Faces of Chilean wines- Part II: Vina San Pedro

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Besides Errazuriz another important winery in the Chilean wine landscape is Vina San Pedro.

Founded in 1865, San Pedro is one of the oldest wineries in the Chilean wine industry. San Pedro is located on the Curico Valley, 200 km away from Santiago. San Pedro has one of the largest holdings of vineyards in Chile comprising regions such as Elqui, Casablanca, San Antonio, Maipo, Cachapoal, Maule and Bio-Bio.

San pedro was founded by brothers Bonifacio and José Gregorio Correa Albano. At the beginning, they start producing wines using local varieties but slowly they began to introduce European varieties to replace those indigenous varieties.

Succesful in North America and key European wine markets such as Germany and the UK, they well know with brands such as GatoNegro, 35˚South and Castillo de Molina.

San Pedro is one of the few Chilean wineries showing that Chile is quite capable of making wines verging toward a new world style. Their 1865 line brings to mind an echo of Bordeaux and Burgundy. This come as no surprise since two of their winemakers have worked Marco Puyo and Gonzalo Castro have worked in both Bordeaux and Burgundy.

I recently had a chance to taste a selection of their most representative brands in the Quebec and Ontario markets. These are marvelous wines and illustrate some of the best wines that Chile is producing nowadays:

1865 Sauvignon Blanc Leyda Valley. LCBO # 375212. $18.95

 

Lovely expressive and pronounced  bouquet.  Aromas of tropical fruits such as pineapple, passion fruit, mango and gooseberries with pleasant herbaceous tones and hints of green bell pepper. On the mouth, medium body with a zesty acidity. Intriguing oily-fleshy texture with a spicy finale. Food match: Grilled halibut with cherry and corn salsa. 

1865 Cabernet Sauvignon SAQ # 13241065. $21.95. LCBO # 37911. $19.95

 

A fine Cabernet nose. Ripe cassis and black cherry with nuances of dry oregano, graphite and smoke. On the palate broad with ripe and muscular tannins.  Intriguing flavors of eucalyptus and menthol with an elegant finale. Food match: sirloin steak with chanterelle mushrooms. 

1865 Carmenere. SAQ # 12567995. $22.00. LCBO # 249201. $19.95 ( Release date Oct 28 in Ontario)

Perfumed nose bringing to mind plums with additional notes of  black pepper, vanilla, chocolate and tobacco.  On the palate, it is fruit foward and elegant displaying ripe tannins and wood well integrated. Food match: Beef empanadas.

1865 Chardonnay. LCBO # 540781 $19.95 ( Release date January 20th, 2018)


Aromas of white peach, nectarine and honeydew melon. With time in the glass, intriguing notes of chalk and flint with spices such as mustard white pepper. On the mouth, dense with a fleshy texture and a medium plus acidity. Food match: Dijon mustard baked salmon.

A tale of a grape with two homes

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Every time that I think about Malbec, I cannot help conjuring the image of the expatriate son who left a disgruntled Europe to find a peaceful home in Argentina and came back to the mother country with flying colours.

This is the impression that I got after reading the paper Malbec World Day by Pablo Lacoste, written for Wines of Argentina. Like a saga, the history of Malbec is rich  with colourfoul characters that include kings, noblesmen, scientists and colonial powers.

As you know the birthplace of Malbec is in Cahors of the french southwest. Also known as cot, the wines of Cahors were prestigious among the European ruling classes during the middle ages.

The immigration of Malbec in Argentina began when Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, governor of Mendoza, headhunted  the French agronomist Miguel Pouget to export vine material from France to Argentina at the end of the XIX. Of the varieties  that the french scientist  brought were the very first Malbec vines to be planted in the country. Rapidly it  grew in popularity by grape growers because of the way it conditioned to the terroir of Mendoza and its positive attributes: resistance to disease,  dark colour and sweet tannins.

Central to the developent of the modern  Malbec in Argentina was   Nicolas Catena Zapata, a third generation winery owner who began an alternative study of Malbec and the Terroir of Mendoza, leading the way to high altitude grape growing in the Uco Valley.

Recently, I have been drinking a lot of Malbec during the past few weeks. There was the Wines of Argentina Cambalache event in Montreal and we had the visit of Sergio Case, the winemaker of Trapiche in Montreal.

TRAPICHE:

No doubt, one of Argentina pioneer families of Malbec has been Trapiche. Their story started in a small vineyard that bears its name ” El Trapiche ” in Mendoza, Argenina premier winemaking region. In 2016, they were  the leading Argentinian exporting winery. By 1889, they were already recognized internationally with their wine brands such as Fond de Cave and Broquel that still are vigent today. Trapicche wines come from selected vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina.

From their early origins, they were ahead of his time. A beautiful precedent in Argentina, they are recognized to be a pioneer brand in many aspects. These include the introduction of french varietals, elaboration of mono varietals wine and the introduction of french oak barrels from Nancy, France. They also were one of the first to use stainless steel tanks and the employment of international wine consultants.

Sergio Eduardo Casé | Segundo Enólogo

This international approach is reflected in the background of Sergio Case, one of the senior winemakers of Trapiche. Mr. Case brings a solid international experience having worked in Bordeaux, Champagne, Chateauneuf du Pape, Tuscany and Napa Valley. Regularly, Sergio and his staff organize tasting of the best international wines against the Trapiche wines, to see how they measure. In our meeting, he told me that Trapiche wants to focus on wines that can compete in the international premium market.

Pure Malbec 2015. SAQ # 12823397. $16.60. Phillippe Dandurand Wines. The entry level of Trapiche has shown remarkable improvement and is verry competitive on an international event. A youthful nose of black fruits, leather with subtle nuances of licorice and smoke. It is very polished in the mouth with remarkable juicy tannins.

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Medalla Malbec 2014 ( Private Importation, $20.95). Philippe Dandurand Wine. A graceful and elegant Malbec. On the nose, mint, graphite and gunpowder. Ripe blue and black fruit with a slight hint of barnyard nuances. Full body with muscular tannins and a great acidity. Racy and  long in the mouth.

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Imperfecto 2011 ( Private Importation, $60). Philippe Dandurand Wine. Definitely, a wine that can show a great showmanship that Malbec can achieve in Argentina. A powerful core  of black fruits, laced with vanilla, licorice and spices. Dense, with a nice oak frame, almost chewy with juicy acidity and puckering tannins.  Starting to open now but with will benefit from a decade in the cellar.

Wines of Argentina event highlights

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Argentina is one of the largest countries in the world and is blessed with a dry and continental climate. They are the 7th largest world  wine cosumer and the 5th world’s largest wine producer. They have a cultivated surface of 224,707.43 hectares with 4 winemaking wine regions that include the northern group, Cuyo, Mendoza and Patagonia. By 2016, there were 413 exporting wineries with 936$ million in total exports and 360$ million in liters. 65% of the production is consumed domestically and 35% is exported.

On this post, I will focus only on the Malbec bottles. In a future, I will explore the other varietals. Here are my best picks:

Zuccardi:

Like Trapiche, A visionary family in the Argentinian wine industry. One of the few companies to have a research and development team to keep abreast with the latest wine trends and to study their terroir.

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Concreto 2015 ( Private Import, $44.50). Elixirs vins et spiriteux. A fresher style of Malbec. On the nose, rasperry with violet confit petals. Also some lead pencil and graphite. Full body, bright and long with a delicate mineral finish.

Finca Las Moras:

Located in San Juan, Las moras went through a vineyard restructuring by leading consultant Richard Smart. Las moras focuses in microgrowing with a strict respect to their environment and the Argentinian Terroir

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Mora Negra 2014 ( Private Import, $30). Univins & Spiriteux.  A modern yet fine interpretation of Malbec. Creamy dark fruit with vanilla and valhrona chocolate. Sweet tasting and elegant.

Familia Schroeder:

Schroeder is a small family domaine situated in Patagonia, the last frontier of Argentinian wine. Their wines is a labor of love, in an extreme land with a dry a land and infinite horizons.

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Saurus Select Malbec 2016 ( Private Import, $22.50)

On the nose, ripe red currants with roasted herbs.  Polished with flavors consistent with the nose. Spiciy and elegant with long tannins.

El Esteco:

In the paradise lost of Calchaqui, one of the rarest places in the world lies El Esteco state. Founded in 1982, by two french inmigrants, they craft elegant wines in high altitude vineyards ( 1800 meters).

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Don David Reserve Malbec 2015. SAQ #  11156043. $16.95

On the nose,  bright aromas of violets, ripe black fruits and fall spices
Full body with a silky palate and a nice acidity offering notes of blackberries, blueberries and cherries. Oak is well integrated with a medium to long finale.

 

 

 

Faces of Chilean wine-Part I: Errazuriz wine estates.

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In my early days of wine drinking, Chilean wines were more of an afterthought. Those were the wines that drank when I did not have any more money. I remember drinking with fondness Gato Negro , Casillero del Diablo and Frontera. They were simple, yet delicious. In those early formative years, I thought that the spectrum of possibilities for Chilean wines was limited under the $12 bracket.

As the years passed on, my knowledge of Chilean expanded considerably. My first taste of premium Chilean wines was Almaviva, the joint venture, between Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and Concha y Toro. It was kind of like a Pauillac with a latin groove.

In my subsequent holiday trips to Venezuela, I discovered Don Melchor and Montes as well. In the early 2000’s, Venezuela was an important market for Chilean wines. I bought a lot of Don Melchor over there.

In an series of two post, I will share some of the wine estates that are positioning Chile in the premium wine category. On this posts, I will discuss some of the wines of Errazuriz and in a later posts the wines of Vina San Pedro.

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Not long ago, I had a chance to encounter Maria Luisa Errazuriz, marketing director of Vina Errazuriz, Caliterra and Vinedo Chadwick. Maria was passing in Montreal. The tasting took place in the offices of their Canadian Importer Philippe Dandurand. In a candid presentation and tasting, she describe the efforts of her family to specialize in Chilean premium wines and spread the gospel that image that Chile has more to offer than inexpensive wines.

The story of Errazuriz goes back to 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz founded the estate in the Aconcagua Valley A man ahead of his time, he planted the first french grape varieties, In less than a decade his wines were among the best of the world. His motto was ” De la mejor tierra, el mejor vino”. This translate as ” from the best land, the best wine”

The Aconcagua Valley is one of the key wine growing areas of Chile. Only 100km north-west of Chile’s capital, Santiago, the Aconcagua Valley is an amazing wine spot. The name ‘Aconcagua’ means ‘Stone Sentinel’ in the ancient native language, and the valley is named after the mountain which constitute  its eastern border, which at 6962m high, is the highest peak of the Andes, and the highest as well in America.

The Valle de Aconcagua itself is very warm  and becomes fierce hot further inland. Moving far east, ideal conditions can be found for red wine production. Some of the best sites are on well-drained slopes, quite rare in Chile

In researching this post, I found many  important historical precedents that  bear witness to the contribution of Errazuriz to the Chilean wine industry. For instance, in 1993, the family were one of the pioneers of the introduction of Syrah in Aconcagua Valley. The climax of this proyect took form in the cumbre bottling which come from mountain syrah from the Aconcagua Valley. A good mixture of crispy whites and full bodied, intense reds are produced

Ten years after,  when Carmenere was identified in Chile,  Errazuriz did it again by  launching  one of the first ultra premium Carmenere based wine, Kai which means plant in aboriginal Chilean language. Kai took the International wine market by storm, receiving important accolades and the 2006 vintage was a winner in the Berlin Tasting 2010 in New York.

In 1995, Errazuriz were the first Chilean winery to establish an international joint venture. Following the lines of Opus One in California, Sena wine was a collaboration between Eduardo Chadwick, president of Errazuriz and the late Robert Mondavi. The objective was to create a Chilean grand cru in the Aconcagua Valley.

Errazuriz Wine States tasting notes

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Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay 2016. SAQ #  12531394 . $22.95

( 100 % Chardonnay. 10 months aging in second and third hand french barriques)

Medium intensity nose. Aromas of Italian pear, lemon jelly with a touch of blanched almond. With aeration in the glass, aromas of chamomille and acacia appear. On the mouth, it is a dry with a medium acidity and flavour intensity. Creamy texture. Stone orchard fruit flavours with fennel leading towards a gunflint finale. A very good Aconcagua Chardonnay. Pair it with a grilled tuna steak and mango salsa.

Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016. SAQ # 12611036. $24.95-LCBO # 541151. $24.95

( 100 % Pinot Noir. 11 months aging in french oak, 15% new and 75% of second and third hand. The remainder 10% in concrete eggs vessel)

Medium plus intensity nose. Aromas of Rhubarb, cherry and grenadine syrup. Furthermore, licorice with nuances of Pimiento del Piquillo peppers and a brigth note of vanilla bean. On the palate, medium to full body with pronounced raspberry flavours and aromatic notes of menthol and eucalyptus. Medium acidity with ripe and soft tannins. Very fine and balanced wine. Pairing suggestions include game dishes or pastas with mushrooms.

