Un Saumon dans la Loire ‘La Cave se rebiffe’ Rose 2015


Winery: Progressive winemaker Frantz Saumon is the man behind the negociant label of “Un Saumon Dans la Loire,” or a “Salmon in the Loire”. His own small estate [6 hectares] located in Montlouis in the Loire, was established in 2002. Un Saumon Dans la Loire has allowed him to buy 3 to 4 hectares of additional grapes each year. He is known for his pure flavours, “always looking for clean wines and thriving for dryness”. His Petillant Naturels [Pét-Nat] are recognized as some of the best in the Loire region.

Winemaking: Frantz Saumon has always practiced organic and biodynamic farming. He uses only indigenous yeasts for fermentation and never fines or filters. Wines are aged in a stainless steel tanks and wood barrels of different sizes.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant cherry red in colour, with aromas of chocolate covered cherries dusted with crushed pink peppercorn. Cherry, blackberry, a slice of red apple, and dry minerals sprightly zip along on solid, frothy bubbles. Chocolate covered cherries return on the dry finish, along with a slight hint of white truffle. Elegant and cheery, fantastic on its own or a fun companion with a wide variety of dishes.

Côt [Malbec], Gamay, and Grolleau blend [percentages vary depending on vintage]
Vin de France
Bottling information not listed
12% Alcohol
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Château des Charmes Rosé Sparkling 2012


Estate: Paul Bosc, a fifth generation French winegrower who holds degrees in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, founded Château des Charmes in 1978. Paul 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”. The estate 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. 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. Their extensive cellars are geothermal and do not require any heating or cooling, especially impressive considering how cold Canadian winters can be.

Grapes were sourced from all 4 of their vineyard sites “in order to help maintain the consistency of aromas and flavours in the cuvée each year”. Crafted using Méthode Traditionelle, aged on the lees for a minimum of 18 months.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with subtle aromas of strawberry and minerals. Cheerful and refined, with strawberry, raspberry and a hint of buttery toast bustling around granite minerality. Fresh acidity and fine bubbles buoy the light, crisp finish. Fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes, in fact a kiss of sweet fruit makes it a wonderful accompaniment to spicy dishes.

Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Niagara on the Lake VQA
Estate Bottled
12.4% Alcohol
$30 [Canadian Dollars]
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Domaine des Terres Blanches Ancestral Rouge 2014


Naturally sparkling Cabernet Franc; fruity & fizzy, delightfully different.

Estate: Located in the historic village of Oiron in the Loire region of southern France, Domaine des Terres is headed by Benoit and Celine Blet. The couple had met an older gentleman who was considering the sale of his vineyards, and after living with him on his property for 6 months; he considered them to be the right caretakers of his vineyards.

Winemaking: “Benoit is a passionate believer in minimalist natural wine making.” Vineyards are farmed biodynamically, only native yeasts are used, and the only additive ever used is minimal amounts of sulphur. Crafted using the pét-nat [pétillant naturel] or Ancestral Méthod.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with pink frothy bubbles, aromas of cranberry, cherry and chocolate. Fruit driven with cherry, blackberry and a hint of red apple buoyed by compact, small bubbles. Rich chocolate and a hint of funk comprise the dry, fizzy finish.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: As an aperitif, or with a chocolate dessert (Black Forest). To be enjoyed young between 6 and 8 ° C [43-47 ° F].

100% Cabernet Franc
12.5% Alcohol
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Lamberti Rosé Spumante Veneto NV


Estate: Founded in 1964, the Lamberti Winery is located on the prestigious shores of Lake Garda, in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Taking its name from one of Verona’s most ancient families, the estate is known for crafting “a range of ‘New Italian Classics,’ brilliant, elegant and approachable wines that combine tradition with a modern style”. The family has 27 hectares of vineyards; they also have longstanding partnerships with neighboring producers, enabling them to offer a larger range of wines. Their vineyards are known for the seregni stones, stones left behind by ancient glaciers, contributing to the distinctive terroir of the land. The characteristic mineral quality fond in the wines has been known to locals for many years. “Sante pietre was a term used by farmers to indicate a place where grapes grew in an exemplary manner, as if to say “good old stones”.

Winemaking: All vineyards are farmed using organic methods. Grapes came specifically from hillside vineyards running across the Treviso region in Veneto. The red grapes are vinified using the saigné method. Secondary fermentation is done in closed pressure tanks using the Charmat method.

Tasting Notes: Coral Pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, raspberry and hints of wildflowers. Mineral driven with light berry flavours buoyed by solid bubbles and a dry finish. A simple and fun bubbly great on its own or with light snacks.

34% Pinot Bianco, 33% Pinot Nero, 33% Raboso
Produced by 9533/TV for Lamberti S.P.A.
11.5% Alcohol
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Le Sot de l’Ange Pét-Nat Azay le Rideau 2014


Estate: Le Sot de l’Ange translates to “Idiot Angel” of Azay-Le-Rideau, and refers to the decision “energetic and young” winemaker Quentin Bourse made when he took over a friend’s domaine in a tiny, off the radar appellation. Azay-Le-Rideau is located within the Touraine AOC, in the Loire Valley and has a winemaking history that dates back to the Romans. The 12 hectare estate has been certified biodynamic for over 10 years; Quentin’s first vintage was 2013.

Winemaking: Quentin manages the entire estate himself, by hand; his friends give help with harvest. Vineyard soil is predominately clay over silica. Crafted in the Pét-nat [pétillant naturel] manner, an ancient method of making sparkling wines.

Tasting Notes: Venetian red* in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry, minerals and a hint of sweet funk. Packed with tart cherry andblackberry flavours with a streak of lemony acidity. Fine, light bubbles are the foil to a shake of nutmeg and sprinkle of funk on the dry finish. Refreshing and gluggable, this is a wonderfully distinctive wine well worth seeking out.

*[Yes, at the risk of sounding pretentious I used Venetian. I could have said cherry red, but I felt Venetian really is the better descriptor. Ahhh, art school.]

As to be expected with such an engaging, esoteric wine, details such as vintage year, varietal percentage, alcohol content and bottling info are at times a bit enigmatic. I do believe this is the 2014 vintage, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
100% Gamay or a blend of Gamay and Grolleau
11-14% Alcohol
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