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

JoieFarm 2016 Rosé - 87pts

JoieFarm 2016 Rosé (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $20.90 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 13.2%
Production: 3169 cases
Date Tasted: April 6th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A delightful rosé with a pleasant combination of candied red fruit, dried herbs and citrus characters on the expressive nose and the nearly-dry palate. T
his blend of 75% Pinot and 25% Gamay makes a perfect sun-drenched patio companion thanks to its refreshing, cranberry acidity on the long finish where a touch of alcohol and lemon peel lingers. Drink now-2016.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Pascual Toso 2014 Limited Edition Malbec - 88pts

Pascual Toso 2014 Limited Edition Malbec (Maipú District) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $15.99-17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%

Date Tasted: April 3rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: Fantastic value on offer with this tasty, well-balanced, easy-going Malbec from Pascual Toso. Smooth throughout, on the nose with a pleasant combination of blackberry, spice and menthol, and on the mild-tannin palate where similar flavours blend nicely with a touch of toasted oak. 
Pair with roasted, pork tenderloin dish. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Trivento 2016 Reserve Malbec - 84pts

Trivento 2016 Reserve Malbec (Mendoza) Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $12.99-13.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.5%

Date Tasted: April 5th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A cool, masculine Malbec with a slightly disjointed nose of black fruit, perfume-y-spice, menthol and pine sap aromas. The blackberry-infused palate starts fruity, then becomes bitter mid-palate, finishing uber-spicy with lingering charcoal and cherry-cola flavours. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca