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A Wine Lover's Diary, Part 589: It's a Girl! (March 21, 2016)

Monday, March 14th: Wrote my Quench column on Grenache and submitted 30 wine reviews for the magazine. Called Sadie Darby in Hawaii to discuss the Lieutenant Governor Awards judging. Tasted Jackson-Triggs Entourage Brut 2011: light straw colour with an active mousse; citrus and apple nose with a mineral thread; medium-bodied, dry, green apple, citrus and almond flavour; elegant with good length. (90)

Tuesday, March 15th: A day of paying bills and sending emails. Sent some articles to the magazine I write for in China. Dinner at L'Avenue. Brought along a bottle of 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif 2014 (Victoria, Australia – $16.95): dense purple-black in colour; peppery, herbal black fruit nose; full-bodied, dry and savoury with a firm tannic finish. (88.5). Ota opened a bottle of Big Head Botrytis Affected Chenin Blanc 2014 (Ontario – $34.00): old gold colour; honeyed pear nose; rich and full on the palate, the sweetness tempered by balancing acidity – an impressive, broad-shouldered wine. (90)

Wednesday, March 16th: Great news today. Guy phoned to say that the ultrasound shows that Sasha is going to have a girl (in August). Spent much of the day printing off Blue Jay tickets and renewing my licence and car sticker on line. For dinner, baked tilapia with a bottle of Baron de Hoen Riesling Reserve 2014 (Alsace): straw colour; lime and green apple with a minerally, floral note; medium-bodied, dry, green apple, grapefruit and lime flavours with tangerine-like acidity and a touch of bitterness on the finish. (88)

Thursday, March 17th: Spent a productive day working on the novel and then got down to some tasting:

  • Lagaria Chardonnay 2013 (Trentino – $13.55): light lemon colour; minerally, apple and citrus nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple skin flavour, a little short on finish. (86)
  • Peller Estates Pinot Gris 2012 (Niagara Peninsula – $18.95): straw colour; white peach and peach pit nose; medium to full-bodied, dry with well extracted fruit with a touch of bitterness and browning apple on the finish. (86)
  • Flat Rock Cellars Riesling 2014 (Twenty Mile Bench – $16.95): very pale with a hint of lime; minerally citrus nose developing petrol notes; off-dry, medium-bodied, honey and grapefruit flavours. Well-made and good value. (89)
  • Thirty Bench Small Lot Gewurztraminer 2013 (Beamsville Bench – $30): old gold colour; lychee, rose petal and pink grapefruit nose; dry, medium-bodied, richly extracted cardamom and lychee flavours. Mouth-filling with a lingering Turkish Delight finish. (91)
  • Kim Crawford Corner 50 Vineyard Merlot Cabernet 2013 (Hawke's Bay, $29.95): dense purple-ruby colour; cedar, sandalwood, smoky, spicy black fruit nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, plum and currant flavours with lively acidity and soft tannins; creamy mid-palate. (88)
  • Toscolo Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 (Tuscany – $25.95): ruby with a mature rim; leather, coffee, cherry with a cedary note on the nose; dry, lean, cherry and bitter chocolate flavours with powdery tannins. (87)
  • Kacaba Terraced Vineyard Syrah 2013 (Niagara Escarpment- $24.95): dense purple colour; spicy, black olive, blackberry nose with evident oak; dry, medium-bodied, black cherry and dark chocolate flavours – marred by a hint of cork (but a good wine is lurking there).
  • Kacaba Proprietor's Block Syrah 2013 (Niagara Escarpment – $24.95): dense purple colour; spicy, cedar, blackberry, pepper nose; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, black cherry with a lively spine of acidity – a seamless wine. (89)
  • Sledgehammer California Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($16.95): deep ruby colour; cedary, spicy, currants on the nose; full-bodied, dry, fruit-driven with a savoury, truffle note. Touch of sweetness in mid-palate. (87)
  • Sledgehammer California Zinfandel 2013 ($16.95): deep ruby-purple colour; leather and plum nose with some wood spice; full-bodied, sweetish plum and tobacco flavours. Easy drinking with a soft descent. A good commercial wine. (87.5)
  • Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (Maipo Valley – $21.95): dense ruby-purple colour; very Bordeaux on the nose – cedar and blackcurrant; full-bodied, dry, richly extracted, tar, dark chocolate and black fruit flavours. Mouth-filling with ripe, powdery tannins. (89)

Friday, March 18th: Before going to LCBO for the Vintages April 2nd release tasting, tasted Ascheri Barbera d'Alba 2014 (Piemonte – $16) : deep ruby colour; cherry, plum and wood spice on the nose; medium-bodied dry and savoury with a sour cherry flavour' mellow tannins, well balanced with fresh acidity. Good value. (89)

Saturday, March 19th: Went to the Eaton Centre to check out new laptops. Mac or Microsoft? Leaning towards a Mac even though it will be a learning curve for me.




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