Aconcagua Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. SAQ # 13394766. $22.05-LCBO # 203364. $21.95

( 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 12 months aging in french oak. 20% new)

Medium intensity nose. Fruity in nature bringing to mind, leafy blackberry fruit with peppermint and black peppercorns as well. On the palate, full body with ripe and fine tannins. Satiny texture with flavors bringing to mind cedar and licorice. An impressive effort for a Chilean Cabernet at this price range. Pairing well with grilled red meats dishes.

Aconcagua Don Maximiano 2014. SAQ # 11396557. $84.00-LCBO # 396333. $84.95

( 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Carmenere, 9% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. 20 months aging in french oak, 70% new)

Pronounced intensity nose. Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon aromas bringing to mind cassis, black plums, tobacco leaf and graphite. On the palate, full body with fine grained but muscular tannins and a medium acidity. Very complex notes bringing to mind tar, menthol and the classic smell of cigar box typical of fine Cabernet based wines. An stunning wine illustrating the potential of Chilean wines in the ultrapremium category. Will have anytime this wine with a rack of lamb.

Aconcagua La Cumbre 2014. SAQ # 11891101. $93.00.

( 100% Syrah. 22 months aging in french oak, 50% new)

A nose with very well pronounced aromas. Spicy dark fruits with a plethora of game notes as well as cocoa and vanilla bean. On the mouth, full body with a creamy texture Fine grained tannins and a medium acidity. Flavors that bring to mind, wild rosemary, oregano and violets. A very firm and long finale. Pair it with game dishes such as deer, or lamb.

Aconcagua Kai 2014. SAQ # 12051411. $140.75

( 95 % Carmenere, 5% Syrah. 22 months aging in french oak. 70% new)

Pronounced and complex nose. Bright leafy red fruit with alluring notes of grilled red bell pepper and tomatillo. On the mouth, full body with a lavish and creamy texture. Elegant with satiny tannins, flavors bring to mind spanish paprika, cumin and a complex floral side. A grand wine, fantastic to enjoy now but can be kept in the cellar for a decade or more. Pair it with empanadas of confit de canard.

Sena wine

The word Sena means signal in Spanish, and this wine was conceived to send a message to the world that Chile was capable of world class terroir wines.

Always a  red Bordeaux blend since its first vintage in 1995, the wine is born  from vineyards located  on north-east facing hillsides in Aconcagua. The location was well thought, for the finesse and balance to be accentuated in this wine Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for 50% of the wine, but the blend also has  varying proportion of Carménère among other varieties, to impart a native Chilean signature.

The wine is a protagonist in the so called Berlin Tastings. These are series of Tastings where Sena and other premium wines of Errazuriz are blind tasted again its peers such as Solaia, Tignanello and Sassicaia as well as Chateau Latour and Margaux.

The first vintage of Sena that I tried was the 2008. A ravishing wine with notes of cohiba cigar, dark chocolate, black currants and spices. Mesmerizing with powerful tannins, yet presented in a silky palate.

I recently tasted the 2014 ( SAQ # 13098393, $195.25 for the 2013 vintage).  in a trade tasting. I found it fresher and vibrant. The nose was more into bright black fruits, licorice, fennel and red currants. On the palate, there was more finesse and balance, still powerful but with a feminine quality to it much like a Chateau Margaux. It is a very graceful wine.

 

The wines of Cave Spring Cellars

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The quiet town of Jordan is the headquarters of one Canada’s landmark winery: Cave Spring Cellars. During my recent family vacation in Ontario, I could not miss the opportunity to get intimate with some of their iconic wines.

The history of Cave Spring Cellars go back to the early 1920’s when Giuseppe Pennachetti from his hometown in Fermo, Italy, to work as a mason building Niagara’s Welland Canal. After building a up a succesful trade with his family, he retired and concentrated on his passion: wine.

During the early years, Giuseppe worked with the vitis labrusca grapes but the breaktrough came when the European varieties were implemented.  In the late 70’s, the Pennachettis were among the earliest producers to plant Riesling and Chardonnay vines on the Niagara Peninsula, helping to pioneer this Canadian wine region.

At Cave Spring, varietal whites wines take the lion’s share of production ( 78% versus 22% ). The winery specializes in Riesling which accounts for 55% of the white wine production. The rest is 16% Chardonnay, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Gewürztraminer
1% Pinot Gris.

The Rieslings that I have tasted reflect a so called ” Canadian Terroir “. Difficult to point out, they style falls somewehere between Alsace and Friuli Venezia Giula. For the level of quality prices are quite modest.

The reds are a modest and confidential production. The 22% can be broken down as follow: 12% Cabernet Franc/Merlot 6% Pinot Noir and 4% Gamay.

All the reds were outstanding but my heart was won over the Cabernet Franc bottlings. It was a revelation. My impression was that in Chinon wine country in the Loire.

Canadian wines continue to surprise me and I am looking foward to continue tasting and drinking them more. 

Stay tuned for more updates!!!

Wines Tasted

Brut Blanc de Blancs Non Vintage

( Traditional method vinification, Chardonnay sourced from Niagara Escarpment.  Fermentation and aging sur lie in bottle for a minimum of 30 months prior to disgorging )

Bright pear and zesty citrus aromas with white nectarines as well.  On the mouth, medium to full body with a delicate nuance of almond tart Bright, palate cleansing. Lovely mineral texture with an exceptional lenght.

Whites

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Riesling 2015 VQA Niagara Peninsula

Fruit originanting from specific vineyard sites: 58% Lincoln Lakeshore; 48% Beamsville Bench. Combination of soils from stony clay to red shale and sandstone)

Intriguing nose with Japanese pear, white plums, and tangerines with the tyical petrol notes of Riesling. Bright acidity with precise flavours of lime and chalk. An harmonious and subdued wine

Riesling Dolomite 2015 VQA Niagara Escarpment

(  Dolomite is named after the dolomitic limestone, particular to the Niagara Escarpment. Calcareous soils type in gentle slops)

A blast of minerality on the nose. Naftaline, silex with lots of flint. Medium body. Crispy texture, with rich tropical flavours balanced by the wine zesty acidity.

Riesling Adam Steps 2015

( Adam Steps is a single vineyard located in a hill above the niagara escarpmet. Comprised of 38 years old Riesling in a soil of stony clay, limestone and dolostone mixed with sandstone, shale and small amounts of granite and gneiss)

 Complex nose bringing to mind cream soda and madagascar vanilla bean complemented by musk,honey and chinese mandarine peel. Fresh and delicate with underlying mineral nuances. Delicate with a long floral aftertaste. 

Cave Spring 2015 Riesling CSV VQA Beamsville Bench

( Provenance of the Cave Spring Vineyard featuring soils rich in limestone. Oldest Riesling vines of the estate)

 The nose display nuances of chalk, white nectarines and  lemon curd. On the mouth, dry  and very structured. Fleshy and intense with a great aging potential.

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Chardonnay Musque Estate 2015 VQA Beamsville Bench

( Made with the Musqué clone of Chardonnay, the fruit coming from the Cave Spring Vineyard. A mix of stoney, rich limestone and clay soils)

 On the nose, elegant notes of vanilla, pear gelee and nutmeg spice. . Dry, full body and very fleshy. Spicy with a racy character. 

2014 Chardonnay VQA Beamsville Bench

(  Fruit origins from hillside vineyards along the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario-limestone rich clay, sandstone and shale. -90% Chardonnay, 10% Chardonnay Musqué) 

 On the nose buttery and yeasty with fruit underneath bringing to mind  dry apricot. Full body. dry and earthy wih a lip smacking acidity.  Very elegant on the palateThe finale brings tomind complex earthy and floral nuances.

2015 Chardonnay Estate VQA Beamsville Bench

( 84% Chardonnay and 16% Chardonnay Musqué)

 More luscious than the 2014. Buttery, with  ripe nectarine, pear, apricot and  toasty oak. On the mouth, very crisp, harmonious and quite elegant. Beautiful floral schematics at the end. 

2014 Chardonnay CSV VQA Beamsville Bench

( Old fruit from the Cave Spring Vineyard. 92% Chardonnay, 8% Chardonnay Musqué)

More Burgundian than new world. Floral with  a wax bee alike feeling. Nectarines as well as butterscotch. On the mouth, elegant with a creamy mouthwatering texture. Very long and elegant. Nice aging potential ( 5-10 years)

Reds

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Gamay 2015 VQA Beamsville Bench

( 100% Gamay from the Cave Spring Vineyard. Aging in a mix of French, Hungarian and American oak barriques)

On the nose, aromas reminiscent of licorice with leafy black currant fruit. Peppery as well with ripe red  cherry flavours. Medium body and  very fragant with a  nice medium acidity and soft tannins. 

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Pinot Noir 2015 VQA Beamsville Bench

( Pinot Noir from diverse vineyards along the Niagara Escarpment. 87% Pinot Noir, 13 Gamay. Aging of 13 months in 85% old french iak and 15 % new)

 Delightful nuances of spearmint and eucalyptus lead to cool  ripe berry undertones. Medium to Full body. Nice elegance to it

Pinot Noir 2015 Estate VQA Beamsville Bench

( Selected Pinot fruit from the Cave Spring Vineyard. 100 % Pinot Noir. Aging consist in a mix of different ages of oak barrels)

 On the nose dense ripe black chewy fruit bringing to mind a Cote de Nuits Bourgogne. Lovely spicy and balsamic feeling as well.  Full body with caressing tannins and sultry elegance to it.

Cabernet Franc 2015 Dolomite VQA Niagara Escarpment

( Terroir of dolomitic limestone forming the crest of the Niagara Escarpment.  The origins are 85.5% Beamsville Bench, 14.5% Lincoln Lakeshore .  Grape blend is 85.5% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aging is in a mix of older French, Hungarian and American oak barriques ) 

Lovely vegetal nose ( swiss chard come to mind) In addition plums, tobacco leaf with lots of spice. Very fresh. enveloping your mouth. nice chewyness at the end of the palate. blows my mind.

2015 Cabernet Franc Estate VQA Beamsville Bench

( 100% Cabernet Franc from the Cave Spring Vineyard. Aging  using a mix of 48% Hungarian and 52% French oak. Overall, 32% of the barrels were new.  )

Elegant nose of ripe red currant and blackberries. Cigar box. Almost a meaty quality to it. On the mouth, dry, long and very racy. Very elegant as well with caressing tannins

 

A mixed case of wine for the fall

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As we enter in September, slowly it starts to cool down. The sun still warms our days, but at night we feel a gentle temperature chill. As in a vineyard, the tree leaves will turn golden colour giving us a marvelous kaleidoscope of colours. Please give a warm welcome to the fall season.

As a wine lover and foodie, fall is my favorite season. It is the time of grape harvesting in many European wine regions-although advancing at a alarmous rate in recent years. The birth of a new wine.

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In Canada, the markets are full of colourful produce. Squashes, apples are some of the items that we commonly see. Lets not forget also mushrooms and new potatoes. A walk through a market is a feast for the senses.

We shift our drinking and eating habits towards the rich and the comforting. It is the season of fuller wines and slow cooked meals.Basically, we are seeking refuge in our plate and glass. Nothing is better that the smell of Pot au Feu or a boeuf bourguignon when you come home after a long day. Now, if you do not have any idea on how to do one, here is a video from and old cooking show, The French Chef, led by the late Julia Child. Julia introduced to the American public, the wonderful food of french cuisine.

Another set of dishes that I enjoy eating in the fall are baked pastas. I love a nice tray of baked rigatoni in a tomato sauce with ground beef and lots of cheese grated in the oven. Again, if you do not what to make, here is a video of  stuffed baked shells by Lidia Bastianich. Like Julia, Lidia brought a lot of attention of Italian cooking to  Americans.

I have put out a modest selection of wines to prep you for the transition of full fall weather. There is choice in most colours: white, rose and red. If you live in Quebec, I highly recommend buying them online via saq.com. For my other Canadian readers, visit their respective liquor board web pages. For the rest of the world: winesearcher.com

I will update the list as we enter more in the fall season. For now, think of this as a survival case for introduction to fall.

Happy drinking and keep tuned.

Last Call for roses:

Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2016. ( Provence, France). SAQ # 11416984. $25.85

On the nose, aromas that bring to mind cantaloupe, raspberry with complex floral tonalites. On the mouth, dry and very elegant. Well balanced with flavors that bring to mind lavender and dry rose and violet petals. Very chic wine. Food Idea: fish soup, seafood rice.

Round and curvy whites 

Rocca delle Macìe Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 ( Tuscany, Italy). SAQ # 00731570 . $16.10

Pretty nose bringing to mind citrus, verbena and fresh wild herbs. Dry with a crisp finale a and a finale that brings to mind honey-dew melon. Food Idea: Oysters or risotto with zucchini.

