School starts tomorrow (22-Aug) and I begin my education into an Interior Design Degree @ DCTC. I continue to explore some of the Ontario vinos I have brought with me.

This is part two of a four-part series on some 2009 vintages and one 2008 vintage from a 118yo family-owned winery.  Started in 1893 outside Stuttgart Germany, Herr Konzelmann, a restauranteur and expert in food&wine produced his personal supply.  Four generations later and half the world away, great-grandson to Friedrich Konzelmann: Herbert, continues to produce exceptional wines on their Niagara Peninsula estate: Konzelmann Estates.

Golden yellow and rich-looking in the glass, a mild floral nose with a faint hint of (of all things!) cabbage, the palate is full yet soft.  Gala apple and ripe pear flavors carry through to a surprising buttery lift on a moderate finish.

Quite possibly the nicest semi-dry Ontario Pinot Blanc I’ve tasted in a very long time.  LCBO ~$12/btl.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit – WineAlign. thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

So as I begin my second phase of education (Interior Design Degree @ DCTC), I continue to explore some of the Ontario vinos I have brought with me.

This entry begins a four-part series on several 2009 vintages and one 2008 vintage from a 118yo family-owned winery.  Started in 1893 outside Stuttgart Germany, Herr Konzelmann, a restauranteur and expert in food&wine produced his personal supply.  Four generations later and half the world away, great-grandson Friedrich Konzelmann: Herbert, continues to produce exceptional wines on their Niagara Peninsula estate: Konzelmann Estates.

This oak-aged Merlot Reserve 2009, Niagara Peninsula VQA displays a greater complexity than most I’ve tasted of late.  The full nose of this rich ruby vino exhibits essences of sweet ripe cherry and cracked black pepper.  The 13.5%alc.vol is barely noticeable on the palate as flavors of cherry and mulberry and soft smooth tannin lead to a warm lingering finish.

The finish is of particular note.  Most dry reds are not very conducive to the pairing with most chocolate.  I could detect the presence of some chocolate flavoring in this lingering finish, so I decided to try some of the Belgian-made Caribbean dark chocolate in my secret stash.  Not so secret really as its available on Amazon… The affect of the bitter-sweet dark chocolate with the vino is something I can’t fully describe.  You’ll just have to try it.

Available at the LCBO ~$12/btl.

Cheers!!

~tvb

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**image credit: Me!  I took this image myself with my camera phone, ran it through a photo editing platform, then uncapped the bottle and went nuts.  thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership of the depiction and republishes the likeness under fair use provisions for review and critique.

Its been a while since last I was in Ontario, so for the next little while, I’ll be focusing my palate on what’s growing right outside my back door.

As many of you may already know, Riesling is a very versatile grape with wines ranging from lip-smackingly dry to succulent and rarefied Icewine. Your vinoboy prefers the drier side of the vine.

Brilliant straw-colored in the glass. The nose is definitely citrus-forward but there’s a delicate undertone of something resembling wild roses.  The forward palate is definitely citrus-based and tangy; the floral notes reappear on the soft finish.  Yummy.

Be sure to chill this vino rather well – there’s a sourness that comes out when it gets close to room temperature.  This would be one of those times to crack out the ice bucket.

Flattened chicken convection-roasted served aside garlic mashed potatoes and almond green bean, this dry Riesling was amazing.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit – The Winery.  thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and republishes image under fair use provisions for review and critique.

One of the most consistently delicious and pedigreed wines I’ve been keeping very detailed notes on is an affordable junior-level vino from one of the most recognizable vintners in the world: Louis Jadot. Its trademark frieze of Bacchus and uniquely colored label stands out on any shelf in any vino purveyor’s shoppe.

Though my tastings have only dated from the 2004 vintage, this historic vino travels back in time to the early 1800’s.  The winery has been passed down through the last 200 years to various parties whose best interests ensure the sustainability or the vineyards and most importantly the consistency of the final product.

(V) 2004 – the beginning of my tasting was almost the end.  A prominent barnyard aroma, slight cherry flavor yet thin on the palate and no finish at all.

(V) 2005 – dark and ominous in the glass, the faint layer of earthiness is rather pleasing with a strawberry essence on top.  Berry-forward palate with the earth on moderate finish.

(V) 2006 – We went through two bottles of this amazing vino at an out-of-the-way bistro during a trip to Paris. Took another back to the hotel for the evening.  Smooth palate, flavors of raspberry and cherry with a silky finish. Great for breakfast sopped up with day-old baguette. Best bottle yet!

(V) 2007 – Predominantly peppery on the nose, tangy strawberry flavor, bright acidity –  deliciously gulpable!  Almost Nouveau in style.

(V) 2008 – Spicy cherry on the nose with hint of peppercorn.  Rather light-bodied and finishes with a hint of anise.  Strange flavor profile for this type of vino but still drinkable.

(V) 2009 – Crushed strawberry and barnyard on the nose, lively acidity on the mid-weight palate, distinctive peppercorn finish.

Prices range from ~$8/btl to as high as ~$17/btl as your local vino merchant

Six years, six bottles of the same vino produced from vines as old as 200 years. Consistent and enjoyable and ready for the release of 2010’s offering.   I have several other vinos with years of detailed notes like this; look for another retrospective sometime soon.

A Santé!!

~tvb

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**image credit: via WineAlign.  thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

This is my very first vino from a vintner whose vines, but for a small body of water; practically straddle appellations.  Examining the viticulture map of California, I can see Sonoma Valley begins just across San Pablo Bay from San Francisco.

Sterling has labeled this vino as Central Coast so the grapes used to produce this Chardonnay are from the vineyards south of San Fran.  So there we have it – chilling in the fridge to ~14°C, grilled chicken seasoned with fresh sage & oregano, roasted smashed potatoes with Mediterranean sea salt, and sauteed haricots vert.

The deep golden color in the glass is a prelude to light scents of butter-cream, pineapple and orange.  The palate is full and mouth-filling, the tropical flavors carrying through to a decent finish, though the pale haze of muddled oak creates a complexity better suited to a mid-palate rather than an aftertaste.    LCBO ~$15/blt.

Humbly, your vinoboy places a “Recommended” check mark on it.  I am not exactly a lover of Chardonnay in-and-of-itself and tend to be extraordinarily picky. The benchmark set by V Sattui’s Caneros Chardonnay makes for quite a challenge for most other Chard’s.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit: Google Image search results.  thevinoboy.com makes no claims to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

In my studies with the Vintners Quality Alliance, there lies within Ontario several “sub-appellations”: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelee Island, Prince Edward County just to name a few.  Grapes from the vines cultivated in the unique soils/terroirs of these sub-appellations carry with them the essence of everything in this wondrous dirt.

The sub-appellation of Costères de Nimes within the major region of Rhône is one such example in that most southern part of France.

Your vinoboy suggests slightly chilling this wine before tasting, but PLEASE not too much.  Intensely colored, floral and herbaceous nose, powerful mouth feel and an open, refreshing airy gasp of dried lavender on the finish.

The structure and balance of this vino makes it a perfect pair for exotically-spiced grilled chicken and veggies.  We’re actually crusting our chicken breasts with the famous Saffron restaurant’s Chef Sameh Wadi Spice Trail Exotic Blend Middle-Eastern blend.

LCBO/Vintages ~$14/btl   Cheers to Summer!!!

~tvb

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**image credit: republished via WineAlign – thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership; image used under fair use provisions for review and critique

Fear not, dear readers, I am very much still sipping and taking plenty of notes.

I am in the middle of an huge re-location from Toronto to Minneapolis!

For now, everything is packed away for the trip.

Once settled, I have a good dozen bottles to write review for; stay tuned!

Cheers.

~tvb

 

I’ve not sipped any bubbles since my Yuletide binge began with a ghastly Prosecco on Dec 12, 2010 and toasted the new year with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin at the stroke of midnight, January 1st, 2011.

This special occasion is in celebration of the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I’m pursuing some international education opportunities and moving to the mid-western USA to be with my beloved partner of almost 9 years.

Why Mumm Napa?  We’re planning a winery tour for March 2012 so I thought it a good idea to explore offerings from wineries in and around the northern edge of the Napa Valley.

Once the mousse subsided, the nose is slightly yeasty, slightly spicy, and slightly floral. The dance of bubbles on the tongue assisted in delivering mid-weight mouth-feel, faint flavors of melon and lemongrass, decent acidity and a flat finish.  I was totally unimpressed with the lack of yeastiness that failed to carry through to the finish – ESPECIALLY from a vino produced in the méthode Classique.

Drinkable to be sure, but a vinoboy recommendation, not really. Pricing in Ontario, like certain Australian vinos, is injurious. I’ve seen this vino in the USA at ~$20/btl.  Here in Toronto at the LCBO, this bottle of non-vintage California Sparkling wine cost me ~$39!!

~tvb

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images credit – The Winery.  thevinoboy.com makes no claims to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

Oh my, where to begin!

I drank the whole bottle myself once this vino was uncorked and decanted.  Already aged 6 years, the tannin and pop has mellowed all on its own to be sure, but having read somewhere that this particular Niagara Escarpment Winery’s VQA-certified wines were bold prepared me to take such a step prior to drinking.

Even after an hour in my favorite decanter, the aroma was still smooth and appealing with wafts of black pepper, cedar and hints of cocoa.  The palate was lip-smackingly dry; the full-bodied flavors of chocolate, cherries and a creamy smoothness brings to mind a dense, not-too-sweet cake.

The finish was dry to be sure with a racy edge that had me polishing off the bottle and licking the last drops from my class.

~$15/blt at the LCBO, supplies are dwindling so if you find it, get it and either drink now or cellar for just a few more years.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**images credit: WineAlign – thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and republishes image under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

I’m not a huge lover of Sauvginon Blanc but was so astonished by the Spy Valley 2009 that I reviewed a little while ago, trying a vintage from a neighboring winery seemed like a good idea.  I love New Zealand wine and will choose one over most other countries’ vinos. We all know that meso-climate varies greatly by even a few hundred feet; so 16miles inland from Hawkesbury along the floor of the Wairau Valley lies Wither Hills.

The nose of this Wairau Valley Pinot Gris is lusciously floral, honey and nectarines.  The body seems very full with its 12% alc/vol producing thick and long legging within the glass.  The palate is feels very rich and sweet-tasting with the nectarine foremost on the tongue.  Not quite sure I am all that appreciative of the density; the almost oily quality leaves a semi-dry smackiness on the roof of the mouth.

I sampled this vino all by itself on June 18th 2011, sitting on my balcony in the afternoon sun watching cars and motorcycles whizzing by.  Refreshing in this context, I’m not sure what foods other than spicy Asian would do it justice.  Very much like a Gewurztraminer in this aspect.

I’m sort of on the fence about its recommendation which surprises me – given my love of NZ…   Try it for yourself at the LCBO/Vintages ~$20/btl

Cheers.

~tvb

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**image credit – The Winery.  thevinoboy makes no claims to ownership and republishes under Fair Use provisions for for review and critique.

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