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Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting October 1

The Date and Time: Monday October 1, 2018  1PM – 4:30PM
The Event: The Living Vine Portfolio Tasting
The Venue: Spoke Club
The Target Audience: wine trade (buyers, sommeliers, media)
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines were in stock, a few were private orders. The catalogue booklet (with copious extensive notes on the principals) was accompanied by an order form. The pouring tables were arranged by country.
The Quote/Background: The Living Vine specializes in natural and organic and biodynamic wines from a dozen different countries and multiple regions within. They rep about 100 different wineries with rotating lists of available wines. Mark Cuff, who operates the company, is probably the first "port of call" for many such wines in Ontario. In fact, a decade ago (on February 2008) he was the first one to put on a massive trade show ("Return to Terroir") featuring such wines at the Distillery District. His firm is at, and most wines are available through the site.
The Wines: I did not try every wine. There were two biodynamic ciders from Bordelet Normandy, Brut Pomme Tendre ($18.95) and Poire Granite ($23.95), and an organic cider from Southbrook (Wild Ferment Cider 2017 $13.30 Lic). In addition, there was a tasting of some 18 wines from Southbrook Winery in Ontario – what I did taste have been folded into the notes below.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-BK Swaby Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2016 $49.95
-Brash Higgins CBSV Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun Magnum Adelaide 2017 $112.95 [magnum]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
-Ruggabellus Salumodo Riesling/Semillon Barossa 2014 $75.95 [orange]
-Ruggabellus Archaeus Syrah Barossa 2015 $75.95
-Ghostwriter Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz 2013$103.95
-Hobo Folk Machine White Light Sonoma 2017 $26.95
-Cowhorn Spiral 36 Willamette $37.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Riesling 2016 $19.21 Lic
-Southbrook Biodynamic Bubbly 2017 $25.12 Lic
-Southbrook Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016 $33.60 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Chardonnay 2012 $43.74
-Southbrook Witness Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  ??
-Portal de Priorat Siuralta Gris Grenache Gris Orange Priorat 2015 $53.95
-Punctum 20,000 Leagues Orange La Mancha 2017 $16.95
-Barmes-Buecher Steingrubler Grand Cru Riesling Alsace 2014 $51
-Fleury Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut NV $67.95
-Grappin Les Greves Burgundy White $98.95  PoW
-Ostertag Jardins Pinot Blanc Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Ostertag Jardins Sylvaner Alsace 2016 $29.95
-Pinte Chardonnay Jura 2015 $36.95
-Ratte Chardonnay Jura $46.95  PoW
-Domaine de la Garreliere Milliard d'Etoiles Touraine $35.95
-Casa Wallace Gold Sauvignon Blanc Piedmont 2014 $27.95
-Cirelli Pecorino Le Marche 2017 $26.95
-COS Maldafrica Cab/Merlot 2014 Sicily $79.95
-Fabio Gea Cul Otte Langhe Nebbiolo Piedmont 2015 $82.95
-Massimago Amarone Veneto $123.99
-Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017 $18.95
-Dry River Gewurztraminer Marlborough $46.95  PoW
-Millton Riverpoint Viognier Gisborne 2015 $31.95
-Valli Old Vine Riesling Otago 2012 $36.95
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Brash Higgins GR/M Grenache/Mourvedre McLaren Vale 2016 $45.95
-Brash Higgins CHN Chenin Blanc McLaren Vale 2016 $42.95
-Camp Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2016 $29.95
-Camp Chardonnay Sonoma 2017 $29.95
-Cowhorn Viognier Willamette 2015 $52.95
-Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2016 $20.90 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rose 2017 $16.67 Lic
-Southbrook Poetica Red 2013 $59.93 Lic
-Southbrook Triomphe Merlot 2016 $25.12 Lic
-Alta Alella Cau d'en Genis Barcelona 2016 $29.95 [xarel.lo]
-Celler Credo Miranius Xarel.lo Penedes $24.95
-Anne de Joyeuse Camas Chardonnay 2017 $13.95
-Batard Langelier Polaris Muscadet Loire $18.95
-Chateau Beru Bourgogne Chardonnay Chablis 2016 $52.95
-Claire Ouzoulias Clos Chantel l'Alouette St. Emilion $39.95
-Ecu Muscadet Classic Loire $22.95 [magnum]  PoW
-Vittorio Bera Moscato d'Asti Piedmont 2017 $29.95
-Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany 2010$288.95 [magnum]
-Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc Gisborne 2016 $29.95
-Millton Crazy By Nature Chardonnay Gisborne $25.95
-Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $34.95  PoW
The Food: there was a charcuterie board and a cheese board, plus biscuits and fruit/veggies.
The Downside: I could not taste every wine.
The Upside: It was a good collection, and a chance to catch up with Southbrook Winery (Ontario).
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.


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