Saturday, July 23, 2016

Okanagan Wine Trip continues at the master class of Italian Wine, La Stella

I'm always amazed that the same winemaker can craft these exceptional Italian-style wines and then go up the street to Le Vieux Pin and make more special wines in the French-style. That's talent.

La Stella 2015 Leggiero ($21.99)

This un-oaked Chardonnay features light and fruity aromas of key lime, lemon and apple. Flavors of apple and a flinty finish with well-balanced acidity. A nice price if you are a fan of light and un-oaked Chardonnay. 87.

La Stella 2015 Vivace ($21.99)

100% Pinot Grigio. Light, crisp notes of citrus, pear and sage on the nose. The palate bursts with orchard fruits and citrus with a touch of green apple wandering around on the finish. 88.

La Stella 2015 LaStellina ($19.99)

A beautiful blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese. Intense aromas of herbs, bell pepper and strawberry. Finishes lovely with some bing cherry and red fruits. Slightly off-dry and delicious. A perfect wine to sip on the patio or pair with some slightly spicy dishes. 90.

La Stella 2014 Fortissimo ($29.99)

57% Merlot, 21% Sangiovese 11% Cabernet Franc and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon

The winery's flagship blend and it never under-delivers. Complex and yet simple at the same time; you can pick out the aromas that each varietal brings. Mocha and vanilla from the Merlot, cherry, herbs and a touch of tobacco from the Sangiovese, and black fruit and mint from the Cabernets. Red and black cherry flavors, underbrush and tobacco mingling in there as well. Drinking well now but I'd recommend laying it down for another year or three to let it achieve the levels that it can. 93.

La Stella 2013 La Sophia ($79.99)

Oh where to begin. This is the wine that proves that Cabernet Sauvignon can thrive in the Okanagan. Aromas of forest floor, black currant, cigar box, cedar and bell pepper. Flavors of black fruit, spice, dark chocolate intertwine with herbaceous notes, lush tannins and a finish that goes on forever. Firm structure suggests this one is built for long-term aging, but if you must drink it now, decant it for several hours to allow it to open. Really special. 94.

La Stella 2012 Maestoso ($89.99)

100% Merlot and 100% Spectacular. Beautiful note of black cherry, vanilla, mocha and deli meats. Berries, cherries, smoke and black licorice combine to coat the mouth generously and impressively. The finish goes on forever.
There is so much going on here and so much promise for the future. To really appreciate this one, it's going to demand a very long decant or, even better, a good 5-8 years of cellar time. It will be well worth it. 94-???

La Stella 2015 Moscato D'Osoyoos ($17.99 500ml bottle)

Inhaling the aromas here is a little bit like shoving fruit salad up your nose. In a good way. Slightly off dry and fizzy, in the tradition of Moscato d'Asti in the famed Piedmont region. Pleasing flavors of orange, melon and orchard fruits. 90.

This was the last winery we visited on this trip, but fear not, true believers....we were back up in the Okanagan for a wedding just a couple weeks later, so still two more wineries visited on that trip to report on. Up next: One of our favorite "little guys", Silkscarf!

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