Wine, Wine Reviews

Wine writers’ circle of Canada annual fortified and sparkling wine tasting

sparkling wines
sparkling wines

Traditionally, Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada’s management organizes a tasting of fortified wines before Christmas in order to recommend the most appealing brands.

This year, a few sparkling wines were made available including Ontario brands.
This province is now producing more and better sparkling wines than in the past.

Here is a list of the wines I recommend.

Sparkling wines

Brut Reserve Charles Heidsieck, Champagne, France
Deep golden colour. Delicate, vivacious long lasting mousse. The wine is complex, medium weight with notes of freshly baked brioche, roasted coffee banes. Harmonious with a long and satisfying finish.
88/100
$ 69.95

Cuvee Rose brut, 13th Street Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Light red with brownish tinges. Aromas of strawberries dominate. In the mouth, the wine tastes complex and rich.
87+/100
$ 24.95

Joy, Featherstone, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Light yellow with greenish nuances. Light, beautiful effervescence, clean, fruity, and deliciously off-dry.
87/100
$ 34.95

Balance Brut Sparkling Wine, 2012, Niagara College Wine School, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, this rose stands out with lively effervescence. The mouth feel is light, refreshing and pleasant.
87+/100
no price provided

Rose Sauvage, Piper-Heidsieck, Champagne, France
Light, elegant and refined. Long lasting mousse, floral/fruity aromas.
87/100
No price

Fortified wines

Tio Pepe, Gonzalez Byass, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
This dry perennial sherry weighing in with 15 per cent ABV offers typical sherry flavours. It can complement pan-fried tuna, baked or grilled salmon, semi hard cheeses, deep fried calamari, assorted cold plates, and even chicken cooked in cream sauce.
Serve chilled as an aperitif.
88/100
$ 16.95

Nutty Solera Medium, Gonzalez Byass, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Brilliant brown. Aromas of roasted almonds and cashew nuts. Mild and viscous mouth feel. Elegant and refined with a long aftertaste.
88/100
$ 15.25

Ruby Port, Pocas, Douro Valley, Portugal
Intense ripe fruit aromas dominate the nose. The mouth feel is fresh
and rich. Persistent finish.
89/100
$ 15.95

Finest Reseve Port Bin 27, Fonseca, Douro Valley, Portugal
Voluptuous, heart-warming, sweet, balanced, flavourful port ready to enjoy with unsalted nuts, hard cheeses or on its own after a rich meal.
Serve slightly chilled at 14 – 16 C.
88/100
$ 16.95

10 year Old Tawny Porto, Taylor-Flatgate, Douro Valley, Portugal
Intense amber colour. This tawny offers elegant apricot aromas, delicate wood notes and seductive flavours of ripe berries. Intense and with a long finish.
89/100
$ 34.95

20 year Old Tawny Porto, Taylor-Fladgate, Douro Valley, Portugal
Intense amber, tawny colour. Smells of nuts, fruit jams, with spicy undertones. Voluptuous and opulent mouth feel. Long aftertaste.
90/100
$ 68.95

LBV 2010, Taylor-Fladgate, Douro Valley, Portugal
Intense purple colour. Pungent, aromatic blackberry aromas, along with dark cherry and plums. The mouth feel is rounded, smooth and expertly balanced. Well structured with firm tannins. The finish is wonderfully long.
88/100
$ 17.95

10 year Old Tawny Port, Graham, Douro Valley, Portugal
Tawny colour. Nutty aromas combined with hints of honey and figs. Rich mature stone fruit aromas. Mellow and luscious finish.
88/100
$ 28.95

20-Year-Old Tawny Port, Graham, Douro Valley, Portugal
Amber golden tawny colour. Characteristic bouquet of mature fruits with hints of orange peel. Rich, well balanced, elegant and refined.
88+/100
500 ml $ 37.95

LBV 2009, Graham, Douro valley, Portugal
Intense deep dark red. Red fruit and eucalyptus aromas waft out of
the glass. In the mouth expect schistose minerality from the soil, and deep intense fruit flavours.
Pair with up to 70 per cent cocoa containing chocolates, or mature hard cheeses.
88/100
$ 16.95

Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port, 2012, Fonseca, Douro Valley, Portugal
Created specially for early drinking by David Guimaraens, the head wine maker of Fonseca.
Deep ruby colour. Impressive depth, and intense fruit aromas. Dark fruit flavours dominate the palate. Long afetrtaste.
89/100
375 ml. $ 81.95

Dessert wine

Pantelleria Passito Liquoroso, Pellegrino, Island of Pantelleria, Italy
Yellow with amber reflections. Intense and persistent hints of apricot jam and acacia honey.
Harmonious, sweet with balancing acidity. Pair with fruit pastries, hard cheeses, dried stone fruits, or dip biscotti into the wine, and enjoy this delightful wine.
Serve at 12 – 14 C.
88/100
$ 21.45

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