A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 448: Dinner Parties

Monday, June 10: Walked Pinot in the rain before settling down to write my On the Go column. After lunch, a tasting of the following wines:

  • Château des Charmes Chardonnay Musqué 2010 ($16.95): pale straw colour; honeysuckle, fennel and apple nose; dry, apple with a floral note; good staying power on the palate with a spicy finish. (88)
  • Shingleback Haycutters Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011 ($15.80): pale straw colour; smoky, struck flint, grassy nose; dry, grapefruit flavour; full on the palate with a browning apple note on the finish. (86)
  • Kacaba Rebecca Rosé 2012 (Cabernet Franc – $14.95): deep salmon pink in colour; rhubarb and redcurrant nose; dry, soft mouth-feel with a strawberry puree flavour. Fills the palate. (87)
  • Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2 Bench White 2012 (BC. 53% Chardonnay, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Vermillion, 6% Viognier and 3% Muscat – $22.99): pale straw colour; minerally, peach pit and citrus peel nose; dry, white peach and lemon with a mineral thread. Medium-bodied, apple and pear flavours. (89)
  • Robert Oatley Signature Series Pinot Grigio 2010 ($16.95): The highest fill I’ve seen in a screwcap bottle. Pale straw colour; minerally, baked apple nose; dry, green peach and green apple flavours; high toned acidity. (86)
  • Martín Códax Albariño 2011 ($17.95): light straw colour; minerally peach (reminiscent of a BC Pinot Gris); fresh and lively on the palate with white peach and grapefruit flavours. (88)
  • Burgans Rias Baixas Albariño 2011 ($17.95): pale straw; minerally, floral, citrus nose; crisply dry with lemony, green peach flavours. Crisp and delicious with mouth-watering acidity. (89)
  • Inniskillin Pinot Grigio 2012 ($10.25): pale with the faintest blush of pink; minerally, peach pit nose; sweetish peach and yellow plum flavours with lemony acidity. Crisp finish. (87)
  • Inniskillin Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 ($14.95): deep salmon pink; aromatic (a touch of Gewurz in here?), floral, cherry; dry, soft mouth feel, cherry flavour. Easy drinking. (87)
  • Inniskillin Pinot Noir Reserve 2011: ruby colour; high toned, cherry nose with a light floral note; dry, savoury almost herbal flavour of cherry pit, cranberries and minerals. (87+)
  • Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Reserve 2011: light ruby colour; cedar, mint, red berries; dry, mouth-fillling, red berry flavour – not a lot of extract with a metallic note. Dry, tannic finish. (86)
  • Inniskillin Merlot Reserve 2011: cedar, dark chocolate, blueberry nose; more expressive than the Cabernet Franc, richer texture; dry, currant flavour with lively acidity, riper tannins. (88)

Dinner: pork loin marinated in soya sauce, lentils and roasted cauliflower with Quails’ Gate Riesling 2012 (light straw colour with a lime tint; minerally, petrol and lime nose with a floral note; dry, lime and grapefruit flavours (90)).

Tuesday, June 11: Took Pinot to the vet to have a cyst removed from her side. While she’s under the anaesthetic she’ll have her teeth cleaned and her nails trimmed.

Lunched at Luma with Rossanna Magnotta who brought along her G. Marquis The Silver Line Pinot Noir 2011 (ruby coloured; dry, cherry and beetroot flavours, medium-bodied and spicy, in Volnay style (88)). Rossanna told me she will be building a winery on Highway 55 on the site of the G. Marquis vineyard. We also tasted G. Marquis The Silver Line Epic 2010 (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot – dense ruby-purple colour; cedar, blackcurrant nose; medium-bodied, savoury, licorice and black olive flavours with a floral top note (90)). This is the best wine I’ve tasted from the G. Marquis portfolio. Rossanna also told me that she competes in international skeet shooting competitions and is trying out for the Canadian Olympic team.

Picked Pinot up from the vet. She was pretty woozy from the anaesthetic but otherwise fine. They had put the Cone of Shame on her, which she wasn’t happy about, so when we got her home Deborah dressed her in a T-shirt so she wouldn’t lick the stitches. A meeting of the board of directors of IWEG in the evening.

