Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chardonnay Day for the ABC type: Trialto and 10Fourteen

It's #ChardDay in the Twitterverse, but as you know, I'm more of an anything-but-chardonnay kinda gal. I'll drink it, sure, but it's got to be a) steel-fermented, unoaked or 'inox'; b) from a cooler climate; or c) free, with a side of mind-blowingly good food and shared in the company of good tweeps.

Lucky me, I got friends in great places (thank you, Shawn!)
The 'gang' was all there: Nita of Tip My Tumbler; Holly from Wine Out Loud; Eva from sit.sip.savour; @TheEvilDoctorD, Calvin Hanselmann (who really wasn't that evil after all) and a few other fine wine folks.

Lindsay Ohmi and Jamie Zipay, of Trialto Wines, guided us through a tasting of LCBO up-and-comers, while the kitchen wizards of Hintonburg's 10Fourteen offered up a steady stream of victuals that elicited noises of deep pleasure from our little group of bloggers.

Southbrook 2013 Connect White (Niagara, $14.95, now in stores) - Sporting a new, nature-focused label, this vidal-dominant blend is redolent with caramel apple and spring florals; Granny Smith tart balanced with a bit of sweetness; finishes dry on the back of the throat. According to Holly, a good "breakfast wine."

Liberty School 2012 Chardonnay (Central Coast, California; $18.95; Aug 2 release) - Blended with a bit of marsanne and viognier, and limited on the amount of oak exposure, this chard gives off a lovely nose of brioche, pineapple, coconut and butterscotch. The texture is soft with only a tinge of citrusy acid. The fruit character dominates throughout, suggesting almonds on the finish.

Catena 2012 Chardonnay (Mendoza, Argentina; $19.95, in stores now) - From the oldest vineyards in the country, where its first plantings of Malbec were put to soil in 1902. This chard blended fruit from five vineyards on differing altitudes, and only spent a minimal amount of time on oak. Smoke and buttered toast give way to ambrosial mango and pineapple punched up with a bit of lemon zest.

California Square 2012 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley, California; $18.95, in stores now) - Its shape alone will be a huge draw: re-purposed square olive oil bottles are dressed up old-school with turn-of-the-century fonts. The juice is pretty good, too: sweetened coconut and smoky oak notes that give it oomph without being overpowering.
10Fourteen small plates: charcuterie, spiced popcorn, croquettes, pork sliders and beef brisket
Southbrook 2012 Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé (Niagara, $19.95, July 5 release) - Deep orange-pink hue, this rosé leans more towards a dryer style. Lily of the valley and strawberry shortcake on the nose, and a surprising tang of orange rind reminiscent of Grand Marnier on the palate.

California Square 2012 Red (Paso Robles, California; $18.95, in stores now) - Robust blend of petit syrah, merlot, sangiovese, zinfandel and syrah bursts with red berry, candied cherry and thick, home-style jam. Tannins remain light throughout, with warm wafts of cinnamon and cloves.

Parés Baltà Mas Elena (Penedès, Spain; $21.95; June 7 release) - Two brothers and their wives are the third generation running this organic winery. The women handle the winemaking side of things, while the men take care of business and marketing. This Bordeaux-style blend is a classic, with leather, licorice and peppercorn up front. The structure is less rigid than its French counterpart, showing rounder, plusher fruit in addition to green pepper and mint notes.

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