Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mountain Road Wine Company 2005 Unoaked Chardonnay – $14.95

The king’s reign continues! It seems like it was only a months ago I proclaimed Mountain Road’s owner and winemaker, Steve Koscic, the King of Chardonnay (after an impressive run of medal for his then newly released Chards) … this prompted his daughter to run out to the local Burger King to get him a crown (probably getting it from one of the kiddie high-chairs). Well Steve is at it again, so best you bust out that crown and slip it back on your head. Mountain Road’s newly released 2005 unoaked is the perfect blend of what unoaked and oaked fans love about Chardonnay: the fruit forwardness with oaks flavouring (although no oak was used in the making of this wine). The nose starts out rather simple with its peaches and cream aromas, but in the mouth its something all together different. There is apple and lemon zest, a bit of white butter (not an overly heavy yellow butter) and a touch of vanilla – which suggests to me some extended lees contact (which gives oak flavours, like vanilla, without that heavy “chewing on a stave” feeling). Good acidity leads to a mouthwatering finish that clears the palate … ready for either the next sip or the next bite.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lakeview Cellars 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon - $14.95

A recent release from Lakeview (Fall 2007) this Cabernet Sauvignon shows real promise for mid-term cellaring (3-5 years) – maybe more. The nose is loaded with chocolate and cherry notes that invite you into the glass, I was thinking of going for a swim myself, but then I decided to taste it instead; full of black cherries, cinnamon and plenty of cedar notes. Now usually too much cedar would leave splinters behind, but instead this wine is smooth and silky coursing through the mouth leaving only a hint of tannin on the finish. Lovely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Huff Estates 2006 Lighthall Vineyard Chardonnay - $29.95

Huff continues its impressive run of wines coming out of the county (Prince Edward County – Ontario’s newest Designated Viticultural Area). The other good news is their price points continue to be right on the money, for what you’re getting in the bottle. This one may seem a little higher priced, but if you consider this is a single vineyard, reserve quality wine you'll realize the price tag is very reasonable. This Chard is 50% oak aged and 50% stainless steel with ten months of lees contact. Sure there's good fruit here, but what really stands out is the barrel and leesy qualities: the nose is vanilla, oak and butterscotch ... the taste is where the fruit comes out, with white peach and semi-dried apple flavours mixing in with those barrel/lees components of vanilla and toffee. It all ends with the flavours of a vanilla-caramel-apple, sounds sweet, but it’s dry with some zip and zing from the acidity - lovely.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lailey Vineyard 2006 Impromptu - $39.95

If it wasn’t for the Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine, Lailey’s first proprietors’ blend, they could have called it PMS for the Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah that makes up the majority of the blend (and because it’s a ballsy wine with a feminine side) … but instead they opted for the name Impromtu. The nose is strawberry and dark fruit with a touch of earthiness. In the mouth, you’ll find really good flavours that fight for supremacy, and they’ll keep fighting it out over the next 4 to 7 years. But while you’ll definitely pick up on the black fruit throughout and the earth-laden finish, the most surprising part of this wine is the perfumey mid-section; I’ll call it lilac or Chanel No. 5. That might prove to be a strange description, but no matter how I describe it, this wine remains a delicious addition to the Lailey portfolio. And just for the record, this PMS-CS blend can be quite a bitch, if you let it, so I recommend some decanting, which will help smooth out her edges. Lailey also tried to pretty her up by wrapping her in tissue paper and giving her a necklace (tag) to explain the wine.