A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 640: Taste Ontario

VQA poster: New views. New tastes. No apologies.

Monday, March 6th: The annual Taste Ontario tasting for the wine trade and the press at the ROM. Couldn’t get around to taste all 160 wines on offer but of those I did taste here are my top scores:

Top Rieslings I tasted:

  • Charles Baker 2013 (91)
  • Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2015 (91)
  • Château des Charmes Old Vines Riesling Estate Bottled 2014 (89)
  • Flat Rock Cellars Riesling  2015 (89)
  • 2027 Cellars Falls Vineyard Riesling 2016 (88.5)
  • Tawse Riesling 2015 (89)
  • Two Sisters Riesling 2015 (88.5)

Top Cabernet Franc:

  • Southbrook Small Lot 101 Cabernet Franc 2013 (90)
  • Cave Spring Cellars Cabernet Franc 2014 (89)
  • Domaine Queylus Cabernet Franc 2013 (89)
  • Meldville Cabernet Franc 2015 (89)
  • Sue-Ann Staff Cabernet Franc 2012 (89)

Meldville Cabernet Franc 2015

Top Gamay:

  • Malivoire Small Lot Gamay 2015 (89)
  • The Grange of Prince Edward Select Gamay Pinot 2014 (89)
  • 13th Street Sandstone Vineyard Gamay 2014 (88.5)
  • Pelee Island Fox Trot Gamay Noir Zweigelt 2015 (88.5)
  • Tawse Redfoot Gamay 2015 (88.5)

Top Pinot Noir:

  • Thomas Bachelder Wismer Parke Pinot Noir 2014 (91)
  • Thomas Bachelder Parfum Pinot Noir 2014 (90)
  • Domaine Queylus Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 (90)
  • Domaine Queylus Signature Pinot Noir 2013 (90)
  • Adamo Wismer Parke Pinot Noir 2014 (89)
  • Cave Spring Estate Pinot Noir  2015 (89)
  • Norman Hardie Pinot Noir 2015 (89)
  • 2027 Cellars Wismer Vineyard Foxcroft Block Pinot Noir 2013 (88.5)

Other wines I tasted:

  • Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2014 (91)
  • Château des Charmes Equuleus 2012 (89.5)
  • Adamo Gewurztraminer Wismer Lakeview Vineyard 2015 (89)
  • Creekside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (89)
  • Wescott Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (89)
  • Medville Chardonnay 2015 (89)
  • Vieni Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (89)
  • Vieni Red Trillium Ripasso 2013 (89)
  • Hidden Bench Bistro Red 2013 (88.5)
  • The Good Earth Viognier 2015 (88.5)

All in all an impressive collection of wines, with each winery allowed to submit four labels.

Tuesday, March 7th: Went to the LCBO to taste wines I missed on Friday. At 5 pm John Nadeau came over to the condo and we opened a bottle of Domaine Queylus Cabernet Franc 2013 with some cheeses.

Wednesday, March 8th: Began writing my monthly article for Quench on the inevitability of screwcap closures. At 12:30, lunch at Cibo with an old friend, Doug Paddey. Finished off the article in the afternoon. In the evening I opened a bottle of Château Vrai Caillou 2014 (deep ruby colour; cedary, red berry nose; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted sweet blackberry and blueberry flavours with a savoury-herbal note and a floral lift on the finish (88.5)).

Thursday, March 9th: Spent the day inputting wine reviews for the website and working on wineries to visit in Veneto, Alto Adige and Friuli for the annual wine tour in May.

Friday, March 10th: A  Winery-to-Home tasting at Doug Towers’s with David Lawrason: 32 wines and all but one under screwcap.

Saturday, March 11th: Drove up to Walkerton with my friend and neighbour, Dr. Michael Belovitch, a veterinarian who does charity work in Cuba and in Canada’s northern communities – spaying, neutering and immunizing dogs and teaching kids how to care for the dogs. This was a fund-raiser for Cat Lake Friends of Animush.  By the time we arrived the snow was falling and already quite deep in the parking lot. Some 50 local people braved the weather to attend, first a beer tasting followed by a wine tasting that I conducted. The wines were donated by Ontario wineries.

Walkerton wine tasting

  • Hidden Bench Estate Riesling 2014
  • Peninsula Ridge Pinot Grigio 2015
  • Daniel Lenko Unoaked Chardonnay 2009
  • Daniel Lenko White Cabernet 2012
  • Angels Gate Merlot 2013
  • Peninsula Ridge Shiraz 2015

Drove back in a blinding snowstorm down to Orangeville and then the weather cleared, but it was pretty scary, trying to see other tire tracks on the road. Got home by midnight, in time to put the clocks forward.


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