Weekend at Zuli's

St. Catharines, Ontario
Tasted Thursday, February 16, 2012 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 by drrobvino with 282 views

Introduction

Good to see dear friends and enjoy great wine and food. Zuli had an incredible menu for our delight. Plenty of duck confit for Christopher. Got to hold and bond with our beautiful niece Ripley. Peter showed up on day 3. It was a great weekend.

Flight 1 - Arrived 10:30pm, thirsty. (3 Notes)

  • 2009 Cave Spring Riesling 88 Points

    Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA

    (2/16/2012)

    Very pale yellow, 11.4% abv, says "dry" yet there is a tad bit of RS on this wine. Floral nose of fresh peaches and honey, with wet stones apparent on the back end. Nice tropical fruit palate, with slight RS that is nicely supported by a firm acidity and a short-medium finish. Cave Springs has this daily-drinker Riesling down to a science. Great QPR.

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  • 2007 Domaine Courbis Cornas Les Eygats 88 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas

    (2/16/2012)

    Bright red fruit profile on the nose, some obvious terroir but relegated to the back row in this young Cornas. Flavors of black cherry, light black pepper spice, and grilled meats lead into a medium bodied, fruit forward, elegant Syrah. Simple and tasty.

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  • 2004 Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Rabajà 93 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    (2/16/2012)

    Medium ruby color, 13.5% abv. Nose of wet clay and soil, ashtray, and ripened cherries. There is a bit of a slight oxidative quality, although the cork appears perfect. On the palate, notes of tart cherry and plum fruit, with fine grained tannins and a beautiful astringency to the medium bodied mouthfeel. The drying sensation from the gorgeously balanced acid and tannins makes me want another drink...over and over again. A fabulous effort, will only get better over the next 5-10 yrs. I hope the slight oxidative quality does not worsen.

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Flight 2 - Champagne and Chablis for breakfast. (9 Notes)

Really nice side by side comparison of older Seavey Caravina and St. Emilion.

  • 1998 S. Anderson Brut Extreme 88 Points

    USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros

    (2/17/2012)

    Nice, thick mousse initially. Seemed to disappear quickly. Nose of ripened apples and toast points, which were echoed on the palate, along with notes of pear. A slightly hollow midpalate, with a zesty minerality through the finish. Decent but uninspiring Calif sparkler.

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  • 2009 Garciarevalo Rueda Tres Olmos Lias 90 Points

    Spain, Castilla y León, Rueda

    (2/17/2012)

    Medium green-yellow color, 13% abv. Citrusy nose reminiscent of concentrated lime juice. Brilliant acidity on the palate, showing lime and white grapefruit, with a zesty moderate-length finish. Great with homemade guacamole. Nice Spanish white.

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  • 2006 Domaine Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    (2/17/2012)

    PnP and 13%abv. Pale yellow in color. Nose of tart green apples and pears. On the palate, sweet and rich white fruits with chalky minerality in a zesty, citrus-laden mid palate. The typical laser-like salinity that I adore in a Chablis is replaced with a bit more richness in this wine, but it pulls it off beautifully. The finish is medium in length, very crisp acidity. This wine is great alone, or with seafood. Will drink well another 2-4 years in my estimation.

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  • 1999 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Caravina 93 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    (2/17/2012)

    2 hour decant. Just recently bought this wine through the library club, directly from the winery. A bit worried due to the expired drinking window as listed on CT. Beautiful deep black-purple wine, lightening to the almost clear rim. On the nose, there is gorgeous black currant fruit, wrapped in a blanket of sweet tobacco, old baseball glove, and lightly sprinkled with spice box. Flavors emerge of black cherry, cassis and black currant, but the ample dark fruits are so well supported and complimented by the soil-driven secondary flavors that multiple people guessed this as a mature Bordeaux. This wine is nowhere near the end of it's drinking window, conservatively 5-7 years of great drinking remaining. Amazing for a "second label" from Seavey, showing just how great this estate really is.

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  • 1995 Château Pavie Macquin 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    (2/17/2012)

    Decanted 2 hours prior to drinking. This fully mature St. Emilion has a beautiful and gentle browning at the edge of its otherwise deep ruby color. This wine smells of wet soil, dark cassis fruit, with a raisiny sweetness in the upper register. Flavors unfold and change over the hour it was consumed, including black cherry, cassis, sweet tobacco, and leather. The long-ish finish is delightful, with gorgeous acid structure and seamless sweet tannins. This wine is lovely, and will continue to drink well for another 10+ years.

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  • 2001 Giovanni Rosso Barolo Serralunga 88 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    (2/17/2012)

    Decanted 1 hour prior to drinking. Beautifully brown-tinged at the edge, this Barolo has a floral nose that is slightly vegetal in quality, reminding me of stewed tomatoes, spice box, and then sour cherries. Flavors of sour cherries give way to a nice minerality on the medium-length, astringent finish. Overall a nice Barolo FTM, should drink well another few years, but I believe it will not further improve.

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  • 2003 Roagna Barolo Vigna Rionda 91 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    (2/17/2012)

    Medium brownish-red, 14% abv. Decanted 2 hours and enjoyed over the next 3. Delicious nose of soil-laden sour cherry fruit, with leather and raw meats. On the palate, the sour cherries take you for a Barolo joy ride, supported by fine grained tannins and proper old-world elegance, as waves of earthy nuances like tobacco and meat emerge. This wine is still youthful, and should drink well for another 8-10 years.

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  • 1996 Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Conteisa 92 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC

    (2/17/2012)

    Decanted 2 hours and enjoyed over the next 3. Dark garnet color, 13.5% abv. Nose of tar, black cherry, tobacco, and pepper. Flavors of slightly tart black cherry, plum, and anise. Full bodied, powerful yet restrained, fully mature. Will drink wonderfully over the next 8-10 years, in my humble opinion. All hail Gaja.

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  • 2006 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 88 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley

    (2/17/2012)

    Decanted for 2 hours. Dark purple in color, eucalyptus on the nose, along with vanilla, ripened plums and black cherry fruit. A nice, velvety mouthfeel, full bodied, youthfully teeth-staining tannins, black cherry and mocha flavors. Oak was overdone for my taste. Fruit forward, decent Cali Cab, was a bit of an outlier since the weekend tasting consisted of older Italian Barolos etc. A stark contrast from this ripe styled Cali fruit to the more tart/sour fruit of cooler climate wines.

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Flight 3 - Is Champagne good for a headache? (10 Notes)

2 potential "WOW's" (Wine of the weekend). 1 flawed Grand Cru Burgundy. Incredible food, from Chef Zuli.

  • 2006 13th Street Grande Cuvée Blanc de Noirs 89 Points

    Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench VQA

    (2/17/2012)

    This Canadian Sparkler shows a beautifully fine mousse and has notes of apple, raspberry, and yeast on the nose. The palate has great verve, with superb acid and a crisp finish laden with wet stones and cherry pit. Could easily be mistaken for a fine Champagne! Very nice wine.

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  • 2004 Domaine des Baumard Savennières Clos du Papillon 85 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières

    (2/18/2012)

    PnP right out of the fridge. Had a screwcap enclosure. Very light pale yellow in color. Nose is slightly backward initially, faintly floral, with some oily aromas of peach and lychee. On the palate, the wine seemed a bit thin and stubborn, served too cold right now. As it warmed up over an hour, sweet peaches and white, rich fruits began to emerge, but never really came out to play. The finish was short and simple, some faint minerality tried to peek through. This wine showed no signs of spoilage, just very light and simple for what I was expecting.

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  • 2006 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Morey St. Denis 1er Cru La Riotte 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru

    (2/18/2012)

    Decanted 3 hours, consumed over the next 4 hours. Pale ruby color, very young looking, 13.5% abv. Bright red fruits on the nose, strawberry and raspberry, with a bit of spice and forest floor notes. The medium-light bodied mouthfeel gives way to tart strawberries and a faint herbal heat, like a menthol quality. The finish is clean and medium-short, and is very pleasant. Probably consumed a bit too early, even with substantial decant, this wine will only improve in the next few years.

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  • 2005 Kistler Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Mountain

    (2/18/2012)

    Medium yellow-gold color, 14.1% abv. Complex and very fragrant nose, offering up sweet peach, apricot, and soft buttery notes, with a background of honeysuckle and light petroleum scents. Very decisive and masculine on the palate, with gravelly white tropical fruits that are so rich, they almost seem sweet. The finish just keeps going til you take the next drink...honestly, way over 90 seconds. A superb balance of acidity and mature tannins, this wine will still drink beautifully in 8 or more years, in my opinion. An incredible effort.

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  • 2001 Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 93 Points

    Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico Superiore

    (2/18/2012)

    3 hour decant, enjoyed over several hours after that. Light purple in color, fading nicely at the rim due to 11 years of age. This Quintarelli Valpolicella has a fragrant nose of violets, intensely tart cherry fruit, leather, and a nice spice (reminiscent of clove?). The palate repeats the bright sour cherries, supported by a gravely minerality and a fresh, zesty mouthfeel. There is an obvious, nice acidity to this wine, lending to the medium-length, puckering finish that is so delicious and thought-provoking. In my limited experience with Quintarelli's, I think this wine should drink well for the next 6-8 years at least. A wonderful wine.

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  • 2005 Remoissenet Père et Fils Clos Vougeot Flawed

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

    (2/18/2012)

    Purchased at LCBO...alas, a corked bottle.

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  • 2007 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Couchereaux Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru

    (2/18/2012)

    Decanted 1 hour, consumed over 2 hours. Medium ruby color, 13% abv. Nose of red cherry and raspberry fruit, coffee grounds, and wet gravel. Tastes of slightly underripened cherries and plums, with a slight peppery quality, medium bodied, tight tannic structure, would wait at least a year on future bottles. Nice QPR.

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  • 2001 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vürsù Vigneto Campè 94 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    (2/18/2012)

    Decanted 1 hour, enjoyed over the next 3. Deep ruby with light browning at the rim, 14.5% abv. Not a wine for the faint of heart. Complex nose of wet earth, old saddle leather, raw meats, sour cherries, and tart plums. On the palate, this wine has incredible power and gobs of intensity, which it somehow masterfully orchestrates into a beautifully balanced gastronomic symphony. The tart red fruit flavors are so well integrated with secondary and tertiary flavors, promising great things to come in this wines future. This is a wine to seek out and toss in the farthest corner of your cellar, pulling out a bottle every year or two, for the next 20 years. Wowee.

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  • 2006 Fielding Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 87 Points

    Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara-on-the-Lake VQA

    (2/18/2012)

    PnP. Light brown in color, is this ok? No formal tasting note taken. Sweet pears and peaches. Enjoyed with Zuli's foie gras concoction (nana bread, peach preserves, and ginger juice), which was honestly sooo good, it would have made muddy water taste great.

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  • 1996 M. Chapoutier Banyuls Vin Doux Naturel 92 Points

    France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Banyuls

    (2/18/2012)

    PnP, enjoyed over 5 hours with friends. 16% abv, medium reddish-brown in color. Nose of very ripe plums and raisins, hints of prunes in the background, some heat is noticeable but not off-putting whatsoever. Delightful energy on the palate, a very vibrant and warming quality, with flavors similar to a vintage port, presented in a more stealthy and light-hearted style. Deliciously sweet, good with dessert, or as dessert all by itself.

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Closing

Another wonderful weekend with family and friends up north. Wine really does taste better when you drink it in the company of people you love.

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