Catena Zapata 2015 Malbec - 90pts

Catena Zapata 2015 Malbec (Mendoza) Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $21-23 + taxes
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: August 28th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Catena's High Mountain Vines Malbec is fresh and fruity without any jammy characters and a nice balance between floral and cola-infused, berry aromas on the nose and between black cherry and spicy-savoury flavours on the (mostly) dry, full-bodied palate. Notes of smokey oak, licorice and light mint linger on the moderate-plus finish. 
Ready to go in its youth. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Riesling - 90pts

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Riesling (Lillooet) Fraser Canyon - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here VQA stores and BCLDB stores
Cost: $16.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 1340 cases
Date Tasted: August 24th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Fort Berens is dialled-in with their handling of Riesling, whether it be this, their flagship off-dry label, their late harvest version or their new dry Riesling. Nary a Riesling is out of place on their portfolio.


The 2016 edition is a near carbon copy of the previous two vintages, perhaps with a touch more minerality on the Mott's fruit cup and fresh citrus scented nose and the slightly effervescent and refreshing, citrus and apple flavoured palate. Enjoy now or over the next 4-5 years. Drink now-2021. 
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Dry Riesling - 91pts

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Dry Riesling (Lillooet) Fraser Canyon - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here VQA stores and BCLDB stores
Cost: $18.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 856 cases
Date Tasted: August 25th, 2017

Tasting Notes: New to the Fort Berens portfolio is a 'dry' Riesling to compliment their flagship, off-dry Riesling and their delicate, Late Harvest version. I add quotations around 'dry' because this wine still has 4.6g/l of residual sugar which is just 3g/l less than the regular Riesling at 7.6g/l. But when you consider overall balance, it certainly finishes dryer thanks to fine, fresh peach acidity that helps dissolve the sweet nectarine and tropical fruit flavours. 


If the off-dry Riesling is Mott's fruit cup in-a-glass then the dry Riesling is a tangy, lemon-meringue pie. Both are built to last and ready to go now. Drink now-2021. 
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Blanc De Noirs - 86pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2016 Blanc De Noirs (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here 
Cost: $TBA
Alcohol: 11.5%

Production: 270 cases
Date Tasted: August 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A curious, pale-salmon hued ros
é made from a blend of lightly pressed, 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Pinot Noir grapes with no skin contact, fermented to off-dry residual sugar in stainless steel tanks producing a low-alcohol, fragrant, vibrantly acidic, citrus and cran-strawberry fruit-infused wine for sipping on a hot deck or pairing with Isle of Man Cheddar. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2013 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Not yet released. Direct from winery here 
Cost: $31.99 + taxes (est)
Alcohol: 14%
Production: 850 cases
Date Tasted: August 23rd, 2017

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: A ripe, decently complex, big boned Pinot Noir with a nice balance between its fruit and savoury/earthy characters and plenty of body and texture fortified by its 14% of residual alcohol. Pair with a crispy duck breast dressed with a spicy, black cherry and fig tea sauce to accentuate similar aromas and flavours found in the wine. 
Fine, smoky tannins frame the moderate-plus finish where spice and dried cranberry flavours linger. Ready to go now. At 4 years of age, this Pinot is ready to go upon release. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Pin 2014 Équinoxe Syrah - 93pts

Le Vieux Pin 2014 Équinoxe Syrah (Osoyoos Lake) Okanagan Valley - BC

AvailabilityDirect from the winery here
Cost: $79.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.6%
Production: 242 cases
Date Tasted: August 20th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Always in the debate for BC's best Syrah, this year's 
Équinoxe benefited from the near-perfect 2014 vintage (for big reds) creating a stunning wine of refinement and powerful elegance. Densely packed, yet approachable with layers of black cherry, ripe blackberry, white pepper, red plum, pipe tobacco, nectar, mild licorice and violet notes on the enchanting nose and the spicy, cola'n'cocoa nibs infused palate where ultra-fine, slightly smoky tannins and smooth, berry acidity add structure and length. Drink 2017-2024+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Maverick Estate Winery 2013 Elle - 91pts

Maverick Estate Winery 2013 Elle (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: 2013 vintage sold out. Visit winery here for next vintage
Cost: $35
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 500 cases
Date Tasted: August 18th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A traditional method sparkling wine with a beautiful, bronze hue made from a 80/20 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, sourced from the winery's home vineyard along the Golden Mile Bench. A very French, yeasty bubbly with a kiss of candied fruit followed swiftly by mouthwatering, grapefruit acidity and a touch of spice and mineral notes. 
Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Albariño - 90pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2016 Albariño (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $18.99
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: August 15th, 2017

@Stagshollow

Tasting Notes: Stag's Hollow is showing it has its 
Albariño program dialled-in, balancing the tart and fleshy elements of this Spanish variety, memorable for its sensual textures in the mouth including citrus-induced puckering, oily fruit and a touch of tannin on the herbs-infused finish. A real bargain at the >$20 price-point. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Merlot - 89pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Merlot (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here and select VQA stores
Cost: $28
Alcohol: 15%

Production: 300 cases
Date Tasted: August 15th, 2017

Tasting Notes: The ultra ripe 2015 edition of this Merlot from Lunessence squeezed every once of concentration out of that fire-riddled Okanagan Valley vintage. Elegance has suffered, but only slightly, with powerful blackberry, mint and toasted oak more dominant than integrated with the rest of the spicy, chocolate-raspberry and dusty tannin characters. Pair with sweet'n'spicy BBQ ribs
. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2016 Chenin Blanc - 89pts

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

Availability: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13%
Production: 4000 cases
Date Tasted: August 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: True to the house style and composition with 10% Sauvignon Blanc blended in to enhance the citrus, melon and stone fruit characters of this popular, Summer sipper. Fresh and vibrant with a crisp presentation and some body from smooth lees and canned peach notes. 
Ready to go now. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon - 88pts

Lunessence Winery and Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here and select VQA stores
Cost: $28
Alcohol: 14.5%

Production: 250 cases
Date Tasted: August 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A youthful Cabernet sourced from southern Okanagan vineyards from the fire-heavy, 2015 vintage with cassis fruit and blackberry seed aromas on the sweet spice-infused nose and with fleshly, blue fruit flavours on the mouth-watering palate. Prominent, b
rambly berry acidity lacks the smooth, toasted oak notes the 2014 vintage enjoyed skewing the balance a little sharp and lean through to a short finish. Yet, there is impressive intensity for a cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now-2019.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Gris - 89pts

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Gris (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here. Select private wine shops
Cost: $20 (including tax)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: August 13th, 2017

Tasting Notes: A partially oaked Pinot Gris with excellent texture and freshness thanks to its lively combination of apple, melon and pear fruit on the pleasant nose and the citrus'n'mineral kissed. slightly off-dry, creamy palate. Great on its own or with chicken and pork dishes. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Calliope Wines 2016 Viognier - 87pts

Calliope Wines 2016 Viognier (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $15.99
Alcohol: 13.5%
Date Tasted: August 12th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Made from grapes sourced from Osoyoos and Oliver vineyards, this 'budget' Viognier opens with ripe pear and candied orchard fruit aromas and a hint of oak and lees notes from 35% of the juice fermenting in oak barrels. The palate is ever-so-slightly off-dry with both rounded apricot and nectarine fruit and edgy, citrus and hard white peach flavours; a contrast of textures that mostly works. Mineral, citrus peel and herb notes linger on the moderate, slightly sharp finish.
 Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Merlot - 92pts

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

Availability
: (Not yet released) Direct from winery here
Cost: $26.99 + taxes (Est.)
Alcohol: 14.5%

Production: 1536
Date Tasted: August 7th, 2017

Tasting Notes: Benefiting from an exceptional Southern Okanagan Valley vintage for Bordeaux varieties and fine craftsmanship, the 2014 edition of the Oldfield Reserve (formally, Oldfield Series) is their best yet. Sourced from their Black Sage Bench vineyard and blended with 15% Cabernet Franc, this already 3 year old Merlot offers an expressive nose of maturing aromas: blue and red fruits, Nutella, black raspberry seeds and caramelized vanilla. 


The feminine notes continue on the fine tannin and brambly, yet, creamy palate where ripe blackberry meets spicy oak in a symbiotic symphony of flavour. The finish is long and smooth with a touch of lingering menthol. Ready to go now. Drink 2017-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Oldfield Reserve 2Bench White - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Oldfield Reserve 2Bench White (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $19.99
Alcohol: 13.5%

Date Tasted: August 4th, 2017

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: The make-up of this beautiful blend changes, year-to-year, reflecting what the vineyard yields, season-to-season, making the 2Bench White, a new, yet, stylistically familiar discovery each vintage. 


The 2016 is comprised of 47% Sauvignon Blanc, 17%Semillon, 16% Viognier, 14% Chardonnay and 6% Muscat delivering a nice combination of refreshing, citrus and opulent, melon fruit on the pleasant, lightly aromatic nose and on the refreshing, lightly sweetened palate where spicy notes linger on the moderate finish and fresh, peach acidity heightens your anticipation of the next sip. Yummy! Drink now- 2019.
  - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2014 Merlot - 87pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2014 Merlot (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $18.99
Alcohol: 14.2%
Date Tasted: August 3rd, 2017

Tasting Notes: A rip-roarin', well-priced Merlot and Petit Verdot blend (95-5 split) with loads of ripe, black berry and plum fruit aromas and flavours throughout. Intense on the spice and vanilla-infused nose and palate with mannered tannins and a touch of residual sugar and 14.2% alcohol contributing body and creamy texture. An excellent companion for BBQ Chicken or Pork Ribs. 
Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca

Bodegas Escorihuela 2016 '1884' Reserva Malbec - 89pts

Bodegas Escorihuela 2016 '1884' Reserva Malbec (Mendoza) Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $16.99-17.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 12.5%
Date Tasted: August 1st, 2017

Tasting Notes: The run of excellent releases of the '1884' Malbec continues with the concentrated and ripe 2016 edition. Feminine and spicy with plenty of intense, blue fruits and sweet pipe tobacco aromas which carry through to the generous, similarly flavoured palate where smoke-kissed tannins and wild berry acidity frame the moderate finish.


Enjoy this Malbec with smokey'n'sticky BBQ meats. Drink now-2020.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017 IconWines.ca