A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 530: Wine Writers at Play

Winewriters at Barberian’s

Monday, January 19: Spent much of the day inputting wine reviews and working on the wine list for a corporate event on Wednesday – another Executive Wine Experience seminar. In the evening Deborah and I took the TTC down to Barberian’s for the Wine Writers Circle annual Christmas dinner. Each of us – some 24 including spouses, partners, friends, etc. – was asked to bring a bottle. Here is a list of the wines that ended up on the table in the underground wine cellar (I brought the Two Sisters wines):

  • Dry Sack William and Humbert
  • Bottega Prosecco Vino dei Poeti (2 bottles)
  • Soalheiro Alvarinho 2011 (2 bottles)
  • Segura Viudas Brut Reserva
  • Hayman & Hill Reserve Selection Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2004
  • Two Sisters Winery Riesling 2013 VQA
  • Two Sisters Winery Cabernet franc 2010 VQA
  • Two Sisters Winery Merlot 2010 VQA
  • Two Sisters Winery Eleventh Post 2011 (Bordeaux blend) VQA
  • Punset Barbaresco 2008
  • Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
  • Domaine Raphael Chopin – La Ronze – Regnié 2009
  • Beaujolais Nouveau Chateau-Cambon 2014
  • Luis Canas Reserva 2009 Rioja
  • Vina Real Crianza 2010 Rioja
  • Molino di San Antimo Brunello di Montalcino 2007
  • Chenas 2013 Pascal Aufranc
  • A Geofroy Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy 2012
  • Stonefield’s Puligny Montrachet, 2005, Remoissenet et Fils
  • Quintarelli Rosso Ca’ del Merlo 2004
  • Megalomaniac Eccentric Savignin 2011
  • Chateau Villemaurine 1985 St. Emilion Magnum
  • Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2000 Magnum
  • Trius Red 2005
  • Trius Red 2007
  • Trius Red 2010
  • Lailey Chardonnay The Blend 2013 Wild ferment
  • Domaine Baud Pere & Fils Vin Jaune, 2005, Chateau Chalon AC
  • Paolo Bea Pagliaro Secco 2006, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
  • Vidal Icewine, 2006, Pillitteri
  • Merlot, 2013, Charles Shaw
  • Freisa de Langhe, 2012, G. Borgogno
  • Fikardos Marathefiko, 2008, Pafos, Cyprus
  • Sangue del Diavolo Raboso del Piave, 2010, Ca di Rajo
  • Chateauneuf Du Pape, 2010, Beaurenard
  • Barbarseco, 2008, Pusset
  • Morgon Cote du Py, 2012, A Auceur

So, a fine night was had by all.

Tuesday, January 20: Wrote my 680News wine reviews and then down to Houston’s for a lunch tasting of Errazuriz wines.

  • Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($15.95): straw colour; grassy, green bean nose with ripe grapefruit and lime flavours with a mineral-salty note and a cisp finish. (88+)
  • Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc Aconcagua Costa 2014 ($23.95): straw colour; grassy, minerally, green fig bouquet; medium-bodied, fresh, beautifully balanced and spicy with long, crisply dry finish. (90)
  • Errazuriz The Blend 2012 (50% Marsanne, 38% Roussanne, 12% Viognier): straw colouw; lifted, floral, honey nose with an aged Riesling (!) note. Soft on the palate, full-bodied with a crab apple flavour and a nutty finish. (89)
  • Errazuriz Pinot Noir Aconcagua Costa 2013 (wild years ferment – $24.95): deep ruby colour with an ose of black cherries, wood spice and vanilla oak; medium-bodied, with succulent black cherry fruit and a note of clove; dry fleshy but elegant with lively acidity and a firm tannic flourish on the end taste. (90)
  • Errazuriz Max Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($18.95): dense ruby-purple colour; cedar, blackcurrant and spicy oak on the nose; full-bodied, richly extracted black fruit flavours with tobacco and licorice notes. (89)
  • Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua Alto 2012 (with 15% Cabernet franc – $19.95): purple-black in colour with a nose of blackcurrants, cedar and pencil shavings; ripe fruit with an earthy note, well-structured and richly extracted with grainy tannins on the finish. Hold 2–3 years. Good value. (90)
  • Errazuriz Don Maximiano 2011 (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenère, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec – $89.00): dense purple colour with a nose of tobacco leaf, graphite, chocolate and vanilla oak. Full-bodied, richly extracted black fruit flavours, ripe tannins with a firm structure. (91)
  • Errazuriz KAI Carmenère 2012 (with 5% Petit Verdot, 22 months in French oak, 47% new – $160): dense purple-black colour; spicy, creamy, black cherry nose with pencil lead notes; great concentration of fruit with lively acidity. Lovely mouth-feel and beautifully balanced with a firm finish. Still very youthful. (91) I had this wine with chicken curry and it matched beautifully.
  • Viñedo Chadwick 2011 (100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the family’s former polo field – $249): dense purple-ruby colour with a nose of cedar, blackcurrant, vanilla oak with a creamy note. Elegant with a lovely mouth-feel, firmly structured, dry but succulent fruit, beautifully balanced with a firm finish. Needs time. (91–93)

