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2010 Joie Pure Grape Muscat

Founded by two former sommeliers, Joie Farm is one of the most exciting producers in British Columbia’s Okanagan valley. Their Pure Grape Muscat is a great example of their fresh, clean and always controlled style of wines. Clocking in at barely over 11% alcohol, this wine made from Moscato Giallo strikes a great balance between crisp freshness and aromatic amplitude, with a dangerously high drinkability combined with all the floral and peachy aromatics of muscat. A pale, crystalline white that can pair well with oysters, sushi or some spicy Asian foods. Highly recommended.
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2007 Fairview Cellars Premier Series Cabernet Sauvignon

There’s a fair bit of oak in this premium bottling from this producer in Oliver, British Columbia, but it integrates rather nicely in a supple and ripe cabernet with fine tannins and just the tiniest herbal touch to give it an edge, along with some blackcurrant and spicy notes. Clocking in at 14.5% alcohol, it does have a tiny bit of heat on the finish, but with a lasagna at the dinner table, it drank easily and with no heaviness. My only problems with the wine are (a) the mention on the back label of “ stewed “ flavors—no need to be so hard on yourself here; maybe a bit of dried fruit, perhaps, but not stewed and, (b) that it’s defined as having “old vines” character from vines that are (at least in part) 15 years old. Let it get out of adolescence and give another 10 years before saying “old,” I say. Recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2007 L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut

Sparkling wine from Nova Scotia? There is actually some logic to it: crispness and high acidity are key to making a pleasant sparkling wine, and that is something that is easy to get when you're winegrowing on the edge as one does in this Atlantic Canadian province. Winemaker Bruce Ewert, who started his career making award-winning sparkling wines in British Columbia, is consistently producing solid bubblies in his new eastern digs. A traditional method wine that won a gold medal at the 2010 Canadian Wine Awards, this is crisp and clean, with fine, lively bubbles, lovely apple and white fruit notes, mineral accents and great length. The most surprising thing about it is that it’s made from a hybrid called L'Acadie, a hardy grape that grows well in cold climates. If I told anyone this was a blanc de blanc from 100% chardonnay, nobody would be the wiser.
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2007 L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut

Sparkling wine from Nova Scotia? There is actually some logic to it: crispness and high acidity are key to making a pleasant sparkling wine, and that is something that is easy to get when you're winegrowing on the edge as one does in this Atlantic Canadian province. Winemaker Bruce Ewert, who started his career making award-winning sparkling wines in British Columbia, is consistently producing solid bubblies in his new eastern digs. A traditional method wine that won a gold medal at the 2010 Canadian Wine Awards, this is crisp and clean, with fine, lively bubbles, lovely apple and white fruit notes, mineral accents and great length. The most surprising thing about it is that it’s made from a hybrid called L'Acadie, a hardy grape that grows well in cold climates. If I told anyone this was a blanc de blanc from 100% chardonnay, nobody would be the wiser.
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A Consumer’s Guide to Fine Native and Hybrid Wines

The heritage of the grapes that make our favorite wines has always been European, but will it remain so? Are there currently legitimate rivals to the vinifera monopoly that has ruled our palates? “Drink American” could be the slogan for the United States’ fairly recent class of vanguard winemakers and vintners declaring that there are.
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2007 Tinhorn Creek Merlot – Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

I served Tinhorn Creek’s ’07 South Okanagan Valley Merlot with our grilled hamburgers, homemade rosemary-and-olive-oil tossed chips and coleslaw. On the nose the wine was floral and fruity, with a dusty undertone. On the palate, flavors of berries, dark cherries, and a little cocoa worked well with the smoky goodness of the burgers and savory potatoes. While not terribly complex, this wine is juicy, bright and well balanced. To read more about the wines Kathleen drinks, visit her blog Between the Vines
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NV Sumac Ridge Sparkling Rosé – Okanagan Valley, BC

A blend of 51% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay Noir, and 19% Ehrenfelser—is a fresh and sassy sparkler, with lots of citrus and berry flavours and a frothy mousse that shouts fun! Each sip left my palate clean and ready for more smoked salmon, cheeses and crunchy fresh veggies with dip. While there certainly was a lot of fruitiness, I didn't get a sense of sweetness with this wine. To read more about this wine, visit Kathleen’s blog post on Between the Vines.
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2008 Cave Spring Riesling – Niagara Peninsula VQA, Ontario

This wine is off-dry (17.5g/L residual sugar) with sufficient acid to give a sensation that it is drier. Floral aromas lead to pear, apricot and honey flavors, the sweetness counter-balanced by lightly tart key lime. Cloves and all-spice show on the mid-length finish. This uncloying but slightly sweet wine would be a great pairing with spicy Thai or Vietnamese food.