A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 758: The Foreign Affair (Vineland Station, Ontario)


The folks at The Foreign Affair sent over bunch of wines for me to taste – which was most appreciated – especially in this locked-down time.

The Foreign Affair Winery Conspiracy Bianco 2018 (July 20th release at LCBO – $17.95)
A blend of Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc re-passed over the skins and lees of Appassimento wines. Light straw in colour; spicy, slightly oily, grapefruit bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, grapefruit and green plum flavours. Rich mouth-feel with a tangy, fresh, lemony finish. (88)

The Foreign Affair Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2018 (Winery only – $23.95)
Pale straw colour with a lime tint; minerally, apple nose with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, apple and pear flavours with a fresh acidic finish. Well-balanced and lingering. Vinified with a portion of dried grapes. (89)

The Foreign Affair Winery Viognier 2018 ($23.95, LCBO release June 27th)
A portion vinified from dried grapes. Aromatic, floral, woodsy nose of peach; medium-bodied, dry, peach and lemon flavours with a long, fresh lemony finish. Nicely balanced. (89.5)

The Foreign Affair Winery Amarosé 2019 LCBO release on July 29th – $19.95)
A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay re-passed over the skins and lees of Appassimento wines. Pale salmon colour; lightly floral, wild strawberry bouquet with a forest floor note; medium-bodied, dry, with strawberry and cranberry flavours. Sustains well on the palate to a long, clean finish. (89)

The Foreign Affair Winery Conspiracy 2017 ($21.95, Vintages #149237)
A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, refermented on appassimento skins. Deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, cigar-leaf nose of black plum with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, plum and blackcurrant flavours carried on lively acidity. (89)

The Foreign Affair Winery Syrah 2017 ($54.95 – At the moment, exclusive to Wine Club members)
Vinified from a portion of dried grapes. Deep, dark ruby colour; cedary, spicy, blackberry nose with a tobacco note; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, blackberry flavour with a herbal tinge. Beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak, mellow tannins and mouth-freshening acidity. (92)

Also received wines from Upper Bench winery in Naramata, BC.


My top-scoring Upper Bench wines from BC

Upper Bench Riesling 2019 (Naramata Bench)
Light straw in colour; floral, grapefruit with a hint of petrol; light to medium-bodied, tangy, tangerine and grapefruit flavours with racy acidity; long and lingering, lemony finish. Drink now or through 2021. (90)

Upper Bench Chardonnay 2018
Light straw colour; toasty, spicy, baked apple nose with a clove-y note; medium-bodied, dry, apple flavour with cinnamon oak spice; harmonious, with well-integrated oak and laser-like acidity and a cashew nut finish. Delicious wine. Drink now or hold 1–2 years. (91)

Upper Bench Gewüztraminer 2018
Straw colour; spicy, lightly floral, minerally bouquet of grapefruit with a note of ginger; medium-bodied, dry, lychee and grapefruit flavour carried on fresh acidity to a bitter almond finish. Drink now or hold for a couple of years for the Gewürz bouquet to become more expressive. (89–90)

Upper Bench Pinot Noir 2016
Deep ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, earthy, plum bouquet with a red licorice note; medium-bodied, dry, ripe black cherry flavour with mellow tannins and a warm alcoholic finish. Drink now or hold for a year to allow the oak to integrate. (89)

Upper Bench Merlot 2016
Dense ruby colour; cedary, floral, mulberry bouquet with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, sweet black fruit flavours with racy acidity and a firm finish. You can drink it now but 1–2 years in the cellar will enhance the bouquet and round off the bitter chocolate tannins. (89–91)

Upper Bench Altitude 2015 (75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Opaque purple-ruby in colour; cedary, tobacco, blackcurrant bouquet with oak spice and a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted flavours of blackcurrant and plum with notes of cinnamon and mocha chocolate. Firmly structured with evident but ripe tannins. Hold 1–2 years. (91–92)

Also tasted the following wines:

Château des Charmes Gamay Noir Droit 2017 (St. David’s, Ontario)
Deep ruby-purple in colour; a nose of black cherries with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, black cherry and plum flavours carried on lively acidity. (90)

Château des Charmes Cuvée Michèle Pinot Noir 2018 ($16.95)
Ruby colour with a violet rim; lightly cedary nose of raspberry and plum; medium-bodied, dry, black raspberry flavour with nicely integrated oak and a firm tannic finish. (89)

Luigi Bosca Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Mendoza, Argentina – $18.95, Vintages #128629)
Dense purple colour; cedary, spicy, vanilla and blackberry bouquet; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, black fruit flavours with lively acidity. (89)

Henry of Pelham Family Tree 2017 ($18.95, Vintages #247882) (30% Syrah, 25% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 5% Baco Noir)
Deep purple-ruby in colour; cedary, toasty, lightly floral nose of blackcurrant and blackberry; medium-bodied, dry, plum and currant flavours with fresh acidity, Well-balanced and lively on the palate. (88.5)

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape Syrah Carignan Mourvèdre 2016 (Languedoc – $19.95, Vintages #370262 – to be released June 13th)
Dense purple-ruby colour; cedary, plum and blackberry bouquet with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, lean and sinewy, juicy, mulberry flavour; well-balanced, with ripe tannins. (90)

Gérard Bertrand Terroir Corbières 2016 (Corbières – $17.95, Vintages #394288, release date May 30th)
Deep ruby colour; cedary, black cherry nose with notes of graphite, dried herbs and licorice; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, black plum and cherry flavours with grainy but ripe tannins, carried on lively acidity. (88.5)

Simi Sonoma County Chardonnay 2018 (Sonoma – $19.95, Vintages #673806)
Bright, golden straw in color; toasty, spicy, nose of apple and undergrowth; medium to full-bodied, dry, creamy, apple, mango and lemon flavours; beautifully balanced, great length with a lovely mouth-feel. (90)

Kacaba Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2017 ($39.95, Vintages #262436)
Bright, straw colour; toasty, spicy, apple nose with forest floor notes; medium to full-bodied; dry, butterscotch and apple flavours with evident oak spice; rich and full on the palate. (90)

Kacaba Silver Bridge Vineyard Syrah 2017 ($32.95)
Deep purple colour; cedary, spicy, tobacco, vanilla, blackberry nose with a touch of oak; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, lightly herbal, blackberry flavour carried on lively acidity. (89)

Kacaba Terraced Vineyard Syrah 2017 ($32.95)
Deep purple colour; spicy, vanilla oak, dried herbs and blackberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, fruity blackberry and plum flavours with fresh acidity. Good length with evident but ripe tannins. (90)

Kacaba Proprietor’s Block Syrah 2017 ($32.95)
Deep purple colour; minerally, spicy, blackberry with toasty oak bouquet and a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, beautifully balanced, plum and blackberry flavours; well-integrated oak and a lovely mouth-feel. Reminiscent of a Cornas from the Northern Rhône. (91)


Kacaba Syrahs

Reminder: The password for the Reviews page is drinkme

This entry was posted in Wine Lover's Diary and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply