December 17, 2008

Peninsula Ridge 2002 Merlot

(Re-Tasted December 2008) ... Back in March 2008, I posted a review (in my Lost & Found column) of a wine from the 2002 vintage that I felt should have lasted longer (not mentioning wineries but to see that wine click here). Some Smart Alec decided to leave me some feed back about my poor review: “it's clearly sat around for more that two years! It's an 02, you would have purchased it in 04 sometime, so therefore, 2006 would have been the 2 year mark. Yet, you just opened it now -- in 2008. Surely you are aware that not all reds have a 'whenever you feel like it' shelf life.” While his comments are valid to an extent there are wines from certain vintages that should have a longer cellar/shelf life than others; to him I would like to point out this wine.

People often ask me: Do Ontario wine age well, can I lie them down? In gratuitous and blatant self- promotion I point them in the direction of this column (Taste it Again) and to my Lost & Found rambles … because my goal is to test wines to see if they do age. When I lay this one down I was sure wo
uld stand the test of time.

Two years ago this was the Merlot to beat at the Cuvee Awards (2006). Now some 6 years from vintage date this beauty still retains much of its vitality in the glass and fruit on both the nose and palate. Blackberries, cassis, a touch of cedar and a little anise greet the nose; there’s also some cinnamon and red licorice that emerge as it sits and breathes in the glass (say half-an-hour). The sipping is pure pleasure, it’s smooth with black fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, a bit of tannin is still hanging about, and a beautiful chocolate seam delivers a wonderful finish. This one’s still juicy, with great acidity and enough backbone to last a few more years. I still get asked if Ontario wines age well – and I say you’ve gotta age the right ones and then the answer is a resounding yes.

And to my doubting Thomas above: I held the wine in question because it said “Limited Edition” – and I guess you were right, Limited Edition didn’t mean selected grapes, it meant limited life span.

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