Written By Larry Arnold Libations / Liquid Assets Jan 25, 2017 Olga Raffault Les Picasses Chinon, Hester Creek Pinot Blanc & Beronia Reserva Rioja SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestOLGA RAFFAULT LES PICASSES CHINON 2011 FRANCE $27.00-30.00Les Picasses is a vineyard that stands out! Fifty-year-old cabernet franc growing on a steep slope of alluvial clay with a chalk, limestone base; it is all about the dirt! The dirt yes, but also the winemaker. The late Olga Raffault is a legend and her granddaughter Sylvie and husband Eric de la Vigerie have not missed a beat. The grapes are handpicked, fermented in stainless steel then aged in large oak barrels for a couple of years to soften the tannins, bottled unfiltered and released about four years after the vintage. Very rustic and quite earthy with hints of orange zest, black cherry and cassis, soft tannins and a superb finish. Given the five star pedigree of Olga Raffault and cellaring potential of Les Picasses, this stellar Chinon is an unbelievable value. Very limited availability and very highly recommended! Buy www.cellardirect.caBERONIA RESERVA RIOJA 2011 SPAIN $22-25This blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo is barrel aged 20 months in French and American oak than aged for a further 18 months in the bottle before release. The nose is a veritable potpourri of scents with ripe strawberry, raspberry, vanilla and spicy oak aromas. Silky smooth on the palate with great complexity and spicy fruit flavours that develop and expand through the finish. An absolute stunner. Buy www.gradywinemarketing.caHESTER CREEK PINOT BLANC 2015 OKANAGAN $18-21British Columbia is well known for the quality of its fruit and this perky little white from the south Okanagan shows it off perfectly, each sip is an explosion of vibrant citrus, apple and peach flavours. Straight forward, refreshing and absolutely delicious with crisp acidity and a lovely clean finish. Buy www.hestercreek.comBLUE GROUSE PINOT GRIS 2015 VANCOUVER ISLAND $20-25With a production of a scant 300 cases a year it would not surprise me if this wine were all but sold out at the winery. Having said that, there is a good chance a few bottles can still be found on private liquor store shelves. It is definitely worth the effort to hunt down. Very fresh with good intensity and racy acidity. Citrusy with floral, mineral and honey nuances, nicely balanced with a clean crisp finish. Buy www.bluegrouse.caJOIE PINOT NOIR 2014 OKANAGAN $19-22 Ogopogo, Sasquash, the Loch Ness monster, good Pinot Noir at a reasonable price, UFO’s, the Easter bunny. Like Don Quixote we all want to believe in something and some spend a lifetime chasing their dream! But perhaps its time we put paid to one of these old chestnuts. In the 21st century good Pinot Noir has been discovered growning throughout the Okanagan and the Cowichan Valleys. Joie Farm offers a lovely pinot at a more than fair price. Redolent with red cherry, spice and dusty earth flavours, a soft silky texture nicely balance with soft acidity and a blush of well-integrated tannins. This is a wine worth seeking out. Buy www.joiefarm.comPASSAMANTE SALICE SALENTINO 2014 ITALY $21-24Alora! There is nothing refined about this spicy Negroamaro. As the name implies, it is dark and slightly bitter. What the name does not prepare you for is the intensity of the nose, the juiciness of the fruit and the power of the tannin. This robust red from the dusty vineyards of the Salento Peninsula is not for the faint of heart, the weak and infirm or those with a genteel palate. It is robust and chewy with sun kissed fruit flavours and an earthy fecundity, acidity front and forward and a veneer of firm but well-integrated tannins that just keep going. It is also quite delicious. Buy www.libertywinemerchants.com – By Larry Arnold SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Larry Arnold ... Read More You may also like Wine Events May 17, 2017 Coast to Coast – Ontario & Nova Scotia Wines Shined at the Vancouver Wine Festival. At the Vancouver Wine Festival 2017 only six attendees at a standing room only Coast to Coast media and trade seminar who, when asked if anyone had ... Read More Fortified Wine April 28, 2017 Madeira: intense, indestructible… and overlooked What comes to mind when you hear “Madeira wine “? If anything, it’s likely to be a dusty bottle sitting alongside the Marsala, balsamic vinegar ... Read More Okanagan / Wine Festivals March 22, 2017 Canada 150: The Purity and Diversity of BC Wines The 2017 Vancouver International Wine Festival celebrated Canada’s 150th anniversary with Canadian wines at the core. Punters lined up for a taste ... 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