Vintages Pre-Release Fizz

8 December, 2011
Reported by Rod Story

This sold out holiday favourite was hosted by Guild Director Rod Story. The Champagnes and sparkling wines were sourced from the December 10 release as well as other Vintages releases from the fall and the general list.

The first flight of four white sparkling wines was a diverse cross-section representing different countries and regions. Apparently price matters since the favourites of the flight were the last two wines with the attendees equally split between the two. The first wine, being a Vouvray, had the typical nose of a dry Chenin Blanc with yeasty, green apple and honey notes. On the palate it had fresh acidity with the green apple coming through. It went well with the chips and white cheddar popcorn. The second wine of the flight (Crémant de Bourgogne) had a nose of toasty apple with not as much acidity on the palate as the other wines in the flight. Though pleasant, it wasn’t as interesting as the other wines. The Cuvee Catharine from Henry of Pelham had a nose of lime and citrus with light yeasty notes. On the palate it was clean and refreshing with a long finish of green apple. A well made wine for its price. The fourth wine of the flight, Segura Viudas, was the driest sparkling wine of the flight with pleasant oak integration combined with a clean mineral and slate palate. A good value old world styled sparkling wine.

The second flight consisted of four white Champagnes. The first wine was chosen since the grapes for the wine were from the producers’ own vineyards which we don’t often see in the LCBO. It had a nose of caramel and lemon with great acidity (i.e., popcorn friendly) and apple and pear on the palate. Champagnes number two and four were the favourites of this flight. This is interesting since the second Champagne, Pol Roger, is mostly Chardonnay while the fourth Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, has considerably more Pinot Noir. So the members were equally split between lighter and fuller bodied Champagnes. The Pol Roger had nose of yeast, lemon and chalk. On the palate it was fresh and light with green apple and chalk. It had a medium-long finish. The third wine, Laurent-Perrier, was fuller bodied than the previous two wines with understated elegance and very long finish. It would be excellent with a leak tart. The Veuve Clicquot had a full-bodied nose with integrated oak and some red-berried fruit. It had the biggest mouth-feel of the flight with considerable weight on the palate and a very long finish. It was a big wine that would pair well with roast chicken and veal.

The third flight consisted of two rosé sparkling wines and two rosé Champagnes. Unfortunately the first wine of the flight was corked. Luckily it wasn’t one of the expensive wines. The Cuvee Catharine Rosé had a light pink colour with a light red-berried fruit nose. It had more weight to it than its white counterpart. Since it was in the same flight as two other much weightier wines and following two equally big wines, it is hard to compare. Nevertheless, it was good value for its price point for those wanting a fuller, fruitier sparkling wine. The third and fourth wines of the flight were the favourites. Given the third wine was almost half the price of the fourth wine; it was considered the best value of the evening. The Moutard was a very dark pink with a nose of very ripe cherry and strawberry. The ripe fruit came through on the palate along with pomegranate. It was a very big, full bodied wine that would stand up to roast lamb and pork. The Veuve Rosé was medium pink in colour with an understated nose of vanilla, oak and hints of dried cherry. The nose repeated on the palate. It was full bodied with a long finish, very structured and elegant. It would pair well with roast meats.

The fourth flight consisted of two sweet sparkling wines. The first wine was a new product from Malivoire which is similar in style to that of a Moscato D’Asti. Unlike a Moscato, Malivoire Musqué Spritz was fermented to 10% alcohol such that it wasn’t as sweet and it didn’t have as much fizz. It was just off-dry with a light spritz. It was virtually clear in colour with a nose of under ripe Bartlett pear. On the palate it had great acidity with the under ripe pear (in a good way) coming through. It worked very well with the fresh berries that accompanied it (strawberries, raspberries,

blueberries, blackberries). It is a great light wine to drink after a big dinner or on the patio in the summer. The last wine of the evening was the Inniskillen Sparkling Vidal Icewine. There was no doubt based on the nose that it was a sweet Vidal with its typical redolent peach and apricot nose. The bubbles in the wine actually lightened the wine and made it more approachable that a straight Vidal icewine. Even with the bubbles it still overpowered the fresh berries that accompanied it. It was a truly decadent finish to the evening.

Flight 1: White Sparklers

  • Domaine de Vaugondy Brut Vouvray, #154567, $17.95
  • Louis Bouillot Perle Rare Brut Crémant de Bourgogne, 2007, #178137, $19.95
  • Cuvee Catharine Brut Henry of Pelham, #217521, $29.95
  • Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad, #558825, $29.95

Flight 2: White Champagnes

  • Godmé Père et Fils Brut Reserve, #243881, $51.95
  • Pol Roger Brut Champagne, #217158, $59.95
  • Laurent-Perrier Brut, 2002, #983874, $74.95
  • Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, 2002, #508614, $88.95

Flight 3: Rosé Sparklers and Champagnes

  • Louis Bouillot Perle D’Aurore Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne,
  • 2007, #48793, $18.95
  • Cuvee Catharine Brut Rosé, #217505, $29.95
  • Moutard Père & Fils Brut Rosé, #244921, $49.95
  • Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé, 2004, #588475, $94.95

Flight 4: Sweet Sparklers

  • Malivoire Musqué Spritz, 2010, #189670, $19.95
  • Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine, 2010, #560367, $69.95 (375 ml)