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

Monday, June 15, 2015

Try This, Cellar That - BC Merlot

Our Try This, Cellar That series returns with a focus on BC Merlot:

Try This...

Bartier Bros. 2011 Merlot - $22-27
This tasty, blackberry pie-infused wine is actually a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the later of which, is mostly perceptible on the nose where floral notes are a welcomed addition to the otherwise, berry and wild herb bouquet. The palate is quite full and smooth, with medium tannins and a gentle roundness to its texture. Ready to go now and currently on sale in BC (June 2015).
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Cellar That...

LaStella 2012 Maestoso "Solo" Merlot - $100
True to its impressive lineage, the 2012 Maestoso represents the peak of Merlot production in the Okanagan Valley. Elegant, layered and supremely complex. Look for dark berry, sweet plum, toasted oak, dark chocolate, fresh herbs, mocha, vanilla toffee, menthol and warm spice aromas followed by a medley of similar flavours on the ultra-dry palate with a strong focus on the juxtaposition of the berry and savoury characters. With several hours of decanting you can enjoy this wine today, though, 2-3 more years of bottle age would maximize your investment.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca