Feb 27, 2012

Chianti Classico in March

Once associated with bottles wrapped in straw baskets, Chianti has come a long way on its evolution to the great wine it is today. Chianti is one of the most attractive territories of Italy.

In March, TVC will re-taste wines from the Chianti Classico region.  Our inventory has received two additional years of aging in excellent cellaring conditions so it will be interesting to see how these wines have developed in the bottle.We will taste 8 wines (along with light appetizers).  The 2006 and 2007 vintages of Isole e Olena Classico are the standard bearers for this winery, produced by rigorous selection of Sangiovese grapes from the most outstanding vineyard parcels. The wine-makers of Antinori have been innovators in the development of Super-Tuscan blends, keen experimenters in the vineyard, and their considerable success has led to expansion in ownership of real estate and vineyards. From the eastern edge of the Classico region, in what was originally an 11th Century monastery, we’ll compare the 2006 Badia a Coltibuono Riserva against their 2007 non-Riserva. The wines are made from entirely estate-grown fruit with the classic Chianti recipe of predominantly Sangiovese with Canaiolo. The 2003 versus the 2005 vintage Castello di Ama, the truest expression of Chianti Classico, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese grown in chalky clay soils, 8% Canaiolo and 12% Malvasia. Finally, from one of the oldest wineries in the region, Antinori, dating back to the 12th century, with 26 generations producing Chianti, we can compare their Riserva with the 2005 Badia a Passignano to their non-riserva Peppoli.

Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Time: 6 PM
Price: Members: $58
          Guests:     $73
          (includes appetizers)
Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,  41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON  M5S 1C7  - Map
Deadlines: Mailed Reservations - Friday, Mar. 16, 2011
               Online Payments - 5pm Sunday, Mar. 18, 2011

Feb 25, 2012

2003 Red Burgundy - Results, Feb. 2012

A wise wine merchant once made the comment - "The first duty of every wine is to be red.  The second is to be from Burgundy."  One of the great charms of Burgundy is that it is so different year to year.  This past Tuesday, (February 21, 2012) we got the opportunity to taste some great Burgundy's from a very different Burgundy and from one of the most unusual years in recorded history. 

Our speaker for the evening was Peter Wearing, who co-founded The Small Winemakers Collection, a wine agency, in 1991. Today he is managing director of the company that employs 15 people and is one of the largest agencies in the province.

Peter started off the evening by speaking about why the 2003 vintage was so unique.  2003 was plagued by heat waves all over Europe.  Temperatures were on average, 6 degrees higher than normal.  A 4 degree difference is very unusual, but 6 degrees was previously unheard of.  This increase in temperature lead to the earliest harvest on record, which started on August 20th, which was a full 4-6 weeks earlier than the earliest ever recorded harvest date (depending on the location in burgundy).  This high heat caused the grapes to contain high amounts of sugar.

Many producers thought that the 2003 vintage would be a write-off, but at some point during the fermentation, magic happened.  The acids increased, and the tannins from the thicker grape skins helped to round everything out.

All the wines that we tasted, were great examples of what skilled winemakers were able to produce in much less than ideal conditions.  All the wines were great with not a bad one in the bunch.

Peter's number one wine of the evening was the 2003 Rossignol-Trapet - Latricieres-Chambertin $109. He said that this was an elegant Burgundy, with a great woody nose.  The acids and tannins were beautifully integrated along with great fruit and woody flavours.  The group agreed with Peter as they ranked this as their second favourite.

The groups favourite wine, which was ranked first by one of the largest margins we have ever seen in a tasting, was the 2003 V Lignier - Morey St Denis, Les Faconnieres, 1er cru $84.  It had great dried fruit flavours of plum and cherry, along with subtle hints of leather and tobacco.  Peter didn't quite agree with the rest of us, and ranked this wine 6th, mainly due to what he said was a lack of that typical Burgundy complexity.

Name of Wine (in order poured) Group Ranking Guest Ranking
A -
2003 Domaine du Prince Florent de Merode Corton Les Marechaudes $67
3 5
B -
2003 Taupenot-Merme - Mayzeres-Chambertin $100
4 2
C -
2003 Rossignol-Trapet - Latricieres-Chambertin $109
2 1
D -
2003 V Lignier - Morey St Denis, Les Faconnieres, 1er cru $84
1 6
E -
2003 Albert Morot Beaune, Bressandes, 1er cru $57
5 8
F -
2003 de Montille - Beaune, Perrieres, 1er cru $79
6 4
G -
2003 Domaine Jean-Marc & Hugues Pavelot Savigny-lès-Beaune aux Guettes, 1er cru $49
7 7
H -
2003 Alain Hudelot-Noellat - Nuits St Georges, Les Murgers, 1er cru $99
8 3

Feb 13, 2012


One of the wines we'll be tasting on February 21

Unfortunately for most of us, Burgundy is not our everyday drinking wine.  So why come out & taste something that you maybe can't afford to buy for your home cellar?  Well, most of the special things in life we don't do or can't afford every day such as eating out at fine restaurants or traveling to exotic places.  But does that stop us from enjoying the finer things in life?  Absolutely NOT.  And it's the same with fine wines.  Attending a tasting of fine Burgundies hosted by Toronto Vintners is the closest many of get to enjoy these wonderful wines.  Burgundy is recognized as one of the top wine producing regions in the world so consider this a reminder to register for our event next week.  After all, time and space are both running out!

To register for this event, click on the link on the Right sidebar under Our Next Event.