A Wine Lover's Diary, part 270 (December 21, 2009)
Monday, December 14: Worked on material for Grapes for Humanity's AGM tomorrow evening.
Tuesday, December 15: More of the same. The AGM is at Joel Rose's house. His son Anthony is a chef at the Drake Hotel and supplied a platter of charcuterie for the meeting. I brought two bottles of Veuve Clicquot Brut and Joel opened a couple of bottles of as delicious Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smargd Loibner Berg 2007. The meeting went very well and we welcomed Rudi Blatter, CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli Canada, as a new director of the foundation.
Wednesday, December 16: Work is slowing down as we approach Christmas but there is a tasting this evening of wines imported by Alex Nokhrin at Focaccia restaurant on Hayden Street. Not the ideal venue for a tasting, as the lights were very dim and there were other diners upstairs who were determined to let us hear their entire conversation. But the wines were interesting. Alex represents a relatively new champagne house called Pierrel, as well as Burgundy, Bordeaux and Loire producers.
- Pierrel Oressences Chardonnay Champagne: Good active mousse; almond blossom, minerally, apple nose with a white pepper note; reminded me of a sparkling Grüner Veltliner with its dry peach and white pepper flavour; clean and fresh with good concentration of flavour. (91)
- Pierrel Tradition Brut Rosé (10% Pinot Noir): Salmon pink; minerally, wild strawberry and apple bouquet; mouth-filling with a softness on the palate; a red berry flavour, good acidity and length. (89)
- Pierrel Tradition Brut: Straw coloured with a minerally, green apple and white flower nose; full-bodied with a noticeable residual sweetness in mind palate; the flavour of red apples. (88)
- Domaine de la Poulette Côtes de Nuits-Villages Blanc 2007: Straw coloured; minerally, apple with evident oak and a barnyard note; spicy, lemony, apple flavour with lively acidity; full on the palate with decent length. (88)
- Domaine Machard de Gramont Nuits St. Georges "Les Creux Fraiche Eau" 2007: Straw colour with a spicy pear nose; a fine spine of acidity, full-bodied, fresh and lively pear and apple flavours; good length. (89)
- Charles Wantz Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Kirchberg 1999: Straw colour; intense, oily, spicy, lychee nose with rose water aromas; dry, oaky and mature with a peachy flavour; full-bodied with good length but showing its age. (89)
- Charles Wantz Muscat "M" Collection Personelle 2007: Unfortunately corked.
- Domaine Machard de Gramont Pommard "Clos Blanc" 2006: Solid ruby colour; cherry, minerally, earthy, beetroot nose; well extracted fruit, firmly structured and tight at the moment; but will develop – lovely note of violets on the finish; great mouth-feel. (90)
- Château du Grand Moueys Premières Côtes de Bordeaux 2004 (50% Merlot, 25% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc): Dense ruby colour; cedar and blackcurrant nose; firmly structured, medium-bodied, dry curranty flavour with a floral note and a savoury finish. (89)
- Domaine de la Poulette Nuits-St-Georges "Les Vaucrain" 2001: Deep ruby colour; minerally, black raspberry nose; soft and elegant but well structured. Quite forward but well balanced, with raspberry and apple peel flavours; firm tannic finish.
Thursday, December 17: Spent most of the day preparing for a dinner party this evening. We've invited Paul Kostoff and Lisa Heath and Bruce and Jay Stinson. Opened a bottle of Tawse Quarry Road Gewurztraminer 2008 with the hors d'oeuvres (grilled almonds and phyllo pastry things I bought at Metro). The first course was salmon with a honey mustard, soy and sesame crust on a bed of baby spinach, served with Domaine Marc Morey & Fils Chassagne Montrachet Virondot 1995. The main course was rack of lamb with boiled potatoes, broccolini and peas with De Martino Gran Familia Cabernet Sauvignon 1999. With the cheese tray, Vincor Unity Wine Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2002 (a blend of Ontario and BC wine). Dessert: pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream.
Friday, December 18: Today is the annual Saintsbury Society Christmas lunch. Tony Hirons, Irvin Wolkoff and I met at The Homeway. Chef Michael came in specially to prepare the lunch. I brought a bottle of Happy Hour Jurançon Sec 2006 and De Martin Gran Familia 2001 (corked, damn). Irvin brought Chave Hermitage 1985 (mildly corked, double damn) and Tony brought Cloof Crucible Shiraz 2006 (which was fine). The menu: charred corn and prawn bisque with jalapeño foam and fresh chives; seared foie gras with grilled pineapple, shiitake mushroom and pomegranate ragu; almond crusted ahi tuna with wild Atlantic salmon ceviche. Dessert: deep-fried bananas. Larry, the proprietor, treated us to a glass of Mittnacht-Klack Gewurztraminer 2007. Had a hour's sleep and then a taxi to the Donalda Club to have dinner with my old friend Gordon Pape. The Donalda was putting on a Bordeaux tasting before the set meal. Gordon and I had a glass each of Château
Haut Selve 2007 (a delicious white) and Château
Rocher Lydere 2005 (quaffable). At dinner the waiters poured an anonymous claret which deserved its anonymity. Finished the evening with a glass of Hennessy VSOP at he bar.