My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 – C’est le français

Moules au camembert

Moules au camembert

I’m pretty good at keeping New Year’s resolutions.  Some that I have made that I’ve kept have been to exercise regularly, and to have a glass of wine a day if possible.  Both are good for your health.

For 2013, my resolution, or maybe better described as a “goal” is to visit monthly at least 1 French restaurant  located here in the Vancouver lower mainland that I can in 2013, and to blog about it.

Why French Restaurants?

I’ve travelled twice to France and have fallen in love with their food.  Probably the best meal in my life was in a small restaurant in Chenonceau located in the Loire Valley. In addition, I have been a lover of French wine, in particular Burgundy and Loire wines.  So visiting French restaurants and enjoying my meal with French wine, seems like a perfect pairing to me! How does that sound to you?

 

Coq au vin served with a glass of Bordeaux wine

Coq au vin served with a glass of Bordeaux wine

The restaurants that are currently on my to visit list are:

  • Le Gavroche
  • Le Bistro Chez Michel
  • The French Table
  • Les Faux Bourgeois
  • Jules Bistro
  • Bistro Pastis
  • Le Crocodile
  • Le Parisien

As you can see I have 8 listed.  That leaves room for 4 restaurants which you can suggest for me to visit.  Please post your comment as to which additional French restuarant I should visit and what is your favourite dish from that restaurant.  Merci Beaucoup and Bonne Année et Bonne Santé!

