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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 294 (June 7, 2010)

Monday, May 31: The worst part of coming back from a two-week trip (London and Spain) is the accumulation of emails and phone messages and snail mail that has to be answered. Pinot the Wonder Dog gave Deborah and me a tongue lashing (barking) for being away so long, in spite of the fact that she had friends of Deborah's living in the condo to cater to her every need.

Cooked moules marinère for dinner and served it with a bottle of Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 (perfect match). Felt like I was in France.

Tuesday, June 1: Woke up to no electricity. Apparently there was a fire in a junction box just around the corner and the entire neighbourhood is without power. Without electricity there is no way to work so I tasted some wine after giving Pinot a long walk.

Terzetto Pinot Grigio 2008: Trentino meets Oregon in this dry, well extracted Pinot Grigio (which, stylistically, should be called a Pinot Gris, except that the name sounds Italian and there are bocce players on the label). Full on the palate with finely honed flavours of white peach and pear and a spicy oak finish. A wine to match veal or roast chicken (90).

Niagara College Teaching Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine 2009: Tawny orange colour with a bouquet of strawberry jam; full on the palate with a honeyed strawberry flavour and balancing acidity to ameliorate the sweetness. (92)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Savant Icewine 2009: A field blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec and some Pinot Noir – coppery orange colour with a creamy, nutty, honeyed nose; unctuous mouth feel with a honey and redcurrant flavour. (91)

Niagara College Teaching Winery Prodigy Icewine 2009: Vidal, Chardonnay and Riesling blend – lemon yellow colour; spicy citrus mango and honey on the nose; rich and full on the palate with racy acidity and great length. (93)

The power came back on at 1 pm and then went off again at 4 pm. We though we'd have to cook on the BBQ but as we were preparing dinner it came on again. Chicken salad and corn accompanied by the Terzetto Pinot Grigio 2008.

Wednesday, June 2: Lunch with Merry Edwards at Vertical Restaurant. Merry has made 37 vintages now. She was the winemaker at Matanzas Creek and Mount Eden. Currently her winery produces Pinot Noirs from Sonoma Coast and Russian River as well as six single-vineyard wines.

Merry Edwards

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Sonoma Cost 2007: Deep ruby colour; intense, spicy plum, smoke and leather nose; sweet fruit, full on the palate with a lively spine of acidity, well integrated oak and ripe tannins. (91)

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River 2007: Deep ruby; expressive terroir notes, black raspberry, earthy with a floral grace note; broader on the palate than the Sonoma Coast but with a velvety mouth feel; sweet fruit, plump middle and firmly structured. Needs time. (91 +)

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River 2003: Deep ruby, holding colour; a nose of blackcurrants, vanilla oak and violets; great balance, youthful still, drier and firmed than the younger wines but very focused and elegant with a tannic lift on the finish. (92)

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard 2007 (Martini clone): Ruby colour; minty, meaty and gravelly with a floral grace note; sweet black raspberry and cherry flavours with a nuance of  banana skin; firm structure but mellow tannins. (89)

The vineyard is named after Merry's husband

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Coopersmith Vineyard 2007: Deep ruby; minerally, white pepper, meaty, black cherry again with that floral grace note; round and full on the palate, great length and balance. A lovely drop of wine and quite forward. (92)

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Meredith Estate 2007: Deep ruby; inky, barnyard note, minerally, red fruit bouquet; full-bodied, rich and spicy. Black cherry flavour, powerful but well balanced and fleshy. Needs more bottle age. (91+)

Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Meredith Estate 2003: Deep ruby; barnyard note; sweet rhubarb, smoke, toast, cherry with a violet note; very elegant, firmly structured with great length; ripe tannins. Drinking beautifully now. (93)

Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc 2009: This wine was a revelation to me and quite the best Sauvignon I've tasted out of Sonoma. Straw coloured with a grassy, passion fruit nose; creamy palate with flavours of vanilla, peach and passion fruit; lovely integration of oak, great mouth feel and lingering on the palate. (93)

Merry Edwards's Sauvignon Blanc label: The only way it got past the BATF in the States was by the addition of the ribbon

In the evening a wine tasting in the offices of a dental surgeon for his colleagues. We tasted the following wines:

  • Cave Spring Estate Riesling 2008 (Ontario)
  • Concha y Toro Trio Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio Pinot Blanc 2008 (Chile)
  • Thelema Sunderland Chardonnay 2007 (South Africa)
  • Shingle Peak Pinot Noir 2008 (New Zealand)
  • Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Chile)
  • D'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2007 (Australia)

Thursday, June 3: Lunch at Ichiriki, a Japanese restaurant on Bloor, with Fred Bacher and Martin Harbury to discuss a possible TV series on Canadian wine. Wrote up the introduction to the winning Canadian wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards for the October issue of the magazine.

Friday, June 4: Wrote an article for Post City Magazines on twelve great wines under $20. My son Guy came round for dinner. He loves pasta. I served Rustichella d'Abruzzo's pappardelle with meat sauce (my pal Jim Savone at Brunello Imports turned me on to this great ribbon-like pasta). The wine: Terzetto  Barbera 2007 from Oregon. A hearty, mouth-filling, purple-coloured wine with sweet black cherry and plum flavours, full-bodied, high-toned with evident creamy oak. (88).




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