I had a recent hankering for some local reds, and a little splash of pink as well. ALWAYS with the pink, no matter the season, right?
After pulling corks and twisting caps from some recently-received samples, here are the eight bottles I found myself most fond of. Click on 'em to learn more.
Stoneboat Pinot House 2016 Rosé - A blend of Pinot Noir and Pinotage (!), this ain't exactly a run-of-the-mill B.C. pink. Tangy cherry fruit dominates, with a light minty character with zippy notes of orange zest on the end. I've penciled this in for one of our Christmas dinner wines....
Haywire 2016 Pinot Noir - Light and lively with (mildly) spicy cola, plum and cherry notes on both the nose and palate. Bright acidity and some cracking minerality, too. Serve with a bit of a chill and pour liberally.
Stoneboat Pinot House 2015 Pinot Noir Reserve - Stewed plums, figs and a hint of musk are pretty damn intoxicating in the aromatics department, leading to red and black currants, blackberries and the winery's hallmark mineral character brought by the notable presence of calcium carbonate in their gravelly soils.
Stag's Hollow 2015 Amalia Vineyard Syrah - Stick your nose in the glass and bask in those fresh, ALIVE notes of potting soil, ripe blueberries and dark chocolate bark. Giddy-up! Loving those first few sips of brambly berry fruit, cloves, and kick-ass beef jerky.
Le Vieux Pin 2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette - A modern legend of B.C. Syrah, Le Vieux Pin kills it, year after year. You get those violets on this one, along with white pepper, dense and licorice-y black fruit, and a gentle, herbal finish. A wonderful, elegant take on the grape.
Clos du Soleil 2015 Grower's Series 'Middle Bench Vineyard' Syrah - Did someone order a tall mocha? Yup, there's dark chocolate and espresso in spades, here (16 months in French oak will do that) - but it's all buoyed by plump cherries, blackberries and wild sagebrush. Dee-licious!
Hester Creek 2014 Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franc - Always a solid bet, Hester Creek's Cabernet always deliver toasty gingerbread, roasted red bell pepper, brandy-macerated cherries, and some solid oomph!
Laughing Stock Vineyards 2015 Blind Trust Red - Handsome and sturdy, this Bordeaux-inspired blend is dominated by Merlot and Malbec, making it an opulent cavalcade of red and black berry fruit, with amiable wisps of vanilla and charm.