I have two sparkling wines to add to a selection of eight white wines from the September 19 Vintages release: a premier cru growers Champagne and a well-priced Blanquette de Limoux. The white table wines include three local Ontario Rieslings, a fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a premier cru Chablis, a very good Pinot Grigio, and two interesting value wines: an Assyrtiko blend from Greece and a Viognier from Chile.
RENE GEOFFROY EXPRESSION BRUT 1ER CRU AC
Vintages #421008 • $49.95 • 750ml. • 91/100This is a pleasant, modern and focused 1er cru growers Champagne. It is lightly bready, with simple green apple, pear, lemon and white flowers on the nose. The wine is brut, with crisp acidity that hides a modest amount of residual sugar. The bready/toasty element has a larger impact on the palate, but the wine is still largely fruit-driven, with a mineral underpinning and a long finish. A good value for premier cru Champagne.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ANTECH RÉSERVE BRUT BLANQUETTE DE LIMOUX AC 2012
Vintages #656470 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100Blanquette de Limoux is a traditional method sparkling wine made largely from the local Blanquette (or Mauzac) grape. This has the distinctive green apple and white flower notes I associate with the grape, alongside riper yellow apple and lemon aromas. The wine is brut, with crisp acidity that masks a whisper of residual sugar. Tart green apple flavours dominate the palate, along with a light leesy and toasty character. This is an excellent sipper, and will be especially fine with shellfish and lighter seafood.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
THIRTY BENCH RIESLING 2013, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #24133 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89.5/100The Thirty Bench Riesling has been a standard-bearer for Andrew Peller for many years. This has a "Riesling" nose: the beginnings of a rubber-tinged minerality, with bright red apple, lemon, grapefruit, white flowers and honey notes. The wine is off-dry, with balancing acidity. The palate shows some honeyed richness, and the minerality is very apparent, underlying the pleasant fruit.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • ANDREW PELLER LIMITED (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING 2014, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #80234 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The Featherstone Blacksheep Riesling continues to carry on its good track record with this balanced off-dry offering. Bright red-apple and floral aromas, with a lemon-grapefruit citrus base, are supplemented with a hint of rubber-mineral. While the wine is noticeably off-dry, with very modest alcohol, the acidity keeps the wine fresh and crisp on the mid palate, and carries through to the finish. Very nice effort.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • FEATHERSTONE WINERY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KEW VINEYARDS ORGANIC RIESLING 2013, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #426460 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100There has been a significant movement to off-dry and sweeter Rieslings in Niagara, and it's good to see a producer bucking that trend, and staying well on the dry side. The nose has aromas suggesting white flowers and apple blossoms, red apples, lemons and grapefruit. The wine is dry, fresh, and crisp, and while the apple and citrus flavours fill the palate, that crispness comes across as stony minerality and dominates the finish. Nicely done.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • KEW VINEYARDS ESTATE WINERY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ALAIN GEOFFROY BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU AC 2013
Vintages #733501 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This Premier Cru Chablis shows light yellow, with a rich, vibrant slightly leesy nose, accompanied by aromas of yellow apple, lemons, white flowers and stony minerality. Acidity is brisk, yet the fruit on the palate has enough ripeness that, with a touch of creaminess from the lees, it stops short of austerity. The finish is focused and precise. A fine value.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • EDWARD'S WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
AUNTSFIELD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #663286 • $20.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This is an excellent New Zealand Savvy. Vibrant (but not at all strident) herbaceous tones — earthy bell peppers, cut grass, delicate cucumber goodness — all nestle in a grapefruit, green apple and honeydew melon fruit cocktail garnished with white flowers. It sounds crazy, but it really works. The palate is dry, with high acidity, balanced alcohol, more focused on the fruit, with a grapefruit and mineral finish. Classy and quite delicious.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • DB WINE & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SCHIOPETTO PINOT GRIGIO 2013, DOC Collio
Vintages #234757 • $32.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This wine shows Pinot Grigio as it should be. It has quite vibrant floral, apple and lemon aromas, and a dry, crisp and fresh palate with a creamy, slightly viscous mouth feel. The finish is long, and has a slightly bitter-mineral character. Some intense character here, but with lots of finesse.
Tasted Sept 8, 2015 • LE SOMMELIER INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ATLANTIS DRY WHITE 2014, PGI Cyclades, Santorini
Vintages #371658 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This is an easy-going introduction to Assyrtiko, which is softened by small portions of Aidani and Athiri, that add a hint of florality and soften the high acidity. The nose is fresh, with aromas of white flowers, lemon blossoms, lemon, and red apples, but is mostly characterized by a firm, stony minerality. Acidity is brisk, the palate is clean: with a pleasant dry and mineral finish.
Tasted Sept 8, 2015 • THE KOLONAKI GROUP INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TABALÍ RESERVA VIOGNIER 2013, Limari Valley
Vintages #406967 • $13.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Here is a well-made Viognier at a price that you just can't beat. It is lightly floral, with complex lemon, red apple, peach and apricot fruit on the nose. It is just off-dry, with balanced acidity and alcohol. There is some richness on the palate, and while the fruit is perhaps constrained for the variety, it is well-defined and very pleasant. The touch of sweetness dries on the finish, which ends with a suggestion of bitterness. If you like aromatic whites, this is a great value.
Tasted Sept 4, 2015 • HOBBS & CO. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation