WEEK­END WINE PICKS

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Spear­head Ries­ling 2019, Okana­gan Val­ley $21 | 89/100 UPC: 6269903679­87

Wine­maker Grant Stan­ley gets Ries­ling, and his work here is es­sen­tial, keep­ing its knife-edge acid­ity and fresh­ness front and cen­tre. The fruit is a mix: Seven Moun­tain Vine­yard on Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna and Gen­tle­man Farmer Vine­yard in south­east Kelowna. Fresh, green ap­ple, lime fruit bal­anced with a dust­ing of sweet­ness at 9 g resid­ual pulls you into the yin and yang of a wine that ends with a stony, min­eral un­der­cur­rent. Mouth-wa­ter­ing, and will be for years un­der screw­cap.

Doña Paula Los Car­dos Mal­bec 2017, Mendoza, Ar­gentina $9.99 | 87/100 UPC: 8369500000­18

Jump on this bar­be­cue red, re­duced to $9.99. Savoury desert-like aro­mas jump from the glass along with a sub­tle (screw cap in­duced?) re­duc­tive char­ac­ter, so be sure to give it some air. The at­tack is soft, round and juicy with plummy, spicy red fruit flavours and a spicy un­der­cur­rent that fin­ishes medium-long. The per­fect ham­burger red.

Santa Carolina Reserva Pinot Noir Leyda Es­tate 2018, Valle de Leyda, Valle de San An­to­nio, Chile $10.99 | 88/100 UPC: 7804350599­626

We love what wine­maker Alejandro Wede­les is do­ing with this way-too-af­ford­able Pinot Noir, and now the price has been re­duced even fur­ther. Juicy and suc­cu­lent, it is packed with rasp­ber­ries, cher­ries, cedar, and pep­per that keeps on com­ing. Fresh, mouth-fill­ing, af­ford­able and, well, what are you wait­ing for? Back up the truck. It is hand-picked and 10 per cent bar­rel-aged for six months.

Yalumba Samuel’s Col­lec­tion Barossa Gre­nache Shi­raz Mataro 2016, Barossa Val­ley, Aus­tralia $25.99 | 89/100 UPC: 9311789006­369

The clas­sic GSM opens with some aro­matic notes of fresh boy­sen­berry and rhubarb mixed with spice and flo­ral un­der­tones. The at­tack is medium-full with soft round tex­tures that push across and deep into the palate with plummy dark fruits laced with cedar and cin­na­mon. Fresh and friendly, this would be well served with pork dishes or a win­ery favourite — Kung Pao Chicken or Pad Thai with Golden Fried Tofu. Drink or hold three to five years. From an ex­cel­lent year, the Gre­nache, Shi­raz and Mataro are picked sep­a­rately for this wine and wild fer­mented in small batches.

Do­maine de Longue Toque Vac­queyras 2016, Vac­queyras, Rhone Val­ley, France $27.79 | 91/100 UPC: 0314292001­4723

Of the 28 hectares of vine­yards at Mef­fre, six are in the AOP Vac­queyras in the foothills of the Den­telles de Mont­mi­rail Moun­tains. The plots are spread out be­tween Sar­ri­ans and Vac­queyras, on two dis­tinc­tive ter­roirs known to pro­duce el­e­gant and struc­tured wines. The 2016 is a 50/50 mix of Gre­nache and Syrah. Ve­gan-friendly, this wine is lively on en­try, with vi­brant red and black fruit aro­mas and flavours. A blend of in­cense-like gar­rigue of dried herbs is wo­ven into wine coun­ter­bal­anc­ing the ripe fruit. De­li­cious in that fo­cused, pow­er­ful Vaquras way. You can age this a decade, but it is pos­si­ble to en­joy it now (if de­canted) with grilled lamb chops.

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