Monday, September 30, 2013

Report from ... Best of Beamsville at EPIC Restaurant in Toronto - June 27, 2013

Beamsville invaded a downtown Toronto hotel (EPIC in the Fairmount Royal York) as 9 wineries showed up to pour nine wines with a few nibblies to go with them ... let's take a look:

The Wines (and their reps) ...
Greeted with a bottle of Fairmount bubbly (well a glass actually)
... made right her in Ontario
Fielding's winemaker Richie Roberts pours the first wine of the evening

The 2011 Pinot Gris (see review here)
Next up is the Thirty Bench display pouring one of their signature Rieslings
2011 Small Lot - Triangle Vineyard (see review here)
Malivoire's Shiraz Mottiar holds the Malivoire offering in his hand
... while holding up the bar with his elbow.
2009 Moira Chardonnay (see review here)
Bachelder wines was also in attendance,
though Thomas himself was away tending one of his
other projects in Burgundy or Oregon.
but his 2010 Niagara Chardonnay was definitely there and well received (see review here)
Joking around with Bernard Stramwasser of Le Sommelier (agent)
showing off the Hidden Bench wine of the evening.
2009 Felseck Vineyard Pinot Noir
It would not be a full invasion of the big city
without a little Organized Crime
who brought along their 2010 Cabernet Franc to showcase
Rosewood's own social bee, Krystina Roman,
does her best Vanna White impression with a bottle of ...
the 2009 Merlot Reserve
The rarely seen Rennie Estate Winery was there ...
pouring their appassimento-style Gaia
The Food ...
Seared Scallop App was the best bite of the night
I can't remember what it was but I do remember it was pretty good
A Couple of Candids ...
Shiraz talks Chardonnay with a guest and the rep from Bachelder
While Richie Roberts waves Mr. K away (or something like that)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Report from ... La Ferme du Mont Lunch at The Wine Bar - July 11, 2013

Stephane Vedeau - owner and winemaker, La Ferme du Mont
July 11, 2013 - Lunch with Stephane Vedeau, owner and winemaker of the 50 hectares known as La Ferme du Mont in the Rhone Valley of France, held at the Wine Bar in Toronto.  No pesticides and organic fertilizers are used in the vineyard, the wines are made using natural fermentation and limited manipulation - a natural balance and respect for the soil are more important than technology.  Vedeau:  "My pleasure is in making truly balanced wines, wines which represent a real harmony between terroir, fruit, freshness and concentration."

The Wines of Note ...
2011 Cotes du Rhone Villages - "Le Ponnant" ($17.00)
smoky licorice with black cherry,
spiced-cedar and earthy notes (*** 1/2+)
2010 Gigondas - "Cote Jugunda" ($29.95)
gritty mouthfeel with cassis and blackberry and white pepper on the finish
this is a very feminine wine; not muscular and fat (****+)
2010 Chateauneuf du Pape - "Cotes Capelan" ($63.00)
- Made from 150 year old vines -
rich red fruit with vanilla, cocoa and spice
finish is blackberry and cassis with slight peppery notes (****+)
Not pictured: 2011 Cotes du Rhone (White) - "La Truffiere" ($14.95) ... made from Grenache White, Viognier and Clairette ... the nose is tropical with melon rind and a stoney quality; thick mouthfeel and weighty texture with melon and citrus pith and an intensely bitter finish.  (*** 1/2+)

Bonus Wines (unavailable) ...
2009 Cotes du Rhone - "Premiere Cote" (sold out)
spicy and smoky with hints of raspberry
2011 Chateauneuf du Pape - "Vendage" (n/a)
- Limited Production, 2 barrels - Special wine -
- Harvesting of wine is done in November with hints of botrytis -
soft, lush, and fresh with good acidity and vanilla notes
fruit is a beauty mix of peach, pear and tropical fruit (****+)
Lunch ...
The Menu ...
The table ...
Tomato Gazpacho and Scallop Ceviche
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with brie and Dijon mustard
Stuffed mushroom with double smoked bacon and Toscano cheese and chives
Smoked Muscovy duck breast with wild blueberry compote
Grilled lamb loin chop with cabernet jus and organic pea sprouts

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Report from ... Reif Mid-Summer Lunch - August 3, 2013

On approach to our lunch at the Grand Victorian ... next door to Reif
Fresh Niagara fruit is on display, and plays a feature part in today's lunch ...
opening wine is a fresh Reif Rose
Today's lunch will be served on the wrap-around veranda ...
and each table features a different fruit as its centerpiece ...
thus the tables are named after their centerpiece - we're at the APRICOT table
As our menu indicates.
Notice the bag under the napkin ...
the purpose is that after lunch you can go from
table to table to fill your bag with fresh Niagara fruit
People arrive and enjoy their rose on this sunny August afternoon
Then we sit, ready for lunch.  But first ...
Klaus Reif gives an opening address to talk about the wines and the location
The Lunch ...
First Course: "Beer Can Quail"
made with local Silversmith Lager with a honey plum glaze
on Baby Spinach Salad with Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette
Second Course: "Ontario Corn Fed Beef"
with potato corn hash and creamed horseradish
Today's guest chef is David House,
executive chef for the Niagara-on-the-Lake golf club
... he comes out to explain his inspiration for each dish.
We finish today's light lunch on a high with this:
Apricot Almond Clafoutis with Fresh Cream and Mint
A Bonus Stop and a Surprise ...

After lunch at Reif we stop in at Lailey on the way home and look what we see ...
 ... my name in chalk