The August 8 release continues to bring some impressive white wines into the province, but let me begin with three sparkling wines and four red wines of interest. The sparkling wines include a vintage Champagne from Piper-Heidsieck, a Crémant de Loire, and a good Prosecco.
The reds include a local Shiraz – Cabernet, two Pinot Noirs from France, and a Pinot Noir from Oregon.
2006 PIPER-HEIDSIECK BRUT CHAMPAGNE AC
Vintages #409326 • $79.95 • 750ml. • 92/100This is a lovely, rich and almost opulent expression of vintage Champagne — roughly 50-50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Medium yellow in the glass, the nose suggests rich, ripe yellow apples, raspberries and lemon, brioche, toast and sponge toffee, with a note of spiced honey. The wine is brut, with a modicum of residual sugar that heightens the richness and breadth of the palate, without losing its crispness. The fruit and toast evolve into a nutty-spicy finish. Rich, yet elegant and refined.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • GLAZER'S OF CANADA (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BOUVET BRUT EXCELLENCE CRÉMANT DE LOIRE, Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Loire, France
Vintages #303636 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This sparkling Chenin-Blanc (supplement with an unspecified percentage of Chardonnay) is light straw-yellow, with aromas of lemon and green apple fruit over a toasty and slightly earthy backdrop. The wine is brut, with high acidity balanced by modest residual sugar that emphasizes the honeyed notes on the palate, while the fruit and toasty notes stay crisp and lead to a stony mineral finish. Very good value.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
VALDO MARCA ORO VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG
Vintages #422840 • $15.95 • 750ml. • 88/100A refreshing nose of white peach, honeydew melon, pears and honeysuckle presages the crisp but just off-dry palate, where fresh, bright lime-lemon and green apple fruit, lead to a crisp mineral finish. Easy drinking, but quite a classy Prosecco at a very fair price.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
2012 INNISKILLIN RESERVE SHIRAZ/CABERNET, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #225482 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100I reviewed this wine a year ago, soon after it was bottled, and my current notes are (thankfully) very similar. We know that the blend is Shiraz-dominant, but the company website declines to give more information about the "Cabernet" components or other technical details. The wine is a deep ruby-red. It is nicely perfumed, with notes of violets, along with aromas of red cherries, blackberries and plums. The wine is dry (with just a suggestion of sweetness), balanced alcohol, brisk acidity and elevated rather sandy tannins. The fruit is quite rich on the palate, with wood notes of chocolate and resin, and an undercurrent of black earth, twigs and dry leaves. Quite a good wine that could use another year or two in bottle. Decant if drinking early.
Tasted July 28, 2015 • CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
2012 DOMAINE PAVELOT SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE AUX GRAVAINS 1ER CRU AC
Vintages #206136 • $53.95 • 750ml. • 91/100This is a very attractive wine with a classic red Burgundy profile. The wine is a youthful medium ruby-red, with a vibrant nose suggesting cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, along with twigs and earth, and a savoury and meaty nuance. The palate stays fresh and crisp, with finely-etched fruit nicely balancing the savoury depth, and building to a stony-mineral finish. A very good value for this level of Burgundy.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • VINIFERA WINE SERVICES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
2013 DOMAINE BONNARD SANCERRE ROUGE AC
Vintages #65995 • $23.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100We don't see much red Sancerre — that's Pinot Noir — here in Ontario, so this is a welcome offering. It is light ruby-red, with garnet highlights. Bright aromas include fresh-cut cedar, dry herbs and vibrant cranberry - raspberry fruit. Dry, fresh, balanced, with light tannins and a dry stony finish, this is fresher and lighter than basic Burgundy, but none the worse for that. I find it quite captivating, a great mix of green, fruit and mineral that makes me want to taste and smell again and again. Not a crowd pleaser by any means, but fun, interesting and great with lighter fare.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • M.C.O. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
2011 SOKOL BLOSSER PINOT NOIR, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley
Vintages #748434 • $34.95 • 750ml. • 90/100The wine is light ruby-red, showing garnet on the rim. Aromas of cranberry and raspberry fruit are certainly fresh, but also carry some ripeness, over earthy and twiggy notes, and pleasant vanilla and oak spice. The wine is nicely balanced — dry, with slightly elevated acidity, moderate alcohol and medium softening tannins — and has a silky texture with some richness that gives a real elegance. A very good example of Oregon Pinot.
Tasted July 24, 2015 • PMA CANADA LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation