great Beaune is hard to find
National Post Weekly Wine & Spirits Columnist
Saturday, April 3, 2004
(CLICK ON THE NAME - All listings are automatically linked to the LCBO database)
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a critic isn’t always what it is cracked up to be. When it comes to
wine, there is no question that producers who put their heart, soul and
money into their wares are naturally disheartened upon receiving a bad
review. Often things, such as unripe grapes from bad whether, are beyond
their control. They do the best they can. And fortunately, unlike a film
or book, there is always a sequel – another vintage - meaning that the
prospect of a good review keeps the flames of hope burning.
diversity of tastes guarantees that there is something for everyone.
Nevertheless, as a professional, I believe that the reader deserves to
know what I consider to be good and what is bad. And despite some tough
reviews, I have never been told that my presence at a winery was not
not to say that all producers and/or agents are fans. Some 25 years ago I
made some critical comments regarding a few of the wines being produced by
a local winery, along with praise of the ones I liked. The owner wasn’t
impressed and I haven’t been invited back. Unfortunately, this only
punishes the winery, who looses needed visibility and readers who may be
deprived of useful information. To deal with the latter, I make sure to
periodically taste and report on these wines. In addition, I attempt to
taste blind so as not to be influenced by the label.
back to what really matters, one of the big surprises in yesterday’s
Vintages release of 26 InStore Discoveries (ISDs) was the stellar Angels
Gate 2002 Old Vines Chardonnay (957399), which goes for $23.95
(just $7 more than their regular 2002 Chardonnay coming out released
today). Incorrectly identified as being from the 2000 vintage, it has an
alluring nose with toasty, gently honeyed, key lime pie notes. Ditto for
the palate, which is dry and well structured with lengthy,
intense, buttered toast and key lime pie flavours. Aged in new
French oak for 196 days and unfiltered, only four barrels (100 cases) were
produced and 28 were snagged by Vintages. Alcohol is a hefty 14% and is
balanced by high total acidity (6.3). Perfect with white meats and
poultry, only 26 LCBO stores carry ISD items so call first (the list of
stores appears at the back of the catalogue).
today’s release, a consistently charming white from the Veneto region in
northeastern Italy comes Inama 2002 Soave Classico
(949768) at $17.95. This 100% Garganega has a very pleasant, gently
honeyed, wild flower nose. No oak has been used meaning that it is perfect
with delicate fish dishes. On the palate it is rounded and dryish with
gently honeyed, Anjou pear, ripe apple and fresh melon flavours that show
good length. My only disappointment is the ever-increasing cost, which has
been slowly moving up from $14.90 in 2001.
California’s Santa Ynez Valley we have
Gainey Vineyard 2001 ‘Limited Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc
(994459) at $22.95. This very tasty blend of 86% Sauvignon Blanc and 14%
Semillon has an intense, attractive, lively, rather toasty, grapefruit
rind nose with spicy grassy notes. It is fairly rich and gently toasty
with vibrant, ripe, fresh pineapple flavours. Some 80% was barrel
fermented and aged on the “fine” lees (i.e. the remaining sediment of
dead yeast cells), which adds complexity and mouthfeel.
who might be tempted into tasting an unusual Georgia white made from
Rkatsiteli grapes, which still is the most prolific variety throughout the
former Soviet Union, should be advised to resist. I have had tasty
renditions of this grape in the past, it is also grown by Konstantin Frank
in the Finger Lakes, but Tbilvino
2001 Rkatsiteli even at only $9.95 is a disappointment with
thin, turpy, very dry, crisp, dried green apple flavours.
2001-2002-2003-2004 Tasting Note Database
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