Le Vieux Pin 2015 "Cuvée Violette" Syrah - 90pts

Le Vieux Pin 2015 "Cuvée Violette" Syrah (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $28.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.8%
Production: 1293 cases
Date Tasted: May 29th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Sourced from multiple, distinct Southern Okanagan Valley sub-appellations and blended together with 1% Roussanne to create a feminine Syrah with cherry and black raspberry fruit, aromatic, floral notes and a layer of 
sensual, savoury characters: white pepper, vanilla, green olives and sweet incense throughout. Medium bodied, yet, intense in its purity of flavour with a long, mouth-watering finish of spice, oak and wild berry acidity. Ready to be enjoyed now or hold for another 3-4 years. Drink now-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Syrah Grenache Rosé - 89pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Syrah Grenache Rosé (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $21.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.3%
Date Tasted: May 25th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache sourced from multiple sites in the Okanagan Valley grown specifically for this aromatic and lively r
osé. Excellent texture on the red fruit driven, well-balanced palate with added herbs and spice flavours and brisk, mouth-watering, citrus acidity. Finish is crisp with lingering spice and cranberry-citrus notes. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Finca Decero 2014 Remolinos Vineyard Malbec - 91pts

Finca Decero 2014 Remolinos Vineyard Malbec (Agrelo) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: Special order, private wine stores
Cost: $23.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: May 23rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: A well-balanced Malbec sourced from a single, high altitude vineyard in the Agrelo appellation of Mendoza offering layers of concentrated, dried, dark fruit aromas and sweet vanilla and crushed violet notes on the refined nose. Spends 14 months maturing in French oak barrels and neutral tanks (90/10 split, respectively) prior to bottling, contributing a lushness to the wine and rounding the edges of the tannins and natural acidity. Palate is smooth, concentrated and offers good continuity from the nose. A lengthy, spice-laced finish lingers pleasantly.
 Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Kaiken 2012 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon - 89pts

Kaiken 2012 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza) Argentina

Availability
: Special order, private wine stores
Cost: $24.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: May 19th, 2017

Tasting Notes: An ultra smooth Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Malbec blended in to contribute lifted blackberry aromas and flavours to the, otherwise, serious black fruit proceedings. Cassis and blueberry fruit lead the way with plenty of support from the spicy and savoury affects of 12 months prior in French oak barrels prior to bottling.


Offers, fine tannins and lively acid on the palate with a touch of smoke and spice that linger on the moderate-plus finish. Manages its 14.5% alcohol superbly. Starting to peak and ready to go now or over the next 2 years. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Kaiken 2012 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon - 86pts

Kaiken 2012 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Lujan de Cuyo) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: Special order, private wine stores
Cost: $14.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: May 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: At 5 years of age, this well-made, budget Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza has already peaked with mature aromas and flavours blooming on the prune-spiked, blueberry'n'spice nose and on the similarly-flavoured, smokey-tannin, (nearly) off-dry, palate.
 Drink 2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Pin 2014 Retouche - 92pts

Le Vieux Pin 2014 Retouche (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Not Yet released. Winery website here
Cost: $59.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.7%
Production: 117 cases
Date Tasted: May 18th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Le Vieux Pin's Retouche is an ode to the long-abandoned practice of spiking Bordeaux wines with Syrah from the Rhone Valley when the native fruit was lacking in depth and intensity. 
The 2014 blend is a departure from recent vintages with a final assemblage of 43% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 15% Syrah creating a round, feminine wine with both red and blue fruit, light herbs and spice, menthol and subtle, toasted oak aromas and flavours.

Appropriate for mid-term cellaring, though, this beautiful, full-bodied wine is very approachable in its youth, with good complexity and length. Drink 2017-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Oldfield Reserve Chardonnay - 89pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Oldfield Reserve Chardonnay (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Upon release, direct from winery here
Cost: $TBD
Alcohol: 13.5%

Date Tasted: May 18th, 2017

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: A 'big' Chardonnay, bursting with ripe, melon and tropical fruits, buttery-brioche, French vanilla cream and persistent citrus aromas and flavours. Barrel fermented and aged in oak for 18 months prior to bottling, this wine is plump on the entry with dominant oak and malolactic characters, yet, finishes smooth, almost lean, thanks to the fine, lemon-drop acidity and light, mineral notes. Spice and a hint of caramelized apple linger through to the next sip.
 Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Liquidity Wines 2015 Chardonnay - 90pts

