Nine more sparkling wines

"... two vintage Champagnes, a Crémant de Bourgogne, three traditional method sparklers from Niagara, a Prosecco, a Cap Classique and a blanc de blancs from Carneros ..."

available in Ontario on November 25, 2017

Tis the season for sparkling wine, as Vintages and the LCBO fill the shelves with bubbly. I recommend good sparkling wine throughout the year, since it can pair well with any season, temperature, occasion and many types of food, but let’s take advantage when so much is on offer! Here I recommend another set of nine wines, complementing those from two weeks ago here, so there is a fine array of choices available now, at least in the larger stores. Make sure you check our “Find recommendations in Ontario stores” function (top of the page) to make your shopping easier.

Three wines from France include two vintage Champagnes, the 2012 Drappier Millésime Exception, and the 2008 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Rosé. While those are both terrific wines, and really show the magical complexity of Champagne, they carry the commensurate price tag. So for most of us, and for most occasions, the very good, dependable and moderately priced Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne will provide a very pleasing alternative.

Three traditional method sparkling wines from the Niagara Peninsula provide a terrific alternative as well: the 2012 Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc, the non-vintage Peller Signature Series Ice Cuvée Rosé (with its final sweetening dosage of icewine), and the pretty 2015 Featherstone Joy Premium Cuvée Sparkling Rosé.

The final three wines hail respectively from northern Italy, the Western Cape of South Africa, and Carneros: the Drusian Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, the Desiderius Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling Chardonnay-Pinot Noir, and the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs.

10368

DRAPPIER MILLÉSIME EXCEPTION CHAMPAGNE AC 2012

Vintages #513895 • $74.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 93/100
A compellingly toasty, maturing Champagne, with a core of lemon, apple and pear fruit, surrounded by subtle notes of burnt sugar, white chocolate and blanched almonds. The wine is quite dry, with firm acidity, contrasting with a lightly creamy texture. Flavours are subtly complex, with enough toasty and sponge toffee complexity to satisfy, but receding as the bright acidity and salty minerality win through. Elegant, nuanced and complex.
Tasted Nov 10, 2017 • FAMILY WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10369

MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE AC 2008

Vintages #69831 • $98.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 93/100
This is a lighter, elegant and evolving Champagne from the 2008 vintage. It is a paler, coppery salmon in colour, with a subtle but complex nose that suggests toast, red apples, strawberries and lemon, with the fruit showing a lightly oxidative cast, and just a hint of sponge toffee. It is firmly dry, with crisp acidity that shapes the palate, keeping a core of freshness in the fruit, with subtle spicy bottle evolution. The finish is bright, stony and mineral-tinged. A focused, direct and almost ethereal wine, showing some age, but wearing it with grace.
Tasted Nov 10, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10367

LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE D'AURORE BRUT ROSÉ CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE AC

Vintages #48793 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This wine is regularly released through Vintages, and of course varies from year to year. The first of two bottles was slightly rubbery and oxidative, the second was very good — the one I'm reporting here. The wine is coppery salmon in colour, with aromas of toast, honey, strawberries and red apples, with a lemony edge. The palate is dryish, with crisp acidity — pleasantly direct, with a lingering finish reminiscent of red apples and wet stones. Nicely done and a fine value, comparable to the release from October 2016, and perhaps a little better than the 2015 edition.
Tasted Nov 10, 2017 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10363

HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE ESTATE BLANC DE BLANC 2012, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment

Vintages #315200 • $44.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100
This is a fine Niagara traditional method sparkler, that has spent 60 months on the lees. Rich, toasty notes presage focused lemon-lime and green apple fruit. The wine is dry, with crunchy acidity, and the creamy breadth on the initial palate is eventually subsumed by the tart lemon and green apple fruit. There's a note of green herbs, and a toasty, nutty and slightly resinous undertone, that morphs into a lengthy, stony and mineral-tinged finish. A Niagara benchmark for sure.
Tasted Nov 3, 2017 • HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY EST. WINERY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10364

PELLER SIGNATURE SERIES ICE CUVÉE ROSÉ , VQA Niagara Peninsula

Vintages #113035 • $35.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
A treat, with a little icewine added as the dosage before final corking. The wine is a fairly deep salmon colour, with notes of apple blossoms followed by hints of burnt sugar, toast, strawberry, raspberries and red apples. It is clearly off-dry, slightly honeyed on the initial taste, but that perception changes as crisp acidity dries the palate, and the lingering acidity emerges on the finish as a stony minerality. An appealing wine that evolves from the perfumed effects of the icewine into the high acid truth of Niagara. Very classy, while maintaining its popular appeal.
Tasted Nov 3, 2017 • ANDREW PELLER LIMITED (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10362

FEATHERSTONE JOY PREMIUM CUVÉE SPARKLING ROSÉ 2015, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment

Vintages #450700 • $29.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
One of the better releases of this wine in recent years. This 100% Pinot Noir is pale salmon-pink in colour, with hints of toast, then pleasant strawberry, raspberry, lemon and red apple fruit on the nose. The wine is quite dry, very crisp and fresh, with pleasant bubbles on the palate: clean, slim, with tart fruit and a drying finish. Invigorating and fun.
Tasted Nov 3, 2017 • FEATHERSTONE WINERY (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10370

DRUSIAN BRUT VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE DOCG

Vintages #517870 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100
A charming Prosecco. It is pale straw in colour. The pretty peach and red apple nose doesn't prepare you for the dryness of the palate, enlivened by crisp acidity, and taking on a more lemony essence. Simple, dry and direct — a fine aperitif and a good value.
Tasted Nov 10, 2017 • TERROIR WINE IMPORTS (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10371

DESIDERIUS PONGRÁCZ BRUT CAP CLASSIQUE SPARKLING CHARDONNAY - PINOT NOIR , WO Western Cape

Vintages #404111 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100
This is a surprisingly crisp, clean traditional method sparkler made from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. It is fairly neutral on the nose, with muted lemon and green apple fruit and a dusting of bready, yeasty complexity. Then it is brighter and more focused on the palate: very dry, with crisp acidity, and precise and more forward fruit with an herbal-spicy edge. What an excellent value!
Tasted Nov 3, 2017 • PMA CANADA LTD. (Agent)Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



10373

GLORIA FERRER BLANC DE BLANCS , Carneros

Vintages #223792 • $34.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100
Gloria Ferrer's Blanc de Blancs has a lean, trim nose, showing crisp lemon and green apple fruit, with subtle undertones of toast. It is off-dry, with firm acidity, and shows additional honeyed ripeness on the palate. Serve well chilled, to focus the acidity and hide the hint of sweetness, and let the generosity appear as the wine warms in the glass.
Tasted Nov 3, 2017 • AIREN IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBOShare Recommendation



Santé

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