I am not an expert, just a discerning wine lover or amateur de vin (as the French say), but everyone has a different palate, likes and dislikes so it must be understood that any of my recommendations are personal. I just hope that you find them useful or at the very least - interesting. I also hope you enjoy my photos. It is more fun sharing then keeping them backed up on a hard drive.

Monday, January 30, 2012

So Much Wine So Little Time... (QPR L-R)

This has been my recent mantra, looking through seemingly infinite pages of wine notes, at the same time trying to squeeze some time in between work & school to blog. I love to share the real finds or the special experiences I've had, that is why I feel remiss to be still writing about my fall trip now. But wine only gets better with age right?

First stop Olivier Pithon, an organic & biodynamic winery in Calce, Rousillon. All the wines I tasted were worthy of a write up but these two were standouts.

Olivier Pithon - Cuvee Lais - 2009, Languedoc, France - 15.50
Assemblage of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah & Mouvedre from 3 different terriors - Earthy, gamey, cocoa powder & tobacco on the nose. Brambleberry, complex palate with long finish.

Olivier Pithon - Le Pilou - 2008, Languedoc, France - 30.00
Old vine carignan. Cassis, cherry on the nose. Low yield gives a palate an intense impression of dried, concentrated fruit. Elegant wine with lengthy finish.

Next up was Paziols, Languedoc & Domaine Jones. It was bustling when we stopped in because Katie was ensconsed in the wine making process. The activity and smell of fermentation only heightened the experience.

Domaine Jones - Jones Blanc - 2010, Grenache Gris, Maury/Languedoc, France - 12.00
Nose of slate and citrus blossom. Lime, grapefruit and vanilla on palate. Round & well-integrated.

Domaine Jones - Jones Fitou - 2010, Carignan/Grenache/Syrah, Fitou/Languedoc, France - 16.00
Complex nose of coffee, chocolate and black cherry with blackberry & beautifully integrated palate.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Warmers

What do this weeks wines have in common aside from both being red? Well not much except for great quality for the price and that I consumed them both within the last week and I couldn't wait to share...

CHÂTEAU DE NAGES RÉSERVE 2009 - Rhone, France - $ 11.45
This wine is an incredible pleasure, especially for the price. Sorry that I am at the last of this because the stock is critically low. Well-Priced at $14.95, even better at $11.45! 70% Grenache / 30% Syrah. It is quite complex with ripe red and black fruit, spicy and slightly herbal, nicely balanced.

13TH STREET - SANDSTONE - OLD VINES GAMAY NOIR - 2009, Niagara, ON - $27.95
Complex nose of dark fruit - plum and cherry, pepper and a smokiness.  Juicy fruit, young tannins (this is great now but will keep and improve with age). Mouth-filling, weighty, long finish, beautifully made wine.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

A visit with the 'Wizard' and some sublime wines...

They call him 'the wizard of Félines', Michel Escande is certainly a charming and intriguing character, but as engaging as a visit with him is, his wines are the real prize. It was hard to decide which of these Minervois wines held most appeal, and even though we had some lovely rosés I narrowed it down to five selections:

Esprit D'Automne - 2010 - Syrah/Carignan/Grenache blend -  $16.42
Fresh, red fruit, cherries & a hint of licorice on the nose. Palate follows through but add some savoury spice.

La Féline - 2009 - Syrah/Carignan/Grenache blend -  10.00 E
Red fruit, black pepper & herbs on the nose. Red cherries on the palate, black olive savouriness. Lean, with mouthwatering acid and long intense finish.

Cuvée Maxime - 2008 - Mourvedre -  16.00 E
Possibly my favourite at the moment because it was so intense. This is a voluptous wine full of spicy black fruit, pepper & leather. Very long finish. Michel recommends up to 10 years in cellar.

Belle de Nuit - 2009 - Grenache -  16.00 E
Red fruit and spice galore! A wonderfully elegant wine that has minimum 10 more years of life. http://www.boriedemaurel.fr/english/belledenuitgb.html

Cuvée Sylla - 2008 - Syrah -  24.00 E
Intense smoky, garrigue on the nose. Elegant black fruit and herbal dustiness. Beautiful wine!
Michel recommends up to 15 years in cellar.