Tagged with 'finewine'

Spanish Cult Wine Release

Hi Everyone!

While there is always innovation and excitement all over the Wine Globe, there is – for whatever reason – an undeniable concentration of it happening right now in Spain. New producers in emerging regions are hitting consecutive home runs, and established, traditional houses are seeing renaissances in quality and interest. What follows is an admittedly curated cross-section of contemporary Spanish Wine, including several producers appearing in BC for the first time. We begin:


Olivier Rivière. Everything about Olivier’s young career has been about fluidity: the juice, his adaptive methods that eschew dogma and just listen to the juice, and his zig-zag path through the wine world towards what it seems he was always meant to do. Born in Cognac and trained in Montagne-Saint-Émillon, he was pulled by his biodynamic skills to Domaine Leroy, where he naturally thrived under the neo-wiccan disciplines of Madame Bizou-Leroy. Olivier was about to invest in vineyards in Fitou when Telmo Rodriguez recruited him to turn his family’s vineyards Bio, a task he excelled in, and the predictable happened: he fell head over heels for Rioja, especially its supporting varieties - you’ll note that Tempranillo actually takes a back seat in many of his wines. In just over a decade, Olivier’s micro-oenology - it’s a worn cliché to call it “Burgundian” but it’s also accurate – has made him one of the world’s most sought-after producers, available for the first time in BC.

Olivier Rivière Pozo Alto 2019, Rioja. 75% Graciano, 20% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha from 90-year-old vines in the village of Leza, at the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria. A fiesta of ripe red fruit and peppercorns, powerful and deep but not over-extracted, spending a year in old Foudres. The fruit is alive and humming, but not talking to the back end yet. After 3-4 years this will sing. 96 points Robert Parker, 96 points Tim Atkins, 18 bottles available, $216.98

Olivier Rivière Losares 2019, Rioja. Almost entirely foot-trodden Tempranillo, rounded off by a rogues gallery of local grapes (Garnacha, Graciano, Viura, Calagraño, Gesundheit). From a 95-year-old plot in the village of Navaridas, high up at 500m elevation. Olivier’s Burgundian ethics show up brilliantly here, with a classic frame supporting the cherry, white pepper and gravelly notes. 95 points Robert Parker, 18 bottles available, $216.98 +tax

Olivier Rivière Ganko 2019, Rioja. Mostly Garnacha (Grenache) with a smidge of Mazuelo (Carignan) from the sandy village of Cárdenas at 600m elevation. Cranberry, sour cherry and black pepper over an elegant frame, brings the Rhône to mind, although the body is fuller. Tannins are prominent but silky and charming. 95 points Robert Parker, 18 bottles available, $86.98 +tax

Olivier Rivière Vinos de Eusebio 2019. Rioja. 100% Tempranillo from Olivier’s sandstone and limestoniest sites near Laguardia and Navaridas in the Rioja Alavesa. Deep blackberry notes give faint warning of the wallop to follow, this is one of his most visceral bottlings. Slightly more time in oak than the others, giving a toasty vibe to the dark fruit and cherries. 94 points Robert Parker, 18 bottles available, $99.98 +tax

Olivier Rivière “Gabaxo” Vino Tinto 2019, Rioja. Olivier’s only regional blend, sourcing from sites all over Rioja Alavesa, is also his most traditional, mixing Tempranillo with Garnacha like most normies do. Aged in concrete and barrel, there are soft cherry notes with blackberries and bacon, this is his most gulpable cuvée. “Gabaxo” is the derogative Spanish term for a “French Border Jumper”, a term Olivier wears proudly. 93 points James Suckling, 24 bottles available, $44.98 +tax

Olivier Rivière Mirando al Sur Blanco 2019, Rioja Blanco. A new animal, probably best described as Jura’s Spanish cousin that went to school in Chablis. Ancient Viura vines are the backbone of this white wine, blended with younger Macabeo and aged for 2 years in old Sherry casks. Smooth and waxy like white Tondonia, zippy like Burgundy, luxuriously layered like only white Rioja can be. Tangerine, dried green herbs, honeysuckle. 95 points Robert Parker, 95 points Tim Atkins, 6 bottles available, $132.98 +tax

Olivier Rivière La Bastid Blanco 2019, Rioja Blanco. 70% Viura, 30% Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc), aged in concrete and old barrel. Citrus and apple with lilac and lanolin, a welcome minerality balances the big body. 93 points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $49.98 +tax

Lopez de Heredia. Often cited as Olivier Rivière’s north star, this traditional house never fell out of favour so don’t call it a comeback, but demand has never been higher, and my allocations have never been lower. The oldest winery in Haro and one of the Original Three Rioja wineries, Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta’s house is still family-owned 150 years later, making statuesque wines like these:

Vina Tondonia Reserva 2011, Rioja. 2011 gave Tondonia muscles it doesn’t usually use, the extra heat teamed up with the 6-year American Barrique aging to broaden the shoulders of this single vineyard Tempranillo. Darkly fruited with currant and cherry highlights, spicy with earthen moods. People whose opinions I trust drink this early, but I’ve had old Tondonia and it’s to die for. Your choice. 95 points Tim Atkins, 95 points James Suckling, 94 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $82.98 +tax

Vina Tondonia Reserva 2001, Rioja. Held back at the winery, newly released (and rated). If Tondonia were the Beatles, this would be their Sgt Pepper, everything is aligned perfectly and the juices are flowing. The weight of an in-the-zone Saint-Estèphe but with more generosity on the nose, red fruits are supported by baking spices, and the American oak influence still shows through coconut and cigar box notes. I’d place this 2001 at the beginning of Act Two. 96+ points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $144.98 +tax

Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco 2011, Rioja Blanco. Have an infinite number of cashews and lemon peels given you a foot rub? Then you don’t know the joy of drinking white Tondonia. The year’s warmth means that things are further along, so there’s no probationary period before tucking into this, but the wine’s concentration certainly makes aging possible. The pulse of this old-oak-aged Viura has always been the interplay between Almond Brittle and Lemon Tea, fully on display here with vanilla, tangerine and camphor. 97 points Tim Atkins, 97 points James Suckling, 6 bottles available, $84.98 +tax

Vina Gravonia Blanco 2015, Rioja Blanco. Don Rafael used to make Sauternes-inspired botrytis wines here in the Zaconia vineyard (out of Viura), and I’m not sure if knowing that makes me smell honey in this dry white, but I for sure smell honey, albeit twisted with lemon pie, walnuts and spice. Big, viscous and round, with less citrus pith than other vintages. 93 points Robert Parker, 9 bottles available $63.98 +tax

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva “904” Selección Especial 2015, Rioja. Another member of Rioja’s Original Three rockets across our skies once more, with two important distinctions: this is the first “904” bottling since the 2011 vintage (the intermediate years weren’t good enough), and on the strength of 2015 this is the first 904 to be released as a Selección Especial in 120 years. Aged a year longer than previous vintages, this 90% Tempranillo is humming with purple fruit, singed potpourri, green herbs, unlit cigar and earth. Given the classically poised body and structure, I’ve always dubbed 904 the Spanish Brunello, but this 2015 is deeper in every way, maybe the Spanish Bolgheri is more apt? Didn’t realize how much I missed this until I tasted it again, omg. 97 points James Suckling, 97 points Guia Penin, 96 points Tim Atkins, 95 points Robert Parker, 95 points Vinous, 24 bottles available, $155.98 +tax


Casa Castillo Pie Franco 2020, Jumilla. The King of Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvèdre), I’m hard pressed to think of another example – from anywhere – that even comes close. José María Vicente’s grandfather planted these own-rooted vines in 1942, and although phylloxera is encroaching slowly into the vineyard, José can still make a handful of barrels of this bulletproof, gravity-commanding red wine. Everything is admittedly embryonic – I’m going to lay this down for 10 years at least – but we see emerging herbal notes with cassis, mint and violet. If you’ve ever seen pictures of Jumilla vineyards – almost lunar in their poverty – then you’ll recognize what an achievement it is to wrest this kind of elegance from that kind of Mad Max landscape. 100 points Robert Parker, 98 points Decanter, 12 bottles available, $220.98 +tax

Casa Castillo Las Gravas 2020, Jumilla. From an unsurprisingly rocky 40-year-old plot comes an absolutely stellar value, showing very much like elite Bandol at a fraction of the price. An aromatic trojan horse, Las Gravas plays coy on the open, with cherries and roses lurking underneath the mineral energy. One on palate, the fuse is lit, and the flavours and power snowball towards an explosive finish. Mostly Monastrell with a small portion of Garnacha, I recommend filling your trunk with this, the prices will not stay here. 98 points Robert Parker, 24 bottles available, $102.98 +tax

Castilla-La Mancha

Comando G “La Bruja de Rozas” 2021, Sierra de Gredos. As this ad-hoc upstart from the hills around Madrid has quickly gained the world’s respect and attention – effectively putting Gredos on the map - Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia have frustratingly reduced their production, focusing on quality (and other projects, see below) over quantity. Well, that’s just great. Just as Bruja de Rozas (the “Witch of the Roses”) has achieved its best ratings ever, I can only get one case. Treating Garnacha like Pinot Noir, this high-altitude red wine is a savoury soil-conduit, showing herbal and earthen vibes over a medium body with the power to read minds. 95 points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $69.98 +tax

Comando G “El Tamboril” 2018, Sierra de Gredos. The only white that Comando makes, built from Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris but drinking a lot like Corton. Aged in concrete after indigenous fermentation, there is generous tropical fruit braced by bright acidity, notable salinity and smoke. 98 points Robert Parker, 1 bottle available, $236.98 +tax

Viticola Mentridana “El Mentridano” 2021, Mentrida. First time in BC. A side project of Comando G’s Daniel Landi finds him teaming up with his childhood friend Curro Barreño (of Fedellos fame) to make energetic, elegant but quite crushable Garnacha from an 8ha plot between Madrid and Toledo. Aged for half a year in old French barrels, Mentridano shows bright raspberry and strawberry with sage and iron. Unapologetically delicious and welcoming, whilst staying true to its hilly home. This is dangerously close to becoming my house wine. Not yet rated, 24 bottles available, $47.98 +tax

Viticola Mentridana Cantos del Diablo 2020, Mentrida. Another stunning Garnacha from old vines sitting at 860m elevation, but with the added charm of two dozen James Bonds. Landi and Barreño make several passes through this steep vineyard, picking the perfect berries (not unlike the German Beerenauslese method), ending up with a perfumed, dense and floral dry red wine with insane aromatics. Also ending up with not that much wine, as only a few hundred bottles are made every year. 95 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $166.98 +tax

Envinate Albahra 2020, Almansa. Ridiculous value. From a 30-year-old vineyard near the town of Albacete in Castilla-La Mancha’s southern extremity, sitting at 800m. 70% is Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) and 30% is the nearly-extinct Moravia Agria grape, native to these hills. The Garnacha is foot-trodden and aged in concrete, the Moravia is bladder-pressed and aged in old Barriques. I get that this sounds like Moon Wine but I assure you that the only thing weird about this wine is where it’s from (and how it’s made and what it is and what it’s called). These two grape varieties make round, crushable wine that’s fresh, juicy and medium bodied, showing rose petals, plums, candied cherries and raspberries. The mineral palate becomes a classically crunchy finish. 94+ points Robert Parker, 24 bottles available, $40.98 +tax

Ossian Vides y Vinos 2018, Nieva, Segovia. From 150-year-old vines. The sandy soils of Nieva held phylloxera at bay, leaving ancient bush vine Verdejo plots around the village like Easter candy. Matured semi-oxidatively on its lees with lotsa batonnage, this is a balance of fresh vibes (citrus pith, jasmine) and riper qualities (peach, apricot, a viscous, silky palate). Unique but not bizarre, a welcome substitute for Rhône whites or Russian River Chardonnay. 94 points Vinous, 12 bottles available, $69.98 +tax


Bodegas Frontonio “Telescopico” Garnacha 2019, Valdejalón. Another killer value, from abandoned vineyards in the middle of nowhere. Fernando Mora, fresh off his Master of Wine diploma and broke because of it, couldn’t afford land in Spain’s more famous regions so he looked in Spain’s forgotten ones. Near the villages of Jarque, Epila and Morata, he found abandoned vineyards with sparsely planted bush-vines – and it was dirt cheap. Thus began Frontonio, and this “Telescopico” is Garnacha, Mazuela and a Garnacha mutation called Garnacha Peluda from 60-year-old vines, foot-trodden, whole cluster pressed, fermented with wild yeast and aged in old oak. Rustic methods, modern wine. Freshly direct and brimming with energy, we get rose petals and sage, blackberry and stone. A medium-full palate, perfectly integrated structure. 94 points Robert Parker, 18 bottles available, $41.98 +tax


Forjas del Salnes. A professional indoor soccer player (not only is that a thing, but it’s a BIG thing in Spain) and fifth generation of a long line of winemakers (and blacksmiths, incidentally), Rodrigo Mendez – known to most as “Rodri” – has spent his post-athletic career going backwards: returning to pre-industrial times in viticulture, winemaking and grape varieties in his home of Rias Baixas. We offer his wines for the first time in BC:

Forjas del Salnes Goliardo Caiño 2018, Val do Salnes, Rias Baixas (Red). The nearly-extinct red grape Caiño (known in Portugal as Borraçal but I doubt that helps) is a light-coloured, perfumed blast of energy with the pepper-iest nose I have ever encountered. Rodri sourced his Caiño from a sandy vineyard planted pie franco in 1862, and uses 100% whole cluster pressing before an indigenous ferment. Black pepper, bright red fruit, roses and jasmine notes lead into a medium body with its thumb in a light socket. Whoa, hey, there’s more pepper. Brilliant, expressive, unique. 95 points Robert Parker, 16 bottles available, $66.98 +tax

Forjas del Salnes Goliardo Espadeiro 2019, Val do Salnes, Rias Baixas (Red). Once the go-to red of Gallicia and northern Portugal, Espadeiro nearly vanished when growers switched to the more lucrative Albarino and Vinho Verde production in the post-war boom. Dark-skinned but medium-bodied, we get earthen vibes supporting blackberry and tarragon, a taut, chalky shape, finishing kinda like a young Volnay with lingering forest floor and flowers. Fascinating. 93 points Robert Parker, 16 bottles available, $66.98 +tax

Forjas del Salnes Goliardo Loureiro 2019, Val do Salnes, Rias Baixas (Red). This was a journey. As long as I’ve been doing this, Loureiro has been a white grape. Imagine my surprise when I unpacked this box to find a ruby red wine staring back at me, casually upending my universe. After some outsourced research by the local Somm community (big shout out to Sean Nelson and Josh Carlson for the intel), I learned that there is an ultra-rare, nearly extinct mutation of Loureiro called Loureiro Tinto that is indigenous to the tiny Salnes valley. It’s almost always blended but hey, here it is as a single varietal wine in my hands. Deep cherries and flowers with a slight red apple vibe, balsamic herbs, medium-bodied but quite structured. Breaks slightly weird on finish, where some inexplicable dried fruit vibes get beamed in from Saturn. Imagine a Mencia that dresses up like a Blaufränkisch when no one else is home. Only 3,000 bottles made. 12 bottles available, $66.98 +tax

Forjas del Salnes Leirana Genoveva 2020, Rias Baixas (White). Ethereal Albarino from 150-year-old pergola-trained vines, given a short skin maceration and aged on lees in old barrels with no batonnage. There is a lot of Wow here. Great citrus notes with saline minerality on the nose, but as with most Albarino it’s the texture that reveals genius. Every inch of this wine evokes the ocean. Concentrated and linear but fresh and intense. A trojan horse of hidden ka-pow. 97 points Robert Parker, 30 bottles available, $69.98 +tax

Rafael Palacios. While his older brother Alvaro is widely celebrated for putting Priorat back on the map, Rafael (“Rafa” for short) took a quieter but no less delicious path, falling in love with the Godello grape and the Gallic Valdeorras region, tucked between Ribera Sacra and Bierzo. Largely considered to be one of Spain’s leading white wine producers, Rafa farms steep, terraced vineyards overlooking the river Sil, and spins liquid gold from them. Available for the first time in BC:

Rafael Palacios “As Sortes” 2020, Val do Bibei, Valdeorras. Godello with a smidge of the local indigenous grape Treixadura, aged in 500L barrels on lees. Exuberantly decadent but somehow not generous, this is a full-bodied, viscous white that starts like an unopened tulip, we need some air to unlock the goodies. Once open, however, bonkers. Chalky minerality with Laser Lemons and green pears, slight almond vibe on the finish – a textural marvel. Picture a Grand Cru Chablis fattened by a hungry witch. Glorious. 95+ points Robert Parker, 18 bottles available, $104.98 +tax

Rafael Palacios Louro do Bolo 2021, Val do Bibei, Valdeorras. The weight of 1er Cru Chablis, the minerality of Champagne, the body of a torpedo. Rafa’s youngest Godello vines populate this vivacious white, showing riper tropical fruit amongst the citrus notes. White pepper, honey and apricot around the fringes. Not yet rated, 24 bottles available, $51.98 +tax

Guimaro. Pedro Rodriguez continues his love affair with the Mencia grape (pronounced “Mentheea” if you’re thexthy) as well as other indigenous varieties in the prized Amandi region of Ribera Sacra. Perched above the Sil, these slate-rich south-facing slopes – many of them ancient plots that Pedro and his family have been slowly acquiring – make elegantly powerful red wines that rival the best wines of the northern Rhone in shape and longevity.

Guimaro Finca Capeliños 2020, Ribera Sacra. Predominantly Mencia with Sousón, Brancellao, Merenzao and Caiño in a field blend, from a 0.6ha plot of 95-year-old vines. Partial whole-cluster pressing, aged a year in old Barriques. Brambly red fruit with herbs and spices, white pepper, and gravel. Impressive structure, only 1,000 bottles made. 97 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $108.98 +tax

Guimaro Finca Pombeiras 2020, Ribera Sacra. Mencia from a 0.45ha plot of 70-year-old vines – Pedro’s highest elevated vineyard. 100% whole-cluster press, wild ferment, only 800 bottles made. I’d shout louder about this, how you’d pay $500+ for a Burgundy this well-constructed, how we, as collectors, need to remove our blinders to regions and grapes that we can’t pronounce, but this is the only 6-pack that entered BC, so…. Never mind, blinders back on. 98+ points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $108.98 +tax

Envinate Lousas Viñas de Aldea 2021, Ribera Sacra. The crazy kids at Envinate remind me more and more of Queen: they’re all over the place both geographically and stylistically but the work is always stellar. This is 80% Mencia with Sousón and friends filling the gaps, sourced from several plots with an average age of 60. A fine minerality creates symmetry from nose to tail, with lively black pepper lacing the currant, red apple and blackberry flavours. Medium-full body, great persistence and shape. Not yet rated (last vintage was 93+ RP), 12 bottles available, $45.98 +tax

Ribera del Duero

Bodegas Arzuaga Gran Reserva 2016, Ribera del Duero. One of the best tables at this year’s Top Drop was Arzuaga, a small producer who got into wine kind of accidentally. Florentino Arzuaga bought land here because it was pretty, and eventually planted vines and made wine because he ran out of reasons not to. I’m glad he did because this Gran Reserva is a fantastic representation of Modern Ribera. Tempranillo from a nearly barren clay/limestone corner of the estate is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot before a long stay in new French Oak. Dark berries, licorice, tobacco and dusty soil, a bold, full footprint that retains freshness. Two 6-packs came into BC – only because of Top Drop – and I got one of them. 6 bottles available, $166.98 +tax

Aalto 2020, Ribera del Duero. After 30 years making Vega Sicilia, Mariano Garcia started buying up old Tempranillo plots to make his own Aalto wines. The 2020 drinks like fan fiction, giving us everything we could want out of a Ribera, generously loaded with blackberries, chocolate, baked rocks and cinnamon before taking a fresh, juicy turn on palate. Still kinda tannic, I’d love to see this in 3 years. 94 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $116.98 +tax


Envinate Palo Blanco 2021, Santiago del Teide, Tenerife. The Chablis of the Atlantic returns to us, wielding its Lightsaber Of Honest Truth. Listan Blanco is known on the Spanish mainland as Palomino, but centuries of environmental adaptation have effectively rendered it into its own distinct variety, if not genetically. Grown on the 600m Atlantic-facing cliffs of Tenerife, the 100-year-old vines are braided together to withstand whatever the ocean throws their way. Pressed in concrete with no malolactic fermentation, we get marked salinity under bright lemon, peach and lilac. This is a white wine with high acidity, it’s not for everyone and will soften over a few years in bottle, but OMG do I ever love this wine. Not yet rated (last vintage got 99 RP), 12 bottles available, $53.98 +tax

Envinate Taganan Margalagua 2021, Tenerife. Predominantly Listan Negro, with smaller percentages of Vijariego, Malvasia Negra, Boboso, and Negramoll. There’s a small parcel of the steep, ancient Taganan vineyard that’s rich in red basalt and sandy, iron-rich volcanic soil, partitioned and bottled separately here. Imagine a top Cru Beaujolais that spent years on a pirate ship and knows a lot more about the ways of the world and men than you do. Rustic red fruit and earth, citrus and umami, medium-bodied with soft, dusty tannins. Not yet rated (last vintage got 98 RP). 12 bottles available, $75.98 +tax

Non-Stop Classic Hits

What follows is a brief listing of some wines that fit this theme and have previously been written about, but featured again for the benefit of those who’ve recently joined my Collectors List and may have missed ‘em the first time. If anyone requires more info, I’m happy to send over the original blurb to you.

Envinate Migan 2020, Tenerife, Canarias. 95+ points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $53.98 +tax

Vega Sicilia “Alion” 2018, Ribera del Duero. 96 points James Suckling, 95 points Robert Parker, 4 bottles available, $135.99 +tax

Altos de Losada El Cepon 2019, Bierzo. 98 points Guia de Vino Semana Vitivinicola 12 bottles available, $83.98 +tax

Alvaro Palacios Descendientes de J. Palacios Villa de Corullon Bierzo 2018, Galicia. 96 points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $68.98 +tax

Until next time, Feliz Bibiendo!!!

This amazing collection is available exclusively at our Vancouver Store. Call 604-416-1672 or email jcarrier@everythingwine.ca



Similkameen Sipping

It starts a few clicks past Hedley, going east, that point where Highway 3 stops being a tilt-a-whirl of hairpin turns and Mad Max passing lanes, and becomes a lithe, meditative ribbon of road. The soft lifts and gentle falls of the rounded inclines and declines seem to meet your equilibrium instead of scrambling it (see: Anarchist Mountain), it’s more like gliding than driving. It’s very hard not to speed here, and policemen know this. The river has been beside us the whole time but for me, this is where the Similkameen Valley begins.

It begins for wine around here too, although most vineyards lie further east. The valley widens to fit famers fields and orchards – the monoculture of other regions doesn’t exist in this quilt of crops – and the sun has more to work with. It gets hella hot here in summer, but nighttime brings kind winds and the valley – without a moderating body like, say, a big lake – cools down dramatically. Grapes love this. Big diurnal swings keep vital acidity and freshness, some varieties would cook here if it didn’t happen. Was that a cop car I just sped by? Nope, all good.

The fruit stands west of Keremeos have made the local sign-maker wealthy, I reckon. They all clearly have the best fruit. I’ll hit them on the way back, I’ll pick the one that says “Ice Cream” the biggest. I have learned not to speed here. Through the town, up the bench, eastwards.

The hills get closer on the north side, I can see those alluvial fans, the triangles of sand, gravel, sediment and silt that point up the slopes. They’re so raw. They look like oopsies but they’ve been here longer than people have, built by water and time. Glaciers had a great party here back in the day, they blasted through the valley like The Who through a Holiday Inn, but they brought calcium and unique soils, the wines here are great because of them.

Between Keremeos and Cawston the air thickens and so do the vineyards. Looking south explains the cluster: there’s a gap in the south ridge of mountains as the river enters the US, so vineyards climbing up the north side get around 1hr more sun per day than the Okanagan does in autumn (when it counts). That may not sound like a big deal if you’re not a grape: the Similkameen can consistently ripen late ripening varieties better that anywhere else in BC – if you’ve had one of those BC Cabernet Sauvignons that smelled like a Greek Salad, it didn’t come from here.

But what does come from here? Writ large, organic grapes: this is the "Organic Farming Capital of Canada" (40% of all vineyards are certified). Ripe red grapes, for sure, although more elegant whites can grow nicely here. Is there one unifying identifier that screams “Similkameen”? Not yet, but no BC region has that yet, it takes longer to emerge. There are really good wines here, though, undeniably so. Shall we?

First is Clos du Soleil. There’s no actual Clos (a stone fence/enclosure), it’s just a couple of barns, but I’m undeterred because a) aesthetics have zero bearing on quality, and b) they’re, like, really good barns. A handsome White Bordeaux-style wine called Capella 2021 opens, three parts Sauvignon Blanc, one part Semillon. Some Semillon is from Oliver but this is mostly Keremeos. Quite ripe Sauv Blanc for BC, a trace of grass on the nose and the citrus is more grapefruit than lemon. Faint cheese rind and banana Nerds. Layered and substantial. The Semillon shows as beeswax on the nose and grip on the finish, the grapes are getting along famously. This has gas in the tank to age a decade, but life is short and Capella is fab.

The Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve 2013 is an unexpected treat, most top-end library releases cost way more than this, and this 2013 has both feet planted firmly in The Zone. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with the usual allies rounding off the difference. A great example of what this valley can do with that grape. Cassis and black pepper, gravel and lavender. Age has softened the frame but not the nose. Brilliant.

Cabernet Franc gets its chance to drive the bus in the 2016 Meritage from Howard Soon’s Vanessa Vineyards. Howard won the Order Of Canada for his innovative work at Sandhill, and he’s not coasting here. Rocks are employed between the vines to catch heat, radiating it to the vines during the cold night, just like in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A black pepper burst on the nose gives way to red fruits. The blend of French and American oak brings a cup of coffee to the Plum Party, with the smaller portions of Cab Sauv and Merlot contributing black and red currants.

Orofino is always an undervalued treat, and the entry Red Bridge Red, basically a Meritage with bits of Syrah and savage Zinfandel, defines their vibe perfectly. John and Virginia Webber, both imports from Saskatchewan, have been quietly brewing beauty in small batches for two decades; I’m pretty sure that their Petit Verdot was the wine that made me Google Similkameen all those years ago. Red Bridge shows cherry, sage, and mocha. It wants us to be happy.

The Mt. Boucherie winery is across the lake from Kelowna (on Mt. Boucherie, as it turns out) but they have been busy down here for a while, bottling under their own label as well as Rust Wine Co. and Original Vines. These folks are some of the most experimentally ambitious vintners I have come across, testing the perimeter fence like raptors, not afraid to break weird. Witness these 3 different harvests from Cawston’s Lazy River Vineyard:

The Mt. Boucherie Blaufrankish 2021 is Encino Man, plucking an ancient Austrian grape from a much different world and dropping it into our modern market. Blaufrankish is what happens when Syrah and Pinot Noir use a Ouija board, and Boucherie doesn’t round off the freaky bits: white pepper, crushed raw blueberries with Indian spice and forest floor. Medium bodied and characterful, a masterful food wine that gives many Austrian iterations a good arm wrestle.

When I picture the Rust Wine Co., it’s always tinged with sepia because the oxidative, Old-School-New-World Vibe throws back to the smooth styles of Retro-California. The Merlot 2019 knows you’ve had a long day. We don’t have to talk about work, let’s just dance. French, American and Hungarian oak temper the chalky minerality, and chocolate blackberries tossed in Port lead the nose. Remember Lowney’s cherry blossoms? So does Rust. Nutmeg, cinnamon and Turkish coffee haunt the (very) spicy finish.

The Original Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 comes from the schist-iest granite soils on Lazy River. This site can fully ripen Cab, no small feat in our cold climate, since the grape takes a month longer to get to the sweet spot. Fresh without turning green. Surprisingly spicy. Aged in Barriques, this is a densely structured Cabernet Sauvignon, acting in a very Cab-like manner (not a given, in our province), and evokes the build and body of Red Mountain to the South. Winery advises cellaring but this is charming right now.

Heading back towards Keremeos on the Upper Bench Road, the Corcelettes Estate beckons, particularly their rich, balanced take on Cabernet Franc. Like its cousin, Franc can break out in dandelions if you can’t ripen it properly, but this 2020 Estate Franc is suave potion indeed. The Pleasure Button is pushed as frequently as the Flap button in Joust. Black Pepper and unsweetened chocolate open, with layers of red currant and red Nibs following through to the landing. Love the shape of this. Powerful and intense while remaining light on its feet.

Now for the fruit stands.


Join us on Sat Feb 25 from 2-6pm to sample some of these delectable delights from BC's Similkameen Valley. 

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River District Burgundy Offer 2022

Hi Everyone! 

I proudly present the River District Burgundy Offer for 2022.  

Since so many collectors have joined my Collector’s List since last year’s offer, I’m organizing the selections a bit differently: whereas most of my emails have the “Non-Stop Classic-Hits” section at the end, I will include previously offered Burgundies right in the Domaine’s blurb, designated as such by an asterisk (*) and with no write-up attached (I can send the blurb if needed). I think this will help things pitter-patter more precisely. 

Quantities are tiny for most of these items, so if you’re intrigued by these wines (and if you’re not, I don’t believe you) contact me at jcarrier@everythingwine.ca or call me (Jordan) at our River District store: 604-416-1672 

We begin: 

Boyer-Martenot. Young Vincent Boyer now owns and runs the Family’s 10-hectare estate in the Côte de Beaune, the fourth Boyer to do so. Although they bottle a handful of villages, Meursault is their jam, and they buck the New School trends by using weekly bȃttonage over the 1/3 new oak aging. Indigenous ferments, low sulphur and minimal filtration are practiced, but Vincent’s recent meteoric success owes to the fact that the guy just has amazing vineyards, simply put. 

Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru 2019. Honeyed yellow fruit, orange blossom, apple, fennel. Generous but delicate. Crystal finish. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available $231.98 +tax 

Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru 2019. Ancient Juniper berries near the parcel influence the nose. Lingering lime zest, wildflowers, white peach. Silky and plush. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available, $224.98 +tax 

Boyer Martenot Meursault Narvaux 2019. Hazelnut vibes over candied lemon and jasmine. Robust. Can do more push-ups than you. Chardonnay. 3 bottles available $134.98 +tax 


Chavy-Chouet. The scion of Puligny and Meursault’s oldest families, the frustratingly photogenic Romaric Chavy took over from his father Hubert in 2014 after only 6 years of formal training and a couple of vintages abroad. His dad had already steered the domaine towards organic viticulture, but Romaric shocked his contemporaries by how much better his wines were, employing New School cellar moves (no bȃttonage, indigenous yeast) to produce pure, linear white Burgundy that ranks among the best. 

Chavy-Chouet Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières 2020. A rocky, chalk-filled plot, mid slope, planted in 1945, very low vigour. Honeysuckle and other yellow flowers blend with lemon zest and almonds over a rich body with a svelte, bright close. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $188.98 +tax 


Pascal Clement. Pascal grew up in his family’s vineyards and cellar, and they had put him to work at such an early age that by the time he took over as winemaker, he already had 20 vintages under his belt. Zero chemicals, indigenous ferments, zero bȃttonage, Pascal fits under the “non-intervention” column, but the fruit profiles are always pristine. First vintage to arrive in BC. 

Pascal Clement Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Chalumeaux 2018. From a plot bordering Meursault, on an old quarry's rocky, skeletal soils, this is a Puligny that identifies as a Chablis, although the marzipan and Golden Delicious apples on the nose beg to differ. Full footprint but zippier than a caffeinated ferret. Chardonnay. 8 bottles available, $153.98 +tax 


Domaine Desvignes. With a surname like Devignes, it wasn’t likely that father Gautier or son Eric would become fighter pilots. Farming 10 hectares around the hidden-gem village of Givry, this is bright, delicious Burgundy with layers and length. Killer value. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate said: "very much a Côte Chalonnaise address to watch" and a "potential future star" which sounds mild, but in Wine Writer context it’s like jumping on Oprah’s couch. 

Domaine Desvignes Givry Rouge 2020. Blueberries and bright cherries, a mineral streak, good intensity and length. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $59.98 +tax 

Domaine Desvignes Givry Rouge 1er Cru Clos du Vernoy Monopole 2020. In the Desvignes family for 11 generations, the Vernoy cru is noted for matching the fresh red fruits with balsamic  nuttiness and ferrous notes. Beautifully complex. Ripe raspberry and white flowers. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $66.98 +tax 


Lou Dumont. Japanese Somm Koji Nakada followed his passion for Burgundy to Dijon, where he was taught French by his future wife/co-winemaker Jae Hwa Park, a Korean ex-pat living in France. Together they started a micro-négocient house called Lou Dumont to honour their kids and the mountains of their youth (and also, I’m guessing, to not freak out an agrarian French culture). Koji is most definitely not afraid of barrels, but the rich bodies and toasty noses are balanced by that streak of tartaric freshness that ties everything in a beautiful bow. 

