Archive for September, 2018

From Farm to Fork: 9 Fall Harvest Favorites

September 30th, 2018

From Farm to Fork: 9 Fall Harvest Favorites

By Joseph Temple

With the fall harvest in full swing, let’s stop to celebrate some classic and a few new favorites!

1. Baked apples with cinnamon and dried fruit served with vanilla custard sauce.

2. Pear and almond butter crepes…you can experiment with different fruit a nut butter combinations.

3. Spicy curried pumpkin soup topped with refreshing sour cream.

4. Squash risotto is practically guaranteed to be a new hit on any Thanksgiving table.

5. Walnuts are a great way to add crunch and flavor to a regular salad.

6. Roasted corn with lots of butter is sure to warm anybody on a cool fall day.

7. Apple pie roses are a fun twist on tradition and even better served warm with ice cream.

8. Whole grain cookies loaded with dried fruit and seeds are the a hearty and healthy snack.

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Ask Sid: What is the Okanagan wine acreage and main breakdown?

September 26th, 2018
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Okanagan BC wine

Question: What is the present total wine acreage in Okanagan BC and some of the main areas within it?

Answer: According to the BC Wine Institute the Okanagan acreage is 8830 acres comprised of the following main areas: Osoyoos: 1551, Oliver: 1393, Penticton: 1290, Summerland 1336, West Kelowna 1323, and Kelowna 1330.

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Château de Meursault Wines So Much Improved!

September 24th, 2018

Château de Meursault wine France

Remember the hall of the old Château de Meursault winery where the wonderful Paulee de Meursault lunch is held every November after the Hospices de Beaune Auction? Well the Domaine wines are changing there! Is there any winery in Burgundy who has made more progress in the last 5 years with the quality level of their wines than Château de Meursault? Your scribe was previously impressed with the renewal going on and now even more so after spending time on September 18 tasting with knowledgeable CEO Stephane Follin-Arbelet. This large beautiful property has a long history created in the 11th century but the exciting new regime started by the Halley family acquisition is from the end of 2012. Their vineyards are spread over 65 hectares in Cote de Beaune plus also have Château de Marsannay 40 hectares in Cote de Nuits. All wines are Estate grown and no negociant ones. Upgrades in both Premier & Grand Cru (including since 2015 vineyard time lapse recorded imaging to monitor leaves for canopy management, flowering and best fruit development) and in the cellar (never pump & use optical scanners) have been major indeed. In the result the wines (in special 18th century molded bottles) show dramatic improvement better expressing their vineyard terroir from Puligny-Montrachet in the south through to Corton in the north including 10 ‘climats” in the Meursault appellation. They have about 30 different wines to experience and these are some short comments on some of them recently tried:

BOURGOGNE DU CHATEAU PINOT NOIR 2015: Blend of 3 vineyards of Savigny les Beaune (Aux Boudieres & Sorbins) and Pommard (Croquamot) hand harvested from 7am to noon and destemmed with 2 week cold fermentation spending 15-17 months in French oak (20% new & 30% used) & 50% Stainless Steel.

MARSANNAY LES LONGEROIES 2015: 95% of their vines there are 40 year old average red facing E/SE on gentle slope with good drainage with 10 day pre-soak with 13 months in French oak (33% new) followed by 3 months in Stainless.

BEAUNE GREVES LES TROIS JOURNAUX 2015: 40 year average again 2 week pre-soak and 18 months in French oak (40% new) with a lovely nose of old sweet roses.

POMMARD CLOS DCES EPENOTS 2015: Same treatment with only 30% new oak. Fresh well balanced on elegant side.

CLOS VOUGEOT 2015: One third of 1 hectare close to the building & road. 50 year average age vines, 10 day pre-soak, 12 months new French oak and 5 months Stainless. Step up to Grand Cru shows.

BOURGOGNE BLANC CLOS DU CHATEAU 2015: 8 hectares near Château produces 50,000 bottles barrel fermented. Shows good richness.

BOURGOGNE BLANC CLOS DU CHATEAU 2017: Fresher more energy and excellent balance from this 2017 vintage.

MEURSAULT CHARMES DESSUS 2015: Large Charmes vineyard holdings on clay and limestone separated into preferred upper part (dessus) which adjoins Les Perrieres and below part (dessous). Have their own respected pruning expert with hands on for perfect yields. 35% new oak and 18 months on fine lees. Delicious full concentrated for mid-term enjoyment yet fresh with good vibrancy for a 2015 vintage.

MEURSAULT PERRIERES 2015: Stones here contribute to elegant lemon-apple mineral style that delivers good length of flavour. My favourite. Much better IMHO than Burghound review of 89-92 gives it credit for being already. Also have lots of these wines in Magnum format including this one for $380 Canadian at BCLDB.

PULIGNY-MONTRACHET CHAMP CANET 2015: This is solid, full and drinking well already. Some balance for 2015 but even more on their Champ Gain vineyard.

Tip: Try some of these 2015s to be pleasantly surprised and look for these wines when released from the upcoming 2016 & 2017 vintages.

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Ask Sid: What is Meursault Charmes-Dessus?

September 19th, 2018
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chateau mersault Charmes-Dessus?

Question: Tasted a 2015 Meursault Les Charmes-Dessus from Château de Meursault and wondered what is Dessus?

Answer: Some vineyards in Burgundy historically divided the appellation between the higher section (Dessus) normally considered better and the lower part (Dessous). These terms are still used on labels to explain which part of the vineyard the grapes in the wine come from  though you see the preferred Dessus more often than the usually lesser Dessous. Meursault Charmes is quite a large and diverse area so if there is no Dessus on the label you don’t know the specific part of it where the grapes are grown within that Premier cru region. May or may not be all Dessus or a mix of Dessus and Dessous. Hope this helps.

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Château Lagrange: A Solid Underrated 3rd Growth Bordeaux in St. Julien is Value Choice

September 17th, 2018

Château Lagrange: A Solid Underrated 3rd Growth Bordeaux in St. Julien is Value Choice

Château Lagrange is a classified Third Growth St. Julien that still remains somewhat under the radar for a top value well made Bordeaux choice. Since November 1983 when a sale to Suntory was government approved (might have been more difficult to get today) this château has gone from strength to strength with vineyard replanting, winery investment, and quality improvements in the wine. The hiring of Marcel Ducasse from Haut-Pyrennes region who studied at Bordeaux University and is a disciple of Emile Peynaud was a wise choice indeed. Several visits there and tasting-interviews with him. Impressed also with his record keeping since 1984 and all the stats on the Grand Vin and second wine Les Fiefs. Extensive time spent in June 1997 when plantings were 64.8% cabernet sauvignon (70.7 hectares), 27.9 merlot (30.4ha) and 7.3 petit verdot (7.9ha). This latter variety not much used till 1990 when major 12% added that “blueberry” element to the complexity. At that time the total production was 63,000 cases with 23,000 Château Lagrange (55% new oak) and 40,000 Les Fiefs de Lagrange (20%). Tasting the young 1996 & 1995 vintages was surprised then by the major differences in their grape mixes with 1996 Lagrange 57CS/36M/7PV and 1995 Lagrange 44CS/43 M/13PV while 1995 Les Fiefs is 87CS/13M.  All this was reinforced to your scribe at a vertical tasting-dinner at Blue Water in Vancouver on September 11, 2018. Some brief comments:

2005 Lagrange: 46CS/45M/9PV Young dark excellent deep ripe cassis full rich flavours with brilliant mid-palate still in a structured balanced “shell” needing more time to really sing. Outstanding vintage!

2001 Lagrange: 62CS/27M/11PV Palest rim of first flight of three is more open, spicy cloves, elegant and forwardly drinking but simpler lighter bodied.

2000 Lagrange: 76CS/24M Dense somewhat browning edge with attractive St. Julien bouquet developing from large percentage of beautiful cab sauv in this blend- so smooth & stylish. The neighbouring Gruaud Larose & Talbot on north and east side showing in the terroir here. Collected this vintage of Château Lagrange and it is very good indeed. Can be a little bottle variable but a super vintage.

1999 Lagrange: 58CS/25M/17PV Lighter colour with evolved classic nose leaner tighter palate but a good 1999.

1990 Lagrange: 44CS/44M/12PV picking started September 22 ending October 10 using 16% press wine with great quality selection using only 32% in Grand Vin, 50 Les Fiefs and 18 Lot 3. Paler rim showing earthy open mature bouquet drinking well now in an attractive older Bordeaux style. Tried last year a fresher bottle that was much more youthfully impressive.

1989 Lagrange: 55CS/45M/picking earlier September 6 finishing September 28 using 13% press wine with 44% Lagrange, 52 Les Fiefs, and 4 in Lot 3. Darker colour right to the rim best bottle showing structure and vibrancy. No rush.

1988 Lagrange: 59CS/41M picking later October 3 to 19th using 14% press wine 42% Grand Vin, 55 Les Fiefs, and 3 in Lot 3. Good colour and style despite more herbal notes. The sleeper of the tasting but showing more style of the bordering vineyards of St. Laurent on the west like Belgrave & Camensac.

1975 Lagrange Magnum: Don’t have exact grape mix but higher merlot. Big surprise of the tasting from a tougher tannic vintage and before the Château improvements. For 43 years old has a remarkable red colour with maturing rim. Old style classic drier Bordeaux excelling more with the grilled lamb T-bone chops than on its own with softening tannins. Lovely.

Your scribe has tried this year also the 1986, 2002, & especially ripe 2003 (57CS/33M/10PV) which reinforces the quality value of the wines from this property. Highly recommend buying some of the 2016 and 2015 presently in the market for cellaring!

Have you tried any vintages of this Château Lagrange St. Julien?


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Have you tried any vintages of this Chateau Lagrange St. Julien?

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