Friday, May 01, 2009

May 2009 Niagara Trip: 5 Tasted of 5

Off we go. By happenstance - actually at the end of April before the trees were in bloom - we had to drop off a relative at her home in Niagara Falls. What better way to split up the return trip than a stopover at Cave Spring Cellars. The many shops of Jordan Village allow my travelling companions to saunter while I spend time in the Wine Shop’s tasting room.

I was interested in the Estate Bottled wines of the dozen reds, whites, dry and dessert wines available for tasting. Several years ago the winery moved from their site in Beamsville to their current building formerly a fruit warehouse and ideally suited to Cave Spring’s need for significant cellar space. Jordan Village is located on Twenty Mile Bench however the winery’s vineyards remain closer to Hamilton on the Beamsville Bench, the location of the original farm and the Cave Spring for which it was named. An informative video can be viewed at 5minLife Videopedia and a history of the winery is detailed on the Cave Spring Cellars website. A Cave Spring Cellars video was also included in the September blog of LCBO's goLOCAL Promo.

To cap off my tasting I rejoined my wife and her sister at the Inn on the Twenty restaurant. A tad expensive but always unique and worth every penny. A great view and great service too!

Afterward, heading north on Jordan Road to the QEW, we just had to visit the Jordan Station Gourmet Cheese Store to stock up on Niagara Gold, specialty breads and condiments.

Listed below are the five wines brought back for more leisurely tasting. Winery prices include the recycling deposit and an LCBO SKU is shown where available. When a wine has been tasted it will appear in bold and resequenced by rating. Cheers, Ww

  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chenin Blanc 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 91-2  -- Jordan, Canada, #Winery $18.15
  • Cave Spring Gamay 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, 90-2  -- G, Jordan, Canada, #228569 $12.41
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay Musqué 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 89-2  -- V, Jordan, Canada, #246579 $15.28
  • Cave Spring Estate Bottled Riesling 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, 88-1  -- V, Jordan, Canada, #286377 $17.19
  • Cave Spring CSV Chardonnay 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, 84 -- Jordan, Canada, #Winery $28.68
(G - General listing, V – Vintages, O - Other, r-v - Rating-Value)


CAVE SPRING CSV CHARDONNAY 2006 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Canada, 13.5% D, #Winery $28.68 (Tasted May 12, 2009)

Notes from the winery are “Barrel fermented in French oak, 60% of which was new, followed by 10 months of barrel ageing sur lie. The nose is quite nutty with notes of butterscotch, fresh cream and vanilla; the palate is dry and hefty, with fresh apple and cedar up front and a very crisp, tense middle with a distinctly stony austerity that firmly underpins rich crème brûlée flavours; the finish lavishes with barrel complexity, including notes of vanilla, butterscotch and toast; all in all, delicate yet demanding wine with finely interwoven flavours and an arresting clarity of fruit (11/08) Best approached starting in 2010, this vintage possesses the structure and weight to cellar until at least 2016. .. ” My notes: In appearance and nose this is the quintessential chard… a pale golden colour with spicy, buttery aromas. Not as creamy as some but providing a good mouthfeel nevertheless, not too viscous and a nice tang level. I would be curious to try the 2007 vintage to see if it has more fruit, this leaving a taste of unsweetened pineapple and herbal tea uncharacteristic of the nose and not for everyone. I did not get the 'vanilla, butterscotch and toast'. Not a sipper - have with chicken pasta, a bouillabaisse, grilled garlic shrimp or white fishes. Perhaps waiting ‘til 2010 is the right step? 84

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY MUSQUÉ 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Canada, 13.0% MD, #246579 $15.28 (Tasted May 12, 2009)

