Kitten Kommissar (chickenfeet2003) wrote in tasting_notes,
Kitten Kommissar

High end tasting in Niagara

Today lemur_catta and I went down to Jordan for the 13th Street Winery Annual Release Party. 13th Street is a very serious hobby winery and this is a really well done event. The snacks were terrific and included home cured gravlax, sushi, home baked bread, excellent cheeses and pastries including a very special Stollen. We tasted all the available wines (a handful were not available for tasting due to very low stock) and they were uniformly excellent. The pick of the crop, we decided, were:

The 2002 Riesling (C$16) which is bone dry but full of fruit with a well integrated chunk of acidity,

The 2002 Sandstone Vyd Gamay Noir Reserve (C$22) which is very like the '99; huge for a Gamay with tons of fruit spiced up with 18 months in oak (this wine has very little in common with Beaujolais)

The 2002 Funk Vyd Sparkling Rosé (C$25) which isn't really rosé at all, it has the merest touch of pink. This had a wonderful mousse and as befitted a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir blend (OK with just a touch of Syrah) it tasted like a good full bodied vintage Champagne like, maybe, Veuve Clicquot. A steal at the price.

The 2002 Funk Vyd Cabernet-Merlot (C$20). A lovely Bordeaux style blend with well integrated fruit and oak and a solid core of tannin and acidity. One for the cellar.

We picked up half a dozen bottles of each. Honourable mention too to the 2002 Sandstone Vyd Reserve Chardonnay; one for people who like big smokey Chardonnays more than we do.

More or less by chance we stopped off at Thirty Bench on the way home. This is another semi-pro operation which came highly recommended. We weren't impressed much by their regular line up (OK Off Dry Riesling wasn't bad) but they were tasting the 2002 reserve reds in the back. These six wines were a revelation!

The picks of the bunch were an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon with tons of red fruit, a Napa like mint note and a solid core but it just missed out as favourite to the Cabernet Franc. This was massive with fruit up front, an intriguing middle layer of coffee, caramel and spice. all backed up with appropriate backbone. It should be brilliant in ten years. There was also really good pinot Noir, Merlot and two Merrlot/Cab blends. These wines weren't cheap (C$50) but the franc in particular was far better than any Bordeaux I can buy for that kind of money. I treated us to four bottles.

X-posted to my LJ
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