Monday, December 19, 2016

Top 20 Wines of 2016

The format for our Top 20 list uses a subjective approach taking into account availability, collectability and relevance in the world of wine. For simply the highest rated wines of the year please visit our Top Rated Wines of 2016 list on All Top 20 Icon Wines of the Year were released within the calendar year in the BC market. Reviews based on barrel samples were excluded.

#1 - Icon Wines of the Year
Cassini Cellars 2013 The Aristocrat - $40
This is a world class, single-vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Southern Okanagan showing excellent typicity for the variety and aged in French oak barrels. Look for ripe cassis and elegant vanilla aromas on the nose with some added spicy-savoury notes providing more layers to explore.

#2 - LaStella 2013 La Sophia - $80
Beyond its tell-tale, Southern Okanagan watermark of dried herbs,  LaStella's "La Sophia" is a doppelgänger for the top-end Cabernet Sauvignon that come out of Washington State's Walla Walla Valley. Both complex and ultra-refined with layers of dark fruit, vanilla extract, licorice, sweet coffee grinds, mint and a hint of graphite already developing.

#3 - Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Red Icon - $55
Though tasting a little tight and wound-up today, the youthful 2014 Red Icon shows fantastic promise with excellent concentration and depth on the intense, masculine nose and the refined, long-lasting palate. This year's blend is comprised of 33% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, 16% Petit Verdot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, each contributing their own unique aromas and flavours to the collective.
Icon Score

#4 - LaStella 2013 Maestoso "Solo" Merlot - $90
Harmonious layers of ripe, blackberry and dark plum fruit, vanilla fudge, spiced oak, chocolate nibs, dried herbs and light menthol aromas make the developing bouquet as equally compelling as the complex. refined palate. Intense, ultra-ripe, dark fruit dominates, supported by savoury notes; toasted oak, vanilla mocha, smokey tannins and cooking spices. Has the structure to age gracefully, though, with several hours of decanting you can enjoy this wine today.

#5 - Le Vieux Pin 2013 Équinoxe Syrah - $90

A feminine and moody Syrah with densely packed layers of ripe black cherries, peppercorn, spiced plums, licorice, sweet pipe tobacco aromas and lovely floral notes of potpourri, nectar and violets. The palate is equally dense and concentrated, bursting with mouth-watering, cherry-cola and smoky, black pepper flavours with fine tannins and red berry acidity contributing structure and balance.

#6 - JoieFarm 2014 Viognier - $28
A new edition to the JoieFarm portfolio and affixed with a shiny, new label, this is a supple and supremely well-balanced Viognier loaded with apple, honeydew, ripe peach, apricot and citrus flavours. On the nose are similar melon and orchard fruit aromas enhanced by sweet, floral notes and hints of exotic, tropical fruits.
Icon Score

#7 - La Frenz Winery 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir - $35
Opens with a luxurious nose of big, California-ripe, red fruit aromas which instantly grab your attention, yet, this is BC Pinot Noir, through and through, with layers of both savoury and sensual notes like dried spices, sweet peat, spiced plum, French vanilla cream and dark chocolate. The palate offers a similar fruit-to-savoury ratio with prominent, dark cherry and black plum flavours leading the way, medium-plus weight, fine tannins and effortless, wild berry acidity adding viscosity to the finish and leaving your mouth watering and in-anticipation of the next sip.
Icon Score

#8 - Le Vieux Pin 2014 "Cuvée Classique" Syrah - $45
The palate is dense and solidly structured with levity coming from blood orange acidity. Good continuity from the nose carries through to the flavour profile with more emphasis put on berry fruit on the entry and peppery spice on the long finish. Ready to go now with more development to come over the next 5-6 years.

#9 - Bench 1775 Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc cl 214 - $27.50
An elegant, sweetly perfumed Cabernet Franc produced from a single clone of the French variety and sourced from the winery's Osoyoos vineyards. Both rich and lively on the palate with refined tannins, concentrated berry fruit, rounded texture, smooth spices, surefooted oak, fresh berry acidity and good length.

#10 - SpierHead Winery 2014 Pinot Noir Cuvée - $32
 Lives up to its billing as the winery's flagship Pinot Noir (they make 2 others), this micro cuvée is blended from select barrels and produces a beautiful wine, rich in complexity and texture. The loving embrace of French oak is felt on the vanilla-kissed, cherry-raspberry nose and on the vibrant, medium-plus bodied, red fruit and tea leaf palate. Structure is solid with silky-smooth tannins and huckleberry acidity. The finish is long and spicy with lingering dark cherry and Black Forest cake flavours.

#11 - JoieFarm 2014 "En Famille" Reserve Pinot Noir - $40
 A fantastic, barrel select, Pinot Noir sourced from Naramata and Summerland vineyards and true to its cool-climate roots with an only-in-BC blend of vibrant red fruit, silky-smooth sweet herbs and flowers, cedar plank, fine tannins and spicy earthy notes.

#12 - Viña Montes 2013 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon - $25

This wine offers crazy intensity and depth for the price with concentrated, black currant, eucalyptus-mint, toasted oak and warm spice aromas on the dense nose followed by a velvety palate with similar flavours and a long, refined, mouth-watering finish where lively dark fruit puree notes linger. Has the pedigree to age a decade.

#13 - Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - $30
Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels and then for a further 12 months in bottle prior to release, the 2Bench Red is a drink-now delight with lightly-smoked, mannered tannins and a dark fruit'n'herb-infused profile on the expressive nose and lively palate. 

#14 - LaStella 2014 Fortissimo - $30
The 2014 edition of the Fortissimo sees 57% Merlot, 21% Sangiovese 11% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon blended to create a beautiful wine combining brambly berry fruit flavours and acidity, lush tannins, savoury notes and spicy oak. The finish is oh, so long and well balanced with cherry, dried herbs, vanilla and pipe tobacco lingering.

#15 - Liquidity Wines 2015 Viognier - $25
A full-bodied Viognier sourced from Okanagan Falls and Similkameen Valley vineyards and fermented in small stainless steel vats with some textured extracted from extended contact with the skins. Rich on the nose and palate with aromas of melons, tropical fruit and unpasteurised honey and flavours of papaya, peaches, apricots and grapefruit. 

#16 - Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Syrah - $32
The Oldfield Series Syrah returns from a two vintage hiatus to 
deliver a dense, masculine expression of the Rhone variety with a compelling nose of dark cherry, dried blueberry, vanilla-cola, clove, star anise, pepper and a hint of cured meats. Fine, dusty tannins and bright, wild berry acidity add structure and frame the palate, which offers plenty of pepper and other spices mixed with ripe, cherry and black plum flavours and savoury notes like coffee grinds, raspberry seeds and licorice. 

#17 - Maverick Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay - $26
A delicious, single-vineyard Chardonnay with excellent balance on the perfumed, feminine nose and the expressive, orchard'n'citrus infused palate. Sourced from the winery's Golden Mile property, the juice was fermented in French oak and then spent a further 6 months in barrel, on lees, which helped impart some body and texture to the palate and contributed warm, nutty-baked good notes to the nose.

#18 - Le Vieux Pin 2013 Retouche - $60
Le Vieux Pin's 2013 Retouche is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Syrah sourced from Southern Okanagan vineyards along the Golden Mile and Black Sage benches. The wine spends 18 months in older, French oak barrels prior to bottling and showcases the effortless compatibility of the Cab-Merlot combination with Syrah contributing some rich spice notes on the nose and palate.

#19 - Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - $28
A cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon with a firm, spicy structure and a vibrant, wild berry, acidic edge, balanced nicely by infatuating layers of fleshy, blue fruit and smooth, toasty-warm oak. Ready to go now or enjoy of the next 2 years.

#20 - Black Hills Estate Winery 2014 Carmenere  - $50

This early-to-mid-range drinker opens with a wall of pepper spice on its lustful, perfumed nose with sweet, cured meat, tomato stock and mixed-berry aromas adding depth. Rich, berry-cream and mocha-chocolate characters dominate the entry, followed by some fruity-flabbiness mid-palate, then boysenberry acidity livens-up the peppercorn-infused finish.
Icon Score
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 

No comments:

Post a Comment