Cuvée réZin rouge - E. Excoffier 2004

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Each year local distributor and private importer réZin adds one special red wine and special one white to their Importation Sauvage collection. These wines are christened as "les cuvées réZin" and they represent the Quebec agency in their unique, usually all-natural, refreshing approach to wine. For the 2004 vintages, réZin initiated a relationship with Loire winemaker Thierry Puzelat to produce two extraordinary table wines. They are table wines because the grapes are cultivated from various vineyards -- breaking the rules set out by appellation standards, but not necessarily the standards set out by the vintner. As the guys at réZin would explain it: these blends are without pretension, possessing an incredible equilibrium and character due to a fabrication free of system constraints.

A large crowd launched the cuvées last week at the Daylight Factory lounge and bar, a swanky place that matched the seductive crimson labels created by local artist Éliane Excoffier. (This yearly wine event has become twice as fun in recent years because it promises the unveiling of homegrown artistic talent in addition to the release of the imported cuvées.) Cuvée réZin rouge - E. Excoffier 2004 is an interesting mix of both northern and southern vineyards. It makes for a blend that surpasses the typical lightness of a Loire Cab Franc varietal [correction]. Hints of leather were surprisingly more prominent than you'd expect, observed my fellow drinker, a St-Émilion enthusiast. And it's in this way that good table wine goes about proving its merits.

The white cuvée, which is adorned with the work of Patrick St-Vincent, was bracing with lots of citrus notes but I'm sorry to say I hear it completely sold out in only a few days. See the website (in French) for online orders and more information (the "bientôt" on the order form suggests that it might not be too late to enjoy the white cuvée réZin).

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