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Wines I Like

July 19, 2011

It has been quite a ride watching this area become an excellent wine region. I remember the bad old days when it was Pelee or Colio, as the only games in town; now we have really good wine.


Its not that Pelee and Colio can’t make good wine: just go to the winery and get the stuff that isn’t sold at the lickbo. Both have talent and resources that others wold only dream of. When I started I thought that Cab Franc was the grape of the area. It was good and the green taint was eliminated. Then I say Chards then Pinots. The experts say that this could be a great Syrah and Cab Sauv area and yes I concur. Both will be challenges due to wintering but I think both can be great. Finally the heat here will have a use.


But the boutiques have made quite a run and now offer wines which are at least the equal of Canadian wines and compete favourably with the wines sold to us by Big Brother. It would be fallacy to say we are “world class” and equal/better to Napa or Bordeaux, but within the price points the quality is there and often better. And every year the wine is improving as the vines get older.


I want to start a series of wines which I am drinking and are drinking very well right now.


These wines are ones that I buy often and stay with and thus recommend. You will see that I like them and they may surprise you.


Tonite I want to talk about a wine that I originally turned my nose up to. I hated the varietal and thought the grape was useless. A blender which was too sweet and cloying to make me drink it. A friend convinced me to try and you know she was right. It is drinking excellent and worthy of good food. Instead of my classic Syrah, I paired this wine with lamb. Yes the classic is Syrah, but this wine had something. Very subtle, it would go as long as I didn’t over-spice the lamb and as the lamb was from Ewe-Dell, it was mild too, so I tried and I liked.


The grape is Merlot. Yes I know….they are pulling up Merlot in Cali but I am a contrarian and just like a good wine. I suggest you dispense too of your preconceived notions and enjoy. I now love Chards and now Merlot…what’s next….Baco??


The wine is Mastronardi’s 07 Merlot. Priced ok but no bargain, it is a wine which I have missed as Merlot just wasn’t my thing so I never tried it, until a lovely lady and friend convinced me to try it.


Well, the food was lamb, just salt and pepper and grilled. A milder version of the same lamb in the 10 minute meal but without the four ciders before dinner (oops….changed my flavour profile….wine was great then too!!!)


So lets look:


Visual: deep garnet colour….like my Grandmother’s roses. Beautiful to look at. Slow developing legs that are thinnish…..means nothing really but makes me sound intelligent. Looks inviting.


Aroma: deep deep dark fruit, balance not oaky or alcoholic, just deep dark fruit like black cherry and prune plums (love them, they come out soon). I get the classic pencil shavings too. This wine is balanced and seductive. It doesn’t have that sweet smell of some hot weather Merlots… Good Good Good.


Flavor: There is a good backbone of acid and tannins so food is a friend. It has enuff to cleanse but not too much. Again I get the deep dark fruits in the aroma, along with the pencil shavings. To me this is what Merlot should taste like. It is balanced and beautiful. No fruit-bomb, no cough syrup sweet, this is a classic cool climate wine (like Bordeaux is) and I really enjoy this one.


Its funny, that I missed this one for so long. I just let my preconceived notions control me…now I am liberated.


Now with food I see this one as a winner. Put a good steak on the Barbie (aged rib or porterhouse) cook it medium rare and enjoy. A roast of beef, lamb or pork would work here to…no it would be devine. This wine will work as well alone as with food so this bad boy is a winner to me. I may open another bottle now!!



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