Globally, BC will always be a tiny wine producer, but the quality is increasingly impressive. Consider Wild Goose, a small, family-run winery just south of Okanagan Falls that produces a consistently award-winning Gewürztraminer. The 2014 has lovely citrus and spice notes on the nose, followed by flavours of rose petals, lychee and spicy grapefruit culminating in a crisp and dry finish. At $19, always a winner!
Spain, on the other hand, is the fourth-biggest wine country in the world – a powerhouse with lots of quantity and quality. Case in point is Borsao, from the Campo de Borja region. Their 2014 Garnacha (it’s actually 85 per cent Garnacha topped up with Tempranillo and Syrah) has lots of cherry, boysenberry and other dark berry fruits augmented with hints of black pepper and minerality. Aged in stainless steel tanks, this charmer is a modern, international-style wine with depth and finesse … and is well priced at $16.
Continuing the Spanish theme, let’s hop down to Argentina and then Chile. Tintonegro produces a tasty Malbec, one hailing from Argentina’s premier Mendoza region. There’s a lively acidity to the 2013 vintage that propels its appealing core of dark fruits and spice. On the dry side, this highly rated, food-friendly red could cellar for at least a couple of years (but is great already). A bargain at $21.
Heading west we find a striking pair of good-value wines from Chile’s famed Carmen Winery. Their new Wave Series features a zesty Sauvignon Blanc where the dominant flavours include grapefruit, gooseberry and lime. Its red companion is a Pinot Noir with an attractive raspberry-and-cherry profile bursting with a vibrant freshness. The surprisingly sophisticated Pinot earned a 90-point rating from famed American wine writer James Suckling. Both wines sell for just over $13 – wow! (All prices include tax.)