Archive for November, 2011

Two from Stoneleigh and a Mumm Sparkler

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Our friends at Pernod Ricard sent us some things to try recently, and as we are always up to try new things, we gave them a go. (Actually, I’ve enjoyed Mumm Napa Brut Prestige on more than a few occasions, but it’s always a good thing to collect the latest data points, eh?)

While New Zealand’s Stoneleigh has been on my radar for at least a few years now, I’d only tasted their Sauvignon Blanc on one previous occasion, and didn’t take notes at that time. My general impression was favorable then, so I expected wines of good quality, and that’s what we found with these two.

2010 Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 13% alc.: Clean color, pale to medium straw; mineral, moss and gooseberry nose follows through on the palate, where the moss fades, the mineral steps forward and the tart gooseberry holds its ground. Medium body, good intensity and varietal character, and the requisite acids that should be expected from the variety, no matter where it’s produced. Nothing flashy here, just a straightforward Sauvignon that performs well with a variety of foods and as an aperitif. I like this at a price point anywhere between $9.97 and $13.99, but when it starts to creep above that ($17.99 at ?!), I’ll pass. Find this wine
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Tasting Pascal Marchand’s Burgundies

Maury Tawse and Pascal Marchand

Pascal Marchand, a Canadian from Montreal, has been making wine in Burgundy since the mid 1980’s, learning his art at such highly esteemed properties as Domaines Bruno Clair, Comte Armand and Domaine de la Vougeraie.

Marchand’s has also consulted with producers in Australia, Argentina, Greece, the United States and Ontario. His tenure here in Niagara has been spent working with mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while consulting with Tawse Winery.

He is presently the winemaker for Domaine Jean Féry in Burgundy while his own portfolio of Burgundies, under Pascal Marchand label, debuted in 2006. These wines are soon to be available, thanks to a project with winery owner and life long friend Maury Tawse.

Marchand’s wines in 2006 were from seven different appellations in the Cote de Nuit and totaled a mere 1000 cases. Currently, production is up to 6000 cases from thirty six sites including some whites from the Cote de Beaune. All Marchand’s wines are produced from vineyards with a minimum of 35 years of age, most of which are certified organic.

Toronto’s Le Select Bistro recently played host to a tasting of several of Marchand’s 2009 Burgundies. The vintage, once again, is being touted as one of the best in recent memory. I tried and tasted and I was impressed, the only downside being the prices are high and the wines are only available in six packs. On the upside, these are bloody tasty wines with impeccable balance, and although enjoyable now, they are built to last.
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