On the Road with the Grape Guy14 Mar 2007
- Category: On the Road with the Grape Guy
This night saw a smaller yet intrepid crowd taste the most interesting of our Baco selections. In this grouping there were 6 blends from the likes of Featherstone (Niagara), Smith & Wilson (LENS), Reif, times two (Niagara), EastDell (Niagara), and Henry of Pelham (Niagara) – there was also a sweet straight Baco (2) from Konzelmann (Niagara) and a rose from Black Prince Winery (Prince Edward County). The last two wines really had no other place to go, so I placed them in this category as a catchall. Overall they placed very well, taking 3rd and 5th respectively. As for the blends, let’s just say that most of the tasters believe Baco should be left alone and not blended with other grapes. In the end the competition was really between 2 wineries, the others lagged behind by as much as 5 and as little as 2 full points. Henry of Pelham took first in the value category with their 2004 Cabernet-Baco ($11.45) – but the night belonged to EastDell who took a decisive 1st in both taste/nose and likelihood to purchase for their 2005 Black Cab, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Baco. Had the medium dry Baco not been around to take third, Smith & Wilson’s 2005 Buckhorn Noir would have captured the Blended Bronze. Now all that was left is the granddaddy of them all – Reserve night.
Night 4 – Feb. 26, 2007
A packed house joined me for this event, 30 people, all wanting to taste the best of the best in Baco. Prices ranged from $14.85 to $34.95, and wines from 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 competed for the “best of” moniker … ten wines in total (the most of any night) and all three major regions of Ontario were represented. The wines being poured were Sanson Estate (x2) and Muscedere from Lake Erie North Shore; Sandbanks held the flag for Prince Edward County and the rest from Niagara included: Hernder; Henry, Harbour, Lakeview, Stoney Ridge and Peller.When the dust had settled, the heavily favoured wine of the night had been vanquished by another large winery, though one not known for its Baco Noir. Many tasters thought the wines were good but overpriced, and of course, there were quite a few surprises. The top ranking Reserve Baco Noir: Peller Estates Wines 2004 Private Reserve Baco Noir - which took first in taste and value and second in the likelihood to buy category. Taking second was the upstart winery from Prince Edward County, Sandbanks Estate Winery, whose 2005 Baco Noir Reserve took second place in all categories except likelihood to buy, where it took first. The third place finisher should have been Sanson Estates 2002 Reserve (3rd in both nose/taste and likelihood for purchase), but when it was revealed it was $34.95 it took a major hit in the value category leaving the door open for the Cuvee 2007 winner for Red Hybrid – Lakeview Cellars Estate Winery 2004 Reserve Baco Noir.