Staff Picks for the Summer!
Nathalie's Pick - Arthur Barolet & Fils, 2019 Chablis
The last couple of years were long and sometimes a bit draining, but there were definitely some positive outcomes coming out from that time. For me, discovering the wines of Arthur Barolet & fils in the middle of one of the toughest periods we have endured in our lifetime was one of them. I remember going to a private tasting, to get a first glimpse of this winery, in between two lockdowns, with the anxiety or the potential risk of being out there amongst other people. Then we started tasting, and I forgot about the rest! The wines are clean, linear and true to style. And from their first introduction to Burgundy, to their 1er cru vineyards, every single wine over delivers.
The descendants of Arthur Barolet continue to produce high quality wines to this day, but Arthur himself founded his small family business in Beaune, the capital of Burgundy, in 1830. Following Burgundian tradition, Arthur’s family wines displays great finesse, elevated acidity, but with great character and depth.
It's the people behind the wine that share their passion and vision, one bottle at a time. His grandson, also known as Arthur, left medicine and Paris in 1920, to take care of the family business. Today, the quality and the tradition established by the former owners continued in the 19th-century cellars of the Savigny-lès-Beaune based Domaine. The House owns a variety of prestigious vineyards including a handful of 1er Cru vineyards and the renowned Grands Echezeaux.
2020 - 2021 have been trying for many winemakers. Ever since the April freeze, made worse by a too-early start of the growth of the vines, right to harvest time, harsh changes in weather have imposed their tempo: winemakers have had to be constantly attentive and reactive. The only respite was the flowering, which took place under good conditions, and the ripening, which benefited from sun starting in mid-August. While it was classic in its profile, the vines produced historically low in volume. Arthur Barolet & fils choose to not produce vintages of this Chablis for 2020 nor 2021.
As we eagerly wait in anticipation for the 2022 vintage, the stock of our 2019 is already quiet low with only 2 cases left. The wait will be hard as Chablis is already delicious and the 2019 does not disappoint! An excellent patio sipper for this summer with a tray of freshly shucked oysters is my ideal afternoon. A crisp Chablis with a great minerality making an excellent patio sipper for this summer with a tray of freshly shucked oysters is my ideal afternoon.
Kathleen’s Pick - Kitsch 2021 Block Party
70% Riesling, 15% Pinot Gris, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir
Candy lovers bewared! You might fall in love with this wine! Delicious handful of white Gummy Bears, Rainbow Nerds, fleshy ripe apricot. Flavours of sassy peach, Orange Tang, and lime.
My love affair with Kitsch Block Party has been going on for a few vintages now, and the 2021 did not disappoint! Tart green apple notes dominate on the palate while the nose offers subtle stone fruit, juicy pear, and wildflowers. Especially gorgeous in the warmer months, I’ll be sipping on this all summer long.
Troy’s Pick - The Establishment, Sunblind, Sour
t’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine, and with Sour beer being more popular in the Alberta beer market than ever before, it was an absolute no-brainer to feature this delicious limited local offering from a multiple award-winning Calgary brewery.
The Establishment Brewing Company nailed it by using a mixed culture sour beer, aged in oak barrels, with Glohaven peaches. It’s got super funky acidity with the right amount of fruitiness and just a touch of sweetness. I honestly can’t think of a tastier local brew for summer hangouts and backyard BBQs.
Or just when you’re wiped at the end of the day, because you work hard and deserve it. Bring on the sun!
Jen’s Pick - Guardacaccia, 2018 Red Blend
As we are all wine lovers here, I thought you’d enjoy a technical review!
This wine is from Terra Alta Spain and is a blend of 95% Garnacha / 5% Carignan.
Ruby in colour sitting at a medium intensity. Medium plus aromas of fresh mature strawberries, raspberries, and bramble. Red plum, fig, toast, cracked white pepper, cured meat, and soft leather. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium fine tannins, alcohol is high but feels medium plus (well integrated). Medium intensity of flavours such as cherry syrup, mint, bramble berry, blueberry, pepper and meat. The finish is medium plus with lingering notes of savoury meat, dried berries, and herbs. This wine is very good, I find there is a general balance among the medium acidity, tannins, and body.
There is a good intensity and complexity of aromas. Initially tight of just red fruit, the palate opened further with a flavour profile that seems to continuously develop to more savoury notes (toast, cured meat, dried fruits) creating a more complex style of wine. 14% indicates high level of alcohol via WSET standards; Though climate change is increasing alcohol levels world wide. This would be the strongest structural point to indicate possible further ageing, though with a medium-esque structure otherwise and given that this wine is already showing tertiary notes after 5 years of bottle age. Drink now, as it won’t develop much further, however you may cellar for another 2-3 years.
Now for the untechnical review; This wine is bomb. So good! Exactly how I like it. Ample aromas of red and black fruit, dried figs, and savoury meaty notes. The palate is so easy drinking, though I do suggest you let it decant for about a half hour to let that cherry syrup note develop further into the complex wine this is. This is one of the many reasons why I love Spanish wines so much, as there are so many hidden gems in D.O.’s that we wouldn’t typically see. Most people have heard of Rioja wines, but have you heard of Terra Alta wines? You have now. Try it and tell me what you think! I love to hear your notes!
P.s. Pair this stud with the potato/ pancetta pizza #2 from Posto!