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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Great New Wines tasted in November: some notes

1.Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay 2014 St. David's Bench Vineyard VQA St David's Bench, +430991, $19.95 Vintages: one of several chardonnays at different price points from Chateau des Charmes. My last vintage tasted was the 2012. Barrel fermented and barrel aged in French oak for almost a year, with lees stirring. 25-year old vines. Expect soft balance with nuances of minerality and some muted tropicality, served up with orchard fruit. Cork closure. Long finish. One of my fave chards, but do not serve overchilled. 495 cases. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Chateau des Charmes Cabernet-Merlot Old Vines 2012 VQA NOTL, $21.95 +222372 Vintages: a substantial wine made from plots planted beginning in 1983-1985 and then again in 1992-1996 (all four of their vineyards) – about a third each of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, coming in at 13.5% ABV after 10 months time in non-new French oak. Expect medium mocha, cedar, vanilla and cassis, but double-decant the bottle before serving. The extra airing will help soften it and give it a longer length from the older vines. Tasted successfully over a number of days. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
3.Chateau Devise d'Ardilley Haut-Medoc 2012, +642512, $29.95 Vintages Dec 10: this popular brand is useful for the mid-Atlantic style for North American Bordeaux drinking. Composed of 45% merlot, 50% cabernet sauvignon, and 5% petit verdot, 13% ABV. Lots of black fruit with a strong wood component, lingering but mild finish. A first course wine? Haut-Medocs are really "good buy" in wines. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Tautavel 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages, +272575, $18.95 Vintages Jan 7, 2017: one of the real few values in the opening January release at Vintages. It's a blend typical of the south Rhone – with syrah, grenache, and carignan -  and coming in at 14% ABV. Grand Terroir is Bertrand's range of specific vineyards in the Roussillon region. A third of the wine is aged in French oak barrels for nine months; the rest goes into vats.  Red fruit and black fruit dominate with nuances of aging and wood. Some garrigue too. Best with food. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
5.Ferraton Pere & Fils Samorens Cotes-du-Rhone 2014, +168708, $14.95 Vintages Jan 21/17: a good Rhone blend of grenache (85%), syrah (10%) and cinsault (5%). It's matured in vats as a simple Rhone, at 13.5% ABV. Aromas and texture are basically a grenache papery sensation, with dark berry complexity and modest spicing. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
6.Maynard's Port Encyclopedia, vol. II, $54.95, +464917 LCBO Gift Purchase: this is a great introduction for tasting port, a sort-of tutorial. And very useful for a Christmas gift at that price range. Here are six of the Barão de Vilar's fine Ports for this sampling set. They have been in the business of port for 16 generations; the LBV concept was originated by them in 1954. The six tubes are 60 mL each: 12 ounces in total. Just perfect for 2 – 3 persons, say about $18 each. There are notes on the inside of the box (which looks like a book), and if you want more, there is always Wikipedia. The first three may not seem much like a bargain (white, ruby, LBV 2012) but the latter three are bargains in this context (10-, 20, 30-year old tawnies). There are tasting notes provided (the tawnies regularly get over 90 points just about everywhere) as well as suggested pairings with food. Unfortunately, the food pairings are difficult since the quantity of wine is so small: by the time a couple have tasted and enjoyed the ports, there is little left but the aromas. But it is worth a shot if you go at it alone. One suggestion: the package will cost a bit more, but it may be appropriate to just keep the ports on the dark side by dropping the white port and adding a colheita after the LBV, a sort-of comparison with the tawnies. White ports are about $17 a full bottle, colheitas are twice that. My fave, of course, was the 20-year old tawny, with its complicated nose and dried fruit tones on the palate. Quality/Price rating of the package is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Event: Wines of Spanish Garnacha Tasting Showroom at Boehmer

