November 14, 2015 Release Part 3: white wines

In Part 3 of my release notes I review 10 excellent white wines, many in the premium price category. Five are Chardonnays: two are from Ontario, two are premier cru Chablis, and one is from Sonoma Coast. A third Canadian wine makes the review list, the 2012 Stratus White Chardonnay-Sauvignon blend from Niagara. The remaining wines span the globe: a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a fine Pinot Grigio from Friuli, a Fallanghina from Campania and a Riesling from Alsace.

3423

BACHELDER SAUNDERS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2012, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #324103 • $44.95 • 750ml. • 91/100
Bachelder's Saunders vineyard bottling is always a treat. Pleasant lemon, apple and melon aromas are supplemented by vanilla and a hint of resin, with just a suggestion of volatility. The wine is dry, with brisk acidity that brings forward the core of citrus-apple fruit. The wood is still integrating, and I found it just a touch awkward — nothing that a little more time in bottle won't cure. A lovely wine that has been influenced by, but has not succumbed to, the warm 2012 vintage.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3425

CLOSSON CHASE CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013, VQA Prince Edward County

Vintages #148866 • $27.95 • 750ml. • 92/100
The wine is rather deep straw yellow, with rich and slightly toasty vanilla complementing bright, fresh lemon and apple fruit. The wine is dry and crisp, and shows that exciting Prince Edward County profile of modest alcohol and higher acidity. There is a lactic creaminess on the palate, and the wood and vanilla flavours are nicely integrating with the fruit. This is an excellent wine, my favourite to date from this producer, and perhaps just a slight change in direction. I'm excited for the future here!
Tasted Oct. 23, 2015 • CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARDS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3424

STRATUS WHITE 2012, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake

Vintages #660704 • $44.20 • 750ml. • 90/100
This is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. You'll find complex aromas of honey, white flowers, herbs, lemon and yellow apple — fully ripe fruit in a toasty-vanilla frame. The wine is dry, with balanced acidity and alcohol. Fruit on the palate is fully ripe, almost veering to the over-ripe, and yet there is also an herbal streak, with a toasty and lightly resinous undeprinning. An intriguing and highly attractive wine for sure, but it gives me a slight sense of discomfort, as though it is fighting the cool climate constraints of its Niagara heritage,
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • STRATUS VINEYARDS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3435

DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON MONT DE MILIEU CHABLIS 1ER CRU AC 2010

Vintages #373548 • $44.95 • 750ml. • 92/100
This a serious and developing premier cru Chablis that has great intensity and depth, but maintains a lightness and freshness. The lemon, apple and melon fruit on the nose are supplemented by dust, chalk and a suggestion of wet plaster. The palate is nicely balanced, with the elevated acidity mellowed by a surprising waxy-honeyed note, and the merest hint of wood exposure. Really terrific and ready to drink, although it can certainly be cellared for some time.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • CORK AND CROWN (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3433

LA CHABLISIENNE MONTMAINS CHABLIS 1ER CRU AC 2012

Vintages #265090 • $32.95 • 750ml. • 91/100
This is a very good premier cru Montmains from the respected co-operative La Chablisienne. With a bright core of lemon and white flower aromas, surrounded by yellow apples and ripe melons, there is also an underlying bitter leesy tone that intrigues. The palate is crisp and fresh, with a breadth from lees contact and a lightly creamy texture, and a lingering lemon-mineral finish. A fine value.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3452

FLOWERS SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY 2013, Sonoma Coast

Vintages #215210 • $64.95 • 750ml. • 92/100
This is a very fine Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from Flowers. Intense aromas of lemon, yellow apples and white flowers are framed by light vanilla and wood spice. The palate is rich, with the lovely fruit mixed with vanilla and cream, yet there is enough acidity to pull the balance towards freshness, and a stony minerality emerges and carries through to the finish. This bright and elegant Sonoma Coast cool climate character still shows its underlying California heritage in its breadth and power — a very fine wine, though at a significant price.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • ROGERS & COMPANY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3448

DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #677450 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 91/100
This continues to be one of my favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, in the $25 and under price range. It is watery white, with hints of silvery straw. The nose is intense, stopping short of strident, and lightly reductive, with vibrant jalapeno pepper, grass, grapefruit and melon notes. Dry, with elevated acidity, creamy leesy notes soften the mid-palate, as the dominant grapefruit and jalapeno flavours transition into an acid-grapefruit-mineral finish. Top notch NZ savvy.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • LIQUID ART FINE WINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3444

JERMANN PINOT GRIGIO 2014, IGT Venezia Giulia

Vintages #117093 • $32.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
$33 for a Pinot Grigio? Well yes, if you'd actually like to find out what a very good one is like! The wine is light straw with glints of silver. The nose is fresh and complex, with aromas of white flowers, scented red apples, lemon and an overlay of dried herbs. The wine is dry, with elevated acidity and balanced alcohol, the lovely fruit carries through the palate — crisp, clean and underpinned by a slight bitterness that I find in good Pinot Grigios. A treat if you can spring for it.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3443

TERREDORA FALANGHINA 2014, IGT Campania

Vintages #642074 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
The wine is a medium straw colour with glints of yellow. Aromas of lemon, apple and green herbs foretell the palate, which adds a lightly earthy and saline undertone. Dry, crisp, fresh, lively and mineral — a perfect example of Falanghina. Excellent value.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



3432

J. FRITSCH RIESLING 2014, AC Alsace

Vintages #430520 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This is a very well-priced example of Alsace Riesling. Complex aromas of honey and beeswax set a framework that houses fresh flowers, red apples, lime, grapefruit and fresh herbs. The wine is dry, with crisp, lively acidity that drives the honey, apple and grapefruit palate to a fresh and "zingy" finish. Just a lovely mouthful of wine.
Tasted Oct. 16, 2015 • TERRA FIRMA WINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



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