A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 501: Wearing a Halo

Monday, June 23: A meeting with a financial company to discuss the client appreciation wine and food event in September. Worked on my proposal for a history of the Canadian wine industry to be published in 2017, the 150th anniversary of confederation. Went to Rogers Centre with my friend Frank Daley to see the Jays thump the Yankees – always an uplifting experience.

Tuesday, June 24: A make-up tasting at Vintages (this means I missed a Friday tasting for the wine press and had to bunk in with the LCBO wine consultants at their tasting).

Wednesday, June 25: Wrote my Wines of the Week column and worked on the wine industry book proposal before settling down for some tasting:

  • Summer Shack Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Australia): light straw colour; grassy, green pear nose; sweetish pear flavour with an acidic tang on the finish. (86)
  • Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (South Africa): pale straw colour; grassy, vegetal nose; soft on the palate, well balanced grapefruit and yellow gooseberry flavours. (86+)
  • Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Okanagan Valley): light straw colour; grapefruit, green plum nose; dry, medium-bodied, fresh with some weight on the palate, touch of sweetness in mind palate. (87)
  • Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough): very pale colour; cut grass, green pepper nose; elderberry and gooseberry flavour; soft on the palate and easy drinking, fresh and juicy on the finish. (87)
  • Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris 2012 (Okanagan Valley): straw colour with just a hint of pink; peach pit nose with a hint of white flowers; white peach flavour, dry and mouth-filling, finishing on a minerally note. (87+)
  • Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé 2013 (Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario): deep pink colour; candied raspberry nose; a touch of sweetness here, medium-bodied, fruity, raspberry and watermelon flavours. Easy drinking. (87)
  • Wakefield Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (South Australia): deep ruby-purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose; dry, savoury black and redcurrant flavours, medium-bodied with ripe tannins with just a suggestion of oak.
  • Concha Y Toro Winemaker’s Lot Carmenère 2012 (Chile): dense purple colour; cedar, chocolate, black fruits on the nose; richly extracted, dry with ripe and palate-caressing tannins; coffee bean and blackcurrant flavours; good length. (90)

Thursday, June 26: Spent the morning inputting wine reviews into my website, a thankless but necessary chore. In the afternoon, a meeting with Joel Rose, a fellow director of Grapes for Humanity, to hear a presentation by Sara Rose-Carswell, Government Relations Manager for HALO USA in Washington. They are looking for funding to remove landmines from the West Bank (laid by Jordan at the outbreak of the 1967 war). We will bring this proposal to the board as a whole. Then down to Grano to taste a series of Sicilian wines for an event in Toronto in November:

  • Possente Grillo Terre Siciliane 2013: straw colour; minerally, peach pit nose; dry, peach with lemony flavour with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (86)
  • BioViola Yule Catarratto 2013: straw colour; aromatic, floral orange, reminiscent of Viognier or Moscofilero, soft mouth feel with refreshing acidity. (87+)
  • Antanello Cassara Zibi (NV) (Zibibbo grape): straw with a greenish tint; Muscat-like nose of orange blossom; dry, Torrontes-like, lovely mouth feel, tangerine acidity. (89)
  • BioViola Merlot 2013: deep purple-ruby colour; plummy, vanilla oak nose with balsamic nose; dry, black cherry flavour, dirty barrel note. (85)
  • Possente Nero d’Avola 2013: deep ruby-purple colour; cedar, chestnut, black fruits; dry, firmly structured, evident oak, black plum. (87)
  • Antanello Cassara Shiraz (NV): dense purple colour; ripe black cherry and tar; dry and firm, a touch of cork flattens the flavours.

The condo had a BBQ for the residents this evening. I’d been saving wines under gas from tastings at home and was able to supply a couple of cases for the event. At the raffle in aid of cancer research we won a $50 certificate at the local dry cleaner’s. Came home with a sore throat which, for me, is a prelude to a cold.

Saturday, June 28: Sure enough the cold developed into real stinker – headache, hacking coughing, fever, aching back. Spent the day prone on the sofa, watching the Blue Jays lose to Chicago and starting to write a short story that’s been on my mind for some time.


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