Wines from near and far



An abundance of wines, from near and far…

Poplar Grove CSM 2009
$34.90; 650 cases made, available at the winery
Yes, it’s 35 bucks. And yes, it’s worth it! This is a beautiful, delicious wine—a luscious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Almost a Meritage, but it doesn’t need the weighty name or the blend, which is just fine as it is.

Spierhead Riesling 2012 
$21.90; 50 cases, available at the winery

Another delicious Riesling from the central Okanagan, with grand green-apple bite, very fresh and fruity, not so much sweetness as many, gently floral. Big and gulpable; you’ll do it a disservice if you serve it too cold.

Spierhead Pinot Gris 2012
$18.90; 250 cases
At 250 cases, this is pretty high volume for these folks. Lemony stuff: mineral and nicely acidic, not dissimilar to the label’s Chardonnay. Best with a light lunch.

River Stone Cabernet/Merlot 2011
$23.90; 58 cases
A half-and-half blend, peppery. For rouladen made the right way—check a good German cookbook or go online. Very full and loaded with fruit, aged in 100-percent-French oak, soft and round. So far, River Stone reds are high on my list of current favourites from the new little wineries.

Liquidity Rose 2012 
$25 to $30; 97 cases

Worth tracking down, this is made from Dornfelder grapes by a new winery in Okanagan Falls. Beautiful magenta/pink colour, floral/fruity/fresh nose. The label writer puts it this way: “the palate resonates with citrus, peach, strawberry and tea.” Oh yeah? Tea, eh? They go on to suggest serving it with smoked fish, Havarti, or charcuterie—I agree with some of that: very good with cheese. And deli meats—surprise!

Township 7 Pinot Grigio 2012
A new label from a winery that never fails to please. Hints of vanilla and ripe fruit, a little smoky.

CedarCreek Ehrenfelser 2011
$18.95 at the winery
Dramatic, intense, and big. Made from fairly old Okanagan vines (1977). Herby, fresh, and tart. Great flavours, definitely for Cheddar and other tangy cheeses.

Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Chardonnay 2011
$25 at the winery
Clean and fruity, gently buttery, hints of applesauce. Very good, with gentle lemon flashes. Springlike—but will there be any left come spring? Not in my cellar.

Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Pinot Noir 2010
$26 at the winery
Bright, light berries, and hearty. A substantial Old World–style Pinot Noir.

Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Merlot 2009 

Rich Naramata Bench fruit, full and deep. For hearty dinners, fried or sautéed.

JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2011 
$29 at the winery

A little touch of menthol in the complex of flavours; stunning and delicious. Part of the En Famille reserve series, which also includes a brilliant red.

JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Gewurztraminer 2011
Pale, rich, and creamy, Alsatian-style. The winery says rose petals and litchi for the nose. Lovely with bacon-and-onion tart; terrines and foie gras; rich, creamy cheese like Muenster. Delicious with choucroute garnie.

2 Oceans Pinot Grigio 2011 
$9.49; specialty listing

A good, cheap South African gulper for when the true spring comes to call. Fresh and a little grassy: great with fresh oysters or seafood casserole (especially tuna), Pyrenees ham-and-onion soup, fruit cobbler, or pumpkin pie. Remember it for next summer, when you can cut it with sparkling water.

Gabbiano Solatio Toscana 2010 

“Wild berries and tobacco” on the nose, silky tannins, and a long and fruity finish. Surprisingly light but full; lovely for veggie dinners or grilled salmon, giving the barbecue a preliminary seasonal turn.

Three Winds Syrah 2011 
Classic, peppery Syrah in a new vintage from the south of France. One of the best values from France on our shelves today is this charmer from Languedoc in distinctive red-and-white packaging. FYI, the three French winds are the Cers, Tramontane, and Marin. They say “ripe, sweet, black fruit, with subtle oak nuances”. Big and bold, beautiful round fruit.

One Tree Hawkes Bay Merlot 2008
A charming kiwi red—dark and intense, full and coffee-rich, peppery and smoky. Easily one of the best New Zealand reds on our shelves right now.

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