Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
Saturday, September 19, 2015
|Do you know this man???|
Let's assume for a moment that you have never heard the name Paul Hobbs - if that is indeed the case I'll bet you know some of the wineries where the wines have bore his signature: Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Simi, Peter Michael, Fisher, Lewis, Catena and a multitude of others. Some of these wines he has made directly, others he has consulted on the making of. He event has his hands here in Ontario (Stratus) - Paul's reach and influence is felt everywhere.
His past is what made him today and his most famous story is how he came to work with Catena: he started consulting in 1989 and Nicolas Catena helped Paul start his own winery in California: "he was a great businessman," said Paul of Nicolas, "I was the wine guy; he helped me with the business side, I helped him make wine."
Today there is the winery that bears Paul's name, his Argentine project, Vina Cobos, and his newest project in his home state of New York with 65 acres on Seneca Lake (opening soon).
Today during the lunch and tasting we tasted wines from the two major Hobbs projects (California & Argentina) and hopefully, the next time he comes through town, he'll have stuff from New York ... Here we go:
|We have come to the church of Paul Hobbs let us pray:|
|Paul Hobbs 2013 Russian River Chardonnay ($54.95)|
12 months French oak, 47% new
Delicate vanilla cream, lemon drop, good acidity, and creamy mid-palate;
a lovely sipper: soft and silky on the finish.
|Vina Cobos 2013 Felino Malbec ($19.95)|
100% Malbec from a semi-desert climate
Aromas of blueberry and cassis; Palate is smoky with black currant,
vanilla and spice - needs time to smooth out those harsh edges.
Rating: *** 1/2+
|And he rests his case ... can I here an "Amen"|
For more wine reviews and related articles go to www.michaelpinkuswinereview.com,while there sign up for Michael's free bi-weekly newsletter.
Is there any possible way to put into words the amazing wines and breadth of history that packed the room on this day, as the Primium Familiae Vini (PFV) came to Toronto to wine, dine and ... for lack of a good rhyming word ... impress the hell out of all in attendance.
These are all names you'd recognize, no matter what level of wine drinker you happen to be. Names like Pol Roger, Drouhin, Muller, Torres, Antinori, Perrin, Rothschild and more: 11 in total, and the experience and history was enough to put one in awe. So instead of waxing poetic about the what and who let's take a simultaneous look at the lunch (held at the Four Seasons Hotel) and the wines (one from each family).
|You know it's gonna be a good party|
when this is the appetizer wine:
Pol Roger 2002 Sir Winston Churchill
biscuity, sour apple, almondine along with
notes of toffee and butterscotch
The Look of Lunch ...
Brioche, Laroda Plum, Lamb's Lettuce
Kumquat, Baby Leek, Caviar
Rabbit Confit, Preserved Tomato, Olives
|Braised Bison Short Rib|
Spring Carrots, Pommes Dauphines
Fig, Walnut Crostini, Red Watercress
Wine a Little - Cause there's a lot of them ...
Many of the wines we tried today are no longer in the market place for purchase so no score will be given.
|Famille Hugel 2010 Riesling Jubilee|
wine made from top Crus
quite lovely with hints of elegant petrol
|Joseph Drouhin 2012 Chablis Grand Cru 'Les Clos'|
made from a 1.3 hectare parcel in Chablis
creamy texture, apricot, peach, nice minerality
with a hint of oxidation
|Egon Muller Scharzhof 1994 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett|
the house of Muller dates back to 1797
stunningly young in both colour and freshness
|Torres 2010 Mas La Plana|
represented here today by Miguel Torres - 5th Generation
100% Cabernet Sauvignon - started making this wine in the late 60's
lots of dark fruit and spice; great complexity with power and heft
|Tenuta San Guido 2009 Sassicaia|
young by comparison, the winery was established in 1941
earthy, sour cherry, cassis - has the acidity of Sangiovese
yet the fruit and force of Bordeaux
|Famille Perrin 2005 Chateau Beaucastel|
dark fruit and spice; a real delicious endeavour
|Antinori 2007 Solaia|
name meaning "looking at the sun" - label started in 1978
this wine has an incredible power in the glass with a long life ahead
|Symington Family - Graham's 1977 Vintage Port|
if there is a God and he drinks port regularly
he's got a few cases of this in his cellar
For more wine reviews and related articles go to www.michaelpinkuswinereview.com, while there sign up for Michael's free bi-weekly newsletter.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015
Tonight we learned some interesting facts about Washington state:
The grape make up of Washington is 20% each Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Syrah is the grape that is making the most in-roads in the state, and is the grape that many would consider the signature of Washington state at this time.
One of the most interesting facts about Washington is that their sandy soils help to combat phylloxera.
As far as their winery stats, they have at present approximately 870 wineries and they are growing at about four wineries per month ... where it levels out, nobody knows.
The Night in Pictures ...
|Looking over the menu, while sipping on sparkling ...|
|this one in fact, from Chateau Ste Michelle (Brut)|
|The best wine of the night was this Columbia Crest 2012 Merlot,|
which continued to get better the longer it sat in the glass.
|One of the most popular Rieslings in the USA is part of the|
Charles Smith portfolio - and the label is a big selling point
|Tonight's line-up of reds ...|
|Proving that Cabernet Sauvignon does well in Washington State,|
this Milbrandt Vineyards version really was something delicious
|So is this Airfield Estates Runway from Yakima Valley|
|This Nine Hats 2012 Red Blend was my second favourite|
wine of the night (see review below)
|Dessert was this Late Harvest Riesling from Washington Hills:|
sweet, delicate and delicious
The Dinner (there was a selection - I went all salmon) ...
|Double Smoked Salmon|
capers, rocket, dill cream
berry compote, basil
The Wine Reviews ... (click on name for full review)
For more wine reviews and related articles go to www.ontariowinereview.com, while there sign up for Michael's free bi-weekly newsletter.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Monday, September 7, 2015
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Just like they do in the best regions of France, Nobilo concentrates on few varieties of grapes to make their wines; instead of trying to be everything to everybody they focus on Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc and try to make the best expression of each variety.
Today we had a chance to taste something old (2010) something new (2015) and the stuff in-between from this (no pun intended) iconic winery.
Founded in 1943 by Nikola Nobilo an immigrant to New Zealand by way of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia (an island called Korcula); who came to his new land in the 30's. Back in Croatia the Nobilo family had acquired some 300 years of wine making experience and tradition and with that knowledge they planted their first vines west of Auckland in the early 40's.
|Today's line up of wines: 2015-2010 (3 whites / 3 reds)|
|And a look at the lunch menu ... more on that later|
|Our host, Dave Edmonds, Senior Winemaker Nobilo (second from left)|
answered questions and talked about wines, vintages and regions
|Chef Tom Riley, originally from New Zealand, took his inspiration|
from the wines presented - fusing Canadian and New Zealand cuisine
(more like New Zealand food concepts with Local ingredients)
|The whites are poured, so let's kick this thing off ...|
|2014 Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc ($16.95 - #415745)|
Nose: grapefruit, lemon, grassy and pineapple core
Taste: seemingly sweet fruity entry lovely pith notes,
long finish juicy pink grapefruit finish and dry linger
|2014 Icon Sauvignon Blanc|
juicy of citrus and passionfruit, soft acidity with a long finish,
there's also a mineral compenent like "raindrops on hot concrete"
softer, weightier and more mouthfilling than Regional
Rating: *** 1/2+
|2010 Icon Pinot Noir|
licorice-spice, high acidity, cassis and violets,
cedary-oak notes prevail on the finish, even a little smoky
I found this wine to be overtly smoky and cedary
No rating - wine is no longer available
|2013 Icon Pinot Noir|
Nose: nice lean fruit that's a dark and red mix with floral/violet;
showy but not flamboyant - good acidity
Taste: follows the nose, delicate yet still masculine
with a spiced-raspberry finish
|2014 Icon Pinot Noir|
Nose: more in-your-face with red fruits and plum, real sexy fruit
violets and floral notes with hints of anise
Taste: hints of white pepper and herbal notes on the finish;
a really bold solidly good wine
The Lunchtime Inspirations ...
|Smoked Tomato Soup|
with miso creme fraiche
|Fogo Island Crab Kina|
with butter, pappardelle & preserved lemon
|Roasted Lamb Rump|
with minted potatoes, peas & saffron labna
|Passion Fruit & Vanilla Cheesecake|
with stewed tamarillo