More B&G In Canada
The journalists gathered, along with an international contingent from the French winemaking firm Barton & Guestier (B&G) and its Canadian representatives, around the table at Scarpetta – a resto tucked into Toronto’s Thompson Hotel. The positively hellacious weather outside did nothing to dampen the spirits (though, admittedly, it did dampen some of the clothes) of those gathered to dine on gourmet cuisine and sample some quality French wine.
We were gathered to celebrate the launch of two new B&G wines in Canada while also being introduced to some of the more upscale numbers in the firm’s portfolio.
For many of us of a certain vintage, B&G’s Cuvée Spéciale was our “gateway glass” into the world of “real” wine. While still a popular band internationally, times have indeed changed. Today, even the newest of the newbies possess a level of “varietal recognition.” They don’t want to buy a house brand, they want to buy a Chardonnay or a Merlot or a Cabernet.
Recognizing this, B&G responded by adding a range of “Reserve Varietals” to its well-entrenched Partager brand.
The Partager Reserve Merlot and Partager Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are now available in all Canadian provinces (with the exception of British Columbia – for now) at a global-economic-meltdown-friendly price of $9.95.
Crafted from fruit sourced from the Languedoc region, the new wines are (according to the spec sheet) designed to appeal to the international palate while retaining varietal character (translation: still be recognized as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon or whatever yet be “approachable” enough to appeal to younger palates raised on New World fruit bombs). And for the most part, B&G oenologist Laurent Prada pulled it off.
The 2010 Reserve Merlot offered up ripe plum, strawberry and currant notes with a hint of smoke. Fairly soft and supple on the palate with lots of juicy fruit, it boasts enough structure to add a bit of a serious note. The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon showed nuances of smoke, vanilla and cassis with dark fruit and a mild toastiness in the mouth.
The press launch of these wines in Ontario also allowed us to sample some of the higher-end members of the B&G stable including those from the Thomas Barton Réserve line and the rather delicious 2008 Cru Bourgeois Château Magnol 2008.
Though the weather outside was frightful, the wine, food and company inside were truly delightful, making for a memorable evening.
Contact Charton-Hobbs for more info on these (and all) B&G wines.