Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2014 Old Vines Foch - 88pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2014 Old Vines Foch (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 3750 cases
Date Tasted: December 22nd, 2016

Tasting Notes: Quail's Gate produces 3 wines from its older Marechal Foch plantings; a fortified wine, a beautiful reserve wine and this drink-now, table wine. As a table wine, this Foch l
acks the refinement and smoothness of its reserve-tier cousin, but answers the "and now for something different" call you yearn to place, from time-to-time, when looking for an alternate companion for roasts or steak dinners. 

It brings a wildness and funkiness to the table not found in other varieties, or even other hybrids, with an intriguing combination of brambly blue fruit, earth tones, spicy cured meats and potpourri. Fresh and lively with spice and raspberry seed flavours on the moderate finish. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2014 Meritage - 89pts

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2014 Meritage - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $23.99
Alcohol: 13.3%
Date Tasted: December 20th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A true "BC Blend" with grapes sourced from Southern Okanagan, Similkameen and Lillooet vineyards combining ripe, berry and cassis fruit with smoky, sage and clove characters to form a food-friendly, masculine Meritage with medium-plus body, mannered tannins and cool-berry acidity.
 Ready to go now. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Top Rated Wines of 2016

The following wines received the 16 highest scores on IconScores.ca during the calendar year of 2016. Release date was not considered with some wines sourced from the cellar or sampled at special events. For the list of our Top 20 Wines of 2016, where more than simply the tasting score is considered, please visit the main IconWines.ca site.


#1 - Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery 2013 Gravel Bed Red - 96pts
A blend of Bordeaux varieties sourced from multiple Sonoma County vineyards all with one thing in common: rocky, gravely soils. Intense and refined on the nose with rabbit-hole depth; cassis purée, ripe blueberries, vanilla extract, chocolate covered coffee beans and light, rocky mineral aromas.
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#2 - Domaine La Barroche 2006 Pure - 95pts
Marketed as a 100% Grenache, "Pure", cuvée from the Domaine's Chateauneuf-du-Pape designated vineyards (though, at a tasting event a winery rep whispered to me that there were some small traces of other grapes in the final blend) which delivers immense intensity on the complex nose and ultra-smooth palate. Harmonious from all angles with a profile of ripe red berries, black fruit, cola, mint and a medley of cooking spices. Framed by silky-smooth, elegant tannins and effortless acidity.
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#3 - 2006 Château Pontet-Canet - 93-95pts
This was an exquisite vintage for Pontet-Canet and for a (relatively speaking) bargain price. At 10 years of age, this blend of 62%, Merlot 33%, Cabernet Franc 3% and Petit-Verdot 2% is still youthful but headed in the right direction with burgeoning graphite and iron notes integratingseamlessly with the pure black fruit profile and silky smooth tannins. So elegant and long with lingering spice on the finish.
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#4 - Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Red Icon - 92-94pts
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.
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#T5 - Cassini Cellars 2013 The Aristocrat - 93pts

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. 
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#T5 - LaStella 2013 La Sophia - 93pts
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.
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#T5 - LaStella 2013 Maestoso "Solo" Merlot - 93pts
LaStella's flagship wine, Maestoso, proves that 100% Merlot wines can be as elegant and nuanced as the valley's top Cabernet Sauvignon or its heralded red blends. 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.
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#T8 - Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Chardonnay - 92+pts
From a barrel sample. A standout Chardonnay, sourced from the winery's home vineyard along the Skaha Bench, harvested in small lots and fermented separately to preserve the unique qualities of each batch. In contrast to previous vintages, 20% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks and underwent a softening of the acids through a secondary, malolactic fermentation. The rest of the wine was aged in an even split of 1st and 2nd fill French oak barrels with no malolactic fermentation.
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#T8 - Painted Rock Estate Winery 2013 Syrah - 92+pts
Opens with the intensity of an extracted Aussie Shiraz on the nose, though, the developing bouquet more closely resembles Syrah of the Northern Rhone with a beautiful blend of floral, fruit and savoury aromas. Layers of violet, blue fruits, smoky, cured meats, toffee, cardamom and white pepper will keep you blissfully sniffing the glass.
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#T8 - Le Vieux Pin 2014 "Cuvée Classique" Syrah - 92+pts
Like its baby sister, the 2014 "Cuvée Violette", this is feminine Syrah at its flowery, perfumed best. Though, big sister is a complex and often times moody enchantress with a powerful undercurrent of iron and peppercorn beneath layers of inviting, sweetened black cherry, black raspberry, dried flowers, incense, RC Cola, vanilla and dark chocolate aromas.
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Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars N/V Gold Label Brut - 91pts

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars N/V Gold Label Brut (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $23.90 including taxes
Alcohol: 12%
Date Tasted: December 15th, 2016

Tasting Notes
Produced in the traditional method and constructed like Champagne with finished wines from multiple vintages combined to create a consistent house style. This blend of 56% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Gris is the latest edition of their flagship Brut, disgorged in 2013 and now with a further 3 years of development in the bottle. All of which can be appreciated on the engaging nose and the bubbling, mouth-watering palate.

Look for fresh apple pie, lemon meringue and seashell aromas followed by a crisp, mineral-infused mouthfeel with flavours of lemon/lime, unpasteurised honey, peaches, stainless steel and light herbs. Finishes dry with lingering lemon rind and mineral notes. An absolute steal at under $25. Drink now or hold for 5-7 more years.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Athene - 90pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Athene (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $38 (taxes included)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: December 14th, 2016

@BurrowingOwlBC

Tasting Notes: A lively blend of 52% Syrah and 48% Cabernet Sauvignon with a fruit-foward profile of ripe, red fruit, cassis puree, dried herbs, white pepper, milk chocolate and caramel. Easy-going on the entry, followed by a wave of berry acidity. Light tannins and spice linger on the moderate-plus finish. Pair with sweetened BBQ ribs or chicken
. Drink 2016-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

D'Angelo Estate Winery 2011 Miscela Tempranillo - 88pts

D'Angelo Estate Winery 2011 Miscela Tempranillo (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $25
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: December 10th, 2016

Tasting Notes: The D'Angelo family produce wines in both BC and Ontario with this Tempranillo-leading blend being sourced from their Naramata Bench property. Blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine is true to the family's Italian roots, in style, as a food-centric, medium-bodied, fragrant wine with potpourri and red fruit aromas and a flavour profile of stewed plum, blackberry and cooking spices. Rustic, 
smoky tannins and clean acidity frame the moderate, uber-dry finish. Enjoy this now and over the next 1-2 years. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2015 Pinot Gris - 90pts

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2015 Pinot Gris (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and private wine shops
Cost: $20.90
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: December 8th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An excellent, partially oaked Pinot Gris, both refreshing and rich with a nice balance between its crisp, orchard fruit characters and acidity and its creamy texture endowed with
savoury notes of herbs, spice, brioche and vanilla bean. Deleightfully complex, especially for the price. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Red Icon - 92-94pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Red Icon (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $47.79 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.3%

Production: 1153 cases
Date Tasted: December 8th, 2016

@PaintedRockWine

Tasting Notes: 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.

Look for black fruits, caramel, dried herbs'n'spice, graphite, tobacco, tar, vanilla-mocha and oak characters throughout with fine, grippy tannins and smooth acidity.  

With further ageing, expect the nose to bloom and evolve towards the more feminine and warm end of the spectrum with red fruit and pencils shaving notes to come.

When one invests in a wine like this, it is best to wait for its peak window prior to opening; around year 7 or 8. However, if you can't wait quite that long, do give it at least two years in the bottle for further integration and development, it will be well worth the effort. Drink 2019-2024+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Cassini Cellars 2013 Nobilus - 91pts

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

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $40
Alcohol: 13.7%
Production: 187 cases
Date Tasted: December 6th, 2016

Tasting Notes: The Nobilus is a 100% Merlot release that proves the much maligned grape and often overshadowed 
blending partner to the Cabernets, can stand on its own. The 2013 edition impresses with its complexity, refinement and balance. Aromas of cassis, blackberry, menthol, vanilla, spiced cocoa liqueur and toasted oak are followed by similar flavours on the brooding, dry and full-bodied palate with grippy tannins and mouth-watering acidity adding structure and texture.

