available in Ontario from January 20, 2018
The second January release from Vintages in Ontario continues the value theme, with only one of these recommendations priced at more than $20. And the selection is diverse and interesting too: sparkling wines from Burgundy and Prosecco, Chardonnays from Mâcon and Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, a Chardonnay-Viognier blend from the Casablanca Costa Valley in Chile, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, an Alsation Gewürztraminer, and a Silvaner from Franken in Germany.
LOUIS BOUILLOT PERLE RARE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE AC 2014
Vintages #178137 • $21.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a fine, understated crémant. The nose is constrained, with gentle lemon and apple fruit, backed by notes of lightly toasted brioche and blanched almonds. The wine is essentially dry, with firm acidity — it's focused and direct, verging on the austere, save for a balancing, lightly creamy texture. Yes, the fruit reappears on the palate, but really, it's all about the life and texture — and the stony, salty finish. My kind of crémant!
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • CHARTON HOBBS INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
ANDREA BIASIOTTO EXTRA DRY PROSECCO DOC 2016
Vintages #516559 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This pleasant, simple Prosecco presents bright peach, melon and pear aromas, backed by more subtle red apple and lemon fruit. It is dryish, with bright acidity, and a lightly creamy texture, with just a little generosity from the largely hidden residual sugar — and then the palate firms and dries nicely on the finish. Straightforward, charming, and an excellent value.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • UNIQUE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
CUVÉE JOSEPH TALMARD MÂCON-CHARDONNAY AC 2016
Vintages #392712 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a neat little Mâcon white. Surprisingly deeply coloured for a 2016, it is medium-depth yellow with an overtone of gold. Pretty aromas of red apple, lemon and melon fruit with a spray of white flower perfume lead the way, with a spicy, leesy element that suggests the possibility of older oak. The wine is dry, balanced, with bright acidity and a creamy texture. Pleasant apple — almost baked apple on a second taste — combines with lemon on the palate, then firms and narrows as the acidity focuses the finish. Very attractive, delicious and incredibly well-priced — a crowd-pleaser in the best possible way.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • APPELLATION WINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
MT HECTOR CHARDONNAY 2016, Hawkes Bay, North Island
Vintages #535831 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This New Zealand Chardonnay is from Hawkes Bay in the North Island. Lightly resinous, cedary notes frame understated lemon and yellow apple fruit. The wine is dry, and although oak is generous enough to give the wine a sweetish edge, acids are bright and tilt the balance towards freshness, and then linger on the finish with a lemony edge. A fine value.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • TRADESA CORP. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
VISTAMAR CORTE DE CAMPO COASTAL BLEND 2015, Casablanca Costa Valley
Vintages #541003 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This terrific blend of Chardonnay with 15% Viognier presents as a Chardonnay with just a little extra interest. It starts with the arresting nose that immediately tells a story of depth and complexity: lightly smoky, with a hint of resin underlying nuanced lemon and apple fruit, and graced by the scent of white flowers. The wine is dry, with very subtle wood-induced vanilla and spice that, along with the small portion of Viognier, give the palate an impression of creamy weight. But then the acidity kicks in, lifting the palate and carrying it into a drying, stony finish. A very good example of the Chilean cool climate coastal expression, and very sharply priced.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • EPIC WINES AND SPIRITS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
ANNA'S WAY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #535765 • $18.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100Yet another Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that is moving away from the bellicose vegetal undertones of yesteryear. Certainly the nose begins with a lightly grassy approach, backed by understated jalapeño and dried herb notes, but the core is attractive white grapefruit and green apple fruit. The wine is quite dry, and acids are bright. The palate plays out as the nose suggests, with the grapefruit bolstered by the acidity, as a subtle vegetal pungency lurks underneath, and lingers on the stony finish. An excellent example, with an acid-driven mineral edge. And a very fine value too.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • GLEN-WARD WINES INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
ANDRÉ BLANCK & FILS ALTENBOURG GEWURZTRAMINER 2016, AC Alsace
Vintages #168906 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 89/100This is a fine Alsatian Gewürztraminer. It is medium-depth straw in colour, with glints of gold. The nose is intense and complex: it expands with pretty peach blossom and rose petal perfumes, an undertone of rosewater, then ripe melon, red apple, tangerine and lemon fruit The wine is medium-dry, with just enough acidity to keep the creamy palate lively. The fruit repeats, with a little ginger spice and an apricot pit note that adds an attractive, slightly bitter contrast. So attractive, showing the life and complexity of the grape without the overbearing soapiness that sometimes occurs. If you aren't familiar with Gewürz, this is a fine example to try, at a very good price; and if you are familiar with the grape, you'll enjoy this immensely.
Tasted Jan 9, 2018 • B.B. MARKETING (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review
BÜRGERSPITAL WÜRZBURG TROCKEN SILVANER 2016, Qualitätswein
Vintages #260273 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100You won't be able to put this traditional bocksbeutel (the wide, squat, flattened oval bottle) in your wine rack, but that's ok, for you'll want to keep this close at hand for early drinking. The pale, silvery, straw colour presages subtle lemon and green apple fruit, backed by a stony, lightly herbal undertone. The wine is dryish, with bright acidity, lighter alcohol, and a pleasantly creamy texture. Add melon and white peach notes to the lemon and green apple fruit on the palate. This is pleasantly uncomplicated and very attractive.
Tasted Jan 5, 2018 • VINEXX (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Review