Intrigue Wines 2011 Pinot Gris - 89pts

Intrigue Wines 2011 Pinot Gris (Lake Country) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and BC VQA stores
Cost: $16.90
Alcohol: 13.8%
Production: 100 cases
Date Tasted: July 26th, 2012

Tasting Notes: Fans of the Burrowing Owl style of BC Pinot Gris, where a little residual sugar is left to add a touch of sweetness and help augment the body, will love this version from Lake Country producer Intrigue Wines. The side project of long-time Gray Monk winemaker, Roger Wong, Intrigue boasts a small, focused portfolio of, mostly, white wines, all available for $20 or less.

What distinguishes this Pinot Gris from the large scale Burrowing Owl release is the colour. Wong has chosen to leave the juice on the skins just long enough to impart the slightest brass, or "coral" hue which adds a little welcomed visual intrigue to the wine and helps it stand-out from the pack. Honeydew, orchard fruit and a little minerality caress the nose. Followed by a (mostly) dry, full-bodied palate brimming with similar flavours and a touch of tropical fruit notes. Has the acidity to balance the fruit nicely and should make for an excellent patio companion. Enjoy this wine in its youth. Drink 2012-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir - 87pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $19.99
Alcohol: 14.7%
Date Tasted: July 24th, 2012

Tasting Notes: This is the second vintage of the winery's new Pinot Noir program which sees the firm hold back the varietal tier wine 2 years prior to release and a full 3 years for their reserve tier Oldfield Series. The patient approach has certainly elevated the quality and value of the wines which have become some of the best Pinots in the southern part of the valley.

The 2009 edition varies a little from the 2008 release with more bitter notes on the dry palate, making it more of a food companion than a stand-alone sipper, but otherwise follows a similar script: pleasant, baked raspberry and savoury, spicy earth characters with restrained oak influence. Drink 2012-2014+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Top 25 Rated Wines of 2010

The following wines received the 25 highest scores by reviewer Liam Carrier during the calendar year of 2010. Release date was not considered with some wines from the cellar and special tasting events. For the list of our Top 25 Wines of 2010, where more than simply the tasting score is considered, please visit the main site.

Blackwood Lane 2006 The Referènce - 95+pts
Time must be taken with this wine to fully appreciate the complexity as it changes in the glass revealing hidden layers and clues to its secrets. It's an experience to drink this vintage of The Referènce, Canada's most expensive, and possibly best, table wine.

Rollingdale Winery 2007 Pinot Noir Ice Wine - 93-94pts
Massive concentration of fruit aromas and flavours (apricot jam, strawberry, fuzzy peaches candy and raspberry cremesicle) are nicely contrasted with impressively high acidity. This leads to a very long, balanced and satisfying finish.

D'Arenberg 2006 The Dead Arm Shiraz - 93+pts
The Dead Arm name comes from a vine disease that randomly effects vineyards all over the world.  This infection causes one arm of the vine to slowly deteriorate into dead wood.  While one arm is dead, the other arm produces low yields with amazing intensity.
Stratus Vineyards 2007 Ice Wine Red - 93pts
The appearance has a strawberry/garnet core.  The nose had amazing strawberry, rhubarb, and concentrated vanilla.  The palate had concentrated strawberry, rhubarb and really good acid.  The finish was very very long.

Stratus Vineyards 2006 White - 92.5pts
Candied apricots dominate the high intensity nose whose concentration of fruit and floral aromas rival those of a top quality ice wine.

La Frenz Winery 2007 Grand Total Reserve - 92-93pts
The 2007 Reserve delivers an intense and powerful nose of dark fruits and toasted oak with a vein of sweetness emanating from the concentrated fruit aromas. The palate is concentrated as well, but the layers of flavours don't bombard your senses, they melt slowly in your mouth like a bar of chocolate in the microwave.

Stratus Vineyards 2007 Red - 92-93pts
A blend of 7 grapes, the five Bordeaux varietals with Syrah and Gamay, this dark ruby coloured wine offers concentrated aromas of dark cherry, cassis, pencil shavings, coffee grounds, white pepper and oak spice on the exciting nose.

Meyer Family Vineyards 2009 Micro Cuvée Chardonnay - 92-93pts
To make the grade as the Micro Cuvée, a small lot release of 72 cases, the winery selects the barrels which offer the best balance and greatest expression of terroir. The result is a Chardonnay that exudes character and pushes the quality benchmark for BC Chardonnay. In short, it's an "experience" wine.

Hidden Bench Estate Winery 2008 Estate Chardonnay - 92-93pts
Brilliant in every way. Concentration, crispness and character. A simply divine Chardonnay from Beamsville Bench producer Hidden Bench Estate Winery.

Fairview Cellars 2008 The Bear - 91-93pts
Appreciating the nose of this powerful wine takes time. Layers of fruit and savoury notes peel away with each sniff to reveal another layer. A Russian doll for the nose. Rich aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice, toasted oak, nutmeg and sun-drenched rocks.

Fairview Cellars 2007 The Bear - 91-93pts
This inky-ruby wine offers youthful aromas of caramel, cassis, nibs, light oak and some nice floral notes. The palate offers medium-plus tannins and acid with flavours of cassis, tangerine, dark berries, leather and loads of toasted oak. This is a complex and layered, full-bodied wine with a long finish.

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2007 Merlot - 91-92pts
A sensual, feminine texture with silky-smooth tannins and a long finish complete the experience. The fine, integrated tannins and structure will help this wine age sublimely with further development.

M. Chapoutier 2004 Les Granits - 91-92pts
Aged in 100% new or very recent French oak for 12-14 months giving the wine strong, but well structured tannins. At 6 years of age already, the wine has a beautiful garnet hue to the rim and core. This is a top quality Syrah from the Saint Joseph appellation that will make a nice addition to anyone's cellar.

Domaine Bosquet des Papes 2007 Cuvée Traditional - 91-92pts
This dry, inky-ruby wine from the Southern Rhone Valley shows great typicality for 2007's excellent vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Plums, red berries, candied fruit and lavender aromas on the nose are followed by intense flavours of red fruit, honey and with mineral and earthy notes.

Brian Carter Cellars 2005 L'Etalon - 91-92pts
Intense caramel, vanilla, oak spice, cassis and pencil shaving aromas on the nose are followed by big, concentrated flavours of dark fruit and minerals on the dry palate. The wine has aged beautifully with great tannin structure and shows signs that further aging will benefit the wine further.

Mission Hill Estate Winery 2005 Quatrain - 91-92pts
Tasted blind there would be no confusion over its origin - a complement. This is an unabashed New World fruit explosion that has been artfully treated with new French oak and given time to gel. The Syrah is prominent on the nose and palate adding a peppery spiciness to what would otherwise be a straight-forward Meritage blend.

JoieFarm 2008 PTG - 90-92pts
The dry palate has excellent tannic structure with forward fruit flavours of cherry cola, dark fruits and savory spice. Pepper lingers on the moderate and balanced finish. The texture is lively, but purposed with good acidity which makes this an excellent wine to pair with food.

La Frenz Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon - 90-92pts
A big winner at the 2010 All Canadian Wine Competition winning the "Best Cabernet Sauvignon over $25" category. Happily, it's only just over $25 and beat out many higher priced wines in the process.
Blackwood Lane 2007 Merlot - 90-92pts
Big, fruity aromas of dark cherries, toasted oak, milk chocolate, maple syrup, a hint of slate and notes of Cabernet Franc funk await you on the nose. The palate offers intense flavours of dark fruits and oak with strong tannins and acidity which require another year of aging to fully integrate.

Stratus Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc - 90-92pts
There are intensely concentrated flavours and aromas on offer in this 2007 vintage release. The nose flirts with caramel, toasted oak, cured meets, vanilla and dark fruits. The dry palate excites with blueberry, oak, leather and elegant, super-smooth tannins.

Tawse Winery 2008 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc - 91+pts
A prime example of austere and sophisticated Niagara Cabernet Franc with an ultra-smooth, dry palate full of concentrated dark berry fruit flavours and structured, round tannins.

Meyer Family Vineyards 2009 Tribute Series Chardonnay - 91+pts
The supreme balance comes from the medley of tart, green apple acidity paired with concentrated orchard and tropical fruit flavours all enveloped in layers of subtle, French oak. Acid, the perception of sweetness and savoury characters create a near-perfect trifecta of balance.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2007 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - 91+pts
A Bordeaux-style blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon with equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The intense nose offers classic Meritage aromas of cassis, dark berries, dark chocolate, toasted oak and licorice with aromatic perfumed notes (thank you Cabernet Franc).

Edge Wines 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - 91+pts
An excellent full-flavour and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon (with a touch of Merlot blended in) from Napa Valley producer Edge Wines. You'll find youthful aromas of raspberry, cassis and plum with toasty oak notes on the nose of this American and French oaked wine (16 months).

La Frenz Winery 2006 Shiraz - 91+pts
A wonderful BC Shiraz that despite its Oz-born winemaker (Jeff Martin) and name ('Shiraz' vs 'Syrah') is made in the more subtler Northern Rhone style.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Intrigue Wines 2011 "11" - 87pts

Intrigue Wines 2011 "11" (Lake Country) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and BC VQA stores
Cost: $14.90
Alcohol: 12.4%
Production: 450 cases
Date Tasted: July 24th, 2012

Tasting Notes: At $15 bucks a pop this wine may be the best valued Summer Sipper for 2012. An effortless blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muscat Canelli that delivers good fruit expression and mouth-watering acidity without ever feeling "hot" despite its light bodied structure. This wine is lean, but in a good way. Focused and on point with pear, apple, orange blossom, pink grapefruit, table grape and lemon meringue flavours galore. It's refreshing and easy going - a joy to drink on a hot Summer's day. Enjoy this wine in its youth. Drink 2012-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay - 88pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99
Alcohol: 12.9%
Date Tasted: July 23rd, 2012

Tasting Notes: Whatever the vintage conditions you can expect the Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay to be well balanced and tasty. 2011 brought with it tricky growing conditions and a long, cool harvest which saw many producers picking fruit into November. Despite the complications Tinhorn scores again with a delightful, easy drinking Chardonnay that grows on you 'till the last glass.

A somewhat muted nose of stonefruit, golden delicious apples, vanilla and sweet orchard fruit aromas precedes a more vibrant palate of similar flavours with more mineral and oak influence. A touch of papaya and light spice adds depth but the main story is the minimal, yet unmistakable use of French Oak (only 16% new during fermentation). In a lean year like 2011, that 16% goes a long way and helps fill out the palate nicely. Enjoy this Chardonnay in its youth. Drink 2012-2013.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc - 89pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $19.99
Alcohol: 13.9%
Date Tasted: July 19th, 2012

Tasting Notes: Tinhorn Creek makes a wide range of wines and has a number of specialties but the Golden Mile Bench winery should really be best known for its consistently intriguing, engaging and well-priced Cabernet Franc.

After a brief departure in 2009 to a ripe Californian style of the Bordeaux variety, the cool-climate "funk" is back in a big way for the 2010 edition with pungent aromas of blue cheese caressing the concentrated blue fruit, cola and sweet black licorice notes on the expressive nose. The dry, tangy and cocoa powder-infused palate follows with moderate tannins and balanced coffee grind, spice and dark berry fruit flavours. Ready to be enjoyed now with a Sunday roast or hold for 3-4 years. Drink 2012-2015.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Riesling - 89pts

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Riesling (Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here
Cost: $19.95
Alcohol: 8.5%
Date Tasted: July 18th, 2012

Tasting Notes: This is an ultra-low alcohol, off-dry example of the Germanic variety with a concentrated, vibrant nose of apples, nectarines, flowers and steel aromas. The sweet and tangy palate follows with intense apricot, gooseberry and fruit cup flavours with green apple tartness. The acid is pleasantly mouth-watering though doesn't fully support the residual sugar, yet the pure and powerful expression of fruit is highly engaging and memorable. Enjoy this wine now or over the next 3-4 years. Drink 2011-2016.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2009 Riesling - 90+pts

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2009 Riesling (Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here
Cost: $19.95
Alcohol: 10.5%
Date Tasted: July 15th, 2012

Tasting Notes: Is doppelgänger a German word? Yes, obviously... and how apporpriate. In consuming this excellent, low-alcohol Riesling from Summerhill you would think you were drinking a fine wine from the German region of Mosel. Off-dry, yet supremely well-balanced with ample citrus acidity that allows the wine to finish crisp leaving your mouth watering and eager for more. The Mosel similarities are aided by the use of regional clones that were imported to Summerhill's Kelowna vineyard in the 70's and which help express terroir-driven characters of stainless steel minerality, stonefruit and a touch of Okanagan silver sage.

This Riesling has aged beautifully, with apricot aromas starting to bloom suggesting that future development is almost a certainty if properly cellared. Riesling fans are likely already familiar with the nectar-like evolution the top examples can achieve. For the uninitiated, this Summerhill release is an inexpensive option to start with. Expect, at least, solid mid-term cellaring evolution with this beauty. Though, if you can't wait, it's ready to be enjoyed now with your sun-drenched patio. Drink now-2017+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2010

Haywire Winery 2010 Gamay Noir Rosé - 88pts

Haywire Winery 2010 Gamay Noir Rosé (Summerland) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $18.99
Alcohol: 13.7%
Production: 1078 cases
Date Tasted: July 17th, 2012

Tasting Notes: Wild raspberry, rhubarb, Bosc pear, light brioche and floral aromas make for a lovely nose on this salmon-meets-brick coloured Gamay Noir rosé from Summerland. The mostly dry, nicely textured palate follows with a kick of tart, watery red fruit and refreshing acidity that balances the residual sugar admirably. The finish is long with lingering mild tannins and mouth-watering lemon/lime rind flavours.

Pair with a raspberry cream sauce covered salmon fillet or your favourite hot deck. Drink now-2013.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Neck of the Woods Winery 2011 Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour White - 85pts

Neck of the Woods Winery 2011 Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour White - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $14.99
Alcohol: 12.1%
Date Tasted: July 11th, 2012

Tasting Notes: An easy-going, well-priced blend of 61% Pinot Gris, 17% Riesling, 17% Sigerrebe and 5% Gewurztraminer from both the Okanagan and Fraser Valleys with the Pinot Gris providing the main flavour characteristics while the other grapes help enhance the overall presentation. Green apples, pears and a healthy dose of citrus fruit make the nose cheerful and pleasant. The palate is a little thin and bit acidic, needing a solid food pairing like a rich and lemony seafood salad to improve the short finish. Drink now-2013.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright Icon Wines 2012

La Frenz Winery 2010 Malbec - 88pts

La Frenz Winery 2010 Malbec (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: July 13th, 2012

Tasting Notes: Black cherry and wild field berry aromas dominate the pleasing, intense and vibrant nose of this tasty Malbec from Naramata Bench winery La Frenz which also features vanilla-coke, nibs candy, oak and light spice notes. Not as ripe, tannic or full bodied on the tangy palate as the 2009 with some green, vegetal flavours present. Yet, it remains an intriguing, cool-climate take on the grape more commonly associated with Mendoza and Cahors. Drink 2012-2014.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Neck of the Woods Winery 2010 Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - 87pts

Neck of the Woods Winery 2010 Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19.99
Alcohol: 13.9%
Date Tasted: July 11th, 2012

Tasting Notes: The Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is a happy surprise with decent varietal expression - especially for a cool vintage, and with pleasant drinkability -especially for the price. Striking a good balance between sweet dark fruit and savoury oak and vegetal characters resulting in a wine that delivers the structure you want from a Cabernet Sauvignon without the lofty price point and without resorting to added sugar to boost-up the body. This wine is fairly lean and focused and would make a great partner for a plate of hard cheeses and dark chocolate. Drink now-2014.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright Icon Wines 2012

2005 Château Mouton-Rothschild - 95+pts

2005 Château Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac) Bordeaux - France

Availability: Private wine shops, BCLDB Signature Stores
Cost: Average $851 USD as per
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: June 28th, 2012

Tasting Notes: The classed growths of Pauilac are about elegant, powerful and long-lasting Cabernet Sauvignon. With 85% in the final blend the Mouton is no exception and delivers on its mythical reputation in an exceptional Medoc vintage that sees the best wines lasting 30-40 years or longer. Dense and smoky with layers of dark fruit, tobacco, oak, dried herbs, licorice, vanilla, mint and cedar characters galore. The palate is ultra silky with lively acidity and supremely enjoyable after 6+ hours of decanting, yet, the wine still comes across as very youthful, needing 5 more years to achieve its initial peak following which the wine should hold and evolve for decades. Drink 2017-2035+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright Icon Wines 2012

Fairview Cellars 2003 Merlot-Cabernet - 91pts

Fairview Cellars 2003 Merlot-Cabernet (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Sold out. Contact winery for library release info here
Cost: $50-60
Alcohol: 14.9%
Date Tasted: July 7th, 2012

Tasting Notes: From the cellar. More recent admirers of Fairview Cellars will know this wine better as "Madcap Red", winemaker and proprietor Bill Eggert's ode to a Merlot-leading blend, but back in 2003, prior to receiving marketing advice, the label simply read Merlot-Cabernet. 2003 was a particularly hot year with intense heat waves made infamous by the terrible wildfires that raged throughout the Province during the Summer. The wine smells of intensely ripe dark berry fruit, dried herbs, light mint, anise, caramelized oak and a hint of scorched earth. The palate is equally intense and surprisingly fresh and vibrant with layers of ripe berry fruit and mouth-watering acidity. Tannins have mellowed seductively and flavours have matured resulting in the perfect cellared wine experience: palpable evolution.

This wine has aged extremely well and shows great promise for Fairview fans who have been diligently holding onto Bill's blends. Next year would see this beauty turn ten, a significant milestone for BC red wines that few achieve, yet it feels like it has yet to begin its inevitable decline and will drink well through 2013 and beyond. Drink now-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Neck of the Woods Winery 2011 Backyard Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc - 85pts

Neck of the Woods Winery 2011 Backyard Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Okanagan Valley) - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99
Alcohol: 13.1%
Date Tasted: July 6th, 2012

Tasting Notes: This Sauvignon Blanc opens with a fresh nose of grass, unripe mango, cantaloupe and light grapefruit aromas. The crisp, tangy yet watery palate follows with pear, lemon/lime and grapefruit flavours. The finish ends a bit abruptly and "hot" as the concentration of the flavours doesn't completely balance the alcohol. Drink now-2013.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright Icon Wines 2012

Young and Wyse Collection 2011 Amber - 87pts

Young and Wyse Collection 2011 Amber (Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $19.90
Alcohol: 11.5%
Production: 1175 cases
Date Tasted: June th, 2012

Tasting Notes: A lively and cheerful blend of 43% Viognier, 37% Pinot Gris and 20% Gewurztraminer with apple crumble, papaya and sweet citrus aromas on the pleasant nose. The crisp palate follows with intense green apple acidity, lemon/lime flavours and cool minerality. A long finish with lingering tartness, light spice and a hint of edible flowers. Not as rich and textured as the 2010 version: an altogether different animal with the 2011 release serving as a tart, refreshing, low-alcohol summer sipper. Pair with seafood dishes or enjoy this tasty wine on its own on a sunny deck. Drink 2012-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Sandhill 2008 Small Lots Program Three - 88pts

Sandhill 2008 Small Lots Program Three (Oliver) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Limited. 2009 vintage now available here
Cost: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 7 barrels
Date Tasted: July 3rd, 2012

Tasting Notes: A unique blend of 43% Sangiovese, 29% Barbera, Merlot 14% and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, this Sandhill offering reminds me of a cross between a Washington State Super Tuscan and a British Columbia Carmenere. Plenty of tomato stock and black pepper notes mixed in with the red fruits and plum flavours and aromas. Finishes a bit tannic and acidic after a more cheerful start of warm, spicy plum flavours on the dry, medium+ bodied, ever-so-slightly under ripe palate.

Tastes like nothing else being made in BC presently. Whether that's a good thing or not is open for debate. Drink now-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2008 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2008 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here
Cost: $29.99
Alcohol: 13.9%
Production: 250 cases
Date Tasted: June 19th and July 4th, 2012

Tasting Notes: When a winery produces two (or more) tiers of one particular variety it's hard not to compare them. In the case of Tinhorn Creek this is a fairly direct and fair comparison as the fruit for both their varietal and Oldfield Series wines were sourced from the same vineyard and thus we're left with barrel selection, oak treatment and time in bottle as the biggest differentiators between the two versions. With this Oldfield Series release, which sees an extra year in bottle, you get a little more of, well, everything. A little more elegance, a little more intensity, a little more fruit and a little more harmony in the overall presentation when compared to the 2008 varietal release.

This is an excellent Pinot Noir with a classic BC combination of earthy notes with red fruit and plum characters that emphasizes drinkability and food pairing. Drink 2012-2015.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Neck of the Woods Winery 2010 Backyard Vineyards Syrah - 87pts

Neck of the Woods Winery 2010 Backyard Vineyards Syrah (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $24.99
Alcohol: 14.7%
Date Tasted: July 2nd, 2012

Tasting Notes: This is a Rhone style Syrah, hence the French version of the name, that offers a masculine, cool-climate expression of the peppery grape. The appealing nose boasts layers of spice and oak with black cherry fruit supporting. The dry, chalky palate follows with good continuity of flavours from the nose yet with a balance that finishes a tad tart. Has the tannins and flavour profile to pair with a Sunday roast or a juicy, peppercorn encrusted steak - definitely a red meat wine. Tasting a bit tight and closed today: nothing a further 6 months in bottle wouldn't cure nicely. Drink 2013-2015.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright Icon Wines 2012

Haywire Winery 2011 Canyonview Vineyard Chardonnay - 88pts

Haywire Winery 2011 Canyonview Vineyard Chardonnay (Summerland) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $23
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 105 cases
Date Tasted: July 1st, 2012

Tasting Notes: This small lot release from Haywire Winery marks their first foray into a single variety release of the Burgundian white grape. Fermented in the firm's egg-shaped cement tanks, this Chardonnay sees no oak and avoided any secondary or  "malolactic" fermentation (whose main purpose is to soften the acid). Add to the mix a long, cool harvest and you have the makings of an oyster-lover's dream wine. This Chard matches the intensity of the liveliness of Sauvignon Blanc yet retains its varietal character displaying Chablis-like lemon/lime and strong mineral characters plus Okanagan orchard fruit and ripeness. This is a top-notch, un-oaked Chardonnay to match with seafood options like oysters and simply prepared lobster. Drink 2012-2014.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012