Marco de Bartoli ‘Sole e Vento’ Terre Siciliane IGP 2015

Estate: Marco De Bartoli was born into two of the largest Marsala-producing families [Pellegrino and Florio) of the time.  In 1978, following a successful career as a race car driver, Marco decided to revitilise the family vineyards and grow and vinify his own wines. The 20 hectare estate is close to the town of Marsala, at the westernmost tip of Sicily. In 1984 Marco acquired additional vines and a winery on the island of Pantelleria, closer to Tunisia than Italy. For snapshot into Marco’s life, click here.

Marco passed away in 2011 at the age of 66, his three children “carry the De Bartoli flag and his commitment to quality-driven, estate-grown wines that walk the line between old-fashioned and modern in the most graceful of ways”. They are committed to preserving and promoting indigenous grapes of Sicily, such as Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto and the red Pignatello [Perricone].

Winemaking: ‘Sole e Vento’ is a “tip of the hat to the two different sunny and windy islands from which it originates”, Sicily and Pantelleria. Grillo grapes are from 21 year old vines in sandy loam, level vineyards in Marsala, whilst Zibibbo hails from 29 year old vines in the volcanic, terraced slopes of Pantelleria. Organically farmed, hand harvested with only indigenous yeasts used in fermentation. Aged 7 months in stainless steel tanks, on its own lees.

Tasting Notes: Bright gold in colour with aromas of lemon, lake water and sea salt minerals. A sunny fusion of bright lemon and basil flavours, with grapefruit and saline minerals on the refreshing finish. Easy drinking, bright and unique, I was absolutely enamored with the herbaceous basil.

Blend of Zibibbo and Grillo [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Terre Siciliane IGP
Italy
Bottled by Società Agricola de Bartoli srl
11.5% Alcohol
$14
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Dionisos ‘La Bodega de las Estrellas’ Tempranillo 2015

Estate: Following over a decade of working with organic vines, 4th generation winemaker Dionisio de Nova García returned to his family vineyards in Castilla. He is a pioneering force in biodynamic and organic farming. His cosmic calendar and planetarium in the winery have earned the winery’s nickname “The Winery of the Stars”. For a deeper look into his star based farming, click here. The original cellar dating to the 19th century contains his renowned clay amphora, used for fermenting and ageing. Click here for details on the benefits and effects of clay in his winemaking.

Winemaking: Hand harvested grapes are fermented with wild yeasts, malolactic fermentation in clay amphorae with bâtonnage of its lees. Very low sulfites, unfiltered. Aged in old clay amphora.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of summer fresh berries. Loaded with fresh, sweet cherry, blackberry and raspberry, accented by pepper spice and earth hints. Good acidity keeps it refreshing, finishing clean and fruity. Fantastic on its own and super versatile at the table.

100% Tempranillo
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Spain
Estate Bottled by Dionisos Biológica S.L.
13.5% Alcohol
$46 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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Peter Lauer ‘Senior’ Fass 6 Riesling 2016

Estate: With its distinctive microclimate, the Saar region of the Mosel is regarded as one of the premium Riesling producing areas, and winemaker Florian Lauer is recognized as “one of the greatest winemakers in this sacred place”. Lauer’s vineyards are located on the hillsides of the Kupp, and it has been his life’s work to preserve his family’s old vines [up to 100 years in age]. For an in-depth look at Florian Lauer’s pioneering Riesling and estate history, click here.

Philosophy: Lauer’s goal is to craft “stylish wines with elegance, not too alcoholic but with depth and density”.

Winemaking: The estate is organic and adamantly utilizes spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts. Vineyard parcels are harvested separately and fermented with their own natural yeasts, allowing the vineyard’s character full expression. The word “fass” [barrel] seen on many of the labels, is an identifier of each wine and vineyard parcel. ‘Senior’ is considered by Lauer as “a village-level wine”, however it is a single vineyard wine with an average vine age of 70 years, sourced completely from the Ayler Kupp.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold with green hues in colour. Aromas of apple, honey and minerals abound. Sunny apple, honey, lemon and a trace of rosemary are underscored by bright acidity. A nuance of petrol accents fresh citrus and minerals on the clean finish. Well balanced and focused.

100% Riesling
Mosel
Germany
11.5% Alcohol
$29
Enjoy now thru 2026

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

chatcharmpn14

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

Vigneti Massa ‘Terra Sic Est’ Rosé 2016

massarose16

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
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