Rotary Club of Palgrave 18th Annual Wines of the World

Rotary Club of Palgrave 18th Annual Wines of the World

Rotary Club of Palgrave 18th Annual Wines of the World

On Saturday June 6, 2015 I was privileged to attend the 18th Annual Wines of the World event held by the Rotary Club of Palgrave on the picturesque grounds of the EMG Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, Palgrave Caledon. A cool breeze complimented the Caledon sunset with another sold-out offering of wines from around the world. Below are my abbreviated notes on what I had the chance to try with my focus on what Ontario wines and ciders were on offer. The program was general in the description of the wines, I tried to get as much info as possible in the short timeframe this event ran.

2013 Errazuriz Pinot Noir Chile

2013 Errazuriz Pinot Noir, Chile

2013 Errazuriz Pinot Noir, Chile – lighter style of Pinot Noir with aromas rhubarb and cherry tart and tastes to match, balanced by smooth acidity.

2013 Epica, Chile

2013 Epica, Chile

2013 Epica, Chile – dark red colour with a brickish ruby and red raspberry nose. Smooth tannins with flavours of plum and cherry, low acidity and a fruity sweet finish

2012 Graffigna Reserve Blend, Argentina – deep dark red with aromas/flavours of spicy dark red fruit and slight crayon and a strong tannic finish.

2013 Zolo

2013 Zolo Classic, Argentina

2013 Zolo Classic, Argentina – ruby garnet colour leads to big expressive nose of bright red fruit (red plum, cherry) and a tannic finish balanced with acidity.

Graffigna Pinot Grigio Riserva, Argentina – thin and insipid, vagueness in flavour.

Downey's Estate Winery "Loose Goose"

Downey’s Estate Winery “Loose Goose”

Downey’s Estate Winery Loose Goose Gooseberry Fruit Wine, Ontario Canada – light and refreshing with a slight residual sweetness, flavours of fresh gooseberries, lime pith and lemon curd. A very refreshing summer sipper.

Downey’s Estate Winery Two to Tango Apple/Raspberry Fruit Wine, Ontario Canada – pale pinkish red leads to a nose of crab apple compote. Flavours of raspberry jam, apple jelly and a slight sherry note with balanced tannins and acidity.

2013 Silver Bay Cellars Pinot Noir VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2013 Silver Bay Cellars Pinot Noir VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2013 Silver Bay Cellars Pinot Noir VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA, Ontario Canada – aromas and flavours of bright cherry tart with a slight tannin grit and some brick on the finish.

2013 Sandbanks Cabernet Franc VQA Ontario VQA

2013 Sandbanks Winery Cabernet Franc VQA Ontario VQA

2013 Sandbanks Winery Cabernet Franc VQA Ontario VQA, Ontario Canada – translucent purple red with nose and flavours of ripe red fruits and a simple balance of refined acidity and fruit freshness. Excellent example of young Ontario Cabernet Franc. Enjoyable on its own, would match well with bistro cuisine.

2013 Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2013 Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2013 Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA, Ontario Canada – bright red leads to aromas of red plum and cassis that are replayed on the palate with some wonderful toasted marshmallow notes on the finish. Balanced with bright acidity and tannic backbone.

2011 L'Evidence Bordeaux, France

2011 L’Evidence Bordeaux, France

2011 L’Evidence Bordeaux, France – big dark red with big alcoholic heat, aromas and flavours of singed red and black fruit with tannic grip and high acidity. A big, food friendly red.

2013 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Baco Noir VQA Ontario VQA, Ontario Canada – nose of sweet red fruit and candied cherry compote. Acidity in balance with a delightful fruit-forwardness, almost like a cross between Merlot and Gamay. A tamed brute with a smooth finish and complementary tannins. Excellent.

2014 Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer, France – nose of lychee, rose petals and orange sorbet, replayed with flavours of orange peel and lemonade. Low acidity and a sweet finish.

2011 Cannanou Riserva Sardinia, Italy – bright red colours leads to a spicy red fruit nose and sweet red fruit, flavours of cranberry sauce and fresh cherries. Low tannins and an acidic finish.

2014 Café Culture Pinotage, South Africa – dark red with a nose of freshly ground coffee, replayed with sweet fruit, light tannins and refreshing acidity.

Spirit Tree Cidery 2013 Reserve, Ontario Canada – light and refreshing with tart apple notes, fine thin mousse. Would never have guessed it it 8% abv., drinks much lighter.

Pommies Farmhouse Cider, Ontario

Pommies Farmhouse Cider, Ontario

Pommies Cider Farmhouse Cider, Ontario Canada – a slightly drier version of the flagship Pommies Dry Cider with a gorgeous fine fizz, a hint of residual sweetness swept away with a refreshing acidic twang. This is my go-to cider for the summer, another fine offering from Pommies Cider Co. Simply excellent!

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2012 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2012 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2012 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

A guest for dinner and her request was for a white wine. A trip to the cellar and the 2012 Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA was the first bottle I laid my hand upon. I picked this bottle up last year before Christmas from the reduced section at the local LCBO. I believe it was reduced due to the latest vintage being offered, not from someone returning 7 bottles.

With a light golden colour, the nose burst forward with bright zesty floral aromas. Lots of green apple peel, lime pith, and a touch of a floral (think just-opened tulips and daffodils) note. The flavours were a replay of the nose with vibrant green apple, slightly under-ripe pear, and a touch of kiwi and dried apricots. The combination of flavours and aromas gave the slightest impression of petrol starting to form, delightful and delicious. Complex yet simple at the same time, a truly fine example of a Canadian Riesling.

2002 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2002 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA

2002 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula

Family get-togethers such as Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas are great reasons to open up those special bottles of wine from the cellar. For both the selections I took down to my parent’s place I chose wines that I had more than one bottle of to see how they were evolving. The first bottle opened on the weekend was the 2002 Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Cabernet-Merlot VQA Niagara Peninsula VQA that I picked up on a trip to the Niagara Region in 2007. The Speck Family Reserve is the highest tier of wines produced by Henry of Pelham, wines made for cellaring and longer-term enjoyment.

Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Cabernet Franc (19%) and Merlot (48%), the fruit was cropped at approximately 2 tonnes per acre from some of the oldest blocks held by the Speck Family. With a saturated inky purple colour, I was surprised that there wasn’t even a hint of brick on the rim after over 10 years of bottle age. The nose matched the deep, dark colour with copious dark fruit – blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry – along with printer’s ink, wet chalkboard, nasturtiums and a hint of black pepper and a high floral note. My beautiful wife detected black cherry, black plums and cinnamon. The dark fruit was replayed on the palate, dusty dry tannins with grip and bite (in a good way) and a spicy fruitiness. My beautiful wife thought it tasted like leather and plums.

This wine still had a brooding strength, a powerful, manly wine that is still in-your-face in its style. Simply awesome, I am so happy I bought two bottles 7 years ago and have had the patience to not open them. It will be a lot tougher now that I know what a treasure lies beneath that other cork.