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This article was published 17/10/2014 (1766 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Congrats to Painted Rock Estate Winery for recently being named winery of the year at the 2014 InterVin International Wine Awards held this past August. The Okanagan Valley winery has had more than its share of successes since Manitoba-born proprietor John Skinner and company purchased their 24-hectare property in 2004. The winery focuses on red Bordeaux grape varieties — mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot — as well as some Syrah and Chardonnay.
Australia's Wolf Blass Wines came in second at InterVin, while Peller Estates Niagara-on-the-Lake, which was recently awarded WineAlign's winery of the year at the 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada, took third place.
Painted Rock's 2009 Red Icon (a Bordeaux-type blend) is available in limited quantities at the Grant Park Liquor Mart — it retails for $76.11 plus tax.
Ever since Twin Peaks co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost cryptically tweeted a link to a teaser trailer for a new, nine-episode instalment of the ground-breaking show — set to air in 2016 on Showtime — there's been plenty of attention paid to past cast and crew members.
A couple of days after the announcement, I found myself careening down the Lynchian Internet rabbit-hole, and stumbled upon some interesting Twin Peaks-related wine news.
While Lynch is an outspoken coffee nut — he has his own signature brand of organic java — it turns out star/Washington state native Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper) is nearly as big of a wine nut. In fact, MacLachlan co-owns a winery in the state's Walla Walla wine-producing region called Pursued by Bear.
The 2010 vintage of the Pursued by Bear Cabernet Sauvignon appears to be selling online for $65 a bottle, although the U.S.-based winery doesn't ship to Canada. Previous vintages have been favourably reviewed by Wine Spectator magazine, with critic Harvey Steiman saying the wine brings "beautiful balance and soft, elegant tannins."
Finally, in Manitoba spirits news, could it be that a Winnipeg distillery is in our not-too-distant future — before even a brewpub, perhaps?
An entity called White Moose Distillery recently applied for a manufacturer's licence for a Pacific Avenue property. An online search turned up whitemoosedistillery.com, which boasts the company is (or will be, more accurately) "the first liqueur factory in Manitoba." It goes on to say "our mission is to craft the finest artisan liqueur, inspired by the tradition of the old Europe."
The website lists four products: Vodka 204, Gin Prairies, The Golden Rum and The Platinum Rum.
Attempts to contact Ricardo Marte, the individual listed on the licence application, were unsuccessful at press time. I'll be sure to stay on top of this and let you know if/when I hear more.
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Here are some new arrivals to the province...
Pelee Island 2010 Vinedressers Red (Ontario — $19.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)
This inky black Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot blend brings deep licorice, cassis, blackberry, raspberry and soy-sauce aromas. It's a full-bodied, chewy red, with rich black fruit and a fair bit of oak on the palate. Modest acidity adds an underlying sweet-and-sour component, while the dry, almost-gritty tannins beg for a big hunk of meat. 3-1/2 stars
Caves Velhas 2010 Catedral Reserva (Dao, Portugal — $14.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)
A blend of Portuguese grape varieties Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, the Catedral brings blueberry, cocoa, floral, white-pepper and slightly tarry notes. It's a medium-plus bodied red with loads of plum and blueberry flavours as well as black-tea and pepper notes that differentiate this Old World red from, say, a Chilean Merlot. Another good wine for some big meat or a hearty stew. 3-1/2 stars
Fort Garry Das München Oktoberfest (Winnipeg — $3.14/473ml can, Liquor Marts). Packing six German malts, the latest from Fort Garry is a Bavarian amber lager just in time for fall. Deep copper in colour and with an off-white head, it brings intense caramel and toasted-malt aromas with hints of raisin, pear and bread dough. While the raisin and caramel notes are prominent on the palate, it manages to stay mostly dry, with a solid kick on the finish thanks to seven per cent alcohol. A different beast than the recently released Half Pints Oktoberfest lager, but equally enjoyable. 4 stars
Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison (Cooperstown, N.Y. — $9.07/750ml bottle, Liquor Marts)
Pale gold and cloudy, the Hennepin brings fresh yeasty, floral and malt aromas, with light spice notes on the nose. It's a dry, fairly spicy saison, with bright yeasty, toasty-malt notes on the palate as well as bright but somewhat creamy effervescence. With 7.7 per cent alcohol it brings some kick, but it's all in balance, resulting in a highly (almost dangerously) drinkable brew. 3-1/2 stars
Literary editor, drinks writer
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.
Updated on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM CDT: Formatting.