Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2016 Pinot Blanc - 89pts

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

Availability: Direct from winery here and private wine shops
Cost: $17.90
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: July 30th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The 2016 edition stays true to the house style for this Alsatian variety; a near fifty-fifty blend of stainless steel and barrel fermented and aged fruit that produces 
delicate, whimsical, sweet fruit and fresh-off-the-tree acidity with hints of lees, citrus, minerals and light floral notes. Finish is generous and long. Absolutely fantastic value. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Pinot Blanc Oraniensteiner - 89pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Pinot Blanc Oraniensteiner (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Visit website here 
Cost: $22
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 270 cases
Date Tasted: July 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A blend of opulent, sun-kissed Pinot Blanc and tangy, acidic Oraniensteiner, sourced from the Naramata Bench, producing a rich and refreshing, off-dry wine with
 Mott's fruit cup, melon and stone fruit characters on the appealing nose and on the mouth-watering, spicy palate. Long finish is nicely concentrated, though, a tad hot with lingering citrus rind notes. Drink this wine in its youth, there will be another tasty vintage next year. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery N/V Muscat Frizzante - 88pts

Stag's Hollow Winery N/V Muscat Frizzante (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $22 + taxes
Alcohol: 11%
Date Tasted: July 27th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A blend of grapes from multiple sites and vintages; 57% Muscat Ottonel and 5% Orange Muscat from 2016  and 38% Riesling from 2015 which received extended lees contact post-fermentation. Made Frizzante by forced carbonation prior to bottling, this sparkling wine is mostly, a light and fizzy Summertime treat with soft, floral notes and tangy citrus and orchard fruit aromas and flavours. Though, with time in the glass, layers of lees and richer fruit like melons and peaches appear. A light and fruity alternative to Traditional Method sparkling wines to be enjoyed in its youth. 
Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Dry Riesling - 87pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Dry Riesling (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $15.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12%
Production: 5935 cases
Date Tasted: July 26th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A consistently well-produced (mostly) dry Riesling from West Kelowna's Quails' Gate Estate Winery. Refreshingly crisp and tangy with plenty of citrus and Jazz apple aromas and flavours on the floral and mineral-y nose and the vibrant, mouth-watering palate. Not overly complex or refined, but excels in its straight-forwardness and value for money in the under $20 category.
 Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Fairview Cellars 2011 Iconoclast - 92pts

Fairview Cellars 2011 Iconoclast (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Cellar door
Cost: $120
Alcohol: 13.9%
Date Tasted: July 6th, 2017

Tasting Notes
Each year, Winemaker and proprietor Bill Eggert selects 4 of his best barrels of his home vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to put aside and hold for a true estate reserve, christened the label his 'Iconoclast'.  Released "when ready" the 2011, showing brooding dark and blue fruit on the pruny-nutty nose and the spicy-acerbic, dry palate, has yet to be added to the portfolio, even at 6 years of age, though, this is likely to change soon for a late-Summer 2017 release.

The cooler 2011 season has impugned substantial natural acid into the wine which has begun to harmonize with the powerful, concentrated fruit, oak and other savoury notes. When finally released, this is a drink now or within the next 2-4 years Cabernet. Drink 2017-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Sperling Vineyards 2013 Old Vines Riesling - 89-91pts

Sperling Vineyards 2013 Old Vines Riesling (East Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $30
Alcohol: 12.1%
Production: 210 cases
Date Tasted: July 23rd, 2017

Tasting Notes:  Opens with a complex nose offering citrus and pear fruit mingling with mineral and perfume aromas and with a burgeoning susurrus of petrol notes. 
The fruit'n'mineral palate follows, and is the star attraction with an excellent balance between its off-dry sweetness and tangy citrus acidity. 

At 4 years of age, this golden-straw hued Riesling, sourced from nearly 40 year old vines, is already showing signs of development with hints of more to come making this a wine a great option for the cellar. Drink 2019-2023.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franc - 92pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franc (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Not yet released. Direct from winery here when it is
Cost: $TBA
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: July 22nd, 2017

Tasting Notes: Now a few years into their reserve program for Cabernet Franc, Tinhorn has produced their best vintage yet. The elegance and concentration 
has reached new heights in 2014 with a complex nose of wild berry, flowers, spice-box, cola, black plum and tobacco aromas and a smooth'n'spicy palate of similar flavours and lightly smoked tannins. The finish is very long with lingering spice and berry notes lasted a minute-plus. Thanks to the heightened concentration, the 14.5% alcohol is masked and integrated nicely.

As with all of the Oldfield Reserve 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 2017-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

On a side note: This Cabernet Franc is blended with 15% Merlot which may account for added roundness mid-palate and more prominent berry notes.

SpierHead Winery 2016 Riesling - 90pts

SpierHead Winery 2016 Riesling (East Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and select VQA stores
Cost: $21 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 12.4%
Production: 222 cases
Date Tasted: July 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: One of the most consistently yummy and refreshing Riesling in the Okanagan, SpierHead 2016 edition is refined and concise with a vibrant nose of citrus and orchard fruits, steely, mineral aromas and light, signature notes of raw honey and lime peel.

A crisp palate follows with a touch of residual sugar up-front and layers of apple, melon, mineral and citrus flavours mid-palate and through to the long, mouth-watering, long finish where hints of spice and lime peel linger. Drink now-2021+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris - 87pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here, BCLDB Stores and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12%
Production: 18,848 cases
Date Tasted: July 17th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A dry, floral and textured blend of 60
 % Chasselas, 20% Pinot Blanc, and 20% Pinot Gris with an intriguing profile of apples, stone fruits and vegetal notes. Has a firm, mineral backbone and hints of tropical fruits adding a bit of complexity. Enjoy this wine in its youth. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

La Frenz Winery 2014 Grand Total Reserve - 91-93pts

La Frenz Winery 2014 Grand Total Reserve (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $40-45 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.8%
Date Tasted: July 16th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Built for the long-haul, with excellent concentration and refined, youthful tannins, this blend of 42% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc 
delivers an intense and powerful nose of dark fruits, menthol, Christmas spices, toasted oak with a hint of sweetness emanating from the ripe fruit aromas. The palate keeps to the robust-meets-restraint formula for this label with similar characters as the nose and additional, charming notes of mocha, leather and tangy, brambly berries. Excellent length in the finish where spices linger through to the next sip.

Put this one away for another 2-3 years to make the most of your investment. Drink 2019-2024+.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Alibi - 89pts

Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Alibi (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and select VQA and private wine stores
Cost: $25 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.2%
Date Tasted: July 14th, 2017

@blackhillswine

Tasting Notes: A rich and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc thanks to the inclusion of 25% Semillon which contributes apricot and nectarine aromas and flavours to the profile of white peach, lemongrass and zesty, mineral-y lemons. Finishes dry with lingering tangy citrus peel and herb notes.
 Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc - 88pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $18.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.9%
Date Tasted: July 12th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Beautifully stinky. Not quite a full New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but there's some nice pungent notes mixed in to the aromatics, the citrus and Tropical fruit and the mineral aromas. 
A dry, vibrant palate follows with mouth-watering, citrus acidity, tangy, Tropical fruit flavours and plenty of texture, ideal for your casual Summer Sipping. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Gewurztraminer - 87pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Gewurztraminer (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $15.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 7450 cases
Date Tasted: July 10th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A leaner example of the Alsatian grape when compared to the opulent Goo of other Okanagan Estates, 
with classic aromas of lychee, apples, peaches and orange blossoms. The (somewhat) dry palate adds mineral and citrus flavours into the mix, complimenting the orchard and exotic fruit characters. Classic spice dominates the moderate finish where a dollop of citrus tang makes your mouth water, ready for the next sip. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Longview 2012 Devil's Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon - 91pts

Longview 2012 Devil's Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon (Adelaide Hills) South Australia - Australia

Availability: BCLDB stores
Cost: $23-26 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%
Date Tasted: July 11th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Concentrated on the menthol'n'cassis infused nose and on the fine-tannin, lengthy palate. 
Offers an off-dry entry with an explosion of sun-warmed blue fruits followed by waves of vibrant, berry acidity and savoury flavours of oak, licorice and more menthol. Finishes dry with lingering blackberry puree and spices. Intense, yet balanced. Ready to go now at already 5 years of age. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Eagle Bluff Vineyards 2015 Crooked Post Pinot Noir - 90pts

Eagle Bluff Vineyards 2015 Crooked Post Pinot Noir (McIntyre Bluff) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Contact winery directly here
Cost: $25
Alcohol: 13.8%

Production: 
Date Tasted: July 10th, 2017
@FairviewCellars


Tasting Notes: Fairview's approachable-now, medium-everything Pinot Noir, produced under the Eagle Bluff Vineyards label, offers a nice blend of ripe and brambly red fruits with layers of earthy and savoury notes; cherry, raspberry skin, huckleberry, sun-warmed rocky soil and mellow spice. Acid is on-point and punctuates the long finish where light herbs and spice linger. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

River Stone Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Gris - 89pts

River Stone Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Gris (Oliver) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here
Cost: $20 (including taxes)
Alcohol: 14.1%

Production: 230 cases
Date Tasted: July 10th, 2017
@drinkriverstone

Tasting Notes
Sometimes, when tasting Pinot Gris, you get the sense that the other labels in the winery's portfolio received more attention and nurturing than the Alsatian grape, even though it's the most planted white varietal of the valley. Gris, too often, gets treated like the proverbial middle-child of the Okanagan.

Thankfully, this is not the case with River Stone's example which has been thoroughly constructed resulting in a well-balanced, un-oaked-yet-rich wine with a vibrant, punchy nose, crisp acidity and plenty of apple, citrus and mineral aromas and flavours. The richness comes from extended lees contact and the yeast strains chosen to aide fermentation which have contributed texture and body on the dry palate

Enjoy this Pinot Gris on its own or with a cheesy pasta sauce. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Black Hills Estate Winery 2015 Carmenere - 91pts

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

Availability: Limited. Direct from the winery here
Cost: $49.50 + taxes
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: July 8th, 2017

Tasting Notes: If the Black Hill's Carmenere were an entree on a menu its description may read like this... "Lustful, liquefied peppercorn wrapped in a rich blanket of French and American oak and served with a side of cured meats in a black plum and cocoa compote."


Sourced from the winery's two Black Sage Bench vineyards, this Carmenere is sold exclusively to share holders and wine club members due to its ultra small-lot production. An engaging wine, if not polarizing (you love it or you hate it), with oodles of spice throughout. Boysenberry flavours and acidity help balance the long, peppercorn-infused finish. Drink 2018-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca