Quebec red wines: serious!
Louis-Philippe Mercier is sommelier and co-owner of La Boîte à Vins.
I'm not telling anyone anything: Quebec is a northern province! This climatic characteristic means that red wines from here are renowned for being dry and fruity, with supple and subtle tannins.
As in all wine regions of the world, the climate and the grape varieties generally define the typicality of a wine. On the other hand, different vinification techniques can be applied to increase – or decrease – the fleshiness of a wine: maceration time on skins, aging in oak barrels, grape varieties used, etc.
I therefore offer you three suggestions of tannic and full-bodied wines, 100% local, to accompany your comfort dishes while waiting for the good weather.
The Forgotten 2018 – Ste-Angélique Vineyard
Located equidistant from Montreal, Mont-Tremblant and Gatineau, Vignoble Ste-Angélique spreads its vines in the heart of the clay soil of one of the most beautiful regions of the Outaouais, the Petite-Nation. L'Oublié 2018 is an opaque red wine with aromas of dried prunes and spices. There are notes of star anise and peppermint.
The 24-month aging in second-life French oak barrels brings a long finish and a spicy side with a slight bitterness. Ideal to accompany a vegetable tagine, a royal couscous or a Chinese fondue.
$32 – Available online and at select specialty stores.
Merlot 2019 – Domaine du Fleuve
Located in Varennes, a few minutes from downtown Montreal, Domaine du Fleuve stands out for its single varietal cuvées of vitis vinifera. His Merlot 2019 is also very popular with consumers of more robust red wines. As the name suggests, this is a wine made from the Merlot grape, typically used in warmer climates such as the Bordeaux region of France.
This red wine, garnet color, offers aromas of brown sugar, candied red fruits with a woody finish. What astonishes and surprises: the presence of sustained tannins once the tasting is over. It will be the ideal wine to accompany your pasta dishes, such as lasagna or cannelloni au gratin.
$36 – Available online and in some specialized stores.
Red 2019 – Château Taillefer Lafon
Newly co-owner of the famous château on the North Shore of Montreal, winemaker Merched's mission is to make the estate the Quebec reference in the cultivation of noble vines (vitis vinifera ). The 2019 Red comes from it with its grape varieties made up of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
On the nose, cherry and black olive are present and a slightly woody side is expressed to let us predict a complex wine. Once in the mouth, there are very present supple tannins which dry out the mouth and provide sustained length. It will be enhanced by a simmered dish of red meats such as beef bourguignon or a pork stew.
$24 – Available online and in select specialty stores.