Succes Vinicola Feedback

I am on vacation at the moment, so the wine reviews are taking a back seat for the moment

Before I left for Walt Disney, I tried this wonderful Spanish wine

It is under $30 and one of my greatest wine discoveries of the year so far.

A pretty mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Trepat and Ull de Lebre. This is the perfect red to drink this summer, if still available through the good people of Wino Import in Quebec

The wine comes from Catalan country, specifically the Conca de Barbera appellation.

Never heard before of Succes Vinicola before. I love their labels and more importantly is that they craft true Pueblo wines.

It has nice blackberry undertones with exotic spices such as nutmeg and cloves. Digest and so easy to drink, it is very hard not to finish the bottle. Perfect with rice and fish based dishes.

Get a case now and enjoy it to the fullest!!

A rosado for the heatwave?


People wanted a summer, they got a summer.

Until friday the temperature will rise over 30 C-thats a welcoming heatwave-considering the cool June that we had.

This is not time for red wine and steak May I suggest a glass of chilled rosado with a bowl of Gazpacho?

I just remembered the Conde Valdemar Rosado ( 12217821 , $14.45) available in massive quantities at the SAQ. A predominant blend of Garnacha with Viura as well ( 75%-25%). This rosado impressed me with its beautiful raspberry, clean and pink colour. On the nose the wine exudes aromas of fresh cherry topped with flower nuances reminiscent of aloe vera. On the palate, fresh with a polished finale.

This rosado is made by the Bujanda Family, one of the top Riojan producers. They cultivate the  typical grape Riojan  varieties such as Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Garnacha, Graciano and Maturana. The grapes from this amazing rosado come exclusively from their own vineyards.

This is the perfect wine to have by the pool or sitting around in your bathub filled with cold water if you dont have a pool. Get a few bottles after work and drink up. Its important to keep hydrated!!!



Monasterio de Las Vinas Old Vine Garnacha

Monasterio de Las Vinas is one of the favorite Spanish wines of the Quebec consumer. As a matter of fact, it formed part of my Spanish introductory wines and Cariñena as well. So, I was very pleased to visit Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, the powerhouse coop that makes this great little gem.

This is one of the best wine cooperatives in Spain and the world. It’s a pretty cool union of forward thinking 700 viticultural families. Since 1950’s they have been captains of industry of the appellation always taking it to the next level

Grandes Vinos y Vinedos is one of the participants of the Wines of Garnacha/Grenache program. This is an historical joint venture initiative between the Spanish and French Government for the promotion of Garnacha in Spain and France. As I write this lines, I am ending the Spanish part of my trip and heading to Rousillon to continue the French part. During this trip I learnt that Canada is a the most important market for this Carinena company ( they send about 2.5 million bottles)

Carinena is the oldest appellations in Aragon and one of the oldest of Spain. Indeed, its production area was formally established in 1933 but its good reputation goes back to the Roman times. It was the favorite wine of famous Spanish comic playwright Pedro Munoz Seca. In his best known play ” La venganza de Don Mendo (Don Mendo’s Revenge, 1918), there is a reference of Carinena wine through the central character Don Mendo who loses a card game also known as ” las siete y media” because he had too much wine

¡Serena, escúchame, Magdalena, porque no fui yo… no fui!
Fue el maldito cariñena, que se apoderó de mí

Carinena is located 50 km away from Zaragoza to the the south of the Ebro river, in Campo de Cariñena. Garnacha and Carignan are the leading grape varietals planted in the appellation which is notorious for his extreme climate and rude terroir. It is very hot during the day. cold at nights and the rain seems that is always missing. The vines thrive in tough soils such as slate. That’s why it earn its famous phrase: El Vino de Las Piedras.

I tasted the Old Vine Garnacha 2016 which was just was terrific. It had aromas of slate, eucalyptus, anis with deep red fruit notes. On the palate, it was generous, fruit foward and quite easy to drink. Kind of old world meet new world. Soft tannins with delicate nuances of cacao and cumin. The 2015 is available at the moment at the SAQ ( 13838646, $14.55). This is a wine that delivers so much for the quality and it was a pleasure for me to rediscover it at the source.

The Garnacha that goes in this wine is 40 years old and the wine see a slight passage in French oak for 4 months. This is a great wine to have for your weekday BBQ’s or even something more simple such as Serrano ham with tomato and bread which is something very classic to eat in Spanish Gastronomy.

Although Grandes Vinos is not biological, it is important to note that they take quite seriously their environmental impact. For instance, they use the Sexual Confusion Technique as an alternative to chemical control of the Grapevine moth. Basically, this is a technique that employs the pheromones of female moths to confuse the male moths in order to prevent breeding

That’s it for now and see you soon. Hasta luego!!

A wine homecoming

an instance of returning home.

The world of wine learning is full of surprises with its respective ups and downs. It is similar to a life quest with the difference that if we go to far we might get lost and long for the familiar feeling again.

For me this sensation  is what makes you feels safe and conjures a feeling of warmness that has been plastered to your memory. It can be a powerful souvenir such as returning to your childhood vacation home or the smell of your grandma kitchen for instance. The first impression will always be there even if the feeling may come and goes at different times in your life journey. If we are lucky enough and have the means, it is possible to recreate the feelings

Some of my powerful familiar feelings in my life come from food and wine. The earliest that I can recall involved my grandmother preparing breakfast for me when I was a child. As a little boy growing up in Venezuela, I remember with joy the intoxicating toasty corn smell of the arepa as it was being turned in the budare. Looking vividly the Arepas as they cooked, my mouth salivating, as the aroma of the Arepas spread throughout the kitchen. Now when I have a chance to make an arepa, this souvenir come back, as if it happened yesterday.

The grape that is the poster symbol for my love of Spanish wines is not Tempranillo but Garnacha. The bouquet of a well made Garnacha wine-dark fruit, coffee, olive, leather, tar, spice, and black pepper is Spain for me. A copita of Garnacha was my choice of wine when i used to go for midnight tapas  in the retiro area of Madrid. A glass of Carinena was just bliss with a calamar sandwich and portion of patatas bravas after a visit to El Prado on a chilly saturday fall day.

By next Friday, I will get to relive it all. My own personal  homecoming to Spain and its wines. I will be spending a few days in the ancestral home of Garnacha: Aragon and its french outpost the Rousillon.  My mind and body is already prepared to receive the bounty of its communion. This short trip will be a journey into introspection. I cant help to think of the words of the wise Carl Jung:

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.


To prepare myself for the pilmigrage to come, this week I tasted the Edetaria Via Terra Alta 2016 ( SAQ # 13803021 , $18.55). Made exclusively with Garnacha peluda, a mutation of red Garnacha and typical of the Terra Alta DOP in Catalonia.

Deep and soulful notes of roasted herbs, toasted coffe beans, blue fruit and cocoa. Warm and generous in the palate, it recalls to me the flavours of Tarragona and the goodness of Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Ripe tannins with a spicy peppery finale, it is a perfect wine to have with your summer bbq’s.


Stay tuned via these pages and The Montreal for a diffusion of this wonderful adventure to come!!!

Hasta luego

Dinner with Partida Creus TN 2015


Happy Birthday to myself!!

On my birthday, I get to do what i do best: sharing my wine passion with the rest of the world.

This past saturday, I had a chance to enjoy another bottling of one of my favorite  natural producers of Catalonia: Partida Creus. This Italian passionate couple ( Massimo Marchiori and Antonella Gerosa) are making truly wonderful and exciting wines. Their juice is not for the faint hearted!!. In every bottle, it is like a trip to the rabbit hole. You never now what to expect but for sure wonderful and exciting things



The Tinto Natural 2015 is an unusual  blend of Merlot, Cabernet et Garrut the nose is quite something. It start off with nuances of brandied cherries with raspberry and prunes going wild with aromas of dry blood, black earth and fine refined nuances of brett. On the palate, it is gutsy, high strung and yet so delicious to drink. I just love the finale, so redolent of the earth and everything that is alive in the universe.

My pairing choice was: Chicken thighs baked in the oven with peanut butter, fish sauce and soya marinade. A perfect and fluid match




Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donis 2017

( Before you read: Sample given by the importer for evaluation purposes)

As we enter the Spring season, most of us ( I hope) will be preparing for the upcoming BBQ season. I do ” la parrilla” all year along but it is more comfortable when you don’t have to wear a coat to endure Sub-Zero temperatures.

BBQ is a convivial and pleasant food making ritual that doesn’t require complicated wines. Basically, you are looking for a wine that encourages conversation and storytelling. My choice of wine would be most of the times a hearty red with not too much tannins, good acidity and sexy shades of fruit. I do as well roses, white and even orange wines but tinto is my color choice for the charred flavours of meat, poultry and vegetables.

Not long ago, I had a chance to taste the Mas Donis 2017 from Celler de Capçanes in Montsant adjacent to Priorat.

Montsant has been earning a solid reputation as a great value competitor to the mighty Priorat region. It is because of their reds for which Montsant has become renowned for, the best of these superb renditions of old-vine plantings of Garnacha. As a matter of fact, they can even give a run for the money to high-end Priorat

Celler de Capçanes is located  in the village of Capçanes in the Priorat hills  in the outskirts of the Priorat wine region in the appellation of Montsant.

The business started in the 1930s when, as a co-operative, five families pulled out their resources produce all of the wines of the village together.

Capçanes started their road to stardom when they decided to bottle their wines and since 1995, has taken the titles as one of the region’s most up-and-coming producers. Capçanes has a magnificent terroir as well consisting of clay, slate, limestone and sandy soils combined with a beautiful climate to grow healthy grapes.

Mas Donis is a multi blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Merlot, Syrah, and Samso. This wine spent a brief amount of time in oak barrels but mostly is made in stainless steel. Fragant aromas of blue fruit with aromatic violets, lavender and licorice. Round and very pleasant to drink, I really get a kick from this wine specially from its stony mineral finale. Highly recommend it. Available at the moment by private importation in 12 bottle ($19.75) case by Trialto. Great buy for all your spring BBQs needs.




Foco Garnacha Carinena 2017


Tasted at the A3 Quebec ( Wine, beer and spirits agencies from Quebec)

A great example of vertical integration in wine 

Foco is the wine project of the founders of Importations BMT, an important wine importer in Quebec, Canada. In a business trip to Spain, Laura and Manfred felt hopelessly in love with the hills of Carinena and the sexy allure of a parcel of Garnacha. Quickly they contracted the parcel from the Esteban Martin family and embarked on the adventure of wine making.

Vineyard work was subcontracted to a local winemaker that shares the vision of Laura and Manfred: to make a wine that is the voice of the land and respect nature.  I find Foco to be quite representative of the terroir of Carinena and highly recommend it to Spanish wine amateurs.

Foco Garnacha Carinena 2017. SAQ # 13803005, $13.95

Enticing and alluring nose of raspberry with cardammon and roasted black sesame tones. On the palate round with ripe tannins and good equilibrium. Medium aromatically with notes of confit violet and seasoned black fruit. An excellent value for money and widely available in SAQ outlets