Dec 22, 2009

2002 Cote de Beaune tasting

The 2002 vintage for Beaune was rated “outstanding” by E. Robert Parker. Unlike the tremendously difficult vintages of 2000 and 2001 in and around Volnay and half of Pommard, the 2002 vintage smiled on the entire Côte de Beaune. The '02 reds have ripe tannins but excellent acidity, which means that they are drinking well even now but will still keep for 10 or more years without a problem. The best 2002s are very fresh, nicely pure, punchy and racy with good fat and much better than average mid-palate concentrations plus a velvety, even silky quality to the finishes. The wines are moderately, in some cases even, firmly structured with ripe tannins and bright but not high acidity. The hand-picked and sorted grapes in each of the domaines represented create hand crafted wines that are truly representative of the terroir. In addition to the seven premier cru wines, the pièce de resistance is our Grand Cru selection from Corton Clos du Roy from Domaine Antonin Guyon, the only red Grand Cru wine – (the highest level of AOC classification in Burgundy) in Côte de Beaune. Our guest speaker, Sébastien Jacquey, Assistant Winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne, is originally from Burgundy.

We will be tasting the following wines:

  1. Corton Clos Du Roy 2002, Grand Cru, Domaine Antonin Guyon $89
  2. Louis Jadot Beaune, 1er Cru "Les Boucherottes" 2002 $50
  3. Volnay, Champans, 1er Cru, Marquis d'Angerville $80
  4. Louis Jadot Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er Cru "La Dominode" 2002 $44
  5. Jacques Prieur Beaune Greves 1er Cru, 2002 $64
  6. Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 2002, Bouchard Pere & Fils $69
  7. Jean-Marc Pavelot Savigny-Lès-Beaune, 2002, 1er Cru "La Dominode $48
  8. Pommard 'Les Chaponnieres' 2002 1er Cru, Domaine Parent $70

Event Details

Theme: 2002 Cote de Beaune
Date: Tues. November 17, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: TVC Members: $70; Guests: $85
Location: Toronto Board of Trade, 4th floor (Downtown Toronto), 1st Cdn Place, King St. West (NW Corner of King & Bay St.), Toronto
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Oct 21, 2009

Champagne Evening

Ooh, la. la! Our last event for 2009 is an event worth celebrating - a Champagne Evening to commemorate the end of the first decade after the New Millennium!! Yes! A full decade has already passed.

As you probably know, only wines produced in the Champagne region of France can legally be labeled Champagne now and we will be serving you 8 of them in addition to some light appetizers to accompany these glorious wines. As a special incentive, guests/non-members can attend at the same price as the members so bring your friends, spouses, colleagues and enjoy a great evening of wonderful bubbly from Toronto's best downtown wine tasting club! Thank you for your support over the past year and we look forward to seeing you in December and throughout 2010.

Event Details

Theme: Champagne Evening
Date: Tues. November 17, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: TVC Members: $78; Guests: $78
Location: Toronto Board of Trade, 4th floor (Downtown Toronto), 1st Cdn Place, King St. West (NW Corner of King & Bay St.), Toronto
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Oct 20, 2009

Port Evening and Rankings

We had a delightful evening sampling some lovely and interesting ports, in spite of our guest speaker's description of a previous tasting of one of the ports as 'baby's vomit'. Ooooh, yuck! Fortunately, no one found a bouquet of that description on any of the wines! Alan Gardner told us to look for 'grip' of the wines in our mouth and described how the production of Port changed around 1986 when Portugal joined the EEC. He also thought we'd find the Colheita Port (not a vintage port) different from the rest. It certainly was. Colheita ports are tawney wines aged in cask as opposed to barrel aged. This was the run-away favourite of the group which placed it at the top of their list; Alan liked it too, placing it as his 2nd favourite of the evening. Combined with appetizers of various types of cheeses, sweet and savoury pastries, walnuts, chocolate covered strawberries and dense chocolate brownies, we had a very enjoyable evening. Here's how the wines were ranked. They were poured in age order from oldest to youngest.

Thank you to Alan Gardner for making our evening successful and enjoyable!

Name of Wine (in order poured)

Group Ranking

Guest Ranking

A. 1978 Hutcheson Colheita Port 1 2
B. 1980 Gould Campbell Vintage Port 3 8
C. 1983 Quarles Harris Vintage Port 7 4
D. 1985 Warre's Vintage Port 4 3
E. 1991 Warre's Vintage Port 8 5
F. 1994 Warre's Vintage Port 5 7
G. 1997 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 2 6
H. 2000 Delaforce Vintage Port 2000 6 1

Oct 8, 2009

Vintage Ports in October!

Here's a preview of what TVC will be tasting this month. Vintage ports! This event will also include FOOD! See further down for the list of the wines. Click on Vintage Ports to go to our website for more details.

Event Details

Theme: Vintage Ports
Date: Tues. October 20, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: TVC Members: $65; Guests: $80
Location: University of Toronto Faculty Club
Public Transit Access - there is a streetcar that travels south on Spadina Ave from the Bloor Subway (St. George station) and the stop is right on Wilcocks street.
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1978 Hutcheson Colheita Port (Producer: Hutcheson, Feuerheerd & Assoc.) $89

1980 Gould Campbell Vintage Port (Producer: Vintage And Fine Wine International) $89

1983 Quarles Harris Vintage Port
(Producer: Quarles Harris & Co.) $79

1985 Warre's Vintage Port (Producer: Vintage And Fine Wine International) $79

1991 Warre's Vintage Port (Producer: Vintage And Fine Wine International) $75

1994 Warre's Vintage Port (Producer: Vintage And Fine Wine International) $89

1997 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port (Producer: Smith Woodhouse & C.A, L.Da) $84

2000 Delaforce Vintage Port 2000 (
Producer: Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman) $98

Sep 30, 2009

Rankings for the 2004 Bordeaux, Sept 22/09

Overall, people had a very good impression of these Bordeaux Right Bank wines and the vintage (all from 2004). While it was a vintage that is supposed to be maturing early, several of these wines can and should continue to be cellared for more time. They were very concentrated, with lots of fruit in most of the wines, balanced with good acidity, tannins, and structure.

As you can see below, Peter Boyd, our guest speaker, and the group had different palates when it came time to rank their favourite wines! The group preferred the most expensive wine of the evening, the Beausejour-Becot from St. Emilion while Peter ranked it close to the bottom! Peter's favourite was the Beauregard from Pomerol, a less fruity, more austere wine than the St. Emilions. There was more agreement on the wines placing 2nd, 3rd and 4th and last. The group ranked St. Emilion wines in their top 3 and bottom 2 with the Pomerols sandwiched in the middle.

Here are the rankings of the wines in the order in which they were poured.

Guest Speaker’s Rankings

2. D’aiguilhe, St. Emilion $38.70
5. Troplong Mondot, St. Emilion $69.00
1. Beauregard, Pomerol $49.00
6. Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol $67.00
3. Certan-Marzelle, Pomerol $64.50
8. Barde Haut, St. Emilion $59.00
4. Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse), St. Emilion $64.00
7. Beausejour-Becot, St. Emilion $65.00

Group Rankings

3. D’aiguilhe, St. Emilion $38.70
8. Troplong Mondot, St. Emilion $69.00
5. Beauregard, Pomerol $49.00
4. Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol $67.00
6. Certan-Marzelle, Pomerol $64.50
7. Barde Haut, St. Emilion $59.00
2. Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse), St. Emilion $64.00
1. Beausejour-Becot, St. Emilion $65.00

Thanks to Peter Boyd and our attendees for a very enjoyable evening of wonderful wines!

Sep 21, 2009

TVC presents Vintage Ports, Oct. 22

What better way to slide into autumn than with a tasting of vintage ports from Portugal!

Event Details

Theme: Vintage Ports
Date: Tues. October 20, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: TVC Members: $65; Guests: $80
Location: University of Toronto Faculty Club
Public Transit Access - there is a streetcar that travels south on Spadina Ave from the Bloor Subway (St. George station) and the stop is right on Wilcocks street.
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Sep 17, 2009

Bordeaux event almost full!

As of this morning, there are only 16 seats left for our 2004 Bordeaux tasting. Please don't wait to register. Buy your tickets at

Aug 26, 2009

2004 Pomerol & St. Emilion (Right Bank), September 22, 2009

We are pleased to offer a tasting of Bordeaux Right Bank wines to inaugurate the 2009-2010 season. With five selections from St. Emilion and three from Pomerol (home of Petrus), we can compare the two regions. Pomerol produces only 5.3 million gallons of wine over 2700 hectares and is characterized by more robust flavours which lend longer aging, whereas St. Emilion is one of the largest and oldest viticulture areas, producing 36 million gallons (over one third of Bordeaux production). St. Emilion wines tend to reach maturity quicker. The 2004 vintage was rated above average to excellent with early maturing for these two regions and these wines should be drinking well right now. The selection includes Premier Grand Crus such as Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse, Beausejour Becot and Troplong Mondot as well as some Grand Crus such as Beauregard and Le Bon Pasteur. For a complete listing and tasting notes of our wines, please click here (you will leave this Blog).

Our guest speaker is Peter Boyd, profiled in Wine Access magazine as one of "Canada's Top Sommeliers". Peter has had a long association with Scaramouche Restaurant, worked with some of Canada’s best chefs, and spent time living and working in France. We are delighted that he can join us for the evening.


Date: Tues. Sept. 22, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: Members: $65 Guests: $80
Register/Buy tickets
Venue: The Toronto Board of Trade, 4th floor (Downtown Toronto), 1st Cdn Place, King St. West (NW Corner of King & Bay St.), Toronto
Directions: How to Find the Toronto Board of Trade

must be received by Fri. Sept. 18/09
Online Payments - Sun. Sept. 20/09
Cheque-payment option to be disabled midnight, Tues. Sept. 15/09

Please note that all reservations/payments are final!

May 28, 2009

2005 Zind-Humbrecht, June 16, 2009

Next month, the Toronto Vintner’s Club is pleased to present a rare tasting of exclusive Alsatian wines from one of the oldest producers in the region. The Humbrecht family has long winemaking traditions, going back to the Thirty Years War (1620). The Domaine Zind-Humbrecht was created in 1959 with the union of family owned properties of Zenon Humbrecht and of Emile Zind. It is known as one of, if not the best producers in the region.

