Search This Blog

Sunday, October 31, 2010


1. Domaine Lafage Cote Est 2009 Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes:
skedded to launch in summer (when it would have been more useful), the
October release will give it some time to settle in for a run at
Christmas. It's an aromatic blend at an attractive pricepoint, made
from Grenache blanc and Grenache gris (both 80 to 100 years old) for
body, with added Chardonnay for spine and Marsanne for fruit (almost 20
years old each). The vineyards overlook the Mediterranean, right up
against Spain. Twist top, highly aromatic, best with a light appetizers
or a deck sipper. +179838, $12.95 General List.
2. Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Musque 2008 VQA NOTL: uses
exclusively the chardonnay clone 809 (15-year old vines), an almost in-
your-face aromatic beauty with some "muscat" grapey quality. Unoaked,
of course, and refreshing. 13%, useful for sipping or with lighter
white meats. 575 cases, +322016 Vintages, $16.95.
3. Chateau des Charmes Equuleus 2007 VQA St. David's Bench: made from
Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), cabernet franc (25%) and merlot (25%), but
only in good years. Spends one year in French oak. 14% ABV. Tons of
concentrated Bordeaux flavours, all the dark berries and mocha, but
years away from redemption. +319525, InStore Discovery December 11,
4. Puklus Cellar Tokaji Szamorodni 2002 Hungary: an arrested
fermentation wine from the same grapes as puttonyos Tokaji. Thus, it
can be as sweet as a 2 or 3 puttonyos Aszu. It's matured several years
and then released, with an oxidative character useful for fruit or egg
desserts. Gold Medalist in 2009. Quite lovely, and here affordable.
13.5% ABV. 500 mL bottles, +179374 Vintages, $18.95.

5. Chateau Haut Bernasse 2003 Monbazillac, $24.95, +194225, for 500 mL
bottle. 13% ABV. Blend of 80% Semillon, 15% muscadelle, and 5%
sauvignon blanc. Nancy Reynolds and I tasted it in February 2010 and we
were both knocked out. I gave it Four Stars (91+ points); she brought
it in via WorldWide Cellar to the InStore Discovery program (Queens
Quay, Summerhill, Royal York, etc.). Expect honey, apricots, orange,
and vanilla. Monbazillac used to be referred to as a poor person's
Sauterne. Certainly, it is less expensive for a wine created in
virtually the same region. Gold Medalist.
6. J.P. Chenet Cabernet-Syrah 2009 (+90472, $8.95 LTO GL)
7. J.P. Chenet Premiere de Cuvee Merlot-Cabernet 2008 (+621995, $11.95
8. J.P. Chenet Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (+161224, $9.95 GL)
These three wines are all part of a re-launch by Les Grands Chais de
France. They come in a distinctive pot bottle that seems difficult to
lay on its side, although the wines do have a cork-like closure. This
suggests immediate drinkability, and you wouldn't be wrong. The
Sauvignon Blanc is melon-like with a citric finish, better as an
aperitif. The Cabernet-Syrah is lighter than anything comparable from
Australia, but has nice berry notes and a moderate finish. The best,
and more expensive of the three, is the oak aged Merlot-Cabernet at
13.5% ABV, one that is coming around with fruit tones, plus vanilla and
pepper. All three have been sugar-coded by the LCBO at 1, and the reds
are Pays D'Oc wines while the Sauvignon Blanc is a Vin de Pays de Cotes
de Gascoigne. The vintage year and lot number is on the collar, not the

No comments: