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.

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.


Ornellaia vs Caymus ... Seriously (Italy / California)

25 Jun 2021


(December 18, 2020) ... With Christmas dinners put on-hold this year this pre-Xmas get together was the best time to open some pretty iconic bottles before the world shut down again.

Ornellaia 2005Ornellaia 2005 Bolgheri ... when first opened the wine showed aromas of smoky, dark berries, oak and cedar - heavy on the wood notes. But the wine opened quite nicely, showing off some vanilla, cinnamon, the prerequisite forest floor (hey, it's an old wine) plus some mocha and coffee bean. The tannins, while light on their feet (so to speak), but by the time we hit the 3 hour mark more earthy character started to emerge and the fruit started to dissipate and tannins more astringent. Still a lovely bottle, but it's definitely on the downward slope of life.

Caymus 2008Caymus 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ... Maybe an unfair comparison, but definitely fun to do. This is all new world charm and succulent fruit: deep black cherry, dark chocolate, rich tannin backbone and it even shows some really good acidity; as we dive deeper vanilla nuances with hints of spice and a finish loaded with cassis and black cherry all become apparent. Can you hold it longer? Absolutely. Would I wait any longer to drink another bottle (if I had another bottle)? Nope. Do not wait - this is a pure drink now pleasure.



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