Wednesday, November 18, 2009

goLOCAL, Promo 2009: 4 Tasted of 4

The second Promo in a week and one exclusively featuring four distinct VQA products: a red, dry white, a bubbly, and a sweet aperitif/ dessert wine. Encouraging patrons to ’Give Local’ during the Holiday season the glossy claims “our wine experts have hand-picked…” and yet a note tells us “This advertising is paid for in whole or in part by participating suppliers”. Seems like a collaborative effort with winery expense dollars and LCBO profit. And of the four, there’s limited stock in local outlets and none of the Château des Charmes bubbly nor the Strewn product. I’ll search again nearer the end of this month. Also there’s likely to be more wineries represented on the goLOCAL shelves at most Outlets and I welcome the theme of supporting the local wine industry at any time of the year.  Cheers, Ww
  • Château des Charmes Estate Bottled Sparkling Wine NV VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, 92-2 -- G, Beamsville, Ontario, #145409 $22.95 
  • Malivoire Red 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2 -- G, 2008, Beamsville, Ontario, #141523 $14.95 
  • Strewn Select Harvest Vidal 2007 VQA Ontario, 90-2 -- G, Beamsville, Ontario, #107219 $15.95 (375mL)  
  • No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Riesling 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 85 -- G, Jordan, Ontario, #144865 $14.95 
(G - General listing, V - Vintages, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value)


MALIVOIRE (Map It!) RED 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.0% D, #141523 $14.95 (Tasted October 4, 2009) CS

A General listing described by the winery as “An inviting nose of raspberry, cherry, vanilla and cedar emerge from this blend of 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Gamay. The palate greets you with flavours of plum, black currant, dark chocolate and a long finish.” My notes: A deep ruby regal in appearance, a nose of subtle black cherry and spice, and a firm film with few slow legs all make this attractive in the glass. The first sip also has subtlety in its flavours along with a smooth texture and bright edge, medium-bodied. The finish starts mellow fading slowly as red cherry and plum mix with fine tannins, cedar and dryness that leaves the mouth refreshed. Have with grilled T-bone or rack of lamb, beef tenderloin or a seared pork chop - a flexible, polite red. Young yet and could cellar for several years increasing in complexity. Gets points for potential. 90

No. 99 WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES (Map It!)  RIESLING 2008 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 11.3% D, #144865 $14.95 (Tasted September 23, 2009) CS

A General listing described as “… bright, crisp white made from Ontario’s signature Riesling grape… “. My notes: Purchased from the Winery this lower tiered Riesling is a soft clear blond colour and has a delicate honey, grapefruit and nettles scent on pouring that dissipates quickly then returns as the chill mellows (or as the glass empties). A soft roundness, some grassiness and a tinge of orange makes this white a reasonable sip. The finish is smooth with sufficient body, a lemon tang and a dry grassy edge to pair with grilled arctic char slightly lemon’d and greens of baby arugula and water cress. A drink now. 85

CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES (Map It!) ESTATE BOTTLED SPARKLNG WINE NV VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.0% D #145409, $22.95 (Tasted December 6, 2009) CS

A General listing described on the back label as “crisp and citrusy with notes of lime, lemon and toasted bread. … creamy texture…” My notes: Following the Méthode Traditionnelle means the blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes is bottle fermented and bottle aged ‘sur lie’ for at least two to three years. (Jane Nickles explains more in a Sidebar video). Finally a few bottles showed in our area and was well worth the wait. A flood of bubbles quickly settles to a steady stream and an intense spritz. Scents of lemon, lime and a delicate toast are enticing until the first sip feels the full spritz and flavours that follow the nose adding a touch of yeast and cream. The long finish is tangy thoroughly cleansing the palate making this a pleasing accompaniment to a fresh oyster plate, a celebratory toast or a pick-me-up after a long day’s shopping - any excuse to have for breakfast, lunch and a dinner. 92

STREWN (Map It!) SELECT LATE HARVEST VIDAL VQA Ontario, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.8% MS, #107219(375mL) $15.95 (Tasted Decmber 8, 2009) CS

A General listing described in the goLOCAL Promo as “…. subtle scents of honey and apricot… open the evening as an aperitif, a holiday dessert. Great with savoury cheeses and nuts.” My notes: A crystal golden colour in the glass with an inviting pear, raisin and honey aroma. A solid film with lots of slow tears followed by strong flavours of honeyed pear forming the base of a spicy bite that wakens the taste buds. A few sips later and the spice mellows with sweet fruit both lingering through a long finish. Was excellent with a mixed nut tray as a pre-dinner sipper or a substitute for dessert following soy and ginger grilled salmon. Drink now or cellar for a few years for more lusciousness. 90

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