September 21, 2013
Inniskillin 2004 Montague Vineyard Merlot
(Re-Tasted September 2013) ... I have often said that Ontario Merlot takes time to come around, maybe not this much time, but time none-the-less. Here we are 9 years from vintage date and I am opening a bottle from a year not known for its red wine. I was inspired to do so by a recent trip to the Great Estates of Niagara wineries (Jackson-Triggs, Le Clos Jordanne and, yes, Inniskillin) on which we stopped off to see the grapes hanging in the Montague vineyard. I was a fan of the reserve single vineyard reds that came out of the winery this year (2004), which included a Shiraz and a Pinot Noir from such vineyards as Brae Burn and Klose. Not sure why the Merlot was the one that caught my eye tonight, I still have all three wines in the cellar, but maybe it was the homemade chili we were having with dinner. This was a very interesting wine when first poured and then as the hour progressed: mocha / coffee was the first thing I smelled, then came licorice, a hint of smoke and oaky notes ... these all pretty much followed onto the palate ... what was lacking was an element of fruit - that came a little later. About the 45 minute mark there was some definite smoked-dried-cherry that seemed to hang around pleasantly from mid-palate onward. I am not sure how long that stayed as I finished the glass on that high. You have to like mainly secondary and tertiary flavours on your wine to still be enjoying this one - or at least be intrigued by older Ontario Merlot.