Bill’s Best Bets – April CELLIER Arrivals

Festive Wines for your Gatherings
by Bill Zacharkiw

Bill Zacharkiw

Bill Zacharkiw

Leading up to Easter weekend, the SAQ has released a new batch of wines in their most recent CELLIER magazine. While I wasn’t able to taste all the wines available, I did cut through a number of them, and many are worthy of your attention.

The April 2nd wines are in the stores now and the April 16th selection will go on pre-order later next week. Nothing like having a step up on the rest as many of these wines have limited stock available, and will undoubtably fly off the shelves. Here are my picks:

April 2

The first wine I want to mention I have yet to taste, but would buy without a second thought. One of my favourite wines from France’s Southwest, Elian da Ros’ Le Vin Est un Fete. I have tasted every vintage over the past 5 years and few wines offer so much joy for around $20. Biodynamically grown and the wine is made with little intervention – like I like it!

On the subject of fruit, the 2013 Brouilly from Georges Descombes is a marvel from Beaujolais’ best known Cru. Superb fruit and depth, and will work wonders if you are looking for a red with your Easter meal.

On a similar note, but for those of you who love an earthier feel to their wines, the 2013 Beaujolais from Chateau Cambon will do the trick. While pricier than most Beaujolais, this offers more texture and depth.

Domaine Elian Da Ros Le Vin Est Une Fête 2013 Georges Descombes Brouilly 2013 Château Cambon Beaujolais 2013 Birichino Besson Grenache Vineyard Vigne Centenaire 2012 Enedina 2012

If you are wanting a bigger, more powerful red, I have two selections that impressed. One hails from California’s Central Coast, the 2012 Grenache, Vines Centenaries from Birichino is an exceptional take on the grape. Silky and suave, but without any excess, these 100+ year old vines offer some great balance and fruit. Grenache fans should take note here.

From Spain, there is the 2012 Bierzo from Enedina. Made with the Mencia grape, this is much more concentration and power than what I am used to drinking from wines of the region. But it works, with exceptional balance and finesse.

April 16

The second release date also offers up a number of interesting wines. One of my favourites is from Piedmont rockstar winemaker Angelo Gaja. While most Gaja wines are extremely expensive, his 2009 Barolo, Dagromis is a marvel and at an accessible price. Full on tar and roses, and relatively open and ready to drink.

Another wine which impressed me was from Bibi Graetz. The 2013 “It’s a Game” is a classic Tuscan blend that shows remarkable freshness and power. Good now, it will only get even better of over the next decade. If you are looking for an under $40 wine for your cellar, this would be my choice.

One of the bargains of the release is the 2009 Haut-Medoc from Château Larose-Trintaudon. This Cru Bourgeois shows remarkable finesse for a wine from such a ripe and powerful vintage as 2009. It is ready to drink and for $26, a real find.

Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2009 Bibi Graetz It's a Game 2013 Château Larose Trintaudon 2009 Logonovo 2011Domaine De La Rectorie Côté Mer Collioure Rosé 2013

One of the stranger wines in this release is the 2011 Logonovo. Choosing to forgo the Brunello appellation, the wine breaks new ground by blending the sangiovese with merlot, petit verdot, syrah and sagrantino. The results are very good – a full bodied wine that is both refined and powerful.

And despite our winter that seems to know no end, Spring temperatures are on the way. That means we can finally get back to rosé drinking. And what better way to start than with one of the best? While at $27 the price might shock those who believe that pink wines should be only cheap and cheerful, the 2013 Domaine de la Rectorie Côté Mer Collioure Rosé is a marvel of fruit and depth. This will age even more, but just try to stop drinking this! An exceptional pink wine to kick off the summer.

CELLIER Premium Feature

CELLIER New ArrivalsFor Chacun son Vin Premium members, we have added something new to the site to make your CELLIER shopping even easier. Now if you look under the Wine tab in the menu bar, you will see an option for <<CELLIER New Arrivals>>. By clicking here, you will be brought to a new page where we have grouped all of the new release wines and reviews together by date.

So you can check out my tasting notes on all the wines in one place.

Winemaker Dinner Events

For our members in and around Ottawa, here’s a chance to explore the regional estates of Beringer with winemaker herself, Laurie Hook. WineAlign’s Rod Phillips will be your host as Laurie takes you through a tasting that showcases the volcanic, cobbled rock and alluvial soils of Knights Valley, the highest elevations of Napa’s Howell Mountain and the sun-drenched valley floor of Napa’s Oak Knoll district. (Find out more here.)

Let us know if you like events like this and we’ll try to bring you more.

Enjoy the first true days of Spring!


“There’s enjoyment to be had of a glass of wine without making it a fetish.” – Frank Prial

From CELLIER April Releases:

Bill’s Best Bets – April 2
Bill’s Best Bets – April 16

Editors Note: You can find Bill’s complete reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names or bottle images above. Premium subscribers to Chacun son Vin see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 60 days to see newly posted reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!

Gabbiano - Take me to Tuscany