Sunday, December 14, 2008

Report from ... Cynthia’s Selections & Ex-Cellars Tasting - November 27, 2008

Pooling resources, two small agents took to the fifth floor of the Flatiron Building in downtown Toronto, in a dentist's office of all places, to let some media, restaurant owners and clients sip through their portfolios of hand selected, small lot wines from California, France, Spain and other parts of the winemaking world. In all 32 wines were poured -nineteen from Cynthia, thirteen from Ex-Cellar; below is my proportional top wine lists (six and four respectively).

Cynthia’s Selections …

Handley Cellars 2007 Gewurztraminer ($28.00 - private order) - big rosy, floral nose with a tropical fruit background; the palate screams Gewurzt with its rows and rows of floral notes … you might want to give this one a bit of time to mellow out those flowers.

Graziano Coro Mendocino 2004 Zinfandel ($40.00 - private order) - this one is easy on the palate, but watch out for the 14.5% alcohol – jammy, plumy and loads of cherry.

Vinoce Mt. Veeder 2005 Cabernet Blend ($85.00 - private order) - a blend of 60% Franc, 25% Sauv and 15% Merlot, this wine is pricey but exceptionally good drinking. Nice black fruit, chocolate and pepper notes - the balance in the mouth is very good. Someone described it as "sex in a glass” not totally accurate, but not far off.

Cedarville Vineyard 2005 Zinfandel ($25.00 – consignment) - big black fruit, plumy and jammy with good tannins - the finish doles out cherry and rum and big alcohol at 15.5%.

Wedgetail Estate 2004 Pinot Noir ($35.00 – consignment) - nice red fruit with strawberry and raspberry notes and a silkiness in the mouth.

Cedarville Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($38.00 – consignment) – big fruit driven Cali-cab with blackberry, cassis and chocolate with a spicy big exotic finish.

Ex-Cellars … (

Domaine des Quarres 2005 Les Pierres Noires ($23.00) - crisp and light with a predominance of pear fruit ... a beautiful finish ends this one nicely.

Andrew Pirie 2005 Pinot Noir ($39.00) - this beauty from Tasmania has sour cherry, vanilla and cranberry on the nose while earthy red berry and dry cranberry lead the way on the palate.

Domaine de la Charbonniere 2003 Les Hautes Brusquieres ($59.00) a complex Chateauneuf-du-Pape that's peppery and spicy, red fruit dominated with fine tannins, good weight and acidity. This one has elegance and finesse down pat.

O. Fournier 2002 Tempranillo-Malbec-Merlot ($38.00) - full bodied (14.5%) with big fruit (both black and red), vanilla and spice - a lovely sip from Argentina.

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