Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lakeview Cellars 2002 Gamay Noir

Found August 2008

If you have any bottles of this wine kicking around, now is the time to drink it., according to many Gamay Noir isn't even suppose to last this long, but this bottle from the excellent 2002 vintage is still quite a lot of fun. It's definitely not the red fruity thing you think of when you think of wine made from the grape of Beaujolais. At this point of its life cycle the nose is a mixture of cherry liqueur and raspberry jam. It's exceedingly smooth in the mouth, almost to the point of having no flavour at all, then as it opens it has little else to say but "I am cherry hear me roar". There are no tannins to speak of and as it sits open to the air it became more like a cherry liqueur on the taste too. About 20 to 30 minutes after opening something funny happened: it developed a chocolatey-Kahlua-brandy component with a bittersweet chocolate finish. Not the most wonderful wine I have had, but it sure wasn't bad considering what it was and how old it was. As much as it lacked what it originally had, I liked what it had turned into, which is why I am going to give it a Lost & Found rating of Treasure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hillebrand 2001 Trius Red

Found August 2008

Some moons ago, when I was deciding what to write about in the field of wine, my brother presented me with a bottle of Hillebrand 2001 Trius Red that he had found at his local liquor store – I think it was a thank you for looking after his dog for a week. I have held on to this lone bottle like gold; but for my mother’s 70th birthday I decided it was time to let loose the cork and see where this wine had gone. 2001 lives in infamy in Ontario as the year of the Ladybug, and so any bottle you open has the potential to be “buggy”. Thankfully I can say this bottle was not. Upon openings smells of dried fruit with some spices and a good whiff of cinnamon greeted the nose. The palate pretty much kept up with the nose: signs of dried fruit, dried leaves, a touch of oakiness with some spices and very little in the way of tannin. The age is showing on this wine but it is still very drinkable. Lost & Found rating: Treasure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Willow Springs Testa 2002 Meritage

Found August 2008

The Testa label is the designation that Willow Springs gives to their Reserve line of wines that are only produced in “good years”. 2002 was one of those years, and I remember liking this wine so much that I put my name on a waiting list for the second bottling.
My original personal note said: “Lots of fruit ... smooth and easy to drink - ready now but could do with a few years of lying down.” I was not far off on this perception.

Now 6 years from Vintage date I was ready to give this wine another try in the hopes that it had aged well … my answer to those with a few bottles (more or less) is yes and no. The n
ose on the wine is dried fruit, pleasant and definitely approachable. The taste is a bit on the oaky side, with black cherry, cinnamon and sweet raisins on the tongue, there is also a pleasant black licorice finish. But after the first hour things change drastically. The wine tired and lost any semblance of wine and had become very woodsy and unappealing, both on the nose and taste. My recommendation is to drink this one up quickly. Please note: mine just lasted that long because I was alone, otherwise it would have been gone within the first hour. Good luck and enjoy. Lost & Found rating: Treasure -.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Creekside Winery 2004 Shiraz

Found July 2008

Should a Shiraz last 4 years? Damn straight it should, wood and skins alone will make it alright for that kind of ageing, but it’s the long term ageing potential that a year like 2004 is not going to be known for (that is a general rule to which there are some exceptions). So what about this Shiraz, is it an exception or does it follow the rule? There was definitely a generous use of wood here, because it comes through on both the nose and palate, but so does the black fruit and white pepper; there’s also some nuances of dried fruit, a sure sign of an aged wine – but it’s the white pepper and woodiness that’s keeping this one alive. Right now it’s smooth and enjoyable with a bit of wood tannins joining the white pepper on the finish. This one wasn’t meant for any longevity, it was built for drink now enjoyment, I’d say you’ve got maybe a year or two left. Lost & Found rating: Tolerable +.