Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Syrah - 92-93pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Syrah (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Not yet released. Direct from the winery here
Cost: $34.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.9%

Date Tasted: December 10th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Though Painted Rock is best known for its ripe and complex Red Icon blend, the wine gaining ground as the flagship product is the winery's estate-grown Syrah. Mind-blowing intense, yet, without ever feeling over-extracted or jammy. This youthful Syrah displays ripe cherry and plum fruit with integrated white pepper, pepperoni and floral aromas followed on the dry, grippy-tannin palate with similar flavours and added 
layers of blood orange, mint and vanilla.

Finishes long with lingering spice and cigar box notes. Ready to go now, with 4+ hrs of decanting, though, the best results will come with patience and mid-term cellaring. Drink 2019-2025.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Cassini Cellars 2014 Nobilus - 90pts

Cassini Cellars 2014 Nobilus (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $40
Alcohol: 15%
Production: 125 cases
Date Tasted: December 9th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A massive Merlot with an uber-full palate thanks to rich'n'ripe berry fruit, a touch of residual sugar and plenty of glycerol texture from the 15% alcohol - reminiscent of Californian Primitivo. Big on the nose too, with aromas of 
blackberry, plum, menthol, spiced vanilla, cocoa liqueur and oak. Profile is consistent on the intense palate with similar flavours, heightened degree of spice, blueberry acidity and dusty tannins. Ready to go now, yet, should hold nicely for the next few years. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Blasted Church Vineyards 2012 OMG - 87pts

Blasted Church Vineyards 2012 OMG (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here. BCLDB stores
Cost: $27
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 800 cases
Date Tasted: December 7th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The playfully labeled OMG is a blend of 67% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay and 11% Pinot Blanc and produced with the traditional, in-bottle second fermentation method. This process imparts yeasty-goodness into the bouquet and texture of the wine from the long exposure to its spent lees and the Blasted Church OMG offers these characters in spades. What it might be lacking is a touch more fruit and residual sugar with a racy profile focused more on mineral and nut flavours and plenty of raw acidity. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Winemaker's Cut Sauvignon Blanc - 89pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Winemaker's Cut Sauvignon Blanc (Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Visit website here 
Cost: $20
Alcohol: 12.5%

Production: 270 cases
Date Tasted: December 7th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A beautifully crisp and pungent Sauvignon Blanc with ample exotic and citrus fruit, lemon grass and celery on the mineral-kissed nose and palate. Sourced from an Osoyoos vineyard and partially aged (20%) in Slovakian oak for 5 months prior to blending. Finish is long with citrus rind and a touch of spice lingering. Lip-smacking good! 
Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Red Icon - 93pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Red Icon (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $47.79 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.6%

Production: 1487 cases
Date Tasted: December 5th, 2017

@PaintedRockWine

Tasting Notes
The 2015 edition of the uber-popular Red Icon sees 45% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon expertly combined to create the refined, yet, powerful Bordeaux-inspired wine we've all come to admire. It's a flagship product for the BC wine industry exported around the world thanks to the desire of the family owned and operated winery wishing to prove the merits of the Province's homegrown wines to the international market.

Always complex and layered, look for brambly berries, cool cassis, licorice'n'mint, fresh tobaco, spiced herbs and brooding, smokey oak notes on the glass escaping nose and the elegant, dry palate where fine, grippy tannins linger on a long, spicy finish.

This vintage is very approachable in its youth, much more so than recent vintages, though, it should hold well for 7-8 years in your cellar. Drink now-2024.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris - 88pts

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and private wine shops
Cost: $20.90
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: December 4th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A 
partially oaked Pinot Gris (60% stainless steel and 40% in 4th fill oak) that saw 0% malolactic fermentation for the 2016 vintage which is noticeably less rich and textured, though, still well-balanced and more minerally than the 2015. Look for stone fruits, citrus and layers of herbs and light spice on the pleasant nose and long finish. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Merlot - 89+pts

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

Availability
: Direct from the winery here upon release
Cost: $34.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 15.3%
Date Tasted: December 1st, 2017

