available in Ontario from November 11, 2017
With the third set of white wines from the November 11 Vintages release, we feature deliciousness and variety: three Rieslings, a Grüner Veltliner, a Pinot Grigio, and an Alsatian Gentil, a blend of Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and other varieties.
Two of the Rieslings hail from the Niagara Escarpment. The first is the truly excellent 2016 Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling from Flat Rock Cellars, that in the past few years has become, in my view, a Niagara benchmark for off-dry Riesling. The second is a repeat of the very good 2013 Estate Riesling from Henry of Pelham. The third is a fine Alsace Riesling from the excellent cooperative Cave de Turckheim, their 2013 Brand Grand Cru Riesling,
The final three wines are the 2015 Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Grüner Veltliner, the 2016 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio from IGP Vigneti delle Dolomiti, and finally a pretty 2015 Alsace Gentil blend from Domaine Hugel.
FLAT ROCK NADJA'S VINEYARD RIESLING 2016, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #578625 • $24.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100Over the past few vintages, Nadja's vineyard has produced some of the most subtle and interesting off-dry Rieslings in Niagara. This is a fine example: delicate peach and melon aromas overlay a core of lemon and red apple fruit, with just a hint of Riesling's spacious minerality that presages later evolution. It is off-dry, brightly acidic, with lively peach and melon fruit, nuanced and quite lovely, followed by a firming undertone of lemon-lime and apple, that dries and lingers on the stony finish. In my view, this wine is becoming a benchmark for Niagara.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CAVE DE TURCKHEIM BRAND GRAND CRU RIESLING 2013, AC Alsace Grand Cru
Vintages #21303 • $37.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 91/100An excellent Grand Cru Riesling from Alsace. Just starting down the road of Riesling bottle evolution, there is an airy floral lift and a honeyed undertone, surrounding a core of lemon-lime and apple fruit. The wine is dry, with bright acidity supporting the vibrant fruit that shows a little more ripeness, moving from apple and pear into apricot. The palate is broad and spacious, the acids are drying, and a light honeyed nuance softens the stony edge on the finish Evocative old world Riesling.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2013, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #557165 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100In my previous review of this wine (October 1, 2016), I mentioned my fond memories of several Henry of Pelham Rieslings from the early 2000s that were exhilaratingly austere and dry. While they have followed the Niagara trend towards mostly off-dry Rieslings, they have done so with real care. This wine is certainly off-dry, but firm acidity counterbalances the sweetness. The lemon, apple, pear and melon fruit is muted, the palate is lightly honeyed and waxy, with a hint of dried herbs, and the beginnings of some Riesling bottle evolution. Overall restrained but quite compelling.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY EST. WINERY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMÄNE WACHAU TERRASSEN FEDERSPIEL GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015, Wachau
Vintages #31534 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a fine entry-level Grüner, with an understated complexity that intrigues: a stony, slightly earthy and vegetal attack, presages subtle aromas of green apple and lemon fruit, with a whisper of melon and white peach too. It is dry, brightly acidic, with a compact denseness on the palate that holds a core of lemon and apple fruit. The finish is stony and citrusy. Focused, food friendly, and nuanced in a way that rewards a little concentration.
Tasted 20-Oct-2017 • NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2016, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti
Vintages #474742 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100A fine Pinot Grigio from this respected producer from Alto-Adige in northern Italy. Aromas of apple blossoms presage lemon, red apple, melon and white peach fruit. The wine is dry, with bright acidity that brings the palate to life, with a pleasant phenolic bitterness that adds texture and interest on the finish. Still Grigio rather than Gris, but with far more complexity than the norm. A fine wine and an excellent value.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • ROGERS & COMPANY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
HUGEL GENTIL 2015, AC Alsace
Vintages #367284 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100An attractive, simple pleasure — dry and crisply acidic, with an array of peach, melon, red apple, and lemon fruit and a peach and apple blossom florality. It is fresh, lively and charming. What's not to like here? This is a Gentil wine, meaning it is a blend of Alsatian noble grape varieties whose components are vinified separately and then blended before bottling: 50% Sylvaner & Pinot Blanc, 22% Pinot Gris, 15% Gewürztraminer, with the balance Riesling and Muscat. A fine value.
Tasted Oct 13, 2017 • HALPERN ENTERPRISES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation