Château des Charmes Gamay Noir Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA 2015

Estate: Paul Bosc brought his young family to the Niagara on the Lake region of Canada in the 1960’s “with the idea that growing our own grapes was the best way to make fine wine”. Paul is a 5th generation French winegrower who holds degrees in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. Founded in 1978, Château des Charmes consists of 280 acres of vineyards in four locations all within the Niagara-on-the-Lake region.

Paul established himself as a pioneer in the region, from planting traditional French varietals to employing cutting edge techniques such as installing wind machines to protect the vines from the cold. Their extensive cellars are geothermal and do not require any heating or cooling, especially impressive considering how cold Canadian winters can be. In addition to being recognized for their progressive, groundbreaking work with traditional French grapes and methods, their wines have garnered accolades for their balance, finesse and quality. Paul Sr still has an active role in the vineyards, his son Paul Jr is President of the estate, and Paul Jr’s wife Michèle is the Director of Marketing.

Philosophy: “We are custodians of the land.” Crafting wines that are “food friendly and age worthy. We hope you will call them delicious”.

Winemaking: Committed from the very beginning to sustainable practices, the family is a charter member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario. Chemical treatments are never used, and sustainable methods such as hedge vine canopies, and under drainage are utilized. Naturally occurring yeasts are used for the majority of the wines. All by-products from the winemaking process [stems, skins, seeds] are returned to the vineyards as natural fertilizer. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Bright garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, earth and a floral trace. Cherry, red currant, pomegranate, hint of sour cherry and crushed rock minerality are framed by silky tannins and fresh acidity, finishing dry and fruity. Peppy and refreshing, super versatile at the table.

100% Gamay
Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA
Canada
Estate Bottled by Château des Charmes
13% Alcohol
$16 [Canadian Dollars]
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Xavier Benier ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Vin de France 2016

Estate: Xavier Bénier is part of the young, pioneering group of winemakers in Beaujolais that are responsible for the return of vintage specific wine from village and cru Beaujolais. A proponent of natural winemaking, he farms organically and without any chemicals, likewise for the cellar. Currently he has 6.5 hectares of vineyards in the south of Beaujolais, just above Saint-Julien.

Winemaking: Grapes are from a 1.7 hectare vineyard with schist soil, with vines over 100 years in age. Fermented with natural yeasts in neutral oak with 25 days maceration. Aged in foudre [large wood casks] for 8 months. Unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour, with aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, bramble, flinty minerals and a drop of fruit liqueur. Raspberry, black currant, red currant and blackberry envelop a spicy, herbaceous core. Finishing dry and fruity, keeping you reaching for more and more.

100% Gamay
Vin de France
France
12.5% Alcohol
$22
Enjoy now thru 2020

Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

Estate: Domaine Dupeuble is in the southern part of the Beaujolais region of eastern France. The estate has been making wine nearly continuously since 1512, and throughout that lengthy history, the name has only changed three times. The most recent name change was in 1919 when estate heiress Anna Asmaquer married Jules Dupeuble. Today their grandson Damien, along with his wife, brothers and their children, run the estate. Over the years, the family has incrementally been able to increase their property holdings, currently the estate consists of 100 hectares, 40% of which are vineyards. Their wines are renowned for their combination of high quality and reasonable price.

Winemaking: The family are committed to lutte raisonnée cultivation methods and therefore do not use any chemicals or synthetic products in the vineyards or during production. Grapes are harvested by hand and vinified without the use of sulphur, “wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation”. Grapes for the Beaujolais Nouveau were sourced from vines 50-100 years old in a mixture of granite, clay and limestone soil. Fermented naturally (carbonic maceration) and aged in stainless steel, bottled unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, blueberry and a hint of violet. Fresh cherry, blueberry and raspberry are framed by bright acidity. A trace of forest floor and an overall elegant softness add to the delightful, lovely character. Finishing dry and fruity. Lovely on its own, easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Gamay
Beaujolais Nouveau
France
Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété [Estate Bottled]
13% Alcohol
$12
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Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

Estate: Located deep in the heart of Beaune, Maison Joseph Drouhin was founded over 130 years ago by Joseph Drouhin. Today the estate is headed by the 4th generation of the Drouhin family, Frédéric, along with his siblings Véronique, Philippe and Laurent. Throughout the years, the Drouhin family has been dedicated to “preserving the individuality of each appellation” and “has built a reputation for wines that primarily reflect their individual terroir and vintage”. With 73 hectares assembled over the years through purchases and agreements between families, the estate is one of the largest in all of Burgundy.

Philosophy: Natural practices have granted them the capability to achieve their goal of expressing “the exact character of each terroir” in their wines.

Winemaking: “Our credo is to bring natural answers to natural problems.” Certified organic since 2009, they are passionate about organic and biodynamic viticulture with methods such as herb-based vine treatments, natural predators rather than chemicals, and plowing by horse. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with pink granite soil.

Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black current, black cherry, violets and banana. Tart, red and black fruits [think strawberry, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry] are given a shake of white pepper and framed by fresh acidity. A floral element compliments the dry, fruity finish. Fresh and easy drinking, a spectacular value, consistently one of my favourite Beaujolais Nouveau.

Winemakers Note: Drink young at 14°-15°C [57°-59° F].

100% Gamay
Beaujolais Nouveau
France
Bottled by Joseph Drouhin
13% Alcohol
$8
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Division-Villages ‘L’Avoiron’ Rosé of Gamay Noir Columbia Valley 2016

 

Winery: Located in Portland, Oregon, Division Winemaking Company is an “urban winery” founded in 2010 by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe. The duo honed their winemaking and viticulture skills working in wineries in the Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Northern Rhone. Inspired by the time in France, they established Division Winemaking Company. They strive “to make approachable and balanced wines though minimal manipulation”. They source their grapes from “well farmed terroir expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic”. The Division-Villages label is their approachable, entry level label.

Philosophy: “A new generation of winemakers that are looking beyond the status quo to create unique styles of wine, with a purpose, a story and without barriers.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from Willard Vineyard in the Yakima Valley in Columbia Valley. The terroir was specifically chosen for Gamay: “The mineral intense soils formed from volcanic Miocene uplift against basalt bedrock that is layered with a primary top soil being made up of quartz and lime- silica, overlaid with the mixed sedimentary run- off of Missoula floods that makes the soils in the region so dynamic, unique, and in this case, perfect for making crisp and focused rosé!”

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of cherry, strawberry, melon and a hint of floral. Silky smooth cherry, cranberry and strawberry with a drop of honey, complimented by clean granite minerality and mouth puckering acidity. A squeeze of lemon over cranberry on the crisp, refreshing finish.

100% Gamay Noir
Columbia Valley
Washington
Produced & Bottled by Division Winemaking Company
13.1% Alcohol
$17
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725 cases produced