Chateau des Charmes 2005 Rosé Sparkling
I have found the perfect wine to usher in 2009. My only problem is getting it and, if I were you, I would start figuring out just how I too was going to put my hands on a few bottles (trust me the scheming has already begun in my head). You see, in 2005, Ontario had a wonderful, if short-cropped, vintage but Chateau des Charmes wanted to commemorate this special and exciting vintage with a very different wine. Since they have been making traditional method sparkling wine for many years, patriarch Paul Bosc Senior decided he wanted to try his hand at a rosé version of this popular bubbly. Using 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, he cobbled together his first rosé sparkling wine (using a secret shading method known only to him for getting the beautiful fuscia colour). He waited the traditional three years and then popped the top. I was able to taste one of the last remaining bottles at the winery. Talk about limited, only 200 cases were made – the LCBO took 120, restaurants another 40 and case by case the last remaining 40 walked out the door, in record time (less than a month). So what’s so special about this bottle that it is being snapped up and flying out the cellar door before you and I really get a chance to know it’s even there. We’ll start with the beautiful pink colour, move to the lush red berry-yeasty nose, and as you look into the glass, you see very fine bubbles and a mousse that foams and settles with a delicate grace. Now put it to your lips and sip. Cherry and strawberry take hold of the tongue with just a touch of delicious combination of mouth-watering sweetness and acidity, while the finish is dry, pleasant and ultimately sippable again and again and again. I am told there is more to come but not from this inaugural vintage. This was a limited release – a trial balloon, so to speak, and it soared. If you can figure out how to get your hands on this wine do so. See you in line at the LCBO; those who get a bottle or two of this will truly have a happy 2009. Price: $28.95
Niagara Peninsula
Available at Vintages in February 2009 - and very limited supply at the winery for the 2008 holiday season
(Re-Tasted September 2011) ... This is my go-to wine for special occasions ... I got engaged to this bottle and now I am celebrating my 1st Anniversary with this bottle, and I am positive I celebrated a few more things but failed to write them down. Started off our anniversary afternoon with a delicious lunch of homemade fish tacos and a plan of a few movies on the big screen (in the den); what could be more romantic than opening up a bottle of bubbly while still in your jammies. This wine is getting better and it would also seem to be getting a tad sweeter as it ages, but not unpleasantly. The nose is baked strawberries, with some raspberries notes and a hint of bread crust in the background. The palate is big on sweet strawberries, while raspberries join the mouth-party to tone back the sweetness with a little of their signature tartness and then comes that fresh bread crust on the nice long finish ... this was the perfect wine to celebrate another momentous occasion with; and the good news I still have more bottles with which to celebrate with.

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