a Sunday in August
a Sunday in August 2020 Pinot Gris: photographed by Sam Milbrath.
Distinct in its flamingo-pink hue, the 2020 Pinot Gris by a Sunday in August is a poster child for the contemporary natural wine movement. Identifiable by its label—which features the art of Canadian painter and editor of The Editorial Magazine Claire Milbrath—this bottle offers individuality from the get-go. Co-fermented with Gewürtztraminer, this skin-contact organic Pinot Gris epitomizes summer with a floral profile cut by notes of thirst-quenching citrus. Its five-day semi-carbonic maceration produces a satisfying texture that accentuates an apparent yet approachable acidity. Since its establishment in 2017, a Sunday in August has been following owner Michael Shindler’s guiding principles to make natural, low-intervention wine that supports local and certified organic grape growers in British Columbia. As a result, this small-batch winery produces a selection of eclectic natural wines that resist uniformity and embrace diversity. This wine is alive, unfined, unfiltered, and fermented using ambient yeasts—which means that this spectacular 2020 vintage will never exist in this exact form ever again.
Don’t Worry Wines
Festejar’s recent debut on the Canadian market is a gesture of Toronto-based Don’t Worry Wines’ ambition to showcase some of the biggest names in natural wine. From winemaker Patrick Bouju in Auvergne, France, this 2019 vintage is a pét-nat rosé made of 100 percent Gamay grapes. The name translates directly to “commemorating with a party,” and is well-earned by its sparkling touch and joyful presentation. Though the producers behind this bottle are highly regarded in the natural wine movement, Festejar asks not to be taken too seriously. Intriguing and offbeat, it balances a gentle sweetness against notes of juicy wild berry with a subtly acidic edge. Grown completely naturally and fermented with only indigenous yeast, this wine requires no filtering and is made without any additives or sulphites. It’s definitive hazy, popsicle-red appearance is a result of its natural production— indulgence-worthy at 10.5 percent alcohol by volume.
Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits
Penfolds 2018 Quantum Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sixteen months in a combination of American and French oak give this rich red its complex edge. Penfolds’ 2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon commands attention with its ripe, berried core. Having made a name for itself within the global wine community, Penfolds’ new Wine of the World blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Southern Australian Shiraz is no less noteworthy. Adhering neither to expectations nor to what’s de rigueur, it’s unique pairing of graphite and hazelnut is a convincing case for bringing together the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in a vivacious vintage. Among the wide variety of luxury wines represented by Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits in Canada, this Cabernet Sauvignon is distinguished by its piquant punches—which are spectacular when paired with savoury dishes.