I've tasted over 800 Canadian wines in 2021, and am only scratching the surface of the many great wines available from Canadian producers.

Please see below for our Members' Choice Award winners, the full list of my Top 10 Wines of 2021, plus honourable mentions and top value wines. I hope my wine discoveries lead to enjoyable discoveries for you too!


*** 2021 Member's Choice Awards ***

The Member's Choice Awards are presented to the top wineries featured in Carl's Wine Club in 2021, amongst over 55 wineries featured for regular and collector features. 

Three wineries were short-listed based on how often members purchased and re-purchased the wines, engagement on social media, and the level of customer service received from the wineries.

Members then voted for their top choice amongst the short-listed candidates with votes closing January 6, 2021.

*** Top 10 Wines of 2021 ***


2017 Pearl Morissette Chardonnay Cuvée Dix-Neuvième
🔥 Sold-Out 🔥 Watch for limited release from library to CWC Members! 
Ontario, Niagara, Twenty Mile Bench VQA
100% Chardonnay | Dry Wine (RS < 2.0 g/ltr) | 13.5% Alcohol
98pts Carl's Wine Club | Highest Canadian Wine Score to Date! July 10/21

To all the Chardonnay lovers, this is the "Real Deal." Officially my #1 Chardonnay producer... Hands down. After re-tasting it twice since my initial review, I got up the courage to call it what it is. This wine isn't a 96 point wine. This wine is the closest thing to perfection I have tasted amongst Canadian wines. I stand by my score now at 98 points. Oh, and by the way, that is my highest rated wine this year so far, and highest score I've ever given to a Canadian wine to date!

💥 Beyond impressive. This can compete with any Burgundy Chardonnay, any day/any time. The depth, the complexity and the structure are unparalleled. The nose opens up with shy aromas of wet rocks, white flowers and ripe lemon before turning towards toasty almonds and vanilla. With four years of age, the wine still shows youth, power and energy. I had to give it an hour in the decanter before completely opening up. And then... the magic happened! Lemon meringue, camomile, vanilla and caramel are some of the primary flavours. Great flinty minerality and baked goods undertones bring another dimension after the mid-palate. The finish is bright, fresh and impressively long. White pepper and ginger brings a spicy layer mixed with the sweet oak at the very end. Wow.... absolutely Wow! 1142 cases made.

Pairing: rich fish, grilled scallop
Drink now until 2028
Winery price: Not Available 

2018 Upper Bench "Estate Grown" Pinot Noir
BC VQA, Okanagan Valley, Naramata Bench
100% Pinot Noir
95pts Carl’s Wine Club

Wow! Wow! This is definitely entering the race for my wine of the year… absolutely NO DOUBT about that. I have been obsessed with this wine for days now. This is as close to a Grand Cru Burgundy as it gets. Rich but with finesse, powerful but delicate, precise and balanced, this incredible wine seems to be everything at the same time, in a very good way. The earthy nose announces the Old World approach early on, followed by aromas of raspberry jam, leather and pipe tobacco.
The palate offers concentrated flavours of cassis and plum, violet and mushrooms. The finish is incredibly long and complex with notes of minerality, baking spices, dark cocoa, and a splash of caramel. This wine is slowly entering its prime but will get even better over the next five years. Expect to hear about this one for a long time, this is truly a "World Class" wine. One of the best wines in Canada for $36.       96 cases made.

pairings: mushroom risotto, veal marsala
Drink now until 2028
Winery Price: $36.00

2017 Icellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Niagara VQA, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Icel Vineyard
100% Cab Sauv | Dry wine (RS 0.5 g/ltr)
95pts Carl’s Wine Club

I have not tasted a better Cabernet Sauvignon this year and this one is clearly in the top wines for my Top 10 Wines of 2021. Big, bold, rich and explosive, this wine was built to last and is just entering it’s ideal window of drinkability. The tannins are incredibly soft and silky, the texture is somehow unique, that I have not experience from a Canadian Cab Sauv before.
Aromas of black fruits, graphite, pipe tobacco, cedar box and fresh herbs; the nose is fresh and exuberant. On the palate I experienced a symphony of blackberry, plum, crème de cassis, vanilla and mocha before turning to a fresh minty and herbaceous mid palate. The finish lasts forever, and the tannins hold on for what seems an eternity. If you doubt that Canada can produce “World Class” Cabernet Sauvignon, treat yourself to this bottle, it will change your mind.
300 cases made.

Pairings: chateaubriand, beef short ribs
Drink now until 2027
Winery price: $50.00

2019 Black Hills "Nota Bene"
BC VQA, Okanagan Valley
48% Merlot, 34% Cab Sauv, 17% Cab Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
95pts Carl's Wine Club

For the 2019 vintage, the iconic "Nota Bene" is taking a different direction. While the 2018 was more of a rich and concentrated fruit bomb, the most recent vintage is more restrained, precise, focused, extremely long and complex.
Cassis, currants, graphite, pipe tobacco, black forest cake are the dominant characteristics on the nose. The palate opens up on black cherry, blackberry, raspberry liquor and a tad of vanilla, followed by licorice, graphite, chalky minerality and fresh herbs. The finish is absolutely spectacular and the big feature point of this wine. The length is at the next level. A mix of white, pink, black and green pepper make the finale uniquely Black Sage Bench.
The integration of alcohol and oak is wonderful at this stage as much as all the fruit flavours. A beautifully homogeneous wine that is just starting to develop. A very precise and pin-pointed wine, reminding me more of the "Old World" compared to the very much "New World" 2018 - also a spectacular, but very different wine.

Food pairing; beef filet, lamb kebab
Drink between 2023 and 2030
Winery Price: $70.00

2016 Two Sisters Cabernet Franc
Ontario, Niagara River VQA
100% Cab Franc
95pts Carl's Wine Club / Silver Medal - Decanter Word Wine Award

This is a very special wine in terms of texture and concentration. There's a luxurious mouthfeel from the beginning and you understand very quickly that you have something unique in your glass. The nose definitely gives you a good idea of what's coming; notes of macerated dark cherries, espresso coffee, cedar box and tobacco leaves. On the palate there is an explosion of the same cherries mentioned previously with also cassis and blueberry jam. The mid-palate is dense with a complex mixture (but very well rounded all together) of dark chocolate, cappuccino and blackforest cake. The finish is loaded with spices like crushed black pepper, red chili pepper, cloves and cinnamon. There is a great level of acidity throughout the whole process and the tannins are very long, well-rounded, soft and silky. It feels super fluffy in your mouth. The length is spectacularly long helping develop more subtle notes way beyond what you expect. This is big, bold and juicy with much more that I was expecting.
ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!  1,100 cases made.

Pairings: pork roast, hearty meat and vegetable dishes
Drink now until 2028
Winery price: $55.00

2018 Corcelettes “Talus”
BC VQA, Similkameen Valley
38% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec
94pts Carl's Wine Club

A deep-dark, complex, concentrated and wonderfully long-lasting wine. Make no mistake, this 100% Similkameen Valley wine is making his way to stardom! A very expressive nose of cassis and plum, tobacco box and leather, savoury herbs and Christmas spices. From the get-go you realize the intensity and the complexity of this blend.
The front palate is filled with raspberries, black cherry, blackcurrant and sweet plums before turning to dark chocolate, cedar box, pipe tobacco, savoury herbs and many layers of spices. The tannins are present from the mid-palate all the way to the end and they bring the rugged and extreme terroir right into your mouth. Tasting "Talus" is like being present in this very unique place.
The length is beyond impressive and the addition of a healthy 12% of Petit Verdot brings great acidity and complex spices in this very well-structured wine. I believe it can gracefully age for at least a decade.  320 cases made.

Food pairing: beef tartar, steak sandwich
Drink now until 2030
Winery price: $50

2019 Black Market “The Syndicate”
BC VQA, Okanagan Valley
41% Merlot, 31% Cab Franc, 20% Petit Verdot, 8% Cab Sauv
94pts Carl’s Wine Club

WOW… the 2019 vintage is an absolute winner! The Syndicate is the Flagship wine of Black Market and this shows all the potential that you can expect from a top Meritage. This vintage is powerful and muscular. The nose is appealing and fresh with aromas of sweet cherry, vanilla, fresh thyme, cedar box and graphite.
The palate opens up with ripe blackberry, black cherry, sweet cassis and a nice wave of vanilla to make the whole first step approachable. The mid-palate brings chewy tobacco, black tea, dark chocolate, flinty minerality and also loads of complexity and intricacy. The finish is absolutely spectacular with incredible spice (mostly white pepper and clove at the moment), length and complexity. It’s hard to find a better wine for under $40.   225 cases made.

