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Matt Steeves, Certified Sommelier

  Ottawa, ON

  Wine Blogger

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Certified Sommelier & Director, National Capital...Read more  

Memorable Wine

So many wonderful experiences traveling the various wine regions in North America, each with unforg...
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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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Matt's Holiday Wine Picks 2014

  
Email |  Create a List |  Print  |  Matt Steeves,'s Lists


 

Pascual Toso 2012

Mendoza, Argentina

Reviewed: August 3, 2014

$15.95

    My Review: Deep ruby with a purple hue. Stewed fruit, dark berries, black pepper, spice, menthol and vanilla on the nose. Lively acid, with a dark fruit and baking spice finish. This Malbec would complement braised beef dishes. Tasted November 2014. 88 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 88/100

    89/100
     

    Pascula Toso Malbec 2013

    Mendoza, Argentina

    Reviewed: August 3, 2014

    $13.95

      My Review: Deep ruby with a purple hue. Stewed fruit, prunes, wood smoke on the nose. Youthful, with fresh dark berries, cola, and vanilla on the palate. Medium bodied, with medium acid and tannins make this value priced Malbec a great crowd pleasing option for any gathering. Would complement BBQ fare or enjoy on its own. Tasted November 2014. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 87/100

      87/100
       

      Featherstone Winery Cabernet Franc 2012

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

      Reviewed: July 16, 2014

      $17.95

        My Review: Cabernet Franc is a grape that Ontario does well, so well that it's often sold as single varietal wines as in the case with the Featherstone Cab Franc. Youthful ruby red, this wine displays stewed dark and red fruits, herbs, leather, and sandalwood on the nose. Medium bodied with medium tannis, the palate has more ripe dark berries, cran-cherry, sage, and a hint of green pepper. A well done single varietal Cabernet Franc for a great price! Tasted November 2014. 89 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 89/100

        89/100
         

        The Foreign Affair Winery The Conspiracy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

        Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

        Reviewed: July 16, 2014

        $19.95

          My Review: Foreign Affair Winery is the pioneer in Ontario in making wines in the Appassimento style (naturally drying the grapes, like is commonly done in Northern Italy). The Appassimento winemaking style incorporates an added level of complexity and intrigue in their wines. The Conspiracy is made in a similar fashion that that of Ripasso in Italy. Deep dark ruby, showing dark cherry, black currant, sage, black pepper, with some green pepper. High tannins make this youthful wine a candidate for cellaring and after a 1-2 hour decant it would be an ideal wine to enjoy with a thick rib steak. Enjoy 2015 - 2022. Tasted November 2014. 88-89 points. Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino Score: 89/100

          90/100
           

          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

             

            Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

            Valle de Aconcagua, Chile

            Reviewed: August 15, 2014

            $18.95

              My Review: Wow! Very impressive and intriguing nose of dark sweet fruit, smoke, rosemary, leather, cigar box, and vanilla. Big, bold, layerd. This is a delicious, complex Cabernet Sauvignon from a very old and well established Chilean winery, Errazuriz (est 1870). A perfectly balanced, the mouthfeel is also intriguing as the fruit, spice, acid and tannin come together to produce a fantastic wine that could easily sell for $35-$40, but it doesn't! Tasted November 2014. 91+ points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 91/100

              90/100
               

              Chateau Pipeau Grand Cru Meritage 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
                 

                Chateau Pipeau 2011

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

                Reviewed: July 16, 2014

                $38.95
                  90/100
                   

                  Axia Alpha Estate Syrah Xinomavro 2010

                  Florina P.G.I., Greece

                  $17.95

                    My Review: A blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Xinomavro. A unique blend with a unique nose. Sweet cherry, raspberry, perfume, chocolate covered raisins, charcoal, and mulberry notes. The palate is very astringent given the youthful tannins that require time to evolve and chill-out, which can be achieved by decanting for two hours prior to enjoying with grilled rosemary rack of lamb. Would love to taste this in two years. Tasted November 2014. 86-88 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 87/100

                     

                    Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina 2010

                    Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy

                    Reviewed: September 27, 2014

                    $21.95

                      My Review: Deep ruby red colour. Nose displays tart cherry, black berry, anise, with a touch of tar. Full bodied with great acidity and integrated tannins. A wine that's meant to be paired with rich food. It's loaded with dark berries, clove, pepper, and leather. Pair this big refreshing red with rich meat lasagne or ossobucco to create the perfect Italian pairing. Tasted October 2014 and November 2014. 88-89 points. Matt Steeves @QuercusVino Score: 88/100

