Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Four New World Reds

Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, 2009
Willamette Valley, Oregon
This wine was definitely a treat.  It's tough to get here because it doesn't always make it to the LCBO, and when it does, it flies off the shelves.  I was really excited to get it, and it did not disappoint.  This wine was ruby coloured with a pale pink rim, and had all the classic Pinot flavours with a new world twist.  Cherry, cranberry, and orange rind took centre stage, with orange pekoe tea and dark earth in the wings.  The wine was energetic and light, and was a great match for Drew's home-made orange-ginger-soya chicken wings.  Holy yum! 
Chip pairing: Kettle Chips Red Thai Curry     Verdict: Lovely

Ring Bolt Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011
Margaret River, Australia
In the interests of full disclosure, I'll readily admit that I love wine from the Margaret River appellation.  This was a particularly nice example of the non-new-world-y kind of Cabs that can come from that area.  While definitely appearing to be bright fuscia with a zippy pink rim, this wine had a touch of welcome backwardness, with white mushroom, dark earth, and mocha coming through alongside ripe cherries and a touch of green bell pepper that wasn't off-putting.  It was well-balanced, angular, and all-around delicious with the BBQ short ribs in a slightly sweet and tangy sauce. 
Chip pairing:  Kettle Brand Backyard Barbeque      Verdict: Delicious

Terra Noble Reserve Terroir Carmenere, 2011
Maule Valley, Chile
Is anyone else here a fan of Carmenere?  Just me?  This one might change the minds of Carmenere-haters and disbelievers everywhere.  This beautiful, deep ruby wine was rich with fresh ripe cherries, cassis, and mocha, with just a touch of green pepper on the nose (but not so much on the palate).  It was round and plush, but had enough acidity to pair well with the fois gras on paris toast and black bread that we ate with it.  The herbaceousness of the fois gras was a great match for the slightly-earthy, rich wine.  It was a real crowd-pleaser.
Chip pairing: Pringles Ranch     Verdict: Yum!

Starry Night Old Vine Zinfandel, 2007
Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California
Holy Zin Batman!  I love me some old vines - the older the better!  This wine blew me away, and I'm sad that it was a limited release at the LCBO.  Again, I'm very glad that I had a chance to scoop some up.  This wine was so dark it was almost opaque - the deepest of rubies - and was brimming over with ripe field berries.  Blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry - all were present, along with freshly turned earth, black pepper, and white mushrooms.  My mouth is watering again writing this.  The wine was full bodied, smooth and powerful.  We paired it with shaved marinated flank steak with horseradish mayo on fresh slices of baguette.  The two were clearly made for each other.  I don't know if I'll ever get the change to drink this again, but I certainly hope so.
Chip pairing: Ruffles Loaded Baked Potato Skins
Verdict: Wonderful!

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