Monday, December 30, 2013

Report from ... Cono Sur Dinner at Far Niente Restaurant - October 24, 2013

Tonight at Far Niente restaurant in Toronto, Matias Rios, winemaker for Cono Sur, hosted a dinner (with Cono Sur's Ontario agent, Authentic) - one that featured a myriad of Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, plus a couple of other special wines ... but the focus was on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - here's a look at the wines and the evening ...

Our host from Cono Sur, Matias Rios (winemaker)
the tasting gets set up
Our pre-tasting wine was this Cono Sur Sparkling Rose ($16.95 - #365205)
made from 100% Pinot Noir in the Charmat method, four months in tank;
strawberry, raspberry nose is followed on the palate and is delightfully
playful on the tongue with a nice hit of acidity (****)
The White Wines of Note ...
"With our wines we are always looking for the drinkability factor." - Matias Rios, winemaker

Cono Sur 2012 Bicicleta Pinot Grigio ($9.95 - #366344)
This is the first vintage of Pinto Gris for Cono Sur,
I say say Gris because it is not in the Grigio-style:
lots of tropical fruit and floral notes; fresh and fruity (*** 1/2)
Cono Sur 2012 Bicicleta Chardonnay ($9.95 - #321448)
the Chardonnay for this wine comes from three different areas of Chile,
fresh and fruity with melon, pear, hints of apple and good acidity;
this is a very easy drinking Chardonnay (*** 1/2)

Cono Sur 2012 Chardonnay Reserva Especial ($12.95 - #270066)
35% of this wine is barrel fermented and aged for 5 months, then blended in;
tropical notes of grilled pineapple on the nose and palate, there's also grapefruit pith
hints of vanilla and a touch of minerality that comes through in the mouth (*** 1/2+)
Cono Sur 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay ($16.95 - Private Order)
Matias called 2013 the coolest vintage in the last 5 years ...
40% of this wine was aged in French oak barrels, ony 7000 cases have been made
Nose of honey dew, pear, vanilla, melon, pineapple and banana chip - great aromatics
Palate just as delightful, peach, vanilla, grilled pineapple and honeydew with mineral freshness
amazing drink-ability and a long pineapple-vanilla cream finish (****+)
Cono Sur 2012 20 Barrels Chardonnay ($24.95 - Private Order)
spending 8 months in barrel this Chardonnay has both a creamy and spicy element
nice apple and pear notes that take in the oak with a nice balance of each (****)
The Red Wines of Note ...

Cono Sur 2012 Bicicleta Shiraz ($9.95 - #64295)
Labelled as Shiraz this is most definitely a Syrah, but some are labeled as Syrah;
floral, violet and white pepper; good drinkability (*** 1/2)
Cono Sur 2012 Reserva Especial Pinot Noir ($14.95 - Private Order)
100% of this Pinot Noir spends 10 months in oak, 15% of which is new;
Aromas of sour cherry and raspberry lead to a palate of white pepper,
spiced black cherry, spiced raspberry - plenty of fruit and finesse (*** 1/2+)
Cono Sur 2012 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir ($18.95 - Private Order)
100% of this Pinot Noir comes from a single block and spends 11 months in oak;
aromas are strawberry and raspberry with white pepper, violets and clove,
palate has a lovely fruit base with nice concentration of spice and fruit:
cassis, black raspberry and peppered strawberry - nice long finish (**** 1/2)
The aftermath of the tasting
this single block series of wines from Cono Sur are amazing,
both in terms of value and what's in the bottle

the 3 top wines of the night, plus the sparkling rose, which is a real treat
The Dinner ...
Surprising to me, the Far Niente menu had a "pre-appetizer" section
Caesar Salad
Creme Brulee

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