Many WineCollective members love the excitement of opening their package every month and discovering what new wines they have to try. The anticipation has been compared to being a kid on Christmas morning. This is why we are giving you a warning; if you do not want to know which wine could be in your August WineCollective package, stop reading!
Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect as John Buchanan from Mount Riley was just in town. Mount Riley has been in Canada for the last decade and has some solid presence at a handful of restaurants and boutiques. The consistency in quality and affordability has made Mount Riley a go-to New Zealand producer.
We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mount Riley Pinot Gris, which has been secured for members’ August editions. Mount Riley has been on our radar for awhile now and we thought that the crisp and textured Pinot Gris would be perfect for your summer enjoyment.
Meeting with John at Murrieta’s in Calgary, we learned a little more about himself, the wines and his family. John spoke briefly about each wine to the crowd of about 50 diners, while they sipped and enjoyed the five-course dinner. Although the food and wine, of course, were great, it was hard not to notice how engaged John was with everyone in the room. It was great to see a producer so genuinely interested in ensuring everyone was having a great evening. John made a point to visit with every table.
The wines showcased from Mount Riley: 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Pinot Gris, 2013 Pinot Noir and 2013 Syrah. By far, the most successful pairing of the night was the curry-dressed salad with prawn and goat cheese, partnered with the Sauvignon Blanc.
The Pinot Gris, John explained, is beginning to replace the once most popular choice of Chardonnay. Murrieta’s pairing of halibut wrapped proscuitto, could pair equally as well with the Pinot Gris as a cool-climate Chardonnay.
The Pinot Noir was lean, but complex mix between fresh fruits and rustic charm. The show-stopper was the Syrah, which had everyone asking for a second glass. The 50+ people in attendance were the first in Canada to ever try the Mount Riley Syrah. There will be a limited amount available later this year, stay tuned for your chance to try it.
If you are impatient and will have a hard time waiting until August to try Mount Riley, stop by Highfield by WineCollective and curb your appetite with the Sauvignon Blanc.