Culmina 2015 Unicus ($27.00)
The Okanagan's first Gruner Veltliner is still by far it's best, IMO, and it is only getting better. I had given their first two vintages very nice reviews (scores of 90 and 91) but we are in a whole new world of wonderful with this one.
Beautiful aromas of orchard fruits, citrus, white pepper and lemongrass. Beautiful palate features some creme brulee, lemon, toasted almond and subtle herbaceous notes married to a tiny touch of white pepper on the finish. The best of this varietal I've ever had and it's not even close. So good, I'd buy it at twice the price. But don't tell the winery that. 95.
Not much else can compare to that, but that doesn't mean we haven't enjoyed some other really good stuff lately.
Whitehaven 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99)
A touch of grass and lemongrass like you might expect, with intense notes of jalapeno and bell pepper. Some citrus comes through on the palate, with some herbaceous notes which are vivid but not overpowering. At this price, if you buy it you should go to jail for theft. 90.
Dona Paula 2008 Seleccion de Bordega Chardonnay ($40.00)
Our first taste of a Chardonnay from Argentina, and it was lovely. Aromas and flavors of hazelnut, butterscotch and white flowers. Toasty and nutty and lovely, with just enough buttery flavor. 89.
Domäne Wachau - 2015 Federspiel Gruner Veltliner ($19.99)
A nice example of this varietal from Austria, the country that is known for it. Herbaceous notes on the nose, with some green apple and white pepper. Crisp acidity with fruity notes and a spicy finish. 88.
Col Solare 2000 Col Solare ($100.00 USD)
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Syrah
We came across this beautifully aged bottle at SeaTac airport, of all places, and snapped it up. 2000 was not known as a banner year for this production but to quote Jack from Sideways, "tastes pretty good to me". Lots of raspberry, vanilla, leather and tobacco on the nose and palate. Some baking spices come through, especially cinnamon, with smoke and black cherry flavors as well. Elegant and long finish. The years in the bottle have really brought this to a special conclusion. 94.
Hartford Court 2007 Late Release Far Coast Vineyard Pinot Noir ($82.00 USD)
Don't have the patience to age your wine? This is the wine for you, as the winery has done it for you!! Just released this year, and nicely aged already.
Aromas of black fruit, with a hint of vanilla and herbal notes. Just a slight tinge of smokiness and green olive as well.
Beautiful fruity palate, featuring a mid-palate of olive and lots of beautiful red fruit at the end. Absolutely one of the smoothiest, silkiest, slickest mouthfeels ever. So good. 94.
Evesham Wood 2013 Pinot Noir Le Puits Sec ($65.00)
Burgundian-style Pinot from the Willamatte Valley in Oregon. Perfumed nose with red berries shining through. Some earth and spice join the party as well. There is some room to grow here, but it's already drinking beautifully. 92.
Hartford Court 2012 Stone Cote Vineyard Chardonnay ($65.00 USD)
Pear, honeysuckle, orange blossom and orchard fruits on the nose and palate. Medium bodied and well-balanced acidity. Doesn't quite measure up to the very best that this producer churns out but it's still pretty damn good. 92.
Tinhorn Creek 2014 Pinot Gris ($17.49)
Pineapple, herbs, citrus and tropical fruit on the nose and the palate. Perfect amount of acidity. As I've said before, probably the best of this varietal that BC has to offer. Stunning. 92.
Miner Family Vineyards 2009 La Diligence Syrah ($66.00)
Intense aromas of black fruit and black olive. Oh, so much olive. Did I mention olive?? The olives and black fruit continue through to the palate with some subtle notes of black pepper on the finish as well. So unique and beautiful. 93.
Rustenberg 2008 Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon ($65.00)
Red berries, cherry, cigar box and leather on the nose. Cassis, blackberry and herbaceous notes on the palate, leading to a long and luscious finish. A truly fantastic example of this varietal from the Stellenbosch appellation of South Africa. 92.
Tinhorn Creek 2015 Oldfield Series Rosé ($19.99)
Beautiful aromas of blood orange, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Ever so slightly off-dry with herbal notes and luscious flavors of orange and anise. One of the very best rosés in the Okanagan. 92.
Tinhorn Creek 2014 Oldfield Series Golden Mile Bench Chardonnay ($34.99)
Spectacular nose of white flowers, butterscotch and citrus fruit. The flavors of marzipan, butterscotch, caramel, honeysuckle, lemongrass and pineapple roll over the palate in waves like the ocean crashes into the beach. Shows tremendous aging potential but if you can't wait, it's already so good. 94.
See Ya Later Ranch 2012 Pinot Noir ($17.99)
Red fruit with just a touch of earth on the nose. Red currant and strawberry on the palate. A pretty decent entry level Pinot. 86.
Le Vieux Pin 2015 Vaïla Rosé ($21.99)
100% Pinot Noir and 100% impressive.
Beautiful notes of blood orange, strawberry, rhubarb and roses on the nose. The palate opens up with flavors of red fruit, finishing with a hint of pepper and just a touch of cured meat. Very special. 92.
That's enough for tonight, but still lots to come! Enjoy!