Gérard Bertrand ‘Gris Blanc’ Rosé Pays d’Oc 2016

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Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.”

Tasting Notes: Palest coral in colour with aromas of red berries, peach, a twist of lemon and clean minerality. Subtle red berry fruit fuses with fresh citrus acidity. Fruit and mineral notes linger on the dry finish. Refreshing and delicate, great on its own or with light, yet spiced dishes.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards located in the Tautavel area, between the Mediterranean Sea and Pyrenees mountains, 30 km north to Perpignan in the South of France area. Aged on the lees for several weeks before bottling.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Ideal as an aperitif, or with Mediterranean salads, Asian dishes [especially spicy ones] and seafood.

Enjoy at 10-12°C [50-54°F]

Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir [I could not locate varietal percentages.]
Pays d’Oc
France
Shipped and Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
12.5% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now

Château des Charmes ‘Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard’ Pinot Noir St. David’s Bench VQA 2014

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Estate: Paul Bosc, a fifth generation French winegrower who holds degrees in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, founded Château des Charmes in 1978. Paul brought his young family to the Niagara on the Lake region of Canada in the 1960’s “with the idea that growing our own grapes was the best way to make fine wine”. The estate consists of 280 acres of vineyards in four locations all within the Niagara-on-the-Lake region.

Paul established himself as a pioneer in the region, from planting traditional French varietals to employing cutting edge techniques such as installing wind machines to protect the vines from the cold. In addition to being recognized for their progressive, groundbreaking work with traditional French grapes and methods, their wines have garnered accolades for their balance, finesse and quality. Paul Sr still has an active role in the vineyards, his son Paul Jr is President of the estate, and Paul Jr’s wife Michèle is the Director of Marketing.

Philosophy: “We are custodians of the land.” Crafting wines that are “food friendly and age worthy. We hope you will call them delicious”.

Winemaking: Committed from the very beginning to sustainable practices, the family is a charter member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario. Chemical treatments are never used, and sustainable methods such as hedge vine canopies, and under drainage are utilized. Naturally occurring yeasts are used for the majority of the wines. All by-products from the winemaking process [stems, skins, seeds] are returned to the vineyards as natural fertilizer. Their extensive cellars are geothermal and do not require any heating or cooling, especially impressive considering how cold Canadian winters can be.

Grapes were sourced from estate vineyards in the St. David’s Bench sub-appellation, the appellation taking its name from the name of the Bosc’s vineyard [St. David’s Bench]. The vineyard is dedicated to single varietal bottlings. The area is unique for its limestone rich runoff water from the escarpment that contributes to the minerality found in all the wines that come from that vineyard.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour, very aromatic, with black cherry, black pepper, mushrooms, forest floor and hints of truffle radiating from the glass. A delightful cherry bomb, with all the cherries [red, black, sour] supported by silky tannins. Black pepper and forest floor return on the earthy, mineral driven finish. Lovely on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Pinot Noir
St. David’s Bench VQA
Canada
13% Alcohol
$36 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Flaco Tempranillo 2015

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Winery: Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata founded Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico in 2002 with the goal of preserving and uniting the extensive winemaking heritage of their two families. Currently they produce wine from 18 different appellations within Spain.

Philosophy: To “handcraft “elaborar” wines that express the identity of the place where they come from”.

Winemaking: The grapes were sourced from organically grown, dry-farmed vineyards with clay soil. Aged in stainless steel and cement, preserving fruit purity.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, white pepper along with a floral trace. Cherry, plum, red currant, a hint of liqurice, and earth culminate in a super spicy, dry finish. Simple and pleasant, versatile at the table, consistently a fantastic value.

100% Tempranillo
Vinos de Madrid
Spain
Bottled by Bottled by N.R.E. 28/40.527 for Cia de Vinos del Atlantico
13.5% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now

Bortolomiol ‘Prior’ Brut Millesimato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore 2015 DOCG

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Estate: Documents dating back to 1760 record Bartolomeo Bortolomiol growing grapes in the hills of Valdobbiadene. He passed his love of the land and passion for viticulture to his son, Giuliano Bortolomiol, who founded the Bortolomiol estate in the 1940’s. [For more information on Giuliano’s groundbreaking work in the region, please click here.] Today it is Giuliano’s 4 daughters [Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa and Giuliana] who are following in their father and grandfather’s footsteps, and also establishing their own winemaking identity.

With a proudly female perspective, they have a focus of preserving the earth, or “territorial awareness”. In addition to using organic and sustainable practices in both the vineyard and the cellar, they are at the forefront of green initiatives in the area. They have partnered with Indaco2, a spin-off company of the University of Siena that specializes in “monitoring production chains through environmental sustainability indicators”. With the preservation of 3 hectares of woods, they can fully compensate the CO2 emissions generated through the production of 2 of their wines. Ultimately, the goal is for the entire winery to be completely sustainable with a zero carbon neutral footprint. Additionally, they support international humanitarian projects, such as the Benin project in Africa, a program which provide women with the tools to become entrepreneurs.

‘Prior’ received its name as being the first Prosecco crafted in the Brut style, thanks to the pioneering Giuliano Bortolomiol.

Philosophy: “A commitment that we undertake every day with a view to leaving the territory cleaner and greener for future generations.”

Tasting Notes: Pale lemon in colour with aromas of apple, orange blossom and lightly buttered toast. Delicate apple and pear with a squeeze of citrus swell in the dry, light, fizzy body. Good acidity compliments fresh buttery bread notes that lingers between each sip. Well balanced, fresh and lively, it’s easy to see why this consistently is an award-winning sparkler recognized for its pure expression and superb value.

100% Glera
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut DOCG
Italy
Produced by Bortolomiol SPA
$14 [average price]
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Vigneti Massa ‘Terra Sic Est’ Rosé 2016

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Estate: Walter Massa is one of the most in demand, pioneering winemakers of the moment. Working with indigenous grapes in the village of Monleale in the southeast corner of Piedmont, Walter is known as the “Maestro of Timorasso” after rescuing the native grape from near extinction. Focusing on native grapes [Croatina, Barbera, Freisa, Nebbiolo] he farms his 22 hectares of 8 distinctive vineyards using organic and sustainable methods.

The name ‘Terra Sic Est’ has its roots in the Latin phrase ‘Sic Est’, which can be translated as ‘that’s how it goes,’ or ‘what you see is what you get’. Walter is a fan of motorcycles; therefore ‘Sic’ can also be used to pay respect to the late, renowned professional motorcycle racer Marco Simoncelli [nicknamed Sic], who was in a fatal motorcycle accident in 2011.

Winemaking: Grapes were hand harvested from vineyards with calcerous and clay soils. The two grape varietals were vinified together, fermented and aged in stainless steel. Only native yeasts are used.

Tasting Notes: Transparent ruby red in colour with aromas of fresh raspberry and clean minerals. Vivid raspberry, cherry, strawberry and a slice of red apple are wrapped in silky tannins. A hint of herbs and clean minerality compliment the fruity finish. Drinking more like a light red than Rosé, this is versatile at the table and so incredibly easy drinking, consistently one of my favourite Rosés.

Blend of Barbera and Freisa [I was not able to locate varietal percentages.]
Italy
Estate Bottled by the Producer Massa
12.5% Alcohol
$18
Enjoy now