Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wine Tasting Class #4

Last Monday's class started off with a surprise visit from a gentleman from Wayne Gretzky's No 99 Estate Winery. I have to admit, I've never been a fan of celebrity wines. I guess I just always felt that people would buy the wine just because of the name and that the wine itself would just be mediocre. I've even been at the LCBO, picked up the bottle (which has a very nice and simple label), only to put it back as soon as I saw his name. Don't get me wrong, I love hockey and I don't dislike Mr Gretzky. But I've just never associated him with wine, and therefore, could never picture it being good.

On Monday night I learned that Wayne does not intend to go out there and make a wine that's going to win awards (although some have). He simply wants to make a good, affordable, Ontario wine that's easy to drink as you sit back, relax and enjoy your evening. He's not an expert, but is learning as he goes. And the more he learns, the better his wines get – his winemakers know what they're doing and make sure the wine reflects Wayne's expectations.

We tried a light bodied Sauvignon Blanc, a Merlot and a great medium to heavy bodied Cab Merlot. We also tried Creekside's Laura Red which is a blend of 5 varieties. All were really good. Ok, I will not pass by these with my nose up again.

The rest of our class was labeled Extreme Wine Tasting. The goal was to make us really see the difference between extremes, which should help us in picking stuff out later on. I wasn't convinced after the first round. I could feel and taste the differences, but it wasn't as revolutionary as I thought it would be. I did leave feeling much smarter than I did going in though.

Round 1
No oak vs oak; light bodied vs med-heavy; pale yellow vs medium-dark yellow

Santa Margheritta Pinot Grigio CSPC 106450 $16.95 09
Sight: Pale yellow, borderline watery
Aromas: Citrus, green apple, tart fruit, light cantaloupe, pear, melon
Weight: Light to medium bodied
Acid: Light to medium acidity
Taste: Citrus, pear, minerality
Finish: Short


Coppola Diamond Chardonnay CSPC 708305 $22.95 08

Sight: Light to medium yellow
Aromas: Tropical fruit, butter (malolactic fermentation), toasty, vanilla, caramel, baked apple, over ripe banana
Weight: Medium bodied (oiliness)
Acid: Light to medium (never high with malolactic fermentation)
Taste: Banana, butter, toffee, apple, tropical fruit, coconut (American oak), smokiness, charred, burnt, baked apple, stone fruit, clove, vanilla
Finish: Medium

Round 2
Light acidity vs medium to high acidity; slightly sweet vs bone dry

Riesling Munsterer Kappellenburg CSPC 721928 $18.95 08 (I went out and bought 2 bottles after our tasting. I didn't think I liked sweeter whites but this wine was delish!)
Sight: Pale yellow
Aromas: Apricot, citrus, honey, melon, diesel, burnt match, green apple, floral
Weight: Light to medium bodied.
Also had a light effervescent sensation on the tongue which can mean it was planted on stone or slate.
Acid: Low with some residual sugar
Taste: Honey, apricot, melon (honeydew), minerals, floral, peach
Finish: Medium


Jackson Estate Sauvignon Blanc CSPC 963124 $17.95 08
Sight: Pale yellow
Aromas: Asparagus, mineral, citrus, peach, honey, passion fruit, white grapefruit, gooseberry
Weight: Light to medium bodied
Acid: Medium to high acidity
Taste: Grapefruit, honey, tropical fruit, mango, papaya, citrus, lime, mineral
Finish: Short to medium (excellent after serving garlic to cleanse palate.

Round 3
Light red vs dark; light tannins vs medium to high; light bodied vs medium to heavy
Combe aux Jacques Beaujolais CSPC 365924 $15.95 08
Sight: Light to medium red with purple and very faint brick hues
Aromas: Bubble gum, caramel, strawberry jam, red shoestring licorice, candied banana puffs, dried bananas, candy floss, ripe plum, young sweet red fruit
Weight: Light bodied
Tannins: Light tannins, lots of acidity
Taste: Sour cherry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry
Finish: Short


CH Pipeau St Emillion CSPC 564179 $29.00 06
Sight: Dark red with brick hue
Aromas: Tobacco, leather, tar, plum, really dark red fruit, coffee/espresso bean, smoky, bacon, smoked meat
Weight: Medium bodied
Tannins: Medium to high
Taste: Cherry, red fruit, plum, baker's chocolate, burnt coffee, leather, black licorice, dark chocolate, cigar, tobacco, charred wood, smoky, cured meat
Finish: Medium


Holly Bruns said...

Yay for trying new things. I found that going through the program made me open to ANY wine.

Charlotte said...

Sounds like a great course! I had no idea Gretzky made his own wine. I also have mixed feelings about celebrity wines but if they have a good team supporting them the result can be tasty.

The Benny's said...

Burnt match? Really? Interresting
BTW have you tried the Stuntman Stu wine?