Friday, August 31, 2012

a taste of 2007 Niagara riesling at 5 years of age


2007 Featherstone Estate Winery Black Sheep Riesling | VQA Twenty Mile Bench


2007 Flat Rock Cellars Riesling | VQA Twenty Mile Bench


2007 Thirty Bench Wine Makers Riesling | VQA Beamsville Bench

I've been sitting on these notes for a while, having tasted the wines in mid-July. Whatever. It's been a busy few weeks, and really, the last few days have been pretty rough. Are you getting bored yet listening to me bitch and moan about all my problems? When the MBA admissions committee wants you to write about your weaknesses, what are you supposed to say? I work too hard? I'm too much of a perfectionist? Get the fuck out of here - I'm not fooling anyone. My weaknesses are many, but for the sake of LCF, let's keep it at DF has a serious proclivity for the drink.

So I've got a cousin who grew up in Melbourne, but works in Hong Kong, and he just got married. Congrats all around. Great. There's this uniquely Chinese approach to dating where your parents forbid you from so much as looking at girls before you graduate university, but as soon as you start working . . . how come you don't have a girlfriend, what's wrong with you, why aren't you ready to be married? Chinese parents (both in the Mainland and abroad) are not very understanding of dating around. Right. Because you can go from being alone to engaged (to hopefully the right person) just like that. Because the first girl that gives you any attention is of course the one.

We're immigrants, and being here for 20 years has given my parents different perspectives on dating, compared to my extended family in Shanghai. Dating in the Mainland is a family affair, because its almost unthinkable to just approach a girl and ask her out. No, it has to be carefully orchestrated by family or co-workers or whatever acquaintance. You typically talk through email, then arrange for lunch, and then the guy never contacts you again because he either is indifferent or a huge pussy. It's sad because I actually do have (female) relatives in that position, and my only thought on the matter is, you have to work on your happiness too and sometimes YOU HAVE TO DO SHIT YOURSELF INSTEAD OF RELYING ON OTHERS.

It's been tough for me too. Painfully shy as a child; still am. Or maybe it's indifference, who knows. You find people, and sometimes they're just not the right person for you. No hard feelings, nothing personal; but we can't just get into a relationship with someone just so we're not alone. I mean, here I am, at the age of 26, sort of time to make the life decisions that will determine my next 40 years (or however long I plan on living), and none of it seems to be coming together. By all accounts, my 26 years breathing has been an utter failure. But you keep going, don't you. I don't try to live by other people's standards - I mean, a girl I once went out with banked 5 times the salary I was cha-chinging (as her mother not-so-subtlety pointed out). But is that it? Do you force yourself to be with someone that just isn't right for you? Of course you don't. I don't believe in this whole nonsense that there's just one person that's perfect for you on this earth, but a relationship certainly can't be based on simply what looks good on paper. No, none of it makes sense, but as a deeply emotion-driven person, I go with my gut, and right or wrong, I trust my motherfucking guts.

And none of that has fuck all to do with Niagara riesling. I fall in and out of love with these wines. Certainly, they're great - what I think will be a cornerstone of what true Niagara wines are. I bought heavily into them early on, starting with the 2005's. And now that I'm a bit older, I wonder why. Why I purchased multiples, why I'm hoarding them instead of just drinking. Anyways, all three wines here from 2007, that much-hyped, hot and dry year. Big, big wines all around. I've never really liked any of the red wines - everyone got a bit too excited, went for too much extraction, too much oak. We're not Americans, after all. Even the pinot noirs devolved into this overly-alcoholic, candied style. So I was looking forward to seeing how the white wines would show. The Featherstone riesling, probably the most shrill of all the Niagara rieslings I've tasted - still just riding on a backbone of pure acid, but developing some nicely creamy notes. The Flat Rock, approaching what I suppose maturity in New World wines must be like. Lanolin and ripe citrus, with good balance. The Thirty Bench was my favourite, with great structure and full aromatics. A happy but dignified wine.

I don't know how my life will be in 12 months. Hopefully for the better - at the very least, let's hope I know which school, in what country I'll be going to? So for this long weekend, as I stay indoors and continue slaving away at my applications . . . I'll raise a glass to all my other 26 year old brothers and sisters who feel a bit lost, but still optimistic about the future.


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