July 30, 2011
(Re-Tasted July 2011) ... Seems I have sipped on this wine in this column before (January 2010) and I still can revisit this wine a few more times in years to come and I'm thrilled by that because this is a classic: the first bottling of this soil specific Riesling by one of the preeminent Riesling producers of Niagara. This wine is still a beauty with smells of apple, mineral and apricot on a soft pillow of petrol that just gently wafts through without being intrusive. On the palate there is mineral and apple with some spiced peach syrup and another hint at some petrol to carry it along to the finish, it really is just a soft titch. While the finish is lime based with some excellent length ... still hold up beautifully, can't wait to open the next bottle.
July 20, 2011
Found July 2011
What a treat this was, even if most in the room had no idea what they were trying. It was the after affair of my wine tasting duties of my annual Pine Island visit. We had just finished a 6 wine tasting of New Zealand (only 1) and Australia (5 wines) – of course, as expected, the reds were a big hit – Aussie’s big bold and recognizable flavours usually are. But for dinner I had brought a special bottle that I was looking forward to tasting, and it was this Southbrook number that was 9 years old. After the robustness of the Aussies this was a subtle experiment and most stayed with the knock-over-your-head with flavour of the Down Under Wines, which left more for me, and I could not be more thankful. The wine is at its peak (or maybe just slightly off peak) still holding on to fruit like cassis and sour cherry with vanilla wood backing. The palate is having a heyday with a touch of green pepper (so slight that it disappears with time - after 3 or 4 sips) giving way to a brilliant smoothness that is flavoured with cassis and vanilla-wooden notes. Deliciously amazing, smooth and easy sipping. If you have a bottle or two I suggest bringing some out, firing up the grill and matching it up with something medium-rare … I hope you too will be stunned. Lost & Found Rating: Treasure
July 7, 2011
(Re-Tasted July 2011) ... This was a pleasant surprise of a wine to pull out of one of my Taste it Again boxes: one, because I love Cabernet Franc and two, because the folks at Chateau des Charmes seem to do it quite well - and they are particularly ageable, especially when it is the single vineyard series. So, needless to say I was thrilled to pop the top on this one. 2005: good vintage, nice heat, ripe grapes, so this one should do just fine in the glass some 6 years later. At first I have to admit I was a little skeptical, woody and cigar notes lead the aromas to the nose, but then as it opened there was some raspberry notes that also started to come up. With a little more time the wood started to subside and the fruit and cigar ash rose ... very pleasant. On the palate the same thing occurred, but it unfolded a little quicker, instead of half an hour to start to mellow (which was the time for the nose to start) it took half that time for the palate to start coming around. Spice, tobacco, cedar, and a cocoa powder dryness on the finish - there was also that woodiness, but as I mentioned it started to dissipate within a quarter of an hour and replaced itself with a the oomph and bite of a spiced characteristic. This wine needs some time in a decanter, and make sure you have a big glass to pour it into or this bruiser will get the better of you. Advice: Drink or hold a few more years.