From the Cellar

Just because I started a website called OntarioWineReview.com doesn't mean it's All-Ontario-All-the-Time. When I kick back at night my mood (and sometimes my curiosity) decides my wine of choice. And the title should read, "Uncorked and Un-Screwed Tonight" ... but that just sounds wrong.

Elephant Hill 2013 Syrah (New Zealand)

11 Mar 2021

 Elephant Hill

(September 26, 2020) ... This is one of those "tasting nights" where I pulled out 3 Rieslings (2 Ontario and 1 German) - 3 Pinot Noirs  (all 3 from Ontario) and finally grabbed a Syrah to drink ... and from this particular evening this is the only note that exists - it was just that impressive.

Starts off with spicy dark fruit and some mocha-cherry, and that's just the aromas ... on the palate raspberry and pepper for starters ... the fruit kept coming in waves with hints of secondary characteristics like smoke and oak, but always with a heavy dose of fruit at its core. Simply put this wine was just gorgeous and so very drinkable now ... and it was 7 years old. It still had lots and lots of time ahead of it - I did not commit infanticide here, but I'm sure if I opened this up in 2025 it would not be much different. Hats off to those in New Zealand who jumped on the screwcap bandwagon early. I can say this for certain about this wine: tertiary notes are so far non-existent ... and will be for quite some time.

 

Sandhill 2014 Gamay Noir (British Columbia)

11 Feb 2021

Sandhill Gamay 1

 

(August 21, 2020) ... I was inspired to try this wine tonight because I saw a picture of Howard Soon, who used to be the winemaker at Sandhill and was at the time of this wine being made. As I started sipping my second glass I am feeling a little light-headed, so I turn the bottle around, at 14.5% alcohol this is quite a hot Gamay, but well-balanced as I did not detect the heat until my head started to feel funny. Lots of earthy notes and black cherry with white pepper and smoke. Opens up nicely and the tannins are quite prevalent the more it warms up. It's still quite lovely but look out for that alcohol - it's a game changer.

 

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