A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 625: Trial By Wine

Monday, November 21st: Arrived back in Toronto from Frankfurt (my least favourite airport in the world because of the distances you have to walk). Deborah met me at the airport and Pinot T. Wonderdog was pleased to see me.

Tuesday, November 22nd: Had to go to the LCBO to catch up on a tasting I missed on Friday. Came home and tasted the following wines:

  • La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (Argentina – $13.95): deep ruby colour; cedary red berry nose; full-bodied, dry, fleshy red berry flavour with a firm finish. (87)
  • Mascota Unanime 2011 (Argentina – $29.95): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc. Deep purple-ruby in colour; cedary, blackcurrant with a minty note on the nose; ful-bodied, rich and full on the palate, spicy black fruit flavours with dark chocolate notes and lively acidity. (90)
  • Bodegas Toro Albalá Don PX Selección 1967: Dense brown in colour, so rich it stains the glass; a concentrated bouquet of spicy molasses, dried figs and orange peel with notes of dried flowers and smoke; full-bodied, rich and unctuous on the palate with chocolate, fig and orange flavours carried on lively acidity. Lovely mouth-feel and amazing length. Most Pedro Ximenez wines are too sweet but this one is exquisitely balanced. A triumph. (97 points)

label from Bodegas Toro Albalá Don PX Selección 1967

Wednesday, November 23rd: Spent the morning doing wine evaluations for a charity auction. In the afternoon got down to some tasting:

  • Miguel Torres Santa Digna Syrah Reserva 2013 (Chile – $14.95): deep ruby colour; savoury-herbal nose of blackberries with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, fruity blackberry and blackcurrant flavours constrained by toasted herb notes, carried on lively acidity. Great value. (88.5)
  • Momo Pinot Noir 2014 (Marlborough, New Zealand – $19.95): ruby colour; earthy-leathery, raspberry nose with a spicy oak note; medium-bodied, cry, fresh and lively raspberry flavour with a firm tannic structure. Beautifully balanced. (89)
  • Wildass Merlot 2014 (Niagara Peninsula – $18.95): deep ruby colour; blueberry and blackberry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, creamy, coconut and blueberry flavour with lively acidity and evident tannins on the finish. (88.5)
  • Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2012 (Short Hills Bench, Niagara – $24.95): medium ruby colour; cedary, smoky, black cherry bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, well-structured and firm with well-extracted fruit, sweet tannins and lively acidity. Good mouth-feel and good length. (89.5)
  • Château Bertin 2014 (Lussac Saint-Emilion – $19.95): deep ruby colour; cedary, dusty nose, floral, black fruit nose with oak spice notes; medium-bodied, dry, red and blackcurrant flavours with a note of leather; firm tannic finish with lively acidity. (88.5)
  • Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Les Aspres Syrah Mourvèdre Grenache 2013 (Côtes du Roussillon -$18.95): deep ruby purple colour; savoury-herbal nose of blackberries and licorice with oak notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, velvety mouth-feel with flavours of blackberry, black raspberry and vanilla oak. Ripe tannins and fresh acidity. (89)
  • Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Okanagan): deep ruby colour; cedary, plum and blackcurrant nose with oak backing; medium to full-bodied, dry, creamy black fruits, firmly structured with ripe tannins and good length. (90)
  • Burrowing Owl Meritage 2013 (Okanagan): deep ruby, cedary, blackcurrant, with spicy oak; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, sweet fruit (blackcurrant and plum) with creamy oak, ripe tannins and good length. (91)
  • Stratus Petit Verdot 2012 (Niagara-on-the-Lake – $38.20): dense ruby-purple in colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with floral notes and toasted herbs; medium to full-bodied, well-extracted blueberry and currant flavours with pencil lead notes; firmly structured. Rich and full on the palate with evident but ripe tannins. (91)
  • Stratus Red 2012 (Niagara-on-the-Lake – $44.20): 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and 3% Tannat. Dense purple-ruby colour; cedary, black fruit and licorice nose with vanilla oak notes; full-bodied, dry with richly extracted black fruit flavours with mocha-chocolate notes; firmly structured with rich but ripe tannins. (91–93)

Thursday, November 24th: Back to the LCBO for another catch-up tasting. The Vintages December 10th release is 169 products! This is Trial by Wine for the wine press.

A meeting at 3:30 pm in the National Club with Doris Miculan-Bradley and Dan Richards to discuss Grapes for Humanity’s donations. Dan is on the board of two African charities – Amani in Tanzania and Raising The Village in Uganda.

Friday, November 25th: Back to the LCBO for the second half of the Vintages December 10th release. Customary French Fries on the way home.


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