Ontario Reviews

Chateau des Charmes 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paul Bosc Vineyard)
Yet another candidate as a cellar dweller – like his brother (the St. David’s Bench), this wine is also full-bodied and hearty. Grown across the road from the winery, in the Paul Bosc Vineyard, the wine has aromas of deep black fruit like blackberries and cassis along with mocha, vanilla and cinnamon all wrapped in a heavy blanket of oak, which should subside over time to unveil even more flavours to the nose; but at this time you will find the wine still remains fairly closed. Swirl it around in a Bordeaux-style glass for several minutes, decant, or open an hour before serving to get some air into the wine to bring out more flavours and aromas. On the palate, you’ve probably guessed, it’s still a bit closed (or as my tasting companion said, in his high-fallutent way, “reductive”) but with the proper above mentioned fiddling, this Cab shows black fruit like blackberries, cassis and some blueberry tartness. There are also hints of sweet oak, sour cherry and black pepper. You’ll find that drying tannins prevail throughout. Buy another 3 of this one and do the same as you’ll do for his brother – take notes now, in 5 years and in 10 years, even 15 is not a stretch … this is one wine that will not disappoint that far down the road.
Cabernet Sauvignon
Niagara Peninsula
at the winery
(Re-Tasted January 2011) ... Theoretically 9 years from vintage date, but can you really count another year 4 days into the new year? For argument sake let's call it 8 years. And still going strong. I have to admit I was rightfully impressed with this bottle of wine. It was one of the first times that the term "terroir" really meant something to me. In 2002 Chateau des Charmes created two Cabernet Sauvignons, one from the St. David's Bench vineyard and another from the Paul Bosc vineyard - the only thing separating these two vineyard is York Road. If you have ever visited the winery St. David's vineyard is the one where the winery sits, Paul Bosc is across the road. To taste these two wines you would not believe that was the only difference, they were completely different wines. Now, some 8 years on, I find myself with a bottle of the Paul Bosc version. This wine was the powerhouse of the two and it still has plenty of life left in the bottle. The nose is dark berried with a nice spiciness to it ... over the course of the evening an alcohol smell started to eminate from the glass (say 2 hour after opening and decanting). A very closed wine at first I did decide to decant to get the most out of this one. The sediment was grity and fine but did not detract from the taste of the wine. Taste-wise there was nice cassis, dark berries and a little bit of wood tannins. Given time there was also dried blueberries and a touch of cocoa on the finish. This one still needs time, yes it's mature, but not mature enough, those tannins could still use a little softening. I predicted 10-15 years, and so far I am right on track.

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