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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Portfolio Tasting of EJ Gallo at Modus in Toronto

The Date and Time: Wednesday, September 4, 2PM to 5PM

The Event: Portfolio Tasting of EJ Gallo

The Venue: Modus

The Target Audience: licensees and media.

The Availability/Catalogue: everything was available at the LCBO or by consignment. These are the latest vintages available – the room was too dark to pick out and write the vintage year in my notes.

The Quote/Background: Some of its non-Gallo names or properties seem to be doing quite well (MacMurray, Whitehaven, Ghost Pines, Martini). These are interesting wines.

The Wines: I did not try all the wines. There were also five spirits for sniffing or cocktails, but I did not try these. Prices are licensee.


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Apothic Red Blend, LCBO, $14.24

-Ghost Pines Winemakers Blend Chardonnay 2010, LCBO, $17.81


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Barefoot Cellars Moscato, LCBO, $8.89

-McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Shiraz, LCBO, $13.39

-High Altitude Chardonnay Argentina [30% viognier], LCBO, $11.95 retail

-Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, LCBO, $27.25

-Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, LCBO, $17.86

-Whitehaven Pinot Noir, LCBO, $21.27

-Ghost Pines Winemakers Blend Cabernet Sauvignon, consignment, $19.10

-Ghost Pines Winemakers Blend Merlot, consignment, $18.15

-MacMurray Ranch Central Coast Pinot Noir, consignment, $18.15

-Martin Codax Albarino Rias Biaxas, consignment, $16.33


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Copper Ridge Chardonnay $8.23 consignment

-Bear Flag Red, LCBO, $11.56

-Bear Flag White, LCBO, $11.56

-Mirassou Pinot Grigio, LCBO, $11.61

-Mirassou Pinot Noir, LCBO, $12.01

-Dancing Bull Zinfandel, LCBO, $12.01

-Barefoot Cellars Chardonnay, LCBO, $8.89

-Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, LCBO $8.89

-Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante, LCBO, $11.78

-McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Moscato, LCBO, $12.50

-McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Chardonnay, LCBO, $12.50

-McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, LCBO, $13.39

-JJ McWilliam's Pinot Grigio, LCBO, $9.38

-JJ McWilliam's Shiraz/Cabernet, LCBO, $9.77

-JJ McWilliam's Cabernet/Merlot, LCBO, $9.77

-Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, LCBO, $16.91

-Red Rock Malbec California, LCBO, $15.13

-Edna Valley Chardonnay Central Coast, consignment, $18.15


The Food: platters of cheese, prosciutto, fresh fruit, breads and crackers.

The Downside: it was not the whole portfolio, so I was disappointed. An LCBO search showed that there were more MacMurray labels in the system, and there was nothing from Gallo Sonoma or from Frei.

The Upside: a chance to taste many entry level wines.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 86


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