Saturday, April 11, 2009

Report from ... Churchill Cellars Portfolio Tasting - March 30, 2009

The Churchill tasting is very interesting, because every time they do this tasting I have run out to the LCBO and picked up a few bottles of something. Last year it was the Hardys Gewurztraminer/Riesling, the year before that it was the Bankside Shiraz. This year I didn't get a chance to make my post-Churchill LCBO run because I was off to see Joe Sealy’s tribute to Hoagie Carmichael at the Old Mill immediately following the tasting -but I'll tell you what my "run out" wine would have been had I not taken that side trip.

Churchill's entire tasting was comprised of wines on the general list, in vintages or coming to vintages - so that makes it easy to recommend wines and easy for you, dear reader, to run out and get some.

And here is a list of the wines I deemed worth you getting into your car (or walking) to your local liquor retailer:

Robertson Winery 2006 Wolfkloof Shiraz ($17.75 – Vintages - South Africa) … nice blackberry and pepper on the nose; black raspberry and white pepper on both the palate and the finish.

Marcus James 2008 Merlot ($9.25 - General List – Argentina) … very fruit driven offering, most prominent of which, blueberry.

Hardys 2008 Stamp of Australia Riesling/Gewurztraminer ($9.60 – General List – Australia) ... still a big summer bargain – rosy-grapefruit with a touch of sweetness, big and fruity in the mouth - great price.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2006 Merlot ($19.80 - General Llist – California) … nice red fruit with chocolate and a lovely smoothness on the palate.

A little out of my price range … (but still worth buying)

Two very nice Napa wines: Robert Mondavi 2004 Merlot ($34.75 - Vintages – California) … chocolate and blueberry on the nose - sweet red cherries fill the mouth. Yum. Mount Veeder 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($50.00 – Vintages – California) … this had lots going for it on both the nose and palate: blackberry, cassis, spice, pepper, chocolate, and a big peppery-spicy finish.

My (would have been) “Run Out and Buy” wine:

This would've been a no-brainer. For some reason I've always passed up on this wine due to its over simplistic brown-stationary looking label, but tonight I would've gladly served it, or stored it. Deep black fruit, very juicy with a sweet red berry and spice finish, all at an unbelievable steal of a price: Blackstone 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon - Monterey ($14.95 – Vintages – California).

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