Seven whites and a sparkler from the April 1 Vintages release

"... Crémant de Bourgogne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Chenin Blanc ..."

This selection starts with a pleasant and well-made Crémant de Bourgogne from Bailly-Lapierre, that sells at the very attractive price of $19.95. Stock up and enjoy any time as the weather warms.

Two fine Sauvignon Blancs provide another entry point for examining the diversity of the grape, as discussed here. The excellent 2016 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc is a refined version of fairly mainstream Marlborough, while the 2015 Château Grand Mouëys is a Sauvignon Blanc blend that has subtle but substantive Bordeaux character.

Of the two recommended Chardonnays, the first is a local Niagara offering, the 2015 Flat Rock Cellars “Unplugged” Chardonnay, an excellent value for a very good wine, while the second is the slightly more ambitious 2015 Wild Grace Chardonnay from Kim Crawford’s Hawkes Bay properties.

Two nicely contrasting wines made from the Pinot Gris grape are from Alsace and Südtirol/Alto Adige:  the richer, weightier 2014 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés Pinot Gris, and the lighter and focused 2015 Kellerei Magdelena Pinot Grigio. The final wine is a representative and value-laden South African Chenin from Ken Forester, his 2016 Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch.

8053

BAILLY LAPIERRE RÉSERVE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE , Traditional method, AC, Burgundy

Vintages #991562 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
This simple, easy-drinking sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté. The nose shows pretty floral notes, with hints of toast underlying bright green apple and lemon aromas. A touch of sweetness is masked by the bright acidity, and the fruit seems a little riper on the palate, with red rather than green apple and perhaps some melon too. The finish dries with a lemony tang. Very pleasing and a fine value.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8077

DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #677450 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
Dog Point continues to produce stunningly good Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. The wine is pale straw, with a slightly reductive, smoky, mineral and sweaty attack, that eventually allows delicate green apple and grapefruit notes to edge through. Brilliant acidity drives the palate, helping the grapefruit-apple flavours rise to the fore as the reductive elements recede into a flinty, grapefruit-tinged finish. While this is more mainstream Marlborough than their lovely barrel-fermented offering, it will nevertheless stand far above the crowd. A terrific wine.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8067

CHATEAU GRAND MOUËYS 2015, Bordeaux Blanc AC

Vintages #489807 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This is a very appealing white Bordeaux, mostly Sauvignon Blanc with relatively small additions of Semillon and Muscadelle. The nose shows subtle notes of hay and cut grass, with lemon and yellow apple fruit, and a cedary depth that suggests barrel fermentation. The wine is bone-dry, with a light, creamy texture that adds some substance and weight, balancing the crisp fruit that lingers into a grapefruit and spice-tinged finish. Very classy.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • LA LIBERTE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8058

FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #68015 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This may be the most compelling "unplugged" Chardonnay from Flat Rock that I've tasted. Fresh aromas of lemon, green apples and white flowers replay on the crisp, clean palate, that has a drying, mineral-tinged finish. Essentially unoaked (though partly aged in very old oak barrels), a short period of aging on lees adds a subtle richness that nicely balances the firm acidity. A very good value indeed.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8076

KIM CRAWFORD WILD GRACE SMALL PARCELS CHARDONNAY 2015, Hawkes Bay, North Island

Vintages #378604 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89.5/100
This wine is part of Kim Crawford's higher end "small parcels" series, with fruit from selected vineyards from Hawk's Bay. It is light straw-yellow in colour, with a smoky-reductive nose that slightly masks quite complex notes of fresh herbs, white flowers, lime, green apple and honeydew melon. Bright acidity nicely balances some creamy richness on the palate, where vanilla and resin notes are perhaps a little dominant for now, but should settle nicely over the next year or two. That being said, there is so much life and energy here that it won't be a major sacrifice to drink it early.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8065

DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER LES PRINCES ABBÉS PINOT GRIS 2014, AC Alsace

Vintages #21253 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This wine shows some of the enticing complexity that Alsatian Pinot Gris can develop. The nose presents rich aromas of lemon, yellow apple, melon, pear and apricot. It is almost dry, with a hint of sweetness that mostly portrays itself as a honeyed ripeness on the palate. Acidity and alcohol are nicely balanced, and the finish lingers with spiced fruit complexity. Elegant and quite lovely.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8073

KELLEREI ST. MAGDALENA PINOT GRIGIO 2015, DOC Südtirol - Alto Adige

Vintages #249466 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
This attractive Pinot Grigio is from Südtirol/Alto Adige in northern Italy. Perfumed red apple and apple blossom aromas frame notes of lemon, honeydew melon and pear. Crisp acidity balances a firmly medium body, that shows both some generosity and a lingering, slightly bitter, finish. A nicely expressive Pinot Grigio.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8080

KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2016, WO Stellenbosch

Vintages #231282 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
This is a very good representation of Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc. It is a light but bright straw-yellow, with notes of beeswax, white flowers, lemon and ripe yellow apples complemented by hints of vanilla and resin. Vivid acidity balances slightly elevated alcohol, the palate is round and richly textured, and as the citrus notes extend into the finish, the pleasant acidity develops a sense of stony minerality that lingers and dries. Here barrel fermentation and aging has added depth and texture without imparting too much flavour. An attractive buy as usual.
Tasted 17-March 2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Santé

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