Here’s what’s inside the January Toronto Life Wine Club box
In January’s delivery: an unusual-but-sumptuous white, a Bordeaux showing off the best of the Niagara region, and a humble 2019 cab sauv proving why restraint during the winemaking process brings home the awards. Orders must be placed by Jan. 20.
2018 Ferox White
Why we’re into this wine: Winemaker Fabian Reis took a risk in crafting this unusual white made largely from grapes rarely found in the Niagara escarpment. Predominantly a kerner-gewürztraminer blend, some riesling, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay was also added for balance and structure. All varieties were harvested on the same day, pressed, and fermented together in stainless steel creating a blend that was carefully thought out long before the wine hit the bottle.
What it tastes like: Lovely aromatics of pear, white flowers, and lime lead to green apple, honeydew melon, stone fruit and a touch of honey on the palate. Excellent concentration and measured acidity enhances the sumptuous mouthfeel.
How to drink it: Chill this food-friendly wine and pair it with warmly-spiced Indian food, think chicken korma and prawn curry, and peach and almond tarts for dessert.
Why we’re into this wine: It’s a Bordeaux-style red that showcases the best of Niagara’s cool climate fruit over two harvests. The blend is most representative of the 2019 vintage with 74% of the wine hailing from that year and the balance from the 2020 vintage. Cabernet franc-dominant (70%), malbec (25%) and merlot varietals were added to lift and round the flavour profile while a year in French oak mellows the mouthfeel.
What it tastes like: Aromatics of forest floor and earth evolve to a palate of bright red cherry pie, blackcurrant, and spice. Medium-bodied and dry, this is a flavourful wine with solid structure; it’s drinking well now, but can also age for 2-4 years.
How to drink it: This versatile gem partners with a range of fare from fried calamari to wood-fired pizza to grilled lamb chops with rosemary and mint.
2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Why we’re into this wine: While big fruit bombs have their place, it’s often restraint during the winemaking process that earns the awards. In this case, the wine was crafted from the highest quality grapes of the 2019 vintage and produced in a small batch of only a couple hundred cases. Bucking the recent trend of new world wines where full-bodied reds are accompanied by high alcohol levels, the percent per volume is a very reasonable 13%, and this moderation strengthens the overall structure and flavour of the wine.
What it tastes like: Notes of cedar, black pepper, raspberry, black berry fruit, savoury herbs, and a hint of menthol grace this deep, classic cabernet. Baking spice is also present, a nod to fifteen months aging in French oak. It’s well-balanced with structure that will support cellar aging for 4+ years.
How to drink it: Aerate and decant for an hour before serving. Match with rich foods such as grilled brisket, smoked game meat, and Roquefort-stuffed portobella mushrooms.