Lou Dumont Meursault 2018. Imagine hazelnuts, apples and shortbread in a toaster-oven, but instead of screaming they’re blowing you kisses. The positive Ted Lasso vibe runs front-to-back in this opulent, fully charged village Meursault. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $97.98 +tax 


Elodie-Roy. You know winemaking is hard when instead of wanting you to take over the domaine, your parents want you to be a banker, lawyer, dear God, anything but this. Elodie Roy tried those other professions but her heart was always in the vineyard, so she apprenticed under the legendary Anne Gros for twelve years before finally taking the helm from her father a couple years ago. Farming in Burgundy’s hinterlands, Elodie has, in a very short time, become one of young stars of Burgundy, producing bright, dynamic wines like this: 

Elodie-Roy Maranges “La Rue des Pierres” 2020. At the southern tip of the Côte de Beaune, Maranges should really start to show on your radar. This cuvée of valley floor vineyards (bordering Santenay) takes a left turn into Spicytown, showing nutmeg and pepper around brilliant red fruits on the nose and tangy black fruits on the finish. Well structured, amazing value. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $77.98 +tax 


Jane Eyre. Jane has had a year. Not only has she released her extra-curricular forays into Jura and Tasmania, but this former Australian hairdresser (well, she’s still Australian but no longer cuts hair) was named Winemaker of the Year by the French magazine La Revue du Vin de France. The first woman and Australian to ever win. Her delicate, hands-off approach to negociant viticulture is finally getting the attention that was long overdue. Witness: 

Jane Eyre Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru Les Bondues 2019. One of Jane’s admitted favourites, and since she’s the only vigneron who gets red grapes from Bondues, it’s kind of an unofficial Monopole. Dark and thick with ripe red and blue fruits, savoury herbs and chalk. 40% whole bunch press. Pinot Noir. 5 bottles available, $162.98 +tax 

Jane Eyre Volnay 2020. An expertly structured, clean Pinot, showing good purity of fruit without the Volnay Stank (not that that’s bad). Blackberry, orange peel, spice. Light bodied. Pinot Noir. 3 bottles available, $113.98 +tax 

*Jane Eyre Volnay (Pinot Noir) 2018, 2 bottles available, $113.98 +tax 

Jane Eyre Beaune 1er Cru Cents Vignes 2019. From a 50-yr-old organic plot, 30% whole bunch press. Sweeter fruit on the nose, with high toned red fruits leading. Slight pepper hints, front and back. Muscular palate, defined tannins. Pinot Noir. 3 bottles available, $117.98 +tax 


Robert Groffier Père & Fils. The largest landowner in the cult-inspiring Amoureuses 1er Cru comes into it honestly and generationally: current vigneron Nicolas Groffier is the 4th Groffier to wrest power and beauty from Pinot in the Côte de Nuits. The house style can best be described as terroir-informed pragmatism, Nicolas doesn’t dogmatically hue to one way of winemaking (i.e. whole cluster vs. destemming), he lets the vineyard tell him what to do, an easy decision when you have dirt like this: 

Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers 2020. The northernmost Cru of the village. 100% whole cluster pressing from 80-year-old vines. Slight saline notes of violet and pepper lift the racy cherry and potpourri aromas. Silky deployment with black current lingering on the long finish. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $408.98 +tax 

*Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses (Pinot Noir) 2017, 3 bottles available, $904.98 +tax  

*Groffier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru (Pinot Noir) 2017,4 bottles available, $904.98 +tax 


Faiveley. In 1934, with the world economy in ruins, Hitler ascending to power, and nobody buying Burgundy wines at all, Georges Faively founded the legendary Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (which meets to this day in the basement of Clos Vougeot), under the simple concept that if no one was buying them, at least the winemakers could get together and drink them. Founded in 1825, Faiveley has incrementally collected some of Burgundy’s best climats over two centuries (they own more Monopoles than any other estate), especially on Corton, and now 7th generation vignerons Erwan and Eve Faiveley have steered the house style towards elegance and fidelity to terroir. 

Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2019. Drop dead gorgeous, such a perfect balance between concentration and energy. Corton has always been a Faiveley strength, especially this vineyard planted my Cistercian monks in the time of Charlemagne. Peach, lemon cordial, apricot, chalk, a large footprint, a lighter step. Chardonnay. 5 bottles available, $421.98 +tax 

*Faiveley Ladoix Blanc (Chardonnay) 2017, 8 bottles available, $62.98 +tax 


Domaine Philippe Gavignet. Elegant wines from a village often responsible for wolverines: many Nuits-St-Georges can be Tannin-o-sauruses with ferrous frames and only slight glimpses of the terrified fruit imprisoned therein, but Philippe Gavignet leads with soft beauty, partially due to the old vines he inherited from the 3 Gavignets before him. With his son Benoit, he farms around NSG and Haute-Côtes de Nuits, practicing moderate extraction in the winery towards finessed, silky wines like these:  

Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers 2020. Planted in 1974 at the bottom of the Pruliers Cru where the soils are limestoniest, this accordingly well-structured NSG is tempered by dusty chocolate, cinnamon and blackberry, as well as Philippe’s softer touch. More concentration in the 2020 than previous vintages. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $138.98 +tax 

Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieille Vignes 2020. Directly adjacent to 1er Cru plots, the Belles Croix and Allots vineyards, planted in 1920 and 1954 respectively, are calcium rich limestone plots west of the village. Cherries, forest floor, cinnamon, structured delicately and fresh. Hidden power. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $117.98 +tax 

Philippe Gavignet Nuits-Saint-Georges Blanc Les Argillats 2020. “A White NSG??” you may fairly ask, “whoa, I guess I shouldn’t have licked that toad!”. No, you shouldn’t have, but this White Nuits-Saint-Georges is in fact real, although about as common as a white rhino. There’s a vein of sand that runs through the Argillats plot on which Gavignet planted Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, comprising both halves of this electric citrus beam, sporting gravel, basil and lemon zest over a graceful, Loire-ish build. Also the walls are melting, and ribbit. 6 bottles available, $117.98 +ribbit 

Pierre Girardin. One of the New School’s biggest rockstars, Pierre Girardin is the 11th Girardin to make wine, initially farming a fraction of his father Vincent’s former estate (he sold the rest off when he retired). When he released his first wines at the age of 21, the community was ready to pat him on the back and give him a mulligan, but those wines absolutely slayed – so much so that his neighbours who were preparing to patronize him now line up to get him to make wine from their vineyards. 

