Eight French sparkling and white wines

"... Here I recommend eight French wines: two sparkling and six white table wines ..."

available in Ontario after March 4, 2017

In this release, I found so many sparkling and white wines that I wanted to recommend, that I’ve split them into two posts. Here I review eight French wines — two sparkling and six table wines. The sparkling wines are a well-priced grower’s Champagne from Delouvin-Bagnost, and the repeat of a value-laden Crémant d’Alsace rosé from Pierre Sparr.

The table wines include three Chardonnays, two Sauvignon Blancs and a Pinot Gris. The Chardonnays are a regional Chablis from William Fèvre, a Pouilly-Fuissé from Château de Lavernette, and a Mâcon-Solutré from Vins Auvigue. The Sauvignon Blancs are a Sancerre from Domaine Bonnard and a Val de Loire from Domaine a Deux. The Pinot Gris is from Domaine Boeckel in Alsace.

7638

DELOUVIN-BAGNOST BRUT CHAMPAGNE AC

Vintages #385369 • $44.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This wine is made by a récoltant-manipulant or grower producer, implying that wines are produced only from grapes grown on the estate's vineyards. The wine is bright straw-yellow, with yellow-gold highlights. Toasty brioche, hazelnut and floral notes presage lemon and ripe yellow apple aromas. The wine is dryish, with high acidity masking the residual sugar. The creamy texture contrasts with the still-fresh and tart fruit on the palate, with the nutty and toasty notes lingering on the stony-mineral finish. Quite a good value for non-vintage Champagne, but just a notch below the release in January of 2016.
Tasted 17-Feb-2017 • AMV - WHIZ TRADING LRD (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7637

PIERRE SPARR BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT D'ALSACE AC

Vintages #39016 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
The wine is medium salmon with pink highlights. The nose is very pretty — aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, red apples and cherries surround a lemony core, with light toasty notes around the edges. The wine is off-dry, with sweetness hidden by high acidity, and has a nicely creamy texture. The fruit is richer and riper on the palate, but maintains a tart freshness that continues into the mineral finish. A very good value indeed.
Tasted 21-Feb-17 • DU CHASSE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7663

WILLIAM FÈVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX CHABLIS AC 2015

Vintages #461640 • $23.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
On the nose, the pleasant aromas of lemon and apple are complemented by notes of melon and pear, ripe but still maintaining good freshness and a sense of Chablis minerality. The wine is dry and the acidity is firm, although perhaps ever-so-slightly lower than normal, reflecting the generally warmer 2015 vintage. Thus the fruit on the palate is inviting, with an unusual generosity — still very much Chablis, however, with the spine of acidity driving into the finish with a lightly saline nuance. A well-crafted Chablis that will be an easy entry point for consumers.
Tasted 17-Feb-2017 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7661

CHÂTEAU DE LAVERNETTE CUVÉE JEAN JACQUES DE BOISSIEU POUILLY FUISSE AC 2013

Vintages #485342 • $37.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
The wine is a maturing medium yellow with gold highlights. The nose is slightly volatile, with notes of cedary resin, lemon, yellow apple and vanilla. It is dry, with firm acidity and balanced alcohol. Fruit on the palate is ripe and showing some evolution, and the cedary resin gently carries into the finish. There is some bottle variation in the two samples I tried, and the score reflects the fresher bottle.
Tasted 17-Feb-2017 • NATURAL VINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7662

VINS AUVIGUE LE MOULIN DU PONT MÂCON-SOLUTRÉ AP 2014

Vintages #485268 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This unoaked Chardonnay is from the village of Solutré in the Mâcon. Bright aromas of lemon, yellow apple and melon fruit are edged by a note of wet-stone minerality. The wine is dry, with zesty acidity and a lightly creamy texture that gives a suggestion of breadth. The finish is tart and stony. Quite elegant and harmonious, and a good value.
Tasted 21-Feb-17 • DU CHASSE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7665

DOMAINE BONNARD SANCERRE AC 2015

Vintages #140525 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This is an interesting take on Sancerre: subtle, elegant and yet with an underlying linear firmness that can take you by surprise. On the nose, hints of grass and earthy wet stones underlie fresh, clean notes of white flowers, lime, green apples and honeydew melon. Zesty acidity is balanced by a leesy-lactic note, and the crisp fruit and subtle grassy and vegetal tones carry into a stony and saline finish. Very good.
Tasted 2/28/2017 • M.C.O. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7664

DOMAINE A DEUX SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, IGP Val de Loire

Vintages #470955 • $13.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
This is a simple, straightforward but highly drinkable Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. It is a lighter straw-yellow, with bright aromas of lime, green apple, honeydew melon and white flowers, with an edge of fresh herbs. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, and a slightly earthy undertone that adds depth to the fruit and herbs on the palate. Vibrant, lively, and an outstanding value.
Tasted 2/28/2017 • FBM INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



7660

BOECKEL PINOT GRIS 2014, AC Alsace

Vintages #469684 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
The wine is medium yellow-gold. Aromas of perfumed red apples lead to a core of lemon, honeydew melon and pear, underpinned by notes of dried honey and beeswax. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity balancing the rich, honeyed palate. This is a slightly riper style of Pinot Gris, maintaining good acidity while carrying some weight and breadth. Very much worth trying.
Tasted 2/28/2017 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



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