Monday, November 28, 2011

SweetLife: Destination Portugal

We were very excited to learn that Quevedo Port Wines was visited, completely unexpectedly, by great travel writers at SweetLife! If you're planning a trip to northern Portugal, they've put together a great list of things to do, places to visit right here:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gift Certificate Winners

Following the exciting and hectic Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, we've drawn the winners for the gift certificate draw we held during the expo. We'd like to congratulate Julie G., Lynn F., and Jenn B., each of who has won one of $150, $100 or $50 gift certificate towards a purchase of wine from Nokhrin Wines! Thank you to everyone who participated, and who dropped by our booth and tried our wines!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weinberghof Fritsch

This is the second in a four-part series describing Austrian wines and introducing three wineries we recently presented in Ottawa.

Located in Oberstockstall (60 km west of Vienna in the Wagram wine region), Weinberghof Fritsch is focused on authentic, biodynamic wines. With a territory covering approximately 25 hectares, Fritsch has been growing biodynamic grapes since 2006. Starting in the 1970s, the Fritsch family established the Wagram property, and in 1999 it was taken over by Karl from his father. Its excellent reputation is based on its innovation in viticulture, as well as his commitment to the entire region of Wagram. The Weinberghof in tranquil Oberstockstall offers decades of experience acquired in its structure a green idyll in a Mediterranean flair. It is a wonderful place for young and old alike. The Wagram region is known predominantly for growing Grüner Veltliner, producing maturing hearty and spicy wines, with substance and drinking pleasure, as well as the rich, characterful Reserves.

We had the pleasure to present three of Fritsch's wines, which attained significant interest, one of which earned a rare and prized 5 star rating from Vic Harradine!

***** drink now
Weinberghof Fritsch ‘Erste Lage - Schlossberg’ 1OTW Grüner Veltliner 2010
Wagram, Austria $31.70 13.0% alcohol

Don’t be surprised to see this bio-dynamic gem popping up on tony wine lists; it’s a stunning rendition of what can be done with this grape. Think of ‘Erste Lage’ as a Grand Cru vineyard. This is complex and structured with mind-bending flavours of blood orange, white peach and lemon chiffon pie. It’s mid weight with a silky-smooth, generous texture and a lip-smacking, crisp, refreshing finish. Vic Harradine, Wine Current

****1/2 drink now
Weinberghof Fritsch ‘Steinberg’ Grüner Veltliner 2010 

Wagram, Austria $20.50 12.5% alcohol

This flagship wine, from the single-vineyard ‘Steinberg’ plot, recently converted to biodynamic viticulture and viniculture practices. Mineral/slate and green apple on the nose, it washes the palate with a tangy, racy river of ripe pear and Granny Smith apple interwoven with lemongrass, peppery notes and racy citrus. There’s depth of flavour, excellent acidity and a touch of elegance. It punches well above the price with the quality-price balance tipped wildly in your favour. Vic Harradine, Wine Current

**** drink now
Weinberghof Fritsch ‘Wagram’ Grüner Veltliner 2010 

Wagram, Austria $17.30 12.0% alcohol

Mineral and floral aromas mingle with hints of pepper and spice in this mid-weight generously textured Grüner. The palate’s treated to rich and succulent flavours with white peach and racy citrus to the fore. The aftertaste replays the flavour from the palate and finishes in a blaze of lip-smacking tang. With good complexity and loads of nerve and verve, this stands up well to freshly shucked briny oysters under a squeeze of fresh lemon adorned by a drop or two of Tabasco. Vic Harradine, Wine Current

Personally, we were highly impressed by these wines, especially the Schlossberg! We hope it will soon be available through the LCBO stores, but in the meantime, we're glad to deliver by-the-case to your door.

In the next post, I will introduce Ewald Gruber, followed by a final post introduction of Hannes Sabathi.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Austrian Wines

This is the first in four posts introducing the Austrian wines in general, as well as the wines we presented at the recent Austria: A Taste of Culture event in Ottawa.  The event was organized by the great people at Groovy Grapes with the backing of the Austrian Embassy. Overall, the event was great fun, with a trade part followed by a public event in the evening. We introduced 3 wineries: Fritsch, Ewald Gruber, and Hannes Sabathi.

Before we head into discussion of the wines, I'd like to take a moment to briefly introduce Austrian wines. Austria has a long history of wine growing traditions, dating back centuries. Baron August Wilhelm von Babo established the first viticultural and oenoloigcal school and research centre in Klosterneuburg, which is passed into the management of the State in 1874, and has been known as Höheren Lehranstalt für Wein und Obstbau (Federal College of Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit) since 1902. This is officially the oldest viticulture school in the world and many similar institutes emerged from this model.

