27 June 2017

Visit to Stratus Vineyards, Ontario, Canada

Jf and Marco at Stratus

Today I visited a most remarkable vineyard at Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario, Canada. At Stratus I was greeted by Suzanne Janke and JF, the wine maker from the Loire valley who decided to move to Canada and try to make good wine. He sure did succeed. These are the best wines in the Niagara region IMHO.

2013 Stratus White, 13.8%abv
37% chard, 34% sauvignon, 26% sémillon, 3% viognier
Composition can change from year to year, increase chard if want more roundness, more Sauvignon if need more acidity
gold yellow, complex, vanilla. Ready
Score 92, CAD 38

2014 Stratus Chardonnay, 13.5%abv
246 days in French oak (63% new)
deep straw yellow, balanced
two thirds left on lees in bottle, can filter if needed before drinking
Score 90 CAD 48

2013 Stratus Red, 13.5%abv
30% Merlot, 27% cab sauv, 25% cab franc, 11 syrah, 3% sangiovese
deep ruby red, black fruits, leather, smoky
good acidity and tannins
needs 2-3 years at least
score 88 CAD44

2013 Stratus Cabernet Franc, 13.5%abv
552 days in French oak (23% new)
cab franc most planted red in Canada
deep ruby red, black cherries, , ready
score 93 CAD 38

2013 Stratus Sangiovese, 13.6%abv
the only sangiovese 100% in Niagara
garnet red, well balanced, moderate length
Score 88, CAD 42

2016 Stratus Riesling Icewine, 12.9%abv
54% viognier, 46% sémillon
light straw yellow, consistent
more aromatic than in Germany
need more alcohol to balance higher residual sugar
35 brix, 250 grams of sugar
Score 92 CAD 40 (200ml bottle)

2016 Stratus icewine red,
40% petit verdot, 40% cab sauv, 30% cab franc
light cherry color, rhubarb, cassis
pair with chocolate advised, they soak choc beans with lees of wine!
score 88, CAD 40 (200ml bottle)

06 June 2017

Boisdale Mayfair whisky and cheese

Funny meeting with acquaintances at the Boisdale whisky and cigar club. Tasting whisky and talking Brexit. They are mostly obsessed with sovereignty, national sovereignty that is. I try to make the point that there is such a thing as European sovereignty, as for example in terms of money. Printing money is a prime demonstration of sovereignty and the Euro is the second most used in the world after the US dollar. That kind of European sovereignty could be extended to other areas of government. 

No one really follows me on that one. One or two Londoners however do say that remaining would have been better as it would have allowed the UK to join the EU in facing big multinationals. Whatever.

1. Lancashire cheese, smooth soft, paired with Glenlivets Speyside founders reserve, fruity, added a few drops of water. American oak.

Illegal production in XVIII century, moved distillery to highlands away from taxman, got away with it for a while.

2. Speyside 15yrs old French oak reserve
darker sweet spicy
Devon cow and goat milk cheese smooth soft

3. Speyside cask strength 1822 1st time UK king visited Scotland George IV. liked women drink esp French wine. Wanted to try illegal whisky
first they denied then a local judge agreed because it was the king. George IV lowered taxes to encourage distillery to go legal.

Many distillery called themselves glenlivets until 1980 s

4. cheese pecorino, soft
oloroso sherry cask glenlivets whisky
very rich smooth dark amber color
800 USD for a cask, expensive
whisky companies pay coopers and bodegas in Spain to make sherry even if little demand for sherry. so sherry now so cheap because made to produce casks and to age whisky in

5. glenlivets madura cask strength, glenlivet does not peat barley since 1950s smoky out of fashion these days

These days average consumers drink fruity speyside 

Expert fanatics prefer Islay smoky peaty

Glenlivet company
Chivas régal 25 yo
first every luxury scotch whisky
created for America early Xx century
favorite of Frank sinatra made it famous
dark amber
Paired with Cornish cheese, sweet smooth soft

Recensione libro: Tramonto alle Maldive (1993) by Anne Weale, ***


Le Maldive: spiagge bianche profumate d'Oriente... Pur conoscendo per motivi professionali tutti i possibili inconvenienti tecnici di una crociera alle Maldive, l'accompagnatrice turistica Charlotte non può certo accettare di condividere la stessa cabina con un uomo, anche se l'affascinante Dean sarebbe un ottimo compagno di stanza per le sue vacanze. E infatti, qualche giorno dopo...


Il romanzo è ambientato alle Maldive, ma potrebbe essere anche altrove. Mare tropicale, caldo, sensualità e un triangolo amoroso sono gli elementi principali della storia che si snoda piacevolmente tra spiagge, barche e noci di cocco. Il lettore che non sia mai stato alle Maldive viene portato per mano per le isole e può assaporare qualche assaggio dell'atmosfera locale. La storia in se stessa è un po' prevedibile, ed il finale quasi scontato, ma ciononostante mi ha fatto piacere leggerla. Alcuni dei personaggi sono dipinti a colori vividi e realistici.