Only Two Weeks Left!

I know many of you think I am referring to the number of days remaining where you can jab elbows with your fellow overheated shoppers at the local mall, but no that’s not it. There’s something else you need to worry about before the end of the year.

I first encountered a few (four to be exact) of Lailey Vineyard’s 2010 barrel samples at the Sip, Savour, Swirl, & Selebrate event hosted by Savvy Company in Ottawa in November. At the Ottawa Wine & Food Show later that week, they had all 8 of the barrel samples out for tasting.

For those of you that know Ontario wine, hot vintage years make for some of the best full-bodied reds, and 2010 was particularly stellar for those that like their wines big and bold. From what I have seen so far, 2010’s may indeed be some of the best red wines to ever come from Ontario, and the samples tasted from winemaker Derek Barnett indicate that Lailey has definitely succeeded in producing wines worthy of high praise. And in a unique “Futures” program normally associated with Bordeaux wines, Lailey has added a bonus twist – 30% off the list prices of these wines if you order them now, with delivery is slated for sometime next spring or summer.

Time is running out though! The futures program is only going to run until the end of this month. In fact they had planned to take it down already (good thing they didn’t or procrastinators like me would have missed it!), but because of the interest they decided to keep it going until year end.

More info is available here:, with the descriptions of the wines available here:

Contact Christine at Lailey 905.468.0503.

What We Tasted:

Temporary Labels

Pinot Noir Old Vines – I found the nose on this one to be fairly light, good at disguising the fruit and spice that lay underneath! Very nice balance of fruit (both cherry and cranberry) and acidity. Found this one slightly tannic which was weird given the 30% new French (remainder old Frnech) oak treatment. Futures Price $31.70, Release Price $45.20

Pinot Noir Lot 48 – This was a monster of a Pinot – lots of earthiness, cherry, raspberry (I think) and spice, with all the fruit coming from a single vineyard (K. Whitty property on the “bench”). Mid-palate it had kirsch and cherry candy tones, before a crisp acidic (and cherry!) finish. Futures Price $42.20, Release Price $60.20

Syrah – Ultra dark in colour, tons of fruit (almost jammy) followed by white & black pepper on the nose. Palate is luscious fruit with spicy, tannic finish. Wow! Futures Price $19.10, Release Price $27.20

Impromptu – I’ve been a fan of this one for a few years (and still stare longingly at my last bottle of 2007). This year’s is a mix of 75% Syrah, 13% Malbec, and 12% Petit Verdot. With a mix of French and American oak, there’s a lot going on with this wine and if it is anything like the previous vintages, time will only improve this wine. Futures Price $31.70, Release Price $45.20

Merlot – With an awesome vanilla nose, and a fruit forward palate, and then a long fruit/vanilla finish, this Merlot was likely my favourite of the tasting. I was surprised at the strong vanilla given the used French barrels but this wine was very drinkable now. 🙂 Futures Price $20.20, Release Price $30.20

Cabernet Franc – Another monster wine. Tons of dark fruit and just an edge of sweet spice. Lots of tannins here that will integrate nicely with all the fruit over some time. I’m going to buy some of this and stick it away for a couple years…I’m sure the reward will be amazing! Futures Price $20.20, Release Price $30.20

Cabernet Sauvignon – Another monster wine. Sweet jammy nose and “gobs” (is that a word?) of red and dark fruit, followed by sweet spice and vanilla. Another lovely, big wine that should compete with just about anything at this futures price: Futures Price $20.20, Release Price $30.20

Meritage – This one was oaked in Canadian Oak(!!), either 2nd or 3rd use. The blend is Merlot, Cab Franc, and Cab Sauv. Still tight, this is another one I would want to hang onto for a while to see the benefit of time integrating the luscious components. Futures Price $28.20, Release Price $40.20

As for what I am buying, I’m still negotiating with my wife, but my last list had 16 bottles on still!!

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