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Limoux times two

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Crémant de Limoux 2013, Expression, Antech ($20.60, 10666084)
Chardonnay (60%), Chenin Blanc (20%) and Mauzac (20%) from vines rooted in argilo-calcerous soil. Manually harvested. After pressing, the musts are chilled and clarified by settling, then transferred to stainless steel fermentation vessels. First fermentation lasts 15 to 21 days. The wine is then clarified by fining and sparkled using the traditional method. Spends at least 18 months on the lees in the bottle before disgorging. Reducing sugar: 8.1 g/l (for the 2014). 12% ABV. Quebec agent: AOC.
Cookie dough, chalk and lemon. Fine and persistent effervescence. Clean and dry on the palate, the fruit tending to apple, with good acidity and a dusting of minerals. A hint of bitterness creeps in on the faintly honeyed finish. It’s a bit anonymous – more cava- than champagne-like – but certainly drinkable. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Crémant de Limoux 2013, Brut, Clos des Demoiselles, J. Laurens ($23.90, 10498973)
Chardonnay (60%), Chenin Blanc (30%) and Pinot Noir (10%). The varieties are manually harvested and vinified separately. First fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then bottled with added yeast for second fermentation, matured on the lees for 15 months and disgorged, all per the traditional method. Reducing sugar: 12 g/l. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Sélections Oeno.
Cookie dough again, this time with marzipan, “matches” and a sour edge. Gained faint notes of “slightly rotting tropical fruit” and candied apple. Richer, more complex and less cava-like than the Antech, with softer, rounder bubbles. The fruit – pear and a little citrus – is upfront but the wine comes across as dry, due in part to the lively acidity. Chalky minerals thread through the mid-palate and into the long finish. Fresh, balanced and satisfying. The usually shaped bottle is quite slippery. (Buy again? Sure.)

The Antech was supposed to be the newly arrived 2014 and I didn’t notice that it wasn’t till unveiling the bottle at the tasting. The vintage information is in the SAQ’s product database yet, perversely, SAQ.com doesn’t make use of it. Why the site usually lists only the latest vintage received and thus sometimes misidentifies the vintage in a given store is a mystery, a source of frustration and a major fail.

MWG April 14th tasting: flight 1 of 6

Written by carswell

May 26, 2016 at 11:53

MWG January 8th tasting: A pair of Dão reds

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Dão 2011, Reserva, Quinta da Pellada/Àlvaro Castro ($28.25, 11902106)
A blend of Alfrocheiro (65%) and Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (35%) from vines between 25 and 65 years old. Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and minimal intervention in large concrete and Ganimede stainless steel tanks. Matured in fifth-fill, 400-litre French oak barrels. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Mainly plum with hints of licorice, slate and white pepper and a surprising whiff of spruce beer. Fruit-dense yet remarkably fresh in the mouth. Subliminally structured. Smoky minerals add ballast and linger well into the long finish. Such a beautifully balanced, pure and drinkable wine. Hugely enjoyable if primary now; potentially sublime after another four or five years in the bottle. (Buy again? Imperatively.)

Dão 2011, Duque de Viseu, Quinta dos Carvalhais ($14.95, 00546309)
Quinta dos Carvalhais is the Dão arm of Portugese giant Sogrape. Contrary to what SAQ.com claims, this is a blend of Alfrocheiro (28%), Touriga Nacional (28%), Jaen (20%) and Tinta Roriz (18%). The grape varieties are vinified separately. The grapes are destemmed and gently crushed, then gravity-transferred to temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for six days’ fermentation and maceration. The free-run juice is transferred to stainless steel tanks, the skins to a pneumatic press, with the press juice being added to the free-run juice for malolactic fermentation. After blending, a fraction of the wine is matured for 12 months in used French oak barrels while the remainder ages in stainless steel tanks “regularly undergoing clarification” (whatever that means) and micro-oxygenation. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Charton Hobbs.
Dark fruit, savoury spices and notes of latex glove and rose. Smooth and supple with good acidity and yielding tannins. The ripe-sweet fruit is darkened by earthy minerals. There’s pleasing surface aplenty but little depth. Spices faintly overtone the clean if somewhat abrupt finish. Not memorable but not bad for a $15 industrially produced wine. (Buy again? If more interesting options aren’t available, sure.)

(Flight: 7/8)

Written by carswell

February 8, 2015 at 14:12