A Wine Lover's Diary, part 335: An End to Hoarding (March 21, 2011)
Monday, March 14: My computer has been attacked by malware. I take this as a personal insult. Every time I Google a subject and try to visit that site for research I am connected to a site that is trying to sell me something. Hate computers.
Preparing for the Ontario Wine Awards judging this Saturday. Getting the scoring sheets ready. For dinner Monte Antico Toscana 2007 (a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) with Italian sausage and tomato sauce pasta.
Tuesday, March 15: An email exchange with Mary Ogaki at Transat Cruises. We're trying to put together a Mediterranean cruise for September that starts in Rome and visits Sorrento, Taormina, Malta, Barcelona, Dubrovnik and Split and ends in Venice.
Wrote my Tidings commentary on the fact that I'm no longer hoarding my fine wines. I'm drinking them before they get too old. What have I been waiting for? That special occasion that is never special enough? For dinner, baked prosciutto-wrapped tilapia with SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Santa Barbara, a very respectable Sauvignon at a bargain price with good varietal character.
Wednesday, March 16: Visited the Bell Lightbox on King Street for a site inspection prior to a tasting I'm conducting there for a corporation at the end of the month. A very impressive building. After lunch, down to Le Select for a tasting of William Fèvre Chablis led by the winemaker, Didier Seguier. We started with two wines from the 2008 vintage, which Didier called a "connoisseur's vintage" because of the classic racy acidity. The 2009s that followed were much broader, rounder and more like Côte Beaune. I particularly like William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru "Les Preuses" Domaine 2008 (very pale colour with a minerally nose of white flowers and pear; lovely mouth feel, great balance with refreshing acidity (91)). The Grands Crus of the 2009 seemed better balanced than the Premiers Crus. I scored Les Preuses 2009 at 91 points and the rich and elegant Les Clos 2009 at 92 points. Bougerot
2009 and Vaudésir
2009 both scored 90.
After tasting all the wines, I was impressed how reliable the appellations distinctions are in Chablis. Those guys really nailed it – how they divided the region into Petit Chablis, village Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Of all the appellations in France this is the most exact.
Will Predhomme, the sommelier at Canoe, dropped by in the evening for a chat and we got into a bottle of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from the Alexander Valley which Deborah and I finished for dinner with chicken stir-fry.
Thursday, March 17: I put on a green T-shirt in honour of St. Patrick's Day. I have more right than most to wear green today since my father was born in Belfast before Partition.
Wrote my wine reviews for Tidings and an article about MOVI, a group of garagiste winemakers in Chile who are stirring things up down there. Booked my flight to Yellowknife for my annual fishing trip in August. Going back to the same camp the six of us fished last year. Bass Pro replaced the rod I broke there trying to land a monster lake trout. Evaluated a list of wines for a hospital fund-raiser auction. Went to Debu for dinner with Deborah, an excellent Indian restaurant on Mt. Pleasant just north of Davisville. Nouvelle-style cuisine.
Friday, March 18: Spent much of the day on final preparations for tomorrow's Ontario Wine Awards judging at Crush. On the phone to Jeff Baker in New York, who created the competition's software. Had him remotely take over my lap-top to install this year's file. Very cool.
Saturday, March 19: Up early to walk Pinot the Wonder Dog before leaving for Crush to set up the Ontario Wine Awards judging. Sadie Darby and her crew of elves were already there putting out the glasses and numbering them. There are some huge flights this year – 38 Meritage entered, 31 Pinot Noir, 26 Sparkling. The panels of four will taste about 70 wines each. The second half of the competition happens next Saturday and the sweet wines will be tasted on that Sunday.
Sheila Swerling-Puritt was one of the judges. It's birthday today so we presented her with a cake. Sheila came over for dinner and brought shucked oysters and Riopelle cheese. We started with melon and prosciutto and I cooked a cheese soufflé. Opened a bottle of Closson Chase Chardonnay 2007 and a Wynns Coonawarra John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (in the spirit of my new resolve to drink my wines rather than hoard them).