Saturday, April 24, 2010

Report from … Bio Vino at The Green Living Show – April 23, 2010

It’s Eco-week here in Toronto, first there was the Bio-wine show at Earth Restaurant earlier this week and now it’s Bio-Vino at the Direct Energy Centre at the Exhibition grounds. 

Within the Green Living Show (April 23-25) there’s a “fenced off” area where you’ll find 31 tables all manned (or womanned) by Eco-friendly producers.  They each have their little claim to fame – first to do this, second in their country to do that, but each has hopped onto the Organic, Bio-dynamic or sustainable bandwagon and our firmly planted there (no pun intended).  One thing I have noticed about organic wines is that they come with a price tag that’s higher than your usual bottle of vino; but that’s the price you pay for being good to the planet and your plants. 

If you’re going here’s my list of must try Bio-Wines:

Table 1 – Paxton Vineyards (Australia)
They have two of this wine on the table, but from different vintages: the 2007 AA Shiraz/Grenache ($19.95) is the wine to choose, smooth and supple with black fruit and chocolate along with hints of pepper and spice. (****)

Table 3 – DogRidge Winery (Australia)
I thought this the best Aussie wine at the show, and came within a mere breadth of being my favourite wine of the show.  The 2006 Shirtfront Shiraz ($38.99) – aged 22 months in a mix of America and French barrels, one third of which are new … the wine is made from vines planted in the 1940’s, so the wine has good concentration and is delicious with chocolate and black raspberry and an awesome mouth feel. (****½)

Table 5 – Temple Bruer Vineyards (Australia)
The 2004 Cabernet Petit Verdot ($25.95) is elegant and peppery with a nice spice and some vanilla and cinnamon flavours – made from a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Petit Verdot. (****)

Table 6 – The Millton Vineyard (New Zealand)
2008 Clos de Ste Anne Pinot ($42.95) has a very lovely nose with good acidity, some black cherry and a nice finish. (****)

Table 8 – The Sadie Family (South Africa)
I don’t often say this, so listen up: this South African wine (a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre) was the best red wine at the show, an absolute must try: 2007 Columella ($99.95) – it was also the most expensive.  This one is, put quite simply, lovely – velvety and smooth on the palate, it was shear elegance, and at 14.5% alcohol it’s also a whopper of a wine – but it’s just ‘wow’ in the mouth. (****½)

Table 11 – Tres Sabores (USA – California)
As a fan of Zinfandel this 2007 Estate Zinfandel ($39.95) is a no-brainer.  Smooth vanilla and plum upon palate entry, which then leads to a rather nicely spiced finish. (****)

Table 12 – Southbrook Vineyards (Canada – Ontario)
Check out the very summery 2009 Fresh White ($16.95).

Table 13 – Frog Pond Farm (Canada – Ontario)
Speaking of summery, be sure to have a little sip of this 2008 Cabernet Franc Rosé ($14.00).

Table 15 – Le Clos Jordanne (Canada – Ontario)
My favourite wine from Le Clos’ current offerings was on display:  2007 La Petite Vineyard Pinot Noir ($39.80).

Table 16 – Stratus Vineyards (Canada – Ontario)
And another fine Ontario red can be found here under Stratus’ second label, namely the 2007 WildAss Red ($19.95).

Table 17 – Cono Sur Winery (Chile)
By far the best deal on a bottle of bio-wine was this general list wine from Cono Sur – the 2009 Viognier ($9.95) … great value on a wine loaded with fruit like peach, pear and apple.  Buy it for summer and consume it quick and chilled, this is not one for ageing, it’s definitely for drink now enjoyment. (****½ - extra half mark for value)

Table 21 – St. Anthony & Heyl Zu Herrnsheim (Germany)
Tied for best white: 2008 St. Anthony 483 Dry Riesling ($16.95), this mineral driven wine has peach, lime and a touch of sweetness on the front palate and a dryness mid-palate all the way to the finish.  If you’re curious as to what the ‘483’ refers to, it’s the plot of land the grapes are grown on. (****)

Table 23 – Domaine Barmes Buecher (France – Alsace)
This was the other nice white: 2007 Gewurztraminer Rosenberg ($27.95) – a delicious spicy finishing Gewurzt that had floral aromas and a rosy-lychee-peachy palate. (****)

Table 26 – Azienda Agricola Sangervasio (Italy – Tuscany)
This Sangiovese (95%) / Cabernet Sauvignon (5%) blend is quite lovely:  2008 Rosso ($21.95) – plenty of red and black fruit, black licorice and toasted vanilla – there were also good grippy tannins on the finish. (****)

Finally, the most unfortunate name of any of the wines present was to be found at Table 25: Domaine Ostertag 2007 Riesling V’de … I’m not sure what a sexually transmitted Riesling is but this is obviously it – share it at your own risk.


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