Would You Like Nice Bubble and More for Christmas?

Today is one of my favourite times of the year. The last Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) trade wine tasting typically has a lot of sparkling wine and other wines to taste in preparation for the Christmas season. I spent half of my time exclusively trying sparkling wines, and the other half of my time on white and red still wines. There was so much sparkling wine, that I could have easily spent my entire time tasting these wines.

As usual, I would like to pass along those wines that were very good in my opinion, so that you can purchase them either at a government or a private liquor store. Some are at a very good price (sub $20).

Recommended sparkling wines:
Pierre Paillard Grand Cru NV Brut (France). A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This wine is light peachy pink in colour. Bread and cherry aromas. Light small bubbles with lemon, cherry and apple flavours. Bready, citrus finish. Very nice.

Codorniu Classico Brut NV (Spain) $13.99. Pale lemon in colour. Lemon, yeast and slight petrol aroma. Fine bubble. Off dry with crisp acidity. Lemon and apple flavours. Medium length.

Hungaria Grande Cuvee Brut (Hungary) on sale $12.95 during Dec 2010. This is a very easy drinking sparkling wine from Hungary. Pale lemon in colour. Lychee, crisp apple nose. Light bubble with medium length. Apple and lemon flavours with a herbal finish.

J.G. Carrion Cristalino Cava Rosado Brut (Spain) on sale till Jan 2, 2011, $13.99. A mix of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Trepeat. Pale cherry colour with a light cherry nose. Cherry and raspberry flavours. Small bubble. Dry with a cherry finish.

Perle d’Aurore Cremant de Bourgogne Rose NV (France) $on sale till Feb 27, 2011, $23.95. Light salmon colour in the glass. Strawberry aroma. Strawberry and cherry flavour. Small, aggressive bubble in our mouth. Off dry. Very good.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne NV (France) $59.99. Bread and citrus on the nose. Very fine, small bubble. Dry on the palate. Lemon, oak, and almond flavour. Long finish. A very elegant Champagne.

Recommended white wines:
Teira Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley 2009 (California). This is a small production organic wine producer. If you tasted this wine, you would not guess that it is a Sauvignon Blanc. You might guess Pinot Gris. This wine is medium lemon in colour. Peachy, lychee, and flowery aromas. Light to medium body, medium acidity with apple and some herbal flavour. Round mouth feel.

Kooyong Estate Chardonnay 2006 (Australia) $49.99. Light lemon colour. Oak, vanilla, butter and citrus on the nose. Round mouth feel. Apple, citrus and oak flavours. Medium body.

Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2007 (California) $34.95. Light lemon with a green tinge colour. Light lemon, apple, and flowers on the nose. Round mouth feel with cinnamon flavour up front. Medium body. Apple and lemon flavours. Long length.

Recommended red wines:
Velletri Riserva 2004 (Italy), on sale till Nov 27, 2010, $17.99. This is a red wine from the Sangiovese grape. This may have been my favourite wine of the tasting, and it is at a great price. Medium cherry colour. An interesting nose with pencil leads and red cherries. Medium body, round mouth feel with smooth tannins.

Chanson Pere Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2007 (France) $26.52. Light cherry in colour.  Light strawberry and red cherry aromas.  Strawberry, raspberry, cherry and vanilla flavours.  Light body with low tannins. Very nice.

Chateau de Ferrand St. Emilion Grand Cru AOC 2003 (France) $39.99. This is a red wine from the right bank in Bordeaux.  It is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Medium light garnet in colour. Nice vanilla, and red cherry nose.  Medium body with vanilla, ripe red fruit flavours.  The flavour builds in your mouth.  A wonderful wine.

Montresor Capitel della Crosara Appassimento IGT 2006 (Italy) $24.99.  This is a “ripasso” style wine, which is made by reserving wine made during the recent vintage then placing this wine on the pressed grape skins and lees in the vats used for Amarone and allowed to ferment further in contact with those skins, to acquire additional body and flavour. This wine was medium to dark garnet coloured in the glass.  Red cherry and vanilla on the nose.  Lots of fruit flavours on the palate, particularly raspberries and black cherry.  Medium body.

Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red 2006 (California) $19.99.  This is a fun red wine, made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Medium purple colour.  Nice cherry and raspberry nose.  Full body with raspberry and black cherry flavours.  Firm tannins but not overpowering.  Purple fruit and cherry on the finish.

There were many more wines to taste, and I’m sure I could have recommended more.  You may notice that there are no BC wines listed.  The IVSA tasting is for new vintages, and new wines being brought into the BC market.  There are plenty of very good BC wines, but none were being poured at this event.  So please enjoy the wines I’ve listed, but don’t forget BC wines.

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Bubbles for New Years eve 2010

We are on the precipice between the 2000’s and the 2010’s New Years. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the end of the first 10 years of 2000 with some Champagne or other sparkling wine? What fun things could you try? How about buying a vintage champagne, or other sparkling wine from the year 2000. It might be difficult and cost a bit more money but it would be memorable.

If you don’t have the time or money to hunt down one of the 2000 vintage bubbles, I have a few suggestions. The wines I list below, I’ve tasted and have tasting notes on http://www.MyWinePal.com under the Wine Reviews tab. The reviews are stored in a spreadsheet format which you can freely download and use to help you select bubbles and other wines. Please download and make use of my notes.

Some sparkling wines I enjoyed:

New Zealand Lindauer Brut Sparkling NV Biscuity and citrus aroma and flavours. The bubble was small and elegant.
Australia Banrock Station Sparkling Chardonnay NV Pale straw colour. It has pleasant acidity. There are flavours of peach, lime and melon.
Australia Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling NV Petrol and citrus nose. Good acidity, bright citrus flavour with lingering petrol. Medium length.
South Africa Graham Beck Sparkling -Brut Pinot Noir /
Chardonnay
NV Brillant golden colour and had honey, apple, biscuity aromas and flavours.
Italy Cantina Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry Prosecco NV Pale lemon in colour with a
tinge of green. Lemon and juicy orchard fruit on the nose. Orange, lemon, and rose petal flavours.
Italy Cantina Breganze Blanquette de Limoux
Demi-Sec
NV This is a semi-sweet, organic
sparkling wine. This one has a nice white flower nose. Bright lemony colour. Flowery, light spice, and orangy flavours. Nice.
Spain Codorniu Sparkling Brut Pinot Noir NV Light orangy pink in colour.
Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.
Hungary Hungaria Grand Cuvee NV Quite a deal for this sparkler.
Light lemon in colour, with lemon/lime aromas. Light bubble with lemon flavour.
France Cuillier Pere et Fils Brut Selection Pinot Noir / Chardonnay NV Fine bubble with green apple
and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!
South Africa Moreson Blanc de Blancs Brut Method
Cap Classic
Chardonnay NV It had a very fine bubble. Red
apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. It had a long finish. Nice.

If you are in the Vancouver, BC area, you should be able to get these wines (but not necessarily some of the exact vintages) at a BC Specialty liquor store, or some private wine stores like Everything Wine.

You may also want to celebrate the coming of 2010 with a BC sparkling wine. Here is a list of some sparkling BC wines from Everything Wine (you may be able to get these at BC liquor stores too):

Blue Mountain Gold Label Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $29.99
Charles Meunier Sparkling 750ml Sparkling $13.99
Gray Monk Odyssey Brut Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $26.99
Starling Lane ‘Celebration’ Brut 750 ml Sparkling $30.99

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for a sparkling wine for New Year’s Eve. FYI, I’ll probably be enjoying a bottle of Summerhill Cipes Brut N/V from the Okanagan. Cheers!