A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 460: Magnum Opus

Raúl Pérez Ultreia 2009
Raúl Pérez Ultreia 2009

Monday, September 2: Wrote my 680News wine reviews. Began to put together the wines for a tasting in Montreal on November 1st for the International Wine Clubs Association. Finished the novel I’ve been reading, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. Great read.

Tuesday, September 3: Recorded my 680News reviews. On the way back home I passed a store on Bloor that was advertising free massages as their opening offer. Couldn’t resist. Felt better. Wrote my Tidings commentary about wines in China. Tidings is going to change its name to Quench. Don’t know how I feel about that.

Dinner at Rose & Sons on Dupont. Sat outside and enjoyed a communal meal. I brought along a bottle of Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2001. It went beautifully with my baby back ribs. Came away with my clothes smelling of wood smoke.

Wednesday, September 4: A meeting with David Rose and Sandy Kurbis at Forefront Communications to discuss plans for the 20th anniversary of the Ontario Wine Awards in April, 2014. Dinner at Opus on Prince Arthur. Tony Amaro told me he has just won his twelfth Grand Award from the Wine Spectator for his wine list. It is now the largest in the city with 52,000 bottles. The list is as thick as the Mississauga phone directory – 96 pages (www.opusrestaurant.com/pdf/opus_winelist.pdf). Deborah and I started with a glass of Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti. I started with a Lobster ceviche and a glass of Psacal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2009. I asked Tony for a recommendation for my filet steak with foie gras and he suggested Raul Perez Ultreia 2009 from Bierzo (100% Mencia). A stunning wine. I’ve always wanted to order a magnum at Opus so I could say, Magnum Opus.

Opus's framed Wine Spectator Grand Awards
Opus’s framed Wine Spectator Grand Awards

Thursday, September 5: A winerytohome.com tasting at Doug Towers with David Lawrason. In the evening, down to the Shangi-La Hotel for Toronto Life party – lots of fashion designers and models and guys wearing way-out clothes.

Friday, September 6: Deborah has her book club weekend with the ladies up in the Muskokas, so I am a weekend bachelor. A Vintages release tasting today.

Saturday, September 7: A miserable rainy Saturday. Pinot was unhappy to be dragged out into the wet, all the more since I had put on her blue raincoat, which she hates. Watched Boston beat up on the Yankees and then did a bit of tasting.

  • Lakeview Cellars Syrah Rosé 2012 (Ontario – $16.95): pale ruby colour; minty, cherry nose; medium-bodied, unctuous mouth-feel, dry strawberry flavour with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (86)
  • Diamond The Winery Daredevil Cabernet 2011 (Ontario – $14.95) (48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot): ruby colour; cedary, cherry nose; medium-bodied, touch of sweetness in mid palate but finishing dry and firm. (86)
  • Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Cabernet/Shiraz 2011 (Ontario – $14.95): ruby colour; spicy, peppery, bitter chocolate nose; dry and spicy on the palate, light on the palate but flavourful with good acidity. (86+)
  • Da Sousa Wine Cellars Seasons Meritage Reserve 2011 (Ontario – $14.95): ruby with a violet hue at the rim; cedary, blackcurrant nose, petit château-like bouquet; dry with a pretty floral note, red and blackcurrant flavours; nicely balanced. Good value. (87+)
  • Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2010 (BC – $29.99): ruby colour with a mature rim; blueberry and chocolate on the nose; medium- to full-bodied, well-extracted fruit, firmly structured with chewy tannins. (88+)
  • Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2 Bench Red 2010 (BC – $29.99) (41% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot): ruby colour; cedary, pencil lead nose of blackcurrants and oak; dry and savoury, red berry and plum flavours with firm, gripping tannins. Needs time. (88 – 89)
  • Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Syrah 2010 (BC – $34.99): deep ruby colour; spicy, peppery nose with notes of pencil shavings; mouth-filling blackberry flavour with a floral note; lively acidity and well integrated oak. (89)

Then cooked myself a steak, poured more Tinhorn Creek Syrah and watched the Jays beat up on Minnesota. Why do they always win when it’s too late to matter!

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