On Sunday (April 22nd) Deborah and I had dinner with our friends Brian and Mary. Brian prepared the whole meal sous vide, apart from the smoked Artic char, which he smoked himself. A bottle of champagne to start, a Sancerre and two 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon blends served blind: they turned out to be Lakeview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1989 and Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1989. (I preferred the Ontario wine. Well done, Eddy Gurniskas!)
On Wednesday (April 25th) I had lunch with Steve Gill at Niagara College’s restaurant, Benchmark. He suggested I try (with my charcuterie plate and Fogo Island cod) a glass of Niagara College Balance Viognier 2016 (bright, pale straw in colour; lightly floral, peach nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant peach and melon flavours with lively citrus acidity; good varietal character (89)). So good, I had two glasses.
After lunch when I went into the Education Centre to pick up a couple of bottles I did some more tasting.
- Niagara College Balance Sauvignon Blanc 2016: pale straw colour; grassy, green plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, slightly sweet, Mirabelle plum flavour with fresh acidity. (88.5)
- Niagara College Balance Pinot Gris 2015: pale straw; creamy, minerally nose of peaches; medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour finishing on lively, lemony acidity. (88)
- Niagara College Tom Thomson White Canoe 2016 (Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc): very pale in colour; spicy, minerally, melon and orange nose; medium-bodied, dry, easy drinking. (89)
- Niagara College Gastronomy Pinot Noir 2014: ruby colour with a tawny rim; spicy cherry nose with oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, raspberry and cherry flavours with a firm tannic structure. (89)
- Niagara College Tom Thomson Algonquin Red 2016 (Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend with 4% Viognier): ruby colour; earthy, red cherry nose; medium-bodied, dry, easy-drinking, perfumed red plum flavours. (88.5)
- Niagara College Meritage 2012: dense purple colour; cedary, vanilla oak and plum bouquet with a smoky note; medium-bodied, dry, plum and currant flavours with a firm tannic finish. Still youthful.
Friday, April 27th: Into Toronto for a Vintages release tasting. An unprecedented 157 products were put out. I managed 51. The best I tasted were Château La Louvière 2012 (93) and Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 2015 from New Zealand (92).
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