A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 549: Men in Pink

Men in pink at lunch

Monday, June 15th: My email hacked. Somebody sent around an email signed Aspler saying I was in London and stranded without a passport. Please send 1200 pounds. I posted the fact on Facebook and on my answering service but people still called – from London and Shanghai – asking if I was OK. I told them I was but they could still send the money. Wrote my 680News wine reviews and then to dinner at Campognolo on Dundas Street West for a tasting of wines from Foss Marai in Valdobbiadene. For their proseccos they use a different yeast for Brut and Extra Brut.

  • Foss Marai Extra Dry (blue bottle): very crisp for an Extra Dry; floral nose with a lemony finish. (87+)
  • Foss Marai Prosecco DOCG: driest prosecco I’ve tasted; floral nose, delicate, apple-pear flavours with a mineral note. (89)
  • Foss Marai Roos (Rosé): Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero di Troia: dry wild strawberry flavour, firmly structured with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (88)
  • Foss Marai Niró 2010 (100% Aglianico): deep ruby colour; floral, licorice, cedar nose; fruity, dry, blackberry flavour with a tannic lift on the finish. (88)
  • Foss Marai Fumac Rosso Tranquillo 2010: (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero di Troia) deep ruby colour; high toned, spicy, black fruit nose; on the palate, redcurrant and cranberry flavours with lively acidity. (87)

Foss Marai Niro 2010

Tuesday, June 16th: A meeting with the owners of Hola Café on Queen East to discuss a wine tasting for their clientele. Then over to Allen’s on the Danforth for John Maxwell’s annual “Men in Pink” lunch. Perfect weather for an outdoor lunch in the garden with Ontario producers bringing their rosés and all the men wearing something pink. 28 of us at a long table. Great menu: Buttermilk and roasted beet soup, barbecued chilli-rubbed shrimp, beef tenderloin, zabaglione with Cattail Creek Late Harvest Vidal 2006.

Beet soup in keeping with the theme

Ken in the pink

For dinner, with barbecued ribs, Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from Argentina: ruby colour; cedar, red berry nose; medium-bodied, dry, redcurrant and cranberry flavours with lively acidity and supple tannins. (87+)

Wednesday, June 17th: Wrote my Quench column for October on Avondale Sky winery in Nova Scotia and Tidal Bay wines. Then got down to some tasting.

  • Château Saint-Pierre Tradition 2013 (Côtes de Provence): pale straw with a green tint; minerally, citrus nose; dry, mouth-filling Asian pear flavour; full on the palate with a touch of sweetness in mid palate. (86+)
  • Domaine Bouisse-Matteri Cuvée du Paradis 2013 (Côtes de Provence): pale straw colour; crushed stones, lemon and lemon blossom on the nose; dry, full-bodied, unctuous on the palate at first before the acidity kicks in; apple and lemon flavours. (86+)
  • Daniel Pollier Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes 2013 (Burgundy): pale straw with a green tint: minerally, apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple and green pineapple flavours with good sustaining acidity and a sultana note on the finish. (88)
  • Quinta do Cabeço Oboé Douro Branco Reserva 2012 (Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, Vosinho): light straw colour with a greenish tint; earthy, citrus nose; dry, full-bodied, aromatic, nectarine and citrus flavours. (88)
  • Kellermeister Barossa Chardonnay 2011 ($15.20): pale straw with a lime tint; minerally, apple nose; dry, medium-bodied, apple and lemon flavours; a touch hard on the finish.(86+)
  • Blossom Hill Crisp & Fruity White (California – $10.80): very pale colour; minerally-citrus nose; soft on the palate, sweetish, pear and citrus flavours. (86)
  • Château Saint-Pierre Tradition Rosé 2014 (Côtes de Provence): very pale, flesh colour; minerally, watermelon, nose; dry, raspberry flavour with prolonging acidity. (87+)
  • Blossom Hill Soft & Fruity Red (California – $10.80): ruby colour with violet tints; woodsy, red berry nose; off-dry, soft on the palate, raspberry flavour with just a suggestion of tannin to give the structure and enough acidity to give the wine a fresh finish. Inoffensive and quaffable. (86)
  • Ruffino Modus 2011 (Tuscany – $29.95): deep ruby colour; roasted, meaty nose, charcoal notes; dry, full-bodied, cherry and plum and dark chocolate flavours with lively acidity and a tannic lift on the finish. (89)
  • Luis Canas Crianza Rioja 2011 (Tempranillo with 5% Garnacha – $17.95): purple-ruby colour; sandalwood and strawberry nose with wood spice; rich and full on the palate, dry, savoury-herbal flavour with soft tannins. (88)
  • Chateau Saint Pierre Tradition 2011 (Côtes de Provence): ruby colour; rustic, forest floor nose; dry, raspberry flavour backed by a strong spine of acidity and light tannins on the finish. (87+)
  • Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel 2013 (Sonoma Heritage Vines – $19.95): deep ruby colour; a nose of black fruits; mouth-filling sweet black plum and blackberry flavours, full-bodied, fruity and firm. (88)
  • Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Sonoma – $26.95) deep ruby colour; cedar, blackcurrant with a floral top note; full-bodied, well-extracted sweet fruit, jammy in mid-palate with enough tannin and acidity to give structure. (88)
  • Kellermeister The Funk Wagon GSM Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2011 (Barossa Valley – $16.30): deep ruby colour; peppery, black raspberry nose with vanilla oak notes; full-bodied, sweet black fruits, chunky on the palate. Moderate length. (87+)

For dinner, salmon in a spicy sauce with Haycutters Shingleback Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014: pale straw colour with a lime tint; medium-bodied, dry, green plum flavour with good mid-palate fruit. (87)

Thursday, June 18th: Spent the day inputting wine reviews for the Vintages release on Saturday. For dinner with grilled sausages, Alamos Malbec 2013: deep ruby colour; floral blackberry nose with a savoury note; medium-bodied, dry, soft mouth-feel. (88)

Friday, June 19th: Deborah left for Vancouver at 6 am. She’s visiting our grandchild, Declan, who is now 15 months old. Today I had a Vintages tasting of Vintages Essentials. Watched the ball game. The Jays beat Baltimore in a wild ride.

Polished off a bottle of Culmina Hypothesis 2012 (57% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Franc) from BC: deep purple-ruby color with a complex nose of blackcurrant and blueberry, vanilla oak, cedar, tobacco and pencil lead; full-bodied, dry with a lovely floral note and lively acidity; corseted with tannins at the moment. Needs 2–3 years. (91–92)

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