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Greg Hughes

Greg Hughes

Roche Bleue

Laurent Perrachon Roche Bleue 2016

Juliénas, Beaujolais A.C., France
48 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 91/100

A wonderful testament to traditional cru Beaujolais! This wine was grown at the Chateau de la Bottiere and has the structure to last as a midrange cellar choice. Julienas can be quite firm and tannic. There is always complexity because some of the oldest parcels in Beaujolais exist here. These vines are, on average, close to a century old! It has a beautiful ruby colour. Not particularly dark, but some purple hues. Aromas of pot pourri and violet. Blackberry, peach, and plum. The flavours are quite silky, but a very present mineral acid tension. It is young and will likely age well. A remnant of the florality alongside the smokiness and phenolic skin charater makes up the finish, which is pretty long. It was fermented in traditional wood vats, but there was a lot of manual sorting and destemming, along with pneumatic pressing (no carbonic here). The soil it was grown in was a combo of schisty clay and blue diorite (volcanic rock full of silicate). So old vines, varied soils, and traditional vinification. This wine has everything going for it. If you are looking for something suave, alluring, fresh, aromatic, or elegant you have found it. Keep it 5-7 in the cellar, or decant and enjoy it alongside some chicken stew or smoked duck. This place has been cultivated since the time of Christ. Many people claim it is named for Julius Caesar, but it is just as likely named for Julian the Apostate and that the name and age of the cru make people conflate those two historical facts.

Backyard Block

Creekside Backyard Block Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
48 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 89/100

Sauvignon Blanc can be a harder grape to suss out the details of in a context with Niagara. Not only are a lot of Sauvignon Blancs on the market today made with thiolic yeasts that mask a lot of their terroir, but a broad spectrum of climatic differences and winemaking preferences make them highly variable. Niagara Savvy tends towards austerity, with well preserved ones having great herbaceous crunchiness and some nice stone fruit and citrus. Creekside make some pretty cool Sauv from their Backyard Block. This is the still version, though they also do a sparkling charmat Savvy. Theirs combines the intense tropicality of thioly Sauv with some of the soft nectarine and herbaceousness previously described. It has a well made balance of flavour, acidity, and skin contact (making it crisp and colourful). The flavours have a lot of lime, passion fruit, nectarine, and lime rind. Ot is a tasty choice to have with calamari and a cobb salad. Drink soon, though! It is best when at its freshest.

Amastuola Primitivo 2015

Puglia I.G.P., Italy
48 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 89/100

If you are looking for a quality BBQ wine to stock up on, then this one is for you. Varietally correct Primitivo should have lots of ripeness and a baked spice/prune/raisin ruminating dimension, like its Cali biotype. Yes, it is also called Zin or Tribidrag, or Crljenak. It ahould also have tons of tannin - something mass marketed Zinfandels lack that Primitivos seem to have a better handle on. You get that with this wine. It is a decently dark colour. Garnet and ruby with a dark core. It has intense aromas of espresso, licorice, cherry, raoson, chocolate, mulch, and some floral notes. The roastiness foreshadows some good tannic structure. The body is pretty darn big and firm. Nice lipsmacking bitterness and spice on the entry. There are some red and black fruit. Plum, berry, prune, and an appleskin / cocoa tannic quality. It needs a good decant to ease off a bit and to open up some of the more subtle fruit flavours. It couod also keep for a few years, if you were lokking for well priced short term cellar wines. Molasses ribs would be ideal with this wine.

Beauroy

Alain Geoffroy Beauroy Chablis 2017

Burgundy A.C., France
48 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 90/100

An absolute stunenr Chablis! This premier cru climat is like a panacea for those friends of yours that say they dislike Chardonnay. It nails the raciness and cool climate character that we typically think of with Chablis. It has a beautiful light lemon yellow now, but I have had older examples of this wine and they are striking and golden. This Beauroy has the classic heavy citrus and perceptive minerality on the nose, but also an allurong cracked wheat and honey thing going on. Do not overchill it (a few degrees above 10C is great). The complexities of this wine really emerge after half an hour in a decanter too. The flavours are concentrated and zesty. Lime, yellow kiwi, yellow apple, and a touch of honey. This is a bargain Chablis with a lot to offer. For a pairing, pan seared duck breast woupd be amazing. Homemade broths would be nice with it too. This is a good summer and spring fare kind of wine.

Château De Selle

Domaines Ott Château De Selle Rosé 2018

Côtes De Provence, Provence A.P., France
48 days ago

Greg scored this wine: 88/100

Ott's reputation for high quality rose is established and mostly deserved. This wine is comprised of Cab, Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache. It is a very pale whitish pink. Quite striking especially once it hits the glass. Nice aromatics preserved by a controlled cool ferment. Pure, clean citrus and elderflower aroma. Some minerality is present but not much spice. Just a lingering florality. The taste is rejuvenating and fresh. This is close to the apex of what this style of rose tries to achieve. Elegant and super fresh. Decent complexity too. These wines can keep for a short while, but really we value them for freshness and pure primary varietal beauty. That means drink up! This would make a great pairing with Iberico ham or maybe an avocado salad. This review was originally written for the 750ml format, but remains essentially consistent.

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