May 31, 2010

Fielding 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon


(Re-Tasted May 2010) ... Well, well, well ... tonight I hold in my hand a wine that my original review says hold for 2-3 years, at which point the wine should be hitting it's peak - I don't think I am far off here.  When first opened there was some pretty aggressive tannins on the back palate thru to the finish, but as I get deeper into this wine, and it has had a chance to air some, there is definitely a real change for the better happening.  The nose has some blackberry and licorice, while the palate is showing rich black fruit, vanilla and nice spice with a finish that has a good deal of tannins backing it up.  I want to say hold it for another 2 years and see what happens - I'm even going to put my money where my mouth is on this one, I see I have 2 bottles remaining, one is going down for an extended sleep of another 3 or so years ... I guess we'll see what happens when it wakes up; but right now I am enjoying this wine so I gotta go.  Cheers.


May 25, 2010

Chateau des Charmes 2002 Estate Cabernet Merlot

(Re-Tasted May 2010) ... Those of you who have read my blogs and newsletters from the beginning know that I was quite taken with the 1999 Cabernet Merlot from the Chateau - it was one of my first real "Holy Sh*t" moments with aged Ontario wine ... the kicker here is, I tried the wine when it was already 5 years old.  I was able to put my hands on half a dozen bottles and have drunk them sparingly over the years relishing in the subtlety and nuances of an ageing wine (I have one bottle left).

When the 2002 came out, a fabulous Ontario vintage, I snatched up quite a few Estate Cabernet Merlots.  Tonight I once again was looking forward to re-experience an aged Charmes wine ... but ever 8 years on you'd be hard pressed to distinguish this from a younger version.  This is one big brawny bottle of booze.  Upon opening there's plenty of tannins along with dark chocolate that is very appealing; but there's also mucho fruit behind all that muscle along with cinnamon, spice and vanilla oak.

45 minutes later the wine has finally toned down so that other smells and tastes are distinguishable - it's smoky with licorice, lots of spice and still with the big tannins - at the point there's more barrel tones then fruit - the sweet spot for this wine is about the 25 minute mark after opening when things seem to meld together just right.

May 20, 2010

Viewpointe Estate Winery 2005 Riesling

(Re-Tasted May 20) ... Tonight it was time to pull out an 'old' Riesling; now truthfully 5 years isn't that old for a Riesling but when it's from a hot vintage like 2005, which seem to have the tendency to prematurely age, you figure your Riesling is going to be old tasting.  But this is a really beauty at 5 years of age.  The nose is lemon with a touch of petrol and Bartlett pear.  The palate has apple and pear with a nice smooth sweetness through the mouth - very sippable and very enjoyable on this very summer-like day.

May 6, 2010

Stoney Ridge 2004 Founder's Signature Collection Meritage


(Re-Tasted May 2010) ... The first sniff of this wine did not give me very much faith that I would be consuming a glass, let alone a sip or two - but sometimes you just have to dive in and give it a try.  The first smell of this wine was like smell a mild turpentine or paint thinner ... not something I really wanted to put in my mouth ... but then I gave it a few more swirls and let it rest on my desk while I did a few other things.  Then I came back to it about 20 minutes later.  The turpentine smell had faded and it was now a sweet dried fruit smell, imagine sticking your nose into a bag of raisins and cranberries, maybe even some prunes, and snorting deeply and you would have the smell of this particular glass of wine.  Not everybody's cup of tea.  Flavours should give one pause also.  Not that fresh lively fruit that has become all the rage, this one is more dried fruit, but there is a sweet element that is rather pleasing, but there is a fine line here - give the wine too much air and the taste is pruney (okay if you like prunes I guess), too little and it like sucking on wet tobacco leaves, but a few quick suck-ins of air and a swish about the mouth brings out sweet dried cherries and a touch of vanilla-cinnamon along with some tobacco notes ... in this case, the complete package is better than the sum of its parts.  

I don't recommend holding onto this wine much longer (especially if you like a lot of fruit in your wine), but it is a very interesting wine to drink now and one I would not shy away from if offered again.  I have one bottle left, might be interesting to take this week and see if those at the Artevino judging agree.

May 2, 2010

Two Wines (2005 Rieslings), Two Wineries - One Night

(Re-Tasted April 2010) ... A lazy Sunday afternoon just calls for white wine, and today I yanked out two Rieslings to taste again - both from the hot 2005 vintage, a year that has shown a propensity for premature petrol aromas and flavours on the wines.  But these two are from long time and top producers in Ontario, would they suffer the same fate?  As it turned out both these wines had just the right amount of gas, were delicious, and each in its own way.

The Trius Dry Riesling was first on the list of bottles to be opened, it showed a wealth of fruit with apples and limes taking centre stage, there was just a hint of petrol on the nose and palate, just the right amount for the age of the wine.  There was also good clean acidity and a medium length finish - this wine was still holding well and probably will for a few more years.

The Jackson-Triggs single vineyard Delaine was also very nice and showed classic signs of a Riesling of this age.  The smell was quite different from the Trius, the nose had apricots, lime and wildflower honey notes, while the palate showed apples, apricots and lime.  Good acidity helped this one through to its medium length finish with just the merest hint of petrol on the final swallow.  

Two delicious Riesling that are still very much alive and well and hopefully living in your cellar - I know I still have a bottle of each so we'll have to revisit them in a few years.