The Time and Date: Thursday, Jan 27 2011, 11 AM to 3 PM
The Event: Come to explore the Wine Region of the Year… Rhone Valley
The Venue: George Restaurant in Toronto
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: wines came from the LCBO and Vintages listings.
The Quote/Background: Christian Paly, President, Arnaud Pignol, Commissioner General and Olivier Legrand, Export Marketing Manager of Inter Rhône came to Toronto to meet major journalists in an informal and friendly wine tasting. There was a short slide presentation and some talks on the quality of the Rhône Valley wines.
The Wines :

**** Four Stars (91+/100 in Quality/Price Rating terms. NB: 1 Can $ = €0,74):
Château Mas Neuf, Costières de Nîmes 2008, $11.35
Domaine Courbis, Les Eygats, Cornas 2007, $59

***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88–90/100):
— Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Lauves, Saint-Joseph 2007, $31.95
— Réserve Perrin, Côtes du Rhône blanc 2009, $14.95
— La Vieille Ferme, Lubéron blanc 2009, $11.95
— Ogier, Côtes de Ventoux rosé 2009, $10.95
— Domaine des Carteresses, Tavel rosé 2009, $15.95
— Ogier, Côtes de Ventoux 2008, $10.95
— Chapoutier, Rasteau, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2008, $17.95
— Domaine Autrand, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007, $14.95

*** Three Stars (85–87):
— Louis Bernard, Côtes du Rhône blanc 2009, $11.65
— Cuvée Tableau, Tavel rosé 2008, $18.98
— Louis Bernard, Côtes du Rhône 2009, $12.15
— Visan, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007, $13.95
— Domaine de Pierredon, Côtes du Rhône 2008, $13.95

The Food: the tasting was followed by a lunch, and we could re-taste all the wines that we wanted.
With BC rock shrimp (with Belgian endive and Brazil nut curry) I had a La Vieille Ferme Lubéron blanc 2009.
The duck breast and duck confit duo (with barley risotto and broccoli) screamed out for the brett-inflected Château Mas Neuf 2008.
The beef tenderloin paired very well with the still evolving Les Eygats Cornas 2007.
Cheeses, dark chocolate beignets, and coffee completed the long lunch.
The Upside: I really liked the Château Mas Neuf’s price for the brett component. A little goes a long way, and the wine had sufficient brett to make it interesting and gamey.
The Downside: we started late because winter blizzards delayed the principals’ arrival in Toronto from New York City, where the Rhône Valley had just won Wine Enthusiast’s “Wine Region of the Year” award.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness of this Event (numerical grade): 88.