available in Ontario from November 11, 2017
We begin our coverage of the excellent November 11th Vintages release with nine sparkling wines, from a fairly wide range of pedigree and price, but in all cases very worthwhile wines. The list includes three Champagnes, two Canadian wines from the Okanagan and Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, then a Cava, a Crémant de Bourgogne, a Prosecco, and a New Zealand sparkler from Hawkes Bay.
The three Champagnes are the non-vintage Deutz Brut Rosé, the non-vintage Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve, and the 2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Brut Rosé. The two fine Canadian traditional method wines are the Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut from the Okanagan Valley, and the 2010 Flat Rock Cellars Riddled Sparkling, from the Twenty Mile Bench on the Niagara Escarpment.
Of the remaining four wines, the first two are traditional method sparklers: the Segura Viudas Heredad Reserva Brut Cava, and the Labouré-Gontard Rosé Crémant De Bourgogne. The final two wines are Charmat method wines: the Giusti Brut Asolo Prosecco Superiore, and the Oyster Bay Brut Sparkling Cuvée from Hawkes Bay, North Island.
DEUTZ BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE AC
Vintages #92833 • $80.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 93/100This is a fine rosé Champagne. There is a lively freshness that suggests aromas of strawberries, cherries, red apples and sweet brioche, with a lift of apple blossoms. The wine is essentially dry, with some residual sugar that adds a richness, but the palate dries as the lively acidity takes over, emphasizing a lemony-grapefruit essence. Fresh and vibrant, with a crunchy drying finish. Quite excellent indeed!
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BILLECART-SALMON BRUT RÉSERVE CHAMPAGNE AC
Vintages #81976 • $71.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100An elegant Champagne, slightly muted on first nosing, that expands with bright lemon, green apple and white flower notes, within a subtle frame of toast and blanched almonds. It is dry, with bright acidity hiding a small amount of residual sugar. The palate is linear and direct, with the citrus and green apple fruit adding hints of pear and white peach, and the acidity taking over the mid-palate, focusing into a lightly astringent, lemon-apple and mineral finish. Elegant and restrained.
Tasted 31-Oct-2017 • SELECT WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2008, With gift box, AC
Vintages #588475 • $109.9 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100This 2008 vintage Champagne is showing some savoury evolution on the nose, with a suggestion of burnt sugar mingling with toast, and some drying berry and citrus fruit. The palate is bright and perhaps a little fresher than the nose suggests — quite dry, with firm acidity and a core of strawberry, red apple and lemon fruit remaining over a contrasting broad and maturing base. The finish is vibrant with berry and citrus fruit, and a stony, drying length. Very good, with a measure of complexity that I don't always find with Veuve.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BLUE MOUNTAIN GOLD LABEL BRUT SPARKLING , Traditional method, Okanagan Valley
Vintages #206326 • $30.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100A terrific sparkling wine from this fine Okanagan producer. Toasty brioche, lemon and yellow apple aromas nestle over a leesy breadth and richness — expansive without losing its focus. Vivid acidity balances a creamy texture, full of energy and life, with a lingering tangy, slightly bitter and salty finish. A fantastic value — elegant and complex — holding its own against much more expensive wines.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • ROGERS & COMPANY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
FLAT ROCK CELLARS RIDDLED SPARKLING 2010, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #383315 • $34.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100While a subtle resinous-oxidative note indicates a little bottle evolution, there is a core of fresh, bright lemon, yellow apple and melon fruit, backed by traces of herbs and fennel and a light toasty note. Its zingy acidity underpins more toast on the palate, lingering with a juicy lemon-tinged and stony finish. The latest from the fine sparkling program from Flat Rock, that is now really coming into its own. Highly recommended.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SEGURA VIUDAS HEREDAD RESERVA BRUT CAVA , Traditional method, DO, Spain
Vintages #558825 • $29.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100I continue to not be a fan of the heavy and ornate packaging, but the contents of the bottle continue to excel. The nose is almost neutral, with subtle lemon and apple tones and a toasty-cedary edge. The palate is crisp, clean and dry, acids are lively and the fruit adds some pear and melon elements. Very compact and focused, and an excellent wine.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • CHURCHILL CELLARS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LABOURÉ-GONTARD ROSÉ CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE , Traditional method, AC, Burgundy, France
Vintages #460816 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is an attractive Crémant de Bourgogne. It is medium-depth salmon in colour. Notes of light toast and white chocolate nestle under strawberry and lemon aromas. It is off-dry, with pleasant acidity that fills the strawberry and lemon fruit with juicy freshness. I'd keep this chilled in order to emphasize the crispness. This is a fine value, full of life and flavour.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
GIUSTI BRUT ASOLO PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG
Vintages #422857 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100A cheerful, pretty sparkler, just off-dry, with fresh acidity and lower alcohol — so light and lively! Aromas of peach and apple blossoms fill the nose, with lemon, crab apple and green melon notes adding interest to the palate. Good value for simple pleasure — a fun apéritif.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • THOMPSON VINTAGE TRADE LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
OYSTER BAY BRUT SPARKLING CUVÉE , Charmat method, Hawkes Bay, North Island
Vintages #163634 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is an approachable and pleasant sparkler from NZ: dryish, with crisp acidity, pretty lemon, green apple and pear fruit on the nose, adding melon and white peach on the palate. There's not much leesy complexity here, but the bubbles add life, and the balance is fine. A good apéritif.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • DELEGAT CANADA LIMITED (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation