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A Wine Lover's Diary, Part 539: Guy's Engagement (April 6, 2015)


Sasha and Guy

Monday, March 30: Flew back from Edmonton after a great week of fine dining during the inaugural Northern Lands Wine Festival. Looking forward to the next one in two years' time. Came back to a pile of emails.

Tuesday, March 31: Worked on the Ontario Wine Awards, putting the judging panels together. Then picked up wine from Geddy Lee for Grapes for Humanity's silent auction at "Italy Uncorked" on May 7th at St James Cathedral event space.

Wednesday, April 1: Worked on getting wines donated for the tasting aspect of "Italy Uncorked." In the evening, down to the National Club to conduct a tasting of Canadian wines for the successful bidder at the Amani gala fund-raiser dinner. The wines:

  • Hillebrand Showcase Ghost Creek Riesling 2012 (ON)
  • Creekside Laura's Blend 2010 (ON)
  • Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir 2007 (BC)
  • Hillebrand Showcase Red Shale Cabernet Franc 2010 (ON)
  • Mooncurser Malbec 2010 (BC)
  • Kacaba Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (ON)
  • Vineland Estates Elevation Cabernet 2009 (ON)
  • Coyote's Run Red Paw Vineyard Syrah 2007 (ON)
  • Burrowing Owl Syrah 2005 (BC)

The wines showed very well.

Thursday, April 2: Spent much of the day chasing up more wine donations for Grapes for Humanity's fund-raiser on May 7th. Wrote my On The Go column and did some tasting:

  • Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand – $15.95): very pale, almost water white in colour; sweaty, green bean nose; more interesting on the palate with tart, gooseberry and green plum flavours with a touch of sweetness in mid palate, finishing crisply dry. (87)
  • Blue Mountain Chardonnay 2013 (Okanagan Valley): straw colour; apple nose with well integrated oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, mouth-filling flavours of apple and pineapple rounded out with oak. Good length. (89)
  • CedarCreek Platinum Chardonnay Block 5 Chardonnay 2013 (Okanagan Valley): light straw colour; nutty, apple and toasty oak nose; medium-bodied, dry, spicy pear and apple flavours. Great balance and mouth feel with an orange and dry caramel finish. (91)
  • Franciscan Estate Chardonnay 2013 (Napa Valley – $24.95): straw colour; apple, toasty oak with a barnyard note developing on the nose; full-bodied, dry, mouth-filling, minerally, tropical fruit flavours with lively acidity. Lots of flavour here, fleshy and lingering. (89+)
  • Château des Charmes Rosé Cuvée Andrée 2014 (Niagara-on-the-Lake – $14.95): deep pink with a bluish tint; strawberry and sweet rhubarb on the nose; medium-bodied, dry with a sour cherry and strawberry flavour; fresh and lively on the palate. (88)
  • Matua Pinot Noir 2013 (Marlborough – $17.95): ruby colour with a violet rim; black raspberry with a floral note on the nose; light on the palate while filling the mouth; dry, medium-bodied, raspberry and cranberry flavours with enough tannin for structure. Easy drinking. (88+)
  • Blue Mountain Pinot Noir 2013 (Okanagan Valley): ruby colour; earthy, high-toned cherry nose; dry, medium-bodied, thick on the palate with a herbal finish, broadened by 10 months in oak. (88)
  • CedarCreek Meritage 2012 (Okanagan Valley – Merlot 46%, Cabernet Sauvignon 21%, Malbec 20%, Cabernet Franc 9%, Petit Verdot 4%): dense ruby-purple colour; cedar, smoky, black fruits on the nose with blackcurrant predominating over the oak notes; dry, medium to full bodied with driving acidity. Needs time. (88–89)
  • CedarCreek Platinum Desert Ridge Merlot 2012 (Okanagan Valley): dense ruby-purple colour; cedar, tobacco, blackcurrant and blackberry nose; richly extracted fruit with powdering tannins, cherry and currant flavours with racy acidity. Again, needs time. (89–90)
  • CedarCreek Platinum Desert Ridge Meritage 2012 (Okanagan Valley – Merlot 54%, Cabernet Sauvignon 32%, Cabernet Franc 7%, Malbec 4%, Petit Verdot 3%): dense ruby-purple colour; cedar, tobacco, blackcurrant nose; full-bodied, dry, spicy, blackcurrant and blueberry flavours with well integrated oak. Racy acidity and fine powdery tannins. (89–90)
  • Simi Merlot 2012 (with 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc: Sonoma County – $22.95): deep ruby colour; spicy vanilla oak dark chocolate, blueberry pie nose; dry, medium to full-bodied, plum and blueberry flavours carried on lively acidity to a firm finish. (89)
  • Saved 2012 (27% Merlot, 19% Malbec, 17% Syrah, 13% Zinfandel , with 7% Sauzao, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon – fruit from Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara County and Dry Creek – $29.95): deep ruby colour; black fruits on the nose with spicy oak; full-bodied, blackcurrant and blackberry flavours, fleshy on the palate with chocolate and berry flavours kept in check by corseting tannins. A voluptuous wine that finishes firmly. (90)

Friday, April 3: Good Friday. A long walk with Pinot in the park then after lunch another walk along Yonge Street, greeting other dogs. Followed by a tasting:

  • Quails' Gate Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris 2014 (Okanagan Valley): pale straw colour; minerally, white peach nose; dry, medium-bodied, peach and citrus flavours. Well balanced with a touch of bitter almond on the finish. (87)
  • Quails' Gate Chardonnay 2013 (Okanagan Valley): light straw colour; spicy, pear nose; clove, pear and apple flavours with lively citrus acidity. Well balanced with good length and evident oak notes. (89)
  • Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2014 (Okanagan Valley): very pale, almost water white in colour; lightly floral on the nose with minerally, citrus aromas; medium-bodied, off-dry, pink grapefruit and honey flavours nicely balanced by racy, lemony acidity. (89)
  • Quails' Gate Gewurztraminer 2014 (Okanagan Valley): very pale, almost water white; spicy, grapefruit nose; rose petal and grapefruit flavour with lively acidity. Should develop a more fragrant nose with bottle age. (88)
  • Lagaria Chardonnay Vignetti delle Dolomiti 2013 (Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto fruit – $13.55): pale straw colour; minerally, pear skin nose; dry, medium-bodied, spicy oak and pineapple flavours carried on citrus acidity. (87+)
  • Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 2013 (Russian River Valley Sonoma County – $23.95): pale straw colour; smoky, spicy, oaky nose; medium to full-bodied, sweet fruit (apple and pear) backed by spicy oak. Easy drinking. (88)
  • Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 (Prince Edward County – $27.95): straw coloured; spicy oak and apple nose; full on the palate with green pineapple and apple flavours given some uplift by the well-integrated oak. Great length. More restrained and elegant than previous vintages of this wine. (92)
  • Pink House Wine Co. Chardonnay Merlot 2013 (Niagara Peninsula – $12.95): orange-pink colour; earthy strawberry nose; medium-bodied, sweetish strawberry puree flavour with an apple note. Heavy on the palate. (86)
  • Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry Pink 2014 (Niagara Peninsula – $13.95: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay): deep salmon pink; cherry and watermelon on the nose; sweetish redcurrant and cherry flavours finishing dry. (86+)
  • Henry of Pelham Rosé 2014 (Niagara Peninsula – $13.95: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc): salmon pink; banana, strawberry nose with a floral note; strawberry and watermelon flavours with lively acidity. Fresh and easy drinking. (87)
  • Quails' Gate Rosé 2014 (Okanagan Valley): pale pink with a bluish tint; minerally, cherry pit nose; dry, medium-bodied, full in the mouth with a faint spritz; sour cherry flavour. (87)
  • Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2013 (Okanagan Valley): ruby-plum colour; high toned, cherry nose with an earthy note; medium-bodied, firmly structured with a flavour of sweet black cherries and a warm alcoholic finish. (89)
  • M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2013 (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan- $15.45): deep purple-ruby; pepper, herbal, savoury nose of blackberries and tobacco; full-bodied, richly extracted, dry and savoury with a floral uplift on the finish. Lively acidic spine with a firm finish. (91)
  • William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012 ($44.95): dense purple-black in colour; cedar, blackcurrant, vanilla oak nose; rich and mouth-filling blackcurrant and blackberry, mocha flavours with powdery tannins; full-bodied and expansive on the palate. (90)
  • Café Culture Coffee Mocha Pinotage 2014 (Western Cape, South Africa): deep ruby purple colour; smoky, tarry, blackberry nose; sweet, charred oak and coffee bean flavour with enough acidity to give length and structure. Full-bodied, oak-driven, finishing dry. (87+)

Saturday, April 4: My son called from Niagara-on-the-Lake this afternoon to tell me that he had proposed to his girlfriend Sasha and she had said "Yes!" Deborah and I are delighted.

 

 

 

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