Saturday, February 4, 2012

New wine discoveries

A new grape, a new label, and an annual Grand Tasting were the discoveries I made when I went to a wine-tasting charity fundraiser that featured wines from the Lifford Wine Agency.

We tasted three whites and three reds.

My favourite of the night was Lagrein, produced by a woman in Italy who has been winning awards for her outstanding talent.  It can't be easy to work in a profession that is dominated by men.  She was originally an architect by profession, until she married into a winemaking family:
"The challenge in changing profession from architect to winemaker was at first daunting. In the meantime my wines have scooped some of Italy’s highest awards, including the much coveted “Three Glasses” from Italy’s most influential wine guide, Gambero Rosso, three years in a row". Elena Walch 
This particular wine is made from the lagrein grape(pronounced lah-GRAH'EEN, lah-GRINE or lah-GRI'NE) native to Alto Adige in Northern Italy.  The taste was unique, with wonderful dimension and flavour.   The LCBO sells two different labels of this varietal, but nothing from Walch, so I placed an order for 6 bottles through Liffords.

As the evening went on I was scoring the wines more highly with each passing glass. Tasting notes from the evening:
  • Villa Sandi Prosecco, made from Glera (which were often called prosecco grapes, up to 2009),  produced in Veneto.  Sparkling wine with small bubbles to dance on the tongue.
  • Valle Dorado Sauvignon Blanc from the Central Valley in Chile.  Unoaked, but still buttery.
  • Garofoli 'Macrina', made from Verdicchio grapes indigenous to Marche in central Italy.  Some described it as salty/sweet taste combination.
  • Wall Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley tasted like velvet.  
  • Elena Walch Lagrein, beautiful red in the glass, aroma of flowers and berries, nicely balanced with a great finish
  • Greenstone Vineyard Heathcoate Shiraz from Australia.  Definitely a big red.  It had a hint of eucalyptus which added a hint of unexpected freshness. I think this would be amazing with  a juicy steak or lamb shank.  

Lifford's has an annual Grand Tasting each May that I'm already looking forward to attending this coming spring.

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