Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thomas & Vaughan Old Gold – Heritage Series

Let’s end the year on a sweet note by grabbing something out of the cellar and checking on it’s progress. Here’s a blast from the past that I uncovered at the back of my fridge.

Sometime over the last year I took a bottle of wine, put it in the fridge, and forgot about it. Not on purpose mind you. It was a dessert wine, and each time we got to dessert we decided against having it. Soon I had forgotten about it entirely. Now, basically what happened, besides getting really chilled wine, was I stopped the aging process – think of it as cryogenics for wine.

If you are, or have been, a fan of Thomas & Vaughan over the years you know they made a sweet half bottle of wine before it was fashionable to make a quality sweet half bottle of wine. They made it from Catawba grapes and they called it “Old Gold”. Catawba grapes were virtually banned in Canada during the rip out and re-plant back in the 70’s, when Ontario decided to go from the sweet Baby Duck type wines and start making the varietals we all know and love today. The Catawba is widely grown and made into wine down in New York State (believe it or not, the 2nd largest wine producing state in the US next to California). Catawba makes a sweet wine no matter what style you are trying for, though I can’t imagine a dry Catawba wine (I’m sure somebody has tried though).

This Thomas & Vaughan “Old Gold” has been out of production for sometime, and because there is no vintage date on the bottle I can not pinpoint the exact age of the wine, but I’ll hazard a guess at about 7 years … if somebody does know the last time they made this wine, I’d love to know. So how does this approximately 7 year old, slightly illegal, Catawba wine taste? Pretty darn good I must say.

Now, remember, mine has been sitting in the fridge cryogenically chilled for about a year – so if you have a bottle it may have a little more perceptible age on it, but these are my notes from the tasting. Amber in colour, which shows its age, because this wine is usually vinted pale-to-golden yellow (like an icewine). The nose shows signs of apricot, pear, apple, raisins and sweet cinnamon sugar. The taste is just as intriguing – a baked apple with cinnamon and nutmeg at the beginning, changing to a tart, unripened apple in the back palate, finishing off with a rusty (oxidized) apple finish. The medium body and low acidity really adds to the taste making it an exemplary dessert wine in its twilight years.

This wine, although no longer made, nor very popular, aged with great style, grace and complexity – too sweet in it’s youth it really shows something different and more pleasant in its latter days. Kudos to Thomas & Vaughan for taking the chance on this wine. No longer available anywhere – unless you have a bottle hidden somewhere.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mike Weir Estate Winery 2005 Chardonnay - $15.95

This wine came as quite a surprise – not sure what I was expecting but I got more than I bargained for. These days I see Chardonnay on the label and immediately I get my back up and I start having “expectations” of over oaking and a flavour profile that is going to accost my tongue and other senses with an array of “too much”. But this Chardonnay truly impressed with a sweet middle and dry finish. An initial buttery nose gave way to lime, pineapple, vanilla and subtly sweet fruit aromas. The taste proved to be even nicer with sweet vanilla and apple on the forefront of the palate, following through with some apricot and dried fruit on the back palate. A wonderful wine to sip on before, during and/or after a meal, in this case maple-soy-ginger glazed salmon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rosehall Run 2004 Buckthorn Red - $14.95

Rosehall Run is definitely on of the wineries to watch in Prince Edward County. All the wines I have tried from their portfolio, be it from Niagara grapes or County grapes, have been of exceptional quality. They, like Long Dog, have the goal of one day being self sufficient in grapes and using out-of-County fruit only when they want to, not because of need. This all-county Zweigelt fulfills that wish … and admirably. There are only a handful of wineries making Zweigelt, and that’s too bad, because when made well these wines can be as flavourful and food friendly as any you’ve tried. This one is a great little quaffer, good for pizza or pasta nights. Well-balanced acidity with a raspberry and blackberry nose and taste. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Norman Hardie Winery 2005 County Cabernet Franc - $24.00

From young vines come young wines with little finesse – that’s just a simple rule of thumb, but thankfully, in the hands of Norm Hardie that’s not always the case. Norm has produced yet another wonderful wine, but this time he’s used all County fruit, from his 4 year old vines, which makes the wine both interesting and appealing. This wine can be consumed two ways: slightly chilled or at about room temperature … and it makes for an interesting experiment on how temperature affects wine.
With a slight chill the wine has a red raspberry nose and soft fruity flavours … so it makes a great wine for sipping at a party or on a patio somewhere (I would say on a late fall afternoon – but our weather this year does not seem to be co-operating in this endeavour). Wait for the wine to warm up a little and you’ll be able to pick out more smells and tastes, in short the wine becomes more complex. Now there are a lot more aromas in the glass, then the chilled version would suggest. Those soft approachable red raspberries turn to black raspberries along with blackberries, licorice, cloves, sage, cinnamon and oak. Meanwhile the soft fruity mouth-feel switches gears and becomes black fruit, cassis, plum, and earthiness with a medium finish. It’s an interesting experiment, but one you might want to try on a less expensive bottle – at $24 this wine might seem a little high, but consider the 2005 short crop and that this wine is all-county fruit, and you’ll see why it’s that price. I’ve set a bottle down for a couple of years to see how it develops, you on the other hand can either drink it now or do the same … and we’ll test it again then. Cheers. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lailey Vineyard 2005 Riesling - $13.95

For the second time Lailey appears in our weekly wine notes – not because I don’t think they deserve a newsletter spotlight – but because they make wine in limited quantity and I want to alert you to some great wines that you’d otherwise probably miss out on if I slotted them into one of the next available spots in a newsletter. Whatever my reasoning, you’ll thank me once I tell you about this one. Great acidity and mouth-filling are two words I could use to describe this wine – but there is so much more to it than just that. Derek Barnett (winemaker of Lailey) really knows how to make a Riesling that is both dry but tastes sweet – this one is truly an experience. Deep rich flavours, mouth-coating feel ... apples, peach, lime and mango on the nose and it follows right through on the taste - best part of all, it stays there - lick your cheeks and you taste it again, lick your lips and yup, it's still there ... absolutely scrumptious. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pelee Island Winery 2005 Cabernet Franc - $10.95

Cheap and cheerful, that’s the best way to describe this red – especially the way it was served to me. When I visited Pelee Island this summer they served it slightly chilled to demonstrate how some reds could be drunk that way. “We chill our younger reds,” retail manager Melissa told me, “because it softens their tannins and makes them easier to drink in the heat of summer.” This wine has a great fruit forward taste, because it wa chilled the usual green pepper taste and smell you find in Franc had dissipated - though I seem to enjoy those usual flavours in my Cab Franc, I find them as comforting as a warm blanket. Returning to room temperature, the pepper returns on the nose. Chilled or at room temperature there is some cedar and the taste has lots of berry flavours … as for those youthful tannins, they begin to show through as the wine warms up. Available at the winery and the LCBO.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mountain Road Wine Company NV Riesling Winter Wine Blend #4 - $17.95

Not a late harvest, not an icewine – a sweet “winter wine”, the back of the bottle says: “This unique blend of 2002 dry Riesling and 1999 Riesling Pure Winter Wine is aimed to please the palate of wine lovers who find traditional dessert wine too sweet.” And yes, at 7.7 on the sugar code it is less than half of most late harvests and about one-quarter that of icewine … so how does it stack up against those two popular sweeties? A complex nose of honey, cinnamon, caramel apple, candied orange peel and cantaloupe. The taste is similarly sweet but with less of that cloying sweetness you’ll find in those previously mentioned dessert wines; instead this one is crisp and refreshing - palate cleansing in a way. Sweetness of apples, honey and dried candied apricots. There might be the faintest hint of oxidation, probably from the percentage of 1999 Dry Riesling used, but it’s ever so slight that it’s barely detectable; heck I shouldn’t even mention it. I wouldn’t hold this one much longer, but it’ll make for a perfect dessert wine for the holidays ahead – drink up now and enjoy. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Harbour Estates 2004 Petit Verdot - $24.95

Here’s a wine I tried very recently at Harbour Estates. I have been looking forward to this straight varietal ever since I found out they were growing and making it. It first came onto my radar in a Cabernet-Petit Verdot blend, which I reviewed along with the winery in Newsletter #27), since that time I have been keeping my eyes open for this release, and finally it is here. The nose is sweet with raspberries, cherries, vanilla and spice, while the taste retains hints of that sweetness with a white pepper and cherry core along with more of that spicy-goodness. There’s very little in the way of tannins here, so it’s very smooth and ready to drink now. And there’s a wonderful lengthy fruit finish that sticks around pleasantly in the mouth long after the final swallow. You don’t find much Petit Verdot in Canada, and you rarely, if ever, are going to see it on it’s own (it’s more commonly used as a blending grape), so this truly is a treat; a rarity and in very limited supply. This is something unique, not only to Ontario, but, for the moment, to Harbour Estates … and the price reflects it. I would recommend picking up a bottle, and if you’re looking for a reason (other than the ones I’ve already given) to spend that kind of money … call it the curiosity factor. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Angels Gate 2005 Rose - $11.95

Summer is officially over – so it’s only my luck that I should now find the rose of the year. This lovely pink blend is made up of Pinot Noir (45%), Gamay Noir (38%), Cabernet Franc (9%) and Gewurztraminer (8%); (I am told the Gewerzt was added in to bring the colour to roses status). And calling it pink is a misnomer because the wine appears to be more pinky-orange or a rusty-orange; but let’s not get all hung up on the colour, it’s the smell and taste that should get you. First, the nose is strawberry, cherry, raspberry, apples, peaches, rose petals and some cinnamon. Then, of course, there’s the taste. A citrus tang hits you upon its entry into the mouth, with a wonderful bit of mid-weight sweetness on the finish. There’s the taste of delicious red ripe fruit, carried along nicely through the mouth by some red licorice and/or cotton candy (this is depending on your taste buds0 and remains lingering about in the throat. There’s also some good acidity to the wine, that helps balance it off nicely, and keeps it hanging around in the mouth for a nice period of time. Delicious doesn’t quite sum it up – I’d like to find a better word but it’ll have to do for now. Pick some up for the holidays, as gifts, or get some for yourself for next summer – you just can’t go wrong with this beauty. Available at the winery and the LCBO.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reif Estates 2004 Shiraz - $16.95

Reif has two Shiraz’s currently available, but don’t be fooled, they are radically different. The cellared in Ontario version is also a 2004 vintage wine, but 70% of the grapes come from Australia – and is available only at the winery. The VQA, 100% Ontario grape version, is available exclusively at the LCBO through Vintages. That’s right, according to the winery “the LCBO took it all.” And why? Because it’s a mighty fine wine. Cloves and white pepper on the nose, while on the taste you’ll find pepper and black raspberry. The relatively low tannins and easy drinking nature of the wine makes it perfect for just sitting around and sipping; while the medium finish will keep you coming back for more. Stock up, it’s in very limited supply. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Southbrook Winery 2002 Triomphe Cabernet Franc - $24.95

Triomphe is Southbrook’s reserve line of wines. These wines sit in barrel from anywhere between 12 to 18 months, so they can take on more complex flavours than those that sit in barrel for 6 months or less. They also have great longevity, thus making them wonderful cellar candidates … this Franc is no different. Made by the now defunct wine making team of Colin Campbell and Steve Byfield, this wine has plenty of spicy notes on the nose along with black pepper, vanilla and oak. There’s also some green pepper that comes along for the ride up your olfactory lobes, with some berry fruit including blackberry, cassis and cherries. This wine has not finished developing yet and will not smooth out for some time (say 5-7 years), right now it’s still heavily influenced by the oak but there’s licorice, blackberries and white pepper showing up, so far, on the palate, with maybe a hint of cocoa playing around in the background. A fantastic wine that’s only gonna get better with age. Drink now, or hold for a while, but definitely enjoy it. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Birchwood Estate Wines 2003 Gamay Noir - $9.95

We opened this one late at night, thinking a light Beaujolais-style wine would be okay for this time of day (don’t want something heavy before bed) … we were right about it being good, but not about it being light. As seems to be the case these days Ontario is experimenting with the Gamay grape, and instead of light and fruity Beaujolais, we’re trying for more fuller, rounder, even ageable styles. A nose of blackberry, raspberry, and cherry with some sweet oak and vanilla. When the cork was initially pulled we found tartaric crystals, which usually signifies a finely crafted wine, some sediment also appeared in the bottom of our glasses, and in the bottle. On the initial taste, there was plenty of tannin backbone, almost aggressive; but once the wine sat open and was allowed to breathe, for about half an hour, the flavours really shone through … black current and cherries and a nice structure. This is not the first time I have been surprised by a fuller-bodied Gamay, and I know it won’t be the last. If this it the wave of the future for Ontario Gamay then I am all for it. Finally, as a late night snack we paired the wine with an old cheddar, nuts and dried berries – rustic for sure, but very delicious. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Kacaba Vineyards 2001 Gypsy Red - $10.00

2001 was a great year for grapes, the growing season was good, the harvest was plentiful and the fruit was fully ripened – damn thing is we had these little pests called Asian Ladybugs that spoiled the whole thing and tainted much of the vintage. Which is why I find myself a little apprehensive about 2001 wines, and I’m not alone. Kacaba’s Gyspy Red, a blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, might have the faintest smell of the pyrazine taint, but thankfully, in the mouth, it’s not present. Once you get past that though, you’ll find there are also smells of red fruit like raspberries and cherries, which do, thankfully, follow through in the mouth. Gypsy Red makes for a good food wine, which also helps nullifies any appearance of the taint and it quaffs quite well. Try with pasta and meat sauce or strong cheese and you won’t be disappointed. And the price is right too. Don’t hold on to this one – drink up and enjoy now. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vineland Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon - $24.95

Diving into the cellar for this week’s Weekly Wine Note we come up with a bottle of Vineland Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine’s last retail price that I am aware of was $24.95, but I would not be surprised if it’s stock has gone up due to the impressive way the wine is developing. Now 4 years removed from the vine the wine is shaping up beautifully, but you’ll need to decant this one prior to serving, or open it up an hour or so before. I poured it into a Bordeaux-style Spiegelau glass and aerated it like crazy – because this is still a big, bold, brawny wine. Lots of dark fruit and spiciness on the nose, with a heavily tannic/oaky smell … in fact, it hurt my nassle passages to sniff if for too long. The taste is really starting to take shape, with plenty of influence from the wood it was aged in. Look for lots of spices, including cinnamon and pepper, along with hints of vanilla lurking in the shadows. This wine remains one of my cellar candidates for the next 5 to 7 years … so if you’ve got some, hold it. Available at the winery only, if at all.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

20 Bees 2005 Cabernet Merlot - $12.95

If you go to the LCBO website, the tasting note for this wine says “Price subject to change without notice” … and I thought to myself “there must be more to say about this wine”. Let’s start with the packaging … if animals are selling wine these days then 20 Bees is on the right track. The bottle is eye-catching, with yellow and black stripes on the Stelvin-sleeve and screw cap – the picture on the label is cute too. But unfortunately that’s where the impressiveness of this wine stops. The nose is non-descript, the taste is leather, oak and earth (and that’s because I’m searching for terms to describe it). It’s certainly drinkable, quaffable in large amounts even; but there’s nothing really grab you by the bottle (if you know what I mean) – there’s nothing there to make you stand up and take notice. The person I shared this wine with said “it reminds me of an inoffensive Italian table wine, you know the kind they serve in those mom and pop places. There’s no tannin. It’s smooth, easy drinking and … bland.”

Maybe I was too gung-ho about trying this wine from this Niagara-on-the-Lake based co-op: 19 growers and one chief winemaker (20 bees, get it?) got together to, quote, “make great tasting unpretentious wine at an unpretentious price”. Well, they succeeded at the price part, but at what cost? While the bottle is eye-catching, the wine lacks the depth and structure to really make it stand out. With all the pomp-and-circumstance, the media coverage and the years of experience of the people behind it that went into this brand, I just expected a little more from it. Do all these growers have a say in the outcome of the wine? And if they did, did too many bees dilute the honey? For now I will reserve too strong a judgment on this wine and let them find their voice, or taste, in the Ontario wine landscape. Let’s just say it’s a decent attempt for a first release, and cross our collective fingers that the 20 Bees figure it out better in 2006.

Does anyone else have an opinion on this wine? Did I miss something? Please let me know. Available at the LCBO.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Battle of the ‘Boise: Southbrook vs. Downey’s (Framboise challenge) – $14.95 each

At this year’s Toronto Wine and Cheese Show (2006), best sweet fruit wine was won by Downey’s Estate Winery Framboise. “That’s because we didn’t enter ours,” says winemaker Steve Byfield, of the perennial winner in the category, Southbrook Winery; while over at Downey’s those are fightin’ words. We take the battle out of the bottle and into the glass to see who’s Framboise is better. Six tasters weigh in to help me make the decision:

Downey’s Estate Winery Framboise - $14.95 … 14.9% (375ml)
Less sweet than the Southbrook version with higher alcohol, which some tasters claimed was right upfront on both the taste and nose: “the alcohol was very prominent to the wine, it’s the first thing that hit me”. This Framboise is lighter, both in colour and consistency than it’s Southbrook counterpart. Some tasters comments were: “it tastes more like the real thing, like fresh raspberries” and was more “pleasantly pungent”, “truer to the smell of raspberries”. Overall, Downey’s Framboise is lighter in colour, thinner on the palate with more alcohol – but true to what you’d expect a raspberry wine would be like. Final analysis: very good and tasty.

Southbrook Framboise - $14.95 … 14.5% (375 ml)
Definitely sweeter than the Downey’s version, richer in the mouth and a deep red in colour. Southbrook’s Framboise was described as “thicker, almost syrupy”; “definitely a dessert wine”; “I could see pouring this over ice cream, pie, or even cooking with it”. Other comments made were “smooth”, “viscous” and “perfumey”. The lowdown on this wine: fresh raspberries with a sprinkling of sugar on top, and it was consistently ranked sweeter then it’s Downey’s rival.

The final result was 3 – 3 … no clear-cut winner this time round, a sure sign that personal taste always wins. Those who enjoy sweet liked the Southbrook, while those who enjoy lighter flavoured wines enjoyed Downey’s. The good news is that nobody disliked either wine, the panel thought they were both excellent and very enjoyable. I guess it is now up to you to decide … then weigh in with your opinion.

Southbrook Framboise available at the LCBO and the winery - Downey's Framboise available at the winery only.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Angels Gate 2005 Emerald Shore Chardonnay - $15.95

There aren’t many really good semi-sweet Chardonnays out there, but Angels Gate has made a delightful stab at it. Blending the standard Chardonnay with the more aromatic Chardonnay Musque they end up with this semi-sweet sipper (or off-dry if you prefer). A nose of floral, peach, lime, pineapple and mango is followed by the cockle-warming taste of white peach and pineapple on a short finish. Quite enjoyable and tasty …what a treat when out on the patio these (hopefully) warm late-summer, early-autumn, days. Makes a great alternative to straight dry-Chardonnay, or even your typical Riesling. Their website proclaims "devilishly good wine" - with this one I would agree. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Muskoka Lakes Winery 2001 Cranberry – Vintner’s Reserve - $14.95

Last week I found myself up north in Bala, Ontario, at Muskoka Lakes Winery – a winery based (mostly) on cranberries, not surprising considering it’s locale in the “Cranberry Capital of Canada”. I tried plenty of cranberry-based wines (white cranberry, cranberry blueberry and a cranberry sparkling cooler) and some blueberry wines as well (stainless steel and oak-aged versions) … and if you will remember I hailed their Red Maple (cranberry with a touch of maple syrup) as one of my favourite wines of the 2006 Wine and Cheese Show (Newsletter 28). Now, I’ve got another interesting wine from this winery to share with you.

Who would have thought that fruit wine could age, beyond a couple of years, and get better. But cranberries have similar properties to grapes, which includes tannins; but unlike grapes they are not temperamental about the weather, they will ripen properly each and every year. This allows Muskoka Lakes the opportunity to make the “same” wine year after year (even if they do vintage date the bottle). Which now brings me to this week’s bottle of choice. In speaking with the store employee (thank you Corrie) – it was determined that cranberry wine is better when aged 3 to 4 years (maybe even 5 to 6 years, winemaker said they have another year or two in them – the science isn’t exact at this moment). This wine is from the 2001 harvest (hence 4 years old: from harvest [2001] to shelf [2002] is about a year) and lacks the mouth-puckering tartness of the 2004 or 2005 versions (currently on the shelves). The nose is sweet cranberry and cherry; the taste is smooth and easy with just a hint of the cranberries-tart taste, incredibly smooth, with soften cherry and cranberry on the palate. A much easier and infinitely more pleasant drink for summer sipping, without the lip smacking scrunched up face you’ll make from the tarter versions. The moral of this tale is to buy some and stick it in the cellar for a few years. The good news is that the 2001 is still available in limited quantities up at the winery (or can be ordered over the internet) as the “Vintner’s Reserve 2001 Cranberry” – so you can taste where the ’04 and ‘05’s are headed.

Go up to Bala, enjoy the day by the lake or on the water … but for heaven sake get to the Muskoka Lakes Winery and taste the difference a few years can make … you be the judge on what you like better. (For those who like tart tart tart cranberry taste – the 2004 or 2005 cranberry will definitely do the trick. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Niagara College Teaching Winery Autumn Gold (Crab Apple) - $9.95

Here’s a wine that I tried with a friend in the middle of last week during one of those hot summer days, and we differentiated on our opinion about the wine. When I purchased this wine I was told that it is “delicious and very interesting”, and very unique … it’s made of crab apples grown on the property of the College. Its golden colour speaks to its name and is lovely to look at through the clear bottle it comes in. My friend and I got the same nose of raisins and rusty apples, but we differed completely on our opinion of the taste. She thought the sour-tartness of the wine was refreshing, especially for the summertime; while I found it rancid and off-putting … way too sour to enjoy, no matter what the temperature. So while she continued to drink and enjoy the wine, I moved on to something else. But that got me thinking about something you hear all the time: “if everybody liked the same thing then they’d only make one kind of wine” which obviously they don’t. So, I put this one out to you dear reader, invest the $9.95 for a bottle of this unique wine and let me know what you think. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Niagara College Teaching Winery Gamay Noir - $12.95

One good Gamay deserves another … 3 weeks ago in this column, Lailey Vineyards got kudos for their newly released, light bodied, fruit-drive Gamay; and because summer is still here I decided to feature another. Gamay, as you know, is usually a fruity wine and one of those reds that is “socially acceptable” to chill. The Niagara College Teaching Winery is the first in Canada where students, under the tutelage of Jim Warren and his staff, get to make wine from start to finish … and believe it or not, they have garnered a few awards along the way. This wine has tons of fruit flavours … the nose is red licorice, raspberry mixed in with other red fruit; while in the mouth it’s bursting with sweet cherries and a variety of berries, like blue, black and rasp. Very fruity, very drinkable and great for summer … or, heck, whenever you like. Have a friend who claims not to like red wine; this would be a great place to start to prove him or her wrong. Available at the winery only.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Hillebrand Winery 2004 Late Harvest Vidal - $18.95

Many years ago I tried my very first late harvest vidal, it happened to be a ’98 Hillebrand Late Harvest Vidal, and at one point it was my favourite wine - not an every day sipper to be sure, but my favourite special occasion wine. To this day I still remember it’s luscious flavours and tropical nose - it became the benchmark for all the Late Harvests to follow. Now, the 2004 version tops what my memory recollects. Apples, pears, mangos, golden plums, honey, apricot and cantaloupe are all flavours that can be picked up by the nose – while the mouth simplifies matters a bit with honeyed-pear and nectarine flavours. And, of course, there is the balancing of elements the proper amount of sweetness with just the right level of acidity, making this wine pleasant and extra special to drink. In three words: luscious, thick and delicious. Don’t miss out on something this wonderful – perfect as a dessert on its own. Available at the winery.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Lailey Vineyards 2005 Gamay - $13.95

You have probably heard me (or read anyway) talk about the new penchant in Ontario for making fuller bodied more age-worthy Gamay … which is not usually the norm for this Beaujolais grape … well it’s nice to see that the art of the light bodied quaffing version has not been lost either. Award winning winemaker Derek Barnett makes this one as an easy drinking, chillable (if you wish) quaffer. The Blackberries and blueberries on the nose are followed up by slightly oaky, cherry and plum flavours in the mouth. Simple, sweet and easy – what Gamay, was originally, intended to be. Available at the winery only.