Sunday, November 16, 2008

Report from ... Igor Larionov Wines Tasting - November 8, 2008

Golf pros have been at it for some time, so have actors, so it was only a matter of time before hockey took on the wine industry. Sure we've got Wayne Wines, on both sides of the border, now the Russians have the professor, Igor Larionov, who has had a fourteen year love affair with wine, which was nursed during his time in the Swiss hockey league (the year he took off from the NHL between Vancouver and San Jose). Today, Igor has approximately fifteen wines under his “IL” moniker, wines that are produced in both California and Australia and sold in the most unlikely of wine places, Russia and Michigan. On this Saturday afternoon, with a light rain falling on downtown Toronto, we congregated at the King Edward Hotel, for the launch of Igor’s first ever Icewine (made by Pillitteri) and at the same time, we celebrated his induction into the hockey hall of fame.

Igor’s wines fall into two main label: Triple Overtime, which are his entry-level wines, and Hattrick, the reserves. The first vintage of these wines was in 2004. Below, are a few tasting notes about the wine that bare the name of this very talented and award winning hockey player.

The Igor Larionov three star selection ...

The first star: 2006 Hattrick Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - Mount Veeder, Napa ($91.05) - very minty with cinnamon, juicy black fruit, good tannins and a peppery finish.

The second star: 2005 Hattrick “The Professor” ($76.20) - a blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot - nice complex wine: peppery, woody, blackberries, cassis, cedar, vanilla, cinnamon, with a paprika finish … there's big wood here, meaning it needs more time to integrate and settle down.

The third star: 2005 Hattrick Reserve Merlot - Stag's Leap, Napa ($76.20) – perfumy smells with pencil shavings and black fruit.

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