Nicholas Pearce presents eight new wines on the shelves at Vintages.
A to Z Wine Works Pinot Gris, AVA Oregon USA 2015 – $19.95
—VINTAGES#: 258145 | 750 mL bottle
90 Points Wine Enthusiast
The price of this all-occasion white wine keeps creeping up (not in Ontario), but the quality stays high, even as production levels push toward six figures. It’s lightly spritzy, pale lemon in color, and tastes remarkably like grapefruit, with a gentle dusting of sugar. As fresh as can be, it should be drunk slightly chilled, paired with something like chicken breasts in a citrus sauce. Best Buy. Score – 90. (Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast, Dec. 1, 2016)
Offers beautiful floral aromas reminiscent of jasmine, elderflower and white roses along with complex fruit notes of nectarine, melon, pear, yellow plums and yellow apples, lemon, lime, even grapefruit zest and a touch of guava, clover honey and handmade marshmallows. The wine is lush and layered on the palate structured with moderate acidity and alcohol. The finish is layered and fresh, with a lingering pear and spice note.
Cirro Pinot Noir, Marlborough NZ 2013 – $26.95
—VINTAGES#: 493122 | 750 mL bottle
Richly imposing, the palate soars with ripe raspberry, juicy cherry and a smattering of plump, brooding dark berries. Lifted with a light floral undertone and a pleasing mineral streak, this is weighty and expansive Pinot. Score – Silver Medal. (Judging panel, Decanter Asia Wine Awards, 2015) 90 Points Sara D’Amato Winealign.com
A compelling pinot noir with a great deal of substance but devoid of excessive weight. There is a sanguine character to the palate which offers additional notes of iron, dried leaf, a melange of cherries and and tilled earth. Excellent length with an undulating progression of flavours on the palate. Compelling and with above avearage complexity. A unique style for Marlborough. Tasted September 2017.
Heirloom Vineyards Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – $22.95
—VINTAGES#: 493577 | 750 mL bottle
Coonawarra’s most distinctive, well-known attribute is its red soil: the famous terra rossa. The Cabernet produced in this soil is considered to be among the world’s classic expressions. This example is youthful, with complex notes of wild blackberry, cassis, plum, cocoa, spice and a distinct, characterful mint note. Super concentrated, pure and impressive. (Vintages panel, Sept. 2016)
This Heirloom Vineyards Cabernet was produced from a remarkable Coonawarra Cabernet Vineyard whose clones and viticulture embody the very best in cutting edge but old school viticulture and winemaking. Hand tended vines, sorted bunch-by-bunch, naturally open fermented, basket pressed and stored in French oak barriques from bespoke coopers. The colour is remarkably vibrant, a bright crimson purple that reflects the 2 years in oak. A core darkness indicates the wine’s ripeness and concentration. An extraordinary Single Vineyard Cabernet from Coonawarra that will cellar well but is so deliciously perfect now any argument for delayed gratification is perhaps academic.
Roche de Bellene Vieilles Vignes Meursault 1999 – $114.95
—VINTAGES#: 241091 | 750 mL bottle
Here’s a rare opportunity to acquire mature, old-vine Meursault lovingly curated by Nicolas Potel of Roche de Bellene. The wine comes from sustainably farmed vines in Meursault that are 48-62 years old. Drink now through 2030.
Sommeliers Tips for enjoying Meursault: Its aromatic power and exceptional balance between fat and acidity make it an aristocrat among burgundies. Unsurprisingly, it has a natural affinity with noble and fine-textured fish or meat, which it can match without overpowering. It performs a similar feat with joints of veal or poultry in white sauce, which are rendered sublime by the wine’s unctuous texture and long, distinguished acidity. Still better are grilled lobster, crawfish, or king prawns in sauce – dishes whose aromatic intensity and crisp texture match the lively and supple balance of the wine. Even blue cheeses and foie gras take to it immediately.
Domaine Le Grand Retour Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2015
VINTAGES#: 224592 | 750 mL bottle
The 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu Château Le Grand Retour is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that still aging in a mix of concrete tanks and foudres. It’s a solid, medium-bodied, nicely concentrated effort that reveal classic notes of peppery herbs, black raspberries, plums and a touch of flowers. It should drink nicely for 5-6 years. Score – 87-89. (Jeb Dunnuck, robertparker.com, Oct. 28, 2016)
The connection between Plan de Dieu (Plan Dei) and viticulture is first mentioned in a parchment dating from 1362, an agreement between the inhabitants of Camaret and Travaillan defining pasturage and wine-growing areas. The Plan de Dieu vineyards developed considerably in the Middle Ages, with the encouragement of the various religious communities established there. In 2005, the wines were granted Côtes du Rhône Villages status, the appellation applying only to still reds.
Woodside Park Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills – Australia 2016 – $21.95
—VINTAGES#: 478289 | 750 mL bottle
Grown in the cool-climate Adelaide Hills, this Pinot is wild-fermented in French oak. It offers notions of fresh cherry, raspberry, strawberry, rosehip and baking spices. There’s nice structure here, and good length. Impressive value. (Vintages panel, Sept. 2016)
A rush of the juiciest Adelaide Hills pinot noir red fruit plays from the Woodside Park, a wine of breeze and potentially, so many memories. There is an early note of understanding, like a riff that reminds of childhood and in a way how wine knows how it will come to eventually be, even when its still so young. It’s this rustic, old world sensibility, with dried fruit, leathery to cedar forest feelings and a rustic cure. Drink 2017-2020. Tasted August 2017. – Winealign.com
A to Z Wineworks Chardonnay, Oregon, USA 2015 – $22.95
VINTAGES#: 269258 | 750 mL bottle
A to Z Wineworks was started in 2002 by four friends, Oregon wine industry veterans Deb Hatcher (Eyrie), Bill Hatcher (Domaine Drouhin Oregon), Sam Tannahill (Archery Summit) and Cheryl Francis (Chehalem). This unoaked Chardonnay serves up tart apple, pear and melon with a robust mouthfeel. Pair with fresh crab and prawn linguine or a chicken and spring vegetable terrine. (Vintages panel, Feb. 2017)
This here is classic unoaked Oregon chardonnay; salty, sous terra river mineral and gripped by green apple bites. It really is chardonnay essence Oregon style, not particular from any one pinpointed terroir but a righteous and proper broad brushstroke of overall place. Drink 2017-2019. Tasted August 2017. – Michael Godel. WineAlign.com
Schild Estate Grenache/Mourvèdre/Shiraz 2014 Barossa Valley, Australia – $19.95
VINTAGES#: 108183 | 750 mL bottle
93 points Australian Wine Companion
It’s important to get the temper right of these blends and this one does. It’s not too sweet, not over-oaked, not too alcoholic. And yet it’s ripe and earthen and well-fruited. It flows, it’s succulent, it’s not simple, and it drinks like a charm. Drink By: 2022. Special Value. Score – 93. (Campbell Mattinson, winecompanion.com.au, March 1, 2017)
Since 1952, the Schild family have lived and worked in the Southern Barossa, growing grapes and creating wines with authenticity and passion, from real Barossa earth, in a place they call home. 2016 marks another milestone in Schild’s history, the launch of their Canadian wine club. WineCollective is excited to announce that you now have the opportunity to experience the Barossa Valley without leaving home. Visit SchildEstate.ca to learn more!
Nicholas Pearce Wines is a Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.