in December 2017. If anything, it’s better with its smoked stone, toasted nut and bright citrus notes even further integrated into a mix of green apple and a mix of toasted hazelnuts and almonds. Focus, purity and finesse makes this a market leader in British Columbia. Oysters and/or assorted west coast shellfish are the match. First class.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 49.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
89PTS

Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2013

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOnce again a prestigious sparkling rosé, with presence. This is 65/35 pinot noir/chardonnay, whole cluster pressed and stainless fermented before blending and three years on the lees before another year in bottle prior to release. This was disgorged in August 2016. On the off-dry side, with roses, raspberry, rhubarb, and cherry complemented by a noticeable bump in dosage and viewed through a haze of light smoke. Acidity remains vibrant and driving through the lengthy finish. This is a serious rosé for food, and can easily stand up to duck, pork, or roasted yam dishes.Prices: BC 32.90 AB 39.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelletext
91PTS

Blue Mountain Reserve Brut R.D. Méthode Traditionelle 2009

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe '09 RD is a 45/55 mix of pinot noir and chardonnay. It’s all estate, all hand-harvested and all free run juice. The wine was disgorged August 2016, and finished brut before spending a year in bottle prior to this release. This is as complex as it gets at Blue Mountain, offering bright citrus nutty notes that persist through the finish. You could drink it now but holding it another few years won’t hurt. Impressive style. Bring this one to the table.Prices: BC 39.90 AB 49.95 Producer: Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars
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Unsworth TimBuckTwo Rieslingtext
88PTS

Unsworth TimBuckTwo Riesling NV

British Columbia, CanadaMade in the same method as their famous Wine Islands of style Charme de L'ile, this is a charmat method fizz, with riesling coming from the Okanagan. You can consider this a BC-grown version of Prosecco: off dry, perfumed soft pear, pink florals, peach, tangerine, on a frisky brisk palate, which holds the dosage sweetness aloft. An ice bucket and a patio calls.Prices: BC 19.50 Producer: Unsworth Vineyards
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Veuve du Vernay Bruttext
86PTS

Veuve du Vernay Brut NV

FranceVeuve de Vernay is an inexpensive bubble that usually over delivers for the price. Colourless, it has a crisp attack with yeasty notes that mix well with hints of apple and pear before dissolving into creamy textures. Light and just off-dry it is a unique blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, folle blanche and ugni blanc. You can serve it solo or use it in your favourite mimosa mix. Good value.Prices: BC 14.49 ON 9.95 Producer: Sorevi
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Veuve du Vernay Brut Rosétext
85PTS

Veuve du Vernay Brut Rosé NV

FranceSimilar to the blanc, the Vernay Brut Rose opens with bright, clean, fresh red berry aromas reminiscent of ripe raspberries. It has bit more texture and weight, with bright acidity, and earthy, citrus rind notes in the backend. Try this with vegetable, chicken or beef pakoras.Prices: BC 14.49 Producer: Sorevi
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Wolfberger Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosetext
87PTS

Wolfberger Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rose NV

Alsace, FranceA foamy palate carries cherries, cranberries and red apple, along with a swish of sweet cream and a rasp of toast, to a snappy, parmesan finish. Acidity is tight and nimble throughout, making this traditional method fizz a smart (affordable) selection for tuna or salmon canapés and salads.Prices: BC 25.00 Producer: Wolfberger
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Benjamin Bridge NV Rosé Méthode Classiquetext
89PTS

Benjamin Bridge NV Rosé Méthode Classique NV

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThe BB non-vintage rosé is a mix of several harvests that shape the high acid, tight house style. There’s but a hint of colour here resulting from some skin contact with pinot noir. This wine is about freshness, and precision, with hints of roses and bread dough. The palate is tight and citrus lined with plenty of acidity that carries the day to the end of the palate. Mineral, saline, creamy and a little bit foamy, this needs food to tame its energy. A proprietary blend of l’Acadie, seyval, chardonnay, and pinot noir. Drink now or hold through 2022.Prices: NS 45.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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Alma Gran Cuvée Bellavista Brut Franciacortatext
90PTS

Alma Gran Cuvée Bellavista Brut Franciacorta NV

Lombardy, ItalyBellavista is considered among the finest of Italian sparkling wine producers and boasts 200-hectares of vineyard planted to chardonnay and pinot noir. The winery lies within western part of the Franciacorta and pulls fruit from across 10 communes and 103 parcels. Alma Gran Cuvee is made in the traditional method with some 15 percent of the wine being fermented and matured for seven months in small oak barrels. The final assemblage includes reserve wine from six to nine years old before it all spends 30 months on the lees. The result is a stylish bubble with floral undertones, green fruits and dried herbs enveloped in a stream of acidity that runs from the front to the back. The blend is 80/20 chardonnay/pinot noir with a mere one percent of pinot bianco to respect its Italian heritage.Prices: BC 57.00 QC 37.75 ON 48.95 BC 32.00 375 Producer: Bellavista
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Blue Grouse Paulatext
88PTS

Blue Grouse Paula 2014

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaPaula is the traditional method fizz from Blue Grouse, and in 2014 was a blend of Vancouver Island and Okanagan grown müller-thurgau, ortega, pinot auxerrois and riesling. Perfumed white flowers, elderflower, pear drops is pierced with green apples, white peach, biscuit, lime pith on a tight, bone dry finish. Appropriate aperitif, particularly with scallop or white fish carpaccio.Prices: BC 28.00 Producer: Blue Grouse Estate Winery
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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Fitz Bruttext
91PTS

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Fitz Brut 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAh - the joy of a purpose-made fizz. It makes such a difference. In the case of Fitzpatrick, this is a nimble, tight and fresh blend of estate Greata Ranch grown chardonnay and pinot noir, partial barrel fermented (older wood), and with two years on the lees in bottle. Alluring anise, green apples and flaky croissant streams along the palate, one buffered with a fine cushion of strawberry and white cherry to a finish ringing with salty minerality. Pitch perfect balance of Okanagan fruit and acidity, yet again. This serious fizz will age gracefully.Prices: BC 32.99 Producer: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
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Benjamin Bridge Brut Méthode Classiquetext
92PTS

Benjamin Bridge Brut Méthode Classique 2012

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaThe 2012 Brut, newly released, is a blend of 63 percent chardonnay, 25 percent pinot noir, 12 percent pinot meunier that spent four years on the lees. The base wine for this cuvée was split ten percent in neutral oak and the remainder in stainless steel, with no malolactic fermentation to preserve Gaspereau's inherent marine freshness. This, in conjunction with the extended growing season, shapes this characteristic Brut (the driest of their fizz) into its sleek, streamline and extremely lengthy form, tingling with a grippy minerality and zingy lemon pith. Tight green apple, crystalline lemon, light toast and zesty peach are held at riveting attention, shimmering with lemon thistle and stones to the lengthy finish. Neither sharp nor severe, this is a serious, ageworthy, intense and impressively light wine, especially considering all is packed into a slight frame of 11 percent alcohol (TA 9.1 g/l, pH 3.03). Canada's best sparkling winery proves itself again.Prices: ON 50.00 BC 44.50 AB 50.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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Henkell Trocken Dry Sekttext
84PTS

Henkell Trocken Dry Sekt NV

GermanyHenkell rarely surprises, nor does it disappoint, especially for the money. Expect fragrant peachy orange, green apple aromas that carries on to the palate. An off-dry frothy bubble you can feature in Mimosas or with Crème de Cassis, or a punch; serve with bite-size appetizer for best results.Prices: BC 14.49 NB 14.00 AB 13.00 ON 14.00 QC 14.00 NF 15.00 SK 15.00 NS 16.00 YK 17.00 MB 14.00 Producer: Henkell & Co Sektkellerei
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Benjamin Bridge NV Méthode Classiquetext
90PTS

Benjamin Bridge NV Méthode Classique NV

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, CanadaAs unique as the story behind this iconic Canadian winery, this NV is from BB's Gaspereau Valley estate vineyard, and a blend of L’Acadie, vidal, seyval, pinot noir, and chardonnay. Highly pointedly and pinkly perfumed: think pink florals, pithy pink grapefruit, tight pink lady apples. The attack is brisk and lively with high-toned florals from the l'acadie, vidal and seyval. Lime pith lingers on the finish, textured with pear skin. The raging acidity easily carries the 13 g/l dosage, leaving it barely and pleasingly off-dry. The Benjamin Bridge reserve library spans over 13 years and includes blending components from its inaugural 2002 vintage all of which contributes to the house style. Big enough for duck, fresh enough for oysters.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Benjamin Bridge
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