June 5, 2014

EXPLORE RIOJA — 2 top Bodegas

Wine Dinner at George Restaurant

June 12 / 6:30PM / $130 per person + tax & gratuity

Meet María Alvarez of Bodegas Puelles and esteemed winemaker Basilio Izquierdo. 



Basilio Izquierdo is the enormously talented, humble, and utterly charming former head winemaker of Cune (CVNE). For over 30 years he shaped the wines of one of Rioja’s oldest and most important wine companies.  After retiring in 2006, he launched his own tiny winery.  

Basilio does not own any vineyards.  He sources the fruit from low-yielding old vines that he considers best suited to each variety — Tempranillo from Rioja Alta & Alavesa, Graciano from Rioja Alta, and Garnacha from Rioja Baja.  His tiny production of white wine (600 bottles!) is made from barrel-fermented Garnacha Blanca with a little Viura, aged on the lees and in Burgundian barrels resulting in mineral, rich, complex wines.  

Basilio received his formal education from The University of Bordeaux in the late 1960s, where he was a classmate of Michel Rolland and Jean-Claude Berrouet (Château Pétrus). His wines combine the power and intensity of modern Rioja with the complexity and elegance of the traditional wines.  It’s obvious that someone with Basilio’s pedigree, experience and passion is behind these wines. Come and taste for yourself. 




Jesús Puelles and his brother Félix organically farm this 20-hectare, family-owned estate that dates back to 1844. The vineyards are at the highest elevation in Rioja Alta on clay-limestone soils. Located on the North bank of the Ebro River, the vineyards share the moderating Atlantic influence with Rioja Alavesa. The wines typically have a very high proportion of Tempranillo (about 95%) compared with other wines of the region. The rest of the vineyards are planted to Mazuelo, Garnacha and Graciano, which are used in small quantities to round out the wines.  

The Crianza is a bright, fresh and traditional style of wine that is ideal for summer sipping. El Molino is the single-vineyard Crianza, named after the 17th century water-powered mill that houses the winery. Puelles Blanco is a perfumed, zesty white wine made from 100% Viura. All of the wines display a freshness of fruit, precision and style.  



menu & wines

George Restaurant's executive chef, Lorenzo Loseto, is one of the most highly acclaimed in Canada. His focus is on seasonal, natural and sustainable ingredients. Chef Loseto crafted this menu inspired by the wines of Rioja. 



Puelles 2013 Blanco


1st course

Black Cod, roasted beets, avocado mousse
Basilio 2010 Acodo Blanco


2nd course

Duck breast confit, fingerling potatoes, raspberry jus
Puelles 2010 Crianza


3rd course

Rack of lamb, bell pepper purée, almond 
Puelles 2009 El Molino


4th course

Chamble — Montréal, Québec
Hard, Aged Goat Cheese  
B de Basilio 2008 Tinto 



Call GEORGE Restaurant to reserve / 416-863-6006 / 111 Queen St E, Toronto