It's great to have a wine named after you and it's even better when it's a terrific vintage: such is the case for Pinot Noir Cuvee Michele 2018 by Chateau des Charmes.
Honoring the memory of the dearly loved wife of Paul-Andre Bosc, it's a collectible. Selected by the CdC patriarch, Burgundy-trained Paul Sr., it was one of Michele's personal favorites.
Deep colored and brimming with black plum fruit and dark chocolate, this Pinot has a freshness and vibrancy, combined with silky tannins, that's a joy now and will be a pleasure for another five years. $16.95
It joins the newly released superb white Aligote Cuvee Michele 2018 on the shelves, $15.95, and $1 from the sale of every bottle of both these wines is donated to the Camp Kerry Society. Aligote, crisp, citrusy and refreshing, is my wife's favorite and one of mine, too.
Paul Sr., of course, is a much revered ground-breaker for today's superb Ontario wines, through his skill and determination in fostering the cultivation of Europe's finest wine grapes in our own challenging terroir. Canada's first native vinifera vine was born in his St David's Bench Vineyard. It's called Gamay Noir Droit, a clone Paul selected for the vine's unique upright (droit) posture and the wine's lovely spicy/smoky black cherry flavor intensity, unoaked, silky, alluring. $19.95.
Our third super red comes from further afield: from the steep, rugged slopes of the Douro Valley in Portugal. It's called Cabral Reserva, $13.95, and it's a crowd-pleaser.
Made from the same grapes as traditional Port but by normal red wine methods and no fortification: it's a top-notch dry red you'll be happy to serve a crowd or hoard for yourself!
The back story is the fabulous grapes: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Sousao, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cao. Quite a mouthful there! The result is super-dark color, deeply rich aromas and flavors of black olive, ripe black plum and smooth tannins. There's 15 months of aging in French barrels that helps add complex aromas of eucalyptus, mint and vanilla. Tailormade for duck confit or any wild game.
It'll soon be spring. Honest!