Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 2012 Whites+: 19 Tasted of 19

Whites+ (whites, rosés, sparkling and other) have been separated from THE LINEUP for this month. To view Reds click on Reds.

Looking for some whites under $25 I used my 'Buying Strategy' to select the Mosel Riesling Kabinett (TA90) from Tony Aspler's review of Vintages' June 23rd Release and, from Margaret Swaine's Summer Sippers  in the National Post, the Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris (MS89) and Domaine de la Tourlaudiere Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (MS89). 

Six of the whites are from what I'll call a 'Featured Winery'. They are from Cave Spring Cellars . All but one is from a designated sub-appellation of Niagara.  I refrain from purchasing VQA Ontario and, except on specific occasions this being one, VQA Niagara Peninsula as well. These by their nature are a 'mongrel' mix of terroirs. This isn't derogatory since mixed breeds can make adorable and faithful pets however that's not what I look for in a wine. VQA Ontario changes 'somewhereness' into 'anywhereness'.

I've found wines from Cave Spring Cellars both realistically priced and able to showcase terroirs well. Two, not included but tasted previously, are their  Chardonnay Dolomite 2010 and Riesling Dolomite 2007 labels. So far these two are available only from the winery and 
'Dolomite' must appear on the label. They present nicely the terroir of the Niagara Escarpment.

...two Vintages Wines of the Month (July) , a Spanish Cava and an organic white blend from Chile are included.

...three Chardonnays - 1 Oregon, 2 Jordan - anticipate the i4C2012 (Cool Chardonnay) event in Niagara July 20-22. 

Salut, Ww

PS: Backgrounder for German Rieslings

THE LINEUP - grouped by whites, rosés and other:   
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Gewurztraminer 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench,  92-3  --  V,  Jordan, Ontario,  #302059  $17.95
  • Emiliana Signos de Origen 'La Vinilla' Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne/Roussanne 2010, 92-2  -- V,  Casablanca Valley, Chile, #063909 $19.95
  • (WOM) Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2011, 92-2  --  V,  Marlborough, New Zealand,  #010421 $21.95
  • Cave Spring Chardonnay 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, 90-2  --  G,   Jordan, Ontario, #228551  $14.95
  • Hunter's 'Jane Hunter' Sauvignon Blanc 2011,  90-1  --  V, Marlborough, NZ,  #280271 $19.95
  • Flat Rock Chardonnay 2009 VQA Twenty Mile Bench,  89-1 --  V, Jordan, Ontario, #286278 $16.95 
  • Cave Spring Sauvignon Blanc 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  88-1  --  G,  Jordan, Ontario, #529933 $15.95
  • Mt. Boucherie 'Estate Collection' Semillon 2008 VQA Okanagan Valley, 87  --  V,  BC, Canada, #279364 $19.95
  • Ponzi Reserve Chardonnay 2009,  86  --  V, Willamette Valley, Oregon, #236208 $38.95
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Riesling 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, 85  --  V,  Jordan, Ontario,  #286377 $17.95 
  • Cave Spring Dry Riesling 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula,  84  --  G,   Jordan, Ontario,  #233635  $14.95
  • Lucien Albrecht Réserve Pinot Gris 2010,  83  --  V, Alsace, France, #281394    $15.95
  • Babich Family Estates Individual Vineyard 'Fernhill' Viognier 2010,  83  --  V, Hawkes Bay, NZ, #269282  $16.95 
  • Domaine de la Tourlaudière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2010,  82  --  V, #171694 $13.95 
  • Gray Monk Riesling 2009 VQA Okanagan Valley, 82  --  V, Okanagan, BC,  #273466  $18.95      

  • Cave Spring Dry Rosé 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment,  86  --  G,   Jordan, Ontario,  #295006  $14.95
  • Sogrape Mateus Rosé NV, NR  --  G, Portugal, #000166 $8.95  

  • Codorniu Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Cava NV,  86  --  V,  Penedès, Spain, #665372 $17.95 

  • Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett 2008, 92-3  --  V, Mosel, Germany,  #606202  $16.95
(WOM - Wine of the Month, V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)


WOMs  for July 2012 - both were released by Vintages on June 23, 2012
ASTROLABE PROVINCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.5%  XD  3.3g/L, #010421  $21.95  (Tasted July 1, 2012)  CS
Rated 91 by MaryAnn Worobie   (June 15, 2012).  My notes: I was beginning to believe that WOMs only came in red this being the first white since last February when I first started featuring WOMs.  The colour is a soft straw and the aroma has the distinctive NZ  freshly crushed gooseberry scent, nicely tangy and inviting. The film leaves a lacy rim that gradually slides down the glass. The first sip has the refreshing bite of a lemon or red currant with the right balance of tart, fruit and chalky dryness. Flavours intensify then slowly fade for a long finish leaving a silky texture on the lips. Perfect for a wide range of seafood entrées, spiny crab to New Brunswick lobster, scallops to curried mussels, and grilled chicken breast or with a creamy pasta.  Cellaring a few years should be OK but not longer - meant as a drink now.  92


CAVE SPRING SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 13.0%  XD  4g/L, #529933  $15.95  (Tasted July 1, 2012)  CS

A General listing. My notes:  A blend of grapes 76% from the Cave Spring Vineyard in Beamsville Bench and 24%, the Twenty Mile Bench. Has a tart, sweet edged lemon seed with a slightly floral scent. The colour is a faint straw and has a film that recedes in slow tears and lacy islands. Has a chalk seam, is fresh in the mouth, cleansing and extra dry and having some interest as a light-bodied sipper. More of a supper sipper with broiled chicken wings, battered and deep fried fish or a Thai stir-fry.  Not flush with fruit but enough to complement prominent acids and terroir. Not for cellaring - a drink now.  88

CAVE SPRING DRY RIESLING 2010 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Ontario,  12.0%  XD  7g/L,  #233635   $14.95  (Tasted July 9, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes: The 2006 vintage, a blend of grapes from Twenty Mile Bench (36%), Beamsville Bench (23%), Lincoln Lakeshore (24%) and Creek Shores (10%), was previously tasted in November 2007 with a rating of 80.  The 2010 vintage is a blend of Rieslings from (64%) Twenty Mile Bench; (26%) Lincoln Lakeshore and (10%) Beamsville Bench. Both are VQA Niagara Peninsula. A mid golden with a slight tint of green and a faint aroma of green pea, apple and grapefruit. The film is full and recedes quickly following a lacy rim. Flavours are a blend of mineral, lime and apple changing to a long and luscious, tart apple. A suitable complement with fresh oysters or stuffed mushrooms - and with creamy pastas, tame chicken wings or a Bento Box.  84 

CAVE SPRING CHARDONNAY 2010 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 13.5%  XD  2g/L,  #228551   $14.95  (Tasted July 16, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  A blend of grapes from Beamsville Bench (63%) and Twenty Mile Bench (37%). This is well in the comfort zone either chilled or offchill. The nose, a slight apple blossom, becomes more pronounced when off chill and melon and lime flavours come forward lasting awhile before ending on the soft & dry mineral side. Swirling leaves a smooth film slowly receding intact.  The chardonnays complement each other to offer a balanced fullness and an acid level making sipping refreshing as well as a complement to creamy to light pastas or grilled to baked shell- and finny fish. Cellaring for several years is likely.  90   

CAVE SPRING DRY ROSÉ 2011 VQA Niagara Escarpment, Jordan, Ontario, 12.5%  XD  6g/L,  #295006   $14.95  (Tasted July 5, 2012)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  The 2006 and 2007 vintages, each having the VQA of Niagara Peninsula, were tasted with up and down ratings. The 2009 vintage bore the VQA of Niagara Escarpment but not tasted. The 2011 is a blend of grapes from (94%) Cave Spring Vineyard in the Beamsville Bench, (6%) Lincoln Lakeshore ... and 80% cabernet franc and 20% cabernet sauvignon.  My benchmark of a rosé is that of the south of France. There's a blush of pink to the salmon colour and at 16oC the nose is perfumed along the multifloral rose line. The first sip is a light, attractive strawberry-raspberry, dry to the lips and continuing through a long finish gradually fading leaving the palate smooth with a suspicion of sweetness. An appealing sipper unless one is accustomed to Tavels then overly 'cosmetic' - from the Franc content. Cellaring for a few years should serve well. Sip alone or have with cheddar nibbles. 86 

