Monday, August 5: A civic holiday. Wrote up my 680News wine reviews and spent the rest of the day walking Pinot. Deborah invited a neighbour Sally for dinner and she cooked a Thai shrimp dish, with which I served Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée Les Caillottes 2011 and Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée G.C. 2011.
Tuesday, August 6: Trying to get ahead on my deadlines, as Deborah and I are leaving for China on August 14th for ten days. Wrote my September and October columns for On the Go and began my September column for Post City Magazines. Then tasted in the evening:
- Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2011 (Burgundy – $17.95): straw colour with a green tint; minerally, apple nose with a leesy note; dry, medium-bodied, fresh citrus acidity; nicely balanced and a good introductory white Burgundy. (88)
- La Croix d’Azur Sauvignon Blanc Réserve 2011 (Côtes de Gascogne – $11.85): very pale colour; sweaty, grassy nose; tart and crisply dry, green plum flavour; light on the palate with a sour, green plum flavour. (86)
- Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (white label) (New Zealand – LCBO $18.95): very pale lime in colour; grassy, green pepper, asparagus nose; medium-bodied, dry, gooseberry and elderberry flavours; good mid-palate fruit finishing crisply with good length. (89)
- Whitehaven Marlborough Greg Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (black label) (New Zealand – $24.95): pale straw colour; grassy, guava and green bean nose; dry, medium-bodied, elegant, elderberry and green plum flavours; lovely mouth feel and lemon-lime acidity giving it great length. (91)
- Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 (New Zealand – LCBO $23.45): ruby colour; floral, cherry nose with a note of rust; dry, medium-bodied, cherry flavour with an earthy note; evident alcohol. (88)
- Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir 2010 (BC – $21.99): ruby colour; minerally, smoky, black cherry nose; dry and full on the palate; earthy, cherry and beet flavours; firm with evident tannins with a lively acidic spine. But will the fruit outlast the tannins? (88)
- Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noir 2009 (BC – $29.99): ruby with a mature tawny hue; very Burgundian on the nose – cherry liqueur, vanilla oak; rich and full on the palate and definitively New World Pinot; firmly structured, broad in the mouth with ripe tannins and well structured. (90)
- Tinhorn Creek Merlot 2011 (BC – $18.99): deep ruby colour; spicy, vanilla oak and blueberry nose; lean, and green flavours with a cedary note. Speaks to the vintage. (87)
- Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc 2011 (BC – $19.99): deep ruby colour; cedar, red berries, tobacco leaf nose; dry, medium-bodied, lean and sinewy, firmly structured with blunt tannins on the finish. More Loire Valley than southern Okanagan in style. (87)
Dinner, BBQed salmon with the remainder of the Whitehaven Greg Sauvignon Blanc 2012.
Wednesday, August 7: Recorded my 680News reviews and then dropped into McDonald’s to try their new McLobster roll. It looked so good in the TV commercial last night I wanted to have one. What a disappointment. In the commercial there were great chunks of lobster. The reality was tiny little bits of lobster mushed in mayonnaise. Did some work on Grapes for Humanity’s next fund-raiser on October 17th at St. Georges Golf Club – a South African theme. In the afternoon I did some more tasting:
- François Lurton Les Salices Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Pays d’Oc – $13.95): pale straw colour; smoky, struck flint and grassy nose; dry, medium-bodied, elderberry and gooseberry flavour with green bean flavour and a light minty note on the finish. (87)
- François Lurton Fumées Blanches Rosé 2012 (Vin de France – $11.95): pale salmon pink with a blue tint; cherry and watermelon nose; touch of residual sweetness in the mid-palate, strawberry flavour with a banana note on the finish. Good value. (86+)
- François Lurton Janeil Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Pays d’Oc – 11.95): deep ruby colour; earthy, cedary, plum skin nose; fruity, plummy flavour with a spicy note spicy. Full-bodied and flavourful for the price. (86+)
- CedarCreek Pinot Gris 2012 (BC – $18): light straw colour; minerally, peach pit nose; ripe peach and citrus flavour; well balanced, full-bodied, clean and true with faint spritz and a note of pear on the finish. (89)
- CedarCreek Riesling 2012 (BC – $17.95): palest straw colour; minerally, lime and honey nose; tart, green apple and lemon flavours; fresh and lively on the palate. (88)
- CedarCreek Platinum Riesling Block 3 2012 (BC – $24.95): almost water white; lime, white honey nose; off-dry with lemon, lime and honey flavour; great tension between tartness and sweetness with a grapefruit, tangerine and crab apple finish. (90+)
- CedarCreek Gewurztraminer 2012 (BC – $17.95): palest straw colour; aromatic, lychee and cardamom nose; off-dry, medium-bodied with concentrated Turkish delight and rose petal flavour that holds for a while and then drops off to an alcoholic finish. (88)
- CedarCreek Ehrenfelser 2012 (BC – $18.95): palest straw colour; spicy, peach and melon nose; dry, elegant and fresh white peach flavour with lively citrus acidity. (88)
- CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 (BC – $17.95): deep pink colour; cherry nose with a light floral note; strawberry flavour, full-bodied, dry and mouth-filling with tangerine acidity. (87)
Thursday, August 8: Filmed a program for winewire.ca on how to match Chinese food with wine at Lai Wah Heen. Canson, the restaurant’s manager, chose the dishes to the wines I suggested:
Cave Springs Adam Steps Riesling 2012
Wok-fried Filet of bass in Truffle Sauce
McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2011
Braised Pork Belly in Sweet Chu Hao Sauce
Potel-Aviron Morgon Côte du Py Vieilles Vignes 2010
(See the program at http://tinyurl.com/lywd7uw)
Since Deborah was out with the ladies from her book club, I heated up a Loblaws frozen sheperd’s pie with Viewpointe Cabernet Franc 2002 (which was still very much alive).
Friday, August 9: A Vintages’ tasting for the September 14th release. Didn’t feel like cooking so Deborah and I walked over to Vita Sociale on Yonge Street for dinner. We sat by the open window and greeted friends as they walked by. I took a bottle of Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux 1997 which we drank with calamari and a spicy pasta dish.
Saturday, August 10: Deborah and I took the subway to Broadview to take part in Taste of the Danforth. The street was mobbed with people trying to break the Guinness World Record for the number of Zorba dancers. We ate a grilled calamari sandwich there and walked to Pape for the subway home.
Our anniversary is next Saturday but since we’ll be in China, our annual dinner with two other couples, who share the anniversary date, was held tonight at Rod and Bessie Seyffert’s, with Frank and Patti-Anne in attendance. We drank Henry of Pelham Rosé Brut and Domaine Corne-Loup Tavel Rosé 2012 with appetizers in the garden and then to table for Tawse Quarry Road Riesling 2011 and Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir 2011 with grilled salmon, baked potatoes and grilled vegetables. Dessert: blueberry pie. Finished off with Scarpa di Poli Grappa and Tsilili Tsipouro of Thessaly. A laughter-filled evening.