Pierre Girardin “Éclat de Calcaire” Bourgogne Blanc 2020. An outright crackerjack first floor Chardonnay that showcases Pierre’s style at a somewhat lower amplitude. Using 80% Meursault fruit with 20% white Volnay. A blast of apples, pears and chalk over spicy citrus, and a medium-full body. Killer value. 18 bottles available, $65.98 +tax 

Pierre Girardin Meursault Les Tillets 2020. This famous, overachieving lieu-dit boasts the highest altitude of Meursault, sitting well above the 1er Crus. Pierre’s take lets the limestone speak through to the nose, with jasmine, green apple and tangerine. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $131.98 +tax 

Pierre Girardin Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux-Saint-Jacques” 2020. A beast in a prom dress from a 1er Cru that seems to be following Amoureuses towards unofficial Grand Cru status. Directly adjacent to Clos St. Jacques on the north side of Gevrey, 35+ year old vines, 40% whole cluster. Iron-laced cherry, smoky plum, incense and orange rind. Quite full and powerful, impressive concentration. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $326.98 +tax 


Patrick Javillier. No one has ever accused Patrick Javillier of under-thinking anything. Once his Chardonnays were in oak, he became a Wine Hen, nurturing his barrels like eggs in a nest and adjusting each cask according to its needs. When the former electrical engineer took over his dad’s domaine, he applied that pathological precision to the cellar, favouring long lees aging in wood (mostly used), but now that his daughter and son-in-law have taken over… well, they’re exactly the same. 

Patrick Javillier Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons 2020. A limestone-y lieu-dit at the bottom of the Puligny slopes, north of the village. Pear, hazelnut and apple, lifts pleasantly into zingland on finish. Unapologetically big and brave. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $135.98 +tax 

*Patrick Javillier Meursault Tête de Murger (Chardonnay) 2018, 5 bottles available, $188.98 +tax 


Latour-Giraud. When the Latour and Giraud families merged in 1958, they brought together a combined 4 centuries of viticulture. Specializing almost entirely in the village of Meursault, Jean-Pierre Latour has pioneered low-intervention winemaking in the village, using ambient yeasts, lees again and minimal racking, and the style can best be called Retro-Modern, as the wines are generous but still tightly wound. I have: 

*Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières (Chardonnay) 2019. 5 bottles available, $156.98 +tax  

*Latour-Giraud Meursault Les Narvaux (Chardonnay) 2014. 4 bottles available, $113.98 +tax 


Maison Leroy. Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy ran Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) for nearly 20 years and is still the majority shareholder, but now runs her late father’s negoçe Maison Leroy as well as Domaine Leroy (much younger than Maison, established in the late ‘80s). Behind DRC, Leroy is arguably the second most sought Burgundy in the world. In truth I passed on this year’s offer as the prices had risen literally four-fold from last year, making my remaining stock excellent comparative value: 

*Maison Leroy Saint-Aubin (Pinot Noir) 1993. 4 bottles available, $2199.98 +tax  

*Maison Leroy Volnay (Pinot Noir) 2003. 4 bottles available, $2132.98 +tax  

*Maison Leroy Nuits-Saint-Georges (Pinot Noir) 2013. 4 bottles available, $1983.98 +tax 


Michel Mallard. The wines that Burgundy winemakers drink. Michel’s day job is making wine at Domaine d’Eugenie in Vosne-Romanée but he also tends his own 27 acres, producing fresh, elegant Burgundies from quieter villages like Ladoix and Aloxe-Corton. I managed to get my hands on some back vintages: 

Michel Mallard Ladoix Rouge Le Clos Royer 2005. Clos Royer is a lieu dit at the corner of Ladoix, at the foot of the slopes of the hill of Corton and adjacent to Aloxe-Corton. 40-year-old vines in rocky clay soil. Dried cherries, moss and dried herbs command the nose now, flows like velvet. Aged perfectly, ex-Chateau. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $132.98 +tax 

Michel Mallard Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Valozieres 2005. Sitting at the base of Corton, adjacent to the Bressandes and C,los du Roi climats. Ripe strawberries shine through the sandalwood and forest floor, the structure is still present but balance has been achieved. This is pure luxury. Ex-Chateau. Pinot Noir. 12 bottles available, $215.98 +tax 


Marc Morey. Marc’s great-granddaughter Sabine now runs his namesake domaine, specializing in delightfully old-school renderings of the legendary Crus surrounding the village of Chassagne-Montrachet. Ambient yeast ferments, gentle battonage (lees stirring) and unrestricted malolactic are the family tools, and Sabine uses them to craft aromatic, generously textured Chardonnays of layer and length, like: 

Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes 2020. A sunnier climat, named after “chanvre” the Old French word for hemp, which covered these slopes well before the Cistercian monks replanted them to vines. Like receiving a hug from the Lemon God. Ripe peaches and truffle support the lemon preserve aromas, a full, creamy body fills all cracks with love until the citrus-rind astringent finish adds a welcome tension at the end. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $166.98 +tax 

*Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes (Chardonnay) 2019, 4 bottles available, $166.98 


Morey-Coffinet. It’s not printed in the brochures, but Burgundy is one of the remaining parts of the world where people still marry for land, a fact that might explain why there are so many Moreys making wine around Montrachet. Descendant from Marc Morey, young Thibault Morey has been called “the rising star of Chassagne-Montrachet”, farming his parents wedding-gift-parcels on southeast-facing slopes. Using oxygen exposure early in the cellar to prevent premature oxidization in bottle, Thibault’s long presses and careful aging spin silk out of Chassagne and Meursault – the wines are strong but not loud. 

Morey-Coffinet Meursault 1er Cru Perrières 2018. Comblanchian limestone lurks beneath the soils at the southern tip of Perrières, adjacent to Puligny-Montrachet. Those minerals breathe through the nose, with damp flint and green apple surrounded by white flowers. Full, graceful. Chardonnay. 12 bottles available, $211.98 +tax 

Morey-Coffinet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée 2018. Sitting at some elevation in Chassagne’s southern half, Romanée’s calcareous soils contribute some gun smoke to the almond/apricot vibes. Butter and lime round out the nose. Medium bodied, great tension held be greater restraint. Chardonnay. 6 bottles available, $181.98 +tax 

Morey-Coffinet Chassagne Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2020. Becoming rarer as time passes, red Chassagne is one of the last remaining values in Burgundy, and Thibault’s old vine Pinot is to die for. Round tannins, deep fruit amongst tilled soil and cinnamon. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $96.98 +tax 


Chateau de Pommard. I’m always suspicious when the village is in a winery’s name – like when the box of rice just says “rice” – but this biodynamic house, established in 1726, blew everyone away at Top Drop this year, so I had to bring it in. Although steeped with a dramatic, often gory history (one of the early founders was guillotined and that dude got off easy), today’s Chateau Pommard is an idyllic, biodynamic estate run by oenologist Emmanuel Sala. 

