|Posted by hitnerwine on March 31, 2009 at 3:57 PM||comments (0)|
Tasting the Heidsieck Houses
On March 31, 2009, a respectable number of Toronto's distinguished wine journalists (such as it is) gathered together at Veritas Restaurant at 234 King Street East in downtown Toronto. Our purpose? To sample the wares of Heidsieck Champagne houses Piper and Charles, presented under the helpful guidance of International House Communications Sales Director Christian Hothausen.
To be honest, I usually dread these particular kinds of media tastings, which are oftentimes overly atmospherically straight-jacketed for my liking (*how's that for alliteration*). I wish my sommelier-friends from George Brown College were there --- more fun!
Moving on, it goes without saying that this particular Champagne tasting was gastronomically solid. With seven Champagnes to try, one was easily provided with an adequate perspective of both houses' approaches toward making Champagne at various levels of quality.
For my part, my favourite Champagne was definitely the Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires Brut Vintage 1995. With intense exotic fruit (my first impression) giving way to more 'temperate' green apples and Bartlett pears, I became enamored with the wine's overall fragrance, as well as with its floral overtones. Offering structured fruit and a tight finish, all very firm and clean, this was an excellently balanced wine. Stylish and delicious! I only wish I could afford it, as it fetches $174.80.
|Posted by hitnerwine on March 19, 2009 at 1:41 PM||comments (0)|
The Burgundy Road Show at the St. Andrews Club in downtown Toronto
On March 17, 2009, private agencies of Ontario joined together on the twenty-seventh floor of 150 King Street West to host of wine tasting that featured the Burgundian wares of their respective portfolios; and some of Toronto's most famous wine commentators and sommeliers were on hand to enjoy the show.
For people who adore Burgundy, little effort was required for the task.
From a personal point of view, I thought the whites (Chardonnay) stood out a great deal better than many of the reds (Pinot Noir), in large part because of a faulty temperature system that made all three tasting rooms overly warm (the whites were at least kept on ice, at least most of the time). It also didn't help that it was such a warm, gorgeous day outside.
From Domaine Louis Moreau, some magnificent Chablis wines were to be found, particularly their '07 Vaulignot Premier Cru label. Bright and beautifully scented, it carried complex notes of quince, fresh apples, sea pebbles, ferns, even a touch of 'mist' (albeit intangible); with steely, tingly fruit on the mouth and finish. Truly, a characterful wine with lovely finesse.
From Maison Joseph Drouhin, a sommelier-friend and I exchanged thoughts on the always-intriguing Clos de Mouches (Blanc), this particular bottle's contents hailing from the magnificent '05 vintage. With delicate hazelnut-like scents, mingled with hints of butterscotch, 'temperate' fruit, and a touch of vanilla, no self-respecting enthusiast of subtle wine would ever call this a 'blockbuster.' Still very young, mind you, both of us were fascinated by its crisp-yet-smooth mouthfeel and finish. A complex wine, to say the least.
From Maison Louis Latour, I was privy to enjoy a (less-than-healthy) sample of their '06 Corton-Charlemagne (Grand Cru). An excellent wine from a moderate vintage, many of its primary components were still largely derived from barrel aging, from intense toast and vanillin eventually giving way to bosc pears and light tropical fruit, quince, and fresh nuttiness. Complex even in infancy, one would be hard pressed to deny this wine its rightful pedigree, which is readily apparent especially on the finish. An excellent wine.
And so, it's times like these I wish I was rich --- fine Burgundy is really expensive!
|Posted by hitnerwine on September 4, 2008 at 5:15 PM||comments (1)|
I really enjoy the good stuff:
I make no denials: I adore top-quality wine!
Over the last few months, I've been fortunate enough to sample a few of the greats, and the most remarkable was the 1986 Lafite Rothschild, from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. Such grace and charm! With sweet-fruit, mocha, and cigar box scents, the wine still had a lot of vibrancy for its age.
Actually, I sampled this wine with my classmates at George Brown College, and most of them did not seem as enthusiastic about it as I was. Oh, well --- more for me!
|Posted by hitnerwine on April 16, 2008 at 11:23 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by hitnerwine on January 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM||comments (3)|
|Posted by hitnerwine on December 10, 2007 at 11:09 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by hitnerwine on November 2, 2007 at 10:54 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by hitnerwine on September 26, 2007 at 3:28 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by hitnerwine on September 11, 2007 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|