Tuesday, March 27, 2007

20 Bees 2005 Riesling - $12.95

Many 2005 Rieslings have already been released and you’ll soon be seeing the 2006’s hitting the shelves; on the other hand, some wineries are just sending their ‘05’s to market, that’s where 20 Bees comes into play. Ontario’s first co-op winery still doesn’t have an official building to call home, so the LCBO is the only place to buy their output – though rumour has it by spring or summer 2007 we should see the fruit of the workmen’s labours who have been toiling on highway 55. For now we only get the pressed-fruits of the winemakers and growers labours and their promise of unpretentious wines at unpretentious prices, which continues with this offering. There is nothing here that’ll blow your socks off – but nothing to offend either, this is a very straight-forward serve at all occasions Riesling; and the price is perfect for everyday consumption. Lots of sweet apple and peach on the nose; hints of petrol and mineral grab the fore-palate and while lime settles pleasantly in the mid-palate. Finally, the apple comes through in the medium long finish. Good price for a pleasant crowd-pleaser of a wine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chateau des Charmes 2005 Gamay Noir (White Label) - $11.95

Sometimes simple is all you really need and Gamay doesn’t much simpler than this one. Of course, Gamay is the grape of Beaujolais, and it has come to mean light, fruity and easy drinking. Chateau des Charmes has created a wine that fits those three words to a tee – yet there is still hints of structure that gives it some lay-it-down-ability (but not too long mind you). Sweet red berries on the nose, reminiscent of cherries which follows right through on the palate with just a touch of oak and this wine is definitely chillable for added enjoyment. Spring has finally come and I would say this Gamay is a perfect way to celebrate it’s arrival - drink now, or wait a couple of years, it’s up to you … but do enjoy. Available at the LCBO and the winery.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Le Clos Jordanne 2004 Village Reserve Pinot Noir - $25.00

A lot has been said and written about Le Clos Jordanne and the wines coming out of it. In the latest Vintages magazine 6 pages were devoted to hailing its highly touted and anticipated wine release; 6 pages! For those of you who have managed to avoid the hype here are some highlights: Le Clos Jordanne is a winery located in Jordan, a joint venture between Vincor and Burgundy-based Boisset of France. Senior viniculturist (meaning he oversees all aspect of Le Clos), Thomas Bachelar, a Canuck who studied winemaking et al in France, has been toiling around in both France and Oregon for the past 10 years. In 2003 he was brought back home to head Le Clos Jordanne for Vincor – and for all intense and purposes to make prestigious wines in a garage until such time as the proposed grand winery opened. The likelihood that the original plan for the winery will happen is now up in the air and in the hands of Constellation Brands of New York; but the wines are definitely still in Thomas’ control and the once garage is now a big custom-fitted warehouse … a far cry from the Frank Gehry designed winery he was promised. As for the wine, it is quite impressive. Not many bottles remain on LCBO shelves but for those of you who got your hands on a bottle, or still can, here’s what to expect from this $25 offering: spice, oak, cedar, fig, wet leaf, plums and some earthiness on the nose, with spice and plum repeating on the palate along with strawberry, black pepper and vanilla. What’s even more appealing is the ending – Clos-ing out with hints of red licorice in a nice long finish. This is some great wine with more to come. Available at the LCBO.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Grange of Prince Edward County Trumpour’s Mill 2005 Cabernet/Merlot - $17.95

The wines from 2005 have so far been amazing: good concentration of fruit and lush tannins in the reds; great fruity flavours in the whites – especially the Rieslings. Last year, the Grange won me over with their 2004 version of this wine, and the 2005 is even better. The blend is still the same, 40% each of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon with the remaining 20% being held up by the Merlot. Initially, this wine seems a little closed off, showing only black fruit (black raspberries) and coffee on the nose – but after an hour the fruit begins to poke its way through with raspberries and strawberries emerging. The first hour shows similarly on the palate, dusty mouth-drying tannins along with some black fruit and oak. Give it that hour and feel it smooth out a little, developing some chocolate notes. This wine can definitely use some bottle age to mellow I would say 3-5 years should do nicely. Available at the winery.