Reporting from Eastern Long Island, a strikingly beautiful stretch of land divided by its two forks. Over the next few days I will be tasting North Fork Merlot and Riesling, South Fork Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. This fledgling wine industry is not unlike our own back in Niagara and Prince Edward County, full of promise and local affordability. Together we share a passion for wine that is free to those who can afford it, in opposition to what is very expensive to those who can’t.
I rarely get excited by the online shopping experience but sometimes you just have to call a gem a gem. The frivolity of spending bravely on wine repays in the memories the future holds. Besides, “we just ran out of wine. What are we gonna do about it?”
The grapes: Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
The history: The synergy of these white varietals in Bordeaux is the cat’s pee and meow. The west finesse of Pessac Léognan is best.
The lowdown: Others intimate a zeitgeist of dry, white hedonism but few succeed. Haut-Brion, Smith Haut-Lafite and Chevalier are three of the best.
The food match: The best Porchetta sandwich money can buy
Château Carbonnieux Blanc 2008 (581033, $59.00) is possessive of febrile gooseberry imagination. Blows sweet peach and apricot in and out of the glass in alberge de tours waves. “Hungry like the wolf” and his lycopersicon esculentum. A white PL for the ages. 92
The grape: Merlot
The history: Few Napa Valley vineyards take Right Bank Bordeaux to the Greek like this iconic outfit
The lowdown: First appearance in Ontario by one of California’s legends
The food match: Grilled Beef Ribs with a Tomato and Agave Glaze
Plumpjack Merlot 2009 (296491, $72.95) is an eponymous ace of base and is all that Napa Merlot should be. “Beware of that is flashing in her eyes. She’s going to get you.” Takes me to the pilot, beauteous of chocolate “like a coin in your mint,” gob-stopping red fruit and an acumen of alchemic spicing. Steely and replays the deep, oaky fruit on the palate. ” You go back, Jack, do it again. ” 93
The grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc
The histoty: Perhaps the most affordable classified Bordeaux on the market today
The lowdown: This Chateau over delivers and never gouges its customers. Kudos to the LCBO for this perrenial bone toss our way. Treat yourself
The food match: Fresh Brisket and Flat Iron Hamburgers with Thick-Cut Bacon
Château Ferrière 2008 (229567, $44.00) may be a wine whose lot is to be grouped in serried ranks but I find a unique presence in its mineral expressive, espressoness. The Margaux perfume is there, along with a hint of blueberry blossom and pine straw. Can’t help but reach a modest degree of approximation to the full complexity of it’s Gallic, articulated language. 90
Good to go!