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Stag's Hollow Winery 2013 Heritage Block - 88+pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2013 Heritage Block (Okanagan Valley) BC

: Direct from the winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $24.99 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.2%
Date Tasted: December 1st, 2016

Tasting Notes: Consistent with the sweet'n'smoky bouquet of recent vintages, the 2013 showcases a candied, pipe tobacco nose with cherry, chocolate, spice, licorice and vanilla notes. A cool-berry and spicy-cocoa palate follows with dusty tannins and wild berry acidity. A touch of menthol, iron and dried herbs linger on the moderate palate. Sealed with a screw cap enclosure to ensure freshness and to help preserve the fruit-forward profile. 
Enjoy this wine now with a fine cut of bloody, lean beef like rare tenderloin, Or, put away a bottle or two for some development. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Cassini Cellars 2013 The Aristocrat - 93pts

Cassini Cellars 2013 The Aristocrat (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $40 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 15%
Production: 290 cases
Date Tasted: December 1st, 2016

Tasting Notes: 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. As with the 2012 vintage, the distinct, (and memory-triggering for me) aroma of warm Fig Newton cookies is again present.

The dry palate that follows is both uber-refined and rich in texture with a similar flavour profile and silky-smooth, yet, grippy tannins. The finish is long and expertly balanced. Though the residual alcohol clocks in at a whopping 15% it is so seamlessly integrated, it goes unnoticed, as it should.

This wine needs to be considered amongst the best the province can produce. Drink now-2023+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Michel Torino 2015 Cuma Organic Torrontés - 85pts

Michel Torino 2015 Cuma Organic Torrontés (Cafayate Valley) Salta - Argentina

: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $11.49-12.49 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: November 29th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Wow. This is a Zesty 
Torrontés with a capital 'Z' and served with a side of Zing. Clean and crisp, this organically produced, spicy-food companion, opens with a Tropical fruit, spice, sea shell and citrus scented nose followed by the tangiest of palates where citrus peel and fresh lime flavours dominate. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

JoieFarm 2014 Gamay - 88pts

JoieFarm 2014 Gamay (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here
Cost: $25.90
Alcohol: 12.6%
Production: 400 cases
Date Tasted: November 28th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Sourced from the Deep Roots vineyard along the Naramata Bench, this Gamay is friendly and approachable with a pleasant, herbaceous and earthy nose of sweet sage, bay leaf, cherry nibs, spicy plum and raspberry seed aromas. 
The palate, which is similarly flavoured with a higher emphasis on its red fruit characters, is juicy upon entry and finishes with a wave of fresh acidity and smoky tannins. Light savoury notes of spice, cured meats and oak linger. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Kaiken 2014 Reserva Malbec - 88pts

Kaiken 2014 Reserva Malbec (Lujan de CuyoMendoza - Argentina

Cost: $TBA
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: November 27th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Owned and managed by Chile's Montes family, the Kaiken wines of Mendoza offer a similar portfolio spectrum as the Montes lables, ranging from everyday drinkers to premium, cellar dwellers. The Reserva Malbec is a well-made, entry-level Malbec featuring impressive intensity on the nose with pure, dark and red berry aromas and light, underlying notes of spice and sweet pipe smoke. The palate is somewhat off-dry, but not alarmingly so, with a focus on the same dark and red berry fruit, finishing dry-ish thanks to plenty of lip-smacking, fresh berry acidity. A
 hint of mint and anise lingers pleasingly.

Enjoy in its youth with sweet'n'spicy, BBQ ribs. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016