By Marco Giovanetti
On the past weekend of Nov 2-4, I had the pleasure to attend the 6th edition of Raspipav wine festival at Marche Bonsecours in Montreal. On its sixth edition, this wine salon presented the wine agencies that specialize in the private importation of wine and spirits.
Before we start, lets define the phrase private imports. These are products that you will not see in our SAQ Outlet. They are chosen by the importing agency directly from the producer of the country of origin. Why would you buy private imports?. These agencies have thousands of interesting, artisanal products not available at the SAQ. The disadvantage is that you buy by the case.
To order, it is a two way process. First, you select a product that an agency represents. Second, you contact them and arrange delivery to an SAQ that is closest to your residence. The agency will quote you a price per bottle for private customers. The total price of the order will be paid in two parts. The first part, the taxes and the cost of the wine at your SAQ. For the other part, the agency fees, you will receive a bill at your house.
The Best of Raspipav
Navigating through the private importation can be quite a daunting task, if you are not a savvy wine consumer or sommelier. At raspipav, there were more than 30 agencies presenting their products. Some of them were quite interesting, the others, less so. There were more than 1000 wines on site from more than 100 vineyards worldwide.
One of the agencies that strike the most at Raspipav was Symbiose Vins et Cies. They represent unique and colorful producers such as the fantastic Domaine Josmeyer from Alsace and Adega Pedralonga, a producer that makes beautiful albarinos.
Another important agency that was present at Raspipav was Raisonance. This agency represents some of the best domains that practice biodynamic viticulture. At the salon, among other producers, they were showing the wines of Domaine de la Pinte ( Jura) and Clot De L’origine.
Keep tuned in the following weeks for a continuation of the coverage of that Raspipav wine festival.
Don’t forget to save the date for the 8th edition of la Fête Des Vins Du Québec 2013 held on November 29th, 30th and December 1st at Marche Bonsecours in Montreal. You will have a chance to taste products from 35 Quebec wine producers. In addition, you will have the opportunity of buying the products on site. Also, there will be a gourmet zone featuring 20 of the best agricultural Quebec producers and representatives of fromages CDA sharing their knowledge of cheeses made by 15 local artisans. For more information, visit: http://www.fetedesvins.ca/en/.
Represented by Symbiose-www.symbiose-vins.com
Josmeyer is a top family domaine based in Alsace, France. They have been producing wine since 1854. They specialize in grand crus such as Brand and Hengst. Since the year 2000, they practice biological and biodynamic farming.
Pinot Blanc, Mise du Printemps 2012 (25$ per bottle. Case of 12)
Mineral nose with apricot yoghourt character. In the mouth, dry, medium body and very elegant. Nice finale. 90\100.
Auxerrois H, 2011 ( Contact for availability)
Very mineral with citric and white fruits. In the mouth, dry and very elegant. 90\100 Riesling,
Le Kottabe 2010 ($33.54 per bottle. Case of 12)
Petrol alike bouquet with hints of white grapefruit and lemon peel. In the mouth, full body with a tense acidity. Very structured finale. This wine is young and needs time but has incredible potential. 93\100.
Cru Hengst 2008 (Contact for availability)
Mineral and petrol bouquet with nuances of citric fruits. In the mouth, the wine shows amazing interplay between power and acidity giving the wine an almost perfect structure. 95\100.
Pinot Gris Grand Cru Brand 2008 ($75.06 per bottle, Case of 6)
A rich nose reminding me of ripe apricots and spices. In the mouth, full body and very ample. Retronasal reminds me of petrol and smoke aromas. Amazing acidity. 95\100
Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Hengst 2007. ( Contact for availability)
Lychee fruit with roses on the bouquet. In the mouth, full body and racy with amazing minerality and spiciness. Elegant. This wine rocks. 97\100
Adega is a Portuguese word that means bodega in Spanish or wine cellar in English. Pedralonga belongs to the Alfonso family which has been making wine in Galicia since the early XX century. They craft singular albarinos that reflect the granitic soils of the Galician hills and the atlantic influence of the region. They practice biological and biodynamic farming.
Albarino 2011 ($28.72 case of 12)
Lots of silex and mineral character in the nose. In addition, stone white fruits. In the mouth, full body with smoky nuances and striking acidity. 97\100.
Represented by Raisonnance.(www.raisonnance.net)
Domaine de La pinte
Domaine de la pinte is a artinasal family estate specialized in the cultivation of noble Jura grape varieties such as Poulsard,Savagnin, and Trousseau. They are certified in bio.dynamic viticulture. They make wines that reflect the true nature of the soils of Jura. An emblematic domaine of the region.
Poulsard de L’ami Karl 2011 ( 28.61 per bottle case of 6)
A very ample nose reminding me of caramelized red fruits, flowers combined with a deep minerality and profound spice character. In the mouth, medium to full body with leathery and animal nuances. Fresh and rustic like with sturdy tannis. Light in alcohol, this wine invites to be drunk. 93\100
Clot de L’origine
A newcomer who found here in Rousillon in 2004 an opportunity to create an estate from the ground up yet with superb terroir and ancient vines. His biodynamic methods, that includes plowing by horse, and low sulfur from his wines do not seem out of the ordinary for this region, although l’Origine is noteworthy (despite what the word “Clos” might connote) for having vineyards in diverse soils and microclimates of no fewer than five villages: Calc, Maury, Estagel, Montner, and Latour de France.
Les Quilles Rouges 2010. ( 34$ per bottle. Case of 6). On the noe, intense aromas of cherry with black pepper. In addition, very mineral and earthy. On the mouth, the wine is full body, quite elegant reflecting the sublime nuances of the Rousillon Terroir. 95\100.