Tuesday, November 29, 2011

McKinley Springs 2007 Bombing Range Red (Washington)

This is a really interesting blend from Washington state that came out just this past weekend at the LCBO (Ontario):  Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with dollops of Mourvedre, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  I think the last three add the complexity to the wine while the first two give it that typicity we all know and love - thus making it an interesting blend.  The nose starts off with plum and clove, then after about an hour turns into sweet spiced-raspberry (nice evolution) ... flavour-wise you get pepper, spice, cedar, cassis, black cherry and clove all woven into a pleasant drink-it-slow package as it changes on the palate from sip to sip, adding more and more enjoyment to your evening.  The funny thing about this wine is the label - a cartoon drawing of a pilot holding a glass of wine and beside it a three panel cartoon showing a wine bottle being dropped like a bomb - here in Ontario the brain-trust at the liquor board decided it would be a good idea to cover up the glass of wine the pilot is holding in the name of social responsibility; obviously they don't want us to get the notion that drinking and flying (and dropping wine bottles from on high) is acceptable.  Really?  I needed that reminder?  Thank goodness they stepped on on this one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Montgras 2005 Quatro (Chile)

After my fiasco with the Spanish wine (a rarity in my experience with Spanish wines) I moved on to another Spanish speaking country, Chile, and a bottle of Montgras Quatro, a blend of four grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Malbec.  This proved to be a nicer drinking red than its Spanish counterparrt.  The nose was minty with blackberry and vanilla aromas encircling it.  The palate delivered on the promise of the nose's minty notes, but turned the blackberry into cassis and sweet raspberry on the mid-palate and turned that pretty vanilla note into cedar.  The fruit still dominates here but its time to be drinking this wine and not sitting on it and with two more bottles in my cellar its time to locate and drink (which is a different initiative then if the wine were bad, then it would be search and destroy).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bodegas Campina 2007 Sabor Real Vinas Centenarias Tempranillo (Spain)

Not too sure about this one.  The first bottle was corked and uninviting (as corked wines usually are) - I took a sip to make sure and wish that I hadn't.  Then I opened a second bottle and it was not much better than the first.  I really liked the nose on this one, really very pretty with lots of plum and vanilla notes, but the palate does not co-operate with the signals the nose is sending, it's too something: too woody, too dry, too unappealing, too much of a foul finish.  There was really not much to be excited about here.  I let it sit in the glass for about an hour with the occasional swirl and re-sniff - the wine had a great nose - but the palate just continue to be all wood all the time.  Maybe the first bottle tainted my palate, but the nose and palate just didn't mesh here and that was its biggest problem.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

JanKris 2004 Paso Robles Tres Ranchos Zinfandel (California)

Something special on a Friday night ... not wanting to go downstairs to the wine cellar I stayed upstairs and wondering into the dining room to see what kind of "last minute bottles" I had lying about.  I found this 7 year old JanKris Zin that I remember being a big fan of and have probably written about more than a few bottles on this very blog (I had 6 at one point).  For those that think ZIn is a drink-now kinda wine, think again, this one is even better than I remembered it. Lots of vanilla, plum, and cherry with white pepper and spice were all over the nose and moved to the palate.  As the night wore on there was some cherry liqueur on the palate mixed in with vanilla and plums ... lovely and very smooth without being sweet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LA Cetto 2005 Petite Sirah (Mexico)

Mexico is known more for its Cerveza (por favor) then their wine, but they do make some wines and some good ones at that.  This is pretty much the only Mexican wine we see in Ontario and its been a staple for the last few years (if not more).  And the price is pretty reasonable ... once under $10, now just over.  I thought I'd age one to see if the value continues, and I am glad to report that yes for under $10 you can get a wine to sit in the cellar for a few years without having it turn to vinegar.  This one still had lots of fruit with blackberry, cassis, and plum with some spice holding it together ... the aromas came off as sweet so it was nice to have the spice there.  On the palate there was lots of that good fruit coming through and loads of black pepper and spice.  Perfect pairing on taco night - which is just what we did.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stalking Horse 2008 Mclaren Vale Shiraz

After an evening of talking about Ontario wines, specifically the ones from the Lake Erie North Shore region,at the Sarnia Fusion festival for local wines and foods, I retired to my room for a little R & R.  It's now 10:30 at night and I am cracking the cap on a bottle of Stalking Horse Shiraz, forget abut the cutesy label at the moment (heck the wine is worth buying just for that), but as we all know it's what's in that bottle that counts, and this wine has a real wow factor.  Brimming with chocolatey, plummy, raspberry goodness this wine delivers all kinds of silkiness across the tongue, and while the nose is incredibly alluring it also has the ability to deliver flavours that are off the chart in their richness.  But it's not jammy and sticky as you might think, there's some finesse behind this bruiser and it finishes with a spiced-raspberry note and lingers with chocolate - a real party of flavour in the mouth.  Being released in Vintages (Ontario) Saturday November 12 - and worth every penny of the 17.95 price tag.