Pinard et Fils 'Vin de Jardin' Quebec Red 2021
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Press 2 • July 2023 Direct Press Selection
Almost a decade ago, Frederic Simon and Catherine Belanger started planting grapes near Magog, Quebec: the middle of nowhere, even by Canadian standards. Slowly they came around to embracing North American hybrid grape varieties despite strongly resisting them at first. The change came after they tasted a La Crescent made by Deidre Heekin of La Garagista, and they began working with hybrids in 2016. I love their ability to create wines that never lose the ability to deliver irreverent pleasure even when they may be challenging your preconceived notions of wine.
The 'Vin de Jardin' is far more in the irreverent pleasure camp, however, triggering a primal, thirst-quenching response while playfully engaging your more analytical neurons with originality and sense memories of berry foraging by a mountain lake. It's a blend of all three Frontenac subtypes — Blanc, Gris, and Noir in equal parts — with zero sulfur added and partial fermentation in amphora. Juicy, luscious strawberry and raspberry dance on the palate, with crunchy cranberry skin and some stony details adding some clarity and contrast. Lip-smacking, delicious AF, and proof positive that North American hybrids from Quebec can be as much of a standard-bearer for cutting edge vin nature than anything from l'hexagone France. Jonathan Kemp