Thursday, July 31, 2014

Catching up on many, many bottles!

Distracted over the last few weeks with details of Epic Wine Trip '14, but of course while writing those blog posts we have been drinking much wine that has not yet been reviewed. I will endevour to catch up in a few posts, starting with this one.

Louis Jadot 2012 Pouilly-Fuisse ($25.99)

Ripe, supple, and medium-bodied; this Chardonnay delivers excellent complexity with fruit, minerality and a hint of oak all mingling together beautifully. A touch of vanilla on the end palate. An excellent buy for the price. 89.

Joseph Phelps 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($94.99)

Plum and blackberries on the nose and palate, with some spice, chocolate and a touch of vanilla on the palate as well. Tannins are supple and well-integrated. Drinking well now but like many big Napa Cabs, could age for another decade and improve. 93..

Wolf Blass 2010 Grey Label Shiraz ($36.99)

Licorice, blackberries, chocolate, some pepper notes as well. One of the most reliable producers of this varietal. Drinking beautifully now and would improve for another 2-3 years with careful cellaring. 90.

Church & State 2009 Meritage ($35.00)

I used to say the 2008 vintage was my all-time favorite $35 wine; but it has to move over and make room for this one, which is even better. It's almost frightening to imagine how good this is going to be after it ages; the winery website suggests this will age well until 2022, if not longer. I'm going to need quite a few bottles!

It's ultra-rich and decadent, with fruit flavors exploding on your nose and your palate. Deep red in colour; almost black. Beautiful. 91.

Pentage 2007 Chardonnay ($25.00)

Melon, citrus, vanilla and a hint of caramel on the nose and palate. Some nutty and buttery notes on the finish but not overwhelmingly so. 84.

Tinhorn Creek 2009 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir ($29.99)

My wife called this the "Pinot to renew my faith in Pinot Noir". Cherries, plums and some spice on the nose. The cherries are joined by a hint of mocha and pepper on the palate. Just beautiful. 91.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)

Wow, what an absolute steal at this price point. Immediately jumps to the top of my "cheap wines" list. Big red fruits on the nose and palate, with some coffee, chocolate and vanilla as well. Drinks beautifully but not a traditionally Cab Sauv; almost seems like there should be some Merlot and/or Syrah in there, which there isn't. 89.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The MAIN EVENT; Black Hills Nota Bene Release Party

Our evening at Black Hills was actually two-fold; we began with a private Cabana tasting of their entire portfolio. As wine club members, this was completely free for us, and it was a terrific experience. My reviews of all the wine at the bottom of this post.

The view from our Cabana, of their lovely little pool. Apparently jumping into this pool is frowned upon.

Up the road a couple hundred metres to the venue for the party, and we were greeted by a dance troupe, acting as human statues. Yes, human statues. And they were pretty good at it. I couldn't stand that still for 4 seconds.

The evening featured some terrific food and a heck of a lot of good wine. We had the opportunity to taste some wine in a sensory deprived room; completely dark. We were supposed to guess what the wine was; I couldn't have been much farther off. Tracey got at least one of them right.

The evening also featured the dance troupe actually dancing:

And some celebrities:

Olympic Silver Medalist Kelsey Serwa
Jason Priestley, who owns a share of the winery

It also features some acrobatics:

I could do that, you know. I just choose not to.

BTW, Jason couldn't possibly have been nicer or more friendly. You can't see it in the picture, but I was wearing a brace on my right elbow, a remnant from a yoga injury, and he had suffered a similar injury recently "picking up an actress" for a new movie he's doing. Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I'd heard THAT old line......

Everyone knows Jason from 90210 of course, but I told him I was a fan from a wonderful little movie he made with John Hurt in 1997, called Love and Death on Long Island. You have probably never heard of it, but you should check it out.

If there was one problem with an otherwise fabulous evening, it was the "headline" act, a bunch of terrible white rappers called the Wassabi Collective. White rappers not named Eminem have no place at a winery, or anywhere else. But that was a minor complaint and didn't dampen our enthusiasm at all. We ate and drank, met some great people who share our love for great wine, and generally had a blast. Planning to go back next year for sure.

Now, on to the wines!

A few days before we left for the trip, our local VQA store was tasting some random wines, and this was one of them:

2012 Alibi ($24.90)

Lemons and melons on the nose and palate, joined by flavors of grapefruits and peaches. Crisp with a lingering finish. 85.

And, from our Cabana tasting:

2013 Alibi ($24.90)

A white Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc (75%) and Semillon (25%) (same percentages as the 2012). Similar to the 2012 but different at the same time; I get notes of pears and pineapples on the nose and palate. Slightly less citrus, slightly more tropical fruit. Still has that long, lingering finish. Would be a terrific pairing with salads or seafood. 86.

2012 Viognier ($24.90)

Citrus and pineapple collide on the nose here, with just a hint of flowers intermingling. Nectarines and peaches join in with the party on the palate. Lovely now, but aging for another year or two would certainly pay off. 85.

2012 Chardonnay ($29.90)

Rich, full bodied and lovely. Citrus and butterscotch on the nose and palate, joined by pears and a touch of green apple. Palate is soft, juicy, and finishes long. Another white that will age gracefully. Try it in 2016 or 2017. 88.

2012 Carmenere ($49.90)

The only single-varietal in the Okanagan, and our first taste of this one. Violets, white pepper, berries and a touch of cigar box on the nose. Cherries and blackberries on the palate, some spice and earth as well. Soft, ripe tannins. Fabulous now, and a few years of aging will only enhance. Pairs beautifully with just about any meat you can imagine. We got 6 of these with our wine club membership, and we are already half-way done. 92.

2012 Syrah ($35.00) - not yet released

Cherries and smoke waft across your nose. Flavors of black currant, blackberry, blueberry, coffee and dark chocolate. Finishes beautifully. 93.

We were huge fans of the 2011 vintage, and this one is even better. Can't imagine how good it's going to be after a little time in the bottle.

2012 Nota Bene ($52.90)

Their flagship Bordeaux blend, and quite a cult favorite. One of the few you can (if you are lucky enough) vertical taste back to 1999.

This is one that generally needs to age for a long while before coming close to it's full potential. Other vintages that I had tasted young showed potential, but needed time, and lots of it. This one will undoubtedly age gracefully for a decade, but it is showing beautifully already. What a treat!

Merlot dominant (57%) for the first time in years. Black fruits, mocha and chocolate on the nose and palate. The winery describes this as a "more masculine wine than previous vintages". I would concur, and also would describe it as "scrumtrulescent". 94.

There you have it; Oliver/Osoyoos in two days, and a lot of blog posts. Hope you enjoyed reading, and we'll now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our LAST winery visited, Nk'mip...the masters of ice wine....

Don't panic, you didn't miss my blog post on the "main event" of our trip, which was the Nota Bene release party at Black Hills. I'm leaving that one for last.

Tonight's blog post features a small tasting at Nk'mip; why small, you ask? Well, we didn't have time to get there on Saturday, so we had to get up early on Sunday morning, after the Nota Bene party, and drag our not-feeling-quite-100% asses to Nk'mip, which we didn't want to miss. The winery is quite beautiful, notwithstanding the "beware of rattlesnake" signs on the trails as you drive up.

They allow tasting of two wines for free; after that, 4 more for only $3. Given that it was 10 AM and I really wasn't that excited about tasting wine, we just stuck to the two freebies.

2009 Quam Qwmt Meritage ($24.99)

Notes of mint, tobacco and chocolate waft over the nose. The palate is overwhelmed by red fruits on a long, lovely finish. 88.

2009 Quam Qwmt Syrah ($34.99)

Blueberries, blackberries and a hint of spice on the nose. Some cold cuts, pepper and plums on the palate. Nice now but a couple more years in the bottle will enhance. 87.

2010 Mer'r'iym ($50.00)

Pronounced (mur'eem') means marriage, indicated a perfect marriage of varietals. The five Bordeaux blends mix well to create a beautifully balanced merger of tobacco, spice, smoke and blueberries. Another one that drinks well now but would love some more time to fully open up and reach it's potential. 90.

2013 Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine ($60.00)

Regular readers of my blog may remember that the 2012 version of this was (and still is) the only wine I rated a perfect 100. Can the 2013 measure up?

No, of course not....but it's pretty damn close. Pears, peaches, honey, apricot....just imagine every lovely flavor in the world, and it's in here somewhere. Silky and smooth, and at the same time viscous and decadent. Just freaking brilliant. 98.

