The Rare & Fine Wine Show which took place last Friday, February 27th at the Halifax Casino once again raised the bar over previous years. The wines on offer were meticulously chosen to represent exemplary quality from diverse regions around the world. France was particularly stellar, with some terrific wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, Champagne and the Rhone.
While a few wines may have sold out at the show, most should still be available this week at the Bishop’s Cellar at Bishop’s Landing in Halifax. Below are a few that I considered standouts. Understandably, these wines are not inexpensive, however, their distinctive qualities make them true bargains in their particular price range.
Jonathan Pabiot 2013, Pouilly Fumé AC $40.00 Quintessential Loire Valley Sauvignon showing complex gooseberry, citrus, fresh grassy scents, mineral and subtle tropical fruit notes, finishing with bracing crispness.
Doman Costal 2012, Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons $54.00 Grown in the prized chalky mineral soil of the best Chablis terroir, this gorgeous example offers the intense mineral, green apple and citrus focus of top Chablis combined with limpid grace and roundness on the palate. Impeccably balanced, it can be drunk with pleasure now but will certainly reward further cellaring.
Domaine Cherisey 2011, Meursault-Blagny Premier Cru “La Genelotte” AC $89.00 Outstanding Premier Cru White Burgundy combining great complexity, finesse and richness with focused, terroir-driven minerality and acid balance. Already delicious, it will gain further complexity and elegance for several years to come.
Champagne de Venoge Cordon Blue Select Brut $67.00 This is an unctuously rich and rounded Pinot Noir-led Champagne with delicate floral perfume, berry fruit and creamy biscuit offset by decent mineral and acidity on the palate. It will please most palates.
Chateau Cantemerle 2010, Haut Médoc AC $84.00 Reveals classic, complex Bordeaux character with black currant and blackberry fruit backed by spicy cinnamon and clove, surprisingly supple tannins, with more structured drying tannic notes on the finish. Drinkable now but much better in 3-7 years and longer.
Tyrrell’s 2009, Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley, Australia $59.00 Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the great white wines of the world. I have visited Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley and tasted several examples that had aged well for 15-20 years, this one will, too. Lovely, perfumed floral, ripe apple and tropical fruit scents lead the way for very crisp apple and citrus flavours in the mouth. With 6 years since the vintage, it is just beginning to show signs of the fatness and toasty, buttery richness to come. All this, by the way, in a wine that sees absolutely no oak!