Anthony Gismondi: B.C. wine of the week, wine to cellar and calendar items

Opinion: Anthony Gismondi's picks for B.C. wine of the week, wine to cellar and calendar items.

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Napa, Calif.-based Domaine Carneros, owned by French Champagne house Taittinger, was an early adopter of sustainability, installing its first solar power system in 2003.

In 2021, the winery will upgrade to a more powerful microgrid program with a computer-controlled battery storage system designed to operate the winery off the regional electric grid in the event of a power failure. The solar portion of the project will reduce their utility bill.

At the same time, the battery system optimizes operations by allowing the winery to draw down stored energy during the expensive, evening peak period. The system will also offset 624 metric tons of carbon generated each year.

• A new Chardonnay from the Kendall-Jackson Avant series is labelled ‘Lower Calorie,’ boasts only 85 calories, no sugar and three grams of carbs per serving. That is 23 per cent fewer calories than the standard Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, based on a 150-millilitre serving of a 14 per cent wine that contains 111 calories from the alcohol alone.

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The ‘low-cal’ Avant is due to less alcohol. It is just nine per cent, achieved by picking the grapes earlier when the sugars are low. A second, later pick of fully ripe berries that soften the high-acid early picked fruit adds a more recognizable tropical-fruit style of Californian Chardonnay. Like the Vintner’s Reserve, the Avant Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels.

Frankly, higher acid and less alcohol are very appealing to this writer. The nine per cent Chardonnay is vegan-friendly and will likely be offered in Canada as soon as production levels permit.


B.C. wine of the week

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Estate Grown Biodynamic Pinot Noir Demeter Certified 2019, Okanagan Valley

$35 I 88/100

UPC: 779000128396

The second iteration of this biodynamic Pinot Noir is youthful, and it’s exhibiting intense, pure primary Pinot Noir. It was fermented in 10,000-litre foudres and pressed off into a stainless steel tank to go through malolactic fermentation.

Vibrant and fresh, it opens with a cloudy pale red colour. There is plenty of soft texture here underlying bright fruit, with plenty of acidity and sour black cherry mixing with soy and balsamic touch. It’s going to be fine; give it some time, say 12 to 18 months, to fill out and show its stuff.

Natural wine fans should snap this up.


Wine for the cellar

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand

$32.99 I 92/100

UPC: 9421901925017

This wine continues to impress and grow as all the vineyards age. The flagship Sauvignon from winemaker Kevin Judd is packed full of fruit ranging from nectarines and cantaloupe to lime and passion fruit, with an appealing savoury undercurrent.

The fruit comes off prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains and a river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley.

Most of all, this wine has a stony, mineral, complex base that continuously draws you back to the glass. The balance is equally impressive and makes it ready to drink with any number of West Coast seafood dishes.

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