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Gleanings from the weekend

November 22, 2010 7 comments

Last weekend I had an important celebration in my family, my father’s birthday, therefore I was looking forward since last week to open some interesting wines with good food. There were two wines in particular that I wished to try and this was a perfect occasion.

The starter was a dish of foie gras, balsamic vinegar reduction and unripe figs preserves that was paired with a Canadian ice wine.

2007 Inniskillin Ice wine Cabernet Franc (VQO Niagara Peninsula)

Here is some data from the producer’s website about this wine:

Harvested at the pinnacle of Canada’s crisp winter, the grapes are naturally frozen on the vine and picked when the temperature drops to -10°C. Residual Sugar: 220g/L. Alcohol/Volume: 9.5 %

This Cabernet Franc made wine has a light red color. The nose is strong on red berries, strawberries dominate and honey. In the mouth the wine is lusciously sweet with an interesting mix of flavors of ripe red fruits and a long sweet finish. There is not a great complexity on this young wine, perhaps with age it will become more interesting. A delicious wine nevertheless (Very good+ to Excellent) that paired well with the foie gras dish and stood well against the hardcore sweetness of the unripe figs preserves.

As we served lamb in a Provencal sauce, I thought a Spanish Tempranillo from Toro would be a good pair. Plus I was eager to try the 2005 vintage from this producer.

Numanthia 2005

I had two more vintages of Numanthia (Bodega Numanthia was purchased in 2007-2008 by LVMH) this year: the 2000 and the 2006.

Unfortunately this bottle of 2005 was corked. I hate when I get a bad bottle for something I paid a considerable amount of money. But that’s the risk of the business.

As the Spanish Tempranillo was damaged, I went in the cellar and pull out a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend from Tuscany.

Sassicaia 2004 – Tenuta san guido

Price: over 100 EUR

A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged for 24 months in French oak barriques. Sassicaia was the producer that put the Super Tuscans on the map starting with the 1985 vintage. Actually the 1985 Sassicaia was rated a 100 points wine, now the price for the vintage is around 1000 EUR per bottle.

The wine has a deep ruby color. The nose is pretty discreet with earthy aromas, very low fruit, a little bit of cherry. In the mouth the wine is medium body, with firm but silky tannins, giving a nice mouth feel. There are some red fruits, earthy tones and spices, with a nice medium acidity. Nice balance and good integration of the oak. The aftertaste has a pleasant discreet bitter-sweet medium finish.

For the price it sells, the brand it is and coming from a vintage recognized as Excellent(2004) this wine is a Major disappointment. It is an Excellent-(minus) wine if it had a price tag of 40-60 EUR, but anything more than that is a really poor effort from this acclaimed producer.

Briefly, major surprises from the wines of the weekend. And not necessarily pleasant.

Something else not related with wine and food. FRI evening I went to Teatrul Nottara and saw a very nice play called Platonov which I liked a lot. Fairly long, over 2 h, with some moments where you can sense the falseness of the actors, but overall a really good combination of drama and comedy, really entertaining. I would really recommend it if you want to enjoy a night out.

Thanks for reading!

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Categories: Canada, Italy, Spain
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