WEINGUT THÖRLE 2017 RIESLING KABINETT

RHEINHESSEN, GERMANY

Alright guys, I’m finally throwing an off-dry Riesling at you. I love, love, LOVE Riesling in all its forms, from bone dry to full on lusciously sweet.

This is neither!

It’s not dry and it’s not really sweet either. It’s tart and balanced though and while it does have a touch of sweetness to it, it’s more like Granny Smith apple sweetness rather than a bag of jelly beans. The nose is generous with aromas of (yup, you guessed it…) Granny Smith apples and vanilla bean, almost like an apple turnover, but without the cinnamon. The palate is bright and zippy with great acidity. There are flavours of clementine, ripe nectarine, a touch of honeycomb and more of that tart green apple. There is a stony minerality present on both the nose and palate as well, think crushed gravel after a refreshing rainstorm.

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TH WINES 2017 VIOGNIER

OKANAGAN VALLEY, B.C.

It’s pronounced “vee-own-yay” and it originally comes from Southern France, where it’s often co-fermented with Syrah (in very small percentages) to help lift the aromatics and soften the tannins. Typically, Viognier has pretty floral notes - like jasmine, hydrangea and calla lily with flavours of peaches and honeysuckle. It’s also known for having a heavy mouthfeel and coming across as almost oily.

This Viognier however, is very special and unique. While it still has aromas of white flowers and stone fruit, it’s also got beautiful aromas of baking spices like ginger, clove and cardamom. The palate isn’t all that heavy either and is rather delicate, almost lean even. The acidity is very present and compliments flavours of over-ripe Bartlett pears, yellow plum and salted cantaloupe. There is a sweet herbaceous note that lingers on the finish too, think crispy fried sage leaves.

EDETÀRIA 2017 VIA TERRA ROSÉ

TERRA ALTA, SPAIN

This delicious little number is made from 100% Garnacha Peluda, which translates roughly to “furry grenache” or “hairy grenache”, a reference to the fact that this particular varietal has leaves with fuzzy undersides (think peach fuzz). The fuzz on the leaves is meant to help the vines to be more resistant to the warmer climates that the varietal thrives in. This grape is VERY similar to Grenache Noir, it’s very close relative, but the berries are a bit smaller, with slightly thicker skins and higher acidity. It also tends to produce a more savory wine than its much more widely planted kin.

The savory element of the grape really shines through on this bright, vibrant rosé. There are notes of tarragon and white pepper on the nose, as well as bright red fruit like cherry, tart cranberry and watermelon. The palate echoes the nose and has a creamy texture and a rather persistent finish.

G.D. VAJRA 2017 CLARÉ J.C. LANGHE NEBBIOLO

PIEDMONT, ITALY

“Claré J.C. is a Nebbiolo made according to a 1606 note from the House of Savoia jeweler Gian Battista Croce. This wine is a time-capsule into an era when Nebbiolo wines tasted fresher, lifted and slightly crisp. This is a wine for people who are young, brave at heart and curious about Piemonte’s forgotten past.” - Giuseppe Vaira

G.D. Vajra (pronounced “vi-rah”) is one of my favourite Italian producers and Nebbiolo is a grape that holds a special place in my heart. The grape gets its name from the Italian word “Nebbia”, which means fog, because during the harvest season a thick blanket of fog settles over the Piedmont region.

The nose and palate are harmonious with notes of tart red cherries, cranberry sauce, thyme and black tea. All of this is highlighted by the delicate aroma of rose petals. There is a slight effervesce upon pulling the cork, I suggest tasting it right away and if you don’t care for the fizz, decant for half an hour and the bubbles will dissipate. This wine is beautiful with just a slight chill.

LE GRAPPIN 2017 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES

BURGUNDY, FRANCE

Le Grappin is a micro-négociant located in the heart of Burgundy. They seek to produce terroir driven wines from sites in the area that are often over-looked. Their “entry level” line, Du Grappin, focuses on the Macon and Beaujolais in Burgundy and the Rhône Valley.

These wines are intended to be easy drinking and fun. As this particular wine comes from Beaujolais, it was made using 100% Gamay grapes. And despite coming from the Du Grappin range, all of the grapes that go into this wine were hand harvested, they then went into concrete vats for whole cluster fermentation (aka Carbonic Maceration) for 9 days before being transferred to neutral barrel for another 5 months.

When you first pull the cork there is a slightly reductive note, with decanting or a few enthusiastic swirls this blows off to reveal a fresh and juicy wine. Aromas of black cherry, strawberry Gushers fruit snacks and violets jump from the glass. You’ll find these notes on the palate too, along with a bit of vanilla and chalky PEZ candy.

DOMAINE OF THE BEE 2015 BEE-SIDE GRENACHE

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON, FRANCE

Domaine of the Bee was started in 2004 by British Master of Wine, Justin Howard-Sneyd. During his travels to southern France's Languedoc-Roussillon region, Justin was convinced that this area was the ideal place to craft his wines.

The Bee-Side is a made from 100% Grenache (the Noir kind). All of the grapes were harvested by hand, and then hand-sorted at the winery to ensure that only the healthiest and ripest grapes made it into the final product. The wine was barrel fermented and then aged in barrels that ranged from 1 - 4 years old, so as not to impart too much of an oak influence and let the juiciness of the fruit really shine through.

The nose is generous with aromas of ripe raspberries, blackberries, cherry compote, Herbes de Provence with lavender and a hint of fresh tobacco. The palate is round and rather full with flavours of sweet baking spices and a distinct note of fennel that complements the juicy red fruits. The finish lingers with a hint of rosemary and flinty minerality.

-Erin Loader