Tuesday, July 01, 2008

'The Organized Crime' Wines: 8 Tasted of 8

For this blog entry I’ve selected wines from The Organized Crime Winery, a small boutique winery previously called Pointer’s Hill Estates and located close-by on the Beamsville Bench in Niagara Peninsula. The winery’s website lists their 2006 vintage whites and a pinot noir rosé released earlier this year and they are now releasing their 2006 reds. Rod Phillips (RP) rated four of their wines in issue #8 of Winepointer – these are asterisked below. The winery was also mentioned by Gord Stimmell and Beppi Crosariol in their columns recently and the Canada Wine Awards 2007 winning 2006 vintage gewurztraminer is featured on the OntarioWineReview website.

Everything about this winery is charmingly hospitable as well as showing a passion for winemaking. As before, as wines are tasted they appear in bold.

Cheers, Ww

  • *Organized Crime Gewurztraminer 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, RP90-93,  90-1 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $22.20
  • *Organized Crime Chardonnay Musqué 2006 VQA Niagara Peninsula, RP87-89,  87-1 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $15.20
  • *Organized Crime Unoaked Chardonnay 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, RP87-89,  87 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $18.20
  • *Organized Crime Pinot Gris 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, RP90-93,  86 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $17.20
  • Organized Crime Sauvignon Blanc 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench,  86 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $16.20
  • Organized Crime Riesling 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench,  84 - Ontario, Canada, #Winery $17.20
  • Organized Crime Viognier 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench,  82 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $16.20

  • Organized Crime Pinot Noir Rosé 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, 80 -- Ontario, Canada, #Winery $15.20

ORGANIZED CRIME RIESLING 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, Ontario, Canada, 10.9% D, #Winery $17.20 (Tasted July 11, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “Intense aromas of granny smith apple, jalapeno pepper. Petrol & wet clay notes. Faint spearmint leaf and hints of white mushroom. Medium-high acidity on the pallet, with juicy apple and citrus flavours. Offdry with a lovely mineral-rich mouth experience. A classic riesling. My notes: Clear and bright in the glass with distinct aroma of crisp apple when aired a short time. The first sip has a slight bite, light-bodied with flavours of granny smith apple, crisp and refreshing leading to a fruit and ‘wet clay’ finish. Not a spirited sipper by any means and lacking a wide flavour spectrum – for instance, I didn’t get ‘petrol’ nor ‘spearmint leaf’ and ‘mushroom’ – sociable nevertheless and improves as it goes off chill. A drink now - pair with lightly seasoned and grilled freshwater fish. 84

Ontario, Canada, 12.1% D, #Winery $16.20 (Tasted July 3, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “medium-bodied, notes of candied pear, peach, stone and fruit blossoms on the nose. Well balanced with a medium acidity on the palate.” My notes: A clear blond with aromas of grapefruit pith lightly scented with meadow flowers. There is a soft texture to the first sip accompanied by a soft nip, the nip fading quickly leaving a granny smith apple flavour behind. Dry on the palate with bright, fresh fruit and a light clay ending. Serve well chilled for a sociable quaffer - have a tray of fresh fruit and mild cheeses handy. There’s a latent flatness as the glass warms - well made (imho) but I’d guess of fruit from young vines or a difficult vintage. Pair with freshwater fish grilled at high heat and served with refried beans - washed out with a grilled telapia filet. A drink now – not for cellaring. 82

Ontario, Canada, 11.7% D, #Winery $17.20 (Tasted July 3, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “Clean, subtle nose with some initial hints of fresia, bosc pear, apple, very mild tarragon. Off-dry sweetness, with a pleasantly fresh acidity.” My notes: A faint, crisp blond with a whiff of lavender on first sniff then a just perceptible pear. This gives a subdued first impression, a refreshing herb(?) tinged lemonade, a light texture, just perceptibly off dry and mildly tart and leaving a long finish of ‘that’ soft lemon flavouring behind. How many ways can I say ‘soft’? This could be served chilled anywhere without concern: as a first sipper or accompanying beverage with cold wings and onion rings – but keep opened bottle in a chiller. Pair with grilled scallops or breaded sole and grilled pineapple or peach slices - was great with bbq'd telapia. A drink now – not for cellaring. 86

