Monday, June 25, 2012

Wines for Canada Day 2012

Each year July 1st marks Canada’s “birthday” and many of us have the day off and an excuse to celebrate. Sadly, Canada Day doesn’t always equate to good weather, therefore, we've compiled a list of wines for you to enjoy no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.

For this year's list we're, appropriately, only listing the excellent and under appreciated wines of Canada, which, with the recent passing of Bill C-311 should be easier to purchase across Provincial borders in due time.

If it’s nice and hot where you are – and ideally that will be the case for most of us – then we have some heat-quenching wine suggestions for you to enjoy of a hot patio, deck or dock.

Chateau Des Charmes 2010 St. David's Bench Vineyard Sauvignon - $15
The acid is high and a tad sharp, but when paired with a hot deck and fresh oysters, you'll be thankful it's there. The moderate finish lingers with cool minerality and tart, green apple flavours and just a hint of spice.
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Bartier-Scholefield 2010 Rosé Table Wine - $20
The concentration achieved on the palate is so great and cheerful, that despite the dryness, one is left with a loving embrace of freshly baked cherry-goodness and rhubarb-tang. The texture and balance are spot-on with a touch of tannin from the Gamay skins and mouth-watering acidity.
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Young and Wyse Collection 2011 Pinot Gris - $20
Cool, crisp and masculine with lively stonefruit, lemon/lime, pink grapefruit and peach skin characters and a nice mineral backbone highlighted by a steely finish and a touch of lingering spice.
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If it’s cloudy where you are, well, look on the bright side – at least it isn’t raining. Cloudy weather (assuming it’s also a bit cool) calls for something with a bit more body as your senses aren’t being overloaded with sun and heat. A nicely oaked Chardonnay is the cure.

Cassini Cellars 2009 Reserve Chardonnay - $29
A delightful, fully oaked Chardonnay from a concentrated, hot vintage that manages to remain fairly bright and fruity - not burdened with the chunky nature of lesser, over-oaked Chards.
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JoieFarm 2009 Reserve Chardonnay - $30
A gorgeous nose of candied pears, cold butter and river rocks is presented subtly followed by increased intensity on the dry palate with lush poached pear characters, slick minerality and some tropical fruit notes. Sits lovingly on your palate with evenly matched energetic acid and glycerol fullness.
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Herder Winery and Vineyards 2009 Estate Chardonnay - $35
A full bodied Chardonnay with just enough acid to add extra dimension to the lush mouth feel and liven up the long finish. A satisfying all-spice taste lingers.
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If it’s raining where you are then you may be spending a large portion of your Canada Day indoors. This calls for a soothing and cheerful red wine to lift your spirits.

Hillebrand Winery 2010 Trius Cabernet Franc - $15
Not overly complex, but tasty and satisfying with good concentration and moderately intense tannins. The finish is long and balanced with lingering clove spice and a touch of minerality.
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River Stone Estate Winery 2010 Merlot - $20
The tannins are tad rough but tend to enhance the rustic, terroir-driven character of this wine. Some vegetal notes are present on the dry palate, but the fruit is ripe and expressive. Good concentration, good balance, mouth-watering acid and a uniquely spicy presentation all for just under $20!
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Fairview Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc - $27
A cool, but long 2010 growing season has given birth to a low alcohol and nuanced Cabernet Franc that offers a warm, feminine nose of violets, mandarin peel, ripe blackberry, boysenberry and soft oak aromas.
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Have a wonderful and safe Canada Day celebration – wherever you are!

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What's In Your Cellar, John?

John Skinner
Painted Rock Estate Winery

Prior to starting a winery, John was a stockbroker for 25 years where he would have been very familiar with the concept of buying and holding. As a wine enthusiast first, his passions were routed with blue chip Bordeaux wines and as such it should be no surprise that the family's excellent estate wines take their inspiration from the long lasting wines of Aquitaine and are making proud editions to many collector's New World section of their cellar.

