available from January 6, 2018 in Ontario
This is the second presentation of value-driven wines from the January 6th Vintages release, focusing on white wines. Here the value proposition is even stronger, with all wines under $20, and most significantly lower than that. And interest and diversity remain strong, with two fine Niagara Rieslings, three wines from the Loire — sparkling Vouvray, a Chenin from Saumur, and a Sauvignon from Touraine — then a Godello from Bierzo in Spain, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, an Australian Chardonnay, and another Chenin Blanc, this time from South Africa.
The two Rieslings are both 2016s from the Niagara Escarpment: the Flat Rock Riesling from the Twenty Mile Bench, and Vineland Estates’ Elevation Riesling from their St. Urban Vineyard.
The three wines from the Loire include the Château Moncontour Tête de Cuvée Brut Vouvray (a traditional method sparkling Chenin Blanc), the 2016 Domaine des Quints Saumur (also Chenin Blanc), and the 2016 Domaine Jacky Marteau Sauvignon from Touraine. A fourth old world wine is the 2015 Abad Dom Bueno Godello from Bierzo in northwestern Spain.
The final three are new world wines from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa: the 2016 Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, the 2016 Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Chardonnay, and the 2017 Tussock Jumper Chenin Blanc from the Western Cape.
FLAT ROCK RIESLING 2016, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #43281 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100An interesting jump in alcohol from the 9.5% of 2015 to 11% for the 2016, suggests the possibility of a dryer and slightly riper wine. And this comes across, with pretty, though subtle peach blossom and peach fruit, encased in a nose of stony Riesling minerality. The wine is off-dry, but firmly acidic too. The peachy attack on the palate adds notes of apricot and melon, with the lemony acidity rising towards the finish, that lingers with peach, lemon and stony acidity. Flat Rock has been upping its Riesling game over the last three vintages or so — congratulations to them! One of the best values of this release.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • FLAT ROCK CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2016, VQA Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #38117 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This wine is a long-standing Niagara stalwart, from Vineland's iconic St. Urban Vineyard, one of Niagara's earliest Riesling plantings. On the first tasting, a little mustiness dulled the nose, although the bones of the wine stood up to the test, but the second tasting was quite fine. Subtle aromas of lemon and red apple fruit are complemented by notes of apple blossoms and hints of ripe melon and white peach. The wine is medium-dry, with balanced acidity that allows the residual sugar to play as a honeyed richness, and then gathers itself into a firm, stony edge towards the finish. A classy and classic Niagara Riesling.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • VINELAND ESTATE WINES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
CHÂTEAU MONCONTOUR TÊTE DE CUVÉE BRUT VOUVRAY , AC, Loire, France
Vintages #207936 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a fine introduction to traditional method sparkling Vouvray, with the firm structure of just-ripe Chenin Blanc. The nose is dominated by notes of toast and roasted walnuts that give an almost resinous tone, with hints of lemon and red apple. The wine is dryish, with vivid acidity that defines the palate and masks the residual sugar. The fruit edges forward, over a subtle savoury, nutty and waxy depth, while the finish lingers with stony acidity. A fantastic value at this price.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • S. SCHIRALLI AGENCIES LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
DOMAINE DES QUINTS SAUMUR AC 2016
Vintages #527259 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is a slim, trim Chenin Blanc, displaying the typically vivid acidity that I'd hope for. The wine is bright, crisp and very fresh, made from just-ripe fruit. Acids are high, there is a suggestion of beeswax and honey character, but it's mostly about the limey, green apple fruit. The finish is tart and stony. While this doesn't have the weight and complexity (or price) of higher-end Chenin, it is zingy, full of life, and a fine value.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • VINEXX (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
DOMAINE JACKY MARTEAU SAUVIGNON TOURAINE AC 2016
Vintages #745349 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is an attractive, modern Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine. There's an edge of fairly subtle grass and earthy-vegetal tones prior to a waft of white grapefruit. The wine is briskly dry, and the grapefruit jumps forward on the palate as the savoury and herbal tones recede. The finish is acidic and stony. With the first bottle tasted, the earthy-vegetal tones stood out very strongly, while the second was more balanced. But in either case, this is a pleasing and value-packed Sauvignon indeed.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • APPELLATION WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
ABAD DOM BUENO GODELLO 2015, DO Bierzo
Vintages #154302 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is savoury and herbal on the nose, with a little lemony fruit at the core. The wine is dry, with fresh lemon and apple acidity and a surprising denseness given the modest alcohol. The finish is crisp, salty and savoury. A simple, pleasant wine at a very attractive price.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • TRADESA CORP. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #981670 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is a pleasant, mainstream Marlborough savvy, with the firm acidic structure that defines the genre. There is an edge of smoky reduction on the initial nose, then notes of cut grass with a hint of green beans, all leading to a core of white grapefruit and green apple fruit. The palate jumps with life, as the bright fruit pushes the grassy-herbal notes underneath. The finish lingers with a grapefruit-tinged essence. An excellent value indeed.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • KIRKWOOD DIAMOND CANADA PARTNERSHIP (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
WAKEFIELD CLARE VALLEY ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016, Clare Valley, South Australia
Vintages #711556 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100Pleasant white flowers and lemon-apple fruit on the nose replay on the palate with a slightly riper depth. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, balanced alcohol, and a subtle creamy, leesy weight. Very attractive, accessible and ready-to-drink, at a compelling price.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • VIN VINO WINE MERCHANTS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
TUSSOCK JUMPER CHENIN BLANC 2017, WO Western Cape
Vintages #480764 • $12.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 87/100This is a simple, just-ripe Chenin Blanc from South Africa. The nose is fresh and bright, suggesting green apple and lime, but still shows a little of that Chenin waxiness. The palate is crisp and lively — fully dry, with bright green citrus and apple fruit, and a lively, stony finish. An excellent value.
Tasted Dec 15, 2017 • MAJESTIC WINE CELLARS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review