Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More Whites(4): New Zealand Sauv Blanc, Canada Gewurz, Canada Pinot Gris, Italy 'Soave'

VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2004, Marlborough, New Zealand, 12.7% D, #426601 $15.10 (Tasted September 20, 2005)

The LCBO says: "Pale straw colour; intense aromas of gooseberry, lime, grass and asparagus; dry, medium bodied, crisp acidity, and flavours of bell pepper, gooseberry and citrus; clean, crisp finish. Suggested pairings: goat cheese dishes, vegetarian fare or herb roasted poultry. " The Villa Maria website notes: "The 2004 Marlborough vintage saw a fabulous growing season up until verasion when Marlborough experienced its heaviest February rainfalls on record. This rainfall coincided with a week long cold snap that proved challenging to both the vineyards and winemakers. Overall the vintage was very sound producing some very intensely aromatic Sauvignon Blanc parcels. Fruit was sourced from a range of vineyards in the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Each vineyard was harvested at optimum ripeness and processed separately to provide the greatest blending options. The fruit was pressed in a pneumatic airbag press, cold settled and racked for fermentation. Cool fermentation techniques were employed to savour flavour and aromatics. After the fermentation had completed the wines were racked to blend, gently fined, filtered and immediately bottled. Distinctively Marlborough, bursting with passionfruit, ripe gooseberry and hints of herbaceous nuances. A well balanced and a freshly invigorating palate with a crisp and zesty finish (June 2004)." This is a General listing. My notes: Comes with a screwcap. A pale blond with appealing aromas of gooseberries, citrus and a touch of cut grass. A fresh lime sharpness on the palate and a long finish with a light creaminess. Carried itself well with grilled salmon steaks and likely would with any grilled seafood or cold chicken breast strips on greens. A drink-now white although website says it will cellar until 2007.

MALIVOIRE MOIRA VINEYARD GEWURZTRAMINER 2000, Beamsville, Canada, 14.5% D, #542522 $24.95 (Tasted September 23, 2005)

A Vintages release. The 2004 vintage was released September 17, 2005 with the following comments: "A standard bearer for both quality and environmental responsibility, Malivoire does not use chemical insecticides, herbicides or fertilizers in any of its vineyards, and the 'Estate Vineyard' is currently deemed 'in transition' in the organic certification process. This classic beauty would be the perfect match for spicy curry dishes. In the late 90's, Malivoire produced some of Ontario's most intense Gewurz from old vines located on their Moira vineyard. That was before severe winter cold did away with them. The 04, made from maturing vines, is a return to that style. Loads of rose water, honey, lychee and peach. The mouthfeel is viscous and rich, with a long spicy/creamy finish. Drink over the next 3 years. Score - 90 (Evan Saviolidis, www.winesavvy.ca, July 2005 )" My notes (2000 vintage): Purchased at the winery November 2001 - comes with an artificial cork. A golden blond colour with a nose of fresh mown hay, apricots and burnt oak. Flavours have grown toward the hay rather than the fruit although with some pleasing creamy caramel highlights. There appears to be some spritz as fine bubbles form on the glass. The finish is a short burnt apricot. Not a sipper. Went well with fish and chips; and should go well with curried mussels, lightly grilled tuna steak with anise, peppercorn and tomato side dish. Perhaps another year in the cellar will reveal something.

MALIVOIRE PINOT GRIS 2000, Beamsville, Canada, 13.2% SC2, #591305 $17.95 (Tasted September 26, 2005)

This is a Vintages release. My notes: Has an artificial cork. Purchased from the winery on January 2001. Considerably different than the 2002 vintage tasted in January and June, 2005. A remarkable golden amber with a soft stewed peach/pear nose. There's a caramel flavour and some spice, both barely discernible with well-balanced acid giving sipping a pleasant brightness. Finish is warm and short but not memorable. Should be OK with white fish dishes, chicken breast or pork tenderloin although added little to grilled telapia and salad.

ANSELMI SAN VINCENZO VENETO IGT 2003, Veneto, Italy, 12.7% D, #948158 $15.95 (Tasted October 1, 2005)

A Vintages release March 5, 2005. Mark Tarbell rates the 2003 vintage as: "There are great whites produced there (Veneto, Italy), and this is one of the best I've tasted recently. The aroma has a little honeydew melon and a touch of greenness. The flavor is where it's at, bursting with bright, fresh, ripe summer fruit while finishing quite soft and delicious. Rating 90 points, June 8, 2005" My notes: Last tasted March, 2005 this bottle purchased today is a light wild floral and lemon drop nose with a soft blond colour. Flavours are full of grapefruit, light passionfruit and distant banana with their appropriate tang - very pleasant. Little to no chardonnay flavour. A medium length the finish has a light oil and soft lemon with passionfruit having some staying power. Should be great with any seafood.

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