Wednesday’s Wow! – Generation Seven Gamay Nouveau 2012

Generation Seven Gamay Nouveau 2012 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake is the Bosc family’s (Chateau des Charmes) take on ‘nouveau’ wine, and I think it’s definitely worth snapping up a few bottles.  After all, the holidays are almost here and this is a fun, celebratory wine to share with friends and family – it would also be a great accompaniment to Xmas turkey!

Nouveau Wine

‘Nouveau’ wine is sold the same year in which it is harvested, which means it finished fermentation only a couple of weeks before it’s bottled and ready for purchase.  It’s amazing to think that only 2 short months ago the Gamay grapes that were used to make this fresh, young wine were still hanging in the vineyard!

The ‘nouveau’ or ‘primeur’  style of wine was made popular in the Beaujolais region of France when Georges Duboeuf challenged other nouveau producers to a race to see who could be the first to get their newly fermented wine to the Paris market.  The race was a huge marketing success and in 1985, the third Thursday of November became the official release date of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Tomorrow, being the third Thursday of November, the Generation Seven Gamay Nouveau 2012 will be released at the LCBO, the winery, and the website, for only $11.95.  The label conveniently sports the wine’s own hashtag, #JeSuisARRIVÉ, so you can share your thoughts with others in the Twitterverse about this yummy wine.

Tasting Notes

This wine is bursting with red fruit aromas and flavours – including strawberry, raspberry, plum, and cherry – along with a hint of fresh herbs.  It’s soft and fruity and very quaffable.  Serve it slightly chilled.  This wine is meant to be enjoyed while it is still young and fresh, so it’s best if it’s consumed within a couple of months.

I suspect this Gamay Nouveau won’t last long at the LCBO, so pick up a few bottles to go with your Xmas turkey.  It would also pair well with salmon and trout, baked ham, hotdogs, pizza, and roasted chicken.

This wine was received as a sample.

Wednesday’s WoW! Hacienda Araucano Reserva 2009 Syrah

Hacienda Araucano Reserva Syrah 2009This week’s WoW, Hacienda Araucano Reserva 2009 Syrah, is from the Lolol Valley located in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, and is made by Bordeaux-based flying winemaker Francois Lurton.  The amazingly low price tag of only $14.95 definitely makes this a great value wine.

Francois Lurton

Francois Lurton is a member of one of Bordeaux’s most famous wine families. His father, Andre, was also in the wine business, reviving many estates in the Pessac-Leognan area of Bordeaux and making wine in Entre Deux Mers, so it seems that wine is in his blood.  In 1988, Francois and his brother, Jacques, teamed up to become ‘flying winemakers’ and began making wine not only in Bordeaux, but around the world.  They were pioneers in Argentina’s Uco Valley and were soon making wine in Italy, Chile, and Spain, to name a few countries.  Jacques eventually wanted a change, so in 2007 the pair agreed to go their separate ways and Francois acquired Jacques share of the business.

Hacienda Araucano

In 2000, 200 hectares of land in Lolol Valley, now a sub-appellation of Colchagua Valley, was purchased by Francois and Jacques Lurton.  At the time, this land was not used for grape growing, but now the estate has 36 hectares planted with grapes.  The Lolol Valley is a cool climate area due to its proximity to the Ocean.  Cool morning mists and fog help to retain the acidity and structure of the wine.  There is no phylloxera here which enables the vines to be planted on their own rootstocks.  Biodynamic practices have been used in the vineyard for a few years, and they hope to be certified organic sometime in 2012 with Biodynamic certification to follow.

Tasting Notes

Hacienda Araucano Reserva Syrah 2009 is a deep ruby colour with intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry, mocha, spice, licorice, and leather.  It’s medium to full-bodied with good acidity and grippy tannins.  It exhibits typical Syrah flavours of peppery spice, dark fruit (plum, blackberry), and chocolate, with quite a long finish for a wine in this price range.  Decant for about half an hour before serving to let the aromas and flavours open up.  Serve with braised lamb shank and mashed potatoes.  This wine was just released in Vintages at the LCBO this past weekend, but at this price it probably won’t last long.

Wednesday’s WoW! De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rose Brut

De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rose BrutThis pretty pink bubbly, De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut, is the perfect wine to add a colourful sparkle to your Valentine’s Day celebrations – and that special someone never needs to know that it’s only $17.30 at the LCBO!


The word “crémant” is used on bottles of bubbly wine from France that are made outside the designated Champagne area, but that employ the same methods as those used in Champagne to make their wines sparkle. Several sparkling wine appellations in France were given the use of this word in the 1980s with an agreement that they would no longer use the term “méthode champenoise” on their labels. “Méthode champenoise” has now been replaced with the term “méthode traditionnelle,” or “traditional method.”  For more information about the “traditional method”, please read Fact #2 in the article 10 Fun Facts About Champagne Bubbles.

“Crémant” is used as a prefix and the regional name in which the sparkling wine is produced follows. For example, “Crémant de Loire” and “Crémant de Bourgogne”.  These bubblies are made using the grape varieties approved for that particular region.  Often, these wines provide a delicious and much more affordable option to the much more expensive wines from Champagne.

Tasting Note

This light pink wine is made primarily from Cabernet Franc and has delicate aromas of raspberry, cranberry, red plum, pink grapefruit, andRose Sparkling Wine dried herbs, with a slight autolytic yeasty character.  Light and refreshing on the palate, with red berry, mineral, herbs, and biscuit flavours, a soft, gentle texture, and a very pleasant, lingering finish.  Begin your romantic Valentine’s meal pairing this wine with seafood appetizers, such as chilled shrimp, salmon or crab cakes, or even sushi (as an appetizer or a main course).

Wednesday’s WoW! – Family Tree Red 2009 VQA Niagara Peninsula – by Henry of Pelham

Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2009My apologies for not posting a Wednesday’s WoW for a few weeks, but I’ve been in London, England and couldn’t tear myself away from sightseeing and eating to get it done.  This week’s WoW, Family Tree Red 2009 – by Henry of Pelham, is an approachable and tasty Ontario red blend at the very reasonable price of $18.95.  This VQA wine from the Niagara Peninsula is available at Henry of Pelham winery and in Vintages at the LCBO, but you may have to move quickly before it’s all gone.

Henry of Pelham has been an important player in the Niagara wine industry since its first vintage in 1988.  Family Tree is the latest label for Henry of Pelham, and it begins with this wine from the 2009 vintage. I think it’s a hit.  The grapes for this wine are sourced from Henry of Pelham’s own vineyards, as well as vineyards owned by other family and friends.

Tasting Note

Family Tree Red 2009 – by Henry of Pelham is an unusual blend of 43% Merlot, 26% Syrah, 19% Pinot Noir, and 12% Cabernet Franc.  This wine is brimming with aromas of dark and red fruit – plum, blackberry, cherry – spice cake, black pepper, and smoky bacon.  It’s slightly tangy and savoury on the palate with a medium body and soft tannins.  Ripe fruit, spice, and a hint of ground coffee linger pleasantly on the finish.  Best consumed within the next 2 to 3 years.  Pair with BBQ’d burgers, your favourite meatloaf recipe, or smoky ribs.

Wednesday’s WoW! – Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2008

Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2008Everyone is back to work, the Christmas tree has been stripped of its finery and is sitting lonely and discarded at the end of the driveway, the credit card bills are piling up on the counter…Even though the festivities are over and spending is a bit tight right now, you still want to drink quality wine that is on par with some of the treats you enjoyed over the holdiay.  Well, this week’s WoW, Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2008, may be your answer – it’s delicious, and it’s only $15.95 at the LCBO’s Vintages.

Tenuta di Capezzana

Documents dating from 804 AD indicate that wine and olive oil have been made on the Capezzana estate for 1200 years!  Not many wine estates can boast that.  The Contini Bonacossi family has owned the estate since the 1920s.  The vineyards cover 100 hectares in Carmignano (a distinct wine region within Tuscany), about 24 kilometres north west of Florence.

Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC

Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC is located inside the DOCG region of Carmignano, which is located in Tuscany, Italy.  The name is a reference to Barco Reale Medicio, a 4000 acre hunting reserve which was owned by the Medici Grand Dukes and is surrounded by a high wall that stretches for 50 km.  The red wines of Barco Reale are made using Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc, and Canaiolo. (Note:  Cabernet Sauvignon has been used in the wines of this area for a long time, long before they became popular in the relatively recent Super Tuscans.)

While very similar in style to the wines of Carmignano DOCG, the wines of Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC are not subject to the same aging requirements, so they are generally younger and fresher and meant for earlier drinking.

Tasting Note

Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2008 is made up of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Canaiolo, and was aged in barrel for 6 months.  The wine has quite intense aromas of dried cherry, black licorice, plum, dark spice, and damp earth.  On the palate, ripe fruit is supported by a sturdy structure and a velvety texture, with flavours of suede, earth, cherry, and spice, a cedary, savoury note, and a long finish.  It’s drinking well now but could cellar another 3 to 5 years.  Enjoy with Spaghetti Bolognese, beef stew, or roast beef dinner.  If you live in Ontario, don’t delay in buying a couple bottles as it’s sure to sell out quickly.

Wednesday’s WoW! Bouchard Pere & Fils La Vignee Pinot Noir 2009

Bouchard Pere et Fils La Vignee Pinot Noir 2009

A Great Wine With Turkey!

This week’s WoW is for all you last minute Christmas organizers who are still looking for a good red wine to serve with your turkey dinner.  Bouchard Pere et Fils La Vignee Pinot Noir 2009 is a great choice at the great price of $16.95 at the LCBO.

This wine comes from Pinot Noir’s ancestral homeland of Burgundy, France, where some of the most incredible examples of this grape are produced.

Bouchard Pere et Fils

Founded in 1732, Bouchard Pere et Fils is now the largest domaine in the Cote d’Or.  In 1820, Bernard Bouchard purchased the royal fortress of Beaune, built by King Louis XI and King Louis XII.  Since then, Bouchard’s wines have been cellared in the bastions and ramparts of this fortress.  The domaine’s 321 acres of vineyards includes 185 acres of Premier Cru and 30 acres of Grand Cru.  In 1995, the Bouchard family passed the domaine on to a very old Champagne family, the Henriots, who have continued to run the domaine with the special attention and care the Bouchard’s did for over 26o years.


The grapes for this wine are grown by quality conscious growers who follow Bouchard Pere et Fils strict quality control standards.  Twenty-five percent of the wine is aged in barrels for 6 months while the remaining 75% is aged in stainless steel vats.  All maturing takes place in the cellars of the ancient Chateau de Beaune.

Tasting Notes

This wine is a pretty ruby colour and displays aromas of red berries, especially cranberry and raspberry, spice, and a hint of vanilla.  It’s medium-bodied, soft, and silky on the palate with a very good length.  A really nice red Burgundy for the price.  This wine could take the place of cranberry sauce with your turkey dinner this Christmas.

Wednesday’s WoW – Trius Brut VQA Niagara

Trius Brut VQA NiagaraThis week’s WoW really sparkles!  Trius Brut from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario is a great sparkling wine to add a festive flair to all sorts of celebrations this holiday season.  And, at $24.95 a bottle at the winery and the LCBO, it’s an affordable alternative to the much more expensive Champagnes.  I’m a huge fan of sparkling wine from Ontario and Trius Brut does not disappoint.  (Read “Sensational Sparkling Wine from Ontario” for more information on Ontario sparkling wine.)


Hillebrand Winery has been making fine wine in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario for more than 30 years.  They introduced the Trius brand way back in 1989 with Trius Red, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  Trius has since gone on to include a white blend as well as single varietal wines that show the distinct terroir in which they’re grown.  Two sparkling wines; Trius Brut and Trius Brut Rose (also delicious), complete the family.  In 1991, Hillebrand opened the first and largest underground sparkling wine cellar in Canada.  Visit Hillebrand’s website for information on tours and various winery experiences.


Trius Brut is made using the Traditional Method of sparkling wine production – the same method used to make Champagne – in which the second fermenation takes place in the bottle.  This wine is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir.  All the grapes were hand-harvested and whole bunch pressed.  The wine is aged for up to 2 and a half years on its lees before being disgorged.

Tasting Note

Trius Brut exhibits fresh aromas of lemon citrus, mineral, yellow and green apples, and a biscuity character that is typical of traditional method sparkling wine.  The very creamy mousse and soft texture, refreshing, slightly tart acidity, flavours of yellow fruit and citrus, and a lingering toasty-biscuity finish all help to make this a very pleasurable wine.  It’s quite versatile with food and would pair well with with various chicken or turkey based dishes.  Trius Brut would also be a great match with crispier appetizers such as cheese straws or phyllo pastry filled with crab, lobster, or mushrooms.  The bubbles and crisp acidity will help cut through some of the richness of smoked salmon or even foie gras appetizers, helping to refresh the palate.

Related Articles:

Hillebrand Estate Winery – Fine Wine and Hospitality

Sensational Sparkling Wine From Ontario

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