Monday, February 10, 2014

Cedarville 2005 Zinfandel, El Dorado (California)

It's been a real long time since last I tried a bottle of this ... but the real story behind this wine isn't how long its been since I've had one, but instead how I acquired bottles of this.  A friend I was taking WSET classes with was also a wine agent and learned that I was a big Zinfandel fan.  I got a call late one evening from said friend who informed me she had an open bottle and was inviting a few folks over to try it, wondered if I were interested (knowing my love for the grape) ... I jumped at the opportunity to taste a Zinfandel I have never heard of; so needless to say I loved the wine and shared the purchase of a case with another Zin lover who was there that night.  This alas is my last bottle and I'm sad to say it is drinking even nicer today than it did when I tasted before, and it has gotten better each time after, and it is maturing gracefully.  The nose is pure black pepper with nicely spiced plum, hints of vanilla and a touch of dark cocoa.  The palate is full of  cocoa, spiced-vanilla, plum, and black raspberry.  The alcohol gives this one a warming effect in the belly but it's balanced and the wine bites back with all those spice notes.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wild Haven 2010 Reserve Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills (Washington)

I'm a fan of wines from the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington.  I discovered this region through Columbia Crest and their series of wines from this Washington sub-region and since I have been looking for and tasting wines from there every chance I can; this one I picked up on my recent trip to Florida.  After a spectacular dinner at Hillebrand with my wife and our weekend guests I thought I'd pull this one out to share in one of my wine-obsessions ... my "niece" and her boyfriend were in town and their interest in wine is just starting to hit a fewer pitch, meaning they'll try everything and anything just for the experience (yes I am still talking about wine here).  This wine proved to be just what the doctor ordered for a night cap ... lots of blueberry and raspberry on the nose followed up on the palate with blueberry, cocoa and spice - the wine proved itself to be dry and spicy in the best of ways and it was a nice capper to the night ... that is until I said, "hey let's try one more ... how about a dessert wine?"  And it was only fitting that I pulled out a chilled bottle of Hillebrand 2004 Late Harvest Vidal ... to read about that one you'll have to click here, and you'll want to, cause it was a real beauty.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rolf Binder 2009 Ma I? Have this Evening (Australia)

An interesting name for a wine with some random punctuation thrown into the middle for no apparent reason ... on the other hand with 14% alcohol this wine has the potential to take your evening away if you are not careful and have more than one bottle ... thankfully that is not what happened to us.  Ma I? is a Shiraz (80%) Mataro (Mourvedre) blend from Oz and a wine I thought I'd pull out after an absolutely hilarious Bill Burr concert in Hamilton with my "niece" and her boyfriend.  They were in town to see this comedian who they have been a fan of for years and they took the opportunity of his Canadian concert tour to kill two birds with one stone ... see Bill and drink wine with us.  This wine proved to be just what the doctor ordered for a night cap ... lovely, smooth and plummy with chocolate, black cherry and vanilla - super easy drinking and as I said, a perfect capper to the evening. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Marisco 2010 Pinot Noir (New Zealand)

I have had a few Marisco wines in my day and I would have to say I am a big fan of this New Zealand winery, there are very few of their wines I wouldn't want in my cellar.  One year a mistake was made in pricing and I was fully ready to take advantage of it, but the agent never got in touch ... for the agent's sake it's good that my memory sucks when it comes to stuff like that; on the other hand, when it comes to wine I don't forget the good stuff.  This Marisco Pinot hit all the right notes both on the nose and on the palate and showed the right amount of complexity and drinkability on all levels.  Aromas of violets, cranberry, and black cherry opened the door to flavours of black raspberry-cranberry, with some light plum character and lovely spice.  The nose's subtle perfume notes also made for a real pleasant drinking experience.  What really stood out was the hints of cherry mid to finish which made this a beauty of a sipping Pinot, but with the acidity it was also good with the salmon dinner ... who says red doesn't go with fish. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Weingut Max Müller I. 2011 Silvaner Eigenart (Germany)

I got this wine on a trip to Germany and was very impressed with this barrel aged Silvaner which had quite a lot of structure on both the nose and palate; but it seems that wines in other countries tend to taste much better when you are there but when you get home they go completely south.  But this time I got happily-lucky:  aromas of vanilla from the barrel intermingle with lemon and lime citrus fruit ... which is quite alluring.  Palate also mixes barrel and fruit in an enticing and exciting display on the palate - nice creamy vanilla note dance on the tongue with citrus and pleasant palate pleasing acidity.  On the finish was some nice lime pith bitterness that balanced everything out.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Le Cirque (France)

Been back from Florida for a few days now, drank plenty of cider while away and bought a few wines at a place called Total Wines, which seems to be a large chain down there (and the selection, wow) ... but that did not stop me from digging into my own cellar this Monday evening and finding a Languedoc wine from France to pair with the burgers we were having for dinner.  This Le Cirque is a four grape blend of Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Syrah and it's a lovely sip and smell:  Nose is full of raspberry, vanilla, white pepper, cinnamon and cassis with elements of smoked cedar in the background.  Taste is also inviting but not as complex (yet) with cassis and white pepper being carried on a bed of smoke and cedar.  My hope is that as this wine ages the fruit will lift and that cedar element will dissipate a little more, rounding out those edges.  Right now is very good with the potential of being great.