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A Wine Lover's Diary, part 56 (October 11, 2005)

Monday, October 3: A meeting this morning with Meridian regarding sponsorship off the Ontario Wine Awards. Came home and wrote my wine reviews for 680 News and continued the line by line editing of the Ontario section of the atlas. Had an email from John Hinnen at 680 asking me to call a listener who wanted the name of a wine I reviewed last week that cost $7.95. It was Corten Merlot 2003 from Moldova. The guy said a friend of his heard the broadcast and told him about this Mondavi wine that cost $7.95. That will be the day. For dinner, pasta with a half bottle of Arzuaga Crianza 2001 from Ribera del Duero, very New world in style.

Tuesday, October 4: Back to the book, almost finished Ontario, should be done by tomorrow. Just waiting fro some emails to come in with details of certain wineries. Recorded my six reviews for 680 News. The producer tells me that the cumulative audience for these wine spots over Friday, Saturday and Sunday is 1.5 million listeners. I wonder how many of them heard Mondavi for Moldova? This evening is the first of my Tuesday night tastings at Grano for the season. Twenty-five people have booked. Here are the wines we're tasting:

  • Reception wine: Tselepos Amalia Brut
  • Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2004 (Thessalonika)
  • Teselopos Mantinia Moscofilero 2004
  • Tsantli Metoxi 2000 (Cabernet/Limnio) Mt. Athos
  • Tselepos Nema Agriorgitiko 2003
  • Rapsani Reserve 2000 (Mt. Olympus)
  • Terra Meone Moscato Palivon Estate 2004 (Nemea)

I really liked the Malagousia, very rich and reminiscent of Viognier. Also the Rapsani Reserve 2000, beautifully balanced and claret-like.

Wednesday, October 5: Today I'm conducting a seminar on Chilean wines at the Boiler House in the Distillery District, one of the most inaccessible of venues. (Deborah had the car, as she is driving to Papineauville, Quebec, with her sister to bury her mother's ashes.)


A1 Viña La Fortuna 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Curicó Valley
Very dry lemony, grassy; varietally correct, more in Loire style (Menetou-Salon)

A2 Viña Casas Del Bosque 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley
Lorac Wine, Consignment, $15.95
Great extract, kiwi fruit, grapefruit peel, grassy. Very good

B1 Viña Morandé 2003 Chardonnay, Grand Reserve Vitisterra, Casablanca Valley
Majestic Wines, $19.00
Buttery apple nose, mouth-filling, full-bodied with a caramel note on the finish.

C1 Via Wines 2003 Cabernet Franc Cielo Fino, San Rafael Valley
Vergina Imports
Red berry, green pepper with a floral note, firm structure.

D1 Viña Santa Carolina 2003 Carmenère Barrica Selection, Rapel Valley
Charton-Hobbs, Vintages #640888, $14.95
High toned, volatile note on the nose, firm, earthy, quite tannic.

D2 Viña Santa Alicia S.A. 2003 Carmenère Reserve, Maipo Valley
Eurovintage, LCBO #309302, $10.15
Dense purple colour, cocolate, currants and green pepper on then ose; lvely fruit, well made, firm. Great value

D3 Viña Aresti 2004 Carmenère Reserve Rio Claro, Curicó Valley
Mondia Alliance
Animal note on the nose. Green pepper, quite tight, bitter chocolate flavour with dusty tannins

D4 Viña Calina 2004 Carmenère Reserva, Maule Valley
Diamond Estates, Vintages #951079, $15.95
Dense, gutsy wine, richly extracted, full-bodied, fruit-driven, firm structure

D5 Viña Luis Felipe Edwards Ltda. 2004 Carmenère Reserva, Colchagua Valley
Peter Mielzynsky, Consignment #631580, $17.00
Cedar nose, lean, more in Bordeaux style, elegant, well balanced.

E1 Calama Wines 2004 Merlot, Central Valley
Dionysus, LCBO #612440, $9.40
Smoky, oaky, lean, short and tannic

E2 Viña Cono Sur 2004 Merlot Reserve Isla Negra, Central Valley
Maxxium, LCBO #516294, $9.90
Dense colour; a little shy on the nose, fruity on the palate with a tannic finish

F1 Viña Miguel Torres S.A. 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Digna, Curicó Valley
Pacific Wine & Spirits, Vintages #177451, $13.95
Very elegant, like a petit chateau Bordeaux, red berry flavour, well made.

F2 Viña Concha y Toro 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Marques de Casa Concha/Puente Alto, Maipo Valley
Select Wines, Vintages #337238, $17.95
Dense purple colour; plum, cedar and blackcurrant with a medicinal note; firm structure. Like to try it in two years.

F3 Viña Casa Lapostolle 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Rapel Valley
Trilogy Wine Merchants, Vintages #398800, $15.95
Sweet fruit, firmly structured, St. Emilion style

F4 Viña Errazuriz 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Max Reserva, Aconcagua Valley
Philippe Dandurand, LCBO #335174, $17.95
Ripe blackcurrant fruit, well extracted – a cross between Bordeaux and California. Great value

F5 Viña Santa Rita 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Casa Real, Maipo Valley
Mark Anthony, $49.00
Elegant, restrained, going through a dumb phase but the quality is there

G1 Viña Estampa 2003 Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Gold Assemblage, Colchagua Valley
Wineworld, $22.95
Chocolate nose, vanilla oak, mocha-like finish. Still tight.

H1 Viña Tabalí 2003 Shiraz Reserva, Limarí Valley
Connexion Oenophilia, Vintages #662692, $16.95
Dense colour, smoky, spicy blackberry, varietally true; more in Syrah style than Shiraz.

In the evening I went to the glass room at the ROM to do a tasting for the members of the Bloor Yorkville Business Association. I really didn't know what to expect. It ended up with me behind the bar pouring wines for anyone who asked. Everyone loved the D'Arenburg D'Arry's Orginal Shiraz Grenache 2003. Other wines were Cline Syrah, a Montmirail Gigondas 1999, Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2003, a forgettable Pinot Grigio and an Inniskillin white.

Thursday, October 6: Finished off the Ontario chapter fine edits. My son Guy came to dinner with his girlfriend Janine and Judah, who once sold us Cutco knives. He's Guy's age and has been working in Beijing for three years. He speaks Mandarin, at least he did on the phone to his Japanese girlfriend. I don't know any Japanese who speak Chinese. I cooked a standing rib roast and we managed to polish off a suitable quantity of wine: St. Herbertus Riesling 2000 (the Okanagan winery that burned down in the 2003 fire). The wine, curiously, was in a Chardonnay bottle, which might account for the fact that it didn't really taste like Riesling. Maybe it was mislabelled. This was followed by Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina 1999, which Guy's girlfriend thoughtfully brought. I've always like this wine and it was a costly one for her to buy. I didn't have the heart to tell her it was corked. I drank it. This was followed by Alex Dale's wine – Black Rock 2004 (a Shiraz-Carignane-Grenache blend from South Africa).

Friday, October 7: A Vintages tasting for the November release. Another big one. It features half-bottles and magnums. Deborah returned with Suzanne and I prepared a dinner – the rest of the roast beef with a bottle of Ruada Vieja Reserva 1998 from Ribero del Duero.




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