Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Calamus Estate Futures Event

Release list & order form
Calamus Estate Winery Futures Event
Time: Sunday January 18th, 1pm
Place: Calamus Estate Winery
Hosts: Derek Saunders & Pat Latin
Marketing: Larry Horne, Sheila Minkhorst
Winemaker: Arthur Harder, Steve (Asst.)
  • Three reds featured as 2007 Futures:
    2007 Cabernet Franc VQA, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon VQA, 2007 Meritage VQA
  • Others: 2007 Vinemount Ridge Riesling VQA, 2007 Barrel Kissed Chardonnay VQA

Meeting Steve Byfield
Early arrivals browse while the upper tasting room of the newly renovated barn is set up for the Futures. This was the ‘inaugural event’ for this room and the first Futures for the Winery. Scenes of the area painted by local artists were hanging for display on the timbered walls. The barn, a work in process, shows the attention to historic detail as well as being a craft winery reflecting a dedication to winemaking.
Before the session Steve, the assistant winemaker took questions along with the attending staff. Arthur then led the tastings elaborated by Derek with a quick history of Niagara sub appellations and the assignment of the Winery to the Vinemount Ridge sub appellation.
Head table
I have to avoid rating the wines presented. Projecting the direction and how each of these reds would develop once bottled then aged is very different from rating a fully matured wine. Then I add: the 2007 Cab Franc compared favourably to a ‘nouveau’ still bearing the freshness of ripe berries but without a leesy nose. The Cabernet Sauvignon benefited from a fuller structure with balanced tannin and acids. The blend for the 2007 Meritage (50% CS, 25% CF, 25% Merlot) was decided by ‘committee‘ and, perhaps to a certain extent, lacked the winemaker‘s ownership. The Vinemount Riesling had a unique mineral and floral nose reflecting the Ridge terroir. Its texture and balance was similar to their 2007 (Beamsville Bench) Riesling.
Ending too late for us to return to the August Restaurant - where we had stoked up on a brunch of eggs Benedict earlier - for cream scones and jam, the trip home was through a light snowfall and for a Sunday afternoon very light QEW traffic. 

A super event with interesting wines… and enjoyed by everyone thanks to the hospitality of the Calamus crew.
Cheers, Ww

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