Inama Soave Classico 2016 ( Soave, Italy). SAQ #  00908004. $19.15

Very aromatic with exuberant tropical citrus fruit and a subdued floral side. On the mouth, in a riper Soave style yet quite elegant. Food Idea: Spaghetti squash with butter and sage.

Les Domaines Paul Mas Côté Mas Blanc Méditerranée 2016. SAQ #  13289510. $11.45

An honest and straightforward white. Clean aromas of pear, white peaches and mediterranean herbs. On the mouth, very tasteful with juicy fruity flavors. Food Idea: Oven breaded cod fillets with garlic creamy mashed potatoes.

Reds for those hearty dishes:

Château Beau-Site 2012. Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux. SAQ # 10696021 . $39.75

On the nose, mocha, cacao with blackcurrant fruit and red bell peppers. On the palate, a nice polished texture with firm yet austere tannins. Food Idea: Rib steak Bordeaux style with a generous portion of french fries.

Rocca delle Macìe Roccato 2010.( Tuscany, Italy). SAQ # 10254514. $43.75

A very fine noble bouquet. Interplay of cassis, black pepper, smoke and leather with complex earthy nuances. On the mouth, very fine and long with a caressing finale. Food idea: Tagliatelle with wild mushrooms.

Torbreck Cuvée Juveniles Barossa Valley 2015. ( Barossa, Australia). SAQ #  12818230. $30.25

Concentrated nose of blueberry and black currants. On the mouth, lots of power and depth featuring flavors that bring to mind eucalyptus, anis and lavender. Enjoyable but very new world in style. Food Idea: Lamb tajine with prunes.

Château Bujan 2014. ( Cotes de Bourg, Bordeaux). SAQ # 00862086. $21.05

An excellent Bordeaux with an unbeatable price. Aromas of cigar box, black plums, Cassis and wood. On the mouth, earthy with notes of clay, vanilla and cocoa. Crunchy tannins. This can age well. Food idea: Entrecote Bordelaise.

pacalet

Pacalet-Lapierre Cousins Juliénas 2016 ( Julienas, Beaujolais). SAQ # 13286802. $29.20

Smelling like summer vacations in the countryside. Strawberry, bing cherries  with a generous amount of violets.Generous and long with  silky tannins and a sweet finale. Food Idea: Coq au vin

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016 ( Morgon, Beaujolais). SAQ # 11305344. $32.25

Very fun nose. Violets, blackberry with hints of anis and BBQ spices. Round, generous. with a velvety palate. Profound with fine tannins. Food Idea: Roast beef with cipollini onions.

Champagne to forget about the dark cloudy days.

perrier

Laurent-Perrier Brut. SAQ # 00340679. $63.25

On the nose, nuances of yeasty bread, brioche and ground cherries. On the mouth, quite elegant with a refreshing aftertaste. Food Idea: Blanquette veau

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé. SAQ # 00158550. $100.

A small luxury quite affordable. Bright nose bringing to mind watermelon, raspberry and pink grapefruit. Refreshing and delicate with a long caressing finale. Food Idea: slow roasted chicken, creamy risotto with peas and guanciale

 

Grandes vinos del Rodano-Una breve introducción a las denominaciones del Norte

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Cornas

Hay algo en los grandes vinos franceses que a veces desorienta al público en general: los grandes vinos de las mejores zonas nunca llevan el nombre de ésta en la etiqueta. Tampoco existen los conceptos de crianza, reserva, gran reserva, tan familiares en los vinos españoles y en algunos vinos chilenos y argentinos. Entremos entonces,de norte a sur, en ese mundo fascinante y, a la vez, desconcertante: el vino del Ródano.

Los vinos franceses están valorizados más en cuanto a procedencia: las denominaciones de origen son pequeñas, y debido a eso existe una gran variedad. Por ejemplo un burdeos bueno se llama Pomerol, St. Emilion o Pauillac y que un excelente borgoña puede ser un Puligny, Meursault, Vosne-Romanée o Nuits-St.-Georges. ¿Pero, y el Ródano?. Esta es una zona menos conocida. En mi último viaje a la región a principios de abril tuve la oportunidad de familiarizarme de nuevo con los vinos de la región.

En la gran feria de vino (découvertes en Vallée du Rhône 2017) que se realiza cada dos años, tuve la oportunidad de degustar los vinos del norte y sur del Ródano.

Aunque los vinos del Rhône son usualmente agrupados juntos, en realidad la región se divide en dos distritos: Norte y Sur. En esta ocasión vamos a ver primeramente la principales comunas que conforman el distrito Norte (Côte Rotie, Condrieu y Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage). En otra ocasión, exploraremos los vinos de la parte sur (Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Luberon, etc).

Cote Rotie Guigal

Vinedos Cote Rotie Guigal

Côte-Rôtie

La Appellation Côte-Rôtie Protégée, es la más septentrional del distrito Norte, este vino, conjuntamente con el Hermitage, constituyen los vinos más robustos y longevos de Francia.Côte-Rôtie. Côte-Rôtie sólo produce vinos tintos y la denominación tiene una superficie de 307 hectáreas. En 2016, la producción fue de 12,589 hectolitros y el 23% de su producción fue al extranjero

Côte Rôtie, que se puede traducir por la ribera tostada o asada, es un pequeña montaña de escarpadas laderas. También hay parte del viñedo plantado en llano, que suele ser más productivo y de menor calidad. Es una de las denominaciones que ha crecido más en los últimos años, ocupando en la actualidad unas 200 hectáreas su viñedo, cuando hace 40 años se reducía a poco más de 50

Los vinos son elaborados a partir de la variedad Syrah, mezclada con entre un 2 y un 20% de una uva blanca llamada Viognier, ambas vinificadas juntas. La Viognier es la uva de la acidez, aroma y elegancia, la Syrah es la uva del sabor, la fruta y el tanino, razón por la cual es mezclada

Algunos de los mejores productores de Cote Rotie incluyen René Rostaing, Jean-Luc Jamet, , Gérin, Ogier y Yves Gangloff. Quien no haya sentido el perfume de un Côte Rôtie, no sabe lo que se pierde: notas ahumadas, de aceituna negra, tocino, especias, violetas y frutos negros. Son unos vinos muy carnosos y con gran potencial de envejecimiento.

Villard-Condrieu

Vinas en Condrieu de Francois Villard

Condrieu

Condrieu, con unas 191 hectáreas de viñedo, es la cuna de la gran blanca conocida por viognier. En Condrieu solo se producen vinos blancos. Los líderes de esta apelación son Yves Cuilleron y el recien fallecido Georges de Vernay.

Boileau, el gran poeta francés decía que el Condrieu puede “alegrar el corazón”.Lamartine, el político de la segunda república francesa contaba también que el Condrieu “calentaba los sesos”. Georges Vernay fue el presidente de la denominación durante 30 años. Con él, Condrieu recuperó por fin la fama que merecía de un gran vino. En esta región, los aromas de albaricoque, en ocasiones de violeta y de flor blanca de viognier se ven contrarrestados por una intensidad y una mineralidad que aportan a esta cepa toda su razón de ser.

Chapoutier-Hermitage

Chapoutier-Hermitage

Hermitage

Hermitage ha sido de siempre un vino noble y de mucho renombre. De hecho, a principios del siglo XIX, era el vino más caro de Francia, superando incluso a los “premier crus” de Burdeos. Es más, se hacían “cuvées” especiales de los vinos de Burdeos mezclandolos con Hermitage tinto, dando lugar a los “Bordeaux Hermitagé”, que eran considerados superiores a los Burdeos normales.

La montaña de Hermitage, situada a la espalda del pueblo de Tain l’Hermitage (cuna a su vez de el chocolate, Valrhona), produce la totalidad de los vinos de la denominación, en unas 137 hectáreas. Hay tanto tintos como blancos. Syrah y un 15% máximo de uva blanca en los primeros, y marsanne y roussanne para los segundos son las castas autorizadas. Son vinos, que necesitan de largo tiempo en botella para mostrar todo su pedigree .Si me tendria que quedar con un solo productor, sería sin duda Chave. Otros nombres a destacar en Hermitage son los de Jaboulet, con su conocido La Chapelle, y Chapoutier, ampliamente alabado por la crítica internacional (sobre todo americana), lo que ha causado que sus precios suban excesivamente. Se produce también una pequeña cantidad de vino dulce, llamado “vin de paille” (vino de paja), ya que se dejan las uvas sobre cestas de paja para que se sequen y pasifiquen antes de hacer el vino.

Cornas y los otros

De Cornas, que tiene solamente unas 144 hectáreas, el decir era que producía “los vinos más bárbaros de Francia”. Aquí sólo es permitido 100% syrah. Los vinos son rústicos pero a la vez son sedosos y elegantes en el paladar, pero tampoco es para tanto. Los grandes lideres de Cornas han sido Auguste Clape y Thierry Allemand, seguido de cerca por Alain Voge. Otros productores interesantes incluyen Vincent Paris, Pierre Gaillard y Domaine du Coulet

Crozes-Hermitage y St. Joseph son zonas más grandes, 1637 hectáreas en Crozes, y unas 1213 en St. Joseph, con diferentes terrenos, con viñas en ladera, pero muchas otras en llano y en tierras más fértiles, por lo que la calidad es más variable. Se producen blancos y tintos (en mayoría absoluta), con las mismas variedades que en Hermitage: syrah, roussanne y marsanne. Es en general tierra de “negociants”, con precios más asequibles. Alain Graillot , Jaboulet y Delas producen buenos caldos en estas zonas.

Totalmente casi desconocida, al límite sur se encuentra St. Péray, al que Robert Parker llamaba “el Parque Jurásico del Ródano” en su obra “Wines of the Rhône Valley”, produce los únicos vinos espumosos de todo el valle con una muy pequena produccion.

Tawse winery tasting

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During a recent family vacation in Niagara Falls, I had the chance to discover and drink many Canadians wines. After a family visit to Niagara Falls, I visited briefly Niagara on the lake.

Winemaking in Niagara goes back as early as the 17th century when European settlers started experimenting with native grapes.  By prohibition, there were more than 60 wineries.  The early days of the industry were focused on the native grape varieties, such as Niagara, Concord and Catawba, which produced musty and funky wines.

However, Ontario’s wine industry took off in the mid 70’s when the Canadian government deregulatized the industry. This brought a plethora of experimentation with new winemaking techniques and saw the introduction of European grape varieties.

Bordered by Lake Ontario on the north, the Niagara River on the east and the Welland River and Hamilton to the south and west, the Niagara Peninsula is the largest and most diverse Viticultural Area in Canada.  

The escarpment was formed over 200,000 years ago by several several glacial and interglacial events that defined the geology of the area. The area is blessed with different soil compositions that include diferents sand and silts and layers of sedimemtary rock. The area is particularly conducive to grow cool grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Riesling and Chardonnay. However, more than 30 varieties are grown.

Niagara Peninsula  enjoys a cool climate with important variations between diurnal and nocturnal temperatures.  The peninsula has 10 sub-regional appellations and more than 55% of Ontario wineries are found there. Here we find Tawse, Malivoire and Cave spring winery, the states that I visited during my vacation.

Tawse is a family-owned organic and biodynamic winery, voted best Canadian winery, three years in a row ( 2010, 2011, 2012). 

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Out of his love for Burgundy and terroir , Moray Tawse created a state of the art winery  A fervent advocate of terroir, he crafts wines that do best on the escarpment. The winery is state of the art, boutique style. I was under the impression that everything was done with the most meticolous care.

 Time was limited during my tasting, so i tasted a staff selection. Overall, I was impressed with the wines. I am sure in a blind tasting, these wines could have pass for Burgundy and Bordeaux.

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Chardonnay 2012 Beamsville Bench VQA

 On the nose, nice herbal undertones and quite mineral driven. On the palate, flavours remind me of almond biscuit, butterscotch and white orchard fruit. Full body, fresh,  and quite enveloping in your mouth. Oak well integrated. Elegant. In a Burgudian style.

Tawse 2012 Chardonnay Twenty mile bench VQA

Totally different from the previous one. Bright nose with confit orange peel, peach and pear jam accents, Flinty and refreshing with a good backbone. Balanced in the oak at the finale.

Tawse 2015 Riesling Vinemount Ridge VQA

 On the nose, baked apple character, quince,  and membrillo dessert with touches of  mango. Crisp and very refreshing. Perfect  roundness with a  zesty acidity. Racy and harmonious.

Reds

Tawse Pinot Noir 2011 VQA Twenty Mile Bench

Dark cherry with  cocoa, old spice. sun dried tomato. showing some lovely tertiary aromas: mushrooms such as shitakee and porcini with the highest quality. Structured and elegant with ripe tannins. A very earthy finale reminding me of smoked beef jerky. 

Tawse Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA  Creek Shores

 Textbook cabernet franc nose. Nuances of  bell pepper, black plums and cocoa. Lavish  french oak undertones.  On the mouth, superb polished texture with smooth and silky tannins. Amazing cashmere finale.

