A list of my favourite wines and some new discoveries…

This post began as a list of wines for my neighbour who has friends coming to visit later this month. I was asked to put this together for her. For convenience she wanted to be able to go with a list in hand while doing her wine shopping.  

This is my list based on my neighbours preference for deep, rich reds, often from the Oliver Osoyoos region and a price point between $20-$30. With friends the preferences broadened and I wanted to be sure I was covering all the bases.

Must admit my own personal preferences definitely played a role in my choices. With very few exceptions I have tasted and enjoyed pretty much all of the wines on the list. At the same time I realized it’s a great time to order some of my favourite wines for the coming season. Buying direct from the winery is the best way to support the industry but second best is buying BC Wine from your local wine shop, liquor store, or, as in this case, your neighbourhood grocery store.

Hope you enjoy reading through this list as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Black Sage Cabernet Sauvignon*

at Save On Foods for $27.99

TASTING NOTES

The Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most popular red wine grape is a natural combination between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, France.

Cabernet Sauvignon is loved for its high concentration and age worthiness. One of the most demanding varieties to grow in the Okanagan, Cabernet Sauvignon needs long warm falls to fully ripen. The conditions in 2016 were perfect at our east facing Osoyoos vineyard and resulted in this wine with rich dark fruit flavors and firm smooth tannins.

Our 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon wine is can be enjoyed with any BBQs or roast beast and winter root vegetables.

Drink your 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon wine now or cellar it for 10 years.

Black Sage Merlot *

at Save On Foods for $27.97

TASTING NOTES

This Merlot exhibits big jammy plum, blueberry, smooth vanilla and a hint of smokiness on the nose. The palate has similar flavours of rich ripe fruit and spices with pleasant smoky vanilla notes. The tannins are soft and the finish is long with the flavours lingering long after the last sip.

FOOD PAIRING

Pair this wine with grilled meats, roasted root vegetables, pork roast, mushroom burgers firm cheeses.

Black Sage Cabernet Franc *

at Save On Foods for $27.99

TASTING NOTES

Lush cherries, vibrant raspberries, hints of vanilla and mocha and a touch of earthy notes can be found on the nose. The palate has enticing flavours of dark cherries, cassis, vanilla and mocha notes. The finish lingers long after the last sip.

FOOD PAIRING

Pair our Cabernet Sauvignon with rich dishes like lamb stew or prime rib. It also pairs perfectly with strong, sharp cheeses.

Black Sage

CedarCreek Merlot

at Save On Foods for $21.89

Blend

93% Merlot
3% Cabernet Franc
2% Cabernet Sauvignon
1% Malbec

Our Desert Ridge vineyard wreaks havoc on vineyard tools. Round river rocks and heavy soils make for rough terrain. Despite these challenges, it’s one of our favourite sites. Why? Because the unforgiving land forces our vines to work hard and dig deep for water, and the rocks soak up the afternoon sun, radiating the heat back to the vines at night.

A wet spring led to a later start, however, the 2017 season was hotter and more compressed than normal. The season brought smaller berry size, clusters and yields. Fruit quality was excellent, characterized by high flavour concentration, moderate alcohol, balanced tannins, complexity and natural acidity.

CedarCreek Pinot Noir *

at Save On Foods for $27.99

Tasting Notes

Cherry, blackberry, and savoury herbs on the palate, with hints of violet on the on finish.

Winemaker Notes

Enjoy now or cellar through 2023

Food Pairing Notes

Rustic root vegetables, grilled meats (especially pork, chicken, venison), fuller-bodied seafood.

CedarCreek Cabernet Merlot

at Save On Foods at $18.99 (on sale)

Blend

42% Merlot,
29% Cabernet Franc
19% Cabernet Sauvignon
10% Malbec

Sometimes a wine is greater than the sum of its parts. We tasted hundreds of barrels one by one, thoughtfully blending to capture the best of two vineyards. The summer sun shines on our Haynes Creek vineyard until well after 10 pm, soaking grapes in heat for hours, producing dark berries with ripe tannins. In contrast, our Desert Ridge vineyard is much cooler and delivers fruit that is vibrant and fresh.

Winemaker Notes

Enjoy now or cellar through 2022

CedarCreek Sauvignon Blanc *

at Save On Foods at $17.49 (on sale)

100% Sauvignon Blanc

The southern Okanagan has an herbal quality to the air at the height of growing season – sage and antelope brush warmed by the sun. So maybe it’s not surprising that there’s a tell-tale grassiness to this herbaceous-by-nature Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes famously hold a mirror to their surroundings – in this case, Jagged Rock and Border Vista Vineyards. The fruit is picked early to retain the bright, fresh acidity that shows through on the palate. In the winery, we do several co-inoculations using two yeasts with the intent to drive thiol production in the direction of a Marlborough-style Sauvignon Blanc.

Winemaker Notes

Enjoy now or cellar until 2021.

cedarcreekwine

Clos du Soleil Celestiale *

online $23.90 https://www.closdusoleil.ca/product/2017-celestiale

free shipping (min. order 6)

TASTING NOTES

Aromas of cedar, cherry and raspberry compote complemented with darker notes of blackberries and pencil lead; ripe fruit flavours of raspberry, cherry, and blackberry, subtle notes of forest undergrowth.

Fort Berens Rosé *

at Save On Foods for $20.99

TASTING NOTES

With cranberry, watermelon, raspberry, spice, and intense floral aromas, our Rosé is perfectly balanced to enjoy in the summertime. Flavours of crab apple, cherry compote, and strawberries and cream linger on the palate with a deliciously long finish.

Fort Berens

La Stella Moscato

at Save on Foods for $20.25

Inspired by the renowned Moscato d’Asti of the Piedmont region in Italy the Moscato d’Osoyoos expresses an intense and complex array of aromatics displaying this grape’s true varietal expression. The light effervescence adds to the texture of this wine and showcases the classic Moscato flavours and perfumes of orange blossom, peach rind, rose petal and melon.

At half the residual sugar of Asti, with more bubbles and higher acidity, our Moscato is much more versatile and is a great pairing with aromatic spicy dishes like Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine.

La Stella

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvee Violette

at Save On Foods for $33.19

WINEMAKER’S NOTES

Cuvée Violette, as the name suggests, displays the perfumed and floral side of this noble grape variety. The palate is silky smooth thanks to a gentle co-ferment with just under 1% Viognier. The focus is on the feminine and graceful qualities of Syrah coming to the foreground. In the cellar we kid around and call this wine a syrah for Pinot Noir lovers. Crunchy bramble fruit and purple flowers mingle with pepper and spice. Red bramble fruits burst on the nose and on the palate. This cuvee is ready to be enjoyed and savoured upon release. It can be aged for the mid-term (5-7 years). It will most likely continue to improve past that age too.

PAIRINGS

Duck breast with pink peppercorn sauce. Steak Dianne with a flambe of crème de violette and cassis moutarde is a match made in heaven.

Le Vieux Pin Petite Rouge

at Save On Foods for $21.49

WINEMAKER’S NOTES

The inspiration for Petit Rouge is to make a wine that adheres to the same exacting standards and level of care as the rest of the wines at Le Vieux Pin, yet at the same time is more accessible upon release. Made from the fruit of younger vines and vines pruned and cropped at less stringent levels, Petit Rouge offers a big bang for your buck.

This year’s blend consists mostly of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thanks to a gorgeously classic summer growing season with a balanced crop.  Cabernet Sauvignon, albeit in a smaller percentage as part of the blend, still makes its presence known on both the nose and the palate with that unique herbacious, spicy, black currant note. The palate is lively and harmonious and a great balance of fruit, tannin and acid make this wine quite versatile and very food friendly.

PAIRINGS

This beauty goes well with so many different dishes. While it is perfectly fine to drink on its own, it is at the dinner table with food that this wine will shine brightly. Pair with a variety of red meat, cheese, and casual favourites.

Le vieux Pin petite Blanc

at Save On Foods for 19.89

WINEMAKER’S NOTES

Petit Blanc is a wine that is lithe but not light. It is fun and free of heavy-handed winemaking. No new oak, no malolactic fermentation, no battonage, no nonsense.  A wine that hits way above its weight and delivers a strong quality/price ratio. A wine that you can readily be opened on a weeknight and pair with a variety of cuisine without putting a dent in your wallet.

The 2019 vintage of this unique blend is Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Pinot Gris along with few other aromatic varieties like Marsanne and Roussanne are in the blend making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Green Citrus fruit, gooseberries, currants and touch of tropical fruits greet you on the nose. While orchard fruits are tasted on the mid palate, the finish and the core of this wine is citrus and gooseberry dominant.

PAIRINGS

Petit Blanc is extremely versatile with virtually endless pairings. We enjoy an endive salad and a fruit and cheese plate on for a sunny Sunday brunch, or orange roughy, quinoa and bacon wrapped scallops on a Friday evening.

Le Vieux Pin Vaila Rosé

at Save On Foods for $21.49

WINEMAKER’S NOTES

Made with the “presse method” this rosé is produced from the gently pressed juice of Pinot Noir grapes and entirely steel tank aged. It is a serious, yet fun, delicate wine absolutely perfect for the summer. The 2019 Vaïla comes in at under 12.5% alc./vol.  and as usual presents a very pale salmon colour along with explosive aromas of rhubarb sorbet, pink grapefruit rind and the amazingly bright and crunchy red fruit BC rosés are increasingly becoming known and famous for. Sunshine captured in a bottle.

PAIRINGS

Charcuterie and artisan cheeses make for a classic pairing.

Le Vieux Pin

Mayhem Pinot Gris *

available at select Save On Foods

online from the winery $18.29 https://www.mayhemwines.com/wines/current-releases/

TASTING NOTES

To the nose there are notes of pear, apple blossom, apricot and Meyer lemon. These flavour profiles are reflected on the palate with a prominent acidity with a round softness.

Mayhem Pinot Blanc *

available at select Save On Foods

online from the winery $15.65 https://www.mayhemwines.com/wines/current-releases/

TASTING NOTES

The vibrant nose reveals pear, apricot, lemon zest citrus, red apples and elderflower. There is the slight hint of savoury lees resulting from the sur lees time post-ferment. This sur lees characteristic also shows on the palate in the rich texture and round soft body. The palate mirrors the nose with pear, and citrus zest with a touch of tropical fruit.

Mayhem Merlot Cabernet Franc

available at select Save On Foods

online from the winery $21.74 https://www.mayhemwines.com/wines/current-releases/

Mayhem 

Meyer Family Pinot Noir *

online from the winery $22.71 https://mfvwines.com/collections/pinot-noir

at BC Liquor Stores $24.99

The fruit is sourced from six different vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. The combination of these different vineyards each having their own unique aspect, elevation and soils has produced a well-rounded Pinot Noir that showcases the Okanagan as a whole.

Meyer

Mission Hill Shiraz

at Save On Foods for $27.99

Our Reserve wines are handcrafted on the premise of “Selection” – selection in the vineyard and the cellar. We source our fruit from the top 15% of our estate vineyards and 75% of the same vineyard blocks are used to ensure consistency vintage to vintage.

Tasting Notes

Dense and rich on the nose with blackberry, ripe plum and white pepper. Incredibly structured on the palate with tremendous length and intensity.

Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay

at Save On Foods for $22.79

Tasting Notes

A tremendous balance of texture, acidity, and freshness. Bright apple, lemon, tropical fruit and a hint of baking spice are all balanced with an elegant texture and fresh acidity on the palate.

Our Reserve Chardonnay highlights the excellence of the Okanagan! A tremendous balance of texture, acidity and freshness. Bright apple, lemon, tropical fruit and a hint of baking spice are all balanced with an elegant texture and fresh acidity on the palate.

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris *

at Save On Foods for $22.49

Tasting Notes

Terrific texture and freshness with notes of stone fruit, fresh ginger and bright citrus all adding to a complex and balanced style of Pinot Grigio. A relatively short and delicate aging on the lees in French oak maintains the wine’s crisp and dry nature.

Food Pairing Notes

Fresh cod fish and chips or an assortment of soft cheeses

at Save On Foods for $22.79

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc *

at Save On Foods for $22.79

Tasting Notes

Incredible brightness and intensity of fruit highlighted by citrus, passionfruit, and lime; complemented with hints of gooseberry and lemongrass on the complex and lingering finish.

Food Pairing Notes

Shellfish, green vegetables, goat cheese, and creamy sauces

Mission Hill

Moraine Pinot Noir

at Save On Foods $26.49

Tasting notes 

Heady aromas of violet, Rainier cherries, old-fashioned rose petals and just a touch of toasty oak make this a memorable and enjoyable wine to share with family and friends.

Food pairing

Try pairing it with a creamy mushroom risotto or some marinated grilled pork; you won’t be disappointed.

Moraine

Noble Ridge Meritage *

at Save On Foods for $25.19

83% merlot

17% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

Big juicy with aromas of ripe blackberry, black tea leaves and subtle earthiness. Flavours of raspberrries, dark cherries, coca bean accentuated by the harmonious balance of ripe tannins and gentle acidity.

Pairs well with bbq’d steaks, ribs, pasta, caramelized vegetables and goat cheese

Noble Ridge

Pentage Riesling *

at Save On Foods $19.09

Aroma:  bright citrus, green apple and nuances of stone fruit

Palate:  crisp lemon/lime, grapefruit and green apple

About:  lively beautiful dry Riesling

Hand harvested, the wine was fermented in two smaller stainless-steel tanks, using different yeast – allowing us to build complexity in the mouthfeel.

Pentage

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris *

BC Liquor Store for $19.99

Tasting Notes

Glimmering lemon splashes in the glass. Intense essences of ripe pink grapefruit, lime zest, & honey suckle. A lush palate of bright citrus, nectarine, balances with refreshing acidity & hidden notes of ginger. The 2019 is an exceptional expression of this popular varietal.

This wine is meant to be enjoyed upon release. Drink this year for best enjoyment!

Poplar Grove Rosé *

online $21.65 https://www.poplargrove.ca/product/Ros–2019

Tasting Notes

Watermelon pink in the glass. Aromas of fresh strawberries & rhubarb combine with a hint of vanilla. A robust palate of strawberry, cherry and zesty melon notes with subtle minerality on the palate. A flawless summer sipper perfect for enjoying under the sun. Enjoy as a light and fresh opener to an evening or as a stand-alone aperitif.

This wine is meant to be enjoyed upon release. Drink this year for best enjoyment. Drink before 2023.

Poplar Grove

Rust Wine Co Rosé

at Save On Foods for $17.89 (on sale)

This year our Rose is from the first harvest of our Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2017. A berry forward, dry style of Rose that is ideal with summer salads or light tapas.

89 Points – “The hue is vibrant and dark. The aromas and flavours display intense notes of cherry. The wine is so fruity as to seem sweet – but it is a bold, dry rosé.” John Schreiner

Rust

Serendipity Sauvignon Blanc *

at Save On Foods for $22.49

Our New Zealand style Sauv Blanc truly is ‘Springtime in a bottle’. It has an herbaceous nose with the traditional grassy notes together with dill, lime, pink grapefruit, ripe cantaloupe melon and asparagus. The taste has flavours of: kiwi, lime and pear with hints of minerality.

Serendipity 

Synchromesh Riesling *

online from the winery $23.00 https://www.synchromeshwines.ca/collections/all

Granny smith apple, bosc pear and lean pineapple are framed by brisk acidity and slightly off-dry finish.

Synchromesh Riesling ‘drier’

online from the winery $23.00

A drier look at our usual house style. This wine is a single vineyard selection from two old vine blocks on the Golden Mile Bench just South of Oliver. Loaded with mandarin and burnt orange rind aromas this wine finishes dry with citrus and grapefruit pith carrying a lengthy finish.

Synchromesh

Tinhorn Cabernet Franc *

at Save On Foods for $25.47

TASTING NOTES

The colour shows a youthful purple hue with good depth. The nose has a dusty cocoa powder note with black cherry, strawberry and rhubarb pie and a delightful pie crust with it. Lots of red currant and rhubarb on the palate, and fine tannins and bright acidity give 

Tinhorn Oldfield Series Merlot

at Save On Foods for $29.99

at BC Liquor Store $28.99

TASTING NOTES

The aroma is already very vibrant with the zestiness of Orange Pekoe tea, black forest cake and hints of tapenade The oak aging shows some beautiful chocolate notes giving it an overall sweet aroma. Palate is more open than the 2016 at this stage giving juicy black and red fruit up front such as currants, orange rind and licorice. Bright acidity gives this full bodied wine some great freshness and carries the finish nicely, with dense but focused tannins. Will benefit from an hours decant and another year or two in bottle.

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2 Bench White *

at Save On Foods for $23.99

TASTING NOTES

Straw yellow colour. The nose has that wonderful 2 Bench typicity with white flowers at the fore. Honeycomb and lime zest jump from the glass. Great acidity this year with the elevated Viognier levels. Texture wine with subtle grip and purity on the palate from its time over the holidays spent in conferee. Will evolve nicely over the next few years.

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris

at Save On Foods $17.89 (on sale)

TASTING NOTES

Straw yellow colour and beautiful clarity. The nose is very youthful and jumps out with banana and papaya. Honey and lemon mingle with pear and honeydew melon. The palate is focused and precise, with more refreshing citrus-driven acidity than in 2016. Tropical fruit in the mid-palate and crisp lingering finish. 

This wine screams for shellfish.

Tinhorn

Unsworth rosé (Vancouver Island winery) *

at Save On Foods for $22.49

The rosé counterpart to our flagship Charme de l’île is crafted from 100% Pinot Noir. Vibrant aromas of cranberry, raspberry on the nose five was to a refreshingly dry palate. It is seamless with an array of appetizers and a perfect aperitif.

Unsworth

Upper Bench Merlot Cabernet Franc

at Save On Foods for $22.59

TASTING NOTES

This is a great everyday red blend (70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc) with excellent value. It is packed full of flavour but is also very mellow and well-balanced. Great as a sipping wine, to enjoy with a cheese plate, or to pair with your meal.

Nose: black cherry, opulent, blackberry compote, anise, graphite

Palate: prune, licorice, dark dried fruit, baking spice, black currant

Upper Bench

Vanessa Vineyards Meritage *

online $39.99 https://vanessavineyard.com/product/2014-meritage/

A rich Cabernet-based cuvée, our 2014 Meritage is a softer, yet more complex vintage that has been contoured and sculpted by our winemaker. Elegantly layered with deep berry flavours, this is a wine with excellent structure and concentrated flavour. The ripe, silky tannins are balanced by fresh cherry, dark berry, coffee and licorice flavours. The fruit and oak are particularly well integrated with a smooth lingering finish.

Vanessa Vineyards Right Bank *

online $39.99 https://vanessavineyard.com/product/2014-right-bank/

Crafted in a classic “Right Bank” style of Bordeaux, this is a Merlot-dominate Meritage with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon rounding out the blend. Deep garnet in colour with seductive aromas which promise brambly fruit, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries with smoky notes. The rich palate shows ripe black cherries, blackberries and a dusting of cocoa with a lingering, pleasing finish. An elegant 100% estate wine, this generous vintage demands full flavoured dishes or try with Entrecôte Bordelaise.

Vanessa

The View Winery Dry Riesling *

at Save On Foods for $18.99

Tasting Notes:

This dry age-worthy Riesling is beautifully balanced with a zesty, crisp acidity and bright fruit notes. Aromas of apple blossoms are followed by flavours of tart green apple and zippy lemon-lime citrus. A signature slate minerality expressive of our vineyard terroir lingers on a complex elegant finish.

Wine and Food Pairing 

Dry Riesling is a very versatile wine. It pairs beautifully with, pork belly and apple sauce, prawn or seafood cock tail, sushi, cured or smoked salmon and trout, fish dishes with a creamy sauce, mature goat cheese, pickled vegetables, crisp duck salad and oysters. 

The View Pinotage Reserve *

at Save On Foods for $23.99

The only one of its kind in North America, White Pinotage 2018 is a blanc de noir, a white wine made from our dark Pinotage grapes. With a beautiful rose gold hue developing over time, White Pinotage boasts notes of white stone fruits, berry and a subtle grassy herbaceous-ness. A lingering savoury minerality rounds out an elegant, dry finish.

White Pinotage’s bright acidity makes it a formidable food-worthy wine. It excels beside seafood, chicken and pork  as well as moderately spicy cuisine, green salads, soft cheeses and vegetarian dishes.

The View Bling white wine in cans

at Save On Foods 6 pack $17.99   (for fun)

The View

Wild Goose Autumn Gold (off dry/02) *

at Save On Foods for $17.97 (on sale)

at BC Liquor Store for $16.99 (on sale)

Voted BC’s Most Popular White Wine, Autumn Gold is equal parts Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Blanc. This is a clean, crisp, white wine blend that carries aromas of orchard fruit, spiced apple and citrus. The soft and round palate will taste spice, candied ginger, and a hint of rose balanced with crisp acidity. The amazing fruit makes it the perfect wine to have on the patio in the sun or when cooking a traditional feast of roasted big bird!

Wild Goose

6 or more at Save On Foods = 10% discount (includes sales items) plus 12 or more an addtional $1. off each bottle

This list reflects what was available at my local neighbourhood Save On Foods, selection may vary by store and may be subject to change. Items were on sale on September 9th when I visited to research for this article.

* wines I have previously enjoyed

If you would like to be featured on MyVanCity.ca please email me at myvancityval@nullgmail.com for full details.

 

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