Summer Wine Festival – Thursday July 23, 2015

Riley Fisher
Thursday July 23, 2015

“Summer time and the living is easy!” It’s official, patio season has arrived and everyone is spending every night outside! A beautiful evening isn’t complete without raising your glass filled with lighter, whiter and brighter wines for summer. Here’s how we made summer sipping easy at our recent summer wine festival held  Thursday July 23.  We left the gigantic, tannic reds on the shelf and poured guests an array of whites, roses and sparklers, all perfect for the dog days of summer. Okay, okay, we snuck in a few lighter reds too!

Although our famous wine festivals typically run at 80 people in a storewide event, we were only able to catch about 20 people home from their holidays. Rather than cancel, we created an intimate space for our guests to meander through the wines and snack on the lovely cheese and charcuterie spread provided by our favourite neighbor, Peasant Cheese Shop. It was a lovely evening and many were sad when it came to a close.

A huge thank-you to everyone who came out!

Here are the wines we tasted and ones you don’t want to miss out on this summer:

Laherte Brut NV – France – Champagne
The Laherte family has been making Champagne for five generations! This Champagne comes from the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay, Vallee de la Marne and Cote des Blancs. $51.99

Casa De Oleiros Vinho Verde NV – Portugal
A fresh, pretty white wine from Portugal! This example of Portugal’s famous Vinho Verde comes from a fifth-generation winery dedicated to preserving ancient traditions. According to the winery team, the label is inspired by Valentine handkerchiefs, embroidered by the region’s young women. “These embroidered handkerchiefs depicted verse, drawings and some patterns symbolizing longing, absence and memory.” A lovely story, and a lovely white wine to share with someone special! $20.99

Lamadrid Torrontes 2011 – Argentina
A Kensington Wine Market exclusive! In each bottle of Lamadrid we open a door and discover a world of unique experiences and sensations,” says winery owner Guillermo Garcia Lamadrid. This bottle is filled with sensational notes of citrus, stone fruit and a hint of flowers. If you’re a fan of Chard and Viognier, you’ll want to check out this classic, classy Torrontes. Suitable for vegan diets, too, according to Barnivore. $18.99

Angel Rodriguez Verdejo Martinsancho 2013 – Spain
A great price and a very cool producer! The 2013 Martinsancho is a classical wine within the inox-fermented Verdejos from Rueda, produced from an old vineyard that was used to propagate many of the Verdejo vineyards in existence today. It has the telltale aromas of fennel and apple, quite typical, without any interference, as it was fermented with the indigenous yeasts. It shows very clean, with typicity, flavors of orange rind (citric freshness) and a pleasant bitter finish, but could do with a little more concentration and weight. Drink now! $19.99

Vina Alicia Tiara Organic White 2012 – Argentina  **FAVOURITE**
The Vina Alicia Tiara is a blend of 50% Riesling, 40% Albarino and 10% Sauvignon. Grown in Argentina, these vines are located at over 3500 feet above sea level! Look for citrus, spring flowers, baking spice, and stony mineral aromas leading into a spicy, mouth-filling, complex wine. In the glass it displays that extra dimension that separates the merely excellent from the outstanding. Absolutely perfect with Thai cuisine. Was $38.99 Now $29.94

Best’s Great Western Riesling 2012 – Australia
Riesling grapes were first planted on the Concongella vineyard in Victoria in 1944 on an area of the vineyard referred to as the Pigsty. Need we say more? The Best’s tended cattle and pigs to feed the gold miners in the area before grapes were planted. This Riesling is fresh and lively and an ideal partner for Salomon, a spicy Thai food. We paired it with some Lindsey Clothbound Cheddar from our favourite neighbour, Peasant Cheese Shop. Delicious! $27.99

Le Soula Trigone White 2013 – France **FAVOURITE**
92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate! The review: “The NV Vin de Fenouilledes Trigone L11 is made from mostly Macabeu, with 11% Malvoisie and the balance Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Vermentino, and a number of other varieties. As with the red, it’s from a mix of vintages, primarily 2012 and 2011, but with small components from each vintage back to 2009 as well. Light gold in color, it has a rocking, Chardonnay-like bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, light citrus, mineral, toasted bread and honeysuckle to go with a medium-bodied, layered and fresh profile on the palate.” $29.99

Manzone Rossese Bianco 2013 – Italy
A terrific white wine that goes with so much! One to check out if you’re intrigued by indigenous, unusual wines from Italy. And a good price, too, considering it comes from a top Piedmont producer. Notes of butterscotch and dried apricots make this one worth checking out. Pair with a simple gourmet pizza, roast chicken, or maybe a goat cheese and tomato tart.  $32.99

Carlisle Compagni Portis 2013 – USA
A Kensington Wine Market exclusive! Critics and KWM staff just love Carlisle’s wines — all created by the talented winemaker/owner Mike Officer. This field blend of Gewurztraminer, Trosseau Gris and Riesling is spicy and loaded with flavours: spice, lime, white flowers. Mmmm. Beautiful. $48.99

Pink Pegau 2014 – France
A Kensington Wine Market exclusive! Every time is the right time for rosé wines, especially when they’re as delicious as this one. Pegau Pink is an incredibly refreshing rosé from France’s Southern Rhone – and a favourite of Kensington Wine Market staff! Crisp and dry, with delicious juicy fruit notes.  $26.99

Poggio al Sole Rosato 2014 – Italy
This beautiful rosato (pink!) is made from pure Sangiovese grapes; it’s fresh, fruity and deliciously easy to drink. Serve as an aperitif, or with roast chicken, roast turkey, perhaps some salmon or a charcuterie platter. As for the winery, Poggio al Sole lies in the very heart of Tuscany, in that famous, glorious countryside between Florence and Sienna. $21.99

Lapierre Morgon Cru Beaujolais 2013 – France
Ah, Beaujolais, how much we love you! This domaine has been family-run for three generations. Marcel Lapierre, the current winemaker, combines modern technology with ancient winemaking methods. He tries to give his Morgon the utmost expression of the terroir, remaining faithful to the spirit of the grape. His wines, with their aromas of cherries and licorice, are world-renowned. The Cru Morgon is the Beaujolais’ most important Cru. Extremely well-made, and perfectly balanced with aromas of cherries and licorice. Organic. Pairs well with chicken or salmon! $38.99

Hansel Pinot Noir Estate Vineyards 2012 – USA **FAVOURITE**
91 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate! The review: “The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate impresses for its energy, cut and minerality. In 2011, the Estate is a bit racier and more energetic than the 2010, but just as beautiful, if not a bit more complex at the end of the day. Freshly cut flowers, savory herbs, mint and licorice all seem to jump from the glass in an energetic Pinot endowed with stunning balance, class and pedigree. …One of the every finest values in artisan California Pinot. Sweet floral notes add finesse on the layered, creamy finish.” $48.99

Reschke Bull Trader Shiraz 2008 – Australia
A flavorful Shiraz from one of Australia’s premier red wine areas, Coonawarra. Meet the Bull Trader: a soft approachable fruit-driven Shiraz. The winemakers call it ethereal. It’s easy on the palate and the pocket book! Another neat thing, it’s robust without being over the top in terms of heat (alcohol) like many Aussie reds. Enjoy hints of cedar and violet and dark fruit. $24.99

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