PERFECTLY POTABLE: Hester Creek Character white blend a nice summer selection

Monday wine expert Robert Moyes offers options for trying something new

Dating back to the late ’60s, the Hester Creek Estate Winery is based in the acclaimed Golden Mile Bench area near Oliver.

Their “Character” white blend is a succulent pairing of Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris that will enliven any summer patio scene. Barely off-dry, it boasts crisp acidity while expressing classic flavours of its two varietals: rose petal combined with a medley of orchard fruits such as peach, apricot and apple. Fairly priced at $21.

Here’s something a bit exotic from Portugal – the Casa Santos Lima Confidencial Reserva ($18.40), a blended red that is aged in oak barrels and features at least 10 varietals. The delicious palate of black and red fruits includes ripe flavours of plum, red currant and blackberry, alongside hints of chocolate and spice, all nicely balanced and leading to a long finish. Lush and robust, this is a sophisticated sipper with some aging potential. Try it with cassoulet.

If you are craving a fresh and fruity white to help beat the summer heat, Argentina’s Fuzion Alta winery has an unusual blend of Torrontes and Pinot Grigio that fills the bill nicely. Aromas of honeysuckle and lemon marmalade lead into a palate of melon, pear, and tropical fruit that is nicely balanced with a tangy acidity. Light and lively and offering a nice mouthfeel and decent finish, this is hard to beat at $16.

And sticking with Argentina, let’s consider the 2016 Santa Julia Reserva Malbec ($19.60). Fragrant and charming, this is a lighter style of Malbec, very round in the mouth, with a seductive palate of ripe red and black fruits such as cherries, plums and blackberries as well as chocolate notes. With its soft tannins and lifted spices, this is an easy-drinking wine that you can sip for hours – no wonder it got 90 points from Wine Advocate.

(All prices include tax.)

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