Q - What are your favourite wine regions to cellar?
To break my cellar down I think it is 70/30 Old World to New World. I began collecting wine years ago and bought reasonable quantities of names that I enjoyed. The majority are Bordeaux because I knew them and had confidence in their ability to cellar. I also have wines from other regions in France and a fair amount from Italy. In recent years I have expanded my largely Napa New World section to include some great Chilean producers, some smaller Australian producers and a number from Washington and Oregon. Happily my BC section is growing as the quality of our regions wines improve and I have greater confidence in the wines ability to cellar.

Q - What is the purpose of your wine cellar?
I actually bought a small but very high quality cellar from a very good collector some years ago because he had gems from virtually every good region in the world. This I called “due diligence” for my building a winery. My cellar was somewhat one dimensional and this cellar added opportunities for me to do broad regional comparisons which I have found very helpful.

Q - Is there a jewel of note or a favourite wine in your collection?
I own some very good Bordeaux 1st Growths that I take great pleasure sharing with my adult children but my favourite cellaring experience to date was buying a case of 1984 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard in 1988 and starting in 1998 opening a bottle a year with my buddies. For our Christmas lunch we would each bring a favourite and I decided to take them on a 12 year experiment. That wine was almost routinely the favourite each year until the last when it sadly disappointed. We were never quite sure if the wine was past its prime or it was a bad bottle. It wasn’t corked but was tired. Great memories.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Winery Spotlight: Tinhorn Creek

Few wineries in the Okanagan Valley can top the consistent value-for-money-to-quality ratio executed by Tinhorn Creek with their impressive line-up of varietal wines priced at $20 and below. The list offers a wide range of wines that should appeal to your touring party where everyone should find something they like, including, for the discerning bunch, a series of excellent, cellar worthy reserve wines.

Located in the Southern Okanagan's soon-to-designated appellation of the Golden Mile Bench, Tinhorn boasts a handsomely situated winery and wine shop with an adjoining restaurant which serves wine-friendly entrées and tapas-styled sharing plates. Miradoro sells Tinhorn wines at wine shop prices and offers a decent list of local favourites from neighboring wineries with the normal restaurant mark-up. A cool, wine community-building gesture, however, with the menu at Miradoro geared towards matching the Tinhorn line-up, the "house wines" remain your best bet.

Family-Friendly Credentials
Tinhorn's Compost Pile
So... you're touring with your family trying to balance your time with fun activities for the kids and wine related fun for the adults. It's hard to commit to winery tours that adhere to a posted schedule and will likely cause your kids to yawn and complain. Tinhorn Creek removes these barriers with their self-guided winery tour that you can start or stop at anytime and not feel like you're holding up a tour group full of folks who, although, publicly smile at your kids are secretly wishing you hadn't brought them.

For older kids, who have caught the save-the-planet fever we all do at some point in our youths when we still think we can single-handedly change the world, you can regale them with the impressive details of Tinhorn's concerted effort in going Green. They are Canada's first 100% carbon neutral winery which includes an emphasis on recycling water and composting all materials. That should satisfy even the most cynical teenager in the group who's pissed they can't drink and you can.

Key wines to try:
Cabernet Franc
Oldfield Series 2Bench Red

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What's In Your Cellar, Daenna?

Photo by Barry Komar
Daenna Van Mulligen, aka The Wine Diva
Writer, Publisher,

Busy writing for national publications like Vines magazine, recording radio segments and maintaining two popular wine websites, it's no wonder that Daenna has had little time to actively manage her cellar of late. Stocked for personal gratification only, you're more likely to find in her cellar wines sourced while on her many trips to the world's wine regions with emotional attachment being valued much higher than investment potential.

Q - What are your favourite wines to cellar?
There is no one particular region or variety we collect. When we (my husband and myself) began “seriously” collecting wine, we had just fallen in love (quelle surprise) with Burgundy. So, if you were to catalogue our cellars, you’d find more red Burgundy (with a smattering of white) bottles than any other.

Saying that, we wished we’d diversified earlier in our collecting years. It’s great to have a deep selection of vintage Burgundy to choose from, but like anything, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. We learned after several years to expand, but I wish it we’d done it sooner.

