IVSA November 9. The Whites.

The last IVSA New Products Salon of the year was fun, crowded and full of new, tasty wines. The usual suspects were around and for the first time in a while I got to see the Wine Diva, Daenna Van Mulligen, tasting some sparkling wines of the Vino Allegro portfolio. For Daenna traveling has been intense recently and between flying, events and writing for her website, there is little time for anything else. As usual she was fun, friendly and looking spectacular. Oh, well, let’s not get carried away and onto the wines I tasted. I tried to taste more reds this time, as the three hours that these events last seem to shrink into some sort of time warp  and you never get to taste all the wines you planned.  I will cover the whites first, then bubbles and reds.

First I visited the Stewart Wine & Spirits booth, where I kicked off the night with the Bollini 2008 Pinot Grigio Trentino DOC. No surprises here, as the product is well established in the BC market. Fresh fruit and refreshing acidity held up by a slightly creamy texture. Always nice to find a Pinot Grigio which is not just another one. Under 20 dollars, this wine is an excellent pick any time. I followed with a Sauvignon Blanc by Bastianich, the “B” 2008. Compact and snappy, this would be a good alternative to Kiwi Sauv Blanc, especially on these cool days when the grassy character is not as attractive, and a more savory, almondy , less acidic wine seems to fit better the weather and gris November mood. This different Sauv Blanc will set you back 19.99. Give it a try. 

I have been waiting for a while to taste the Cuvee Claude Seigneuret Vielles Vignes Macon Bussieres AC 2007 by Domaine de la Saraziniere (what a mouthful of a name here) and I was not disappointed. Electric minerality upholds the….. (illegible!) fruit, better described as a touch of lemon juice squeezed through a filter of flint. Nice acidity and can see why this is a Liquid Art staff favorite. Now is one of mine too at 28.99 per bottle.

Wine Rhapsody brought a small yet tasty set of wines to the show. From the beautiful Loire, two Chenin Blanc offerings proved to be great wines for the season. The Chateau de Varennes Savennieres 2005 renders a textbook tasting of the appellation, with plenty of character, honeyfloralspicyacidity (did you get that? Im playing Faulkner here) at 30.00 dollars.  Also from the Loire and also Chenin Blanc but this time noblerotted, the Chateau Belle-Rive Quarts de Chaume 2003 is as beautiful as the sound of its name. This is all about texture texture and more texture against which fruit flavors, not-cloying sweetness and sober acidity plus a touch of minerality move in a seamless dance. 70.oo dollars for a 750 ml bottle is not bad at all, considering other similar products in the market. I wish I had had some blue cheese to go with. Hmm.


Among the most delicious whites of the evening was the Marina Cvetic 2007 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. Represented by Burrows, Luongo & Associates, this high alcohol (14.5%) white surely stands up to its 62.99 dollar price tag. Audacious in its aroma spectrum and bodacious in mouth, this wine is round, intense and satisfying. For those lovers of good west coast halibut baked with herbs and rich sauces, this is the bottle to pick. Having been in the halibut fishing industry for several years, I guarantee it. Your money back? Go see the agents! ; ) 

Wine Quest never fails to surprise and this time they did it again with a delicious Ribolla from Colli Orientali del Friuli. This 2007 Gialla by Poggiobello salutes with a heap of wet hay, melon and pomme aromas followed by a medium bodied, crisp, clean-finish sip. 25.99. Also at this table, the unoaked 2007 IGT Prato Grande Chardonnay by De Angelis was fresh, flinty and fersistant. I meant persistant but got caught with the flow of f’s. Go figure. Figure it out. Ok, enouf –enough- of that. 18.52 for this interesting wine from Marche.


Legacy Brand Management treated me to their 2003 Eikendal Stellenbosch Reserve Chardonnay. I have been curious about the new South African Chardonnays that (like the Ataraxia) seem to be harvesting awards left, right and center. This one had a remarkably skillful use of oak giving structure to rich lemony flavors that persisted in the finish. Truly delicious at 30.99 almost ten dollars below the aforementioned Ataraxia Chardonnay.


The only Muscadet Sevre et Maine of the night I tasted was brought by La Boutique du Vin. The Chant de la Mer indeed carried some marine reminiscence in its briney nutty leesy minerality. I thought of oysters and kisses. Oh, well, maybe shouldn’t go there, but they go together don’t they. 18.99 makes perfect for a nice seafood dinner for two any evening.


Lanigan & Edwards Wine Merchants import the wonderful 2006 Estate Chardonnay by Trefethen, the house that produces famed Cabernet Sauvignon. A mouth coating, unambiguously Californian Chardonnay, at 34.99 this creamy white puts La Crema in the back seat. Chard lovers pay attention.


That’s all folks.

Ciao for now.


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