White wines that really need to be tried to be appreciated!

White wines that really need to be tried to be appreciated!

Wine Wise with Doug Sloan

Put down that glass of Chardonnay! Forget about trendy Sauvignon Blanc! Take your taste buds on a white wine adventure!

Zuccardi was founded in 1963 by Alberto Zuccardi. In those times, he began planting vines in Maipú (province of Mendoza), experimenting with an irrigation system of his own creation based on a method used in California. By September 2007 Decanter magazine was acknowledging José Alberto and Sebastián Zuccardi as being among the five most influential personalities in the Argentine wine scene.

Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes (132035) $16.90 shows a delicate and unique nose, full of white flowers, roses and lemon blossoms. As it opens in the glass it captivates with notes of mature white fruits and citrus zest. Like a rich Sauvignon Blanc it is well structured with a lively acidity but remains centred around the aromatic intensity and remarkably rich finish.

Moschofilero is an aromatic white grape with a pink/purple skin and quite spicy flavor and bright acidity. Grown throughout much of Greece and primarily in Peloponnese where it is traditionally used to make a dry and bold wine with much spice and perfume. It is characterized by a “rose garden’ bouquet and is usually paired with fresh fruit or fruit-based desserts.

Grown in their Mantinia vineyards in the Pelloponesian Penisnsula south west of Athens Boutari Moschofilero (177154) $18.00 boasts an intense floral and fruity bouquet dominated by aromas of white rose, melon and citrus. The flavours are a medley of orange blossom, grapefruit with subtle hints of tangerine.

Dick & Shona Lancaster purchased their 7 acre Naramata Bench vineyard in 2000 and got to work right away planting more vines. By 2006 they had built Black Widow Winery and released their first single vineyard wines. Today their production averages 2,200 cases/year – all from grapes grown on the Naramata Bench within a short walk of the winery.

An off-dry Okanagan Valley blend of Schonburger, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris wine grapes Black Widow Oasis (506907) $19.75 exudes a medley of ripe tropical fruitiness.  Honeyed melon, kiwi, lychee and pretty strawberry and rose petal flavours overflow on the palate.

Fontanafredda is the single largest contiguous estate in Piedmont, Italy with over 305 acres of land, including 210 acres of vineyards in the Serralunga, Barolo and Diano d’ Alba communes. All estate vineyards are farmed without the use of chemicals, and the property is home to a bio-natural reserve, a safe and sustainable refuge for a wide array of local flora and fauna.

One of Italy’s most fashionable whites Fontanafredda Gavi (224709) $22.35 is made from 100 percent Cortese wine grapes and renowned for its acute dryness and fresh, flinty acidity. It has a full, delicate, elegant bouquet which brings flowers and fresh fruit to mind – lemons, lilies of the valley and green apples. Bright and sassy on first sip, it develops a chalky minerality as it warms up on the tongue.

A hybrid grape developed specifically for Vancouver Islands coastal climate, grown in their vineyard outside of Mill Bay, Unsworth Vineyards Vintner’s Selection signifies a wine of exceptional quality and distinction, crafted from hand selected Cowichan Valley fruit. This limited release wine highlight the exceptional character of Vancouver Island’s unique terroir.

On the nose Unsworth Petit Milo (610253) $24.10 is reminiscent of ripe pink grapefruit, highlighted with aromas of white peach and lime. The palate reveals depth and richness with flavours of hard lemon candy and hints of guava. Made from 100 per cent Petit Milo grapes, this wine highlights the exceptional character of our region’s unique terroir with elegant aromatics and seductive tropical fruit finish.

Okanagan-based winemaker Matt Dumayne is crafting exceptional wines, working with owners Layne Robert Craig and Brenda Hetman-Craig at 40 Knots Estate Winery in Comox.  Veering seriously towards natural, non-interventionist winemaking, the results are as fascinating as they are astonishing.

New and very much in a class of its own 40 Knots L’Orange Schonberger (780221) $35.00 harks back to traditional natural winemaking methods. Using absolutely no additives, this Schonberger was kept on skins for fermentation and aging, creating a white wine with a deeply orange colour, surprisingly brisk tannins, a sturdy structure and immense complexity. Under a nutty almost sherried dried apricot set of flavours, there are undertones of honeysuckle and a bouquet of savoury fennel and olive subtleties.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com


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