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Data-free sparklers

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Prince Edward County 2011, Blanc de blancs, Culmination, Traditional Method, Lighthall Vineyards ($35.00 at the winery)
Good luck finding technical information about this wine; the winery appears to think only the wines currently available for purchase online deserve mention. 100% Chardonnay. May have been fermented in French oak barrels. May have been matured on the lees in French oak barrels. 12% ABV.
Subdued nose: lemon, “boxwood,” yeast, yellow apple, puff pastry. Assertively fizzy (“almost harsh the bubbles”) but otherwise light, even ethereal. Clean, dry, brightly acidic with just enough fruit and a long tart finish. (Buy again? Sure.)

Canada 2011, Blanc de noirs, À la volée, The Old Third (c. $45.00 at the winery a few years ago)
No mention of this wine is made on the winery’s website. 100% Pinot Noir from the estate’s Prince Edward County vineyard. May have spent 18 months to three years on the lees. May have been manually riddled and disgorged. May be undosed. 12.5% ABV.
Brioche, almond croissant, yellow apple, pear and an oxidized note that one taster termed “rancio.” Rich but not heavy. Softly effervescent with fine bubbles. Rounder, smoother, deeper and better balanced than the Lighthall – technically speaking the better of the two wines – but, oddly, not more interesting. Still, one of the few New World sparklers that can stand comparison with champagne. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG August 12th tasting: flight 2 of 8

Back in 2012, I wrote:

Trying to find technical information on PEC wines is an exercise in frustration. Want to know if a wine was aged in barrels, what the barrels were made from, who they were made by, what percentage was new? Curious about what grapes in what proportion went into the wine? Wondering what kind of agricultural practices are used? Whether a wine is filtered, fined or sulphured? You probably won’t find many if any answers to those and other technical questions on the winery’s website. Yes, some of these are tiny operations. But others aren’t (looking at you, Norman Hardie). And anyway, winemakers, you have this information. It can be typed up in five minutes. It doesn’t have to be nicely presented; the people interested in it don’t give a damn about formatting. What’s important is that it be available. As things stand now, we’re forced to scour the Web for reviews and reports on winery visits, and even when we find information on blogs or in articles, it’s incomplete and often contradictory.

How discouraging to see the situation remains unchanged.

Written by carswell

September 6, 2016 at 12:51

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