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!