Sara’s Sommelier Selections – Aug 3, 2013

Sara d'Amato

Sara d’Amato

An unintentional French theme has crept up on me this week – perhaps due to the “Fresh French Whites” Feature of this release but also, conceivably because I am grounded in Toronto this summer instead of making my usual pilgrimage the south of France (our lovely newborn Jasper is the happy cause of our grounded state).

Regardless, I am obviously quite enamored with the relatively value priced French offerings this week as well as with their potential for food pairings; they have taken over all but one pick. The exception is my local pick, which is a wine you may have caught wind of, and that proved a judges’ favorite in the 2013 National Wine Awards. My comment in the review was “very Chinon-esque” which also fits nicely into my Francophile theme.

Domaine Des Lauriers Prestige Picpoul De Pinet 2011
Languedoc Roussillon (Midi), France, ON $13.95

Domaine Des Lauriers Prestige Picpoul De Pinet

Picpoul’s genetic adaptability to sandy soils prevented its extinction from the ruinous nematode, phylloxera, which threatened to end wine production in Europe in the late 19 th century. It is now grown almost exclusively in sandy, coastal regions where it thrives tenuously (as its frail constitution is also affected by mildew, disease and pests). Literally translated as “stings the lips”, this is a varietal know for its high acids and briny character, making it an exceptional pairing for seafood. Intrigued? Here is a spot-on example sure to compliment a refreshing meal.  Food match: Raw oysters

Château De Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé 2012
Rhone, France, ON $18.95

Château De Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé

My rosé pic of the week hails from a region that produces exclusively pink wines. I find myself saying, much too often, “real men drink rosé” and here is an example that will certainly please the “Martians” in the group. Heady, aromatic, dry and versatile, Tavel is a must-have summer indulgence.  Food match: Fowl paté

Bernard Alias Cuvée Hector & Juliette Corbières 2010
Midi, France, ON $17.95, QC $20.20

Bernard Alias Cuvée Hector & Juliette Corbières

Still in a sunny, southern state of mind, I was exceedingly charmed by this wildly aromatic and distinctive grenache/carignan/syrah based blend that offers ample complexity for the price. This mood elevating red is not to be missed. Food match: Steak tartare

Château Puygueraud 2009
Bordeaux, France, ON $22.85

Château Puygueraud 2009

Having made wine in this lesser known but spirited and quality driven region, I am happy to showcase this stylish, right bank, merlot-dominant blend with undeniable charm and cellar-worthy structure. Food match: Crackling duck

Tawse Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010
Ontario, Canada (130997), ON $31.95

Tawse Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010

As was mentioned, this cabernet franc proved a critic’s darling with terrific poise and offering the best of this varietal’s unique character. More elegant than powerful but exhibiting the ripeness and structure of a warmer vintage. Food match: Grilled herb-crusted veal

Santé!

Sara

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From the Aug 3, 2013 Vintages release:

Sara’s Sommelier Selections
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