Wednesday, June 12: Recorded my 680News wine reviews and then home to start my rewrites on the novel. In the late afternoon tasted the following wines:

  • Giol Organic Pinot Grigio 2011 (Veneto – $12.35): pale straw colour; minerally, peach pit nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, with a crab apple and peach flavour; nicely balanced with a good mouth feel and a lemony finish. Good value. (87)
  • Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2007 (half bottle – $26.95): deep ruby with a tawny rim; malty, black cherry, pencil lead nose with vanilla oak and a licorice note; dry, elegant, full-bodied, bitter chocolate and cherry flavours with lively acidity and ripe, grainy tannins. Ready in the half bottle. (91)
  • Lirica Primitivo di Manduria 2007 (Puglia – $17.95): ruby colour; spicy, black plum, black tea and tobacco nose; dry, full-bodied, plum and blackberry flavour, carried on fresh acidity. Warm alcoholic finish. (88)
  • Apelia Moschofilero 2012 (Peloponnese: Litre $9.95): very pale colour; aromatic, floral, white peach nose; dry, lemony-grassy flavour; short on the palate with a blunt finish. (85)
  • Louis Jadot Mâcon Villages Chardonnay 2011 ($16.10): straw colour with a green tint; minerally, smoky, apple nose; dry, medium-bodied, fresh apple and pear flavours with lemony, green pineapple acidity. Good value. (88)
  • Bouchard Père & Fils Mâcon-Lugny Saint-Pierre 2011 ($15.60): straw colour; minerally, lemon and pear nose; mouth-filling, dry pear flavour with a chalky finish. (87)
  • Inniskillin Riesling 2011 (Ontario – $12.95): very pale colour with a lime green tint; minerally, grapefruit rind with a floral note; crisply dry, grapefruit and lime flavours with a white honey aftertaste. Well made and good value. (88)

Received the results of the Lieutenant governor’s Awards for Excellence in Ontario Wines:

  • “The Blessed” Chardonnay 2011 (Exultet Estates)
  • Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve 2008 Riesling (Henry of Pelham)
  • Cuvée Peter F. Huff 2007 (Huff Estates)
  • Stratus Syrah 2010 (Stratus Vineyards)
  • Merlot Reserve 2010 – Natural Fermentation (Rosewood Estates Winery)
  • 2010 Whimsy! “201” Cabernet Franc (Southbrook Vineyards)
  • Stouck Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Malivoire Wine Company)
  • 2010 Vidal Icewine (Konzelmann Estate Winery)
  • Signature Series 2008 Riesling Icewine (Peller Estates Winery)
  • Carly’s Block 2010 Riesling (Tawse Winery)
  • Stratus Chardonnay 2010 (Stratus Vineyards)
  • Tawse 2010 Meritage (Tawse Winery)

For dinner – hamburgers with Tempus Two Cabernet Merlot 2011 from Australia ($16.90): ruby colour; minty, cedary nose of plums and currants; soft mouth feel with flavours of cranberry, redcurrant and plum with lively acidity (88).

Thursday, June 13: Deborah drove to Stratford to see a matinee of The Three Musketeers. I spent the day working on rewrites for Nightmare in Napa.

Friday, June 14: A Vintages tasting this morning. The LCBO has instituted another level of security, which means wine writers have to have a special pass with their photo. We will only be let into the lab area if we present it.

Gordon Pape came to dinner. We started with smoked salmon with Benjamin Bridge Brut 2003, followed by sautéed shrimps on a bed of lettuce with Inniskillin Founders’ Series Chardonnay 2006, then osso buco with a bottle of Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Vignolo 1998 (which Gordon brought); with the cheeses, Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz 2006 and for dessert – strawberry shortcake – Hillebrand Showcase Riesling Icewine 2008.

Saturday, June 15: This evening, a dinner party with Irv and Carol Wolkoff. We still had a lot of smoked salmon so we had it as an appetizer on the balcony with avocado sushi and a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Reserve. As a starter, goose liver pâté with Weingut Bründlmayer Heiligenstein 1 Riesling 2010. Main course: flank steak with a spicy rub, corn sala and lentils with Petrified Forest Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Totem Ridge Vineyard. With the cheeses, Stratus Red 2007. We finished off the remains of the strawberry shortcake with a half bottle of Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2003 which was, unfortunately, slightly corked. Them’s the breaks.

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