Archive for the Best Of Category

Mas Igneus Barranc Del Closos White 2011, Catalonia, Spain

I find wines from off the beaten path intriguing. The Mas Igneus Berranc Del Closis White is a Priorat, which is not by itself off the beaten path – it is the fact that it is a white Priorat. According to the Priorat DOCG website, ( ) only six percent of grape production is for white wine grapes. My feeling is that in terms of export wines, the number is even lower than that six percent. Here in Quebec, our monopoly currently lists 48 Priorats, and only one Read more [...]

Kunde Family Estates Chardonnay, 2011, Sonoma Valley, USA

I first tried a previous vintage of the Kunde Family Estates Chardonnay from the Sonoma Valley about three or four years ago. A Quebec based agency was trying to bring into the province, I can't remember if they were aiming for Private Import or for placement on store shelves. I was really blown away by the taste and value back then, and upon tasting this bottle that I sourced while travelling in Arizona I was happy to say my memory was spot on. Why this wine hasn't made it onto the shelves of the Read more [...]

2011 Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington State

Washington State makes a wide range of Styles of Riesling. Degrees of residual sugar seem to be the factor that most easily defines that range of style. The 2011Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling falls a bit towards the sweet side of the middle. Oddly enough: The Asian Imagery on the label made this wine a natural fit for my Chinese New Year meal. But of course wine drinkers are never swayed by a label...   Nose: Lime and apple in equal and strong proportion.   Gulp:Two Read more [...]

Château Philippe-le-Hardi Héloise 2010 Mercurey, Burgundy, France

The Burgundian producer Château Philippe-le-Hardi offers a few variants of Pinot Noir hailing from Mercurey. In general terms Mercurey offers more robust and spicey wines than the vast majority of other Burgundy reds, and the Héloise bottle from Château Philippe-le-Hardi is a great example where that style really shines. I tasted this wine at the Grand Dégustation wine show in Montreal and the winery rep taught me an interesting French phrase for describing firecracker bottles such as these. Read more [...]

Château de Lavernette Beaujolais-Leynes Le Clos 2011

The Château de Lavernette Beaujolais-Leynes Le Clos is a borderline wine. Not that its qualities are hard to judge good or bad, but the Château de Lavernette and hamlet of Leynes and are located at the northern border of Beaujolais, with Burgundy just on the other side of the fence. (Technically Beaujolais is part of Burgundy, but Beaujolais produces seceded from Beaujolais to form their own inter-professional association) The hamlet of Leynes is also bordering on the Saint-Amour cru in Beaujolais. Read more [...]

Domaine du Vissoux Martine et Pierre-Marie Chermette Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches 2011, Beaujolais, France

This Pierre-Marie Chermette Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches is a very complete wine. In fact, it comes from a winemaker with a very complete list of Beaujolais AOC, Primeurs, Crus, Crémants and even light spirits. It is nice to see somebody make something so well when he also makes many varying bottles.   On the Nose: Light wood, orchid and strawberry/raspberry/blueberry. The wood was perfect, the floral notes specifically orchid and the fruit ripe. Really good start. Into the Gulp; round Read more [...]
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