The Date and Time: Monday November 28, 2016   1PM to 4PM
The Event: Wines of Spanish Garnacha Tasting Showroom
The Venue: Boehmer
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: the wines were nicely arranged by tables of availability: we began with wines without an agent, then wines with agent (consignment, private orders), followed by wines available at the LCBO (General, Vintages).
The Quote/Background: Garnacha is a rising star in Spanish exports (there are 70,000 hectares planted of red, 2300 of white), and this is its third marketing event of the year in Ontario. The success of Monasterio de La Vinas in Ontario is compelling, not only for its modest pricing but also for its quality and aging.
The Wines: There were two dozen wines to try: red, white and rose. My best buy was the Beso de Vino at under $10.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Solar de Urbezo Ecologico Old Vines Garnacha 2015 Carinena 2015 TBD   No Agent
-Celler Batea Tipicitat Garnacha 2012 Terra Alta (with 15% carignan) TBD   No Agent
-Las Morada de San Martin Las Luces Garnacha 2008 Vinos de Madrid TBD   No Agent
-Vinas del Vero Secastilla Old Vines Garnacha 2013 Somonyano, $40
-Santo Cristo Legado del Moncayo Old Vines Garnacha 2015 Campo de Borja, $13
-Aragonesas Fagus Seleccion Especial Old Vines Garnacha 2013 Campo de Borja, $25 - $30
-San Alejandro Las Rocas Old Vines Garnacha 2013 Calatayud, $21 
-Ignacio Marin Old Vines Garnacha 2010 Carinena,  $12.75 Vintages
-Grandes Vinos y Vinedos Monasterio de Las Vinas San Jose de Aguaron Reserva Old Vines Garnacha 2008 Carinena, $14.95  Vintages
-Grandes Vinos y Vinedos Monasterio de Las Vinas Gran Reserva Old Vines Garnacha 2007 Carinena, $17.95 Vintages
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ecovitres Mesie Garnacha White 2013 Terra Alta  TBD   No Agent
-Cellers Unio Perlat Garnacha 2014 Montsant TBD   No Agent
-Las Morada de San Martin Senda Garnacha 2012 Vinos de Madrid TBD   No Agent
-Altavins Ilercavonia Garnacha White 2015 Terra Alta TBD   No Agent
-Las Morada de San Martin Initio Garnacha 2010 Vinos de Madrid TBD   No Agent
-Virgen de la Sierra Cruz de Piedra Seleccion Especial Garnacha 2014 Calatayud, $17.95
-Paniza Garnacha 2012 Carinena, $18.95
-Pablo Menguante 2012 Carinena, $16.95 Vintages
-Grandes Vinos y Vinedos Beso De Vino Old Vines Garnacha 2014 Carinena, $9.95 LCBO
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cellers Unio Clos Dalian Garnacha White 2015 Terra Alta TBD   No Agent
-Celler Batea Vall Major Garnacha White 2015 Terra Alta TBD   No Agent
-Botera Vila Closa Garnacha White 2015 Terra Alta
-Paniza Garnacha Rose 2014 Carinena, $16
-San Valero Castillo de Monseran Garnacha 2015 Carinena, $9.95 LCBO
 
The Food: smoked meats and fish, apple packets, chocolate barks, Manchego cheese, breads and fruit.
The Downside: ballpoint pens handed out with the catalogue did not work well on the the glossiness of the catalogue, so I switched to feltipped pens. Also, the yellow ink used for the name of the wine was very difficult to read in the shadowy light.
The Upside: a chance to capture the leading edges in garnacha from Spain.
The Contact Person: frederique.charron@sopexa.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maynard's Port Encyclopedia, vol. II, $54.95, +464917 LCBO Gift Purchase:

Maynard's Port Encyclopedia, vol. II, $54.95, +464917 LCBO Gift Purchase: this is a great introduction for tasting port, a sort-of tutorial. And very useful for a Christmas gift at that price range. Here are six of the Barão de Vilar's fine Ports for this sampling set. They have been in the business of port for 16 generations; the LBV concept was originated by them in 1954. The six tubes are 60 mL each: 12 ounces in total. Just perfect for 2 – 3 persons, say about $18 each. There are notes on the inside of the box (which looks like a book), and if you want more, there is always Wikipedia. The first three may not seem much like a bargain (white, ruby, LBV 2012) but the latter three are bargains in this context (10-, 20, 30-year old tawnies). There are tasting notes provided (the tawnies regularly get over 90 points just about everywhere) as well as suggested pairings with food. Unfortunately, the food pairings are difficult since the quantity of wine is so small: by the time a couple have tasted and enjoyed the ports, there is little left but the aromas. But it is worth a shot if you go at it alone. One suggestion: the package will cost a bit more, but it may be appropriate to just keep the ports on the dark side by dropping the white port and adding a colheita after the LBV, a sort-of comparison with the tawnies. White ports are about $17 a full bottle, colheitas are twice that. My fave, of course, was the 20-year old tawny, with its complicated nose. nuttiness, and dried fruit tones on the palate. Quality/Price rating of the package is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Event: Client Celebration of Presidential Gourmet Catering with the Royal Ontario Museum.

The Date and Time: Wednesday, November 23, 2016  6PM to 9 PM
The Event: Client Celebration of Presidential Gourmet Catering with the Royal Ontario Museum.
The Venue: ROM, Age of Dinosaurs Gallery
The Target Audience: food and wine event planners and media.
The Availability/Catalogue:
The Quote/Background: PG Catering does corporate events, weddings, home and office parties, with about 30 venues that they are associates (including the Ontario Science Centre, the ROM, Roy Thomson Hall, et al). They have a wide-range of sustainable menus for all their events. Some of what they can do were on display tonight. Their new Exec Chef Jay Suppiah provided a new menu, which began with hors d'oeuvre in motion followed by food stations and a dessert display table. This food preview showcase was complemented by a good upscale range of Canadian wines. For more details see www.presidentialgourmet.ca
The Wines: These were pretty impressive wines for a media/preview gathering.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Brut Rose NV  VQA
-Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2013 VQA
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Thirty Bench Riesling Winemakers Blend 2015 VQA
-Mission Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 BCVQA
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-G. Marquis The Silver Line Pinot Noir 2015 VQA
 
The Food: this is what we were here for...THE MENU !!
 
"Hors d'oeuvre in Motion"
 
-Pork Belly Mini Sliders (braised pork belly and pineapple slaw sandwiched between Polynesian style pineapple buns: a meal in themselves!)
-Portobello Poke (Portobello mushroom on top of a taro chip with togarashi cream)
-Huili Huili Chicken (chicken, ginger, soy, garlic, mustard and sherry
served in a crispy spice wonton taco: my absolutely fave dishes of the night)
-Shrimp 'n' Grits (Creole spice, coffee and micro cilantro served on a spoon: grits were more like polenta)
 
Food Stations
 
-Japanese Sujuki Market (chicken katsu, sushi rice, scallions, sesame seeds, nori
Vegetarian option: braised Japanese eggplant) – took some time to build, so there was a line-up.
-Maple-Candied Muskoka Trout (smoked cucumber, citrus segments, fennel slaw, cocoa-vanilla vinaigrette: great flavours_
-Deconstructed Beef Wellington (truffle jus, King Oyster mushroom, roasted Brussels sprouts: I'm not a fan of beef or of Brussels sprouts, but this won me over)
 
Dessert Display (I try to stay away from sugar, but could not resist the red velvet and the verrine. My wife Ann helped me out on this one.)
 
-Petit Gateau
-Vanilla Yogurt Mousse with Maple Fudge and Strawberry Gelee Center
-Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cherry Ganache Center
-Matcha Tea Mousse with Yuzu Mousse Center
-Carrot-Walnut Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
-Red Velvet Cake Pops with Cream Cheese Icing
-Orange Chocolate Layer Cake
-Verrine (buttermilk panna cotta, plum gelee, almond tuile)
-Tartelettes (citrus pate sucree, orange pastry cream, fresh fruit)
-Mendiant (chocolate pate sucree, gianduja ganache, toasted pecan, candied lemon peel)
-Eclaire (butterscotch pastry cream with glazed marzipan)
-Macarons, Chocolate and Spekuloos
-Chocolate Mint Truffle
-Guava Pate de Fruit
-Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bon Bon
-Passion Fruit Marshmallow
-Montelimar Square
The Downside: I wished I had a larger appetite and could eat some of the desserts.
The Upside: a chance to also see the famed Dale Chihuly glass exhibit of 11 installations.
The Contact Person: ruth@thesirengroup.com; rick@presidentialgourmet.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 94.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Event: A Tasting of Wines from Italy: 21ST Anniversary

The Date and Time: Monday, October 31, 2016  9:30AM – 4PM  [WRITTEN NOVEMBER 10]
The Event: A Tasting of Wines from Italy: 21 years.
The Venue: Roy Thomson Hall Lobbies
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: The catalogue was for all of Canada, so Vancouver and Calgary along with Montreal were also included. Not all wines were offered for tasting in all locations, so we had to pay attention to the small print as to which wine was where. We had to stay sober as well...Otherwise, there was detail on grape varieties and names of agents and others. Prices were lacking, but we just had to ask. Of course, not everybody knew their own prices – which was a marketing shame...Most wines were seemingly private orders, or perhaps consignment and a few in Vintages. Some wines would be available next year (2017) at the LCBO.
The Quote/Background: Nobody had a firm grip on the numbers of different wines. Some wines never showed up, others were substituted, some were completely new, and vintages varied. Once again, many tables could not pin down even an estimated price. There were many tables of wines with wineries looking for an agent. I could not in all good conscience taste and review these when there were so many other wines in the room that are already here in Ontario and needed to be tasted.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine – WHO COULD IN FOUR HOURS ??? I concentrated only on the oldest reds I could find.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Aurelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'annunziata 2011, $75 Profile
-Aurelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'annunziata 2010 n/a Profile
-Aurelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'annunziata 2008 $175 Profile
-Bersano Barolo Riserva 2007, $74  Profile
-Camperchi Toscana IGT Sangiovese 2008, $30  United Stars Corp
-Casetta Flli Barolo Riserva La Serra 2010, $60   Signature
-Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011, $75   Colio Estate
-Gerardo Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Il Bosco 2010, $73.95  Profile
-Gussalli Beretta Franciacorta Cuvee 7 Lo Sparviere, $29.95  Eurovintage
-Cantine Petrosino Terre Siciliane IGP Saluq Shiraz 2012, 7.50E  AMV-Whiz Trading
-Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva di Fizzano 2013, $35.95  Profile
-San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, $38  Groupe Soleil
-Statti Mantonico IGT Calabria Bianco 2014, $20 Majestic
-Tenute Piccini Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Fattoria di Valiano 2010, $29  Wine Lovers
-Togni Rocca dei Forti Cuvee Asti, $12.95   Dionysus
-Torraccia di Presura Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010, $69  The Vine Agency
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Barone Mantalto Viognier Collezione di Familiglia 2015 Terre Siciliane, +435479, $15.95 Feb 4/17 Vintages
-Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2015, $22.95  Family Wine Merchants
-Marchesi Mazzei ChiantiClassico GranSelezione Castello Fonterutoli 2011,$54.95 Profile
-Monte del Fra Bianco di Custoza Ca del Magro 2014, $25  Signature
-Cantine Petrosino Terre Siciliane IGP Brezza Mediterranea 2015, 4.90E AMV-Whiz Trading
-Statti Greco IGT Calabria Bianco 2015, $17 Majestic
-Togni Gran Casale Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2013, $21  Dionysus
-Togni Casalfarneto Anfora Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2015, $14.95 Dionysus
-Torrevento Matervitae Fiano Puglia 2015, $14.95  Majestic
-Ca'Tullio Friuli Aquileia Viola Traminer Aromatico 2015, $18  Signature
-Fazio Erice Pietrasacra 2010 Nero d'Avola, $55.95   Profile
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Amastuola Salento IGP Bianco 2015, $16  Majestic
-Cusumano Sicilia Shamaris 2015, $14.95   Family Wine Merchants
-Cantine Ermes Sicilia IGT Tenute Orestiadi Ludovico 2009, $19.95  Charton Hobbs
-Feudo Disisa IGT Terre Siciliane Tornamira 2012, $35   Vintage Trade
-Monteci Lugana 2015, $24.95  The Case for Wine
-Statti Lamezia Bianco 2015, $16 Majestic
 
The Food: Cibo Wine Bar did the food very well: some cheeses, meat platters, dried fruit, breads, pasta, olives, arancini, creamy gorgonzola, pickles.
The Downside: for the first time ever I missed the seminar, with John Szabo and some great wines from Puglia.
The Upside: I had a chance to taste some fine wines in the walkabout.
The Contact Person: p.titone@ice.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 

