Wednesday, August 29: A day of catching up on email and mail. For dinner, grilled salmon with Château des Charmes Aligoté 2010 (pale lemon colour with an earthy apple and peach nose with a citrus note; full on the palate, dry and mouth-filling. A great change from Chardonnay – 88).
Thursday, August 30: Still in vacation mode, hard to get back to work. Finished off inputting reviews for Vintages’ September 15th release. Took Pinot to the vet to have a spot on her back seen to. A cyst burst while we were away and she had been licking at it. The vet gave us some ointment and told us to clean the wound three times a day with witch hazel and apply the ointment. She also sold us a lampshade for Pinot to wear to stop her licking. Can’t see a fashion-conscious girl like Pinot putting up with that.
Dinner, chicken with tarragon and a bottle of Joie Riesling 2011 from BC. Straw colour with a minerally, citrus nose and notes of petrol; lime and grapefruit flavours underscored by minerality and honey; great tension between sweet and tart flavours and a noticeable spritz (90).
Friday, August 31: Worked on the invitation for Grapes for Humanity’s November 7th White Truffle Dinner at Sopra. In the afternoon Deborah and I went to Downtown Acura to buy a new car – the 2013 model of what we have now, the RDX. It has some sexy features like push-button ignition and automatic tailgate opening. We pick it up on Tuesday. This is the sixth Acura in a row I’ve leased. Dinner: pasta with chicken in tomato sauce with a bottle of Masi Brolo Campofiorin Oro 2008 (deep ruby colour; earthy, cherry nose; dry and savoury cherry and leather flavours, medium-bodied (89)).
Saturday, September 1: A lot of wine samples have accumulated in the ten days Deborah and I were away so I decided to spend some time tasting today, although I like to keep the weekends free of work when I can.
- Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2011 (Stellenbosch,South Africa – $11.95): light straw colour; mineral, pear nose with a floral top note; clean, dry, pear and peach flavours, well made. Good value. (87)
- Calliope Riesling 2011 (British Columbia – $14.99): very pale colour; minerally, grapefruit nose; off-dry, sweet and sour flavours of grapefruit rind and green apple; medium-bodied with a grapefruit pith finish. (87)
- Calliope Figure Eight 2011 (British Columbia – a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris -$21.99): very pale straw colour; minerally, herbaceous, citrus peel nose; dry, citrus and melon flavours. Good intensity of flavour. (88)
- Calliope Viognier 2011 (British Columbia – $13.99): pale straw colour; mineral nose with a hint of sulphur, light varietal character – peach with a light floral fragrance; more expressive on the palate with peach and honeysuckle flavour. Full-bodied with a warm alcoholic finish. (87)
- McWatters Collection Chardonnay 2010 (southern Okanagan, British Columbia): straw colour; buttery, smoky-toasty oak, vanilla and apple nose; rich, spicy flavour of caramel and pineapple with racy acidity giving the wine good length. Touch of bitterness on the finish. (89)
- Dezzani Morelli Moscato d’Asti 2010 (Piedmont, Italy – $14.95): light straw colour with a frothy rim; orange blossom, cardamom nose; light-bodied, medium sweet, perfumed orange and peach flavours. Clean, lingering finish with a touch of bitterness at the end. Enough acidity to keep it in balance. (88)
- Lacey Baco Noir 2009 (Prince Edward County – $20): deep plum colour; minerally, smoky, blackberry nose; light-bodied, tart red berry flavour with a note of leather and driving acidity. (87)
- McWatters Collection Meritage 2009 (southern Okanagan – 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc): deep ruby colour; cedar, vanilla oak with a mocha note on the nose; medium-bodied, sweet blackcurrant and plum flavours; well integrated oak, lively acidity with a floral note in the back palate. (89)
- Gaston & Larsen Prospect Winery Major Allan Merlot 2010 (Okanagan Valley – $14.99 in BC): deep ruby colour; woodsy, raspberry nose with evident oak; dry, firmly structured, well made, red berry flavour. Tannins a little green on the finish. (87)
- Gaston & Larsen Prospect Winery Red Willow Shiraz 2009 (Okanagan Valley – $16.15): deep purple colour; creamy, smoky blackberry nose with a herbal note; ripe berry flavours, firmly structured, dry and savoury with lively acidity and a warm alcoholic finish. (88)
- Red Rock Winery Malbec Reserve 2010 (California – $16.95): deep ruby colour; smoky, truffle, barnyard nose; sweet, jammy blackberry and blackcurrant flavour with dark chocolate notes and a touch of spice; full on the palate with supple tannins. (88)
- Tar & Roses Shiraz 2010 (Victoria, South Australia – $21.95): deep ruby colour; deep ruby-purple colour; smoky, savoury, herbal, blackberry nose; spicy blackberry and orange peel flavours; full-bodied, lovely mouth feel, coursing acidity and a firm tannic finish (and a warm alcoholic glow). (89+)
Pre-dinner appetizer on the balcony, salsa dip with Strewn Terroir Gewurztraminer 2011 (light straw colour; good varietal character on the nose, Alsace style; rose petal, grapefruit and lychee flavours, dry and lingering (88)).