Friday, April 16, 2010

Report from ... Shooting the Poop over a few Glasses with Lloyd and Nick – April 14, 2010

I find myself in the office of Lloyd Thistle, THE man at Fortessa Canada – the company that brings in Schott Zwiesel stemware.  Also in attendance is Nicolas Pearce from Tannin Fine Wines.  We are trying a variety of wines using a variety of glassware, including the proper glass for each wine and Schott Zwiesel’s “tasting glass” they call ‘Sensus’.  Tannin represents Organized Crime winery in Niagara – and Nicolas took full advantage of my presence to pour a few Criminally good wines, all from the 2008 vintage and all whites … a good choice consider Andrezj Lipinski (the winemaker at the Crime scene) is a master at the pale wines.  Props go out for his 2008 Viognier and the 2008 Riesling, especially the Riesling – an absolute beauty, if the price were just a bit lower it would fly off the shelves, though it’s so tasty I have no doubt it will sellout – this is a beauty you should be savouring this summer (at least one bottle). 
[full reviews of both wines can be found on my website - just click thru to read them]

Nicolas then started playing the “Guess What I Got” game.  The first was a delicious 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile by Vina Casa Marin ($21.00), at first I thought it New Zealand with all the grassy, citrus and herbaceous notes, the nose also showed some sweet fruit smells.  Very nice acidity and refreshing with a long grassy finish … textbook New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the great copycat folks in Chile … the world’s great wine mimickers.(****½)

Next up, an Aussie Chardonnay (2007) from Step Rd. ($25.00) – this one’s oaky and buttery with creamy-smooth vanilla-hazelnut flavours … a trouble-wine if I’ve ever tasted one, it goes down so easily you could lose track of where you are in the bottle and next thing you know it’s gone and it’s only 20 minutes later; an afternoon buzz in a bottle. (***½)

Before I get to the red wine of the day I’ll leapfrog ahead to the last wine poured:  Eric Bonnet 2007 Reserve Saint Dominique ($25.00) from the Rhone.  A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that needs time to fully integrate.  In the Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Bordeaux glass it opened nicely, showing off black raspberry and hints of cocoa; but the narrower Forte glass brought the spice, the tannins and the fruit all together.  It truly is amazing what the right glassware can do. (****)

Finally, we got to try this kitchen wine from A to Z WineWorks, 2006 Chemin de Terre ($25.00) from Oregon; what a beauty.  It’s a blend of every red grape imaginable to be grown in that state, dominated by Merlot at 44% followed by an equal amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (at 17.5% each), then there are hits of Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Grenache and about 2% Pinot Noir; a real dog’s breakfast of grapes – but they sure make into something spectacular.  The nose is fairly basic, black cherry dominates, letting little else through; but it’s on the palate where the complexity of this wine shines through.  The following may sound like a laundry list of flavours, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg here – I would have liked to have spent more time with this wine to get the full effect:  smoky and spicy with lots of dark fruit, a touch of earthy, along with a mocha/cocoa finish (think Fry’s pure cocoa powder) – good fruit, good tannins, good finish equals more than just good wine – this wine is definitely better than the sum of its parts.  It’s a really sippable wine with intoxicating and complex flavours.  Of course always the information seeker I learned it spent 18 months in barrel with an additional 15 months of bottle age.  I said it before, I’ll say it again, what a beauty.  And in the right glass (Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Bordeaux), it exploded with smells and flavours. (****½)

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