Monday, September 22, 2008

LCBO goLOCAL 2008: 8 Tasted of 8

The theme of this entry is LCBO’s Discover the World promo ’goLOCAL’ ('gL') received with my Globe & Mail last Saturday. The article features twenty-seven (14 whites, 1 icewine) Ontario VQA wines and refers to 2007 being ‘one of Ontario’s best vintages ever‘. More than half of the labels illustrated, ie. eighteen, show the 2006 vintage so there may be mixed stock on the shelves or it could be just scheduling of the publication. I’ve stuck to the 2007 vintage for those listed below.

Viewing the podcasts on the LCBO website can be interesting for various reasons: Cave Springs, Ontario Wine Regions, and Dalton McGuinty are the first to show there. According to the Premier $8 from the purchase of every litre, or $6 per bottle, of Ontario wine goes into ‘our’ pockets. I must be rich by now - just haven’t found the right pocket!

Another fact I found interesting was that the majority of wines being pushed are well below $20! Since starting this blog I’ve found that Niagara whites have improved considerably and I’ll be interested to see how those from this promotion rate. As before, when tasted the wine will appear in bold
Cheers, Ww 
  • Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir 2007 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, 88-1 -- V, Ontario, Canada, #001545 $19.95

  • Peninsula Ridge Estates Inox Chardonnay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 89-2  -- G, Ontario, Canada, #594200 $12.95
  • Konzelmann Estate Winery Pinot Blanc 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 89-2 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #219279 $10.95
  • Cave Spring Riesling 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87-1 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #234583 $14.05
  • Eastdell Estates Pinot Grigio 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87-1 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #065367 $12.95
  • Angels Gate Sussreserve Riesling 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 86 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #620104 $14.15
  • Trius Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 80 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #587956 $12.95*
  • Hillebrand Artist Series Gewurztraminer 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 77 -- G, Ontario, Canada, #554378 $10.95
(G - General listing, gL - goLOCAL, V – Vintages, r-v - Rating-Value)

ANGELS GATE SUSSRESERVE RIESLING 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 11.0% M, #620104 $14.15 (Tasted June 6, 2008)

'gL' writes “… This Riesling with its sweet edge and medley of flavours reminiscent of lemon-lime sherbet, is lovely on its own and a fine match for blue-veined cheeses or aged cheddars.“ A General listing to be “served as an aperitif, with light seafood dishes, or pan fried trout.” My notes: A clear light blond colour with lemon floral and honey, overall a light nose. The first sip brings lemonade flavours and a finish of bright lemonade including some crushed seeds giving the ending a slight pithy spiciness. Serve well chilled then let go offchill for subtle changes to flavour, more tree fruit, and a smooth finish. If you’re looking for petrol there’s none. Some fruit sweetness perhaps a SC of 2 is balanced nicely with a mild acid. Have with nibbles: a tray of cheeses, black olives and cocktail shrimp or minced ham and relish. Pair with grilled fresh water fish. It would be great sociable sipper for patio guests or as a before or after dinner refresher. 86
PENINSULA RIDGE ESTATES INOX CHARDONNAY 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 13.0% D, #594200 $12.95 (Tasted September 29, 2008)

'gL' writes “This Chablis-inspired Chardonnay…. Smooth, lightly fruity and slightly nutty, it’s a wine to enjoy with lightly seasoned fish, poultry or pasta salads.“ The LCBO adds “Pale to medium yellow straw colour; delicate apple, ripe asian pear and lemon aromas and flavours with hints of butterscotch; extra-dry, with well balanced acid structure, refreshing, citrus flavours. Serve with light appetizers, pasta primavera, grilled or pan fried fish, or roast capon.” My notes: Has a brilliant clarity in the glass with a faint fragrance of apple, lemon-lime and wild rose, almost indiscernible. The legs flow quickly leaving slight tears and the first sip is smooth with flavours of stone fruit and minerals - yes, extra dry. There’s a smoothness on the palate in a finish that holds on to the stone fruit. An elegant sipper not exposing a strong fruit leaning - better with fresh oysters or a cheese tray and soda crackers. Pair with any seafood with or without a light cream sauce. Cellaring for several years should be interesting - I’d say up to four. 89
KONZELMANN ESTATE WINERY PINOT BLANC WEISBURGUNDER 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 12.5% D, #219279 $10.95 (Tasted September 24, 2008)

'gL' writes `… This off-dry and gently fruity Pinot Blanc is tailor-made for shellfish, oysters and white-fleshed fish.` 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.` My notes: The 2006 vintage was tasted in February this year with a comment re 'wet sock' aroma and rated Ww84. This is a crisp blond in colour with possibly a green tint. There’s no ‘wet sock’ in this vintage just fruit, a touch of melon, apple and citrus, mild and fresh. A pleasing roundness with more fruit followed by a moderate tang finishing fairly long ending on a mineral note. Dry to the palate and if you’re looking for a widely suitable refresher or a white to go with a creamy smoke salmon pasta this is it - also with freshwater fish, scallops or shrimp with or without the pasta. This should keep a year then I’d go year by year after sampling. A bargain. 89
EASTDELL ESTATES PINOT GRIGIO 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 12.0% D, #065367 $12.95 (Tasted September 23, 2008)
'gL' writes “… fresh white is just the match for its casual regional cuisine.“ The LCBO says “This is the perfect luncheon wine, as an aperitif or with seafood and salads.” My notes: A pleasing golden blond colour with light aromas of wild flowers and straw. There is a subtle spice lifted by a mild tang and flavours of lychee and lemon. The finish is dry without tartness nor natural sweetness ending with a mineral touch. An interesting sipper by itself or with light hors d’oeuvres anything from crab cakes to asparagus wrapped proscuitto. Italian in style and more of a meal white with fresh fish or mussels. Was great with bbq'd chicken breasts. A drink now. 87
TRIUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 13.0% D, #587956 $12.95* (Tasted September 30, 2008)
'gL' writes “… This red with its subtle oak and herbal black fruit tastes, is a fine match for grilled rosemary-scented lamb or wild boar with berry sauce.“ The LCBO is more descriptive still “Medium garnet colour; developing aromas of cherry, cassis, vanilla and red berry, with undertones of green pepper and cedar; dry, with dark red fruit, dried fruit flavours and some spicy oaky complexity; fine tannins welll integrated; lingering finish.” My notes: Discounted $2 from a regular price of $14.95, a Hillebrand label and an Andres Wines Ltd. Winery. This has a garnet cast deep ruby colour and, on swirling, a viscous film shows on the glass with aromas of faint oaky sweet cherry. Medium-bodied with a grainy texture and flavour a combination of cherries, red currants and minerals. The finish tapers off gradually and is well balanced acid, fine tannin with a layer of ‘dried fruit'. Have with pepperoni pizza, ribs or chili con carne. Even discounted it's not recommended. A drink now. 80
HILLEBRAND ARTIST SERIES GEWURZTRAMINER 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 12.5% D, #554378 $10.95 (Tasted September 27, 2008)
'gL' writes “… offers very pleasant, sweet gentle notes of roses, lychee and spice. It would marry well with Indian curry or pad Thai.” My notes: Andres Wine Ltd. produces this brand which has a scent of grapefruit and faint stagnant pond, perhaps the ‘spice’ in the gewurz, not distressing, just noticeable. The first sip is round with a fresh nip and a blend of mild honeydew and spice. The flavours fade further as the finish becomes drier with a light steely edge through to the end. I could not enjoy this as a straight sipper. I’d put it in the category of a ’recipe’ wine with a seam of acid, spice and a ‘rounding agent’ adding a touch of fruit - perhaps I’m not familiar with the terroir. Have with a buffet spread of dips and spreads or with freshwater fish, grilled sole or haddock. A drink now. 77
CAVE SPRING RIESLING 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, 11.0% D, #234583 $14.05 (Tasted September 30, 2008)
'gL' says “… you can taste the minerals, along with citrus-lemon-lime and white grapefruit.“ and the LCBO adds “Straw colour; apricot nose with floral, citrus, mineral notes; off-dry, forward citrus/peach flavours with refreshing acidity and a medium-long finish. Serve with roast turkey and a savoury stuffing, smoked turkey, seafood or light fish dishes.” My notes: Clear as a bell and a pale blond colour with aromas of green apple and a whiff of lanolin. Light-bodied with a light green apple tartness that refreshes and is carried along to a moderate finish - better off chilled - has an interesting flavour burst as a quaffer for a social group or bridge party. I’d say it’s ‘dry’ rather than ‘off-dry‘. A delicate riesling with limited meal pairing: fresh water perch, pickerel, bass or brook trout. A drink now. 87
FLAT ROCK CELLARS PINOT NOIR 2007 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario, Canada, 12.5% D, #001545 $19.95 (Tasted September 24, 2008)
Vintages released this on May 10, 2008. 'gL' describes it as “This delicate example shows tangy light cranberry and beetroot aromas and flavours. …” My notes: A deep ruby red and there’s some smoke in with the cherry and cranberry aromas. Nice long legs and a noticeable nip with the cranberry and cherry cocktail. There‘s an earthy note to the bright finish that otherwise would be all tart fruit. An OK sipper if you prefer a burgundy tho‘ not as smooth. Myself, I’d say it’s more of a good meat red - with ground beef patties, lamb chops, liver pate or grilled portabella mushrooms or maybe something tangier such as chorizo sausage pieces in a creamy vegetable soup. It's young yet - I’d let it cellar for several years hoping for some silkiness - it’s hiding in there somewhere. 88

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