Oct 17, 2013

Sparkling Wines - Great Alternatives to Champagne!

There is no better way to celebrate the start of the holiday season than with a glass of bubbly. This November, the Toronto Vintners Club presents an extraordinary tasting of affordable options to Champagne. Our tasting will feature sparkling wines from California, France, Spain, Italy, Ontario, and New Zealand. Each region offers a unique variation that gives the Champagne region a run for its money when it comes to exceptional wine quality.

Theme:  Sparking Wines - Great Alternatives to Champagne
Date:  Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Time:  6 PM Reception wine; 6:20 PM Main Event
Place:  Faculty Club, Univ of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto
Fee:    TVC Member: $60; Guests/Non-Members: $85
Buy Tickets   Please note, all ticket sales are final.

This is a great opportunity to sample a number of sparklers that should still be available from the LCBO/Vintages, just in time for the holiday season.


Ferrari Rosé Metodo Classico (Italy) $37
“Distinct and very refined, with the fresh fragrance of hawthorne flowers, red currants and wild strawberries. Taste: Dry, clean and elegant, with a delicate finish of sweet almonds.” Winemaker’s website. 

Beaumont Des Crayeres Grand Prestige Brut Champagne (France) $45
“Classy wine with a harmonious balance between Christmas pudding and perfumed aromas, toasty autolysis and an overall energetic freshness.” Score - 4 Stars (out of 5). Decanter World Wine Awards, 2012.

Quartz Reef Method Traditionelle (New Zealand) $30
“The non-vintage Methode Traditionelle Sparkling is sourced from Gibbston and Bendigo, displays a captivating nose of oyster shell, orange-blossom and granite; the palate very well-balanced with good acidity and touches of lemon zest, green apple and just a faint hint of elderflower on the bone-dry finish. I doubt you will find a better non-vintage New Zealand sparkler.” 90 pts. N. Martin, eRobertParker.com, Apr. 2008.

Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé Methode Traditionnelle (California) $39
"This sparkling wine is a heck of a value. A blend of 52% Pinot Noir and 48% Chardonnay aged two years on its lees prior to being bottled, it offers tiny, well-defined bubbles, persistent effervescence, and fresh brioche and lemon custard notes intertwined with hints of apple skins and tangerines. Fresh, medium-bodied and crisp, this delightful sparkler sells at a realistic price. It should last for several years." 90 pts. eRobertParker.com, Oct. 2012.

2001 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuvée (California) $63
“A rich and complex nose offers ripe apples and Asian pears that lead to bright berry fruit aromas interlaced with a hint of yeast and toasted brioche. On the palate, this wine is creamy and vibrant with complex layers of baked apple and citrus with perfectly balanced acidity intermingling in a very elegant, vibrant and enduring finish.” 94 pts. Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Advance Buying Guide, Nov. 2013.

2009 Cava Rose 'De Nit', Raventos I Blanc, Spain $26
"The outstanding 2009 De Nit (rosé) has an almost hypnotic, perfect pale hue that is worth the price alone! A blend of classic Cava varieties with 5% Monastrell, it is sourced from 30- to 40-year-old vines from the estate. The nose is very subtle and very pretty with traces of rosewater, fish scale and Morello cherries, all beautifully defined and drawing you in. The palate is crisp and tense on the entry: a minimalist rose cave that is based on freshness and poise rather than delivering fruit intensity. It is a delicate, very pretty, harmonious Cava rosé that is sensual and alluring. Who needs Champagne when Cava can be as good as this? Drink now  - 2015+ " 93 points Robert Parker's WA.

2011 Hinterland Blanc des Blancs Method Traditional (Ontario) $35 
“After a year of aging, the blanc de blanc has the aromatics and flavour profile of a rich and aged champagne.  We are very proud of this wine, balancing good fruit, creaminess and bracing acidity. This wine feels like it will age gracefully for 10 to 12 years.” Winemaker’s website.

2008 Huff Cuvée (Ontario) $40
“Our all-county sparkling is fashioned in the Methode Traditionnelle manner. Vibrantly structured and embued with Asian pear, nutmeg and tarte tatin aromas. Blessed with a delicate mousse, it is augmented with a complex melding of coconut, pineapple, marzipan, orange peel and spiced ripe apple; all within a distinctive County minerality.” Winemaker’s website.