Aug 29, 2016

2001 Bordeaux Revisited, Sept. 20/16

2001 is considered a classic Bordeaux vintage, producing aromatic, fresh and well-balanced wines, not as heavy and concentrated as 2000 but significantly better that the vintages of the late 1990s (if you’re fortunate enough to be able to compare). The strong and rustic tannins are also a reminder of the more classic Bordeaux vintages. 

We tasted these wines back in 2012 and had some left over so back into storage they went for another four years of cellaring. According to E. Robert Parker, most of the wines in our line-up should be peaking now. They’re 15 years old now and we’ll be able to see how they have evolved.  If you attended our tasting in 2012, try to find your notes. It will be interesting to compare them to four years later.

Seven of our wines are from the Left Bank of the Gironde River while one is from the Right. What’s the difference? While red Bordeaux wines are blended together from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes, Left Bank vineyards are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Right Bank ones focus more on Merlot. This means that the Cabernet-based Left Bank wines tend to be a bit more tannic, while the Merlot-based Right Bank wines tend to have more restrained tannins. From the Left Bank, we have four wines from Pauillac, two from St. Julien and one from Pessac-Leognan. Our one Right Bank wine comes from Pomerol. Pichon Baron from Pauillac earned a score of 94 points for its fruity, superbly concentrated and strong vintage.

For a detailed list and description of the wines we'll be tasting, please click here

Theme:  2001 (Red) Bordeaux, Revisited
Date:  Tuesday September 2, 2016
Time:  6 PM for reception wine; 6:20 PM for formal tasting
Location:  Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C7  - Map 
Fees:  TVC Members $82 ; Guests / Non-Members  $107  (includes reception wine, bread & light appetizers)
Note:  All ticket sales are final and cannot be refunded unless we are sold out and have a wait list.

Our guest speaker for the evening is Paul Sturgess of the Institute of Wines and Spirits.

Seating is very limited for this event.

Jun 1, 2016

BBQ & Zinfandel

For those who love grilled meats and vegetables in summer, pairing those foods with Zinfandel is a perfect combination.  So in view of our approach to summer weather in Ontario, the Toronto Vintners Club is hosting a Zinfandel tasting - all 8 wines for the fabulous 2012 vintage - along with appetizers.  All of our Zins have been sourced from California.  This is a great opportunity to try a number of different Zins that have been sourced from various counties in California: 5 from Sonoma, 2 from Lodi and 1 from Napa.  You may recognize some of the names and other wineries will be totally new. For more information about the wines and the wineries, click on the link below. 

Theme:  Zinfandel - It Must Be Summer!
Date: Tuesday, June 21(day after the summer solstice)
Time:  6:00 PM
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C7  - Map 
Price: TVC Members: $64; Guests/Non-Members: $84  (includes a reception wine & appetizers)
Buy Tickets/Register:  NOTE: ALL ticket sales/reservations are final. Cheques must be received by Friday, June 17th. The cheque-payment option will be disabled at midnight Tuesday, June. 14th after which only credit card sales will be accepted until Monday June 20h or earlier if the event sells out. You will be sent an email confirmation after completing your registration. If you tried to register but did not receive your confirmation, please contact before trying to register again.

Feb 27, 2016

Red Wines of S. France - the Road Less Travelled

On March 22, 2016 we’ll explore an interesting and eclectic mix of red grape varietals that dominate the lesser known vineyards in Southern France and see how the final “assemblage” is translated into quite different styles of wine by some of the most accomplished winemakers in the region.   While these are likely to be bold wines, the winemakers’ restraint should shine through to ensure a well- balanced profile suitable for a wide range of accompanying food.

Date: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
Time: 6 PM
Price:  TVC Members: $70; Guests/Non-Members: $90 (includes appetizers & a reception wine)
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C7  - Map
Mailed Reservations
         - Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2016
Online Payments
         - Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016

(NOTE: all ticket sales are FINAL; no refunds issued unless we are oversold)

We have 7 red blends and one 100% Syrah from reputable winemakers.  Here are some snippets of information about four of the winemakers whose wines we'll be tasting in March

Domaine Léon Barral is a beacon of revolutionary winegrowing. Didier farms thirty hectares of vineyards with a team of cows, horses, and pigs which graze the cover crops in and around the vineyards. The simple act of grazing cultivates healthy microbiotic activity in the soil which in turn benefits the grapes, ultimately resulting in tremendously powerful, complex, and age-worthy wines. 

Domaine de Trevallon, located near the medieval town of Les Baux de-Provence, was bought in 1955 by René Dürrbach, painter, sculptor and friend to Picasso. His son Eloi now makes the greatest of all Provencal wines.

Michael Gassier has been in Wine Spectator’s top 10 French Wineries for Value every year since 2007. "A tireless champion of his native Costières de Nîmes in the southern Rhône, the dynamic Michel Gassier has transformed his family estate into a reputable source for value wines as well as world-class top cuvées, produced with the guidance of star consultant Philippe Cambie." Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2013 Wine Star Award Nominees.  We will taste his Lou Coucardie.

Chateaux Bouscassé is the home estate of Alain Brumont, who also owns Château Montus. Few wine producers anywhere in the world dominate their region like Brumont does Madiran. Bouscassé produces what are, for Andrew Jefford of Decanter magazine, France’s most undervalued fine wines. He was a pioneer in Madiran and Côtes de Gascogne wines, bringing them to rank with the world’s best. The Brumont wines benefit now from an international recognition and remain at a very good value for money.  we'll be tasting his Madiran wine.

Jan 31, 2016

2006 Barolos - a Very Great Vintage!

The Nebbiolo grape is to Barolo what the Pinot Noir grape is to Burgundy.  Both grapes have made their wine-producing regions famous, for good reason since they both produce high quality, long-lasting wines.  While the Pinot Noir grape has made a successful transition to other wine-producing regions throughout the world – as TVC demonstrated in its New World PN tasting last month - the same cannot be said of Nebbiolo.  It’s extremely difficult to grow outside of north-west Italy and it’s rare to find it elsewhere because cuttings and clones are jealously guarded.  Hence, when we talk about Nebbiolo, it’s synonymous with Italy and as Italy’s greatest wine – Barolo - considered the King of Wines!  It’s a great wine variety, producing bigger, darker and more tannic wines than most other grape varieties, and consequently long-lived and very prized by collectors.
Barolo is a very robust red wine, full-bodied, tannic and very dry. It’s a “chewy” wine. The aroma is similar to ripe strawberries, tar, roses, violets and truffles. Barolos are not cheap, although not nearly as expensive as other benchmark wines like Bordeaux and Burgundy.

What about 2006 as a vintage? The wines can be described as of good depth, sturdy structure and fine elegance, already more open than the ’05s (which were rough-edged at this stage of their life) and which display appealing, snappy tannins and a nervy acidity. Robert Parker gives the 2006 Barolo vintage a 97/100!

More information on the wines

Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Time: 6 PM
Price:  TVC Members: $84; Guests/Non-Members: $104 (includes appetizers & a reception wine)
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C7  - Map
Mailed Reservations
         - Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016
Online Payments
         - Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

(NOTE: all ticket sales are FINAL; no refunds issued unless we are oversold)

Jan 12, 2016

New World Pinots


Does a New World Pinot Noir taste different from a Burgundian Pinot Noir? According to Jay Youmans, Master of Wine, “Yes” there are differences.  However, there are many New World winemakers who are employing traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques and we present several in our line-up on January 19, 2016.

From the N. Hemisphere we have 4 wines, 3 from the Willamette Valley of Oregon and 1 from Ontario. From the S. Hemisphere, we have 4 wines one each from Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa and Chile. Northern Hemisphere: Coyote's Run, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake produces wine in small batches from 100 percent Niagara-grown grapes, much of which are sourced from its 58-acre St. David's vineyard. Since its first vintage in 1990, Domaine Serene has produced award winning Pinot Noirs from six vineyard estates. In April 2015, the owners purchased a Burgundy wine estate in the Côte d’Or to expand their operation of producing fine Pinots. The Bergström Family uses biodynamic methods, and since 1999 has been a leader in the sustainable farming of wine grapes in Oregon. Argyle Winery, established in 1987, is "Grower First", focusing its attention at the source – continually improving viticulture on over 650 hillside acres sited on the very best vineyard locations in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Southern Hemisphere: Bodega Chacra, is owned by the grandson of the creator of the famed Sassicaia winery in Italy and he’s now working in the” middle of nowhere” to produce stunning Patagonian Pinot Noir. Chacra doesn’t employ any mechanization in the production of their wines which results in their Pinots expressing the subtle, complex and finely textured tannins characteristic of very old vines. Hamilton Russell Winery is one of the most recognized S. African brands in the U.S. Their Pinot Noir is Burgundian in style, with subtle perfume, stylish texture and long, lingering, gentle flavors. A world search of the perfect conditions for viticulture, Schubert Wines. They use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods with extreme low yields, (3/4 ton per acre), extended macerations and the exclusive use of Burgundian cooperage for their Pinots. Lastly, from Kyoong Winery situated in the cool-climate Mornington Peninsula, 80km south of Melbourne Australia, winemaker Sandro Mosele has crafted a reputation for the very best representation of Australian Pinot and Chardonnay.

specially for Pinot Noir, brought Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling, graduates of the German Viticulture and Oenology to Wairarapa, New Zealand to start

 This will be a wonderful opportunity to sample and compare Pinots throughout the New World and also to compare the wines from the Northern Hemisphere against the Southern. Our evenings start with a reception wine followed by the formal, blind, sit-down tasting. Bread and light appetizers will be served with our wines. Plus we have a special BONUS for our registrants: an exclusive tasting of a Femme Fatale Pinot Noir from Cloud's Nest, a boutique winery in Sonoma, California presented in Canada by Great North Imports.  Great North Imports is also supplying our reception wine.

More information on the wines

Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Time: 6 PM
Price:  TVC Members: $70; Guests/Non-Members: $90 (includes appetizers & a reception wine)
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C7  - Map
Mailed Reservations
         - Tuesday, Jan. 12th, 2016
Online Payments
         - Monday, Jan. 18th, 2016
Register / Buy Tickets (NOTE: all ticket sales are FINAL; no refunds issued unless we are oversold)

Sep 16, 2015

40 Years of Bordeaux Tastings!

Toronto Vintners Club turned 40 years in June of 2015 and we’ve celebrated throughout the year.  TVC’s inaugural event was a tasting of Bordeaux wines in 1975 and we’ve hosted a Bordeaux event every year since then.  The initial occasion cost $6.50 per person ($7 at the door). The average cost of the wines consumed that evening was $5.82.  Mind you, they weren’t top Bordeaux by any means.  The club served a Colona Sommet Rouge for $2.15 (it was once the world’s biggest selling wine) and the priciest was the 1966 Chateau Rauzan Segla at $17.70. A 1966 Rauzan Segla would set you back about $325 if purchased today and if you still want a Sommet Rouge, you’ll have to travel to BC to buy it where it sells for $6.50/litre.  Oh we’ve come a long way baby!!!

On Monday, September 28, we'll be tasting a line-up of 2006 red Bordeaux. We have 2 Grand Cru Classé (GCC) wines and second (2e) to fifth (5e) growth wines mainly from the Left Bank.  The average cost of the wines for this tasting is $79 (based on futures’ prices) compared to $6 in 1975!

Theme:  2006 Bordeaux
Cost:  Members $90; Guests / Non-Members:  $120  - includes light appetizers
Date:   Monday, September 28/15
Time: 6:00 PM for reception wine; formal tasting usually starts at 6:20
Location:   Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1C7  - Map 
Register / Buy Tickets  Please note that all ticket sales are FINAL; we cannot provide refunds unless we are oversold and have a wait list.

May 21, 2015

Summer is Riesling Time!

Next month in June, we will usher in summer with some refreshing dry Rieslings - a grape that Jancis Robinson, one of the world's most

important wine critic considers the world's greatest white wine grape.  Read more about why on our website by clicking the link below. It will be a bit of a world tour since we have Rieslings from several different countries and wine growing regions. Hope to see you on June 16th.  We will take a break over the summer and then return in September.

Date: June 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
PlaceFaculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto  Map
Fees: Members: $60; Non-members & guests: $75
Register/Buy Tickets - NOTE - ALL ticket sales are FINAL.  We cannot issue refunds unless we are oversold & have a wait list. 

Our event includes appetizers with the main tasting event.  Dress is business casual. Please refrain from wearing cologne and other scented products to our events.