The Date and Time: Monday, May 4, 2015 Noon to 5 PM
The Event: French Wine Connection 2015
The Venue: OCHO Hotel
The Target Audience: wine agents, selected media.
The Availability/Catalogue: looking for agents. The catalogue was extremely informative, with background data on the wineries, full addresses, pix of the representative or winery owner, and a detailed description of featured wines (including bottle production and medals).
The Quote/Background: This is the ninth annual FWC in North America, now with about 18 producers from 8 or so regions in Toronto. All of these wines started off as having no representation in Ontario, although by the time the show opened some of them had agents here. There was a special effort to promote Loire Valley wines, with extra sponsorship. Half of the wineries here today were from that region; the balance seemed to be sole representatives from other places, such as one champagne, one beaujolais, one rhone, etc.
The Wines: I did not taste every wine. Prices were not generally available, and where they existed, they were FOB or Ex-Cellars in Euros. Because of the speculative nature of the tasting, I only rated the 4 and 3.5 starred wines.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Burckel-Jung Cremant d'Alsace Rose
-Le Clos Lucas La Renaissance Sparkling Rose Gamay Noir, 8% ABV, 4.69E
-Champagne Maxime Blin Brut Carte Blanche, 14.9E
-Champagne Maxime Blin Extra Brut Cuvee Onirique, 26E
-Champagne Maxime Blin Brut Cuvee Maxime Blin, 37E
-Champagne Maxime Blin Brut Cuvee Authentique, 47E
-Domaine des Caillots Methode Traditionelle Sparkling Touraine, 5E
-Domaine des Caillots Methode Traditionelle Sparkling Rose Touraine, 5E
-Domaine Patrick Girard Les Rebourgeres 2012 Muscadet Sevre et Maine sure Lie, 4.50E
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Domaine Burckel-Jung Gewurztraminer 2013
-Ambrosia Chateau Plaisance 2011 Bordeaux Superieur
-Ambrosia Chateau Maucamps 2009 Haut Medoc
-Chateau Segonzac Vieilles Vignes 2013 Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux
-Chateau de Bellvue de l'Espy 2014 Merlot Rose, 3.50E
-Maison Jean Pla Le Souris Verte IGP Cates Catalanes Blanc
-Claude Lafond La Raie 2014 AOP Reuilly
-Claude Lafond Le Clos des Messieurs 2013 AOP Reuilly
-Collegiale des Domaines de Loire Les Bois de Vaux 2013 Vouvray Sec
-Collegiale des Domaines de Loire Domaine Pascal Balland 2014 Sancerre
-Domaine Pascal Gibault Evasion 2013 Touraine, 4.72E
-Domaine Pascal Gibault Chenonceaux 2013 Touraine
-Domaine de Flines Rose Sparkling Loire Grolleau gris, 3.50E
-Domaine de la Commanderie Quincy Prestige 2013, 5.35E
-Domaine de la Commanderie Quincy Tradition 2013
-Domaine des Caillots Touraine Chenonceau 2013, 6.75E
-Domaine Patrick Girard Le Fleuron de la Rebourgere 2013 Muscadet Sevre et Maine sure Lie, 2.85E
-Olivier et Lafont Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2014 Blanc, 12E
The Food: veggies, crusty French bread, water, dips, cheese.
The Downside: I was expected a bigger show, with more wineries from other regions.
The Upside: actually it was a good chance to taste a range of Loire wines.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85.