Tuesday, 9 January 2018

3 Delicious Reds To Help Warm up Your Winter

It’s January.   We are in the dead of winter, and what most of us want in these beautiful days of endless snow and cold is to warm up with hearty comfort food and sip on some equally delicious wine.  Allow me to give you three amazing, warm hearted reds all coming the south of France.   What they also have in common is intense flavor, excellent drinkability, and all under $20 at your local SAQ.  Don’t forget to have a look at the suggested meal pairing to accompany the wine, which I have also personally tested and approved! 

Château Lamartine Tradition 2014
11343404  $18.75

With a blend of 90% Malbec and 10% Merlot, there are layers of concentrated black fruit berries, black cherries with bits of fig and chocolate. Supple and elegant, there is robust tannin, with a very good acidity allowing for balance leading to a persistent and lovely finish. Drink now or in the next 4-5 years. 

Meal Pairing: Beef Stagonoff


Château la Coustarelle Grande Cuvée Prestige 2014
00482240    $19.25

Lots of vibrant juicy blackberries, and plums with spicy undertones.  It also has a bit of an earthy touch with medium grained tannin and fresh acidity.  This is very smooth on the palate, ripe and juicy fruit having a finish that has a is balanced, concentrated and of excellent length.  Drink now or in the next 5-6 years.

Meal Pairing : Venison and Juniper Stew with Nann Bread

Cave de Roquebrun Granges des Comtes Saint-Chinian 2015
11661023    $19.75
This GSM blend ( Syrah 50%, Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 20%), is a full bodied wine bursting with blackberries, plums with a touch of peppercorn and herbs.  Lots of complexity, the with is smooth and round on the palate matched with a refreshing acidity with a great streak of minerality.  The finish leaves notes of dark chocolate, and spice which continues long after the sip is gone.  Very enjoyable and lovely wine.  Drink now or in the next 4-5 years.   

Meal Pairing: Braised Beef and Oka Cheese Sheperd’s Pie

All wines are represented by agency A.O.C & Cie

All photos from : saq.com

C'est janvier. Nous sommes en plein hiver, et ce que la plupart d'entre nous voulons dans ces beaux jours de neige et de froid sans fin, c'est de se réchauffer avec de la nourriture réconfortante et de siroter un vin tout aussi délicieux. Permettez-moi de vous donner trois rouges incroyables et chaleureux qui viennent du sud de la France. Ce qu'ils ont en commun, c'est une saveur intense, une excellente potabilité, et tous moins de 20 $ à votre SAQ locale. N'oubliez pas de jeter un coup d'œil à l'assortiment de repas suggéré pour accompagner le vin, que j'ai personnellement testé et approuvé!

Château Lamartine Tradition 201411343404 18,75 $
Avec un mélange de 90% de malbec et 10% de merlot, il y a des couches de fruits noirs concentrés, de cerises noires avec des morceaux de figue et de chocolat. Souple et élégant, il présente des tanins robustes, avec une très bonne acidité permettant un équilibre menant à une finale persistante et agréable. Boire maintenant ou dans les 4-5 prochaines années.

Repas de repas: Boeuf Stagonoff

Château la Coustarelle Grande Cuvée Prestige 2014
00482240 19,25 $

Beaucoup de mûres juteuses vibrantes, et prunes avec des nuances épicées. Il a également un peu d'une touche terreuse avec des tanins à grain moyen et une acidité fraîche. C'est très doux en bouche, fruits mûrs et juteux ayant une finale qui a un équilibre, concentré avec une excellente longueur.

Accords mets et vins: Ragoût de chevreuil et de genièvre avec pain Nann

Cave de Roquebrun Granges des Comtes Saint-Chinian 2015
11661023 19,75 $

Ce mélange GSM (Syrah 50%, Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 20%), est un vin corsé débordant de mûres, de prunes avec une pointe de poivre et d'herbes. Beaucoup de complexité, le avec est doux et rond en bouche avec une acidité rafraîchissante avec une grande minéralité. La finale laisse des notes de chocolat noir et d'épices qui persistent longtemps après la fin de la gorgée. Vin très agréable et charmant. Boire maintenant ou dans les 4-5 prochaines années.

Accords mets et vins: Bœuf braisé et tarte au fromage d'Oka

Tous les vins sont représentés par l'agence A.O.C & Cie

Toutes les photos de: saq.com

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Fontanafredda : An Italian Winery in the Heart of the Langhe

Named Wine Enthusiast’s 2017 European Winery of the Year, Fontanafredda has been making wine since the 19th century, and is one if the biggest and well known producers in the heart of the Langhe.  The estate stretches over 160 ha covering the villages of Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo and Diano d’Alba Fontanafredda, and since 2016 they have been converting to organic farming. 

It is no secret that the winery has had its ups and downs in years past, but quality has been steadily improving the past ten years, and today is owned by Luca Baffigo Filangieri, Oscar Farinetti ( also owner of the Turin based Eataly luxury supermarket chain and now President of Fontanafredda) and the Monte dei Paschi de Siena Foundation.

“We are a huge winery but we are a family run business.”, says Lucca Martini, brand ambassador for Fontanafredda.  I met Lucca at a tasting event held by Vins Philippe Dandurand at the lovely St. James Club here in Montreal.  The presentation was interesting and animated to say the very least, but in the end, it was the wine that stole the show.  Overall they showed lots of complexity, balance and, especially with the younger vintages, lots of promise. 

Like most wineries in recent years, Fontanafredda is slowly working towards being certified organic. “We do not advertise this. You will not see this on our website.  It is something we believe in and we don’t want to be defined by that primarily.”– Luca Martini

Fontanafredda is working with Vino Libero, an association of twelve different wineries and one distillery where their goal is to produce wine that is free from chemical fertilizers, herbicides and using at least 40% less sulphites below the legal limit.  Whether they want to advertise this or not, it is a huge project to say the very least, because all 450 farmers in the area who work for the company will also have to adhere to organic farming.

Not only a wine destination, Fontanafredda is an amazing place for anyone who also enjoys fine dining and luxury accommodation.  They have a 4 star hotel along with a guesthouse, top restaurant and wine bar, and even a forest area titled, ‘The Wood of Thoughts’ reserved for a 12 stage journey of meditation. 

Fontanafredda can be found in most wine shops, and there any number of them here in Quebec at the SAQ at all different price points.  The following 3 wines is what I would highly recommend to introduce oneself to the Fontanafredda portfolio, all of which are affordable, enjoyable and most importantly, delightful to drink. 

A special thank you to agency Vins Philippe Dandurands and Luca Martini of Fontanafredda for this lovely tasting. 

Photos: saq.com

Fontanafredda Gavi 2016
SAQ: 11213108 $19.95

Made with 100% of the Cortese grapre, this attractive white has notes of candied lemon- lime, ripe pear and bits of crushed almonds.  The palate is plump and balanced by a bright acidity keeping the wine concentrated and refreshing. The finish is full and elegant with a saline aftertaste.  Great quality wine at a great price. Drink now or in the next 2 years.   

 Fontanafredda Raimonda Barbera d’Alba
SAQ: 11905606  $15.55

This wine is everything I love about Barbera; lush notes of blackberries, bits of sour cherries, and plums interwoven with notes of violet and dried leaves.  It has an acidity that is super refreshing and tannins that are subtle yet grippy, adding complexity and texture.  The finish is refreshing and with red fruit flavors that carry on through the palate. Drink now in the next 2-3 years.

Fontanafredda Barolo 2013
SAQ: 00020214 $28.55

With a very good backbone of acidity, this wine gives notes of concentrated cherries and strawberries with nuances of leather and underbrush.  The tannins are firm and gum drying, but will develop nicely given some time.  An intense wine that is full of freshness and finesse.  Lingering aftertaste.  Highly recommend this Barolo given the price.  Drink now or in the next 7-8 years.