Every year, the executive of the Wine Writers’ Circle Of Canada organizes a sparkling wine tasting for the upcoming festive season.
This year, approximately 80 wines were presented, of which I tasted 70.
Of late, many Ontario wineries started producing sparkling wines using the traditional or classic method, others employ the Charmat method, which is faster and less expensive.
The quality of Ontario sparkling wines has improved so much that at least some can be compared to champagnes.
Buying sparkling wines now is prudent, as any beverage that contains carbon dioxide should be rested at least for a few weeks after transportation regardless of distance.
Cremant de Loire Chateau Gaudrelle, Loire, France
Composed of 50 per cent chenin blac, and 50 per cent chardonnay, this wine smells of apples. The effervescence is remarkably fine and light.
A Vintages offering
Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Reserve, Deliance et Fils, Burgundy, France
Dry, aromatic, refined and elegant. A pure-bred chardonnay sparkling produced using the Charmat methode.
Premium Cuvee, Featherstone, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
This small, quality oriented winery has been able to produce a brilliant sparkling wine that is fresh, light, aromatic, balanced and satisfying.
Blanc de Noirs, 2007, 13th Street Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
By all accounts a well-made sparkling wine displaying ripe fruit aromas, good weight, balance and refinement with small and millions of bubbles.
Tradition, Legras et Haas, Champagne, France
A shiny pale colour with good mousse that displays fine fruity aromas leading into a silky textured wine and taste. Subtle, fresh with a mineral finish.
Brut Souveraine, Henriot, Champagne, France
Brilliant light straw colour. The effervescence is dense and persistent. In the mouth the wine tastes of vanilla, morello cherries and candied plum.
Excellent balance, refreshing and elegant.
Cabernet Franc, Sparkling Icewine, Inniskillin, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Sparkling icewine is a purely Canadian invention and is starting to become quite popular despite its high price.
This fruity sweet wine is well balanced. Shows depth of flavour and long finish