Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monthly Picks: August'15 - Random Reds

Random red wines to be enjoyed during the last days of Summer.

Pascual Toso 2013 Malbec - $15
A fruit-forward Malbec with ripe'n'tangy blackberry and chocolate-cherry liqueur aromas followed by a bright, yet, approachable palate of similar flavours and added earth, spice, vanilla and light oak notes. Finish is short, though, a touch of spice lingers on the tongue.
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Averill Creek Vineyard 2014 Foch Eh - $16
Offers some classic and uniquely Foch aromas of toasted marshmallow, Grandma's grape jelly (including the canning wax), candied rhubarb, wild berry fruit and dried herbs. Palate is tangy, juicy and very raw with some prune-y fruit characters, smoke and spices on the moderate finish.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir - $20
Offers a nice combination of red fruit and funky, earthy notes with cherry cola, sweet soil and dried herbs as highlights. Palate is medium-everything, as Pinot usually is, with a smooth entry, some juicy red fruit mid-palate and a mouth-watering finish where herbs and cherry notes linger.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2012 Heritage Block - $25
One of the best, mid-range, red blends, consistently every year, that opens with sweet'n'smoky berry fruit, spicy chocolate and perfume aromas on the nose. The tasty palate that follows is structured with soft tannins and berry acidity, offering a flavour profile representative of its blend of Bordeaux varieties.
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River Stone Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc - $26
Shows depth on the nose with blackberry, wild flower'n'herbs, plum, soft spices, boysenberry and light cedar aromas. The dry, well-structured palate expresses similar flavours with added coffee grind and earthy notes and fine, ripe tannins. The finish is long and balanced with lingering wild berry notes.
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Le Vieux Pin 2012 Équinoxe Syrah - $90
A beast of a Syrah, yet, still feminine and floral in style. A true femme fatale with both mass and levity, opening with a gorgeous blend of black cherry, crushed violets, vanilla-mocha, white pepper, spicy plum sauce and sweet pipe tobacco aromas on the memorable nose. The intense, brooding palate follows with concentrated dark red fruit and smooth pepper flavours, effortless acidity and ripe, fine-grained tannins.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monthly Picks: July '15 - BC Pinot Gris

This month's wine picks celebrate BC's 2nd most planted white variety (by acreage), Pinot Gris. Produced in many styles, the Province offers a range of Pinot Gris from barrel aged, rich versions, to lean, stainless steel brews, often labelled as Pinot Grigio and everything in between. Try them all and find your favourite style. (prices include taxes)

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris - $17
Serve it at just below room temperature to highlight the round, blooming, melon and tropical fruit characters that hide in the background when the wine is chilled. The steely-citrus remains to help balance the lushness, but, the star attraction becomes the plump, sweet fruit.
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SpierHead Winery 2014 Pinot Gris - $19

A stainless steel aged Pinot Gris from Summerland, offering a contrast of tart, mouth-watering, green-apple and tropical fruit acidity and an off-dry-ish level of residual sugar to achieve its crisp balance and desired texture.
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River Stone Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Gris - $20
The house style for River Stone's Pinot Gris may be settling on a vibrant, punchy expression of the varietal, after two consecutive years showcasing tangy, mineral-infused orchard fruit with background lees and herbal characters adding depth on the nose and palate.
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Bench 1775 Winery 2014 Pinot Gris - $20

One of the tangiest Pinot Gris in the Okanagan, but not the leanest, with some wanted fullness in the mouth from a touch of residual sugar and the 14% alcohol contributing body.
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Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Gris - $20

Shares many characteristics with partially, barrel-aged Chardonnay; full-ish, spicy, leesy and creamy. The flavour profile is somewhat similar as well, with some rich, ripe melon and orchard fruit galore, but this is undoubtedly a Pinot Gris thanks to tell-tale, nectarine, unpasteurized honey and meyer lemon notes.
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LaStella Winery 2014 Vivace Pinot Grigio - $22
he Vivace is produced in the Italian, Pinot Grigio style which focuses on a clean, crisp expression of the Pinot Gris grape. Offering ripe, orchard fruit, wild herbs, citrus peel and stonefruit on the nose and palate, and supported on the palate by citrus acidity and just enough residual sugar to mask the alcohol and create a joyful and full-ish texture in your mouth.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Try This, Cellar That - BC Meritage

BC's Meritage blends come in many different styles; from easy-going sippers to cellar-dwelling trophy wines and everything in-between. Here are two options from the same vintage and geographical area, the Black Sage Bench in the Southern Okanagan; one for now, one for later.

Try This...
TIME Estate Winery 2012 Meritage Red - $30
The Time Estate Meriatge is a Right Bank inspired blend of 60% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc with intense, blue-fruit purée aromas supported by dry herbs, mocha and warm oak notes. Still an early-to-mid-range drinker to enjoy while your other blends incubate. Drink now-2018.
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Cellar That...
Black Hills Estate Winery 2012 Nota Bene - $55
Nota Bene has been a Cabernet Sauvignon-leading blend for the past 11 vintages, but, for 2012, the winery has switched back to a Merlot-driven Meritage blend, similar to the inaugural release of 1999. The latest edition sees a whopping 57% Merlot mixed with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc and despite the changes, the 2012 offers good typicity for the iconic brand suggesting the vineyard site is the most dominant influence over the finished wine and not the finite percentages of the main components. Drink 2017-2022
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca