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.

Kenneth Volk 2008 & Beran 2013 Zinfandels (California)

04 Jun 2021


(November 18, 2020) ... It was rib night at the house, so that meant Zinfandel - I ended up opening two because one was a real disappointing stinker - here's what I opened and my findings:

Kenneth VolkKenneth Volk 2008 Zinfandel Lime Kiln Valley - Enz Vineyard ... I had such high hopes for this wine, I had been saving it for awhile and now I know I should not have done that. The cork was crumbly, it was also soft and pliable (I'm thinking a pour cork from the get-go), it's like the wine was being held in the bottle by a sponge. Upon first sniff it was very raisiny, with grape undertones, as it started to open everything softened and there was a little fruit, some white pepper, some dried plum, some apricot pit, and even some red licorice. But I got the feeling it was going to die very quickly because it was opening faster than I expected a good old Zin to open. By about the half hour mark it started going very sacramental in nature, like Mogan David from New York, sweet, saccharine-y and very unpleasant to drink as a dinner wine. Time to get a new bottle before all the ribs were gone and I had wasted a good night of food on a crappy bottle of wine.

Beran WineryBeran 2013 Zinfandel ... This one came under screw cap, so I had no worries that the cork was going to let me down. Nice rich plum, chocolate, black cherry and delicate spices, actually very delicate spices ... Super plummy with big alcohol bang of 15.3%; I was actually worried that the alcohol was not going to show up as either a smell or a taste, but when it did finally materialize it helped balance out the wine instead of taking away from it. This one was very fruit forward and definitely at its peak, I would not be waiting any longer to open this bottle (if you have any), unless you want things to start drying out and that alcohol to reign supreme.



A Couple of Big Guns (California / Australia)

28 May 2021


(November 14, 2020) ... It's one of those nights, where only big wines will do. Tonight, I opened up a Zinfandel from California and a pretty ballsy Australian Shiraz-based blend for dinner - earlier I opened this Gamay as a "aperitif":

RavenswoodRavenswood 2010 Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel - those who know me, know I dig a really good Zinfandel, and this Ravenswood delivered: spiced-plum and cherry kick off right from the get-go, gorgeously drinkable with a smooth palate and delicate spices of the Christmas variety; there's a touch of tannin here and a lovely mocha finish. Glad I caught this bottle at this time cause it is "loverly".

Ma I Have This Evening 2009 - This Aussie-blend came into Ontario a number of years ago turns out it's a Shiraz (80%) - Mataro (20%) (aka Mourvedre) and supposedly a Rolf Binder bottle (though years agoMa I Have This 2009 they told me that it was not one of there's - so if you know ...). That all said, it has aged quite nicely, being that it is now 11 years from vintage date: leathery, smoky, spiced-plum with a nice coffee bean note that shows up on the mid-palate; the finish is spiced raspberry and licorice. I have no complaints about this wine. I would gladly drink another four bottles if given the chance (and if I had any more) - but not all on the same night there is quite a bit of alcohol here.


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