Monday, August 29th: Spent the morning writing wine reviews for Quench magazine and the afternoon inputting Vintages release wine reviews. Then got down to some tasting.
- Mission Hill 5 Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $13.99): Light straw colour; spicy, white peach nose; medium-bodied, dry, white peach and pear flavours; nicely balanced and fresh. (88)
- Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2014 (Okanagan Valley – $20.49): light straw colour; apple with spicy oak on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple and pineapple flavour with lemony acidity, carefully oaked and well-balanced. Rich apple, pear and clove flavours with good length. (89)
- Mission Hill Southern Cross Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $34.50): light straw colour; white Bordeaux style; green plum, lanolin with vanilla oak; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced, herbaceous, green plum flavours with good length. (89)
- Kabang Gewurztraminer 2013 (Niagara – $17.95): straw colour; spicy, aromatic, lychee and rose bud nose; medium-bodied, dry, with unctuous flavours of lychee and rosewater with a ginger note. Good length. (88)
- San Pedro Gato Nero 9 Lives Red Blend 2015 (Chile – $11.95): purple-ruby colour; earthy, green herbs and plum nose; medium-bodied, fruity, blackcurrant and plum flavours with a touch of sweetness and soft tannins. (86.5)
- Waterkloof Syrah 2012 (Stellenbosch – $22.95): dense purple colour; spicy, black olive and blackberry nose with a herbal note; medium to full-bodied, dry and savoury black fruit flavours. Very stylish, reminiscent of a Côte Rôtie with great length, supple tannins and a lovely mouth feel. (92.5)
- Mission Hill Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $16.95): deep ruby-purple colour; cedary, plum and blueberry with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, savoury plum and blueberry flavours, firmly structured with lively acidity. (87.5)
- Mission Hill Whispering Hill Organic Merlot 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $62): deep ruby-purple colour; savoury-cedary nose of blueberries and plums with a vanilla oak note; full-bodied, dry, dark chocolate and blueberry flavour with lively acidity and supple tannins. (89.5)
- Mission Hill Crosswinds Syrah 2012 (Okanagan Valley – $69): deep purple-ruby; spicy, cedar and blackberry nose with a pencil lead note; medium to full-bodied, dry, firmly structured with a banana skin note. (88)
- Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (Paso Robles – $19.95): deep ruby-purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with vanilla oak notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, blackcurrant flavour with a lavender note, well balanced with soft tannins but well-structured and easy drinking. (88)
Tuesday, August 30th: Worked on the novel for much of the day and then got to babysit my grandson Declan. Annabel and Ian have rented an AirB&B above a pastry shop on Queen Street East for their stay in Toronto. We entertained Declan from 6 pm to 10 pm with games and books and hide and seek. Delighted to see his parents back.
Wednesday, August 31st: Wrote up my Wines of the Week, then drove over to my son Guy’s house for a lunch with my daughter Annabel, her husband Ian, and their son Declan, with Guy’s wife Sasha and their new baby girl Isla.
We had bagels, lox and cream cheese and egg salad. I opened Sue Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2014 (deep salmon in colour with a minerally, spicy watermelon nose; light to medium-bodied with a touch of sweetness and a fresh raspberry finish (87)) and Wayne Gretzky Estates Pinot Grigio 2015 (pale straw colour; peach pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, minerally white peach and citrus flavours with a light floral note (87)). Before dinner, tasted the following wines:
- Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir 2014 (Ontario – $20.20): ruby colour; earthy, raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry and sour cherry flavours, well-structured with lively acidity and good length. (88.5)
- Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2013 (Ontario- $30.25): ruby colour with a tawny hue; cedary, raspberry; light to medium-bodied, dry, elegant, good varietal character, raspberry flavour with a grassy note and a firm tannic finish. Volnay style. (90)
- Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Estate 2010 (Ontario – $24.95): ruby colour with a mature, orange rim; cedar, forest floor, cherry nose; medium-bodied, dry, firm in the mouth with a sour cherry flavour and lively acidity, orange rind finish and evident tannins. (88.5)
- CedarCreek Syrah 2014 (Okanagan – $22.29): deep purple colour; spicy, cedary, bitter chocolate and dried herbs on the nose; ful-bodied, dry, sandalwood and mocha chocolate and black plum flavours with a soft mouth-feel and resolved tannins. (89)
- CedarCreek Platinum Meritage “Desert Ridge” 2013 (Okanagan – $39.09): 58% Cab. Sauv., 22% Cab. Franc, 14% Merlot, 6% Malbec. Deep purple-ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant, vanilla oak bouquet; full-bodied, dry, richly extracted and creamy on the palate with blackcurrant and plum flavour and mellow tannins. (90)
- Ravenswood Besieged 2014 (Sonoma – $24.95): A blend of Petite Sirah, Carignane, Zinfandel, Syrah, Alicante Bouschet, Barbera and Mourvèdre. Deep purple colour; cedary, plum and wood spice on the nose; full-bodied, richly extracted juicy black fruit flavours with a lively spine of acidity and a firm finish. (89)
Thursday, September 1st: A winerytohome.com tasting at Doug Towers’s – 39 wines. For dinner, BBQ rib steak with Dominio Dostares Estay V.T. Castilla Y Leon 2012 (deep ruby colour; spicy, herbal, cherry and plum nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, savory sour cherry flavour with a firm tannic finish. Old style Spanish wine. (87)).
Friday, September 2nd: Worked on the novel. For dinner, pan-fried trout with tomato risotto and a bottle of Trius Showcase Ghost Creek Riesling 2015 (pale straw colour; minerally, grapefruit and honey nose; light-bodied, just off-dry with grapefruit and lime flavours with a honeyed note (89)).
Saturday, September 3rd: Took Pinot for a long walk in the park. She met a 10-month-old Wheaten puppy named Watson whom she played with. Usually, she barks at other Wheatens.
Pinot in the park
For dinner, spaghetti carbonara with bacon and a bottle of D’Antiche Terre Aglianico 2012 from Campania. Deep purple-ruby in colour; high-tomed, minerally, dried rose and sour cherry bouquet with smoky, barnyard notes; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with a pencil lead finish. (88)