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Matt Steeves, Certified Sommelier

  Ottawa, ON

  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...
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First Wine

Probably a German riesling or a Cali white blend, in a box, in the late 80s.
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Unusual Wine Experience

Every experience enjoying wine is special, whether it's having a white glove service meal or en...
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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 & State Wines Coyote Bowl Chardonnay 2010

    Oliver, BC VQA, Canada


      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



      Beamsville Bench, ON, Canada


        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


          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


              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


              Stratus Special Select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc 2012

              Niagara, Canada


                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


                Laughing Stock Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

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


                  Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery Merlot 2012

                  V.Q.A., Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada


                    My Review: Year after year Rosewood produces some of the best wines available in Ontario and this Merlot is a great example of that. From the stellar 2012 vintage, this Merlot has a complex nose of dark berries, field berries, plums, herbs, vanilla, wood smoke, and a touch of leather. Medium-full bodied, this is a well structured wine with loads of fine integrated tannins that would complement a top grade steak or tasty lamb chops with fresh rosemary. This is a terrific expression of Merlot from one of Canada's most promising wine regions. Tasted August 2014. 90 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 90/100


                    Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery Select Sémillon 2012

                    Beamsville Bench, Ontario VQA, Canada


                      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


                        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


                        Lailey Vineyard Syrah 2010

                        Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario VQA, Canada


                          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


                            Laughing Stock Vineyards Syrah 2010

                            BC, Canada


                              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


                                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


                                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


                                  Rosewood Estates Winery Estate Riesling 2011

                                  Beamsville Bench, ON, Canada


                                    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


                                      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 Meritage 2010

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

                                        Reviewed: March 7, 2013


                                          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


                                          DR. HERMANN ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING AUSLESE 2005 2005

                                          Mosel, Germany


                                            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


                                              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


                                              Domaine Drouhin CLOUDLINE PINOT GRIS 2011

                                              Oregon, United States


                                                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, United States


                                                  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

                                                  United States


                                                    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


                                                    Lander-Jenkins Spirit Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

                                                    United States


                                                      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

                                                      Winner World's Best Drink Writer
                                                      Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
                                                      Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
                                                      Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
                                                      Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
                                                      Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award