Alan’s April 2003 Vintages Release
Release dates April
5th & 19th,
to the success of last years event, Classics Catalogue is hosting a
”taste before you buy” evening at the London Club. The
scheduled date is May 21st. The cost of admission has increased over last
year to $95.00. Apparently there were complaints from folks last year who
felt there was not enough food served during the event. The London Club
Chefs will be making sure there will be more than ample victuals this year
for everyone. At this price it is still a deal. Last year most of the
wines were great, and let’s face it, the opportunity to taste wines of
this caliber in London is slim. Best way to get hold of tickets is to call
People in and round London that have dined at La
Casa and the Black Trumpet restaurants will miss the presence
of owner Syl Bassaco. His dedication to providing fabulous food and
incredible ambiance never waned. Syl passed away last Wednesday. I have
fond memories of sitting discussing the merits of many a wine with him.
When I open the fabulous Roberto Voerzio Dolcetto I will drink a
glass for my friend.
As usual I was pressed for time,
but due to other commitments, I spent my power hour of tasting in the
early morning just minutes after the corks were popped! Fans of Ozzie
juice should enjoy the d' Arenburg release; the reds of Chateau des
Charmes in Niagara showed nicely too.
Wines from the April 5th.
395855 CABERNET/MERLOT 1999 $
24.95, Niagara Peninsula, Henry of Pelham.
This seemed to be more focused and a much happier wine than when I tasted
it last November. Now it showed dusty cocoa, mushrooms, faint hints of
dill but the principal aromas were blueberry, redcurrant and cassis. The
finish showed good grip and it should hold well for a while.
586412 PINOT NOIR RESERVE 2000
$ 16.95, Niagara Peninsula, Inniskillin.
Decent ruby tone, oak seemed to overwhelm at first but sweet spicy cola,
strawberry and raspberry notes shone through. Well structured, a little
tingly on the finish.
346270 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1999
$ 79.95, Napa Valley, Shafer.
A rare treat to sip this solidly contrasted plush and velvety Cab. Again
the oak seemed overwhelming at first, maybe I am not used to tasting this
early in the day, but the massive aromas of coffee, plum and the hint of
eucalyptus soon stifled the wood. Wonderful flavours of black cherry and
chocolate left a warm and fuzzy feeling on the palate.
963256 CHÂTEAU LYNCH-MOUSSAS
2000 $ 49.95, Pauillac.
This was my first taste of the “big boy”
2000 Bordeaux wines. Quite an impressive nose, full of lead pencil, damp
leaves and layers of blackcurrant, black cherry and raspberries. The fine
teeth coating tannin left a dusty chocolate finish.
954156 CHÂTEAU VILLEMAURINE
2000 $ 49.95, Saint-Émilion.
If I was to start collecting 2000 Bordeaux, I would take the latter over
this somewhat lackluster bottling. It was pleasant, hints of tobacco,
chocolate and berry aromas. Medium bodied on the palate and the finish was
971341 'LES GRANDS AUGUSTINS'
2001 $ 15.95, Unfiltered, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Tardieu-Laurent.
I picked up several bottles of this from the 2000 vintage and tasting one
recently proved it was a wise investment. At this price I’ll stick a
couple from this vintage away too. A sweet heady aroma of blueberry and
blackberry gave way to a smoky layer of spicy plum and mushroom. It was
meaty, fleshy and tannic but the fruit outlasted all other components on
981761 BAROLO RISERVA 1995 $
69.95, 'Rocche', Cantina Terre del Barolo.
The color of this middle aged Barolo depicted that of one much older. The
rim had an orange/brown tone to it. The nose was a treat, full of cheese
wax, dried mushroom, coffee grounds, dried tangerine peel, balsawood,
lavender and sage. Under this barrage of funk the sweet red fruit opened
up across the palate to offer a very pleasant wine. Earthy flavours
coupled with noticeable tannin on the close. The premature colour puzzled
719591 DOLCETTO D'ALBA 2001 $
19.95, Roberto Voerzio.
My textbook says Dolcetto is soft, light, fruity and fragrant. My textbook
in this case is wrong. This had superb depth to the inky purple colour.
There were multidimensional aromas of plum, damson, green peppercorns,
burnt almonds and black raspberry. It was chewy, echoing all the fruit
flavours and finished long with chocolate and licorice candy. This I gotta
'ALION' 1998 $ 54.95, Ribera del Duero, Bodegas y Vinedos Alion.
This is one wine I would have liked to taste had it been open for
twenty-four hours. It was tightly wound offering hints of dark plum,
blueberry and sweet red cherry. Its outcome on the palate was slight as it
was really closed and tight. I imagine this will do great things in years
976670 MARQUÉS DE CACERES 1992
$ 34.95, Gran Reserva, Rioja.
The fruit was still holding but barely. I noted a touch of oxidization,
which others present did not. It was a mixed bag of currant, grilled sweet
pepper, sandalwood, saddle leather and chocolate. Still some dusty and
spicy tannin to guide the pruney fruit through the finish
April 19 Release
MERITAGE 2000 $ 24.95, Dark Horse Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, Inniskillin.
A fleshy nose full of lively sweet cherry, dark fruit, plum and herbs de
Provence. It was fairly full bodied and offered up lots of fruit flavours.
A racy streak of dark couvature chocolate laced tannin took control on the
finish. Should be a really nice wine when it comes around.
382325 CABERNET SAUVIGNON
RESERVE 1998 $ 39.90, Sonoma, Rodney Strong.
Lots of sweet vanilla, plum and leathery notes on the nose. Spicy minty
blackcurrant fruit was overwhelmed by the hard and slightly astringent
948240 SYRAH 2000 $ 23.65,
'South Ridge', Paso Robles, Prod. & Btld. J. Lohr.
Warm and welcoming nose of sweet cake spice, lavender, violet and
blackberry. Meaty and mouth filling. The long sweet blackberry jam style
finish gave plenty of bang for the buck.
945279 CHÂTEAU LA CROIX
ST-ANDRÉ 2000 $ 35.30, Lalande de Pomerol.
Rich deep and shiny dark colour, pleasing nose of red and black fruits,
touch of smoke and lead pencil. Dry full finish of fuzzy plum skin
961755 'LES HAUTS DE BOUISSET'
2000 $ 15.70, La Clape, Coteaux du Languedoc.
This opaque and concentrated wine was one of the darkest of the day!
Lavender exploded from the herb-laden nose. It also showcased mineral,
cigar leaf and morels. There was lots of fruit buried beneath the earthy
aromas that took the lead on the palate and carried well into the
975052 CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL
1999 $ 64.95, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Wow, holy sheep *&%@ batman! I would not recommend this to a newbie or
the faint of heart. Once the wicked “les mémoires de mouton” blew
off, aromas of blackberry, cinnamon, green tea, morels and leather became
evident. I noted a touch of sulfur but it too diminished after a few
swirls. Lovely texture, thick and incredibly rich, red berry on the
finish. This is also released in half bottles for $ 32.95
2000 $ 59.95, Château la Nerthe.
Heaps of vanilla, milk chocolate and red fruit on the nose. Creamy
texture, finished with red cherry and cola.
'MAZZANO' 1997 $ 97.50, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Masi.
Almost port like, an inky hedonistic wine laced with lead pencil, lavender
and dark satiny chocolate. It was luscious on the palate showing red
cherries, wild mushrooms, cardamom, almonds, dark fruits and a raisin
sweetness. The palate was full rich and complex. It was work to drink
this. Try poaching a lobe or two of Foie Gras in a cup or two of this
wine. Once cooked, skim the rendered fat from the pan and mix the
remaining wine with a little caramelized sugar. Slice the Foie gras and
serve it on braised fennel. Coat with the caramelized Amarone and you have
The wines of Chateau des Charmes -
the April 19th Release
453415 CABERNET FRANC 1999 $
24.95, St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula.
Deep ruby colour, shoe leather, sage, red sweet peppers and chocolate on
the nose. Lovely texture with solid fruit tones and good balance on the
935957 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1999
$ 24.95, St. David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula.
Again a good deep ruby hue, nose full of earthy and sage aromas. Sweet
black currant and leather soon became of note. Both dusty chocolate and a
touch of bell pepper on the finish.
453431 MERLOT 1999 $ 24.95, St.
David's Bench, Niagara Peninsula.
My favourite of the group. Loads of cigar leaf, tobacco, forest floor, red
cherry and mushroom. Great flavour profile of ripe raspberry and
strawberry. Great balance, fruit took the lead well into the finish.
The wines of d’Arenberg
the April 5th Release
'DEAD ARM' SHIRAZ 2000 $ 42.50, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
Possibly my favourite wine of the morning. Fabulous extraction, blackberry
coulis, black olives and cassis on the nose. A monster on tongue, lively
and concentrated but so well balanced. Finished lingered long.
943456 'HIGH TRELLIS' CABERNET
SAUVIGNON 2000 $ 19.65, McLaren Vale.
Tasted corked to me.
974816 'IRONSTONE PRESSINGS'
1999 $ 42.65, Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
There were lovely hints of black licorice, sandalwood, blueberry and
medicinal red raspberry. Well rounded and clean on the mid palate and a
lengthy prickly finish.
942904 'THE D'ARRY'S ORIGINAL'
2000 $ 18.95, Shiraz/Grenache.
Lots of sweet ripe red fruit. Hits of nutmeg and
spice, red currant and sweet red cherry on the close. Best QPR deal of the
984021 'THE FOOTBOLT' SHIRAZ
2000 $ 18.95, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
Nose was complex, offering notes of mineral, thyme and chocolate. Lighter
bodied than the latter finishing with a jammy note chocolate. Maybe a
little on the sweet side for my taste.
Kerr's Home Page and Main Index