Posts Tagged ‘Mon Caviste Côté Vignes’
Cerdon, Méthode Ancestrale, Demi-sec, Gérald Dubreuil ($30.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
An ancestral method sparkler made from Gamay and Poulsard. The estate uses no pesticides, favours green cover over herbicides and turns to fungicides only on an as-needed basis. Immediately after harvest, the grapes are pressed and the must is fermented in tanks with indigenous yeasts. When the alcohol level reaches about 6%, the wine is chilled to near freezing, then filtered and bottled. Fermentation resumes as the wine warms, with the by-product carbon dioxide creating the sparkle. Residual sugar: 55 g/l. 8% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Exuberantly fruity nose of “strawberry and strawberry greens” with a bit of black pepper. In the mouth, it’s smooth and softly effervescent, full of tart fruit, dusty minerals and bright acidity but no tannins to speak of. Not exactly dry but far from sweet. Long. A fun summer sipper that can also work as an aperitif, accompany lightly sweetened fruit-based desserts and pair beautifully with mild- to medium-hot Punjabi dishes. Would love to try the “sec,” which has 20% less residual sugar. (Buy again? Irrespective of price, yes, though maybe not when I can get single bottles of the excellent Renardat-Fâche for $6 less.)
Alsace 2012, Gewürztraminer, Tradition, Domaine Pfister ($39.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Gewürztraminer from two parcels in the Silberberg lieu-dit. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Classic nose and palate, marked by rose, litchi, candied orange peel and white spice. Technically a demi-sec but quite light on its feet and not too sweet. Stone fruit and minerals add complexity to the palate, with soft-glow acidity deftly balancing the residual sugar. The clean, faintly honeyed finish has Gewürztraminer’s telltale bitter edge. Impressive for its purity, balance and pleasurability though the price of admission seems a tad high. (Buy again? Sure.)
Coteaux Bourguignons 2014, Philippe Gavignet ($31.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
The Coteaux Bourguignons AOC replaced the Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire AOC in 2011. The estate is based in Côtes-de-Nuits. 100% Gamay from 40-year-old vines; farming is close to organic. The juice is macerated on the skins for four or five days. Fermentation in tanks is followed by 12 months’ maturation. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Served last in the tasting after all the champagnes and a semi-sweet Gewürztraminer, which didn’t make sense until we took a sip and found it woke up the palate like a slap to the face. Red and black berries, minerals and a whiff of sap. Medium-bodied yet fleshy/chewy. Clean and bright fruit with darker mineral shadings. Lively acidity, light but firm tannins (had I not been told otherwise, I would have guessed there was some Pinot Noir in the blend). So focused and energetic. One of the most vibrant Gamays I’ve tasted in ages. (Buy again? Absolutely.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 9 of 9
Founded in 1529, Domaine Jean-Jacques Girard is one of the oldest estates in Savigny. It has 18 hectares of vines in the communes of Savigny-lès-Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Volnay, Pommard and Beaune.
Bourgogne Aligoté 2014, Jean-Jacques Girard ($26.00, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Aligoté from three parcels in the Hautes-Côtes. Mechanically harvested. Fermented and matured (for around 10 months) in foudres. Residual sugar: <0.5 g/l. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Appealing nose of white fruit, herbs and minerals. Smooth and not particularly fruity in the mouth, with sleek acidity, a strong mineral component and a sourish finish. A penetrating Aligoté that doesn’t give itself airs – just the way I like ‘em. (Buy again? Gladly.)
Pernand-Vergelesses 2012, Les Belles Filles, Jean-Jacques Girard ($46.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Chardonnay from the Les Belles Filles lieu-dit; the site is quite steep and the soil is very chalky clay. Manually and mechanically harvested. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in 50-hectolitre vats, after which the wine spends 10 months in 228-litre oak barrels (15% new) for malolactic fermentation and maturation, with weekly stirring of the lees until March of the year following harvest. The wine is lightly sulphured and bottled in July and August. Residual sugar: <0.5%. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Outgoing nose of tropical fruit and peach against a mineral background. The rich, faintly buttery texture is counterbalanced by great acidity, while the clean fruit sits on a chalky substrate and slow-fades through a surprisingly savoury finish. Beautiful though light years removed from, say, a flinty Chablis. (Buy again? Yes.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 7 of 9
Based in Mareuil-le-Port, Dehours & Fils was founded in 1930 by Ludovic Dehours, who eventually handed the reins to his son Robert. Financial partners took over following Robert’s early death. The estate returned to family control in 1996 and is now run by Robert’s son, Jérôme. Around 14 hectares of vines produce some 80,000 bottles in an average year. Pinot Meunier features prominently in many of the wines.
Champagne, Brut, Grande Réserve, Dehours & Fils ($57.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
The house’s flagship bottling. 100% Pinot Meunier in this batch though the wine usually has some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blended in. Made with the addition of reserve wine from a solera dating back to 1998, which constitutes about 10% of the final blend. Residual sugar: 6 g/l. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Fine persistent bead. Complex nose with scents of “green,” “lit match,” “herbes de Provence” and dried apple. Clean, fresh, minerally and not fruit forward. Brilliant, incisive acidity. Considerable depth and length for a wine at this price point. An aperitif champagne par excellence. (Buy again? Gladly.)
Champagne 2009, Rosé, Brut, Cuvée Œil de Perdrix, Dehours & Fils ($74.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Mostly Pinot Meunier with a dollop of old-vine Chardonnay that was fermented in barriques. Matured four years. 12% ABV. 1,825 bottles made. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Faint beigey pink with salmon glints. Fine bead but not much foam. Umami-ish nose of Dutch rusk and red berries. Sleek, elegant, savoury, balanced and dry, with a long minerally finish. “The un-rosé rosé” noted one taster. Pretty fabulous. (Buy again? Def.)
Champagne 2007, Extra Brut, Maisoncelle, Dehours & Fils ($91.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir from the Maisoncelle lieu-dit; the vines were planted in the early 1970s. Fermented and matured in barrels. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale gold with darker gold glints. Complex and savoury: pork ramen, apple, peach, gooseberry… Finely balanced between ripe fruit, complex minerality and sleek acidity. Rich, deep and perfectly proportioned. Long and delicious. Du grand as they say around here. (Buy again? Yes.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 5 of 9
Champagne, Brut, Réserve, Legouge-Copin ($59.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Chardonnay (usually from more than one vintage) and Pinot Noir (usually from more than one vintage). 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale gold with sunshine yellow glints, little foam and a fine bead. Faintly oxidized nose of lanolin, oatmeal, lemon, chalk and bread. In the mouth, it’s rich yet dry, with tiny bubbles, racy acidity and good minerality. Finishes clean and long. In short, a fleet and appetizing wine. The bottle opened on New Year’s eve was even more singular and impressive and made a fine accompaniment to New Brunswick sturgeon caviar and crème fraîche-smeared blinis. (Buy again? Definitely.)
Champagne 2006, Brut, Blancs et Noirs, Legouge-Copin ($61.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale straw with light gold glints. Lots of foam. The umami-rich nose brings candied apple, nougat and brioche to mind. Rich, round, smooth, fluid and elegant on the palate, notable for its lifting effervescence, soft-glow acidity and “seaweed” overtone. The long finish brings a faint bitter note. The bottle opened on New Year’s eve seemed classic if a little more conventional than the Brut Réserve. (Buy again? Yes, though the Brut Réserve is more my style.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 3 of 9
Crémant d’Alsace, Brut, Rosé, Domaine Pfister ($39.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir. No technical information is to be found about this traditional method sparkler, which is absent from the producer’s website and little mentioned on the Web. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale coppery pink with a very fine bead. Leesy nose of red berries, faint orange peel and “a hint of sweet prosciutto” (per another taster). In the mouth, it’s very dry and glowingly acidic. The subtle fruit allows the mineral underlay to come clearly through. The bitter-edged finish is nicely sustained. Serious without being severe and standing up to comparison with its more prestigious flightmate. Probably excellent with food. (Buy again? Yes.)
