Sunday, November 22. 2015
After a brief sabbatical taking care of other business, I am once again back on-line.
At the moment I am in Charlottetown and have taken advantage of the opportunity to taste some well-chosen listings here that are not available in Nova Scotia. Three examples are included in the reviews below.
Also featured is a recently released Rosé from Nova Scotia’s new star, Lightfoot & Wolfville, together with Fortress Rum, which is matured in the Fortress of Louisbourg and two premium Canadian whiskies from Forty Creek. These are, without doubt, the finest Canadian whiskies I have yet tasted. Finally, there are three beers, two from Nova Scotia and one from Chicago.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Rosé 2014, Nova Scotia 11.5% $20.00 The Bishop’s Cellar, Bishop’s Landing, Halifax. Pale onion skin in colour with delicate red berry and dry savoury notes on the nose. Red cherry and berry flavours kick in on the smoothly textured palate. Lively acidity with a touch of mineral and a hint of sweetness complete the finish. Understated style best drunk with food. **
Bodegas Luigi Bosca Finca La Linda Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Mendoza, Argentina 13.9% $16.99 Cristall Wine Merchants, Sunnyside Mall, Bedford. Blackberry, blackcurrant, cinnamon and clove on the nose with blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry notes in the mouth. Well-balanced, finishing with rounded tannins, good acidity and a deft touch of oak on the dry finish. **
Brumont Gros Manseng-Sauvignon 2011, Côtes de Gascogne IGP, France 12.5% $14.99 PEI Liquor Control Commission. Scents of ripe yellow pear with citrus and floral overtones that carry through on the palate. Green apple, stony mineral and gentle but refreshing acidity emerge on mid-palate. Generously flavoured wine that serves equally as an aperitif or to pair with a variety of lighter foods. ***
Canaletto 2013, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC $14.99 13% PEI Liquor Control Commission. Attractively perfumed dark cherry with a whiff of spice and lightly earthy overtones give way to generously rounded dark cherry and black plum flavours supported by velvety tannins and food-friendly acidity, finishing very dry. ***
Umani Ronchi Podere 2014, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 13% $14.50 PEI Liquor Control Commission. Reveals typical bitter cherry and green-scented herb with generous dark cherry flavour and an appetizing touch of bitterness. Finishes with food-friendly acidity and moderate tannic grip. ***
Fortress Rum – Matured in Oak Barrels at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia 45% $39.99 NSLC. Deep gold/amber in the glass with a powerful, complex nose showing dried citrus peel rich cinnamon spiciness, banana, coconut and distinct oakiness. Rich sweet flavours are balanced by dry, charred oak character with agreeably fiery warmth on the long finish. A fine sipping rum best contemplated over a warm fire after dinner. ***
Whisky - Ontario
Forty Creek 8th. Limited Edition 2014, Evolution Canadian Whisky 43% $69.99. Most whiskies in this extraordinary blend are 12 years old. Initially aged in white oak for 3 years, the whiskies are re-distilled in a copper pot still, then blended in French oak wine barrels and aged for a further 9 years. Scents of mellow tropical fruit, banana, vanilla, cinnamon and pencil box oak give way to richly-flavoured dried citrus peel, banana with a light touch of sweetness in the mouth. Finishes very dry with sensations of warming spirit and charred oak.
Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony 9th Limited Release 2015, Canadian Whisky 43% $69.99. The rye, barley and corn whiskies used for the first time in this blend date back to the inception of the Forty Creek Distillery. This remarkably complex whisky reveals rich dried fruit on the nose together with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and subtle overtones of smoky, spirity oak. Opulent, lightly sweet flavours of dried fruit, nuts and creamy vanilla evolve into oak smooth warming spirit and dry charred on the elegantly integrated finish. This and the Forty Creek Evolution, are the finest Canadian whiskies I have ever tasted.
Spindrift Brewing Co. Coastal Lager, Dartmouth. 5% $3.60 (473cl). Can). Light amber in the glass with aromatic green hops and nutty malt character. Dried fruit and malty flavours are quickly supplanted by pronounced hoppy bitterness that persists through the long finish. ***
Garrison Brewing, Halifax. Three Fields Harvest Wet Hopped Strong Ale 6.3% $6.95 (650ml. bottle) Fresh, or “Wet” hops picked from 3 different farms were added to the kettle within 24 hours. The green hops add liveliness, immediacy and unique aromatic freshness. The resulting bright floral and herbal scents greatly enhance, and add balance to the malty, nutty richness of the brew. ***
Beer - USA
Goose Island India Pale Ale, Chicago, Illinois 5.9% $3.60 (341ml. bottle) NSLC. Hops for this well-balanced American IPA were grown for Goose Island at Elk Mountain Farms. It shows aromatic citrus and herbal hoppy scents and initial fruity malt on the palate finishing with pronounced hoppy bitterness. ***
* Good value in its price range
** Particularly good value in its price range
***Exceptional value in its price range