The Festival of Wines Grand Tasting

Festival of Wines Us

Last Saturday I attended one of the Grand Tastings for the annual Festival of Wines here in Halifax.  The theme was celebrating the wines of North America, however, all the countries were represented.  My mission while there was to only try wines I’ve never had before, and I tried some spectacular wines.  I’m so excited to share some of them with you.

Festival of Wines Nancy

This gorgeous lady is my friend Nancy and she is a wine rep in Nova Scotia, and one of the best.  She was showcasing a fantastic Syrah from the Languedoc Roussillion region of France.  I’ve included a file photo of the wine because the one I took at the show was a little blurry.  Honestly, this was my first wine stop, so the blurriness was excitement, not tipsiness.

Festival of Wines Cote de Rhone   

I couldn’t believe this wine was under $19, it was so good.  In 2010,. the 2009 vintage of this wine was voted ‘The Best Syrah in the World’.  How’s that for an award.  It was easy to drink, fruity and had silky tannins.  I’ll be trying to buy this again and again.

Festival of Wines Vintage Sangiovese

I had the pleasure of meeting Umberto Cesari’s son Paul a couple of months back, and they are a family that are making quality wines in the Emilio Romagna region of Italy.  I can’t remember the price, but I think it was around the $22 mark.  This wine is not on the local NSLC site yet, but I sure hope it’s going to be around after the show.

Festival of Wines J Lohr Merlot

Best Merlot wine at the show went to this California beauty, the J. Lohr Merlot.  Regular readers know I am a big fan of this winery.  50 years ago Jerry Lohr set out to make a career change, and I’m so glad he did.  Today his 3 children run the show, Steve, Cynthia and Lawrence, and are continuing his quest for great wines at affordable prices.  I love Merlot and I completely understand this fruit forward juicy Merlot with hints of pepper and chocolate won the prize.  This is actually a Merlot blend, with 85% of the wine in the bottle being Merlot.  California law states that if there is 85% or more of a grape in the bottle, that’s the only grape you are required to list.  There is also 13% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petite Syrah.  It’s an interesting blend and a fascinating wine.

I tried so many good wines last Saturday night, that I honestly can’t pick the best of show.  However, I can pick a wine of the week…


I almost left the wine show without tasting this wine, until my friends from the NSLC who were working the wine show sent me back to taste this magnificent Sangiovese.  It was so good I bought one on the spot and went back home and my friend Sandra and I shared the bottle.  In the Puglia region of Italy, Tormaresca is named for the area’s ancient seaside towers overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  Only a small part of this wine was aged in oak, with the remaining wine aged in stainless steel.  This created a very smooth wine that in no way the oak over-powered.  I searched to try and find the definition of Neprica, but had no luck.  This wine is a blend of Negromaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon, and sells for $19.99 a bottle.  I tried to find it again yesterday with no luck.  I understand it also sold out at the wine show, so hopefully we will see it on the shelves soon.

Festival of Wines Peter Dennis

Had the opportunity to meet Peter Dennis from Peter Dennis Wines in Australia.  I will tell you all about that next week

Till next week, Cheers




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