April 7, 2009

The Grange of Prince Edward County 2004 Cabernet-Merlot

(Re-Tasted April 2009) ... On this Tuesday night I opened two bottles of Prince Edward County wine - this Grange Cabernet-Merlot and a 2003 Huff blend. These were two different, yet difficult vintages for Ontario winemakers, and the grapes, and both these wines are from an up-and-coming wine region ... so how did the Grange wine fare:

The nose from start to finish was a little funky. When I say start to finish I mean I like to give these old wines some time to breathe, get accustomed to being outside the bottle after all these years. But the nose never did come around to anything - no fruit, no wood, nothing.

The taste was something altogether different. It started off smooth and sweet, almost port-like, no tannins were present at all, for it's first hour is was a straight forward nondescript grapey wine; meaning it tasted like grapes or juice juice - then it slowly started to develop a burnt sugar and caramel note in the sweet finish. If I were a betting man I would have to say that in this tough vintage, where proper ripening was hard to get and the alcohol making sugars were not naturally present in the grapes, they must have chaptalized the wine (added sugar) to bring the alcohol up to a respectable level (13%). But now a few years down the road the added sugar is really coming through as the only characteristic of this wine. If you like boozy grape juice then this is your wine but as far as agein any further ... how old do you like your boozy grape juice?

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