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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MontGras wine tasting and lunch at Far Niente, March 21/11

The Time and Date: Monday, March 21, 2011   11:45 AM to 3 PM
The Event: MontGras (Chile) wine presentation by Santiago Margozzini,
head winemaker, and Andrea Ilabaca, PR Director.
The Venue: Far Niente, Sonoma Room
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are currently available but in
different distribution patterns.
The Quote/Background: MontGras was founded in 1992. Hernan Gras, who
was a winemaker at Brights in Niagara, moved back to Chile and opened
up a winery. He soon began to specialize in Carmenere wines. The winery
ships 550,000 cases of MontGras named wines, plus 150,000 cases of
other wines. In 2005 they purchased an other winery for more capacity.
The Wines: They make wines in all the major regions of Chile. We were
exposed to an extensive powerpoint presentation. And then we began an
earnest discussion on he wines s they were poured.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Amaral Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Leyda – Vintages #48025, $14.95
-Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Maipo - $21.95 (virtual Internet offering)
-Ninquén Antu Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenère 2009 - $17.95 (direct buy, October)
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ninquén Antu Syrah 2009 – Vintages #675371 (2008 in stock), $17.95
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-MontGras Carmenère Reserva 2010 Colchagua  – LCBO #178624, $12.05
-MontGras Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009 Colchagua – LCBO #619205, $12.05
The Food: we had a special menu with some choices. I grabbed the Caesar salad with its house-cured bacon
(great with the Amaral Savvy), followed by a blue striploin and frites (perfect with all of the reds). The
citrus cheesecake was actually light and refreshing.
The Downside: due to traffic, I arrived 15 minutes late, just as the group got underway.
The Upside: we could have gone to either lunch or dinner; I took lunch because it was more viable, and I
appreciated the offering of a choice. The same wines were poured at both.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness of this Event (numerical grade): 89.

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