Parallèle 45 are icon wines of the Rhone valley.
by Mary Bailey
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.
|Parallèle 45 Rosé||Parallèle 45 White||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.
|2014 Brolio Riserva Chianti||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!
|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.”
|Nocturne||Brut Millésimé 2008||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 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.
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