A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 628: Bench 1775

Monday, December 12th: Wrote up my 680 News wine reviews and prepared my financial report for our Grapes for Humanity AGM this evening. After the meeting, came home and opened a bottle of Joseph Cattin Pinot Blanc 2015 from Alsace (straw colour; peachy-citrus nose with a mineral thread; medium-bodied, dry, peach flavour with a honeyed note and balancing acidity (88.5))

Tuesday, December 13th: Wrote my Lexpert column for the April issue on Friuli which took much of the day. Then got down to some tasting.

  • S.X.E. Bianca Calabria 2014: ($10.90) pale lemon colour; spicy peachy-melon nose light to medium-bodied, dry, lemony, grassy flavour. (86)
  • Flat Rock Twisted 2015: (Ontario – $17.15): pale straw colour; aromatic, lychee and peach nose with a citrus note; just off-dry with a grapefruit and lychee flavour; nicely balanced with good length. (88.5)
  • Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris 2015: (Okanagan Valley – $22.95) pale straw colour; minerally, peach pit and lemon skin nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, white peach and lemon flavours with a lively acidic finish. (89)
  • Bench 1775 Groove 2014: (Okanagan Valley – $22): deep ruby colour; earthy, plum and cherry nose; medium-bodied, fruity, cherry flavour with a dark chocolate note. (87.5)
  • Bench 1775 Malbec 2014 (Okanagan Valley – $30): deep ruby colour; spicy blueberry and blackberry nose; light to medium-bodied, dry, elegant with a floral note and a firm finish of mocha chocolate (88.5)
  • Bench 1775 Pinot Noir 2014 (Okanagan Valley – $25.90): ruby colour; candied raspberry nose;  medium-bodied, dry, drier on the palate than the nose suggests with a sour cherry flavour; firmly structured. (89)
  • Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $27.90): deep ruby colour; cedary, red and blackcurrant aromas with a minty note on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, Loire-style Cabernet Franc. Well-made with good length and nicely integrated oak. (90)
  • Bench 1775 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 (Okanagan Valley – $29.90): deep ruby colour; cedary, tobacco and blackcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, plum and blackcurrant flavours with graphite notes; well-balanced with ripe tannins. A well-made wine. (90)

For dinner pork loin with a bottle of Cintra Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015 ($7.95 – deep purple-ruby colour; earthy, creamy cherry nose with herbal notes; light to medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry flavour  finishing on bitter chocolate and graphite notes and some bitterness (86)).

Wednesday, December 14th: Recorded my 680 wine reviews and stopped by the Rogers store to enquire about purchasing an iPhone. Will wait till they go on sale before Christmas or Boxing Day. At 5pm, down to Queens Park for the Lieutenant Governor’s Christmas party. Back home, opened a bottle that I carried back from Sicily in 2010 – Valle Dell’Acate Il Frappato 2010 (absolutely delicious and ready).

Thursday, December 15th: Deborah is decorating the condo for Christmas and Hanukkah. Pinot is fascinated. Tonight is the condo Christmas party, a potluck affair. Deborah made a Boeuf Bourguignon which was the hit of the evening. I brought down to the party room all the opened bottles I tasted earlier in the week which I keep under gas.

Friday, December 16th: Robert Ketchin dropped by and I opened a bottle of Veuve Ambal Crémant de Bourgogne Grand Cuvée Brut (pale straw colour, active mousse; apple blossom and orchard fruit nose; light to medium-bodied, dry, elegant and fresh on the palate with a minerally finish. (89)). Deborah’s sister Suzanne and her husband Richard, newly arrived from Paris, came to dinner. Started with a bottle Huff Estates Cuvée Janine Sparkling Rosé before sitting down to grilled salmon with fingerling potatoes and roasted golden beets with balsamic vinegar served with Stratus White 2013. With the cheese course, Arboleda Carmenère 2014 from Chile’s Aconcagua Valley ($19.95- dense purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with graphite and herbal notes; full-bodied, richly extracted, medium to full-bodied, dry blackcurrant flavour(89)).


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