Monday, March 31, 2008

Salon des Vins Wrap Up

For my third and final day at Montreal's Salon des Vins I once again went with the intention to focus on a specific region (Loire), but ended up distracted (those who know me well will not be surprised) by some Italian imports and a Rioja vertical. Another 16 wines, these were the highlights:

- the Rioja house Marques de Caceres was pouring Grand Reservas from 1981, 1985 and 1986. I was all over this - I rarely taste older wines and I cannot recall an aged Rioja. The '81 was drinking very well, with earthy, nutty and cooked fruit notes, very smooth on the palate, but clearly not getting any better. The '85 had a similar nose, perhaps a touch more complex, but thin and simple on the palate, and simply less vibrant. The '86 was probably drinking the best, adding some truffle, tobacco and rose petals on the nose, velvety with more fruit on the palate and less 'tired' than the other two...delicious. They also had a 2000 Gran Reserva on offer - do I detect a change in the house style? More alcohol and jammier fruit on the nose, mild tannins and modest acid - will this age like its elders? Hmmm

- I didn't miss the Loire completely, tasting a sparkler from the Touraine, a moelleux from Savennieres and two inexpensive whites from Samur. With Brooklynguy exploring sparklers from "elsewhere in France" I had to try that Touraine - the 2003 Monmousseau Brut Cuvée J.M. had very fine bubbles, a modest mouse, and a very nice yeasty/apple-y nose with some hints of spring flowers. Gripping and quite minerally on the palate with a nice lemon peel finish, this would pair very nicely with food. (much better than the Cremant d'Alsace I tasted...)

- I had some very nice Italian pours as well, finding a distributor with a bevy of obscure "special import" Italian wines. The highlight was the 2001 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Reserva - made from 100% aglianico it was very aromatic, velvety smooth, and extremely poised, with acid fruit and tannin in perfect harmony.

- The weirdest pour was a 1986 Chateau Chalon Vin Jaune from Jura. Green with nice secondary aromas - a touch caramelized on the nose, it was surprisingly fresh and alive for a 20+ year old white wine that is not sweet or fortified. Made from the rare Savagnin grape, it would work nicely with cheese.

I truly enjoyed this opportunity to taste broadly in a large setting - I tasted a number of new appellations and grapes, some aged wines and found some wines otherwise unavailable - success! And while this conference was helpful in resolving Edward's Wine Drinkers Dilemma for me, it also highlighted for me just how small that "drop" really is.

Criticisms? It was big, crowded and full of perfume/cologne wearing individuals. Some pours were expensive, but 'half-pours' were always available and many of the servers made up for that by being 'generous', pouring some of the other wines on offer 'gratis'.

I look forward to attending more tastings like these in 2008.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Montreal Salon des Vins, Day 2

My good friend Andreas joined me for a few hours on Day 2 of the Montreal Salon des Vins and was an inspired tasting companion - we covered a lot of ground before my wife and members of my tasting group arrived to stand in for Andreas' liver. I collected notes on twenty wines - here are some highlights:

- we started at the Univins booth, spending quality time with the good folks from Catena. Catena is one of my favourite wine producers, making high quality varietal wines that are amongst the best in the world at every single price point. They were pouring a Merlot and a Syrah, and both were atypical New World representations of these varietals. The 2005 Catena Merlot had a nose of chocolate and dark cherry fruit but the palate was the exact opposite - dry, thin, light, crisp and well structured with green tannins, very charming. Even better was the 2005 Catena Syrah - at 13.5% alcohol this was not your typical New World Syrah, with a subtle peppery nose, not over-oaked or overly fruity - very well balanced and a terrific value. Jorge of Catena appreciated my kind words and poured me a freebie - a short pour of their best wine, the 2003 Nicolas Catena Zapata - attractive herbaceous and floral notes on the nose, also spicy, crushed berries - elegant and reserved - so unlike anything I have ever tasted from this country - a very, very special wine (it sold out)...

- next up were the wines of Chateau Ollieux Romanis, wines from the Corbieres appellation of France's Languedoc-Roussillon. The 2005 Atal Sia was interesting, a touch hot and awkward, but I really liked the 2004 Ollieux Romanis Cuvee Or - a big powerful wine of Carignan/Grenache/Mourvedre, it was extraordinarily complex with dusty tannins and a nice long finish - stick this baby in the cellar for a few years.

