Stoneboat 2007 Pinot Gris - 88 pts

Stoneboat 2007 Pinot Gris (Black Sage Bench - South Okanagan BC)

Decanted: 0 min

Cost: $18.83 (VQA Wine Store)

Tasting Notes: A quality white. Citrus and floral on the nose. The palate is citrus sweetened by nectarine and a beautiful and obvious mineral finish. Stone boat is definitely in the contender class for Icon Scores.

The tasting room at the winery is simple and modern but not stuffy, the business end twin is approachable and informative, and the wine making twin and father are excellent at the craft. All the ingredients for a successful winery. Keep your eyes open for their Pinotage and Chorus.

I enjoyed this wine in stinking hot Vancouver heat with sausages on the BBQ and a light potato salad. This was one of those nights loafing on the patio while watching my beautiful wife water the flowers. Doesn't get much better than this. Well...maybe if The Dead Weather was playing. - HC

Francis Ford Coppola 2006 Claret - 89 pts

Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Series 2006 Claret - Black Label (Napa Valley) USA

Decanted: 1 hour

Cost: $30 (BC Liquor Stores)

Tasting Notes: The FFC Claret is fine new world Meritage blend made to make the drinker think of a fine old world Bordeaux. The winemaker does this admirably. This is one tasty red blend of %79 Cab Sauv, %9 Petit Verdot, %7 Melot, %3 Malbec and %2 Cab Franc.

This wine is a fine sipper on its own, but is best appreciated with food. The very strong tannins will help prepare your pallet for the next bite of any bold flavoured red meat dish. Yum. - LC

Fuzion 2008 Shiraz/Malbec - 84pts

Fuzion 2008 Shiraz/Malbec (Mendoza) Argentina
Decanted: 1/2 hrs

Cost: $8.99 (BC Liquor Stores)

Tasting Notes: I decanted this bottle for 30 minutes but ended up drinking the bottle over a few days using the convenience of the screw-top enclosure. The wine improved on day two: much smoother finish on the second day. I recommend decanting this wine for 2 + hrs if you will be consuming it in one evening.
The first tasting had a bit of a tough finish and the balance was a bit acidic but you get the nice body from the Shiraz and fruit flavours from the Malbec. Inky black/red in colour, this wine offers amazing value for dollar with proper decanting.
 - Liam Carrier

Baron Philippe De Rothschild 2007 Pinot Noir - 82 pts

Baron Philippe De Rothschild 2007 Pinot Noir - Vin de Pays D'Oc (Languedoc Rousillo) France

Decanted: 1/2 hrs

Cost: $14 (BC Liquor Stores)

Tasting Notes: BPDR produces an amazing amount of drinkable wines. The Vin de Pays D'Oc brand is no exception, but it is far from exceptional. This red wine is tasty but has none of the unique Pinot characteristics I was hoping for. The colour is dark red/purple and could be mistaken for any red table wine. The nose has discernible fruit notes of black cherry but lacks complexity. A saving grace is a decent, fresh finish with silky tannins.

I'm searching for my favourite Pinot Noir under $15 and this isn't it. However, it is very drinkable and pleasant enough so don't turn it down if you are offered a glass. - LC

Chateau Pesquie Terrasses Grenache-Syrah - 90 pts

Chateau Pesquie Terrasses 2006 Grenache-Syrah (Ventoux - Rhone Valley)

Decanted: 30 min

Cost: $18.99 (BC Liquor Store)

Tasting Notes: Dark and smooth. The nose is sweet berries offset by spice and roses. The palate is berries, cherries, and pepper, and a nice spice finish. An opulent offering from Chateau Pesquie. This is one of those bargains I read so much about. RP rates this as a 92 and at $19 this is has a high cost to quality ratio.

I tasted this when it was about 32 Celsius out. Maybe not the best temperature for a fullish red wine, but I haven't had any red for awhile and was going into withdrawal. This would pair well with the new Metric album (Fantasies) while dreaming of the fall in a heat induced coma. - HC

Yellowglen NV "Pink" - 84 pts

Yellowglen Non Vintage Pink - Sparkling Wine (Australia - Victoria)

Decanted: 0 hr

Cost: 12.99 (Bc Liquor Store)

Tasting Notes: Yellowglen, a Wolf Blass brand, crafts this lovely sparkling wine from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes sourced from South-Eastern Australia. The colour is only mildly rosé. For the price, this wine has an impressive bouquet of rose pedals and strawberry characteristics. You taste berry fruits and a hint of citrus on the palate. The finish is mineral and smooth, just what you want from a bubbly wine. Excellent value. - LC

Mission Hill Perpetua - 92 pts

Mission Hill Perpetua 2006 Chardonnay (West Bank, British Columbia)

Decanted: 0 hr

Cost: $32.99 (BC Liquor Store)

Tasting notes: A true Canadian Icon white. The nose was subtle with a hint of popcorn butter and pear (I caught some light floral) that extended into the palate. An elegant and smooth Chardonnay.

Now I love the La Frenz Chardonnay but this one tops it. This is one of the best whites I have had this year. This was shared amongst friends while watching the Vancouver’s Celebration of Light from the best seat in the house. While Canada put on an amazing display of fireworks, Canada’s Mission Hill put on an amazing display in wine making. Extremely good! - HC