While Patrick J. Comiskey reported on the new wave of high-quality, artisan sparkling wines being made across the US in our August 2019 issue, we were discovering a similar trend happening just across our northern border—in Quebec. Although its modern-day wine scene is not even 50 years old, the Canadian province now counts 60 wineries, many of which make sparkling wine. Not many examples make it over the border—Québécois’ wine consumption is the highest in North America, at 23 liters a head in 2017—but we lucked into a small cache of them during our June issue tastings. Here are two sparkling wines that we’d be happy to drink on our summer vacations.
Domaine St-Jacques Quebec Brut
Yvan Quirion and his wife, Nicole Du Temple, launched their first vintage in 2007, working out of a small winery in Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, just 30 miles south of Montreal. They now farm more than 37 acres of vines, both Vitis vinifera and hybrids. Chardonnay and seyval blanc make up this Domaine St-Jacques sparkler, balanced between sweet apple fruit and brisk, lemony acidity. Give it a chill for grilled lake trout this summer.
Domaine Bergeville Quebec Extra-brut L’exception Red
Domaine Bergeville is about 90 miles east of Domaine St-Jacques, in the Eastern Townships, where Quebec’s first wineries set up shop, including Le Cep d’Argent Vineyard, a winery founded by two brothers from Champagne in 1985. Domaine Bergeville’s Marc Théberge and Eve Rainville are the new kids, farming 13 acres on the banks of Lake Massawipi under organic and biodynamic principles. They focus solely on organically-grown sparkling wines, like this blend of cold-hardy hybrids frontenac noir, radisson and Marquette. With a light chill, it could fill in for a Lambrusco, with a cool, crisp strawberry juiciness that’s especially palate-whetting with a platter of charcuterie.
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
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