JULIAN HITNER TORONTO WINE CONSULTANT

"For love of everything that is wine"

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2007

Last Sunday, I was fortunate to sample several excellent wines from the Mediterranean basin; without exception, all of them were both well done and quite unique. However, some people might be a bit surprised as to the origin of a couple of wines that I have decided to recommend --- try them!

RED WINES

(1) Domaine Carras (‘Château Porto Carras’ )
      -Greece, Côtes de Meliton
      -Cabernet Sauvignon
      -Vintage 2001 (DRINK OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $20.95
      -8.25/10



COMMENT: Let me be perfectly clear: this wine is from Greece; it is not Retsina, and it is extremely well done! With soft fruit and very pleasing scents (though a tiny bit loose on the palate), this is a lovely wine. Though 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, because it was extracted from Greek soil, there is noticeable (and delightful) nuances of unique flavours and distinctive aromas. Seek this wine out if you can.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Pasta with meat sauce --- enjoy!

(2) José Maria da Fonseca Vinhos (‘Domini Plus’)
      -Douro, Portugal
      -Vintage 2001 (DRINK NOW OR HOLD)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $25.00
      -8.25/10



COMMENT: Just as it should be, this wine carries all sorts of unique scents and flavours, courtesy of Portuguese winemakers' commitment to taking advantage of their own high-grade grape varietals - in this case, four! Contains lots of berries and a really clean mouthfeel - I really enjoyed this wine; nicely done.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: High-quality steak --- enjoy!

WHITE WINES

(1) Segura Viudas ('Aria Estate')
      -Penedes, Spain
      -Brut (DRY) Cava - SPARKLING WINE
      -NON-VINTAGE (DRINK NOW)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $16.95
      -8.25/10


COMMENT: For those that are looking for an inexpensive sparkling wine to start up a party or just a quiet, relaxing evening at home, I would have to say that this wine ought to be more than adequate. Light, green-toasty notes predominate, as well as a really crispy texture, overall. Priced very well.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Light appetizers, perhaps some Spanish dip and crackers --- enjoy!


(2) Ascheri
      -Langhe, Piedmont, Italy
      -Viognier
      -Vintage 2001 (DRINK NOW)
      -L.C.B.O. PRICE: $19.95
      -8.25/10

COMMENT: Lovely white wine from Northwest Italy, made by one of the most reliable large-scale producers in Piedmont, Matteo Ascheri. Smoky and fruit-driven, this wine is (surprisingly) full-bodied and very tasty - if you can get your hands on a bottle, I advise you to take advantage of it.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Smoked oysters --- enjoy!

ANY QUESTIONS?

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