available in Ontario after May 27, 2017
This eclectic group of mostly white wines is composed of three Rieslings, a Chenin Blanc, a Moschofilero blend, and a rosé from Spain. My headline wine is a terrific Canadian Riesling, the 2015 Hidden Bench Estate Riesling from Beamsville Bench. This is a rather dry, firm but expressive wine that is a fine example of Ontario Riesling. The second Niagara Riesling, the 2014 Pearl Morissette Cuvée Black Ball Riesling, is by no means typical, but provides an interesting alternative viewpoint on the grape, and on a different approach to the vinification of Riesling.
The third Riesling is an attractive wine from the Mosel, the 2015 Dr. Hermann H. Riesling. The last two white wines are an interesting 2015 South African Sauvignon Blanc from Paul Cluver, and an attractive Moschofilero blend from the Peloponnese, the 2016 Seméli Oreinos Helios White.
The final wine is a delicious Spanish rosé, the 2016 Dominio De Punctum Viento Aliseo Rosado from La Mancha.
HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE RIESLING 2015, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment
Vintages #183491 • $23.95 • 750ml. • 90/100The wine is very pale straw in colour. The nose is quiet and reserved, stony and almost steely, with firm but rather subtle notes of lemon, lime and green apple. Vivid acidity drives the palate to virtual dryness, hiding the very modest residual sugar that appears as a softening and broadening away from austerity. The green apple, lemon, lime and perhaps pear fruit shows a little more on the palate, and the finish dries into a lingering lemon-tinged and stony-flinty finish. A lovely expression of Niagara dry Riesling.
Tasted May 23, 2017 • MARK ANTHONY BRANDS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
PEARL MORISSETTE CUVÉE BLACK BALL RIESLING 2014, Product of Canada
Vintages #416073 • $36.20 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The wine is medium yellow-gold in colour. Aromas of lanolin and savoury, dried herbs surround a core of lemons and ripe apples. The wine is bone-dry, with elevated but not crisp acidity (the wine has gone through full malolactic conversion), and medium alcohol and body. There is some generosity, attractive fruit, and a drying, stony minerality. Judged fully blind, it would be viewed as a pleasant, broad wine — but it's not obviously Riesling, let alone typical Niagara Riesling, whether you think that is good or bad. The current wine was fermented with natural yeast in concrete eggs, and kept on lees for eight months.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • PEARL MORISSETTE ESTATE WINERY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DR. HERMANN H RIESLING 2015, Qualitätswein
Vintages #496521 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100This is a very pleasant and value-laden Mosel Riesling. It is a light straw in colour, with glints of yellow. Subtle hints of honey and apple blossoms lead into red apple, lemon and white peach fruit. The wine is medium-dry, but the palate zips with acidity and so balances nicely, and the pleasant fruit take on a definite honeyed undertone, that lingers with the fruit into a vibrant, crisp finish.
Tasted May 23, 2017 • S.E. ANDREWS & ASSOCIATES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
PAUL CLUVER SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015, WO Elgin
Vintages #483743 • $19.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The wine is paler straw in colour with glints of yellow. Slightly smoky on the attack, the nose shows aromas of dried herbs and uncut grass, then green apple and lime fruit peaking out from underneath. Dry, with crisp acidity and balanced alcohol, the palate shows more fruit than the nose suggests, with lemon, green apple, melon and pear, and a hint of white grapefruit towards the finish. Perhaps a halfway point between the Loire and New Zealand.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • HOBBS & COMPANY (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
SEMÉLI OREINOS HELIOS WHITE 2016, PGI Peloponnese
Vintages #477554 • $16.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The wine is a lighter straw-yellow in colour. The nose is bright, vibrant and very floral, with aromas suggesting peach blossoms and honeysuckle, then honeyed lemon, tangerines, red apples and peaches — highly aromatic without any soapiness. Dry, with crisp acidity and modest alcohol. The pleasant floral and fruit notes repeat on the palate, adding a grapefruit pith bitterness that lengthens and dries the finish. An excellent value for an aromatic white. Moschafilero, with 20% Sauvignon Blanc.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • ARTISANAL WINE IMPORTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMINIO DE PUNCTUM VIENTO ALISEO ROSADO 2016, DO La Mancha
Vintages #490995 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 88.5/100The wine is a lighter salmon colour with a hint of copper. Aromas of ripe strawberries, red apples, lemons and melons are complemented by a note of apple blossoms. Dry, with crisp acidity and balanced alcohol, a pleasant freshness marks the fruit on the palate, while a firm bitterness enhances the finish. Very pleasant indeed.
Tasted May 12, 2017 • THE LIVING VINE INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation