BRICKS 6 August 2020
BENJAMIN BRIDGE 2019 PÉT-NAT
GASPEREAU VALLEY, NOVA SCOTIA
The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy, where the cool climate bears an uncanny affinity with the Champagne region of France. In just a little more than a decade, Benjamin Bridge has firmly established their status as Canada's most acclaimed sparkling wine house.
This super approachable Pét-Nat is made from 100% Geisenheim. Not familiar with that grape? That’s okay, most people aren’t. It’s a hybrid grape that was created in 1957 at Germany’s Geisenheim Institute by crossing Riesling with Chancellor (which funny enough, is yet another obscure hybrid grape).
The wine has beautiful aromas of flowers and oranges… imagine walking into a flower shop while peeling a mandarin orange. The mandarin note carries through to the palate where it’s met with tropical flavours of pineapple and guava, green apple, grapefruit, lime zest and just a hint of ginger.
WESZELI TERRAFACTUM 2018 GRÜNER VELTLINER LANGELOIS
The foundation of the winery where Weszeli is today was laid in 1679. For more than 300 years, a mix of different types of farming had been practiced in the flatlands and on the terraces around Langenlois, with viticulture playing only a minor role. It wasn’t until the second half of the last century that the farmers working in the region began focusing exclusively on winegrowing, drawing on a wealth of experience that has been passed down from generation to generation. Today they practice organic viticulture.
For this particular wine, grapes are hand harvested from 60+ small plots as they reach their desired ripeness. After fermentation has completed the wine is aged on lees in stainless steel tanks for 6 months.
Aromas of freshly squeezed limes and green bell pepper leap from the glass! More lime races across the delicate palate with some pineapple, white pepper and tarragon.
And yes, that is indeed a squirrel depicted on the label, in the form of a topographical map, to remind us of the hilly vineyards in this area of the Kamptal!
KITSCH WINES 2019 BLOCK PARTY
OKANAGAN VALLEY, B.C.
The Kitsch family’s Okanagan roots stretch back to 1910, when Kelowna was still a small, lakefront pioneer settlement. Four generations later, they produce premium, sustainably-grown wines that pair equally well with both special occasions and games nights. With a little help from some friends, they transformed overgrown fields into lush vineyards, set on historic apple orchards that originally served as the Kelowna Land & Orchards (KLO) headquarters.
The 2019 Block Party is a celebration of all the grapes that Kitsch grows. It incorporates Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, coming from five different blocks. Get it?
The result is an expressive, super fun wine that’s ready to party! Winemaker Grant Biggs added just a touch of crushed Pinot Noir back into the ferment to give the wine it’s gorgeous colour; that and 90 days on lees gives the wine a gorgeous mouth filling texture. Aromas of freshly baked peach pie play into flavours of fruit salad - think strawberries, kiwis, gala apples, cantaloupe and of course, peaches!
FAR FROM THE CROWD 2018 PINOTAGE ROSÉ
WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
I’m a huge fan of this grape when it’s done right, which IMO is with a light, more refined touch. This rosé takes that light touch to the next level!
Pinotage is South African through and through… it was created at the Stellenbosch University back in 1925, by crossing the light and delicate Pinot Noir with the much hardier Cinsault.
Fun fact! They used to refer to Cinsault as Hermitage in South Africa, which is odd as the red wines that come from France’s famed Hermitage region are made from Syrah. Pinotage is simply a portmanteau of the two grape names!
The Pinotage for this particular wine comes from multiple, extreme sites throughout the Cape. Winemaker Bruce Jack blends the different sites together to create complex, yet harmonious wines. And does that ever shine through here! This wine has a lot going on, aromas of cotton candy and strawberry jam give the initial impression this wine will be sweet, but as you dig into it, you’ll find it’s dry and refreshing with flavours of grapefruit, tart red cherries and some savory notes of mint and white pepper.
AGRICOLA FORADORI 2019 LEZÈR
Agricola Foradori was established back in 1901, but it wasn’t until 1985 after the passing of her father that 18-year-old Elisabetta took over the family estate. She began to replant the vineyards with a heavy focus on Teroldego, a nearly extinct grape that is native to the region. It’s thanks to the efforts of Elisabetta, her husband Rainer Zierock and a few other dedicated growers in the region that the Teroldego grape has even survived. In 2000, Elisabetta embraced biodynamics and today she is in the process of passing the reins on to her children.
Created as an experimental wine after a tough 2017 vintage, Lezèr was a smashing success! Now made annually with 70% Teroldego, 20% Manzoni Bianco, 5% Nosiola & 5% Pinot Grigio, it’s meant to intentionally blur the line between red and rosé. Afterall “lezèr” does mean “light” in the Trentino dialect.
This is uncomplicated with a savory herbaceousness, complimented by flavors of super-duper ripe raspberries and black plums. Treat this like rosé and serve it chilled!
MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE 2017 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR VIEILLES VIGNES
Maison Roche de Bellene is the négociant winery of Nicolas Potel, a well-known and highly regarded winemaker in Burgundy. Founded in 2009, the emphasis at Roche de Bellene is to produce wines made from vieilles vignes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “Vieilles vignes” translates to “old vine” and to Nicolas this means they must be 40 years or older.
Nicolas chose to name his winery after the city of Beaune, which was called “Bellene” until the Middle Ages. The city has historical links to the world of wine and is recognized for the diversity of its terroirs.
The grapes for this cuvée come from plots in the Côte Chalonnaise, Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits Villages appellations, all of which are in slightly different microclimates.
The resulting wine is a beautiful balance of finesse and juiciness! Imagine walking through a cherry orchard and picking the fruit right off the tree. Take in all the smells and the flavours. Now add a splash of cola and some baking spice!
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