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Tasting Notes

Yellow Jersey

Tasting @ The Fifth, May 2007

The marketing people jumped through hoops and delivered a flashy launch at one of the Entertainment District’s poshest venues. I was ushered in to a huge, cool lounge by two beautiful people - one handed me a fashion brochure and the other whispered an offer of a drink. An attractive crowd was listening to a speaker and they were drinking… martinis. I excused myself, pleased to have been mistaken for an important fashion person, and found the Yellow Jersey affair, which was up on the roof deck.

The bicycle theme was everywhere and we were given brochures, backpacks, sport shirts, Lance Armstrong style wrist bands (actually a clever USB mass storage device full of info), and an apparently tasty al fresco lunch, which I didn’t have time for. Yellow Jersey wines are French – from several different Vin de Pays regions – and they are shipped over in tanks and bottled (in eco-friendly “PET” containers) in, um, Brampton. The floppy-haired, dynamic and personable Jean-Charles Boisset, who's spearheading the family wine empire's foray into PET packaging, impressed with his dedication to excellence. They practice sustainable vineyard management and even use real oak barrels. He also declined to release their effort at the number one red varietal, cabernet sauvignon: "I wasn't happy with the quality," he said. Although priced on the high side for easy-drinking mass market wines, the Yellow Jerseys are worth the extra couple of bucks.

The Four Varietals
$14.95 each

Nice pale lemon-gold colour with a fresh, light, and surprisingly fruity nose. There are faint but pleasant hints of vanilla: it’s definitely in the Chablis style – but then that’s where Boisset is from. Not a complex chard, but when Boisset suggested it had “minerality”, I didn’t disagree. Very pleasant to drink and a nice finish.

Sauvignon Blanc
Boisset wanted to give this popular white the style of another high-end French classic: Sancerre, home of the priciest sauv blancs. Not sure he succeeds there, but it has that more muted French sauv blanc nose – just a hint of herbaceousness. Not much fruit on the palate, but the light fruity notes present are pleasant. Crisp acidity and a good long finish make for an ideal summer white.

Pinot Noir
Nice medium ruby colour and a good amount of dark red fruit on the nose – cassis, frambroise. As expected, it was light and elegant, with nice acidity and very little in the way of tannins. It seems between Old World and New World. Very simple and easy drinking – actually quite a good introduction to pinot noir.

Very typical merlot nose of dark red fruit, but with a bit of greenness. Good medium body on palate, with a decent amount of dark red fruit on the palate (which followed nicely from the nose). Medium tannins keep it smooth. Again, another simple, straightforward and easy drinking red.


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