Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Wow!  I can’t believe seventeen weeks has elapsed ALREADY!!!  I am very proud to declare my first term of design school complete and thanks to hard work, focus and the exclusion of all else, my GPA is 3.75; a good solid ‘A’.  Now that I have three weeks off until the start of the next term (two weeks actually as i’ll be celebrating NYE on the beach in the Bahamas…), i have time to FINALLY update this vinoblog.

As you may be very much aware, I consider myself much more of a red boy than a white boy and actively search for barrel-aged reds.  Why?  Barrel aging imparts much more depth in the overall finished product and enhances the varietal qualities of the grape.  Shiraz especially.

Characteristic aromas of black pepper and clove are most prevalent on the nose as I swirl this medium ruby vino in my new ‘stemless’ Riedel Syrah/Shiraz glass. (STEMLESS?!?!! But you’ve always maintained that the hand warms the wine too quickly and destroys the flavour!) My behaviours in wine tasting have evolved over these last several months and its sunken into my thick skull that the glass doesn’t have to be filled to the upward taper all at once.  Greater enjoyment of the vino in smaller amounts is much more a rewarding vino experience than gulping a full portion.  I LOVE my stemless shiraz glasses!!!

True to the grape, this shiraz is succulently dry on the palate with soft plummy tannins and that yummy pepperiness resonating throughout.  The finish is looooooooooooooooong indeed with a subtle sweetness that echoes the barrel aging.  As an aside note, this bottle was purchased some time in May of this year and has been laying in my new cellar since I moved.  This short of a cellaring after release may not have had any affect on the wine.  As it was totally delicious, I’m not going to complain that its taken me this long to get at it!!

Now that I’m in Minnesota, finding Ontario wine is next to impossible so I’ll be consuming my last bottle of Ontario vino over the weekend.  Look forward to the fourth and final installment of the Konzelmann Estates series very soon.

This barrel aged shiraz is going to be missed, though i’m sure you’ll find it at your favorite LCBO.

Cheers!

~tvb

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image credit – ME!  I snapped the image with my LG Android phone, fixed it up for web use and here it is.  thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and reproduces this product shot under fair use provisions for review and critique.

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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.

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.

There exists in southern Ontario’s Niagara Region a number of cooperatives of grape producers who are reasonably skilled at blending freshly-pressed juices together to produce modestly priced, finished wines for sale at kiosks within local grocery store chains. One such cooperative is the collection of vineyards known as Hillebrand Estates. These small boutiques are just beyond the checkouts and close to the exits. You can’t help but pass them on the way out to your car.

“Oh! Lets get a bottle of wine for dinner,” she exclaims as you both approach the shop.

“What a great idea, Sweetie!” you agree smartly. “What are we making tonight?”

“Well, dear,” she says studying the contents of the shopping cart. “We’ve got the makings of chicken a la king in here…”

“Darling, you’re a genius! Everyone knows white wine goes with white meat!! ” You reach for the first clear bottle you spy and read the label. Hillebrand Sauvignon Blanc

The astute clerk, trained in just this sort of situation, notices your random bottle snatching.

“You must be preparing a turkey dish, Sir,” the clerk opens the conversation.

“No, actually, chicken a la king!” the missus exclaims proudly.

The clerk glows at Mr Man. “You must know your wines then, Sir as that Hillebrand Sauv Blanc is perfect for white-meat dishes with creamy sauces!!”

He raises an eyebrow.  “How so?”

“Its flavors of fresh apple and pear and lively acidity match nicely to cleanse the palate between rich, creamy mouthfuls of pasta and chicken. You must be a fabulous cook!”

“Ahem!!” the missus interjects.  “He couldn’t boil an egg!! I think he just got lucky picking up that bottle.”

“Don’t be fooled by this wine’s modest $9.95 price tag, ma’am.  Chill the bottle for a couple hours and share a glass as you prepare dinner. Once the meal is set, pour two glasses and enjoy!”

“What if we don’t finish it with dinner?” Mr Man asks.

“Not to worry, a few of those fresh strawberries in a glass and a dash of that ginger ale will make wonderful spritzers later on when you watch the late-night movie.”

Mr and Mrs finally agree on something and nod in unison” “Niiiice!!”

~tvb

Another white review? Yes and I have to share!!

I sampled Inniskillin’s Riesling Reserve 2003 five or so years ago and was blown away by its beauty. Back then, this wine was a trip back in time to when I first visited London England and bought a tin of Lemon Drop candy from Mark’s & Spencer for 45p.  The fragrant scent of sweet lemons and powdered sugar floods my nostrils even now! Until I regain my composure and…

…sling my palate onto this 2008 Riesling Reserve.  Though five years is small change in the life of good rootstock, the subtle changes in macro- and micro- climate, a late Indian Summer allowing for harvesting well into the late autumn, and a few months on lees has shifted the characteristics only slightly. Inniskillin is  known for using stainless steel barrels for most of their wines – the truest personality of the grape comes through with no confusion.

Delicate wafts of freshly zested limes hold hands with peach blossoms and dance a gossamer-light ballet on the tongue! A crisp acidity accompanies a slightly mineral finish.

For fun, try making your own sushi at home – this wine would be perfect with sushi-grade salmon, red snapper, surf clam and white tuna! Mmmm!!!

Cheers!

~tvb

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