A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 561: Home for a Week


J-C Roy’s painting hung in our living room

Monday, August 31st: Wrote my monthly Quench “Aftertaste” column about tomato wine. For dinner with steak stir-fry, Black Hills Nota Bene 2012 from the southern Okanagan (49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc – deep ruby colour with a nose of tobacco, cedar, vanilla oak, cherry and currants with a floral note; full-bodied, dry, savoury with black fruits and licorice flavours. (92))

Tuesday, September 1st: Hung the painting we purchased in Baie-Saint-Paul in the living-room. It looks stunning. Wrote an email to the artist Jean-Claude Roy telling him about the amazing coincidence of finding one of his works on the wall of J-F Bergeron’s house in Stoneham, whom we were staying with on our trip to the Charlevoix Flavour Trail. Wrote my 680 NEWS wine reviews.

Wednesday, September 2nd: Recorded the 680 NEWS wine reviews at the Rogers building on Bloor and Church. Went to the bank to transfer funds to HALO’s head office in New York. Grapes for Humanity has donated $30,315 US to help clear a minefield in the West Bank. Shocked to see it was $40,549 in Canadian funds. Had to regain my composure by tasting the following wines:

  • Lindeman’s Bin 65Chardonnay 2014 (Southeastern Australia – $10.95): pale straw colour; minerally, apple and citrus nose; dry, apple, citrus and green pineapple flavours. (Good value) (86+)
  • Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône 2013 (Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette – $12.95): straw colour; peach pit and citrus nose; dry, medium to full-bodied, white peach and lemon flavours with a touch of browning apple on the finish. Good value. (86+)
  • Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2 Bench White 2014 (30% Semillon, 25% Chardonnay, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Viognier, 10% Muscat – $19.99): pale straw colour; minerally nose of pear with an aromatic note; dry, pear and citrus with a touch of spice. (88)
  • Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 (Niagara Peninsula – $30): pale straw colour; minerally, smoky, undergrowth nose; dry, full-bodied, Burgundian style; richly extracted full in the mouth, beautifully balanced with good length. (90)
  • Chateau des Charmes Gamay Noir “Droit” 2012 (St. David’s Bench, Niagara – $16.95): ruby colour; earthy, cherry and plum bouquet; richly extracted, sweet fruit, firmly structured with a black cherry flavour and a peppery note. (89)
  • Ara Pathway Pinot Noir 2013 (Marlborough, New Zealand – $16.95): ruby colour with a brick rim; cherry pit nose with a touch of oak; dry, cranberry and cherry flavours, soft mouth-feel with lively acidity. (87+)
  • King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir 2013 (Oregon – $24.95): ruby colour; candied raspberry nose with a tobacco leaf note; well extracted, cherry flavour, good texture. Moderate length. (88+)
  • Seven Falls Cellars Merlot Wahluke Slope 2012 (Washington): deep ruby colour; cedary, blueberry nose with evident oak; full-bodied, ripe plum and vanilla oak flavours; chunky mouth-feel, sweetish but finishes dry. (88+)
  • Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (20% Merlot; Columbia Valley, Washington – $18.95): deep ruby colour; earthy, spicy cherry nose with an oak note; dry, mouth-filling cherry and currant flavours; full-bodied and round on the palate with supple tannins. (88)
  • Canoe Ridge Vineyard The Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 7% Syrah; Horse Heaven Hills, Washington – $24.95) deep ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, sweet fruit with ripe tannins; lovely mouth-feel with a coffee bean note on the finish. (90)
  • Pendulum Red 2011 (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 4% Syrah, 3% Tempranillo; Columbia Valley, Washington): deep ruby colour; cedar, milk chocolate, cherry bouquet; dry, full-bodied, firmly structured with ripe tannins. (89)

Thursday, September 3rd: A Winetohome tasting at Doug Towers’s house with David Lawrason.

Friday, September 4th: A Vintages release tasting for September 19th. One hundred and forty-five wines. Shared the duty with Zoltan Szabo. Came home to watch the Jays get thrashed by the Orioles (which always puts me in a bad mood). Began packing for Verona for a wine bloggers’ conference on Valpolicella and Amarone. I leave tomorrow night.

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