Two sparklers and eleven diverse white wines

"... two sparkling rosés and eleven white table wines from eleven different wine regions, eight countries, and eight varieties ..."

available in Ontario from June 10, 2017

Part two of my recommendations from the June 10 Vintages release include two sparkling wines and eleven white table wines. Both sparkling wines are non-vintage rosés: the Tarlant Brut Rosé Champagne, and the Chandon Rosé Sparkling Traditional Method, California.

There is no particular theme with the white wines, apart from excellent “drinkability”. It is a fairly eclectic group from eleven wine regions in eight countries: Central Victoria and Eden Valley from Australia; Vouvray, Alsace and Bordeaux from France; and Columbia Valley (USA), Paarl (South Africa), Traisental (Austria), the Rheingau (Germany), Marlborough (New Zealand), and the Peloponnese (Greece).  The diversity continues with eight varieties: two Chardonnays, a Grüner Veltliner, a Riesling, two Chenin Blancs, three aromatic wines from Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Moschofilero, and two Sauvignon Blancs.




Vintages #664680 • $64.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100
The wine is medium-depth salmon in colour. Gentle toasty notes surround a core of fruit aromas that suggest strawberries, cherries, red apples and lemon zest — there's still good freshness, but also some slightly baked and honeyed elements. The bright acidity keeps the palate relatively dry, and the creamy texture adds a little weight. It is firm, focused, and more about an expanding toasty-savoury element than about the fruit, which shows a little more evolution on the palate. The finish lingers with a drying lemon and stony minerality. This release was disgorged in August of 2015, and is 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • B AND W WINES (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


CHANDON ROSÉ SPARKLING , Traditional method, California

Vintages #405555 • $35.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
The wine is pale salmon in colour, with a slight coppery tint. Initially the nose is a little shy, showing some toasty notes, then a distinctive honeydew melon aroma followed by gentle strawberry, cherry and lemon elements. Crisp acidity is softened by a whisper of residual sugar that adds a roundness and some weight. The fruit is riper and more forward on the palate, slightly honeyed and waxy, and then the finish lingers with gentle strawberry and drying lemon fruit. Certainly enough complexity to justify the price, with a warmth and richness that shows its west coast origin.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


MOUNTADAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia

Vintages #333211 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
Pale straw in colour, the nose begins with a smoky-flinty attack (oak and possibly some reduction), then lemon, yellow apple and ripe melon fruit, and a lactic underpinning. The wine is dry, with bright acidity, balanced alcohol and some creamy-leesy weight and texture. The fruit is fresh and lively on the palate, with cedary wood spice and vanilla underneath, and a stony, flinty finish. Ambitious, but balanced overall.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • CORK AND CROWN (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


HEDGES H.I.P. CHARDONNAY 2013, Columbia Valley

Vintages #488528 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
The wine is a lighter yellow colour. On the nose, a light toasty-leesy note is followed by aromas of lemon, melon and ripe apple. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol that just stops short of warmth, and a medium body. Add a note of white peach to the fruit on the palate. This is a ripe-flavoured unoaked Chardonnay that is showing just the beginning of some evolution. Quite interesting and worth trying — a relatively subtle offering for west coast Chardonnay.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #484956 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
The wine is pale straw in colour. A subtly complex nose — it's lightly earthy, with aromas of lemon, apple and melon fruit, then hints of savoury green herbs, pepper and spice, with a stony undertone. It is dry, with crisp acidity, moderate alcohol and a medium-weight body. The earthy-savoury mid-palate is brightened by the fruit, and the stony-mineral elements focus on the finish. Very good basic Grüner at a compelling price.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #496497 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
The wine is a lighter straw-yellow in colour. Light floral, honey and waxy notes embrace aromas of rich red apple, lemon and ripe melon fruit, with a nuance of stony, mineral-rubber deep underneath. It is medium-dry, with vivacious acidity, light alcohol, and a honeyed, waxy palate, that dries a little on the stony, mineral finish. A textbook entry-level Riesling from the Rheingau, and very pleasant indeed.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #489252 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
The wine is pale straw in colour. Bright lemon and green apple aromas are couched in a frame that suggests honey and beeswax. The wine is dry, and its medium body has a pleasing richness from the honeyed and waxy character, contrasting nicely with the crisp acidity. The finish slims and focuses into a lemony, stony minerality. Some good Vouvrey character, and a fine value.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • WINE GURU SELECTION INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #484055 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
The wine is a lighter yellow in colour. Notes of cedary resin, beeswax and dried honey frame aromas of white flowers, lemon, ripe melon and yellow apples. It is fully dry, and the freshness from firm acidity balances some heat from the slightly elevated alcohol. The palate shows some honeyed, waxy richness, and focuses into a crisp, cedary finish. Lots of barrel fermented Chenin character, and a great value.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #224626 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
The wine is a lighter straw-yellow colour. It has the expected high-toned aromatics: honeysuckle and orange blossoms, slightly soapy, with notes of ripe peach, melon, yellow apple and lemon juice. It is off-dry, with firm acidity, and balanced alcohol. The fruit and floral flavours take on a honeyed aspect on the palate, and there is a slight bitterness that helps dry the finish. A good example of Alsace Gewurz.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


TAHBILK VIOGNIER 2016, Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria

Vintages #271387 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100
The wine is a lighter straw colour. The nose is rather subdued for Viognier, showing subtle honeysuckle and orange blossoms, with suggestions of apricot and peach, lemon and melon. The wine is dry, with firm acidity and balanced alcohol. The palate is simple and direct, with the lemon, melon and peach fruit rather constrained and slightly spicy. I don't usually think about going home to crack a bottle of Viognier, but this one might just do the trick! Good value too.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • GRAPE EXPECTATIONS WINE AGENCY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #477562 • $12.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
Moschofilero is an aromatic grape, likely indigenous to the Peloponnese from which this example comes. The wine is pale straw-yellow, with pretty aromatics that suggest delicate rose petals, peach blossoms, peaches, ripe melon, lemon, and a hint of honey. The wine is fully dry, with bright acidity and modest alcohol. The pleasant floral, peach and melon notes repeat on the palate, where a grapey-Muscat note is more noticeable, and continue into the lemony drying finish. Quaffable and very pleasant.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • ARTISANAL WINE IMPORTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


FORREST THE DOCTORS' SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island

Vintages #317842 • $22.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
Through careful vineyard management, Dr. John Forrest has been able to produce this low alcohol version of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, slowing sugar development while attaining fairly typical Marlborough flavour character. The wine is watery white, showing glints of straw. On the nose, gentle earthy, vegetal and grassy notes lead into aromas of lemon, apple, ripe melon and grapefruit. It is dry with some residual sugar, firm acidity, low alcohol (at just 9.5%), and a light body. The subtle flavours repeat on the palate, and the finish dries nicely. Simple, unassuming, and quite an interesting wine. While I really appreciate and applaud Forrest's ability to produce a low alcohol Sauvignon, my personal preference would be to trade a degree or more of higher alcohol to lower the residual sugar closer to dryness. But it's an intriguing, recommended wine and well worth exploring.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • ABCON INTERNATIONAL WINE MERCHANTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review



Vintages #313346 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
The wine is pale straw in colour. The nose suggests cut grass and fresh herbs, and then brighter lemon, lime and green apple fruit. The wine is dry, with bright acidity, balanced alcohol, and slightly riper fruit on the palate — more apple, lemon and melon fruit as the grassy notes recede. The finish is drying, stony and lightly saline. An excellent basic white Bordeaux, with 15% Semillon supplementing the Sauvignon Blanc. A great value for a delightful wine.
Tasted May 26, 2017 • TRADESA CORP. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Review


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