Sunday, December 20. 2015
December 20, 2015
A Great Holiday Read for the Wine Lover
French writers, Jean-Pierre Alaux and Nöel Balen, have created a welcome new personality to the world of detective fiction. Master winemaker and highly respected critic, Benjamin Cooker, together with his assistant, Virgile Lanssien, take on skulduggery, treachery and deceit in the French wine world. Laced with many occasions to enjoy Epicurean feasting, washed down with the finest wines, this makes delightful reading for any dedicated wine lover.
Already turned into a popular made for TV series in France, The Winemaker Detective has just made a North American debut in print earlier this month. A first omnibus edition includes ‘Treachery in Bordeaux,’ ‘Grand Cru Heist’ and ‘Nightmare in Burgundy.’ The series is available at Amazon and Chapters in Canada, in published, as well as Kindle format. Prices, though very affordable, do vary.
The reviews below, include a fine new bubble from Nova Scotia’s l’Acadie Vineyards, together with a selection of good values from Australia, California and Italy. Last, but certainly not least, is another outstanding Canadian whisky.
Look out for my next posting prior to Christmas when I will be offering a few last minute suggestions for Holiday entertaining.
L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut Zero Dosage Methode Traditionelle 2010, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia 11.5% $48.99 The Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing, Halifax (also available this weekend only at the winery store). This recently released wine was a Silver Medal Winner at this year’s ‘Effervescents du Monde’ sparkling wine competition held in Dijon, Burgundy. There were 622 wines from 26 countries in the competition. To earn Silver when pitted against some of the best bubble in the world is a remarkable achievement.
The wine is made from grapes grown in the rocky soil of L’Acadie Vineyards certified organic estate property. It was given extended tirage over five years, which has added both richness and complexity. It shows bright gold/straw colour in the glass, with fine persistent mousse and elegant floral, lemon citrus and creamy brioche on the nose. Somewhat austere character conveyed by zero dosage is contrasted by creamy richness and good weight on the palate. Citrus and green apple flavours come through, together with signature Nova Scotia bright acidity and minerality. Winemaker, Bruce Ewart, has once again shown that Nova Scotia’s l’Acadie grape can make outstanding sparkling wine. ***
Bogle Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2012, Clarksburg, California 13.5% $24.29 NSLC (Larger Stores) Gentle, fresh lemon citrus and stone fruit with subtle floral scents open the way for clean fresh citrus and ripe apple, rounded out with zesty acidity and a touch of mineral in the mouth. A charming wine that will serve as an excellent aperitif or to pair with canapés and lighter foods. ***
Tommasi Viticoltori Arele 2013, Venezie Rosso IGT 13% $22.99 NSLC (Port of Wines Limited Selection) Made in the traditional Appassimento style using partially dried grapes to add depth and complexity, this wine offers deeply scented fleshy ripe red fruit with spicy, green herbal, bitter cherry and plum flavours Accented with a touch of clove and a trace of cinnamon, it is well-structured and harmoniously integrated, finishing quite dry. ***
Mt. Monster Cabernet 2013, Estate Grown, Limestone Coast, Australia 14.5% 14.5% $16.99 (Special Price $2 off until January 5th) NSLC General List. Reveals good Cabernet Sauvignon varietal scents of black currant, green herb and an elusive spicy note in the background. Lightly sweet ripe black currant and blackberry flavours are encased in velvety tannins with appetizing acidity and a touch of dry bakers chocolate on the finish. Polished Cabernet intensity makes it an ideal pairing with roast leg of lamb. Punches well above its weight in this price range. ***
Canadian Club Chairman’s Selection 100% Canadian Rye Whisky – Grown from Single Grain Rye 40% $28.49 (750ml) NSLC General List This is another outstanding Canadian Rye whisky showing deep burnt amber colour with aromatic fruity and spicy richness and lightly sweet fruitcake spiciness against a smooth almost creamy texture. It finishes with fine, dry oak and smooth warming spirit. Gone is the cloying sweetness of Canadian whiskies in the past. The new generation is posing a serious challenge to much more expensive Scotch and Bourbon. ***
* Good value in its price range
** Particularly good value in its price range
***Exceptional value in its price range