available in Ontario from August 5, 2017
This review post presents the third set of wines from the August 5, 2017 release, and continues my campaign promoting the availability of interesting and enjoyable white wines. Two of the usual suspect grapes are well covered here, with four fine Chardonnays and three rather different Sauvignon Blancs. But then there are eight other recommended wines, from seven different varieties grown in seven different countries. There is so much diversity to enjoy here!
And did I mention price and value? I usually do when I’m talking about white wine: here eight are under $20, five more are between $20 and $25, and one is $29.95.
Three of the Chardonnays are from France — Pouilly-Fuissé, Chablis and (with a touch of Viognier florality) the Côtes Catalanes — with the fourth from Niagara.
- 2015 Jean-Pierre Sève Terroir, Pouilly-Fuissé
- 2015 Flat Rock Unplugged Chardonnay, VQA Niagara Peninsula
- 2015 J. Moreau & Fils Chablis
- 2015 Domaine Lafage Cadireta Blanc, IGP Côtes Catalanes
The three Sauvignon Blancs include a very fine Marlborough, the latest vintage of the classic Mondavi Fumé Blanc from Napa and an exhilarating modern example from Touraine.
- 2016 Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, South Island
- 2014 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley
- 2015 Domaine Guy Allion Sauvignon, AC Touraine
And for the seven final wines, please just get a sense of the wines from the reviews and enjoy them. Viognier, Xarel-lo, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Loureiro — each is unique and worth exploring in its own right.
- 2015 Yalumba Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia
- 2015 Heretat Mont-Rubi White Xarel-lo, DO Penedès
- 2013 Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
- 2014 Hirsch Heilgenstein Grüner Veltliner, DAC Kamptal
- 2015 Lucashof Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc Qualitätswein
- 2016 Zenato Pinot Grigio, IGT Delle Venezie
- 2015 Curvos Loureiro, DOC Vinho Verde
JEAN-PIERRE SÈVE TERROIR POUILLY-FUISSÉ AC 2015
Vintages #681056 • $29.95 • 750ml. • 90/100Medium straw with glints of old gold. A light note of oaky resin off the top, with bright aromas of lemon juice and zest, yellow apples and melons. It is dry, with firm acidity and a creamy texture. Oak is well-integrated, with subtle vanilla notes nestling underneath the fruit, and the finish is vibrant and clean. An engaging, fuller-bodied Chardonnay filled with life.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • THE CASE FOR WINE (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY 2015, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #68015 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a very classy, elegant, unoaked Niagara Chardonnay. Medium-depth straw-yellow in colour, the nose presents white flowers, lemon and yellow apples, with an intriguing leesy depth. A creamy texture gives some weight and softens the fruit, yet the brisk acidity keeps the palate fresh and bright, and dries into a lemony and mineral-tinged finish.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
J. MOREAU & FILS CHABLIS AC 2015
Vintages #466144 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Medium-depth yellow in colour, with subtle notes of green herbs, lemon and green apple on the nose. The palate shows some leesy creaminess, but the warm 2015 vintage manifests itself both in a little more generosity and richness on the palate than might be typical, as well as with slightly reduced acidity. So while the wine has the focused and linear character of Chablis, it is very approachable in the shorter term, and is certainly a very good value.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE LAFAGE CADIRETA BLANC 2015, IGP Côtes Catalanes
Vintages #448472 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Lightly floral, with crisp, clean lemon, apple and white peach fruit on the nose and palate. It is dry, firm and balanced, with a bitter note appearing on the finish. There is great life and energy here for a southern French white — my sense is this is picked rather early, balancing ripeness with firm acidity. A very good value.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • GLENCAIRN WINE MERCHANTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TWO RIVERS CONVERGENCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #277707 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 90/100Vibrant, smoky grapefruit, cut grass and green herbs on the nose. Crunchy acidity drives the palate — full of crisp, bright, lively grapefruit and stony minerality. Because the grapefruit and acidity are so dominant, the wine seems rather simple at first blush, but there is lots of complexity here if you let it settle on the palate. Quite lovely — an elegant, mineral-driven wine.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • AUTHENTIC WINE & SPIRITS MERCHANTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC 2014, Napa Valley
