Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Alderlea shows off Vancouver Island terroir

Photo: Alderlea's Zachary Brown (courtesy of winery)

The excellent wines of Alderlea Vineyards near Duncan are seldom available in wine stores elsewhere in British Columbia. The winery makes just 2,000 cases a year and has an established clientele on Vancouver Island, mostly restaurateurs.

These wines are worth seeking out. Made with fruit from one of the most mature island vineyards, these are a fine expression of the Vancouver Island terroir.

Alderlea’s 7 ½- acre vineyard was established, beginning in 1972, on a sunny, south-facing slope, with growing conditions influenced by a nearby lake and by the rain shadow created by Mount Prevost, several kilometers to the west.

The original owner was Roger Dosman (left), who, in a lifestyle choice, switched careers from operating an autobody repair business to viticulture and winemaking. “I used to make money fixing cars,” he told me once. “Now I make a living. There is a big difference.”

His vineyard was always managed meticulously. The vines were so neat that they looked like cadets from a military school. The fruit quality was good and, as a result, the wines were solid.

Roger sold Alderlea in the spring of 2017 to Zachary Brown and Julie Powell (right), who were also making a lifestyle choice after 20 years in health and safety and human resources careers, respectively. They had long nurtured a dream to have their own winery. As their careers took them around the world, Zac (as he terms himself) never missed opportunities to spend time with winemakers (in Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Quebec), learning how to make wine.

After looking at wineries in Canada and abroad, they settled on Vancouver Island, Zac having grown up in Port Hardy. He may also have recognized that, because of climate change, Vancouver Island is not as marginal for viticulture as it was in the 1990s. The current wines reflect this: ripe flavours and appropriate levels of alcohol.

While Roger Dosman taught them how to prune the vines when they first took over the business, they were alone in the deep end during their first vintage.  “In our first vintage, he was here for 20 minutes to pick up the mail during harvest,” Zac laughs.

The wine quality has remained consistently high. Here are notes on the current releases. The three Plaid wines, made under a second label, are what Zac calls “our wine of the people.”

Alderlea Bacchus 2019 ($16.50). The winery’s estate-grown Bacchus is one of Vancouver Island’s most mature plantings of this aromatic varietal. The lemon and lime aromas jump from the glass and are echoed in zesty flavours. On the finish, the wine is crisp and dry. The clarity and focus of this wine is exceptional. 91.

Alderlea Valerie 2019 ($N/A). The wine is named in memory of winemaker Julie Powell’s mother. It is a blend of 80% Ortega and 20% Viognier. This is an inspired blend, with the Viognier bringing complexity. The wine begins with aromas of apples and stone fruit. On the palate, there are flavours of pear and apricot, with a hint of spice. The finish is dry. 91.

Alderlea Pinot Gris 2019 ($17.50). Judicious skin contact has given this wine an appealing light rose hue. The wine begins with aromas of peach and nectarine. On the palate, there are flavours hinting of pink grapefruit. The texture is full and the flavours persist on the dry finish. 91.

Alderlea Sauvignon Blanc 2019 ($18.50). The wine begins with aromas of green apple, lime and herbs. On the palate, there are flavours of lime and gooseberry, with lively herbal finish recalling Sancerre. The flavours are intense and the finish goes on and on. 92.

Plaid White N.V. ($18.50). This is designed for easy drinking, with aromas of peach and flavours of apple and citrus. 88.

Alderlea Rosé 2018 ($17.50). This is a boldly dark rosé made with Cabernet Foch and Cabernet Libré grapes. It begins with dramatically fruity aromas. On the palate, there are bright flavours of cherry and cranberry. 88.

Plaid Pink N.V. ($18.50). Beginning with a vibrant pink hue, the wine has aromas of cherry and plum that are echoed on the palate. This is fruity and playful pink wine, with a dry and refreshing finish. 88.

Plaid Red N.V. ($18.50). The wine is dark. It begins with earthy and smoky aromas typical of the Blattner hybrids in the blend. On the palate, there are flavours of blackberry and black cherry mingled with tobacco and chocolate. 89.

