A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 605: Men in Pink

Men in Pink

Monday, July 4th: Wrote my 680 NEWS wine reviews and my Post City magazines column. Then got down to some tasting:

  • Watercloof Circle of Life 2012 (Stellenbosch, $19.95): A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Semillon. Straw colour with a greenish tint; concentrated nose of mango and pineapple; medium-bodied, dry, grapefruit and peach flavours with a grassy note with mouth-watering acidity; well-balanced. (89.5)
  • Alamos Mendoza Selección Malbec 2013 (Argentina – $16.95): Deep purple colour; cedary, spicy, smoky nose of blackberries; full-bodied, mouth-filling flavours of sweet plums and blackberries with a soft tannic finish. (88.5)
  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo 2013 (Chile – $18.95. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Syrah and Cabernet Franc): Dense purple colour; smoky, cedary, black fruit nose; medium-bodied, dry, and savoury flavours of blackcurrant and blackberry with a lovely mouth-feel and a coffee bean note on the finish.(89)

For dinner, pasta with Frattoria di Piazzano Blend 2 2013: a blend of equal parts Colornino, Sangiovese and Malvasia Nero. Dense ruby-purple colour; cedary, plum and cherry nose; light to medium-bodied, high-toned, sour cherry and plum flavours. (87)

Tuesday, July 5th: Recorded my 680 NEWS reviews. Ann Sperling and Pete Gamble came to the condo for a tasting of their wines (Versado, Southbrook and Sperling Vineyards). We were joined for dinner by Michael Vaughan and Rosie.

Southbrook Moon Harvest Barrel Chardonnay 2013

  • Sperling Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 (Okanagan – $30): pale straw with a lime tint; spicy pear nose with a light floral note on the nose; medium-bodied, fresh, apple pear and lemon flavours, lovely mouth-feel and a lively citrus acidic finish. Great length. (91)
  • Sperling Vineyards Vin Gris of Pinot Noir 2014 ($30): pink-gold colour; wild strawberry nose with a light oak note; full-bodied, wild strawberry and peach flavours carried on lively acidity; full on the palate, fleshy and well-balanced with a mineral thread. (89)
  • Sperling Vineyards Brut Reserve 2010 (70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay – $50): white gold colour; high-toned, apple and toast on the nose with a chalky-mineral note; lemony, green apple, fresh, lemony, minerally flavour with great length. A touch rustic and yeasty but absolutely delicious. (91)
  • Southbrook Moon Harvest Barrel Chardonnay 2013 (Four Mile Creek – $40): old gold colour; caramel, baked apple nose with a spicy oak note; richly extracted, full in the mouth, spicy, peach and apple flavour augmented by oak; fleshy but well balanced with a long, fresh finish. Great length. (92)
  • Southbrook Moon Harvest Barrel Cabernet Franc 2013 (7% Cabernet Sauvignon: Four Mile Creek – $40): deep-ruby-plum colour; cedary, spicy, minty, redcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, Bourgueil-style, fresh red and blackcurrant flavours, beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak. (90)
  • Southbrook Witness Block Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2013 (51% CS/49% CF – $40): deep ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant with a spicy, coffee bean nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted currant flavour; firmly structured and well balanced. (89.5)
  • Versado Malbec 2013 (Argentina – $25.95): deep ruby colour; floral, spicy, blackberry and blackcurrant nose with cedary and vanilla oak notes; full-bodied, roasted note, fleshy black fruit flavours with a savoury , licorice note. (91)
  • Versado Old Vine Malbec 2012 ($40): dense ruby colour; cedar, minerally, black plum nose; richly extracted, savoury black fruit flavours, beautifully balanced, firmly structured, rich and full on the palate, ripe tannins, with coffee bean and plum flavours. More Cahors in style than Argentina. (92)
  • Versado Reserva Malbec 2012 ($60): dense ruby colour; spicy, floral, blackberry nose with vanilla and cedar notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, ripe blackberry and blackcurrant flavours with a mineral thread and a lively spine of acidity; silky mouth-feel finishing firmly with a chocolate note. (93)
  • Sperling Vineyards Gewurztraminer Icewine 2014: ($50, 375 mL): Old gold colour; spicy, peach and honey nose; full-bodied, rich and sweet, well balanced flavours of tropical fruit, barley sugar and cinnamon. (92)

Versado Reserva Malbec 2012, Versado Old Vine Malbec 2012, Versado Malbec 2013

Wednesday, July 6th: Today is the annual Men in Pink event at Allen’s restaurant on the Danforth. This is the 8th year and John Maxwell must have a direct line to God because the weather for the event has been phenomenal apart for one year when it had to be held indoors. Ontario winemakers bring their rosés and the all-male attendees have to come dressed in pink. John’s chef prepared an all-pink meal: Buttermilk beet and radish soup, barbecued smoked salmon, barbecued steak (served pink) and strawberry panacotta with fresh strawberries and orange sauce for dessert. Always a fun occasion.

Pink soup

Billy Munnelly and John Maxwell in the pink

Thursday, July 7th: Gurth Pretty came to the condo for a meeting to discuss a wine and cheese concept. For dinner, flank steak with Fisticuffs Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Napa Valley – $49.95): Dense purple colour; minty blackcurrant nose with a note of leather; richly extracted fruit with vanilla oak; full-bodied with a chunky mouth-feel; ripe plum flavour with soft tannins. (89)

Friday, July 8th: A Vintages release tasting, after which Michael and I joined Rosie at the outdoor art gallery in Nathan Philips Square. I bought a metal sculpture – a carved handsaw. Brought it home. Deborah was not impressed. She said I shouldn’t be buying art after a big tasting. Maybe she’s got a point.

The controversial saw


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