Q - What inspired you to hold onto that first bottle or case beyond when it was ready to drink?
Not sure actually – forgetfulness…?
Was there a particular bottle or region of wine that was the impetus of starting your collection? We started with BC wines in 1996. The only one we had left was a 1994 Okanagan Vineyards Cabernet (made by Sandor Meyer, now the winemaker of Inniskillin Okanagan), which we dragged back and forth across the country when we moved to Toronto in 1999 and back to Vancouver in 2003. We finally opened it (thinking it must surely be vinegar) with my friend Terry David Mulligan about two years ago, just as a curiosity. It was fantastic!

Q - Is there a jewel of note or a favourite wine in your collection?
Not one single one, at least not that I can think of. I personally find the bottles I’ve brought back from trips I have taken to be the most special to me. The owner or the winemaker has given these bottles to me - some are even signed. When I drink them (although I have not had much opportunity lately) it takes me right back to my visit, to that winery, that region and even the food I may have eaten at that time.

Q - How do you store your collection?
Good question *smile*. We have two freestanding temperature-controlled cellars in our home; there are some cases in a downstairs closet, which is rarely used. We have some off site (for really long term wines like Port, Bordeaux and some Burgundy) cellaring and an out of province cellar at my mother in law’s home, back in the prairies. That cellar is in her root cellar and I have not been back in about eight years. I look forward to seeing some gems (including old Riesling and Sauternes) we’ve nearly forgotten about, this summer.

Q - What causes you to actually pull the trigger on a special bottle from your cellar?
Several times a year, we get together with some other geeky (but not annoyingly affected) wine folks and delve in. I think it’s most important to share great wine. So we all bring some bottles from our cellars and crack them open with simple foods. My husband and I have a load of ‘97s from around the world, which we save for our anniversary each year – or other “special” occasions.

Q - What have you learned about wine from starting your collection?
OMG – everything and nothing I’m sure. I was in a completely different career when I began collecting, so I’d like to think I’ve learned enough to fill a few books…but I’m still learning – that NEVER stops.

Q - Any general comments about building a cellar/collection?
1. If you invest in a cellar – like a condominium sized refrigerated cellar, always go bigger than you think. Always. For instance, if you think a 50-bottle cellar is big enough buy a 100-bottle cellar. Odds are, even that will eventually become to small.
2. Research the bottles you are buying to cellar - the region, the variety and especially the producer. Look for providence, are these wines expected to age well based on those criteria.

Q - What advice would you share to anyone wanting to start a collection of wine?
Diversify, diversify and diversify. If you love Burgundy I understand, but purchase wines from Rioja, from Piedmont and Chianti, from Barossa and Bordeaux. Please don’t forget Rhone, Alsace and Mosel, Loire, Portugal, Central Otago and California and even South America and South Africa. There are ultra-premium wines from South America and South Africa, which are half the price (or less) than those from the Old World (Europe) and also completely age-worthy.

 -  Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bordeaux 2011 Futures and Wine Laws

The Future of Futures For those of us in the Lower Mainland who read-up on the Bordeaux en primeur reviews and ratings each Spring and love deciding which wines to gamble on, change is coming. Vancouver boutique wine shop, Marquis Wine Cellars, has chosen to suspend its yearly futures campaign indefinitely leaving a gap in the local market for Bordeaux collectors. For Marquis the futures campaigns were too much of a gamble for a small business to take with too much capital locked up in the uncertainty provided by the BCLDB's practice of price setting based on the current demand for the wines during their annual Bordeaux release - a full two years after the futures campaign.

As I documented with my comparison of 2008 Bordeaux Futures VS BCLDB Prices, sometimes the consumer wins and sometimes the consumer loses - but too frequently, Marquis would be left vulnerable with little-to-no margins on wines the BCLDB decided to discount. A risk they have decided to pass on for the foreseeable future.

Alas, BC Bordeaux lovers are left without a local purveyor of en primeur futures and can either wait for the official BCLDB release over two years later or contact a local private shop as the wines are received. Or is there another option?

Bill C-311
An interesting development for BC wine lovers is the passing of Bill C-311 by the Senate this past week which allows for a yet undetermined amount of wine to be shipped across Provincial borders for personal consumption. How much wine is still unclear and whether or not the Provincial Liquor Boards won't try and regulate the Bill to death remains to be seen. However, should these issues be cleared up and the Bill be allowed to be enacted with its full spirit of the law intact, which includes online patronage, it should open the door for BC Bordeaux lovers to look East to Alberta to satisfy their en primeur cravings.

Calgary stores like Willow Park Wines and Spirits have a great online presence and expansive futures campaigns that may fill the void left by Marquis Cellars' decision to bow out of the Bordeaux betting game. Willow Park doesn't have to compete with a Provincial government body willing to change the rules of the game on a whim. They can set their en primeur prices as they see fit and stay in control of the margins needed to remain a profitable business... the nerve!

You can follow the progress of the passage of Bill C-311 via Mark Hicken's website.

Vintage 2011
With the reports of the 2011 vintage now heavily circulated and the en primeur prices set, the current consensus is that 2011 will be a consumer-friendly vintage with many prices half what they were for the much lauded 2010 vintage yet with mostly positive comments on quality. Market-wise, the vintage reminds me of the 2008 campaign when prices were slashed after the perceived price-gouging of 2006 and 2007 despite the higher scores awarded to the 2008 wines.

For the Bordeaux lover that was priced-out of the 2009 and 2010 vintages, 2011 will enable a return to that vertical of Ponet-Canet that you'd been building loyally until prices went crazy. Investment opportunity may be down as few may seek out 2011's for their cellar in ten years time, but folks who plan on eventually drinking everything in their cellar should be happy with the ageability and quality of the vintage. Thoughtful selections will be rewarded with patient cellaring.

Best Bets:
  • Ch Branaire-Ducru, St. Julien
  • Ch Calon-Segur, St. Estephe
  • Ch de Fieuzel Blanc, Pessac-Leognan
  • Ch Doisy-Daene, Barsac
  • Ch Pavie-Macquin, St. Emilion
  • Ch Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
  • Vieux Chateau certan, Pomerol
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's In Your Cellar?

Whatever the budget and for whatever purpose, the cellar is both the physical embodiment of one's love of wine and a personal history of one's relationship with it. It may be bursting at the seems or a sparse collection of favourites or perhaps it remains a dream unfulfilled. Whatever the case, building and maintaining a collection of wine is the ultimate act of love that rewards loyalty, patience and devotion.

There's a story or memory behind every bottle added and every bottle extracted. They may be enjoyed alone or with friends and family or on display for personal gratification. The wine in your cellar may give insight into your personality and it may pose more questions than answers; it's guaranteed to be of intrigue to any other wine lover and second only to the subject of children it is a surefire conversation starter with anyone equally afflicted.

If you've ever wondered what wine industry folks put in their own cellar or if you're simply looking for advice and inspiration about improving or beginning your own collection, throughout the Summer we'll be posting interviews with Canadian winemakers, proprietors and wine media personalities that will hopefully enlighten and engage. The story behind one's cellar can be just as interesting as the wine held within so stay tuned as we ask, "What's In Your Cellar?"

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Day Tour - Eclectic Characters

The boutique wine business attracts the type of people who'd be considered "eclectic" by any standards due to the all-encompassing nature of a vocation that requires you to be equal parts farmer, marketer, chemist, small business owner and public relations guru. Some folks are born into the business and others find their ways to it from varied backgrounds. A common thread amongst the personalities at the center of your favourite boutique winery is a desire to communicate the story behind the wine and entertain. The following wineries all offer unique and diverse experiences when visiting; eclectic characters all.

 Working from North to South along Highway 97, the wineries to visit are:
  1. Hidden Chapel Winery
  2. Fairview Cellars
  3. Stoneboat Vineyards
  4. Rustico Farm and Cellars

  - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What's In Your Cellar, JAK?

JAK Meyer
Meyer Family Vineyards

As the proprietor of an Okanagan Falls winery devoted to producing top quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it's no surpire that JAK lists Burgundy as a favoured region to cellar. He looks for wines built to age and evolve over a long time which also draws him to the red blends of Bordeaux and the intense Cabernets of Napa Valley. It is with Napa Cabs that his cellar began, but as his tastes have evolved, so has the make-up of his cellar.

Q - What are your favourite wines to cellar?
My preferences have changed through the years but the ones I keep coming back to are the Bordeaux’s.

Q - What is the purpose of your wine cellar?
This has also changed dramatically as I have learned now I only cellar wines that will evolve and last, purely for enjoyment and sharing.

Q - What inspired you to hold onto that first bottle or case beyond when it was ready to drink?
My first case purchase was a case of 2000 Leonetti Sangiovese from Washington. I was told this was a great wine and should get some on release. I tried a bottle right away and thought it was terrible and very disappointed. They sat for years and one day I1 tried another and it was unbelievable! I loved that wine and now 10 years later I am down to my last couple of bottles and wished I had more!

Q - Is there a jewel of note or a favourite wine in your collection?
2005 Chateau Leoville Las Cases, St-Julien and 2005 Chateau Pavie, St-Emilion. I have not tried them yet but bought these upon release. They are both 100 point wines that I am patiently waiting to try.

Q - Any particular duds or disappointments of note?
Tons. I have about 600 bottles in my cellar and in my early years I bought lots of wine that was ready to drink but had no cellar potential or ageability. I was cellaring faster than drinking and the young wines with no ability to age have turned bad.

Q - What causes you to actually pull the trigger on a special bottle from your cellar?
I say any wine, at any time can be drunk. I would prefer that it is ready but wine is made to be drunk and I will open anything in my cellar.

Q - What have you learned about wine from starting your collection?
The changes in wine are fascinating! I never would have guessed wines could evolve as much as they do.

Q - Would perusing your wine cellar offer any insight into you as a person?
That I am extremely disorganized and messy. My wine cellar looks like a storage room with half the bottles in cases on the floor but I do know where everything is! It looks like my desk.

Q - Any general comments about building a collection?
Decide on the region or varietals you like. Look for bargains such as same area as highly scored wines but relatively unknown. Follow the wine critics and reviewers to find the hidden gems. You will be so happy the day you bought a wine at $40 dollars and then find the later vintages selling for $100 or more. It's like finding hidden treasure!

Q - What advice would you share to anyone wanting to start a collection of their own?
Buy wines for their cellaring capabilities only. Buy wines that will last 10 years or more. Anything else just drink or mark clearly to be drunk in 2 to 3 years.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

BC Wine Deal: June 8th, 2012

The following wines have been reduced in price at participating VQA wine shops and BCLDB stores.

Little Straw Old Vines Auxerrois was $18.90 is now $17.90
Nkmip Merlot was $19.99 is now $18.99
Perseus Pinot Grigio was $19.90 is now $15.90
Saturna Island Rose was $16.99 is now $14.99
Summerhill Organic Pinot Noir was $24.95 is now $19.95
Open Cabernet/Merlot was $14.99 is now $13.49
Open Merlot was $14.99 is now $13.49
Open Sauvignon Blanc was $14.99 is now $13.49

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Paris Tasting of 1976 – A Modern Recreation

Thursday, June 28th
Everything Wine @ Morgan Crossing
$100 per ticket plus HST
For tickets please call 604-542-2480

It was the spring of 1976, pant legs were wide, hair was long, and as far as the world was concerned, only the French made world-class fine wine. Then came the Shot Heard ‘Round The World that changed everything. That shot was the so-called JUDGEMENT OF PARIS, best known to everyone by its representation in the film “Bottle Shock”, and it signaled an end to the French dominance in the world’s perception of fine wines. In the wine industry it is one of the most important, defining moments of the last hundred years.

The event, organized by a Brit named Steven Spurrier (played in the movie by Snape – I mean Alan Rickman), pitted French Bordeaux against Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, and French Burgundies against Californian Chardonnays. The real twist to this competition, however, was that it was conducted BLIND, and adjudicated by FRENCH JUDGES. It was expected that the French wines, with their thousand years of refinement and Terroir trial and error, would crush these young upstarts handily. Imagine their surprise when the Californian wines, however narrowly, edged out these classic French wines in the eyes of the French judges. It put California on the Wine Map, and the French have never gotten over it.

Everything Wine in South Surrey are going to stage an homage, if not outright re-creation, of this seminal wine event. With the purchase of a ticket, you will join our panel and pass blind judgment on a collection of Californian and French wines, most of which were original competitors of the first tasting those 36 years ago. The tasting will be blind: you will not know which wines are which until you have already evaluated and ranked them, and we will use the original 20 point grading system.

The wines:
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2005 $1099.99 (an original competitor)
  • Clos de Marquis 2005 $106.99 (Second wine to Leyoville-Les-Cases, an original competitor)
  • Clos Du Val Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $89.99 (original competitor)
  • Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $59.99 (original competitor)
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Second wine to S.L.V., an original competitor)
  • Joseph Drouhin Clos De Mouches Blanc 2009 $119.99 (original competitor)
  • Louis Jadot Meursault (pending Confirmation) 2009 $99.99
  • Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2007 $79.99 (original competitor)
  • Grgich Hills Chardonnay 2008 $75.99 (winemaker of Ch Montelena, original competitor)
Tickets to this event are $100 per seat, and are EXTREMELY limited. There will be light cuisine prepared by Chef Alistair Veen of Tap Restaurant, and it’s going to be totally awesome. I hope you can join us for this one-of-a-kind- event!
 - Jordan Carrier - Vintage Room Consultant, Everything Wine @ Morgan Crossing

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Winery Spotlight: Rustico Farm and Cellars

Rustico Farm and Cellars is a theme-park winery that devotes itself to remembering the Okanagan Valley's Old West roots. Before the valley became the agricultural marvel that it is today, it was a fur trading out-post and then a Gold Rush-era mining community. Of course, before all of that it was home, and still is, to the Okanagan first-nations people. None of this has anything to do with wine traditionally, but so-what? It's a fun theme and certainly a memorable experience.

Rustico's proprietor, the affable, story-telling Bruce Fuller, plays the role of a wise-cracking and savvy saloon owner to a tee and although some may find the shtick a bit kitschy at times, many will find it charming and undoubtedly unique. He pours his wines into whiskey tumblers which actually doesn't mute the bouquet or palate as much as you might expect. Each wine is served with a story about its name (often cheeky stories - ask about the "Farmer's Daughter") and each visit concludes with multiple photo ops of the tasting room decor or of the man himself.

Eclectic Credentials
There may be no tasting room in the Okanagan more eclectic than Rustico's which takes its adopted Western theme to nth degree and there is certainly no proprietor more eclectic than Bruce Fuller who is usually seen in full cowboy costume both at and away from the Golden Mile Bench winery. Immerse yourself in the saloon-styled tasting room and take a moment to check-out the many authentic antiques and tongue-in-cheek named wines.

Key wines to try:
Bonanza Zinfandel
Farmer's Daughter Gewurztraminer
Mother Lode Merlot

- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Monthly Picks: June 2012

More new releases and a couple of old favourites in this month's picks.

Columbia Crest Winery 2009 Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon - $15
A touch of sweetness is present both on the nose and palate which makes for a very easy-going drinking experience. The balance is a tad sharp to off-set the residual sugar and plum flavours.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2008 ‘Old Vines’ Riesling - $17
A medium-plus bodied Riesling, mostly due to the sugar levels, yet, never feels heavy or "fat" due to the leaning qualities of the acid and mineral notes.
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Fort Berens Estate Winery 2011 Pinot Gris - $18
This nearly-dry, mouth-watering and fruit-forward style of Pinot Gris is a joy to drink and a happy alternative to the many meaty and heavy versions produced in BC today.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2011 Gewurztraminer - $18
Blessed with natural fullness and a creamy mouth feel, this release succeeds by reigning in the body with vibrant, mouth watering, citrus acidity that structures the Asian pear, apple and lychee fruit characters beautifully.
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Gold Hill Winery 2009 Syrah - $27
If you're looking for a Syrah with something to say, something loud, then this is the Syrah for you. Big, bold and boisterous with good intensity on the nose and palate that will pair beautifully with your next rack of BBQ ribs.
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Fairview Cellars 2009 The Bear - $35
Lovers of wine with a refined bite (fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity) will adore this vintage of The Bear. As for development, the sky's the limit. I look forward mightily to re-tasting this wine in two year intervals over the next eight as it melds and evolves.
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Mollydooker Wines 2010 The Boxer - $37
Ultra ripe dark fruit and pepper spice aromas are carried through to the massive palate with licorice and mocha flavours adding complexity. Pair with tangy BBQ steaks but leave time to quaff the gorgeous, warm nose.
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