The Date and Time: Thursday, October 30, 2014 7PM to 10PM
The Event: and evening with Vina Santa Rita, from Chile, with guest Andres Ilabaca, Head Winemaker of Vina Santa Rita, repped by Mark Anthony.
The Venue: Woods Restaurant, Colborne Lane
The Target Audience: wine lovers and media
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available at the LCBO
The Quote/Background: Winemaker Ilabaca was around for the Chile wine fair on Tuesday, doing business with the LCBO and contacting licensees, etc. He was also at a seminar in New York City. Rather than make a presentation, he spoke directly about each wine at the table while we tasted and commented amongst ourselves.
The Wines and Food:
We began with Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc 2014 DO Central Valley (+23606, $9.95, 87 points), affordable, fresh and bracing youthful crisp savvy that braced nivcely against the fattiness of the charcuterie (plus some duck ham, housemade mustards and pickles, crostini). The we moved on to the Santa Rita Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 DO Casablanca Valley, +275677, $13.95, 89 points)which had more a savvy feel to it, but a medium finish, more body, and it was able to take the Digby scallop with a brown butter cauliflower puree and bacon. The Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay 2012 DO Casablanca Valley, +348359, $13.95, 89 points) worked with the Pacific cod primarily because it was balanced with low levels of oak that paired nicely to the wild mushrooms and Dungeness crab salad under the cod. It had a cork closure. All of the whites are in process of moving through the stores, so vintage dates will be changing as fresh stock comes in (e.g., the savvy reserva will soon be 2014, the chardonnay will be 2013 and may have a twist top). The heavy guns came with the heavy foods. We had a Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Camenere 2011 DO Colchagua, +392720, $17.95, 89 points) with venison and a sunchoke puree with more wild mushrooms (I tried the chardonnay against this, and it worked!). The Carmenere expressed herbs on the nose, but ultimately it was very milky and chocolatey. We ended with a Santa Rita Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 DO Maipo, about $71, rated 93) with a bison short rib and potato puree with root veggies. It was a delicious wine that might have overpowered the bison which was not as pungent as the venison. The wine came from 40 year old vines. The 2010 vintage is at classics for a bargain $60 (+337246, rated 92). It was late, and so I skipped dessert (apple tart) which had no sweet wine to companion it. Chef Carlos came out to take his bows. And winemaker Ilabaca told me that Santa Rita was developing a late harvest wine which we could have sampled, and a sparkler.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.