Saturday evening my husband and I had an amazing French-Canadian “infused with a British sensibility” dinner at Dominion Square Tavern in Montreal. Whilst perusing the bistro-style menu and immediately ordering frites with curry mayonnaise to start, I decided to go with a glass selection rather than bottle as we were on a bit of a time schedule. Dominion Square’s wine menu is wonderful; predominantly French and from small artisan estates, the majority of bottles offered are biodynamic. It was quite difficult to narrow it down to one, but I ultimately chose the Jean-Michel Gerin IGP La Champine Syrah 2009 [Collines Rhodaniennes]
In 2009 the French replaced the term “vin de pays” with I.G.P. [Indication Géographique Protégée – Protected Geographical Region]. This term refers to superior vineyards that are sandwiched in between the more famous appellations. Jean-Michel Gerin is a 5th generation winemaker, he took over his grandfathers family estate in the early 1980’s and has continued on in the tradition of sustainable farming, acquiring additional land not only to the family estate, but also vineyards in Spain. He is known for his vigor and passion when it comes to his vineyards, and his prestigious Champine Lord and Les Grandes Places labels have many accolades.
Inky purple with ruby highlights, aromas of warm oak and rich chocolate rose from my glass, whilst whispers of soft violets trailed behind. Jammy blackberry merged with lush black current flavours and traces of smooth leather in the full body. Black tea tannins gave way to spicy black pepper and earthy elements in the moderate finish. My chêvre, beet and celery leaf salad revealed a nuance of crisp minerality. Smooth and well-structured, this is an excellent glass on its own or with a meal.
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2014