By Robert Moyes
Monday Magazine wine columnist
I’ve long been a fan of the Okanagan’s Hester Creek, but if you want one of their best wines you’ll have to order it from the winery (or get lucky with a restaurant wine list).
The barrel-aged 2018 Chardonnay ($25) is soft in the mouth, offering seductive hints of stone fruits, lemon and butterscotch. The marvelously ripe fruit nonetheless presents as elegantly lean in the glass: a delight from the opening aromatics to its pleasingly long finish.
New Zealand puts out some excellent Sauvignon Blanc, and please add Nobilo ($19.60) to the honour roll. Although not ostentatious, the Nobilo is fresh and high-spirited as it offers up classic notes of grapefruit infused with tropical fruit framed by a touch of minerality. Racy acidity and a spritzy mouthfeel make this a winner either on the patio or at dinner (try it with Thai food or grilled white fish).
A waiter at Il Terrazzo raved to me about an inexpensive wine from South Africa he had just discovered. Good tip! Tangled Tree Cabernet Sauvignon, which sells by the litre for a mere $15, fills the glass with gobs of flavour redolent of dark berries, chocolate and spice (it even has a cork). Exuberant and full-bodied, Tangled was a big hit at a birthday party recently – the wine lovers embraced it, with the host buying 14 bottles the next day.
And sticking with arboreal names, do try the Quarisa Enchanted Tree Shiraz ($21). John Quarisa (possibly most famous for his crowd-pleasing Johnny Q) is one of Australia’s most noted producers of award-winning wines, and Enchanted is no exception, being yet another gold medal champion. From the silky mouthfeel to its cascades of cherry, blackberry and plum sliding over the palate, this spicy and full-bodied wine is lush, concentrated and well balanced. Yum!
(All prices include tax)
Read some previous wine columns by Robert: