Sparkling wine, Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir

"... Champagne, Crémant de Bordeaux, a Barolo and Pinot Noir from Canada and Burgundy ..."

available in Ontario from October 14, 2017

Our French sparkling wines represent two very different market niches. On the one hand, the Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut, in the handy 375ml format, is a very good but quite mainstream Champagne that ticks all the boxes, while the Premius Crémant de Bordeaux is a very attractive entry-level sparkler, from unusual grapes, that competes nicely with Cava and Prosecco in the $20 and under price range.

As we all know, in the wine world price is very much relative to product status and demand, so you could argue that at $41.95, the 2012 Michele Chiarlo Tortoniano Barolo is a very good value, in addition to being a very good wine.

The three Burgundies include a 2015 Mercurey from Domaine François Raquillet, a 2014 Côte de Beaune Villages from Joseph Drouhin, and a value-driven 2014 Bourgogne from Domaine Chanson. By contrast, the Niagara Pinot Noir from Henry Of Pelham is older, from the 2010 vintage, and shows the effects of both a warm vintage and some bottle evolution.

9902

BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVÉE BRUT CHAMPAGNE AC

Vintages #234104 • $42.95 • 375ml. • WD Score 91/100
This is a classy and classic Champagne. Both floral and toasty on the nose, with lemon, apple and hints of honey, hazelnuts and white chocolate. There is a core of freshness that translates onto the palate, contrasting with a very understated note of bruised apple. The wine is dry, brightly acidic, with a pleasantly creamy texture, and a lingering apple, brioche and lemony finish. Yes it's pricy — and at $78.95 the 750 ml version is roughly $7 less than two 375 ml bottles — but sometimes the small format is just more appropriate for the occasion!
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • JOHN HANNA & SONS LIMITED (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9898

PREMIUS CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX AC

Vintages #515239 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
Light toast and honey precede notes of white flowers and a hint of peach blossoms, then red apples and lemon zest. Dryish, with firm acidity that cuts through the creamy mousse, there is a sense of peach ripeness that softens the palate, and coalesces into the lingering finish. An unusual blend for sure — Sémillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc — but some pleasant Crémant character and an excellent value for this entry level wine.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9855

MICHELE CHIARLO TORTONIANO BAROLO DOCG 2012

Vintages #586388 • $41.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100
Definitely maturing, this 2012 Barolo is medium-depth garnet, showing some amber on the rim. The sour cherry and blackberry aromas are backed by a floral-violet note, with definite oaky resin and spice underneath, and evolving notes of leather. The fruit is still pleasantly alive on the palate, acids are firm and the tannins are resolving, although there is still a lingering fine, grippy texture. This is drinking quite beautifully now, with a fine balance between remaining freshness and evolution.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9841

DOMAINE FRANÇOIS RAQUILLET VIELLES VIGNES MERCUREY AC 2015

Vintages #514547 • $40.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
This is a charming Mercurey. The wine is dense and concentrated, both in colour (more than medium ruby-red) and aromas, with dense blueberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, and subtle earthy and toasty notes underneath. The wine is dry, with bright fruit on the palate — lots of life and acidity — and fine tannins gathering on the finish. I think the generosity of the fruit reflects the warmer vintage, but I love the fact that the acidity keeps the wine firm and precise. A modern, focused Burgundy.
Tasted 10-Oct-2017 • BURGUNDY DIRECT LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9842

JOSEPH DROUHIN CÔTE DE BEAUNE VILLAGES AC 2014

Vintages #518191 • $29.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This very approachable 2014 Côte de Beaune shows medium-depth red with a garnet rim. Nuanced sour cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruit aromas are backed by a pleasant earthy-twiggy undertone. Firm acidity and fine, silky tannins frame the pleasant fruit on the palate, and carry the fruit into a lingering, juicy finish. Certainly modern, bright and pleasant now, it has the acidic structure for medium-term cellaring.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9840

CHANSON RÉSERVE DU BASTION PINOT NOIR 2014, Bourgogne AC

Vintages #50575 • $23.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
Translucent ruby-red, showing garnet towards the rim. Understated aromas of strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit are complemented by a dash of spice, all reprised on the palate over a backdrop of dry earth and twigs. It is juicy, fruity and very attractive, with crunchy acids and delicate tannins — very modern, but with an old-world elegance that at least partly reflects the cool vintage in Burgundy. A good value too.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • JOHN HANNA & SONS LIMITED (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



9825

HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2010, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment

Vintages #657874 • $34.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This is a rather mature Pinot Noir from the warm 2010 vintage in Ontario, displaying considerable evolution with close to seven years in bottle The wine shows medium-depth garnet, with a wide amber rim. There is still some evolved and drying cherry and raspberry fruit, with a leathery-earthy undertone, some cedary and balsamic notes, and a spicy edge. Very interesting for sure, more savoury than fruit — and I recommend drinking this rather soon, for maximum enjoyment.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY EST. WINERY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Santé

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