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Tasting Notes

Banfi 2017 Brunello di Montalcino

Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

This was a hot and dry vintage, resulting in earthy and fruit aromas, flavours of red berries, tobacco, herbs, matched by powerful tannins that promise a long-lasting wine. Aged for two years in oak, it will be ready to drink in 2024 or later; decant it for two hours or, better yet, wait one or two years. Serve with steak Florentine, game meats, lasagna.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: June, 2023
Price: $60.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-2028

Beaulieu Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California, USA

For over 100 years, BV has been making classic Napa Valley wines. This blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Petit Syrah and Cabernet Franc, is a dry, medium-bodied wine with aromas of dark berries, herbs. Flavours of raspberry, dark cherry, chocolate, toast. Well balanced with moderate tannins, it will age well. Enjoy it with steak, roast beef, hard cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: January, 2024
Price: $50.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-28

Beringer 2018 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA

Beringer is California's longest continually operating winery, having started in 1875. A sophisticated and full-bodied wine, it is a Bordeaux blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Petit Vedot and Zinfandel, which gives it soft tannins and a rich structure. It can be enjoyed now, but it will improve with age. It is expensive, but is often on sale. Drink it with grilled meats, roast beef, charcuterie.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $51.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Superb

Beringer 2019 Private Reserve Chardonnay

Napa Valley, California, USA

After 150 years, Beringer knows its stuff, and this chardonnay is an exquisite example. Rich, creamy and luscious, the floral and peach aromas immediately draw you into the flavours of honey, pineapple and vanilla. Aging for 10 months in oak adds a light toastiness that does not detract from the fruit. Full-bodied and nicely balanced with a long finish. Drink it now with cheeses, paté, duck, lobster.

Rated: Exquisite (93-100 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $62.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2021-24

Beronia 2017 Rioja Reserva

Rioja, Spain

A long-time favourite of ours, this Tempranillo consistently delivers exceptional value. The winery's name was what the Celts, who lived in Rioja Alta in the third century BC, called the region. Aromas of blackberry and earth, followed by smooth tannins, black fruit and oak. Enjoy this full-bodied wine today with grilled meats, roast duck, hamburgers, pizza.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $25.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-26
Previous Tastings: 2016, 2015 - Very Good

Black Sage Vineyard 2016 Cabernet Franc

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

"Located at the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, with scorching mid-summer temperatures, the rugged bench was thought to be good for little more than growing scrub and grazing cattle in the early 1900s." - Winery

From 20 year old vines on the Black Sage Bench in Oliver, BC, this wine is the product of an exemplary vintage. Floral and fruity with flavours of black fruit and spice. Full-bodied, well-balanced with firm tannins. Enjoy it with grilled meats, barbequed chicken, duck.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: July, 2023
Price: $32.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-25
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Good (85-88 Points)

Blue Mountain 2020 Estate Cuvée Chardonnay

Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Blue Mountain Vineyard was started in 1971, and has 31 hectares cultivated under the watchful eyes of two generations of the Mavety family. This wild fermented chardonnay, aged in oak for 18 months, is elegant, creamy and light. Nicely balanced tropical and floral flavours. Enjoy it today with pork, Fettuccini Alfredo, shellfish.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $29.90 Winery online: bluemountainwinery.com
When to drink: 2022-24

Bordertown 2017 Living Desert Red

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, each aged separately in oak, this is a well-priced example of the quality being produced in the South Okanagan. Bold, dry and structured, with flavours of berries, dark chocolate and herbs. Enjoy it with beef and venison.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: January, 2023
Price: $30.00 Winery online: bordertownwinery.com
When to drink: 2021-23

Bordertown 2020 Cabernet Franc

Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

2020 was a banner year for red wine in the Okanagan Valley. This is a well-priced example of the quality being produced in the South Okanagan. Bold, dry and structured, with flavours of dark berries, tobacco, spice and herbs. It will improve with age. Enjoy it with grilled meats, cheeses.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: February, 2024
Price: $22.49 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-27

Bordόn 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva

Rioja, Spain

A Rioja classic with over 125 years to its name, this blend of 70% temperanillo, 20% Graciano and 10% Mazuelo is aged for 30 months in American oak. Intense ruby red with cherry, red berry and smoky flavours. Medium-bodied with soft tannins. This robust yet elegant wine pairs perfectly with grilled meats, game, roasts and strong cheeses. Ready to drink now.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $42.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-25
Previous Tastings: 2009 - Very Good

Borsao Zarihs 2019 Shiraz

Campo de Borja, Aragón, Spain

This rich, full-bodied wine, deep crimson in colour, has aromas of blackberries, black cherry, vanilla and spice. The flavours changed as we drank it during a meal: first it was fruity (as you would expect from a Shiraz), then it softened, and finally developed an earthy complexity that was outstanding. It is ready to drink now but decant it for at least one hour for the full effect. Enjoy it with roast duck, pasta with meat sauce, grilled lamb chops, strong cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: April, 2024
Price: $35.97 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2024-27
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Superb

Boutinot 2017 La Côte Sauvage Cairanne

Cairanne, Southern Rhône, France

Cairanne received appellation status in 2016, raising it above its previous Côtes du Rhône Villages designation due to the quality of its wines and terroir. Matured for 22 months in French oak, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is rich and intense with soft tannins. Fragrant aromas lead to flavours of cherry and blueberry. Drink it now with hearty meals, such as duck cassoulet.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $39.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2016 - Very Good; 2015 - Superb (91-92)

Burrowing Owl 2019 Pinot Gris

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

When we first tasted it a year and a bit ago, we didn't think it would compare to the 2018, but now: wow did it ever come into its own after four years! It is a favourite due to its dry, crisp, toasty, creamy fruit flavours. Aromas of grapefruit, honeydew, pear and wildflowers. Drink it now with crab cakes, white fish, melon and prosciutto.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $27.00 Winery online: burrowingowlwine.ca
When to drink: 2022-23
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Superb

Burrowing Owl 2020 Merlot

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

After malolactic fermentation and aging in oak for 14 months, this is a solid, juicy Merlot that is currently fruit forward but will develop into a smooth, complex, lovely wine if you can resist the temptation to drink it for two more years. In fact, it is a big enough wine to cellar for up to 10 years. Tastes of black cherry, plum, sage, with soft tannins. Enjoy it with grilled meats, duck breast.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $32.00 Winery online: burrowingowlwine.ca
When to drink: 2024-29
Previous Tastings: 2005 - Very Good

CARO Amancaya 2018 Red Blend

Mendosa, Argentina

A collaboration between two highly acclaimed winemakers, Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Nicolas Catena Zapata, this wine is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from the high altitude vineyards of Mendosa. Together, these two renowned winemakers have created a wine that is smooth, full-bodied and complex.

The colour is an intense deep ruby, with aromas of ripe dark fruits, toasted spices and subtle notes of leather. It is full-bodied and silky with layers of blackberry, cherry and spice. The finish is long and lingering with smooth tannins and a hint of pepper. A great match for grilled meats, game and smoked cheeses.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $34.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-25
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Very Good

Camille Cayran 2020 Grande Réserve Cairanne

Cairanne, Southern Rhône, France

This blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah comes from the Cave de Cairanne Co-Op founded in 1929. Cherry aromas, flavours of blackberry and strawberry, soft tannins, nicely balanced. Give it another year to improve, and drink it with roasted chicken, duck, lamb.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $27.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26

CastelGiocondo 2016 Brunello di Montalcino

Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

"CastelGiocondo's unique location in Montalcino, with its varied exposure and terrain - galestro, clay and Pleocene sands - offers infinite nuances to this Brunello." - Lamberto Frescobaldi

With its vibrant ruby colour, floral and dark berry bouquet, elegant tannins, and plum and cherry flavours, it is one of the finest. Aged for five years in the cellar, it will be ready to drink next year or later, but decant it for an hour. Serve with steak Florentine.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: October, 2022
Price: $60.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-2027
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Exquisite (93+ Points)

Catena 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Mendosa, Argentina

Since 1902, Bodega Catena Zapata have been high altitude wine pioneers in Mendosa. This "high mountain vines" wine is a blend of four vineyards with different elevations and soils; 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Dark ruby colour, aromas of raspberry, pepper, clove; full-bodied flavours of black currant, cedar. Enjoy it with grilled meats.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $26.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25

Cavas de Weinert 2011 Cask Selection

Mendosa, Argentina

Aged for 9.5 years in French oak casks, this blend of 40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot embodies the terroir of the high mountain vineyards (where it is cool enough to produce fine wine). Its aromas of dark fruits, herbs and spices are well-integrated with its oak aging. On the palate, it has a balanced acidity and tannins, with layers of blackberry, cedar and tobacco notes. The long finish has hints of mocha and leather. Enjoy the complexity and balance of this wine with lamb, beef and game.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $53.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-25

Chateau Ste Michelle 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

Columbia Valley, Washington, USA

“We craft our Columbia Valley Cabernet to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style.” - Bob Bertheau, Winemaker

From one of Washington oldest vineyards, this Cabernet is medium-bodied with soft tannins. The result is an uncomplicated, easy-drinking wine. Tastes of blackberries, mocha, coffee. We like it with rack of lamb, roast beef.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $24.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Good

Chateau Ste Michelle 2018 Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Columbia Valley, Washington, USA

From its sun-soaked vineyards East of the Cascade Mountains, this Chadonnay is medium-bodied, aged in oak. Aromas of green apple, pear, vanilla. Flavours of peach, apricot, mango, honey, oak. Enjoy with grilled chicken or pork, crab cakes, halibut.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: May, 2022
Price: $23.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2020-22

Château Argadens 2018 Bordeaux Supérieur

Bordeaux, France

This classic Bordeaux blend of 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Famille Sichel of Château Palmer fame who has owned the property since 2002. The wine has good balance with well-integrated red fruit and oak. Drink it with steak, roast beef, lamb.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: May, 2023
Price: $28.99 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-24

Château Canada 2016 Bordeaux Supérieur

Bordeaux, France

A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, we tried the 2016 two years ago and found it dry and flat. This time however was a different story: at seven years the tannins had softened into a nicely balanced, earthy wine with notes of plum and blackberry. A late bloomer to be sure. Decant it for at least one hour before serving. Serve with beef, lamb and poultry.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: October, 2022
Price: $22.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Good

Château Mouton Rothschild 2007

Pauillac, France

How often are we privileged to drink one of the best? A Bordeaux blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, this vintage is past its peak, so if you have any lying around drink it now. After decanting, its coppery colour and initial earthy aroma developed into a nicely balanced, medium bodied, classic wine with elegant tannins and flavours of dark fruit and wood. We paired it with rack of lamb and salad on the patio in a fitting celebration of our early summer.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: May, 2023
Price: $1,500 BC Liquor Stores (2016 vintage)
When to drink: now

Château Pesquié 2019 Quintessence

Ventoux, Rhône, France

Founded in 1990, the winery is a leader in Ventoux and now run by its second generation, Alexandre and Frédéric Chaudière. The wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, harvested from 50+ year old, south-facing vines. Expect blueberry and plum aromas, deep ruby colour, dark cherry and plum flavours with silky tannins. Drink it with meats, tuna, cheese.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: May, 2023
Price: $36.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2023-26

Clos du Soleil 2021 Winemaker's Series Middle Bench Vineyard Pinot Blanc

Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada

The team at Clos du Soleil uses traditional winemaking techniques and biodynamic viticulture to produce classic and elegant wines. Aromas of ripe fruit, pear, peach. This Pinot Blanc is dry, medium-bodied, crisp, with citrus acidity and flavours of green apple, peach, pear, stone. Drink it with white fish dishes, poultry, soft cheese.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $24.49 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25

Coudoulet de Beaucastel 2019

Côtes-du-Rhône, Rhône, France

From its vineyard located across the street from its big brother Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this Rhône blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mouvèdre, 10% Syrah and 30% other grapes, is full-bodied, with flavours of black and blue fruits, spice and herbs, fine tannins that create a balanced although not complex wine. Drink it with lamb chops, roast chicken, veal.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: March, 2024
Price: $43.99 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2024-26

Craggy Range 2022 Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc

Martinborough, New Zealand

This is a special wine which you realize after the first electric sip. Aged for five months in oak, pale straw in colour, aromatic and complex, the taste is crisp, bright and dry balanced with tropical fruit. The 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from the winery's stone and limestone Te Muna vineyard. Drink it next year with raw oysters, camembert, shellfish.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $31.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26
Previous Tastings: 2021 - Superb

DAOU 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles, California, USA

The initial aroma was a bit smokey which is becoming more common as fires rage around vineyards. It did not affect the flavours of stone fruits, spicy oak, herbs, chocolate. A bold and full bodied wine, with silky tannins. Drink it from 2024, but decant for an hour, with grilled meats, burgers, lasagne.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: February, 2024
Price: $39.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-28

DAOU 2021 Chardonnay

Paso Robles, California, USA

Since 2,000, the number of Paso Robles wineries has increased from fifty to over 200, making it California's fastest growing wine region. This light gold Chardonnay has aromas of pineapple, peach and pear. Flavours of guava, green apple and stone. It's a bit acidic so we recommend saving it until 2024-25. Enjoy it by itself or with camembert, grilled chicken, lobster.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $29.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26

Decoy 2018 California Cabernet Sauvignon

California, USA

A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot, it is the second wine of Duckhorn Vineyards. The grapes come primarily from Sonoma County, and also the Central Coast, North Coast and elsewhere in California. Aromas of dark fruit and chocolate give way to flavours of bright fruit and vanilla. Enjoy it with grilled meats, barbequed ribs.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $39.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24

Domaine Brusset 2020 Gigondas Tradition Le Grand Montmirail

Gigondas, Rhône, France

Those of you who love Châteauneuf-du-Pape and its less well-known neighbour Gigondas, need to try this wine. An elegant blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault, it offers a great balance of ripe fruit and earthy notes. Intense aromas of dark berries, plum and a hint of tobacco, with a full-bodied texture, and smooth, velvety finish. Flavors of dark fruits, earthy spices, oak. The tannins promise this wine will improve over the next two years. Enjoy it with red meats, grilled chicken, cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: February, 2023
Price: $39.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26

Edge 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA

Deep ruby in colour with a medium-bodied structure, with aromas of black currant, dried herbs and a hint of oak. On the palate, the wine is filled with flavors of ripe red fruit, hints of black pepper and tobacco. The tannins are well integrated and the finish is long and lingering. This wine pairs well with a beef and mushroom ragu, or a juicy steak with roasted vegetables.

"A rich and luscious age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that will drink beautifully for the next 5-8 years." - Winery

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $46.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25

El Enemigo 2019 Cabernet Franc

Mendosa, Argentina

“Cabernet Franc has several advantages compared to Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon ... it is easier to drink and offers an exotic aroma that seduces consumers and tasters." - Alejandro Vigil

A joint venture between Adrianna Catena, fourth generation from the famous Catena Zapata winemaking family, and winemaker Alejandro Vigil. The wine is aged for 15 months in 100 year old, large oak foudres, and contains 10% Malbec. Herbal and cherry aromas, flavours of red fruit, tobacco, spicey oak, nicely balanced, with supple tannins. Enjoy it with steak, rack of lamb, game.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $42.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2023-26
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Superb

Fitzpatrick Fitz 2021 Crémant

Peachland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from 100% estate grown Pinot Blanc using the traditional method, the Crémant (think soft bubbles) was fermented and aged in stainless steel with secondary fermentation and additional aging in the bottle. Crisp and fresh with light effervescence and taste of creamy lemon. Match it with oysters on the half shell, fish tacos or as an apéritif. Ready to drink now.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $25.50 Winery online: fitzwine.com
When to drink: 2023-28

Foxtrot 2019 Chardonnay

Naramata, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This delicious wine is sourced from two vineyards in Oliver and Osoyoos, BC, where the fruit was able to ripen fully and retain acidity. After malolactic fermentation, 10 months in oak and six months in stainless steel, the result is creamy with flavours of peach, pineapple, honey, vanilla and toasted oak. Nicely balanced and full bodied. Drink it with scallops and other seafood dishes.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $45.00 Winery online: foxtrotwine.com
When to drink: 2021-23

Francis Ford Coppola 2018 Diamond Collection Black Label Claret

California, USA

"Winemaking and filmmaking are two great art forms." - Francis Ford Coppola

This Bordeaux-style blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot and 1% Petite Sirah) is juicy with tastes of plum, blueberry, pepper and coffee. Soft and smooth with moderate tannins, it is an early drinking wine. Serve it with roast beef, grilled meats, roasted chicken, hamburgers.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: June, 2023
Price: $29.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Very Good (89-90 Points)

Free Form 2019 Vin Gris

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from Pinot Noir grapes grown at Garnet Valley Ranch, this wine was fermented in concrete with natural yeasts and full malolactic fermentation, and was bottled unfiltered. "Vin Gris" is a term meaning a slightly pink wine which results from pressing red grapes and then removing the skins quickly from the juice. Uncommonly smooth, balanced and lightly effervescent. Flavours of pear, berries, herbs, tea, stone. Drink it with hors d'oeuvres, chicken and fish dishes.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2022
Price: $29.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2021-23
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Very Good

Gabbiano 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva

Tuscany, Italy

After malolactic fermentation and 12 months in oak, the 2016 reflects what was a very good year in Tuscany. Aromas of black cherry and plum lead to an earthy and subdued cherry taste. Made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot, this wine represents good value for the price. Decant it for a least an hour before serving with grilled meats, pizza, spaghetti bolognese.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $29.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Good (85-88 Points)

Garnet Valley Ranch 2021 Chardonnay

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This organic, unoaked Chardonnay was made with native vineyard yeast, full malolactic conversion and no additives. Aged in concrete and stainless tanks, the wine is bright with notes of tropical fruit and grapefruit. The texture is dense and savoury with a delicate fragrance. Drink it now with chicken dishes or white fish such as trout.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: July, 2023
Price: $36.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-25
Previous Tastings: 2020 - Very Good

Garnet Valley Ranch 2021 Pinot Noir

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Garnet Valley Ranch is 320 acres that have been carefully designed to balance 55 acres of vines with its natural habitat and wildlife corridors. The Pinot Noir was fermented in small concrete tanks, has a light garnet red colour, aromas of berries, flowers and earth, and tastes of raspberry, cocoa and sage. Drink it with beef, pork, game meats and salmon.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $44.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-27

Girard 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California

"Our decades-long relationship with growers along with small-batch fermentation techniques and meticulous blending, produce consistently award-winning wines that offer richness, complexity and balance in each sip." - Winery

Aromas of red and dark fruit, herbs, tobacco, followed by flavours of black fruit, spice, espresso. It is a richly structured wine suitable for long cellaring. Drink it with grilled chops, leg of lamb, roast beef.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $56.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-28
Previous Tastings: 2012, 2015 - Superb

Gneiss Wines 2021 Pinot Noir

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

The winery takes its name from the rocky, infertile soil found in the vineyard, which is suited to growing grapes. This Pinot Noir was fermented in oak for 18 months, has a light garnet red colour, aromas of herbs and spice, and flavours of dark cherry and earth. It is delicate and balanced with soft tannins and nice acidity. Drink it next year with charcuterie, stuffed mushrooms, chicken, pork, pizza.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2023
Price: $44.99 Winery online: gneisswines.com
When to drink: 2024-27

Greywacke 2022 Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough, New Zealand

Ranked in Wine Spectator's top ten for 2023, this is pale straw coloured wine is elegant and floral, with flavours of pineapple, mango, honey and citrus blossom. Balanced and bright with medium acidity. Drink it next year with creamy chicken, fish dishes.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $37.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26

Gérard Bertrand 2019 An 806 Corbières

Corbières, Languedoc, France

This Southern French wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre ("GSM") which is a specialty of the Rhône Valley (think Châteauneuf du Pape). "An 806" is a historical reference to when the Cathars first lived in the region and built the many castles there. Following malolactic fermentation, eight months of aging occurs in 225 litre barrels. Notes of plum, cherry and earth give this wine a lively, rich taste, with medium tannin and a soft finish, representing great value. Drink it next year with grilled meat or pasta.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: October, 2022
Price: $21.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-2025

Haywire 2017 The Bub

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay using the traditional method, this sparkling wine is crisp and fresh with a light effervescence and aromas of citrus and nutmeg. The taste is lemon, grapefruit, green apple. Match it with oysters on the half shell, soft cheese or lobster macaroni and cheese. Enjoy now.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: June, 2022
Price: $32.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2022-25

Haywire 2021 Gamay Rosé

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

“The central Okanagan area is the ideal place for cool climate varieties such as pinot noir, gamay, pinot gris and chardonnay. We don’t rush the winemaking process using low intervention methods to create fruit-forward wines with a fuller textured mid-palate and a finish that goes on and on.” - Winery

A delicate pink in colour with aromas of strawberries, cherries, and a hint of rose petal. The taste is light and refreshing with juicy flavours of red berries and a crisp, dry finish. Drink it in summer as an apéritif, or pair with with light summer dishes such as salads, grilled vegetables and grilled fish.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $27.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-25

Haywire 2021 Pink Bub Sparkling Wine

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from 100% old vine Pinot Blanc, it has a bright salmon pink colour with aromas of ripe strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of citrus. The taste is light and refreshing with a fine effervescence and flavours of white peach, raspberry, and a touch of lemon. The finish is crisp and clean. Enjoy it now with hors d'oeuvres, seafood dishes, fruit salads, and even creamy desserts. Enjoy now.

Haywire is a leader in sustainable wine making, using organic grapes and native yeast to produce high quality, cool climate wines.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $29.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-29

Haywire 2021 Pinot Gris Switchback Vineyard

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

"Haywire celebrates the Okanagan's exceptional terroir, embracing a 'less is more' style, utilizing state-of-the-art concrete tanks and a gentle winemaking hand." - Winery

Another successful vintage and one of the best Pinot Gris in BC. Using native vineyard yeast, it was aged in concrete and stainless steel after full malolactic fermentation. A complex wine with fine structure and texturing. Creamy, citrus, pear, honey, minerality, deep lemon colour. Drink it with hors d'oeuvres, seafood, chicken and duck dishes.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $29.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-25
Previous Tastings: 2019 - Superb; 2018, 2017 - Very Good (89-90 Points)

Haywire 2021 Pinot Noir

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Sourced from four vineyards across the Okanagan Valley, this light, dry, cool climate Pinot Noir has aromas of raspberry, cherry and a hint of spice. Light colour and soft flavours of ripe red fruit, earth, leather. The finish is smooth and lingering. Enjoy it chilled with mushroom dishes, grilled chicken, and even rich chocolates.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: June, 2023
Price: $32.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2023-26
Previous Tastings: 2018, 2019 - Very Good (89-90 Points)

Il Fauno di Arcanum 2015

Tuscany, Italy

We're glad we waited eight years to drink this elegant Super Tuscan, as it delivered robust tastes of blueberry, cherry and spice, which had time to soften into a voluptuously smooth wine. The name refers to the Roman god of nature who protects the Arcanum estate. Drink it now (if you can find it) or buy the 2019 vintage and wait until 2025. It is definitely worth the wait. Enjoy it with grilled meats.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: April, 2022
Price: $61.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2021-24

JoieFarm 2021 Re-Think Pink! Rosé

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Made from a blend of Pinot Noir and other grapes sourced from around the Okanagan, JoieFarm has been making this wine since 2004. Deep pink colour, strawberry aroma, dry, vibrant, with flavours of cherry, strawberry, pepper. A good Summer wine to enjoy by itself or with antipasto, tuna salad, grilled seafood.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $26.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-2025

La Frenz 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Named the Best Performing Small Winery in 2021 and 2017 at the National Wines Awards of Canada, La Frenz has 62 acres of vineyards on the Naramata Bench and the Golden Mile Bench in Oliver, BC.

Aromas of black cherry, flowers and coffee, followed by nuanced flavours of red berries, spice, orange, chocolate, coupled with silky tannins. An elegant Pinot Noir best enjoyed after aging five to seven years. Pairs well with duck, mushroom risotto, salmon.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: October, 2023
Price: $38.50 Winery online: lafrenzwinery.com
When to drink: 2023-25
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Very Good

La Nerthe 2020 Les Cassagnes

Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Rhône, France

From its vineyard located 15km north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this classic blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 8% Mouvèdre and 2% other, is deep ruby in colour with aromas of black and red berries. Flavours of plum, spice and herbs with fine tannins create an elegant wine with a velvety texture. Drink it with lamb chops, roast chicken, veal.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: March, 2024
Price: $38.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2024-26

Le Volte dell' Ornellaia 2018

Tuscany, Italy

A Super Tuscan mix of mostly Merlot, plus Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, fragrant with fruit and spice, elegant, medium-bodied, smooth flavours of blackberry, herbs, spice. Each varietal is fermented separately in stainless steel, followed by malolactic fermentation, blending and aging in cement and oak. Enjoy it with meat dishes.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $34.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-27

M. Chapoutier 2019 La Bernardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

Made with 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, it has perfumed aromas of red fruit, soft tannins and full body. Delightful flavours of plum, black cherry, blackberry. If you must drink it now, decant for two hours, and enjoy it with cassoulet, game meat, cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: February, 2024
Price: $61.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2023-30

M. Chapoutier 2019 Les Meysonniers Crozes-Hermitage

Crozes-Hermitage, Northern Rhône, France

The vines of Crozes-Hermitage are 20 to 40 years old and farmed organically. Grown in clay and sand, they are lighter than those of Hermitage next door which are grown in granite soil. A medium-bodied, quality Syrah with flavours of blackberry, plum, spice, vanilla, earth. Enjoy it with veal chops, roast pork, wild boar, poultry.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $29.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-25
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Very Good

Marqués de Cáceres 2012 Rioja Gran Reserva

Rioja, Spain

Founded in 1970 by the Forner family which has been in the wine trade for five generations, they select only the best vintages for the Gran Reserva. 24-26 months in oak, then minimum four years aging in the bottle. Temperanillo with small amounts of Garnacha and Graciano produce a medium-bodied red wine with flavours of black cherry, plum, coffee and well-integrated tannins. Ready to drink now with grilled meats, roast lamb.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $45.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2023-25

Marqués de Riscal 2017 Rioja Reserva

Rioja, Spain

Enjoyed by generations throughout the world since the first vintage in 1862, the wines are now sold in over 100 countries. Composed of 90% Tempranillo aged in oak for two years, it has soft tannins, complexity and concentrated fruit and spice. It can be drunk now but will improve over the new few years. Enjoy it with roast duck, pasta with meat sauce, pizza.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $32.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-26
Previous Tastings: 2016, 2015, 2014 - Very Good; 2012 - Superb

Masi 2016 Costasera Amarone Classico

Veneto, Italy

A beautiful red wine from a historic winery in northeastern Italy. Dark ruby red in colour, it has an intense and complex bouquet of red and black fruits such as cherries and plums, as well as spices and a hint of chocolate. It is full-bodied and velvety, with balanced tannins and a long and persistent finish. It pairs perfectly with rich-flavoured dishes such as grilled meats and game, roasts and strong cheeses. This wine is made to last 30 years.

"The product of Masi's unrivalled expertise in the appassimento technique, whereby traditional grapes for the Valpolicella Classica area - Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara - are laid out on bamboo racks to concentrate their aromas during the winter months." - Winery

Rated: Exquisite (93-100 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $67.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-30
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Superb

Mazzei Ser Lapo 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva

Tuscany, Italy

Since 1435 and 24 generations later, the Mazzei family has been producing notable wine at Castello di Fonterutoli in Tuscany. A blend of 90% Sangiovese and Merlot, aged for 12 months in oak, it has aromas of ripe red fruits and spices, with a hint of smokiness. On the palate, it is full-bodied and well-balanced, with fresh acidity, soft tannins, and a long finish. This wine goes with grilled meats, pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces, hard cheeses, roasted vegetables and mushrooms.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: January, 2023
Price: $32.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-25

McWatters Collection 2020 Meritage

Penticton, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Pictured is Christa-Lee McWatters, General Manager of Time Wines and the daughter of BC Wine legend Harry McWatters, who helped pioneer British Columbia as a world-class wine region. The McWatters Collection of wines is their family legacy brand.

A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% each Malbec and Petit Verdot. The grapes are sourced from the South Okanagan. Dry, balanced and full-bodied with flavours of plum, blackberry, wood. It scored 90 points at the 2021 National Awards of Canada blind tasting. Pair this serious wine with grilled meats.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $44.99 Winery online: timewines.ca
When to drink: 2023-26

Mer Soleil 2020 Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay

Monterey County, Central Coast, California, USA

Situated at the North end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, exposed to the Pacific Ocean, the grapes experience consistent morning fog, sunshine and afternoon winds which result in a longer growing season and intensely flavoured grapes. Charlie Wagner, whose grandfather co-founded Caymus Vineyards, is the owner and winemaker. Dry, creamy, earthy, oak, apples. Aged in oak for 11 months with partial malolactic fermentation. Drink now with chicken, turkey, crab, lobster.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $32.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24

Modus 2018

Tuscany, Italy

This Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes from new vines in Northwest Tuscany represents excellent value. It has aromas of intense fruit with leather and tobacco. Ruby colour led to a dry, full bodied wine with with creamy tannins and cherry and hazelnut flavours. Drink it after 2 hours decanting with tomato-based pastas, beef tenderloin.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: March, 2024
Price: $34.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-28
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Very Good

Montresor 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella

Veneto, Italy

Pictured is Edoardo Montresor, fourth generation of his winery family at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. From vineyards located in the hills of Valpolicella, this blend of native Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes is hand-picked and dried for three months on small racks to dry in winter, and then matured in oak for 18 months. The wine is deep garnet with aromas of ripe red fruit and herbs. Savoury and full-bodied, nicely balanced with velvety tannins. Enjoy it with game meat or strong cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: March, 2024
Price: $54.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-30

Narrative 2017 Cabernet Franc

Summerland, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Sometimes a wine can surprise you. Sourced from organic vineyards in Kaledon and Osoyoos, this wine from the folks at Haywire was fermented and aged in concrete tanks. Medium bodied and modestly complex, clean, crisp, smooth, with fine tannins, no oak, and flavours of black currant, plum, pepper, earth. It is now at its peak and has developed beautifully. Drink it slightly chilled with spareribs, burgers, chicken caesar salad,

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: September, 2023
Price: $30.99 Winery online: okanagancrushpad.com
When to drink: 2022-24

Pentâge Winery 2017 Roussane Marsanne Viognier

Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This Rhône style blend comes from Proprietors Paul Gardner and Julie Rennie's 12 acre Dirty Dozen vineyard. They hold back this wine until it is ready to drink, a major benefit for those with little storage space. After seven years of aging, it is fragrant and luscious, with floral and peach aromas, medium acidity, ripe tropical, floral and honey tastes. Drink it now with creamy pasta dishes, seared scallops, chicken.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $30.44 Winery online: pentage.com
When to drink: 2023-25

Pfaff 2019 Tradition Gewürtztraminer

Alsace, France

Pale gold in colour, soft, semi-dry, often served as an aperitif or with dessert. Aromas of lychee, ginger, cinnamon lead to flavours of honey, spice, ripe tropical fruit. Enjoy it with crêpes suzette, apple pie with cheddar, roquefort, lobster.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $23.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2021-25
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Good (85-88 Points)

Phantom Creek 2020 Pinot Gris

Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Olivier Humbrecht, Master of Wine and owner of the prestigious Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace, oversaw the making of this organic wine. Aged for 16 months in oak, it is a special wine with aromas and flavours of pear, pineapple and honey, backed by subtle oak. Enjoy it with camembert, filet of sole, cheese fondue.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $34.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-24

Poplar Grove 2018 Syrah

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This 99% Syrah, 1% Viognier is made from grapes in Canada's pocket desert located in the South Okanagan Valley. The soaring summer temperatures suit the big red grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. This wine is soft with ripe red fruit, medium purple in colour. Nicely balanced. Pair it with roast pork, duck.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $37.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-27
Previous Tastings: 2017 - Very Good

Road 13 2019 GSM

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This Southern Rhône blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah won Platinum at the 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada (as did the 2020 vintage this year). So we had to try it, and we were not disappointed. Aged 18 months in oak, aromas and tastes of black cherry and pepper, full-bodied, silky tannins, nicely balanced. Let it develop over the next few years, then drink it with wild game, braised lamb shanks, cassoulet.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: August, 2023
Price: $40.00 Winery online: road13vineyards.com, and private liquor stores
When to drink: 2023-26

Road 13 2020 5th Element Red

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This is a big Bordeaux blend that needs time to mature. A blend of six grapes: 47% Merlot, 19% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little Syrah and Petit Verdot. It was aged for 18 months in oak, and has aromas and flavours of dark fruits with chalky tannins. Store it for five years, and then drink it with red meats, mushroom risotto.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: October, 2023
Price: $65.00 Winery online: road13vineyards.com, and private liquor stores
When to drink: 2028-33

Road 13 2021 Chip off the Old Block Chenin Blanc (rebranded in 2022 as Select Harvest Chenin Blanc)

Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

This wine comes from young vines that were planted using cuttings from old vines planted in 1968. Bright with crisp acidity and flavours of green apple, honey, pear. Enjoy it with raw oysters, shellfish, roasted chicken, pork tenderloin.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $28.00 Winery online: road13vineyards.com, and private liquor stores
When to drink: 2023-25

Road 13 2021 Viognier

Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Sweet, soft and creamy, this gold medal winner in the National Wine Awards of Canada has aromas of pear and papaya and flavours citrus, pear and vanilla. Fermented in stainless steel and then aged in oak for six months. Nicely balanced. Drink it with chicken dishes, hors d'oeuvres, veal.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: December, 2023
Price: $28.00 Winery online: road13vineyards.com, and private liquor stores
When to drink: 2023-25

Robert Mondavi Winery 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California, USA

“In 1966, Robert Mondavi built his Napa Valley winery with a singular vision: to create wines that stand among the world’s finest.” - Geneviève Janssens, Director of Winemaking

Full-bodied, deep ruby-coloured with a fragrant and fruity nose. Aromas of blackberry, currant and ripe cherry are accompanied by hints of cedar, spice and vanilla. Flavours of dark fruit and sweet oak mingle with notes of tobacco, licorice and dark chocolate. The tannins are firm but well-integrated, leading to a long, elegant finish. It pairs well with grilled meats, hard cheeses and rich, savoury dishes. This example of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is one of our favourites.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $59.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-28
Previous Tastings: 2018 - Superb; 2015 - Very Good (89-90 Points)

Rocca delle Macie 2018 Roccato

Tuscany, Italy

This Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon until 2015, is from the Poggio alle Pecchie vineyard planted in 1996. Dark ruby colour, malolactic fermented, oak aged, dry, well-balanced, medium-bodied, flavours of dark berries, spice. An outstanding wine with earthy tannins. Enjoy it now with grilled meats, duck breast.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: January, 2023
Price: $49.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-27
Previous Tastings: 2012 - Superb

Roserock Drouhin Oregon 2020 Chardonnay

Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Ranked #15 in Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2022, the floral bouquet compels you onto tangy and buttery flavours of stone fruit. Enjoy this fresh, zesty wine with crab cakes, grilled chicken, pork..

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $57.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-25

San Felice 2018 Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva

Tuscany, Italy

Always highly rated, this mid-weight riserva has aromas of black cherries and wood. It is aged 24 months in oak. A nicely balanced wine, it has vibrant flavours of red fruit, spice and flowers. We recommend waiting one or two years to experience its potential. Pair it with grilled meats, meat lasagne.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: February, 2022
Price: $34.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-27

Selbach 2020 Riesling (Fish Label)

Mosel, Germany

For over 300 years, the Selback family has been producing wine on the steep slate slopes of the Mosel. In the words of Johannes Selbach, his rieslings "display their heritage, rooted deep into the slate rock like our old vines." Aromas of green apple lead to bright flavours of ripe fruits, herbs. This is one of the best values in a dry Mosel riesling today. Drink it with chicken, seafood.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: November, 2022
Price: $22.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to Drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2019 - Very Good

Seven Stones 2016 Speaking Rock Row 128 Merlot

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada

From one of the best wine regions you may be hardly aware of, 30 minutes West of the Okanagan, where the arid climate, hot days and cool nights produce underappreciated, high quality wines. This big Merlot is earthy, fresh, with soft tannins. It has aged well and is ready to drink now until 2025. A well-priced, bold, dry and structured wine, with flavours of berries, dark chocolate and coffee. Enjoy it with grilled meats.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: October, 2023
Price: $21.66 Winery online: sevenstones.ca
When to drink: 2022-25

Stags' Leap Winery 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California, USA

A Bordeaux-style blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Merlot, Malbec, Tannat and Petit Verdot, this is a dry, full-bodied wine with aromas and flavours of blackberries, chocolate and cedar. Nicely balanced with fine tannins, it will improve with age. Enjoy it with steak, roast beef, hard cheeses.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: January, 2024
Price: $57.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-28

Sterling Vineyards 2017 Napa Valley Merlot

Napa Valley, California, USA

Sterling was the first Napa Valley winery to produce a vintage Merlot, and it has been one of our favourites for many years. The grapes are grown throughout Napa Valley, and kept in oak barrels for 18 months. The result is a wine that is fruit forward, earthy, full bodied and smooth. Drink it now with grilled meats or salmon.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $40.99 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-24
Previous Tastings: 2016, 2015 , 2012- Very Good

Tenunta Sette Ponti 2019 Crognolo

Tuscany, Italy

A blend of mostly Sangiovese and a little Merlot, this wine has a deep ruby colour and a nose of ripe blackberries, dark cherries and spices. On the palate, it is full-bodied and smooth with flavors of dark fruit, vanilla and licorice. The finish is long and persistent with a slight hint of oak. This is a great food wine that pairs well with pasta dishes, poultry and red meats. Try it with a roasted beef tenderloin and creamy mashed potatoes for a delicious experience. You can drink it now, but it will improve with a few more years aging.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: March, 2023
Price: $42.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-28

Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2019 Il Bruciato

Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

This Super Tuscan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, from the "Bolgheri amphitheatre", a plain surrounded by rolling hills that produces an ideal microclimate. Aromas of blackberry and spice, followed by flavours of dark fruit, herbs and spice. It is medium-bodied with soft tannins. Enjoy it today with your favourite meat dishes.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: December, 2022
Price: $46.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-28

Tommasi 2018 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Veneto, Italy

From vineyards located near Verona, this blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Oseleta grapes is dried on bamboo racks for 100 days and matured in oak for three years. Made by the fourth generation of the Tommasi family, the wine is ruby red with aromas of cherry, fig and herbs. Savoury and full-bodied, nicely balanced with fine tannins. Wait until 2024 and enjoy it with lamb shank, blue cheese, grilled meats.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: November, 2023
Price: $70.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-30
Previous Tastings: 2015 - Superb

Torre Zambra 2021 Madia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Abruzzo, Italy

Montepulciano is both a grape and a place. This Montepulciano varietal is from the Abruzzo region, not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which comes from the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany. Rudy red in colour, with a fragrant aroma of berries, the flavours are soft, balanced black fruits. An easy drinking wine which pairs well with meats, chicken and cheeses.

Rated: Good (85-88 Points)
Tasted: January, 2024
Price: $19.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2024-27

Torres 2016 Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon

Penedès, Spain

Produced since 1870 from vineyards located in the foothills of the Mediterranean that benefit from the warm sun and cooling sea breezes. The colour is a deep ruby with purple hues. Aromas of ripe blackberries, cherries and plums dominate, along with notes of licorice and sweet spices. Taste is medium-bodied, with a pleasing balance of ripe fruit, earthy minerality, and elegant tannins. The finish is long and smooth, with lingering notes of sweet spices and ripe fruit. Pair it with roasted meats, hearty stews, earthy pasta and other savoury dishes. The wine is ready to drink now, but has the potential to age for the next five to seven years.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: April, 2023
Price: $77.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2023-2030

Torres 2018 Salmos

Priorat, Spain

This blend of Cariñena and Garnacha comes from vineyards planted in steep shale in Catalonia, southwest of Barcelona. Aromas of dark berries and flowers, soft tannins, delicate flavours of red fruit. Drink now with roasted lamb, wild boar, duck.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: February, 2023
Price: $48.98 Everything Wine
When to drink: 2022-2025

Truchard 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, USA

A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, it was aged for 20 months in oak. Aromas of plum, red fruits and vanilla lead to flavours of black and red fruit, spice. This is a medium-bodied wine which can be enjoyed now or aged for five more years. Pair it with grilled lamb chops or a nice steak.

Rated: Superb (91-92 Points)
Tasted: September, 2022
Price: $47.99 BC Liquor Stores
When to drink: 2022-27

Vanessa Vineyard 2017 Right Bank

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Situated on 75 acres of well-drained, rocky hillside in the Similkameen Valley, which enjoys hot summers, low rainfall, low humidity and low pests and diseases. This blend of 65% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc was aged for 4.5 years in the barrel and bottle before release. The result is robust with flavours of dark fruits, minerality and spice, and nicely balanced tannins. Drink it with meat dishes and tomato-based pastas.

Rated: Very Good (89-90 Points)
Tasted: January, 2024
Price: $47.99 Winery online: vanessavineyard.com
When to drink: 2023-27

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