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Morey, Gabbiano, Stellenzicht, Crasto, Gaudium, Ro


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Notes from the monthly blind tasting lunch – a lot of whites this time – must be impending summer that brings them out.

2004 Lang Vineyards Soaring Eagle Viognier – this one was new to all of us – one of the relatively few Viogniers made in BC and from a new label of an old winery. We were quite surprised and puzzled – lots of fruit and a touch of lemon in the nose, and some pineapple on palate (when I got to read the label, it said ‘pineapple in the mouth’ – a label writer that actually tasted the wine – amazing!). Not varietally true or typical, but a well made wine nonetheless.

2003 Naiades Old Vines Verdejo – very enticing vanilla and caramel nose, showing the complexity that normally comes with age, yet obviously a young crisp, tasty wine. Excellent with the grilled sardine first course.

2002 Marc Morey et Fils Chassagne Montrachet Virondots – a readily identifiable Chardonnay nose with mineral and some pear notes, smooth and full in the mouth, ending with clean acidity. The owner commented that it seemed to have shut down a bit since last tasting, but I thought it performed very well.

2002 Daniel Lenko Old Vines Chardonnay – heady company for an Ontario chard to be keeping, even a small artisanal operation (sales only at the winery), but it held up its head quite well. There was some acidity evident in the nose – not volatile, but of the citrus sort, and a hint of oxidation there and in the mouth, but quite subtle. Light in weight and showing tropical fruit on palate, I thought it best in the nose as it tailed off a bit quickly for me.

2002 Stellenzicht Semillon – a Cape wine that was hard to place, especially as it wasn’t a typical varietal for the area. Some colour, a nice oaky nose, not obvious Semillon, with a touch of dustiness, and supple and long in the mouth. With a lovely salad course of seared spiced tuna and (lots of) avocado.

1990 Castello Gabbiano Merlot – early days for Super Tuscans (not all that common back in the 80s). Bricky edges, a pongy nose that cleaned up (some discussion about possible corkiness – it wasn’t), atypical with no merlot characteristics, smooth in the mouth and with an old style acidic bite at the end.

1986 Sociando Mallet – we were all over the 80s trying to place this dark coloured obvious Bordeaux, as it had too much tannin for 83 or 85, too little fruit showing yet for 82 or 1990 – I finally guessed 1988. When it was revealed, it was clear why it had been misleading as this wine is always on the tannic side and needs more time than most to harmonise.

1999 Fonseca Garrafeira ‘TE’ – made from Castelau and cabernet, this wine showed a sweet floral nose with a hint of volatile acidity, and was still tight, tannic and long in the mouth. Will repay cellaring. Served with a Portuguese soup with great chunks of all sorts of meat – sort of a choucroute garni without the sauerkraut!

2000 Quinta da Portela da Vilarica Touriga Nacional – not familiar wityh this one, but glad to make its acquaintance. Big ripe sweet berry nose, weighty and sweet in the mouth, with good concentration and length. Nice.

2000 Quinta do Crasto Reserva –best vintage in a long time produced an excellent wine – sweet bright fruit in the nose, well structured and tasty, there is no rush on this wine, but it is hard to resist now.

2000 Gaudiam (Marques de Caceres) – a Tempranillo cab blend, this bottle had the best nose I’d experienced with this wine, a sweet fruit and baby powder amalgam with a hint of cocoa that was quite interesting. Flavours well integrated and right in prime time. Served with food.

1993 Rosemount Balmoral Syrah – warm fruity nose, and rather elegant on palate, with very good length, but not, I was glad to see, easily identifiable as an Aussie wine as the fruit wasn’t too ripe and overblown as so many that we get in North America are. This one was tannic and quite high in acidity on release but has mellowed very nicely with age and is at peak now.

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