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Column: Top 6 wine recommendations for spring and summer

Wines for welcoming the warmer months.

It has been quite a few months since I have given a detailed list of wine recommendations. So here are a few wines you can consider purchasing as we head into the spring and summer:

Dominio de Tares 2020 Bierzo Baltos

This winery was established in 2002 in the El Bierzo region in Spain. They specialize in making wines with the local grape varietals and this wine is made with the Mencia grape, known for its spicy and floral notes. The grapes are hand-harvested bunch by bunch, fermented with natural wild yeasts and aged firstly for four to six months in French oak and then an additional 12 months in bottle before release. 

You will get a medium-bodied, expressive wine with black cherry, blackberry, balsamic vinegar, orange peel and mineral elements. It has a 91-point Wine Spectator rating and is good for drinking until 2028. Its price is reduced this month in BC Liquor Stores from $32.99 to $28.99. 

Domaine Vincent Careme 2021 Vouvray Sec

Vouvray is a region in the Loire Valley of France known for making ageable white wines. Vouvray wines are made with the Chenin Blanc grape and can be either dry, sweet or sparkling in style (this wine is sec or dry). Vincent Careme established this winery in 1999 with his wife Tania. Everything is farmed organically. 

This wine is the prototypical Vouvray: precise, slightly flinty with good weight and acidity. You will get peaches, nectarines, chamomile and a slightly oily texture — a fun wine to taste. It has a 90-point Wine Spectator rating and will be good for drinking until 2030. Available in BC Liquor Stores for $42.99. 

Mazzei 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 

The wine is named after Ser Lapo Mazzei, who founded the winery back in the 14th century. This is full-bodied, fruit-forward Chianti Classico Riserva, which is a blend of 90 per cent Sangiovese and 10 per cent Merlot. It was aged in oak (50 per cent new) for 12 months. 

It is a great wine consistent in value and pairs well with meat and pasta dishes. It has a 93-point score on Wine Spectator and will last until 2040. Available in BC Liquor Stores for $32.99.

Mollydooker 2020 The Boxer Shiraz

Mollydooker burst onto the scene in 2006 and has produced very well-received wines since then. Mollydooker is Australian slang for a left-handed boxer as both owners, Sarah and Sparky, are left-handed. You will see on the label that the boxer has two left-handed gloves.  

This wine is prototypical Australian Shiraz bursting with jammy dark fruit flavors. It is barrel fermented and matured in 100 per cent American oak, using 45 per cent new, 25 per cent one-year-old, and 30 per cent two-year-old barrels. It has a 92-point rating by Wine Spectator and you can drink it until 2030. Available for $35.99 in B.C. Liquor Stores.

St. Francis 2019 Old Vines Zinfandel

St. Francis was founded over 50 years ago by Joe Martin in Sonoma Valley and continues to make great wines. Its Old Vines Zinfandel is made with grapes from its Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley vineyards, some of which have vines planted between 60 to 100 years ago. 

This is a classic Zinfandel with heavy dark fruit flavors and 14.8 per cent alcohol content. It was rated 90 points on Wine Spectator and will last well until 2029. Available in BC Liquor Stores for $33.99.

Sigalas Rabaud 2008

This is a Sauternes sweet wine in a half-bottle format. It is uncommon to find a Sauternes aged for 15 years at a reasonable price. This wine from the Sauternes region has a Premier Grand Cru classification and is perfect for drinking now. 

You will get mango, papaya, green fig and glazed pear aromas and flavors. Rated 91 points on Wine Spectator and available in BC Liquor Stores for $36.99.

Try one or all of my recommendations. Until next time, happy drinking.