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Wine Picks August 11, 2020

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outside the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Red Wine

Château des Charmes St. David's Bench Vineyard Gamay Noir Droit 2017, St. David's Bench, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A juicy Niagara red wine with lots of mouth-watering acidity on the palate and made from the Gamay Noir Droit grape. The vines for this wine are planted on the side of ancient limestone slopes of the St. David's Bench Vineyard in glacial soils located furthest from the cooling temperatures of Lake Ontario benefiting from warmer temperatures and a longer ripening season. Juicy flavours of ripe cherry, raspberry, spicy and vibrant on the palate. Gamay Noir ‘Droit’ is a red wine unique to Château des Charmes. In the early 1980s, Paul Bosc discovered a single Gamay Noir vine growing straight up and taller than the others in the vineyard. The wine had classic Gamay cherry flavours and a medium body, but there was also more complexity. Genetic testing revealed that Canada’s first vinifera vine was born right in their vineyard. They were granted International Plant Breeders’ Rights so no one else in the world can grow this vine or make this wine called Gamay Noir ‘Droit’. I’ve loved this wine for many years: not only does it have fleshy ripe dark berries, but there’s also a peppery top note. Pair this wine with grilled pork chops or chicken. Gamay Noir Droit food pairings: prime rib, beef brisket, gourmet burgers. Drink: 2020 - 2022 346742 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Drea's Wine Co. Drea's Rosé 2019, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A vibrant, juicy Niagara rose with aromas of cranapple and cranberry. A lovely ruby hue in the glass. Perfect for grilled chicken. Drea's Rosé food pairings: grilled salmon, tuna poke bowl, egg dishes. Drink: 2020 - 2021 12.5% D 750 mL $26.70 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Cabernet Rosé 2019, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, refreshing Niagara-on-the-Lake rose from winemaker Lydia Tomek. The fruit is grown in the Niagara River appellation. The grapes were picked early to preserve freshness and vibrant strawberry flavour. Most of the wine was fermented in Stainless Steel tanks, again for freshness. And about 15% was fermented and aged in French oak barrels for two months. There are lovely aromas of watermelon and strawberry, with juicy acidity to pair this with field greens, ceviche and soft cheeses. Medium-bodied and vibrant. Perfect on its own too. Cabernet Rosé food pairings: lox and capers, grilled salmon steak, shellfish, fresh fruit, veggies, pasta primavera. Drink: 2020 - 2021 11.9% D 750 mL $25.00 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Top Rated Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ferox Winery Rosé 2017, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A pretty clementine colour in the glass. Lovely aromas of field strawberries and watermelon. Racy acidity for seafood and grilled veggies. Rosé food pairings: herbed marinated grilled chicken, shrimp scampi. Drink: 2020 - 2022 12.5% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 88/100. August 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Rosé 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A terrific Niagara rose, particularly for this price point. A vibrant blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Zweigelt grapes. The juice had 24 hours of skin contact. Aromas of field strawberry, watermelon and wild raspberry. Mouth-watering and refreshing. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2022 613471 12% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Whitecliff Wines Rosé 2019, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: Lovely New Zealand rose with aromas of strawberries and orange zest. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2022 13297 12.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ava Grace Winery Rosé 2018, California, United States: A terrific Californian rose for this price point. Notes of sweet strawberries. Pair with hot summer days and grilled chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 122651 13% D 750 mL $9.95 Score: 87/100. August 2020. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Quails' Gate Estate Winery Chardonnay 2017, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: A beautiful BC Chardonnay with notes of green apple and peach. Medium- to full-bodied with a luscious, mouth-filling texture. Perfect for roast turkey or chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: turkey burgers, crab cakes, chicken breast, lobster in butter sauce, cheese. Drink: 2019 - 2023 377770 13% D 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2019, Similkameen Valley, Okanagan, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada: Produced by Mt. Boucherie Winery, the fruit for the 2019 Pinot Gris is produced from the estate's Lazy River Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley. The wine is partially fermented on its skins giving it a pink grapefruit colour in the glass. Look for warm peach, melon, pink grapefruit and soft spicy aromas on the nose, lush, velvety and vibrant on the palate. Summer here I come! Pinot Gris food pairings: grilled pork tenderloin, veal schnitzel, grilled chicken breasts. Drink: 2020 - 2023 17864 13.6% M 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Closson Chase Grand Cuvee Chardonnay 2017, Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A voluptuous, full-bodied PEC Chardonnay and the flagship wine from this much-respected producer. Aromas of creme brulee, freshly baked bread and golden apple. Pair with lobster in melted butter. Drink: 2020 - 2030 13.3% D 750 mL $95.00 Score: 94/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Josef Chromy Pepik Chardonnay 2019, Tasmania, Australia: Pepik is the nickname for Josef in Czech. As an adjective it also means approachable and easy-going, presumably for both Josef and his wine. An unoaked Chardonnay rich and concentrated with ripe peach, apple and citrus zest flavours creamy on the palate from lees ageing. Pair with grilled shellfish dishes. Chardonnay food pairings: chicken Kiev bites in white sauce, chicken onion mini quiches. Drink: 2020 - 2023 378240 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 91/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Louis Latour Bourgogne Chardonnay 2018, Burgundy Ac, France: A crisp, elegant Burgundian Chardonnay with aromas of green apple and lime zest. Medium-bodied with a refreshing finish. Juicy, mouth-watering acidity for seafood and shellfish. Drink: 2019 - 2024 55533 13% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

PondView Estate Winery Bella Terra Chardonnay 2017, Four Mile Creek, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The 2017 vintage of the Pondview Estate Winery Chardonnay is barrel fermented for 22 months. Aromas of golden apple, crème fraiche and toasty oak. Rich texture with a great finish. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2024 347922 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Henry of Pelham Chardonnay 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A full-bodied, luscious Niagara Chardonnay with attractive aromas of toasted almond, green apple and freshly baked bread. Balanced. Well-priced. Perfect for lobster in melted butter. Chardonnay food pairings: cream-based pasta dishes, poached trout, spring vegetables like sweet peas and fiddleheads. Drink: 2020 - 2024 291211 13% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Small Talk Vineyards RSVP Pinot Gris 2016, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The 2016 Small Talk “RSVP” Pinot Gris offers aromas of white melon and lime. Pair with fresh seafood or goat cheese. Small Talk Vineyards was established by the Hunse family in 1989 as Stonechurch Vineyards and has been family-owned ever since. In 2012, the name was changed to Small Talk Vineyards. They’ve also launched Shiny Apple Cider, an Ontario Craft Cider. The winery offers lots of events, including Baby Goat Yoga run by a local instructor, but mostly by the baby goats who like to climb on to you because they are super social animals and very good climbers. Drink: 2020 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cloudfall Chardonnay 2016, Monterey County, California, United States: A lovely Californian Chardonnay - nicely balanced with attractive aromas of green apple and smoke. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled pork chops, roast chicken, duck confit with small roasted potatoes. Drink: 2018 - 2022 629113 13.8% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Malivoire Chardonnay 2017, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, almost full-bodied Niagara Chardonnay with toasted nuts and white peach. Very typical cool climate Chard. Golden apple, toffee and smoke on the finish. Perfect for roast turkey or chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: pork, poultry, white fish or shellfish.. Drink: 2019 - 2021 573147 12.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay 2017, Sonoma County, California, United States: A luscious, full-bodied Californian white wine made from the classic Chardonnay grape. The vines grow in the cool climate of Sonoma County. Aromas of vanilla spice, toffee, butterscotch, Granny Smith apples and peach. Pair with roast turkey or chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled calamari, roast chicken, buttered lobster rolls. Drink: 2018 - 2023 34777 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 91/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château des Charmes Cuvée Michèle Aligoté 2018, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The 2018 Aligoté, Cuvee Michele is estate grown and bottled. Aligoté is one of two white wine grapes from Burgundy, the other being Chardonnay. This fresh, crisp white wine offers aromas of lime and white melon. Pair with fresh seafood. Aligoté food pairings: rice dishes, crab-cakes, chicken skewers. Drink: 2020 - 2022 296848 13% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lakeview Cellars Viognier 2018, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: A lovely, floral Niagara white wine made from the Viognier grape sourced from the Werner Vineyard. Aromas of peach and lime blossom. So pretty! Pair with seafood. Viognier food pairings: grilled chicken with pineapple salsa, butternut squash risotto, creamy curries. Drink: 2020 - 2022 646307 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. August 2020. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lakeview Cellars Morgan Vineyard Kerner 2018, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The 2018 Lakeview Cellars Kerner comes from fruit grown in the tiny 5-acre Morgan Vineyard and is a very limited production wine. The German Kerner grape is a cross of Riesling and Trollinger grapes. Look for notes pineapple and lychee. Pair this wine with shellfish. Kerner food pairings: pasta and a white wine cream sauce, fresh steamed shellfish, grilled chicken. Drink: 2020 - 2022 443614 12% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lakeview Wine Co. Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada: The 2018 Serenity Sauvignon Blanc is clean and crisp with notes of lemongrass and lime. Some nervy acidity makes it a great companion to seafood. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: summer salads, goat's cheese, creamy herb risotto. Drink: 2020 - 2021 688549 12.5% D 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. August 2020. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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