BATARD LANGELIER 2018 POLARIS MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE

LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE

Muscadet (“muss-kuh-day”) is an appellation in the Loire Valley known for its bone-dry, light-bodied, white wines made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. “Sèvre et Maine”, is one of the three sub-appellations of Muscadet, established in 1936, it covers 8,217 hectares and 21 villages. This sub-appellation produces 80% of all Muscadets! “Sur lie” means “on lees” indicating that the wine was aged on the spent yeast, which adds to the complexity and mouth feel. The grapes for this particular wine come from estate grown, organically farmed vines that range between 35 – 67 years old. The wine is fermented spontaneously in concrete tanks and then aged “sur lie” for 7 months.

The nose and palate are harmonious with notes of pineapple, honeydew melon and lime. The acidity is bright and zesty with a mouthwatering finish that is guaranteed to make you thirsty for another sip!

DOMAINE DE FONDRÈCHE 2018 N…

RHÔNE VALLEY, FRANCE

Domaine De Fondrèche is located in the Rhône Valley’s Ventoux appellation. It is against French labelling laws for producers to put the word “nature”, meaning “natural” in English, on their bottles. So, the cheeky folks at Fondrèche found a fun way around that. The quote on the label translates to…

“Wine made from grapes grown under the lucky star, without sulfites and with humour, simply because it is our nature!!!”

This is a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Cinsault. The grapes come from 38 tiny hectares of biodynamically farmed, estate vineyards. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 6 months in very large, very old oak casks and there are no additions of any kind, including sulfur.

The wine is a vibrant hue of purple with aromas of blueberry jam and crunchy red currants, these notes carry on to the palate and where they’re met with intense flavour of freshly ground white peppercorns, vanilla and violets. 

STAG’S HOLLOW 2014 MERLOT

OKANAGAN FALLS, B.C.

Owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Larry and Linda, Stag’s Hollow started in 1992 with an existing 10-acre vineyard just south of Okanagan Falls. The winery was later constructed in ‘95 after the first official crush and the rest is history!

"If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f***ing Merlot!" - Miles Raymond (portrayed by Paul Giamatti) in the 2004 film “Sideways”

For a time, that one line actually caused a noted decline in the sale of Merlot. To this day we occasionally have people tell us they don’t like Merlot and admit it’s because of Sideways!!! Want to know the funniest part of this story though? At the end of the movie, Miles drinks his favourite wine, which is a Merlot dominant blend from Bordeaux.

Personally, I LOVE Merlot! It’s plush and generous with notes of cherry, plum, raspberry, milk chocolate and espresso. This particular wine is 95% Merlot with 5% Petit Verdot, which adds beautiful structure and some savoury herbaceousness. Drink now!

FATTORIA DI RODÁNO 2015 CHIANTI CLASSICO VIGNA VIACOSTA

TUSCANY, ITALY

Fattoria di Rodáno is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico in the famed region of Castellina in Chianti. The original farm dates back to the Middle Ages, and sits on the historic “Via Franchigena” used by pilgrims to travel from northern Europe to Rome. The property started producing wine in the 16th century and has been in the Pozzesi family for three generations, since 1958. Enrico Pozzesi is the winemaker and managing partner, taking over from his father who was the President of the Chianti Classico Consortium, until his passing in 2012.

Made from 100% Sangiovese, this is a single estate, reserve wine that was aged for 3 years. 60% of the cuvée is aged in large oak casks and the other 40% in French barrique, half of which are new. It’s bottled unfined and unfiltered. The result is a classic representation, it’s drinking beautifully now, but will continue to develop for the next 10 or so years. It has notes cherry, ripe tomato, balsamic, tobacco and potting soil. The finish is long and supple.

FIELD RECORDINGS 2017 FICTION RED

PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA

Field Recordings is winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew has stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. FICTION, is a red wine produced from multiple vineyards and multiple varieties. Due to his day job, Andrew often gets first dibs on small lots of premium fruit to use for this project. Taking what each season gives him, the blend always varies a bit. The 2017 vintage is comprised of 48% Zinfandel, 15% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 8% Graciano, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Touriga Nacional and 3% Carignan, it spends 10 months in oak barrels, 20% of which are new.

The result is a silky, smooth wine with aromas of fresh baked blueberry pie, mint scented Yankee candles and cigar box. The palate is rife with flavours of homemade raspberry jam, Dr. Pepper, cocoa powder and toasted coconut.

HITHER & YON 2013 TANNAT

MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA

When they were just kids, Richard and Malcom Leask’s parents relocated their family from the Hunter Valley in NSW to McLaren Vale, where their father turned their new property into a vineyard. Today, Richard and Malcom are at the helm of the family business!

“Our aim with Hither & Yon is very simple: respect our family’s hard work and leave our land in an even better state for the next generation of Leask’s. The way to achieve that is by sustainable grape growing, with wines made in our family vineyards, embracing McLaren Vale’s amazing geology and maritime influence.” -The Brothers Leask

Tannat is known for its very high level of tannin and is historically grown in South West France, where it’s often used in blends to add structure. It’s also one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it’s considered the "national grape". I have to admit I was surprised to see a single varietal example of this grape coming from Australia, and even more surprised at how delicious it was! It’s got notes of bramble, mocha and smoke on the nose which carry seamlessly onto the palate where they’re met with flavours of anise and baking spices.

-Erin Loader