Ovni Pedro Ximenez 2017

I never recall tasting a Pedro Ximenez still dry version. I recall the grape as yielding sweet syrupy wines better to pour into high quality vanilla ice cream rather than drinking!!

This wine caught by surprise. If you have ever played baseball, you know the feeling when the pitcher throws you a surprise curve?. That’s exactly what I am talking about.

This nectar has a gorgeous nose redolent of Jazmin, honey and white fruit reminiscent of Japanese pear and white grapefruit. On the palate, it has wonderful nutty flavours ( walnut, comes to mind) and flor aromas as well. It is fruity enough with such a sublime elegance. This is a definitely under the radar wine for Spanish wine lovers. I have seen it in the IG of some of the finest restaurants of Montreal but it is for the die hard cognoscenti

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Who are Equipo Navazos?. Originally this was a private buying club for an Amontillado cask in the cellar of notorious Miguel Sanchez Ayala. In a group effort of 30 friends and professionals they bottle the cask and titled it La Bota de Amontillado/Navazos 1. When word got out about their project, what was once a hobby became a full-fledged commercial enterprise. Supply remains limited and demand has only increased througout the world. Since then Navazos  has also released brandies, unfortified Palomino Fino aged under flor, and a couple of PX wines, one dry and one made from raisined grapes.

Ovni Pedro Ximenez 2017 can be adquired in the private import market in Quebec  by way of LES IMPORTATIONS DU MOINE. $25, 12 pack case)

 

A rosado for the heatwave?

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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!!!

Salud!!!

 

Dinner with Partida Creus TN 2015

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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

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source: entitymag.com

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

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Salud!!!

 

Three Spanish wines to kill the february blues

 

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Oh boy, as I am writing these lines the biggest snow is heading towards Quebec. If the weather people got right the predictions, we are expecting between 30 to 40 cm of snow in Montreal and surrounding areas.

It might be a good idea to get a few bottles of vino and some yummy good food. If you live in this part of the world, most likely Wednesday will look something alike the movie the day after tomorrow.

 

Dayafter

If you don’t know what Spanish wines to buy, here are some three red wine  recommendations tasted recently. These wines are widely available through diverse SAQ outlets.

El Pedal de Hermanos 2016. SAQ # 13565406, $17.15

A modest Rioja with inviting aromas of ripe black fruit and confit violets. On the palate, fleshy with chunky tannins and a meaty finale. Quite versatile with beef braised dishes.

Monasterio de Las Vinas Old Vine Garnacha Carinena 2015. SAQ # 13838646, $14.50

There is nothing like a good glass of Garnacha to chase the evil cold away!!!. Beautiful spicy nose with nuances of fieldberries and licorice. Rustic yet comforting with an excellent price/ratio. Enjoy it with braised ribs

Espelt Empordá Saulo 2017. SAQ # 10856241, $16.75

From sunny Catalunya comes this predominant Grenache blend with a hint of Carignan. Lovely nose redolent of prune and blueberry jam with hints of brandied cherries and pencil shavings. On the palate nicely concentrated with a long finale. Perfect with meat dishes stewed in tomato sauce.

If you don’t know what to eat with these wines, maybe some of my latest creations will inspire you. Winter is not over yet, so there is plenty of time to enjoy sunny red wines from Spain.

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A tu salud!!!

 

Under a Mediterranean spell

Source: livemaster.com

Never been a fan of the winter season. I am more of a creature of warmer climates. Crackling skin, ice burn and endless layer of clothing is what makes me loath winter. Last week, I told my wife during a pleasant hike in Mont St-Bruno, that the perfect winter would be Madrid alike. Day dream all the way…

Every time I feel particularly like this, I open a bottle of wine from the Mediterranean Islands and let it drift me away to a place where the temperature is 25 C in the summer or 10 C in the winter. Ideally, I would to live in this temperature interval one day. Happily would trade snow for a sunny beach, olive tree instead of tundra and a winter coat for a pair of shorts!!!

The wine that would take me to that special place

I recently drank a bottle of Acrollam Blanc 2017 from Mesquida Mora. Mallorca is better know for its beaches and happening nightlife rather than its wine scene. Mallorca wines aren’t typically exported, so in order to taste them you will probably have to come to the source.

Mesquida Mora, a biodynamic producer in a paradise. This white, a blend of Prensal and Giro with every sip takes me away to the beach of Caló des Moro. Its bouquet emanates the sweetest mineral and garrique perfume reminiscent of chalk, fennel and dill. Warm and inviting in the mouth, it is the personification of Sol Invictus.

Get it while you can via private import by the agency Origines. $34.06. 6-pack case

Have a glass of Cava for Christmas

Christmas is just a mere 10 days again and a lot of people leave their booze buying until last minute. It is pretty understandable since the attention is turned to gift buying and food preparation.

At Christmas, cava may be looked upon as a cheap alternative for Champagne but its supporters argue that this wine, which is bottled-fermented like champagne, is a serious sparkle in its own right

I recently assisted to a tasting organized by the AQAVBS now called A3 Quebec on festive products for the holidays. The cavas that I tasted will certainly put a smile on your face this Christmas.

