Tuesday, 12 July 2016

WOTW: Château Yvonne Saumur 2013

You may or may not  already be aware,  but we Quebecers are pretty damn fortunate when it comes to having access to an incredible choice of spectacular wines.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the SAQ does a good job of offering their clients a vast amount of wine from all over the place.  We have the best access to a variety of wine, better than anywhere else in the world.  

We also happen to have some kick ass agencies who know where to go, who to see, and what wines to import dans’ la belle province.’  Trialto has an awesome portfolio of wines that include Parés Baltà, Bonny Doon, and Birichino. Agency Oenopole has the likes of Occhipinti, Produttori del Barbaresco and Hatzidakis. (They have pose of superstar tasters/reps and bring in exciting products that people go nuts for.)   Other agencies include Boires, Symbiose, Vinealis…and then there is réZin. 

réZin has a fairly large portfolio, and more often than not, I find myself enjoying many bottles of whatever it is that they bring in.  I always look for that little, orange round sticker on the bottle when I am at SAQ stores. Recently, I have discovered that they can work with producers and bring in wines under their own label.  The wine snob in me usually would turn my nose up at these types of deals , but not in this case. These wines are made from notable producers, and often at a lower price point allowing wine lovers from all budgets to enjoy.  Jean Foillard’s 2013 Beaujolais, my wine of the week back in January, is a prime example. They also have a Chenin Blanc by Château Yvonne Saumur 2013 that is kind of my new little obsession. 

Since 2007, Mathieu Vallée has taken the reins and is making some beautifully expressive, hand crafted wines in the Saumur region of Loire.  Having 3 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 8 hectares of Cabernet Franc, spread out over 28 small plots in three villages, these vineyards have been Ecocert certified organic since 1997, and biodynamic since 2012. 1 

After a manual harvest, vinification with no additional or cultured yeast, the wine ages in new oak barrels, for about 12 months, in a cold and humid troglodyte cave atmosphere. The wine is unfined and unfiltered before bottling.2

Medium gold in the glass, it smells of fresh rain, salty pear and slight beeswax.  The medium bodied palate is just as playful with excellent acidity, plenty of fresh citrus fruit, pear, with chalky and honey details that linger easily on the well-balanced finish. The wine is very refreshing, with a delicate creamy frame. Drink now or within the next 2-3 years. 

Wine: Château Yvonne Saumur 2013 
Grape: Chenin Blanc
Alcohol: 13.5%
SAQ Code: 10689665
Price: $29.75

Agent: réZin

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

WOTW: Gramona Brut Reserva 2011

If you are a person of  Champagne taste, but not of Champagne budget….let me spare you the time ( and the money ) of finding a spectacular bubbly without the heavy price tag.  Having a  particular fondness for bubbles…the texture, the crisp flavour, and the fact that it pairs well with breakfast, lunch and dinner makes sparkling wine a fairly popular choice for many.  

I have recently discovered a Cava that is so scrumptiously delicious, and so full of bright flavours and persistent, fun bubbles that I know it could easily compete head to head with some of those great quality Champagnes on the market today.

Just a quick 101 on the difference between Champagne and the rest of sparkling wines of the world:  Champagne IS a sparkling wine, but can only be called Champagne what comes from the region of Champagne in France.  All other parts of the world cannot legally be labelled as Champagne. (Don’t get me started on Korbel, people.)  Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain, done in the ‘traditional’ method where a second fermentation happens inside the bottle. Champagne is also made this way. Keep in mind, that just because a bubbly is not labelled as Champagne, does not mean it’s of lesser quality.  Which is my case in point the Gramona Brut Reserva 2011.

Since the early 1900’s, Gramona has been producing quality sparkling wines, still wines, sweet and distillates.  From Xarell-o and Macbeo grapes farmed organically, this wine was sitting on lees for 36 months, giving a very brioche and creamy texture imparting plushness and elegance.  As soon as it hits your palate, you instantly get this simultaneous mix of citrusy bubbles and buttered brioche that dance on your tongue, with a mouthwatering salitness on the back palate.  Then, even after the sip is gone, the long, complex flavours of baked apple, cream and toast stick around for a bit…allowing you to truly enjoy what your palate has just been introduced to.

Blend of Xarel-lo (70%) and Macabeo (30%). Maturation in bottle for 36 months. Light gold on the glass, with medium persistence of bubbles. The nose has cooked apples and citrus, with the perfect amount of buttered brioche. The palate is dry, with a super crisp acidity and light, airy bubbles. Medium intensity of crisp granny smith apples, ripe pear and just a hint of butter. Finish is long, pretty and so so damn delicious!!! Outstanding! Drink now or within the next 3-4 years. 

Wine: Gramona Brut Reserva 2011
Grapes: Macabeo ( 70% ), Xarell-o ( 30% )
Alcohol: 12%
SAQ Code: 12450703
Price: $26.55
Agent: Trialto