Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Strewn 2006 Cabernet Rosé - $11.95

On this hot day everyone thinks rosé; but when most people think pink it’s either Fiberglass or White Zinfandel … one will cut your tongue, the other will sweeten it … what I’m trying to say is that Pink Wine means sweet, right? Wrong … many of the world’s best rosés are on the dryer side and with some good chillin’ make wonderful aperitifs, patio wines and fish partners. Joe Wills, winemaker for Strewn, has crafted this delicious little number that has all the nuances in the nose of sweet rosé: raspberry and strawberry; but ends with some tart-dryness and tastes like peppered raspberries. Chill it up and drink it down - it’s gonna be a hot one, and you’re gonna need some summertime coolin’ … bon appetite.

Listen to the Podcast of this review - www.ontariowinereview.libsyn.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lakeview Cellars Estate Winery 2005 Merlot - $13.95

Tom Green and his team at Lakeview have done a wonderful job on this 2005 Merlot, and at that price it’s a steal. The ’05 vintage is starting to show signs of its excellence (even though it was a short one) … the wines have high alcohol, great fruit and some real potential for longevity; this merlot follows that model. The nose is dense with dark fruit, licorice, blueberry, plum, cassis, coffee, black raspberry and some burnt toffee aromas. The taste also doesn’t let up with red peppers, blackberries, black cherry, cedar, cassis, chocolate and spice wrapped up in a light tannin coat with a sweet fruit finish. This is one wine is what I call a twofer purchase: one for now, one for later.

Listen to the Podcast of this review - www.ontariowinereview.libsyn.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lailey Vineyard 2005 Zweigelt - $11.95

According to Derek Barnett, winemaker for Lailey, he has received plenty of good feedback about this year’s Zweigelt, including “best Zweigelt in Ontario.” While that seems like high praise I am not sure he can take that one to his bank manager and negotiate that next loan. Considering there are maybe 9 or 10 wineries in Ontario that are making a straight Zweigelt … it really is more like faint praise. This wine deserves better so how about I try to one up that and make it a little easier for him to hold his head up the next time he walks into the bank. At a recent Austrian wine show (home of Zweigelt) I tried many of these “Z” wines and kept coming back to Derek’s version, using it as my point of reference. The wine spent 10 months in 3 to 4 year old barrels and another 6 months ageing in bottle; the result is a wine that’s cherry red in colour, has red fruit, white pepper and spice on the nose; sour cherry and cranberry with a touch of oak on the palate. This is a true summer BBQ wine if I’ve ever had one, and for 11.95 it truly is a bargain. As for where this Zweigelt stands with the others I tasted, Derek, your wine is truly world class … now that you can take to the bank.

Listen to the Podcast of this review - www.ontariowinereview.libsyn.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ridgepoint Wines 2005 Unoaked Chardonnay - $15.25

In a recent conversation with a winery owner the topic turned to Chardonnay, primarily the oaked and unoaked versions of it. My discourse partner liked wood in Chardonnay, while I said that over-wooded Chardonnay, by the Aussies and Californians, have pretty much killed Chardonnay’s reputation and led to the rise of ABC-crowd (Anything But Chardonnay). Her opinion did not change, she felt that if you want unwooded you’re better off with a Riesling; can’t really argue with that logic. Well this afternoon a Riesling was not in the fridge so I reached for this unoaked number from Ridgepoint. Light and fruity it was just what I was looking for in the middle of the afternoon – lots of good stone and tree fruit while the fresh, pleasant taste in the mouth made this one an easy drinking tongue pleaser. The lovely subtle finish of Mac Apples didn’t hurt it either. I am sure the debate of the Chardonnays still rages on but I’ll gladly put this one in my corner. This wine also took home silver at the most recent All Canadian Wine Championships (2007).

Listen to the Podcast of this review - www.ontariowinereview.libsyn.com