Appassimento wines, passito-style wines that use a traditional winemaking process, are part of one of the hottest trends right now in many wine regions, from Italy where it originated to Ontario where there is tremendous experimentation.
Many of these wines will come out on liquor store shelves in the April 14 LCBO Vintages Release. I’ve posted my Appassimento reviews and ratings of the best wines in this style available now.
Northern Italy’s Veneto wine region developed this technique originally of drying red wine grapes on straw mats in a temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms for 3-4 months. The grapes lose 30-40% of their water, so this concentrates their flavours and sugars, which translates into more robust, flavourful wines.
Ontario has similar climate to Veneto that makes this process ideal for this region as well. Different grapes are used here such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Grigio. Often with much shorter drying times. Some Old World grapes have been grafted in Ontario, but cultivation is still in the research phase.
The debate over appassimento wines is whether they’re unnaturally jacked up on both sweetness and alcohol as a means to concentrate flavours and obliterate the notion of terroir, the signature of climate and soil where the wines are grown. Personally, I love this style, and look forward to seeing how new wine regions make it their own.
This is just a sampling of wine ratings, the most quoted Canadian source of reviews in the Vintages Magazine. You can access the 56 wines that I reviewed for April 12 as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches and the stock for each bottle in their closest LCBO stores.
You can also see my wine reviews for March 29. You can also add my wine picks to their custom shopping list with one click and access that list on their smartphone. This is one of the benefits of becoming a VIP Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the release based on the LCBO doing so.
Villa Novare Bertani Bertani Villa Novare Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010, Veneto D.O.C., Italy. Dry, supple and full-bodied with black fruit and smoke aromas and flavours. This DOC producer has been making wine in Valpolicella since 1857. Great combination of finesse and… Villa Novare Bertani Bertani Villa Novare Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore Review and Rating.
Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling Q.B.A., Mosel, Germany. Love it! There’s simply no better value white wine on the shelf. Lime blossom gorgeous. The alcohol is refreshingly low, yet this… Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling Review and Rating.
Momo Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand. Herbal and refreshing with lots of mouth-watering, lime zest acidity for a range of dishes from fresh seafood to spinach quiche. There’s some lemon zest on the finish. Intense, vibrant and… Momo Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc Review and Rating.
Pondview Estate Winery Riesling 2012, Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada. Lovely white peach, Asian pear and baking spice notes in this ethereal white wine. Mouth-watering and… Pondview Estate Winery Riesling Review and Rating.
Gustave Lorentz Réserve Riesling 2012, Alsace A.C., France. Intense with lime purity and lemon lift in this zesty AC white wine. Gorgeous, dry and mouth-watering. Medium-bodied and perfect for turkey dinner. Terrific aromatics green apple with… Gustave Lorentz Réserve Riesling Review and Rating.
First Press James Ewart Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Napa Valley, California. Delicato Family Vineyards Full-bodied with classic aromas of cassis and blackcurrant. Nicely balanced oak. Although it’s robust, it’s not heavy. Attractive wisps of hickory smoke on the finish along with cassis and blackcurrant. This is a good value for… First Press James Ewart Cabernet Sauvignon Review and Rating.