Newsletter : August 2023 (vol. 23-08)

31 Aug 2023

August 2023 ... Time to talk about wine again. As I have been slowly watching this vintage in Ontario unfold, I have been talking with a lot of winery principals who are scratching their collective heads with every raindrop that falls; many are going bald from pulling out their hair - but I sense some worry in the air, which leads me to my commentary this week and one simple question: Who's to Blame?

Also in this month's newsletter 6 wines you need for the holidays, some links to past podcasts and interesting articles - and to some videos that have been posted. Check 'em all out.

Finally, have a great long weekend and drink something grand.

Thanks for reading.


Please consider a donation to my Patreon page to support my work - any amount is appreciated: you can find my Patreon page here.


Musings from a Wine Soaked Mind ...

Maybe It's Time to Stop

So it looks like Niagara is in its third tough vintage in a row. Not that many are easy. But let’s look at the past two: 2021 might have been the worst ever, according to many. While 2022 was short by a mile in terms of harvest (down 40-60% by some estimates) the quality was still there - things are just very limited. And now, 2023 - we're late and hoping for another 2017, known as the “miracle vintage” for its harvest-saving fall.

Niagara has not seen a really good vintage since 2020, what some have deemed "The Vintage of the Century" - but has anyone looked at a calendar? Anyone notice we're only 23 years into the century and we're already giving Mother Nature a pass for the next 77 years!

We've got to stop talking about 2020 like we’ll never see another one like it, because what you put out into the ether ...

Now I don't consider myself a very superstitious person, but I'm starting to believe in a power in the universe, and what you put out into it. I'm also a believer of “the jinx” ... Or whatever you want to call it.

Here's just one example: In 2021, it looked like we were on our way to a repeat of 2020 ... Two Guys Talking Wine, my podcast with André Proulx, had Brian Schmidt, the winemaker of Vineland estates as a guest in late-August and he proclaimed 2021 was going to be another great year. Oops. (Take a listen to this clip from the podcast where we talk about vintage)

I'm not sure who pulled the wool over 2022 and which one individual has destined 2023 to the bin, but it sure looks like it might be a collective of people saying "2020 Best. Vintage. Ever".

So, let's stop saying it. Yes, 2020 was a good vintage, a great vintage ... Add whatever superlative here; but for God's sake, let's let Mother Nature do her goddamn job and stop telling her she can take a break till 2101.



  Click on any wine name to see the full review:

2027 Cellars 2020 Cabernet Franc, King Street Vineyard ... (****+)

Foreign Affair 2019 Apologetic Red ... (****+)    

Leaning Post 2020 Cuvee Winona ... (****+)

Malivoire 2020 Merlot, Stouck Vineyard ... (**** ½)
Niagara College 2020 Viognier, Dean's List ... (****)    
Stratus 2019 Cabernet Franc ... (****+)


  The Non-Ontario Selection ...

Wakefield 2021 Chardonnay, Jaraman ... (****)




--- Highlighted Videos This Week ---

Ontario Wines ...
Cave Spring 2019 Estate Chardonnay
Westcott 2020 Estate Chardonnay

"International Wines" ...
Luca di Tomaso 2019 Montefalco Rosso
Stags' Leap 2018 Petite Sirah


      See the full newsletter with video, side bar links and more - click below:

Ontario Reviews: August 2023 (vol. 23-08)



Get Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube