November 25, 2013

Vineland Estates 2005 Cabernet Franc

(Re-Tasted November 2013) ... It's been over three years since last I re-visited this wine and tonight while combing through the cellar for something to drink I found it and thought it an interesting wine to try.  I think what I am most astonished about here is the palate, smoky with a touch of woodsiness, good acidity with something herbal creeping in but nothing unpleasant.  Taste-wise it doesn't seem to have a lot of fruit, as the smokiness seems to have taken over, but there's plenty to get excited about as it is smooth and ends with hints of anise and a touch of leather.  On the nose we have some smoked-vanilla-raspberry, not fresh, but smoked so that the fruit aromas act as an enhancer to the smokiness.  The palate seems to continue to smooth and become somewhat of a quaffer that shows some vanilla in the mix and there's a cedary-aspect that continues to resolve itself.  It's quite complex and interesting and altogether fun to taste and smell. The thing I keep coming back to is that this 8 year old wine cost a measly $12.95 back when I bought it, and it has withstood more than a wine of that price point should - as someone once told me about a 10-year old microwave I was throwing out - "it doesn't owe you anything".  I still have a few bottles in my cellar , I may not write them all up because I am certain this holiday season the rest of them will be coming out of the cellar - it's drinking very well right now ... okay, I might hold one back just to see.

November 19, 2013

Jackson-Triggs 2004 Delaine Vineyard Syrah

Found November 2013

This past Saturday we had a friend over and I decided to pull out some older wines, well two.  One was a bottle of Hillebrand Wild Ferment Chardonnay from 2006, which turned out to be quite a beauty - the other was even older and even more amazing, because if you think of the vintage in Ontario that particular year (2004), and consider the grape variety of this wine, you'll think it pretty amazing indeed that this wine survived as long, and as well, as it did.  Upon opening there was an earthy nuance that came from the wine but it settled down quickly and things started to happen, both on the nose and the palate.  Blueberry and white pepper emerged, then some time later there were elements of smoky dried fruit then it turned into definitive aromas (and the occasion taste) of Montreal smoked meats with just a touch of thyme (there was an herbal quality that took us a while to put our collective fingers on - or should I say our noses around, but this is what we all agreed upon in the end).  An amazing find in the cellar and a wine filled with so much complexity.  If you have this in the cellar I think it's time to pull out this bottle of 9-year-old Syrah and enjoy.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

November 18, 2013

Hillebrand 2006 Wild Ferment Chardonnay

(Re-Tasted November 2013) ... The full name of this wine is (bare with me): Hillebrand 2006 Showcase Mori Vineyard Barrel No. 6038 Radoux French Puncheon Wild Ferment Chardonnay - now try saying that 5 times fast ... anyway, I opened this up on a Saturday night with a real Chardonnay fanatic (who seems to have turned me into, at the very least, an ABCer open to Chardonnay).  It is the oldest Chardonnay in my cellar and being a fan of wild ferment wines (in their youth) I was excited to give this a try to see how it ages ... if you're thinking fresh fruit, forget about it, but if you're into caramel, toffee, baked dried apple, burnt butter, touches of apricot and peach pit then this wine definitely delivers on all levels, plus more.  It has held up well but I think now is the time to be drinking it, waiting won't give you anything more that you're really looking for.

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November 14, 2013

Henry of Pelham 2007 Reserve Cabernet/Merlot

(Re-Tasted November 2013) ... Please excuse me if I get a little more effusive than usual about a Taste it Again wine but I'm telling you this might be one of the best taste it again wines I have re-tasted in quite some time ... granted it is only (according to the review) 2 years from tasting date - but something tells me I have tasted this earlier than that and the dating of the original tasting might be a little off.  But let's go through this wine bit by bit so that you know why it is so awesome.  The nose screams of dark fruit: blackberry, black cherry and plum along with cinnamon and clove.  Palate still has wonderful tannin structure and comes off as really sexy in the mouth with a smoky quality, hints of cocoa, great spice balanced with vanilla, blackberry and cassis - there's also some lovely mocha-spice on the finish. If you have some of this wine in your cellar it is drinking beautifully right now, if you don't have any, find someone who does, this is a really beauty that seems to just keep on getting better and I don't think it has reached its plateau quite yet; it still has a few years but I'm telling you now is as good a time as any.