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Sunday, June 16, 2019

SOME NEW BEVERAGE SAMPLES SENT TO ME FOR TASTING THIS MONTH OF MAY 2019 --

SOME NEW BEVERAGE SAMPLES SENT TO ME FOR TASTING THIS MONTH –
 
 
Taittinger Domaine Carneros Brut Vintage Cuvee 2013, +301655 $41.95 Vintages June 20: Cool climate Carneros fruit is perfectly adaptable to sparkling wine done up in the traditional method of double fermentation in the bottle. This is the signature wine of the company's California holdings – with three years of bottle age before release. Content is chardonnay 58% and pinot noir 42%. Expect a typical yeasty nose from sitting on the lees, moving on to baked spicy fruit and ending with citric tones. It is well-priced and the company encourages "food friendly" for those bright, white appetizers of soft cheeses and shellfish. 12.1% ABV. Too bad my wedding anniversary falls on June 17 – I'll miss stocking up for it by a few days. Quality/Price rating is 92.5 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
Troupis Fteri Moschofilero 2017 Greece, +647388 $16.95 Vintages June 8: flower aromatics and some grape tones (much like muscat) and with a deceptive citric finish. So: starts out floral, rises to fat perfume, and then descends to crispness for the food as a first course wine, paired with white meats. 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2015 Stellenbosch South Africa, +284588 $19.95 Vintages: Waterkloof is now organized according to biodynamic principles  (which is one step beyond organic). The emphasis is on terroir sustainability. The Circle of Life series is a mid-level brand (others are Astracus, Circumstance, and Seriously Cool). Here the blend is sauvignon blanc 72% and chenin blanc 28%. Previous harvests have produced a mix that also included chardonnay and semillon. So the blend can change depending on the moment of picking the terroir. BF was for six months in older 600 litre French barrels. The initial nosing is sauvignon blanc of muted strength, followed by a sharper minerality of chenin. The long finish makes this a really good wine for aperitif time. Cinq a sept anyone? 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
Waterkloof Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Stellenbosch South Africa, +651471 $24.95 Vintages: the Circumstance level of wine-making covers a wide range of varieties, over 11 different labels (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Mourvedre, Syrah, et al). Here, again with biodynamic principles, we can see the evolution of a lighter cabernet sauvignon emphasizing red fruit and berries rather than the usual cassis. After MF, it was aged in 20% new French barrels and 80% second and third year for 20 months. Unfiltered. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
 
Secreto Patagonico Malbec 2017 San Patricio del Chanar Patagonia Argentina, +635961, $19.95 Vintages June: Very dense black texture with black fruit dominating and some toasty tones of American wood in the finish. Typical blackberries, dark plums, and violets on the palate. Some butter for mouthfeel, some mocha elements as well. 14% ABV. As of now, still a young wine. So do a double-decant and/or taste it over several days. A keeper through 2020+. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
 
Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir 2018 VQA Ontario, +459966, $19.95 LCBO General List: Latest vintage, just arrived. low yielding grapes come from 1984 and later plantings in the Short Hills Bench area. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $20. Both new and older (one/two year old) US barrels are used for initial aging before transfer to 5000L oak foudres. Total aging: 1 year. It is still needs another year or two for proper aging, but with decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13% ABV. One of the top baco noirs at the LCBO. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork/boar, lamb, farmed or wild game – all either braised or grilled. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Henry of Pelham Gamay Estate 2017 VQA Short Hills Bench, +232323, $19.95 currently only at the winery. Aromatic black and red fruit (cherries, raspberries, blueberries), augmented by oak tones with vanilla cake spices, not as lean or Euro as Beaujolais. Fermented in stainless and aged in a mix of US and French oak for 10 months before bottling. Medium-bodied, good for patio drinking (sangria too), parties, BBQ. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Gerard Bertrand Terroir Minervois Syrah Carignan 2016 +952804, $15.95 Vintages July: handpicking and total destemming are hallmarks of the Bertrand approach. After the malo, both varieties are blended and part of the wine is aged in 225-litre Bordeaux barrels for 8 months. There are lively light spicy carignan flavours of cherries and plums, with some black fruit (black olive and blackberry) syrah component plus mocha. 13.5% ABV. BBQ wine. Price is $1 less than the 2015 vintage. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah/Carignan/Mourvedre 2016 AOP La Clape, +370262, $18.95 Vintages June: the bargains continue at the LCBO with this southern Rhone clone emphasizing aromatic red fruit (with some black) and garrigue. Nice long finish for that heavy meat dish. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah Mourvedre Grenache 2016 Cotes du Roussillon Les Aspres, +413245, $18.95 Vintages July: G-S-M style all the way. One third of the wine is matured in barrels for 9 months and then blended with the other, vatted wines. Jammy, upfront black fruit coupled with both mocha and subtle spice cake tones. Sip or with food. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Gerard Bertrand Hampton Water 2018 AOP Languedoc, +667337, $29.95 Vintages June: the prices of quality rose from south of France keep climbing, and this one is no exception. It comes complete with a glass stopper, which is annoying to open after re-capping: this would seem to encourage drinking the whole bottle at one time. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable rose, meant to complete with Miraval, Leoube, Ott, La Coste, Whispering Angel – at around the $30 pricepoint from the south of France Languedoc or Provence regions. It's been aged a few months in oak before bottling and release. Very well done, exhibiting the leanness of minerals with a higher red fruit acidic finish for rich appetizers and grilled fatty fishes. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
Conundrum Rose 2018 California, +557595 $21.95 Vintages June: here's another addendum to the Conundrum family by owner Wagner Family. They've got White, Red, sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Sparkling Rose, and still Rose that is new to Ontario. I predict that Orange or Amber is next, as well as more sparkling variations. It is a successful line imported into Ontario via Andrew Peller. This one has RS 4 g/L and 13.1% ABV. But the compelling aspect here is the inclusion of Valdiguie grapes, once thought of as being a variation of Gamay. So like Gamay, it is light and aromatic with pale rose colour and tastes of strawberries, plus some watermelon. It's a good addition to the roses available for sale. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Lakeview Serenity Sauvignon Blanc 2018 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +688549 $16.95 LCBO: a nifty sauvignon blanc, with a 5 g/L residual sugar. It's a very pleasant pre-prandial drink with tropical fruit tones dominating citric zest. But there is enough acidity to make it a first course wine, or served with a salad. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Lakeview Serenity Baco Noir 2017 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +688556 $16.95 LCBO: with a residual sugar of 15 g/L, this wine seems poised to take on Apothic from California. It's full-bodied and emphasizes black fruit with mocha tones and some smoke. Oak aged for eight months in new French and Hungarian wood. Possibly best served on its own as a party wine, or with hot-dogs or burgers. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 87 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Chateau des Charmes Rose Cuvee d'Andree 2018 Estate Grown VQA NOTL, $16.95 Vintages +333260: this fresh and vibrant rose (named after Madame Andree Bosc) continues to please year over year as I have said before. It is still 100% pinot noir, dry "old style" as in Europe, but loaded with Ontario cranberry, red fruit strawberry, and some discreet black cherry tones from the hot summer, coming in at 12.5% ABV. Stainless steel fermentation of course, and twist top. Refreshing. Ontario Wine Awards Gold Winner for 2016. I scored the 2017 at 91+ points; this release is just as good but, of course, fresher. RS: 6.1g/L. "Vegan friendly" (no animal products used in filtering). Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Chateau des Charmes Cabernet Franc 2016 VQA St. David's Bench. NOTL, +453415 $34.95 at Winery and boutiques: it has been years since I tasted the St. David's Bench Cab Franc from Chateau des Charmes, and they have a continual winner of wine that could have been diverted to Equuleus. It has some over-the-top full-bodied black spicy fruit while still retaining some cranberries and bell peppers, slightly augmented with some pine/cedar tones. Aged for a year in 1 – 2 year-old French oak with some toast. Not made every year, and this is the ONLY cab franc Chat des Charmes produces. Sip as a meditative drink or with red meat/cheese. Cork closure, keep it around for awhile. I opened my bottle and did a double-decant followed by several days of open bottle sampling. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

