wine

2013 Domaine Saint Paul Viognier

This was in one of the vintages releases in July, and I’ve been on a white wine kick recently (mostly Savvy’s and Viogniers) and for the price ($14) I couldn’t pass it up. I opened it up today to A) Drink and B) add a splash to my peach frozen yogurt.

Name: Domaine Saint Paul Viognier, 2013
From: Midi, France
Varietal: Viognier
ABV: 13%

The wine is a nice pale yellow colour with a thin, clear rim. It has some quick running legs that run down the glass nicely.

On the nose the wine is very floral with a bit of peach and orange zest. It smells exactly like I think a viognier should.

The wine’s dry with a medium acidity level. On the palate the peach takes over, a grapefruit zest comes in mid way through and there’s a long finish with the peaches making a comeback, although this time there’s a hint of bitterness. You could say it’s peach pit, you could say grapefruit pith… Either way.

Overall the wine is fantastic, balanced nicely and is pretty much everything I want in a white wine. I’ve got nice floral, fruit, citrus layered in there. It’s refreshing and certainly not boring.

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2010 Chateau Fontaine Sauternes

More dessert wine? Can you tell I was trying to clear out some older stuff that I had kicking around and didn’t expect to A) drink anytime soon and B) probably won’t get much better with time. I think I bought this to have with some of my foie gras, but I went iced cider instead (which was the better option I’m sure).

Name: Chateau Fontaine Sauternes, 2010
Varietal: Semillon, Sauv Blanc, Muscadelle
From: Bordeaux, France
ABV: 13.5%

The wine is a very viscous honey, deep amber colour.

The aroma is intense but pretty simple, I could only pick up honey and bruised apple.

It’s full bodied and very sweet (obviously) balanced out with a nice hit of acidity. Thankfully it’s a lot more complex on the palette with melon, apple, and crisp pear with honey coming in on the finish along with a lot of floral notes.

It’s a decent wine, balanced but doesn’t offer much of a wow factor, but I remember this being cheap when I bought it a while ago which probably explains that.

Colaneri Profondo Aumento, 2010

A dessert wine from Niagara that isn’t Icewine?
Using dried grapes in a traditional Italian style?
Out of Chenin Blanc?

Well ok then, let’s get right into this one.

Name: Colaneri Profondo Aumento, 2010
Varietal: Chenin Blanc (Recioto style)
From: Niagara-On-The-Lake, On
ABV: 14%

The wine is a very viscous honey, deep amber colour.

There’s a bunch of fruit here, pineapple and melon mostly, with some floral and a note that just smells of sugar.

As with most dessert wines, it’s sweet, full bodied and balanced with a medium acidity. The flavour here brings lots of lemon and lime, melon, pineapple (and maybe some papaya, definitely a bit more tropical flavours coming in) and some floral. I pick up just a touch of petrol on the finish.

It’s kind of strange… The petrol finish, for me, kind of detracts from the whole package bringing down the brightness the wine has. And once again, I hate waxed corks, it just crumbled when I went to open the wine.

2009 Benjamin Bridge Taurus

A hybrid wine, made only in good vintage, then aged in barrel for 4 years? Yes please.
Name: Benjamin Bridge Taurus, 2009
From:  Wolfville, NS
Varietal: Foch & Lucie Kuhlmann
ABV: 13%

Appearance: Pours a bright reddish purple. Very, very purple!
Aroma: Lots going on here, some earthiness, basil, dried plums and a bit of vanilla and oakiness (that was a bit of a cop out term, but whatever).
Taste: Medium plus acidity, medium tannins, and full bodied. On the palate there’s blackberry, black and sour cherries, spice (peppercorn?), thyme and a little touch of earth.

Overall: It’s quite good, easy to drink and without any of that “hybridness” that people out here seem to get frightened over. Easily the best hybrid red I’ve ever had. Does it taste like a $30 bottle of wine? Eh… that where this falters a bit, but I see where the price comes from.

Buy:  Benjamin Bridge Winery
Price: $30 for 750ml

What They Say:

In select years, when our winemakers determine that the growing season and resultant fruit will support a premium red wine, we have explored very limited production. A robust, highly concentrated red, the current 2009 vintage is a blend of Maréchal Foch & Lucie Kuhlmann. Aged for four years in French & American oak, this elegant wine possesses a heightened concentration and an intense colour. Delicate tannins make this a versatile red wine. It pairs well with a wide range of meats and vegetarian entrées or can be enjoyed on its own.

2009 Archangel Pinot Noir

Some days, you just feel like popping open a bottle of bubbles to help you study. Even better when you’ve found that bottle in the bin end section of the liquor store!
Unlike most posts, this one was transcribed from the scribbles in my tasting book…

Name: Angels Gate Archangel Pinot Noir, 2009
From:  Niagara, On
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
ABV: 12%

Appearance: Pours a pretty, pale salmon pink colour with thin persistent bubbles.
Aroma: There’s a big hit of yeasty bread dough, with a background of strawberries and cranberries
Taste: Medium plus acidity with a touch of sweetness and a long finish. The palate is very similar to the nose, raspberries and cranberries dominate with bready notes coming on mid to late palate.

Overall: I thought that this was delicious. It had good balance and was delicate but full of flavour.

Buy:  LCBO
Price: $20 for 750ml

2011 Tawse Cabernet Merlot

It felt like a wine night, and some cheap (aka free) wine that wasn’t stuff I made was in order.
Name: Tawse Cabernet Merlot, 2011
From:  Niagara, On
Varietal: 58% Cabernet Franc, 27% Cabernet Sauv, 15% Merlot
ABV: 13%

Appearance: Deep ruby red/purple
Aroma: A pretty tight nose of blackberry, dark cherries, a bit of spice and fresh thyme there too.
Taste: Medium acidity, medium plus for tannins, a touch hot and full bodied. On the palate there’s blackberry, black current, spice, herb and a bit of earthiness and dark chocolate there too. It finishes rather long with some ripe cherry flavours.

Overall: Not bad, not spectacular. There’s not much that I could say about it. I think it might be better tomorrow after it’s had a bit of air…

Buy:  Tawse Winery
Price: $21 for 750ml

What They Say:
Tawse is excited to reintroduce a cabernet-merlot into the portfolio. A carefully selected blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot, this full-bodied red displays a wonderful combination of characteristics from all three varieties. The ripe, dark fruit flavors are a reflection of the warm, sunny vintage. Black cherry, plum, and currant are all evident. A complementing earthiness, as well as a subtle spiciness, add to the experience on the palate. The mouthfeel has the wonderful velvety character of merlot. The flavors and texture linger, and leave you wanting more!

Sandeman Vau Vintage 1997 Port


Port is my comfort food. Enough said. Fighting off the last bit of a cold (that I’ve been fighting for days now…) I decided that was it and I’ll fight it with port. There’s something fantastic about port, and not just what’s in the bottle, but the story. I’m drinking something that was bottled the year I started highschool, when Napster was the Best.Thing.Ever. How times have changed, eh?

This half bottle was tucked away with the tiny bottles of booze next to the cash at the liquor store. To answer the question of who impulse buys half bottles of vintage port, it’s me. They also had (full sized) bottles of the 2000 vintage. I foresee some friends and I having a port tasting in the future.

Opening vintage port is always fun, this cork crumbled three quarters of the way down, forcing some drastic measures that ended up pushing the cork into the bottle (sigh). So a double decant and filter was necessary, but the effort was worth it.

Name: Sandeman Vau Vintage, 1997
From:  Douro, Portugal
ABV: 20%

Appearance: It’s a super dark, almost black colour. When held right up to the light it’s a deep ruby with glints of orange to it. Really pretty.
Aroma: The first hit is all dark berries – black currents, black berries, dark cherry, and there’s a little touch of licorice on there too that helps to balance it from being purely fruitbomby.
Taste: Super sweet (surprise, it’s port…) with a nice hit of acidity that lingers on the finish, and oh boy is it hot. The alcohol in this definitely makes itself known. The palate starts out with berries once again, moving more into truffles and mushroom as the alcohol kicks in, finishing with licorice.

Overall: It’s a bit unbalanced, still lots of acidity and super hot. It’s not very complex, but for paying under $25 for a bottle of 17 year old vintage port you can’t expect it to be mind blowing. It is tasty and I will be buying a few more of these

Buy:  LCBO
Price: $11.80 for 375ml

What Someone Says:
Beware of crumbly cork on this oldster. It has matured to a mellow state but not lost its nerve either. The bouquet is nicely generous and complex with well integrated cedar, plums, earth, licorice and leather. It’s full bodied with high alcohol fire-storming the palate. The length is excellent with earthy notes prevalent but the fruit holding. At its best now, should hold another three years. Hot finish. Score: 88 (David Lawrason, WineAlign.com, Feb 2013)