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Tania Thomas CSW, WSET ADV

Vancouver, BC

Wine blogger

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CSW,CERTIFIED SPECIALIST OF WINE WSET ADVANCED

First Wine
Fruity Zin's grown and vinified by my grandfather Read more

Unusual Wine Experience
At the age of 7, falling into the 500 litter oak barrel of fermenting grapes and sporting a lovely ... Read more

Current Fav Wine
Saint-Saturnin Le Clocher from sunny Languedoc

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La Chamiza Polo Amateur Malbec 2011

Mendoza, Argentina

    My Review: Ruby-red with violet hues and lovely raspberry vanilla nose, this Malbec brings flavours of ripe berries, fresh herbs and smoke on the palate. Well balanced acidity, dry and fruity medium body and a long, lingering berry finish. Ideal for summer BBQ’s with ribs, steaks and sausages. Drink this excellent value red over next three years. Score: 91/100

     

    Pampas del Sur Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc 2011

    Mendoza, Argentina

    $11.85

      My Review: Fresh and fruity with lively acidity and delicate aromas of tropical fruit and citrus peal notes, this lovely Argentinean Chard/Chenin blend would make a great patio sipper or a worthy companion to any fish and seafood in a creamy, buttery sauce. Score: 88/100

       

      Gamay Noir, Volcanic Hills, Okanagan, BC 2010

      Okanagan Valley, BC

      $12.00

        My Review: Vinified from 100% estate grown Gamay Noir grape with it’s noble pale flesh is paler and bluer than most other reds. This lively, light red comes from the slopes of the Okanagan Valley and delivers vivacious aromas of freshly picked cherries and strawberries on the palate, with a slight vanilla nose and a hint of black pepper. A touch of oak nicely rounds up its spicy notes. Would make a great companion to the roasted turkey on your Thanksgiving table! Score: 90/100

         

        Red Rooster Reserve Merlot 2009

        Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

        $29.99

          My Review: Medium to full bodied, this Okanagan gem is blended with 5% of each Cab Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec. With its complex nose of vanilla, smoke, cedar and forest floor it delivers flavours of earthy mushrooms, ripe black cherries and tobacco, followed by a long lingering finish. It is rich, deep and smooth, great with steak and lamb. Ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years. Score: 92/100

           

          Peller Estates Family Series Merlot, BC VQA 2010

          Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

          $14.99

            My Review: This medium bodied Okanagan beauty comes with a smoky, spicy nose, followed by aromatic berry, black cherry and currant aromas on the palate, with black tea and tobacco undertones. Well integrated soft tannins and enough acidity makes it a great companion to variety of grilled meats or try my favourite; spicy sausage and mushroom penne. Yummy!! Score: 87/100

             

            Peller Estates Private Reserve Dry Riesling, VQA 2011

            Kelowna, British Columbia

            $16.95

              My Review: Crafted at the Estates of Andrew Peller, a pioneer in BC wines, this lively Riesling is crisp and fresh with citrus notes of grapefruit, granny smith apples, mandarins and a touch of minerality. Beautifully balanced, with bright acidity and a long smooth finish, it makes a great companion to fresh salads or creamy cheeses. Score: 90/100

               

              Volcanic Hills Single Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2012

              Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

              $20.90

                My Review: Grapes harvested from the southeast slope of a 60 million years old volcano produced this most enjoyable summer patio sipper. This lovely off-dry white delivers abundance of concentrated tropical fruit, rose petal with ripe pear and melon. Medium bodied with floral and citrus notes, rich on the palate with a clean, crisp, lingering finish. Best served chilled to 9-12 C, it is a great companion to summer fruit salads, light curry dishes or with desserts. Summer in a glass! Score: 90/100

                 

                Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan, BC 2011

                Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

                $24.99

                  My Review: Well balanced, elegant and velvety, this rich Okanagan Pinot Noir delivers black cherry and a subtle whiff of forest floor on the nose, followed by a racy palate with soft tannins and a wild berry flavours. It is nicely balanced with a touch of oak and a long finish. Works well with a range of foods; a pulled-pork sandwich, roasted chicken or a grilled sockeye salmon. Score: 92/100

                   

                  Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Reserve Merlot 2011

                  Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

                  $14.99

                    My Review: This beautifully complex full bodied and smooth Okanagan Merlot seduces with its toasted coconut & vanilla cream nose. The palate is well structured with a great depth of ripe black cherry & plum notes, supported by fine tannins. Could cellar for a few years or enjoy tonight with gourmet hamburgers. Score: 93/100

                     

                    Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery Birch Canoe Pinot Blanc 2010

                    Okanagan V.Q.A., BC, Canada

                    Reviewed: June 22, 2012

                    $13.99

                      My Review: Light and elegant, this lively, crisp white delivers vibrant citrus on the nose and abundance of gooseberry, ripe peaches and tropical fruit on the palate. A touch of grapefruit rind wraps it all up in a lingering bitterness on the finish. Serve it as a pre-dinner patio sipper, with oysters or shellfish. Score: 85/100

                      87/100
                       

                      Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2011

                      Okanagan Valley VQA, BC, Canada

                      Reviewed: June 22, 2012

                      $14.99

                        My Review: This lovely fruit forward and refreshing patio sipper is vinified with the fruit from five distinct growing areas in the Okanagan Valley, ensuring high quality and consistency year after year. The palate is of ripe apples, peaches and pears with a splash of citrus. Beautifully balanced with crisp acidity, it would make a great companion to grilled fish and summer salads or on its own as a delightful aperitif. Score: 89/100

                        88/100
                         

                        Quails' Gate Estate Winery Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2011

                        VQA BC, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada

                        Reviewed: March 7, 2013

                        $44.99

                          My Review: Stewart Family's pinot passion is undeniable. The winery grows eight clones of pinot noir in its estate vineyards and is Canada’s largest producer of premium Pinot Noir. Rich and complex, it reminds of a classic red Burgundy. Elegant and fruit forward with intense ripe red fruit on the palate and a touch of spice & truffle, it is my absolute favourite. Pair it with a wild mushroom risotto for a extra special treat. Score: 96/100

                          93/100
                           

                          Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2011

                          Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada

                          Reviewed: June 22, 2012

                          $17.99

                            My Review: Fresh and dry with crisp acidity, rose petal nose and flavours of stone fruit, citrus and green apple. Lovely served as a patio sipper or paired with the Alpine style cheese, such as BC’s Alpine Gold to match its floral notes. Delightful! Score: 95/100

                            88/100
                             

                            Peller Estates Family Series Pinot Blanc, Okanagan, BC 2010

                            British Columbia, Canada

                            $13.00

                              My Review: This smooth, fruit forward, medium bodied Pinot Blanc delivers a subtle nose of apple peel, pear and pineapple. The palate is dry with a touch of lemon drops and bright acidity followed by a long, lingering finish. Great paired with shellfish or spring salads. Score: 87/100

                               

                              See Ya Later Ranch Riesling 2011

                              Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

                              $16.99

                                My Review: Quite expressive with pear, citrus zest and apricot nose. Crisp acidity and fresh palate with a touch of sweetness and a clean, fruity finish. Match this beautifully aromatic and flavourful Riesling with a classic such as pork chops or try something different and pair it with grilled prawns with garlic for a real treat. Score: 92/100

                                 

                                Caliterra Reserva Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc 2011

                                Casablanca, Chile

                                $15.00

                                  My Review: This light, crisp and fresh sauvignon blanc delivers abundance of citrus notes and a touch of minerality on the nose. Palate is dry with a bright acidity and aromas of ripe mangos and lime zest, followed by a long clean finish. Aromatic and versatile it would make a great match to a pan seared salmon with a splash of lemon. Score: 90/100

                                   

                                  Saint-Saturnin Le Clocher 2010

                                  Languedoc, France

                                  $14.98

                                    My Review: From the most famous vineyards of the Mediterranean coast, the appellation of Coteaux the Languedoc in Southern France comes this full bodied blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Smooth, lush and complex, it exhibits generous dark fruit, ripe berries and spice with hints of mocha and a long lingering finish. Sunny south in the bottle, delightful!! Enjoy it with a hearty sausage stew or cassoulet. Score: 94/100

                                     

                                    Château La Gravette 2010

                                    AOC Minervois, France

                                    $13.00

                                      My Review: From the sunny slopes of Carcassonne in the deep south of France comes this fine blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Vinified with minimum intervention, it delivers ripe, red berry nose and Mediterranean scents of thyme, lavender and rosemary. Refined with smooth tannins, it makes a great match to roasted chicken dishes or if feeling inspired, try with a local dish; Cassoulet. Score: 92/100

                                       

                                      Paul Mas, Pay’s D’oc Viognier 2012

                                      Languedoc, France

                                      $13.99

                                        My Review: This delicate Viognier comes from Pay’s D’oc in Languedoc region of Southern France. It displays notes of dry fruit, ripe peaches, honey and jasmine blossom. Partially aged in oak, it is well balanced and versatile. Enjoy it as an aperitif or served with reach creamy sauces, blue cheese, fruit deserts or simply prepared lobster in rich buttery sauce. Serve at 10-12 C. Score: 93/100

                                         

                                        Arc du Rhône, Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2011

                                        Rhône, France

                                        $17.00

                                          My Review: Delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, full flavoured, big and fruit forward nose followed by a burst of red fruit, flowers, delicate spice and vanilla on the palate. Beautifully balanced with firm tannins and a touch of wood, it would make a great companion to an assortment of French cheeses or my personal favourite; match it with a duck confit and pour yourself another glass.