Ontario, Canada, 13.4% D, #Winery $18.20 (Tasted June 24, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “aromas of stone fruit, banana and flinty mineral notes, and a subtle hint of buttery baked pie crust. Dry, lush and has a rich mouth feel.” My notes: A light golden colour with legs that slowly develop on the glass. Aromas are faint grapefruit pith and the first sip brings a soft nip with a nuttiness and lychee flavour. The finish carries the lychee flavour a long while with a subtle tartness and cream accumulating with each sip then ends on a clay note. A mild chardonnay, perhaps the Bench terroir – seems like there’s a portion of semillon in the blend. A congenial sipper although you may want a backup depending on the crowd. Pair with grilled freshwater fish or a light pasta dish. A drink now. 87

Ontario, Canada, 11.2% D, #Winery $15.20 (Tasted June 18, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “Clean aroma with lead pencil notes, and a hint of rose petal. Flavours of juicy plum, golden apple and golden raisin. My notes: A light blond colour with a delicate nose of spring floral and sweet stone fruit. Flavour of melba apple is very delicately blended with a tart granny smith. The finish carries mostly the granny smith flavour with its firm brightness ending on a mineral edge. A dry musqué with fruit sugars nicely balanced out of prominence by natural acids making this an aperitif or oyster shucking white. Have with anything fishy from battered halibut to planked salmon or from grilled chicken breast to pork cutlet. A drink-now or cellar two years. 87

Ontario, Canada, 11.6% D, #Winery $22.00 (Tasted June 13, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “Richly aromatic nose of rose petal, lychee, green cardamon and beeswax. A youthful core of tangy green grape. Off-dry with a rich oily mouth feel and a gorgeous refreshing wave of acidity that cleanses the palate and lifts the exotic fruit and spice flavours. Long finish with floral and guava replays.” My notes: A light orange blossom fragrance with a sweet grassy edge. The colour is a light golden having a very crisp intro on the first sip – biting into a crabapple comes to mind - then it mellows to a round finish of lemon, pear and mild melon with a tartness equalling the sweet fruit. Serve well chilled and sense the changes as the glass goes off-chill. A sipper altho’ personally a tad tart - I would prefer it with fresh oysters, crab cakes, or bacon wrapped scallops with herbed rice – any shellfish, any way. The youthful brightness would gain from cellaring a few years. 90

Ontario, Canada, 10.4% D, #Winery $15.20 (Tasted June 11, 2008)

Described by the Winery as “Impressions of raspberry, wild strawberries and violets on the nose. Wonderful fruit flavours on the pallet. A great Mediterranean styled wine.” My notes: This has a mid-peach, summer T-rose colour with aromas that only come if let go offchill, some peach fuzz and cherry. The flavours are a delicate pomegranate, dry as the fruit and delivered with some smoothness. The finish is also delicate nicely balancing the tartness with fruit like sucking a fresh melba apple. A summer cooler to quaff - serve offchill or throw in some cubes and a liqueur of your choosing: peach schnapps or white crème de menthe for excitement. Priced OK for a light-bodied rosé, well made and refreshing. To me, if 'Mediterranean' but not a ‘Tavel’. A drink-now. 80

Ontario, Canada, 12.4% D, #Winery $16.00 (Tasted June 11, 2008)

Describe by the Winery as “Subtle hints of herb, lead pencil minerality and crabapple or green gooseberry in the mouth. Dry with the typical pronounced edgy suavignon blanc acidity.” My notes: A clear blond colour and distinct but delicate aromas of grassy gooseberry. Light legs on the glass foretelling a light cream in the texture with fresh fruit, some ‘crab apple’ tang amongst the berries. A refreshing sipper for a summer gathering, the finish being bright, fruity and long with a mineral note at the end. The acid balances the natural fruit sugar well. Have with freshwater fish although enough substance for garlic shrimp kebobs or bacon wrapped scallops – would be super with steamed lobster. A drink-now over the next twelve months. 86

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