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2010 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Ontario,  12.0%  D  12g/L,  #286377  $17.95  (Tasted July 20, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on April 18, 2012.  My notes: The 2007 vintage was tasted in May 2009 with an 88-1 rating.  Grapes come from selected blocks at Cave Spring Vineyards ranging from 11 to 37 years of age.  The colour is a light straw and the nose has a faint scent of paraffin, lemon and apple. Several fast tears flow as the rim fragments into lacy patterns.  The first sip is a tasty and tart combination of apple and yellow plum, subtle at first then accumulating, light-bodied - didn't get 'escarpment terroir'. The finish shows some sweetness then ends tart and dry. Sipping is enjoyable almost interesting. Went well with chicken cheese - more cheese than chicken - penne from Metro. Pair with a shrimp salad or fowl/fish lightly seasoned.  85

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2010  VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Ontario,  13.0%  D  17.4g/L,  #302059   $17.95  (Tasted July 3, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on March 31, 2012.  My notes:   The 2006 vintage was tasted in June 2008 with an 88-1 rating.  The grapes for the 2010 vintage were from a single block of 27-year-old vines at Cave Spring Vineyard (Beamsville Bench). It's crystal clear with a honey tint to a soft light golden. The nose has a touch of honey and orange blossom to a spicy apricot, a swirl leaves a continuous lacy rim to slowly recede. There's a pleasing dryness to layers of pear and apricot along with a tasty spice that continues through a long luscious finish. It has a sweetness almost balanced by acid making this an appealing sipper for a summer gathering of friends. Paired nicely with braised/roasted duck legs with vegetables and would with Thai entrees. Cellaring for several years should be OK.  92

HUNTER'S 'JANE HUNTER' SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% XD  1.8g/L, #280271  $19.95  (Tasted July 3, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on June 9, 2012 and rated 5 of 5 by, November 2011.  My notes: Clear with a tint of green and a luscious scent of crushed gooseberries makes for an interesting intro. The first sip penetrates the palate leaving plenty of early fruit to last through a long, extra dry finish. Warm but not too warm, a touch of brine, medium-bodied with a broad NZ profile, too prominent for roasted west coast salmon. Serve with roasted fowl or grilled cod in a seasoned tomato sauce.  Should cellar well for several years.  90

GRAY MONK RIESLING  2009 VQA Okanagan Valley, Okanagan, BC, 12.9%  D  9.8g/L,  #273466   $18.95  (Tasted July 7, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on March 3, 2012.  My notes:  An interesting nose on uncorking (actually unscrewing) - a green pea tint to mild apple. The colour is a light gold with see through clarity.  A lacy rimmed film sheds slow tears and a first sip has a mineral edge to granny smith flavours. The finish is short leaving a mineral layer on the palate, dry and perceptibly tart.  A minor sweetness detectable - also a mild acid and a low profile flavour makes this difficult to pair. Have with honey glazed scones or a mixed fruit salad leaning toward kiwi and melon slices - I'm having it with a Metro Sushi tray.  Not for cellaring and likely past it - a drink now.  82
SOGRAPE MATEUS ROSÉ NV, Portugal, 11.0%  D  17g/L, #000166  $8.95  (Tasted July 15, 2012)  CS  
A General listing produced by SoGrape.  My notes:  The last time I tasted Mateus was as a young engineer holding office parties in the basement of our new house in North York. Definitely sweet to the nose and taste - a somewhat melon strawberry candy floss that becomes sweeter when tasted. The slight surprisingly spritz disappears quickly.  The sweetness continues through the finish then declines finishing dry.  This was a common social rosé back when it ranked with Andres Baby Duck ($8.95) and Liebfraumilch ($9.85) and competed with lambrusco and concord  wines from Niagara.  Tastes have changed for most consumers from that era however some must justify having these products on LCBO shelves.  NR

REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT OCKFENER BOCKSTEIN RIESLING KABINETT 2008, Mosel, Germany,  7.5%  M  52g/L,  #606202   $16.95  (Tasted July 24, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on June 23, 2012 and rated 90 by Tony Aspler as well as the Wine Enthusiast (June 2010). Vintages lists this at 12.5% alcohol.  My notes:  I doubt this is the same wine reported/rated by the Wine Enthusiast as theirs was priced at $31.  Perhaps the 2008 is a lesser vintage?  This has a distinct floral honey, lemon, fig nose and a honey lemon on the palate. A lemon juice colour, smooth with a tangy seam that carries flavours on a long journey ending with balanced acid and sugar. The film leaves a lacy rim that immediately fragments sliding down to become lacy nodules. If you're looking for a sweet and tasty sipper this is it. Sipped alone it accumulates sufficient acid to be a tooth cleaner. A tray of cheeses or liver paté and 5-grain toasts would go well. Long term cellaring could bring even more character supporting aromas and flavours.  92
LUCIEN ALBRECHT RÉSERVE PINOT GRIS 2010, Alsace, France, 13.0%  D 11g/L, #281394    $15.95  (Tasted July 19, 2012)  CS
A Vintages release on June 23, 2012.  My notes:  Margaret Swaine gives this an 89.  A deep gold colour with a nose that needs some time to develop, a touch of honey on first pouring (14oC) - did not increase with temp. (18oC) - flavours intensify slightly. The film is solid then recedes into fragments. The first sip had a hint of sugar with a noticeable acid and subtle flavour of lemon honey carrying into a long finish retaining the tart and sweet, medium-bodied. Have as a refreshing sipper on a hot summer day or pair with grilled shrimp with creamy risotto, seared scallops or curried mussels.  Not an advantage to cellar - a drink now.  83

DOMAINE DE LA TOURLAUDIÈRE  MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE 2010, 12.0%  XD  3g/L, #171694  $13.95  (Tasted July 9, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on June 23, 2012 and a Gold Medal winner at the 2011 Concours des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants.  My notes:  Rod Phillips gives this 90-93 and Margaret Swaine, an 89 in her summer sippers listed in the  National Post, June 22. A light gold and negligible scent, perhaps mild honey, when served chilled. The film leaves a smooth layer on the glass then quickly recedes.  Warmed up to 18oC and the nose hasn't changed. The first sip is extra dry and chalkens the palate while an acid refreshes. A shallow sipper with flavours, lime and kiwi, becoming noticeable as the wine warms then finishes with waning fruit to a dry, mineral end. Have with sushi - without ginger, horseradish or wasabi. Did not contribute much to Asian Marinated Baked Ginger Chicken .  82

CODORNÍU PINOT NOIR BRUT ROSÉ CAVA NV, Penedès, Spain, 12.0%  XD   6-8g/L,  #665372 $17.95  (Tasted July 4, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on June 9, 2012 and rated 88 by John Szabo a long time ago.  My notes:  A significant variance between the LCBO sugar content and the winery's - the winery's is shown.  I must automatically look for this when I'm in need for a house bubbly - previously tasted Jul 2006, Dec 2007, Aug 2008 and Sep 2009 with consistent high 80's ratings.  A deep salmon colour with a burst of bubbles, all sizes, on opening then a steady stream of fine heading for the surface where they accumulate in small rings. The nose is mostly of mineral CO2 with a slight peach and rhubarb. The first sip has the tang of CO2 and taste of peach and apple, very slight - minor sweetness. A short dry finish provides incentive for further sips. Have after a three hour drive home from Peterborough (ON) on a 40oC+ sunny summer day or anytime when there's friends and nibbles. I'd add a few strawberry or peach slices to broaden appeal. A drink now.  86
EMILIANA SIGNOS DE ORIGEN 'LA VINILLA' CHARDONNAY/VIOGNIER/MARSANNE/ROUSSANNE 2010, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 14.5%  XD  3.14g/L,  #063909   $19.95  (Tasted July 19, 2012)  CS
A Vintages release on June 9, 2012, an organic wine and winner of a Gold Medal at the 2011 Coucours Mondial de Bruxelles.  A blend of (65%) Chardonnay, (20%) Viognier, (11%) Marsanne and (4%) Roussanne.  My notes:  A rich golden in the glass and a whiff of lemon zest masking a delicate floral and the scent of butterscotch. The lacy rim left by swirling flows slow tears that break into island fragments. Full-bodied, tart overcoming silk and lasting through a long flavourful finish ending on a dried lemon peel note. A Chardonnay variation makes for an interesting sipper - better suited as a complement to roast chicken or turkey, a ham steak or pork chop and apple sauce. Cellar for several years for a deeper profile or drink now.  92

