Malcolm Jolley invites GFR readers to a special virtual tasting on May 23rd…

This Saturday, May 23rd, at 3pm, I’ll be hosting a special wine tasting on Zoom organized by our friends at Woodman Wines & Spirits. This will be a great opportunity to taste wine like the pros and in the company of winery representatives from Chile, South Africa and France. It’s super easy to participate, as the wines are readily available at the LCBO Vintages stores. You can sign up for the seminar, taste and learn about the wines like a professional, and then enjoy three great wines with your fellow self-isolators over the weekend.

Click here to RSVP to receive a link to join us on Zoom.

Please see the wines we will be tasting below, and join us on Zoom Saturday afternoon.

Looking forward,


Bodegas Volcanes de Chile “Tectonia” Pinot Noir 2016

$24.95 | Vintages #14127 | Find in stores

Bodegas Volcanes is Chile’s only winery dedicated to crafting wines that truly reflect the character of the volcanic soils found throughout the various wine producing regions. Their Pinot Noir is sourced from cool-climate vineyards in the Rapelco area of the Bio-Bio Valley, located about 500 kilometres south of Santiago. The unique soil composition – formed due to the activity of the Antuco and Lonquimay volcanoes – contain a high presence of granite and quartz in the topsoil with a red clay subsoil.

The combination of soil and climate result in perfect ripening of the delicate Pinot Noir grapes. Together with skillful winemaking the result is an elegant, refined Pinot Noir which we think represents outstanding value.

“This pinot shows a good contrast between richness from the explosive blue fruit and fresh boysenberry and cranberry undertones. Full-bodied for this grape, but with lots of chewy tannins and a structured finish. Very muscular and serious. Drink in 2023.” Score – 94. (James Suckling,, Dec. 5, 2019)

Joining us for the virtual tasting will be Ben Gordon, Managing Director of the winery.

Rustenberg Petit Verdot Rosé 2019

$14.95 | Vintages #451773 | Find in stores

This is a blast of spring in a glass. Though lighter in body than the Pinot Noir above, it aptly shows that a lighter style in no way impinges on intensity. This rosé exhibits aromas and flavours of fresh, ripe red fruits including strawberries, cranberries, and red cherries rounded by a fresh clean palate and food friendly palate weight. A great match for picnic fare and a superb “al fresco” aperitif.

Joining us for the virtual tasting will be Murray Barlow, a winemaker and part of the third generation of the Barlow family to own Rustenberg.

Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016

$58.95 | Vintages #735407 | Find in stores

When the grill gets fired up, and the sun starts to dip, it’s time to bring out the full-bodied reds. The trick with any wine – and heavyweights in particular – is balance. Simply making a wine “big” doesn’t mean much if the fruit, acidity, alcohol and (in the case of red wines) tannins aren’t well integrated.

France’s southern Rhône Valley is renowned for its full-bodied red wines – those from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation in particular. Château La Nerthe is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected estates in the area.

The dark, deep, inky colour of the wine shows immediately the concentration of the vintage. The nose offers traces of blackcurrant, black tea and hints of dried flowers. The palate is rich, fruity and velvety, with beautifully layered tannins. Full and powerfully structured, yet perfectly balanced, this wine has all the necessary components to age and mature gracefully for many years. However, it is structured in such a way as to be very enjoyable now with robust dishes. Pour in advance to allow its flavours and aromas to fully open.

“Creamy textured plum and raspberry sauce notes glide through, flecked with black tea and pastis flavors and framed by a subtle apple wood hint. Flattering in feel, but shows latent cut and drive, so there’s no rush. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Best from 2020 through 2034.” Score – 93. (James Molesworth,, Oct. 15, 2019)

Joining us for the virtual tasting will be Christophe Bristiel, the Commercial Director at La Nerthe since 2009.

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