The glossy Vintages August 22 release catalogue promotes a theme of 90+ point wines — 12 whole pages of them! As usual I tasted through more than half of the release wines, and with my (possibly parsimonious) approach I only found three wines I’d put in that category. In my books, 90 and 90+ point wines should be very rare, but as usual I found a set of wines that I think are worth telling you about and recommending.
In Part 1 of my release notes I recommend two French Rosés and six whites, including the fine 2012 Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling, that I rates at 92 points. In Part two, I recommend ten red wines, two of which meet or break my 90 point barrier.
I’ve been a little disappointed with the rosé wines released this summer, but here are two I can recommend. And it’s a good time to stock up, because rosé works in the winter too and they are hard to find.
BEAUREVOIR TAVEL ROSÉ AC 2014
Vintages #991331 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is one of the better rosés to come through the system this year. It is light ruby-pink, with aromas of bright, fresh cherry, raspberry and strawberry, with light herbal-garrigue notes and a hint of dry leaves. Nicely balanced, it has slightly elevated acidity with some richness and breadth. The fruit and herbs on the palate are enhanced by an earthy note that adds some complexity. Very good.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FAMILLE PERRIN RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2014, AC Côtes du Rhône
Vintages #719062 • $15.95 • 750ml. • 88/100The wine is light salmon in colour, with pretty strawberry, raspberry, and floral notes, and a dusting of dry herbs. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, and the fruit carries through to a stony-mineral finish. Very drinkable on its own, and will work well with lighter fare.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
Riesling is one of Niagara’s jewels, and with his Picone Vineyard bottlings, Charles Baker has begun to establish himself as a premium producer.
CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2012, VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #241182 • $35.20 • 750ml. • 91/100Despite the warm vintage in Niagara, this Charles Baker Picone Vineyard is a real success. The nose is vibrant, with just a precursive hint of mineral-rubber, then white flowers, apple blossoms, red apples, lime and honeydew melon. It is just off-dry, with crisp acidity that keeps the palate tart and clean. The palate fills with flavours of green apple and lime, red apple with apple blossoms, and that slightly earthy-rubber note that almost comes across as texture. A very fine effort indeed.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • STRATUS VINEYARDS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
The remaining five whites are an eclectic set of rather classic wines from around the world: a Sauvignon-Semillon blend from Australia, a Chablis, a Trebbiano di Lugana and a Pinot Grigio from Italy, and a Chenin Blanc from South Africa.
WILLOW BRIDGE ESTATE DRAGONFLY SAUVIGNON BLANC/SEMILLON 2014, Geographe, Western Australia
Vintages #418368 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend is fresh, lightly herbal and grassy, with aromas of lime, green apples, a hint of grapefruit and white flowers, and a mineral-chalk undertone. Acidity is crisp, alcohol is modest, and the finish is intense and mineral. Very nice wine for the price, and not a New Zealand Savvy wannabe.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE LOUIS MOREAU CHABLIS AC 2014
Vintages #124305 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 88/100Here is a very good Chablis from Louis Moreau. It is medium straw-yellow, with a nose of fresh green apples, lime and white flowers, and a chalky edge. Acidity is elevated, alcohol is modest, and the palate is vibrant and slightly creamy, with a chalky, mineral finish. Very good example of the genre.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • ARTISANAL WINE IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
S. CRISTINA MASSONI LUGANA DOC 2014
Vintages #200097 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This Trebbiano di Lugana — Verdicchio — is surprisingly aromatic, featuring aromas of lemon and grapefruit, red apple, white peach, peach blossoms and tangerines. The wine is dry with crisp acidity masking just a hint of sweetness. The fruit and floral flavours fill the palate and evolve into a slightly bitter almond finish. This is pleasant and easy to drink, but very expressive. A fine value.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • JOSEPH CIPELLI WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
POGGIOBELLO PINOT GRIGIO 2013, DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli
Vintages #412734 • $21.95 • 750ml. • 89/100It's good to find a Pinot Grigio stands out from the crowd of generic examples that have swamped our wine store shelves. The nose fills with pretty lemon, green and golden apple fruit, white flowers and a hint of wet stones. The wine has crisp acidity, balanced alcohol, and the palate is rich and creamy, with white peach and peach blossoms enhancing the pleasant citrus and apple flavours. Nice complexity and richness, while retaining some elegance.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • REGAZZI WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MAN VINTNERS FREE-RUN STEEN CHENIN BLANC 2014, WO Coastal Region
Vintages #126847 • $13.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This is a very drinkable Chenin Blanc from South Africa at an amazing price. You will find aromas of honeyed lemon and green apples, white flowers and beeswax, that carry nicely into the palate with its rich and creamy texture. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity and balanced alcohol — fresh, lively and an excellent value.
Tasted August 7, 2015 • VON TERRA ENTERPRISES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation