A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 733: My Tasting Week

Henry of Pelham Pinot Grigio 2018 (Niagara Peninsula – $14.95, LCBO #250217): Pale straw colour; minerally nose of white peach with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, peachy, well-balanced with lemony acidity giving the wine a long finish. Good value.  (88)

Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir 2018 (Niagara Peninsula – $16.95, LCBO #13904): Bright ruby colour; cherry and tea leaf nose; medium-bodied, candied raspberry flavour with a touch of tannin on the finish to give structure. (89)

Wlliam Fèvre Espino Reserva Especial Carmenère 2017 (Central Valley, Chile – $15.95, Vintages August 3rd release): Opaque purple-black in colour; high-toned, cedary, lightly floral nose of black fruits; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted black plum and blackberry flavours with balancing acidity and well-integrated oak. (89) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 732: Latest Tastings

Joie Farm “En Famille” Reserve Chardonnay 2017

My tasting week…

Joie Farm En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (Okanagan – $30.35): Bright, pale straw colour; apple, toasty oak nose with barnyard notes; medium-bodied, richly extracted, green pineapple and melon flavours, Beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak and a long, satisfying finish. (91) Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 722: And Now for Something Completely Tasteful

Black Hills Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2017

A whole lot of tasting going on… Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 721: Tasting CheckMate Chardonnays


All 2015 – the hottest year on record in BC. But winemaker Philip McGahan managed to maintain balancing acidity by picking early.

CheckMate Capture Chardonnay 2015: Bright straw colour; peachy-pineapple nose with oak spice and vanilla notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, butterscotch and pineapple flavours with lively acidity. (92)

CheckMate Queen Taken Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, lightly toasty, apple and citrus nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, apple and lemon flavours with a firm, nutty finish. (90)

CheckMate Queen’s Advantage Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, apple with a touch of undergrowth on the nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, very Burgundian, elegant, richly extracted, apple and tangerine flavours; lovely mouth-feel, great balance, great length. (93)

CheckMate Little Pawn Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, spicy, toasty, apple and lemon bouquet with a floral grace note; medium to full-bodied, dry, rich and full on the palate, beautifully balanced, apple, green pineapple and orange flavours. Great length. (94)

CheckMate Knight’s Challenge Chardonnay 2015: Wet stone and citrus nose with a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, dry, leaner on the palate, apple and lemon flavours with crunchy acidity. Great length and balance. (92)

CheckMate Fool’s Mate Chardonnay 2015: A blend of all five vineyards – earthy, leesy, toasty, vanilla nose; medium to full-bodied, powerful, apple and lemon flavours. Good long finish with an intriguing hint of bitterness on the finish. (91)

CheckMate Attack Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, vanilla, spicy, lemon peel and starfruit with a toasty oak note; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted, green mango and citrus. Great mouth feel and a long finish. Beautifully balanced, lovely mouth-feel. (94)

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Wines of the Week for June 6, 2019

Arterra Special Edition Pinot Noir 2016 ($29.95, available at Wine Rack stores)
Deep ruby colour; spicy, smoky, tarry nose of black raspberry with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, vanilla, black plum and black raspberry flavours; mellow tannins ending on a charred oak note. (89)

Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2017 (Barossa Valley, Australia ($21.95, Vintages #522235)
Dense purple-ruby in colour; smoky, slightly tarry nose of blackberries with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, richly extracted flavours of plum, blackberry and dark chocolate carried on lively acidity and ending on a savoury-herbal note.

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