Henry's Wine Picks September V1

Henry Yuen

Do you prefer quality over quantity? Last time I deliberately listed a $7 wine as a contrast to the $20 range wines to prove that different palates and consuming desires come in all levels and prices. This time, the picks are simply delicious everyday drinking wines that wouldn’t break the bank.

Undurraga Sibaris Carmenere Gran Reserva 2014 – $16.

This Chilean winery founded in 1885 has long history of producing top rated wines. This 100% Carmenere from Maipo Valley in central Chile is a good example  Female winemaker Pilar Diaz crafted this wine recognizing the terroir similar to the Mediterranean climate is best suited for Carmenere, a French grape varietal disappeared in nineteenth century Europe re-discovered in Chile. Hand-picked and first fermented in stainless steel tanks, the juice is then aged in large format French oak barrels for 12 months to provide the structure and elegance. Dark red in colour, there is intensity in this full-bodied wine with aroma of dark fruits and berries laced with luring prunes and cherries notes. Soft on the palate and herbal, spicy notes enveloping the complex texture. An excellent deal.

Ernest & Julio Gallo Carnivor Zinfandel 2015 - $17.

Grapes sourced from vineyards in Lodi, California, this Zinfandel is crafted from matured grapes to provide the fruit-forward character. Small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are added to balance the structure. A full-bodied red with sun-dried sweet tomato and honey dates notes to appeal to those who like sweeter wines. French and American oak ensure this is a nicely textured red with hints of cassia and nutmeg.           


Kraze Legz Vineyard and Winery – All That Jazz Red Blend 2011 - $24.

Located in Kaleden, BC, the vineyard gets the climatic influence from Skaha Lake. A blend of 78% Merlot and 22% of Cabernet Franc, the bouquet is rich with ripened dark plum and cherries. On the palate, the entry is soft with toasty spices lines with a dash of cocoa. Small lot fermentation and aged for 16 months in French oak barrels propels this wine to render balanced texture with a touch of fruitcake aroma and a round finish.

Intersection Winery – Reserve Viognier/Marsanne 2012 - $25.

A pleasing white from  a winery in the Golden Mile Bench in Oliver, BC with only 10 acres planted producing wines using sustainable and organic farming practices. A blend of 92% Viognier and 8% Marsanne for the balance and delicate texture, this is a true fashion of French style white with bright floral aroma of Viognier and the citrus backbone of the Marsanne.  Hand-picked ripened grapes were fermented and aged in Burgundian French oak barrel to provide the luscious softness. Stands up very well to some of the Viognier from France!