The region produces only 7 varietals; Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinto Blanc, Sylvaner, Vendange Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles. We are pleased to present 3 of these varietals from various vineyards owned by Zind-Humbrecht including some Grand Cru. And, the 2005 vintage is not just another new vintage but a great one, equal and perhaps superior to the much lauded 2001 vintage.

Event Details

Theme: 2005 Zind-Humbrecht, Wines of Alsace
Date: Tues. June 16, 2009
Time: 6 PM (reception wine); 6:25 Formal tasting
Price: TVC Members: $50; Guests: $60
Location: Toronto Board of Trade, 1st Cdn Place, East side of Bay St between King and Adelaide streets
How to Find the Board of Trade

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To learn more about Zind-Humbrecht and its wines, go to:

May 27, 2009

Brunello Rankings, May 26/09

Our tasting of 1999 Brunellos was a very good evening by all accounts with our attendees enjoying the knowledge, insights, and reception wine provided our guest speaker, Sommelier Angelo Agostino, who also doubled as our reception wine supplier!! Thank you so much Angelo and La Cantina Imports.

When the speaker and group have different opinions about the wines, it makes for an even more interesting and entertaining evening. The group and Angelo agreed on the Mastrojannim, ranking it seventh. But they were at opposite ends of the spectrum on their favourite and least favourite wines! The Group loved the Mocali, Brunello Di Montalcino ($55) while Angelo put it in last place. Of course, people may love all the wines but we force them to rank them which means something has to be first and something is placed last.

So here are the rankings in the order in which they were poured.

Guest Speaker's Rankings
5. '99 Fattori Dei Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG $42
8. '99 Mocali, Brunello Di Montalcino $55
2. '99 La Gerla Brunello Di Montalcino $65
6. '99 Castiglion Del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino $59
3. '99 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino $69
4. '99 Capanna Brunello Di Montalcino $55
1. '99 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino $62
7. '99 Mastrojanni Brunello Di Montalcino $56

The Group's Rankings
8. '99 Fattori Dei Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG $42
1. '99 Mocali, Brunello Di Montalcino $55
5. '99 La Gerla Brunello Di Montalcino $65
4. '99 Castiglion Del Bosco Brunello Di Montalcino $59
6. '99 Argiano Brunello Di Montalcino $69
2. '99 Capanna Brunello Di Montalcino $55
3. '99 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino $62
7. '99 Mastrojanni Brunello Di Montalcino $56

May 8, 2009

1999 Brunellos - SOLD OUT!

As expected, our May 26th Brunello event has sold out!! If you want us to put your names on a waiting list, please email us. TVC Members will be given preference over guests if any tickets become available.

May 4, 2009

10 tickets remaining

Only 10 tickets remain unsold for our 1999 Brunello tasting event on May 26.

To purchase tickets, click here.

May 3, 2009

1999 Brunellos

Brunello is considered to be one of the richest and most prestigious wines produced in Italy, largely due to its exclusivity. The 1999 vintage is regarded by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino as a 4 star year on their 5 star scale. Declared a ‘great vintage’ by Jancis Robinson, 1999 Brunello ranks second only to the 1997 vintage (a “classic”) and TVC is fortunate to present 8 wines from a highly rated year. Our guest speaker for the evening is Angelo Agostino of La Cantina Imports.

Event Details

Theme: 1999 Brunello
Date: Tues. May 26, 2009
Time: 6 PM (reception wine); 6:25 Formal tasting
Price: TVC Members: $68; Guests: $88
Location: Toronto Board of Trade, 1st Cdn Place, East side of Bay St between King and Adelaide streets
How to Find the Board of Trade

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Apr 26, 2009


Our "Spain - New World Wines" event was an evening of surprises. To start off, guests were served hors d'oeuvres in the lounge of the lovely Faculty Club along with a lovely and very reasonably priced reception wine from VALDRINAL located in the prestigious D.O. Ribera del Duero region of Spain which lies approximately 2 hours north of Madrid. People were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the wine for the price - around $19. The wine was supplied by Cellar D'Or Fine Wines so please contact Cellar D'Or to order this wine.

Behind the scenes, the club directors were dealing with an unexpected surprise - 2 of the wines shipped from the cellar were not Spanish! A mix-up in the inventory resulted in two French wines being delivered instead and there was nothing that could be done about it at that late stage. Fortunately, the most expensive Spanish wines had been delivered to us and the French substitutes that had bought for a future Rhone tasting were also very expensive. So attendees drank some very good wine over the evening.

But the biggest surprise was later in the tasting when attendees discovered just how good the Spanish wines were - certainly they were very good rivals for the traditional areas of Navarra, Rioja and Penedes. The overall quality, particularly of the most expensive wines, was excellent. The wines were full, very rounded, well balanced with good fruit, and had long finishes.

Our guest speaker, Barry Brown - President of the Spanish Wine Society, added his usual blend of humour and vast experience of visiting wineries in Spain to the evening and gave us his comments about the wines while guests drank the wines and munched on appetisers served by the U of Toronto Faculty Club wait staff.

Rankings by our Guest Speaker in his order of preference (with several ties because he loved them all)
1. 2005 Mas Doix, Salanques (Priorat) $88
2. 2004 Alion (Ribera del Duero) $93
2. 2004 Cesca Vicent Abat Domenech (Priorat) $59
2. 2004 Bodegas Castano, Casa Cisca Monastrell (Yecla) $65
2. 2006 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses (Priorat) $40
6. 2004 Costers del Siurana Clos de L'Obac (Priorat) $85

Group Rankings
1. 2004 Alion (Ribera del Duero) $93
2. 2004 Bodegas Castano, Casa Cisca Monastrell (Yecla) $65
3. 2005 Mas Doix, Salanques (Priorat) $88
4. 2004 Cesca Vicent Abat Domenech (Priorat) $59
5. 2004 Costers del Siurana Clos de L'Obac (Priorat) $85
6. 2006 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses (Priorat) $40

Mar 23, 2009

Spain's 'New World' Wines

In April, TVC will explore newer, up-and-coming regions of Spain that are at the forefront of the qualitative push to rival the best of Rioja, Penedes, etc. We feature 4 wines from Priorat, 2 from Toro, and one each from Yecla and Ribera del Duero. As you can see below, these wines fetch quite high prices but promise to evolve for many years to come. This will provide our attendees with an opportunity to sample these winemakers’ products and then buy and cellar wines from more recent vintages. These wines promise to deliver pleasure for many years to come at a fraction of the cost of wines from Bordeaux.

Event Details

Date: Wed. April 22, 2009
Time: 6 PM
Price: TVC Members: $65; Guests: $80 (includes appetizers)
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto, 41 Willcocks St. Toronto, Ontario M5S 1C7
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The Wines

2004 Bodegas Castano, Casa Cisca Monastrell (Yecla) $65
the estate’s flagship wine, is 100% old-vine Monastrell (70+ years of age) aged for 14 months in American oak. Dark ruby/purple-colored, it emits an attractive array of Asian spice, tobacco, cedar, and blueberry pie aromas. On the palate additional flavors of cherry and chocolate emerge. The wine has a firm structure, excellent balance, and a long finish. It should evolve for several years and drink well through 2022. Jay Miller: 92.

2004 Alion (Ribera del Duero) $93
Bodegas Alion was started by the renowned estate of Vega Sicilia in 1991. Grapes are sourced from vineyards next to the winery and from Vega Sicilia’s own vineyards at Valbuena. Eighteen hectares of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) form the actual Alion estate. The 2004 Alion is inky purple-colored with an alluring perfume of toasty oak, lavender, violets, mineral, blackberry, and blueberry compote. This is followed by a full-bodied, rich, opulent, wine with incipient complexity, and notes of licorice, mocha, and espresso emerging on the palate. The lengthy finish is pure and persistent. Give it 3-5 years in the cellar and drink it through 2025. Jay Miller: 96.

2004, Bodegas Maurodos, San Roman Tinto (Toro) $55
100% Tinta de Toro, was aged for 22 months in French and American oak, mostly new, prior to bottling without filtration. It is purple-colored with a lovely perfume of toasty oak, mineral, spice box, violet, lavender, and blackberry. Sweet, layered, and structured, this muscular effort will evolve for 5-7 years in the cellar and drink well through 2025. Jay Miller (Wine Advocate): 92/100.

2004 Tardencuba Valnuevo Seleccion (Toro) $52
Fermented with native yeasts and bottled without fining or filtration. The 2004 spent 16 months in new French oak. Aromatics include wood smoke, toast, saddle leather, scorched earth, and blackberry. Opulent, spicy, rich, and structured, it will become more complex with 6-8 years of additional cellaring and drink well through 2030. Jay Miller: 93+/100.

2004 Cesca Vicent Abat Domenech (Priorat) $59
Family owned since the 13th century. 50% Garnacha and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in slate and gravel soils. Aged for 12 months in French oak. Saturated purple in color, the nose offers an array of elements including violets, mineral, spice box, vanilla, black cherry and black currants that is quite bewitching (beautiful perfume is a trademark of the top 2004 Priorats). On the palate the wine is full-bodied, opulent, and beautifully delineated. It has enough structure to evolve for 4-6 years (or more) and provide pleasure through 2020. Jay Miller: 93+.

2004 Costers del Siurana Clos de L'Obac (Priorat) $85
The purple-colored 2004 Clos de l’Obac exhibits a beautiful perfume of spice box, mineral, kirsch, red and black currants, and black cherry. Intensely fruity on the palate, it is already complex, sweet, and layered. The oak, tannin, and acidity are nicely integrated and the finish is long and pure. Give this stylish wine 3-5 years of cellaring and drink it through 2022. Jay Miller: 95.

2005 Mas Doix, Salanques (Priorat) $88
Blend of 65% Garnacha, 20% Carinena, and the balance Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, is aged in French oak for 14 months. It has a glass-coating purple-hue with an alluring bouquet of cedar, smoke, slate, blueberry, and black cherry. Youthful and structured on the palate, this potentially complex effort will profit from 5-7 years of additional cellaring. It will be at its best from 2015 to 2030. J. Miller: 93.

2006 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses (Priorat) $40
[Alvaro] Palacios who comes from a famous Rioja winemaking family (owners of the Bodegas Palacios Remondo), apprenticed with Christian Moueix at Château Pétrus and Château Trotanoy. The wine has ripe fresh flavors of black cherries, blackberries and plums with coffee accents. Smooth and graceful with a long and fruity finish. Collectors know that Les Terrasses is highly scored and highly sought-after year after year.

Mar 18, 2009

Beautiful Chardonnay, very good Pinot

"Beautiful whites", "very good Pinots" were a few of the comments made about Le Clos Jordanne wines at our March 17th wine tasting event. Most of these wines were made in a very wet summer and so accolades to the wine makers who had a difficult harvest to contend with. The Pinots were light in colour but had, in most cases, considerable mouth feel, body, flavour and complexity. The bouquets varied considerably.

Overall, the group was particularly impressed with the Chardonnays. One person commented that he didn't think Ontario could produce Chardonnays as good as these. It was very interesting and also surprising to taste the differences in vineyards separated in distance by only 50 metres with variances in nose, flavours, and minerality! Clearly, terroir is a major factor in Niagara.

Our guest speaker, Sebastien Jacquey, still a newcomer to Canada and to Le Clos, explained the challenges that the winery faces in being an organic winery, especially having to deal with additional diseases and pests from all the orchards in the Niagara peninsula. With all of Sebastien's training and experience in Burgundy, France's loss is clearly Canada's gain. Selastien also brought along an experimental Riesling for the group to taste, one that will never hit the public. Our attendees were very appreciative of the wines and the chance to question the winemaker. Fortunately, Clos Jordanne's production is increasing so there is more product on the market. It's possible to buy some the 2006's as well as the 2007's and lay them down for several years.

So, here is how the Group and guest speaker, Sebastien Jacquey rated these wines. Sebastien did taste them blind. There was total agreement on the Chardonnays because there were only 3 of them but there was also some agreement between Sebastien and the group on the Pinot Noirs. Both had Le Clos Pinot Noir as their top 1 or 2 wines and the Petite Village - a very nice wine on its own - ranked fifth of the five Pinots.

We are very grateful to Thomas Bachelder for providing our reception wine and arranging for Sebastien as our speaker and to Sebastien for being our guest speaker. Once again, another informative and enjoyable evening for the TVC group! Here are the rankings.

Guest Speaker Rankings - Pinot Noirs:
1. Pinot Noir 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40 (wine D as poured)
2. Pinot Noir 2006, Le Grand Clos $70 (wine E)
3. Pinot Noir 2006, La Petite Vineyard $40 (B)
4. Pinot Noir 2006, Village Reserve $40 (A)
5. Pinot Noir 2005, La Petite Vineyard $35 (C)

Group Rankings - Pinot Noir:
1. Pinot Noir 2006, Le Grand Clos $70 (wine E)
2. Pinot Noir 2005, La Petite Vineyard $35 (C)
3. Pinot Noir 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40 (D)
4. Pinot Noir 2006, La Petite Vineyard $40 (B)
5. Pinot Noir 2006, Village Reserve $40 (A)

Group and Speaker Rankings - Chardonnay
1. Chardonnay 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40 (wine G)
2. Chardonnay 2006, Le Grand Clos $65 (H)
3. Chardonnay 2006, Village Reserve $40 (F)

Mar 12, 2009

Rankings - 2000 Chat du Pape tasting, Feb 17, 2009

At last, here are the rankings from our February 17th tasting of 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape wines. The group and our guest speaker, Jacques Marie, agreed on two of the wines: the Font de Michelle as their 3rd and the Chapoutier as their 7th. Overall, comments were it was a great tasting.

Overall Group Ranking (#1 is the favourite; #8 the least favoured wine)

1. 2000 Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Prestige Tete de Cru $55
2. 2000 Clos des Papes $47
3. 2000 Font de Michelle $37
4. 2000 Domaine du Grand Tinel $34
5. 2000 Domaine du Galet des Papes $36
6. 2000 Roger Perrin $33
7. 2000 Chapoutier, la Bernardine $35
8. 2000 Domaine des Relagnes $44

Guest Speaker's Ranking (Jacques Marie)

1. 2000 Domaine du Galet des Papes $36
2. 2000 Domaine du Grand Tinel $34
3. 2000 Font de Michelle $37
4. 2000 Domaine des Relagnes $44
5. 2000 Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Prestige Tete de Cru $55
6. 2000 Clos des Papes $47
7. 2000 Chapoutier, la Bernardine $35
8. 2000 Roger Perrin $33

Mar 11, 2009

Tickets still available for Le Clos Jordanne

There are still plenty of spaces available for next week's tasting of the Wines from Le Clos Jordanne. But remember to sign up soon because we need to confirm numbers with our venue manager. Thanks.

Website is now accessible

We resolved the issue of our domaine name registration and our website is now accessible. Sorry for any inconvenience this caused.

Mar 8, 2009

TVC website is unavailable

Our website will be unavailable for a few days while we deal with some administrator issues to renew it. In the meantime, you can still register for our upcoming Le Clos Jordanne tasting using the link in the post below or on the side panel. To access the wine tasting notes for the wines we're featuring, please click on this posting link:

Event: Wines of Le Clos Jordanne
Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Time: 6:00 PM (Reception Wine); 6:20 PM (Formal tasting)
Where: Toronto Board of Trade, 1st Cdn Place (Entrance off Adelaide St. between Bay & York)
Directions: How to Find the TO Board of Trade
Costs: TVC Members: $52; Guests $65
Register: Register/Buy Ticket

Guest speaker for March 2009 event

We are excited to announce that Sébastien Jacquey will be our speaker for the Wines of Le Clos Jordanne tasting on March 17. Sébastien, a native of Burgundy, is currently assistant winemaker at Le Clos, as well as assistant vineyard manager. Sébastien enjoyed his first internship at the Pascal Jolivet-Les grands vins du Val de Loire, Sancerre and in 2003, was a trainee at Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Pauillac, making wine with one of the most prestigious Bordeaux wineries. In addition to his real-life production experience and expertise, Sébastien holds several certificates and degrees relating to oenology and viticulture. In addition, attendees are our March event will be in for a surprise from Le Clos. We're not at liberty to say what that will be, otherwise, it won't be a surprise! You'll have to attend to find out.

