A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 608: Dandylion Dinner

Dandylion’s berry dessert

Monday, July 25th: Spent the morning writing up my 680 NEWS wine reviews. Pinot had a 3 pm appointment with the vet to take care of a ruptured cyst. Not a pretty sight. She has to wear a collar (rather than the “Cone of Shame” lampshade) to stop her licking the wound. Had to duct tape the pad covering it. In the late afternoon got down to some tasting.

  • Henry of Pelham Riesling 2015 (Niagara Peninsula – $14.95): pale straw colour; minerally, lime and grapefruit nose with floral and honey notes; light-bodied, off-dry, grapefruit and honey flavours; well-balanced with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (88)
  • Les Jumelles Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Pays d’Oc – $13.95; LCBO Sept.): very pale colour; spicy, grassy, green plum and spearmint nose; light-bodied, crisply dry, gooseberry and green plum flavours. Good value. (87.5)
  • Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (California – $19.95; LCBO Sept.): very pale colour; grassy, kiwi nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, with well-extracted elderberry and green fig flavours; full in the mouth. (88)
  • Columbia Crest Chardonnay 2013 (Washington): deep straw colour; spicy, oaky, apple nose already showing traces of undergrowth; full-bodied, dry, pineapple and candy apple flavours with toasty-vanilla oak notes. Good length. (88.5)
  • La Cadierenne Grand Tradition Bandol Rosé 2015 (Provence – $20.95): Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvédre blend; very pale pink in colour; red licorice and red plum nose backed by wood spice; full-bodied, dry, mouth-filling and unctuous on the palate, cherry and plum flavours. (88)
  • Château Teyssier Montagne Saint-Emilion 2012 ($24.95): dense ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose and licorice nose with a floral note; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, redcurrant and cranberry flavours with ripe, grainy tannins. Lively acidity on the finish. (88.5)
  • Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot 2010 (Short Hills Bench, Ontario – $39.95): deep ruby colour with a mature rim; cedary, blackcurrant nose with well-integrated oak and a floral grace note; medium-bodied, dry, claret-style; elegant and well –balanced. (90)
  • Chapoutier Marius Grenache Syrah 2015 (Rhône – $12.95): deep ruby colour; savoury-herbal blackberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, blackberry flavour with well-integrated oak finishing with soft, grainy tannins. Good value. (88.5)
  • Château Rigaud 2012 (Faugères – $16.95): Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache – deep ruby colour; spicy, cedary nose of black fruits with pencil lead and herbal notes; medium-bodied, dry, inky, black raspberry flavour with firm tannins. (88)
  • Les Vignerons du Castelas Côtes du Rhône Villages Vieilles Vignes 2013 (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan; $17.95): deep ruby colour; savoury nose of black raspberry, oak with a herbal-floral note; medium-bodied, lean and sinewy with expressive mid-palate fruit and lively acidity. (89)
  • Torres Cos Perpetual 2013 (Priorat – Garnacha and Cariñena 80 – 100 years old): dense purple colour; creamy blackberry nose with vanilla oak; full-bodied, rich plum and raisin flavours with balancing acidity; firmly structured and lingering with a coffee bean note on the finish. Chunky mouth-feel. (90)

For dinner, chicken stir-fry with a bottle of Marimar Estate Acero Chardonnay Don Miguel Vineyard 2014 (Russian River, $34.95): straw colour; earthy-leafy, undergrowth nose of tropical fruit; full-bodied, sweetish ripe pineapple and green nut flavours, Great length and lovely mouth-feel. (90)

Tuesday, July 26th: Recorded my 680 NEWS wine reviews and then down to the LCBO for a tasting that I missed on Friday, as I was at I4C in Niagara. In the evening Pete, my techy friend, came over to set up my new Dell XPS 13. With a hamburger dinner opened a bottle of Tini Romagna Sangiovese 2014 (Emilia-Romagna: $7.75): medium ruby colour; sweet cherry nose with a dusty note; medium to light-bodied, dry and savoury; sour cherry and plum flavours with lively acidity. (87)

Wednesday, July 27th: Spent the day working on the novel and then met up with the four guys for our annual dinner. We met at Dandylion at 1198 Queen West, a 30-seat vegetable-centric restaurant. We ordered every dish on the menu and the chef Jay Carter prepared plates for us. We started with Raveneau Chablis Blanchot 2002 followed by Domaine Robert Arnoux Échezeaux 2001, Château Beychevelle 2004, Quinta do Vale Meāo 2004 (which I brought) and with dessert, Château Suduiraut 2011. An amazing meal.

Domaine Robert Arnoux Échezeaux 2001 and Château Beychevelle 2004

Quinta do Vale Meão 2004

Château Suduiraut 2011

Thursday, July 28th: I wanted to download Spider Solitaire from the internet on my new computer. Suddenly a screen came up with a virus warning and a loud siren sound. The message said I had a virus and gave me a 1-866 number to call. I was not to shut the computer down otherwise I would lose files. My computer had been held for ransom. Even when I did close down the computer to stop the annoying siren it started up a again when I rebooted. I called my webmaster James, who talked me through how to get rid of it. Subsequently, when I told the story on Facebook, a pal Jamie sent me a website on how to deal with the problem (if it happens to you, Google Remove Ransomware).

Mightily relieved, I got down to some tasting:

  • Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Western Cape, South Africa – $9.95): very pale, almost water white in colour; grassy, gooseberry nose; medium-bodied, sweetish gooseberry and grapefruit flavours. Easy drinking with a touch of bitterness on the finish and good value. (87.5)
  • Two Oceans Moscato 2015 (Western Cape, South Africa – $8.95 until August 14 then $9.95): pale straw colour; aromatic, oily, orange blossom nose; light-bodied, sweet and grapey. Like biting into a Muscat grape. A touch of bitterness on the finish. (86)
  • Tinhorn Creek 2 Bench White 2015 (Okanagan – 29% Chardonnay, 27% Sauvignon Blanc, 26% Viognier, 12% Semillon, 5% Muscat): Pale straw colour with a lime tint; rhubarb and peach aromas with a light floral note; the nose belies the palate which is richly extracted and full in the mouth with off-dry flavours of peach and sweet apple. (88.5)
  • Tinhorn Creek Merlot 2014 (Okanagan): deep ruby colour; cedary, blueberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted sweet blueberry and chocolate flavours with well-integrated oak, finishing on a licorice note with ripe tannins. (89)
  • Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc 2013 (Okanagan): ruby colour with a tawny hue; raspberry and cranberry nose; light to medium-bodied, cedary, red berry flavours, somewhat lean with gripping tannins on the finish. (87)
  • Tinhorn Creek Syrah 2013 (Okanagan): deep ruby colour; earthy, cherry with spicy oak and a light floral bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, savoury-herbal flavour of blackberries and cherries. Lively acidity on the finish. (89)
  • Columbia Crest Merlot 2013 (Washington – $17.95): deep ruby colour; cedary, smoky plum nose; medium to full-bodied, sweet blackberry and mocha flavours with smoky-tarry notes and a suggestion of tannin on the finish. (88)
  • Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Washington – $17.95): deep ruby colour; cedary, peppery, black fruits on the nose; full-bodied, richly extracted, plum and currant flavours with mocha chocolate notes, creamy mouth-feel, well-balanced and easy drinking. (89)
  • Quinta de Curvos Prova Cega 2013 (Douro – $13.95): A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Sousāo. Dense ruby colour; spicy blackberry, licorice nose with a note of baked plums; full-bodied, richly extracted, sweet plum and blackberry flavours with grainy tannins. Good value. (88.5)

Friday, July 29th: A meeting at Oakdale Golf Club, where I’m conducting a dinner tasting for club members on August 24th. For dinner with brisket, Best’s Great Western Shiraz Bin No. 1 2013 (Victoria, Australia): Deep purple colour; herbal blackberry nose with an earthy, oaky note; full-bodied, dry, savoury, blackberry flavour with bitter chocolate notes. More Northern Rhône in style than your typical Aussie Shiraz. (88.5)


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