The Date and Time: Wednesday, October 8, 2014 6:30 PM to 9 PM
The Event: MontGras Chilean wine presentation, tasting and dinner
The Venue: Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Cosmopolitan Hotel
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: we tasted the three wines that are available right now in the Ontario marketplace. More might be coming. The agency is The Kirkwood Group.
The Quote/Background: Jaime de la Cerda, Amaral winemaker, talked about the MontGras company (Hernan Gras once worked in Ontario as winemaker for Brights) which was founded in 1993 by the Gras brothers. He then presented the Amaral (Leyda) Sauvignon Blanc 2013 which is at the LCBO, and the 2014 which is coming soon. He also showed us two component wines, one from Lot 34 2014 (limestone), and one from Lot 7 2014 – these were part of the overall 2014 blend. He gave us some tasting overviews on the Syrah and Carmenere wines.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-MontGras Amaral Sauvignon Blanc Leyda 2013 – persistent flavours from vines planted in 2006, +367292 LCBO, $13.85.
-Amaral Lot 34 Limestone
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-MontGras Amaral Sauvignon Blanc Leyda 2014
-Amaral Lot 7
-MontGras ANTU Syrah 2012, +675371 Vintages, $17.95
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-MontGras Reserva Carmenere 2013, +178624, $11.90
The Food: Wildfire has been established at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for a few months (the mother restaurant is near Hoggs' Hollow on North Yonge). Our menu began with the showoff food for the Amaral Sauvignon Blanc – a seafood ceviche of fish, shrimp, red onion and cilantro. It was dense and complex, much like the wine that accompanied it.
This was followed by a choice, so I took the Australian lamb rack since I wanted to compare it to the ANTU Syrah and the Carmenere Reserva. Both were good choices, but the Syrah was better.
The Downside: initially, it was a little noisy from the boisterous crowd downstairs, but then they left for the hockey game.
The Upside: a chance to talk to the winemaker.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.