TheMay 28 2019 Event: D.O. Rueda Wine Tasting

The Date and Time: Tuesday May 28,2019  7Pm to 9PM
The Event: D.O. Rueda Wine Tasting
The Venue: Patria, King Street
The Target Audience: wine writers, influencers, clients.
The Availability/Catalogue: There were 24 or so wineries showing their wines, but only a few had Ontario representation. These were in the main square. Along the glassed-in perimeter there were the other wineries that wanted reps but had only two people pouring all the wines. Here, the wines were arranged by aroma and body-weight, ending with barrel fermented wines.
The Quote/Background: Bruce Wallner, MS, was along to provide helpful commentaries. Rueda produces mainly white wines, and exports widely. The authorized white grapes used are Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viura.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine. All wines are DO Rueda. MARQUES DE RISCAL RUEDA DO  (LCBO +36822) is the only one available at the LCBO stores for $13.35. It turned up among the wines NOT repped. But I tasted it anyway. HIJOS DE ALBERTO GUTIERREZ DE ALBERTO DORADO NV    $42 was a semi-sweet dessert wine that I did not taste.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Menade Verdejo 2018 $19.95  The Living Vine  [my FAVE of the evening]
-Finca Montepedroso Verdejo 2017 Rueda DO  $20.99 Licensee STEM WINE GROUP
-Palacio de Bornos Sauvignon Blanc 2018 $15.95 J. Cipelli
-Palacio de Bornos Verdejo Sobra Lias 'La Caprichosa' 2017 $21.95 J. Cipelli
-Bodegas Rueda Perez Vina Buron 2018 Verdejo70%/Viura30% $12.95 Lic Reif
-Bodegas Protos Verdejo 2017 Barrel Fermented   [not repped!!]
-JAVIER SANZ VERDEJO 2018 LCBO +533561  $19.05 Majestic
-JAVIER SANZ SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 LCBO +533579 $19.05  Majestic
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Palacio de Bornos Verdejo 2018 $15.95 J. Cipelli
-Bodega Gotica Badajo 2018 DO Rueda $14.95 Licensee Rouge et Blanc
-Bodega Gotica TrasCampanas 2018 DO Rueda $17.95 Licensee Rouge et Blanc
-Bodegas Rueda Perez Vina Buron 2018 Verdejo $13.95 Lic Reif
-Bodegas Rueda Perez Jose Galo Verdejo 2018 $11.65 Reif
-Bodegas Verdeal Verdejo Ayre 2018  ~ $18    Bespoke
-Bodegas Verdeal Verdejo 500 Flores 2018   price?  Bespoke
-Bodegas Verdeal Verdejo 500 Flores 2017   price?  Bespoke
 
Unrepped Wineries, approx. CAD retail
 
HIJOS DE ALBERTO GUTIERREZ   
      -DE ALBERTO VERDEJO 2018    $20
    -MONASTERIO DE PALAZUELOS VERDEJO 2018    $15
CASTELO DE MEDINA   
      -CASTELO DE MEDINA VERDEJO 2018    $20
    -CASTELO DE MEDINA VERDEJO VENDIMIA SELECCIONADA 2017      $25
    -CASTELO DE MEDINA SAUVIGNON BLANC VENDIMIA SELECCIONADA 2017    $25
PAGO TRASLAGARES   
      -TRASLAGARES VERDEJO 2018    $18
    -TRASLAGARES SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018    $20
BODEGAS FELIX SANZ   
      -VIÑA CIMBRÓN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018    $26
    -VIÑA CIMBRON VERDEJO 2018    $26
    -VIÑA CIMBRON VERDEJO SELECCIÓN ESPECIAL 2017    $26
HERRERO BODEGA   
      -ERRE DE HERRERO VERDEJO 2018       $21
    -ROBERT VEDEL CEPAS VIEJAS    $30
    -POUR JANINE VERDEJO    $23
 
The Food: Food was outstanding, with planks and boards of Spanish cheeses and housemade sausages and meats. There were platters of apps, plus their stunning paella (clams, mussels, shrimp, fish, etc.).
The Downside: prices were not that easy to obtain, especially from those wineries that were seeking reps. The PR firm went out of their way to nail down what prices they could; I appreciated that effort. Also, it was so dark – which made it difficult to read labels or other fine print (such as vintage date).
The Upside: Rueda wines are not that well-known, and they are a pleasing alternative to other white wines. It was a good learning experience for me.
The Contact Person: giuliana@glocommunications.ca; jessica@glocommunications.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under $20 and over $20 for JUNE 8, 2019

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under $20 and over $20 for JUNE 8, 2019
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "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.
 
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
NOTE: The first part is based on my sampling of the wines chosen by the LCBO from this release for tasting. That presentation is about 50+  different labels out of about 125 released every two weeks. Thus, my report will not be as voluminous as in the past and comes from a restricted database. I did not taste every one of the 50+ wines, nor did I rate several of the wines I did sample because they did not seem to be of particularly good value.
 
NOTE: The second part (at the end) is a simple listing of  those wines that were NOT presented to the media, and are given here simply as a record of  what sampling I could not do. I have left in the name of the agency, in fairness to all.
 
PART ONE:  The "best" of a reduced tasting based on --
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
Rose+552562     HENRY OF PELHAM  THREE OF HEARTS ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    $19.95     Rated: 90
Rose+333260    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES CUVÉE D'ANDRÉE ROSÉ     VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake    2018    $16.95    Rated: 89
Fizz+213983    CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING    Traditional method, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario        $29.95. Rated: 91
 
Under $20
=========
W+634162    J. BOOKWALTER READERS CHARDONNAY    Columbia Valley    2016    $19.95    13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+635896    LANGLOIS-CHÂTEAU SUR LIE MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE    AP    2017    $17.95  12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+647388 TROUPIS FTERI MOSCHOFILERO PGI Arcadia 2017 $16.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+246579    CAVE SPRING ESTATE CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ    Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $17.95  13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+302059    CAVE SPRING ESTATE GEWÜRZTRAMINER    Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $18.95  13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+648899    ST. HUBERTUS PINOT BLANC    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2016    $16.95    12.7% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+389726    BOYA SAUVIGNON BLANC    DO Leyda Valley    2017    $14.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+909283    PRODUTTORI VINI MANDURIA ZÌN FIANO    IGT Salento    2017    $13.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+635953    TANGUERO RESERVA MALBEC    Estate bottled, Mendoza    2016    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+668822    CARMEN GRAN RESERVA CARIGNAN    El Secano Vineyard, Maule Valley    2016    $16.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+431098    IN SITU SIGNATURE WINES SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE/VIOGNIER    Aconcagua Valley    2016    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+18721    VIÑA TARAPACÁ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley    2017    $17.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+644468    MATHILDE CHAPOUTIER SÉLECTION    AP Languedoc    2017    $14.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+354191    DOMAINE LAFAGE CUVÉE NICOLAS VIEILLES VIGNES GRENACHE NOIR    IGP Côtes Catalanes    2017    $19.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+900274    DONNAFUGATA SEDÀRA    DOC Sicilia    2016    $18.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+646117    ALTANO ORGANIC    DOP Douro    2017    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+645036    GORU ORGANIC MONASTRELL    DO Jumilla    2017    $13.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+276030    MURIEL FINCAS DE LA VILLA RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $19.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+389254    MORANDÉ GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Single vineyard, DO Maipo Valley    2015    $19.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+638338    MARZIANO ABBONA I DUE RICU    DOCG Langhe Rosso    2016    $19.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+557165    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2017    $19.95 11% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
 
Over $20
 
W+644583    TOLLGATE CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake    2016    $24.95    12.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+136382    RUTHERFORD RANCH CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley    2016    $25.95     MVC/QPR:89
R+668327    LOS CLOP RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza    2015    $23.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+633669    LES FIEFS DE LAGRANGE    Second wine of Château Lagrange, AP Saint-Julien    2010    $47.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+96792    BORGODANGELO TAURASI DOCG 2011 $25.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+62364    MONTES PURPLE ANGEL    DO Colchagua Valley    2015    $62.95    15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+541169    MIGUEL TORRES CORDILLERA DE LOS ANDES CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maipo Valley    2015    $22.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+645044    ALVEAR PALACIO QUEMADO LA ZARCITA    Single estate vineyard, Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura    2016    $22.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+616433    HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2015    $39.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
 
PART TWO: The "rest" of the release [not offered for sampling by media] --
 
    398628    CREEKSIDE BACKYARD BUBBLY SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario    2017    24.95    HOBBS & COMPANY
    515288    RIVAROSE BRUT    Salon de Provence, IGP Mediterranean, France        18.95    SYLVESTRE WINES & SPIRITS INC.
    314757    SEGURA VIUDAS HEREDAD RESERVA BRUT ROSÉ CAVA    Traditional method, DO, Spain        39.95    BARRIQUE WINE IMPORTS LTD.
    68015    FLAT ROCK UNPLUGGED CHARDONNAY    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2018    17.95    FLAT ROCK CELLARS
    446088    NOMAD SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula    2017    16.95    STELLAR WINE & SPIRITS INC.
    713313    CALERA CHARDONNAY    Central Coast    2016    32.95    VINEXX
    385773    SEVEN FALLS CHARDONNAY    Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley    2016    21.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    384339    SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE BARREL FERMENTED TORRONTÉS    Uco Valley    2017    19.95    BARRIQUE WINE IMPORTS LTD.
    331652    NAUTILUS CHARDONNAY    Marlborough, South Island    2017    27.95    BREAKTHRU BEVERAGE CANADA INC.
    919514    WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2018    19.95    VIN VINO WINE MERCHANTS INC.
    328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY    WO Western Cape    2016    16.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    141226    ANNE DE LAWEISS COLLECTION GEWURZTRAMINER    AC Alsace    2017    21.95    RUBY WINES & SPIRITS
    991893    DOMAINE LAROCHE VIEILLES VIGNES LES VAILLONS CHABLIS 1ER CRU    AC    2017    39.95    SELECT WINE MERCHANTS INC.
    958801    CHATELAIN LES VIGNES DE SAINT-LAURENT L'ABBAYE POUILLY-FUMÉ    AC    2017    26.95    WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS
    499509    FAMILLE PERRIN RÉSERVE CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC    AC    2017    14.95    CHARTON HOBBS INC
    669531    MICHEL GASSIER LES PILIERS VIOGNIER    France    2018    18.95    HALPERN ENTERPRISES
    380824    BEYRA VINHOS DE ALTITUDE    DOC Beira Interior    2017    12.95    VINYA
    543801    EL COTO BLANCO    DOCa Rioja    2018    14.95    NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC.
    617738    WAYNE GRETZKY WHISKY OAK AGED RED    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2017    19.95    ANDREW PELLER LIMITED
    56598    13TH STREET CABERNET/MERLOT    Lakeshore Farm Vineyard, VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula    2017    19.95    THE THIRTEENTH STREET WINE CORP.
    652875    RIDGE THREE VALLEYS    Sonoma County    2016    49.95    ROGERS & COMPANY
    711663    CAYMUS SPECIAL SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley    2015    199.95    ANDREW PELLER IMPORT AGENCY
    432211    NAPA CELLARS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley    2016    45.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    256735    MCMANIS ZINFANDEL    Certified Green, Lodi    2017    21.95    THE VINE AGENCY
    280107    CHATEAU SMITH CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley    2016    24.95    ARTERRA WINES CANADA INC.
    29280    TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MALBEC    Mendoza    2016    19.95    CHARTON HOBBS INC
    635979    DON RODOLFO ART OF THE ANDES MALBEC    Mendoza    2017    16.95    LEXCELLENT WINES
    90324    PILLAR BOX RESERVE SHIRAZ    Padthaway, South Australia    2015    19.95    CHRISTOPHER STEWART WINE & SPIRITS
    66738    THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER    McLaren Vale/Padthaway, South Australia    2017    18.95    DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD.
    744235    WAKEFIELD CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Clare Valley, South Australia    2016    19.95    VIN VINO WINE MERCHANTS INC.
    490052    PERTARINGA OVER THE TOP SHIRAZ    McLaren Vale, South Australia    2015    28.95    LOYAL IMPORTS
    707323    RUSTENBERG JOHN X MERRIMAN    WO Stellenbosch    2015    24.95    WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS
    405688    CHÂTEAU DE PITRAY    AC Côtes de Castillon    2015    22.95    RARE EARTH WINES
    729962    DELAS SAINT-ESPRIT CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AC    2016    17.95    UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC.
    494690    DEMAZET RÉSERVE DES ARMOIRIES TRADITION CÔTES DU RHÔNE    AP    2016    14.95    GRAPE EXPECTATIONS WINE AGENCY
    419382    MARANI SAPERAVI    Kakheti    2017    15.95    GLOBAL CELLARS
    466458    SAPERAVI    Kindzmarauli, Kakheti    2016    12.95    THE DOCHAS COMPANY INC.
    496851    ASCHERI BAROLO    DOCG    2013    49.95    PREVEDELLO AND MATHEWS
    722470    ORNELLAIA    "La Tensione" label, DOC Bolgheri Superiore    2016    239.95    MARK ANTHONY WINE & SPIRITS
    121905    LA LECCIAIA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG    2013    67.95    TWC IMPORTS
    475574    BOLLA VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE    DOC    2016    19.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    134544    MONTE DEL FRÁ BARDOLINO    DOC    2017    15.95    SIGNATURE WINES & SPIRITS
    178459    ANTICHE TERRE VENETE RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA    DOC    2016    18.95    LIBERTY WINES INC.
    371518    BORSAO BEROLA    DO Campo de Borja    2015    18.95    CHARTON HOBBS INC
    236927    VIÑA HERMINIA RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2012    28.95    JOHN HANNA & SONS LIMITED
    364679    ALFRED SCHLADERER SCHWARZENWALDER KIRSCHWASSER BLACK FOREST CHERRY BRANDY    Product of Germany        40.95    NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS
    491712    LA COPA VERMOUTH    Jerez, Spain        22.95    WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS
    71712    WILDASS ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    18.95    STRATUS VINEYARDS
    552497    PELEE ISLAND LOLA CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ    VQA South Islands, Lake Erie North Shore    2017    15.95    PELEE ISLAND WINERY
    53421    FIELDING ROSÉ    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    15.95    FIELDING ESTATE WINERY
    557595    CONUNDRUM ROSÉ    California    2018    21.95    ANDREW PELLER IMPORT AGENCY
    524967    LAPOSTOLLE LE ROSÉ    Apalta, Colchagua Valley    2018    19.95    TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD.
    319368    CHÂTEAU D'AQUÉRIA TAVEL    AC    2018    24.95    NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC.
    96727    ERNEST RAPENEAU LIMITED EDITION EXTRA BRUT CHAMPAGNE    AC        54.95    THE CASE FOR WINE
    639666    GALERIE NAISSANCE SAUVIGNON BLANC    Napa Valley    2016    39.95    HALPERN ENTERPRISES
    665935    ILLAHE VIOGNIER    Willamette Valley    2017    29.95    DB WINE & SPIRITS INC.
    282806    GREYWACKE WILD SAUVIGNON    Marlborough, South Island    2015    39.95    CONNEXION OENOPHILIA
    694083    LA CREMA FOG VEIL PINOT NOIR    Russian River Valley, Sonoma County    2015    69.95    B AND W WINES
    395566    POMUM SHYA RED CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Yakima Valley    2014    30.95    TRADESA CORP.
    688564    BALDUZZI B CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Maule Valley    2013    32.95    LOYAL IMPORTS
    668293    CUCHA CUCHA CINSAULT    Itata Valley    2017    18.95    WILSON GROUP WINES AND SPIRITS
    632695    BLEASDALE GENERATIONS MALBEC    Langhorne Creek, South Australia    2016    34.95    AZUREAU WINE AGENCY
    648345    MARCHAND-TAWSE MARSANNAY    AC    2014    41.95    BURGUNDY DIRECT LTD.
    499624    CHÂTEAU DE CHAMIREY MERCUREY    AC    2016    38.95    HALPERN ENTERPRISES
    648535    MALDANT-PAUVELOT CLASSIQUE ALOXE-CORTON    AC    2015    68.95    ANDREW PELLER IMPORT AGENCY
    283499    BORGOGNO BAROLO    DOCG    2014    54.95    TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD.
    987586    SOLAIA    IGT Toscana    2015    316.95    HALPERN ENTERPRISES
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, June 3, 2019

The May 27,2019 Event: Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri Road show

The Date and Time:  Monday May 27 2019   1PM - 5PM
The Event: Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri Road show
The Venue: Liberty Grand, CNE
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: most of the wines are or will be available. As usual, prices were far and few between, but I did note what I could.
The Quote/Background: We had an assortment of Tre plus some finalists and some recent vintages of EN PRIMEUR wines that were in bottle but not yet available for sale (DOP regulations). There also was a special table with about 20 Falanghina wines (including a sparkler). And a special area for producers looking for agencies to represent them in Ontario.
The Wines: I did not taste all the 100+ wines.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva Ducale Oro 2014  Arterra
-Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Romitorio 2015  ~$90  Arterra
-Cantina di Solopaca Falanghina del Sannio DOP VSQ Brut
-Varvaglione Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria DOP 2015 $24 Vintages
-Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna 2013 Tuscany  Breakthru Beverage
-Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Strada al Sasso Riserva 2013  Breakthru Beverage
-Poggio La Nose Gigio 2015 Tuscany     Glencairn
-Fiamberti OP Buttafuoco Storico V. Sacca del Prete 2013 Lombardy   Cottonwood
-Fiamberti OP Pinot Nero Brut MT Lombardy   Cottonwood
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Brut $19  Cru
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Frizzante Sui Lieviti Difetto Perfetto $24  Cru
-Cantine del Notaio Aglianico del Vulture Il Sigillo 2013 Basilicata  Dionysus
-Cantine San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Sessantanni 2015  Dionysus
-Reva Barolo Ravera 2015 EN PRIMEUR $130  Nicolas Pearce
-G.Borgogno Barolo Riserva 2011  $256 Lic   Noble
-G.Borgogno Barolo Cannubi 2013  $171 Lic   Noble
-G.Borgogno Langhe Nebbiolo No Name 2014  $40 Lic   Noble
-Ferrari Trento Brut Perle 2013 EN PRIMEUR   Dandurand
-Borgo Conventi Collio Sauvignon 2017  $29  Profile
-Villa Sandi Il Fresco Brut Rose   Profile
-Monteci Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costa delle Corone 2009 The Case for Wine
-La Guardiense Falanghina del Sannio Janare Senete 2017  The Vine Agency
-Torrevento Since 1913 Primitivo 2015  $40  Tricana Imports
-Poggio Le Volpi Primitivo di Manduria Piano Chiuso Riserva 2015 Wine Lovers Agency
 
 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Reva Nebbiolo d'Alba 2017 EN PRIMEUR $30  Nicolas Pearce
-Gorghi Tondi Coste a Preola Grillo 2018 $17 Vintages
-Ruffino Modus 2016
-Varvaglione 12E Mezzo Primitivo del Salento IGP 2015 $15  Vintages
-Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum 2013 Tuscany  Breakthru Beverage
-Fiamberti OP Buttafuoco Cacciatore 2016 Lombardy EN PRIMEUR  Cottonwood
-Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Brut Particella 68 $30  Cru
-Poggio Le Volpi Roma Malvasia Puntinata 2017 Wine Lovers Agency
-Torrevento Castel del Monte Rosso V. Pedale Riserva 2015  $20  Tricana Imports
-La Guardiense Falanghina del Sannio Janare 2018 EN PRIMEUR  The Vine Agency
-La Guardiense Sannio Aglianico Lucchero 2015  The Vine Agency
-Velenosi Offida Pecorino Villa Angela 2018  EN PRIMEUR  Profile
-Borgo Conventi Collio Friulano 2017  $29  Profile
-Casale del Giglio Mater Matuta 2015 Lazio   $78  Profile
-Casale del Giglio Cesanese 2017 Lazio   $26  Profile
-Ferrari Trento Brut Rose 2013    Dandurand
-Famiglia Cottini-Monte Zovo Amarone della Valpolicella 2014   HHD Imports
-Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino 2014   Ethica Wines
 
The Food: From Cibo and Don Alfonso: pastas, cheeses, ragu, polenta, grilled veggies, prosciutto, gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, sausages, condimenti, smoked salmon, desserts (cannoli, tiramisu), some different hams, espresso coffees.
The Downside: Prices were vague or had to be checked.
The Upside: Great food.
The Contact Person: gamberorossocanada@sogood.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, May 31, 2019

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR APRIL 2019 [published monthly since 2000]

FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW FOR MAY  2019 [published monthly since 2000]
======================================
 
By Dean Tudor, Gothic Epicures Writing, deantudor@deantudor.com
 
I have been reviewing cookbooks for FIFTY PLUS years --
 
Reviewer Timeline: Cookbook Reviewer, Library Journal, 1969-1974; Cookbook Columnist and Lead Reviewer, The Booklist (American Library Association), 1974-1985; Freelance Cookbook Reviewer, 1985-1999; Gothic Epicures Writing Lead Cookbook Reviewer, 2000+
 
These food and wine book reviews are always available at www.deantudor.com and at http://gothicepicures.blogspot.ca
 
Most prices listed below are in Canadian currency as printed on the cover or listed at Amazon.ca.
 
It's the season for gifting books: parties, holidays, weddings, anniversaries, graduating, and the like....
 
TOP GIFT BOOKS
========================
 
Art/travel/restaurant cookbooks might be some of the best books to give a loved one. Most may cost you an arm and a leg. Books for the coffee table have their place in the gift scheme: just about every such book is only bought as a gift! And are often perused first by the donor. Don't let the prices daunt you. Such books are available at a discount from online vendors. Because of the "economy", not too many pricey food and wine books were released this year. Herewith, and in random order:
 
 
1.NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS (Gibbs Smith, 2019, 192 pages, $30 hardbound) is by Kevin Belton, a local chef with a PBS New Orleans cooking show. It's detailed, with sections on specific foods such as oysters, gumbo, crawfish, boudin, catfish, hand pies, jambalaya, rice, blue crabs, fried chicken, beignet, shrimp. This is followed by celebrations for the BBQ, the jazz festival, Bastille Day, Oktoberfest, and the cultures of Greece and Sicily and Latin America with explorations of neighbourhoods. Quite a nice package, well-laid out, with useful directions.
 
 
 
2.THE IMMIGRANT COOKBOOK (Interlink Books, 2018,  224 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is a collection of recipes and stories edited by Leyla Moushabeck, with about 100 different contributors. Each prep section gives a recipe and the story behind the recipe. Many of the sources behind each dish are professional chefs, and their individual stories are related, from childhood to food success. It has been endorsed by top chefs  – Ottolenghi, Waters, Deborah Madison, David Lebovitz, and the late Anthony Bourdain. The publisher will donate $5 from the sale of each cookbook to the ACLU.  It's arranged from apps to desserts, and any of them certainly do beat the presidential mac and cheeseburger. 'Nuff said.
 
 
3.TORTELLINI AT MIDNIGHT (Hardie Grant Books, 2019, 256 pages,  $35 USD hardbound) is by Emiko Davies, who is of mixed heritage but married a Tuscan man and lives in Italy. These are heirloom preps from four generations deep and many miles wide from Taranto in Puglia to Turin and then Tuscany in the north. It has a lot of memoir material, the food is comforting, and the photography a traveller's dream. There are great stories here for every dish. It is all arranged by one of the three regions followed by a series of  seven menus for larger holiday events (New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, All Saints' Day, etc.), all with page references to the preps themselves.  Recipes are in both metric and avoirdupois. Nifty gift package.
 
 
4.BALADI PALESTINE (Interlink Books, 2019, 256 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by Joudie Kalla, a UK professional chef who also wrote the cookbook "Palestine on a Plate". "Baladi" means "my home, my land". Here she takes us on a culinary journey through her homeland with rare Palestinian family recipes reflecting the diverse landscapes and seasons. It's arranged by geographic feature, which chapters on river and sea (salmon, sardines, sea bass, red mullet, monkfish, sea bream, squid), hills and orchards (lime, pomegranate, mango, lemon, ice cream, pastries), the farm (lamb, poultry), the earth (potatoes, beets, zucchini, fava beans, shallots), the markets (coffee, eggs, turmeric, eggplants, chili). Each dish has a story. Excellent photography too.
 
 
 
5.CATALAN FOOD (Clarkson Potter, 2018, 273 pages, $40 hardbound) is by Daniel Olivella, a Catalan chef who opened Catalan cuisine restaurants in San Francisco and Texas. His collaborator is Caroline Wright. Catalan cuisine is one of the culinary crossroads: passing through were Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Jews, and others. There is lots of material and photos about Catalonia and its food, followed by recipes arranged by menu, beginning with small plates (pica pica), veggies (verdur4s i legums), paella, seafood, meats (del corral), pork, breads and desserts. A very useful armchair travel tool with many Mediterranean dishes.
 
 
6.ETHIOPIA (Interlink Books, 2019, 224 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by  Yohanis Gebreyesus, chef-owner of Antica in Addis Ababa and host of a weekly food program on EBS, Ethiopia's  national television network. It's an impressive work on Ethiopian cuisine, with many recipes and traditions noted from the Horn of Africa. Its cuisine has been influenced by a religious  mix of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Typical dishes include dor wat (chicken stewed with berber spice), siga ribs (fried beef), asa shorba (spiced fish soup), gomen (collard greens with giner and garlic), azifa (green lentil salad), dinich alicha (potatoes and carrots in onion turmeric sauce. Of course, the tome opens with
injera and flatbreads, found in every global Ethiopian restaurant, followed by seasonings, soup to nuts, through to drinks. Every prep is geographically located and has a story as well as terrific photos. Where appropriate there are thoughts from local artisans.
 
 
 
7.TOKYO STORIES (Hardie Grant Books, 2019, 256 pages, $50 hardbound) is by Tim Anderson. It's subtitle is " a Japanese cookbook" . It is more – it is a tour through the various styles of food outlets in Tokyo: department store food halls in the basement; top floor hotel restaurants; noodle shops; sushi bars; yakitori shacks; convenience stores; vending machine foods;  and street foods in general. You're goning to find cheesy fried chicken, gyoza, ramen, curries, udon, onigirl, and others. He's got 80 recipes with his memoir-like stories and "on location" photography. It's arranged by food type (street, local, national, global, modern) after a primer on depachika (Japanes ingredients). Good fun for anyone who loves Japanese food.
 
 
8.ANDALUZ (Interlink Books, 2019, 304 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by Fiona Dunlop, food and travel writer and photographer who has also written The North African Kitchen and Mexican Modern. Here, wit an endorsement from Yotam Ottolenghi she now covers the food, history, and culture of the south part of Spain by the coast. Moorish rule of nearly eight centuries has created a distinctly Arabian/Berberian influence on the food, with ingredients such as couscous, rice, eggplant, oranges, olives, apricots, marzipan, and a wide range of spices. With material on markets and both chef and home cook profiles, Dunlop gives us a pretty determined travel/food look at a specific region, from Granada (east) to Cordoba and Seville (south). Do try her mezquita salad (eggplant, tomato and olives)  or mozarabic albondigas in almond and saffron sauce. There's a listing of recommended restaurants, a bibliography, and two indexes to the recipes (by course and by ingredient).  And, of course, there are her own  photographs.
 
 
9.FOOD OF THE ITALIAN SOUTH (Clarkson Potter, 2019, 256 pages, $40 hardbound) is by Katie Parla, an American Rome-based food and beverage journalist and author of the IACP award winner, "Tasting Rome" (2016). Here she moves on "south" to Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise and Puglia in a travel journey of classic and lost dishes of tomato-based pasta-heavy Italian food. Each rustic recipe has a cultural story to tell, and Parla does it well in, um, parlaying it with insights. The arrangement is traditional, from antipasti through dolci with a section on making your own amari and vermouths, and concludes with a bibliography, a resources list, and conversion charts. There is a whole section on the wonderful carrati con ragu di castrato (mutton sauce in winter) and carrati con ricotta e noci (cheese and walnut sauce in summer).
 
 
10.FROM THE LAND OF NIGHTINGALES & ROSES (Interlink Books, 2019, 318 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by Maryam Sinaiee, an Iranian-born political analyst but now full-time food blogger of Iranian food. It's casual home cooking of Persian dishes,  arranged by season, beginning with Spring. Food history and culture are also covered, along with her own food styling photography and historical photos. Each season introduces memoir material about Iranian life while the preps themselves have more historical and detailed instructions. Each dish has a local name, such as kotlet for beef and potato fritters, Lamb preps include braised shanks, ground meat kebabs, sweet and sour lamb, lamb and eggplant stew, lamb and dried plum stew, rice with lamb and green beans, lamb stew with dried limes, and other variations. It all concludes with a glossary.
 
 
11.BLACK SEA (Quadrille, 2018, 280 pages, $50 hardbound) is by Caroline Eden, an inveterate traveller who gives us a hefty tome that is part travelogue and part  cookbook. It's the tale of Odessa, Istanbul, and Trabzon. Covered are Bessarabia (65% of which is Moldova), Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey – as they border on the Black Sea. So it is a commentary on local foods, and embraces memoir material on the Jewish tables of Odessa, fisherwomen of Bulgaria, and White Russians in Istanbul. Of particular interest is the food of Trabzon (Trebizond)  -- when did you last see a Trabzon cookbook?  She gives us extensive food and cultural notes along with preps such as frontline pilaf, Trabzon kaygana with anchovies and herbs, bebe cake, Sumela brunch,  and apricot and cinnamon hosaf.
 
 
12.SPICE (DK Books, 2018, 224 pages, $32 hardbound)  is a publisher's reference work on spices. The scientific aspect has been written or overseen by Dr. Stuart Farrimond, science and health writer, while British food writer Laura Nickoll co-ordinated the non-science content of the spice profiles (the bulk of the tool). The 120 pages dedicated to profiles divides all spices into phenols, terpenes, acids, aldehydes, pyrazines, and compounds, with sub-divisions. Each of the 60 profiles is connected to one or more of the 40 regional guides presented. There are also 65 top-notch recipes. Eight other food writers, mainly British, worked on the profiles, the regions, and the recipes. Great team work for a food reference tool!
 
 
13.WHERE TO DRINK WINE (Quadrille, 2018, 288 pages, $42.99 hardbound) is by Chris Losh, editor of Imbibe (UK). It's a guide to the world's must-visit wineries. It you've got the big bucks to travel, there is enough here for a lifetime (but start early). He opens with France and moves through Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Greece, North America (including both three places in the Okanagan Valley and nine in the Niagara Peninsula), South America, South Africa, the Antipodes, plus China, Georgia and Lebanon. Oh, if only they weren't so scattered!!  Basically, it is a descriptive work for each wine region with some commentary on those welcoming wineries such as, for Champagne, Pommery, Taittinger, Mailly, Moet & Chandon, and more. He gives us multiple reasons for each visit but no tasting notes. There is much to be seen at each winery, such as visitor centres, museums, art work, knowledgeable staff, etc. It's a must have reference too for the bucket list!
 
 
 
14.THE CIDER INSIDER (Quadrille Books, 2018, 224 pages, $26 hardbound) is by Susanna Forbes. It is a fairly comprehensive guide to over 100 international craft ciders and their global styles. It's arranged by country, with the UK getting the lion's share followed by France, and then Spain, Europe, North America, and then the antipodes. There are glossaries and flavour guides throughout, with a good bibliography of resources. There is not much for Canada (four from Quebec and one from BC) which is probably as it should be since cider production was not made legal in Canada until the 1970s. Its main contribution is the glorious "ice cider" made like ice wine. Each company gets a detailed description with deets on location and apples used, and where to go next for more in that style. Currently, it is a pretty unique reference tool, well worth reading.
 
