Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Tran Bronstein
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#1 Post by Tran Bronstein » October 19th, 2019, 7:07 pm



I recently attended the Galleon Fine Wines annual Odyssey wine event. Galleon Fine Wines is a local wine agency here in Toronto, Canada and they show off all the wines they represent at their exclusive annual event. The wines represented are quite diverse, coming from France, California, Spain, Portugal, Chile, and Italy.

STAG'S LEAP 2014 HANDS OF TIME -- A flavorful and very approachable Cabernet Sauvignon that goes for half the price of their Artemis. This was fantastic and very popular with the crowd. Not sure what it's aging power will be but totally good for opening and drinking right now.

STAG'S LEAP 2015 ARTEMIS -- In contrast, their famous Artemis is extremely rich, with a very long finish and likely very ageable. Good to be able to contrast them both.

STAG'S LEAP 2014 S.L.V. -- Strong, tight and somewhat tannic. This is definitely the one to age in the cellar.


KOSTA BROWNE 2016 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR -- The Kosta Browne table was extremely popular with the crowd. The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is full of rich red berry fruit.

KOSTA BROWNE 2016 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR -- This was a superb Pinot Noir, extremely well balanced with bright fruit, smooth texture and good acidity. I enjoyed it much more than the Sonoma Coast version above and the difference was really quite apparent. I presume this is very much a terroir distinction.

KOSTA BROWNE 2016 GAPS CROWN SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR -- Made from the Pinot grown on the 37 acres of the Gap's Crown vineyard leased to Kosta Browne. As rich if not more so than the Sonoma Coast but the texture is distinctively smoother on the palate.


DOMAINE NATHALIE & GILLES FEVRE 2016 CHABLIS 1ER CRU -- Really young and edgy Chablis. Very promising future in the cellar.

JOSEPH DROUIN 2015 NUIT ST-GEORGES -- A vibrant and fruity Pinot Noir. Lighter in body than the Cali Pinots I tried but heavy on the tannins. Needs aging in the cellar.

M. CHAPOUTIER 2016 GIGONDAS -- Tannic and flavorful. Composed of 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% mixed including Mourvèdre. A slight touch of sweetness to it from the tannins gives it character.


GEORGES DUBOEUF 2016 DOMAINE DES PREAUDS POUILLY-FUISSE -- In contrast to the Chablis above, this was soft and buttery like a Cali Chard but still possessing of the vibrancy of young French Chardonnay.


GEORGES DUBOEUF 2017 CLOS DES QUATRE VENTS -- This fruity and refreshing Gamay sees no oak at all. It's very floral and redolent with fresh strawberry flavors.

GEORGES DUBOEUF 2017 JULIENAS, CHATEAU DES CAPITANS -- This Gamay does see oak and in contrast is much richer than the Quatre Vents. I personally preferred the Quatre Vents as I felt the richness imparted by the oaking came at the expense of the freshness and vibrancy of the fruit.

CA'DEL BOSCO CUVEE PRESTIGE FRANCIACORTA -- Composed of a blend of 75% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Bianco and 15% Pinot Nero. Refreshing, very distinct from Champagne.

CA'DEL BOSCO CUVEE PRESTIGE FRANCIACORTA ROSE -- 80% Pinot Nero, 20 % Chardonnay. Strong strawberry and rose water flavors, high in acidity.


CHAMPAGNE LABRUYERE PROLOGUE -- 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay based Champagne. Rich and yeasty with slight touches of nuts.

CHAMPAGNE LABRUYERE PAGE BLANCHE BRUT -- 100% Chardonnay based, very clean and light Champagne. Fresh on the palate, great green apple and brioche flavors.

CHAMPAGNE LABRUYERE ANTHOLOGIE BRUT ROSE -- Super clean Chardonnay, more light cherry and red currant fruit flavor than strawberry and watermelon which I normally expect from French Rose champagne. Quite nice.


FERRARI TRENTO BRUT -- This affordable 100% Chardonnay based sparkler is aged 2 years on the lees. Quite clean with a touch of yeastiness. Not as complex as the Champagnes I tried but great value for the price.


KRACHER 2013 CUVEE AUSLESE – 100% Welschriesling late harvest dessert wine from the famous Kracher estate. Light body, pleasant sweet honeydew and lemon-lime flavors. Pretty and pleasing but can’t hold a candle to their own TBAs.

QUINTO DO CRASTO 1999 VINTAGE PORT – The only Port wine at the event, perfectly aged for 20 years and in a nice drinking spot right now. Rich red plum and cassis flavors with touches of tobacco leaf and cedar. Very nice right now.


FAMILLIA TORRES 2013 VARDON KENNETT CUVEE ESPLENDOR – The premiere of the first sparkling wine put together by Torres. 55% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 5% Xiarel.lo make up the blend. Rich and floral with strong green apple flavor and yeastiness.

FAMILLIA TORRES 2014 SONS DE PRADES CHARDONNAY – The Torres attempt at their own Chablis 1er Cru. Fermented in half stainless steel and oak before aging in oak. Richer than the Chablis I tried and in a good drinking spot right now.

FAMILLIA TORRES 2015 MAS LA PLANA CABERNET SAUVIGNON – The flagship Cabernet from Torres, aged 18 months in French oak. Quite complex with a bit of umami savoriness to go with the rich red fruit flavor.


MARIMAR ESTATE ALBARINO – A California grown Albarino from the estate established by Miguel Torres daughter Marimar. This is very comparable to the Raul Perez Albarino based whites from Spain that fellow board and TWEC ™ member Jay Shampur likes so much. Salty, crisp and refreshing and a touch richer than a Spanish version.

MARIMAR 2015 MAS CAVALLS PINOT NOIR – This Cali Pinot has bright cherry fruit and high acidity and actually was closer to the Beaujolais I tried earlier than the Kosta Browne’s.

MARIMAR 2015 LA MASIA PINOT NOIR – Slightly richer and denser fruit in this wine than the Mas Cavalls but still lighter than most Cali Pinots.


ERRAZURIZ 2017 ACONCAGUA COSTA SAUVIGNON BLANC – A rich and grassy Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Quite flavorful but perhaps not as crisp as a New Zealand SB. Very good QPR Value.


FAMILLIA TORRES T20 BRANDY – This flagship 20 year old Spanish brandy is distilled from native Spanish Parellada and Spanish grown Ugni Blanc grapes. Rich and bold in flavor with high heat on the nose and a bit of an alcoholic bite. Very comparable to similarly aged Armagnac or Cognac.


COGNAC FRAPIN CHATEAU FONTPINOT XO – And speaking of Cognac, this one is extremely smooth on the palate. Quite elegant and floral and much more subtle in flavor compared to the bolder Torres T20 brandy. Very interesting to be able to contrast them both together.


That was quite the eclectic selection. A special thanks to Debbie Shing and everyone at Galleon Fine Wines for putting the event together. Looking forward to the next edition.

Last edited by Tran Bronstein on October 21st, 2019, 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

Ian Alper
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#2 Post by Ian Alper » October 20th, 2019, 7:59 am

Great notes. Thanks for sharing. I wish I could focus as well as you seem to at a large tasting!

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Tran Bronstein
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#3 Post by Tran Bronstein » October 21st, 2019, 1:52 pm

Thanks, Ian. At large tastings, I am always able to maintain focus by setting a good pace and following some simple rules for myself:

1. Never have a full serving of wine. Ever. Number one rule for me. Reps I find are always generous to a fault when pouring and give full wine servings I would have with food and what is supposed to be a tasting event. . I will deliberately tell them I only need a small amount for tasting and stop them from pouring too much, even if it's a mind-blowing unicorn wine.

2. I enter my thoughts immediately after tasting either on my smartphone or in the event booklet if one is provided.

3. I snap a pic if I can do so without bothering anyone else during my tasting or immediately after writing my note out and often times before. If I have to wait in line while others are tasting, I'll snap the picture right then and there to save some time.

4. Plenty of breaks for water and food. Aside from preventing all the alcohol from rushing to my head right away, it also buys me times to write down any more thoughts or notes if I have any.

5. Even with small amounts, I spit and even pour out the remainder of the wine in my glass if I feel it necessary.

6. Use all the allotted time and get to as much as possible. What's the point of spending all that money on a wine event ticket and then just trying a handful of your personal unicorn wines? You were better off just buying a bottle for yourself. Sure, it won't all be great and to your liking but you'll have a much better idea of what's out there.
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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