From the Cellar

Just because I started a website called doesn't mean it's All-Ontario-All-the-Time. When I kick back at night my mood (and sometimes my curiosity) decides my wine of choice. And the title should read, "Uncorked and Un-Screwed Tonight" ... but that just sounds wrong.

Elephant Hill 2013 Syrah (New Zealand)

11 Mar 2021

 Elephant Hill

(September 26, 2020) ... This is one of those "tasting nights" where I pulled out 3 Rieslings (2 Ontario and 1 German) - 3 Pinot Noirs  (all 3 from Ontario) and finally grabbed a Syrah to drink ... and from this particular evening this is the only note that exists - it was just that impressive.

Starts off with spicy dark fruit and some mocha-cherry, and that's just the aromas ... on the palate raspberry and pepper for starters ... the fruit kept coming in waves with hints of secondary characteristics like smoke and oak, but always with a heavy dose of fruit at its core. Simply put this wine was just gorgeous and so very drinkable now ... and it was 7 years old. It still had lots and lots of time ahead of it - I did not commit infanticide here, but I'm sure if I opened this up in 2025 it would not be much different. Hats off to those in New Zealand who jumped on the screwcap bandwagon early. I can say this for certain about this wine: tertiary notes are so far non-existent ... and will be for quite some time.

Old Valpolicella - Regular and Ripasso (Italy)

19 Feb 2021


Old WIne in Glass(September 18, 2020) ... There are times I look back at these notes I have taken and wonder what possessed me to taste / drink these particular wine ... since nothing comes to mind when looking at these three (some months later) I am going to have to guess I was just kicking around in the cellar and my hands landed on the necks of these three (on-purpose or accidentally???) ... the only thing I know for certain: arancini balls were involved and I was sitting outside to taste.

Negrar 2001Negrar 2001 Valpolicella Classico ... This one was cranky, almost angry, at first: sour, anise and foresty-floor on the nose; but the palate really is impressive with sour cherry, smoky, "foresty", and earthy notes. After 30 minutes this wine was dead ... gone and buried ... the drinking window was the 10-20 minute mark when it was truly palatable. Truth is I was surprised it was good for even that long.

Remo Farino 2001 Valpolicella Ripasso ... Break out the crying towel - this one never stood a chance --- it was corked. Which probably "forced" me to open the third bottle. 

Falasco 2002


Valpantena 2002 Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso ... Since the first Ripasso was corked it was time to check out another - and this one was quite impressive. Only one year younger than the other two wines this Ripasso had some really interesting notes that managed to lure one into the glass and drag one along for the ride over the next hour or so: anise, smoky, spiced plum, licorice, coffee bean, cedar forest with damp leaves also playing around - there was a long finish that held mainly cedar notes, but this wine was WAY better than expected especially after tasting the two previous wines.



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