Sunday, May 01, 2011

May 2011 Reds: 10 Tasted of 10

circa 1953...
The photos are from a bygone era and taken in the east end, Don mills and Eglinton, of what is now the Greater Toronto Area, fondly called The Big Smoke. There's something about steam locomotives that is 'warm and fuzzy'. Perhaps that's why even today I don't mind the commotion of the nearby CNCP mainline except for the small  yard engines that toot far too often. a crossing.
My dad worked in the CNR Wheelhouse turning wheels on a flatbed lathe positioning each rim using an overhead chain hoist. After turning, the rims were heatshrunk back onto the wheels, pairs of wheels then returned to axles waiting to go on cars and back on the tracks. They'd be back after travelling cross country receiving flat spots during their journey.
...faraway sounds
To pay my tuition I worked summers in the Roundhouse wiping down Engines hot off the road with a black oil and kerosene mixture. Mine was a heads-down get-through-it day while my dad worked from midnight 'til eight anxious to pay a mortgage and feed a young family.

I can't ever remember being hungry or unhappy.

Cheers, Ww 

( Whites, Rosés and Sparkles  have been separated from the May Reds hopefully to shorten the search for a particular wine.)

  • Passion Reserve Malbec 2008,  91-2  --  V, Mendoza, Argentina, #191775 $14.95 
  • Errazuriz ‘Single Vineyard’ Syrah 2008,  91-2  --  V,  Aconcagua Valley, Chile, #211938 $19.95
  • Tahbilk Shiraz 2006,  90-2  --  V, Central Victoria, Australia, #214742 $19.95
  • Tandem ‘Peloton’ Red Wine 2007,  90-1 Cellar  --  V, Geyserville, California, #686261 $19.95
  • Peter Lehmann ‘Weighbridge’ Shiraz 2008,  85  --  G, Tanunda, South Australia, #219170 $14.95
  • Montaribaldi la Consolina Barbera d’Asti, 2008,  85  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #182212 $15.95 
  • Kleine Zalze ‘Cellar Selection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009,  85  --  V, Stellenbosch, S. Africa, #205799 $16.95 
  • Domaine de la Ville Rouge ‘Inspiration’ Crozes-Hermitage 2007,  85 --  V, Rhône, France, #194837  $21.95
  • Lone Kauri Reserve Pinot Noir 2009,  83  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #214858 $16.95 
  • Argento Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2008,  80  --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #164764 $12.95
 (G - General Listing, V - Vintages, r-v - Rating-Value)  


DOMAINE DE LA VILLE ROUGE ‘INSPIRATION’ CROZES-HERMITAGE 2007, Rhône, France, 12.5% XD, #194837   $21.95  (Tasted May 10, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2011.  My notes: The Chateau itself has been producing wine only a short time now going into their third year. The colour is a garnet tinged ruby, somewhat muddy. A swirl gives a thin film with a lacy edge and tiny tears while a sniff senses a smoky raspberry/blackberry aroma. Medium-bodied, silky smooth with obvious bramble and a hint of mint to keep the berries bright altho‘ firm tannins dry the mouth. A sipper if dry tannins with berries in the background is preferred. Better to have with prime rib, pepperoni pizza or rare venison - a flexible red for grilled meats. At or just past peak in my view likely having more fruit a few years ago.  85

LONE KAURI RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2009, Marlborough, NZ, 13.0% XD, #214858  $16.95  (Tasted May 9, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2011. A Cooper’S Creek Vineyard Ltd. wine .  The back label states “… aromas of black cherries and strawberries with hints of oak… soft tannins and ripe fruit… medium-bodied, dry”.  My notes:   A ripe black cherry colour with smoky black cherry and crushed strawberry aroma. The film is moderate leaving a lacy edge and slow tears as it recedes. The first sip has a blend of jammy cherry, rhubarb and tobacco with the finish ending with mostly dry bramble and red cherry. Medium-bodied, silky and lightly tart gives some sipper appeal - let air for twenty minutes to bring fruit forward balancing with herbal edge. Interesting with seasoned loin pork chops or pair with grilled chicken, a ham steak or salmon. Cellar up to four years or drink now - not likely to change. 83

ERRÁZURIZ ‘SINGLE VINEYARD’ SYRAH 2008,  Aconcagua Valley, Chile, 14.5% XD, #211938  $19.95  (Tasted May 15, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 2, 2011.  From the back label, ‘Hand selected grapes carefully vinified and oak-aged for 12 months’. and from  Jay Miller  (December, 2010) ‘in 38% French oak… exhibits an enticing nose of underbrush, earth notes, mineral, smoked meat, blueberry and black cherry - rated 88”.   My notes: There’s a purple hue to the ruby colour and the nose is distinctly peppery with concentrated blackberry mixed with earthy aromas. Full-bodied, smooth with a firm tannin to dry the palate and well balanced acid refreshing each swallow. Pair with savoury or spicy foods - went very well with seared pork ribs simmered in an onion and mushroom sauce. The finish is long ending with the drying tannin and mild berries. Cellaring for several years could integrate flavour and texture for a deeper, complex character.  91

PASSION RESERVE MALBEC 2008, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5% XD, #191775  $14.95  (Tasted May 2, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on April 16, 2011.  My notes: The back label states the use of sustainable practices producing this wine. Hopefully this also means a ‘natural wine’. Further it states, “expect luscious, intense fruit aromas that hint of ripe plums, cherries and berries with a massive mouth feel that is soft and silky with a long finish.”  Ooops! Got some cork floating at the rim - the film is firm with slow forming tears. The colour is deep with a granite hue to the ruby and the nose, when allowed to develop, has a blend of spicy prunes and black cherries. Pleasingly smoothe and surprisingly tannic as minty edged blackberry flavours become predominant. The dryness carries into the long fruit and slight liquorice finish. An interesting sipper - not too fruity - not too boring. Have with T-bone steak or prime rib, perhaps a tuna steak. Went well with roasted short ribs , sweet potoato and shallots. Cellaring for a few years is likely.  91

KLEINE ZALZE ‘CELLAR SELECTION’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009, Stellenbosch, S. Africa, 15.0% XD, #205799  $16.95  (Tasted May 22, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on March 19, 2011.  A partner to their Chardonnay (#096495, $15.95).  There’s a garnet hue to the deep ruby colour and the film is quite firm but quickly shedding slow tears. The nose has a soft moss scent to aromas of spicy black currants and berries and the first sip starts with a sharp sting, a mint seam and seedy blackberry flavours. The seeds continue to the finish and without appetizers ends dry as chalk. More appropriate with seasoned red meats: pepper steak or hamburger - an in your face sipper. Cellaring for a few years may soften some of the sharpness.  85

PETER LEHMANN WEIGHBRIDGE SHIRAZ 2008, Tanunda, South Australia, 14.5% D, #219170   $14.95  (Tasted May 22, 2011)  CS

A General listing and recommended by the WineoftheWeekend website.  My notes: WineoftheWeekend didn’t respond when I asked who provides tasting notes for the wines they recommend - a distributor is my guess. This has an aromatic blackberry nose complete with white pepper. The film is firm with many slow tears and the colour is a rich ruby - a true shiraz character so far. Full-bodied, a good nip with a burning spread across the tongue and bright flavours of red cherries and blackberry. The finish quickly changes to red currant, dry, woody and spicy. Pairing with a seasoned steak or bbq’d ribs is preferred as there’s a prominent heat accentuating the spice making this quite raw as a sipper. A drink now rather than cellaring. 85

MONTARIBALDI LA CONSOLINA BARBERA D'ASTI 2008, Piedmont, Italy, 13.0% D, #182212  $15.95  (Tasted May 26, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on December 11, 2010.  My notes: Decant or let air for an hour after opening to allow bottling aromas to settle. The nose then has a black cherry liqueur scent with a leather accent. A dense ruby colour and a swirl leaves a viscous film with lots of slow tears. Full-bodied, sharp with strong tannins and earthy and warm flavours of cherries, red and black. The finish is long carrying the flavours as tannins coat the palate and drying minerals take over. An interesting sipper for its rough acid and tannins. More of a meal red with grilled red meats. Cellaring for several years will likely mellow some sharpness - enough to improve is probable and not worth the wait.   85

TANDEM ‘PELOTON’ RED WINE 2007, Geyserville, California,  14.5% D, #686261  $19.95  (Tasted May 27, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on August 7, 2010.  My notes: Pete Kight, proprietor of Healdsburg’s Quivira Vineyards & Winery, recently acquired Tandem winery in partnership with the owner/winemaker Greg La Follette. The film of the 2007 takes a few seconds to release long, slow tears. The colour is a granite cast ruby and there’s no staining on the glass. The nose is mainly of spicy black currants with a leather accent.  Lots of bright acid, warmth, black- and red currant flavours in the first sip - tannins are immediately apparent and carry through to a long warm dry finish. Full-bodied and oaked this is a serious sipper - I’d say rough - better paired with grilled red meats. Cellaring for several more years would mellow acids and integrate tannins yet leave enough fruit to retain interest. A drink now if you don’t mind ‘rough‘.  90 Cellar
ARGENTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA 2008, 13.5% D, #164764  $12.95  (Tasted May 4, 2011)  CS

A General listing.  My notes:  A russet hue to a deep ruby and a firm film that sheds long slow tears meets the eye. The nose sniffs a faint spicy plum, a tad woody. The first sip confirms a woody edge to blackberry flavours with well developed tannins and a dry acid. Air for forty minutes or so to give flavour and aroma more time to open. The finish is mostly of wood with a slight liquorice and smooth texture. Not a sipper unless you like a medium-bodied old world style red. Lacking the black currant of a distinct cabernet sauvignon. Have with red meats, Polish, Italian sausage or grilled hamburger on a bun.  Not enough there to benefit from cellaring.  80

TAHBILK SHIRAZ 2006, Central Victoria, Australia, 14.0% XD, #214742  $19.95  (Tasted May 6, 2011)  CS

Release by Vintages on April 30, 2011. Rated 92 by  Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (June 2010) saying “…a deep garnet color, …a little funky/gamey to begin, with a core of ripe blackberries, earth and cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied with a medium to high level of fine tannins and medium to high acid, it is superbly balanced by concentrated fruit and gives a long spicy finish…”.  My notes: A garnet hued ruby and a film that’s firm and forms long legs as the rim breaks into lace. The nose is white pepper and blackberries accented with a herbal touch. Silky from the outset, medium-bodied where full- was anticipated, also a layer of berries, tannin and acid completed by a subtle cinnamon brightness to start a long finish ending balanced and very dry. Pair with bbq’d beef: ribs, steaks or T-bone complete with well seasoned Barbarian rub and glistening with juicy heat. Cellaring may bring a surprise and I’d chance it year by year.  90

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