Tournée de vins du millésime 2009 de Prince Edward County

2009 Prince Edward County Wine Tour

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

Grange of Prince Edward Brut Rosé 2012 Wine Club Edition

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)

Grange of Prince Edward wines are represented in Québec by Bambara Sélection

The sparkling wine I’ve been waiting so long for :

Hinterland Les Étoiles Brut VQA Prince Edward County 2009

Hinterland Les Étoiles Brut VQA Prince Edward County 2009

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!

Hinterland wines are now being represented in Québec by Agence Trinque

The “Grand Vin” from Norman Hardie:

Norman Hardie Pinot Noir Cuvée L VQA Ontario 2009

Norman Hardie Pinot Noir Cuvée L VQA Ontario 2009

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)

Norman Hardie’s are represented in Québec by Vin Dame Jeanne.

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

Grange of Prince Edward Select Gamay Noir VQA Prince Edward County 2009

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.

Grange of Prince Edward wines are represented in Québec by Bambara Sélection


Jump on the occasion to by and cellar these wines from this amazing area!

2017 en vin - Revue de l'année par Dans mon verre

My 2017 in wine

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?

Visite chez Hinterland

Tasting sparkling wines while visiting Hinterland in Prince Edward County

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 😉

Dégustation avec Nathan Kendall

Tasting Nathan Kendall wine + one bottle I brought for the occasion!

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.

Domaine du Nival, vue des vignes d'Albariño

View from the Albariño vines on the top of a hill at Domaine du Nival

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!
Visite chez Pearl Morissette - Francois et moi

François and moi during a visit at Pearl Morissette

  • 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!
Norman Hardie Cuvée des Amis Unfiltered VQA Prince Edward County 2014

2014Norman Hardie County Chardonnay Cuvée des Amis

  • 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!
Foillard avec RéZin à la VV Taverna

Foillard tasting with RéZin at la VV Taverna

  • 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!
Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir 2008 VS Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis 2008

2008 Pinot Noir battle:  Norman Hardie from PEC VS  Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis

  • 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!
Pinard et Filles Frangin 2016

Pinard et Filles Frangin 2016 – Parfait en camping!

  • 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!
Vendanges chez Trail Estate

Harvest at Trail Estate – Credits: Tania Fitzpatrick

  • 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 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!

Gamay grapes at Grange of Prince Edward

Keep having fun, drink less but better!



Visite à PEC – Hinterland

PEC vineyard visit – Hinterland

PEC vineyard visit – Hinterland

For our camping trip we did only plan two vineyard visits, because a a family trip can’t only be done to satisfy one’s passion. But a bottle of Whitecap, a Charmat (bubbly wine made the same way as Italian Prossecco) from the recent 2015 vintage coming directly from the vineyard and brought by a friend, bottle that we had the first night by the fire. That bottle went down so fast without being able to explain why, that a visit at Hinterland became a necessity… to buy more of that wine!

With my friend suggestions and recommandations in hands, we met Jonas Newman and his wife, both owners and founders of the winery and the Brewery located just aside, County Road Beer. Both were smiling, welcoming and clearly passionnate about what they do (one just have to listen to them or to see Vicky passing by, stopping when she sees what we were having, pouring herself a glass, then going back to where she was heading to…) to fully understand!

Then we discussed about wine in general and wines coming from Hinterland, of where our interest for their products came from. Jonas explain that he passed few years learning, studying and working perfecting ways to make sparkling wines. No way he would have ended up making sparkling wines without cleary be into it! After all, as Jonas said, being an engineer or an architect doesn’t make you a winemaker…

When we talked about the Ontario VQA system, he said that in a way he’s lucky since sparkling wines are more into standards and easier to be approved by the board. Not always the same results for other types of wines or products, as his sparkling cider is and the chances are quite low for this one to be certified…

Here is quick notes on what we did taste:

First, the 2015 Borealis, a pink Charmat, then the Ancestral, a traditionnal method wine, pink also, both having red berry notes, very fresh. I liked the last one just a touch more than the other. Then Les Étoiles 2009 (so lucky am I to have some in the cellar!) and the 2012, blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, aged up to 26 months before being disgorged, deep and complex, creamy mouth feel, the 2009 being even better due to the additionnal age of the wine, adding more complex notes and finesse.

From the products to be release, we tasted the 2011 Sacrement, clearly the best wine we had there, close to a Champagne. So complex, round, charming and was drinking very well. The minute it’s released, I’ll jump on it.

Then the sparkling cider with an unbelievable nose and perfeclty refreshing, a Gamay from bought grapes from Niagara (there is a whole story about this one…) and a fuly concentrated but typical Syrah wine.


Since I already have some of their wines at home and that our visit goal was to purchase more of the Whitecap, that’s what we did! Especially since it’s not going to be sold at LCBO’c stores for that vintage. We were satisfied with that tasting, but it was not going to stop there…

County Road Beer

When we asked if we could also buy beers from County Road Beer, we ended up with a “no” ! We had to taste first!

We did then take to time to taste the range they are offering to make better chioces based on our taste. We ended up buying 3 differents beers!

County Road Beer

Our kids liked the plae as we did, for the open spaces behind the winery buildings where they were able to run and play, with chicken all around! Our tasting was then just more smooth and pleasant. A new beer garden is also opening pretty soon for the complimentary lunch!

We will be back for sure!

Visite à PEC – Hinterland

Hinterland Wine Company