Unlike Champagne, Cava is produced with the Macabeu, Xarello and Paralleda grapes. However, Cava has a very similar taste to Champagne, in contrast to its close competitor Prosecco But the best thing about Cava is its price. You can find a nice bottle at the SAQ for under $40.

You may think of Cava is merely an aperitif, to be had before a meal or when making a toast. Perhaps it will surprise you to learn that Cava is in fact a highly versatile wine when it comes to food pairing. Cava can be light and refreshing, all the way up to rich and full-bodied. In any event, its strong acidity and tingling effervescence will compliment a whole range of different dishes.  These may include charcuterie, fish and cheese.

Go ahead and inmerse yourself in the holiday spirit with a glass of Cava!!!

Tasting Notes:

Segura Viudas Heredad Reserva. SAQ # 12883461, $30.25

Lovely nose reminiscent of lemon brioche with dry fruits,honeysuckle and levain bread. On the palate, fine bubble, very elegant with a persistent finale.

La Vida al Camp Cava Brut Rosé 2015. SAQ # 13090666, $24.45

Beautiful nose redolent of cranberry confit with lavender and banana cake. Elegant and floral as well. Glossy and caressing finale.

Raventos i Blanc De Nit Conca del Riu Anoia 2016. SAQ # 12097954, $29.30

Toasty cereal notes with roasted strawberry. Medium body with notes of porcini and mountain leaves. Long finale.

Favorite Spanish bottles at Raspipav Part I

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The biggest and most important week of the year in the Quebec wine trade finished last year and alas, I survived. In the space of five days, I attended 3 wine fairs-Raspipav, the Italian trade tasting and RAW wine Montreal. This was an incredible feat considering that my day job is a baker and I have a family to attend as well. I could not taste as many Spanish wines as I wanted  but here is what caught my attention in Raspipav and you should be buying to prepare for your christmas holiday. Disclaimer: These are very sketchy wine notes!!!

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Mas Doix in Priorat

I adore the wines of Priorat but sometimes they are ultra expensive and very heavy. Mas Doix craft elegant wines and affordable for many wine drinkers The Doix family are leading  characters in the Priorat winemaking scene. They have 20 hectares of their own vineyards and an additional 10 hectares of outsourced vines. Like the other wineries in the region, the concentrate on growing old grapes(up to 70 years) Garnacha Tinta (Grenache Noir) and the popular Cariñena

LES CRESTES, D.O.CA. PRIORAT 2016 ( $36.50.-6 pack case Private Import, Les Vignerons de Chartier)

20-year-old Red Grenache vines (80%), old Carignan (10%) and Syrah (10%). Smells like the pizarra soil  of the priorat. Dry roasted black fruits. Full body and very smooth. Fine and suave elegant tannins.

SALANQUES, D.O.CA. PRIORAT 2015 ( $65.00-6 pack case. Private Import, Les Vignerons de Chartier)

65% Grenache, 25% Carignane, 10 % Syrah from  high altitude vineyards in pronounced slopes, with the typical  slate soil called “licorella”. Wine crafted with Grenache and Carignan of old vines between 70 and 90 years, as well as younger vines for varieties of Syrah.  Deep with resonant balsamic notes and ripe Cassis. Fleshy in the mouth with a firm and ripe tannic structure.

MAS DOIX « COSTERS DE VINYES VELLES », D.O.CA. PRIORAT, 2014 ( $148.50-6 pack case. Private Import, Les Vignerons de Chartier)

55% Carignan and 45% Grenache. The grapes come from very old  vines between 80 and 105 years old, with a tiny  production of 400 gr per vine. Iron, bauxite and dry blood. Potent with mind-blowing flavors of  dark cherry and chocolate as well. Lovely balance with fine and precise tannins. Very concentrated yet with a refreshing acidity. A bright future ahead for this wine.

Bodegas Tobia in Rioja

Bodegas Tobía is a recent new player in the Riojan wine scene. Created  in 1994, its founder and driving force is Oscar Tobía, who comes from a local family of wine growers based in San Asensio. Oscar was the first person in Spain to create a barrel fermented rosé wine.  Tobia crafts contemporary Riojan wines always respectful of the Terroir

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Tobia Reserva Blanco 2014 ( $40-$50, 6 pack case, Agence Benedictus-Benoit Cavalier)

Grape varieties: 55% Viura, 26% Tempranillo blanco, 19% Malvasia. Complex nose with  many flavors: butter, cinnamon, vanilla and smoke. Pleasant aromas of tropical citrus fruit such as pineapple and grapefruit. Creamy and buttery with a lovely honey note in the finale.

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Daimon Tinto 2016 ( $20-$30, 12 pack case, Agence Benedictus-Benoit Cavalier)

85% Garnacha tinta, 15% Tempranillo. 6 months in French and American oak. Beautiful nuances of cherries, strawberries with wild raspberry, and other forest fruits. Delicate notes of vanilla, cocoa and roasted nuts as well. On the palate, flavours of black and red fieldberries with hints of  cocoa. Perfect balance: soft, fresh and round. Relatively long aftertaste.

Hasta luego and keep tuned for the other part this week!!!