The resounding success of Quebec wines has made it possible to dispel the preconceptions of the most cautious amateurs about the white, rosé and sparkling wines produced here. The prejudices against red wines, on the other hand, are tenacious. I understand them: I have not always had good words for the reds of Quebec; especially those from hybrid grape varieties. But by dint of tastings and happy surprises, I have reviewed my position.
Over the past ten years, the vineyards of Quebec have made giant leaps. Firstly in quantity – there are now 160 estates and nearly 1,000 hectares of vines – but also in quality and consistency. The significant rise in summer temperatures, combined with technical advances, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, has reduced potential drifts and you can clearly feel this in the glass. Want to rediscover them? Here are five, all tasty in their own way, that should fuel your discussions this long weekend. Cheers!
Les Artisans du Terroir, Red Beginnings, 2019
★★★ | $1⁄2 | $17.15 | Quebec 12.5% | 2.5 g/L
SAQ code: 14567585
David Guertin now watches over this estate located at the foot of Mount Yamaska, in Saint-Paul-d'Abbotsford. In the cellar, Isabelle Lafont produces clear and precise wines. I am particularly impressed by the red wine they produced, despite the difficult conditions of 2019. Seductive from the first nose with its notes of violets and black fruits, the Prémices does not disappoint on the palate and unfolds a velvety structure, barely tart, and lifted with flavors of dark cherry and cocoa. Great value for money!
Coteau Rougemont, Versant rouge 2021
★★1⁄2 | $1⁄2 | $15.85 | IGP Wine of Quebec | 13.5% | 1.8 g/L
SAQ code: 12204086
The Robert family watches over both an orchard and a vast vineyard of around thirty hectares, on the slopes of Rougemont. As usual, this blend of Marquette, Frontenac Noir and Sainte-Croix is both supple on the attack and quite meaty on the mid-palate, with clean haskap and tangy red berry flavors. Original finish with accents of sweet spices and smoked meat. Perfect for grilling.
Les Bacchantes, R3 2021, Marquette
★★★★ | $$1⁄2 | $26.45 | Quebec 12% | <2 g/L
If you still doubt the similarities between marquette and gamay, get your hands on a bottle of the R3. The 2021 signed by Thomas Lahoz and Geneviève Thisdel catches a smile on your face from the first nose and its supple, juicy mouth, full of clean flavors of black fruits, violets and fresh ground pepper, makes sure you keep it. All light and yet strong in character. He really has everything to be loved! This Hemmingford vineyard is run organically, in the certification process.
Le Mas des Patriotes, Le Sieur Rivard Réserve 2021
★★★1⁄2 | $$1⁄2 | $27.90 | IGP Wine of Quebec 12.5% | 1.8 g/L – Organic
SAQ code: 13530326
This vineyard on Chemin des Patriotes, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, is certified organic. True to form, France Cliche signs an elegant and classic wine. The composition of Sieur Rivard Réserve changes in 2021, with Baco Noir being replaced by Merlot, alongside Lucy Kuhlmann (75%). The wine is very colorful, but its concentration and aromatic intensity are not extreme. Black fruit and round, ripe tannins. Already pleasant and it could still improve by 2023.
Puss in Boots, Little Pearl 2021
★★★1⁄2 | $$ | $26.45 | IGP Wine of Quebec 12% | 3.2 g/L
SAQ code: 15085078
Petite Perle is a hybrid grape variety developed in 1996 in Minnesota. It is recognized by its characteristic purple color and its density in the mouth. That of Normand Guénette and Isabelle Ricard is vinified exclusively in stainless steel vats and it shows an aromatic intensity worthy of mention, from the first nose. The attack is fresh and lively, enhanced by notes of blackberry and pepper; appreciable volume in the middle of the mouth and fleshy finish. Serve it chilled around 15°C, with a leg of lamb with chimichurri. Also sold at the vineyard shop, in Hemmingford.
Very good ★★★
More stars than dollars: worth its price
As many stars as dollars: worth its price< /strong>
Fewer stars than dollars: wine is expensive