Errazuriz tasting

For dinner with pasta, Boschendal Chardonnay 2013 (South Africa): deep straw colour with a buttery, ripe pear nose and a touch of oak; full-bodied, spicy flavours of peach, melon and green pineapple. (89)

Wednesday, January 21: Spent the morning printing off material for this evening’s Executive Wine Experience seminar for a large Toronto company.

Wine and Food pairings

Champagne Cattier Brut with Salmon Tartar Cup

Ghost Creek Riesling 2012 (Ontario) with Poached Cocktail Shrimp

Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Chile) with Grilled Asparagus

Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013 with Smoked Chicken

Remoissenet Clos Vougeot 2007 with Camembert Cheese

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 with Lamb Loin

Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier 2012 (Australia) with Manchego Cheese

Henry of Pelham Vidal Icewine 2013 with Apple Caramel Pie with maple sugar crust

Château des Charmes Cabernet Franc Icewine 2012 with Fruit Tart

Executive Wine Experience dry wines

Thursday, January 22: Recorded my 680News wine reviews and then to my doctor to have the first of three Hepatitis A and B shots. These are for our trip to Guatemala on February 4th to attend the opening of a school that Grapes for Humanity funded. Apparently Deborah and I need three shots, next one in a month and a third after six months – at $75 a shot! But they say it’s good for life.

Wrote my Quench commentary and then got down to some tasting.

  • KWV Chenin Blanc Contemporary Collection 2014 (South Africa – $7.45 till Feb. 1 then $9.45): pale straw colour; minerally pear nose; mouth-filling sweet pear and apple flavours, soft on the palate with enough acidity to give it structure. Good value even at the higher price. (87)
  • Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (South Africa – $11.95): light straw colour; grassy, asparagus and kiwi nose; dry, medium-bodied, green pepper, gooseberry and grapefruit flavours. Good varietal character. (88)
  • Clos du Bois North Coast Chardonnay 2013 (California): straw colour; spicy melon with toasty oak on the nose; full-bodied, rich and full on the palate, spicy with tangerine and sweet melon flavours; good length. (89)
  • Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013 (Carignan, Grenache, Syrah; Languedoc): dense ruby-purple colour; herbal, blackberry with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, spicy, black raspberry flavour with lively acidity and a savoury finish. (89)
  • Cape Heights Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (South Africa – $11.95): solid ruby colour; cherry jam with a cedary note on the nose; medium-bodied, smoky, sour cherry flavour with a tarry nuance and fresh acidity. (86+)
  • Durbanville Hills Shiraz 2012 (South Africa – $11.95): deep ruby-purple colour; cedar, spicy, red berry nose; medium-bodied, mint and clove flavours (oak masking fruit flavours). (86)
  • Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz 2013 (Western Cape – $11.95): deep ruby colour; earthy, smoky, cherry pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, smoky-fruity, savoury black cherry flavour with a blunt tannic finish. (86)
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2013 (Swartland – $14.95): dense ruby-purple colour; cedary, herb-tinged blackberry nose; full-bodied, richly extracted, blackberry and bitter chocolate flavours; nicely balanced with affirm tannic finish. Good value. (88+)
  • Café Culture Coffee Mocha Pinotage 2014 (Western Cape – $12.95): deep ruby-purple colour; smoked bacon with a tarry note on the nose; sweetish, juicy red berry, coffee bean and chocolate flavours with a clovey finish. Easy drinking. (87)
  • Thelema Mountain Red 2012 (Western Cape; 37% Shiraz, 25% Petit Verdot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Grenache, 1% Cabernet Franc – $12.95): deep ruby colour; cedar, tobacco leaf, red berry with some vanilla oak on the nose; medium-bodied, well extracted fruit, nicely balanced with a firm finish. Good value. (88)
  • Clos du Bois Merlot North Coast 2012 (California – $16.95): deep ruby colour; vanilla oak, cedar, blueberry nose; medium-bodied, sweet fruit, creamy on the palate with balancing acidity and pliant tannins. Easy drinking. (87)
  • Ravenswood Vintners’ Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (California – $17.95): deep ruby colour; cedar, red and blackcurrant bouquet; medium- to full-bodied, dry, spicy red berry flavour with licorice notes and a firm finish of tannin. (87)

Friday, January 23: A Vintages’ release tasting today, some 120 wines. Tasted about half of them. For dinner, chicken with Frescobaldi Luce della Vita 2007.

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