The Gehringer Brothers, B.C. born but European trained, established their Estate Winery in 1985 in Oliver’s esteemed “Golden Mile” area. Currently they produce 20 wines from 12 varietals, and their “Private Reserve” Dry Riesling is well deserving of its multiple awards. Rich and fruit forward, it proffers expressive aromatics and a delightful balance of acidity and round flavours of apple, peach, and tropical fruit. Barely off-dry, this elegant sipper is a bargain at $18.50 and would be perfect with Indian food or spicy crab cakes.
The deservedly popular “Estate Malbec” from Argentina’s Pascal Toso combines juicy fruit with an elegance and sense of structure that probably explains why such an affordable wine ($19.50) typically gets ratings of 90 and above. Smooth and earthy, the medium-bodied Toso offers ripe plum, cherry, and cassis notes alongside herbal hints and a lick of oak. Although it’s downright gulpable, smaller sips will allow you to best enjoy the long, luxuriant finish. Great with barbecued meats.
Syrah originated in France’s Rhone Valley, where it usually expresses lots of herb-inflected terroir. Transplant it to California and you typically get a bolder and fruitier wine. Such is certainly the case with Smoking Loon, whose enticing aromatics are followed by ripe cherry and raspberry on the palate, lifted with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Smooth, succulent, and nearly voluptuous, this is a lot of wine for $17.25. Try it with lamb shawarma, pulled pork, or grilled merguez sausages.
The Okanagan’s Hester Creek Estate Winery won a handful of prestigious awards for last season’s Old Vine Pinot Blanc, and the new 2022 vintage is similarly impressive. Full bodied and dry, it offers an array of green apple, pear, and stone-fruit flavours, with some citrus notes on a long, evolving finish. Derived in part from vines dating from the late 1960s, this is a sophisticated wine that would go well with everything from shellfish to white meats and an array of appies. It is well worth $22.50. (All prices include tax.)
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