Buyers Guide to VINTAGES – July 7th, 2018

Red Dusk, plus More Good News for Canadian Wine
By David Lawrason, with notes from John Szabo, Michael Godel and Sara d’Amato

David Lawrason

David Lawrason

VINTAGES is featuring Mediterranean wines in this Saturday’s release, as if we need a heat reminder. I was actually in touch earlier this week with Sara d’Amato who takes an annual family vacation in the south of France in July. She said it was sweltering in the Mediterranean too.

Under such conditions I gravitate to drinking white, rosé and lager, but there is something to be said for lightly chilled reds as well, especially late in the evening as the sun sets over the dock, deck or garden. I just love the balmy temperatures between 8 and 10pm on days like this. A lot of good wine is being enjoyed at dusk, so for this week my red picks tend to be in the lighter, more chillable camp.

We will move to our recommendations in a moment, but first, while still feeling the afterglow of Canada Day, there is a good news story for the grape growers and wine industry in Canada.

On Wednesday, Federal Minister of Agriculture Laurence MacAulay announced $8.4 million in funding for grape growing research in Canada. A total of 23 activities will be benefit from the funding but a press release from the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network said one of the major objectives was “strategic management of grape vine diseases.”

There are two pieces of good news in this, aside from the money flowing into the industry. One is that there is something called the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network. Who knew? It will oversee the work of another new entity called The Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster. (Cluster is aptly cute, don’t you think?)

It’s stated goal is “to protect the Canadian grape and wine industry from the spread of economically devastating diseases and viruses by ensuring a sustainable supply of certified propagative grapevine material.” It also conducts “research into cold hardiness and sustainable management of soil, water and crop quality, to improve the quality of Canadian wines.”

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Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2016

The other piece of good news is that the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster is a coalition of grape growing and research organizations in the country’s four main grape growing provinces; British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

“This is the first time the four grape growing provinces have joined forces,” said Hans Buchler, Chair of the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network. The CGCN will co-ordinate and build on the research already being done in each of the four jurisdictions.

Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) will lead the research in Ontario and will be involved in additional research across the country, said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis.

It is heartening to see this kind of inter-provincial collaboration at the industry level. Vine material is easily transferred from province to province, and protecting it is fundamental to the $9 billion industry. Wouldn’t it be great if the politicians in each province could get together to ensure healthy inter-provincial distribution of the wines these vines produce? That too is fundamental.

Buyers Guide to VINTAGES July 7th

In case you missed them, our two previous VINTAGES previews talked a lot more about Canadian wine, including picks from the upcoming International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. This time we head across the seas to find our recommendations.

The Whites

Loimer 2016 Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria ($22.95)
John Szabo – A reliably excellent wine/value from biodynamic producer Fred Loimer, the 2016 is open and fragrant, ripe yet properly peppery and green, with a fine mix of citrus and sweet herbs. The palate is crisp, dry, tightly wound and sharp in the right way. Enjoy now or hold short term. Best 2018-2022.…


There are 13 VINTAGES Release recommendations this week that are currently only available to our premium members. This complete article will be visible to all members 30 days after publication. We invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks and other Premium benefits.

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And that is a wrap for this week. If you are out there enjoying the summer doldrums, carry on.

David Lawrason
VP of Wine

Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.

Lawrason’s Take
Szabo’s Smart Buys
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


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