2006 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Reserve Shiraz VQA Niagara Peninsula
I have made the #ONWineChat – Ontario Wine Chat on Twitter -part of my weekly routine. Held on Wednesday nights (now at 9 pm EST changed from 10 pm EST) this gathering of wine-minded individuals discusses a different topic each week. Organized by Shawn McCormick (Twitter handle @UncorkOntario, also the creator of a fantastic FREE App Uncork Ontario https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/uncork-ontario/id435865875?mt=8 which lists Ontario wineries and gives your distance to them, check out http://www.uncorkontario.com), I look forward to relevant topics pertaining specifically Ontario Wine and the discussions from wine lovers, industry insiders, wine makers and vineyard owner/operators. Last week’s discussion was about Sameness in Wine, if the VQA/LCBO are contributing to a monotonous flavour across the board.
A look through my cellar revealed almost all the Ontario Wine I have bears the VQA label, meaning that the wine inside the bottle is 100% Ontario grown fruit and passed the VQA quality-control requirements. I tried to find a wine that was Ontario Wine but not VQA, the only ones I could find were from Chesslawn Winery http://www.chesslawnwinery.com and since I am still saving these to see how they progress with time, I decided to open something else that may buck the trend of “sameness”. Wrapped in a brown paper bag and signed by Marco Piccoli (I remember getting them signed at the Kingsway LCBO years ago, he was the winemaker at the time) I went for one of these 2006 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Reserve Shiraz VQA Niagara Peninsula.
With a few years of bottle age I was curious to see how this wine would perform at this time. Would it indeed be a Shiraz or more like a Syrah now? Definitely the latter! A little concerned when I took off the foil cap and saw a synthetic cork, upon opening my concern faded away. With a garnet rim and lovely ruby colour, the nose was classic Syrah with white pepper and light red fruits, with a hint of tobacco. The beautiful wife smelled black current and tobacco and tasted balsamic vinegar. The palate continued with the white pepper and a fantastic reduced balsamic flavour intermixed with some red current and a soft cherry tinge. Thank you Marco Piccoli for making a beautiful Shiraz/Syrah. Glad I still have another bottle of this beauty to bring out for a friend of mine who particularly enjoys Syrah, no matter what it says on the label!
The same yet different
Tonight’s #ONWineChat topic is “Are VQA/LCBO Labs creating a ‘creeping sameness’ in wine?” I am intrigued by the term ‘creeping sameness’ and the inherent negative connotation, the idea that the homogenization of wine styles and tastes is a bad thing. Is it indeed the wrong path to go down, making every wine style turn vanilla, a generic blandness doled out by the bottle? Absolutely! One of my favourite aspects of wine is the differences to be found between varietals, producers and vintages.
The paradox of the VQA in this regard can not be overlooked. Originally formed to bring a standard to Ontario Wine, making sure that the origin, quality and true varietal character was reflected in the wines that achieved the VQA status, there is an intrinsic protectionist “status-quo” to maintain the way things were/are and protect against change. Only certain varietals are permitted to use the VQA moniker and only certain “styles” of wine are allowed. The list of vitis vinifera and hybrid varietals is quite long and comprehensive (http://www.vqaontario.com/Regulations/Standards) and there is a process established to add new varietals as well. The “stylistic acceptance” requirement is what I think leads to the current state of sameness that is occurring. Those that push the envelope of what is established as the style for a particular varietal may not get or lose the VQA acceptance, with the threat of loss contributing to the reluctance of change.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the level of quality that the VQA ensures in promoting Ontario Wines. I look for the VQA label when buying Ontario Wine at the LCBO, mostly to support the wineries and winemakers that go through the effort to make sure the products they produce are world-class. The marketing and promotion the VQA does helps guide the general wine-buying to their members’ products. A look through my cellar confirmed this as almost all the bottles of Ontario Wine I have bear the VQA brand. That being said, I look for the odd-balls, the strange and unorthodox, the rebels with a cause and the wonderful elixirs they produce. Too bad these wines will most likely never see the shelves of the LCBO.
I have been a licenced Real Estate Sales Representative (Realtor) in Ontario since June 5, 2003, a little over 10 1/2 years. I have helped many people lease, buy and sell all types of homes with each transaction being a learning experience as no two deals are the same.
After my 10 year anniversary I really looked back and reflected on what Real Estate is really about. For me it is more than just my job or my profession. Real Estate is more than what I do to earn a living and provide for myself and my family. I take great pride in the services and expertise I can offer in the process of buying and selling Real Estate. I enjoy helping people go through all the steps needed to ensure a smooth move. I like sharing my knowledge with others to help fulfill their goals and dreams. Real estate is not only about the property, it is also about the people.
Toronto Skyline Sunset
Caledon Farm Sunrise
I live in Caledon East and now work mostly in the Caledon and surrounding areas. My experiences have taken me to different areas of the province and I have helped many clients buy and sell in both urban and rural settings. From lakeshore condominiums in Etobicoke to family farms in Hawkestone to in-town homes in Bolton and many other places in between, I possess real experience dealing with a multitude of property types and the specific issues pertaining to each.
If you are thinking of making a move, know someone that is and needs some help, or if you have a real estate question, please contact me through my website at http://www.jamespallister.ca or directly via telephone at (905) 857-7653. I would be happy to help you however I can.
Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling Icewine VQA Beamsville Bench 2007
I recently had the luxury of going to Acapulco Mexico with my beautiful wife’s family for a wedding and brought this bottle of Ontario, Canada VQA Icewine with me. I know that Mexico has many pleasures to indulge in but I wanted a piece of home to enjoy on a quiet night with the woman I love.
We opened this fine bottle I have had in the cellar for a number of years on a quiet night once the girls had fallen asleep, tired from a long day of sun, heat and swimming. Our room’s ice bucket worked as a perfect chiller and a quick trip to the lobby bar with bottle in-hand worked to free this glorious juice as I neglected to bring a corkscrew. I poured a sample for Martin the bartender in thanks for opening and the look on his face was wonderful, a picture of total surprise as he had never tried an Icewine before. I asked if he liked it, although I knew instantly he did.
A quick trip back up the elevator and out to our 13th floor balcony overlooking the Acapulco Bay. After first sniff the beautiful wife instantly said tangerines and I agreed, along with some other candied tropical fruits (pineapple, maybe a little mango), replayed on the palate with a seamless vein of acidity that cut through the gentle sweetness, a finish that begged for another sip. The only thing I could think of to describe the colour would be an Acapulco sunset. Fine company, fine wine and a transcendent view of the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Truly a memorable experience.