Sunday, November 25, 2007

More November Whites(3): Canada Riesling; Chile Sauv Blanc; France Blend;

KONZELMANN SPARKLING RIESLING NV VQA, Niagara, Canada, 12.5% D, #031401 $14.95 (Tasted November 30, 2007)

A Vintages release on May 12, 2007 described as "This refreshing fizz is perfect for a springtime brunch or as an aperitif. Winemaker Herbert Konzelmann uses the Charmat method, which involves secondary fermentation in pressurized tanks, to give this wine its sparkle. Made with 100% Riesling, it's bursting with citrus fruit flavours balanced by racy acidity. Try it with smoked salmon." My notes: Lots of bubbles of all sizes burst on first pour then subside to a steady stream leaving a ring at the rim. A light blond colour and aromas of apples and pears, nicely tart, refreshing for sure, with a light creaminess and flavours of crisp apple, minerals and a slight lemon zest continually refreshing each sip. The finish is light apple and citrus cleansing the palate. A must have with fresh oysters or a shrimp ring and tangy seafood sauce. Or have with chocolate covered strawberries or breakfast strawberries, heavy cream, bacon, syrup and waffles. A value sparkling - or a sparkling value. Have a few in for New Years or any other excuse to celibrate. Cellaring a few years should be OK. Ww89

Rapel Valley, Chile, 14.5% D, #396994 $13.95 (Tasted November 28, 2007)

A Vintages on November 24, 2007 described as "... is soft on grassy [notes] with hints of lemony freshness on the nose, while the taste is mainly orange blossom, clean, light on acidity and is quite simply an easy [autumn] sipper. (Michael Pinkus, Aug. 9, 2007)." The website says "Attractive bright yellow with green stroke pale hints [with a] nose that is intense and elegant, with fresh tropical fruit such as licci and mango, green melon and peach. The palate has an aromatic structure and acidity interact to create an appealing palate combined with a light body typical from the variety. Serve chilled as an aperitif. Also the ideal companion for appetizers and sea food in general." Gord Stimmell, (Nov. 24, 2007) gives it 89/100 saying "A pert and poised white, laden with tropical notes. The aromas show crushed pineapple, guava and passion fruit. The flavours deliver Bosc pear, McIntosh apple and guava, while the finish is spicy and refreshing. A delicious winner." My notes: A light yellow colour with a nose of slight gooseberry, melon and wet straw - airing brought more straw. An almost artificial roundness with the flavours following the nose similar to the pulp of a honeydew melon skin. Finishes with a moderate acid and a mineral aftertaste. I found this to be an unpleasant sipper by itself... the body and acid held its own with grilled chicken thighs but the flavours did not contribute positively. Not a drink-now, not for cellaring and not a value. Perhaps a tainted bottle. Ww72

ARROGANT FROG RIBET WHITE (CHARDONNAY VIOGNIER) 2006, Languedoc, France, 13.5% D, #619718 $13.20 (Tasted November 25, 2007)

A General listing described as "Bright straw yellow colour; aromas and flavours of ripe tropical fruits, pineapple, banana, melon and pear; dry, medium bodied, well balanced. Serve with roast poultry, cassolette and cream sauced dishes." The website says "Bright gold yellow with straw yellow tints. Very elegant nose with a quintessence of tropical fruits, peach and white flowers aromas with a hint of vanilla and toasted bread. The palate is fresh and mellow with a long persistence finishing on fruity notes.... will age well for the next four years." VH of Winecurrent gives this three and one half (of 5) saying "... Look for a gorgeously-textured wine that uses a creamy texture as its delivery system for alluring aromas and ripe flavours of melon, pit fruit and honeycomb. This is quite delicious sipped on its own and has the weight, texture and flavours to pair beautifully with roast chicken." My notes: A new critter look for the south of France from Les Domaine Paul Mas. This Frog has a pale yellow colour with a light aroma of bananas, faint pear and wet straw increasing as the chill goes off. Medium-bodied, round on the palate with a light citrus, melon, and grapefruit mix, nicely balanced with a mild tartness. Finishing with a soft citrus flavour with a tart lining. Neither a chardonnay nor a viognier leaving my taste buds searching - still OK at an open bar. Have with sliced chicken breast, whitefishes, swordfish steaks, mussels in a cream sauce. A drink-now I wouldn't pass up a second glass. Ww84

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