Monday, April 18: Wrote my 680News reviews and began work on Grapes for Humanity’s fund-raiser dinner on June 6th. It’s to be held at Rodney’s Oyster House and the wines have been donated by The New Zealand Winegrowers. The proceeds will go to building a high school for 50 students in a Guatemalan village, Pajapita. Currently they’re learning in a broken-down shack.
In the evening Deborah dropped me at Ici restaurant on Harbord Street, where Martin Malivoire had set up a tasting of his new vintage. Malivoire’s winemaker Shiraz Mottiar lead me through it.
- Malivoire Pinot Gris 2010: light straw colour; peach and citrus nose with a touch of spice; well extracted fruit, lovely mouth feel with a touch of sweetness in mid-palate (89)
- Malivoire Alive Chardonnay 2009: pale straw colour; crisp apple and citrus bouquet with a caramel note; lactic, sour creamy finish (87)
- Malivoire Mottiar Chardonnay 2009: medium straw in colour with a minerally, citrus, spice and green pineapple nose and a touch of oak; fresh and lively on the palate with crab apple acidity (89)
- Malivoire Moira Chardonnay 2008: medium straw colour; spicy tropical fruit and vanilla oak nose; rich caramel and peach flavours, full-bodied with a velvety, creamy mouth feel; great length (91)
- Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé 2010: deep pink with a blue tint; strawberry and redcurrant nose; dry, full on the palate with strawberry and candied raspberry flavours carried on tangerine acidity (89)
- Malivoire Gewurztraminer 2010: medium straw colour; lavender, lychee nose; intense varietal character with spicy lychee and rose water flavours, perfumed and elegant with wonderful balance and length. Better than the very good 2009 (91)
- Malivoire Alive Gamay 2010: ruby colour; high-toned, black cherry nose; fresh and fruity with simple fruit flavours (86)
- Malivoire Small Lot Gamay 2010: ruby colour; pepper, tobacco leaf and cherry nose; medium-bodied, fresh and fruity with lively acidity (88)
- Malivoire Pinot Noir 2008: ruby colour; vanilla oak, cherry and red plum bouquet; dry, elegant (in Burgundian style), a little blunt on the finish (87)
- Malivoire Pinot Noir 2009: ruby colour; raspberry nose with an earthy note; elegant, raspberry and violets flavour; firmly structured – very Pommard in style (89)
Malivoire Moira Pinot Noir 2007: ruby colour; meaty, black cherry nose; muscular and full-bodied. Tannic and tight at the moment. Needs a couple of years cellaring. (88–91?)
- Malivoire The Cat on the Bench Pinot Noir 2007(15% Gamay): the world’s most expensive Passe-Tout-Grains at $100 a bottle (only one barrel made from a barrel of Moira Pinot Noir and Courtney Gamay); deep ruby with a raspberry and plum nose; firmly structured with great balance (89)
- Malivoire Musqué Sprtiz 2010: pale straw; off-dry, petillant, spicy apple and orange blossom flavours; easy drinking. A real summer wine (88)
After the tasting, Martin Malivoire’s other guests joined us for dinner at which Martin opened three venerable magnums: Domaine Les Gouberts Gigondas 1989, Château Les Ollieux Corbières 1990 and Château de Crémant Bellet 1986. Unfortunately, the latter two magnums were both corked but we enjoyed the opened Malivoire wines with J.P. Chalet’s great food – fish soup, duck confit, boeuf bourguignon and apple galette with ice cream.
Tuesday, April 19: The CRA is auditing Grapes for Humanity, so spent much of the day going over files to get out documents to answer their questions. In the evening conducted a Seder at home (Coles Notes version). Deborah, Guy and Sasha and Sheila Swerling-Puritt at the table. Bought chicken soup and matzah balls and gefilte fish, cooked a brisket with potatoes and green beans. Sheila brought a flourless cake from Dufflet and we had macaroons. Served two Israeli wines – Galil Mountain Yiron 2004 and Seahorse Elul 2003.
Wednesday, April 20: Chose the wines for the Ontario Wine Awards Gala dinner on June 10th. Recorded my 680 News wine reviews. For dinner, Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir 2009 with brisket left over from last night.
Thursday, April 21: A 9:30 am start for a tasting of Ontario wines at Doug Towers’s house with David Lawrason for winerytohome.com. Some 50 wines. A 3:45 pm conference call with Matt Tedford and Sudhir Morar, co-chairs of Grapes for Humanity’s fund-raiser at Rodney’s Oyster House on June 6th, and Jackie Davies, who is in charge of the auction, to discuss plans. First of all we have to think up a name for the event which involves oysters, New Zealand lamb and other food stuffs.
Received a reply to an email I had sent to Peter Sichel in New York, wondering how he is. He tells me that his daughter Bettina has purchased the Laurel Glen winery in Sonoma with a group of Californian investors. I met Bettina at Peter’s apartment a few years ago when she just began work doing public relations for Quintessa winery in Napa. Peter will be 90 next year and is working as hard as ever. He’s busy writing his memoirs and next month he’s off to California to be the honorary chairman of the Los Angeles County Fair International Wine Competition. I only hope I’ll have his stamina if I reach his age. For dinner: tilapia wrapped in prosciutto with a basil, parsley and pine nut filling accompanied by Lacey Pinot Gris 2010 from Prince Edward County (pink-bronze colour, well extracted, minerally peach flavours, dry. A solid wine).
Friday, April 22: Began writing my report on the Decanter World Wine Awards. Regional chairs have to write an introductory piece for the magazine when the results are published in Decanter‘s October issue.
The TSO fundraising committee has asked me to decant the Château Margaux wines for their tasting (a Masterclass conducted by Corinne Mentzelopoulos) and the dinner to follow at The Four Seasons Hotel next Tuesday. For dinner, with the never-ending brisket, Red Knot by Shingleback Shiraz 2008.