A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 446: Wine for Steak

Monday, May 27: A quiet day, going through emails and mail. In the afternoon I tasted the following wines:

  • Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc Grand Reserve 2012 ($17.95): pale straw; grassy, gooseberry and grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, dry with ripe gooseberry and yellow plum flavours; some sweetness in mid palate. (88)
  • Jackson-Triggs Gewurztraminer Grand Reserve 2012 ($19.95): light straw colour; spicy, light varietal character on the nose; better on the palate with ripe flavours of lychee and pink grapefruit. Good length. (88+)
  • Lapostolle Grand Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Rapel Valley, Chile): pale colour with a green tint; struck flint, herbaceous, green fruits; round on the palate with green plum and green melon flavours. Good length. (88)
  • Liberty School California Rosé 2012 ($16.95): orange-pink colour; strawberry nose; full in the mouth with a candied strawberry flavour; fleshy and full on the palate with a touch of sweetness. (87)
  • Spaghetti Red California Red Table Wine: ruby colour; sweetish plum nose with a spicy note; soft on the palate, mouth-filling and sweetish with a milk chocolate and licorice note. (86)
  • E & J Gallo Red Rock Winery Malbec 2011 (California – $16.95): dense purple-ruby colour; blackcurrant and tobacco leaf nose; creamy, vanilla oak and currant flavours; ripe tannins with enough acidity to give the wine interest. (87)
  • Banfi Centine Rosso Toscana 2010 ($15.95): ruby colour; cherry nose with a faint blossom note; dry, soft mouth feel, medium-bodied, earthy-minerally note in mid palate; soft tannic finish. (87)
  • The Dreaming Tree Crush 2010 (California North Coast – $16.95): deep ruby colour; spicy, black cherry nose; some residual sweetness here that helps to hold back the chalky tannins. (86+)
  • Mocine Toscana 2011 (Sangiovese in stainless steel – $19.95, Vintages’ July 6th release): deep ruby colour; spicy cherry and cherry pit nose; medium-bodied, richly extracted, dry, firmly structured, ripe cherry fruit with a floral top note and chewy tannins. (88+)
  • Dino Illuminati Zanna Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2007: deep ruby colour; cherry, tobacco leaf nose with a mineral note; richly extracted, full-bodied, flavours of black cherry and sweet earth; finishes firmly with good balancing acidity. (89)
  • Liberty School Zinfandel 2010: deep ruby colour; plum nose with a note of leather; medium weight, touch of sweetness in mid palate, evident tannins on the finish. (87)
  • Château Rozier 2010 (Saint Emilion – $28.95): deep ruby; cedar, tobacco, red berry nose; well structured, mouth-filling, new style St, Emilion; earthy, dry, chunky mouth feel with soft tannins. (89)
  • Poggio Verrano Chance 2005 (Maremma Toscana IGT – Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc): deep ruby colour; cedar, cherry with a herbal note; lovely mouth feel, currant, cherry flavours, medium-bodied, well balanced, fleshy but firm with ripe tannins. (90)

Finished off this last wine with barbecued steak.

Tuesday, May 28: Spent the day writing my report for Decanter Magazine on the Canadian wines entered into the competition and profiles on the three Regional Trophy winners. Dinner: roast chicken and mango salad with Ciavolich Divus Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2009 (dense ruby; earthy, chocolate nose with smoky notes; dry, sour cherry flavour, firmly structured with lively acidity. $16.95 (87 points)).

Wednesday, May 29: A massive rainstorm in the night and Pinot is afraid of thunder and lightning. She was whimpering and moaning and had to be calmed down. As a result a very interrupted sleep. In the morning, a dental appointment for cleaning. My dentist makes his own grape juice. Not wine, grape juice. Time to change dentists. Wrote up my Wines of the Week and finished off my Decanter article. This evening, the condo AGM.

Thursday, May 30: The temperature is meant to go up to 30°C today. Wrote my monthly article for Lexpert Magazine on sparkling wines in Canada.

Hamish MacGowan and Angus the Bull
Hamish MacGowan and Angus the Bull

At 2 pm down to Grano for an interesting event involving Angus The Bull Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Beretta Family Farms steaks and Broil King BBQs. Mike Baretta talked about raising Black Angus beef, Naz Cavallaro told us how to grill the perfect steak; Hamish MacGowan, an Aussie in spite of his name, explained the wine brand he created. Then we all tucked into the wine with the steak. The wine went perfectly with the steak grilled rare.

  • Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: deeply coloured with a cedar, red berry and currant nose; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with an engaging fruitiness in mid palate; fresh acidity with enough tannin to give structure. (88)

In the evening our neighbour Sally dropped in for a glass of sparkling wine: Domaine J Luarens Blanquette de Limoux Le Moulin Brut (delicious bubbly at $16.95 – a nose of marzipan, apple and white flowers with a mineral note; fresh and well balanced with a crab apple flavour (89)). For dinner, Deborah’s veal-stuffed peppers with Château des Charmes Gamay Noir “Droit” 2010 (deep ruby colour; earthy, black cherry nose; dry, firm and mouth-filling (88)).

Friday, May 31: A Vintages release tasting today. In the evening Deborah and I went to L’Avenue Bistro on Bayview. I brought along Creekside Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010, which won a silver medal at last year’s Ontario Wine Awards. The extra year in bottle has added more depth and bouquet (90) and Clos Jordanne Clos Jordanne Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006. The wine is a touch volatile and lean and sinewy (88). I ordered the charcuterie plate for the Sauvignon and beef bourguignon for the Pinot.

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