Monday, January 18, 2010

Recently Tasted

DOMAINE DE LA SEIGNEURIE DES TOURELLES SAUMUR BLANC 2008, AOC Saumur, France; #141879; Price: $12.95; 12.5% ABV
Dry Chenin Blanc…Great aromas of peach, pear, tangerine, lime, and red apple, then floral and minerality notes. Delicious lime, tangerine, and peach continue on the palate with some medium-high acidity giving it an attractively fresh mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, the lime and peach continue on a moderately long finish. A big bargain!

MIMO 2005, DOC Douro; #147918; Price: $17.95; 12.7% ABV
Finding Mimo! From Douro, home of port wine, this is a blend of two varietals used in port: Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional, as well as Tempranillo and Tinta Barroca. If you like port, you’ll like this. Surprisingly purplish for a 2005, it has aromas of stewed fruits (prunes and cherries), blueberry, and cassis. The oak influence shows up in cinnamon, cloves, liquorice, coffee, chocolate, and caramel aromas. Medium acidity and soft tannins, flavours of stewed fruits, blueberry, cloves, and chocolate…Medium-bodied, it’s smooth with blueberry and cassis continuing on a moderately-long finish. I like it!

TORRONTES CRIOS DE SUSANA BALBO 2008; Mendoza (Argentina); 13.5% ABV; ($47 at NAC Le Café)
The Torrontes varietal is at its biggest in Argentina, and this is one of the best. Wonderful floral bouquet, with aromas of citrus and peach. Medium-bodied with great acidity and lime and peach flavours. No oak. Crisp mouthfeel. Good length with fruit flavours and acidity that continue on the finish. Wonderful with the smoked haddock and fingerling potato chowder. Susana Balbo is the most known female enologist in Argentina.

NERO D’AVOLA CUSUMANO 2008; IGT Sicilia (Italy); 14.5% ABV ($53 at NAC Le Café)
Nero D’Avola is native to Sicily. New World style, fruit-forward with cherries, plum, dried herbs, and liquorice on the nose. Plum, cherries and some spices on the palate. Full-bodied, with medium acidity and soft tannins that are a bit drying on the finish. Good length. Disappointing for the price. OK match with rib-eye steak, chèvre whipped potatoes and pumpkin-apple reduxe.
PRICING NOTE: Le Café winelist price is $53; LCBO price is $9.95. Shame on Le Café.

BOUGRIER VOUVRAY 2008, AOC Vouvray, France; #106880; Price: $14.95; 11.5% ABV
It’s an off-dry Chenin Blanc with good, crisp acidity. Aromas of peach, citrus, pear, and red apple as well as floral notes. Red apple and grapey flavours on the palate. Light-bodied, good balance and moderate finish. Good value.

ROUGES DES KARANTES 2007, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc, France; #143651; Price: $16.95; 14.0% ABV
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre… This is like a hot July afternoon in Languedoc, in liquid form. Aroma is dominated by la garrigue (dried herbs and tar) with black fruits (cherry, plum, blueberry), then clove. Good acidity and tannins on the palate with the flavours of black cherry, anise, and black tea. It’s full-bodied with a grainy mouthfeel. Somewhat bitter on the finish, with the fruit disappearing a little too quickly. Works better with food (like lamb) than on its own.

DUBARIL CHASSELAS ROMAND 2008, Vin de Pays, Switzerland; #143552; Price: $15.95; 12.4% ABV
Nice citrus and peach aromas at the outset with a hint of floral. Lemon flavour on the palate at first, then peach comes through. Crisp acidity on its own with more body than expected. Short finish but great with cheese fondue, a classic Swiss match.

MALIVOIRE GAMAY 2008, VQA Niagara Peninsula; #591313; Price: $17.95; 13.0% ABV
Vibrant cherry-red colour. Red fruits (mostly strawberry jam) on the nose, with cinnamon, clove, and white pepper, a bit floral and just a touch of earthiness. On the palate, there’s the strawberry and cherry, white pepper and clove. Medium acidity and body, it’s nicely balanced and refreshing with a moderately long finish. This is what Gamay should be…very impressive.

CHÂTEAU SALMONIÈRE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE 2008, AOC Muscadet Sèvre & Maine, France; #142380; Price: $13.95; 12.2% ABV
Pale yellow. Lemon and just a touch of floral on the nose, there's lots more citrus and minerality in the mouth. Great, crisp acidity. Seems light-bodied compared to most. Moderate length, the citrus, minerality and acidity all last through the finish. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne varietal. For food, think Melon and Mollusc.

PAÇO DE TEIXEIRÓ BRANCO 2008, Vinho Regional Minho, Portugal; #21469; Price: $12.95; 12.5% ABV
Light yellow. Aromas of citrus and a bit of apricot. Flavours of lemon-lime with minerality. Fresh, light-bodied, with medium acidity. Citrus and acidity continue through to a medium length. Made from Avesso and Loureiro varietals. Makes me nostalgic for some grilled sardines and lemon.

PERRIN NATURE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2007, AOC Cotes du Rhone, France; #948059; Price: $ 16.95; 13.0% ABV
What happened here? 2007 was a super year for the Rhone but everything about this wine is missing in action: colour, aromas, flavour. Acidity is medium; tannins are low. The body seems oddly light, almost watery. Very odd. A big disappointment.

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