Tasting notes, Wines of Le Clos Jordanne

Since our website is currently unavailable, below are the wine tasting notes for the wines we'll be tasting at our March 17th tasting event of Le Clos Jordanne.

Chardonnay 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40
Single vineyard. Bright yellow straw colour; toasty, vanilla, orange and apple notes with a marked minerality; well structured and firm, full on the palate, well balanced with good length. “Likened to a Peregrine Falcon it seems to have more finesse and style with a floral bouquet with a touch of vanilla and butter on the nose and light fruit flavours of pear, apple and lemon peel on the palate with an acidity and minerality on the finish.” Chuck Byers, David Lawrason: "vivacious and vibrant". 91 pts. Oct. 7, 2008). Tony Aspler: 4.5/5 stars., A Wine Lover's Diary.

Chardonnay 2006, Village Reserve $40.
This 2006 Village Chardonnay, sourced from several of the estate's vineyards, is simply stellar. Deep in colour, this medium full-bodied wine is packed with aromas and flavours of citrus fruit, peach, vanilla, butterscotch and hazelnut, all balanced by fresh acidity and leading to a very long finish. Tony Aspler: 4 /5 stars.

Chardonnay 2006, Le Grand Clos $65.
“If there were to be a Canadian Grand Cru Chablis but better, this would be it! Vanilla, pear, citrus, butter give way to a strong mineral flintiness that can be described as edgy to say the least. This Harpy Eagle of a wine needs time, and if given it, will reward with luscious flavours that at this time can only be imagined.” Chuck Byers,

Pinot Noir 2005, La Petite Vineyard $35.
Medium ruby; sturdy, black raspberry and mineral nose; ripe fruit with apparent oak; firm structure with a chalky finish and evident tannins. “The lightest of the single-vineyard wines from a sandier block east of the main holdings. Moderately deep, ruby-garnet colour. Nose is lifted, very spicy and savoury with ripe sour cherry (not big black cherry) and a touch of earthy beetroot character. Feels lighter to mid-weight, firm, almost tart and sour, with grip on the finish. There is considerable, slightly green tannin. Nice focus, some finesse; very good to excellent length. Score - 88.” (David Lawrason,, Nov. 23, 2007)

Pinot Noir 2006, La Petite Vineyard $40.
Situated on sandy soil, this vineyard is quite small (3.5 acres) but delivers some of the most perfumed wines in Le Clos generally. Ruby colour with a minerally, raspberry and rose petal nose accented with cinnamon; very elegant and feminine with a lovely mouth-feel and good length. A seductive wine. Tony Aspler 4.5/5 stars. “Elegant and stylish with floral and berry bouquet it has rich red fruit on the palate with less minerality than the other vineyards but a good acidity that remains on the finish. The acidity will integrate further with the wine in time to make this wine a lovely piece of art.”, Chuck Byers.

Pinot Noir 2006, Village Reserve $40
The Village Reserve is the best value of the five le Clos Jordanne pinots in 2006. It combines young vine fruit from the large Talon Ridge site atop the Escarpment, and de-selected barrels from other single vineyards. It is the second deepest coloured of the five and may age as well as any. The nose is fairly intense with some piquant, floral cran-raspberry fruit and a cedary, earthy background. It's mid-weight, sinewy and quite tannic but has some mid-palate elegance and good flavour integration on the finish. Very good to excellent length. Score - 88. (David Lawrason,, Dec. 2008)

Pinot Noir 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40
Consistently Le Clos's most expressive and provocative Pinot Noir, the single vineyard Le Clos Jordanne offers more on the nose than the top-of-the-line Le Grand Clos at this early stage. The floral element on the nose (suggestive of dried roses and violets) is characteristic of the vineyard. On the palate, there are layers of earthy mineral and savoury flavours and vibrant red fruit notes. This is a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir, and represents a new level of intensity for the Le Clos wines.
Score - 4 .5/ 5 stars. Christopher Waters,, Nov. 1, 2008.

Pinot Noir 2006, Le Grand Clos $70
The wait for the much-anticipated 2006 vintage of Le Clos Jordanne's wines is now over. A superstar among wine critics and customer favourite since its inaugural vintage, the Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir is bound to generate as much excitement and acclaim with its latest vintage. From its lovely plum, blackcurrant and floral aromas to its alluring fruit to its long, focused, minerally finish, this super-premium Pinot is one of the finest and purest expressions of Niagara terroir.

Feb 20, 2009

Next event - Wines of Le Clos Jordanne

On March 17, we are very excited to have the chance to sample 8 wines from Le Clos Jordanne - three Chardonnays and five Pinot Noirs - all except one from the 2006 vintage. This is an opportunity to compare different vineyards and production techniques of the same grape varieties. Some of these wines need more time but this is a unique occasion to taste products from an up- and- coming winery so you can stock your private cellar for the future!

Event: Wines of Le Clos Jordanne
Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Time: 6:00 PM (Reception Wine); 6:20 PM (Formal tasting)
Where: Toronto Board of Trade, 1st Cdn Place (Entrance off Adelaide St. between Bay & York)
Directions: How to Find the TO Board of Trade
Costs: TVC Members: $52; Guests $65
Register: Register/Buy Ticket

Lots has been written and blogged about Le Clos Jordanne and its chief winemaker, Thomas Bachelder, but some of it is worth repeating.

The winery has received no end of accolades about their wines, particularly their Pinot Noir, since the release of its first wines. Why is their wine considered so good? First and foremost, the vineyard was well planned and laid out at the beginning. The winery employs Burgundian traditions of mixing clones within planting blocks, spacing vines tightly and employing the Guyot pruning system or Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) to position the shoots towards the sun to ensure optimal photosynthesis, air circulation and ripening. Secondly, the best Burgundian clones were used on the best grafts possible for the soil underneath the vineyard. Thirdly, Organic/Bio dynamic farming is used. There are no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides used. Fourthly, allowing the expression of terroir to come through in their wines is very important to Le Clos. Wild yeasts are used in their wine making; the fermentation process is gentle and unhurried; and they minimize fining and filtration to preserve the flavour compounds that can be removed through such procedures. Fifthly, they concentrate on only two types of grapes/wines - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Lastly, but not least in importance, the winery engaged a very good winemaker, Canadian-born Thomas Bachelder, who spent several years making wine in Burgundy. TVC members who attended our 2000 Premier Cru Burgundy tasting in January 2007 tasted a couple of Le Clos wines and may recall Thomas as our guest speaker. In fact, the group loved the mystery wine and ranked it their 2nd favourite over the premier crus. What was it? The Le Clos Jordanne, 2004 Pinot Noir, La Petite Vineyard!

We will be tasting the following wines from Le Clos Jordanne:

Chardonnay 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40
Chardonnay 2006, Village Reserve $40
Chardonnay 2006, Le Grand Clos $65
Pinot Noir 2005, La Petite Vineyard $35
Pinot Noir 2006, La Petite Vineyard $40
Pinot Noir 2006, Village Reserve $40
Pinot Noir 2006, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard $40
Pinot Noir 2006, Le Grand Clos $70

Feb 18, 2009

Which wines were the favourites?

Just waiting to obtain the rankings of the Chateauneuf du Pape wines from our Feb 17th tasting. Since the Blog author was in Arizona at the time, she wasn't at the tasting but from all the reports, the wines were fabulous and the speaker, Jacques Marie, was great!

Jan 29, 2009

Jacques Marie, guest speaker

Toronto Vintners Club is delighted to have as our guest speaker at the upcoming tasting of 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape, Jacques Marie - international wine judge, a Master in Food and Wine Technology and a Master Chef. A native of Normandy, France who has lived in Canada for many years, he is a co-author The Wine Lover Dines with reknown wine writer, Tony Aspler, and co-author of The Wine Manual with Konrad Ejbich and Shari Darling . Jacques also hosted two radio shows on wine.

His work experience includes Executive Chef at Sutton Place Hotel and Executive Sous-Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Inn On The Park in Toronto. He was a Professor in Wine Education at the Stratford Cooking School and at George Brown College in Toronto. In 1992, he was made a Fellow of the Ontario Hostelery Institute.

Jacques received the Croix de Chevalier du Merite Agricole from the French government in addition to many other awards from various associations. He is an active governor of the Sommelier Guild and is a member of numerous wine and culinary groups. Jacques has many other interests ranging from music to camping and scuba diving.

Thank you to for much of the biography on Jacques Marie.

Jan 28, 2009

Chateauneuf du Pape is SOLD OUT!

Our February wine tasting of 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape sold out in 2.5 days. Sorry to disappoint those members who weren't able to get tickets.

Jan 27, 2009

Chat du Pape tickets sales very brisk

Ticket sales opened today for our February 17th Chateauneuf du Pape tasting. Currenly, only TVC members and their guests can register. In less than 12 hours, almost 50% of the seats have been sold. Members, please don't delay in registering for your spot! Don't want you to be disappointed. If you aren't a member yet, join soon and you'll receive our event details within 24 hours. See our sidebar for the link to join.

Jan 26, 2009

Members get advance ticket sales

Because there are only 72 tickets available for our 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape tasting, TVC members have been exclusive advance ticket sales to register themselves and their guests for this tasting.

Jan 22, 2009

February event, Chateauneuf du Pape

Next month, we'll be tasting wines from the 2000 vintage of Chateauneuf du Pape.

Here are a few details:

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 17
Place: Toronto Board of Trade, downtown centre
Cost: Members: $56; non-members/guests: $70

Our wines include: Roger Perrin, Domaine du Grand Tinel, Domaine des Relagnes, Clos des Papes, Font de Michelle, Domaine du Galet des Papes, Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Prestige Tete de Cru, and Chapoutier, la Bernardine.

As tickets are quite limited, our members will receive preferential treatment. They will have several days to register before we make the registration link and more details public on our website. If you'd like to get in on the act, we would welcome you as a new member. Click on the appropriate link on the blog sidebar to join or go to our website.

Jan 21, 2009

Finding a specific wine

Sometimes we get queries from people wanting to find a particular bottle of wine or vintage in Ontario. Here is some helpful information for the province of Ontario.

Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
1-800-ONT-LCBO (1-800-668-5226) or
416-365-5900 in the Toronto area
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.


Customer Service
1-800-266-4764 or
416-365-5767 in the Toronto area
Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

Jan 5, 2009

1999 Burgundy Tasting, January 20, 2009

We start off the 2009 tasting year with a bang. The 1999 Burgundy vintage is one of the best of the 90's with a perfect summer four-week period over August and September resulting in a decent harvest with wines that will wow you - the Pinot's are very fruity and drinking beautifully. "The 1999 wines are distinguished by their purity and balance," pronounced Pierre-Henry Gagey, the BIVB's president (winegrower\rquote s association of Burgundy. ". . . The reds are fine in colour, full-bodied, with a pronounced character expressed through some truly luscious fruity notes." (Jon Henley, The Guardian, Monday November 22 1999.) The wines are generally deeply coloured, quite fleshly, with soft, rounded tannins and a lovely purity of fruit. The lesser villages will develop fairly quickly but the better Premier Crus and Grand Crus should hold for ten years. This vintage in Burgundy has been touted as "very good", " great", "most exciting I've ever tasted" , (Jancis Robinson), "one of the best in 20-30 years", "a cracker", "exceptional" . . . we could go on and on but, really, is that necessary because we'd be repeating ourselves? 1999 will be regarded in the years to come as a great red wine vintage and we will be drinking these wines at their peak.

We have several premier cru wines along with others from highly regarded producers. And our guest speaker will be Peter Wearing of The Small Winemakers's Collection. Peter is no stranger to TVC, having supplied us with quality reception wines on more than one occasion. This time he has agreed to do double duty! So please join us for an exceptional and fun evening of great wines and good company on Tuesday, January 22, 2009.

Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
: Reception Wine: 6:00 PM, Formal Tasting: 6:20 PM
Costs: Members’ Fee: $64; Guests/Non-Members Fee: $80
Register / Buy Tickets

Where: Toronto Board of Trade (4th Floor), 1st Cdn Place, (Entrance off Adelaide St. between Bay & York) How to Find the Board of Trade


1999 Savigny-Lès-Beaune Aux Vergelesses, 1er cru, Simon Bize. $45 Two cuvees which have been assembled. The most sophisticated of tall the Savignys. Very lovely, classy, intense fruit. Fullish body, long and complex; very fine. Clive Coates, MW, The Vine, March 2001.

1999 Volnay, Santenots, Domaine Matrot. $49
Medium ruby in colour. Inviting nose of sweet cherries, raspberries and violets. Well-structured with ripe fruits, minerals and fresh herbs on the palate. A seductive offering with good acidity and a persistent finish. Tasty now [2000]; better in three years. Lloyd Events, Dec. 14/02.

1999 Volnay, 1er cru, Clos des Chenes, Domaine Antonin Guyon, $49
Clos Des Chenes is one of the most well-known Premiers Crus of Volnay. The plots of Antonin Guyon extend over an area of 87 acres, remarkably well located. The soil is clay and limestone. Vines are 25 yr. old. Wines are aged 18 months in French oak barrels (40% new oak) A beautiful dark ruby with aromas of berries and undergrowth. A persistence in the mouth with a richness and very final race.

1999 Nuits St. Georges, Close des Porrets St Georges. Domaine Nehri Gouges $63 Blackberry-scented, medium to dark ruby-colored; firm personality. Reveals an excellent depth of dark fruits (mostly brambleberries and blackberries) in its silky yet highly structured character. Drink over the next 7-8 years.; Wine Advocate #135; June 2001. Pierre Rovanie 87-89 pts.

1999 Lucien Muzard Santenay la Maladiere, 1er cru. $32
Ruby-coloured; displays dark cherry and fresh herb aromas. Light to medium-bodied and packed with layers of sweet cherries. Well-made, seamless, easy-going wine to be drunk over the next 5 years.; Wine Advocate #135; June 2001. Pierre Rovanie 86 pts.

1999 Morey-Saint-Denis en Rue de Vergy, Domaine Henri Perrot-Minot. $49
Dark ruby. Aromas of blackberry, blackcurrent, espresso and bitter chocolate. Dense and sweet but sappy, with flavours of blackberry and chocolate. Has just enough cut to avoid being heavy. Tannins are nicely ripe. From a full yield and rather large grapes. Steven Tanzer, Int’l Wine Cellar, Mar-Apr 2001. 87-89. Robert Parker: 88.

1999 Chambolle Musigny, 1er cru, Les Charmes, Roux Pere & fils. $50
Sorry, no tasting notes available.

1999 Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques, Louis Jadot. $85 Deep ruby and purple hues with intense, forward aromas of Gevrey earth and roasted coffee with flavors that are richly tannic yet velvety and quite long. This gives the Clos St. Jacques a run for its money in 99, something that it rarely does chez Jadot. (89-92)/2008-10