Sorry for the delay, and thank you very much for this!
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The Date and Time: Monday August 26, 2019 11:30AM to 3PM
The Event: Lunch Tasting: Truth or Dare tasting of Rhone Valley Vineyards.
The Venue: Gare de l'Est Dundas Street East
The Target Audience: wine media and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: some of the wines are at the LCBO, the rest are private orders.
The Quote/Background: Sara D'Amato, well-known Toronto sommelier and CAPS spokesperson, led us in a seminar of wines from the Rhone, focusing on five distinct regions and featuring representative samples (i.e., those available in Ontario) for tasting. She gave us (about two dozen attendees) a rundown on the Rhone area (31 appellations, second largest wine-producing area in France, soils of all kinds [rocky, clay, granite, limestone, sandy]). The first flight was a blind tasting: we had to identify the region that the wine came from. For me, the wines of North and South are totally different, so it was easy to place the wines on the regional tasting mat. No prizes awarded, but it set up our palates for the other 12 wines to come. This was a more in-depth seminar on the particulars of the five appellations.
The Wines: The five regions explored were: Condrieu, Crozes-Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Cairanne, and Lirac. Agents are noted below. The wines were from varying vintage years, and overall I enjoyed the older ones better than the younger ones.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau de Montfaucom Comtesse Madeleine Blanc 2016 Lirac. Nicolas Pearce Inc.
-Chateau de Montfaucom Baron Louis Rouge 2015 Lirac. Nicolas Pearce Inc.
-Lionel Faury Condrieu 2017. Barrel Select.
-Francois Villard Les Terrasses du Palat Condrieu 2017 +209254 $78 [my fave of the day]
-Pierre Gaillard Condrieu 2016 +540344 $65
-Guigal Crozes-Hermitage 2016 +704908 $35.95
-Ferraton Pere et Fils Calendes Crozes-Hermitage 2016 +526376 $31.95
-Maison Gabriel Meffre Laurus Rouge 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages. Trajectory Beverage.
-Domaine Boutinot Les Six Rouge 2016 Cairanne +452093 $31.30
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-M.Chapoutier Les Meysonniers Crozes-Hermitage 2017. Vins Philippe Dandurand.
-Brotte Bord Elegance Blanc 2017 Cotes du Rhone Villages Laudon +644385 $16.95
-Domaine Boutinot Les Coteaux Rouge 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages. Noble Estates.
-Domaine de L'Amandine Rouge 2017 Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret. $19.99 Lic Stem Wine
-Domaine Alary Le Jean de Verde Rouge 2015 Cairanne +639914 $24.25
-Cellier Des Dauphins Rouge 2017 Cairanne. Churchill Cellars
-Brotte Creation Grosset Rouge 2017 Cairanne +33852 $17.95
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Louis Bernard Louis Rouge 2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages +391458 $13.20
The Food: typically French – with cheese boards and charcuterie boards, followed by breads and appetizer platters of shrimp, potatoes with carmelized onions, lamb loin chimichurri, coq au vin avec vol au vent, oyster mushrooms, and more.
The Downside: I am conversant with North Rhone; I was hoping for more wines from the South, to plug my information gaps and to relate to similarities in styles.
The Upside: I actually learned a lot.
The Event’s Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.
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