26 August 2010

Lammershoek and Barista in Canada

Canadian wine lovers suffering under the dead hand of government monopoly supply look forward to the regular updates to the ‘Vintages’ list of limited supply wines.

The latest release features Lammershoek Pinotage 07 (though I recall Lammershoek have been available for some years) and Barista 09.

Here are what the local bloggers had to say about the Lammershoek Pinotage 07:
Billy Munnelly at www.billysbestbottles.com

Lammershoek does for Pinotage what Henry of Pelham does for Baco. It puts a charming spin on a rustic grape variety. This combine the lush richness of a Rhone with the earthy feeling of a Portuguese red. Sexy with a light roughness

Michael Pinkus at grapeguyvintages.blogspot.com

not a wine that’s popular with everyone but this version just might change a few minds: Full of flavour with coffee and mocha notes, cherry, plum and smooth tannins, I was rightfully impressed here

David at daveswinedomaine.blogspot.com

Now, who doesn’t like Pinotage? Oh yeah? Well, check out what you're missing. Handpicked and hand-sorted. Fermentation in open concrete tanks, then Malolactic fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new) for 12 months. Unfiltered.

And Alan Kerr at blogs.gangofpour.com was won over by Barista
Without wanting to sound like I am not a fan of this varietal, which incidentally, I do struggle with, this is one tasty Pinotage. One needs however, to be a fan of coffee as the Mocha note is somewhat overwhelming, but behind it lays sweet blackberry fruit, dark silky chocolate and a note of clove. The palate bears pure clean dark fruit, a note of espresso, a hint of molasses and crisp clean acidity. The finish is long and well balanced. Not to be missed I should add.

Update on 28 August
Gord Stimmell asks in The Toronto Star how come "Two bottles of the same wine taste totally different"? and it is Lammershoek Pinotage 2007 he is referring to:

"Tasted in the LCBO laboratory, it merely rated an 88/100, which is good for any pinotage, in my book. But it showed hints of tar and asphalt and rustiness among the sturdy fruit. Then I got a hold of another bottle and what a difference. All of a sudden, it rose to first class, with rich smoky coffee bean, blackberry and summer plums wrapped in a totally silky texture. This rates 90.

I frankly do not know which batch will be hitting shelves. If it is the silky seductive one, it is definitely worth a serious detour as this summer’s quintessential barbecue red. If it is the rougher-edged, more rustic pinotage, then it’s slightly overpriced"

Gord puts it down to batch variation.

"Wineries assemble final wines from different tanks and casks, and sometimes absolute consistency of aromas and flavours falls by the wayside between the various bottlings."

(Note: LCBO is Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the state wine monopoly)

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