Champagne, Brut, Rosé, Prestige, Pierson-Cuvelier ($53.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir. The colour for this traditional method sparkler comes from maceration on the skins; no other technical information is to be found. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Two shades darker than the Pfister with bigger bubbles and lots of foam. Outgoing nose of brioche and raspberry. Rounder, fruitier (red berries, pomegranate) and less dry than the crémant with zingy acidity and a pronounced mineral component. Enjoyable enough but a little overshadowed by the other sparkling rosés in the tasting. (Buy again? Maybe.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 2 of 9
Mon Caviste (aka Mon Caviste, Côté Vignes) is a Montreal-based wine agency with a lower profile than some. A few notable exceptions aside (Le Vieux Donjon, for example), it focuses on the private import channel. What’s more, few of the producers it represents are big names. And yet its wines are invariably interesting and delicious, as evidenced by their inclusion on the lists of many of the city’s top restaurants and the large orders that have followed each of the agency’s visits to the Mo’ Wine Group.
In November, Mon Caviste’s head, Roberto De Lisi, led a MWG tasting of wines – mostly sparklers – from the agency’s portfolio. We began with two still white Burgundies from the new-to-us Domaine de la Tour.
Founded in 1992 and located in Lignorelles, near Chablis, Domaine de la Tour has around 13 hectares of vines in production, including 3.72 hectares in Chablis 1er cru and 5.6 hectares in Chablis. Annual production is 30,000 bottles. While not organic, the estate has not used synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers since 2003.
Bourgogne Chitry 2015, Domaine de la Tour ($26.00, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Chardonnay from vines rooted in marly limestone. Vinified and matured entirely in tanks. Fermented with selected yeasts. Undergoes malolactic fermentation. Cold-stabilized before bottling to precipitate out tartrates. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Lovely nose: lemon, apple, chalk, “a little candied,” “white flowers” and “a hint of truffle” and of ash. More substantial than expected in the mouth. Understated fruit, tons of minerals and very dry. Bracing acidity adds a nice bite to the long finish. Fair complexity and good balance. This near-Chablis is a QPR winner. A second bottle opened in late December was, if anything, even more satisfying. (Buy again? Done!)
Chablis 1er cru 2014, Mont Mains, Domaine de la Tour ($40.00, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Chardonnay from vines rooted in the Kimmeridgian marly limestone soil of the Montmains vineyard, of which the estate has 2.51 hectares in production. Vinified in vats and French oak barrels. Fermented with selected yeasts. Undergoes malolactic fermentation. Matured in tanks and barrels. Cold-stabilized before bottling to precipitate out tartrates. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Classic if somewhat closed nose of apple, lemon, minerals and truffle. Similarly closed on the palate yet clearly complete and elegant. More structured, more layered, tenser and deeper than the Chitry, the fruit ripe, the minerals dancing, the acidity positively electric. A brown butter note overtones the finish. Appetizing, dry, long and clean. Again, the QPR is high. (Buy again? Yes.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 1 of 9
Passerina del Frusinate 2014, Alagna, Marcella Giuliani (c. $25.00, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Passerina from sustainably farmed vines in a two-hectare vineyard located near Anagni (whose ancient name, mentioned in Dante’s Purgatorio, was Alagna), about 60 km due east of Rome. Manually harvested. The grapes are chilled to 5-6°C and macerated on the skins for seven to eight hours. Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel tanks is at a cool 12-13°C and can last up to a month. (The idea behind the extended maceration and slow fermentation is to draw flavour and aroma compounds from what can be a fairly neutral grape.) Does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Matured in the bottle before release. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste, Côté Vignes.
Light gold with a bronzish core and yellow glints. A nose initially somewhat closed but opening as the wine breathes: “pumpkin,” “apples” and a “herby note” (quoting other tasters), a hint of lemon too, then freshly mown flowery meadow, then spicy honey and beeswax. In the mouth, it’s extracted and fruity, though dry. A soft spritzy tingle lasts maybe five minutes after opening. The unctuous texture is enlivened by soft, sustained acidity. Minerals abound, especially on the crescendoing, bitter-edged finish. Evolves wonderfully in the glass, gaining straw and anise notes. Long, savoury, unique, delicious. A winner. (Buy again? If there’s any left, yes.)
One of the standouts at the MWG’s Mon Caviste tasting in May was a Cesanese from the same producer. Agent Roberto De Lisi was so sure we’d enjoy the estate’s white, he comped this bottle with our subsequent order. He was right.