Are You A Burgundy Lover? A Special Offer from Liberty Wine Merchants

Do you love rare Burgundies? Pinot Noir? Chardonnay? Do you have a spare $4000 – $8000?  If so, here are some wines for you from Liberty Wine Merchants in Vancouver.  If you do buy a case, please consider inviting me over to try a bottle or two!

~~~

DOMAINE A.-F. GROS – RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU

Anne Francoise Gros, one of the stars of Burgundy, crafts stunning wines from her Grand Cru vineyard.

Richebourg Grand Cru Cases
Case Lot Sales Only (12x750ml case size)

Domaine A.F. Gross Burgundy

Domaine A.F. Gross Burgundy

The lowest prices in the world!  Plus take an extra 10% off!

*Average price from http://www.winesearcher.com
(cannot be combined with any other offer)

RARE REMOISSENET WHITE BURGUNDY CELLAR SALE

Great deals on some of the rarest burgundies on the market!
Case Lot Sales Only (12x750ml case size

Reg Price/Case   Buy 1 case get 10% Off    Buy 2 or more get 15% off

Remoissenet White Burgundy

Remoissenet White Burgundy

Call (604) 925-3663 or email buy@libertywinemerchants.com for availability
(cannot be combined with any other offer)

Taste of Tulalip: What to Expect at the Magnum Party

Below is a sampling of the wines that will be poured on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Taste of Tulalip. During the Magnum Party you can nibble on some of Kathy Casey‘s dishes from her latest book Sips and Apps. From what I’ve seen, these wines, amongst others, will be poured.  Many iconic wines in this list.  It could be a chance of a lifetime to try these wines together in one place! Champagne, an Australian icon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Napa, Italy; they are all here.  I am really excited about this lineup and can’t wait to taste them myself.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2004 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

Who is Kathy Casey?

Kathy Casey

I mentioned that Kathy Casey will be serving food to accompany these wines.  In case you don’t know, Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and pioneer in the bar-chef movement.

She played a key role in bringing Northwest cuisine and women chefs to national prominence and, as one of the first female executive chefs in the United States, she was named one of Food & Wine’s “hot new American chefs.” She has also been touted as being the original Bar Chef.

Take the short drive to Tulalip in WA state and have a fun time trying wine and tasting food for a weekend. To buy tickets to a Taste of Tulalip, follow this link.

How did Burghound Rate Burgundy’s 2004- 2007 Vintages?

In my last post on Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, discussion about the wines from Burgundy we tasted with him on Saturday, I promised to post his views on the 2004 to 2007 vintages. So here it is!

2004: This was a hard vintage. It was cooler and many of the grapes were affected by powdery mildew. The cooler weather caused many of the red wines to have a “green” quality. A green quality to me is either a steaminess or a capsicum aroma/flavour in the wine. Allen brought up the discussion in the Burgundy community of a ladybug infestation that year. Ladybugs if they are disturbed, they release a bad tasting pheromone. Some people had suggested that when the pinot noir grapes were picked and hand sorted, the ladybugs were disturbed as they were on the grapes, and they released their bad tasting pheromone. That being said, the same greenness is not evident on the white (chardonnay) grapes. Maybe ladybugs are pinot fans only (my comment)?

2005: This was an excellent vintage. It is the best vintage for pinot noir in many years. It had warm days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to reach full ripeness (phenolic ripeness) and keep a good level of acidity. The reds are ripe and dense. Many are still too young to drink. Allen thinks that there is an 18-25 aging potential for the 1er and Grand Cru pinot noirs. The white wines have lots of body due to the elevated level of ripeness, but this is at the expense of a bit of elegance. Many of the whites though are good for drinking now (My comment).

2006: Another cool, foggy season. If the grower picked their chardonnay grapes early they would have classic cool climate white Burgundy. But if they waited a bit longer for the official grape picking start date, the grapes could have been attacked by the botrytis cinera fungus (aka noble rot). Botrytis gives white wine an added level of complexity. I typically get a marmalade flavour (my comment). So for the whites, you could get a classic cool climate Chardonnay or not. Best to check the tasting notes for individual white wines for 2006. For the reds, the cooler climate also made it harder to produce a great vintage. It doesn’t mean there are no good 2006, Pinot Noir. You just need to do your research before buying a bottle.

2007: This was a good vintage for white wines. This vintage produced a classical, austere white Burgundy. The Village level wines are starting to be more fully developed and interesting for tasting now. The reds are a mixed bag. Some are great and some are not. You need to do some research. The 2007 reds are lighter in body compared to the very ripe and muscular 2005 vintage.