Food pairing: roast beef, hearty beef stew
Drink between 2024 and 2029
Winery price: $38.00 Pre-Release Pricing! $40 Regular Price

2017 Tinhorn Creek “Innovation Series” Ancestral Method
BC VQA, Okanagan Valley
100% Pinot Noir | Dry Wine
94pts Carl’s Wine Club

100% Natural Wine… Bright pineapple, yellow baked apples, ripe Asian pear with creamy texture and very long and complex finish. This wine is aged on lees, so there is a wonderful fresh brioche aromas and buttery croissant to it. The mousse is delicate, persistent and soooo fluffy. The mid palate has lemon meringue texture and flavour tops with dry herbs components and a slight white pepper at the very end. The pairing with Chinese food is so good that I can't stop eating… we finished the whole darn thing!

***This wine was aged on its lees! That means there will be a layer of natural yeast and will need disgorging. The lees aging is what allows this wine to age naturally without preservatives of any kind and adds to the complexity and flavours. Watch for a short video explaining how to disgorge this wine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq5G4MXTQ5o&t=2s

135 cases made.

Drink now until 2024
Pairing: chicken cordon bleu, Chinese food
Winery price: $35.00

2016 Summerhill "Spadefoot Toad" Syrah
BC VQA, Okanagan Valley
100% Organic Syrah
94pts Carl’s Wine Club

Surprisingly this wine remains young and filled with tension, although it came down after some time in the decanter. Another year in bottle should bring it to the next level which is the "Rockstar level". The level that I was expecting from a wine with such pedigree. Remember that I rated the 2014 vintage 95pts and my expectations were "sky high" for this release.

The nose is very expressive with aromas of blueberry, cassis, blackcurrant and dark cherry followed by dark chocolate, expresso coffee and smoked meat. The palate is rich and very concentrated with incredible length and complexity. The biggest feature of this wine is the length; it goes on for a good 25 to 30 seconds with great intensity. This is phenomenal.

On the palate, there is a surprising freshness right at the beginning that announces a well-balanced expression of a big and full body wine. Cassis, blue plums and raspberry, sage and mint, coffee and chocolate, white pepper and clove, tobacco box and cedar, are all flavours that parade in my mouth in a beautiful sequence and in a very harmonious way. The long oak treatment (47 months in neutral oak) brings light vanilla and multiple spice flavours along with a tremendous texture. The thing that strikes me the most with this wine is the "beyond impressive" long peppery finish that perfectly complements the level of concentration and complexity. Another "World Class" showing for this highly anticipated release.

Pairing: beef brisket, lamb roast
Drink between 2024 & 2029
Winery price: $55.00

2018 Sue-Ann Staff “Robert’s Block” Riesling
Niagara Peninsula VQA, Vinemount Ridge
100% Riesling | very slightly Off-Dry wine (RS 8.1 g/ltr)
94pts Carl’s Wine Club

This is the best Riesling I have tasted this year, not even close: incredible depth with superb freshness and complexity. The wine opens up with aromas of chamomile and ripe lemon while getting a hint of pineapple. There is a spectacular minerality and the very high acidity counters the residual sugar to almost a bone-dry finish. Flavours of citrus and green apple are dominant but not to discount the ginger, honeycomb and stone fruit. The outstanding texture and never-ending finish are two features taking this wine to the next level. Serve chilled for freshness and cellar temperature for extreme complexity with a meal. I’m already looking forward to the next vintage…. WOW.
200 cases made.

Pairings: beet salad, pork roast
Drink now until 2026
Winery price: $26.00


2020 Seven Directions ”Tractor & Vines Vineyard” Pinot Noir Rosé
94pts Carl's Wine Club
Honourable Mention - Top 10 Wines of 2021
2017 Sirens Call “Harmonious”
93pts+  Carl's Wine Club
Honourable Mention - Top 10 Wines of 2021

2015 Pond View - Bella Terra Cabernet Franc
94pts Carl's Wine Club
Honourable Mention - Top 10 Wines of 2021

2019 Westcott “Butlers’ Grant” Chardonnay
94pts Carl's Wine Club
Honourable Mention - Top 10 Wines of 2021

2017 Painted Rock Merlot
94pts Carl's Wine Club
Honourable Mention - Top 10 Wines of 2021


2020 Corcelettes "Oracle" Rosé
$19.95 +
93pts Carl's Wine Club
Top Value Rosé Wine of 2021

2019 Fogolar Riesling
92pts Carl's Wine Club 
Top Value White Wine of 2021
2016 Lakeside Cellars “Portage” Red 
$20 +
92pts Carl's Wine Club
Top Value Red Wine of 2021


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