Century Varietal Club Tasting

October 8, 2014

Reported by Guild Director Sean O’Regan

The third installment of the Century Varietal Club Tastings led by Guild Director Alan Atkinson was once again a sold out event. Of note for this event was the change in format for the tasting as well as the venue. Building a relationship with Algonquin College’s Restaurant International over the summer months, the Guild was able to offer this outstanding value for our members who attended. For less than $50, members were treated to four flights of wine, each flight paired with a small plate prepared by the Chef and students at the restaurant.

Alan guided the four flight tasting adding a presentation and some wine trivia thoughout the evening as a total of 100 delicious plates and 350 glasses of wine were served to us to explore.

The evening began with Chef Daniel from Restaurant International describing each of the four small plate courses accompanying the wines we would be enjoying over the evening. This was followed by our first flight of three light and crisp white wines paired with a trio of canapes including crostini with tomato pesto and roasted red peppers along with fennel, citrus and arugula salad.

Flight 1: Light & Crisp Whites

The first wine poured was a 2012 Domaines Vincon Feteasca Alba from Vrancea, Romania. The nose showed floral notes along with notes of yellow plum, candied citrus zest and minerality. The crisp and light, flavors carried citrus lemon, gooseberry and minerality on a medium finish. A nice wine, however it only received a couple votes as favorite.

The second wine was a 2012 Boutari Moschofilero from Mantinia, Greece. Pale yellow with orchard fruit of apple, pear and peach repeating on the palate with citrus, pear, red apple and a hint of floral and white peach on the finish. This wine was a clear favorite of the flight with the majority of the votes.

The final wine of the flight was a 2012 Principessa Gavi Cortese from Piemonte, Italy. Taking second place for favorite of the flight, this wine presented a nose of melon or cantaloupe rind and red apple and some dusty mineral notes. Light bodied with flavors of citrus and melon with a medium finish.

Flight 2: Aromatic & Flavourful Whites

The second flight of four white aromatic and flavorful whites was paired with duck confit and brie in phyllo with balsamic poached pears.

The first of the flight was a 2013 La Puerta Torrontes Riojano from Famatina Valley in Argentina. Pale with a silver hue, this has an exotic nose of spice, fennel and orange blossom. On the palate, it was spicy along with citrus lemon and good acidity with a slightly bitter pith finish. This was quite nice with the duck.

The second wine was a Retsina of Attica Kourtaki Savatiano from Attica, Greece. Pale gold, the nose has dried flowers, spice, incense, ginger ale and pine needles, repeating flavours on the palate. An interesting wine, but it was overpowering for the dish.

The third wine served was a 2012 Maison Adrien Vacher Les Adrets Altesse Roussette de Savoie (Altesse also known as Rousette). Pale gold in color, showing floral and apple notes on the nose and nice round texture on the palate with good balance to the apple, pear, white peach and light spice flavors. This wine was top pick for favorite of the flight. It played nicely with the duck.

The last wine of the second flight was a 2011 Quinta Das Marias Encruzado from Dao, Portugal. Pale gold, the nose on this had a musky note along with ginger and some pear fruit and pepper notes. Medium to full-bodied and creamy texture, with some pear/melon fruit, spice and minerals along with floral notes and alcohol bittering the finish. This was better with the food.

Flight 3: Medium Body & Fruity White

The third flight of three red medium-bodied and fruity wines was paired with prosciutto-wrapped turkey roulade with a smoked tomato coulis.

This first wine of the flight was a 2010 Tilenus Envejecido en Roble Mencia from Bierzo region in Spain. Medium ruby and showing a maturing nose with dark cherry, berry, chocolate, balsamic and American oak influence. Medium-body, red and black fruit and spice with nice balance and a medium-length finish. This was the flight favorite. It worked nicely with the food pairing.

The second wine was a 2012 Mezzomondo Negroamaro Salento from Puglia, Italy. Medium ruby/ garnet with a slightly candied nose with red fruit and gentle spice. Flavors of berry and dark plum with some minerality and a medium short finish. Good value in a pleasant under $10 wine. It took second place in favorites of the flight.

The final red wine of the flight was a 2010 Marcillac Cuvee Reservee Vignerons Du Vallon Fer Servadou from Marcillac, France. Medium ruby with raspberry, red currant, green pepper and oak spice, that repeated on the palate with more green herb and fresh acidity. Had this not been a Century Varietal tasting, my guess would have gone to a cool vintage Cabernet Franc from the Loire. This wine was least favorite.

Flight 4: Off-dry & Fruity

The fourth flight of off-dry and fruity wines was paired with vanilla cheesecake and figs stuffed with honeyed mascarpone.

The first wine of the flight was a 2012 Hungarovin Debroi Harslevelu from Hungary. Pale yellow with apple aromas and citrus lemon, a simple wine with a little sweetness on the palate and medium acidity. Paired with the cheesecake, the

lemon note is accentuated in the wine. This wine was tied for least favorite.

The next wine was a 2011 Lovico LS Traminer from Varna, Bulgaria. Pale yellow with floral and spice notes alongside orchard fruit and candied grapefruit. Dry, the wine has spicy licorice/fennel, honey and white grapefruit with medium body and notable alcohol on the bittering finish. It was a little too spicy for the dessert. It just barely made second place for favorite.

The third wine was a 2012 Navip Muscat Ottonel from Serbia. Pale yellow, light floral and spice with pear and apple and ginger that repeat on the palate. Simple and lacking a bit of acidity with the rich cheesecake, this was tied as least favorite wine of the flight.

The final wine of the evening was a 2012 Pannon Tokaji Semi-Dry Tokaji Muscat Lunel from Hungary. Pale yellow/silver with white flowers, melon and ginger spice. Just off-dry, with medium body and medium acid showing flavors of citrus, orchard fruit and floral. This wine was flight favorite of the flight.

The evening wrapped up with Chef Daniel thanking the Guild for giving the students at Algonquin in the Hospitality program the opportunity to work this type of event, as it is a great practical learning experience. The Guild looks forward to partnering with Algonquin again in some upcoming events. Comments from those who attended are welcomed so that we may best tailor future events and venues for you.

Wine List

Flight 1

  • Domaines Vincon Feteasca Alba White, Fetesasca Alba, 2012, Vrancea, Romania, 630251, $11.10
  • Boutari Moschofilero, 2012, Moschofilero, Mantinia, Greece, 172387, $11.95
  • Principessa Gavia Gavi, 2012, Cortese, Piemonte, Italy, 250696, $19.95

Flight 2

  • La Puerta Torrontes, 2013, Torrontes Riojano, Famatina Valley, Argentina, 197970, $8.95
  • Retsina of Attica Kourtaki , Savatiano, Attica, Greece, 46888, $8.95
  • Maison Adrien Vacher les Adrets Altesse Roussette de Savoie 2012, Altesse, Savoie, France, 365163, $16.95
  • Quinta das Marias Encruzado, 2011, Encruzado, Dao, Portugal, 364802, $16.95

Flight 3

  • Tilenus Envejecido en Roble Mencía, 2010, Mencia, Bierzo, Spain , 297143, $18.95
  • Mezzomondo Negroamaro Salento IGT, 2012, Negroamaro, Puglia, Italy, 588962, $8.95
  • Marcillac Cuvée Réserveé Vignerons du Vallon 2010, Fer Servadou, Marcillac, France, 714162, $12.75

Flight 4

  • Hungarovin Debroi Harslevelu, 2012 , Harslevelu, Hungary, 536268, $8.45
  • Lovico LS Traminer, 2011, Traminer, Varna, Bulgaria, 297754, $12.10
  • Navip Muscat Ottonel, 2012, Muscat Ottonel, Serbia, 542597, $8.95
  • Pannon Tokaji Semi-dry Musat Lunel, 2012, Tokaji Muscat Lunel, Hungary, 295691, $11.25