December 23, 2010
Thirty Bench Winemakers 2005 Red
(Re-Tasted December 2010) ... There are those I am sure who question my choice of pairing, me being one of them, but I enjoy seeing what might or might not go with what, and I invite everyone to experiment with the foods they eat and the wines they drink (more on that in a minute). Tonight I opened a bottle of 2005 Thirty Bench Red, a primarily Cabernet Franc blend (65%) from the very decent vintage of 2005 (compared to what has come after in Ontario: 2007 and 2010 - "very decent" is an apt description to this year). The nose was very shy upon opening and stayed that way for the better part of an hour, mostly everything just smelled smokey. The palate was tucked away inside itself too ... this just required some time and I gave it some, but I refrained from pulling out the decanter, instead I allowed it to do it on its own in glass and bottle. About an hour later the nose started to develop blackberry, black raspberry and that smoke turned more tobacco-ish. The palate took a bit longer and between the one and two hour mark it really began to blossom. Spicy black fruit with a touch of dried tobacco leaf, the smokiness remained and there was also some good drying tannins that started to come about.
If I had to do it over I think I would have decanted, but it was nice to see the evolution of this wine on its own. Still a lovely wine and with a few years left, though spice dominates the fruit and will probably continue to do so as it ages - wait too long and you'll just have a spicy tannic mess ... 3-4 years max. As for the food I finally paired it with: maple-soy salmon, both food and wine held up well to each other.
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