Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thomas & Vaughan 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon

Found March 2009

Doomed from the start ... that is the best way to describe this wine. Now don't get me wrong, this wine had such great potential, if not for the ladybugs that spoiled the party. Tonight, I decided to open a bottle of Thomas and Vaughan and see how the wine from this now-troubled winery have aged. At first I was not sure of the smell I was getting, then it became clear: pyrazine. That peanut smell that hit Ontario in 2001 from so many scared ladybugs with no where to go - some got it big time while others were spared. This one was only slightly buggy, but it made a difference both on the nose and on the palate. Let's push through it for a moment and see what else this wine could have been. There were signs of green pepper on the nose; the palate shed the bug and delved into the realm of cedar, cinnamon and blackberries. There was even hints of tannin still there. But in the end the bug took over with a bitter finish and as it opened it gained more of "those smells" - too bad, this wine was definitely going places. Lost & Found: Trash - but barely.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Southbrook 1998 Lailey Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Found March 2009

I have so many different experiments going on that sometimes I get lost in what I'm doing; I feel like the absent-minded professor. One of my on-going experiments, and what hopefully brings you to the Lost & Found (and Taste it Again) is my ongoing look at the ageability of Ontario wine. For those who have followed my saga of Southbrook I won't bore you with the details again. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, look back at some of the wines previously reviewed in this section. But here's a brief synopsis (just cause I appreciate your eyeballs on the page): Southbrook was the closest winery to my house in Toronto and a buddy and I travelled there often. The owner Bill Redelmeier was always on hand on the weekends and loved to tout the age-worthiness of his wine. Even before I was a wine writer I thought I would put him to the test. And here is yet another example of how Bill was right.

Two days before Cuvee weekend 2009, I pulled out a bottle of this wine so that the sediment sink to the bottom. Upon my return (Monday), and with dreams of aged wine in my head, I popped the cork of this bottle. Sediment flew everywhere, so before any tasting could be done I had to clean up the surrounding area. Next I poured some wine into a Spiegalau glass (Bordeaux red style). The smell was big on green pepper and so were the flavours. But there was something else, blackberries and cassis still hung around along with definite notes of cedar. But with all that sediment floating around I thought it best to decant ... so I did.

There is still the green pepper notes on the nose, but they are not so in your face; the cedar comes out a little more along with graphite and cinnamon. On the palate there are hints of dried black fruits, cedar, cinnamon and fresh green pepper. There's still some tannin structure here too, which suggest it will lie another few years comfortably. Billy R, it seems you were right about your wines. Next up a Cabernet Sauvignon from the same year. Lost & Found rating: Treasure+.