Wine columns celebrating a thirst-quenching selections for the kick-off of summer used to focus in large part on a suitable range of white styles. But the recent interest in rosés, which has cast a shadow over the traditional range of crunchy, tasty white.
Instagram-friendly and powered by an ambitious life-style associations, smart packaging and celebrity endorsements, rosé continues to be a growth area.
It has been over a decade since rosé started to sell the largest quantity of white wine in France, because of changes in diet and consumption habits. The canadians followed the example of the American and British wine enthusiasts to drink more rosé. The trend is driven by younger consumers, but there has been a spike of interest through the board of directors. The downside to rosé champagne continues to be its close association as a summer wine as opposed to an all season, all year round.
All the advice on the choice of a chilled red wine that I’m trying to stay cool this summer?
When it comes to summer sipping, however, I am here to remind you how much the white wines are ready and waiting. Electrical examples of sauvignon blanc, bright and balanced chardonnay and other dry white with a vibrant acidity are exactly the kind of fruit wine to enjoy in the months to come. Even richer and more complex styles of chenin blanc, and white blends to offer freshness as well as intensity, which makes them pleasant patio, a terrace or at the edge of the pool options.
In the top of the list of this week’s recommended wines are two selections of Blue Mountain, one of british Columbia’s original estate wine producers, which continues to excite. Normally, after tasting through a series of new releases from a cellar, I look at the bottle that really wanted to share with you. In this case, I couldn’t choose just one. Both impressed by the type of character and quality to make the perfect bottles to have on hand for summer enjoyment and beyond.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (Canada)
Founded in 1991 by Jane and Ian Mavety, of Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars continues to be one of the best vineyards. This estate-grown chardonnay is produced with grapes from vines ranging in age from 11 to 28 years of age and fermented and aged in a combination of French oak barrels of various sizes and in stainless steel tanks. Blue Mountain’s reserve label was blended to 10 months after harvest and the receipt of bottle aging prior to release. The resulting wine offers a great freshness, fruit intensity and balance. This is really delicious now, with a potential to accommodate more than four to six years. Available directly through bluemountainwinery.com, 33 $in Alberta.
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Reserve Pinot Gris 2017 (Canada)
Made with grapes from the 31-year-old vines, this expressive and enjoyable pinot gris ranks as one of the Okanagan’s best. Its juicy and bright personality and refreshing character to contribute to its immediate appeal. Thirty percent of the blend was fermented and aged in oak barrels in order to contribute to the wine’s weight, creamy texture and complexity. The barrel portion also adds to the mix of juicy orchard fruit and subtle floral notes. The refreshing character and a long-lasting finish makes it a terrific wine to enjoy now. Drink now to 2022. Available directly if bluemountainwinery.com, 33 $in Alberta.
Cuatro Rayas Vendemio Nocturna Verdejo 2018 (Spain)
The grape verdejo is a native of Rueda, Spain in the largest producing area of white wine, which produces bright and pleasant wines that are comparable to sauvignon blanc. The region has the characteristic of warm days and cool evening temperatures have inspired winemakers such as Cuatro Rayas to the harvest of the night to help preserve the grapes ‘ acidity. With more concentration of characters, and many verdejos, it is a great introduction to the charms of this unique variety. Drink now. Available in Ontario.
Flat Rock Cellars Unplugged Chardonnay, 2019 (Canada)
Unplugged is Flat Rock’s unoaked chardonnay from the label, which consistently offers a fresh and fragrant white wine with attractive earthy and warm tones of aging with the death of yeast cells (also known as lees) after fermentation is complete. The new edition 2019 vintage makes the most of its pleasant fresh apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Drink now to 2022. Available in Ontario and live with the flatrockcellars.com.
Inniskillin Niagara Estate Pinot Grigio 2019 (Canada)
Thanks to the call-up of wines like this pinot grigio/pinot gris is now the fifth most widely planted grape variety from Ontario. One of the five styles produced by Bruce Nicholson and the winemaking team of each vintage, including a perfume of riesling/pinot grigio blend and two of rich barrel fermented models labeled as pinot gris, pinot grigio is made in a fruity and well-loved style. This offers a range of apple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors in a refreshing, juicy and balanced wine. Drink now. Available in Ontario, the prize above, and live from inniskillin.com, $15.05 in Quebec, $15.50 in Prince Edward Island, $18.99 Newfoundland.
Julia Florista White (Portugal)
The colourful brand, which pays tribute to famous Fado singer, and historical figure of Julia Florista, is on store shelves, but on the details. Look all you want, there is no mention of grape variety, or vintage date. Any person who takes the risk is rewarded with a crunchy, crisp and refreshing white wine that offers an exotic blend of tropical and floral notes, suggesting the use of a perfume of muscat, the grape variety in the blend. Drink now. Available in Ontario.
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018 (United States)
The Crema still offers a range of ripe fruit and reward chardonnays, including popular Sonoma Coast label, which offers expressive fruit and well-defined oak notes on the nose and the mouth. The smooth texture and lingering finish add to the appeal. Drink now-2023. Available in Ontario, the price above, $31.99 ($28.99 until 4 July) in british Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $29.99 in Saskatchewan, $29.07 in Manitoba, $27.20 in Quebec, $35.99 in New Brunswick, $34.29 in Prince Edward Island.
Small Motor Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 (Canada)
There is not to be confused with the grape variety here. The refreshing blend of citrus and fleshy, fishing and stone-fruit flavours with some nice herbal green notes are manuals of sauvignon blanc. But this is not the austere or electric Marlborough model. It is more substantial and layered, with a satisfaction juicy finish. Drink now to 2022. Available directly through littleenginewines.com
Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fumé Blanc 2018 (United States)
Marked by flavors of ripe citrus fruits, concentrated and creamy on the palate and refreshing finish, Mondavi Fumé Blanc is delivered in a consistently engaging style. A blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon of Kalon vineyard surrounding the winery in Oakville, and Wappo Hill vineyard in the vicinity of Stag’s Leap District appellation, this was barrel-fermented for richness and complexity. Drink now-2023. Available in Ontario.
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