available in Ontario from October 14, 2017
Three of our five Chardonnays are from Burgundy: a 2014 Mont de Milieu 1er Cru from Domaine Besson, a 2015 regional Chablis from Jean-Marc Brocard, and a very good regional Burgundy from Joseph Drouhin. The other two are from Niagara: the 2013 Bachelder Saunders Vineyard Chardonnay, and the very good 2015 Flat Rock Estate Chardonnay.
The two Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs are well worth trying: the 2016 Saint Clair Wairau Reserve is understated and elegant, while the 2016 Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc is bright and lively, more solidly in the mainstream. Finally the 2015 Bersano Gavi Di Gavi is rather dense and honeyed for a Gavi, but is very appealing and an excellent value.
DOMAINE BESSON MONT DE MILIEU 1ER CRU CHABLIS AC 2014
Vintages #496653 • $42.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100This is a lean and focused Chablis. The nose is restrained, with light leesy and lactic notes almost hiding the understated lemon and green apple fruit. The wine is bone-dry, firm and lean, with some breadth from the leesy component, and just the beginnings of a nutty undertone. This beautifully reflects the 2014 vintage: subtle, crisp, and stony.
Tasted 3-Oct-2017 • APPELLATION WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
JEAN-MARC BROCARD DOMAINE SAINTE CLAIRE CHABLIS AC 2015
Vintages #356634 • $25.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100While this Chablis has an acidic, stony underpinning, there is a generosity and ripeness to the lemon and apple fruit on the palate, reflecting the warm vintage, with a light lactic weight and a surprising breadth. The nose is still lean and subtle, and the finish slims down into a focused lemony-stony core — so there is certainly some fundamental Chablis character. Overall very attractive and appealing.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • PREVEDELLO AND MATHEWS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
JOSEPH DROUHIN BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY AC 2015
Vintages #512582 • $22.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88.5/100A rather understated and surprisingly elegant regional Burgundy. Subtle lemon and yellow apple fruit are underpinned by gentle resin and vanilla notes. The palate is dry, with the delicate fruit exhibiting a more complex melon and pear ripeness, while there is enough acidity to keep the palate light and fresh. Simple, direct and very appealing — highly recommended.
Tasted 3-Oct-2017 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BACHELDER SAUNDERS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2013, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #324103 • $44.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100Saunders Vineyard has been one of my favourites from Thomas Bachelder's lineup. With some bottle age, the obvious resin and vanilla notes are settling down, the light volatile edge remains — perhaps just a little more prominent than before — and there is a nuance of apple, lemon and peach fruit with a hazelnut edge. Acidity is still bright, and carries the wine as the oak frame settles. The fruit on the palate is subtle, and the finish dries as the acidity grips. I'd drink this in the next year or two for maximum enjoyment.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY 2015, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #286278 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a fine introduction to Niagara oaked Chardonnay. Aromas of resin and vanilla dominate at first, with lemon, melon and yellow apple aromas to follow, with a toasty-nutty undertone. Certainly dry, with a creamy, lactic weight that is enlivened by a firm acidity. Oaky notes dissipate towards the nutty and lemon-tinged finish. A compelling value indeed.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SAINT CLAIR WAIRAU RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #415653 • $34.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100A fascinating wine, pretty far from the Marlborough mainstream. It is pale straw in colour, with tinges of green. The nose is lean and nuanced, slightly smoky-flinty and reductive, hiding grapefruit, green apple and melon, with a hint of jalapeno earthiness. The palate is lean, slim and focused, with some grapefruit and green apple fruit, nestling over a bed of flinty stone. The finish lingers with a salty and grapefruit-tinged essence. Certainly new world in energy and underlying fruit, but a nuanced and elegant rendition for sure. Quite compelling.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • PMA CANADA LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #734798 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100There is plenty of Marlborough character here, with vivid aromas of green herbs, grass and jalapeno, followed by grapefruit, green apple and honeydew melon fruit. The palate is crisp and dry, and I like the way the grapefruit and grapefruit zest character takes over, with a light dried herb undertone, and a lingering stony-grapefruit finish.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • AIREN IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BERSANO GAVI DI GAVI DOCG 2015
Vintages #999979 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is a surprisingly dense Gavi. The nose immediately suggests honeyed red apples, then lemon rind, yellow melon and white flowers. Although the fruit expresses itself on the palate with a honeyed breadth, there is enough acidity to keep the wine alive and firm, carrying into a lightly astringent, drying finish. Perhaps not quite typical, but very good nevertheless.
Tasted 22-Sep-2017 • BARRIQUE WINES & SPIRITS IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation