From the Cellar

Just because I started a website called doesn't mean it's All-Ontario-All-the-Time. When I kick back at night my mood (and sometimes my curiosity) decides my wine of choice. And the title should read, "Uncorked and Un-Screwed Tonight" ... but that just sounds wrong.

D'Alessandro 2003 Il Bosco - Cortona Syrah (Italy)

03 Aug 2021

Cortona Syrah


(January 1, 2021) ... First bottle of the new year, if you don't count the bubbles I had at midnight ... I had written an article about Cortona Syrah a few years back for Quench magazine, so now I was interested to see how these wonderful wines age.

This bottle started with lots of dark fruit and spice, and still shows a nice vibrancy and liveliness - I then decided to try a little experiment with this. I noticed that at room temperature it was fairly muted, but not unattractive, showing notes of cassis, blackberry, smoky, and white pepper; there's even a nice dustiness to the finish - but here's where the experiment comes in, I decided to grab one of my "water wings"-like chilling sleeves to give the bottle a little cool down; the outcome was a palate that came across with more dark fruit character. After about an hour to an hour and a half it dries out considerably, sure there's still a nice dark fruit core, but its back-end has become dusty dry and chalky - but that first hour was a revelation in age-ability of these wines.


Carol Shelton 2010 Monga Zin (California)

13 Jul 2021

Monga Zin


(December 25, 2020) ... Slow braised short ribs over a bowl of egg noodles for dinner and thus a bottle of Zin needed to make an appearance; first time that a turkey has not seen my plate on a Christmas night in a long time - and you know what? I was okay with that.  This Carol Shelton Monga was a delight ... it was when I bought it and it is this many years later: leather and black plum kick off the show, on the palate, plus there are some vanilla, cedar and even some port like nuances ... I ate a little and let the wine breathe ... 30-45 minutes later the thing blossomed and bloomed: blackberry jam, good acidity to balance out sweet fruit, nice tannin backbone that smoothed out as it hit the finish and provided notes of ground coffee on the finish. Plus there's a fun little smoky note that was underscored by vanilla and spiced plum. Such a delight and a delicious pairing.


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