Upstream in Winecurrent

Vintages Release: April 30, 2016

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Cloudline Pinot Gris 2014 
Willamette Valley $21.95 (159988) 13.9% alcohol
Highly expressive and fragrant aromas burst from the glass—honeysuckle, honeydew melon, nectarine, delicate spice and a whiff of mineral. Dry, medium bodied, clean yet lush with ripe fruit and refreshing Meyer lemon flavours, the wine finds balance in a clean backbone of well-defined acidity. Tangy and juicy through the lasting finish, it’s delicious on its own or may be paired with shellfish or soft cheeses. (Susan Desjardins)

Vintages Release: May 14, 2016

• The following Rosewood Riesling has an addition of Süssreserve. This method, accredited to German winemakers, refers to the addition of non-fermented grape juice held back and added after all fermentation has ceased—adding texture, natural acidity and sweetness to the fermented wine. This particular Riesling is incredible value and a dazzling example of a wine with Süssreserve.

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value! Oh Canada!
Rosewood Estates ‘Süssreserve’ Riesling 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula $14.95 (258806) 10.1% alcohol
Aromas of honeyed nectarine and lemon zest herald a full-flavoured, fully textured river of peel marmalade, lemon pie filling with wisps of minerality and baked apple. This is balanced on a pin with a lingering sweet and tang aftertaste. It’s this yin and yang that make it so versatile at the table—pour as an aperitif or with spicy Asian dishes or green salad under crumbled chèvre or blue cheese. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: May 28, 2016

****1/2 drink or cellar 
William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
North Coast $21.95 (453647) 13.9% alcohol
A spicy, floral fragrance precedes ripe dark fruit, cedar and forest floor aromas. There’s terrific value in this deftly balanced, medium-full bodied red crafted from fruit of four counties influenced by cooling breezes of the Pacific ocean. Defined by a focused core of plush cassis, black plum and berry, the velvety texture pairs with ripe, perceptible tannin and well-integrated oak manifesting in notes of cedar and cocoa. The intensity and depth of fruit is offset by pleasing freshness, the finish lingering, dry and spicy. Savour with herbed roast leg of lamb, or mature hard cheeses and charcuterie. (Susan Desjardins)

Vintages Release: June 11, 2016

The following Francis Coppola beauty is a dazzling example of California Chardonnay showcasing very good value, tropical fruit, well-integrated oak and wonderful balancing acidity. There’s an added 8% ladle of Viognier for its floral notes and a 2% spoonful of Riesling for finesse and elegance. It spent 9 months maturing in well-seasoned French oak barrel that’s now completely integrated.

****1/2 drink now 
Francis Coppola ‘Diamond Collection - Gold Label’ Chardonnay 2014

Monterey County $22.95 (708305) 13.5% alcohol
This is balanced and delicious with purity of fruit, depth and complexity. Baking spice, tropical fruit and citrus aromas set the table for a smorgasbord of flavour with melon, grilled pineapple and white nectarine showing the way entwined with apple pie spice and tangy lemon curd. It’s medium weight with creamy-smooth mouth feel and a crisp refreshing finish and aftertaste. Pick up a few before it disappears. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: June 25, 2016

• The unique, gorgeously fashioned bottle of the following Francis Coppola Rosé should jump off shelves given the rich fruit flavour and mouth-watering tang to be found in this medium-bodied, creamy-textured, Syrah/Grenache/Pinot Noir red blend Rosé. One might confuse this with a premium Tavel.

**** drink now 
Francis Coppola ‘Sofia’ Rosé 2015

Monterey County $24.95 (284943) 13.0% alcohol
Aromas of red berry fruit, spice and floral notes herald a delicious stream of freshly picked strawberry, red cherry and ruby red grapefruit tang on the palate then amplified with great élan on the dry, spicy, lip-smacking finish. Pour on its own as an aperitif or alongside pan-seared salmon or with olive-oiled mesclun salad and crumbled chèvre. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: August 2016

***** drink or cellar 
Duckhorn Vineyards ‘Goldeneye’ Pinot Noir 2013
Anderson Valley, California $70.00 14.5% alcohol
From the cool Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, this suave Pinot Noir aged sixteen months in French oak, 70% new. Semi-transparent ruby, the bright, lifted multifaceted aromas hurtle from the glass—red cherry, red and black berry, hints of smoke and earth, notions of spice and dried herbs. Dry, medium bodied with an attractive touch of warmth on the palate, it’s laden with ripe flavours of cherries, berry and plum garnished with a dash of white pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. The velvety texture and refined supple tannin play off the lively acidity delivering a smooth, fresh, lasting finish. Pour with duck confit. (Susan Desjardins)

Vintages Release: September 3, 2016

• The following Sauvignon Blanc from Joel Gott was sourced from three prime California AVAs providing excellent balance between ripe fruit and fresh, juicy acidity then fermented and aged in stainless steel tank and stainless steel barrel, the latter providing terrific mouth feel and complexity as this portion of the juice was matured sur lie—on spent yeast cells—and stirred—a.k.a. batonage—while aging.

**** drink now 
Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2014
California $19.95 13.9% alcohol
Nuanced aromas of tropical fruit, apple and notions of grassy/nettles introduce a crisp refreshing wave of lemon curd and Key lime pie entwining with notes of white peach and Granny Smith apple. This is medium bodied with excellent texture and a clean, crisp and mouth-watering aftertaste. Pour with crumbled, grilled goat cheese over green salad dressed with olive oil and a dribble of red wine vinegar. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: Fall 2016

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paul Hobbs ‘Crossbarn’ Pinot Noir 2013
Sonoma Coast $49.95 (118696) 14.1% alcohol
Ruby hued with a violet note, the lovely ripe aromas of red berry and black cherry tantalize the nose mingling with classic aromas of vanilla, dried herbs and spice. Dry and mid-weight, there’s lively red fruit on the palate—cherry, raspberry—spicy toasty notes and an earthy quality, all underpinned by supple tannin and fine acidity that deliver an appealing velvety texture. Showing great balance, concentration and freshness, this is a versatile wine that will pair with pork, duck or veal. (Susan Desjardins)