My evertything wine section or about moments when wine was good and needed!
2009 Prince Edward County Wine Tour
There is no secret here if I say that I like Prince Edward County and its wines and it has been that way for a few years already. With time I did gathered a bunch of these bottles and I was ready to open a few of them in an horizontal tasting, or all wines coming from a single vintage. This would be a great way to virtually do a tour of this region I like so much!
My choice? All wines were to be from the 2009 vintages. All I needed was good friends to open all these bottles. My intent was to do that “tasting” on December 31, but the cold and sick kids made me push away this evening from a few days. Since we were more thirsty than ever, I had to add some extra bubbles to the lineup to help us wait to get to these 2009 wines.
Starting with the extra bubbles:
Grange of Prince Edward Brut Rosé 2012 Wine Club Edition
Light pink to orange color. Fines and subtle bubbles. Nose and palate are on the finesse side with fresh red fruit notes (mostly strawberries), some bread and salty notes. Also have the “standard” release of that wine and I am quite curious to try it to see if there’s any difference. Anyway, like it and it was a great way to begin the evening! Very good (90)
This is the Wine Club label edition of that wine, release Fall 2016. Made of Pinot Noir, Traditional Method and was aged on lees for 40 months (for the standard release)
The sparkling wine I’ve been waiting so long for :
Hinterland Les Étoiles Brut VQA Prince Edward County 2009
Light gold color. Aromas of freshly baked bread, spices, some yeast notes, salty water. This is pure refinement and we can only be amazed by that perfume. Fine bubbles that takes more amplitude on the palate to end up in a salty and crushed rocks like finish. Taste like blood orange, some red berries, lemon, rocks, bread and butter. Long, very long finish. Superb+ (94)
Traditional Method. Made of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, aged on lees for 5 years, no dosage. The 750ml bottles of this are not available anymore, but you can get some magnums on Hinterland’s website! Got mine, of course!
The “Grand Vin” from Norman Hardie:
Norman Hardie Pinot Noir Cuvée L VQA Ontario 2009
Light garnet color. Nose of spicy red berries with some oak and smoke bringing in some elegance. Just perfect mouthfeel with loads of crushed red berries, spices, earth and salty rocks. This wine feels so alive! Very long and lively finish that makes the moment last longer. Superb (93)
This is a blend of 60% Niagara fruit and 40% County fruit. The wine was initially aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It was then blended and put back to oak for 6 months. Only made when all the right conditions are united (this was the first time of the 3 made for now – 2009, 2012, 2014)
A Gamay from the winery that opened my eyes on this grape based wines from PEC:
Grange of Prince Edward Select Gamay Noir VQA Prince Edward County 2009
Still quite dark ruby color. Nose of earth, mushrooms, but also of homemade red berry jam with a touch of green and flower notes. More vibrant on the palate with this tart and sour finish (reminds me of sweet tarts). Flavors of sweet red berries, of spices, automn leaves and old wood that leads to a finish of good lenght. The evolution notes are there, but this wine is still offering satisfaction and drinkability. Still have one in the cellar that I’ll open soon. Excellent (91)
Made of estate grown Gamay. Aged 24 months in French oak barrels.
Jump on the occasion to by and cellar these wines from this amazing area!
My 2017 in wine
Another year review? Of course! But don’t worry, it won’t be my Top 10 favorite wines, bubbles or beers, even if I like to write some from time to time.
What if we were just talking about wine? From great to less good moments in wine that happened in 2017?
First observation on 2017 wine-wise
In 2017 the wine took another path or route for me. I kept writing here as I do for more than 3 years now and that allowed me to taste hundreds of wine at home, during events or at different wineries I’ve visited through the year.
And then came the desire to do something else while still keeping a feet into the wine’s world.
Of course I like meeting all kind of people, to hear what they have to say, to have a better understanding of their vision in regards of producing, distributing or serving wines. To get the “why” behind all of that. That’s actually my favorite part of being a blogger!
Writing on wine is still something I want and will do, don’t worry, I have to share this passion for this amazing drink, right?
What 2017 brought to my vision of wine
2017 saw coming up those moments where all I wanted to do was drinking wine as it was what I needed at that time. What does it means? Not getting wasted while drinking like I have no control of myself! That’s not me and it’ll never, I am way too reasonable for that 😉
That being said, it also have results on my relationship with wine. Almost stop buying expensive wines and drinking a lot less of them, even if the cellar is full of wine. What I wanted was pure highly drinkable fruit juice, and that’s exactly what I had as much as possible in my glass.
This is not where I’ll go with my Natural Wine propaganda or against all wines that are or looks like they’ve been made industrially. I must say though that I do try to drink as clean as possible and that I might be partially falling for more naturally made wines. Drinking wines that feels alive, vibrant, that have their own personality.
Still, my truth is found in the glass; either the wine is good or bad and that’s the way I’ll keep using to judge wines as I’ve always did!
Will keep drinking the wines made by friends, wines from here in Québec or from Ontario or regions I’ve visited like the Finger Lakes or Long Island in New York State. The type of wine I’ve been drinking have changed over the years and especially since I’ve started this blog. I’m drinking more local (that’s where wines from Québec and Ontario are useful) and the wines from the producers and winemakers I’m meeting are taking a great share of those bottles I’m opening day after day.
My Top 10 moments where wine played a role
There is no way though that I’ll be forgetting all these moments where wine was poured and enjoyed. Last year was rich of these moments.
Here are some of wines and moments that happened in 2017:
- Meeting François, the winemaker behind Pearl-Morissette and tasting all type of wines for more than two hours while listening him talking about his passion, his vision of what a wine should and should not be. From his “vin primeur” to orange, blends, Gamays (of course!) and his Solera type of wine that was simply stunning!
- Opening and drinking a magnum of the 2014 County Chardonnay Cuvée Les Amis from Norman Hardie Winery when a good friend came back around. A pairing that can only be dreamed of!
- These “Beaujolais” times at the VV Taverna with Rézin Sélection where I got the opportunity to meet Agnès Foillard from Domaine Jean Foillard and Mathieu Lapierre from Domaine Marcel Lapierre, and taste their wines of course! Really great moments of learning and talking Gamay, especially as a fan of that grape variety!
- The 2008 Pinot Noir face-off during a wedding anniversary dinner (ours and the one of our good friends) between a County wine from Norman Hardie and a Morey-St-Denis from Domaine Dujac… with a surprising and crushing win from the Norman Hardie Pinot!
- All the tastings of sparkling wines at Hinterland. Always good time while popping a few bottles with Jonas! And what about the food from Neil at County Road Beer, the adjacent beer joint from the same owners. I miss those right now! Have to say that our three visits there were quite delightful and enjoyable!
- Tasting with Nathan Kendall while visiting the Finger Lakes area. Amazing region and tasty wines. Will have to go back! Would love to taste the new Chepika Wine sparkling wine made of hybrid varietals Nathan is making with the help of Pascaline Lepeltier MS.
- The camping trip we did on Labor Day weekend under pouring rain where wines from Domaine du Nival and Pinard & Filles made it way more enjoyable!
- My visits in local wineries. Quality is there, the amount of work huge, same as their passion and intentions of making world-class wines. Gotta drink these wines to help them achieve their goals! Special tumbs up to Domaine du Nival, Pinard & Filles and the Vignoble Les Pervenches. They are rocking Québec’s wine scene and I want to go back to each of them in 2018!
- The harvest period in October in the beautiful Prince Edward County with Grange of Prince Edward and Trail Estate Winery. Their wines, the food, the place. Everything is simply magical!
- Drinking some Saignée de Sorbée Champagne from Vouette & Sorbée during my first visit ever at Vin Papillon owned by Joe Beef (after having a glass of “vin primeur” from Pinard & Filles) with Dave, Vanya, Alex and Jared.
What about 2018 now?
I’m pretty sure 2018 will bring in many other great wine moments, but more visits and talks with wine people and less of the wine shows. I’ll be focusing on the people that makes us drink, sell or make wine!
Stay tuned also for my alternate project as I’ll be putting online a new blog, called gamay.ca that will be focusing on wines from all around made of that grape (as I don’t want to overflow this one with too many Gamay wines…), but also my Facebook page Vignerons & Amateurs des vins du Québec that will be all about drinking local wines!
Keep having fun, drink less but better!
A Great Wine – Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1996
A Great Wine is one that often stands out from the other ones during an evening, an event or a tasting, giving a best showing between all the present wines in being different in a good way. This wine type can also lower the appreciation of the other ones poured at that moment and making them look dull or of low interest, even if drank alone they would’ve tasted much better as they are shadowed by the best ones.
Having attend a recent tasting where many good and qualitative wines were poured, one stood out, and it’s the one I’ll talk about in this week Great Wine suggestion. The others were good, enjoyable and representative of their origin and style.
But the wine I’ll talk about was on point, better than the other ones, with that sparkling qualities, more depth and a charming blend of aromas and flavors. I was also pleased in the way that this particular type of wine is a favorite of mine. Being sold even before I took my first sip, I knew it was going to be a great moment, and it was!
Here are my thoughts on the wine:
Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 30th Anniversary Edition Napa 1996
Garnet color with a touch of bricking on the rim. Nose that flows to Bordeaux while being typical of aged Napa Cabernet wines with lots of elegance. Aromas and flavors of berries, earth, mushrooms, fine spices and tobacco. Long lasting finish with just a little bitterness to it that matches the finesse of the wine. This was so good! Superb (93)
Made of 96% cabernet sauvignon and 4% cabernet franc. Aged two years in new French oak barrels. Alcohol level of 13,5%
Robert Mondavi Winery’s website: robertmondaviwinery.com
Thanks to Constellation Brands for the intive to this event where this spectacular wine was poured! cbrands.com
Brasserie Auval Super A Double IPA
Foggy orange-gold color. Creates a heavy white top when poured into the glass. Very aromatic with notes of mango, tropical fruits, citrus fruits and yeast. Light and fine effervescence that plays along flavors of the same origin as the one from the nose. Also felt is some notes of hop, a good but not bitting bitterness on the finish. Better than the Nordet IPA from the same brewer IMO. Good+ (88)
From the 2016-12-12 release. IBU of 60, alcohol levelof 5,2%
Maison Louis Jadot Brouilly Sous les Balloquets 2015
Medium dark purple color. Nose of dark berries, spices, earth then some flower notes. Round on the palate with ripe fruit flavors, the wine is tasty and seductive, true to the vintage it’s coming from. There is also a hint of acidity that brings some freshness on the finish. This is a good example of why we should not forget about bigger houses when looking for wines of good value. Good+ (88)
Made of Gamay grapes. Alcohol of 13%
Available in SAQ stores for 21,25$ (Code SAQ : 00515841)
Maison Louis Jadot’s website: ouisjadot.com
Sample proposed by les Sélections Fréchette: selectionsfrechette.com
Les Vergers Lafrance Rouge Gorge Vermouth de pomme
Amber and caramel color. Nose of dried herbs, caramel, molasse, apples and bright spicy notes. The dried herbs are there at first on the palate, then came a sweet and gentle touch on a very long and almost infinite long finish. There were also flavors of brown apples and dry fruits. This was so close to show its WOW factor, but I guess all that was missing is more of that Vermouth in the glass! Original yet very good product made locally. Very good+ (90)
Made of apple ice cider and apple spirit. Alcohol level of 18%
Available at the SAQ for 24,75$ (Code SAQ: 12979092)
LesVergers Lafrance’s website: lesvergerslafrance.com
They are represented by Élixirs Vins et Spiritueux: elixirs.ca
Auval Nordet IPA
It’s not that often that I drink something other than wine, but I was able to grab some bottles of this IPA Nordet from Auval, a fairly recent brewery. With its limited distribution and being quite popular, one have to be ready to jump on the bottles when they’re available!
The beer now. Not as used to describe a beer when compared to a wine, here is my tasting note:
Foggy and gold color. Very aromatic nose of hop, citrus fruit and hay. The hop is quite intense on the palate and paired with flavors of bread, citrus fruit, tropical fruit, then a hint of spices with a great bitterness on the finish.
You’ll see more of Auval on the blog!
From the infos I was able to gathered, this batch made at the beginning of November is made with Colombus, El Dorado and Vic Secret hops. 500ml size bottle. Alcohol level of 6%
Auval’s website: auval.ca
For more information on them, follow their Facebook page: facebook.com/auval.ca
My taste for mature wines…
In the “world” of wine, everyone would like to taste everything, others are aiming at cellaring great bottles for special occasion as anniversaries and birth years. But the question these person should ask themsaelves is; do they like mature wines? Why invest money in these bottles for longer cellaring time if the result doesn’t fulfil them? One should know that older wines have almost nothing in common with youger one available on our monopoly’s shelves!
Along the years, I had the oppotunity to open botlles of mature wines and confirm the fact that I like that style, the taste and the history behind them. That is one of the reasons why when I travel in the United States a part of my “wine buying” is done with older wines.
And as I do almost every year at the end of summer / beginning of fall season, I open with my family a bottle of wine from the vintage of my birth year, 1979. That’s exactly what I did only few days ago. Here are my comments about the wine:
Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Grand Cru Classé Graves 1979
The bottle is in great shape and looks like it was well preserved, its appearance not betraying its age and the label isn’t damaged. The bottle fill level is perfect. After a really short time and no particular effort, the cork came out in one piece.
The wine is orange-brownish brick color. Really shy at first, the wine took at least 30 minutes before showing aromas of old wood, tobacco, fall leaves and dry fruits notes. Being on the same flavor profile, the wine shows its elegance and finesse on the palate, with a long finish and a medium adicity level which I liked since that type of wine often have high and sometimes even an anoying acidity level. Paired with our smiles, we did enjoyed a lot this bottle, fulfilling our expectations that were, let’s say, pretty low, which helped the moment being even more appreciated. Can’t wait for the next bottle of mature wine to be opened! Excellent (91)
Georges Descombes Brouilly 2014
How could I describe my apprecciation for this wine other than… liked it a LOT! Fruit flavor loaded, fine spices, amazing freshness and it drinks so easily. To my palate, even better than the same wine from 2013 vintage and that one was my favorite Gamay from Beaujolais available in SAQ stores in 2015. Had to buy more just to get to the upcoming summer… Excellent (91)
Made of Gamay. Organic wine. Aged in cement tanks. Alcohol level of 12,5%
Available at the SAQ for 25,90$ (Code SAQ : 12494028)
Georges Descombes wines are represented in Québec by réZin Sélection: rezin.com
Soon to be online…
Domaine Chignard Juliénas Beauvernay 2012
It was a Monday and it was beautiful outside. We were having a simple but good meal of grilled chicken. What to choose to drink with it ? A Gamay based wine of course! Dark ruby color, fruity, floral and spicy aromas. Despite its structure, it is smooth and silky. Very good (89)
Made of Gamay from 60 years old + vines. Aged in old oak vats for 13 months. Alcohol level of 12,5%
Represented in Québec by seguinrobillard.ca
Laurence et Rémi Dufaitre Côte de Brouilly 2014
Gamay based wine dark purple colored. Aromas showing some serious aspect, but still is fruit loaded with a nice minerality. Joyful on the palate giving fun from now but have the ageing potential to be keep few more years. Very good (89)
Made of Gamay. Picking when fully ripe and go through carbonic maceration. Not filtered of fined, no sulfur added. Alcohol level of 12%
The agency represnting them in Québec : oenopole.ca
Tasted at the wine bar le Rouge Gorge
Karim Vionnet Chiroubles 2014
Light and bright. Aromas of flowers, grape flavored candy, pure Gamay paradise! The level of enjoyment follows on the palate with loads of fruit flavors with earth and spices note. Very good+ (90)
Made of Gamay. Alcohol level of 12%
Représenté au Québec par : http://oenopole.ca/
Bu au bar à vin le Rouge Gorge : http://www.rougegorge.ca/