That’s all from my notes. I hope it has given you a bit of insight into these vintages and will help guide your Burgundy wine purchases. Cheers!

A Burgundy Tasting with Burghound!

Saturday morning was really special for me and other wine media here in Vancouver, BC. Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, was at the Marquis Wine Cellars to talk about Burgundy, and taste some Burgundian wines with us. Allen is an encyclopaedia of knowledge about Burgundy, as he has been travelling there, meeting with winemakers, and tasting their wines for 30+ years. He has also published a book called the “Pearl of the Cote“, which you can buy. I’d like one for Christmas or my birthday! (Allen’s the one on the left btw)

Allen, like most of us interested in French wine started tasting and purchasing Bordeaux. He was fortunate to meet a person working at a wine shop that introduced him to the wines of Burgundy. And when he tasted a 1967 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (Pinot Noir) he understood why people were so passionate about Burgundy. And the rest is history.

Today we tasted three white and three red Burgundies. The three whites are:
– Domaine Leflaive Macon-Verze 2007 ($59.90)
– Domaine Drouhin Beaune Blanc “Clos des Mouches” 2006 ($274.80, 1.5l)
– Domaine Comte-Senard Corton-Charlemagne 2006 ($119.90)

Allen noted that Domaine Leflaive‘s wines are the Gold Standard in Burgundy. This particular wine was produced in the Maconnais, south of Burgundy. This is because the land parcels within Burgundy for premium wine rarely goes on sale, and when it does, it is exceptionally expensive. So many Domaine’s are purchasing in the Maconnais. This wine was pale lemon with a green tint. Lemon, lanolin , light vanilla, and some lees on the nose. Good acidity, light body, lemony flavours. Dry with medium length. This was a solid wine, but better wines were to come.

The Domaine Drouhin Beaune Blanc “Clos des Mouches” 2006 is the flagship wine for Domaine Drouhin. It is a Premier Cru wine. It was light to medium lemon in colour. Quite oaky / sulfury nose, with vanilla and ripe apple. Quite round in the mouth, with lemon, apple, and a bit of spice. Medium acidity and medium length. Allen pointed out that the winemaker had applied sulfur as a “reduction” to the wine to prevent oxidation. Drinking straight from bottle to glass did not allow the sulfur time to dissipate. Allen recommended for this wine, and for many white Burgundies, to pour into a decanter and let them breath for at least 15 minutes.

The last white wine was my personal favorite, the Domaine Comte-Senard Corton-Charlemagne 2006. Burghound pointed out that there are only FOUR producers of Corton Blanc in Burgundy and that makes the wine we are tasting very rare. This was was medium to deep lemon in the glass. Lemon vanilla, wood, and butterscotch on the nose. Medium body, with lemon, woody, earthy, and nutmeg aromas. Quite complex. Medium acidity which nicely balanced the fruit in this wine. Wonderful.

I am a Pinot Noir lover, so was eagerly anticipating the upcoming three reds:
– Domaine Tollot-Beaut Bourgogne Rouge 2007 ($35.90)
– Dominique Laurent Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes” 1er Cru 2006 ($94.40)
– Domaine d’Eugenie Clos de Vougeot 2007 ($279.90)

The Domaine Tollot-Beaut Bourgogne Rouge 2007 would be viewed as being on the high end of an entry level Burgundy. This one was very light cherry coloured. Wet animal, vegetal, and red cherry on the nose. Light body with red cherry, vegetal, cassis and light oak flavours. Dry with a short length.

My person favorite for the reds was the Dominique Laurent Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes” 1er Cru. I was told that Dominique Laurent is a bit of a controversial producer in Burgundy in that he buys wine and “elevates” it through the use of oak aging before bottling. His wines have his stamp or “signature” on them. Some enjoy having a wine with a certain style, while others do not. I did enjoy this wine. It was deep garnet in colour. Complex nose with dark cherry, liquor, slight smoke and vanilla aromas. Drying tannins but very fine grained. Medium body. Cherry flavour with slight spice on the finish.

Our final wine for our tasting was the Domaine d’Eugenie Clos de Vougeot 2007. This I was told is a relatively new Domaine and is run by the Domaine Latour from Bordeaux. While the Dominique Laurent had a definite signature to it, this wine was more austere. It was light garnet coloured in the glass. Light spice with cherry, cassis, vanilla and a bit of smoke on the nose. On the palate there was smokiness, red cherry and light cassis flavours. Medium length. Dry finish.

One thing of interest to me was that none of the three Pinot Noir wines had any violet, raspberry or strawberry aromas or flavours. Although when I did note cassis, it could also be interpreted as raspberry.

After reviewing the wines together, Allen talked about the 2004 to 2007 Burgundy vintages. I’ll hold that discussion to my next blog. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Burgundy today. Cheers.

BC Pinot Noir for summer sips

My earlier post was on BC pinot gris/grigio in the $15-$25 range for enjoying this summer. This post will be on BC pinot noir in the same price range. Pinot noir is nice slightly chilled, with not too much tannins to make it enjoyable on the patio. Plus with it’s summer fruit flavours and aromas of strawberries and raspberries in many cases, also makes it a good fit. I think BC makes very nice Pinot Noir. As an aside, there are several either New Zealand trained, or New Zealand wine makers here in BC. New Zealand is very well known for their New World style Pinot Noirs, and are making Burgundy take notice.

A quick check on the EverythingWine website, came up with 17 BC Pinot Noirs:

Arrowleaf Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $22.99 More information about Arrowleaf  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Ganton & Larsen Prospect Pinot Noir 750 ml Pinot Noir $15.99 More information about Ganton & Larsen Prospect  Pinot Noir 750 ml
Gray Monk Pinot Noir 750mL Pinot Noir $16.99 More information about Gray Monk Pinot Noir 750mL
Inniskillin Okanagan Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Inniskillin Okanagan  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rose 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rose 750 mL
Kettle Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 375ml Pinot Noir $23.99 More information about Kettle Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 375ml
Lang Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $22.99 More information about Lang Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml
Mike Weir Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Mike Weir Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir Bin 88 750ml Pinot Noir $16.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards  Pinot Noir Bin 88 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $17.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mt Boucherie Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Mt Boucherie Pinot Noir 750ml
Neck of the Woods Winery Blanc de Noir Sparkling 750 mL Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Neck of the Woods Winery Blanc de Noir Sparkling 750 mL
Paradise Ranch Whistler 2005 Pinot Noir Icewine 200 ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Paradise Ranch Whistler 2005 Pinot Noir Icewine 200 ml
Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 750ml
See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Pinot Noir 750ml
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $18.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml

You may have noticed a sparkling wine and an ice wine in the mix. The Pinot Noir grape is one of the classic varietals in Champagne. It also is being used to make more ice wines here in BC. One of my favourite BC Pinot Noir, is the Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir. From previous tasting notes that I have for Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir 2007: Silky with flavours of strawberries and cherries, and a bit of spice.

Enjoy summer!

IVSA New Products Salon – Wines of Note

Today was the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) New Product Salon tasting to the wine Trade in Vancouver, BC. It was a very full event with at least 50 tables from what I could see through the crowds. And consider that at each table, they would be pouring at least 6 different NEW wines, there was at least 300 wines to sample today! Some of the wines are wines that are already in the store, but what is new is the vintage, e.g. a 2008 sauvignon blanc coming out.

I always enjoy attending the IVSA, in part to meet other Trade people, I tweet with, but also to find new and interesting wines. So for the rest of this week’s blog, I’d like to list a few white and red wines that I enjoyed. The wines come from all different price ranges.

Some nice whites:
Rudolf Muller Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2008 (Germany). This riesling had a light lime nose. Medium sweet but good acidity to balance it and a red apple flavour. $16.99
Sacred Hill Pinot Gris 2008 (Marlborough – New Zealand). Light lemon in colour, with lychee and pear aromas. Round mouthfeel. Off dry with lychee and apple flavours $19.99 (spec)
Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Marlborough – New Zealand). I was told that this winery is a joint venture with Antinori from Italy. The wine had a light herbal nose. Halepeno pepper and herbal flavours. Medium acidity. Restrained. Quite nice. $28.99 (spec)
Torresella Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT (Italy). This pinot grigio had light peach, apricot and mineral aromas. Light effervescense. Apricot and apple flavours. $14.99 (spec)
Miner Family Vineyards “Napa Valley” Chardonnay 2007 (California). Vanilla and pineapple on the nose. Toasty oak, pineapple and spice on the palate. Round mouthfeel. $39.95 (spec)

Some nice reds:
Ata Rangi ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir 2008 (Waiparapa – New Zealand). Light cherry colour. Raspberry aroma. Red cherry and raspberry flavours. Soft tannins. Very elegant. $27.99 (spec)
Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir (Burgundy – France). Light cherry and vanilla on the nose. Cherry flavour builds in your mouth with a bit of aeration. Also some flowers and apple flavours. $21.99 (spec)
Belle Gios Meiomi 2007 (California). This one is a pinot noir. Light garnet in colour. Light red currant and chocolate aromas. Nice cherry, raspberry and vanilla flavours, and balanced tannins. $33.99 (spec)
Row Eleven Santa Maria Pinot Noir 2005 (California). Medium garnet colour. Cherry and smoke on the nose. Cherry, vanilla and raspberry flavours. Dry tannins with a long finish. A premium wine! $46.99
Kenwood Vineyards Yulupa Old Vine Zinfandel 2007 (California). Medium garnet in colour. Nice raspberry jammy nose. Lots of raspberry fruit flavour. Medium tannins. A deal. $19.49
Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California). Deep purple in the glass. Capsicum and cherry aromas. Tar and cherry on the palate, with firm tannins. $34.99
Farnese Vini Primitivo Puglia 2007 (Italy). Primitivo and Zinfandel are the same grape variety, if you didn’t know. This one had nice reddish purple colour in the glass. Light violet and red fruit on the nose. Full ripe red fruit flavours, with soft-medium tannins. Easy to drink and an exceptional price. $9.99 (spec)

An unexpected red wine was the L.A. Cetto Private Reserve Nebbiolo 2003 from the Baja part of California in Mexico! I never knew the Nebbiolo was grown in Mexico. This one had delicious ripe berry flavours, ripe but restrained, and firm tannins, but not to the extent that you would get from an Italian Nebbiolo. Drinkable right now. Sorry I didn’t get the price but I believe it is in the $20 range.

Enjoy!

Bourgogne: Tour De Terroir tasting at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Fest

March 30, 2009 08:04:21
Posted By Wine With Karl

Friday evening was a “tour” across Burgundy. We tasted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. Luckily only 9 wines this evening compared to 15 wines the previous evening.

First wine was Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurora Rose Brut, a cremant de Bourgogne. Cremant is a sparkling wine made in France outside of Champagne. 100% pinot noir. Light salmon colour, strawberry aroma and flavour. Cremant is usually less expensive than Champagne but uses the same methods so try some cremant.

Next was Domaine Christian Moreau Pere & Fils Chablis Grand Cru Les Los 2005. This is chardonnay from the northern Chablis region. Chablis is known for being steely and mineral, but with age comes complexity. This one had lemon, spice and mineral aroma. Light oak, apple, citrus flavour, and had a soft mouthfeel.

Chateau de Cordon Andre Pouilly Fuisse Les Vielle Pierres 2004. Pouilly Fuisse is the region just on the northern border of Beaujolais. The grapes for this wine are also chardonnay. Being further south, the grapes get more sun and heat and have more flavour and creaminess. Unfortunately the wine I had came from a tainted bottle so I can’t tell you about it. Approximately 1 in 12 bottles suffer cork taint world-wide.

Our fourth wine was the Bouchard Pere & Fils Mersault 2006. More chardonnay, this time from the Cote d’Or, the main part of Burgundy. I marked this wine as a star. Fermented in barrel, this wine was full bodied, rich, with apple, spice, citrus and hazelnut flavours with a toasty finish. Pair with lobster.

The fifth wine was the George Dubeouf Beaujolais Villages 2007. A “village” wine is a step up from a simple Beaujolais. It typically has riper fruit and at least 0.5% more alcohol. Gamay is the red grape in Beaujolais. This wine had cherry and banana aromas. Cherry and juicy fruit gum, flavours. The banana aroma and juicy fruit gum flavours come from the carbonic maceration fermentation (i’ll blog on that separately).

Next, the sixth wine was the Domaine Piron Chenas Quartz 2007. Chenas is the smallest Cru within Beaujolais, and has produced an excellent quality wine. This was medium reddish purple. Cherry aroma. Big cherry fruit flavour, a good level of acidity and medium tannins. A star for this one.

Our seventh wine was the Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 2006. Pinot noir here. The vineyard was once owned by nuns, thus the origin of the “Baby Jesus” name. The vineyard is in Beaune, which is the main city in Burgundy. This wine had beautiful cherry blossom aroma. Soft mouthfeel, cherries and strawberry flavours. Very well balanced. My OVERALL favorite of the tasting.

The eighth wine was the Olivier Leflaive Wines Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens 2005. Remember, Pommard produces masculine wines. This vineyard grows on iron rich soil, giving the wine more body and firm tannins. Garnet colour and big legs (high alcohol). Cherry and strawberry flavour. Full bodied, firm tannins, cherry flavour.

