Wednesday, August 1, 2012

12 Summer Sippers for 2012

Aromatic white wines, both single varietals and blends, make for excellent sunny-deck-socializing and picnic pairing. Ideally, to beat the heat and compliment the long evenings we get up north in August, you'll want a wine that has the ratio of sugar-to-acid balanced to favour a touch of sugar to keep you energized and just the right amount of acid to keep your mouth refreshed and ready for more.

The following 12 wines, arranged by price-point, manage the balance of sugar-to-acid well and qualify as a Summer Sipper. Enjoy.

Mezzacorona 2011 Pinot Grigio - $10
To be sure, there is nothing complex or terribly unique about this wine but is it a good drink with some decent typicity for the variety that will make for a happy addition to any sunny deck. Yes. Clean, crisp and loaded with citrus fruit zest and light mineral notes- well worth the ten $ it will cost to open.

Graham Beck Wines 2010 The Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc - $10
Clean, crisp and focused, this South African Sauvignon Blanc has a lot going for it with good varietal expression of lemon/lime and kiwi fruit with typical grassy notes wrapped within a tart, mouth watering embrace of green apple acidity.

Intrigue Wines 2011 "11" - $15
At $15 bucks a pop this wine may be the best valued Summer Sipper for 2012 from BC. An effortless blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muscat Canelli that delivers good fruit expression and mouth-watering acidity without ever feeling "hot" despite its light bodied structure.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2010 St. David's Bench Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - $15
The acid is high and a tad sharp, but when paired with a hot deck and fresh oysters, you'll be thankful it's there. The moderate finish lingers with cool minerality and tart, green apple flavours and just a hint of spice.
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Cellar Hand 2011 Free Run White - $16
An easy-going, well-priced blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Light bodied with a good amount of acidity, but nothing that will tire-out your palate - only leave it refreshed for more. Perfect pair for summer salads.

Oyster Bay Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc - $17
Classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with loads of gooseberry, green apple, sweet grass and lemon drop aromas and flavours without pungent cat's pee notes. Dry, with a touch of residual sugar to offset the mouth watering acid.
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Fairview Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - $20
The driest selection of the bunch, this Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and citrus-y is a perfect match for oysters and hot decks.
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Young and Wyse Collection 2011 Amber - $20
A lively and cheerful blend of 43% Viognier, 37% Pinot Gris and 20% Gewurztraminer with apple crumble, papaya and sweet citrus aromas on the pleasant nose. The crisp palate follows with intense green apple acidity, lemon/lime flavours and cool minerality.
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Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Riesling - $20
This is an ultra-low alcohol, off-dry example of the Germanic variety with a concentrated, vibrant nose of apples, nectarines, flowers and steel aromas. The sweet and tangy palate follows with intense apricot, gooseberry and fruit cup flavours with green apple tartness.
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La Frenz Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - $22
Year-in, year-out the La Frenz Sauvignon Blanc is a top medal contender in every competition it enters. The 2011 release may be the winery's best yet with a rich offering of citrus and tropical fruit flavours and aromas. The balance of residual sugar-to-rich fruit-to-crisp acidity is nearly perfect and makes for a lovely, mouth-watering mouth feel.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2011 Oldfield Series 2Bench White - $23
Both opulent, with rich orchard fruit by the bushel, and light with delicate, aromatic notes'a'plenty. Melon, grapefruit and minerals round out the flavour profile with a touch of lingering spice on the long finish. Just delicious!
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JoieFarm 2011 A Noble Blend - $24
For the second year in a row the blend for the JoieFarm flagship wine remains a Riesling-Gewurztraminer leading concoction of exotic fruit characters and well-balanced, refreshing acidity.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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