Summer NEWs

It’s here – it’s finally (well, for the most part) here. It’s summer. I love early summer, when the warmth and the beach and the picnics and the 9pm sunsets still feel new. I unpack shorts and sandals that I haven’t seen since last year, renew my supply of suntan lotion and dig out the sprinkler.

I must be in a groove, because this past week I’ve been neglecting old standbys in favour of NEW refreshing beverages. Here are a few I’ve been happy to find.



Culmina Family Estate Winery
Unicus 2013
Okanagan Valley, BC

I’ve written about the Triggs’ family’s Culmina Estate Winery before, but was pleasantly thrilled to taste their first release of gruner veltliner a couple of weeks ago. Not only their first release of this cool and hip Austrian white grape, but the first Okanagan release of GV (Vancouver Island’s DeVine Vineyards won the honour of first Canadian gruner veltliner commercial release last year). Unicus is 100% gruner, from the high altitude (600m) Margaret’s Bench vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench. Kudos to Pascal Madevon, for his interpretation of this charismatic grape (and the first white wine he’s made in over a decade!). Expressive spicy persimmon, pear and herbal meadow flowers on the nose entices to an oily, waxy palate with citrus, white pepper, wild mint, pear and grapefruit pith vibrancy on the finish. This is a big wine (14%) but all the Golden Mile’s warmth is tempered by bracing acidity. GV in BC? YP (yes please)! Only 60 cases were made, and when I visited the winery in June more than half were already sold, so search quickly. 90 points.


Cellar DwellerTrapiche-Pure-2013

Pure Malbec 2012
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
$18  +853226

Very impressed with this new listing from first sniff in the glass – the expressive perfume of swirling blackberries, blueberries, cassis, black pepper and violets was intoxicating and alluring – enough to keep going back and back looking for more. The intrigue carried through to the palate – inky ripe blackberries, smooth and pure fruited, plum and violets, concentrated yet fresh. The tannins were smooth and juicy, and the finish is spicy and lasting It was then I noticed that the name Pure refers to the fact this is oak-free, fermented with wild yeasts, aged in concrete and sourced from high altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley, foothills of the Andes. Aha – I’m tasting unadulterated malbec. No wonder it’s so interesting. Drinking lovely now, I suspect this will peak in 2-4 more years. 89 points.



Meander Sparkling Moscato 2013
Breedekloof, South Africa
$14  +789016

Calling itself a “naturally sweet perlé wine” this very lightly fizzy wine is a bright, unabashedly sweet sipper that might make a welcome addition to your brunch lineup. Sweet lime, pear, grapefruit and floral perfume, would be best enjoyed chilled and young. 15 year old muscat of Alexandria grapes make up this 7.5% moscato. 85 points.



Jose Maria Da Fonseca
Colecção Privada Moscatel Roxo Rosé 2013
Setubal Peninsula, Portugal
$21  +932814

The oldest table wine brand in Portugal has just launched an exciting, new and completely modern wine into Canada. The Domingos Soares Franco Colecção Privada (Private Collection) Moscatel Roxo Rosé is 100% moscatel roxo, a rare purple muscat that is small-yielding and typically reserved for the premium fortified wines that Setubal Peninsula is renowned for. Moscatel’s trademark bouquet is in full display in this delicate salmon pink hue – a blooming garden of aromatic purple, pink and white flowers on the nose and juicy palate. Expressive and ripe lychee, gooseberry, pear, wild strawberries and tropical melon dance around the mouth, finishing dry and refreshing. 88 points. 


No Wineossavanna-dry-cider

Dry Premium Cider
Western Cape, South Africa
*$13.99 for 4 x 330mL

When Savanna Dry was launched in South Africa in 1996 it immediately stood apart – not only for its quirky, clear glass stubby bottle, but because it was distinctively dry.  100% Elgin apples and zero adjuncts fill the bottle, which is traditionally served very chilled with a lemon wedge in the neck of the bottle. The world’s third highest selling cider has finally made it to Canada – just in time for summer! Crisp and refreshing, with only 5% alcohol and ripe apple, light fizz and orange creamsicle on the sunny finish.


Each week Treve highlights 5 timely and tasty picks. Her weekly choices include Locavore (BC wines), Cellar Dweller (wines to lay down for a while for maximum enjoyment), Budgeteer (wallet-friendly bottles under $15), Adventurer (wines for geeks, enlightening or pushing the envelope) and No Wineos (a non-wine pro-alcoholic beverage). So what are you waiting for? DRINK This!
DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. The price is suggested retail price, and may fluctuate depending on source. Wines are scored out of 100 points.

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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