PONZI  RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2009,  Willamette Valley,Oregon, 14.0%  D  6g/L, #236208  $38.95  (Tasted July 25, 2012)  CS

Released by Vintages on July 7, 2012 and rated 91 by Jay Miller (October, 2011) . The 2007 vintage was recommended in a tweet by Tony Aspler @tonyaspler however wasn't at Vintages.  From the Ponzi tasting notes:  "2009 proved to be very similar to the 2002 and 2006 vintage". My notes:  Priced $30 in Oregon. A mid golden in the glass with a citrus nose dulled by a tinge of vanilla. The film drops long slow legs from a broken rim. This has a viscous texture that shows with the first sip and an acid nicely balanced with delicate fruit: citrus and melon, coating the palate and lasting a long while. Not intense, full-bodied, nonintrusive, sipping slowly allows character to develop. Pairing with roast chicken, Cornish hen or white Turkey breast as a companion should be OK - will try soon. A drink now. 86

MT. BOUCHERIE 'ESTATE COLLECTION' SEMILLON 2008 VQA Okanagan Valley,  BC, Canada, 13.0%  D  3.8g/l, #279364  $19.95  (Tasted July 12, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on July 7, 2012.  My notes: Priced at $14.99 at the winery in BC. A bright gold with aromas of crushed lime seeds and lemon grass. The film shows a lacy rim that slowly breaks apart and recedes to tiny fragments. There's a firm bite to the first sip, a nice fullness and a sting to flavours of unsweetened grapefruit declining to a sharp lemon and mineral parching finish. Extra dry. Pair with fresh oysters, baked cod on lemon risotto or seared scallops or a shrimp stir fry. Reasonably priced in BC, not in ON. May be past peak depending on where it started.  87
FLAT ROCK CHARDONNAY 2009 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Jordan, Ontario,  12.8%  XD  3g/L,  #286278  $16.95  (Tasted July 18, 2012)  CS

A Vintages release on July 7, 2012.   My notes: The winery website shows notes for the 2008 vintage. The label claim of a United Nations effort in harvesting and making of the FR wines, however, the results are in the bottle and not sitting at a negotiating table. A crystal clear mid gold with a hint of green and a nose hinting at a mineral aspect, slightly floral, somewhat grassy. The film sticks then slowly slides down the glass from an unbroken rim. A luscious first sip, medium-bodied, smooth, lightly silky, subtle lemongrass with refreshing acidity and a long finish. There's a lot to like as a sipper, part of the attractiveness is its mystery. Pairing with creamy sauces, mild cheeses and grilled seafood is a strength. Cellaring for several years is likely.  89
BABICH FAMILY ESTATES INDIVIDUAL VINEYARD 'FERNHILL' VIOGNIER   2010, Hawkes Bay, NZ, 14.0%  XD  2.4g/L,  #269282   $16.95  (Tasted tbd)  CS

A Vintages release on April 14, 2012. Rated 4 out of 5 by (no date)  My notes:  The product of a large commercial winery and has won several Awards .  Grapes are from the Fernhill vineyard in Hawkes Bay area - various yeast clones were used in the fermentation process. The colour is a light gold and the nose is a curious blend of cooked apple and lime building with each sniff - didn't get floral. The film is light and recedes quickly following a lacy rim.  The first sip has some tang, some lime, some cooked apple and orange flavours staying on the palate for a long finish ending with a mineral touch. This had a soft texture when matched with President's Choice crab cakes and snow peas - pair with lightly seasoned seafood or fowl - better as a sipper.  A Viognier with a predominant process influenced style.  83 

No comments: