Monday, July 11th: Wrote my Lexpert column about Vinexpo 1989. Then did some tasting:
- Spier Merlot 2014 (Stellenbosch): light ruby colour with a tawny hue; smoky, earthy, cherry nose; full-bodied, richly extracted plum flavour with lively acidity. (88)
- 16 Mile Cellar Rebel Pinot Noir 2011 (Niagara – $22.95): pale ruby in colour with an orange rim; raspberry nose with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, earthy, red berry flavours in Burgundian style, with a dry finish; the greenness on the end palate suggests young vines but the wine augurs well for future vintages. (88.5)
- Château des Charmes Cabernet Franc 2013 (Niagara – $14.95): solid ruby colour; leafy, minty, redcurrant nose with a cedary note; medium-bodied, dry, redcurrant and cranberry fleshed out with vanilla oak flavours. (87.5)
- Miguel Torres Las Mulas Reserva Merlot 2015 (Chile – $12.95): ruby-purple colour; cedary, spicy, blueberry nose with a pencil lead note; medium-bodied, dry, blackcurrant flavour, well-extracted fruit with nicely integrated oak and a dry, savoury finish. (88)
- E. & J. Gallo Ghost Pines Merlot 2013 (86% Sonoma/14% Napa – $18.95): deep purple-ruby colour; plum, black cherry and mocha chocolate on the nose; full-bodied, mouth-filling flavours of black plum and cherry with chocolate notes; grainy tannins on the finish. (88.5)
- Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011 (Tuscany – $47.95): mature ruby colour; spicy, cedary cherry bouquet with a note of tobacco and dried flowers; medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry with oak notes, savoury with a long dry finish. Old-style Chianti, beautifully balanced and a joy to drink. (91)
- Henry of Pelham Baco Noir Speck Family Reserve 2014 (Ontario – $24.95): deep purple colour; cedary, blackberry nose with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, creamy black berry and plum flavours with fresh acidity, well-balanced and lively on the palate with surprising elegance and length for a hybrid. Lovely mouth-feel. (89)
Tuesday, July 12th: Wrote my On the Go column and tasted a couple of Ontario wines:
- Jackson-Triggs Delaine Fumé Blanc 2012 ($24.95): straw-coloured with a spicy, grassy, lanolin and vanilla oak nose; very white Bordeaux in style – beautifully balanced and elegant, medium to full-bodied, peachy, grapefruit flavour with a spicy oak finish. Great length. (90)
- Inniskillin Chardonnay Montague Vineyard 2013 ($24.95): medium straw colour with a lime tint; minerally, apple, pear nose with well integrated oak; medium-bodied, pineapple and pear flavours with spicy, toasty oak on the finish. (89)
Wednesday, July, 13th: Lunched with Steve Pauwels to discuss next year’s wine tour. We are thinking of Veneto and Friuli. Happy to be going back to Verona, my favourite city. In the evening our friends Ladka, Jerry and Barb came over for drinks. I opened up two delicious sparkling wines: Bouvet Crémant de Loire Excellence Brut and Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut 2015. A huge storm at 1 am. Pinot is afraid of thunder and lightning. We put the thunder shirt on her to calm her but she was trembling all night and kept us up.
Thursday, July 14th: Walked around like a wet dish rag most of the day from lack of sleep. We were meant to go to the iYellow Summer Wine Jam at Airship 37 this evening but we were just too exhausted to make it.
Friday, July 15th: A Winerytohome tasting at Doug Towers’s, after which Judy prepared the annual dinner. Deborah joined us and we ate al fresco.