Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bordeaux blend battle

One thing that I enjoy more than drinking wine is sharing it and educating others about wine. This weekend my family (Mom, Dad, City Sis, and my wife) went into Toronto to see the play War Horse. Great play! My wife and I then hosted my family at our house. We had flank steak with potatoes and roasted vegetables, but enough of the menu, lets get on with the set up for this battle.

Being from Ontario, Canada, I am always looking to see how Niagara wines will match up with other wines out there. To an extent, I believe that Canada can produce some great wine that can rival the world. While there is a lot of terrible Canadian wine being produced out there, there is also some fantastic wines if you know where to look. By living only an hour away from a majority of Niagara wineries, I am beginning to know where to look.

One winery that I really enjoy is Alvento Winery in Vineland, Ontario. This winery produces exceptional Bordeaux blends (Both right and left bank), a Nebbiolo, and a Vionier. This night we compared their Right bank Bordeaux blend (Sondra 2006) against Chateau Petris 2008 St.Emilion. (Not to get mistake with right bank super star winery Petrus!!) Both wines were very similar in their blend, here is the run down.
- Alvento Sondra 2006 (90% Merlot & 10% Cab Franc)
- Chateau Petris 2008 (80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cab Franc)

They were very similar in colour. The Bordeaux was a bit deeper (purple), while the Sondra was a darker brick red. I would imagine that the two years of difference could affect the colour as well as then use of Cabernet Sauignon in the Petris.

They both had that vanilla and dark fruit smell that Merlot is known for. The Alvento also had a cedar/tobacco aroma. The aromas in both wines were dominated by Merlot.

Both wines came out of the gate with black fruits (plum, black berries etc). The Alvento came out to be more acidic (Either due to the cooler climate or a poor vintage). The Patris had more of a backbone due to the cabernet. It was strong, powerful, yet lasting on the finish. Both of these wines had the smooth merlot taste to them. In the end it came down to what your wine preference is.

And the winner is......

Chateau Petris 2008
- Not by much though, the Sondra put up a good fight. My mother preferred the Sondra because she is not a fan of tannic wines. Overall everyone else gave the nod to the St. Emilion wine, but all were very impressed with how the Sondra showed.

Overall this was a great learning experience which was enjoyed by all. Looking forward to trying comparisons!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do I Enjoy Aged Wine?

It just dawned upon me. Do I enjoy aged wine? This thought came to me recently while in my wine cellar, admiring my collection that I have garnered over the past year.

I want to know if I should be purchasing wine to age. As well as if the wine would be worth the wait, as some of the wines that are in my cellar have not yet reached their drinkability window. So to test this out I searched for 2 things.
- A wine that can be aged. In this case the Bordeaux fits the bill.
- A wine with at least 10 years of age. Hard to find in Ontario without paying a large amount.

What did I get? 2002 Chateau les Ormes de Pez ($59) Just waiting for a good night to pop it open. Tasting notes to come! *** Just saw that LCBO will be having the 1996 in their ISD stores at the end of May! Might have to make an exchange!