Tasting Notes: The sensory contact of the 2014 Painted Rock Merlot is dialed up to "11", especially on the palate where the sensation of acidity is higher than any previous vintage of the otherwise feminine and well balanced wine. Look for integrated blackberry, vanilla, cocoa, oak and dried herbs on both the sweet berry kissed nose and the bright, smooth tannin palate.
 Enjoy now or file away in your cellar for some further development. Drink now-2022.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Cassini Cellars 2014 Maximus - 92+pts

Cassini Cellars 2014 Maximus (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC 

Availability: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $40 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 15.5%

Production: 550 cases
Date Tasted: November 30th, 2017

Tasting Notes: This is a Meritage-style, big'n'bold red that excels in long, hot vintages (not that surprising for Bordeaux varieties) and 2014 was just such a vintage in the Southern Okanagan. The latest Maximus is comprised of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec offering a dark and brooding nose of 
black licorice, menthol, cassis liqueur, blackberries, toasted vanilla, tobacco and light spices. 

The full-bodied palate has the concentration to (mostly) mask the whopping 15.5% residual alcohol, keeping everything balanced and continuing the broody, dark fruit'n'friends motif of the nose. The finish is long with a nice pop of lingering spice and wild berry acidity.

Has the pedigree to last many years in the cellar, as previous vintages have done, with some evolution of flavours expected. Yet, the wine is absolutely ready to go today with careful decanting. Drink now-2024.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2014 Yard Wine - 92+pts

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

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $30.50
Alcohol: 14.8%
Production: 191 cases
Date Tasted: November 28th, 2017

Tasting Notes: For this beautifully aromatic and intensely dark blend, Upper Bench co-fermented Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes (a 70/30 split, respectively) and then aged them 
in 25% new French oak barrels for 18 months prior to bottling. The finished wine is equal parts 'pretty' and 'dark' with eucalyptus-mint, spicy cocoa and black cherry-cassis notes on the sensual nose and brooding, blackberry, cola, cocoa, toasted oak and minty flavours on the well-balanced, fine-tannin palate. 

Ready to go now with a couple hours of decanting. Or hold for further development in the next 2-3 years. Drink 2018-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2013 Brut Rosé - 91pts

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2013 Brut Rosé (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here
Cost: $32.90
Alcohol: 12%
Date Tasted: November 25th, 2017

Tasting Notes: This elegant, pink-amber hued 
Brut Rosé is made in the traditional method and delivers exceptional quality for its $32.90 price tag, making it an absolute steal and a legitimate contender to the over-priced Champagne you're considering for New Year's Eve celebrations.

A gorgeous nose of honey-kissed scones, grape seeds, raspberries and lees gives way to the dry palate, loaded with strawberry shortcake and light cinnamon applesauce flavours and texture to spare. Drink now or hold for 3-4 more years. Drink 2017-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - 89pts

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2015 Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $28
Alcohol: 14.3%
Production: 316 cases
Date Tasted: November 25th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A well-balanced, black cherry and vanilla-cola scented Pinot Noir with a savoury, toasted herb and sweet earth enriched palate and a vibrant, bright finish of wild berry acidity and lingering spices.
 Ready to go now and will hold for several years. Drink now-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay - 90pts

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $26
Alcohol: 13.5%
Production: 469 cases
Date Tasted: November 23rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: A delicious Chardonnay that straddles the line between robust and vibrant with 
50% of the juice barrel fermented and aged in 30% new French oak and 50% seeing stainless steel exclusively prior to bottling. A nice degree of opulence is on offer with mineral notes and vivacious stonefruit acidity present to keep the finish refreshing and balanced. Melon, peach and macadamia nut aromas and flavours throughoutDrink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir - 87pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir (St. David's Bench) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $16.95
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: November 23rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: True to the house style of an Old World Pinot Noir, but far from fruitless, especially on the raspberry-cherry scented nose. The (very) dry, savoury palate has smooth, light cedar tannins, wild berry acidity and layers of herbs, mocha and earthy notes.
 Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay - 89pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19.49
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: November 21st, 2017
@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: If you're looking for a buttery, boisterous Chardonnay but don't want to spend the exorbitant prices of a California import of similar quality, then this is the wine for you. Buttered popcorn, tropical and melon fruit aromas and flavours are balanced by cooling, mineral and citrus notes on the nose and a refreshing wave of fresh peach acidity on the lightly off-dry palate.
 Enjoy this Chardonnay on its own, with medium cheeses or with seafood pasta dishes. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Winemaker's Cut Syrah - 91pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Winemaker's Cut Syrah (Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Sold out. Details here
Cost: $??
Alcohol: 14%

