Sunday, December 30, 2012

A year of wine, 2012

DF
It's been an eventful 12 months hasn't it. Start of the year, right away, bang ... the start of 5 tough months of studying and quite possibly making one of the worst mistakes of my personal life. But we got out fine, GMAT and otherwise. Then, a great summer of grilling and old wines from the cellar. And of course, meeting someone in the most unexpected (or maybe least unexpected) of places :)

The past 6 months have been the second half of the whole business school application process - working on the actual applications. It's been rough, but now that it's over, time to reflect a bit? Wine-wise, the theme for this year has probably been frugality. Simple, humble wines, on a simple, humble budget. Some exciting things though, and not all in wine. Generally I like closing out the year with some Burgundy and Champagne. It won't be the case this year. But then again, it's not so much what you drink as who you're drinking with. My most memorable wines of 2012 ...

The Celt Experience - Crafted Ale: Tom Newman sent over a case of his brews - fine ales, showing balance, character, and drinkability on the dinner table.

Mulberry wine: The last of it, from our distant relatives in Ningbo. Way past its best, but a taste of tradition and family history.

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux, 2012: What a fabulous tasting of 2009 Bordeaux - went in worrying about hype, but the wines were stunning. Truth that Bordeaux still offers excitement like few other regions in the world.

2007 Lornano | DOCG Chianti Classico: A humble chianti, coarse and a bit unruly, but as much character as you'll ever find in a wine.

Tasting at Fielding Estate Winery: My first time meeting Richie Roberts, Fielding's winemaker - the new generation of winemakers pushing the envelope of what Niagara wines can be.

Tasting 2010 Lailey: Proving that he's still showing them how it's done, Derek handles the wines with grace and conviction in a beautiful vintage for pinot noir and syrah.

Saison Dupont: Making me look at Belgian brews in a completely different light; complex and interesting, a style that needs a revival.

C'est La Vie | Vin de Pays: Cheap and cheerful for a friend's birthday, yet utterly, utterly delicious.

2001 Château Les Ormes de Pez | AC Saint-Estèphe: A Bordeaux with some age, for a simple birthday celebration.

2011 Mas des Bressades | AC Costières de Nîmes: Opened in celebration of a successful GMAT; wine never tasted so sweet.

2009 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay | Wolff Vineyard | Edna Valley: Part of a pair of chardonnays drunk over one of the best seafood dinners I've ever had a hand in cooking.

Tom Collins: Learning a new cocktail.

2006 Saint-Émilion: A pair of St-Émilion's that demonstrated why patience is needed.

2010 Vasse Felix Chardonnay | Margaret River: Australia can do it - a wine of purity and elegance.

2005 Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir | VQA Twenty Mile Bench: One of the first Niagara pinot noirs I bought, way back in my undergrad years ... opened to impress a girl. I do believe it worked.


2006 Château d'Aquéria | AC Tavel: The lost bottle of rosé that was found, and drunk alongside it's younger brother.

2002 Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys | AC Chablis Premier Cru: My first old(er) Chablis, showing maturity and why these chardonnays are so special.


2005 Fruitière Vinicole d'Arbois Vin Jaune: My first vin jaune, an intellectual wine.

2007 Château Soucherie | AC Chaume: From not knowing what Chaume was to falling head over heels in love.

The Gimlet: For the fall, learning the Gimlet.

Catch the Wave, Australian wine tasting: Red syrup all around, but a chance to break the ice, and re-convene a new (and larger) tasting group.

2010 Marcel Lapierre Morgon: What else can I say but merci bien, Marcel.

2010 Tomić Plavac Mali: Tasted with Ludo, Sommelier of the Spoke Club. This is why we need good wine professionals to show us the way.

DF

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