October 28, 2013

Inniskillin 2006 Reserve Series Pinot Noir

This was a surprise of a wine.  Not that I didn't think it would age, but that it aged so well.  2006 was a year that Pinot Noir would have thrived as it was not an incredible vintage for big heavy reds, but the lighter ones would have done quite well and the acidity would have been good for things like Chardonnay, Riesling, Gamay and, of course, Pinot Noir - wines that really need the acidity to make them sing in the glass and helps them age well.  The Inniskillin 2006 Reserve Series Pinot Noir has a gold label, as you can see from the picture, and it truly deserves the gold status is gave itself.  Dried strawberry, earthy and smooth right from the get go and throughout the time I drank it; it was a delightfully tasty wine with a med long finish and something else that showed was a seam of strawberry that appeared in many facets and stages thru the course of the drinking.  The above noted flavours and smells were always there but there was also a myriad of others that came and went over the course of the couple of hours I sipped on it: things like vanilla, cedar, clove and cinnamon all managed to make and appearance and add to the enjoyment of this wine.  If you have some of this in the cellar it is now time to drink.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

October 25, 2013

Stoney Ridge 2005 Cranberry Wine

(Re-Tasted October 2013) ... I won't belabor this review.  I'm gonna get right to the point and not beat around the bush.  I'm gonna come right out and say it and not make you wait for it.  Okay, enough lolly-gagging around, let's get right to this ... this wine was actually much much much better than expected.  When I pulled it out around the Thanksgiving table many were wondering what the heck I was thinking bringing such an old unimpressive looking bottle to the family dinner (the label looks like something I made at home).  But once it was opened we all started singing a different tune, this wine had kept those lovely tart cranberry notes and had ditched the cranberry cocktail aspect it had when it was young.  Then my intrepid sister-in-law suggested that it might be a good base for a holiday themed spritzer and out of what was originally seen as a daring wine to open turned out to be the hit of the evening ... I also got a picture of the stained bottle and even that was impressive - you can actually see a line running down the side of the bottle where the colouring and the bottom side of the bottle ended up being darker than the top side - I'll publish it here too.

Lailey Vineyard 2008 Zweigelt

Found October 2013

It causes me great pains to write such a review - because I am usually a fan of wines from Lailey - but at Thanksgiving I decided to open a few older bottles with the family.   Now I have to take some responsibility for this bottle, after all I was the one who waited this long to open it; but how else do we learn about older wine unless we store them away and open them on a rainy day.  Now I know Zweigelt isn't known for it's robust and fresh fruit character but this one was pure badness:  leathery, pencil shavings, band-aid along with caraway seed, and even more band-aid.  There was not one person who could find a redeeming feature about it ... chalk this one up to experience - thankfully we had some other excellent bottles that night.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash

October 24, 2013

Maleta Vineyards 2001 Meritage

Found October 2013

Shhh, don't tell my wife, but I kinda enjoy when she leaves town to visit her family for a few days.  I have nothing to hide but if she saw the amount of time I spend in my wine cellar that weekend she would have flipped (why was I not cleaning other parts of the house?)  Now, I did not spend 24 hours or anything silly like that, I just took a few hours to re-arrange and move stuff around and also make some discoveries, like this 2001 Maleta Meritage.  I was really looking forward to this one as it had been a silver medal winner (as the sticker on the bottle proudly proclaimed) and 2001 was a pretty good year for reds in Ontario.  Except for one little spotted creature it would have been a perfect year ... and alas the Asian Lady Beetle had infected this wine as well.  Back when this wine won its award I am sure it was not as pronounced, but today it's all rancid peanut on the nose that just keeps getting stronger the longer it stays open ... sadly, you could make out that lovely fruit that would have been there if not for that off putting nose (especially on the palate) - flavours were muted, but another surprise was that the fruit and acidity still seem to be very much intact ... it's really just the off-putting nose, and the muting of the fruit that stands in its way.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash

October 4, 2013

Between the Lines 2009 Cabernet Franc

(Re-Tasted October 2013) ... It's not usual that I re-look at a wine after less than three years, but this unoaked number isn't going to last forever, so if you have some in the cellar it would be a good time to listen up.  When we last looked at this wine in June of 2011 it was all fruit, lovely, rich, red fruit.  Now 2+ years later it has developed into something more.  There's a nice tobacco, blueberry and raspberry aroma and follows onto the palate where you  do find an underlay of tobacco leaf.  Gone are the ripe red fruits, replaced by some secondary characteristics that play well with what brought this wine to the dance in the first place: fruit.  It's drinking really well now, it's smooth and delicious and very tasty - but drink it up soon, because it's unoaked you'll want to enjoy it while it still has something to offer.