Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reif Estate 2004 Merlot

Found February 2011

As a result of a misstep, this same night, with a Jackson Triggs 2004, I opened a same vintage Merlot from Reif ... first I was glad to see a real cork closure ... now let's see if it made a difference to this dismal year dated wine.  While not the most exciting or impactful nose the wine did show signs of being drinkable.  When left to stand the wine gave off rotted aromas that were kind of off-putting, but when aerated you could find dried raspberries, dried leaves and cedary notes.  The palate proved to be inviting and off-putting all at the same time.  A tad herbaceous, some cedar (especially on the finish), a very forest-floor, dried leaves character passing over the tongue ... for those who like those mature flavours in wine this was a very interesting specimen, although it tasted much older than it was.  All-in-all it was drinkable, but barely.  If you have any in the cellar this wine is past its prime and on a downward trajectory from its peak, but still I found it enjoyable in a purely academic way.  Lost & Found Rating:  Tolerable

Jackson Triggs 2004 Proprietors' Reserve Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon

Found February 2011

Now I know 2004 was not a great year in Ontario, especially for reds, but I remember being a fan of this wine from J-T and thinking maybe in a few years time it'll show just as nicely if not better than on the day I first tried it.  Well now 6 years later I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, I was wrong ... the wine has aged piss-poorly to put it delicately.  Smells of rotting fruit, forest floor (read: rotten leaves / vegetation) and oxidation plague both the nose and palate ... the taste is bitter and nasty.  As I said before, I know 2004 was not a great year, but J-T could have given this wine a fighting chance by using a better closure, the plastic cork did this wine a real disservice.  If only producers would put that warning on the packaging ("sealed with synthetic cork") then I, and other wine lovers like me, who age their wines, wouldn't be so disappointed when we open a bottle sealed with this soul-sucking nastiness ... fact is, had I known I never would have laid it down in the first place.  Lost & Found Rating:  Trash