I have been noticing a proliferation of sparkling wines around Ontario – it seems to be the new “in” thing. Some wineries have been making them for a long time, while others are just jumping on the bandwagon. Colio falls into the former category … having been making their Lily brand of sparkling since the early ‘90’s: in both a blanc de blanc (Chardonnay) and blanc de noir (Pinot Noir). There is a fairly light pink colouring to this wine, having spent about 6 hours in contact with the skins of those Pinot grapes … and then just very lightly pressed so that much of the wine is made from free-run juice. The nose is toasty with hints of apple; while the taste comes off just this side of sweet (2) with a roasted-buttered apple taste with a dollop of pear nectar … and wow what a nice finish, one that seems to stick around for a long while with a tasty toasty aftertaste … Now say that 5 times fast!
(Re-Tasted October 2011) ... I am getting to the point in my sparkling wine collection that I can hold a few bottles on reserve to see how they age. There was a time when I only had a couple of bottles on the rack, because bubbly was made for special occasions and it seemed that those "special occasions" were few and far between - so why have too many. But then I came to realize that bubbly is for any and all occasions and as long as you're staying within your budget you can have a bubbly whenever you want, or whenever the mood strikes ... and trust me when I tell you that there is plenty of well-prices sparkling wines out there, and bubbly does not have to come out of Champagne to be good. Now, with that preamble I can tell you that I opened this bottle on a Friday night 'just because': Because it was the weekend, because it was the first weekend my wife and I were home at the same time and did not have the jet off to go somewhere; because it was Friday, and because it just seemed like a fun thing to do ... heck can you think of a better reason? This Blanc de Noirs from Colio is made from Pinot Noir grapes and was the first year they made this particular bubble (though they had been making a Blanc de Blanc version for years). The nose had mostly a toasted hazelnut aroma with a slight raspberry character, very pretty. The palate still maintained crisp apple with a hint of lemon and as it sat delivered biscuity, nutty and baked apple notes to go along with it, plus there was a pleasant long finish. This wine has really developed into something interesting with plenty of character that was worth delving into ... glad I saved this one.