Tawse Meritage 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula

A  bordeaux in disguise. Blackcurrant fruit, dark cherry, rasperry, licorice and chinese plum sauce. On the mouth,  racy and austere with quite the muscular tannins.

 

Taste the unexpected: Norman Hardie wines

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Until today, Canadian wines were kind of mystery of me. I read many things on them but never took the time to taste them. It took a recently family vacation to shake my view about them.

My family vacation consisted on a trip to Toronto for my cousin’s wedding and sightseeing in Niagara Falls  and Sandbanks provincial park in Trenton. I also took advantage to visit a handful of selected estates that included Norman Hardie.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Norman Hardie wines. So i dreaded this visit because of the cloud of ambiguity that lay over my head. What I discovered was a very hip winery, with very down to earth staff. Actually, I felt that I was being received with open arms in a big extented family.

Located in the beautiful Prince Edward Country, the winery is 2 hours away from Toronto and 4-5 hours from Montreal. They have a nice tasting bar open during the summer season and they serve some succulent Pizzas. My wife who was my companion for this visit say that she felt in Tuscany at Norman Hardie.

Norman Hardie is originary from South Africa but moved to Toronto as a teen and headed to Dijon, to complete his sommelier certification. Before founding his winery, he did different work gigs including being a sommelier in The Four Seasons.

In his winery, Norman craft wines from selected sites in Niagara and Prince edward County. These special sites consisting of clay an limestone, allow him to make very special wines from cool climate.

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Megan, the sommelier at Norman Hardie, says that Norman works  with selected vine growers in Niagara. This allow him to have best grapes to make the best wines.  From time to time, he also enlist the help of his staff in matters of wine blending. I got the impression from Megan, that their wines are also so succesful because they are made as a unified team.

I also toured the facilities as well. It was a hub of eclectic energy. They used it both to make the wines and serve the customers in the tasting bar and restaurant. Its very happening with customers and wine staff mingling together. The winery is also very family oriented. There is a trampoline that children can use.

 

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Norman Hardie wines:

Reds:

Pinot Noir 2015 unfiltered. VQA Niagara Peninsula.

(Field blend of different niagara terroirs. Aged 9 months in french oak with natural occuring malolactic fermentation occuring and minimal sulphur at bottling)

Fascinating  nose. Full blown red fruit, spices, white and purple flowers. In  a crosspoint between new and old world. Sweet fruit with a velvety texture. Satiny tannis with a voloptous finale. 

Cabernet Franc 2015 unfiltered. VQA Niagara Peninsula

( 100 % Cabernet Franc fruit destemmed, natural yeast fermentation and aging in 225l barrels)

An inviting nose that brings to mind Cuban black tobacco cigarrillos, licorice, black cofee with an almost  smoky meaty aura to it. With aeration in the glass,  red and black currants fruits start to appear. On the mouth, very expressive with a  beautiful acidity and a ripe soft tannins. 

Cabernet Franc sans soufre 2015. VQA Niagara Peninsula

Unfined and on sulphur added at bottling for this natural cabernet franc)

This wine striked me for its purity of its fruit. Lovely fragance of leafy blackberries with dry meat extract. On the palate, this wine seduces with its alluring  earthiness and latino spice feeling. Fantastic acidity and quite digest to drink. Lingering aftertaste. 

 

Whites:

Riesling 2016 VQA Ontario

( Blend of Niagara nd Prince Edward Country fruit)

Very special nose. Pear, stone orchard white fruit, chalk and orange blossom water. It is an aromatic paradise.  Medium to full body. Elegant and very upbeat Very floral than fruity with a nice poetic finale. A hint of hydrocarbure finale.

Calcaire 2016 ( 45% chardonnay, 45% riesling, 10% pinot gris) VQA Ontario

( Less fermentation of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Fruit coming from diverse Ontario sites)

On the nose, pineapple flesh confit with crushed yellow flowers and a peculiar nuance of  wet rocks, Elegant, round and mineral driven. Overall a very profund wine.

Chardonnay 2015 sans soufree VQA Niagara Peninsula

( Blend of different mineral terroirs of the niagara escarpment. Stainless steel and large oak barrel aging. Wild yeast fermentation and  no fining and filtration)

Subtle toasty oak notes and very floral ( white peonies, jazmin, rosemary, ).Stunning aromatically. Gras Texture with a fresh acidity. Complex notes of smoked fennel and  white pepper. Quite an amazing wine.

 

Normand Hardie Pinot Gris 2016 VQA Prince Edward County

( 100% Prince Edward County grown. Fermented in stainless steel and aged for 8 months in neutral 500L french oak barrels. Full malolactic fermentation completed in the spring and bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulphur dose.)

A Pinot Gris more in common with its Friulian cousin rather than Alsace. Citric fruits, white flowers with a delicate pear character Round, polished and very subtle. Very elegant and harmonious.

Norman Hardie County Chardonnay 2014 VQA Prince Edward County

( Blend of Chardonnay grape from 5 different sites within 2 km of the winery. Fermentation in stainless steel and large 500 hl large oak barrels. No fining and filtration)

The specialty of the estate. Fantastic nose bringing to mind lemon cream curd, blanched almond and nectarine jam character, Round, very lineal yet full of vitality. On the mouth, more tropical fruit aromas such as coconut and passion fruit. A juxtaposition between old and new world.

Cuvee du Roche 2014 VQA Ontario

(A barrel selection of the most mineral driven sites from both the County and Niagara parcels of the winery. Fermentation using indigenous yeast beginning in stainless steel and finishing in 500L French Oak barrels. Aged 8 months, sulphur free, in barrel before being blended back into stainless. Bottled unfined and unfiltred with minimal sulphur.)

A magnificent example that shows the potential of the terroir of Niagara and Prince Edward County.Outstanding  nose of minerals, limestone, white fruits. Super elegant with a firm structure.

 

After the tasting, just a bit before lunch, it was time for Pizza. It was just the perfect timing as our table was ready as I finished my last wine. It could get quite busy to eat at Norman Hardie. They dont take reservations and you can get a table on a first come first basis. I expected to eat the pizza with great anticipation as i heard that they were quite legendary.

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Margherita with tomato and fior di latte, Brie cheese with funghi

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Sausage with confit onion and spicy peppers

We opted for 3 pizzas: Margherita, Brie with mushrooms and Sausage. Both the Brie and margherita were stunning with the Cabernet Sans Soufre bringing out the earthy notes of the variety. As well, I also enjoyed the sweet flavors of the sausage pizza complemeting the generosity of the Pinot Noir.