Chateau de Pommard Pommard Clos de Marey-Monge Monopole 2015.The estate’s original ancient walled vineyard, recently discovered to have some of the highest clay levels in Burgundy, similar to Musigny and Richebourg. From vines planted in 1906. Ripe red fruits, typical Pommard fallen leaves, gorgeously round and refined with great length, this is a steal. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $207.98 +tax 

Chateau de Pommard Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru Morgeot 2018. Roses, blueberries and baking spices leap out of this small limestone parcel in Chassagne’s biggest Cru. Well-defined structure, we feel the oak but don’t smell or taste it. Spices linger on the finish. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $120.98 +tax 


Henri Rebourseau. A General in WW1, Henri Rebourseau tended his ancestral vineyards (planted in 1782) and founded the Chambertin Syndicat – the family name is synonymous with the village of Gevrey (nobody seems to have been guillotined but I probably just haven’t read back far enough). Organic and biodynamic, the house focuses 95% in the vineyard and just 5% in the cellar, following the adage that if your fruit is good enough, you don’t need to intervene. It is, and they don’t. 

Henri Rebourseau Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Corvées 2019. The Corvées lieu-dit stretches south of the village on relatively flat land, making ripeness and drinkability a non-issue. Always savoury and herbaceous, this 2019 lets plums and blackberry poke out on the nose, great concentration on palate. Pinot Noir. 6 bottles available, $147.98 +tax 


Joseph Roty. Although young Pierre-Jean Roty is at the domaine’s helm now, he has no intention of tipping over the apple cart, because Rotys don’t change. Roty focuses on Age, before and after bottling. They have some of the oldest vines in Burgundy, the largest concentration of old vines in their vineyards, and they buck the New School by using 50% new oak, picking late and completely destemming. These are dense, ageable wines, unapologetically made for the cellar. 

Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin 2018. A cuvee of several estate lieu-dits: Platière, Puits de la Baraque, Crais, Charreux, and Champerriers. Dense cherry liqueur, blackberry, boysenberry. A saline texture and finish, firm tannins. Open in 2026 or later Pinot Noir. 9 bottles available, $124.98 +tax 

*Joseph Roty Marsanne (Pinot Noir) 2018, 4 bottles available, $75.98 +tax 


And that’s a wrap! Next week we look at outstanding US wines. 

Until then, Happy Drinking!!

Season's Rieslings!

**A Quick Word From Your Holiday Turkey**

Gobble, everyone! Hope you’re having a gobbly-great holiday season! I’m not particularly, I’m sitting in your freezer waiting to be baked and eaten, but no hard feelings – Gobble knows if I were bigger than you and had thumbs and could recognize my own reflection, well, y’all would be on my plate too. Before all that happens, though, I’d like to ask a question that me and the other Turkeys in the yard have been wondering:

Why don’t you drink Riesling with me?

Whether it’s dry or sweet, Riesling pairs with me and my fixin’s, like gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, in fact it’s one of the only wines that can check all of those boxes. The fruit balances the saline notes and the tartaric acid cuts through the fat. It’s so perfect it’s almost like turkeys invented it (except we woulda called it Gobble), but every Christmas y’all show up with Apothic and J. Lohr and the like… I’d shake my head disapprovingly if my neck weren’t, you know, right over there.

Riesling, folks. It’s really quite gobble.

**A Quick Word From Your Christmas Ham**

Oink, folks. I don’t often agree with my fine feathered friend there, but everything the bird just said about Riesling also applies to me. Baked ham and Riesling, guys. It’s oinking delicious.

**I am so sorry, here are some yum Rieslings**

Pegasus Bay, Waipara, New Zealand. I’m very excited to offer these unique and ultra-rare Rieslings – in fact I’m the only retailer in BC to offer these, they were imported at my request. The Donaldson family farms the vineyards in Waipara, north of Christchurch on the South Island, and differ from their Marlborough counterparts by inviting Botrytis into the mix. Often employed in sweet late-harvest and Spätlese/Auslese Rieslings, the Noble Rot concentrates the sugars in the shriveling grapes and increases phenolics, and the Donaldsons render those grapes two ways:

Pegasus Bay “Bel Canto” Dry Riesling 2017. An electric, statuesque, Botrytis-affected Riesling vinified dry, to an austere 5g/l residual sugar. Ginger, apricot and orange peel on the nose precede a stratified, richly structured body that calls to mind Smaragd Riesling from Wachau, Austria (but with way more fruit weight). The Botrytis adds waxy texture and depth, the acidity is considerable but completely in balance, bolstered by a very slight effervescence that adds the last few volts to the long finish. An altogether new Idea, I’ve never quite tasted anything like it. 95 points Cameron Douglas MS*, 94 points Bob Campbell MW*, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

Pegasus Bay “Aria” Late Picked Riesling 2016. Pushes the Pleasure Buttons faster and more frequently than a caffeinated squirrel playing Call of Duty, like someone dunked a plugged-in toaster into a Gold Capsule Auslese. Key Lime pie, jasmine and melons swirl around a lemon-yellow body of sweetness and delight. 50% Botrytis, 83g/l residual, 11% Alcohol, this is powerful, heady stuff, but the shining streak of tartaric acid saves the day and brings a fresh zing to the finish – this pairs with Foie, Crème Brulée and Stilton, not pancakes. Simply gorgeous, drink this and try not to smile, it’s impossible. 95 points Bob Campbell MW, 93 points Robert Parker, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

August Kesseler “530,3” Riesling Spätlese 2006, Rheingau, Germany. Put simply, this wine is having more fun than you. This wine is eating nougat and you are not. This wine smells like honeyed grapefruit with slate and you don’t. This wine is 13 years old and I truly hope you are not. Exclusive to Everything Wine, this is a perfectly-aged Rheingau Riesling that’s just off-dry enough to be naughty but structured enough to go a further decade if you can wait (you can’t). August Kesseler took over his family’s winery in the ‘70s and has been at the forefront of the qualitative renaissance that the Rheingau region – previously known for jug-filling – has enjoyed over the last few decades. This 2006 is a staff favourite for very good reason. 3 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

Jim Barry “The Florita” Riesling 2018, Clare Valley, Australia. Built like an arrow, The Florita (means “wee flower”) has always been one of Australia’s Tent Pole Rieslings, showing the bright, linear purity of the Clare Valley, and serving as an antidote to the Barry family’s spine-crushing reds. Brilliant citrus and stones on the nose, business-like and fresh on the palate with a miles-long finish. Decades of cellaring potential, here, it’s like Grand Cru Alsace with blinders on. 96 points James Halliday, 6 bottles available, $71.98 +tax

Until next time, Happy Drinking!!

*Cameron Douglas MS is New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier, reviews NZ wines more than most, and should have picked a different domain name than camerondouglasms.com. Likewise, Bob Campbell is one of two NZ Masters of Wine, specialises in that country’s wines, and his domain name is fine.