A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 623: How to Save a Thousand Years

Monday, November 14th: Wrote my Lexpert column on blind tasting, concluding with irrefutable statement that “one glance at the label is worth a thousand years of experience.”

Lunch with Roger Randolph at the Military Club. Roger imports Château Puyfromage and he brought along a bottle of the 2014 vintage (72% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc). An old-style claret. Deep purple-ruby in colour with a cedary, plum and currant nose; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, red berry flavour, firmly structured with ripe tannins. A steal at $13.95 (88).

In the afternoon, tasted a bottle of Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée Caillottes 2015 (bright straw colour; floral, pink grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, dry, green herbs, grassy, green plum and grapefruit flavours with a mineral thread; long, fresh finish (90)). Dinner with our friends Arlene and Michael at the Granite Club. Michael brought along Pol Roger Extra Cuvée de Reserve 2000, Philippe Colin “Les Chenevottes” Chassagne-Montrachet 2011 and Guigal Château d’Ampuis Côte Rôtie 2007. Great roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with Brussel sprouts. A memorable meal.

Tuesday, November 15th: Down to the LCBO to taste the Beaujolais Nouveaux to be released, traditionally, on the third Thursday of November.


  • Reif Estate The Fool Gamay Nouveau 2016, $12.95
  • Reif Estate Kerner Nouveau The Hanging Man 2016, $12.95


  • Art’s Beaujolais Primeur Nouveau 2016, $13.95
  • Duboeuf Gamay Nouveau 2016, $10.95
  • Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau 201, $13.95


  • Mezzacorona Novello, Trentino 2016, $9.95
  • Negrar Novello del Veneto 2016, $9.95

France (in Vintages):

  • Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2016, $15.95
  • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2016, $15.95

A rather lacklustre vintage all round but if you must partake I’d go for the Negrar Novello and the Duboeuf Beaujlais-Villages.

Dinner at Grano to taste the wines of Casale del Giglo in Lazio.

  • Casale del Giglo Bellone 2015: golden straw in colour with a spicy, minerally, peachy nose reminiscent of Soave; medium-bodied, dry, with an interesting touch of bitterness on the finish. (89)
  • Casale del Giglo Antinoo Lauzio Bianco 2013 (two-thirds Viognier, one-third Chardonnay): deep straw colour with a spicy, minerally nose of white peach and honeysuckle; medium to full-bodied, rich and full on the palate with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (89)
  • Casale del Giglo Madreselva 2013 (equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot): dense purple colour; floral, cedary nose, vanilla oak and pencil lead notes; well-extracted blackcurrant and blackberry flavours. Nicely balanced. (89)
  • Casale del Giglo Mater Matuta 2011 (85% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot): dense purple-black in colour; savoury, herbal, blackberry bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, blackberry and plum flavours, firmly structured with lively acidity. (90)

Wednesday, November 16th: Lunch at Nota Bene with Geddy Lee, Aaron Barberian and Steven Campbell to discuss a Grapes for Humanity Château Latour tasting dinner in Vancouver with the winery’s president, Frédéric Engerer. Steve brought along a bottle of Ata Rangi Craighall Charonnay 2014 and we ordered a bottle of Frédéric Mangiens Côte Nuits Perrières 2013. In the evening Deborah and I dropped in to see how Cesar Penaver is getting on with the construction of his new restaurant, El Tenedor at 909 Yonge Street.

Thursday, November 17th: Clearing my desk as I leave this afternoon for Friuli.


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