A world of grape varieties
A grape variety is a variety of vine plant and, by extension, of grapes. Some are much more cultured than others, and much better known.
Even if you don't drink wine, chances are the names Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir are familiar to you. These few varieties represent the bulk of sales volumes in North America. It's crazy, and it's especially a bit of a shame, when you consider that there are thousands of grape varieties around the world.
At the time of writing these lines, the SAQ website listed wines from nearly 400 different grape varieties. Something to make you dizzy. How about starting with five? Cheers!
CHÂTEAU PAJZOS, FURMINT 2021, T, TOKAJI
★★1⁄2 | $1⁄2
Once known exclusively for its sweet Aszú, Tokaj is producing more and more dry white wines, most of them made from the local Furmint grape. This one has been a classic at the SAQ for a good twenty years. If you like dry white wines with discreet aromas, you will find what you are looking for with the 2021. Avoid serving it too cold and do not hesitate to aerate it for 30 minutes in a carafe; its notes of citrus and white flowers will be all the more expressive.
Hungary 12% | White wine | $15.05
SAQ code: 860668
BLACK ISLAND WINERY, POŠIP 2021, THE DALMATIAN DOG
< strong>★★★ | $$
Ignore the naughty dog on the label; the wine, far from being biting, offers a fine and subtle expression of pošip. Originally from the island of Korčula, off the coast of Dalmatia (hence the dog), this rare white grape variety is also one of the most qualitative in Croatia. The discreet fruity flavors are somewhat akin to Malvasia and the texture, although nimble, light and almost airy, leaves a fairly complete sensation in the mouth, with a nice hint of bitterness. Serve with a white fish carpaccio, a dash of lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
Croatia 12.5% | White wine | $20.70
SAQ code: 15129835
DOMAINE VENDANGE, VIN DE SAVOIE 2020, MONDEUSE, LE COZ
★★★1⁄2 | $$1⁄2
Mondeuse Noire is an old variety grown in the eastern part of France, especially in Savoie. The vines of the Vendange family (for real!) are rooted in moraine soils formed by the retreat of glaciers more or less 15,000 years ago. I fell in love with their Le Coz cuvée; an excellent red mountain wine, with all that implies of vitality and alcoholic lightness (12%). The tannins of the Mondeuse form a silky and compact case for flavors of black fruits and pepper; the finish is crisp and fresh. A very nice wine to enjoy now with a deer tataki.
France 12 % | Red wine | $26.85
SAQ code: 15073819
MONTALBERA, GRIGNOLINO D'ASTI 2020, GRIGNÉ
★★★ | $1⁄2
This very old Piedmontese grape variety (13th century) once present throughout Piedmont, Grignolino is mainly grown in the hills of Monferrato, in the provinces of Asti and Alessandria. The very pale color of the wine, characteristic of the grape variety, could suggest a candy red, but the Grignolino, under its delicate allure, does not lack character or tannins. Supple on the attack, elegant and very compact on the finish, with a sensation of salinity.
Italy 12.5% | Red wine | $18.05
SAQ code: 13014372
MATURANA WINES, NARANJO 2021, VALLE DEL MAULE LONCOMILLA
★★★ | $$1⁄2
Ah, the history of South American grape varieties…often so obscure and complex that even ampelographers can't agree on their origins. The torontell that makes up this orange wine, for example, is one of the varieties planted by the first Spanish settlers to produce mass wine. There are still very old plants in the Maule region. José Ignacio Maturana lets the skins of the grapes macerate for eight months and signs a copper-colored wine, bursting with flavors of tropical fruits and spices. The tannins are coated with a full and vinous texture, leaving a harmonious impression on the palate. To fully appreciate it, serve it around 12°C, with roast chicken with lemon and fine herbs.
Chili 13.5% | White wine | $26.45
SAQ code: 14696029
★ Correct < /p>
★★★ Very good
More stars than dollars: well worth the price.
As many stars as dollars: worth the price.
Fewer stars than dollars: the wine is expensive. ;