                                           

                                          Haut-Censy Muscadet Sèvre & Maine "Sur Lie" 2011

                                          Loire Valley, France

                                          $15.00

                                            My Review: Loire Valley Muscadet, beautifully light and fruity with bright, crisp acidity. Comes from sunny hillsides in the superior “Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine” district of Loire, only made and bottled “Sur lie”. Great served as a summer aperitif, palate cleanser between the courses or with seafood in creamy sauces. Drink now or keep 2-3 years. Score: 92/100

                                             

                                            Arc du Rhône, Cotes du Rhône Villages 2011

                                            Rhone, France

                                            $14.99

                                              My Review: This is a delightful blend of increasingly fashionable grape variety, Grenache Noir and Syrah with a touch of Carignan Noir for added structure and colour. Medium bodied, expressive and fruit driven, delivers an abundance of ripe cherries and plums, accented with leather, tobacco and black pepper notes on the lengthy finish. Try this luscious red with some classic southern Rhône delights like a meat roast stuffed with tapenade, or if you can get your hands on, a soft and runny St. Marcellin cheese of the region. Score: 92/100

                                               

                                              Marrenon Luberon Classique Rose 2011

                                              Rhone, France

                                              $17.00

                                                My Review: Beautifully balanced with a lovely salmon hue, fresh and floral with a touch of minerality and spice. Wild raspberries on the palate mingle with a delicate watermelon aromas. Sip away this food friendly and versatile rosé as an apéritif on it’s own, pair with grilled calamari, crab salad or my personal favourite; stay thru to the region and pair it with salad Niçoise. Score: 88/100

                                                 

                                                Cave Saint Desirat Syrah 2009

                                                Saint Joseph, Northern Rhone, France

                                                $12.99

                                                  My Review: This is a wonderful north Rhone Syrah, made with a 100% hand harvested grapes grown on granite terraced slopes of Saint Joseph. Beautifully crafted, this elegant wine bursts with ripe blackberry flavours supported by medium tannins and well balanced acidity. Finish is long, smooth and refined. Enjoy with roasts and hard cheeses. This is a great crowd-pleaser and a fantastic value red!! Stock up while still available ……. Score: 92/100

                                                   

                                                  Domaine Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune 2010

                                                  Burgundy, France

                                                  $32.00

                                                    My Review: Bursting with ripe black cherry, raspberry and violets, this delicious Village Pinot Noir is vinified with fruit from 40 year old vines. It has a beautifully expressive, aromatic cherry nose, substantial minerality on the palate and shows great complexity. For a great match; serve with Bourgogne snails, roasted chicken or ripe creamy Brie. Ready to drink now through 2015. Score: 92/100

                                                     

                                                    Bouchard Ainé & Fils Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir 2010

                                                    Pays d’Oc, France

                                                    $12.99

                                                      My Review: This intense, pocket-friendly Pinot Noir comes from the sunny Mediterranean wine growing region of Pays d’Oc. Vinified with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, it is bright ruby red with jammy ripe cherry and black currant nose. It displays well structured palate with soft tannins, abundance of fruit and a touch of vanilla followed by a long, smooth finish. Enjoy it with cheese fondue or a creamy risotto. Score: 90/100

                                                       

                                                      Canella Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG

                                                      Veneto, Italy

                                                      $49.00

                                                        My Review: Made with 100% Prosecco grapes in the northern Italian region of Veneto, this fruity sparkler with persistent, lively bubbles is sure to please. It delivers lively aromas of peach, apple, pear and citrus. Nicely balanced palate with crisp acidity and a hint of sweetness. Best served as a delicious and refreshing aperitif or accompanied by a bite (or two) of caviar for a special occasion. Score: 90/100

                                                         

                                                        Marcarini Barolo “Brunate” DOCG 2009

                                                        Piedmont, Italy

                                                          My Review: This stunning Barolo hails from the hills on Piedmont; it is made with 100% Nebbiolo grape. It delivers intense aromas of forest fruit, sage leaves, licorice and sweet spice with a hint of vanilla and tobacco on a long, persistent velvety finish. Originally part of the Savoy Kingdom, piemontese cuisine is rich and earthy. Elevate your sipping experience to another level and pair this lovely red with a rich game dish or a wild mushroom risotto with truffles. Score: 93/100

                                                           

                                                          BellaVista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut

                                                          Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy

                                                          $49.99

                                                            My Review: This dry, lively, med-bodied sparkler comes from Franciacorta, one of the Italy’s newest areas for production of top-quality wines in northern region of Lombardy. It is made in a Traditional Method with approx 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Nero/Pinot Bianco grapes. This is a very nicely balanced, elegant wine with a persistent fine mousse. It delivers bouquet of white flowers, ripe pears and vanilla brioche followed by a long, tangy finish. For added pleasure serve with the lobster or smoked salmon crostini. Definite reason to celebrate ……anything !! Score: 92/100

                                                             

                                                            Jermann Vinnae Ribolla Gialla IGT 2012

                                                            Friuli, Italy

                                                            $28.75

                                                              My Review: This delicious summer sipper made with Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friuliano and Riesling Renano grapes, comes from the northern Italian region of Friuli. It has a brilliant straw yellow colour, aromas of stone fruit and a touch of minerality. Full flavoured, dry and fresh with crisp acidity, it makes for a delicious aperitif or a great match to seafood starters. Score: 91/100

                                                               

                                                              Speri “Sant’Urbano” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2008

                                                              Veneto, Italy

                                                              $66.00

                                                                My Review: This is an extraordinary wine with great complexity and elegance. Made in the Veneto region of Italy with CorvinaVeronese, Rondinella and Corvinone grapes. Carefully selected best bunches from the prestigious Monte Sain’Urbano vineyards are dried for four months losing about 40% of initial weight. This created a wine with great structure, deep red color and intense bouquet with spicy aromatic and jammy notes of ripe black cherry, tobacco, smoke and leather. It has a rich palate and an impressive, soft and velvety finish. This is a truly special wine; curl by the fire, take a long sip and let all your worries melt away ……… Score: 94/100

                                                                 

                                                                Portada Winemaker's Selection 2009

                                                                Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal

                                                                $15.45

                                                                  My Review: With a lovely deep ruby red colour and a medium body, this Portuguese beauty is a blend of Tinta Roriz, Alicante Bouschet, Cab Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional grapes in the rolling hills of Lisboa wine region by winemaker Jose Neiva. It displays abundant black berry fruit and a touch of mint on the long, lingering, velvety finish. This elegant red would be nicely paired with roasted meats this fall and winter season. For a real treat, try it with a chunk of dark chocolate such as Lindt’s Passion Caramel & Sea Salt. Score: 91/100

                                                                   

                                                                  Spier Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2012

                                                                  Stellenbosch, South Africa

                                                                  $13.95

                                                                    My Review: With a history dating back to 1692, Spier vineyards in Stellenbosch region are one of the oldest in South Africa. Their Signature Chenin Blanc is dry, fresh and fruity with crisp acidity and aromas of green apple, pear and honey. Well balanced palate delivers tropical notes of mango, pineapple and passion fruit with a touch of minerality. It would make a great companion to a crispy salad or on its own as a delicious aperitif. Score: 91/100

                                                                     

                                                                    Valdepenas Anciano Grand Reserva Tempranillo 2003

                                                                    Rioja, Spain

                                                                    $14.99

                                                                      My Review: Vinified with grapes from 30 year old vines and matured in the cellars for 10 years, this rich, medium bodied, complex wine delivers an abundance of strawberries and a touch of vanilla. Tannins are soft and velvety from extended ageing. Enjoy with hearty casseroles and meat roasts. It makes a perfect companion to a roasted leg of lamb feast and a great company on a cold winter evening. Score: 89/100

                                                                       

                                                                      Antaño Crianza, DOC RIOJA 2009

                                                                      Rioja, Spain

                                                                      $12.98

                                                                        My Review: Lovely dry, ruby coloured Rioja, a blend of Mazuelo, Graciano, Garnacha and Tempranillo. It delivers a fragrant nose of strawberries and cherries. Smooth, elegant and complex on the palate with soft tannins and berry, spice and vanilla flavours and long lingering smoky finish. Enjoy with grilled beef or serve with a platter of charcuterie. Score: 92/100

                                                                         

                                                                        Evohe Garnacha Vinas Viejas 2011

                                                                        Aragon, Spain

                                                                        $16.99

                                                                          My Review: This rich, full bodied 100% Garnacha at its best is vinified with fruit grown in the region of Aragon. Ripened under the hot Spanish sun and moderated by the winds from the Mediterranean Sea, its bursting with red fruit flavours of raspberry and aromas of violets and lavender rounded by soft tannins and a long, lingering finish. To warm up a cold winter night, enjoy it with tapas while chatting, eating and sharing with friends. Make sure there is another bottle ready to go ………… Score: 92/100