Liquidity Wines 2015 Chardonnay (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $26 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 384 cases
Date Tasted: May 17th, 2017

Tasting Notes: An elegant Chardonnay, nice and tidy with nothing out of place. Avoids the pitfalls of tasting forced with regards to winemaking decisions like so many others do. Subtle oak and partial malolactic fermentation notes frame the characteristics of the estate-sourced fruit nicely; medium intense, pear, peach and papaya fruits, light herbs and macadamia nut 
aromas and flavours with crisp, citrus acidity. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

The Grape Grinder 2015 Pinotage - 86pts

The Grape Grinder 2015 Pinotage (W.O Western Cape) South Africa

Availability: BCLDB stores
Cost: $13.49 +taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: May 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Though prominent on the label, and in previous vintages, I found the coffee-mocha theme more subtle in the 2015 release of the Grinder Pinotage with a higher emphasis on intense, blackberry and cherry puree aromas and flavours. Supporting, savoury notes and yumtastic, dark chocolate and spice characters help elevate the full-bodied palate beyond a one-dimensional, jam-fest. Though, folks who don't like their reds a little off-dry will want to steer clear.
 Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bench 1775 Winery 2015 Muscat - 87pts

Bench 1775 Winery 2015 Muscat (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $16.90
Alcohol: 13.6%

Production: 480 cases
Date Tasted: May 12th, 2017
@Bench1775

Tasting Notes: Actually a 85/15 split of Muscat and Riesling, respectively, sourced from vineyards in Naramata and from the Golden Mile, this wine is billed as a non-traditional Muscat and that's pretty honest and accurate. The nose is Sauvignon Blanc-ish with citrus, gooseberry, fresh herbs and blossom aromas and even a light hint of Oyster shells. The palate has some body and a nice texture to it with similar flavours (minus the seashells) but with more than a hint of spice and smoke. Definitely unique and offered at a great price. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2016 Muscat - 88pts

JoieFarm 2016 Muscat (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC 

Availability: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $22.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 10.8%
Production: 443 cases
Date Tasted: May 12th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The delicate, nuanced nose returns, with aromas of nectarine, peach skin, lemon-lime and light spice, though, the 2016 edition of the JoieFarm Muscat is noticeably more watery and acidic on the mineral'n'citrus adorned palate than recent, superbly balanced vintages of the 100% Moscato Giallo grape (see 2015 & 2014). Enjoy this brunch-friendly wine in its youth.
 Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Sperling Vineyards 2015 Vision Chardonnay - 89pts

Sperling Vineyards 2015 Vision Chardonnay (East Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $26
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 190 cases
Date Tasted: May 7th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Though fermented in French oak, the influence is subtle and the core characteristics of a cool-climate Chardonnay shine through: fresh orchard fruit, crisp acidity and stoney minerality. Should be a popular wine for restaurants at this price-point for its food pairing flexibility, refreshing palate and moderate, balanced finish. Serve with seafood or chicken dishes or hard cheeses like Gruyere. 


Should peak after 2018 with another year in the bottle to integrate and meld. Drink 2018-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Pinot Gris - 87pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Pinot Gris (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%

Date Tasted: May 7th, 2017

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: Ever a refreshing wine to quaff with bright, orchard and citrus fruit aromas, this Pinot Gris is fermented and aged in stainless steel and for 2017, sees its balance leaning towards off-dry and medium-plus body with sweet, pear, apple and apricot flavours complimented by a touch of spice and minerals. Lemon rind lingers on the moderate finish, priming you for the next sip.
 Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

LaStella Winery 2016 Vivace Pinot Grigio - 90pts

LaStella Winery 2016 Vivace Pinot Grigio (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and private wine stores
Cost: $22.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.1%
Production: 1301 cases
Date Tasted: May 6th, 2017

@LaStellaWinery

Tasting Notes: A lip-smacking Pinot Grigio with impressive, restrained intensity, excellent length and acute balance of its fruit, acid and (minute) residual sugar. Plenty of apple, pear, lime peel, honeydew, white peach and river stone, aromas and flavours to pick out and pair with or go for the no-brainer default: a 
sun-drenched deck with or without accompanying seafood dished of scallops or sable fish. Drink 2017-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery 2015 Pinot Grigio - 87pts

Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery 2015 Pinot Grigio (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14%

Production: 422 cases
Date Tasted: May 4th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A Northern Italian-styled Pinot Grigio, meaning most elements are subtle and nuanced, offering a nice blend of orchard and citrus fruit with mineral undercurrents. F
inishes short and (mostly) dry with a hint of lingering lemon rind and vanilla. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2014 Cabernet Franc - 88pts

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

Availability: Contact the winery here
Cost: $TBA
Alcohol: 14.3%
Production: 93 cases
Date Tasted: May 4th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A masculine Cabernet Franc with cool berry, menthol and spicy-licorice aromas on the nose and similar flavours on the full-bodied, mouth-watering palate which also showcases additional cherry and oak notes. The moderate-plus finish lingers with dry herbs and spice notes. D
rink late-2017-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery 2013 Reserve Chardonnay - 86pts

Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $29.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: May 3rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: An oaked (14 months in French barrels), fruit-forward Chardonnay with layers of citrus and nut characters. A little lean on the palate, after the initial wave of peachy-apple fruit and citrus acidity, leaving the finish a little short, though, a touch of vanilla and mineral notes linger, quietly. At 4 years of age, this Chardonnay has peaked and ready now. Drink 2017.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

LaStella 2015 Fortissimo - 90+pts

LaStella 2015 Fortissimo (Osoyoos Lake Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $29.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 1711 cases

Date Tasted: May 2nd, 2017

Tasting Notes: LaStella's ode to the tradition-challenging blends of Tuscany, the Fortissimo sees 63% Merlot blended with 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Sangiovese and 9% Cabernet Franc and strives for harmony and balance.


This is a pretty wine, with delicate fruit and pleasing herbs and sweet pipe tobacco aromas on the nose and good balance between fruit and savoury flavours on the food-friendly palate. 

Missing a little depth and length compared to recent, outstanding vintages, but we're nitpicking, nothing is out of place. There's oak and spice and everything nice. Drink 2018-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Donjon 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - 95pts

Le Vieux Donjon 2010 (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) Rhone Valley - France

Availability: BCLDB stores
Cost: $57.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 8000 cases
Date Tasted: May 1st, 2017


Tasting Notes: From the cellar.
Complex, on the graceful nose and the refined palate with layers of dark berries, spiced plums, kirsch, black olives, bay leaf, incense and floral notes. Though still youthful in 2017, the tannins have mellowed, enhancing its exceptional smoothness and calming texture. The seemingly, never-ending finish resolves to lingering, cracked pepper and dried black currant flavours. 

Delicious today, but, to make the most of your investment, wait another 1-2 years. Drink 2018-2025.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay - 86pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Niagara-on-The-Lake) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability
: Direct from the winery here and LCBO stores
Cost: $14.95 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.1%
Production: 2554 cases
Date Tasted: April 30th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A consistently well-made, straight-forward Chardonnay, priced just under $15 with a good balance between its many facets: orchard'n'melon fruit flavours, oak contact, green apple acidity and lees
'n'cream malolactic contact. A touch of spice lingers briefly on the short(ish) finish. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2016 Un-Oaked Chardonnay - 89pts

JoieFarm 2016 Un-Oaked Chardonnay (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $23 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 12.9%
Date Tasted: April 29th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Expressive and concentrated, this un-oaked Chardonnay is bursting with  appealing, apple, peach and melon aromas and mouth-watering, Jazz apple, citrus and pineapple flavours. Though tart and refreshing, there is body to spare with stone fruit and minerals keeping the long finish lean and balanced, where a hint of spice and lemon rind notes linger. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Cabernet Franc - 87pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Cabernet Franc (Niagara-On-The-Lake) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Direct from the winery here and select LCBO stores
Cost: $15.95 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 2603 cases
Date Tasted: April 28th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Equal parts earthy and fruity on the vibrant nose and the rounded palate with aromas and flavours of dark berries, charcoal, licorice-mint, herbs, balsamic reduction, pepper and sweet, black cherries
. Ready to go now. Drink now-2019.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Blasted Church Vineyards 2015 Pinot Gris - 90pts

Blasted Church Vineyards 2015 Pinot Gris (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here. BCLDB stores
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 2911 cases
Date Tasted: April 28th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A carefully crafted Pinot Gris produced with fruit sourced from 3 vineyards, each fermented separately and then blended at bottling with 5% Chardonnay, 3% Viognier and 2% Gewurztraminer. Both aromatic and fruity with lifted aromas of pear, melon, flowers, hay and citrus fruit on the nose. Palate entry is lush and juicy then a deliciously vibrant wave of citrus and peach acidity rushes through, driving to a dry finish where spice and lemon/lime notes linger. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Cailleteau Gamay Nouveau - 86pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Cailleteau Gamay Nouveau (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19.50
Alcohol: 14%
Production: 250 cases
Date Tasted: April 28th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The Cailleteau is modelled after the Beaujolais Nouveau wines of France which are bottled shortly after a whole-berry fermentation and released later in the Fall.  The fermentation method and lack of ageing make for a unique, youthful expression of the Gamay grape with aromas and flavours of candied fruit and nuts, Kirsch brandy and light spices. Enjoy this wine in its youth. 
Drink now.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Syrah - 93+pts

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

Availability: Soon to be released. Direct from the winery here
Cost: $34.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 15.1%

Date Tasted: April 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The 2014 edition of Painted Rock's Syrah presents stunning intensity on its ripe berry, pepper and floral scented nose and on its brooding, black cherry and endless-spice themed palate. 


Still quite youthful, with grippy, fine tannins and layered with hints of citrus fruit, Mojito mint, vanilla extract and savoury notes. Manages its 15.1% alcohol effortlessly and finishes long, oh so long, with lingering toasted oak and peppercorn flavours. Ready to go now, with 4+ hrs of decanting. Though, best results will come with patience and mid-term cellaring. Drink 2019-2024.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Kaiken 2014 Ultra Malbec - 89-90pts

Kaiken 2014 Ultra Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: Special order, private wine stores
Cost: $24.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: April 24th, 2017

Tasting Notes: As the story goes, the Patagonian wild goose, or Kaiken, flies over the Andes from Chile to Argentina during its yearly migration, making it a perfect mascot for the Chilean Montes family to name their Argentinian winery after. 
The Ultra tier of wines align nicely with the over-achieving Montes Alpha labels available in the Canadian market. Not entry-level, but not expensive. Well-made wines that deliver excellent value. 

The Ultra Malbec fits the mold and sees 12 months in French oak prior to bottling, imparting a smoothness to the palate and light oak aromas and flavours. Ripe, dark fruit throughout with lively, brambly acidity, soft, fine tannins and a touch of smoke and spice that linger on the moderate-plus finish. Handles its 14.5% alcohol superbly. Ready to go now, or hold for some further development over the next 2-3 years. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Flagstone 2015 Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon - 85pts

Flagstone 2015 Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon (W.O. Western Cape) South Africa

Availability: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $12.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: April 25th, 2017


Tasting Notes: A budget, South African Cabernet Sauvignon with rustic, smoky edges on the dark cherry and cola scented nose and on the otherwise, bright and juicy palate
. Finishes a bit short and residual sugar levels may make protein pairing a challenge, but a solid, easy-drinking wine, worth a flyer. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca 

Spier 2016 Signature Chenin Blanc - 87pts

Spier 2016 Signature Chenin Blanc (W.O. Western Cape) South Africa

Availability: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $12.49-13.49 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: April 21st, 2017

Tasting Notes: A generous nose of honeydew melon, 
Golden Delicious apple, stone and citrus fruit and macadamia nut aromas greet you on the nose of this delicious and refreshing Chenin Blanc from the Western Cape. Though it finishes a tad quickly, the lightly-spiced palate has good balance between its tart, citrus characters and its full-ish, creamy-esque texture. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca 

Kaiken 2015 Reserva Malbec - 87pts

Kaiken 2015 Reserva Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: Special order, private wine stores
Cost: $14.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: April 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Impressive balance and intensity for the price, the Kaiken Reserva Malbec is produced by the Montes family of Chile from Mendoza fruit and offers a blooming nose of dark berry fruit, charred oak and sweet pipe tobacco aromas followed by a mouth-watering, full-bodied and round palate with a combination of sweet berry and spicy flavours. Finished with a 
hint of mint. Enjoy in its youth with sweet'n'spicy, BBQ dished. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2015 Dadá No. 2 - 85pts

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2015 Dadá No. 2 (San Juan) Argentina 

Availability: BCLDB stores
Cost: $13.49 + taxes
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: April 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The 
Dadá brand by Finca Las Moras offers a series of blends and single varietal wines that are easy-going and very approachable. "No. 2" is made of 100% Merlot grapes is fruit-forward with a focus on sweetened blackberry and black cherry notes on the friendly nose and the (slightly) off-dry palate. Smooth and rounded with light tannins and acidity and a welcomed layer of toasted oak and mocha aromas and flavours - just as advertised on the label. Drink 2017-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Pin 2016 Vaila - 89pts

Le Vieux Pin 2016 Vaila (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: VQA stores and direct from the winery here
Cost: $23.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Production: 909 cases
Date Tasted: April 15th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Le Vieux Pin's Vaila r
osé is the answer to the question, "How could one cool down on a hot day without loads of residual sugar?" This blend of 100% Pinot Noir grapes, sourced from the multiple Okanagan Valley regions, is dry and refreshing with excellent texture and a delicious profile of rhubarb, kiwi, cranberry, raspberry seed and layers of citrus fruit. The finish is long and mouth-watering. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2015 Reserva Tannat - 86pts

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2015 Reserva Tannat (San Juan) Argentina 


Availability: BCLDB stores
Cost: $12.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: April 17th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The thick-skinned Tannat makes for a meaty alternative to Argentina's signature red grape, Malbec. Similar blackberry and plum fruit are on offer, but framed by smoky, olive-soaked, charcoal tannins on the dry, full-bodied, spice-infused palate. One could argue this wine is unrefined, but it is true to the variety and charmingly rustic. Excellent value.


Ready to go now, though, best after 4+ hours of decanting. Drink 2017-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2013 Paz - 87pts

Bodega Finca Las Moras 2013 Paz (Valle de Perdernal) San Juan - Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $15.99-17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: April 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A soft, rounded Malbec with light tannins and juicy, berry acidity. Full-bodied with a fruit-forward palate and bouquet; blackberry, plum, cherry, oak, vanilla-cream, licorice and light herbs. Pair with sticky, BBQ ribs.
 Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2016 A Noble Blend - 90pts

JoieFarm 2016 A Noble Blend (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here, BCLDB stores and VQA stores
Cost: $23.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 12.6%
Production: 6341 cases
Date Tasted: April 8th, 2017
@JoieFarm

Tasting Notes: Opens with a delectable nose of Tropical, citrus and orchard fruit aromas with a touch of clove and stonefruit supporting. This well-balanced, off-dry 
blend of 38% Gewurztraminer, 37% Riesling , 11% Pinot Blanc, 8% Pinot Auxerrois and 5% Muscat delivers an irresistible combination of tangy citrus and ripe exotic fruit, minerals and herbs. Light, spicy notes linger on the moderate-plus finish with traces of citrus peel and hay.

Further development is possible. Hold for another 2-3 years but not much longer than that. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Cape Barren Wines 2012 CMC - 91pts

Cape Barren Wines 2012 CMC (McLaren Vale) South Australia - Australia

Availability: Limited. BCLDB stores
Cost: $21.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: April 8th, 2017

Tasting Notes
Sourced from a single vineyard in McLaren Vale, this instantly appealing blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc offers good continuity from the complex nose to the approachable, medium-plus bodied and soft tannin palate with aromas and flavours of cassis, licorice, sweet earth, cappuccino, caramel and light menthol. Wild berry acidity and flavours linger on the long, spiced finish. A delightful drink. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bodegas Escorihuela 2015 '1884' Reserva Malbec - 88pts

Bodegas Escorihuela 2015 '1884' Reserva Malbec (Mendoza) Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $16.99-17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: April 7th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A doppelganger to the excellent 2014 edition, with a similar profile that combines red and black berries, sweet pipe tobacco, herbs and spice on the feminine nose and medium-plus bodied palate where the long-ish finish is nicely framed by fine, smoky tannins, rounded, berry acidity and lingering spice
. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca