Chateau des Charmes' 2010 Gamay Noir may well be the best edition yet from this long established (1978) winery in the St. David`s Bench appellation of the Niagara Peninsula. The 2010 is a solid and densely packed wine as far as gamay goes, accurately reflecting the warm vintage, with a nose full of lush dark fruit like blackberry and black raspberry. It`s made without oak, and is slightly reductive off the top, so I find that time in the glass or a quick carafing before serving opens up the aromatics nicely. Tannins are ripe and plush and the palate comes across as meaty and generously proportioned, without sacrificing the freshness and lively acids that make gamay so appealing. Very good to excellent length; this bottle offers lots of pleasure at a nice price. A deserving medal winner at the 2013 Ontario Wine Awards.
The East Kelowna (northern Okanagan Valley) Tantalus Vineyards consistently makes some of the finest rieslings in Canada, and the 2012 edition took home a gold at the 2013 National Wine Awards. As viticulturalist Warwick Shaw put it, “It’s Riesling. Don’t get too cute with it.” In other words, it`s the vineyards, silly. Minimal winemaking is the key, and a percentage of very old vines is one of the secrets to this wine, delivering superior minerality in a very taught and dry style. It`s brimming with citrus and green apple fruit, lime blossom with a touch of riper orchard fruit adding some richness and depth to the palate, with a finish that lingers on and on. Mouthwatering acids make this a great match with briny seafood, oysters, salads, goat`s milk cheese and other lighter, zestier fare.