- a key objective for Andreas and I were the wines of Germany and Alsace. Andreas and I spent a good amount of time at the Dopff et Irion counter, skipping right past the everyday stuff and diving into the Grands Crus. The 2004 Grand Cru Vorbourg Pinot Gris was beautiful - yeast, honey, flowers and orange peel on the nose, creamy lemony-mango on the palate with a minerally/slatey backbone. Even more impressive was the 2004 Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling - classic petrol nose, limes, crisp and focused on the palate, with honey and a terrific chalkiness - thrilling. Rewarding our enthusiasm, the pourer gave us a sample of the 1994 Gewurtztraminer Selections des Grains Nobles Grand Cru - a truly stunning example, I may never buy a Sauternes again.

- I truly enjoyed S.A. Prum's wines, especially the 2005 Wehlener Sonnenhur Riesling Kabinett QmP (Mosel) - steely, gravelly, smokey honey - soft, luscious and balanced, I loved rolling this across my tongue. The 2005 Wehlener Sonnenhur Riesling Spatlese (Mosel) - was even more elegant, but a touch less interesting.

After the Salon we went to Chez Delmo for dinner, where I made the greatest wine find of the night. The 2005 Domaine Tripoz Mâcon-Loché was very floral and apple-y (think ripe Pink Lady), sweet creme brulee - dry, creamy apple fruit on the palate - very unlike any other Chardonnay I have ever tasted - my first taste of this appellation. Not available in stores - in fact I couldn't find a single Mâcon-Loché available at the SAQ - sigh.

Another great day of tasting.

Quote of the Evening: "This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." - my wife.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Montreal Salon des Vins, Day 1

Between my tasting group, wine travel (1,2) and everyday wines I have the opportunity to taste many different wines. But as depicted in Edward's Wine Drinkers Dilemma, my tasting experience is a mere drop.

But it doesn't have to be a mere drop! In a effort to increase the size of that drop, and perhaps even make a dent in the liquid filled decanter, I attended the Montreal Salon des Vins.

Held once every two years, the Salon des Vins is not particularly unique, but it is a large event, hosting a variety of makers/distributors in the Montreal Palais des Congres, each offering their wares for tasting and sales.

On the plus side, the event features wines that are not available at the local liquor monopoly (case discounts, even for a mixed case if from same distributor) and it allows you to sample widely before dropping $$$.

On the negative side, it is large, crowded and expensive. The 15$ entrance fee is not too bad, but the coupons (1$ each) per taste (approx 2oz pour) vary widely - one table was charging 2$ for a 2oz pour of $12 verdicchio - ridiculous! Also, the wines are "organized" by distributor, not region - you really have to wander around to find what you are looking for.

Despite all that I had a great time. My objective was to taste widely, and I made Burgundy a key focus for Day 1. I have notes on 17 wines (sounds worse than it was as I spit the bad stuff and many were 1oz pours), here are some highlights:

- I had an absolutely great time with three Grand Cru Chablis from Moreau, all worthy of 18+ JoeScores. The 2006 Vaudesir was a stunning example of a classically-styled (steely, minerally) Chablis. The 2005 Les Clos was very different, creme brulee and creamy, never had a Chablis like it - more like a southern White Burgundy, an absolute joy. The 2005 Valmur was a cross between the other two, very delicious.

- the 2003 Domaine Meix-Foulot Mercurey 'Clos du Chateau Montaigu' was an unusually tannic Burgundy. Simple floral, raspberry, dark unsweetened cocoa, vanilla, some pepper, with big, dry gripping tannins and dry raspberry fruit. A neat bottle, needs some cellar time. I am finding that I quite like most of the reds of Mercurey, especially at their more modest price points.

- a NZ distributor convinced me to try two Craggy Range wines, the 2005 Sophia and the 2005 Te Kahu. Neat expressions of Melot, the Te Kahu was more of a brute, needing more time in the cellar, while the Sophia was soft and elegant. Given the massive price difference I suggest cellaring the Te Kahu.

