September 27, 2012

Willow Springs 2005 Testa Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc - Bottle 2

(Re-Tasted September 2012) ... If you thought I was pissed in my last post you haven't seen or read anything yet, it is going to seem that I am picking on this particular producer, but I am talking to all of you half-wits and no-brains who decided to use plastic cork back in the early to mid-2000's and those that STILL insist on using this crappy closure today ... STOP RIGHT NOW.  I have read the labels on this bottle backwards and forwards, front to back, and nowhere does it say that it is sealed with an inferior closure - nor does it say that it is closed with a plastic cork.  I did read the bottom line of the back label that says, "Enjoy now with family and friends", but when you call your wine a "Limited Reserve" you have to expect that some folks are going to lie this wine down for an extended stay in their cellar - especially because 2005 was such a good year for reds, and thus ageing wine.  This wine is a nasty mess (and that's three bottles worth - see below), as the picture to the right shows, the cork on this second bottle isn't in as bad a shape as the previous bottle, but it is still leaking up the side and rimming the cork with gooey dried wine.  The colour was a sickly brown and the taste was bitter and, yes, I'll say it again, NASTY.

Plastic corks are the bane of my existence.  As a person who cellars his wine and looks forward to opening the bottle in the future, there is nothing worse than seeing a plastic cork under the capsule.  As I posted last night on Facebook:  "I'd have been happier with a corked bottle because I would know they at least tried for a quality closure." ... but putting a plastic cork on a good bottle is like giving up - you aren't even giving the wine a chance to get better, you're saying "today is the best this bottle of wine is ever going to be" - you're also saying, "I don't give a flying f--k about my customer", especially when you don't put anything on the back label (or front label) about the wine being sealed with this type of closure.  Shame on Willow Springs and shame on any producer still using this type of seal on a bottle (and I know in Ontario there's still at least one, hello Lakeview) without putting a warning on the label to customers that they should drink the wine within a year, or less.

As for my last bottle of this Testa 2005 Cabernet Franc mess ... it's in the exact same condition the other bottles are in:  The capsule is seemingly glued to the bottle.  Wine is seeping up the side of the cork. The smell is atrocious and the wine is brown and dingy with an off-puting nose and even worse taste.  What a complete waste of money this was, I take solace in the fact I paid a mere $13.95 per, but had Willow Springs added a buck or two more to the price, just so they could use a better closure, I would have been happy to pay it.  Right now I'm just royally pissed - as any customer would be - and that's not the lasting impression you wanna leave on the people helping to pay your bills. 

Willow Springs 2005 Testa Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc - Bottle 1

(Re-Tasted September 2012) ... Earlier this week I posted about tasting a horrible Cabernet Franc, and for those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, here it is.  This was just a nasty piece of business, but I can't blame the wine or the wine making, in fact, when I read my review from back in January 2007 this wine should have been made for the long-haul.  Alas some %R*%&**& decided to close this wine with a plastic cork - and if you follow my wine reviews and re-taste notes you know what I think of plastic.  You'll know that I think a plastic cork isn't good at the best of times, but what made this wine even more exciting was that it had a leaky plastic cork - well that's even better, or worse, depending on how you look at it.  I really have nothing else to say about this wine ... if the producer doesn't care enough about their premium reserve wine to seal it with a proper closure, then I guess I reserve the right not to write anymore about the wine.  If you have some of this in your cellar all I can say is good luck.  Picture of the offending cork and wine label appears to the right.

Maybe I'm being a little hard on this wine ... seems I have another 2 bottles of this, that's the confidence I had in this wine.  I'll try it again over the next week to see if I just got a very faulty bottle ... instead of just a faulty bottle.  Stay tuned.

September 9, 2012

Fielding 2006 Sparkling Riesling - Charmat Method

(Re-Tasted September 2012) ... It was still the week of my anniversary - so far we have have two other bubblies this week to celebrate:  an Oyster Bay Rose and a Chateau des Charmes 2008 Rose (see a pattern) ... one last one before we lock up the sparkling wine cabinet (till next week).  I'm not going to tell you this was the best bubbly of the week (that goes to the Charmes wine), but I will tell you it was the most interesting and the oldest.  This 6-year old bubbly sure was the surprise of the week, as it had so much more complexity than I remember.  The nose had beeswax, lemon rind and a hint of petrol - the palate was baked apple, bosc pear, with apricot and a lingering finish of wild-flower honey ... the bubbles were good some 4 hours later as we poured the last drops of the bottle as a night cap.  Good job Fielding, for a charmat method sparkler this one stood up for longer than I would have expected.  For those with a bottle in the cellar, don't be afraid to pop the cork on a bottle , I think it is drinking better today than it ever has.

September 8, 2012

Peller Estates 2007 Private Reserve Cabernet Franc

Click here to read the original review from April 2010

(Re-Tasted September 2012) ... About two and a half years ago is when I put the first review of this wine up (and gave it a 5-star rating), and in truth I was not suppose to have a bottle for another 2 years because I have that much faith in it ... but tonight I suddenly wanted to see how it was doing - and that is my prerogative, as it is my wine cellar.  I am happy to report this wine is doing just fine, thank you very much.  The nose is loaded with raspberry, blackberry with a pleasant smokiness - the palate still has those firm tannins along with black currant fruit dominating, then come those smoky notes from the barrel and some tobacco leaf (a usual tell-tale sign of Cabernet Franc).  If you have some in your cellar don't worry you've got lots of time.