The Date and Time: Wednesday June 24, 2020 3PM to 7PM
The Event: A carryover of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada's SEVENTH annual Rose tasting of imported and domestic rose wines for sale in Ontario – the only tasting of its kind in Ontario. Today we tasted SPARKLING roses as a separate category.
The Venue: Wine Writers' Circle of Canada's Toronto Head Offices.
The Target Audience: Wine Writers' Circle of Canada members.
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are (or will be) available either year round or for the seasonal offering Spring/Summer 2020.
The Quote/Background: We had decided to taste the sparklers against each other in a separate tasting of the fizzes, apart from the still wines. This was all dictated by Ontario's response to COVID-19 and social distancing with crowd limits at 5 persons. The tasting was originally scheduled for April 13, but actually happened two months later when the lockdown eased up a bit. In fairness to the trade, the wines had to be tasted and described before the season ended.
The Wines: As always, this was NOT a competition, and the tasting notes I made were MY OWN, for ratings and rankings. Wines are either at the LCBO (CSPC given) or the winery.
Wines are arranged randomly within each grade category.
**DEAN'S "best sparkling wine" was Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Brut Rose Champagne NV $99.95 +158550 (personal rating of 93-94).
**DEAN'S "best sparkling wine value" was once again Colio Estate Wines Lily Sparkling Rosé NV $17.95 +536565 VQA Ontario (92)
I did not rate Leitz Eins-Zwei-Zero NV Rheingau Pinot Noir Sparkling $12.95 LCBO +12549 as it has no alcohol, but it certainly tastes magnificent for 0% ABV, and of course it is in a category by itself.
Producer Product Name Vintage Price LCBO # Country Region Grape Varieties Alc. %
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Laurent-Perrier Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Brut Rose NV $99.95 +158550 Champagne Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier 12% LCBO Vintage Essentials
-Huff Estates Winery Cuvee Janine Rose 2017 $30 +405035 Canada PEC (VQA PEC) Pinot Noir 12.5% Winery/Online
-Chateau des Charmes Rose Sparkling 2014 $34.95 Canada Niagara Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 12% Online, Winery
-Colio Estate Wines Lily Sparkling Rosé N/A $17.95 +536565 Canada VQA Ontario 90% Riesling 10% Cabernet Franc 12% LCBO Year Round
-Gruet Sparkling Brut Rose NV Method Champenoise New Mexico $26.95 +15686 pinot noir 12% Vintages
-Flat Rock Cellars Crowned Sparkling Brut 2015 $45.00 Niagara Peninsula Pinot Noir 12% Winery Only New Release
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bottega Spa Bottega Vino Dei Poeti Brut Rose NV $14.95 +277202 Italy Veneto Pinot Nero 11.5% LCBO
-Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Lakeview Wine Co. FRESH Sparkling Rose NV $16.95 +341347 VQA Niagara Peninsula Riesling & Gamay Noir 12% LCBO + Grocery
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Speck Bros. Aria Sparkling Rose 2019 $14.95 +14981 VQA Niagara Peninsula 93% Gewürztraminer 5% Muscat Blanc 1% Zweigelt 0.5% Lemberger 0.5% Pinot Noir 11.5*% LCBO Seasonal
The Food: bread and water, olives, almonds.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95
May we all have 2020 vision.
Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://winewriterscircle.ca
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.