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Greg Hughes

Greg Hughes

Chocolate Factory

Zonte's Footstep Chocolate Factory Shiraz 2017

Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
62 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 90/100

All around gushy Shiraz. Excellent price for a rich but balanced new world red. It is 100 percent Shiraz aged in both American and French oak for a year (new and used, if you were wondering). Virtually opaque purplish red, it has a wonderful nose of cherries preserved in liqueur, followed with cocoa, earthiness, and a faint spiciness (brown baking spice mostly). High alcohol is hidden by voluminous cherry, plum, and berry on the palate. Acidity is there, so it isn't a sin to count this as a fruit-bomb. The chocolate is there, but there is honestly a lot of fruit here too. Easy choice for those who love a cracking big red. It actually has great acid to cut through better cuts of beef. It also went superbly well with lamb shepherd's pie.

Louis Latour Pinot Noir 2009

A.C., Marsannay, Burgundy, France
62 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 91/100

Marsannay is the most northerly of the main drag of appellations in Burgundy. It is a priviledged spot in that is the only AOC there permitting white, red, aaaaand rose. That is particularly fitting considering how bright and energetic their reds are. Like their neighbours, the soil is jurassic mixture of rendzina (toplayer erosion) with clay and limestone underneath. It gets much more complicated that this based on vine age and specific climat differences (there are several dozen areas with distinct soil/aspects that make them distinct in this tiny area alone!). If you are getting the impression this is a complex wine, you are right. Light garnet, with ruby and orange at the rim. Aromatocally, quite a bit of cinnamon bark, coffee grounds, cooked cherry, earth, tomato leaf, and old leather. The palate has more cooked red fruit, woth lingering spice. Cinnamon and bay. Medium bodied, funky, and delicious. This oneis in its window now and I wouldn't keep it too much longer. It is giving itself over to tertiary age flavours and will become less distinct from here on outward, but it has survived admirably.

Sonofabitch

Megalomaniac Sonofabitch Pinot Noir 2017

Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
62 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 89/100

John Howard Cellars Megalomanic Pinot release is a delicious addition to the portfolio. They have a specific elevation and aspect they claim as one of their many advantages. The deft hand of Sebastien Jacquey helps too. Excellent guy! Makes great wine - especially Burgundian varietals. This one is elegant, soft, dry, amd aromatic. Pale ruby, and with plenty character. Cherry, rose, rooibos tea, and a bit of earthiness. Drinking it, it was surprising to see it carried 14 percent alcohol. Nice upfront fruit on the palate. Red fruit and some smoke and earthiness again. Pair with smoked salmon or some prosciutto. The common denominator amongst Pinot Noir production is that the season is challenging. It is a hard grape to grow and even harder to get "just right." 2017 was one of those vintages that doesn't get enough praise. 17 began terribly amd a perfect end to the season saved it. It is also bookended by great vintages, so people look to 16 and 18 instead. Bah! Ridiculous! Especially for Pinot, the extra hangtime we see on this pinot gives it texture and phenolic character... Not to mention slightly higher alcohol than is typical for cooler climates.

Château Clarke 2015

Listrac-Médoc, Bordeaux A.C., France
65 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 91/100

One of my favourite bargains in the Bordeaux aisle on a great vintage. Ch. Clarke, a Listrac-Medoc Rotheschild estate with a simple 70% Merlot and 30% Cab blend, always impresses with its complexity and ageability. It's a perfect example of an historical wine that has become increasingly modern. Like many Bordeaux houses, they employ much of the high technology we associate with newer more dynamic regions. In its flavour profile we also see a new world bent towards the ultraripe; somewhat North American in appeal. Lovely deep ruby/garnet colour, with classic varietal aromatics of rosehip or briar, bramble, cherry, chocolate, charcoal, and coffee. Lots of new oak lends itself to the aromatics. Much more chocolate and smokiness. It doessn't tamp down the cherry amd dark berry, however. It strikes a nice balance. Lovely tannins and a superb finish. A good choice for a Christmas/host gift. It'll provide enjoyment now and throughout the next decade.

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Napa Valley, California, United States
65 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 90/100

This is the entry-level Cabernet from Mount Veeder Winery (the winery is eponymously named for AVA in which most of its wines are sourced). The Veeder AVA is one of the most sought after in Napa. Younteville and Oak Knoll are districts on its slopes and as a member of the Mayacamas Mountain chain, it is the halfway point between Napa and Sonoma. The wine, itself, is a good quality wime for the money. One with a lot of character and oomph, but still some lovely fruit and balance. Rich and glasscoating purple-red and with a touch of natural sediment. If you bought a wine this big amd fine, you're likely to decant anyway. Loads of fleshy cassis, cherry, plum, and some mint and dill. There are some lovely oak notes of Chocolate, baking spice, and a touch of new leather. Moderate acidity amd the alcohol is not too over the top. Pair this with some steak tartar or some skewers of meat and veg. Maybe keep it 5-7 for those flavours to meld a bit better.

Greg Hughes

Memorable Wine

Love it or hate it you never forget your first Gewürz, but in Strasbourg I had the opportunity to try Klevener de Heilligenstein. I was pure bliss.

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First Wine

Jackson Triggs Gewürztraminer 2004

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Unusual Wine Experience

Digging through a wine cellar with Debbie Pratt trying to find the elusive Canadian Dornfelder.

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Current Fav Wine

I am dissecting the Beaujolais crus one at a time.

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Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-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