Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aleksander Estate 2003 Riesling

Found December 2010

Now here is something unusual, or something that is becoming unusual, a wine that I have not previously reviewed that got lost in my cellar.  It used to be a more regular occurrence, which is why I started this blog in the first place, but as my record keeping got better it almost seemed redundant to have this site ... but thankfully it is still alive and well so I can tell you about one of my most recent finds.  While rejiggering my cellar I found a 7 year old bottle of Riesling from Aleksander Estate, located in the Lake Erie North Shore.  Since the winery started in 2005 this must be one of their very first efforts, and it is a decent effort at that.  Colour is golden with a nose hinting at mac apple with the merest hint of petrol.  The taste became a little more problematic, while the acidity was still good and the wine was aging nicely without faults, it seemed to be losing flavour, the petrol is faint-faint-faint on the tongue but other flavours don`t seem to be driving this wine at all, it has become `just a white wine, it`s simple yet sippable with no distinguishing characteristics on the palate. Lost & Found Rating:  Minor Treasure

Monday, December 6, 2010

Henry of Pelham 2003 Reserve Riesling

Found December 2010

Well, I combed through my records and could find nothing about me having tried this bottle before.  I have one bottle in my collection and that is all, so I must have been saving it for a special occasion and that occasion was tonight.  After a long weekend and long day we decided to relax and open something interesting, and what could be more interesting than a seven year old bottle of Riesling.  The nose was shy at first, we barely got any smell and even the flavour was a little muted.  We set our glasses aside and waited 15 minutes ... what a difference:  petrol mixed with green apple and lime skin.  The palate was similar yet different, the petrol wasn't apparent it gave up completely to the green apple, while the lime gave way to more lemony-citrus ... good acidity balanced everything nicely and there was a lovely mouth-coating lingering finish.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fielding Estate Winery 2007 Cabernet Franc

Found November 2010

Five years on and this wine still has so much stuffing left in it, not surprising considering 2005 was a very good year here in Ontario.  The nose is spicy and peppery with dark fruit and cassis aromas.  Flavours are all over the map starting with biting tannins, pepper, blackberry, cassis and sharp acidity.  This wine has some great drinkability when enough air is put through it, plus it has an enjoyably long finish.  There's lots of life left in the bottle and it's worth keeping it in the cellar a few more years to let those tannins mellow and that fruit start to emerge more fully.  Time will tell if it balances out, but I have faith in this one.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cave Spring Cellars 2005 Dry Riesling

Found October 2010

This wine has turned simple over the past 5 years, but simple in a good way.  The nose shows a heavy dose of petrol with a backing of lime rind ... while the palate is far more inviting.  The petrol has lessened from what the nose intoned it had the potential to be; there's still that lime edge, but with a pleasing lingering finish.  2005 wasn't the best vintage for Riesling (the heat was not the kind of weather Riesling likes) - but this wine was made by one of Ontario's masters of the variety and it shows.  nOt sure how much longer this will hold and be pleasant, so if you have some, drink up soon.  Lost & Found Rating: Treasure


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jackson Triggs 2001 Proprietors’ Reserve Pinot Noir

Found October 2010

Whoa Nelly, I wish I had something good to say about this wine upfront – the smell is absolutely horrible, no fruit with lots and lots of stink.  On the backend, we’ll call that the taste, it’s earthy and woody with no signs of fruit, so there is little in the way of a pleasant taste here … the good news is that what is here is smooth and it tastes much better than the smell indicates, though that is not saying much.  Interesting colour to the wine, it is a blood orange hue.  Sorry to say this one did not stand the test of time.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Willow Springs Winery 2003 Vidal

Found July 2010

Lazy (and hot) Sunday afternoon ... the call for lunch is a tuna sandwich ... now I have to find a white wine (too heavy for red with all this heat, besides dinner is a steak so red is already forecasted for later).  I find this Vidal in one of my wine fridges, for all I remember it may have been there since 2003.  Nose is slightly honeyed with some peach and apple puree.  Teeth-chillingly cold, so for now it is okay, it tastes like booze in white wine; we'll have to give it some time to warm up and develop some flavours.

20 minutes have passed and now we are starting to see what was under that cold exterior ... and in truth this is not bad at all.  There is some slightly oxidized apple here, with a hint of pear, a drop of lemon and enough acidity left to hold it all together.  It's a wine I keep sipping on wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and I won't want to drink it anymore, but I keep on sipping away.  There's even a nice mid-length finish of apple peel.  I can't complain too much about this wine, it is doing its job on a hot July afternoon, plus it has me taking more and more sips trying to figure it out - what more can I want.  I am prepare to make the call on this Willow Springs 2003 Vidal.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crown Bench Estates 2002 Beamsville Bench Summertime Merlot

Found July 2010

One bad wine deserves another.  This is my second wine tonight, as I am trying a few wines from the '02 vintage, that strike me as 'need to try now'.  I guess I have to admit I have not picked the best wines to give this a go with, but I have to open each and every bottle in its turn (and as i am packing up there are certain wines that strike me as either drink now or ditch wines).  Tonight this bottle had its turn and in truth I wish I had left it lost.  This wine had sweet fruit at some point in its life, though I am not sure whether it was designed as an off-dry red or just a juicy sweet thing - the name suggests an off-dry red to chill and enjoy in the summertime, like maybe the summer of 2003. This wine is now 8 years from vintage date and the smell is faintly sweet, yet with oxidative notes.  The cork was like a sponge, the corkscrew sunk deep and quick and actually pushed the cork deeper into the bottle.  Once in, the cork did not take any effort to come out, it slipped out without the use of the lever on the corkscrew, just a simple pull up and out.  This wine tasted like a Manechevitz sacramental wine that had gone bad - odd and unappealing.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash


Cilento 2002 Pinot Noir Gamay

Found July 2010

I admit that right from the get go I had little hope that this wine survived all these years gone by - the grape varieties alone told me I might be dealing with an over the hill wine here.  Unwrap the capsule and there's a plastic cork staring back at me, strike two.  And if those two didn't give me pause, the colour should have, it made me wince as I saw it hit the glass as I saw dirty brown cascade my crystal vessel of choice.  But here is where I have to do my job, I dedicated myself to bring you the good, the bad and the ugly in this column, and by gone it I'm gonna do it, after all I had bought this wine at some point in my life, I must have liked it at some point.  I even had the wherewithal to slip it into my wine cellar ... where I obviously forgot about it, until today.  The smell was as unappealing as the colour and the taste, well let's just say I would have been better off using this one for salad dressing.  The wine was prunish and oxidized, there were hints of some old fruit here but those hints were few and far between.  What's more, I could not bring myself to swallow a full sip - the little I choked down was enough.  This wine is, was and always shall be from this day forward DOA ... In truth, I should have popped the cork a week after I bought it.  I will be apologizing to myself and my taste buds later.   Lost & Found Rating:  Trash.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lailey Vineyard 2002 Canadian Oak Pinot Noir

Found February 2010

I rescued this bottle from the scrap heap of annihilation - basically someone I knew was going to throw it down the drain figuring it was too old (without even trying it) - what a waste. I brought it over to share with some friends one wine soaked evening. Not exactly at it's peek this bottle was making it's slow decline - but it still had enough stuffing to keep all in attendance interested. Loads of dried fruit and tons of sour cherry, all backed by a touch of wood tanins and lots of acidity. In its prime this would have been one fantastic wine, but I think at this stage, old age was taking its toll and getting the better of this bottle. Lost & Found Rating: Tolerable but fading

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cave Spring Cellars 2002 Pinot Noir Estate Bottled

Found January 2010

This one goes out to all you good little boys and girls who have been cellaring your 2002 Ontario wines: Kids, it might be time to start looking at these wines and in fact, breaking into them; not that they are over the hill, far from it, but some are starting to drink very, very well, let's take for example this this 2002 Pinot Noir from Cave Spring. Starting from the nose this wine had everything your looking for in aged Pinot, smells of sour cherry, dried cranberry with a slightly smoky nuance. On the palate those cherries turned black with a delightfully delicious smoothness and a touch of tannins - this was a real pleasure to drink, I'm not stretching it at all when I say, "what a beauty", especially when given a little air through decanting. I recently reviewed the 2007 version of this wine, and if it ages as nicely (and I suspect it will), I suggest making a multiple purchase of the '07, the '02 is long gone (unless you have some in the cellar). Lost & Found Rating: Treasure +