New reviews from Wine Align’s David Lawrason!

Latest reviews from David Lawrason, Ontario-based wine critic and author – Wine Access, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and now Wine (Tasted June 2017.)

The Old Vines has assumed a position of being the benchmark riesling of the Okanagan. And indeed it is riveting stuff! The nose leaps from the glass, with complex mineral, petrol, spice, nougat and baked pear fruit. (For riesling aficionados I thought of the rieslings by Markus Molitor in Germany’s Mosel Valley). It is powerful, very tart, stony and dry with mouthwatering acidity. There is an interesting slightly oxidative white mushroom note on the finish. Excellent length. Not everyone’s cuppa, but it has great tension, depth and complexity.

2015 Chardonnay  90 points
This is a quite rich, bold chardonnay that also shows some poise. Expect ripe aromas of almost tropical fruit (melon, banana), with classic vanillin, spice, butter and a bit of toast. It’s quite full bodied, creamy textured and smooth with some edgy alcohol heat. The finish catches the spice, fruit and vanillin well; the length is excellent. 

2014 Pinot Noir 89 points

This fairly deeply coloured pinot shows a quite refined if not intense nose of classic cherry, toast, roasted herbs and vague toast – all nicely fitted. It is medium-full bodied in the pinot realm, with firm acidity, tannin and warmth. A biggish style that I would age two to three years. Quite savoury and a bit earthy on the finish, and a touch blunt.

2016 Riesling 89 points

This is a bright, fresh, firm young riesling that strikes a fine tart-sweet balance. Not hugely intense on the nose but it shows fairly complex lemongrass, pear, florals and leesy notes.Crisp, tart palate sets up some mouthwatering refreshment. The length is very good to excellent. I would age this another year to see if the nose lifts a bit more. Structure aplenty. 

2015 Juveniles Pinot Noir 88 points

This very pale young pinot is from young Dijon clone vines. Were it not for some mild oak spice I might have pegged it as a cru Beaujolais in a blind tasting thanks to some earthy notes, strawberry-cherry jam and herbs. It is mid-weight, fairly fleshy and warm with soft tannins, making it all the more ready to drink. Fairly supple, with some heat on the finish. Good to very good length. 

2016 Juveniles Chardonnay 88 points

Juveniles is a new label from Tantalus, focused on its younger vineyards, and indeed there some lack of structure compared to the higher priced offering. It has fairly good complexity with yellow apple and citrus fruit woven amid vague spice from partial ageing in old barrels. I like the complexity at the price. It’s fleshy in one sense but there is some tartness and warmth emanating from the finish. The length is very good. 

2016 Rosé 87 points

This fairly pale, salmon-shaded rose is a blend of 60% pinot noir and 40% pinot meunier. It has a quite intense nose of pretty red fruits – cherry, pomegranate – with some spice. It is medium weight, with some sweetness and alcohol (13.9) evident. Just a bit cloying actually as a result, so keep it well chilled. I do like the flavour depth and complexity. Very good to excellent length. 

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