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Greg Hughes

Greg Hughes

Speck Family

Henry Of Pelham Speck Family Riesling 2018

Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
12 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 91/100

It's great to start the encounter more 2018 vintage - a season full of exciting promise. The weather was quite good and the season was long and hot. This is excellent Niagara Riesling from a well established producer. This Riesling is pretty approachable already. It's quite pale and dry (less than 12g/l would be a decent guess). Very evocative lime, white peach, and green pear. Less obvious florality that comes out when it has a chance to breathe. Lots of minerality and acid here keep it very fresh. Henry of Pelham's top tier wines often come from their vast quantity of older vines. These wines usually make it into their 'Reserve' and 'Speck Family Reserve' lines. They're also the only producer to use the VQA Short Hills Bench appellation.

Massoni Lugana

S. Cristina Massoni Lugana 2017

Veneto D.O.C., Italy
41 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 89/100

Lugana is having a bit of a moment right now. This is a trendy and delicious wine sure to impress your host or hostess. It has a fantastic tension you usually encounter in Chablis; good acidity, generous and inviting body, and a snap of herbaceousness often described as fresh mint or chlorophyll. This one represents typical Lugana well. Pale yellow, the wine is beautiful and fresh aromatic profile dominated by lemon, orchard fruit, and that fresh herbaceousness. It has a pleasant balance between acid and fruitiness. This example is slightly fruitier than other examples; a more willing to please example. It is native to the southern coastal region of Lake Garda (adding to the list of other cool wjnes from around Garda; Valpolicella and Soave among them). The grape of significance is Turbiana, which is also used in the Soave region under the moniker Trebbiano di Soave. There, it has only a supporting role next to Garganega. In Lugana, you get to see this grape in all its resplendent glory. This is one of those wines that provides tremendous value for quality and wine nerds are snatching them up. As popularity and frequency increase, prices will rise. We might as well ride the wave of popularity that has brought this unique wine to the fore. It stands up to rich fare, like escargot, quite well. Too racy? Don't worry. It goes with chicken too.

Flat Rock Riesling

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

Greg scored this wine: 90/100

What remarkably reasonable price for such a tasty Riesling. VQA Twenty Mile Bench, this Riesling comes out pure, juicy, and clean. Pale straw yellow, with citrus and stone fruit aromatics. It may even have early signs of honeyed note. Light florality and a hint of minerality to come. Medium bodied, with lemon juice, nectarine, and peach. There is a touch of residual sweetness on it, but not that much, so just enjoy. Pair this with a lobster roll and wedge fries. I see this wine and I think bistro-y comfort food.

Estate

Henry of Pelham Winery Estate Riesling 2017

Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
109 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 90/100

This is a great value for a Riesling every vintage. For 20 bucks, you get structure, finesse, and older bottles I've had have proven this one can keep pretty well. 2017 was a difficult vintage until the end, strangely. It was frosty, then humid, then it hailed!.. Somehow Niagara seemed to fair decently well overall and star varietals, like Riesling, will impress. This wine has a bit more of a backbone than previous vintages, but that may well work in favour of the style. Pale lemon colour, a wee bit of residual sugar, and lots of nice citrusy aromatics. Juicy green apple, nectarine, and lemon to the palate. Fresh acidity and a medium body. Pair this wine with yakitori and a seaweed salad.

Appellation San Carlos

Catena Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2016

Mendoza, Argentina
109 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 89/100

Catena has me hooked, when I see Cabernet Franc on one of their labels. It's not as hefty as Cab Sauv or Malbec and to make a good Cab Franc, it has to retain a nice array of spice and fruit but it also has to have elegant, well preserved aromatics. This achiebes that. This wine was sourced from a small area called El Cepillo, San Carlos (in the Uco Valley). Beautiful garnet colour. Decently rich and opaque. Aromas of incense, cherry, red apple, red currant, craisin, licorice, and cardamom. Flavours of red berry and a ton of spiciness (dried herb and smoke). It's very well made. The year in French oak is completely in kilter and hides none of the expressive varietal character. Completely delicious. Steak au poivre would go well, here. It could last a short stint in the cellar, as well.

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
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
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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