Monday, January 29th: More snow. Deborah and I drove to Toronto to attend the celebration of life for my friend Gordon’s daughter Kim, at the Donalda Club. A very moving event.
Tuesday, January 30th: A lunchtime meeting with the event planner from the Lieutenant Governor’s office to discuss the LG’s annual wine awards. The top-scoring wines from the Ontario Wine Awards will go forward to be judged by an independent panel for receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario wines.
For dinner, with steak, Buena Vista The Count Founder’s Red Wine 2014 ($26.95 – dense purple colour; cedary-savoury nose of vanilla oak, plum and licorice; medium-bodied, blackcurrant and black cherry flavours carried on lively acidity (89)). Drinking this wine, I’m reminded of the grisly fate of the founder of Buena Vista, Count Agoston Haraszthy. On July 6, 1869, he fell from his horse in a river in Nicaragua and was eaten by alligators. There were wine critics even back then. Continue reading
Posted in Wine Lover's Diary
Tagged Buena Vista, Chassagne-Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne, Echézeaux, Geddy Lee, Gevrey-Chambertin, Henri Boillot, Jayer-Gilles, Jean-Claude Boisset, Lieutenant Governor, Philippe Colin, Rabl Kittmansberg, Stanley Hartt, Wine Lover's Diary
Delaforce Alvarinho 2015
Alvarinho is arguably Portugal’s best grape for white wine. You can try it yourself if you pick up a bottle of the Delaforce Alvarinho 2015 from the Douro Valley where port is grown. Straw-coloured, this wine has a minerally, oily nose of peaches with a toasty oak note; full-bodied and dry, its richly extracted peach and citrus flavours fill the mouth and linger a long time. It costs $16.95 at Vintages outlets. Marry it with grilled fish or as an aperitif. That’s Delaforce Alvarinho 2015 from Portugal. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($16.95, Vintages #523654) (89)
Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Miguel Torres, the great Spanish wine house, was the first European company to invest in Chile. Among their extensive range of Chilean wines is Cordillera de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from the Maipo Valley. Dense purple-black in colour, it shows a cedary, spicy, blackcurrant nose with a note of dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry and savoury with herbal, cassis flavours, a lovely mouth-feel and a firm tannic finish. A wine for roast lamb or steak. You’ll find it at Vintages outlets for $19.95. That’s Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. ($19.95, Vintages #541169) (89)
Happily enjoyed by Helen Hatton
and Ron Morris
We’re still in the thick of winter, and comfort food calls!
This tummy-satisfying brisket from Foodland Ontario is just the ticket, and so easy with the new slow cooker you got for Christmas! Make it a day ahead to let the flavours blend and skim excess fat. Serve with mashed potatoes for a perfect cold weather meal.
Monday, January, 22nd: Have caught a bad cold and am coughing like a fiend. Spent part of the day researching wineries in Burgundy and Champagne as possible visits for an October tour of those two regions. For dinner, with beef casserole, Chakana Nuna Estate Malbec 2016 from Mendoza (dense purple-black; spicy, cedary, blackberry nose; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with herbal, dark chocolate notes and lively acidity (88.5)). Continue reading
d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2014
d’Arenberg in Australia’s McLaren Vale makes terrific wines across its extremely large portfolio. Currently offered at Vintages outlets is d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2014. Dense purple black in colour, it has a cedary, spicy, blackberry bouquet enhanced with vanilla oak notes; full-bodied, dry and savoury, juicy black fruit flavours fill the palate contained in a firm tannic structure. It costs $17.00 a bottle. A red meat wine if ever there was one – especially for pepper steak. That’s d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2014 from Australia at Vintages. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($17.00, Vintages #984021) (89)
Vistamar Corte de Campo Coastal Blend 2015
Vistamar Corte de Campo Coastal Blend 2015 from Chile’s Casablanca Valley is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. Palest lime in colour, it has a toasty nose of apple with a floral grace note; full-bodied and dry, it’s rich and full on the palate with a spicy lemony finish. It costs $18.95 at Vintages outlets and would match beautifully with runny cheeses or a Chicken Caesar salad. That’s Vistamar Corte de Campo Coastal Blend 2015 from Chile. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($18.95, Vintages #541003)
Monday, January 15th: Our friend Frank Daley drove down from Kitchener-Waterloo to stay the night with us. Cooked a leg of lamb with pommes dauphinoise. Opened a bottle of Culmina Dilemma Chardonnay 2015 and I found a bottle of Marechal Foch 2007 with no indication of the producer. It was still very much alive.
Tuesday, January 16th: Deadline looming for my Quench magazine article and wine reviews. Began writing about Icewine. Quench is dropping scores from its wine reviews, relying on words. Interesting to see if there will be reader push-back. Continue reading
Pascual Toso Estate Malbec 2015
Here’s an affordable Malbec from Argentina that punches above its weight in the flavour department: Pascual Toso Estate Malbec 2015. Dense purple in colour, this easy-drinking Malbec offers a spicy plum nose with vanilla oak notes; it’s medium-bodied with mouth-filling sweet plum and blackberry flavours ending with mellow, ripe tannins. It costs $13.95 a bottle on the LCBO’s general list. A versatile food wine, you can match it with hamburgers, pepperoni pizza or pork ribs. That’s Pascual Toso Estate Malbec 2015 from Argentina in Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($13.95, LCBO #35170) (88)
Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2016
Today’s recommendation is Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2016 from Niagara. The St. Urban Vineyard, one of the oldest in Ontario, was planted in 1979 with vines propagated from a clone grown in Germany’s Mosel Region. Pale straw in colour with a nose of grapefruit and honey, the wine is light to medium-bodied with an off-dry, honeyed grapefruit flavour. There’s a wonderful tension here between sweetness and citrus acidity. Try it with Asian dishes or Münster cheese. That’s Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling from Ontario at Vintages outlets. For Post City Magazines, I’m Tony Aspler, 680 NEWS. ($19.95, Vintages #38117) (89)