|High end bubbles|
Beautiful dry wines for beautiful dry summer weather -- one of Portugal's best reds and three of Canada's finest, a white, a bubbly and a red.
Esporao Reserva Red 2017 is rich, distinctive, elegant and fabulous value at $26.95 made from handpicked Cabernet Sauvignon grapes carefully aged for a year in American and French oak barrels for smoky-toasty dark chocolate, vanilla, black fruit and new leather nuances.
From Alentejo, the breadbasket of south-central Portugal, with its rolling hills of wheat, olive trees and the famous cork oaks. One mature tree provides sufficient bark for 4,000 wine corks.
The Esporao also includes native grapes like Bouschet, Aragonez and Trincadeira that contribute deep blue-black color and smooth notes of blueberry, mocha and crushed black pepper. It's artfully made and artistically illustrated with an original label by Portuguese painter Antonio Poppe.
Since its launch in 1985 this wine has been adorned by a different artist each year. Serve it confidently with BBQ ribs, roast lamb, smoked meats or spicy chicken.
The Canadian trio are from our friends at Chateau des Charmes in Niagara: the 2016 Blancs de Blanc Sparkling made in the manner of Champagne; the Beaujolais-like Gamay Noir Droit 2018; and the Chardonnay 2017 from the Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard. All available from the winery online now and the first two also at Vintages stores as of June 12. Prices are, respectively, $34.95, $19.95 and $24.95.
The sparkler, just like the still white, is 100% Chardonnay grapes and the Gamay is Canada's first native Vinifera (European) grape variety, born in the St David's Bench vineyard and it's a red wine of easy, fruity unoaked pleasure with nuances of raspberry and cherry, hints of black tea and banana, wet earth and violets.
|Fruity unoaked pleasure|
On a sad note, we mourn the loss of Alejandro Fernandez, Spain's pioneer of great red Tempranillo, especially his signature Pesquera from the Ribera del Duero region of his homeland. RIP