April 30, 2010

Tawse Winery 2004 Dry Riesling


(Re-Tasted April 2010) ... I expected a heck of a lot more from this wine, but instead this is what I got:  First, 2004 would have been a decent vintage for Riesling (Konrad Ejbich in his book about Ontario wine gave Riesling an 82 with "more aging needed") - not too hot, not too cold, it was a decent vintage.  My own review from January 2007 speaks of pineapple, mango, mineral and melon, a potential for improvement in the bottle and I concluded by saying "this wine's best years are still ahead":  I gave it 2-5 plus years.  Well that educated guess proved to be a lesson in humility because I was way off.  This dry Riesling is now almost totally unpalatable: petrol and apple are prominent upon opening (mostly petrol) with a massive amount of palate awakening acidity ... give it 20 minutes and now it's all acid and petrol with the fruit fading fast, it never recovers, it never gets better.  I remember hearing a story about this wine - it was suppose to have a touch of sweetness left behind, but instead it was fermented bone dry and had sweetness added back to it.  This science experiment was not a good moment in Tawse's short but illustrious history.  Instead of telling you this wine's best days lay ahead I should have said that Tawse's best days were ahead, because this piece of their history could have an only be improved upon - and it has been with a change of winemakers and production practices.  On the Yuk vs. Yum scale I think you know where I sit on this one - too bad, because I did have high hopes, the wine should have aged much better had it been made right.

Had this wine as aperitif at a family dinner - 
to see what 1970 Bordeaux we had with the main click here

April 26, 2010

Lailey Vineyard 2007 Gamay-Zweigelt

(Re-Tasted April 2010) ... While I sang the praises of this wine in my previous review I have to be honest, I never once pulled this wine out last year for BBQ season.  Instead, a little over a year from my initial review, I have pulled a bottle out to give it another taste.  I wanted something simple yet enjoyable this evening and I got exactly what I bargained for.  The fruit is red, the spice has become herbal and both mingle in the mouth to give a nice medium length finish.  This is one easy drinking red that you could easily chill and enjoy on the patio this summer - and this time I might even take my own advice.  No BBQ tonight, instead I had a simple beef stew and all went well, before, during and after dinner.

April 25, 2010

Angels Gate 2005 Single Vineyard Gewurztraminer

(Re-Tasted April 2010) ... I have heard it said by many people, "Gewurztraminer does not age," and yet when I inventory wine cellars I find bottles of German, Alsatian or Austrian Gewurzt, some as old as ten years, and their owners swear they are better now than the day they bought them.  I my mind this could only mean one thing, I had to put this theory to the test: find out definitively whether Gewurztraminer will age or not.  Now, one bottle does not a test make, but you have to start somewhere.

My first comment / observation, upon removing the capsule on this bottle was one of dismay, under the skirt was a plastic cork.  That just signals to me that the winery never expected anyone to age their wine.  Plastic cork is just the worst closure for aging, period; I think I would prefer a gasoline soaked rag to a plastic cork - but that's just one man' opinion.  So, was the wine affected by this nasty abomination?  My answer is an unequivocal, I don't know - I need to do more testing on aged Gewurztraminer, but I can almost guarantee that it didn't help.  The initial smell was melon (cantaloupe) and apple with some floral and sweet over-ripe banana (or even banana chip) aromas; flavours followed pretty much along the lines of what the nose suggested, more apple than melon, more banana than floral, but all components were there.  What I can tell you is that there was a definitive lack of acidity.  It was a drinkable for sure, but the sweetness was more present then the acidity, which made it a little tough to swallow in any great quantity - good thing I had people to share the bottle with.

April 14, 2010

Ridgepoint Wines 2004 Meritage

(Re-Tasted April 2010) ... I opened this wine with some trepidation - not sure why, but the year two-thousand-four holds a certain amount of dread for me ... something in my psyche that makes me think twice, except when I am opening a Riesling.  Thankfully, my dread of the vintage was ill-placed after sipping and sipping this wine, as it proved to be a real winner (still).  The nose stayed pretty much constant trhough my hour-and-a-half tasting of it, but the palate swung wildly to and fro.  At first sniff the nose was a little woody and a touch herbaeous (grassy), with a hint of fruit lingering in the background.

The taste was all over the map and yet proved to be very appealing at all stops along the way.  At first it was sour cranberry and woodsy with sourish tannins and ballsy acidity, which really took over and became apparent on the finish; thankfully, some fruit did play a part at the end with cranberry and sour cherry coming along to linger in the mouth.

Twenty minutes on and the nose is getting more woodsy with ever passing minute, but the palate has begun to smooth out and develop woodsy-cherry and vanilla-spice.  Another 20-minutes pass and the cherry-wood  turns to a soft green pepper, while the palate is still fairly smooth with only hints of green pepper beginning to emerge there too.  This wine is about a year or two passed its "peak", but it's still quite drinkable and a good example of a nice middle aged wine (6 years from Vintage date) from a so-so year.