...here are a few reports and unconfirmed rumours from various sources. Some credible, others,... well.
Gismondi on Wine - 2022 Releases, 6 wines rated 90+ Points and more
To view Anthony Gismondi's full review, click on the wine.
Moon Curser Contraband Syrah 2020 - 91 Points
Moon Curser Touriga Nacional 2020 - 91 Points
Moon Curser Malbec 2020 - 91 Points
Moon Curser Dead of Night 2020 - 90 Points
Moon Curser Syrah 2020 - 90 Points
Moon Curser Petit Verdot 2020 - 90 Points
Moon Curser Roussanne Marsanne 2021 - 89 Points
Moon Curser Arneis 2021 - 89 Points
Moon Curser Viognier 2021 - 89 Points
Moon Curser Tempranillo 2020 - 88 Points
The Vancouver Sun - Anthony Gismondi: B.C. wine for the week of Mar 29 - Moon Curser Roussanne Marsanne 2021 - 89 points
Moon Curser Roussanne Marsanne 2021, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
"this 82/18 mix of Roussanne/Marsanne sourced from the home vineyard on the Osoyoos East Bench is another winner."
The Vancouver Sun - Anthony Gismondi: B.C. wine for the week of Oct. 27 - Moon Curser Arneis 2021 - 89 points
Moon Curser Arneis 2021, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
"Arneis is a somewhat rare white variety from Italy’s Piedmont region. Moon Curser has released several quality versions of its Osoyoos East Bench Arneis, and 2021 is another."
Gismondi on Wine - Moon Curser Malbec 2020 - 91 points
"Moon Curser Malbec 2020 - 91 Points - 16 3/4 / 20
Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. A thin-skinned grape, malbec adores heat within reason. Thus, it is well suited to the south Okanagan and its Osoyoos East Bench home. At Moon Curser, 2020 is described as an "unforgettable season" that "allowed for fantastic flavour development and balanced accumulation of sugars and acidity." Post its stainless steel ferment, the wine is aged in 225L barriques (25% new). It is a juicy mix of spice and blueberries streaked with violets, earth, and a touch of milk chocolate. Attractive, warm and spicy, this will have many fans. Barbecue ribs come swiftly to mind. The tannins are dense and long but should only be a mid-term interference. Very well done.
TASTED BY: ANTHONY GISMONDI"
The Vancouver Sun - Anthony Gismondi: Knowing these B.C. wine regulations makes shopping for local wine easy
"Weekend Wine Picks
Moon Curser Border Vines 2018, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
$25.99 I 88/100
Border vines is a Cabernet forward blend of 69/15/10/3/3/ Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carménère, Cabernet Franc. At a hefty 14.8 per cent alcohol, you feel the Cabernet Sauvignon tannins and the power of the Petit Verdot. It is a bit of a bruiser at this point and will need time to settle down in the bottle. Rich and potent black fruits reminiscent of Bing cherries, black currants, and blueberries with dark chocolate, spice, and savoury dried herbs. Youthful and rambunctious but has fine potential. I suggest five years in the bottle or serve with a slab of rare beef."
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The Vancouver Sun - Anthony Gismondi: Looking back at notable wine world events in 2019
"Today we look back on 2019, a year in which American wine critic Robert Parker officially retired from the wine business.
Parker was a tireless taster, and his newsletter The Wine Advocate was the gold standard of wine criticism. You might say he was the perfect guy at the ideal time to be writing about quality wines and their producers.
There are other voices today, but none compare to Parker and his global impact on the wine, and it is unlikely he will be replaced in the age of social media where it seems everybody is an expert.
Closer to home, two British Columbia wineries shone at the National Wine Awards of Canada in 2019. Mission Hill Family Estate won the coveted Canadian Winery of the Year award on the strength of 18 medals, eight of which belong to its Terroir Collection introduced to highlight single vineyard sites in the Okanagan Valley. [Osoyoos]-based Moon Curser Vineyards earned the Best Performing Small Winery (under 10,000 cases) grabbing one platinum and six gold medals.
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The Vancouver Sun - Salut: Is diversity the long game in British Columbian wine?
"Demanding diversity in our wines and obtaining it are often two very different stories, especially in the New World.
As the years unfold, British Columbia wineries are finally moving in that direction although it’s not necessarily just about different grapes going into the ground. We see some unique offerings — especially among the white wines with Grüner Veltliner, Roussanne and Marsanne and a few reds like Dolcetto, Grenache, Touriga Nacional and Sangiovese — but the most significant change in diversity is coming from a different direction.
Achieving diversity is more about the blends, new grape clones, and mixing different sites to improve the ultimate complexity of the wine. It’s especially true as we reassess some early vineyard plantings, some of which never should have gone into the ground where they did.
Even when the site was ideal, there were problems with getting virus-free plant material, or the correct rootstock or clone. Post planting the viticulture and trellising are equally as crucial, because each can affect the quality and diversity of the wines.
Research and education have changed so much about what we know nowadays. Planting any grape in B.C. is about being on a suitable site for each variety. That could mean tracking the temperature, and studying a vineyard’s proximity to a lake or mountainside. It could be about altitude, daylight hours, irrigation and more. Alas, knowing more hasn’t necessarily given us all the answers and, in many cases, it has only generated more questions.
Growing wine on great sites is what many would say is the long game. The ultimate result will be a diversity of grapes and wines, but for now we are barely into the first period.
In this fall edition of Salut, we provide an update on where our red wines are heading in the diversity game. Sorting out the significant grapes is underway, and it is already much improved, but there are so many more to be assessed in the coming decades.
Diverse British Columbia reds for fall
Moon Curser Touriga Nacional 2017, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, $39.99
One of the celebrated platinum medal winners at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, and as diverse as it gets in B.C.
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The Vancouver Sun - Moon Curser's success lies in avant-garde varieties
"Ever since attending a series of wine classes in Calgary less than two decades ago it’s been a bit of a storybook journey for the Tolley family, owners of Moon Curser Vineyards in the south Okanagan.
Today the hardworking, modest couple (Chris Tolley is a farmer/winemaker; Beata Tolley is the winery manager) find themselves Best Performing Small Winery in Canada awarded at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada for a winery producing 10,000 cases or less.
After those initial wine classes, the Tolleys quickly concluded that owning a winery was something they wanted to explore so they gave up their jobs in Calgary and headed for Lincoln University in New Zealand where they both took the one-year diplomas in viticulture and oenology.
In those early days, they did a fair amount of research by visiting wineries in New Zealand and quickly noticed a sameness in tasting room experiences. Visits to Australia proved more fruitful because many were exploring lesser-known varieties better suited to the warming climate. What they took away from those visits was that it was the odd wines like Viognier that captured their interest and became talking points after they left the winery.
The seed was planted, and when they got back to British Columbia in 2004, they bought an old cherry orchard on the east Osoyoos Bench in the south Okanagan Valley. Quickly they began to explore grape varieties that were decidedly different from the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Merlot crowd.
Most of what they planted would send the everyday wine drinker running for Jancis Robinson’s famous Guide to Wine Grapes — and it is a strategy that has proven to be uber-successful. The list of non-stream varietal wines changing minds includes Touriga Nacional (Portugal), Carménère (Chile), Tannat (Uruguay), Arneis and Dolcetto (Italy), Tempranillo (Spain) — the list goes on.
Moon Curser began its life as Twisted Tree, a somewhat conservative winery name, that was dropped after a 2011 marketing overhaul. The Moon Curser name embodied the rich history of the South Okanagan, where gold smugglers would regularly cross the nearby U.S. border during the night. As historical as the name is, the winery is hardly tradition-bound. One could argue it may be the most experimental producer in the country.
Certainly planting avant-garde varieties has set the winery apart and in some ways could be instrumental in it moving forward if temperatures continue to rise in the Okanagan.
That said, not everything has worked. Early on, love for Italian varietals led to planting Corvina, a grape widely planted in Valpolicella in the Veneto, northern Italy. It never ripened. On the other hand, Arneis is thriving and is a fabulous addition to B.C.’s growing grape repertoire.
Much of Moon Curser’s recent success stems from old-fashioned, hard work. Now 15 years down the road, the vineyards and the knowledge to look after them seem to have meshed. You can’t teach experience, but you can earn it one year at a time, which is the real story of this small, hillside estate winery and one of the most exciting wine lineups in Canada.
At the end of the competition, the winery walked away with several medals led by a platinum for its remarkable ode to the Douro Valley, the 2017 Touriga Nacional ($40). They followed that up with six gold medals for a 2015 Tannat ($40); 2018 Dolcetto ($25), 2017 Malbec ($31), 2017 Tempranillo ($31), 2017 Petit Verdot ($40) and 2017 Dead of Night ($40), a blend of Syrah and Tannat.
All that is left for you to do is try the wine and eventually visit the winery on the Osoyoos West Bench and experience what the Tolleys did when they first got into the business — something new, intriguing and, most of all, different."
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Wine Align names Moon Curser Best Performing Small Winery in Canada
Taking top honours and winning the Best Performing Small Winery in Canada after winning 11 medals; 1 platinum, 6 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze.
"Moon Curser has been trolling the National Wine Awards of Canada for years surprising the judges with its “out there” grapes while slowing amassing a collection of gold and silver medals with such non-stream varietal wines as Touriga Nacional, Carménère, Tannat and Dolcetto. What looked like it could be a recipe for disaster has been anything but for co-owner and winemaker Chris Tolley along with his partner, winery manager, and wife, Beata Tolley, who made the jump to the top of the pack this year becoming the 2019 National Awards of Canada Best Performing Small Winery (10,000 cases or less) in Canada.
It’s been a storybook journey for the Tolleys who began taking wine classes in Calgary less than two decades ago and quickly came to the conclusion that owning a winery was the longterm goal. They soon left their jobs and headed for Lincoln University in New Zealand where they both took the one-year Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology. By 2004 they were back in Canada, where they bought an old cherry orchard on the east Osoyoos Bench in the south Okanagan Valley. By 2006 they had opened a winery.
Twisted Tree, the original, somewhat conservative winery name was dropped after a 2011 marketing overhaul in favour of the Moon Curser moniker. The Moon Curser name embodied the rich history of the South Okanagan when gold smugglers would cross the border regularly during the night. If you have ever experienced a full moon in Osoyoos, you can see why the smugglers would curse the moon that made capturing them far too easy for border guards. As historical as their name is, the winery is hardly tradition-bound. One could argue it may be the most experimental producer in the country.
A lot of the Tolleys’ success is directly related to early one-on-one research done visiting local wineries where they discovered many were producing the same main-line grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. What the Tolleys learned on those early visits was it was the odd Viognier or Syrah that piqued their interest, and it’s been a part of Moon Curser’s (nee Twisted Tree) story ever since. In some ways, not having a traditional wine background and vast knowledge of the world of wine set the Tolleys free to do things others would have never considered.
Certainly planting avant-garde varieties have set the winery apart and in some ways could be instrumental moving forward if temperatures continue to rise in the Okanagan. That said, not everything has worked. Early on, love for Italian varietals led to planting Corvina, a grape widely planted in Valpolicella in the Veneto, northern Italy. It never ripened, but on the other hand, the Arneis is thriving and is a fabulous addition to BC’s growing repertoire.
Much of Moon Curser’s recent success stems from old-fashioned, hard work. Now fifteen years down the road, the vineyards and the knowledge to look after them seem to have meshed. You can’t teach experience, but you can earn it one year at a time which is the real story of this small, hillside estate winery and one of the most exciting wine lineups in Canada.
At the end of the competition, the winery walked away with several medals led by a Platinum for its remarkable ode to the Douro Valley, the 2017 Touriga Nacional. They followed that up with six gold medals for a 2015 Tannat, think Uruguay; 2018 Dolcetto, that’s Italy; a 2017 Malbec, that’s Argentina; a 2017 Tempranillo, a nod to Spain; a 2017 Petit Verdot a classic from Bordeaux; and one final gold for a 2017 Dead of Night, a blend of Syrah and Tannat.
Well, you get the picture, this is one very different producer, and in many ways, a poster child for what we always hoped would be the kind of innovative, family estate winery that would grab the title of the Best Performing Small Winery in Canada. All that is left for you to do is try the wine and eventually visit the winery to experience what the Tolleys did when they first got into the business, something new and intriguing and most of all different."
To view article click here.
Vancouver Sun - Anthony Gismondi: B.C. wine of the week, wine to cellar and calendar items
"B.C. wine of the week
Moon Curser Tannat 2013, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley
$37.30 | 90/100
This is the best Tannat we have seen from Moon Curser, and it has improved in my estimation since the National Wine Awards, where it showed very well. It’s big and chewy but with some softness and plenty of black plum fruit, cloves and a dusting of baker’s spices. You can drink this now, preferably with a rare steak, but I would wait a decade to see the real story (and it will be just fine under screw cap.) The fruit is grown on the very warm Osoyoos East Bench, where Moon Cursor says the sandy soils help mitigate the excessive tannins."
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