Monday, October 16th: Spent most of the day emptying boxes and setting up the office. Couldn’t find the paper tray for the printer so it looks a if we’ll have to buy a new one. Opened a bottle of Château des Charmes Pinot Noir 2015 (solid ruby colour; high toned nose of sour cherries; medium-bodied, dry, cherry flavour, somewhat short on finish (87)).
Tuesday, October 17th: Wrote up my 680 NEWS wine reviews, which I’ll record next week. Otherwise, occupied with the boxes. Trip to IKEA and Solutions to buy stuff for the house.
Wednesday, October 18th: The pond guys came over to clean out the pond. It seems we have to replace the filter. In the spring we’ll put in some koi. But we’ll have to protect them from the blue heron and raccoons by stringing fishing lines above the surface on the water. Watched the Yankees vs Astros game at Kelsey’s with John Nadeau and then we dined with our wives at Backhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Brought along a bottle of Black Hill Syrah 2015 from the Okanagan (dense purple colour; blackberry nose with pepper and iodine notes and nicely integrated oak; full-bodied, dry and savoury, well-balanced with herb-tinged, spicy black cherry and blackberry flavours (91)).
Thursday, October 19th: The IKEA guy came over to set up the wardrobe in our bedroom (which means we can take our clothes out of boxes). Naturally, some pieces were missing so he’ll have to come back next week. Deborah and I drove Pinot over to Bourgogne Woods off-leash dog park. A Papillion peed on both Deborah’s and my legs. Some welcome to the neighbourhood.
Friday, October 20th: More shopping for the house. In the evening Deborah and I went out for fish and chips at The Fryin’ Guys on Lake Street, St. Catharines. Came home and opened a bottle of Black Hills Viognier 2016 (straw colour; peachy, floral nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, peachy, apple and lemon flavours, well-balanced, great length with a peach pit finish (90)).
Saturday, October 21st: Drove over to Domaine Queylus for a tasting of their 2015 wines and barrel and tank samples of 2016 and ’17 conducted by winemakers Thomas Bachelder and Kelly Mason.
Thomas Bachelder pouring
- Domaine Queylus Chardonnay Tradition 2015: straw colour; a nose of apple, oak spice and light barnyard note; medium-bodied, dry, apple flavour with well-integrated oak and lively, lemony acidity. (90)
- Domaine Queylus Chardonnay Réserve 2015: more focused and structured an the ‘Tradition’ 2015, tighter and a little more evidence of oak. (91)
- Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Tradition 2015: ruby colour with nose of violets, rust and black cherries with a light oak expression; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, Volnay style; firm tannins, minerally, red plum flavour with a lovely mouth-feel. (90)
- Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir Réserve 2015: ruby colour; spicy, black raspberry nose with pencil shaving notes; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured with evident tannins and lively acidity. (91)
- Domaine Queylus Pinot Noir La Grande Réserve 2015: ruby colour; spicy, oaky with discreet fruit aromas at the moment; medium-bodied, dry, tight, plum flavour with grainy tannins; Chambertin style with lively acidity. Hold 5 years. (91–93)
- Domaine Queylus Merlot 2015 (with 10% Cabernet Franc): deep ruby in colour; vanilla oak, cassis and blackberry on the nose; petit château style; firmly structured with ripe tannins; medium-bodied, dry, needs at least three years, (89)
- Domaine Queylus Réserve Cabernet Franc 2015: deep ruby colour; spicy, blackcurrant nose with a green pepper note; medium-bodied, dry, red and blackcurrant flavours; firmly structured and well-balanced with ripe tannins. Hold 3–5 years.
- Domaine Queylus Merlot La Grande Réserve 2015: deep ruby colour; spicy, blackcurrant, rose petal nose with a mineral thread; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured, elegant, plum and blackcurrant flavours ending on a cinnamon note. Hold 5 years. (92)
Then down to the cellar for a tasting of 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot from the barrel and 2017 Pinot from tank. The 2017 is a monster vintage in volume and flavour.
Deborah and I drove into Toronto to attend our friend (and my webmaster) James Harbeck’s 50th birthday celebration. For dinner with beef ribs, I opened a bottle that was lost in my cellar: Babich Winemaker’s Reserve Merlot 2002 from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand (still very much alive).
Sunday, October 22nd: Brilliantly sunny day. Drove over to Hidden Bench to say hello to Harald Thiel. He greeted us with a glass of Hidden Bench Brut Natur Zero Dosage 2012 (active mousse, tiny bubble; straw colour; apple and minerally nose; medium-bodied, dry, nicely balanced with a strong spine of acidity (89)). Bought a Winery Dog 2018 calendar there and a dozen eggs before heading to Upper Canada Cheese.
Hidden Bench bubbly