February 26, 2013

Cave Spring 2006 Riesling “Dolomite”

(Re-Tasted February 2013) ... It's almost as if I had planned to re-taste this wine every year and a half, but honestly it was a wine that I bought a lot of at the time of its release and just seem to gravitate towards (I guess every year and a half).  2006 was the first year of the Dolomite Riesling and it was the first time that a mention of the soil (not the vineyard) had appeared on a Cave Spring label.  They attributed the mineral notes on the wine to the soils and the older vines that went into this wine.  Since then they are growing in the same soils but using younger vines for the Dolomite wines ... so this was a real rarity.  Dolomite was made to be a restaurant exclusive along with a drop-into-the-winery-only wine, meaning that the winery was the only place you could buy some to take home.  Here we are some 7 years from vintage date and it is still showing some great aromas and flavours - this Riesling was built with longevity in mind and the milder 2006 vintage helped in that regard too.  I noticed in a previous note I mentioned a hint of petrol, well this bottle showed none of that:  nose of lime, wet stone and apricot, almost sweet in nature.  The palate also hinted at sweetness: apple, lanolin, lime cordial and mineral all mingling on the tongue with some nice acid replay on the finish.  There is an element of a sweet beginning but the wine actually seems to turn it around mid-palate to end dry - like licking a smooth wet rock that was rubbed with lime juice and pith.  This is still a wonderfully delicious, easy to drink wine and as it ages it seems to be developing some interesting characteristics while keeping most of it originals intact.  See you all again in a year in a half when we'll look in on this one again.

February 25, 2013

Chateau des Charmes 2004 Paul Bosc Chardonnay

(Re-Tasted February 2013) ... We were over at a friend's house for dinner the night I opened this bottle - our friend's a big Chardonnay fan and I thought it would be interesting to open this, my last bottle of 2004 Chardonnay (from any winery).  It's a bottle of the Paul Bosc Vineyard Chardonnay - for those who don't know this is the vineyard directly across the road from the winery itself.  Looking at this wine bottle is like staring at the past, especially if you've bought any bottles from the Chateau in the last little while - the label is completely different ... those of you who have never seen the Chateau's old label will be amazed at it's simplicity and basic design.  But don't let the outside fool you, what's in this bottle is far from basic and simple.  Now, because I was away from home I could not put the wine into a proper glass (my glass-snob comes out again) so I had to try this wine is a few glasses so as to get the nose and taste properly.  The good news is the wine tasted wonderful in whatever I put it in - and it seemed to disappear quickly in everyone's glass.  The nose was very shy at first but did give notes of buttered toffee and baked apple ... on the palate it showed more complexity: butter, caramel, peach cobbler, cinnamon, spice all with a creamy texture until some acidity popped in right at the finish-line to keep it from being too blowsy in the mouth.  The oak also proved to be spot on as it carried the wine without being over-bearing.  A nice job with this Chardonnay ... I liked it back in 2008 and I'm liking it now, though I'm not sure how much longer I would have held it given the opportunity, nine years seems to be a good time.  If you've got some in your cellar might I suggest inviting some Chardonnay loving friends and popping the cork ... you will not be disappointed.

February 20, 2013

Coyote's Run 2008 Black Paw Chardonnay

(Re-Tasted February 2013) ... I have had more Chardonnay (willingly) in the last few days than I had in all of 2012 … if I am looking to blame someone for this transgression of my ABC philosophy I would probably start with Howard Soon and Sandhill winery out in British Columbia.  But since I don’t live out west it gets hard for me to go knocking on their door and demand I get my hate-on for Chardonnay back, so I must look for something a little closer to home … Which is why I would then have to lay blame firmly at the feet of Coyote’s Run and winemaker Dave Sheppard.   The other day the wife and I consumed two bottles of Chardonnay, one from the aforementioned Sandhill and the other from the Coyote… both were excellent, both from 2010 and both were so different - BC had a very cool vintage while the one in Ontario was quite hot (a reversal of fortune so to speak).  So it was time to look back a little further and see if an even older Coyote Chardonnay could shine, but this time from a cooler vintage … and it did.  The nose on this wine was lemon, vanilla and, as it sat and warmed in the glass a little, butter-pecan.  The palate showed itself right away with vanilla, butter and toffee; from that description one might consider that the wine would come off as sweet, but the wine itself was not overtly so, in fact it had a suppleness in the mouth with nice acidity and a buttered-almond finish.  Fruit also lingered quietly in the background with slight citrus notes, not sour and puckering, more along the lines of soft and subtle.

February 19, 2013

13th Street 2006 Wismer Vineyard Syrah

(Re-Tasted February 2013) ...  For a 6 year old Syrah from a fairly unimpressive vintage here in Ontario the wine seems to have held up pretty well - if you let it get out of its funk.  The first smell might turn you off - but bear with it for a minute or two and it will start to reveal itself: smoky, leathery, licorice, cigar box, sour cherry and raw bacon all made an appearance during my hour and a half long tasting of this wine.  The palate also needed a little time to come around and when it did it also rewarded patience: smoky, meaty, anise seed, freeze-dried raspberry and white pepper ... currently there's a smoothness with the right amount of acidity.  Not sure how long this bottle will last, I would not give it anymore than two years if you have a bottle or two in your cellar, as it is already cresting the hill of age; but for the time being, given it's age and the vintage this find truly is a treasure.

February 13, 2013

Thirteenth Street Winery 2002 G. H. Funk Vineyard Cabernet-Merlot

(Re-Tasted February 2013) ... Now here's something that rarely happens, I'm doing a Taste it Again review of a wine that originally appeared in the Lost and Found - usually if I have a few bottles of something I have reviewed it before on the main site (ontariowinereview) - but for some odd reason this wine never made it there and first appeared 6 years after vintage date in another forum.  Almost 5 years to the date (I'm shy by 6 days) I decided to open this wine one last time (it is after-all my last bottle) and see how this wine is doing.  For you fans of 13th Street wine you will be pleasantly surprised, because it is awesome.  The nose hints at dark berries with a touch of cedar along with some anise seed, cinnamon and currants.  The palate is robust with tannins, but they don't over-power, the cedar is present so is black currant and an interesting finish reminiscent of black ball candy or Black Bart chewing gum (you know, licorice, but with something more interesting behind it) ... there are some great secondary and tertiary flavours coming through.  You'll also find some fine sediment coating the glass.  I would recommend a drink now approach to this wine cause after a decade I can't see this one getting much better than it is right now.  And it is very good.

February 12, 2013

Pillitteri Estates 2007 Exclamation Reserve Merlot

Found February 2013

This is a disappointing bottle of wine and for so many reasons.  The year was one of the best Ontario had seen to date and the grapes would have been perfect for making a great bottle of Merlot - but there was just something very off and very funky about this bottle.  The best thing I can say about it is that there is some (stress on the word some) fruit in here and it's sweet and dried ... but other than that look out.  There is volatile acidity running rampant (that's a smell of nail polish remover) and it never seems to let up.  The packaging on this wine is quite striking, with it's metal plate front label and silver back label, but that's the only thing that is striking about this bottle - except maybe the fact that it strikes out ... only 6 years old and the fruit has faded and every seems over oaked, oxidized and, well, not very good.  I expected so much more from this bottle and it let me down.  If you have some let me know your thoughts but my bottle just didn't stand up.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash

February 8, 2013

Mountain Road Wine Company 2004 Botrytis Affected Riesling

(Re-Tasted January 2012) ... This is the second time I have re-tasted this wine - and now the last, because I am out of bottles.  This was a wine I was planning to take to the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada's dinner party that was held in late January ... unfortunately weather forced me to miss the dinner so I decided to take it to a meeting of the same organization instead a few days later.  I was a little scared because after taking the capsule off I noticed my old nemesis - plastic cork - but I carried on anyway.  Seems that sweet and good acidity can beat out plastic cork ... though I still believe this was further oxidized because of the closure - or at least prematurely so.  But when you get a bunch of wine writers into a room to taste a bottle, no matter how funky you think it is, someone is bound to like it.  And so was the case, as descriptors like marmalade, candied green apple and Madeira-like were thrown out ... the wine was also a very rich golden yellow colour.  If you have any in your cellar you might not be a fan of this any longer - though I do know one person who could drink it everyday and twice on Sunday.