available in Ontario on September 30, 2017
Four intriguing Sauvignon Blancs lead the way, with two from the Loire (Sancerre and Touraine), and two from Marlborough. Rather like Chardonnay, I think of Sauvignon Blanc as a chameleon grape — it so transparently reflects its origins, growing conditions, and winemaking influences. In this case, all four are very good, but each is quite unique. The last three more aromatic wines are a bright and expressive off-dry Niagara Riesling, a surprisingly subtle Torrontés from the Cafayate Valley in Salta, Argentina, and a crisp and light Verdejo from Rueda in Spain.
ROGER & DIDIER RAIMBAULT SANCERRE AC 2016
Vintages #82255 • $28.95 • 750ml. • 90/100After a cool, rainy and difficult growing season, the weather brightened prior to harvest, making 2016 a promising vintage in the Loire, especially for whites. This Sancerre reflects that, with its stony and petrichor nose, subtle lemon and apple fruit, but at the same time with much of the vegetal and herbaceous edge ripened away. It is dry, with firm acidity, and a muted earthiness underlying the stony essence of the palate — overall taut and compressed, with a lemony-grapefruit edge on the finish. Excellent Sancerre character.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • LAMPRECHT INTERNATIONAL (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
AUNTSFIELD SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #663286 • $20.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This approachable Sauvignon Blanc is a little more compressed and elegant than you might normally expect from Marlborough. Subtle grapefruit, apple and melon aromas are complemented by a lightly herbal undertone and a stony-earthy edge. It's dry, brightly acidic, with pleasant fruit and green herbs on the palate, and a grapefruit-tinged finish. Balanced, compact and focused.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • DB WINE & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE BELLEVUE TOURAINE SAUVIGNON AC 2016
Vintages #82305 • $14.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This is an interesting Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine. Delicate notes of grass and hay are mostly over-ridden by lemon, grapefruit and riper apple and melon notes The wine is dry, with brisk acidity, but the fruit on the palate is surprisingly ripe, with almost no characteristic Loire herbaceous elements. Certainly a very pleasant, quaffable wine, though not typical, and a tremendous value.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • VERGINA IMPORT INTERNATIONAL INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
JACKSON ESTATE STICH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #963124 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This is an attractive Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with a backdrop of green herbs, grass and dried earth, and a core of grapefruit and green apple fruit. It is bone-dry, with brisk acidity, and lots of bright fruit on the palate that largely covers residual earthy-herbal notes. The finish is tinged with grapefruit and carries a pleasant, pithy bitterness.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • EPIC WINES AND SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
2027 FALLS VINEYARD RIESLING 2016, VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #294041 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This dynamic Riesling from 2027 Cellars was previously released in March 2017. The wine is very pale straw, with bright aromas of apple and peach blossoms, then lemon-lime, red apple, honeydew melon and white peach, and is now showing just the beginnings of a rubber-kerosene depth. It is off-dry, and while the residual sugar gives the palate a generous honeyed feel, the vibrant acidity balances it all by infusing the fruit with a crunchy liveliness, and drying the finish that persists with tones of peach, lime and wet stones. A lovely array of aromas and flavours, and a fine value.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • 2027 CELLARS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BODEGA EL PORVENIR DE CAFAYATE AMAUTA ABSOLUTO TORRONTÉS 2016, Cafayate Valley, Salta
Vintages #489179 • $14.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is a nicely aromatic and structurally sound Torrontés — and a great value to boot. The nose has a nuanced complexity at first pour: rosewater, peach and peach blossoms, pineapple, ripe melon, and a surprising nutty edge. It's dry, brightly acidic, with balanced alcohol — lively and crisp on the palate, and the fruit lingers on the finish, while drying nicely. More elegant and focused than most Torrontés at this price level. Highly recommended.
Tasted Sept 9, 2017 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CUNE RUEDA VERDEJO 2016, DO Rueda
Vintages #517177 • $13.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This is a simple but charming wine, with delicate apple, white grapefruit, melon and white peach aromas, edged by a dusting of green herbs and grass. Bright, crisp and lighter-bodied, the fruit tingles pleasantly on the palate, while grapefruit and peach notes linger on the finish. A fine value for sure.
Tasted Sept 19, 2017 • VON TERRA ENTERPRISES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation