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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... 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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Matt's Value White Wine Holiday Picks

  
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Yalumba "The Y Series" Viognier 2013

South Australia, Australia

$16.95

    My Review: Tasting of the 2013 vintage - Beautiful stone fruit, exotic fruit, minerality, crisp yet has a creamy almost oily mouthfeel and finish. Beautiful on its own, and would pair wonderfully with poached pickerel with a mango chutney. Tasted November 2013. 89 pts. Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino Score: 89/100

     

    Rosewood Estates Sémillon 2011

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

    Reviewed: June 22, 2013

    $17.95

      My Review: 2012 Vintage: 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 pts. Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino Score: 90/100

      88/100
       

      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

         

        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
           

          Tollgate Chardonnay 2011

          Niagara, Canada

          $19.95

            My Review: Esteemed Stratus Vineyard's 2nd wine label, Tollgate, over delivers on flavour and value. The 2011 Chardonnay is a great example of that. Golden yellow, creamy and rich, with pineapple, minerality, butter and lees, with a long creamy pineapple finish. Tasted December 2013. 88 points. Matt Steeves - @Quercusvino Score: 88/100

             

            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

                 

                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

                   

                  Dr. Loosen Dr. L Sparkling Riesling

                  Deutscher Sekt, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

                  Reviewed: February 2, 2013

                  $13.95

                    My Review: Great QPR with this unique and delicious sparkling riesling. Golden yellow, tiny bubbles, apple, some bread, and a touch of sweetness on the finish. Pair with a patio and sun, or pretty much any lighter and rich dishes. Enjoyed today with smoked salmon and cream cheese on bagels. Paired wonderfully, especially for the price (~$14). Tasted May 2013 Score: 89/100

                    89/100
                     

                    Ruffino Prosecco

                    Tuscany, Italy

                    $18.00

                      My Review: A very approachable (and value priced) Prosecco exhibiting beautiful orchard fruit and a pleasant note of fresh baked bread. Refreshing fine bubbles make this wine great on its own, yet pairs wonderfully with your favourite appetizers. This would make a great house-bubbly to keep on-hand (and chilled) for those impromptu celebrations or just to enjoy on a Friday evening. Score: 89/100

                       

                      FREIXENET CARTA NEVADA SPARKLING

                      Spain

                      $12.45

                        My Review: Widely available at virtually all LCBO stores, this is a terrific value priced Cava (sparkling wine from Spain) that can be enjoyed with a wide array of dishes or own its own. On the nose and palate, citrus, apple, baked bread, with refreshing acidity and lively little bubbles. An exceptional value priced Cava to have on hand for any celebration, especially over the Holidays. Tasted December 2013. 88 pts. - @Quercusvino Score: 88/100