available in Ontario after January 7, 2017
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and variety is certainly an important part of my excitement about wine. With this Vintages release I have chosen eleven white wines (one is sparkling) based on ten different grape varieties. Apart from the first recommendation, which has a very steep price that is justified by the fine quality of the wine, the remaining ten wines combine very good quality with excellent value, ranging in price from $13.95 to $20.95 (averaging just $17.05). What a great opportunity to explore and indulge in some WineDiscovery!
Perhaps my favourite wine of the release is the 2014 Bouchard Père & Fils Chassagne-Montrachet, a wine that I rate at 92 points. My second recommendation is the compelling 2014 Nikolaihof Terrassen Grüner Veltliner Wachau, which, with its price of just $20.95 combined with my rating of 90 points, makes it the obvious “best buy” on my list.
The remaining nine wines include a Petit Chablis, a Chenin Blanc from South Africa, a Pinot Grigio from the Veneto, a traditional method sparkling Blanquette de Limoux, a Columbia Valley Riesling, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Verdejo from Rueda, a Viognier from the Pays d’Oc, and a Muscat from the Côtes Catalanes.
- 2015 Alain Geoffroy Petit Chablis AC
- 2015 Man Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc WO Coastal Region
- 2015 Dal Cero Pinot Grigio IGT Delle Venezie
- 2014 Cuvée Jean Philippe Blanquette De Limoux Traditional method, AC
- 2014 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley
- 2015 Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, South Island
- 2015 Marqués De Cáceres Verdejo DO Rueda
- 2014 Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Viognier IGP Pays d’Oc
- 2014 Saveur Verte By Jeff Carrel IGP Côtes Catalanes
BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET AC 2014
Vintages #479824 • $66.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 92/100While this is my favourite wine of the release, it comes at a significant price! The wine is light straw in colour. Dusty lemon, apple, melon and vanilla aromas play on the nose. Brisk acidity frames the medium body that has a light, creamy texture, and the lovely lemon, apple, and melon fruit on the palate are underpinned by gentle vanilla and cedar notes. Growing complexity in the glass, elegant and very fine indeed.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
ALAIN GEOFFROY PETIT CHABLIS AC 2015
Vintages #470393 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100The wine is very light straw in colour. Fresh green apple, lemon and lime aromas are backed by a nuance of wet stones. It is dry, with crisp acidity, and a creamier texture than expected for Petit Chablis. The lemon, lime and apple fruit carry into a stony-chalky finish. Approachable and ready to drink.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • EDWARD'S WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
NIKOLAIHOF TERRASSEN GRÜNER VELTLINER 2014, Wachau
Vintages #85274 • $20.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 90/100"Terrassen" refers to the terraced vineyards of the Wachau valley, from which this wine is sourced. Its colour is medium straw, and rather strident earthy, vegetal, and reductive notes mesh with aromas of lemon and green apple fruit. The wine is bone-dry, with brisk acidity, lower alcohol, and a medium body. The vegetal elements recede on the palate, leaving crisp lemon and apple fruit and a light nutty tone. The finish is crisp, clean and salty-mineral. Very interesting and unusually complex for the price.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • THE LIVING VINE INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MAN FREE-RUN STEEN CHENIN BLANC 2015, WO Coastal Region
Vintages #126847 • $13.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100This is an attractive unoaked Chenin Blanc from the Paarl region of South Africa. It is light straw in colour, featuring aromas of green apple, melon, lemon and white grapefruit. The wine is dry, with firm acidity that enlivens the fruit on the palate, balanced by underlying notes of honey and beeswax. The finish is clean and crisp. An excellent value.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • VON TERRA ENTERPRISES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DAL CERO PINOT GRIGIO 2015, IGT Delle Venezie
Vintages #161661 • $15.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 87.5/100The wine shows light straw in the glass, with pretty aromas of apple blossom, red apple, pear, lemon and lime. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, moderate alcohol and a medium body. The complex fruit remains fresh on the palate, and the finish is dry and lingering. Very good value, with more interest than most Pinot Grigios in this price range.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • OKWINE (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CUVÉE JEAN PHILIPPE BLANQUETTE DE LIMOUX 2014, Traditional method, AC
Vintages #467217 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100Blanquette de Limoux is a traditional method sparkling wine from Limoux, required by the AOP regulations to contain at least 90% Mauzac, and in this case there is 10% Chardonnay. The wine is light straw with glints of yellow, with rather fine bubbles. Aromas of green apple, lemon and pear fruit, white flowers and a hint of toast fill the nose. The wine is just off-dry, with bright acidity, fresh lemon and green apple fruit, and a lengthy drying finish. Crisp, pleasant, very good value.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • VINETER (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE RIESLING 2014, Columbia Valley
Vintages #685651 • $17.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100We don't see a great deal of Washington State Riesling here in Ontario, and so this is a good opportunity to explore. The wine is very light straw in colour, while the nose presents slightly honeyed red apple, lemon and melon fruit. The wine is off-dry, with fresh acidity, a lighter body, with a rubber-mineral nuance that complements the fruit on the palate. An interesting take on Riesling.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, Marlborough, South Island
Vintages #981670 • $16.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100The wine is watery white with glints of straw. Moderate lemon, grapefruit and honeydew melon aromas are edged by notes of earthy green pepper and grass. The wine is dry, with brisk acidity, moderate alcohol and a medium body, with tangy grapefruit and apple on the palate, and a clean, fresh, mineral finish. A surprisingly subtle and rather elegant Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • KIRKWOOD DIAMOND CANADA PARTNERSHIP (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES VERDEJO 2015, DO Rueda
Vintages #461400 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100I'm pleased to see more Verdejo from Rueda on the Vintages shelves these days. While winemakers in Rueda are exploring many different styles and approaches, this example fits firmly in what I think of as the mainstream expression. It is light straw-yellow in colour, with an aromatic nose that features delicate white flowers, with peach, apricot, yellow apple, lemon and grapefruit. Fully dry, with elevated acidity and balanced alcohol, the fruit is riper and richer on the palate, but maintains some freshness, with a firm, drying finish. Very much worth exploring.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LAURENT MIQUEL NORD SUD VIOGNIER 2014, IGP Pays d'Oc
Vintages #673236 • $14.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100The wine is medium straw-yellow in colour. Lightly aromatic, the nose suggests ripe peaches, apricots, apples and lemons, with white flowers. It is dry, with balanced acidity and alcohol, and the fruit replays on the palate with a slightly bitter edge on the finish. Less aromatic than many Viogniers, but pleasant and firm.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • LIFFORD WINE & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SAVEUR VERTE BY JEFF CARREL 2014, IGP Côtes Catalanes
Vintages #462481 • $19.95 • 750ml. • WD Score 88/100Nothing in the glass shouts out "southern France", but this unusual wine is from the Côtes Catalanes, covering the Roussillon area just north of the Spanish border. The wine, largely based on the aromatic Muscat d'Alexandre, is a lighter straw colour. The highly aromatic and complex nose has a definite grapey aroma, complemented by white flowers, honeysuckle, peach, apricot, tangerine and lemon. The wine is just off-dry, with balanced alcohol and acidity. There is a lightly honeyed note on the palate, which remains lively and has some freshness. Very drinkable, pleasant.
Tasted 12/2/2016 • ROUGE ET BLANC LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation