In late March, Louis Fabrice Latour
(the 7th Louis in the Latour wine lineage) stopped in Vancouver to visit, one of
his favorite places. He said, "I love coming to Vancouver for the food, wine and
culture of the city."
Plus, Canada is an important market for the
brands, although Ontario does sell one-half of the wines that arrive in
Canada, British Columbia is still an important market.
Since the 1700s in Aloxe~Corton (which happens to be one of my favorite
appellations in Burgundy) has been home to the Latour family. It's a rich
history of winegrowing, barrel making and negotiants.
Louis Latour is a family owned company that is the largest Grand Cru estates
Latour also owns the brands Henry Fessy of Beaujolais and Simonnet~Febvre of
Chablis - both of which are available in British Columbia.
The British Columbia Liquor Distribution Board (BCLDB) stats show France as a
whole is starting to trend upward with the Rhone Valley leading the
Bordeaux is following suit and Burgundy is just starting to show some growth.
For the Louis Latour brand and their agent, the Mark Anthony Group, premium
wines are strong in Canada, with British Columbia showing the strongest growth
Louis Fabrice feels that although the Louis Latour label has not changed much
over the years the consumer is getting younger. The Latour reds he feels, "are
more fruit driven" than others in Burgundy and he attributes that to the younger
Certainly, for new wine drinkers who want to expand their palates and delve into
old-world wines Latour is a recognizable name that offers wines in all price
categories, from the tasty Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay for $12.99 to
the elegant and highly
desired Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru at $200.
have interviewed some of the most famous names in the wine world in the past few
months - Louis Fabrice Latour (above), Miguel A. Torres (look for this profile
in an upcoming Vines Magazine issue), Nigel Greening of Felton Road in Central
as well as dozens of others. But when I posted a comment about having lunch with
Sandro on social media, a friend of mine who is based in Paris, France and works
for a very large and famous Champagne house, responded to my comment with,
"Sandro is one of the greatest men in the wine world. As well as one of the
After meeting him I would agree with that statement.
Actually, I had met Sandro Boscaini, very briefly, in 2008 during Vinitaly. I
happened while I was tasting the Masi wines with his son Rafaele, whom I
have met on a number of occasions in Vancouver and Italy.
was very happy to be returning to Vancouver after several years, a place he
considers, " A fusion of cultures, leaders in wine and food."
Masi Agricola is a
family owned and run company. The name is derived from a small valley in
called Masi, that the Boscaini family purchased in
the late 1700s.
Along with a property in Tupungato in Mendoza,
Argentina (which I visited in late 2009) the Boscaini
family also manages the historic Serego Alighieri
in Valpolicella and is working with Alighieri
Sandro's passion and his storytelling make him an easy man to talk to. He is
committed to the ancient art of making Amarone and making sure the tradition
survives. Sandro explained the appassimento method of drying indigenous Venetian
grape varieties on bamboo racks for 120+ days after harvest to make true Amarone.
Sandro's father was the first to produce a Supervenetian, the Masi Campofiorin
in 1964. This was a new category of wine using partial appassimento they called
Ripasso. Boscaini wanted a wine with the additional richness found in
Amarone, but he knew to make it at a price point that
was affordable for every day he could not justify a
full appassimento the length of time an Amarone
About 70% of the harvested grapes for
Campofiorin are pressed and then fermented in stainless steel. The other
30% of grapes are dried (for roughly half the amount of time used for Amarone
grapes) then placed in wooden vats where the already fermented juice from the
stainless steel tanks is added. At this point, the highly concentrated, higher
sugar partially dried grapes start a secondary fermentation - not the same as a
This ripasso method was initially trademarked by the Masi family after they
developed it (initially using the leftover lees of Amarone) in 1964. Since then
the method has been modified to using the dried grapes for Campofiorin, in
As Sandro explained, using the lees of Amarone was comparable to, "Using a
teabag. The first cup of tea is great, the second less so, but still more than
Campofiorin may be the most popular Masi wine selling in BC stores today but I
think the Masianico, a generous and aromatic blend of Pinot Grigio with
25-30% partially dried Verduzzo grapes is a fantastic value at $18.
The 2007 Brolo di Campofiorin at $30 is a richer and earthier version
than the more feminine $20 Campofiorin offering chocolate, espresso and black
cherries. Perhaps the one that stood out the most for me is the 2005 Riserva
di Costasera (big brother to the Costasera Amarone Classico at $70)
which for $77 is is an elegant compilation of plush cherries, vanilla, pepper
and floral notes with a rich, ripe mouth and slightly bitter mocha finish.
the old world to the new, Fraser
Gallop is a young Margaret River, Western Australia based winery that is
turning heads and impressing critics palates.
Nigel Gallop spent a decade working the software business in California, which
as you know is close enough to Napa and Sonoma to create an impression.
After returning to his hometown of Perth, in Western Australia he purchased 165
acres of land amid Margaret Rivers most prestigious wineries in Wilyabrup.
The area is known for its moderate climate, proximity to the ocean on three
sides and its rich free-draining gravelly soils with underlying clay to hold
Gallop started by planting Cabernet Sauvignon in 1999 and currently has
Chardonnay, Semillon and small amounts of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and
Cabernet Franc for a total of 50 acres under vine.
Nigel's estate managed to gain the interest of
award-winning winemaker Clive Otto, who left nearby Vasse Felix after 16 years
to take on the role at Fraser Gallop in 2005.
The first Fraser Gallop wines were released in 2003
but it wasn't until 2007 Nigel says, that the wines
with a great winemaker, a few years of vine age as well as Nigel's commitment
and hands-on approach with his namesake wines have made that difference.
Fraser Gallop Semillon~Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 $28 Expect snappy, fresh
aromas - nettle and gooseberry, grapefruit and honey. Tangy and mouth-watering
in the mouth with an oily texture and long finish.
Fraser Gallop Chardonnay, 2010 (not yet available - approx $35) Shows
cooler-climate Chardonnay characteristics - citrus, toast, young pineapple and
sweet spice. A stylish Chardonnay with impressive concentration and a long
Fraser Gallop Cabernet Sauvignon (some 2007 may be available at
Everything Wine) 2009 will arrive soon $45.
Expect sweet cassis and juicy aromas - licorice and floral notes with a bright,
Fraser Gallop Cabernet Merlot, 2009 $28 a rich, mouth-filling wine with
spicy plums and chocolate and lovely balance.
Okanagan Crush Pad
Steve Lornie, Alberto Antonini,
Christine Coletta, David Scholefield and Michael Bartier
Much closer to home, change it is a-comin'.
While many wine regions in the world benefit from custom crush facilities, here
in British Columbia we are just seeing the launch of such beneficial
built to support not just one but many different winemakers or labels or
The start-up cost to build a winery from the ground up is astronomical (that's
without factoring in the cost of land or grapes or vines) so why not share the
expense of a start-up winery with others by offering custom crush facilities and
a place to make, store and bottle small lot wines?
Marketing maven Christine Coletta and her husband, contractor Steve Lornie are
set to launch the Summerland based Okanagan Crush Pad (OCP) once the 7750 square
foot modern, concrete winery is complete in late August, just in time for the
Of course the OCP is more than just a winery and custom crush it offers a
variety of services that Coletta refers to as
"From the Field to
Market" and makes its own wine under the label
Haywire by head
winemaker Michael Bartier.
Bartier also makes a couple of wines under the Bartier~Scholefield label with
wine industry personality David Scholefield.
In addition to the multi-faceted talent that OCP team brings, world renowned
viticulturist and winemaker Alberto Antonini, is on board for quarterly visits
as a consultant, a first for Canada.
Haywire Pinot Grigio 2010
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