Monday, May 02, 2011

May 2011 Whites+: 15 Tasted of 15

City Lights
Tornado Nest
Wild Marsh

We attended a showing of acryllics and oils at the The Heliconian Club on Hazelton Avenue in Yorkville - dramatic impressions and expressions by an energetic bubbling spirit called Indrani de Silva. Above are my favourites of the show. Visit Indrani's website or send an e.mail to for future showings or more information on her canvasses.

As for May's wines, hopefully separating Whites, Rosés and Sparkles from the May Reds shortens a search for a particular wine.

Cheers, Ww

THE MAY WHITES+ LINEUP - grouped by whites, rosés, sparkles and other:
  • Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2009,  93-3  --  V, Marlborough, NZ,  #224428 $18.95
  • Gehringer Brothers ‘Dry Rock Vineyards’ Unoaked Chardonnay 2009 VQA Okanagan Valley, 91-2  --  V, Oliver, BC,  #219642 $18.95
  • Domdechant Werner’Shes Weingut Riesling Kabinett 2008,  88-1  --  V, Rheingau, Germany, #722413 $18.95  
  • Weingut Familie Rauen Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2009,  87-1  --  V, Mosel, Germany, #211086  $14.95
  • Tahbilk Marsanne 2009,  86  --  V, Central Victoria, Australia, #117945 $16.95
  • Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc 2009,  81  --  V, Sonoma County, California, #354993  $19.95 
  • Wolf Blass Red Label Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2010,  80  --  G, South Eastern Australia,  #323063 $13.00 

  • Château de Fonscolombe Cuvée Spéciale Rosé 2010, 91-3  --  V, Provence, France, #180851 $13.95
  • Planeta Rosé 2010,  89-1  --  V, Sicily, Italy, #111856 $16.95 
  • Tawse ‘Sketches of Niagara’ Rosé 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  87-1  -- V, Vineland, Ontario, #172643 $14.95
  • Montes Cherub Rosé Syrah 2010,  80  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #037887  $14.95
  • Montes Cherub Rosé Syrah 2009,  65  --  V, Colchagua Valley, Chile, #037887  $14.95 

  • Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs NV VQA Niagara Escarpment, 90-1  --  G, Jordan, Ontario, #213983  $29.95 
  • Emeri de Bortoli Pink Moscato NV,  80  --  G, South Eastern Australia, #222190 $14.95  
  • Emeri de Bortoli Pinot Grigio NV, 80  --  G, South Eastern Australia, #222224 $14.95 
 (G - General Listing, V - Vintages, r-v - Rating-Value, O - Other) 


EMERI DE BORTOLI PINK MOSCATO NV, South Eastern Australia, 8.0% S, #222190  $14.95  (Tasted May 1, 2011)  CS

A General listing.  My notes: The 2009 dB Traminer Riesling tasted last month (#207381, $12.95) and 2008 dB Select Rosé (#120238, $8.95) last year weren't up to wines of  2004 and 2006 vintages.  Perhaps this winery has gone through a change.  There’s a mild burst bubbles on opening and on pouring of this ‘bubbly’ that quickly subsides into a sparse rim of tiny bubbles. A coquettish salmon pink and a delicate floral and sweet muffin nose has some appeal. There’s a sticky film with long slow legs showing on the glass. The first sip has a surge of CO2 tartness to balance the not so subtle sweetness and is smooth with flavours of bland crushed strawberries and vanilla icing. A light spritz and mild acid quickly tail off leading to a flat finish. Serve well chilled as a polite sipper for a baby shower or an opener for a summer patio mixer. A commercial drink now.  80

EMERI DE BORTOLI PINOT GRIGIO NV,  South Eastern Australia, 10.5% M, #222224  $14.95  (Tasted May 8, 2011)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  A pale golden colour with a burst of medium to large bubbles on pouring that subside quickly. A just perceptible aroma of ripe grapefruit complete with a pithy zest giving some brightness. The film is thin and recedes quickly. The flavour is a mild white grapefruit with a tart acid masking any sweetness. The smooth texture and freshness of the first sip makes this an OK sipper or bright white to have with raw oysters, coconut shrimp or crab cakes - but hold the spicy seafood sauce. Also could be a drink now for a family social or summer quaffer. I missed a distinct varietal - basically a straight forward spritzy beverage.  80

MONTES CHERUB ROSÉ SYRAH 2009, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5% XD, #037887   $14.95   (Tasted May 4, 2011)  CS

A Vintages Release but uncertain of the date.  My notes: The 2009 was still on the shelf at the local LCBO and I absentmindedly picked it up. The 2007 (84) and 2008 (90-2) Montes Cherub Rose were tasted in December 2008 and July 2009 respectively. The 2009 vintage has the deep red cherry colour of the 2008 altho’ the nose has an incongruous barnyard aspect. The acid bite pairs nicely with faint wild strawberry, not fresh as in the 2008 and with the barnyard accent. The flavour carries into the finish becoming more predominant then ending with a bland mouthfeel. Overall I’d avoid this as a sipper - I suspect the reason why it’s still on the shelf. Airing doesn’t help and it’s the first time I’ve returned a flawed bottle. 65 

MONTES CHERUB ROSÉ SYRAH 2010, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5% XD, #037887   $14.95   (Tasted May 4, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2011.  My notes:  Tony Aspler  gave the 2010 88 points (January 10, 2011). A light red cherry colour with a faint wild strawberry perfumed nose, a minor attraction. The film is firm altho‘ thin with scalloped edges trailing long tears. A burst of dry strawberrries when quaffed. The finish has a residual strawberry/cherry highlight that ends with a light straw and very dry. A meal wine to combine with fried octopus, breaded crab cakes or scallops. A simple sipper - not for cellaring. Disappointing compared with 2007, 2008 vintages.  80

PLANETA ROSÉ 2010, Sicily, Italy, 12.0% XD, #111856   $16.95   (Tasted May 12, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2011.   My notes: Made from 100% Syrah grapes. A rich salmon colour with an aromatic peach/red currant nose, slightly spicy. The film is firm with long legs and the first sip has a penetrating tang and flavours of red currant and stone fruit both heading toward a long finish that ends somewhat sharp, grassy and very dry. An interesting sipper for its flavour profile and fullness. Paired well with roasted chicken pieces both white and dark and should with light meats, a ham steak or pork chops. I’d be tempted to cellar this up to four years - texture may deepen further with less fruit but rounder.  89 

TAWSE 'SKETCHES OF NIAGARA' ROSÉ 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Vineland, Ontario, 12.0% XD, #172643  $14.95   (Tasted May 2, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2011.  My notes: Recommended by  Michael Pinkus  (January 12, 2011) - a blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  A delightful vivid pink leaving a thin film that quickly recedes from a lacy rim. The nose has a clean aroma of white cherries and the first sip is fuller than anticipated with white cherries lined with acid, not too tart but nicely balanced for sipping, succulent especially if quaffed and having a long smooth, very dry finish. Medium-bodied with flavours that build making this a pleasing sipper. Also should carry itself well with grilled Atlantic salmon steak, sechuan tid bits, sushi or a Bento box. A well blended drink now.   87

CHÂTEAU DE FONSCOLOMBE    CUVÉE SPÉCIALE ROSÉ 2010, Provence, France, 12.9% XD, #180851  $13.95  (Tasted May 24, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2011.  My notes:  A Cabernet with Syrah blend from pebbles with a clay subsoil. It’s a sign of Spring when rosés from Provence are available. A light salmon colour with aromas of yellow tea roses, spicy edged. The film is firm falling lacily with moderate tears and the first sip has a mellow peach stone and apricot flavour, slightly sweet with an appealing acid to balance the fruit. The finish is smooth, medium-bodied, full of soft stone fruit flavour touched by tannins and ending dry. This should cellar several years gaining depth of texture and retaining fruit. Have as an appetizer or with white fish entrées, a fruit salad, pound cake with strawberries and cream or aged cheddar cheese.   91  

DOMDECHANT WERNER'SCHES WEINGUT RIESLING KABINETT 2008, Rheingau, Germany, 8.0% M, #722413  $18.95  (Tasted May 12, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2011.    David Schildknecht  (February, 2010) gave it 88 points saying "exudes a sherbet-like amalgam of pineapple, cherry and lime wreathed in mint and honeysuckle etc. "  My notes:  The low alcohol reduces the bite of this Rheingau and M shows up in the honey silk edge of the first sip. There’s a polite elegance when combined with a subtle honeysuckle and lemon nose. Some may say ‘too polite’ although there’s a substantial burst of acid for succulent sipping. The finish starts full then fades more quickly than I prefer but could add an alternative to a drink table for a mixed crowd on the patio. Serve well chilled and keep an ice bucket handy. Pair with a Mandarin Gardens take-out selection: Sweet & Sour Chicken, Pork Chow Mein or Shrimp Fried Rice, etc. Past cellaring.  88

CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT NV VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 12.0% D, #213983   $29.95  (Tasted May 23, 2011)  CS

A General listing. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown “in the limestone-clay soils …. Along the bench lands of the Niagara Escarpment. Vinified in the Traditional Method, fermented and aged ’sur lie’ in bottle for a minimum of 30 months…”  My notes: A burst of fine bubbles on pouring subsiding to a continuous stream accumulating at the rim - not quite mousseux. The first sip comes with a spritz fullness and a slight yeast, an acid tang and stone fruit - more stone than fruit. Dry on the palate, leaves a mineral flavour on the palate that’s refreshed with each sip. The finish is accented with a chalk dry texture. Have as a toast for that special occasion or with fresh oysters. We imbibed as an amuse-bouche before a orange-ginger beef stew. Cellar several years or drink now. 90   

WEINGUT FAMILIE RAUEN RIESLING KABINETT TROCKEN 2009, Mosel, Germany, 11.5% D, #211086   $14.95  (Tasted May 22, 2010)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 30, 2011.  My notes: A crisp blond colour with aromas of melon with a light citrus brightness. The film is firm shedding a few fast legs  and leaving a fine rim of lace. Served well chilled the fresh lemon and melon blend of the first sip is retained through to a tangy finish and ending with dry lemon tartness. Any sweetness is well balanced and masked by a consistent acid. Pair with seafood, fried octopus rings or chicken wings and chips or serve as a sipper for a patio crowd. This should cellar well for a few years.  87  

JULES TAYLOR SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% XD, #224428  $18.95  (Tasted May 9, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2011 saying “A protégé of Kim Crawford, Jules Taylor focuses strictly upon Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Pacific Rim Wine Competition.”  My notes: It’s refreshing and typically Kiwi for a winemaker to invite feedback ( This has a grapefruit juice colour, a light film with lacy edge and an aroma of juicy gooseberries. Refreshingly tingly on first sip and halfway to silky but with a dry mouthfeel. The finish continues from delightful fruit, gradually fading to a chalk dry ending altho’ still with tasty fruit and fullness. Except for the chalk this is a Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc (before 2008) - not as silky as the original Cloudy Bay - it’s this winemaker’s style and true to the grape - and did I mention luscious?  As a sipper I enjoyed its grapey freshness - perhaps needs some time in the bottle to pull everything together but drinking well now. Have with bearded mussels.  93

FERRARI-CARANO FUMÉ BLANC 2009, Sonoma County, California, 13.9% D, #354993  $19.95  (Tasted May 6, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on February 19, 2011 and rated 88 by Ken Hoggins   (June 11, 2010) saying “… opens with a mild passion fruit bouquet with a touch of lime. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied and balanced… flavour [is] mineral infused mild lime with a touch of green pear. The finish is dry and quite refreshing… “  My notes: A blond colour with a thin film that slides into long tears. The nose is grassy lacking distinct fruit. The first sip is tart on the tongue delivering an unsweetened blend of pear, stone fruit and lemon zest. A lightish medium-bodied dry-as-chalk sipper that‘s more interesting as a meal white - with coconut shrimp, crab cakes, with bacon wrapped scallops or with white fish entrees. The finish is appealing with body, warmth and softness when quaffed. I don’t see this improving if cellared. 81

GEHRINGER BROTHERS ‘DRY ROCK VINEYARDS’ UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2009 VQA Okanagan Valley, Oliver, BC, 12.9% XD, #219642  $18.95  (Tasted May 25, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on January 8, 2011 and a Winner of Gold Medals at the 2010 All Canadian Wine Championships, and at the 2010 Northwest Wine Summit in Oregon.  My notes: : First impressions are of a fresh butter stick colour, a firm film and long legs showing lacy at the rim and a grapefruit peach aroma touched with butter. Nicely tart, medium-bodied with a silky texture, a persistent acid with melon and peach stone flavours - finishes dry with slight chalk. Serve chilled and sip for the interesting changes or have with roast chicken, pork chops with applesauce or a vegetarian pizza. Cellaring several years should add to silk and retain fruit and brightness.  91

TAHBILK MARSANNE 2009, Central Victoria, Australia, 13.5% XD, #117945  $16.95  (Tasted May 5, 2011)   CS

Release by Vintages on April 30, 2011. Rated 90 by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW  (June 2010) saying “…has intense aromas of honeyed white peach, ripe pears and orange blossom. Very clean and pure, this wine has a good intensity of stome fruit flavours and a long finish….” My notes: Recommended in a Tweet received from Christopher Waters (@waters_wine), editor of Vines Magazine. A lemon colour and a stab of lemon on the nose with a soft kiwi melon edge if allowed to develop. The film is firm falling to a lacy rim collecting long tears as it recedes. The first sip is medium-bodied with a good nip on the tongue and interesting combination of crab apple and peach stone. An acid seam continues through a long finish ending on a chalk dry lemon note. Starts as a fresh sipper building into a cleansing bitterness needing an appetizer or main course. Pair with bacon wrapped scallops, chicken wings or roast chicken or seafood and tomato pasta. A drink now… not for cellaring.  86

WOLF BLASS SEMILLON/SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, South Eastern Australia,  13.0% D, #323063  $13.00 (Tasted May 16, 2011)  CS

My notes:  A pale gold, crystal clear in the glass with a bright aroma of evenly blended gooseberry and white grapefruit with a slight floral aspect. The firm film easily recedes leaving a lacy rim. The first sip has flavours resembling grapefruit and lemon with some gooseberries and having a refreshing acid level. The freshness quickly leaves, then the ‘fruit’ finishing with a slight soapy dryness. A social beverage to have with appetizers or to pair with chicken or seafood pasta. Not for cellaring - a drink now.  80

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