Baron Widmann Vernatsch Südtiroler DOC 2015

Processed with Snapseed.

Look at that gem-like colour!

Estate: Baron Widmann is a family winery comprised of multiple farms, or estate vineyards in the village of Kurtatsch in Alto Adige [Südtiroler], northern Italy. Founded in 1783 by Johann Mathias von Kager, the estate retains the original home built in 1708, under which is the cellar, still used today. The family has been making wine at the estate since 1824. The vineyards are located on steep hills south of the village.

Philosophy: “For generations, we have devoted ourselves above all to the cultivation of wine.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the “Nockerisch” vineyard. Fermented in stainless steel with a second fermentation and aging in oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Transparent rose-red in colour with abundant aromas of strawberry, rose petal and a whisper of vanilla bean. Simple and pure with vivid strawberry, rose petal and cherry flavours dusted with a grind of black peppercorn. Angular acidity and dry tannins are the perfect foil to the floral and fruit notes. Finishing clean and fruity, this is a gorgeous, serene sip that makes a fantastic companion to a wide variety of dishes.

*A good sommelier makes all the difference, no matter your wine intensity or scope. I relayed to the sommelier the types of italian wines I’m passionate about, and what flavor profile I was looking for. This is the bottle he brought out, so fresh it had not even made it to the wine list yet!

100% Vernatsch [Schiava]
Südtiroler DOC
Bottled by Andreas Widmann
12.5% Alcohol
$16 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Processed with Snapseed.

A better look at the label, it was impossible to capture the colour and label together.

Pillitteri Estates Winery Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2014


Estate: Committed to creating a legacy for the generations to follow him, 3rd generation wine grower Gary Pillitteri founded the Pillitteri Winery in 1993. Gary began working in the vineyards alongside his grandfather and father in his native Sicily, and carried his passion for viticulture to Canada. Initially he and his wife grew fruits and vegetables on the estate, but in 1998 Gary decided to experiment with making a small batch of Vidal Icewine. Upon winning a gold medal right out of the starting gate, Gary decided to plant vines and open a winery. Today there are just over 100 acres of vineyards, and Gary’s grandchildren [who grew up working in the vineyards] are managing the export side of the winery, establishing themselves as the 5th generation of the Pillitteri winemaking family. Alongside their renowned Icewine, [which is currently receiving many accolades in the UK] the estate also crafts traditional Niagara wines such as Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Winemaking: The Gewurztraminer and Riesling blend is part of the Carretto line, which is the “table wine” range of Pillitteri. “The wines under this series are versatile enough to be consumed now or can be aged to enjoy in the coming years.” The label depicts a carretto, a colorful, horse or donkey drawn cart native to Sicily and represents an actual “cherished heirloom” of the Pillitteri family.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of honeysuckle, lemon and hints of petrol. Bright peach, lemon and pink grapefruit flavours are buoyed by zippy acidity and hints of fresh mint. Honey, a bit of spice and polished granite minerals comprise the refreshing, dry finish. Fantastic on its own or with a wide range of dishes.

Blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling [I could not verify varietal percentages, however past vintages have been a roughly 50/50 blend.]
Niagara on the Lake VQA
12% Alcohol
$13 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2017

Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno Cannubi Barolo DOCG Riserva 2008

Estate: For 5 generations the Borgogno family has been producing wine in the heart of the Cannubi area of Piedmont in northern Italy. The family has a total of 3 hectares of vineyards on the famed Cannubi hill. Today sisters Anna and Paola Borgogno are in the process of handing the reins over to daughters Emanuela and Federica.

Cannubi is the oldest single vineyard, most historical cru within the commune of Barolo [there is a bottle of Cannubi 1752 in a museum]. A hill of vineyards, there are only 5 parcels total. Cannubi wines are renowned for their elegance and finesse, specifically their floral notes. Although incredibly age worthy [20 years +] they can also be enjoyed earlier on, typically beginning at around 6 years old.

Philosophy: Believing that wine is a reflection of the earth from which it comes, the family  “grows our grapes with love, protecting our ancient craft, the one of wine-making, based on deep roots, handed down from generation to generation”.

Winemaking: Vineyard soil is a mix of fine sand and limestone. Aged for 5 years in large Slavonian oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Maroon with brick edges in colour. Significantly aromatic with aromas of sweet dark fruit, tar, leather, anise, spice and dark chocolate. Cherry jam, raisin and floral layers are laced with wisps of smoke and joined by harmonizing acidity in the full body. Backed by substantial yet silky tannins, an herbaceous undercurrent runs thru, fusing into menthol hints that compliment the elongated, plush fruity finish.

100% Nebbiolo
Cannubi Barolo DOCG
Estate Bottled by Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2030
bottle N. 8208

Rated 95 points by Wine Enthusiast
Rated 91 points by Wine Advocate

Domaine Font-Mars ‘Clémence’ Rosé Pays d’Oc 2015

Processed with Snapseed.

Estate: Jean-Baptiste de Clock preserves and continues on with his family’s winemaking traditions that began all the way back in 1679. Domaine Font-Mars is located in the Languedoc region of southern France. The limestone clay soils of the vineyards are known for their fossilized dinosaur eggs: “The dinosaurs, did not set on their eggs, but hid them in river-banks, and incubated them in heaps of fermenting vegetation, which gave off the required heat. It is in respect to this touching past, that we name property of FONT-MARS, the soil of dinosaurs.”

Winemaking: The 55 hectares of vineyards are sustainably farmed. The Syrah grapes are grown in vineyards with clay and chalk soils.

Tasting Notes: Super pale coral in colour with aromas of pink grapefruit and chalky minerals. Straightforward and pure with tart, wild raspberry and chalky minerals melding into a cleansing grapefruit finish. An edgy, tart gal that makes your mouth pucker.

100% Syrah
Pays d’Oc IGP
Bottled by GFA Font-Mars
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2017

Château des Charmes ‘Generation Seven’ Red 2011

Processed with Snapseed.

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.

The Generation Seven range of wines “celebrate family, friends and the connections we create while sharing delicious food and wine. Seven generations of our family have been born into our way of life. So we have enjoyed many meals with a bottle or two of good wine”. The line also represents an “ecological concept that urges the current generation to live sustainably and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future”.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of black cherry and crushed black peppercorn. Silky black cherry and red currant flavours are draped over a peppery-spiced core. Hints of vanilla and toasted oak comprise the dry finish. Easy drinking and super versatile, your glass will empty will swiftly.

Pairing Suggestions From the Winery: You could sip this wine while making dinner. Better yet, enjoy it with a hearty homemade lasagna or a wild mushroom risotto.

Blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir “and a hint of Merlot”
Niagara-on-the-Lake VQA
Estate Bottled
13% Alcohol
$13 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now