The Tomato

Wine Maven

in 2016 November December, Wine Maven

Parallèle 45 are icon wines of the Rhone valley.

by Mary Bailey

Nicoletta Nafi (Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona) with Daniel Costa, (Uccellino) after the wine dinner.

Nicoletta Nafi (Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona) with Daniel Costa (Uccellino) after the wine dinner.

Nicoletta Nafi of Brunello, producer Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona visited Edmonton recently for tastings at the Wine Cellar and Color de Vino and a sold-out dinner at Uccellino. Piccolomini is a traditional Brunello producer with well-situated vineyards. They eschew new wood, preferring neutral large barrels made from Croation oak. The elegant and delicious Rosso di Montalcino is a terrific first course wine. We could also be convinced to open a bottle with popcorn and a movie. They do make some wines other than Sangiovese; take the Ateo (the atheist) made from Merlot and Cabernet planted in 2002. Delish!

The Parallèle 45 label, created by Paul Jaboulet Aîné in 1950, alludes to the 45° north latitude which runs two kilometers from the cellars. Some icons coast on their rep—this is definitely not the case here. The Frey family (owners of Jaboulet since 2006) continues to devote hand-picked fruit and subtle winemaking to the production of the entry level Parallèle 45 wines, creating an excellent introduction to the flavours of the region. The upshot? Wines you can afford to serve at your holiday table, even to the person who brings one bottle and drinks three.

jabouletcotesdurhone-rose-thumb Parallèle 45 Rosé jabouletcotesdurhone-white-thumb Parallèle 45 White jabouletcotesdurhone-thumb Parallèle 45 Red

The Parallèle 45 Rosé (Grenache, Cinsault, 10 per cent Syrah) has peppery aromas, red fruit flavours, well-balanced acidity and enough body to work with the heavier flavours of the season.

The Parallèle 45 White is a southern Rhone blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier and Bourboulenc creating aromas of white flowers and summer fields, fresh citrusy flavours and enough weight to stand up to turkey with all the trimmings.

There is nothing not to like about the Parallèle 45 Red, a Grenache/Syrah blend tasting of herbs, anise and red fruits with lovely round tannins providing just the right amount of structure. Find at better wine shops, $20.

brolio-thumb 2014 Brolio Riserva Chianti albia-thumb Albia Rosé Toscana

2014 Brolio Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG (Tuscany, Italy). Who says you have to stop drinking pink just because summer is over? Olalla Corona- Lopez of Tuscan producer Ricasoli was in town to debut the new rosé called Albia. Made of Merlot and Sangiovese. The four hours of juice-to-skin contact creates a pale rosé colour and structure via fine tannins. Follow with the concentrated and flavourful 2014 Brolio Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG.

Edmonton native Christina Masciangelo has formed a wine agency called Salivate focused on cool climate wines with mouthwatering freshness and moderate levels of alcohol. We say yeah to that. Look for high-quality Austrian producers Gruber, Johanneshof Reinisch, Sattlerhof, Hieldler, Josef Fritz and Markus Huber in better wine shops soon. Christina has a tremendous palate and loads of experience, having worked in just about every aspect of the wine trade. Congratulations and good luck Christina!

schild-thumb Ben Schild Shiraz 2011

Judy Schild came to lunch at Solstice to talk about her family winery the southern end of the Barossa Valley, its cool night breezes, their old vines and what being in a family business is all about. But mostly she talked about the wines. Alma Chardonnay 2014 ($40): “I’m a Barossa girl, I drink a lot of Barossa wine. This is a white wine I can drink in the winter.” The Ben Schild Shiraz 2011 ($46) is named after her grandfather. “It’s a single vineyard but technically it’s from a parcel within.” The 2013 is the first release of Pramie ($93). “Every year a couple of parcels come off that make outstanding wine. I call it modern Aussie shiraz.”

taittnocturne-thumb Nocturne taittsalgado-thumb Brut Millésimé 2008 taittinger-thumb Taittinger Brut Reserve

“I drink the Brut every day, it’s my job,” say Mikael Falkman. There isn’t much the affable brand ambassador doesn’t know about champagne, especially Champagne Taittinger. Take disgorgement dates. “Each bottle will taste slightly different due to the disgorgement dates,” he says, gesturing to his glass during a trade tasting in the Harvest Room. What really moves us is the Comtes de Champagne 2006 ($260), elegant and complex with subtle hazelnut, citrus, fresh celery and sweet brioche notes, made with fruit from five Grand Cru villages. More in the realm of the everyday is Taittinger Brut Reserve ($60), and available by the glass at the Hardware Grill. Something a little sweeter, what Mikael Falkman describes as late night Champagne, is the Nocturne ($72) in a super groovy package. Just released, the rare and collectible Artist’s Series Brut Millésimé 2008 ($375) is by Brazilian artist Sebastião Salgado. This is the 14th edition of the collection since 1983 and the first photographer to be featured. What a lovely gift they would make.

bella-thumb Bella Gamay Noir Rosé

Bella Gamay Noir Rosé (Okanagan Valley)
Wendy Rose and Jay Drysdale make a sparkler in the traditional method, bottle-fermented, hand-riddled, hand-disgorged. Bella has amazing clarity of expression—vibrant flavours of cool climate Gamay along with a refreshing hit of bubbly acidity. Treat yourself. It comes in regular (750mL) $45 and purse sized (375 mL) $29.

Find these wines at Aligra, Bin 104, Color de Vino, Hicks Fine Wines and other fine wine shops. Not all wines in each shop. Prices are approximate.

Event Calendar

TUESDAY, NOV. 1
Bar Bricco Winemaker Series with Tenimenti D’Alessandro
Bar Bricco, info@barbricco.com

SUNDAY, NOV. 6
The Cavern Cheese School
The Cavern, 780-455-1336

MONDAY, NOV. 7
Cibo Bistro’s Five Year Anniversary
Dinner, Cibo Bistro, 780-757-2426

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9
Carpineto Dinner
Pack Rat Louis, 780 433-0123

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9
Bar Bricco Winemaker Series
with Franz Haas, Bar Bricco
info@barbricco.com

THURSDAY, NOV 10
Carpineto Dinner, Sorrentino’s
Downtown, 780-424-7500

TUESDAY, NOV 15
The Wines of Northern Italy
Hicks Fine Wines, 780-569-5000

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16
Red Bordeaux Tasting
The Glass Monkey, 780-760-2228

SATURDAY, NOV 19
All is Bright Festival
Heart of the Home, 780-705-4920

SATURDAY, NOV 19
Holiday appies and wine pairings
with chef Doreen Prei
Color de Vino, 780-439-9069

SUNDAY, NOV 20
The Cavern Cheese School
The Cavern, 780-455-1336

WEDNESDAY, NOV 23
Monkey Business, The Glass Monkey
780-760-2228

THURSDAY, NOV 24
Sorrentino’s Truffle and Wine Dinner
Bistecca Italian Steakhouse,
780-439-7335

TUESDAY, NOV 29
Christmas Spirits Tasting
Aligra Wine & Spirits, 780-483-1083

THURSDAY, DEC 1
HFW Annual Christmas Open House
Hicks Fine Wines, 780-569-5000

SATURDAY, DEC 3
Color de Vino Christmas Open House
Color de Vino, 780-439-9069

WEDNESDAY, DEC 7
Dal Cero Tasting and Dinner
Kitchen by Brad, 780-757-7704

THURSDAY, DEC 15
Aligra’s Customer Appreciation
Open House,
Aligra Wine & Spirits, 780-483-1083

SUNDAY, JAN 1
Madison’s Grill New Year’s Day
Brunch, Madison’s Grill at the Union
Bank Inn, 780-423-3600

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