 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Event: Tasting hosted by Rodolfo Opi Sadler, winemaker at Mascota Vineyards (Mendoza, Argentina)

The Date and Time: Wednesday, October 26, 2016   Noon to 2PM
The Event: Tasting hosted by Rodolfo Opi Sadler, winemaker at Mascota Vineyards (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Venue: LCBO Summerhill Kitchen, Scrivener Square
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: three wines are at the LCBO, as noted below.
The Quote/Background: "Opi" spoke to the wines as we tasted them. Most of the wines are aged in all French barrels, with a few in US and French oak. The winery was proclaimed "Argentine Wine Producer of the Year 2014" by the IWSC. Not tasted were the La Mascota Cabernet Franc and Shiraz (lined price at $13.95).
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, +292110 LCBO   14%ABV
-Mascota Big Bat Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $70   14%  TBD
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Mascota Extra Brut Trad. Meth. 2013, $19.95 [100% pinot noir]   TBD
-Mascota Opi Chardonnay 2015, $10.95  13.5%ABV TBD
-Gran Mascota Malbec 2012, $23.95  +443333  15%ABV
-Mascota Unanime 2011, $29.95 +466938  60%CabSauv/25Malbec/15CabFr
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-La Mascota Malbec 2014, $13.95   TBD  14%ABV
 
The Food: appetizer platters of parilla (beef ribs, steak, sausage, mango salsa), white sandwiches, empanadas de carne.
The Downside: the winemaker was tied up in traffic, so we had a red and a white wine and the food first, followed by his arrival and discussion.
The Upside: a chance to pair Argentine food with Argentine wine.
The Contact Person: catherine@catchcom.ca; joyce.phillips-nitsos@mondiaalliance.ca; marika.synnett@mondiaalliance.ca.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for November 26, 2016.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  November 26, 2016.
=======================================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
UNDER $20 --
Chateau Roc de Levraut 2014 Bordeaux Superieur, +468280, $13.95,  13.% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92.
Cathedral Cellars Chardonnay 2014 WO Western Cape, +328559, $16.95,13.5 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 91.
 
OVER $20 --
Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Mendoza, +656363, $25.95, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 94
Balbas Reserva 2005 Ribera del Duero, +85183, $22.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
R-Montebuena Cuvee KPF 2014 Rioja, +211029, $15.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Koyle Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Colchagua Valley, +256073, $19.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
R-Rotllan Torra 2011 Priorat, +267989, $19.95, 14.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas 2013 Yecla, +276162, $17.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90+
R-Robert Oatley Signature Series Shiraz 2014, +327387, $19.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
W-Tenuta Cocci Grifoni Colle Vecchio Offida Pecorino 2013, +414011, $16.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
R-Xavier 100% Cotes du Rhone 2012, +437079, $16.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
W-Famille Ternynck Sur Calcaire Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2015, +470930,  $17.95, 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Quinta de Curvos Afectus Alvarinho 2015 Vinho Verde,+471276, $17.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R-Borsao Bole 2013 Campo de Borja, +471565, $15.95, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
W-Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris 2014 Alsace, $17.95, +641597, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89+
R-Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah/Carignan/Mourvedre 2013, +370262, $18.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2014 VQA Beamsville Bench, +256552, $18.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
R-Peninsula Ridge Beal Vineyard reserve Merlot 2015 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +257311, $19.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Columbia CrestH3 Les Chevaux Red Blend 2012, +287425, $19.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Santa Julia Magna 2014 Mendoza, +93799, $15.95, 13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88+
R-Chateau Peyros Vieilles Vignes Madiran 2011, +234997, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
20 over $20
=========
R-Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2013, +24190, $84.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Stag's Leap District Napa, +45476, $139.95, 15.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Domaines Schlumberger Kessler Riesling Alsace, +61176, $27.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 BCVQA Okanagan, +73098, $44.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Chateau Griviere 2011 Medoc, +469783, $23.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Bodegas LAN Crianza 2012 Rioja, +424531, $29.95 MAGNUM, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Wynn's Coonawarra Estate Shiraz  2012, +433060, $22.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91.
W-Rodney Strong Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014, +465724, $29.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Cotes de Lechet Chablis 1er Cru 2003, +470435,  $51.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90.
R-M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem 2014 MAGNUM, +474957, $55.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R-Baron de Ley Reserva 2010 Rioja, +958868, $21.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89+
R-Ruffino Modus 2013 IGT Toscana, +412379, $69.95 MAGNUM, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Michele Castellani CinqueStelle Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012, +75127, $56.95, 15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R-Donna Olimpia 1898 2013 Bolgheri, +163857, $32.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012, +356220,  $49.95, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Ceppaiano Violetta 2010 IGT Toscana, +474627, $22.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R-Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino 2009, +474734, $49.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Muriel Gran Reserva 2007 Rioja, +984187, $29.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
R-Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2010 VQA Short hills Bench, +616433m 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W-Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Riesling 2013 VQA Short Hills Bench, +643361, $24.95, 11% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R-Stratus Petit Verdot 2012 VAQ Niagara-On-The-Lake, +142638, $38.20, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R-Versado Reserva Ancient Malbec 2012 Mendoza, $59.95, 14.1% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
W-2027 Cellars Aberdeen Road Vineyard Chardonnay 2013, +472241, $30, % ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W-Tawse Estate Chardonnay 2012 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +344804, $38.40, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Event: Discover the Somewhereness Wines of Ontario

The Date and Time: Monday, October 24, 2016  1:30PM – 5 PM
The Event: Discover the Somewhereness Wines of Ontario
The Venue: St. James Cathedral Centre
The Target Audience: wine media and trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available through the LCBO or at the winery.
The Quote/Background: There are now 12 members of Somewhereness, mostly in Niagara, and they subscribe to a sense of place (the Lake Ontario effect), the ancient soils, the quality of the premium wines, and a sens of stewardship towards the conditioning of the earth. They grow site-specific wines in small lots. All the wineries are family owned. It began in 2007 with five wineries. John Szabo led a seminar of some 12 Niagara wines, a mix of contemporary and older vintages for Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir. These have been folded in below.
The Wines: I did not taste all the wines. All prices are retail; all wines are VQA.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Bachelder Niagara Wismer Wingfield #1 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench 2013, $44.95
-Bachelder Niagara Wismer Foxcroft #2 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench 2013, $44.95
-Cave Spring Cellars Blanc de Blancs CSV 2008 Beamsville Bench, $39.95
-Cave Spring Cellars Riesling CSV 2014 Beamsville Bench, $29.95
-Cave Spring Cellars Riesling CSV 2010 Beamsville Bench [Winery Library]
-Charles Baker Riesling Picone Vineyard 2013 Vinemount Ridge, $35
-Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Reserve 2013 Niagara Peninsula, $45
-Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir La Grande Reserve 2013 Niagara Peninsula, $60
-Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling Twenty Mile Bench 2009 [Winery library]
-Flat Rock Riddled Traditional Method Sparkling Twenty Mile Bench 2010, $29.95
-Flat Rock The Rusty Shed Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench 2012, $24.95
-Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay Beamsville Bench 2013, $29.75
-Hidden Bench Estate Nuit Blanche Beamsville Bench 2014, $40
-Malivoire Bisous NV Brut Beamsville Bench, $29.95
-Norman Hardie Cuvee de Roche 2014 VQA Ontario [blend of Niagara and PEC]  Winery
-Norman Hardie Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula 2009  [winery library]
-Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Wild Ferment Chardonnay Four Mile Creek 2012, $34.95
-Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay Four Mile Creek 2013, $49.95
-Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay Four Mile Creek 2009, [winery library]
-Southbrook Estate Grown Small Lot Witness Block Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc Four Mile Creek 2013, $39.95
-Stratus White NOTL 2013, $38
-Stratus Red NOTL 2012, $44
-Tawse Quarry Road Vineyard Riesling Vinemount Ridge 2014, $23.95
-Tawse Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling 2014 Twenty Mile Bench, $19.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-13th Street Winery Cuvee Rose NV Niagara, $27.95
-13th Street Winery Viognier 2015 Niagara, $19.95
-Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay Mineralite 2013, $44.95
-Bachelder Niagara Lowrey Pinot Noir St. David's Bench 2013, $44.95 
-Bachelder Niagara Wismer Parke Pinot Noir Twenty Mile Bench 2014, $34.95 
-Bachelder Niagara Parfum Pinot Noir 2014, $26.10 
-Cave Spring Cellars Chardonnay CSV 2013 Beamsville Bench, $29.95
-Cave Spring Cellars Pinot Noir Estate 2014 Beamsville Bench, $39.95
-Charles Baker Riesling Ivan Vineyard 2015 Twenty Mile Bench, $27
-Domaine Queylus Merlot Cabernet Franc La Grande Reserve 2012 Niagara Peninsula, $49.95
-Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir Twenty Mile Bench 2012, $29.95
-Malivoire Mottiar Pinot Noir Beamsville Bench 2013, $34.95
-Malivoire Small Lot Pinot Noir Beamsville Bench 2014, $29.95
-Norman Hardie Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula 2014, $39
 
