EastDell Estates Black Cab Ontario VQA 2009
Opened on December 29, 2010. A blend of Baco Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. I haven’t had too many good examples of Baco Noir, and this wine basically confirmed that I will probably never be a fan of the grape, which is a hybrid variety.
Most wines you see on store shelves, particularly European wines that only allow specific grapes, are made of vitis vinifera varieties only – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are popular examples.
Today Baco Noir and other hybrid wine grapes (those bred between vitis vinifera and other species; Vidal and Maréchal Foch among the most widely known) are generally grown in North America, where their hardiness copes well with the extreme northern climates and potential vineyard diseases, and local regulations allow for wine to be produced commercially out of these grapes.
It is said that non-vitis vinifera grapes tend to produce wines of a “foxy” aroma and palate, which can be a unique characteristic. Unfortunately, the trait doesn’t appeal to me at all, and is exactly what I detected out of this bottle of EastDell Black Cab.
However, this wine is also quite typical for the varietals and region, with its cool climate greenness on the nose and palate, and so for the sake of education is probably worth a try.
Unavailable in British Columbia, as far as I know, but if you have a friend returning from Ontario, get them to bring a bottle home for you.
Deep ruby purple in the glass, this wine exudes youthful black fruits, berries, currants and red fruits on the nose which is veiled by a slightly musky or skunky tone. The palate is dry, with ample acidity, low tannins and a fairly light body that carries youthful, green flavours of sour cherry, unripe berries, herbs, asparagus and hints of metal and oak that finish short. Drink now and forever hold your peace. $13 in Ontario.
Dirty Laundry “Naughty” Chardonnay BC VQA 2007
I got this a couple of summers ago while driving through Summerland. I recommend visiting the winery if you get a chance, it’s one of the more idyllic cottagey shops in the area and has a nice tasting bar. The people working there are really nice and also have good knowledge of the winery’s history as well as that of the locale.
Rich citrus, ripe apple verging on stone fruit aromas with hints of biscuit combine in the mouth to form a juicy, ripe palate with a clean finish. Easy drinking, approachable Chardonnay with just the slightest touch of oak aging. $25
This elegant sparkling cocktail was concocted by me, but derives its crazy moniker from the brain of Sean Minogue.
I served this and the Naughty Chardonnay at a holiday dinner with the family, and was pleasantly surprised at how quaffable the former was as an apéritif.
The recipe is simple, and serves up to 8 per 750 ml bottle (by the way, Henkell Rosé is around $15):
- In chilled champagne flutes, add half a handful of pomegranate seeds and a slice of ruby grapefruit, lemon or lime. (The lemon lookalike slices you see pictured are actually slices of sweet lime, which I found at Thrifty Foods one day, and yes, walk and talk like a duck, but smell and taste floral and soapy.)
- (You may choose to add a squirt of simple syrup at this time, but I like my drinks dry.)
- Top up with chilled Henkell Rosé or any other pink bubbly and serve. You could also use a combination of rosé wine followed by sparkling water but that’s up to you.