WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore VQA)

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WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:59 pm

I've often said that the Bordeaux-style reds in Ontario really only shine in the best of red-wine vintages, and that is certainly the case with 2005. This is my first Ontario red from '05, and I find that it backs up what I've said about these wines for a long time.

$10.95 at Colio's retail outlet. 13% alc. Deep, dark garnet colour with excellent saturation and a slightly opaque cherry-garnet hue when viewed through the glass. Very pleasant juicy-berry nose comprising cherry and blackcurrant with high-quality oak nuances rounding it out. There is barely any green-pepper here - something that literally plagues the majority of Cab Sauvignons and Cab Francs from ordinary and mediocre vintages. Tart, fully (and properly) dry on the entry with abundant, ripe, mouth-coating chalky tannins. Very pleasantly dry and astringent, and quite substantial on the mid-palate. An excellent, chewy finish; pleasant oak-nuance replays on the finish.

I highly recommend this wine - it's truly a worthy and inexpensive Bordeaux-style Ontario red. The vintage was excellent for reds in Ontario, and if this is any indication, I will be buying more wines like this from '05. I certainly can't wait to try the hybrid reds from '05 too. Chances are that they'll be inky blockbusters, as were the '98s and '99s.

The wine went very well with the lamb chops I made for supper using a balsamic vinegar/rosemary/juniper reduction sauce.
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Re: WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:18 am

Paul, I'd hate to pick nits with you, I think its a mistake to broadly classify a year as good or bad for reds (or whites, for that matter). Pinot Noir, Foch or Baco ripen in the 3rd week of September as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon in late October. A wet, soggy 2 weeks in September could ruin the early grapes, yet if this is followed by a long, sunny dry period, the late grapes could be fine. And vice versa. That being said, I'm looking forward to trying some of the '05 reds myself. :wink:
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Re: WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore

Postby Paul B. » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:45 am

A very fair observation, Howie!

I tend to think of ideal red-wine vintages as those where the entire August-September-October period would be sunny and dry, leading to nicely concentrated extract in all the grapes, be they early, mid-season or late. I especially feel that the late varieties need such vintages to really shine, as even rain in September sets them back, since they have to lose that water. Anomalies such as a downpour right before harvesting early reds would certainly have an effect on them too, that is true.

On another tangent, I mentioned recently how much I am liking our '04 whites from Ontario. They seem to be uniformly crisp and vervey and very enjoyable. I really wish I had made a dry Niagara that year instead of making the miserable mistake of picking those sorrily overcropped and underripe Concords - something I plan to correct this year with what looks like very promising Concords.
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Re: WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore

Postby Paul B. » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Day Two:

The wine has really integrated in the open bottle since yesterday. I was impressed with it yesterday, but it is now really together, showing much cohesion.

I'm especially pleased by the modest price of under $11; in poor years, I've spent over double that much on oaky "reserve" Bordeaux-style blends, and they've often been thin, sour and green. The 2005 vintage has redeemed these blends in my mind. I can't wait to try more of them.
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Re: WTN: 2005 Colio Estate Vineyards Cabernet/Merlot (Lake Erie North Shore VQA)

Postby Bruce Hayes » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:32 pm

Thanks for the tip Paul. There is a Colio store (sort of) close to my office in Ottawa. I will have to check this out.
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