Taste it Again / Lost & Found

On occasion, I’ll take a wine I like and put it away in a “special box” for a few years to see how it will age … below you will read happened to those wines. On the other hand, there are wines that get “lost” in my wine cellar with nary a review ever written - some have turned into golden Treasures, others supreme Trash and then there are those that fall somewhere in-between (Tolerable). We’ll look at those here too. (New wines are being added all the time so keep coming back):

Taste it Again : 18 Bottles with Larry - 12th Edition

27 Mar 2020

(November 3, 2019) ... For those who have not followed the adventures of Larry and I over the years, Larry used to work in the Ontario wine industry as both a winery owner and in wine sales - he even (on occasion) makes what he calls wine (it's Baco so I can't agree) ... We both share a love for Ontario wine and are both interested in seeing how wines from our own corner of the world age ... wines we find that are not good break our collective hearts - but honesty is the number one priority here and we both must agree before a verdict is rendered (and it is rare that we disagree, but it does happen). Here is a list of the latest wines we tasted together and our thoughts on each - if you have any of these wines in your cellar these tasting notes can be invaluable to you ... we put our palates on the line so you don't have to - though sometimes Larry is not as committed as I am (if it smells bad he will not taste it - usually):

Exultet 2010 The Blessed Chardonnay - An award winning Chardonnay in its day, but now I am wondering why, or if age-ability was even taken into consideration: creamed corn, buttery, rich vanilla, subtle spice and slightly oxidized - it's definitely at the end of its lifespan and has a weird sweet creamy mid that does not excite, in fact it detracts.  NO ... (see original review)

Southbrook 2010 Chardonnay Whimsy! - Larry likes Chardonnay, I am not a fan so we had both points of view approaching this wine, and neither was impressed with this one: characterless with a hollow middle and an oxidative quality, nothing appealing or special and it did not get better as it stayed open longer.  NO ... (see original review)

Norman Hardie 2011 Riesling - I only go by what's in the box I open, and while this is a controversial wine to be drinking it was in the box and we had to try it: big on diesel with parafin wax notes, some minerality but under further scrutiny we found it hard to drink and "unpleasant"; very much like the man who made it, lest we forget whyNO ... (see original review)

Thirty Bench 2011 Small Lot Riesling, Triangle Vineyard - There's a subtle sweetness here that's full of apple, mineral and lemon curd, plus there is a long finish that is lovely and appealing, this one has aged really nicely.  YES ... (see original review)

Exultet 2010 Pinot Noir, Cru X - Loaded with volatile acidity, it's a little flat and very bitter, we did not waste much more time on this after three sips.  NO ... (see original review)

Norman Hardie 2010 Pinot Noir, County Unfiltered - Another controversial wine from a controversial winemaker / winery, but again, if it's in the box we try it. Subtle volatile acidity, black currant, with spiced-cranberry notes, it's not great but it still has some appeal and drink-ability but I would recommend you do it fast as it won't last much longer.  YES ... (see original review)

Coyote's Run 2009 Pinot Noir, Red Paw Vineyard - Started with a boat load of volatile acidity and we thought we would not be able to get past it, but it dissipated and we found it to be a decent 10 year old Pinot:Coyote's Pinot Red Paw subtle cranberry, forest floor, lots of spice and acidity with a good tannin backbone ... some older screwcap wines start out slow but do finally deliver and this was certainly the case here. This was our best Pinot Noir of the tasting.  YES ... (see original review)

Chateau des Charmes 2007 Pinot Noir "Old Vines" - I remember this wine being very big and needing time and now it has that time under its belt and maybe I'm thinking that is not what it needed; sadly it is an over-oaked mess with no Pinot character, in fact it tastes more like liquid wood than anything else, "sandpaper in my throat" was one comment noted down, and it lacks fruit. Thankfully it had no volatile acidity but then I don't think it had room for it. We decided to come back to it an hour later to see if anything had improved, the tannins mellowed a bit - but the best thing we could say is that is could be mistaken for a Cabernet Franc and not a Pinot ... bottom line: it was not a good Pinot or Franc.  NO ... (see original review)

Alvento 2007 Aria Nebbiolo - There really was nothing good we could say about this wine: dirty, earthy, foresty and those were the nice things ... "I do this cause I taste wine for a living, otherwise I would not put this travesty in my mouth" - harsh, bitter and unattractive, a total horror show "The Trump Presidency of wine" ... end scene.  NO ... (see original review)

Coyote's Run 2007 Meritage - A blend of 36% Merlot / 36% Cabernet Franc / 28% Cabernet Sauvignon that started out smooth and extremely drinkable with dark fruit, mocha, and coffee bean and it is only going to get better the longer it stays open.  YES ... (no original review)

Nyarai Cadence 2010Nyarai Cellars 2010 Cadence - The blend is Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot made by Steve Byfield for his virtual label and bottled under screwcap ... this was one of our top 3 wines of the tasting and if you have any in the cellar it is time to look at drinking it as it is definitely at its peak: white pepper, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, and lovely dark fruit - silky smooth mouthfeel. Just a touch of VA appeared at opening but it blew off quickly. It was the best wine we tried up to this point of the tasting - we even went as far as to stop our tasting to call Steve to tell him how good it was - we were that impressed.  YES ... (see original review)

Lailey 2010 Cabernet-Merlot - This throw away sixteen dollar bottle of wine is holding up nicely, it's not going to win any awards in it present condition but it is definitely quite drinkable: delicate fruit with spice.  YES ... (see original review)

Reif 2010 Meritage - there's a simplicity of dark fruit and mocha, it's inoffensive and drinks well, it too will not be winning any best bottle I ever opened awards, but it was certainly a happy and pleasant bottle to open. Drink now.  YES ... (see original review)

Trius 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - Another screwcap wine that is over-delivering for both its age and for its sell price. Pretty sure this one was under $20 (I know it is now when you buy it at the winery) and it shows beautiful notes of dark fruit and dark chocolate. "Nothing wrong with it at all", it's very good wine and one I would serve happily. Might just be the best wine tasted today.  YES ... (see original review)Peller Trius 2010 Cab Sauv

Peller Estate 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve - Nice spice and black fruit but this wine was over shadowed by the lower priced and, believe it or not, better tasting, Trius version ... surprising but true. Both wines are very drinkable but if I had my choice it would be the Trius.  YES ... (see original review)

Creekside 2010 Shiraz - Notes of pepper, dried dark fruit and mocha ... the Cabernet Sauvignons were better but this was a good example of an aged Ontario Syrah (not Shiraz - but it was named way back in 2010, so we shall forgive it) ... this is a very drinkable red.  YES ... (no original review)

Henry of Pelham 2010 Baco Noir Reserve - This one is hanging in there, Larry is a guy who has made plenty of homemade Baco in his day, and was impressed by how well this one has aged with it surprising meaty notes along with black cherry and dried fruits.  YES ... (see original review)

Non-Ontario Wines Tasted ...
Belle Glos 2010 Meiomi Pinot Noir - Let's be honest here, there is no way you would ever pick this wine out as a Pinot Noir in a blind tasting, even when young, so we were not sure where it would be as it aged; but it is a tasty non-descript red at this age.  NO JUDGEMENT

This time the score was : 11 of 18 of the wines were a YES



Taste it Again : Henry of Pelham 2012 Cabernet-Merlot Estate

23 Mar 2020

Henry of Pelham 2012 CM Estate


October 27, 2019 ...  So I decided to experiment with this wine. I am getting a lot of questions about decanting lately either by the glass or a full bottle so I decided to split this bottle into two. Half I decanted the other half I left in bottle. I also started with just one glass, or a splash in the glass, to see how a  single-pour decanter would also work with this wine and give me a baseline.

Bottle: there were smoky, peppery, dark berry fruit (cassis / blackberry) cinnamon and spice with a touch of cedar; which I thought might blow off in a couple of hours, but then I made the decision to rush it a bit.

Decanted: fruit character is gone, coffee grounds and cedar dominate - I found this very unappealing.

After 2 hours:  poured from bottle there is still life with dark berry / spiced blueberry, mocha, coffee but that cedary finish remains prominent - the decanted version seems lifeless and failing.

Advice ... don't decant / by the glass or the full bottle, you're wasting a good wine ... allow bottle to open up on its own naturally and you'll enjoy the experience over the course of the night.

See the original review here


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