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Daniel Lenko Winery (August 27, 2002)

Tasting Danny Lenko's wines is an experience. First, there is no formal tasting room; you sit in his mother's kitchen at the table and you'll be served some of Helen Lenko's legendary apple pie (or blueberry or pumpkin or maybe some sausage).

Danny's father, Bill, is a longtime grower who planted a Chardonnay vineyard 42 years ago – hence the Old Vines Chardonnay in both American ($19.95) and French oak ($24.95). You'll have to visit the winery to buy these babies, and you'd better hurry, because most of his wines are already sold out.

Lenko makes wines with consulting oenologist Jim Warren, and in three years of operation they have won more medals than you can shake a wine thief at.

Daniel Lenko Rosé 2000 (60% Zweigelt (a cross of Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent) and 40% Cabernet Franc)
$12.95
Deeply coloured; intense strawberry nose; fruity with a hint of residual sweetness but offset by lively acidity. Very clean. ***½

Reserve Riesling 2000
$10.95
Palest straw colour; grapefruit and tangerine; ripe, lively fruit, off-dry with nectarine and tangerine flavours. Good length. ****

Old Vines Chardonnay 2000 (American oak)
$19.95
Medium straw colour; oaky nose, intense pineapple; medium-bodied, smoky oak and caramel flavours, quite broad on the mid-palate, finishing with lively acidity. ****

Old Vines Chardonnay 2000 (French oak)
$24.95
Medium straw colour; apple and vanilla bouquet; more elegant and structured than the American oak version; pineapple and citrus flavours, clean-lined and long. More Puligny-Montrachet style. ****½

Zweigelt 2000
$14.95
Purple colour; peppery blackberry nose; spicy blackberry and licorice, rather like a lean Shiraz; light-bodied and chillable. ***

Cabernet Savignon 2000
$24.95
Aged in French oak. Purple ruby colour; smoky, vanilla and red berry nose; lightish, red currant flavour with a lovely floral top note (violets), well balanced. ****

Select Late Harvest Vidal 2000 (½ bottle)
$15.95
A real bargain. Has the intensity of Icewine at less than half the price. Rich, ripe, honeyed peach flavours, clean as a whistle with a lovely balance of sweetness and citrus acidity. ****½

Vidal Icewine 2000 (½ bottle)
$39.95
Old gold colour; intense honey and peachy-apricot fruit; full-bodied, slightly volatile with lively acidity and great length. ****

 

 

 

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