Monday, February 19th: Family Day. A quiet day. Worked on winery visits in the Loire for the May trip. For dinner with Deborah’s delicious beef risotto, a bottle of Cusumano Nero d’Avola Noa 2014 from Sicily (dense purple-black in colour; black plum nose with a spicy-herbal note and resiny oak aromas; full-bodied, dry, thick and viscous on the palate; high-toned, rustic, chocolate and plum flavours (88)).
Tuesday, February 20th: My new doctor has asked me to have various tests for my annual physical, so today it was a blood test. For dinner, with chicken ravioli, a bottle of Henry of Pelham Estate Chardonnay 2016 (straw colour; leesy, apple bouquet with well-integrated oak; medium-bodied, dry, slightly woodsy, apple flavour (88.5)).
Wednesday, February 21st: As past of my medical check-up went for an ultrasound. Otherwise, another quiet day. Went for fish and chips at the Fryin’ Guys.
Thursday, February 22nd: Deborah and I drove into Toronto, she to have a lunch with a girlfriend and I to do some tasting at Michael Vaughan’s:
- Segura Viudas Reserva Brut: Pale straw in colour; minerally, chalky, lemon and green apple nose; light to medium-bodied, dry, slightly earthy, green apple flavour with good length aided by citrus acidity. (89)
Then five Greek wines:
- Thalia Sauvignon Blanc-Vilana (NV): ($9.85) Bright, pale straw colour; minerally, herbaceous, green plum with a graphite note on the nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green plum and grapefruit flavours with a light floral note; lively acidic finish. (88)
- Boutari Moschofilera 2016 ($12.95): light straw; fragrant, light orange blossom and musk melon bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, green melon flavour with tangy, lemony acidity giving the wine a long, lingering finish. (Match with chicken) (89) (BB)
- Santo Santorini Assyrtiko 2016 ($15.10): medium straw colour; minerally, spicy, leesy, apple-pear bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, lemony, crab apple flavour with a mineral, slightly bitter finish. (89)
- Kir Yanni Paranga 2015 ($14.75): 50% Merlot, 25% Xynomavro, 25% Syrah – deep purple colour; earthy, black plum nose with oak spice notes; medium-bodied, dry, rustic flavours of plum and cedary oak with lively acidity. (87.5)
- Boutari Agriorgitiko 2015 ($14.95): Deep ruby colour; cedary nose of vanilla oak, ripe plum, light spicy note with a floral, graphite note; medium-bodied, dry, red plum flavour with grainy tannins; nicely integrated oak and a firm tannic finish. (88.5)
- Hommage Grenache Syrah Côtes du Rhône: Deep ruby colour; earthy, black plum nose; full-bodied, dry, plum with an oaky finish, plummy flavour with a peppery note and evident alcohol on the finish. (87)
- CedarCreek Platinum Merlot 2014 (Okanagan Valley): Dense purple; floral, cedary, plum; medium-bodied, cedary-sandalwood, red plum, currant and cherry flavours; firmly structured, with good length. (90)
- Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey: deep copper colour; notes of honey, caramel, toast, vanilla oak; rich and full on the palate, sweetish, lovely mouth-feel, seductive, creamy, caramel flavour with spicy oak notes; beautifully balance with amazing length. (92)
Friday, February 23rd: Worked on the Ontario Wine Awards, putting together the panels of judges. I need 24 judges in all. Posted a photo of the shirt my father wore at the Battle of El Alamein. He was a doctor with Montgomery’s 8th Army. Huge response on Facebook.
Saturday February 24th: Our friends Adrienne and Myra drove in from Toronto to have lunch with us. Deborah made a chicken salad and I opened a bottle of Kilian Hunn Pinot Gris 2016 from Baden (love their wines). Adrienne, who had driven from Guatemala (she created the charitable foundation, Access Education Guatemala, to which Grapes for Humanity donated funds to build schools), brought with her six one-pound bags of Guatemala coffee beans (we love that coffee!). In the late afternoon Deborah and I drove over to Honsberger Estate for a glass of Cabernet Franc with Laurie and John Nadeau, who invited us back to their place for home-made pizza. John opened a bottle of Le Plan des Moines Les Vendangeuses Gigondas 2013. What a pizza wine!