Crisp and aromatic whites

"... white wines can be so expressive. Here is an opportunity to explore ten crisp and aromatic examples ..."

available in Ontario after November 26, 2016

Here I highlight the delights of fresh acidity and bright aromas and flavours. My lead wine is a sweet wine from Jurançon, the 2012 Domaine Cauhape Symphonie De Novembre. Great acidity balances an almost luscious sweetness, displaying lovely ripe fruit.

Of the two Rieslings, the 2012 Domaines Schlumberger Kessler Riesling from Alsace emphasizes the crisp side, with an austere, mineral profile, while the 2014 Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier DOM Riesling from the Mosel is very off-dry, with pretty fruit but lots of balancing acidity.

I beg those of you who regularly drink basic Pinot Grigio to try the 2015 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio, a lovely aromatic example from Friuli for $19.95. This wine starts to show some of the potential of the grape, while staying within the genre at a reasonable price. And following this are two very different examples of Sauvignon Blanc. The first is the 2015 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, a fairly mainstream Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that I think has more interest than some of the larger production labels that are so common, while the second is an elegant and mineral Loire Valley wine, the 2015 Chavet & Fils La Dame De Jacques Coeur Menetou-Salon Blanc.

Then we have a chance to compare two wines from the Albariño (= Alvarinho) grape. The first is the 2014 Barbuntín Albariño from Rias Baixas from Spain, and the second the 2015 Afectus Alvarinho from the Minho region, just across (and south) of the Minho river from Rias Baixas. While both show lots of characteristic ripe apple and peach fruit, the first has a savoury-mineral edge, while the second is a little softer and prettier, though still firmly mineral.

The second-last wine is an aromatic white from Sardinia, the 2014 Vigne Surrau Branu Vermentino Di Gallura, that shows lots of ripe fruit in a lightly creamy frame. And the final wine is the 2015 Domaine De La Gaverie Demi-Sec Vouvray, an off-dry Chenin Blanc from Vouvray that typifies the style and offers us an easy entry point for a little WineDiscovery.

There is lots to enjoy here, and I hope you do!



Vintages #470344 • $38.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100
This is a classic, sweet Jurançon wine made from Petit Marseng. It is late harvest, hence the reference to November in the name, and has some apparent botrytis. It was fermented in one- to two-year-old barrels, with ten months aging, and then another six months in vat before bottling. The wine is medium yellow-gold. Intense ripe and baked apple, apricot jam, orange marmalade and peach fruit combine with light floral, spice and ginger notes. While the wine is sweet, the firm acidity dampens the sweetness and keeps the palate lively. The fruit is rich and ripe, the texture creamy, and the spicy notes are enticing on the lengthy finish, where the acidity lingers. Lovely indeed, and an excellent value for an enticing sweet wine — a WineDiscovery adventure for sure!
Tasted Oct 21, 2016 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #61176 • $27.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100
This is a style of Riesling that I thoroughly enjoy. The grapes come from the sandstone soils of the Kessler Grand Cru vineyard. The wine is lighter yellow in colour. Honeyed apple, lemon, lime and white flower aromas fill the nose, with just a hint of smoky petrol. The wine is bone-dry, with vivid acidity, and medium alcohol and body. The palate withholds the fruit that is promised on the nose, focusing down to a stony mineral core with just a little apple and lemon nuance around the edges, followed by a lingering, mineral-infused finish. The wine is challenging — there is little charm here, but rather a stern and austere presence that I find exhilarating.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #359596 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
The DOM wines are the base-level wines from Mosel producer Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier. The wine is light straw-yellow. Perfumed red apple, lemon, melon and peach fruit hide a note of Riesling rubber-mineral. The wine is medium dry, with low alcohol, and rich fruit on the palate. Very pleasant, with acidity popping on the finish. Good value for a sweeter Riesling.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2015, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti

Vintages #474742 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is an excellent Pinot Grigio from the fine Alto Adige producer Tiefenbrunner. The wine is light straw-yellow. The nose is lightly floral, with white flowers and peach blossoms, then ripe but delicate apple, lemon, peach and apricot fruit. The wine is dry, with fresh acidity, balanced alcohol and generous fruit that carries into a lengthy finish with a hint of characteristic bitterness towards the end. Serious Pinot Grigio at a very competitive price.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • ROGERS & COMPANY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #919514 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is very light straw in colour. Obvious vegetal and herbaceous notes (cooked asparagus, grass and hay) lead into grapefruit, green apple and melon fruit aromas. The wine is dry, with just a little residual sugar masked by the brisk acidity, and showing as just a little softness. Grapefruit and apple flavours dominate the palate, as the herbaceous and vegetal notes recede. The finish is lengthy and drying. Mainstream New Zealand Sauvignon at a competitive price.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • SELECT WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #525048 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
Menetou-Salon, southeast of Sancerre and inland from the Loire, is the home of competitively priced Sauvignon Blanc wines. This example is very light straw. The nose presents lemon, lime and green apple fruit with a stony undertone, and just hints of grass and earthy-vegetal tones. Dry, with vibrant acidity, the clean, fresh palate displays more fruit, adding white grapefruit to the mix, and has a pleasant, firm citrus and stone finish. Good value.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • TASTEVIN SELECTIONS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #461285 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
This is an Albariño from Rias Baixas. The wine is medium yellow-gold. The nose presents bright, fresh, peach and peach blossom notes, with apple and lemon. The wine is dry, with brisk acidity, moderate alcohol and a medium body. The fruit is fresh and crisp on the palate, but a little complexity is added by an herbal edge, that evolves into a savoury and saline finish.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


AFECTUS ALVARINHO 2015, Vino Regional Minho

Vintages #471276 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is an Alvarinho from the Minho region of Vinho Verde. The wine is a lighter straw-yellow. The nose is fresh and lightly stony, with notes of peach blossoms, peach, lemon and apple. Dry, with lively acidity, and a medium body, the palate is fresh and clean, gathering a little weight as the fruit seems to concentrate towards the finish, which lingers with peach fruit and stony minerality.
Tasted Oct 21, 2016 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #455246 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This Vermentino from Sardinia is medium straw-yellow in colour. It is very aromatic, with peach blossoms, lemon, yellow apple and peach aromas. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol and a rather full body. The palate is slightly opulent, with a rich, creamy texture that carries the apple and peach fruit into the finish, where the acidity re-emerges into a stony minerality that lingers. Very good.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #470948 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is a pretty, off-dry Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. The wine is light straw, with beeswax and honey aromas underpinning green apple, lemon and hay. Fresh acidity balances the sweetness, adding brightness to the slightly waxy and honeyed apple and lemon fruit on the palate. A WineDiscovery selection that may take you just half a step off the beaten path.
Tasted Oct 28, 2016 • BRAND NEW DAY WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



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