By DEAN TUDOR
The Time and Date: Friday, March 13, 2009 2:30pm to 6:30pm
The Event: comparative tasting of organic and biodynamic Bordeaux châteaux, as repped by The Living Vine.
The Venue: Fine Wine Reserve, King Street West at Spadina Avenue, Toronto, (416) 593-9463.
The Target Audience: wine media and private customers.
The Availability/Catalogue: every wine was available, although private orders may have to be taken for some.
The Quote/Background: there were 18 wines from across the Bordeaux region, and at various price points. There were more than one bottle of many Chateaus. Indeed, some of the wines had been opened on Thursday 12 for another tasting, stoppered, and offered again for a comparison. One such Chateau even had yesterday’s wine plus a bottling with a label for sale in France only, in addition to the export market.
The Wines: the price range was from $14.95 to $169.95 (*).
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— $28.95 – Château du Champ des Treilles ‘Grand Vin’ 2003 AOC Sainte-Foy Bordeaux — owned by the winemaker of Château Pontet-Canet, Jean-Michel Comme — (biodynamic).
— $32.95 – Château Micalet 2005 AOC Haut-Médoc (organic).
— $43.95 – Château Haut Nouchet 2003 AOC Pessac-Léognan (organic).
— $148.95 – Cuvée Romulus 2003, ‘Vin Rouge’ (biodynamic) from La Croix Taillefer (Pomerol below) — my fave of the day.
— $75.95 – Château Fonroque 2005 AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé (biodynamic).
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88-90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— $14.95 – Château Auguste 2006 AOC Bordeaux (organic).
— $15.95 – Château Auguste 2006 AOC Bordeaux Supérieur (organic).
— $29.95 – Château Vieux Rivière 2007 AOC Lalande de Pomerol (organic).
— $34.95 – Château La Grave 2005 AOC Fronsac (biodynamic).
— $44.95 – Château La Fleur Cailleau 2005 AOC Canon-Fronsac (biodynamic).
— $45.00 – Château Falfas Le Chevalier 2005 Côtes de Bourg (biodynamic).
— $149.95 – Château Pontet-Canet 2006 AOC Pauillac, 5th Grand Cru Classé (biodynamic).
— $169.95 – Château Liber Pater 2006 AOC Graves (biodynamic).
*** Three Stars (85-87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— $19.95 – Château du Champ des Treilles ‘Petit Champ’ 2006 AOC Sainte Foy Bordeaux (biodynamic).
— $16.95 – Château Côtes des Caris 2007 AOC Sainte-Foy Bordeaux (organic).
— $39.95 – Château Vieux Pourret 2005 AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru (biodynamic).
— $43.95 – Château Coutet 2006 AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru.
— $63.95 – Château La Croix Taillefer 2003 AOC Pomerol.
The Food: a stunning collection of mostly organic products (and French products) from the Cheese Boutique — pâtés, terrines, charcuterie, organic breads, cheeses, dessert biscuits for the port (including a date and nut loaf). By and large, they went very well with the wines.
Organic Ports at dessert! To make the tasting complete, for dessert, Mark Cuff had a tasting of some organic ports from Casal Dos Jordoes, who also supply organic grapes to Taylor Fladgate’s Fonseca for their organic port. I found the Casal Dos Jordoes White Port nicely off-dry but pricey at $27.95. The Tawny Port was stunning, but even better was the 10 Year Old Tawny Reserve Port ($27.95 for 375 mL).
The Upside: a great opportunity to taste on my own, at my own speed, without an agent hovering.
The Downside: it ended too early for me.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90 plus 5 bonus points for the appropriate organic foods.
(*) 1 Canadian $ = € 0,60