Our final wine was the Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin Bel Air 2006. I do love the wines from the Gevrey-Chambertin appelation. This wine had beautiful cherry and vanilla/oak aroma. Good acid, cherry flavour, medium body.Tour de terroir

Enjoy!

Day 1 at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest

March 26, 2009 09:22:25
Posted By Wine With Karl

Today I was at the wine festival waiting for the doors to open. My strategy as I am there today and tomorrow, is to taste mainly white wines today, and red wines tomorrow. Also since BC is the theme region, I’d taste the BC wines before exploring the international offerings. The BC wines I tried:

– Black Hills Estate winery who are noted for their Nota Bene Bordeaux style red blend
– Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
– Burrowing Owl Estate winery
– Cedar Creek Estate Winery
– Church & State Wines
– Dunham & Froese Estate Winery
– Garry Oaks (I also recorded an interview with Marcel Mercier from Garry Oaks)
– Road 13 Vineyards
– Sandhill (check out the picture of me with Howard Soon their wine maker, and Louise Wilson their sales rep and Sommelier)
– Stoneboat Vineyards
– Tantalus Vineyards (I recorded another interview here)
– Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
– Twisted Tree Vineyards & winery
– Wild Goose Vineyards

Keeping things short and sweet on the blog, the Tantalus Riesling and Old Vines Riesling were exceptional. Sandhill has a wonderful Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Road 13 has a nice pinot noir. Garry Oaks pinot noir was quite beguiling. Cedar Creek‘s Ehrenfelser is a neat change to a gewurztraminer. You can’t go wrong with Burrowing Owl‘s Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

On the international side I tried:
– La Joya Viognier Reserva 2007 (Chile)
– Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Blanc Premier Cru 2006 (Burgundy, France)
– Catena Chardonnay 2007 (Mendoza, Argentina)
Champagne Deutz Cuvee William 1998 (Champagne, France) LOVED It But >$150 a bottle.
– Erath Pinot Gris 2007 and Pinot Blanc 2006 (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
– Vina Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard 2008 (Aconcagua, Chile) A wild ferment!
– Miguel Torres Milmanda Single Estate Chardonnay 2006 (Penedes, Spain)
– Bodegas Muga Blanco 2007, Rosado 2005 (Rioja, Spain) I enjoyed the Rosado so much I bought a few bottles.
– Murphy-Goode Sonoma County Chardonnay 2006 and “The Fume” 2007 (Sonoma, CA)
– Olivier Lefaive Wines Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain 2006 (Burgundy, France) an excellent wine but over $100
– Santa Margherita / Ca’ Del Bosco / Kettmier Pinot Grigio 2007, Pinot Bianco Alto Adige 2007, Cuvee Prestige Franciacorta N/V. (Italy)
– Vina Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (Leyda Valley, Chile) good gooseberry flavour
– Sokol Blosser Winery Evolution N/V and Dundee Hills Pinot Gris 2007 (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
– Thompson Estate Chardonnay 2005 and Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2005 (Margaret River, Australia) The sparkling just evaporated when it hit your tongue and was quite creamy. A buy!
– Miguel Torres Cordillera de las Andes Chardonnay/Viognier blend (Curico, Chile) Also a nice blend to try.

Did I try enough? I was at it for 2.5 hrs, then did a 2 hour sit down Pinot tasting. I’ll blog about that another day. I will do indepth reviews of wines after the festival is over. Enjoy!

Marche aux Vins in Beaune

There is a lot of wine to taste in Burgundy. Besides driving through the wonderful vineyards and stopping and wine makers’ doors, there are wine merchants. One is the Marche Aux Vins, which is across the street from the amazing Hospices de Beaune, Hotel Dieu, a hospital built in the mid 1400’s to take care of the sick people regardless of their wealth. At the Marche aux Vins you get to travel through their underground cellars and try wines from 16 crus. Covering Chablis to the Maconnais, through Cote de Beaune, Cote de Nuits and the Cote Chalonnaise. Upon entering and paying your 10 Euro entrance fee, you are given your own tastivin (little metal cup you sometimes see on tv shows with very erudite people pontificating about wine) to sample the wines. The wines ranged in price from 14 – 39 Euros. There were 3 white wines to taste. There was a Marsannay, Pouilly-Fuisse, and a Mersault. All were light bodied with citrus, oak, and apple flavours. The red wines were more exciting. A lower priced red I enjoyed was the Beaune Hospices de Dijon, 1999, for 22 Euros. It had a nice vanilla, cherry nose. It was very fruity, with low tannins. A bit more expensive bottle as from Pommard. Pommard is traditionally a more firm (masculine) wine than from other parts of Burgundy. It had meaty, earthy aromas. Good red fruit flavours with low-medium tannins. The top end red wine of the tasting was the Corton Les Languettes Grand Cru 2000 for 39 Euros. It had cherry and sausage aromas. The cherry and sausage continued on the palate. It had medium tannins, good acidity and a long finish. Very impressive. That is all from Burgundy. Salut!