Pentâge Icewine – Pentage Winery (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B+

Pentâge, Blended Icewine 2010 – Pentâge Winery, 8% ABV – 200ml, (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • it takes roughly 3kg of grapes to make one 375ml bottle of icewine, depending on the grape. (google search)

from their website:

“…Bright gold in color, with intense aromas of candied apricot and honey on the nose. The palate delivers a luscious melody of candied fruits with a smidgen of honey and fig. Barrel fermented giving this wine a rich creamy mouth feel.  Perfectly balanced with vibrant acidity, this wine gets better with every sip as it lingers endlessly on your palate.”

  • Style: (Viognier, Semillon, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Clean dense-sugared apricot sour green apple
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Granville Island
  • How much: $33 (after $1 off), only $23 online! – 200ml., May 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: what for?

Visual: Thin skinny 200ml bottle, real cork w/ waxed top, simple and classy label. Pours deep striking golden yellow.

Nose: pineapple, passion fruit, hints of lychee. Very fruit forward. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming syrupy dense sugars, (lvl-8)-sweetness

Mid-palate: clean transition from sugars, light alcohol detection, (MAIN) white raisin, apricot, sour green apple

Finish: very light throat warmth, white grape fruity exhale.

Summary: Lots of brightness in this one, very approachable. The sugars become slightly cloying in the midpalate as it warms. A very nice offering and certainly levels above the Isabella icewines I’ve been having.

Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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 Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery, 6.0% ABV – 650ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“Robust and full of Character! Words to  describe this cider and the people who harvest the apples too. Wards’ Picker’s Hut is handcrafted on our historic site in honour of the hardworking men and women who handpick every apple in our premium apple cider. For five generations our family has grown apples in the Okanagan Valley. Nestled in our age old orchard is Picker’s Hut Lane which comes alive during harvest.”

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  • Style: (Apple) Cider
  • Taste Profile: Aromatic dense red/green apple asian pear tart sour puckery
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.25 – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours very light white wine yellow, no head with dissipating big bubbles, lots of active streams, big bubbles hug the side of the glass.

Nose: very aromatic, almost perfume-like red/green candyesque apple, asian pear, hints of lime (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: dense fruitiness, fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, med tangy, (MAIN) asian pear, most green apple, minor red apple, lime

Finish:medium tart, off-dry, sour green apple acidity, crisp clean fruity apple finish.

Summary: The asian pear element in the taste profile is very unique. Good body, inviting nose, crisp texture make this one worth trying once. On the dry side.

Sandhill Viognier (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Viognier Small lots program 2008 – Sandhill Winery, 14.5% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Every year, when we make our wines at Sandhill, we discover unique and distinctive barrels that deserve very special attention. The result is our ever-evolving Small Lots Porgram. From Robert Goltz’s Osprey Ridge Vineyard comes one of the newest and most exciting varieties to be grown in the Okanagan Valley. Originally from the Rhone Valley, Viognier requires ample heat to ripen well, making Osprey Ridge’s Southern Okanagan location ideal for this grape. Brilliant straw in colour, our Viognier offers peaches and floral notes on the nose with luscious fruit on the palate.”

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More info about their wine on their website.

  • Style: (white wine) Viognier
  • Taste:p Salty sour acidic apple-peach and more salty
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $25 – 750ml., summer of 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Bottled in a heavy duty bottle, simple yet elegant, quality screen print. Pours clear medium deep golden yellow.

Nose: fruity apple-peach-nectarine, with some acidic sourness. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: fruity sugars

Mid-palate: immediate persistent salty, med-high acidity, (lvl-1) off-dry sweetness,(MAIN) apple, peach

Finish: tanginess, salty acidic finish.

Summary: This one is okay, probably best suited with a meal because of it’s salty-fruity profile. I prefer my whites fruity throughout with some minerality, and this isn’t it.

JoieFarm Riesling – Okanagan Valley (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – JoieFarm Winery,11.9% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Riesling, at its best, balances mouthwatering acidity, a  touch of sweetness and moderate alcohol levels in support of aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, flowers and spice. The greatest examples we know of originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley.”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • Taste: acidic sugars -> sweet-sour/green apple/pear/lime -> cloying/tart/tangy-tart finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10%) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine imbibers: yes

Visual: Aluminum screw cap top, Pours clear light golden yellow, with a few bubbles on the bottom.

Nose: Tangy-sour red/green apple, white table grapes, hints of peach. (4)-aromatic nose.

Attack: acidity/dense sugars

Mid-palate: (6)-sweetness, (7)-sourness (MAIN) (7)-green apple, pear, lime

Finish: (4)-cloying sugars, medium tartness, lingering sour-tangy finish.

Summary: Truly a delicate balance of sweet-sour-tangy-fruit-alcohol, and body as advertised on the front label.   (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Intrigue Riesling 2010 (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Intrigue Riesling 2010, 12.5% ABV, 750ml, (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“The RIESLING was grown in beautiful Lake Country on a west facing slope. The light crop load and intense summer heat allowed the aromas and flavours to concentrate in the berries. This wine has a very prominent CITRUS AROMA balanced with GRANNY SMITH APPLES and notes of classic PETROL. The fruit forward flavours are balanced with the bright acidity that will excite your palate. The richness that follows will leave your mouth watering.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: super sour -> sweet/sour green apple/pear/sour & tart -> tangy/acidic sour/
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $19 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear light golden yellow with watery legs.

Nose: green apple, minerality, mild tart/tangy apple juice, mild peach (5-aromatic strength)

Attack: overwhelming sourness(10)

Mid-palate: dense apple sweetness(6), medium tartness, (MAIN) green apple, (HINT) pear, petrol bitterness (!, really), apricot

Finish: persistent tanginess(7), acidic sourness(9), thickened saliva(5), lingering sour-tangy apple finish.

Summary: First initial sips are unbalanced and out of whack; The sourness is way too aggressive at first but you gradually get used to it. Decent flavour and body follow once you accept its extroverted nature. It’s not something I’d recommend but I’m glad I tried it anyway.(Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Ruby Blues Winery – Riesling (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – Ruby Blues Winery, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“’Goodbye Ruby Tuesday… catch your dreams before they slip away…’ The shoes represent the dreams we all have…This wonderful painting was created by our friend and brilliant artist Jennifer Grant. The grapes for this Riesling are exclusively from the Naramata Bench. Handpicked Oct.26/2010. This Riesling shows GREEN APPLES, CITRUS and MINERAL FLAVOURS. A wonderful compliment to chicken and various cheeses.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: medium sweet apple -> green apple/tart/lime/mineral -> sour/tangy/semi-sweet cloying apple finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no, not outstanding enough

Visual: I like the colour matching of the dark red screwcap and blood-red background on the label. Pours standard white wine light yellow, with what appear to be micro-sized bubbles at the bottom of the glass – cool.

Nose: tangy green apple with medium acidity and a hint of lemon/lime

Attack: escalating 7/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: green apple + tartness, hints of lime, minerality

Finish: medium acidic sourness, tangy, semi-sweet light cloying apple finish.

Summary: Decent body and drinkability, though not particularly complex or remarkable.

Tantalus Riesling (Canada)

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1) Old Vines Riesling 2008 – Tantalus, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C
  • Style: Riesling (picked from vines planted in 1978)
  • Taste Profile: heavy richness -> pineapple/lemon/melon/med acidity -> heavy tang/tart/puckery/sticky finish
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: no, it doesn’t grab my attention

Tasting notes: Just checked their online ordering availability on their website and everything but their Pinot Noir is sold out! Hmm.. high expectations for this wine. Well then. Pours standard white wine yellow with a few countable bubbles in the glass. Strong pineapple and lemon citrus aromas on the nose.

Attack: strong intensity-high density richness, 3/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: cuts dry, pineapple, lemon/lime, melon, light minerality, medium acidity

Finish: med-heavy tartness, heavy tang, very cloying, medium puckery, thick sticky finish with phlegm build-up

Although there are rave reviews on this wine, it’s not my cup of tea. It’s too dense and aggressive without having the playful brightness I like in Rieslings. I respect the body on it but not really session sippable.

2) Riesling 2010 – Tantalus, 12.2% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: dense sugars -> apple/pineapple/lime -> tang/sourness/balanced finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours a clear very light yellow. Very bright fruity apple/pineapple nose.

Attack: dense sugars that gradually dissipate, 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: apple, pineapple, lime, medium acidity

Finish: light-med cloying, medium tang, medium-light sourness.

Good playfulness, balance and drinkability. I definitely like the Riesling more than the Old Vines.