2012 Chardonnay Reserve
Okanagan Falls, BC
Golden yellow colour with medium intensity. Buttered toast, apple, pear and tropical fruit on the nose. Good balance with unctuous texture. Rich butter and tropical fruit on the palate, followed by a medium-plus finish. This wine paired nicely with creamy garlic Parmesan pasta.
2014 Valpolicella Superior (Ripasso)
Garnet/black in colour with deep intensity. Earth, chocolate, dark fruit and white pepper on the nose. Very good balance with smooth ripe tannins. The flavours echo the nose followed by a medium-plus warm finish. Serve with a big, thick steak. Good now but well worth hanging on to for a few more years.
2013 Tinta de Toro
This wine over delivers and I have no problem recommending that you buy it. Garnet red with deep intensity. The nose is layered with red berries, dark fruit, dust, chocolate and spice. Rich, round and well balanced with smooth ripe tannins. Lots of flavour on the palate followed by a medium-plus finish.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon / Carmenere
Vallee de Colchagua, Chile
70% CS, 30% Carmenere. This limited production wine is garnet red in colour with deep intensity. The nose is layered and complex with aromas of bramble, red and black fruit, earth, herbs and chocolate. Well balanced with smooth ripe tannins. The flavours mirror the nose followed by a medium-long finish. Search it out and buy a few for now and for aging.
NV Lambrusco Reggiano Frizzante
Lini 910 Labrusca
This fun Italian fizz is purple/black in colour with deep intensity. The nose shows aromas of juicy berries – blueberries, raspberries and currants with cocoa undertones. Light and refreshing with medium body and gentle tannins. Bright fruit on the palate followed by a medium finish. Food friendly, but also a fun patio/luncheon wine, especially given its 11% ABV. I liked that, compared to sparkling Shiraz, the tannins are subdued.
(All photos – Sam Hauck)