Production: 150 cases
Date Tasted: November 21st, 2017

Tasting Notes: Sadly, only 150 cases of this beautiful Syrah were produced and they're sold-out at the winery. If you find one, snatch it up immediately. If you open it right away, you'll be met by a wall of intense, dark cherry, pepper and cola aromas with a sexy susurrus of 
mint and licorice notes adding impressive depth on the nose. The youthful palate offers excellent continuity from the nose with similar flavours supported by toasted oak, fine tannins and balanced acidity. The finish is oh so long and spicy - lip smacking and satisfying. Drink now-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

River Stone Estate Winery 2014 Stones Throw - 90pts

River Stone Estate Winery 2014 Stones Throw (Oliver) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here
Cost: $25.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 13.9%

Production: 525 cases
Date Tasted: November 19th, 2017

Tasting Notes: River Stone's other blend compiles 
58% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot together to create a charming, impressively complex, Bordeaux styled wine with ripe, blackberry, cassis and boysenberry fruit complimented by dark chocolate mint, light oak and wild sage. Happily, dryer than the 2013 vintage with a long-ish, balanced finish and lingering spices on the tip of your tongue. Pair with sweet BBQ chicken dishes or Swiss Chalet take-out. Drink now-2020
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Muscat Frizzante - 87pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Muscat Frizzante (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $22 + taxes
Alcohol: 11.9%
Date Tasted: November 18th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The 2015 vintage Muscat Frizzante is refreshingly vibrant and dry (or Brut) very Prosecco, in style, with a lifted profile of citrus and stone fruit, minerals and a hint of lees. Bitter lime rind and a touch of spice linger  on the effervescent finish. A great holiday party aperitif
Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Grenache - 90pts

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

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $25.99
Alcohol: 14.2%
Date Tasted: November 17th, 2017
@Stagshollow

Tasting Notes: It's rare that such a young wine can be so engaging and balanced. The Stag's Hollow Grenache is released the 
Autumn following its harvest year after spending 6 months ageing on lees in large, 500l French oak puncheons and blended with 10% Syrah. Upon release, the youthful wine is a veritable spice box, bursting with pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and nicely integrated floral and berry notes. Tannins are light and smooth on the medium-bodied palate with fresh, wild berry acidity and lingering spice on the moderate finish. 

Ready to be enjoyed this holiday season with traditional social dishes like Roasted Turkey and Pork Tenderloin. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2016 Plein De Vie Brut - 88pts

JoieFarm 2016 Plein De Vie Brut (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 11%
Production: 769 cases
Date Tasted: November 15th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Originally conceived as a tasting room-only label to help visitors beat the heat during the hot Okanagan Summer touring season, this 2nd vintage of the easy-going bubbly is now available on the winery's website. A blend of 45% Pinot Meunier, 36% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Noir with fresh cranberry and raspberry seed aromas on the subtle nose and a unique combination of strawberry spongecake, herb and mineral flavours on the dry palate. Finish is refreshing with some lingering savoury notes.
 Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Meyer Family Vineyards 2015 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir - 90-91pts

Meyer Family Vineyards 2015 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here and private stores
Cost: $40 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: November 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Sourced from the winery's home vineyard in Okanagan Falls, this is a rich and hedonistic Pinot Noir with harmonious dark fruit, sensual herbs and rustic earth aromas on the nose. The dark fruit and earth theme continues through to the medium-plus bodied palate, nicely balanced with fresh blackberry acidity and supported by silky, fine tannins. Finishes long and elegant. 
Drink now or hold for further integration and development. Drink 2017-2022.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Gewurztraminer - 91pts

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Gewurztraminer (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Sold out at the winery; VQA stores
Cost: $27.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: November 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Both delicate and intense with a subtle and aromatic nose and an unctuous, yet, refreshing palate thanks to this single vineyard Gewurztraminer's effortless acidity. Classic lychee and exotic fruit throughout with sweet yellow pepper, stone fruits and spiced honey notes adding depth. Finish is long and well balanced. Delicious is its youth or hold for 2-3 years. 
Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - 88pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Pinot Noir (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here  and VQA stores
Cost: $21.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: November 12th, 2017

Tasting Notes: This medium ruby coloured Pinot Noir is sourced from a single vineyard in the Okanagan Falls sub-region planted to a number of the Dijon clones of the finicky, Burgundian grape. An intense Pinot, on a whole, with a Central Otago-esque nose of black raspberry blended with sweet'n'spicy earth aromas and hints of Teriyaki and mineral notes. The palate is not quite as complex as the nose with more of a juicy feel to it, though, never flabby, with fine, dusty tannins and mouth-watering, huckleberry and raspberry acidity keeping the finish lifted. Ready to go now. Drink 2017-2020.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Muscat - 89pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Muscat (Summerland) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Visit website here 
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 11.5%

Production: 660 cases
Date Tasted: November 10th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Once again a blend of 
Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Viognier, Chardonnay and Semillon, though, the 2016 edition is decidedly more delicate and sweeter than the 2015 vintage with dainty, sugar-dusted peach candies and dried apricot aromas on the nose and with Muscat's pure grapey-ness dominating the slightly effervescent, off-dry palate. The finish is long and lined with minerals and grapefruit rind notes.

Enjoy this wine, in its youth, with a spicy, Red Curry Thai Soup or hard cheese plate - Gruyere would be divine. Drink this wine in its youth. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir - 89pts

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

Availability: Direct from winery here and Private Wine Stores

Cost: $24.90
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: November 8th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Consistently a great example of the unique, brambly fruit'n'savoury herbs profile of BC Pinot Noir. This Okanagan Falls sourced Pinot offers b
lack cherry and wild berry aromas supported by forest floor and fresh, sweet sage notes with similar fruit flavours on the (very nearly) dry palate where layers of spicy plums and sweet oak add depth. Finish is moderate this vintage, but well balanced. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2014 Rosé Sparkling Wine - 87pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2014 Rosé Sparkling Wine (Niagara-on-The-Lake) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Direct from the winery here and LCBO stores
Cost: $32.95
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 750 cases
Date Tasted: November 5th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Delicate raspberry, raw honey and Angle Food cake aromas grace the nose of this 
traditional method, rosé Brut. Following is a (mostly) dry palate with medium bubbles, delicate strawberry and covert, spicy plum flavours. Finish is a bit short, but well balanced and refreshing. Drink now-2020+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Black Hills Estate Winery 2015 Syrah - 92+pts

Black Hills Estate Winery 2015 Syrah (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC 

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $36.90 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: November 4th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Fantastical concentration in this Black Sage Bench sourced Syrah with deep, black cherry and sensual, floral aromas on the generous nose and 
oak-kissed layers of black cherry, mint, pepper, tobacco and blood orange flavours on the smoky, fine tannin palate. Simply gorgeous. Drink 2018-2025.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Graffigna 2015 Malbec - 85pts

Graffigna 2015 Malbec (San Juan) Argentina

Availability: Private wine stores
Cost: $12.59 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: November 4th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A fruity and juicy, mixed-berry driven Malbec with some brooding, dark fruit and light spice notes in the background of the medium-plus intense nose. The palate is bright and a bit sharp with a similar, berry-forward profile with dusty, rough tannins and toasted oak chip notes on the short(ish) finish. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Pinot Noir - 90pts

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Pinot Noir (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here 
Cost: $39.90
Alcohol: 13.2%
Production: 437 cases
Date Tasted: October 30th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Opens with a generous nose of raspberry, potpourri and sweet spices followed by a bright, dry palate of raspberry flesh and seed flavours with savoury tidbits of smoky pepper and cocoa notes adding depth. Fine, light tannins and mouth-watering acidity make this Pinot a friend to beef stews and game dishes. Enjoy today or over the next 3-4 years. 
Drink 2017-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Liber Farm and Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - 89pts

Liber Farm and Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Sold out. Details here
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 13.4%

