Reviews for wines available in Ontario after February 18, 2017
Six of the eleven wines presented hail from France, along with three from Canada, and single offerings from northern Greece and Austria.
The first two French wines are traditional method sparkling wines: a well-priced non-vintage Champagne, and a very pleasant Mauzac-based Blanquette de Limoux from the Aude in Languedoc. These are followed by a Chablis 1er Cru, a Chenin Blanc from Saumur, and two rather different expressions of Sauvignon Blanc: a Pouilly-Fumé and a Sauvignon blend (with Semillon and Muscadelle) from Entre-Deux-Mers.
The three Canadian wines include an off-dry Riesling from Tawse, a very elegant Chardonnay Musqué from Cave Spring, and a highly unusual Marsanne from Kew.
The final two wines are an interesting Sauvignon Blanc that is bolstered by some Assyrtiko, from PGI Drama in northeastern Greece, and a fine introductory Grüner Veltliner from Kremstal, Austria.
LAHERTE FRÈRES ULTRADITION BRUT CHAMPAGNE AC
Vintages #478644 • $48.95 • 750ml. • 91/100The wine has a high proportion (40%) of older reserve wines, but what makes it more unusual is that the blend is dominated by Pinot Meunier (60%), with 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. The wine is medium straw with glints of old gold. The nose presents toast and sweet brioche, bruised yellow apple and lemon, with a whiff of fresh herbs and honey. The wine is dry, with zingy acidity, and a medium body. Fruit is fresher on the palate — lemony, lightly creamy but tart — with more complexity, adding notes of white peach, pear, orange zest and honeysuckle, and a saline minerality on the finish. Slim, tart and elegant. Disgorged May 2016.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • CAVA SPILIADIS CANADA (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE J. LAURENS LE MOULIN BRUT BLANQUETTE DE LIMOUX , Traditional method, AC
Vintages #180323 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100Blanquette de Limoux is a traditional method sparkling wine that must contain at least 90% of the local grape Mauzac. In this case it is supplemented with 10% Chardonnay. The wine is pale straw, with aromas of white flowers, lemon, green apple and pear, complemented by hints of bread and yeast. It is dry, with lively acidity balanced by a lightly creamy texture, that carries the fruit into a pleasant, tart and mineral finish. Simple, straightforward and attractive.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • CONNEXION OENOPHILIA (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
PASCAL BOUCHARD BEAUROY CHABLIS 1ER CRU AC 2015
Vintages #994350 • $34.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This Beauroy reflects the warmth of the 2015 vintage in Chablis. The wine is pale straw-yellow, with a stony-mineral nose that shows some lemon-lime, green apple and pear. It is dry, with brisk acidity, and the generosity of the vintage shows in the slightly riper fruit on the palate, where I also catch a hint of cedary resin that edges the underlying minerality. Very fairly priced 1er Cru Chablis.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
COULY-DUTHEIL LES MOULINS DE TURQUANT SAUMUR BLANC AC 2015
Vintages #469759 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The wine is a lighter straw-yellow. On the nose, a core of honeyed lemon is backed by aromas of yellow apple and white flowers, with a hint of lanolin. The wine is fully dry, with crisp acidity balancing a medium-full body that has a rich, creamy texture. The waxy-lanolin element grows a little on the palate, and the fruit carries into the pleasant finish. Good Chenin character for the price.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • H.H.D. IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE DES FINES CAILLOTTES POUILLY-FUMÉ AC 2015
Vintages #695908 • $26.95 • 750ml. • 89/100The wine is medium straw. The nose presents aromas of lemon, lime and green apple, with notes of fresh herbs, hay, wet stones and dusty earth. The wine is bone dry, and while the fruit seems slightly riper on the palate, the zesty acidity provides a fine balance that emphasizes the stony-earthy minerality on the finish.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • ATLAS TRADING (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CHATEAU HAUT POUGNAN ENTRE-DEUX-MERS AC 2015
Vintages #482737 • $14.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This Sauvignon Blanc from Entre-Deux-Mers is blended with about 25% Semillon and 5% Muscadelle. It is medium straw-yellow, with a core of lemon, green apple, pear and white grapefruit aromas, and the merest hint of dried herbs and hay. The palate is fresh, driven by bright acidity, but the fruit on the palate is softened by a gentle, creamy texture. The freshness carries into the clean, stony finish. A little more character than I expected for the price — good value.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • OKWINE (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2014, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Vintages #89029 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 89/100According to my records this is the fifth release of the 2014 Sketches Riesling, and my notes are in line with previous ones. The wine is showing a hint more colour, now pale straw, and a light smoky-rubber-petrol note is a little more pronounced. This is followed by delicate apple blossoms, lemon, red apple, honeydew melon and white peach aromas. While off-dry, the wine has fresh acidity that yields a sweet-tart palate: crisp, pretty, lively and nicely balanced. Always a very good value.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • TAWSE WINERY INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CAVE SPRING CELLARS ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2014, Cave Spring vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #246579 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This wine is 100% Chardonnay Musqué, an aromatic clone of Chardonnay, that grows in a single block in the Cave Spring Estate Vineyard. It is watery white with glints of straw. The nose is lightly floral, suggesting meadow flowers and apple blossoms, with bright aromas of lemon, red apple and white peach. The wine is dry, with vibrant acidity, and a lightly creamy texture that suggests some lees stirring. Add a hint of spice to the riper, peach-inflected palate, and you get a lovely, lively and pleasantly complex unoaked Chardonnay. A fine value!
Tasted 2/3/2017 • CAVE SPRING CELLARS LTD., (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
KEW MARSANNE 2014, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #485334 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This rare Marsanne from Ontario shows light straw in the glass. Floral notes suggesting white flowers and peach blossoms complement aromas of ripe fruit — lemon, yellow apple, melon and peach — with a spicy wood resin undertone. The palate is rich and creamy, infused with cedary resin and vanilla, but the fruit and floral components are powerful enough to harmonize the burden of the oak frame. Significant cellar time will help to further integrate the oak.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • KEW VINEYARDS ESTATE WINERY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE COSTA LAZARIDI AMETHYSTOS WHITE 2015, PGI Drama
Vintages #984864 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is an interesting blend from northeastern Macedonia in the north of Greece: 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Assyrtiko. The wine is pale straw, with a pretty nose suggesting white flowers, lemon and grapefruit, then hints of grass, red apple, honeydew melon and wet, earthy stones. Crisp acidity enlivens the palate, where the fruit takes on a slightly honeyed tone, and the stony minerality rises on the lengthy finish. Sauvignon character with very good ripeness but fine acidity.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
STADT KREMS GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015, Kremstal
Vintages #295626 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The wine is lighter straw. A hint of Grüner pepper and earth presage light floral, green apple and white grapefruit aromas. The dry, crisp and fresh palate has a subtle creaminess, while grapefruit and melon linger on the stony finish. Very pleasant, and a fine value.
Tasted 2/3/2017 • B. COJOCARU AGENCIES INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation