A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 691: Cuvée 2018

Regular readers of my diary will have noticed a hiatus in my week-by-week filing. Since moving to St. Catharines – away from the Big Smoke Toronto – my routine has become somewhat repetitive and lacking of interest to anyone but myself. So, I have decided to write only when I have something interesting to communicate.

Friday, March 23rd: This evening is Cuvée, the 30th annual celebration of Ontario wine. I presented my award (for the individual or institution that has most enhanced the reputation of the Ontario Wine industry) to Sue Ann Staff – along with the traditional engraved decanter. Donald Ziraldo present the Cuvée Winemaker of the Year Award to Angelo Pavan of Cave Spring. 800 people attended the event, which was the best yet in terms of the wine and food offered. Discovered Fogolar Cabernet Franc 2015, a virtual winery product made by Marc Pistor at Di Profio – an impressive debut.

Saturday, March 24th: In the morning Deborah dropped me at Legends Winery, where Michael Vaughan, Tim Appelt and I tasted through the Sauvignon Blancs produced here by Derek Barnett under his Meldville label and Legends Sauvignons.

  • Meldville Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($20): bright straw colour; herbaceous nose of green plum with a hint of oak; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced, green apple and green plum flavours with good length. (89)
  • Legends Terroir Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($13.95): straw colour; slightly reductive, oily, grassy, green apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, green fruit flavours with a firm finish. (88)
  • Meldville Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($20): pale colour; spicy, funky, elderberry nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, elegant, minerally, peachy-apricot with a touch of greenness. (90)
  • Legends Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($18.95 – tank fermented with 10 months in barrel): light straw colour; oaky, sweet grass and green plum nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, Fumé Blanc style with elderberry and green plum flavours with a touch of oak on the finish. (89)
  • Legends Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($18.95 – 100% barrel-ferment, then aged 11 months): medium straw in colour; spicy, toasty, smoky, struck flint nose; medium-bodied, dry, gooseberry flavour. (89)
  • Legends Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (30 hours skin contact in stainless steel): straw colour; rustic, herbal, earthy , floral nose of Mirabelle plum; medium-bodied, crisp and firm green plum and green apple flavours with a bitter almond finish. (88)

Our next stop was Kacaba, where we tasted a range of Syrah in the unfinished extension to the barrel room – the first tasting to be conducted here.

  • Kacaba Syrah Terrace Vineyard 2011 (with 4.2% Viognier co-fermented): deep  purple-ruby colour; savoury, herbal, meaty nose with spick oak notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury-herbal blackberry flavour; beautifully balanced and firm, still youthful with lively acidity and ripe tannins. (92)
  • Kacaba Syrah Terraced Vineyard 2014 (5.2% Viognier): deep purple-ruby; reductive, spicy, smoky, tarry, blackberry nose with pencil lead and oak notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, herbal, juicy plum flavour with ripe tannins. (90)
  • Kacaba Silver Bridge Syrah 2014: purple-ruby in colour; spicy, barnyard nose of blackberries with a floral top note; medium to full-bodied, dry, creamy mouth-feel, blackberry flavour with lively acidity. (90)
  • Kacaba Syrah Proprietor’s Black 2014: deep ruby colour; cedary, herbal, leather and blackberry nose with a floral note and hint of barnyard; medium-bodied, dry, juicy, savoury and creamy, lively on the palate with well-integrated oak and a firm finish on a note of sandalwood. (91)
  • Kacaba Syrah Reserve 2012: deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, vanilla oak and blackberry nose with a floral top note; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted, full on the palate with ripe blackberry fruit and well-integrated oak. Juicy, savoury and firmly structured. Very Northern Rhône in style. (912)
  • Kacaba Reserve Signature Syrah 2015: deep ruby in colour with a violet rim; vanilla oak, blackberry nose with a floral grace note; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy, elegant, firmly structured with juicy herb-tinged fruit. (92)

Kacaba Syrahs

Deborah picked me up to return home and prepare our dinner party for this evening. Our guests are Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble and Deborah and David Bergen. When they arrived, we served bottle of When Pigs Fly Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 with nuts and hummus and Kilian Hunn Pinot Gris 2014. With the butternut squash soup, Lustau Palo Cortado Peninsula Sherry, followed by roast beef, roast potatoes, beans and asparagus with Aniello Riverside Estate 2016 Pinot Noir 2016 from Patagonia and Kilian Hunn Pinot 2014 from Baden. With cheese, Creekside Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and Skouras Megas Oinos 2007 (Cabernet Sauvignon and St. George from the Peloponnese). For dessert, Deborah made meringues with fresh raspberries.


Dinner party wines

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