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Matt Steeves, Certified Sommelier

Ottawa, Ontario

Wine blogger

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Certified Sommelier

Memorable Wine
Too many wonderful experiences traveling the various wine regions in North America. Have enjoyed a... Read more

First Wine
Probably a German riesling or a Cali white blend, in a box, in the late 80s. Read more

Unusual Wine Experience
Every experience enjoying wine is special, whether it's having a white glove service meal or en... Read more

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Laughing Stock Vineyards 2010

Bench, BC, Canada

    My Review: This wine is everything you'd expect from a Bordeaux Grand Cru and a Napa Cult wine together...intense and complex aromas and tastes with loads of dark fruit, spice, minerality, and savoury notes too. A superbly structured wine that will continue to evolve over the next 10+ years so if you do decide to open it now, I'd recommend decanting for two hours. Easily one of Canada's best wines ever, year after year! 92+ points. Score: 92/100

     

    Church and State Coyote Bowl Chardonnay 2010 2010

    Oliver, Canada

    $25.00

      My Review: Absolutely stunning Chardonnay from the South of beautiful and sunny British Columbia! The Coyote Bowl Chardonnay is a great example of the full bodied, full taste, fully balanced wine that is being produced from this remarkable winery in Oliver, BC. Loads of tropical fruit, butterscotch, well integrated fine oak, with a super creamy and refreshing mouthfeel and finish. Wish I had purchased a case of this sold out beauty, however, there's always next year's vintage which I hope will be more of the same perfect full bodied Chardonnay. California watch out! BC is producing some world-class wines in every style. Give it a shot and you'll be very happy you did. Oh, and if you are ever in Oliver, make sure you check out their incredible outdoor tasting bar...one of the best I've ever lounged at. Score: 93/100

       

      ROSEWOOD SÜSSRESERVE RIESLING 2012

      Beamsville Bench, ON, Canada

      $14.95

        My Review: Rosewood's Sussreserve Riesling is a great example of the unique value priced wines being crafted at this award winning Beamsville ON based winery. Produced in a slightly off dry style, the winemaker sets ~11% of the unfermented Riesling juice aside and adds it to the dry (fully fermented) Riesling wine after a few months. The result is a crisp wine that exhibits beautiful fruit concentration with a slight sweetness making it especially versatile for pairing with a wide variety of dishes. My recommendation, spicy Asian dishes, or simply enjoy on its own. Tasted November 28, 2013. 89 pts. Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino Score: 89/100

         

        Rosewood Estaes Winery Origin La Fumee 2012

        Niagara, ON, Canada

        $26.00

          My Review: In 2012 Rosewood produced their first vintage of Fume Blanc. Made from 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon, 50% is barrel aged for 6 months in large 500L old french oak, the balance in stainless steel. The result is a crisp wine with beautiful fruit expression. On the nose, passionfruit, pineapple, gooseberry, minerality, herbaceousness, with a touch of white pepper. Mouthwatering with expressive tropical fruit and crisp minerality, this is a terrific Fume Blanc and a fantastic effort from the team at Rosewood. 115 cases produced. Tasted November 28, 2013. 90+ points. Score: 90/100

           

          Stratus Semillon Icewine 2008

          Niagara, Canada

            My Review: Stratus Vineyards has been crafting unique Bordeaux styled white blends with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for quite some time and this is their inaugural bottling of Semillon Icewine and what a fantastic effort. Golden yellow, with impressive depth and integration of sweet tropical and exotic fruits, honey, and mouthwatering acidity. A delicious sweet finish with honey and pineapple flavours to savour for a minute and beyond. Imagine a Sauternes icewine...impressive is right! Pair with your favourite creamy dessert, or full flavoured cheese. Creme brulee would make a perfect match. Tasted December 10, 2013 (Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino) Score: 92/100

             

            Hinterland Vineyards Whitecap Method Charmat 2012

            VQA, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada

            Reviewed: December 7, 2013

            $22.00

              My Review: What a gem from PEC! When I tasted this wine for the first time it was lukewarm-ish (unfortunately) however it was still fantastic! Never enjoyed a warm sparking wine like I did with the Whitecap. Mini bubbles, great fruit concentration, minerality, biscuit, and did I mention the tiny bubbles! Pairs great with a wide variety of foods - sea food, finger foods, fish, bbq...pretty much everything! 91 points. Try it soon. Score: 91/100

              90/100
               

              Stratus Special Select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc 2012

              Niagara, Canada

              $29.00

                My Review: Beautiful sweet nose full of fresh baked apple pie, cinnamon, and cran-apple. Palate, medium sweet, mouth watering, would make a great pairing with full flavoured cheeses, or try with strawberry shortcake, apple pie and vanilla ice cream. This is a terrific alternative to Ice Wine given the lighter body, and attractive price. Score: 92/100

                 

                Rosewood Estates Winery Select Sémillon 2012

                Beamsville Bench, ON, Canada

                $18.00

                  My Review: Award winning Rosewood Estates Winery has been producing their single vineyard Beamsville Bench Sémillon for five years now, and perhaps this is the finest expression yet. Hailing from the incredible 2012 vintage, the grapes were picked at ripeness levels typically only seen in warmer wine making regions of the world. At 14.6% abv, this is a big and luscious wine. The nose displays ripe tropical fruit, peach, blood orange, and sweet spices. Medium-full bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel, the palate is packed with pineapple, asian pear, and white pepper, leading to a long tropical fruit finish. Well balanced for such a high alcohol white; the winemakers use of stainless steel certainly helped preserve the refreshing tropical fruit acidity making this wine an ideal pairing with pineapple glazed ham, or seared fish with a mango chutney. Tasted November 28, 2013. 90 points. Score: 90/100

                   

                  La Frenz Winery Sonoran Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

                  Naramata Bench, BC, Canada

                  $22.00

                    My Review: "Peaches and Cream" is how La Frenz describes their delicious value priced Chardonnay. 50% barrel fermented in premium french oak, 50% in stainless steel, La Frenz has skillfully balanced the refreshing fruit with the toasty oak to create a great California style Chardonnay that displays the best of both worlds (fruit and oak). The nose is full of tropical and orchard fruit, butterscotch, and the palate is creamy and round, with pineapple, peach, leading to a long creamy finish. Tasted September 2013 and November 2013. 91 points. Score: 91/100

                     

                    Laughing Stock Chardonnay 2009

                    V.Q.A., Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

                    $39.95
                       

                      Lailey Vineyard Syrah 2010

                      Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada

                      $30.00

                        My Review: Delicious nose of crushed black pepper, strawberry, sweet spices, bbq sauce, alcohol, and green pepper. Black pepper, spice, vegetal, and alcohol on the palate. Absolutely wonderful Syrah from this boutique NOTL winery, Lailey Vineyard. 91 points.

                         

                        Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio Cabernet Blend 2008

                        Okanagan Valley, B.C., Vqa, Canada

                        Reviewed: April 22, 2011

                        $50.00
                          90/100
                           

                          Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah 2010

                          BC, Canada

                          $35.00

                            My Review: This wine is absolutely amazing! Beautiful ripe red berries, vanilla, kirsch, raspberry syrup, blueberry pie, and did I mention the delicious vanilla! Drinking incredibly now and will only improve with age as that yummy fruit evolves into something even more complex. If you can get your hands on this sold-out award winning wine I'd highly recommend it. Drink 2012-2020. 93 points. Score: 93/100

                             

                            Featherstone Winery Select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc 2008

                            Niagara, Ontario, Canada

                            Reviewed: November 6, 2010

                            $19.95

                              My Review: Enjoyed with a Stilton cheesecake with rhubarb compote. Wonderful pairing. Delicious strawberry, cran-cherry notes, that paired perfectly with the blue cheese in the sweet cheesecake along with the tangy rhubarb compote. Try it this weekend and wow everyone! 92+ points. Once again, perfect pairing with strawberry shortcake on freshly made cream scones (joy of baking.com). High residual sugar content and acid to pair perfectly with any tart or sweet baked dessert. Score: 92/100

                              93/100
                               

                              Quinta Ferreira Syrah 2009

                              Okanagan Valley, Black Sage Bench, Oliver, Canada

                                My Review: This wine won Best Red Wine in Canada in the 2012 Canadian Wine Awards. A small production premium Okanagan Syrah that exhibits textbook Northern Rhone characteristics as well as unique traits from a terroir with volcanic ash deposits only feet below this small Black Sage Bench vineyard. The vineyards are situated in one of Canada’s driest and warmest micro-climates, and as such, are producing complex and intriguing fruit. On appearance the 09’ Syrah is an opaque, nearly inky black with hues of dark purple. Primary and secondary flavors and aromas demonstrate a gamey meatiness, roasted beef, black pepper, black berries, black cherry, clack currant, bramble, and a faint note of minced meat pie. This complex Syrah would pair beautifully with any rich braised beef dish, game stew, lamb shanks, or wood fired spit-roast with a port reduction. Drink now to 2019. 92-93pts. [Quercus Vino - September 2013] Score: 93/100

                                 

                                Hinterland Whitecap Charmat Method 2012

                                V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada

                                $22.00
                                   

                                  Rosewood Estates Winery Estate Riesling 2011

                                  Beamsville Bench, ON, Canada

                                  $16.00

                                    My Review: An exceptional Beamsville Bench Riesling from the award winning Rosewood Estates Winery. Immediately upon pouring the nose is full of incredible flint minerality, artisanal beeswax, and attractive petrol notes, all of which one may expect in an expensive Grand Cru Riesling from more storied wine regions of the world. The palate is mouthwatering, with crisp citrus fruit, leading to a long refreshing mineral finish. Ideal with summer salads, fish, and seafood. At $16, you'll be hard pressed to find a better expression of Riesling anywhere. With only 275 cases produced, this wine won't last long, although will age beautifully for 5 years if you can get your hands on it. Tasted November 28, 2013. 91 points. Score: 91/100

                                     

                                    2005 Château Soucherie Coteaux du Layon Chaume 2005

                                    Loire, France

                                    $35.00

                                      My Review: Absolutely wonderful off dry wine. Paired with a spicy jerk chicken (cooked on a big green egg) and went fabulous. Saved a bit for poached pears with scones and vanilla ice cream and also stood up well against all the richness of that dish. Very versatile and welcoming Chaume. 91 points. Score: 91/100

                                       

                                      Chateau Doisy-Vedrines 2007

                                      Sauternes, France

                                        My Review: Absolutely perfect pairing with a whipped cream and lemon pudding parfait with blackberries and blueberries, topped with candied almonds and Brandini toffee...fantastic! 94 points. Score: 94/100

                                         

                                        Chateau Pipeau Grand Cru 2010

                                        St. Emilion, Bordeaux, A.O.C., France

                                        Reviewed: March 7, 2013

                                        $34.95

                                          My Review: Amazing sweet spices with loads of yummy dark fruit in this young Bordeaux. Molasses cookies, ginger snaps, blueberries, mineral, quite simply a relatively complex crowd pleaser that will pair well with a wide range of food or drink beautifully on its own. Score: 92/100

                                          92/100
                                           

                                          DR. HERMANN ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING AUSLESE 2005 2005

                                          Mosel, Germany

                                          $21.95

                                            My Review: This is a wonderful example of a great Riesling that is drinking beautifully today and will continue to evolve with age over the next 10-20 years. On the nose, lemon tarts, sweet stone fruit, petrol, and a pleasant hint of that new shower curtain aroma. Off dry with a very long canned pear and lemon drop finish. This wine will pair exceptionally with a wide variety of foods from spicy asian dishes, strong cheese, or enjoy on its own. 8% abv, makes for a wonderful treat on a hot patio. 92+ Score: 92/100

                                             

                                            POGGIO VERRANO CHANCE 2005

                                            Maremma Toscana, Italy

                                            $34.95

                                              My Review: This Super Tuscan blend of Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc, displays a full array of ripe berries, vanilla, cedar, savoury notes, some leather, and did I mention it is so round, juicy, and delicious! Put that Amarone down and try this instead, you'll be happy you did! 92 points. Score: 92/100

                                               

                                              Lander-Jenkins Spirit Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 2010

                                              USA

                                              $18.95

                                                My Review: What a pleasant surprise. Cork had but the slightest light cherry stain which made me think I was in store for a mild/weak Cali Cab Sauv...was I ever surprised when I took my first sniff...big full field berries, baking spice, vanilla, plum, and did I say spice!? Gorgeous wine and what a bargain at less than $19 in Canada. This is a wine you buy a case of or two if you have space. I've tasted many California reds priced twice that and offer nothing more. Rutherford Winery has produced another fantastic, approachable wine that will surely please the masses as well as the connoisseurs alike. Enjoy! Score: 90/100

                                                 

                                                CLOUDLINE PINOT GRIS 2011

                                                Oregon, USA

                                                $17.95

                                                  My Review: This refreshing Alsatian Grand Cru style of Pinot Gris (but from Oregon USA) displays gorgeous orange blossom, lemon drops, apple and perfume, with wonderful minerality making it the perfect match for poached pickerel with mango compote or rich German cuisine. Score: 91/100

                                                   

                                                  Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1

                                                  Kentucky, USA

                                                  $29.95

                                                    My Review: This is not for the faint of heart...62.5% abv, this bourbon is distilled then bottled straight from the still without seeing any of the new oak that Kentucky Bourbon is renowned for. On the nose, delicious peanut brittle, and the mouth is creamy buttered popcorn that persists for ever! There's loads of heat from the high alcohol but don't let that scare you away from this complex and pure corn based spirit. 90-93 points. Score: 93/100

                                                     

                                                    Jonata Winery Todos 2007 2007

                                                    USA

                                                    $59.95

                                                      My Review: Deep ruby red, purple hue. Huge nose full of dark fruit, vanilla, spice, and leather. Drinking wonderfully now and will continue to over the next 10 years. Enjoyed with a bbq'd beef tenderloin. Fantastic! Score: 91/100