Monday, September 12. 2016
Taste of Nova Scotia has recently launched their annual Taste of Nova Scotia Awards (previously Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards). I would like to take this opportunity to help spread the word and encourage readers to nominate their favourite Taste of Nova Scotia products, restaurants and experiences. This year there are five awards: Product of the Year, Producer of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Server of the Year and Culinary Ambassador of the Year.
Nova Scotia continues to go from strength to strength in all aspects of culinary excellence. This is a great opportunity for you to recognise the efforts of the people who, in your experience, have really helped to raise the bar this year.
For further information on how to nominate your personal choice, please visit: http://tasteofnovascotia.com/awards Nominations close September 19th.
This week’s reviews include a broad selection of wines, some of which are specially priced at the NSLC. There are also a couple of beers from the growing number of excellent regional craft brews coming on the market.
Manos Negras Red Soil Select Pinot Noir 2011, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina. 14% $20.79. NSLC (Limited Selection). Shows strawberry and raspberry, with a pinch of clove, cinnamon spice and a touch of vanilla on the nose. Evolves in the mouth to blackberry and blackcurrant flavours with background raspberry, finishing with firm tannins and a splash of dark chocolate. A good Pinot with a distinctive Patagonian stamp. ***
Lindemans Gentleman’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, South Eastern Australia 14% $18.99. NSLC General List. Stiffened with a splash of fortified wine, this one offers deeply scented spicy red and dark fruit on the nose with dark cherry and cassis on the palate. Somewhat sweet fruit character is reminiscent of Ruby Port. Well-balanced and structured, it finishes with lingering cassis, bitter cherry and tannic grip. Somewhat unusual but well worth a try. ***
Benjamin Bridge Vero 2014, Nova Scotia. 11% $21.95. Available at Farmers Markets, Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing, Halifax and the Winery Store. A blend of 100% Nova Scotia grapes showing grapefruit, green apple and stone fruit with characteristic vibrant acidity and firm mineral, finishing with an initial trace of sweetness, then bone dry. ***
Luckett Vineyards Buried White 2013, Single Vineyard, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia $38.00 Bishop’s Cellar (Sold Out at the Winery). Made from 100% L’Acadie grapes and subsequently buried 8 feet underground in Hungarian oak barrels for 12 months in the same vineyard soil, this is not your everyday wine. It is clearly different from the same wine made in more orthodox fashion. Shows complexity on the nose, with scents of tropical fruit, banana, caramel and vanilla. Buttery, toasty and citrus flavours show up in the mouth, backed by brisk acidity and mineral grip. Toasted, crème brulée-like notes linger on the finish. ****
Joseph Cattin Riesling Reserve 2014, Alsace AC, France. 12% $23.00 The Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing, Halifax. Subtle floral, lemon citrus and mineral aromatics lead the way for classic Riesling flavours, showing fine citrus, bright mineral and lively acidity, finishing quite dry. An exceptionally well-balanced Riesling made in the dry, food-friendly Alsatian style. ****
La Cave de Saumur Cabernet Franc 2014, Saumur Rouge AC, Valle de Loire, France. 12.5% $14.99. NSLC General List. Aromatic red cherry with spicy, herbal and smoky notes and slightly bitter cherry flavour backed by cool-climate brisk acidity, slightly stiff but approachable tannins and finishing very dry. Fine pairing for charcuterie and medium ripe cheese. ***
Thalia White Sauvignon Blanc-Vilana (Protected Geographical Indication Crete) Greece. 12% $11.99. NSLC General List. Lightly pungent green herbal Sauvignon-like notes with background tropical fruit scents yield to bright citrus and tropical fruit flavours suggestive of pineapple, with refreshing acidity and appetizing mineral dryness. **
Mezzacorona Estate Grown Pinot Grigio 2015, Trentino DOC, Italy $14.79 Special Price ($1 Off). NSLC General List. Bright floral and green apple scents give way to apple and crisp pear flavours with a touch of lemon citrus, mineral and refreshing acidity in the mouth. An attractive, easy drinking Pinot Grigio to drink as an aperitif or to pair with lighter foods. ***
Umani Ronchi Villa Bianchi 2015, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico. Italy. 12% $13.99. NSLC General List. Opens with fragrant floral and citrus notes and a whiff of almond. Lively fresh citrus flavours are balanced by brisk acidity and a lick of mineral, finishing crisply dry. An ideal pairing for shellfish and other light sea foods. ***
Gancia Prosecco DOC 11% $16.99 (Special Price $2 Off). NSLC General List. Pronounced floral, green apple and spicy orange citrus on the nose continue to play through in the mouth, backed by soft fizz and distinctive orangey flavours lingering on the off-dry finish. ***
Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia 2014, Sicilia DOC $18.99 12% NSLC General List. Opens with scents of delicate wild flowers, citrus and yellow tropical fruits. Ripe lemon citrus leads off on the palate, with secondary tropical fruit flavours supported by fresh acidity, mineral and a suggestion of almond on the finish. A polished wine that will pair with grilled sea foods, roast chicken and other white meat dishes. ***
Drouhin Oregon Cloudline Cellars Pinot Noir 2014, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA 13.5% $32.29. NSLC (Limited Selection). Opens with scents of violets, cherry, a whiff of minty herb and a touch of vanilla. Generously ripe dark cherry flavours come in a nicely balanced and structured package, finishing with a lick of mineral and a deft touch of oak. Evokes Old World elegance with New World ripeness. ****
Beer – New Brunswick
Picaroons, Fredericton, NB Simeon Jones, King’s Landing River Valley Amber Ale 4.5% $3.99 (500ml Bottle). NSLC. Rich amber colour, with robust nutty malt aroma and firm, but not overbearing malt flavour, a touch of raisiny sweetness and a hint of citrus on mid-palate. Finishes with agreeable light bitterness. ***
Beer – Nova Scotia
Spindrift Brewing Co., Dartmouth, NS Knotty Buoy Pils Lager Beer 4.8% $4.25 (473 ml Can) NSLC. A Bavarian style lager showing pleasantly aromatic floral and green herbal hoppy scents with underlying malty aroma. Slightly sweet citrus and malty flavours on mid-palate shift to a hit of bitter dryness on the finish. Offers broad appeal with a bit of character. ***
*Acceptable ordinary quality
**Good quality, everyday standard
** Very good quality in its price range
**** Exceptional quality, top 15% - 20%
**** The finest possible, top 5% - 10%