Another fun tasting experience at Aligra this past week. On trend – Rosé wines, light refreshing whites even a Pink Port Cocktail! If you missed it, here are the notes for you. Most are still in stock so drop by to pick some up for your summer sipping! Notes and research courtesy of Ken Bracke, Sommelier.
- Croft Pink Port Vila Nova De Gaia, Portugal 19.5% abv $22.99 (and Soda) Cocktail
One of the original founding port houses, Croft traces its origins to 1588 when the company was established in England by Henry Thomson, a member of the Merchants Company of York. The Croft family, which joined the partnership in 1736 and gave the firm its present name, served the port trade with great distinction. The reputation of Croft as a Vintage Port producer derives to a large extent from its ownership of Quinta da Roêda, one of the finest estates in the Douro Valley, and from such legendary wines as the Croft 1945, recognized as one of the finest of that landmark year. This innovative new Rosé style of Port has been made by a technique which extracts fresh, fruity flavours and a subtle and delicate pink colour from limited contact with the skins of classic Port grape varieties, grown in top quality vineyards of the Douro Valley. The result is wonderfully fresh and vibrant, full of the rich fruit flavours of Port but with a unique and distinctive appeal. It has created the perfect opportunity for Port to be consumed in the warmer months of the year when Port may not otherwise be the drink of choice. Tasting Note: Attractive floral notes underline the pungent, aromatic raspberry fruit aromas. The palate is full of deliciously ripe cherry and raspberry fruit flavours with lovely nuances of honey and grapefruit.
- Pamplune Rosé Pepignan, France (infused with natural grapefruit extracts) 8.5% abv $17.99
The French have a long history of blending their dry wines with fresh juice or fruit liqueurs also knowns as kir. More recently, a new summer drink became very popular among French restaurants, bars and outdoor cafés consisting of a blend of dry rosé with fresh squeezed pink grapefruit. This wine from Provence uses classic Mediterranean varietals, is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then is blended with natural extracts of grapefruit from the pomelo variety. Tasting Notes: light pink color, offers expressive aromas and flavors of citrus, roses and exotic fruits such as lychees. Light, slightly sweet and refreshing.
- CA Rugate Soave Classico San Michele DOC, Soave, Italy 12% abv $24.59
CA ‘ Rugate produces wines from the Lessini Durello, Valpolicella and Soave Classico regions. It prides itself as a company that has been able to innovate by reinterpreting traditions and investing in prized vineyards producing wine from indigenous grape varieties. For the past four generations, the Tessari Family has owned the property, located in the volcanic, hilly region of Rugate, near Brognoligo. Since 2013, CA ‘ Rugate has been a member of the independent winegrowers of Soave, an association affiliated to the F.I.V.I. (Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers), driven by the desire to protect the typical Soave wine by focusing on authenticity. 100% Garganega. Tasting Notes: Pale yellow colour. Fine and delicate nose of sweet flowers: Chamomile tea, elderberry, iris. Palate pleasant with sweet almond aftertaste.
- See Ya Later Ranch Gewürztraminer 2014 VQA Okanagan Valley, B.C. 13.5% abv $20.99
Located in the Okanagan Valley near the south end of Skaha Lake and nearly two thousand feet above sea level, See Ya Later Ranch is the highest elevation vineyard in the Okanagan Valley – an area where nature has created conditions perfect for growing grapes destined to become award-winning wines. A unique mesoclimate forms around the northeast exposure and a saddle formation that allows long hours of sun. A considerable drop in elevation ensures excellent drainage. Cooler temperatures during the growing season allow the fruit to maintain acid and give the wines exceptional balance. The vineyard’s slope, proximity to the lake, warm days and cool evenings all encourage healthy ripening of cool weather varietals including Pinot Noir, Riesling and the largest planting of Gewürztraminer in North America, with sixty-five acres devoted to this aromatic, cool climate varietal. 100% Gewürztraminer. Tasting Notes: a fine dry Gewürztraminer with notes of grapefruit and herbs.
- Elephant Island Pear Wine Naramata Bench, B.C. 10% abv $21.99
Miranda and Del Halladay founded the winery at Elephant Island in 1999 in partnership with Miranda’s Grandmother, Catherine Chard Wisnicki, whose unconventional wisdom is at the heart of all things Elephant Island. A passion for fine alcohols and the love of a good time, in good company, has inspired their journey into the world of winemaking and wine exploration. The foray into fruit wine was guided by the fascination of Miranda’s grandfather, Paul, whose recreational pursuit of fruit winemaking and distilling left a heritage rich in notes and memories. Paul had the foresight and vision to believe that there was a market for well-crafted fruit wines and that the fruit grown in the Okanagan Valley would provide the essential raw ingredients. His recipes, brought from the old-world, have laid the foundation for all of the wines at Elephant Island. 100% Naramata-grown Bartlett Pears. Winemaker’s Notes: Could you expect anything less than lovely delicate pear flavors? Fermented dry, a completely refreshing wine built for hot summer days.
