Part 1 of my release notes features four sparkling wines and five white table wines. Batting lead-off for the sparkling wines is the excellent Lallier Grand Cru Rosé Champagne. This is followed by Gérard Bertrand’s Cuvée Thomas Jefferson Crémant de Limoux, the Graham Beck Brut Rosé Cap Classique, and a good Prosecco, the Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.
The first three white table wines are from Burgundy, and the last two are from South Africa. The first is a very good white Burgundy from Domaine de Bellene: Les Charmes Dessus Santenay. This is followed by two Chablis from Hervé Azo and Louis Moreau Domaine de Biéville. The first South African wine is Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White, a Chenin Blanc blend from Avondale, followed by Ken Forester’s dependable Old Vines Reserve Chenin Blanc.
LALLIER GRAND CRU ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE AC
Vintages #385179 • $58.95 • 750ml. • 92/100Here is a fine Grand Cru Rosé Champagne from the excellent "grower" (Récoltant Manipulant) Lallier. It is rather deep salmon, with some coppery notes. The nose shows both doughy bread and light toasty notes, with pretty strawberries, raspberries, red apples and apple blossoms. The palate hints at some residual sugar, largely masked by the crisp acidity. It is fresh, crisp, with bright fruit and the bready/toasty notes are carried by the fine, creamy texture. Just a lovely wine, and when all is said and done, an excellent value for such a fine Champagne.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • AZUREAU WINE AGENCY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
GÉRARD BERTRAND CUVÉE THOMAS JEFFERSON BRUT CRÉMANT DE LIMOUX 2013, Méthode Traditionnelle, AP, Languedoc, France
Vintages #438838 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a traditional method sparkling wine from Limoux (south of Carcassonne), composed of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and the traditional Mauzac grape of Limoux. The wine is medium straw-yellow, with a slightly toffeed green apple note, along with lemon, pear and white peach, and a suggestion of toast and honey. Bright acidity drives the palate, keeping it extremely clean and fresh, balanced by a light creamy mousse that softens the edges, while keeping the finish crisp and mouth-watering. Quite a lovely sparkler for the price.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
GRAHAM BECK BRUT ROSÉ , Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa
Vintages #175588 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The wine is light salmon with coppery highlights. Toasty, floral, strawberry and red apple aromas fill the nose. Crisp acidity and a creamy mousse define the palate, and the fruit and toasty notes linger on the lengthy finish. This is an excellent value for a traditional method (Cap Classique) sparkler.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • VINEXX (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
NINO FRANCO BRUT VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG
Vintages #349662 • $21.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Here is another edition of the dependable Nino Franco Prosecco Superiore. The wine is brut, with just a hint of residual sugar masked by brisk acidity. You will find bright floral notes of white flowers, with lemon, perfumed red apple, white peach fruit and a light honey note. The frothy mousse keeps the palate light and lively into a pleasant, crisp finish.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • CARPE VINUM INTERNATIONAL (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE DE BELLENE LES CHARMES DESSUS SANTENAY AC 2013
Vintages #435032 • $35.95 • 750ml. • 91/100This is a fine Santenay from Nicolas Potel's Domaine de Bellene. Attractive floral lemon and yellow apple aromas are framed by a lightly resinous, nutty and vanilla frame. Crisp acidity drives the balanced palate, that builds a toasted sourdough and honey richness, but finishes with an acidic bite. This is certainly drinking well now, but deserves another three to five years in the cellar.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HERVÉ AZO CHABLIS AC 2014
Vintages #185736 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The wine is light straw-yellow, with aromas of white flowers, green apples and lemon-lime. Bone dry, with high acidity, the palate is filled with stony minerality, and yet there is a suggestion of generosity from a lactic-yoghurt component that takes the wine a step away from austerity. The finish is fresh and saline. Very good.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • ROUGE ET BLANC LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LOUIS MOREAU DOMAINE DE BIÉVILLE CHABLIS AC 2014
Vintages #106161 • $25.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Here is another good chalky-saline, lemon and green apple Chablis. High acidity softened by pleasant leesy richness, showing cheese rind and yoghurt notes, all lead to a crisp, mineral finish. Everything is in place and in perfect proportion.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • ARTISANAL WINE IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
AVONDALE JONTY'S DUCKS PEKIN WHITE 2014, WO Paarl
Vintages #439554 • $14.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a wine from vineyards that are farmed using biodynamic techniques — the ducks in question are brought in to eat snails that attack the vines. The wine is an unusual blend of Chenin Blanc, supplemented by Roussanne, Muscat de Frontignan, Viognier and Semillon. The nose is interesting and lightly volatile, with aromas suggesting yellow apples, lemons, grapefruit and white flowers. Brisk acidity keeps the palate fresh and vibrant, while the fruit on the palate takes on a rich and honeyed tone. A very compelling value.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • RARE EARTH WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2015, WO Stellenbosch
Vintages #231282 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is the latest release of a very good Chenin from South Africa. The wine is medium yellow, with aromas of white flowers and honeyed green apple and lemon. Firm acidity balances slightly elevated alcohol, and the palate has a lovely texture and weight, that carries the fruit into a stony-mineral finish. Excellent value as always.
Tasted Jan 23, 2016 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation