GrapeSelections – Ontario Wine Resource Website

 

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GrapeSelections.com is a regularly updated webpage/blog focusing on WINE – any and all aspects of it. Its resources include wine RECOMMENDATIONS; list and documentation of NIAGARA WINERIES as well as EVENTS that are happening in Toronto and the nearby wine countries; ARTICLES/OPINIONS pertaining to wine and ‘LCBO DEALS’ listings.

 

Wine Resources – herein, I provide personally reviewed RECOMMENDATIONS, list LCBO sales, and present reviews of wines available only from wineries or by consignment/private order.
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Wineries of Niagara Peninsula – documenting wineries. One at a time.
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Events – listing and documenting events in Toronto and the nearby wine country.
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Biography

My wine story
Dear reader, first of all, thank you for visiting my webpage; to introduce myself, my name is Daniel Trcka and much like yourself, I am a wine enthusiast.
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I am inherently curious and have always had the need to figure out how things work – this drive has led me to become as I am today. Looking back, it is always interesting how passions evolve before they become entities that engulf oneself and become him or herself. My passion began the day when I decided to make my own wine. Thinking that my creation must fare better than the cheapest 1.5L table wine I went ahead and surprisingly achieved it. Naturally, this then led to a simple question “what makes one wine better than another”? The somewhat complicated answer took me on a quest to learn about the complexity and the range of ‘tastes’ – first seeking the answer in a pursuit of knowledge (I highly recommend reading a 926 page book titled WINE by Andre Domine), and then finding it by training my sense of smell (54 scent Les-Nes-Du-Vin kit, also highly recommended) and learning how to listen to it. Subsequently, natural progression (for me) was to share my passion and the newly gained knowledge, and so I started reviewing wines on the WineAlign website, and Natalie MacLean’s site, but these not fully satisfying my need to express myself, I developed this webpage and launched it on July 19th, 2012.
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Contact Info
……Email: grapeselections@gmail.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grape.selections
…..Twitter: @grapeselections

 

 

Opinions

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This section features articles where I describe events, give tips and traveling advice, list articles about wineries, or anything that is related to wine.
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Recent Posts

Sonoma County Wine Tasting 2014

 

Oh sunny California!

California is known as the sunshine state and for a good reason – when it comes to days-in-a-year filled with sunshine, San Francisco enjoys it for 66% and Sacramento for 78% of the year.
Days of Sunshine Per Year in California
It is for this reason (+ many more) that California produces 89%
Wikipedia – American wine
of all US wine.
Mark Twain wittingly described the coastal climate in his (as is commonly believed) famous phase: “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco” – illustrating that sunny doesn’t always translate into warmth, for the frigid ocean breezes and rolling fogs cool down California’s coast. Slightly more inland and the refreshing, humid, air currents are replaced with moisture devoid winds that only bring scorching heat. Together with topography of mountains-spanned-by-valleys, and cultivable soils ranging from exposed rock to fertile sediment; the area under vine is quite varied and therefore justly subdivided into 46 American Viticultural Areas (AVA).
Wikipedia – North Coast AVA
Jump to: Top | Tasting Notes | Comments

 

Map of Sonoma appellations – image taken from Sonoma County Vintners
map-sonoma-county

 

Sonoma County

One of the 6 wine-producing counties that all of the AVAs belong to is Sonoma County, which itself encompasses 15 (a third) of the AVAs. Due to its size and world-recognition, it was warranted that representatives came to Toronto to present and teach the local audience about their wines. The topic was dominated by climate and (despite general belief) we were taught that some AVAs within the county are considered cool-climate wine-producing lands.

 

Seminar in the Glass Room of ROM.
2014_Sonoma_Tasting_P1020085

Tasted wines

Like many other Californian regions, Sonoma wines are medium to full bodied, notably oak influenced, higher in alcohol and often non extra-dry in order to keep the alcohol in check. The winemakers are quite able to work with the ‘hand they’ve been dealt’ and are able to make balanced wines (ratios of body to alcohol to sugar to acidity and tannins). Here are the few wines I was able to taste and review.

 

The 2006 Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards Royal Cuvee was sourced from Carneros and composed of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay with whole clusters pressed and fermented in stainless steel and then aged on lees for more than 7 years. This apéritif has light, reductive notes, as well as mouth-watering aromas of minerality, zest and green apple on the nose and grapefruit, lemon, and green apple on the palate. It is a medium bodied, off-dry, integrated wine; with fine effervescence, refreshing acidity and a medium finish. It is a food friendly and sipping wine, drink now and for the next few years. My impression: NICE, 90-91 pts – though quite pricey, recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 90-91 pts. $37.00 Airen Imports
The 2013 Quivira Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc was sourced from vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley, aged on lees for 4 to 6 months before spending some time in Acacia barrels. It has perfumed bouquet of flowers, lime, pineapple, lychee and passion fruit together with subtle wood and lees. It is a light to medium bodied, off-dry, fruity wine; with refreshing acidity and a medium, creamy finish. It is a food friendly wine, drink now and for the next 5+ years. My impression: NICE, 90 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $15.00 Kylix Wines
The 2012 La Crema Chardonnay, composed of clones 4, 76 and 96 that were sourced from Saralee’s Vineyard Block 89 in Russian River Valley and aged in French Oak for 9 months, has concentrated aromas of gooseberry, oak and vanilla on the nose and yellow apple, pear, butter, vanilla and more oak on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; BALANCED with good acidity and an extra-long finish. Enjoy this wine on its own, drink now and for the next 10 years. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 92 pts. $39.00 B&W Wines
The 2012 Pat & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, originating from five vineyards in the Russian River Valley, fermented using native yeast and then aged in French Oak, has elegant aromas of toast, oak, vanilla and pear on the nose and lemon, pear and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with good acidity and a long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine, drink now and for the next 5 to 10 years. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89-90 pts – though quite expensive, recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 89-90 pts. $42.00 Trialto Wine Group
The 2012 Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir, made up of clones 667, 115, 2A and 114 sourced from Freestone Vineyard in the Russian River Valley appellation and aged in French Oak (55% new) for 17 months; has attractive aromas of cranberry, dates and plum on the nose and rosehip, pomegranate, dates, oak and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; BALANCED with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a long, silky, oaky/vanilla finish that doesn’t obscure the fruit. This is a food friendly wine, but better to enjoy on-its-own, drink now to 2020. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 93-94 pts – recommended for its quality despite being very expensive.
RECOMMENDED Score 93-94 pts. $72.00 The Vine Agency
The 2011 Buena Vista Pinot Noir, harvested from Carneros and aged in French and Hungarian Oaks for 12 months, has seductive aromas of smoke, barnyard, black cherry and figs on the nose and cranberry and pomegranate on the palate. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine; with forwards acidity, subtle tannins and a medium finish. This is fruit forward wine is food friendly; drink now and for the next 3-5 years. My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts.
Score 88-89 pts. $24.95 LCBO 304105
The 2011 Seghesio Family Vineyards Rockpile Zinfandel, gathered from Rockpile appellation and aged in French and European Oak barrels for 14 months, has intense aromas of pine, pepper and figs on the nose and black cherry, dates, oak and vanilla on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with forwards acidity, drying tannins and a long finish. Enjoy this wine on its own; drink now and for the next 5-10 years. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 92 pts. $38.00 Lifford Wine & Spirits
The 2012 Kunde Family Estate Zinfandel, blended with a touch of Petite Syrah and aged in French and American Oaks for over a year, has intense aromas of prune, pine and oak on the nose and blackberry, black cherry, vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a full bodied, dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity, grippy tannins and a medium to long and smooth finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now till 2020+. My impression: NICE, 89-90 pts.
Score 89-90 pts. $22.00 Churchil Cellars
The 2010 Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in Alexander valley and aged in American White Oak for 24 months of which 50% was new, has succulent, creamy aromas of eucalyptus, forest berries, wood, coconut, blackberry and subtle blackcurrant on the nose and cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and coconut on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; BALANCED with good/refreshing acidity, grippy tannins and a long finish. Enjoy this behemoth on a special occasion; drink now till 2025+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 93-94 pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 93-94 pts. $89.00 Halpern Enterprises