- Domaine De Vaufuget Vouvray 2014 AOP Loire Valley, France 12% abv$24.99
Vouvray AOC has records of winemaking going back to the 5th century AD. The whole region has a varied climate ranging from Maritime to Continental. The varied climate has an effect on the grapes grown in the region; the wines from this grape can be quite dry all the way up to very sweet. They can be still wines or they may also be sparkling, and some of the best examples of wine made from this region are very long-lived. The Vouvray vineyards are situated upstream from Tours in the North of the Loire Valley. The vine roots overhang the cellars built in the rock nearby, which are called “Caves Troglodytes.” The caves are old quarries, dug into the limestone to build the castles and houses of the region. A constant temperature of 13C lets more than three million bottles ripen in the cool, dark tranquility. 100% Chenin Blanc. Tasting Notes: Soft and appealing with aromas of lime, quince and apple. On the palate it features orange peel and honey flavors. Slightly off-dry, this wine has plenty of style. Very elegant on the finish.
- Santa Cristina Antinori Orvieto Casasole Amabile 2014 Cortona, Italy 12.5% abv $13.99
High on a hill in Tuscany, not far from Siena and Perugia, rises the historic town of Cortona. On one side it is flanked by an open plain, and on the other is the hill and the village. You can enjoy the view of this beautiful panorama from the new Santa Cristina Winery, built in 2006 with the goal of maintaining and renewing the tradition Santa Cristina wine, 60 years after the release of its first vintage in 1946. Procanico (synonym of Trebbiano) along with a small percentage of Grechetto. Winemaker’s Notes: The wine is a straw yellow in color and the intense aroma recalling white fruit, particularly Golden Delicious apples and bananas. The flavors are lightly sweet, freshened by a savory note which makes the wine even more drinkable.
- Baillie Grohman Blanc De Noirs Rosé 2015 VQA Creston, B.C. 12.5% abv $25.49
The approach at Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, located in Creston, B.C., is to produce small lots of super premium wine in their 5000 case boutique winery. Grape production is maintained at low yields, with the aspiration of quality and concentrated flavours. The winery is named after one of the Kootenay region’s most legendary pioneers, William Baillie-Grohman. Creston, according to Dan Barker, winemaker, is similar to Central Otago in New Zealand (where he learned and practised his craft), and is thus very suitable for growing cool climate varietals such as Pinot Noir. 100% Pinot Noir. Tasting Notes: a vibrant and radiant rosé with lifted notes of fresh cut flowers, pomegranate, cherry with water melon and cranberry on the nose. The rich textural palate with a long finish and great balance displays elements of raspberry, guava, red berries and tropical fruit salad.
- Spier Secret Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé W.O. Western Cape, South Africa 12.5% abv $15.99
Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa with a recorded history dating back to 1692. While rooted in this heritage, Spier has a vibrant and conscious energy. Award-winning wine can be paired with fabulous food, grown either on the farm or by nearby farmers. The winery is one of the most awarded in the country. The Spier ethos is a connecting thread: at Spier it is all about balance. They constantly strive to find innovative ways to succeed while maintaining balance with the environment and society. 100% Pinot Noir. Winemaker’s Notes: There are strawberry and raspberry aromas with hints of Muscat on the nose. The rich, honeyed palate bursts with vivacious bubbles and has a crisp, fresh finish.
Bodega Petalo Moscato Il Vino Dell’ Amore Italy 6.5% abv $18.49
Produced by the Bottega family, this delicately sweet sparkling wine is crafted from Moscato grapes grown in northeast Italy’s Colli Euganei region, nestled between Verona and Venice. Wild roses, like the one depicted on the bottle, grow among the Moscato vines in Colli Euganei and impart a pretty floral aroma to the grapes. 100% Moscato Giallo. Tasting Notes: Color: brilliant gold with a fine, persistent perlage. Bouquet: pronounced scent of roses, with hints of apricot and peach. Taste: pleasantly sweet, characteristic of the Moscato grape, with ripe flavors of apple and peach.
List of Sources
MacNeil, Karen: The Wine Bible, Workman Publishing, New York, 2001
Robinson, Jancis: Wines, Grapes, And Vines: The Wine Drinker`s Guide To Grape Varieties, Mitchell Beazley, London, 2002
Schreiner, John, Kootenays Wines Worth Discovering, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, John Schreiner On Wine
Shreiner, John, A Toast To William Baillie-Grohman, November 28, 2010, John Shreiner On Wine
Simon, Joanna, Wine With Food, Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 1996