Finishes long with lingering iodine, blackberry puree and spice notes making it an excellent pairing for medium-rare steaks or other red meat dishes. Ready to go now, yet, should age nicely over the next few years. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Syrah - 89pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Syrah (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery and private wine shops
Cost: $30 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: December 3rd, 2016

@BurrowingOwlBC

Tasting Notes: A licorice, black cherry and black pepper driven Syrah from the Black Sage Bench with added notes of charcoal and blackberry - 'all things black' being the key descriptor throughout. Full-bodied and ripe, with RS veering towards off-dry. Wild berry acidity and peppery tannins keeps the sweetness at bay, mostly. Sage, spice and blackberry liqueur linger on the moderate finish. 
Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

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

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

Availability
: 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 IconWines.ca

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 95% French oak and 5% American 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) 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.

Ready to go now with 2-3hrs of decanting or age it for a decade. Drink now-2023+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Michel Torino 2015 Cuma Organic Torrontés - 85pts

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

Availability
: 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 IconWines.ca

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 IconWines.ca

Kaiken 2014 Reserva Malbec - 88pts

Kaiken 2014 Reserva Malbec (Lujan de CuyoMendoza - Argentina

Availability
: TBA
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 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2014 PTG - 89pts

JoieFarm 2014 PTG (Naramata Bench) Okanagan - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $23.90
Alcohol: 12.5%
Date Tasted: November 27th, 2016

Tasting Notes: JoieFarm's rustic "PTG" is an 
engaging 60/40 split of Gamay and Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards in Penticton and along the Naramata Bench. You'll find a playful nose of red fruit, cola, Christmas cake candied fruit'n'spice and potpourri aromas followed by an intense, mouth watering, medium-bodied palate of cherry, plum, wild berries, vanilla, light oak and sweet earth flavours. Dusty tannins structure the palate nicely and linger with a medley of savoury spice and plum notes on the moderate-plus finish.

Will make a great pairing for rustic stews and roasted game (Christmas dinner, anyone?). Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon - 91+pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $33 including taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: November 25th, 2016

@BurrowingOwlBC

Tasting Notes: At first sniff, you may be thinking you're in for a very serious Cabernet Sauvignon indeed; one without an ounce of self-reflection or humility (it is just a grape after all). But after the first sip, the stuffiness and intense savoury notes fade away to reveal a ray of juicy, sun-ripened fruit shining through on your welcoming palate.


20 months ageing in French oak barrels and a further year in the bottle has done wonders for this Black Sage Bench Cabernet. Rich and refined, this wine is bursting with black and red currant fruit and sagey-herbal goodness on the mouth-watering palate where a medley of savoury notes add depth and character: toasted oak, licorice, vanilla, chocolate, coffee grinds, spices and herbs. Acidity and tannins are smooth and help balance the wine nicely through to the long finish. Drink now-2022+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Merlot - 91pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Merlot (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $30 including taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: Novemebr 25th, 2016

@BurrowingOwlBC

Tasting Notes: A nice combination of dense, vanilla-berry fruit and a strong layer of licorise and dark chocolate mint aromas grace the deep, appealing nose of this Black Sage Bench-sourced Merlot. An intense and concentrated, berry puree
-infused palate follows with fine, dusty tannins, sweet spice and smoky flavours, finishing with lingering, mouth-watering acidity. Ready to go today and will hold for several years. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - 91pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA wine shops
Cost: $30.49 including taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 1684 cases
Date Tasted: November 11th, 2016

Tasting Notes: 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. The final blend for the 2013 vintage is comprised of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and for the first time in recent memory. 6% of Malbec was included. Together the varieties create a complete wine with good complexity and length, perfect for holiday entertaining or Sunday roasts. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Domaine La Barroche 2006 Pure - 95pts

Domaine La Barroche 2006 Pure (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) Rhone Valley - France

Availability: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $62.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 15%

Date Tasted: November 12th, 2016


Tasting Notes: From the cellar. Marketed as a 100% Grenache, "Pure", c
uvée from the Domaine's Chateauneuf-du-Pape designated vineyards (though, at a tasting event a winery rep whispered to me that there were some small traces of other grapes in the final blend) which delivers immense intensity on the complex nose and ultra-smooth palate.

Harmonious from all angles with a profile of ripe red berries, black fruit, cola, mint and a medley of cooking spices. Framed by silky-smooth, elegant tannins and effortless acidity. 

Ready to go now with plenty of decanting, and a second decade of ageing is not out of the question. Drink now-2022+.
  - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2014 Merlot - 88pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2014 Merlot (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $24.99
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 5090 cases
Date Tasted: November 9th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A full-bodied Merlot with plenty of cool-berry flavours and aromas and a gripy backbone of smoky-smooth tannins. Added notes of light menthol, spicy plum, earthy-minerals and toasted oak contribute depth on the masculine nose and palate. 
Herbs'n'spice linger on the moderate, mouth-watering finish. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

La Frenz Winery 2015 Chardonnay - 88pts

La Frenz Winery 2015 Chardonnay (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and private wine shops
Cost: $22-26
Alcohol: 13.6%
Date Tasted: November 8th, 2016
@LAFRENZWINERY


Tasting Notes: The La Frenz Chardonnay is comfort food in-a-glass, delivering a likability score of... Yum! Well balanced and approachable with juicy, fruit-cup aromas and flavours and a clean backbone of peach acidity to keep the finish crisp. Don't age this Chardonnay more than 1-2 years, enjoy it in its youth. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Merlot - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Merlot (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here
Cost: $26.99
Alcohol: 13.8%

Production: 2076
Date Tasted: November 6th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A super consistent, from year-to-year, feminine Merlot with an expressive, berry and incense-infused nose and a refined, smooth palate with creamy-berry flavours and notes of 
toasted-caramel, vanilla and spice. The finish is long and smooth with mannered tannins and a touch of lingering menthol. Delish! Ready to go now, though, will hold for many years in your cellar with the possibility of further development. Drink 2016-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Not yet released. Direct from winery here when it is
Cost: $30.49 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14%
Production: ? cases
Date Tasted: November 4th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An uber smooth and elegant Cabernet Franc with the classic, dried flowers and brambly fruit you've come to expect from a BC Cabernet Franc but presented with the refinement and texture of a high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of pipe tobacco, light cola, wild berry, plum and a medley of corned beef characters: cloves, juniper berries, allspice and black pepper, grace the comforting nose and the mellow, smoky-tannin palate. A smidgen of residual sugar contributes body to the otherwise tangy, long finish. 
As with all of the Oldfield Series wines, this Cabernet Franc has been released when it is ready to be enjoyed but will also feel at home in your cellar for another 2-3 years. Drink 2017-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay - 88pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here. Select private wine shops
Cost: $25 (including tax)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: October 30th, 2016

Tasting Notes: True to the house style, delivering an oaked, ripe Chardonnay with a pleasing juxtaposition of plump, popcorn-melon, malolactic fermentation notes and vibrant, citrus'n'stonefruit tangy characters that keep the nose fresh and the palate crisp.
 Pair with a creamy pasta or seafood dish. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

2006 Château Pontet-Canet - 93-95pts

2006 Château Pontet-Canet (Pauillac) Bordeaux - France 

Availability: Limited. Private wine stores special order
Cost: Average $144 CDN as per Wine-Searcher.com
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: October 30th, 2016

Tasting Notes: From the cellar. Following the much heralded 2005 vintage, the 2006 Pauillacs may be under the radar for many. This was an exquisite vintage for Pontet-Canet and for a (relatively speaking) bargain price. 
At 10 years of age, this blend of 62%, Merlot 33%, Cabernet Franc 3% and Petit-Verdot 2% is still youthful but headed in the right direction with burgeoning graphite and iron notes integrating seamlessly with the pure black fruit profile and silky smooth tannins. So elegant and long with lingering spice on the finish.

As good as it was, we opened this beauty too early and I would look for a 2020-2024 window to sip this one in its prime. 
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca