106) September 22, 2018

Is There a Doctor in the Bottle?

Venue: private home

Synopsis: We're kicking off Noble Rot's 12th season with a celebration of  wineries and vineyards that are run by physicians, or were founded by  physicians. The wines are grouped by varietal/style into four flights  which will be paired with small plates provided the hosts.

The wines:

Reception: Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Kabinett Riesling 2009, Germany

Flight one:

Truchard Chardonnay 2015, California (Dr. Tony Truchard, co-founder)

Krupp Bros Black Bart’s Bride 2007, California (Dr. Jan Krupp, co-proprietor)

Flight two:

Elk Cove Pinot Noir 2014, Oregon (Dr. Joe Campbell, co-founder)

David Bruce Pinot Noir 2012, California (Dr. David Bruce, founder)

Flight three:

Paul Hobbs Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California (Dr. George Belden Crane, vineyard founder)

Catena Nicolas Catena 2011, Argentina (Dr. Laura Catena, 3rd generation proprietor)

Flight four:

Penfolds Magill Shiraz 2013, Australia (Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfolds, founder)

Luca Syrah 2015, Argentina (Dr. Laura Catena, proprietor)

107) October 13, 2018

Garfunkel and Oates: Let the Second Fiddles Sing!

Venue: private home

Synopsis: Just as Paul Simon and Daryl Hall seem to always hog the attention as  top bill in their respective musical duos, famous wines like Salon  Champagne, Penfolds Grange, and Ornellaia also overshadow their  so-called "second wines." However, when prices for some of these premium  wines soar out of range of most consumers, their unsung stable-mates  suddenly attain relevance! For this tasting we celebrate the Garfunkels,  Oateses, and Messinas of the world! (Simpsons reference...)

Flight One:

Delamotte 2002 Blanc de Blancs Champagne (Delamotte is a subsidiary brand of famed and rare Salon Champagne).

Les Hauts de Smith Blanc 2011 (Second wine of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte from Bordeaux).

Flight Two:

Les Forts de Latour 2005 (second wine of Bordeaux first growth Chateau Latour)

Shafer One Point Five 2009 (second wine of California's Shafer Hillside Select)

La Serre Nuove 2007 (second wine of "Super Tuscan" Ornellaia)

Flight Three:

J.L. Chave “Offerus” St. Joseph (considered a second wine of the  famous Chave Hermitage from the northern Rhone valley in France)

Penfolds Bin 389 2012 (so-called "Baby Grange" from Australia)

Flor de Pingus 2013 (second wine of the ultra premium Pingus from Ribera del Duero in Spain)


108) November 3, 2018

Immortal Beloved? An Aged Rioja Vertical Tasting

Venue: Private home

Synopsis: A friend recently pointed out to me that great Rioja should not be  opened until at least 50 years of age! One would almost think these  wines live forever! Then a recent sale here in Edmonton allowed us to  source a number of older vintages from winery cellar library releases,  at somewhat reasonable prices. And, voila, we have a unique opportunity  to taste an array of older vintages of Gran Reserva Rioja, including one  that really is more than 50 years old! We'll have a chance to talk  about the history, people and winemaking practices of this Spanish  region and its classification system.  Chef Matthew Hollett will again  be cooking for us!

Flight One:

Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco 2008

Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco 1996

Flight Two:

Bodegas Faustino Gran Reserva "Faustino I"

Vintages 1964, 1994, 2001, 2004

Flight Three:

Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva

Vintages 1975, 1982, 1994, 2001

109) December 1, 2018

SOMM 3 Screening Party and Fundraiser

Venue: Private Home

Synopsis: The third installment of the SOMM documentary series releases on  iTunes November 30. The following evening, we'll be screening this brand  new movie while informally sipping on some great wines and munching on  snacks. See the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79ceJp-7DFI

Part of the movie features the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting  and the man who organized that tasting, Steven Spurrier. All of the  wines for this evening will be current releases from the wineries that  participated in the 1976 blind tasting that pitted California vs France  and placed the California wine industry on the world map.

This event will be an opportunity to raise funds to support  Edmonton's Food Bank as we head into the holiday season. 

The wines:

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2015

Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru 2015

Ridge Monte Bello 2004

Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2004

Clos du Val Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Chateau Montrose 2012

110) February 20, 2019

Sherry + Food = Tastes Better

Venue: Sabor

Synopsis: That simple equation of Sherry + Food = Tastes Better is the subject  of a 2015 article from the Washington Post regarding food and wine  pairings with Sherry:


Sherry has long been a favourite of sommeliers when it comes to food  pairing, especially with dishes that are awkward matched with any other  wine. For example a light and dry fino style Sherry can pair better with  a charcuterie platter than most red, white, rose or sparkling wines.  Spicy or sweeter style Sherries can pair beautifully with spicy Asian  dishes.

This evening will be an introduction to the many styles of Sherry, a  fortified wine from the Jerez region in southwestern Spain. We'll cover  some of the history of wines from this region as well as the winemaking  techniques that contribute to the different styles and flavours of  Sherry. There will be six different styles of Sherry, each paired with a  culinary creation from Sabor's Portuguese and Spanish inspired kitchen.

The styles we will sample:

-Fino paired with charcuterie

-Manzanilla paired with grilled sardines

-Amontillado paired with grilled octopus

-Medium Cream with piri piri prawns

-Oloroso with seafood paella

-Pedro Ximenez with chocolate cake

111) May 18, 2019

Calling All Superheroes! Superheroes, Superwines and Superfoods!

Venue: private home

Synopsis: I'll bet no one has ever put these three things together into one  evening! Superhero costumes, so-called superfoods, and super-value wines  versus super-premium wines. Yes, costumes. Yes, they are mandatory!  The host  seriously won't let you in the house without one!

The wines will be a variation of our popular bargains vs blockbusters format. 

All wines will be served blind.

Flight one:

-Three sparkling wines that come from the same producer, but one is a  non-vintage Champagne, one is a premium vintage Champagne, and the  other is a new world sparkling wine.

Flight two:

-Three dessert style white wines made using botrytised (noble rot  affected) white grapes. One is a classic, premium-priced Sauternes, the  other two are new world examples sold at a fraction of the cost.

Flight three:

-Three ports, from the same house, but different styles and price level.

Can you spot the super-value wine and the super-premium wine in each flight?

Each flight of wine will be accompanied by a food course that  features at least one "superfood" that supposedly contains powerful  antioxidants and nutrients that will give us superpowers...or whatever  Dr. Oz promises they will do.

A three course meal will be provided by chef Matt and Simon from Cafe Rista. Menu:

Amuse bouche: Chefs surprise

First course: Mackerel with fennel and beet, saffron vinaigrette

Second course: Moroccan Eggplant lentil “involtini”

Strawberry rhubarb Sorbet

Third course: Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake, crystallized berries

* Please see Instagram post from may 18, 2019 for the wine lineup

112) June 1, 2019

Finally on Our Rhone!

Venue: Private home

Synopsis: We have featured the Southern part of France's Rhone Valley  previously (who could forget the "Chateau Boo-Castel"  Halloween tasting!) but this time we're featuring the Northern Rhone.  The terrain (dizzyingly steep slopes) and climate is distinct from the  south and the two are separated by a 48 km vine-free strip of land.  Production in the north is a mere fraction of what the southern Rhone  makes. Just four grapes to remember in the North: three whites  (Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne) and the lone red grape, Syrah, in its  ancestral home.

This tasting will feature three styles of white wine from the region  as well as red wines that span the main communes of the Northern Rhone:  Cote Rotie, Condrieu, St. Joseph, Cornas, Crozes Hermitage and  Hermitage. It's particularly exciting to showcase two of the three "La  La" wines from Cote Rotie: E. Guigal's La Mouline and La Turque. Made in  very limited quantitites, these are among the most highly regarded  Syrahs in the world and there is a cult following!

The wines:

Flight One:

-JL Chave “Blanche” Hermitage Blanc 2012

-Yves Cuilleron St. Joseph Blanc Lieu-Dit Digue 2016

-Tardieu Laurent Condrieu 2016

Flight Two:

-Yves Cuilleron St. Joseph "Les Serines" 2015

-Delas Crozes Hermitage Les Launes 2016

-Tardieu Laurent Hermitage 2014

Flight Three:

-E. Guigal La Mouline 2004

-E. Guigal La Turque 2004

-Auguste Clape Cornas 2004