Monday, August 29: Wrote my Tidings commentary and in the afternoon a www.winerytohome.com tasting with David Lawrason and Doug Towers.
Tuesday, August 30: Wrote my speech that I have to deliver next week in Santiago to a group of winemakers: How to Penetrate Entry and/or Improve Positioning of Chilean Wines in Restaurants in the Canadian (and/or Ontario) Market. Got all kinds of figures from the LCBO which show that consumers in Ontario are willing to pay more for Chilean wines than Argentinean.
Wednesday, August 31: Finished my columns for Post City magazines and On The Go. Dinner with our friends Susan and Bill at Debu (Indian novelle cuisine). Didin’t order wine. They were out of Kingfisher beer so I ordered Cheetah Lager.
Thursday, September 1: Dropped in to the champagne launch for TIFF at Nota Bene, where the Perrier-Jouët flowed like… champagne. In addition to the Belle Époque floral bottle (and glasses) they served Grand Brut. Met Piers Handling there and asked him if he had seen my friend Ashley Pover’s movie Ecstasy. He told me there are some 280 movies in the festival and no, he hadn’t.
Friday, September 2: Tasted the following wines:
- GreenLane Estate Winery Pinot Gris-Riesling 2010 (Lincoln Lakeshore Ontario, $16.95): Water white in colour with a gummy, peach pit nose; dry, browning apple and browning pear flavours; redeemed by some sweetness in mid palate but finishes hard. (84)
- Calamus Cosmic White Wine 2009 (Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer; Niagara Peninsula, $14.95): Pale straw colour; melon rind and citrus bouquet; off-dry, honey, lime and melon flavours; refreshing acidity, good length with an apple finish. (86)
- Quails’ Gate Chardonnay 2009 (Okanagan Valley, $18.99 in BC): Straw colour; spicy, toasty oak, mineral note on the nose; rich, spicy apple backed by toasty oak. Sweet apple and pear flavours with balancing acidity. (88)
- G. Marquis The Red Line Riesling 2010 (Niagara Peninsula, $11.95): Light straw colour; minerally-floral, apricot nose; off-dry, spicy with a Muscat note; well made, sweet orange and lychee flavours. Good length and great value. (88)
- Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling 2010 (Barossa Valley, LCBO #212704, $16.95): Straw colour; developing petrol notes, lime and grapefruit with a honeyed note; slight spritz with a sweet and sour flavour, initially off-dry and then dries out on the finish with citrus acidity. (88)
- Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2009 (Okanagan Valley, $29 in BC): Pale straw with a lime tint; complex nose of honey, spice, minerals, lime with a floral top note; off-dry, spicy, peachy-melon and grapefruit flavours; beautifully balanced and lingering on the palate. (90)
- South Coast Winery Estate Fumé 2009 (80% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Viognier, 8% Semillon; Temecula Valley, approx. $20): Old gold colour; intense toasty, smoky, spicy, grassy, green plum nose; full-bodied and hefty on the palate with long length. Exotic mid palate as the peachy Viognier sings through and not so subtle oak. (90)
- Closson Chase CCV Chardonnay 2009 (Prince Edward County, $24.95): Straw colour; apple and citrus nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple and lemon flavour with a lemony acid finish. (88)
- Closson Chase South Clos Chardonnay 2009 (Prince Edward County, $39.95): Deep straw colour; a nose of smoky oak, minerally with apple and orange notes; full on the palate with a toasty flavour of apples with a fine spine of citrus acidity. (90)
- Bouchard Père & Fils La Vignée Pinot Noir 2009 (Burgundy, LCBO #605667, $16.95) Ruby-garnet colour; earthy, raspberry nose with a hint of violets and coffee bean; dry, light-bodied, firmly structured and remarkably elegant for the price. A good introduction to red Burgundy at an affordable price. (88)
- G. Marquis The Red Line Merlot 2009 (Niagara Peninsula, $12.95): Deep purple-ruby colour; cedar, blackcurrant, dark chocolate nose; richly extracted black fruit flavours with a eucalyptus note; soft and fruity on the palate with a dry finish and soft tannins. Well priced. (88)
- Calamus Estate Winery Cosmic Red Wine 2008 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot; Niagara Peninsula, $17.95): Ruby colour; cedar, redcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, with lively redcurrant and cranberry flavours given uplift by creamy vanilla oak. Supple tannins. Easy drinking. (87)
Saturday, September 3: Continued tasting to reduce the accumulation of bottles in my condo cellar.
- Yvon Mau Chardonnay Colombard 2010 (Côtes de Gascogne 2010, LCBO #627265, $8.95): Light straw colour; apple and pear nose; sweetish, medium-bodied, commercial, easy drinking. (85)
- Yvon Mau Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Vin de Pays du Comté Tolosan, LCBO #19653, $8.95): Light straw colour; herbaceous, green fruit; green plum flavour, dilute; fades away. (84)
- GreenLane Estate Riesling 2010 (Lincoln Lakeshore, Ontario, $21.95): Pale straw colour; minerally, lime and grapefruit zest nose; spritzy; off dry, tangerine and grapefruit flavours with a honeyed note; clean finish. (87)
- Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris 2009 (Okanagan Valley): Old gold colour; ripe peach and peach pit nose; rich and satisfying on the palate with well integrated oak and a lovely mid palate mouth feel; finishes with enough acidity to give it balance and length. (89)
- Joie A Noble Blend 2010 (Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Auxerrois; Okanagan Valley, $24): Light straw colour; spicy nose, Gewurz signing through with lychee, rose petal and cardamom notes; off-dry grapey (almost Muscat flavour), orange blossom and citrus finish. (90)
- Creekside Estate Laura’s White 2009 (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Muscat and Viognier; Niagara Peninsula, $18.95): Straw colour; lifted Sauvignon nose with a touch of oak; peachy-lychee flavour, nicely balanced, full on the palate with a grassy, fennel note on the finish. Good length. (90)
- Creekside Estate Shiraz 2008 (Niagara Peninsula, LCBO #66654, $15.95): Deep ruby; pepper, leather, blackberry; medium-bodied, dry, lean and sinewy. Tannins are a little green but the wine is very drinkable with a fresh acidic finish. (87)
- Creekside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Queenston Road Vineyard 2007 (St. David’s Bench, Ontario): Dense purple-ruby colour; cedar, blackcurrant nose with a floral note; elegant, blackcurrant flavour that spreads across the palate; firmly structured with a fine spine of acidity finishing with a dark chocolate note and a suggestion of vanilla oak. A well crafted wine. (90)
- Alvento Aria Nebbiolo 2007 (Niagara Peninsula, $34.95): Deep ruby colour; peppery, dried cherry with an earthy note; dry, lean and sinewy, firmly structured with a lively acidic spine. Very Italianate in style. (89)
- Marchesi Torrigiani Torre di Ciardo 2006 (Tuscany, Vintages #212084, $19.95): Ruby colour; smoky, minerally, black cherry nose; savoury, flavours of dried cherry, orange peel and earthy tones; firmly structured with good length. (89)
- Fontella Chianti 2009 (Tuscany, LCBO #230797, $11.95): Ruby colour; dried cherries, earthy note on the nose; dry, medium-bodied, savoury, cherry flavour; firmly structured with ripe tannins. Easy drinking and good value. (87)
- Palazzo Brunello di Montalcino 2004 (Tuscany – Vintages #660746, $49.95): Ruby colour with a mature rim; elegant nose of dried cherries, toasted herbs and tobacco; lovely mouth feel, dry and elegant, firmly structured with a tannic lift on the finish. Drinking well now but will cellar for at least 5 years. (91)
- Henry of Pelham Baco Noir Reserve 2009 (Ontario, Vintages #461699, $24.95): Dense ruby colour; plum with spicy oak on the nose; sweet fruit with a gamey note; firm and fleshy on the palate and well balanced. (89)
Finished off the Brunello with stuffed peppers, a recipe Deborah got from Dr. Oz’s website. Very healthy apparently but, more to the point, very tasty.