Twelve sparkling, rosé and red wines reviewed

"... three traditional method sparkling wines, two more rosés, and seven red table wines ..."

available in Ontario from July 22, 2017

I recommend three traditional method sparkling wines, two more rosés, and seven red table wines from this release.

I am particularly excited by the sparkling wines. The first,

  • NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne AC

is one of the very best non-vintage Champagnes available in Ontario. While a super-premium-priced wine at about $70, it holds its own against wines at double to quintuple the price. If you want to spring for a special wine for that special occasion, this may be it.

The other two sparklers are very much in a consumer-friendly price range, and are terrific wines as well.

  • NV Bailly-Lapierre Pinot Noir Brut, Crémant De Bourgogne Méthode Traditionnelle, AC
  • 2010 Cathedral Cellar Brut Sparkling, Methode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa

Vintages has brought us many good rosés this summer, and I recommend the following two wines.

  • 2016 Saint Aix Rosé, AP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
  • 2016 Domaine Maby La Forcadière, Tavel Rosé AC

The seven red wines include three Pinot Noirs (two from Burgundy and one from Oregon), Bordeaux-style blends from New Zealand’s Kim Crawford and South Africa’s Rustenberg, a Graciano blend from Rioja and a Barbera d’Asti.

  • 2015 Theulot Juillot Vieilles Vignes, Mercurey AC
  • 2014 Roche De Bellène Cuvée Réserve Pinot Noir, Bourgogne AC
  • 2014 A To Z Wineworks Pinot Noir, Oregon
  • 2013 Kim Crawford Small Parcels Corner 50 Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet, Hawkes Bay
  • 2015 Rustenberg RM Nicholson, WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
  • 2013 Las Cepas Costalarbrol, DOCa Rioja
  • 2014 La Gironda La Lippa, Barbera D’Asti DOCG
9042

CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT RÉSERVE CHAMPAGNE , Disgorged 2016, AC

Vintages #36962 • $69.95 • 750ml. • 94/100
One of the best, and certainly best value, non-vintage Champagnes available: 60% from vintage 2009 (composed of equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay), with 40% reserve wines (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) averaging 10 years old. Disgorged in 2016, the wine has rested another year in bottle, after six years on the lees. Medium-depth yellow with gold highlights. Subtle red apple and lemon aromas are surrounded by layers of toast, sweet brioche, caramel, white chocolate and almond — the layers keep developing in the glass. This is a rather rich and creamy Champagne, certainly off-dry but with firm acidity that balances towards freshness, and that shapes the stony minerality on the lengthy finish.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • BREAKTHRU BEVERAGE CANADA INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9041

BAILLY-LAPIERRE PINOT NOIR BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE , Méthode Traditionnelle, AC

Vintages #420984 • $23.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
This blanc de noirs — 100% Pinot Noir — is pale straw in colour. The nose is subtle: lightly toasty, with red apples (perhaps with some caramel on them), lemon and honeydew melon. Certainly off-dry, the vivid acidity almost masks the sweetness, and keeps the palate focused. An additional strawberry note adds complexity to the fruit on the palate, before the finish dries with a lingering citrus-minerality. There is lots of complexity here for the price — a very good wine and a compelling value.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • VINEXX (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9046

CATHEDRAL CELLAR BRUT SPARKLING 2010, Methode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa

Vintages #296426 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
Chardonnay with 22% Pinot Noir. Toasty brioche, lemon and yellow apple aromas, supplemented by a honeyed complexity on the palate. Dry, brightly acidic, with a whisper of residual sugar adding breadth, but the wine remains firm and crisp overall. A drying crunchy finish is underlaid by a pleasant bitterness. The 2010 has been released five times now, and it continues to be a fine value.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9034

SAINT AIX ROSÉ 2016, AP Coteaux d'Aix en Provence

Vintages #451906 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This paler salmon-coloured rosé is a typical Provençal blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, with a small amount of Carrignan. A suggestion of green herbs complements core aromas of strawberry, red apple and watermelon. Dry, with crisp acidity, there is just enough weight to justify a streak of bitterness that underlies the ripe fruit on the palate, while a citrussy tang adds interest to the finish.
Tasted July 11, 2017 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9035

DOMAINE MABY LA FORCADIÈRE TAVEL ROSÉ AC 2016

Vintages #701318 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
Bright pinky-red in colour — very much Tavel rather than Provence! The lively nose suggests strawberries, raspberries, red apples and cherries, with lemon zest and apple blossoms. Fully dry, there is a little more weight and alcohol in this style, although acidity is firm enough to balance it all. Fruit is rich and ripe on the palate, with a little more lemon than the nose suggests, and a whisper of tannins that adds interest. Pair with heavier summer foods, or save a bottle or two for winter feasts. Well-priced.
Tasted July 11, 2017 • STEN O. KJELLBERG (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8995

THEULOT JUILLOT VIEILLES VIGNES MERCUREY AC 2015

Vintages #487462 • $31.95 • 750ml. • 90/100
Full of joy and life! A very youthful ruby colour with a deep purple tinge. Fragrant raspberry, blackberry and cherry fruit, with a light roasted note. The dry, tart palate is backed by dense, fine tannins, the fruit seems riper but still well-defined on the palate, and the acidity and tannins dry and linger on the finish. A lovely wine now, with excellent potential over the next five or more years. A fine expression of Mercurey.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • JEAN-PIERRE RENARD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



8993

ROCHE DE BELLÈNE CUVÉE RÉSERVE PINOT NOIR BOURGOGNE AC 2014

Vintages #299859 • $20.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
Originally released January 7, 2017. I've tasted this new release three times, and despite a little bottle variation, this remains one of the very best regional Burgundies available in Ontario, in terms of both quality and price. Perhaps now there is a little more cinnamon and spice on the nose, and the palate remains fresh and juicy. As my original note said: " ... bright cranberry, raspberry and cherry aromas, a light floral lift, with a pleasant earth and dry leaf undertone. Nicely structured, with brisk acidity and fine, persistent tannins, the fruit is ripe with a fresh, tart edge that lingers on the finish. This is an excellent value."
Tasted June 30, 2017 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9026

A TO Z WINEWORKS PINOT NOIR 2014, Oregon

Vintages #229781 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
Medium-depth red, showing garnet on the rim. Raspberry, blackberry and cherry aromas with a hint of earthiness. Very new-world in style, with juicy ripe fruit, fine tannins and enough acidity to keep the palate fresh through to the finish. Not a great deal of Pinot earthiness, but very bright and pleasant indeed.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9012

KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCELS CORNER 50 VINEYARD MERLOT-CABERNET 2013, Hawkes Bay, North Island

Vintages #447433 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
This blend of Merlot and Cabernet from Hawkes Bay in the North Island of New Zealand benefits from the warmer climate of the region. The nose is lightly floral, with ripe cherry, blueberry, blackberry and plum fruit underpinned by vanilla and oak-derived spices. It is dry, with balanced acidity and grainy tannins. An attractive crowd-pleaser, staying on the right side of ripeness and extraction.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9013

RUSTENBERG RM NICHOLSON 2015, WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Vintages #278390 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100
A new-world blend based on Shiraz, with 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby-purple in colour, showing red on the narrow rim. Very ripe plum, blackberry and black currant fruit on the nose, with some barrel spice, and a hint of menthol. The wine is well-structured: dry, with enough acidity to provide a counter-weight for both the alcohol and firm, mouth-coating tannins. Fruit is dense and lush on the palate, but the wine remains lively and balanced.
Tasted June 30, 2017 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9017

LAS CEPAS COSTALARBROL 2013, DOCa Rioja

Vintages #483404 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100
Red cherry and blackberry fruit on the nose, some volatility, and hints of barrel spice and cocoa powder. Bright acidity, juicy fruit and fine tannins define the palate, and while alcohol is elevated it remains in balance. Lively, pleasant and a good value.
Tasted July 11, 2017 • BRAND NEW DAY WINES & SPIRITS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9004

LA GIRONDA LA LIPPA BARBERA D'ASTI DOCG 2014

Vintages #475319 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100
Pretty red berry and cherry fruit with a fragrant floral lift. The palate is bright and lively: dry, with zesty acidity, lighter tannins, and ripe, juicy fruit. Easy-drinking, food friendly and totally enjoyable!
Tasted June 30, 2017 • THE CASE FOR WINE (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Santé

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