Tuesday, March 10. 2015
A Couple of Bargain Priced New Listings at the NSLC and Classic Belgian Trappist Beers at Rockhead Wine & Beer Market
Nova Scotia’s Devonian Coast Winery has initiated a wine importation venture with two wines from Chile. They come in a 1 litre bottle and are available at many NSLC stores.
Rockhead Wine & Beer Market, successor to Premier Wine & Spirits, is continuing to develop its fine beer specialisation and has recently installed 4 in-store beer taps. The store also has well-selected wine offerings in the moderate to medium price range. This week’s reviews include two all-time classic Belgian Trappist beers as well as a Belgian-inspired brew from Quebec. All are well worth a try.
DCW Internantional Series Chardonnay 2014, Valle Central, Chile 13.5% $14.99 (1 Litre bottle) NSLC (Wide Distribution) Ripe citrus, yellow pear with light tropical fruit and spicy notes on the nose, generous lemon citrus and tropical fruit with a suggestion of mango in the mouth. Finishes with refreshingly crisp acidity and lightly buttery, toasty notes. Stylish and very drinkable Chardonnay and an excellent value. ***
DCW Internantional Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Non-Vintage, Valle Central, Chile 13.5% $14.99 (1 Litre bottle) NSLC (Wide Distribution) Scents of blackcurrant, blackberry with spicy and light green herbal overtones lead the way for thickly textured ripe blackberry flavours on the palate. Tannins are heavy but approachable, with balanced acidity and firm dry tannic finish. **
Pearl Morissette Niagara Vineyards Cuvée Dix-Neuvième Chardonnay 2011, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario 13.5% $44.99 Rockhead, Wine & Beer Market, Windsor Street, Halifax (next to Sobey’s) Bright golden coloured, showing intense green apple, citrus and subtle vanilla on the nose with concentrated sappy green apple and lemon citrus flavours playing through on the palate. Steely acidity and mineral grip are tempered by a delicate touch of lemon butter on the finish. A cool-climate Burgundian style wine that could benefit from a bit more time in the cellar. **
Lealtanza Capitoso 2012, Rioja DOC, Spain $17.99 Rockhead, Wine & Beer Market. 100% Tempranillo, this one reveals ripe red and dark fruit scents overlaid with cinnamon, clove and a whiff of vanilla. Rich, thick blackberry flavours kick in on the palate with a splash of dark chocolate, lightly firm tannic structure and redcurrant/blackcurrant notes on the finish. Drinking well now, but can use another 2-3 years additional ageing. **
Duvel Golden Ale, Belgium 8.5% $4.49 330ml. Rockhead Wine & Beer Market Top-fermented, with a secondary fermentation in the bottle, this beer will be cloudy unless allowed to stand and then poured carefully, leaving the yeasty residue behind. Belgians will normally opt to drink it cloudy with the residue poured as well. The head is thick, creamy and remarkably persistent. Lightly fruity, nutty and bready yeasty aromas lead into some delicate fruitiness and light dryness on the finish. The pleasantly creamy texture and mild flavours can be deceptive. It slides down very easily, so don’t forget that it is over 8% alcohol! ***
Orval Trappist Ale, Belgium 6.9% $4.99 330ml. Rockhead Wine & Beer Market Complex sweet and slightly sour scents combine with hints of gaminess and traces of subtle spice. Shows more delicacy on the palate than you might expect, despite the relatively high alcohol, with subtle orangey and spicy flavours that suggest pairing with Oriental foods. Has real finesse. ***
Belgh Brasse Mons Abbey Dubbel – Belgian inspired and brewed with traditional spices 8% $9.99 (750ml bottle) Rockhead Wine & Beer Market Dark reddish brown in the glass, with fruity and rich malty aromas backed by hoppy and lightly spicy background scents. Sweet fruit, malt and chocolate flavours come with gentle, bottle-fermented carbonation, finishing with fruit cake spiciness and lightly dry bitter grip. A fine heart-warming cold weather brew. ***
* Good value in its price range
** Particularly good value in its price range
***Exceptional value in its price range