As I was making a fusilli pasta last night Mrs CWG was going over my recent wine reviews and noted I had not reviewed any Canadian wines recently. Such a travesty needed correction, and thus we pulled this 2003 from the cellar and popped the cork! Cave Spring is a nice little winery in Jordan, Ontario, which is part of the Beamsville Bench area of the Niagara wine region. Cave Springs really is a must stop if you are doing a trip down to Niagara for wine tastings, besides being a great little winery it is somehow affiliated or partnered with Inn on the Twenty one of Niagara’s better Inns that has a tremendous restaurant (think wine tasting and lunch, mmm food and wine, wine and food, mmm). If you are ever considering doing a series of Niagara wine tours, make this part of the St-Catherines to Grimbsy leg (add in Henry of Pelham, TAWSE, Fielding Estates, and Hidden Bench just to name four more). Maybe one day I will put together a small series on where to go in Niagara since there is a great deal to see, taste and eat in the region! This 2003 Cabernet Merlot was purchased on one of our wine tasting trips in 2005 I believe (may have been 2006) and as I pulled it out I got a twinge of excitement as I have been looking forward to seeing if a few years on it’s side would help what I remember as a decent wine. So without any more dribble, on to the tasting!
The first thing we noticed upon decanting was a very candied nose, like preserves, rich in strawberry and raspberry. I do not remember my initial thoughts back from when we bought this but I was half expecting oak and earthiness (no idea why, just what I expected). As we got into the wine the raspberry jam stayed with us, but hints of oak, mint and cherry came out as well. Tannins were nice and even and overall the wine drank as if it was much more then the $16 or so we spent on it back in 2005. The LCBO has current the current vintage available for around that price, and I know there is a reserve offered as well so there is plenty of opportunity to get some of this wine in one vintage or another. Cellaring seems to have taken this from a decent wine to a very good, near great wine. I know that is shocking, but sometimes a wine can go down the right path with a few extra years to mature despite it’s bargain basement price. I think the good balance, excellent fruit and decent tannins make this a steal if you can find one.
Subjective rating of the Cab-Merlot is 89 out of 100.
Mrs CWG says
I wish we had bought a half dozen!