Alderlea Merlot 2017 ($20.50). This is from one of the very few – perhaps the only – Merlot block on Vancouver Island. Dark in colour, it has aromas of black currants mingled with French oak. The tannins are firm, but not hard, and the wine will age well. The flavours echo the aromas. 90.

Alderlea Clarinet 2017 ($17.50). This dark and expressive wine is made with Maréchal Foch grapes. Alderlea’s previous owner gave it a proprietary name because, as he said, “it is too good to be called Foch.” It is a very good red, indeed, beginning with aromas of spice, plum, fig and dark red fruits. The flavours are intense, showing spice and red berries. The soft tannins gave the wine a generous texture. 91.

Alderlea Matrix 2015 ($17.50). This is a blend incorporating Cabernet Foch. It begins with aromas of blackberry and black olive mingled with cassis. The fruit flavours are rich, with notes of black currant, black cherry, black licorice and coffee. The structure is firm and the wine should continue to improve in bottle over the next five years. 91.

This wine was released originally under the label, Fusion. A savvy businessman, Roger Dosman had registered the trademark. A few years later, the big Argentinian wine producer, Familia Zuccardi, entered the Canadian market with a similarly-named wine. Sensibly, Roger chose not to fight them legally. Rather, he sold them the brand and rechristened his wine as Matrix.

Alderlea Hearth 2008 ($19.50 for 375 ml).  This is a fortified barrel-aged port-style wine. It begins with classic vanilla and dark fruit aromas of a late-bottled vintage port. Just smelling the wine transported me to memories of port and sherry aging cellars. The flavours are rich, with notes of vanilla, chocolate and strawberries. The flavours persist on the palate. 91.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Monte Creek is on a roll

 Photo: Erik Fisher, Monte Creek Ranch general manager

Monte Creek Ranch Winery, the largest producer in the Thompson Valley appellation, did exceptionally well at the All Canadian Wine Awards this summer.

Nine Monte Creek wines brought home medals (mostly gold). The winery’s 2018 Riesling Reserve was named the best white wine in the competition. The All Canadian Wine Awards, now 40 years old, takes place each summer in Prince Edward County in Ontario. This year, almost 800 wines from across Canada competed.

“I couldn’t be more of proud of our winemaking and viticulture teams,” said Erik Fisher, Monte Creek’s general manager.  “It takes a tremendous amount of focus and precision to make great wines. I see the dedication on a daily basis but this recognition is a testament to the skill and hard work that goes into making a wine this special.”

The winemaker is Galen Barnhardt. “The 2018 Thompson Valley Reserve Riesling is crafted from fruit grown on our two vineyards here in the South Thompson valley,” he says. “Riesling is well adapted to our hot summers and cold winters here in the South Thompson, and we feel the future is bright for this variety in our region.”

For background on the winery, here is an excerpt from the recently published Okanagan Wine Tour Guide.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery, set dramatically high above the Trans-Canada Highway, takes its name from a nearby community, now almost a ghost town, whose peak notoriety was in 1906 when the bandit Bill Miner held up a train for the last time. The winery has memorialized the event with two wines called Hands Up. Now the largest wine producer in the Thompson Valley sub-appellation, Monte Creek Ranch Winery has a capacity to make 54,000 cases a year set. It all started in 2007 when Gurjit Sidhu, a Fraser Valley blueberry grower and nursery man, bought a 365-hectare (900-acre) ranch east of Kamloops for a new blueberry farm. When he learned blueberries do not thrive in the Thompson Valley’s near desert, he decided to grow grapes.

Consultants advised against planting vinifera because the winters are colder here than in the Okanagan. So, beginning in 2010, Monte Creek planted British Columbia’s first major block of winter-hardy Minnesota hybrid grapes. These include Marquette, La Crescent, and three members of the Frontenac grape family, varieties that were unfamiliar to British Columbia consumers. Subsequently, Monte Creek concluded that the vinifera risk had been overstated and planted Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The vineyard blocks, which are on either side of the Thompson River, total 30 hectares (75 acres).

Monte Creek, which had its first vintage in 2013, also purchased grapes from the Okanagan. The increasingly tight supply of those grapes led Monte Creek in 2018 to acquire 37 hectares (92 acres) of raw land in the Similkameen Valley. The property is on the southwest flank of the Similkameen River, just east of Keremeos.

