Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 2010 Visit to Malivoire: 4 Tasted of 4

I had just dropped off my BH for a gym session -  some like to gyrate, push, stretch their bodies to the extreme. I’m not one. My basic exercise is fingering a keyboard or lifting a wine glass. I now have two hours in which to travel the QEW to the Beamsville exit, make the left at King, another ten minutes and I’m sipping a cool selection of Malivoire wines.  Thank Bacchus there’s a balance in this world. ( Map It! )

If the wines made by Ann Sperling can be called ‘masculine’ it is said that Shiraz Mottiar's, her successor at Malivoire, wines are ‘feminine’. I don’t disagree however this is exposed to unintended side issues. I think along a different perspective. I would call the current Malivoire wines ‘with it’: targeting today’s consumer, featuring the terroir and grape variety, being lighter, cleaner, with disciplined oak when used. Carrying through to the label and the stelvin closure, the packaging is also modern. As a consequence each of the wines match a lifestyle profile of today‘s consumer.  I’d venture to say that most Mottiar wines won’t appeal to the cigar chomping oak magnate accustomed to full-bodied cabs or butterscotch laden chards. The wide Ontario market replete with plonk drinkers may yet wean themselves onto this more sophisticated offering. However, the one inhibitor is price. In the $20 range Malivoire wines so far have retained previous pricing levels which put them in direct competition with value imports. Can they be successful? We‘ll see…. Ww 

Four wines came back for a more leisurely tasting. When tasted wines will be sequenced by Ww rating.
  • Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 89-1  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #559088 $15.95
  • Malivoire Pinot Gris 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 86  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $19.95
  • Malivoire Musqué Spritz 2009 VQA Beamsville Bench, 85  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $19.95
  • Malivoire Cabernet Franc Icewine 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 87  --  O, Beamsville, Ontario, #Winery, $0.20* 187mL


MALVOIRE PINOT GRIS 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5% D, #Winery  $19.95   (Tasted April 24, 2010)

The winery describes this as “Fruity and fun with fragrances of grapefruit, apple and lime, temperred by a suggest of flintiness. Tangy in the mouth, it reminds you of tangerine, pink grapefruit and lemon with a mineral undertone, leaving a lingering impression of apricot. Its palate is now neither Italian nor French, but carries with it the crisp flavours and aromas of Niagara's stone fruits, and owes much of its charm to the ancient bedrock and minerals of the Escarpment.  My notes: Delicate scent of stone fruit and a light blond colour, no peach hue, with a few bubbles clinging to the glass but not spritzy. Medium-bodied, a touch of sweetness, nicely balanced with acids that match prominent flavours of grapefruit and delicate tangerine. The flavours continue into a long finish. As a sipper , appealing to a social crowd having a softness and delicate fresh fruit with some noticeable sweetness. Pair with a plate of shrimp - no sauce, proscuitto wrapped asparagus or grilled scallops in a creamy sauce. A Niagara PG and a drink now.  86

MALVOIRE MUSQUÉ SPRITZ 2009 VQA Beamsville Bench, Beamsville, Ontario, 9.0% D, #Winery  $19.95  (Tasted April 26, 2010)

Described by the winery as “Exotically perfumed, with peach mango, papaya and Anjou pear on the nose. As always, the bright effervescence wakens the mouth to flavours of kiwi, lemon and lime. The finish? Playfully tingly and sweet, as you’d expect!”  My notes: Tangerine and lemon aromatics with a spritz that lays fine bubbles on the glass. This is very clear with a light, almost colourless, blond hue and the first sip surprises with its tang and liveliness on the tongue. Nicely rounded and a finish that carries the tangerine lemon-lime note to a dry end.  More of a social freshener although was OK with a Thai shrimp stir-fry. Compares with SoGrape’s Gazela Vinho Verde (#141432) at $8.95.  Quaff liberally with Oriental dishes or with a creamy shrimp pasta.  85

MALIVOIRE LADYBUG ROSÉ 2009 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Beamsville, Ontario, 12.5% D,  #559088  $15.95   (Tasted April 27, 2010) CS

Described as “Brilliant coral pink hued, fresh and joyously youthful with intense fruitiness. Strawberry-rhubarb compote and kiwi on the nose. Lingers on the palate with mouth filling red cherry, cantaloupe, peach and banana flavours.  My notesI thought the 2007 Ladybug had ‘lost its identity’ having switched from a straight Pinot Noir to a red blend (Ww79). The 2008 vintage, same blend, had improved altho’ ‘not a sipper more of a meal rosé‘ (Ww85). The 2009 has a bright red cherry colour and a strong fragrance of strawberry but less sweet with possibly a touch of green apple. The first sip is sweet (SC=3?), crushed strawberries that are carried forward to the finish on a balanced seam of acid. A Niagara innovation and a social sipper for a summer afternoon or a refresher over bridge. Pairing would be difficult: perhaps a mildly spiced Thai dish or a bento box of tempura shrimp, sweet potato or broccoli - a tunafish sandwich?? Cellaring for a few years could be interesting - mainly a drink now. I enjoyed it off chill.  89

MALIVOIRE ‘EASTMAN VINEYARD’ CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville, Ontario, 11.0% S, #Winery $0.20* 187mL  (Tasted May 6, 2010)

“When the frost is on the vines and even the starlings seek shelter from the chilly bluster of winter, you can find the hearty and committed friends of Malivoire’s treasured Icewines picking this frosty fruit on the Beamsville Bench. Harvested on the evening of January 20, 2007...”  My notes:  A freebie with the purchase of six wines at Malivoire. A nose of sugary cherry plum and a deep auburn tinged with terracotta makes an interesting overture to sweet sipping. Flavours of cherries with a touch of madeira, very smooth, pleasantly tangy, more sweet than sour, long finish with a softness on the lips. Have for dessert with or without chocolate wafers, rasp- or strawberries and cream. A drink now.  87

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