It's time to celebrate and have a good time ...
The Rhone just won Wine Enthusiasts magazine's "Region of the Year" award and they are thrilled.
Fresh off the trophy presentation they made a sojourn to Toronto where a small contingent of writers and Rhone Valley principals got together to taste some wines and have a little lunch at George Restaurant on Queen Street.
The first part of the days program was the tasting of some 15 wines that represented the region, from $10 simpletons to $59 behemoths, and there were many values along the way. I'll rank 13 of those wines below, from 3-star (good) to 4.5-star (excellent), with a few words about each.
But first, a few words, (or numbers) about the award wining region ...
The Rhone Valley is France's second largest AOC wine region in surface are and production:
420 million bottles sold in 2007-2008
Exported to over 150 countries
The wine industry is the premier employer of the region
La Vieille Ferme 2009 Cotes du Luberon ($11.95) - floral and nicely aromatic if not simple and enjoyable (***)
Louis Bernard 2009 Cotes du Rhone ($12.15) - simple red sipper (***)
Louis Bernard 2009 Cotes du Rhone Blanc ($11.65) - tropical and grapefruit nose, fruity on the palate (*** +)
Domaine de Pierredon 2008 Cote du Rhone ($13.95) - sweet cherry smell with a sweet red fruit palate (*** 1/2)
Ogier 2008 Cotes de Ventoux Red ($10.95) - nice red fruit throughout, hint of tannins and cherry bite on finish (*** 1/2+)
Perrin & Fils 2009 Reserve Perrin Blanc ($14.95) - quiet nose leads to a tropical soaked palate, very tasty (*** 1/2+)
Jean Luc Columbo 2007 Les Lauves Saint Joseph ($31.95) - fresh fruit, lovely nose and a good mouth-feel 9*** 1/2+)
Ogier 2009 Cotes de Ventoux Rose ($10.95) - raspberry and a touch of bubblegum on the nose, a red berry bowl of flavour in the mouth (****)
Domaine Courbis 2007 Les Eygats Cornas ($59.00) - sexy and supple smells with smoked meat, nice mouth feel with licorice and smoked meat spice (****)
Domaine des Carteresses 2009 Tavel ($15.95) - lovely pink colour, floral and red berries, cherry flavour explodes in the mouth, delicious and delightful (****+)
Ferdinand De Laye 2007 Visan ($13.95) - lots of red fruit on the nose, opens nicely on the palate with red raspberry and spice (****+)
|Best wine of afternoon: Chapoutier Rasteau|
M. Chapoutier 2008 Rasteau ($17.95) - raspberry, cherry, vanilla and spice on the nose, tasty cherry, nicely spiced, good fruit and good value in a drink now or over the next 2-5 years wine (**** 1/2)
Pictures of a delicious Lunch ...
|BC Rock Shrimp, Belgium Endive, Brazil Nut Curry|
|Duck Breast, Barley Risotto, Broccoli Confit|
|Beef Tenderloin, Goat Cheese Gratin, Brussel Relish|
|Chefs Choice Cheese Selection|
|Dark Chocolate filled Beignets|