Monte Creek is taking advantage of the cool site’s northeastern exposure to plant a significant block of Pinot Noir, a varietal of rising importance in the winery’s portfolio. Pedro Parra, a Chilean viticultural consultant who has advised several Okanagan producers, helped Monte Creek explore the soil profile. “There is a considerable amount of limestone in some of those rocks, which we think will go a long way to producing premium-quality Pinot Noir,” says Erik Fisher, the winery’s general manager.
Here are notes on a selection of Monte Creek wines.

Monte Creek Riesling 2018 ($19.99). The wine has begun to develop a hint of petrol in the aroma. On the palate, it has intense flavours of lemon and grapefruit rind mingled with petrol. The finish is dry, and lingering. Gold at the ACWA. 90.
Monte Creek Chardonnay 2018 ($19.99). The wine has aromas of citrus with a hint of buttery vanilla. The palate echoes the aromas. The texture is rich and the finish lingers. Gold at the ACWA. 88.

Monte Creek Rosé 2019 ($18.99). This wine is made with Marquette and Frontenac Noir grapes. The colour is as dark as Beaujolais, which may upset the Provençal rosé fans. The aromas and the flavours are as bold as the colour: plums, cherries and raspberries. 90.

Monte Creek Cabernet Merlot 2017 ($21.99). This won a silver at the ACWA. It is a very good value red, made with 69% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. It begins with aromas of cassis and black cherry which are echoed on the palate, along with vanilla and blueberry. The palate is rich. 91.

Monte Creek Sparkling Wine 2019 ($21.99). The grapes for this Charmat method sparkling wine are La Crescent and Frontenac Blanc. The wine has aromas and flavours of honey, citrus and white peach. 88.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Time Winery is back on its feet

Photo: Time's Christa-Lee McWatters

When Abbotsford businessman Ron Mayert and his wife, Shelley, took over Time Winery and Evolve Vineyards this summer, the inventory included well-made wines from the 2016 to 2018 vintages.

There do not appear to have been any wines made in 2019, likely because the winery’s balance sheet did not support purchasing grapes last fall. Christa-Lee McWatters, the daughter of the founder, the late Harry McWatters (who died in July, 2019), had no choice but to solicit a purchaser for this Penticton winery. The Mayerts closed the purchase in July, and have retained Christa-Lee as the general manager.

Harry’s winemakers had been Graham Pierce and Nadine Allander. Both have since moved to other wineries, but they left solid wines in the Time and Evolve inventory. Some, released before the business was in trouble, have been released once again. They are drinking well, perhaps even better with an extra year in bottle.

Winemaker Lynzee Schatz, who joined Evolve last summer, has taken over as the winemaker at Time and Evolve this vintage.

Clearly, the business did not get in trouble over the quality of the wines. There was too much debt and that was aggravated by the pandemic lockdown for several months earlier this year.

The Mayerts, who have other successful business, have injected new capital and have now re-opened the wine shop and the food services at Time.

Here are notes on the wines.

Time Viognier 2018 ($22.99). The wine begins with aromas of mandarin orange, ripe pineapple and apricot. These tropical fruit flavours are echoed on the palate, along with a hint of vanilla. The finish is fresh and lingering. 89.

Time White Meritage 2018 ($25) This is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillon. The lime and lemon aromas mingle with notes of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is rich in texture, with herbal and buttery notes supporting the tropical fruit flavours. 91.

Time Fourth Dimension 2017 ($35). The blend is 45% Merlot, 29% Syrah, 16% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 16 months in barrel. Dark in colour, the wine has aromas and flavours of cassis, cherry and blackberry. The texture is smooth and the finish has lingering hints of spice and dark fruits. 90.

Time Syrah 2016 ($34.99). The wine begins with aromas of blackberries and cherries. Big and soft on the palate, it delivers flavours of plum and cherry with an appealing note of black pepper on the finish. 91.

McWatters Collection Meritage 2017 ($34.99).   The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in small French oak casks for 15 months prior to bottling.  It begins with aromas of cassis, black cherry, blackberry and spice, which are echoed on the palate. Long ripe tannins give this elegant wine appeal for drinking now but potential to age another five to seven years. 92.

