Showing posts with label 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2019. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review



To celebrate , white wine review is this lovely Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc that I picked up while visiting the winery in New Zealand in March. More about my fabulous trip visiting wineries in New Zealand is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Spy Valley Wines was founded in the 1990's by Bryan and Jan Johnson in Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, and was named after its proximity to the international satellite communications monitoring station - a spy base - located just down the road. With a passion for the land, they established 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine and have become one of New Zealand’s most successful family-run wineries. The Johnson family chose the Spy Valley terroir back in 1993 for its stony, free draining riverbed terrain, with terraced vines enjoying both rocky riverside gravels and deeper clay and silt soils.

Today, Spy Valley’s commitment remains to the land and to the people who tend it as they are simply farmers at heart, nurturing soil and vine to cultivate the complexities in their wines. They are also focused on sustainability, which will ensure their guardianship of the land for generations to come.

The environment at Spy Valley has been one of the many secrets to their success. Since the beginning, Spy Valley Wines has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing initiative which promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management. Some of these initiatives include promoting biodiversity in and around the vineyards, using organic matter and compost to replace nutrients in the soils, minimising irrigation (2/3 of the vineyards are irrigation free), reducing energy use, and using low-toxic, environmentally-friendly products in the winery and vineyard.

Spy Valley abides by the principles to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the winery. It is interesting to know that they crush their own bottles (which are made out of 96% recycled glass), providing them with a fine dust which they mulch and distribute below the grapevines to enhance light reflection.

This grapes for this Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc were grown in three places. The Waihopai Valley that has alluvial stony silt loams that are very well drained, the Mid Wairau Valley that has varying depths of alluvial silt loam over gravel and is well-drained, and from the Lower Wairau Valley which has deep alluvial silt deposits over gravel. All of the grapes were harvested in the cool mornings throughout the month of March and vinified in small vineyard batches until the final blending. It was predominantly fermented in stainless steel tanks, with several blocks fermented in barrels. The 2019 vintage was a very dry and warm growing season, bringing with it small yields with great fruit concentration.

This white wine always appears in LCBO VINTAGES (at least) once a year. The 2018 vintage showed up last Fall and small quantities are still available, while the 2019 vintage will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES in October later this year.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SPY VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#686675) (XD) - $18.25
Screw cap. This Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc has a fresh, intense, yet restrained aromatics offering passion fruit, guava, lemon/lime citrus, gooseberry, nettle, and tropical fruit aromas with just a touch of leesy character. It is medium-full bodied on the richly concentrated and slightly creamy palate with very nice replays of passion fruit, guava, lime, and tart citrus flavours that are supported by fresh, vibrant acidity. Some tartness with mineral, citrus, and passion fruit notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Sunday, April 12, 2020

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely Gewürztraminer that I picked up from the winery in Marlborough during my recent trip to New Zealand - just before all of the COVID-19 restrictions came into place here in Canada. More about my visit to Marlborough and other New Zealand winegrowing regions is coming soon, so stay tuned.

Johanneshof Cellars is an artisan boutique winery located in the mountainous locality of Koromiko, about 20 km north of Blenheim. It was established in 1991 by Edel Everling and Warwick Foley, two winemakers who were from opposites part of the globe.

Edel Everling, M.Sc.Oenology, grew up in Rheingau, Germany, in a winemaking family that had been making wine on both sides of her family for five generations. From an early age, Edel was helping in the vineyards overlooking the river Rhine, where vines grow on very steep slopes. The knowledge she gained here was beneficial when she met Warwick in New Zealand and helped him establish Marlborough's first steep hillside vineyard in 1977. Edel continued her travels and finished her degree in viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim University in Germany. She also worked at the world-renowned Wine Research Institute of Geisenheim in the Department of Grape Breeding and Grafting under the leadership of well-respected wine scientist Prof. Dr. Helmut Becker, which gave her an in-depth insight into vine growing and crafting wines from a scientific angle. Further knowledge was gained by working at different wineries and a distillery.

Warwick Foley is a 5th generation New Zealander and grew up on the property where Johanneshof Cellars resides. As a teenager, he planted one of the first vineyards in Marlborough on their steep hillside land in Koromiko in 1977, just four years after the first commercial grapes were introduced to Marlborough. This vineyard consisted of mainly Riesling, but was re-planted to Pinot Noir and named "Maybern Vineyard" in honour of Warwick's parents May and Bernhard. Warwick met Edel in the early 1980's while learning about winemaking and working at New Zealand's first wine research station in Te Kauwhata, near Hamilton. He took up viticulture and winemaking training in Germany, followed by working at various wineries in Rheingau and Baden.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Edel and Warwick combined European wine traditions with modern technology and founded one of Marlborough's pioneering artisan wineries to produce a collection of outstanding fine wines from New Zealand, such as this Gewürztraminer.

Johanneshof Cellars is renowned for producing multi-award winning table wines, classic Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wines, and some outstanding spirits such as Brandy and Grappa. They are part of New Zealand Winegrowers, an accredited member of New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing, and a founding member of Methode Marlborough.

Unfortunately, the lovely wines from Johanneshof Cellars are currently not available in Ontario - or anywhere Canada for that matter. However, they are seeking representation and would love to have their wines in our market. If any Agents read this, you can inquire directly with the winery or reach out to me and I can connect you with Edel and Warwick.

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JOHANNESHOF CELLARS GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (D) - $31 NZD
Screw cap. This hand-harvested Gewürztraminer has a gorgeous, intense, focused, and very pure nose of lychee, rose floral, lemon citrus, and musky spice aromas. The concentrated, full-ish palate is off-dry with lovely lychee, floral and spice replays with touches of marzipan on the mid-palate. Bracing acids are juicy and keep things nicely balanced. More rose and lychee notes complete the dry finish, with excellent length. Top NZ Gewürztraminer! Score: 91 pts


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  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020

13th Street June's Vineyard Riesling 2019 (Niagara) - Wine Review

For wine review, I have this lovely Riesling from Niagara that I was first introduced to when the 2011 13th Street June's Vineyard Riesling showed up in LCBO VINTAGES nearly 6 year ago to the day. I have tasted this wine on a few occasions since that time, and it has always been delicious.

13th Street Winery was founded by 1998 and purchased in 2008 by the current owners who have deep roots within the Niagara community - John & June Mann and Doug & Karen Whitty. The winery evolved from a desire to create exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara, while also providing a place for guests to congregate, escape, relax, discover, experience and learn.

The grapes for this lovely Riesling come from a vineyard named after June Mann, one of the owners of 13th Street. June's Vineyard sits at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, located on 5th Avenue, west of Seventh Street Louth, and has a distinctive terroir with significant quantities of decomposed yellow limestone amongst the clay loam soils. The Riesling vines were planted in 1999 with Alsatian clone 49, and combined with the soils on the site impart a stony minerality on top of the ripe fruit and flowery tones that come from this particular clonal variant of Riesling.

The 2019 vintage began slow and wet, but was quite warm during the summer months, allowing for full phenolic maturity. The quality of the grapes was very good to excellent with high acidity and concentrated flavours.

This delicious white wine makes regular appearances to VINTAGES and this latest edition will also be on shelves across Ontario very soon as it arrives as part of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release.

13th Street June's Vineyard Riesling 2019 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

13TH STREET JUNE'S VINEYARD RIESLING 2019 - VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#147512) (D) - $19.95
Screw cap. Fresh, fragrant and pretty with floral aromas surrounding notes lime citrus, white peach, and whiffs of limestone minerality. It's medium-dry on the concentrated, slightly fleshy palate with honeyed, orange citrus, peach, and tangy lime flavours lifted by racy acidity. Chalky textured with touches of minerality on the mid-palate. Very good length on the long, tangy, minerally, and slightly dry finish. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 90 pts


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  • Friday, December 6, 2019

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a delightful, vegan-friendly, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that comes to us with a fresh, new label for the 2019 vintage.

It is produced by Yealands, a winery that opened its doors on August 8, 2008 (i.e. 08-08-08) with a vision to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers and determined to craft beautiful wines in partnership with nature - a philosophy that continues to hold true and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

The fresh new look for the Yealands range (formerly Peter Yealands) reflects their stunning location in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, as well as the unique features of their vineyard. The new label starts with the eye-catching Y that represents the White Road that runs through the heart of their Seaview Vineyard. The White Road takes you on a journey through this stunning coastal vineyard, and captures the breathtaking vistas of Yealands Estate and its unique sustainability initiatives such as New Zealand's largest solar panel installation on the winery roof.

The label is inspired by the coast that surrounds their vineyard, showing the proximity of their vines to the coast through the frame of the U, so close to the ocean that the vines are often misted with sea spray. The beauty of their environment influences how they craft wine, respectful of nature and the land. Yealands believes in sustainable winemaking and creating thoughtfully crafted wines such as this Sauvignon Blanc that work in harmony with their landscape.

This lovely white wine, with its fresh, new label is widely available now at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Enclosed by screw cap, this vegan-friendly Sauvignon Blanc has a clean, fresh and fragrant nose of tropical fruit, kiwi, guava, gooseberry, and nettles with whiffs of mineral. It's medium-bodied on the spicy palate with vibrant, food-friendly acidity and ripe flavours of tropical fruit, guava, and citrus. A fine mineral note lingers through to the long, clean finish. Score: 89 pts


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