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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 295 (June 14, 2010)

Monday, June 7: Wrote a column for Lexpert magazine on the Chardonnay tasting in London. This tasting may well prove to be a seminal event for the Ontario wine industry. It certainly changed the perceptions of the British wine writers who were there.

Lunch at Biagio's to taste Castello Banfi wines with Enrico Viglierchio, their General Manager. Memorable quote that came out of the lunch: "Rosso di Montalcino is not the waste bin of Brunello."

  • Banfi Poggio all'Oro Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004: deep ruby; cedar, spicy tobacco nose; majestic, dry, earthy, cherry; tannic and tight, richly extracted. Needs time but will be a glorious wine in five years. (93)
  • Vigne Regali Cuvée Aurora Rosé 2006: a lovely sparkler, pale pink in colour with a bluish tint; light, elegant, cranberry and pomegranate flavours with good acidity. (89)
  • Banfi Centine Bianco di Toscana 2009 (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio): straw coloured; grassy, green apple nose; flavours of grapefruit and white peach, medium-bodied with lively acidity. (87)
  • Vigne Regali Gavia 2009 (100% Cortese): light straw colour; minerally apple nose; fresh, clean, floral-apple flavour with a salty note on the finish. (88)
  • Banfi Centine Rosso di Toscana (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot): dense purple-ruby; plum, red berries on the nose with a touch of oak spice; Cabernet Sauvignon sings through with its firm structure, savoury, coffee bean finish. (88)
  • Banfi La Lus Monferrato Rosso 2007 (100% Albarossa – a Nebbiolo/Barbera cross): dense purple; floral, cherries and chestnut aromas; lovely mouth feel – dry, elegant, spicy, finishes firmly with good acidity. (90) This variety is also produced by Chiara, Prunotto and Gancia.
  • Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2008: ruby colour; a nose of cherries and violets and vanilla oak; elegant, dry, cherry and plum flavours with evident oak. Again, great mouth feel. (90)
  • Banfi Belnero Toscana IGT 2007 (Sangiovese with small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot): dense ruby-purple; cedar, dried currants, vanilla oak; full-bodied, firmly structured, black fruit flavours. Tight at the moment, needs time. (91)
  • Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2004: deep ruby; spicy, cherry and plum; soft and forward with a lovely texture on the palate; great balance. (91)
  • Banfi Poggio Alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino 2004: dense ruby colour; spicy tobacco and cherry nose; intense cherry flavour, firm and powerful. A good cellar candidate. (92)

Tuesday, June 8: Wrote a piece for Jean-Charles Boisset's anthology, Pinot Noir: A Love Story. In addition, J-C is asking for one-word answers for such questions as, "If Pinot Noir were a philosopher/a toy/a composer/a season..."  

Wednesday, June 9: A Vintages tasting this morning for the second half of the July release. For dinner with tilapia: Château de Montgueret Crémant de Loire Brut. A delightful sparkler for the reluctant Champagne drinker. Yellow straw in colour with a complex nose of quince, mushroom and chalk. Tart on the palate with a green apple flavour; medium-bodied with good length. (89)

Thursday, June 10: This evening a tasting of Ontario wines in Oakville for the successful bidder at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of York.

  • Henry of Pelham Off-Dry Riesling 2008
  • Rosewood Gewurztraminer 2008
  • Rosewood Pinot Noir 2007
  • Inniskillin Legacy Cabernet Franc 2007
  • Creekside Meritage Reserve 2005
  • Jackson-Triggs Delaine Vineyard Shiraz 2006
  • Pillitteri Select Late Harvest Riesling 2008

For dinner with pasta: Masi Valpolicella Bonacosta 2008. Italy's answer to Beaujolais. Ruby coloured with a nose of cherry and cinnamon. Dry and fresh on the palate, light-bodied and easy drinking. And you can chill it – a versatile food wine with tomato-based dishes. (87)

Friday, June 11: Worked on a wine list for The Rainbow Room (not the one in the Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, but the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls). Massimo Capra of Mistura has done an interesting menu. For dinner, lamb chops done on the BBQ with Flat Rock Pinot Noir 2007. Our oven has been out of commission for over a month now – waiting for Whirlpool to come and fix it.




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