Wednesday, July 31: Spent the day catching up on emails after the week’s fishing in the Northwest Territories. In the afternoon began tasting to catch up on the backlog of wines accumulated since I was away.
- Château des Charmes Earth & Sky Riesling 2011 (Ontario – $14.95): pale straw with a lime tint; aromatic, lime and grapefruit nose with a floral note; good tension between citrus acidity and honeyed grapefruit; moderate length, medium-bodied. Good value. (87+)
- San Raffaele Pinot Grigio del Veneto Monte Tabor 2012 (Veneto – $14.95): pale straw colour; minerally, peach pit nose; dry, medium-bodied with good mid palate fruit and a white peach and banana flavour. (87)
- MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris 2011 (Russian River – $19.95): medium straw colour; apple, marzipan nose with a hint of oak; rich peach and apple flavour, full on the palate with good length. Very satisfying. (89)
- MacMurray Ranch Chardonnay 2011 (Russian River – $21.95): light straw colour; smoky, nutty, toasty nose; spicy, rich and sweet with a peachy, toasty note; full-bodied and lingering. (90)
- Miraval Rosé 2012 (Côte de Provence – $24.95): pale salmon colour; minerally, watermelon nose; pink grapefruit and watermelon flavours; full-bodied; nicely balanced with good length. Probably the best rosé I’ve tasted. (90)
- La Cadièrenne Bandol Rosé Tradition 2012 (Bandol – Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre – $18.95): pale, flesh pink; minerally, white currant nose; full on the palate, dry, firmly structured with a tannic lift on the finish. (87)
- Château des Charmes Earth & Sky Pinot Noir 2010 (Ontario – $15.95): light ruby colour; discreet, woodsy, red berry nose; light-bodied, lean and sinewy with a sour cherry flavour. (86)
- DeLoach Pinot Noir 2011 (California – $15.95): light ruby colour; smoky, charred oak and cherry nose; soft mouth feel and full on the palate with a black cherry and beetroot flavours. (87)
- Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico 2011 (Tuscany – $18.95): ruby colour; dry, savoury, cherry and sage leaf nose; well extracted fruit, round and full on the palate with a dry, savoury finish and ripe tannins. (88)
- Jovly Chinon Cabernet Franc 2010 (Loire – $13.55): deep ruby colour; soapy, green pepper and cranberry nose; currant and elderberry flavours with dark chocolate and blackcurrant flavours. Good value. (87)
- Boutari Naoussa 2008 (Greece – $12.95): medium ruby with a tawny rim; spicy, strawberry nose; dry, dried berry and plum flavours with a firm tannic finish; medium-bodied, Italianate in style with lively acidity. Good value. (88)
- Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2011 (Priorat – $22.95: 40% Garnacha, 30% Cariñena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah): dense ruby; a nose of black fruits, leather, spice and iodine with a floral note; the Syrah sings through even at 10% of the blend; full-bodied, dry, plum and black cherry flavours with lively acidity. Opulent and fleshy. (90)
- Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo CLA Porto Special Reserve: a premium ruby non-vintage port; deep purple-ruby colour; intense mulberry nose; rich, spicy and sweet; medium-bodied with a firm finish. Chillable. (89)
Thursday, August 1: Wrote my Tidings magazine Commentary on I4C. Then went to Doug Towers’s house for a www.winerytohome.com tasting, after which Deborah joined us for dinner there.
Friday, August 2: Wrote my column for Lexpert magazine about my fishing trip. Then tasted some wines in the evening.
- Tik Tok Pocket Watch Chardonnay 2012 (New South Wales – $14.95): pale straw colour; minerally, pear and apple skin nose; dry, medium-bodied, apple and green pineapple flavours with citrus acidity. (87+)
- Joie PTG 2011 (a Passe-tout-grains from BC – 67% Pinot Noir, 37% Gamay – $25.90): ruby colour; cherry, rust and beetroot notes on the nose; light and easy drinking with the tartness of sour cherries. (88)
- Quintay Q Pinot Noir Grand Reserve 2011 (Casablanca Valley, Chile – $16.95): deep ruby colour; floral, spicy, plum and tobacco nose; full in the mouth, black fruit flavours with warm alcoholic finish. (88)
- Ippolito 1845 Liber Pater Ciro 2010 (Calabria – Gaglioppo grapes – $13.95): deep tawny ruby; minerally, licorice, wild berry nose; rustic and solid on the palate, dry, savoury and tannic. (86)
- Castello di Bossi Renieri Invetro 2010 (Tuscany – 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot – $20.95): deep ruby with a mature rim; cherry and currant nose with a top note of oak and a light florality; mocha and cherry flavours finishing dry with ripe tannins. (89)
- Château Ventenac Grande Réserve Cabardès 2009 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah – $17.95): dense ruby colour; intense, black fruit nose with vanilla oak; full-bodied, milk chocolate and blackcurrant flavours, broad, meaty and full on the palate. (89)
- Château de Fontenelles Cuvée Notre Dame 2009 (Corbières – 55% Syrah, 25% Grenache Noir, 20% Mourvèdre, 5% old vine Carignan – $16.95): dense purple-ruby colour; spicy, herbal, blackberry nose; soft and full on the palate, dry and savoury with a plushy tannic finish. Good value. (90)
- Tik Tok Pocket Watch Shiraz 2011 (New South Wales – $15.95): deep ruby colour; spicy, peppery, blackberry fruit with a medicinal note; dry, full in the mouth with a clovey flavour. Good length. (88)
- Plume Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Napa Valley – $31.95): dense purple-ruby colour; spicy, cedar, vanilla oak and blackcurrants on the nose; dry, lovely mouth feel, caressing the palate with chocolate and blackcurrants flavours and enough tannin on the finish to give the wine structure. (91)
Dinner: BBQ hamburgers with the opened bottle of Plume Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.
Saturday, August 3: Dinner at Sheila Swerling-Puritt’s with Helen Hatton and Ron Morris. Sheila served tapas with Tio Pepe. Then we dined on the balcony – gazpacho, steak, green beans, crisply fried onion and mashed potatoes with Burning Kiln Hanger The Sequel 2010. Dessert – Peaches and cream with Bonnieheath Estate Lavender Ice 2012 and maple shortbread with Quai du Vin Maple 2012. According to the website, “This 2012 maple wine is made from locally sourced, partially evaporated maple sap and slowly fermented over several months to preserve the golden colour, natural sweet aromas and flavours.”