Memorable wines and spirits of 2016
By New Year’s Eve, I contemplate on the wines that I had for the previous year .and look ahead for the year to come. I enjoyed a good share of New World wines and discover some new ones such as the Balkans and stick to some of my old favorites such as The Rhone. Here are some of my favorites that I did not report on 2016.
May 2017 bring to all my readers, happiness, health and good wine fortune.
Domaine Lafrance Rouge Gorge Cider Vermouth. SAQ # 12979092. $24.75
Aromas that bring to mind cooked apple, fruit cake with chai the nuances. In the mouth, ample and not too sweet with flavors of quinine and other bitter herbs
Champagne and other bubblies
Paul Goerg Blanc de Blancs. SAQ # 11766597. $45.75
Made purely from Chardonnay and aged beyond Champagne’s minimum requirements, Paul Goerg is a reference of the Blanc de Blancs style. A regular winner in international contests, it has delicious apricot fruit with long, toasty complexity.
Taittinger Réserve Brut. SAQ # 10968752. $59.75
Complex and fresh with plenty of lengthy bubbly fun. Great price for a very drinkable Champagne. Love this one with its elegant flavors of lemon brioche and subdued minerality.
Sieur D’Arques Première Bulle. SAQ # 00094953. $18.80
Made predominantly from Mauzac, the exclusively hand-picked grapes are selected from very precise vineyard sites identified for the outstanding quality of their soil. The wine is then aged on second fermentation lees for 18 months, producing a refreshing dry sparkling wine that has luscious light floral and fruity scents and offers a fine and persistent mousse. The perfect balance between freshness and texture, the Premiere Bulle has to be next sparkling on your must have list for 2017.
Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie 2015. SAQ # 12258842. $25.70
Typical Sauvignon Blanc aromas of gooseberry and grassy flavours with an extra of candied grapefruit, lime zest and hints of pineapple. Long and harmonious on the finish.
Errazuriz Fumé Blanc 2015. SAQ # 00541250. $14.45
An easy going white always a reliable value in the shelves of the SAQ. Crisp white fruit, citrus notes, green apple and a pleasant hint of oak. Budget friendly and perfect for your gathering with friends. Good with fish and seafood tapas and Raclette dishes.
Albert Bichot Bourgogne Gamay 2015. SAQ # 12990371. $17.45
The Bourgogne Rouge is a blend of Pinot and Gamay varietals with an attractive cherry-red colour. The nose is fresh and fruity bursting with red fruits and spice. Pair with white meats, savouries and cheeses.
Tasca d’Almerita Cygnus 2012. SAQ # 11896519. $22.45
Aromas of licorice, black cherry with green pepper jelly and fruitcake spice. On the mouth, round and warm. Very generous with inviting flavors of toasted oak, bitter herbs. Ample tannins with a long finish that brings to mind smoke ashes.
Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet-Sauvignon 2014. SAQ # 00335174. $19.00
Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon has a bright ruby red colour and an very open nose that displays fresh red fruit and a hint of mint, all beautifully complemented by nuances of dried fruit and a subtle touch of sweet spices. Light balsamic touches enhance the bouquet even more.
Velvety on the palate, this wine starts out quite approachable with firm and fine tannins and flavours that reiterate the wine’s aromatic profile of dominant fresh red and black fruit accompanied by hazelnuts and sweet spices.
Portos and sweet wine:
Poças Late Bottled Vintage 2010. SAQ # 00603480. $24.10
Lovely Portuguese dessert wine, with black fleshy plums and prunes and dried fig aromas and flavours. Such a pleasant after-dinner sipper wine. Perfect for the cold January to come.
Offley Baron de Forrester Tawny 10 years. SAQ # 00260091. $29.95
Elegant and complex bouquet with flavours of ripe fruit jam and nuts, with nuances of vanilla, chestnuts and dates.. In the mouth, the balance between the richness of the grapes´ natural sugars and its tannins provide the wine with a fine structure and a delicate yet complex finish.
Clos Saragnat Avalanche 2013, Ice Cider. SAQ # 11133221. $27.45
Lovely aromas of brown sugar, toffee caramel, and honey. In the mouth, flavors bring to mind white fruit confit with an ample texture. Elegant and long finale.
Discovery of the year, A magnificent French Whisky
One of my amazing discoveries of the year was this French whisky. In 2013, Alexandre Sirech and Jean Moueix ( from the Bordeaux family) decided to create a whisky that suit their personal tastes.
Bellevoye is the result of a blend of three different whiskies. The idea behind this project was to create a whisky very much different that the current blends or classical single malts. Much like the wines of Bordeaux, they decided to craft a whisky that resemble their Bordeaux roots.
Bellevoye is composed from 3 barley brandies but they are cultivated in France. The distilleries are located in Lille, in Uberach ( Alsace) and Cognac. After the blend is finished, the whisky is aged more than a year in Cognac french barrels.
Les Bienheureux Bellevoye Triple Malt. SAQ # 13061478. $69.00
On the nose, lots of spice character. In particular gingerbread spices with notes of honey, dry fruits, flowers and menthol and a bit smoked as well. On the mouth, smooth and ample even creamy. Flavors bring to mind notes of custard and chai tea spices. Very fine and perfumed with a lovely herbal and anise finale. Very fresh and balanced with an aftertaste echoing seaweed.
By Marco Giovanetti – mtltimes.ca