January 31, 2011

Fielding Estate Winery 2006 Gewurztraminer


(Re-Tasted: January 2011) ... The first thing I noticed, when pouring this wine into my glass, was the golden colour of the wine - it sure did show its age in that respect.  But the rest of the wine showed little sign of age, the nose was full of peach and pear sweetness, maybe a touch of honeyed apricot also played with the olfactories.  On the palate there was a touch of pear, a hint of spice and good acidity that still left the tongue feeling a little prickly.  The finish was also quite exciting with a long lemon pith flavoured finish ... this wine has aged very nicely, but don't wait too long to drink your remaining bottles, I'd hate for you to lose those great smells and flavours to too much ageing.


January 19, 2011

Calamus Estate Winery 2005 Calamus Red

(Re-Tasted January 2011) ... It's nice to see that Ontario wines can stand the test of time, granted it is only 5 years for this particular wine but it has come through quite nicely, with little to no degradation in quality.  If you look back at my original review you'll see this wine went for the relatively inexpensive (read: cheap as chips) price of $13.00 a bottle.  Thirteen dollars a bottle for a wine of this quality?  Seems almost surreal.  Reminds me of the old joke about the worm looking out the flying bird's rear end and him saying, "you wouldn't shit me now would you?"  But seriously, this was some delicious wine for the price, and now just a hair over 6 years from vintage date it proves itself again.  The nose is white pepper, red berries (mainly strawberries) with spiced blueberries and also some wood spice.  The palate is also intriguing with dark fruit, spice, good acidity and dusty tannins, lively but dry ... this bottle still has a few years left in it, say another 3 or 4 just to be on the safe side.  That price tag is looking more and more like a steal the older, and finer, this wine gets.

January 18, 2011

Inniskillin 2004 Klose Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Found January 2011

I will be nothing if I am not totally honest with you here ... this is a wine I was completely scared of.  First, it was from the so-so 2004 vintage, a vintage not known for its great wines (negative), though the wine is produced by one of the older wineries in the Niagara region (positive).  The wine was delicious when I bought it a few years back (positive), but now, six years on (negative?), did I make a mistake to lie this one down?  I really didn't want to find out, so I let the bottle languish about in the box I was suppose to open and taste.  There were twelve bottles in the box and this was the last one to come out ... here goes nothing.  This was part of the single vineyard series, the wine was sourced from the Klose Vineyard, a 15 acre vineyard located on the Niagara Parkway and named for its owner Gerald Klose.  It seems that Mr. Klose knows how to grow Cab in a difficult vintage, because my worries about this wine turned out to be unfounded, in fact I was completely taken aback at how good this wine turned out to be.  The nose is blackberry and cassis with some herbal-mint notes as the wine started to open up.  The taste was just as impressive, sour raspberry and sour cherry take the lead, then turn it over to sweet cranberry, all balanced by some nice acidity and leading to a long spiced-raspberry finish.  With each sip the palate continued to shine and proved to be truly delicious ... I do believe this wine is peaking right now and not sure how long it has left, if you have a bottle or two in your cellar it might behoove you pull it out and drink it - you won't be disappointed.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

January 9, 2011

Vineland 2006 Dry Rieslng

(Re-Tasted January 2011) ... When you think of certain wines from certain wineries you expect good things ... and when it comes to Vineland and Riesling they fall into that category.  This was a Riesling that kept on giving
as the night wore on.  The nose started out with peach and paraffin and there was even a hint of bug-repellent in there, but it was a background smell that did not overpower the wine, it was just sorta there and it disappeared with time to leave just the peach and paraffin.  The taste was much more involving on the tongue.  Big acidity kicked off the show, lemon and lime notes with a slight paraffin backing.  Then time and air took over and it mellowed the wine.  It started off acidic and harsh but mellowed to crisp and refreshing.  The finish also delivered the goods, cutting through the lemon and acid to bring mac and green apple crispness to a long lingering finish.  Don't let the initial smell and taste fool you this one just needs about 15 minutes in the glass to really show you where it's going.

January 4, 2011

Chateau des Charmes 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon - Paul Bosc Vineyard

(Re-Tasted January 2011) ... Theoretically 9 years from vintage date, but can you really count another year 4 days into the new year?  For argument sake let's call it 8 years.  And still going strong.  I have to admit I was rightfully impressed with this bottle of wine.  It was one of the first times that the term "terroir" really meant something to me.  In 2002 Chateau des Charmes created two Cabernet Sauvignons, one from the St. David's Bench vineyard and another from the Paul Bosc vineyard - the only thing separating these two vineyard is York Road.  If you have ever visited the winery St. David's vineyard is the one where the winery sits, Paul Bosc is across the road.  To taste these two wines you would not believe that was the only difference, they were completely different wines.  Now, some 8 years on, I find myself with a bottle of the Paul Bosc version.  This wine was the powerhouse of the two and it still has plenty of life left in the bottle.  The nose is dark berried with a nice spiciness to it ... over the course of the evening an alcohol smell started to eminate from the glass (say 2 hour after opening and decanting).  A very closed wine at first I did decide to decant to get the most out of this one.  The sediment was grity and fine but did not detract from the taste of the wine.  Taste-wise there was nice cassis, dark berries and a little bit of wood tannins.  Given time there was also dried blueberries and a touch of cocoa on the finish.  This one still needs time, yes it's mature, but not mature enough, those tannins could still use a little softening.  I predicted 10-15 years, and so far I am right on track.

January 3, 2011

Hillebrand 1997 Trius Red

Found December 2010

It's a little bit of a misnomer to call this wine a "lost and found" wine, because a friend brought it over on New Year's Eve, hence it was never lost in my cellar - but on the other hand it was lost to me (I did not have it) so it is not too far a stretch ... in any case I hope you will indulge me.  For a wine that is 13 years old it was surprisingly youthful on the nose mixing in a blend of dried and fresh sour cherries, quite surprising indeed.  The palate showed a lot more complexity, the dried cherries were there along with dried leaves which turned into pipe tobacco on the finish.  One of those in attendance said they tasted bitter cocoa (powder-like) in the mouth ... and who can argue with something like that - I sure didn't, especially since I had already finished my ration.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure


January 2, 2011

Cave Spring Cellars 2004 Estate Bottled Riesling

Found January 2011

It was a great New Year's weekend for wine.  First I tasted a 1997 Trius Red on New Year's Eve; then on New Year's Day I found myself face-to-face with a bottle of Cave Spring 2004 Estate Bottled Riesling.  Since the calendar had switched over we could "technically" call it a bottle of 7 year old wine.  The nose was petrol, green apple and peach pit with a touch of mineral stoniness.  On the palate mineral and limeade went hand-in-hand with some nice biting acidity on the finish and over ripe green apple notes. The acidity softened the longer it remained open and in the glass - good thing it was not in the glass too long.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure