March 12, 2012

Konzelmann Estate Winery 2006 Red Moose

Found March 2012

I currently have two bottles of this wine in my cellar (well, one less now) and obviously I have tried it in the past, or it would`t be there, but it seems I have never written a single word about it ... and that surprises me - I guess the review got lost in the wash, or my dog ate it, or I left it in my other pants, or whatever other excuse I can give you as to why I have no record of trying this wine in the past (and writing about it).  But tonight I found a bottle in a box of aging wines and decided it was time to give it a try.  A few things scared me about trying this wine:  1) the silly label - critter labels are usually gimmicky and this one even more so.  2) the vintage date - 2006 was not the greatest of vintages in Ontario, in fact it might be one of our roughest, and a 6 year old wine from that vintage might be a little dodgy.  3) the grape variety - Zweigelt, barrel aged (as this was is) or not is an Austrian cross of Lemberger and St. Laurent that is Austria`s most famous red, but grown sparsely here in Ontario; and most versions I have tried have been meant to consume young ... so what was I thinking aging this wine???  Well it`s a good thing I did because this was one delicious wine.  The nose was of smoked-cranberry, white pepper and spiced-black cherry which continued to offer pure aromatic pleasure through its entire time in the glass.  The flavours yielded even more enjoyment: at first there were strawberry-cranberry notes with hints of vanilla and caramel.  But given some time it changed into something even better, there was more to find:  sweet dried fruit notes, like craisins (cranberry-raisins), vanilla smoke and then later the whole glass succumbed to black cherry.  A nice smoothness through the mouth led to a wonderful tasty smoky-black cherry finish with a sort of toasty-ash linger.  This one was a real find.  Lost & Found Rating:  True Treasure

March 11, 2012

Creekside Estate 2005 Laura's Blend Red

(Re-Tasted March 2012) ... It was only recently that Creekside started adding the other Bordeaux varieties into their Laura's mix ... here we are dealing with the days of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc only blends.  In Ontario, 2005 was the second "really good" to "great" vintage of the decade, depending on who you spoke to, so it seemed only right to lie this one down for a spell.  Bottled in late 2007, the back label proclaimed 2008-2013 as a perfect window in which to drink the wine - so here we are tucking ourselves neatly into the latter part of that time period.  Upon opening, the wine had aromas of licorice, smoke and cassis (more smoke and licorice though) - as it sat in the glass a touch of unsweetened strawberry jam seemed to waft up and take hold, but still had the other features to back it up.  The taste was something different, gone was the licorice and only a hint of smoke remained; dried blackberry dominated for a spell than red currant showed up, but all soon fell to a fiercely dry finish that was a touch woody, and getting harsher with time in the glass.  All-in-all good mouth-feel here, though still slightly tannic, with fruit that still shows up - if none more than a little dried ... it's those tannins that seem to keep wanting to rise up and crush those delicate fruit nuances that still remain.  If you've got some then you'll want to decant it and drink it or you could hold out another year or two, but not longer - in this case the decanter is key to smoothing those (wood?) tannins.

March 8, 2012

Colio Estate 2005 CEV Cabernet Sauvignon

(Re-Tasted March 2012) ... Here's an extremely well made wine from a great vintage in Ontario, and especially the Lake Erie North Shore; our most southerly and, by definition, hottest region.  The wine shows little of the 7 years it has under its belt (from vintage date) and 5 years from release.  The nose is blackberry, cassis with spice and pepper - it's nice to point out that the fruit is well seasoned aromatically.  The palate is dark fruit with hints of wood seasoning ... I'm thinking another year or two will let us determine where the wine is going: will the fruit dominate or will the wood take over?  I have one bottle left, I guess I have given myself my marching orders for its future ... looks like we'll have to revisit this one in 2014-2015.

March 7, 2012

Creekside Estate 2002 Cabernet

(Re-Tasted March 2012) ... If you have read the original review done in 2008 you'll notice at the end I said we'll try this one again in two years; well I am behind schedule, as it is now 4 years later and it is only now that the wine comes up for re-tasting.  First, I was shocked and appalled to see a plastic cork, but then around that time period Creekside was using the inferior closure.  I found the wine to be a little lean right from the get go showing a little more oxidation than you want in a wine, but less than I would have expected, based on the closure.  I was happy to see the wine still retained some good acidity and that there were also still quite a bit of tannin backbone, but there is something to the finish that didn't sit quite right:   it's funky - sweet (as in oxidized) and bitter (because the wood is showing through, especially the longer it sits open).  It is an old wine no doubt, but we must keep in mind it is 10 years old; the real question is, is it as "old" as it should be?  Guess we'll never know.  For this wine I would have loved to see a control wine either under cork or screwcap to compare.

March 5, 2012

Southbrook 2001/2002 Triomphe Cabernet Franc, side-by-side

(Re-Tasted March 2012) ... Let me just start out by saying that I am a little shocked that I had no pre-tasted notes from these wines, so I had to look a few places before finding something on my Lost and Found site; but now that we are all linked in it's time to look at what happened when I conducted an interesting experiment with my wine class that proved to have some very interesting and intriguing results ...

The "experiment", as I like to call it, was done to see if they liked older wines and, in particular, if they liked older Ontario wines, to show vintage variation and to see how the wines held up in the eyes of 'your average every day wine drinker', they are not seasoned wine types.  I poured for them, what I believe to be, Ontario's signature red grape from two similar but wildly different vintages.  First allow me to explain my vintage comment:  2002 was the first "great" vintage of the 2000's ... 2001 had that possibility in its pedigree, but "the lady bug" incident in Ontario spoiled many bottles, therefore the 2001 vintage will forever have an asterisks beside it.  Thankfully that was not the case from either of these wines.  I poured Southbrook's 2001 & 2002 Triomphe Cabernet Franc side-by-side for my class (blind I might add) and sat back while they nosed and tasted the two wines.  At first there was a lot of talk about the smell of the wine ... but as I explained during the reveal, "if you had been locked in a bottle for 10 years, you'd smell pretty funky too."  My real moment of pride came when Gary (a returning student) piped up with the comment, "are they the same wines from different years?"  When pressed he added, "cause they smell similar."

As for the results of the tasting ... within about 10 minutes the wines began to open and all the kidding was dropped in favour of a few oooo's and ahhhh's about the development of the wine, both aromatically and palately ... the 2001 had balsamic and tobacco on the nose, a smooth palate which carried with it the sweetness of dried fruit.  The 2002 was still a little rough around the edges, but with a real drink-ability to it that suggested a few more years would do it justice.  In the end, the class preferred the 2001 four-to-one; but it would be an interesting test to try again in 2-3 years.