Saturday, October 1, 2022

Monthly Picks for October '22

In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. For the US, it's November. The origins too, are different, but the modern-day traditional meal and cultural experience are quite similar: family, friends and food. Our Monthly Picks list for October is focused on perfect pairings for the ultimate Thanksgiving meal, no matter when you celebrate it.

With Turkey

SpearHead Winery 2021 Pinot Noir 
Rosé - $25
A rich and opulent rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes, opening with a peachy-strawberry scented nose followed by a refreshing, yet, plump palate of similar flavours, additional mineraly, grapefruit notes and enough cranberry acidity to keep the finish light and crisp. Just about everything you want from a BC blush. 

Winemaker's Cut 
2020 Bohemian Pinot Noir - $37
An unrefined, opaque Pinot Noir with subtle layers of cherry, wild sage and sweet herbs on the compelling, earthy nose. The juicy palate offers more prominent fruit with flavours of black raspberries, plums and black cherries supported nicely by the presence of  lightly toasted oak. A touch more acid would do wonders to the overall balance, but there's plenty to enjoy, on its own or paired with Thanksgiving turkey.

With Ham

La Frenz Winery 2021 Sémillon - $23
Look for aromas and flavours of grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi, mango skin, lemongrass, and Asian pear on the fragrant nose and the mouth-watering, yet, oily palate of this Naramata Bench sourced Sémillon. Ready to go now of hold for the potential of further evolution. 

Winemaker's Cut 
2020 Bohemian Riesling - $26
A vibrant and well-balanced Riesling with an expressive nose of pineapple, nectarine and unpasteurized honey aromas followed by an off-dry, yet, dry-finishing palate with similar fruit flavours and additional notes of tangy peach, lemon-lime and a hint of ginger. A refreshing wine to be served on its own or as a nice counter-balance to hard, white cheeses like Gruyère. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Monthly Picks for September '22

For September we're showcasing some recently reviewed "Big Reds". "What makes a red wine 'big'?" you might ask. Well, let's discuss that...

Generally, a big red has at least 3 of the following:

- Robust tannins (whether earned or otherwise, but hopefully earned)

- Depth of flavour (think, layers upon layers)

- Extraction (a density and or intensity, preferably due to traditional methods like starting with ripe fruit or bleeding or elévage and not due to technology)

- A hefty price tag (comes with the territory - only you can imply value, or lack thereof)

Gold Hill Winery 2018 Merlot (Golden Mile Slope) Okanagan Valley - $43

A big Merlot with a beautiful, intense nose of ripe, mixed-berries and rich, savoury notes offering impressive depth and opulence. The intensity continues on the plump, high-alcohol palate, though, the luscious layers of plum, black cherry, mocha, toasted oak and cigar box keep the balance in check and the finish tasting smooth where refined tannins and a touch of spice linger.

Full Review

Gold Hill Winery 2017 Cabernet Franc (Golden Mile Slope) Okanagan Valley - $43

Already peaking at 5 years of age, this is a refined, yet, intense Cabernet Franc with an expressive nose of crushed blossoms, violets, vanilla and lots of brambly fruit. Smooth on the palate, this medium-tannin wine from the newly designated Golden Mile Slope region of the Southern Okanagan offers layers of ripe, verging-on-pruny fruit and elegant, savoury flavours without ever feeling heavy or over extracted.

Full Review

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2020 Merlot - $32

The Burrowing Owl Merlot is back to its intense, yet, elegant self with the newly released 2020 vintage which elevates the label's rich'n'racy style to more familiar heights. Always a beautiful blend of blackened berries, licorice-spiced oak and punchy acidity, the 2020 offers more depth and length on the palate and finish with added notes of eucalyptus, cooking spice and iron.

Full Review

Uko Select Vineyards 2018 Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza) Argentina - $18

An under $20 Cabernet Sauvignon with this much depth and balance should not be possible, but the Uko Select Vineyards brand makes it happen, year-to-year. What the wine lacks in refinement, it makes up for in character and intensity without resorting to tons of added sugar for a faux-richness like too many Cabernet of the same price range from California. The Uko is dense and intense without feeling over-extracted or heavy.

Full Review

Monday, August 1, 2022

Monthly Picks for August '22

For August our monthly picks tell the tale of two Chardonnay. Both are produced by the same winery using the same (general) methods and most intriguingly, using the same clone of Chardonnay (95). The major difference is the location and, as in real estate, location is everything.

Get your hands on both of these Chardonnay and do your own side-by-side comparison. Send us your feedback on Twitter: /IconWines 

SpearHead Winery 2020 Saddle Block Chardonnay - $30

Sourced from their home vineyards, this is an uber-expressive, operatic wine with over-the-top intensity and lots of tangy acidity on the tropical'n'melon flavoured palate. It won't be for everyone, especially those expecting the predictable comfort of a partially-oaked, refined Chardonnay. Ready to go now.

Full Review

SpearHead Winery 2022 Duncan Vineyard Chardonnay - $30

Offers some of the tropical fruit notes of its East Kelowna-sourced, portfolio cousin, the Saddle Block Chardonnay, but otherwise stands on its own with a unique blend of elegant and party-boat characters. Fruit cup and a medley of ripe and tangy orchard aromas and flavours pair nicely with a touch of minerality, subtle savoury elements and a gentle kiss of oak. Finish is long and well balanced.

Full Review