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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 300 (July 19, 2010)

Monday, July 12: I received the following email today: "If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1000.00. With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left. If you had purchased $1000 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of wine one year ago, drank all the wine, then turned in the bottles for the recycling REFUND, you would have had $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle."

Had lunch with Marc Nadeau at Auberge du Pommier. We had a glass of prosecco as we caught up on each other's news. Marc had brought along a bottle of 1996 Léoville-Poyferré, which was remarkably forward and drinking beautifully. I had a mushroom consommé and sautéed foie gras with warm brioche and peach compote that went beautifully with the wine. At 6 pm a meeting of the dinner committee for the Grapes for Humanity dinner in October. I had told everyone to meet at Didier's in the bar. When I got there it was closed (Monday) so we went across the road to Tim Hortons.

Tuesday, July 13: My friend Art picked me up and we drove with Larry, another member of the fishing trip coming up next week, to Le Baron to buy tackle. Picked up a new rod and larger lures for the big fish in the Northwest Territories. For dinner with roast chicken, a bottle of Closson Chase Iconoclast Chardonnay 2007. It reminded me of the wines Deborah Paskus made under the Temkin-Paskus labels in the 1990s.

Wednesday, July 14: A dental appointment. My dentist asked me if I knew any new clean jokes. I don't even know any new dirty jokes. His ceiling is full of fridge magnets to distract his patients. There must be a couple of hundred stuck to the metal frames that hold the sound tiles. At least it takes your mind off the cleaning procedure. I've never been good with dentists, or giving blood for that matter.

To dinner with our friends Penny and Anthony Bourne at Coquine. Forgot it was Bastille Day until I saw a large table with everyone wearing berets. In the spirit of the Revolution I ordered a bottle of Domaine Perron Beaujolais-Villages 2007 and Terre Mistral Côtes du Rhône 2008. Snails as a starter and then steak frites.

Thursday, July 15: Wrote up wine reviews for The County Grape Vine and Niagara Grapevine. In the evening I took a course in how to make paella at Pimenton, a fine food store on Mount Pleasant. The owner, Lola Csullog-Fernandez, conducted the class with her assistant Laura. There were four of us there, Mary (with whom I was partnered) and Vera and Vesna. We were shown how to prepare the ingredients, which included gutting and cleaning squid. The secret of paella, Lola told us, is the ratio of liquid to rice. We prepared two Paella Valenciana (chicken and seafood), which tasted different although we used the same ingredients and cooking method. The kitchen was really hot because the air conditioning had broken down but it was a highly enjoyable experience even though there was no wine to accompany the paella at the end of the night.


Lola, our teacher


Tony prepares paella


The finished dish

Friday, July 16: Another Vintages release tasting. In the evening we were invited to Ivan and Deborah Landers for dinner. I brought along Burrowing Owl Chardonnay 2008 (rich, tropical fruit and citrus with spicy oak) and Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 (full-bodied, smoky black cherry and black raspberry flavours). Our hosts served salmon which was delicious.

Saturday, July 17: Deborah and I are invited to Martin Malivoire and Moira Saganski for dinner in Beamsville. Philip Dowell, Angel's Gate's winemaker, is preparing a fish paella for ten as the centerpiece of a Spanish night. Cathy and Stephen Pauwels and Paula and Steve Elphick are the other guests along with Philip's wife Meg. I brought along a couple of bottles of Louis Pato Rosé sparkling wine (yes, it's Portuguese but at least it's Iberian). Since we arrived early we decided to drop in on Hidden Bench, where Meg works, to do a small tasting.

  • Hidden Bench Riesling Felseck Vineyard 2008: Pale straw colour; minerally, lime and grapefruit nose; tart grapefruit flavour, medium-bodied with a lively acidic finish. (89)
  • Hidden Bench Riesling Rosomel Vineyard Roman's Block 2008: Medium straw colour with a lime tint. Minerally and mealy nose with citrus; very Rheingau in style with a spicy grapefruit flavour. Fresh and lively on the palate with great energy. (91)
  • Hidden Bench Gewurztraminer Felseck Vineyard 2009: Pale straw colour; lychee, rose petal and grapefruit bouquet; initially dry, high-toned, full-bodied and mouth-filling; it has some sweetness in mid-palate more due to alcohol than residual sugar. A little too brawny. (87)
  • Hidden Bench Fumé Blanc Rosomel Vineyard 2008: Straw colour; rich, intense passion fruit, gooseberry and fig bouquet, replicated on the palate with a full, creamy mouth feel. (90)
  • Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay 2008: Straw colour; apple and barnyard notes on the nose; full on the palate with buttery, caramel and citrus flavours. Finishes with a creamy, toasty, oaky flavour. (90)
  • Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rosé 2009 (Pinot Noir and Malbec with 3% Viognier): Deep pink in colour; rich cherry nose with a citrus note; dry, mouth-filling with a mineral note. Very Tavel in style. (89)
  • Hidden Bench Locust Lane Pinot Noir 2007: Deep ruby; a nose of black raspberries and minerals; flavours of black raspberry and rose petals, firm and full on the palate with a warm alcoholic finish and chewy tannins. (89)
  • Hidden Bench Terroir Caché 2007 (43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot): Dense ruby colour; very claret-like on the nose – tobacco and blackcurrant with a cedary note; a lovely floral note on the palate with vanilla oak and lead pencil mixed with the succulent blackcurrant fruit. Rich and full-bodied. (92)
  • Hidden Bench La Brunante 2007: Dense ruby colour; cedar, blackcurrant nose; richly extracted fruit but not as complete as Terroir Caché. Acidity standing out at the moment. All the elements are there for a great wine, it just needs a year or two in bottle. (90++)

I bought two bottles of Terroir Caché and one of the Rosomel Riesling as well as some bars of Donini chocolate for wine pairing before heading to Martin Malivoire's. A great evening of Spanish food, wine and laughter.

 

 

 

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