available in Ontario from September 16, 2017
Of the nine white wines here, six are Chardonnays in rather different styles. That diversity holds even within Burgundy, with selections from Pouilly-Fuissé, Chablis and a Bourgogne that is in fact sourced from throughout the region. The remaining three are a very new-world-style Chardonnay from Tuscany, an elegant example from Eden Valley in South Australia, and an unoaked wine from Oregon.
The remaining three wines are a dry Riesling from Rheinhessen, a Grenache Blanc blend from the Côtes du Roussillon, and a terrific Pinot Gris from Niagara.
CHÂTEAU DE LAVERNETTE VERS CHÂNE POUILLY FUISSÉ AC 2014
Vintages #499657 • $42.95 • 750ml. • 90/100Slightly overpowering resin, vanilla and cedary aromas hide most of the lemon and apple fruit. But the palate is very attractive: dry, with firm, lemony acidity, and a rich, creamy texture — now more vanilla than resin, with the lemon, apple and melon fruit jumping to the fore. Wood remains a factor for sure, but the acidity dries and centres the finish. Very attractive now for those who like significant oak influence, and while I'd be happy to drink this over the shorter term, I think it will improve considerably with extended cellar time, giving the oak a chance to settle and integrate.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • NATURAL VINES (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
PASCAL BOUCHARD MONTMAINS VIEILLES VIGNES CHABLIS 1ER CRU AC 2014
Vintages #374181 • $45.95 • 750ml. • 90/100The compact, flinty and chalky nose reveals hints of cheese rind, lemons and green apples. The palate is dry, lean and precise, mostly telling a story about the stony minerality, but there is some fruit too. The finish has a lingering lemon and wet stone essence. Very good, showing the cooler 2014 vintage to perfection.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • WINEONLINE MARKETING COMPANY LTD (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
LOUIS MAX BEAUCHARME CHARDONNAY BOURGOGNE AC 2014
Vintages #492900 • $21.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Subtle vanilla and resin on the nose, slightly green and herbal, without much fruit. The palate is nicely balanced: dry, with fresh acidity, and moderate alcohol, and a light, lactic texture. Lemon and apple fruit show more clearly on the palate, and the finish is drying, lean and lightly saline. Simple, spare and direct.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • SIGNATURE WINES & SPIRITS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
BENEFIZIO CASTELLO DI POMINO RISERVA 2015, DOC Pomino Bianco
Vintages #332247 • $36.95 • 750ml. • 90/100New-world Chardonnay from an old-world region, made by Marchesi De' Frescobaldi. The oak spice and resin on the attack allow some aromas of ripe peach, apricot and yellow apple to peak through. Dry, rich and creamy, the fruit expands on the palate with some toasted nut and vanilla complexity. The finish dries as the richness is enfolded into the lingering acidity. This is really quite a good wine, especially for those who appreciate a rather heavily oaked style, but with much more underlying finesse and elegance than you would normally find with new-world wines that are following this path.
Tasted Sept 5, 2017 • PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
MOUNTADAM HIGH EDEN ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015, High Eden, Eden Valley, South Australia
Vintages #333211 • $26.95 • 750ml. • 89/100Pale straw-yellow in colour. Gentle smoky and resin notes introduce attractive lemon, apple and melon aromas. The wine is dry, with firm acidity, and a surprisingly rounded texture that balances the palate. The fruit is pleasantly forward, perhaps slightly riper-seeming on the palate, the oak elements are restrained, and the finish is juicy but rapidly dries. Very good.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • CORK AND CROWN (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
A TO Z WINEWORKS CHARDONNAY 2015, Oregon
Vintages #269258 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 88/100This is a satisfying, unoaked Chardonnay that leans towards the cool climate ethos but carries a little extra Oregon sunshine. Almost neutral on the nose: hints of lemon and apple fruit are supported by a leesy undertone. The palate is bright and juicy — dry, with crisp acidity but a lightly creamy texture that adds some weight, and enhances the riper apple, pear and melon fruit. Simple, direct and pleasing.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
THÖRLE ESTATE DRY RIESLING 2015, Qualitätswein, Rheinhessen
Vintages #445817 • $18.95 • 750ml. • 90/100This is a dry, crunchy Riesling. The nose is constrained, hinting at rubber and lean fruit — lemon, lime, apple and pear — with subtle honey and floral notes too. But for me, the wine is mostly about the stony and mineral-toned palate. Yes, the fruit does reappear, but it stays tart and lean, and converges into a lime-tinged and stony finish. A terrific, value-laden Rheinhessen.
Tasted Sept 5, 2017 • UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE CENTENAIRE 2016, AP Côtes du Roussillon
Vintages #343491 • $17.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This is another example of the crisper, fresher whites coming from the south of France, in this case a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Roussanne. Pale straw-yellow in colour, the nose exhibits a sprinkling of green herbs, with fresh lemon, apple and white peach fruit. Dry, brisk and nicely balanced, the fruit replays on the palate with a subtle firmness and a pleasant, underlying bitterness. Lively but still substantive, and a very fine value.
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • GLENCAIRN WINE MERCHANTS (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation
CLOSSON CHASE K.J. WATSON VINEYARD PINOT GRIS 2016, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Vintages #469445 • $22.95 • 750ml. • 89/100This compelling Pinot Gris is made from Niagara fruit. Bright red apple, pear and lemon aromas carry a nuanced, honeyed depth. The wine is dry, with crisp acidity, and some weight despite the modest alcohol, and there's a denseness of texture and a light phenolic bitterness reminiscent of apricot pits on the finish. Alsatian character with Niagara acidity — very nicely done indeed!
Tasted Aug 25, 2017 • CLOSSON CHASE VINEYARDS INC. (Agent) • Find it at your nearest LCBO • Share Recommendation