                      90/100
                       

                      Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014

                      Marlborough, New Zealand

                      Reviewed: November 8, 2014

                      $18.95

                        My Review: This flavourful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is actually Australia's number one selling wine! That's right, Australia's #1 selling wine is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Enough said. Year after year, Oyster Bay produces a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc that the world has come to know and enjoy. The 2014 is chalked-full of exotic fruit, grassy herbal notes, with crisp minerality. Mouthwatering, this refreshing wine would complement salads with goat cheese and tangy dressings, or try with spicy Asian cuisine. Tasted November 3, 2014. 88 points. Matt Steeves - www.nataliemaclean.com Score: 88/100

                        Score
                         

                        Oyster Bay Chardonnay 2013

                        Marlborough, New Zealand

                        Reviewed: November 8, 2014

                        $18.95

                          My Review: There's no surprise that this is one of the top imported premium Chardonnay's in Canada. Beautifully balanced, the winemaker has managed to produce a wine where everyone will find something to love about it. Layers of fruit, bread, and a hint of caramel, this lightly oaked Chardonnay is creamy and refreshing and so wonderfully balanced. Pair with shellfish, creamy pastas, turkey, or simply enjoy on its own. Another terrific value priced wine from Oyster Bay. Tasted November 3, 2014. 90 points. Matt Steeves - www.nataliemaclean.com Score: 90/100

                          Score
                           

                          Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014

                          Marlborough, New Zealand

                          $16.95
                             

                            Oyster Bay Cuvée Rosé Sparkling Wine

                            New Zealand

                            Reviewed: September 2, 2014

                            $21.95

                              My Review: Brilliant light copper colour with citrus, biscuit, and field berry notes. Micro bubbles make this refreshing blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir a great complement to any holiday hors d'oeuvres or main courses. To be released via Vintages on December 17, 2014. Tasted November 3, 2014. 88 points. Matt Steeves - www.nataliemaclean.com Score: 88/100

                              90/100
                               

                              Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2013

                              Marlborough, New Zealand

                              Reviewed: September 2, 2014

                              $19.95

                                My Review: A beautifully aromatic and flavourful expression of New Zealand Pinot Noir. Cherry, wood smoke, flint, and vanilla on the nose and repeat on the palate. A very expressive wine that delivers way above its price point. For under $20 you can not find better value Pinot Noir anywhere. Highly recommend trying this wine and enjoying over the holiday season and the next two to three years. Vintages release December 6, 2014. Tasted November 3, 2014. 91 points. Matt Steeves - www.nataliemaclean.com Score: 91/100

                                91/100
                                 

                                Sterling Vineyards Merlot 2011

                                Napa Valley, California, United States

                                Reviewed: September 27, 2014

                                $27.99

                                  My Review: Ruby red, this lovely Napa Merlot displays dark fruits, clove, plum, with a touch of leather. Very well balanced, the sweet fruit is perfectly integrated with the refreshing acid and soft tannins. This would be a nice wine to enjoy with a charcoal grilled beef tenderloin or simply enjoy around the fire. Tasted November 2014. 90 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino Score: 90/100

                                  92/100
                                   

                                  Menage A Trois 2012

                                  California, United States

                                  Reviewed: August 15, 2014

                                  $15.95

                                    My Review: Ruby red, the nose shows sweet fruits, dark chocolate, cherry, raspberry jam, clove, and vanilla. Palate shows ripe raspberry, smoke, raspberry jam, and vanilla. Slightly off-dry, this fruit forward wine is a true crowd pleaser. If pairing with food, try pulled pork, BBQ'd ribs, or glazed ham. Tasted November 2014. 87 points. Matt Steeves - @QuercusVino

                                    90/100
                                     

                                    Rosenblum Zinfandel 2010

                                    Paso Robles, California, United States

                                    Reviewed: November 9, 2013

                                    $19.95
                                      90/100
                                       

                                      Kitchen Sink Red Table Wine

                                      California, United States

                                      Reviewed: October 17, 2013

                                      $12.95

                                        My Review: Spicy vanilla, cigar box, raspberry jam, and alcohol on the nose. Spicy red fruit on the palate with a long tangy finish. Recommend pairing with mild curry dishes, sweet bbq fare, or enjoy on its own. Tasted October 2014. 87 points. Matt Steeves @QuercusVino Score: 87/100

                                        84/100

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