Friday, July 26, 2013

4 Wines - 1 Friends - 1 Big Headache (California / Rhone / British Columbia / Portugal)

Tonight we had some friends come over whom we see at least once a year, but thankfully speak to more often ... turns out it was the first time they have visited in the summer so we finally got a chance to sit out on the deck with them.  One of our friends just got her Canadian citizenship so we decided to kick things off with a little Canadian bubbly; but instead of hitting up Ontario for a bottle we picked something from the west coast, British Columbia: Steller's Jay 2007 Brut from Sumac Ridge ... to tell you it was a great starter is an understatement, it was delightful, delicious and a real winner, I think the whole bottle was gone in 3 minutes (poured out) and most, if not all of the glasses were consumed within 15 ... a real tribute to a wine when it's polished off that quickly.  We moved on to try a bottle of one of Ontario's soon to be wineries, Brickyard, and their 2012 Riesling - I will not be reviewing that here but it will appear on my website before too long.

Dinner was steak so red wine seemed in order.  One of our friends is a Pinot Noir fan, so he had a glass of Cattail 2010 Pinot Noir, another wine that will be reviewed on the website in short order.  He also mentioned that he was a fan of Zinfandel, one of my faovurites too ... but more on that in a minute.  The rest of us shared a bottle of Perrin & Fils 2008 Rasteau L'Andeol from the Rhone ... this was a lovely steak pairing wine that had plenty of raspberry and peppery goodness, old enough be smoothing out in all the right places, yet still has enough umph to pair with the smoky, char-grilled steak.  With that bottle down the hatch, and our Pinot-friend finished his glass out from the cellar came a bottle of Ravenswood 2004 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, a bottle that is courtesy of my wife and her American roots.  At nine years of age this was a beauty of a Zin that has kept its plum and spice nature while developing other real robust flavours that made it more than a pleasure to drink - at 14.5% it is no shrinking violet of a wine ... it too was consumed with gusto.

Finally, our friends are big Port fans, and so it was decided a bottle must be cracked open so that we could have a glass ... there was some hemming and hawing over a Late Bottled Vintage, but when I said it was a 2000 Late Bottled Vintage suddenly it became a curiosity: Sandeman 2000 LBV - dark chocolate dominated with hints of cherry, spice and a beautiful baked raisin finish.  One glass turned into two, turned into three and then suddenly the bottle was gone.  And we realized that our Pinot-Zin lover had been secreting glasses while we were all engaged in conversation ... we were not aware of this fact till the next morning when our slow moving, hung over friend, heard every pin drop as if it were an a hammer on an anvil.  A good night was had by all - it's just the morning that wasn't as good for one.

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