Monday, September 12th: Wrote up my 680 NEWS wine reviews and then met Zoltan Szabo for lunch, We had arranged to meet at Grano but when I arrived I found it was closed on Mondays, so we went to Coquine a block north. A crab omelette and a glass of rosé. In the evening to the ballgame with my son Guy. Missed the first inning because of some disruption on the subway. Jays beat Tampa – finally.
Tuesday, September 13th: An annual check-up with my family doctor. In the evening to L’Avenue for dinner with Julian, Malcolm and Jane. I brought along a bottle of KWV Cathedral Cellars Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010. Julian, Von Hövel Scharzhofberg Tiesling Auslese 2011; Malcolm, Château Quinault L’Eclos 2001. I ordered escargots in cream sauce and steak frites. Time they changed their menu. It’s been the same as long as I’ve been going there.
Wednesday, September 14th: Recorded my 680 NEWS wine reviews followed by a session with my chiropractor. In the evening Deborah and I went to Bardi’s for Alex’s 40th anniversary party. He has a splendid wine cellar now but she showed me his original wine list, which was dismal. Ran into wine importer Steven Campbell there, who supplies him with wine.
Alex and Steve at Bardi’s party
At home opened a bottle of CedarCreek Ehrenfelser 2015 (Okanagan Valley): pale straw colour; aromatic, spicy, melon nose with notes of citrus fruit; medium-bodied, dry, quince and melon flavours with a touch of sweetness in mid-palate. (88)
Thursday, September 15th: Wrote my On the Go column, then down to the Miller Tavern on Bay Street for a lunch tasting with Bill Hardy of Hardy’s Wines.
- Hardy’s Stamp of Australia Chardonnay Semillon 2015 (South East Australia): straw colour; apple and quince on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, melon and peach flavours with lively citrus acidity. Good value. (87.5)
- Hardy’s Stamp of Australia Riesling Gewurztraminer 2015(South East Australia): straw colour; spicy, lime and grapefruit nose with notes of musk melon; medium-bodied, dry, orange, lime and lychee flavours with good length. (88)
- Hardy’s HRB Riesling 2015 (Clare Valley and Tasmania fruit): pale straw colour; floral, grassy, pink grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, dry and crisp, elegant with good length, finishing with lemon-lime flavours. (89)
- Hardy’s William Hardy Limestone Coast Chardonnay 2016: straw colour; almond-marzipan and apple bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, well-extracted white peach and citrus flavours with a nutty note. Good mouth-feel with a firm finish. (88.5)
- Hardy’s Stamp of Australia Shiraz Cabernet 2015 (South East Australia): deep purple colour; cedary, spicy plum and vanilla oak nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, plum and prune flavours with a peppery, savoury finish and lively acidity. (87)
- Hardy’s William Hardy Shiraz 2014 (McLaren Vale):deep purple colour; savour, spicy blueberry nose with a peppery note augmented by vanilla oak; medium to full-bodied dry and frsh with licorice and bitter chocolate flavours. (89)
- Hardy’s HRB Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Margaret River, Coonawarra and Frankland River): deep ruby-purple colour; cedary, minty, blackcurrant nose; medium to full-bodied, fresh and fruity, elegant with fine acidity and a firm finish. (88.5)
- Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2005 (Mclaren Vale): dense purple colour; cedary, smoky, meaty nose with vanilla oak notes; full-bodied, rich and full on the palate with a dry, savoury flavour of blackberries and dark chocolate. A beautiful wine. (93)
- Hardy’s Whisker’s Blake Classic Tawny 8 Year Old (Grenache): amber-brown colour; spicy, nutty, prune nose; rich and full on the palate, beautifully balanced, sweet coffee bean and raisin flavours with milk chocolate notes. Great length. (89.5)
Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2005
For lunch I ordered chicken curry which went well with the Riesling/Gewurz and the 2005 Shiraz.
For dinner, with steak, Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara – $34.95): ruby colour; high-toned, spicy, lilac and cherry bouquet with an animal note; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, well-balanced, very stylish with mellow tannins. Light and delicate on the palate. (91)
Friday, September 16th: A Vintages release tasting and New York Fries on the way home. In the evening to Victoria University for a piano recital of contemporary music by Argentinian composers performed by pianist Diego Macias Steiner.
Saturday, September 17th: Got down to some tasting to reduce the backlog of samples that have arrived.
- Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry White 2015 (Niagara Peninsula – $13.95): Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. Medium straw colour; aromatic, spicy melon nose with grapefruit notes; medium-bodied, just off-dry with melon and lychee flavours carried on citrus acidity. A touch of bitterness on the finish. (87)
- Kim Crawfood Small Parcels Pinot Gris 2014 (Arawere Valley, New Zealand – $24.95): medium straw colour with a nose of ripe peach and pear skin and a suggestion of minerality; medium-bodied, mouth-filling flavours of white peach and pear carried on lively acidity and finishing on a lychee note. Great length. A well-made wine. (90)
- Baron de Hoen Pinot Gris Reserve 2014 (Alsace –$15.95): light golden colour; minerally, peach and peach pit nose; medium-bodied, lively peach flavour carried on citrus acidity. Great value. (88)
- Peller Estates Andrew Peller Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Niagara – $30.20): bright straw colour; cut grass, lanolin and green plum nose; medium-bodied, white Bordeaux in style, nicely balanced, grapefruit, green plum with a nutty note on the finish. Great length. (89.5)
- Trius Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Niagara Peninsula – $14.95): Pale straw colour; cut grass, green plum nose with a minerally note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, grapefruit and green plum flavours. Good value. (88)
- Château Bellevue La Forêt Rosé 2015 (Fronton, France – $14.95): A blend of the local Negrette, Gamay, Syrah and Cabernets. Deep salmon colour; earthy, wild strawberry and watermelon nose; medium-bodied, just off-dry, round on the palate with strawberry and raspberry flavours and balancing acidity. (88)
- De Bortoli G.S. Pinot Noir 2015 (Yarra Valley – $19.95): medium ruby colour; earthy, cherry nose; medium-bodied, dry, cherry flavour with a hint of sweetness and a firm tannic finish. (88.5)
- El Miracle by Mariscal Garnacha Tintorera 2013 (Valencia, Spain – $14.95): deep ruby colour; peppery plum nose; medium-bodied, dry, plum and licorice flavours with lively acidity and ripe tannins. (87)
- Château Haut-Canteloup 2010 (Médoc – $17.95): deep purple-ruby colour; inky, cedary plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, spicy blackcurrant, plum and bitter chocolate flavours with ripe, grainy tannins. (88)
- Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot 2012 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula – $39.95): Deep ruby colour; cedary, redcurrant and red plum nose with evident oak; medium-bodied, dry, red berry flavours backed by vanilla oak; harmonious with a good mouth-feel and a firm tannic finish. Hold for two years. (89–90)
- Vina Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Maipo Valley – $17.95): dense ruby-purple colour; cooked plum and prune nose with evident oak; full-bodied, richly extracted sweet plum flavour with balancing acidity and a tannic lift on the finish. (88)
- Elderton Ode to Lorraine 2013 (Barossa Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot): earthy, minerally, blackberry nose with savoury, herbal notes; full-bodied, juicy, blackberry flavour with lively acidity and a firm finish. (90)
Sunset from our balcony on Saturday