Posts Tagged ‘Blanc’

School starts tomorrow (22-Aug) and I begin my education into an Interior Design Degree @ DCTC. I continue to explore some of the Ontario vinos I have brought with me.

This is part two of a four-part series on some 2009 vintages and one 2008 vintage from a 118yo family-owned winery.  Started in 1893 outside Stuttgart Germany, Herr Konzelmann, a restauranteur and expert in food&wine produced his personal supply.  Four generations later and half the world away, great-grandson to Friedrich Konzelmann: Herbert, continues to produce exceptional wines on their Niagara Peninsula estate: Konzelmann Estates.

Golden yellow and rich-looking in the glass, a mild floral nose with a faint hint of (of all things!) cabbage, the palate is full yet soft.  Gala apple and ripe pear flavors carry through to a surprising buttery lift on a moderate finish.

Quite possibly the nicest semi-dry Ontario Pinot Blanc I’ve tasted in a very long time.  LCBO ~$12/btl.




**image credit – WineAlign. makes no claim to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

In the countryside northeast of Adelaide South Australia lies the Barossa Valley and the Peter Lehmann winery. This Barossa Blonde is part of the Art Series whose labels are created by local artists to represent the character of the wine within.

This Australian regional blend is a mix of Riesling, Chemin Blanc, Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc – most of which are grown in the Barossa Valley; the Sauv Blanc is from the Adelaide Hills.

Floral on the nose, this pale gold wine seems a little too zippy at first glance. The palate is juicy and tart with lime and granny smith apple. The refreshing finish is pleasing and clean, the initial zippiness actually helps the vino along.

I chose this vino to accompany a dinner of olive oil&sun-dried tomato marinated chicken breast pan-roasted with aromatics served with scented Basmati rice. YUM!

May still be in the new release section of the LCBO ~$13-14/btl.




**images credit – The Winery. makes no claim to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

So with the impression of the direct translation of the winery’s name (Grand Gaillard = Fine/Strapping Young Lad) an indicator of the tipple thereof, I chose this bottle to renew my faith in the grape known as Sauvignon Blanc.

“Why don’t you like Sauv Blanc?!”  I’m frequently asked.

“More often than not,” I reply. “It smells too much like cat’s pee!!!  Most of the Sauv Blancs I’ve tasted of late have all been overly uric on the nose, twangy mineral on the palate and the pervasive uric essence carrying thru to an off-putting finish.  THATs why I dislike Sauv blanc

“Can’t you try to taste beyond the scent of urea and get a better understanding of the essences within?  As “the vinoboy”, we’re counting on you to guide our palates and such…”

“Ok,” I acquiesce. “I’ll try just this once more. Sauv Bl. is a quintessential and classic white wine after all…”

I am so glad I did – I have nothing but thanks to my adoring fans for this re-review:

Indeed on the nose, the urea is prevalent though with this one, there’s some floral note to it that is kinda nice.  The palate is very citrus-forward, yes, but no definite true flavor to work with.  Finish is moderate reminding the taster there was a floral note at the beginning.  Not unpleasant but certainly not a showstopper.  LCBO ~$12/blt



Image credit – Google image search results.  No ownership is expressed or implied and is reproduced under fair use provisions for review and critique.

On a recent hunting expedition with a fellow vino enthusiast at my favorite LCBO, shopping list in hand; this new release from the Marlborough region of New Zealand was totally in my sights!  You all know I adore New Zealand wine, I was very eager to uncor…er…un-screw the cap.

Of the viticultural regions of New Zealand, Marlborough is probably the most well-known.  Some areas are mass-production whereas most are still using basic yet modern production techniques to best capture the terroir and varietal characteristics.

A nose of pure passion fruit that carries through the palate to a juicy finish, a hint of mineral and a bounce of spritzy excitement, not at all what I was expecting from a NZ Sauv Blanc.

At first, I felt the ker-pow of sweetness was a definite drawback, but the balance of acidity and slightly herbal note made for a gorgeous sipper to finish and cool our palates after a savory dinner of Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.

This will be the best Summer patio wine for 2011 – I guarantee!  Drink now through 2013 for ~$16/blt




**images credit – the winery – republished under fair use provision for review and critique.

1930 – 2010.  Celebrating 80 years, they’ve made a lot of it, sold a lot of it and made lots of money.

Back in its heyday of the 1970’s and 80’s, Baron Philippe de Rothschild was THE wine to drink with your table-side service at the finest restaurants.  It tasted like nothing else on the market at the time and even though you might not have liked it back then you still drank it because you were seen as a certified wine snob drinking ACTUAL France-french wine! WootWoot!!

I’ve been debating now for a few weeks reviewing this vino as its a very well-known winemaker, well-priced to make it accessible and everyone has tried it.  This is one of the drawbacks to a real French wine in the ~$9-$14 price range.

As with its red counterpart, this Bordeaux Blanc is a regionally-named blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon,  and Muscadelle.  In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

The nose is obviously lemon with unripened melon-y notes. A characteristic spritzy sensation dominates the forward palate while herbaceous grassy flavors, twangs of lychee and mineral round out the palate.  The finish is short and easy-going but leans very much towards boring.

Admittedly, this IS one of Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s more junior brands, but come on! Really? To say this stuff is only barely borderline drinkable is to be overly kind.  With all the competition and product knowledge in today’s marketplace, this wine is a let-down on a Bordeaux-sized scale.



**image credit – Google Image Search.

I’m not a huge consumer of South African wine.  I’ve only had one bottle, Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009,  in the last couple years and it was tasty enough to actually recommend.

Considered a ‘cool climate’ region, most of the Western Cape of South Africa has some form of viticulture.  The history behind this wine dates back to the late 1600s when, like in South America, French vineyard workers fled the country with rootstock that had been unaffected by The Blight to prevent hybridization with North American vines.  The Malan family has been refining their wine-making skills since then.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

At first, I thought this was a Pinot Grigio, the herbaceous scents of green grass and dandelion.  On sipping, I knew I had a Sauv Blanc by its crisp acidity, medium-light mouth-feel and flavors of tangy lime.  The finish turned slightly sour but not entirely unpleasant.

“Where’s this from?” I think to myself.  Aha! “New Zealand!” I proclaim.  “Nope! Try again.” the vino-friend laughs.   I taste carefully, rolling the wine over and around my tongue…  “Can’t be Australia, so I’ll say South Africa.”

Ok, so all things considered, I got the hemisphere correct, the variety correct after the second guess, so methinks I still need some practice blind-tasting.  Between the two of us over a game of Scrabble, we polished off this ~$13/btl bottle.

Not too bad at all.




**image credit – the winery.  published under Fair Use Provisions for review and critique

A new release in the Vintages Section of my local LCBO came up with this impulse purchase.  Before you rang on me for going Chilean even when I’ve said before I’m off Chile for a while, this is a Reserva AND its a new release.

Unsolicited and greatly appreciated, a friend and avid reader of this meager vinoblog sent me a gift card to the LCBO.  I will not disclose its amount but suffice to say, the next few reviews may definitely be on the higher side of the “Moderate” category.

A pale yellow in color, there are decent scents of lime, green apple and a little fresh-cut grass.  The immediate flavor is light, lively & tangy with pear, honeysuckle and limestone.  The finish is heightened by the under-layer of minerality, leaving the palate clean and ready for another sip.

Affordable at ~$13/btl at the moment, this Maule Valley offering is not a bad wine at all for a Chilean vino.  I had this with garlic-steamed Rock Cod and a mushroom rice.  Would be good with wine-steamed mussels or possibly buttery shrimp scampi.




**images credit – Google Images search results and grabbed the first decent bottle portrait i could find.  Republished under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

Recently, I had attended a wine party with a horizontal/vertical Sauvignon Blanc theme. (Horizontal? Vertical? What does that mean?! Find out in the next installment of my series entitled “Grape Gatherings”!!)  Our assignment was to find Sauvignon Blancs from strange places around the world bearing strange name; regardless of the vintage.  While the name of my vino may be little distasteful for some and roflmao to others, it is hardly an accurate description of this New Zealand offering…

Orange blossom and lemon candy present themselves nicely on the nose followed by a faint hint of diesel. Don’t be put off by the whiff of petrol though, it gives a remarkable structure to the body and carries through to the finish of this off-dry vino. The mouth-feel is light with a fine twinge of spritzich to play with the dry, crisp flavors of lemonade and freshly scythed straw.

On the more-than-ample buffet table, our host had prepared a Linguine with Grilled Shrimp. This turned out to be a perfect pairing to my Cat’s Pee.  The al dente pasta was tossed in melted butter, rosemary-infused olive oil and grilled shrimp. The zing of the rosemary heightened the herbaceous quality of the vino.  My favorite dish at the party and I got to take home the leftovers!

Cooper’s Creek Vineyard’s “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush” Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from New Zealand!  $13.00/btl @ LCBO




**image credit – Me! I took the picture with my own HP R818. You can see the flash on the shoulder of the bottle. Image was edited to remove background and resize for web posting.  Likeness and product © the winery, naturally. ~tvb

Six hours due south of the Calchagua Valley as the crow flies lies another cordilleran valley called San Javier. Directly descended from French migrants, the estate of the current Bouchon family produces a modest series of wines.

This very pale yellow Sauvignon Blanc has a nose of pineapple and urea. Its very light body carries a delicate spritzich on the tongue that gives the only hint of it actually being in my mouth.  In this vinoboy’s most humble opinion, there is no flavor to think of than to liken it to that gilded puddle left behind after a kitty who has just visited the litterbox. Though the label offers suggestions of lightly seasoned fish to linguine with clam sauce, I’m not sure I’d be willing to be that adventurous.

One hundred eleven years and still working on it.  They’ll get it eventually.