Production: 120 cases
Date Tasted: October 30th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Familial white Bordeaux varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, sourced from the Okanagan Valley, are blended to produce a well-balanced, vivacious wine with both crisp and rounded characters on the melon, raw honey and seashell infused nose and the slightly off-dry, fleshy-pear and vibrant-citrus dominant palate. Quite delightful and very refreshing. 
Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Crescendo - 90-91pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Crescendo (Oliver) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here and select VQA stores
Cost: $28
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 550 cases
Date Tasted: October 29th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A well-balanced, New World Meritage-styled wine combining Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec (percentages withheld) sourced from the Southern Okanagan. Opens with refined blue fruit, vanilla and light coffee grind aromas on the nose followed by similar flavours on the smooth, fine tannin palate with an added kick of boysenberry acidity and peppery spice that leads to a long finish. Drink now or hold for some further development over the next 3-4 years. 
Drink now-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Liber Farm and Winery 2016 Rosé - 88pts

Liber Farm and Winery 2016 Rosé (Similkameen Valley) BC

Availability
: Sold out. Details here
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 13.9%
Date Tasted: October 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A salmon orange-hued, Provence-styled ros
é produced from 100% Similkameen Merlot grapes, offering a pleasant, floral-scented nose with fresh cranberry, melon and strawberry aromas. Palate is crisp with a touch of initial, berry sweetness which is quickly flooded with citrus rind and rhubarb acidity, light herb notes and strawberry-citrus flavours. A food-friendly rosé with a dry finish. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Syrah - 87pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Syrah (Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here  and VQA stores
Cost: $25.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%
Date Tasted: October 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Both aromatic and dark, fruity and smoky, smooth and rustic. Goddess Dichotomy! I have found thy drink! 

These contrasting, juxtaposed, sometimes competing characters won't work for everyone (personally, I'm on the fence). Those that like a challenge will take pleasure in deconstructing the floral/cassis/toasted pepper nose and the plumy/minty/Middle Eastern Bazaar palate. While others will simply marvel, as I do, that so many aromas and flavours can be crammed into one wine. This may be the most memorable wine you taste all year. But will you enjoy it? Drink now-2020.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay - 90+pts

JoieFarm 2015 "En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Sold out at the winery. Private wines shops. Details here
Cost: $29.90
Alcohol: 14%
Production: 229 cases
Date Tasted: October 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A hedonistic, barrel fermented Chardonnay sourced from Skaha Bluff and Naramata Bench vineyards with layers of melon, orchard and citrus fruit mixed with  savoury characters of nuts, vanilla bean and oak on the buttery nose and briny palate. The long finish 
starts plump then resolves to its lip-smacking conclusion with lingering lemon rind and spice notes. Drink 2018-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Sperling Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir - 87-88pts

Sperling Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir (East Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $23-30
Alcohol: 12.5%

Production: 436 cases
Date Tasted: October 21st 2017

Tasting Notes: An organic,  savoury and toasty warm Pinot Noir with cedar, chickpea, prune, plum, raspberry, light spice and earth tones on the nose and palate where spicy tannins and wild berry acidity add rustic appeal. 
A good Pinot for game or turkey feasts. Ready to go now and should hold for another 2-3 years with some further development. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2016 Aligoté -86pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2016 Aligoté (St. David's Bench) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $15.95
Alcohol: 12%
Production: 1949 cases
Date Tasted: October 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A well-priced, citrus-scented 
Aligoté (Burgundy's other white grape) with food-friendly acidity and dryness. Look for pear, lemon drop, grapefruit, ginger and melon aromas and flavours. Pair with hard cheeses. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 The Creek - 90-91pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 The Creek (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $55 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14%

Production: 1474 cases
Date Tasted: October 20th, 2017

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: Tinhorn's new, self-coined "flagship" wine, The Creek, is a well-balanced blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 9% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot offering pleasant, ripe aromas and flavours of dark and blue fruits with a warming wave of herbs and sweet spices on the nose and fine, mannered tannins and smooth, berry acidity on the rounded, refined palate. Toasted oak, light spice and black cherry notes linger on the finish through to the next sip.


When I think of Tinhorn Creek's true flagship wine, I think of the winery's pungent, character-to-spare Cabernet Franc. Perhaps this tasty, refined wine can change that Funky Franc association over time, though, since the fruit for the blend is sourced, predominantly, from the winery's Black Sage Bench vineyard, maybe The Bench would have been a better name;). Drink now-2022.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca