THE LOW DOWN: A very good release, and most of my selections are in the $15.95 range. Seize this opportunity to experience wines not generally available ““ the whites in particular. My four Italian picks are exciting and delightful drinks that bring something new to the market. Wine styles that are less showy than Chard or Sauv and certainly more versatile. Try having ALL FOUR over a weekend. A South African Chenin and a local dry Riesling make it half a dozen excellent whites.
Rosé lovers will be delighted to see the return of Mas des Bressades and Codorniu’s Rosé sparkler. Both amazing values.
Rivera’s red offers something different from Puglia as does my super-rich red from Penedes in Spain. Fans of thraditional reds will enjoy the Bordeaux and Sassella.
Get out this Saturday!
Style: Fresh Sparkling
CODORNIU Pinot Noir Brut Cava, Spain 665372 $16.95
Here’s the perfect summer aperitif/party starter. Tart and super-refreshing, mildly flavoured and lighthearted. An invitation to put more sparkling in your life. Especially Rosé.
PELLER ESTATES 07 Riesling “˜Private Reserve’, VQA Niagara 641969 $15.95
The mouth grabbing bite of Ontario Dry Riesling ““ as refreshing and pure as mountain snow. Wine to get the senses in gear and restore some energy on a hot day. Low alcohol for gulping. One of the few good local Rieslings from the 07 vintage.
Style: Fresh White
DUCA di QUADRI CATEMARIO 07 Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy 120782 $14.95
Classical Friuli P.G. ““ lean, refreshing with just a tease of fruit. Wonderful aperitif, patio lunch partner or anytime refresher. Not to be confused with the more commercial, easy drinking editions of this grape.
NAPA CELLARS 07 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California 127027 $19.95
The zesty, invigorating character of this grape with a hit of Californian niceness. Perfect. Chill, pour and be happy. A bottle to share with favourite neighbours.
MAN VINTERS 08 Chenin Blanc, South Africa 126847 $13.95
Pretty, semi-rich with yummy, honeyed flavours. A streak of tartness provides liveliness. Shades of Viognier. Something delicious and different for summer sipping.
P.S. Chenin is South Africa’s workhorse grape that gets crafted in a huge variety of styles.
PALA 07 Nuragus “˜Salnico’, Sardinia, Italy 120998 $14.95
Something different and wonderful from a Sardinian grape called Nuragus. You get a hit of Sauvignon zest, Chardonnay creaminess and Pinot Grigio friendliness. How good is that! Makes me want to be at a Mediterranean café with a platter of seafood, but I’ll settle for anywhere with good company.
CANTINA SANTADI 07 Vermentino “˜Villa Solais’, Sardinia 121129 $15.95
Another Italian white that delivers many favourite things. Such as the mineral freshness of Chablis, the sexy aromatics of Moscato and the instant good cheer of something Californian. Too delicious for words. Get lots. Spicy chicken or pork would be a good food partner. Vermentino is another Sardinian white grape.
DUCA di CASTELMONTE 08 Zibibbo “˜Gibele’, Sicily, Italy 121103 $16.95
The gorgeous aromas and flavour of Muscat set in a tart, refreshing wine. Beauty and liveliness. Heavenly on a summer day. Patio sipper for sure ““ but on a sailboat would be even better. Zibibbo is the Sicilian name for Muscat of Alexandria.
CONTI SERTOLI SALIS 04 Sassella, Valtellina, Lombardy, Italy 119479 $28.95
Sassella tastes a lot like Barbaresco (and Burgundy) ““ tangy dry with a strong sense of the earth. A fall day in the country feeling. The perfect wine partner for a herb roasted chicken or mushroom risotto.
P.S. This was released in June but is still available.
KATNOOK 05 Shiraz “˜Founder’s Block, Coonawarra, Australia 108167 $17.95
Yes, an Aussie Shiraz in the rustic style. Gutsy and refreshing. Sure it’s kinda rich but mainly it’s about the invigorating qualities of traditional wines. For beef or lamb, but not the party room.
CH. AMPELIA 05 CÃ´tes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France 500330 $25.00
Bordeaux crafted in a modern rich style ““ while still retaining the traditional gutsy, earthy style. Loaded with personality and not afraid to challenge and invigorate the palate. Lovely pure expression of Bordeaux. A sure way to make your steak taste great. Mainly Merlot grapes.
RIVERA 06 Nero di Troia,”˜Violante’, Castel del Monte, Puglia, Italy 583435 $15.95
Bright flavours with lots vitality to accompany the richness. Shades of a Rhone with Italian gusto. Rivera is one of Puglia’s best producers ““ there is clarity not found in the other southern reds in this release.
Style: Dry Rosé
MAS des BRESSADES 08 Rosé “˜Cuvée Tradition’, Costieres de Nimes, France 950576 $13.95
Always the best deal in Rosé~ from the south of France. Creamy rich with delicious berry flavours and a ton of charm. High alcohol however, so be warned.
Style: Dry Rosé
STRATUS WINERY 07 Wildass Rosé, VQA Niagara 71712 $19.95
Rich, barrel-aged Rosé with some of the sexy feeling of Pinot. Most unusual ““ certainly a food Rosé. There’s a slight sweetness so I’m thinking BBQ’d chicken with a spicy/hot rub. Or lamb kebabs. Go wild.