Evolve Effervescence NV ($19.99). This is a Charmat method sparkling wine, with 70% Pinot Blanc and 30% Chardonnay.  An easy-drinking wine, it competes well with the popular Prosecco wines that seem ubiquitous. 88.

Monday, September 14, 2020

SpearHead makes wine touring easy

Photo: SpearHead winemaker Grant Stanley

An acquaintance is planning to visit some Okanagan wineries later this month.

She tells me she has been astonished at the restrictions some wineries have placed around the reservations – including non-refundable charges. She understands why a winery would want to discourage no-shows. She is disappointed that, at some wineries, the tasting fee, or at least part of it, is not returned when a guest purchases wine.

It is hardly a way for a winery to make friends. But then, I am not trying to make a living with a winery in these strange times, so what do I know?.

But let me point you to SpearHead Winery in East Kelowna as an example of a sensible guest policy to accompany the excellent wine that Grant Stanley is making there.

This is the winery’s policy:

We encourage guests to pre-book their visit.

You may use our online reservation system below or contact us directly.

Walk-ins are welcome though subject to availability, please see host upon arrival.
Maximum group size is 6 people.

Tasting fee is $10 per person, waived with a 2 bottle purchase.

Tastings are complimentary for [wine club] members.

Upon arrival, please wait for our host to assist you to your tasting location.

We ask that you sanitize your hands when you arrive and adhere to the social distancing protocols that are in place at SpearHead Winery

If you visit SpearHead, here are notes on the current releases.

SpearHead Pinot Gris 2019 ($20 for 1,362 cases). The wine begins with aromas of pears and apples and echoes those fruits on the palate, along with a hint of anise on the finish. The texture is full and the finish lingers. 91.

SpearHead Chardonnay 2018 Clone 95 ($30 for 576 cases). This wine was fermented in barrel and then aged 10 months in French oak barrels and puncheons (40% new). This is a lovely wine with a crystal clear focus on the fruit. The oak is quite subdued, evident just as a touch of vanilla in the aroma and flavour. The lead role is taken by zesty and refreshing flavours of pineapple and apple mingled with hints of butter. 92.

SpearHead Pinot Noir Cuvée 2018 ($40 for 450 cases). This is a complex and full-flavoured wine. To begin with, six clones are blended into the cuvée: 30% Dijon 777, 28% P0merol, 18% Dijon 828, and 8% each of Dijon 115, Dijon 667 and Mt. Eden. The wine was aged for 13 months in French oak barrels (40% new). Dark in colour, the wine begins with aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries and blueberries. The rich palate delivers all those fruits along with plum and spice. 94.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

O'Rourke's first class wines

 Photo: Dennis O'Rourke

The wine released this summer by O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars are among the most impressive Okanagan wines that I have tasted this year.

This Lake Country winery is owned by Edmonton businessman Dennis O’Rourke, who made his millions in the heavy construction business in Alberta. He has chosen to invest some of those millions into two excellent Lake Country wineries.

O’Rourke Peak Cellars opened in 2017, originally as The Chase Winery until a trademark dispute led to a name change. The companion winery, O’Rourke Family Cellars, is expected to open next year when construction is complete. The latter winery crowns the top of a 75-acre vineyard with south-facing slope and a spectacular view of Lake Okanagan.

O’Rourke’s initial viticulturalist and winemaker was Adrian Baker, a talented New Zealander. When ill-health sidelined Adrian last year, Dennis recruited Nikki Callaway and Stephanie Stanley, also top-flight winemaking talents. Nikki is the head winemaker, with particular focus on the new facility.

Stephanie (right), who is in charge of the aromatic wine program at O’Rourke’s, is a Kelowna native who graduated at the top of the class from Brock University in 2003. Fluent in German, she had developed here interest in wine as a youth while working in Germany.

“I was working in a restaurant in the Pfalz area and there were wine festivals every weekend, every other weekend,” she told me in an interview. “Working in the restaurant, I just loved the social aspect of it and just loved the whole industry. It brought people together. It was a good lifestyle. I realized there is some kind of science involved in it and that’s where I figured I could apply my science skills.”

After graduating from Brock, she returned to Kelowna to work with Howard Soon at Calona and Sandhill Wines. Beginning in 2015, she has also done several vintages at Wither Hills Winery in New Zealand.

Born in Calgary in 1982, Nikki(left) is the daughter of a physician who worked for many years in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Nikki lived in Saudi Arabia for 10 years until she was 14 and had completed elementary school. At that point, her family moved to Dubai so she could complete high school.

She came back to Canada f0r a bachelor’s degree in microbiology at the University of Victoria. She had not mapped out a career path although she was interested in wine. “Dad talked me out of medicine,” she recalls. “He thought I would have more fun drinking wine.”

So she went to Beaujolais in 2004 and picked grapes for two months while checking out French wine schools. She chose the University of Bordeaux and graduated in 2007 with a Diplôme National d’Oœnologue.

The winemaking program included hands-on cellar work in French wineries. Upon graduating, she worked about five months in a French winemaking co-operative. Then she went to South Africa to do a crush there before returning to France and doing another crush at a Loire winery.

She might have stayed in France but she could not get a work visa. So she returned to Canada in 2009 where Mission Hill offered her a four-month job. “It turned out to be four years,” she says.  Among other wines, she made a Mission Hill Pinot Noir that took a major award at London wine competition.

She went to Quails’ Gate in mid-2013 and, during five vintages, established herself as a formidable maker of Pinot Noir. She moved to Laughing Stock Vineyards in 2018 and joined O’Rourke a vintage later.

The vineyards underpinning the two O’Rourke wineries are dedicated to Pinot Noir and to aromatic white varieties, including Grüner Veltliner, a white variety from Austria. The varietals were selected by Adrian Baker when the vineyards were being developed. The choices were excellent, giving Nikki and Stephanie great fruit to work with.

Here are notes on the wines.
O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Pinot Gris 2018 ($18). This wine begins with aromas of peach, apple and a hint of anise. Fleshy in texture, it has flavours of pear, peach, apple and citrus. 92.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Grüner Veltliner 2018 ($24). This wine begins with aromas of melon mingled with herbal notes. On the rich palate, there are flavours of orange and ripe nectarine, with a hint of herbs and pepper on the finish. 91.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 ($18). This is a dry Gewürztraminer in the style of Alsace. It has aromas and flavours of orange zest mingled with herbs and spice. 90.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Fieldling 2019 Block 26 ($24). This is a co-fermented field blend of 53% Pinot Gris, 32% Riesling and 15% Gewürztraminer. The wine begins with a hint of pineapple marmalade on the nose. The flavours are intense, with notes of sage, among other herbs, mingled with citrus flavours. The finish is persistent. 91.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Riesling 2019 ($21). The wine begins with aromas of lemon and lime mingled with the classic but subtle hint of petrol. The tangy, refreshing palate displays flavours of lime, green apple and subtle petrol notes. The finish is crisp and dry. This is a very good value. 91.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Riesling 2019 Block 11 ($28). This wine is more intense than the previous Riesling. It also has flavours of lime and green apple with a note of petrol. The finish is very long. The wine is dry but there is good weight in the texture. An age-worthy Riesling. 92.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Unoaked Chardonnay 2019 ($22). The wine presents in the glass with what the winery calls “clear and vibrant” hues. It begins with aromas of apples, pineapples, pears and very subtle grapefruit. The palate reveals a remarkable medley of fruits. The wine is crisp and ever so refreshing. 92.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Chardonnay 2017 ($30). The wine begins with aromas of butter, citrus and oak. The oak is bold on the palate (but not excessive), framing flavours of orange marmalade. 90.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 ($21). The wine begins with aromas of raspberry and strawberry which are echoed in the flavours, along with a note of watermelon. In the glass, the rose petal hue is attractive. On the finish, the wine is crisp and refreshing. 91.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Rosé Single Block 2019 ($26). This is made with Clone 28 Pinot Noir. This is a juicy, delicious rosé with an attractive rose petal hue in the glass. It has aromas and flavours of strawberry and watermelon. 91.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Pinot Noir 2018 ($32). This is an elegant and polished wine, beginning with restrained aromas of cherry. On the silky palate, there are flavours of cherry mingled with blueberry, with a hint of spice and mocha on the finish. 91.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

50th Parallel takes on Champagne

 Photo: Winemaker Matthew Fortuna

The cool climate vineyard at 50th Parallel Estate Winery, was planted a decade ago with Champagne and Pinot Noir in mind, among other wines.

This summer’s releases from winemaker Matthew Fortuna includes an elegant sparkling wine that put me in mind of Champagne. It looks and tastes like Champagne and it is priced like a Champagne.

I have no problem with that. For some time, I have thought that the producers of British Columbia’s premium sparkling wines were leaving money on the table. Lucky consumers that we are!

For some background on 50th Parallel, here is an except from the recent edition of Okanagan Wine Tour Guide.

The 50th Parallel winery, near Carr’s Landing north of Lake Country, is farther north than the actual 50th parallel. Operating a winery beyond the 50th is considered risky anywhere in the world since the accepted latitude range for wine production is between 30 and 50 degrees north or south. Founding owners Sheri-Lee Turner and Curtis Krouzel have accepted that risk, which is moderated by the sun-bathed southern exposure of the vineyard and the moderating lake influence.

The bright wine shop is surrounded by glass on three sides, which frames the surrounding vineyards, hillsides, and Okanagan Lake “What we wanted to give people was the experience of not only the wine,” explains Sheri-Lee, “we wanted to give people the experience of the Okanagan.” Curtis picks up on that point. “Anywhere you look, you’re surrounded by the wine and you’re surrounded by this amazing place that creates the wine.”

The winery began humbly in a Quonset hut. The timbers from that were used for an elegantly curved tasting bar in an expanded wine shop. The grand winery was built subsequently and was joined in 2018 by the Block One restaurant. The architecture accentuates the the winery’s branding: the whole building is filled with parallel lines in the form of windows, columns, and steel beams. The culinary masterpieces in the restaurants are made using local ingredients, some grown by on the property by the chef.

Curtis and Sheri-Lee respect the property’s history. An earlier vineyard produced grapes for the Jordan & Ste-Michelle Winery (originally Growers Wines) in Victoria until the pullout program in 1988 when the unwanted vines were ripped out. The land remained unused for nearly 20 years until Curtis and Sheri-Lee purchased it in 2008. They have planted a 27-hectare (67-acre) vineyard of precisely oriented rows on a long southward-facing slope. The journey is still in progress. Curtis says, “The vision that Sheri-Lee and I have had for the last 19 years - that’s coming to fruition.”

Here are notes on current releases.

50th Parallel Gewürztraminer 2019 ($20.50). The wine begins with aromas of spice and lychee. On the palate, there is an initial hit of herbal flavours and licorice that moves on to orange and orange zest. The finish is crisp and dry. This is one of the Okanagan’s most interesting Gewürztraminers. 92.

50th Parallel Pinot Gris 2019 ($22.50).  The wine begins with aromas of peach and pear mingled with delicate spice. This is echoed on the palate, along with a hint of wildflower honey. The finish, however, is crisp and dry. 91.

50th Parallel Chardonnay 2018 ($39.00). The subtle use of oak leads to inviting hints of buttery oak on the nose. On the palate, the flavours of tropical fruit stand out, along with creamy flavours of vanilla and nutmeg. The finish is persistent. 92.

50th Parallel Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 ($23.50). The wine presents with a delicate rose petal hue, leading to aromas and flavours of strawberry and watermelon. The wine is juicy on the palate and refreshing on the finish. 90.

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2017 ($34.00). Aromas of cherry mingle with herbal notes. On the palate, there is a delicious impact of cherry and dark berries with a note of mocha and spice on the finish. The texture is silky. 92.

50th Parallel Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine 2017 ($85.00). Made in the traditional method, this wine presents in the glass with a delicate pink/bronze hue and an active mousse. It has aromas of pink grapefruit with a hint of brioche. The palate echoes the pink grapefruit and brioche flavours, with a crisp finish. 93.