Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monthly Picks: October '14 - Thanksgiving

In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. For the US, it's November. The origins too, are different, but the modern-day traditional meal and cultural experience are quite similar: family, friends and food. Our Monthly Picks list for October is focused on perfect pairings for the ultimate Thanksgiving meal, no matter when you celebrate it.

With Turkey

Maverick Estate Winery 2013 Pinot Gris - $19

A textured and flavourful Pinot Gris which sees a quarter if the wine fermented in oak and the rest in stainless steel, delivering a rich and well balanced version of the grape. The palate, creamy upon entry, shows good continuity from the nose with added grapefruit flavours and crisp lemon/lime acidity, keeping the finish lively and refreshing.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2010 'Old Vines' Pinot Noir - $19
Sourced from the Niagara-On-The-Lake winery's oldest Pinot Noir plantings and has already developed nicely in the bottle, showing a wide spectrum of earth, mineral and red fruit aromas enveloped by toasted oak, adding depth and warmth. The dry palate follows with an Old World leaning flavour profile of mushroom and forest floor earthiness supported by cherry and tomato stock notes leading to a long, balanced finish.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc - $25
The dry palate has a restrained richness, with some fullness originating from the secondary "malolactic" fermentation (a process that softens the residual acidity), yet, it remains refreshing and fluid with a masculine profile of bright, berry fruit, cooking spices, light oak and mineral flavours. Tannins are of the rounded, easy-drinking variety which support early consumption.
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Upper Bench Estate Winery 2012 Pinot Noir - $28
A generous Pinot Noir whose fruity and earthy components co-exist nicely and are well supported by dusty tannins and wild berry acidity. Aromas of raspberry, cherry, forest floor, sweet cedar and clove grace the feminine nose while oak, spice and red fruit dominate the easy-drinking, fresh palate.
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With Ham

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2013 Pinot Blanc - $17
This Pinot Blanc is all about finding the balance between the juxtaposition of feminine and masculine characters. Both the nose and palate sees the richness of opulent, ripe Golden Delicious apples and white peaches balanced by cool mineral aromas and flavours and a smooth blanket of citrus acidity that keeps the finish fresh and vibrant.
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J Vineyards and Winery 2013 Vin Gris - $20
The palate is delightfully smooth and balanced with bright red fruit, steely mineral and tangy citrus flavours galore while a hint of tannins linger on the long, spice'n'lemon rind-infused finish. An excellent, food-friendly rosé to be enjoyed in its youth.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2013 Viognier - $22
Via the subtle nose you'll breath in aromas of ripe papaya, lemon/lime and cool minerals while the concentrated palate offers good continuity and similar characters. Plump and full, upon entry, thanks to the lush, tropical fruit flavours, partial oak ageing and the 5 months the wine spent "sur-lees" post-fermentation, meaning it remained in contact with its spent yeast particles, imparting warm brioche notes and enriching the mouth feel.
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Mt. Boucherie Winery 2011 Family Reserve Chardonnay - $25
Time in oak and a softening of the acids process known as 'MLF' or malolactic fermentation, has infused the nose with ripe apple, white peach and cream aromas, while offering, intense baked Granny Smith apple, brioche and spicy-vanilla flavours on the palate. Balance is kept in-check with cool, mineral-y acidity.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2014

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