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Deborah Podurgiel

Deborah Podurgiel Certified Sommelier

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2019

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada
2 days ago

Deborah scored this wine: 93/100

This Syrah is so savvy and smooth, it should be outlawed. What it's not - a full-bodied fruit bomb. What it is - dry, medium-bodied (bordering on medium-plus), lithe, sophisticated and silky-smooth dangerous with ripe fresh cherry, blueberry, anise and pepper spice flavours ethereal with spot-on balanced acidity and soft silky tannins. Absolutely amazing and one of the best Syrahs I have tasted (March 2023). Poured with a two-inch New York striploin steak done rare in a cast iron pan. Was it a delicious and amazing pairing? Oh Yeah (and a three-hour workout the next day) *(* This vintage was produced from sustainably grown and hand-harvested Syrah and Viognier grapes sourced entirely from the Naramata Bench, British Columbia. The 94% Syrah with the balance in Viognier were co-fermented (minimal intervention winemaking) and the wine was aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

Tightrope Winery Chardonnay 2020

British Columbia, Canada
2 days ago

Deborah scored this wine: 91/100

Love this fresh, crisp and clean 100% Chardonnay from Tightrope Winery's Four Shadows Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. Dry, medium-bodied and silky on the palate with fresh apple-pear, Meyer lemon, biscuit, caramel, citrusy and subtle spicy notes on the palate, beautifully balanced acidity and finishing long and rounded on the palate. Another Beautiful Chardonnay by this winery. Very quaffable now, we chilled and enjoyed it with thyme and savoury herbed pork chops from the grill finished with just a kiss of fresh Meyer lemon juice. The winery suggests crab cakes or roast turkey. Tasted March 2023. The Chardonnay grapes for this vintage were 100% barrel-fermented giving the wine a lovely, rounded and silky mouthfeel. One-third of the wine saw MLF and the wine was aged nine months on its lees in barrel. So, so good now!

Organic Vision Series Flint

Sperling Vineyards Organic Vision Series Flint 2021

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, BC V.Q.A., Canada
5 days ago

Deborah scored this wine: 93/100

If you have never tasted orange wine, you need to taste Ann Sperling Vineyards’ Vision Series, Flint 2021. Produced from Vidal grapes, Flint is orange gold in the glass. A fragrant and complex wine with orange creamsicle, guava, passionfruit aromas; bone-dry and medium-bodied with binned apple, orange blossom, rose petals, cold Orange Pekoe tea, balanced with medium-plus acidity and medium-plus fine-grained, ripe tannins. Finishes vibrant and long. Drinking close to its peak now. Tasted March 2023. Grapes were hand-harvested in bunches and sorted to remove any desiccated berries or grapes with late-season rot. Whole clusters (stems and all) were fermented in three ways and simultaneously: “intra-berry enzymatic fermentation, also known as (partial) carbonic maceration; alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation (MLF). As the microbes did their job of converting grape sugars to alcohol, the temperature rose to 28C, allowing the extraction of colour and flavour from the grape skins.” After 25 days, the wine was pressed off its skins and stems, then allowed to settle for three and one-half months prior to bottling without fining, filtering or added sulphites. The wine is so named “Flint” in keeping with the winery’s line-up of gemstone-named natural wines Amber, Ruby and Perle.

Tightrope Winery Riesling 2021

Naramata Bench, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada
5 days ago

Deborah scored this wine: 92/100

We enjoyed a tasty International Riesling Day celebration with this juicy, off-dry (23.6 g/l residual sugar), medium-bodied and mouth-watering Riesling from Tightrope Winery. Produced from grapes sourced from the winery’s Fleet Road Vineyard in Penticton, B.C., the 2021 vintage is pillowy and bright with fresh yellow apple, pink grapefruit, tropical fruit notes, soft citrus zest flavours, silky smooth with a long and vibrant finish. So pretty and yummy. Produced by Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke, winemaker and viticulturist, grapes were hand-harvested and whole-cluster pressed after 14 hours of skin contact, then cool-fermented for 30 days in stainless-steel tanks. Tasted March 2023 with spiced sweet potato fries and ginger curry pan-fried scallops. Drink or hold. Tasted March 2023.

Old Vine

Hester Creek Estate Winery Old Vine Merlot 2020

Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada
5 days ago

Deborah scored this wine: 92/100

Hester Creek Estate Winery's Old Vines Merlot 2020 is a deep, dark and broody ruby in the glass. Fragrant with pink florals, plum compote, ripe dark fruits, savoury herbs, rosemary, thyme, subtle dark spices and a touch of smoke. On the palate, it is medium-plus bodied, balanced with medium acidity, complex and richly layered with dark cherry, plum, black raspberry flavours, while smoky vanilla, bitter chocolate and menthol notes play in the background with a lingering finish of black cherry cola. Tannins are fine, medium-plus and mildly drying. Tasted March 2023. Grapes were hand-harvested from the winery’s historic estate property and whole berry, cold-soaked on their skins for three days. Fermentation was in Italian Ganimede fermenters for 15 days followed by a light pressing and malolactic conversion. The wine was aged for 18 months in mostly French oak barrels. Drink or cellar to 2026.

Deborah Podurgiel

Wine BloggerVisit Deborah's Website




Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award