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Faiveley-My new Fave

It’s easy to enjoy great Burgundy-if you have deep pockets. I manage to try a lot of Burgundian wine every year, and I definitely enjoy it, but I am lucky enough to not have to buy a whole lot of it with my own money.

In Burgundy, there are only two grapes of note, pinot noir and chardonnay. Gamay and melon de Bourgogne are also found in the region, but to my mind are best discussed on their own.

Erwan Faiveley from Domaine Faiveley was in Calgary recently to talk about and share his wines. He’s young, good looking, probably rich, and since 2004, in charge of a Burgundy Domaine that has been around since 1825. Most importantly, the wines are good-real good. Over a fantastic dinner at Chef’s Table at the Kensington Riverside Inn, we tried a number of his family’s bottlings and I was suitably impressed.

 First off, anyone charging a couple of hundred bucks for a top cru in Burgundy should be making great wine. There are lots of wines out there ready to kill your budget-trust me, but what was really catching my interest that night were the two “entry level” wines we started the night with.

Faiveley 2010 Bourgogne Blanc

Pale in the glass with juicy, ripe, tropical fruit with a little vanilla bean and a slightly chalky mineral character for the nose. Wonderfully creamy without excess, the acids are perfectly suited to the body of the wine and the wine is infinitely quaffable. I’d drink 2, maybe 3 glasses on its own with no problem, but roast poultry or creamy pastas would hit the spot with this charming wine. A great buy for about $20
(★★★★★) Excellent

Faiveley 2008 Pinot Noir Bourgogne Paulee

Medium colour, even for a pinot noir, crushed raspberries and cherries on the nose with menthol, wood, and a bit of tomato stalk for depth with a welcome flavour of spice and slightly resinous fruit. Tannins have a little kick but this should be just perfect with a little duck or lamb. $19 in Alberta
(★★★★) Highly Recommended








You've gotta love a good bottle of Cabernet Franc

Recently, I was sent a bottle of wine under the strictest secrecy. I was told that this wine wouldn’t be released for a few weeks, and then only to the wine club members to start. So naturally, I forgot about the wine, it sat on my desk, waiting to be tasted all through the holidays, until I was reminded by the winery if I had tasted it yet. I put it in the queue and was glad I did.

The wine? The Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2010 Cabernet Franc from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

Damn good, and let me tell you why.

Cab Franc when not quite ripe enough, gets this weedy, dilly character that I just don’t love. You are reminded why it’s always the bridesmaid and never the bride in Bordeaux. In cool years, its forgettable plonk, but in good years it gets spicy, and dare I say…elegant?

 I reviewed the wine for Wine Access Magazine and my take went like this

"This is the inaugural release of the Oldfield Series cabernet franc keep in mind its “Oldfield” not “Oilfield”.  Overall its spicy, clean, and aromatic with herb, and a bit of jam and chocolate but no grassy or green edges marring its presentation. One year of oak and a further 9 months of bottle aging take off some of the rough edges, not quite getting rid of some drying tannin and alcohol heat, but elegant and true to the varietal. Grows on you, but would really sing with some juicy burgers or stews and perhaps a couple years of cellaring. I’d decant this with an aerator or similar device and plow through a bottle at a barbecue this summer with friends.

Still only available at the winery (and the wine club), I’ll bet you could get your hands on some from out of province if you tried."

 375 Cases made, and about $35 at the winery.

(★★★★) Highly Recommended  


One Damn Good Bottle

Dobbes Family Estate
2011 Grenache Blanc
Rogue Valley, Oregon

Where has this bottle been all my life? From start to finish, it delivered the goods. On the nose-mineral, peaches, apricots, sliced apple, and a little spice-such a pretty nose, you can’t stop going back for more. In the mouth, more of the same, lush generous fruits, silky textures, and bright acids bringing balance. Sure, you could cellar it, but I’d be hard pressed to keep this at home longer than a few days. It’s that good. About $38

★★★★★-Highly Recommended

Find it in Alberta

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