So overall, the visit at Norman Hardie beat expectations and proved that Canada can be at par with France in making world class fine wines.

Until next time.

Survival guide for vacation wines

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Far niente in Sandbank beach

In the summertime, you want to simplify your life. Nothing complicated. Vacation is on the air and so is the choice for simple but well executed meals in the company of friends and family. Here is a selection of summer wines to accompany your meals with your family and friends in your next family vacation. I myself and in a semi vacation mode. Just came back from a marvelous trip in Toronto. I was visiting family and made also a mini trip to Niagara and Prince Edward wine county regions. More this to come in the following weeks.

Here is a no brainer, cant fail wine selection for your summer libations. Keep this selection on mind when you are preparing your vacations to do list.

Have a good one!!!

White selections

Dopff & Irion Cuvee Rene Dopff Sylvaner 2016. ( Alsace, France) SAQ # 13190018. $13.95

 On the nose, anis, jazmin, and  white grapefruit aromas.  On the mouth, dry, crisp and mineral driven. Enjoy with grilled shrimps.

Domaine Paul Mas Cote Mas Blanc de Mediterranee Vin de France 2016 ( Languedoc, France). SAQ # 13289510. $11.45

Ripe yellow fruit, blanched almonds and wild fennel character. Structured yet very round in the mouth with a mediterranean profile character. Pair it with roasted fishe in the BBQ or oven

Stratus Riesling Moyer Rd RR1 2015 ( Niagara, Canada). SAQ # 13183432. $22.15

Pear flesh and  freshly cut limes with certain  lactic nuances ( plain yougurt) and indian chai spices. NaftalineOn the mouth, crisp, round-creamy, sublime texture. Citric fruit flavors ( pineapple, tangerines. ). Mineral driven finale.

Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie 2015 ( Loire, France). SAQ # 12258842. $25.45

Delighful tropical  citrus fruits such as passion fruit, pineapple and kiwi with a touch of white nectarine. Medium to full body, crisp and very refreshing. Flavors bring to mind green apple with a zesty finale.

Vignoble du Reveur Pierres Sauvages 2013 ( Alsace, France). SAQ # 13211843. $19.40

Honey, with a complex spice character:nutmeg, cloves and white pepper. Structured with a complex  character.  Very long and caressing. Grilled some scallops with cream pasta and you will have an amazing meal with this wine.

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In Reds:

François Villard L’appel des Sereines 2015 ( Rhone, France). SAQ # 12292670. $19.85

Dark pepper, licorice with balsamic notes such as mint and heady meaty scents. Harmonious and polished with soft and easy going tannins. One of the best values in the Rhone in red at the moment

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir ( Central Valley, Chile). SAQ # 13284401. $11.10

 Well made Pinot from Chile. Delicious fruit notes of strawberry, cherry and black prunes. Simple yet delightful. What elese can you ask for $11.10. Versatile with pastas and grilled poultry dishes. 

Chanson Père & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014 ( Burgndy, France). SAQ # 11598394. $24.45

Red berry puree, black licorice, smoke and dark blackberries. Lots of power and concentration with firm and silky tannins. Delicious with grilled filet mignon or smoked duck breast.

Domaine De Petit Roubié Syrah 2016 ( Languedoc, Rousillon). SAQ # 13065794. $26.45

 On the nose. seductive notes of Toasty oak, sandalwood and tapenade. Long and firm with a polished texture and tannins. The wine to bring with a charcoal BBQ in the park, 

 

Une évasion en Provence avec deux vins

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provence

Je n’aime pas cette période de l’année. La météo à la fin de Juin est très erratique. Quelques jours, nous avons de la pluie et d’autres jours, nous avons le soleil. Pourquoi nous ne pouvons pas deux semaines consécutives de soleil, je me demande?

Ce qui est le  plus frustrant, c’est que le Festival de jazz de Montréal se déroule dans cet deux semaines. Je manque beaucoup de bons spectacles extérieurs en raison de la pluie stupide. En général, la pluie ne me dérange pas, mais quand la météo est comme ca, j’ai un problème:

En Provence, la région reçoit une quantité abondante de soleil par an. Si je ne me trompe pas, le chiffre se situe entre 2700 et 2900 heures par an. C’est pourquoi leurs vins sentent des vacances!!!

Ce climat favorable à la viticulture présente en toute saison des températures particulièrement douces. Les étés souvent caniculaires sont toutefois rafraîchis en bordure de mer par l’effet des brises marines. La fraîcheur hivernale est par contre accentuée par la présence de nombreux vents. Le mistral (vent violent typiquement méditerranéen) favorise néanmoins le bien être de la vigne par son pourvoir assainissant, évitant ainsi les maladies

Quand je regarde un videoclip comme ça, il me donne juste le goût d’échapper à cette terre.

 

Voici deux vins pour vous donner le vrai goût de la Provence:

Domaine Hauvette Jaspe 2011 ( Importation privée au Québec-Vini-Vins)

Le Domaine Hauvette est situé à Saint-Rémy de Provence. La propriétaire, Dominique Hauvette, élabore des vins à forte personnalité. Le domaine Hauvette travaille en agriculture biologique afin de mettre en bouteille des vins au plus proche de ce magnifique terroir. Depuis 2003, Dominique Hauvette a mis en place un mode de culture biodynamique et cultive ses vignes sur de très petits rendements.

Un magnifique blanc 100% roussanne. Exotique. Sur le nez, les arômes de liqueur Millefiore, le nougat, le miel. Avec le temps, d’agréables notes de fruits secs se développent aussi.Coriandre, beurre de noisette. Sur la bouche, riche et velouté. Très aromatique me rappelant des fleurs jaunes sauvages, du curcuma et du curry. Élégant avec une finale rappelant la confiture de coing. Magnifique avec des plats de fruits de mer au curry

Henri Milan Le Valois 2009. SAQ # 12775701, $24.75

 

Un mélange formidable de Grenache, Syrah et  Cinsault. Milan représente la Bourgogne de Provence, d’où la forme de la bouteille, plus clairement exprimée que dans ce vin.

2009 était un millésime  assez solaire, cela a donné un vin d’une belle fraicheur, et d’une finesse encore inégalée pour cette cuvée du Vallon.  Des fruits noirs savoureux, de la terre noire, de la truffe et un bouquet floral séduisant. Frais, ronde et digeste avec des nuances de réglisse et cassis. Tanins mûr avec une finale élégante. Un vin délicieux pour toutes sortes de viandes grillées.