Archive for June, 2010


an evening with chris ringland

Ok, I apologize in advance as this is a somewhat image heavy post. But, it was, after all, Chris Ringland!

First the line-up:

L to R:
2009, Diddley Bow Riesling, Western Australia

2008, Darby and Joan Chardonnay, South Australia

2007 Chris Ringland “CR” Shiraz, Barossa Valley

2007 First Class Shiraz, McLaren Vale

2007 Chateau Chateau Triumphal Arch Grenache, Mader Vineyard, Light Pass, Barossa Valley

Sorry I drank this one before I thought to get a shot of its colour but it’s very similar in hue and colour to the Chateau Chateau Chateau Grenache below but despite the colour the nose was big and bold and spicy, robust even with spicy rose and floral notes. The palate was sherry-esque with rich dried fruits flavours and a strong finish.

2007 Chateau Chateau Chateau Grenache, Barossa Valley

The beautiful strawberry/ruby colour really foretold of what was to come: a fleshy palate filled with red currant, anise and dried berry flavours.

2007 Chateau Chateau Leaf Turner Mataro (65%) Grenache (35%), Barossa Valley

This one was by far my favourite of the Grenaches. It was rich, smooth and supple with lovely spice and oak notes with silky tannins that still managed to have good grip.

2007 Chateau Chateau Island Ebeneezer Grenache, Hoffman Vineyard, Barossa Valley

This was a big boy; weighing in at 18.6% and you could tell as it had a bit of a bourbon bite to it that wasn’t all together unpleasant. The nose carried notes of Creme Brule with hints of Indian Spices. It has an intense finish that reveals the alcohol levels but balanced with ripe fruit flavours.

As for the event,it was a nice intimate turnout of 18 people and Chris talked about his background and his philosophy on winemaking and was really quite entertaining.

And the parting shot…a pic with a rock star:

It certainly was a great night and Chris was a great guy, who just happens to make some awesome wines.


rias baixas…muchas gracias

Had this lovely little Albarino the other night with Chicken in a Soyaki Sauce and home-made Hawaiian Coconut and Pineapple bread.

2008, Paco Y Lola, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

This one has a lovely light golden colour and a fruity nose with peach and yellow apple notes and a hint of seaside minerality. It was light and crisp on the palate with a nice round mouthfeel without being oily. The finish and a refreshing acidity mixed again with that seaside minerality. This one seemed to achieve a nice balance between the fruit flavours and minerality that I found off kilter in other albarinos I’ve tried and when paired with the sweet bread it was magic!!!


just a 2008 Wine Guerrilla in the room

From Saturday night.
2008, Wine Guerrilla, Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, 2008

Blend 86% Zin ( from MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg), 14% Petite Sirah (from Forchini’s Russian River Vineyard )

ABV 16.5%

Retail $19.99 (Whole Foods)

Spicy nose with dark cherry, dried fruits and licorice. Medium-bodied with rich red fruits and finely textured tannins. There is a subtle hint of tartness that’s not too acidic or puckering but along the lines of a juicy plump black cherry or cranberry. Light notes of toasty oak also play a part. This one is brighter in nose and palate than the Dry Creek Valley bottling from the Goat Trek Vineyard, Though this one has hints of dried or stewed fruits it’s the tartness and red ripe fruits that take center stage. However, there is still a supple richness to the mouthfeel to help balance the rest…think creme fresh with fresh raspberries and blueberries. The finish lingers on for some time. There is quite a lot going on here with layer upon layer of flavours and textures, which peel back one after the other to reveal another dimension to the overall picture.

After 24 hours: More concentrated aromas of dark dried fruits emerge on the nose and palate. The acidity and tartness mellows allowing the supple tannins to come forward a bit more and the finish becomes smoother and richer with subtle note of chocolate joining the chorus. Overall this is a pretty complex and nuanced wine for the money developing a nice balance after a good decanting.


staglin and steaks

So it was a gorgeous night out last night and the Hawks were playing…it was time for some Staglin and Steaks!

First a couple of nice ribeye on the grill:

Then pop open the 2006 Staglin Family Estate, “Salus” Cabernet, Rutherford
Let it decant for an hour:

The it was time to dine:

Right off the bat I noticed its deep ruby red color and its wonderful nose of red fruits, hint of mint and peppery oak spice. The palate was certainly rich and supple with tons of lush plum and blackberry flavours bolstered by pretty smooth tannins and underlying notes of oak and chocolate. The finish was long and smooth with only the acidity letting me know that it was still a bit tight and could have used another year or so. But hey! You only live once and win the Stanley Cup once in 49 years. Besides with the ribeyes and the Spinach and Bocconcini cheese salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion with a light oil and vinegar dressing, it was perfect! The night was perfect! Can’t go wrong with that!