May 25, 2010
Chateau des Charmes 2002 Estate Cabernet Merlot
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.