A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 838: Celebrating the Taste of Home (and Away)

Monday, April 25th: A tasting of Ontario wines at the renovated Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto. Fifty selected wines in the press room with 200 in the main ballroom. It was quite like pre-COVID times! An air of celebration in the room. (It proved what a magnificent vintage 2020 is!)

The Top wines I tasted (90 points or over) were:

  • ICellars Pinot Noir 2019
  • ICellars Sauvignon Blanc 2019
  • Westcott Estate Chardonnay 2020
  • Fogolar Hanck Vineyard Riesling
  • Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
  • Jackson-Triggs White Meritage 2020
  • Southbrook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
  • Stonebridge Chardonnay 2019
  • Tawes Robyn’s Block Chardonnay 2019
  • Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noir 2019
  • 180 Estate Gamay Noir 2019
  • Two Sisters Eleventh Post 2017
  • Southbrook Poetica Red 2019
  • Kacaba Meritage 2017

Then on to the Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting with 37 stands featuring 42 wineries. Tasted selectively and really enjoyed Maria Bonita Vinho Verde Loureiro 2020, Casa Santos Lima Valcatrina 2020 (a Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Syrah blend from the Alentej), Symington Family Estates Florão 2018 and Quinta da Fonte Souto Vinha do Souto 2018, both from the Alentej, and Boas Quintas Opta Dão Gran Reserva 2017. Best value: Vidigal Porta 6 2020 (Tinta Roriz, Castelao, Touriga Nacional blend – $13.95). And some delicious Kranemann 10 Year Old Tawny.

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Other wines tasted this week:

Jackson-Triggs Le Clos Jordanne Village Pinot Noir 2019 (Niagara Peninsula, $25)
Ruby colour; lifted, raspberry nose with a mineral thread; medium-bodied, dry, ripe raspberry flavour, mouth-filling, elegant Burgundy-style (Volnay) and beautifully balanced. Good value. (90)

Speck Brothers Family Tree “The Soldier’s Wife” Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Niagara Peninsula, $16.95, #25649, Vintages release May 22nd)
Bright, palest straw in colour; guava and passionfruit nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, grapefruit and lemon flavours, beautifully balanced and crisp. (90)

Henry of Pelham Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (Niagara Peninsula, $15.95, #430546)
Pale straw colour; minerally, green plum and grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green apple and grapefruit flavours. (88)

Speck Brothers Three of Hearts Rosé 2021 (Niagara Peninsula, $19.95, #552562)
Pale pink colour; wild strawberry, lightly floral nose; medium-bodied, dry, redcurrant and raspberry flavours; elegant and delicate. (90)

Speck Brothers Three of Hearts Pinot Grigio 2020 (Niagara Peninsula, $19.95, #20374, Vintages release July 16th)
Pale straw in colour; minerally, peach pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (87)

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