Ontario Reviews

Chateau des Charmes 2005 Estate Cabernet-Merlot
With all the talk about 2007, everyone seems ot have forgotten 2005, which, aside from being a short crop year, was a very good red wine vintage. Today, you’ll be fairly hard pressed to find any 05 – but Chateau des Charmes seems to have a good one still sitting quietly on their shelves. “We generally don't make noise about a vintage roll over,” Michele Bosc told me in an email – and I’m thinking, “Why not? This is the kind of vintage we should be fanfaring.” The estate Cabernet Merlot has been a fav of mine since it wowed me in 1999 – I still have 2 bottles – and the 2002 was pretty stellar also. The 05 is big – even 4 years from harvest. 9 months in French oak has given it power and longevity. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and equal parts Merlot and Franc (I’ll leave you to do the math on that) this wine is big on black fruit: blackberry and cassis with big spice and a touch of cinnamon. Give it some room to breathe and you’ll also find black raspberry on the nose. The palate shows more bigness to this wine – big biting acidity, cedar, cinnamon, spice, and heat – which I originally attributed to alcohol, but at 13% it couldn’t be possible – and there’s also loads of black fruit … after aeratioin. This is a big tannic wine that needs one of three things: a big glass, a decanter or time … you’ll have to make whatever decision is right for you – all three would be perfect. Price: $19.95 – Rating: ****
Red Blend
Niagara Peninsula
at the winery and thru the LCBO

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