Starting in 2003, the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture started to acknowledge a declaration of origin system, known as the Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC). Today, there are seven designated DAC regions. The first region was the Weinviertel DAC, in northern Austria, with the Grüner Veltliner variety. Unlike the Romanic (Italy, France, Spain) wine system, which distinguish wines according to regional typicity and origin, the Germanic (Austria, Germany) system favours a varietal specification.

Map of Austria with the DACs listed. The dark gray areas are wine growing regions without DAC status.

While it may be natural to expect white varietals to be predominant in Austrian wines (such as Grüner Veltliner with roughly 30% of all wine production), Austrians also produce red, sparkling and even dessert wines. In total, a selection of 22 white and 13 red varieties are grown. Most popular grapes are indigenous grapes not commonly found outside of Austria, but the internationals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and others are also grown.

The northern-most DAC, the Weinviertel (also the largest, and the first DAC), is known for its peppery Grüner Veltliner, but also is home to some great sparkling (Sekt) wines. The predominant soil type is loess (distinctive yellow type of soil with a fine sediment), which is also great for boring long tunnels for long-term storage of wines.

Just south-west of the Weinviertel DAC is a smaller region known as Wagram (previously known as Donauland), with the Danune river splitting the region into the northern and southern halves. The extensive geological features coupled with consistent weather and climatic patterns offer the prerequisites for producing full-bodied wines rich in aroma and flavour with textbook terroir attributes. The deep layers of loess, that were deposited on the shores of the receding primordial ocean, shape the landscape and give the wine its unmistakable character.

In the extreme south, we have the Steiermark (Styria) region, which is known for its zesty Sauvignon Blancs, and is synonymous with fresh, aromatic white wines, with some of the most challenging terrain due to the steep inclines. The Steiermark region is further split into three sub-regions, one of which is the Südsteiermark. The soil structure here are as diverse as the grape varieties, ranging from sandstone and slate, to marl and shell limestone. The warm and humid Mediterranean climate results in a long and drawn out growing period for the vines, with cool nights that help to encourage the development of fine aromatic elements in these distinct and delicately fresh wines.

For more information, I recommend you consult the excellent Austrian Wine website, which provides a significant amount of detail on the DACs, the grapes, and the wines.

In the next article, I will introduce the wines we presented at the event from one of the three wineries, followed by a third and fourth posting in the series.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Austria – A Taste of Culture, Ottawa Sept 20

We'll be presenting a number of Austrian wines at the Austria – A Taste of Culture event on September 20, 2011 at Juniper Kitchen & Wine Bar, 245 Richmond Road, Ottawa!  One of the wines will be Hannes Sabathi's Klassik Sauvignon Blanc, currently available at the Spoke Club in Toronto.  Register at the Taste of Culture website and be sure to come by and try the great wines from this country!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Armagnac Hors d'Age

Domaine de Papolle Armagnac Hors d'Age is being released September 12th in the LCBO! A heartily recommended buy for lovers of cognacs and even whisky lovers who'd like to try something new! LCBO Product Page and Inventory

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Corks, Oakville

We are extremely excited to announce that our wines will be available at Corks restaurants in Oakville starting this Friday! Be sure to visit them at 305 Lakeshore Road East.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Massandra Collection

Tony Aspler wrote a great brief history of the Massandra Collection, wine production in the Crimean Peninsula, and the wines that are stored there: The Massandra Collection

Monday, June 20, 2011

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010

We have just received the latest shipment of Vignoble Gibault's Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010.  The new vintage brings refreshed labels, as well as a great summer fruit palate of apricots and peaches.  A nice, aromatic concentration dominated by scents of boxwood and blackcurrant buds. Clean, with nice length.  This is a wine that's great as a Sunday afternoon drink on the patio, and will work well together with light fish or light chicken dishes.  Lovers of goat cheese will also appreciate this pairing.  This wine is presently available by the case at $11.95/bottle, contact us!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kettle Valley Winery, BC

Today, we met Bob Ferguson of Kettle Valley Winery of British Columbia, who introduced us to 6 of his wines that he and his brother-in-law produce using manual methods. His main goal is to produce a wine that emphasizes the fruit of the grape. Bob says he doesn't understand the New Zealand wines, where they produce a very grassy/green wine. His belief is a great wine should showcase all the fruit can offer. 

A specific favorite was his Merlot. Well-crafted, good fruit, great balance.

Looking for great BC wines in Ontario? Contact us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Hello everyone,

We've joined the social scene, and will now be posting news and updates through a blog format. We'll be commenting more about our wines, about other wines and drinks we enjoy, about wine regions and producers, about wine events, and sometimes about random things.

Looking forward to a great community!