Friday, February 01, 2008

February Whites, 2008(2): Canada Pinot Blanc; Italy Pinot Grigio;

BORGO CONVENTI PINOT GRIGIO 2006, Fruili, Italy, 13.5% XD, #013276 $16.85 (Tasted February 6, 2008)

A Vintages release on February 2, 2008 described as "The mineral-rich marl (limestone and clay soil) of Collio is one of the prime reasons northern Italian Pinot Grigio has become so revered. The Ruffino family, believing in the grape and the region, purchased the Borgo Conventi estate in 2001. Ruffino immediately expanded the area under cultivation but has successfully been able to preserve this small estate's attention to detail. Match with steamed mussels with garlic and chorizo sausage." The website says "Colour: Straw yellow with light coppery hues. A fragrant bouquet, intense and complex with notes of wild flowers and ripe pear with a finish which is characterised by hints of bread crust. Delicate and fragrant, tasty and harmonious with a long lingering after taste." My notes: A Ruffino wine with a light straw hue, no copper, and floaters as tho' unfiltered. The aroma has essence of field flowers mixed with distant crabapple and the first sip brings with a sharpness to wake up the senses. Lightish medium-bodied, flavours of citrus, a touch of grass, a hint of unripe apple, a round texture then a lengthy finish stalky and tart. Should be good with spicy mussels, garlic shrimp, not likely oysters tho'. OK paired with a roasted arctic char filet and creamy pasta sidedish. As if from premature grapes crushed with stems and should sit for at least two years to settle the rough edges - then it may be a value. Not a sipper and not recommended. 81

KONZELMANN PINOT BLANC WEISBURGUNDER 2006 VQA, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, 12.0% D, #219279 $10.10 (Tasted February 1, 2008)

A General listing described as "Straw yellow colour; floral, fruity peach & melon nutty tone in aroma; medium body and fruit flavour fresh finish, good food wine. Serve chilled with pasta or vegetarian dishes." Toronto Life gives it an 84 saying "Flinty nose with peach, floral and lemon fruit. Mid-weight, fruity and drier than the off-dry label suggests. A bit coarse. Good length." My notes: Serve off-chill, 12C to 14C. The initial aroma is 'wet sock' which quickly dissipates with a short airing time then a slight pear and apple takes over. A crystal clear light lemon colour and firm flavours of granny smith apple blended with honeydew melon, medium-bodied with a crisp texture. There's a tartness that does a great job of hiding any sweetness except for the slight roundness it leads to a moderately long dry fruity finish. A pinot blanc that has a mind of its own making it an interesting sipper and would be great with shellfish or light meat appetizers and flavourful seafood dishes. It may have a few years cellaring potential and is a real value. 84

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