Saturday, June 24, 2006

More June Whites (5): Italy Blend, Canada Blend, Canada Chard(2), Australia Sauv Blanc,

ANSELMI SAN VINCENZO VENETO IGT 2005, Veneto, Italy, 12.8% XD, #948158 $15.95 (Tasted June 30, 2006)

A Vintages release June 24, 2006 and described as ".. light, fresh wine .. a unique blend of Garganega, Chardonnay and a little Trebbiano that will capture your imagination. It's packed with ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavours balanced by a seam of acidity with a crisp medium finish. Enjoy with pasta in a pesto sauce, or cannelloni stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach." My notes: The last vintage tasted (December, 2005) was 2004 with the comment " retains the zesty fruit flavours of the previous vintages. Full aromas of lemon and floral honey build anticipation for the freshly tart flavours of soft lemon, a touch of passionfruit and pineapple. etc." If anything the 2005 has a stronger floral and honey lemon drop nose, a brilliant blond colour and distinct flavours of passionfruit, grapefruit and distant banana. The long finish carries full flavoured fruit including the banana edge along with a smooth mouthfeel. A great patio sipper when served by itself well chilled. A full-bodied white with enough to hold its own with cold ham, cold turkey or chicken on greens, sushi, asian dishes, fresh oysters, etc. A real value imho. Should cellar well up to five years - but check yearly.

TAWSE 'ROBYN'S BLOCK' CHARDONNAY 2003 VQA, Vineland, Canada, 14.1% D, #Winery $48.00 (Tasted June 27, 2006)

My notes: Tasted then purchased from the winery, one of several gravity flow wineries in the Niagara area. Robyn's Block is part of the lower slope of the 'Vineland Double Bench'. This chardonnay is unfiltered. Full flavoured grapefruit, mango and butterscotch with soft oak, balanced acid and tannins. Colour is a strong golden straw and the finish is long and round. Yes, overpriced but comparable to other old vines chards from the Niagara area. Cellaring for few more years is possible. Sipping well now and would be great with oysters, cold or hot mussels, a bouillibaise, seafood paella, etc.

FLAT ROCK CELLARS '2005 TWISTED' VQA, Jordan, Canada, 12.0% D, #001578 $18.95 (Tasted June 27, 2006)

A Vintages release on June 10, 2006 and described as "A fruit-driven, aromatic blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay that would match freshwater fish or a chicken biriani. Aromas suggest lime, grapefruit, peach, ripe apple and a hint of spice. Slightly off-dry, it comes across as fairly dry on the finish due to nice acid core. Medium-bodied with a lingering finish. (VINTAGES panel, April 2006)." Gord Stimmell gives it 90 saying "intriguing.... floral jasmine, peach and apple crispness, a blend of gewurztraminer, riesling and chardonnay." My notes: Although available in Vintages this bottle was tasted and purchased from the winery on June 27th. A screwtop for preserving flavours. A pleasant mild sipper giving aromas of pineapple, spice, lemon and honey. An off-dry but the natural sugars and acids are well balanced. The finish is smooth, warm and leaves a slight spiciness. Should be able to cellar for a few years.

FLAT ROCK CELLARS ‘THE RUSTY SHED' CHARDONNAY 2004 VQA, Jordan, Canada, 12.5% D, #001552 $29.95 (Tasted June 27, 2006)

Vintages released on June 10, 2006 and described it as "After months of postponing the painting of a rusty old shed in the middle of their premier Chardonnay vineyard, the folks at Flat Rock decided to name their top-tier Chardonnay after it. Guess they won't bother painting it now. Colour: medium straw. Nose: Burgundian nose, barnyard, oaky, apple. Taste: toasty, orange, tangerine and caramel flavours; lovely spine of acidity; great length Drinkability: now to 2008. Outstanding. (Tony Aspler,, March 2006)." Their website says "is fully barrel fermented, lees aged and stirred, and undergoes 50% to 100% malolactic fermentation depending on the composition of the grapes at harvest. .... complex mix of melon and fleshy fruit, spicy oak notes, creamy mouthfeel and balanced acidity." Gord Stimmell rates it 92 saying "lemon oil, creamed corn, buttery, spicy apple flavours, and lingering lemon finish. My notes: Although available in Vintages this tasting was at the winery (great 270 views on a clear day) on June 27th. Comes with a screwcap. A pleasant creaminess on the first sip followed by a crisp melon/citrus and apple. A long citrus and melon finish. Cellaring for a few years should integrate structure but at the loss of some fruit. Try a year at a time.

WOLF BLASS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2005, South Australia, 12.5% XD, #611475 $14.95 (Tasted June 24, 2006)

A General release described as "Medium straw colour; aromas of pear, melon and hay aromas; dry, light to medium bodied, well balanced, with fresh cut grass, lime and herb flavours. Serve with jambalaya, steamed asparagus, grilled veggies or herbed fish dishes." My notes: A perfumed, somewhat artificial lime and passionfruit aroma from a light straw, light-bodied liquid. Flavours of light lime and faint passionfruit with prominent acids. A tart, uninteresting sipper better with seafood or chicken wraps. A dry citrus finish with an artificial fruit edge. A drink-now, not cellarable, not a value.

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