Volcanic Wines with Grant

Volcanic Wines with Grant

How to illustrate the impact of volcanic soil conditions given there are so many places where this has occurred. First, start with a rock star line up.  I included the first item to give a sense of the variation in a wine due to its soil condition.  While the differences we significant the cause has many facets.  The evening was really interesting and many of the wines illustrated the impact of their historic and recent geologic events.  Many favourites but as always great enthusiasm and enjoyment.  The wines:

Pascal Cotat 2014 Sancerre “Les Monts Damnes”
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Location: Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

Pascal believes in natural winemaking—the vast majority of his plots are cared for organically. Harvest is never rushed; in fact, Pascal harvests more than a week after every other winery in the region. Needless to say, extra maturity on the vine means extra body and complexity in the wine. Vines are around 35 years old and are located on very steep slopes, requiring harvesting by hand.
The Cotat family pioneered single-vineyard bottlings in Sancerre, and each terroir has its own unique personality. In general Pascal wines show a more luxurious, plush mouthfeel in combination with this balanced acidity. Wines are always bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Les Monts Damnes 2014 boasts sweet grapefruit, white pepper, dried flowers, sea breezes and white peach juice on the nose.  The mouth is at once savoury and saline, with stony persistence and a wave of Meyer lemons and more white peaches. Fermented in old oak barrels, this wine always shows hints of gun flint and chalk on the nose with distinct pear and smoky $72.99

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Location: Martinborough New Zealand

Vibrant! Delicious! There’s nothing quite like a Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc. The Kiwis have really created a unique style and flavour profile with their award-winning whites. The Paton family at Ata Rangi is known for its quality wines and here’s a vibrant example of Sauvignon Blanc showing a glorious medley of bright passion fruit, orange blossom, grapefruit and lemon grass flavours. The wine has an appealing ethereal texture and almost fizzy, fruity acidity that adds an extra shot of freshness. This is made to be paired with food. Lovely with shellfish or herbed chicken. $32.99

Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Cuvee St Catherine 2014
Grape variety: Pinot Gris
Location: Alsace, France

Rich and unctuous, this is a wonderful pairing with an equally rich food, perhaps foie gras and brioche toast. “The dynamic trio of Fallers continues to bottle some of France’s (hardly just Alsace) richest and most flamboyant wines,” according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Subtle notes of orange meet freshly-cut pear flavours, amplified by some residual sugar. The richness of the palate is cut beautifully by a fresh and pure, citric acidity and a wrought phenolic structure which lends pleasant notes of subtle, enticing bitterness.  Vineyards are farmed organically and biodynamically. $82.99

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2012
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Location: Martinborough New Zealand
Ata Rangi is a Maori word for “dawning sky” or “new beginning.” Deliciously crafted by Clive Paton, this often sets the standard by which other New Zealand Pinot Noir is judged. It displays a slightly leafy nose with cranberry and a touch of forest floor. Clean, vibrant fruit flavours. Compelling! 92 points from Robert Parker, if you need more convincing; he says it has “expressive notes of kirsch, black raspberries, wild blueberries and violets over hints of black pepper, cedar, forest floor, humus and black truffles. Medium-full bodied with a good amount of muscular fruit and a long earthy finish.” $88.99

White Rose Estate Pinot Noir 2014
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Planted in 1980 to own-rooted Pommard clone pinot noir, the 10-acre White Rose Vineyard is one of the oldest and most storied vineyards in Oregon. Planted on east-southeast facing slopes of volcanic Jory soils in the heart of the Dundee Hills, the vines consistently produce fruit of great character and complexity. Aromatic complexity and depth of flavours that demonstrate varietal typicality are the fundamental goals for all our wines. Annual production is around 3,500 cases per year of Pinot noir. The operation was founded in 2000, when owner and Producer Greg Sanders purchased the 10-acre White Rose Vineyard, planted back in the late 1970s. The winemaking philosophy embraces the history of fermenting whole-clusters yet adapts this traditional approach to modern winemaking practices producing evocative wines that are expressive, complex, age-worthy and classically elegant. $49.99

Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna 2013 DOC
Grape variety: Cannonau (Grenache)
Location: Sardinia, Italy

This wine is made from 100% Cannonau (Grenache) and is a testimony to the quality of wine produced from this varietal. This “beauty” from Sardinia is ripe and jammy and loaded with mouth-filling flavours of kirsch, black cherry, truffle and very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices. The wine has warmth with unexpectedly deep colour and fullness on the palate. French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavours of vanilla. $31.49

Rotie Cellars Southern Red 2012
Grape variety: 70% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah
Location: Walla Walla Valley, Washington

Rotie Cellars was created “out of a desire to pay homage to the wines of the Rhone Valley. Since 2007, winemaker and owner Sean Boyd’s goal has been to make traditional Rhone blends in Washington State. Boyd’s winemaking philosophy is simple- combine old world winemaking techniques with the highest quality Rhone varietals that Washington has to offer. Boyd sources from some of the best and oldest vineyards in the state in an effort to showcase the most elegant blend possible, while ensuring the typicity of the fruit is expressed.” “The salinity on the mid-palate is seamlessly integrated with fresh, red fruits, finishing with refined tannins,” according to the winemaking team. $69.99

Planeta Maroccoli Syrah 2010 IGT
Grape variety: Syrah
Location: Sicily, Italy

Sicily is responsible for approximately 12% of the total wine production of Italy. Planeta Syrah is a deep ruby colour; dark fruit flavours include cherries and plums with notes of dried herbs; dry, medium body, easy drinking. Spices fused with jams of red fruit, including blueberries and more, side by side with mint chocolate, black pepper and cinnamon. $49.99




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