Notes from the winery are “Cool fermentation in stainless steel, with malolactic fermentation inhibited, to preserve this clone’s aromatics and acidity… Dominated on the nose by the clone’s muscat-tinged orange-blossom aromas plus a cocktail of tangerine, melon and pear; the palate is very full and oily, yet precise and refreshing; the attack is crisp, spicy and lychee-like, while the mid-palate softens and becomes very viscous; the warmth of the wine’s considerable body carries intense spice and orange marmalade flavours very long on the finish (10/08). Our richest, most aromatic Musqué in over a decade, this vintage is best appreciated in the first 3 years…” My notes: A pale golden colour and aromas of orange and peach fill the bowl making this an inviting sipper. The firm nip and flavours of green melon and spice refreshes the palate going well with seafood dishes, cold and sliced chicken breast or Asian fare. I’d say it’s leaning toward being full-bodied with a noticeable touch of sweetness, a viscous mouthfeel and lasting melon grassiness to the long finish. Save for a mixed social including ABC imbibers. Showing some youthfulness now and should keep up to two years. 89

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHENIN BLANC 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Canada, 12.0% D, #Winery $18.15 (Tasted May 3, 2009)

Notes from the winery are “Cool fermentation in stainless steel, arrested by sudden chilling, leaving a natural residual sweetness. A nose of ripe blueberry, Golden Delicious apple, white peach and papaya, with flinty complexity; the palate starts off with a kiss of sweetness and a supple feel, but is quickly restrained by dry, chalky textures and skate-blade acidity in the middle. Notes of apple and grapefruit rind punctuate what is a long, filigreed finish (7/08)… high levels of extract and near perfect ripeness promise continued development until at least 2012... “ My notes: There’s a bit of grapefruit in the nose along with the aroma of young peach. A light blond colour and a thin film showing a few fast tears. Then the first sip gives a firm lemon lime tang and slight green apple flavour covering any hint of sweeetness, quite a refresher for a summer stint on the patio. Have with fresh oysters, cheesy finger foods, bbq’d shrimp, proscuitto wrapped asparagus, the usual grilled seafood or cold chicken slices. Drinking young now this should cellar well for a few years. 91

CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2007 VQA Beamsville Bench, Jordan, Canada, 11.0% MD, #286377 $17.19 (Tasted May 8, 2009)

Notes from the winery are “Cool fermentation in stainless steel over a 3 week period using selected yeast strains; left on the lees for 2 months. Explosive aromas of ripe yellow grapefruit, rhubarb, white peach and Anjou pear with notes of white flower (Fresia) and wet stone in behind; the palate is full, slightly off dry and a touch oily, with lime and grapefruit zest on the attack, stony/chalky textures in the middle and a finish of candied orange essence and ginger spice (6/08). While very ripe in character, this vintage retains enough acidity and overall structure to cellar until at least 2015... ” My notes: A pale golden and delicate (almost none) fragrance of field flowers once it’s off chill. A swirl leaves a light film and fast legs on the bowl and the first sip shows some sweetness but nicely balanced with a lime tartness - comes across as D for dry. Grapefruit and lime builds on the tongue and through a moderately dry finish making this a pleasant aperitif - it’s unfortunate that it lacks a nose. This should pair well with fresh oysters or with freshwater fish, grilled with greens. A drink now but could cellar up to two years. 88

CAVE SPRING GAMAY 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, Jordan, Canada, 12.5% D, #228569 $12.41 (Tasted May 1, 2009)

Notes (2006 vintage) from the winery are “Two thirds of the cuvée was barrel aged for 7 months in 75% older, and 25% new French and Hungarian oak barrels. A lighter red evoking the vivacious berry/pepper character of gamay alongside earthy complexity, light tannins and a hint of oak. Best enjoyed for its forward fruit character in the first 3 years, but should hold until 2011... “ and Beppi Crosariol said “In a blind tasting, I'd bet some experts would confuse it with good pinot noir.” My notes: A mid ruby with a dull cast and light film sending fast tears down the glass. This has an aroma that needs time to develop in the bowl, a combination of earth, a ripe berry blend and white pepper. Then a delicate first sip that builds on the roof with warmth and spicy berries and leaving a velvet fuzz on the tongue. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with well developed flavours but not overpowered by fruit, ie. well balanced. Have as a companion to prime rib roast or a grilled rib eye. This should cellar well adding satin and a deeper complexity to make this an excellent value. 90

No comments: