Upstream in Winecurrent

Vintages Release: September 17, 2017

Sonia and David Smith, the former from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the latter a Brit, moved to Argentina and began living their dream; they started a winery, building a vineyard from scratch. Both Master Sommeliers holding Advance Certificates from WSET, their vineyard is near the fabled Bodegas Catena Zapata. They became friends with the Nicola Catena family and now Catena Zapata’s winemaker, Ale Vigil, also oversees the making of SonVida’s wine, including the following Malbec. Hand-harvested fruit was sourced from a single vineyard and aged 12 months in French and American oak.

****1/2 drink now 
SonVida Malbec 2012
Mendoza, Argentina $29.95 (458240) 14.0% alcohol
A lifted nose of piquant spice, dark berry fruit and black licorice dazzle the senses. It rolls over the palate in stunning fashion—well-textured, endless waves of black currant, kirsch liqueur and dark bittersweet chocolate coat the palate persisting through the delectable finish and aftertaste. It’s balanced, structured, dense and intense with persistent purity of fruit and touches of elegance. My highest compliments – it flirted with 5 stars and was very tough to spit. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release, October 1, 2016

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Bodega Atamisque ‘Catalpa – Old Vines’ Malbec 2013
Tupungato-Valle de Uco, Mendoza Argentina $19.95 (194126) 14.0% alcohol
This dazzling, value-laden Malbec showcases creamy-smooth texture, deft balance and persistent purity of fruit—pick up a few. Hi-toned aromas of piquant spice, red berry fruit and medicinal notes unleash a lively, juicy wave of ripe red currant and black plum interwoven with notes of spice, mocha and tang-laden pie cherry. It’s mid-plus weight with a creamy, dreamy mouthfeel and oodles of charm. The finish is lengthy and lip-smacking good. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now Oh Canada!
Henry of Pelham ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir 2010
VQA Short Hills Bench $24.95 (268391) 13.5% alcohol
From one of Niagara’s great vintages, produced from the fruit of older, low-yielding vines, this wine shows its pedigree with attractive and complex aromas and flavours. On the nose there are earth, smoky notes, spice and ripe red fruit replaying on the dry, medium-plus bodied palate. There’s a savory quality to the wine, perceptible tannin, lively acidity and well-integrated oak. Showing complexity, weight, fresh texture, well-developed fruit flavours and a long, tasty, finish, this offers great value and versatility for matching with heavier meat or fowl dishes. (Susan Desjardins)

**** drink or cellar 
Waterkloof ‘Circumstance’ Syrah 2012
WO Stellenbosch, South Africa $22.95 (455782) 14.0% alcohol
This was aged 20 months in new (15%) and older 600 litre French barrel before bottling unfined. Grilled herbs, heavily charred smoky notes and peppery spice aromas set the table for flavours of tangy, red cherry/berry fruit garnished with excellent tang and heavily charred toast flavour on the palate. It’s mid-plus weight with decent texture and finishes dry and lengthy with replays. Pour with grilled burgers, gourmet sausage or steak. (Vic Harradine)

Vintages Release: TBA

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
Château de Ségure Fitou 2014
AOP Fitou $16.95 (370254) 13.5% alcohol
Aromas of baking spice, cedar and mocha reveal a beautifully balanced flow of sweet, ripe mulberry and dark bramble berry fruit bathing the palate robed in spice, red berry tang and oodles of charm. This is medium-weight with good mouthfeel and a particularly full-fruited and lengthy aftertaste of lively replays, delicious and mouth-watering. Lovely sipped on its own, it shines with grilled rack of lamb. The price-quality ratio skews well in your favour. (Vic Harradine)