Lots more to talk about, I'll save that for a future post.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Current State of Table Wine

"Be careful Anaïs, abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones."
- from Henry & June

The term 'vin de table', table wine, conjures up a variety of emotions for wine neophytes, enthusiasts and experts. Since I did not grow up in a winemaking region, table wine has always meant those wines on the restaurant menu marked simply "red" or "white". Inexpensive and sold by the glass, these are meant to accompany the meal, not to be sniffed and swirled but to be gulped with a heaping plate of spaghetti.

But as the depth and breadth my wine knowledge has expanded I have become a wine snob of sorts, seeking out 'abnormal pleasures' and snubbing the simpler pours. So my Twelve Under $12 series was meant to bring me back from the abyss and see if I could find pleasure in 'normal' wine.

I began this journey the way most people buy wine, wandering the aisles and looking at labels. My purchases were rather random, with vague recollections of grapes, regions or winemakers. I did not consult store staff, magazines or fellow bloggers, relying rather on instinct. An educated instinct, perhaps, but close to the way most bottles make it home.

So, what did I find?

On the plus side, I did not find truly undrinkable wine. While some wines were more interesting than others, and some even presented great values, most were simply decent liquid to help wash down weekday fare. Moreover, my explorer instinct let me to discover/re-discover some grapes and regions I had not tasted: verdicchio, baga, box wine, Romanian wine, torrontes....

On the negative side most wines were thin, flabby, uncomplex and, given the diverse geographic source of the grapes and prolific blending, few had that "sense of place" or regional style. Only one or two transported me to a higher sensory level, commanding my undivided attention. Not disappointing, but "hollow"...


Most memorable (red): the Portuguese Marques de Marialva seamlessly married with food while maintaining enough complexity for simply sniffing and swirling. A steal at C$10.95, the SAQ has inexplicably marked it down another C$2. A must buy.

Most memorable (white): the verdicchio was cheap and fun, but the Domaine de Tariquet was an absolute joy for the senses, confirming that the Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne appellation is a great source of terrific white values.

Best value: While the new price of the Marques de Marialva is compelling, the amazingly cheap Romanian pinot noir (Chevalier de Dyonis) gets the nod here, a good Pinot Noir for under C$10.

Most intriguing: The Moulin de Gassac was a beguiling wine, perhaps the only bottle that displayed a sense of place - a true 'vin de pays'. I found it an intellectual turn on, an abnormal pleasure? But I would have to hide that from my wife (she hated it), and I feel it would be too "edgey" for many newbies and New World wine lovers.

Lost notes: I had a few cheapies that I didn't blog, including the nice 2007 Robertson Chenin Blanc - I can't find my notes, but I will go get another bottle and report back.

So, go break the bank and try some table wine - you will learn something, you may even be pleasantly surprised, and you won't break the bank.


Friday, March 21, 2008

2004 Conte Brandolini d'Adda Vistorta

Marcus made a strong pitch for this wine back in November, but I only managed to find one bottle before it sold out. The 2004 Conte Brandolini d'Adda Vistorta, a Merlot from the Friuli region of Italy, was a pretty ruby red in the glass with an attractive garden-like nose of leafy vegetables and green pepper, also showing some mint, tobacco, cherry, black pepper, and gravelly notes. Gooseberries and velvety smooth tannins with a nice long finish on the palate, it opened up beautifully over the evening, revealing more and more complexity. A terrific expression of Merlot and a wine that could easily wait patiently in the cellar for a few more years.
cork. 13% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$27 (SAQ)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2001 in the South of France

Here's a neat exploration of terroir comparing two 2001-vintage wines from southern France. The two bottles, a Côtes du Rhône Villages and a Coteaux du Languedoc, both hail from a pretty good vintage, both use similar Syrah-dominated blends, and both had identical alcohol levels.

Jammy dark berry fruit, vanilla, cocoa powder, and wildflowers on the nose of the 2001 Domaine Clavel Copa Santa (Coteaux du Languedoc), it was a pleasure to ponder in the glass. As telegraphed by the nose the palate was too hot and chocolatey, but showing nice velvety tannins and a long finish. A pretty good package, but I seem to be moving in a different direction these days, away from this very modern-styled effort. I forgot I tasted this a year ago, I marked it down today. Syrah, with some Grenache (and occasionally Mourvedre).
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Score: 16.5/20
Price: C$27 (SAQ)

There was a neat slatey/granite aspect to the nose of the 2001 Chateau Signac "Cuvee Terra Amata" (Cotes du Rhone Villages), some lavender notes, leather and liquorice, and musty/earthy blackberries. While the Clavel was hot and bothered, the Signac showed crisp cherry fruit, and was poised, smooth and elegant. Beautifully textured, "a vinous joy". One of my Top 50 Cellar Picks, same score as last year. Syrah and Grenache.
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$26 (SAQ)

Both were fruitier, more modern-styled wines, so winemaking was not the key to the differences. And while the Signac's higher % of Grenache could be the explanation, I find Syrah hides the high alcohol levels better than Grenache. That leaves terroir: the sandy-clay soil Signac nominally differed from the clay-pebbles at the Clavel site, but I don't think this explains the smoother, more elegant nature of the Signac, which leads me towards weather and temperature variations to explain the difference - I definitely recall better acidity and structure with the Signac.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Off the Beaten Path in Italy: Negroamaro and Ripasso

Keeping with the Italian theme this week I thought I'd try some more Italian reds, a negroamaro from Salento and an IGT Valpolicella using an "innovative" ripasso method.

Crafted from the Negramaro grape in Italy's Salento appellation, the aromatic 2003 Tormaresca Masseria Maime burst forth with dark cherries, leather and black tea, meaty earthy notes, some rose petal. But the haunting nose did not fulfill its promise on the palate - powerful, crisp and dry, with a neat slatey/minerally texture, but it became hot and unbalanced as the evening wore on. Perhaps a minimal decant would be more appropriate? Anyway, a rustic, interesting, pour, but that's a hefty price tag.
cork. 14% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: C$34.25 (SAQ)

A classic Valpolicella blend of corvina and rondinella, with a touch of sangiovese, the 2004 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre was cherry candy on the nose, adding some vanilla, coffee and a hint of tar. Luscious, but not flabby on the palate, with velvety tannins and a nice long finish, and unlike the wine above it improved in the decanter. The Palazzo Della Torre is a consistently reliable bottle at a decent price, and always has a home in my cellar.
cork. 13.5% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: C$27.70 (SAQ)

So, the initial excitement for the negroamaro faded over the evening, while the cherry candy nose on the Allegrini was misleading. For a cheaper (maybe even better) negroamaro I highly recommend the Taurino Notarpanaro. Both paired well with a Greek-styled lamb stew, but the negroamaro worked a bit better in this role.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

2006 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis

This wine was part of the recent Cellier release and was highly recommended by an SAQ employee. I can't recall the last time I had a Roero Arneis, and I loved Giacosa's Dolcetto, so I gave it a chance.

I'm not sure how to take the 2006 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis. It was quite closed right out of the fridge, but opened up as it warmed, showing lemon pastry, lychee, honey, and some faint hints of flowers and bananas. Quite smooth, easygoing and agreeably luscious on the palate, kinda lemon meringue, but missing the acidity and minerality I crave in a white. Hard to criticize this high quality sipper, but it was missing the complexity I seek at this price point - I would happily gulp this if someone else is paying...
cork. 13% alcohol
Score: 16/20
Price: C$27 (SAQ)

Roero and Roero Arneis are appellations in Piedmont, Italy. The wines of Roero Arneis are whites made from 100% Arneis grapes. You rarely see this grape outside Piedmont, but I did taste a Seghesio Arneis in Sonoma last fall.

Friday, March 14, 2008

2001 Falesco Montiano: Happy Birthday to Me

My family took good care of me on my birthday but left the wine selection to me, so for my special day I grabbed a bottle of pricey Italian merlot.

The 2001 Falesco Montiano comes from the Italian region of Lazio. Spicy and aromatic, white pepper and smokey leathery notes greet you first but lots going on here - tarry blackberry, cedar, currant, green nuts, rose petals - an olfactory fiesta. Very dry on the palate with big tannins and crisp cherry fruit on the mid-palate. A brutish merlot, with extraordinary length, it is awkward now and needs a few more years in the cellar to settle down. It worked well with a wintery beef stew, but a steak (I'm thinking Moishes) off the grill would be better.
cork. 13.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$45.90 (SAQ)

Note that I served this wine at a blinded tasting nearly three years ago and it didn't show well. I recall it having a nice nose but being rather simple (it was not the brute I poured tonight) and needing more time in the cellar. I was not expecting the brute I opened tonight - I have to get another bottle and stick it away...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Twelve under $12: 2006 Moulin de Gassac "Terrasses de Guilhem"

Those of you who recall my earlier post have probably come to realize that my journey through $12 wine is not so much a hunt for value as it is a learning experience - my exploration of the current state of "vin de table", wines I so rarely drink. So for the twelfth and final wine in my wallet-sparing "Twelve Under $12" series I sought a French expression of country wine.

The 2006 Moulin de Gassac "Terrasses de Guilhem" comes from the Vins de pays de l'Hérault appellation, a first for me. The lable promised me "Un Vin Comme Autrefois", and the marketers couldn't have been more correct. Very rustic on the nose, with notes of roast coffee, cheese, and a metallic undertone. Rustic on the palate as well, it was one of those rare red wines (especially from the south of France) that led with acid, not tannin. Thin and dilute at first with no detectable tannins, I nearly dismissed it. But it was so nicely structured, framed by ample acidity and crisp fruit (blinded I might even have picked it as a white), and slowly revealed layer after layer of new notes and was very intellectually stimulating for me, a rarity at this price point. Be warned - if you love New World wines and hate French-styled wine, run - very quickly - away from this wine, you will not like it. (My wife absolutely hated it) But for those seeking a light, structured and interesting glass of wine to pair with a lunchtime steak frites, this is a great, cheap pour - an alternative to a red Chinon, perhaps? Even if you don't like this style of wine, pour a glass (it should be slightly chilled, say 14-16 Celsius) and take some notes. No other wine from my journey into cheap wine captures the essence of vin de table and a sense of place and intrigue. But it is not for everyone.
cork. 12.5% alcohol
Score: 14.5/20
Price: $10.65 (SAQ)

PS - this is an entry level wine from Mas de Daumas Gassac, whose owner Aimé Guibert is famous for his appearance in Mondovino.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wine Haiku...

Malodourous cork!
O foul smell, o wint'ry mood,
Back to the cellar...

- Joe

Friday, March 07, 2008

Twelve Under $12: Bistro Mundo Espagne

Trolling the bargain bins for $12 wine, it was only a matter of time before I grabbed a box wine. Actually, I had no intention of tasting a box wine, but a reader of mine, Fadi, recommended this cheap Spanish pour. The non-vintage Bistro Mundo Espagne is made from tempranillo, and featured dark berry fruit, vanilla, and some oaky spiciness on the nose. On the palate this New World-styled wine was juicy and balanced, featuring a nice (and surprising) presence of tannins and some finish, but very little acidity. A tad artificial, but with no rough edges it was surprisingly nice. Keep a box in the fridge for cooking, and feel free to grab a sip when you are not up to opening a bottle. And with a lower carbon footprint than bottled wine, you can feel good about saving the planet.
1L box. 13% alcohol
Score: 13.5/20
Price: ~C$11

Note: Bistro Mundo is a series of Tetra Pak box wines sold at grocery stores in Quebec, featuring red and white wines from France, Argentina, Italy, and Spain. The boxes look very similar, so make sure you read the label before throwing it into the cart. It is also important to note that not every box is the same - this is non-vintage, so I have no idea if I buy a box in six months if it will taste the same - I have not always had the same experience with this one.

So far I have been amazed by my tasting group's silence. When I started on this $12 adventure I expected a deluge of ridicule from this gang of wine snobs - perhaps the shock has yet to wear off? Surely a BOX WINE will elicit a few emails from the gang...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Twelve Under $12: 2006 Domaine de Tariquet Ugni-blanc Colombard

For my tenth installment in my Twelve Under $12 series I couldn't ignore the cheap and delicious whites from France's VdP Cotes de Gascogne appellation. Marcus, Neil and I have all sung the praises of the whites from France's VdP Cotes de Gascogne, as have many others. Wandering through the cheapies on my last trip to the SAQ I found a producer I had not tasted before. This 2006 Domaine de Tariquet is made from the ugni blanc and colombard grapes. A tropical bouquet of melon, mango and lemon rind...did I smell coconut? Despite the tropical theme it was crisp and focused, yet quite flavourful at the same time. Another hit, it remained remarkably good over a few nights.
cork. 10.5% alcohol
Score: 15/20
Price: C$11.40 (SAQ)

PS - Dr. Vino reviews the wines of Domaine de Tariquet here...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WBW #43: 2000 Penfolds Bin 389

The theme for tonight's Wine Blogging Wednesday is "Comfort Wine", an appropriate theme considering the wind-whipped ice pellets thrashing my face as I walked home from the subway. And with my good friend Ed celebrating his second anniversary, a wine from Oz was in order.

To comfort my frozen body and honour a friend I opened a 2000 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (South Australia), a bottle that has been waiting patiently in my cellar for four years. This wine was already standing upright in my cellar, as Ed recently recommended that I open it soon (he thought it might be past its prime). Deep cherry red with a vibrant nose of musk, violet, black pepper, dark cherries, wet hay, meaty liquorice - lots going on. Juicy, not jammy, with crisp strawberry fruit and velvety tannins wrapped around a good core of acidity, followed by a lengthy, flinty finish. A pleasure with tortellini in a low fat alfredo sauce, but a comforting pour that I sipped by the fire on a wintery Montreal evening. Ahhhh.....big and brooding, a multilayered wine of complexity and depth - a wine to get lost in as you ponder its secrets by a warm winter fire...success!
cork. 13.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$38.50 (SAQ)

Cheers to Joel for hosting, and Ed for being Ed. Not past its prime, Ed, but don't worry - I'll save my other bottle for you...;)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

2005 St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Riesling Kabinett

Taking a break from the cheap stuff I finally opened a Riesling that was recommended by our local wine guru Bill Z. last summer. The 2005 Weingut St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett is a single-vineyard riesling from the celebrated Mosel Saar Ruwer. Shiny liquid gold in the glass, all petrol on the nose at first, later releasing some candied apricot, fresh-picked white flowers, yeast and beeswax notes. Off-dry with a soft, subtle effervescence and a gravelly undertone, it glides so easily across the palate, but with the steelinees of a precision crafted machine tool - polished and well balanced with a firm acidic frame, very enjoyable. According to the website, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen means 'little drops of Piesport gold' - aptly named, and a great pour at this price point. Thanks Bill!
cork. 9.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$22.85 (SAQ)

PS: I couldn't help but think of you, Barry - as I rave about this wine it is probably a rather pedestrian, everyday wine for you in Germany...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Twelve Under $12: 2006 Chevalier de Dyonis Pinot Noir

This Romanian overacheiver was first tasted by Joe while on vacation in Malbaie at a little fondue restaurant called Le Passe-Temps. Despite my initial scepticism, I recall the owner enthusiastically recommending this wine, and at $16 (with resto markup) I thought it would be an inexpensive way to try my first Romanian wine. A great, cheap pour, I thought it would fit nicely into my Twelve Under $12 lineup.

The 2006 Chevalier de Dyonis Pinot Noir comes from Romania, but I think it is a special cuvee for a Montreal importer. A pretty cherry red in the glass, a meaty barnyard nose dominates, with some oaky/raspberry notes in the background. Juicy, with good structure and some persistency from faint (but pleasant) tannins. Considering how very hard it is to find palatable pinot under $30, much less $10, this wine deserves heaps of praise. A good pair with honey mustard chicken.
cork. 12% alcohol
Score: 15/20
Price: C$9.60 (SAQ)

Twelve Under $12: 2006 Peron Torrontes

In the past I have found Argentinian white wines made from the torrontes grape to be a great, cheap pour. Unfortunately, I am finding price inflation over the course of my Under $12 quest, as some previously enjoyed $12 pours have crept up over my arbitrary resistance point. One example is the Etchart torrontes, which now goes for the princely sum of C$13.15. In desperation I grabbed the only torrontes available that day, the 2006 Peron Torrontes. White gold, with classic floral and melon notes, some lavender as well. Fresh and simple on the palate, with appley green melon, but virtually no acidity or persistency. Not bad, but very simple, I would probably blow the wad and get the Etchart.
cork. 12.5% alcohol

Score: 12/20
Price: C$10.80 (SAQ)