Thursday, December 08, 2005

December Sparkles (5): Canada Blend, Italy Prosecco(3), Australia Chardonnay

SUMAC RIDGE 'STELLARS JAY' SPARKLING BRUT 2001 METHODE CLASSIQUE, Okanagan, Canada, 12.2% D, #264879 $19.95 (Tasted December 8, 2005)

The label says: "a blend of pinot blanc, pinot noir and chardonnay aged en tirage for a minimum of three years. ... hand riddled and hand disgorged... " A Vintages release December 10, 2005. My notes: A crystal light blond with a touch of peach hue, a fragrant pineapple peach and a mountain of bubbles fine enough for foam but not fine enough for froth. A bright medium-bodied apple and citrus flavour with a slight creaminess. A medium Granny Smith finish. A bit light with grilled telapia and salad with sliced olives and balsamic dressing but a good festive quencher between seafood appetizers.

BOTTEGA VINO DEI POETI PROSECCO, Veneto, Italy, 11.0% D, #897702 $12.60 (Tasted December 21, 2005)

The LCBO writes: "Pale straw colour, fine bubbles; fresh & fragrant with delicate apple, pear, citrus and hints of honeysuckle & white fruit on the nose; dry, with barely a hint of sweetness on palate & flavours of green apple and citrus; refreshing finish. Serve as an apéritif or try with spring rolls, shrimp, sushi, with melon and prosciutto, light fruit dishes or cheese and fruit." Gordon Stimmell describes this as "...transcends the ususal sweet prosecos, showing apple and floral aromas and a hint of toasty biscuits. The flavours are full of apple and zesty citrus, with a slightly sweet edge on the finish. Very refreshing." and rates it 88. A General listing reduced for a period from $13.60. My notes: The foil wrap has a priceless quote by Cicerone: "Either drink or leave". A light blond and foams rather than froths... ie. bubbles are medium size and viscosity is low. Fragrance of apple and pears, medium-bodied with corresponding flavours and a citrus edge. Finish is long of apple and citrus with a faint yeastiness. A reasonable celibratory sipper or have with oysters, chilled cocktail shrimp, asian foods or mild cheeses and pineapple wedges. Cellar for a few years or just drink now.

BANROCK STATION SPARKLING CHARDONNAY, South Eastern Australia, 12.0% D, #534974 $12.00 (Tasted December 22, 2005)

The LCBO says: "Medium straw colour, fine mousse ; dry, medium-bodied with apple/pear fruit; crisp with hints of butterscotch on the finish. Serve with brunch, seafood or spicy foods." The label says: "fresh peach and melon characters.. of chardonnay are a feature of this superb full flavoured sparkling wine. ... soft creamy texture and subtle yeast." A General listing. My notes: I enjoyed their sparkling shiraz so had to try their chardonnay. A golden blond with a faint 'unoaked chardonnay' or pear/apple nose and a rush of large bubbles creating a foam that quickly settles to a stream of finer bubbles. Medium-bodied with a dry crisp mousseux flavour of melon with a peach tone - the finish is a long cripsy creamy in the mouth. Another reasonable festive sipper - not full and fruity and not over tart, with a pleasing finish for sure. Refreshing with oysters, shrimp ring with tartar dip, Dim Sum, or mild cheeses. A drink now - perhaps a year cellaring would be interesting.

VAL D'OCA PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE BRUT V.S.Q.P.R.D. 2004, Veneto, Italy, 11.0% D, #340570 $14.15 (Tasted December 25, 2005)

The LCBO says: "Pale yellow colour; up front floral aromas with spicy, Muscat notes; fruity, spicy flavours with a tangy finish. Serve as an aperitif or with light seafood." A General listing. My notes: An abundance of bubbles foaming briefly then a steady medium-sized stream forming a frothy edge. A light blond with a yeast and melon nose. A round spritz on the tongue and a moderate citric tang in the throat with flavours of melon and a hint of orange. Finish is moderately long with a noticeable creaminess. OK as a festive sparkler, with seafood appetizers or serve with white fish dishes, sushi or Asian fare. A drink now sparkler.

MIONETTO SPA IL PROSECCO, Veneto, Italy, 10.5% D, #588053 $13.40 (Tasted December 27, 2005)

The LCBO describes as: "Medium straw colour with lively bubbles; medium-intensity citrus, pear and melon notes; dry, light-body, crisp, refreshing style. Serve with hors d'oeuvres, antipasta, or seafood." A General listing. My notes: The crown cap is different - suggests carbonation rather than secondary fermentation - and with a sugar code of 2 there is a sweet edge. The shoulder on the neck doesn't allow a standard champagne 'recorker' so drinkup, the bubbles disappear quickly. A very light blond with large bubbles and no chance of a froth. A grassy very light muscat nose and initial heavy spritz that also goes quickly. Light-bodied with flavours of honeydew melon with a lime twist and no creaminess. The finish is a long light citrus. A pleasant enough quaffer with or without shellfish appetizers and held its own with grilled telapia and rice. More of a tart spritz than a sparkler and, IMHO for what it offers, well overpriced.

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