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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: February 2018

21 February 2018

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noirtext
91PTS

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Outland Ridge Pinot Noir 2014

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, United StatesI am pleased to see this wine just settling into itself a half year down the road. The KJ style is unapologetically hedonistic, but it is clear over the last half decade they are toning down the richness in a manner that will appeal to both the pinot sniffers and those who are okay with the a fuller, mouth-filling pinot style. This has nothing to do with Burgundy, but everything to do with the Anderson Valley and the wild Sonoma Coast. The nose is a mix of raspberry, pepper, smoke, blueberry, mocha with a savoury undercurrent of celery salt, plus vanilla aromas. The attack is clean, fresh, juicy and elegant but with intensity and more peppery, savoury, herbal, compost before a vanilla, licorice finish. The fruit is grown in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley’s along a high eastern ridge, on broken rock in thin, powdery soil similar to a Goldridge classification. Remote, distant, yet memorable. Bring on the duck, quail, turkey and smoked meats. Impressive.Prices: BC 56.99 QC 44.99 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyardtext
92PTS

Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyard 2016

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesDavis Bynum produced the first single-vineyard Russian River Valley pinot noir in 1973 from the Joe Rochioli vineyard. The 2016, made by winemaker Greg Morthole, has little bit of Davis Bynum in it via the pair's self-effacing, modest, demeanour. Bynum, who met with Morthole from time to time before his death in 2017, gave him some winemaking advice but it was the stories and mentorship that most affected Morthole, who is quoted as saying "More than anything, what Davis helped me realize is that in this business, you don't have to have a big personality to make great wine and leave an impact." Working with consultant David Ramey, Morthole has tapped the potential of the shallow, moderately well-draining, Huichica loam soils just off West Side Road, mixing clones 2A, 23, 113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Warm summer days provided plenty of sugar accumulation and cool, overcast days from mid-August through mid-September prolonged the hanging and flavour accumulation. All the blocks are hand-picked in the early morning hours and destemmed mostly to stainless steel tanks with a small amount in puncheons, macro bins and small concrete tanks. There is a five-day cold soak followed by a native yeast ferment and in 2016 it was aged in an 87/13 mix of French and Hungarian oak barrels – only 25 percent were new. The wine opens with a fragrant, earthy black plum, Bing cherry tea leaf nose. The attack is silky with warm spicy red and dark fruit flavours that finish long, smooth and warm. Perfect for grilled chicken, soft cheeses or duck pate.Prices: AB 35.00 BC 40.00 Producer: Davis Bynum Winery
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noirtext
92PTS

Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2015

Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe Brewer-Clifton pinot is a mix of three estate vineyard sites within the Sta. Rita Hills AVA: 3D, Machado and Acin. The style is intense and rich from a European point of view, but I might say restrained from a New World view. The nose is a mix of red fruit scents with a strong tea leaf undercurrent marked with a dusting of dried herbs. Think earthy/forest floor, raspberries cherries and pomegranate. AT B-C they employ neutral oak to better let the site show through. The use of stems is an important part of the structure and earthy characters of the Sta. Rita Hills fruit. The clones are a blend of Swan, Pommard, 667, 828, and the Merry Edwards clone. Delicious stuff.Prices: US 49.99 ON 69.95 BC 49.00 Producer: Brewer-Clifton
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Acacia Carneros Pinot Noirtext
89PTS

Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir 2015

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesIt’s easy to say this large production pinot is nowhere near as interesting as the many single vineyards offerings that made Acacia famous but you would be wrong. For the price, this Carneros pinot is just fine, thank you very much, offering a mix of soft, silky, black and red fruits with a spicy, plummy New World underbelly. Ready to drink and a giveaway at US $12 at Costco. A perfect wine for grilled salmon.Prices: US 28.00 BC 34.99 NB 34.99 Producer: Acacia Winery
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Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Pinot Noirtext
90PTS

Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Pinot Noir 2016

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, United StatesThe Navarro River cuts through Anderson Valley and over millennia it has carved a path for through the coastal mountains for the cold ocean wind and coastal fog (perfect for pinot) to flood in. This pinot is bright with active acidity, a dose of minerality and delicious silky black and red fruits with cool-climate shades. The finish is persistent with soft, smoky, toasted oak notes. Very Central Otago. Its easy to sip but will age through 2021. This 100 percent Anderson Valley AVA pinot noir is 80 percent Boone Ridge Vineyard, 12 percent Sable Mountain Vineyard and 8 percent Philo Vineyard. The clonal mix is interesting: 39% Clone 667, 6% Clone 777, 34% Clone 828 2% Clone 115 and 16% Clone 5 and 1.5% each Calera & 2A – it is all aged ten months in 100% French oak (28% new).Prices: BC 56.99 QC 44.99 Producer: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards and Winery
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20 February 2018

Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyardtext
94PTS

Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard 2014

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesRockaway was first planted in 1994 to mostly to cabernet sauvignon and merlot, but includes all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties. The vineyard stretches up to 750 feet, and the blend in 2014 is is 81/12/4/3/ cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot and petit verdot, all aged in 26 months in French oak barrels (of which just under half is new). This is a powerful, mountain wine that delivers flavour and finesse. In the middle of Alexander Valley, Rockaway Vineyard with average temperatures of 62 degrees, provides the perfect balance of warm afternoons and cool Pacific mornings and evenings. Its well-drained hillsides and low pH soil gives up mostly small-berried clusters. The 14 has all the intensity you could want but without knocking you back. Again, it’s the finesse and structure of this cabernet that strikes you, as in black fruits with red currants and plums on the nose and palate. It has that mountain backbone and savoury ‘Sonoma’ undercurrent with some spice and textural oak in the finish. This wine carries the balance to enjoy it now, but like the 2013, it has a long life ahead.Prices: BC 99.00 AB 80.00 US 75.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignontext
89PTS

Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Sonoma County, California, United StatesRodney Strong Vineyards practises modern, artisanal winemaking on a large scale, while making substantial commitments to the environment. Its SoCo cab comes off three sites from Jimtown, Geyserville and Cloverdale, all planted to alluvial, volcanic, and uplifted shale/sandstone soils. In 2015 the style remains reasonably rich with floral, plummy, red and black fruits and with hints of cinnamon and pepper. There is just enough structure and tannin to suggest it's cabernet sauvignon. Serve with any grilled meats to best effect. The cabernet spends 15 months in 75 percent American oak and 25 percent French oak barrels.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 24.99 ON 24.95 SK 25.00 YK 27.00 QC 22.95 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Reservetext
92PTS

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014

Sonoma County, California, United StatesArtisanal winemaking is easier to say than do, but at Rodney Strong, Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery, the art is in the details. Reserve means a strict selection of individual Cabernet Sauvignon lots made from time tested, meticulously farmed sections of some of the best vineyards of the Alexander Valley and up in the mountains north of Lake Sonoma. It’s all individually harvested, fermented separately, and aged in French oak. After six months, each lot is tasted and graded and only the best considered for Reserve. The 2014 Reserve Cabernet came out of the small lot artisan cellar under the direction of winemaker Greg Morthole. Look for intense, enticing smoky, blackberry aromas and spice. The attack is juicy (yeah) with warm, dense, fine grained tannins - a reserve with meaning. I love the rich hillside black fruit flavours, but there is restraint and complexity now, not just brute cabernet power. Savoury dried herbs and toasted oak punctuate the finish of a wine so well balanced you can almost start drinking it now. This is a Sonoma County mix of 96 percent cabernet sauvignon (much of it from Rockaway), 3 percent petit verdot and 1 percent malbec that is aged 27 months in 43 percent new French oak barrels.Prices: BC 69.99 AB 55.00 ON 60.00 US 40.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Rodney Strong Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesI love the fragrant nose and juicy, soft attack of this wine, reminding me of that in-between Napa and Sonoma character and texture of Knights Valley reds. In fact, the appellation is the easternmost in Sonoma County and the county’s warmest viticultural region. Fresh crushed black fruits with bits of spice and chocolate preview a soft, dense, long, mid-palate and an equally fruity palate with surprisingly forgiving tannins. The mineral-rich volcanic soils are evident in the stony undercurrent that holds the finish together. The grapes were harvested at peak ripeness from September 12 through September 28 under ideal conditions, and spent 18 months in 100 percent French oak.Prices: BC 28.99 AB 21.99 ON 25.05 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valleytext
90PTS

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2015

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, United StatesRodney Strong was a fan of Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon as early as 1971, when he planted Alexander’s Crown. Today the winery farms four different estate vineyards on the benches and hillsides of the Alexander Valley that explores all the valley has for terroir. There is both refinement and richness here but it all begins with a fragrant nose of cedar, plums, cassis, and black pepper with flecks of milk chocolate. The texture and tannins are very well managed, providing a soft backdrop to the savoury black cherry, blackberry, smoky espresso vanilla flavours. New World style but with freshness, and like all the wines at Rodney Strong, a growing sense of place. You could drink this now with grilled meats but it will reward three to five years in the bottle. The wine spends 18 months in 100 percent French oak barrels, half of which are new.Prices: BC 35.00 AB 28.00 ON 28.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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19 February 2018

Stoneboat Pinot House Rosétext
82PTS

Stoneboat Pinot House Rosé 2016

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaAn atypical (thankfully) blend of pinot noir and pinotage, this day-glo pink wine had 24 hours of skin contact before pressing and cooler fermentation. Disjointed and angular, with strawberry jam and watermelon elbowing sharp green apple acids in a pool of sweet candy apple. Finishes warm and brusque.Prices: BC 18.90 Producer: Stoneboat Vineyards
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Pentâge Winery Fizz Rosétext
87PTS

Pentâge Winery Fizz Rosé 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Pentâge Fizz is a blend of grenache, mourvèdre and zinfandel that is fresher and brighter than the previous all zinfandel version. The nose is an open candied strawberry/raspberry/cherry-scented affair. The attack is fresh with a persistent mousse and more candied red berry flavours that finish clean. A perfect fizz for spicy Indian or Thai food, brie, or spicy tuna sushi.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Pentâge Winery
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Tomero Rosetext
88PTS

Tomero Rose 2017

Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaThe dark red Tomero Rosé has been revamped and they nailed the colour, now Provençal pink. Visually the wine is so much more appealing and it comes with plenty of freshness and crisp acidity throughout. Tart strawberry flavours with a dash of citrus and watermelon mark the palate and finish of this impressive new-look malbec rosé from Tomero that has endless food possibilities. Bravo points for bravery. The fruit is grown at Finca Los Alamos in the Alto Valle De Uco, Mendoza. A little more finesse and it is ready to go.Prices: BC 18.00 Producer: Bodega Vistalba (Carlos Pulenta)
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Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noirtext
88PTS

Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThis rosé surprised with its delicacy and aplomb. It was harvested from August 12 to 30 from the River East Vineyard, Jane’s Vineyard, and Preston Vineyard, all within the heart of the Russian River Valley. I love the light pink salmon colour and the inviting strawberry, honeydew melon aromas and flavours. The palate is perfectly light and refreshing with a juicy peach finish. Goat cheese, wasabi ginger poke, shellfish and summer salads all work here. Well done and fun to boot.Prices: BC 0.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosétext
89PTS

Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2016

Coteaux du Languedoc, Languedoc, South of France, FranceWe don’t normally mention the package with wines, but rosés, especially French rosés, make a point out of packaging. People buy rosés with their eyes first, from hue to presentation, more than they do with any other wine style. The packaging here is striking and memorable; a gossamer pink coloured rosé pours from a unique glass bottle with the base shaped like a rose. The rose is one that grows in Languedoc, and was imprinted by the artist specifically for this custom-bottle. The closure, Vinolok glass, tops off the experience with style. As the French would say, it is très chic. The nose is a subtle mix of strawberry and citrus with a strong, fresh mineral undercurrent, and the palate is similar with delicate raspberry, pear and stony notes with a dusting of Southern France garrigue. The style is dry and firm, adding substance and intensity, yet it remains perfectly lively and graceful: never easy to achieve. A fantastic price too (around $15 USD), even in Hawaii (also, never easy to achieve). Makes it all the better that it pairs beautifully with tuna poke.Prices: ON 19.00 QC 18.35 NB 19.99 NS 19.99 NF 21.99 MB 22.99 Producer: Gérard Bertrand
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Cono Sur Rose Sparkling Winetext
86PTS

Cono Sur Rose Sparkling Wine NV

Valle de Bio-Bio, ChileThe last time I tasted a Cono Sur Bio-Bio Rose it was under the Bicicleta label, and was vintage dated 2014. Light and fizzy, with raspberry, youthful cherry and easy breezy freshness, kissed with sweetness and finishing with a tart, snappy finish. Easy and youthful, for drinking now, well chilled.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Vina Cono Sur
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Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 Rosetext
89PTS

Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 Rose 2015

Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, FrancePale peach in hue, this Cotes du Rhone rose is a blend of 20-ish year old grenache, cinsault and syrah sourced from two family estates on the Right side of the Rhone River. Biodynamically farmed, this is bone dry and streaming along fine peppery spice and tight red berry fruit. Fine strawberry, cherry, and cinnamon spice is bright with acidity, and lined with river stones to a snappy, pink grapefruit finish. Paul Jaboulet Aine is one of the Northern Rhone's leading estates, first established in 1834. The Paralleles line, their 'entry level' tier, was named because the 45th parallel runs two kilometers from the domaine’s cellars near Tain L’Hermitage. This cuvée began in 1950 and represents the Jaboulet commitment to producing France’s finest Rhône value. The estate been under the purview of the Frey family for the past decade or so, and Caroline Frey is currently oenologist and proprietor. This is an impressive value, an ideal rose to partner with a multitude of foods (and people) and something you could buy by the case.Prices: BC 19.00 Producer: Domaines Paul Jaboulet Ainé
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Rioja Bordon Rosadotext
88PTS

Rioja Bordon Rosado 2016

Rioja, SpainA mix of red garnacha and viura results in a pleasant, soft pink/orange tone. The aroma is reminiscent of fresh cherries and just ripe strawberries that carry onto the very soft, almost quaffable, palate. There is a touch of bitter almond in the finish that effectively balances off the sweet fruit. Best with tapas or a summer salad.Prices: BC 16.99 Producer: Bodegas Franco - Espanolas
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16 February 2018

West Cape Howe Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignontext
88PTS

West Cape Howe Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Mt. Barker, Great Southern, Western Australia, AustraliaBlack cherry, sarsaparilla, boysenberry blackcurrant jam, lined with a thick layer of mint in this juicy, full-bodied Western Australia cabernet. Tannins are structural and dense, shellacked with anise, but lifted with a shine of tart rhubarb acidity. Sourced from several vineyards in Mt. Barker, each lot is fermented and aged for 18 months in new and used French oak.Prices: BC 38.00 Producer: West Cape Howe
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Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignontext
92PTS

Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThis wine is a monster style cabernet, rich and powerful from start to finish, with black fruit and marzipan aromas mixed with blueberry fruit, expresso, chocolate and clove. It needs to be served at cellar temperature to release some of the fresher notes buried under the weight and heft of this extracted cabernet sauvignon. Big bold and proud of it this savoury red will resonate with those who love their red wine as a big as they can get it. Think barbecue pork or a rare Porterhouse steak for now or cellar it for five years.Prices: BC 69.99 US 50.00 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard Trueman Cabernet Sauvignontext
93PTS

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AustraliaAustralian Charlie Seppelt and American Chris Carpenter are the blokes behind the Hickinbotham revival pushing this Clarendon cabernet front and centre. The wine is shaped by its texture and hence tannins which remain dense throughout framing the wine’s structure to perfection. Pure black fruit/cassis with bits of tobacco, menthol and dark chocolate. The fruit is hand-picked from Clarendon high country at 220 metres where it builds weight and flavour in the warm mornings and freshness and acidity through cool nights. The richness and density makes you think of Pomerol, while the drinkability and savoury aspects remind one Tuscany. First planted in 1971 by Alan Hickinbotham it remains well cared for today under the Jackson Family Wines banner. Delicious especially when decanted for three hours. Cellar through 2025.Prices: BC 89.99 AB 80.00 MB 80.00 Producer: Hickinbotham Clarendon Vintners
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Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignontext
86PTS

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesSweet, ripe, spiced cinnamon and sarsaparilla fill the fleshy mouth of this Paso cabernet. There's ample tobacco herbaceousness that filters through the heaps of ripe, sweeter black fruit, tomato paste, lined with vanilla and scented with potpourri. Tannins are sticky and the finish is short. Its disjointed flavours would better meld with saucy veal shank or roasted Portobello mushroom.Prices: BC 21.99 AB 19.00 ON 19.00 QC 20.00 SK 22.00 NS 26.00 NF 22.00 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Treana Cabernet Sauvignontext
90PTS

Treana Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California, United StatesCabernet Sauvignon has been a long part of the Hope Family’s viticultural history and this wine is an ode to the many who influenced Austin. His father Chuck Hope, his uncle Paul and Napa Valley winemaker Chuck Wagner. It’s definitely Wagnerian at 15.3 percent alcohol but you don’t feel it. It’s opaque with intense, juicy cassis/black currant, blackberry jam aromas and flavours mixed with tobacco, vanilla, clove, and cinnamon spice with surprisingly soft tannins with some smoke and toast at the end.Prices: BC 39.99 US 30.00 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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15 February 2018

Elias Mora Torotext
88PTS

Elias Mora Toro 2014

Toro, Castilla-Leon, SpainEarthy, dusky, dusty black cherry and thorns weave throughout this sinewy termpranillo from Toro. The wildness of this assuredly rustic red is on full display, from twiney, pressed dark raspberry, earthy plum, blueberry, thorns and leather, strung across assertive, sinewy tannins. Don't attempt without meat or heady bean stew.Prices: BC 26.90 Producer: Elias Mora
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Matsu El Picarotext
88PTS

Matsu El Picaro 2016

Toro, Castilla-Leon, SpainDistinct packaging marks this distinctive, small lot Matsu line from Vintae. This is 50-70-year-old biodynamically farmed tempranillo vines from the scrabby, poor soils of Toro, fermented in concrete before aging for six weeks in new French oak. Gritty, grippy in youth, with compact black cherry, earthy anise, and a juicy, pure, wild blackberry core to a salt wash finish. I like this authentic wine, most especially with pork ribs or grilled mushrooms. 89.Prices: BC 20.87 AB 22.99 MB 19.99 ON 17.95 Producer: Bodega Classica (Vintae)
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Matsu El Reciotext
89PTS

Matsu El Recio 2015

Toro, Castilla-Leon, SpainThis characterful (quite literally - see the label) 50-70-year-old tempranillo is thick with Toro heat, coating the palate with dark chocolate, black fruits, tar and vanilla. Tannins are fierce and unforgiving, but by bracketing a silken palate seem tamed (most certainly after a decant). This is intense; you can feel the alcohol here up to the bitter / medicinal cherry and highly grippy finish. I recommend roasted lamb or meat pies to match.Prices: BC 29.00 MB 29.00 Producer: Bodega Classica (Vintae)
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La Crema Kelli Ann Vineyard Chardonnaytext
91PTS

La Crema Kelli Ann Vineyard Chardonnay 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesLa Crema is a well known and highly respected brand in the wine business but it was a real pleasure to taste one of its most treasured estate vineyards, Kelli Ann, a site a mere stone’s throw away from the meandering Russian River. There so much definition to this chardonnay, awash in an intense pear, nectarine and apple nose and a palate with a dusting of spice. Rich but fresh, with sweet lemon and citrus in the finish. It’s aged 15 months in French oak but only 39 percent is new.Prices: BC 59.99 AB 49.99 ON 45.00 QC 42.95 Producer: La Crema
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La Crema Russian River Chardonnaytext
90PTS

La Crema Russian River Chardonnay 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesYou expect the Russian River fruit to project more than Sonoma, and you both sense and taste the intense Meyer lemon and nectarine notes. The lees and weight are well adjusted to be not overbearing. If anything, the honey hangs over the mid-palate weight making it more New World chardonnay than Euro but it finishes balanced and vibrant. Ready to drink now with baked halibut or mahi mahi.Prices: ON 39.95 QC 38.00 Producer: La Crema
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La Crema Saralee's Vineyard Chardonnaytext
90PTS

La Crema Saralee's Vineyard Chardonnay 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesMost of you are too young to remember when the winery was called La Crema Vinera or the “best of the vine,” back in 1979. Saralee’s Vineyard lies in the heart of the Russian River Valley, honouring one of the region's most respected wine growers. The 2015 vintage is highly expressive, offering up tropical orange and crystalline lemon, honeydew, and yellow plums. The palate is similar with even more intense pear and lemon curd flavors and caramel. The textures are lush but not overbearing due to a line of minerality and freshness in the back end. Hedonistic and just plain fun to drink, this is New World chardonnay with a sense of place. Think crab or lobster.Prices: US 60.00 Producer: La Crema
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14 February 2018

Painted Rock Cabernet Franctext
89PTS

Painted Rock Cabernet Franc 2015

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGraphite, dried oregano, bay leaf and sage filters throughout this ripe Skaha Bench estate cabernet franc, seasoning a base of grilled root veg and meat. Potent and dense, with tannins dusted with charcoal coating the mouth and holding in the compact fruit. This earthy, savoury franc spent 18 months in French oak (thirty percent new), building the structure for a few years in the cellar. Indeed, this requires a decant and some hearty fare now (I elect rabbit or venison), or time to fully resolve in the bottle.Prices: BC 44.99 Producer: Painted Rock Estate Winery
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Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Pozza Vineyardtext
88PTS

Orofino Vineyards Cabernet Franc Pozza Vineyard 2016

Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the first public release of a 100 percent cabernet franc from Orofino. The wine was wild fermented and aged in concrete and neutral barrels for six months. The nose is typically savoury, with dried herb aromas and spice dominating the front end. The attack is ripe and soft with sweet, black cherry jam flavours and a leafy finish. It’s easy to drink. It was bottled unfiltered with minimal intervention so expect a fine sediment that needs decanting to avoid a cloudy pour. An attractive start for a wine that should head down the lighter, red fruit road, more Loire than Napa, in subsequent years.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Orofino Vineyards
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Château du Hureau Tuffe Saumur-Champignytext
89PTS

Château du Hureau Tuffe Saumur-Champigny 2014

Saumur, Loire, FranceThe Vatan family has been making wine in the Loire for more than 300 years, with fifth generation Philippe and his daughter Agathe Vatan currently in charge. This cabernet franc was sourced from 15 parcels scattered around Saumur and Dampierre in the Loire, and is the gateway CF for the Château. Though the parcels range in vine age, they all are planted on tuffeau soils (la Tuffe, locally) of varying depth. The farming follows organic and biodynamic practices (en route to certification for bio), and the wine spent up to two years in tank (underground in the chalk cellars) prior to bottling. Highly fragrant and perfumed with wild raspberry, young strawberry, redcurrant, dark plum and lined with a sapid earthy herbaceousness on the light bodied palate. Acidity is shining and tannins are gossamer gritty. A lovely charming red for solo sipping or with wild mushroom dishes.Prices: BC 27.00 Producer: Chateau du Hureau
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13 February 2018

Tio Pepe Extra Dry Palominotext
87PTS

Tio Pepe Extra Dry Palomino NV

Sherry Jerez - Manzanilla, SpainClassic nutty, spicy, rancio, peppery nose with bits of dried apple and sea salt. Fresh, light-bodied style with dry, nutty, spicy, salty almonds and aggressive acidity. Simple and effective, especially when chilled and served with prawns or olives or deep-fried fish sticks.Prices: BC 22.00 Producer: Gonzalez Byass
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Alvear Finotext
88PTS

Alvear Fino NV

Montilla-Moriles, SpainClean, tight and bone dry, with a slick of earthy nuttiness and a slight woody wave on the subtle, shorter palate. Olive, bitter lemon, almonds, green fig and ample salt finishes snappy. This is a great, affordable fino that requires a brisk chill and bowl of lemon dressed olives.Prices: BC 17.00 SK 16.00 ON 12.00 NS 14.00 Producer: Bodegas Alvear
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Alvear Solera 1927 Pedro Ximeneztext
91PTS

Alvear Solera 1927 Pedro Ximenez NV

Montilla-Moriles, SpainThis solera was begun in 1927, so some portion of this special wine is now 90 years old. Pedro Ximenez grapes are harvested late, and spread out on mats to dry in the southern Spain sun until they are raisins. When these concentrated fruits are pressed, the must is exceptionally sweet, and quickly muted with the addition of spirit. Dark maple syrup, treacle, roasted hazelnuts bed this luxuriously unctuous wine, one that streams along the palate with a rivet of acidity. Roasted pecans, walnuts, tobacco are tweaked with salty hoisin and elongated with dried figs and browned caramel, with rolling waves of acidity to carry. Full in the mouth and quite sweet (405 g/l RS) with exceptional length.Prices: BC 30.00 Producer: Bodegas Alvear
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12 February 2018

Jason Parkes Customs Gobsmacked Cyclops Lovetext
87PTS

Jason Parkes Customs Gobsmacked Cyclops Love 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe 2016 sounds as if it gobsmacked winemaker Jason Parkes who calls it “At once, fat and rich but also blessed with laser-like acidity.” The latest blend is muscat and pinot auxerrois with a twist of gewürztraminer giving it, yet again, a nod to the Alsace Edelzwicker style. Indeed, it’s aromatic and ripe but with fresh, floral fruit and enough minerality to draw you back into the glass time after time. The colourful ‘kid’ label is courtesy of Jason’s 7-year-old daughter. Jason suggests you serve it with hotdogs on the beach and we can’t wait.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: The Hatch
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The Hatch Dynasty Whitetext
88PTS

The Hatch Dynasty White 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Dynasty White goal is extravagant opulence which explains a chardonnay mixed with sémillon and a dash of muscat. The nose opens with a strong floral, honey, spicy, baked pear aromas setting you up for a lush mid-palate held together by a light thread of citrus. The chardonnay and the sémillon is fermented in older oak before spending nine months in stainless steel barrels on their lees to promote texture and freshness. A touch of muscat was added at the end bringing a sweet fat floral note to the glass. Think Thai, Indian or Chinese menus for the best food match.Prices: BC 31.77 Producer: The Hatch
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Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Classic Whitetext
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Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Classic White 2015

Languedoc, South of France, FranceLean and clinically clean, this is a youthful, stainless steel blend of white grapes from Languedoc. Light lemon, light green apple on a light palate - well, you get the picture. This is a very simple and rustic, green-edged, citrusy wine, ideal to crack in a bistro with a simple bowl of steamed clams. Great price.Prices: BC 11.00 Producer: Laurent Miquel
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Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho Brancotext
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Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho Branco 2016

Alentejo, Central and Southern Portugal, PortugalThe Monte Velho line was started by Esporão in 1992 to provide an accessible, approachable and affordable everyday drinking wine, produced in the same philosophy and standards as their other wines. This is a blend of Antão Vaz, Perrum, Roupeiro from around the Alentejo and from long-term sustainably-farmed contract growers, produced entirely in stainless. Green melon, herbal lemon, white grapefruit, prickly pear, cherimoya on a medium bodied, lees-slicked palate, with toasted pine nuts to a snappy finish. Intriguingly streamline and supple, and a worthy match to oily fish.Prices: BC 23.00 Producer: Herdade do Esporão
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09 February 2018

Red Rooster Pinot Gristext
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Red Rooster Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaRipe and full pear, white peach, perfumed apple blossoms, with a twinge of lemon / grapefruit sourness that cuts through the plump palate. A fine dusting of spice closes out the finish. Juicy and joyous, this is a classic, friendly BC pinot gris.Prices: BC 15.69 AB 18.00 NL 32.99 Producer: Red Rooster Winery
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Church & State Pinot Gristext
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Church & State Pinot Gris 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFrom their Saanich Peninsula property, on Vancouver Island, this is a clean and zippy pinot gris. Yellow apple, pear, gingerale and so a snappy, shorter, warming finish. Nothing exciting here, but a simple Island white to match up to prawns or scallops.Prices: BC 19.90 Producer: Church & State Winery
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Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis is the pinnacle OCP gris grown at the home Switchback Vineyard in Summerland. The 11-year-old clone 52 vines sit on an east / southeast facing slope of calcium carbonate-laced, gravelly soils. This was the vision of Chris Coletta, David Scholefield, Pedro Parra and Alberto Antonini, and the picture is now crystal clear. Weight and power with finesse, cloaked in savoury quince, pear skin and musk melon, all certified organic. The fruit is fermented on native yeasts and is aged in concrete for ten months on gross lees. A wine so distinctive it outruns its grape variety, displaying only flavours of place. Bravo.Prices: BC 24.90 Producer: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
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07 February 2018

Finca El Encinal Crianzatext
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Finca El Encinal Crianza 2016

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThis wine is so typical of Ribera del Duero: warm, earthy black fruits, leather, crushed florals, broken stones, dark cocoa, baking spice. Though you feel the structure of the wood, it doesn't overwhelm the fruit of this youthful wine. Estate tempranillo from Pesquera and Sotillo aged six months in 50/50 American/French oak. Energy, plus structure, plus drinkability = winning combination.Prices: BC 25.99 Producer: Finca El Encinal
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Pixide Tempranillotext
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Pixide Tempranillo 2013

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainDense, thick and meaty, typically Ribera del Duero, this is 25-50 year old bush vine tinto fino (tempranillo) from the clay-limestone soils of Tubilla del Lago, and over 850m altitude. After a week maceration and fermentation in stainless, this spent six months in 1-2 year old oak, 90 percent of which is French and the remainder American. Dark spicy red fruit, black plums, forest berries fills the compact palate, short and muscular and sulky. Tannins are thick and a bit ropey, making this potent wine a great match for lamb or wild boar.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Marta and Mate
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Rolland Galarreta Tempranillo Merlot 2014

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainRoasted meats, brooding, rich dark fruits, crushed violets, caramelized root veg fill the savoury palate of this luring red. It's impossible to miss that Michel Rolland is involved (it's right there in the name), but if you were poured this blind, you could still recognize his handiwork. Rolland has partnered with Javier Galarreta on this Ribera del Duero tempranillo / merlot blend. The grapes are 35 years old, grown on skinny soils over limestone bedrock. The ample French oak (10 months spent) is here well integrated into the dense black fruits, with espresso and sticky, pipe tobacco tannins framing lifted by swells of acidity (this is from vineyards at 900m altitude). Sweet baking spices and vanilla linger on the finish. This is drinking well now, but will certainly rest a few years in your cellar.Prices: BC 32.99 AB 30.99 MB 25.99 NS 32.88 Producer: Bodegas y Vinedos Valtravieso S.L.
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Sarmentero Roble Ribera del Duerotext
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Sarmentero Roble Ribera del Duero 2015

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThe winery is based in the backyard of a wee house in the tiny town of Quintanilla de Arriba, Valladolid. Amparo Repiso, 4th generation winemaker, decided to start her own winery in 2004 with just one barrel of wine. A new winery came in 2013 to process the fruits from her two tempranillo vineyards. This is a blend of plots, expressing crushed berries, dusky florals, root vegetables, stony spice and a lingering medicinal cassis on the firm, compact palate. Five months in French and American oak smooth this out for drinking now, and without too much wood influence to detract, save for a crunchy, cedar, shorter finish. Good value for your weekend steak frites.Prices: BC 21.99 Producer: M. Amparo Repiso Vallejo
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Sarmentero Vendemmia Seleccionada Ribera del Duerotext
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Sarmentero Vendemmia Seleccionada Ribera del Duero 2014

Ribera del Duero, Castilla-Leon, SpainThe winery is based in the backyard of a wee house in the tiny town of Quintanilla de Arriba, Valladolid. Amparo Repiso, 4th generation winemaker, decided to start her own winery in 2004 with just one barrel of wine. A new winery came in 2013 to process the fruits from her two tempranillo vineyards. One year in French oak provides the structure, with a wink of vanilla lines the stony base. Compact and dense blackberry, liquorice, savoury thorns, black plum, cracked black pepper fill the generous palate, and wood gripped tannins house it. Lengthy and spicy, this is drinking beautifully now but will hold for five+ years in the cellar.Prices: BC 41.65 Producer: M. Amparo Repiso Vallejo
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Treana Chardonnaytext
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Treana Chardonnay 2015

Central Coast, California, United StatesThere is no holding back here in what is a full-on, rich, tropical version of this grape. Look for a boisterous nose of orange blossom and caramel. The weighty intense tropical notes of guava and orange ride over a bed of crème brûlée. The finish is long and surprisingly fresh with bits of minerality and flecks of marmalade butter. Try this with spicy fish dishes.Prices: BC 24.99 AB 23.99 US 18.99 NF 34.99 Producer: Hope Family Winery
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Lake Sonoma Chardonnaytext
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Lake Sonoma Chardonnay 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesA warm year has made an impression on this very tropical California chardonnay but the oak and lees still defer to the rich mango fruit. The palate is long and lively with fine creamy textures followed by bits of vanilla and caramel. A little more classic and little less cool this year but still well made. Try this with fresh cracked crab.Prices: BC 21.49 AB 22.50 SK 23.97 MB 24.96 ON 28.00 QC 27.95 NB 26.49 PEI 27.23 YK 26.65 Producer: Lake Sonoma Winery
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnaytext
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Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016

Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast, California, United StatesThe Brewer – Clifton philosophy is embedded in the geographic, geologic and climatic peculiarities of the Santa Barbara sub-AVA Santa Rita Hills. The fruit is intense and tropical and using only neutral barrels allows it to shine through without any extra weight, but with power and finesse. There are four vineyards in the blend, using a mix of clones including a Wente selection originally taken from the original Nielsen Vineyard planted in Santa Maria in 1964 and the Mount Eden selection of chardonnay, each adding complexity. As for the wine, it's amazingly fresh and juicy with floral undertones and bright lemon and lime flecked with ginger and lees. Impressive stuff and ready to drink. Try this with grilled lobster tail and butter.Prices: US 0.00 Producer: Brewer-Clifton
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06 February 2018

Rodney Strong Chardonnaytext
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2016

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe regular Sonoma chardonnay is 60 percent barrel fermented and aged for six months in 50/50 French and America oak; the rest is fermented in stainless steel. The style is getting fresher but the ripe fruit and leesy buttery tones suggest malolactic. Texture remains a focus even at this level. The fruit is a mix of ripe peach and red apple with tropical, pineapple notes. A pleasant sipping, Sonoma-style chardonnay. Try this with a chicken salad.Prices: BC 22.99 AB 21.95 QC 20.00 ON 21.95 SK 22.99 MB 19.99 NB 25.00 YK 26.00 NF 26.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Sonoma Coasttext
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2015

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United StatesWinemaker Justin Seidenfeld is a fan of this Petaluma vineyard and does all he can to reveal its maritime-influenced site. All the fruit comes off a vineyard in the Petaluma Gap which gathers coastal fog and sea breezes late in the afternoon to cool down the air and the grapes. The result is a longer, colder growing season and that leads to more elegance and complexity. It’s mostly barrel fermented in new French oak and some 60 percent is aged 10 months in barrel (85 percent new) adding spice and toasted, creamy, vanilla notes to a green apple, pear lemongrass mix. Ready to drink. Serve with pesto pasta or a Santa Fe chicken salad.Prices: BC 35.00 AB 35.00 ON 29.95 QC 29.95 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hilltext
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Chalk Hill 2015

Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe light, volcanic, white ash soil of the Chalk Hills appellation is the story of a chardonnay evolving every year into a first class, delicious drinking wine. The in-house high-end chardonnay program is permeating the entire range beginning with less obvious oak and fruit and more complexity. In this case the nose is fresh, the attack is juicy with mineral, pear/apple, Meyer lemon fruit flavours. The palate is creamy but not overbearing with bits of nectarine and wet stone notes in the finish. Crab or halibut all work here. Less is more and we love the direction of this wine.Prices: ON 26.95 BC 27.99 QC 26.00 SK 29.99 AB 27.99 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Chardonnay Reserve 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe RS reserve comes off meticulously farmed sections of some of the very best vineyards in Russian River Valley. The lots are vinified separately in the Artisan Cellar, in the best barrels, and blended just after malolactic before returning to barrel to complete the aging process. Alternating cool and warm summer periods allowed for longer hang time and a chance to add some clone 15 Arata Chalk Hill chardonnay for the first time in many years, bringing added freshness to the traditionally ripe flavours of clone 76 fruit off the Santa Rosa plain. The new oak is down to 23 percent and it makes a difference, leaving creamy lemon, tropical fruit flavours with flecks of brown spice. Ready to drink.Prices: US 40.00 ON 45.00 BC 52.99 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Davis Bynum Chardonnaytext
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Davis Bynum Chardonnay 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesGreg Morthole believes the best vineyard sites yield fruit that distinctively express the characteristics of its location, and so each year he blends his favorite blocks and clones from their River West Vineyard. 2014 was a super warm year that saw Morthole picking as early as August 13. In 2015, only 40 percent of the wine sees new oak, and the remainder is 2-4 years-old, and it all gets monthly bâtonnage. I love the fresh citrus styling and creamy lees notes with a background of floral, tropical, pear tones. Serve with creamy cheeses, vegetable ravioli or mushroom pasta. The wine is a mix of 32 percent clone 15, 24 percent clone 809, 18 percent Spring Mountain, 11 percent clone 76, 10 percent clone 4 and 5 percent Wente.Prices: BC 34.95 ON 29.99 AB 34.95 QC 32.75 Producer: Davis Bynum Winery
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05 February 2018

Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron Traditiontext
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Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron Tradition 2016

Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux, FranceThis crisp 70/30 sauvignon blanc/sauvignon gris was plumped up with aging on the lees along with regular batonnage. Asparagus, lemon pith, light cream, green meadow on a lean palate, laced with bright pink grapefruit acidity and perfumed with passionfruit. A youthful, easy approach to Bordeaux whites if you're used to the more assertive Kiwi style.Prices: BC 17.00 Producer: Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron
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Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Charlotte's Hometext
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Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Charlotte's Home 2016

Northern Sonoma, Sonoma County, California, United StatesRodney Strong first established this sauvignon blanc vineyard in 1971, naming it Charlotte’s Home in honor of his wife. The same site remains the core of today’s Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc, along with select estate vineyards in the Alexander, Russian River and Dry Creek valleys. There is more freshness in 2016 versus 2015, mixing guava, citrus, orange, lime and candied grapefruit. Grassy, mineral bits sprinkle across the tropical, passionfruit palate that finish with an appealing sour note. Perfect for fish with a fruit salsa, vegetarian or pasta dishes. The ferment is 90/10 cold fermented in stainless steel tanks with no malolactic, with the latter barrel fermented in French oak barrels with full malolactic. A ripe, delicious drinking style that is a fine counter to the more aggressive New Zealand style.Prices: BC 19.99 AB 18.00 ON 18.95 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Holiday Editiontext
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Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Holiday Edition 2016

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandThere are no surprises with Kim Crawford, unless getting it mostly right every year surprises you. There is a softer acidity here and less bitter lime rind notes that mark a lot of commercial Kiwi sauvignon blanc. The fruit is a mix from the Wairau Valley and neighbouring Awatere Valley and it's bright and showy. Expect a citrus entry with mango, pineapple and passionfruit flavours, juicy with a touch of sweet fruit. An easy-sipping style for asparagus, young goat cheese or shellfish. Drink up.Prices: PEI 19.99 NS 23.00 QC 20.00 ON 19.00 MB 22.00 SK 19.00 AB 23.00 BC 19.99 NB 23.00 YK 24.00 Producer: Kim Crawford Wines
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02 February 2018

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Rodney Strong Russian River Pinot Noir Estate Vineyards 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesA sea change in style here and it’s fun to see. A light to translucent pinot red colour greets you in the glass along with spicy, cedar, forest floor notes. The attack is silky and very spicy with a mix of earthy, twiggy, red fruit flavours and a much more ethereal pinot styling with a long, warm silky finish. It has the intensity of the Russian River but with restraint, and a touch less sweetness, giving it a far more complex finish. Duck or grilled salmon steaks would be my first choice.Prices: BC 28.00 AB 27.00 US 19.00 ON 25.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Sonoma Coasttext
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Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2014

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, United StatesA year down the road this wine is still bright and juicy. It is a new release from the Rodney Strong winemaking team, focusing on Green Valley, one of the coolest parts of Sonoma Coast. The fine sandy loam Goldridge soils, remnants of an ancient inland sea, gives the wine its unique style. Aging for 10 months in French oak barrels, one third new, has added just enough weight and texture without robbing the pint of its character. Expect a cool forest floor, rooty, earthy note that mixes well with its pomegranate and raspberry notes. The palate is warm and silky with a hint of cola and baking spices. New world but with adequate restraint to respect the variety. Delicious too.Prices: BC 0.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Reservetext
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Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Reserve 2015

Russian River, Sonoma County, California, United StatesThe RS Reserve used to be a mix of individually selected lots from sites across the Russian River Valley, but the 2015 is the first to be gleaned solely off Jane’s Vineyard (since 2008) and most of it is from the go-to Crinella block. A short crop (some 2 tons to the acre) has intensified the fruit flavours but it’s the texture and weight that makes this wine special. It balances the richness of its Russian River terroir and the delicacy of pinot noir. A smoky, spicy, luscious style but with the appropriate acidity to keep the finish fresh, light and wrapped in silky tannins. Aging in French oak for 14 months but only 20 percent new, has made a big difference. Impressive.Prices: BC 50.00 Producer: Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards
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01 February 2018

Rocca delle Macie Vernaiolo Chiantitext
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Rocca delle Macie Vernaiolo Chianti 2016

Tuscany, ItalyClassic introductory Chianti now quite fresh in style. Still youthful with spicy, juicy easy-sipping red fruit for mid week dinners or luncheons. A classic spaghetti/hamburger/grilled chicken red for immediate consumption. Ready to drink.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 11.50 QC 13.60 ON 11.10 AB 18.99 1000 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Famiglia Zingarelli Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classicotext
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Famiglia Zingarelli Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2015

Tuscany, ItalyA nice change in style here with more red fruit, more fragrance and really more authentic sangiovese. A kinder, gentler version of the grape with floral overtones, spice and bright, fresh, light red fruit, even in a warm year. Food friendly and supple, you can drink this most nights of the week with a favourite pasta dish. A 95/5 mix of sangiovese/merlot from several estate vineyards, aged in Slavonian or French oak barrels for a period of 6 to 10 months, refined further in the bottle.Prices: BC 18.49 AB 21.00 MB 27.00 ON 18.95 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Rocca delle Macie Moonlite 2016

Tuscany, ItalyMoonlite remains a fresh, clean, bright, citrus lined white now revamped to a 40/40/20 blend of chardonnay, vermentino and pinot grigio from two Maremma estates: Campomaccione and Casa Maria. White flowers and minerality set the tone for this easy sipping wine, with a wash of lime pith and crisp, grassy finish. Perfect for sushi or tapas.Prices: BC 21.66 ON 14.95 AB 21.00 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Rocca delle Macie Campomaccione Morellino di Scansanotext
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Rocca delle Macie Campomaccione Morellino di Scansano 2016

Morellino di Scansano, Maremma, Tuscany, ItalyThe Zingarelli project in Morellino di Scansano is based at the Campomaccione estate in Tuscany’s Grosseto province. The family bought the 198-acre property in 1998 and followed that in 2003 with the purchase of 166-acre Casa Maria estate. In local dialect, sangiovese has long been called “morellino,” a reference to “Morello,” a breed of horse formerly used to work on farms. It said the farmers liken the wine's dark colour to the coats of the Morello horses. The blend is 90/10 morellino/cabernet sauvignon. Expect an enticing fragrant nose, with fine concentration of aromas and flavours seemingly bolstered by the cabernet. It will surprise with its stony, mineral notes and warm Mediterranean ripe fruit flavours. Impressive. Try with both roasted and barbecued red meats.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 11.50 QC 13.60 ON 11.10 AB 18.99 1000 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Famiglia Zingarelli Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classicotext
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Famiglia Zingarelli Rocca delle Macìe Chianti Classico 2013

Tuscany, ItalySlightly more evolved nearly two years down the road, the Classico is a 90/10 mix of sangiovese/merlot that’s aged in Slavonian and French oak barrels for a period of 6 to 10 months before further refinement in bottle. Beginning to mellow, this is a savoury, tobacco, cherry scented nose with a touch of truffle. Dry, elegant, and round, it has a medium bodied peppery, tobacco, cherry, meaty presence. Ready to drink with lamb osso buco or rabbit in a tomato sauce.Prices: BC 16.49 AB 21.00 MB 27.00 ON 18.95 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Rocca delle Macie Riserva di Fizzano Chianti Classico Gran Selezionetext
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Rocca delle Macie Riserva di Fizzano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013

Florence, Tuscany, ItalyRiserva di Fizzano Gran Selezione is a 35 hectare single vineyard that mixes gravel and sand over a rolling south-facing hillside. There are plans to replant the site to higher density vines over the next two decades. There is power here but mostly elegance and styling in 2013 that makes Fizzano, a 95/5 sangiovese/merlot, a pleasure to drink. Look for a lot of black cherry, blackberry with spicy, earthy, mineral, medicinal clove notes and a lashing of smoky oak.Prices: BC 39.99 ON 27.00 NB 34.99 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Rocca delle Macie Tenuta Sant'Alfonso Chianti Classicotext
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Rocca delle Macie Tenuta Sant'Alfonso Chianti Classico 2015

Tuscany, ItalyRocca delle Macie Tenuta Sant'Alfonso is from a 40ha single vineyard site now completely replanted in the central Classico part of the Chianti DOC. Sant'Alfonso is sangiovese grown on clay heavy soils giving the wine a richer, fuller palate mixing liquorice and wet mud scents with cherries, milk chocolate and earthy spices. Big but supple, it has persistent length in the mouth and a fine, chalky finish. A partner with aged cheeses and a variety of richer pasta dishes. Drink or hold, there is no rush here. Yields are low at 5-6 tons per hectare.Prices: BC 17.99 AB 11.50 QC 13.60 ON 11.10 AB 18.99 1000 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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Rocca delle Macie Brunello di Montalcino Esperienza No. 8text
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Rocca delle Macie Brunello di Montalcino Esperienza No. 8 2012

Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, ItalyThese are early days for this Brunello but Sergio Zingarelli is committed to making the king of sangiovese at Rocca delle Macie. Expect a fragrant, elegantly styled sangiovese with classic floral red fruit on the nose and palate. The styling is all about balance, with persistent yet understated power. The best fruit from top blocks is aged in Slavonian oak barrels for three years, followed by more time in the bottle. One to watch in the coming years.Prices: BC 57.99 Producer: Rocca delle Macìe S.p.A.
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