Sunday, February 6, 2011

Report from ... Rhone Valley Tasting and Lunch - January 27, 2011

Cel-ebrate the Rhone come on.
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:
77,175 hectares
6000 wineries
420 million bottles sold in 2007-2008
Exported to over 150 countries
The wine industry is the premier employer of the region

The Wines:

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
Domaine Autrand 2007 Cotes du Rhone Villages ($14.95) - red licorice and strawberry puree smells, palate a little rough and tumble but the black fruit and spice gives it nice flavour, good short term ageing potential (****+)
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

1 comment:

Dean Tudor said...

My take...

The Time and Date: Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 11 AM to 3 PM
The Event: “Come to explore the Wine Region of the Year...Rhone Valley
The Venue: George Restaurant
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: tasted wines came from the LCBO and
Vintages listings.
The Quote/Background: Christian Paly, President of Inter Rhône, Arnaud
Pignol, Commissioner General of Inter-Rhône and Olivier Legrand, Export
Marketing Manager of Inter Rhône came to Toronto to meet major
journalists in an informal and friendly Rhône Valley wines tasting.
There was a short slide presentation and some talks on the quality of
Rhone wines.
The Wines:

**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Chateau Mas Neuf Costieres de Nimes 2008, +177097, $11.35 - brett
-Dom. Courbis Les Eygats Cornas 2007, +719385, $59

***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Jean-Luc Colombo Les Lauves Saint Joseph 2007, +943324, $31.95
-Reserve Perrin Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2009, +499509, $14.95
-La Vieille Ferme Luberon Blanc 2009, +298505, $11.95
-Ogier Cotes de Ventoux Rose 2009, +134916, $10.95
-Domaine des Carteresses Tavel Rose 2009, +739474, $15.95
-Ogier Cotes de Ventoux Rouge 2008, +569095, $10.95
-Chapoutier Rasteau Cotes du Rhone Villages 2008, +321539, $17.95
-Domaine Autrand Cotes du Rhone Villages 2007, +200030, $14.95

*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2009, +589432, $11.65
-Cuvee Tableau Tavel Rose 2008, +117309, $18.98
-Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2009, +581645, $12.15
-Visan Cotes du Rhone Villages 2007, +179226, $13.95
-Domaine de Pierredon Cotes du Rhone 2008, +175257, $13.95

The Food: the tasting was followed by a lunch, and we could re-taste
all the wines that we wanted. With BC rock shrimp (with Belgian endive
and Brazil nut curry) I had Le Vielle Ferme Luberon Blanc 2009. The
duck breast and duck confit duo (with barley risotto and broccoli)
screamed out for the brett-inflected Chateau Mas Neuf 2008. The beef
tenderloin paired very well with the still evolving Les Eygats Cornas
2007. Cheeses, dark chocolate beignets, and coffee completed the long
The Downside: we started late because winter blizzards delayed the
principals’ arrival in Toronto from New York city, where the Rhone
Valley had just won Wine Enthusiast’s “Wine Region of the Year” award.
The Upside: I really liked the Chateau Mas Neuf’s price for the brett
component. A little goes a long way, and the wine had sufficient brett
to make it interesting and gamey.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness of this Event (numerical grade): 88.

Chimo! AND