Vancouver Sun



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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