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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 254 (August 31, 2009)

Tuesday, August 25: Coming back from fishing after eight days the emails have piled up. A gratifying number of Nigerian lotto winnings and messages from the heirs to dictators' Swiss bank accounts that they want to share with me. But I remember my mother's homily: "There are no free lunches so always eat a good breakfast." Finished off the Canadian wine routes for the Readers' Digest book and sent the section off to the publishers in London.

Wednesday, August 26: Drove down to Flat Rock Cellars for a meeting with Ed Madronich, the new Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario, regarding the Ontario Wine Awards and Sip&Savour Ontario. While there Ed poured some of his 2007 wines.

  • Flat Rock Gravity Pinot Noir 2007: ruby with a purple tint; a concentrated nose of plums and black cherries; medium-bodied, richly extracted, sweet spicy black cherry fruit with a thread of minerality. Unquestionably the best Pinot Flat Rock has made to date (92). I bought six bottles.
  • Flat Rock "Unplugged" Chardonnay 2007: light straw colour with a green tint; apple and lemon bouquet with a fresh green pineapple and lemon flavour; good length. Well balanced for such a warm year. (90)
  • Flat Rock Gewurztraminer 2007: very pale colour with a lime tint; a nose of lychees and rose petals; clean, quintessential Gewurz character, grapefruit and lychee flavours; very elegant with a dry finish. (90)
  • Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard Riesling 2007: pale straw colour; minerally, lime on the nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry and elegant with great length. Very Mosel in style. (91)
  • Flat Rock Estate Riesling 2007: pale straw-lime colour; a bouquet of ripe peach, lime and honey with a hint of petrol. Medium sweet, peach and citrus flavours; well balanced with a touch of bitterness on the finish. (89)

Thursday, August 27: A tasting with David Lawrason and Doug Towers for Winerytohome. Sampled a couple of wines from a new Ontario winery – Nyarai Cellars. Steve Byfield is the winemaker. The Chardonnay 2007 is impressive (well-integrated oak with apple and citrus flavours.) To dinner at The Homeway with our friends Anthony and Penny Bourne. Brought along two wines. Michael, the chef, prepare us a meal of fish soup and ribs and steak. Very tasty. The wines:

  • Niagara College Teaching Winery Chardonnay 2008 (aged in French and Hungarian oak): deep straw colour with a spicy, ripe pear, pineapple and caramel nose; richly flavoured, full on the palate with harmonious oak flavours that end with a nutty finish. Fresh acidity gives the wine good length and extended life. (91)
  • Niagara College Teaching Winery Pinot Noir 2007 (aged in Canadian oak): deep ruby colour; lifted, high-toned nose of mocha, black cherries, leather and spicy vanilla oak; medium-bodied, dry, savoury flavour. Well balanced, good length. (90)

Friday, August 28: A Vintages release tasting for October. For dinner with Chinese pasta stuffed with lamb and corn off the cob, Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2007 from South Africa. Was expecting more concentration of fruit for the price. Deborah and I went to see Julie & Julia. Enjoyed the movie immensely but was interested to see that Julie, in preparing Julia Child's bœuf bourguignon recipe, used a red Bordeaux rather than a Burgundy in the preparation – although there was a Burgundy on the table when she and her husband ate the dish.




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