March 12, 2009

Vineland 2004 Semi-Dry Riesling

(Re-Tasted March 2009) ... Sometimes it's the coincidences of life that are the most interesting. One week ago today I opened a bottle of 2005 Dry Riesling from Vineland. Today I was at mom's house and she had just open (the previous night) a bottle of 2004 Semi-Dry Riesling and could not stop talking about how wonderful it was. With a recommendation like that I just had to give it a sip. Lo and behold mom was right. The nose was a mixture of peaches and apples with hints of lime - a fruit cocktail for the olfactory lobes ... there was a hint of petrol, but it was ever so slight that you had to be looking for it to find it. In the mouth the acidity was huge - at least a triple swallow before it completely cleared the palate. Crisp with peach, lime zest and an elongated finish ... lovely; I'm not going to say it, but it sure goes a long way to prove my premature petrol point.

March 5, 2009

Vineland 2005 Dry Riesling

(Re-Tasted March 2009) ... Now this was a wonderful surprise. I have had a few people tell me to get off of my 2005 premature petrol kick, and that I have made my point. Well I am glad that some see it that way, but I am still going to try these bottles and see/taste what has happened.

I opened this one with the thought that it was going to do the exact same as all the rest: big gasoline nose and taste; but surprisingly it was still very fruity. Sure it had some of those petrol notes but it also had plenty of fruit. The nose was rusty apple, citrus, petrol and sweet tart (you know those sour candies we all loved as kids). The acidity on the tongue was biting, the citrus sour, lots of tart lemon with peel still attached - but there was also this lovely pineapple finish. This one certainly bucked the trend of most 2005 Rieslings I have tried.

March 4, 2009

Hillebrand 2005 Trius Red

(Re-Tasted March 2009) ... While out on the wine trail during Cuvee Weekend 2009 I popped into Hillebrand where they were doing a Trius vertical tasting with the 05, 06 and 07 vintages. It's not really very fair to the 06, being the lighter of the vintages, sandwiched between the big years, I think a better comparison would've been to try the 2002 (another big year), but I digress. I know we're not that far along in the 05’s lifespan, but it's interesting to see how it's coming along. Really, what is there to say here, three years from vintage it shows no sign of age whatsoever, if anything it’s gotten better as it starts to come into its own. Blackberry, tobacco, smoke; still with great tannins and a taste of that parallels the nose. Through the mid-plate there's excellent dark fruit which carries through to the finish and leaves behind drying wood tannins. If you have any misgivings as to how long this wine will age, I think you best waylay those fears, this one is easily a 10 year wine, if not more … from today.

March 3, 2009

Stoney Ridge 2005 Cabernet Franc Reserve Wismer Vineyard

(Re-Tasted March 2009) ...It hasn't been a long time since last I tried this wine, so I suspect the notes from January last year are going to be pretty much the same as the notes taken this year. This wine has such a smooth mouthfeel, and as air gets into it it seems to just glide down the throat - but I think I am getting ahead of myself here. First let's give it a sniff. There's black raspberry, ranberry and sour cherry with subtle nuances of sweet vanilla oak. In the mouth it is even better than the nose suggests, and juicier fruit. The taste is ripe cherries, raspberry, vanilla and silky tannins ... smooth and delicious - gulpable even - it was all I could do not to chug-a-lug this wine. And now, on-sale for a paltry $14.95 at the winery.

Thomas & Vaughan 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon

Found March 2009

Doomed from the start ... that is the best way to describe this wine. Now don't get me wrong, this wine had such great potential, if not for the ladybugs that spoiled the party. Tonight, I decided to open a bottle of Thomas and Vaughan and see how the wine from this now-troubled winery have aged. At first I was not sure of the smell I was getting, then it became clear: pyrazine. That peanut smell that hit Ontario in 2001 from so many scared ladybugs with no where to go - some got it big time while others were spared. This one was only slightly buggy, but it made a difference both on the nose and on the palate. Let's push through it for a moment and see what else this wine could have been. There were signs of green pepper on the nose; the palate shed the bug and delved into the realm of cedar, cinnamon and blackberries. There was even hints of tannin still there. But in the end the bug took over with a bitter finish and as it opened it gained more of "those smells" - too bad, this wine was definitely going places. Lost & Found: Trash - but barely.

March 2, 2009

Southbrook 1998 Lailey Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Found March 2009

I have so many different experiments going on that sometimes I get lost in what I'm doing; I feel like the absent-minded professor. One of my on-going experiments, and what hopefully brings you to the Lost & Found (and Taste it Again) is my ongoing look at the ageability of Ontario wine. For those who have followed my saga of Southbrook I won't bore you with the details again. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, look back at some of the wines previously reviewed in this section. But here's a brief synopsis (just cause I appreciate your eyeballs on the page): Southbrook was the closest winery to my house in Toronto and a buddy and I travelled there often. The owner Bill Redelmeier was always on hand on the weekends and loved to tout the age-worthiness of his wine. Even before I was a wine writer I thought I would put him to the test. And here is yet another example of how Bill was right.

Two days before Cuvee weekend 2009, I pulled out a bottle of this wine so that the sediment sink to the bottom. Upon my return (Monday), and with dreams of aged wine in my head, I popped the cork of this bottle. Sediment flew everywhere, so before any tasting could be done I had to clean up the surrounding area. Next I poured some wine into a Spiegalau glass (Bordeaux red style). The smell was big on green pepper and so were the flavours. But there was something else, blackberries and cassis still hung around along with definite notes of cedar. But with all that sediment floating around I thought it best to decant ... so I did.

There is still the green pepper notes on the nose, but they are not so in your face; the cedar comes out a little more along with graphite and cinnamon. On the palate there are hints of dried black fruits, cedar, cinnamon and fresh green pepper. There's still some tannin structure here too, which suggest it will lie another few years comfortably. Billy R, it seems you were right about your wines. Next up a Cabernet Sauvignon from the same year. Lost & Found rating: Treasure+.