Here’s what’s inside April’s Toronto Life Wine Club box

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In April’s delivery: A cabernet sauvignon, a sparkling brut and a fumé blanc from Niagara-on- the-Lake’s PondView Estate Winery. Orders must be placed by April 22.

 

2016 Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon

Why we’re into this wine: Old vines are the secret to the richness in this cabernet sauvignon. Now 32 years old, the vines in this Bella Terra vineyard impart focused, refined notes to the grapes that they grow. Predominantly cabernet sauvignon with a dash of merlot, the wine was aged in French oak for just under two years and bottled unfiltered so as to retain as much flavour and character from the grapes as possible. The end result is a bold, age-worthy red with ample tannin and structure.

What it tastes like: A mosaic of black fruit, licorice, tobacco, spice and black pepper. This is a full-bodied, dry red. The alcohol and the tannins are a touch on the higher end, but the overall balance and structure hold up well.

How to drink it: This wine is perfect for cellaring for five years or more. If you can’t wait, we suggest decanting or aerating it well. Pair with rich, meaty dishes from osso buco to steak frites.

2018 Bella Terra Sparkling Brut

Why we’re into this wine: Pondview’s flagship sparkling wine is light and fresh and beautifully uncomplicated. This is due, in part, to the starring role of the vidal grape–popular for its citrus accents and racy acidity. Like a fantastic prosecco, it’s not only a lively wine with depth, but it’s dangerously hard to set down.

What it tastes like: Lemon shines brightly among the citrus, green apple and tropical fruit notes. A lovely undercurrent of minerality emerges as well, balancing the fruit, and the lightness at first sip grows in depth and complexity. It’s well-structured throughout and finishes with notable length.

How to drink it: This bubbly will be a hit with virtually any pairing. Chill first and pop the cork alongside a soft-cheese board or a favourite white pizza.

2017 Bella Terra Fumé Blanc

Why we’re into this wine: While the fruity lightness of a New Zealand sauvignon blanc appeals to many, there is an equally ardent clamour from wine enthusiasts for the harder-to-find, more complex style called fumé blanc. It’s the same grape at the core, but the fumé blanc expression almost always involves aging the wine for several months in oak, which imbues it with rich, savoury flavours of nuts and spice. Pondview aged their 2017 vintage for 22 months in French oak, and then went the extra mile of leaving half the barrels to spontaneously ferment, which gives the wine an extra element of wildness.

What it tastes like: Buttered toast, oak spice and citrus. Although this wine was oaked for almost two years, the fruit still comes through along with white flowers and vanilla. The wine is well balanced, has a lovely mouthfeel and rewards the sipper with boldness, balance and a lengthy finish.

How to drink it: With fun surf-based cuisine like lobster rolls and coconut shrimp, or heartier grilled pork chops with peach salsa.