Wednesday Wine Reviews by @Sam_WineTeacher

2018 Chardonnay
La Crema
Sonoma, California
Golden straw colour with medium-minus intensity.  Lemon, apple, honey, cream and vanilla on the nose.  Very good balance and a creamy texture.  The flavours follow the nose.  A medium-long finish with lingering flavours.  A well-made California chardonnay.


2019 Niersteiner Spatlese (Riesling)

Gustav Adolf Schmitt
Rheinhessen, Germany
Spatlese (with an umlaut on the ‘a’) is German for ‘late harvest’.  That would lead one to expect a sweetish wine and this one does have noticeable sugar, but it is nicely balanced with fresh acidity. Lemon yellow in colour with medium-minus intensity.  Steely minerality, followed by citrus, white blossoms, and tree fruit on the nose.  Good balance with lots of bright acidity to balance the sweetness of late-harvested fruit.  Peach, pears, grapefruit, and tropical fruit on the palate followed by a medium-long finish.  Serve with a fresh fruit salad, white fish and fruit salsa, grilled mild Italian sausage, or Asian foods.  This wine represents very good value and with only 10% ABV, it is a great luncheon wine.

2018 Merlot
Mount Boucherie
West Kelowna, BC
Garnet red with medium-deep intensity.  The nose is layered with plum, dark cherries, blackberries, black currants, earth, tobacco, and pencil shavings.  Very good balance with ripe tannins.  Red and black fruit dominate the palate followed by a medium-long finish.  So much quality for so little.  Great value here.

2016 Syrah
Church and State
Oliver, BC
This big wine is a keeper. Fruity and enjoyable now, though still a bit young.  It will greatly improve over another four to eight years.  Ruby red colour with tinges of purple and deep intensity.  Red and black fruit, chocolate, and bramble on the nose with undertones of spice and black pepper.  Good balance and firm tannins.  The flavours mirror the nose.  A medium-plus finish.  Only 500 cases were produced.

2017 Petit Verdot
McLaren Vale, Australia
Garnet red with medium-deep intensity.  Dark fruit and berries, bramble, some baking spice, with hints of menthol and minerality.  Good balance with smooth, ripe tannins.  Dark fruit, cherries vanilla, and a touch of smoke on the palate, followed by a medium-long finish.  Will age well for another five to eight years.  This is a big wine, so serve now with prime rib or a beef stew, though we enjoyed it with just sourdough rye and Havarti.

(All photos – Sam Hauck)

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