Vintages #221887 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 89/100While there is more grassy character than I noted in the previous release of this vintage in March, the wine retains its characteristic smoky, lemon, apple and melon nose, with a hint of white flowers, and an underlying note of resin. The palate is fresh, with lively fruit, firm acidity that brings the wine to life, and a depth from oak aging that has given very little direct flavour. This is a benchmark California wine, but I love the higher degree of freshness that is evolving with this brand.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • ARTERRA WINES CANADA, INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE GUY ALLION SAUVIGNON 2015, AC Touraine
Vintages #489856 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100A bright Sauvignon nose: green herbs and a hint of grass frame aromas of lemon, white grapefruit and green apple, with a lightly earthy depth. Dry, with crisp acidity, the fruit is slightly riper on the palate, although the grapefruit element is still slim and focused, and the finish is drying and mineral-tinged. Very good value.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • DU CHASSE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
YALUMBA VIOGNIER 2015, Eden Valley, South Australia
Vintages #954644 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This is a complex and layered Viognier that shows all the varietal character you might want, while remaining surprisingly constrained and focused. Aromas of peach blossoms, roses and ginger frame ripe peach, apricot, melon and lemon fruit. The palate has a rich, creamy texture from lees stirring, that allows the fruit to display its ripeness, while firm acidity and moderate alcohol keep the balance towards freshness. The wine is dry, allowing the acid-driven citrus elements to emerge and linger on the finish. Excellent.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • B AND W WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HERETAT MONT-RUBI WHITE XAREL-LO 2015, DO Penedès
Vintages #488742 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The distinctive "White" on white label heralds an interesting wine. For it's rare to see Xarel-lo in Ontario as a still table wine — it's usually one of the favoured varieties used in Cava. This is pale straw in colour. Lemony floral aromas are edged by a hint of savoury herbs and a leesy resin note that adds depth. More fruit appears on the palate, which has a creamy, lemon, green apple and green melon character, with bright acidity drying the palate and the lemony finish. Intriguing.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • BRAND NEW DAY WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING 2013, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #381251 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Bright pale straw. A hint of Riesling rubber-asphalt off the top, hiding aromas of lime, lemon, green apple and honeydew melon. Crisp, fresh and slightly oily in texture, that Riesling rubber element remains on the palate, but the fruit certainly holds its own. While there is quite noticeable residual sugar, it is nicely countered by firm acidity. TDN (that rubbery edge) is a little advanced for a 2013 vintage, but the wine is still nicely balanced. Drink soon, but certainly buy and enjoy.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • TAWSE WINERY INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HIRSCH HEILGENSTEIN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2014, DAC Kamptal
Vintages #484980 • $24.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Medium yellow-gold in colour. Lightly earthy and vegetal, then hints of green apple and lemon underneath. Dry, with firm acidity, a creamy texture and more weight than expected. The fruit is brighter and more forward on the palate — very compelling, with slightly riper melon and peach notes adding complexity — and the finish dries and tightens. A very good Grüner.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • ROGERS & COMPANY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LUCASHOF WEISSBURGUNDER PINOT BLANC 2015, Qualitätswein
Vintages #496505 • $20.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Pale straw tinged with green. The nose is subtle, with light earthy and herbal elements underpinning fresher green apple and lemon fruit. Vibrant acidity shapes the palate, hiding a whisper of residual sugar, and making the fruit jump to the fore, with crisp green apple and lemon-lime at the core. The finish is lengthy, crisp and stony.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • FREE HOUSE ONTARIO WINE & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ZENATO PINOT GRIGIO 2016, IGT Delle Venezie
Vintages #37648 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88/100Medium straw colour, with glints of gold. The palate is firm — dry, with bright acidity and a little creamy weight —and a slight bitterness that adds complexity. The apple blossom, red apple, lemon and melon aromas replay lightly on the palate. More varietal character here than usual for the price.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • JOSEPH CIPELLI WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CURVOS LOUREIRO 2015, DOC Vinho Verde
Vintages #471284 • $12.95 • 750ml. • 88/100Bright pale straw. Pleasantly floral, suggesting peach blossoms, peaches, red apples, melon and lemon on the nose. Lively acidity enlivens the fruit on the palate, and builds into a crisp, stony finish. This Vinho Verde is an excellent value.
Tasted July 14, 2017 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation