LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Jan. 21

Mission Hill 2013 Chardonnay Reserve (Okanagan, British Columbia)

Sale $19.95, Regular $21.95
Discount (until Jan. 31): $2.00
Vintages # 545004 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Superb apple, citrus, tropical fruit, lemongrass and basil, and vanilla spice.
Pairs with: Grilled salmon, roast chicken, bacon frittata, scallops in cream sauce — anything in cream sauce!
Good for: Head-to-head comparisons with Napa — guess who’ll win?
Alcohol: 13.5%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
We get precious little Okanagan wine to enjoy here in Ontario. This Mission Hill gem is a Vintages Essential, which means it’s stocked in just about every LCBO. So it should be easy to find. About 5,000 cases were made, which is not that much, really, compared to the big boys in Napa and Australia. Mission Hill is owned by Anthony von Mandl, a B.C.-born entrepreneur with European roots. He’s made a life’s mission — pardon the pun — of putting the Okanagan on the global wine map. And he’s succeeding. More than 20 years since Mission Hill won the Best Chardonnay in the World award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the United Kingdom, von Mandl continues to push the quality envelope on Canada’s West Coast. This wine is a stellar example, and a very good wine by any measure.

Tasting note
Beautiful bright and deep yellow-gold colour. An expressive aroma of apple (apple sauce) carries with it an array of tropical fruit (tangerine, pineapple, mango) that is present but restrained. This fruit is very, very good: 2013 had a long growing season, and you can taste the ripeness. You’ll get complex notes of vanilla spice and clove, a hint of toffee, and lemongrass and basil. This is a very nicely integrated wine with a steely edge. Zippy acidity makes for a long finish. For under $20, you can’t really do much better anywhere in the world. Nice work, B.C.!

Find it at your LCBO
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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder