Monte Creek Ranch 2014 Rosé - 85pts

Monte Creek Ranch 2014 Rosé (Kamloops) Okanagan Valley - BC

: Direct from winery here
Cost: $15.99 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.2%
Date Tasted: March 29th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A pleasant, fruity r
osé with strawberry-rhubarb aromas and flavours with added citrus, cranberry and mineral notes. Balance is refreshing with cran-apple acidity, though, sadly, the finish is short. Drink 2016.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Chateau Des Charmes 2012 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir - 86pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2012 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir (St. David's Bench) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Not yet released. Direct from the winery here
Cost: $13-15
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: March 12th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An Old World-styled Pinot Noir with a nice blend of savoury-earthy aromas and flavours supported by dark raspberry notes. Oak frames the developing bouquet and dry palate with sweet cedar, minerals and a mixture of dried herbs including anise.
 Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Chateau Des Charmes 2014 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay - 86pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2014 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Niagara-on-The-Lake) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

: Direct from the winery here and LCBO stores
Cost: $13.95 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 2968 cases
Date Tasted: March 8th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An easy-drinking, well-priced, medium-bodied Chardonnay that was barrel fermented and sat on its lees for 9 months where it went through a secondary, "malolactic" fermentation to soften its acidity and contribute popcorn'n'cream aromas and flavours to the classic, melon, orchard fruit and oak profile. A touch of minerality and apple acidity help keep this (slightly) off-dry Chard refreshing on the finish.

Should make for a good pairing for ham roasts at Easter or Christmas. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

JoieFarm 2013 "En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay - 90-91pts

JoieFarm 2013 "En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay (Skaha Bluff) Okanagan Valley - BC

: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $30
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 300 cases
Date Tasted: March 5th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A beautifully balanced Chardonnay produced for the first time (that I can recall) from a single vineyard site along the Skaha Bluff. Elegant and delicately layered on the orchard, vanilla-cream and citrus fruit infused nose. The full-ish palate ramps-up the intensity with sweet, tropical fruit playing off gentle, effortless acidity and hints of savoury oak, butter-cream and nut notes. Should age well over the next 2-3 years with enhanced unctuousness on the palate expected.
 Drink 2016-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay - 89pts

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $25
Alcohol: 14.4%
Production: 235 cases
Date Tasted: March 3rd, 2016

Tasting Notes: A consistently well produced Chardonnay that is f
ull-bodied and loaded with juicy orchard fruit flavours and tangy citrus acidity which invigorate the palate and begs, no, demands to be paired with smoky Gouda cheese. Finish is long and mineral-y with rich, leesy brioche notes and some lingering spice. Enjoy now or over the next 2 years (and don't forget the Gouda). Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016

JoieFarm 2014 Viognier - 92pts

JoieFarm 2014 Viognier (Summerland) Okanagan Valley - BC

: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $27.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.6%
Production: 143 cases
Date Tasted: March 2nd, 2016

Tasting Notes: A new edition to the JoieFarm portfolio and affixed with a shiny, new label, this is a supple and supremely well-balanced Viognier loaded with apple, honeydew, ripe peach, apricot and citrus flavours. On the nose are similar melon and orchard fruit aromas enhanced by sweet, floral notes and hints of exotic, tropical fruits.

About 85% of the wine was barrel fermented in neutral French oak with the remaining juice fermented in stainless steel. None of the barrels went through a secondary, malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity, leaving a firm acidic component to the otherwise, richly textured, (mostly) off-dry palate. The finish is long and thirst-quenching with a touch of lingering citrus peel and fuzzy peach candy notes. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016