August 29, 2011

Mountain Road Wine Company 2006 Reserve Chardonnay

Found August 2011

I had this bottle twice over a 4 day span ... not the same bottle mind you, two different bottles.  The first was last Saturday when we had some friends over for dinner and they brought not one but two bottles of this Mountain Road Reserve with them - I am never opposed to two bottles in a night but when we only went through the one I figured I would age the other a little, then it hit me "salmon".  I think I have lost you so let's backtrack to Saturday. 

Saturday night we were having a nice lemon, dill cod and I opened this heavy Chardonnay and although I liked the wine on its own, and it paired so-so with the fish I figured I hadn't given it its proper due.  After-all cod is a very light fish and this was a very heavy Chardonnay.  So on Tuesday night it was back to the drawing board.  I put the second bottle in the fridge and whipped up a dill salmon ... now let's see how the wine performs.  The nose (on both bottles) was one of the wines best features: buttery, vanilla, caramel; and as the wine sat in the glass things melded together giving up smells of buttered almonds and vanilla peaches - hot damn!  Next came taste and it was quite a treat too: hazelnut, butter, vanilla; nutty and buttery all at the same time, there was also a creamy sensation but with good mouth cleansing acidity so that it did not weigh heavily on the tongue.  Turns out it paired much better with the salmon than the cod and would even stand up to some fuller red meats without being sacrilegious.  Bottom line is the wine is well integrated and compelling enough to drink right now, I'm not sure further aging is going to help this one, so drink up and enjoy.    Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

August 28, 2011

The Ice House 2006 Northern Ice Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine

Found August 2011

I have a buddy who is not a wine drinker, how we remain friends I am not sure?  His passion for wine ends at the occasional rosé.  But then I learned there was hope for him yet.  He's a fan of Port and just this weekend I learned his passion for the sweeties extends past Oporto and into Ontario: Icewine.  So it was with great pride that I went into my icewine collection in search of something interesting to drink with him.  Now as every Canadian knows, we don't drink icewine, we hold on to it and give it as gifts, even the ones we get as gifts we re-gift somewhere down the line - it is the great Canadian re-gift ... I like to equate it to Christmas cake which seems to get passed along from generation to generation with nary a bite taken.  I was thrilled to locate this 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine from the Ice House, one of Canada's few Icewine only wineries.  At the time of its production few were making such a beast as a straight Cab Sauv sweetie, which makes this unique and, now 5 years later, really very tasty.  With regrets to Riedel and other glass manufacturers who insist Icewine needs its own vessel, I disagree (and you know my feeling on proper glassware) - Icewine is sweet enough that is cuts through whatever you are drinking it from and makes even a shot glass the right thing to drink it out of ... and tonight that is exactly what we did.  The wine has a beautiful strawberry sensation in the mouth with lovely acidity to balance it out and it's very good.   How did I know that, well first of all I tasted it, but secondly my buddy must have downed 6 shots of it in an hour - not bad for a guy that does not like wine.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

Hillebrand 2005 Trius Red

Or even look at the previous Taste it Again review - March 2009

(Re-Tasted August 2011) ... It's like a re-taste of a re-taste; it seems that every two years I pull out a bottle of this and re-taste the wine, and now it's my third go round with the 2005 Trius Red.  '05 was a good year in Ontario and the reds loved the weather.  According to the most recent LCBO vintage chart they rate Niagara wines from 2005 a 9A (meaning a nine out of ten and "A" for can be aged longer) ... I would agree.  This red blend is drinking well now but could stand another 5 years or more without too much degradation.  The nose is black currant, black raspberry, vanilla and cinnamon spice.  The palate doles out oak from the get go before the wood relinquishes its hold and lets the spice and the the black fruit emerge, so some patience when drinking now is a must.  If you have some in the cellar, like I do, drink one now just to get a frame of reference and we'll talk about this one again in a couple of years.  Cheers.

August 5, 2011

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon


(Re-Tasted August 2011) ... Since I am going to the Lake Erie North Shore on the weekend to give a talk about one of my favourite Ontario grapes, Cabernet Franc, at their annual Vintage tasting (Sunday August 7) - I thought it only right to re-taste a wine from the region.  I have two sitting in my current Taste it Again box, one from Colchester Ridge and another from Sprucewood, both wineries will definitely be in attendance at the event ... but in this case Colchester has home field advantage as it is there were the event will be taking place, so I plucked that one out of the case for a re-taste.  Smell was a little funky and vegetal which made me believe I was going to have a problem but I am always willing to give a bottle a second or third chance so I swirled and sniffed again with much the same result.  I decided to take a sip and see how the palate had fared, and I was pleasantly surprised.  First thing I noticed was the acidity was quite pronounced, which helped to bring the wines flavours out, they thankfully did not match the nose.  Yes there seemed to be a lot of wooden character along with cassis and spice notes which begin to emerge the longer the wine remained open - but I would say this wine is on it's downward spiral so drink now but let stand open about an hour before diving right in.