Great Italian Wines Masterclass – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – The “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella Varieties

I attended an amazing Masterclass last week: “Great Italian Wines – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties.”  The seminar was led by the knowledgeable Sandra Colosimo, a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers. Sandra led us to explore and learn about the “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella varieties, their qualities, traceability, terroir and unique characteristics.

Here are details on the two wines tasted:

2016 “Rocolo” Valpolicella DOC Superiore (Agricola Piccoli Daniella S.S.)

Grape varieties: Corvina 40%, Corvinone 25%, Rondinella 30%, Oseleta, Molinara and Croatina 5%
Alcohol:14.5% vol.

Notes:
Ruby red hue with hints of purple; elegant yet complex nose with floral notes and berries evolving to eucalyptus, and slight touches of smokiness and balsamic; very well-balanced wine, some flavours of cherry and raspberry with hints of vanilla – long elegant finish

Food pairings: red meat, game dishes and strong hard cheeses

2018 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo DOC

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo
Alcohol: 14% vol.

Notes:
typical Nebbiolo with a ruby-red hue, perfumed bouquet of violets and red fruits, with dusty chalky tannins – lovely long finish.

Food Pairings: Aged cheeses, Meat or mushroom-based pasta and rice dishes

To enhance the tasting experience, the wines were paired with and appetizer plate of Italian specialty foods: Prosciutto di Parma DOP, Grana Padano DOP, Salame Finocchiona Toscano IGP, Piave DOP, Olive Taggiasche, and Olive Baresane, Taralli.

This masterclass series is organized in collaboration with Cavinona, Terroni’s exclusive wine agency.

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The Top Wines from Global Riesling Masters 2020

One of the favorite grapes of the true wine connoisseur, Riesling comes in many types, from sparkling to dry, from medium to sweet. Here is an analysis of the results and a list of all the medalists from the 2020 competition.

If you want proof of Riesling’s versatility, then look at the spread of top medals in this year’s competition. Held for pure Riesling only, there were many entries for sparkling wine, dry still wines, medium-dry and sweet ones, including an outstanding Icewine at the end of the tasting. It shows that not only can Riesling be used to make a wide array of wine styles, but in each case, it can achieve excellence. This is rare in the wine world, where noble grapes tend to create something exceptional in one or two styles, with only Chenin Blanc, and perhaps Furmint, being other grape varieties that of that are capable of yielding excellent sparkling, dry and sweet results.

CRISP FINISH

At higher prices, there were two brilliant Rieslings from Domaines Schlumberger, representing a pair of Alsace grand crus: Saering and Kessler, with the former showing a touch riper peachy fruit, honey and tangerine, and the latter more pear and apple, along with chalk and salt characters on its crisp finish.

Germany was the source nation of the final Gold in this sweetness category, with the powerful Rheingau Grosses Gewachs Riesling from Weingut August Eser, loaded with apricot richness, a touch of sweetness, and a stony, dry, lime-fresh finish.

The rest of our outstanding wines came at higher sweetness levels, notably the Riesling Rotschiefer from the Mosel’s Weingut Sorentburg, with peach and strawberry, a whiff of kerosine, and a persistent clean citrus note.

The final wine of the tasting turned out to be another Master. It was layered with fruit flavors from mango to apricot, along with dried apple and raisins. It was unctuous too, with almost 190g/l of sugar, but offset by a tangy freshness. It had the characters of great Icewine, which we later learned it was, and from Canada’s Andrew Peller Estates.

The 2020 competition was judged by David Round MW, Patrick Schmitt MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Riesling Master.

“After a glorious day of judging the Riesling Masters in 2020, it is difficult to understand what is not to love about the Riesling grape variety. This great grape shows its range of styles beautifully, far beyond its ‘homeland’ of Germany, Alsace and Austria. Dry Rieslings can sometimes appear ‘acidic’ or ‘stretched’. Not this category here. With just a tiny bit of residual sugar and ripe fruit, these wines have purity of citrus flavors, ranging from lemon-lime in the Clare Valley (Australia) through tangerine to orange zest (Eden Valley, Australia). Apple, pear, honey and minerality are more apparent in the wines from Germany or Alsace. Many of them have a lovely accent of lemon or orange blossom adding interest.” Patricia Stefanowicz MW

Here is the link which features all the medalists from this year’s competition.

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2021/01/the-best-wines-from-the-global-riesling-masters-2020/ 

Source:  Drinks Business

Spring has finally arrived and so has the arrival of Sperling Vineyards “Spring Releases”

This vintage marks the third year of certified organic wines from Sperling Vineyards. Sperling Vineyards is British Columbia’s oldest heritage vineyard, and home of Canada’s leading organic and biodynamic winegrower Ann Sperling.

Ann Sperling and her family are pioneers, first in the history of agriculture in the Kelowna region, and in both biodynamic and organic viticulture, and winemaking practice. The proof of their success is in the long lineup of awards. Taste for yourself!  Their wines are known to be wines of elegance, texture & authenticity.

Sperling Vineyards Blueprint

Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Established: Four generations: 1860s – land was cleared, settled and the farm was officially established in the1920s

 First vintage: 2008

Winemaker:  Ann Sperling

Viticultural Practices: Organic and Biodynamic

Estate: 45 acres

This anticipated release includes the following wines, with tasting notes.

Organic Market White 2018

Aromas of peach and orange with hints of honeysuckle;
soft on the palate with flavours of apple, apricot, grapefruit and pear; nice long and fresh finish
89 Points

Organic Pinot Gris 2018

This lovely estate-bottled PG has a nice weight; aromas of white fruits, on the mouth beach and honey, lingering with clean mineral flavours; refreshing acidity.
89 Points

Organic Natural Amber Pinot Gris 2018

Aromatically this orange wine has hints of earl gray tea, jasmine, and stone fruits; while the palate is fresh and long with texture and finishes fresh.

From the Vision series, this lovely orange wine is made from 40% whole cluster, 40% whole berry and 20% pressed juice from hand-picked Pinot Gris. Natural yeast and malolactic fermented, this wine has had nothing added and nothing taken away (no sulfites, or additives, and no fining or filtration). Being unfiltered it is slightly cloudy.
90 points

 Organic Pinot Noir 2017

This light ruby wine has some notes of spicy strawberry on the nose;
I found it to be a medium-bodied wine that is dry with some strawberry flavours and fresh acidity; excellent length.
91 points

Organic Vision Chardonnay 2017

Beautiful bright gold; on the nose, aromas of fresh apples, pear, and quince; while tasting I found it had a good weight with flavours of baked fruit and some spic; well-balanced acid keeps it fresh with a long finish.
89 Points

Organic Old Vines Foch Reserve 2017

Deep ruby colour; with a nose of plum and hints of spice; I found the wine to be medium-bodied, dry, with plum and cherry flavours; fresh and lively in the mouth with a long finish.
91 Points

Sperling Vineyards is also offering FREE SHIPPING across Canada right now, with some other tempting promotions – Market Series wines: buy 5 get the 6th free or spend $75 and we’ll include a gift with purchase.

Check out their website for details https://sperlingvineyards.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26th Grand International Wine Awards Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2020

The Mundus Vini wine awards are held in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, in the heart of the Palatinate region in the Pfalz, south of Frankfurt every spring.  268 wine experts from 54 countries gathered at the 6-day tasting in February to blind taste and assess around 7500 wines from 45 countries. Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright, Cape Wine Master, was invited to be a judge for another year in a row and this time as Canada’s first-panel chair.

Over the days of tasting, Ratcliffe-Wright chaired a panel with judges from Germany, Australia, Russia, Ukraine and Portugal who tasted wines from 11 countries.  Garnacha based red blends from Germany and Spain showed solid quality with very few faulty bottles or winemaking faults. A flight of Sauvignon Blanc from Trentino and Veneto in Italy and white blends from various regions in Italy showed good varietal character, while the blends highlighted the great quality of white wines coming out of Italy recently, being super easy to every day drinkers to enjoy.

The Pinot Noir flight from Chile and New Zealand was outstanding with judges awarding many medals.  Merlot from various Spanish regions ranging from La Mancha to Catalonia was solid without too many surprises.

The sparkling wine and Prosecco flight from Italy and Germany showed wines that were whistle clean and market-ready.  Rioja from Spain was interesting in that there were many different styles from the region, but in general, the quality was very high.

The Shiraz and Shiraz blends from South Australia showed beautiful balance and fruit.  There was a Pinot Gris flight from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Serbia and North Macedonia, while being from a wide range of countries, the grape showed its character and it was obvious why this varietal is so popular worldwide.

Chenin Blanc from various regions in South Africa from Swartland to Walker Bay was promising with a wild card of a Chenin Blanc from Armenia included in the lineup and that had been blended with Aligoté and Kangun.

Valpolicella Ripasso from Northern Italy was an interesting flight with many excellent wines.

Each judge is measured daily on a tasting and scoring graph against their peers to ensure precision of tasting without too much deviation and to ensure consistency.

Christian Wolf, tasting director for Mundus Vini said: “We can see purely by the figures and the feedback from our tasters that the level of quality has risen considerably this year.”

Australia emerged from the competition as number one in the overseas category with a total of 72 medals with Kilikanoon Wines being named, once again, the best Australian winery with 19 medals. South Africa came in 2nd of the wines from overseas with 55 medals and Argentina 3rd with 49. The best Argentinian winery was Gruppo Peñaflor who received a total of 11 medals

Some of the top-rated wines of the show were:

2016 Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz (Best of show, Australia red)

2018 Jaraman Chardonnay (best of show Australia white)

2016 DeWetshof Estate The Site Chardonnay (best of show South Africa white)

2016 Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz (Best of Show, South Africa red)

2015 Felipe Staiti Honor (Best of show Argentina)

For the European wines, Italy scored the most medal with 658 with Spain a close second with 631 and France with 325.

“It was an exciting tasting this year to see high quality from so many regions and a privilege to judge with so many accomplished international palates.” Says Jenny.  “I look forward to judging in the competition again next year.”

Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright

Fall WestJet wine tasting at The Kelowna International Airport (YLW) 

The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival kicks off tomorrow. One of the first signature events is October 5th’s Fall WestJet Wine Tasting at YLW in the Carson Air hangar at Kelowna International Airport.

The event will have the largest capacity of any indoor wine tasting in the Okanagan, at a venue that will be quite memorable.

Details

Location: Carson Air hangar – Kelowna International Airport

Time

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

List of some of the participating wineries

Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery

Lake Breeze Vineyards

The View Winery

Rollingdale Winery

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery

Little Straw Vineyards

Quails’ Gate

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

Dirty Laundry Vineyard

River Stone Estate Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Recline Ridge Vineyards and Winery Ltd.

House of Rose Winery

Volcanic Hills Estate Winery

Ancient Hill Estate Winery

Black Hills Estate Winery

Sandhill

Hester Creek Estate Winery

Red Rooster Winery

Okanaganvilla Vineyards and Events Corporation (The Vibrant Vine)

St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Ltd.

For further details and tickets:

https://www.thewinefestivals.com/events/view_event/1893/9961