A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 714: Deborah’s Birthday Dinner

Saturday, January 12th: For Deborah’s major birthday, we booked a table at Pearl Morissette. Before leaving by Uber to the restaurant we shared a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

The marker at the entrance to Pearl Morissette

Aperitif at the bar: F. H. Coutier Ambonnay Cuvée Rosé Champagne

Poached east coast oyster with rhubarb and buttermilk

Sea urchin, prickly ash, squash (prickly ash is a kind of pepper)

(These two courses accompanied by Laurent Cazottes Champêtre Blanc 2016 (100% Mauzac from Gaillac))

Buckwheat tartlet with caviar and turnip (bite-sized)

Navazos Niepoort Vino Blanco 2015

Haddock, dried tomato, pickled strawberry

Wittmann Scheurebe Trocken 2017

Parsley root with ham and sweet onion

Pearl Morissette Viognier Cuvée Nadia 2014

Grilled goose, ground cherry, brassica

Pearl Morissette Gamay Cuvée Mon Unique 2014

Gold Rush apple, caraway thyme, woodruff

Marena Sassella 2015

Roasted sunchoke, miso caramel, salsify

Domaine Frederic Broca Vermouth

Cheddar cheese and honeycomb

Dried Peach, sea buckthorn, lemon balm

A memorable meal.

Sommelier Martin

Miscellaneous tastings:

Henry of Pelham Cabernet-Merlot 2015 (Ontario, $24.95): Deep ruby in colour; plum and blackcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, lightly savoury blackcurrant flavour with a firm tannic finish. (89)

Ravenswood Old Vines Zinfandel 2016 (Lodi, California, $21.95 – with some Petite Sirah): Dense purple colour; a nose of black plum and leather with oak spice; medium to full-bodied. Dry, lightly mineral with a rick flavour of black plums. A well-balanced wine. (89)

Southbrook Framboise (Ontario, $14.30, 375 mL): Ruby red colour; intense, concentrated raspberry jam nose; full-bodied, sweet, raspberry essence with notes of orange and balancing acidity. Amazing length. Serve well chilled. (92)

Mission Hill Chardonnay Reserve 2017 (Okanagan, $23.95): Straw coloured; minerally, baked apple nose; medium-bodied, apple and pear flavours with lively acidity and a touch of astringency on the finish. (89)

Mission Hill Reserve Merlot 2016 (Okanagan, $24.49): Deep ruby purple in colour; cedary, spicy plum bouquet; full-bodied, dry and savoury ripe plum flavour. Well-balanced. (90)

Ravine Sand & Gravel Redcoat 2017 (Ontario, $19.95; 42% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Gamay): Ruby red in colour; spicy, black raspberry with hints of vanilla oak on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, fruity raspberry and plum flavours carried on lively acidity. (88.5)

Quails’ Gate Old Vine Foch Reserve 2016 (Okanagan, $24.99): Opaque purple-black in colour; oaky, herbal, savoury, spicy nose of black plums; medium to full-bodied, dry, well-extracted savoury plum flavour with lively acidity. (89)

Burrowing Owl Meritage 2016 (Okanagan, $58.95; 31% Merlot, 21% each Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot): Deep ruby in colour; cedary, redcurrant nose; medium-bodied, dry, lean, red plum and redcurrant flavours with lively acidity. (88.5)

Palazzo Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (Tuscany, $69.95): Deep ruby in colour; a nose of dried cherries and oak spice with a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted with ripe cocoa powder tannins and a dark chocolate note on the finish. (91)

Closieries des Alisiers Petit Chablis 2016 (Burgundy, $25.95): Bright, pale straw colour; minerally, earthy, apple bouquet; light-bodied, crisply dry, green apple and lemon flavours. Good length. (89)

Mouton Cadet Rouge 2016 (Bordeaux, $16.45): A perennial favourite at the LCBO. Deep ruby colour with a cedary, vanilla oak and plum bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, red and blackcurrant flavours; light on the palate with a fine mouth-feel, exhibiting plum and red cherry flavours with well-integrated oak and a firm tannic structure. (88.5)

Inniskillin Riesling Icewine 2017 ($79.95, 375 mL): Golden colour; spicy, honeyed mango nose with notes of dried apricot; medium-bodied, ripe mango, honey and lemon flavours; lovely mouth-feel and beautifully balanced with a long satisfying finish. (93)

Inniskillin Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2017 ($124.95, 375 mL): Bright, light ruby in colour; honeyed strawberry with sweet rhubarb on the nose; medium-bodied, sweet strawberry puree flavour with notes of orange peel and balancing acidity; harmonious with a great mouth-feel and long finish. (93)

Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2017 ($79.95, 375 mL): Bright, old gold in colour; spicy, vanilla, caramel and apple nose; light-bodied, creamy palate of honey, peaches and apple with a light effervescence. Well-balanced with refreshing acidity and good length. (92)

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($18.05): Bright straw colour; grassy, lightly floral nose of green plum and gooseberry; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green plum flavour with mouth-freshening acidity. (89.5)

Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($18.95): Bright, pale straw colour; passionfruit and citrus bouquet with notes of sweet grass; medium-bodied, crisply dry with green plum and gooseberry flavours; beautifully balanced and great length. (91)

Henry of Pelham Riesling 2017 ($14.95): Pale straw in colour; lightly floral, grapefruit bouquet with a hint of petrol and white pepper; light to medium-bodied, just off-dry, grapefruit and apple flavours with a firm finish. (88.5)

Alamos Malbec 2017 ($16.40): Deep ruby colour with violet tints; spicy, floral, cherry nose with cedary, smoky notes; medium-bodied, dry, floral, black cherry flavour, fruity but firmly structured. (89)

Casa del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2017 ($14.95): Bright, pale straw in colour; fig and cut grass nose with mineral notes; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, fig and grapefruit flavours with a touch of sweetness in mid palate and afresh, acidic finish. (90)

La Celia Elite Malbec 2015 (Uco Valley, Mendoza, $24.95): Dense purple in colour; savoury, blackberry nose with herbal notes; full-bodied, dry, well-extracted black fruit flavours with lively acidity ending on a licorice note. (90)

Joie Farm Chic Fille Pinot Blanc 2017 (Okanagan, $30.35): Golden colour; earthy, peach nose; medium-bodied, dry, green peach flavour with lively acidity. (88.5)

Weingut Dr. Loosen Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2016 (Pfalz, $15.05): Light ruby in colour; spicy, raspberry nose with an earthy note; light-bodied, dry, raspberry and souch cherry flavours; opens well on the palate. (88.5)

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