 
15.THE DEVIL'S DINNER (St. Martin's Press, 2018, 296 pages, $36.50 hardbound) is by Stuart Walton. It's a gastronomic and cultural history of chili peppers. He also manages to go into depth about the biological impact, beginning with Mexico and South America. Spaniards returning to Europe brought chilis back with them, and this produced piri-piri and pimientos (Iberia), paprika in Austro-Hungary, and permeated the Indian sub-continent. There is much detail here in this look, culminating with a discussion on the hotness of chilis and how it became a guy thing. Notes and a bibliography complete the work.
 
 
16.WHAT MAKES A WINE WORTH DRINKING (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  2018, 182 pages, $36 hardbound) is by Terry Theise, an importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria and Champagne. He's also authored the title  "Reading Between the Wines" and has written wine articles for magazines. Here he concentrates on praising the sublime in wine. It's in a somewhat autobiographical tone, but he does tell us how to find and appreciate exceptional wine and how it can lead to a richer and fuller life. Just the perfect gift for the oenophile in your life. What makes a wine worth drinking is its authenticity: it's usually small-scaled artisanal wine of subtlety.  Taste matters, so that is first on the table in his tome – what does a good wine actually taste like?  Enjoy...and try also https://hosemasterofwine.blogspot.com/2018/11/what-makes-wine-worth-drinking-in.html
 
 
 
17.BELLA FIGURA (Appetite by Random House, 2018, 284 pages, $29.95 hardbound) tells us how to live, love, and eat the Italian way. It's by Kamin Mohammadi, a now-British journalist and broadcaster living and working outside Florence and in London. Living in Florence had changed her life, and she makes it a great spin on armchair travel. It's the "slow food" approach to life – taking the time to do things well.  Her memoir opens in January 2008 and moves through, monthly chapter by chapter, to the end of that year.  Topics include: how to taste the sweetness of life, how to celebrate being a woman, how to eat and not put on weight, and how style has nothing to do with money.  Recipes are scattered throughout, and at the end there is a summary of 21 different "rules".
 
 
18.RITZ & ESCOFFIER (Clarkson Potter, 2018, 312 page, $35 hardbound) is by Luke Barr who wrote the amazing bestseller "Provence, 1970".  He deals with the hotelier Ritz and Chef Escoffier in the context of the rise of the leisure class.  In essence, he covers not just the two men but also the social aspects of the hospitality industry in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Savoy in London was the first hotel with electricity and elevators; all rooms had baths. "Toute le monde" stayed there, and Escoffier ran the first restaurant in Europe to welcome unaccompanied women. Barr covers the relationship between the two, and (after disaster and opulence) follows them to Paris  and the Hotel Ritz. Notes and sources, plus an index, are included.
 
====================================

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The May 8, 2019 Event: Pure Discovery 2019 [New Zealand wines]

The Date and Time:  Wednesday May 8 2019  2PM to 5PM
The Event: Pure Discovery 2019
The Venue: George Brown College, Adelaide Street
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: wines were available at LCBO or consignment or PO.
The Quote/Background: In a split with the usual trade-consumer show tradition of trade in the afternoon and consumer at night, the NZ show had the consumer edition two days earlier on Monday at the Globe and Mail Centre. Some twenty NZ wineries participated in the event. There were also plenty of  theme tables such as "aromatic wines", "chardonnay", LCBO Vintages, "lighter wines", "pinot noir", and "sparkling" tables. There were fewer wines and fewer people invited. Also, there was some co-ordination with VQA Ontario on the pinot noir table, allowing for a comparison of Ontario and NZ pinot. A great idea!! But I only had the time to sample NZ, and pinot noir was not really part of my strategy this year. The other reds were just a few merlot and syrah labels.
 
The Wines: As usual, I did not taste every wine. Prices are average retail.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Babich Te Henga 2018 $12.95 
-Churton Viognier Marlborough 2016 $44  Le Sommelier
-Millton Riverpoint Vineyard Viognier Gisborne 2016 $26  The Living Vine
-Pegasus Bay Virtuoso Chardonnay North Canterbury 2016  $43 Woodman [my FAVE today]
-Palliser Estate Chardonnay Martinborough 2017  $42  FWM
-Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay Auckland 2017  $32  Connexion Oenophilia
-Tatty Bogler Chardonnay Waitaki Valley 2017  $30   Abcon
-Carrick EBM Chardonnay Central Otago 2011  $47 Noble Estates
-Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015  $59.20 Charton Hobbs
-Eradus Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough 2018 $19.95 +225557
-Paddy Borthwick Chardonnay Wairarapa 2017 $25.95 Vintages
-Stoneleigh Wild Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2018 $19.95  Corby
-Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2009  $49.95  Noble Estates
-Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013  $54  Connexion Oenophilia
-Stoneleigh Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NV  $14.22   Corby
-Nautilus Cuvee Brut Marlborough 2015  $39  Breakthrough Beverage Canada
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Villa Maria Keltern Chardonnay Gisborne 2017 $49  Dandurand
-Te Awanga Mister Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2017  $22 Azureau
-Aronui Chardonnay Nelson 2016  $25  Connexion Oenophilia
-Auntsfield Single Vineyard Chardonnay Marlborough 2016   $38  DB Wine
-Greywacke Chardonnay Marlborough 2015  $44   Connexion Oenophilia
-Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn Gentral Otago 2010  $59 Lifford
-Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015 $104.95 Select Wines
-Craggy Range Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2017 $28.95 Select Wines
-Loveblock Orange Marlborough 2018 $28.95  Vine Agency
-Luna Estate Eclipse Chardonnay Martinborough 2017 $34.95  Terra Firma
-Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2018 $24.95  Arterra
-Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir Marlborough 2017 $29.95  Arterra
-Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Wairarapa 2018 $24.99  FWM
-Villa Maria Southern Clays Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014  $60  Dandurand
-Quartz Reef MT Vintage 2013 Blanc de Blancs Central Otago  $80  Amethyst
-Toi Toi Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NV  $17  Von Terra
-Te Awanga Estate Reserve Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2017  $35  Azureau
-Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2014  $59.95  Hobbs & Co
-Paddy Borthwick Chardonnay Wellington 2018  $25.95  Nicholas Pearce
-Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  $18.95 Licensee  The Living Vine
 
The Food: There was sustainable smoked salmon courtesy of the Marine Stewardship Council, and platters of cheeses and charcuterie from the Cheese Boutique.
The Downside: the catalogue, while a gem of work with its directory and facts, was printed on clay-based paper that took no pen or pencil. So my choice was to use either blood or a roller nib. I used both.
The Upside: a refreshing change from other shows, with the involvement of VQA Ontario wines.
The Contact Person: info@amcc-inc.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, May 23, 2019

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under $20 and over $20 for MAY 25, 2019

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under $20 and over $20 for MAY 25, 2019
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "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.
 
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
NOTE: The first report is based on my sampling of the wines chosen by the LCBO from this release for tasting. That presentation is about 50+  different labels out of about 125 released every two weeks. Thus, my report will not be as voluminous as in the past and comes from a restricted database. I did not taste every one of the 50+ wines, nor did I rate several of the wines I did sample because they did not seem to be of particularly good value.
 
NOTE: The second report (at the end) is a simple listing of  those wines that were NOT presented to the media, and are given here simply as a record of  what sampling I could not do. I have left in the name of the agency, in fairness to all.
 
PART ONE:  The "best" of a reduced tasting based on 57 wines available to sample --
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
Rose+409870    GÉRARD BERTRAND GRIS BLANC ROSÉ IGP Pays d'Oc  2018 $16.95  Rated: 90pt
Fruit+341024    SOUTHBROOK FRAMBOISE    Ontario    $19.95 375 mL    Rated: 92pts
Fizz+528752    BENAJMIN BRIDGE MÉTHODE CLASSIQUE BRUT NV Traditional method, Nova Scotia        $32.95     Rated: 93pts
 
 
Under $20
W+520627    CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SÉMILLON/SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2017    $22.95     12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+284588    WATERKLOOF CIRCLE OF LIFE    WO Stellenbosch    2015    $19.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+918805    CATENA CHARDONNAY    Mendoza    2017    $19.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+429233    THE LANE VINEYARD BLOCK 1A CHARDONNAY    Adelaide Hills, South Australia    2017    $19.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+644518    MOULIN DE GASSAC CLASSIC    IGP Pays d'Hérault    2018    $12.95 11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+644930    FEUDO ANTICO BIOLOGICO PECORINO    IGP Terre di Chieti    2017    $14.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+629824    CASA MONTE PÍO ALBARIÑO    DO Rías Baixas    2016    $18.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+645127    MURIEL FINCAS DE LA VILLA BLANCO    DOCa Rioja    2018    $14.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+367318    KEW SOLDIER'S GRANT    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2016    $19.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+632943    MONTGRAS LIMITED EDITION 25TH ANNIVERSARY RED    DO Colchagua Valley    2015    $17.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+91488    TYRRELL'S RUFUS STONE SHIRAZ    Heathcote, Victoria    2016    $19.95     14.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+403683    GÉRARD BERTRAND FITOU GRENACHE/CARIGNAN    AP    2016    $17.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+247882    HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY TREE RED VQA Ontario    2016    $18.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+452789    CONFIDENCIAL RESERVA    Vinho Regional Lisboa    2014    $14.95  13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+634014    CHÂTEAU GAUMARAN    AC Médoc    2014    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+647479    ZACHARIAS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    PDO Peloponnese    2016    $15.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+631606    NATIV RUE DELL'INCHIOSTRO AGLIANICO    IGT Campania    2017    $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+644989    LORNANO RISERVA CHIANTI COLLI SENESI    DOCG    2016    $19.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+39925    CVNE CUNE CRIANZA    DOCa Rioja    2015    $16.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
 
Over $20
W+155382    MARCHESI DI BAROLO GAVI DEL COMUNE DI GAVI    DOCG    2017    $22.95 12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+650135    SOUTHBROOK HEATHER'S HOME VINEYARD RIESLING    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula    2017    $22.95      MVC/QPR: 89
W+425322    WESTCOTT LILLIAS UNOAKED CHARDONNAY    VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula    2018    $21.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+ 416511    VASSE FELIX FILIUS CHARDONNAY    Margaret River, Western Australia    2018    $24.95        13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+ 374553    MARIE-PIERRE MANCIAT LES PETITES BRUYÈRES POUILLY-FUISSÉ    AC    2017    $34.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+635847    DOMAINE DE LA GAVERIE SEC VOUVRAY    AC    2017    $19.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+168179    MARCHESI DI BAROLO LA TRADIZIONE BAROLO    DOCG     $42.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+471797    CREEKSIDE ICONOCLAST SYRAH    VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2016    $24.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.5
R+698142    COSENTINO CIGAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON Columbia Valley    2016    $24.95     14.2% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+665976    HEDGES THE BOURGEOISIE    Columbia Valley    2016    $24.95     13.2% ABV, MVC/QPR:  90
R+492413    CATENA PARAJE ALTAMIRA MALBEC    Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza    2016  $22.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+638650    BEAUMIRAIL VACQUEYRAS    AP    2016    $21.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+559872    VASSE FELIX FILIUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Margaret River, Western Australia    2016    $24.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+651471    WATERKLOOF CIRCUMSTANCE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    WO Stellenbosch    2015    $24.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+424804    STÉPHANE AVIRON VIEILLES VIGNES MORGON CÔTE DU PY    AC    2014    $23.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+634055    L'ÉCLAT DE TOUR DE PEZ    AC Saint-Estèphe    2014    $35.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
R+636746    PRIMO DU CHÂTEAU LA CLIDE    AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru    2010    $57.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+636688    MICHELE CHIARLO PALÁS BARBARESCO    DOCG    2014    $29.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+276584    MARZIANO ABBONA PRESSENDA BAROLO    DOCG    2012    $53.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  89
R+995910    REMO FARINA AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOCG    2016    $42.95     15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+ 668491    CA' DE' ROCCHI MONTERÈ VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO SUPERIORE    DOP    2015    $23.95  14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+424390    CVNE IMPERIAL RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $39.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
 
 
PART TWO: The "rest" of the release [not offered for sampling by media] --
 
    368415    LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE    AC    2013    $102.95    AUTHENTIC WINE & SPIRITS MERCHANTS
    302752    SANTA MARGHERITA BRUT ROSÉ    Italy        $21.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    519009    THE FOREIGN AFFAIR UNOAKED CHARDONNAY    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2017    $23.95    CORBY SPIRIT AND WINE LIMITED
    251223    KISTLER LES NOISETIERS CHARDONNAY    Sonoma Coast    2017    $99.95    THE VINE AGENCY
    181453    MCMANIS PINOT GRIGIO    River Junction, California    2018    $18.95    THE VINE AGENCY
    662775    D'ARENBERG THE HERMIT CRAB VIOGNIER/MARSANNE    McLaren Vale, South Australia    2017    $17.95    CHURCHILL CELLARS LTD.
    974527    VILLA MARIA CELLAR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2018    $21.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    734517    TRIMBACH RIESLING    AC Alsace    2016    $25.95    WOODMAN WINES & SPIRITS
    366419    DOMAINE DU COLOMBIER CHABLIS    AC    2017    $28.95    C & E WORLDFINDS
    350124    BEAUVIGNAC PICPOUL DE PINET    AP    2018    $14.95    GRAPE EXPECTATIONS WINE AGENCY
    645168    BALTHASAR RESS HALLGARTEN TROCKEN RIESLING    Prädikatswein    2016    $18.95    CHURCHILL CELLARS LTD.
    707158    ZENATO SAN BENEDETTO LUGANA    DOC    2018    $19.95    JOSEPH CIPELLI WINES & SPIRITS
    647487    H. KENDERMANN CUPO LA NOTTE TENTAZIONE    Romania    2018    $16.95    PMA CANADA LTD.
    12617    LAKEVIEW CABERNET SAUVIGNON    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2015    $29.95    TRAJECTORY BEVERAGE PARTNERS
    126763    MISSION HILL RESERVE SHIRAZ    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2015    $29.95    MARK ANTHONY WINE & SPIRITS
    315002    CA' MOMI HEARTCRAFT CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Napa Valley    2016    $34.95    KYLIX WINES
    633966    SKYFALL MERLOT    Columbia Valley    2016    $21.95    TRAJECTORY BEVERAGE PARTNERS
    687822    HOGUE GENESIS SYRAH    Columbia Valley    2015    $18.95    ARTERRA WINES CANADA INC.
    656363    WEINERT CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Mendoza    2008    $27.95    THE CASE FOR WINE
    260919    SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Uco Valley, Mendoza    2016    $19.95    BARRIQUE WINE IMPORTS LTD.
    590380    THE BONSAI VINE GRENACHE/SHIRAZ/MOURVÈDRE    McLaren Vale, South Australia    2016    $29.95    CHURCHILL CELLARS LTD.
    522235    PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ    Barossa, South Australia    2017    $21.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    327403    PAXTON MV SHIRAZ    McLaren Vale, South Australia    2016    $19.95    TRIALTO WINE GROUP LTD.
    660332    KATNOOK FOUNDER'S BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Coonawarra, South Australia    2015    $19.95    BARRIQUE WINE IMPORTS LTD.
    632646    ROCKCLIFFE THIRD REEF PINOT NOIR    Great Southern, Western Australia    2017    $18.95    JOHN GIBSON AGENCIES
    682005    JIM JIM THE DOWN-UNDERDOG SHIRAZ    South Australia    2017    $16.95    VINEXX
    129353    THE CHOCOLATE BLOCK    WO Swartland    2017    $39.95    UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC.
    419390    BULGARIANA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Thracian Valley    2015    $15.95    BRAND NEW DAY WINES & SPIRITS
    10538    CHÂTEAU PEYRABON    AC Haut-Médoc    2015    $28.95    RARE EARTH WINES
        NICHOLAS PEARCE WINES INC
    572230    CAVE DE TAIN GRAND CLASSIQUE CROZES-HERMITAGE    AC    2015    $24.95    NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC.
    566844    FAMILLE PERRIN LES CORNUDS VINSOBRES    AC    2016    $17.95    CHARTON HOBBS INC
    681668    CHÂTEAU CROZE DE PYS PRESTIGE MALBEC CAHORS    AP    2015    $19.95    H.H.D. IMPORTS
    120907    VESEVO BENEVENTANO AGLIANICO    IGT Beneventano    2015    $16.95    BARRIQUE WINE IMPORTS LTD.
    5405    UMBERTO CESARI MOMA ROSSO    IGT Rubicone    2016    $15.95    UNIVINS AND SPIRITS CANADA INC.
    339937    CASTELLO DI ALBOLA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG    2015    $19.95    IMPRESE INC.
    378257    BANFI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    DOCG    2013    $56.95    AUTHENTIC WINE & SPIRITS MERCHANTS
    91694    SANTA MARGHERITA CHIANTI CLASSICO    DOCG    2015    $22.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    483818    LEONARDO ROSSO    IGT Toscana    2016    $14.95    DIONYSUS WINES & SPIRITS LTD.
    470351    ODISSEIA RESERVA TINTO    DOC Douro    2015    $19.95    VINYA
    443804    PATA NEGRA RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $18.95    CHRISTOPHER STEWART WINE & SPIRITS
    114306    CERRO AÑON RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2014    $20.95    MACDONALD AND COMPANY
    210872    TORRES CELESTE CRIANZA    DO Ribera del Duero    2015    $21.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    545939    MARQUÉS DE TORO FINCA LA MOURA    Single vineyard, DO Mencía    2012    $13.95    TERRA FINE WINES
    644906    W. & J. GRAHAM'S THE TAWNY MATURE RESERVE TAWNY PORT    DOP        $24.95    MARK ANTHONY WINE & SPIRITS
    547703    LAKEVIEW CELLARS GEWÜRZTRAMINER ICEWINE    VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario    2017    $34.95    TRAJECTORY BEVERAGE PARTNERS
    614842    PALATINE HILLS VIDAL ICEWINE    VQA Niagara Lakeshore, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario    2012    $19.95    VINTAGES
    48819    CREEKSIDE ROSÉ    VQA Ontario    2018    $15.95    HOBBS & COMPANY
    468652    CHARLES SMITH VINO SANGIOVESE ROSÉ    Washington    2018    $17.95    AUTHENTIC WINE & SPIRITS MERCHANTS
    556233    CHÂTEAU VAL JOANIS CUVÉE JOSÉPHINE ROSÉ    AP Luberon    2018    $25.95    THE VINE AGENCY
    636787    JEEPER BRUT GRAND ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE    AC        $93.95    DBINO INC.
    409326    PIPER-HEIDSIECK BRUT CHAMPAGNE    AC    2006    $79.95    BREAKTHRU BEVERAGE CANADA INC.
    632034    TYRRELL'S HUNTER VALLEY SERIES SEMILLON    Hunter Valley, New South Wales    2017    $28.95    SELECT WINE MERCHANTS INC.
    557710    DENIS RACE MONTMAINS 1ER CRU CHABLIS    AC    2016    $38.95    THE CASE FOR WINE
    940809    REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT KASELER NIES'CHEN RIESLING KABINETT    VDP Grosse Lage    2016    $27.95    H.H.D. IMPORTS
    992354    POGGIO ALLE GAZZE DELL'ORNELLAIA    IGT Toscana    2016    $69.95    MARK ANTHONY WINE & SPIRITS
    14217    CLIFF LEDE STAGS LEAP DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Stags Leap District, Napa Valley    2016    $119.95    HALPERN ENTERPRISES
    379313    SAURUS BARREL FERMENTED MALBEC    Patagonia    2017    $34.95    SYLVESTRE WINES & SPIRITS INC.
    630731    VIÑA LEYDA LOT 8 SYRAH    Leyda Valley    2013    $29.95    PHILIPPE DANDURAND WINES LTD.
    668681    SERAFINO CABERNET SAUVIGNON    McLaren Vale, South Australia    2015    $29.95    LOYAL IMPORTS
    636233    CHÂTEAU CAMILLE GAUCHERAUD    AC Côtes de Bordeaux - Blaye    2010    $20.95    AMV - WHIZ TRADING LRD
    109876    PLANETA BURDESE    IGT Sicilia    2013    $43.95    NOBLE ESTATES WINES & SPIRITS INC.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, May 20, 2019

The May 6, 2019 Event: Winemaker Dinner with the Cantina Frentana (Rocca San Giovanni Chiete) range from Abruzzi.

The Date and Time: Monday May 6, 2019  7PM to 10PM
The Event: Winemaker Dinner with the Cantina Frentana (Rocca San Giovanni Chiete) range from Abruzzi.
The Venue: Posticino Ristorante, Queensway.
The Target Audience: clients of Caliber Fine Wines and Spirits, the Ontario agent.
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available through private order or consignment.
The Quote/Background: Both Sandy (Caliber) and Felice di Biase (Sales Manager) spoke about the wines. There was also a guitarist performing. Over two dozen attended.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cantina Frentana Cococciola Spumante Brut NV [from the cococciola grape] $20.30
-Cantina Frentana Pecorino Abruzzo DOC Costa del Mulino 2017 $11.55 LCBO
-Cantina Frentana 60th Edition Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 2015 $22.50 
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Cantina Frentana Torre Vinaria Pecorino Abruzzo DOC 2017 $19.55
-Cantina Frentana Cerasuolo Abruzzo DOC Costa del Mulino 2017 $18.10
-Cantina Frentana Panarda Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 2012 $24.95 [North American appeal with its mocha tones]
 
The Food: a full Italian dinner which started with bruschetta (spumante), and then a seafood salad of shrimp, calamari, and scallops (two pecorino wines), spaghetti ragu (rosato), mushroom risotto (60th edition), and a three meat platter with lamb, veal, and beef (panarda). Chef Antonio Pirone exceeded himself with terrific excellent food, well prepared. Unfortunately, I had to leave before dessert and espresso.
The Downside: I had to leave right after the savoury dishes.
The Upside: A chance to break bread with Sandy (Caliber) and Felice (Frentana).
The Contact Person: caliber@winevintages.com; toto.pirone@hotmail.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, May 18, 2019

TheMay 3, 2019 Event: Tasting of wines from Le Cimate of Montefalco, Umbria.

The Date and Time: Friday May 3 2019, 1PM to 4 PM
The Event: Tasting of wines from Le Cimate of Montefalco, Umbria.
The Venue: Biagio
The Target Audience: influencers and wine media and clients
The Availability/Catalogue: almost all the wines we tasted were available from Cottonwood Agency.
The Quote/Background: Paolo Bortoloni makes the wines for Le Cimate, and he was along to speak about the wines in context with the company's philosophy. The family owns a total of 170 hectares, with 108 used for grain, 15 for DOP olive groves (9,000 trees), and 20 for DOCG vines. There are four different types of grapes: sagrantino, sangiovese, trebbiano spoletino, refosco.
The Wines: All wines are in six-packs.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Le Cimat Trebbiano Spoletino 2018 +864280  $38.12   13.5% ABV
-Le Cimat Montefalco Rosso DOC 2012  $43.89  [blend of sangiovese, merlot, sagrantino, cabernet] 14.5% ABV
-Le Cimat Sagrantino DOCG 2011 15.5% ABV  $66.64?  [older is better]
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Le Cimat Saudade Umbria IGT Rosato 2018 $35.90   13.5% ABV
-Le Cimat Sagrantino DOCG 2013 +864272 15.5% ABV $66.64
-Le Cimat Sagrantino DOCG 2012 15.5% ABV $66.64?
 
The Food: platters of Italian appetizers: puff paste, mainly spinach and cheese, anchovy, tomato, deep fried olives.
The Downside: I arrived late due to TTC issues.
The Upside: A chance to try the Montefalco Sagrantino vertical of 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Contact Person:  elizabeth@cottonwoodagency.com; pbartoloni@lecimate.it
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com