Cellar Direct: Summer Vibes, Part 3

7 09 2017

[These bottles were provided as samples for review purposes.]

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So different, yet so marvellous.

Well, the leaves in my backyard are starting to turn yellow and fall, and my kids just started a new year of school, so it’s probably a good time to wrap up my multi-part summer saga featuring the always-impressive old school wines of Cellar Direct, an online purveyor of European treasures that it offers up to a list of eager email subscribers and then ships nationwide when weather permits.  I recently had the chance to meet Ron van Schilt, one of the founders and owners of the business and the man in charge of sourcing all of the wines offered up across Canada, and his love and passion for his producers and their creations is physically palpable in every word he speaks.  Serious Wines all, and wondrous finds.

Cellar Direct sent me a six-pack sampler of their prior 2017 offerings at the start of the summer that I have been devouring in twos over the past couple months; to see how Wines #1, 2, 3 and 4 showed, click here then here for the recap (hint:  well, well, well and well).  Time to see if the last duo of bottles follow suit.  Like everything else in this offer set, they hailed from France and were the product of hand-worked soils and low-intervention winemaking, but they had basically nothing else in common.  I started off with a familiar face, and a blast from the past. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wine Review: 2009 Jeannine Boutin Crozes-Hermitage “Les Hauts Granites”

22 08 2011

Just ignore the Baby Rainforest Bouncer in the background.

After pounding out 1500+ words about five German Rieslings in my last post, I’m going to try to be a little (OK, a lot) more concise tonight.  While Riesling has always been my favourite white grape, my current favourite red has got to be Syrah, a full-bodied, powerful grape capable of many different expressions and often melding fruity and savoury notes in a way that no other varietal can.  Most of the Syrahs that have found their way onto PnP so far have been New World examples, mainly from Washington State or California with the occasional Aussie Shiraz (same grape, different name) thrown in.  Tonight, however, I’m going back to the grape’s roots in the northern Rhone Valley in France, Syrah’s ancestral homeland and (maybe moreso 20 years ago than now, but still) home to its most famous and expensive bottlings.  Some of the most lauded and pricy Syrah in the world is grown in a small appellation called Hermitage, a single hill hovering over the Rhone River containing barely over 300 acres of vines.  If I worked five of my current jobs, I could drink Hermitage every now and then.  Instead, I’m settling for its little brother, Crozes-Hermitage, a much larger region spanning the flatlands surrounding Hermitage Hill on the Rhone’s east bank.  A Crozes may not light your world on fire like an Hermitage can, but it won’t cost you $400 either…this one was a shade over $30. Read the rest of this entry »