Origin: France, Cahors (Chateau du Gaudou) AOC
Bottle size: 750
Just outside the Bordeaux region in France sits a small growing region known as the Vallée du Lot where the grapes are grown on very gravel-rich hillsides. In this valley is the AOC region of Cahors; a unique and pleasant Chateau known to world as Chateau du Gaudou (Shaw-t-o dew go-do).
On this estate winery they produce a rarity in French wines, it's not the grapes themselves that are necessarily unique, but the labeling practices are. You see, in more French regions wines are simply named for their geographical area. Laws on grape growing are very strict in France and quite often labeling wine as "Bordeaux" is enough to indicate what varietals are present. In Cahors, wines are sold with different blends of red grapes and they often have a break-down of the wine on the label.
This particular wine is made from 80% malbec, 15% merlot, and 5% tannat. This mix of grapes makes for a very interesting flavour profile. The malbec, being the dominant grape pushes through on the nose. It's distinct aroma of red-peppers fresh from the garden and earthy tones make this wine a great hearty-meal companion. The merlot adds a smoky subtlety to the freshness of the malbec. Merlot is known for it's body and in this wine it doesn't disappoint, adding a structural element that takes the wine away from a nearly bitter taste and mellowing it out on the tongue. The tannat, in my opinion is a filler grape. Much in the way Cabernet Franc is usually treated, the tannat grape is almost always undersold. It's debatable whether or not the tannat really adds much to he character of this wine at this time, but it is certain that it will help it keep it's appeal over time.
Origin: Canada, VQA Ontario VQA, Pelee Island
Bottle size: 750
Neither Gamay Noir, nor Zweigelt are typical varietals found in most regions. These understated grapes are unsung heroes in the world of wine. Full-bodied, tannic, in-your-face reds are the name of the game when you talk about Zweigelt. The origins of this varietal date back to only 1922 when Austrian viticulturist Fritz Zweigelt combined other dark grapes to make this unique species.
Zweigelt on its own is very much a mouthful. Its acidity is quite low and its tannin structure quite high, which makes this a wine to lay down. The Gamay Noir partner bring in a mouth-cleansing acidity that keeps this wine very round and quite delicate in some aspects. The acidity helps break the pucker and helps rush the mouth-feel right along. This turns a couple of rather uninspired wines into a whole experience on the palate.
Aromas of blackcurrent and raspberry can be had on the nose, the taste is very similar with dark berry and light oak. Obviously this tannin rich behemoth has been cellared in oak casks to help break it down and this has added a slight buttery taste on the finish. The structure of this wine makes it a workhorse on the dinner table, capable of standing up to the heartiest steak dinner and yet it's subtleties make me confident it would pare well with a lighter rubbed pork as well.
Pelee island is the warmest growing region in Canada, and incidentally it's also the most southern point in the whole country. This is a huge benefit for the growers who can make use of a longer growing season to ripen these warm-climate loving grapes in a country known for snow and polar-bears!
Want to buy and lay? This is a great wine to hide in the cellar only to be broken out on a special occasion. These bottles are going to stand up to another 3 or 4 years of chillen-out, which makes this 12 dollar wine an absolute bargain! Buy a case and forget about them in the good times, break'em out in the bad for a reminder that no matter how hard things get, life is still woven with awesome!
Recommended to those who sip whisky and scotch on the rocks, and those who can handle an upper-cut in a glass. This wine features a flying sugar-glider on it's label, but in my opinion it should be a ragging moose! The wine is not a pungent Merlot, but for a softee it's quite the kick. I can honestly say, for a heavy red, the acidity really brings this one around and makes it fruity and light on the finish. It's sort of like being in a fight with George Forman... not the young one though. This wine will through you a punch, but then turn around and serve you a lovely fat-free grilled burger while wearing your grandma's apron.
I'm just saying, it's got a soft side...
Cheers to Pelee Island, proving Canada can produce the heavy hearty reds right along side our delicate Rieslings and Icewines!
Origin: France; Labouré-Roi
Bottle size: 750
So this is a brilliant little Syrah, or for the Aussie-lovers Shiraz, from the Bourgogne region (That's the burgondy region for the anglos). The wine presents itself with the typical plum colour one would anticipate from a resonable young Syrah; the hue is slightly rusty and definitely worthy of being called burgundy. On the nose I would say it's a rather understated scent. Not terribly ripe and mostly scented of blackcurrant and dark berries with a hint of oak and an almost Port aroma.
2007 was a smashing year for Niagara and NewWorld wine, very typical for French wines.
The mouth-feel is a bit puckery with light tannins; the acidity is low to medium and the finish is cleared up with a mouthwatering after-effect. Sugars are low for a young wine but indicative of a Vin de Pays D'Oc style. This wine would likely not hold up to any more cellaring and should be consumed shortly after purchase. If served at anything below 8deg.C. expect the wine to lose its sweetness and present itself as much more acidic.