August 31, 2009

D'Angelo Vineyards 2002 Cabernet Franc

(Re-Tasted August 2009) ... At first, I was not sure I was going to like this wine, nothing scares me more than seeing a plastic cork on a bottle of aged wine; more often than not I taste a little plastic in the glass. This time thankfully I did not, but it did seem to be bland, boring and nondescript ... at first. When this happens the question that is always asked to me is, what do you do, wait or dump? I have patience when it comes to wine (and so should you), thereby giving the wine a chance, after all it has been cooped up in bottle for quite some time, in this wine's case 5 years - see how you would feel, and how slowly you would open up, if that happened to you. Turns out the wine went from its original state of nondescriptiveness to something drinkable in a little under half an hour. The wine ended up smelling pretty good and matching well with food. The nose showed dried black fruits, oak and hints of graphite. Palate-wise there was licorice, vanilla, oak and still had a titch of spice, though it also managed to be quite smooth and easy going. This wine is not going to get any better the longer it sits, it's ready now - just give it some time before you pass judgement on it.

August 30, 2009

Pelee Island Winery 2003 Vinedressers Cabernet Sauvignon

Found August 2009

Pelee Island really doesn't get the credit they deserve. Yes they are one of the culprits in the Cellared in Canada fiasco gripping this province, but they also make plenty of VQA wines, and the ones that really should be getting a shout out are the Vinedressers (Reserve) series of wines that are only available at the winery. These are some pretty consistent wines year in and year out. Take this Cabernet Sauvignon as an example, from the mediocre 2003 vintage - the smells consist of white pepper and red fruit with hints of toasted licorice root. Palate-wise it took time to open, but when it did there was lots to appreciate: pepper, red fruit and dried blackberries, a bit of barrel toast and a pleasant thoroughly enjoyable mouth feel that slid smoothly across the tongue. This wine has definitely peaked - so I you have any, now's the time to drink up. Lost & Found Rating: Treasure

August 29, 2009

Legends Estates Winery 2002 Baco Noir

Found August 2009

My bother and sister-in-law love Baco, so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to drag something out of the cellar that I might not have brought out at any other time. Truth is I had it on the taste list about six months ago, but it was for brunch and it just didn't seem right to subject folks to old Baco at 11 in the morning. The nose has become cassis-liqueur-like with smoky-black licorice notes. The palate pretty much follows what the nose is offering up with smoky, pruny, dried cassis like flavours ... hardly any tannins, so the wine is very smooth - but there is a sour-bitter-ish finish. My brother and sister-in-law polished off the bottle so I guess they liked it, I found the acid and bitter finish to much to handle over th course of an evening. Lost & Found Rating: Tolerable, for Baco fans.

August 16, 2009

Chateau des Charmes 2002 Estate Cabernet Merlot

(Re-Tasted August 2009) ... Another day, another re-taste, another surprise. Today's re-taste is a Chateau des Charmes Cabernet Merlot blend from the great vintage of 2002. I remember this vintage as one of the first great ones of the millennium. Now sure it pales in comparison to what we had in 2005 and 2007 but '02 was still a very collectable vintage, when it comes to red wines in Ontario - I have a rack ust full of these babies waiting for inclusion in the Taste it Again or Lost & Found columns. Tonight we're trying again one of my favourite wines from the '02 vintage (because I was just such a fan of the 1999 version of this wine). The nose has blackberry and cinnamon - but this takes some time to open up, that's why I used the glass-to-glass method (pouring wine from one big glass to another a number of times to coax the wine to open up - this is great when you don't have time to decant because you can accomplish it in a mere fraction the time). The taste is blackberry with some vanilla oak notes and some tannin bite. When the cork is first popped this wine has a bit of a bitter finish, but when opened it smoothes right out and is quite sippable. The colour of the wine is is still very youthful, but keep in mind this wine needs lots of aeration to get it to the point of easy enjoyment. Decant or try the glass-to-glass method. I have a few more bottles, and we'll be looking at this wine again in the coming years.

August 15, 2009

Marynissen Estates 2002 Cabernet Merlot

(Re-Tasted August 2009) ... Tonight was my mother's 71st birthday - it you've met my mother then you will not believe that last statement, but it is true. So tonight I thought 'let's try something special'; I scoured my wine rack in search of something old yet with the possibility of being wonderful. Marynissen has been making good reds since the very beginning, in fact these may be some of the oldest red grape vines in Ontario (vinifera I mean). John Marynissen passed earlier this year and in many of his bios you would have read about what a pioneer he was to the industry, planting Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978 when eveyone else thought it foolhardy. I remember trying this wine for the first time and being blown away by it's power and hopeful longevity - 2002, after all, was a very good vintage here in Ontario, paling now to the 2005 and monster 2007 vintage. Tonight I also tried my first experiment with a little aeration device called Vinturi.

The wine when poured directly from the bottle was a little on the harsh side, the Vinturi seemed to soften it ... something that time did on it's own (3 hours open in a glass on the counter) but the Vinturi did it in half the time and by the glass. Now back to the wine itself. The nose had pronounced forest floor, vanilla oak, dried sour cherries and dried blackberries aromas. The taste was of cedar and dried blackberry but very smooth (3 hours later and when Vinturied) ... there was also bits of grit and lots of sediment, so I should have used a filter. All-in-all a very impressive wine and an impressive first use of the Vinturi ... but I have to give the full nod to the wine - the gadget can only make a good wine better, it cannot improve a crappy wine; John Marynissen gave me that opportunity by producing something of excellent and long lived quality. He will be missed.

August 8, 2009

Cave Spring Cellars 1999 Indian Summer Riesling

Found August 2009

This bottle was given to Erica and I the night after our engagement, I think we were suppose to drink it with those that had come to celebrate this momentous occasion with us, but after 3 or four bottles (potentially more, I think I lost count here), food and much merriment the bottle was never opened, so we saved it for a rainy day, so to speak. Turns out on the day we drank it was a rainy day – and exactly three months to the day after our engagement. Tonight I was meeting members of her extended family (Uncle John and Aunt Diane) for dinner. This was the wine we served for dessert with a plum cake, turns out this was a highlight of the meal – except for my pulled pork, which was also a hit (and I can’t fail to mention Erica’s wonderful salads). The first thing everybody noticed was the golden colour of the wine, like apple juice-like but deeper. Those expecting fresh, fruity and lively would have been disappointed, though this wine still had quite a bit of spunk. The nose was rather simple with vanilla and cooked fruit notes, very similar to a compote of apples, pears and peaches. In the mouth is where you could really pick out the individual fruits like dried apple and pears; there were also notes of butterscotch-toffee and vanilla. The sweetness was still quite apparent, and it was balanced out by a nice seam of acidity. This wine has held up very well – not sure how much time it has left, or how much cooked/dried fruit you like in your wine but it is drinking very nicely now. Lost + Found Rating: Treasure.