Luckily for us, they still had a handful of bottles of the 2012 Riesling Icewine so we didn't have to "stoop" to buying only a 98 :-)

I'm sure they are sold out by now, but I'll be quite happy to buy the '13 once we drink the 2012. Amazing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Owls just do not Burrow!!! Or do they......

Burrowing Owl always seemed like a strange name, but alas, there are such creatures:

Anyhoo, after Desert Hills we were out of time, and headed up to Black Hills for the Nota Bene Release Party, our Main Event of the trip. We got there just after 4 PM, the time printed on our ticket, only to be told that some tickets were mis-printed, and the event did not start until 5. OK, no big deal, that gave us the time we needed to drive down the road and get in one more tasting for the day, at Burrowing Owl.

They feature a $3 tasting fee, which goes to charity.

2011 Chardonnay ($25.00)

Lightly oaked, just a hint of butterscotch, joining lemon and peach flavors. Rich and well balanced. 86.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($22.00)

Grapefruit, citrus and grass on the nose, with some passionfruit and minerality on the palate. 85

2011 Pinot Noir ($30.00)

Strawberry, plums and a touch of earthiness on the nose, with cherries, strawberries and blueberries on the palate. Very nice now, and would improve with a few more years of careful cellaring. 89.

2010 Merlot ($30.00)

The fruitiness of cherry, blackberry and blueberry mingling with savory herb notes on the nose. Full-bodied palate features plum, red and black berries, bacon and chocolate. Long, smooth finish. Very nice. 90.

2011 Syrah ($33.00)

Black olives, cherry, black pepper on the nose. The palate is rich and full-bodied, featuring blackberry and cherry, giving way to a touch of spice and earthiness. 87.

2011 Athene ($38.00)

A rich blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, you'll get both on the nose; some pepper, blackberry, violets and mint can be found. Blackberry and a touch of blueberry on the palate, with a spicy long finish. 88.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.00)

Currants and raspberry on the nose, with a hint of cinnamon. Tannins are firm and ripe, with plums, blackberries and a hint of sage on the palate. Finishes very well. Nice now, but this is built for aging and some careful cellaring will enhance greatly. 87.

2011 Cabernet Franc ($33.00)

Blueberries, plums, herbs and a hint of cigar on the nose, with raspberries, chocolate and a bit of licorice on the palate. Another one built for some long term aging. 86.

2009 Meritage ($45.00)

Strong notes of red plums and blackberries on the very complex nose. The berries continue to the palate, joined by chocolate and earthy tones. A blend of the five Bordeaux grapes, but 38% Merlot. Again, aging will only enhance what is already a lovely wine. 89.

Just one more terrific tasting experience, nothing but good wines and a beautiful, picturesque view. Their guest house looks amazing, and we may decide to stay here for a few nights when we visit next summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Desert Hills is our next stop in Epic Wine Tour '14 (TM)

Another winery where the customer service was off the charts. Randy Toor, one of the owners, took excellent care of us, and numerous other tasters, in a very busy tasting room. Let's see how the wines stack up.

2012 Pinot Gris ($19.90)

Pears, apple, and melon on the nose and palate. A slight hint of minerality on the lovely finish. 87.

2013 Unoaked Chardonnay ($17.90)

Maybe the best Unoaked version of this varietal coming out of BC right now. Citrus fruits, apples, and a beautifully long finish. 88.

2013 Cactus White ($16.90)

Viognier, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. Try finding THAT combination elsewhere. Pineapple, herbs and a touch of pear and minerals. Very nice. 89.

2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($18.90)

Crisp fruit flavors with a medium finish. Has aged well. 87.

2013 Gewürztraminer ($22.90)

Recently awarded "white wine of the year" at the 2014 All-Canadian Wine Championship for a reason. Some spice and roses on the nose, with lychee and citrus fruits on the palate. One of the best of this varietal. 89.

2013 Helena Rosé ($19.90)

Strawberries, grapefruit and rhubarb on the nose and palate. Very slightly off-dry. 86.

2013 Gamay ($19.90)

Black cherry and a slight touch of cinnamon on the nose. Cherries and earth on the palate. Gamay is just not my thing, but this one is drinkable. 80.

2010 Merlot ($24.90)

Black cherries and cassis on the nose and palate, with a bit of vanilla and some cloves on the finish. Full bodied and smooth. Will improve with some more bottle time. 85.

2009 Syrah ($36.90)

Dark berries, raspberry jam and a bit of earth make this a lovely, complex Syrah. Finishes with a bit of spice, chocolate, and vanilla. Beautiful now and a few more years will really make it special. 90.

During the tasting I mention to Randy that I'm not a Malbec guy; I've never found a BC Malbec that I enjoyed. He instructs me to go over and get a bottle of his Malbec, and opens it up for a special taste. Not on the regular tasting menu.

2011 Malbec ($34.90)

Strong notes of coffee mixed with berries on the nose, jammy berries on a long finish. Silky. Not enough to make me a Malbec fan, but my favorite so far by far. 87.

2009 Mirage ($36.90)

Their signature Bordeaux blend. The nose might get some vanilla, cassis, and plums. Those flavors carry through to the palate, where a hint of tobacco, chocolate and licorice joins the party. Will improve with a bit more time, but already drinking well. 90.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.90)

Cassis and a hint of mint on the nose. Berries and black currants on the palate, with a silky mouth feel and long finish. 87.

Ambassador Port ($49.90)

Coffee and dark chocolate dominate the nose and palate. If you like Port-styled wines, you will love this. 85.

This wasn't being tasted at the winery as it was very limited, but I took a chance and bought one and enjoyed it a few days ago:

2010 Zinfandel ($39.90)

Berries on the nose and palate, with lots of blackberry jam that this varietal often exhibits. 85.

Another very successful tasting experience, not a bad wine amongst them, and some that were truly special. We've already enjoyed the two bottles we bought (Zin, Gewürztraminer), giving us extra motivation to go back on our next visit!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

this Bench is made of Platinum in today's Okanagan tour entry

So we're on our way to Burrowing Owl, and we notice some flags on the side of the road.

"Platinum Bench Winery"

Hmm. Never heard of them.

"Tasting Room Open"

Damn, we are running out of time, have to catch them next time.

"Local Cheeses"

I do love cheese with wine, but still....we are in a bit of a hurry.

"Fresh Baked Artisan Breads"


You had me at Artisan.

So here we are, at a winery I've never even heard of, enjoying some freaking fantastic artisan breads, and tasting some darn good wine.

2013 Pinot Gris ($19.90)

Green apples, some minerality on the nose and palate. Long, fruity finish. Quite nice. 86.

2013 Gamay Noir ($19.90)

Some pepper and currants on the nose, with cherries and raspberry on the palate. Not my grape, but this isn't too bad. 83.

2012 Syrah ($30ish)

Berries, white pepper on the nose, with vanilla and some dark chocolate on the palate. Will only improve with some bottle time, and it's lovely now. 86.

2011 Meritage ($29.99 if I recall)

Lovely aromas of berries and a hint of vanilla on the nose and palate. Drinking very well now. 90.

2011 Merlot ($24.99)

Black Cherries, currants, plums on the nose and palate. Oak gives it some vanilla notes as well. Very nice. 88.

Excellent service, great bread and cheese, and terrific wine. What's not to like?

Well, one thing.....their website is absolutely atrocious. Spelling mistakes abound (Gammay, Merot), and the wine link is years old. It's awful. It's a small winery, I get that, but get that website updated to the level that your wines deserve!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Part XI, Quinta Ferreira up next

Just up the road to Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery, another one I was pretty familiar with from other tastings of previous vintages. They boast to make Canadian wine with a Portuguese twist.

Been a BIG fan of their Rosé in the past (particularly the 2009 vintage), but although there was no rosé to taste today, there was no shortage of options: FIFTEEN wines were tasted (including three from their entry-level SQUEEZED line), with no tasting fee. Another winery that delivered top-notch customer service.

2011 Mistura Branca ($19.90)

50% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Muscat Ottonel and 30% Gewürztraminer. Perfume and roses on the nose, with tropical fruit, apple, and vanilla on the palate. 86.

2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.90)

Tropical fruit and peaches dominate the nose, giving way to apple and some melon on the palate. Crisp on the finish. 84.

2011 Unoaked Chardonnay ($19.90)

Clean and crisp, with strong apple notes on the nose and palate, where it's joined by melon and a hint of lemon and pear. 84.

2011 Oaked Chardonnay ($19.90)

This multiple award winner was barrel fermented and aged in French and American oak. Notes of apple, pear and peach mingle with the butterscotch that the oak brings. Coconut and caramel on the palate as well. Delightful. 86.

2011 Viognier ($19.90)

Tropical fruits, peach, coconut and a touch of vanilla on the nose and the palate. Pineapple all over the palate as well. Delicately balanced with a finish that is both smooth and spicy. Brilliant. 90.

2011 Squeezed White ($17.90)

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier. Tropical fruits and apple on the nose, joined by a touch of melon and pear on the finish. A nice reasonably priced white blend to pair with chicken or fish. 84.

2011 Squeezed Pink ($17.90) 

Strawberries and blackberries on the nose, with some raspberry and rhubarb thrown in for good measure. Nice, but a far cry from QF's excellent rosés of the past. 84.

2010 Squeezed Red ($19.90)

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. Fruit forward and approachable, with black cherry, raspberry jam and a touch of vanilla. 83.

2009 Merlot ($24.90)

Rich in colour and aroma. Vanilla and black cherry dominate, with just a touch of cinnamon lurking in the background. Plums and blackberries take over on the palate. Nice now and would only improve with a few years of cellar love. 89.

2009 Merlot Cabernet ($24.90)

Vanilla, black cherry and just a bit of clove on the nose, following through on the palate and being joined by just a touch of chocolate. Another one that will only get better. 86.

2008 Obra-Prime ($34.90)

Hello, Mr. Bordeaux blend, where have you been all my life? Black cherries, pepper, mocha and cherry all mingle on the nose and palate. Vanilla on the long, spicy finish. Ready now but a few more years will truly make it a winner. 91.

(they also feature a RESEVE version of this, and several of their other wines, for $50. Although we didn't get to taste it, we bought one and I will report on it once we drink it).

2009 Alagria ($29.90)

The five Bordeaux blends again, with some Zinfandel thrown in for good measure. The Zin adds what you might expect Zin to add; a touch of sweetness and some jammy notes. Black cherry and raspberry on the nose and palate, with some dark fruit and black pepper on the long, luscious finish. 90.

2010 Syrah ($29.90)

Some violets intertwine with the black pepper and black cherry on the nose. Spicy and toasty notes with some coffee and hazelnut on the palate. Drinkable now but I would suggest giving this one some more bottle time to let it fully develop. 85.

2010 Cabernet Franc ($29.90)

Black cherry and blackberries on the nose, with some chocolate and vanilla entering the picture on the palate. Just the tiniest hint of cedar. Long, beautiful finish. A top notch Cab Franc. 88.

2009 Porta D'Ouro ($25.00)

This port-style dessert wine features black cherries and cinnamon up front, with some blackberry and cherries on the palate. 82.

Another terrific tasting experience, not a bad wine in the bunch and excellent service. Highly recommended!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wine Trip, Part Dix, oooh la la

We walked into the tasting room at Le Vieux Pin and were immediately greeted warmly by our host, Alex, who also happens to run their wine clubs; two different levels of wine club, one of which we will be joining shortly. If you would like to read about the clubs, go here.

We've long been a fan of their wine, especially their higher-end products; we currently own a bottle of their 2007 Merlot Reserve, aging gracefully in our cellar undoubtedly, and we've previously enjoyed their Equinox Syrah from previous vintages as well. Those both sell in the $75 range so they aren't exactly "everyday" reds, but they are sure worth the money.

On to their current portfolio!

2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($35.00)

Tropical fruit and grass on the nose. Excellent compexity and balance. If you are a fan of this varietal, this is about as good as it gets in BC. 87.

2013 Vaïla Rosé ($25.00)

100% Pinot Noir and if you like your rosé bone dry, this is for you. Rhubarb and grapefruit dominate the nose and palate. 84.

2012 Ava ($35.00)

61% Viognier, 21% Roussanne and 18% Marsanne. Floral and apricot aromas with a light minerality. Subtle and delightful with a long, beautiful finish. Would be the perfect pairing for some brie cheese and a nice patio. 88.

2012 Syrah "Cuvée Violette" ($29.00)

Putting your nose into this glass is like shoving roses and violets right up your nostrils. Just watch the thorns! Soft, supple and quite unlike most Syrahs. Raspberry and blackberry flavors wash across the taste buds. Drinking well now, but a few years of careful cellaring would likely pay off handsomely. 88.

2011 Syrah ($45.00)

From a very cool vintage (by Okanagan standards), the 2011 Syrah has notes of berries, white pepper, and kalamata olives. Cherry and blackberry on the palate. Medium bodied and very ripe; this one will really improve with age. I'm excited to see what this becomes in 4-5 years. 85.

2010 Syrah ($50.00)

This is what it's all about; a winery that knows how to treat it's guests. It's great to allow them to taste all your current releases, but go back into the library and give them a taste of something older; in this case, only one year older, but oh my, what a difference a year makes.

2010 brought record rain and exceptionally cool temperatures, but that didn't negatively affect this beauty. Pepper, herbs, tobacco, spice, leather.....I could go on and on. It's a treasure to drink now, and a few more years in the bottle will only enhance. This is a keeper. 91.

2012 Equinoxe Chardonnay ($60.00)

Citrus and apples on the nose. Ten months in French oak has added a touch of buttery notes to the finish without going overboard. Light and fruity. Although it lacks the big butter that I gravitate to in a Chardonnay, the artistry here is undeniable. Another great wine that will only get better as it is allowed to sit and mature. 88.

After a terrific tasting, we bought a bottle of the Ava and the '10 Syrah, and as we were getting ready to leave, Alex called us back for a special treat; he popped open a bottle of this baby that I don't think has even been released yet:

2011 Equinoxe Syrah ($75 I believe, maybe $80)

Unmistakable notes of violet and pepper on the nose. Very complex and well balanced, this is what a Syrah should taste like, and it's still SO young! The fruit just explodes in your mouth. I cannot imagine how good this will be in 5-7 years, but I'm going to make sure I find out. 93.

We were obviously very blown away by that last tasting that we left the shop without the wine we had already paid for! Quelle stupide!

Even worse, we didn't notice until we were home the next day and pulled out all our purchases. I sent them an Email, and Alex responded immediately with a solution; they have an office in Vancouver, and he could arrange to have my wine waiting for me. It just so happens I have a friend who lives about 3 blocks away, so I arranged for her to pick it up for me, and about 3 days later I had my wine. Excellent customer service, excellent wine, excellent winery. One of our favorites.

Thanks again to Alex for taking excellent care of us on our first visit to the winery. It won't be our last.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Epic Trip continues at Stoneboat Vineyards

Not sure why you would want a boat made of stone....but I'm no sailor, what the Hell do I know....

$4 tasting fee, refunded with purchase.

Piano Brut, N/V ($24.90)

A blend of Pinot Blanc and Müller Thurgau (c'mon, you've heard of it, right?) brings citrus to the nose and nectarine and pear to the palate. Light and refreshing. 83.

2012 Pinot Gris ($18.90)

Lovely hints of orange and grapefruit on the nose. Citrus and minerality on the palate, with a crisp acidity. 85.

2011 Pinot Noir ($24.90)

Red fruits, violets and earth mingle on your nose. Cassis and plums on the palate, featuring silky tannins and long finish. 86.

2011 Duet ($23.90)

An intriguing combination of Pinot Noir and Pinotage (close to 50/50) combines the earthiness of their Pinot Noir with a fruit burst from the Pinotage. Berries and a touch of vanilla on the palate. 87.

We picked up one of these, and enjoyed it over dinner last night. Just as good as it was at the winery!

2011 Pinotage ($24.90)

Pinotage is a hybrid grape of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. Mocha and berries on the nose and black cherries with a hint of vanilla on the palate. 86.

2011 Verglas Ice Wine ($54.90)

Honey and citrus on the nose and palate, joined by some orange and caramel. Just a hint of raisins as well. 87.

2012 Pinotage Ice Wine ($74.90)

Not unlike the regular Pinotage (except sweeter...duh). Bright fruit flavors, notes of honey and raisins. 87.

All in all, a very successful tasting. Our clerk was very friendly, and the wines were all excellent. We'll be back!