The Food: three dense cheeses from Monforte (cow and goat), a variety of local cheeses from the Cheese Boutique, terrific sliced salmon from the Fat Chance Cold Smoked Salmon Company, sliced bread from de le terrs bakery, and wonderful salumi from Paganelli (boar sausage, local prosciutto, etc.)
The Downside: the seminar went on too long (it ran over by an hour) and I had to leave early to catch the trade show.
The Upside: great to keep in touch with some of the leading wines of Ontario.
The Contact Person: trisha@dorianandassociates.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Event: Istituto Grandi Marchi tasting of fine Italian wines., in Toronto

The Date and Time: Tuesday, October 18, 2016  2PM to 5PM
The Event: Istituto Grandi Marchi tasting of fine Italian wines.
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: media, sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: many of the wines are available by consignment, others are in the LCBO distribution, others are private order – the usual mixed bag! All wineries have Ontario agents.
The Quote/Background: The Grandi Marchi is made up of 19 Italian wine families concentrating on fine wines for 25 years or more. They have their own estates and are industry leaders.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine, and prices may not be exact, if at all.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Alois Lageder Gewurztraminer Alto Adige 2015, $26.95
-Alois Lageder Cor Romigberg Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Adige 2011, $65 [Demeter]
-Donnafugata Mille e una Notte Rosso Sicilia IGT 2011, $89
-Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC 2014, $45 half-bottle.
-Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2011, $85
-Gaja Barbaresco 2013, $279
-Masi Mazzano Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011
-Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d'Asti 2015, $19
-Pio Cesare Chardonnay L'Altro Piemonte 2015, $29.95
-Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri 2013
-Umani Ronchi Cumaro Conero Riserva 2011, $30
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tenuta San Guido Guialberto Toscana IGT 2014
-Alois Lageder Lowengang Chardonnay Alto Adige 2011, $49.95 [Demeter]
-Folonari Cabreo Il Borgo Toscana IGT 2013, $45
-Folonari Campo al Mare Bolgheri DOC 2014, $30
-Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015, $18
-Carpene Malvolti 1868 Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore NV
-Donnafugata Tancredi Rosso Sicilia IGT 2011, $44.95
-Gaja Sito Moresco Langhe 2014, $65
-Jermann Chardonnay Venezia Giulia IGT 2015, $36
-Lungarotti Montefalco Sagrantino 2010, $44.95
-Lungarotti Vigna Monticchio Torgiano Rosso Riserva 2009, $45.95
-Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi Riserva 2009, $52.95
 
The Food: Daniel & Daniel caterers provided cheeses, salumi platters, breads, fresh and dried fruits.
The Contact Person: igmtoronto@gmail.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Event: Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2016

The Date and Time:  Thursday November 17, 2016  6PM to 8PM
The Event: Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2016
The Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The Target Audience: wine trade and VIP night
The Availability/Catalogue: the distributed handbook was very informative.
The Quote/Background: I just strolled around from booth to booth. I sampled wines here and there, I sampled draught beer. I did not do any food or any seminars.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Champagne Baron-Fuente Grand Cepage Chardonnay NV Brut, +471045  $75
-Zenato Veneto Rosso Appassimento 2013 IGT, +208579, $13.20
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Crianza 2012, +233733, $27 online lcbo.com
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Reserva 2010, +233741, $37 online lcbo.com
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero MB 2011, +233709, $52 online lcbo.com
-Delhommeau Harmonie Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie 2013, +164264 $16.45 Vint
-Clarence-Dillon Claredelle Bordeaux 2014, +28845, $24.95 Vint
-San Esteban In Situ Reserva Syrah Aconcagua Valley 2014, +662817, $15.95 Vint
-La Madone Le Perreon Beaujolais-Villages 2014, +98115 $16.95 Vint
-Atamisque Catalpa Malbec Tupungato Mendoza 2013, +194126 $19.95 Vint
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Amirault Cremant de Loire Blanc NV Brut Biodynamic, +462606 $23
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Verdejo White 2015, +476374 $17  online lcbo.com (or the Royal York LCBO "Destination Spain" for all the Bergugo wines)
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Joven 2015, +233758, $15  online lcbo.com
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Barrica 2014, +233717, $19  online lcbo.com
-Delaunay Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2015, +391847, $14.95 Vintages
-5 Stones Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon KPM Margaret River 2015, +108001, $19.60 Vint
-Atamisque Serbal Malbec Tupungato Mendoza 2014, +444737 $16.95 Vint
-5 Stones Cabernet-Merlot 2014 KPM Margaret River, +127761, $23.95 Vint
-Domaine Courbis Rouge St Joseph 2013, +7914, $30.95 Vint
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Martin Berdugo Ribera del Duero Rosado 2014, +233691 $17  online lcbo.com
 
The Beers: I sampled Goose Beer, Railway City, Mill Street, Granville Island, and Nickle Brook. Because Mill Street and Brickworks Cider share the same ownership (and hence, booth at the show), I did their two ciders on display: Brickworks Batch 1904 (dry) and Batch 501 (less dry times two) – both excellent "Four Stars" and my house cider at home.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Goose Beer Company IPA, 5.9% ABV,  55 IBU
-Railway City Double Dead Elephant IPA, 7.5%  90 IBU    – my FAVE of the show
-Railway City Express India Session Lager 4.8% ABV
-Mill Street West Coast IPA, 6.6% ABV   87 IBU
-Granville Island Brewing Winter Ale 5.5% ABV  more than 30 IBU
-Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB 5.5% ABV  43 IBU
-Nickel Brook Head Stock IPA  7% ABV  80 IBU
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Goose Beer Company Honkers Ale, 4.3% ABV,  30 IBU
-Goose Beer Company Rambler, 6.7% ABV,  65 IBU
-Railway City Sweet Stout Black Coal 6% ABV
-Mill Street 100th Meridian 5% ABV  23 IBU
-Granville Island Brewing English Bay Pale Ale  5% ABV  23 IBU
-Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour APA  4.9% ABV   38 IBU
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Railway City Cranberry Festive Lager 5.5% ABV
-Nickel Brook Cause and Effect Blonde 4.7% ABV  19 IBU
 
The Downside: there was no on-site LCBO store
The Upside: the show seemed to have better vibes this year.
The Contact Person: christopher.waters@sunmedia.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Event: A tasting of Charles Heidsieck Champagnes with Cyril Brun, Chef de Cave.

The Date and Time: Monday, October 17, 2016  3PM to 4:30PM
The Event: A tasting of Charles Heidsieck Champagnes with Cyril Brun, Chef de Cave.
The Venue: Shangri-La Hotel
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: both wines are at Vintages.
The Quote/Background: M. Brun spent a great deal of time on the elaboration of the two wines plus some historical cultural materials. We were just tasting the two wines.
The Wines: Both wines would score in the low 90s, say 92-94. My own preference was for the Rose Reserve because I felt it offered more complexity than did the Brut Reserve.  The major difference is that the Brut Reserve has 40% reserve wines, while the Rose Reserve only has 20%, and thereby appears more fresh (it gets its colour from 5% red wine addition).
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Reserve, +36962 Vintages $69.95.
-Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rose Reserve, +409342 Vintages $74.95.
 
The Contact Person: catherine@catchcom.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com