(TORONTO, ON) – Make a bundle as a professional athlete, musician, neurologist, investment banker, or plastic surgeon then seek immortality by getting your name on a wine bottle or, even better, buying a winery.
You have pretty good instant branding for legions of fans.
The Gretzky 2014 Cabernet Merlot is a pretty gutsy effort with the year being far from ideal for red grapes in Niagara, and devastating to just about all grapes in Lake Erie North Shore.
Dark red plum in colour. Full of black cherry, some chocolate, and bacon.
Solid and thick and set to impress? Unfortunately, the impressive aromas don’t quite translate onto the palate. The cherry, so prominent on the nose, fades quickly into a much more diluted form. It just seems a bit watery.
To be polite, a quaffable light red, good with a burger or pizza. A bit like the Bud Light of a red wine.
Strangely enough, despite its diffuse finish, it is a charming little wine that will not disappoint severely. I’d say this quirky wine is worth a try. (Wayne Gretzky Estates 2014 Cabernet Merlot, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 12.8%, LCBO #75689, $15.95, Square Media Group Rating 87/100)
Doug Gilmour takes a kick at the can with his 2012 Corazõn, which is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon lacking a specific VQA appellation.
Dark plum in colour. Heavy black cherry centre on the nose with just a tinge of fig.
It certainly has some stuffing on the palate with brackish cherry with a rhubarbish finish that fades slowly. Moderate tannins could make this a keeper until 2018, and it just might smooth out with some age.
This wine could benefit from some decanting before serving.
Again, like the Gretzky wine, its quaffable, but not worth writing a postcard about. (Gilmour Corazon 2012, VQA Ontario, Karlo Estates, Wellington, ON, 12.5%, LCBO #440594, $22.95, Square Media Group Rating 87/100)
Back to Greztky with his 2013 Merlot.
Colour is a brownish ruby. Loads of black cherry on the palate with a bit of coffee and plum.
On the palate, cherry, cigar, and chocolate chewiness. Mild tannins and overall a smooth wine as most Merlot is.
The finish is rather devoid of much. Just abruptly ends as it goes down the hatch.
It lacks that juicy little charm of his 2014 Cabernet/Merlot. He’s missed the net on this one. (Wayne Gretzky Estates 2013 Merlot, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 13%, LCBO #63966, $15.95, Square Media Group Rating 84/100)
As the dying minutes of the third period tick down to yet another Toronto Maple Leaf loss we try Douggie’s Orus 2012, which is a Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio blend. A good blend let’s one pick up the distinct nature of each grape, yet the blend leads one to a distinct taste that can only be accomplished by expert blending.
Light golden coloured. Aromas of vanilla, custard, apple, pear, and lemon meringue pie, topped off by humid lake water.
Pinot Grigio from Lake Erie North Shore? I can pick up the influence of each grape in the blend, but the end result?
The Riesling seems to take the other grapes hostage, leaving a tart grapefruit note some of you will like and some not. It all rather depends on whether you like Ontario Riesling.
In a nutshell, bland on the palate, wandering about in a confused state, as if it was suffering from a concussion courtesy of John Ferguson. (Gilmour 2012 Orus, VQA Ontario, Karlo Estates, Wellington, ON, 12.5%, LCBO #441915, $19.95, Square Media Group Rating 84/100)