Sophora Sparkling Cuvée (available at the LCBO): A blend of 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir New Zealand grapes, comes in at 12% alcohol. Lovely golden yellow with a slight tinge of pink. On the nose, candy apple, grapefruit pith, roses, yeasty/biscuit goodness. Website lists at $17, but I paid $20 in store (I bought 2 bottles in the days following the tasting). Worth purchasing multiple bottles to pop open just because. Drink now and all by itself (or with some tasty deep-fried apps).
2011 Diprofio Riesling (wines can be purchased via the winery): Lemon yellow in the glass, the nose hit all the Riesling notes (petrol, lemon pith, citrus) as did on the palate. Nice Riesling from Niagara, ON.
2012 Tommassi Adorato Appassionata (available at the LCBO): Pale yellow in color, smells of orange blossom, nectarine, honey. Taste was more floral than fruit. Listed as a Garganega blend (Garganega grapes comes from the Veneto wine region), it likely includes some Chard and Trebbiano. Definitely a food wine. Good value at $16.
2011 Yamhill Valley Pinot Gris (available at the LCBO): I brought this Oregon Pinot and really wanted to enjoy it, as it is one of my favorite grapes. However the style just wasn't my thing. I found it more floral and the alcohol (at 13.1%) seemed elevated on the nose and palate. There were notes of apple, pears, wildflower honey and thyme, which made the nose interesting, but the taste said something different to me.
2012 Greco di Tufo (available at the LCBO): Another standout from Italy. At 13.5% alcohol, it packed a punch, but the flavors were so damn good: notes of oak (caramel), stone fruit (peaches), and floral; on the palate, baking spice, some smokey notes and a lovely sweetness. Yum.
2009 Citation Chardonnay (not currently available at the LCBO, but available through the winery's website): Oh Chardonnay, how I love thee. Had it not said on the bottle that this was from Oregon, I honestly would have guessed California. The best of why I love this grape so much: apples, buttery popcorn, coconut and pineapple on the nose. Repeat of all on the palate. Crisp with medium acidity. At $40, this isn't an every day wine, but it sure would be nice if it could be!
Parting thoughts: I need to make an effort to delve into Italian whites of all kinds. After the two tasted during this wine tasting (and 2 others I've tried at restaurants in the past month), I've discovered some new loves. Must get out of my current white wine comfort zone of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay and explore new terroir and new grapes!