Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June 2011 Whites+: 15 Tasted of 15

A Secluded Pool
I've split the June selections into Reds and Whites+ to simplify editing and perhaps locating a wine. 

Cheers, Ww

THE LINEUP - grouped by whites, rosés, sparkles and other:   

  •  Meinhardt Hube Steinbach Sauvignon Blanc 2009, 90-1 --  V, Sudsteiermark, Austria, #211094 $19.95
  • 13th Street ‘June’s Vineyard’ Riesling 2008 VQA Creek Shores,  89-2  --  V, Jordan Station, Ontario, #147512 $16.95 
  • San Raffaele Monte Tabor Pinot Grigio 2009, 88-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy, #204768 $14.95
  • Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet 2009, 87-1  --  V, Languedoc, France, #350124 $11.95 
  • Kleine Zalze ‘Vineyard Selection’ Chardonnay 2009, 87-1  --  V, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, S. Africa, #096495 $15.95 
  • Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2009, 86  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ,  #214460 $16.95  
  • Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2009, 82  --  V, Burgundy, France, #933077 $18.95
  • Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2010,  81  --  G, Marlborough, NZ, #426601 $15.95 
  • Fuzion Alta Torrontés Pinot Grigio 2010, 80  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #168419  $8.95 
  • Flipflop Chardonnay California 2009,  77  --  O, Ripon, California, #n/a, $6.99US               
  • Cattail Creek Estate Bottled Serendipity Rosé 2010 VQA Four Mile Creek,  80  --  V,  Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, #118059 $14.95

  • 13th Street Premier Cuvée Brut Sparkling Wine VQA Niagara Peninsula,  95-3  --  V,  St. Catharines, Ontario, #142679 $29.95 
  • Chandon Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine NV,  90-1  --  V, California, #100693 $24.95
  • Naveran Dama Cava Sparkling Wine Extra Brut 2007,  88-1  --  V, Barcelona, Spain, #223602 $17.95 
  • Giavi Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut NV,  87-1  --  V, Veneto, Italy,  #209569 $17.95 
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, r-v - Rating-Value)

KLEINE ZALZE ‘VINEYARD SELECTION’ CHARDONNAY 2009, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, S. Africa, 14.0% D, #096495   $15.95  (Tasted June 16, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on February 5, 2011. Barrel Fermented.  My notes: A pale gold colour with a whiff of lemon grass, a scent of grapefruit and somewhat savoury. A firm film sheds slow tears as it lays lacy patterns around the glass. The acid of the first sip attacks strongly and has a flavour of unripe melon balanced with red apple, appealing for its uniqueness. There’s a light oiliness and flavours fade slowly for a long grassy finish. The palate quickly adjusts and it becomes a refreshing sipper. Paired with roasted chicken pieces - dark and light-, green beans and mashed sweet potatoes it did quite well. Cellaring for a few years likely OK but not longer as oils and grass may dominate.  87
BEAUVIGNAC PICPOUL DE PINET 2009, Languedoc, France, 12.5% XD, #350124  $11.95  (Tasted June 20, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on January 22, 2011. Rated 88 by Robert Parker Jr.   (August 2010) saying “The gloriously fruity, perfumed, light-bodied 2009 Picpoul de Pinet reveals copious notes of honeyed citrus (grapefruit and lemon zest), good acidity, and delicate honeyed pear-like flavours…”  also “Picpoul de Pinet-tastes like a wine version of a gin and tonic."  My notes:  Made from the piquepoul (meaning ’lip stinger’) grape grown in the south of France and sometimes used for blending in crispness.  A golden colour with delicate aromas of tart apple and clover honey, and having a well established film running slow tears before showing a lacy edge. The first sip is medium- to full-bodied, has an intense acidity and lemony flavours leading to a pulpy, dry, tart finish. A smooth sipper but not for a general crowd - I’d call it an acquired taste - better with fresh oysters or a seafood platter. A ’gin & tonic’ comparison is appropriate. Cellaring for several years should be OK but likely at peak now and is meant to be consumed young.  87
CHANDON BLANC DE NOIRS SPARKLING WINE NV, California, 13.0% D, #100693  $24.95  (Tasted June 6, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on April 30, 2011 and made in the Traditional Method. My notes: A peach petal colour very delicate and an aroma of blossoms also delicate. The foam subsides quickly leaving a few islands of bubbles at the rim and a few streams. The film is firm and the first sip is Xdry, refreshing with a sharp tang and mild peach apple flavours. A fine spritz guarantees freshness with each sip. The acid carries into a long finish that ends with a mineral dryness. The colour and flavour gives a distinct character to this bubbly. Have for any festive opportunity or as a before dinner refresher. 90

LOUIS JADOT BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2009, Burgundy, France, 13.0% D, #933077  $18.95  (Tasted June 20, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on May 15, 2010. My notes: Not the ‘Petites Pierres’ that’s on the winery website evidently - perhaps a label blended for the Canadian market? This has a mid golden colour with a thin film that quickly goes lacy shedding many fast tears. The aroma is a negligible dry grapefruit and the texture is silky with a refreshing acid level. Fruit is mild throughout and the finish persists as a polite grassy citrus staying for awhile then losing much character. A social sipper that wouldn’t offend anyone - except ABCers. Should be a match for roast fowl or fish. A straightforward drink now.  82

FLIPFLOP CHARDONNAY CALIFORNIA 2009, Ripon, California, 13.5% D, #n/a, $6.99US  (Tasted June 9, 2011)

Vinted and bottled by Universal Wine Network  and distributed by Underdog Wine Merchants in the US. The back label says "Medium-bodied, rich Chardonnay with pineapple, soft vanilla and a long lingering finish. Creamy, toasted oak notes…"  My notes: A light yellow colour with a scent of grassy cooking apple - not pronounced. A thin film forms and leaves a slowly receding lacy edge with a few tears. Medium-bodied, smooth, flavours are a mix of indistinct fruit and vegetable: asparagus, lemon/lime, tart apple and melon - the finish carries this lack of distinction until a dry, slightly tart nondescript ending. Not a sipper… pair with grilled chicken or seafood.  77

MEINHARDT HUBE STEINBACH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009, Sudsteiermark, Austria, 13.0% XD, #211094  $19.95  (Tasted June 2, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on April 30, 2011. Rated 91 by Peter Moser, Falstaff Wine Guide (2010) saying “Light green-yellow in colour. Fine leafy spiciness, with delicate gooseberries, smoky-backed grapefruit, and notes of red berry fruit. Medium texture, with mineral qualities, a dark spicy touch, and a solid acid core. With a hint of a saline aftertaste… ”  My notes:  A light golden with nicely spiced gooseberry aromas. The flavour has the body of fleshy gooseberries with hints of lemon zest, grapefruit pith and a slight raisin. Medium-bodied, very dry on the finish and on the verge of being succulent. Have with King crab or butter dipped lobster pieces, with Japanese fare or Chinese sweet and sour. Cellaring for  few years - not longer - should be OK changing some of the tart to deepen the character.  90
CATTAIL CREEK  ESTATE BOTTLED SERENDIPITY ROSÉ 2010 VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 11.5% D, #118059   $14.95  (Tasted June 7, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on May 28, 2011. My notes: The back label describes times of picking strawberries but this rosé is 35% gamay noir, 35% pinot noir and 30% merlot if it follows the 2009 vintage. 450 cases made. A cherry candy floss aroma adding a slight grassy note, and having a bright red cherry colour. The first sip is noticeably sweet having a silky edge and flavoured with tart red cherries. A light jammy flavour goes into the finish fading slowly leaving a touch of sugar and dry cherry. Difficult to pair with meals - more of a patio sipper straight or a spritzer, 50/50 with Schweppes Tonic. Did not pair well with grilled Copper River salmon and sweet potato fries. A drink now.  80

13TH STREET ‘JUNE'S VINEYARD’ RIESLING 2008 VQA Creek Shores, Jordan Station, Ontario, 11.2% D, #147512  $16.95  (Tasted June 17, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release unknown date. My notes:A Thirteenth Street Wine Corp. product with 433 cases made. There’s a mild floral and mineral to the nose increasing slightly as the chill goes off and a thin film sticks before leaving a fine lace edge. Bright acid covers any trace of sweetness - not quite a tooth cleaner but close. A suspicion of tart apple supported by a light-bodied smoothness refreshes as a sipper or with a plate of crab pieces or scallops. Paired with an early Father’s Day lobster and shrimp plate the flavours cooperated well with the delicate, buttery seafood. Still fresh this should improve with each year in the cellar.  89

13TH STREET PREMIER CUVÉE BRUT SPARKLING WINE VQA Niagara Peninsula, St. Catharines, Ontario, 12.5% XD, #142679  $29.95  (Tasted June 5, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on December 11, 2010. My notes: Recommended by  Michael Pinkus (March 4, 2011).  A blend of 2/3 pinot noir and 1/3 chardonnay and using the traditionelle méthode, aged sur lattes for 36 months then 6 months post dosage addition.  3900 bottles produced. An impressive bottle having a resounding pop when opening. Careful pouring brings a fine mousseux to the top of the glass taking awhile to settle then continuing to burst bubbles in continuous streams. A lasting apple pie nose, a full spritz on the tongue and, to accompany the refreshing tartness, a moderately creamy texture. Xdry for sure ending with a hint of tart apple and some clay. Have with fresh oysters,  sharing a shrimp ring or toast an occasion with special friends.  95 

FUZION ALTA TORRONTÉS PINOT GRIGIO 2010, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0% D, #168419   $8.95  (Tasted June 28, 2011)  CS

A General listing made by Familia Zuccardi from Torrontes and Pinot Grigio grapes. My notes: Tasted in March this year with a rating of 84 - worth another look. This vintage has a bland nose perhaps of soft grapefruit and leaves a film with fast tears. The colour is a golden blond and the first sip has a nippy flavour of mixed citrus nicely texture leaving flavours to carry into a moderate finish the ending of which is a muted citrus and grassy with nothing to look forward to. OK as a simple sipper or with pan seared fish or white fowl. Did not support a grilled salmon with mixed carrot and snap pea side. Neither the Torrontés nor the PG adds much to this blend. A drink now.  80
NAVERAN DAMA CAVA EXTRA BRUT SPARKLING WINE 2007, Barcelona, Spain,  12.0% XD, #223602  $17.95  (Tasted June 10, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on May 14, 2011 rated 90 by Jay Miller  (April 2010) describing it as “… a blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Parellada which spent 24 months on the lees. The presence of the Chardonnay elevates the aromatics well above the norm for Cava. It is broad in the mouth with excellent volume and lingering flavours… “  My notes: There’s a brilliant yellow colour on the greenish side, not much, and the nose has a curious aroma of pond scum - nothing objectionable. Lots of fine foam on pouring with several streams of minute bubbles. The spritz is full in each sip adding an enjoyable texture to muted green apple, asparagus and lime flavours - no sign of sugar and medium-bodied. The finish is curious emphasizing the vegetable aspect and ending extra dry. The burst of spritz sells this as a sipper and a buffet table could further enhance the interest. Four years into a eight year cellaring but not going to change much from now. Try it … if you like it then cellar it!  For me there’s others to enjoy. 88

GIAVI CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE BRUT NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.0% XD, #209569  $17.95  (Tasted June 25, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on March 5, 2011.  My notes: A blond colour, a profusion of mid size bubbles on pouring and a slight whiff of lees for a nose.  There’s a ring of small bubbles at the surface barely mousseux and the first sip has an appealing fullness, a soft spritz and bright lemon custard flavour. Very acceptable as a social sipper - one that all could enjoy. Although tangy there appears to be just a touch of sweet, also appealing. Have with grilled scallops or King crab pieces. The finish is moderate ending on a silky bland note quickly replaced by another sip.  A middle of the road drink now with several years potential.  87
LAWSON'S DRY HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009,  Marlborough, NZ,  13.5% XD, #214460   $16.95  (Tasted June 30, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on May 28, 2011. Harvey Steiman  (May 31, 2010)  rated this a smart buy at 91 points and described it as “Light in style, but generous in flavour, offering fresh, coconut-scented pineapple and lime flavours. Finishes with a creamy texture against zippy acidity.”  My notes:  A crystal clear and polished blond colour with soft aromas of freshly crushed gooseberries sets a good first impression. A just noticeable film and the tang of the first sip is consistent with the light fruit. The finish fades moderately fast ending with a light lemon tartness and chalk dry. Light-bodied and refreshing with a touch of cream makes this a reasonable socializer for a patio crowd. Pair with spicy to sweet Thai or vietnamese dishes or North American shellfish with drawn butter. Serve well chilled and keep in an ice bucket to keep its refreshing character. Definitely a NZ drink now to a year. 86 
SAN RAFFAELE MONTE TABOR PINOT GRIGIO 2009, Veneto, Italy, 12.5% D, #204768  $14.95  (Tasted June 12, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on June 11, 2011. My notes: BC says ‘…good, organic pinot grigio, with a silky middle, lemon and red-apple flavour…’ . There’s a slight rusty hue to the bright gold colour and a scent that includes soft floral orange, apple and melon. The film breaks into lacy islands interspersed with long fast legs. A core of silk carries flavours of honey, lemon, melon and finishes dry with a touch of mineral. A soft texture and light acid distinguishes this Pinot Grigio possibly making this more flexible for pairing. Serve well chilled with cheesy pastas, crusted squid or pepperoni/anchovy pizza - was great with grilled Atlantic salmon steaks. A drink now.  88

VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% D, #426601  $15.95  (Tasted June 30, 2011)  CS

From the General listing. My notes: The initial sharpness in the nose mellows into a slightly floral juicy gooseberry aroma. The colour is a bland blond and a thin film laces at the rim as tears flow quickly. The first sip bites the taste buds and initially masks a brief moment of mild fruit then shifts to a vegetal tartness that continues into a long vibrant finish. Not a sipper. Paired moderately well with stir-fried skinless chicken pieces but competed with the mixed vegetables. A commercial drink now.  81 

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