Friday, July 20, 2007

More July Whites(4): Australia Ries, Sauv Blanc; Canada Chard; Chile Sauv Blanc;

GROVE MILL RIESLING 2006, Marlborough, NZ, 12.5% XD, #032771 $15.95 (Tasted July 25, 2007)
A Vintages release on July 7, 2007.  (Paul White, Sydney International Wine Competition, 2007)." Natalie MacLean gives it 87/100.  My notes: I preferred this somewhat off chill... the soft nose was more aromatic of wild floral and honeysuckle with some lime in the background. A light blond colour and light-bodied bringing lip-smacking honey and tropical citrus to the foreground... just off dry that carries through to a long finish with light citrus and a drying texture. A tame riesling without petrol... true to the varietal but no process influence to speak of. Was good with grilled scampi, salmon kebobs, salad and slaw. I expect some minerality and petrol so this style is not for me.

Niagara, Canada, 13.8% D, #040675 $14.95 (Tasted July 23, 2007)

A Vintages release on April 28, 2007.  The winery says "Well balanced, the crisp acidity balances the sweetness to give it an off-dry palate. Bosc pear, quince and subtle peach notes which give way to green apple and a spicy clove finish. Full flavoured with a crisp and lasting finish." My notes: A slight nose of honey, melon and faint vanilla from a colour of almost imperceptible clear blond. The flavours build from the first sip of a warm, natural citrus changing to a tart melon seam. Let this go off chill for best sipping. Finishes long, with a well balanced tartness, dry as a crabapple, and a light granny smith ending. A sipper that starts with the question... Does this have flavour? and ends with... Yes, delicate and building enough to companion a grilled chicken dish or grilled halibut or telapia filet. A drink-now and an OK value for an unoaked chard but don't expect butterscotch or lemon grass. Not for cellaring.
WOLF BLASS BILYARA RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC PET 2006, South Australia, 12.0% D, #030809 $13.95 (Tasted July 22, 2007)

A General listing. My notes: There is an acknowledgment of this brand on the website but no tasting notes. A pale blond with aromas an almost discernible floral, perhaps lemon blossom. The flavour attempts to emulate sauvignon blanc with a light lemon, a honeysuckle, and citrus tartness - but no significant traces of gooseberries, nettles or passionfruit. A short finish with a light oil and flat citrus aftertaste. For a sipper serve chilled perhaps with ice and a lemon twist for additional natural flavour. Or pair with anything light: steamed rice and a delicate fish: eg. halibut or cod fillets with a green salad, or a PC hot dog. A drink-now beverage and the plastic bottle doesn't make this a value purchase.

Casablanca Valley, Chile, 13.0% XD, #031096 $13.95 (Tasted July 20, 2007)

A Vintages release on July 7, 2007. VH of Winecurrent gives it three and one half (of 5).  My notes: A wonderful nose of gooseberries and nettles - just the right balance for me! And the flavours are the same... nicely balanced with that unctious feel and a mineral and citrus brightness without overplay of fruit to spices. The pronounced finish makes a great sipper and went perfectly with grilled arctic char filets with yams and parsnips in an orange sauce. Sip or cellar... great now on a warm evening or with seafood dishes. I think it would cellar for a few years as well... and you can't say enough about the price: a real value.

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