Available At: Vine Styles, VR Wine, Vine Arts, Metrovino, Oak and Vine, Richmond Hill Wines
Assessed By: Adrian Bryksa
As our summer in Canada begins its decline, the need to hold onto it for as long as we can remains strong. Since Rose wine is synonymous with summer, we can live vicariously through its experience even as the days get shorter. This week, we have a pink blend of 40% Cinsault with equal portions of Grenache and Syrah from Chateau De Lascaux from Pic St. Loup in the Languedoc. The Chevalier family have been making wine at Lascaux for 13 generations and has 85 hectares of land under vine. The chateau is known for making wines of purity, freshness and approachability.
Eyes: Attractive light coppery pink hue
Nose: Raspberry, unripe watermelon, underbrush / garrique with touch of floral soapiness.
Palate: Notes of orange peel, nanking cherry, stones with peach. Super bright acid and a lipsmackingly clean finish. This is a supremely elegant, feminine and subtle expression that leaves the palate wanting the next sip. A beautifully simple drop.
Conclusion: An outstanding expression of easy to drink, value rose and is a wine that we will be craving when the thermometer drops below 0. Buy a case and drink it until the next vintage becomes available. Highly Recommended.
If you liked this review, check out our coverage of the 2013 Chaos Wines Suisun Valley Rosé Syrah
Assessed By: Adrian Bryksa
New vintage available at: Varsity Wine Merchants
When you collect wine, people share bottles with you and from time to time they go undrunk as it were. These bottles make their way down to the cellar where they are added to the bins of one offs for future consumption. Every once in a while, a bottle gets tucked away and is forgotten about. Such is the case with the 2006 Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was part of a trade with former business partner David Gluzman who sourced this and two other bottles for a single bottle of 2008 Amon-Ra. It was purchased from the tasting centre for prices unknown however for reference today, we’ll use the current retail price of $32.99. It is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and saw a tiny production of only 752 cases. It spent 22 months aging in a combination of French and American oak unfiltered and comes in at 13.9% ABV.
Out of the bottle and served at 19 degrees Celsius, this medium bodied red shows a bouquet of black cherry, red currant, milk chocolate, cedar, dried herbs and tobacco. In the mouth, the attack is seductive with those black cherries and herbs showcase with lithe acidity moving to a dark, long finish. The tannins are completely settled and powdery and sweetly coat the palate to accentuate the experience. There is a nice plum and prune component that adds depth as well, especially with some glass time. It has a bit of heat on the nose which takes away but not too much.
Conclusion: This wine is evidence of the rewards of cellaring. In its youth, it would have been perhaps tannic, perhaps angular and would not have provided the enjoyment that it does now 8 years on. If you can find a bottle, it is ready to drink now and will continue to shine for the next 2 years.
Music Pairing: Chuck Ragan’s Feast or Famine
If you liked this post, check out our coverage of 2 Pinot Noirs from Black Cloud
Assessed By: Adrian Bryksa
Available at: Crowfoot Wine and Spirits NW Signature location
Orin Swift Cellars has been a label that has seen meteoric rise in awareness and popularity within the North American market. It isn’t difficult to understand why as the wine making / marketing team have done a tremendous job to create a product that is provocative and exciting to all senses; not just the nose and mouth. Started in 1998 by winemaker Dave Phinney, the cellar it got its name from Phinney’s fathers middle name Orin and mother’s maiden name Swift and gained a loyal following and critical praise initially with its multi varietal blend dubbed The Prisoner. In 2010, Phinney sold The Prisoner and its zinfandel sibling Saldo off to Huneeus Vintners of Quintessa fame. Today, Orin Swift Cellars creates 11 wines consisting of over 20 varietals leveraged to create distinctly full throttle expressions of California fruit. Lets see what they have been up to.
The 2011 Mannequin is from Napa and Sonoma fruit with blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Semillon, Muscat, and Marsanne. Coming in a 15.5% ABV, the Mannequin is no armless torso and this is evident in its rich, straw yellow hue and bouquet of butterscotch, orange, peach, oak and honeysuckle. With a oily viscosity and round presence, it finishes with long length and tinge of sweetness that keeps the palate wanting more. It reminds me of Condrieu with its notes of orange blossom and pear and in general with its weight on the palate. This powerful yet balanced expression this will stand up to salmon, lobster or halibut especially where cream and butter sauces are involved.
The 2012 Machete is Phinney’s homage to Petite Sirah and its current implementation was over 2 years in the making. The concept has Swift’s signature weighty bottle with 12 different Polaroid like labels that feature a vintage white Cadillac, a 70’s inspired model in various states of undress and of course, a machete. Out of the bottle, the medium plus bodied wine is glass and teeth staining purplish black with notes of blue berry, blackberry reduction, loam, espresso, concrete dust and vanilla. On the palate, the blueberries and black berry shine with a level of extraction that come dangerous close to being port like. Its tannins are earth tinged and powdery carrying over long finish. Despite its decadence, the blend of Petite Syrah, Syrah and Grenache stays nimble in the mouth and remarkably balanced while carrying an almost 16% ABV. This has big protein like seared Rib Eye written all over it.
Papillon is Swift’s Bordeaux blend and consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. While 2011 was a cold, wet and unyielding vintage, the 2011 Papillon (French for Butterfly) would never indicate it. Coming from fruit harvested from some of Napa’s great vineyards like Stagecoach, Papillon has all the trimmings with a medium + body and a glass staining purplish black hue. It excludes signature Cabernet aromas of cassis, coffee, kalamata olive and earth along side of plum, shale, cigar box and spice. It stays medium + bodied on the palate and showcases the signature style of Swift with uplifted ripe fruit as it dances over a long finish. The tannins show a hint of green herbaceous-ness that adds complexity and depth. While drinkable today it will reward cellaring over the next 5 to 7 years. Keeping in line with creative marketing, look for the easter eggs that are two butterflies hidden within its packaging.
If you liked this review, check out our 2010 Napa Cabernet and Meritage Blends coverage from Centini