Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC 2014

Estate: Wine production in the Carmignano region of northern Tuscany dates to around 1000 B.C. when the Etruscans inhabited the area. The Capezzana estate, located 20 km from Florence, on the slopes of Monte Albano and close to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, has been making wine for over 1200 years. A preserved rent contract now in the Florence Archives details the production of wine and olive oil specifically at Capezzana, dated 804 AD. Since the 1920’s, the Contini Bonacossi family have owned and run this celebrated, historical estate. Today, the estate consists of 670 hectares, of which approximately 100 are vineyards and 140 are olive groves. Barco Reale di Carmignano is the estate’s “everyday wine”, although grapes are from vineyards in historic Medici Royal lands, from the property “Barco Reale” or “Royal property” mentioned in Cosimo de Medici’s “Decreto Motu Proprio” in 1716 [where it takes its name from].

Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged in Allier barrels for 6 months, followed by at least 3 months in bottle prior to release.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry, strawberry, autumn woods and spice. Rich cherry and strawberry fuse with an undercurrent of sour cherry and woodsy spice. Smooth tannins and peppery spice highlight the dry, fruity finish. Well balanced and super versatile at the table.

Wine Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Wonderful with first courses, pastas and red and white meat entrees.

70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc
Carmignano DOC
Italy
Estate Bottled by Tenuta Capezzana S.R.L.
13.5% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now

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

bertrandgrisblanc16

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.”

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.

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.

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

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

Bortolomiol ‘Prior’ Brut Millesimato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore 2015 DOCG

bortolomiolprior

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.

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir ‘Tautavel’ Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2013

 

bertrandtautavel13

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.”

Tautavel is a village in the Roussillon region, located between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Grands Terroirs range of wines strive to present an “opportunity to discover the unique character of this region”.

The cross on the label is a Visigoth cross dating back to the 7th century, which evolved into the Languedoc Cross. For a detailed explanation of its iconography, click here.Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards with pebbly soils, on limestone-rich terraces and south-east facing hillsides. 33% of the wine is aged in barrels for 9 months, the remainder ages in vats.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of dark fruit, black pepper and a hint of forest floor. Pepper spice driven, with cherry and blackberry, herbs and leather notes framed by firm tannins. Tobacco and black pepper comprise the lengthy, dry finish. Rustic and robust, fantastic with hearty dishes.

Enjoy at 16°C [60°F]

Grenache, Syrah, Carignan [I could not locate varietal percentages.]
Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel
France
Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
14% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator