Best November wines

Best November wines – November is my favourite month of the year. For us wine writers and bloggers some of the biggest and most important wine events occur. These include: Raspipav, La Grande Degustation and others more reserved to the trade such as the Italian wine trade tasting.

Raspipav ( Le Salon de Vins D’Importation Privée) kicks off the merry month of November. On its 10 edition, it is the eventnot to be missed for the private wine and spirit market in Quebec. On the event, salon goers have the chance to taste more than 2000 wines in the presence of close to 150 wines producers. To buy tickets, please visit the webpage ( Raspipav will take place from the 28th to the 30th October in the Bonsecours market.

This year, I had the opportunity to be part of the judging panel to taste the sparkling and still white wines natural style under $40. For many Montreal wine lovers, Raspipav is the happening place to taste natural wines. If you need an incentive to go, is that during the festival you can buy wines by the unit instead of the case.

The winners of the judgment of Montreal for this year were:

In Sparkling:

1st – Crémant de limoux 2015, monsieur S, 28,46$
2nd – Kalkspitz 2015, christophe Holz, 30.82$
3rd – Blanquette de limoux 2015, monsieur S, 25.33$

In White:

1er – Riesling “Hollenburger” 2015, Christophe Hoch, 28$, Allemagne
2e – Mâcon bray, Chardonnay franc de pied 2015, Sébastien Boisseau, 39,60$
3e – Fleurs 2015, Philippe brand, 35.91$.

Then there is la grande dégustation. Happening from November 3rd to November 4th, during the two days, visitors can taste more than 1000 wines and spirits from 200 visitors. In 2017, Champagne takes the scene for the 375th anniversary of the city of Montreal and Riesling is the feature grape variety.

Riesling is one of the noblest white wine grape varieties. It has an intense perfume and pronounced acidity which it is able to maintain despite high ripeness levels.An important grape in Germany, Riesling comprises around 20% of total plantings,and it is the protagonist for some its greatest wines. It is planted widely on well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming from the best slopes in the best villages. German rieslings are delicate, racy, elegant and high couture wines that are made in many styles that from bone dry to highly aromatic bringing to mind apples,apricots, and other orchard fruit. German Rieslings also produce some great sweet wines.

Riesling is also an important grape in Alsace where it rounder and fuller wines than its German neighbor. Their dry Rieslings can be austere and quite mineral with exotic nuances while the Vendanges Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.

It is thank to the new world that Riesling is enjoying again a Renaissance. Nowadays Riesling is grown from Australia to Canada through the US ( Think Washington!!) and New Zealand. Each region bringing out its own version.

At the latest AQAVBS tasting, as well as Washington state wines, I also had to taste a representative sample of Riesling wines both Old and New World. Here are my favourite picks to give you a preview for la Grande Degustation:

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