The 2010 Rodney Strong Vineyard Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from Alexander Valley and aged 21 months in French Oak, has attractive aromas of dark chocolate, pepper, pine, black currant and black cherry on the nose and cranberry, red currant, prune, wood, vanilla and coconut on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; with forward acidity, refined tannins and a long, quite heavily oak influenced finish. Drink this wine on its own or with food; drink 2015+ to 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts.
Score 91 pts. $75.00 Mark Anthony Brands
The 2012 Pedroncelli Bushnell Petite Sirah, sourced from nearly 100-year-old vines grown in the Dry Creek Appellation and aged in American Oak (1/3 new) for 1 year, has appealing aromas of black currant, inkiness and cedar on the nose and black cherry, vanilla and wood on the palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; with very good acidity, refined/dusty tannins and a medium to long finish. This is a food friendly and sipping wine; drink now and for the next 5-10 years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89-90 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 89-90 pts. $20.00
The 2011 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel, sourced from nearly 70-year-old vines and aged in American Oak for 12 months has intense aromas of red currant, dates, oak and vanilla on the nose and red currant, cherry, black cherry and notable oak and vanilla on the finish. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity wine; with forward acidity that balances the deep fruit, grippy tannins and a long finish. This is a food friendly as well as sipping wine; drink now and for the next 5-10 years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended for its quality and value.
RECOMMENDED Score 90 pts. $24.00
The 2011 St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon, composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc all harvested throughout Sonoma and aged in French Oak for 18 months; has fullish aromas of blackberry, plum and vanilla on the nose and red currant, dates, oak and vanilla on the palate. It is a full bodied, dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. This is a food friendly and party favourite wine; drink now and for the next 5 years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $29.95 Vintages 671164
The 2011 Gundlach Bundschu Merlot, composed of 88% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 3.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3.5% Petit Verdot and aged for 17 months in French Oak barrels; has concentrated aromas of eucalyptus, blackberry, blueberry, black currant and vanilla on the nose and pomegranate, black cherry, dates, wood and vanilla on the palate. It is a full bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; BALANCED with refreshing acidity, refined tannins and a long and inky finish. This is an elegant sipping wine; drink now and for the next 10+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91+ pts – recommended for its quality.
RECOMMENDED Score 91+ pts. $44.00 Vintages 397497
The 2012 Cannonball Merlot, sourced from Southern Sonoma Valley and aged in French Oak for 1 year; has deep aromas of prune, caramel, nuttiness and wood on the nose and blackberry, black cherry, vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a full bodied, dry, fruity wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. This is a food friendly; drink now and for the next few years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 87 pts.
Score 87 pts. $22.95 Vintages 342824
The 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, composed 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from the Dry Creek Valley and aged in French, American and Hungarian oak (30% new) for 18 months; has seductive aromas of eucalyptus, red currant, black cherry and vanilla on the nose and blackberry, black cherry, vanilla and oak on the palate. It is a medium to full bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity to integrated wine; with refreshing acidity, grippy tannins and a long, oaky finish. This is a sipping wine; drink now and for the next 5+ years (cork enclosure). My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. $27.95 Vintages 642207
The 2009 Anakota Helena Montana Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in Knight’s Valley and aged in French Oak barrels for 15 months; has attractive aromas of dark chocolate, blackberry, black currant, oak and vanilla on both nose and palate. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, integrated wine; with good acidity, refined tannins and a medium to long finish. At this price, this wine should be enjoyed uninterrupted by anything else; drink now to 2020. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts.
Score 90 pts. $90.00 The Vine Agency

 

 

Thank you to Paula Oreskovic of Praxis PR and Sonoma County Vintners for the invitation to this event.

 

 

Link here to see other EVENTS taking place in Toronto or the nearby wine country.

 

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